Chapter 69 - High Elf Ellenoa #3
It was a bit late due to the dinner party with Earl Bergen, but the moon was still in the middle of the sky. Perhaps there was still some time until midnight. It wouldn't be a problem to have a quick conversation in the room where Ellenoa was staying.
Theodore asked for Vince's understanding before turning around.
"Then, guide me."
To anyone looking at Theo right now, it would seem like he was speaking to no one. However, he had the ability to see what ordinary people couldn't see. This was a power which elves were born with-eyes which could see elementals. It was a translucent bird-shaped elemental which conveyed Ellenoa's voice to him.
The bird-shaped elemental was the low class elemental, Sylph, seen in [Introduction to Elemental Magic]. The wind attribute was convenient for conveying 'sound', so sylphs were often used as messengers.
The sylph might not have a clear ego like Mitra, but the sparrow like elemental nodded and sped off. It flew a few steps ahead of Theodore. Unlike ordinary birds, it didn't need to flap its wings to prevent themselves from falling. This was because the body of the sylph was closer to a spirit body.
'By the way, this mansion is really wide.'
It would never run out of room for guests. Theo realized this fact directly as the sylph only led him around five corners and yet the number of rooms he passed was already in the double digits. He walked for almost 10 minutes before arriving at the annex where Ellenoa was located.
If an earl's house was like this, he didn't want to know what type of maze the house of a marquis or duke would be.
Theodore stopped in front of the door and stroked the sylph. "Thanks for guiding me."
Pororong. Perhaps due to its mood, the sylph let out a pleasant sound before disappearing into the air.
Originally, elementals were invisible to human eyes. Once the supply of magic power was cut off, it would melt back into nature. Lower class elementals were different from the higher class elementals who had independent existences and were nothing like breezes in fields.
At that moment, a clear voice rang out from beyond the door, "Come in."
Theodore turned the doorknob and was hit with a thick, sweet scent. It was the smell of ripe fruit. He had only eaten it a few times, but the fragrance still remained in his memories. Theodore's expression was a stunned one as he saw the sight beyond the door. Ellenoa's room completely defied common sense.
"...Grapevines?" He spoke in a bemused voice as he touched the grapevines covering the wall.
It was a thick vine which was hard to see even in proper orchards. What about the grapes hanging from the vines? Each one was as big as a walnut. Even though he didn't eat the grapes, he could already feel the sweetness of the juice contained within them. This was a sight which was impossible to imagine existing in the room of a nobleman's mansion.
Ellenoa sat in the center of the green room. "Good evening Theodore."
She was like a flower or leaf which blended perfectly in with this far-fetched landscape. There were a few potted plants at her feet and grapevines surrounding her. Theo was observing the strange sight and replied belatedly, "Ah, good evening."
"Are you curious? I planted the seeds of the grapes that I had for dinner. Would you like to try one?"
'These vines grew from a grape seed planted in the evening?' The stunned Theo picked a grape and ate it.
As expected, the juices were sweet and rich, moistening the inside of his mouth with the flavour. Even for those who drank wine, the taste exceeded that of wine made from grapes. If the high elves set up an orchard, then other orchards would be ruined.
Theo sat on the chair opposite Ellenoa and ate a few more grapes. "...I'm sorry."
"No. Rather, it feels good. I was worried about whether it would suit the palate of a human."
"That's impossible. Anyone would welcome such fruit."
Was the atmosphere good due to the delicious food? It was surprising the conversation between the two people didn't start out awkwardly.
At first, Ellenoa thanked him for the rescue, then they talked about the power of the high elves before moving on to Ellenoa's neutral appearance.
She told Theo the reason, "It is natural for people like Theodore to feel uncomfortable at the sight of my appearance."
According to Ellenoa, high elves were more like elementals than elves. They didn't need to eat often, they wouldn't die of starvation, and they wouldn't feel tired even if they didn't sleep. Thanks to the atavism of their ancestors, their gender fell upon a vague boundary.
"So, Ellenoa has no gender?"
"Um... It is a little different. The term 'neutral' may be a closer match."
Yes, Ellenoa nodded with a slightly flushed face.
"We are born female instead of male, but once we have decided on our mate, this will change according to their gender. If the partner is a male, I will become a female. If they are a female, I will be a male."
"Yes, I still haven't met a mate."
Well, it made sense. He glanced unconsciously at Ellenoa before looking away.
