70: Future plans (Arc 3 Epilogue 3)

We returned to the elves' camp site.
Although the banquet had already ended, the elves were still enjoying some relaxed chats.

Celica's blond hair swings as she approaches.
"Welcome back, Keika-sama, Lily-sama."
Lilille gave herself the pseudonym of Lily the saint.

"It got late"
"We're back. We have to consult with you in detail about your personal connections to blacksmiths. But can you tell me first, where the chieftain is?"
"Yes, he is over there-- Ah, Lapisia-chan has fallen asleep, hasn't she? I'll hold her."
"Yeah, right. I'll leave her to you."
I handed her over to Celica. When I did this, Lapisia was leaning against the comfortable looking huge chest.

The chieftain Jagd overheard us and came over. Maybe I should call him a 'bichuunen' (TN: pretty middle-aged man, wordplay on bishounen), because he looks like a handsome man in his forties.
"You were calling for me, Keika-sama?"
"I'd actually like to ask everyone, but might you know an excellent master blacksmith? I need one."
"When you say blacksmith, you mean someone, who handles iron and magic silver, right? We elves take pride in our woodwork though..."

"Speaking of which, isn't there the elven master craftswoman Deedoria? It seems that she was the one, who made the Frozen Rapier, that is hanging at Celica's waist. This sword is really strong"
"A work made by Deedoria?! Even though she was an elf, her handling of iron and silver was prodigious."
"Where is she currently? Elves should be a long-living race after all."
"Unfortunately, she died."
"I see. That guy of the Four Heavenly Kings, huh..."

Jagd answers while having a sad smile on his face.
"No, she was drunk while she was drinking in her workshop, and when she fell over, the fire spread to the alcohol that she was pouring on herself... When her apprentice extinguished the fire, she was completely burned to a crisp."

"...Oh, I can vividly imagine that. Just from that I understand, what a good craftswoman she must have been."
"Dying at the forge might just have been a satisfying end for her. Other than her, I can't think of any good blacksmiths."

"Lily doesn't know anyone either... Celica, do you know of someone, even if it's just a rumor?"

"A master blacksmith... hmm, a long time ago, I heard a rumor of a prodigious Magic Seal Master Blacksmith, who certainly could bestow magic when he was forging."
"Heh. Where is he?"
"If he hasn't moved away, he should be in Industria, the capital of this country. Also, Industria is a metropolis for manufacturing. There are a lot of good craftsmen."

"I see. I guess we have to go there... Also, chieftain, I'm curious."
"What is it?"
"You said, that Deedoria had an apprentice. Is he alive?"
"... I don't know. He was a fairykin, but the fairy world has been destroyed... "

--Fairykin. I think, that I have already made their acquaintance somewhere.
Ah, there is Majiria, whose little sister I have saved in the Tower of Trials.
It's been only four weeks since then, huh. It feels so far in the past.

"Lily, chieftain, I already got involved with the fairykin in the past and received the Fairy's Blessing after several things happened. Might you know, how to use it? It seems, that I can call my fairykin acquaintance with it."

Lilille tilts her head while she speaks.
"You just came to this world and already have the Fairy's Blessing... I think, it's 'In my name of XX, who possesses the Fairy's Blessing... Oh Fairy XX, who colors the world... Answer my call', isn't it?"
"You're right, Lily-sama. With that, you can talk. And if you use 'Respond to my summon and manifest' at the end instead, the fairykin will be summoned here."
Jagd complemented the explanation. That's an elf for you.

I spread my legs to a shoulder's width and stretch my hands out.
"Let's try this a little-- In my name of Keika Hiko-no-Mikoto, who possesses the Fairy's Blessing... Oh Fairy Majiria, who colors the world... Respond to my summon and manifest"
When I did this, a magic circle with a heptagram was drawn about one meter in front of me on the ground.

Then, there was a very bright light, and Majiria was standing there.
Completely naked.
Majiria seemed to have been in the middle of bathing. The beautiful curves and wings are faintly gleaming alongside the wet, red hair, that is stretching down her back.

I mean, he turned out to be a girl.

The clothes, bag and bow, that belonged to her, were scattered about.
Her eyes went wide when she saw me.
We silently stared at each other.

Suddenly, her face was dyed in a bright red, and Majiria concealed her front.
"Aah--in front of so many people... Keika, sama. I wished, you'd, contact me before you summoned me."
Majiria crouches down while tears are floating in her eyes.
The wings at her smooth back are vividly flapping.

"As expected of a fairy. You're beautiful. Particularly in the nude..."
"Do, Don't look...!"

Jagd approached her, took off his jacket and let her put it on.
"Please wear this. We're friends of the fairykin."
"Yo, you are, elves?"
"There are only women and us elves, who are related to the fairykin, around. The only man here is the hero, so please be at ease."
"Isn't the hero the one with the most indecent look in his eyes..."
"It's only natural. If a beautiful girl is suddenly appearing naked in front of me, I just have to take a look at her without fail."
"Eh! Wh, what are you saying!?"
Majiria's face blushed red to her ears.

