Ch. 170: Hotsprings Part 4
We retrieved our reserved key from the front desk without issue.
We stepped into one of Suisen Inn’s other famous attraction ー the couple’s bath.
Henry: “I see. It seems obvious but the baths here are much smaller than the public ones.”
The changing room was also smaller, and there were only baskets set out for two. The hot spring we could see on the other side was also much smaller in scale.
Even so, it was still beautifully laid out, and the bath was more than large enough for 2 people.
We had a one hour reservation. I was going to take a quick dip into the bath and placed a hand on the sash on my waist holding my yukata.
Cyril: “ーーHenry, wーwait, please.”
Henry: “..........I mean….c’mon. We’re already here…”
To avoid my stare, Cyril turned her whole body away from me. I thought she was the one who signed up for this? Is she backing out now? Cyril: “SーShush! Please feel free to go in first. I’ll come in later.”
Henry: “Okay, that’s fine with me.” A little exasperated, I quickly undressed, took a towel provided in the changing room and walked to the bath area.
Since I bathed at the public hot spring before dinner, I don’t think I’m dirty at all, but following the Rishu customs and manners…….before I got in the tub, I quickly scrubbed and rinsed myself.
I glided into the tub allowing the hot water to wash over my body and soul……..yeah, this feels like heaven.
It’s my second bath today, but it still feels so good.
Normally, I would just enjoy the bath but……..we have other priorities at the moment.
I hear the faint sounds of cloth rubbing. I resist the urge to immediately turn my head towards the source of the sound and strain to wait patiently.
The next seconds felt like eternity before I heard footsteps.
Feeling relieved that she came at all, I turned towards her.
Henry: “Hey, Cyril.”
Cyril: “Yー..........Yes! What is it?!”
I called out her name only to be replied by a high-pitched shrill as Cyril stood there with a towel wrapped around her body.
Henry: “.........ohー um. Well, you can’t come in the bath with that towel. It’s against the inn’s policies.”
Cyril: “IーI know! But could you please look the other way.”
Cyril pointed and mouthed the words, “That way!”
………and though the mountainside was dark, the moon was bright, and I could see the mountains in the distance very well.
The moon and the stars and the faint shadows of the mountains hiding under the night.
It was beautiful. It was beautiful but…….I still couldn’t get the image of Cyril wrapped in a towel ouot of my mind.
Her skin showed white as her shoulders, arms, and legs stretched out from the towel.
Cyril: “Urgh…..are you really not peeking right now?” Henry: “Nope. Even I don’t have eyes on the back of my head.”
But if we’re this close, I could sense every movement and know what she’s doing.
As Cyril folded the towel neatly, she took up one of the basins and began washing her body.
Coming in from my blindside, she gently entered the tub……….and I heard a faint splash as she sat down.
Henry: “.........is it okay now to look?” Cyril: “NーNot really………but okay….”
Alright! With her permissionーー
Cyril: “..................” Henry: “Uh huh………” I don’t think she’s been in the bath long enough to become that red in the face.
The water in the hot spring is cloudy too, so I can’t see much except the silhouette of her body.
But, I’m sure in her mind, that’s not much of a reassurance.
I look up towards the sky and let out a deep sigh. I let my eyes follow the steam rising up past us and feel myself relax.
Cyril: “........yーyes?” Henry: “Look, you don’t have to be so nervous. Relax a bit. Just relaxー”
Since she would feel uncomfortable with my stare, I keep my eyes focused above.
I tried a few comforting words, and then wave at her to come closer.
She paused to think about this, and then cautiously approached me.
I heard her take a deep, long breath.
Henry: “..........I mean, if you didn’t want to do this that much, I wouldn’t have insisted.”
Cyril: “IーIt’s not that I didn’t want to……….but this…….it’s so embarrassing, I want to melt away right here.”
Well, at least she wasn’t against the idea.
That was a relief, and I poked another question at her.
Henry: “Then why did you want to do it?” Cyril: “Urgh, well………” Cyril dipped her face into the water as she mumbled and began to speak.
