Chapter 48:

Chapter 48 Looking for Goblin Medicine

Hermit's Diary

Kaka's bulbous nose twitched as he examined the meager amount of herbs in his hands. He sighed heavily, his eyes reflecting a mix of sadness and frustration. The injured goblin lay motionless, his tiny body smushed.

As Kaka ground the meager herbs with trembling hands, he pleaded with the hatchlings to fetch a few precious drops of water from outside. 

"Gobbies, listen carefully. We need water. Please! Some of you! Bring a few drops of water from outside. But be quiet, like shadows. Guards, they not like gobbies helping each other. So, be careful, little ones."

Our collective hearts, burdened with the weight of our comrade's suffering, spurred me to scuttle outside in a desperate bid to contribute. Each tap of my spindly feet against the wet morning ground echoed with the desperation of our plight.

With my spindly legs working furiously, I scuttled across the muddy ground, the grass blades brushing against my small, trembling body. The morning air hung heavy with the scent of damp earth and the distant echoes of goblin hatchlings' whimpers. My mission was clear - find water.

Careful not to draw attention, I crouched beside dew-kissed grass, my tiny fingers delicately plucking droplets and transferring them into the makeshift buckets formed by my meaty ears. The droplets clung to the surface of my ears, creating glistening globules that promised a small reprieve for our ailing friend.

Once my ear buckets were brimming with collected water, I scuttled back to Kaka's side. The sight that met me was one of collective despair as the hatchlings huddled around him, their eyes flickering with a blend of fear and hope. Kaka, despite his agony, managed a weak smile as he saw me returning.

Gently, I poured the collected water onto the mixture of herbs that lay beside Kaka. He stirred the concoction with his scarred, swollen hands, creating a slimy paste that carried the faint aroma of herbs and earth. The other hatchlings, gathered around in somber curiosity, watched as Kaka worked his meager medicine.

"Water good. Crush herbs well and stir, stir, stir! Helps herbs become medicine," Kaka explained, his voice barely rising above a hoarse whisper. The hatchlings, their attention fully captured by the makeshift medicinal ritual, observed the process with hope.

Kaka, in haste to ease the suffering of the injured goblin, carefully applied the meager amount of medicine he had managed to concoct. His bulbous nose wrinkled in concentration as he gently smeared the salve across the wounds, the dim light of the tent casting shadows on the pitiful scene.

However, as Kaka worked, it became painfully clear that the small quantity of medicine fell woefully short of addressing the severity of the injuries. The goblin hatchling winced and whimpered with each touch, the salve offering only momentary relief from the relentless pain.

Kaka sighed heavily, the weight of his limitations pressing down on him. 

"Not enough... not enough to fix little one. Stupid Kaka should've gathered more herbs," he muttered, his frustration contorting his face. The other hatchlings, witnessing the heartbreaking attempt, exchanged worried glances.

Kaka looked around the tent in a last desperate attempt, his eyes scanning a few meager supplies scattered on the ground.

 "Little gobbies, help Kaka find more herbs. We make more medicine. The little one needs help," he urged, his voice tinged with both urgency and sorrow. The hatchlings, understanding the urgency, nodded in agreement, their tiny forms scurrying around the tent collectively to gather whatever herbs and plants they could find.

The hatchlings frantically scoured the tent, their spindly legs carrying them from one corner to another in a frenzied search for useful herbs. However, all they found within the scattered junk were broken trinkets, pieces of chewed-up twigs, and a few tattered rags. The tent, filled with the stench of misery, offered no solace, and hope dwindled with each futile moment.

Kaka, observing the hatchlings' fruitless efforts, let out a heavy sigh.

 "No herbs, no medicine... Stupid Kaka," he muttered, his bulbous nose drooping in disappointment. The injured goblin hatchling lay there, his frail body still and vulnerable, awaiting a remedy that seemed increasingly elusive.

In a desperate attempt, Kaka approached the injured goblin and whispered, "Little one, Kaka sorry. We try, but no herbs. Kaka will find a way to help you... somehow." His words carried a mix of sadness and remorse as he gently patted the hatchling's head.

Sensing the somber mood, the other hatchlings gathered around Kaka and the injured goblin, their tiny faces expressing a shared sense of helplessness. The tent, filled with silence save for the occasional whimper of pain from the injured goblin, became a heartwrenching sight of goblin sorrow.

Kaka, assessing the meager supplies in the tent, let out a thoughtful hum.

