We were just about finished with restraining the elves.
The AI spoke to Luxon and me.
[It has come to my understanding that we had lost in the end. That being the case, this facility will need to self-destruct.]
“You guys sure like to self-destruct. Isn’t that the same response Luxon made?”
Thereupon, the AI began to talk about the role of the historic ruins and this research institution.
[This research facility was originally created for the sake of opposing the new breed of humans. However, now that this duty can no longer be accomplished, leaving the area untouched is a risk.]
There are probably some people who would misuse the equipment, just like the elves who produced artificial lifeforms.
Indeed, leaving this behind is certainly an unsafe move.
“Are you okay with that? You just woke up, right?”
The AI, which had managed this place for a long time, would have to self-destruct right after waking up from a long sleep.
[There’s no problem. I will transfer all of my data to Luxon. If there is any object you need, carry it out of the vicinity. Furthermore──take this. It will be a necessary item for you, the one with the ship.]
Some weird object with countless cubes attached to it appeared from the floor.
It floated and looked shiny.
[Accept it. With this, I can accomplish more work than ever.]
“What is this?”
[A very valuable object.]
Marie leapt up when hearing that.
[Correct. It is a valuable object for us, but those of this world won’t know how to use it, so they would only see it as a shiny ornament.]
“──This really is the worst. If there’s no treasure, maybe this really is different from the game? I thought that this would be fantasy, but I never heard about it being sci-fi.”
The ones who made elves were humans.
Elves were created to oppose the new humans. When pondering about the other sub-races being created for the same purpose as well──this is indeed a strange world.
It seems that this isn’t a simple fantasy world of swords and magic.
Whatever happened to that otome game’s “lackluster” setting?
“Is there no other treasure?”
Marie, evidently depressed, attempted to check with the AI.
[Expecting treasure inside a research institution won’t do much good.]
Marie wiped her tears with a sleeve and grumbled.
“──We’re going back.”
How pitiful, going through such trouble only to end up with nothing.
[However──if you bring this with you, it might help. It could be valuable in this world.]
[What, so you do have something! Hand it over!”
Seeing Marie’s sudden liveliness made me think about how similar she was to my sister in my previous life.
I had suspicions that she might be my sister, but──I didn’t want to think about having to be involved with her again in my second life.
We were away from the ruins.
Within our current location──
──We were struggling to calm down a furious Luxon.
“Calm down already.”
[I am calm. I will calmly destroy this object, pulverize it, turn it into ashes, and decimate it until not even a speck of dust is left──gaaah!]
──Luxon broke down.
Marie lied down on the ground with a vacant expression of hopelessness.
“──Receiving this kind of thing doesn’t make me happy.”
Jilk and Greg, who were comforting her, had looks of genuine relief.
“It’s good that you’re safe.”
“Right, Marie. We can just look for treasure again.”
In front of us was the object the AI handed over during our final moments in the ruins.
It seemed like a part for some kind of power suit armor, but I don’t know what part it is.
The crazed Luxon couldn’t help but kick up a fuss in front of the sharp part.
Furthermore, Marie grieved over how this junk part wouldn’t make any money.
Livia was in front of Luxon, bewildered.
“Calm down, Luc! Look, take a deep breath, a deep breath!”
[I don’t need to breathe.]
“Err, um, right. S, sorry I guess.”
It was cute seeing Livia confused over the calm answer she got.
Anjie confirmed the situation while beside me.
“Leon, why aren’t you removing the village chief’s restraints despite him being injured? Also, where were these elves in the ruins? Could it be that you captured them?”
She looked at the restricted elves with suspicion.
I’m quite troubled on what to do with these elves.
Since I shouldn’t talk about the matter of the ruins so hastily, I was puzzled over what to say about them.
“Oh, these guys are uh──umm.”
Sensing the ground shaking, I supported the surprised Anjie while looking towards the ruins.
It seems that it self-destructed without a hitch.
I can’t say that it’s safe, but with this, those ruins will no longer create artificial lifeforms again.
This is good. While thinking about it as such, a giant airship appeared in the sky.
──It was Luxon’s main unit.
It blended into its surroundings like a form of optical camouflage, but I could see the unnatural phenomenon up there with my eyes.
I could faintly make out the appearance of Luxon’s body in the sky.
When I glared at Luxon, it spoke indifferently.
[Here’s retaliation for deceiving me. To think you’d force this object onto me!]
The enraged Luxon used its main unit to slam a pillar of light into the ruins.
The village chief trembled in fear upon seeing the light.
“Don’t tell me that this is what the collective chief was talking about. The demon lord. The demon lord is angry at us!”
Sorry, that’s the work of my accomplice.
That’s no demon lord.
The other elves looked as if the world was ending.
While everyone was captivated by the pillar of light, Hertrude was the only one who stared at the armor part.
All things considered, I feel as if I’ve seen this shape somewhere.
I’ve seen this black, sharp part somewhere, but I don’t remember.
“Would you mind?”
Hertrude spoke to me.
“Do you want to hand this over to me? If it’s money you want, I can prepare some.”
Seeing Hertrude’s serious expression, I had suspicions that she was scheming something.
“If you do it, I will grant anything you want. Besides, why don’t you try emigrating to the principality? I promise that you will be granted a suitable position. You have no reason to stick with the kingdom, right?”
“──I said no.”
Though a bit hesitant, I rejected Hertrude’s proposal.
Hertrude seemed to have just the slightest bit of frustration on her face.
“It seems you’re quite fixated on the kingdom. Isn’t the kingdom just a cruel authority for you countryside feudal lords? Or perhaps you don’t notice that you’re being tamed and oppressed?”
I couldn’t help but agree with what Hertrude was saying.
However, fleeing to another country is not so easy. There’s no guarantee that Hertrude will keep her promise.
Not to mention, I would enter an enemy nation──the principality bears a grudge towards me.
It’s likely that I would encounter a surprise attack, get detained, and be executed when I arrive there.
Damn it──I wish I hadn’t agitated the principality any more than necessary.
“I’m not interested.”
“──I see, what a shame. Truly, what a shame.”
Upon returning to the elven village, the collective chief was waiting there.
I also spotted many elves exiting their homes, kneeling on the ground, and begging to the sky for forgiveness.
“Demon Lord, please forgive us.”
“Please overlook our island.”
“I was against it! The village chief and the others were the ones invading the ruins!”
Kyle, seeing the situation at the village, grinned as if looking down on them.
He soon returned to his blank look though, so I pretended not to see it.
It seems that he has his circumstances.
Greg and Jilk looked around while both carrying the armor part.
“The atmosphere seems a bit different.”
“I thought they would resent us for the ruins collapsing, but it seems like we’re in the clear.”
When we arrived, the collective chief approached us.
She looked at the elves we seized and muttered something.
The female elf next to her spoke on her behalf.
“We would like to talk about the treatment of these people. If possible, the collective chief would like representatives to come to her residence.”
I decided to have a talk with the elves so that I could explain things.
The collective chief looked at Marie.
“Is it better to invite her as well?”
“Yes. Furthermore, that black-haired woman and those two over there as well.”
Being summoned, Greg and Jilk lowered their luggage, allowing them to take a break.
“You guys can talk it out. We’ll carry this thing.”
“It’s tough work having to bring it all the way to the airship.”
Hearing the two speak, Luxon made a voice of disgust.
[You’re placing that filth on my Partner?]
“Give it up already. C’mon, let’s go.”
This thing went and labeled the old armor part as filth.