Our work for the day was over.
The infrastructures were in place so we now planned on focusing on the commerce side of things starting tomorrow. The apples and the hard breads would serve as our city’s products alongside the weapons that Elder Dwarf prepared. Thinking of additional interesting things to put on sale was a necessary task too.
Leaving that aside……
“Hot spring! ♪”
Yes, a hot spring.
Around the second day of our city’s development, Ancient Elf mentioned to me that the water under the ground was flowing strangely. When she went to investigate it, she discovered that there was a natural wellspring there. She dug it up and we built a public bath house for the city using the simple designs suggested by Elder Dwarf.
I thought that a public bathhouse such as this was needed for the health and enjoyment of the people of this city so it was a huge blessing. Health and entertainment aren’t its only purpose though; it would also serve as an inn that would help attract the humans. For those reasons, we put in the effort and completed the bath house. I prioritized resistance to degradation and ease of maintenance so the pool itself was built of stone.
By the way, in regards to the natural wellspring, Elder Dwarf devised a pump that would draw the water up while also diluting it down. There was a need for diluting it because this city’s wellspring was affected by the elves’ blessing and therefore had a far higher concentration of minerals than an ordinary wellspring.
“Oto-san, you’re so slow.”
Kuina pulled my hand as she urged me to hurry up. I couldn’t help myself from smiling wryly at her.
We then entered the public bathhouse and proceeded to the changing area. She instantly and unabashedly threw her clothes off while Elder Dwarf, on the other hand, looked slightly embarrassed as she slowly took off her clothes. Meanwhile, Ancient Elf smiled as she watched the two. By the time they were done changing, I was instantly undressed. I seemed to not have any trouble with being seen naked.
“Oto-san, let’s go!”
“Master, hurry up.”
“Kuina and Elder Dwarf both look so cute. *drool*”
I nodded at them and headed toward the bath.
By the way, my clothes were made of magic power so I didn’t need to change. Whenever I dismiss my clothing, my body would absorb the magical energies. In a way, this too was an ability of a Demon Lord. And as the Demon Lord grows stronger, so too will his equipment.
When we entered the bath, clouds of steam were rising. At the center of it all was the pool made of stone.
Kuina, naked and tail swinging, neared the pool of water. Having an appearance of a 12 or maybe 13 year old girl, her growth was going along nicely. As her father though, I think I would want her to show some kind of embarrassment soon.
I then turned my gaze at the silver-haired Elder Dwarf that looked the same age as Kuina. She was a beauty with a flat chest but rather than likening her to a little girl, it would be better to say she was as slender as a sprite.
“Master, don’t look at me like that. It’s embarrassing.”
That was the right kind of embarrassment I would like Kuina to also display.
“Master, what are you spacing out for?”
Something softly collided with my back. It was Ancient Elf who came to embrace me.
“Ancient Elf? Can you not do something like this when you’re naked, at the very least?”
“It’s master so there’s no problem. I’m glad master’s back is so big.”
She looked slightly older than Kuina and the others at around 14 or maybe 15 years old. Her figure was greatly more mature compared to them as well. To be specific, she had large breasts.
Clinging onto my back, her womanly charms were through the roof.
“I get it so let me go.”
Despite being my own creation, I had no control over her base personality. I might forget myself if she does something more than this.
“Alright. Fufufu. Master has given me the cold shoulder so it looks like I have to show my love for Kuina-chan and El-chan instead, don’t I?”
Like a beast eyeing its prey, Ancient Elf looked at Kuina and Elder Dwarf.
Kuina’s tail then stood on end while Elder Dwarf’s spine tingled.
It was a relatively serious matter.
At any case though, Kuina, after pouring hot water over her head, was the first to head to the pool and submerge in it. She then displayed an ecstatic face. So cute.
“Let’s go, shall we? Otherwise, Kuina will be dizzy before we even get in the water.”
“That’s certainly so.”
“Yeah, right? I want to be in the water with everyone at the same time.”
And so, we poured hot water on ourselves and submerged in the water.
“AH! El-chan, no! That’s my spot!”
