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Chapter 175 – Former Hero Understands Sensitivity
[A monster…? So that’s the monster…?]
『That’s it? What’s with the subtle reaction? That one is a really nasty guy, you know? Unlike anything else around here, see? I mean….. shouldn’t you be nervous right now?』
Perhaps my reaction was not as expected, that Tarma started complaining to me.
Well sorry for not meeting expectations, but regardless of what you call that thing, it’s still a monster.
One mistake can make you get killed.
And there’s nothing good that can come from getting scared during times like these.
[What is this monster you are talking about?]
Etna, who can’t hear Tarma’s voice, asked me to be her interpreter.
This is getting bothersome.
[Nah, it seems that something is after this fellow here.]
[Eh, is that so? Where is it?]
Hearing that something is after the unicorn, Etna-san started to look around.
Well, it’s not that it’s anywhere close.
I noticed its presence before anyone else here after all.
But it’s good to see the cute Etna-san acting like that.
Even if Etna-san kicks me with all her might, I’d probably still say [How cute] she is.
In fact, I want to be kicked by her. Be stepped on by her. …I want to fulfill that desire one of these days.
The conversation lasted for about 30 minutes.
As a result of the discussion, it’s been decided that I would be taking down the monster aiming for Tarma.
The decision stemmed from Etna-san’s [Haruto-kun will do something about it, right?].
As for me, I just want to leave a good impression by saying yes…
Especially when Etna-san looked at me with eyes full of expectation and trust, I couldn’t help but to say [Leave it to me].
Setting that matter aside…
Since this is turning into monster subjugation, normally I would’ve opted to go back to the town first to fetch Sharon and Laurier. But considering this female virgin addict called Tarma is here, bringing in more beautiful women might not be a good idea. In addition to that, as far as I can tell, the monster is alone so I should be able to manage it by myself.
Worst case scenario, I could just take Etna-san with me and run away.
Well, that said, I couldn’t really abandon Tarma to his own devices either.
After all, I was once a Hero too. What, don’t look at me like that.
Anyhow, I need to do my best to settle this.
While my mind was filled with all doodads, I scooped up some water from the lake.
I didn’t know when the monster would attack, but at least there’s still some time left until then.
Due to the magic fog covering the forest, my《Search》couldn’t function perfectly. But it’s still enough to detect any approaching targets.
That’s why I took my time to prepare a bath for Etna-san by checking the lake whether its water is safe and can be used.
Creating water with magic is bothersome after all.
I observed the water of the lake after scooping some with both hands.
I had no idea what I should look at since I don’t know anything about this in particular.
The water of the lake was surprisingly clear and there’s nothing strange floating around.
Seemed like clean water. Nothing’s wrong with it.
Though, according to the unicorn, this water has a special property…
Perhaps it does have some sort of a special power? Since I could feel a trace of magic within the water.
However, it felt different from the water in the labyrinth, not to mention that it’s cleaner than ordinary lake water.
But, I couldn’t be so sure about the effect yet.
So I tested it by putting a small amount of magic into the water in my hands.
As soon as my magic power touched it, the water went crazy and instantly hardened.
However, the next moment, it returned back to normal.
That was shocking.
Uーn… so weird.
『What are you doing? Making that funny sounding noise.』
Perhaps hearing my yelp earlier, Tarma emerged from the lake.
He’s been released from his restraint and he was allowed to roam freely instead.
So he’s soaking in the lake to heal his wound, just like he originally intended.
The lake water has been contaminated by this guy. I’m prepping Etna-san’s bathwater with magic tonight.
[No, when I put magic power into the water, it solidified in an instant and returned to its original state in an instant. That surprised me a little.]
I returned the water I scooped back to the lake, and replied to Tarma.
『Eh？ Is that so？ Uーn』
Hearing my reply, Tarma sounded like he was doubting me..
This horse, I’ll remember this.
If something happens, I’ll abandon you in a heartbeat.
…not really. I couldn’t even laugh at myself for being unable to abandon this horse..
