Chapter 149. 3 Years (3)


Essence of the Strait’s dispatch mission team slowly entered the building used as a goblin settlement.
…Cough, cough.
The acrid fog inside the abandoned building made Rachel’s throat sting whenever she breathed. Without any other choice, Rachel covered her face with magic power.

“How long has this building been abandoned to be in such a poor state?”[1]

Yohei asked as he cut the fog apart with his katana. His archaic manner of speech was a bit annoying, but Rachel was wondering the same thing.
They were in Incheon, even if only its outskirt. With residential districts and shopping districts tightly packed only 2 km away, how could goblins have settled in this building?

“The settlement was reported two weeks ago. By the looks of it, someone’s been doing ‘goblin business’ here. Since the military is concentrated around the coastal area, it must have been easy for the culprit to avoid guilds’ eyes.”

Im Joongjin murmured with a low sigh. He didn’t seem happy with how things looked.

“…Goblin business?”

“Yeah. Goblins are specialized in crafting. If they’re managed properly, they can be used to obtain all sorts of items and materials. But by the looks of it…”

Im Joongjin pulled his hair back roughly and kicked a human corpse that was lying on the ground. Mushrooms and spores were already growing on the body.

“They must not have thought that goblins could trick them instead. What a bunch of fools.”

Rachel finally understood what happened.
The human corpses lying inside the building must have belonged to people who reared goblins but ended up being killed by them instead. There were many such instances recorded in Cube’s textbooks. As the saying went, human greed had no bounds.

—Air, here, bad.

At that moment, her elemental whispered. Rachel glanced at her shoulder. A winged, slime-like elemental was coughing.

—I want to leave.

“….”

After painstaking effort, Rachel finally learned to talk to elementals. Although she even gave a pretty name like ‘Sunday’ to this cute wind elemental, she had one complaint.
That was that Sunday talked in Korean. It didn’t make much sense to Rachel who was a native-English speaker.

“Hang in there.”

Rachel spoke in English.

—What, was, that?

However, the elemental couldn’t understand her. Was it because her master, Shin Yeohwa, was Korean?

“…Just hang in there.”

“According to the local patrol force, there are about 200~300 goblins in this building.”

Im Joongjin stopped in front of the abandoned building’s entrance and gave a quick briefing. A goblin settlement with a population of 200~300 was similar to the ones that naturally occurred in the wild.

“There are mercenaries waiting outside, but it’ll be troublesome if goblins escape to the city. Like I said before, we’ll split into two teams with Team 1 going right and Team 2 going left. Don’t forget, our priority is to prevent goblins from escaping.”

Then, the eight members separated into two teams. Rachel and Rose were in Im Joongjin’s Team 1, while Yohei was in vice-leader Jeon Yohwa’s Team 2.

“In the case of an emergency, send a signal immediately.”

“Yes, sir.”

Each team wished each other good luck before splitting.
Rachel headed to the right side of the building with Im Joongjin.
Although the first floor’s goblins were easily taken care of with light attacks, a problem arose as soon as they entered the second floor.

—Krrk.
—Keeek.

As though they were waiting in ambush, dozens of goblins suddenly rushed in and surrounded them.

“Front and flank! I’ll handle the front!”

Along with Im Joongjin’s quick order, a battle began. Im Joongjin took out his greatsword and sent sword waves flying out. Ten or so goblins were instantly cut apart by his attack.
However, the trouble was on the other side, where a group of goblins were using their most threatening weapon, poisonous darts.

“…Sunday.”

However, Rachel remained calm. No matter how threatening they were, they were only blow darts in Rachel’s mind.

—Un.

Sunday unleashed a blast of wind that changed the course of the darts. As the darts they shot flew back to them, the goblins panicked greatly. Without missing this opening, Rachel stormed forward and cut them down.

“…Right side is done.”

“Left is done too. Thank you for taking care of the darts.”

The other apprentice hero, Rose, spoke.
The two girls smiled at each other. Perhaps because they were both from England, they became close friends.

“Good, well done.”

