268 Idle Talk Harmony and Prosperity
"How long has it been since milord left us... None of you is trying to hide your loneliness, nevertheless our order is absolute. There is no going after milord, do you copy?"
I warned everyone during our patrolling duty in the forest.
Kardia nodded and replied.
"I'm sure milord will show himself before us again. Until that time, let's uphold his order and get us a praise!"
I sighed seeing her.
"You're getting too excited there. Come back to your usual selves. Or else you girls won't last until that time."
Even among elves, I'm regarded as the less flexible one, but that doesn't really apply when I'm interacting with these five.
"The forest has really stabilized ever since that time."
"Magic beasts have gone back to their usual zoning too."
"Though the trees are still as quick growing as ever."
"Yep, this forest is still the same abundant forest we know."
Thus we went about our patrol as usual. Nothing has changed from before we got caught and enslaved.
We focused on our task to avoid ever experiencing that again, taking vigilance of the change in mana.
"I sense an abnormal mana reaction... It's just up ahead. What do you think?"
I permitted them to voice their opinion here.
I hold the ultimate decision, none of them would act selfishly or against it.
That doesn't mean I'm making all the decision for us. I do not act arbitrarily.
"Should we go back and report first?"
"No, the elder will keep going once he starts talking. No good."
"Why don't we get as close as possible and observe the situation for a bit?"
"We do need to gauge our limit but it will be risky..."
Thus our opinions were split in two. Either go back or scout out.
"One of us will go back and report. Afterward, stand by at the village. The rest will head to the site while remain vigilant. Let's go."
I tasked the elf who made the suggestion to go back to the village while the rest of us went deeper.
What we found in the center of this anomaly was a bizarre sight.
"Serena! This is bad! We should retreat!"
Kardia shouted. The rest had the same opinion.
"Not yet. We must observe a bit more."
I voiced my disagreement to that.
"It's obviously dangerous to stay any longer here!"
"We should bring back reinforcement first!"
"There's no telling how it will affect us!"
I could only offer this plan to their dissenting opinions.
"All of you head back. I shall stay here and continue my observation."
They swiftly took action after I said that. They're staying.
I was surprised by this. Before we met milord, they would have chosen to leave this place immediately.
"How could we let you stay behind by yourself? Geez!"
Something warm welled up in my heart when I heard Kardia.
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'Thank you', I squeezed that before resuming observation.
We're currently observing a mana anomaly. A phenomenon where mana flow is converging into a small point of space.
This is the moment when a Crystallized Mana is born. A tiny blue light shined as the mana kept converging before it eventually turned into a sand grain sized mass.
All of us were on the edge as we kept watching this beautiful scene.
Eventually, the Crystallized Mana grew into the size of a fingernail.
"I've never seen... anything like this... how?"
Up until now, we would always destroy all the crystallized mana we found. Crystallized Mana are very sturdy.
We had never witnessed the moment it came into being. The reason why Kardia was so surprised. The amount of mana we felt from it was just that unusual.
Even a Crystallized Mana the size of a fingernail requires an enormous amount of mana.
Kardia's whisper was understandable but something even more shocking took place here.
It's simply unthinkable for a Crystallized Mana that has grown into this size to naturally break down on its own.
And yet that precisely what took place before our eyes accompanied by a breeze.
The sound of a metal clashing echoed as the crystallized mana broke into pieces.
All of us could only stare in agape. We couldn't keep our composure.
"A natural break down, of a crystal that size...?"
In spite of this unusual situation, blue glittering particles spread in the surroundings, creating a mystical scene.
And yet even this scene failed to rob our attention from what just happened.
As the particles subsided, I finally regained enough composure to start ruminating.
(First of all, we should take everything into account... no matter how small it is.)
"Have you noticed anything from the phenomenon just now?"
I looked at the girls one by one to ascertain their opinion.
"That was the moment a crystallized mana was about to be born."
"We would have taken care of it like usual. Or so it should be."
