◈ Episode 454 Oak Bark (3)
Bentmin’s words toward Sedina were low, but more than that, he had insight that penetrated the opponent.
Sedina flinched involuntarily.
It wasn’t evident on the face. It was not an emotion to be expressed out loud in the first place.
Nevertheless, Bentmin candidly read Sedina’s inner conviction.
Sedina finally realized what she had been overlooking.
Contrary to appearances, the young elf in front of me had lived a long time.
Not to mention, he didn’t just live long, he was the leader of a family, and even the First Order of the Black Dawn.
The experience melted into those years, it was so easy to peep into what Sedina hadn’t tried to reveal.
“It’s fun. Seeing you think that way, it seems there is a side to John Doe that I didn’t know about.”
If you think about it rationally, there was no reason at all.
This was the kingdom of elves.
A place that John Doe, a mere human being, cannot possibly come.
Even if he comes, he is greeted by trees and forests growing everywhere, and a large number of strong soldiers.
But the reason you came is to save one of your favorite subordinates?
Isn’t the balance calculation not right?
“Wouldn’t it be nice if they came?”
Bentmin gave an unbelievable vicious smile that came out of his beautiful face.
“First Order John Doe. Even so, I was very annoyed with him. Well, not to the extent of Nikolai, but to me it’s all there and there. I thought I had to get rid of it someday.”
“Da, why… … .”
“Because there is no need for humans in my world. So, I would be grateful if he would rather come. Because this is my kingdom and my domain.”
Even if it came to zero, in this forest and kingdom, you wouldn’t dare touch yourself.
“Anyway, all John Doe knows how to do is infiltrate, collect information, and stir up alienation, right? I don’t even have subordinates following me, so what can I do alone? Does he really think he can infiltrate the kingdom?”
What Bentmin said was to himself, but it was explicitly intended for Sedina to listen.
No matter how much John Doe attracts people, it is only a handful.
On the other hand, this side can move the legion.
Not all elves follow him, but at least he has the right to strike back at humans intruding into the forest without even noticing.
A fight between individuals and corps.
The outcome of winning or losing was so obvious.
‘I thought it would scare me if I said this.’
Bentmin looked at Sedina with narrow eyes.
Sedina’s reaction was more subtle than I thought.
I’m not trying to hide my fears and worries.
Rather, it was mixed with the intention of wanting this side to look like that.
‘He doesn’t look like he’s worried at all.’
Is it simply an illusion that John Doe is a really great person, or is there really something hidden?
Bentmin initially judged it to be the former.
“But, well, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared.”
It didn’t matter how many people came.
If they could handle the true power of the World Tree, there would be nothing to fear anymore.
* * *
When Bellaluna contacted the head of the Burke family, a reply came immediately.
– I’ll go find it myself.
Surprisingly, the head of the house told me that they would meet right away without measuring back and forth.
The answer was so pleasant that I wondered if there was some ulterior motive over there.
“Miss Vierano. Do you know about the head of the Burke family?”
At Ludger’s question, Vierano shook his head.
“I don’t know. It wasn’t much of a rumor. Even in the war 100 years ago, the location of the front line was different, so there was nothing to face.”
“It’s strange that rumors don’t spread even though you’re the head of a family that’s in charge of defending the forest.”
“Maybe it’s because he doesn’t brag about it too much. Even after the war was over, he did not show his credit, and rather, his face was never reflected even in a vacant position. Other families have been talking about the Burkes as well.”
“You’re actually a person shrouded in mystery.”
“I saw it from afar a long time ago, but now it is a hazy memory. It has changed a lot since then.”
The gazes of Vierano and Ludger simultaneously turned to Bellaluna.
Come to think of it, wasn’t the elf who met Berk’s family head recently here?
“Miss Bellaluna. What kind of person was Lord Burke?”
“Uh, um. What kind of person are you?”
“It’s just asking about personality or something.”
