As expected, the female was an elf. Her pointy ears proved this. Her hair had unraveled in this scuffle, spreading out blonde, soft, thread-like hair that was thinner than Haruna’s. Unusual for an elf, her large, drooping eyes were a green color, fitting in perfectly with the folk of the forest. Judging from the shape of her face, she felt a bit on the young side, but definitely not younger than Mio or Aearis.
However, her most remarkable characteristic was not her face. It was those ridiculous proportions, uncharacteristic of an elf. She was still in line with the average elf with her tall stature and dainty body, but that protrusion pushing up the chest area of her grass-colored clothing was unmistakably superior to that of Haruna’s. Perhaps because it had caught onto the branch or because of Makoto’s attack grazed her shirt, it was dangerously torn in the chest area, from which ripe, forbidden fruit seemed like it would fall out at any moment. Tatsuya didn’t know where to look.
As Tatsuya was looking around awkwardly, Hiroshi was shivering in the corner of the room, making a face like he was begging for his life. For some reason, he and Makoto were both gazing intensely at the elf. There was no lust in Hiroshi’s eyes, but rather, fury at something unbelievable he had just witnessed. His gaze was actually a bit unpleasant, like the preamble of an apocalypse.
Although she didn’t quite like the gazes that either of them had, the silence was also a bit too much to handle, and the elf had decided to open her mouth and express thanks when Hiroshi and Makoto cut through what she was about to say.
「Apologize……! Apologize to Tolkien!!」
「Would you quit it?!」
At the same time that Hiroshi and Makoto had suddenly spurted out nonsense, Tatsuya silenced them in a slapstick fashion. Meanwhile, the elf had no idea how to react to this sudden demand for an apology.
「But elves are supposed to have less chest armor!」
「Elves are only elves if they’re tall ‘n flat as a washin’ board! Big or gigantic juggers are outta the question!」
「Still, this isn’t the time or place to discuss that!」
「Tatsu, isn’t that essentially a roundabout way of agreeing with them?」
After Mio made an unwanted comment, the conversation further derailed into a vicious argument. As she shook her head at them, Haruna decided to forcefully steer the conversation onto the right track.
「I could care less about whether elves have big or small breasts. Let’s just hear what she has to say.」
Feeling a bit off-put about Haruna’s comment as well, the elf girl decided to first hide her breast area before expressing her gratitude. When Haruna saw this, she took out a spare upper garment and put it over her.
「U-Umm, thank you!」
「No worries. We just happened to be passing by.」
「Welp, more like we wandered here.」
The elf girl and her timid tone, Haruna and her laugh as she responded, and last of all Hiroshi, who casually and bluntly remarked on their situation.
「Wandered, you say?」
「Yup. Just a lil visit to an elf village, or more precisely, an errand with the temple of the forest god……」
「The side paths were more numerous than we thought, and now we’re relatively lost.」
The elf girl thought about it for a bit.
「Umm, if you might be so kind as to inform me of what errand you have with the temple?」
「We thought we could get in contact with the forest god, Aranwen-sama if we went to the temple. Is that right?」
「Aranwen-sama, you say……」
The elf made a rather mixed expression at Haruna’s words. Haruna continued with a worried expression.
「Oh, is it bad to want to meet with Aranwen-sama?」
「Umm, not necessarily. It’s more like I can’t make a judgment on this……」
「Do we need the permission of a higher-up?」
「Yes. If you had come around 30 years sooner, it wouldn’t have been much of a problem, but a lot has happened as of late.」
It struck them immediately with how different time was for elves with that statement about 30 years being recent. But that was to be expected from the longest living race in this world.
「Have tensions increased with outsiders? Maybe we shouldn’t be here……」
「Oh, no no. Humans don’t come nearly enough for that to happen.」
「Yeah, wouldn’t expect them to……」
Tatsuya couldn’t help but agree with the elf. No one generally entered this area unless you were as whimsical as they were. It was probably impossible to rouse a problem on a wide scale with outside relations even if you wanted to.
「In that case, would it be alright if you escorted us to the village?」
「Yes. In fact, we greatly welcome you.」
The elf’s eyes glinted as she declared this to Haruna. You couldn’t possibly mistake that for anything other than welcoming them.
