༺ Aedrin (2) ༻
There was an oddly unsettling disparity between their undertone and the expected emotions for such a situation.
“There is another problem in addition to that, escort knight friend, do you recall my siblings you met earlier?”
“Yes, you did call the siblings that way. Well, that’s not important… Those siblings are aiming for Mother’s essence.”
The ethereal tone of Friede’s voice remained unchanging as they continued to explain.
As far as Renee knew, no one was as calm when talking about a crisis directly related to themselves.
Some might say it’s because they’re an elf and not a human. However, Renee thought that Friede’s tranquility was fundamentally different from that.
“Hmm, if I were to speak more personally. The siblings ran away from home because Mother’s time is approaching. The siblings are afraid of their end.”
It was because of this.
Friede spoke as if their own death meant nothing.
They didn’t fear death in the slightest.
“Before Mother’s life ends, the siblings plan to extend their lives by taking Mother’s essence. That’s why we’re doing reconnaissance outside the Great Woodlands, to keep the siblings from approaching Mother.”
Naturally, the question ‘why’ popped up in Renee’s head.
Why do you speak of your own death so casually?
It wasn’t just themself. Even when talking about the death of Aedrin who they call Mother, other elves around them, and even the deaths of those they call ‘runaway siblings,’ the tone of their voice remained too calm.
In other words, it would be more correct to call it apathetic rather than calm.
Renee fidgeted her fingers uncomfortably because of this discomfort that made her unable to concentrate on the conversation. She immediately trembled upon hearing the words calling for her.
“Do you more or less understand the situation?”
A faint echo. There was a machine-like sound that was now clearly distinguishable in it.
“Yes, to reiterate… Lady Aedrin is in a dangerous condition, and the siblings named Neuter are aiming for Lady Aedrin, right?”
“Well, that’s good. It seems that the situation was conveyed properly.”
Renee smiled awkwardly at Friede’s words.
Friede saw that smile and grinned in return. They then continued talking while referring to Marie.
“There is only one way to settle this predicament, by nurturing Mother’s seed with Marie’s power. However, the speed is quite slow.”
Renee continued to ponder the following words.
She had heard from Trevor about the power of Abundance while she was undergoing education in the Holy Kingdom.
The maximization of life.
The power to temporarily maximize the natural vitality of living things so that all metabolic activities are pushed beyond their limits.
The power of Abundance, Trevor said, was akin to extracting grains in three days after planting the seeds.
It was only then that Renee realized why Marie was dispatched here.
In addition, she could understand why Friede said Marie was slow.
“Is the divinity required to achieve Lady Aedrin’s rebirth insufficient?”
“Excellent. As the Saint said, in order to complete Mother’s growth, Marie’s divinity alone is not enough.”
To say that even the divinity of an Apostle is not enough was irrefutable this time.
It resonated with Aedrin’s soul, which has existed since the genesis of the world. It was only natural that her divinity was insufficient. Marie had not been alive for even 50 years.
“I know about the Saint’s power. What do you think, can the Saint help accelerate our Mother’s growth?”
Renee listened to Friede and stroked Aedrin’s roots, which spread across the ground.
Renee gently instilled divinity into the roots in an attempt to determine whether she could help further the growth of Aedrin with her powers.
The answer turned out to be fairly negative.
Renee had put her heart and soul into learning the limitations of what she could do while in the Holy Kingdom, so how could she not know?
With the divinity that Renee had, she could not manifest sufficient power. If she were to do such a thing, her soul would immediately cease to exist.
“To bring Lady Aedrin’s growth to completion…. It’s impossible for me.”
In the past, the result of Renee risking her life and using her power for the first time when they were getting pursued on their way to the Holy Kingdom, awakened Terdan.
The extent of Renee’s power, who fainted and collapsed, barely awakened the slumbering Terdan. She could not directly affect the body of the ancient species.
Suddenly, frustration swelled in Renee’s mind when she was reminded of that.
Even though she was praised by everyone, she looked so pathetic and helpless in reality upon encountering the outside world.
“Hmm, that’s unfortunate.”
Renee trembled due to the lack of emotions she felt in the voice she heard, and soon lowered her head.
“It’s fine. There’s nothing you can do about it. Well, since it came to this, go and enjoy your vacation. Hm! Last Visitor of the Great Woodlands. For the Saint, you’re going to have a pretty sensational title.
A remark with an indifferent attitude.
Renee felt dizzy because of the confusion caused from her own helplessness mixed together with the sense of detachment from Friede’s apathetic words.
After the conversation was over, Vera followed Renee’s suggestion of taking a walk through the Great Woodlands. While walking, he was replaying the previous conversation in his head.
It was because there were so many questions that came to mind.
‘Friede was definitely alive ten years later.’
Not only were they alive, but they were chosen as one of the Heroes to subjugate the Demon King. Not to mention, in the end, they were alive long enough to even track myself down and corner me.
However, based on the conversation, Friede is certain to die soon.
Vera’s eyes turned towards Renee.
Renee’s power had the greatest chance of keeping Friede alive until then. However, Renee affirmed in the previous conversation that she could not save Lady Aedrin.
