Chapter 42: Swimming in Lucan Lake
The bright, blinding sun is beating down on us.
If it was any other place, I would start dripping sweat on a hot day like this. But around Flowtier, the humidity is lower, so even with higher temperatures, it’s not as uncomfortable during the summers.
…...when I first came to Flowtier, it was still the beginning of spring with still remnants from the previous winter hanging in the air.
It’s only been less than half a year since. Now we have entered the middle of summer.
Up until now, so many things have happened. I found friends, explored with them, the trip to the Capital…..unlike my memories of Ligaleo, it was full of activities and memories, without so much death and blood tainting it. They were peaceful memories…
…..but anyways, let me introduce you to something wonderful.
Next to Flowtier lies the Lucan Lake. The water that runs from the Altohern mountain north of the city will pour into this lake first before turning into the river that cuts across and through Flowtier.
The water is crystal clear, and the water quality is amazing. During the summers, part of the lake is opened to the public as a swimming and water sports and activities. It transforms into one of the top tourist attractions, and many come just to spend their days at the Lucan Lake.
Yes, in short, swim suits…
Although it’s the beginning of the season, there are still many people, including young women.
Cyril: “Could you stop harassing all the girls with your perverted eyes?”
Cyril, sitting beside me, pulled hard on my cheeks.
Henry: “Excuse you. I do appreciate the view, but I’m not harassing anyone.”
Cyril’s still innocent in many ways and gripes to herself. It can’t be helped. That’s just how men are.
Henry: “Okay, okay. My bad, my bad. Let’s start stretching and warm-up and do what we came here to do.”
And since we came here to swim, Cyril’s also in her swimwear. It’s a swimsuit with not a lot of skin showing, but she looks good in it.
I don’t want her to gloat it over me, so I keep my opinion to myself.
Henry: “Oh, Cyril, how’s your swimming?”
Cyril: “We come here to swim every summer, so I’m not an expert, but I can swim normally. What about you, Henry? Are there any places to swim in Ligaleo?”
Henry: “There was an ocean that was relatively close by. You had to be able to swim to take out Oceanic demonic creatures. I can keep myself from drowning even if you threw me into the water with my full gear.”
Cyril: “Yeah, that sounds more intense than what I can do…”
We chat as we both stretch and get ready.
Cyril: “Oh, I know I said I can swim, but it’s the first time I’m training and swimming, so if I pass out in the water, please save me.”
Henry: “I’m not going to push you so hard knowing that you’ll be in deep waters.”
So yeah, we came to swim, but not for fun. If it was for fun, we would have invited Jend and the rest.
This is all part of our training agenda for Cyril to toughen her up.
Cyril has been diligent in doing everything I asked her to do everyday. She’s trying to increase her physical strength, and she’s running 20 km (12.5 miles) ーーbut we increased that to 30 km (18.7 miles) now with the strength training.
She practice fights with the rest of the party member to raise her staff skills, and practices basic movements to roll and break her falls.
It’s not everyday, but I train with her often.
I need to give her credit for her hard efforts, and she’s now pushing out some results. Her body type in general does not gain a whole lot of muscles, but as far as her endurance, for a rearguard, she probably would have as much if not more than her peers.
But at the same time, she’s gotten used to the training, and she’s now moving her body in a way that conserves more energy than she burns.
Of course, that’s an essential skill to learn, but it also means that she has to exercise more to continue improving, and her progress is starting to plateau with efficiency worsening.
I thought about going with some old methods of training with weights strapped on your body, but with the swimming areas opening, I thought this would be better.
Swimming is a great way to build up your stamina and endurance.
So it’s not for being able to see women in swimsuits or any other ulterior motives like that. I considered this option very seriously, and this is purely for her training and benefit.
I have no ulterior motives. None whatsoever.
Cyril in her swimsuit is drawing my attention, but if she realizes this, it’ll get bothersome, so I try to steal a glance or two with my peripheral vision.
