"Err, I am hereby giving you an order of the utmost importance."
Six elves I saved from Damo are kneeling before me. We called them here after I was done discussing with elder and Serena.
I've had my next words prepared since the very beginning.
"You all are to keep the dungeon core safe from now on. Aside from that, you're to live in this village like you did previously."
Five of the elves lifted up their surprised faces. Serena was the sole calm one.
"Your wish is our command, milord."
The dungeon core has already been placed atop a giant tree stump located inside a vast hidden room under the elder's house. These six elves accompanied the transport process.
The glances from other village elves were really stinging as I moved that core. Since I'm currently the only person who can move it around, that duty fell on me.
The glares were far more painful than the time I walked to the elder house initially. I bore with it, thinking it would be the last time anyway.
The existence of this spacious room under the elven village came as a shock but what's even more shocking is how every single thing I imagined up turned out true. Being convenient should have its limit.
But well, once this stuff is over and done with, I'll be relieved of all responsibility. Parting with these six elves is part of that process.
"I now recognize you all as my subordinates. That's reason enough to follow my order, no? Don't go off on your own to go after me later, you hear. I don't need anyone to take care of me either."
"Milord, what will you do now?"
"Ah, settling down in some nice corner of this forest to live freely on my own would be cool."
"Then perhaps milord could settle down in this village..."
I interrupted Kardia.
"Out of question. I mean it's pretty dang obvious nobody here thinks well of me. You've noticed too right?"
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The five elves looked dejected as I said that. Serena is the only one with an unchanging expression.
"So yeah, this is my last 'order' to you. You get it don't you? I've been declining your request to become my attendant. I'm gonna relent here for the last time and give that order. I get that it's heartless of me to do this as a parting gift though."
I know this is quite a weak parting, but I've never considered having these elves around forever in my plan to begin with. That may sound dry, but I can't help it, that's my true feeling.
"Discuss the rest with the elder. Apparently this whole thing is a secret. But seeing as we got so many spectators, it's probably just a matter of time. Well, just consider this and the forest management as part of the job description, do your best."
I walk toward the front door to leave. The elder spoke to me along the way.
"We shall mingle with you no more. You are to never get anywhere near this village forevermore. Have I made myself clear?"
"Man, still with that confrontational attitude till the end huh? No need for a reminder, not like I can get past the barrier anyway. Buh bye."
It's already evening outside.
That was when 'meow', Chimera plopped on my shoulder.
"Ah, forgot about you... Oh well."
I patted Chimera who responded by purring with closed eyes.
I walk out of the gate. I could hear it closing loudly behind me.
"Finally, a huge load off my shoulders... Haaa. Wait no, Chimera's there."
I muttered and joked to myself.
I plan to go back to the empire hence I'm treading the path opened up by the magic beast rampage, which still hasn't completely closed.
"My image of elves is completely and utterly ruined to the very end, no repair..."
I've started running so I could arrive at the empire before it's dark out while grumbling.