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Chapter 12 – Noisy Elders
“Finally, I can see it.”
How long it’s been since we left the stream? I don’t know; I didn’t check the time. Anyway, we made it back to the elven village before dark. The construction of the expansion zone seems to still be underway at this time. And the piercing glances from the refugees still hurts me.
“Are you tired?”
“No, not physically at all. It’s just that it’s mentally exhausting to move through the forest while being cautious.”
“That’s something you’ll have to get used to.”
Sylphy shrugged her shoulders and walked ahead. Right now, I have a collar around my neck, but without a chain. I asked her if it’s okay if she does that before approaching the village, but she told me not to worry about it because she will manage to make it work. Yeah, if Master says so, I have to just believe in her.
“Hey, why aren’t you wearing a chain?”
Shortly after, we arrived at the gate of the elven village through the expansion zone. And as a matter of course, I was confronted by the elven soldiers guarding the gate. Sigh, as expected.
“I don’t feel the need to talk to you. I have something to tell the elders urgently.”
“You dirty bag――!?”
I thought they were having a discussion, and then suddenly Sylphy delivered a lightning-quick straight right punch to the elf soldier. Eehh… that’s scary. She didn’t have any hesitation in her movements.
“The next time you speak a joke like that from your mouth, I’ll kill you.”
In the silence, Sylphy’s cold, bottom-chilling voice echoes. Hyieee… I’m about to leak.
“Aye aye, ma’am.”
I followed Sylphy after saluting her as she walked off. I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned this, but I definitely don’t want to make Sylphy angry.
“Hey, are you sure it’s okay?”
After a short walk from the earlier scene, I ran up to Sylphy and asked her in a whisper.
“Hmm, even if there was a problem, they can’t do anything about it. They are the ones in trouble when I’m gone.”
Hmm, I wonder why Sylphy is treated as an untouchable presence in this village, as if she has immense power, or is respected, or something. I’m a little curious, but it seems like a sensitive topic. It’s not something I should be asking right now, anyway.
“It’s not like we’re going home, is it?”
“I must first inform the village elders about Gizma’s presence in the forest first.”
Passing by Sylphy’s house, we head further into the village. There’s hardly any traffic around here. I wonder if the elves are reclusive?
“That’s one big building.”
“It’s a meeting place where the elders are gathering all day long to talk over tea.”
With a sarcastic smile on her face, Sylphy entered the meeting place. There are no guards, so there was no one to blame.
“Hou, we were wondering who could it be, and so it was you.”
“What a very unusual thing. For someone who hates the elders to come here for two days in a row.”
“Hohoho, it seems there will be a rain of spears tomorrow.”
“Don’t say that like it’s an unfortunate thing. It’s not very amusing under the current circumstances.”
As soon as I entered the building, I heard such a voice. When I glanced out from behind Sylphy’s shoulder to take a peek inside, I saw that it was a space about the size of a tennis court. The ceiling is relatively high, with something like tatami mats laid out on the floor.
The voices’ owners seemed to be elves drinking something like tea on cushions on the tatami floor. Their language sounds like an elderly, but they don’t look that old. Some of them look about the same as Sylphy, while some others look like children. There are some who look properly aged, though.
“Oh? Is that the human who entered the forest?”
“Hmm, I can barely feel any magic from him.”
“Barely, you say? I can’t feel it at all.”
“It’s a rare thing to see someone without a shred of magic.”
“A person without magic?”
“Is he perhaps a marebito*?”
[T/n: It mean visitor from afar/probably they’re talking about a different world.]
It’s kind of silly. Let’s see, there are seven of them sitting down, and then there are four more standing a little further away, as if in service. In all, there seem to be eleven elves here.
There is only one male; the rest are all women.
“Who is that man, Sylphy-chan? Yesterday you only said that you picked up a human man, and you were going to make him your slave?”
“Stop with the Sylphy-chan. I’ve got something to report today. Hey, give me the antennae.”
I did as Sylphy asked, taking two of Gizma’s antennae out of my inventory and giving them to her.
“Gizma has entered the forest. It looks like what we were fearing would happen is actually happening.”
“Fumu, as expected.”
“If one of them got in, it won’t be long before they come storming in.”
“If we focus on the defense of the village, we could probably repel them.”
“What about the beastmen? Should we accommodate them in a village with proper walls?”
“Let’s be realistic. We can’t maintain our magic fields and harvest them while defending the land. We can’t even feed those people.”
“Well, I think we’ll just fall apart if we are forced to accommodate them.”
“I guess we’ll just have to let them leave while they still can, or they can stay here at the risk of death.”
“In the first place, they were the ones who sowed the seeds.”
The elders who saw Gizma’s antennae were actively exchanging opinions and discussing countermeasures with each other as I watched them in a daze from behind Sylphy. What they say is really rational, or rather, a legitimate argument, or something that seems to leave no room for disagreement.
Of course, it’s not that there’s nothing to think about. I don’t know how many refugees there are, but I think the number of refugees is quite high. Probably not more than a hundred or two hundred. Isn’t it too inhumane to abandon them for the sake of the survival of the elven village? That’s what I thought.
But on the other hand, I don’t think the elves have any reason to fall in with the refugees. The refugees have fled to the Black Forest wearing only their clothes and have been fed by the elves without any particular price to pay. Moreover, there is a high probability that they are also the cause of Gizma’s massive reproduction. It’s no wonder that they can’t take care of everything so well.
