Special thanks to all patrons~
[Casual Supporter: mjkj, SkVt, Greame K]
[Original Mania Level 1: Greg S, Kiradien, Sami, ZeroDeviation]
[Original Mania Level 2: Bradford M, DJay, Goddess_hera, Katrion, N0VERCL0CKER, Sean D, Nykuro]
[Original Mania Level 3: blizgerg, John D, sch, Mac]
[Original Mania Level 5: Andrew M, Katherine, Kaifen, Kyle M]
[Double Degree Level 1: e]
[Double Degree Level 2: Christopher]
[Double Degree Level 3: Browser]
…and Gackt1 for always commenting! Everyone, feel free to follow Gackt1’s example and comment every time to get featured like this, commenting is free and can make my day! >:3
“It used to be more bustling during when several conflicts happened. But as time passed on peacefully, a lot of the young generation decided to go back to one of the countries and the number of people living here had been dwindling,” Lady Baba continued her explanation.
Oriel sighed in relief upon hearing that, knowing that they weren’t transported to an era where there were lots of wars.
“The ones living in the neutral area other than us are scattered, and the most notable ones are runaway elves and Oni. For the Oni, it seems that the runaways are those that defied the ruler. For the elves, I am not sure what caused them to run away here, honestly,” Lady Baba shook her head.
“…,” Fideline only drooped her head, as she knew what kind of elves had to run away there.
“So, you guys are free to live here until you can figure out your situation,” Lady Baba said.
“You don’t fear that we will do something bad to the village?” Nagare asked out of curiosity as he was half impressed that they were so accepting, but that earned him a sidelong glance from Oriel.
“Hahahahaa!!” Lady Baba laughed out loud as if she had just listened to a very funny joke.
“Nonsense! What can anyone get from this small village? We don’t have any treasure worth stealing, we don’t have any manpower to work for anyone. If any, it’s our lives that are worth it, but if you want to kill us all here, you’d have done so easily without going through this much trouble,” Lady Baba simply said.
Nagare nodded in agreement to what she had said.
Indeed, nobody would gain anything from this village…
“If I may ask, Lady Baba,” Fideline quickly raised a hand and asked.
“Sure, you may ask,” Lady Baba answered.
“We are unsure of what year is it now…?” Fideline was unsure of how to ask this, since not many would ask what year it was…
Lady Baba’s face changed first into that of a confusion, but when realization hit her, she finally showed an understanding expression.
“What year was it when you guys were teleported to another world?” Instead of answering, Lady Baba asked another question instead.
“It’s—,” Osamu then began explaining as detailed as possible.
Lady Baba asked another question, and then explained the situation as best as she could.
As the adults were talking, little Sen was looking back and forth with a concerned face, not really understanding what was going on.
Fideline noticed this, so she quickly hugged Sen tighter.
Based on what they exchanged, it was known that although they had passed a whole 10 years in another world, only five years had passed here since they went missing.
When the two countries realized that their great general and their crown princess went missing, they didn’t take it lightly.
To Naraka, the great general was an important figure that had led their empire to many wins, and the hope of the empire if they wanted to wage war with the elves, or if they were to be attacked.
To Cielle, the crown princess was their queen-to-be! Queen Verbenae was so shocked when she heard the news that she passed out. When she woke up, she was very saddened by the news and when there was no sight of Oriel even after searching for quite some time, she fell ill.
Deus was close to Oriel, and his first reaction was anger towards the Oni. He didn’t care if the Naraka empire also lost an important figure. To him, the crown princess’ life weighed more than just a mere great general. To him, it made sense that the Naraka empire would trade off their great general if they could take Cielle’s crown princess’ life.
Due to both countries blaming each other, they quickly went into a battle. The peace-loving Queen Verbenae didn’t object Deus’ arrangement of this active participation in battle, as she had just lost her precious daughter.
Luckily, before the battle turned into a war, Riviera decided to step in and become their middleman, trying to make sure that Cielle and Naraka could settle this thing peacefully instead of creating a bloody war.
Riviera managed to snap sense into both countries, especially Queen Verbenae who realized that if Naraka empire was so angered by this and that their great general meant a lot to them, it meant that perhaps it wasn’t their doing. And even if they did this, Oriel would never want her to wage war and involve the innocent in it.
Meanwhile, Emperor Shinokoutei was still mad because he couldn’t use this as a reason to finally go on an all-out war with Cielle kingdom. He felt like he had just lost a very good tool, the great general, but when he thought of how the crown princess of Cielle was gone, he felt like it was a fair trade indeed.
He also mocked Cielle kingdom for not having many heirs so that there would still be many spares if one was gone.
“You only have two heirs and now one is gone. If that one is also gone… Haha,” Emperor Shinokoutei laughed mockingly.
“You!!” Deus was angered, but Queen Verbenae quickly gestured him to stop.
The Riviera country quickly interfered the situation.
In the end, they settled this conflict and agreed to make peace with each other.
What caused Emperor Shinokoutei to ultimately drop this idea of war with Cielle was because he realized that his winning chance wasn’t that high, so he wanted to retreat to strategize more for the future war, where he’d be sure he could win.
