Chapter 13:


The Elf Saint is a NEET, so I Forced Her to Work in Another World, Vol. 15

***The Saint’s Tree***

“We want the saint! Show her to us!”

“We demand help with our food!”

“Have mercy and shame! Our people is dying of hunger!”

The soldiers of the Elf Saint’s Life Guards stood in line, their shields raised to support the barricades they erected so they could block a column of elvish mobs trying to get to the main gate of the Saint’s Tree palace complex. While they remained resolute, the repeated insults, chants and teasing thrown at them by the angry crowds increased the tension at the borders they were protecting. Every outsider observing the events at that place were anxious; they knew the situation could go south at any moment…

When the elvish mobs reached the barricades, they stopped. Then, a few of their leaders gave speeches, all were provocative and critical of the ‘incompetent rule’ of their current saint.

“What do we want?” one of the leading protestors shouted.

“Down with Lady Hinwe!” the crowds bellowed in chorus.

Another leader screamed, “We want a new saint!”

“We want a new saint!” the people followed, raising their clenched fists in the air.

“If those calloused pricks inside the palace won’t listen to our pleas for help and will keep hiding Lady Hinwe, then we’ll combine our strengths to crash through this shield and vine walls!”


“And we’ll drag out Her Holiness! We’ll serve her justice for her incompetence!”

“Yeeeeeeeeessssssss!!! Justiiiiiiccccceeee!!!”

“Who’s with me? Who’s tired of this farce? The Saint won’t protect us! We’ll be the ones to protect ourselves!” the speaker then gestured for everyone to follow him, as he started hacking the barricades, trying to chop the vines ‘erected’ with the Life Guards’ magic.

“Yaaaaaaaaarrrrrrggghhh!!!” Encouraged by the brave display of one of their leaders, the agitated crowd followed his example and brought out their farming implements—scythes, rakes, pitchforks…everyone hacked their way towards the shield bearers standing on the other side of the vine obstacles. Others who couldn’t reach the barricades because of the relatively narrow pathways picked up stones, pieces of wood and other projectiles, and flung those to the Life Guards. The Elf Saint’s soldiers stood their ground, with their magicians casting magic barrier to keep their lines protected.

Some of the angry elves cast fire magic in an effort to burn the plant obstacles. Soon, the chaos worsened by the thick black smoke rising from the flaming vines.


The commander of that detachment of Life Guards watched from his spot, as the people kept on provoking his soldiers. Though his face remained unperturbed, deep inside, he was anxious of what he was witnessing. He was weighing his options; a move too early could end in an avoidable tragedy, while taking action too late and they could end up with unstoppable events.

A soldier from the frontlines came to him, “Lord Ashen, the company leaders are requesting for them to engage the crowd.”

“Their swords will remain in their sheaths,” the commander reiterated. “Our orders from the Saint’s Tree are absolute. We will not spill our people’s blood in this hallowed ground, unless we’re attacked with deadly force.”

“Milord,” another soldier suggested, “How about we position the archers behind the shield-bearers, bows ready and arrows drawn?”

“Yes, we can do that. Send in for the archers!”

At once, the Life Guards deployed their archers a few distances behind the shield-bearers. Orders were distributed, instructing them to ready their ranged weapons, but never shooting their lethal projectiles unless the mobs breached the shield-bearers’ line.


Let’s storm the palace!” That was the call that rang across the mobs of elves demanding their pleas be heard by the Saint. Because they hacked and burned the vine barricades meant to stop them, soon they swarmed the shield wall of the Life Guards. As the leaders never wanted violence to happen in the holy ground of the Saint’s Palace, they asked the crowd to throw down their farming tools…

It can be difficult for those to be mistaken for deadly weapons. They’re up against the elite Life Guards of the Elf Saint, after all.

However, letting go of their scythes, rakes, and pitchforks didn’t mean they’d give up on their demands. With their bare hands, they fought back against the shield-bearers.

“My brothers! My sisters! We’re about to reach the gates of Her Holiness’ palace! Victory is near! Push!”


The elf mobs unified their strength in an effort to ‘break’ the final obstacle on their way to the Saint’s Tree itself. Likewise, the shield-bearers were reinforced by their comrades, pushing from their backs so that the first line wouldn’t collapse. Bodies pressing, shields and hands pushing, and screams of those getting crushed by the tussling could be heard.

“I-I ca-can’t breaatthhe…”

“You’re stepping on him!”

“Why are you doing this? You’re also elves! Why do you protect a lazy tyrant?”

