“Impossible! Go home, this season, there is no way we can accept fifty people!”
“Yah! This is the Elf village!”
Upon returning to the village, I come across a scene of the elves verbally abusing the Firefox women. The Firefoxes, were all only young women. Fifty-three in total. The higher end being in their forties and the lowest being in their early teens. Everyone who came had faces that looked exhausted, and their garments were battered and worn.
Firefoxes look very much like humans, except they have large ears and a fluffy tail.
“Please hear us out. This is the only village we can rely on. There is nowhere else!”
In the middle of it all, one of the older Firefox girls raised her voice. She was about 160cm(5′ 2”ft), just a little shorter than I. She has a very feminine figure, slim with a large chest. She had a look that gave off a feeling of reliability to it, in her eyes dwelled a light of intelligence and a strong will, as if there use to be a weak impression that had been previously discarded, this was reflected strongly.
And then, with quality fur on her tail that stood out among the Firefoxes.
A face that I know well. My former fiancée, the Firefox village chief’s daughter Kuu.
“Like I care! This village cannot support something like an extra fifty people!”
From earlier, the one that raised his voice was the number one muscle man of the village Roreu. When I am not around, he acts as my proxy. Roreu is very popular because of his physical strength; He is also always helping to maintain order on the streets, and is the hunting party leader. To add to that, his parents were of good standing within the village; I also chose him because he is one of the few elves that can read and write to a degree.
If I were to speak honestly though, if popularity and being able to read and write were conditions for that position, I would have chosen Lucie. She, like a shrine maiden is popular and also refined. However If I chose her it would only confirm my favoritism. However, that girl would forgive any mistake, and she could never be harsh. That is why Lucie clearly cannot reach that position, that would be my responsibility as Village Chief.
“Even now, I didn’t think we would receive support for the Firefox family just like that. We’ll work properly and we brought compensation. We didn’t say we needed luxury, but we need enough food so that we don’t starve and some place that protects us from the cold. That’s what we want.”
“No!. No! Now go away immediately. You people in the first place lost and ran from the empire! You think we would be able to shelter guys like you?!”
In reaction to Roreu’s words, a cute girl in the early half of her teenage years who was hidden behind Kuu popped out; she glared at Roreu and opened her mouth.
“Even if the elves were dominated by the empire, this…!!”
While not young, Roreu was startled by the threatening display and hesitated.
“But, Kuu-sama! It’s that Elf’s fault!”
“I said silence!!”
Her tone enough was enough to declare it, Kemin the girl who called out became silent. Then Roreu from earlier happened to regain momentum.
“From what you said we will absolutely drive you away!”
Roreu would without a second thought forsake them.
First, it is the worst time of the season since it will start to snow soon and when that happens food will be harder to obtain. If there was more time before winter, the Firefoxes could be allocated to work food production and the elve’s wouldn’t have as much work. To increase our population at this time would be a burden.
To add one thing after another, the food in this village is only enough for winter, with only a marginal safety net. But, to give enough rations to fifty people which accounts for a fourth of our own population is not possible. Just the other day, the winter rations for each household was just distributed. Taking in the Firefoxes, means that food has to be redistributed…
If done that way, there is no way there would be enough food left.
In addition, the problematic circumstances surrounding the Firefoxes. The situation where only young women escaped, there is only one situation that I can think of for that to happen.
A situation where it was a losing battle against the empire.
The empire’s desire for the Elf and Firefoxes magic stone. In order to ensure it for the long term, the empire must continue to increase the number of races. For that reason, it’s okay for only women to be left. Since only the same race is born from the mother, young girls taken by the empire would receive treatment equivalent to livestock/cattle.
In order to avoid the worst situation for the women, they had to escape.
Yes.. As they are Firefoxes.
If we were to abandon the girls now, it’s only natural there is no place else for them to go.
With exception of other races that harbor magic stones, it would make for good bait. You could make a killing selling magic stones to the empire, there is a lot of money to be had. When I think about it the Firefoxes are pretty much in the same circumstances as us. (tl: top, looks like author had an idea and stopped there.) (Ed: No clue.)
It’s for my feelings, and also for the benefit of Elucie; I can’t let this go.
“Roreu, things that relate to Elucie’s future, before you go about making a decision you should wait until I return. I will take it from here.”
“Even so, Chief Cyril.”
“Trust and leave it to me.”
“Well… Since you said so…”
I take a deep breath and express a smile on my lips. Firefox, and Elf, the two parties gather around and gaze at me.
“You did well to come here. People of the Firefoxes! I must apologize for you having to repeat it, but would you be willing to tell me for what you came to this village for?”