Theo had the memories of Lee Yoonsung, the descendant of an eastern warrior, so his knowledge of the human body had increased greatly. He could easily recognize a male and female body. Despite that, he couldn't distinguish Ellenoa's gender. It was because her gender hadn't been decided yet.
As he listened quietly, he suddenly had a thought, 'Haven't I learned a lot about high elves?'
It was as he thought. Right now, Theodore probably had more knowledge about high elves than anyone else in the kingdom. If he wrote a book, then it was obvious that the elf scholars would come running. He would be able to sweep up a few hundred gold in one go.
However, such worldly desires seemed meaningless when he gazed into Ellenoa's clear eyes.
It was time for the reason why she called him here.
"Can you summon the one who signed the contract with Theodore?"
* * *
There was an answer as soon as he pulled the cord of the contract.
[Hoing!] As always, Mitra appeared with a loud sound as her head popped out of a pot planted with a grape seed. Looking just like a mole, she looked around and leaped out with a smile the moment she saw Ellenoa.
"Oh, my god." Ellenoa was confused when Mitra suddenly jumped onto the palm of her hand.
Mitra hugged the index finger like it was warm. Theo wasn't very sensitive, but he couldn't help the thump of his heart. This was despite the fact that Ellenoa was gender neutral.
"...I only heard the stories, but I didn't know you were so cute." Ellenoa smiled sweetly at Mitra before turning to face Theodore again. "How much does Theodore know about this?"
"I just know that she is an ancient elemental and is an exception to the ranks of the Elemental World."
"Yes, that is true." Ellenoa smiled and placed Mitra on her shoulder. Mitra was confused by the sudden loss of the finger, but she soon started to climb Ellenoa's green hair like it was a rope. Mitra looked like a cicada on a tree branch.
Ellenoa ignored her and continued the explanation, "Please listen. An ancient elemental isn't necessarily a member of the Elemental World. They are considered to be 'seeds' of a much more mysterious and higher existence."
"Yes, this is an example."
As soon as she unfurled her left hand, wind formed the translucent shape of a giant. Horns rose from the giant's head like a crown, and its body was as hard as armour. It seemed to be a giant from the myths.
As Theo gazed at it, Ellenoa nodded and told him its identity, "This is an illusion of Zephyr, the god of the wind who existed a long time ago. According to the myths, he brought a storm to the earth by turning the world around and sighing."
"Old god, Zephyr..."
"He is also the prototype of the ancient spirit, Jeros, who signed a contract with Myrdal Herseim 120 years ago."
'Myrdal Herseim!' Theodore's face stiffened at the unexpected name.
Why had that name emerged? No, he was the greatest elementalist of the century, so it was natural for the elves to know his name. As humans developed, their connection to the forces of nature weakened. Myrdal was the only one who was able to call an elemental king.
Ellenoa noticed his agitation and paused for a few moments. "Not all of the old gods were as divine as Zephyr, but it is certain that they were like him. For some reason, they lost their 'status' and the fragments of their bodies became seeds. The seeds that germinated became those known as ancient elementals."
The two people gazed at someone who might've been a mighty god.
Mitra, who was braiding Ellenoa's hair, looked up as she felt their gazes. She looked much like a mischievous child playing with dirt. It was hard to believe that such a cute earth doll had once been a mighty god.
Ellenoa understood Theo's unasked question and grabbed Mitra. Then she stared into Theodore's eyes and presented him with two choices.
"If you like, I can try to revive some of her strength. It won't be on the same level as the prototype, but she can probably regain the power of a lieutenant level elemental."
Certainly, Mitra wasn't significantly different from other elementals except for the fact that she had an ego. In the absence of Theo's magic power, her abilities were greatly reduced, and she couldn't even appear freely in the earth. If she became lieutenant level, she could cross some of those limits.
However, before deciding, Theodore asked Mitra, "Mitra, what do you want to do?"
Ellenoa smiled secretly at Theo's act of not one-sidedly controlling the elemental. Theo didn't know it, but that was close to how elves behaved. It was why other elves favoured him, despite not knowing about Mitra's presence.
So, what was the reply? Mitra worried for a moment before... [Hoing!]
'I will!' was what she meant. Theodore stroked Mitra's head a few times before handing her to Ellenoa.
"Please do so, Ellenoa."
"Then I will. Just think of it as repaying some of what I owe you." Ellenoa didn't give him a chance to reply as she held Mitra in both hands. "Then I will start."
A light filled with vitality covered the room where the two people were located.