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“…It was all in the past?”

Upon hearing this, both HootyBird and Little Salty Cat felt a subtle movement within their hearts.

Little Salty Cat pondered for a moment and curiously asked,

“Could it be that… the current Elven Forest is much more smaller compared to its terroritory in the past? And the area where the Elven Capital once stood had eventually became part of human territory?”

After hearing her assumptions, the Saintess Alice nodded gently and began to recount the story of the Elven Forest and its almost forgotten Royal Capital.

The Elven Forest boasts a rich and mysterious history that span for more than a thousand years ago.

Yet despite its long existence, its origins still remained a mystery even up to the present day but one popular legend about the genesis of the Elven Forest suggested that it was simply an ordinary woodland that underwent a vast transformation when the World Tree one day, took root and flourished within its confines…

However another widely known myth claims that, back in the Twilight Era, the World Tree personally manifested a sprawling and vibrant woodland in the world of Saigües in order to provide a safe sanctuary and bring back light and warmth during those tumultuous times…

Nonetheless, regardless of which origin one believes in, the fact of the matter is that the birth of the Elven Forest is often intertwined with the shadow of the World Tree, and the stories involving the Elven Forest are often related to the World Tree most of the time.

In the past, the territory that made up the Elven Forest stretched all the way from the Endless Sea in the west, up to the frigid ice plains in the north, and down to the Desert of Death in the south.

In its eastern border, the Vymur River cuts vertically through a section of the forest and this large river acts as a natural border that separates the Elven Forest from the Fertile Plains on the opposite side, which covers an area of millions of square kilometers.

Finally, the location where the World Tree took root was actually just a part of the Elven Forest.

In the past, the mountainous range that now bear the foreboding title of ‘The Dark Mountains’ weren’t actually explicitly known as such. Instead, they had a far more pleasant title which was—the Emerald Mountains.

And the Emerald Mountains themselves were just one of the many mountain ranges within the territory of the Elven Forest.

In ancient times, the highest elevated region within the Elven Forest essentially constituted the territory of the Elven Kingdom back in its Silver Age.

While some other races also built their settlements in the outskirts of the Elven Forest for which most of them are vassals that received protection and aid from the elves.

In that olden era, the Elven Forest was considered as the central hub of the entire continent, and all sentient beings took pride in having the opportunity to visit the magnificent elven royal capital and its holy city, Florence.

Of course, all of this glory vanished when the Heavenly War occurred.

In its inception, the war began as a conflict between the believers of the newly born Gods of Faith and the followers of the Old Ancient Gods…

Their petty disagreements soon turned into a full-blown religious war that spread across the lands and laid waste to many lives as a result.

The entire Emerald Mountain was destroyed in a battle, turning the once vibrant mountains and forests into a darkened barren land, and from then on, the Emerald Mountains acquired the ominous title, Dark Mountains.

However, the World Tree, as the proprietor of the Emerald Mountains, did not hold the two warring forces accountable for the incident.

The Divine Matriarch of the Elves merely scolded the warring deities, not expecting that this would lead into a growing rift between her and the Gods of Faith, which then festered and culminated in the Thousand-Year Heavenly War, wherein the Heavenly Gods banded together and attacked the World Tree.

This apocalyptic war eventually led to the downfall of the World Tree, and it was also the primary reason for the Cradle ¹ of Seigües to suffer a setback, causing the mana reserves of the realm to plummet all across the lands, which then led to the eventual closure of dimensional planes one by one…

In the aftermath of the World Tree’s downfall, the Elven Forest was left to be divided amongst the various races that won the war.

Among them, the region adjacent to the fertile plains was occupied by humanity. Mankind deforested, cultivated, built roads, and cities in their newly acquired territory and the once lush green forest gradually disappeared, replaced by man-made structures like castles and towns.

Meanwhile, the majority of the area beyond the Dark Mountain Range was also claimed by the orcs, who managed it in a nominal manner.

However, because the Elven Forest was a vast territory filled with powerful magical beasts and rich in natural resources, no single race could thoroughly develop it in the face of opposition from other races…

As a result, all these forces who wanted to claim the enchanted forest for themselves restrained one another for thousands of years. Thus, allowing the inner and deeper sections of the Elven Forest to exist peacefully up to the present day.

