Chapter 215 – A Suggestion!?
The railroad that led to the surface.
As we rode on the carriage that ran along it, we listened to Shiel speak through the device.
Baris was folding his arms and nodding.
“In other words, the Ascending Stone wasn’t made by the people of Sheorl, but it was dug up.”
Shiel used the device to answer Baris.
“Yes. While it is very rare, they can sometimes be found in very deep mines.”
“And did the people of Sheorl not use them?”
“Through ancient texts, it was known that they could make you evolve into different races. However, it was decided that it would be best to save them, as they could be useful after the meteor fell.”
“Because the environment would change greatly. And they might want to adapt to it.”
“Yes. However, it was just as insurance. The underground city was thought to be more than enough for survival. In the first place, there were not many Ascending Stones to begin with, so we would not be able to evolve the whole population of Sheorl.”
While they could have just kept them for the imperial family to use, Shiel and the others had not wanted that.
Baris then muttered as if remembering.
“I see. And then Lord Heal dug them up. Currently, I believe we have four of them?”
“As far as I’m aware, there are thirteen. And there were four stored in that weapon room.”
“So the Vader people used them to evolve the first kings. Did just one person use it four times? Or did four people use them once?”
You would surely become very powerful if you evolved four times… It was certainly possible.
But there was one other thing that I realized when hearing those words.
“In that case, that means there should be five more left in Sheorl.”
“Yes. There were several rooms, just like the one that you dug up, Lord Heal. However, most of them were destroyed by the meteor. It’s possible that the ones used when Baris and the others evolved were from those rooms.”
“In that case, it’s possible that we can dig up the other Ascending Stones as well.”
“I am sorry that I don’t know the locations… And I should have told you about the storage rooms earlier.”
Shiel said in an apologetic voice.
“Don’t worry about it. No one would have thought that someone from a far away foreign country would take them.”
Baris nodded at this.
“Indeed. The people of Sheorl were desperate to survive. I doubt anyone could have predicted what would happen in the future.”
“Both of you…thank you.”
Shiel answered, but she was still crest-fallen. And so I put my hand on her head to cheer her up.
And then Baris said,
“To go back to the subject, after the evolution, they must have created that road leading to the teleportation gate.”
“The passage was reinforced with pillars and beams. Once they were able to use tools, they must have carried out weapons from that place for some time. Shiel, just how much mithril and weapons were in there?”
I asked, and then Shiel answered.
“It wasn’t just swords, but bows and staves as well. There were weapons and armor from various cultures. At least thirty different types, and nearly a hundred in total.”
“While they wouldn’t be too rare for us, most countries would treat them as valuable treasures.”
As Baris said, mithril weapons and armor were incredibly valuable. Beruna had said that it was used by royals and nobles, so it was possible that it was being used by the rulers of Vader.
“They may be stronger than Sanfaris, the country where I was raised in… We really must be careful.”
“Well, we have already sent them a message as the Sheorl Empire.”
There was something about Baris’s words that troubled me, but he continued as if remembering something.
“That Vader general we released…Arder, was it? He will surely talk about Sheorl. Both truths and lies.”
“But the only thing they saw was treasures of silver and gold, as well as Mappa’s giant moving statue, so I don’t think he can expand on that too much. No, now that I think about it…that Mappa statue was a bad idea.”
Though, it was an impressive part of our military power. But Baris shook his head.
“It was necessary for us to show a degree of our power. I do not think it is a problem.”
“Now that I think about it, I wonder if they know about the Sheorl myth.”
“While they were our prisoners, I had Berfalt act as an interpreter, but he did not react to the world ‘Sheorl.’”
“I see. I suppose their people do not know about Sheorl then…”
“Indeed. However, they know we have a wealth of gold and silver. And so we should assume that they may come in hopes of acquiring it.”
“Aye… Ah, we’re almost there.”
The iron carriage that went along the railroad had finally reached the surface. From there, we continued on towards the World Tree.
When the World Tree finally came into view, Beruna and Theodosia, who rode in the front of the iron carriage, raised their voices in awe.
“Mother…is that a real…”
As the iron carriage stopped, the two could only look up at it in amazement.
Tears were flowing from their eyes. As people who lived in the forest, the tree was very special to them.
And so we watched them silently for some time.
However, Theodosia soon got out of the iron carriage and bowed her head.