「Then does that mean we won’t have to walk along the animal trails for a while?」
「Yeah, does it?」
「If you were to line up the extent of human technology with ours, there would not be a significant difference, or so I have heard.」
「So that means there are plenty of easy roads to walk?」
Haruna’s face became happier as she heard this. Even she had grown tired of constantly walking along the difficult animal trails. She had not become weary due to having access to a portable bath and massage chair, but she was now longing for the scenery, culture, and scent of civilization.
「What is it?」
「We haven’t introduced ourselves yet, have we?」
「Ahh! That’s right!!」
Both of them had personalities that meshed so well together that they had completely forgotten about introductions.
「Terribly sorry. My name is Archem. I am the daughter of Meza and Leichem of Alt Ortem.」
Tatsuya made a puzzled face when he heard this strange introduction. The others also didn’t really seem to get what she meant.
「Alt Ortem is an old Elvish word meaning “the oldest land in Ortem”. Simply think of it as the name of my hometown.」
「You don’t have a surname or family name?」
「Even Ortem, the biggest amongst the elf villages, only has around 5,000 households, so it’s generally easy to tell who lives where and who’s related to who. Also, the children are essentially raised by the village as a collective whole, so everyone generally knows each other.」
「Oh, I see.」
While being a bit astonished at how there were more than 5,000 households in this forest, Haruna managed to understand the system. Unlike dwarves, their lifespan was long, which also meant they were more lax about having children. This scale alone was impressive.
Incidentally, Teres happened to also have the same kind of naming, but as it was nearly meaningless in human towns, she merely shortened it into the more suitable format of Teres Farm. Hiroshi and the others also wondered why they had introduced themselves in a different manner, but had figured it was something along those lines and let it slide.
「Uhh, my name’s Toudou Haruna. Toudou is my family name and Haruna is my personal name. Everyone here has the same type of name. And this mature-looking man over here is Katsuki Tatsuya-san. He’s the only married one. The other male here is Azuma Hiroshi-kun, and the shorter-haired female is Mizoguchi Makoto-san. The youngest one here is Mizubashi Mio-chan.」
Hiroshi and the others followed suit in introducing themselves. When she heard each of their names, the elf mumbled them silently in order to match it with their faces before reconfirming all of this and bowing her head in relief.
「Well then, we’re all done with the introductions, so now it’s straight sailing to the elf village!」
「Hold it mate.」
They were all pumped up when Hiroshi had to interrupt.
「What is it?」
「Still haven’t finished with this hunter tree. C’mon, I ain’t just gonna leave such a fine quality wood lyin’ here.」
Everyone simply groaned at Hiroshi as he grinned, holding up a hatchet and handaxe. They ended up leaving about 15 minutes later than planned.
「Who ever thought there’d be such a splendid village inside this forest……」
「Don’t you think this place is actually bigger in scale than Leite Village?」
Upon reaching the Elf Village, which took an hour with the guidance of Archem, everyone couldn’t help but marvel at the sight.
「You know, I never saw elves as being involved in agriculture, but this place is totally a farming village, isn’t it……」
「Darn skippy. Plus it feels like the good ‘ol mountain villages of Japan.」
They exclaimed as they looked at the vast fields. From what they could see, the field in front of them had already been harvested from, so it wasn’t possible to tell what had been growing there. The fields in this area, in fact, were all merely organized neatly but without anything growing. Judging from this fact, it was reasonable to assume that all winter harvests had been collected, or otherwise, that they were either letting the fields rest or planning to grow crops from summer to fall.
Maybe not so much for potatoes, beans, or wheat, but planting corn in the given area would no doubt make harvest quite troublesome. After all, the corn that was generally cultivated in Farlane happened to also be a plant-type monster. With that being said, much like pom, it was not carnivorous and was quite capable of becoming docile given a certain amount of time. Then again, it was different from pom in that it normally took its time spreading its roots, like any other plant.
