We crossed the mountain range and arrived at Galbaran.
Galbaran is a great country formed by the Beastkin race. The reason is evident: It is said that their country was able to achieve peace and tranquility thanks to its strategic location, the mountains providing natural protection.
In addition, this place protects the rest of the countries located further away from the center of the continent, as the beastkin stops the demons that try to infiltrate.
But that doesn't mean we are grateful to them.
These savage beasts will take advantage of us if we show them leniency.
Noble elves should not have to share a table with such filthy beasts. Though it would not be wise to provoke them either.
They have too much power.
Though if we were to go to war, we would probably win against them, but there is no reason to take that gamble.
Above all, it would be a loss for us if this nation falls.
We ceremonially salute the thirty-fifth king Gorio A. Biskent.
"Hero of Petardaus, what a sudden visit."
"I thank you for granting me an audience despite my sudden visit."
"Good, because I'd like to see an elf's face once in a while. What's it like to live in such a remote place? You must be tired of all that fish - ha ha ha!"
"Yes, I am thankful everyday for the fruits of the sea."
I clenched my fists.
They think they are better than us because their lands are more inland than ours.
That's why I didn't want to visit this place.
In the past, the Elves lived near the center of the continent.
And the beastkin were a race they had no right to address us.
I think it's about time we reclaim our true lands.
"Now why did the hero of his country come here?"
"It's about the Demon King Rudra."
As soon as I mentioned the name, the king's expression changed.
I guess he would know something about him.
"I am rather concerned about this matter. Recently, there has been an upsurge in the Demon's activity. Not only have they sent letters demanding total surrender, but they have also sent soldiers into our country in an attempt to start a civil war. Several remote villages have been attacked and countermeasures are being rushed."
It looks like we are being attacked by Rudra more than we thought.
That's very convenient.
If I show these Beasts how good I am, and gain strong support, the defeat of the demon king Rudra will be imminent.
"We elves also want to defeat Rudra. I would like to ask for your support."
"So your goal is to defeat Rudra?"
"Yes. Petardaus sent me for that purpose."
"...Unfortunately we have no one with the job of Hero in our country, and even if we can repel their attacks, we still need someone with a lot of... Well, you have my support, Hero Zig."
"Thank you, Your Majesty."
I raised my head expectantly.
But the king lifted the corners of his mouth sharply.
"But I don't like elves. They are proud, cunning, and they are the kind of people who betray you at the last moment. So you must prove to me that I can trust you."
"Do you want me to fulfill some request to receive your support?"
"Yes. If you succeed, you will have my full support. All you have to do is exterminate all the demons hiding under the city."
"In what area exactly are they hiding...?"
"I have my soldiers looking for them, but we haven't hit their hideout yet. They usually send out small groups with their magic to distract us. In fact, I'm planning a large-scale operation in the near future. If you manage to take care of this problem, I'll include you in it."
A large-scale operation, apparently, to destroy one of Rudra's bases.
If I can make a splendid show of strength here, my name will be known throughout this country.
I can't wait to see these damn filthy beasts bow down in front of me. And then I'll stomp on their heads.
That would be most entertaining.
"I'll see to it."
"I'm really looking forward to it, Hero Zig."
"Damn it, what the hell is this place!?"
I had my head in my hands.
I went to the ruins below the city to look for the demon forces, but this place is so confusing I have no idea where I am.
Celtina and Aide have split up, so now I'm alone and lost.
I looked to my right and left, but there were no signs to guide me.
Many people were coming and going through the streets, and endless vapors were coming out of the stalls.
In addition to the beasts that lived in this place, other races such as dark elves and dwarves were mingling, and I could also see some dangerous looking races.
I accidentally bumped into a man from the tiger tribe.
"Hey kid, you better watch where you're walking."
"You better watch where you're going."
"Ho? Are you trying to say it was my fault? Typical rude elves who can't apologize after bumping into someone. We should teach this boy some manners."
A man from the bear tribe and another from the monkey tribe stepped forward.
Both had intimidating looks on their vicious faces.
I got a strange feeling of unease. So I walked away as fast as I could.
"Hey, wait! I haven't received an apology yet!"
"Don't run, elf!!!"
The two men chase after me.
I am afraid.
It's an instinctive fear of what they might do to me.
I kept running down the dreary road, squeezing through the crowd.
I managed to duck into an alley and dropped behind a garbage can.
"Hahaha, did you see how fast that lousy elf ran?"
"He's probably a sergeant somewhere since he was wearing really good clothes. He probably makes money by threatening people."
"Can I attack first? That's how I like it."
"Don't even think about it. You wrecked the last one and we didn't even get to play with it."
Those guys are having a conversation right next to me.
Please go away.
"I'll go that way."
"Fine, I'll go that way."
The two men split up and ran off.
"There you are!☆ Where have you been, Zig?☆"
"....Did you get lost?"
"Shut up. What do you care?"
I rejoined Celtina and Aide.
"What's the matter, Zig? You look so shaken ☆ Why is there no glow on your face?"
"...He looks like he's in a bad mood. Leave him alone."
"We can go out if you want, Zig☆ We can go on a date if that makes you happy☆"
"Shut up, you're annoying. I want to find the demons and get out of here."
I pushed away Celtina, who clung to my arm.
Do you think the woman who started following me just because I casually saved her from being attacked by a demon can ever be something special to me?
I'm quite annoyed.
Aide walked up to me and spoke to me.
"Don't you think you're being too hard on her?"
"I don't care. She's half elf - half human. I'm not interested in dirty mixed bloods like her."
"Then can I have her?"
"...I'm kidding. Someone who genuinely cares about you is very valuable and, whoever you are, you should value those around you before you regret your shallowness."
I turned to look at Celtina.
She had tears in her eyes. I never imagined I would see her that way, she always acts so cheerful.
Aide is right. There is no one else who loves me as deeply as she does.
There is no other woman who is as good to me as she is.
I'll be a little nicer to her. If this girl walks away from me, I'll have a problem.
"Well, we can walk holding hands once in a while."
Celtina approaches Aide and whispers; "Thank you☆"
"Thank you... Ha..."
For a moment I thought Aide had laughed.