The Goblin Queen
Thwack! As the club cracked through a bone, a shaking sensation ran up his arm.
A single blow from the club shatters the jaw of the Goblin.
The goblin writhes around in pain, still not finished, but Kyle puts his foot on its throat and brains it.
The small monster’s eyes almost leap out of their sockets as it dies. Another goblin rushed at him with a dagger, but it was knocked aside by his buckler shield.
Even if the goblin has a physique of a child, 30 kilos running at you with full force will leave quite an impact. But even if the impact made him stagger slightly, Kyle has an overwhelming advantage because of his weight and his armour.
Kyle stamped on the back of the goblin he had knocked to the floor with his shield and smashed it with the club until it died. Even though the club threatened to fall out if his hand a few times because of the strength of his blows, he gripped onto it with zeal.
The last goblin was petrified at the scene of death in front of him and tried to flee out of the cave.
However, Kyle quickly caught up with it and swung its small body into a wall. He slammed it into the rock so hard that its skull broke on impact, brain, and gore smearing the wall.
That was the last of the goblins in that part of the cave.
“Nice…! Nice, nice…!”
Realizing he was drunk on the exhilaration of battle, Kyle takes a few deep breaths to settle himself.
It had been two hours since he began the extermination, and although there were a few close shaves, the E-Rank adventurer Kyle had been ultimately successful. Finally feeling the fatigue, he collapses onto the ground.
“Haa…. Haa….! All this running around, I’m so tired…!”
Lying spread-eagled on the ground, he stretches his arms which are shaking in exhaustion from having swung the club so many times.
As he takes a break, he quickly drinks out his mobile rations and water, consuming them messily.
These hard on the outside but brittle on the inside rations aren’t particularly tasty, but they’re popular since they’re so cheap and filling.
Thankfully washing down the last of his rations with a swig of water, Kyle murmurs under his breath as he looks at the club.
“Are clubs always this strong?”
Although he used it to ambush and beat a lot of goblins to death, it doesn’t show any signs of wear and tear, which is a big relief to him as a novice adventurer.
Although it can’t slit throats like a sword or dagger would, a blow from a club to any part of the body can do a lot of damage all the same.
“Once I’m done here, maybe I should look into buying a mace? Ah… but I really don’t want to give up the sword.”
Does he aim to look admirable on the battlefield, or aim for pure practicality? As Kyle remained cautious of any new goblin threat, he was bothered by that cumbersome choice.
Even though it should be obvious which one to pick to increase his odds of survival, when you look at the gallantry of the Demonic White Sword, you can understand why his mind was in conflict with his heart.
Kyle put aside his boyish issues for the time being and looked at the corpse of the final defeated goblin.
The goblin he had dashed against the rocks was small, even by goblin standards.
“The further I advance into the cave, the smaller the goblins get, why is that?”
In all the stories he had heard from the senior adventurers, he had never heard of such a thing happening. Even if he had heard of different looking goblins inhabiting the same nest, they had always been described as having roughly the same size.
Maybe some adventurers he hadn’t talked to yet had the answer, but for now, this was all the information he had to go on.
(But, when it’s this small, the only thing you can think of is a child… right? I’ve never heard of children in a goblin nest…)
An unpleasant thought makes his heart twinge.
There is little to no ecological data on many monsters that roam in this world, but goblins are fairly well researched.
The only method of reproductions for Goblins is through an individual referred to as a Queen.
Although all goblins are born from a queen, there are two distinctly different types of goblin societies. There are those goblins who move away from the nest to settle somewhere else, and those goblins who stay where they were born to protect the current Queen and her heir.
The problem was that there are children in this migratory goblin nest when there should only be adults.
“It couldn’t be, there’s a Goblin Queen here?”
Goblin Queen. It is the official name of the extremely rare Queen.
Although goblins typically are only as tall as a child, a Goblin Queen is a different story altogether. Like a spider, the female is twice as large as the male, standing over 2 meters tall.
This nest is only recent so the numbers of goblins here is still relatively small, but one of the most dangerous aspects of goblins is that if left alone for a week they will multiply rapidly
“Then it must be in the depths of the mine… right?”
According to the request, this nest was originally an old coal mine.
Proceeding through the abandoned mining area, he came across an entrance covered with a shawl of cloth, behind which he could hear the cries of an uncountable number of goblins.
Even though the cries sounded like the high pitched cries of a baby, if you listened closely you could hear a low undertone.
(Uwa~ There’s no doubt, it’s really here… Why am I always encountering things where they shouldn’t be…?!)
With the cave in the state it is, it’s almost certain that a Goblin Queen awaits him beyond this curtain. Moreover, considering this is her breeding season, she’s going to be especially ferocious.
(What do I do…! Should I report back to the Guild…? No, I can’t, I personally killed every goblin on the way in here!)
An intelligent monster never forgets a grudge. There’s a well-known story about an adventurer who was eventually hunted down and killed by a monster after he slew its child. Between the time that Kyle reports to the guild and back up arriving, the Queen may see the children that he had killed, and swear vengeance. That could cause immediate problems for the nearby village.
