Chapter 144 To the Elven Village
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Having heard from Lewya that the Elf leader was wanting to meet and talk, I decided to take action immediately after hearing that it wouldn’t take much time to reach the village. While there might not be an urgent need to hurry there, the dealings with the Elves held significant implications for the future of the settlement. Whichever way it turned out, I felt that coming to a conclusion quickly was preferable.
Leaving the settlement in Diana’s hands, Lewya and I set out towards the depths of the forest, aiming for the Elven village.
”You said it wouldn’t take much time, but is it really that close from the settlement?”
”If you ask whether it’s close, it’s not exactly like that. But, well, let’s just say we’ll arrive without too much time.”
As I was thinking that if it was teleportation magic, it would complicate matters again, Lewya shook her head.
”No, it’s not teleportation magic. While it uses magic similar to that, it’s not about instantly jumping physical distances. It’s about creating a separate space on the other side of the world through magic, connecting it to our world, and going in and out through that… Would this explanation make sense?”
”Ah, yeah, I get it, but… I’m surprised. Elves can use interdimensional magic?”
Interdimensional magic, as the name suggests, is magic related to different dimensions, distinct from the generally known spatial magic. Spatial magic controls existing spaces, including teleportation magic that transports people and goods across distances.
On the other hand, interdimensional magic is about creating spaces themselves, and while its existence is known, due to its high level of difficulty and the rarity of those who have mastered it, the number of individuals who can use interdimensional magic dwindled over time. It’s believed that all those who mastered it have passed away, and since the method of mastery is unknown, it was treated as a lost magic.
”Can Lewya use interdimensional magic too?”
”I can’t. Even though I was born an Elf, I’m not particularly skilled in magic, and even among Elves who excel in magic, very few are capable of mastering interdimensional magic. It’s fundamentally different from other forms of magic, as it distorts the laws of the world. You need a special kind of talent to handle it.”
”Special talent, huh.”
In other words, it’s a kind of magic that’s beyond the reach of someone like me who’s just a little quick to learn. If it were something that could be memorized with dedicated effort over time, I would have been eager to try, but if it requires special talent, then there’s no choice but to give up.
”Still, if it was interdimensional magic, it saved us. I was worried about what would happen if it was teleportation magic.”
”Speaking of which, the Empire seems to be quite concerned about the handling of teleportation magic, aren’t they?”
”Oh, you knew that? But it’s not just the Empire, it’s the same everywhere. Teleportation magic has been a headache for a long time, and it still is. After all, it can send people and goods to distant places in an instant. If used cleverly, you could ignore the frontlines and sneak right into the enemy’s territory, achieving victory in war instantly.”
”But to travel back and forth between distant places with teleportation magic, you need to set up specialized magical tools in the desired locations. If you’re sending an army, it would need to be on a considerable scale, and it would be difficult to keep something so large hidden until the time of execution, wouldn’t it?”
”You don’t need to set up your own magical tools. At the time, those kinds of magical tools were already installed in the major cities of various countries, without exception.”
”Wait, are you saying you’d connect to the already-installed teleportation magical tools? But those should only work as a pair, right?”
”What made it possible was the technology called ‘cracking,’ developed by the kingdom.”
Given the name, it’s most likely some shady workaround. The process is quite simple: forcibly connecting between the already-installed magical tools, and using one as the entrance while using the other as the exit to the destination.
”When ‘cracking’ was initially developed, it caused a huge commotion. Thanks to that, until countermeasures were found, teleportation magical tools all over the place were simultaneously removed.
Even after countermeasures were found, in some cities, teleportation magical tools are prohibited altogether, and in cities where they can be installed, their size is heavily restricted to prevent sending large amounts of people and goods all at once.
If you’re talking about the teleportation magical tools in the Empire now, even the larger ones would probably only fit a single carriage. And after the incidents related to teleportation that followed, the regulations on teleportation magical tools became even stricter.”
