Chapter 14:

Chapter 14 A Short Meeting With Goddess

Hermit's Diary

There was only one hatchling left, the one who clutched a pebble in his trembling hand. I, too, had devised a plan of survival. I spotted a wooden splinter nearby, pointy and the size of a toothpick. With a firm grip on the splinter, I crawled out of hiding, my heart pounding with a mixture of fear and grim resolve. I had no intention of killing my fellow hatchling only to fend him away.

"Gah! No want to fight! No more! Stop this! Someone!" the hatchling wailed, tears streaming down his face as he charged toward me, his tiny arms flailing in panic.

"I'll use this! I'll use this! Away from me! Away, I say!" I cried out, brandishing my wooden splinter like a feeble spear.

The desperate hatchling, eyes wide with terror, clenched his tiny fist and hurled a pebble at me. It struck me square in the face, My world instantly spiraled into a disorienting blur, and I crumpled to the ground, my eyes wide open but lifeless. I didn't even had a chance to feel the impact of me hitting the hard arena floor.

Dazed and bewildered, I found myself sprawled on the ground, limbs twitching and moving seemingly of their own accord. My head throbbed with unbearable pain, my vision blurred, and my ears rang with the echoing shouts and screams of the arena. The hatchling closed in on me, his screams of terror ringing in my ears.

"Negh, ne, no!" I whimpered, as I wriggled on the ground, trying to crawl away from the impending threat.

But in a cruel twist of fate, the panicked hatchling tripped over his own clumsy feet, his tiny body crashing down onto the wooden splinter with a sickening squelch.

"Ow! Wreeee...! Ouchie!" he yelled in pain, his eyes wide with shock as he realized what had just happened.

The adult goblins and the surrounding audience howled with laughter, finding perverse amusement in the spectacle of us, goblin hatchlings, engaged in a silly fight for survival.

"Look at 'em! So puny, it's like watchin' ants squabble! Fight! Fight! You shit!" one adult goblin guffawed, his voice dripping with sadistic delight.

"Yeah, this is the best fun we've had since the last batch of hatchlings! Ghegheghe!" another chimed in, cackling wickedly.

"Hehe, yeah! look at 'em! So tiny, so pathetic! Like green turds running around! Geegeegee!" one adult goblin cackled, slapping his knee with glee.

"Fight, you little runts! Fight! You better not lose, big ears!" another goblin chortled, raising a mug of something foul-smelling in a toast to our suffering.

The hatchling's anguished screams pierced the air as he writhed on the ground, his tiny hands futilely attempting to pull out the impaling splinter. Pain and terror mingled in his eyes as he realized the grim consequences of his own desperate actions.

The wounded hatchling, still struggling with the splinter, managed to whimper, "Please, help us... someone..." His plea hung in the air, a desperate cry for salvation in the face of impending doom.

The adult goblin strode into the arena with a grotesque indifference. None of the hatchlings were dead, only hurt, and they could have been saved but he regarded the defeated hatchlings with a heartless glare, treating them as if they were nothing more than dead rats. 

With a brutal sweep of his arm, the adult goblin tossed the fallen hatchlings to the starving hounds, as if they were no more significant than discarded scraps. The screams and screeches of the hapless hatchlings filled the air, their voices a bluster of agony as the ravenous hounds descended upon them.

The hounds tore into their tiny bodies with savage ferocity, ripping them into pieces with horrifying brutality. The pit echoed with the gruesome sounds of tearing flesh and the pitiful cries of the doomed hatchlings, their lives snuffed out in a dreadful spectacle of blood and terror. The dogs tugged and gnawed at the hatchlings, reducing them to a pitiful pile of torn flesh and scattered guts. The eyes, once full of life, lay squashed on the ground, their glassy gaze now empty.

I watched in horror as one of the hatchlings was torn in two halves, unable to tear my eyes away from the gruesome scene. The stench of death hung heavy in the air, a sickening reminder of the grim fate that awaited those who failed in this heartless game.

But my own ordeal was far from over. The towering adult goblin seized me, his grip like a vice around my tiny body. He grabbed me so tight that my insides came out of my butt with a rivulet of feces and I shot a stream of my stomach juice out of my mouth. 

But my torment didn't end there, he callously tossed me into a crudely made wooden box. The impact was jarring, my already bruised and battered form aching with every movement. I lay there, disoriented, broken, and trembling, as the world outside the box continued to echo with the cheers and jeers of the merciless crowd. I was on the brink of dying, even a gust of wind could snuck my life away.

The adult goblin returned to the buckets, where another six hapless hatchlings were selected for the next brutal bout. The arena came alive once more with the cruel excitement of the spectators, who eagerly placed their bets on the outcome.

My body, pushed beyond its limits by the pain and suffering I had endured, finally surrendered to exhaustion. I watched through the gaps in the wooden box at the hatchlings fight as my vision blurred and turned into darkness. With a feeble whimper, I succumbed to unconsciousness, the darkness offering a momentary respite from the relentless horrors of this cruel world.

In the blinding darkness, a sudden, brilliant light pierced the void, and there it was - the familiar-looking throne, bathed in an ethereal glow that illuminated the otherwise desolate room. And on that magnificent throne sat a stunning woman, her radiance casting away the shadows that had enveloped me.