Cyril: “........it’s not like I’m not noticing you staring at me by the way～”
After a slew of insults and a slap on the back, she forgave me.
There seems to be a red handprint on my back, but I took no damage.
I did want to say something about not wearing things that draws people’s attentions if you don’t want them to stare, but I’ll just be digging my own grave so I shut up.
Henry: “Oh, you are a good swimmer.” Cyril: “You think so?”
We both swim breast stroke towards the edge of the swimming area where they have a marker placed.
We swam with our heads above water to decide on what we’ll do.
Henry: “We’ll go to that marker there, turn back to the shore, and then go back and repeat that, okay?”
Cyril: “Won’t people be looking at us strange?”
Henry: “There’s a lot of people here, so it should be fine.”
People aren’t that mindful of others - especially in large crowds.
Cyril: “But watching other people play makes me want to do something fun too～”
Henry: “You can do whatever you want after we’re done training. I can hang out with you if you like.”
Cyril: “Oh, that’s a promise then! Let’s see….what should we do….? Maybe we’ll be like kids again and build a sand castle after this?”
……….Cyril seems to be enjoying this, but we haven’t even done one lap yet. We’ll see how long she can continue.
Henry: “I’ll go at my own pace. This is your first time, so find your pace and keep going, got it?”
And with that, I began to swim more quickly.
My arms cut through the water as I push forward.
It really has been a long time since I trained in water. Maybe the last time was all the way back in my Fezard days. Just like I told Cyril, I have been pushed into the water while fighting, and I won’t drown, but maybe I should consider improving my swimming skills.
And inside the water is cool and feels really good.
I dive deeper into the water.
This is the area for swimming so it’s not going to be that deep, but this lake really has clear waters so you can see all the way to the bottom of the lake.
…...oh, look at that. There’s a lot of fish you can see swimming. There’s no way I can catch them by hand though.
But this is fun.
Alright, it’s time to get serious.
Henry: “He～y, you okay?”
I catch up with Cyril from behind and check on her.
It’s been about 2 hours since we started swimming. I’ve lapped Cyril more than a couple of times now, and I keep checking in on her.
Cyril: “I…..I can keep going……..” Henry: “Yeah, no. Look, it’s no joke if you pass out in the water, so let’s call it a day.”
Cyril does have a competitive side to her and no matter what I ask her, she always responds like this.
I let out a sigh as I tell her to go back to shore.
Henry: “And it’s already past noon. Let’s get something to eat.”
We started training a little before the sun was above us.
We exercised a lot, and I’m starving.
I match my pace to hers, and we slowly go back to shore. Once we get to the shallows, we begin to walk but…
Cyril: “Oh……” Henry: “Whoa, hey, get a hold of yourself.” Cyril seemed to have reached her limits and wobbled a bit. I grabbed hold of her arm to support her, and called out to her.
Cyril: “Oh…..sorry. I guess I was more tired than I thought. In the water, you’re kept up by floating so I didn’t realize it.”
Henry: “Yeah, you felt all the weight come back as soon as you got out of the water.”
Cyril: “But you don’t look even a bit tired, Henry.”
Henry: “I’m hungry, but yeah, I can keep swimming for another half-day.”
But they close the area off once it’s past the evening, and the water will get too cold, so I’m not that crazy enough to continue in that kind of condition. I guess I need to think of a way to increase the amount of duress on my body too while I train.
Cyril: “.............monster.” Henry: “If you want to be a vanguard at the frontlines, doing this much is normal.”
I don’t know if Teo and Ferris can keep up with me, but Jend probably could. These kinds of stamina and endurance activities seem to favor men more.
Cyril: “What about Miss Ageha? She’s a female and looks pretty slim.”
Henry: “She ran all the way here, remember?”
Cyril: “.....that’s right.”
Ageha is more of a side-attacker, but she is a hero and can play the role of vanguard better than any normal adventurer. And I know she looks skinny, but her muscles are incredibly hard.
