Chapter 78 – The Cursed Tribe!
“Wha-what is wrong with her?”
I stepped back from the woman who seemed to be worshiping the bow.
She had long, beautiful golden hair that reached her waist and had long ears.
She appeared to be…a mythical elf.
No, judging by her appearance when sleeping, there was no doubt about her being one.
However, right now, it was hard to believe it.
“So-sorry, Sir Joshua! She was so fast that I couldn’t keep up…”
Iria said with a bow.
And Iria had killed many enemies while moving faster than the eye could see.
“We-well, it’s good to see that she has recovered.”
“Too recovered. Even Melk could not catch her.”
So even Melk the werewolf had not been able to catch her…she must be incredibly fast.
However, an elf, eh…? I had heard that they were immortal, and experts with bows. But I didn’t know that their physical abilities were this amazing as well.
“Bows… I see, bows. Elves are good with bows… Ahhh!?”
Suddenly, the elf turned towards me.
Yes, this one really was an elf.
Iria muttered in confusion.
“Sh-she was so very quiet at first. She was able to talk with us and even thanked us… However, the moment we asked her if there was anything she wanted, such as food…”
“Did she ask for a bow?”
“Yes. And when we told her that we did have them, she started to act very strangely.”
“Like this… I see. Mette. I will make you a new bow, so can she have that one?”
Mette nodded without hesitation.
“Aye. Let her take it and leave. How very dangerous… Besides, that wasn’t even my bow, as it is for training.”
“I-I see. Iria, what is her name?”
“Lady Monica.” Answereed Iria.
“Monica, huh? Uh, Ms. Monica?”
But the elf ignored me and continued to worship her bow.
“You may have that bow. So, will you please calm down?”
“Do you mean it!? Oh, what kind-hearted people you are! So I can really keep it?!”
With incredible speed, Monica rushed towards me and gripped my hands.
Before I knew it, Iria had her hand on the hilt of her sword.
I signaled to Iria with my eyes, saying it was fine. Then I turned to Monica.
“…Yes, of course, we do not mind. However, could you tell us what you mean to use it for? It will be one thing to use it to protect yourself, but we are generally against using it for battle.”
Upon hearing this, Monica’s face suddenly looked distressed.
“Ye-yes, it is to protect myself… We need this bow.”
“Then I don’t mind… But, if there is something that is troubling you, I would like to hear it.”
I said, and then Monica became silent.
It was as if she wanted to say something, but also did not want to. She was trying to make up her mind.
According to Ecleshia the Ent, the long-eared race was supposed to live in the White Leaf Forest.
But both humans and Ents had not had any contact with them for a long time.
So why was there an elf in a place like this?
Could it be that the slave hunters had burned down their forest?
If that was the case, we as the demihuman alliance should try and help them.
“Monica. I am able to craft tools. If you are in trouble, we can help you.”
I said, and then Monica opened her mouth slowly.
“…Tools? Then…this bow as well?”
“Aye. I’m not very proud about that one, but I made it in about ten seconds.”
“Ten seconds… I don’t understand, but it is amazing.”
Iria and Melk nodded in agreement.
“Amazing would be an understatement,” Mette muttered.
“I am very sorry. I just do not know how. Because we are not able to make weapons.”
“You cannot make weapons?”
In other words, they did not have the skill to make them. Just like the Kijins and werewolves.
“It was a curse that was cast on us. A very long time ago, by the ancient demon king.”
“Ancient demon king…? So it was some magic that was cast?”
“Yes… Long ago, during the age where the demon king ruled all the lands of this continent. While we swore to be neutral, the demon king feared our skill with bows. And so through using magic to rob us of the skill to craft bows, he ensured that we could not break our oath of non-aggression.”
Long ago, humans lived farther up north.
Before the power structure came to be like this, the north had more monster inhabitants. That was the kind of age it was.
“I see. Still, to trade in the skill to craft…”
“At first, the demon king wanted to seal our skill with the bows. But our skill was our pride, and so we rejected him.”
“And so instead, you accepted the demand of not making any new weapons… But eventually, your weapons grew old…”
“Yes. They are durable and last very long…just like us. And so our ancestors thought that they would not break. However…”
“I understand your situation now. In other words, without weapons, you cannot resist against any enemy. But, what is it that you are fighting?”
“Yes. Giants…with the heads of bulls. They wield great axes and are terribly frightening.”
“Giants with bull heads? Minotaurs? …Another legendary race.”
They were said to have been sealed away during ancient times.
Cursed demihumans who were the spawn of humans and cattle. And so they were hated by humans and sealed away, deep in some cave. I had no idea if it was true.
Monica turned to me.
“Do you know of them?”
“I think I do. Vicious warriors who do not know pain. I had no idea that they really existed.”
“They were completely unknown to us. And one week ago, they suddenly attacked our forest… And they refused any attempts to negotiate…”
“And without weapons, you could not retaliate.”
“Yes… And so we were forced to leave our own forest. I can only hope that they all got away safely… While I was fishing in the river, the Minotaurs attacked me.”
“I see. I understand the situation now.”
I answered, and then I turned to Iria, Mette, and Melk.
They all nodded in agreement. And so I said to Monica,
“We will have to think about what kind of help we can offer you. Will you give us some time?”
“What? Ye-yes… But…”
As she stumbled over her words, Melk said,
“Do not worry. Joshua is strong. And also kind.”
“Aye! My husband can be relied on!! Aghh!?”
“Ms. Monica. We will do what we can to help you.”
Iria said with a smile as her hand clamped tightly over Mette’s mouth.
As Mette struggled in vain, Monica bowed her head.
And like that, we decided to discuss the problem that the elves were facing.