Chapter 135 Part 1


Translator: Jimi Editor: Ryunakama


「Phew, we got quite dirty after cleaning up huh. Shall we take a bath?」

「Zeph can use the bath first. You’re good at heating bathwater, right?」

「Well, I guess. I’ll take you up on that then.」

Let’s just do as Milly says. Heating up water basically requires the fine control of magic. Leaving aside Silverie, it’s still a difficult task for Milly.

「Who will enter next?」

「Let’s decide with rock-paper-scissors! Rock… paper…」

With Lydia’s shout, the rock-paper-scissors tournament began.

It sure is nice that they’re getting along well. As their sounds of excitement filled the room, I headed off to the bath.

Using magic, I filled the bathtub with water. Then, I added heat in moderation, to make heated bathwater.

The bathroom in this house is spacious and it hasn’t been completely cleaned yet, but it’s sufficient for our use.

Due to the major cleaning we did, I was all covered in dust.

I poured the heated bathwater over myself, then submerged myself into the bathtub.

「Phew, it’s a paradise, a paradise…」

As I was relaxing, I heard hurried footsteps.

From beyond the frosted glass, I saw the shadow of Claude.

「Zeph-kun, I’ll leave your towel and change of clothes here, okay?」

「Ah, thank you.」

「And uh… If you’d like, I could wash your back for you?」

「Mm.」

「Th-then…」

Hm? I just replied without thinking, but it feels like I said something strange… At the moment when I was thinking about that, a rattling noise resounded, as the sliding door was opened.

At the door stood Claude, who was lightly dressed.

「Bu!? Wha, what’s going on, Claude!?」

「I am always indebted to Zeph-kun, so I thought that it’s okay once in a while… um…」

As Claude was speaking, her face gradually turned bright red.

If you’re embarrassed then it’s fine to not do it… Could it be that the rock-paper-scissors was some kind of punishment game?

If that’s the case then it can’t be helped, I guess I’ll have to go along with it?

「…Okay, then I’ll take you up on your offer.」

「Y-yes!」

I got out of the bathtub and sat on a stool in the washing area.

From behind me, Claude approached with wet footsteps.

Then, she let out a sigh near the back of my neck.

…Somehow I’m getting nervous.

「…Please excuse me.」

Suddenly, Claude’s hand came into contact with my back.

「Zeph-kun’s back… is pretty wide huh…」

「Oi, weren’t you going to wash my back?」

「Ah! Erm, sorry. I’ll do it immediately.」

Flustered, Claude began to scrub my back.

Usually, after scrubbing the back, next would be to massage the back using the fingers.

Claude was pretty strong, having trained with the sword, and she was able to accurately stimulate the acupuncture points on my back.

「Mm, how is it?」

「Um, it feels good, Claude.」

「Ehehe, thank you.」

After enjoying Claude’s service for a while, hurried footsteps were heard again.

When Claude heard that, her hands jolted and shook.

「Heyy Zeph! Did you see Claude?」

This voice… Is it Milly?

「If you’re looking for Claude, she is… ngu!?」

As I was about to reply, Claude covered my mouth.

Could it be that Claude, this girl, came to wash my back out of her own accord? How should I put this, this boldness…

When I looked behind me, Claude was pleading with tears in her eyes. I sighed and spoke.

「…How would I know? Maybe she went outside?」

「That’s weird… Claude is supposed to be next in line for the bath though… I’ll search outside!」

「Ah.」

As we heard the footsteps get further away, Claude and I heaved a sigh of relief.

「Ah, right. Zeph, shall I wash your back for you?」

「Bu!? D-don’t say stupid things!」

「It’s a joke, a joke. Did you take it for real? Heehee!」

There’s a person here who seriously acted on that though.

Claude had hugged me in surprise, and I could feel the thumping of her heart being transmitted through my back.

This time for sure, Milly’s footsteps had completely faded away.

「Phew, geez, I was shocked there.」

「Sorry, Zeph-kun… it’s all because of me…」

「Well, I don’t mind it… but Claude, aren’t you behaving a little strangely?」

When Claude was with everyone, she didn’t seem like the type of person who would do such a thing.

At my words, Claude cast her eyes down.

「Yes… Recently, I somehow feel like Zeph-kun will go somewhere far away…」

「Because of that, you’re doing such a thing?」

「Sorry…」

Like a dog that was being reprimanded, Claude was disheartened.

I placed a hand on Claude’s head and stroked it slowly.

「Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere.」

「Zeph-kun…」

Somehow, these girls grew to be good comrades of mine.

I don’t have any intention of saying goodbye though. I mean, it’s fun being around them… and it’s efficient too. He he.

「More importantly Claude, your clothes got wet huh. I’m almost done now, so you can take your time soaking in the bath.」

「Yes, thank you.」

I rinsed my body with the bathwater, then slid open the door and left.

