Nere’s morning is early. Before the morning sun shows itself, about the time when the sky is starting to light up is when Nere gets up and change.
In the bed, there were still the twins making happy faces in their peaceful dreams. It’s still a little too early to wake the twins.
Not making a sound, Nere changed her clothes into a simple outfit that Ardis bought. The clothes she had before wasn’t suitable for doing housework. Finishing changing, she left the room without making a noise to not wake the twins.
Only Nere and the twins are in the house at the moment. Even if Nere were to oversleep till the sun had gone overhead and enjoyed herself, there’s no one to reprimand her.
Even so, Nere wouldn’t laze in bed. Exactly because her master isn’t around, she is determined to execute her job as a servant, looking after the house perfectly.
First, checking on the condition of the barrier that was put up around the house to protect the twins. It’s difficult to maintain it for a long time but, it’s there to assure the house’s safety when Nere is surveying the forest.
After feeling the presence of the dagger hidden in her pocket, she went into the forest as if taking a morning walk. Walking into the forest with light steps, she continued chasing away any beasts that would bring harm to the twins.
Whenever any carnivorous beasts appeared, she would scare them away with magic, causing them to run in the opposite direction of the house. Among those that don’t recognize Nere’s power, and continued trying to attack Nere, she wouldn’t show mercy. Stopping their breath as if pulling out weeds one by one, she burned them to ashes to prevent attracting other carnivores with the smell of blood.
The Aliceblue hair dancing in the wind as Nere continued pacing through the forest swiftly was as if the morning wind passing by. But, for the beasts that lives in the forest, it was more of a wind symbolizing death, almost as terrifying as the scythe of a Death God.
「Fumu……. They had decreased in number quite a lot. 」
No matter how unintellectual beasts might be, even they would come to learn that the area around here is dangerous with their instincts after being around here many times. Compared to the times when they started living in the forest, the carnivores that now approach their house had evidently decreased.
On the other hand, with less carnivores around around, the docile herbivores started gathering around their houses. A safe area within the dangerous forest. It’s probably like an oasis of a desert for the herbivores.
The area where Nere actively chase away the carnivores is only a small area of the entire forest. If she’s serious, it’s not even a problem for her to turn the entire forest into herbivore paradise, but Nere’s objective is to just ensure the safety of the twins, not destroying the ecosystem of the forest.
That’s why, there’s only a small population of herbivores in the entire forest that can enjoy the safe spot.
Of course, even if it’s safer than the other areas in the forest, it’s not like they’re guaranteed to die of old age. Even if they managed to escape from the threats of carnivores, the herbivores would also fight among themselves for food and shelter.
On top of that, Nere is still there, being the sole predator of the entire safe area. And the poor souls that are getting the short end of the stick today are two rabbits in brown fur. They’re the unlucky ones that are chosen by Nere to become food to feed the twins and herself.
Nere who finished her patrol after about thirty minutes brought the spoils back to the house. Gently blowing away sand and dusts on her clothes with wind magic, Nere went straight to butchering.
Butchering the rabbits that was just caught, washing away the tools and her hands that are stained with blood using water magic, then freezing the meat to preserve it better.
The same time when the surrounding started to be filled with the smell of blood, Nere manifested a gale, ventilating the entire area. Then, as she proceeded to prepare breakfast for the day, Nere heard light footsteps on the wooden floor.
「Nere, gwud morning. 」
While rubbing their sleepy eyes, the twins came to the kitchen.
「Ardis is back? 」
Following the morning greeting, the twins asked for Ardis’s return. It’s a normal occurrence for every morning.
「Master is still not back. 」
「When will Ardis be back―? 」
「Wonders. It’s up to Master to decides when he returns. Now, the breakfast is almost done, go ahead and wash your faces first. 」
Hearing Nere’s reply, the twins had a slightly sad face. But, they know well complaining about it wouldn’t accomplish anything. Following Nere’s words, the twins went to the water reservoir to wash their faces.
