I finished my reply letter for the royal family of Axera. As it was already late, I planned on sending it the next day.
There was little chance that the royal family members would be coming right away and without warning. I expected them to at least send an advance delegation first. If my guess was right, they would arrive after my meeting with the [Black] Demon Lord.
The question then was how much the royal family knew.
If they knew that the god their state religion worshipped was actually a Demon Lord, my meeting with them would be simpler. Because if so, they should feel considerably resentful to the [Black] Demon Lord for manipulating their country however he wanted.
But, well, let’s worry about that later.
“I’m back too, master.”
Kuina and Rorono had just come home.
Kuina wasn’t wearing the dress we bought earlier, but rather her usual combat clothes. As for Rorono, her face was covered in soot.
When I tried to wipe away the soot, Rorono’s face grew red as though she was embarrassed.
“Welcome back, you two. Should we eat right away?”
“Yay ♪ a meal tastes better after a lot of exercise”
“…I’ve used my brain to the limits; an intake of sugar is necessary.”
Ohh, the two seem very hungry.
We Demon Lords and monsters could survive on consuming nothing but human emotions. And as long as we were here in Avalon, we didn’t have to worry about that. That said, we ate three meals a day as a form of recreation.
“Then, for your hard work today, I’ll make dinner. Since the beef was cheap, I thought I’d make some wine beef stew.”
“Yay ♪ Aura-chan’s wine stews are the best!”
“I concur. Others’ can’t compare.”
Aura freely used her wind magic to use an ordinary pot as though it was a pressure cooker. Like that, she was able to make a beef stew with tender meat in a short amount of time.
Some would say it was a waste to use wind magic like so, but considering the taste it produced, I would argue it was worth it.
Aura’s wine beef stew was a favorite of mine, so I looked forward to it as well.
I only seldomly thought this but the sight of Aura’s back as she stood in the kitchen was charmingly perfect. It was something moving, actually. Although Kuina and Rorono also looked cute whenever they helped out in the kitchen, it just wasn’t like with Aura.
“Well then, let’s eat”
Aura said so as she placed a large container full of her wine beef stew.
Our sides were tomato & lettuce salad and mashed potatoes.
By the way, potatoes were one of Avalon’s most important crops. Before I made some with my [Creation], they didn’t exist anywhere in the world. Over time, we had easily grown and harvested them multiple times.
Thanks to the elves continually blessing the lands in Avalon and also managing the weather here, potatoes—and other crops—were grown easily and harvested in abundance here. Presently, cuisines that had potatoes were gaining popularity and could be found in almost every restaurant in the city.
Potatoes were being sold outside of Avalon too. And according to the tales I heard, potatoes were also being grown outside as well using the seeds sold by the farmers.
That said, since the flavor caused by the elves’ blessings made the Avalon-grown potatoes far tastier, the popularity of our crops was not affected. Besides, if the humans outside of Avalon had potatoes, they would prosper and increase in number. The more there were of them for us to feed on, the better.
I was thinking of such things when we began our meal.
“As expected, Aura-chan’s stew is the best! And when the soft and flaky mashed potato is dipped in this sauce, it gets even better!”
“…It goes well with alcohol.”
Kuina scooped up an enormous amount of mashed potato onto her plate, while Rorono drank strong alcohol in one gulp.
Given that Rorono was a dwarf, she was rather fond of alcohol and could drink lots of it. I don’t think I have ever seen her get drunk before.
Previously, Aura was opposed to have the children drink alcohol, but after considering the traits of the races, she no longer objected.
As for Kuina, she disliked the taste of alcohol and didn’t drink any at all. Her sense of taste was like that of a child’s.
“Rorono, if you drink too much alcohol, you won’t grow. You’re a growing girl, yeah?”
After looking at Aura and Kuina’s chests, Rorono looked at hers and then stowed away the bottle of alcohol she was drinking.
It looks like she still wants to grow.
“I understand. I’ll stop drinking alcohol.”
Right after she said so, she drank wine from a new bottle she brought out.
“Wait, what happened to stopping? Isn’t that alcohol too?”
“This is just juice. This has a strength of less than 50%. Not worthy of being called an alcohol at all.”
She said so with a serious look.
As to be expected of a dwarf. Such strength.
I then looked at Aura who was entranced as she watched Kuina and Rorono eat. Since she was fond of cute girls, the sight of two cute girls eating her cooking must have been absolute bliss for her.
Also, though she liked a lot of cute girls, it seemed like her favorites were Kuina and Rorono.
And then, as though some kind of comedy sketch, the enormous amount of stew and mashed potatoes vanished in an instant.
The stomach of a growing child sure is bottomless.
After finishing our meal and some chitchat, I took out my present for the girls: the cream puffs I bought.
“I went to the store that, according to Duke, has the most delicious cream puffs and bought some. Rorono, as compensation for being left behind, you get to have two.”
I handed two over to Rorono, and one each to the others.
“A pastry that has a lot of cream. My favorite. Thank you, father!”
“Master, are these those that are always sold out? I can’t believe you were able to buy some.”
“Good luck, I guess?”
Actually, by the time I got to the store, they had already sold all their cream puffs. Upon seeing me, however, the shopkeeper who knew me tried to help me by offering to bake a new batch.
I told him not to give me preferential treatment, but he insisted. I had mixed feelings, but considering that it would make the girls happy, I didn’t really mind.
