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I arrived at the place where I finished the 3rd exam.
The edge of the forest ends and a massive mountain blocked my view up ahead.
It’s the place where I escaped the nightmare of a forest and wailed in both desperate joy and sadness.
The feelings from then came back and made my blood boil, and I carried the rage in my eyes and stared at the forest to the east.
The bastards are in there.
‘I will get my revenge no matter what.’
I promised to myself and turned to the other side and headed up the brown mountain.
I don’t know where the elf lives, but I decided start by going into the brown mountain.
I sensed the direction of the center of the brown mountain by using my Guider skill.
From the files from the Korean arena research center, I have read about the elves.
I looked them up because as an intelligent species that aren’t humans, I was interested.
Elves look almost identical to humans but have larger ears and whiter skin. They are not white like Caucasians but a white that is actually void of color.
Forest, mountain, rive, sea, they absolutely love nature. Because of this, they hate humans who live by damaging nature.
They usually live in remote areas where human hands haven’t reached and react most sensitively when humans or beasts invade in their areas.
They shoot arrows well and freely use spirit summons, and the spirit summons I have is a skill derived from the elves’ summons.
Rarely, a human who loves and nurtures nature like the elves may befriend an elf and learn the spirit summons, but that number, throughout the whole of Arena, numbers few.
‘When they said examinees with spirit summons was only me, I can believe it.’
This exam is about helping these elves.
And to do that, first I have to approach an elf and earn their confidence, but I worry that because they are exclusive and unfriendly with humans, if I’ll be able to get close to them.
The reassuring thing is that I am a spirit summoner.
These elves love nature, so they will love spirits that are embodiments of mother nature.
‘If I lead with Sylph and Kasa, it might signal to them I’m not an enemy.’
I kept going up the brown mountain.
The slope is steep and every now and then I have to climb with my hands. Thanks to the physical strength buff, I am stronger and I have no problem climbing. Even if I fall, I can have Sylph catch me.
The Arachne glove is a big help. Grabbing between sharp rocks with my bare hands and it doesn’t hurt a bit.
I climbed to the top of the rock face and summon Sylph.
“Check if there is a dangerous beast or monster nearby.”
Sylph flits off.
I let Sylph do her thing and kept on walking.
A moment later, Sylph returns and nods her head.
“Was there no excrement or footprints?”
Sylph nods her head the same way again.
In rough terrain without any humans, the fact that there’s no beasts or monsters must mean…
‘Thank goodness. This must mean the elves are close by.’
Then first, I should be careful not to damage my surroundings.
While I chop wood for a fire I may get shot with an arrow by an elf.
I keep walking and pick up sticks that have fallen on the ground and put them in my pocket.
I am in cargo pants with lots of pockets and I gather a substantial amount of sticks.
About every 10 minutes and summon Sylph and Kasa. It is not to scout the area.
It’s because I’m bored walking alone.
The two of them each grab a seat on either shoulders and intensely fight with each other over my head.
Sylph delicately jumps onto my head first and from there, using her front paws, keeps punching, and Kasa shoves his face at her and dislodges her from her spot.
Sylph uses her tail to pull on Kasa’s legs and knock him down and confidently walks back onto my head.
Kasa jumps immediately and lands on top of Sylph.
The two kiddos bickering and fighting with each other makes me happy. As I walked, I discovered rabbit poop. I asked Sylph to hunt it down and within 5 minutes, she brings back a rabbit.
‘Should I rest here?’
I make a fire with the sticks I’ve gathered. I handled the rabbit and am about to grill it but because there isn’t a substantial piece of firewood, the first isn’t very big.
“Kasa, grill it for me.”
Kasa made an expression like he has to poop and then lights up a flame and cooked the rabbit in an instant.
I asked Sylph to cut the rabbit into bite sized pieces. I’m eating it and it is very well cooked. A talent very befitting the spirit of fire.
To spare the summons time, I send back both spirits and continue my meal.
‘there is something I have brought for just this occasion.’
“Summon item bag.”
The item bag appears, hung on my shoulder, from inside I take out a small plastic bag. And inside the bag is a small amount of table salt, pepper, and seasoning/msg. I sprinkle a little of the seasoning as I eat it and the meat becomes even tastier.
Kasa really nailed it when cooking this and the rabbit is still incredibly juicy. This is indeed the best meal I’ve ever had while in the Arena.
But of course, it is not as good as Min-jeong’s cooking.
‘I already miss her.’
When we would go out on a date and then return to Min-jeong’s place, before heading to bed, she would always prepare food for me.
The so and so average that Min-jeong had prepared became more impressive as she increased her repertoire of recipes she could make.
Especially when she took some Pollack fish, eggs, carrots, mushrooms, and other vegetables and cooked them together, I was surprised.
