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There are only a few people who properly know about Grün Pas Tifalet.
The current emperor, who is his biological father, is said to have answered the following when asked what kind of elf Grün is:
“That is…who was that again?”
Receiving retorts from all his close aides as might be expected, the emperor said, as if finally having recalled,
“That one’s mother was…how to say it…truly free and yet an inconspicuous woman. I think that she was a beautiful woman, but I don’t really remember her well. …It’s not particularly a problem of my memories, but it’s said that she possessed the ability to keep the awareness of her existence low…but then again, why did I seduce such a woman? I think it’s necessary to have a requirement beyond being just a woman for me to whisper my love into her ears?”
It’s an anecdote of when the elven emperor, who was exposed to gazes that were close to absolute zero from the elven court ladies following his statement, escaped from the palace in a hurry.
If one asks why it had become this type of story, the entire matter dates back to when several assassins aimed for the emperor’s life, a time of various disputes right after the enthronement of the current emperor.
There existed quite a few nobles who opposed his enthronement, who didn’t display an overly appropriate behavior. This is regarding an incident caused by the opposing faction relying on force. Having said that, definite proof still hasn’t been found to this very day.
The problem is that a female assassin had been included among the assassins sent to kill the emperor.
Even though the emperor, who repelled the assassins sent for his life by himself, might be regarded as being outside the norm, but on top of repelling the assassins, one of them was raped by him.
The person himself insists that it bore love as a result, but it’s not clear what the other party thought about that.
Additionally, as an outcome from the time needed to gather testimonies and evidence to somehow punish the nobles, who caused this chain of incidents, the assassin, who was raped, gave birth to a child. That’s the origin of the current situation.
This kind of story would be unthinkable for humans, but all of this took place because of the overly laid-back style of the elves.
While doing something equivalent to a carefree investigation, the assassin somehow gave birth to a child. Moreover, although it’s a story of the emperor himself, it was a sight to see the faces of the higher-ups, who confirmed the fact that this child seemed to be the emperor’s child, and they couldn’t avoid being dragged into the whole ordeal.
Thus it became the very unusual birth of Grün, a child born between the emperor and an assassin.
“By the way, what about his mother?” (Renya)
Having received an explanation from Skuld, Renya asks her that out of curiosity.
I certainly don’t think so, but has she been given clemency for being the emperor’s lover? He wondered.
“After receiving a trial, she was executed for high treason. The prince himself was entrusted into the care of the empress. I hear it was judged that a child, who has been just born, has no sin.” (Skuld)
Even though it was different for his mother, him being considered a legitimate heir was apparently due to those circumstances.
The emperor who entrusted Grün to her is one thing, but would the empress, who actually accepted him, normally take him in so broad-mindedly or rather with such a big heart? Renya ponders.
“So why did that prince, who was judged to be sinless, became a major criminal?” (Renya)
“T-That is, umm…how to explain it…” (Skuld)
Once Renya asks about the crux of the matter, Skuld averted her eyes and dilutes her words.
Even Renya, who doesn’t know the situation, understands that it is a story she doesn’t really want to leak to the outside, however it would be wrong for him to overlook the facts just because of that.
“How about I ask the person himself if it’s something you can’t talk about?” (Renya)
Shifting his eyes away from Skuld, he looks at the cage that has been placed in the center of the room.
The escorting soldiers were strangely unwilling to remove the restraints from Grün, saying that they would lose sight of Grün no sooner than they had removed the restraints.
Renya didn’t understand what they meant, but in that case there would be no way to allow the cage into the parlor even if he was asked to give his permission.
As a last resort Renya told them to bring the wagon with the cage to one of the storehouses in order to have a talk with Grün there.
“Removing the mouth constraint isn’t possible. He is a master of sorcery.” (Skuld)
Skuld says in a hurry while stopping Renya who was about to approach the cage.
Renya furrowed his eyebrows, obviously troubled.
