Ch. 167: Hot Spring Part 1
We were now served our fourth cup of tea.
It took that long to relay all of Ageha’s “adventures” to Mrs. Akane. While we spoke, Mrs. Akane’s husband ーー in other words, Ageha’s father ーー joined us, and we continued our conversation….. Near the end, both seemed to be nursing headaches as they held their hands to their heads.
I have known Ageha for quite a while, so it pained me to see them like this……but it wasn’t my place to intervene and meddle in Ageha’s family matters.
In the end, relaying everything as objectively as I could, and Ageha didn’t technically break any codes of honor as an Adventurer…..I think… probably…. No, she definitely did not! Is how strongly I emphasized that point in the end, so I don’t think her family would break ties with her. ……they wouldn’t, right? Buried in my own thoughts, I mumbled to myself worriedly as we walked the city streets.
Jend: “Well, to be honest…..I knew a little bit about Miss Ageha, and even I was shocked at your stories, Henry.”
And Jend, who was there listening to my stories, affirmed my worst fears.
Even Ferris groaned as she reflected on the situation.
Ferris: “.......it was… really well beyond what we could have imagined. I never thought that when facing an Elder Treant, she decided to carve ‘something like a neck’ and then strike there. If she didn’t spend so much time doing that, couldn’t she have defeated more?” It was one of Ageha’s brilliant plans she dubbed as “Let’s carve necks into Elder Treants and then lop their heads off”.
Even Ageha understood how tiresome the work was the first time around, and it was then that she started avoiding any opponents without necks.
Cyril: “But if you think about it, I would sort of expect that from Miss Ageha thoughー”
And seeing how Cyril laughed at her own comment, I realized how much she was used to strange people.
……since we’re all going to Ligaleo, she would fit in just fine.
Cyril: “So Henry, how much farther is it?”
Henry: “Hm? Oh, let me see…” As we walk down the street, I take out the map I tucked away inside my pouch.
It was an incredibly simple map with just general geographical markers, and the main streets marked and labeled. But there were signs on the streets as well that helped us stay on course, so we should be heading in the right direction.
Henry: “Let’s see…..maybe in about 20 minutes? ……..oh wait. Look, there it is. See there? Around the mid-part of that mountain right there.”
I pointed to one of the mountains lined up in the distance.
Though it was hard to see it with all the trees, you could see a building in the middle of it.
Cyril: “Oh, you’re right.” As Cyril shaded her eyes, she let out a “wow～” as she looked upon the building.
Jend: “But to think that they would build it right in the middle of a mountain. I would expect it to be flattened if any Demonic Creatures appeared.” Ferris: “I know we’ve been told that in Rishu, Demonic Creatures only appear in very small, specific regions, but……seeing buildings like that must mean it’s true….” And yeah, looking at locations like that away from human civilization, it would have been impossible to come up with that idea in the mainland regardless of the differences in Demonic Creature numbers.
If you wanted to build something outside the city, you would have to cut down the trees to open up the land, purify it, and then at least have a simple fence around just so you can sleep at night.
I guess these are some clear cultural differences between the countries.
Cyril: “Ummm, was it the Suisen Inn?” Henry: “Yeah, it’s a fancy inn that’s well known on the mainland too.”
Excluding Teo, the four of us will be residing at that inn while we stay in Rishu.
It’s not that we wanted Teo out of the group. The original purpose of coming to Rishu was for Teo to be able to see her relatives.
………we didn’t want to intrude by being there, and it would have been awkward to force her relatives’ hands to take us in just because we were part of her Party.
And besides that, we will meet back up with Teo tomorrow at the inn. Because the location was so close to her home, she never had a chance to spend a night there, so she was quite curious about it.
And when you mention the Suisen Inn, you can’t forget about the hot springs!
Although it’s not unusual to see areas where hot water rises to the surface on the mainland, most of it resides in the incredibly dangerous locations of densely corrupted Magic regions.
There might be a few Adventurers and travelers who will wash off their sweat as they pass by, but no one would seriously consider building an inn on such a location.
Flowtier did have a public bath, but I heard that natural hot springs are better for the body and outdoor Roten(?) hot springs have an amazing view. The Rishu bathing culture is well known.
…………..yes, I’m really looking forward to it.
