Chapter 6 – The Forest of Ancient Trees Dyed with Blood ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ (Part 2)
An hour away walking towards the forest from the base camp on the lake.
The depth of the forest increased, and the path they are walking to became more liken to an animal’s trail.
And by advancing, the visibility became darker, but at the same time, it would feel like the green that shows pureness becomes denser.
The female elf who leads the way with familiar steps lets out a sigh of amazement to Junpei who could follow her without difficulty.
「To think that a human like you……can walk through the forest path with ease……honestly, I’m surprised」
「Well, I can say that I’m confident with my evasion efficiency stats」
“Hmm…”, the female elf places a hand on her chin, and made an ambiguous expression of being persuaded or not.
And, at that timeーーthe field of vision suddenly cleared.
「This, how amazing……」
「Is it your first time seeing an elf village?」
Rather than describing it as a settlementーーit would be better to call it as just a forest.
There are no signs of land cultivation or reclamation at all.
Rooms that are made by utilizing the holes open in giant trees, or floors that are dexterously made by tying up thick branches with ropes.
It could be seen from far away that the furniture is made out of the effective utilization of soil, dry branches and leaves.
It could be described as, well, the ultimate eco or something……
「I see…… this is the elf’s……no, the demi-human’s……huh……」
「Is something the matter?」
「No, it’s just……how can I say this, we……our appearance, you can say that they’re very similar, but our culture is completely different……I just thought of that. We don’t have the idea of……making a village in this kind of shape」
The female elf said as if to spit out.
「Of course. You damn humans ignore the equality of nature……you only use the power of fire. With that kind of culture, it would damage the environment itself, creating torn seams is inevitable. Our principleーーit is to use Fire・Earth・Water・Wind. We will never understand each other」
「…………that might be so」
“Even between humans, when disputes caused by difference with culture or religion……when the scale becomes large, it would start wars.
If it’s between humans and demi-humans, the difference would be so much……”, and there, Junpei stopped thinking.
Nothing can be done even if he thought of it.
And on the side of that Junpei, the female elf took out a long and narrow thing that is about 5cm long from her waist.
「It’s a flute. I will call all the elf in this village right now, and let them meet you. You can be called as my benefactor after all……a banquet should be opened, and you will be welcomed」
「I’ll tell you the place of the corpses later. While everyone’s drunkーーyou should take the least needed liver, and disappear to wherever you want to go」
「……and also, to be sure, bow your head. You are a human, and this is the elf’s village. You can understand that a spur of the moment could connect to killing right?」
Junpei obediently followed, kneeled one leg, and bowed his head.
A few minutes of waiting after the woman blew her flute.
He cannot confirm it with his eyes because he is bowing his head, but the presences that surrounded Junpei increased one by one.
And another few several minutes of waiting.
The female elf finally urged Junpei to raise his head.
There are about 50 elves surrounding him.
And in front of Junpei, a robust man who looks to be in his forties that seem to be their chieftain was standing firmly.
「And so……princess of the Sakuri Clan……Anyus. What kind of situation is this? Why did you bring a human in our Maneri Village?」
The female elf called Anyus nodded and opened her mouth.
「As you know, by myself……I did a surprise attack to that pig called human great noble」
「Since you have returned……you have succeeded? And is that one your captive? Honestly, I’m surprised……everyone thought that your fight for revenge would fail……」
“No”, Anyus shook her head.
「I have failed. I have completely failed, became captive, and received terrible tortures」
“Hmm……”, the chieftain tilted his head.
「However, you have returned here」
「Yes, that is right. I have lost my consciousness so I do not remember, but……the anger of Dragon-samaーーthe humans have incurred it. However, I have seen the result……they were annihilated」
「Dragon-sama’s anger……huh. The last of it is 50 years ago…… this is very hard to believe, but……the sins of those humansーーthey have outreached their selves, they stepped into the holy land without prayers huh……well, I am now convinced」
The chieftain who says that glares at Junpei.