The company leaders of the Life Guards were also agitated by now. They repeatedly sent for guidance from their commander, but he was indecisive. Aside from the protesters, some of the soldiers were also injured, mostly from near-suffocation because of the push of the crowd. Just as they deliberated on whether they’d draw their swords…


A series of small explosions echoed through the chaos, and caused the mayhem to halt, at least temporarily. Everyone’s eyes turned towards a column of soldiers and servants arriving from the Saint’s Tree, escorting several carts filled with food, wine and other provisions. Leading them was the overall commander of the Life Guards, their captain, the Lord Sir Eldarv.

“In the name of Her Holiness the Saint Lady Hinwe Tal-Inwir, we appeal to the wisdom of our brothers and sisters who have traveled far to this place to air their demands,” the captain of the Life Guards began. “We don’t want bloodshed in this hallowed ground. Please listen to us first!”

“We’ve been calling out to your mistress for long…” one of the mobs’ leaders replied. “She won’t listen to us!”

“As the captain of the Life Guards, I understand your plight,” Sir Eldarv told him. “However, I’m still a loyal elf to the Saint, so I stand opposite you. For now, we ask that you accept our gifts and desist from your attempts to enter the Saint’s Tree.”

“We don’t need those! We want Her Holiness to listen to—”

The elf captain never let the mob leader finish his words. He raised his hand, gesturing for him to stop, and immediately revealed to everyone what was in his mind, “I said I’m loyal to the Saint, not to the Lady Hinwe Tal-Inwir. Whoever is competent to help you—our brothers and sisters—in your plight about the advancing sands will have my sword and bow. And I speak for my soldiers as well.”


***The steam ship ‘Hagena’***

Traversing the border crossing itself from the portal of Chersea to Cherwoods took seven hours, during which, the crews of ‘Hagena’ and ‘Duke of Shent’ up-armored the ships using spare wooden planks. The Lady Henristone and Lady Malvette were relieved that the elves were equipped with antiquated bows and arrows, and not the ‘bolt-heater’ guns of most human armies, demon militaries, and beastmen forces. Also, their wooden galleys were mostly unarmed, save for huge ballistae on each of their ships’ bows—serving as harpoons, and used for boarding actions during naval confrontations.

Salis, as for her duty as the scout for the two-ship flotilla, took flight around five hours into the journey inside the crossing. Gerard and the Lady Malvette gave her specific instructions to note the numbers of the elves’ galleys, its positions, and the number of soldiers on each ship (as well as their equipment). She went back after an hour and a half, with a rough sketch of the area where the elvish fleet was docked.

“I see…” the elf guard studied Salis’ drawing, and compared it to the map of Cherwoods available. “So if the scout report is accurate, the elvish fleet is docked at this part of the elvish realm, at the Tenedrim lagoon, also serving as the Gulf of Cherwoods’ westernmost border.”

“Anything we need to take note at that area?” the Lady Malvette asked.

“Well, the fleet must’ve anchored there because there are several settlements nearby where they can re-provision their ship,” Gerard mused. “A sandbar ran from the east to west, with a single depression near the middle that serves at the ‘gateway’ to the lagoon. However, we can’t possibly move the steam ships there; the elf galleys have flat hulls, while our vessels got a rudder at the bottom that would surely hit the sandbar.”

“Yes, I agree with your observation, Sir Gerard,” the former admiral of Cherwind backed him. “But, in case they try to intercept us, we can shoot them with our cannons from afar.”

“True. Just don’t let them get near and board the ships,” the elf guard reminded the crews. “It can get ugly as Lady Salis’ report shows a full complement of elvish seafarers on each ship.”

“How many elves are we going to fight in case it gets ugly?”

Milady, we’re talking of a force of about 200 elves per ship, as the galleys have 50 pairs of oars each, 25 on both sides. And each of those paddles are manned by two sailors. The remaining 100 elves serve as the ‘boarding party’.”

“How about the ship numbers?”

“About 20.”

Lady Malvette smirked, “We’re outnumbered.”

“Well, we’re hoping we can get to pass through diplomacy,” Gerard pointed out. “I think there’s a misunderstanding with the conduct of Mister Kuro on getting rid of the palace officials’ influence from the Saint’s Tree. I’ll try to talk to my comrades. Besides, why would the elves wholeheartedly follow him? He’s just a human.”

