With such a huge bomb thrown in my face, I look for something to deny the possibility, but to no avail, only to be reminded that it's no surprise that the settlement is nearby, given the presence of an elf in such a place.
I check on the elf woman, but she seems to have regained her composure while Diana and I were talking, and she did not show such a blatant reaction as before, so I could not make a decision.
"Hey, seriously, what should we do?"
If it is known that there is an Elf settlement near our settlement, it is obvious that many people will come to the area to do something wrong, and then it will be too much trouble to settle the area.
Not only would they set up camps here and there without permission, but in the worst case, there is a good chance that a high ranking nobleman would come out to the area.
(Oh... no, I'm starting to have a stomachache.)
This must be kept secret.
Fortunately, only Diana and I know about this, and the others don't know anything about it except that we have protected the wounded, so as long as we return to the forest secretly, they will never find out about it.
"But if so, we are in trouble. If they send a watch for us like this, they may be living in the same area as us."
Oh, well, if we let her go now and she lives in the same area as us, we may see her again sooner or later as we continue to develop the area.
It is also possible that other people may see the elves this time, and then it will be difficult to stop them from saying anything.
The bottom line is that what I'm trying to do now is nothing more than a delaying action.
Then, I can think of only one way out of this situation.
"Ah, excuse me, may I have a word?"
"Well, I think that if we put aside our emotional arguments and cooperate, we can resolve this situation..."
"...what do you mean?"
No, I know I have to say it clearly, but I don't know how to talk to someone I've never met before.
I understand that this is a cause of irritation to the other person, but I hope she will forgive me because it is my nature.
"Uh, do you want to make a deal?"
"Yes, we don't want anything to do with you elves and we don't want people to come here for you."
"Ha~a, I don't know..."
"I'm sorry to say, but it's true. If the elves are here, it's likely that ruffians will come to this settlement. My master, Master Neil, is concerned that this could cause problems for the settlement."
Diana understood my intention and added something to my words to make it easier for the woman to understand.
I thanked her in my heart and continued.
"We are here for settlers. We can't stop settling without a reason."
"Are you asking us to leave?"
"No, it's not! I know we came later, so, I'm not going to say that at all!"
I explain hurriedly, and the woman looks a little puzzled.
Well, I thought it would be a surprise if I suddenly denied it with a bit of a bite, so I slowed down a little and continued the conversation.
"Uh, what I meant by a deal is exactly what it sounds like, a barter deal."
"Barter? What does that have to do with what we're talking about here?"
"I've heard that elves have a great knowledge of magic. I mean, the 'Ameris Wedge' was originally created by the elves. If we can regularly trade for goods that only the elves have, the emperor may be willing to protect the elves."
Yes, the solution I've thought of is that if it's difficult to hide them from the public, I'll even get the Emperor to get involved to protect the elves.
Fortunately, I am not sure if I should say so, but I know the Emperor's character well enough to know that he would definitely jump at the chance to make a regular deal with the Elves.
And if it turns out to be worth it, he will promise us the protection the elves deserves.
"But to do that, we need something of value to convince the Emperor. Do you have something like that in mind?"
"...of course, but why go to such lengths?"
"Huh? No, because if we don't, as Diana explained, we won't be able to explore the area, and you'll be in trouble too, won't you?"
"...I don't understand..."
Well, I thought I did my best to explain in an easy-to-understand way, but whatever I did convey was not clear enough.
I am shocked to my heart's content since I was a little confident in my explanation.
"It is true that there may be a temporary delay in your activities, but it should be temporary at best. It's not like the ruffians are going to be here for months."
Indeed, although this is a remote area, it is still the domain of the Count Atmiras, and even if a high ranking nobleman comes to visit, he will not be allowed to do as he pleases.
They will have to put up with it, but the maximum they can put up with it is two months at most.
At least, if anything more than that happens to hinder the development of the land, then my father will send some kind of a notice to me through the emperor.
(Ah, I see... that's how it is...)
I understand what the elf-woman was talking about.
The point is, why are the elves even trying to assist us when all they have to do is to be patient for a couple of months? She didn't understand so.
However, the reason is simply that it would be better for both of us to be happy, wouldn't it? But, unfortunately, it does not apply to the common sense in this world.
Basically, unless it's a family member or a relative, they think it's natural to put their own interests first, and there are many people who sacrifice even their family members for their own interests, so people who think like me are definitely in the minority.
Now I have to come up with a reason to convince her.
"Well, is it because I'm interested in what elves make?"
"Why the question mark?"
"After all! I am a nobleman, so I have a duty to enrich the lives of the people, and I thought that if I could have a glimpse of the wisdom of the elves, I could enrich the lives of the people even more than before."
Basically, individuals pursue their own interests, but as I mentioned before, there are exceptions, and nobles are responsible for further developing their territories and protecting their people, and sometimes they are required to abandon their own interests.
Well, in reality, there are many classic vicious aristocrats who put their own interests first, so it was a reality that such a statement as a legitimate aristocrat was often unacceptable.
"I see, for the sake of the people, huh..."
What is that, huh? Did she accept it?
To be honest, I was not expecting this reaction since I was sure she would be suspicious of me.
"Neil, is it? Is your family name Atmiras, by any chance?"
"Huh? Oh, yes, my name is Neil Atmiras."
I was again puzzled by the question that followed.
Because I had an image that Elves are not well informed about the mundane world, since they are extremely disconnected from human beings.
In fact, I had thought that they were so out of touch with the mundane world that even if I asked them the name of the current emperor, they would probably not answer me, so the fact that they knew my name was, to be honest, unexpected.
"Well, how do you know my name?"
"...I can't decide on this matter on my own. I would like to go back to the village and talk with the chiefs before giving an answer, is that all right?"
"Ah, yes, that's all right."
I asked her how she knew my name, but she did not answer my question.
I was curious about it, but it was hard to ask her when she was so blatantly changing the subject, and in the end, I never found out how she knew my name.
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