72 Returning Home, With Guests (1)

Hundreds, if not more, people arrived every day to see and experience the splendours of the now famous and constantly growing Greenwood City, as it seemed to hold enough potential to equal, or even surpass, the continent's greatest mountain-top city. Whether it was the extremely innovating inventions, the revolutionary concept of universalized education, the insanely dependable justice system, the legendary demigod leader that shot up to S-rank Adventurer status within three months of registration that led it, or the numerous special creatures, four of which were not only solidly categorized at S-rank, and one of those four was a member of a resurrected Divine Beast species, there was very little shortage when it came to new experiences in the newly founded city-kingdom.

Among the important locations in the city was a teleportation array that was not only larger, but it was also more stable compared to those of other cities. This was one of the projects that Seran had completed about midway through his second month between S-rank quests, as he had planned to complete the arrays in the Primeval Forest before the one in his own city. In his mind, by doing so, he was also giving the xenophobic forest-dwellers assurance that he did indeed view them as important. At the same time, he had made sure to emphasize repeatedly that all of the elves would be welcomed, without any fear of the hard-to-track-down slave traders. The fact that he had already created a new racial talent in the form of Nature Magic alone was enough for them to wholeheartedly listen. By adding on this pledge, along with mentioning that it would be upheld by the newly reborn Golden Crows and the exceptionally well-trained soldiers, hardly any voices of dissent appeared during his year of travel.

Before he had departed for Savicche, Seran had made sure to send a telepathic message to Elf Queen Layla that he had finished synchronizing the city's portal with the one that was created at the bottom of the World Tree Yggdrasil that was their sacred place. Of course, with his extremely precise control of the newly created magic, Yggdrasil was carefully shaped into a living, breathing city, with the crown of the great tree housing four most important places: the newly created Elven Council room, the 'palace' where the family of the current ruler would reside, the residence for the appointed advisor (Layla had originally intended to have a person of the Fortune Teller class or above, but they were relatively rare, so they settled for having that class be a priority for choosing but not the requirement), and the room that Seran and his elven companions designed to be able to view the entire forest from above, akin to how satellites work. As it was their sacred place, the Living City of Yggdrasil, as it was unanimously named, became the capital of the Primeval Forest's elven population.

Within the two-or-so weeks between the message and Seran's arrival in Skyhaven City, a couple of curious forest-dwellers came to visit the city, in no small part due to the encouragement of their representative ruler, to discover the incredible atmosphere that pervaded the city was beyond what their secondhand knowledge could convey. At first, they were incredibly afraid, but, within seconds of their arrival, one of the famous resident Golden Crows (the third-largest of the murder) landed in front of them, bade them welcome while simultaneously calming their nerves. They were told that the city's spiritual AI was told to alert the leading figures of the city of arrivals from the Living City so that they could send a guide to assist them. As Storm was preoccupied with his duties of patrolling the perimeter of the city-kingdom so as to relieve the soldiers of enough duties to better focus on internal security, and his second was appointed as the regulator for the crows within the city itself and was therefore unavailable, the third-in-command was sent as the mediator. Due to his size, he was incapable of riding upon their shoulders, so he stayed with them until a smaller member of his kin arrived to guide them around, after which he returned to his previous duties.

A handful of incidents did occur during the visits, most ranging from the unfortunately common harassment (usually of the sexual or oppressive kind) to the attempted drugging and kidnapping of two visitors when their Golden Crow guide had been left briefly to relay a question to the city lord Etienne. All of these incidents were handled the same as others in the city: swiftly and according to the law. The only severe punishments came during the attempted kidnapping, which led to a rather extensive case that ended with the perpetrators suffering the worst punishment imaginable in Aregard: having their entire life's work (levels, classes, abilities, etc) stripped, all of their property investigated then seized, and being thrown out of the city with only their smallclothes. This punishment had never occurred in Greenwood City, and all had hoped it never would; it was wishful thinking, though, as there would always be foolhardy people in the world. The judicial system, with input from the residents, had decided that capital punishment should be abolished unless absolutely necessary for a particular case, therefore leaving the Deadman's Exile (as it was called) to be the most extreme sentence for the Greenwood Judicial Court.

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Thanks to the swift actions of the soldiers, court system, and even nearby residents, any unfortunate elves caught in these incidents were protected and soothed until their discomfort or fear had subsided. When the visiting elves eventually returned to the Living City, though the misfortunate stories did cause some fear at first, the promised assistance from Greenwood City that was fulfilled to the letter greatly improved their already profound respect for the young demigod, who had said he would never leave an oath unfulfilled. By doing so, more and more elves took the chance to explore the new city and understand why their queen had wholeheartedly believed in Seran.

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