“First come, first serve. Kuina is always enjoying this spot but today, today is my turn.”
I leaned my back to a wall and spread my legs open but the moment she got in the water, Elder Dwarf slid her small body in the space created by my open legs. Kuina was usually the one to do something like this. Just when I thought Elder Dwarf was strangely sticking close to me, it turned out she was just aiming to do this before Kuina even had a chance.
“Uggghh. Kuina’s spot….”
Said Kuina as glared toward us.
“Now, now. The early bird gets the early worm so there’s no helping it. Kuina-chan, let me make up for your loneliness, okay?”
Ancient Elf happily hugged Kuina from behind. Moreover, she restlessly moved her hands and caressed various places. As a result, Kuina leaked out a passionate gasp but immediately replaced it with grim expression.
“Only Oto-san is allowed to do something like that. Plus, Elf-chan, touching me only on weird places makes me hate it all the more.”
Kuina shook her body and broke free of the hold she was in. She then went my way. When I wondered what she was about to do, she lightly pushed Elder Dwarf to the right, slipped in to the space that was created, and then leaned on me.
The feeling of her tail made wet by the water on the pool and on my skin; the feeling of the girls leaning their back on me… it all felt great.
“The two of you are small enough to both fit here.”
“But today’s my turn.”
“We don’t have go by the pecking order, El-chan.”
“…I’ll remember those words. The next time you’re about to act like a spoiled child, I’ll bounce those words back to you.”
At that, Elder Dwarf smiled. Kuina was sly but were full of openings which were occasionally exploited by Elder Dwarf.
“Master, I’m jealous. I want to be loved together with Kuina-chan and El-chan.”
“Yeah, come here.”
Relaxing at a hot spring and enjoying the warmth coming from the girls, this was the life.
“Hug us tightly like you always do.”
“That’s a good idea. Master, please.”
I was powerless before their request and wrapped my arms around the two of them. I felt their soft bodies on my arms as I tightened my embrace on each passing moment.
Hot springs are wonderful, I thought as I savored the moment’s bliss. However, as time passed, problems arose. Problems that stemmed from me being a man. I have to endure, I urged myself.
“We should get out soon.”
“No—! The bath feels good, let’s stay a bit longer.”
“Do you not want to stay like this anymore, master?”
The girls gave out their undebatable requests. There was no way I could have turned them down after they put it like that. However, the fact remained that I was in a serious pinch. Thankfully, at that moment, a goddess of salvation appeared.
“Master, Kuina-chan, El-chan, I made something interesting so that we can fully enjoy the bath.”
The goddess in question was Ancient Elf who was holding three bamboo containers.
“First, take this Kuina-chan and El-chan.”
She poured some kind of honey-colored liquid into cups and handed them to the two. Drawn by the beverage’s fragrance, the two separated from me.
“It’s sweet, sour, and delicious. Thanks, Elf-chan.”
“It’s cold. Drinking it inside the bath is the best.”
I guessed that those bamboo containers perhaps contained ice-cold apple juice. Also, since Kuina was not aware of anything about it, I guessed that Ancient Elf borrowed the Mythological Foxes’ abilities. She was fond of beautiful women so naturally she interacted not only with her direct subordinates, the High Elves, but also with the Dwarf Smiths and the Mythological Foxes as well.
For some reason, she was strangely liked. Unlike her equals, Kuina and Elder Dwarf, the followers view Ancient Elf as an existence far higher than their own.
“And this one’s for us.”
She presented another bamboo container which also had a liquid in it. This time however it had some foaming in it.
“Can this really be?”
“You’ll enjoy drinking it.”
I filled myself with expectations as I drank from my cup.
“This is some fine alcohol.”
Yes, what she made was alcohol. The drink gave me the impression that it was a strong alcoholic drink with the refreshing feeling of both apple and carbonated drinks.
Its taste and aftertaste were both really delicious. It seemed like I could drink to my heart’s content.
The cold drink spread throughout my burning-hot body.
“That’s right. Just eating apples raw is boring and especially since there were some nice yeast around, I decided to ferment the apples.”