With Im Joongjin’s praise, their first battle came to an end.
Afterwards, they continued to sweep through the goblins on the second floor’s hallway.
Although the building was full of all sorts of traps, Rachel’s earth elemental, Okja, easily saw through them.
After smoothly clearing the second floor, the group went up the stairs to the third floor.

“…Eh?”

Then suddenly, the ground rumbled. At the same time, Rachel’s earth elemental conveyed its thought to her, that a huge explosion was rising up from the basement.
Rachel could feel it as well.

“Everyone, jump outside!”

Rachel quickly alerted everyone else and ordered her elementals through thought. The numerous elementals under her control flew towards other members and formed barriers.

KWANG—!

Soon, a huge explosion rang out and the concrete floor crumbled down. The entire building was collapsing.
But as expected of Heroes, everyone was quick.
They jumped out of the building before the explosion erupted and safely landed on the ground.

“…Team leader!”

Team 2 seemed to have escaped as well, as the other four members soon appeared.

“Are you guys okay?”

“Yes, all thanks to Yohei’s sixth sense.”

“Haha, thank you for compli… eh?”

“W-What is that!?”

Destroying the entire building was their plan B. It was also why they weren’t as surprised when the building suddenly collapsed.
However, an incredulous scene was playing from the rubble of the building.
All members of the dispatch team gawked at the building.

“…Well, I’ll be damned.”

The team leader, Im Joongjin, smirked.
Goblins were climbing out of the rubble. Digging through the solid ground, an army of goblins was rising.
There were too many of them to count.

“Would you look at that, they even have a goblin warrior.”

—Krrr….

One particular goblin stood out from the masses. With a vicious club in one hand, it was breathing out puffs of smoke from its nose.
A goblin warrior. Even among the various species of goblins, a goblin warrior was the strongest, boasting an intermediate-rank grade-3 rating. As far as grades went, grade-1 was the strongest with grade-9 being the weakest.
To make matters worse, there wasn’t just one goblin warrior. A total of 15 goblin warriors stood in front of the army, leading smaller groups of goblins as though they were centurions.
Koong, koong, koong.
Their tiny footsteps came together to cause a huge rumbling sound.

“Team leader, it looks like this settlement was made a long time ago.”

“…I already sent a request for reinforcement. Don’t be afraid and just prevent them from reaching the city. We’ll only have to hold out for 5 minutes, or 10 at most.”

—Krrrk!
—Kueeeek!

There weren’t just 200~300 goblins. No matter how one looked at it, there had to be thousands. In terms of number, the dispatch mission team was completely dominated.
However, they didn’t give up and got into a formation that was most efficient for taking on many enemies. They stood with a decent distance between them and prevented the goblins from heading to the city.

—Kueeeek!

As expected, goblin warriors led the charge.
An especially strong goblin warrior rushed towards Rachel. It was a troll-sized goblin that was emanating a red aura from its body.
Rachel’s rapier started an exchange with its club.
KWANG!
As soon as they made contact, Rachel was thunderstruck. The difference in power between them was too great.

“Be careful!”

Team leader Im Joongjin shouted before it was too late. He was fighting four goblin warriors by himself.

“The warriors are using drugs!”

The red aura emanating from their bodies was proof of the potions the goblins made.

—Kuoooo!

The goblin warrior fighting Rachel swung its club once again.

“Kuuk!”

In an instant, a weight of several dozen tons pressed down on Rachel through her rapier.
For now, Rachel took a huge leap back.
Close combat didn’t seem like a good idea.
Goblins were null-attribute monsters. She planned to unleash the power of elementals inside her weapon, Galatyn.
…However, she didn’t have time.

The goblins practically threw their bodies at her. Not only goblin warriors, but even tiny goblins jumped on her legs, hindering her from movement. To make matters worse, there were archer goblins shooting poisonous darts from the back.
Even at a glance, Rachel could tell that these goblins were well-organized for battle.

“Huup!”

Rachel unleashed her magic power in all directions, blowing off the goblins sticking to her body.

—Kuoooo!

