I returned to the mansion with Cai Hong beside me.
I had asked why she was alone outside in town and she just tilted her cute head at me and said, "Cai Hong can't?"
I decided that asking the others would be a better idea since I had a chance of getting diabetes from her cuteness.
Since I was in my smaller form now, she opted to hold my arm like how her big sisters did instead of just my hand.
"Ehehe~ Papa feels warm~" Cai Hong muttered while snuggling my arm.
Too cute, have to give her head pats later.
I reached the gates of the mansion without much incident, the House should be preparing for dinner right about now.
"You're back huh?" A voice called out.
I looked up to see Dailus standing at the mansion's doorway, looking down at me from the landing.
"Yeah, our sisters took me out."
"I figured," he spat. "The squealing noises from your room stopped all of a sudden. I'm not an idiot, you know?"
Ah, that must be when we relocated to the 'Workshop'. But since he seems unaware of its existence, I won't comment much on it.
Now that I think about it, had my sisters insisted on rebuilding the whole town just so they could build that underground complex underneath it?
That's a really frightening thought, how far in advance did they even plan ahead?
Could they actually be the ones to destroy the world in the future?
I had only heard that this Plane was consumed by Divine Lightning, but for all I know, it might not be a Divine Lightning Technique that consumed this Plane and caused its destruction.
If my sisters began dropping nukes around the place, people might have thought of those things as Divine Lightning as well
Ok... I guess I should take this situation more seriously now.
Nuclear weapons are a no go, especially when there's already objects and existences around that can potentially end the world.
Unless something like that appeared in this Plane which resulted in them launching nukes against it?
That would still be a no go. Wouldn't make sense to use doomsday weapons to end a threat that might destroy the world only to have the world destroyed from the fallout of said doomsday weapons.
"Anyway," my brother continued, breaking me out of my thoughts. "Where is Odriana and Elaria? I don't see them with you."
I raised an eyebrow, "Eh? They're not back yet?"
"What? Weren't they with you? Don't tell me you abandoned them for your little Ahem... Your adopted daughter?"
I narrowed my eyes at him, not sure what he was about to say before he stopped himself. Brother or not, insult my little Cai Hong and I'll make sure you regret it.
"Papa saved Cai Hong from bad guys! Don't be mean to Papa!" Cai Hong pouted cutely at him.
I patted her head, the position a little awkward since we're now roughly the same height.
"Both Odriana and Elaria said they had something to do at the Adventurer's Guild and told me to leave first," I explained. "I walked around town for a bit before coming back here. I'd have thought they would be back by now."
"Well whatever," Dailus waved his hand. "Why don't you make yourself useful and go get them back for dinner?"
"I just got back from there."
"And? Do I look like I care?"
I followed Cai Hong example and pouted at him, "How mean. I'm now just a helpless little boy you know?"
"Same issue, do I look like I care? Or are you satisfied with shamelessly freeloading here?"
"Well last I checked, my sisters bought over this place and they're absolutely fine with it. So yes," I concluded, pushing past him to enter the mansion.
"Hmph, of course you would still act like you own the place even after you-- Ouuughhh!"
I stopped in my tracks, turning around just in time to see Cai Hong run up to catch up with me. Behind her, Dailus was on the ground in a fetal position with his hands clutching in between his legs, groaning in pain.
"What happened?" I asked Cai Hong.
Cai Hong sucked on her finger, looking back and tilting her head as though she just noticed the position Dailus was in.
"Weird boy?" She muttered, just as confused as I was.
Huh Oh well, I don't really care about what happened anyway since it shut him up. He's probably just overreacting about something anyway.
I have other matters to worry about now after all.
It's almost dinner time and I have yet to figure out how to prevent my sisters from meeting my disciples. The last thing I wanted was for them to influence my disciples to join their little cult as well.
Maybe I could just bring them out?
I pushed open the doors of mansion, entering the hall with Cai Hong beside me.
One of the servants greeted me with a bow.
"Where are my disciples?" I asked.
"Sir Fred has taken them out to tour the town," The servant replied.
Ah That confirms my initial hypothesis about the girls touring the town. Maybe I should have gone back after all.
