I disposed of all the corpses in the pit and took the oil the soldiers had brought to warm themselves and tossed it into the pit.
I soaked the corpses in oil and used a flint to spark the flames.
Then I further strengthened the fire using wind mana.
Of course I made sure the wind would keep the smoke out of my face.
The smell of burning flesh, oil, and smoke was incredibly unpleasant. But if I dealt with them like this we wouldn’t catch any diseases.
In the past epidemics were caused by corpses being left to rot and vermin spread the diseases that were henceforth known as a curse of death.
「Don’t resent me. If you were the victor we would have been the ones in this position.」
That was war. The only way to protect your right to live was to win.
This time we happened to be stronger.
I stood staring into the dancing flames. I stared. I prayed that we would not have to see such flames again.
I finished disposing of the corpses and carried the three nobles that were still alive.
I trained my body using magic daily and could also use body reinforcement magic which made carrying these full grown men possible.
I had to treat them a little gently so that I can collect the ransom money. I couldn’t leave them lying on the ground.
「Chief Cyril! Should we really leave the cleanup to you?」
「Yes let us help you!」
When I reached the village entrance the roughneck Roleau and my childhood friend Rick ran up to me.
They had wanted to help me clean up but I ordered them to return to the village so I could use Deet’s power.
I wanted them to maintain their faith that this battle was won using the power of elves alone. If they saw me take on a non-elf form it could shake that belief.
「I already finished. All we have to do is show our illustrious guests to their cells and put them to bed.」
「That’s gotta be a joke right? It couldn’t take less than two hours to finish all that work.」
Roleau and Rick looked at me doubtfully.
I could understand their feelings, but I couldn’t tell them to go look right now because the celebration was about to start. I’d feel bad if they missed the opening festivities.
「Well…it is me you know?」
I gave a frank and nonsense reason.
They smiled wryly.
「Well Chief Cyril always manages to accomplish what he says…」
「I guess judging Chief Cyril using common sense would be a mistake. Anyways let’s hurry to the village and start the celebration.」
「You can start it without me right?」
「That’s no good. We can’t start without the leading actor. We’ll carry these guys so go on ahead.」
Roleau and Rick grabbed the nobles and disappeared into the village.
I returned to my home to change clothes and wash myself before heading to the town square.
「Finally the lead actor’s arrived.」
「Come here! The food’s all ready!」
The villagers all rushed over to me once I reached the square.
If there were elves like this celebrating our victory, there were surely elves feeling fearful that they had taken lives.
For now I could only be pleased that we hadn’t lost any lives.
A girl one year younger blushed as she brought me a plate with several different foods on it. There was meat, bread, and different seasonings taken from the soldiers. It felt a bit extravagant.
「Thank you. I’ll dig in.」
「P-please by all means. C-Chief Cyril please call me Kona.」
You couldn’t say that Kona was a true beauty, but she was surely a cute young girl with a short cut.
She had come to me with a bright red blushing face as she introduced herself.
She probably had a crush on me. I was now the youngest Chief in our village and the hero that had saved it.
「I know you. It’s a small village after all.」
I smiled at her as she blushed even more.
Her brain must have overloaded because she froze and it seemed like smoke would pour out of her head.
「That reminds me…where’s Lucy? I’ve been looking for a while but I don’t see her.」
「Umm, Lucy went to prepare for her dance.」
There wasn’t much to say about that so I moved the conversation along to different topics and she responded while stuttering.
It appears she would be dancing a Kagura dance today.
The Kagura was a shrine maiden’s celebratory dance.
Lucy’s family passed this dance down from generation to generation.
Ever since the village fell under the Empire’s control we hadn’t seen it once. The last time I had seen it was when Lucy danced it with her mother back when I was 9 years old.
Back then her dancing hadn’t given off a feeling of beauty but of cuteness.
I was a little uneasy and wondered if she remembered how to do it properly.
「A special stage huh…」
In the middle of the square they had set up a simple stage.
The elves who were good at playing music were sitting near there with their instruments in hand.
Then from the wings of the stage 3 women emerged.
Two of them were hiding the third woman behind a large cloth.
The two women were seniors who managed our various traditions. The girl behind the cloth was probably Lucy.
「We will now commence the Dance of Sunlight. Lucy shall play the role of Shurano-sama tonight.」
The women announced and let go of the cloth.
Lucy was revealed.
I was at a loss for words. Lucy was too beautiful.
Lucy wore the ceremonial cloth once used by her mother. Even when us elves lost our pride, these clothes remained hidden.
It was thin, brilliant, and nearly see through cloth layered together. It made her silhouette more enchanting.
Furthermore Lucy had put on a thin layer of make-up that accentuated her loveliness.
So this is what it was like when you polished a raw gemstone.
The other elves stopped eating and whispering. They all stared at Lucy.
「From this point forward I shall become Shurano-sama. Now, I shall dance…」
As Lucy’s words faded the music began.
She started to dance and it was no everyday occurrence.
This was the legend of Shurano-sama that was passed down from ages passed.
It was a time when the Demon King was still in existence as he birthed monsters one after another.
A tale of defeating the Demon King and saving the world. Journeying with the Archmage to seal the Demon King away so he will never revive again.
Chapter 20 End