Chapter 80: The Fin of Ghazalia
The great palace was shaped with large trees leaning against each other. Pure water surrounded the roots of the trees. This was the most majestic and nature-friendly entity in the Elf Kingdom. The so-called Hanging Gardens.
It was the heart of the kingdom. The throne room was even more stunning and breathtaking. The whole surroundings were engulfed with beauty. Then, a voice leaked from the throne room.
「…Is that woman keeping herself quiet. Answer me, Valianne.」
The somber voice belonged to the master of the palace and the guardian of the throne. That voice came out of Fin Lagias’ mouth. A low-pitched voice that showed authority as if he governed the whole bottom of the earth. Fin Lagias was an elf with a sculptural beauty, but this old elf had his face covered with wrinkles and scars.
「Yes. The princess. No. Eldith never leaves the Tower. 」
Valianne nodded low as she answered to Lagias’ question. Lagias put his hand around his chin as if he were immersed on his thoughts. No one could tell what those thin eyes were thinking.
Valianne lowered her head deeply so that the Fin wouldn’t see the cold sweat dripping on her chest. In fact, that wasn’t exactly the truth. The princess was no longer just sitting quietly in that Tower. She was no longer wasting her time. Valianne felt tremendous joy hidden in her heart. It was wonderful that the princess finally found a purpose to move forward with her life.
Nevertheless. One of the princess’ main problems had been resolved. The will to live. However, there was another problem. That problem was the old elf who sat down on the throne and gazed at everyone with mysterious eyes.
「Isn’t that great, Fin? She won’t pose as a problem if she remains quiet. 」
One member of the faction that put Lagias on the throne opened his mouth. That so-called faction was the one who eradicated Eldith’s father and gave the title of Fin to Lagias. To Valianne, this wicked civil officer manipulated the Fin as he pleased along with other members of that faction. A power in the shadows that pulled the main strings.
“What did that officer want now?” Valianne thought. That wicked elf was just rotten and wooden gimmick that just wanted to impress the Fin. Disgusting. Valianne slightly distorted her lips.
「Hmm…How is that great, huh? 」
A strong voice echoed in the whole throne room. It seemed that the Fin was upset and irritated about something. His tone was harsh and cold, without any lingering feelings.
That treacherous officer swallowed his saliva immediately and involuntarily. He couldn’t even reply to the Fin’s indecipherable words. The face of Lagias covered in scars and wrinkles was distorted as if he was heated. The Fin continued with his speech.
「No problem, you say? Can’t you see how serious the whole situation is? There’s a voice in the depths of my heart that tells me that nothing good will come in the future. Not only that woman, but everything else as well. It seems that you lack expertise. If you are this incompetent, then it’s better for you to die here.」
Right after speaking with a strong loud voice, the civil officer who was in front of the Fin fell immediately into the ground.
“Somehow, this situation is a little bit strange.” Valianne thought that after witnessing the Fin’s rage fall on his subject. Then, an eerie laugh. A dry laugh echoed through the trees. Lagias’ dark laugh blotted the large room. He continued.
「No. It’s not that you lack expertise, but it’s your ears that are rotten. We can’t live peacefully anymore, not today. And tomorrow, the day when we get our food, is over as well. Moreover, the demon beasts are overflowing, and we elves cannot turn our backs on the disorder of the world.」
The elves who surrounded and served the Fin closed their mouths.
Certainly, it was true that our sentinel elves confirmed the presence of many demon beasts in the nearby forests quite recently. Adding to that was the conflict between the human nations that brought the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia into their affairs.
However, it was certain that many elves, including Valianne, were somehow skeptical about the Fin’s latest words.
How much of it was the truth? How far was he willing to lie for the sake of his desires? This old elf, named Lagias, was an enigma. No other elves could read his thoughts nor movements.
At first, it was the faction of elves, which led the coup d’état, that carried duties on behalf of the title of Fin. However, when this old elf got the title and power of the Fin upon killing his brother, he started to wave Ghazalia’s foundation as if the nature itself had changed entirely.
No one knew this old elf, Lagias’ true essence. That was the main reason why Valianne and the other elves feared him so much.
Was the other Fins supposed to be like this? Who knows, there was no elf alive who aided many Fins for several generations.
「The grace of the forest, which we have received from yesterday, isn’t a proof that we’ll receive it again today. Actually, coming back to the first topic. That woman, Edith, is dangerous. Many elves still worship that woman.」
Lagias sat causally on the throne as he continued with his dialogue.
There wasn’t anyone who could oppose the words thrown out in the air from the spine-chilling low voice.
「Insects that wither the plants must die immediately. It is all for the sake of Ghazalia, for the sake of every elf who lives in this land, and far beyond.」
Valianne couldn’t understand those words.
“He said that it was all for the sake of elves. For our survival. However, I can’t get around with it. Since ancient times, elves have built their stronghold deep in the forest, and have held a harmonious life with the spirits.” Valianne thought.
She continued to think. “We are guarded by the spirits, and we were never swayed by wars. Moreover, there was no record of a catastrophe in our land. It seems that the demon beasts are wandering around in the surrounding forests, but none dared to attack Ghazalia so far.”
Today was a little unstimulating day for Valianne, who commanded the elf soldiers. Despite her rank in the Elf Kingdom, Valianne thought that peace was by no means bad.
On the other hand, Valianne thought that Lagias’ actions were calling for a disaster.
Suddenly, he joined hands with a human nation and suppressed the Heraldic humans who the elves had previously formed an alliance. What did that act mean?
It was strange for a Fin to leave the forest and be friends with the humans. After all, this behavior wasn’t suitable of a Fin. “This old elf is completely absorbed by humans.” Valianne swirled confusingly in her mind.
Elves had pride and certain restrictions. There was peace in Ghazalia now because the elves protected it and received the blessing of the spirits. Naturally, only ruin and chaos awaited them if someone broke that harmony.
“Yes, the princess is our only savior.” Valianne murmured in her heart. The great fin that once built peace for hundreds of years. Only the princess, yes, as the only daughter of the great fin and loved by the spirits, could rule Ghazalia truthfully.
Valianne’s spine quivered tremendously when she heard the cold-sounding voice that called her name.
It was amazing that this person’s voice was the one darkening Valianne’s heart. She slowly opened her eyes and raised her face to respond to the words.
In front of Valianne stood the face of the old elf who grinned impishly.
「Keep your eyes on that woman. If there is any movement from her, then let her be. She can “dance” with me if she likes. I don’t mind it.」
“Was that a joke or his real intentions? I couldn’t decipher his words.”
No matter what the old elf said, Valianne could only lower her head in accordance without showing any facial expression.
The Elf arc is way under way…
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