「Because Elves are a different race from us…I thought they would be more resistant to our presence, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.」
「I think it’s because we have many features in common. I’m sure there are other elves who think that animal ears and tails are no good along with elves who believe that any other race than elves are terrible.」
Mostly the younger generation didn’t have this kind of mentality. There used to be plenty of cultural exchange between different villages of different races and some elves and other races had been sent to different villages to be husbands and wives.
In the past there had been occasional travelers who came to the separate villages and there were love stories about those cases as well. Once that happened the traveler would often settle down in the elf village to live out their lives. If an untrustworthy traveler were to come to the village they would not be allowed to leave. There were many who had approached with the goal of obtaining magic stones.
「What about you Cyril-kun? Are you okay with tails and the like?」
Kuu inquired while wagging her tail and letting the light play off her beautiful golden fur.
「I think it’s cute.」
「Then how do you think about ears and such?」
This time she moved her face closer and fluttered her ears up and down.
「I think they really suit you Kuu and they’re wonderful.」
Kuu’s face broke into a huge smile.
Uh-oh this is dangerous…..Kuu’s too adorable.
「Kuu you don’t need to butter me up like this…」
「I’m not buttering you up…I’m not pretending to be a good person to make you like me either…I’d like you to believe that.」
My heart started throbbing. For some reason Kuu seemed 20% cuter than usual. I desperately wanted to give her a big hug.
「Cyril~ Kuu-chan~ it’s about time to get ready!」
Lucy’s voice interrupted as she entered the backstage area.
Kuu and I turned to look at her and stiffened.
For some reason I felt like a salaryman that had been caught on a date with my mistress by my wife when she went out shopping.
「What’s wrong? You both look weird…」
Lucy asked with a curious look.
Calm down. Okay, I should be alright.
「I’m a bit nervous. It’s almost time for the program to begin right? I’m not used to doing this kind of stuff in front of other people like you Lucy.」
「Cyril’s nervous? What a silly joke. Are you doing alright Kuu-chan?」
「I’m used to it so I should be fine.」
「Then let’s go! It’s been around five years since we all went on stage together. To tell the truth I’m excited.」
「What a coincidence Lucy-chan, I’m excited too.」
Lucy and Kuu bonded over their excitement. Despite the five years apart their intimacy did not worsen.
「Well if you were to ask me, I’d personally want to be in the audience. I could get special front row seats and just marvel at your charming appearances.」
「Talking like that again~ you’ll be watching us from the side so let’s go.」
「That’s right. Your presence with us here today has great meaning Cyril-kun.」
They smiled and took my hands, leading me up to the stage.
From the heights of the stage I could see the progress of the party.
Most of the tables had finished their main dish and were running low on potato chips.
At first elves and fire foxes had stuck to their own groups, but now I could see them scattered about as they talked and ate.
I’m sure that the Fire Foxes who had been too cautious to go socialize had seen Kuu going around greeting and talking to people. They took her as an example and broke out of their comfort zone.
We couldn’t allow this good opportunity to go to waste. Starting now we would perform a program intending to deepen the bonds that we started during this party.
「Everyone can I have your attention please! We will shortly begin the long awaited performance starring these two lovely ladies!」
I cried out boisterously while grabbing Lucy and Kuu’s hands.
「First up is the Elven Dancer Lucy. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how wonderful her dancing is!」
The Elves whistled and clapped in support. They had all been charmed by her dancing and their expectations were high.
「Secondly we have the Fire Foxes’ top singer Kuu! Even amongst the Fire Foxes who are well known for their singing expertise, she has the most beautiful voice!」
This time the Fire Foxes let out high-pitched cheers and screams. It appeared that Kuu’s singing was truly out of the ordinary for this kind of reaction.
The Fire Foxes were well known for their beautiful singing. In the past other villages would even request a concert in return for some tasks, making the journey to the Fire Fox Village just so they could hear it.
Kuu was special amongst them, since she was young she had performed at important events continuously.
