Editor: Areth Kyntaul
I previously thought I was absolutely safe with the Shadow Squad since they were masters of assassination and espionage. I thought that elves wouldn’t accept their own kind being sold off and that the enemies I was facing were few. But what Freya said gave me a big wake-up call, reminding me of how dangerous my current predicament was.
Fortunately, I had hidden my identity. Otherwise, I really would wind up dead here.
If people in a village were being trafficked then perhaps it was coincidental. However, when you combine all the strange things that could be explained together, it was evident that there was a problem with the village without a doubt.
The problem didn’t lie with just a person or two, but the entire village.
“My beloved! What are you saying?! How could the village do such a thing?! There is no way we elves could accept such a thing!! We would never betray our own no matter what you say and no matter what happens! That is our bottom line! It is impossible!”
Luna looked at us with an angry expression and her face was flush red due to her anger. We were both humans after all… Wait, no. It certainly was a little insulting for a mixed-blood and a human to be discussing an elven group trafficking their own kind.
I quickly calmed Luna by saying, “No, we’re just speculating. It’s just that too many of the things that have happened in this village don’t sit well with us. I, too, believe that elves wouldn’t do such a thing. I trust elves because I have never met a bad elf before.”
Luna looked at my gaze. She then turned her head away. A split second later she softly said, “This is my home after all. I grew up here, so I am not too willing to see the darkness of my home. The village is the same as before I left. I feel like my pure-self here. And with you here by my side, I cannot feel anymore blissful than I already am. This place makes me happy, so I do not want to know about the darkness here.”
“So what you’re saying is that you, too, have sensed something is different?”
“No. The completely opposite actually. Everything is exactly the same. Too much the same, if I could say that. It is so identical to how I remember it that it is like a dream.” Luna wrapped her arm around mine tightly and in her soft voice continued, “My beloved, I cannot stop what you are trying to do, but I hope that the villagers are as you said. Please do not let me see the village be destroyed a second time… I do not want… I do not want to go through it again.”
Luna leaned gently on my shoulder. Luna isn’t stupid. She too is very smart. She definitely realised something after hearing what Freya said. But as an elf and as a former sacrifice of this village, as well as her time here where she grew up, laughed, loved, and cried…
This was her home. From our perspective, this was a highly suspicious den of criminals. But in her heart, this was the same village in her past with nothing different. This was a memory for her. This was once her bliss. Even if she knew that it was now tarnished, it would not change the fact that it was beautiful in her heart.
I could understand that.
I grabbed Luna’s hand tightly and then softly said, “I trust elves. I have always trusted elves. Elves have never done anything bad to me, so I will get to the bottom of this for sure. Luna, trust me. I won’t hurt an innocent person, but I won’t spare any criminal.”
“Uhm… I believe you, my beloved. I believe you. I believe that you are the just and kind prince in my heart.” Luna chuckled softly and then pressed her body against mine more firmly.
Freya’s curiosity was clearly piqued given the way she looked at me, but she didn’t say anything. However, I felt that the way Freya looked at Luna was somewhat frightening…
As we spoke, we eventually arrived at the large field of flowers Luna had once mentioned. Honestly speaking, I never imagined the area would be that large. The sea of flowers wasn’t man-made. It was a natural occurrence. But it was as though the water supply system had drowned every bit of land trees could reach. Even the air was fragrant.
The pollination organisms there weren’t bees but a type of bug in an underground subway. They crawled onto the flowers and then went back into the soil to brew honey, so even if the flowers were in bloom, you wouldn’t see a dark mass of bees.
Even Freya was shocked. She stared at the field of flowers blankly and said, “My God. I… I never expected there to be such a vast sea of flowers.”
Luna proudly puffed her chest out like a little kid showing off his little treasure and receiving praise from the crowd. She cheerfully said, “Farther ahead is the temple. I always felt that this sea of flowers was God’s encouragement to us. I particularly love this flower. I never get tired of looking at it.”
I looked at the flower in front of me and expressed my surprise, “Yeah, it’s truly too spectacular.” This was the first time I’d seen a sea of flowers like this, too. It was just incredibly beautiful, so beautiful I had no words to describe it. The group walked through the sea of flowers with great vigour. Curious, Freya reached her hand out to pluck a flower. The flower blew in the wind along with her movements.
I could imagine the beautiful scene of Luna, who was more beautiful than the flowers, running through the sea of flowers joyously. Luna’s smile would be so bright. Luna shouldn’t have had anything to do with the disgusting abuse in prison. Only a beautiful sea of flowers was worthy of Luna’s beauty.
I noticed that a fair number of male elves plucked the flowers and held onto them, one, to clear a path and two, probably for some other deeper meaning. I looked at Luna and asked, “Luna, what is the meaning behind plucking the flowers?”
Luna went red in the face, looked at me shyly and then flirtatiously said, “Plucking flowers, making a wreath out of them, and then putting it on the head of the girl you like in front of God is the equivalent of professing your love to her. That is what it means… Ah!!”
I plucked a flower in front of her. She looked at my actions blankly and her face slowly turned red. I smiled and next to her ear said, “We are pretending to be husband and wife after all, so it would be strange if we didn’t do this. So I apologise Luna.”
“Ah… No… It should be me… Uhm…”
Though she was blushing, she couldn’t hide her smile and she shyly hid behind me. I walked up to the side of the road and copied them, collecting flowers of my own.
Freya circled around and softly said next to my ear, “Brother, it looks like I need to warn you. I am not worried about Miss Lucia, but it is very dangerous if you develop feelings for Miss Luna.”
“Don’t worry. I know my boundaries.”
“Do you? But why do I feel that you are getting carried away? Regardless of what the case is, you and Miss Luna are being far too intimate.” Freya looked at me with a serious look and in a serious tone continued, “Brother, I hope that you understand your position. If you get too carried away, the result will not be what you hope for.”