While Procell had gone to the [Plain] to master [Awakening], Kuina the Celestial Fox, Rorono the Elder Dwarf, and Aura the Ancient Elf all gathered in Kuina’s secret base.
It was an underground room that was not known even by Procell.
By nature, foxes had the habit of digging out a hole in the ground and Kuina was no exception.
Through the help of Rorono, who possessed the best smithing abilities in the world, Kuina’s secret den was built to be extremely pleasant despite it being under the ground.
The three girls would gather here whenever they wanted to talk with one another but not be heard by Procell. After all, even though they were his [Monsters of the Covenant], there were still things that adolescent girls didn’t want their father to know about.
“The third [Monsters of the Covenant] meeting hereby begins!”
Presiding over today’s meeting was Kuina.
By striking the blackboard in the torch-lit room, she signified the start of their meeting.
Her trademark fox ears were upright and her mood motivated.
In contrast, Rorono and Aura simply ate the cookies they bought in Avalon while cozily sitting on a sofa.
“Rorono-chan, Aura-chan, why aren’t you more focused?! This is a serious matter!”
Kuina uncharacteristically shouted and then puffed her cheeks.
In response, Rorono issued out a small sigh and then spoke:
“Kuina, why did you have to turn it into a [Monsters of the Covenant] meeting? All I wanted was to consult you on what to ask for my reward.”
A [Monsters of the Covenant] meeting wasn’t held unless there was something very important that its members needed to discuss.
As for how this particular meeting came to be, Rorono had visited Kuina to ask the latter for advice when Kuina suddenly suggested to hold a meeting and then forcefully dragged Aura into it all.
Rorono thought that her reward wasn’t enough of a reason to warrant a meeting. They were busy enough as they were; if they were to use any of their time, it had to be for something productive.
“Don’t worry, your reward isn’t today’s main topic but it is related to that!”
Kuina proudly said so.
Meanwhile, Aura raised a hand.
“Aura-chan, you have the floor.”
“Chairman Kuina, please inform us the purpose of this meeting. Depending on that, I may choose to go back. As I wasn’t able to yesterday, I want to have fun with the High Elves today.”
“Mhm. I want to go back too; I want to repair the golems.”
For today and yesterday, all of Procell’s monsters were given holidays.
However, due to Aura’s absence—which was because of the war—the apple trees needed thorough care and thus resulted in her having to forfeit her day off yesterday.
Thankfully, yesterday was enough to finish all those tasks. So, after doing only the absolutely necessary tasks in the morning, it was planned that from noon today, she and her subordinates, the High Elves, were to enjoy their holiday together.
As for Rorono, she had finished all the gathered smithing jobs yesterday and today, her plan was to repair the golems using the golems parts recovered from the [Beast] Demon Lord’s dungeon.
In short, both Aura and Rorono were extremely busy.
“Listen carefully. Today’s main topic is”
Kuina said so as she vigorously wrote the words for the main topic on the blackboard, making each character as big as possible.
“How do we make sure that Oto-san won’t be taken away?”
Kuina excitedly asked so but again, Rorono and Aura looked disinterested.
“Kuina-chan, I’m going back now, okay?”
“Bye, Kuina. If you think of a good reward, let me know.”
The two stood up and began their way back.
“Wait, hold on. Listen to what Kuina has to say first”
Kuina then grabbed the hem of their clothes and stood her ground.
“You know, Kuina-chan, there’s no need to worry about master being taken away.”
“I agree. Master loves us all.”
Aura and Rorono gently told so to Kuina to persuade her.
“You two are being naïve. Yesterday was supposed to be Kuina’s turn at Oto-san’s day but… but… Fel stole it away!”
In a teary voice, Kuina complained so.
Each day, through rotation, the one who gets the chance to sleep together with Procell would change. Officially though, the rotation was to decide which one was going to guard Procell for that day. At any rate, it was a most enjoyable day for them where they could act all spoiled. And thus, such a day was referred to as Father’s day—or Oto-san’s day for Kuina.
“It was the day for Oto-san give Fel-chan her reward so even if it was Kuina’s turn, Kuina didn’t sleep together with Oto-san. Kuina didn’t get to enjoy Oto-san’s day.”
It was definitely a big deal for Kuina, as evidenced by her flopped-down fox-ears and her unmoving fox-tail.
“Kuina, these things happen; you don’t have to feel so down. Moreover, I’ll talk to master and ask him to adjust the schedule.”
“Rorono-chan, I love you!”
Kuina declared so and hugged Rorono.
Meanwhile, Rorono returned the embraced, and then patted Kuina on the head while saying there, there, to comfort her.
However, looking still worried, Kuina continued to talk.
“…but still, this is the first time that this happened. Even when Wight was reborn or when Ruru-chan showed up, this didn’t happen. And Kuina doesn’t think this will be the last.”
