Deep inside the forest where Lazarus had entered, there was an elven village.
At the center of the forest, the scenery was dyed in a yellow glow as if a fraction of the sunset's subtle glow illuminated the area while the blue clumps of mana hovered in the air as if it seemingly dances to the tunes. Many elves were dancing to the music played by some makeshift string instruments . Some were clapping and some were eating, smiles filled the faces of the elven people as they continued to enjoy the party.
The yellow light comes from the fruits that were emitting a bright yet subtle glow, each one was attached to each of the houses of the elves. Some of their houses were sitting on top of tree branches connected by a hanging bridge held together by a vine that seems to be sturdier than rope. Other elves housed themselves inside the trees and made a comfortable home from carving its insides.
A blue haired elven female who looked like the one Lazarus encountered in the forest spoke '' Where's Sylphi? " although her chest was moderate and her hair hair was only at shoulder's length which curled inwards, nevertheless she was beautiful.
" Hmm, if you are looking for your older sister..... I think she went out to get some mushrooms a while ago. " A guard answered while holding a spear, he wore a simple leather armor which revealed his ripped body.
" Shouldn't she be back by now? " Her face showed worry as she spoke.
" She is stronger than our best warriors, I don't think you should worry about her. " - Guard
" Can you see if she's okey? I'm still worried.... She has been gone for quite some time now.... "
" I understand. " The guard nodded before heading off to where Sylphi had gone. As the guard continued for a few minutes he noticed some of her tracks. The guard immediately traced her steps.
The guard was now on top of the tree where Sylphi had originally come from, where she shot Lazarus. As he surveyed the area he noticed Sylphi...... the problem was that there was a man holding a dagger to her neck.
— Why isn't she fighting back!? The guard was perplexed and worried, that is when he noticed that her mana barrier wasn't up. A mistake hardly made even by novices, what's worse is how this man managed to get behind her. Even without the mana barrier, Sylphi was still agile and could easily repel bandits of that level.
— Tsk... I need to inform the village chief. That bandit probably isn't normal...... The guard went back as fast as he could.
" So tell me, why did you shoot at me for just plucking a flower? " Lazarus was curious why this beauty would be in a fit rage when he only took a small flower from the ground.
" Haa??? Have you absolutely have no idea you brute? Even an idiotic bandit...like you would know the answer to your stupid question. You must be more stupid than a horse!! " Veins were popping on her forehead because of his idiotic question, although she didn't move an inch since the tip of his blade was still prickling her neck, one mistake and she would lose her life.
Lazarus was still calm but he kept his focus on her as he gazed at her long beautiful hair, he continued to speak with a neutral tone. " First of all, I didn't know..and for that I apologize. If it's possible to replant the flower, then I'll return it to you... I'll let you go under the condition that you will not attack me. "
— If that flower was so important... why the hell wasn't it guarded or stored in a safe place? I don't understand these elves, nor do I care about their train of thought. I only have one goal......
Although Lazarus couldn't see, her face was already becoming red with anger, she spoke in a whispering tone " Replant it? " when she suddenly screamed " YOU THINK ITS THAT EASY!? I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!! ".
The elven maiden wasn't only angry at the flower issue ,but it was mostly because of her ego.... She was renowned as one of the best warriors in their village but now she was captured because of her carelessness. She had not lost a single battle her entire life, and this feeling of defeat was something she could not accept.
— This worthless worm!! I don't know how he suddenly appeared behind me when I was watching the bush that he hid from all this time! Come to think of it... he also doesn't have his mana barrier erected.....
It could clearly be seen from her expression that if Lazarus let her go she would simply try to tear him apart for hurting her pride and for damaging the forest. Of course Lazarus didn't know this.
".........." Lazarus had no reason to kill her, it was his mistake, but this thorny rose seemed ready to pounce at him at any second, he kept thinking what to do, when a voice disturbed him.
" Let my sister go you human filth!!! " Lazarus suddenly noticed that he was surrounded by 20 elven archers all aiming their arrows at him. The tip of their arrows were all glowing different colors which made him know that they meant business.
Lazarus was too busy focusing at her that he had not notice them closing in, he thought that they were alone, completely forgetting the sounds he had heard earlier.
As the tense atmosphere continued, an old elven man who's skin was a bit brownish and had white ungroomed hair popped up together with a younger version of the elf he held. The man held a wooden staff as he was slouching due to his old age.
