Chapter 6. Grim Findings At The Village.
We reached the village late in the afternoon. We noticed something was wrong even before entering it. Even on a quiet day you’d see people working on the fields, but nobody was there. It wasn’t much different inside the village as well. Streets were empty and houses were shut.
- What happened here? - Rori asked in a quiet voice.
- Don’t tell me we’re too late to... - Stan didn’t finish the sentence, but everyone new what he meant.
We reached a small square with a well in the middle.
- Hello! - shouted Robert. - We’re here from the Adventurer’s Guild!
It was quiet for a few moments. Then we heard a door open from one of the side houses. A middle aged man stuck his head out. He looked around before fully opening it.
- Come, come. Quickly! - He waved inviting us inside.
He shut the door after all of us entered his house.
- Please have a seat. - He was shaken and scared. - My name is Arlon. I’m the son of the village leader. Or should I say... used to be village leader.
- Used to be? - Robert was puzzled.
- He died during the goblin attack. - Arlon replied.
- I’m sorry to hear that. Please tell us what happened. - said Robert.
- It started about two weeks ago. - Arlon took a deep breath. - At first it wasn’t a big deal. We noticed food vanishing from our storehouse. We thought some wild animals got inside and were eating it. So we locked it and had our dogs guard it. But then one night we found our dogs slaughtered and storehouse broken into...
Arlon was shaken and took the time to collect his thoughts. After few moments he continued.
- We found footprints on the ground that led towards the corn field. In the middle of it, not far from the road, was a dead goblin’s body. He probably died due to injuries from the dogs. That’s when we put a request with the Guild. - Arlon told the story.
He paused for a moment and took a sip of water from his mug.
- Unfortunately, last night, we were attacked by a band of goblins. It was horrible. That’s when my father died. He wanted to protect others and lured goblins away, so people could escape. Few men tried to fight them. But there were too many of them. Everyone’s frightened and shut themselves inside their homes. We didn’t know if anyone from the Guild will show up. You will help us right? You’ll drive the goblins away? - Arlon was desperate.
He slumped down and covered his face with both hands.
- That’s very unusual for goblins to come out and attack a village. - said Robert.
- They might kill sheeps or goats for food, but this... - added Angi.
It was sad listening to him, but I wasn’t surprised that much. Strong monsters usually attack weaker ones to take over their territory. Maybe that’s how this village looked to those goblins. It’s close to the forest, has storehouse full of food, and lots of cattle in the fields. Villagers are weak and can’t defend themselves. Easy taking.
On the other hand attacking in group requires some form of leadership. Maybe it wasn’t some random attack after all. It could be goblins have someone leading them. I needed to learn more.
- I’ll go look around. - I said.
- I’ll come with you Master. - Eve jumped from her seat.
- Be careful. - said Robert.
- Of course. - I answered.
We went outside and headed towards the storehouse.
- This is horrible Master. We must help those people. - Eve was sad and angry at the same time.
- We will. Let’s see if we can find any clues about the attack. - I responded.
Goblins are vile creatures. They’re not strong on their own, but can be problematic in a group. Anyway, lets see what we can find.
Storehouse was close to the east side of the village. Small road led towards the corn fields. We noticed footprints on the ground. Something was covered under the sheets. I picked it up – it was a dead dog.
Must be one of the dogs that guarded the storehouse.
- Master look here. - Eve was pointing at the ground.
I walked over and saw a sword lying on the ground. It was poorly made, but sharp enough to stab or cut. One of the goblins probably dropped it during the fight with the dogs.
We checked inside the storehouse. Not much food was taken away.
- That’s interesting. - I though out loud
- What is Master? - Eve was curious.
- Lets check the fields. - I added without answering her question.
Eve followed me to the fields where they kept the cattle. Again, I didn’t see any dead cows or traces of them being slaughtered and taken away.
- Right. They weren’t coming here to steal food. - I finally said.
- What do you mean Master? - Eve wanted to know more.
- You saw storehouse was full of food, right? - I asked her.
- Yes. - she replied.
