Editor: Areth Kyntaul
Normally speaking, elves pay taxes and give offerings by providing goods, unlike humans who pay money towards the national treasury. The people responsible for collecting them are referred to as tax officials. There is a tax official delegated to every village and they collect taxes once every month. The tax officials should be collecting taxes after the celebration this time. In that case, this village doesn’t have much time left.
It was now dark.
I took some of the residual charcoal from the dog’s fur and contemplated the situation. I’m feeling a little confident now, as I’ve managed to find what I was searching for but the previous incident with the church taught me a lesson; don’t go questioning the target until you have absolute confidence. More so, because we’re in the enemy’s den this time. If something happens to me this time, I might not get as lucky as I did with the church.
Not to mention that I don’t have Nier by my side. I miss Nier’s cold expression more than anything right now. If she were here with me right now, I’d be able to pursue this matter boldly.
Since when did I start trusting Nier so much? It must’ve been when we went through life and death together I guess. Perhaps I’ve relied on Nier just as many times as the countless number of times we went to dangerous places together. We can trust one another precisely because of that. As long as Nier is by my side, I can be fearless.
Of course, the same goes for Lucia, except I’m not too willing to let Lucia risk herself again as Lucia’s abilities aren’t as advanced as Nier’s.
“Brother, do you still have any other problems?”
“I can’t get over the feeling that I haven’t gathered enough evidence.” I looked at the charcoal in front of me and continued, “Though this charcoal is cold, that doesn’t prove it wasn’t burnt before. I can’t be absolutely certain about it… Let’s treat it as though we don’t know anything before I can be absolutely sure. The place might still be in operation for all we know.”
We returned to the village.
The number of people in the village had visibly decreased. It looks like they’ve all gone to the fields. There’s a huge human-looking figure made from rattan with a fire-torch below it. Everyone was holding a fire-torch, but Luna and I were completely unprepared…
“Let’s do this.”
I took out a stick from the pile of firewood. I then bought a scarf from the clothing store to the side and wrapped it around the stick. I then dipped the stick into the fuel by our side before dripping one of the magic potions mom gave me on it.
A big flame lit up within an instant.
Freya looked at me and said, “I never thought elves possessed such miraculous magic. But we can do what can be done with magic in the end.”
“You just haven’t seen my mom…”
I smiled helplessly to myself.
I recalled all the powers mom had that could bring about Armageddon, like altering the weather and mind-reading. A demi-god truly can ignore the laws of physics and create things from thin air. She is a deity, after all, so she’s the law.
But I kept thinking about it.
The so-called buffs provided by the wind-elves only provided Lucia with enough power for her to use wind magic. So why can’t mom who’s a demi-god give some of her mana to Lucia? A demi-god and a god’s abilities should be relatively close, right…?
Whatever the case, I’ve never seen what a real god looks like. I heard that the reason mom didn’t complete the Tower of Heaven was that she missed her brother. She gave up the opportunity to transform her body to become a complete embodiment of magic, which caused her to become a demi-god.
Nobody knows how much mana mom has, exactly. Vyvyan Galadriel is the strongest mutated elf that only appears once in several millennia.
If my mana wasn’t berserk, Troy should also be an elf with an extraordinarily highly pure level of mana… Wait, no. I would just be an ordinary mixed-blood. And I wouldn’t have Vyvyan’s love either. Yeah, no, not worth it.
I would rather suffer that torture every month than let Vyvyan leave me. Vyvyan is my mom. She forever will be.
Everybody surrounded the rattan-figure.
The village chief then said something from above the tall platform. Yeah, it wasn’t anything important. It was basically about thanking the gods for the abundant harvest this year and the amount of gold produced increasing, the future of the village becoming better and better, everybody’s lives improving more and more, be merry today and work hard in future.
That was about it.
Everybody finished listening to him make those pointless remarks, but not a single person interrupted him.
The village chief then took a fire-torch handed to him and threw it toward the rattan-figure.
The rattan-figure dowsed in fuel lit up ferociously within an instant. The warm and bright fire exploded into the atmosphere in an instance, lighting up this place like it was daytime. Cheerful music started playing while the excited cheers and quick footsteps shook the ground. The people around the edges poured grape wine onto the people in the centre.
I pulled Luna tightly into my arms and covered her with my clothes to avoid letting her get drenched in grape wine. But Luna smiled and pulled my clothes away. She smiled and said, “My beloved, this is a blessing. And it is not too much to be poured with wine. Come, my beloved. Come! No matter what happens today or in the future, let us dance for now! Let us enjoy this!”
“So you two have decided to ditch me…? Jeez. Why did I have to follow you two? I regret it now.”
I smiled helplessly and then gave my wallet to Freya.
She sighed and then looked at us. She took two steps back while still hugging the dog and said, “Have fun but don’t go overboard. Otherwise, how will you explain yourself to Her Majesty?”
“Of course we won’t!” I looked at her and paused before asking, “Where do you plan to go, Freya? Whatever you do, you must be careful. Whatever happens, don’t do anything dangerous for the sake of collecting evidence. I might not be by your side if you get into danger.”
Freya looked at me silently and then revealed a smile as she responded, “I know, brother. Thank you for worrying about me. I will not do anything dangerous, but you must be careful too, brother. Do not do anything dangerous, in all meanings of the word…”
“I know. I know already. You nag more than my moms. I’m going to dance with Luna tonight so I don’t think I’ll be doing anything dangerous.”
“That in itself is dangerous.” Freya giggled mischievously and then bowed before leaving.
I turned back around and threw the fire torch into the middle of the rattan-figure. I then grabbed hold of Luna’s hand.
Luna giggled softly. She reciprocated the gesture and held my hand tightly to say, “My beloved, I don’t know how to dance. I just bounce back and forth.”
“That’s alright. I don’t know how to dance either. We’re fine as long as we don’t step on each other’s feet, right? We can dance as we please as long as we’re happy.”
Luna’s blissful smile shined beneath the light. She looked at me with her flushed face and smile brimming with happiness. While holding onto my hand tightly, she said, “My beloved, are you also happy when you are with me?”
“Uhm. Of course. I’m very happy…”