We've arrived at the mouth of the cave in question, but we have an unsolicited extra with us.
Zenan. Guy really went after us. Apparently he got the elder's permission too.
"Haa, haa, haa, o-overtaking a mere human, like you, i-is nothing to me... haa, haa."
He's gasping for air, must have run like a madman. Must have used spirit magic aid too.
But since we went ahead of him, there was quite a distance between us. He must have gone all out and maintained the pace up to this spot.
"Tracking you is a simple matter with wind spirits. Don't even think you could get away from me."
Of course none of us even thought of that, but the guy convinced himself so. I'm being kind by not quipping here.
(Why's he even here though? Is he even aware what we're about to do?)
We had our final meeting, I used the chance to ask Zenan.
"Do you even know what we're gonna do here? But eh, feel free to tag along as long as you don't get in our way. Ah, also don't drag us down."
I purposely agitated him. I don't have a good impression of this guy even now since he's not even trying to hide his hostility toward me. I'm only responding in kind.
"I know that you have cajoled Serena and those five! Release them immediately! Do so and I'll let you live."
An answer that doesn't even have anything to do with what I asked made me lose hope on Zenan.
Serena and the other five are enduring to not draw their swords since I'm not moving myself.
I asked another question to test the water.
"Hey? Do you even know the details on my rescue of these girls? Just what do you want anyway? Speak what you got on your in mind, no need for sophistries."
Zenan immediately blabbered on with an enraged look.
"The ones who kidnapped elves are humans, so is that who saved them. And so what? Elves must not mingle with humans, that's our law since ages past. A cardinal law. And yet Serena and those five obey you for no reason! Proud people of the forest servile to mere humans are a disgrace! And not by force you say!? Don't make a fool of me! What else is the reason besides a trickery you've done to them!? How else could you explain how us elves, a noble race who commands spirits would fall to such low! You only get to have your life intact because of the fact that you 'saved' them! Otherwise, I'd have you slaughtered here and now, no mercy! Don't you forget that!"
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(Okay, I get that this guy is a hopeless dumbass.)
He only wants to believe what he wants to believe, averts his eyes from reality, never accepting it. To him, humans are below elves, no matter what.
He's acting like nothing more than a blind brat. Not realizing who's being a disgrace here.
And that's why he's here. I'm getting fed up with always encountering this template even after coming all the way here.
(Is it my fate to keep bumping into guys like this from now on?)
Compared to this, that elder is far more 'adult' in his actions. And now I'm worried just what kind of conversation Zenan and the elder had. It must have been a whirlpool of 'Misunderstandings' and 'Discrepancies'.
"I know not what you're plotting, but don't you think it will go your way! I won't let you!"
The guy doesn't look like he's done yet. Dunno how evil this guy think of me, but his words hold no persuasive power. Fact is fact.
"You're, Zenan was it. You never saw the truth yourself and yet you're so confident saying all that without any proof that supports them? I don't really care about denying your claim, but you'd better realize that you're the one acting like a disgrace to your clan here, y'know?"
"You... How far do you intend to insult me! Eey! No more mercy! I shall cut you down here and now! Draw your sword! I won't lay a hand on an unarmed opponent. I'll defeat you fair and square!"
(What a pain in the ass... Hm? Looks like this is it...)
A huge mob came rushing out of the cave as if ignoring Zenan's words.