- Cows, goats and other domestic animals are still alive and well. - I continued.
- Yes. That’s correct. - she agreed again.
- Surely goblins wouldn’t leave them be. They would take everything they can and kill the rest. - I was adding all the details together.
- So what does that mean Master? - Eve couldn’t make anything out of it.
- It means they were scouting to see how strong this village was. My guess is they want to take over this village and make it their new home. Last night’s attack was to check if people can put up a fight. - was my conclusion.
- Goblins want to take over the village? We can’t let that happen! - Eve raised her voice.
- And we won’t. - I smiled.
We went back to tell the others what we found. I knocked on the door to let them know it was me and Eve. We went inside and shut the door behind us.
- Did you find any clues? - asked Robert.
- Yeah. - I dropped the blade we found on the table. - I have some good news and some bad news.
Everyone’s eyes were fixed on me and they listened intently.
- The good news are they didn’t come here to steal the food. The bad news are they were scouting this village. Goblins plan to make this place their new home. - I didn’t bother sugar coating it.
- What? - Arlon couldn’t believe his ears.
- Are you sure? - asked Robert.
- The storehouse wasn’t robbed that much and cattle is alive and well. What kind of goblin will leave them be? In addition, the village is close to the forest, as well as far away from the other settlements. I suspect goblin population grew big enough to make them look for a new home. - I shared my thoughts.
- That certainly is disturbing. - Robert thought for a moment. - But for so many goblins to band together and attack? Usually part of the tribe leave their home and find some place to live away from humans.
- Unless. - I interrupted.
- Unless what? - Robert looked at me.
- Unless someone is leading them. - I suggested.
- That would explain it. Sometimes you have a high ranking goblin, who becomes their chief. It is possible. - added Stan.
I was surprised he knew about it. He’s more knowledgable than I thought.
- Anything else? - asked Robert.
- Yeah. - I stretched backwards. - They will probably attack tonight.
- What?! - Arlon jumped from his seat. - No...
- Yes. - I cut him off. - From the looks of it last night was a scouting mission. They dealt with the dogs and managed to kill few villagers. I’d say in their eyes this place is an easy taking.
- This is really bad... - Arlon’s voice was shaking. - What will we do?
- What do you mean ‘What?’ - I looked Arlon straight into his eyes. - We will kill them all.
Everyone stared at me for a moment.
- You’re right. - Robert broke the silence. - That’s what we came here for. Lets plan how we will do this.
- Protecting the villagers is our priority. - said Stan. - Arlon do you have any buildings that can be used as a shelter?
Arlon tried to gather his thoughts:
- Church and Village Hall are two main buildings that are big enough to fit lots of people. - he finally said.
- Can you barricade them from inside? - asked Stan.
- Village Hall is a large building with normal doors and windows. Church entrance has big wooden doors that can be locked and there’s a big pole that goes on the hinges on the door from inside. I think it has a basement as well. - Arlon became more relieved as he told us about it.
- Great! You can use it as a shelter for the villagers. - Stan suggested.
- Alight. - Arlon was feeling a bit more confident.
- If a church has a basement, maybe it has a secret passage that leads outside the village too? - I asked.
- I don’t know about that. - said Arlon.
- It’s worth checking, just in case goblins break through. Get everyone together and begin preparations. Pick up some food in case you need to stay locked up longer. - It’s not like I will let some goblin destroy the village, but it’s better for people to feel safe.
- But is it safe to go outside now? What if goblins attack? - Arlon’s fears were not unjustified.
- Don’t worry. They won’t attack during the day. Goblins feel safer when it’s dark. Get going, there’s not much time left. - I assured him.
- Yes sir TC. - Arlon left.
- Now we need to decide how to defend the village. - said Robert.
- There are two entrances into the village from the East side. Both lead to the corn fields near the forest. And we’re slightly on the hill too, which can give us an advantage. - I explained.
- Ok. - Robert thought for a moment. - We will need to split our group. Angi can set up on one of the buildings, since she’s an archer. Myself, Stan and Rori can take one entrance. But that will leave you and Eve to defend the other one by yourselves. Maybe Stan or Rori can stay with you?