“No, I mean, that’s because I can’t get an explanation from you.” (Renya)
“As I said, as long as you can just confirm his face this time…” (Skuld)
“He’s the elven hero who might act together with our Kurz, right? Something like fighting together with a person, whose background is unclear, is a terrible idea.” (Renya)
Due to the words “our Kurz” naturally coming out of Renya’s mouth, something similar to bitter smiles appeared on the faces of the human soldiers who were guarding the surroundings, but the expressions of the elven soldiers remained stiff.
After sighing once Renya suggested to the elf, who said that they are unable to provide an explanation albeit understanding that it’s a situation that definitely requires one,
“Should I order everybody to leave since I’m going to talk with him by myself then?” (Renya)
“N-No, that is…if something were to happen to Your Excellency…” (Skuld)
“We fought together once, so let me ask you, is this child stronger than me? Please give me an honest answer, okay? It’s okay since I will pretend that what you are going to say from now on has never been actually mentioned.” (Renya)
Skuld has observed Renya’s battle prowess from close-by when the elven city was attacked by the demons.
Going by Skuld’s words, Renya wondered whether Grün was an outstanding master, but Skuld immediately denied it by shaking her head.
“I think that he doesn’t reach your level, Renya-san.” (Skuld)
Due to Skuld’s reply, the elven soldiers stare at her face with their mouths wide-open. Even Grün within the cage widens his eyes slightly, appearing to be surprised, and looks at Skuld.
Indifferent of whether she has noticed those looks or not, Skuld continued confidently,
“Honestly spoken, it will probably be very good if he lasts 2 or 3 minutes when fighting up front. Of course, if someone like me fought with you, Renya-san, it would probably end in a tenth of that.” (Skuld)
Her way of calling him naturally changed from “Your Excellency” to “Renya-san”, but Renya has no intention of criticize her for that.
The current conversation will be treated as a conversation that never took place, and Skuld is a soldier who once fought shoulder-to-shoulder with him.
In Renya’s eyes being called “Your Excellency” was originally something that made him feel uncomfortable.
“Why are you worried then?” (Renya)
“I mentioned “up front.” …I believe he will immediately shift towards escape in case his restraints were to be removed. And, in case he escapes, the probability that even you, Renya-san, will fail to catch him is extremely high.” (Skuld)
“I see.” (Renya)
Renya had the confidence that he would be able to deal with anything, even if the opponent is so quick that he’s likely unable to catch him with his eyes, as long as the opponent faces him properly.
However, things are different if it comes to an opponent who only devotes himself to escape.
If he didn’t mind transforming the surrounding area into scorched earth, it would be possible to suppress them through the scattering of a wide-ranged spell, but in a place, where he can’t use that method, like the center of the city where they are right now, the possibility that Grün manages to escape if he’s able to disappear from Renya’s sight was high.
Renya’s abilities and skills are tailored towards facing opponents head on and have a bad affinity with escaping opponents.
On top of that, Renya noticed that Grün seems to be the owner of certain abilities that make it difficult to capture him, such as hiding and covert actions, while observing him as he sits inside the cage.
Even though he’s simply sitting in front of him, Renya understands that he’s a being that is hard to catch and that he’s ready to escape at any time going by the glint in his eyes. But, as soon as he takes his eyes off of Grün, he can’t clearly remember what kind of gaze it was.
“I believe the number of victims will increase…if he returns to our country with his restraints removed.” (Skuld)
“Huh? You don’t consider any damage to human countries?” (Renya)
“I can’t definitely state that it’s impossible for it to happen, but I believe the chances of it are extremely low.” (Skuld)
From Skuld’s words Renya is able to remove the possibility of Grün being a hedonist.
If he was the type who finds pleasure in such deeds, it shouldn’t matter whether the other party is an elf or a human.
I can’t exclude the possibility of him being an elf fetishist, but the chances of that being the case seems to be low, as far as I can see from Grün himself, Renya assesses.
“If that’s the case, there must be a reason after all, huh…?” (Renya)
“You understand?” (Skuld)
“Somehow. It’s an overused and common expression based on a temporarily comforting evaluation criterion, but I somehow understand from looking into his eyes.” (Renya)
Since my words are really vague, it’s nothing I can state proudly, but his eye color is different, tinged with the goal or means to kill people.
