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Vol 4: Chapter 49

** Dark Elf Treetop Settlement **

Anastasia constantly thought about Reiji. He was a complete mystery to her.

He seemed to have dyed his hair. There have been times when he went out somewhere in the middle of the night, and the color of his hair was slightly changed the next morning.

When he said he worked as an escort for a noble in the Kruvan Holy Kingdom, Anastasia doubted it, considering his age. But when she considered his strength and abilities, she was convinced.

Anastasia thought Reiji must have surely received higher education. He was good at hand-to-hand combat and also able to use magic.

She has not asked Reiji why he chose to become an “adventurer”. As she was not familiar with the adventurer trade, she incorrectly concluded that it must be because adventurers can earn a lot of money.

Reiji was her benefactor.

He cured her of her peculiar constitution. And after coming to the Back World, Reiji was her only sunshine.

So, when Reiji went to check the crashed airship, Anastasia felt like her heart was being crushed every day she spent in Dragonewt City.

When she heard that Reiji had returned, feelings of happiness burst from the depths of her heart. Due to that, her mana got out of control and she accidentally heated the pool water to the boiling point in the public bath.

Later that night, she hugged Reiji.

Even when he was standing right in front of her, she just couldn’t believe it. She wanted to touch him, feel his warmth.

She came to her senses and returned to her room immediately. Anastasia could not sleep that night, worrying if she had acted shamelessly.

She understood that she was being selfish, thinking of wanting to be with Reiji all the time.

She was calm. She was self-aware of being selfish. However, she does not know what to do with these feelings. Her heart has never been this disturbed since she was born.

(I wish I could put a collar around Reiji-san’s neck.)

Anastasia recalled the conservation between the female dragonewts in Dragonewt City.

(A black, thin leather belt. And the fastener will be gold colour. With a chain as thin as a necklace, I will take a walk with Reiji-san. If Reiji-san wants to go to the right, he will pull to the right, and if I want to go to the left, I will pull to the left. It will be like a tug of war… Fufu, just thinking about it is fun.)

Anastasia sighed with her hands on her cheek, engrossed in her delusions.

Onlookers would see a beautiful young girl sighing in lament, but the thing running in her mind couldn’t be far from the truth.

Anastasia was fostered and grew up sheltered in the High Elf royal residence. As such, she did not have much experience with boys of her age, and lacked knowledge about love.

「…It’s boring staying inside this hut all day long.」

The chieftain insisted that she should just relax inside while they worked outside. The brawny dark elves leave early morning to search for traces of La-Fisa, and usually return to the village in the evening. So there were only a few dark elves left in the village.

Anastasia left the hut, and saw the chieftain in the distance. He, too, noticed her from afar and prostrated on the spot. Anastasia had tried to stop him from doing that anymore, but she had been unsuccessful.

「Oh, High Elf-sama.」

「Ah… Nicky-san.」

Anastasia saw the female dark elf who works at the dining area walking on a nearby branch.Her name was Nicky. Men and women both can cook in the village, but Nicky was apparently an excellent cook, so the kitchen had been entrusted to her.

「It is really troublesome when everyone prostrates like that all the time.」

「Ahh~ that. Well, that’s because High Elf-sama is like a legend to us dark elves.」

「I can not do anything special, though.」

「That’s not true. High Elf-sama, you have the chant, right? I teared up when I heard it last night.」

Nicky’s eyes teared up again when she recalled last night’s chant.

「…………」

Indeed, Anastasia sang the poem which was passed down the High Elf royal family last night.

——Old Forest, Floating Oil, Burning Life, Like Flames

God descends, lives in the forest, gives eight-colored leaf, to man

——First the Tree God, then the Grass God, and finally the Flower God

Celebrate the forest, relieve the wind, pour down the rain, and invite the sun

Singing the chant in ancient Elven language overloads her mana and causes flames to burst forth, so she sang it in modern language instead. Even then, she felt like her mana was going to overflow. Suppressing the mana while singing the chant was an arduous task for her.

(If I sing,【Fire Magic】will manifest around me. Elves consider fire to be a taboo. When they find out about it, these people will surely…)

Anastasia thought she had to reveal the truth someday. At that time, she expects them to hate her.

But now was not the time.

The most important thing right now was to return to the “Front World”.

Thus she decided it would be better not to say something which would lead the dark elves to be confused. Reiji agreed with her decision.

(I am sure Nicky-san would also hold me in contempt if she learns I manifest fire when singing.)

Anastasia’s heart felt heavy when she thought about that.

「Hmm?」Nicky suddenly looked at the sky in the distance.

「Is something the matter?」

「Can you not hear it, High Elf-sama?」

Anastasia focused her ears. Then she was able to hear something.

It sounded like the cry of birds.

「Ah, over there!」

Dots about the size of sesame seeds could be seen in the north sky. They occasionally swoop down and come up again. Each time, clouds of smoke kicked up from the ground.

It was about 10 minutes later that they realised it was a large flock of red early summer birds flying their way.