「Okay Lucy, it’s about time to get back to work. It’d be bad to play hooky any longer than this. Slacking off to the very limit where it’s acceptable is my creed.」
「Then do your best so that I don’t have to get angry.」
「That’s not possible. Lucy expects too much from me after all.」
「It’s not too much. After all Cyril can accomplish it.」
A carefree smile. I could see her trust and expectation for me.
My chest hurt. Whenever I saw this smile I ended up wanting to do something.
I always ended up trying to make plans and think about it…but eventually I would despair at my helplessness once more.
I didn’t want to feel this way anymore so I desperately tried to pretend that I no longer cared, that I had given up. But Lucy wouldn’t let me.
『Is there any need to give up? Isn’t it simply your own fear? You’re simply closing your eyes and making excuses. But the world won’t wait on you. Whether you’re ready or not you’ll lose your most important thing if you go on like this.』
Shut up! The voice in my head was louder than usual. The magic in my body was swirling in agitation.
It felt like something inside my body was changing. No not changing….reverting. Reverting to its proper form.
「Cyril your face is pale as a ghost! Are you really okay?」
「I said I’m fine! You’re so nosy Lucy, let’s hurry up and go.」
I took Lucy’s hand and walked quickly.
I couldn’t help but want to touch her. When the voice in my head spoke of losing that which I treasured most I immediately thought of Lucy’s smiling face.
The two of us finally reached the wheat field.
I could see the elves of our generation were already working.
「You guys are late.」
「As punishment you lose one of your side-dishes for lunch. Lucy is fine since it’s obviously Cyril’s fault.」
Rick was a mischievous boy and Judy was a naive girl well suited to her freckled face. The two of them were our childhood friends.
「Sorry about that. But please leave our food. It’s the only enjoyment we have.」
I lightly said as I grabbed my tools and entered the field.
It was at that moment…that I heard the sound of horse hooves.
My entire body froze.
The only ones who approached on horse were humans.
It wasn’t only us, the others in the fields nearby also froze.
The humans that controlled this village had arrived.
There were two of them driving a large two-horse wagon and three of them on horseback.
All of them were fully armored soldiers.
「Listen up you animals. We have come to do a supplementary collection! Since a larger number of the crystals were sold on the black market than usual we are three magic crystals short. We don’t have time to choose more carefully so just bring us three suitable ones.」
I couldn’t help but react to those horribly outrageous words.
It was their job to collect and deliver the wheat and magic crystals.
If I were to understand his words correctly….they had killed more of us than necessary and sold those crystals. They had sold too many and now due to their greed they were short on their quota. With that as their only reason they came to kill more of us to make magic crystals.
What was this irrationality and unfairness? Do we truly have to continue enduring this?
「Captain it’s a pain in the neck so why don’t we just take three of the closest ones.」
「Hmm, I guess you’re right. Go on.」
One of the two who was driving the cart said.
Then one of the soldiers began walking towards us.
It was obvious. Our field was the closest to them.
One of my long time acquaintances Rick turned his back and started running.
However, a flash of silver flew by and a knife hit him in the back making him fall.
「That’s one down.」
The one who threw the knife was the one they called Captain. He had made sure not to hit his vitals.
「Now the second one is…」
He said and grabbed Judy’s arm.
I felt relief that neither Lucy or I had been chosen.
But…there was one left. I prayed that it wouldn’t be….
The Captain guy reached his hand towards me.
Thank goodness. Lucy is safe.
「Wait! I’ll go.」
My relief was momentary. Lucy stepped in front of me, blocking the Captain man’s hand.
「You just need three right? Then I’ll go.」
She said protecting me behind her.
「Hahaha, what’s up with this one….having a girl cover for him.」
The underling soldiers laughed uproariously.
My face was red from shame and regret. My fists trembled as I clenched them.
「Sure why not? Offering yourself for your lover….you’re gonna make me cry you know?」
The Captain said purposefully taking off his helmet and one of his gauntlets. He pulled Lucy over and massaged her breasts as he licked her cheek.
Lucy’s gaze didn’t waver as she glared at him.
Her shoulders shook. Her legs trembled. But, she desperately stood tall with her small body.
「Hurry up and take me. If I go then you’ll have your quota right?」
Lucy’s trembling form……it overlapped with the image of a single High Elf Girl that emerged from deep within my soul.
A scene that I had never personally witnessed was burned into my sight.
The one I yearned for, the girl that shone with unceasing light.
「I believe in Cyril, so even if I’m not here…do your best.」
Compared to what that High Elf girl had faced….these soldiers were nothing. But……Lucy’s courage, her will to protect me…to walk to her own doom simply to save me….that courage was no less than that High Elf’s.
I wanted to protect Lucy’s light….I wanted to watch over her and be by her side….that’s what I thought.
「Get your filthy hands off of her!!!」
My fists trembled but even so, I attacked.