Chapter 51 – The Bath and Swimsuits
The Western District. The port and the slums within Termuilles were relatively dangerous areas. The orphanage that Sheila and Irmhild had spoken of was also located there.
That being said, the orphanage was quite far from the slums and the port, so it was probably a safer area within the Western District.
“You two, what’s your relationship with the orphanage?”
I asked Irmhild, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the carriage. Even if her identity had been secured by Ashley or me, it was necessary to have a name. In her case, to make it easier to understand, we had settled on letting her work around here.
(ED: Theo is apparently talking about Irmhild needing an id in this passage.)
“I was in their care in the past. If I was sent out to do something for their sake, the children would end up trying to not let me go.”
“Then, wasn’t it painful being held inside the Guild?”
“Yeah. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone outside. I’m really happy.”
She thanked us and smiled happily.
The carriage traveled down the path that led towards the Western District. The shaking of the carriage had gradually…intensified. I felt that the pavement had become rough.
“As I thought, there are a lot of patrols around.”
Sheila, who was sitting next to Irmhild, muttered while looking over her shoulder. When I followed her line of sight, I saw soldiers on patrol.
Certainly, we had managed to come this far without trouble because several similar patrols had passed by.
“Hmm, that’s right. They don’t always come to the Western District.”
…Did this happen after the Demon incident?
If a suspicious outsider went into hiding, then it was possible that the soldiers would suspect the Western District, and if one considered that a Demon had resided in the Cardiff residence, this is probably how it would end up.
Once we were inside the Western District, the carriage finally entered a relatively sturdy building with a large courtyard.
“Ah, it’s Irm!”
We returned to the courtyard after parking the carriage in the stable, and the children’s voices rang out.
“Eh, big sister Irm!?”
The other children immediately reacted to that voice and came out of the building, rushing forward. A fair number of Beast people, Elves, and other races appeared. Judging by this, it appeared that Irmhild was quite loved by them.
I tried to take a brief glance at the children’s conditions, and those who had come here didn’t appear to be unnaturally thin or unhealthy.
It appeared that this orphanage was hosted and managed by the Moon Shrine.
Building it in the Western District was probably related to the low cost of land there, and the location seemed to have been selected carefully.
Due to this, the children’s lives had probably been simple, and in regards to their daily necessities, it looked like their standards had been maintained.
“Big brother’s group, who are you guys?”
The other children tilted their heads and asked.
“Umm, we’re Irmhild’s friends, I guess?”
“So it’s like that! Nice to meet you, big brother!”
Since they reached out their hands, I decided to respond with a handshake.
“What’s wrong? For everyone to gather in such a way.”
A middle aged woman wearing a Moon Shrine robe appeared from the building, and her expression brightened when she realized that Irmhild was within the crowd of people.
“Well, well, it’s Irmhild!”
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, Director.”
The children eating the cooked Whispermush showed us bright smiles.
We had come to the orphanage because we had too much Whispermush. Although it would have been more efficient to dry and store them, since we struggled over deciding what to have for dinner every day, I had decided to treat the children at the orphanage with some saute, deep-fry, soup, and the like. The orphanage staff also helped out, so it turned into a buffet-style party.
“Grace, how are you? Have you calmed down?”
“Yes. I’ve shown you something unsightly.”
She made a reluctant smile and became quiet.
“Irmhild, what will you do from now on?”
The director and Irmhild had been talking with each other.
Although it appeared that Irmhild had hidden the fact that she was a Lamia in the past, based on their conversation, I couldn’t tell if the director had already known about it or not.
Maybe the people at the orphanage had heard about her secret being exposed, but at the very least, the director didn’t speak harshly to Irmhild.
“Hmm. I had been thinking of continuing my job as an adventurer, but it looks like this one wish of mine is no good.”
Irmhild answered, tilting her small head.
As for her personal wish, it wasn’t that she wanted to be able to display her true strength, but that she wanted to dive into the Labyrinth.
Realizing that wish would put her into a slightly difficult position due to the matters of the Demon and the Moonlight Shrine, but that would change if Ashley or I took responsibility for it.
Obtaining materials and the ease of Leveling were related to each other, and since I had plans to focus on collecting items and hunting in the Twilight Forest, I felt that I could bring her along with us, if she was skilled enough.
