Chapter 1: Takatsuki Makoto returns to Makkaren
We’re back in the Water City of Makkaren.
“This is the town where you live, Takatsuki-kun! Wow! Such a beautiful city!”
Sa-san was looking curious and scampering around.
“I’ll show you the town later. But for now, let’s go to the Adventurer’s Guild.”
“Wow, there are so many waterways! How nice.
Sa-san ran off to see them.
“Aya, don’t be so excited, you’ll bump into someone.”
As Lucy had warned, she almost bumped into a passerby.
Ah! When I thought she would hit the person, she avoided it. And again, avoiding the collision. Dodging. Evade. She has amazing reflexes.
“You’re like a child, Aya.”
“Well, I’ve been living in the Great Labyrinth for so long.
Sa-san’s excitement was skyrocketing. Lucy and I looked at each other with a smile on our faces.
She seemed to have noticed our smirking gaze.
“Haaah, I got too excited.”
She came back, scratching her head. How cute. Sa-san’s excitement calmed down, and we headed to the adventurer’s guild in McAllen.
◇Sasaki Aya’s PoV◇
As soon as we entered the adventurer’s guild, a beautiful blonde-haired woman hugged Takatsuki-kun.
“How have you been? You’re not injured anywhere, right!?”
“Yes, I’m fine, Marie-san.”
(W-Who? Is this person? And there’s someone else beside Lu-chan?)
“Lu-chan, ……, who’s that woman over there?”
“She’s Marie, the receptionist at the Adventurer’s Guild. She’s always flirting with Makoto.”
She told me with a pout on his lips.
“O-Oh, I see.”
Hmmm, ……. Takatsuki-kun, you are very popular in the other world.
“Oh my? Who’s that pretty girl over there?”
The receptionist of the guild Marie-san turned to me and our eyes met.
“I’m Sasaki Aya! Nice to meet you.”
“I’m Marie Gold, a staff member of the Makkaren Adventurers’ Guild. It’s nice to meet you. Are you registering as a new adventurer?”
She pulled away from Takatsuki-kun and put on her work-mode face. She is a beautiful woman with a sharp face.
“Marie-san. Sa-san’s adventurer registration is already done in the labyrinth city. She’s in party with me and Lucy, so I’m here to report it.”
“Is that so? I’ll register at the party then. Can I see your adventurer card?”
“Yes, here please.”
I handed the adventurer card that Fujiwara-kun had made to Marie-san.
“Sasaki Aya-san. Oh, you’re from the same world as Makoto-kun, aren’t you? No track record as an adventurer. Stone rank. For the rest, there is no particular problem. ………… Eh?”
Marie-san’s eyes widened.
(Yikes! Did she find out that I’m a monster?)
For a moment, I felt uneasy, but it seems I was wrong.
She was staring at the status column on my adventurer card.
Seeing this, the normally cool Takatsuki-kun approached Marie-san with a smile.
“Isn’t Sa-san’s status amazing?”
“…… This status is lightly above that of a gold-ranked adventurer. If she were free, there would probably be more than twenty parties wanting to recruit her.”
Takatsuki-kun and Marie-san are whispering to each other with their faces close together. Isn’t that too close?
Marie-san pulled Takatsuki-kun by the shoulders.
“Hey! You brought a girl from the Great Labyrinth after all. You’re a liar, Makoto-kun!”
“…… It just happened.”
“Shut up! I was so worried about you! I’m not letting you sleep today! You have to show up at the guild at night. Absolutely!”
Takatsuki-kun is being put in a headlock by Marie-san. Also, her chest is hitting his face. …… Hmm, Takatsuki-kun acting lovey-dovey!”
“Lucy! You’re back!”
“Emily! Long time no see!”
This time, Lu-chan was called. When she turned around, a girl with brown hair and loose-fitting clothes came running up to her.
“If you’re back, you should have let me know. I was worried about you!”
“Well, I just got back. And, I was going to call you. Aren’t you going on an adventure today?”
“I’m helping out at the church today. A lot of people have been injured by monsters lately. If you have time, tell me about the Great Labyrinth.”
“Sure. I’ll tell you about my adventures!”
“Well it would just be about you troubling Makoto-kun, wouldn’t it?”
“That’s not the case! Be surprised to hear about my new magic, the Meteor Shower!”
