Chapter 133 Another World Version of Dry Battery
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”It’s so hot… I’m all sweaty.”
After declaring that I would have one more round, Momoka and I took a break and repeated my training three more times, sweating profusely. The reason we didn’t finish in one round was because every time the training ended, I kept challenging Momoka to a rematch, thinking that the next time would be different. But no matter how many rematches we had, I couldn’t even leave a scratch on the wall.
It was getting physically tough, so we decided to call it a day and headed to Ronim-san together. You might wonder why Momoka was with me. Well, that’s because I requested Ronim-san to build what is essentially a shower room at a place like the beach. Originally, it was based on Moona-san and the others’ desire for a bath, but when I told Ronim-san that I wanted to build a public bath, he responded very reluctantly.
”Who needs a bath when you can wash yourself in a river or with a bucket of hot water and a piece of cloth? Only the people of the kingdom are so obsessed with cleanliness.”
”But don’t you ever feel like trying it if there’s a bath available?”
”Hmm, it’s one thing if I’m alone, but a public bath means unknown people will be bathing together, right? Hey, Larnan, do you want to see me naked?”
”Why are you suddenly saying that? I have no interest in seeing you naked!!”
”See? Even with acquaintances, it’s like this. It’s impossible to take a bath with strangers.”
”Well, I think it’s just that Ronim-san didn’t ask the question properly.”
If I were asked in that way, I think I would have responded the same way. Surprisingly, when I asked Ronim-san about the public bath, I didn’t get many positive opinions. The opinions were mainly about the physiological discomfort of entering water that others have bathed in and the resistance to exposing oneself in front of a large number of people. There were many issues that couldn’t be resolved, so I gave up on building a public bath and decided to build a shower room instead.
With individually partitioned shower rooms, we could address the concerns mentioned earlier. Considering the manpower needed for facilities maintenance like changing the water and cleaning in a public bath, the shower rooms required fewer people, making it the best choice. That’s why I decided to check out the completed shower rooms and invite Momoka, who had sweated with me during the training, to use them together.
To make the shower rooms available to guests from outside as well, I asked Ronim-san to build them next to the inn. As we approached that area, we could see a square building lined with doors.
”Master Neil, I’ve been waiting for you.”
There was only Diana with a displeased look on her face. It seemed like Diana had heard that I would be using the shower room as she was holding my change of clothes and towel in her arms.
”Oh, it’s just Diana? Is Ronim-san not here?”
”Master Neil, Ronim-sama decided to leave the facility explanation to me and went to another site, as he thought you wouldn’t arrive anytime soon.”
”Oh, I see. That’s a bit rude of me.”
”It’s not about being rude. Even if Master Neil is late, it’s not appropriate for the one who called for you to arbitrarily appoint a substitute and leave the client’s response to them. Don’t you realize that you are being underestimated?”
”I don’t think Ronim-san is underestimating me.”
I see, that must be the reason why Diana seemed displeased. Normally, it would be proper to go to the client’s place and report in person instead of summoning them. But Ronim-san understood that I don’t pay attention to such details, and he probably thought that any means would do as long as the message eventually reached me. So he shouldn’t be underestimating me… probably.
”Anyway, I’m all sweaty and uncomfortable, so I want to try the shower right away.”
”We haven’t finished the discussion yet… but understood. Please follow me.”
Diana seemed to have deemed it pointless to argue further and opened one of the doors among the several lined up. As I was about to step inside following Diana’s lead, I noticed that Momoka was nowhere to be seen.
”Oh, Momoka is gone.”
”She went towards the carriage. She probably realized she needed to get her own change of clothes and towel.”
Seeing Diana holding my change of clothes and towel, Momoka must have realized she needed to prepare her own and went back to get them. Well, there’s nothing to worry about. I thought as I passed through the door. Inside, there was a small dressing room about one tatami in size, and further back was the shower room. Originally, the plan was to have a single dressing room and partition the shower rooms with dividers, combining everything into a larger space. However, many people showed resistance to this idea, so I had the dressing room designed as a separate individual space. As a result, it became quite a small area, but it should be sufficient for undressing and taking a shower.
”There is an internal lock on the entrance of the dressing room that leads to the outside. You need to lower this bar to use it.”
Diana explained while pointing to the direction. Inside the dressing room door, there was a simple lock mechanism with a bar that could be horizontally lowered and hooked, preventing the door from opening. Additionally, within the small dressing room, there were three platforms of varying heights arranged like stairs. The first one was at shoulder height, the second one at waist height, and the third one at knee height. Wondering what they were for, I tilted my head, and Diana interjected with an explanation.
”The three platforms on the side are for placing clothes and other belongings.”