“I’ve only seen a little bit of it, so it’s hard to be sure, but he was a bit of an odd person.”
Even Bellaluna couldn’t explain it any further.
Nothing else, the uniqueness of the Burke family was so individual that, on the contrary, it completely suppressed other characteristics.
“My lord. You are finally here.”
Then the door to the reception room opened and Biella reported the situation.
They said they would come, but I never thought they would come right away.
Rudger, Bellaluna, Vierano, and Biella waited quietly, slightly nervous.
Signs began to be felt in the distance.
Since the family head moved, the escorts and vassals must have moved as well.
Perhaps because they were elves in charge of defending the forest, the presence that emanated from afar was very heavy and intense.
Among them, what I felt most intensely was the presence at the forefront.
Everyone in the seat instinctively sensed that he was the head of the household.
Shortly thereafter, the Burke family appeared through the door of the open reception room.
“oh. Is this the mansion the Dentis family is proud of? I really like this.”
The one who started talking cheerfully upon arrival was a female elf who looked to be in her 50s.
Even though she was a woman, she was built to the point where you could see the texture of her muscles, and she wore a green eyepatch over one eye.
The grayish-white hair was left untied and tucked back roughly, giving it the appearance of a lion’s mane.
A lioness with a mane.
My first impression of the Burke family was exactly that.
“nice to meet you. My name is Vierano Dentis, the family head of Dentis.”
“My name is Burke’s family head, Ambella Burke.”
There was an unheard-of power in his voice.
It was distinctly different from normal elves.
If an older elf usually sank more calmly, Burke’s family home felt like watching a fire burn more intensely.
Even the clothing is freewheeling enough to be considered an adventurer or an explorer rather than an elf.
Scars were visible on the forearms and skin that were exposed at first glance.
At this moment, everyone in the seat superimposed the shape of a huge old tree on Ambella Burke.
‘I think I know why Bellaluna said it was unusual.’
There was no way I dared to describe her other than that she was unique.
Rudger looked at the vassals who had followed Ambella Burke.
Well-trained, they stood still with expressionless faces.
They didn’t even look at them or wonder why there were humans here.
The look was very impressive.
After greeting Vierano, Ambella Burke looked around and found Bellaluna and opened her mouth with a brighter face.
“haha! Who is this? Aren’t you that brave young lady?”
“Have you seen enough of the outside world? I didn’t expect the Dentis family to send me a call like this.”
“Well, there are various circumstances.”
“That situation has something to do with that person who broke through the borders of our Berk and entered the forest, right?”
Ambella smiled at Ludger, showing her teeth.
Bellaluna froze in her seat at the charisma felt in that ghastly voice.
“haha! Just kidding, kidding! Seriously, anyone who sees this will think I’m eating people!”
“Oh, wasn’t it?”
Bellaluna’s stupid question shocked Vierano and Biella.
What kind of foolishness is that for the head of a family?
However, Ambella laughed as if she rather liked the answer.
The laughter was so boisterous that the surface of the teacup it served vibrated.
“As expected, my eyes weren’t wrong. Brave girl. No matter how many years have passed, that confidence is still the same.”
“Chi, thank you for the compliment.”
“okay! You should have that kind of grit. Young elves these days, when I make eye contact with them, they get scared and say only slick things that are nice to hear. Only then can we say that we are protecting the forest.”
Ambella said so and sat down in the seat prepared for her.
Sitting in a basket-shaped hammock made of woven tree trunks, he looked like a tyrant sitting on a throne.
“okay. If it’s enough to call me here directly, it must be that there’s a pretty interesting story. Let’s hear it sometime.”
“Hmmmm. All right.”
“Oh, before that. First of all, I want to hear your self-introduction.”
Ambella stared at Ludger.
“Isn’t that right, human?”
“It’s Rudgar Cellis.”
Rudger did not avoid Ambella’s eyes.
Rather, he calmly accepted that gaze and introduced his name at the same time.
Ambella’s lips curled up.
