## 16Garuka

Moving towards the Goblin Cave's direction from yesterday, Marcus led his followers. On the way, he could once again start smelling how thick the scent of goblins is in the Goblin Cave.

Marcus was pondering whether he could somehow have a good estimate of the number of goblins inside the cave base on the thickness of the scent. But considering that the scent could probably get stronger the more the goblins spent time on the place, he didn't know how he could determine the exact details.

What Marcus knew for sure though is that if he were to compare the smell of a single goblin towards the thickness of the smell coming from the cave, then the goblin scent coming from the Goblin Cave was more than several hundred times stronger than the scent coming from a single goblin.

If he could just know of another goblin base and learn all of its details for comparison, Marcus could probably have a good estimate of the Goblin Cave's statistics by then.

Still, the current goblin cave would be his first case of a Goblin base. So, if he could just conquer it, he could then learn a lot of things from it that he could use if he would have to conquer more in the future.

And in regards to trying to gather such details, he could also try eating a few more goblin brains until he could receive another knowledge giving off hints regarding the details of the Goblin Cave's current population.

!?

While Marcus was thinking about the goblin cave when moving on the way, he suddenly had to stop.

Marcus had detected the fresh scent of goblins a good distance away. And from the way the group move, it seems that they are currently moving towards their direction.

'Hmm? what are the odds?'

Using his inhuman sense of smell, Marcus could somewhat detect the scent of about 10 unique individuals from the group. 9 of them were giving off the same scent from yesterday's goblins while one is giving off a different scent. The 9 goblins seem to be following the individual giving off a different scent from the rest.

A group of 10 enemies. It was a group more than double the amount of yesterday's goblins.

However, that's not what attracted Marcus's attention the most. Currently, his attention is focused on the scent coming from the one leading the group.

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'I want to see first how that unique individual look...'

After thinking so, Marcus took a U-turn and drag his followers around with him.

Marcus felt pity for his followers for wasting their time but at most they could just take the run from here as a warm-up.

...

A hobgoblin wearing a set of iron armor could be seen leading a group of goblins.

The goblinoids were a race gifted with an inhuman sense of smell that could work better than most, but their sense was built differently from the normal overall enhancement.

Their nose could sense better but it was only to the scent of certain things. Most of the time, their ability to sense via smell would just be similar to that of regular humans.

Right now, the one leading in front, the hobgoblin leader isn't using his sense of smell but using the basics of hunting to search for the missing goblins' whereabouts.

Tracking.

The hobgoblin is currently tracking the footsteps left behind by the goblin group who sneaked away from yesterday.

After a while of tracking, the hobgoblin then realized that the path they took following the tracks was in fact very familiar to him.

"Those idiots..."

The hobgoblin murmured. The path was familiar to him since they would always take these paths once a week. It seems that those missing goblins had discovered where they would hunt the one-horned rabbit that the old goblin head loves.

For the hobgoblin and his group, they could hunt the rabbits since they had the skill and brains for it, but for the other group, it was different.

They were just a group of good-for-nothing wankers who don't even know how to track.

If the group of goblins was lucky, the rabbits would just escape when they discovered it, but if they weren't... They could even die from a one-horned rabbit's attacks.

The fact that the group of goblins still hasn't returned yet should probably closely related to it, thought the hobgoblin leader.

"Dying from rabbits... What a joke!"

The hobgoblin then entered the overgrown grassy area.

...

A distance away from the group of goblins...

A group of lizards was watching, hidden behind the tree roots.

With the exception of one lizard, they had grown so large that they couldn't hide in the normal patches of grass anymore. Marcus and his followers could only hide far away and had their heads peeking behind the roots of the trees. Although the trees are less frequent in these areas, they could still hide on the few littering the area.

Earlier, when Marcus saw the group of goblins for the first time, he was shocked by the difference they had compared to the goblins yesterday.

The current group of goblins is far better equipped and experienced.

Equipment...

When he had looked at the goblins wearing sets of leather armor, Marcus knew that their attack capability as a group would be hindered. Marcus had already learned his followers' attacking pattern from the span of time they hunted together, and it was to target a creature's back.

However, right now, unlike the almost naked goblins yesterday, the goblins today had their backs protected with leather.

Marcus didn't know if his bites would be effective towards the leather, but since he would always target the necks of the enemy, it didn't really change much of his approach since such still remained defenseless for the most part. The only problem would be his followers.

'Could their attacks penetrate such defense?'

And not just the leather armor. 3 Piked shields, 3 shortswords, and 3 with bows and arrows... The goblins were clearly capably armed.

The 9 goblins are currently on a position with 4 goblins equipped with the piked shield and shortsword in front, 3 goblins with bows in the middle, and the 2 remaining shield and shortsword goblins at the back.

All nine are currently on stage 1, but their current rates span on 42% - 57%

Looking at their status from the system, it could be seen that they are much experienced compared to the group yesterday.

Then, in front of this formation of experienced goblins was the confident unique goblinoid that took most of Marcus's attention.

Just looking at it, Marcus could already feel the threat that its existence harbored.

Wearing a set of iron armor. Marcus knew, his jaws are probably not strong enough to bite through that. But it wasn't the reason Marcus thought of it as a great threat.

The trained looking body that obviously contained strength far stronger than those skinny midgets yesterday...

And the look and bearing of a creature with intelligence that far outclassed the simple-mindedness of the goblins.

That is a creature that gives off a feeling of human-like intelligence equipped with the body of a fighter.

_______________

[Stage Completion] 3.3%

[Stage:] 2

[Name:] Garuka

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Remarks:

A hobgoblin warrior who wields an iron spear.

_______________

Finally, for the first time, Marcus had seen a stage-2 creature!

And there was another point worth noting of the status.

During yesterday's hunting of goblins, Marcus had received several skills/knowledge from the brains. Despite not buying them all, it was still enough for Marcus to receive a bit of information.

The knowledge [Gweurgi's weakness (5)], had hinted the name of someone. And the description of the [Goblin Cave Map] too had told him that the name of the goblin he killed was 'Grugi'.

But despite that, he hadn't seen such names in their status. It was still N/A, making Marcus somewhat confuse.

What do the names in the status represent?

And now he finally has seen someone with a name.

'A Hobgoblin warrior, Garuka...'

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