‘I won’t be able to see her for 30 days now I guess.’
Is dating Min-jeong a mistake because when I was alone, I didn’t feel this kind of loneliness.
Now I have now teammates, and I have to get used to the solitude.
Fog begins to settle in the sky. I ponder as to whether I should keep going or stop here for the day.
“Do not move human.”
Far behind my back, I hear the voice of a man.
I’m surprise and automatically shout.
The Mosin-Nagant appears in my hands.
“I said do not move.”
I hear another warning from the man.
‘Should I summon Sylph and attack?’
I don’t particularly enjoy life threatening situations.
But I decide not to do that.
I put the Mosin-Nagant on the floor and raise both my hands.
“I have no intention of fighting.”
“I will decide that.”
Oh, will you?
I’m a little pissed off, but I hold it in. It is because I know who the enemy is. I have no doubt that it is an elf.
I can tell just by the fact alone that he called me human.
“Stay still where you are.”
I hear the voice that came directly from my back and I am surprised.
How did he get so close when I didn’t hear any footsteps?
The elf has approached like a shadow and I think he is inspecting something because there is no movement. I am frustrated because I can’t turn around and see.
“You didn’t damage any trees.”
Said the elf man in a reassured voice.
“I gathered sticks that had fallen on the ground.”
“You’re a human with basic manners. Based on your behavior, you wandered into this area knowing it was our area?”
“What is it you want? We do not want human visitors.”
“I want to be your friend.”
The elf man snickers.
“Whether a human is wicked or honest, you always approach us under the intent of friendship. The previous shameless trespassers said the same.”
“What shameless bastards?”
“They tried to kidnap our family’s child.”
That was in the files too.
It said that rarely, humans in the Arena kidnap elves and use them as slaves.
Because of their beauty, they are used as charms or for sex slavery.
Nearly all nations have legally banned it but didn’t it say that the Nerora royal family keep their expensive elves as proof of their power and flaunt them?
Because of that the human and elf relationship is turning scornful.
And it turns out that unfortunately not too long ago, bastards that prey on elves specifically have passed through here.
“Thank goodness it turns out they failed.”
“We minced them finely and turned them into plant food.”
It’s even creepier because he said it like it was nothing. He said it not as a threat, but just to tell me that that is what they did.
“But that poor child has been deeply traumatized.”
“But it is still well that the child is safe.”
I keep speaking in friendly terms.
“The one that chased the five men and killed them is me. So, human, do not try to fool me.”
“I do not.”
“Tell me what it is you want.”
“I want to be a friend to the elves.”
“Engulfed in prejudice, you can only say that as a lie. Considering that, I will respond. Just go bac. We do not want any friends.”
“We have specifically told you. So go and disappear from afore my eyes.”
Thankfully I wasn’t deemed an enemy, but his behavior is too exclusionist.
First, I do as I am told and get up from my seat.
Before I leave just like that, I think maybe, and summon sylph.
Sylph sits delicately on top of my head.
I hear the surprised voice of the elf man.
“Human, is that a spirit?”
“You have learned to summon spirits?”
“As you can see.”
“How can this be!”
“Is this that unusual?”
“More like a miracle!”
Isn’t it a bit far to call it a miracle? I heard it was just rare in the Arena world.
The elf man’s words continue.
“A cat, wh-what a cute and lovable Sylph! This is impossible! Your existence alone is a miracle!”
“Here, give Sylph to me for a moment! Quick!”
“Uh, Sylph, you heard him.”
Sylph softly jumps from my head and approaches the elf man.
I too turn around. And I finally see the elf man’s appearance.
He is a giant being, over 190 cm tall. (about 6’2”)
With a slender figure.
A complexion void of any color, blindingly white.
A bow and case of arrows slung across his shoulder.
As expected, a handsome elf man…
“How could you be so cute! What a miracle!”
He holds Sylph and rubs cheeks with her and freaks out.
‘Where did the dangerous spirit from a moment ago, go?
I learned something new that wasn’t in the files. Elves like spirits. Even beyond that, they go stupid for them.
Does Sylph instinctively like elves? She’s rubbing her cheeks on him and expressing affection.
I am curious to the man’s reaction so I summon Kasa too.
With a poof, a flaming puppy appears.
The elf man’s eyes grow wide open.
“Human, what are you?”
“With Sylph and now Kasa, to be going around with such cute spirits! You have been blessed greatly by mother nature!”
The elf man hugs Kasa too and flips out.
If Cha Ji-hye were to turn into an elf and a man, I think this would be her.
“Um…so, do I have to leave?”
The elf man has a complete change in attitude which flusters me.
“You are a friend! You have the right! I will tell the mothers and introduce you!”
It was pointless to worry about the elves’ bias towards humans. I get the feeling things will work out fine.
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