1

Vol 4: Chapter 60

Although they have a hostile relationship with each other, the dark elves did not challenge the worn out underground people.

The dark elves went out to mourn their deceased friends. Knock-san, I, and the Hundredman Chief responded to the underground people. Kimidori Gorn-san also followed us, as he hasn’t found a place to fit in.

「Is that… Forest Eater!? Did you people defeat it?!!」one of the underground people exclaimed in surprise.

「The leader we worship defeated it.」Knock-san said, full of pride.

The dark elves saw Asha’s maximum magic explode, and after that they were blown away by the shock wave. So, they don’t know what happened after that. …I’m fine with leaving it as is.

「More importantly, what happened to you guys? Don’t tell me… Did the early summer bird flock invade our city?」the Hundredman chief asked.

「Chief, it’s true that the early summer birds came, but almost all of them were eaten.」

They said that a giant lizard called Human Mimic appeared and ate the early summer birds.

Then a brave woman named Sarume went out to challenge it, but she couldn’t defeat the Human Mimic.

Sarume…… Isn’t that the person who summoned the mediator? That person went out to fight alone? She didn’t seem like a fighter, though.

No, more importantly…

「Sa-Sarume-sama is…!?」

As soon as the Hundredman Chief heard that, he fell to his knees.

「That person… the one who cherished the Underground city above all else has died…」

「Hundredman chief, please be firm… The problem is from there onwards.」

「How can there be a greater problem…?」

「…………」

The underground people looked at each other.

「Human Mimic started attacking the Underground city. The mountain has collapsed, and the ceiling of the city caved in. His Excellency the Marshal has ordered the evacuation of all citizens.」

「Marshal!? That’s foolish! If we lose the city, we can’t survive!」

「It’s better than being buried alive!」

One of the underground people said, almost shouting. Then, his shoulders started trembling.

「It was scary when the lamp went out and it became pitch black… And the ceiling started collapsing… Thanks to the decision of His Excellency, the soldiers were able to guide the citizens and escape to the outside…」

「……I see.」

「We can’t all be gathered together in a single place, so we were divided into three groups. But food will run out in a day or two. So we have no choice but to go back to the Underground city and procure food.」

「What about the Human Mimic?」

「It still seems to be in the vicinity of the mountain. We need a person who is brave enough and knows the geography of the land well… so His Excellency asked us to bring you back at all costs.」

「Me?」

「I was told to let you know that we need the person who understood Sarume-sama’s thoughts the most.」

The Hundredman chief looked shocked after hearing that.

「…I see. So the Marshal knows about my relationship with that person.」he whispered to himself.

「Hundredman Chief.」

Being pressed by his people, the Hundredman chief folded his arms and pondered for a while.

「Hey… you are called Knock, right?」the Hundredman Chief called out.

「That’s right.」

The Hundredman chief promptly prostrated before Knock-san.

「I know I’m not in a position to ask for this! But, can you please help us!? The underground race is facing extinction!」

The other underground people were startled at first, but one after another they followed the Hundredman chief’s lead and prostrated before Knock-san.

「…………」

Knock-san looked at me, with an expression that said he was at a loss.

…See? Now you understand how it feels, right? When people suddenly start prostrating before you.

「I heard from Punta about what happened. You broke the eggs of the early summer birds even though Punta tried to stop you. And then you tried to lead them into our village.」

The chieftain’s voice came from behind. A covered in mud Punta-san was looking at us from there.

Taken aback, the Hundredman chief raised his head and tried to say something.

「…Exactly……」he said, as if squeezing out the words.

「And you have the nerve to ask for help after causing us so much damage?」

「…Yes, but!」

The hundredman chief lowered his forehead against the ground again.

「I know it’s a selfish request… I don’t care if you want me to pay for it with my life! Even if you want to tear me limb to limb, I accept! Just a little bit of help… please, just a little bit…」

The chieftain grinned at the earnestly begging Hundredman chief.

「Raise your head. You must hold some high position among your race, right? Your companions are looking confused.」

「But……」

「We will help.」

「–Eh!?」

The chieftain’s unexpected words surprised the Hundredman chief, and he raised his body.

「I heard from Punta that you dragged him all the way here even though you could have left him behind. An egg being broken is conclusive, but it is also possible that Punta might have been marked by the early summer birds when he entered the “egg storage”. So you are also a benefactor to Punta.」

「T-That’s… not…」

「I don’t think you were thinking of using him as a bargaining chip. You also saved Nicky. People show their true nature in extreme conditions. In that respect, you are not a complete villain.」

「…………」

「Moreover, this is not my personal decision. It is the guidance of the High Elf-sama we worship.」

Eh, it was Anastasia’s?

「Reiji-san!」

Asha ran up to me and grabbed my face with both hands.

「OOOHH! You are real! You are truly in front of me!」

「Ihyafufu!」

「I am sorry!」

Asha released my face, and blushed red. Her complexion had improved. It seems that her mana has recovered.

「…Um, Asha. Are you really okay with helping the underground people?」I asked.

「Yes. The elven race will cooperate with the underground people. But they must agree to one condition.」she said.

Asha seems to have changed a lot in just a short time.

The underground people solidified when they heard about the condition.

「We will forget and forgive all past grudges, respect each other’s existence, cooperate, and coexist. Will you promise that?」

Asha exuded an aura of dignity you wouldn’t expect of a 14-year-old girl. Even I got goosebumps.

The underground people, including the Hundredman chief, bowed their heads with tears in the corner of their eyes.

「I promise. I will definitely keep that promise!!」

In this way, the Dark Elves and the Underground Humans pledged to permanently respect and help each other.