Chapter 1 ──── The Night Before the Death Battle
With the presence of the demon soldiers in the distance, the tension is gradually fading from the air around us. I guess we’re out of this situation first.
“Doran-san, are you okay!? I was so worried that something would happen to Doran-san, since you were smiling like that!”
Serina, a beautiful Lamia girl, crawled furiously over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders, shaking me and talking to me in a tearful voice.
As my vision wavered, I regretted that I had worried Serina too much.
When we learned that the village inhabited by the wood elf siblings Gio and Fio, who were acquainted with each other in the forest of Entete, were being attacked by the forces of the demon world, we rushed to their aid, but we were divided in front of the fierce warriors leading the demon army, including Georg, Rafarasia, Geren, and Gheorud, and were left in a predicament.
I used the power of the old divine dragon to defeat Georg’s powerful blow, but an ordinary human would not have been able to stand up to it. It’s no wonder Serina is so distraught.
I put my own hand on Serina’s and gently call out to her to calm her down.
“It’s okay, Serina. I haven’t suffered a single scratch as you can see me. You’re the one who’s been hurt against a strong opponent like Geren.”
“I am fine. Christine-san was the one who stepped forward to fight, and I just needed to use my magic from behind.”
When Serina said that much, tears appeared at the edges of her blue full-moon eyes, and she hugged me with great emotion, shaking her little shoulders. I held her gently and continued to stroke her shoulders in the same way I would stroke a baby.
Well, I guess I should thank Christine-san for that. Christine-san, you didn’t look injured from the outside, but still are you okay?”
Christine-san, who put the magic sword Elspader in its scabbard, looked like she wanted to ask me a lot of questions, but she seemed to put it off when she saw Serina’s condition. Thank God she was so considerate.
“I’m a little tired, but that’s not a problem. There are no broken bones, and I haven’t been cut or anything. It was a bit of a chilling effect, but that’s about it. I have a lot of questions to ask you, but we’ll talk about it later.”
“That would be great. Besides, I think Gio and his friends want to talk to us.”
I turned back to Gio, who was rushing over, and I had to lightly pat Serina on the back to let her know that my time to pamper her was fast coming to an end.
We were led by Gio and Fio to the village of the Wood Elves, once the silence was restored. Diadora, the spirit of the Black Rose, followed silently.
The wood elves’ village in the most western part of the Entete Forest is said to be called Sai West. It was already late at night, but besides moonlight, luminous mosses grew in clusters here and there, and lamps containing luminous insects hung from the branches, so there was no need to worry about the light source. The wood elves seem to be using the hollow of the giant tree as a house, or passing boards over the branches.
There was a tense atmosphere in the village. Even though we were being guided by Gio and his friends, some Wood Elves were skeptical of our presence in the forest, as we were humans who were not supposed to be there. The faint smell of blood, the moans of the pain-stricken, the low spirits and higher-ranking grim reapers who carry the souls of the dead to the underworld, the cries of those who mourn the death of their loved ones. The village, which in normal times should live with the bounty of the rich forest, was filled with these voices.
Serina, for instance, was crawling in the shadows of me, and the figure of her valiantly fighting against Geren was nowhere, as if it were a lie.
Serina had her right arm wrapped around my left arm, as if she was still having trouble getting away from me, and she wanted to touch me as much as she could.
“Well, they don’t seem too welcoming,”
While Serina asks questions anxiously, Christine-san was looking around the village with interest. She was not paying attention to the gazes pouring in from the surroundings at all.
The battle with Geren must have been quite exhausting, but it doesn’t seem to be showing on her face, and she seems to be strong in body and mind.
I asked Gio’s back while replying to Serina, who was leading the way.
“Considering that it’s a bad time, it’s inevitable. We’ll just have to get them to acknowledge us through our actions. Gio, can you tell us where you plan to take us?”
“The chief’s place. The warriors of the other races have gathered there as well. It would be a quicker way to introduce you guys and see what’s going on.”
“Hmm, that’s reasonable.”
Diadora occasionally looks at us as she and Gio talk, but that’s it, and the rest of the journey was a silent one. As we walked through the village, which was not much different from the forest, we saw a large, thick tree. The tree is so thick and thick with dark green leaves that 30 adults would have to reach out to it, and it exudes a majestic presence. It is said to be the oldest elder tree in this area.
