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Sophie's team was led into a shrine near the gigantic tree.

The ground was raised around it, so they had to go up wooden steps before they could really see anything.

They thought they had already seen the tree well enough, but then they noticed a large number of people next to its roots.

Sophie was taken aback by that and stood still for a moment.

She had a strong sense of deja vu, this felt strikingly familiar.

Then she realized the same thing happened every day in Rosenheim's Fortenia as well.

"They're praying."

"Yes, they all come to pray before they go along with their day."

It was hard to say what they wished for, prayed for.

Sophie looked back at the elder and he continued guiding them along.

They went inside the shrine.

Eventually they reached a large room.

"It seems they're getting ready to receive us."

They could not see inside the room, but they heard voices inside.

There seemed to be a lot of noise and heated up voices, probably because they had just been attacked by Pagan Worshippers.

Or because they were debating on letting Sophie in or not.

"Of course, His Majesty is already in the room, and we can't keep a Spirit God waiting."

They entered the room.

A certain distance away, the floor was raised one step, and above that was one man, sitting atop a cushion or mat of some sort.

There were also dark elves sitting on the sides of the room, who all looked at Sophie's team when they entered.

Those in armor and with weapons were probably the ones leading the soldiers defending the outer walls, which had been under attack until just recently.

The elders were probably also present somewhere in there.

They were silent now, but they were clearly displeased, and some openly glared at them with enmity.

The team was clearly not welcome there.

"What a rare sight, visitors in our humble village."

The one sitting atop the step was King Arbus, the ruler of the Dark Elf Village.

He looked different to the regular dark elves who had brown skin, ashen hair, and reddish brown eyes.

His skin looked pitch black, his hair silver, and golden eyes.

King Arbus was a high dark elf.

King Arbus sat cross-legged, and an animal was curled up on his lap.

It looked like a weasel with lustrous black fur, which also glared at Sophie's team, or at the Spirit God to be precise.

That was the Spirit King Fabre.



The room was completely silent while the Spirit King Fabre and Spirit God Rosen glared at each other.

But it seemed like neither of them wanted to talk.

Seeing that, Sophie went to take a seat where she indicated.

"I'm aware of this village's rules, so I'm truly humbled to be allowed this audition.

I have some truly urgent matters to discuss."

Sophie let Rosen on her lap and apologized to the room.

King Arbus' gaze wandered a little.

First at the Spirit God, then at Merle's head and the Bird A watching everything, and then slowly at Sophie who was talking.

While he was curious about the Spirit God, he also found the creature riding on Merle's head odd.

There was no Wraith A summon in there, who could speak and was an essential part of Allen's communication kit.

She was currently prioritizing the extermination of monsters outside the walls.

Those clinging to the wall itself had already been defeated, but there were still many Pagan Worshippers left all around the village.

Getting rid of the monsters was important, but as Rosenheim's princess, Sophie also had the task of talking with the dark elves.

"Urgent, huh.

Is it related to those monsters that keep attacking our village since a few days ago"

It seemed like the Pagan Worshippers had already been around there for days.

"Yes, we came here to fight those monsters.

Those near the village have been exterminated, but more of them remain further away.

May I explain the situation in further detail"

"Oh, so the day has come when an elf is offering advice to the dark elves."


The dark elf military advisors were enraged seeing Sophie enter and trying to give the king counsel.

Apparently it was only King Arbus who had decided to let them in.

But the other dark elves kept showing their disapproval silently.

"You're free to do as you wish with the information I have.

I don't mean to willingly sow any discord between us."

Sophie had decided that no matter what the outcome was, her main objective was to share information.

"Speak then."

"These attacks are all something the Demon King's Army has planned, and..."

Sophie began telling them about the recent conflict.

The distress signal from Theomenia in the Holy Land.

How the Evil Cult required their members to drink holy water, and all the cultists who did so became monsters known as Pagan Worshippers.

If those monsters bit someone, they would also turn into Pagan Worshippers.

Then there was a Demon General inside Theomenia's temple, and how he was protecting a piece of their plan.

There were more places all over the Confederation where attacks had started, and that the city next to the oasis was one of them.

When she was done, the dark elves in the room all began talking to each other.

"My liege, don't let yourself be fooled!!"

Eventually one of the elders who was closest to the king shouted loudly, attempting to stop the king from making a wrong choice.

Apparently Rosenheim's Princess' story had an effect on King Arbus, so he asked his counsel for advice.

Elves and dark elves had been at odds for thousands of years.

That was even before the Demon King appeared.

Dark elves believed the elves had chased them out of Rosenheim.

"I believe I said this earlier, but you're free to do as you wish with this information."


In other words, she would tell them everything and let them deal with it however they preferred.

"I believe I heard you're going to be Rosenheim's next queen though"

Through their diplomats, King Arbus had heard Sophiarone stood one step ahead of the competition as their next ruler.