If I’m asked how they are different, I will have trouble expressing it.
Often words such as clouded or rotten are used to describe such eyes, but for Renya it feels as if such words somehow don’t fit here.
“Your Highness…” (Skuld)
From the words leaked by Skuld as if they had escaped unintentionally, Renya realizes that his thoughts aren’t that wrong.
There’s no one but Grün here with a position justifying them being called “Your Highness.” It appears as if he’s a person worthy to be addressed as such despite being a prisoner inside a cage.
“Skuld, I’d like you to free just the mouth of this person after all. I will take responsibility for anything that happens hereafter.” (Renya)
“Re…Your Excellency…” (Skuld)
“I want to hear the words out of his mouth. Please.” (Renya)
Even with Renya bowing his head, Skuld hesitated for a moment.
But, after opening and closing her mouth several times while watching Renya not lifting his head at all, she said very quietly,
“Release the mouth constraint of His Highness Grün.” (Skuld)
“That’s an order. I will take responsibility.” (Skuld)
Being clearly told so, the elven soldiers remove the chains connected to the cage while being slightly hesitant.
But with only that the removal of the mouth constraint was incomplete, however, using the spell <Manipulate> from outside the cage, Renya removed the fasteners holding the mouth constraint’s main part.
Once the constraint drops with a plop, Grün’s face can be fully seen.
At this point Renya was finally able to clearly examine Grün’s face.
The something, which obstructed his field of vision as if it had been somewhat blurred until then, suddenly cleared up at the same time as the face constraint was removed.
While staring at Grün’s exposed face from the front, Renya asked,
“It’s an honor to meet you for the first time, Elven Hero-dono. Is there something you’d like to say?” (Renya)
“I am…” (Grün)
Grün’s voice, which replied to Renya’s question, was deep and low for an elf. It had a calm tone.
“I’m a person with a father who is the elven emperor and a mother, who tried to kill that very emperor. Human Margrave, are you going to laugh at that?” (Grün)
“Let’s see.” (Renya)
Renya places his hand at his chin and thinks.
The sound of the surrounding elves catching their breath could be heard.
It’s probably because they knew that something fatal might very likely happen depending on Renya’s answer.
“How should I say it? I guess it’s a curious and amusing circumstance.” (Renya)
Upon Renya’s forthright reply, blood thirst is released from within the cage.
While looking at the soldiers who have become pale due to its fierceness, Renya still continued his reply,
“Though I don’t have any intention to use your origin as reason to laugh at you.” (Renya)
“…Can I ask for the reason?” (Grün)
“A child can’t choose his parents. Therefore one can’t laugh at a child with his parents as the reason. Also, no matter what kind of parents they might be, someone who ridicules the parents in front of a child can’t complain even if they are killed by the child, right? However…” (Renya)
He takes a short break and then after thinking about what he said, Renya speaks again,
“I don’t know your mother so I can’t say anything about her, but I have met the emperor once. Before I even consider whether to laugh or not, just the fact that you are the son of that emperor makes it hard for me to resist feeling sympathetic for you as you likely suffered quite a bit.” (Renya)
“…I’m greatly obliged by your consideration.” (Grün)
After a short answer, Grün moves his body, that’s bound by chains, with a rustle. Adjusting his sitting posture somewhat, he faced Renya and bowed his head.
The blood thirst emitted at Renya vanishes as if it had never existed to begin with.
“Let me apologize for the rudeness of meeting you in such a state. I’m called Grün, the one chosen as the elven hero. Although I’m a person with such a history, please give me your permission to assist the Human Hero-dono.” (Grün)
“It is I who should say so. I apologize for the rudeness of receiving the Elven Hero-dono in a place like this. Let me apologize in advance, but since I can’t invite you to my parlor in this state, I’d like to speak with you, oh hero, in this place. But is that fine with you?” (Renya)
“It’s a higher honor than I deserve. I’d like to repeatedly apologize for the unworthiness of this me who has to ask the Human Hero-dono to go through the ordeal of coming here.” (Grün)
Bending over to the degree of making his chains creak and bowing his head, Grün’s tone was extremely calm and gentle.
