Dinner was a rather quiet and awkward affair.
The tension was so thick and it showed on the participants' faces.
Not me though, I'm just leaning back on my chair while sipping on an exquisite cup of tea that Manami had brewed for me, as usual.
Father sat at the head of the table with elder brother to his right and me after him. Odriana sat opposite elder brother with Elaria beside her, both of them clearly ignoring brother and father.
My disciples occupied the rest of the table, Cai Hong taking up the seat at my side and looking as adorable as always.
"So Son," My father started, placing down his own cup of tea that was most definitely not brewed by Manami. "I heard you completed the Request already?"
I nodded without turning to him, "It was but a trifling thing, were you expecting me to be away for long?"
"Ah Well That is"
"Wait a moment," Elaria spoke up. "What is this about Onii-sama completing a 'request'? This wouldn't happen to be a Guild Request would it?"
Elder brother faked a cough, "Umm You see sister, there was a bit of an issue in the nearby region... And er Younger brother was the best man for the job since we needed a Practitioner."
She narrowed her eyes at him, "And I was unaware of this because?"
He waved his hand at her, "Ah As brother said, it was just a trifling thing right? There's no need for sister to get involved over something so insignificant."
Despite her words, I'm pretty sure Elaria was already aware of this already and she's just saying that she wasn't aware for reasons unknown to me.
"Ara, ara? Are you saying Master is only here for you to use to deal with inconsequential things? How interesting Ufufufu," Manami chuckled, hiding her smile behind her sleeve.
Brother visibly panicked, "No, no! That's not what I meant at all!"
"I do not believe that Master is the only Practitioner around in this town," Lian Li added, ignoring his frantic denials. "Why were we not aware of this as well? Unless it was actually not an 'inconsequential' thing that needed Master to personally settle?"
My father gulped, "Ah Well Er We didn't know where you girls went and For us to ask any of you to do something for us is You know?"
"No, I don't know," Diao Chan countered, placing her cutlery delicately on the table to smile at him. The smile was so frosty that I thought the whole room might have frozen over from that alone. "Do tell?"
I guess Elaria must have told them about the Request I was involved with. I suppose this will make things convenient for my plan.
I placed my cup back on its saucer with a loud 'clink' to get their attention, "It's fine girls. It was really just a small matter that I could take care of, there wasn't any need to trouble you all over it."
Elaria looked ready to protest but Lian Li stopped her, "If Master deems so, then it must be true."
Brother and father both breathed a sigh of relief.
"But" I continued. "I caught sight of some monsters establishing a village near the path up the mountains, I believe they seek to prey on unwary travellers that are passing through that region."
The two of them sucked in a breath, prompting the girls to turn and stare at them, anger clear on their faces.
Seriously, if they're already so obvious about it, how the hell did they pull this off without anyone else knowing about it so far?
By how they're acting right now, I would even wager they only managed to get this far on pure luck alone.
"So I'm suggesting that they be subjugated," I announced without much fanfare. "And this would be the perfect opportunity for you girls to put what you've learnt so far into practical use. I will not be participating in this subjugation to judge how far you have progressed."
"Er Son" My father interrupted. "Is it really necessary though? They might just be harmless monsters who are staying in that vicinity"
I raised an eyebrow at him, "I don't think the words 'harmless' and 'monster' belong in the same sentence. You're not hiding anything, are you?"
He scratched his head with a hand, "Huh? Erm Of course not! I was just merely offering another possibility. One can never be too sure about these kinds of things."
"Very well then," I turned back to my disciples. "I want you girls to go wipe out that monster village, make sure nothing gets out of there alive. We can't be too sure about these kinds of things like father said."
Father's eyes widened, "Wait, wait, wait. That's a little too--"
"If Master wills it, it will be done," Eris announces stoically, disregarding my father's presence.
My brother started panicking as well, "Wait! To send defenceless girls there by themselves Aren't you a little heartless, brother?"
"Helpless?" All of my girls echoed, a dangerous glint in their eyes.
I picked up my tea again to glance at him over the cup's rim, "I assure you, brother My disciples are anything but helpless. I would be a terrible teacher if they aren't at least capable of self-defence by now. You are welcome to try them if you would like?"
He shook his head quickly, "No I'm fine I'll err I'll take your word for it."
"But Just asking," My father added nervously. "Did you see anything else other than the monsters? Like Maybe some weird people dressed in dark robes?"
No seriously How the hell did you two manage to pull all of this off without anyone finding out? You're practically confessing to all your crimes at this point.
Unless These two aren't the masterminds behind this entire thing?
That seems like a more plausible case now.
But if that's the case, who else could be the one pulling the strings?
Some other noble House that have their sights on this town's technological advancements? The Dark Sect members might know, so I guess I'll interrogate a few when I go and take care of them tomorrow.
I realised I've yet to answer my father's question yet.
"Oh, not at all. Was there news on weird people dressed in dark robes appearing in the area?" I asked.
He sighed, "If you didn't then that's goo-- I mean Er... Just curious, that's all."
They would make really horrible villains indeed.
They could learn a thing or two about acting from those idols, especially that white haired fox youkai. She's a real enigma, that one.
"Master? I assume it is fine to burn all those monsters into cinders?" Manami asked, a fierce glint in her eyes.
I nodded, "Umu, just make sure to get every one of them. Wouldn't want one of them to survive and return to seek revenge or something."
There shouldn't be any cockroach characters there right?
Please tell me I did not raise another flag?
Nah, flags don't apply to monsters right?
Cai Hong pulled at me sleeve, "Papa? Is Cai Hong a good girl?"
All my worries dissipated as I patted her head and watched her purr, "Of course, Cai Hong is a really good girl!"
Yeah, I'm probably just worrying too much.