Here’s the chapter and thanks to the Ko-Fi donators for this chapter. 1/22 chapters.
Chapter 45 – 1:21
“Hey, Sylphy. Can I ask you something?”
“Yes? What is it?”
After finishing the day’s work, we spent some time together and finished one “battle.” Normally, we would be in bed together and just sleep, but I decided to ask her. In other words, I decided to take it a step further.
“Can you tell me more about yourself, Sylphy? In the past, after the Merinard Kingdom became part of the Holy Kingdom, Danan and the others came to the Black Forest and before I met them.”
“…Right. Where should I start? Did I tell you that I came to the Black Forest on behalf of the royal family?”
“Yes, you did. You said that when you turned ten, you had to learn how to live as an elf in the Black Forest or something like that.”
“That’s right. It wasn’t long after that that the Merinard Kingdom became part of the Holy Kingdom. I was still a child at the time and was not familiar with world affairs or anything like that. In hindsight, my father probably wanted to keep me in the Black Forest.”
“I see; that’s very conceivable.”
When you’re a king of a country, you’re probably familiar with the situation in the surrounding countries. Her father probably knew that the Holy Kingdom would invade the Merinard Kingdom in the not too distant future. It’s not surprising that he prepared for this by sending his youngest daughter to the Black Forest, far away in the Great Omit Wilderness.
“About twenty years ago, the Merinard Kingdom was made a vassal state of the Holy Kingdom. After a fierce battle, the Merinard Kingdom surrendered, and many of its people were killed. It is said that my father and mother wished for the relief of the people in exchange for giving up the custody of the royal family members.”
“It seems that this promise has not been kept, though. It was said that the Merinard people were not sold off to other countries as slaves, but after becoming a vassal of the Holy Kingdom, several villages in the frontier were destroyed. I’ve heard that the inhabitants were supposedly killed by monsters, but I doubt it.”
“I wouldn’t trust them, too.”
There is no evidence to convince anyone who is guilty, but it’s definitely suspicious.
“Didn’t I also tell you about Danan and the others’ rebellion in the Merinard Kingdom three years ago?”
“Yes, I heard about that.”
“At that time, I was still in the Black Forest. Refugees have been arriving in the Black Forest here and there since that time, and the only way I knew what was going on outside the forest at that time was by hearing about the situation in the Merinard Kingdom from those refugees. But one day, one of the refugees who had escaped told me that Danan and the others had risen in rebellion.”
Sylphy lay back on the bed and stared at the back of her hand as if checking her own brown skin.
“I couldn’t stand it any longer. At that time, my body had already grown to the point where I could call myself an adult elf, and my skill with a bow and spirit magic had become adequate. I had also mastered the secret technique of using spirit stones to destroy things. I overcame the objections of the elders and the elven adults in the village and set off into the Great Omit Wilderness with as many spirit stones as I could carry.”
“A bull’s eye, huh?”
“Looking back, I think it was shallow. What happened, in the end, was that Danan’s rebellion had already been suppressed, and he had just escaped to the Great Omit Wilderness. It was lucky that we were able to join up.”
“It’s a big place, isn’t it?”
“Fumu. The Holy Kingdom was pursuing Danan and the others. I used the Spirit Stone to destroy the pursuers and became known as the Witch of the Black Forest by the Holy Kingdom. Then, I returned to the Black Forest with Danan and the others. My skin and body became like this when I buried the Holy Kingdom’s pursuers out of hatred and impulse.”
“Eh, seriously. What the hell kind of miracle happened to you?”
As a result of killing with hatred and impulse, she fell into darkness and became like a dark elf? What is that? It’s cool.
Sylphy answered me with a bitter smile.
“Elves are much more like spirits than other human races. The emotions, the amount of magic power used, the surrounding circumstances at the time, the purpose of the spirit’s exercise, and many other factors can combine to alter the body. When a person kills many people with hatred and rage as I did at that time, keeps receiving fear and resentment in their body, unleashes spirits for killing, and goes to the limit of destruction, their skin can become like mine now. The skin that used to be white turns black like this, the body becomes tougher, and the spirit magic becomes more effective when used for destruction rather than protection and healing.”
