At the market Renya’s group had somehow stopped the rampaging horse and the rider on its back, but although the horse came to a halt, the elf died in Renya’s arms.
Renya, while pondering what to do next, gets surrounded by elven guards who arrived without him realizing. While they were still surprised, everyone got fenced in and taken away.
Once they realized they will get walked off like this, Renya’s surroundings got restive. Although there was the fact that the number of corpses became high in the single digits, the guards, if pushed to say, tried to have Renya’s group move with an attitude of asking them to follow since it’s their request. We should probably comply here obediently, Renya abides them quietly.
The horse was taken along by pulling it while Shion was riding it as is, the problem was Rona. She showed signs of resistance, albeit light ones, at the time they were surrounded.
Renya became confused whether she hated the elves this much, but persuading the guards that she will take her along herself, Kurowaal grabs Rona’s arm and drags her along without any further problems while threatening the male elves so that they don’t get close.
For some reason not being surrounded by the elves, Frau was almost neglected, but when it came to the matter of Renya being taken away, she climbs on Renya’s back as if it’s only natural and settles with getting a shoulder ride.
I wonder how it looks for a human swordsman who gives a little maid girl a shoulder ride to be surrounded and taken away by elves if looked at from the side, Renya smiles wryly without understanding the situation.
The elf who died in Renya’s arms is carefully picked up by the guards and carried away somewhere else.
If the words he spoke at death’s door are true, he was likely a soldier of that defence fortress.
Renya didn’t know how the elves mourned their dead, however Renya prays that the elf, who lost his life while doing his duty, receives a cordial burial.
Being surrounded by a great number of elves, Renya’s group was taken along into an area enclosed by a fence. There was a building one could regard as a bit crude if compared to the other buildings.
Since Renya’s group has no familiarity with this city to begin with, they didn’t know what kind of building they were taken into on top of not knowing where they have been led to at all. But, they proceeded to a room in that building as told by the elven guards who wanted them to go along with their guidance.
The room has a desk, and placed on top of it is a pitcher filled with something like fruit juice and baskets with sweets like leaf pies and dried fruits. There are also several chairs and a window in the room. However, on the other side of the window the figures of guards could be seen.
Placing two guards outside the door of the room, they are told to not leave the room until further instructions are given.
Shion and Rona tried to protest that they were effectively put under arrest, but Renya stopped that.
One of the reasons is his suspicion that it’s likely pointless to object to it.
As for the other reason he suddenly understood, it’s the words of the soldier at the verge of death whom Renya held.
The ones who caught those words should at least have been Renya, who held that soldier in his arms, and Kurowaal, who was close to him. The contents of his words weren’t normal no matter how you look at it.
They are likely intending to control the flow of information, Renya judges while sitting down on a chair.
Since Kurowaal wasn’t confined in the same room as Renya’s group, she is probably giving a report about the situation to someone or she is a person of quite the status.
Based on that, they are either obtaining proof of the information or they are deciding on future plans. That means it’s unwise for Renya’s group to freely move around during the time they are choosing what time they will announce it to the inhabitants of the city or whether they won’t announce it at all.
Rona and Shion expressed their dissatisfaction, but as Renya didn’t leak any particular complaints that would make him seem dissatisfied, and once they saw him to care-freely sit on a chair, they began to swoop down fiercely on the food on top of the table making him wonder whether they had given up as it was likely futile even if they made a commotion.
As Renya watches them, pondering as to whether their eating drive is just revenge for causing them troubles, Renya quietly moves to the entrance door and lightly knocks on it due to the mountain of sweets decreasing at an astonishing rate.
The voice which comes through the door is that of a young man.
“I’d like to request additional sweets and drinks. At that pace it will be all gone soon.” (Renya)
“There should have been prepared a considerable amount though?”
“Don’t take the consumption rate of sweets by female humans lightly.” (Renya)
“There are plans to prepare dinner as well, but… will it be insufficient?”
Once being told so, Renya looks outside the window, but it’s hard to read the time since there isn’t much daylight shining through due to them being within a forest.
Even so, probably there are still a few hours until dinner time, he was able to assess.
Simply judging that it’s likely a done deal that the amount of sweets won’t last for that much time, the matter of them taking even the preparation of dinner into consideration also means that they plan to confine them for at least that long.
After leaking a sigh and thinking how troublesome, he called out to the soldier on the other side of the door once again.
“It won’t last at all. Once they’ve got nothing to eat anymore, those children are going to start a commotion.” (Renya)
“Please endure somehow.”
“We have agreed to the confinement without asking anything. Please take the level of accommodation into consideration.” (Renya)
“Got it… I will arrange for it.”
