"Reports of missing persons are still coming in today.
Supposedly a slave-related abduction or kidnapping.
again Zack, what is going on with the shadows⁉"
Elias's room was filled with angry shouts.
His face was stern and distorted with anguish.
About a year had passed since Lacis was born.
Liesel became queen, and Elias and Eltia supported her.
The country was more lively than before.
However, reports of events that cast a shadow over Renalute began to appear.
Reports of dark elves in the country, mainly children and women, going missing began to increase.
Elias immediately issued an alert about abductions and kidnappings in the country.
He had ordered Zack to investigate, but Elias was irritated that no detailed reports were coming in.
As if to admonish Elias for his feelings, Zack began to speak.
"I know how you feel, Your Majesty, but please calm down.
I have a report today that summarizes the report of the shadows.
It is a very serious matter, so I ask you to read it over with a calm mind."
At Zack's words, Elias took a deep breath, received the documents, and read through them.
The contents of the report were just as severe as Zack had said.
The people who were kidnapping Renalute citizens were those who had the support of the neighboring country of Barsto.
However, even the shadows could not obtain any material evidence to prove the connection.
The forces involved in the abductions and kidnappings used people hired in or near Barsto, so that they could not be traced.
Even so, the information we had obtained indicated a high probability that the dark side of Barsto was involved.
But that is all there was to know at this point.
Elias meditated with a grim face.
What was Barsto's purpose
He knows that dark elves are traded at high prices as slaves.
However, kidnapping and abducting the people of the neighboring country of Renalute would seriously damage relations between the nations.
If there is a possibility that the dark forces of Barsto are involved, it would be state-sponsored.
Elias asked Zack a question as he mumbled.
'......What is the difference in troops and national strength between our country and Barsto at the moment'
" The difference in power is not so great at the moment, but it is likely that in a few years' time, Barsto will surpass us.
We have more troops in terms of quality, but we will be outnumbered.
If there is a war, it will be difficult to win."
"Outnumbered......Balst's slave soldiers or ......"
Elias muttered bitterly.
Slaves" were considered "legal" in Barsto, and the country's power was rapidly increasing due to its labor and military strength.
Zack nodded to Elias and continued his explanation.
Once or twice, we will win.
But more than that, it is highly likely that our forces will be too exhausted to sustain it.'
'What about assassination or subterfuge by ......
Zack shook his head at Elias's words and said a little regretfully.
"Unfortunately, Barsto is currently forced to fall into slavery just because a dark elf entered the country.
We have already sent a few people from the shadows, but they have been warned and countermeasures have also been taken, so we failed.
Of course, we have taken steps to ensure that our information is not known.
I'm sorry you had to go through that.
Elias again began to meditate and ponder.
Barsto's purpose is probably to create a provocation.
The recent increase in national power has increased the military strength of the country, and they may be moving with the intention of taking Renalute into their own hands.
What can Renalute do
They wondered what would hold the key to the future fate of Barsto and Renalute.
Opening his eyes slowly, he gave Zack his instructions.
Send a messenger to Barsto as soon as possible.
Abducting the people of Renalute and selling them into slavery would only lead to conflict between the nations.
And tell them to return all of the Dark Elves who have fallen into slavery through Barsto."
Zack nod at Elias's words, then said as if to add.
"Then sent a messenger to the capital to inform the emperor of the Magnolia Empire of the current situation and that he should be connected to the emperor.
Also, send a similar messenger to the Bardia frontier count, Rainer Bardia."
Zack unusually tilted his head at Elias's intention and asked a question as if to confirm it.
'I understand the imperial capital, but is it also necessary to send one to the Bardia territory Reiner Frontier Count"
" But if something should happen, the Bardia territory is too close to the other side of the river.
They may be more friendly to us than the nobles in the capital."
Zack nodded in agreement.
After the discussion with Zack, Elias continued to meditate on the future of Renalute.
A few days later, Elias received an unexpected piece of good news.
Yes," said Elias." We will have a child "......
"Oh, nothing could be more joyous than this."
Elias was overjoyed.
Following Liesel, Eltia also became pregnant.
The Renalute royal family would be safe now.
Now all that remained was how to settle the issue with Barsto.