Henry: “Oh, looks like we’ll be a little late to our check-in time. Should we run?”
Jend: “Yeah, I wanted to move my body some anyways.” Ferris: “Yeah, I have no problems with that.” As I made the suggestion, Jend and Ferris nodded almost immediately.
Cyril: “Urrghh, I didn’t come here on vacation to get all sweaty…………but the hot springs are waiting for Miss Cyril, so I will run with you!”
Although I thought she would complain more, Cyril was also looking forward to the hot springs and jumped on board.
With that…….the four of us began running.
With all the visitors the inn receives, the roads to the inn were well maintained, and it made our running even easier.
It was an uphill climb, and Cyril was catching her breath, but from all the training I put her through, she no longer pooped out just from a run.
And as we arrived at the inn………our view of it opened wide.
Against a carved cliff in the background, we looked up at the Rishu style building as it appeared.
From afar, it was hard to see how beautiful the architecture was. Though it differed greatly from the mainland’s style, it had a gracefulness that made it proper for nobles to live there.
Jend: “Whoa….how to say this…..it looks impressive.”
Ferris: “According to the brochure, this inn has been around for 300 years. They had to reconstruct the building a few times, but it survived through the battles of the previous civil war.” Jend let out an impressed whistle as Ferris opened up a small booklet she had in her bag and read the contents aloud.
Cyril: “Wow～ this is so amazing. ……..ohhh! If only we had one of those photo machines for moments like these!”
Henry: “........a photo machine, huh.” I repeated Cyril’s words under my breath.
The machine that can take a view and trap it inside a picture. It’s expensive and difficult to handle, and you wouldn’t think about purchasing one if you weren’t trying to open up and cultivate new land for cities or into the hobby………hmmmm…
As I thought about this, I looked upon the building in awe.
Ferris: “Here, c’mon you two. We can do a tour of the inn anytime. Let’s take care of our check-in first.” Jend: “Yeah, c’mon already.” As Cyril and I continued to gaze at the building, Ferris and Jend pushed us to hurry on.
……….hm, yeah. They’re right.
Henry: “C’mon, Cyril. Let’s goー”
We stepped through the large gate with the inn’s sign and headed towards the entrance.
As we approached a well-decorated entrance doorway, we were greeted by a woman wearing one of Rishu’s traditional clothes. I think……the women who worked at inns were called Nakai’s.
The Nakai saw us and then bowed her head politely and very low.
“Welcome to the Suisen Inn. Do you have a reservation?”
Henry: “Oh, yes. My name is Henry. We should have a reservation placed by the Sagiri Merchant Association.”
…….and though it’s nowhere close to the usual tourist season, we practically decided to come to Rishu on an impulse.
And as for our travel arrangements, Mr. Simon, Teo’s father who has a lot of connections in Rishu, helped us arrange most of it.
At that time, we were going to just use any open inn, but it happened the day after we cemented our decision to all head to Rishu.
Mr. Simon entrusted a letter to one of his business associates who was heading to Rishu, and through that communication, asked his family to secure any open rooms found around the Kaisei city area.
…….as a result, there were some open rooms at one of the more renowned inns, and we ended up here.
So, though we were not sure where we would be staying until we got here, we were grateful for the family’s efforts to get us some of the best rooms available. I need to make sure to not forget to buy some gifts here as a thank you.
“Oh, yes. We have been looking forward to your arrival. Please come this way, and I will guide you to your rooms.”
Henry: “Thank you very much.”
The Nakai pushed open the front door to the entrance.
…….and the front lobby was also luxurious and breath-taking.
In front of us was a well-used reservation desk with a front clerk. The amber color of the wood gleamed with ample care taken to polish it.
Next to the front desk was a casually placed potted pine tree and……..oh yeah, they actually have these in Frontier too, but there was also a flower arrangement called an “ikebana.”
There were also many other beautiful decorations and furniture that I couldn’t name.
Though they all looked very expensive, it was not gaudy, and the interior decorations gave off a calming aura……or something like that.
Jend: “Wow…..I don’t have much experience with tourist inns but……this is something else.”
……..and I guess people in similar trades and experience understand it better. Jend kept nodding in approval at everything in the lobby.
“Sir Henry, would you be willing to sign our guest book please?”