The goblin warrior didn’t miss this opening and swung its huge club down at her.
Rachel held up Galatyn.
However, the impact she was expecting never arrived.

“…?”

Instead, she could see strange flashes of light from the sky. A blue streak of light struck the goblin warriors’ head.

KOONG!

Instantly, the goblin warrior froze.
It was bleeding from all of its orifices, but it glared at Rachel without dying. Even as its hands trembled, it tried to swing its club down at Rachel.
It didn’t matter who the reinforcement was. Rachel swung Galatyn and beheaded the goblin warrior.
Now that the biggest threat was down, she turned to help others fight.

—Kueek!
—Krrrk!
—Kuoooo!

However, the other goblins fell before they could reach her.
The causes were streaks of light similar to the one that struck the goblin warrior.
Rachel put Galatyn down and fell in a daze.

“…What’s going on?”

Sssss—
From the sky, blue raindrops began to fall.
Thick streaks of light dyed the sky blue as they rained down. Almost like shooting stars, they left behind a trail of light as they struck thousands of goblins.
The goblins’ dull weapons were incapable of blocking the streaks of light.

“Ho?”

“…Wow.”

Seeing the mysterious reinforcement, all eight members of the dispatch team stopped battling. Almost as if they promised, they all turned around at the same time.
Immediately, they became speechless.

“…Ha.”

Hundreds of blue streaks of light were falling from the sky. It was as though the stars in the sky were falling down or as though a heavy rain was pouring down.
They only targeted goblins.
None could escape their reach.

“Um, team leader, this is….”

“It must be magic. So pretty…”

Unbefitting of the situation, the shooting stars shining down from a lofty height were beautiful and mystical, like they just came out of a fairytale.

“It must be the reinforcement team. Let’s go, we can’t just sit around. Looks like goblin warriors can withstand this attack. We have to deal the finishing blow.”

Seeing the overwhelming firepower of their reinforcements, the group regained their smiles.
Rachel was the only one with a serious face. She had an idea as to who the reinforcement was.
Feeling a bit of nostalgia, Rachel turned to the direction the shooting stars were coming from.

“…A helicopter?”

…In the distance, a helicopter was flying in the sky.

**


Chuf, chuf, chuf—
The spinning propeller roared, and my clothes fluttered from the sweeping wind.
Sitting on the edge of a helicopter 2000 ft in the air, I aimed my anti-material sniper rifle at the goblin warrior in front of Rachel.
Click.
I immediately pulled the trigger. The recoil pushed my shoulder back, and the fired bullet pierced through the goblin warrior’s head. However, it didn’t die instantly, making Rachel deal the finishing blow.

“Mm, I guess not all goblins are weak.”

A six-year-old settlement was surely enough to produce some monstrosities.
Still, they were irregulars. A goblin settlement rarely lasted for more than a year before they were destroyed by guilds or other monsters. However, this one managed to grow with the help of humans.

===
[We were rearing goblins and screwed up!]
—I’ve been rearing goblins in an abandoned building in Incheon’s outskirt. I must have been in this line of work for 7 years. At first, I was wary of everyone and cautious about everything, but as I gained more experience, I got more and more careless. I made over a billion won from the business, which only hindered my judgement…


The damned goblins were too clever. Without any of us noticing, they dug a tunnel underground and expanded their settlement! My employees and I found out about a month ago, but the goblins immediately killed everyone. I was the only one who escaped.
I’m afraid of dying to goblins, but I was even more afraid of being arrested. In the end, I ran away without reporting to the police…


I am writing this request with what little conscience is left of me.
I am offering 3 million Violet Banquet points.
Please destroy the goblin settlement in Yotongho’s abandoned building.
===

This was the request I recently received.
In truth, this was one of the episodes I quickly glossed over without detail.

“I didn’t expect this….”

I changed the Desert Eagle into its assault rifle form. I didn’t feel anything in particular from the goblin army. Looking at the ground with my Thousand-Mile Eyes, I simply pulled the trigger. Hundreds of bullets clearly shot forward in the sunset.

