Just the other day, the deep area turned into a forest.
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
It’s quite dramatic.
The barren deep area has transformed into a healing forest.
And then, I got scolded by Elibel.
I’m still being scolded even now.
Her anger is something else.
…………She’s terrifying when she’s mad.
「Listen, Earth. I’m not mad at you for creating a forest in the depths, even if it was a selfish act, taking advantage of my absence. Nor am I angry about the slight delay in construction due to the need for replans caused by your forest. The flooding of the bottom layer area did temporarily halt our work because of the excessive water drawn underground from the Lena Wetlands. And yes, the forest’s impact on the ecosystem of the Eld Desert, with its never-before-seen plants and animals, was a concern. But here’s the thing—I’m not angry at all! Not at all!! Not even a bit!!!
Do you understand? Do you get it, you useless dragon? Huh? Even this shitty dragon with a tiny brain that could be scraped off with an earpick can understand, right?」
Scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape.
Stop scratching my head with your magically enhanced leg.
『Ah, yes. Somehow…yes…』
「That’s right, Earth. You know what I’m actually furious about? It’s that!」
Saying that, Elibel points to the storage room she’s using.
Oh, by the way, right now we’re in Elibel’s research area.
In the direction Elibel pointed, there is a storage room where various valuables are stored, including the Yuguru Great Forest’s, Elibel’s dungeon’s, and my molted scales.
I start sweating profusely.
「Do you understand what I’m trying to say?」
Elibel is so angry that it feels like the background is shaking.
『I’m sorry for using the materials inside without permission!!!』
「Don’t you dare mess with me!!! You useless piece of shit dragon!!!!」
Elibel’s fist shatters my jaw.
Oh, upon closer look, she’s wearing gloves made from my skin….
She definitely enhanced their power.
「For real! Don’t you know the word ‘learning’?」
『I-I’m really sorry! I mean it! I’m sorry, I truly am!』
It’s a prostration.
A perfect, flawless prostration.
There’s no excuse for this; it’s entirely my fault.
Actually, while I was doing some gardening, I searched in Elipedia for materials that would make good fertilizer for plants.
And so, when I casually visited Elibel’s research area to see if there were any of those materials in her storage room, I found that her storage room was unlocked.
Glancing inside, I saw quite a few of the materials I was looking for, and I thought it would be fine if I took just one or so, so I used it.
Impressed by how fast the plants grow, I ended using up all the materials that were in the storage room without realizing it.
It’s entirely my fault.
No matter how you look at it, it’s my fault.
『I’m truly sorry. I’ll do anything I can to make it up to you.』
「Oh, anything, you say? Hmm, interesting.」
The anger from before subsides, and Elibel looks at me as if assessing my offer.
…Can I get away with this?
『Ah, but nothing reckless, though.』
Elibel smiles sweetly.
「I’ll take your spine then.」
「Then how about your brain?」
I said I’ll die!
「Then your heart.」
『I said I’ll die!!!』
「Just die, you useless dragon.」
『I’m truly sorry!』
There’s no use.
I might actually die today.
I glance towards Berg, seeking help.
Then, a thought transmission comes from Berg.
What is it? Some wisdom to get out of this situation!?
『Earth, let me enlighten you. When Elibel was alive, there was a researcher from a certain research institution who used her research materials without permission.』
『…W-what happened then?』
『…The research facility turned to ashes, and dozens of people died. The town that housed the research facility also turned to ashes, transforming into a land where no one could live again.』
Well, I’m screwed.
This is definitely a scenario where I die.
Well, I mean, it’s my fault though.
「Sigh… Well, I guess it can’t be helped. I’m not a demon, you know. After all, I’m your subordinate and you’re my superior.」
『Oh, so does that mean…』
「Now pick, whether you want claws, skin, or scales to be peeled off.」
『P-Please have mercy…』
What should I do…
How can I overcome this critical situation?
My mind was spinning faster than ever before.
But I couldn’t come up with a good solution at all!
Elibel slowly approaches, holding a large knife that seems like something a hunter would use to dismember a deer, with an industrial-looking tool that resembles pliers.
What should I do, what should I do, what should I do, what should I do, what should I do, what should I do?
What should I… Oh?
Then, I suddenly noticed “it” and turned around.
