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Vol 4: Chapter 48

** Egg storage **

The day after Reiji left the dark elf village, Punta visited the egg storage area alone.

He knows that he caused trouble for Reiji. And he is also self-aware that he has disappointed the High Elf-sama that everyone worships. So he wanted to do something about it. He decided to go to the egg storage again and see if he can’t remember where he hid the egg.

However, on this day, Punta felt like someone was watching him.

He looked around, but no one was there.

「I guess it’s just my imagination.」he muttered, but he still felt a gaze.

He convinced himself that it was probably the guilt of his failure.

「Alright, let’s try to find it…」

He studied the rows of eggs in front of him.

On the other hand, 10 underground people were intently watching Punta.

The Hundredman Chief was leading them

「Stop here, you guys. Let’s see what that dark elf does.」He instructed his men.

They predicted the direction in which the dark elf settlement would be located from the sporadic skirmish thus far. It was thanks to the strategist and the staff officer.

The Hundredman Chief’s mission this time was to “search for skill orbs” and “confirm the Dark Elf village”.

The skill orb mission was not going satisfactorily, but the dark elf village was successfully discovered.

At that time, a single dark elf – Punta, with an exceptionally fat body among the dark elves they have encountered so far – ventured out of the village. So it was natural to wonder what he was doing.

As a result, they followed him to a place where there was an abnormal amount of eggs.

「…Chief, are those eggs?」

「Do those look like something else to you?」

「Then, is that their food stockpile?」

「I wonder… Keep watching what that dark elf is doing.」

「Yes, sir.」

The underground people were ignorant about early summer birds. This is because the habitat of early summer birds was different.

Punta didn’t touch the eggs. He just wandered around it. Occasionally he reaches out his hand, but immediately pulls back. He picked up the already broken egg shells and kept staring at it.

「What’s wrong with him?」

「Chief, let’s catch him and make him spit it out.」

「Don’t be impatient. You shouldn’t be impatient with this kind of mission.」

After a while,

「Where did I even hide it… That skill orb shines very brightly. Perhaps I should wait until it gets dark.」Punta muttered to himself.

「–That guy said skill orb.」

「Yeah, I heard. He hid it here, but forgot where he hid it, huh?」

「What should we do, chief? If we leave him as is, he won’t find it even when the sun goes down.」

「But you also don’t know where the skill orb is hidden, right?」

「What are you saying, chief? It’s just eggs, so let’s destroy it all. I don’t care about their foodstocks.」

It was a very simple and clear logic that made all the underground people there agree. So they decided to go with that idea. The Hundredman Chief’s unit circled around Punta and surrounded him when the signal was given.

「Oi, dark elf.」

「!?」

Punta was startled when the Hundredman Chief called out. And then his face turned pale.

「Tell me about the skill orb that you hid. And I also have a lot of things to ask you. Alright? We can do this the easy way or the hard–」

「AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!」

Punta screamed whilst trembling. He was pointing at one of the hundredman chiefs’ subordinates. The man kicked an egg in his path and broke it.

Clear liquid and a yellow lump flowed out.

「Ah? What is it? Is it such an important egg to you?」

「UWAAAAAAAH!!!」

「!? Oi, stop!」

Punta suddenly started running away, but he was not the most athletic individual of the dark elves. The team led by the Hundredman Chief was composed of the best fighters in the Underground City. They quickly caught up with Punta, pulled him down, and pinned him to the ground.

「It’s not very nice to suddenly run away like that. If you just tell us everything you know, there will be no need for pain.」

Crouching in front of Punta, the Hundredman Chief pulled out a knife to Punta’s cheek. But that wasn’t what Punta was afraid of.

「T-T-T-This is bad!!!」

「Huh?」

「We have to run away quickly! We have to run! Otherwise—」

At that moment, numerous loud croaking sounds could be heard from high up in the sky.

The underground people looked up and they saw a red bird circling the skies.

「Ahhhhh… it’s over …」

Punta burst into tears. The Hundredman Chief noticed the smell of ammonia—when he realized that the dark elf had peed in his pants, he finally realized that something had gone awry.

「Oi, dark elf. What is that bird?」

「We’re all gonna die! Ahhhhh!」

「Oi! Answer my question!」

「—Chief! The sky!」

When the Hundredman Chief looked up at the sky again, the number of red birds, which was only one before, had increased to five.

「What… is that over there?」

One of his men pointed north.

The branches of the trees were blocking the view, so they couldn’t see it well, but there were a number of black dots in the northern sky that weren’t there a few moments ago. There were hundreds of them.

「Early summer birds call their friends… There is no escape. They’ll chase you forever.」

「Those birds are called early summer bird?」

「It’s over…」

「Oi!」

Grabbing his chest, the Hundredman Chief dragged Punta up.

「Tell me! What is that bird!?」

When the Hundredman Chief slapped Punta’s cheek, Punta’s eyes regained a little sanity.

「T-Those are early summer birds… they will never forgive the enemy who breaks a living egg. A large number of them will gather and attack that person.」

「What……」

「Even if you run, they will follow you forever.」

「Chief! It’s already increased to about 50!」One of the subordinates shouted out.

The birds in the sky had increased before he realized. Looking at the swirling red whirlpool in the sky, not only the hundredman chief but his men were also terrified.

「~~~~!!」

The Hundredman Chief had to make a decision with only very little information available.

(What would the Marshal do? What about the staff officer? Oh, shit! I’m simply the muscle guy!)

He has always left the thinking to the other.

But now, he had to make a decision.

「Listen up! Divide into three teams. The leaders are–」

The nine subordinates were divided into three teams.

「Return back to the city with the usual routes A, D and F.」

「Wait a minute. What about you, chief?」

「I…」

The chief grabbed Punta by the nape of his neck

「We need to find out if what he’s saying is correct. I will go dig into the dark elf village.」

「Eh!?」

「Keep out of sight as much as you can! And… say hello to Marshal for me. Hurry up!」

According to the Hundredman Chief’s assessment, no matter how good the bird’s eyes are, it will not be able to follow them underground due to its characteristics. And if you escape using different exits, you can still go in and out of the Underground city using other exits even if the birds are watching the original exits from the sky.

When the subordinates started running, the birds circling in the sky divided into three groups and gave chase to each group respectively, leaving a few behind.

「Well, then. Now, the question is whether you and I will survive.」

「Eek.」

Punta’s face became messy with tears and a runny nose.

「Your name is…」

「Punta.」

「Okay, Punta. You seem well-informed about those birds. Take me to your village while taking a route that hides us from those birds.」

「B-But if I take them back to the village, I’ll be killed!」

「I see. Well then, would you like to die here right now? You know, I’m very good at torture. I need no more than a few minutes to break your mind with pain.」

「Eek!」

The Hundredman Chief tried to think of a way to survive while threatening Punta.

「I can’t afford to die here. I have to survive for that person’s sake.」