Tudududu—

I could say with utmost certainty that my firing speed exceeded even the standard of superhumans.

===
[Rapid Fire]
*The ability to shoot something quickly.
*Using a portion of Stigma’s magic power, your weapon exceeds its structural and mechanical limits.
===

This was one of the low-rank Gifts I obtained with Master Sharpshooter and Dexterity’s linking. Although it only had the first effect when I got it, I added the second line with quite a bit of SP.
As a result, I could now empty two clips in 1~2 seconds.

“…There.”

When I snapped out of my daze, the army was cleaned up.
Elapsed time: 4 minutes.
Used magazines: 48.
I thoroughly slaughtered every goblin, even the ones trying to escape the settlement. Goblin warriors, which were a bit more difficult to kill with the assault rifle, were taken care of by the other Heroes.

“About 1300 bullets.”

Purely in terms of profit, I didn’t gain anything from this mission. Cost was also the reason that I didn’t use the machine gun form. I used 1320 bullets to kill about 4000 goblins… assuming that each bullet was 100,000 won, that was still 132 million won.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Yoo Yeonha was starting to regret giving me a black card. After all, I was using close to 500 million won per month in just the cost of bullets.

—Oi, Hajin, is this stone tablet the item you wanted?

At that moment, Khalifa’s voice rang out from the transceiver in my ear.

“Stone tablet? Can you video call me?”

Khalifa was helping me today in exchange for expanding his room and setting up a pool table.

—Okay, take a look.

I put the Desert Eagle down and looked at my smartwatch.

“Ah, yes, that must be it.”

—There are other things too. I’m grabbing whatever I can get my hands on.

“Just make sure you leave some behind. It’ll be weird if there’s nothing in the settlement.”

—OK.

Immediately afterwards, a Portal appeared behind me. Soon, Khalifa walked out with the stone tablet I asked for, along with a cane, urn, bottles of potions, a magician’s hat, and others.

“So what does this do? I can see what the other items are for, but this is the only one I can’t grasp.”

Khalifa muttered as he examined the stone tablet.

“You know how goblins like to do ceremonies and rituals? This is a ritual item they created.”

The goblins in this settlement dreamed of a rebellion. Although they started out by being reared by humans, they secretly dug an underground tunnel and almost achieved an unachievable dream.
This stone tablet contained their grand dream.
That dream should have been… Incheon conquest.
They were too ambitious, and their opponent was none other than the Korean government. They simply stood no chance.
In any case, I was happy since I got to obtain this unique stone tablet.

“I see.”

Khalifa gave the stone tablet to me without further questions.

“Anyways…”

Then, he stared at me with interest.

“You sure took care of them quickly. I can see why you’re a specialist for mass slaughter.”

“…You don’t need to praise me. Even without me, those high-intermediate rank Heroes would have been fine.”

Though, they would have taken more time, with some goblins running off to the city or hiding nearby.
However, I slaughtered them without leaving a single one behind.
That was the one thing I was good at.

“Anyways, don’t forget your promise.”

“Of course not.”

“Great.”

Khalifa smiled and waved his hand before disappearing.
I looked down at the ground once again.
At that moment, my eyes met Rachel’s. No, I was the only one who saw her. Rachel shouldn’t be able to see me from this distance.
Seeing her after such a long time, my heart beat slightly.

“…Haa.”

A sigh came out.
Was this caused by luck too? Something came up, and I had to bring a helicopter here as well. My original plan was to take care of it quietly with just Khalifa…

“Hmm.”

Well now that it was over, there was no reason to stay. I should go home and look at the items I obtained.
I sat down on the driver seat of my super helicopter, which had a 43% boost from Random Consolidation System.
For the record, piloting a helicopter was easy.

===
[Horse Saddle] [Antique]
A horse saddle used by a nameless cavalryman 500 years ago.
If you sit on this saddle, you will be able to handle rides better.
===

The saddle I bought in Clancy Islet applied to every rideable object. A helicopter, of course, was one of them.



1. Yohei has an archaic manner of speech, like samurais from historical drama.

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