A/N: This time even the writer himself is “Hmm?”
The justification is weak, maybe
“Oy, what the heck do you mean…” (Renya)
“Once we closed down the transfer gate on this side, something like monsters suddenly appearing directly in the city of humans might be be possible. I’d like you to destroy the gate over there to prevent that. This is an official request from the elves. Although we will destroy the gate on this side after you went back, it’s just for caution’s sake.” (Kurowaaal)
According to Kurowaal, since it’s linked as forwarding address of the transfer gate, it’s not possible to only erase the path to the elven country. At the moment the gate of the elven country is closed down, the means to protect against an invasion of the adventurer school in Kukrika are apparently lost.
That’s why she told me that she wants us to destroy both facilities.
“Since that is built fairly sturdily, it will take some labour to destroy it in a way that it can’t be used anymore. Because there’s also the nuance that we have to gain time for the citizens to escape to the rear, we will create as much time as possible, but… honestly, I think that we won’t gain much of it.” (Kurowaaal)
“That’s only obvious. With 700 against 20.000, and moreover, 200 of those 700 are amateurs? There are cities larger than this place here, right? Won’t you try to request reinforcements by dispatching a fast horse or such?” (Renya)
“We elves don’t uses horses overly much. The defence fortress prepared several fast horses for the sake of the notifying us of danger, but there are none in this city. It will take at least half day even with elven feet until the next closest city. However, the garrison over there has a scale resembling the one here. If it’s the capital, they should be able to swiftly dispatch 10.000 soldiers, but… it’s a questionable number with 20.000 monsters as opponents. They probably won’t dispatch them for the sake of protecting their city. Moreover, the capital is too far away.” (Kurowaaal)
Without a single wishful thinking she is able provide one fact after the other and yet Kurowaaal is unchanged and normal.
“We have already given an evacuation announcement and sent a messenger for that sake, but… whether they will be in time is doubtful. We haven’t much time remaining for just evacuating. It seems the monsters are marching slowly from the fortress to here, but if all of us escape, they will likely raise their marching speed to track us down. In other words…” (Kurowaaal)
Kurowaaal gave a hollow laugh here for the first time.
To Renya it looked like the face of a resolved soldier and not like that of despair or resignation.
“It’s a necessary sacrifice against the monsters. Even then it’s very likely a pointless stalling for time, however at least while we are remaining here, they are probably purposely marching slowly. We are able to evacuate an unknown number of citizens in that time and the capital can prepare defensive structures.” (Kurowaaal)
Hence, they have to die in this place no matter what.
Declaring that implicitly, Kurowaaal stared at Renya.
Renya bites his lips as he is unable to find words for Kurowaal, who still chose to fight while knowing that they will be definitely overrun if they fight.
“However, we won’t let them through easily. At the very least we will try to take along a higher number of monsters than ours. Renya-san and you guys have to hurry and return to the human continent. Alongside the destruction of the gate, I’d like you to take another piece of information with you.” (Kurowaaal)
“Information, it is?” (Renya)
“That soldier said that the Forest Labyrinth overflowed, but that’s impossible. If one considers the vastness of the Forest Labyrinth and the frequency of monster spawns, it becomes unthinkable for that labyrinth to overflow.” (Kurowaaal)
Renya recalled that he had heard that story somewhere as well.
“Since that’s the case, the question remains where the large army of 20.000 came from.” (Kurowaaal)
It’s difficult to imagine an army of such scale to travel without being caught in the surveillance net of the elves.
And, if they were caught in the surveillance net, the defence fortress should have sent a message far earlier, too.
“I don’t believe that the soldier reported a lie while being at the verge of death. Considering that, the enemy came from the Forest Labyrinth after all.” (Kurowaaal)
“There’s no way for it to overflow, is what you have said, right?” (Renya)
“Yes, thus pondering about it this way, we came to a conclusion.” (Kurowaaal)
Kurowaal lowers the tone of her voice and slowly and clearly tells Renya’s group in order for it being easy to remember,
“Probably there isn’t only one travelling path from that huge, flourishing Miasma Forest in the Forest Labyrinth. In other words, if you end up travelling that labyrinth all over, won’t some special route open up? And, haven’t the demons, using that, established a gate which is capable of transferring a certain level of gathered monsters all at once? That’s the conclusion we reached.” (Kurowaal)
It’s difficult to create a path and maintain it in a place where there was no path to begin with, however it should be far easier to expand a place, which had originally a path, than creating one from nothing.
And can’t we also use the same theory when talking about the pathways of the transfer gates, so to say?
And, isn’t the Forest Labyrinth a common occurrence on all four continents?
“The chat is over. Now, please go once you finished eating. I’m very sorry, but can you arrange for the share of magic gems for returning yourselves? All of the gems on our side will be put into use for the battle after this. We will wave the fee for the gate. After all it will only wander into the pockets of the monsters even if we took it.” (Kurowaaal)
Stating that in one go, Kurowaaal suddenly pauses and thinks for a bit.