     ◆ ◆ ◆

After Zeph left the bathroom, Claude submerged herself into the bathtub as she mumbled under her breath in a daze.

「Zeph-kun…」

It was not known how many times she had called his name.

Whenever she thought of Zeph, Claude felt a tightening in her chest.

She knew that she was in love with Zeph. She has been aware of her feelings for a long time.

「But… I can’t…」

Even though she tried to suppress it, her feelings overflowed. They were gradually getting stronger.

However, she knew that Zeph only thought of her as one of his comrades.

If she told him about her feelings, they definitely couldn’t stay together anymore.

Therefore, she had no choice but to suppress it.

「What should… I do…?」

The bubbles in the bathtub rose to the surface, broke, and disappeared. She thought that it signified her fate.

In the bathtub, Claude wrapped her arms around herself.

     ◆ ◆ ◆

I waited for everyone to finish taking a bath, and at a suitable time, I went down from the attic to the second floor, to visit Milly and Lydia’s room.

The visit was to conduct the usual practice to strengthen their magic lines.

Magic lines were veins that branched out through the whole body, for magic to pass through. By strengthening these lines, one’s magic power can increase.

「Then, shall we start from Milly?」

「O-okay.」

After Milly hesitantly got onto her futon and sprawled out on her tummy, I let my hand move over Milly’s back.

Once I focused, I could feel Milly’s magic lines. They reminded me of a big tree – thick and strong.

For a person with as much magic as Milly, it’s uncertain what purpose the strengthening of magic lines would serve, but she said to do the same thing as I did for everyone else.

It’ll probably only be something like a massage, but I shall continue anyway since she so wished.

Slowly, I began to massage Milly’s back.

「Ah… Ow! P-please be more gentle…」

「Your muscles are all stiff. You’re not getting enough exercise, Milly.」

「Ugh…」

She probably got sore muscles from cleaning the house, especially since she took the initiative to do most of the physical labor.

This is what you get from pushing yourself too hard despite being small in size.

Since it would hurt if I put too much force, I slowly and gently massaged Milly’s back.

After a while, Milly seemed to be satisfied, as she dozed off and began to snore softly.

「Ahaha, Milly-chan fell asleep~」

「Maybe my massage skills are improving huh.」

「Then~ I wonder if Zeph’s skills will be able to satisfy me too~」

With that, Lydia laid down across the sofa.

I couldn’t help but admire her toned, refined muscles.

「Lydia, you don’t seem to need a massage though…」

「What are you saying~, I’m having a hard time with my stiff shoulders, you know~」

Lydia laughed awkwardly. Indeed, her breasts looked heavy. I’ve often heard that women with large breasts have trouble with stiff shoulders.

However, I’ll save the massage for another time, since Claude and the others are also waiting for me.

I gathered magic in my right hand and held it against Lydia’s back.

「Don’t make too much noise, Lydia, or you’ll wake Milly up.」

「I’ll be careful, but I can’t… help it~ …Nn.」

The purpose of this training was to provide stimulation for Lydia’s magic lines to make them thicker.

Recently, I have been strengthening the magic lines of more people. Some days, I may not be able to do it for all of them, but I have to make sure to do it for Lydia, whose magic lines were weak, to begin with.

After a while, Lydia fell asleep.

「…Good night, Lydia.」

「Mm~… Zeph-chi~…」

I bid farewell to Lydia as she called my name in her sleep, and went downstairs to knock on the door of Claude’s and Shirushu’s room.

When I entered their room, it was already tidied up, with only a single futon laid out.

「We’ve been busy recently, so it has been a while since the last time, hasn’t it?」

「Yeah, now that you mention it.」

「Pl-please take care of me.」

Claude readily took off her top and laid down.

Her magic lines have become quite developed.

Screen Point, Claude’s unique magic-nullification magic – strictly speaking, it is not complete magic-nullification, but rather, a great reduction of the effect of magic – has a weaker nullification ability, the more magic its caster has.

Therefore, while strengthening Claude’s magic lines, we concurrently train her ability to suppress magic too.

As a result, Claude is also better than Milly at the fine control of magic.

「Nn…」

Shirushu also seems to have gotten used to the training, since she did not lose her mind even while I was strengthening Claude’s magic lines.

As a pure-bred Beastfolk, Shirushu had the special characteristic of being easily aroused, resulting in a beast transformation, where she loses her rationality and rampages.

Just by watching me strengthen another person’s magic lines, the stimulation would get too strong for Shirushu and she would always go into a rampage, so we would tie her up beforehand. Although Shirushu was also tied up this time with Claude’s help, perhaps we could do without that soon.

To suppress her beast transformation, there’s nothing more important than the control of her magic. That is also why I am proactively strengthening Shirushu’s magic lines.

Claude’s soft voice resounded in the room.

After a while, Shirushu seemed to have noticed something and she glanced towards the door.

「Silverie-san…?」



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