Chapter 253. <Independence(2) >
“Would you like me to transfer you to Babylon on the 1st floor? Or…”
“No. I’d like to wait here.”
I answered while putting down my posh Lipton black tea.
The Lady smiled slightly.
“Okay, fine. I’ll even add in a camera as a service.”
With a clap of the Lady’s hands, a vast hologram unfolded in the air.
Displayed on the screen were the goblins and oni. I could look at any city I wanted, and I could quickly scroll far away from the city and see the entire continent.
“This… is amazing.”
“Mhm. You can also set the speed! 10x speed, 100x speed, 1000x speed, and 10000x speed are all possible, so watch as you please.”
That’s how we watched the flow of the ‘world’.
On the screen, the goblin warriors waved their arms and roared.
Surprisingly, they were fighting Uburka.
-Ugor! Shibaling* ancestor! We refused your help! (*:aka ‘fucking’)
Uburka guffawed mightily.
-Right, you did say that! However, the oni wanted to use the power of the gods to fight you! In a subject where you would be devastated so thoroughly that you wouldn’t even be able to put up proper resistance, do you think you could overcome it!?
-That was also our trial to endure!
-You talk well! However, the arguments of weaklings are nothing more than empty talk!
Uburka roared while holding his ax.
-If you could have overcome it yourselves! If you didn’t need my help! Ugor, then you motherfuckers.
The smile was the same as when he once blocked the way to the snail race’s holy land.
-Fight me, win, and prove that your words are not a bluff!!
Sparks practically flew out of the eyes of the goblin warriors.
-We want to!!
While the goblins were in the midst of taking their ‘graduation exam’, the defeated oni were also facing their god.
The Venomous Snake bowed his head to those he led.
-The tasks of god for god. The tasks of man for man. Since I was helping you as god, I should have revealed that I was god.
-From the moment I failed to maintain this common courtesy, I failed both as a god and as a warrior. I can’t believe I still ended up losing in this subject. I’m really ashamed…
The Venomous Snake scratched the back of his head. A clumsy smile appeared on the corner of his lips before evaporating like dew.
-Sorry, I just……
Tears flowed from his eyes till his eyepatch was unable to stop them.
-I just… I could have done better…
Only a handful of oni managed to survive the Burning Grave. They were still a mess. All of them had something broken or cut.
However, they did not put the blame on their god.
-Raise your head, god!
-You did your best!
The oni shouted loudly.
-We haven’t been destroyed yet!
-Our horns haven’t been broken yet!
Some of them even smiled.
-We’ve lost countless times already!
-We’re used to losing!
-Gahaha! God should get used to it too! If you take care of us with such a soft, tofu-like attitude, we will directly explode and ascend to heaven!
It was neither self ridicule, or self torment.
It was just the consolation they offered to their god, which was powerful proof that their jokes were not to ridicule him, but to comfort him.
The Venomous Snake muttered. His face was a mess of tears and snot from his runny nose.
The oni bowed to their god.
-We have many shortcomings.
-This means we have many things to improve!
-We can win!
-So please guide us so that we can do it.
-Please guide us, god.
The Venomous Snake was silent for a while.
Then, he clenched his fist and shouted.
-Shit! That’s natural! Trust and follow me, children!
The oni responded loudly.
On one side, the goblins, who had left the arms of god, fought against the proudest hero in their history, and on the other, to the god who had appeared in front of them, the oni vowed to make a comeback.
At that moment, my heart was cut into pieces by the contrast.
“This is amazing”
“Woah, you startled me!”
As I was immersed in the screen, I suddenly heard a voice beside me.
Not the Lady’s voice, but a very familiar voice. Black hair with a hint of indigo rippled. A woman dressed in black clothes as dark as her hair was excitedly looking at the hologram.
The Black Dragon Master.
I shouted in astonishment.
“B-, Black Dragon Master? No. Anastasia. How did you suddenly come here…?”
“I called her!”
With an ‘ahem’, The Lady Who Walks Through The Mirage, cleared her throat.
It was the face of a child asking to be praised after accomplishing a good deed.
