Translator: Silver Editor: Kaio
「Waiting to Infiltrate」 Part 1
“Well then, first, I’m going to join Danka who’d already infiltrated Diento. Follow me.
“About that… Can I suggest something?”
In order to strengthen my relationship with the elves, it might be better to disclose one of my abilities. Besides, this appearance makes covert operations pretty much impossible. However, with the use of 【Dimensional Step】that allowed for short-range transfer, slipping into somewhere without being seen wouldn’t be anything difficult.
If I was to be in a silver full body armor right in front of the place where the elves would free the prisoners, I would stand out as a target and the possibility of becoming a wanted man, unable to move freely, was very real. That being the case, by using this magic to secretly sneak in, there’s no need to worry about being seen by any witnesses during the rescue.
“A suggestion? You’re a little too relaxed; before reaching Diento, the forest will already be dark.”
As she lightly held down her beautiful white hair that fluttered in the wind, she seemed to be a little doubtful of my intentions.
“Ariane-dono, do you know of transfer magic?”
“…? I know of it, but what does that have to do with anything?”
I saw slight traces of caution spreading in her eyes. Was the topic of transfer magic something that’s taboo? But having come as far as this, not saying anything wasn’t an option… Preparing myself for the worst, I continued.
“I’m able to use transfer magic; with it, we can immediately arrive at Diento. Infiltrating as well as escaping from the prison should be considerably easier if we incorporate its use into the rescue plan.”
“Transfer magic!? No way?! An individual being able to wield the power spoken of in legends?! Even us elves relying on the use of magic tools are barely able to invoke such magic…!!”
Both of her golden eyes widened; her expression was one of obvious shock as she rapidly rattled on. After a while, in a fit of sudden realization, she flusteredly covered her mouth with her hands.
It seemed that while the elves had knowledge of transfer magic, it wasn’t the type of thing that could be invoked based on a single person’s magic ability. However, by using their magic tools, the elves were able to use transfer magic…and based on the tone earlier, humans didn’t seem to possess such tools for transfer magic; otherwise, it might be the case where they couldn’t use them. Looking at her panicked face, the fact that the elves were able to use transfer magic might be a closely-guarded secret.
“Forget what you just heard! No…prove that you are able to use transfer magic. Supposing it’s true, we won’t reveal it, but you also must promise not to disclose that thing from earlier!”
Her speech and conduct was relentless, with an intensity that didn’t allow refusal, demanding from me an immediate reply. In the case where the inimical humans became aware of the existence of super technology that enables the use of things such as transfer magic, the desire for this technology could very well start a war between the two races; it’s something to be of concern. Dealing with me knowing the existence of technology can be said to be possible, but…
Having two people mutually share their secrets could certainly give both parties peace of mind.
“…I understand. Regarding the talk about the elves’ transfer magic, I promise to keep my lips sealed.”
Bombastic words of promise were given to her.
“Good. Well then, shall you show me this transfer magic at once?”
With a flutter of her grey cloak, Ariane stood with her hand against her waist, striking a daunting pose, her gaze prompting action.
Ponta seemed to understand the situation. Invoking wind magic with a cry, she floated to her usual place, clinging to the top of my helmet.
Finishing with the collection of all of my luggage in preparation for departure, I shouldered the bag and called out to Ariane before activating the spell.
“As agreed. Well then, opening a path near the town of Diento. 【Transfer Gate】!”
As the spell activated, a three meter wide magic circle emanating bluish-white light emerged, expanding beneath our feet. The day had declined considerably, with the shadows of the lush trees in the forest thickening. A mysterious fantastical light dyed the trees, and all of a sudden, the scenery before my eyes was completely plunged into darkness.
However, in just an instant, realizing that the previous forest landscape had disappeared, we were standing at a completely different location.
With her arms folded, she had a look of utter surprise on her face after seeing the result. Her two golden eyes opened wide as she gazed at all of the surrounding scenery.
Dusk was already approaching, with shades of orchid dyeing the sky. A gently blowing wind swept through the meadow, caressing the grass, and creating a refreshing rustle that tickled the ears.
A small distance away, there was a stone bridge with six arches, underneath which the flowing Rydell River could be seen. Beyond that point, an unbroken view of the city walls that enclosed Diento presented itself.
“I’m surprised… No, for there to truly be a person capable of using transfer magic without chanting…even now, I feel like I’m dreaming… This certainly is the best power for rescuing my brethren.”