Awkward silence. The elf guard suddenly realized he must’ve struck some nerves by saying those, but…

…the Lady Henristone sought to break the tension, as it might be detrimental to the morale of everyone going to battle. “Th-The Lord Kuro can be persuasive,” she pointed out.

Ugh…t-true. We won’t even be here if he did not convince us of his schemes,” the elf guard massaged his head, as if he’s having a headache. “But yes, if the push comes to the shove, our best chances of surviving this are the steam engines—which can outrun the elvish fleet easily; and the cannons—where we can sink their ship from a distance.”


Everyone in the ships knew they were finally out of the crossing when the bright azure sky replaced the grey, murky environment they were subject to for seven hours. At the horizon, the seas stretched as far as their eyes could see, and there were a few small ripples on the surface of the water, brought about by the gentle Cherwoods breeze blowing from the south.


The crews and their passenger, however, couldn’t enjoy the scenery. About fifteen minutes before they came out of the Cherwoods portal, everyone not needed on the ship bridges was ordered below the decks. Gun ports closed, and the people assigned to chant magic barrier spells activated it.


But, what greeted them was complete silence. The captain of ‘Hagena’ sent a man to his ship’s crow’s nest to look for any silhouette on the horizon.

“Galleys sighted 40 degrees to the east! Distance, about 65 leagues,” the crewman called out. “They are flying the flag of Her Holiness the Elf Saint!” (1)

Gerard, who stood beside the captain of Hagena at the bridge, muttered, “That is the naval fleet of the Saint’s Tree. Let’s try to approach them.”

The captain nodded and set course for the direction the man at the crow’s nest told them. For good measure, they had him go down to the relative safety of the boarded-up bridge. As the Hagena and Duke of Shent steamed to the elvish fleet, all of them could feel the air of tension. No one was sure of what could happen next.

After all, no one among their group wants to fight anyone, until they are forced to do so…

Then, the flotilla arrived at the Tenedrim lagoon, where they were immediately surrounded by the galleys. On its decks were the elvish soldiers, showing their bows and arrows, in an attempt to intimidate the Chersean ships.

“Hagena and Duke of Shent!” the elvish commander called out from his flagship, identified by the flag of the Saint’s Tree. “We see no identification on your vessels, of whose Chersean kingdom you belong. We implore you, as the representatives of Her Holiness the Elf Saint, to turn back to your realm. Cherwoods is closed for anyone at the moment, and we wish to spare your lives.”

The Lady Margaret Jeanne of Malvette, who was also with Gerard and the captain of Hagena at the bridge, tried to talk to the elf commander. However, Gerard quickly stopped her.

Milady, please allow me to speak for our group,” he whispered, even though the elves were of considerable distance from their spot. “As you are the ambassador of the Kingdom of Cherwind to Cherwoods, a diplomatic incident may ensue once my comrades learned that you are helping us…I mean, me. Please stand back.”

“A-Alright,” the former admiral agreed.

Gerard then stood from his hiding place and came out of the bridge, to the bow of Hagena. “Greetings, my brothers and sisters!”

“Whoa! An elf!” someone among the soldiers in the galley decks cried out.

“Who are you, brother?” the commander of the elvish fleet asked.

“You must be the captain of the Life Guards’ naval fleet, Lord Ninier of Dorian,” Gerard replied. “Milord, you may have forgotten me, but I am Gerard of Yusave, a fellow Life Guards in service of Her Holiness the Elf Saint!”

Oh? So you’re a member of the Life Guards too!”

“Yes, milord. Currently, I’m on an errand; I request safe passage from you, to allow us to dock at the Saint’s Tree.”

“What for?” the Lord Ninier raised an eyebrow. “There’s no instruction from the Saint’s Tree to allow exceptions, even if they are members of the Life Guards.”

“It’s…” Gerard could feel his stomach turn. Deep inside, he was searching for an alibi, as he did not expect such orders to his comrades. “Milord, it’s classified information.”

“Then, by whose authority you’re responsible with, should we allow you to pass?”

The elf guard was dumbfounded. He knew that he couldn’t tell them that he’s from Her Holiness the Elf Saint’s company, or he’d drop her hiding location to her possible killers. And he couldn’t make up names, for the Life Guards were only answerable to the holy lady of the elves.

“Sir Gerard!” the commander of the fleet called out to him once again. “We find your prolonged silence suspicious! Please show us your proof of being a member of the Life Guards!”

At once, the elf guard showed them his dagger, given to him by Her Holiness the Lady Hinwe herself when he became her security detail. The Lord Ninier, possessing the elf trait of sharp eyes, said, “Indeed, that is a proof of being a member of Her Holiness’ guards.”

