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225 Hot Pot and Singing

 Several wood elves were investigating the battlegrounds between the devil and the Players.

"It stinks of sulfur, and there is faint hell scent latching on to nearby plans. Has the Moon Keeper reached the seal? What did he say?" A green-haired wood elf asked the wood elf in charge of keeping in touch with other elves after he was done combing through a section of the battlegrounds.

The wood elf, one who received an Iris Macaw that landed on his shoulder, listened to its report and replied. "The cave leading to the arcanum where the devil was sealed had collapsed, but from the looks of the runestones around it, the seal was definitely broken."

"So those humans weren't lying. They really did fight the escaped devil..." The green-haired elf muttered with a frown.

"That much is obvious from this scene alone." Another wood elf was shrugging.

Indeed, there was now a vast clearing in the middle of the forests, with every tree around being uprooted or smashed by an enormous force. Looking from high above, it looked just like the bald spot over a person's head despite having overgrown hair.

It was not hard to notice from various traces in the clearing of how horrific a battle had been waged here.

The only thing that left the wood elves puzzled was why there wasn't a single body or drop of blood despite said horrific battle.

"The last time I left Trinia was around three hundred years ago. Humans only used crude weapons and barely-working magics or sacred arts back then..."

The green-haired elf was sighing heavily in disbelief. "Three-hundred years. They have progressed so formidably..."

***

The truth was that the development of all sciences was slower in worlds governed by religion.

Not only did the humans see no revolutionary change in weaponry in the past three hundred years-they were all still relying on cold weapons.

Certainly, sacred arts and magics improved with the progression of eras and that influential churches with stronger gods had grasp miraculous sacred arts. However, there regrettably wasn't any transcendent development or change.

"That being said, those humans are heroes. They saved us from the devil's onslaught and even brought Selene back to the capital." The shrugging elf replied. "Whatever others may think, I myself wouldn't belittle them."

"Heroes, huh? To think that the day would come for me to consider them heroes of our kind..."

The green-haired elf had a troubled look.

Three hundred years ago, he had disguised himself as a human and experienced the mundaneness of their society.

It wasn't as if he discriminated against all humans, but he did truly see the base vileness in humans in his time amongst them. They would choose to benefit only themselves whenever their kind had to make a choice, without any regard if their choice would hurt or even kill others.

But it wasn't some rare phenomenon-even in isekais, the doctrine of self-centeredness was very much carved into every living creature's DNA. Selfless creatures never survive, let alone form tribes or society.

Even the wood elves, who valued every member of their own species were a race possessing refined self-centered nature. The only difference was that they were closer to true social insects like bees and ants, and their 'self' mostly refers to their tribe and not themselves as individuals.

Be that as it may, it was not as if basic human nature was inherently evil. Even so, difficult living conditions where survival was already a luxury meant the kind side of human nature would be suppressed in the depths of human hearts. It was only after they had resolved basic needs and having assurances that human kindness would gradually slow.

"Well, I'm almost done here. What are you two planning now?" The wood elf who still had the Iris Macaw perching on his shoulder asked the other two elves.

"I might visit the humans who defeated the devil." The shrugging elf responded. "I knew that humans had come to Trinia, but I disliked their kind before and with the atmosphere at the time, I never even went to look at them."

"Well, you missed the fun. I heard their feasts were especially interesting." The communications elf said, playing with the Iris Macaw.

"You've been to one?" The elf shrugged in curiosity.

"Nope." The communications elf replied. "I heard about it from Jamie."

"Alright, stop the chatter. We'll continue back at Trinia." The green-haired elf stopped the other two elves' discussion commandingly. "Let's return and see for ourselves what those heroes are up to."

***

At the moment, the 'heroes' that the green-haired elf was speaking off were sitting together and having a hot pot.

It wasn't exactly a barbecue party since it was just a mini feast, although there was one held whenever they defeat a powerful Boss.

While the devil was of a higher level compared to the Barren Giant, the Players had a far easier time considering their higher helpless, and they were far from their helpless selves back then.

Still, after almost falling to a wipeout on two separate occasions, the Players decided to reward themselves with a smaller feast.

Players who were coming in from other locations brought in meat, whereas the wood elves provided vegetables and fruits.

One should note here that hot pots were not originally existent in this world. Xi Wei had invented it and put it in the System's tavern out of curiosity, which immediately allowed business to boom over there and crushed the Iron Cauldron... in fact, the Iron Cauldron would have closed shop if the owner didn't quickly get an idea how to get his hands on the good food (stock for the hot pot can be bought from the System's tavern).

Winter had passed but the weather wasn't completely warm yet. It would be first spring if it was back on earth, the most suitable time for hot pot.

Hence, the Players gathered around the hot pots, singing or running off to a corner for some stand-up comedy sessions.

Although it was less than a formal feast, it was as bustling as one.

Furthermore, the Players' efforts this time wasn't wasted either. The wood elves acknowledged the Players feat after Selene had recovered, with most of their attitude changing towards humans changing for the better. In fact, some elves joined the Players celebrations thanks to Jamie's efforts (Selene brothers, the young elf who was the first to approach the humans.

All at once, the little feast was overflowing with joy and harmony...

Until a post on the forums cut short the pleasant time for every Player.

[Angora: @everyone I need your help.]