Chapter 24 – After Work, Hot Springs Are Great (Summer Edition)
After that was done…hot springs.
I wanted to get in one every day to heal my knee faster.
「You should try all the hot springs we have. If you like a certain one, you may rent it.」
The village chief told me, so I went to a different hot springs than last time.
「I would like to go to one closer to my own guard bungalow.」
「Not now, but I need something close for winter. If it’s far from my house then I’ll freeze while walking home from the springs.」
Femm nodded over and over, understanding the matter completely.
「As for we devils, we don’t care how far it is.」
「You don’t catch cold in the winter?」
「We’re not like you lowly humans. We don’t ever catch colds!」
Without thinking, Millet and I responded simultaneously.
But we were both suspicious of Vi-Vi’s statement.
「Yes, we’re not thinking…anything.」
Humans have the saying 「Idiots don’t catch colds.」
Of course, if we mentioned that…Vi-Vi would become furious.
「Idiotsth don’t catch coldsth, you know!?」
The young Collette said flatly.
Hearing that, Vi-Vi glared at us.
「Al…are you thinking that I’m an idiot…so I don’t catch a cold!?」
「Oh no…not at all.」
Femm was laughing, or making some strange voice.
As this was going on, we finally arrived at the hot springs.
「Girls, you can get in first.」
「No, you go ahead, Mr. Al.」
「No, no, what are you talking about?」
『I’m getting in FIRST!』
Femm simply walked in ahead of everyone trying to give each other first shot at the hot springs.
Since Femm was getting in, I followed and stopped Vi-Vi from going in.
It was my job to wash Femm. I had to go in first.
「Well, then I’m going in first.」
「Go ahead, take your time.」
Millet smiled. Vi-Vi looked a bit perturbed.
After going into the shack outside the springs, I looked inside.
The chief told me that I could reserve it if I liked it. Well, after taking a look, I did.
「This is a pretty nice place!」
This hot springs was an all-outside bath.
Even though it was outside, it was constructed so none of the villagers could see who was in it.
You could see the river down below…and the forest.
Perfect for a day with good weather.
「It’s not completely peep-proof, but with some invisibility magic it should be fine.」
As I said this I saw Femm put its front paws into the water, and I pulled Femm back.
「What are you doing?!」
Femm looked at me, confused.
Today…we have to start by washing off Femm.
「Hey, I was thinking…」
Femm was happily being washed, as it looked at me.
「Femm…are you losing your intelligence?」
『Don’t say such rude things.』
「Well, but…when you were playing with the water just now…you looked totally like a dog.」
「Lately, most of the time, you only bark like a dog.」
『Since you humans only have frail words to convey meaning, you don’t understand.』
「Meaning other than words, do you mean like tail wagging?」
『Fool. There are far more different ways of conveying meaning than that.』
Femm suddenly became impertinent with me and looked at me with cold eyes.
『Such foolish questions to ask, and how rude they are.』
This happened the same time that I finished washing Femm.
When I began washing off my arms…
「Mr. Al, I came to wash your back!」
It was Millet.
She had a bath towel around her. Even so, the towel pushed her breasts together, emphasizing her cleavage.
And the towel was hiked up dangerously high on her thighs.
「No…Millet…thanks for being so considerate, but…」
「Don’t worry about it.」
Millet smiled and came closer, kneeling down right beside me.
I looked at Femm for help.
Femm ignored me, probably in revenge for what I had said, and pretended not to notice. It simply sat in the bath.
「Okay, just sit still and relax, okay?」
As she said so, she touched my shoulders from behind.
Her hands were a bit cool and moved gracefully.
I stopped trying to resist and obediently sat there and enjoyed it.
「Mr. Al…your back has a lot of scars on it.」
「Well, I was an adventurer.」
「That sounds so cool.」
Even though she hadn’t used the bath, Millet’s ears were red.
Just then, Vi-Vi and Collette came in the room.
Vi-Vi had a bath towel on too. Collette happily pranced around us.
「Hmph, a scarred back is a knight’s shame.」
「I’m not a knight…you’re getting in too, Vi-Vi?」
「Are you saying I shouldn’t GET IN?」
「No…you shouldn’t…have some common sense.」
As in, it was against common sense for opposite sexes to get in the bath with each other.
「I am a devil, and a high class one. I’m not beholden to the same common sense as low-life humans.」
「Yeah, but Vi-Vi, you said previously that mixed bathing was strange.」
「Hmph. But that’s strange to humans right? That’s all I was saying.」
As we conversed, Vi-Vi washed off Collette.
And after that, Collette said,
And she ran into the bath with Femm.
She fell on Femm again and they ran around the bath. They were having a lot of fun.
After watching Collette and Femm for a while, Millet finished and moved in front of me.
「I’m done washing your back.」
「Time for the front.」
Millet walked her fingers up my chest.
「No, no, I’m going to wash that myself.」
「Don’t hold back.」
「I’m not, I’m just fine on my own.」
I refused as strongly as I could.
Millet looked a bit disappointed as Vi-Vi walked over.
「Hey, Al! Wash my back!」
「Wha, why me?」
「It’ll be an honor for you.」
Millet then grabbed Vi-Vi.
「Okay, I’ll wash your back for you.」
「Hm? You can wash your own back, Millet! I want Al to wash mine.」
「Yeah, yeah, maybe next time.」
Millet started to wash off Vi-Vi.
I used this time to get in the bath.
「Old man, Femm’s good at sthwimming!」
I said as I watched the magic wolf king swim.
Femm swam by and *whap whap* hit my face with its tail.
「Old man. Does your knee hurt?」
「It does, but I can take it.」
「Stho it hurtsth. Well, I can rub it for you.」
Collette rubbed my knee.
「Thanks. I think the pain went away.」
Collette laughed happily.
After getting in the bath, my knee seemed to be soothed by the water. I could feel the pain lessening.
It normally hurt, but it wasn’t so painful I couldn’t take it.
I remember an old innkeeper with a back that hurt like this.
Maybe his pain was just about the same level as mine.
I wouldn’t know as my back didn’t hurt, though.
No, another old tavern-keeper said his joints hurt on days with bad weather.
Maybe that’s closer to this pain.
Either way, I could still live my daily life. But it would be hard to be an adventurer.
An adventurer has to walk long distances every day, and he has to carry heavy things all the way.
If a battle begins, an enemy might pick out your weak point. If he saw that my knee was weak, I’m sure he’d target it as much as possible.
Also, there wasn’t much time that an adventurer could rest.
「I really love this hot spring.」
「I love it too.」Collette said.
The hot springs echoed with pleasant laughter.