The humans and the beastmen tentatively possessed a route leading to the dragonoid’s country.
However, said routes were extremely restricted. Even if you could go through them, it was actually limited to the area around the dragonoid continent’s entrance.
It seems to have been set up like this because the dragonoids hate the humans, who are deeply attached to money, and the beastmen, whose heads are filled with nothing but battle. However, both the humans and the beastmen are apparently much weaker than the dragonoids in terms of physical abilities, or so Renya was told by Shion and Lepard.
Couldn’t they just get rid of them in that case? Renya wonders, but it appears that the dragonoids are a race that doesn’t have a large population. In the long run, the dragonoids were made to suffer extremely annoying experiences. However it never went as far as becoming a disadvantageous situation for them despite the humans’ or beastmen’s overwhelming advantage in numbers.
As a result the dragonoids decided to keep the interaction with these two races to the bare minimum. Only the elves, who dislike combat and don’t pay that much attention to money either, were considered an exception and were thus able to continue a fairly deep association with the dragonoids.
“For that reason the transfer gates in the elven country maintain pathways that reach all over the dragonoid country.”
Renya nods, somewhat understanding Croire’s explanation, who spoke while letting a bragging tone resonate in her words.
The reason he’s pretending that he didn’t listen to the story too closely is because the looks of the human female camp starting with Shion, and the beastmen priestesses starting with Kaede are quite scary.
This is because Croire completely explained why the dragonoids hate those two races while supplementing her story with actual examples from the past.
In Renya’s eyes it seemed as if that wasn’t really related to the matter at hand, but Croire weaved an unusual amount of spite into all her words. As she talked about how elegant, refined and peaceful the elves are compared to the other two races, Renya sensed how the severity of Shion’s and the others’ gazes went up several levels, which made him think that it was in his best interest to act as if it was someone else’s problem.
Does the elven race possibly have parts which make people see them as an arrogant, intolerable race around here? Renya pondered, but since he felt like Croire would keep on boasting forever, if he didn’t put a stop to it, Renya picked a suitable moment and interrupted her speech.
“I got the gist of it. That much is enough, Croire.” (Renya)
“Really? If it’s a conversation about this story, even spending a fair number of nights would still cut it short, I guess we will continue another time.” (Croire)
Croire was dissatisfied as she wasn’t able to explain sufficiently, in her opinion, but she apparently understands that the current situation is not one that allows spending that much time talking about this topic.
Around them elven soldiers and craftsmen are busily preparing the transfer gate.
In the end around two days – counting from the time when Emil visited Renya’s room – were necessary for Renya’s physical condition to return to normal.
Renya should possess resilience that goes beyond that of normal humans thanks to the benefit of his skills, but since Renya’s enormous amount of mana, which can’t be described as anything but colossal even in the eyes of the demons, was on the verge of running dry, it took that much more time for it to return to its original state.
However, in regards to this, it might have gone a little bit faster if he had decided to stop supplying Frau with mana.
“Is your body alright, Renya?” (Emil)
Emil, who’s the only one that personally saw Renya’s state when he was completely drained, asks about Renya’s condition at every opportunity, apparently having the image of the weakened Renya deeply carved into her mind.
Even Renya knows that she’s just worrying about him, but once he had been asked over and over again, he started to wonder whether her questions might be linked to some kind of investigation. However, since Emil’s expression was making it fully clear that she was asking entirely out of worry, he couldn’t be too cruel to her either.
“No problem. I have already recovered.” (Renya)
“Great, then it’s fine. Come to think of it, a human’s body has the function to try become sturdier than before it was broken, but how about your case, Renya?” (Emil)
“I don’t know. That’s all I can tell you.” (Renya)
The amount of mana one possesses grows larger the more one uses it.
If it’s Renya, who possess a skill to break through the growth limit, then he will grow endlessly, exceeding the peak of what a normal human is capable of by leaps and bounds.
Emil doesn’t know that Renya has such a cheat-like skill, but because she knows that Renya’s massive mana pool has been increasing since the day they first met, she thinks that his upper limit is still far away.
Even the words Renya answered her are the truth in her eyes.
“It’s not like it matters, but Croire, how much time is it going to take to open a path to the dragonoid country?”
Renya’s party, which spend another day to prepare for the long-distance trip after Renya’s recovery, entrusted Klinge to Mayria, Frau and Keith’s group, and entered the elven country through Klinge’s transfer gate.
There were some comments asking whether it wouldn’t have be fine to leave everything to Frau, but as Renya regarded doing so as a problem, he decided to have Mayria stay behind as an office worker, too.
Renya’s opinion that Mayria waiting in Klinge is safer than going to the dragonoid country, where it’s unknown what might happen, was approved by everyone.
Renya went through the transfer gate while hearing Frau’s reassuring words, “You can leave the rest to me ~no,” but on the other side – the elven country’s transfer gate – their further travel was delayed.
There was a proper reason to that.
“I can’t tell you anything in particular. However, everyone is giving it their best.”
Croire says while sitting in one of the chairs which had been carried into the gate room to be used by Renya’s party.
“Normally the path to the dragonoid country is always active, so it must have been cut after all. I fear that it’s likely due to some problems with the devices at the gate’s destination. Thus we are now going to use a path that leads to a transfer gate that’s located close to the Dragon’s Den, but that path’s not always active from our side, and we normally use it after having someone connect it from the other side.” (Croire)
“Normally we first send a usage request through a path that’s always active. If that’s accepted, the pathway to the Dragon’s Den can be used after having the dragonoids connect it to the elven transfer gate,” Croire explains.
