330 Secret Base
The inside is quite spacious. It's almost perfectly cube shaped too. There's plenty of room available even with me.
The houses around here enclose from all directions, leaving only this space intact.
Either it was a design error or those houses were built haphazardly without any planning. In any case, this space's existence is almost miraculous in a way.
It's sheltered from wind and the top has some ragged boards installed that are plenty to shield from rain.
The boards are slightly slanted to divert water down into a container below.
(Are they making use of rainwater? They've made some impromptu drainage on the ground too? They've even got relatively clean planks to sit on...)
My tension rose at this very picture of a secret base. All while quipping to myself inwardly, 'what are you, a kid'.
Never thought my kiddie heart would get stimulated here. I'm getting a bit motivated.
"This place is our dwelling... Huh? Are you okay big bro? What's with that weird smile?"
I pulled myself together when the leader pointed out the face I was making.
"Ah... This is amazing, really a surprise. You can't find a spot like this anywhere that's for sure."
I decided to treat them to good food, not quite as thanks for inviting me here.
The kids were startled to see me suddenly taking out utensils, table and other miscellaneous stuff, they stepped back from me altogether.
There's one thing I need to tell these kids beforehand.
"You were rescued this time, but think of it as a once in a lifetime luck of thing. You're an idiot if you believe you'd be lucky enough for a second time. From now on, you've got to pull yourselves out of this ditch with your own strength. I'll be your power in the first stage. I'll teach you kids how to hunt."
How much do these kids understand my word? They look like they don't know what I'm even saying.
The leader who seemed to gradually understand the meaning of my word put on a surprised face as he asked me.
"Big bro! Are you serious! We got nothing to pay you back! You're still gonna teach us hunting!?"
How come I'm such a big softie? I never once felt compassion toward children in my past life.
"Yeah, I'm going to train you all into first rate hunters. I'll stay in this kingdom until then. Don't worry."
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(My past coworkers would suspect me of suffering from a mental illness if they saw me. Dunno if something changed me in this world if my true personality surfaced up.)
I continued cutting up ingredients, boiling the pot, roasting meat and took out bread while talking.
I'm cooking using leftover ingredients from White Fang days. Gotta mind the ventilation and smoke, cooking in a semi-sealed place like this. Scattering the scent to conceal us... is a bit of a tall order.
(The elves would have cast wind magic for that.)
This place is a secret base. We wouldn't be able to go back here if someone found out. I finished up while slightly grumbling at my magic inability.
Attracted by the delicious smell, the children had gathered around me before I realized.
(Thought I couldn't handle kids. Turned out not?)
What has changed, unchanged, got changed and forced to change since I left my village. Seems like I can't get a good grasp on that.
I put the finished meal on the table and sat on the chair.
"You kids gotta wash your hands first if you wanna eat the grub. Thoroughly. Get the dirt off your nails, in between fingers and back of hands!"
I took a barrel full of water and a bucket from the magic bag.
"Those who don't wash their hands right don't get to eat. Line up now! Starting now, you gotta listen to what I said, you hear me? Or else I won't teach you anything!"
And thus, starts my temporary child's care service.