Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「After the Competition」
I unintentionally squinted as daylight shone down on my prolonged figure.
The ground on which I laid upon trembled in response to cheers that an unpredicted euphoria brought about within the surrounding crowd.
In the depths of the Great Canadian Forest…… sat Maple, the elven capital humans were forbidden from entering.
A great many of people had flocked to the large stadium in the city to watch the most recent bout of entertainment.
The stadium was reminiscent of the famous Roman Coliseum, trees were spaced in regular intervals along the wall like pillars, and were fused into the stone walls themselves.
The seats were raised two or three stories above the arena and were filled with the figures of countless elves.
It was a natural location to view the proceedings inside the arena.
I averted my gaze from the shining sun and focused on the existence standing nearby with a giant smile on their face.
She was a large woman standing over two meters tall. However, her peculiar appearance made it easy to see that she wasn’t a human.
Two long horns protruded from the top her head, her gleeful purple eyes were reptilian in nature and her long, flowing hair was a deep shade of violet.
There was a small set of wings attached to the back of her curvaceous body. While her chest and abdomen were provocatively exposed, her arms and lower body were covered with armor-like, black scales.
She also had a black tail, longer than her own height, attached to her waist which ended in a sword-shaped crystal.
This was the female Dragon King, Ferufivisurotte.
As her named implied, she belonged to the most powerful race of this world. Her true form was that of a huge dragon which wielded enough power to warp human logic.
Even in the physical form of a person, her power was on a completely different level compared to a human.
Her extraordinary power would be a huge contributor in the upcoming war with the Hiruku Theocracy.
She had called this entire spectacle ‘entertainment’…… but her true intention seemed to be to show her power to the elves.
It was obvious when you took a glance at Ferufivisurotte standing victorious while I laid prostrate on the ground in my silver armor.
However, she seemed satisfied with my performance in this bout of ours, so I felt some degree of pride.
I rose to my feet while rubbing my aching nose, then picked up my helmet, which had been blown off during the fight, and worked my long brown ears into it as I put it back on.
That I drank the spring water from the hot springs near the Dragon King’s Tree before the fight and took part in the battle without succumbing to my emotions was significant to me.
Unlike my emotionally suppressed skeletal body, my flesh-and-blood body wasn’t accustomed to fighting and easily fell victim to negative emotions like fear.
I’d been training in order to better manage them in this form and I even managed to leap at her head on, but for better or worse, the ways of this world hadn’t fully taken root yet and the shock of the last blow had been too great.
As I thought such things over,
Ferufivisurotte and I shared a look.
She approached me with a knowing smile on her face.
Her gaze traveled along my figure and stopped on the 『Holy Thunder Sword』I held over my shoulder.
“That last blow was pretty impressive, you were serious about it, weren’t you?”
Her eyes narrowed as if she were staring down her prey.
I simply shrugged and shook my head.
“Wasn’t it the same for you, Ferufivisurotte-dono? Was it my imagination, or were you holding back until that last blow?”
She flipped her hair back and showed me a mischievous smile in response to my question.
“If I had been serious from the start, this building wouldn’t still be standing…… It’s the same for you as well, isn’t it? Those gathered here should’ve realized it as well. This competition has safely introduced them to the man named Arc-han.”
Before, Ferufivisurotte spoke of using this arena as a means of amusing herself.
But that had been her goal…… although she did seem to enjoy the act fighting on its own.
Rather, it was one one of the things she’d been after when we met with the great elders of Maple.
I was a part of the elven village Raratoia for the time being, but I was still considered a newcomer by the general populace, so it was unlikely that the soldiers would be willing to follow such a person into battle.
Though it was a bit forceful, fighting a dragon king should help avoid any contempt raising amongst the rank and file.
At the thought, I caught sight of someone descending from the bleachers and entering the arena where Ferufivisurotte and I were standing.
The voluptuous approaching woman was dressed in elven clothing, that had traditional patterns swine into them. She had lilac skin, snow white hair and golden eyes.
Even among this gathering of elves, very few women had the racial characteristic of a dark elf.
After I came to this world, she became a companion with whom I’d traveled to various locations, and who was currently a member of the same village I was part of…… Ariana cast a worried glance at Ferufivisurotte’s exposed abdomen.
“Are you alright Ferufivisurotte-sama?”
Her question stemmed from when I had impaled Ferufivisurotte with the 『Holy Thunder Sword 』, the way Ariane’s eyes darted between her abdomen and face was proof of her worry.
For Ariane’s sake, Ferufivisurotte thinly smiled as she rubbed her abdomen with a scaled hand.
