◈ Episode 452 Oak Bark (1)
The cubes floating around Ludgar began to change.
A cube the size of an adult’s head separated into dozens of much smaller cubes, which then came together in midair to create new steel spears.
The elves just looked at the scene as if possessed by something.
Instead of shooting the steel spear at the elves, Ludger stuck it vertically into the hallway between himself and the elves.
A steel barrier was formed in an instant, and the elves could not even run to Ludgar, probably losing their fighting spirit.
“Alex. do it right Isn’t water leaking this way?”
“iced coffee. sorry. I’m not used to it either.”
What came from behind the elves of the three noble families that blocked the way was Alex’s voice containing death.
Ludger looked back at the soldiers of the Dentis family and opened his mouth.
“What are you doing? Wasn’t it fighting to protect the family?”
“That, that… … .”
“To think that the vassals are still fighting while the family lord is fighting inside. There must have been a reason for the status of the Dentis family to fall to the ground.”
Ludgar’s provocation made Dentis’ soldiers cry and glared at Ludgar.
“What are you going to do when you stare at me? Isn’t your enemy over there right now?”
Rudgar gestured at the elves of the three noble families.
“If you are a vassal of Dentis, protect the family with your own hands.”
The elves who heard about the family from the mouth of others thought it was insulting, but they knew how to discern what was urgent.
The elves of House Dentis immediately rushed towards the enemy.
The balance that was only vigilant with each other has long since collapsed.
In addition, even now among the elves of the three noble families, Alex was rampaging and continuing to overturn the war situation.
And the moment Dentis’ elite soldiers participated, it was good to say that the result was virtually solidified.
The unilateral slaughter that followed.
It could be said that it was excessive, but it was the three nobles who invaded other people’s families and started a fight.
In fact, it was supposed to be a war now.
Of course, Alex was not without mercy.
“Those who surrender save their lives.”
You don’t have to kill everyone.
If they’ve lost their will to fight, all you have to do is invite them to surrender and use them as hostages.
However, Alex looked down too much on the elves belonging to the three noble families.
I didn’t know how proud and arrogant they were as elves.
Even for elves, dying is scary.
However, to receive mercy from humans beyond that would be to drive the pride of the elves of the three noble families to the ground.
Seeing the anger, anger, hatred, and murderous intent in their eyes, Alex let out a laugh as if it were absurd.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen people react like this because they’re saving me.”
okay. Rather, this was better.
That way, even if I killed them all, there would be no back talk.
“Did I say that? You brought it all on yourself.”
The elves of the three noble families rushed towards Alex with determination.
However, the struggle was like watching the ridiculous end of a fire moth rushing towards the flames.
* * *
The fight is over.
All the elves who fearlessly invaded the Dentis family became cold corpses.
The moment he was about to enjoy the victory, Vierano also came out after the fight.
Back with Biella, Vierano was so clean it was hard to believe he had a fight.
It must have been a one-sided fight, considering the vibrations that echoed over there.
“What did the elders do?”
“I overpowered him and held him.”
Vierano replied in his usual polite manner.
However, for some reason, the word suppression did not sound like usual.
Rudger glanced at Biella.
I had thought of her as a pretty strong elf before, but now Viella had a strong sense of discipline.
That wasn’t the bad side.
Rather, it seemed that his respect for Vierano was much stronger than before.
“Rather than that, this is what happened in the end.”
Vierano looked at the signs of a fight inside and became a complicated face.
I vaguely expected this to happen, but just thinking about it and facing it in reality were completely different.
“Now what do you want to do?”
“The Dentis family has already split with the three nobles. But that doesn’t mean you can’t join the Leafre family.”
“You’ve actually become a third force.”
“yes. It was something I had to do at some point. However, it was done more hastily than expected. Dentis does not yet have the power to become independent on its own.”
“Are you okay?”
“There is no way. Now that this has happened, I have no choice but to get help.”
“If it helps… … .”
“There is one family like us that has been neutral until now.”
Burke in charge of the outer defense of the forest.
It is safe to say that it was the pinnacle of the seven families in terms of pure family strength.
“These are the ones who are not related to political strife, but will they really move?”
“… … Actually, there is one thing I haven’t said yet.”
“There’s something else in the Burke family.”
“sorry. Originally, I should have said it earlier, but the situation is like this.”
Just in time, Hans and Bellaluna, who had been hiding near the dungeon while watching, also joined the scene.
Vierano opened his mouth after confirming that all the members had gathered to save Sedina.
“The Burkes of Oakbark must be in charge of blocking outside enemies from the outskirts of the forest. But you will also wonder. Why is it that only one family should share the work of preventing the invasion of foreign enemies?”
“There was definitely something strange.”
Hans nodded as if agreeing.
Forest elves do not live in harmony with each other.
They, like people, formed internal factions and gained power, engaging in competition and strife.
Does it make sense that such elves entrust the defense of the forest to one family?
What would happen if the Burke family made up their mind and joined forces with foreign powers to open up the forest?
Of course, if you weren’t prepared for such an event, that wasn’t the case either.
First of all, this forest itself is a natural fortress that prevents foreign invaders.
Even so, there were many strange parts in charge of a single force maintaining at least a stable barrier and neutrality.
“The Burkes are not in charge of defending the forest on their own. They are being punished.”
“It’s a punishment.”
“The Burkes were actually a family that loved the forest more than anyone else and loved to take care of it. Now, it boasts an iron wall like a tough tree bark, but the root is that it wasn’t like that.”
“It means that you are in fact being exiled. How did that happen?”