I had last heard her singing five years ago, I was looking forward to seeing her growth.
I let go of their hands and was about to give my greetings and start the show, when suddenly Kuu and Lucy grabbed my hands.
They glanced at each other and both looked mischievous.
「We need to revise the number for this performance. The three of us will be performing. The third lead will be the number one Elven instrumentalist, Cyril. All of you should know this. Everyone remembers how incredible our hero, old chief’s musical skills were right!?」
Lucy said proudly as if these were all my accomplishments.
「Cyril-sama will be both instrumentalist and director of this performance. Furthermore he is the benefactor of us Fire Foxes. It’s because he took us in that we can be here now.」
Kuu boasted with just as much pride as Lucy.
As I listened to their words I couldn’t help but feel a warmth deep in my chest.
I threw out my chest proudly. If I shrunk back bashfully now I wouldn’t be a man.
「On today’s stage I will play music, Kuu will sing, and Lucy will dance. This will be the first collaborative piece between Elves and Fire Foxes. Everyone please enjoy!」
After making sure everyone’s attention was focused on us I took out the traditional Elven instrument that looked like an ocarina, the Opharu.
This instrument had been my partner since I was small. It was a treasure I had received from my father.
The song I would perform was a song composed five years ago to promote friendship between the Elves and Fire Foxes.
We had planned to perform it once every year at a get-together…but soon afterwards our village had been conquered by the Empire, so the song ended up being buried.
Now we were performing together like we had in the past during festivals. I would play, Lucy would dance, and Kuu would sing.
Back then we were simply the opening act for the adults, but this time it was different.
We no longer had the adults there to protect us. We were taking the lead today.
I began to play. It was a bright sounding song, but for some reason it had sorrowful undertones. It was a strange song.
Kuu began to sing along.
Kuu’s song was one of sadness. A song of remembering friends left behind.
It was also a song of love. A song of searching together and finding important people who thought of you dearly.
Joining together to overcome the sadness of the past…to see the bright hope of tomorrow. The two contrasting emotions in the song struck at your heart strings.
Her voice was beautiful. It hooked onto the melody and melded with the music. But that wasn’t all….there was something to her singing that shook your soul.
The audience couldn’t help but shed tears.
It was then that Lucy began dancing. Lucy’s dance began to express the feelings within Kuu’s song and the appeal that shook your soul multiplied. No…it wasn’t just that. You could feel the effort that Lucy was putting into this dance and it couldn’t help but make you feel tenderly towards her.
Her gorgeous dancing gave life to the music.
The two beautiful girls, Kuu and Lucy, made a perfect painting.
The music continued ringing out, the singing echoed throughout the square, and the dancing flitted here and there carefree across the stage.
The audience was completely silent. They couldn’t help but stare.
Time passed as if each moment was an eternity as the music slowed before ceasing.
There was a moment of silence before everyone regained their senses……..then a flood of cheers and applause poured over us.
「Amazing Kuu-anesama! Awesome!」
「Lucy-chan! Marry me!!」
「Chief it sounded great.」
We moved to center stage and waved our hands.
「Everyone, I’m glad you enjoyed our performance. Next it’s your turn. Those who can play, grab your instruments and come on stage. Dancing elves come on up. Fire Foxes come and sing. Everyone get to music making.」
「Everyone let’s sing together.」
I said as Kuu added on.
「Dance with me as well.」
Lucy said to finish.
At our instigation more and more people climbed on stage.
Music began sounding out.
There was no conductor and the music was here and there clashing against each other, but people were laughing, singing, and dancing joyfully.
Right now, at this moment there were no walls between our races.
Being able to create this sense of unity, even if it was just for now, made the entire effort worth it.
I felt confident that we would be able to live together in relative harmony.
With this once I received the ransom tomorrow and went to buy supplies, there wouldn’t be a big issue if I wasn’t constantly in the village.
A deep sense of happiness welled up in me as I picked up my opharu and started to play again.