At the base of the elder tree is the largest house I have ever seen, with banners sewn into the front door with the coats of arms of each Wood Elf clan. I wonder if this flag is a sign of the chief, something not seen in any other house.
Wood Elf warriors, werewolf, bug-man, and bird-man warriors are gathered in front of the house, and curiosity and suspicion are once again cast on us as Gio brings us in.
“We need to talk to the chiefs. Can we come in?”
“Ah. We’re discussing what to do about the demons. Gio, are they the ones you’re talking about?”
A young werewolf with gray fur takes one look at us, followed by Gio. I suppose I could speak for all of us here.
“I’ll explain that to the chiefs now. Np need to worry. They are from the village of Berne. The residents of that village and us had made a deal with each other before.”
“Oh yeah, that village. The chiefs are at their usual place. You’d better hurry if you’re going there.”
Gio nods back to the werewolf and leads us into the chief’s house. The furniture and style of the house is unfamiliar to us, but with the current state of affairs, we don’t have time to take our time to observe.
Gio, in his self-initiated way, leads us through the chief’s house, exchanging the occasional greeting with the wood elves as we pass by, to a large room at the far end of the house.
It must be a hall or something to be used in case of an emergency. Passing through a piece of cloth embroidered with a huge tree that pierced the heavens and the various forest creatures that gathered there, we found people surrounding a large round table that seemed to have been carved from the trunk of a giant tree.
There was a wood elf with a handsome face and deep wrinkles, and a werewolf whose body was three times larger than mine and who was covered with a lump of white fur. Also, Arachne, whose lower body is a spider with a red shell and fine body hair, and the upper body is a beautiful woman of odd age.
These three people are sitting around the Wood Elf. The Wood Elf seems to be the chief of the tribe that Gio was talking about, and the other two seem to be the chiefs of their respective species, and there is no mistake.
Gio and Fio quickly step forward and give a small bow as all three gazes pierce us.
“Chief Deo, Lord Vraik, Lord Argenne, we’re back.”
Deo is the chief of the Wood Elves, Vraik is a werewolf, and Argenne is the name of Arachne. Deo looks around at our faces, then returns his gaze to Gio, opens his mouth and begins to speak in a heavy voice.
“Well, you’re back. I heard you found Marr safe and sound. That’s good. I have received news of the battle at the Northern Wall. You have done well, Diadora. I heard that the enemy was a flower spirit from the demon world.”
“Yeah. I was able to finally come face to face with the outlaw who sapped everyone’s life. I couldn’t beat her, but next time I will definitely stop her dead in her tracks.”
Diadora, who had been keeping her mouth shut until now, opens up. I suppose she’s not in a position to remain silent after all that happened.
“Don’t let the blood rise to your head. You are usually a calm person, but once the blood rises to your head, you lose perspective.”
“I’ll keep it in a little corner of my mind. I don’t know if I’ll remember it or not.”
“Oh dear. ……. By the way, Gio, can you introduce us to your folks? Vraik and Argenne can’t help but be curious about them, too.”
” I am not that bothered.”
“But I am. I’ve heard of people who have fought the demon soldiers and those who lead them to an even or even greater degree. You really do understand what that means to us, don’t you, Vraik?”
It seemed like a Herculean task to read the heart from the face of the wolf of Vraik, but he turned his head slightly away, as if it was a figurehead in response to Argenne’ words. Hmm, easy to understand.
There were six spider eyes on the forehead and temples, in addition to two eyes of the same human construction.
“They are the ones who rescued Marr from the demon soldiers’ chase. The chiefs, you know the village of Berne, they are from there, and they said they were suspicious of the monster occurrence near their village and came to investigate. They were very helpful to us in the battle at the Northern Wall. If not for them, many of our people would have been killed.”
“Berne Village, that’s a familiar name. It’s true that with the location of that village, it’s not surprising that those pursued by the demon soldiers would show up. I would like you to thank you as the chief as well as the one of the members of the tribe. Thank you very much.”
We each responded to Deo who thanked us after Gio’s explanation.