" Village chief and Sera! " Sylphi had a look of disbelief, she didn't want them to see her in a weak state, especially her younger sister, she could only bite her lip in frustration as she spoke " I'm...sorry.... I shouldn't have been careless... ".
" Young man, let my grandaughter go and I can at least spare you from death. " - Village chief
He clearly didn't intend to let Lazarus go, and he clearly sounded irritated. Whatever Lazarus' reason was, he made a mistake on laying a hand on his precious grandaughter.
While Lazarus was glancing around, a deep robotic voice echoed in Lazarus head.
-= Master it would be wise to cloak and retreat for now. =-
— No, the general told me to always make the best of whatever situation you're in and right now I need information. And besides there isn't any known invisibility magic, at least not that I know off. Only angels and demons can use teleportation magic. If a human did that, I just pray they won't spread it like wildfire. Don't worry, if things go bad then I'll cloak immediately.
-=Affermative. Then may I inquire as to how you plan on getting out of this situation? =-
— Just watch.
Lazarus then smiled. '' I'm sure there's a misunderstanding here, I'm hoping you would at least listen to my circumstances? "
The old man smiled as he said these disturbing words. " We will talk it over back at the village, then we'll decide. For now I suggest you let go of my granddaughter before I decide to skin you alive."
Lazarus thought for a moment and looked towards the old man. “ Then, I take it that your men will not harm me if I let her go? ”
The old man replied while still giving a heartful smile “ Yes child, now let her go. ”
Lazarus then let her go from his chokehold when suddenly she kicked Lazarus in the stomach with all her might. Lazarus anticipated her action and guarded with both of his hands, he was sent flying at an incredible speed, Lazarus then did a backflip and anchored his knife on the ground to regain balance. He then looked towards Sylphi with an unchanging expression.
Sylphi smirked as she thought he would have crashed on a tree but upon seeing him unharmed she felt white hot rage burned in her stomach . Her smile vanished while vains started popping on forehead. “You little!!--”
( The forcield only activates if an attack lands and Lazarus is unable to block or if the attack is powerful enough to hinder his movements. )
As she drew her bow, a voice stopped her “ Enough!, I have promised the lad that I will judge him for his actions, until then he should be unharmed. ” The village chief then looked towards Lazarus who had already placed his knife back. “ We will restrain you with a vine that prevents mana usage to prevent you from doing anything unecessary.”
Lazarus then frowned, his right pocket which was empty, suddenly bulged, he had warped in something into his right pocket to prevent people from seeing it. “ That wasn’t part of our deal. ”
The village chief glared at Lazarus and replied with a stern voice“ I don’t think you have much of choice. ”
Lazarus did not move as one of the elven guards approached him and tied up his hands. Of course to Lazarus it was nothing more than just a vine since he didn’t have mana nor could he use it. They took a path that avoided the crowd since they didn’t want to hinder their party. During their little trip, Sylphi and her sister continued to glare at Lazarus who seemingly didn’t pay attention.
After a few minutes they arrived at a large tree that spanned 60 meters wide and was 40 stories high, it was the largest tree as well as the village chief’s home. It was a bit farther out from the village but was heavily guarded.
They went inside a room that only had a table and 2 chairs sitting across each other. It was illuminated by a strange yellow light contained inside a spherical bubble. The guards were all surrounding Lazarus as he sat on one of the chairs together with Sylphi and Sera who is still glaring at him.
The village chief then spoke “ So? Why was your dagger up at my grandaughter's throat? ”
“ Because she shot an arrow to my head. ”
Sylphi then frowned and loudly spoke. “ That’s because you were stealing an Azalea flower!! ”
— Tsk, she didn’t have to shout. She’s extremely annoying...
Lazarus closed his eyes while his tone remained unchanged since they first spoke . “ I didn’t know what it was and what it does, I’ll return it to you if that helps. By the way may I ask where I am? ”
The village chief continued to study Lazarus expression “ How can you not know? It’s common knowledge. You mean to tell me that you simply got lost? Do you realize you’re in elven territory?”
