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Chapter 27: The Sage Meets an Unexpected Person
The destination of the transfer was the audience room in the castle of the royal capital.
The elves were shaken by the sudden transfer.
They were frozen in place, nestling against each other.
There were no signs of strange behavior, so no explanation would be necessary.
The door to the entrance opened, revealing Grom.
He approached, rubbing his hands together.
“Welcome back. And what happened to the group of elves that… you…”
His polite greeting tapered off at the end.
Finally, Grom stopped and looked at the elves quizzically.
There was a definite sense of disgust there.
He had always been this way with anyone other than the Demon Lord’s army.
The atmosphere was such that he might even threaten them if left alone, so I have to warn him just in case.
“Grom, we need to talk.”
“Yes! What is it!?”
When I called out to him, Grom happily complied by kneeling down.
I wish he could maintain this attitude at all times, but it is probably impossible.
He was still a habitual loyalist.
Well, we can think about that later.
I briefly told Grom, who was expecting to know what I wanted, about the details and course of action.
“As expected of the Demon Lord. It’s no wonder you can take advantage of the unforeseen circumstances to obtain the elves. They must be overjoyed to become the Demon Lord’s subordinates.”
Grom expressed so with satisfaction when he learned of the situation.
He seemed to welcome the addition of new subordinates.
The prosperity of the Demon Lord’s territory is probably what makes him happy.
I glanced at the elves.
They stiffened, holding their breaths.
There was a clear fear in their gaze directed at Grom.
I almost forgot with his hospitable speech and conduct, but Grom was a top-ranking undead.
He has the power to take on multiple countries singlehandedly.
Confronting him was simply inviting death.
Such an undead was right in front of them.
It is no wonder that the elves are terrified.
Looking at the current situation, a dialogue between the two sides seemed difficult.
I have to deal with this situation.
Judging so, I gave Grom an order.
“We will now initiate a counter-attack against the Imperial Army. I want you to gather up troops for that. Call Henry as well.”
“Yes, sir! I will make the preparations right away!”
Grom exited the room with a fluid motion.
In contrast to his flashy movements, the door closed without a sound.
His leadership was always just perfect.
He had got the knack of it after so many invasions.
This time too, he would soon get the right forces in place.
Grom was very good at being a chief of staff.
I turned my attention to the seemingly uncomfortable elves.
They were standing with an uneasy look on their faces.
Only the acting chief stood courageously.
Although I wasn’t sure how she felt inwardly, she was consciously trying to not appear weak.
I walked up to the elves.
I focused my attention, disregarding those who were openly wary of me.
I decided to finish off the things I needed to do while the preparations for war were being done.
I used one of the many spells I knew.
Countless rays of light were released from the empty sky, and they hit one hand of each elf.
Those with good instincts tried to evade them, but the rays relentlessly chased and caught hold of them.
With a burning sound, the elves showed expressions of anguish.
When the rays of light stopped, they checked their hands.
An identical brand was engraved on the back of their hands.
The Acting Chief, who covered the back of her hand, looked at me reproachfully.
I suddenly felt pained.
It was inevitable that she would look at me that way.
I replied in an uncaring tone.
“It is the mark of servitude. This is no longer a verbal agreement.”
The imprint on the elves was imbued with magic.
It had the effect of obstructing them from treasonous acts against me.
It could cause pain just by thinking about it.
It was also possible to make them die in agony.
Furthermore, the mark is automatically passed on to the elves’ descendants.
Its nature is similar to that of sorcery.
It is practically impossible to break the spell because it requires a magician of my rank or higher to break it.
With this, the elves are now my servants in both name and reality.
I intend to apply the same imprint to their brethren waiting in the Forest of Yggdrasil.
Naturally, I expect a furious opposition, but that doesn’t matter.
I listened to the Acting Chief’s resolved answer.
I will respect her will and punish the elves who disobey her accordingly.
That was the way of the Demon Lord.
The elves looked at each other and touched the subordination imprint.
They turned to me with a mixture of fright and hatred.
In the midst of all this, the Acting Chief stepped forward and spoke up.
“Um, I would like to go back to the forest to report…”
“All right. I’ll go with you.”
It would be essential to explain the circumstances to the elves waiting in the Forest of Yggdrasil.
It would be better to inform them of this before forming an interception force..
If we put it off until later, it would cause unnecessary confusion.
I quickly used my transfer magic and moved with the elves to the Forest of Yggdrasil.
Although there is a considerable distance between us, since I knew our approximate destination, the transfer was easy.
Far west of the Demon Lord’s territory- the forest beyond the lands of the small country that was destroyed.
After a momentary floating sensation, the entire area became a forest.
The air was cool and refreshing, and an abundant magical power was hung in the air.
The presence of spirits could also be clearly felt.
And a holy air was emanating from the trees.
I perceive a pain that is similar to numbness in my skeletal body.
This is a land that rejects the undead.
Although the effect on me is minimal, the lower-ranked undead will be hindered in their actions.
I must cast a protective spell on the undead I will be using when I bring an intercepting force along.
The surrounding area was enveloped in silence.
There were no signs of battle.
It seems that there is no conflict with the empire in this area.
As I was observing the terrain, I sensed multiple presences approaching.
It seemed that they were trying to sneak up on us, but it was completely obvious to me.
Not long after, the elves appeared in the trees.
They had their bows held up.
There must have been no less than fifty of them.
We were surrounded in the blink of an eye.
Looking at how there was magic for searching for enemies cast, they must have no doubt relied on it.
It was quite a prompt response.
“S-Stop! If you try something now, we will…!”
The acting chief looked flustered and shouted to restrain them.
She was afraid of ruining my mood.
She knew that I could massacre all the elves in here on a mere whim.
But the elves surrounding us would not lower their bows.
They must have orders to do so as well.
That is the exact command from those who would dare to ignore the words of the Acting Chief.
Amidst the explosive situation, a group of elves walked in from the front.
They were accompanied by what appeared to be several guards, so they must be the heavyweights of the clan.
I focused my attention on one of them.
He was an elven man with purple eyes.
He looked to be in his early thirties and wore a robe tailored with a simple but fine cloth.
He had a face that suggested a strong will.
It stirred awake an old memory.
Countless scenes flickered across my mind.
I feel a faint headache.
Without revealing any physical or mental anomalies, I kept my eyes on the elven man.
It’s not a mistake of sight or an illusion, after all.
He was truly there.
His name is Logan Linn Freetylt.
He was one of my few friends back when I was alive.
Ps. blackdog vibes be getting me