“Fumu, we had our own reasons for doing what we did. It would be helpful if you wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m sorry to be late to introduce myself, but I’m Doran from the village of Berne.”
“I’m Serina. I am indebted to him in the village of Berne.”
“My name is Christine. I am not from the village of Berne, but I am a companion to Doran and his friends for some time.”
“You’ve gotten yourself into a terrible mishap. You should sit down first. Please make yourself comfortable.”
The chief Deo asked us to be seated, and we obediently followed him to the round table. Then, from the back room, an elf waiter appeared with several wooden cups on a wooden tray.
The liquid in the cup is faintly greenish and seems to be made from squeezed fruit juice. A sip of the cup is a refreshing aroma that fills your mouth and nostrils, making you feel refreshed.
“You’ve traveled all the way from Sai West to here. I cannot turn you away without you telling us. How far have you heard from Gio?”
“To the north of Sai West, a demon gate has appeared, slaughtering elves and all the other foresters, and the neighboring tribes are planning a counterattack against the demons. And just a few minutes ago, we crossed blades with Georg, Geren, Gheorud and Rafarasia, the leaders of the demon army.”
“Hmm. It’s not much to say again if you’ve heard that much, but I’ll just tell you about our current situation. The appearance of the Demon’s Gate has distorted the space in this neighborhood and delayed the arrival of our wood elves’ support.”
“You mean the fairy path is not available?”
Ah, said Deo, nodding gravely. The fairy path is a special path that allows you to travel to distant lands without regard to distance through the fairy world, which is a different world from this material world.
Without the ability to use it and without backup, the people of Sai West will have to use their available forces to destroy the demon soldiers. That’s probably pretty tough.
“I hear that the person who calls himself Georg has set a deadline of three days, but we are not willing to comply.”
Although it should not have been too long since the battle with Georg and the others, it seems that the conclusions have already been reached with the three chiefs. It seems that Vraik, Argenne and others have no complaints.
It seems that they had built a strong relationship of trust even before a situation like this one arose.
“Three days are not enough time for us to support them. Therefore, we will rally the remaining warriors, destroy the gates of the demon world and drive them away from this plane.”
Not only the wood elves, but also the fate of the other races in the vicinity will be at stake, and Deo’s expression grew grim as well. Argenne, who was standing there with no change in her expression, added.
“The ones from the demon world are able to manifest on this plane because they receive power from the gate to maintain their existence. The miasma can be prevented from leaking if the gate is destroyed. After that, the forest should cleanse itself and regain its original form.”
There is no mistaking Argennes’ words. The destruction of the gate that connects the demon world and this world is absolutely indispensable in fighting off the demon world’s people.
But the closer you get to the gate, the closer you get to the demon world. The strength of the demon soldiers will increase, and the environment will become harsher for the creatures on the ground.
The three chiefs must be aware of this decision. I’m sure they are aware of the sacrifices that will be made in doing so.
“The fact that they have given us three days to prepare means that they may be ready for anything in those three days. The demonization to stabilize their existence is complete, or a new army will emerge ……. If we allow it to happen, the future of the people of this forest will be shrouded in darkness.”
“I understand your situation. I have spoken with Gio, and we will continue to fight with you. Whatever the case may be, if it comes to a battle with the people of the demon world, there is a possibility that it will affect my hometown and my kingdom as well. I’m not going to let that happen.”
It was already decided between me, Christine-san and Serina. When I assured them, Christine-san and Serina never voiced their dissatisfaction with my assurances.
However, Deo, like Gio, seems to have some hesitation in receiving help from those outside the forest, and refrained from giving an immediate answer with a small snort.
Just when I thought the curtain of silence would fall, surprisingly, the werewolf, Vraik, spoke up to allow us to fight alongside him.
” I would say that you are underestimating our power, but I’m sure that you have the ability to say something like that from the way you fought at the wall. We have to ask for you help, even if it means rubbing our foreheads on the ground. Deo, they want to help us. It’s a shameful situation, but if there’s someone who can fight, whoever it is, we need to ask for help. If you feel guilty about asking for help from people outside the forest, then why don’t you go out of your way to be polite and and thank them.”
