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Vol 4: Chapter 50

** Dark Elf Village **

「Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah!」

「Run straight! Or you’ll die too!」

「Eek!」

Punta was running while being shouted at by the hundredman chief. Punta’s unfit body had already exceeded its limits. His muscles were screaming. It was a wonder that he could still keep running.

「Dodge!」

「Eep!」

The hundredman chief grabbed Punta by the nape of his neck and threw him to the side. As Punta fell face first onto the ground, dry leaves and mud entered into his mouth.

Immediately following, the cries of birds got louder and a sudden gust of wind blew due to the flapping of wings.

The early summer birds descended to catch their prey, but their body length exceeds more than 5 meters when their wings are spread, so the places where they could descend were limited.

「Get up! Run!」

「I-I can’t…」

「Run!」

An amateur would think to hide in a dense area of ​​trees.

But the early summer birds are clad with flames on their bodies, which is why they’re called red early summer birds. So if you were to stop and hide, the birds would surround you and lit the trees on fire, essentially trapping you in a ring of fire with no escape route.

All you can do is run.

No one knows how long you have to run.

Perhaps there is no escape no matter how far you run.

Punta had already passed on this information to the hundredman chief. The number of early summer birds chasing them was well over 3 digits.

The dark elf settlement had become visible in the distance. However, for some reason, the hundredman chief did not forsake Punta and escape alone.

The dark elves, who noticed the early summer birds approaching their village, readied themselves with weapons, but their number was too little. Punta knew that many of the skilled dark elves left on a scouting mission today.

Among the elves on the treetops was a High Elf with shining golden hair.

(High Elf-sama. I am sorry. I am too afraid to die. I am afraid of being killed. I had no other choice…)

Punta knows how precious a High Elf is. Like many other dark elves, he has been educated on the rise and fall of the elven races in the past from a very young age till it was imprinted in his memory.

This situation, caused by his thoughtless actions, pained his heart and made him cry out.

「No more…」

Tears and heavy breathing made Punta’s head spin, and he fell face first to the ground again. And he was forcibly pulled up again.

「Get up! Do you wanna die?!」

「I-I’m gonna die anyway…」

「Shut up, fool!」

The hundredman chief slapped Punta across the face.

「B-But you’re going to kill me and the other dark elves too…」

「Shut up, fool!」

Punta was slapped again.

「Our goal is right over there! Won’t your friends save you!? Are you just gonna throw your life away without even trying?! Survive, damnit!」

The hundredman chief himself was feeling like a mess.

At first, the hundredman chief assumed it was just a crazy bird after hearing Punta’s story and thought that it was a wise decision to separate his unit into three teams.

He planned to lead the flock of birds into the dark elf village. He thought to escape under the cover of the night while the dark elves and the birds were engaged in battle,

However, that kind of common sense only applies when dealing with a “normal monster bird”.

The size of the flock increased every 30 minutes he looked back.

Only a quarter of the total started chasing after them at the start. But now that that quarter had grown to this large a number, it made him feel less confident about the safety of his unit who fled to the underground city. And he started thinking that the underground city itself might be in danger.

Now that things have come to this, the dark elves will have to defeat this quarter no matter what.

The hundredman chief wanted confirmation that the birds could be defeated even by a race that can not fly.

「Is that Punta!? The one next to him is… an underground human– Fool, you got caught by an underground human and led the early summer birds to the village to save your own life?!」the chieftain’s voice shook with rage.

Punta and the underground man came into range of his arrow.

「Chief, are you going to shoot him?」Nicky asked.

「It’s too late. The early summer birds have already targeted this village.」the chief shook his head feebly.

The huge flock spread sideways and began to swirl over the village as if to surround it.

A whirlpool of flames in the sky. It was an ominous sight to behold.

「Everyone, take up your bow! Endure until Knock and the others return!」the chieftain commanded.

The early summer birds began to descend as a flock again. A volley of arrows were loosed into the sky.

The flock’s momentum could not be stopped with just a few arrows. When it descended closer to the village, the wind pressure generated from the flapping of wings pushed off a few dark elves from the tree branches.

「It is dangerous here. High Elf-sama, please return to the hut.」Nicky said.

「It’s dangerous even back in the hut, isn’t it?」

「W-Well… yes.」Nicky muttered, unsure of what to do next.

「Chieftain-san! Fighting on the treetops is disadvantageous against these birds! Wouldn’t it be more advantageous to fight on the ground while using the large trees as shields!?」Anastasia called out.

The chieftain was surprised by Anastasia’s voice.

「Well, that’s… right. I did not consider that at all. Did you all hear that? As the High Elf-sama said, get down to the ground right away!」

It was both the chieftain’s command and also the word of the High Elf, so the dark elves moved quickly. Jumping from branch to branch, one after another.

「I shall carry you down, High Elf-sama!」

「Eh, Eh– AAAAAAAA–」

Nikki threw her bow to the ground, carried Anastasia with one hand, and jumped off the branch. Anastasia screamed out, but Nicky safely jumped from branch to branch, grabbing hold of ropes with one hand, and landed on the ground.

「Can you stand, High Elf-sama?」

「Ah, y-y-yes…」

Nicky carried Anastasia more carelessly than Reiji. She descended in an almost straight line to the ground more so than Reiji, so Anastasia was on the brink of passing out.

「They’re coming!」

Someone shouted.

One of the early summer birds descended to within inches of the ground. The tremendous speed of descent kicked up a cloud of dust.

The birds were targeting Punta and the underground man. Perhaps because he had arrived at the village, Punta, whose face was messy due to sweat, tears, snot and drool, fainted on the spot.

The dark elves raised their voices in concern seeing him faint.

Punta was certainly an outlier in a village full of machos. He was round and chubby.

Nobody hated him, though.

Everyone knew that he was a smart man.

「Oi! This is not a good time to faint!」

At that time, the underground man – who was supposed to be the enemy – pulled out the dagger on his waist and stood in defense of Punta. The dark elves wondered why.

But if it meant Punta would be safe, they couldn’t complain.

「Shoot!」

A number of arrows fired on the chieftain’s command lodged into an early summer bird’s body. The bird winced, causing its right wing to touch the ground, and it was sent rolling across the ground due to momentum. The bird crashed right into a large tree away from Punta and the underground man, causing a large amount of leaves to drop from the tree.

Mud on the ground was splashed onto the hundredman chief’s face as the large bird rolled across the ground, but more importantly, the early summer bird’s body was twitching after the crash and became incapable of fighting.

「UOOOOOOOOOHHHH!」the hundredman chief roared.「Oi, did you see that, Punta?! We defeated it! We defeated one!」

「U, Ugu…」

Punta’s mouth was foaming, as the hundredman chief grabbed and shook him by the collar.

「Not yet!」

The chieftain’s voice blew away that joy.

「The next one is coming!!」

One after another, early summer birds began to descend.