“Sis, you may not believe me, but the trap I set caught a human……”
“You’re as amazing as ever, onii-sama! But what am I going to do with a human?”
“Ah… nothing… But if a human dies because of my trap, it won’t sit right with me either, so I let her down. She doesn’t have any injuries. She just passed out due to fright and being hung upside down for a long time. She should be fine by tomorrow I think.”
The young girl could faintly hear voices, but she couldn’t speak or understand what they were saying. She could hear the crackling sound of flames by her side. When she opened her eyes, she could see the timber roof and smell the fragrance of grilled meat.
“Ah, onii-sama, she’s awake. How are you? Human, are you feeling discomfort anywhere?”
A pair of blue eyes suddenly appeared before her, frightening her which nearly caused her to cry out. However, when she opened her mouth, she found that she couldn’t make a sound. She wanted to speak but nothing came out as though somebody had blocked her throat. Another pair of blue eyes then appeared next to the pair she saw before, except that the pair that just appeared was on a male’s face. His face was different to her brother’s. The man was a lot more delicate and pretty.
And his younger sister beside him who called her “human” was amazingly beautiful, so beautiful she felt slightly jealous. People said that her beauty shone for ten miles. If that were true, then the beautiful young girl before her would possess beauty that shined for a hundred miles. However, her ears were long unlike hers.
The young girl quickly sat up and looked at all of her surroundings. She was in a normal timber room with a long sofa placed in the centre. The man was lying on the sofa lazily reading a thick book using the light provided by the flames. The other young girl was by her side and scanned her with curiosity. A flame was alight in the fireplace, and two grilled rabbits were dripping oil from above the fire.
Her stomach grumbled. The young female elf’s ears budged. The female elf thought about something for a moment. She then stood up and walked over to the fire and picked up a grilled rabbit. She then took a few red berries from the table by her side and placed it before her. After a moment of hesitation, she said: “Eat… eat… Onii-sama! How do you say ‘rabbit’ in humanity’s language? Ah…… Ah! Please eat this. This is rabbit and berries.”
With the elven language mixed into her speech, the princess became highly curious. The elven language was very pleasing to the ear. It was elegant like a bird’s singing. The princess no longer cared about formalities or appearances. She reached her hands out and ripped off a rabbit thigh, but it was too hot and she nearly threw it away. She clumsily juggled it from hand-to-hand and blew on it before taking a bite.
The male elf closed his book and then placed it aside. The princess raised her head. While she was still chewing meat, she had a lot of questions she wanted to ask the elf. It was just that she discovered that she couldn’t speak. Her throat was freezing cold as if it were empty.
“Ah… Erm… Human… Human… Cough!” The male elf adjusted his language. It was clear that the two elves weren’t fluent with humanity’s language. “Girl… No… That’s not right…” The male elf thought it over, and then picked up the thick book.
So it was a dictionary!
He quickly read through it and then placed it back down, cleared his throat and said: “Erm, miss, I have some very bad news to tell you… and that is… you may… never be able to speak again……”
After a moment’s silence, the princess’s tears fell pit-pat onto the rabbit thigh.
“Onii-sama!! What are you saying?! She just recovered, so don’t joke around!! Ah… Umm… Uhh… Miss, don’t worry, no, no!! No!! No… umm… uhh… your… Umm… words… no, voice! Can… but, but…your… time… long… wait… one day……”
The young female elf first scolded the male elf, then pressed down hard on the princess’s shoulders and in a worked up manner spoke and gestured. She wasn’t fluent with humanity’s language, and now that she was worked-up, it was even worse. Her blue eyes became filled with anxiety. She reached her hand out to wipe away the princess’s tears.
The male elf sped-read through the dictionary, and then looked over to her and said: “Joking! Joking! Umm, joking! Don’t be angry! Sorry!”
“Yeah! Yeah! Joking! It’s a joke! One day, one day and you will be well!”
Seeing the two elves before her anxiously speak and use gestures, completely contrary to the elegant and noble impression of elves in her mind, the corner of the princess’s mouth crept up, revealing a happy smile. The two elves noticed her happy smile and let out a sigh of relief. The younger elf sister then used the elven language to lecture her brother while her brother stood there meekly as he looked at his sister with an affectionate smile.
The princess silently finished the half-rabbit and few berries. Once done, she stood up and bowed deeply to the two elves.
“Ah… You don’t have to thank me… because I was the one who set that trap…..”
The male elf wore a guilty smile and continued, “But I honestly didn’t think I would catch someone. You humans have not entered our forests for at least fifty years. Why did you come here to our place? Ah… I forgot you can’t speak…..”
The princess used gestures to ask them for pen and paper. The female elf watched her and then said to her brother: “She seems to be asking for pen and paper.”
The male elf casually waved his hand and said: “There’s no need to write, since I can’t understand your language anyway.”
“You’re amazing as ever onii-sama. You could admit to being illiterate so honestly.” The younger sister glared at her brother, then comforted the princess by saying, “It’s okay, you can tell us tomorrow… umm… we… don’t understand… humanity’s text, sorry.”
There’s no need to apologise for that now, is there…? It was just as they said. Elves and humans had not been in contact for almost fifty years. Humanity was initially a tiny and weak race in the mainland. It was the elves who taught them some skills, technology and agriculture which allowed them to flourish. However, as humanity gained power, so did the size of their ambitions. After the elves realised that, they completely separated themselves from humanity. This forest was the border. The elven population was small. Lots of adventurers who wanted to see what the elves looked like had died in the forest, consequently turning the elves into an actual myth.
The princess was slightly happy that she was protected by the gods. Not only did she not die in the forest, she had even lived to see elves. She just wanted to be able to speak soon now, and then ask the siblings to take her where she could meet more elves. She had a bizarre positive feeling towards the elves. Perhaps it was because they had saved her, or perhaps she was just really curious about these beings she had never seen before.
At that moment, somebody pushed the door open. A faint scent of blood and fur came in, and the three of them turned their heads around to look. They only saw someone with red hair covering their face underneath the head of a dead deer. The female elf with red hair placed the corpse of the deer down and then looked at the princess. She then angrily grumbled: “You two… After hearing the trap’s bell ring, what did you bring back, huh? Didn’t I tell you two to go and check the trap? Why did you two bring back a human?”
The princess couldn’t understand her.
“Teacher, she was caught by the trap. She’s injured. We brought her back.”
“She’s a human.”
“That’s right, she’s a human.”
“Send her away. Us elves and humans have not come into contact with each other for decades. You’re already considered considerate and kind for having helped her.”
“But her injuries haven’t healed. Let’s wait for her injuries to heal.”
With a hint of frustration, the red-haired elf said: “Your highness, surely there are limits to your sense of curiosity. Look at her skin and hands. Her skin is smooth without any bumps. One glance and you can tell that she is no ordinary human. She might be the daughter of a noble family. If you keep her by your side, what are we going to do when the humans bring their army in?”
The elf prince looked at the princess, not knowing what to do. He then scratched his head and asked with a smile: “This is the first time I’ve seen a human. I don’t feel like they have any ill will. I want to speak with her for a bit… Is that alright, teacher?”
The red-haired female elf took a long, good look at her and went silent for a second. She then sighed and said: “Do what you please, your highness. However, you must send her back once she has recovered.”
The two beings who were curious of each other met by coincidence just like that. The two who were meant to meet in fairy tales had finally met. The princess ran away using a method illustrated in fairy tales, and was saved by the prince. So the two of them should have a future just like that in fairy tales.
However, life is not a fairy tale. Once it recognises that it is wrong like the fairy tales, the wheel of fate will start to turn, clinging to your mistake.