“ Yes I got lost, I didn't know this was elven territory, I was trying to search for a town to look for a job or any way I can earn some money. I was born in Kratos with no knowledge of Assail and its borders. How many Azalea flower are there in this forest for one to matter so much? ”
Lazarus had already thought up an excuse, he had plenty of time to think while they were walking, he vaguely remembered one of the books he read in childhood. Though he spent most of his time in the VR causing him to forget a few things about Valeria. He remembered some of the stories he had read.
“ That’s a lie!! ” Sylphi shouted while still glaring at Lazarus.
“ Yeah!! his clearly a bandit grandfather! These human scums are always greedy.” – Sera
“ Now now, there are several Azalea flowers in this forest as for your other question. If you came from the road, then I assume you saw three pathways? ”
“ Yes, what about it? ”
“ The nearest human town is towards the opposite path which you took to come here, you’ll come across a village before entering a town, I can tell you’re telling the truth about comming from Kratos since you’re wearing very peculiar clothes. I have not seen anything like that.”
— Crap, I should’ve taken the road to the right.
“ Grandfather!! Are you planning on letting him go!? ” – Sylphi
Lazarus looked annoyed as he gazed towards Sylphi.
“ No.... Unfortunately the Azalea flower can no longer be replanted and he had bared his fangs on my precious grandaughter. For that I cannot excuse him.”
Lazarus then had a look of shock as he spoke in an angry tone “ That’s unreasonable!! ”
The village chief sighed. “ Your lies are very convenient to be true. Everyone knows of the Azalea flower and that only bandits try to take them and sell them at a high price, I know the greed of you humans. So we will have to lock you u-”
Sylphi then interfered at her grandfather’s words placing a hand between them. “ Grandfather I have a request. ” the village chief starred at her before sighing “ What is it? ”
Sylphi’s then heartfully smiled and gazed at Lazarus. “ Have a duel with me, if you can win then we will let you go, if not then I will have you shamed infront of our people. This time I won’t hold back.”
Lazarus looked irritated at this elf, her ego was even larger than her bust.
— I have all the info I need from these bastards. I think it’s time to go
“ I’ll have to decline, I don’t have time to play with egoistic little girls. ” Upon hearing these words Sylphi could feel her entire body heating up, if she didn’t need to keep up her appearance then she would already have went on a rampage.
“ Yeah you’re right I am a bandit. ” Lazarus smiled and gave the chief a provoking smile. Sylphi immedietly pointed her bow at Lazarus.
The chief glared at Lazarus and slammed the table. “ How many did you take you embicile!? ”
“ Two including the one in my bag. ” – Lazarus
“ Search his belongings! ”
After a few minutes of searching there was nothing there except a tent and a bed.
The village chief frowned as he glared at Lazarus. “ Where’s the other one? ”
“ It’s in my special magic bag in my right pocket... ” Lazarus continued to grin as the elves surrounding him were all already angry.
Sylphi took a strange looking device from his right pocket and stared at it in confusion “How is this a magic bag?”
— She doesn’t know she’s holding an M84 flash grenade, it’s old but it will do the trick.
“ That’s a bag I made for myself so no one else can steal my loot ” Lazarus smirked as he talked causing Sylphi and the others to grow even angrier.
“ If you know what’s good for you, then you will tell me how to open it! ” – Sylphi
“ I’ll tell you if you promise not to take anything else but the Azalea flower ” – Lazarus
Sylphi smirked a little before giving him a reply in a sarcastic tone “ Alright ”
“ Press the handle and pull the circular ring as hard as you can. ”
Sylphi thinking it was a magical bag pulled the pin without a second thought, the other elves gathered around to look at the strange magical bag. Upon seeing this Lazarus closed his eyes and spoke to FS in his thought.
— FS, disable my hearing
-= Affirmative =-
Boom!! Suddenly a loud bang echoed in the room.
“ Kyaah! ” “ Nggghh ” “ Arghh! ” Sylphi as well as the others guards groaned as a blinding light and extremely loud sound caused their ears to hear ringing noises.
Lazarus seeing everyone getting blind activated his cloak and busted the door open. The guards from outside who noticed immedietly ran inside, only to find there comrades lying on the ground covering their eyes.
Lazarus took the bag as well as the Azalea flower to get back at the elves. He continued to run outside of the forest towards the path he had walked on.
“ That bastaarddd! I’ll get himm!!!!! ” Sylphi screamed in anger as she felt helpless a second time while the old man was still laying down in the floor