As we talk, we finally arrive on shore.
Henry: “Alright, let’s eat! What do you want to eat, Cyril?” Cyril: “I’m so tired that my appetite is gone…”
Henry: “I see. So what do you want to eat?”
Cyril: “..............fine, fine. I’ll eat, I’ll eat. You want me to eat, right?”
Yup. If you don’t properly eat meat after working out, you won’t develop the proper muscles. We’ve had this discussion several times, and I’ve gotten used to her responses.
Henry: “Then wait here. I’ll go buy us some food.”
At the swimming area, there’s a lot of food and drink stands catering to the crowd.
And of course, it’s a tourist attraction so the prices are higher than usual. But the city is close enough where you could just make a food run, so they don’t have the prices that high.
And it smells good. What should we eat? Fried noodles? Corn on the cob? There’s even places roasting some Seasualgo fish…..it all looks good….
And after a lot of going back and forth, I bought two huge meats on a stick and fruit juice and brought it back to Cyril.
Cyril’s still catching her breath.
……...since she’s good looking, I thought there would be men trying to ask her out, but I guess anyone would hesitate if a girl was breathing that hard….
Henry: “Here Cyril, got you some food.”
Cyril: “Thーthank yo………….it’s huge.”
It’s a shish kabob small enough for someone with a slight appetite I think, but Cyril looks a little sick just looking at it.
Henry: “I’ll buy more if it’s not enough.”
Cyril: “......no, I think I’ll be okay.” Henry: “But before that, drink up.”
I give her the fruit juice, and Cyril drinks it all down.
I give her her meat, and I eat with her.
The meat is still very hot, and I bite into it.
A very thick taste hits me real hard.
So the Bear’s Keg Inn has a very refined flavor to their dishes, but over here, all the seasoning is done very rough and thick, but it’s still good.
We’re sitting under the sun next to the beach eating our shish kabob.
It’s a very pleasant way to spend your afternoon.
Henry: “So you wanted to build a sand castle after we’re done?”
Cyril: “Ummm….let me think about it after I rest. I’m pretty worn out.”
Henry: “Got it. Here, I’ll guy rent some towels and a large parasol.”
They have stands renting equipment out too.
Near the water is pretty cool, and even if you’re not swimming, you can still have a cool time just laying on the beach.
The line to rent one of these is very short since it’s already past the afternoon, and I finish the paperwork when…
I look up to see a familiar face passing by.
Jend: “Henry? What are you doing here?”
Henry: “I’m doing swimming training with Cyril to build up her stamina. What about y…..?”
But before I finish my question, another familiar face walks over.
Ferris: “Hey, Mr. Henry. What a coincidence. I ran into Cyril sitting over there. She invited us to come over and join her. ...Jend?”
Jend: “Oh, yeah, that’s great. Yeah, I mean, since we’re all here….yeah…”
Ferris is wearing a pretty amazing bikini swimwear.
……...and I don’t want to stare at a woman who’s already taken so I just quickly glanced. That’s all. No really…
Henry: “..........on a date, huh.”
Jend: “You got a problem?” Henry: “No, not like that. Just feel bad that we interrupted.”
I’m sure as soon as Cyril saw the girls in our party, she forgot all about her fatigue and came back in full force.
She needs to be a little more aware, that girl. If Ferris is wearing THAT kind of swimsuit, you need to let them have their space.
………….well, maybe next time.
Henry: “Well, there’s four of us, so maybe some 2 vs 2 beach volleyball?”
Jend: “Sounds good to me.”
And I see that there’s a few nets setup for it. We just need to wait a little in line to use it, and we can show the athletic ability of our party…………..
Remembering what happened the last time at the Casino, I immediately went to go and invite Teo.
Thankfully, the city was close.
Teo arrived, and Cyril got even more excited, and after beach volleyball, we built a giant sand castle together.
…………………………..that was too close….!!
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 3: The Flowtier Days