Renya floated a bitter smile once he heard one of the supposedly two guards walk away.
Although they especially arranged for two to stand on guard, isn’t their alertness a bit low for one of them to leave, no matter what kind of errand he was told to do? Renya wondered.
Have they prepared a schedule for changing the guards here? If that’s not the case, there’s also the possibility of calling a third and having them prepare it. It’s not a praiseworthy deed to decrease the guards after being asked to do something by the targets of the confinement.
However, Renya’s group isn’t under such a strict observation. With such an unknown rule it might be apparent that they won’t be scolded for being incompetent either.
Besides, we have absolutely no intention to go berserk. If we intended to rampage, one or two guards won’t have any effect either. While thinking that, Renya tried to leave from the door as he had finished his business there, but he was called to halt by the guard on the other side of the door.
“Hey, there’s something I want to ask you a bit.”
“What’s up?” (Renya)
“After all… since she eats that much, they are big, I guess?”
Renya is silent for a little while.
After properly thinking about the meaning of the question, Renya muttered while trembling,
“You… are you a reformist?” (Renya)
“What discourtesy. I’d like you to call it the elven sect that woke up to a new aesthetic sense.”
“Who the hell cares! Don’t enter the room. I will chop you into little pieces if you make a move on my companion.” (Renya)
While thinking which reminds me, we weren’t told to hand over our weapons, he takes out the sword belt and katana from his inventory and equips them.
He let it be as he ended up thinking that it would likely be unnecessary while strolling through the city, but Renya became panicked as a risk factor laid in wait in an unexpected place. However, the guards’ voice seemed to be upset.
“Please stop calling a person a brute or something. I’m able to control myself. … So, how is it?”
He might be worth being praised for his attitude of not shrinking away from the hate turned at him.
Renya, who was swayed by such thoughts, opened his mouth after thinking for a while how to answer.
“I don’t know how much elven women eat, but if it’s little compared to humans, that might be a factor. It’s common knowledge that living creatures won’t grow if they don’t eat.” (Renya)
“I see. By the way, I’d also like to ask what she eats most to have such remarkable growth…”
“Don’t know. Ask her yourself.” (Renya)
Dairy products are recommended, it would have been fine even if Renya revealed such knowledge while not knowing whether it’s true or not, but as he didn’t have any intention to elaborate on this topic, Renya stops the chat by saying that coldly.
Given that it was a far too stupid conversation, the situation isn’t as severe in fact, is it? Renya thought, but after that even when it got dark outside and after a large amount of sweets and drinks was supplied there were no signs for Renya’s group being released.
The moment the situation changed was when the day had completely ended. Since there was no light in the room, Renya used the opportunity to turn on the lights with the spell <Light> at the ceiling.
With a knock on the door, Kurowaal entered together with several guards who brought dinner.
“My apologies. We caused you inconveniences.” (Kurowaal)
In the middle of the guards lining up the food on top of the table Kurowaal apologized to Renya’s group to start off.
Renya has a feeling that the image of elves being arrogant made a sound as if shattering.
Apart from whether it’s something right or wrong, it gives a good impression to properly apologize.
“You will explain the circumstances, right?” (Renya)
“Of course. However, is it acceptable to not talk about this during the meal? I was released as well just seconds before, so…” (Kurowaal)
Kurowaal who seems to be fairly annoyed by the long confinement without eating or drinking anything looks at the dishes lined up on the table.
The guards, who carried in the food, bowed after finishing the placement and silently exited the room.
“I don’t mind, but… you lot still want to eat?” (Renya)
Shion and Rona, who should have loaded their stomachs with a considerable amount of sweets and drinks, sit down cheerfully at the seats of the table as if they had another stomach for the dishes.
Renya marvelled where the heck such amount of food vanished, but he sits down himself giving up to pursue the matter anymore than that.
Since Frau doesn’t reach the table if she sits on a chair, she sat down on top of Renya’s lap as if it was natural.
Frau is fine even if she doesn’t eat meals, but since it’s not like she can’t eat, she seemed to be fascinated by the elven cooking she sees for the first time.
The dishes lined up on top of the table have only a few steamed fish dishes and no meat dishes among them. The rest is mostly mushrooms, vegetables, soy sauce and miso dishes which were either cooked or roasted.
Indeed, with these eating habits there won’t be any taste with only salt as flavouring. I can imagine that they gladly accepted the existence of soy sauce and miso, Renya thought.
At least it’s reasonable to state that the meaty, pure white mushroom, I don’t know the name of though, is a complete dish with only properly roasting it and sprinkling some soy sauce on it, Renya judges.
