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492 Elves of the Wind

 "Sir Rhode! Sir Rhode!"

"Argh..." After a while, Rhode regained consciousness and Lapis's screams had given him a huge headache. He felt powerless and his brain had as though been drilled into.

Rhode opened his eyes slowly and he saw Lapis's ashen face instantly. The young lady's forehead was full of sweat as she heaved a sigh of relief. "Sir, you collapsed so suddenly and I didn't know what to do. I would have gone to get Miss Marlene and the others to help if you didn't wake up."

"How... How long have I been unconscious?"

"Only for a few minutes, Sir Rhode. Fortunately, you didn't collide into anything when you collapsed."

"..." Rhode recalled the clutter of mess on the workshop ground and he believed that he must've been extremely lucky to not hit his head into anything... But why did I faint so suddenly? That's right. I came to the workshop to check on the twin daggers and... there was a burst of scarlet radiance when I touched their blades...

Rhode gazed at his right hand and there was nothing. But he was sure that what he saw wasn't imaginary. The scarlet radiance that he had witnessed was very similar to the one that he dreamed of when he met the little girl who looked exactly like him and Christie.

Are they related?

Rhode lifted his groggy head and sat up slowly. Shortly after, he felt a soft sensation at the back of his head as well as Lapis's soft shriek. Rhode ignored her and continued to stand up while holding his palm against his forehead. After a few moments, Rhode opened his eyes again and gazed at Lapis. "Phew... I feel much better now, Lapis. What's wrong...?"

Rhode found that apart from Lapis's pale expression, there was also a flush of red across her face. The young lady lifted her head and gazed at him blankly as though she had lost her soul. Rhode twitched his brows and asked curiously. Lapis shrieked, stood on her feet and explained with stutters. "Ah, n-nothing! Sir Rhode, I-I was just... in a daze."

"Oh..." Rhode wasn't too mindful of her explanation and odd behavior. After all, Lapis had always behaved this way. Even though her personality had somewhat changed after joining Starlight, she looked even more like a girl who never leaves her home now. "By the way, how are the two daggers?"

"They..." Lapis's expression turned strange instantly. She opened her mouth as though she wanted to speak, however, no words came out of her mouth and she pointed behind Rhode oddly. Rhode turned around and he was instantly astounded.

Two identical girls were asleep on the marble table. They had snowy long hair, slender waists, and adorable, angel-like faces. Rhode also spotted their unique pointy ears and the pattern that extended from their ears to their necks.

They were Elves.

"This... After Sir Rhode fainted, these two daggers... suddenly turned into two... elf ladies. I-I don't know what's going on..."

Rhode nodded in acknowledgment to Lapis's flustered explanation. Celestina had once mentioned that Rhode needed to rely on his own hard work to summon these two holy swords. It seemed that he had passed the test? But what exactly had he done? Escaping from the Duke Fiend? That indeed was a test of life and death for Rhode. If it weren't for Gracier and Madaras, he wouldn't have fled from the hands of the ferocious Duke Fiend. But these two holy swords appeared to be badly damaged too until this moment.

Rhode couldn't help but recall the dream he had last night. Could it be that the little girl was the key to awakening Gracier and Madaras?

"Their costume looks strange..." said Lapis curiously. Even though she knew that this wasn't polite of her, her curiosity had gotten over her after seeing the girls who had transformed from daggers.

Most of the Elves were Rangers and they would usually be clad in light-weight armor and a cape while shuttling back and forth in the forest with their bows. This was the impression that most people had about Elves and as a matter of fact, the Elves were the people of the forest and they were naturally born with outstanding talent. On the other hand, as an artificial Elf, Lapis had chosen the 'wrong' talent for her abilities - It was apparent that she had chosen to pump all her talent points on 'Knowledge' instead of 'Agility' and 'Dexterity'.

However, even though Lapis was a 'failed' product of an Elf, she still understood the ecological habits of the Elves. She was most suspicious about the clothing of the two girls. They were neither clad in Ranger costumes, Mage robe, nor the rare Elf Knight glass armor. Instead, they only wore white skin-tight bodysuits and their tiny bodies were wrapped around entirely by snowy cloaks worn like a religious robe. This strange outfit astonished Lapis because Elves didn't believe in the existence of gods. Even though the Elf Kingdom was the recognized family by the Judgement & Ruling Twin Dragons, their relationship was more like between a superior and its subordinate. The Elf Kingdom was unlike the Country of Darkness and Munn Kingdom who worshipped the Creator Dragon Souls as Gods. The longevity of the Elves allowed them to survive after the Creator Dragon Souls War and they almost led longer lives than the heirs of the Dragon Souls. Due to this reason, it was impossible for them to worship the Creator Dragon Souls alongside the humans.

"It isn't surprising that you haven't seen it before," Rhode said as he couldn't be more familiar with their outfit. "That's the costume of the Carlesdine."

"Carles... What? Sir Rhode?" questioned Lapis with a curious look.

"Carlesdine, which also means the 'Elves of the Wind'... This is a long-standing name in the history of the Elf Kingdom. To put it bluntly, they are the assassins of the Elf Kingdom."

"Huh!?!" Lapis jumped up in surprise. If the young lady was only just curious, right now she was entirely bewildered. "S-S-Sir Rhode? Are you sure? There are assassins... in the Elf Kingdom?"

Lapis couldn't believe her ears as she widened her eyes. Lapis summoned her courage and explained to Rhode frantically. "B-But there aren't any assassins in the Elf Kingdom. Only those sinister Dark Elves would choose such a despicable method..."

"Have you forgotten that the Dark Elves are in the same state as your Behermes Family, Lapis? The Dark Elves were also one group that split from the Elf Kingdom. Surely you wouldn't be thinking that the assassination techniques that the Dark Elves possessed were fathomed from spending an endless time in the underground, right?"

"..." Lapis pouted in dissatisfaction for the first time after Rhode compared the Behermes to the Dark Elves. But even so, her intellect took the upper hand over her emotions because it was indeed true that the Elf Kingdom didn't accept the Dark Elves' style of work. But, she still couldn't understand... "Why were there assassins in the Elf Kingdom, Sir Rhode? During those times..."

"The Creation War is unimaginable for you, Lapis. That era is totally different from now. Every race had a hard time living and they would do anything for the sake of survival. Lapis, you are the heir of the Behermes Family so you must be able to understand their thoughts." This time, Lapis pondered hard and didn't speak a word. Indeed, if it weren't for that war, the Behermes Family wouldn't have chosen to go against their will and use their own bare hands to violate the heavens. In the end, the Behermes Family was forced to be separated from the Elf Kingdom due to their differences in principles. Essentially, there wasn't too huge of a contrast between the Dark Elves and themselves.

Rhode shrugged at Lapis's complicated expression. He also knew that Lapis must be feeling terrible because, after all, the reputation of the Dark Elves were unprecedentedly poor and they belonged to the same race. However, Rhode had a more profound question that he discovered after explaining the facts to Lapis.

Celestina seemed to hail from the Ancient War Period and the equipment of these two girls also seemed to appear during the Creation War. Did this mean that there was some sort of connection between the Holy Sword Cards?

"Hmm..." Along with a soft moan, the two girls opened their eyes at the same time. Their eyes wandered around the workshop and finally, both of them focused their attention on Rhode.