In the expansive training grounds.
The soldiers were lined up in an orderly fashion.
In the middle of them, he saw the 13th Regiment where Tane and Pierce were located.
Even if it was a simple monster subjugation, before any battle, tension roamed anxiously.
Roan liked this tension.
‘This makes you feel alive.’
However, there was an existence that broke this tension.
“So last year, when I was in Loren’s Province……..”
Mason prattled on about his tall tales without stopping.
Although Roan’s face clearly showed he didn’t want to keep listening, it was useless.
“That time, I heroically evaded the spear a Orc threw at me……..”
Then a group appeared on the platform of the training grounds.
Mason’s mouth finally closed.
‘I think that I would be able to live in peace now.’
A smile appeared on Roan’s face.
The ones who walked onto the knee-high platform were the Troop Commander of Rose Troop, Gale and his adjutants.
Dosen was also there.
They were quiet and immediately sat down.
Gale stood on top of the platform and looked at the soldiers who were lined up.
“Our Rose Troop will leave Ellin’s Fortress, and pass through Ale Village to reach Pedian’s Plain.”
Loud replies came back to him.
A smile appeared on Gale’s mouth.
‘If it’s this much, we can be called the best of 7th Corps.’
He was quite proud of the soldiers of Rose Troop who had to go through a lot of things with him over the past five years.
It was just like a parent looking at his child.
“Everybody, don’t die.”
These were words that seemed to be casually thrown out.
With that, the lieutenant colonel’s speech ended.
‘Right. Troop Commander Gale was the kind of person who appreciated his soldiers.’
He sacrificed himself, when the goblins ambushed them; in an attempt to try at least save one more person.
Later on, when rescue arrived, the corpse which had suffered the greatest amount of wounds on his body was Gale.
‘That kind of commander needs to live a long life.’
Roan’s eyes glittered sharply with determination.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
Gale and his aides started to move towards the field.
Roan and the other scouts followed Mason and walked out at the front.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
The repetitive steps of the marching army were noisy.
“Where did I finish off back then? Right. In that battle, I……”
He started again.
Mason talked on without resting having already forgotten the role of a scout.
‘Why is it me?’
There were many other scouts.
But why did it have to be him?
As he turned his head, he realized the reason.
The other scouts had kept their distance far away from him.
‘He was a famous bastard.’
They knew about the incredible talking ability Mason had.
Only the newcomer Roan didn’t know about it, and he fell into their trap.
Roan, who couldn’t hold it in anymore, opened his mouth cautiously.
“Don’t we have to check the surroundings in case monsters appear?”
“After that, I grabbed his wrist and then his legs, huh? What? Monster?”
Mason, who was even spitting while he was talking, put on an absurd facial expression.
He patted Roan’s back and shook his head.
“Look. Newcomer. There’s no need to worry this much. This area is the safest one. It’s a place where no monsters appear.”
“Ha. You are much more of a coward compared to how you look.”
Mason shook his head while he was clicking his tongue.
He frowned with a gaze, as if he was looking down on him.
However, Roan preferred those eyes.
Because in that moment, he stopped blathering his mouth.
At that time, they saw the peak of the mountain in front of them.
‘Rose Gorge. No, Ale Gorge.’
It was a small gorge which you had to pass through if you wanted to reach Ale Village.
The original name was Ale Gorge, but after the Rose Troop was annihilated, it started to become known as Rose Gorge with that kind of historical meaning.
‘The day they changed the gorges name will not come to pass.’
Roan tightly gripped his spear while he dry gulped.
Step. Step. Step.
The scouts’ feet were near the gorge.
‘Now’s the time.’
Roan called out to Mason.
“The form of this gorge doesn’t seem normal. Shouldn’t we investigate beforehand?”
Mason frowned and looked at Ale’s Gorge.
And then he shook his head and clicked his tongue.
“You really are a coward. This is a safe area. There are no such things as monsters.”
“But couldn’t there be a possibility?”
“No, there’s absolutely not. This is one of the safest places within Rinse Kingdom.”
Mason was confident.
He was confident in so much as to thinking that there would be no one, who knew the region of Ale better than him.
‘I’m a native here.’
He turned his head and looked back at the other scouts.
“Hey. This newcomer here says that we need to investigate the gorge. What do you think?”
Most of the faces of the scouts distorted.
“What? Investigate? What dog shit are you talking about?”
“You really are a pleb. A greenhorn.”
“If you don’t know a thing, just shut up.”