「This one is?」
「He is my……benefactor. He saved me when Dragon-sama have raged」
「And then, what should be the punishment for this one?」
「I think that……beheading his head to display should be adequate」
The chieftain furrowed his eyebrows to Anyus’s words.
「You mean……not beheading his head to display after throwing him to a horde of orcs in heat?」
“Yes”, Anyus nodded.
「We are different from humans, we do not forget our debt of gratitude. And, our proud race shall never forget the humiliation that we receivedーーin the offset of the sin of all the humans and this one’s merits……I believe that beheading his head for display is adequate」
After thinking for a while, the chieftain made a big nodded, then faced Junpei.
「……as you heard. If you would be obedient, we shall kill you without pain」
Junpei stood up, and looked at Anyus.
「What does this mean?」
Anyus looked away from Junpei, and making a face with guilt, she opened her mouth.
「……there are elves who were eaten while still alive. There are elves that are violated. Many of my race……they are killed. The roots are deep. The hatred is also deep. It is impossible to fix it」
「I did not eat them and I did not violate them though?」
「Some people needs to take responsibility. Our sour heart needs to be calmed down. And you are a human……give up, just think that you were unlucky」
A deepーーa very deep sigh.
Their deep anger, sadness, and hatred.
I could understand very well, why did it become like this, I really doーーbut.
「Haha!……hahaha……! Hahahahahaha!! This girl……you’re ridiculous! Hahahahaaha!ahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahah!!」
Junpei laughed out loud while holding his stomach.
However, his eyes does not show life. Its colors were completely the same with that of a dead fish.
“Goddamnit”, he raised his foot, and released his emotions while stomping on the ground.
「Hey……why did it became like that? Why, why huh! Hey, tell me?! Kido, Noriko, even themーーand it’s also the same with youーーwhy are you like that? Why, why? Why are you soーーstupid?」
His words ended.
And, at the same timeーー
He took out his handgun from his waist in a blink of an eye, and shot with godly speed.
*Pan!*, a dry sound echoed.
ーー*Dosari*, the sound of the chieftain falling down.
And after that, Junpei shot several bullets to the sky.
「I have already killed one, but……this is the last warning. I won’t chase after those who run, butーーI will welcome all of those who wants to come……however, I’m quite strong you know?」
Anyus’s face was dyed with surprise.
「Don’t tell me……it was not Dragon-sama who annihilated the humans……but you……」
At the middle of her words, Anyus’s shook her head.
「ーーno, either way……it does not matter. We are elves, and you are……a human」
Not one of the elves pulled back, they surrounded Junpei, slowly closing the distance between them.
「I see. Everyone’s in huhーー. Damn it, really, you can’t be saved……you are all……stupid, to the point that you cannot be saved……」
However, realizing something, Junpei smiled deprecatingly.
「ーーall of you can’t be saved……and……I also……」
Andーーthe elf village was dyed in blood.
Horizons as far as the eye can see.
For about forty kilometers from the crater in the center, the bare ground that continues very far away.
The aftermath of the battle between dragon species, it still continues to scatter dense curses to the land, no living things, not even one grass from the center of the ancient forest cannot live.
The Fire Dragon breathed nuclear heat, the Earth Dragon calls out magma from the core, and within that center where they have fought fiercely, as a fact, the dragons still exist.
Its name, Earth Dragon Charlings.
“The final showdown between the Fire Dragon and the Earth Dragon, it is not written as a fact in the history, but they say that Charlings lives, and the Fire Dragon has not been seen since then. And from there, it can easily be imagined that……” the majority of the scholars thinks so.
However, according to the hypothesis that is written in the books, it does not seem that the Earth Dragon Charlings have completely won.
And the reason for that is, it is said that its movements were limited to the ancient forest due to the curse barrier left by the Fire Dragon.
Because of that, the human race who fears the dragon species do not cultivate the forest, instead, the elves who are on the brink of extinction have slowly increased their powersーーand that hypothesis, it is not that far away from the truth.
In the center part of the crater.
The wind that blows sways the girl’s red hair that reaches down to her waist.