“Hmm. I wish the walls had been completed.”
“That’s right. If only the walls had been completed, we could have enclosed the magic field inside.”
“We’ll have to call a representative of the refugees to discuss this evening.”
“That’s right. So, Sylphy-chan. About that man.”
“I told you to stop with that Sylphy-chan.”
Again, with a mortified expression, Sylphy rebukes them for calling her with chan. But the elven elders don’t seem to want to bother with it at all. Sigh, these elders.
“As I recall, he is a man with iron-making skills, and you wanted to own him because of his usefulness.”
“How could you lose it all in one night? You sure are fast.”
Sylphy turned red to her ears in dismay at the sudden and vivid remarks. Oh… that was a rare expression from Master, who always seems to be fearless and cool. That’s good, elders, do it more.
“Hoho. When a woman accepts a man, the quality of her magic changes a little bit.”
“It’s only a small difference, but we can see it at a glance.”
“The spring has finally come for the tomboy, Sylphy-chan, huh?”
“But I am a little concerned. It must be a little distorted to force an enslaved man to be your playmate, don’t you think?”
“Humans do that a lot, don’t they? Isn’t that the latest trend?”
“Sylphy-chan is also very attractive, too.”
“No, I wonder if that’s true.”
“It’s all about leaving a descendant, and it’s good. After all, Sylphy-chan is the only one of Merinard’s bloodline that remains alive. It’s not a problem if her sexual orientation is a little distorted.”
It’s cute to see Master quivering and shaking after being told that all by the elders. It’s not like any of the elders think that they attacked Sylphy. Yeah, well, even if I were a big-muscled macho man, I don’t think I would be able to do anything with Sylphy if she resisted seriously. Hence, it’s probably a fair decision.
But still, I’m curious about something—the Merinard bloodline. I’m sure Sylphy is related to the Merinard Kingdom. Moreover, from what I’ve heard, she seems to be a direct descendant of the royal family. Is it possible that she is a princess? Princess Sylphiel, the name alone, looks incredibly adorable, doesn’t it? I’m sure she’s beautiful in reality, but she’s also too strong.
“Now, let’s put the joke aside,”
After laughing for a moment, the mood of the elders suddenly changed drastically. The elders, who had been smiling cheerfully, suddenly became serious and began to radiate an unknowable pressure.
“I ask you, Merinard’s daughter, Sylphiel. Who is this man? Answer me.”
In contrast, Sylphy opened her mouth with a resolute expression, without fear. The fact that her face is still a little red is quite a charm, isn’t it?
“I don’t know. It’s just that the person himself said that he found himself standing on the border between the wilderness and the forest. Although I can understand his language, Kosuke’s stories about his hometown are unfamiliar to me. It’s like it’s a completely different world from Reese’s.”
“…I see. The magic-less one appears in the breach to save the forest people, huh…? That’s too good to be true, especially considering the current situation.”
“That’s true. However, there is a legend that that person left behind… so it’s probably true.”
“Which means he’s indeed a marebito.”
“I suppose we should consider that. Although we lack the proof to believe it, given the circumstances.”
“I suppose we should have custody of him then…”
One of the elders glanced at me. However, as if to shield me from it, Sylphy hugged me closer to her chest. Ughyoo, it’s so soft. It’s nice, very nice.
“No. He’s mine.”
And here it is. It looks like I’m going to die.
Eh? Given the circumstances, I wonder if Sylphy was approaching me, intending to use me for something? Well, it’s okay. Even if she came to me because of me as a marebito and my exceptional attributes and power, I’d still be happy. That’s why I think you should spoil me more, Master.
“Good grief. You’re just as stubborn as that tomboy. I guess since you’ve gone as far as giving your chastity to him, I can’t force you to leave him.”
“But what should we do? He may be a marebito, but he is still a human. The refugees and the young elves won’t be able to accept him so easily.”
Perhaps reassured by the elder’s words, Sylphy released me. I was still hugging her, but she slapped me on the head and pulled me off. Oh no, that’s terrible.
“Then we’ll just have to make him do something acceptable. If it works, we can protect the village and the refugees. It will kill two birds with one stone.”
“I see. So, Sylphy-chan, you understand it, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I know.”
“We are in a difficult situation right now. If the marebito is willing to follow Sylphy-chan, then we will support him. But that’s only if the marebito can prove himself. You should be aware of this.”
Sylphy nodded, turned on her heel, and left. I’m not sure about the situation, but it seems that Sylphy has understood it. Well, I had some idea of what was going on from the conversation, though.
I was just about to turn around and chase after Sylphy when one of the elders called out to me. I couldn’t ignore her, so I stopped and looked back. Apparently, the one who called out to me is an elder who looks like a little girl. Noja Loli, huh… I like it, too. Although not as much as Sylphy.
“I haven’t heard your name yet. You can at least tell me your name, right?”
“Yeah, my name is Kosuke Shibata. You can call me Kosuke.”
“I see. Kosuke, take care of Sylphy-chan. She’s a pitiable girl.”
“…Yeah, as long as I can.”
As the loli-elf stares at me, I just say that and leave. I’ll do it as long as I can, yeah, for as long as I can. I think it would be difficult for me to risk my own life, though. Maybe.