|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1094 words|
The Treants suddenly appeared before us. They had encircled us and were acting clearly wary. I wasn’t certain about it due to smoke, but we were probably already completely surrounded, making escape exceedingly difficult.
Seeing the situation, Cortina started immediately issuing the commands.
“Lyell, Gadius, prioritize defense. Protect the cart!”
Lyell and Gadius moved and surrounded the cart, taking the protective formation. Maria and Maxwell also stayed alert, setting up their staves to be able to cast Magic at any time.
The treants were just as vigilant of us, raising alerted creaks.
Their species had different ranks to them too, and their higher-ranked one was called Elder Treant. Those higher species had the ability to speak, but it wasn’t so for the lower-ranked Treants.
That said, it wasn’t like they were completely unintelligent either. They had means to express their intent, but they did that by rubbing their branches and rustling their leaves, and used that sound converse.
However, as those sounds were impossible to be imitated by humans, the dialogue with them was well-nigh impossible. In other words… If the ones surrounding us were the lower-ranked Treants, we had no means to reach mutual understanding.
“Should we force our way?”
“Not yet. Treants should be gentle by nature. For them to attack us with no reason should be out of… Question?”
“Why did you word that as a question!?”
Lyell retorted to Cortina whose answer lacked the usual confidence. But given the situation, that was only natural. If they were by themselves, they could tear through the Treants like paper, but now they had us behind.
No, if it was just me and Michelle, there would be no problem still. After all, we had the skill to defend ourselves. But Tricia and Letina’s power remained an unknown factor.
You could say they were no more than ordinary, powerless citizens from Lyell’s perspective. And fighting while burdened with such people put more pressure on you then you could imagine.
“Wouldn’t it be better to make the first move and exterminate them?”
Gadius who excelled in defense also suggested the preemptive strike. When it came to protection, his judgment was correct. But even after his suggestion, Cortina chose to keep the stalemate.
“Not yet. The Treants are also simply remaining vigilant. Since they aren’t attacking us, there must be a reason. Let’s be careful until we find out what it is.”
“We still have some leeway if it’s just protection. Besides, we came here to ask the Queen Blossom for its nectar, so I don’t think we should aggravate the situation.”
Maria also took Cortina’s side. She fundamentally had a moderate approach to things, so even in these kinds of situations, she often chose the dialogue.
She could remain so calm despite burdened with us because she had full confidence that her Absolute Protective Wall would never be broken.
“We came here to ask the Queen Blossom to share some of her nectar with us. We are simply here for negotiation, we have no plans to take it by force or fight you!”
Cortina addressed the Treants using the common continental language. The lower-ranked Treants could not understand it, but the upper-ranked ones had vocal organs and could understand the common language.
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She called out to them hoping that would be the case.
“Then lower your swords. It’s quite absurd to ask for conversation while baring your blades at us.”
A loud girly voice responded to Cortina’s appeal. A giant flower made its way through the Treants and walked towards us. No, to be more accurate, it was a giant Treant with a flower blooming on it.
At the center of that flower was the figure of a small girl. Even I was familiar with this characteristic appearance. So we finally met, huh, Queen Blossom.
“Queen Blossom… Lower them, Lyell, Gadius.”
“Ah, huh? Are you sure?”
“Swords are no longer necessary from here on.”
She was an intelligent monster, the Queen of Treants. The surrounding Treants ceased emitting threatening sounds. At the same time, Lyell sheathed his sword. Gadius too returned his ax to his back.
“Hm-hm, excellent. Now there is no need to resort to the armed might.”
“That stands true for us too. I’m glad we could resolve this without force.”
“Oh? Based on that wording, I take it you could trample us all if you so wished?”
“Indeed so. If we felt like it, we could blow you off along with this mountain.”
Cortina responded with a meaningful smile. But indeed, if Maxwell went all-out with his Magic, he could easily erase this mountain and all. While the Queen Blossom was perplexed at her self-confidence, Cortina started introducing herself.
“I am Cortina, I have no family name. These are my comrades in arms. Lyell, Gadius, Maria, Maxwell. As for the rest…”
“No need. To think the Heroes of Salvation would come to visit me. You lot, return to patrolling.”
With a wave of her hand, the surrounding Treants started to withdraw. Only two Treants and the Queen Blossom remained behind.
“The situation is somewhat tense in this region. We couldn’t show negligence towards trespassers.”
“I thought you resided in the forest at the mountain’s base… Did something happen?”
“Indeed… But let me hear your business first.”
Cortina explained about my illness, and that we needed Queen Blossom’s nectar to cure it. Meanwhile, Michelle and I started tapping our hands on the Treants.
We had fought monsters before, but we never had an opportunity to touch them like this. Touching one without any hostility was a fresh experience even for me.
Letina was seeing a monster for the first time, so she was panicking with her hands raised up.
“Oh, it’s surprisingly warm?”
“You are right. I thought it would be a lot colder.”
“We are in a volcanic region, so the air temperature is high. It makes our barks appropriately warm too.”
While we relentlessly tapped on their barks, the Treants courteously explained it to us. Given that they could talk, these two must have been Elder Treants.
“U-Umm… That’s dangerous…”
“Professor Tricia, why don’t you try touching them? You won’t know when you’ll have another chance.”
“That’s true, but still!”
I wonder how many times was her common sense destroyed in this one day.
Leaving us aside, Cortina was still in the middle of her negotiations.
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“I see, I understand your circumstances. But unfortunately, I cannot hand it over just like that.”
However, the Queen Blossom’s reply was a definite no.