Her appearance, in age, she looks like she is in her early teens.
Snow white skin that is shown without a single thread of clothes. And red eyes. Her cold expression somewhat resembles that of a doll puppet.
The place where she is sitting on is the tail of a golden colored dragon with the height of 10 meters and length of 40 meters.
The dragon who is laying down is quietly sleepingーーit has probably not moved from that position for a long timeーーits body is covered with dust.
The girl asked the golden dragon expressionlessly and with a voice without excitement.
「Hey, Charlings? It looks like one of the elf villages was destroyed」
「It doesn’t matter……as long as they do not step inside my sacred grounds……as long as they do not enter my place of slumber……it does not……it really……does not matter」
It slightly opened one of its eyes, but the dragon immediately closes it.
「It looks like it doesn’t not matter」
The dragon who troublesomely opened its eyes once again suddenly turns its consciousness towards the whole forest.
「……it’s true……a foreign matter on the level that we cannot ignore have entered the forest」
「This foreign matter. It isn’t of this world right」
「Exceeds level 1000……I see, is he a wanderer of that labyrinth? Really……the side of the rulers of the humans should not come here right……on top of that, this boy……he is caught by a rare……by a very rare and mysterious karma」
“On top of that”, it continued.
「It looks like he is rampaging as he wants to. He does not understand……what kind of existence he is right now」
「This is just my guess. I think that this guy, he still doesn’t know anything at all」
「……do you really believe such a ridiculous thing? Even after, exceeding level 1000……」
After thinking for a while, the red-haired girl looked up to the sky.
「He has exceeded level 1000, but he still does not have a job. The status increase with each level is still 5」
「Harassment by that shota god. Or maybe he’s playing around. I cannot think of anything other than that」
「Fuu……this is really……to have no job……in the battle for survival that would decide the next generation……. even with the prerequisite of being a skill hunter……this is too……」
The red-haired girl stood up, and with an expressionless face, she asked the earth dragon.
「What should we do? Charlings?」
「I am a dragon. Unlike that one……that sinful and full of desire wanderer of the labyrinth, I have already discarded the process of evolution. That is why, inevitably, or ineluctably……I am one who lives in time infinity, unbounded by the infinite prison……」
「I am not asking about that. I am asking what would we do」
「My wish is for a relaxed stream of timeーーand peaceful slumber」
「That is the same with me. That is why, quickly disposal of things with the possibility of disturbing our peaceful slumber is needed. If not disposing of, checking if there is any danger is also needed」
「Ahh……that is right. However, Flame Dragon Empress Balfnaught……? Because of the curse that you created back then, I cannot go out」
「That is the same for me. Because of the too much power that I used that time, not mentioning going out, I cannot even maintain my dragon appearance」
「Being unable to get out……because of the barrier that you created yourself……you, have anyone ever said that you’re an idiot?」
She became silent for a while, and the girl said with a cold voice.
「I do, quite a lot. Mostly by you」
After letting out a deep sigh, the Earth Dragon stood up.
「Well then, shall we do “that” after a long time? What should we use as a base?」
The red-haired girl nodded, and said.
「It’s the outside world. It’s going to be moving within the world of humans. Of course, the base should be me」
“Umu”, nodding, the dragon of earth roared. The ground shook, and the air created waves. And with a flashing light, the earth dragon changed into light particles.
On the other hand, the red-haired girl raised her left hand to the sky. And after that, the earth dragon’s light was absorbed in the girl’s palm.
After the light had disappeared, there was a girl with flaming red hair and golden eyes standing there.
「FufuーーWell……Earthfire Dragon, Charnaught, I could say」
“Well then……”, she gripped her fist.
「Hmm……being naked, isn’t good huh……」
She made a huge nod and at the same time, a see-through bustier was created on her stark body, and in addition to that, a thin cloak appeared.
「With this, it should be possible to get through the barrier……I think. ーーhowever, B-Rank adventurer selection exam huh……the connections with the human race’s imperial family, does it still exist……?」
The girl started to walk through the dead earth, towards the ancient forest.