Kuu upon seeing my face was slightly startled.
“Kuu, it’s been awhile hasn’t it.”
As I say so, Kuu’s expression lightens for a brief moment, and then she returns to her stern look. That expression is overflowing with a sense of responsibility and yet also sorrow. As I have the responsibility of all the elves lives, Kuu was handed the responsibility, the lives of her Firefoxes.
“Are you willing to negotiate?”
“As you can see, this village…. no, this country’s chief is me.”
“Yes, it is. Known for our brawl with the empire, along with we ourselves declaring that we are independent of the empire; I think that makes us a single independent country.”
Even saying so, it wouldn’t be too much of a self-proclamation. Although the real meaning of becoming a real country is for the countries aside from the empire to recognize us as one. If other countries see us as one(a country), other villages within the empire would surely riot. Even so, we need to continue calling ourselves Elucie.
“I understand. Then please, I have a request. Please allow us fifty three Firefoxes to live in this country. If we can receive a minimum amount of food, and a warm bed, that would be enough. We have prepared some compensation.”
“Compensation? Well, before that I must confirm something. Kuu, from what position are you talking to me as? As I am the representative of this country, I cannot negotiate until that is determined.”
“Cyril-kun…. no, Cyril-sama. I, Kuu, am the head of the Firefox family. Please accept my words as the voice of the Firefoxes.”
With a strong voice of resolution and strength, the Firefox family head, Kuu said in earnest.
“Is that so, understood. Not a proxy but Kuu’s words are as the head of the family, the other head di…… The Firefox people lost, didn’t they?”
As I asked, Kuu and the other Firefoxes started to make expressions of sorrow.
“Tha-That is correct…. The men who were able to fight as their last moments put up resistance, to buy us time for us to escape. Those not able to fight and those who couldn’t journey with us, before they could be used as magic stones by the empire, we put them to rest with our own hands… Their soul magic stones, we brought them with us. That is one of the compensations we have for Elucie.”
Kuu strained to say it.
It only makes sense that it was an agonizing choice the Firefoxes had to make.
First, the women who can bear children ran and the men fought. It was okay up to that point, but it (The deaths*) also included the children who were too young, and the elderly.
It’s about 80 kilometers to the Elf village, between the two villages are steep mountains and rugged forests that are impossible to avoid. Without much food, to prevent being caught that cannot take any luggage.
In such a case to be left behind in the village. There were only two choices. One, be caught and have your heart gouged out, or two, to die by allowing your friends to kill you. It was only obvious to choose the latter; to become the strength to help your friends, even if only by a little.
“I see… I am truly sorry….”
“Why are you apologizing Cyril-sama?”
“If the empire caused the Firefox to collapse one-sidedly, I cannot think of that happening unless there was an overwhelming number of soldiers, or there were wind magic stones that were used. The other day, five hundred soldiers assaulted the village. When I think of that supply base losing five hundred people, and the time needed to gather forces to overwhelm the Firefoxes; such a thing shouldn’t have been possible, so it must have been the latter. That being the case wind stones taken from the elves were responsible.”
“Cyril-sama, could you tell it to us in more detail?”
Kuu’s voice becomes tense while coming to listen.
“If I was commanding the empire troops against the Firefoxes, I would completely fight from out of their range. When antagonizing Elucie, taking unnecessary magic using soldiers and bowmen would make it a packed and crowded. Empires archer’s longbows have a max range of 100 meters, though to hit a target effectively would be about 50 meters, which is more than enough if it’s against Firefoxes. Flames are difficult and unpredictable to control and even if one is adept at it, at most, attacks can only be between 30-40 meters. That being the limit even with mastery over it. Also taking into account, not burning down the forest and the Firefoxes possibilities for places for fighting would leave only places where bows could be used.”
Kuu strongly tightened her fists.
“Even so, if Firefoxes can get within 10 meters, the empire soldiers would fall victim to the flames. If a suicide attack was prepared, the attack would reach at that distance. If so, the countermeasure would be placing archers and magic using soldiers in a configuration to be next to each other. Wind magic stone reinforcement as well as strong wind manipulation. Almost certainly, while the flames retention energy is strong, it has no mass to it. Wind will easily just blow it away. And then with the flames peeled off of the defenseless Firefoxes, the bows will leisurely pick them off until it was over.“
Fire and wind have bad compatibility.
Even so there is a complex technique that can be created that is explosive in power, which even has the phenomenon of inducing plasma from the temperature being raised, but only if the wind can be ignored. Of course for the Firefoxes request such a thing would be harsh.
