Translator/First-Pass editor: HelloMojo
Translator Message: Still tedious as always… Nothing to say….
Chapter 2: Wind, Fire, and…
Episode 7: Result of the efforts.(努力の成果)
Just before the get-together starts.
The settings in the plaza of Elucie was nearly completed.
A number of chairs and tables were assembled.
On top of them were a mountain of potato chips, dried cranberries, and a bottle of sake.
The Steak and pommes frites will be freshly prepared and then served in front of them. However since there is a limit to how much can be prepared at any one time; I will have them snack on the potato chips and cranberries as well as drink sake to help them kill the time.
I’m expecting the dried cranberries to act as a palate cleansing dish.
All the cooking equipment is ready, the fire for the iron plate is lit, the oil in the pot is bubbling, and the steam is rising from the soup. The Firefox girls in charge of the cooking were taking out the ingredients.
The elves had gathered after they had finished their work. I was hoping to instruct them to switch shifts later with the girls who were in charge of the cooking.
It would be pitiful for them to just be cooking throughout the whole event, so I want to divide the time equally for everyone to enjoy it.
「Everyone, I know you’re all tense, but you don’t have to be so nervous since there are no bad people here.」
I call out to the Firefox girls who were sitting down to walk around and gather seats.
Really, I want to shake up and blend the Elves with the Firefoxes, so I can’t help but pressure them. So I will have them switch seats and get them to sit together when it gets a little more lively..
The Firefoxes were earnestly entering Elucie, but they were still nervous ever since the time Roreu yelled at them.
In fact, everyone was not really able to conceal their anxiety, they were all still hesitant.
「It’s going to be okay, you know. If they say anything bad or do something, i’ll protect you all so please be at ease… that or I wonder if i’m not reliable?」
What I said just then was not just to placate them, I was serious.
「It’s not being unreliable. If Cyril-sama is the one protecting us…..」
「yah, If Cyril-sama says so, it might be okay not to be scared.」
「I know right. It surely will be okay.」
They looked a little relieved.
With this, somehow it will work out right? After, it’s just waiting for the lead role to make their appearance.
The lead is going to be Kuu as the Firefox representative. After today’s theatre business meeting, Lucie and I as well as the village chiefs were entrusted with the goal.
「Cyril, sorry for the wait. Kuu as expected is pretty after all, whatever she wears suits her, the makeup on her is good too isn’t it. Her style is amazing, I might get a little jealous.」
「That isn’t true, you know. Even I think Lucie is just lovely, your like a fairy and I find that enviable. Even your skin is really silky smooth.」
Lucie and Kuu appeared, the two of them from a long time ago had a good relationship.
Seeing Lucie’s dance recently, elf traditional wear has a sense of transparency with all the many layers. Kuu’s keynote though is wearing her red body line like dress.
From the start both of them looked very good with a modest amount of makeup. Since they were pretty to start with, it only made them stand out even more with that makeup. Leaving it to village elders was the correct decision. As expected of myself, cosmetics is out of my area of expertise.
「Both of you look real good. Lucie is like the cutest and Kuu is pretty. Looking at the two of you makes me a happy person.」
「Cyril, saying it like that makes me embarrassed.」
「Even flattery like that makes me squeeze my tail.」
Lucie and Kuu both blush with embarrassment.
It wasn’t my intent for it to just be flattery. Lucie is the cutest and Kuu really is pretty. Both of them have different qualities of the best charms.
「Today let’s do our best. Lucie will make her entrance a little later. For now I will have Kuu greet everyone. Well, when everyone is of course gathered. Kuu, are you ready for this?」
Kuu returns the answer to my question with determined eyes.
This is a crucial moment, the impression she gives right now will be face of all the Firefoxes.
「Of course, Cyril-kun declared that I am the Firefox family head, so this is my battle.」
「Good answer, with that being the case lets win this battle. If it’s Kuu it’s going to be okay, I will guarantee it. I’ve been watching you and I know up to now you have been trying your best, Kuu.」
「Cyril, you’re really not trying to seduce Kuu-chan, right….?」
「No, this is different. Its words for a comrade in arms. Kuu understands right?」
「……Of course, you know? But it can be taken in differently though.」
Well, that fighting spirit is good enough. I take Kuu’s hand and I go up on the stage that was made for the performance.
Kuu’s hand is trembling slightly, it certainly takes me back to the time Lucie first demonstrated the crossbow, she was also trembling just like that. Thinking about it gives me a pleasant feeling and I smile a little.
Is it because of the tension? Kuu’s voice comes out with a sudden surprise.
