My name is Elelelelcy.
I was permitted to use four of the sacred “El” word in my name.
In short, I’m a bigwig.
After all, I am a High Elf, a superior species only a handful of elves evolve into.
Originally, elves were a race that lived and prospered with the forest.
We High Elves are the ultimate beings.
Taking in the clean air and mana brings about changes in an elf’s body that causes them to evolve.
High Elves are invincible in the forest with their pure mana and adaptability that far exceeds that of normal elves.
We can even fight the Demon King equally.
Our body, filled with the forest’s pure mana, will never age.
I myself am about to reach 200 years old, but my skin is as supple as a baby’s, and my hair is silky smooth.
A girl in her forties would probably look even older than me.
However, we also have a serious flaw: the normal air and mana outside the forest are polluted to us; it’s almost poisonous.
Therefore, if I were to go outside and breathe in the air, my body would drastically deteriorate.
High Elves are destined to never set foot outside; it’s the price that comes with being loved by the forest.
As such, the forest’s survival is a matter of life and death to us.
As time went by, it became more barren and infertile.
Lush areas withered over the course of ten or twenty years until not even a single blade of grass could grow.
I knew an invisible force was eating away at our home, but there was nothing I could do.
As the once rich and wide forest became smaller and smaller, like a leaf being eaten by a caterpillar, we elves also began to feel suffocated.
Many lives were lost in the futile struggle for a cramped living space.
Eventually, the elves were divided into several factions with different opinions.
One faction sets off in search of another forest, while another believes that other races are responsible for the dying forest and are stealing from the Demon and Human Kingdoms as a form of revenge.
I don’t belong to either of them.
I’m a High Elf, after all.
I cannot leave this place since its pure mana sustains me.
It is my fate to live and die with the forest that we’ve become one with.
And it is my pride.
At present, I live quietly with a few other High Elves and a dozen normal elves who have stayed behind in sympathy.
We’ll welcome our ruin in the not-too-distant future.
But one day, something unexpected happened.
A report came from the ordinary elves who could come and go freely.
“The Human Kingdom has collapsed!” they said.
I didn’t know nations could get destroyed. They existed way before I was born, anyway.
But to be honest, when I heard the report, all I could think was, “So what?”
We elves are not involved in worldly affairs. No matter what kind of major incident happens outside our realm, it’s none of our business.
But apparently not, according to the young elf.
The reason our forest has been withering is the thaumaturgy magic used by the human race, you say?
The human race’s magic is forcibly taking mana from the earth, weakening nature’s power.
If the Human Kingdom was destroyed, the magic barrier they set up would cease, and the stolen mana would return.
Then we won’t perish either, will we?
Our forest will stop dying, and at least it won’t completely die.
If things go well, the returned mana will revitalize our home and return it to its former glory!
It all sounds too good to be true.
But another change in another direction.
The Demon King’s Army came.
They said they were the ones who destroyed the Human Kingdom.
Are they here to announce the change of ruler?
Sorry to say, but the Elven Forest is not under anyone’s control.
We serve only the forest that keeps us alive.
If they want to play ruler, they can do that outside. We have nothing to do with this.
Huh? That’s not it?
I thought you were going to ask us to swear an oath of vassalage.
The humans came here a few times to do that.
And each time, we beat them up and turned them away.
But you’re saying you demons are different?
“What we want is the revival of the Elven Forest.”
I was surprised to see an elf come out of the demon group.
“I am Elzariel, granddaughter of the mighty Eltoelmoels.”
Oh? You’re the grandchild of that mad warrior who abandoned the forest some time ago?
Why are you working with the demon race?
“The situation outside is changing rapidly. My coming here with the demon army is part of it.”
What do you want?
Aforestateshun… A-forest-ateshun… A-forest-ate… A… Forest eating?!
Are you trying to put an end to our dying forest, you glutton?!
“No! It’s planting trees!!!”
As I listened more carefully to this elf, I began to understand what she meant.
She wants to revive the forest by planting young saplings to grow in the now barren areas.
“This method will restore the forest much faster and more efficiently than letting nature take its course.”
“I believe this project is worthwhile, so I came to you today to ask for your cooperation as you haven’t abandoned the forest even in this hard time.”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an outsider elf, so I should be happy.
But what she’s asking for is foolish.
I say, “I get what you want. Now leave.”
“I don’t care what you people do in the outside world, be it going to war or killing each other. We don’t allow the outside world to interfere with us.”
“But this is meant to revive the forest…”
Are we obliged to obey just because it’s beneficial to us?
What repulsive self-aggrandizement.
Listen, this forest belongs only to the elves who respect it.
I won’t let anyone from outside tamper with the forest, a god-like existence to us.
A forest is only a forest when it is nurtured by nature.
Making it grow efficiently, you say? Ludicrous!
“Such an act is an insolent attempt by man to control our home. We, daughters of the forest, will not tolerate such wickedness. Persisting will only get you punished.”
“You’d rather hold us back than cooperate?!”
Eltoelmoels’ grandchild suddenly looks at me like a wild beast.
So, she does have the blood of a warrior in her.
“The elves outside are just stray cats who have lost their pride. They don’t understand the forest’s nature and conform with the other fools. Elves like you can no longer be called elves!”
“Just as I thought. I shouldn’t have expected a stubborn elf to understand. But this is something that has already been decided. You old hag can’t do anything about it!”
“Oh, are you going to bare your fangs now? Very well. I’ll show you that no one can defeat the elves in the forest. I know you’re also an elf, but will your city-weakened instincts serve you well?”
And so, the negotiation broke down.
Sooner or later, the new ruler would come to conquer us.
It’s no big deal.
This has been happening since the human race’s reign.
The greedy royalty of the human race has repeatedly pressured us to obey them and send several beautiful elves as servants.
Each time, we beat them to a pulp.
It doesn’t matter whether the ruler is a human or a demon.
We elves are independent and unrestrained!
If you can’t accept that, come at us!!!
A few days later, the demons came back to attack.
Fools. No matter how cramped the forest is, we elves are invincible in its embrace.
Blending in with the trees, we are completely unnoticeable and can shoot a hundred arrows that nullify magic barriers.
They should know the fear of being hunted prey.
…Or so I thought.
We were wiped out by a single goblin.
the afforestation ‘joke’ got lost in translation
植林=afforestation 食林=eat-forest (not an actual word)