Chapter 150: Secret
"Big Brother Roland really treats me well. He often tells me bedtime stories and we would spend the night with just each other."
"As expected of an undeveloped little girl. To think that you're still interested in listening to bedtime stories. Let Big Sister teach you a life lesson. All of those bedtime stories are lies. Princesses are all flower vases who are unable to withstand pressure and princes were all perverts with fetishes. In fact, there are many such examples around us."
"Y-you, you are slandering me!"
"However, it is no wonder you are so naïve. After all, children have the right to remain ignorant. When I was younger, I often listened to master's stories as well. I have heard them for around a century now. Oh, should I call him honey now? It does feel a little embarrassing to call him that."
There wasn't the slightest bit of embarrassment on Elisa, who was chuckling behind her hands. With just a few words, she managed to infuriate Reyne. However, it seemed like I was somehow attacked by her venomous mouth as well.
"Looks like Elisa must have met Karwenz. It is true that he is a pervert. It isn't bizarre for her to come to such a conclusion. Yeah, she definitely isn't referring to me."
Shaking my head, I ignored the discussion over there and turned my attention to the feast before me. For numerous reasons, this seemed to be the first time I was eating food made by Elisa personally.
After several experiments the last few days, I had no choice but to take my ladle myself. However, I had long since gotten sick of the food I cooked myself. Cohen's cooking skills were also very average. I had been craving for good food recently, and as long as Elisa's food was not bad, I would be extremely satisfied.
She had made common meat stew. The meat was cut thinly and there were bits of wild grasses floating on top. An indescribable herb had added to the allure of the stew, and the green onion-like aroma whetted my appetite.
Even though I had guessed that the cooking skills of the veteran maid Elisa wouldn't be bad, I was still pleasantly surprised by the taste of the meat stew.
The stew was thick but smooth, and its aroma tackled my nose as I gulped down the soup. In fact, even after swallowing it, the aftertaste lingered in my mouth, enticing me to take another mouthful. There was also barbecued meat by the side glazed with wild honey and herbs. My stomach immediately grumbled in protest.
"What kind of herb is this? It must be extremely expensive! Yeah, delicious!"
I immediately started to dig in. On the other end, Kathleen and Cohen exchanged gazes before digging in as well.
From how ravenously they were devouring the food, it seemed like I wasn't the only one tortured by the lack of good food.
The most delicious feast I remembered was the one I had before my Ascension. However, due to time restraints, Elisa didn't get to make it herself. It was truly to pleasant surprise to taste her handicraft now.
"Hey, if you don't dig in, we'll be finishing all of it."
"I have no appetite," Reyne said obstinately. However, the moment she said such words, her stomach immediately rumbled. Her face immediately flushed.
"Hehe, the most important thing in life is to be happy, and to do so, a satisfied stomach is a priority. Roland, take your time and don't choke. Are you still hungry? If there isn't enough food, I can make a bowl of noodles for you."
Thus, I nodded my head in sheer delight. After regaining a physical body, my greatest hobby was eating. As a result, I never turned down anyone with superior cooking skills. How could I possibly turn my head away from such an event?
But that very afternoon, I realized there were some things which one should never put into their mouths, especially when it came from a Demon who had accumulated a bucketful of resentment behind her cheerful smile.
"AHHH! My stomach hurts. My head is also spinning. This is the fourth time my stomach has been acting up today! Elisa, what exactly did you put into the food!"
"The Cursed Herb, Black Mandala Grass. Just as you said, it is an extremely expensive herb, almost equivalent to consuming gold. Right, there's also the Little Fanged Dragon meat that I had just procured. This is an extremely nutritious tonic. Aiyo, Lord, could it be that your body isn't well-nourished? It isn't good to leave your body in such a state. I shall cook another bowl of noodles to stock up on your nutrients."
To think that she would use the Black Mandala Grass which was used to create poison as green onion... The Little Fanged Dragon, otherwise known as Little Green Dragon, was also poisonous. Should I be thankful that I only suffered a stomach ache from the mixture of the two poisonous substance?
"Something's not right! Why are they alright!"
"Actually, I cleared away the poison in the meat and herbs before using them as ingredients. It must be that there is some kind of stimulant in the noodles which happened to trigger the poison in them. I'm truly sorry, master."
That impassive explanation and emotionless apology sounded like monotonous reciting. Only now did I realize that perhaps, all along, Elisa had been infuriated....
"I'm sorry, it's my fault.
Alright, a true hero knows when to back down. I understood the vindictive nature of this little lass. This likely wouldn't be the end of her vengeance. For the sake of delicious lunch in the future, I apologized immediately even though I didn't know my mistake. Was it because I had been too busy to communicate with her recently?
"It's all your fault. But since you have apologized, I will accept it then."
Elisa finally flashed a sincere smile. Afterward, she threw me a bottle, which after consuming, I felt the chaos in my stomach calming down slightly.
There was also another reason why I liked Elisa's personality. Even though she often threw tantrums, as long as I apologized, she would immediately forgive me. If she seemed to be angry in any way, it would definitely be no mistake to take the initiative to apologize in advance.
"...I am finally feeling slightly better. I am a living man; I will really die from that! Please don't come up with those kinds of jokes in the future. Right, why are you here? What's with this physical body of yours?"
It was truly an unexpected surprise for Elisa to be here. Soon, I managed to grasp what was going on.
It turned out that Elisa's physical body was an avatar created using the tributes of the Beastmen. She was barely able to come over through eating a portion of the tributes, so this avatar did not wield much strength.
