“Huh? What’s going on?”
For some reason, none of the elves followed Leonius-san down the tunnel.
This bewildered me greatly.
“Seems about right…”
“So, nobody really wanted to go back home, huh…”
It didn’t feel like the elves all conspired to pull a prank on Leonius-san.
They themselves seemed confused, yet at the same time, they also reacted as though this was as they expected.
“H-hey, why didn’t anyone follow me!?”
After a while, Leonius-san noticed that nobody followed him and went back up.
“Patriarch, it should be obvious why.”
“Everyone has decided to stay and apply to be villagers here.”
The elves then simultaneously began to express their thoughts.
“I mean, unlike in the hamlet, the food here is delicious…”
“It’s safe here; I don’t have to worry about being invaded by monsters…”
“I can take a bath here whenever I want, how many times I want…”
“No one here smells…”
“Every home here is warm, even in the winter…”
“The bed feels so nice…”
“I can use as much water and hot water as I want…”
“The village chief is so cute…”
“No matter how I think about it, this place is just so much more comfortable to live in than the hamlet…”
After the elves gave him the differences they found between the village and their hamlet, Leonius-san let out a “guhaa!” as though he just vomited some blood.
“Of course, I know that! Nevertheless, the hamlet is where we’ve lived for generations! Don’t you feel any attachment to it!?”
“We do, but that alone is not enough to overcome the greatness of this place…”
“Yeah, if I haven’t known of the great things here, I could see myself bearing with our life back there. But now that I knew these things, I just can’t anymore…”
As though asking for help, Leonius-san turned to his daughter, Philia-san.
“…I, I also feel the same.”
“You too, Philia…?”
Betrayed by his own daughter, Leonius-san looked into the distance.
Not for long though. He seemingly recovered right away and screamed.
“Fine! Then, I’m going to stay here as weeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllll!!!!”
“Well, for the patriarch to abandon the hamlet, it’s…”
“Yeah, won’t our ancestors curse us?”
“And all our efforts of repairing it will then go to waste if no one lives there, right?”
I felt a bit sorry for Leonius-san who was being left out.
“What are you trying to say? Do you want me to live in that place all by myself!?”
Ahm, Leonius-san, to call your home that place…
“Let me put it this way! I! I too want to live in this villaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggeeee!!!”
Leonius-san screamed his heart out.
“Ahmm… well then, once again, welcome everyone…”
In the end, all of the elves, including Leonius-san, stayed in the village.
<<The 238 people represented by Leonius have become villagers.>>
◇ ◇ ◇
Some time has passed since the elves became villagers.
((Luke-sama. A group of people are approaching from the east.))
((The east? Shouldn’t there be nothing but mountains in the east?))
I received a telepathic message from Satin.
His report made me tilt my head. There was nothing but mountains in that direction. Mountains that were 3000 meters above sea level, at that. And just like the forest in the north, it was filled with monsters.
It was hard to imagine any immigrants coming from there.
((Apparently, they’re not ordinary humans.))
((What do you mean?))
((Chances are, they’re dwarves.))
Dwarves, like the elves, were a race related to us humans.
Although their height tended to be much shorter than humans, they were stout and strong. But on top of all that, they were known to have dexterous fingers.
“Dwarves, huh. I’ve heard they’re typically boorish, doesn’t give much care to minor details, insensitive, and also trespasses into other people’s space. And because of that, they’ve historically not gotten along with the elves.”
That was what Philia-san told me. She has lived for a long time, so it wouldn’t have been strange for her to have met a dwarf once before.
While the elves weren’t much like what they were said to be—which was earnest, high-strung, and exclusionary—I could still see them being at odds with dwarves.
Whatever the case might be, I headed out to meet the group of dwarves.