”It all started in the kingdom again. After ‘cracking,’ they developed magical tools that don’t need a receiving end. In essence, they prepared only the entrance magical tool and specified the coordinates to open it along with the entrance.”
”Creating an exit in an empty space, can such a method really stabilize the exit? And even if they managed to create an exit, did they reliably end up at the intended location?”
”No, it was fine for short distances, but the further the distance, the larger the margin of error became. The coordinates’ discrepancies were manageable if they were only horizontal, but it was disastrous when they were vertical.
After all, the destination of teleportation would either be underground or in the sky. Being buried alive in a distant foreign land or splattering blood from the impact of falling, that was the result before practical testing was halted.”
”That makes sense, it lacked stability too much. But if they could stabilize it, it seems like it would have been quite useful. Why did the kingdom give up development so easily?”
”That’s where the aforementioned incident comes into play. During the development of those magical tools, a noble from a certain kingdom, desperate to restore their almost ruined family and earn merit, took out the magical tool that was being developed and invaded the capital of a religious nation in the midst of war.”
”Considering that the church is still in conflict with the kingdom, I suppose that attempt wasn’t successful. What happened?”
”In terms of the outcome, they did manage to teleport to the capital of the religious nation, but apparently, they were thrown into the sky instead of on the ground. Hundreds of people wearing armor fell from the sky at once, and it was said to be like an iron rain pouring onto the religious nation.”
Neither the fallen soldiers from the kingdom nor the civilians on the ground in the religious nation survived unscathed. The ground was scattered with human remains that had been crushed like squashed tomatoes, and it was described as a scene from hell.
”An indiscriminate attack involving ordinary citizens without any prior warning. While it might not have been intentional, not only the religious nation but also the Empire and even within the kingdom itself, there was strong backlash against this incident.”
”So, that’s why development was discontinued, and not just that magical tool, but teleportation magical tools in general came under scrutiny.”
”Exactly. After the incident, the three nations held discussions, and significant restrictions were placed on the development and use of teleportation magical tools. The danger of teleportation magic, which can transport people and goods instantly over great distances, became evident due to this incident.”
”For being something from the past, you seem to know quite a lot about it. Is it a well-known story among people?”
”No, not really. Those who were alive at the time, maybe, but most people nowadays wouldn’t know. Teleportation magical tools are something that’s completely unrelated to the lives of ordinary people… In my case, I only know because I messed up once.”
”The item box I developed, that’s also a teleportation magical tool. Back then, I was still a kid and completely unaware of the circumstances. A small magical tool that can be carried around and hidden in one’s pocket, it’s not hard to see why it would raise concerns, right?”
”…Isn’t that quite problematic?”
”Yeah, it was so problematic that the Emperor himself came down to discuss it. Since I was still a child, I was eventually forgiven, but if not for that, I might have lost my head. The fact that the item box is only about the size of a human head passing through is also due to the restrictions.”
”Considering the circumstances, it’s surprising that the development was allowed to continue as it was. Wouldn’t it have been reasonable to halt it?”
”I didn’t want to lose my head, so I desperately explained the convenience to His Majesty. It seems they judged that it would be more advantageous to continue with restrictions rather than cancel it.”
As a result, my head wasn’t chopped off, but instead, His Majesty oddly became quite interested in what I was developing. From then on, I was instructed to declare in advance what I intended to create and, regardless of success or failure, submit progress reports, including the interim stages.
Emperor prioritized results above all else, and he was known for not showing much interest in the processes leading up to those results, whether good or bad. Yet, when it came to my research, he personally issued an order for me to submit not only the final product but also the interim stages, even if the project didn’t reach completion.
I have no idea what about my research piqued his interest, but due to that, I ended up becoming the target of envy from some researchers who had been ignored completely, despite their resentment, my name spread among researchers, and I got to know Mei and managed to complete the item box… While reminiscing about all that, Lewya, who had been leading the way, suddenly stops in her tracks.
”We’re getting close to the village, so let’s hold hands.”
”Huh? Why hold hands?”