- Don’t worry. Me and Eve will be fine. - I reassured him.
- Of course. - Eve added cheerfully. - My Master was unbeatable during the duel with Stan.
- Please don’t remind me. - Stan got depressed.
- Here, here. - Rori patted him on the head. - I’ll be with you so we’ll be fine.
- Hey! I am the one who should say that! - Stan’s pride was hurt.
- Hahaha! - everyone laughed.
- Ok, lets get back to the issue at hand. Can you show us the entrances to the village? We need to prepare to meet the goblins. - Robert stood up.
We went outside. I showed them the tracks and footprints where goblins came from. They agreed with my judgement to set up defences at both entrances.
In the meantime, villagers were busy gathering supplies and barricading the Church. Arlon approached me rather excited.
- Sir TC! Sir TC! - he shouted. - You were right. We found a secret passage in the basement under the Church. The exit leads to the West side, away from the village.
- Excellent. You can use it as a means of escape if goblins break through. Of course, we don’t intend to let that happen. - I added.
Arlon went back to help with preparations.
- How did you know there might be a secret passage under the Church Master? - Eve was curious.
- Church always was a shelter for people during good times, as well as, the bad times. During wars people would turn to church more often. And so they made sure people had a way to escape when settlements were under attack. - I shared my knowledge.
Evening was approaching fast. We worked fast to set up some barricades and defences. With so little time only minor works were done, but it was better than nothing.
Sun was setting and so all the villagers went inside the church. Arlon approached us before going in.
- Good luck to you all. Here please take this. - he handed us some sandwiches. - I apologize we didn’t have time to make proper food for you.
- That’s fine, we appreciate it. - Robert thanked him.
Arlon bowed down and went inside the church. Our party met at one of the entrances to the village.
- We’re all set. - announced Robert.
- So are we. - I said.
- Are you sure you’re going to be alright just the two of you? - asked Stan.
- We’ll be fine. Make sure you protect Rori. - I changed attention to him.
- Yes sir. - Stan stood tall.
- Hey, I don’t need to be protected. I’m an adventurer too. - said Rori, yet her red cheeks and sparkling eyes showed she was happy.
- Here. - I handed him two small healing potions.
- Wow, healing potions? - Stan was surprised. - Where did you get those?
- Don’t worry about it. Use em if you need to. - I replied.
- Thank you sir TC. Robert please take one too. - he gave one to Robert.
- They might not attack till it’s fully dark, so rest till then. - Robert said putting the potion away.
- You too. - I nodded.
Me and Eve went to our post. Sun had set and it was getting darker, but we still had some time left before goblins attack.
- Where did you get the potions Master TC? - Eve asked after we sat down. - I don’t remember you getting them at the city.
- I made them myself. - I replied.
- How? - she was curious.
- Remember we stopped near the woods? I found some healing herbs at the meadow. If I have the right herbs, I can make any potion. - I explained.
- Amazing! - Eve was impressed.
- Here, take this. - I gave her a bright blue potion.- Drink this to restore your spiritual energy. You’ll be able to cast your magic spells longer.
- Thank you Master TC. - she picked it up.
Eve sat down close to me and hugged my arm. I could feel her breasts pressing towards my body.
Ah, the joy of the melon grip. And we’re about to fight goblins. Damn them. On second thought, perfect motivation to beat them good.
Eve cuddled closer, still holding my arm, and leaned on my shoulder. Very soon she started snoozing.
Hah, she must be tired from all the work. Eve was helping a lot during preparations. Taking a nap before the fight isn’t a bad idea.
I leaned backwards towards the fence to make it more comfortable. Eve slid down into my arms.
She always looks cute when she acts as a child. But seeing her asleep like that is the... - my eyes ran up and down her body. - I mean, seeing all of her looking like that...
I pulled a part of Eve’s cloak and covered her up.
You damn goblins. Deciding to attack at a time like this. You better be ready to face your end.