“Cyril-sama. That is correct. However, what is the reason you say this? On the negotiating table it wasn’t needed for the elves to mention their own blunder?”
“That is correct, even so, earlier Kuu stopped the girl that said it was the elves fault, right? That is why I decided it was only fair to do so.”
That is the official reason.
I want to win over the Firefoxes into the village.
For that reason, I want to guilt trip the other elves.
“That much can be the preface, shall we start negotiating? I heard the request. If there is compensation, what would you be giving?”
“First, the dead comrades fire magic stones left behind. Unlike humans, Firefoxes and also elves are unable to use the different attribute magics, but if there is an emergency it can be a force/power for that time. That is what I am offering. If it can be used to deal one blow against the empire, our dead comrades would no doubt be happy.”
There are various uses for magic stones.
Typically, humans are a race that have low attribute affinities, using a catalyst can be useful in raising that.
It is said if you charge the magic sone and release it all at once, powerful one-time use magic can be put operation.
Quite possibly if the Firefoxes used the fire magic stones effectively, they could have won against the empire with the power they held.
“Another one, salt mining rights. The salt we brought is the only salt we came with. Even so, it’s not enough to forgive the inconvenience. We will show you the rock salt mining area protected by our ancestors and allow you to mine there.”
It is a very attractive proposition for the Elf village. To say that salt is a needed article that would be fussed over is not exactly something true. That stability though, even at the best of times would be wonderful.
“Finally, our lives. If we become people of this country, we will work, and go out to battle. However, our utmost condition is that you treat us humanely.”
Flame attribute magic using Firefox’s battle power, and thinking of the village specialty goods I have in mind; the point of needing people with the ability and talent to use fire magic, and having the people on hand to start new things is a godsend.
“All right. With just that compensation, I will accept.”
“Wait! Village Chief Cyril!”
Even after declaring Elucie as a country, Roreu, as always, calls me Village Chief.
“What is it, are there complaints?”
“The food, also there is no place for fifty people to live. We don’t like it, to put those Firefoxes in houses, as it is we’re dividing a small amount of food. Even so these guys’s conditions, we are not needing magic stones, and about the salt, the empire assaulted their village. Close by is bound to be dangerous, even so going there to take salt, if they selfishly go around their village and are found… And the labor, we alone are enough we don’t need more. As for battle power, with just elves alone we won the battle before. Was it not only with us?” (tl: his vernacular is kinda on the stupid side) (ed: Much like mine.)
Roreu was arguing desperately.
Thinking conceptually, it makes sense that the elves living as they are now, wouldn’t accept another race at such a time. Even though there are various things that look good in my head, it still isn’t a claim I can accept…
“The place they will live is the suburbs of the village in my workshop temporarily. The elves won’t be troubled by them.”
Being 30 meters by 30 meters, moreover made from brick so it’s warm. Privacy issues are ok and as long as they just close their eyes, it’s a very good place to live in.
Also, originally since we have the already-made winter clothing that was suppose to be used for rock salt trade with the Firefoxes, with those it will make the cold bearable. There is not enough for everyone, but if one in two or three people can use them it will be okay.
“About food, it has already been distributed to everyone nothing was said about returning it. I will somehow make it work.”
The winter food distribution was already done. If that is not collected, the elve’s won’t show their dissatisfaction for now.
‘”Going to somehow… What are you doing to do?!”
” About the one month of food, from now on I will hunt wild boar. We also have the produce that Lucie and I made so we’ll be fine. During that month, we’ll buy some additional supplies from the commercial city Ellis.”
900Kg of potatoes, and if we get wild boar meat, somehow we can endure one month. If I seriously go at it until the snow falls, I can get a lot of wild boar.
“We are going to use the village money for the Firefoxes?!”
“Yes we are. However, before winter ends, we should be able to make Elucie specialty products. To make those we do need fire magic. That job can be given to the Firefoxes. If we do that, the used money can be doubled several times from the original amount. Certainly, there is no work in winter. Though, my job is to enrich this village by making jobs.”
I declare strongly.
I was intending to accomplish it alone, but doing this amount would have no importance. But, if fifty Firefoxes are here, a significant amount of funds can be prepared. (tl: another author incomplete idea)
“And, I originally intended to go to the commercial city to buy a goat, you know? It just so happens I can buy food while I’m there. I will entrust the care of the goat(s) to the Firefoxes.
With the Firefox’s involvement in the manufacturing of specialty products and taking care of the goat(s), it won’t be just us elves rotating working hands.”
With fifty gold coins on hand and, if we are able to obtain the ransoms, buying the goat, and buying food is still bound to leave us with cash leftover.
