Chapter 13: The Elf and Dragon
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Carringer had three doubts:
First, what caused the abyss infection near Black Tree Village? Second, who exactly is elf Rime? Third, why are the words and sentences from Rime so elegant?
Now that the first two doubts have been answered, only the third question remains.
Carringer returns from the bottom of the tower to the large library on the seventh floor. The books on the shelf were so abstruse that he would not even touch them. Instead, the book that lay on the table attracts his attention.
It’s a Book of Etiquette. It not only teaches elegant movements, but also explains what kind of response is appropriate for certain situations and so on. Carringer flips through the book. The book teaches how to write a letter to greet people, how to say hello to people they met for the first time, how to say goodbye politely and appropriately, how to give people a good impression of themselves, and so on. Carringer thinks about it. It seems that Rime read the book in the opposite way, doing everything opposite of what it says, striving to become an unpopular person who will not be remembered.
Carringer smiles and shakes his head. He didn’t know if this is the order of mage Jingh, such as ‘don’t let the villagers care too much about you.’
Carringer paid special attention to all the books with common language titles and found quite a few of them. From preaching social morality to etiquette and dealing with people, it also explains the local customs and customs of various countries, as well as some local chronicles of Black Tree Village.
According to Carringer’s knowledge, mages generally don’t keep such books. Even if they read them as children, they will never leave them in their study when they grow up. If they are discovered by outsiders, they would hide in embarrassment.
These books are in the moon tower obviously because Jingh wanted to teach Rime like a child.
Master and tool, mage and magic image, creator and works, parent and child. The relationship between Jingh and Rime is like the integration of all these things. He didn’t know what proportion of the part is closer to a parent and child.
It seems inaccurate to say that their relationship is just a mage and a magic image. The master does not need to teach etiquette to a tool, let alone explain the world to him. If we say that they are parents and children, it is still not true because parents give life to children, not to let them die in a planned way.
Even in the abyss, a demon’s mother may not mind the child’s death, but she will not design it in advance, and then educate him and get along with him. Carringer thinks that he knows human beings very well. Among human beings, mages are more difficult to understand. He doesn’t know much about elves, and Jingh is both an elf and a mage, so he can imagine the complexity.
It’s no use for him to understand Jingh. There are too many mysterious things in the world. You can understand them if you want, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t.
Carringer throws the book back on the desk and turns away from the study. He walks into the corridor, where the pontoon had just come up from the bottom of the tower, on which Rime sat. To be precise, it’s the body of Jingh, and the real Rime is still at the bottom of the tower.
When the saucer comes to a stop, Rime slowly holds the stone wall to his feet, and Carringer goes to help him. He lowers his head to avoid Carringer’s gaze as before.
“Is the pontoon moving? Is the magic system in the tower restored?” Carringer asked.
“Are you all right?” Carringer hugged him and leaned him against himself. “Is it particularly tiring? Do you want me to carry you? Are you too tired to speak?”
“No. The body is in good condition.”
“But you were in so much pain that your soul must be very tired.”
“Not bad. It’s going to be fine. Look, I have the strength to restore the magic in the tower.”
Carringer helped him back to the study and sat him in a soft chair, leaning himself against the desk. Without saying a word, Rime immediately went to work.
He quietly sorted out the documents and tools on his desk, checked each magic device on the ceiling, and tried to start the spherical quadrupeds again. All the actions are orderly, just like spending the most ordinary daily life of a mage, just like all the things before had never happened.
Carringer looked at him for a moment and asked, “I meant to give you a little more rest. Well, you really don’t have to lie down for a while or something?”
Rime shook his head. “No. I don’t need it.”
So he really is not an elf, and the way to rest is not to eat or sleep. The dragon under the tower has been detached from the crystal array. Although it is seriously damaged, it will not erode any more. For Rime, this is the best way to rest.
Rime was about to write. He picked up the glass pen, but his hand shook slightly. So he slowly put down the glass pen and replaced it with a feather pen.
Carringer gently holds his wrist whilst he is not writing. Rime doesn’t look up, but just keeps staring at the table.
Carringer asked, “Are you still a little afraid of me?”
Quite honest. “No wonder,” Carringer said. After all, he just showed him his real form.
He pauses for a moment and thinks if it would be strange to say, ‘I ate a little of you just now.’ Now that he was a man and spoke like a man, he changed his words and said, “Don’t be afraid. You are also a mage. You have read books. Abyssal creatures like me are not crazy and I will not hurt you again.”
“I know,” said Rime softly, “you didn’t go crazy just now. You’ve been very restrained. Thank you.”
“I’m not used to you saying thank you.” Carringer said.
“Shouldn’t I?” Rime asked
“Yes, you should,” Carringer said. “so don’t be afraid of me, okay?”
When he spoke, he still held Rime’s wrist, and he didn’t mean to pull back his hand. Carringer had previously stroked the broken front paw of the skeleton dragon on the crystal at the bottom of the tower. Now the slender wrist in his palm belongs to an elf corpse, but in his opinion, it is no different from touching the dragon.