Gerard sighed with relief.

However, the Lord Ninier wasn’t done yet, “But that dagger is given to the old, veteran members of the Guards, not to someone new, like you! Don’t play jokes on me, Sir Gerard! Who are you? Where did you get that dagger? I know very well the names of my old comrades and friends in the service of Her Holiness, so you can’t tell me I forgot about you!”

Upon hearing those, the elves immediately put arrows on their bows, and pulled its strings, ready to fire on their commander’s order. The elf guard froze in shock, as the negotiations collapsed. He even forgot he had his weapons with him.


At that moment, Gerard happened to glance at the bridge, where he saw the Lady Malvette and the captain of Hagena looking at him through a small hole. Gerard’s lips drew a nasty smirk, and he muttered, “Fuck, this is it.”

The Lady Malvette sprang from her hiding spot, reached for the speaking tube of the bridge, and bellowed, “All hands, diplomacy down! Fire at will!”

The magic barriers enveloping the ships disappeared, and from its gun ports, came out the cannons, blasting its red hot round shots meant to burn the wooden elvish galleys. Though the elves had already pointed their arrows on the two ships, they were still taken by surprise, mainly because they thought ‘Hagena’ and ‘Duke of Shent’ were merely unarmed human trade ships.

Gerard’s small flotilla immediately drew first blood with five elvish galleys blazing.


At once, when the talks broke down, the ‘Hagena’ and ‘Duke of Shent’ dashed back to the open waters. As the galleys had already surrounded them, the steam ships were left with no option other than to ram those that blocked their paths. The resulting action destroyed three more elvish vessels, in addition to the earlier burning of five unfortunate elvish ships; those that were victims of the ‘sea crash’ literally disintegrated like matchsticks in minutes.

However, the elves wouldn’t back down. During the times the magic barriers were lifted so the gunners could fire their cannons, they hit back with flaming arrows, aimed at the open gun ports. This was where the makeshift wooden ‘armors’ came to work; the arrows were stopped by the thickness of the planks, and the crews extinguished the fire with their water spells.

For his part, Gerard was back in his senses. While the ship maneuvers were left to Lady Admiral Malvette’s charge, and the cannon fire to the ship lieutenants, the elf guard handled the operation of the artillery gun on the stern of the ‘Hagena’, shooting at the galleys pursuing them when he had the chance.

In that manner, he killed scores of elves because he was using grapeshots in an effort to shred the enemy crews, and disrupt their chase.


But the elves quickly saw that they were outgunned and outpaced by the Chersean ships, as the engineers below its decks worked the steam engines like there’s no tomorrow. So, to slow the offending vessels, their magicians cast ice magic on the water causing it to gradually freeze. At first, the seamen in the steam ships fought back with negating spells, causing them to abandon the magic shields. The responsibility of casting the barriers then fell on some of the gunner crews, reducing the gunfire from the ‘Hagena’ and ‘Duke of Shent’.

When there were abandoned cannons, the Lady of Henristone took with her Tama’lee and Nari, then assigned Eris, Salis and the Lady Malvette on the other silent gun. They were the ones who kept the rest of the cannons going.

“Eris, hand me the round shot!” as someone who had a background on military matters, the Lady Malvette took charge of their artillery. The Duchess of Braunhauer, though she had no experience of participating in actual battles until now, disregarded her ‘noble’ dress, and passed ammunition to Salis, who had enough strength to carry and load the cannon by its muzzle.

“Fire!” the Lady Henristone would shout, keeping the usually ‘laid-back’ Tama’lee and the shy Nari on the edge. This, in turn, made the two demon ladies keep up the pace of fire, ignoring the flaming arrows peppering their gun port’s makeshift wooden armors. Just like in the Lady Malvette’s group, the one with the military experience gave commands (the Duchess of Henristone); the ‘weakest’ (Nari) sorted the ammunition, black powder and wadding, to be passed on the ‘strongest’ member (Tama’lee) so she could load the gun.

The pursuit and exchange of fire continued for several more minutes, and the elves lost around 12 galleys by then. Still, they persisted, bringing in fresh reinforcements coming from the mainland Cherwoods. Gerard, from his position on the bow deck of ‘Hagena’, thought his enemies were endless. But, he kept on his barrage, so that the cannon eventually broke down, and he had to resort to his ‘bolt-heater’ revolver to take potshots at elvish crews.