Distant memories surged back in a flash, like a torrent of forgotten dreams. It was Lusseria, the goddess who had brought me into this world of torment and chaos, her beauty and grace transcending mortal understanding.

With a mix of awe, confusion, and a gnawing sense of despair, I pushed myself off the ground. My goblin form remained, my human form was no more. Before I could utter a word, the goddess Lusseria's voice, like the sweetest and most sardonic melody, resonated through the chamber.

"Oh, my little Hermit, you so small I barely see you there," she purred with a sarcastic tone, her laughter carrying a flirtatious edge that sent shivers down my spine.

"What trouble have you gotten yourself into now? Oh, don't bother answering. You've died again, and it hasn't even been a full day. Well, that simply won't do! You seemed to be having so much fun down there, but fret not, as a goddess of good heart, I'll overlook this tiny blunder of yours and send you back. But just this once! Hahahhaha!"

I stammered, struggling to find the right words in the presence of such overwhelming otherworldly power.

"Goddess Lusseria... why... why have you brought me to that place? Is there a purpose to my suffering? I am... I'm a goblin! You turned me into a goblin! A monster! A weak and pathetic monster! What is the purpose of me being there like this?"

She smiled her eyes a pool of mockery and mischief, a cruel contrast to her divine beauty. 

"My dear shut-in Hermit, there is no purpose. I simply enjoy watching you suffer. And it will only get worse as time goes on. First, let's see if you can find your way out of this labyrinth of torment you've already stumbled into. Your fate is now in your own hands, no more divine interventions. Bye-bye!"

With a snap of her fingers goddess Lusseria vanished, leaving me alone in the suffocating darkness, I felt a profound sense of abandonment. My voice failed me, and I couldn't muster the courage to ask her the questions that plagued my mind. It was as if she had bestowed upon me a cruel gift of suffering and then vanished without a trace.

Suddenly, my world erupted into chaos once more. My goblin body was violently shaken, and a racket of chirping and clicking sounds filled my ears, growing louder and more disorienting with each passing moment. Simultaneously, the memories of my past life, my human life, began to fade away like a distant dream slipping through my fingers.

With great effort, I pried my swollen eyes open, my body aching with pain but miraculously free from any life-threatening injuries. As I blinked against the harsh light, I found myself staring at a goblin with a terrified expression. He tugged and shook my body with desperation, his tiny hands trembling, tears glistening in his eyes, ears twitching, and his voice filled with heart-wrenching fear.

"Gobbie friend! Wake up! Wake up! Gobbie friend! Why no breathing? Wake up! Why no moving?!" he cried out, his voice quivering. 

"Why not move? Why gobbie friend not move! You survived the cruel selection... why not move!" He continued to shake my limp form, his despair visible in every gesture and word, as if his world depended on my response.

With great effort, I slowly moved my aching eyes and took in the bleak scene within the wooden box. It was now filled to the brim with battered and bruised goblin hatchlings, each one bearing the physical and emotional scars of the torment we had endured.

Trauma was etched into their fragile features. Some of them lay on the hard ground of the box, their tiny bodies trembling as they desperately sucked on their thumbs, seeking a semblance of comfort in a world devoid of solace. 

"Gobbie friend... slurp, slurp, slurp... scary place... slurp, slurp, slurp..make it stop..."

Others rocked back and forth, their eyes vacant as they chanted mumbles repeatedly, their voices like broken records stuck in a haunting loop.

"Scary place, scary place," one goblin chanted, his voice trembling with fear.

"Can't go home, can't go home," another mumbled, tears streaming down his face.

"Want warm hugs, want tasty food," a third goblin chanted, his words filled with longing.

"Maybe we die soon, maybe we die soon. No more torment, no more torment," a particularly distraught goblin muttered, his voice quivering with despair.

One goblin, huddled in a corner, whimpered, "Hug, hug, need a hug, warm hug, please... need a warm hug..." as he wrapped his arms around himself, seeking comfort that was nowhere to be found.

Another goblin clutched a pebble that was more akin to sand grain and muttered, "Rock, keep me safe, rock, keep me safe, bad goblins, bad goblin," his voice trembling with each utterance.

A third goblin rocked back and forth on the ground, muttering, "Hungry, hungry, need food," as if the mere repetition of the words might conjure sustenance from thin air.

 And then some whimpered uncontrollably, cocooned within their meaty goblin ears as if trying to shield themselves from the horrors that surrounded them.

One of them, a particularly dimwitted, wailed pitifully, "Oh no, oh no! Why are we here? Why fight? I just want to go back to the cave! To warm cave! Roll in a stinky slippery ground and play with gobbie friends! Munch on wrigglies and drink quenchers."

Another chimed in, his voice trembling with sorrow, "It's not fair, not fair at all! I want warm hugs, cuddles, fun, goodnight kisses... not fighting."

"Why are they hurting us? We just wanted to play!" another wailed, tears streaming down his skinny cheeks.

I let out a painful moan, my voice raspy and weak, "Ooof... Hurts when you shake me... stop... please... my ouchies and owies hurt so much."

The goblin who had been shaking me continued to cry out in sorrow, his voice filled with anguish.

"Gobbie friend, you alive!" he cried with a mix of relief and sorrow, tears still glistening in his eyes.