Just before the start of the party.
We had nearly finished the setup in the town square.
There were plenty of chairs and tables lined up and on top of those tables were piles of potato chips, dried cranberries, and jars of alcohol.
We would finish the steaks and french fries right before meal time. However, there was a limit to how many we could cook at once. So instead we would have them snack on potato chips, cranberries, and alcohol while they waited.
I expected the dried cranberries to have a palate cleansing effect.
Our cookware was all ready to go. The iron pans were all heated up, the fat in the pots was bubbling, and the soup was steaming. The Fire Foxes had all the ingredients ready to go.
The elves would be coming to the party as soon as they finished working. I made sure that the Fire Foxes took turns cooking and partying.
If all of them were just cooking the entire party I would feel bad for them so I made sure everyone switched between attending the party and cooking.
「Everyone, I understand you might be tense, but try to relax. They aren’t bad people.」
I called out to the Fire Foxes who were free and sitting down on some chairs.
Truthfully right now both Elves and Fire Foxes were just sticking to their own groups. I’d have to arrange some seating so that everyone could warm up to each other a bit more.
For the Fire Foxes this town square was where they first arrived in Erucy and were accosted by Roleau and irate villagers. It was no wonder they were nervous.
In truth they were unable to hide their wariness as they cowered.
「It’s alright. If someone says bad things to you or tries to do anything I’ll protect you. Be at ease. Or do you think you can’t rely on me?」
I said kindly. I wasn’t just spouting things off the top of my head, it was truth.
「You’re not unreliable at all…if Cyril-sama says he’ll protect us then…」
「Un un, if Cyril-sama says that much then it might not be as scary as I thought.」
「Yup. It should be fine.」
I’m glad that their faces relaxed a bit.
It should be manageable now. All we had to do was wait for the main event to begin now.
The main lead in this would by the Fire Fox representative Kuu. Today she would present a performance for the elders of the village along with Lucy.
「Cyril sorry to make you wait. As I thought Kuu-chan is so pretty…no matter what she wears it suits her and the makeup just makes it better. Her style (body shape) is great too…I’m a bit jealous.」
「No that’s nothing. Even I feel jealous of Lucy-chan’s fairy-like sweet beauty. Even her skin is all white and smooth.」
Lucy and Kuu appeared. As expected they got along well since they’ve been friends since they were small children.
Lucy looked as she did when we had hosted the celebration a few days ago. She was wearing a light and flowing layered translucent gown that was traditional for elves. Kuu was wearing a primarily red dress that showed off her body line.
The both of them were originally very beautiful and only put on a modest amount of makeup which only served to enhance their beauty. Leaving their preparations to the elders of the village was the correct decision.
「You both look great. Lucy looks lovely and Kuu is beautiful. Just looking at you two makes me feel fortunate.」
「Cyril that’s embarrassing~」
「Even if it’s just flattery my tail went gyuu~」
Lucy and Kuu said as a bright red blush covered their faces.
I hadn’t intended it as mere lip service. I truly felt that Lucy looked incredibly lovely and Kuu was very beautiful. Even though they both looked incredible their beauty was different from the other.
「Let’s do our best today. Lucy you’ll debut later, but Kuu I’m going to need you to go around and do some greetings. I think most everyone has gathered. Are you prepared Kuu?」
At my words Kuu took a deep breath and I could see that she had resolved herself.
In a certain meaning this was a critical moment. The first impression she gave the Elves would reflect on all the other Fire Foxes as a whole.
「Of course I’m ready. I declared myself as the Fire Fox Chief to you Cyril-kun. So I must fight my own battles.」
「Good response. Let’s emerge victorious. I guarantee that you’ll do fine Kuu. I know that your efforts up till now won’t betray you.」
「Cyril this isn’t a lover’s tiff with Kuu-chan right?」
「Of course not. This is my encouragement for a comrade in arms. You understand that right Kuu?」
「………of course I do. It’s not like I was misunderstanding…」
Now let’s ignite our fighting spirit. I took Kuu’s hand to help her climb up onto the stage we had built for the performance.
Kuu’s hand was slightly shaking. It reminded me of when I had Lucy first demonstrate the usage of the crossbow in front of everyone. I started feeling a little warm inside.
Maybe because of nerves Kuu jumped a bit at my voice.
「Don’t get too worked up. Just act like you usually do in front of the Fire Foxes…kind, reliable, and graceful. A lovely and tolerant Kuu. Just put on a performance like that. It’s nothing special, just act like you usually do.」
「Cyril-kun…you knew I was acting?」
「Of course I did. Even I put on an act when I’m in front of others. Sometimes I wonder if people have figured it out.」
「I was wondering about it for a while.」
「Being able to see my true self. I have a self-centered character and I’m pretty spoiled. If I showed that off in public people would draw away. It’s not absolute, but it’s not something I want to display.」
I was wearing my ‘always kind yet strict’ Chief Mask. I acted as the person that they all wanted to see.
「Even in front of Lucy-chan?」
「Well I wear a different mask in front of Lucy. I want to look cool in front of the girl I love. I don’t want her to hate me after all.」
I was afraid of showing of my most base self to Lucy. She was the most precious person to me.