While she had no problems whatsoever with operating day-to-day chores, it was impossible for her to join the battles.
"Enough. It's already great that you can come."
It's not that my M nature is working up. Rather, I had felt the agony of not having a handy assistant by my side these few days. Now that Elisa was here, I could finally dump all of my work on her.
The moment I said those words, the cold-faced Elisa smiled in satisfaction. Then, she came closer and stared at me face-to-face.
"...I know what you're thinking of. Nevertheless, your words still make me happy. This is your reward."
In a certain sense, the Demonified Elisa had become braver in expressing her emotions and pursuing her desires.
That beautiful face slowly approached mine and the frosty expression that she usually wore disappeared. Below that ice mountain was passion as fiery as the flames of hell. A bright red blush appeared on Elisa's cheeks and her seductive red cheeks were exuding incredible allure and warmth. I had nowhere to back away to.
"You... What are you all doing!!"
It was a pity that I wasn't the only one here. Putting aside the other two who were trying their best to pretend to be statues, Reyne did not intend to sit on the sidelines and watch this scene unfold before her. She immediately charged between us to tear us apart.
"Pity? I actually found it a pity?"
While I was conflicted over my own emotions, a verbal argument had broken out between Elisa and Reyne once more.
"I finally understand why master hates rascals now. Shouldn't you pretend to be oblivious when you see your parents getting intimate with one another?"
"Parents... Who are you saying are my parents? Furthermore, I am not a rascal! I am fourteen years old! I am already of marriageable age!"
"Fourteen years old? How incredible! I thought you were only ten. Annie seemed to have surpassed you when she was only ten."
Alright, even though her words were without context, based on her downward glance, it was clear what she was referring to.
"That... Elisa, won't you take damage from your words as well?"
Alright, seeing her twisted lips and twitching eyebrows, that venomous flat-chested young lady was currently sacrificing herself to deal damage to the other party. Her heart was probably bleeding at the moment.
Just like before, in just a few words, Elisa had managed to destroy Reyne. That ineloquent Reyne could only march off to a corner and sulk.
Even though Elisa was in the midst of angering Reyne, her words suddenly echoed through the ring.
"Master, I have already investigated the source of the bloodline of the new Mist Royal Family. I'm afraid that this matter is more complicated than we expected. Using your words, it is an incredibly huge scheme, to the extent that I would only be reassured if I came over to say it myself. I have already set up the barrier. Just listen to my words and do not overreact."
A formless barrier blocked all curious gazes. I was still squatting by the side and enjoying the glow of the sun whereas Elisa was busy packing the bowls and chopsticks. Unbeknownst to the others, we were currently conversing.
"First, she is indeed of the Mist Bloodline. However, she is not your descendant. Just like you have expected, you are still an old virgin, a powerful elder of the FFF cult, a Forbidden Spell-level Archmage, and the spiritual leader of the Torch Festival. The moment I think about the fact that I am the first love of a thousand-year-old virgin, I can't help but feel agitated. After which, I can't help but instinctively feel slightly disgusted and threatened. It is said that those who restrain themselves for too long become slightly perverted. After thirty years of holding themselves back, they can do anything. As for three hundred years..."
While having salt rubbed in my wound by that venomous tongue, a shocking secret was gradually revealed right before me. I couldn't help but put aside the resentment of the demon.
This time, I was truly shocked. It was no wonder that Elisa sent her avatar down despite the costs. It wasn't sufficiently safe for her to use any other means to inform me about the matter unless it was face to face.
After a long time, Elisa was done revealing everything. Even though the wind outside was piercingly cold, cold sweat was still flowing down my back.
"If I remained ignorant of the matter all along, I would have been done for. Looks like I really mustn't underestimate my opponents."
While I couldn't help but shudder upon thinking of the possible consequences that could have occurred if Elisa had failed to find out the matter and inform me of it, I still chuckled. Schemes and traps were only fearsome when they were unnoticed. Since I had learnt of them, I could come up with plans of my own to counteract them.
"Thank you, Elisa. Your presence is truly assuring. Looks like I owe you another one. I really can't imagine what I would do without you."
"Hmph, seems like you are getting mushier and mushier. If you are truly sincere about your words, you should stop getting involved with other girls."
Even though she said so, judging from that sweet smile on the corners of her lips, it seemed like my words weren't completely useless.
While we smiling to one another, the pages behind me who were oblivious to our telepathic communication started to quietly discuss me.
"To suddenly smile lecherously when nothing has happened.... Cohen, could it be that there is still some poison lingering in the body of our teacher? He looks a little foolish and bewitched."
"... I heard from the neighboring Big Brother Cloone that men who hold it in for too long will tend to act slightly strange. Seems like Lord Elisa's appearance has delighted His Highness so greatly that he was unable to uphold his etiquette."
"Seems like you would really become a pervert after holding it in for too long. But from the looks of it, it seems like there is completely no hope for Princess Reyne."
"That... Senior Kathleen, Princess Reyne is behind you and it seems like she is infuriated."
"AHH, Your Highness, I'm sorry. Umm... Surely you won't reduce the amount we have agreed upon. I still need that money to buy a new set of Alchemy tools. Um... Even though the opponent is powerful, there is still hope for you. At the very least, there are some aspects where you two are on the same level.... Pu, I really wasn't thinking of that. Anyway, I will try my best to speak well of you before the prince!"
The apprentices seemed to have gotten into a dispute. On the other hand, I needed to reconsider my future moves.
"The Revival of the Mist? This is truly a massive and troublesome trap. Looks like I have to quickly end this war. Then, I think I should head to Antuen next."