◈ Episode 453 Oak Bark (2)
Vierano asked in a trembling voice.
“No, why the hell is that now, no… … Rather, how do you do that? Ho, by any chance Miss Bellaluna was from the Burke family?”
Vierano had no choice but to think so.
It is the Burke family that only cares about the defense of the forest and does not even shine a peep on internal affairs.
Those who cut off all contact with other families and silently guard the entrance to the extent that they do not even know what they are doing.
I wonder if other families are still monitoring them from outside the territory, suspecting that they may be plotting a traitor.
The closedness of the Burke family is such that even the Dentis family, who are not hostile to each other, cannot approach them.
However, since Bellaluna, who is not a family member, but an individual, said that it was possible, it was natural for her to have such doubts.
“Oh, no. It’s not like that… … .”
Bellaluna, who spoke out at the excessive reaction around her, was rather intimidated and blurted out her words.
I brought up an opinion because I wanted to be of some help, but the response was more enthusiastic than I expected.
this is so embarrassing.
Even Rudger was staring at Bellaluna in bewilderment.
Bellaluna hurriedly opened her mouth as her eyes urged her to tell her the reason.
“Yes, I have had help before.”
“It was the Burkes who helped me escape out of the woods.”
Bellaluna casually said something absurd.
What’s even worse is that he really thinks that nothing is wrong.
“That, because I secretly hacked the World Tree, I was being tracked. So I tried to get out of the forest to escape in order to somehow survive.”
Bellaluna remembered what she had been through in the past.
“Because I didn’t go into detail, in fact, I almost died at that time. Before I could completely get out of the forest, the palace soldiers came after me to capture me alive. I almost got caught, so I thought, ah, now I’m dead, but then, like a savior, the Burkes showed up and saved me.”
“You mean the Burke family?”
“yes. At that time, while I was running away, it happened to flow into the vicinity of the Burke family territory.”
“Even the reclusive Burke family must have come to see what happened to their territory.”
“The pursuers who came to catch me couldn’t stand against the Burkes, so they eventually gave up. I lived thanks to you.”
“But how did you find a way to contact the Burke family? No matter how much help she received, it must have been difficult.”
“ah. It was the patriarch of the Burke family who saved me then. He said I was an interesting guy, and he helped me.”
“… … .”
Vierano was speechless for a moment.
He came to his senses and opened his mouth to try to say something, but his head was so complicated that he couldn’t get the words out.
Vierano, who repeatedly opened and closed his mouth to say something like that.
“… … yes what Yes.”
He said in a voice full of resignation.
Rudger, Hans, and Alex thought at the same time.
‘I don’t even ask anymore.’
‘I guess I gave up.’
‘I gave up.’
The three nodded as if they understood Vierano’s weak reaction.
Who would have known that such an inside story was hidden in Bellaluna?
The people I worked with didn’t even know.
Even if you ask why you didn’t tell me, you’ll get an amazing answer that you didn’t tell me because you didn’t ask.
Rudger felt that it was a really good thing to bring Bellaluna by force this time.
“So, are you saying Miss Belaluna can contact the Burke family head?”
“uh. Maybe? It’s been several years already, so the line may have changed now.”
“Normally, the direct line with the state of California does not change even after a hundred years. Besides, leaving your contact information while guiding you out of the forest might mean that you wanted to contact me someday. Then it will stay as it is.”
“ah. You might think so.”
“oh my god. Direct communication with the householder… … .”
Still unable to believe it, Vierano muttered to himself despondently.
His nephew, Biella, was restless as if he was not used to the distraught look of his uncle.
“Whoa. Well, it was rather good. Rather, we should be thankful that Heaven has given us this opportunity. Miss Bellaluna. please. Please contact Lord Burke.”
“What shall we send?”
“The first thing to do is to ask if we can meet.”
The details had to be exchanged face-to-face afterwards.
* * *
Sedina continued to be confined to her room.
Even if I wanted to go out, I had no way to do anything because the door was locked from the outside, and this side was watched closely.
I thought about using origami magic, but gave up.
Even though he knew how to use magic, he left it aside.
