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Vol 5: Chapter 72

Asha did not prepare much luggage and was ready to go.

「Umm… Reiji-san. Is this a good idea?」

Asha seemed to be really distracted. She returned to the forest of her own will, but now she has to sneak out like this. She probably does not want to trouble the country.

But Asha only thinks that because she has not heard what His Majesty said yesterday.

——And she likes you too. You have enough reason to take her away.

Asha likes me…

「Hmm? What are you thinking about, Reiji-san?」

「Ah, no, nothing. You are still officially from the Lev Magic Empire, so let’s stop thinking about the complicated stuff until the Empire’s decision is made!」

No good. Only Asha knows what she thinks of me, and it is quite possible that His Majesty is misunderstanding things. So let’s stop thinking about unnecessary things!

「But… the secret elixir is still…」

I see… Asha returned to the forest for Lark’s sake, and she is worried that she did not serve that purpose.

「It’s okay. That is Lark’s problem, not yours. I’m sure Lark would say the same thing.」

「…………」

「Moreover, I am doing this because I want to.」

「Huh?」

「I’m leaving this country with you because that is what I “want”. So you should also be more honest with what you want, Asha.」

「Reiji-san… wants to take me away…」

「Yes, no one else but you.」

「!」

Asha’s face turned red, and a flame curtain manifested around her. …Oh damn, it’s hot, hot! I immediately scattered the flames with【Wind Magic】.

「T-T-The way you say it almost sounds like…」

「Asha, it’s time to go.」

「Ah, uh… yes.」

I carried Asha’s bag. Asha followed behind me.

It was convenient that there was no one else in the corridor.

「Asha, we’ll jump out the window.」

「O-Okay.」

The window was facing the back of the mansion, and I learned that hardly anyone comes around here during the day. I opened the window and took Asha’s hand.

「Don’t make any noise.」

After confirming that Asha held her mouth with her other hand, we jumped—since we were jumping down from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor, my【Wind Magic】was enough to kill the momentum of the fall.

When we landed softly, Asha released her hand covering her mouth and exhaled.

(Perhaps it’s not a good idea to go out like this…)

It felt unpleasant to sneak out of the country in the middle of the night like this, but when I looked at Asha, my feelings changed.

「Let’s go, Reiji-san.」she said, with a brilliant smile.

「Alright!」

I took Asha’s hand and we started running. When we reached the edge of the large tree, we jumped again – our bodies floated down through the air, right into the middle of the forest under. While reducing our fall speed with【Wind Magic】, I aimed for the gaps in between the branches, but a few still hit my body.

I needed to use fairly strong magic to land on the ground safely, but it wasn’t a big deal for me as my mana has increased.

We were deep in the forest. Except for the large trees supporting the High Elf mansion, everywhere else was completely silent in the forest.

「Is this place far from the town where the elves live?」I asked.

「Yes, it’s about an hour’s walk away.」

Although there was a wide beaten road, there was no traffic.

Asha and I held hands as we traversed through the quiet forest.

I knew that by heading north we could get out of the forest. And if we exited into the grasslands, we could get a good view of the surroundings. So it should not be too difficult to find a road or a town.

If possible, I would like to move forward without approaching a town.

「…Asha, stop.」

About 30 minutes after we started running, we stopped.

「We’re surrounded.」

They let us come this far on purpose—perhaps because His Majesty had given an order to not stop us. Is that why they waited until we were this far?

The Secret Service first appeared here. They were hidden on top of branches and in the shades of the trees.

An elf I knew quite well enough slowly approached us from the other side.

「Polina-san, thanks but we don’t need you to see us off.」I said.

「I know I don’t need to see you off, but it is not the same for Her Royal Highness Anastasia.」

Polina-san stopped at a distance of about 10 meters away.

「Release Her Highness Anastasia now and you will not die.」

I laughed unintentionally upon hearing her say that.

「Doesn’t that mean you’ll simply beat me to within an inch of death? I would rather pass on that.」

「Obviously. It’s already unforgivable that you, a vile human, have close contact with the royal family, but now you are trying to get them out of this country!」

Not only Polina-san, but all 20 Secret Service members surrounding us were seething with anger.

How troublesome… I am not skilled enough to notice when we are being tailed, or when we are being watched. It may be because I rely too much on skills. Though I do train a lot without【World Ruler】, perhaps I was too biased towards my fighting ability.

If I want to learn detection ability, do I ask… Zerry-san? No, not her(immediate answer).

「What are you grinning about?」Polina-san said.

「Nothing really. Please move out of the way if you have no business with me.」

「You!」

Polina-san shot a stone bullet at me. I tilted my neck and dodged it.

「What!?」

Another man swooped down from above to attack me. I blew him away with【Wind magic】.

It’s not a big deal as long as I can see them.

「Asha, please step back.」

「I can fight too!」

「I know that. But I want to protect you today.」

「!?」

A small fire manifested around Asha again.

「Reiji-san, you’re always protecting me… but… okay, don’t overdo it!」

「Of course.」

As Asha moved out of the way, the Secret Service stirred.

「Are you stupid? We can fight unhindered without Her Highness Anastasia in the way.」

「Polina-san, the same goes for me. Also, don’t secretly try to take Asha away. She might invoke her magic if you do that.」

「…………」

The Secret Service probably knew all too well about the mana of the High Elf royal family, as several people who were about to start moving stopped with a twitch.

「Now, then… I shall also warn you. His Majesty has given me permission to take Asha with me. Attacking me means that you will become rebels of this country. I just want you to know that before you start.」

「We are acting on behalf of all the elves in this forest! We will not be fooled by the words of a human!」

「I see. Then, by all means–」

The Secret Service attacked from 5 directions while I was still talking. Weapons ranged from knives, daggers, and axes, but they were all made of stone rather than metal.

「—Please don’t interrupt me while I’m still talking.」

I deployed 5【Fire Magic】in my right hand and 5【Wind Magic】in my left hand, and released a small flame storm towards each of the 5 attackers.