“Renya! I remember!” (Croire)
After setting the conversation in order, Renya called Kurz and had him meet with Grün. The two heroes swore to cooperate with each other right then and there, and then the elves re-affixed the mouth constraint on Grün and quickly returned to their country by passing through the transfer gate.
That was a really hurried visit, wasn’t it? Renya believed, But it looks like the elven country has various circumstances going on for it as well.
Having finished his job, Kurz was handed over to the beastmen priestesses and Renya returned to his office. On the way he was called out by Croire.
“I finally recalled the circumstances revolving around Grün-niisama. Ah, I still can’t remember his face though.” (Croire)
While walking along the hallways after lining up with Croire, who nonchalantly said something cruel without even realizing it, Renya asked,
“What is it that you remembered?” (Renya)
“The details of how nii-sama became a criminal.” (Croire)
“Since I actually met him, I guess I can predict it somewhat though.” (Renya)
Considering his mother’s vile occupation, her son has become the ideal target of slander for the nobles who want to complain to the emperor one way or another.
Given that it would be treated as lese majeste, if they make fun of the emperor himself, they can’t go ahead and simply do that, but if it’s his son, who doesn’t possess any authority whatsoever, and his mother, who was executed for high treason, no one will ever blame them, no matter what insults they might use for either.
Even if the emperor was able to protect his son somewhat, even he wouldn’t be able to cover for his mother as her crime was set in stone.
Although it was possible for the nobles to retort with, “Then don’t make a child with a woman in such circumstances in the first place”, it’s one of the profound mysteries of a relationship between a man and a woman.
Even if something I can’t imagine happened, it wouldn’t be all that strange either, Renya judges.
As far as Renya knows there are no laws that prohibits falling in love with an assassin, who came to kill them.
From Renya’s point of view, that emperor lacks fidelity, but he’s not irresponsible.
He probably intended to place Grün under his protection as much as possible for him.
However, Grün inherited the abilities of both his parents: a blade that reached even the emperor from his mother and the skill to reach the top of the elven race from his father.
“So the prince, who was mentally inexperienced while still possessing talent, ended up flying into a rage unintentionally?” (Renya)
“It’s as if you had seen it, Renya.” (Croire)
“According to the protocol taken afterwards, it appears to have been a result of him repeatedly enduring and enduring, though.” Croire says.
Going by her words, Grün, who couldn’t put up with the incessant denunciations by the nobles any longer, used all of the abilities he inherited and started to massacre all the family members and followers of the nobles who had continued to to insult him and his mother.
“So that’s the reason for the high number of crimes and victims.” (Renya)
“Originally he would likely have been executed promptly, but father, who was aware of the circumstances, groped for a solution wondering whether there was no way to somehow show him mercy…though it’s an abuse of his power. Fortunately…or maybe not, the verification of the overwhelming number of crimes and victims has been taking quite a lot of time, much less to say that it’s still an ongoing process.” (Croire)
For Croire being unable to match Grün’s name with his face was apparently an effect of a concealment skill that’s continuously kept up unconsciously by Grün.
Even if he was in front of her, she would only be able to weakly sense his existence and it would be difficult for her to vaguely keep remembering information about his facial features due to said skill.
“However, a samurai-like dragonoid, a muscle-brained beastman and now an elf similar to a natural-born assassin? Ain’t there too much weirdos in that lineup of heroes?” (Renya)
If he uses the title of hero to the fullest, it’s likely possible to move Grün to Renya’s territory.
Moreover, if they manage to successfully subjugate the demon king, it shouldn’t be difficult to have him escape from death in exchange for that achievement.
Due to the words Renya muttered while thinking, It’s probably necessary to negotiate with the emperor about the permission to take care of Grün here while making use of his circumstances as material for the talks, Croire clearly replied,
“The previous human hero, who was ruined due to being a lustful man, Kurz-san, who is the current hero and capable of destroying an army by himself, and you, his manager…is it wrong to think that the height of weirdness lies on the human side?” (Croire)
Being told that, Renya lacked the words to give a reply and thus let his gaze quietly wander through the air.
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