Deciding to not use the lake water, I left Tarma alone.
As usual, I dug a hole with magic and covered it with an earth wall.
The bathtub was decorated with rocks to create an open air bath.
Once the shape had been finalized, I produced water with magic then heated it with《Fireball》.
The result was pretty good if I have to say so myself.
Goes to show how many baths I have created with this method thus far. Ahaha.
[Wow, amazing. It is amazing, Haruto-kun!]
Etna-san was ecstatic at the newly built bath. Ehehe.
[The bath is ready. So, go ahead.]
I encouraged Etna-san to enjoy the freshly made bath.
[But… such a wonderful bath, wouldn’t it be better for Haruto-kun to enter first?]
Still thinking about me first. She’s really a kind girl, isn’t she?
[No no, it’s fine. I made this bath for Etna-san in the first place anyway.]
[Ee~… i-is that so? Then I shall take you up on your offer.]
[Yes. Please do.]
After a short back and forth, I managed to convince Etna-san to use the bath first.
I mean, it’s the situation where I don’t know for sure when the monster will arrive here, so taking a bath is the least of my worries.
Moreover, to be honest, it’s hard to throw away the chance to take a bath after Etna-san used the bath… I mean, it’s a big deal.
[Then I shall be going in first.]
Etna-san picked up her clothes and went into the simple bath I made.
Seeing that, I sat by the bath entrance as a lookout. A lookout I say.
While I was watching the surroundings, I could hear the sound of rustling clothes.
Why did I get excited over the sound of rustling clothes?
There’s only a thin clay wall between us and the fact that Etna-san was taking off her clothes behind it was what made me excited.
After a while, the sound of rubbing clothes stopped, and this time a different kind of sound reached my ears.
And once the sound stopped, it was replaced with the sound of Etna-san immersing herself in the tub.
Hehe, so much enjoyment just from the sounds alone.
My heart wouldn’t stop pounding.
[Ah, right. Etna-san, please tell me if the water becomes warm or when there’s something.]
[Yeーs. I appreciate it.]
When I talked to Etna-san, her reply came in a slightly muffled manner.
Uwaー, this is somehow nice too.
Recently, when it comes to bathing, I’ve been doing it with everyone so this was a nice change of pace.
I should’ve intentionally kept the water a little warmer. That way I might be able to get inside to reheat it or something.
Kuh… there goes the chance!
I did it way too perfectly.
[Hmm hmm~mm ♪]
As I was wallowing in regret, a humming sound could be heard coming from inside the bath.
It seems that Etna-san is enjoying herself, probably because she couldn’t take a bath yesterday.
I actually did well there. Good job.
…b-but wouldn’t it be okay for me to get a little reward for doing such a perfect job?
There’s only a thin clay wall separating me and Etna-san.
I could use magic to make a small hole…
No no, I can’t do that. Right?
I may not be caught red handed, but in the unlikely event where I got caught, I would lose the trust I’ve built so far.
Be patient. Patience, patience.
Ah… but maybe, just maybe, there’s a flaw in the wall or something? I need to check…nothing wrong with that, right?
No no. I mustn’t.
I have worked perfectly after all.
But still… What if there’s a hole somewhere?
Let’s do a final check.
『…you are such an interesting person to look at. To have that many facial expressions is quite amazing.』
As I walked around the wall looking for the non-existent hole, Tarma, who was soaking himself neck deep in the lake, spoke to me.
Gununu…I completely forgot about his existence… damnit.
Did he see everything? How embarrassing.
『Oh, pardon me. Please don’t mind me, continue whatever you are doing.』
As if I can now!
I sat back to my original post, this time focusing on actual lookout duty.
Scrub scrub. Wooshー
New sounds could be heard from within the bath.
Was it the sound of Etna-san washing her body and flushing it with hot water?
Etna-san, naked body, wet, with water.
Sheesh. My imagination wouldn’t stop from going wild.
I should try to not have any sexual thoughts now.
I take that back.
Human’s determination can be so ephemeral. ….or is it just me?