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42 Part 1
Being Able to Edit Skills in Another World, I Gained OP Waifus
Chapter 3: Betrothal And A Manuscript Of The Olden Gods
Episode 42: The Melancholy Of The “Chosen One” (Part 1)
And the next day.
The evening came after we prepared for the trip, cleaning up, and went shopping.
When I opened the door to the dressing room of the hot spring facility, there was an elf girl in the nude.
We stared at each other as if time were frozen.
That was strange.
This should have been the hot spring facility to which I received an entrance ticket for bathing, right?
So, following the direction from the entrance, I should have arrived at a private bath ….
“Huh? Eh, huh —?!”
The elf girl was staring at me in a daze.
Her panties were down to her knees. She had pink fluffy hair. She was staring at me with her bluish eyes. Her pale skin was gradually turning beet red from the tip of her ears. Forgetting to cover her naked body, the elf girl was trembling while staring at me like a deer in the headlights.
Huh? Did I enter the wrong place?
But this should be the place where the receptionist guided me to.
Of course, Iris would know I was coming here.
But the presence of a girl here would only mean that —.
Could mixed baths be the basic idea of hot springs in this world?
In that case, I should show some decorum here.
“Oh, hello. The weather’s nice.”
“Eh? Huh? Y-yes. It’s a perfect day to soak in a hot spring.”
“Are you going to take a bath?”
“Y-y-yes, I am.”
“Same here. I got a bathing ticket from an acquaintance.”
“Eh, well, uh … oh, yes, then let’s bathe together …. Hold on, that’s not right!”
The bright red elf girl hurriedly covered her body with the bath cloth she had.
Seemed like it was not a mixed bath after all.
“Why are you in here? Are you a p-p-pervert —?!”
“I’m not a pervert!”
“Oh, well, I’m so sorry!”
When I spontaneously retorted, the elf girl was trembling even more and bowed apologetically.
What was with this déjà vu?
It felt like something similar had happened before …?
“Pardon me. I unconsciously raised my voice.”
“Oh no, I apologize as well for calling you a pervert.”
We were profusely bowing to one another as if in a competition.
The situation was bad enough, so I turned my back toward her.
I could hear the rustling of clothes from behind; I guess she was getting dressed.
“Um, I was — invited by someone. That’s why I came here. I swear, I’m not a pervert.”
“I-I came here because of work. Um, I have been working hard every day, so I was told to relax and enjoy the hot spring ….”
“Pardon me. I made a mistake. Miss Rafiria Grace. The public bath for adventurers would be over here.”
The voice of the facility receptionist could be heard from outside the dressing room.
“… What an unlucky day.”
I could hear the elf girl muttering in disappointment.
She was an adventurer, I see.
Could that be the reason for the déjà vu I felt earlier? Perhaps we had met each other somewhere in the past.
“Uh … I’m sorry. I was the one who got in the wrong room.”
A well-dressed elf girl came in front of me and bowed her head in apology.
“I’m sorry to have shown you something unsightly. Please forget about it.”
“No, I apologize as well.”
We were profusely bowing at each other again.
The elf girl fluttered out of the dressing room.
… Somehow she looked like a less-fortunate girl.
I stretched out my limbs in the bathtub.
It had been a while relaxing like this …. I mean, this could be the first time I soaked in the hot spring.
Located on the opposite wall of the dressing room, the bathroom was made of stone and had windows for ventilation and skylight. The bathtub was circular, with a pillar in the middle that extended to the ceiling. A stream of hot spring water flowed from there.
“I wish everyone had come.”
However, Cecyl was preparing for the trip. I could not catch Rita because she was so embarrassed after that incident and ran away. Aine was away cleaning and tidying up. Leticia said she did not want to be separated from her friends. So in the end, I came here all by myself.
I thought this was supposed to be a celebration for resolving the incident.
“… Fake demonkin, eh?”
Even though the incident was resolved, I still did not feel relieved somehow.
He would have been summoned as a hero like me if he were in the same situation as I was. And he would be used by the king — and then abandoned. But even so, he would still want to return to be the hero. I did not know why he was so obsessed with being the hero. He was more like a “hero slave” rather than a “company slave”.
It would have been more problematic than a demon if he was rampaging.
Iris was probably shocked, too.
Because she was targeted and got a town involved in the incident.
Although she looked like Cecyl at first glance, she admitted that the responsibility was hers. So she went around apologizing to the adventurers. She also gave proper compensation.
“… I guess my chance to ask for … a ‘token of gratitude’** is gone.”
It seemed that the compensation would be paid separately, and I got a bathing ticket for the hot spring, too.
That was good enough for us.
There would be scary repercussions anyway if we asked for too much.
“… I guess it’s good enough to be able to relax. Next ….”
Next, we would have to find out what “Food Negotiation LV 1” could do. If living without working was impossible, we had to think about how to reduce the time and amount of work to the bare minimum in order to survive.
A noise was heard from the dressing room.
Someone was approaching.
I moved behind the pillar. Iris should have privately reserved this bathroom.
… Could it be that one of the regulars had come? Or a member of the corps that had just arrived?
… Okay. Let’s get out of here.
I did not want to meet too many people as an obscure adventurer.
“… Excuse me.”
A small shadow was visible beyond the steam.
I took a detour so not to be noticed and inched toward the dressing room ….
“Master Souma. Are you here …?”
Gracefully strutting as if in a royal palace somewhere;
Barefooted, stepping on a damp stone floor;
With a slender body wrapped in a piece of bath cloth;
A girl with green hair came into the bathroom, anxiously looking left and right.
It was Iris.
“Oh, Master Souma, you came. I’m glad.”
Iris laughed with relief after spotting me.
“… Why are you here, Iris?”
“I wanted to talk with Master Souma in private.”
While saying that, Iris sat on the edge of the bathtub.
Pressing her chest with her arms in embarrassment, she looked across the pillar toward me.
“If you’re worried about the attack, it’s okay. Now, this hot spring facility is surrounded by the corps that had just arrived from Irgafa*. They are guarding this facility so strictly, no even an insect is allowed to crawl through.”
I became worried all the more.
There were only the two of us here in the privately reserved bathroom.
There was no sign of anyone else. I could only hear the sound of the hot water flowing.
“By the way, I was thinking of asking you about Irgafa.”
I mentioned that because I did not know what else to say.
“Since we will be settling down from now on, I need to know the formalities for that, the structure of the town, as well as the security … I guess. Iris, I’d like you to inform me about all those.”
“You’re right. If you’re going to live for an extended period of time, it would be better to register as a resident. The structure of the town is a bit difficult to explain without a diagram. I think the security is pretty good. There are conflicts within the merchant guild, but basically, you can’t disobey the Irgafa lords.”
She answered everything so smoothly.
As expected, of the “Sea Dragon Shrine Maiden” – she was small but brilliant.
“By disobey, do you mean because they have the privilege to sign an agreement with the ‘Sea Dragon’?”
“That’s right. Only the lords can do that.”
“Is it all right for outsiders like us to settle in such a town?”
“It’s a maritime town. So some people came from across the ocean, and people from the adventurer guild are common too. I shall be your referral when registering as a resident. I’ll send you more detailed documents pertaining to your questions, Master Souma.”
“I have another question. Does the demon king really exist?”
* Previous chapters used “Irgafar”. However, the katakana used by the author suggests that “Irgafa” is more accurate.
** This ‘token of gratitude’ refers to the compensation Nagi wanted from Iris in Ep. 40. But since Iris already took responsibility and went around apologizing to the adventurers, Nagi feels bad if he asked for more.