“You called her?”
“Mhm. She was eliminated from this mission.”
“No, what happened?”
When I asked this, the Black Dragon Master shrugged.
“I went bankrupt.”
“Literally that, my race points fell into the negatives. When the vampires and dream demons were combined, I had no choice but to borrow money even though I knew I couldn’t pay it back.”
Dream demon race.
I couldn’t help but blink at the name I hadn’t heard in a long time.
“You met the dream demons again”
“Mhm. Those guys grew up quite a bit.”
“What exactly happened…”
“You’ll see for yourself soon. More importantly, you guys! Hurry up and come over here and sit down.”
When I looked around after hearing those words, I saw that it was not just the Black Dragon Master but also the Crusader, Heretic Questioner and Count that had been summoned. It was really before I knew it.
“As you’ve guessed, I called them. After all, wouldn’t everyone be curious about what happened to their races?”
The Lady cleared her throat again.
It seemed that she had created this place with the intention of doing this.
“Thank you for calling me. I was worried about how those mermaid children were doing.”
The Crusader walked up to the sofa and sat with a sigh.
Meanwhile, the Count climbed onto the back of the sofa and curled up.
“They should be fine. Didn’t they have a firm hold on logistics? They’re also on good terms with the goblins, so it should be fine as long as they stick to maritime logistics and don’t be greedy.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but the Count’s special ability was [Metamorphosis]. That was a cat metamorphosis.
Therefore, it was a cat, not the Count, that was curled up on the back of the sofa. After all, only if the Count was a master of yoga could such a sight be remotely possible.
“Long time no see! Master!”
The Heretic Questioner hopped up and put his arm on my sofa.
For a moment, I looked at the scene that had quickly become a social gathering for the top ranked Hunters. The Lady delivered cup noodles, and Lipton iced tea to the Hunters, and the Hunters consumed them while saying how good they were.
“Ara, how did you know?”
“This time when I went back to Babylon, I searched for all the heretic forces lurking within the Ten Thousand Temple. Ahaha, I had been confident that I’d managed the personnel with care, but there were still so many! Among them, I destroyed a secret organization called [Chaos]!”
I meant that this situation in itself is chaos….
“Everyone! Look carefully!”
As always, the only hero capable of quelling the confusion was the Black Dragon Master, Anastasia. Eyes twinkling, Anastasia pointed at the screen.
“The oni challenged the Fire River Council of the goblins to a duel!”
Driven by the Black Dragon Master’s heat, we all looked at the screen together.
In the time I’d taken my eyes off, a lot of time had passed in the world. It was unclear just how many years had passed, but it should have been at least a century as the mountain peak that Uburka had torn off had become a tourist attraction surrounded by a fence.
In a world where that much time had passed, the process of seven oni being beaten out of shape one after the other by the President of the Fire River Council continued plainly.
“Aren’t they getting wrecked, Anastasia?”
“That’s not the point! Seriously Death King… Gong-ja! Why are you only stupid at times like this when you have such a good head!”
-No, it’s the other way around. This bastard is a dumbass by nature, but he’s only smart when he’s acting.
Beside me, Bae Hu-ryeong added a couple words, but fortunately, I was the only one that could hear his words, so his distortion of facts did not spread to those gathered there.
Meanwhile, Anastasia continued.
“What’s important is that there are people other than the goblins in the Fire River Council! Look, Kim Gong-ja! Those oni are attending as members of the council!”
“Members of the council? Uh, the Fire River Council is a council for the goblin race. How could oni…”
Just as the two of us were discussing the scene on the screen.
I suddenly felt that the reactions around me were strange.
“…what’s… wrong with you all?”
When I expressed my doubts, the cat Count, who had been staring blankly at me, spoke in a bewildered manner.
“N-, no. It’s just that, if I didn’t hear wrong, just now, I thought I heard the Black Dragon Master… and the Death King, call each other by your names and not your titles…”
“You didn’t hear wrong.”
“Anastasia and I are friends.”