”Why are there three platforms of different heights?”
”The height varies among different races, so they designed it to be easily accessible for any races that may visit in the future, without the need for adjustments. That’s what I was told.”
”Oh, I see. That makes sense. I also noticed that the ceiling is unusually high, is that also for accommodating different races?”
Indeed, there is a good possibility that races the size of Pius will come to the settlement in the future, and Ronim designed it with that in mind. However, despite gaining height, there are limits to the available space horizontally, it seems. Well, I don’t think it’s so cramped that I can’t change clothes, and it should be much better than constantly bending over to take a shower. As I was thinking that way, Diana placed the clothes and towels she was holding on the platform and grabbed the hem of my clothes.
”Well then, excuse me.”
”Wait a minute, am I going to be assisted in the shower?”
Diana responded decisively without hesitation to my words. I had hoped to take a shower comfortably on my own, but it seems that is not allowed. After I quickly gave up on resisting, Diana promptly undressed me, leaving me completely naked. Then, she undressed herself and also became completely naked…
”Why are you taking off yours too!?”
Normally, when assisting with a bath, Diana would keep her chemise on. So, seeing her suddenly become completely naked without any warning left me flustered.
”The shower room is small, and getting wet is unavoidable. If it’s just a little wet, that’s one thing, but if we’re going to get soaking wet, then it’s only natural to undress. Besides, you should be accustomed to seeing me naked. Why are you so flustered?”
”It’s not about being accustomed or not, it’s…”
I think it’s unreasonable to expect someone to remain calm when someone suddenly undresses in front of them. However, Diana seemed unaffected by my complaints and pushed me into the shower room, closing the door behind us. Perhaps because there was an internal lock on the dressing room side, there was no lock on this door. Despite being a single-person shower room, there was enough space to move my hands freely and wash my body comfortably. On the back wall, there was a lever-like object protruding from the wall, which seemed to adjust the water volume and temperature. On the left side, there was a water droplet symbol, and on the right side, there was a flame symbol. Next to the lever, there was a rectangular recess the size of a palm.
”I believe you will understand once you see it, but I’ll explain it just in case. This lever is used to adjust the water volume and temperature. Turning it to the left increases the water volume, while turning it to the right raises the temperature. One important point to note is that this lever controls the distribution of magical energy. So, when you decrease the magical energy allocated to the water volume, the intensity of the flame also increases. Even a slight movement of the lever can result in a significant change in temperature.”
I see. By channeling magical energy into both the device that produces water and the one that produces fire, you can adjust the temperature by regulating the amount of magical energy sent to each. It’s a simple design, but that also means maintenance would be easier, and it’s much better than having a complex design that can’t be easily tampered with.
”As for the magical energy used for the shower, we use Crystfast crystals.”
Saying that, Diana shows me five hexagonal crystals she had in her hand, which she somehow acquired. Crystfast crystals are crystals imbued with magical energy. To put it simply, they are the otherworldly equivalent of batteries used to power magical devices.
Instead of electricity, they contain magical energy, so they are not exactly “batteries,” but Crystfast crystals are widely used as the power source for magical devices. They come in different sizes and colors, much like batteries come in different sizes like AA or AAA. Crystfast crystals are categorized into five levels: blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. They have many similarities to batteries, so I referred to them as the otherworldly version of dry batteries in my mind.
Well, I only referred to them as such in my mind; I never said it out loud. Everyone else calls them by their color, like blue crystal or red crystal, so I did the same. One difference between batteries and Crystfast crystals is that, in addition to the difference in electricity and magical energy, Crystfast crystals are color-coded but have a uniform size, allowing all five types to fit in the same location. This allows for adjusting the output of the magical device by changing the crystal. However, accidents frequently occur when crystals of different colors are mistakenly inserted into a device that is restricted to using only blue crystals, resulting in damage to the device. So, it had its pros and cons.
By the way, as you go from blue to red, the total amount and quality of magical energy contained in the crystal increase. So, if someone was to insert a red crystal into a stove that operates with a blue crystal, not only would the stop function, but the whole house might also burn down.
”What color of crystal can be used in this shower room?”
”In theory, all five colors are usable, but with a blue crystal, you’ll mostly get water and hardly any hot water. As for a red crystal, as long as you keep the lever around the center position, there shouldn’t be any issues. However, if you swing it too far to either side, there’s a risk of pipes bursting or melting.”
”I think it’s better to strictly prohibit the use of red crystals, then.”
I’ll add a sign outside and a warning in each shower room later.
”For now, I have prepared crystals of all types, but which one would you like to use?”
”Red is out of the question, and I don’t want just water, but hot water. So, let’s try the green one for now.”
