Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Return to Doranto」
I had been invited to join the talk between Margrave Branier and King Aspuraf, two individuals who had fought each other for decades……
Anyone who was informed of such a thing would have been nervous or paralyzed by the prospects of such a situation.
However, I wasn’t in a position to refuse the invitation.
Together with Ariane and Chiome, I was in the middle of transporting the migrants recruited amongst the recently freed beastmen slaves of Soulia to the new village.
After the number of immigrants had been determined, Chiome and I had returned to the hidden village and reported the turn of events to the current Hanzo of the Blade Heart Clan, came back here and began moving the candidates to the village being constructed.
It’d been a busy last couple of days moving the capable recruits to various locations via 【Transfer Gate】.
Initially, I’d been doubtful of the reason behind the summons, but I was completely caught off-guard by Margrave Branier’s story.
Yet another undead army had attacked the capital of the Salma Kingdom.
Although it had been a rough estimate, Margrave Branier had come seeking a truce with King Asparuf in order to combat the two hundred thousand strong undead army.
Ariane hadn’t been pleased when they asked for our assistance, as we had already fulfilled Lille’s request to save Nozan Kingdom. That could have been written off as a personal request, but she had judged that a direct request from a human nation needed to be decided upon by the great elders.
Though I felt that she hadn’t allowed me much choice in the matter, as a person who had accepted the name Raratoia I’d say she made the right decision.
However, if I pulled back here all of the time and effort I put into stopping Lille’s tears would go to waste.
According to the Margrave, the location of Salma Kingdom’s capital city meant that his territory would be the next target of the undead horde once the city fell.
In other words, Nozan had a bit of a reprieve until the two hundred-thousand undead descend up it.
In the worst case scenario, the devastation of Branier’s territory would only buy a brief period of time before Nozan shared the same faith, and the humans who had emancipated the non-human slaves and agreed to illegalize slavery would be wiped out.
That wasn’t all. If the Branier territory fell to the two hundred-thousand undead, then the elven village that touched upon the territory’s border, Doranto, would be in peril.
That village’s warriors had already engaged the undead’ scouts and the damages they’d suffered had been the reason the village had sought aid. Currently, a group of Canadian warriors and Ariane’s father, Dylan, were stationed in Doranto at the grand elders’ behest.
If such a situation came to pass, we needed to speak with Doranto’s elders and Dylan to start working on countermeasures.
In order to avoid certain problems, it was necessary to bring Ariane with me to Rouen Forest.
“Apologies, Chiome-dono. One of us has to stay in the capital.”
Once we had reached one of the palace rooms King Aspuraf had provided for our stay, I bowed my head and apologized to Chiome.
Ariana caught Ponta by the scruff her neck as the little fox gave me a confused look, while she offered her own apology.
“I’m sorry. Chiome-chan, if we take you to Doranto it’d be uncomfortable for you in a variety of ways, and I rather not expose you to the elves’ disgrace once more…… it’s hard to believe that they’re elves at all.”
Ariane’s brows knitt
ed as she let out a sigh after saying her piece.
The bad impression she got from our first trip to Doranto seems to have struck closer to home since the elves had been responsible for it.
“No, I don’t mind, Ariane-dono. This is an emergency that can’t afford to be bogged down by unnecessary conflict. Please give my regards to Dylan-dono.”
Chiome’s ears twitched atop her head as she waved away the situation.
I nodded in agreement with what she said.
“Alright. There are a lot of things to do so let’s go to Rouen for the sake of expediency.”
Ponta took her usual position atop my helmet while Ariane and I checked our equipment and baggage,assuring our preparations were complete.
Nothing was wrong on Ariane’s and Ponta’s part…… so I took out a makeshift booklet and began flipping through the pages.
The majority of the pages were filled with drawing of various locations that I had visited in this world.
My long-distance transfer magic was capable of taking me to any location I’d been to before, but its usefulness weakened the more one’s memory faded. I’d made these drawings to compensate for that shortcoming.
I recalled the memory of a specific scenery as I found the image I’d been looking for.
“We’re off, Chiome-dono. 【Transfer Gate】.”
I said my goodbyes to Chiome and invoked the magic.
The magic formation sprung up with me at its center and spread to Ariane’s feet before the world around us vanished into a black abyss and weightlessness overcame my body.
In the next instant, we stood in the middle of a lush forest instead of the luxurious palace room we had been in.
The location I had drawn opened up in front of us.
Innumerable branches stretched above three huge trees that sit on a gentle hilltop.
While the spiral staircase built into the trunks diminished their majesty in comparison to Dragon King’s Tree, they far exceeded the height of regular trees.
Even from here I could make out the various rooftops below the trees’ roots that made the fantasy-like town.
……There was no doubt that this was Doranto, the elven village of Rouen Forest.
“We need to get in contact with my father……
After a brief glance in my direction, Ariane looked away and went silent.
“We said all of that to Chiome-dono, but this won’t be all that different for us, will it?”
A small chuckle left my lips as she sighed at my question.