「Don’t be so tense. It’s just like when you’re in front of all the girls, the Kuu that is reliable, gentle, and tolerant. If you put up that act it will be okay, nothing will go wrong. Just do like you’ve always done.」
「Cyril-kun, you understood that it was all an act?」
「Of course, cause I do it in front of other people all the time too. Although I do wonder if people do figure it out when I do it though.」
「For a long time I thought so from the beginning.」
「So you saw through me from the start, that is amazing you know. With my selfish character and also being spoiled. If you see it like that, i’d end up ruining the mood you know. It would be nice not to be seen in that way.」
I am always gentle, yet I wear the harsh mask of a chief. For everyone to acknowledge me I have to put up the act.
「Even in front of Lucie-chan?」
「Well, in front of Lucie I have a different mask for that. In front of someone you love no matter what it ends up being like that, don’t want to be hated right?」
Putting my original self in front of her would be scary, she is my most precious person after all.
「Putting that act in front of everyone in Elucie, and then even returning in front of Lucie to put up another act, isn’t it all tiresome?」
「It kinda is, But you get use to it though, I wonder if it’s preferable to have a goal of acting.」
「To go that far to think of Lucie-chan, I am a little jealous~. But someday I want Cyril-kun to show me his true self. If it’s me, no matter what Cyril-kun is, it will be alright.」
「If you’re saying that seriously, I think I would like it for Kuu to stand equally with me. Elucie is not just for someone’s protection, if the Firefox representative and I lead Elucie together. I can rely on Kuu and I can spoil myself.」
The girls will get attached to me, but no matter how much effort I put in, I would never get the same kind of deep respect and admiration as Kuu.
「You also said the same thing before you know, that I am the Firefox family head. But even so, those words gave me courage. Also If Cyril-kun stands next to me I can’t hesitate right….. But, just for little bit, can we hold hands?」
Kuu comes and we gently holds hands.
Even though Firefoxes have a high body temperature, her hand was cold and trembling. I return a strong grip and squeeze her hand.
And then Kuu’s hand stopped trembling and she smiled.
「Well then, shall we go. For the future of Elucie.」
I smiled, Kuu said it wasn’t just for the future of the Firefoxes, but the future of Elucie. Leading the Firefoxes in order to contribute to Elucie, a motivational speech was prepared.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
Going up on stage, the elves are already sitting in their seats.
The Firefox cooking squads are prepped and ready.
I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to talk.
「People of Elucie, I thank you for gathering today despite it being a busy time. Today we are having a get-together for our new comrades, the Firefoxes!」
I’m consciously using a bright voice and a heartfelt expression of happiness. I‘m not having as much fun with this, who said this would be fun.
「Even though I say it’s a get-together, it’s not a formal one. We are just having good food and drink to enjoy ourselves and have fun. Incidentally, the Firefoxes were the ones to prepare all of today’s food. We want everyone to enjoy it, since everyone has been giving their best since this morning. I was being a little devious and snuck a bit here and there, but it was really tasty cooking. In particular the traditional cuisine that was in the soup, I was apprenticing under the people who made it and the sausage; that I guarantee is going to leave a good impression on you.」
Saying so, some people raised a laugh.
The heavy atmosphere got a little lighter. Welp, now is a good time.
「Well, for now I present to you the Firefox representative and family head, Kuu to greet you」
I pass the baton to Kuu with a side glance, I could already tell Kuu was already okay.
「Good afternoon to all the elves here. I am the Firefox family head, Kuu. We thank you very much for accepting us into Elucie. As the Firefox representative, I would like you to receive our gratitude.」
Kuu lowers her head.
The Elves swallow hard. Kuu’s movements were one by one beautiful. Since she was trained at a very young age, she had that aura about herself.
No matter what she is a superior beauty. A person can easily get outspoken, but just appearance alone can help with that. Standing in front of people, appearance is a considerably important parameter. Kuu being beautiful makes it easy to receive favorable impressions.
「And then, we are deeply grateful to receive a place like this. From not long ago, it was as Cyril-sama said, we Firefoxes put all our feelings into this so please take your time to enjoy it. Right now we were allowed to prepare the best cuisines.」
Saying so Kuu claps and the soup for the obon was carried by the girls, who were heading to the Elves that were sitting in their seats. The desks were divided and there was one girl to go to each desk.
The bubbling of the well cooked soup, that had the bean sprouts and sausages in it.
The autumn chill came, it is the season for it after all. The steam from the warm soup filled the air.
The girls who set the tables gathered the young children. With hands touching this is first contact, I want them to keep on giving a good impression, of course with children they aren’t as anxious around them.