With that response, Diana temporarily places the other crystals she was holding in the dressing area and returns with only the green crystal in her hand.
By the way, regarding the showerhead, it is not designed to be handheld. It is fixed to hang from the ceiling. This is due to the material used for the shower pipe, which couldn’t meet all the requirements for flexibility, durability, water resistance, heat resistance, and corrosion resistance necessary for a shower pipe. It would have been great if I had known about the structure of a flexible pipe made of metal that can be bent freely. Unfortunately, I had no knowledge of such a structure, and it was quickly conveyed to me by Ronim-san that it would be difficult to make it exactly as requested.
While thinking about such matters, Diana embeds the green crystal into a recess on the wall, and cold water starts pouring from the showerhead on the ceiling.
Surprised by the coldness of the water, I hastily turn the lever to the right, and the water pressure noticeably weakens. After a short pause, lukewarm water starts coming out.
”Hmm, the amount of water and temperature are a bit delicate. It might have been better if the showerhead was positioned a bit lower.”
Due to the higher ceiling designed to accommodate taller individuals, the position of the showerhead is also higher. By the time the water reaches us from the showerhead, both the pressure and temperature have already diminished.
”Diana, could you change the crystal again? This time, I want to try the yellow one.”
Following my instructions, Diana removes the green crystal and heads to the dressing area to retrieve the yellow crystal. By the way, that scream from Diana earlier, it’s quite adorable when even Diana gets surprised by the coldness of the water and lets out a cute “Ah!”.
”Master Neil, are you not thinking of anything strange right now?”
”Huh? What do you mean by strange? I’m not thinking of anything strange, really.”
”If that’s the case, then it’s fine.”
Phew, it’s dangerous. It would be better for my own sake if she doesn’t bring up the matter of the scream anymore. No need for her to display such keen perception even in situations like this.
”Shall we return the lever to the center position? It would be troublesome if scalding hot water suddenly comes out and you get burned.”
”Well, I guess having it cold is better than getting burned.”
After returning the lever to the center from its right position, Diana embeds the yellow crystal into the hollow. As expected, cold water comes out again, but this time, I was prepared, so there was no scream. However, I couldn’t help but shiver due to the cold. As I prayed for it to turn into hot water soon, I suddenly felt a soft sensation and warmth on my back.
”While waiting for the water to warm up, I thought about using my body to warm you up, Master Neil. Was it uncomfortable?”
”No, it’s not uncomfortable, but…”
What is this? It feels strangely unsettling. We’ve had our skin touch each other countless times, but just being embraced from behind like this makes my heart race intensely, and I can still feel my whole body getting hot.
”The water is warming up now.”
”Huh? Oh, it’s hot water.”
Oh well, I thought my body was heating up, but it turns out the hot water started flowing. I didn’t even realize that. It seems I was quite flustered.
”How is the temperature of the hot water?”
”Well, it could be a little hotter.”
In response, Diana reaches out her arm towards the lever on the wall. However, since I’m between Diana and the lever, her wet, soft skin is pressed more firmly against my back. Is Diana doing this on purpose since earlier? Can I consider this as an invitation? I’m tormented by these thoughts, and just as I am, Diana speaks up.
”Master Neil, how about this temperature?”
”I mean, the temperature of the water.”
”Oh, the water, yes, that’s just right.”
Personally, I would have preferred a bit more force in the hot water, but since the adjustment of water volume and temperature is interconnected, fine-tuning is difficult, and this compromise should be sufficient.
”Well then, if you’ll excuse me.”
After confirming the water temperature with me, Diana starts washing my body with her bare hands, adding a comment.
”Oh, where’s the towel?”
”If I rub the skin with a towel too often, it can damage it. Since you’ll be bathing again at night, it should be sufficient to lightly wash with my hands as if caressing the skin.”
As Diana follows her words, she gently washes my body, gliding her hands as if caressing my shoulders and arms. She pays extra attention to areas that seem to be sweaty or have a strong odor, gently massaging them while swiftly finishing washing my upper body. Then, Diana squats down in place to wash my lower body, as she can’t reach it while standing. It’s understandable that she needs to do so, but it feels quite unsettling as her face ends up directly in front of my buttocks due to the positioning. However, it would be unnatural to refuse to wash the lower body, so it’s best to go along with Diana’s instructions and quickly finish the shower.
”Master Neil, could you open your legs slightly? It’s difficult to wash otherwise.”