“Hmm. In other words, they evolve to specialize in combat. Elves are amazingly mysterious creatures.”
“I don’t like it when Kosuke says that.”
Sylphy flicked the tip of my nose. Certainly, I might be no match for the wonders of the world.
“In the past, elves like me have been called corrupted elves, dark elves, fallen elves, or tainted elves. In the days when there were many conflicts, there were a certain number of elves like me, but nowadays they are rare.”
“Oh, I see. I know exactly what you mean. Perhaps the reason you feel uncomfortable when Danan and others call you Her Highness or Princess has a lot to do with what you just told me?”
“…I have spent my entire life in the Black Forest, safe and sound, while the country is in the midst of a major uprising. The country is practically gone. I don’t think I am worthy of being called Princess.”
Sylphy took my hand and rubbed it against her cheek as if she was trying to be sweet. I stroked her cheek as she asked for it.
“This fight is more than what everyone asked for; it’s my selfishness. I’m going to sacrifice the lives of many people for my selfishness. I guess I will go to hell too.”
“I’ll accompany you to the ends of hell, Master.”
“That’s reassuring… I love you, Kosuke.”
Instead of answering, our lips met, and we smiled at each other. The night had only just begun.
Two weeks have passed since the front-line base was set up.
A wide empty moat paved with wood spikes has been dug around the front-line base, and a drawbridge has been installed at the wall gate. And when the war comes, the drawbridge will be hoisted up, and crossbows and ballista arrows will rain down from the top of the defensive wall.
In the basement, I’ve built an escape route in case of emergency, and I’ve also prepared a last resort that will be activated when we have to abandon the fort. I’ve consulted with Isla, and we’ve established a safe and secure way to blow up the explosive blocks from a distance. Hahaha.
A little over fifteen hundred people, about half of the Merinard citizens who had taken refuge in the elven villages, were to be deployed to this front-line base. All of them were healthy and strong enough to endure battle. Of the combatants, including those who originally had combat skills and those who had trained after taking refuge in the elven villages, more than 80% were in the front-line base.
Incidentally, the ratio of men to women was an astonishing 1:21. Of the 154 people, there were only seven men, including me. Me, Danan, Qubi, Sir Leonard, Worg the werewolf, a former guard, Indy the blue demon, a former adventurer, and Sykes the ape-man, an alchemist. To be honest, I feel extremely overwhelmed…
“Sykes, it’s best not to go out alone too much.”
“I-is it that scary…?”
This is a men’s lounge set up in the front-line base ― it sounds rather fancy, but it’s really a place for men to hang out. At the lounge, Sykes, an ape-man who was almost taken into the women’s room, was holding his chest and breaking out in a cold sweat. His heart palpitations hadn’t subsided yet.
Sykes is much skinnier than I am… Incidentally, as the name implies, the ape-people are beasts with the characteristics of apes, with slightly longer arms than normal humans, a dexterous tail, and a bit of hair.
They are soft-spoken and mild-mannered.
“Sometimes even I can feel myself in danger.”
Worg muttered as he bared his fangs. It’s a scary face, but he’s smiling.
“If there are so many different sub-humans, one of them is always in heat.”
Indy, a former adventurer of the blue demon race, also smiled bitterly. He was a so-called adventurer spy, scout, or perhaps a thief. I heard that he has different skills from those of a military scout, but I don’t know much about him. He’s blue-skinned, thin, and macho, with a single horn growing out of his forehead. He was among those whose leg and arm were injured, and I healed him with my splint.
His personality is bold or rather rough. Perhaps I should call it an adventurer’s personality. He seems to get along well with Qubi and Shumer and is often seen hanging out with them.
“My life has become more stable, and my morale has been boosted by daily training… but it’s hard to say strongly considering what has happened and what is to come.”
Danan, who was also seated at the same table, smiled bitterly. Although Danan and Sir Leonard are not as blatant as Sykes and the others, they have been approached by women in various ways.
“…I don’t have anything like that, though?”
“You’re the princess’s personal manservant.”
“It’s not only that, but Isla, Melty, Shumer, Gerda, Pirna, and I’m not sure, but the Harpies are after you too. I don’t think anyone is going to talk to you because they all know that those people are after you.”