However, since it wasn’t possible to go through the proper procedure this time, the elves are trying to open the pathway from their side, which is the reason why it’s taking so long.
Possibly predicting that there might be a situation where the elves have to use the transfer gate while unable to contact them through the usual route, the dragonoids made sure that the pathway could be opened from the elves’ side, but since it would be a bother if the elves used it arbitrarily, the dragonoids have made the method troublesome by requiring the elves to go through several proper steps in order to activate it. At present the elves are in the midst of going through those steps with all their craftsmen present.
“By the way, please remember that it would normally turn into a huge problem and a territorial violation, if you were to use the pathway to the dragonoid country without going through the proper procedures, Renya.” (Croire)
“Why are you cautioning me by name…?” (Renya)
Renya replied with that question while looking astonished, but although there was no reply, the thoughts of everyone present aligned to, You’d be the only one to do that.
“This time I have more or less acquired permission from father, but to the bitter end this is just an irregular exception.” (Croire)
“Ah, he was here, wasn’t he, that emperor?” (Renya)
Immediately after Renya’s group went through the transfer gate from the human domain to the elven domain, the one who received them in front of the transfer gate was the emperor.
He apparently thought that he could have a reunion with his daughter after a such a long time, but seemingly because Croire’s impression of him, from the last time they departed, was too bad or because the current situation is too serious, Croire didn’t show the emperor any care at all, and even went as far as pressuring him into quickly handing over the license for the pathway to the dragonoid country. In the end the emperor sadly left after being told to go back if his business with Renya’s party was finished.
Renya was about to interject since her treatment was far too awful, but on top of being held back by Croire’s gaze, he was even stopped by Grün.
“There’s nothing to worry about. He has come here while knowing that he would likely receive such treatment.” (Grün)
“Since it’s father, that makes sense. Something like drawing joy out of being treated cruelly by his daughter, just how much of a pervert is he?” (Croire)
Grün intended to provide a follow-up in his very own way, but that ended up with him giving Croire a new trigger.
“You say that, but at least show him a kind face from time to time, okay?” (Renya)
Since Renya is pretty much receiving some of the emperor’s grace through the various kinds of food ingredients, although one could call that compensation for taking care of Croire, he decided to go out of his way to back the emperor.
“I will deal with it appropriately…” (Croire)
Renya taps Croire’s shoulder who felt somewhat unwilling.
There were parts, where even Renya had difficulty in judging just how serious Croire was, but in Renya’s eyes the emperor and Croire being on good terms was preferable on an emotional level.
Although, that’s limited to Renya’s uneasiness due to Croire’s complete disregard for the emperor.
“Leaving that matter aside, how much longer is it going to take?” (Shion)
Being asked by Shion, Croire grabs one of the nearby craftsmen and asks him about the progress.
Once the captured craftsman comprehended that the other party was Croire, the emperor’s daughter, he bowed respectfully and then started to explain the situation in a whisper.
His voice was extremely quiet, so low that even Renya, who’s right next to them, couldn’t hear it, but as it was apparently loud enough for elves due to their good hearing, Croire nodded repeatedly.
Once the engineer finished briefly explaining the situation to Croire, he bowed once again and returned to his own work.
“The work seems to be going well. However, the dragonoids arranged the procedures to be thoroughly troublesome.” (Croire)
“It probably can’t be helped if it’s an emergency pathway, but they sure are a very careful race, those dragonoids.” (Renya)
“Well, how do I phrase it best…it’s a race that has various peculiarities.” (Croire)
Renya was extremely curious about what she summed up as various peculiarities, but just when he was about to ask Croire, another craftsman shouted,
“All steps have been cleared. I’m going to open the pathway.”
Normally only pitch-black space unfolds between gates, but seemingly because this transfer gate was operating differently than a normal one, it shines in a pale blue light.
What makes Renya and the others worry even more than the color is the low humming sound of it operating that resounds within the room.
“Given that it’s not the usual process, I think it’s normal for it to be different from always, but…”
Did he notice the expressions everyone, except for the elves, was currently carrying? The craftsman says that to give them peace of mind, but it’s not like they can feel relieved from the fact they’ll be transferring in a state different from usual. So, their eyes naturally gathered on Renya.
“No, it’s troubling if you look at me…” (Renya)
“It’s fine. I have seen this happening several times. Now, let’s go, Renya.” (Croire)
Having judged that there won’t be any progress unless someone passes through the gate, Croire goes around to Renya’s back and starts pushing him in the direction of the transfer gate with both hands.
It’s not like Renya was outmatched in power, but he doesn’t even resist, thinking that it’s best to go along with Croire here. However, Shion decided to cling to his left arm.
Due to Shion tightly hugging Renya’s arm, he can’t help but to think, Well, I guess it can’t be helped if she’s anxious. At almost the same time Rona and Croire look at Shion from behind, unseen by Renya, with expressions crying “Damn it!”
“What’s going on with this?” (Lepard)
Kaede answered Lepard who doesn’t understand the situation,
“I guess it means that Shion-san took a point there.” (Kaede)
“If you don’t get it, then let’s leave it at that. Putting that aside, I’m feeling slightly uneasy as well, so please guide me.” (Kaede)
“Okay, got it.” (Lepard)
Lepard nodded and chased after Renya who has vanished into the transfer gate while being pushed by Croire and Shion clinging to his arm.
Behind him, Kaede snuggles up to Lepard closely. Trying to follow them, the other members also pass through the transfer gate.