“Actually, Boss is alive?! Boss Elzariel is?!” asks Aileron, former leader of the elven bandits.
Aren’t you the boss, though?
“I’m the second-generation boss… The Thunderstorm Stonecutters was formed and founded by our senior, who was also the first boss.”
I thought Aileron was their boss from the very beginning.
“During Sis Elzariel’s days, we used to steal both from the Demon Kingdom and the Human Kingdom, but we were eventually driven by the authorities one day.”
Well… you were bandits.
“At that time, Boss single-handedly stopped our pursuers while the rest of us escaped… In exchange, only she was caught…”
That lines up with Aeshma’s story.
“We heard Boss has heroically died, so I had to take over, but… But to think she’s still alive!”
Let’s review how our elf team arrived here: They were wanted bandits who fled from place to place and ended up on our farm in the middle of nowhere, where they were caught trying to sneaking a bite off our tomatoes.
To atone for their crime, they were forced to work for us.
…Since then, they’ve become quite accustomed to life here.
“We’ve been lying low ever since our leader was captured…”
“Come to think of it, we haven’t had a single successful theft since you took over,” says Maelga, the former second-in-command.
Then, they embarked on farm life after that.
“Um… What happened to Boss, er, Senior, er, Sis?!”
She can’t even decide what to call someone whom she thought had been long dead.
“To tell you the truth, a pardon for her has already been decided.”
“Besides, Elzariel’s death sentence was handed down because the corrupt wealthy merchants and aristocrats who were victimized kept appealing stubbornly. With the amount of influence they had, the army could only listen to them.”
Those victims probably wanted maximum revenge.
“In the end, they’re nothing but corrupt… The recent reform has led to purges all over the nation. Therefore, sympathy for these chivalrous bandits became stronger, and we were able to issue new sentences that reduced their penalties.”
The change in circumstances allowed them to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment, huh?
“With Elzariel’s cooperation in the Elven Forest Revival Project, paperwork for clearing her name is underway.”
“H-Huh?! …Does that mean we’ll be declared as innocent too?!” asks Aileron, secretly hopeful.
“Well, if you help us with the project, you’ll be able to clear your name, too.”
“No! We’ll continue lying low on this farm for the rest of our lives!!!”
Do they not want to leave the farm that badly?
“But wait a minute. From what I understood based on the story, you don’t need our help anymore, right?” I ask.
It doesn’t look to me like there’s any problem left.
“Yes, but Astres said the elves here and Elzariel must be old friends, so we should reunite them.”
As expected of the Demon Queen, she has good intuition.
Aileron and the others must be happy to see their leader, who they thought was dead.
What a thoughtful idea!
“So, is Elzariel with you?”
“Yes, she’s one-sidedly attacking her former bandit allies as we speak.”
Yeah, I can see that.
There’s an elf shooting arrows non-stop with her bow.
What’s with her machine-gun-like firing speed?
Her opponents are Aileron and Maelga, the former leader and second-in-command, mercilessly cornered by arrows.
“You weak bastards! You’re unbelievable!”
The elf displays an inhuman rapid-fire technique.
She’s the only elf I haven’t seen before.
Compared to the others, she has a tough-looking body, similar to a macho person.
In addition to her dark complexion and long, pointy ears unique to elves, she also has scars on her beautiful, dignified face.
This new elf totally gives off fierce warrior vibes.
“Elzariel, the first leader of the elven bandits.”
She does look unique in her appearance.
In contrast to that, Aileron looks more like a nobody.
And then, Elzariel immediately asserts dominance and takes control of the elves upon her arrival.
Well, I heard she was the original leader, so I suppose things should be that way.
“Aileron… it seems you took over the group after I was gone?”
“Yes, ma’am! I am extremely delighted to see you again, safe and sound!”
Aileron is shrinking back in fear.
The superior-inferior relationship between them is so evident, even though they’re of the same status in essence.
“But of course! Sis Elzariel is allowed to have two Els in her name!” says Aileron in a whisper. “She formed the bandit group from scratch! I just succeeded her, the fiercest of the fierce!!!”
Now she’s praising her senior with no brakes.
You can instantly sense that she’s no ordinary elf just by looking at her from head to toe.
If I were to give examples from the same sex, I’d say Mrs. Astres or Mrs. Glasya.
“That makes her the strongest elf class, huh!”
But why is the strongest elf flipping out as soon as she makes an appearance?
“I am beyond sad! I can’t believe the Thunderstorm Stonecutters sunk so low after I was gone!”
“Where’s the pride of the forest-dwellers, of the chivalrous bandits?! Elves sleeping under a roof is just plain disgraceful!!!”
Did she perhaps witness these elves’ negligent behavior earlier?
If so, I can’t blame her for being at her wits’ end.
“…I am an elf who should have died at the executioner’s blade. But I managed to survive through their compassion.”
Seems like it.
“I should’ve gotten what I deserved, but I was asked to help revive the elven forest. Then, I found out my allies’ whereabouts in exchange for helping out and returning the favor! I wanted to see how you’re all doing before departing for my mission, but instead…”
She sees this tragic scene.
“It looks like I was mistaken in entrusting leadership to you, Aileron. Now that it’s come to this, I’m going to take all of you with me and discipline you from scratch while making you help with tree planting!”
The elves are resisting with all their might.
“Wait, Sis. Please listen to what I have to say.”
“Hmm, you must be Maelga, the calm and collected Number 3. Long time no see.”
“Long time no see, indeed. Aileron being the leader and me being second-in-command are all part of the past.”
Can Maelga, famous for her calm, cool, and collected demeanor, successfully convince their angry leader?
“We’ve also been through a lot since we parted ways. We were chased by both the Demon and Human Kingdoms and moved from place to place until we found our way here.”
“This place is our haven! Please don’t take it away from us!”
The calm elf could only plead.
Blunt and without an ounce of intelligence.
“You’ll also soon understand what kind of place this is, Sis… Lord Saint!”
“I’d like to give her a sausage if that’s all right with you!”
What’s this out of the blue?
If you’re talking about the sausages we just made, we have a lot of smoked ones stored, so you can heat and serve them any time.
They’re preserved food, after all.
With my permission, Maelga slices one of the sausages I brought and roasts it over the fire.
“T-That’s how you heat it?!”
“Come on, Sis! Give it a try!!!”
The sausage, now fully heated, is in Elzariel’s hands.
“What is this? Judging from its smell, it must be meat. But I’ve never seen anything like this before…”
Perhaps the good smell lured her despite finding its shape bizarre because she took a bite without hesitation.
The jet-black meat stick goes inside the veteran elf’s mouth.
Then, from its middle, a crisp sound escapes.
The meaty juices must be overflowing in her mouth.
I can tell from the expression she’s making.
“Do you realize now, Sis?!”
“You’ll never be able to leave the farm once you’ve tasted this!”
Our elves seem pretty pleased with her reaction.
“S-Shut up! Yeah, it’s delicious, but so what?! You better not be suggesting that you’ve been seduced by this meat stick!”
Their never-ending argument has begun.