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Thanks to my spirit summons main skill, I easily make friends with the elves.
Actually, I think perhaps that is the reason I was given this mission to begin with.
The goal of the exams is not to cause distress to the examinee. There is some kind of ultimate destination, and in order to reach that destination, every examinee has an appropriate role to that end.
Perhaps the ultimate power knew I would pass the 3rd exam of getting through the lycanthrope territories and would end up here?
“You have become our friend. But just because someone is a friend doesn’t always make them a close friend.”
Said the mothers.
“We do not yet know you.”
“We cannot just rest assured because you have adorable spirits.”
I never expected you guys would go head over heels over the mere cuteness of spirits!
It flustered me, but I remained calm and replied in a textbook manner.
“I agree that there are degrees to relationships. I am satisfied in that we have let go of our wariness and given ourselves the opportunity for a relationship. I hope to slowly earn your trust.”
At my words, the mothers have a satisfied look in their faces.
And so I became a friend to the elves and gained permission to stay in their village.
The young elves played with the spirits until my summons time was up after which they scattered.
“Follow me, I will show you to your arrangements.”
“I would prefer you drop the honorifics.”
“Would that be okay? Well, then, Jake, how old are you?”
“… may I really drop the honorifics?”
“An elf’s life is thrice as long as that of humans.”
If I divide Jake’s age by three, he’s about 34, so I can say we are about the same age.
Even though of course, I am barely touching 30 years of age!
“Then, about how old are the mothers usually?”
“For our women elves, anyone over 200 years becomes a mother.”
Those ajummas were all old women elves over 200 years old.
Even though they are old, they have all astounding beauty and none looked of old age, and elves must, unlike humans, age well.
The dwelling that Jake had prepared for me is a house no different than a tent.
But I have no idea what material it was weaved with, the tent fabric is as strong as a wall and the bed made of leaves and straw is soft and good.
The only thing is there is no lamp or candlelight and it is too dark.
I asked if he has any candles at which Jake shakes his head.
“Now that I think of it, yes, humans need such things. Elves can see well even in the dark.”
They live long and look young and can see in the dark. I really wish I were an elf.
Jake left me and disappeared.
I think about lighting a fire but I don’t want to be a bother so I don’t. I don’t think elves like fire very much. Probably because fire burns trees.
But then, as the entrance to the tent gets pushed to the side, some woman’s silhouette appears out of the darkness.
It is the voice of the woman I saw earlier, Jake’s lover, Ella.
But why does she sound mad?
“What is the matter?”
“Why didn’t you play with our Elise!”
“When the other kids were playing with your spirits, my poor Elise was only staring at you!”
“Oh, did she? I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
How am I supposed to know who is where glancing at me?
But I am aware of Ella’s temperamental personality and I simply apologize.
With a calmer voice, Ella speaks.
“Make sure you play with Elise tomorrow. She hasn’t been able to come out the house since you came here! If Elise can’t come outside tomorrow either, just know it’ll be all your fault!”
Ella says all she wants to say and then just leaves.
I wondered what he saw in her when Jake decided to be with Ella. Then again, Jake has some temper too. Perhaps their union is fate.
The next day, I lured the girl named Elise out and she played with the spirits.
It was easy.
Sylph went to the tent that Elise was at and just stuck her tail in and wagged it and lured her out.
Elise chased Sylph to outside the tent where she saw me and was frozen in fear, but I summoned Kasa to atop my head and she let go of her wariness.
After that, it was smooth.
We spent time playing with the other children and spirits.
The elf children knew how to summon spirits as well.
The spirits the children summoned were flying around in all directions and it threw me for such a loop I thought I was seeing things.
‘But what exactly am I supposed to be helping them with?’
The question suddenly crosses my mind.;
-Name: Kim Hyun-ho
-Mission: during your time limit, aid the Brown Mountain elves.
-time limit: 28 days 15 hours 42 minutes
I mean, I need to know what problem it was they encountered if I am to help them.
But there is no way I would have been given an impossible mission. I think finding out what it is I needed to help them with is all a part of the mission.
I decided to go ask the least formidable, Jake.
I use my guider skill to find out that Jake is to the east. I started walking in an east direction.
Jake isn’t in the village.
He seems to have gone outside but I have no way of knowing how far out he’s gone and I hesitate on whether I should keep going or not.
So I approach a female elf nearby and ask her.
“Do you know where Jake has gone?”
“He’s probably gone out scouting, like always.”
“Really? Thank you.”
“But I did see this morning, Ella left the village with him, hehehe.”
“Uh, thank you.”
The sly laughter of the female elf made me stutter.
I headed out of the village in the same direction and keep going in the direction I sense Jake to be in.