While looking at her surroundings with an appearance of continual admiration, she turned around and gave me a broad smile. She seemed to be honestly pleased that prospect of the upcoming rescue mission was brighter.
“Although it’s a convenient magic, it’s not without any weaknesses. Travelling to a place requires me to have previously gone there, as well as a clear memory of the location. For places with similar scenery such as forests or the interior of a cave, it probably won’t be very successful…”
“Even so, that’s enough! The transfer magic that elves use, in the first place, can’t connect to areas outside of those with certain conditions, not to mention that a large amount of mana has to be expended…”
There seemed to be various restrictions with the use of the elves’ transfer magic; however, even so, the ability was still far superior to the present-day transportation technology.
“Well, I can’t stay surprised forever. Before long, I have to slip into Diento.”
As Ariane announced, pulling herself together, she tugged her hood low over her eyes and completely covered herself with her cloak, wearing it like an outfit, before starting to take steps towards the town of Diento.
As a dark elf, her crystal-smooth lilac colored skin was considerably from that of the normal elves and humans, which made it fairly conspicuous. Without hiding her whole body like this, she would probably be found out instantly.
In my case, since my armor covered up my skeletal body, no one can see it. A little affinity welled up, though her situation was a little different from mine since she had an actual flesh and blood body.
Donning my own black cloak, the luxurious silver armor was completely covered before I started walking behind her, following her lead.
Though dusk was dyeing the town of Diento, as one would expect of a major traffic point, a large number of people in carriages were still crossing the six arched bridge in order to enter the town. At this time, with no one leaving the town, the flow of people moved in one direction.
Crossing over the bridge, we passed through the first gate along with the stream of people until we came up to the second gate. Walking while being fully armed and covered head to toe in a black cloak somehow led to the crowd parting before me. Since it wasn’t a particularly troubling thing, I silently advanced towards the second gate.
While showing my adventurer’s identification, I spoke up for the fully covered Ariane.
“Behind me is my companion. How much is the entrance tax?”
The gate guard gave Ariane behind me a fleeting glance, showing no particular interest towards the many people trying to enter the town, and opened his mouth, replying in a brusque manner.
“It’s 1 sek.”
From the leather bag at my waist, I retrieved a silver coin and handed it over to the guard, after which I entered the town together with Ariane.
With the sun already set, light from the scattered lamps shone through the streets, mixing with the overflowing energy from the lively throng. As we weaved our way through the crowd in the plaza before the southern gate, I asked Ariane regarding our next move.
“Well, we’ve managed to enter Diento, but what do we do next, Ariane-dono?”
“Passing through the gate right after crossing the bridge should exit into a plaza… This is the meeting spot where I’m supposed to wait for Danka. I guess he’ll find us here.”
With that, she made her way through the surging crowd to a corner in the plaza, her back against the wall before she focused on the crowd of people. Following suit, I leaned against the wall and turned my gaze towards the same crowd.
Danka was the elf that I previously met outside of this town. Last time, in order to hide the elves’ distinct long ears, he wore a hood. However, right now I couldn’t find anybody fitting that description in my immediate line of sight.
A short time later, someone was approaching in our direction. With a hemp colored cloak, the hood worn low over his eyes, that person walked towards us.
When Ariane also noticed this person, she straightened, separating from the wall before receiving him.
“Ariane, why is this man here?”
Stopping before us, the man in the beige colored cloak asked Ariane that question in a low voice. The voice was familiar; it was the same as that of the man I met outside the town.
“It’s just a little development… This time, I employed an adventurer for a little help.”
“Are you serious?!”
Danka’s voice was filled with surprise and reproach.
It can’t be helped; the act of hiring a self-proclaimed human to rescue elves captured by humans was something that can’t be understood.
“To stand around while having this conversation…let’s find somewhere to sit down.”
After saying so, she quickly left the plaza. Danka must’ve judged that there would be no point in arguing here as he reluctantly followed behind her. Adopting Danka’s lead, I followed behind them.
After leaving the plaza, we entered along the main street, a business location where a great number of stalls were lined up. Before the stalls, tables and chairs were placed for convenience, making the whole place somewhat like a stall village.
Here and there, seated around the tables, people from the surrounding stalls clamored while ordering food and alcohol.
Ariane sat down at a vacant table, asking Danka about buying liquor and snacks.
“Danka~, I want to eat those skewers! And suitable alcohol to go along with it, please. Arc, how about you?”
The roasted meat from the stall did give off a pleasant, fragrant aroma, but there’s no way I can remove my helmet in front of such a crowd. Though I don’t feel hunger with this body, I have no choice but to endure the desire to eat normally.