Cyril: “I thought you might want to do something like this……and I did want to do something with you that you would enjoy. I know I push you back a lot on a regular basis………..so that’s why.”
Henry: “It’s not like I mind that much.”
I let out another sigh as I patted her head.
Cyril: “GRR! What’s with that?! Don’t treat me like a kid.”
Henry: “I’m not trying to treat you like a kid at all.” Cyril: “Then that’s more of a reason to stop! Don’t touch a lady’s hair so carelessly!”
And I let go of her head.
Since Cyril was returning to her normal self, I let my eyes fall slowly away from the ceiling.
Glancing aside, I saw Cyril furiously combing and putting her hair back the way it was.
………just seeing the top of her head and shoulders out of the water was an amazing sight.
Cyril: “Geesh…. Stop staring at me so muchー! We’re here in a hot spring, so let’s focus on enjoying the hot spring!”
Henry: “Yeah, yeah.”
Of course, I still feel curiosity pulling me to look her way, but I’m not so sleazy that I’m going to use this opportunity to look at her as much as I like.
And besides………bathing like this together was….well…….um……fun. Very fun. To ask for more from this situation would be asking for too much. Besides that, the inn clerk was very emphatic about refraining from doing certain activities here (without going into much detail).”
Henry: “But well, I don’t get it much. Is it that embarrassing to take a bath together? Even when we’re….you know…..you’re not this embarrassed about it.”
Cyril: “That’s completely different!”
I mean, during our camp outs when we first started dating, she would invite me to lay next to her. What about that? Henry: “Okay, okay. I get it. ……..let’s change the subject.”
And we began talking about this and that.
The content wasn’t as important. We just talked about whatever we could. But since we’re in a bath together, it felt more enjoyable than usual.
…………well, I’m not trying to imply anything here. It was just that chatting together in a new place and new situation was refreshing.
Henry: “So, what do you want to do tomorrow?” Cyril: “Let’s see～ I’d like to walk around the Rishu market. I’ve seen all the Rishu products at Teo’s family store, but I’m sure there’s more stuff to look at here.”
Henry: “Hmmmm, yeah. That’s not a bad idea. There was something I wanted to get.” Cyril: “Oh?” Cyril looked up at me in surprise.
Cyril: “Really? That’s rare. You rarely buy anything for yourself, Henry. When you go shopping, it’s things we need on the next expedition, and food and water.”
Henry: “Hmmmm, yeah, well. That’s not my usual policy or anything. I just can’t carry around too much stuff because I live from inn to inn.”
Cyril: “Ohh, yes. You did mention that before. …….then I guess I wouldn’t be able to take a lot of my clothes with me either.”
Cyril lamented at the thought. Though she did not overly indulge in clothes, she still had quite a collection. She’s also very good at combining and rearranging her day to day wear too….or at least, that’s just my opinion. I have zero fashion sense, so I can’t say that for a fact.
Henry: “Cyril, don’t forget that we have Teo’s bag too.”
Cyril: “Hmmm, well, it’s not that I forgot about that. But I hesitate to place anything in there that’s not relevant to expeditions. Or, that’s what I think at least.”
Henry: “Why not? Teo has her fishing equipment in there.”
When we went fishing together, she also packed a second fishing rod for me too.
Cyril: “.......okay, I’ll ask her.” Henry: “Yeah.” And as we spoke, I saw Cyril relax visibly.
…….maybe it’s okay now? And trying to judge the mood and timing, I placed an arm around her shoulder.
Cyril: “Oh…” Her body was hot from staying in the hot spring. Her skin felt soft, and it made my nerves twitch.
Cyril: “.......next time, you should warn me before you do that.”
Henry: “Okay, okay. Sorry. …..but let’s stay like this for just a little while longer.”
Cyril: “Fine, fine.” She was giving me some attitude, but her body relaxed as it leaned against me more.
…….we were in foreign lands, inside a small hot spring. Time gently flowed with serene grace.