I was pinched by Celica from the side.
"Please keep your teasing at that. It's pathetic."
"You might be right. I'll turn around. Please quickly put on your clothes."
"Ye, yes"

Lilille steps forward with a godly smile floating on her face.
"I'll help you"
"Th, thanks"

After a while, Majiria had finished changing into her clothes.
Meanwhile, Celica brought Lapisia inside our tent to sleep.

The dressed Majiria speaks, while her cheeks are still blushed.
"Why did you have to summon me so suddenly? --When I went through such great pains to hide my gender."
"I already had a hunch that you might be a girl, so don't worry about it."
"Eh!? My magic should even deceive the gods"

Certainly, I wasn't able to look through her with "Truth Sight".
But although I had three believers before I entered the Tower of Trials, they had increased to five when I came out. Moreover, they were virgins without the "Light"-attribute. One of them was Lapisia, and the chance was high, that the other one was Majiria, because I had saved her sister.
Although there was no proof.

"Well, I haven't become a hero for nothing. --Rather, there is something I'd like to ask you. Might you know the fairykin apprentice of Deedoria?"
"If you mean Hemur-jiisan, he is an acquaintance of me."
"Oh! Where is he? Can I summon him here immediately?"

She shook her head. Her still moist hair is swinging around.
"That person is quite eccentric. He won't respond even if he's summoned. Even if you're a god or the Demon Lord himself, you won't be able to meet him unless you go to him."
"Would he even refuse, if you as his acquaintance would say, that it's a request from a hero?"
"I'd do it if it would work."
"He's the archetype of a craftsman, huh. Where is he?"
"He's on a remote continent directly next to the fairy world."

"Is that remote continent far away?"
"It takes about a month to reach by ship from the west if the wind plays its part. From the east, it takes about two weeks, but it's dangerous, because strong monsters are lurking there."
--Wind won't be a problem if it's me, but from the east, it's probably about the same distance as crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

"Hmm, that's pretty far. Maybe I should let Lily or Leo-- no, I have no choice but to go there myself since I'm a hero. ...But I should look around Industria first."
Celica nods.
"That might be for the best. It's close and there are many good craftsmen."
"Well then, Majiria, you can go home"

Majiria made big eyes and looked angry.
"Eh!? That's it!? --Then couldn't you just have talked to me!"
"Don't say it like that. I wanted to test, whether I can summon you. It would be troublesome if it wouldn't work in case of an emergency. I'm sorry to have summoned you all of a sudden. Though, my eyes were treated to something nice."

While she was smiling just a moment ago, her cheeks were blushing and she cast her eyes downward.
"Keika-sama, it's unfair to say it like that..."
While she said this, she was leisurely picking up her luggage and her bow and put them on her back.

"Take care"
"Next time, I'll contact you in advance!"

While inflating her puffed up cheeks, Majiria is flapping her wings and flies high into the night sky.

I looked at Celica and Lilille.
"Let's go to bed soon. We'll head for Industria tomorrow."
"Yes!" "I'll get the supplies"

Then we parted ways with Jagd and went to our tent.
"What is it?"
--You said, that I'd need another 50.000 believers, but won't maybe 30.000 be enough as well?
"Hmm. It's already quite extreme to challenge Vanus with 50.000 believers. He's a god after all."

--When thinking about the number of Vanus's believers, I feel that 30.000 or 50.000 won't make that much of a difference.
"Powers can be granted to you, once you have reached 50.000 believers."
--Heh. I see. Maybe I should do something like Oukuninushi-no-Mikoto, huh. I'll be added to the main faction then?"
"I don't really understand your allegory, but you might have the general idea."

--Also, I understand, what Vanus did, but just what is his motivation behind it?
"Other than, 'I want to obtain everything in the world'?"
--It would be easy to tell, if he'd just seek strength like Greyhades did... Well, please let me know if you find something out.
"Yes. Anytime."

I parted with Lilille and arrived at our tent.
Then, Fioria spoke to me.
"Keika-sama, can I talk to you for a moment?..."
"What is it? --Celica, please go to sleep ahead of me."
"Understood, Keika-sama."

I part with Celica and follow Fioria.
I was guided to a plain tent, unlike the one that I was given.
It was about the size of two tatamis and Rii was sleeping inside. Most likely, she was strained by the travel, as she was soundly asleep.

Fioria and I are sitting in an empty space. This was actually the only place that was free.
Fioria lowers her head.
"Thank you very much for this time."
"No, don't worry about it. The most important thing is, that I was able to help."
"Then... as thanks..."