Rime frowned a little and thought for a moment, then said, “Yes. I’ll do my best. “
Carringer sighs, “You answer so seriously that it’s hard for me to answer.”
When he said that, Rime stopped answering. Carringer finally let go of Rime’s wrist and continued to watch him busy but slowly dealing with the necessary affairs in the mage tower.
After a while, Carringer suddenly stands up, “Oh, no! I forgot!” He looks around, “Do you have a clock here?”
Rime gave him a direction. Carringer rushed to confirm it and then came back. When facing the element cluster just now, his expression was not as serious as it is now.
“I’ve been in the tower all night!” Carringer said calmly, “the villagers down the hill think you’re dead. Now I’m afraid they’ll think I’m dead too. I’ve got to go down the mountain quickly. I hope they don’t run out and call more people.” He takes a few steps and then looks back at Rime, “But… Are you dead or not? You decide.”
“How to decide?”
“If you’re not dead, we’ll make up a reason to say that you were protected by some kind of magic, and you came back from the dead again. If you are dead… That’s death, and I’ll say that everything has been settled and you’ll be buried in the mountains.”
Rime thought about it and said, “I’d better stay dead. The elf they know is Jingh. Jingh is gone. They should have a chance to miss him.”
Carringer said, “Maybe they know that you and Jingh are two different elves. They know that one is dead. What about the other?”
“Do you know why teacher called me ‘Rime?’”
“Because that’s the name of your bones?”
“Yes. The Dragon… It’s strange to say that it’s my body, but I’m not talking about myself. The name of the dragon is Rime.”
Among the numerous notes of Charlie Jingh, one section records the origins of the dragon. It is a silver dragon who died in a distant time, and the cause of death is beyond investigation. It has never defeated a demon, and it may not even have seen a demon at all. It belongs to a different age from the demon’s bones in the ancient battlefield, but it happened to stay in the same place.
When Jingh used its bones, he felt its secular name from the residual soul. Only after saying a few words left in th passage of time can his remaining soul finally disappear in the flow of magic.
“I think it’s better for me to be ‘dead,'” said Rime as he wrote, “Jingh is dead, and the real Rime has been dead for a long time. If you tell the villagers that I am alive again, they would have been sad in vain.”
Carringer said, “What’s wrong with a white lie? It’s sinful to deceive their feelings, so we’ll just cheat them to the end?”
Rime tilted his head. Judging from his expression, he didn’t seem to understand what was wrong with ‘cheat them to the end.’ After thinking for a moment, Rime said, “I just think that if people in Black Tree Village must feel sad for someone, it should be Jingh and Rime. Not me, but for the real Rime.”
Carringer didn’t quite understand the way the dragon thought, but he nodded. ‘Elf Rime’ is a small matter, but lies in different ways. He poked his head over to see what Rime was writing, It turns out it was a letter. If you look at it carefully, it is not a general letter, but a decent letter.
The content was not long, and the things explained are irrelevant, mainly to reflect that this is a will. The font is still beautiful, the writing is neat, and the wording is still furious, and some of it is almost intimidating.
“Why are you so cruel to them?” Carringer asked.
Rime subconsciously hid for a while, trying to cover the paper with his hand, which caused the tip of the pen to tremble, and the last few letters to go askew, unable to draw the perfect figure.
It’s more like a suicide note, and written on the verge of death.
Asked by Carringer, Rime frowned, “I’m not. In fact, I’m not so bored now, so I can be more peaceful. Maybe I’m just used to…
After listening to him, Carringer thought about it for a moment, and was a little surprised again – he didn’t pretend to be angry on purpose? He really was upset, so he wrote all sorts of elegant words naturally? He must be a really talented bone dragon.
“Why stare at me…” Rime looks up at Carringer.
Carringer said with a smile, “It’s nothing. I just wonder if the villagers know that the elf in the mountain is dead and there is no demon on the mountain anymore, will they run around Moon Tower all day? Don’t you mind that?”
“This mountain belongs to them. Besides, no one can find the entrance to the Moon Tower. They can’t get in and I won’t go out, so no one can disturb me.”
Rime found the envelope, folded it, sealed it, and handed it to Carringer. Carringer tucked it into his pocket and crinkled it deliberately, which made the letter look more misfortunate, like it was left in the mountains after a terrible battle.
They went to the top by a floating saucer, and the gate of the falling moon tower opened again.
Some morning light pours in through the door, Rime looks at the cold light on the floor and sighs.
Carringer sees his reaction, but says nothing more. Carringer walks out of the tower door and winks at Rime. “I’ll handle all the lies. Don’t worry.”
“You still have something you promised me to do.” Rime reminds him.
“I know, remember. To the Austrian Federation, right? Are those people really credible? Will no one have a bad idea?”
“A bunch of mages,” Rime said with a smile. “The worst idea they can have is to occupy the books and knowledge left by Jingh. But it doesn’t matter. Jingh’s intention was to give them books and experimental records.”
“Yeah,” Carringer nods. “I’ll go first.”
He turns his back to Rime, who bows gently to his back.
