Atop a large tree, I was laying down on a large branch, taking a bite out of one of its fruits.
The texture was pleasant, and a light sourness spread inside my mouth.
The fruit from this tree, Apua berries as they are called, are said to be an ingredient used for elixirs of youth, and are said to be traded in gold coins among the populace.
But in this forest, this stuff is free to eat.
“Wind spirits, here.”
After finishing the Apua fruit, I muttered to myself and threw the remaining core.
The next moment, gusts of wind tore down the remnants of the core.
This way, the pulp is for my nourishment, and the core returns to nature.
And if you spit out any seeds, with some luck, it might sprout.
I let out a big yawn, and a bird that had flown down from the sky landed on my chest and let out a high-pitched chirp.
I gently held out a finger, and the bird rubbed its face against it as if it were being spoiled.
The bird fully understood that I will never harm it.
The basis for that is because I was an elf, a species that lived in the forest.
Well, to be more accurate, a high elf which was more closely related to high spirits.
Though with regards to these elven categories, I don't think there is much of a difference.
It is because both normal elves and high elves are the same, unchanging creatures.
“Yeah, to be honest, I'm getting tired of this.”
I was still laying around, surrounded by words that I muttered, not directed at anyone.
When I'm hungry, I eat these fruits.
Although I don't hunt, I still hone my skills with the bow.
I also conversed with the spirits about the nature of this world.
The life of an elf is truly the ideal slow life…but after 120 years, you get tired of it.
By the way, I might be 150 years old this year, but I was 30 years old when I started remembering things, so I started my count from there.
Of course, other elves and high elves do not question such a life, and continued to live their life in the forest contentedly.
Because it was only natural for them, they don't think about other kinds of lifestyles.
But even though I was born deep in the woods and have never been outside, from the I started remembering, I knew a life which I can compare mine with.
Yes, I was a guy who was reincarnated from another world with memories of a previous life.
I was a human back then, and in the world I lived at the time, elves were only a fictional existence.
There were a lot of terrible conflicts on that world Earth, but it was also full of entertainment, art, and culture.
Knowing a world of strife, I understood the allure of the slow and peaceful life of the elves.
But at the same time, knowing a world full of such entertainment, I was approaching the limit of stimulation from this elven life.
First and foremost.
“I want to eat meat.”
I'm sick of living only on fruits.
As soon as I said that, the bird perched on my chest flew away in a hurry.
Ah, how smart.
But I wasn't about to catch and eat that bird.
After all, if I were to start using fire this deep in the forest, other elves would come rushing and complain.
If I'm going to eat meat, I wanted to grill it.
And If I wasnted to grill meat, I would have to leave the woods.
That is, once you leave the forest, you can live a stimulating life of roasting meat, eating it, and getting to look at all kinds of things.
“Alright, I'm done with this kind of lifestyle.
This…it wasn't really for me.
I had tried for more than a hundred years to fit, in one way or another, in this high elven lifestyle by acting my part, but I had reached my limit.
After our physical bodies are destroyed, it is said that our souls become spirits and are able to roam the world until the end of time.
I wasn't concerned about the fact that this life of mine who already lived the last 120 years will continue for another 850 years, or even until the end of the world.
If I was going to live long, I might as well go out into the outside world and witness, eat, and experience many things until I am satisfied before I turn into a spirit or something.
I headed towards the river that ran through the forest, where I picked up rocks and smashed them over and over until I made a stone knife.
There weren't any processed metal in this forest.
It was fine if it's just ore as itself, but the trees in this forest are scared of manufactured ore.
In fact, because of that, elves detest dwarved, a race proficint in blacksmithing.
It might make sense if it were an axe or something because they can be used to cut them down, but there was no reason for these trees to be afraid of cutlery like spoon and forks.
So if you wanted a knife in this forest, you can either break a stone like this, or you can grind down the tusks or bones of a large beast.
However, aside from blades made from stones, ones that are made from tusks and bones are only allowed to be owned by those are permitted to.
Otherwise, if immature elves were to be caught up in their greed, they might begin killing beasts indiscriminately.
Yes, it was something that a greedy person like me would never be allowed to have.
Well, it doesn't really matter anymore.
If I went out of the forest, such traditions will become irrelevant for me.
I used the stone knife to cut off my hair as I stared at my reflection in the flowing water.
Long hair was a symbol of a high elf and was not permitted to shortened aside from a few trims.
But honestly, I always thought it was annoying in a way.
But I didn't overdo it too much because I can't revert it if I made a mistake.
So for now, it's about shoulder-length.
If they saw me like this, the high elf elders would scold me for three days and three nights.
And they will keep talking about for decades to come.
Of course I flat out refuse that, so let's leave the forest quickly.
Cutting my hair.
Even if it's as simple as that, my heart became much lighter.
There wasn't anyone in particular who I wanted to greet before I leave.
Although blood parents exist, an elven child is collectively raised by the community.
That's why even if they were your parent, they were only as intimate as the rest of the village.
It's not that I didn't have any good friends, but even if I told them why I'm leaving the forest, they wouldn't understand.
Can't be helped, then.
This isn't necessarily a farewell in this life, and if there is a chance, we might meet again.
It would probably be about a month later before they would notice my disappearance.
I made up my mind and swiftly dashed out the forest.
In my handbag, I carried my bow and arrows, Apua fruits wrapped in ivy, and the stone knife.
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