“I’m very sorry. I was just so moved.”
“Yes… For the first time, I’m so happy to be alive.”
Beruna said as she came down to stand next to Theodosia. They were crying so much.
“Well, since we’re here, have a good look at it. Actually, let’s go closer.”
And so I guided Theodosia and Beruna towards the World Tree.
And then Beruna looked around and said,
“There is so much water spreading out everywhere I look… Is it…”
“Yes. It’s the sea.”
Judging by what Theodosia had said, they had never seen the sea before. And so it wasn’t just the World Tree, but they were curious about everything around them as well.
And then Theodosia muttered as if detecting something.
“I see it now. We do have things that will be useful to you people here.”
I nodded and answered.
“Aye… We do not have many plants on this island. And so I wanted to ask you to share some from the Sylphion forest.”
“Of course, we shall. …But, there is one thing I was wondering about.”
“While the small mountain with the hole that connects to the World Tree and cave should be fine…the rest looks like it would be brittle under one’s feet.”
“In other words…you think that the ground, and these stone floors, might break?”
“Yes. Grounds with trees are stronger when it shakes. It’s because of the roots and water. If it was up to me, I would have forests planted on all four corners of the island… I’m sorry, it is not my place to say such things.”
Said Theodosia, but Baris shook his head.
“Do not worry about it. We also understand that it is dangerous to be near mountains that have had their trees removed. I think there is wisdom in your words.”
“We’ll consider what you’ve said, Theodosia.”
She bowed her head in reply.
Making a forest, huh… It would be best if we could ask for their help in such an endeavor.
However, it would be necessary to repay them. Not just Theodosia herself, but something that the Sylphions as a whole wanted more than anything…
As I thought about this, we arrived at the base of the World Tree.
Beruna seemed to notice that the air in the area had changed.
“How wonderfully comforting it is… The scent that is so faint in the Tree King Palace is strong here.”
“This must be the air that comes from the World Tree.”
Theodosia bowed to the tree once, and then stretched out her hand and touched the trunk as she closed her eyes. To me, it almost looked like she was talking to the tree.
“I see… I know…”
Theodosia muttered and then opened her eyes as she stood up. Then she turned to us.
“Forgive me, but through the tree, I saw what it is that you people have done.”
“Mo-mother! Y-you shouldn’t have!”
Beruna looked pale, as if it was something very wrong.
However, we had done nothing that we’d want to hide. If there was a problem, it was that she would now know that we had powerful magic and weapons.
“I see… Then I will tell you honestly. We want to help the Sylphion people. However, we want to avoid giving you weapons, if that means going to war against Vader.”
“We…at least, I, do not wish to go to war. But as you say, if we acquired weapons, then it would surely lead to even more fighting. If I told them everything that I know, they would all want Sheorl’s weapons and armor. And then you would be forced to end your relationship with us.”
Theodosia said as if she were reading my mind.
“It is a difficult problem. And so…I was wondering if we couldn’t start with the trading of goods.”
“Of course, we can have a trading deal. But as for armor and weapons… I do have a suggestion.”
“I do not know what would happen if we were to have the weapons and armor you possess. In that case, will you not lend your power to protect our forest? Of course, we shall fight as well. And we will aid Sheorl if it is in danger. However, we will not use your weapons.”
“I see…so it will be a military alliance.”
That way, we won’t have to worry about the Sylphions invading the Vader people.
And I did not want to sit back as they were attacked. So it was a good suggestion.
“I would be in agreement to that. However…”
I turned to face Baris.
“I agree as well. Still, it would be best for us to get together and discuss it once. Though, I believe most will feel the same… Also, I do have a suggestion, Lady Theodosia.”
“What is it, Sir Baris?”
“Regardless of what happens, we want more information on Vader. As soon as the alliance is formed, I would like your permission to pass through the forest in order to conduct an investigation.”
“If that is your wish, then there is no need to bring it to the council. You are welcome to pass through or stay in the forest at any time.”
“We are grateful. In that case, I shall gather the generals together.”
I nodded at the words.
“Since you’ve come all of this way, let us eat together as we talk. It will take some time for the food to be prepared, so please look at the tree and relax in the meantime.”
Theodosia and Beruna bowed their heads.
“Thank you. Still, I never thought that I’d see a World Tree with my own eyes.”
And so after that, Theodosia and Beruna spent some time staring up at the tree.