I checked the injuries and found that the bones were partially broken, but fortunately the injuries were within the range of my healing magic, so I let the person lie on the bed until regaining consciousness.
For the time being, the person's life was not a problem since their injuries were healed, but another problem came up this time.
"Hey Diana, what do you think we should do with this one?"
"Well... I've never seen it before, so I don't know what to do in this case."
"As I thought..."
The problem was with the person we rescued.
A beautiful woman with shoulder-length silver hair, clear eyes, and translucent white skin was there, but our attention was not on her face, but on her long, pointed ears.
"Looking at her, she's an elf... right?"
The clothes were black instead of green, but apart from that, she looked just like what I imagine an elf to be in the classical elf sense of the word.
So, what is the problem with Elf? First of all, Elf is a race that is rarely seen in public in this world.
This is a common feature in such other-worldly fantasy stories, but in this world, the rarity of elves is extraordinary.
They were so rare that it was said that if someone could see an elf in his or her lifetime, he or she would become a great man, and it was said to be a symbol of good fortune.
Because of such a legend, there are many people who target elves to obtain such good fortune, and elves in every world are targeted by greedy people as usual, though for different reasons.
Now that we have unintentionally picked up such a symbol of good fortune... seriously, what should we do with it?
Normally, I should have sent a message to my father, but unfortunately, we are so far away from Count Atmiras' territory that I don't know how long it would take if I had waited for his reply.
What I fear more than anything else is that the fact that the elf was here would be known.
As I mentioned earlier, if it is known that there are elves here, then some malicious people will come to this settlement to take advantage of the elf.
Besides, as I do not want to bring any kind of uneasiness to this new settlement that has just started, I thought that it would be better to send her back to the forest secretly without reporting the existence of her, rather than to let it be known.
"I wonder if it's not a good idea not to report it?"
"Master Neil has the final decision. I will only follow Master Neil's decision."
"Hey, you're not going to throw the blame on me if you get caught, are you? We've come this far. You know what they say, "If you eat poison, you die."
"I don't know that phrase, but if you want me to be hanged with you... I'll go with you."
"...No, I don't want to."
Diana's reply makes me give up and hang my head, as if she knows I don't have the guts to take others along with me.
Aaah, how did I end up with such a bomb in my hand?
I just wanted to help people, but this is the result of my actions.
While I was thinking this, the elf woman was about to come back to consciousness.
"Where... am I (Watakushi)?"
"Are you awake?"
Diana calls out to the elf woman as she realizes that she is awake and hides me behind her.
The newly awakened woman stares at Diana with blurred vision, and after a few seconds, she tries to wake herself up with a start, but Diana quickly holds her down on the bed.
"You human! Let go of me!"
"That's not going to happen. I can't guarantee that you won't hurt Master Neil... so I'm going to have to ask you to stay calm."
"W-wait a minute, Diana..."
"Master Neil, please step aside. Then, as for you, I have a few questions. I can't release you until you answer them honestly."
"Release? Do I have to answer your questions before a human being can release me?"
"It is not for me to decide, but Master Neil seems to want you to leave this place quietly, so it is fine if you answer our questions."
The two struggled for a while, but Diana seemed to be the stronger of the two, and eventually the elf woman gave up her resistance and fell down on the bed.
Diana still holds the woman's body and asks her questions.
"Then, what were you doing in a place like that?"
"Hunting? I see. Did you challenge the monster without knowing your own strength, and were you beaten back?"
The elf woman's eyes widen at Diana's words.
"Your reaction says that I wasn't right on the mark, but that you were confused by the unexpected words thrown at you. Does this mean that you didn't challenge Heindahl and get a blowback?"
"So now I was right on the mark, wasn't I? So, the encounter was unintentional and the battle broke out unintentionally... but were you concentrating on something else that you didn't notice the approach of a monster as big as Heindahl?"
"Oh, I'm right again. And the fact that you lied about hunting means you were doing something you couldn't tell us, right?"
By asking a question without a pause when the person is upset and his/her mind is in turmoil, it is possible to find out the answer from the person's reaction.
It's happened to me. If I had kept my composure, I would not have reacted in such an obvious way, but when my mind was disturbed by the first provocative question, I fell into Diana's trap.
(That's so cruel... I don't like to be asked questions like that...)
"―I see, I have a general idea of what's going on. You've been watching us."
Diana's question, or rather, her words of conviction, made the elf woman more upset than she had ever been before.
"Watching us, what makes you say that, Diana?"
There is no end to the questions that can't be told to others.
Still, I had no idea how Diana came up with the answer of watching.
"It is circumstantial evidence, but the first thing is the clothes. The clothes were all black to blend in with the darkness, the hood to hide her face, and the equipment which was obviously designed for ease of movement, not for combat, only an assassin or a secret agent would wear such an equipment. And the most interesting thing is the location where she was.
"Master Neil, please remember. She was close enough to us that she could've been there at a moment's notice, right?"
"Well, it was close enough, but not far enough for her to keep an eye on us."
In an open area, but at such a distance in a forest where there are many places to hide, it would be difficult to see the target of the watch.
"She was simply keeping her distance so that she wouldn't be caught up in our battle. Because there were a lot of 'clones' coming to that place, and if she was too close to them, she would have run into one that heard the sound of the battle."
"Then why didn't she notice Heindahl's approach?"
"I think it's because she was focused on us. She was planning to approach us when the battle was over, but she was caught off guard because he was focused on the battle, or something like that."
"But why were the elves watching us?"
I am convinced from Diana's explanation and the elf-woman's reaction that we were definitely being watched, and I wonder why we are being watched.
From the point of view of the elves, humans are not a threat to them, and if they see us, they can simply run away before we can find them.
And yet, when they are dressed like assassins and obviously equipped to hide themselves, there is no doubt that they were obviously planning to spy on us from the very beginning, not just because they happened to see us.
"This is also a guess, but perhaps..."
"Perhaps...? What do you mean?"
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Please, no more bombs!
"There must be an elf settlement near this settlement..."
In vain, I look up to the heavens as Diana tells me about the oversized bomb.
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