“We need to go and save those children!”
Inard looked at Vyvyan and Elizabeth with a dumbstruck look. The two of them ran back and looked furious. Dumbfounded, he sat up from the sofa and looked at them feeling puzzled: “What’s the matter, my Princesses? Who do you want to help this time? According to my memory, we helped three careless men who were stuck in mud. Oh, they happened to be wanted criminals, too. Afterwards, they even tried to kidnap Vyvyan and you.”
The mention of that incident caused Elizabeth to go red in the face. She softly replied, “I’m sorry… Last time, I was too kind… and almost got in trouble. However, I’m still very grateful that you saved me…”
“Don’t misunderstand. I don’t regret saving you. When it comes down it, wasn’t it Vyvyan’s overconfidence that led to that crisis?! But, as her brother, I can’t complain…” Inard noticed his sister about to flare up, so he immediately added something to calm her. He then looked back to Elizabeth before asking, “So, go on, who are we saving this time?”
“How come you gave me attitude when I asked, yet took the initiative to inquire for more detail when Elizabeth had yet to mention it?!” Vyvyan poured herself a cup of water and loudly protested, but Inard ignored her.
Elizabeth grew accustomed to Vyvyan’s fondness for getting jealous over petty things. Initially, Elizabeth was afraid and worried it’d damage her friendship with Vyvyan that she worked hard to establish. Nonetheless, after spending a long time with her, Vyvyan reacted jealous so many times that Elizabeth eventually couldn’t be bothered with them anymore.
Needless to say, Vyvyan perceived it as Inard giving Elizabeth preferential treatment. He always prioritised Elizabeth regardless of what happened. Additionally, he never rebuked Elizabeth for what she did. In fact, he never complained. Inard always cleaned up Elizabeth’s messes.
Inard would do his everything to save the three of them when they were in danger as a consequence of Vyvyan’s overconfidence. Vyvyan had a knack for strangely getting them into situations. Nevertheless, Inard would lecture his sister afterwards. Vyvyan possessed overpowered mana, true, but she always rapidly exhausted it when in humanity’s lands. Due to her not being able to control the mana in her body too well yet, she was always first to be a liability after thoughtlessly casting spells, thereby exhausting her mana. As a result, Elizabeth had to carry her, which made it almost impossible to swing her sword.
Elizabeth expounded, “Simply put, we found a new castle built nearby. Inside is a noble lady. Sorry, but I don’t know who exactly she is. Anyway, ever since she appeared, young girls would continue to vanish. Lots of girls from other places, who entered the castle, also never appear again. Everyone thinks they’re killing the girls in there, but the upper echelon is never responding to the matter. As such, we must investigate it.
“I see. In summary, you’re interested in a castle that eats children? That is interesting, indeed. To be honest, I think it’s interesting, too. Let’s go to a castle that we don’t know is safe or not and, by the way, they only want girls.” Inard tugged the corner of his lip up condescendingly. He then sighed and stood up: “No, no, don’t misunderstand. Elizabeth, we may be good friends, but there’s one problem, and hat’s we’re not humans. We shouldn’t be sticking our noses in humanity’s business. We ran around to all sorts of places helping because… because it was your idea.”
“So, you’re sick of it?” questioned Elizabeth. She was dead serious. Inard looked back at her feeling somewhat surprised. Elizabeth didn’t budge: “Are you… sick of it? You want to continue leading the same life as before? I can accept it, as you’re right. You’re my friends, but we aren’t of the same race.”
“But you’ll go there alone even though I said that, won’t you?” remarked Inard, keeping his gaze on Elizabeth. He scratched his head in a slightly irritated manner then took in a deep breath: “Elizabeth, I think there are some things you need to understand. I’m not an almighty elf. How shall I put it? You could say that I do my best to live for the sake of myself and my sister. Yes, I admittedly am someone who likes to run around in the outside world; however, I’ve started to grow tired of it. Think about the precarious situations we’ve found ourselves in. I now want to have some peace…”
“But those children can’t wait! You can’t delay saving someone’s life! No matter how much we’ve gone through, we still have to help them. I’m positive you’ll go and help. I believe in you!”
Inard met with Elizabeth’s black eyes. Doubt gradually seeped into her firm gaze. In the end, he heaved a heavy breath. Suddenly, Vyvyan jumped in between the two and cut off their eye-contact. She exclaimed, “Hey, hey, hey! I will not allow you two to exchange such flirtatious eye-contact, and forget about me!! The atmosphere you’ve created makes me an unnecessary existence! So, what are we going to do? Brother, you can’t be so heartless. Regardless of what the case is or what race we are, we need to help those in need!! It’s all right, Elizabeth, even if this cold-blooded man refuses to help you, I’ll definitely help you! I won’t slip up this time, oath!”
“You should quit while you’re ahead. If you go and help, something might end up happening…” suggested Inard. “Ah, whatever… Fine, I’ll help… Man… You’re just a human, yet why can’t I refuse you…? However, Elizabeth, I must make one thing clear. Our journey is almost coming to an end. In one more year, we will have to return to the elven lands. Thus, we will have to separate in the end. If you want to reminisce the relaxing lifestyle in our forests, that’s fine. How about this: how about we return to the forest and experience life there after this? One year later, we’ll send you back.”
“What…?” exclaimed Elizabeth, surprised. “You’re leaving…? You two are abandoning me?”
“No, we’re not abandoning you, Elizabeth. You weren’t from our lands in the first place…”