It’s all very exciting. I was introduced to a girl named Emily, who is a priest. It seems that she and Takatsuki-kun and Lu-chan have been on an adventure together before.
Lu-chan went off somewhere with Emily-san.
“Okay then, Sa-san. I’ll show you around the city.”
Takatsuki-kun, who had finished registering our party at the Adventurer’s Guild, came over.
It’s just me and Takatsuki-kun! It’s my first proper date in the city!
I was so excited that I clung to Takatsuki-kun’s arm.
“This is the main street. It’s the busiest place in Makkaren.”
“That restaurant has delicious desserts. Let’s go there later.”
“One street over is the restaurant district. It’s quiet at this time, but at night there are a lot of people in the bars.”
“Shall we stop by Fuji-yan’s later?”
“That one is ……. It’s more like a nightclub.”
Takatsuki-kun shows me around the city. There are many stylish brick buildings. The city of Makkaren has waterways everywhere, and boats come and go in them. It’s very atmospheric.
“Can’t we get on one of those boats?”
I pointed to a rowing boat passing by on the waterway.
“You can pay a fee to get on one, but it’s faster to use my water magic to get around.”
Speaking of which, I remembered that Takatsuki-kun had magic to move on water.
“Then what is that big building?”
I pointed to a stone building.
“Oh, that’s a hot spring. Makkaren has a source nearby.”
“Wow! The city is beautiful and there is even a hot spring! It’s a nice city.”
“Apparently, hot spring resorts are a major industry in Makkaren. I’ve never been to one, though.”
Takatsuki-kun smiled bitterly, saying that he couldn’t afford the luxury. As usual, he was aloof and unconcerned.
He looks like he always does…….
(He doesn’t seem to be too energetic, does he?)
This is the same Takatsuki-kun from middle school who was depressed when he told me that the sequel to a popular RPG that he had pre-ordered and was looking forward to had turned out to be like a …… slugfest due to a budget shortfall. Well, I heard it was fun in its own way if he tried it.
I wonder what happened? Takatsuki-kun is a friend I’ve cared about since junior high school, and recently he’s saved my life.
And the person I love the most. If he’s troubled, I want him to share it with me.
“Hey, since we’re here, let’s go to the hot spring.”
I mustered up the courage to ask him out. Takatsuki-kun said, “Hmm?” Then he smiled lightly.
“If you want to go there, then sure.”
“They have mixed baths too!
Well, I’ve been seen naked before. It’s okay, right?
However, Takatsuki-kun’s face became like a shocked Chihuahua was a sight to behold.
◇Takatsuki Makoto’s PoV◇
What? Something is wrong? What is this situation?
“Ah~, nice hot water.”
Funya, Sa-san’s face loosened up, as she soaked in the hot water next to me.
My classmate was buck-naked.
No, that’s not true. She’s wearing a bath towel. But underneath, she’s naked.
I’ve seen her naked a few times recently. But, but! It’s not like I’m used to it.
…… Calm down. “Calm Mind” skill. Lend me a hand!
I looked around at the place I was at again.
It was written that there are mixed baths. It’s called a family bath I heard.
You can rent out a small outdoor bath. It’s a bit pricey, but I have some spare cash in my pocket from the Minotaur in the Great Labyrinth and the prize money from defeating the Harpy Queen.
I went with her because I wanted to listen to her request as much as possible.
“Aah!, it really brings you back to life~”
“Aah, yeah, …… you’re right.”
As she stretched and said, “Hmmm,” the towel was about to …… come off. I don’t mind if she’s bare, but I try to keep my composure so that she doesn’t notice what’s in my mind.
“A city with hot springs is nice. I like the city of Makkaren.”
“Oh, good. Were you someone who was fond of hot springs, Sa-san?”
“In the Great Labyrinth, there were no baths, so we always bathed in the underground lake. You never know when you might be attacked by a monster.”
“That’s definitely unsettling.”
We chatted for a while.
” By the way, Sa-san, are you using the Transformation skill to change your appearance?”
“Yeah, my skin used to be blue, but now it looks human, right?”
She showed me her arms. The skin looks soft and puffy. I was shocked to see the fine skin under her arms. I averted my gaze and asked Sa-san.
“Next time, teach me your Transformation skill. I’ll teach you “Evade” and “Escape” skills.”
