Chapter 98: The arrogant elf
Han Shuo didn’t linger long after arriving at the cemetery of death and headed directly for the dwarves’ village. He finally reached their village when it was almost dusk.
Bennet and the dwarves were still as friendly as ever. They took out their limited fine food for Han Shuo to taste as soon as he arrived, and filled Han Shuo’s cup full with their specially brewed fruit wine.
“You haven’t come for a few days Han, how have you been?” Bennett looked at Han Shuo and asked.
“Thank you for your concern, I’ve been quite well. I’ve come to bring you the rations that I promised.” Han Shuo took out bags of rations as he spoke. There was some wheat and plenty of milk and bread. There was also some cured meat.
“Oh, my magical friend. Everyone in our entire village will thank you for your grace and bounty.” Bennett cried out softly when saw so much food appear on the ground as Han Shuo’s space ring sparkled. This moved him beyond belief as he’d already felt that the past few days had been quite a struggle to get through.
The female dwarves and children in the distance also put down whatever they were working on and converged on this area with shouts of joy. They hugged each other with warm tears in their eyes as they celebrated.
Seeing the dwarves become this agitated over the rations in front of them, Han Shuo understood that their lives must not have been easy. Every winter must be a type of suffering for them, but because of Han Shuo’s appearance, they wouldn’t have to worry about their day to day living this year.
Chief Calvin was bringing the other youths and strong dwarves of the village over from the forges, and was a bit surprised to see the excited cheering coming from this direction. When he drew nearer and saw the piles of rations on the ground, he very gravely expressed his thanks to Han Shuo.
“Elder, this is only the first delivery. My space ring can only hold so much. I think I’ll be able to bring all the food you need with a few more trips. Don’t worry elder, I’ll bring over the next batch of food as soon as possible. I think all of you won’t have to worry about rations this winter.” Han Shuo responded humbly and smiled as he explained to Calvin.
Some noises sounded from outside the village at this moment as the dwarves standing guard outside the village brought a few elves in. These elves were wearing clothes with intricate detailing and had flowers and grass woven into a circlet decorating their heads. They held bows or magic staves in their hands, and all the males and females were equally beautiful and handsome.
“Dearest dwarf friends, we’ve brought beautiful jewels with us that are enough to trade for the weapons you’ve forged. We’ll use those weapons to scare off all the man-eating monsters away from here. Are you willing to sell the weapons to us?” The foremost young elf opened his mouth and spoke gracefully. He wore a green bow on his back and faint magical pulses came from the bow. It seemed that this bow was a magical weapon. This made Han Shuo quite curious.
“Sorry Benedict, I think I’ve been clear enough. The weapons that we’ve forged will absolutely not be sold to you, no matter how much you offer to pay. We’re not interested.” Calvin shook his head and rejected the young elf Benedict quite decisively.
Benedict was visibly upset with these words and he said anxiously, “Why? I know there’s only a hundred or so dwarves in your village, but the weapons you’ve forged recently number more than a hundred. You won’t be able to use them all yourselves. If black iron ore weapons forged by you are imbued with our elven magic, then they’ll become even more powerful magical weapons. Why is it that you’re not willing to trade with us even when you have no use for them? Is it that our price isn’t high enough?”
“Because these weapons have been forged for our best friend Han. These fruit wines are also for Han. So I’m very sorry Benedict, I think that we can’t trade these weapons to you just because of some jewels.” Calvin resolutely expressed his apologies to Benedict, and then turned his head to call out to Bennett. “Bennett, take the others to bring the weapons we’ve forged. We’re going to give them all to Han today.”
“Understood, chief!” Bennett responded brightly and clearly, and then took a few young dwarves on a high spirited trip to the forges. All of the dwarves ignored the temptation of the jewels from these elves.
“Pardon, is he the Han that you speak of? Humans are the most despicable and evil of all races within the Dark Forest. You actually chose to trust a human instead of the envoys of nature? Elder Calvin, you can’t do this!”
When the elves saw Calvin point at Han Shuo and direct Bennett and the others to give the forged weapons to Han Shuo, they immediately started complaining with an infinite amount of suffering.