It was toward the forest that had formed in the vertical hole in the depths.
「Earth, where are you… Oh?」
It seems Elibel noticed it too.
『Hey, Elibel. Did you feel that…?』
「Yeah, I feel it too.」
This magical power that I can feel coming from the vertical hole.
Apex of the Eld Desert.
It was the magical power of Accurate Crow, Heleb.
For now, me and Elibel ceased our conversation and moved towards the vertical hole.
There, as expected, Heleb’s figure awaited us.
Perched on a branch of a particularly large tree within the forest.
『It’s been a while, Keeper of the Hole. And the sage is here too, I see.』
As always, the crow enjoyed looking down on people from high places.
And he’s scary.
Although Ann can talk to him normally without fear, I can’t.
While trying to maintain a calm demeanor, I spoke to Heleb.
『What brings you here today?』
『I have a few things I’d like to inquire about.』
He’s asking me?
His unexpected statement caught me off guard.
『You wouldn’t happen to know Gwyve whereabouts, would you?』
Gwyve――――another apex of the Eld Desert.
The name of the leader of White Wyvern.
Ann, Gwyve and Heleb have a personal agreement between them, and I have an agreement with Gwyve myself.
『As a matter of fact, the presence of his magical power has disappeared from this Eld Desert for few days now.』
『Hmm. Occasionally, there were a day or two when I couldn’t sense his magical power, but it has already been over ten days. Never before have I gone so long without sensing his magical power. You mentioned creating a teleportation dungeon. I wonder if he used it to go somewhere.』
I shook my head.
I looked at Elibel, and she shook her head as well.
『No, he hasn’t come here. This is my first time hearing this, too.』
If Elibel doesn’t know, then how would I know?!
Even if I occasionally forget, she always keeps me informed.
Heleb’s tone had a somewhat disappointed ring to it.
『If you don’t know, then so be it. Sorry for bothering you. But if you have any information, let me know. You hear me?』
『Uh, yeah… understood.』
His tone is still as unfathomable as ever.
After saying all he had to say, Heleb spread his wings, as if about to take off, but before he did, he looked at us again.
『…However, I must say, I was surprised by the sudden transformation of the underground into a forest.』
Ah, right. That’s definitely something to be surprised about.
『Is this your doing, Sage?』
Heleb says so while looking at Elibel.
「No, it wasn’t me, it was Earth.」
Saying that, Elibel pointed at me.
Hey, wait a minute.
『Hmm, so it was your doing…』
『S- So what if it’s me? Do you have a problem with it……..?』
I muttered the last part.
『I have no complaints. I’m just impressed. Never did I expect a forest to reappear underground in the Eld Desert.』
『Heh… Both Ann and you. You all constantly defy my expectations…』
He said with a somewhat amused tone, as if he were laughing.
『Well then, Earth. If Gwyve happens to appear in your dungeon or within your area, let me know. Understand?』
Saying that, Heleb spread his wings and flew away.
What was that all about?
「White Wyvern’s leader, Gwyve… I wonder how he looked like.」
Ah, come to think of it, Elibel hasn’t met him yet.
「I’ll let everyone know on my end. It’s more reliable that way.」
『Ah, I appreciate that.』
At times like these, Elibel is definitely dependable.
Phew, I’m relieved that Heleb came.
I managed to deceive her somehow…
「Now that Heleb’s gone, let’s pick up where we left off, shall we, Earth?」
「It’ll either be your claw, skin, or scale. So which one do you want…?」
A death sentence with a smile.
I couldn’t deceive her after all!
Well, if it comes to this, I should call Ann or Una―――――
「Call for help if you want. That is, if you can.」
As if she could read my thoughts, Elibel laughs.
「I’ve set up a barrier that cuts off your thought transmission to the outside. No matter how much you scream, no help will come.」
『Ah… Ahh… AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!』
My scream echoed in the deep area.
After desperate persuasion, I managed to get away with just one claw and five scales.
It was extremely painful.
Magic-Blocking Barrier: Developed by Elibel
A new spell formula devised by Elibel that confines thought transmission of specific wavelengths within the barrier.
Successfully developed using Earth’s blood.
This superior barrier not only cuts off communication with the outside, but also blocks long-distance support spells.
Planned to be installed in middle and later floors.