The Spring’s Appearance (3)
Mom didn’t say anything on the way to the spring. I speculated Mom was worried. We guaranteed that we wouldn’t give the spring water to humans, and it was impossible for somebody to sneak into the underground level. For some reason, Mom was still nervous.
The soldiers underground weren’t alive. If they were living soldiers, you might get away with saying they were bribed, but bribing mana soldiers? It was an impossible theory. They weren’t afraid of even me. In fact, they took the initiative to attack me, let alone a human being. If a human came by, they’d most likely be a corpse.
We went to the underground level of the imperial palace, which was where the lifeline of elves, the spring for all elves and the nearby magical creatures, was. The place was akin to the mother of the forest. The gurgling sound coming from the spring was as clear as usual. The soldiers approached us upon hearing our footsteps. They were expressionless as they were in the past. They respectfully saluted Mom but ignored me. I didn’t find that to be an issue as I wasn’t their creator. Mom ignored them, we continued to the centre. The elven spring soon came into sight.
I doubted Mom would be able to find out if somebody did steal from the spring, since it was impossible to tell if somebody took a bottle or two. If humans really did get their hands on elven spring water, we wouldn’t have any idea if they were organised crime.
Mom gently dipped her hand into the water and shut her eyes. I had no clue what she was sensing. I couldn’t sense any magic when I was next to the magical spring because I was surrounded by powerful mana. The inspection didn’t take long.
“There’s nothing wrong with the spring. The mana is normal, and nobody stole from it. There will be traces left behind if mana was active somewhere. The humans claim to have mana, yet it wasn’t from here.”
That assertion relieved me. I was nervous something happened to Troy City, as it was the elven land’s neighbour.
Human crops couldn’t be planted at Troy City due to elven mana, which was why we relied on the elven dye for income. If they wanted to obtain magic-infused water, they could get their hands on it from Troy City. That said, it was unlikely. While the water at Troy City did contain mana, the water there had mixed with humanity’s waters for a long time. That, in turn, diluted and thereby reduced the potency of the mana. In essence, it was only enough for plants to grow; however, it wouldn’t have any effects on humans. I, therefore, reasoned that they couldn’t obtain what they wanted.
“Where did they get their hands on water rich in mana, then?” I wondered. I asked, “So, the water…”
Mommy Vyvyan looked outside, gaze fiery: “It’s obvious there’s an issue with their water. Whatever reason they’re packaging counterfeit elven water for is none of my business. Having said that, they insulted our spring and the source of our mana. They’re insulting our entire elven race. Falsely claiming their stuff to be elven water to swindle and commit fraud is a very serious insult. Once Elizabeth’s envoy arrives, I’ll let her have it!”
Mommy Vyvyan held my hand and led me back up. Suddenly, we heard stabbing sounds and someone screaming. Mommy Vyvyan and I froze. I suddenly had a bad feeling.
I thought to myself, “Don’t tell me that human went retarded and is charging over. Not even Elizabeth is allowed to come near here. Don’t tell me he actually went retarded and came here. That’s just marching to your own death! Did he follow us here?!”
The two of us quickly ran over. There were several soldiers standing there with their spears stabbed into one spot. Mom and I squeezed through. The person, let me correct myself there, the corpse that had a bunch of holes in him – a result of numerous spears puncturing him – resembled a corpse that had nails rain down on him as he bled out on the ground. Even his mouth was pierced with a spear. Had it not been for his clothes, there’d be no way of identifying him as the human envoy from before.
The soldiers were still in their stabbing pose. They never pulled their spears out. Mommy Vyvyan sighed: “Sometimes, curiosity and responsibility will get people killed, won’t it? A human lacking the self-awareness of a human is a death that can’t be blamed. Whatever. He’s not Elizabeth’s envoy, so there won’t be any diplomatic issues. If the church comes knocking, perfect. I’m keen to see them. I’ve never had a single an ounce of interest in your church. By the way, take the corpse away. Don’t blaspheme our elven spring.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The soldiers responded with a simple nod and then carried the corpse out.
I looked at the blood stains and holes the spears left in the ground: “I don’t have a good impression of the church, either. However, it seems humanity has another incoming crisis, and one that’s between religions. In saying that, it’s nothing I need to be concerned about. It seems Mommy Elizabeth doesn’t want to get involved, either. Her envoy would’ve come to me first, otherwise.”
“Speaking of which, it’s time for you to head back, isn’t it?”
“To the North?”
“No, Mommy is talking about Hilles City. Since Daisy needs to go through a baptism, you have to go there to attend, don’t you?”
Mom and I returned to the imperial palace. The envoy’s death didn’t bother Mommy Vyvyan. It was fair, though. She couldn’t have stopped it, either. It was perfectly normal for a human to be killed for trespassing into forbidden elven territory. What bothered me was what exactly happened with the religions over in humanity’s lands. I wasn’t looking to manage their religious issues, as I wasn’t interested in religion, but my daughter was there. Since she had to go through a baptism, I had to concern myself with it.
I nodded: “Mom, I’ll head there in a few days… Nevertheless, I want to get to the bottom of this case. I want to find out what exactly happened there and how somebody managed to get the water. I’ll start my investigations here in the elven lands.”
Mommy Vyvyan rubbed my head. With a smile, she warned, “Sure. But, you’re not allowed to leave the imperial palace. If you go out again, Mommy really will make it impossible to ever leave Mommy, got it?”