"And yet the crystal naturally broke down by itself."
I'm sure we're all aware of all that. There must be a detail somewhere in there that would shine light to the situation.
Hence, I kept looking around to find a clue.
"Hey? Did anyone sense anything right before it broke? Did any of you use wind?"
All of us here shook their heads to that question.
"So I guess all of you sensed a breeze? Then, let's confirm the direction it was blowing from. What do you think?"
I felt that breeze as well. I confirmed with everybody to find the answer to Kardia's question.
All of us here pointed in the same direction. That is.
"No it wasn't a breeze. It's more the wind got sucked in. And in the direction of..."
A gigantic crystallized mana. Toward our village.
The mana flows that have been sustaining that massive crystal connected here in that instant.
Even imagining the sheer scale brought me shivers.
What milord said has just been proven correct despite how absurd it sounded.
"We head back at once and check on 'that crystal'. Spare nothing to run there!"
The girls seemed to understand just from that, we all ran at once while looking nervous.
The elf who went ahead earlier met us at the village.
Her face is a bit pale.
"What's the matter? Has something happened?"
She looked so shaken yet she managed to squeeze a word to answer me.
"The bud... it's! ...It's sprouted..."
That was all she could muster up.
However, I couldn't hide my surprise at that.
"Is that true!? All of you! To the basement!"
I understand everything. As well as the fact that milord was telling the truth.
The elder's house is protected by a barrier, only elves with permissions can enter. Those include us.
We ran inside and found Elder kneeling and crying in front of a huge tree stump.
I couldn't stop myself from yelling out loud. On the middle of the stump is a crystallized mana. And right below it, a small sapling has sprouted.
This vibrant sapling is emitting mana light filled with life force hundreds of times bigger than its size.
Everybody present can feel it in their very souls.
The word 'World Tree' uttered by milord. Has now been restored back to life.
Great flows of mana are swirling toward the crystallized mana which then get absorbed into the newly sprouted sapling. This mana then gets dissolved through the World Tree's stump into the earth, spreading all over endlessly.
That whole scene briefly flashed in my mind. No, all of us here must have seen it too.
My tears come out naturally. The girls experienced it too, unable to hide their bewilderment.
We couldn't stop our tears coming out from this inexplicable feeling.
"I must... speak of this to all the elves. I'm calling for an assembly. Tell everybody to gather at the square. You all come too."
The elder left after saying that. We remained standing, still in shock.
"We must not waste time any longer. Let's all head to the square."
We loathed to tear our lines of sight away from the sapling but managed to in the end.
And once all the elves had finally gathered in the square, the elder spoke.
That we are descendants of the guardians of the Great Tree spirits.
However, the Great Tree was felled during the battle of gods.
The site of which we built our settlement upon. This fact was only handed down to elders.
All while secretly protecting the site in hope of a new tree spirit being born anew.
And right now is the moment where that 'Vow' has been fulfilled, with the birth of a new life.
We will make a new contract with this tree, so us elves can start walking toward eternal prosperity.
One by one, all the elves went into the elder house's basement where a scene never seen before unfolded.
Every single elves who laid their eyes on it shed tears. Proof of them experiencing the same thing I did.
(Us elves have been reborn at this instant... And only a few select elves know that milord brought this moment to us.)
My reverence toward milord has grown even stronger. He's like a messenger god sent to us.
(However, milord mentioned how he wished to punch the god. Then perhaps that thought is rude toward milord.)
And thus, elves embark on a new journey.
Toward a new pride and belief. And an even more flourishing future.
『After this development, the elves expanded their activities in the forest, improved their quality of life, and spread their influence further. 15 years later, with the enthronement of Emperor Albert, the two sides made a new agreement toward peace. A castle is built deep in the center of the forest where an unbelievably gigantic tree stood, but that is a story 50 years in the future. The elves literally build a new empire of harmony and prosperity, a future none of them present here could imagine at this point.』