Seeing that the Spirit God was sitting on her lap he understood it was not just one step though, but nearly a dimension ahead.

King Arbus wanted to know what her true objective of sharing that information was, someone in her position would always try to gain something out of similar acts.

"I do have a few requests I'd wish to make."

If all of that was true, there had to be a point to sharing such important information.

Apparently it was leverage to negotiate something in return.

"Well, tell me what those are."

"They're three things.

First I want maps, Pagan Worshippers attack cities and villages, increasing their numbers doing so.

That's why I'd like to know the location of settlements in this vast desert."

Sophie remembered Allen's obsession with maps.

In their time in the academy, the war in Rosenheim, and even inside the S Rank Dungeon, Allen was constantly drawing maps.

Allen liked analyzing all sorts of stuff, but he was almost maniacal about maps.

'Allen's head is full of maps'

That was how his friends saw him.

He had then gone and donated the S Rank Dungeon's map to the Adventurer's Guild without any qualms.

The first thing he requested from Rosenheim's Queen before going to the Holy Land had been a map as well.

This made Sophie even more aware of how much Allen's habits had rubbed off on her after being together for so many years.

"Interesting, you believe we have such maps"


I'm sure this village is supported greatly by spirits, but living fully independently is hard, so there must be some place you use to trade with other settlements.

For example in that building outside the village"

Even if spirits helped with producing clear water and growing crops, things like salt or ores could not be created with spirits.

That would mean they had to trade with other villages or cities around them.

There had to be some dark elves who went out to trade with other places as well.

So those dark elves had to possess maps that Sophie could use.

The desert was incredibly large.

The closest city was around ten days of travel away.

It was hard to find an oasis to maintain a settlement as well, which made it even harder to inhabit the desert.

The largest cities housed a few tens of thousand people.

They needed maps if they wanted to make trading as efficient as possible.

"I see.

So what's the second request"

"The second request involves the people who managed to escape from Pagan Worshipper attacks, I believe there must be large groups of them somewhere."

"You'd like us to house refugees You know we have a ruling of only letting other dark elves into our village, correct"

"That's not quite it, I know that would be impossible from my limited time here.

My plan is to let them hide inside the trading place outside the village.

I would like any survivors to have an easy time finding shelter."

Sophie was nearly instructing King Arbus on what she wanted to be done.

She did not believe there would be all that many survivors.

But if there were, she wanted them to have an easy time finding help.

"So relief for refugees then.

I guess the elves have become more open than us now.

But that reminds me, those bizarre half human half animal people that time said they came from Luqoack.

I guess it's no mere coincidence."

The city next to an oasis Sophie's team had visited earlier was named Luqoack.

"Huh Did something happen"

King Arbus' voice sounded very meaningful, mentioning people from the oasis city that had arrived at the trading place before.

"They were a group of people from the city next to the oasis, they kept trying to negotiate their way into our village."

King Arbus also had a story to tell.

Maybe it was connected to the story the elf princess had brought as well.

While the elders had told him to not get fooled, there were also some dark elves who had seen things that could be related.

"So those guys were from Luqoack" they murmured amongst themselves.

King Arbus looked at Giamnil, the elder, to tell the whole story.

"You see, we built this village as far away from any water source as we could, the most arid of places.

But then a few decades ago a new oasis sprouted in a place where there had never been water before."

Giamnil told the story of that city which was built next to the oasis.

The Dark Elf Village had been built far away from water sources, specifically so no other settlements appeared nearby.

Their location inside the desert was perfect, living in complete seclusion from other races.

They could get as much water as they wanted from spirits.

And that led to multiple rivers flowing inside the village.

Then a few decades ago, an oasis appeared not too far from there, in a place where there had never been a trace of water, and people began moving in.

They followed a nonsensical religion called Gushara's Sacred Teachings, and they touted all that water appeared as a miracle of Gushara's power.

Hearing there was water there, nomads and travelers slowly began to gather there, eventually building a large city next to the oasis.

"No way..."

Sophie was at a loss for words.

It was no mere coincidence that the streak of light had come out of Luqoack, the city next to the oasis.

They had promoted that oasis as "miraculous and precious water" for many decades, all as a trap to create a large number of Pagan Worshippers.

They had even gone to the Dark Elf Village trying to spread their religion.

But for decades the dark elves refused them entry into their village.

"And what about your third request Is it to rescue someone else"

Having explained their own situation, King Arbus asked about Sophie's third request.

Sophie had gone there offering information on the recent attacks, and the king had noticed her main goal seemed to be to rescue people.

He assumed the third request would be something similar as well.

"My third request involves Lord Razel."

"Hm What does my father have to do with this"

All the dark elves looked at Sophie wondering what she was talking about.

Their focus did not waver as she and the king continued talking.


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