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Goblins and kobolds have a specific place where they build a colony.
It must be a place that’s close to water and is able to shelter them from wind and rain.
There are several caves in the mountains close to Attuca that meet this requirement.
Villagers are aware of the locations of those caves and people who enter the mountains to gather firewood or pick medical herbs don’t approach them carelessly.
Right now, we are heading to one of those caves.
It’s been a week since the ban on self-practice of body strengthening magic was lifted and today is the day when about 15 men of notable large stature even amongst the village men are participating in monster subjugation led by Mr. Zeol.
The targets are small monsters with high reproductive abilities, like goblins and kobolds.
In addition, if there are any ferocious monsters that don’t usually appear in nearby mountains, we’ll subjugate them as well.
As winter approaches, food is naturally becoming scarcer in the mountains.
The fruit and nut season is over and there are some days in midwinter when the ground is covered with snow.
If you have the wisdom to grow, harvest and preserve crops from spring to autumn like the people living in the villages, you should be able to overcome harsh winters too, but goblins aren’t that intelligent.
If there’s a shortage of food in the mountains, there’s a high chance that they’ll descend to the village and start scavenging for food.
In fantasy stories, you’d often see goblins use human females as incubators to give birth to their offspring, but that’s impossible in this world.
Goblins view both men and women equally as prey and food.
Adult males of large-bodied races like lupans and bovans might be able to fight off goblins and kobolds with their bare hands, but only if they’re fighting one-on-one.
If they’re attacked by groups of threes and fours, they wouldn’t be able to deal with them, not to say anything about children, who would be no match for goblins even one-on-one.
The houses in Attuca aren’t built as densely as the residential areas in Tokyo.
For example, it’s possible for other houses to not notice anything if one house is attacked by a goblin swarm.
In fact, a house in the outskirts of the village was apparently attacked once in the past and the whole family ended up as goblin food.
We are going to hit the goblin and kobold colonies near the village to prevent situations like that.
This morning, we left after gathering in front of the village chief’s house, but there was a dispute about me accompanying them before we left.
The adults from the village voiced their fears about me being put into too much danger and Miguel threw a tantrum, asking to also be taken along.
“I’m not taking Nyango along to make him participate in the battle. It’s so if something happened, he’d run to the village and notify them. He’s agile and since he usually gathers medical herbs, he’s used to walking in the mountains. Besides, hey Nyango, run for us a bit.”
He meant that I should show the villagers who were still half-doubtful even after hearing Mr. Zeol’s explanation how I run while strengthening my body.
When I ran with about 30% of my power while strengthening myself, which was 40-50% faster than my full power sprint without using strengthening, the gathered adults opened their eyes wide.
“How is it? With this speed, he can even escape from the chaos of the battlefield. Of course we’ll go on offense after making appropriate preparations, but we can’t neglect countermeasures in case something happens. That’s why I’m taking Nyango with me.”
After seeing my running, the adults didn’t raise any more objections, but Miguel’s dissatisfaction didn’t subside.
He was whining about why I was the only one being taken along and how he also wanted to learn body strengthening magic, but once he was faced with his current powerlessness, he had no choice but to shut up.
Monster subjugation before winter is an old tradition, but it seems that it was not without injuries and sometimes deaths. But ever since Mr. Zeol came to the village, there might’ve been injured people sometimes, but there have been no more casualties.
It might have been fine to take Miguel along too, but Mr. Zeol didn’t agree because according to him, we weren’t going out for fun and it wasn’t a good idea to increase uncertain variables.
The adults participating in the subjugation were equipped with leather body, hand and leg armor and were using spears and hatchets as a weapon.
The basics of fighting against goblins is to use a spear and defeat them without letting them get close, but use a hatchet if they do get closer.
When I asked them why they were using a hatchet instead of a sword, everybody answered that it was because they were used to using it for chopping firewood everyday and because its blade was thick so they wouldn’t have to worry about it bending or breaking.
Besides, the hatchet itself is weighty, so even if it can’t do the cutting, it can deal enough damage to crush the enemies’ bones.
By the way, I only have a small knife that suits my size and I have zero combat abilities at a glance, but I can make weapons with sky attribute magic.
I practiced so that I could make a spear and a dagger immediately for this day, but Mr. Zeol will probably not let me join the battle
After walking for about 2 hours after leaving the village, Mr. Zeol gave a signal to the people behind him.
It seems that we were close to the cave where the goblin colony was suspected to be.
“From here on, refrain from talking needlessly. Try to make as little noise as possible.”
The village men, who were acting like they were on a picnic up until now, tightened their expressions.
They were prepared, but they were still going to risk their lives and if they let goblins escape, the village, their friends and families would be in danger.
