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Vol 4: Chapter 43

The chieftain’s hut was completely closed off as more people were likely to fall from the tree. The light from the torch was dim, so I brightened the room with【Light Magic】.

「Hmm… So you have a skill, underground man?」the chieftain asked.

「That’s right. But I’m not an underground man.」

「Well, your skin does look yellow.」

「The truth is…」

I don’t know how many times people have brought up the yellow complexion of my skin, but I just ignored it and explained the truth about Asha and I.

Elves and High Elves seem to be extinct in this world, which is why they were able to accept my “another world” explanation easily.

「How did you know Asha is a High Elf instead of an elf just by looking?」

「You can tell just by looking.」

「But how do you–」

「It is plain and clear she is a High Elf-sama.」

…I wonder if these people, too, can’t hold a conversation. Dragonewts, the underground humans, and dark elves have all been races with communication issues.

「Then I’ll change the question. Why do you prostrate before a High Elf?」

The chieftain answered this question properly.

For hundreds of thousands of years, elves have been divided into various races.

Elves who are the general people of the forest.

Dark Elves who are active at night and are physically blessed.

Wood Elves who harmonize with trees in the forest and spend their entire life on treetops.

Flower Elves who, on the contrary, harmonize with the soil on the ground.

Fairies who transform into spirits.

And finally, High Elves who govern over all elves.

「Under the High Elves, all the elves who lived in the forest never lost to the invasions of foreign enemies. However, over time, other races steadily perished and the monster invasion became relentless. As the situation worsened, conflicts between races in the forest deepened. We dark elves insisted that we should subjugate the monsters, and received heavy opposition. As a result, we ventured into battle alone.」

「The dark elves tried to subdue the monsters alone?」

「Yes. At that time, there were eight monsters called the giant species. One of which was approaching the forest and we managed to defeat it. However, the casualties were great and the number of dark elves was greatly reduced. …Above all, when we returned to the Elven Forest after a long battle, the forest, with its defences spread thin, was destroyed by a monster invasion.」

Asha, who was standing beside me, gasped.

The dark elves chose to fight to protect the elven race, but the elven race was destroyed while they were fighting.

「I heard that the High Elf-sama proposed to abandon the forest and look for a new land until the very end. But no matter how much conflict existed between the different elf races of our ancestors, none of them wanted to abandon the forest where they had lived their whole lives. I am sure they desired the period where all the elven races lived in harmony in the forest.」

The chieftain once again bowed down on the floor.

「High Elf-sama. You are sacred and inviolable to us. We will not make the same mistake this time. Will you please guide us, the dark elves?」

**

Asha needed some time to think. And the dark elves needed some time to get used to the presence of a high elf and not fall off the tree.

Asha and I were left alone in the chieftain’s hut. The door was slightly ajar. Dark elves peeped through the door one after another. Accompanied by sounds of bodies crashing into the ground one after another.

「…What should we do, Reiji-san?」

Asha and I were both concerned about what was happening outside the hut, but it couldn’t be helped, so we decided to ignore it.

「I completely did not expect something like this to happen. So I am confused as well. They seem to think of Asha as a god.」

「That sounds troublesome…」

「I think so too.」

It would certainly be troublesome if they said “At last your time has come, High Elf” and started attacking us, but saying “You are our king!” is equally troublesome as well.

「If we succeed in finding a way back to the “Front World”, I’m guessing they will want to follow.」I said.

「What do we do now?」

「Well, why don’t we bring them back?」

「…Is it really that easy?」

「Perhaps it might be surprisingly easy?」

We were looking for a way to return to the “Front World”. I was thinking of returning with the Levs who were transported here with us.

Then, both the “Front World” and the “Back World” will return to their previous state.

「We can take the dark elves, the underground humans, and the dragonewts back to the “Front World”. If they stay in this world, they could perish at any time, after all.」

Asha blinked dumbfoundedly at my suggestion.

「But……」

Her mouth opened and closed. She can’t seem to put together the idea.

「You are not responsible, Asha. The underground people and the dragonewts might decline our suggestion. And that’s fine. If the Dark elves want to follow us, it is their responsibility. –Knock-san.」

Knock-san’s eyes suddenly appeared behind the ajar door.

「Did you call for me?」

「Do you people wish to follow Asha– I mean, High Elf Anastasia over here?」

「Of course. We wish to offer our lives.」

Heavy… that’s not what I intended for. Asha reflexively stiffened.

「But that is your wish alone, and not one which coerces Asha, right?」

「Of course. We worship the High Elf-sama of our own will and to act for her benefit.」

「Even if Asha goes to “the other world”?」

「Of course. …Rather, you are addressing the High Elf-sama without honorifics. Who are you?」

He is starting to find faults with me now. This is too cumbersome to handle.

「Asha, for now, let’s look for La-Fisa’s footprints. You can take your time to think through all this in the meantime.」

「Y-Yes… You are right.」

Asha then stood up and opened the door.

「I am Anastasia. A High Elf royalty. I don’t m-mind if you idolize me, but… I will not allow any rudeness towards Reiji-san.」

The dark elves’ eyes widened in surprise when Asha stepped out, but then they glanced at me.

「High Elf-sama. Who is this yellow underground man named Reiji?」

「Reiji-san is m-my…precious someone!」

When Asha raised her voice, silence surrounded the treetops. I could only hear the chirping of the birds.

Small fireballs exploded around Asha.

「…Erm, there seems to be a verbal slip-up. I am the person who protects Asha. In other words, I am an escort. Do you understand?」

When I gave an additional explanation, the dark elves nodded to themselves saying, “Oh, I see”.

However–

Asha was looking at me with “dead inside” eyes.

Hmm? I wonder what’s wrong?