“But, do the monsters have an opportunity to use the money?” (Kurowaaal)
“I don’t know about that, but is it fine…? Isn’t it a pointless death even if I restrain my words?” (Renya)
“Ahaha… you have probably been told that you aren’t very discreet, haven’t you?” (Kurowaal)
“You are a suicide candidate. Won’t you freely experience the violence of numbers with your body like that?” (Renya)
Partway Renya dropped his tone as if threatening her, but Kurowaaal laughed at that indifferently.
“Even if they don’t eat this body but play around with it, that still doesn’t matter.” (Kurowaaal)
As Kurowaaal stared back at Renya, a definite determination dwelled in her eyes.
“At any rate, during that time the enemy troops will stop around me.” (Kurowaaal)
“Renya, it seems she has a firm resolve.” (Shion)
Shion calls out to Renya who was at a loss for words.
Her voice had a tinge of impatience in it.
“We don’t have much time either. If there’s an invasion pathway for the monsters in the Forest Labyrinth, then it’s possible that it will turn into the same situation even in Kukrika. We have to return as soon as possible and report about this matter.” (Shion)
Renya turns a surprised expression at Shion due to hearing unexpected words from her.
It seems that Rona, who understands the elven language, translated the exchange between Renya and Kurowaaal.
Due to Renya being certain that Shion won’t be able to abandon the elf in front of her once she knows about the details of the talks, he thought that she would simply start talking that she wants to help them somehow.
Contrary to his expectations, Shion requests that they should return right away even if it means abandoning the elves.
Did Rona foresee that? She looks at Shion without showing a particularly surprised look.
“Let’s go, Renya. Time is valuable.” (Shion)
“Please take care. Though I can’t serve as your guide, you will reach the school once you go straight forward to the right on the road right in front of this building. Since the school has been already informed, use the gate as fits, please. After you pass through, we will begin its destruction. I wanted to lead you around the city a bit more, however I’m sorry for being unable to accomplish that.” (Kurowaal)
Urged on by Shion, Renya leaves the room while being led by Frau’s hand.
Kurowaal sees them off, but at the moment Renya passes through the room’s door, she muttered quietly with a smile,
“Well then, this is goodbye.” (Kurowaaal)
Although it’s night in the forest, the elves’ city is full of lights and there’s no trouble to move through it.
However, there’s only few people in the city.
It looked like the evacuation of the citizens has already begun.
Rushing through a city with no people in it, the soldier, who apparently waited for Renya’s group at the school’s gate, leads them to the room with the transfer gate once they arrived at the school.
“We don’t have overly much time, please hurry.”
“Thanks. Frau, can I leave the magic gems to you?” (Shion)
“Yes, Shion-ane-sama.” (Frau)
Frau, who was asked by Shion, inserts the magic gems into the gate.
The gate, which was filled with mana, opened and the same pitch-black space unfolded as at the time when they came here.
“Renya, let’s go… eh, Renya?” (Shion)
Although he could hear Shion’s voice, Renya wasn’t inclined to move from the spot.
In fact, Renya was hesitating.
At the time of parting he saw the expression and heard the words of Kurowaaal.
Renya couldn’t help but feel like he saw that somewhere before.
That expression which shows a smile despite being fated to die and while being dragged into a battle even though not wanting to partake in it.
Renya doesn’t feel anything towards the death of adventurer-like people who thrust their heads into danger willingly.
He just thinks that they have passed away willingly since it was what they wished for.
Because she is a student of a school training adventurers, that might happen eventually, too.
However, on top of being a student, she’s still no adventurer. Her resolve and awareness shouldn’t have settled properly either.
Even if the person herself believed that she resolved herself.
Though Kurowaaal is heading into the battle knowing that she will definitely die under those circumstances, she smiled.
If I saw such expression somewhere before, then it must likely have been something like the remains of my previous life’s memories, Renya thinks.
The problem is, what have I done at the time I saw that expression in my previous life?
Was I able to do anything? Or did I simply watch with folded arms without being able to do anything?
Even if I try to think about it, it’s very unlikely for an answer to appear.
The answer ended up being erased alongside his memories of his previous life.
Nevertheless, if I’m asked whether I will go back just like that, the answer is no.
If I return to Kukrika while carrying an incomprehensible, gloomy feeling in my mind and stomach, I will end up endlessly worrying over it.
“If there was at least a reason to simply abduct her.” (Renya)
In the first place, if there’s no reason nor any obligation, it’s only natural to abandon them, is Renya’s stance.
Renya has absolutely no intention to yield on that.
Although it’s absolute, there’s no other choice but to return unless I bend that.
It’s my own circumstances, however somehow it ended up turning into a difficult situation, Renya hesitates.
