Goblin Nest
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Trivia: the Lionheart Kingdom was one of the three kingdoms who ruled over the continent of Moonlight, their influence covered about 100,000 km2, slightly smaller than England, and they had control over 3 cities, 5 countries, and 7 villages with total populations were 10,000,000 people, their current king called Desmond Lionheart.

(***)

Shizuka stood not far from the stack of leaves, she brought up her hands and started forming the seal to execute her technique.

"Wind Release: Violent Whirlwind!"

A small tornado blew out from the delicate cream lips, she easily swept away all the covers and revealed what was they had been hiding.

"!"

"Hoargh!!!" Dick quickly dropped toward the ground and threw out what's left of his breakfast.

Damian held his mouth and stomach, preventing himself from burst out.

Alex winced as he looked toward the side while Momo stood behind him, didn't dare to even take a peek.

The hole in front was slightly bigger than most of the pitfall traps they were avoiding, but... it wasn't exactly to trap anyone in.

This was a 'dumpster'... for the remaining of humans which the goblins murdered, or no longer... had any use.

Whoever these people were, they got nothing left on the body, each was naked either men or women, and the smell was not just coming from the rotting skin and bone, but also sour repulsive which coming from... the women...

Alex had his fair share of gore movies, but what he saw now was simply way over R-rated, not just these corpses' horrible state, but the looked on their face which expressed nothing but terror and fear.

He strongly bit his lips, a small trail of blood poured down, Shizuka noticed it as she said in a worried tone, "Alex..."

"I am fine... I am fine..." Alex wiped his face but rested it before his nose and mouth for a while, quick to regain his bearing, Alex looked over his shoulder, noticed the trembling body of the princess Momo...

"Momo, are you sure?"

"Yes... the leaf told me about it..."

"Ok..." Alex nodded then he cleared his throat, "if there is someone... who still alive, please respond to my voice..."

No answer.

"Alex, let me use Shibarisugi... he can sort out the... people..." Momo mumbled.

"Are you sure? Is it going to affect you?"

Hearing the genuine concern in his tone, Momo lifted the corner of her lips, she took out her phone and pressed on the dial.

"Momo, please told him to be gentle..."

Momo nodded, soon the large tree once again made an appearance, but it no longer spread out its tentacle as if someone's butt was on fire, it slowly traversed its roots and lifted the corpses one by one, but despite of it... the decomposed bodies couldn't withstand the force.

One limb fell down... white essence poured down...

"Aargh!" Damian no longer could withstand the torture, quickly followed Dick's example.

Shizuka closed her eyes, even this was too much for her. Momo trembled all over, Alex quickly turned around to hug her and caressed her hair, his face kept staring at the process despite how much he wished to gouge his eyes out.

"That's it, that man had a full cloth on!" Alex quickly said.

Shibarisugi quickly put down the person, Alex told Momo to order the tree to properly arrange the corpses back in, later he would cover the hole with soil, making it a proper burial.

(***)

The person had his eyes closed while his complexion was completely pale; if not for the faint heave of his chest, Alex would have thought he also died.

This was a youth, probably 16-17 years old, with long blonde hair, his entire clothes consist of red.

Alex took out the potion and let him drank it as he placed the youth's head onto his thigh, then he gave him mineral water bit by bit.

After a while, the youth's complication was slightly turned for the better, the redness made his cheek a bit rosy, but his skin was still pale as before.

His eyelids trembled before slowly opened half-way, catching the face of Alex and the clear blue sky.

"I am... where?"

"Dawn Forest," Alex said, "I found you in the hole with corpses."

"Ah... I was..." the youth hardly said, his face winced for every only attempting to speak.

"Relax, take it easy..." Alex brought up the water toward his mouth, "here, drink it slowly."

"Thank... you..."

After a while, Alex let the man rested while he looked at the funeral's procession, there was a stack of dirt behind the hole, ready to dump.

He took the shovel out of the system, walked toward the hole then scoped the dirt, began to cover the hole.

He knew was not responsible for this... he knew he had no obligation... but every time his mind conjured the image of these corpses, he just couldn't stay still... it's like... he got this feeling that if he had arrived sooner... might he could prevent some from happening...

His breath was getting heavier, sweats hurt his eyes, the sun's glaring burned his body, but Alex didn't stop, without realizing it, his cheek had been drenched with his own tears.

Those who had been inside this hole might have been someone's children... someone's wife... someone's husband... someone's father... someone's mother...

Why? Just why?

"Mr. Star..."

Dick came and grasped his shovel, said, "Let me take care of this... you rest."

Alex startled, he tilted down his hat to cover his face, said, "Um, thanks."

He turned around and sat not on the far ground, looking at Dick and Damian changing turn on covering the hole, also with the assistance of Shibarisugi.

"Alex, are you ok?" Shizuka's voice came from the side.