”Only Elves can enter the village. Even if you were to follow right behind me, you would be deceived by the spirits and sent back to where you came from. However, as long as you’re holding onto my body, there shouldn’t be a problem… in theory.”
”In theory? What do you mean?”
”It can’t be helped, we’ve never brought in outsiders before. Without any precedent, I can’t make any assurances.”
”Come on, spare me the sudden abandonment in the middle of the forest while I was walking, okay?”
I’ve been walking under Lewya’s guidance, so I don’t remember the way back. If I were left behind here, it would undoubtedly be a path of distress.
”Don’t worry, I’ll find you immediately if that happens.”
”You couldn’t just assure me that you won’t leave me behind…”
Hoping that it won’t come to that, I grip Lewya’s hand tightly.
”You mentioned being deceived by spirits, but aren’t there any other precautions? Just relying on that seems like an easy thing to counter.”
Magic that affects people’s perceptions is easy to counter because there are many countermeasures available in the form of magical tools. To prevent the intrusion of outsiders, it might require one or two more strategies, or so I worry. But Lewya shakes her head as if to say there’s no need for concern.
”I told you before, this village exists in a different space. Simply wandering around this forest won’t lead you to the village. The magic that deceives people is just a mere illusion.”
”…I see. So you make people believe that if they can counter the perception deception, they can reach the village, but instead, you lead them to wander the forest in vain?”
It’s quite a subtle but unpleasant trap. Just when you think you’ve evaded a trap, the act of evading itself turns out to be the trap. So, since you’ll end up in the same place where you started, it’s better to be deceived along the way if you’re bound to end up in vain.
”Moreover, to enter and exit this different space, you need the assistance of spirits. Without their help, you can’t enter or leave the village.”
”Is that so? By the way, I’ve been curious about something since earlier. Are we currently being deceived as well? I feel like we’ve passed through here a few times already.”
”Interesting, you’ve noticed. Yes, we’re currently being deceived as well.”
”But I thought Elves would be immune?”
”I never said that Elves couldn’t be deceived. I just mentioned that only with Elves can you enter the village.”
”Then when can we actually enter the village?”
”Well, the spirits are capricious too. When we can enter the village depends on the mood of the spirits at that time. Sometimes, they might let us enter the village right away while being deceived.”
”What about when it takes longer?”
”Don’t worry, even though the spirits are capricious, as long as you’re not disliked by them, it won’t take too long.”
I wonder if that’s really the case… I can’t really trust my sense of time. While thinking such things, Lewya suddenly stops again while we’re wandering through the forest.
”We’re safe now.”
”We’re safe now? Did we arrive? We’re still in the forest—”
I was about to say that much when I immediately sensed something was amiss. The chirping of birds and the sounds of insects that should have been audible until a moment ago are completely gone, and the forest is eerily quiet.
”Unless invited by spirits, no one can enter this space. And that applies not just to humans.”
”Do you mean the forest animals are the same?”
This is already within the alternate space where the Elf village exists, so the sudden disappearance of signs of living creatures makes sense. Lewya and I walk side by side through the now-silent forest.
”If there were anyone capable of entering without being invited by spirits, it would be those who can use spatial magic.”
”I see, that means the elves don’t have to worry about outsiders infiltrating their village.”
As we repeat this exchange, the forest opens up, and the view that had been in my sight changes drastically. Unfamiliar wooden buildings line up, and the sight of many people walking around gives me a significant shock, even though I initially expected the village to be of a smaller scale.
And that massive tree visible in the depths of the village, could it possibly be the sacred spirit tree that was said to have stood in the center of the continent in ancient times? Overwhelmed by the sudden influx of information, while I’m bewildered, Lewya, who was walking beside me, takes a step forward and turns around to face me.
”Welcome, Neil, to the Nym Clan village. And—”
Lewya suddenly adopts a serious expression, straightens her back, and deeply bows to me. Facing me, who doesn’t understand the meaning of her actions, Lewya delivers even more incomprehensible words.
”Thank you, Neil. This is the village you saved.”
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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