In general, werewolves have a strong sense of community and territoriality, and they don’t rely on other species unless they have something to rely on.
The fact that the chief of the werewolves said that they are relying on us suggests that they are under pressure.
If you have the same level of power as Diadora, you may be able to compete with Georg and the others, but I doubt that there are many people that strong.
Argenne folds in while Deo is pondering Vraik’s words. The eight eyes, which were filled with a bright, shiny light, all reflected Deo’s face.
“I agree with Vraik. Doran, Christine, Serina, your offer is a blessing in disguise for us, and naturally we want your help as Vraiks said. Of course, we will not brazenly ask for your help for free. As Vraik mentioned earlier, instead of asking for your help, we will thank you as much as we can when the battle is over. For example, it would be good to communicate with the people of Berne in the future. So far we have only tolerated the cutting down of trees for wood, but now we can trade with the threads of our Arachne and the textiles made from them, the hunting catches of the werewolves and the ores that can only be collected in the forest, and the medicinal plants and flowers grown by the Wood Elves. Although they are small in scale, the items I’ve just mentioned are rare and valuable in their own right among the human population. Since you will be fighting for your lives, I believe that a certain amount of compensation is necessary.”
The proposal from Argenne was something I personally could not hope for.
Even if there was no reward in return, I was willing to help in the fight against the demons, but now that a reward was proposed that would benefit Berne village, I could feel my new fighting spirit burning like a horse with a carrot dangling in front of me.
Our money money tree in the village of Bern are the potions concocted by Grandma Muggle, her family and I, in addition to the magical stones and spirit stones mined in the vicinity.
Once we have a steady supply of herbs and magical flowers that are only found in the Entete Forest, we will be able to concoct and distribute more valuable potions.
However, as the chief of the Arachne species, which, like Lamia, requires males of other species to breed, she also wants to provide opportunities for contact with human males outside the forest behind this proposal.
Of course, whether or not we can take advantage of the rewards we’ve received is a matter for the village of Berne, including me, but there’s no point in worrying too much about something we haven’t even gotten yet.
Argennes’ proposal was not only to encourage our fighting spirit, but also to give Deo’s hesitation a push.
“You’re right. That’s the price we’re asking for, that’s for sure. If you are willing to help us, we will do what we can to repay you. Our three chiefs vouch for you. Doran, Serina and Christine, please help us.”
Following Deo, who bowed deeply, Vraik and Argenne also bowed sincerely. The lives of all the people living in the forest are on their backs.
“We’ll do our best to live up to your expectations. By the way, are you ready to tell the human kingdom about this situation? I know you are concerned about the dangers of getting organized help from humans, but I think that in the worst case scenario, we should also look at helping the kingdom…….”
Although I have no intention to make the worst case scenario, if Sai West and the surrounding settlements fell and the Wood Elves’ army was defeated, the demon army would leave the forest of Entete and invade the surrounding countries as well.
If they are unprepared for the armies of the demon world, if such a situation arises, the world will be laden with miserable corpses and rivers will be dyed blood red.
“I’ve made arrangements to contact the kingdom side. You don’t have to worry about it, just focus on fighting the demons.”
A wood elf woman emerged from the back of the room and spoke the answer to my question.
Her hair, dazzling as gold thread, flowed down her back, and she wore a dark green robe. The color of her slit eyes is equal to the brilliance of emeralds, and her white, translucent skin, as if it were devoid of blood, gives the impression of a stone statue of a beautiful woman.
Although she has good looks that look like she’s in her late twenties, it’s impossible to guess her real age from her appearance as she is a long-lived elf. I shouldn’t say that since my soul’s age is older than any other species in this world.
The Wood Elf woman walks up to Deo’s back to the right and stops, not making a single sound as she doesn’t seem to be fazed by our gaze.
She seemed to be a familiar face to Vraik, Argenne, Gio, and Fio, and no one’s voice was raised.
I was about to ask who this woman was, but Christine-san, who was sitting next to me, screamed in surprise. It’s rare for this person to sound so unapologetic.
“Dean!?”( or School’s Director?)(TN: We didn’t have those in schools just a single Principal and Vice-Principal)
—–part I end—
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