“Divine protection of the wind.”
I use the wind guardian skill and begin to quickly race.
The skill is only usable for 15 minutes so I run as fast as I can.
Pat, pat, pat!
Every time I hit the earth, my body flies forward 5, 6 meters. It feels so freeing, my body that feels as light as a feather, and I excitedly keep running.
Sylph flies off fast.
How long did I run like this?
Sylph returns and points forward.
I felt as if I’m close and I raced ahead at top speed.
I meet Jake.
But Jake’s face looks annoyed more than anything, and next to him…
Ella is frantically straightening out her clothes.
I stare blankly and Ella’s face starts to glow red. Their skin is so pale that even the slightest change is evident.
“What is it?”
Asks Jake in an annoyed voice.
“… isn’t this neglect of duty?”
“What do you neglect of duty! What I do while I’m scouting is my choice!”
Ah, I see. Free willed elves. If this was my real world, it would have been an automatic dismissal.
“Anyway, what is it?”
“Um, well, you see…”
I think for a moment before I ask.
“Why are you out scouting?”
“You’re asking why? Isn’t it obvious when it comes to guarding one’s territory?”
“In the village, all the men were gone, are they all scouting like you?”
“Usually we don’t scout as diligently like now.”
“As of late, we have heard that the area has been strange so we upped our scouting. Like the other day when Elise was almost kidnapped, human trespassers had become frequent, and the lycanthropes that live in the eastern forest who would linger on our outskirts before disappearing.”
I asked in surprise when Jake tilts his head.
“Yeah. Why are you so surprised?
That moment, many things cross my mind.
‘It is always this way. It does not end with one exam but there are many instances when the next is a continuation of before. They are like relationships.’
Odin said so,
‘Have you not already received your hint?’
Said the angel.
And the leader of the silver clan, Leon Silver!
The bastard knew very well about the spirit summons.
And on top of that, he established a human ranch and grew his clan’s numbers fivefold in a short amount of time. Why? To what end?
‘So that’s it.’
I realized it was according to what the gods had already decided.
From when I was given the opportunity to get the spirit summons as my main skill, no, from when I was resurrected as an examinee after death, to this moment right now, it might all just be according to His plan.
“What are you thinking?”
I shake out of my thoughts and spoke to Jake.
“If it is about lycanthropes, I have a story to tell you.”
“What? Yeah, you came from the direction of the eastern forest. Is there something you know?”
I nod my head and tell him the story of what happened between me and the silver clan.
I, of course, hide the fact I am an examinee, and I don’t mention I lost my comrades.
Jake’s face changed to seriousness.
“Don’t we have to inform the mothers of this?”
Stopped in the midst of making love, Ella who was frustrated and annoyed, also grew serious.
“I didn’t think much of it because the lycanthropes were small in number, but this is unexpected. We must alert the mothers.”
I made a fist.
I have told them of these truths and I can definitely ascertain that I was of aid to the elves.
And there is the promise I received from Odin before I began the 4th exam. He said he would send the army to subdue the silver clan.
‘This exam will follow through easily.’
I think I’ll clear the mission and stay the remaining 28 days in the elf village. There doesn’t seem to be anything else requiring my assistance.
Jake finished his scouting and came back to the village and told the mothers the news I told him.
That evening, I receive a call from the mothers.
“We heard your story from Jake. Please recount for us once more.”
I once again retell the adequately dramatized story.
“The lycanthrope by the name of Leon Silver does indeed know well about spirit summons.”
“It is amateur, but he does know how to counteract spirits.”
“Having grown the clan’s numbers fivefold in the past twenty years could be him gathering the strength to attack us.”
“The 20 years is what gets me.”
Said one of the females amongst the mothers.
All the other mothers must have remembered something because they all pitch in another word.
“Recalling back, in that time, didn’t we fight the lycanthropes once?”
“Yes, an older lycanthrope used weapons and attacked our territory.”
“That was about 24 years ago.”
Gathering bits and pieces of their rambling story, I get the gist of the situation.
24 years ago, an older lycanthrope that had his silver clan leader position taken by a challenger, took his family and was eliminated from the silver clan territory.
The cast out family stepped foot into the brown mountain and got attacked by the elves and were annihilated.
“They said they lost that older lycanthrope. They chased him until the end but eventually lost him, I know, cause that was my husband.”
“I didn’t think much of it at the time…”
“Who would have known that a cast out lycanthrope would have returned to the clan.”
Basically, the old lycanthrope who lost his entire family and without a place to go, had given up all hope and in despair, returned to the silver clan.
But that silver clan took back the returned lycanthrope, and Leon Silver had heard the stories of the elves from him and showed a keen interest in it.
And all is explained.
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