So yes, corn plants were not only docile, but grew well in wastelands, yielded much harvest, and were easy to cultivate. However, when harvest season came, the plants would start trotting around on their own, attempting to run around and find new lands to multiply. Since they resisted fairly violently whenever you would try and grab them, only people with a decent amount of training could hope to avoid their wrath. Quite honestly, getting slapped by branches hurt intensely when lightly clothed.
Then again, it was always possible that there were non-monster corn crops and that Hiroshi and the others had yet to find them.
「What’re you growing in these fields?」
「Well in this area, we generally grow beans and roots. There are always stragglers who attempt to escape, so there’s always a big commotion twice per year.」
「The…beans try to run away? Or the root vegetables?」
「Both of those crops have several varieties. The worst of them all are the big oro roots, because they run away quickly.」
Big oro roots were big roots that split down the middle about 5 centimeters in. Unlike the regular roots, these ones had a unique sweetness to them that made them a good combination with corsomme or shellfish. Put it in Terona and you’d get yourself a great flavor, so it was a popular ingredient for winter meals. Apparently it was best to raise it in a comparatively warmer region, and in the case of Farlane, it was raised in the southern regions. However, at least in the case of Haruna and Tatsuya, they did not know it was a plant-type monster.
「It’s purty darn surreal to see them big roots restlessly runnin’ ‘round.」
「It sure is……」
The big roots would run restlessly around the snow, busily moving their short legs all the while. It was quite the surreal sight. Although snow only ever piled up two or three times a year, there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t pile up in harvest season. Therefore, they would probably lay their eyes on this sight once every few years.
「Seriously, it’s a lot of work to harvest when snow has piled up……」
「I take it you’ve experienced this more than just once……」
「Once was more than enough……」
Tatsuya couldn’t help but send a sympathizing gaze at Archem as she sighed, clearly fed up.
「In addition, we have revve beans, and you would not believe how violent some of them become year-round. Our stock just keeps going down because of all the beans they start throwing around, and it’s always when we’re wearing lighter clothing, which seriously hurts……」
Who would have thought that Archem could talk so much about farming? Agriculture over here also seemed to be quite the hassle.
「Revve, ya say? Well if I be darned. That’s some harsh stuff to grow.」
「Well, revve is very compatible with winter vegetables, and although it may lose to big beans, it still has excellent nutrition and harvest amounts. It’s just that those attacks are nothing to laugh about……」
「Ever try steel plates?」
「I don’t even want to think about using such hot, heavy objects for farm work in the middle of summer……」
Archem grumbled, and Hiroshi didn’t blame her. He had also cultivated some back in the game, and thankfully, he had already gained plenty of HP and defense, so he was able to harvest without taking any damage from the cannon fire of those beans. With that being said, the procedures, time needed for growth, and everything else was so different compared to the game that there wasn’t much point in remembering such things.
「Still, who would’ve thought that elves were an agricultural society……」
「What did you think they were?」
「I thought they were a race that primarily hunted and gathered, coexisting with the forest as their leader.」
「You can’t be serious. Even if this is a fruitful, abundant forest, you could hardly call the elven race one of the supposed “great” powers if that was all our lifestyle consisted of.」
「Can’t deny that……」
What Archem had been saying had truly put a dent in Tatsuya’s perception of the fantasy genre, but he couldn’t help but agree. The life of a narrow-minded hermit was sustainable precisely because of their scarcity in number. Although this village only numbered in the 10 thousands, the total population of elves in the world numbered over a million. There was no way that all elves could survive merely off of the blessings of the forest.
In a sense, this Japan-esque mountain village lifestyle could be seen as essential.
「Besides, even this village required steady cultivation and richening of the soil in order to restore places that couldn’t initially grow plants. We had to work patiently, little by little in order to avoid hindering the forest before expanding.」
「Well that’s purty straightforward……」
「Y’know, this is just destroying my image of elves more and more……」
All the Japanese people fully agreed with Makoto. In actuality, their perception of what elves were like was also shared by other races. In that sense, maybe these elves were the ones who were strange.
As they were chit-chatting about things like agricultural crops, normal life, and the structure of the village, Hiroshi suddenly displayed interest in something along the side of the farm road.
Thanks for the translation…..APOLOGIZE TO TOLKIEN ELVES!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the new chapter!