Chapter 4 – Long-lived Race
“This is the innermost part of the Elven Forest.” (Captain)
It took quite a while, but we seem to have arrived at our destination. The surroundings are quite dark. Maybe the sun is almost setting? I can’t see the sky because of the overgrown trees, and the light also hardly reaches the ground. Even during the daytime, I’m sure it’s still considerably dark here.
If I look around, I can see several houses similar to those I saw in the Elven Village. However, there are no signs of people living there.
“We will spend the night here and meet the elders tomorrow.” (Captain)
“We won’t meet them now?” (Fell)
I want to finish the troublesome matters as quickly as possible.
“That’s impossible. The elders are resting now.” (Captain)
The elders are already old, I guess it can’t be helped. Come to think of it, Maou-sama often goes to bed early, is he perhaps older than his appearance suggests? Oops, that was rude of me.
“I’ll put you in the millennial tree prison so you won’t run away.” (Captain)
“I don’t mind, but don’t forget about my food.” (Fell)
“Mittor, get it ready!” (Captain)
Having said that, the captain left.
“I can’t marry you, but I still can cook for you.” (Mittor)
It seems the kick was not enough. If my hands weren’t handcuffed, I would have made a hole or two in his stomach.
I asked him to cook for me because the dishes he made didn’t make me smiling unconsciously. If no one was watching, I would rather eat the bento. Let’s eat it in the middle of night after everyone falls asleep. I won’t get fat, right?
After having dinner, I was put inside the millennial tree prison. It was a single room made of hollowed tree just like the houses, with wooden lattices installed at the entrance.
I guess this tree is called millennial tree. I’m not sure how it was processed, perhaps the elves used some kind of magic or skill to manipulate plants. I can easily escape using teleportation, though. There’s no need for that, so I will be obedient for now.
Now then, it’s still too early to sleep. What should I do?
“I will be the guard tonight. Don’t increase my work by escaping, okay?” (Mittor)
Mittor sat right outside the prison.
Good timing. Let’s try to extract some useful information from him.
“I would like to ask something; what kind of people the elders are?” (Fell)
“Oh!? Is this where we answer each other’s questions like before? Nah, never mind. Let’s just talk normally…. The elder are elves who are over 400 years old. I’m sure there are only three of them left now. The elders don’t have any duty in particular, but when we face problems that we can solve by ourselves, we will seek the advice from them.” (Mittor)
I’ve heard from Maou-sama that elves live for 400 to 500 years. I think 400 years old is an appropriate age for an elf to be called elder. There are only three of them, isn’t it too little?
“There are fewer elders than I thought.” (Fell)
Mittor made a sour look after hearing my comment.
What’s wrong? Is there something hard to say?
“The other elders have dedicated themselves to the World Tree.” (Mittor)
I keep hearing about this dedication thing, but what does that mean?
“Fundamentally, what does dedicate oneself to the World Tree mean?” (Fell)
“I don’t know the details myself, but….” (Mittor)
Mittor broke the words once, sighed, and started talking again.
From what Mittor told me, the elves will unite themselves with the World Tree before they reach the end of their lives.
Elf is a long-lived race. However, even if they’re physically healthy, they can get tired of living after hundreds of years, before finally die spiritually. Losing the will to live, they will only spend their days like plants.
For elves, it’s something scarier than dying physically. Therefore, before that happens, the elves will return their souls to the World Tree. That’s what is meant by dedicating oneself to the World Tree .
However, no one seems to know the specific way of doing things. It’s said that you will understand once you go to the World Tree when the time comes.
“Why do they lose the will to live?” (Fell)
“Maybe I can answer that question after I live long enough. However, there are those who said that even if their body was fine, their spirits couldn’t keep up with their long lifespans.” (Mittor)
“Is that so? I don’t get it since I have only lived for about eighteen years.” (Fell)
“I don’t know myself. However, after living outside the forest for years, I think I can understand their feeling just a little.” (Mittor)
“I’m interested. What did you understand?” (Fell)
“I’m one hundred seventy-seven years old now. I left the Elven Forest at the age of eighty to interact with humans and the other races. However, unlike elves, their lifespan is short. Those who had reached the age of eighty can be said have lived long. Most of them die sooner due to war, plague, etc.” (Mittor)
I agree. Furthermore, the demons’ lifespan even shorter because of the harsh environment called demon world.
“Living longer means seeing the death of acquaintances. How do I explain this…. I feel like part of my soul also died with them, I feel like I was left behind. Especially when it’s someone I get along with who died.” (Mittor)
I can’t say I understand him. After all, I didn’t have that kind of feeling when someone I know died.
“Even elves can die sooner from illness or monster attack. Living for hundreds of years and going through such experiences over and over again, do you think your heart can stand it?” (Mittor)
“In other words, is this because of loneliness?” (Fell)
“I don’t know. I just thought that perhaps it was one of the reasons everyone lived quietly inside the Elven Forest without interacting with the short-lived races.” (Mittor)
I guess a long lifespan comes with its own problems. Since I’m not an elf, this is something that I will never truly understand.
“It was an interesting story. I thought you were just someone without a care in the world, but I apparently was wrong.” (Fell)
I see him in a new light now.
“It’s not like I’m always playing around. I’m simply trying to live a more momentary life while enjoying it to the fullest. That’s why I want you to introduce me to a cute and glamorous girl!” (Mittor)
He gained five points, but lost ten points. His score is negative so far.
Eventually, Mittor fell asleep.
You’re supposed to keep watch on me, aren’t you? Though I have no intention to escape. Well, this works just fine for me. No one is watching and I’m still hungry. Let’s eat the boxed meal!
I wondered which one should I choose as I took the bentos out of the subspace. I checked the containers one by one and found out that their contents are same.
I guess it’s to be expected…. In any case, all the dishes made by Nia are delicious as ever. I want to make her my personal chef if possible. Oh, but I don’t need Ron.
On second thought, it was not good idea. If I monopoly Nia, it might cause a war with the other villagers. I guess I can only put my expectation on Yato who’s learning how to cook from her. Maybe it’s a good idea to call more people from the demon world….
I’m stuffed now. Let’s write a diary and go to sleep.