After leaving the nation of Galbaran, we set out to cross the great forest with the beast Silkbeard.
"After all the trouble we've been through, getting all this gold makes me feel a little rich☆"
"Hmm, don't forget it's all thanks to me."
"Yes, Zig is a handsome and nice hero☆"
"Is something wrong, Aide?"
For some reason, Aide was in a very good mood.
I guess he was happy about the scroll he got.
It seems he had already used the scroll, but he still didn't show his face.
Suddenly, I turned my head to look at something I hadn't been aware of.
Immediately afterwards, there was an explosion and Silkbeard shook violently.
Is this a magical attack!?
Countless pink flashes fly up from the sides.
Every time we were hit, Silkbeard's balance was thrown off to such an extent that if we didn't hold on, we might fall down at any moment.
"Silkbeard, land now!"
"No, it's too late!"
"I'm going to fall☆ And at this height, I'll die!☆"
Finally the barrier broke, and Silkbeard fled just above the great forest at top speed as he started losing altitude.
The magical power of the attacks grew more powerful with each shot.
The rising columns of smoke easily exceeded fifty meters.
"Damn it, are you already at your limit!? You useless beast!"
The attacks have stopped, but now the fall is inevitable.
We barely made it through the large forest before Silkbeard crashed into a swamp.
"Don't move, or the wound will get worse."
When I opened my eyes, there was a girl in front of me.
My consciousness is still cloudy, and I can't clearly understand the current situation.
I unconsciously extended my hand, and she smiled softly
"I'm sorry. I could have helped you more if I had some medicine, but this is a small town in the middle of nowhere."
"What's your name?"
I fell back into a deep sleep.
I gaze at her as I lie in bed.
Tanya was a hard working girl. From the minute she woke up until nightfall, she was busy.
She was not a remarkably beautiful woman, and she always wore dirty clothes.
Besides, she's a human, which I hate.
However, there was something about her that strangely appealed to me.
"The doctor said you'll be okay and it's likely that you'll be back on your feet in a week. I still find it amazing that being an elf can give you such high resilience."
"For your information, I'm not a mere elf, I'm a high elf. And don't talk to me like we're equals. You and I are not of the same position."
"I'm so sorry!"
The woman was quick to apologize. Then I realized I had said something unnecessary.
No, that's not what I wanted to say.
"But I'll forgive you this time. So stay close and take care of me."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yes, you are special. Feel honored to be close to the hero Zig."
As she left the room, I peeked out from under the covers and looked at the door.
I will never make her suffer. I would give my life for her.
I tried to summon the beast out of my seal, but I didn't respond.
Hmm... I think it's taken more hits than I imagined. It refuses to come out.
I wanted to show Tanya how cool I am.
"What's wrong ☆"
"The beast doesn't want to come out."
"Well～ That's what happens when you get attacked really hard☆"
"This is useless. We'll walk from here."
We left the village on foot.
"Did you find out who attacked us?"
"The villagers told me it may have been the ancient demon king Roswell☆"
We were all heading west.
The two relayed all the information they had gathered over the last week.
It makes sense that it was an attack by the demon king.
But why did they attack us?
"...For some reason, they must have recognized us as the enemy."
"Then it's a bad idea for us to fly over this area."
I turned my gaze to Aide.
He reminded me of the man from my nightmares. And oddly enough he was wearing the same jet black armor.
Apparently, this town is near the swamp where we crashed.
Tanya lives with her parents in this village in the middle of nowhere. This village mostly consisted of humans.
There are also some beasts and dwarves, and they wield their power as one of the few forces in the village.
"Tomorrow I will be able to walk again."
"Good for you, Zig☆"
"....I was worried about you."
The doctor finally told me I was cured.
Celtina and Aide seemed more pleased than I was with the results.
I should be able to leave this rural town, but there was some sadness in my heart.
Ever since I got here, I've been thinking about Tanya.
I don't know what this feeling is.
It's a strange feeling I've never had before.
Everything I wanted was no longer important to me, and when I saw Tanya, I felt like everything around me was growing brighter.
Could this, perhaps, be love?
It's impossible. Me and that human girl who smells of potatoes?
But this ache I feel in my chest when I think of her is real.
That night, I had a strange dream.
"Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu ̄ "
"Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu."
What is that voice?
Where is it coming from?
"Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu, give me all of you."
"Who are you?"
"Oh, you're awake."
Before me stood a man who looked somewhat like me.
He was shrouded in darkness, and was wearing jet black armor.
But his face was different. It was hideous, distorted and evil looking, looking nothing like my own.
The corners of his mouth turn up sharply and he looks at me in my sleep, his eyes glazed with pleasure.
"Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu, what a delicious feast."
"What does that mean...?"
Countless black tubes came out of his armor and pierced two needle-like tips into my arms.
The tubes were moving rapidly as if they were sucking my body.
"Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu, I'm going to suck the life out of you."
"No, get away from me!"
"Sorry,Don't worry, I don't plan to kill you yet. I'm going to do it little by little."
"Your life is mine."
I vigorously got up from the bed.
My heart was pounding wildly in fear.
I looked around and found no one.
I looked at my arm and there were no puncture marks either.
Was it really just a dream...?
No, that was too real to be real.
Suddenly, I heard a creaking sound coming from nearby.
Someone was entering the house.
I got back into the futon again.
I shook the blood off my sword and slipped it into its sheath.
Tanya and the rest of the villagers screamed with excitement at the pile of dead monsters.
As thanks for protecting me and taking care of me when I was injured, I offered to finish off all the monsters of the night.
"Thank you very much, Zig-San!"
"It's nothing, it's a hero's job."
"Still, thank you very much for all you've done! And thanks to Aide-San and Celtina-San too!"
"You don't have to thank me☆ I didn't do it for you☆"
Tanya just bowed to me, but shook hands with Celtina and Aide.
I couldn't help but feel jealous. I was the one who proposed doing this. Tanya should be more grateful to me.
"...Tanya, you should thank Zig more for what we have done. If he hadn't suggested it, none of this would have happened."
"Um... Well, that's true. Thank you so much, Zig-San."
Tanya gives me a hug.
That was enough to make me feel like I was in heaven.
Well said, Aide. You're a good man.
On the day of our departure, Tanya comes over to say goodbye.
"You must come back to visit. Promise."
"After I defeat Rudra I will return, it is a promise."
I had fallen in love with Tanya during the week I spent there.
I don't know what exactly attracted me to her.
However, she shattered my sense of worth.
How could I, a noble high elf, fall in love with a lowly human girl?
When this journey is over, I will ask her to marry
"It's time you showed me your face."
"....I guess so."
Aide paused and removed his helmet."
"That's not it."
"...What do you mean?"
"No, I mean you chose a more normal face than I thought."
Aide's face was that of a young man I didn't recognize.
He may have encountered this person Galbaran, but I think he could have chosen a better one.
And it was obvious that Aide was an elf, judging by his ears.
"I had a feeling you were human, but apparently I was wrong. Well, I haven't cared for races lately, though."
"I really like your face, Aide☆ It looks a lot like Zig's☆"
"Where? We don't have any resemblance. I'm more handsome."
"...Hey, I'm still right here."
Aide puts his helmet back on.
There's nothing to worry about. After all, it was just a dream. Aide didn't steal my face.
And there's no change in his stats either.
But still... I can't get that voice out of my head.
Chi ~yu ̄ chi ~yu.