Chapter 169 : Bathing In The River
「Alright, I’m going too.」(Mark)
「Great! How about you, Mom?」(Celine)
「I’ll pass… My stomach is full of delicious food and alcohol, and it makes me sleepy. I think I’m gonna sleep now. Don’t wake me up, okay~?」(Eclain)
Eclain stood up from her chair and walked unsteadily toward her room.
Her face was as red as the first time I saw her. She seemed to be quite drunk. She will definitely have a headache tomorrow morning.
She reminds me of myself in my previous life when I went home from the bar after drinking too much…
After seeing Eclain off to her room, Celine, Nicola, and I left the house and walked toward the woods at the back of the house.
There were no other houses around these woods. I could only see overgrown trees around here.
「Look. This is a Gupul Tree. Mom usually picks Gupul fruits from here.」(Celine)
To see it clearly, I made a light ball with my magic and moved it closer to the tree.
Just like apples that were hanging from an apple tree, Gupul fruits were hanging from this tree like bells.
When I looked at the surroundings, I learned that the trees in the whole area around here were mostly Gupul trees.
「Mom usually makes wine from Gupul fruits around here and exchanges it for food or other things with the people in this village.」(Celine)
「Yup. We don’t usually use money here, so people here normally barter their goods. For example, if Mom wants to eat meat, she can exchange her wine for meat with the people who usually hunt animals. If she wants to eat bread, she will exchange it for bread with the people who make bread. Half-elf merchants sometimes visit this village, and you can also barter your goods with them but of course, since they are merchants, you can pay them with money if you have money.」(Celine)
「Hee… I see. Are those merchants half-elves from this village?」(Mark)
「Yeah. They became merchants because they wanted to travel from place to place but they sometimes return to this village. Well, not that often though.」(Celine)
「I see… Umm… Does this village welcome strangers who are not half-elves…?」(Mark)
「Hm? Why are you asking that? Is what Deel said still bothering you?」(Celine)
「Just a little.」(Mark)
「You don’t need to worry about that. The rules indeed prohibit us from bringing strangers via the Portal Crystal, but that’s not because we don’t welcome them.」(Celine)
「Is that so? Honestly, I kinda feel bad.」(Mark)
「Hahh… As always, you’re so considerate for a child. As your guardian, I just did what is right. Besides, most of the people in this village are actually easygoing. They don’t really care about rules. Deel, who we met earlier, was just a thick-head.」(Celine)
Celine frowned as she talked while walking through the woods.
Somehow, she looked sulky when she talked about Deel.
I bet she really hates him.
If I remember correctly, before we left Fatia, Celine said that there was an annoying person who had a Gift in her hometown, and that person always made fun of her because they were better than her. (chapter 109)
I wonder if the person she was talking about was Deel.
「Nee nee~, Celine onee-chan, can anyone use Portal Stones to teleport to this village?」(Nicola)
Suddenly, Nicola asked Celine about Portal Stones.
She rarely asked something like that. Is she interested in teleportation?
「Nope. Portal Stones are something you make with your mana, and you can only use the Portal Stones you made.」(Celine)
「How do you make them?」(Nicola)
「If you stretch your hand toward the Portal Crystal in this village and pour your mana into it, a small branch will grow near your hand. That branch is your Portal Stone. You can pick it and keep it.」(Celine)
「I see! Since you used yours today, then you have to make another one, right?」(Nicola)
「Eh? I, I know~ Let’s go to the Portal Crystal next time.」(Celine)
Celine answered Nicola while looking away for some reason.
She’s kind of suspicious… Is she hiding something?
When I stared at Celine, she pointed her finger forward and shouted as if she wanted to hide her suspicious behavior.
「Ah, look! That’s the river!」(Celine)
When I looked in the direction she pointed, I saw a river flowing from the woods on the other side.
The moonlight illuminated the surface of the river and made it sparkle beautifully.
Thanks to the moonlight, we could see the surroundings clearly even without my light ball.
「Alright, let’s take a bath~」(Celine)
Saying that, Celine started taking off her clothes.
Her white skin looked gorgeous under the moonlight.
If I had the body of an adult, I would probably have a nosebleed by now.
「Well then, I’ll be bathing over there. I’ll leave your towels here.」(Mark)
I hung Nicola and Celine’s towels on a branch of the nearby tree and started walking in the downstream direction.
「He doesn’t need to be shy though.」(Celine)
I could hear Celine and Nicola giggle from behind.
I’m used to seeing women’s naked bodies but still, I don’t feel comfortable bathing with them.
After walking for a couple minutes, I turned back and looked in the direction where Celine and Nicola were.
After I confirmed that I could no longer see them, I took off my clothes and put them in my item Box.
I’d never taken a bath in a river before, so I didn’t know what to do but anyway, I decided to soak my body in the water first.
I slowly approached the river and walked until the water reached my waist, then I bent my knees and sat down.
The feeling of a big, rounded stone touching my butt directly was kind of weird.
I remembered when the nest started to collapse, dust from the ceiling fell onto my head.
I took a deep breath, held it, and sank my head completely into the water to remove all the dirt on my hair and face.
After shaking my head in the water for a few seconds, I got my head out of the water and took a deep breath.
It was so refreshing.
I have soap and shampoo in my Item Box but I won’t use them because I don’t want to pollute this river. After all, the people in this village might use the water from this river.
Well, even without soap and shampoo, I think I’m clean enough.
Alright, should I go back now?
…No. I don’t think Nicola will let the rare opportunity to bathe with Celine in the river end quickly.
But… This water is quite cold… I can’t stay for a long time.
I crossed my arms as my body started shivering.
「Brrrr…! Zo gold…!」(Mark)
Suddenly, I heard someone’s laughter.
「Wh, Who’s there!?」(Mark)
I immediately stood up while hiding my crotch with both hands and looked in the direction where the laughter came from.
There was a girl sitting on a big boulder on the riverbank.
She was giggling while looking at me.