As I open my legs, Diana’s hand smoothly slides between my thighs, washing the groin area and inguinal region. I understand that these areas are prone to moisture and dirt, so it’s reasonable for her to wash them carefully. However, it feels odd to have those areas washed so attentively with bare hands. I start to feel uncomfortable as it seems like my little friend down there is getting more lively. I don’t want to be seen as someone who gets excited just from being washed, so I try to think of something else to distract myself. But just as I’m about to divert my thoughts, the shower room door suddenly swings open forcefully. I turn around in surprise, only to find Momoka standing there completely naked.
”Master Neil, can you teach me how to turn on the hot water?”
”What?! Why are you here, Momoka?!”
”I just wanted to know how to turn on the hot water.”
”No, that’s not the point!”
What I want to know is not why she’s here but why she’s completely naked and what happened to the lock on the changing room door.
”Diana, the lock, earlier…”
”…I apologize. I forgot to explain and lock the door.”
What a careless mistake to make at such a moment. Diana, who had an expression of biting on a bitter bug, was left aside for now. I inquire Momoka about why she’s naked in the first place.
”Why are you naked, Momoka?”
”Because I was going to take a shower.”
”If you came to ask about how to turn on the hot water, at least put some clothes on! Aren’t you embarrassed to be seen naked?”
”Huh? I’m not really embarrassed. Even Moona gets naked in front of clients.”
Well, I think there’s a huge difference between a prostitute exposing their skin in front of clients and this situation. But judging by Momoka’s behavior of briefly going outside naked and confidently exposing her body in front of me, it seems like she doesn’t have a strong sense of shame. Explaining that to her now probably won’t make her understand immediately, so for now, I’ll just explain how to turn on the hot water and ask Momoka to leave.
”Well, to turn on the hot water, you need to insert the Crystfast crystal into the recess on the wall.”
”The recess on the wall?”
”There’s a recess behind me on the wall, but it’s currently occupied by a crystal—”
As soon as she says that, Momoka enters the shower room to check the recess on the wall behind me. The shower room already has me and Diana inside, and there’s no space to accommodate another person. And so, the shower room becomes quite cramped.
”I can’t see anything because Master Neil is in the way. Move away from the wall, Master Neil.”
”Don’t make unreasonable demands in this situation!”
Due to Momoka’s intrusion, I find myself pressed against the wall with the recess, unable to move. Diana, who was crouching at my feet, is also trapped between me and Momoka’s lower body. Momoka reaches her hands under my armpits and wraps them around my back, pulling me towards her and away from the wall.
”Where is this crystal located?”
Momoka, embracing me with her chin resting on my shoulder, asks the question while looking at the wall behind me. However, with the sensation and warmth of both their bare skin pressing against me from above and below, I’m reaching my limit in various ways.
”If… If it’s the crystal, there should be some extras in the dressing room. Take one from there!”
”Is that okay?”
”Just this time! Next time you’ll have to pay for it with your own money from the Harvest Hoe!”
”Okay, got it. Thank you, Master Neil.”
Expressing her gratitude, Momoka releases me, and Diana picks up the crystal that was on the dressing room table.
”Oh, there are only different colors. Will this one work?”
”Ah, yeah, it’ll work, although it may affect the amount and temperature of the water. Since individual preferences for temperature can vary, take the other three colors and try them out yourself.”
”Got it, I’ll borrow the ones other than red. Thanks, I’ll return them later.”
Taking the three crystals other than red, Momoka leaves without even checking if anyone is outside, opening the dressing room door and stepping out. As the dressing room door closes, leaving Diana and me alone again, I breathe a sigh of relief. That was surprising. I never expected Momoka to come in while I was showering. However, her carefree attitude does worry me a bit. We’ll have to talk about that when we have time. For now, I need to lock the dressing room door to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again.
”Diana, please lock the dressing room door.”
I wondered why Diana didn’t respond and lowered my gaze. In that moment, I regretted looking down. Diana, who was crouching at my feet, had a smile on her face as she stared at me. And above her head, my son had become quite lively and was asserting himself vigorously.
”You suddenly became energetic as soon as Momoka-san arrived, didn’t you? Are you that excited by Momoka-san’s body? You never had such a thing when it was just the two of us.”
”Ah, no, it’s not like that. It’s more of a timing issue, or something like that.”
”Oh, there’s no need for excuses on my behalf. It’s fine. If you’ve grown tired of me and can’t get excited anymore, then it’s just a matter of trying various things with someone else.”
For some reason, I felt fear rather than excitement upon hearing those words. I’d like to think it’s just my imagination.
”Well, since we’re at it, let’s try a few things.”
”Don’t worry, Master Neil, you don’t need to do anything. I’ll take care of everything this time.”
”But that’s what worries me…”
Being implicitly told not to move didn’t bring me any comfort and so, I was squeezed so hard that I lost my lively for a while until Momoka came to return the crystals after she finished showering.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.