 "Little ones, Kaka thinkin'. We need more herbs, but no herbs here. We go outside the camp and find what we need. But remember, quiet like mice, quick like rabbits. Guards not like little goblins like us wanderin' off."

His bulbous nose twitched as he pondered the risks.

 "We be sneaky, like shadows. Grab what we need, then back to the tent. No time for dilly-dallying. Little one's hurtin' and Kaka wants to fix him up proper." The hatchlings, wide-eyed and eager, nodded in agreement, ready to embark on this perilous mission for the sake of their injured companion.

Kaka scratched his chin, contemplating the perilous journey ahead.

 "Listen up, little ones. Kaka not bring all of you. Too dangerous. We need to be like shadows, remember? So, only a few brave gobbies comin' with Kaka."

He scanned the eager faces of the hatchlings, his eyes settling on me. 

"You, brave one, you come with Kaka. You've been outside before, seen the tall grass and the secrets it keeps. You'll be eyes sharp as an eagle."

I puffed out my chest, honored to be chosen, and nodded vigorously. 

"Yes, Kaka! I'll be the sneakiest gobbie out there!"

Kaka, appreciating my eagerness, gave me a solemn nod and chuckled, ruffling my head. 

"Good gobbie, brave gobbie," he said, patting my wrinkled head.

 "You come with Kaka. We sneak, we grab, we run. Rest of you, watch over the injured one. Keep quiet, no peekin'. And remember, if guards come sniffin' around, hide like scared bunnies. No noise, no trouble."

After issuing his stern warning to the tiny goblin hatchlings, Kaka turned to leave the tent. However, after only a few steps, a sudden realization seemed to strike him. With a furrowed brow, he halted and shifted his gaze downward, inspecting his crushed egg-laying ball sack. The once vibrant green hue was now replaced with a disturbing shade of black, and the swelling had reached grotesque proportions.

He winced at the sight of his discolored and swollen ball sack, and his bulbous nose twitched, registering the pain that emanated from the abused region. He gently prodded the swollen area with his gnarled fingers, his face contorting with discomfort.

"Messed up good, they did. Kaka must endure. For little ones. Must gather herbs. Get better. No time for Kaka to rest." He muttered to himself, the gruffness in his voice revealing the depth of his suffering. Despite the evident pain, he shook his head with a sigh.

 With a weary gaze, he turned back toward the hatchlings, his swollen sack hanging heavily between his legs. His bulbous nose twitched as he prepared to impart another crucial lesson.

 He hobbled back toward the goblin hatchlings, his gait slightly uneven from the abuse he suffered. With a stern yet caring gaze, Kaka spoke, "Little gobbies, before Kaka and our brave friend scuttle to nab some herbs, I give you one more lesson. Pay close attention, for it may save your little hides."

He demonstrated the state of his injured egg-laying balls, showcasing the severe damage inflicted by the cruel guard. 

"See this? Crushed and won't heal. If any limb turns black like this, gives a stinky stench, and starts to rot, you need to remove it." Kaka carefully explained the process, demonstrating with a vine how to tie a tight knot around the affected area. The hatchlings observed in a mixture of curiosity and trepidation.

"Nibble it off, chop it off, or tie a tight knot with a vine. It'll save your life," he emphasized, his gaze fixed on the damaged egg-laying balls.

 "And don't worry. We goblins grow back what we lose. Kaka's egg-laying balls got hurt really badly. But Kaka ties it off, and when it falls, new ones will grow."

The hatchlings stared in a mixture of fascination and horror as Kaka demonstrated the gruesome lesson about self-amputation. Kaka, with a serious tone, continued, "Goblin bodies are tough, little ones. We shed the old to make room for the new. It's the way of goblin life. So, remember this lesson well. Now, keep watch, and if anything goes wrong, scuttle into the hiding. When guards come, you hide. Like clever bugs in the dirt. Never argue, never look 'em in the eyes. If they beat you, you curl up. Protect your meaty ears, protect your tiny bodies. Guards get bored, leave you be."

With that, he patted me on the head, his bulbous nose twitching in a faint smile, and we stepped out of the tent.

With every cautious step, Kaka and I hobbled toward the camp gate, our bodies adorned with fresh wounds and lingering bruises from the relentless torment of the guards. The camp gate, a formidable barrier that separated the goblin captives from the ominous outside world, loomed ahead. Kaka, despite his injuries, moved with a sense of hope. His bulbous sniffer twitched as he surveyed the surroundings, ensuring that no prying eyes observed our departure.