After that, there wasn’t really much change for the Naraka empire as they continued their conduct as if nothing had happened. Perhaps because Emperor Shinokoutei was busy with his so-called strategy while training the new general.
Cielle kingdom suffered more damage as their kingdom was saddened by the missing crown princess. The royal family continued their desperate attempt in looking for Oriel, but the queen continued to grow weaker.
Eventually, just one year ago, Deus ascended to the throne and Queen Verbenae decided to go to seclusion to recuperate as well as to rest her weary heart.
“Mother…!” Oriel was really stunned to hear how her mother was doing. If the illness wasn’t that bad, she wouldn’t decide to recuperate in seclusion. Her heart trembled as she worried for her mother.
“Princess…,” Fideline quickly held Oriel’s shoulders to support her. Little Sen was surprised to see the normally calm Oriel to be close to tears, so he quickly went close to Oriel and tried to comfort her.
Nagare was clearly disturbed seeing Oriel’s reaction. When he heard that the emperor didn’t seem to be very affected other than feeling like he had lost a useful tool, he wasn’t really affected because he knew that the emperor only valued him as a tool and didn’t really hope much.
It was exactly at that time that Yasha and Faro as well as the older guard came back from fetching the rest of the union members.
“Reporting to Lady Baba, all of them have entered the village and the villagers are helping them settle,” the older guard reported.
“Princess, what happened?!” Faro was surprised that his first scene upon entering was the princess looking fragile.
“We’ll explain everything later,” Fideline quickly said.
“Thank you for explaining us the situation, Lady Baba. May we be excused so we can convey the current situation to the others as well as settling here too?” Osamu asked Lady Baba.
“Your village and your people will have our protection in exchange for sheltering us,” Nagare promised sincerely.
“Alright then. It’s no big deal since there are a lot of vacant houses and rooms due to people leaving anyway. We don’t have much, I hope it’s fine with you guys,” Lady Baba said.
“It’s alright, it’s already more than enough. When we were in that weird world, we had to make do with anything we could find anyway,” Yasha added.
“Good then,” Lady Baba nodded.
After taking their time to settle, Nagare and Oriel gathered everyone in the village’s plaza to brief them of the situation.
Queen Verbenae was quite loved by the citizens of Cielle kingdom, so hearing the sad news that her health was deteriorating caused all the elves to be emotional.
On the contrary, hearing that they were discarded, the Onis didn’t really have that much of a reaction as they already knew how their emperor was. In the first place, they were already expecting to get discarded as they returned with a renewed mindset that they wanted peace with the elves, something that would definitely warrant their exile if they weren’t being hunted.
Seeing their elf friends getting emotional over the queen made the Onis curious about how the queen was. She was definitely a good queen, since there was no way the elves would be sad over an inconsiderate queen.
“What are we going to do, then?” One of them asked.
“I… I want to see my mother,” Oriel said.
“Oriel-sama…,” Fideline felt sad over the queen who didn’t oppose Oriel’s decision of keeping her when her whole family was executed. The queen didn’t treat her differently and always treated her with compassion, quickly dispelling any seed of hatred she might have harboured over the loss of her traitorous family.
The elves quickly agreed and some even quickly volunteered to accompany Oriel.
“Will that be fine?” Nagare asked.
“Yeah, I will be alright. After I see my mother, I will see Deus and try to negotiate with him about our situation with the Naraka empire,” Oriel nodded resolutely.
“Don’t worry, nothing will happen to me. They will be willing to hear me out,” Oriel tried to convince the Onis whose faces showed concern for her.
“Great General, what do we do?” Osamu asked Nagare who was still looking at Oriel worriedly.
“Right… There’s no way we can talk it out with the emperor or show ourselves with renewed resolution,” Nagare said, and the Onis all nodded in unison, without any hesitation.
“But…,” Nagare continued, “There’s no way we can sit here doing nothing. So, let’s try to stealthily gather more sympathisers for our goal of having peace with the elves. I’m sure there will be sympathisers, although rare or afraid of coming out.”
The Onis quickly nodded and were happy that their great general was indeed a courageous person who would not do anything at all. If he were someone like that, they wouldn’t want to acknowledge him as their leader anyway.
“Right. Then, as for the preparation for our departure…,” Osamu fixed his glasses and began thinking when Nagare quickly shook his head.
“No. You stay here,” Nagare quickly said.
“But… Great General…!” Osamu was stunned to hear what his superior said.
“You have a family to protect,” Nagare moved his gaze towards Fideline and little Sen, and so did Osamu.
“Princess, so does that mean…,” Fideline was worried over her situation now that Osamu was denied to come with them.
“Yeah. You stay here,” Oriel resolutely said.
“Ah…,” Fideline felt sad that she couldn’t see the sick queen, but she glanced at little Sen who clung on her and swallowed any words of opposition she had up her throat.
In the end, it was agreed that Fideline, Osamu, and Sen would stay there. Some of the Onis and the elves also stayed because there was no way all of them could go together. They wanted to protect little Sen as well as this village too, should their existence be discovered and become hunted instead.
After resting and preparing for quite some time, some of the Onis led by Nagare and some of the elves led by Oriel departed to do their objectives, while the rest of them stayed there.
They all separated with a renewed resolution as well as goal that they had to extend their union to reach their countries as well.