There was no way I wasn’t prepared for it.
Then someone opened the door and came in.
I really wanted to be the Bentmin Refrain I saw on the first day, but it was a different elf.
He was a man with a sharp impression and a stocky physique.
Neatly combed gray hair and a straight mouth.
I could sense that he was a highly trained elf from the modest steps he took through the door.
“Who are you?”
“The Lord is calling.”
I asked for his name, but he only conveyed his business as if he had no intention of mingling with us.
“It’s meal time soon, so he said he’d invite you. Please follow me.”
He immediately turned his back and left the room.
leaving the door open.
Sedina was taken aback by the unstoppable action of asking her to follow her.
I never thought I’d just tell my business and really leave like that.
Sedina immediately followed after the gray-haired elf, as she couldn’t just lock herself in her room like this.
The two of them walked down a long passage that looked like the roots of trees were entangled.
Soldiers with spears were lined up in the aisles at regular intervals.
These were the ones who somehow kept them from escaping.
Every time I passed by, the gaze that glanced this way wasn’t usually scary.
‘Can I secretly shed my magic here?’
Sedina was worried about that, but decided that the risk was high, so she gave up on that idea for a while.
First of all, the important thing is why Bentmin invited him to dinner.
‘It’s true that they kidnapped me because they wanted something from me. He hates me, but he needs more than that, so he’s keeping me alive.’
It was also necessary to know the reason and use it as an excuse to come to the negotiating table if the opportunity presented itself.
The moment Sedina was about to finish her resolution, the long aisle ended and a long bridge leading to the outdoors spread out.
A superb view unfolded over the balustrade made of carved marble.
He looked down at the elves’ kingdom, Renard-Tirone.
There are common misconceptions that people make.
Where elves live, there are only trees and wooden buildings.
But that was a prejudice against elves.
Elves also use metal and masonry to build structures.
As for stone buildings in particular, their design and artistry were far superior to those of humans.
The one that brought that beauty to the limit was the now visible royal castle, Serendel.
Situated right under the huge tree, Serendel was majestic itself.
The white marble citadel, some towering spires, and silver roofs.
Trees with yellow, red, and purple leaves planted in between added splendid colors to such a dull castle.
The castle itself is a work of art.
However, even that castle had to lose its luster when compared to other beings.
Sedina looked up at the huge tree facing the Serendel Fortress.
No matter how much I raised my head, I couldn’t see the end of the huge tree that soared high into the sky.
I couldn’t guess how big it was.
Even if the height alone is measured, it should be said that it is not a meter unit, but a kilometer unit.
‘That’s the world tree.’
A divine tree worshiped by elves.
It is the longest-living tree in the world, and the longest-living tree in the future.
Huge leaves and branches reached beyond the castle below and reached the city outside the castle.
But that didn’t mean it was dark at all.
Rather, the world tree gave off a soft light, giving warm grace to the elves who stayed under it.
Every time the wind blew, the leaves swayed, and the warm light moved with them as if they were alive.
It was as if I was seeing the aurora in the polar region, which I had only heard about in explanations.
No, I thought that maybe even the real aurora might be less than that light.
Sedina seemed to know why the elves cared so much for the World Tree.
Anyone who feels such a majestic, gigantic, beautiful and full vitality cannot help but be in awe.
‘Why? It’s so familiar.’
Could it be because half of his blood was mixed with an elf?
As soon as Sedina saw the World Tree, she was overcome with an unknown and strange feeling.
“… … .”
Sedina forgot to even walk and couldn’t help but stare at the scene.
Then, a voice awakened Sedina’s thoughts.
“Aren’t you following me?”
“ah… … .”
Returning to reality, Sedina faced an elf male staring at her with a cold gaze.
Sedina gulped and took another step.
okay. Now is not the time to be distracted by the World Tree.
I am now in the middle of enemy lines, and I am going to have dinner with the chief.
‘If I don’t wake up, this side will be eaten instead.’
How long did it take to continue heading inward, passing the separately built spire and the bridge connecting the royal castle?
Sedina eventually stopped in front of a large door.
“It’s here. Go in.”