"They don't deserve that kind of death..." Alex grit his teeth, "none of us are..."

"I agree..." Shizuka sat beside him, "but as Shinobi... I have come with the term on how I would die... this is not much of the change."

"Either you die in the battle... die on the street... or die on the bed... death is all the same..."

"This is what I fear... the outcome of fighting something that out of my league... I... " Alex shook his head in bitterness, "what the hell that person's thinking..."

"I don't know..." Shizuka glanced at him, softly said, "but either way... you're not alone in this..."

"Hey guys, the man has awake!" Momo said from the distance.

Alex took a deep breath, smiled toward Shizuka, "Let's great our Mr. Zombie..."

(***)

"Please, you have to save my sister!"

The moment Alex arrived at the young man's side, he immediately rose from the ground and clung into his leg, startling the rest of them.

"My sister... my sister... she had been captured by the goblins... they took her into the nest!" the young man with desperation in his voice.

"Ok, calm down for a sec..." Alex dropped into his knee, grasping the young man's shoulders, said, "men must not beg like this... first, please tell us your name?"

"Elliot... my name is Elliot..."

"Ok, Elliot, tell us what happened..."

"My sister and I... along with several people were on the journey to Silver Back mountain... we were confident with our strength but these goblins... they were stronger than we expected... and also overwhelming us with their sheer number... my sister... my sister along with several people held them back while told me to escape... but... they just everywhere... I... I was so scared that I couldn't move... thus I... I found that hole... and..."

"Alright... alright... here, drink first..." Alex gave Elliot his mineral water, the youth drank it without questioning the strange transparent bottle.

"Now... I assumed you probably had been down there for about two or three days based in your condition... how can you be sure that your sister is still alive?"

"She is... I am sure of it... no matter how long these goblins..." Elliot's body trembled, then he snapped his face toward Alex, said, "it doesn't matter... I beg you please, save my sister, you can ask any reward from me!"

Then he suddenly grasped the small pouch on his waist, quickly giving it to Alex, "Here... 10 Golds... this is the first payment... I can give you more as long as you promise me to save my sister!"

Alex startled at this, he could see the despair in Elliot's eyes as he didn't even hesitate to shove his money, granted this was other people, they might have just robbed him and walked away.

He glanced to Shizuka, seeking her opinion, the kunoichi shook her head, it's not she didn't trust Elliot... but if these goblins could attack a bunch of group with considerable strength and devastated them... their odd was not very good.

Then he looked at Momo, the latter stared back at him with pleading eyes... she also had a sister so she understood Elliot's feeling.

Jason was not up to fight while Dick and Damian didn't have an opinion, the choices placed in Alex's hands.

"System... this goblin's nest... how dangerous they are?"

"One goblin nest had invested with 30 to 40 goblins, with several of them possibly the elites which comparable to journeyman, your overall strength was very weak right now... even with Princess Momo, you don't possibly stand a chance."

"System, what the cycle sleep of these goblins?"

"Unlike the human, the goblin slept right at the dawn until 12 pm... which meant you only had about 3 hours left if you planned to sneak in... but be aware, they also prepared a lot of traps and possibly a mechanism to alarm them in case of attack."

"3 hours, huh?"

Alex thought for a while, he looked toward the kunoichi, said, "Shizuka, how confident you are in a silent rescue mission?"

"As long the security isn't very tight... then I have my confidence," Shizuka nodded.

"Alright... this may take a while, but I have a plan..."

(***)

Goblin Nest was a cave that burrowed into the earth, the cave entrance was hard to find as it was no different than other high grounds, hidden among the trees, thankfully, Momo was able to make the plants tell them the location.

Alex and co. currently was watching the empty entrance, they had Elliot and Jason stayed behind, protected by Shibarisugi.

"Alright, we have two plans; first, rescue Elliot's sister without detecting our present... Shizuka will sneak inside the cave, looking for her while avoiding unnecessary combat... once you found her, do not immediately rescue, but inform us about the situation first; if we think it's possible, then you have the go... but if it's not... then..." Alex raised up his rifle, said while grinning, "we go with plan B... raising hell."

"You look for a good spot to hide, then once you did, we will cause a ruckus as much as possible and awoke our friendly neighborhood goblins..."

"We prepare a surprise attack for them and had their attention focus on us... meanwhile, you kill what you can inside the cave, we clear up the entire population of them in a swift."

Then Alex gave Shizuka a radio that had been transformed with technology into a high tech one, similar to an earpiece transmitter but had far more stable connection and radius.

Shizuka placed it on her ear, Alex looked at her, gently said, "Be careful."

She smiled as she nodded, carefully took steps into the cave and soon disappeared.

"Alright, we also have a job to do..." Alex accessed technology, started combining explosive powder and motion sensor, said, "We have to bury these land mines."

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