Even though the danger of fighting a Goblin Queen alone should be enough to make him call for backup, the idea of having to flee a goblin’s nest for the second time is too much for Kyle.
At two meters tall and likely armed, a Goblin Queen with nothing to lose and full of murderous rage will be a hard fight.
Especially for an inexperienced rookie adventurer. Considering just how many goblins there are inside the next part of the cave, rushing in without a plan would be suicidal.
“Even so, I still have to do it…!”
Speaking honestly, it was a pretty arrogant remark that overestimated his own strength, but the necessity of his actions considering the possible risk this foe posed was justified.
(Calm down, just think straight and remember the fundamentals…!)
Kyle confirms his plan.
Thanks to his caution so far, all of his tools and armour except for his sword are still in good shape.
It really did pay off to work through the dungeon only using weapons, his magical power is still in top shape. He’s also regained some of his physical energy after taking that break.
His rope and survival knife are still here and could be generally useful. His water bottle… Well, that’s already served its purpose.
(And as far as my magic goes…)
Currently, Kyle has learned only four types of magic.
《Flash》can create a light source and control its intensity.
A beginner’s offensive spell called Fireball that shoots an orb of flame that can ignite enemies.
A simple physical strength spell called Physical Boost.
And 《Heal》, which can heal cuts and abrasions instantly and treated as first aid for more severe injuries.
(I can use Flash as many times as I need, but when it comes to Fireball and Heal I can maybe use them four or five times before exhausting my magic, maybe seven times if I use an elixir… As for Physical Boost, I need to save that in case I have to run.)
He glanced at a purple vial of liquid that was in his bag.
Even one bottle is incredibly expensive because of the cost of ingredients, but in some cases, adventurers find they have no choice but to use it.
(Not knowing the exact number of goblins in there is rough… For now, I just have to attempt to fatally wound the Queen using fireball.)
Even if he wants to keep out of physical contact of the goblins, his opponents aren’t stupid enough to just let him stand there and fire freely.
So, what can he do? Kyle thinks as hard as he can, and after a bit, he seems to have come up with a plan.
“Fuu… Alright! C-Come and get sooooome!”
He exhaled once to calm himself down, then charged into the final cavern with a rallying cry.
All of the goblins turn to look at him as one. With their eyes that can see well even in the deepest darkness, they can clearly see the intruder charging in.
To anyone’s eyes, it would look like a reckless move. But, the element of surprise can’t be underestimated.
He covered his eyes with his arms and shouted it.
As he said it, the small orb of light that he created using Flash expanded from the flicker of a match to an intense sun that illuminated the entire cave.
“Flash” is an elementary magic that is taught at the very beginning. It’s mainly used to create a small light in caves and other dark places, but its real value is that there’s no limit to the intensity of that light.
The light blinds the goblins before their eyes can adjust to the sudden brightness. Even though goblins have strong eyes, that will only work against them in a situation like this, and they scatter in panic.
A fireball flew out of his palm after he chanted those three verses, and hit the Goblin Queen square in the chest. The smell of burning skin and hair filled the mining cavern.
Another shot is fired, once again hitting the Goblin Queen who was is still confused and alight after the first spell.
Rushing the Queen who was suffering the agony of being burned alive and hunched over on the floor, he brought the club down on the crown of her head.
Not letting his sense of elation get the best of him, he immediately clubs a goblin next to him who was beginning to recover from the blinding light and sent a fireball at one further away.
“《Flash》…! I’m so glad I took that advice to practice in a cave!”
He gulped down the magical potion he had left on his belt and incinerated another four goblins with fireballs.
It takes a lot of effort to keep the foul tasting liquid down, as it was made by mixing several bitter spirit grasses together, but somehow he managed to suppress the nauseating feeling in his stomach.
He needs to take his chance before the goblins fully recover. He needs to eliminate all of them, even the smallest goblin child can be a bud from which a vendetta may bloom.
Seeing monsters as children is foolish, anyway. This is the ironclad conviction that adventurers hold.
“With this… is it over…?”
By the time the smell of burning fat and hair had filled the entire cavern, all that remained were the broken and burned bodies of the fallen goblins.
He still has enough magic power left to use body strengthening once if he needs it. His body is caked with mud and sweat, but for an E-Rank adventurer, this is a brilliant accomplishment.
“…Ah, this is…”
Lacking the energy to raise a victory cry, he noticed something when he looked at the corner of the mining site, something white amongst the brown of the abandoned materials.
A human skull. From the size, it looked like it had belonged to a child. He had learned that goblins and other monsters had typically targeted soft looking women and young children because of them being easier targets.
This skull is certainly all that remains of one of those victims. At the very least, Kyle wants to give it a proper burial, so he makes his way towards it.
But the moment he does, the cavern is filled with an angry scream.
It was the Goblin Queen. Despite her whole body being racked with burns and one eye melted out of its socked, and despite being smashed over the head with a heavy club, she still clung to life.
She immediately swings at Kyle with a massive woodcutter’s ax, and even though Kyle blocks the blow with his club the force behind it forces him back.
“Kuh…!? Crap, this is ba-! Shit!”
