It has been getting warmer recently.
There was still snow in the wasteland, but the cold wasn’t as harsh anymore.
Hopefully, the relatively warm days meant that spring has come to the wasteland.
“Is your bottom alright now?”
Leonius-san, the patriarch of the elves, said so bashfully.
For a time, he found it hard to do certain things, even walk. It looks like he has now made a full recovery though.
“Still, it’s worrying that multiple people have pain in their bottoms after coming to our village. Do you have any clue on the cause?”
“N-no, I don’t…”
For some reason, Leonius-san avoided making eye contact while saying so.
…I just hope it isn’t a disease peculiar to our village.
As the village chief, I naturally wanted to investigate what the cause was.
“(I just can’t say it… I just can’t say that we’ve enjoyed the wash toilet so much, we got hemorrhoids…what’s more, both parent and child…)”
“N-no, it’s nothing! …more importantly, Luke-dono, I’d like to thank you again for everything you’ve done for us. We are in your debt.”
I feel like he’s deliberately changing the subject, but, oh well, I guess.
“It seems the repairs are done, huh.”
“Yes, they are. Thanks to that, we could now return to our hamlet.”
“That’s great news, isn’t it?”
It seemed like the time to bid farewell to the elves, who have been with us through the winter, was fast approaching.
But then again, with the underground tunnel connecting the village and their hamlet, we could meet each other anytime.
“Is it alright if we keep the tunnel in place?”
“Yes, most certainly. It would be our pleasure to continue being friends with you.”
Leonius-san cheerfully said so, but then suddenly looked like he had trouble continuing to talk.
“Actually…actually, some of us have expressed a desire to continue living in this village…”
I was so surprised by what he said.
I’ve always thought that the elves, who usually lived in the forest, found life here in the village to be stressful. And it was that stress that made their bottoms ache.
So, now that I was told that some of the elves wanted to stay behind, of course I was happy.
“Yes. O-of course, if it’s too much trouble, I’ll tell them off and bring them back with us…”
“No, no, it’s not trouble at all. We have plenty of food and plenty of space, so having more living here is better for us, actually.”
“Are you sure? Can they really immigrate here?”
“Yes, absolutely. They’re more than welcome.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The next day.
It has been decided that some of the elves would immigrate here, while the rest would go back to their hamlet.
I wonder which group Philia-san’s going to be in. She’s the patriarch’s daughter, so I guess it’s only natural for her to go back.
To bid each other goodbye, the elves have gathered in the plaza.
“Luke-dono, as representative of our people, I would like to express my gratitude again. Moreover, from the bottom of our hearts, we hope your village continues to develop.”
“Leonius-san, thank you. I wish you well too. Also, please come by again. You’ll always be welcome here.”
Leonius-san was their patriarch, so of course he would be going back to the hamlet.
…supposedly, the villagers heard someone yelling “I don’t wanna go back, I don’t wanna go back!!!” from the apartment building that Leonius-san was staying at.
Surely, they were just imagining that, right?
“Well then, everyone, let us now return to our hamlet!”
Leonius-san said so and then entered the tunnel…only to go back just a few moments later.
“H-hey, why didn’t anyone follow me!?”
Yes, not a single elf went to follow Leonius-san into the tunnel.