“I get it but, why are you so intent on having the Firefoxes here in the village? You’re strange, Chief Cyril.”
For the time being Roreu reluctantly nodded, there is still displeasure in his voice.
“Certainly, I want the Firefoxes to be apart of the village, you know? Roreu, all of the elves, we won against the five hundred soldiers in the battle before.”
The abrupt lead in I started with my story, caused everyone to look around in a panic.
“The opponent could number in the thousand and we would still win, right”
I continue talking.
“If the opponent was in the two thousands, while taking casualties we can somehow win.”
Yes, not using【Reincarnation Recall】in that situation would increase the possibility of that happening.
“But, the moment it is three thousand people, there is nothing that can be done we would be overrun. If the empire is serious, they can gather ten thousand soldiers. There is no future for just Elf.”
My words cause the Elves faces to distort.
It was the first time I said such negative words.
“But, there is no place where an Elf has to fight alone. There are things I want you to see.”
I stand next to Kuu while saying so.
And then, I whispered so that only Kuu could hear me.
“Long ago, that thing we played; Do you remember? We are going to do that, but give me full power from your right hand.”
“…… Cyril-san. Okay, I got it over there, right?.”
Kuu just a little bit showed me an innocent smile from the time we were children.
Kuu closed her eyes and concentrated, the surrounding fire mana was being summoned.
And with tremendous energy, the mana gathered.
Firefoxes have the highest affinity for fire, it being 100, something they can be proud of.
At the time of those words a pillar of fire rises from Kuu’s right hand..
It started to slowly continue in the direction of the empire on the road. Over there, there is nobody and nothing to burn.
The flames reach 40 meters away.
In front of my left hand I gently projected my magic causing wind mana to gather.
And then, to enclose Kuu’s 【Fox Fire】, I spring forth wind.
Instead of the flames bursting, with it being enclosed in air the energy increased. Riding upon the wind the range doubled reaching 80 meters.
If this is on the battlefield, we can instantly burn away the empire soldiers from the severe roar of the flames.
“This is the power of flames and wind becoming one. The elve’s weakness is getting cornered, and the Firefoxes weakness is their short range. If Elf and Firefoxes cooperate, we can negate long range attacks from the enemy with wind, and attack 300 meters with crossbows. If we get cornered, anything within 80 meters we can just instantly burn them away. Even if the Empire soldiers try to interfere with the wind magic, we can do something about that.”
I finished up what I say, and with my gaze I sent to Kuu, she stopped her flames.
With Kuu and I as Firefox and Elf representatives showing our two magic’s, everyone started to raise their voices in admiration from its display.
“All of the elves, we became strong. Even so, alone, we are useless. And, to say something emotional, I don’t want to abandon those who are suffering because of the empire. If we do not lend a hand to the Firefoxes, they will surely die or be captured by the empire. I want everyone to think. If we really get into trouble, I want to request help from around. If we abandon our Firefoxes colleagues, who can we count on to lend us a hand?”
Eventually the empire will be affected and I will need to call out to other villages add to our war potential.
I want the achievement of saving our troubled friends.
“Firefoxes. I will accept you guys, But, I don’t want you to misunderstand. I will not be entertaining you as guests. I will be accepting you as comrades. You will accept the rules of this country, and also carefully instruct and protect the rules.”
They, if they don’t accept…
The Firefoxes would have customs and rules as well. but, in the end it’s according to this country’s rules. If we don’t follow them, order cannot be protected.
“If we are able to accept, I, the Firefox family head Kuu will acknowledge it.”
“I understand, Are all the elves ok with this?”
Finally, I want to confirm it.
I apply some pressure(slightly force the issue), if I don’t obtain everyone’s agreement in some form or another this won’t go through.
“If the distributed food does not get affected….”
“Yah(in agreement). Since the Chief has prepared a good place for them to live.”
“If Chief closely monitors them then I have no problem.”
The elves were passively saying favorable points.
Now, it should be fine, right? However, in the future I want the Firefoxes to properly merge into the village.
To uselessly push would only invite resistance, for a little while I will allow them to build a livelihood in the workshop outside the village, so they don’t have to interact with elves; but little by little I want them to get accustomed.
“Thank you everyone. That being the case, let us disband. I will let everyone return to their own work.”
I clap and all the elves return to their own job/positions.
“And so, the Firefox people. The first thing that you will do.”
From those words, the Firefoxes become tense.
They all still seemed to be vigilant toward me.
“You are all tired from your long journey so above all, you all must be hungry right? I will guide you to your house and I will prepare a warm meal.”
I say so while putting on a smile.