The club is knocked out of his hands by the strong blows, and they show no sign of letting up.
How can she still possess such speed and power despite being so desperately wounded? She’s an engine stoked by the fires of rage for her murdered children, aimed squarely at their killer.
“I-I’ll do it! I’ll finish you here!”
Kyle glares at the Goblin Queen with his brown eyes, the same colour as the hair on his head.
As he stared into the eyes of that enraged mother, the adrenaline coursing through his veins made him choose fight over flight.
However, his club is still lying on the floor. There’s no way he can parry the blow of that axe with his remaining survival knife, even if he used his strengthening magic.
The rookie adventurer desperately dodges and evades the blows of the Goblin Queen, as he paradoxically tries to calm down and think of a way to win whilst also relying on the rush of adrenaline to stay alive.
He doesn’t have the ability to use fireball anymore. With the magical energy he has left, the most useful thing he can do right now is to use his strengthening spell. The survival knife is at an overwhelming disadvantage when it comes to reach, and it’s unlikely its even sharp enough to deliver a killing blow.
(There has to be something I can do…! Some other way to win that I haven’t thought of yet…!)
He frantically tries to reach for an answer. Then, he hatched on a gamble that would give him one chance to stab the Queen.
Kyle slips his hand into his pouch as he puts distance between himself and the Queen, and grips the weapon.
(I’m alright…! Calm down…!)
The Goblin Queen rushes him with her ax raised. He desperately tries to calm down whilst fighting the feeling of fear crawling through his skin.
Kyle waited until the Queen came close, as she looked to deliver the final fatal blow.
Pumping all the strengthening magic into his leg, he sweeps the Goblin Queen off her feet, his kick so strong it shatters her leg into an explosion of blood and bone.
But this alone isn’t enough, the Queen is so enraged that if he stopped here she would forget the pain and still fight on.
Kyle jumps on the back of the floored Queen, and wraps his length of rope around her neck.
Kyle roars in effort, and pulls the rope tight with all his power. In desperation to free herself, the Queen drops the axe.
Her sharp nails leave nasty cuts on his face, but she cannot remove the rope held by those now magically strengthened hands, and her complexion gradually becomes more and more purple.
“Go… gya… e….e…”
Eventually, the Goblin Queen’s voice fades, her arms go limp, and her eyes roll back in her head. Kyle still continued to crush her windpipe with the rope until he was utterly satisfied that she wasn’t getting up again, and then raised a fist into the air.
Back at the guild, the receptionist with the flaxen hair handed him the cloth bag with his reward and gave him a beaming business-like smile.
“Thank you for waiting! Here is your reward!”
The bag weighed down with coins feels light compared to the honour he feels at his victory.
Suppression of the Goblin Queen. Even if the veteran adventures would not consider it a major accomplishment, to the E-Ranked adventurer it was the perfect cap to a great adventure.
He had to deal with many goblins and their Queen, and even if it was a scrappy victory with more than a few lucky moments, the most important thing is that he came back alive.
It was far from ideal, but he is wholly satisfied with the result, and gratefully accepted the reward.
“Encountering a Goblin Queen, that must have been a hard fight, right?”
“Well, yeah. To be honest, I thought I was going to die.”
Even though he was successful this time, he realized just how reckless adventuring alone is. He went alone this time because he felt a personal stake in the request, but there were so many times he was in danger that could have been avoided if he had even one companion.
Adding to that, the amount of time and energy he spent simply preparing to do the request solo didn’t seem worth it compared to the reward.
“I really think newer adventurers should work in parties in order to keep each other safe. Should I introduce you to some other good adventurers?”
“I appreciate the thought, but I’m still E-Rank. Would anyone even want to take me as a party member?”
“Ah, don’t worry about that. The party I was thinking of is led by an A-Rank adventurer, and it’s dedicated to training new adventurers.
The stream of rookie adventurers not returning from their first expeditions is like a constant stream.
I shooed away goblins back on the farm. Slimes can be defeated even by a regular person. These conceited beliefs constantly led to an early grave.
There are those who planned to hunt for giant cockroaches or other insects but were killed by roaming monsters when they couldn’t react to the ambush.
Even if they feel love to call themselves adventurers, most rookies are complete amateurs in the field.
In order to increase the survivability rates of these young adventurers, the guild began instituting training programs and gave certain veteran adventurers roles as instructors. The party recommended by the receptionist is lead by one such instructor and is filled with new adventurers.
“How about it? Of course, the reward will be somewhat reduced because of it being split amongst a party, but the danger will also be decreased.”
“Mmm, I suppose that’s true.”
It’s an attractive idea. But Kyle has contracted something known as “Adventure Pace”.
Once again caught behind pride and practicality, Kyle hemmed and hawed as the receptionist concealed a laugh behind the papers in her hand.
“Well, as insurance, the guild has attached another veteran to the party. Isn’t it someone Kyle knows well?”
As soon as Kyle heard the name that the receptionist said with a mischievous grin, he immediately made up his mind to join.
Sorry this one is late, it was a combination of me being pretty bad at translating fight scenes (and being bad at translating in general) and the fact this chapter was pretty long. So, please accept a double release an apology.