“Han is different from other humans. We trust him and help each other. So I’m truly sorry Benedict, I don’t think we’ll be able to trade these weapons to you.” Calvin was unmoved by Benedict’s complaints and said stubbornly.
The last time he’d left the dwarf village, Han Shuo hadn’t thought of using rations to trade for the dwarves’ weapons at all. Except, the dwarves would only accept Han Shuo’s rations if they undertook such a transaction. Who would’ve thought that the elves would eye this batch of dwarf-forged weapons interspersed with black iron ore not too long afterwards. What made Han Shuo surprised was that the dwarves had already repeatedly rejected Benedict’s sincere trading request and had solidly kept the weapons for Han Shuo.
“Elder, you can absolutely make your own decisions with these weapons. I wasn’t lusting after your weapons in gifting you these rations.” Han Shuo thought and explained sincerely to Calvin.
Nodding, Calvin smiled faintly, “You don’t need to explain Han. We know your good intentions. However, we can’t accept your items without any cause or reason. The teachings from our ancestors have taught us that everything needs to be gained through your own hard work. If we directly accept your gift, that will be a violation of the teachings our ancestors left behind, and will bring a bad atmosphere to the village, so I think you know what I mean.”
As Han Shuo and Calvin were speaking, Bennett and another crowd of dwarves had already brought over more than ten weapons. There were blades, swords, long spears, heavy mallets, double-edged axes, and all sorts of weapons. The weapons all gleamed with a shiny sparkle. The heavy mallets and double-edged axes gave one a thick and solid feeling, whereas the sharp edges of some of the blades, swords, and long spears appeared quite coldly sharp.
When Benedict and his entourage saw these weapons, their eyes all glinted with excitement. However, just as they were overcome with emotion, Han Shuo sighed with resignation and said, “Since the elder has spoken, then I’ll have to hesitantly accept these.”
Under the greedy gaze of Benedict and the other elves, these ten or so black iron ore infused, dwarf-forged weapons all made their way into Han Shuo’s space ring after he’d spoken.
“This human friend, I wonder if you’re willing to trade the dwarf-forged weapons to us? We’ve been preparing for a great battle recently and are going to suppress the presence of the forest trolls. If we have these weapons and our elven elders imbue it with magic, they will become astonishingly powerful magical weapons. The strength of experts like us will be greatly increased. We’re willing to use jewels to trade with you, what do you think?” A flash of disappointment streaked through Benedict’s eyes when he saw the weapons make their way into Han Shuo’s hands. He thought for a bit, and then seemed to suddenly think that it’d be easier to trade with Han Shuo, and so immediately spoke with some excitement to Han Shuo.
“Humans are the most despicable and evil of all races within the Dark Forest. How do you noble elves deign to transact with us base and lowly races?” Han Shuo smiled oddly as he looked at Benedict and flung the latter’s words back at him.
“In order to make the even more greedy and shameless forest trolls pay the price, us noble elves are willing to make a compromise and allow you, human, to trade with us.” What shocked Han Shuo was that Benedict didn’t seem to hear Han Shuo’s strong sarcasm at all, and rather self righteously displayed his magnanimity.
“Sorry, I have no interest in conducting any sort of transaction with you noble elves!” Han Shuo felt between tears and laughter, and had finally experienced the arrogance of the elves. He couldn’t help but shake his head as he turned them down.
Han Shuo suddenly heard all sorts of branches and twigs being broken off after he’d spoken, as if many people were approaching this location. Before Benedict had a chance to respond, Han Shuo frowned and asked, “Is there another entourage of elves coming from your side?”
“No, just us. What’s wrong?” Benedict asked, askance.
His thoughts moving, the three original demons suddenly swarmed out and vanished in three different directions outside the village. After a short while, Han Shuo made use of the original demons’ vision to see a dense crowd of five hundred to six hundred forest trolls, making their way over towards them, in massive columns.
The forest troll head that Han Shuo had met last time was fawning over another more bulky looking forest troll and describing something. It looked like the status of this forest troll was even higher. This made Han Shuo understand that there would be great trouble this time.