“Eh? That’s new to me.”
“Are you insensitive?”
I was astonished by what Qubi and Indy said. Eh? Seriously? I’m being targeted by Isla, Melty, Gerda, Pirna, and the others? It’s a joke, right? When I think about it, it’s true that when Sylphy isn’t around, one of those people is around me, but they don’t act like it at all.
“The women have a lot to talk about in that area. When the time comes, you should be ready.”
“Eeh… or is it better if the status between Sylphy and I is just a retainer?”
“Without Kosuke, we would not be able to survive. You’re also a legendary marebito, so that’s not a problem.”
“The elder of the Black Forest has recognized you as a marebito, so there is no problem with your status or anything like that.”
“Seriously, a marebito is amazing.”
The position of a marebito seems to have a higher social status than I thought. It’s incredible to be told that there is no problem with marrying into royalty. Isn’t that amazing? But, I heard that there is some folklore like the so-called “Hero of the legend,” and I guess it can be said that it is appropriate?
“Anyway, there is a serious shortage of men. If we don’t infiltrate the Merinard Kingdom and bring in a man soon, Sykes’ chastity will be in jeopardy.”
“Why don’t you just accept it?”
“There’s no way I could accept everyone. And if that’s the case, Kosuke will have to accept all of Isla and the others.”
“I’m fine with just Sylphy.”
“I appreciate that you are devoted to a single woman, but it is also a man’s duty to accept women who are worthy of him.”
“What about Sir Leonard?”
“…I have given my heart to my late wife.”
“Double standards are not good, you know.”
Sir Leonard fell silent when Worg and Sykes interrupted him.
Hmm, a harem, huh? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t admire it as a man, but I’m not interested at the moment. It’s not that I’m not excited about it; it’s just that Sylphy is more than enough for me.
“By the way, Kosuke, how is the construction of the underground shelter going?”
“A forceful change of subject, huh… but okay. The construction is going well, or rather, it’s already done. Once I’ve made one, I can construct the next one in an instant as long as I have the materials.”
“It’s a very useful ability as always. So, are we finally going to start?”
“Umu, we’ve already started to select our personnel. We’ll be announcing the start of the operation in the coming days.”
“I thought we were going to start with a tour of the outlying villages, liberating the people and protecting them at the base.”
“We’ve already brought in the supplies. Food, water, and arrows.”
“What kind of food is that? Block cookies.”
The block cookie is a block-type nutritional food that I created with my crafting ability. It’s like a cookie about the thickness of a thumb, with dried fruit, honey, nuts, and oil kneaded into it and baked. The texture is one of its main selling points, as it crumbles when you bite into it.
Eh? Have I heard of it before? What’s that? I don’t know. This is a highly functional nutritional food made from a pastry called shortbread, hahaha.
By the way, all the ingredients for the block cookies are grown on the home base. Although we do grow some fields at the front base, this is for consumption and stockpiling at the front base. However, when we liberate the Merinard citizens and bring them here in the future, we will probably also protect them here for a certain period, so the stockpile is not only to prepare for war but also to regain the power of these liberated people.
“Kosuke, are you there?”
The conversation was interrupted when Isla peeked out of the doorway with a voice that sounded like the rolling of a bell. According to what Qubi and Indy had just told me, this Isla was also targeting me…
“No, it’s nothing. What’s up?”
“I’ve designed the magic stone engine. This time I’m confident.”
“Hou, that’s quite impressive. The question is, will it be properly registered?”
“It’ll be fine this time. Come.”
“All right. Okay, I’ll be there.”
The guys send me off with their replies. Grabbing the hem of my clothes, Isla started to pull me towards her lab. I don’t need that kind of pull to keep up with you. I wondered if this was the move that Qubi and the others were talking about.
As I walked along, tilting my head, Isla turned around and tilted her head as well.
“…No, it’s nothing.”
It’s no use worrying too much about it. I don’t know about it, and since the women will be discussing it with each other, it’s not going to happen suddenly. First of all, let’s not worry about it too much and enjoy the comfortable relationship we have now. Yeah.