Vera’s forehead wrinkled.
It is unlikely that history has been changed.
Marie started the treatment of Aedrin before Renee received the stigma. Renee wasn’t a factor for the journey here, so it was definitely not a change in events caused by her presence.
Renee must have come to the Great Woodlands in her last life. Perhaps something Renee did had kept the elves alive until then.
The result was clear, but the process was riddled with unanswered questions.
Vera continued to ponder for a moment, but he couldn’t find an answer. Then, a different idea formed in his head.
Aedrin had finally died, but the elves had survived.
This guess additionally, was not just an unfounded speculation.
The life or death of Aedrin had never been talked about in his past life, so he couldn’t be sure. In the previous conversation, the elves were mentioning how to live even if Aedrin died.
‘The essence of Aedrin.’
The source of life that the Neuter were aiming for.
With that, the elves could continue their lives even when Aedrin was dead.
The elves were showing no signs of aiming for Aedrin’s essence currently, but… How could he know what would happen after?
Vera knew. No matter how rational you are, when death is just around the corner, you’ll end up prioritizing your own life.
No one knew if the elves, who were aware that death was looming on the horizon, would eventually betray Aedrin.
If this assumption was true, Renee could be in danger. As much as he intervened in the events of his current life, there had to be variables that have not changed.
It would be nice to be complacent, however it was best to consider various possibilities since nothing was certain currently.
Just like that, Vera began organizing the assumptions that had crossed his mind, digging into them one by one.
It was Renee’s voice.
Vera erased all thoughts in his mind and responded to Renee.
“What do you think, Vera? About the situation with Lady Aedrin or the elves right now.”
“I think it’s right to call it an emergency. As it stands, it’s a matter concerning the future of the species.”
“Right? But why…”
A word close to being a murmur.
As Vera was about to ask her a question, Renee sighed and shook her head.
“No, it’s nothing. I’ll think about this later.”
Vera’s head tilted slightly as she continued to murmur while trying to convince herself.
When Renee seemed to have finished thinking, she turned her head toward Vera and spoke.
“Shall we go in now? I think we’ve been walking for a long time.”
At the end of Vera’s gaze, Renee’s small face lit up with a subtle smile.
“Ah! Where did you go! Hey, come and eat!”
A lively voice belonging to Marie.
Vera trembled at the sight of Marie cooking with a bonfire in front of Aedrin’s roots.
“… Is it fine to light a fire there?”
It was a question he couldn’t bear to ask. No, she was making a fire in front of Aedrin’s roots, it would be strange to hold back this question.
Marie blinked at Vera’s question, then soon smiled and waved her hand.
“Yes? Hey, it doesn’t catch fire this easily. Come and sit down!”
Renee was perplexed, unable to understand the gist of the conversation. Meanwhile, Vera led Renee to the bonfire thinking, ‘it’s fine to trust the words of someone who has lived here for a decade.’
Marie continued, having pushed a bowl of soup to the two people sitting down.
“Both of you are lucky. There’s nothing better for the body than the medicinal herbs grown in the Great Woodlands!”
A soup made from medicinal herbs.
Vera nodded slightly, realizing that the pungent scent emanating from the soup was that of medicinal herbs. He noticed Hela spying on him from far beyond Aedrin’s roots, and said.
“Are you not going to eat?”
“I’m fine. I’m full after eating the leftover beef jerky.”
She spoke while avoiding his gaze. .
Vera roughly nodded his head in response to the answer, then grabbed a spoon and brought a spoonful of soup to his lips.
Since he hadn’t eaten all day, he thought that it would be good to eat something, so he did.
That complacency led to a disaster.
As soon as Vera swallowed the soup, he felt the rising sense of vomit surge forth.
It had no taste.
Rather, it wasn’t that it had none, but it had a disgusting taste that made him feel nauseous.
Vera was so startled that he frowned upon realizing that he had unwittingly swallowed the soup down his throat.
It felt like the soup was scratching the inner linings of his gullet as it traveled through it.
What kind of food is this?
For a moment, Vera recalled Hela’s previous meaningful attitude and turned his head in the direction she had previously been, but no one was there.
She ran away.
It was obvious. Hela knew how it tasted.
“It’s a little bitter, isn’t it? But eating bitter things is good for your body.”
Marie’s words rang in his ears. Vera wanted to throw the bowl and flee immediately, but he felt that it would be impolite, so he grinded his teeth.
“Hmm? It’s delicious.”
In amazement, Vera turned his head in Renee’s direction after hearing those words. The dark complexion seen previously on Renee had all been erased. Her cheeks were dyed red as she spoke in an excited tone.
“It’s really good! It’s a little bitter, but also addictive.”
“Really? Our Saint is not a picky eater, and she’s quite kind!”
A series of words that he couldn’t understand yet could audibly hear.
Vera frowned at Renee for the first time in three years.
There was something that came to his mind.
She thoroughly enjoyed the honey porridge she received while begging in her last life.
That appearance overlapped with her current self.
It was only after regressing once that Vera realized that Renee always had a twisted sense of taste.
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