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The Northern Pioneer Village and the Opposition Against Elves (Part 2)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

The village chief looks utterly lost, but I’m the one who’s baffled by what he’s saying, blinking repeatedly in my confusion.

I mean, unless the land itself is ravaged by some kind of natural disaster like a volcanic eruption (and even then, it should recover within a few hundred years), 30 years is ample time for a typical forest to nurture a new generation. Especially if the reforestation is for a self-sustaining timber business; the cycle should be even shorter, allowing ample time for the forest to produce a new generation of trees.

“Huh? What is reforestation?”

That single question clarified everything.

So, in this world, when people cut a tree, they leave it and expect it to regrow on its own. No wonder the forest transforms into a thicket.

“…I will explain reforestation later. It’s not something that can be accomplished in mere days, in any case.”

I responded with a sigh, and the village chief replied with a simple, “I see.”

“To sum it up, the industry of this village is tapering off with no hope of recovery in the future, hence trying to support it would be futile.”
“Well, even if we tried to implement reforestation now, results would only be evident in 30 to 40 years. Perhaps we should consider downsizing or exploring other industries.”

Curtiss candidly highlighted the problem, while I attempted to propose solutions.

“EH?! W-, wait a minute! That’s too abrupt!”

Village chief Demelio must have felt threatened, sensing that the future of his village was being discussed without his input. He raised his voice in protest. However—

“Calm down, village chief Demelio. Do you have a tangible strategy to rejuvenate your business? Or do you plan to continue with your present course of action, whatever that might be?”
“Of course. The entire village is unified in its efforts.”
“And yet, the result led the governor to dispatch both her ladyship and me to your village for an inquiry. Do you grasp the severity of that? Can you present us with tangible outcomes?”

Cornered by Curtiss, chief Demelio could only grunt as he sank back onto the sofa, dejected.

“No, we do have a solution. There are still many large trees deeper into the mountains, ripe for the taking! It’s just, there’s a complication…” Observing his father’s distress, Damian, who had been silent until now, began to speak energetically.

“D-, Damian! Do you wish to disgrace this village?!”

His father attempted to interject, but—

“Dad, our village is already on the brink. We should converse with these nobles; after all, they’re humans just like us!”

The village chief was at a loss for words, looking as if he’d swallowed a bitter pill.

“What exactly is happening?”

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Upon my inquiry, Damian began to speak fervently, and his account was nothing short of extraordinary.

Apparently, an indigenous tribe of a different race, known as the Woodlanders, had resided in the mountainous region, engaging in the cultivation and nurturing of plants, long before the pioneer village was established 30 years ago.

Initially, interactions between the first pioneers and the Woodlanders were harmonious. However, due to differing values they held about nature — with the Woodlanders growing increasingly frustrated with the humans for their rampant deforestation — tensions arose. Eventually, the Woodlanders opted to retreat deeper into the Seraph mountain range.

The villagers and the Woodlanders have remained separated for the past 30 years. But now, a new issue has arisen.

It was the forestry workers from the pioneer village who ignited the conflict.
Having depleted the big trees and high-grade timber in their vicinity over the past three decades, they turned their attention to the untouched wilderness deep within the Seraph mountains, right where the Woodlanders’ settlement lay.

At first, they were hindered by petty tricks and such, but the villagers were relentless as they penetrated deeper and deeper into the territory. Finally losing their patience, the woodlanders confronted the villagers for the first time in 30 years, issuing an ultimatum: they wouldn’t hesitate to wage all-out warfare if any further logging occurred.

Due to this, all production deep within the Seraph mountain range was halted, but that only bred dissatisfaction among the villagers. Especially among the hot-headed youngsters, the prevailing sentiment seemed to be: “Continue the production, woodlanders be damned!” It seems that such a radical opinion held the majority, and leading this movement was Damian, who stood before me.


Damian concluded his fervent speech, his fists clenched tightly. Curtiss and I exchanged glances, utterly dumbfounded.

This father-son duo seemed to think this was merely a territorial dispute, but it was unmistakably a racial conflict. Depending on the progression of events, military intervention might even be required.

Why would they prioritize petitioning for tax exemptions and subsidies when faced with such a pressing issue?! This should have been reported immediately!

“By the way, how many of these woodlanders are there?” After taking a moment to compose himself, Curtiss asked.

“Who knows? I think there are around 100 or 200 here.”

That’s… fewer than expected. A momentary relief washed over me when I heard the village chief’s estimation, but—

“But those monkeys claimed they could rally their kin from all over the continent, hah, imagine that!” Damian’s contemptuous words prompted a question from me.

“Absolutely. The tallest among them isn’t even 160 centimeters. They reside in trees and subsist mainly on fruits and berries.”
“…indeed, that’s typical monkey behavior.”
“Exactly! And they have these long ears. Their attire and shoes are made from vines, and they use bows as weapons.”
“Their men and women alike are blonde, attractive, and live for a long time. The spirit magic they employ against us is exceptionally vexing.”

Upon hearing that, Curtiss and I exchanged shocked looks. ““AREN’T THOSE ELVES?!!!””

“…ah, yes, some do refer to them as such. But locally, we predominantly call them woodlanders,” Demelio explained.

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Seeing the Barda duo’s obliviousness to the situation’s gravity, Curtiss and I exchanged another glance. This was a dire situation. If mishandled, it could severely strain relations between humans and elves.

“We must notify Lady Christy posthaste! Curtiss, pen the letter and hand it to Vier. Horses won’t be swift enough. I’ll traverse the village and try to reason with the inhabitants; we cannot allow them to ignite conflict.”
“Immediately, milady.”

The village chief and his son watched in stunned silence as we sprang into action, our complexions drained of color.


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