“Wow, the bread part’s so crunchy”
“It’s my first time to have cream as sharp tasting as this.”
“This crunchy bread and this fluffy cream… mhm~ it’s the best.”
When they tasted the cream puffs, they became entranced. Though they had eaten so much already, eating some more was no problem apparently.
At any rate, I decided to eat one as well. And it was amazing. Time had passed and yet it didn’t get soggy or anything. The moment I put it into my mouth, I felt its crunchiness and tasted its sweetness.
And then, the light whipped cream spread to my mouth. It was just the right amount of sweetness. It was a testament to the craftsman’s skill.
Recently, custard cream was gaining popularity, but personally, I much preferred the taste of whipped cream.
“Kuina, there’s some cream on your mouth.”
“Wipe it for Kuina, Oto-san”
Kuina said so and then pushed her face forward. I did as she asked and wiped the cream off of her face, but as soon as I did so, she licked off the cream that was still in the finger I used.
Such a spoiled girl.
I then felt Rorono’s gaze on me. When I looked at her direction, I saw that her face was red and had some cream on it. Is she mimicking Kuina?
I did as she wanted, and just like with Kuina, she also licked the cream off of the finger I used.
Meanwhile, Aura was as ecstatic as always watching Kuina and Rorono.
Being casual and laid back like this is so relaxing. I hope we can continue being like this every day.
“Now that our stomach’s full, master, let’s go to the hot spring right away.”
“Yay ♪ let’s all take a bath together today as well”
“Mhm. It’ll help me lessen my fatigue so that I could work at night as well.”
Taking a bath in the hot spring for my treatment had become a daily occurrence.
Because the elves have been blessing the hot spring, it gained curative effects. And since the pool I was personally using was being blessed by Aura the Ancient Elf herself, it had curative effects much, much higher than the others.
Naturally, we made use of it to make my lost magic power come back sooner.
After we all agreed to take a bath, the girls gathered their bathing accessories such as their towels, their change of clothes, their specially made soaps, and their washing buckets in which they put all their other bathing accessories.
In addition to that, Aura strangely prepared another set of clothes. After that, she then proceeded to carry Stolas while Enlil carried a bucket with his mouth.
“…Aura, hold up. What are you doing?”
“Getting ready to take a bath with everyone”
“I know, but together with Stolas too?”
As though it was obvious, Aura looked at me with a puzzled look on her face.
“In order to make her recover sooner—even if for only a day sooner—shouldn’t we use the hot spring’s curative effects?”
“…everyone, go on ahead, then. I’ll take a bath later.”
When I said so, Kuina puffed her cheeks. She then began pulling at my sleeve while Rorono followed suit and pulled at the other.
“No! Everyone should take a bath together!”
“It’s lonely without you, master.”
“Hey, I understand how you two feel, but it’s unfair to Stolas. Oh, Aura, how about you and Stolas go bathe alone after–”
“You’re horrible, master. Leaving me out even though you know how much I enjoy bathing with everyone. …but if you [Command] me to, I will. I am your monster and I will obey even though there will be tears on my eyes.”
I certainly could issue it as a [Command], but that would make me a rather cruel Demon Lord.
I’m not one and I don’t want to be one. Can’t be helped then. I’ll just try to not look at Stolas as much as possible.
“Alright, let’s just all go bathe together.”
Upon hearing me, my monsters became happy and high-fived each other.
Seeing them like that, I couldn’t help but wonder if they perhaps planned it all.
These girls have become very determined.
I bitterly smiled and then began preparing for the bath.
“Yeah, taking a bath like this is great.”
“Yup, as I thought, Kuina-chan and Rorono-chan having flushed skin is quite cute.”
While we relaxed in the bath like so, I was able to confirm the girls’ growth.
It was only slight, but Rorono definitely had grown. As their father, I was happy.
“Please, rest easy, master. I’m going to be looking after Stolas-sama’s body. I won’t let her sink in the water or be in the water for so long that blood rushes to her head.”
By the way, Aura held the still-sleeping Stolas while they were in the water. I tried not to look as much as possible, but the Stolas that I caught a glimpse of in my peripheral vision was beautiful. Her chest didn’t seem big, but her limbs were slender and her skin was fair. She had the charm that strongly fascinated men.
“Oto-san, wash Kuina’s tail today too”
“Master, I’ll wash your back.”
Kuina and Rorono were in high spirits as usual.
Enlil was also with us, by the way. His facial expression seemed more relaxed than usual. When our eyes met, he turned away his face. Still the same.
Putting that aside, I focused on the bath. My work for now was to be in best physical condition as possible before my meeting with the [Black] Demon Lord.
After the bath, I headed to the warehouse beside Rorono’s workshop.
There, I used my [Creation] as much as my magic power allowed and made certain things such as materials for a new invention. This new invention would be necessary in the fight against the [Black] Demon Lord. In a sense, it was a tool more damaging than a bomb.
After using my [Creation], I headed to Rorono’s workshop.
Rorono was there and was burning the midnight oil.
“Rorono, sorry but I have a favor to ask you.”
Rorono was already slammed with work as it was, but I needed her to do this certain invention.
Since I was unable to fully tell which cards were in the [Black] Demon Lord’s hand, I had no choice but improve my own no matter how miniscule the effect might be.
The fighting starts again.