◈ Episode 448: Intruders of the Border (2)
Sedina was nervous.
I was overwhelmed by the presence of that elf who called himself Plante, but that wasn’t the only reason.
‘What are your eyes? They don’t look at me favorably at all.’
The gaze that sees oneself as an easy-to-handle tool.
And those eyes were the same as Sedina’s often faced before meeting Rudger.
Sedina tensed and clenched her fists tightly.
Either that or not, the other person carefully examined Sedina’s appearance and then rolled her eyes.
“Hmm. that’s interesting. I expected her with all my heart because the last of her remains were her blood relatives, but there’s not much of a resemblance to her, right?”
Sedina unknowingly flinched at the other person’s words.
The author knows the identity of this side.
If so, it would be rather a bad thing to remain silent here.
“Who are you?”
The elf woman widened her eyes, as if Sedina didn’t know how to open her mouth.
“It is strange. Quite a few elves dare not even raise their heads in front of me, but they boldly ask questions. Is it because half of the dirty blood is mixed? Or is it that even if it rots, half of it is Plante’s blood?”
“… … Are you an elven noble?”
Sedina asked without hesitation.
The strange presence emanating from the opponent continued to fuel anxiety and pressure on the mind.
Sedina didn’t give in to that.
Obviously, the presence of that elf was great. It was to the point of shrinking instinctively.
‘But not as much as the teacher.’
Being kidnapped is painful.
Not only was he a nuisance to Rudger, but he was also proud of himself for not being able to resist.
However, rather than being buried in the past, it was more important how to get through the future.
At least, the opponent didn’t seem to have any intention of treating him like a hostage.
‘It’s okay just to provide a place like this. The look in his eyes doesn’t seem friendly, but at least I can see that he’s trying to force me to treat him. Of course, I don’t know how far it will go.’
If he had intended to treat this side favorably in the first place, he would not have resorted to extreme measures such as tailing and kidnapping.
He has a purpose for himself, and there is something to be gained from it, so he must be watching over time.
Therefore, he intended to find out as much information as possible on the other side at this opportunity, when it was difficult for the opponent to touch him.
Seeing Sedina’s determined gaze, the opponent’s expression changed.
At first, as if he was curious, as if he saw something bold, and then as if he felt a little displeasure.
“You seem to have a poor judgment of the current situation.”
“Then are you going to kill me now?”
“why. Do you think you can’t kill me?”
Sedina said confidently.
Of course, that was only the surface.
In his heart, he was in a state of nervousness, not knowing when the elf in front of him would suddenly change and try to kill him.
It should be said that it is safe if judged rationally, but what if the opponent is really ridiculous?
I didn’t know that I might get angry and emotional at this provocation.
‘But the odds of that are low. If you come to a place like this alone and see the unique atmosphere it has, you’re probably the one who took the lead in kidnapping me. As long as he is in a high position, he must at least have a head to judge the situation.’
Sedina’s judgment was correct.
“It is interesting. Knowing that kind of attitude.”
Saying that, the blond elf reached out his hand toward Sedina.
A thin, white hand gently stroked her cheek.
But the touch of his hand over his flesh was shockingly cold.
Something that transcends physical warmth and gives psychological shrinkage and fear.
Touching the skin felt like a blade rather than a hand.
Sedina could feel it viscerally.
That the opponent in front of him wants to kill himself.
Hatred. or anger.
Even so, the reason why he didn’t kill him was because of the handful of reason that remained, albeit very little.
“It’s amazing. I never thought what I was looking for would be so close, under my fellow first John Doe. It must be true that the shadow under the nest is the darkest.”
“… … Same, first?”
“iced coffee. You don’t know.”
The elf woman smiled and introduced herself.
“This is First Order Bentmin. He is the head of the Leafre family, and he is a noble elf with the highest status here.”
Sedina held her breath.
It is surprising that the person who kidnapped her was the First Order, Bentmin, but her true identity was beyond imagination.
“Now do you have a sense of the situation you find yourself in? Second Order, Sedina Rosshen.”
* * *
Alex drew his sword and walked towards the darkness of the forest.
Rudger just watched him quietly.
“Miss Rudger. Can I not help?”
“If you help them, they will hate you.”
At the confident words, Vierano wondered if he should go help right now.
Rudger, who saw through the inner thoughts first, opened his mouth.
“Alex has a lot of pride even if he looks like that. He’s just pretending he’s not, he’s probably breaking down for not being able to protect Sedina and missing his pursuers.”
“That was unavoidable. I was there too, and I can’t say there was no fault of mine.”
“Even so, Alex is not convinced. The moment he is relieved by leaving some of it to others, saying he can’t help it, he ends up standing still.”
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing to stop, is it?”
“I guess so. But in the end, it varies from person to person. At least to Alex, it would be disgraceful to settle down and do nothing.”
A light flashed through the darkness Alex had stepped into.
At the same time, screams and shouts echoed through the forest.
“We cannot force it.”
“… … okay. That’s his way of life.”
“We just need to seal the area so that no one escapes.”
And Rudger had already finished preparing for it.
“They will not run away.”
“Are you sure?”
“The warriors of the Shade Warden are those who faithfully follow the orders given to them. Having undergone rigorous training, they do not even think of disobeying orders. Seeing as they had been besieging the perimeter before we came, they will never back down.”
Meanwhile, the fight beyond the darkness continued.
Vierano was deeply impressed.
By all accounts, this fight was against Alex.
First of all, it is a forest full of dense trees. For the elves, it was no different from an easier place than running around in the yard.
So was the darkness.
Darkness blocks the vision of all living things, but at least for the elves, the darkness of the forest was not a big problem.
Elves see what other races cannot.
A subtle energy flowing from the forest, trees, and grass.
