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Chapter 74

Ente Forest extends from the northern part of Arcrest Kingdom, down through the eastern side of the kingdom. It continues on through part of the south, meeting up with various other eastern countries.

Those eastern countries are small pieces of land, their borders sandwiched between Ente Forest and the sea. Because of the natural geographic surroundings, those eastern countries would have a hard time attacking Arcrest Kingdom via land routes.

When we first stepped foot onto the Fairy Road, all of the scents around us disappeared, and the surrounding space became a floppy and twisted scenery as we walked through the tunnel.

Each step as we walked on foot covered a far greater distance than ordinary transportation methods could, so much that it really couldn’t even be compared.

As we got closer and closer to Yggdrasil while progressing on the Fairy Road, we could feel numerous invisible barriers stretching around to keep the spatial axis of the road in a fixed position.

It was this system of barriers that blocked off any spatial jumps or leaps.

Unless they could gain access to the Fairy Road and walk on it like we currently are, outside beings on the ground can’t get close to Yggdrasil because the road is within a fixed barrier in space.

Even for people on the same power levels as Ryoukichi or Dramina, it would be extremely difficult to break through this barrier. As expected of the World Tree Yggdrasil.

After walking for about a hundred steps through the twisting tunnel, we spotted a faint green light shining from the exit ahead, and Fio, who’d been walking in the lead, turned around to look at us.

It seems like we’ve made it to our destination.

If we had tried walking here normally, we would have had to wander through the forest for days, no, months, but with the Fairy Road, it had only taken a hundred steps. It was a convenient road.

「Now then, we’ve finally arrived at Deep Green. It’s not like we’ve never had humans visit before, but it’s definitely been a very, very long time since we last had a human visitor」

Ha, my soul is actually that of a dragon’s, but oh, well.

When we passed through the exit that was shining a light green, we entered a space that had a much richer and thicker atmosphere than Cywest Village, one filled with many different scents from an abundance of flowers, which tickled our lungs and minds with every breath.

Although the atmosphere wasn’t that colorful, it was full of strangely rich scents floating through fine particles in the air. The voices, breaths, and heat of countless people could be felt on my skin, with the sound reaching my ears.

Trailing along on my left side was Selina, and when she saw the scenery that jumped up before our eyes upon our arrival, her blue-colored eyes widened as she raised her voice in genuine admiration, without any hint of a lie or deceit.

「Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this, this is amazing!」

We were standing on the outer edge of a space shaped like a deep, earthenware bowl.

And in the depths of the bowl, from what could be seen with ordinary human eyes, was a hole drilled so deep down, that the bottom couldn’t be seen.

But when I poured magical energy into my eyes, I was shocked to find that the hole was so deep, that crystal clear water had gathered down at the bottom, and formed into a lake.

Over the course of many long years, thanks to the rainfall, the snowmelt, and surely the stored up groundwater that had leaked through as well, a large lake had formed here.

Unbelievably huge tree roots were growing in the see-through water, its growth extending even further below the ground at the bottom of the lake. Within the water, I could see gorgeous flowers growing in full blossom, and various fishes of many shapes and sizes swimming around.

But more than all of that, the one thing that stole away the attention of my eyes and mind, was the extraordinarily gigantic tree that grew out from the bottom of the hole, and reached up toward the heavens.

The thickness of the tree trunk was large enough to comfortably contain the entirety of Galois within it.

This large tree standing right before our eyes was one of only five such World Trees that existed in this world. This was Ente-Yggdrasil.

The single tree trunk filled up our entire line of sight no matter which direction we looked, and on the tree’s surface was a thick carpet of moss that covered the trunk, having had an eternity of years to grow. From that moss, red, blue, yellow, purple, and many other colored fruits were growing, and flowers of all possible colors were also blooming. All of this decorated the trunk of Yggdrasil.

Upon closer inspection of Yggdrasil, a countless amount of branches stretched out from its trunk, where various small animals, insects, and birds were making their nest. From this, I could tell that Yggdrasil itself was a place that created its own ecosystem.

On that note, when I looked up, the blue sky was completely covered by a lively system of deep green leaves that grew in great abundance. The leaves extended from branches that stretched out in all directions, and absolutely covered the sky with a green dome.

Because the tree’s roots started at the bottom of the deep hole, if you tilted your neck up to a right angle, then you could more or less look up at the tree. But if this tree’s bottom had started at ground level, then surely it could have been seen even from as far away as Bern Village.

On the slopes that led down to form the sides of the bowl-shaped hole, were numerous other trees growing all over the place. And in the spaces between all the branches, I could see a countless amount of houses built there. Or rather, the houses were built into the trees themselves.

Many ropes crossed between the houses and the trees, and cages hung from those ropes.

It seems like these ropes and cages were one of several modes of transportation used here. The smaller cages could hold up to four people, while the large ones could hold up to a hundred people inside. This must be one of those so called Ropeways.

Besides this ropeway, there were also plenty of suspension bridges stretching between trees and houses. They were made for traveling short distances, when using the cages would be unnecessary.

In addition, there were also people mounting giant dragonflies and bees to fly around, and others using large spiders, ants, or wingless birds in place of horses to get around.

「It’s certainly surprising to know that there is such a lively place like this within Ente Forest.

No humans from the kingdom could possibly imagine this place where so many various races and species are coexisting, even if considering the sheer size of Ente Forest」

We were standing on a stage in the shape of a half circle, formed from the trees’ branches intertwining intricately to create the appearance of a floor.

It seems the outer edges of the hole served as the exits from the Fairy Road, and as I looked to my left and right, I could see many other people also coming through from the Fairy Road like we did.

Ente Forest was so large, its borders came into contact with various other countries. But although it is very large, no outsider could have ever imagined how many non-humans of various races lived here. They just kept coming out one after the other without end.