Nonetheless, despite their squabbles and land disagreements, one thing united all these occupying forces which is to hunt down and eliminate the original owners of the Elven Forest, the race the World Tree conceived, and finally, the sentient race originally meant to be the caretakers of the continent—The Elves.

Unlike most other races, the Elvenkind is a unique race created by a True God and only one deity could create such a miracle which is the World Tree, the sole deity who has the authority over the Divinity of Life since time immemorial…

The ability to create sentient life capable of reproduction is truly a unique power and aside from the World Tree, perhaps only the God of Death would have an insight over such profound mysteries…

This fearsome ability of the World Tree, astonished the other gods and perhaps were even wary of it and that’s why they ordered their believers to hunt down any elves they find, in fear of the World Tree having a back up plan to revive itself.

As the center of elven civilization, the royal capital of the elves, naturally experienced the slaughter and looting of these various races…

Upon hearing this, Little Salty Cat asked curiously,

“So, is the Elven Capital located in the area now occupied by the humans?”

Alice nodded and continued her narration.

“That’s right.”

The Elven Royal Capital… or rather as it is once known, the City of Moonlight.

It was a city established on the edge of the Elven Forest by the Elven Royal Family and a group of primordial elves after leaving the World Tree.

Moonlight City was the first stop for any elves that wanted to interact with various races, and it was also once hailed as the political, economic, and cultural center of the world.

Of course, this was all in the past.

With the fall of the World Tree and the subsequent division of the Elven Forest, the Elven Capital naturally also did not escape ruination…

Especially with it being a city symbolic to the glory of the elven civilization, this beautiful Elven metropolis inevitably suffered a devastating blow as humans conquered the city and forced all its residents to convert into a new beliefs.

However the elves resisted.

Alas… what awaited those who resisted was a ruthless slaughter.

It is said that initially, the orders from the human leadership was to exterminate the entire city’s population.

However… the elves were simply too outstanding in appearance. Too beautiful to be killed.

Driven by their insatiable greed, the human nobility who occupied the city executed only the older and male elves.

Meanwhile, the young and female elves were spared but a fate much worse lay in store for them as these survivors were secretly sold into slavery…

Of course, for the proud elven race, such humiliating fate was even more unacceptable than death and many of the enslaved survivors took their own life but humans merely ignored these tragedies and continued on to erase the legacy left behind by the elves.

They destroyed everything related to elves, changed the city’s name, desecrated the stone tablets and elven statues, before erecting their own temples and castles underneath the rubble that was once known as Moonlight City…

For years, this cycle continued and eventually, the was no longer an elven city named the City of Moonlight in the world and in its place, a human city named Maple Leaf City stood in its remains.

After the passage of a thousand years, all traces of the elves within this city had been completely eradicated by humanity.

“…Maple Leaf City?”

Upon hearing this name, HootyBird’s eyebrows slightly wrinkled as if she’s recalling something.

“This name… sounds familiar, like I’ve heard it from someone before.”

She murmured whilst crossing her arms.

“Maple Leaf City?”

Little Salty Cat was slightly stunned, her expression showing a strange look.

“Pfft…Hey Sis, do you still remember the name of the human territory that Meryer robbed his livestock from?”

HootyBird was initially puzzled, before her face bore a look of realization.

“Isn’t it called…Maple Leaf Territory?”

Little Salty Cat nodded.

“I specifically asked Meryer about this before. He told me Maple Leaf is the largest city in Count Maple Leaf’s fiefdom, and it is also the capital city under the rule of that Borderland Lord.”

After saying this, she and HootyBird locked eyes as the two exchanged an all-knowing smile.

Suddenly, a feeling washed over them…

A feeling that the location they were about to explore next in the new maps has already been determined.

268

【 ELVEN CAPITAL 】

¹ Previously, I translated it as ‘Origin’ but I think ‘Cradle’ fits it more since the ‘Origin of Seigües’ sounds more like I’m talking about the inception of the world per se, rather than its actual meaning which is the ‘Fudamental Root’ of the World.

To further expound on this, the word the author used here is ‘本源‘ which means the source or origin of something. It is used metaphorically to indicate the root or fundamental essence of a matter, as well as the most crucial aspect of a thing.

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