“No use crying about it now, let’s go, Arc.”
Atop my head, Ponta let out a cheerful bark and started wiggling her fluffy tail, almost as if she was attempting to cheer Ariane up.
The two of us began making our way towards Doranto, but the three huge trees distorted my sense of distance and it felt as if we weren’t making any progress.
However, the view of the village gradually cleared when I looked in its direction.
A stone and wooden wall surrounded the town, the robustness of which made me certain that common monsters would be incapable of breaking it.
The number of small fields scattered about the outside of the wall was more in line with rural human village farms than those of Canada.
We advanced for a while until we finally reached Doranto’s entrance. The two gatekeepers stationed there glared in our direction when they noticed or approach.
The two elves crossed their spears and shouted at us when we finally reached the main gate.
“This is Doranto Village, outsiders and other races are forbidden from entering!”
One of the men gestured for us to leave while the other one nodded along with his partner’s statement.
Annoyed by their attitude, Ariane responded with a glare of her own.
“I am the daughter of Dylan Targ, leader of the party dispatched from Canada. Will you allow me to speak with my father? Time is of the essence.”
Ariane voice was laced with a quiet anger, but the pair didn’t seem to notice it and stubbornly denied our entrance.
“No, If there is a message, I’ll deliver it while you stay out here. Speak your business.”
Those who had come in the village’s time of need…… even though she was the daughter of another village’s elder, they blocked her path because she was of a different race. They weren’t all that flexible, but their actions could be interpreted as some kind of courage.
If it had been me, I’d have let her pass as quickly as possible.
“A threat to this village’s continued existence is fast approaching. Do you people understand? The monsters that critically wounded your warriors…… a horde of them could be on the way as we speak. Convey that to my Father!”
Her white hair seemed to be distorted by intense heat, but Ariane somehow managed to suppress her anger and convey a message to Dylan.
However, after hearing the message the pair shared a look before they grabbed their stomachs and started laughing as if they’d been told a hilarious story.
“Hahaha! There’s something wrong with this little lady, right? A threat capable of destroying the village, are you talking about those undead that caught a patrol off-guard?”
As if in sync with one another, one would scrutinize us while the other laughed.
“The warriors who engaged the undead were young and inexperienced. They’d been chasing another monster and took an unnecessary risk pursuing the undead. Experienced warriors like us would never make such a mistake. The relief efforts of the other villages have been exaggerated.”
Ariane was left dumbstruck by the man’s remark.
“Are you serious? You’re speaking about warriors from the same village, right?”
One of the men snorted when he saw Ariane’s expression.
“Hmm! I heard from those who defeated the undead that it wasn’t anything special. There was nothing left but a few dozen damaged sets of armor the humanoid undead had worn!”
All of the emotion drained from Ariane’s face and she tried to walk by the pair as if they weren’t even there.
However, her path was immediately blocked.
“Hey, ignoring us and trying to enter the village. Do you think we’d permit that?”
The gatekeeper’s tone had a bit of anger in it when he talked down to Ariane, but from my point of view, the two of them were too high off their own superiority to notice they were treading in a minefield.
The air around us changed and I swore I heard auditable hallucinations of something snapping.
A wall of flames sprung up out of nowhere and encircled Ariane and the two gatekeepers.
She’d reached her boiling point and now magma was starting to spew from the ground.
“!? Are you insane!? Why are you evoking such spirit magic so close to the village!?”
While one of the men accused Ariane of being crazy, I personally felt that they were the crazy ones here.
Atop my head, Ponta belted out a disgruntled cry before curling up into a ball to avoid getting hurt.
『Cha ──I command thee, almighty wind……』
A wind current began to swell in-between one of the gatekeeper’s hands after he clicked his tongue at Ariane and began chanting. However……
With a single word, a giant fireball appeared at Ariane’s side and launched itself towards the ground in front of him, the resulting explosion echoed throughout the village and canceled out the current.
The two were left dumbstruck when they realized that the wind between the man’s hands had dissipated
However, she saw no reason to stop there and unleashed another spell against them.
『──Biding earth, by my will, fulfill my goal──』
Instead of her usual song-like chants, her voice took on an indignant tone as whip-like earthen tendrils sprung from the ground and shot towards the two gatekeepers in accordance with her will.
The two guards tried to defend themselves with their spears but the tendrils knocked them aside before entangling the pair.
“You said you were experienced, didn’t you? Two hundred years? Or is it three hundred years? I’m not even a hundred years old yet, and I’m still wondering when I can get serious?”
Ariane lips twisted into a sneer as she spoke to the two men in a delighted manner, but contrary her voice, the tendrils ensnaring the two tightened further. They were statues being consumed by stone pillars.
“Gyaaaaa!! My leg, my leg is broken!!”
“Damn it, damn it!!”
Even though the previous explosion had attracted many elves to the village gate, none of them moved as they watched tears stream down the pairs face.
However, a single elven man divided the crowded as he stepped forward.
“Enough, Ariane! Release them immediately!”