“Don’t worry, my insides are fine. I already told him, my body is special. See, it didn’t even leave a scratch.”
“I-Is that so……”
Ariane breathed a relieved sigh with a hand over her heart when she heard Ferufivisurotte was alright, then she placed a hand on my shoulder and started whispering to me.
“Hey, Arc. What happened? That looked like a fatal blow from where I was sitting.”
I shook my head at Ariane’s question.
“I don’t know, there was a firm response, so it wasn’t an illusion…… I don’t know what type of trick she used. Maybe it’s a special ability dragon kings have in their human forms.”
I looked back at Ferufivisurotte after I said that, but she was currently busy waving to the crowd.
Then, I caught the familiar sight of a small green animal flying towards me.
It was sixty centimeters long. Her
Her big white fluffy tail took up half of her body and there were also patches of skin that were reminiscent of a flying squirrel, connecting her fore- and hind legs.
The animal who let out a small cry before she landed on my helmet belong to a group of creatures the elves referred to as spirit beast.
“Oh, Ponta. Is something wrong?”
When I stroked Ponta’s head and asked her what was going on, Ponta tapped on my helmet and gestured at someone in the audience.
I gazed in the direction she was pointing towards, and I saw that someone was beckoning us.
“Ariane-dono, someone seems to be calling for us.”
Ariane turned toward the audience when she heard my comment and nodded in agreement before addressing Ferufivisurotte.
” Ferufivisurotte.-sama, we shall take our leave now.”
“Oya, I’ve had enough entertainment for today. As I said before, I shall keep my promises. …… Arc-han let’s play on our own some other time.”
Ferufivisurotte turned away from the adoring audience and answered Ariane with a slight smile on her face.
I felt a chill run down my spine when I saw Ariane’s expression.
“Well, if the opportunity presents itself……”
With that, I turned around and began to leave the arena with Ariane and Ponta, but I stopped in my tracks when she spoke up again.
“Oh yeah, Arc-han. There a little story that I would like to share with you……”
Ferufivisurotte looked to the sky as her voice trailed off.
I looked back at her and asked her what she meant.
“What story would that be?”
When she spoke of a story, she didn’t mean in this place, and it seems rather personal to her…… that the words had slipped out unintentionally as if she mistook me for an acquaintance.
However, after remaining quiet for a while, a gentle smile settled on her face and she brushed off her previous statement with a wave of the hand.
“Yes, yes, the time for us to talk is quickly approaching. Arc-han.”
After saying that, she spread her small wings and began, as she’d done when she first arrived, to quickly flew away.
Dragon King Ferufivisurotte left on an ominous note…… in truth, I rather not cross blades with her if I could help it.
Judging by her pleasant expression though, that wish would fall on deaf ears so long as I remained part of an elven village.
The condition for her participation in the war…… came at an extremely high personal cost.
“I’m alright, Ponta.”
I tickled Ponta under her chin as I let out a sigh as we left the arena and made our way to the seats.
Every member of the great elder council had witnessed my match with Ferufivisurotte and some of them seemed uncertain of how to act when they saw me.
Even amongst the elves, there probably wasn’t anyone who could contend with a Dragon King.
Surprise and caution blurred their faces.
However, a few of them had other expressions.
Those people had looks of intrigue and admiration…… someone among those was the first to speak up. He was the third generation chieftain of the entire Canada Forest, Brian Boyd Evangeline Maple.
His green-tinged, blonde hair was rather long and braided into a complex style and he wore tasteful jewelry around his neck and other locations on
locations on his body.
Chief Brian spoke in an excited tone when he looked me straight in the eyes when he addressed me.
“I can’t believe what I just saw. I heard about you from elder Dylan, but to think that someone was capable of fighting Ferufivisurotte so well…… Any dissatisfaction the soldiers might have from you leading them is sure to have vanished after that display.”
Chief Brian had a faint smile on his face as he spoke and the dark elven great elder, Fangas Furan Maple, chimed in as well.
He was about the same size as me. His large body, sharply trimmed grey hair and bread, and the severe scar across his face added to his intimidating presence.
He seemed to be Ariane’s maternal grandfather, but he seemed more like a great warrior than an elder, and he seemed to be in a cheerful mood right now.
“It has been quite some time since I’ve seen such a fight. By all means, I’d enjoy a bout with you myself.”
He patted my shoulders, releasing an intimidating chuckle as he spoke.
Ponta protested the vibrations his actions sent through my armor.
Even though the fight had come to an end, it seemed I was destined to suffer many hardships going forward.