I guess I'll just stay here and keep whichever group that comes back here busy so that they don't meet the other group. Or I can just get Cai Hong to call my disciples back for dinner and avoid my sisters altogether?
Before I could decide which is the better option, I felt a tug on my hand.
"Papa cook?" My loli dragon asked innocently.
Ah, that's right. It's been quite a while since I actually made them a meal.
Nowadays, Eris has pretty much taken over me in meal preparations since her skills are pretty much good enough to work in any world class restaurants comfortably.
Well, since Cai Hong asked for it, I shall not disappoint.
I brought her along with me to the kitchens, finding it busy with all five chefs running around to prepare for the House's dinner time.
"Hey kids, you shouldn't be here! We're working here!" One of the chefs yelled at us.
I guess news of my arrival has yet to spread to all the mansion staff. They probably thought that I would never go to the kitchens of my own volition so the kitchen staff does not need to know about such things.
Well, if it was the me before being constantly hit by the 'truck-kun' stick, I probably wouldn't have came here either.
"Don't worry about it," I waved his concern away. "I won't be a bother, just need some of your potatoes."
"Ha?! Who the hell do you think you are, kid?!" The chef roared.
I looked around, finding the bucket of already peeled potatoes that they had left to soak. How convenient.
"Just a guest," I replied, already making my way towards the potatoes.
Since we're going to have dinner soon, I'll just make something light for both of us.
Picking out one of the potatoes, I inspected it to see it in perfect condition. Yep, the House definitely went for the good ingredients so I don't have to worry about quality here.
The chef came up from behind me, the knife he had been using to prepare the vegetables held in his hand.
"Hey, didn't you hear me, kid? I said guest or not, you shouldn't be here either!"
"Oh, nice. I needed that, thanks," I swiped the knife from his hand, giving it a one over to appreciate its sharpness.
The chef hadn't even notice his knife had been taken from him until I lifted it to my chest level, parallel to the ground.
"Hey That's my knife How did you--"
I interrupted him by throwing several potatoes in the air, the knife in my hand flashing out to cut the potatoes into thin pieces when they reached the apex of their flight.
All the chefs' jaws dropped.
Cai Hong leapt up and caught all the potatoes in a bowl without prompting. After spending quite a significant amount of time with me in the kitchen, she has learnt quite a bit on how to assist me in cooking well.
I would say the snacks I keep feeding her while I cook was a factor in her learning.
She looked up at me with sparkles in her eyes, prompting me to pat her on her head which made her purr adorably.
Now I'll just dry these pieces with some paper towels, then fry them in the pot of oil they had left heating on the wood stove.
I waited a few minutes, constantly checking if the pieces had turned soft.
Once they were, I scooped them out with a strainer, drying them on another paper towel.
I then turned up the heat by tossing a few more pieces of wood before throwing the potatoes back in again.
At this point, all the other chefs had stopped what they were doing so that they could see me work, obviously intrigued that an eight year old was using the kitchen so familiarly.
Once the potatoes were a golden brown colour, I scooped them out again to dry.
"Where's the salt?" I asked.
One of the chefs passed a container of the white granules without hesitation.
Pinching some of it in my fingers, I sprinkled it over the golden, straight-cut fries.
The chefs gulped down their saliva as I picked one up to much on.
Satisfied with their quality, I fed one of it to Cai Hong as well.
"Mmm! Papa! Yummy!" Cai Hong praised, quickly grabbing more of it to munch on.
I smiled at the sight of a dragon loli stuffing her face with fistful after fistful of fries.
A hand landed on my shoulder.
Turning around, I came face to face with the group of chefs who were looking at me with bloodshot eyes.
"Teacher! Please allow us lowly selves to learn from you! We implore thee!" The one who had called me out in the beginning pleaded.
Heh, conquering people's hearts through their stomachs is really effective even if I do say so myself.
Just as I was offering them samples of the fries, the wall behind me had burst into flames, the entire section crumbling down like melted butter.
All of us turned to see a Fox with Maroon hair and tails standing there with a serene smile on her face.
"Ehehehe~ Found you~~"