During that, Nere swiftly continued the preparation of breakfast. Reheating the soup she’d made, lightly warming up the bread that was baked yesterday and washing the vegetables that she’d harvested from the small garden just now, and sprinkling salt on them lightly. It was in no way a grand breakfast but, it provides enough energy for the morning.
If she wills it, making a noble’s full breakfast course isn’t something impossible. But, since the master of the house didn’t wish for luxurious meals, Nere only had a simple menu that includes the required nutrients.
Without complaining once, the twins finished their meals just like the days before, the twins had a big smile with bread stuffed in their mouths. Fortunately, the twins aren’t picky at all, all the dishes that are made are usually finished without leftovers.
Their attitudes that wouldn’t show any demands or spoiling, it just shows how much of a predicament they had been through. Nere only heard it secondhand from Ardis, so she didn’t know their situation exactly. But of course, she had known the practice of 『Forbidden Children』, and the absurdity of it.
「No matter how much time passes, humans are still unchangingly foolish huh……」
Muttering in a soft voice that was almost inaudible, Nere shook her head in disappointment.
It’s not Nere’s role to reprimand humanity’s foolishness or to guide them. Her role was to only follow through and accomplish her mission.
「「Thanks for the meal! 」」
Nere called out to them as usual to the twins who finished their breakfast.
「Once you bring the tableware to the washing basin, then do as you wish till the noon. But don’t wander out the garden. 」
「Got it! 」
The twins who replied energetically carried their tableware to the basin, and started leaning on each other as they discussed what are they going to play today.
「What to do today? 」
「Together with Fillia, let’s play the swing―」
「Unn. Then let’s play the swing with Riana―」
「Who should go first? 」
「Can it move together”? 」
「Let’s go let’s go! 」
The two held each other by hands, and went to the garden while making loud noises.
Their destination was to the small swing that Nere had made in the garden five days ago. For the twins that aren’t given permission to leave the perimeter, Nere had made various things for the twins to play with.
Even in these ten days, Nere had added swing, slides, seesaw, and even a vaulting box to the garden. The empty garden that was thought to be quite spacious when the house was initially built was filled with various facilities, making it feel a little cramped now.
「I should quickly finish these up huh. 」
Nere cleaned up the dining table and washed the tableware, after finishing those, she went onto cleaning the house.
Having said so, Nere’s cleaning wasn’t anything like sweeping the floor or wiping the furniture with cloths. She had used a combination of water and wind magic, gathering up all the dusts without dirtying her hands, and washed up all the dirt.
Although it’s a work that would’ve costed more than half a day to do by hand, she finished it in just thirty minutes, before moving onto the laundry.
First, she filled up a tall basin with water, then added on something Ardis had bought from the capital that’s supposed to remove dirt from the laundry. Then, she dumped all the dirty laundry into the basin, then started moving it around with her water magic.
A small-scale whirlpool manifested inside the basin, and the clothes inside it followed the current as they danced around.
「Fumu. Something like this should do. 」
Nere who finished washing the laundry in a short moment hung the robes and clothes onto somewhere where the sun hits. Then, after verifying that the twins are still having fun with the swing, she walked back into the house to prepare for lunch.
Nere and the twins’ days passes like this usually.
Living peacefully in where one would not think they are in a dangerous forest, Nere who had finished her housework walked out to the garden, sat down on the bench that she had made and looked after the twins who are playing.
「There’s no harm in relaxing sometimes like this too. 」
She would’ve preferred to go with her master if possible. But her master is still young, his future is still long. There’s no problem even if they take two or three years of slow life.
「Fu―. Who knows what the others would say if I told them……」
Nere muttered with an unusual bitter smile.
「Nere! Nere! 」
「Look look―! 」
As she looked at the twins, their long platinum blonde hair was swaying to the rhythm of the swing. The hair which had become a huge mess because of the winds stuck to their faces. Looking at the twins who seemed to have a little annoyance at that, Nere thought.
「Come to think of it, their hair was never cut……」
Nere went back into the house and took out a chair and a pair of scissors, before going to the middle of the garden and calling the twins.