“You have a point.”
“It’s already a problem with just Fel-chan but now, the [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias is here and that person’s special to Oto-san.”
Upon hearing those words, the gravity of the situation finally dawned on Rorono and Aura.
“This requires consideration.”
“Yeah, it might be a bit bad for us.”
The two said so and sat down on the sofa.
Meanwhile, Kuina returned to the front of the blackboard.
“The worst case scenario is that from now on, Marchosias-sama will be the only one to enjoy Oto-san’s day. If charmed by her, Oto-san might no longer notice us.”
The three Covenant Monsters’ face all went pale.
A scenario where the [Creation] Demon Lord they love and respect was no longer interested in them anymore was nothing but a nightmare to them.
“It is at this time that we need to stand as one!”
Kuina once again raised her voice.
This time, being aware of the situation, Rorono and Aura nodded.
“Kuina-chan, first, we should think of how we will get master to love and keep loving us. I think that if we make ourselves absolutely indispensable, master will continue to care about us.”
“Exactly. Oto-san does often say he rewards hard work.”
While keeping her eyes on Aura, Kuina continued to speak.
“First up, Aura-chan, you’re amazing. It is because of you that the humans can farm with ease. Plus, your apples are amazing! So, Aura-chan, you’re without a doubt absolutely essential to Avalon!”
“If you say things like that, you’re going to make me blush.”
In order to feed on human emotions, humans must first be gathered. In this regard, Aura was very helpful.
If crops were grown in Avalon’s fields, they would grow big, nutritious, and delicious tasting. Moreover, abundant harvests were guaranteed along with the promises of no diseases or calamity befalling on the crops. This information became well-known among humans, thus prompting the successive immigration of farmers into Avalon. All of these were due to Aura and the High Elves’ blessings.
Additionally, there were also the apples they personally raised themselves. These products, even when eaten as they were, were more potent than low grade potions. And then, among those, there were the much more potent golden apples from the very special [First Tree].
Truly, Aura was indispensable for Avalon.
“Rorono-chan, you’re amazing too! You make lots of amazing weapons and draw lots of humans into Avalon! And it’s thank to you that humans can live comfortably here!”
“Your praise makes me glad but I am only doing duty.”
Whatever look Rorono had, it wasn’t of dissatisfaction.
As Kuina had said, without Rorono, Avalon’s fighting force would drop down to 1/3 of what it currently was. It was no understatement that Avalon was dependent on the weapons and golems that Rorono had made.
Some of the weapons she made were also sold to the humans and the fame of such weapons had spread not only across the country but also abroad. Each day, many humans would come to Avalon just to purchase her weapons.
Additionally, Rorono was the one in charge of building all of the infrastructures in Avalon, like its waterways for example. Thanks to all of that, Avalon was probably the most sanitary city in the world.
An Avalon without Rorono was unthinkable.
“And then, Kuina… What about Kuina? Kuina isn’t the best at anything. Is Kuina not essential to Oto-san?”
Kuina’s voice grew quieter and quieter as she said so.
And then, while hugging herself and shaking, Kuina frantically thought for things she was best in. unfortunately though, nothing came to her mind. It was at that point that she thought the worst: that maybe, even without her, Avalon would have no problem carrying on.
“Kuina-chan, you’re irreplaceable. You’re the strongest monster in Avalon, after all!”
Aura gave words of encouragement but Kuina only became more depressed.
“Kuina is the strongest? Once maybe. If you look at Marchosias-sama, you’ll know Kuina can’t win against her. Kuina doesn’t have a chance. It’s hard to win against Wight too. Kuina might be equal to Fel-chan but Kuina definitely isn’t the strongest.”
Until recently, Kuina had the honor of being [Creation] Demon Lord Procell’s strongest monster.
Depending on the strategy, she could still force a win against Wight; he might have explosive power but such power was unstable and hard to control.
When Fel, someone that could rival Kuina, showed up, Kuina’s heart went into riot. But the difference in their combat experience showed that Kuina was slightly the better combatant.
However, then came [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias. She was special; no matter how much Kuina tried, there was no hope in winning against her. Not only was she better than Kuina in stats but also in combat experience.
“Kuina, you’re the leader of all the monsters in Avalon. You’re the most loved. There’s no need to rush to such conclusions.”
“Kuina’s not that too, Rorono-chan. Wight is better at leading and is more loved by everyone. Kuina can never lead everyone as skillfully as Wight does.”
Kuina was at her wit’s end.
She was aware that she was relied and trusted on by the other monsters but, as great as that was, that was the extent of it; she knew that it was impossible to lead the other monsters as well as Wight did.
At that, Kuina rapidly grew terrified, scared of the thought that because she wasn’t the best in anything, her turn to have Oto-san’s day would be stolen away.
