38 Offering suppor
The bloody battle of goblins was the first encounter Ginger had with death. It had such a psychological effect on her that she feared to see this atrocity every time she closed her eyes.
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After the fight was concluded, the heartless bunch, butchered the poor dead bodies for their own gain. The savage clients of her did not settle for small rewards, going as far as mutilating the corpses, taking out spines!
When she refused to carry the bloody, they all glared, suddenly one sounded her opinion:
"Let's take her spine too, she is not useful anyway, so might as well make a small profit by taking ears and spine"
Another agreed: "It sounds great, there is a good market for human stuff"
Others nodded their heads, pouncing towards the poor woman.
Beside the campfire, a shivered corpse of hobgoblin was visible, yet none of the members of this group noticed it. The goblin seemed in deep fright and pain as if he was tortured until his last seconds, not understanding his demise.
John waited for his troops to bring as many prisoners as possible. He doubted this greedy bunch to advertise his rule, more likely outcome would be if they captured the weaker crowd, keeping their status unchallenged. He slowly walked outside of his hiding place, as he had estimated previously, the brutes had many in custody, looking at them with malice. If they were told to sacrifice their hostages, the followers would oblige without any qualms.
To their surprise, John talked with every single one of captives, asking strange questions. However, who would dare oppose their king? They kept all their doubt where it belonged, deep in their hearts, not even thinking about them.
John asked every one of these monsters about their view of the environment, if they were thought about any dangers. In fear of their lives, the audience would answer truthfully. In their minds, this strange tall goblin was too powerful to be challenged. They had never seen such sight before.
Suddenly John loudly exclaimed: "I am the king of goblins, I know the path to evolution, yet to achieve greatness you must all pass my test. Those who raise victories will be led by me to capture other areas, now, KNEEL"
With his strong control over spiritual forces, all kneeled in shock, yet in their hearts they rejoiced, they had the chance to attain such might.
John released his core's control with full force, covering the arena. It was akin to a large umbrella, isolating any outside influence, then the protective cover turned into a ferocious beast. Devouring the monsters without any regards, the glutton force would inhale all of their energies, making their mana imprint unstable, thus a bloody firework started. From an outsider's perspective, many poor humanoid monsters screamed in agony before their heads and neck exploded in a mist of dark green blood. This gruesome scene had every one of the goblins in fright, they could not feel any different, not knowing the direction of danger was a terrible feeling. If not in fear of losing the test and dying like the rest, the survivors would have run off a long time ago.
Once John finished his meal, he showed a small, almost untouchable trace of a smile. Then he addressed the crowd:
"Congratulations to all of you, now you are ready to advance, we set out now, rise my army of elites, WITH ME"
He analyzed: "It was a fantastic opportunity to gain energy, I have attained a considerable amount of purer mana. Now would be a good time to run, the system should take notice of this strange event. If no perpetrator is found, no action will be taken either, not being able to act on the creative ground is the true limitation of artificial intelligence. To be invisible in the system's rather, I have to be in constant motion and change my style, no permanent vessel can be acquired, unless they are from outside. However, I assume that type to have many unstable factors as well, more information is needed"
While leading a vicious army of goblins, John calculated:
"I used most of the attained gains to cultivate my soul and core for a few rounds, it feels as if I have broken a bottleneck as well. My spiritual sense is much stronger, and I have gained a good sensitivity towards danger. My understanding of souls is also improved it should not take much longer before I can develop a proper procedure for my cultivation sessions. It would have been much faster if I had references, yet such data are hard to come by. Anyhow now I have made sure of which path to take, finding the way out. Based on their beliefs and stories, right is the wrong choice, where all danger lies, one has come back to tell the tale of the other side"
While he was pondering such matter, their group arrived by the intersection. He ordered all of them to go right!
John understood that going left would have less threat involved, yet that thought had been for hunters, not rulers! He could simply order his followers to attempt the road first, testing the waters, so the risk would be reviled.
After some hesitation, the greedy monsters let out their war cries running down, towards their demise. This had been the strange effect of intermediate lead skill John had coupled with his otherworldly control of energy flows. In addition to that, he had left the weak-spirited of the large crowd live, it made manipulation much easier, plus the others had more vitality for consumption.
John felt as if after some more adjustment, and getting used to his abilities, not even spirit would be able to run, succumbing to his insatiable hunger.
Hearing sounds of battle far ahead within the tunnel, he stretched his spiritual vision, finding a pleasant surprise. The army of the goblins had encountered humans and they were getting brutally massacred. However, similar to most kings, he did not care for his subjects. Even his body was temporary, now it seemed a great chance to tame a new mount had arrived!
His eyes turned red from the pressure of holding his spiritual vision, as such frail frame failed to show the full potential of his abilities. Even though holding the vision would damage his sight, John kept it on while he watched the battle.
Once the frontline soldiers had perished, he immediately consumed the vanguard of them. Ironically, they had stayed behind in order to protect their liege from harm, yet their ending came by his hands instead.
The grey hobgoblin silently tailed the adventurer group, from inside the dark shadows. Until they camped, making fire, then he watched on similar to a stalker, as they finished their dry food and prepared to rest. A warrior carrying a brad long sword, in heavy armor sat close to the flames while vigilantly keeping watch. However, making him fall into sleep, was very easy for John after the recent upgrading term, he simply nudged natural urges and the warrior was asleep in a matter of seconds.
Due to his observant and calculative nature he had first completely analyzed his prey, he now knew them better than themselves.
In the magical land of dreams, the group of seven were trapped, forced to face their worst fear. This feat was done by John, who had simulated their minds, creating such horrifying images. Disabling any defensive measures, then he closed in, inserting his influence lightly, baiting them into accepting it.
In the realization of horrifying truth, Alvin cried loudly, then a warm voice came:
"Do you want revenge? Come let me show you the entire story" A small wolfsbane was in front of his leg.
Link was dazed before feeling an immense overflow of mana; when he looked down, a spiritual plant was there, a four-leaf clover.
With blurry vision Rob saw a vine on the ceiling, he tried his best to grab it, pulling himself up fro the bed he was stuck to.
In her despair Dahlia looked around for a way out, then she noted a blood-red Rose, she had never seen such color in her life, subconsciously she reached for it.
Betsy's head on the ground fell beside an Amber, which sounded with a warm female voice:
"I can save your life, giving you another chance, so you can finally reunite with your lost one"
Beryl, fell to the ground hard, her knees had lost all stability, in her darkest hour, she saw a beautiful white Lily. Her sister always loved Lilies; she knew from the bottom of her heart she would be forgiven if she gifted it to her.
Ginger was cornered, then she tripped on the root of a giant tree, falling to the ground made her look at the perpetrator with an angry look. However, she saw the tree had a golden apple on it. From all of the stories she had heard from childhood, this fruit would make her a magical princess. Forgetting about the immediate crisis, she reached out both hands, memorized by the glow.