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Chapter 334 - Promised Night (1)

    Chapter 334 - Promised Night (1)

    Jerem might've used magic as a last resort, but it ended up being good for the Great Forest.

    What would've happened if the 200,000 undead army had survived? What if the leader was lost and the undead ran out of control through the forest?

    Putting aside the defeat of Jerem and Nídhöggur, it would make cleaning things up more difficult. This was because the rotten bodies of the undead contained a deadly poison. There was also tainted mana in their blood. This mana contained the power to deny life and would cause damage if it overflowed everywhere.

    However, Jerem had destroyed the undead. It had been a decision he made in order for Nídhöggur to last even one minute longer. As it happened, this misjudgment had saved Elvenheim and the Great Forest.

    The undead had lost all the mana and poison, and became great fertilizer for the forest. There was no need for an unnecessary struggle, and the residents of the Great Forest could disperse throughout the devastated forest. The southern part of the battlefield was damaged, but the east and west areas received relatively little damage and regained their original appearance.

    'It will take more time to be completely restored, but... well, it isn't considered a long time for the elves.'

    There was a big difference between the concept of time for humans and elves. Unlike humans who became impatient if they were one day late, the elves could wait weeks for tea leaves. Theodore sighed with relief as he looked around the forest. "I'm glad there isn't any damage that can't be recovered."

    Essentially, this situation had been caused by Theodore. During the fight against Invidia, he hadn't thought about the future and released Jerem. This had developed into a catastrophic threat to the entire forest. Jerem was somehow defeated and the forest was defended, but over 1,000 elves lost their lives in combat. The high elves comforted him, but he couldn't ignore the responsibility.

    The restoration of the world tree was the best thing that Theodore could do for this forest.

    Step, step.

    At that moment, a number of elves entered Theodore's room. No, this sentence was a little bit strange. They were the true keepers of the world tree, those who inherited the Arv's lineage. These were the leaders who represented Elvenheim. Among the high elves, Alucard with the impressive dark skin asked, "Theodore, what is going on?"

    It seemed he was worried about why Theodore gathered them in this place when they were busy for a few days. Theodore looked around silently before tapping the table, as if telling them to sit down.

    Then he began his story, "First of all, thank you for answering my call. I wanted to talk to you after your work was done, but there is something you have to be prepared for."

    The expressions of the high elves changed at his words. Naia still looked sleepy, but her ears flinched, showing she was affected. There was something regarding the Great Forest or Elvenheim which the high elves needed to know...? They couldn't help wondering about it.

    As the story flowed from Theodore's mouth, astonishment filled the eyes of the high elves.

    "What?" Alisa confirmed the words she just heard in a voice that was a few octaves higher. "The power of the world tree has really weakened?"

    "Yes, it is true."

    "T-The time remaining? You didn't tell us as soon as you discovered it. Does this mean the situation isn't urgent?"

    Theodore nodded in response to Alisa's question. "My calculations is 50 years at the earliest and 70 years at the latest."

    "This is an emergency!"

    It was unexpected. Unlike the relaxed Theodore, the high elves were turned upside down. Alisa screamed, and Alucard tightened his grip on the wood. Meanwhile, Lumia covered her mouth with a grim expression, and Ellenoa was similar to her. Titania had no expression, and Theodore couldn't read Naia's expression.

    Theodore belatedly realized the reason why and sighed. 'Damn, humans have a different concept of time.'

    Human life was really short compared to the high elves who lived for a thousand years. The elves found it difficult to understand the urgency of the human race, but this perception was reversed when it came to decades. 10 years was a long time for humans, but for an elf, it was equivalent to one human year. It wasn't a long time for them. Therefore, a period of 50-70 years was equivalent to 5-7 years. It was no wonder why they felt the issue was urgent.

    "...Are there any measures to be taken?" Naia asked Theodore before anyone else. "You wouldn't call us if you didn't have any measures."

    "There are three things."

    "Tell us."

    The two people started the conversation in earnest, while the rest closed their mouth and focused on the conversation. Normally, she would be sleeping, but Naia was famous for her wisdom. In some ways, she was the best candidate to handle this situation. Theodore nodded and opened his mouth, "The first thing is to restore the destroyed forest beyond its original state as soon as possible."

    "Beyond the original state?"

    "Yes."

    Naia nodded to show she understood the meaning. "You want to reverse the link of mutual growth. The forest can help the world tree grow."

    "That's right."

    "But the strength of the forest alone isn't enough. The second method?"

    The conversation between Theodore and Naia continued before the other elves could understand.

    "That's right. Before the undead attack, the vitality of this forest was less than the world tree. If so, it will be lacking even if we raise the vitality."

    "It is impossible with the native life. Are you going to bring an outside source?"

    "Yes, look at this."

    Theodore pulled out a fox from inside his robe. It was a sleeping three-tailed fox, Tres.

    Yiippp...? The three-tailed fox woke up and buried his head into Theodore when he saw the six high elves looking at him.

    "This fox?" Naia asked with a strange expression.

    Theodore laughed and revealed Tres' identity, "It is a spirit."

    "Spi...rit?"

    "They existed on the West Continent in ancient times, but now they are only found in the East Continent across the sea. They affect the growth rate of animals and plants, and the world tree is included in that category."

    Of course, the world tree's power was too great to compare to spirits, and the world tree itself was comparable to a mighty divinity. The high elves looked convinced while Theodore stroked Tres' tail.

    "If you accept this young spirit in the forest, you can circulate a much greater vitality than the old forest."

