Han sighed and rubbed his forehead. "...Alright, alright. If the opportunity strikes, I'll strike the iron when it becomes hot." When the chance came up, but it wasn't like a Princess was dropping on his lap anytime soon.
"Then you got yourself an Alliance!" The Wood Elf grinned.
[ Congratulations! You Have Formed An Alliance With Wood Elf… Name Your Alliance? ]
The bold letters wrote itself in the air, mini firework sound effects with a trumpet sounding in the background. "Huh, what should we name our Alliance?" Han stared at the salutations for them.
"Ah, I do love me naming things. How about the Prestigious Nature Alliance?"
He made a face, "The PNA? Is that because your powers are related to nature?"
"Of course not! I'm not that arrogant." The Wood Elf chuckled, dismissing his words. "I'm merely stating that the 'nature' of us Elven and Humans are prestigious."
"...that kind of sounds racist."
"Nevermind… could we leave it blank? Now that would be pretty cool. No name."
"Eh?? I don't understand your mindset—but then again, that's how you pique my interest. We can always change the name in the future, so I suppose if you want to leave it blank… I'll begrudge it until you or I decide a befitting name for us!" The Wood Elf laughed.
[ No Name Chosen For The Alliance. You Have No Face. ]
Han raised a brow but dismissed the notification. "With that settled, I think the residents of the village and I can walk inside the Enchanted Forest would be under no danger now."
"What danger?" The Wood Elf tilted a head at him, an air of innocence around them. "I'm not doing anything to them."
Han stared blankly, "Let's see, blood-sucking insects, giant spiders and probably a man-eating mantis."
"You wound my heart, they don't harm anybody—it's only the annoying kids who pick on such beloved creatures. Of course they'd want to fight back. Besides, if they do attack… I'd like to believe they have a good reason for it, like somebody deciding to squash a bug."
Arguing with the Elf seemed to be a no winner's match. Han cleared his throat. "You could at least tell them to leave when a human comes around."
"Alright, alright. Let's see what I can do."
"Probably a lot."
"Why thank you, you look up to me so much, don't you?" The Elf ran their fingers through their hair. "It can't be helped at all."
Han tried not to show any disagreement on his face. Now onto the harder part of the Alliance. "Ahem… since we're now in an Alliance, don't you think we should introduce ourselves? It would sound weird referring to you as Wood Elf, my name is Han—"
"Hah! This Elf's True Name is unspeakable and incomprehensible to any mere mortal. I advise you to not reveal one's name so carelessly—there is power behind a name."
"Power behind a name?"
"Let's see, knowing one's True Name, one can exert influence on them. So I urge you to think twice before revealing it unless under the most dire of situations."
Han immediately remembered the Moderator—they knew his full name. Did that mean they could assert their influence on him? He tried not to shudder but chose to nod his head. "I understand, I'll refer to you as Wood Elf now."
"I don't mind being called Honoured One, Benevolent Being or other suitable honorifics though~"
"Um, since I'm leaving for the Capital. You don't happen to have any legendary bow or elven armor that you could bestow or lend to me right?" If the Elf had some sort of pot of gold somewhere, he'd want some of it too. Whether it was in this world or another—money surely made the world go around. "It would really be handy if I ever face a Dragon or something?"
The Elf bit back their laughter, "Armor? Weapons? I tend to forget that you Humans do adore playing around with sharp things, as befitting of one the youngest races."
A smile formed on the Wood Elf's face, a twinkle in their eyes that spoke of forever. It told him of multitude things, the endless stars and the uncountable grains of sand in a neverending beach. It whispered in the fresh morning dew and sounded in the golden sunlight's echoes.
"Han the [ Human ], I have no want for legendary swords or ancient shields! I am an Elf, magic runs in my veins and is my nature!"
The air and earth trembled and shook at his words. The forest thrummed with life and vitality as the Wood Elf extended a palm towards him.
"We shall share our joys and pains—what more do you seek?"
And for a moment, Han Jing saw eternity and its splendor reflected in one being. He bowed his head, finding no words that seemed befitting of the scene.
"Go, Human. I shall see to it that your village shall prosper and remain standing until your fated return." A smile on their Elven features—a beautiful sight. "You have my blessings."
And so, Han humbly returned to his village to prepare and set out for his adventure and quest. To find glory and honour!
The Elf sagged when the human was out of sight, leaning against a tree bark. "Well, that sounded like something my cocky distant cousin would say, don't you agree?" He asked wistfully, trailing their fingers through their hair.
A Being materialized in the cold air, a crystalline figure that breathtakingly silenced the forest around them. A beautiful child that looked no older than ten, dressed in pure white like a blossoming tulip.
"I must say, that was one way to go around the lack of your armory compared to that High Elf and your otherkin."
My thesis has been in a tight spot and I had to look for a statistician for today. I'm expecting a thesis defense next week so the updating time has been a bit iffy and rushed... but hope you guys found the chapter satisfying!
Not sure if I managed to make the Wood Elf cool in their own way. But despite the Virtual Reality, in the real world... Han is quite human and the Wood Elf is a real Elf.