Chapter 97 - State Guests of Elvenheim (3)
The news of the mission to Elvenheim spread through the magic towers and the Magic Society.
The king had commanded them to be silent about it, but it was unavoidable in order to find magicians to participate in the mission. Anyway, the number of Superior magicians currently in Mana-vil was less than 100, so there was little chance of it leaking onto the streets.
However, those who heard the news were ecstatic.
"At present, there are 93 Superior magicians remaining in Mana-vil, of which 71 are willing to participate in the delegation. Of the remaining, 13 wanted to apply but had to give up due to their circumstances," Vince smiled wryly as he explained the craze raging inside the Magic Society.
Elvenhein was the holy land of the elves where humans weren't allowed to step foot in, so the ability to explore that mysterious world pulled out desire even from magicians. Even if it wasn't a major expedition, it was worth going into the heart of the Great Forest.
The magicians of the magic towers were always thirsty for stimulation.
"...It is very noisy."
"Who wouldn't want to go? It may not be exposed to the outside, but it is currently an unbearable situation where people are mobilizing all types of bribes or stories."
Elvenheim was a mystical land overflowing with elementals and mana. So far, the kingdom of the elves had never been exposed. It was a sanctuary where six high elves were staying. If the magicians could see the hidden secrets, they would be able to jump years or decades in understanding.
Some people wanted to cross the 'wall,' while others wanted to acquire new research material. Magicians with their own purpose tried to show their worth to the White Tower Master, Orta.
In a sense, Kurt III had made the best judgment when he entrusted the recruitment to the White Tower Master. If it were Theodore who didn't know politics, who knew what would happen?
"Hoo... It might seem a little pathetic, but I'm glad I don't have that role."
"Haha, it is true for me as well. If you were to act as the screening officer, I wouldn't even have time to talk to you."
There was a difference in treatment of a Superior ranked magician and a tower master. Needless to say, it was much easier to approach a Superior magician with a bribe than a tower master. Kurt III had considered this, which was why he hadn't given Theodore the authority.
Vince explained up to there and got up. "I should go. There isn't much time left until the interview?"
"It is the instruction from the White Tower Master. He told us to summarize what national interest we can obtain from Elvenheim."
In the end, Theodore couldn't help laughing. "Aren't you busy with your study of the ancient language?"
"Well, shouldn't I get fresh air sometimes? Besides, I may be able to find some clues in Elvenheim. If you think about it, elves are like witnesses of history, so it is a reasonable conclusion."
Vince's words weren't wrong. Elves lived more than three times as long as humans, so Theo couldn't deny the possibility that records of ancient languages could be left in Elvenheim's library.
However, Theo didn't nod and whispered to Vince who was standing stiffly, "Master, isn't that an excuse?"
"Uhuh! I like intelligent disciples, but disciples who are sharp are uncomfortable."
In a word, Theo was correct. The two people looked at each other and laughed. Then Vince headed for his private room. Just as he was about to move away from Theo, he looked back like he thought of something.
"That reminds me, I saw that the child is participating in the application as well. Her interview papers are well prepared, so she may surprisingly pass."
Indeed, a genius who had reached the 5th Circle before 20 years old was entitled to apply for this mission. Sylvia had been helping with his training for a month, but a genius was a genius. She had prepared enough to apply for the mission.
Theo nodded with admiration, but Vince sighed lightly at his reaction.
"That kid still has a long way to go. This is why the parties..."
"No, it is nothing. It isn't a story that a third party should be talking about." Vince let it pass and returned to his room.
Theodore remained alone in his private room and didn't think about anything.
* * *
Exactly three days afterwards, the White Tower Master verified the reasoning and capabilities of the magicians, and ruthlessly dismissed them.
Magicians were scholars who sought to explore the mysteries of magic, so senior magicians held a lot of knowledge. As a tower master, it wasn't surprising that Orta's amount of knowledge was already equivalent to a few libraries.
"Gathering wild herbs for the purpose of breeding. I'm sorry, but the B2-Mandragora doesn't grow in the Great Forest. Maybe you should study more herbs in the western swamps."
"P-Please forgive me once!"
