I slowly awoke.
The sun was just starting to rise and most normal Elves would still be sleeping, but I had a job to do early this morning.
I lifted myself up and Lucy, who was sleeping together with me, started to stir.
Winter had finally started and last night we had received a light powder of snow. Our home had poor heat insulation so the both of us had decided to sleep together under one blanket to keep warm. The body heat was warm and comfortable.
But it was more accurate to say that it was the excuse I used to get Lucy to agree to sleeping together in the same bed. I was enjoying the happiness that such closeness brought.
「Good morning Cyril. Are you going out already?」
「Sorry for waking you. I have to go lecture the Fire Foxes on how to care for the goats again today. I think today should be the last day though.」
Since then I had gone over to the Fire Foxes nearly every day and taught them how to care for the turnips and goats.
I had been doing so to help them remember how to do everything and to help adjust their mental states. Pretty soon I should be able to step back.
「Is that so. That’s good.」
「Cyril, you’ve been pushing yourself too much. You leave early in the morning, when you get back you act as the town doctor, then you do your job as the Chief, and after that you go into your workshop and work some more. I’ve been worried whether you might collapse.」
「Thanks for worrying about me. But I’m fine, I am still within my limits.」
「Is there anything I can help with? I can’t teach Kuu-chan and the rest, but if there aren’t enough people to help I can lend a hand.」
「I’ll accept the feelings alone. But, this is the Fire Foxes job. We can’t have elves come in and help out. It was decided that besides for me teaching them, they would do this on their own.」
「Alright….do your best.」
「I am. I love you Lucy.」
I brushed aside a lock of Lucy’s hair and kissed her on the lips before getting out of bed.
I couldn’t help but react.
I longed to get back under the covers with Lucy with all my might, but I ignored that, got dressed, and walked outside.
I soon reached the outskirts of Erucy where the Fire Foxes lived in my former workshop.
By this point I really wish I could prepare them better living accommodations.
No matter how well they got along, living together in one building with 50 people was far too pitiful. The girls should have their own privacy at least.
However, the number of houses and where they would be located were very important.
If every Fire Fox got a private house built for them inside Erucy then the Elves would feel some animosity towards them. I should call over Roleau sometime and ask his opinion.
I thought as I knocked on the door.
「Good morning Cyril-niisama」
「Good morning nano Cyril-niisama.」
Immediately the door was flung open and three young Fire Fox girls hugged onto me.
The first was a girl with yellow, wavy, and shoulder length hair. The lively 11 year old yellow fox Kemin.
The second was a girl with slightly longer, straight silver hair. Her face appeared expressionless and cool, the 11 year old silver fox, Yukino.
The third was a girl with long black hair that was tied up behind her. The gentle and quiet 10 year old black fox Kurone.
The three of them chose their favorite spot between my left arm, right arm, and torso to cling onto. The shoved their faces into me and sniffed a bit while wagging their tails.
Since I had declared Kuu as my fiance the three of them had been strangely clingy. Beforehand they had felt some admiration and longing towards me, but because I was an elf and not one of them they had kept a proper distance.
However, once they knew I was engaged to Kuu who they called their elder sister, they began treating me as if I was their actual older brother and acting a bit spoiled every now and then.
In the first place they were young so they must have been seeking a fatherly figure. In this situation I was the only one who could accomplish that.
The three of them were unique, but even amongst the usually beautiful Fire Foxes, they were especially cute. Looking amongst all the people in Erucy it would be difficult to find any as beautiful as Kuu or Lucy. According to Kuu the Fire Foxes had wanted to send the most popular, beautiful, and strong to their favored village so they would survive.
However, Kemin screamed and cried that “I want to go with Kuu-anesama!” so hard and loud that she switched over, Yukino had a bad premonition about the favored group so she refused, and Kurone had insisted on going with her friends Kemin and Yukino so that her mother could get a spot in the favored group instead of herself.
Kuu also like them and hoped they would come along…
「Aww thank you, you’re all very cute and good girls. I think of you just like little sisters.」
I said happily.
Getting a hug filled with affection was a good feeling for me as well. Their childishness was adorable. Girls at this age still had no concept of womanhood so I could dote on them as much as I pleased without feeling guilty towards Kuu or Lucy.
I briskly patted the girls’ heads. Lucy enjoyed it more when I patted her softly and kindly, while these girls enjoyed a bit more rambunctious ruffling.
「Good morning girls. I’m glad you’re looking energetic today.」
「We’re energetic since Cyril-niisama came over.」
「Yukino is happy you came.」
「Cyril-niisama should live over here too. Then you can be with Kuro all the time nano.」
The gentle black fire fox Kurone said hopefully as she looked around at everyone with a look of expectation.
「I’m sorry. I can’t stay over since I’m the Chief of Erucy. Plus I have beloved people back in town too…」
The three of them became despondent.
「Everyone don’t trouble Cyril-kun too much. Come on and get ready to head out.」
Kuu called out and the three of them let go of me.
「Alright everyone let’s go. Unlike usual I won’t be giving out specific instructions. I’ll be watching to make sure you’ve remembered what I taught you, so be careful.」
「Understood Cyril-kun. Did you hear that everyone?」
The rest of the Fire Foxes nodded.
But Kemin, Yukino, and Kurone looked around with long faces.
「What’s wrong girls?」
「Eh…well Yukino…has something she wants to say…」
Kemin lost her usual excitable nature upon being asked that question and tossed the subject to Yukino.
「Unfair Kemin…..Cyril-niisama…if we become able to care for the turnips and goats by ourselves will you stop coming over?」
「Yukino-chan isn’t the only one…Kuro can’t care for them alone. It’s no good if Cyril-niisama isn’t here.」
The three young Fire Foxes seemed to be afraid of me disappearing on them.
「Girls, Cyril-kun is very busy. Don’t trouble him too much. He’s here after pushing himself too hard to make time for us.」
「But…Kuro doesn’t like it.」
「Yukino doesn’t wanna either. Kuu-anesama you should be sad too if you lose your chances to see Cyril-niisama too…」
Kuu chided them but they didn’t want to let it go. On seeing their sad faces I wanted to do something. In that case I was ready to bear some difficulties.
「Everyone you don’t have to worry. Certainly I won’t have to come visit for the goats and turnips anymore, but I’ll always have time to come play with my cute little sisters every day.」
The three of them hugged me tightly again. A warm joyful feeling welled up in my heart, I felt like pampering them.
That’s right, I had some leftover practice materials from when I made Lucy her present. I should give them those as gifts. Compared to Lucy’s they were lower in quality, but it should make them happy nonetheless. Surely they would show me the cutest of happy smiles.
How joyful. Is this how an older brother feels when caring for his younger sisters?
「Cyril-kun, can I ask you something?」
「Yeah go ahead.」
I was enjoying the beautiful colors of the girls’ tails and the warmth of their hug as I answered Kuu.
「Could it be…that you like children?」
「Of course I love children. In fact I’d like to make some of my own soon. I’m sure you and Lucy will give birth to the most adorable children I could imagine.」
「Fuu…that answer relieves me…..now let’s head out.」
And so we moved towards the goat barn.