After taking care of the turnips I was about to return to Erucy when Kemin called out to me.
「Cyril-niisama please come with me to pick up the lunch snacks!」
I had some time til lunch and I had moved my doctor duties to the afternoon so I could lecture the Fire Foxes. This mean I had some free time.
And so I walked with Kemin towards the stream in the forest.
「Kemin you took too long. Yukino’s tired of waiting…」
「Oh you brought Cyril-niisama? Kuro’s happy~」
When we arrived by the banks of the river the silver fox Yukino, who had finished her deliveries, and the black fox Kurone were there.
「We came as quick as we could. Hurry and let’s take a bath and get the stuff for lunch ready.」
In the moment I had stood there stunned they had thrown off their clothes. Just looking at them made me feel cold.
I saw that the air around them was wavering a bit. It looked like they were using fire magic to warm themselves.
「Ahh, Kuro’s going too」
And of all things the three of them leapt into the frigid midwinter river. They were surely raising the temperature of the water around them since they didn’t look chilly at all as they merrily played in the water.
「Cyril-niisama come on in!」
「Let’s have a race!」
「I’m fine with just watching.」
If I copied them I’d just end up freezing to death. I doubt there were many amongst the Fire Foxes that could do the same thing as them either.
It was pretty easy to raise the temperature of a room, but trying to do the same thing outside would drain your magic quickly. After all, even if you warmed the air around you it would quickly disperse.
It would be even harder to warm up the water like they were currently doing. It required more energy than air and would flow past them in a moment. There was surely quite a lot of magical burden on them to perform this feat.
Kuu had said that the three of them had many expectations for their performance in the future. I can understand why.
「Are you always doing this?」
「Un, we do it every day.」
「The water well is too crowded with people. If we come here then we don’t have to wait or rush to finish.」
「It’s our special spot nano~」
Well of course it was…anyone who tried to use it without enough power would just die.
Even so, watching these children frolic in the water happily made me happier. Ah, I wonder if the type of fox they were affected their development. I could see that the black fox Kurone was flat, the gold fox Kemin had small buds on her chest, and the silver fox Yukino had developed quite a bit.
Ah, I’d just like to stay here and enjoy the happy sounds of them laughing and playing. I didn’t feel guilty at all. I felt like a big brother watching over his little sisters’ growth. They came here every day so maybe I would come to peek…I mean take a break. Maybe keep watch so nothing untoward happened.
「Cyril-niisama look we’re gonna catch lunch」
「A competition. The winner gets the special seat.」
「Kuro won’t lose nano」
The three of them started looking serious. Despite being naked they didn’t seem slovenly.
They all began concentrating on the water.
Kemin vigorously struck into the water and scooped her hand up. Then a river fish…probably a char flew into the sky towards the bank.
Watching that scene reminded me of how a bear fished.
The Foxes were quite sensitive and were able to move with a good amount of instantaneous force. Yukino and Kurone also ended up catching fish one after another.
At this rate lunch would end up being quite luxurious.
After a while the three of them got up and left the water. They immediately evaporated the water on their skin and magnificently lit their tails on fire.
This was a trait of the Fire Foxes where they would do so to remove any dirt and such from their tails. They were able to target everything except the tails themselves so they could do this without worry.
The winner for today was…
「uuu, lost by one…」
「Kuro didn’t do well…」
「Today Yukino gets the special seat.」
Once it was time for lunch I started to leave but the three of them stopped me and got me to eat with them.
I was going to refuse, but the three of them looked like they were going to cry so I decided to go with them. Yukino got into my lap and rested her back against my chest. Her satisfied expression was simply too adorable.
Apparently the special seat was my lap.
「Yukino~ I’ll win next time.」
「Kuro won’t lose either nano.」
It seemed to be Kemin’s turn to cook as she began. She put plenty of goat milk into a pan with some barley and began to cook the freshly deboned fish with mushrooms and some salt.
Watching the Fire Foxes cook without even needing fire was always a surreal sight.
After a while she removed it from the heat and proudly took out some cheese.
「Here we go. Let’s put on a lot of cheese.」
「Uwaa, cheese nano」
Then she placed the cheese inside the pot. Maybe it was because they were more animal-like, but Fire Foxes preferred food that had animal proteins in them. Cheese was a big favorite.
If you added cheese to the barley porridge it would double in flavor and thickness. As this was a luxury only allowed to them every four days every Fire Fox drooled over the opportunity to eat it.
And so once Kemin mixed the cheese in a delicious smell wafted about.
Many people didn’t like the smell of goat cheese, but I liked it quite a bit. There were some amongst the Fire Foxes that didn’t like it much, but they seemed to have gotten used to it.