Have you ever seen a look of astonishment on a cat? At least for me, this was my first time. Her mouth fell open and her eyes stretched wide, but it wasn’t such a pretty expression that I would want to see it twice.
“Mhm, that’s right. Kim Gong-ja and I are friends.”
The Black Dragon Master added oil.
No, it might be more accurate to say that she threw over a cucumber and shocked the cat even more.
“We decided to call each other by our first names. We even wrote a friendship contract based on that.”
The cat Count’s back arched upwards at a bizarre angle.
“Friendship contract…? Are you paying for friendship or something…?”
“Count… Money can’t buy friends.”
“You’re trying to destroy most of my friendships, aren’t you!?”
“In any case, that’s not important right now.”
At this point, while the cat Count was immersed in the sorrow of losing friends, the other Hunters were still in shock. Anastasia pointed towards the screen as if nothing happened.
“As you said Gong-ja, seven oni qualified to be members of the Fire River Council, which should belong exclusively to the goblins. And they challenged the council with the pride of the oni race.”
I folded my arms.
“Instead of waging a large scale war, they chose to duel in the Fire River Council.”
“Mhm. But the interesting thing is that’s just the beginning, Kim Gong-ja.”
Chuckling, pulled up a hologram.
It was just the laugh of a close friend, without any tricks or ulterior motives.
I had gotten used to it to a certain extent, but that didn’t seem to be the case for the other Hunters a few steps away, as they were still looking at us with unfamiliar gazes.
The hologram displayed by Anastasia showed the seats in the council.
The majority of them were green, which indicated that they belonged to the goblins, but here and there were splashes of pink.
The eyes of the cat Count, who was the god of the elves, widened.
“Mhm, mhm. That’s right. Death King, in the past, weren’t you the one that brought the elves into the fire plays that belonged exclusively to the goblins? It can be said that this is the result.”
The elf child who wanted to become a fire that danced in a dark cave.
“This is a guess, but there was probably a renaissance in fire plays after that child, which also caused changes in the Fire River Council. Even if they’re an elf, as long as they are good at fire plays or strong enough, they would be recognized as an official member of the Fire River Council.”
“…indeed, so that’s why the oni can.”
“Mhm. Since then, the Fire River Council was no longer the [exclusive property of the goblins]!”
Anastasia’s pointing out was right.
As time passed, in the seats that were predominantly green, other colors began to gradually increase.
“Probably a mermaid.”
The cat Count squeezed in between us. Climbing precariously on my right shoulder and Anastasia’s left shoulder, the cat Count looked down at the hologram of the seats.
“Mm. Now, in your country, no, in the goblin’s country, the economy and military are completely separated. The economy is monopolized by the elves, and the military is monopolized by the goblins. And in the cultural industry which is represented by the fire plays, the two races cooperate.”
“However, the mermaids are the ones that transport goods along the river and make capital.”
The Crusader, who had approached at some point, spoke.
The Count nodded.
“Mm! The mermaids are born with an excellent abilities in logistics transport. After the discovery of the New Continent, they are capable of not just coastal voyages but also continental voyages. The larger the goblin’s country, the more goods the elves can handle, and the more products and the higher the role of the mermaids.”
“In other words…?”
“The mermaids’ voices can no longer be ignored. If they were to go on strike, logistics in the country would be ruined. The mermaids probably also sent some talented warriors to become members of the Fire River Council, marked by blue.”
To sum it up…
“The Fire River Council, which was originally created by the goblins…”
Anastasia took over from my words.
“Due to the nature of the goblins, who are non-combatants apart from when they need to fight, virtually anyone can join, regardless of race.”
Finally, the Count licked the back of her hand and purred.
“First, the elves, who were the closest to them economically and culturally, began to enter the council. Next, the mermaids who developed an advanced logistics system. And now, even the oni can send warriors to represent them.”
We were silent.
We looked into each other’s eyes. Anastasia’s eyes were wide with excitement. The cat Count nodded lightly, as if accepted Anastasia’s enthusiasm.
The Crusader crossed her arms.
“A World Council.”
A unified council in which every race participated.
Such a future was unfolding before our eyes.
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