Otherwise, I could let Irmhild help out with the housework, or she could devote herself to the Healing Group at the Guild with the other two girls.
The first thing we decided to do was to dive down into the Labyrinth together.
It was possible that we would have to go shopping as well, since Irmhild would need a bow and arrows.
“It was Theodore-sama, right? In regards to Sheila and Irmhild’s matter, I look forward to working with you.”
With that, the director bowed.
Right after their conversation wrapped up, Irmhild got up from her seat and brought over a Lute. She began to play it after placing it on top of her knee.
Compared to Dominique and Eustia, Irmhild was a step behind them and was more reserved…but she probably enjoyed putting on a performance with her instrument. She closed her eyes, smiled, and moved her slender fingertips along the strings, as if she were tickling them; it was both elegant and simple. A pleasant sound drifted through the dining hall.
This time it wasn’t a Cursed Song, but more of a normal performance. The children, who had been clamouring earlier, quieted down and began to listen.
Hmm, this was a harp lute, right?
In regards to her weapon…a few interesting ideas came to mind.
Should I quickly prepare and arrange them for her before we dive into the Labyrinth?
(ED: Harp lute.)
After heading out of the orphanage, we went around and shopped for all kinds of things, then returned home.
Irmhild was still under the Guild’s custody, so she returned there, and Sheila went back to her own place in the Western District.
If we could lay the groundwork for Irmhild’s matters and make her better known, would those two start to live with each other?
I was currently relaxing in the bath.
“Theo, shall I wash your back?”
I could hear Grace’s voice coming from the dressing room.
“Hmm…I’ll leave it to you, then.”
I realized that, for some reason, she hadn’t said anything like that today.
Although her impulses mainly manifested in her appetite, I had no doubt that she was leaning towards her vampiric side right now, and there was a need to relieve those impulses.
“Well then, pardon me.”
After saying that, Grace entered the bathhouse. She wasn’t in her usual maid outfit, and instead was wearing a swimsuit she had bought in preparation for our trip to the sea.
“Ah, Theo was also in a swimsuit, huh.”
“Hmm. Well, it’ll be fine even if it gets wet. I took great pains to get it after all.”
If one planned on going to the sea, then fishing rods, swimsuits, and such items were necessary, so we bought them. From the history I knew of from Earth, I wasn’t sure when swimsuits first made their appearance, but in this world, they were sold quite often.
It was also because people interacted with friendly aquatic Monsters like Mermaids and Sirens, to a certain extent. In short, they were called swimsuits…but they were recycled from clothing girls normally wore. It turned out like that since it was easy for humans to use.
It appeared that merfolk had woven these by using the silk of water spiders. In BFO, if these clothes reached a higher rank, they would gain a fairly high resistance to Water Magic, a protective bubble, and similar traits, but this wasn’t something I should hope for right now.
Similarly, I was also wearing a swimsuit at the moment, trunks.
…When I had told her that this was clothing meant to be worn in water, Grace had felt deeply impressed.
I had expected her to enter the bath, wanting to give her swimsuit a try, while dispelling her impulses at the same time.
Grace wore a two-piece swimsuit, and a pareo was wrapped around her waist.
Although her swimsuit wasn’t one with a lot of exposure, I knew about the size of her chest, and the addition of her fair, near transparent skin with her pinched waist would be far too tempting.
She also had slender shoulders, a small belly button, smooth legs, and I mean…thinking about this too much would cause me to dig my own grave. She faced my back like before and innocently washed it for me.
“Since we took great pains for this, I’ll go call over Ashley-sama as well. It will be good to enter the bath together like this. It’s also eco-friendly, since the consumption of magic stones will decrease.”
Grace happily said.
What was…going on. Either way, I felt like I was digging my own grave here…
Well, wait a moment. Don’t lose yourself over something like swimsuits. Keep yourself together, me. Isn’t this like going to the pool together?
After being called by Grace, Ashley changed into her swimsuit and entered.
“This swimsuit is cute. I love it.”
“It was something Theo picked out, after all. Please make sure to treasure it.”
Rather than being chosen by me…I had simply asked for her opinion.
…By the way, Ashley’s swimsuit was a one-piece. It had frills from shoulder to shoulder and had quite the modest design.
I was truly glad that I hadn’t decided on something too extreme for her.