In the first place, with that little girl having erased my memories in a half-assed way, I will simply return to Kukrika, report the situation and go back home to sleep, if I don’t remember things completely, at the time Renya began to curse that little girl, the guard, who led Renya’s group to the transfer gate, timidly opens his mouth.
“Is it about your guide, Kurowaal?”
“That’s right, but… do you know her?” (Renya)
“Yes, since she is currently a student at this school, we have ignored things like social status. However, she is in fact visiting from the imperial capital, Sephirot (T/N: >> Sefuiroto <<), and is our lord as she is the esteemed daughter of His Majesty, the Emperor Royce = Pas = Tifalet (T/N: >> Roishu Pasu Tifareto <<).
The surprised voices of the humans splendidly matched up.
In addition the guard continues while being in a good mood for some reason.
“Even if she’s the child of His Majesty, the Emperor, it is absolutely necessary for her to study at the same place as those of the streets. She entered the school here in accordance with this education policy passed down for many generations at the imperial family, but she is unmistakably Her Highness, the Imperial Princess Kurowaaal = Pas = Tifalet. Since she is the youngest princess, her rank within the succession hierarchy is 35th.”
“His Majesty, the Emperor, is doing his best a bit too much, isn’t he?” (Renya)
After Renya retorted reflexively, the guard quietly averted his sight.
Due to his standing he apparently can’t say anything even if thinks so.
“Therefore, if you are able to save the life of that lady, there’s no mistake that you will earn the personal gratitude of His Majesty, the Emperor.”
“It’s fine to expect a reward, is what you are saying?” (Renya)
“That’s roughly it. Although you can obtain anything on the elven continent you wish for… ah, no. Big-breasted elves are impossible.” (T/N: Lol)
“You are a reformist as well!?” (Renya)
The guard frantically looked away since Renya shouted at him “Don’t spoil the mood!”
Shion and Rona look at that exchange with lukewarm gazes.
“A-Anyway. Someone like me has been alive for more than 300 years although you might say that I’m young in regards to the elves as whole. I don’t have any regrets to die around here either. However hime-sama and the students are different. They are still in the middle of their growth period. If there’s some method to save only them somehow…”
“No way, Renya. Do you intend to do something…?” (Shion)
Going by the superiority of their numbers, it’s a situation where the word “hopeless” truly fits.
Naturally, Rona and Shion, who thought that the choice will be escaping if it’s Renya, asks with a hoarse voice as if she heard something unbelievable.
“That’s right. Oy, reformist. I have two questions.” (Renya)
The guard, who was called reformist, nods.
He doesn’t seem to deny being called like that.
“First, is the current fellow, who is commanding the garrison, a person open to suggestions? There is the image among humans that elves won’t listen as their arrogant pride is high etc.” (Renya)
Renya, who can’t loose the image he was told by Rona no matter what, wanted to confirm that point first.
Even if I go out and fight while having some kind of strategy, it will only be in vain to proceed if the other party doesn’t listen to me.
“The one currently commanding them is a female warrior called Skrod = Solvice (T/N: >> Sukurodo Soruvaizu <<), but having wisdom, she picks profit over pride.”
“Second, elves have the image of excelling in magic. That’s not wrong, is it?” (Renya)
“The part which is difficult to understand is to what degree we are excelling at it, but…”
Does he want me to tell him the information as accurate as possible? After pondering for a while, the guard opened his mouth.
“At least the amount of mana possessed is far beyond that of an average human. And, in regards to wind and water magic, I suppose that human magicians can’t get close. Those are specific magic attributes of us elves after all.”
“It’s a type of magic influenced by the forest.”
“… Alright, the garrison is encamped at the eastern side, right?” (Renya)
“Will you be able to manage somehow!?”
Renya restrains the surprised guard with his hand in order to calm him down.
“It’s a war. There are no absolutes. However, it should be better than getting simply annihilated. Frau and me will go to the actual site. You will protect the gate here. Since we will leave behind the magic gems to start it in the worst case, you will escape by transferring if it gets dangerous.” (Renya)
“Renya! What about us?” (Shion)
“I will give you the magic gems. Wait or transfer as you like. This is my whim after all.” (Renya)
Once he emphasizes it by stressing that it is his own whim, Shion nodded after casting down her eyes for a moment.
“Got it. We will wait until the last moment.” (Shion)
“You won’t mistake the time to leave? Once you transfer, destroy the gate on the other side right away. And, Frau.” (Renya)
Renya called out in an apologetic way towards the fairy standing next to him.
“Sorry, please accompany me.” (Renya)
“Roger, master ~nano. Don’t worry, Frau will be together with master ~nano.” (Frau)
Nodding deeply, Frau grasps Renya’s hand.
“Alright, everyone, let’s get started. Let’s have His Majesty, the Emperor, and his daughter owe us.” (Renya)
Looking at Renya’s face which smiled brightly, the elven guard got stirred up by some strange feeling and felt anxiety.