Speaking of my personal image of elves, while I initially imagined them to be quiet intellectuals with a mastery over magic, I’d started to realize that calling them muscle heads would be more accurate.
However, it was understandable given their circumstances.
It was evident that constant persecution from humans and having to contend with powerful monsters had made strength a necessity.
While somewhat troubled by Fangas’ praise, I turned towards two people who seemed more embarrassed by his behavior than anything.
One of them was Ariane’s father and the elder of Raratoia, Dylan Targ Raratoia, and the other was her sister, Ivana Glenys Maple.
Unlike Ariane, Dylan was a regular elf with long ears and greenish-blonde hair, he was also dressed in traditional elven clothes.
Dylan could be seen as the embodiment of the stereotypical elf, he was the polar opposite of elder Fargus and Ferufivisurotte. If they were the sword which elven society deployed in battle, he was the extending hand of compromise.
He lowered his head towards me and showed his appreciation.
“Thank you, Arc-kun. We don’t have a lot of time, but it will take an entire day to make preparations and gather the warriors. Your transfer magic will be necessary tomorrow, you can use the remainder of the day to rest.”
When I looked at Ariane, she gave me a confused glace in response.
“Then would it be alright if I explore the city for a bit?”
There were few things I could do to help the soldiers prepare for war, so I would like to take in all Maple had to offer.
Taking a single step in Maple was all I need to revisit it with my transfer magic 【Gate】, but since I was already here, it was only natural that I wanted to explore a little.
Dylan looked towards Chief Brian, who nodded his head before he replied to me with a smile on his face.
“We don’t mind such a thing. Ariane shall act as your guide. However, its necessary to relay our to relay our decision to our human allies, so I’d be grateful if you could handle that.”
Ariane shrugged her shoulders and breathed a sigh when he said so.
“Don’t look around for too long, Arc. Did you forget that Chiome-chan and Lille-chan are waiting?”
I nodded as I accepted their suggestion.
Although I wanted to explore the city, princess Lille must have been worried by now.
However, someone interrupted our conversation.
“Yes, Yes! I’ll go where Ari-chan does!”
Ariane’s older sister linked arms with her and raised her hand as she insisted to be taken along.
She was a dark elf like Ariane, her characteristic snow-white hair was cut to a semi-short length, her liveliness made her seem more like a Ariane’s younger sister.
Her younger sister Ariane was the most surprised by her behavior.
“Ivana-neesan is coming along!?”
Ivana puffed out her cheeks when she heard that, and Ariane frantically waved her hands and attempted to smooth over what she said.
“D-Does Onee-chan have to come? What about preparations for tomorrow?”
Ariane was embarrassed to the point of trembling when she called Ivana「Onee-chan」. Probably because she usually didn’t call her that in public.
While I observed their interesting behavior, Ivana tightened her hold on Ariane’s arm and gave me a piercing gaze filled with hostility
She seemed wary of me being around her younger sister.
“My equipment is fine for this little outing, and it will work for my usual patrol. So long as this doesn’t take too long, it should be fine. Can’t wait to see your sister in action, can you? Ari-chan?”
Ivana looked away from me and enthusiastically questioned Ariane, but Dylan reluctantly stepped forward and interrupted her.
“I’m sorry, Ivana, but, it has been decided that you won’t take part in this expedition.”
“Eeh!? What!? This is an important war for Canada, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better to have more people with my abilities on hand? So why!?”
When Ivana protested her father’s decision Dylan quietly looked away as her grandfather Fargas that explained things to her.
“That’s correct, Ivana. Many warriors will be dispatched, but we cannot allow the capital to be deserted. You will act as the commanding officer of Maple’s guards. Don’t worry though, I will be taking part in this war in your place! Kuhaha!”
“Eh, what!? But, grandfather! How can a great elder like you appear on the battlefield?! Isn’t this an abuse of authority!?”
“Kuhaha, the more vexing it is for, you the better it is for me, Ivana.”
Fargas laughed off at his granddaughter’s biting comments, his large smile made it clear he wasn’t partially worried about it.
Elders were supposed to be the leaders of the villages within Canada, normally they would not be tasked with warrior duties. However, Fargas’ dominating aura and large stature made it clear that he was quite skilled in his own right.
Based on Ivana’s remark, it seemed that Fargas would occasionally use his position to join the frontlines.
While they watched the grandfather and granddaughter argue, Dylan and Brian shared glances with one another as they fought back their laughter. I guess this was a common occurrence.
“……Do we have to wait for this conversation’s conclusion?”
As I watched those two, I voiced my thoughts, which caused Ponta to look questioningly and Ariane to sigh.