「Here you go.」
「It’s hot so be careful, kay.」
「It’s really tasty!」
With the lovely younger Firefoxes setting the tables, the male elves don’t have any sense of things being bad. With the young girls I see a lot more pleased smiles, but I occasionally see those kinds of broad dirty smiles on their faces…. Although it is a bit vexing, it is a necessary evil.
The girls must be conducting themselves and be social. For that Kuu did instruct them to do so, but whether they have a good command of it is something I worried about. But it seems I was worried for nothing.
To some extent the need to create opportunities for good relations and for the people to develop good will toward each other, can’t be helped.
With the soup distribution being finished the girls pour sake into the Elves cups, when that was done they poured their own cups.
About what groups would pour sake for the Elves and themselves, rather than what I thought it was properly communicated and made me feel relieved.
「For today’s cuisine we are not just able to provide just that. I think we want to contribute as members of Elucie. Well the greeting was a bit long and the soup is going to get cold from here…. Well then, for Elves and Firefoxes meeting each other, I feel we should toast to that and the development of Elushie. Cyril-sama.」
Kuu and I, were passed cups from the side of the stage. Kuu with a glance was saying to give a toast as a greeting.
Today’s start of the get-together was not just Kuu’s doing, but I ought to include the Elves and the Firefoxes too in Elucie as the representative of Elucie.
「Everyone raise your glasses, and toast for our new comrades!」
The cups banging together echoed over and over.
And then everyone put their cups to their mouths.
「Well then, I want everyone to enjoy it, but today I think I should go over the idea of today’s plan, the soup and the potato chips are both appetizers.」
Saying that, several elves focus their attention to the Firefoxes who are standing in front of all the cooking equipment.
「There is also another main dish, and because it’s freshly made it is going to have the best taste, and you get to see the finishing touches done right before your eyes. However, there is only so much that can be made at any one time, so one table will be called upon at a time. When the table is called those Elves in turn will stand in order. Until then, I want you to enjoy the potato chips, sake and the dried cranberry. Naturally the Jus on the appetizers is tasty enough, well then, first from the right edge table.」
With my instructions the elves rise and line up in front of the pot.
The girls toss the potatoes in the oil and start placing steaks from the cranberry juice on the iron plate. The sweet and sour smell of the cranberry and the aroma of the grilled wild boar permeated the surroundings.
Just that is enough to stimulate the appetite.
In a blink of an eye the potatoes are done as well as the grilled meat.
That one arranged plate of food, the meat was drowned in the meat cranberry Jus sauce, served with a pinch of salt.
The potatoes also go well with the cranberry sauce, the thought of eating it with just salt was also taken into consideration. The steak as well, if the steak wasn’t seasoned enough the salt in the sauce would rectify that.
Since the iron pot and plate is large, it can prepare a considerable amount of portions in one go. It shouldn’t take more than an hour for everyone to get served right.
「This is like amazin, it’s so tasty.」
「This aroma, I can’t get enough of it…」
The meat that is grilled in front of their eyes just adds the best value to the food. Actually, the Elves who are in front of the iron plate, both the adults and children had eyes bright with anticipation.
The Firefox girls are putting out a lot of heat, thermal regulation is their forte after all. That is why at the moment the best steaks are being made.
With firewood and a stone stove, even with that such a thing isn’t possible right.
I return my gaze to the table and see the Elves enjoying the soup and the potato chips.
「There are called potato chips ya? This salt taste and crunchy texture is something I just can’t get enough of! It also goes well with sake… very well…」
「This soup has a very good taste, the deer base it’s made out of is just delicious.」
「This is a vegetable isn’t it? It has a very crisp like peculiarity about it.」
「Not only that, this sausage whatever it’s called is amazing, it kind of explodes in your mouth kind of texture, and the Jus just jumps out and has a lot of substance to it. It’s amazin, you know. This… This is Firefox traditional food! Those guys have been eating this kind of food all this time you know!」
「Earlier, I asked that Firefox child who gave the soup, this sausage is a preserved food, and it will be distributed to everyone later.」
「Really?! It’s today’s soup but, the baked bread between that was also like great too wasn’t it. To be given such good stuff, somehow I am thankful for the Firefoxes.」
As predicted… very popular.
The potato chip lipid, salt, and carbohydrate combo has the best affinity along with sake, it was even substantiated with science. And in order to get the best taste of the fat just jumping out, the lard was kneaded into the sausage along with the deer liver to give the sweetness and substance to it.
If you keep eating it though, your stomach would have trouble digesting it. But if the bone and leg meat is cooked well and the scum is removed to have a clear soup. Even if it has a heavy taste of meat, it will wash away the oil that collects on your mouth.