“The Burke family… … It was a vassal family that had the closest relationship with the Bondi Plante family.”
When Plante’s name came up, everyone was surprised.
However, considering the treatment of the Burke family now, it was quite understandable.
“indeed. Plante and Burke. These two families were at the pinnacle of elven society in the past.”
“yes. However, the Plante family was exterminated for trying to steal the World Tree outside, and the Burke family also took on some of the guilt.”
In the end, Leafre took the place of the Plante family.
Those who helped oust Plante became a new family called the Shade Wardens.
Plante and Berk’s position in the past was now occupied by Leafre and Shade Warden.
“The Burke family also chose to accept the punishment rather than turn a blind eye to their sins. We have been fighting for a long time in the place where we are closest to the enemy. I hope that someday, I can return to the Forest of Glory, which is closest to the World Tree.”
“There must be a reason why the Burkes remain neutral while other families are fighting.”
“Because virtually no one was willing to work with Burke. No matter how much I want to win, I want to avoid being involved with a family of sinners. Hundreds of years have passed, but that recognition remains.”
“Are you going to join hands with that Burke? It will not be an easy choice.”
“The last of the Plante family is alive. Until now, they have responded silently to everything, but this time it will be different.”
“But where is the guarantee that it will be?”
It was Bellaluna who asked this time.
“The reason why the Burke family was virtually exiled was because of the Plante family’s independent act of stealing the World Tree outside, wasn’t it? Wouldn’t they rather hate the Plante family?”
The claim was quite plausible.
They are being punished for protecting the forest for nearly 500 years.
There was a tribal war 100 years ago, and it was the Burke family who made the most sacrifices on the front line.
Memories of that day fade in guns, gunpowder, and death.
The only thing left would be the emptiness and anger of why he had to be like this.
Even more horrifying is when the hell this punishment will end.
Even though they fought in the war 100 years ago, their perception has not changed.
If so, I don’t know if there will be any change in the future.
A vague fear that I might have to live like this for the rest of my life.
What do the young elves of the Burke family who were born and live now think about Plante?
“You might think so. But if they were really dissatisfied, they would have argued that it was unfair from before. However, the Burke family did not separately assert their legitimate rights even after the Tribal War.”
“At least that’s how you see it from the outside.”
“Of course, there will be internal noises that outsiders don’t know about. But in the end, looking at the big picture, the Burke family is still not very dissatisfied with their situation.”
Hans opened his mouth, assuming the worst case scenario.
“… … They might be secretly preparing a real treason.”
Hans thought that it was rather plausible even though he said it himself.
It was the same for others.
“Yes. In fact, the Burkes have long built up hatred and resentment, and may be looking for an opportunity to unleash it. But that doesn’t change what we have to do.”
“Right. Only the method is different, but the way the Burke family moves remains the same.”
Of course, the Burkes cannot be trusted completely.
I couldn’t rule out the possibility of them declaring that they would not intervene in this affair.
However, no matter how deep-rooted a giant tree may be, if not a storm, but an earthquake that overturns the skin of the ground itself is about to happen.
At that time, they will have no choice but to respond in their own way.
“So, is Mr. Vierano contacting the Burke family right away?”
“I have to send a messenger, but how long will it take… … .”
“Isn’t it possible to communicate through the forest network?”
“That is easier said than done.”
Vierano explained the blind spots in the forest network used by the elves.
“The forest becomes our eyes, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair eyes for all. The supervisors who can access the network usually have priority, but even among them, the ranks are divided.”
“Even if you’re a watcher, it’s hard to intrude into someone else’s territory.”
“yes. It is not for nothing that the territories of each clan are divided. No matter how good a watcher you are, you can’t peek into another family’s territory. If it doesn’t work secretly, we have to take the official route, but unfortunately we don’t even know the network connected with the Burke family.”
“You mean the Dentis family?”
Rudger asked in surprise.
Vierano nodded bitterly as if he understood the reaction.
“It’s not just the Dentis family. Even the Leafre family, the highest authority in the forest, would not know. They were sent to exile in the first place, so they don’t care about that.”
“Then isn’t it more difficult to cope with treason?”
“To prepare for that, watchers from other families are checking around the Burke family in real time. However, from the outside, there is no movement inside.”
“The Burkes seem to be at a level where they don’t pay any attention to what’s going on inside the forest. It is safe to say that it is a self-contained organization.”
“Nevertheless, we do our best to fight against the invasion of foreign enemies. They are such people. The Burke family.”
If Vierano was to say this, it was trustworthy enough.
“The problem is that it would take at least half a day to send a messenger directly. It is not good in an urgent situation right now.”
“I am worried about that too. If I had known this would happen, I would have made more friends with them on a regular basis. Biella. Is there any way?”
“I’m sorry, Uncle. The Burke family is also out of touch with us… … .”
Even Biella, who currently serves as the head of household, said that it was difficult.
While everyone was thinking about it, there was one person who carefully raised his hand.
It was Bellaluna.
“I… … .”
Everyone’s gaze turned to Bella Luna.
Whenever Bellaluna steps forward at a moment like this, something must happen.
“Why are you doing that, Ms. Bellaluna? Are you planning on bypassing the Burkes’ network?”
Bellaluna flinched as Vierano looked at her with a gaze full of anticipation.
“Oh, that’s possible too.”
“… … As long as it’s possible.”
Ignoring the words of Hans who was muttering nonsensically next to her, Bellaluna brought out the words she had intended to say at first.
“But there is no need for that. I can communicate directly with the Burke family.”
“… … .”
Everyone who understood the meaning belatedly shouted in surprise at the same time.