"Exploring elemental magic at Elvenheim? It is reasonable, but don't you know that elves abhor the act of enchanting elementals? This isn't an exploration but a mission. Dismissed."
Orta didn't miss the manipulation of research data and also knew lesser known elven customs. He had a wider range of knowledge, and his ability to conduct himself was better than that of any other tower master.
Magicians who were stupid enough to prepare in Orta's vicinity and those who made mistakes were sent away by Orta. Fortunately, Theo's acquaintances didn't fall into such cases.
Theodore received the list of names a few hours before departure and found two names on it. "Red Tower, Vince Haidel... and Blue Tower's Sylvia Adruncus."
Both were amazing. They had competed with over 70 magicians of the same rank and won. Vince had accumulated his experience, while Sylvia was younger than 20. Wouldn't the eliminated magicians be grabbing their wine bottles by now?
Then at that moment...
[Hoing!] Mitra sprang up from a pot on the window, flew into the air, and hit Theodore's cheek. Mitra emerged lost in thought, so she was also surprised.
However, Theo didn't get a chance to ask as his senses stirred. There was a presence which couldn't be ignored by his sixth sense. It seemed to be both here and nowhere. This was different from Veronica, but the presence was so great that it was hard to ignore.
If he had to express it in words, the presence was close to a non-materialized elemental. Theo's logic grasped the identity of the person before his intuition did. "Sir Edwin?"
He opened the door and pretended to be surprised.
"...Ah, excuse me. I don't know about etiquette, so..."
"You can come inside. Next time, tap lightly on the door a few times."
"Ah! Is that called 'knocking'?" Edwin responded as he entered through the door. Unlike his mysterious appearance, he seemed different when he was not facing the king and nobles.
Edwin crossed the threshold carefully and sat on a chair according to Theo's instructions. Then he gazed at Theo with glowing eyes. "I'm sorry for seeing you separately so late. I wanted to come find you on the first day, but my duties slowed my steps. I am glad to see you like this."
"It is a pleasure to meet you. Then..." Theodore asked without hiding his expression, "Why are you acting so polite? From my perspective, Sir Edwin's attitude is a little burdensome."
"Huh? Is that so?" However, Edwin's response was more surprising. He stared at Theo blankly with an expression indicating that he didn't understand. "You don't have to be burdened. You are the strength and grace that rescued Ellenoa! The saviour of one of Arv's blood isn't lacking at all."
"No, that isn't..."
"I don't know about human customs, but it is natural for us to treat you with such honour. Please understand."
It was a culture shock, so Theo didn't know what to do.
From his point of view, a master level person was able to flaunt their position in any country. The possession of that sort of strength could break through any social structure like identity, rank, or wealth! Theo had never dreamed that such a transcendental being would act like this toward him.
It seemed different from humans who focused on individuals. Elves were faithful to the value of a group. The difference in perception between the two species was hard to accept, even for Theo. However, it would be rude to ask Edwin further, so Theo decided to tolerate it. Apart from the awkwardness that filled his body, the courteous treatment wasn't doing any harm.
However, that decision was tested in a few minutes..
"Benefactor, is there any place that you want to go to in Elvenheim? I will be happy to take you there."
"I don't know any places, so..."
"Ah, that's right. I was too short-sighted. I will show you things you will appreciate."
"It is okay if you do it moderately, moderately."
Edwin kept asking him questions enthusiastically, while Theodore replied with a weary face. The exchange between human and elf was rare in this era. Compared to Theo's first impression of him, Edwin was a surprisingly talkative elf. Theodore liked to be silent, so he couldn't help feeling pained.
Thus, it was inevitable that the subject was changed.
"That..." Edwin held a gift from Ellenoa.
It was a seed which gave out a bluish light. As soon as the cloth was untied, a fragrant scent rose up from the seed. It attracted Mitra and all the elementals around Edwin! They came running with loud sounds.
Edwin smiled brightly at Theo's reaction and explained its identity, "The seed of the world tree. Of course, it is different from the myths, but it still has this effect."
[Deo! Deoo!] Mitra drooled and at pulled Theo's clothing. Theo couldn't ignore it and hugged her.
Then Edwin suddenly extended the seed to Mitra. "This is a message from Ellenoa. Give this 'seed' to Mitra."