"Hm? Isn't it enough already, that you have guided me to the World Tree and that the elves are now worshiping me?"
"Those were the thanks for saving Rii, and that you have saved the elves. This is for saving me..."
When she said this, she began to take of her crude linen clothing.
Her white skin is shining in the dark. Huge round shapes are released from her clothes, as if they are bursting open.

"... You don't have to push yourself."
"I'm not pushing myself. Your conspicuous service was deeply burned into my eyes... My heart is beating fast just by closing my eyes... Can you feel it?"
She took my hands and pressed them against her huge breasts. My fingers are buried in their softness.

"I, I see"
When I put strength into my fingers, they are captured by the plump breasts as if they got stuck.
I'm thinking once again, that they are bigger than Celica's.

I was sitting cross-legged, and Fioria was breathing hard when she brought her upper body down onto me.
Then, she opened the hem of my clothes and put her hands inside. She has the fingertips of a men-knowing woman.

Fioria speaks while I'm touching her directly.
"It's been a long time since I was accepted so warmly by my kind."
"Why? Were you singled out?"

"On the surface, their behavior didn't change. But because my husband was a human and the one, who lifted the barrier and guided the demons, there was always a looming coldness behind their smiles."
"He lifted the barrier? Was he a demon that was impersonating a human?"
"That's possible. Or maybe he was just manipulated. I won't ever know the truth, since he has already died."

--To the elves, her husband was a serious offender.
The elves seem to be intellectual and treat each other equally. However, even if they didn't change their way of interaction, she must have suffered from the invisible coldness. She probably has experienced a lot of subtle discrimination, such as receiving the most frugal tent.
That Rii's ceremony has failed, might also... .

"It must've been painful... You probably thought, that they didn't let you participate in the final battle to let you get away, but to get rid of you."
"Yes... but because I brought you, who saved the World Tree, they are now heartily speaking to me again just like in the past... And you also helped Rii..."
"*Sniff*", Fioria spoke in a tearful voice.

I reflexively stroked her head that was on lying on my crossed legs. Her green hair moves up and down.
"Aren't you glad... ah!"
--This is bad! I registered Rii as an elf.
Has she actually been a half-elf?
No, wouldn't she be of a different race, if the other party was a demon!?
I don't know the laws of this world, and since I don't know her original race, I can't fix it.

Can Lilille maybe do something for her?
No, the World Tree, that is also a god, has already tampered with her before.
The problem might be of a deeper nature than I recognize.
I can't judge it as I am now.

I speak while I'm still stroking her green hair.
"Regarding Rii... it's possible, that the problem isn't completely solved yet."
Fioria wetted her lips and raised her face.
"Is there, still something wrong with her?"
"I don't think, that there's a need to worry, but the ceremony, that involved a god, failed. She should be observed for a while to confirm that there are no side-effects."

"Would you, watch over Rii?"
"Ah, of course. I'll be together with the saint for a while, so it should work out somehow"
"Please, Keika-sama"
Fioria hugged me. She pressed herself so strong against me, that her huge breasts got literally smashed.

I got pushed down under the force, and Fioria was mounted on top of me.
Her flower-like lips are falling down on me like rain, and my skin is gleaming from her tongue's moisture.
Our body temperatures melted together when I hugged her warm body like I was sinking into it.

However, Celica's smiling face flickers before my eyes and for some reason my chest becomes tight.
Because Rii was slightly moving, we didn't say a word when we parted ways.

After that, I showered myself with water and returned to my own tent.
Although it was considerably larger than Fioria's tent, it was still quite small for four people and the luggage.
I push Celica and Minya, who are already asleep, to the side, and lie down.

I'm thinking, while I look at the starry sky, that can be vaguely seen from the entrance.

--I'll ask Lilille about Rii tomorrow.

So, next is a blacksmith, huh. I hope, that I'll find one in Industria.
Otherwise, I should return to the village.

The fairy world is closer from the east, but where do I get a ship?
Should I ask the merchant Driad to prepare a ship that can cross the ocean? He should be able to do that.
I mean, he hasn't paid back the money I lent him yet. And even if I slowly start to withdraw it, we should have reached the point where the funds can be reinvested.

It was quite the shock, that the Demon Lord is the god Vanus.
He'll come out of his cocoon in one year.
I have to gather 50.000 believers until then.

...I'd have some leeway, if I had at least five years. It seems, that the population in this world is quite small.
Whether it's popularity or believers, every beginning is hard.
Once the flame of popularity is ignited, it will spread like wildfire though.
It's difficult.

While I was trapped in my thoughts, Celica brought her body close to me like a puppy.
"What's wrong, Celica?"
"...The nights in the desert, are cold"
"I guess you're right-- it's cold if you're alone"
I gently hugged her. Her flower-like scent tickles my nose.
"*Ah*" She leaked out a sweet, long breath and her slender body quivered.
I strongly hugged her to warm her even more, and our skin was closely touching.