We continued onward with Fio, Marl, and Diadora leading the way, while Selina and I followed behind them. As we walked in this order, I struck up a conversation with Diadora and Marl.

「I know Fio has traveled here many times already, but Marl, Diadora, have you two been here before as well?」

「I’ve come here together with Fio and her friends many times. I get to meet her other fairy friends, and I love going to the festivals because they’re just so lively and fun」

「My situation is similar to Marl’s.

In my case, I’m not so close with the other Black Rose Spirits as Marl is with her fairy friends, but we go together during the release of Yggdrasil’s mana to raise our spiritual and magical power.

Whenever we’re blessed with such opportunities, we try to remember to travel here as often as we can」

「Hmm. Then we won’t have any trouble with you all guiding us.

Well, with that said, it wouldn’t be a problem either if you wanted to go out on your own and leave Selina and I behind, so long as you tell us where we can all meet up again」

「Dran, you sure say some unpleasant things. You two are my new friends, and I’ve been looking forward to sightseeing with you both.

Even if you say you don’t want to, I’ll have you accompany us anyway, you know」

Fio said this with a bright smile on her face. I see, it seems my excessive consideration for them was unneeded.

Allowing ourselves to rely on them and go enjoy the festival all together would be the best course of action, for both me and Selina, and for Fio and everyone else too.

We once again continued to move our feet forward, heading for the house owned by Fio’s relatives. While doing so, I looked around and observed our surroundings. Digging into the surface of the slope of the large hole were many intertwining stone doors, which seemed to lead into underground houses and facilities made for breeding insects.

When I made magic flow through my eyes again, I could see that many branches from Yggdrasil and many other trees extended through the ground, intertwining into a complex system. But there were also many spaces for living that had been purposefully made within that system.

Most likely, during the time when Yggdrasil was first forming, the other plants of Ente Forest, along with the Wood Elf residents, had evolved in a direction that could make use of their surroundings so they could create a convenient lifestyle.

The residents of this forest had evolved to surpass the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and learned to live off the easily harvested fruits and sap as food, while having coexistence and symbiosis as the foundation for their evolution.

As we steadily descended down the slope, the path became wider, while the tree trunks that grew out from the slope towards the center of the hole became thicker, and we saw many houses built from lumber and ivy scattered throughout.

I couldn’t see very many manufactured products made of metal like copper or iron, but instead, there were plenty of building materials made of stone, brick, and clay.

As I expected, because their lifestyle and evolution had taken form around the basis that they were living among the trees, their culture had become one that rarely made use of fire.

Fio’s relatives’ house where we would be staying stood at a little past the midway point of the hole’s slope downward.

Although it obviously didn’t compare to Yggdrasil’s height, it was comparable in height to a house that was five floors tall. It was a large tree that had rooms hollowed out of it to create a house, with glass windows set into the tree’s trunk in various places.

Before Fio could even knock on the double doors that were embedded in the large tree, the front doors instead opened from the inside and a Wood Elf man and woman who were in their mid thirties could be seen.

Perhaps the trees or the other fairies in the surroundings had seen us earlier and gone on ahead to announce our arrival.

Following the reputation of the Wood Elves, who are known for their beautiful appearances that are top class among all the existing races, this couple who had come out to welcome Fio were also so beautiful, they looked like they had just jumped straight out of a painting.

Compared to Fio, who could be said to be about the same age as me in human years, these two of course had a few wrinkles on their faces here and there, but their somewhat dulled golden hair, and their beautiful eyes which looked like jade, all contained a shine that could be called nothing less than splendid.

The Wood Elves of Ente Forest wore clothes that emphasized functionality and ease of movement with regard to gender, so although their clothes were suited for the festival, somewhat decorated with ornaments and embroidery, the man and woman were both wearing outfits that consisted of long sleeved shirts and pants.

The materials that had been used to make their clothes were made of the silk thread of silkworms, hemp, and something else that wasn’t exactly cotton, but it was made from the leaves of plants.

There was probably some kind of technology here that allowed them to order clothes that were manufactured through the use of suitable vegetation in the surrounding area.

「Uncle, Auntie!」

「Fio, we’ve been waiting for you」

「It’s been twenty years. Have you grown a little bigger now?」

Not having met for twenty years might seem like a long time, but well, for the Wood Elves who had long lifespans, twenty years wasn’t really that long.

Fio embraced the lady who she had called her aunt, with a big smile on her face.

Upon seeing how close and affectionate she was with her aunt and uncle, I felt a soft warmth spread through my heart. The male Wood Elf gave off a calm and peaceful smile as he turned his jade green eyes toward us.

「Diadora, Marl, we haven’t met since the last festival, huh? It’s good to see you’re both doing as well as always. And you two must be Dran and Selina. We’ve heard about you from Gio and Fio.

I am Fio’s uncle, Aziram, and this is my wife, Marial.

You two fought to save Cywest from the demons that tried to invade from the demon world. It’s a little late, but I want to show you my gratitude. Thanks」

「Yes, that’s right. I want to thank you as well. Thanks to your help, our cute niece and nephew were saved」

「Not at all, we only did what was right, as fellow residents of this earth.

Besides, it was only thanks to the help of Diadora and Fio, who held the power of people from Ente Forest, that we were able to repel the demon forces.

What we did was really nothing much. You think so too, right, Selina?」

「Yes. At that time, the demons were a formidable foe, but everyone challenged them to a fight without faltering. Seeing their bravery was very invigorating.

But if only we had been able to help earlier; I can’t help but think that」

「No, no, it’s all thanks to your assistance that we were able to keep the number of casualties low. There’s no mistaking that. Now then, come in, and welcome to our home, our guests from far lands」


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