If this was mixed with butter, even if only a piece of it, the level of its taste would rise by yet another level, but unfortunately it seems like the elves’ way of thinking still hasn’t reached that stage.
The taste of the miso soup, which was made out of dashi from mushrooms and crop roots, is splendid.
Due to that taste, which made him feel as if it has been a very long time, Renya couldn’t help but just being disappointed within his innermost mind that tofu hadn’t been put in.
It should be possible to make it out of elven beans, but for the elves, who live within forests, obtaining pickled ginger to harden the beans for tofu is probably a problem standing in the way, Renya guesses. (T/N: Not sure on that one, I’m no cooking expert after all…)
If that’s not the case, there’s no way that my predecessor, who told the elves about soy sauce and miso, makes such an obvious mistake like forgetting to tell them about tofu, Renya concludes.
Renya swears to create it one day without fail, but before that his thinking flows into another direction, namely Is there dried beancurd and soy milk, I wonder?
It has become necessary to raise money for the sake of obtaining a considerable amount of elven beans no matter what in order to create those. At the time when Renya’s thoughts began to go even as far as pondering whether or not it’s possible to cultivate them somehow on the human continent, Kurowaal stopped dining and opened her mouth,
“Renya-san. The words of the soldier you rescued.” (Kurowaal)
“I didn’t rescue him. He ended up dying.” (Renya)
Renya immediately denies Kurowaal’s statement, but Kurowaal rejected Renya’s words by shaking her head.
“If you didn’t rescue him from falling off the horse at that place, he would have died without accomplishing his duty. As for the result, he ended up passing away, but there’s no mistake that you have saved him.” (Kurowaal)
Kurowaal says so while staring at him firmly. Renya scratches his cheek without saying a single word.
He’s probably embarrassed, Shion smiled while looking at Renya’s behaviour.
“He was a soldier who served at the defence fortress which is east of this city.” (Kurowaal)
Quietly removing her gaze from Renya, the expression of Kurowaal, who continued her words, is dark.
“The defence fortress’ role is to watch the Forest Labyrinth and to protect the city from monsters which frequently appear in the forest.” (Kurowaal)
“There’s a Forest Labyrinth over here as well, you say?” (Renya)
Renya asks while thinking of the one that was close to the city of Kukrika.
The Forest Labyrinth over there is in fact an underground maze which has a forest within befitting its name. It should be a huge labyrinth that continues up to the Miasma Forest in a far distance.
“Labyrinth Forest is a general name for four labyrinths which exist on all of the four continents. All four of them are existing independently, but all of them are connected to the Miasma Forest.” (Kurowaal)
The Forest Labyrinth, which is on the human continent, is so vast that it reaches dozens of 100 km, but due to Kurowaal’s statement that there’s four similar labyrinths of such a level in total, Renya feels slight dizziness.
It’s at a levelexceeding the limit of Renya’s imagination with its far too oversized scale.
“After you were confined here, the army dispatched a soldier to scout the vicinity of the fortress. A one-way trip with our feet from here to the fortress takes around one hour. Humans will likely get there after two hours.” (Kurowaal)
“And until the entrance of the Forest Labyrinth?” (Renya)
“I guess it would be around 4~5 hours on a humans’ feet from the fortress?” (Kurowaal)
Once you walk through the forest, the speed will definitely fall.
If one takes that into consideration as well, the place where Renya’s group is right now seems to be a location that doesn’t differ much from the location of the city of Kukrika which is on the human continent.
“The report from the scout was the worst. There were around 200 guards and 500 non-combatants in the fortress, but… their survival is hopeless, or in other words, it was completely destroyed.” (Kurowaal)
“Do you know the number and types of enemies?” (Renya)
“It seems to be a mixed army consisting of ogres, orcs, hobgoblins and goblins as its main constituent, but there’s information that demons are mixed in as well. Based on the scale of the army, their numbers are around 20.000, although that’s only an approximation.” (Kurowaal)
“How’s the war potential in this city?” (Renya)
“500, with 200 of them being archers and 300 being infantry. In addition, it was officially announced that the students of the adventurer school will be drafted. The number of students is 200. Thus, the entire war potential of this city amounts to 700.” (Kurowaal)
Due to the statement of Kurowaal who indifferently reported it, Renya’s face warped for an instant.
As if she didn’t notice that, Kurowaal continues her words,
“In other words, I will deploy as well. Accordingly, I have a request for everyone.” (Kurowaal)
Pausing for a moment, Kurowaal takes a short intermission to choose her words.
By no means is she going to ask us to help out, is she? Renya worried, but the following words of Kurowaal completely betrayed Renya’s expectations.
“Can I ask you to return to the human continent right away? And please destroy the transfer gate over there.” (Kurowaal)