“Sure. But what are you going to use it for?”
“Just because it’s cool, you know?”
It’s like transformation in assassin games or ninja games.
“Your gamer brain is the same even in the other world, Takatsuki-“
I was laughed at.
I won’t deny it, though.
“By the way, what level are you now, Takatsuki-kun?”
“I’m 21. Sa-san’s level should be over 30.”
“I thought you were the kind of person who kept your level as high as possible. Your level is that low.”
She remembers my playstyle very well.
“In the beginning, I raised my level. But my initial stats were too low, and I had no room to grow. Even when I leveled up, my stats didn’t go up much.”
“So is that why you’re feeling down?”
“Eh? No, I’m not worried about that anymore. Right now, I’m enjoying improving my mastery of water magic. I think my current goal to take my Spirit magic to extremes.”
“That ‘taking to the extreme’ was one of your favorite phrases, Takatsuki-kun”
She told me nostalgically. But, was it like that?
“You should raise your level, Sa-san. Unlike me, your initial status is high and you have a lot of room to grow. Moreover, your ‘Action Game Player’ skill will triple your stat effectiveness.”
I envy you.
“I’m not very good at leveling up.”
Yes, she was. That’s why you like action games, Sasan.
“What’s wrong, Sa-san?”
“Please let me know if you have any problems.”
“You look like you’re troubled about something.”
“…… Is that so.”
I really can’t fool the eyes of my friend from middle school, huh. I’ll have to tell Sa-san about the evil apostle sooner or later.
“No, don’t mind it.”
Sa-san replied with a smile. It’s easy to talk with someone you’ve known since middle school.
We got out of the hot spring and headed back to the Adventurer’s Guild.
“Alright! Let’s have a drink to celebrate Makoto and Lucy’s return to Makkaren!”
Lucas-san has gathered all the adventurers and was holding a drinking party. As usual.
“Makoto! Tell me about the Great Labyrinth.”
Jean, who was drunk, asked me.
“Jean, you know, was like going is Makoto okay? It was like that every day.”
Emily said with a grin.
“Oh, come on. Emily. What are you saying!”
“We didn’t have any great adventures.”
“Makoto ……, that’s just too humble and also sarcastic.”
Lucy stuck up for me as I got tired of telling the same story over and over again.
Ahh, this feeling. I feel like we’ve come back to Makkaren now.
I looked over at Sa-san to see if she was enjoying herself, and saw that she was sipping her drink with relish. Sa-san is a strong drinker. That’s a monsters’ body for you.”
“Hey hey, what were Makoto and Aya were doing today?”
Lucy asked me with a red face. She put her head on my shoulder.
“Let’s see, I had Takatsuki show me around the city today. We went to Fujiwara-kun’s store. And then we had lunch. After that, we went to the hot spring together.”
“A-Aya ……, what do you mean together?”
“Well, we took a family bath together. Right, Takatsuki-kun.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
It’s normal in this world, right? There were many other guys and girls in the bath.
“M-Makoto, …… you.”
I’m not sure why Jean is looking at me with surprised eyes.
“…… in the daytime? You’re very active~”
Emily’s gaze was a little cold.
Lucy froze. What is it?
“Aa~~hh. I was supposed to be Makoto-kun’s first girl.”
A drunk Marie-san leaned toward me.
“Marie-san? What are you talking about?”
“Well, it’s fine. I’m the second, so let’s go with me next time.”
Marie-san wrapped her arms around me.
“I can’t follow the conversation. ……”
I wonder if I’m misunderstanding something.
“Hooh, Makoto’s a man now! Let’s all celebrate!”
Lucas-san? What do you mean by that?
“Damn it!” “Explode!” “Two-timer!” “Fuck! What is this, a harem party?”
Although I hadn’t been back in a while, I was warmly abused by all the adventurers around me.
Marie-san told me the reason for this, and I soon found out.
–The family bath.
It seems that the young men and women who enter these baths do so for a purpose, without exception. It’s a place for men and women to have fun.
……..Aren’t there a lot of these Lovel hotels like this place in another world, there was one at the bazaar the other day?
(Makoto, no matter where you go in the world, young men and women will always have one thing to do.)
……Hah, is that how it works. I got another piece of good information from Noah-sama.
That night, I ended up drinking until morning.
—Part I end–
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