Even the darkness, where nothing was visible to others, was visible to the elves with a subtle but fluorescent outline.
Elves were able to make good contracts with the spirits because they were very sensitive in that respect.
‘Even the Shade Wardens are so stealthy that they can hide completely from the eyes of elves. No matter how brilliant a knight may be, there’s no way he can fight the Shade Warden in a place like this.’
But what is this fight all about?
A little while ago, there was an incessant scream coming from beyond the forest.
No matter how many arrows he fired, it never touched Alex’s body.
When he took a step and soared up the tree, the elves waiting there were decapitated and rolled on the ground.
Clearly, this forest was the territory of the elves, but Alex was carrying out a one-sided slaughter with lighter steps than those elves.
“You, what are you?”
Reynar, an elf who is a high-ranking warrior and in charge of the boundaries of an area, asked.
It was his order to kill any enemy he found without even talking to him.
Talking to the other person is absurd.
But still, I couldn’t help but ask.
“How can a human move like that… … . Those are the footsteps of us elves.”
The movements that Alex freely moves through the forest.
It was the innate power of the elf race.
Just as the Beasts use the power of spirit, elves also use their power based on the life energy of the forest.
The level varies depending on the training, and it was possible for Shade Warden warriors to move several times faster on the roads in the forest using life energy.
That’s why the elves called that unique movement Forest Walk.
However, the brown-skinned person in front of me was using their forest walk the same way.
An existence that directly denies the common sense accumulated over the course of a lifetime has appeared.
He even forgot the order to show no mercy to the enemy for the moment.
“what. Was this move really that great?”
Alex replied as if it didn’t matter too much.
“Because you guys have already shown it ‘once’ at Ledervelk.”
“It was a bit of an odd step. So why did I do something like this, it sure seems like a good thing in a thick forest like this. Is it supposed to be a jumpy movement? It’s definitely different from a knight who has to keep both legs firmly on the ground. You can step on it anywhere.”
“What is that now… … .”
“So, I just saw what you showed me and copied it.”
Reynard’s lips trembled.
You didn’t learn forest walk, you just copied what other elves did? A lowly human, not even an elf?
“Don’t be ridiculous! How dare you mock us with human subjects?!”
As if responding to that voice, the elves who had been secretly surrounding Alex and aiming their bows let go.
Arrows coming from all directions.
I don’t know if I keep moving, but if I’m in a situation like now, I won’t be able to avoid it.
Reynard was confident of victory.
If only the wind hadn’t blown around Alex.
All the flying arrows bounced off.
It was unable to break through the atmospheric vortices that revolved around Alex.
It was an arrow imbued with spirits and the power of nature.
That the arrows that pierce the steel plates of the armored soldiers that humans are proud of can be easily deflected?
Reynard muttered blankly.
“Magic? government ordinance? no, that’s… … .”
That was Auror.
An aura that knights use.
A power that those who have trained their bodies can handle once they reach a certain level.
It was unbelievable to see such an aura unraveling and spinning like a thin thread from a skein of thread.
Could it be that Auras can freely change their form like that?
What Alex did was no different from changing the shape of metal by kneading it without melting it.
“Is that the end of the raid? I thought I was yawning because I was waiting for you on purpose.”
“for a moment… … .”
“By the way, you are the last.”
Alex didn’t wait for the other person’s words and moved on.
It jumps on tree branches and moves around as if it is not affected by gravity.
Even the elves couldn’t easily catch Alex’s movements.
Even if it was the same Forest Work, Alex was far superior to them in utilization and speed.
The energy of the forest or the power of the spirits used by the elves could not be used, but Aura was sufficient to replace that fuel.
The substream jumps over the headwaters.
finally catch up
It is not all about simply analyzing and copying the opponent’s abilities.
Alex’s real talent was right here.
Alex’s merciless blade inadvertently took the lives of the Shade Warden’s elves.
“It’s still not enough.”
But Alex was displeased.
The opponent was too weak to be bland.
After clearing things up, Alex rejoined Ludger’s side.
“oh my god. really alone… … .”
“ah. Did you? Do you think we should have kept some of them alive?”
At Alex’s question, Vierano shook his head.
“no. Rather, you did well. If even one person had survived, news would have been delivered right away. With the Shade Wardens besieging the borders of our family’s realm, it’s safe to say that in fact it has already happened. In a wartime situation, it’s funny to question whether it’s morality or conscience.”
Saying so, Vierano seemed quite far from the benevolence he usually showed as a teacher.
Considering the years he had lived, there was nothing unusual about it.
Because Vierano was an elf who personally experienced the war that took place 100 years ago.
“Come on, let’s move. It seems that the situation in the kingdom is not serious.”
It was then that Vierano, who was about to move beyond the border, stopped.
This time, even Vierano was clearly detectable.
New ones were coming this way.
Not the Shade Warden.
This time, it was from the inside of the border, from the territory of the Dentis family.
Soon, a faint luminous color that lit up the darkness of the forest spread and a group of elves appeared.
“Who are you guys!”
The number of the group was quite large.
Maybe they were moving with the assumption of an unknown battle, because the number alone exceeded 50.
Standing at the forefront was a beautiful elf with a hair color similar to Vierano’s.
“This is the territory of the Dentis family! A further approach… … !”
“Biella. It is me.”
The elf called Biella recognized Vierano and widened her eyes.
Rudger’s party, who had been cautious inwardly, calmed down.
Fortunately, there didn’t seem to be any fights.
‘But there’s something strange about the reaction.’
Ludgar narrowed his eyes at the elves who were not very happy when they recognized Vierano.
“how… … .”
Biella’s eyes toward Vierano were full of complex emotions.
“Why are you here?”
“Biella? what the hell is that… … .”
“Okay. Arrest him.”
As soon as Biella’s order was given, the elves of the Dentis family moved.