I will probably remember this day for the rest of my life. ……..yeah, definitely.
The next morning.
Cyril: “Good morning, you two.”
Jend: “Hey, good morning, Cyril. Henry.”
The inn served breakfast on the first floor in both of its large halls.
The tables and chairs had room labels so you can find your seat, and we found Jend and Ferris already seated. We greeted them and sat down at the table with them.
Ferris: “Good morning. ……..Cyril, you look sleepy.”
Cyril: “Yeahー last night, we stayed up late.”
Cyril rubbed her eyes sleepily as Ferris checked on her.
Ferris: “I see. That late, huh?” Henry: “Whーwhat, Ferris.” Ferris smiled wryly towards my way, and she caught me off guard as I stumbled over my words.
Ferris: “No, it’s nothing. Didn’t mean to tease you.” Henry: “.......as if that wasn’t a jab already.” Ferris: “Now really, I have no clue on what you’re talking about.” Ferris chuckled gleefully to herself.
………ugh, it’s not like her at all to tease us, but whatever.
I blow out a breath through my nose, and turn my attention to the food.
Cyril: “Oh my! The food looks so good!”
Cyril’s eyes sparkle at all the dishes.
Hmm, so the main dish for breakfast is seared fish. They have salad for the side as well as other pickled vegetables, and that white jiggly stuff is…tofu? That was what was laid out before us.
You can get as many helpings of rice as you please.
And…..I don’t see this during meals much, but there were eggs with the shells intact laid inside a basket at the center of the table. I guess we can eat as much as we like of that too. I believe Rishu culture eats the eggs raw in some cases.
Next to the eggs, there was a small and courteous sign that directed visitors from the mainland on how to use them.
…..you drip soy sauce as you mix the eggs with the rice, and eat ー according to the sign.
Cyril: “Oh……ummmm, raw eggs? …….Miss Cyril may have to pass on that.” Henry: “Yeah, if you can’t stomach the idea, this would be impossible to do.”
And there’s no need to force yourself. I was going to try it out regardless.
And putting our hands together to say thanks for the meal, we began eating.
Henry: “Oh yeah. What were you and Ferris going to do today, Jend? We were thinking about heading to the markets in Kaisei.”
Jend: “Yeah, there’s a lot of tourist spots around the mountain, so we planned to look around. There’s places to rest and restaurants too.”
We discussed our day’s plans as we continued to eat.
……..hmmm, they put just the right amount of salt on the seared fish, and it went well with the rice.
Henry: “Then we’ll drop by and pick up Teo on the way back.” Jend: “Oh, okay. Sounds good.” ……..and Teo was going to meet up with us here at the inn at the end of the day, but I wanted to check-in on the Sagiri family ー especially after everything I explained about Ageha the day before.
Henry: “Oh, I need more rice. I’ll goー”
Cyril: “Henry, if you need a refill, I can get it for you.” Henry: “Hm? Oh yeah? Thanks. Can you get me an extra large serving?” “Okayー” was her reply as she took my rice bowl and headed to the large wooden rice bowl.
Ferris: “.......even though she didn’t get enough sleep, she’s still quite perky, Henry.” Henry: “Oh, oh yeah?” Jend: “Yeah, I think so too. Did something happen last night, Henry?” Henry: “WーWell………” UGH!!! Now they’re both teasing me for information!
Cyril: “I’m backーー ….? Huh? Did something happen?” Ferris: “No, it’s nothing. We were just talking about how happy Henry must be.” Cyril: “Yes, of course, with a woman like me at his side, who wouldn’t be happy!”
And Cyril passed me a rice bowl with a mountain of rice inside.
Normally, I would chide her for being too cocky but….
……but it was a fact. I took the bowl silently, and focused only on consuming its contents and ignored the two smiling from across the table.
CHONKY TL LiT (Lost in Translation)
Japanese Raw Eggs, Soy Sauce, and Rice
TKG (Tamago-Kake-Gohan) (Eggs on Rice)
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11: Preparation for the Conquest