This time, the gate of Falling Moon Tower did not close immediately, but stayed open for a long time, until the hunter’s back disappeared in the forest.
As Carringer had expected, the situation in Black Tree Village was really gloomy.
In the early morning, there was no one working in the fields, and no one on the roads. Occasionally, a few children came to see Carringer and looked puzzled. Then they ran away quickly. He didn’t know if they had informed the adults.
As soon as Carringer got close to Pleasing Song Cottage, a group of people poured out of the shop. It seems that Pleasing Song Cottage is not only the village library, but also the village council hall.
People one by one had red eyes and waxy-yellow faces; it seems that they did not sleep the whole night. The resident bard and the shopkeeper pushed through the crowd, looked at Carringer in disbelief, and then both rushed at him.
Carringer ducked and yelled, “No, don’t hug me, I’ve got a rib injury!”
The mother and son stopped their hugging movements, and tears rolled in their eyes. Gradually, more and more people gathered around, the women burst into tears and laughed, the men raised their arms and cried, and several children chattered together, but they couldn’t hear what they were saying.
On this day, Carringer received a grand welcome. He could not figure out whether it was a welcome ceremony or a speech meeting. Anyway, most people in the village gathered inside and outside the Pleasing Song Cottage, and those who could not sit down crowded on the street. Carringer sat on a chair near the door, slowly telling what happened in the mountain forest.
People listened attentively and while he talked, there was also a poet with a small book,quickly recording the story.
Carringer’s version was neither the truth nor the minimalist version that Rime wants.
He said that he had talked with the elf in the mountains and learned the truth of the legend:
A long time ago, there lived a silver dragon on this land. Some demons took the opportunity to come to the human world and met the silver dragon. The silver dragon fought against many demons, but the demons were too powerful and too many. The silver dragon was outnumbered and finally died bravely.
The soul of the dragon did not return to the divine realm, but remained in the land, turning itself into a seal and imprisoning the demons underground.
In this way, for thousands of years, the land has been peaceful.
Later, the elf mage named Jingh came here. He learned the story of the silver dragon and stayed to study the method of eliminating the demon completely. Guided by the soul of the silver dragon, he completed one mysterious experiment after another, getting closer and closer to the goal of eradicating the demons.
To eliminate the demon, they needed to face it directly. But the demon was cunning and vicious, and the elf failed in the end. With this opportunity, the demon broke through the seal and was about to return to the world.
The elf felt sorry for the people at the foot of the mountain, so he took the last opportunity to dedicate his body to the ancient silver dragon, hoping that the silver dragon would revive and kill the demon.
The soul of the silver dragon accepted the elf’s body and turned into the elf mage with superb wisdom and powerful magical power. During his war with the demon, the foreign bounty hunters were responsible for the smaller escaping demons.
Finally, the ‘dragon mage’ killed the most powerful demon and ended the crisis. After the battle, the soul of the dragon left. As everyone knows, this legendary creature with divinity has a noble soul, and their soul will eventually go to the divine realm belonging to the real dragon.
After the dragon’s soul left, the elf’s body lost its vitality and became a corpse. According to the elf’s last words, he chose a burial place that no one could find and would never be disturbed.
That’s what happened.
Carringer said this as he finished his lunch. He originally wanted to suggest that the villagers also go to dinner first, but the villagers said that they were not hungry and would rather listen to him here. After all, there was silence in the house and on the street. Then some people sighed and whispered. In the corner, he didn’t know who started to clap but eventually everyone started clapping.
Amid the thunderous applause of the villagers, Carringer continued to eat, and the resident minstrel tuned the strings and even wanted to compose immediately.
Finally, Carringer gave the village head a personal letter from the “Dragon Mage”. He told them that the dragon mage trusted the villagers, so he was willing to let them know all this. He hoped that they would keep it as secret as possible, so as not to let outsiders know that the elf’s body was buried in the mountains. If a good adventurer hears the news, it will disturb the elf’s sleep.
The old village head nodded heavily, pointing to the resident bard who was tuning the strings: usually, foreigners were received by their family, and if he embellished his stories a bit, no outsider would believe it.
Carringer agrees. People in Black Tree Village believe this story. People with some skills will not believe it. It does not conform to the survival law of abyssal creatures and goes against the basic knowledge of the arcane.
In the afternoon, Carringer tells the villagers that he has to rush to the city to hand over the guild members, and must leave quickly. Seeing that he was wounded and had lost all his weapons, the villagers prepared two swords and a pile of food and medicine for him, and gave him an extra horse to carry things.
When he first arrived in Black Tree Village, Carringer thought that this task would not be easy to do, and would not be worth the loss. Now he is very happy. He is very glad that he did not refuse the entrustment.
For the Bounty Hunters Association, for real professionals, this incident is nothing more than an abyssal infection. The bounty hunter accepts the commission, kills the infected body, destroys the infection source and all is over.
As for the dragon and the elf, they will be written into songs, told as stories, and made into fictional characters in legends.
They will be remembered in poetry, not in reality. That’s enough. That’s better.