Even though Danka was grumbling, he still went off to place the order at the stall in accordance with her request. While watching from behind, I took a seat at the same table as her, while Ponta who had been attached to the top of my head came down onto the table and sat down.
It seemed that the pleasant smell may have stimulated her hunger.
After she let out a cry that seemed a little miserable, Danka brought back alcohol inside a wooden container that looked like a tankard and grilled meat on skewers, while carrying a plate of peanut like nuts to follow up. After placing everything on the table, he took a seat as well.
“Since I was battling the kidnappers in the forest, my stomach has declined. Arc, this person’s Danka Neil Maple. Like me, he’s also an elven warrior, and, lately, is the one who has been gathering information in this town. Danka, the man in the armor is Arc. He incidentally joined up and assisted me and Donnaha in the fight with the kidnappers in the forest.”
Hmm? She said Maple just now…the name that seemed sweet sounded familiar. That is, it was the same family name as the one before my eyes stuffing her cheeks with the delicious skewered grilled meat, Ariane Glenys Maple.
“If I’m not mistaken, I remember Ariane-dono also giving Maple as your last name, but are you two siblings?”
Danka raised his eyebrows slightly at my question, while Ariane let out an amused laugh, shaking her skewered meat. Ponta’s eyes moved left and right, following every movement of the swaying skewer.
“Standard elven names are a combination of one’s own name, the name of the parent of the same sex, and the name of the village you belong to. Though I have brothers and sister from the same village, the two of us aren’t members of the same family. It simply means that we belong to Great Canada Forest’s capital, Maple.”
The naming system was considerably different from Japan’s.
At any rate, was Great Canada Forest the one commonly known as ‘Forest of the Elves’ and ‘Lost Forest’? Moreover, for the forest’s capital to be called Maple…was the place famous for its plentiful production of syrup or something??
“Is ‘Great Canada Forest’ the same place that the humans call ‘Forest of the Elves’?”
“The humans seem to call it that. After we built there a great elven city, the founding Patriarch-sama gave it the name, ‘Great Canada Forest’. The name of the capital of the forest, Maple, was one that Patriarch-sama had decided upon.”
…Could existences like me have at times spilled over to this world? No matter how I think about it, the names 『Canada』and 『Maple』don’t seem to be coincidences. However, when she spoke about the first patriarch…it was as if the story happened quite a long time ago.
“Around when was the forest’s capital, Maple, built?”
“Maybe around eight hundred years ago?”
While speaking, Ariane tilted her head slightly to one side, looking slightly doubtful, and turned her gaze towards Danka, who gave her a small nod. Afterwards, with a cough, he changed the subject.
“Such a thing is trivial right now, don’t you agree? Leaving that aside, do you really intend to bring this guy along on the operation this time?”
Danka managed to direct the derailed conversation back to one concerning the current mission.
Ariane beckoned for Danka to come closer with her hand. After he drew near, she whispered something into his ear.
When she finished speaking, in the interior of the hood, his expression changed to one of astonishment. Drawing closer to me, Danka quite skillfully questioned in a small voice that was similar to a shout.
“You, is the part about using transfer magic true?!”
“Yes, although there are some restrictions, I can use it.”
Although I don’t think that anyone could hear us over the surrounding clatter, I still responded in a low voice.
Danka looked alternately at me and Ariane with an expression of disbelief. Ariane gave Ponta a piece of meat and started to play with her triangular ears, not paying him any attention…
“So? You said that you found the base? How’s the situation?”
While pulling on Ponta’s ears, separating them, and caressing her head, she questioned Danka about the ascertained base.
Danka finally calmed down, with his shaken expression replaced by a serious one, and continued talking.
“Ah, yes. The kidnappers’ base is located in the red-light district near the eastern gate. As there’s still a lot of traffic shortly after sunset, we’ll wait for when the traffic lessens during the night to invade. In addition, there are also lookouts; it seems that quite a number of people are inside…”
Rather than being in the noble district surrounding the feudal lord’s castle at the heart of the city, the base seemed to be in the red-light district near the eastern gate. It was an area that I avoided because I didn’t want the trouble of getting involved with the strange lot over there.
“Have you identified the number of people imprisoned there?”
“According to the information I got from my informant, there are four. With more expected to be brought in before long…”
“Since we thwarted their plan for new additions today, then there remains only the four captured in the base. Since we have Arc’s magic this time, the escape should be fairly easy.
“So, we have to wait around here till it’s time to act…”