“That’s an elf?”
“They’re all beautiful women…”
“No, actually, I heard there are men among them.”
“Ha? No way. There can’t be men…”
Elves unexpectedly came to our village. Because they weren’t often seen, our villagers gathered to get a sight of them.
“It’s rude to stare, you know.”
“I’m sorry about them, Philia.”
“Don’t worry about it, Selen-dono. If anything, this is only fair. Our people did the same thing when you arrived in our hamlet.”
The two of them already spoke quite casually to each other.
The other elves were tensed and alert, but Philia-san and Philia-san alone didn’t seem fazed by all the attention.
“At any rate, before I knew it, a village has really been built here in this wasteland… this wasteland where crops shouldn’t be able to grow… Pardon me, but what are those large mounds?”
“Ah, those are where we live. The ones we have now are called apartment buildings. Basically, it’s many houses combined together to make one larger building.”
“Apart? I was wondering why I wasn’t seeing any houses, but my, I had no idea human beings lived in such strange things.”
“Not really. I think it’s safe to say that the apartment buildings are unique to this village.”
For the meantime, I brought them to the village chief’s estate. In other words, to my home.
We went through the gate and then passed the garden, away from the eyes of the villagers. There, the other elves relaxed a bit.
“You can relax a little here. It’s just us here.”
Aside from the elves, the only people here were myself, Selen, and Millia.
I considered asking some of the hunters to act as our guards, but decided against it in the end. I chose to believe that the elves wouldn’t do us harm.
“Thank you for your consideration.”
It seemed like Philia-san recognized my intentions and said her thanks.
“To be frank, we don’t have a good opinion of human beings. However, I think we can trust at least you. Oh my, this is not how one should talk to their benefactor.”
“Please don’t worry about it. Horrible people do exist, and worse, I’ve heard horrible people have tormented elves in the past.”
We moved our conversation to the living room. When we sat on the sofa, I noticed something.
I then nervously made a suggestion.
“…ahm, do you want to take a bath first?”
There was no way I could have said it plainly, but the elves had dirt all over their bodies. Also, well, they reeked.
Selen might have thought so too because she immediately agreed to my proposal.
“That’s a great idea! Have I mentioned that in this village, everyone can take baths whenever they want?”
“I see… the villagers here did seem to be considerably clean…”
When we asked for more details, we learned that there wasn’t anything that could really be called a bath within the elves’ settlement. To clean themselves, they had to go to the nearby river.
“But as winter approaches, wiping ourselves become more of the case.”
It was cold, after all.
“But commander, we’d be defenseless…”
“It’s alright. If they really wanted to harm us, I’m sure they’d be able to do so easily without resorting to tricks.”
Out of vigilance, Philia-san’s subordinates raised a concern. Philia-san disagreed with her subordinates though.
“Ok, this one is for the men. For the women’s bath, please follow Selen.”
There were currently two open-air baths in the estate.
There was also the indoor bath included when the house was first built.
To my surprise, I discovered that about half of the elves were men.
Their appearance gave no indication at all.
It wasn’t only because both the men and women had beautiful faces, but also because their physiques were almost the same. Philia-san was even the tallest among them.
Anyway, I led the men to the men’s open-air bath.
“A bath outdoors…”
“Isn’t this more of a pond?”
“Look closely though, there’s steam rising.”
While taking my clothes off, I asked them to do the same. I believed going in the bath together would take some of their wariness away.
“Hmm, so this is what an open-air bath is like? It’s quite spacious here.”
“I know, right? Just taking a plunge here is enough to take away the day’s fatigue away.”
For some reason, Philia-san and the other girls were here.
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