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201 The Elven Queen

 As the first humans who set foot on Trinia, the capital city of the wood elves, Edward's party could feel stares coming from every direction the moment they entered the city.

Though they were not used to the elves' pointing and gesturing, Edward and the rest did not have any other choice since they were now in someone else's territory. They were Players and certainly shouldn't be in a frenzy over such trifles, and so simply followed the Moon Keeper to the Castle of Lilies that stood at the heart of Trinia.

Unlike the tightly defended castles of the humans, there were just a handful of elves watching the stronghold.

"Are the wood elves that fine in character that there's no need to protect their queen's castle?" Joe asked Brom puzzledly.

"But of course. We live long lives, why would we perpetrate the same incomprehensible silliness you humans go about?" Brom declared proudly.

Gou Dan knew the contradictions of Brom's words, and so whispered to the fascinated Joe. "Don't be fooled by that fellow. Castle of Lilies is alive, and that's the reason there's no guards! It would just spring into life and slap any invaders to death!"

"How'd you know? Is that a special power Junglewalker has?" Joe asked interestedly.

"Can't you see those big words hanging above the castle itself?" Gou Dan replied in disappointment.

Joe looked up and saw that there was indeed a line of green text above the Castle of Lilies.

"Isn't that just the name of the building? It doesn't have a HP bar either..."

Gou Dan pursed his lips. "You fool. Have you seen the name of buildings back in the Unnamed Town? In the Lancaster Hideout? Why then would this building have a name? The reason it has no HP bar is because those are monsters, that we can kill and get item drops! Is there any Player who couldn't help poking at such an enormous monster?"

That made sense.

Joe promptly nodded, having understood it when Gou Dan made his point. Despite the lack of an HP bar, Joe found himself unable to resist letting loose his Divine Earthsplit Blade after realizing that the castle was alive.

Still, despite the general craziness of the Players, they could still weigh situations. As such, Joe did not really try to hit the castle after entering to see if a HP Bar would pop up...

On the other hand, although Brom naturally didn't know what the Players were thinking, he only felt disdain when he saw how Joe and Gou Dan kept glancing around like a pair of boys from the countryside while whispering persistent to each other after entering the castle.

He naturally wasn't aware that they weren't being stunned by the majestic beauty of the Castle Lilies, but were instead discussing something a little untoward for the wood elves.

"We're inside our enemy's body from a certain point of view. If that's the case, we should be able to pierce its defenses even if it's a drake."

"My Familiar Spirit can't break walls inside the castle. But since there are no anti-spectral bounded fields here, this thing had lived long enough!"

"Weakness Sense successful. It seems that the torch-like crystal over there is its weakness and could deal tons of damage."

"I could aim my Familiar Spirit too. Although its name is green, it's not really friendly..."

"Another crystal there? I see... it must be something like a brain. And according to how the crystals are arranged, there should be another four to five such crystals!"

"Got it, strategy confirmed! We just have to follow that path and be careful not to fall into any living traps while destroying every crystal along the way!"

Hence, even before they even reached the Elven Queen's reception chamber, the pair had already got the information they need in a few exchanges, even setting up a strategy and route against the unnamed monster.

Neither the Moon Keeper nor Brom Daystar sensed the evil scheme of the pair that could crumble the Castle of Lilies itself-as unlikely as the plan would actually be carried out-and continued towards the reception chamber with Edward and the others in tow.

It was the largest room in the Castle of Lilies, a venue resembling a king's court where the elves convened daily.

When they entered the chamber, the Elven Queen was already seated on a throne further inside the chamber, smiling in greeting.

"We have kept you waiting, Your Majesty. Here are our guests from the outside realm." The Moon Keeper spoke with a slight bow, with Brom doing the same beside him.

Edward glanced at his party and-startled by Joe who looked ready to walk up and start talking-quickly stepped forward and bowed in common human nobility standard. He learned that from Princess Leah and hoped to fool actual human nobles with it, and naturally didn't expect that the first time he used it is this place.

"Might I ask... your group are the believers of the God of Games, correct?" The Elven Queen looked no different from the other wood elves, and would pass off as a human lady in her twenties. She would be extraordinarily beautiful in human standards as well, albeit not standing out from the other elven woman Edward they met on their way here.

As a matter of fact, it was no different to how some often thought that people of color looked more or less the same-humans might therefore be blindsided when it came to looking at elves. Given that the wood elves had exquisite and elegant facial features, they would share many similarities. Moreover, wood elves would identify each other with their respective natural mana signature and certain tiny differences in facial features, and that method is too demanding for humans.

"We are. Apologies for intruding upon the territory of the wood elves." Edward replied sonorously without coming across as pompous or too humble.

The Elven Queen nodded, and turned to Jessica who looked rather uncomfortable. "And are you the brave warrior who has bound Sefarim?"

"W-Well..." Suddenly being called, Jessica was startled just like a student who had her named out by the teacher in class. Unsure how to respond, she eventually decided to guilelessly apologize in the end for stealing the elves' greatest treasure. "I-I'm sorry!"

"Hey, Nina. You spooked my little contractor."

On the other hand, Sefarim appeared quite happy for some reason-after having submitted to reality.

"I have been notified about what happened. Since it was Sefarim's own decision, you are not at fault." She then said mildly.

"Forgive my insolence, Your Majesty, but Sefarim is the greatest treasure the Silver Moon Goddess bestowed upon our race." Brom could not help interrupting. "It's not a deed easily forgiven if we let the humans have her so easily! Please bind that human girl by contract so that she can't leave Trinia for life!"

"Brom can be a little radical, but he's not being unreasonable..." The Elven Queen suddenly changed her stance.

Edward and the others promptly became alert, whereas Gou Dan and Joe were actually leering sinisterly at the crystal behind the Elven Queen.

"Be at ease, however, I certainly wouldn't keep her grounded in Trinia." The Elven Queen added then. "Human lives pass in the blink of an eye for us elves, and so I only hope that you would promise me something... When you are a hundred years old, please return Sefarim to Trinia."