The attempt to shake off their pursuers caused the steam ships’ engines to run to its very limit. As the engineers and their crewmen poured more and more fuel to make the seacrafts run faster, soon it was obvious that the machines were about to go bust. The elvish efforts to slow them by casting ice magic on water worsened their situation; the crew fighting back with negating magic were exhausted. The ones keeping up the barriers were also on their last legs.

And, while the steel/iron-mithril alloy hulls of the steam ships broke through the thinner ice sheets, soon, the ‘Hagena’ and ‘Duke of Shent’ were trapped in thick ice.

“Sir Gerard,” the captain of the ‘Hagena’ shouted. “We can’t move anymore! The ice is too thick, and would crush the hull if we don’t do something to free it!”

“Fuck!” the elf guard exclaimed. He looked at the galleys on their backs. The determination of the Life Guards to capture them could be heard in their rowers’ shouts, accompanied by the sound of drums counting their moves so they won’t easily get tired. At the decks, lines of elvish warriors shooting at him with their flaming arrows pushed him to hide himself, so he could avoid the accurate fire.

He surmised that it is only a few minutes for them to reach their ice-bound flotilla.


From his right side, he could see the crewmembers of the ‘Duke of Shent’ stand by the deck of their ship, with the leading men holding up makeshift wooden planks for armor. Behind each of them were their fellow seamen, armed with ‘bolt-heater’ rifles, and swords for when the fight came up close and personal. There were still sporadic fire from the gun ports below, but the elf guard knew that both vessels were about to run out of black powder for cannons soon.

Encouraged by the sight, Gerard pulled out his sword and ‘bolt-heater’ revolver, making sure that it was cocked and loaded. “Call the others and chant a fire spell to melt this ice!” he ordered the captain of ‘Hagena’, pointing towards the elvish galleys sailing near their location. “I’ll distract these fuckers!

The captain nodded and shouted orders through the speaking tube. Gerard waited for the leading galleys to come the nearest jumping distance, stepped on the railings on the ship’s deck, and…

Oi! What are you doing?”


The elf guard stopped in his tracks when he heard familiar voices call out to him. Turning around, he saw the ladies from the Holy Palatial Gardens appear on the deck, rushing towards his direction. Their faces blackened with soot, and their fancy dresses wrecked by the firing of the artillery. “What the fuck are you guys doing here?” he countered. “It’s dangerous; go back below!”

“Same goes for you, Sir Gerard!” Eris told him. “Are you thinking of jumping in those galleys and fighting the elves alone?”

“It’s not your damn business, Miss Braunhauer!”

“It is our business!” Lady Henristone insisted. “You keep on pushing us away, even as we offer our help to you!”

“I…” Gerard bellowed as a salvo of raking fire from their ships tore through the air. “I don’t need it! Go down, paladin lady! Take the others with you, for god’s sake!

“Tama will come after Sir Gerard if he jumps into the water!” the orc-girl declared.

“Shut up, Tama’lee! I fucking told you I don’t need anyone’s help!”

“You’re the one who needs to shut up!” the Duchess of Braunhauer screamed. “Why do you keep on doing this? Why do you keep on putting yourself in danger? It’s hurting us already, you know?”

At that moment, Gerard was taken aback. It’s as if the sounds of battle slowly disappeared around him; his only focus was on the ladies trying to get him to safety. “You…why do you…”

“Please…” there were tears in Eris’ eyes. “D-Don’t do this anymore…stop…”

The elf guard looked at everyone’s faces. Much to his surprise, there was no hint of anger in them; yet, they had the same expressions in their eyes. That of Sadness. That of longing. And that of love. Gerard was speechless, his heart wavered, and he fell to his knees.

“Hey, asshole!

“!!!” Gerard turned towards the owner of the voice; it was the owl-girl, Salis, emerging from the lower decks and walking to his spot. On her hand was the ‘derringer’ gun for her personal defense, aimed at him.

“Let me ask you,” she slowly drew near the elf guard, never lowering her weapon. “Do you wish to die?”

“Wh-What are you—”

“I’m asking you, do you wish to die?”


“Do you really wish to die?” Salis shouted with all her heart, never bothering on the tears falling on her cheeks, and her contorted face, trying to stop herself from crying. “Answer me, Kuro of Arles!”

Author's Note:  1)  One (1) Chersean Nautical League:  0.32 Chersean Kilometers.  65 Chersean Nautical Leagues would mean 20.8 Chersean Kilometers in observable distance (Chersea and the Other Realms have different physics compared to Earth).