“You’re certainly right about this being for us. It’s still too early for Kuina and Elder Dwarf to have this.”
When I said those words, Ancient Elf chuckled and then whispered into my ear.
“Yeah, they’re still too young for the alcohol, among other things. If you’d like, you can also enjoy those other things with me.”
She whispered so and immediately separated from me. She then drank from her cup as she gave me a satisfied looking smile.
“No, like those girls, you’re my precious daughter so of course I won’t do something weird to you. Ahem, moving on, I didn’t know you could make something like alcohol.”
“Yes, it’s actually a specialty of mine.”
Alcohols are things made by borrowing the power of nature so Ancient Elf obviously, in retrospect, could make some. And alcohol this fine was sure to get attention.
“It looks like this will also sell well, wouldn’t it? Can you make many of it?”
“Yes, it will be easy with my abilities.”
A reliable reply.
And then, I noticed something strange with my body. My body felt immensely lighter and all my fatigue gone. It could be attributed to the effects of the hot spring, I supposed, but it wouldn’t have been this direct. Just what on earth, I wondered.
“Ancient Elf, did you put anything special in this drink? My body feels strangely better.”
“Nothing at all. It’s the effects of the fruit itself. The fruit born out of the apple tree which I, an Ancient Elf, blessed with all my strength from when it was a seed. It’s no longer an ordinary apple tree, you see.”
I remembered that scene where she poured rainbow-colored water into the seed.
“Then, how about if I eat apples normally?”
“If you do, then firstly, your self-regenerative abilities will drastically improve. Any light illnesses will be cured in one go and your resistance to diseases will also improve. You will also recover from any fatigue and make you harder to be fatigued as well. Eating nothing but one apple could sustain you for the whole day.”
I was slightly overwhelmed. It wasn’t an apple anymore but rather a sort of magic potion. It certainly had wonderful effects but it seemed like it would be too conspicuous.
“I am little troubled on whether it’s alright to sell the apples to the humans.”
It would be the hot topic among adventurers in no time at all. There was even the possibility that a war would seriously break out for the apples.
“If that’s the case, then it’ll be alright. Only the first tree would have the strong effects. The rest will still have similar effects, just toned down. If I seriously bless every single one of them, no matter how much magic power I have, it will never be enough anyways. It’s better too that only the first tree would have the full set of effects because that tree’s the special tree in our memories, right?”
That relieved me of my concerns. If the most the fruit could do was relieve a little fatigue, heal a wound just a little bit faster than normal, and sate one’s hunger a little better, I would have little to no problem offering it to the humans.
“I’m relieved to hear that. Nothing less of the race that lives along with nature, the Ancient Elves.”
It seemed to me that she was far stronger than I had expected and the current situation had made me realize that again.
“Fufufu. I’m an amazing monster too, aren’t I, master?”
She said as she swelled her ample breasts. In that moment, Kuina interjected.
“Elf-chan, what’s in the last container? Kuina’s looking forward to it!”
That reminded me that Ancient did bring along 3 bamboo containers.
Seeing that the first two contained some delicious juice and alcohol, I had no doubt the last one would also be something fantastic.
“Ta-dah! It’s some apple sorbet! When I was talking with master some time ago, something like this came up so I tried to make some. After I added some honey into the grated apples, I whipped the mixture as I froze it.”
With a smile on her face, she distributed everyone’s portion. When I took a mouthful, I found that it had the right amount of sweet and sour. The juice and alcohol were fine treats but this sorbet was out of this world. It made being in the hot spring even more appealing.
Kuina and Elder Dwarf seemed especially charmed, their eyes sparkling as they ate the apple sorbet.
Like this, we leisurely passed the time in the hot spring.
The combination of the hot spring and the juice, alcohol, and sorbet made of apples would serve as one of this city’s attractions and help entice lure in people to stay a night at the inn.
Ancient Elf had performed splendidly today. So much so that it almost made me lose face as her father. I should be more mindful from now on.
You can view all of Volume 1’s illustrations here: Light Novel Volume 1 Illustrations