Arezel’s master appeared
Gave her gratitude to Souta
Finally entered the country of elves
After the inspection, the three board the carriage and advance through the valley.
The valley is wide, so there won’t be any problems even if there are multiple carriages moving side-by-side.
There are holes big enough for people to pass on the left and right wall of the valley. The elven guards are placed there.
Just like in many stories, elves here are experts in archery. Should anyone want to break through the valley, their fate would be sealed by arrows from above.
Souta, who’s holding the reins in the coachman’s seat, listens to the conversation of the two behind him.
「By the way, Master, you came soon after we were brought into the guard’s room. Where were you?」
「I came so far to search for Arezel, but I was stopped by the guards. I had no choice but to wait at the immigration office. When you two were brought into the guardroom, I was contacted. From there, I rushed off to see you.」
「Geez, for master to join the search is so rash! 」
With an angry face, Arezel warns Narasu.
「「 You’re one to talk. 」」
Souta says that absentmindedly, and Narasu does so as well at the same time.
「Hiii, I’m sorry!」
The elves above show pleasant smiles as they watch the harmonious atmosphere of Narasu and Arezel.
However, they send gazes full of negative emotions like anger, suspicion, and disgust toward Souta who brings the two back.
Souta is aware that he’s being watched, but he ignores it and just hums and sings as he chews the fruit he takes from his bag.
The elves feel irritated looking at Souta’s attitude. But they don’t want to trigger Souta’s companion anger, and so they hold their arrows back.
「Souta-san, what are you eating?」
Unaware of the gazes from around, Arezel curiously asks Souta.
「I bought a large amount of fruits before I left Toura. Would you like to eat it? There are still a couple of barrels left.」
Souta takes out the fruits for the two, and they curiously try to take a closer look.
It seems that this fruit is rarely seen in the country of elves. Both of them looking at it curiously.
「Thanks for the food! The food prepared by Souta-san is always good!」
「Hoo, interesting. Can you please give me one?」
Souta throws them behind him and to the two.
Narasu is able to receive it easily, while the other fruit hits Arezel’s face.
「Aww, uuu, it doesn’t go well.」
Souta who sees it tilts his head.
「I thought that your motor skills would be good considering that you’re tasked for material collection outside, but I guess it’s just my imagination.」
「That’s how she’s, her vigor is something to be amazed at, but… the rest is, unfortunately, unable to reach that level.」
「Ah, I understand, so it’s that.」
Arezel looks back and forth from the two that are nodding at each other. She puffs out her cheeks to show her anger.
「Mou, both of you are mean! Even I can do things properly, you know! 」
「「 … … 」」
「P-Please say something, both of you!」
Looking at Arezel’s reaction, the two burst into laughter.
「Mou! More than that, Master, let’s eat already…… Delicious!!」
She tries to change the topic and starts eating the fruit, and a moment later, her angry face is nowhere to be seen and has been replaced by a smile.
「Is it really that tasty, let me taste mine … Certainly, this is delicious.」
They eat the fruits at a quick pace and finish them in less than five minutes.
「There are still a lot, aren’t there? Can I have another? 」
「Arezel, not fair. Souta-dono, can I also have another? 」
Surprised by how fast they ate the fruits, Souta takes out more and hands them to the two.
With such interaction going, Ed suddenly neighs as if he wants to let Souta know something.
「What’s wrong? Ed.」
When Souta turn his sight back to the front, he can see the end of the valley, furthermore, there is a huge tree visible in the distance.
「Souta-dono, that is the guardian spirit of the elven country 『Sacred Tree』. The country is developed around the Sacred Tree.」
Narasu explains to Souta and Ed who are still amazed by the sight, but Souta is amazed in a different way.
「Was it that big? I can feel the flow of time by looking at it…」
「Huh? Souta-san, did you say something? 」
Souta mutters in a small voice, and when Arezel asks, Souta only replies by shaking his head.
Past the valley is a gentle downward slope, and they enter a forest as they descend.
Unlike the forest of the darkness where Souta and Arezel met, it feels warm from the sunlight that isn’t too strong. There are also the presences of living things here and there.
「This is how a forest should be.」
「Well, I can see where you’re coming from. That forest was terrible.」
They remember the forest of darkness, and their expressions become cloudy.
「What kind of forest is that terrible forest?」
「It’s a forest where I and Arezel met, east of the checkpoint, it was dark as if it was night.」
「Arezel, is that the forest you often went for when you collect alone?」
Once Souta’s explanation ends, Narasu asks Arezel.
「Uuu, I’m sorry. Yes, it’s that forest. But for some reason, it had a strange atmosphere unlike usual.」
Arezel answers with an apologetic face.
「Is, that so. It was a normal forest the last time I went there … There might be something there.」
「Yeah, there must be something wrong with that forest. It was dark, too dark. It was pitch black even in daytime. The essence of magic was also thick. Despite that, there didn’t seem to be a magic spring nearby.」
「Fumu, depending on the situation, it may be necessary to investigate.」
Hearing Souta’s explanation, Narasu shows a troubled expression and goes into deep thought.
The roads in the forest are maintained without any kind of height difference, this makes it easier for Ed. It’s not long before they pass the forest.
The end of the forest draws a circle, enclosing the capital.
The capital of the elven kingdom is protected by a castle wall surrounding it.
The capital is a castle town. The castle is built beside the sacred tree in the center.
Upon arriving at the east gate, only the standard checks like ID card identification and criminal crystal ball are done.
Narasu and Arezel are given permission to enter just by face alone.
After finishing the entrance check, Narasu calls out to Souta as he enters the city by taking a carriage.
「Souta-san, welcome to the capital of the elven kingdom, 『Girnol』!」
t/n: headless dullahan released, how do you like them?