Taking off the whiskers one by one from the bean sprouts contributes greatly to the soup. The full taste of the soup can be slurped up and the greatest food texture that comes out allows your mouth to feel refreshed.
「Finally, seems we can get to the main.」
「it is isn’t it, I haven’t even tried it yet and that aroma is just making me dizzy.」
And then the first batch returned with their food in hand.
The sweet aroma of the steak gathered looks from all around.
「But, there is nothing to cut it with. Since wild boar meat is hard, at this rate it will be difficult you know.」
A young Elf girl looked around restlessly. Wild boar meat being hard is a common belief among Elves.
「It’s okay. I’ve bitten into it and simply cut it with my teeth.」
The Firefox girl Kemin gave some timely assistance.
Of course it being said from a young girl, still had Elves all around having faces of doubt.
「It really is soft magical steak, here try it.」
Bring pressured and being in that unwilling state, the young Elf girl held the steak to her mouth and then with one bite, cut into the meat easily.
「This… this can’t be, even though it’s wild boar meat, it’s really soft and juicy. This is the first time… Was wild boar meat always this tasty?! And also this sauce, even though it has the taste of meat, the sweet and sour taste of it, just makes me completely want to eat it no matter what.」
With the muscle and sinew thoroughly tenderized along with the cranberry enzymes that broke down the amino acids, the steak was made unbelievably soft. The sweet and sour sauce mitigated the fattiness.
The little remaining greasiness is neutralized when the soup is slurped up, and soon after you end up wanting to eat the next thing.
「Really? if that’s the case so will I, ah, you’re right. it’s like it’s melting in my mouth.」
「I thought wild boar had to be boiled well, but there was also this way to eat it too…」
「Also this pommes frites are also amazin!. not soggy, even with the same ingredients these potato chips I don’t think they are the same thing.」
「Hey! Try this sauce with the pommes frites! The taste of meat is just very penetrating, ah… it already passed… aren’t there any seconds?」
The reaction from the first group caused the eye color from all around to change. Now the other Elves were fidgeting, wondering when their turn would be.
It’s a good reaction, with that kind of expectation, it has the effect of increasing the taste of the cuisine a number of times.
「It’s a great success. Anyway Kuu, they have an interest in the Firefox cuisine. When it’s calmed down assemble the Firefoxes and have them change seats, we’ll let them talk with each other and share stories. The food is probably going to be the main topic, so they won’t put on the spot about other subjects right.」
And then, doing it like that this time was the ulterior motive to the cooking.
Suddenly, it becomes more like a social gathering, kinda like a family get-together. Yah, everyone is being friendly to one another, a good topic to start with doesn’t allow troublesome conversations to bounce around.
While the food gives a good atmosphere, the cooking is going to end up being the topic.
The elves want to know the details about the food and will be questioning them extensively, the ones on the service line and even the Firefoxes themselves, they will be talking about the results right.
「Just where are you thinking ahead this time Cyril-kun…..?」
「Thinking about what parts were a hit and miss, you know.」
「Cyril-kun, about it being a hit or miss, I don’t know what exactly happened? But, thank you so much, the gathering here feels like it’s going well. It’s all thanks to Cyril-kun, preparing the place, convincing the Elves, stocking up the ingredients, even the cuisine. Really, there isn’t enough times I can say thank you.」
「Well, that’s wrong you know Kuu, today was the result of all the Firefoxes, everyone doing their best.」
I have to correct her on that, if I don’t it would be pitiful if she didn’t realize that it was everyone doing their best.
「Certainly this time I prepared the place, and did show you the way to make all the tasty cuisines. But they were only that tasty because of all the labor that went into it. If even just a little bit of effort was taken out, it would have ended horribly. I want everyone to enjoy themselves. I want them to be Elucie’s comrades, thinking that, all the girls gave it their all, and because of that it turned out well」
「Well, certainly that is the case. It’s all because of the girls giving it their best wasn’t it. But, Cyril-kun was really doing a lot of the hard work, I am not going to give up thinking that.」
「Kuu saying so is a part of you that I like, you know. And anyway, Kuu was especially trying your best along with everyone. Kuu… Good work and also, thank you.」
Kuu was honestly complementing people, that is unexpectedly difficult.
Because it’s that Kuu, I also want to praise her.
We both said words of thanks to each other.
And, Kuu’s face got a little red and she averted her eyes. This is bad, that wasn’t my intention to make a move like that, it became a suggestive kind of thing.
「Well then, let’s get to work. We can’t let everyone’s hard work go to waste.」
「Yes, of course.」
Saying that both of us got off the stage.
Well, with all the joyful greetings going around; when that finishes next is today’s main event.