「Nere play too? 」
The twins who came here while panting a little had their hair stuck to their cheeks because of their sweat.
「The two of you have grown your hair quite long. I thought it might be a good time to cut it but……, the two of you, do you want to have long or short hair? 」
「Nn―? Hair? 」
「Ummm, I think short hair will be good. 」
「Then, Fillia will follow Riana too―! 」
Since it seems like the two of them didn’t seem to be obsessed over their hair length, they chose a short cut that wouldn’t get in their way whenever they played.
After they’ve decided, Nere thought to cut their hair now, as such, Nere worked on the twins’ hairs immediately. If she would’ve used wind magic, then the scissors would be an extra. But, for Nere, cutting their hair seemed like a good way to spend time idly as well. While talking with the twins, Nere moved the scissors and started to trim their hair as if she enjoyed it.
As the sound of the scissors snipping continued, the voices of the twins and the gentle swaying of the branches mixed together. Together with the chirping of birds that came occasionally, there was a feeling of being isolated from the rest of the flowing time.
「It’s done. Then onto you. 」
「It’s kinda spikey―」
Since Fillia’s hair is now cut, it’s Riana’s turn now.
「Riana will have the same length with Fillia? 」
「Unn! It’ll be good if we’re the same! 」
In the end, Riana chose to cut her hair to the same length as Fillia. After spending time slowly cutting away at Riana’s hair, the sun had risen considerably when they finished.
「This should be fine. Well, it’s about time for lunch. 」
「Nere is fine? 」
「Nere wants to cut hair too? 」
Nere who was about to carry the chair back into the house was met with the twins’ questions.
「Me? I don’t really――」
「Then, Fillia will help Nere to cut her hair! 」
「Riana will help too! 」
The twins seemed to be eager in doing it.
「Mu……. You both, to cut……my hair? 」
In front of the twins who seemed to be totally in agreement, Nere thought for a while.
「They used scissors before as well……. I guess, everything is an experience huh……」
The twins know well that sharp things are dangerous. They probably wouldn’t do something playful with the scissors like poking her neck with it. But, it wouldn’t be anything dangerous if Nere just put up a thin physical barrier along her skin. After Nere had made her judgement, she handed the scissors over to Fillia before folding her knees and sitting on the floor.
「Alright, I’m ready. You just have to cut a little at the edge. Careful so you don’t hurt yourself. 」
At Nere’s instruction, Fillia’s scissors came in contact with her hair. Then immediately sounds of the scissors cutting away was heard. It seems that Fillia is slowly cutting away at the Aliceblue hair while seemingly a little afraid.
The unnatural sound together with the sounds of nature from the forest. The sound that was made from humanity’s hands seemed to have a strange effect of soothing her mind. While thinking about such irrelevant things, Nere smiled slightly as she closed her eyes in comfort.
That time, Nere suddenly felt a human’s presence heading straight to here. But Nere didn’t seem alarmed. After all, that presence is of someone she knew very well, of course, it’s a given that he’s not someone who will bring harm.
Eventually, the figure that appeared in the tree lines was a black-haired young man in a purple robe, with three swords on his waist, having a violet headband over his forehead. With the excess of the cloth swaying behind his head in the winds.
「Somehow, there’re more things now? 」
「I’m glad for your safe return, my master. 」
Facing her master who is smiling bitterly while looking at the new toys in the garden,
「Ah! It’s Ardis! 」
「Welcome back! Ardis! 」
The twins who noticed the return of the house owner raised happy noises.
And that was the mistake, Fillia who had been handling the scissors carefully suddenly lost grip. Tear, a loud noise was heard as the blades of the scissors closed together. Following that, an almost inaudible sound of something soft hitting the floor.
All three other than Nere opened their mouth and let out a noise at different times.
Three pairs of eyes were focused on a single place. The long Aliceblue hair that stretched behind Nere’s back had a portion missing, and following that, were the strands of hair that fell onto the floor mercilessly.