    "Umm... I'm convinced. Then where will we get so many spirits? Ah, don't tell me."

    "Yes, I will bring them from the East. As well as..."

    Before Naia could speak, Theodore pulled out a pouch. The high elves smelled the fragrance flowing from the pouch and couldn't help groaning. The elves' senses were more sensitive than those of humans, and the mana purity coming from the pouch was strong enough to affect the high elves. It was coming from the seeds and seedlings remaining of the gift that the spirits of the Baekun Mountains had given Theodore.

    "It will help if you plant these seeds. Isn't that right, Naia?"

    "...It means it will also help you."

    "Yes, please don't think of this as owing me."

    "You are different from most humans. You should be a bit more greedy."

    Theodore shrugged at Naia's compliment that wasn't a compliment while she smiled. However, Naia still hadn't heard the third method. "The last one?"

    "The most important role... Ellenoa?"

    "Ah, yes?" Ellenoa was surprised by the sudden call.

    Then Theodore spoke with a smile, "The power of the world tree was consumed not only because it blocked Nídhöggur's breath but from helping Mitra become a god. We need a mediator to obtain the 'faith' and the strength that was passed onto Dmitra, and give it back to Yggdrasil."

    "Mediator?"

    "The expression is a little bad. Just as high elves are called the 'dancers' of the world tree, the gods have a corresponding role."

    Gods had existed since ancient times and had followers to spread the religion. The name of this special role was similar-Saintess, a link between gods and mortals.

    "I think that Ellenoa is best suited for the role of Mitra's Saintess."

    "That... Why?"

    "Ellenoa has contracted with the earth elemental ruler, and Mitra also wants you. The final reason isn't significant." Theodore smiled as he walked in front of Ellenoa. "I think the same as Mitra."

    "..."

    "If the burden is too much-"

    "N-No!" Ellenoa quickly shook her head. "I will do it."

    "But..."

    "If Theodore thinks I am the right person then I will do it."

    "Ellenoa..."

    Alisa couldn't tolerate the subtle atmosphere between the two people and interrupted, "Well, isn't this good? I'll leave it up to you. I'm already tired from all my other roles."

    "I think so as well. The others?"

    After Alisa and Lumia's words, Alucard and the rest of the high elves nodded. The conclusion was decided so quickly that it was embarrassing, but there were no objections. Theodore read the atmosphere and called Mitra.

    [Hoing! The great Mitra has appeared!] Mitra sprang up from the ground with a wild tumble.

    The high elves couldn't read Mitra because she had become the incarnation of the world tree and assimilated with it. She could appear anywhere in the Great Forest that the world tree's roots reached.

    [Mother Ellenoa! You are going to be my Saintess? Really? Really?]

    "Really. B-But the word 'mother'..." Ellenoa's face turned red and she couldn't finish her words.

    Mitra asked her, [Huhihi, it is for a future joy? Well, okay. I will call you my Saintess if you prefer...]

    The girl with the wheat-colored hair appeared serious for a moment before she laughed, looking between Theodore and Ellenoa. A wicked expression was on her face. Before Theodore could stop her, Mitra used her power.

    "Uh!"

    There was a sense of pressure that didn't contain any animosity. Theodore's body tensed, and he couldn't keep his eyes away from the scene before him. Mitra gathered the now limited power of Dmitra in her palm. Pink, blue, red, and orange... The gathered flowers of different colors turned into the shape of a ring.  Apart from the divine power coming from it, this was an accessory that looked no different from a well-made floral ring.

    [Now!] Then Mitra handed the ring to Theodore.

    "Why did you hand me this?"

    [Hihihi, Theodore should put it on instead of me.]

    "What?!"

    [Then this Mitra is leaving!] Mitra sunk into the ground again and didn't respond to Theodore's call. No, in this case, she deliberately didn't respond. So, he couldn't forcibly bring her back.

    "Sigh, I guess it can't be helped. Mitra is too playful..."

    Ellenoa's face was pink as she held her fingers forward. It was her left hand. Theodore didn't know if Ellenoa knew the customs of humans or not, but the situation ended up like this.

    "...Thank you, Ellenoa."

    In the end, Theodore placed the flower ring on Ellenoa's finger. Simultaneously, another direction opened in the connection between Theodore and Mitra. Due to the contractual relationship, he could feel Ellenoa's presence in the role of a 'Saintess.' Ellenoa looked down at the ring on her finger with a bemused expression.

    Clap, clap, clap! At that moment, Alucard cleaned up the situation by clapping. "I don't understand everything yet, but this seems to be settled. Theodore, is it okay to keep the rest of the story for after tonight?"

    "Is something happening tonight?"

    "A festival."

    Theodore's eyes widened, and Alucard smiled bitterly.

    "Even if we won, many colleagues were lost. Tonight's festival is a chance to comfort the souls of the dead and to encourage the living. As our savior and friend, we hope you will also participate."

    "...Okay, I will do so."

    "Thank you. The others will be delighted."

    Perhaps this festival would be Theodore's farewell ceremony. Thus, he nodded readily, and Alucard left the room with a happy expression. Meanwhile, Lumia and Alisa enjoyed the long-awaited break, Titania was bored and looked for something to do, and Naia placed her face against the table and slept.

    Ellenoa was still looking at her finger.

    "...Tonight."

    She touched the flower ring and seemed to be smelling it. Ellenoa gained strength from the ring on her left hand.

    "Tonight," she murmured in an unusually determined voice.
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