Criticisms came pouring out of their mouths.
However, Roan’s face didn’t change in the slightest and still looked serious.
“However, all of our troop have to pass through such a narrow gorge. If there are monsters hiding, we will take on heavy casualties.”
In the end, Mason shouted.
He pointed at Roan’s face with his index finger to the extent where he almost poked him.
“Don’t say useless things. There’s no way that will happen.”
However, Roan wasn’t the type to back down right now.
Because he was very well aware as to what was about to happen .
“They also say we will have to arrive at a stone bridge and then cross it. If maybe, there are monsters waiting for us ……”
Mason raised his hand and stopped him.
His face was bright red.
Roan nervously swallowed with his dry mouth.
The reason Roan could talk back like this, was because he didn’t directly belong to him.
These were actions which he could never attempt on Tane or Pete.
Mason glared at him as if he wanted to devour him, and in the end, spoke with an annoyed voice.
“If you want to investigate that much, go alone.”
It was a grave offense to leave his rank.
“Go. I don’t think there would be anything bad happening by doing something in vain.”
He spoke these words as if he were mocking him.
However, Roan’s face brightened up.
“Then, I will be heading out.”
After he nodded, he started to move.
His legs couldn’t be seen.
Roan left the ranks and ran towards the gorge entrance. Gale, who was leading the front squad, noticed him.
“Who’s that soldier leaving the ranks? Seems to be running into the gorge?”
Dosen looked and then frowned.
“It seems like a soldier from the scouts. I’ll head over and check.”
Gale nodded with a disturbed expression on his face.
Because of an unauthorized solitary action, he could endanger the entire squad.
Dosen looked towards Gale while grabbing the reins.
The canter of the horse became faster.
Dosen found Mason.
Mason, who was looking at Roan running to the gorge, bent his head.
“Yes. Adjutant Dosen.”
“Who’s that bastard? Why did he leave the ranks as he pleased?”
His words poured out like a blazing flame.
Mason put on a bitter smile and scratched the back of his head.
“I wonder, that guy claimed there could be monsters hiding in ambush within the gorge, so he said it needed to investigated.”
“In the gorge? That bastard, doesn’t he know that this is a safe area?”
“He knows. But even so, he says that maybe…….”
Mason shook his head.
Dosen’s eyes were following Roan, who couldn’t even be seen, while he was frowning in disgust.
“Damn. Anyways, he was spotted by Troop Commander Gale. Maybe later you and that fellow will have problems.”
“Ah! I find it unfair! That guy kept stubbornly insisting ……”
“Shut up. You are the one placed in charge. You will also face punishment because you couldn’t properly control your guys.”
After Dosen fired those words, he turned his head back.
He heard the neighing of the horse and thought perhaps it was making fun of him.
Mason looked at Dosen’s back who was riding farther away and then frowned.
“Damn. What is this? Because of a crazy newcomer bastard.”
After he spat, he looked back at Ale Gorge.
“But where did that bastard disappear off to?”
He thought that now, he would have to kick him in the crotch at least once.
Roan, who didn’t know that Mason was thinking like this, was approaching the entrance.
The sharp senses he had accumulated over the past 20 years were telling him that it was dangerous.
A threatening aura could be felt all around the gorge.
Roan nervously gulped and grabbed his spear.
‘The only thing I need right now is acting.’
He didn’t need to move in deeper while facing danger.
He needed to return in a moderate amount of time, as if he had investigated the gorge and come back startled.
‘If I just say that there are goblins in the gorge, the end.’
A smile appeared on Roan’s face.
He leaned on a trunk of a large tree.
It was a clear blue sky without clouds.
“Right. The weather was this good.”
He remembered his past memories.
The day when they were attacked by the goblins.
The sky that day was a deep blue.
“Just like we have gone on an excursi……..”
He swallowed back the words he was mumbling.
His body tensed up.
The hair on his skin rose up and dried sweat started to flow again on his back.
‘There’s something here.’
Inside the forest that didn’t have anything until now.
However, he felt a frightening presence.
The noise he heard at that time.
Roan’s face froze in an instant.
It was certainly the shriek of a goblin.
The noise came closer.
< First battle (1) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading and for your support!
The battalion is named after Gale Rose.
Rose being his last name: Rose Troop.
‘Goblin cry’ changed to ‘Goblin shriek or screech’ – like a White Walker in GoT
Translator : Subak
Proofreader: st8_lupe \ Revised Edit: Sai101 \ Edit v3.0: Deathwing