Rather than being in a bad mood, it was a reaction of wonder at having encountered a human who was not afraid of him.
“The appearance looks like a parasitic brother, but if you look at his behavior, it’s not like that at all. Yes, Ludgar Chelsea. How did you come to this forest? That goes beyond our Burke’s surveillance.”
“There was nothing called surveillance. Because I just jumped from the sky.”
“iced coffee. sky! this is true It was a blind spot I couldn’t have imagined.”
Ambella nodded her head, saying that it makes sense.
“From now on, I’ll have to keep an eye on the sky as well. I’m asking for something different this time. Judging by the fact that it is located here, it means that it also has a pretty important purpose. What was your reason for coming? What do you want from me?”
Ambella could feel it instinctively the moment she saw Rudger.
That the actual decision maker of this position is that cold-looking person.
I felt sorry for Vierano Dentis, but Ambella was an elf who moved as she pleased.
Rudger agonized over whether to take Ambella’s reaction to a straightforward question.
It is a place where the heads of families who lead a family gather.
Hearing the story, he seemed to have lived at least 500 years.
The current appearance could have been a highly calculated action to catch the opponent off guard.
If you respond to it and reveal your true intentions, it is no different than starting with your side at the negotiating table.
I had to choose the path of asking for the participation of the other side while hiding the purpose of this side.
Although it was correct.
‘That can’t be it.’
Rudger shook his head.
takes too much time.
Rudger decided to trust his intuition at this moment.
“The head of the Leafre family has kidnapped the last survivor of the Plante family.”
The expression on Ambella’s face disappeared.
Everyone shut their mouths at the fright, as if the skin on their face had been ripped off once.
Ambella stared at Ludger in silence.
Is this what it feels like when you stare at an old tree with eyes sprouting from it?
Rudger did not avoid Ambella’s eyes even while facing the enormous momentum.
“now. If I’m not mistaken, I think I heard there are survivors of Plante. Am I right?”
“You heard it right. Plante’s last survivor. Of course, they are not pure elves. It is a half of human blood.”
“Why are you telling me that? Did the Burke family think that since they were on good terms with Plante in the past, they would repay the favor? Is that even for half a penny with half human blood?”
“I just said it because I was told to tell you the matter.”
Any problem with that?
When Rudger asked with his eyes, Ambella said “Puha!” and burst out laughing at her.
Laughter slowly fades away.
Ambella lifted her head for a moment and looked up at the ceiling.
As Ambella flicked her fingers, her escort elf, waiting nearby, approached and put something in her mouth.
A blunt brown stick.
It was a cigar, a type of tobacco.
As Ambella put the cigar in her mouth, a small flame spirit appeared in the air and lit it.
The head of the elven family smokes cigarettes used by humans.
However, because the figure suited him so well, no one put a toe on it.
Ambella inhaled the smoke and exhaled.
The white smoke that was scattered in the air seemed to represent her seemingly complicated feelings.
Before long, Ambella, who grabbed the burnt cigar and crushed it, looked down at Ludger.
“Do you know why our Berk was kicked out of the Blessed Forest, and is living on the outskirts like this, looking outward?”
“Because they were expelled together because of the crimes the Plante family committed.”
“okay. I know you. Knowing that, you dare to tell me about the survivors of the Plante family? Rather, have you not thought of that? If I ever get to know the survivor, I might kill him with my own hands.”
“I thought so at first.”
“Hoo. Knowing that, why did you bring up the story?”
“Because we met in person like this.”
said Ludgar, looking at Ambella Burke and her retainers lined up beyond.
“Because I saw it and knew that they would never be like that. That’s what I said.”
“… … .”
At those words, Ambella put on an absurd expression, but soon shed a loud laugh.
under! under! under!
It seemed to be amused, but at the same time angry, and at the same time exhilarating.
Eventually, Ambella stopped laughing and gave a savage smile.
There was a glint in his unblinded eyes.
“okay. Let’s go get it right now.”