As we approached while hiding behind tree trunks and bushes, we saw about 5 goblins at the entrance of the cave.
The three of them still looked like children.
“It’s the kids born in spring… don’t show mercy, think that they’ll kill you if you don’t kill them.”
After taking two breaths, Mr. Zeol raised the spear he was holding over his shoulder.
The thrown spear pierced one goblin’s chest, leaving a silver beam of light behind.
Mr. Zeol immediately received the next spear and threw it, skewering another goblin without missing his aim.
Leaping out from behind the tree, Mr. Zeol pulled out the wide longsword hanging from his waist and cut down the goblin child that was stunned after having its parent killed.
The goblins were killed so fast that they didn’t even have enough time to scream.
“Alright, surround them! Don’t let even a single one escape!”
The adults of the village with the spears formed a semi-circle around the entrance of the cave, blocking it.
One of the villagers stopped the goblin that jumped out after hearing noise by impaling its body and the others around him dealt the finishing blow by piercings its neck and other vital points.
The villager men were usually working in the field or dairy farms, but seemed to have gotten used to the process after participating in the subjugation many times.
This formation and coordination must’ve also been guided by Mr. Zeol.
The six goblins that jumped out were quickly killed, but there seemed to be more left inside the cave, letting out alarmed grunts.
“Alright, let’s smoke them out!”
After Mr. Zeol gave the instruction, the village men set the bundle of the straw they’d brought on fire and threw it inside the cave.
“In the name of Goddess Fatima, let the winds soar!”
Those that could use wind attribute magic sent wind into the cave with magic.
“Be prepared for them to run out at any moment.”
The straw bundle burned and the cave was filled with smoke.
Eventually, we heard coughing sounds and the goblins that crawled out one by one all fell prey to the spears.
When the number of hunted goblins exceeded 20, they stopped crawling out from the cave.
The village men surrounding the cave still all kept their serious expressions and stayed vigilant.
“Alright, 6 of you stay on the guard and the rest get to dissecting.”
Everybody except for the 6 that kept the watch began dissecting goblins, but the first thing they did was to dig a hole and burn firewood.
The smell of blood filled the area even while the hunt was still ongoing, but it became even stronger once the dissecting work started.
They were burning firewood in order to let the monsters that were lured by that smell of blood know that there were people that used fire here.
Monsters also seemed to fear fire, except for a select few, and the smell of the smoke seemed to be the basis of repelling them.
“Nyango, do you want to try?”
“Is that okay? Then, please teach me.”
The equan man that called out to me was the father of Dulles, Miguel’s follower if I remember right.
I feel like rather than teaching me out of kindness, he just didn’t want to get his hands dirty.
“Nyango, what about the knife?”
“I’m already holding it. It’s a knife made with sky attribute magic so you probably can’t tell at a glance.”
When I cut the goblin skin lightly with the magic knife, Dulles’ father was left with his mouth agape in surprise.
By the way, the upper half of my body, except for my face, is covered with rubber-like soft solidified air.
It’s like disposable gloves and an operating gown, so if I’m wearing this, I should be safe from blood splatter.
The biggest reason for dissecting goblins is magic stones and since it’s right next to the heart, naturally it’s followed by a lot of blood spurts, so I won’t have to worry about my precious fur getting dirty.
I proceeded to dissect the goblin while being taught by Dulles’ father.
I cut open horizontally at the bottom rib and stuck my hands in to retrieve the magic stone.
“It’s a little lump right next to the heart, pull it out… that’s right, cut it open.”
“Ooh, it’s a magic stone…”
The magic stone, a size smaller than a chicken egg, is a murky dark green color.
Each monster has a different color magic stone, and the one kobolds have is dark brown.
I asked to dissect another goblin for practice.
The adults were happy to give them to me because they don’t want to get their hands dirty.
I was looking for an opportunity to take out the heart, but the knife made from sky-attribute magic gathered attention, so it might be difficult to do this time.
After washing magic stones at the nearby river and also washing blood off my hands, I released the air I was wrapped in and my precious fur was the same as before.
While we were dissecting subjugated goblins, Mr. Zeol and the rest had finished cleaning up inside the cave.
The goblins that had their magic stones taken out were burned along with fallen trees in a hole dug by somebody with earth-attribute magic.
They were burned to the point that monsters and beasts wouldn’t care about them anymore, albeit not completely reduced to ashes, and buried in soil mixed with the wormwood powder.
It’s a preventive measure to stop other monsters from eating subjugated goblins and taking up residence.
We finished the campaign by sprinkling a generous amount of wormwood powder around and inside the cave.
By the time we descended the mountain and returned to the village, the Sun was setting behind the ridgeline of the mountain.