Such dreadful thoughts of being unimportant rapidly flooded to her mind.
“……now that you say that, then perhaps you really aren’t the number one monster anymore.”
Rorono matter-of-factly stated so.
In response, tears welled up in Kuina eyes.
“Rorono-chan, please choose your words carefully.”
“Lying won’t help anyway. However, master… Father is not the kind of Demon Lord that will dislike a monster just because they aren’t the best at anything. I expect you know that too, Kuina.”
“Kuina knows that but if there’s a monster that’s stronger than Kuina, it won’t be strange for that monster to be more important than Kuina…”
Kuina wasn’t sure whether Procell cared for her as much as he did because she was the strongest or simply because she was herself. What she was sure of was that the moment she wasn’t the strongest anymore, she lost her turn to have Oto-san’s day. That was what mattered to her.
“I understand. If your anxiety is due to you not being the strongest anymore, I will just have to make you the strongest.”
“That’s impossible. That person’s too strong.”
“I will close that gap in strength. By my pride as the world’s best smith, I will make you into the strongest monster ever. I will make an extremely strong weapon that’ll make full use of your adult form’s power. By doing so, you can even surpass that person!”
“Why do so much for me, Rorono-chan?”
“Because you are my older sister. You may be annoying from time to time but you worry and care for me always. …this is my way of saying thanks for that. Besides, for me, you’re the world’s best older sister so I can’t just abandon you, can I?”
Tears in her eyes, Kuina hugged Rorono.
Instead of being tears of sorrow, her tears were now of joy.
“I’ll help too. I’m developing a new kind of potion made from golden apples that’ll help monsters draw out their latent potentials. If you drink it each day, you should grow stronger. It’ll be finished soon and once it’s complete, I’ll send you some right away. …I also love my older sister so I don’t want you to lose!”
“Aura-chan, I love you too!”
Kuina hugged Aura as well.
No matter what were said, Kuina was undoubtedly loved by the other monsters as a result of her being kind and caring for them.
While still wiping the tears off, Kuina sat down. Judging that Kuina wouldn’t be able to continue her duties as the chairman of the meeting anymore, Rorono decided to take over.
“The conclusion for this time’s meeting is to make Kuina stronger and have her reclaim her place at being number one. To achieve that, all of us [Monsters of the Covenant] must exert all of our efforts. Kuina, Aura and I will do our best to support you but for you to grow stronger, your effort is more important.”
“Apart from that, you probably also need to talk to master personally.”
“I have the same opinion. I think that if you go talk to master, you’ll be convinced that he cares for you not only because you’re the best at anything.”
Kuina and Rorono both nodded. Still though, the uneasiness in their hearts didn’t disappear.
“Rorono-chan, I thought up something good. For your reward, how about you ask master for an opportunity to converse a lot? Wouldn’t that make you really happy?”
Aura began telling her idea and when Kuina and Rorono heard it, they were both excited.
“Aura-chan, that’s a good idea!”
“Mhm, I think so too.”
The two proceeded to praise Aura for her marvelous idea.
After a while, Rorono cleared her throat.
“Well then, this [Monsters of the Covenant] meeting is adjourned. From now on as well, as [Monsters of the Covenant], let us support master in any way we can. …All three of us.”
Clapping resounded all over the room as the meeting ended.
Thanks to this meeting, the bond of the three had grown stronger still.
~Back to Procell’s point of view~
I had finished practicing with [Awakening] and was finally returning to my residence.
On our way, because Marcho still clung to my right arm, we received plenty of teasing from the citizens of Avalon. I didn’t mind it though.
When we arrived, I found Rorono in front of the house.
When Rorono noticed me, she rushed over, her silver hair fluttering in the wind.
“Rorono, have you decided on a reward?”
“Mhm, I have. What I wish for is some of Father’s time. Please be with me and only me for even just a day. Just me and you, Father.”
Rorono placed her hand on my chest and pleaded so. In return, I smiled wryly.
“Of course, it will be done. On that matter, if we stay here in Avalon, everyone else will get in the way of your request so let’s go outside the city.”
Hearing that, Rorono’s eyes sparkled.
She was so adorable and thus, I decided to pat her head.
“Thank you, Father! I’m looking forward to it!”
After saying so, Rorono walked away.
She’s so adorable. If this much will make her happy, I’ll be glad to cooperate.
“Woah, Procell, that smile. As I thought, you really are a lolicon, huh?”
“No, I’m not. It’s just that my daughter is so adorable.”
Marcho teased me so.
I ignored her jests and began making plans for my and Rorono’s trip.
Granting her request of a full day without anything else to worry about would have to wait until after the upcoming feast though; I might be too busy to afford being away for that long.
Now that I think about it, I might have been too busy lately to care for Kuina and the others. As the father, I think I have to spend time with my family from time to time.