Henry: “Oh, yes. Of course.” One of the Nakai’s called me over to the front desk, and I quickly marched over.
The front desk clerk opened a large notebook, and pointed politely to where I needed to sign.
As I finished signing my name, we were guided by the Nakai to our rooms at the inn.
Cyril: “Whoa～ look! These hallways are amazing too!”
Henry: “Hey, Cyril. Stop running around. You’ll get separated from the group.” Cyril: “Oh, well now, how silly of me. That wouldn’t be like me at all!”
Cyril scurried around this way and that to look at everything we passed by, and I had to tug her forward to keep her moving.
……..and what do you mean, “that wouldn’t be like you at all”? This is completely like you.
But as I looked at Cyril exasperated, the Nakai paused in front of a door.
“We have arrived at the first room, “The Sparkling Stars.” This room faces the front of the inn, and you can see the stars very well at night.”
The first room, huh.
“The next room is across from this room called the “The Flowing Creek.” Unfortunately, it is facing the back of the inn, so you would not be able to gaze at the night sky, but the waterfall you can see from the window is a wonderful sight.”
Well, I don’t care which room we choose.
Henry: “Jend, Ferris, do you guys have a preference?”
Jend: “Nope, not at all. We can come over and see the views from both rooms, so it doesn’t matter to me.”
Ferris: “Me neither. But Mr. Henryー”
Ferris discretely pointed towards Cyril for me.
As I followed her finger…….it was quite obvious that she was looking intently on the “Sparkling Stars” room.
Cyril: “Henry, Henry, I like this room a lot!”
Henry: “Ohー okay, okay.” …….and well, I guess it’s better than eating up our time with everyone saying they don’t care which room and no decision being made. If we weren’t in a situation like this, I’m sure Cyril would have not been so eager to have it her way…….I….I’m pretty…..pretty sure she wouldn’t…..probably.
Henry: “Hey, is that okay with you guys?” Jend: “Yeah, that’s fine. That’s fine. Like I said, either way works for me.” Ferris: “Me too.” We took the keys for each of the rooms from the Nakai.
Henry: “So once we drop off our things and take a small break, want to head to the Roten bath?” Jend: “Yeah, let’s do that.” Jend and I quickly make plans.
……..and Cyril and I walk in to the “Sparkling Stars” as Jend and Ferris head to the “Flowing Creek.”
CHONKY TL LiT (Lost in Translation)
Inn, Ryokan (旅館) (りょかん)
Although in most cases, the outside of the Japanese Tourist Inn ー Ryokan ー will probably not look as luxurious as something that came out of Spirited Away, the rooms in general are very spacious (in terms of Japanese living space).
Inn worker (nakai) (仲居) (なかい)
Nakai is the name of a traditional guest welcoming and guest serving position. Think of a waitress in a formal suit at a 5-star restaurant. Now put them in a traditional kimono. They are responsible for the welcoming, the serving of the food, explaining what the food is and how to best eat it, and engages in general conversation when needed. Unlike waitresses at questionable establishments, seasoned, veteran nakai women tend to be middle-aged or older (think of the head housekeeper, Mrs. Carson, in Downton Abbey) . They can be seen as the embodiment of traditional Japanese culture with some training in calligraphy, music, and flower arrangements, but over time, the role has modernized to a level of a dressed up hotel staff.
Outdoor Hotspring (Roten-buro) (露天風呂) (ろてんぶろ)
Literally, the characters spell "naked skies bath", because there is no ceiling, and you can see the sky above from where you are bathing, but rather than calling it a naked something, it's more commonly known as an outdoor hot spring or outdoor bath area. Typically, there will be a separation between men's and women's.
Japanese Flower Arrangement (ikebana) (生け花) (いけばな)
Pretty. It's seen as a symbol of high status, culture, and class to become a teacher of "ike-bana" (unsurprisingly, the highest teaching positions were dominated by men back in the day, but probably has more women representation nowadays......maybe?), but it is now taught to anyone who wants to learn. Traditionally, ordinary men rarely learn this unless they are born into a family that literally passes and teaches this tradition (and also unsurprisingly, they are ultra-wealthy). Some classes require kimono's to be worn, but to attract modern audiences, some of the more stringent traditions have been abandoned to keep the tradition alive. It's like the ballet of Japanese culture.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11: Preparation for the Conquest