“What about the others?”
“You are going alone.”
Saying that, the male elf stood aside as if he was going to wait at the door entrance.
Sedina was forced to go in alone.
The door was large, but Sedina didn’t have to force it through.
This is because the small roots of the tree that covered the surface of the door moved on their own and opened it automatically.
A sweet voice echoed from inside.
Sedina followed the voice into the restaurant.
A long table was placed in the spacious and luxurious dining room.
At the end of it, the polite elf was sitting and waiting for Sedina.
Bentmin Leafre, head of the Leafre family.
By another name… … First Order Bentmin.
She sat alone without an escort.
Am I underestimating that this side can’t do any harm?
Or is it the confidence that comes from not needing help from anyone?
Sedina thought it was both.
Sedina sat down in the empty seat prepared.
There was only one seat opposite Bentmin, so there was nowhere to sit.
A table covered with a white tablecloth was filled with all sorts of fancy dinners.
It was the traditional food of the elves, whose origins were unknown to Sedina.
Perhaps it was the food that elves ate, but it was mostly fruits and vegetables.
“Let’s start with dinner.”
“… … Was the reason you called me for something to eat?”
“why. Are you surprised? Don’t be too optimistic. It’s just because I feel like it.”
Bentmin grinned at Sedina’s nervous face.
“Or is it because John Doe didn’t even eat with us like this?”
“… … .”
Sedina didn’t respond.
Bentmin’s words did not stop.
“I was curious. Just because he’s the wayward John Doe’s henchman, I thought there must be something else special about him. Or maybe John Doe might know your secret that no one else knows.”
“My, is it a secret?”
“You don’t know? John Doe seems to have sensed your specialness without even knowing it. When you see that vicious man carrying you around.”
It’s a secret.
That’s probably why Bentmin kidnapped him.
Bentmin glanced at Sedina as if judging it.
“Hmm. No matter how you look at it, it doesn’t look like it’ll grab John Doe’s heart. Or John Doe, maybe he likes this immature figure?”
“… … Don’t insult the teacher.”
Sedina, who unknowingly cried out, recognized the mistake belatedly and shut up.
Sedina’s reaction was quite unexpected, Bentmin smiled.
“John Doe. I didn’t see it that way, but I was quite envious of my subordinates. I’m going to point out that you’re talking behind your back like this.”
“If you know that, please release me right now.”
Sedina thought this was her chance.
The idea was that John Doe, the First Order, had kidnapped his beloved subordinate like this, so that they would not become distant from each other.
Of course, Bentmin lightly ignored Sedina’s opinion.
“why me? Do you think John Doe will argue with me? That’s funny. We First Orders have no sense of camaraderie with each other. We don’t get along anyway.”
“Then, are you even considering a dispute?”
At that, Bentmin giggled and laughed.
“dispute? It’s the funniest thing I’ve heard today. Are you saying John Doe is coming to fight me for you? Is that John Doe?”
“that… … .”
“You are just an easy chess piece to him. He said he saved a little bit, so he thinks he’s become something?”
“… … .”
Sedina didn’t answer.
Bentmin doesn’t know that Ludgar isn’t the real John Doe.
So, it would be judged only by his usual behavior.
“Suppose, as you say, that John Doe is angry. And he pretends to find out that I kidnapped you and brought you here to the elven realm. But will he really come to rescue you? Are you going to fight me because of you?”
“that… … .”
The opponent is a high-ranking elf who dominates a kingdom.
How many elves did she command, and how many troops did she have?
Even this place was a forest that could be called the sanctuary of the elves.
No matter how strong Ludger is, it is difficult to fully demonstrate his power in this forest.
No matter how you look at it, the worst situation where there is only risk.
Just because a half-poon abandoned by the family like himself was kidnapped, is it worth the risk to save it?
‘Teacher will come.’
he will come
At least Ludger, whom Sedina knew, always moved to save him in such a situation.
‘Because the teacher is that kind of person.’
Seeing Sedina’s subtle reaction, the smile on Bentmin’s face disappeared.
Her eyes shone sharply.
“you. You’re sure he’ll come.”