Vol 4: Chapter 66
I decided to start my search the next morning. If there is indeed a way to connect the worlds through the “First Altar”, I can get to it from the village in less than a day.
I had the dark elves investigate traces of La Fisa’s footprints in the past, but it seems that they didn’t obtain any results. However, there are old ruins around the location of the Kruvan Holy Kingdom, and considering that the “First Altar” must be there too, it would not be strange to find something there.
The method I was looking for might be the same one used by La Fisa in the past to cross between worlds.
It was decided that the investigation team should comprise only elite members; Knock-san, Hundredman Chief, and I. Taking into consideration our movement speed, increasing our numbers would only serve to slow us down.
「I’ll be back tomorrow.」
Asha had a sullen look all day long.
I asked her to remain as the leader of the dark elves. Well… a lot of things happened when I left her last time, so I can understand her feelings as I am leaving her yet again.
However, this is the last time.
As soon as we find a way to cross to the Front World at the First Altar, we can all cross together.
We left the village early in the morning.
(The last time, huh…)
I thought to myself while running.
(What will Asha do when she returns to the Front World?)
Will she return to the Emperor of the Lev Magic Empire? It seemed that she was unhappy with his life as a “caged bird”. That said, it doesn’t seem like she would be able to return to the Elven Forest — the “Third Forest”. She was a High Elf royal who was sent to the Lev Magic Empire as a “transaction”, after all.
(Does she want to be an adventurer, then? It doesn’t suit her, though…)
If she becomes an adventurer, she can live without worrying about her status. The freelance aspect surely sounds good, but adventurers are vagrants with unstable employment, and rarely get the chance to become heroes.
(But if Asha wants freedom, then I…)
What would I do? Would I stop her? Even though I myself insist on living as an adventurer?
I recalled the time when I left the Kruvan Holy Kingdom. At that time, I returned Miss Eva to her father, Earl Sillys. Those two were the only family left to each other, and the young lady was only 12 years old. I thought she would be ill-suited to lead the life of an adventurer.
(It was only about two months ago, but I’m already feeling nostalgic…)
But Asha’s situation is different.
She has a place to return to, but it is not a good place. If she really wants complete freedom, then I think she can become an adventurer.
(…Do I think that because I hope she will become an adventurer?)
I mean, she is sweet, and beautiful, and she conducts herself perfectly. She is elegant and patient, but hidden in her heart is a fiery passion.
Since it was I who unleashed the fiery passion in her, both physically and emotionally, perhaps I do have some responsibility for her future.
(Alright, then. I will support Asha with adventuring with all I’ve got.)
Though, there is a limit to what I can do. And she might unexpectedly declare, “I’m already tired of being an adventurer!”
——Little brother, you always imagine the most impossible situations in your mind.
Suddenly, I felt like I heard my sister’s voice.
(No way… hahaha. I wonder what Lark would say if she was here?)
——Are you trying to manipulate a teenage girl? You aren’t delicate enough, little brother.
Or something like that, I imagine.
(It’s important to fulfill Asha’s wishes when we return, but I also have to look for Lark.)
I am seriously worried about her health. She still has the 6-star skill in her body.
「Is it alright to leave the High Elf-sama behind?」
I came back to reality when Knock called out to me.
「Well… it can’t be helped.」
「She seemed to be in a bad mood.」
I mentioned that Asha had a sullen look earlier, but it was actually a bit of an understatement.
I actually left Asha in Nicky-san’s care while she was crying, “I don’t want to stay”, “I want to follow you”, “You are terrible”.
「I will do my best to apologize when I return.」I said.
「I guess you have it tough, too.」Knock-san said sympathetically.
「Kukukuku… ah, I shouldn’t laugh. I’m just amazed that even the High Elf-san who used such unbelievable magic is so reliant on you.」the Hundredman chief laughed.
He seems to have been a relative of Sarume-san who fought to stop the Human Mimic, and was deeply mourning her death. However, when the underground people joined the dark elves, he picked himself back up, helped out everyone, and also volunteered to join this team.
「I would like to ask you both something.」
I asked them about the things I learned from Human Mimic, but I didn’t get a good answer.
Neither of them had heard that the “giant species can talk”, nor were they aware of the words “Earth Talk” and “Vision Ogre”.
「The city council guys might know of it, but they all stayed behind.」
According to the Hundredman chief, the entire city council remained with the 30% of the underground people who wanted to reconstruct the Underground city.
「Half of them wanted to help the rest… while the other half probably didn’t want to throw away their privileged class.」
It seems that the Marshal’s father also remained behind. He was said to have remained to save those who were left behind.
「—Reiji-dono, the ruins are coming into view.」Knock-san said.
We were able to reach the “Holy City” several hours earlier than planned due to the fact that we were able to achieve considerable speed and we didn’t encounter any battle.
Apparently, many monsters fled far away due to the appearance of Forest Eater and Human Mimic. The place was safe, but on the contrary, food source was a problem.
As we traversed out of the forest, numerous stone buildings appeared into my view.
The roofs collapsed, and pillars and stone pavements were broken, but it was proof that there was a “town” there.
「Stop. Both of you.」I called out.
「What is it?」
We were on a wide road with broken stone pavements covered with dead grass which seemed to be the main street of the town, but it was still much better than running through the forest.
The “First Altar” should be beyond this point… but I felt a presence at the end of the road.
「Do you have the strength to fight?」
Their facial expressions changed as I asked.
「All good, too.」
Reassuring replies. I don’t have to use【Healing Magic】, it seems.
「Get ready. It’s coming.」
At that moment, our world was surrounded by darkness.