"Let's see, how should I start... Oh yeah, can you answer my inquiries."
We're currently in what appears to be the elder's living room, in a big cottage-like building.
I'm sitting in a huge sofa after getting served a tea with a uniquely bitter after taste.
Serena had tested if for poison beforehand. I was gonna drink it without caring but Serena stopped me.
(Assassinating me with this method would be a piece of cake huh...)
It would be a complete joke if I died from poisoning after coming this far.
I don't plan to proactively get myself involved in this world, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pick death in every chance.
I spun my words after course correcting my thought.
"This forest is abnormally abundant with life force, right? I'm thinking there's a source for that. Guessing it's a world tree, like yggdrasil or something, am I right? Nevermind the term, what's important is there's that source thingy here in this forest."
The elder's face stiffened up, his alert level at max. Heck he's glaring hard at me.
"You... How is it you are aware of that? Choose your words carefully as I might not let you get out of this forest."
I ignored his warning and carried on. Besides, elves have no power over me. We've already gone through the test of strength. The result was 'powerless'.
"And yet something that 'should have been there' is nowhere to be seen. I mean something that grand should have been super obvious."
Only me, Serena and elder are here. She's accompanying me to be the judge of elder's words since I can't trust him.
The elder quieted down as his wrinkled face frowned harder.
"If my guess is correct, that thing was lost, no? Happened way back in the past at that."
I love to read and imagine about world settings and character backgrounds in games.
"And the 'remnant' of that thing is diffusing mana everywhere. Leaking out without a stopper."
Elder stood up and pointed his palm at me, warning me to stop.
"Cease speaking at once. Or else, I must have you die here."
"Oh is this a taboo topic? Or maybe you're feeling a sense of crisis hearing this from a human that showed up out of nowhere? But I'm gonna have you listen till the end. Can't make my 'suggestion' before that."
It's honestly scary how my completely baseless story I imagined up is a total bullseye.
(Isn't this all way too convenient? No, I mean this is fantasy... yeah that doesn't explain everything...)
Even if I have no sense of reality, I live in this world, I mustn't let everything be summed up as fantasy.
"Milord, when did you think of all that possibility?"
"Was during our way back from the goblin cave."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
I sipped my tea before resuming.
"You use this leaking mana to maintain the barrier don't you? Gotta be since you need a lot of mana to keep such a large scale barrier. And the center of that barrier is here, no?"
Elder shot out a fireball at me.
It clashed with a water ball shot from the side, erasing both. Serena's spell.
"Elder! What are you doing!? I don't care if you're our elder, your action is inexcusable!"
"Do not get in the way, Serena. We mustn't let that man live!"
I could have easily dodged that even without Serena's help. I didn't simply because I knew Serena would make her move. Also, dodging that would set the floor ablaze.
"Also, that 'Tree' spirit I heard from Serena handed down to elders through generations or something? Am I right to assume that's part of the World Tree?"
I kept putting my imagination into words. Doesn't matter even if it's wrong.
Because my ultimate goal is to 'Get the elves to manage the dungeon core.'
"That fact is known only to elders, isn't it? In order to keep this species known as elves persist."
"...How come you possess that knowledge...? You cannot be kept alive!"
The elder was going to shoot another spell but Serena instantly zeroed in on him and swung her sword at his neck.
He managed to escape death by swiftly backstepping, while I prattled on without minding the hubbub.
I'm done with prolonging this entire thing.
"I dunno why that world tree was lost. And here's a suggestion. Why don't you control the flow of mana using a dungeon core?"
The elder looked surprised at my suggestion.
"Apparently you guys run around this vast forest to smash dungeon cores when they're still small, aren't those cores appearing in spots where mana gets stagnant in the first place?"
"Indeed they are, the places with signs of cores manifesting were all places with stagnated mana."
Serena added to my conjecture while keeping an eye on elder.
"Then just control those places like you're directing river streams. That only happens since you let it leak out without supervision. Use this chance for a do over. I mean that should be doable with a core that big no?"
Tension still runs high between Serena and elder.
I continued talking after giving that a sidelong glance.
"You use a magic tool in the center of the dungeon core. I mean this one here."
I produced a magic tool. The one we took from that mercenary group.
This tool is capable of mitigating and tampering with barriers.
"Should be usable if you just make some adjustments to it, no? If you know elves proficient in magic tools that is."
Yep, I'm leaving the rest to the elves to take care of. All the subsequent twists and turns, as well as hardships are theirs to deal with.
I hand over the magic tool to Serena. I have no use for it, in fact it's better this way.
"You guys are in charge of the detail. I'm not an expert on that kinda stuff."
And with that said, this stuff is now completely off my hands.
Elder asked me while still glaring hard.
"What... is it that you wish from us? Why would you go so far for our sake?"
"Yep. It's not like I'm doing all this to get something. Nor do I want to butt in."
"...It's to settle things I guess. I'm not gonna say you owe me or anything like that, don't worry."
(And now I'm getting worried with how smooth things have been up to this point... Still, gotta do the finale right.)
I've got one last important thing left to say. There's been so many extras to get to this point.
Now that I'm nearing the finish line, my throat dried up out of relief.
I sipped my tea and put on my serious look as I give out my 'very last order'.