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≪23≫ – Playing in the Water

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

Next day.

Lucella planned to leave the royal capital early afternoon, but she was free for half a day until then. She considered going to Monica’s place, but reconsidered, thinking it was better to give her some cooling-off period after what just happened yesterday.

She planned to come back to the capital right away once she finished Shurei’s “trial” anyway. She could visit her at that time.

“And so, if you know any fun places I can easily go, I’m all ears.”
“So you wanna have fun because you have half a day free, huh? Kids sure have crazy vitality, eh.”
“Half of the reason is to teach Mom about the world. I thought it would be better for her to see as much of human civilization as possible.”
“Ah, that’s a good point.”

It was seven in the morning. Wein was munching on golden brown toast with sunny-side-up egg and bacon on top while reading the newspaper, and Tim was doing push-ups while wearing armor. Viola was still asleep, and Kafal was struggling to figure out how to grind the coffee beans without breaking the coffee mill.

Frankly, Lucella didn’t know about the Setulev kingdom outside of Kugutfulm. This was her first time coming to the royal capital, so she didn’t know the environment at all.

Thus, she decided to ask her party members who were familiar with the capital for their opinions.

“Hmm, let’s see. Well, there are a bunch of things here, but…”
“It’s gotta be that, right?”
“…By the way, there are two choices before you.”

Tim, maintaining a cool demeanor as he continued with his push-ups, cast a subtle glance toward the bedroom where Viola was sleeping. His expression turned somber.

“The future where you’ll get treated as a dress-up doll and may get some advice, and the future where you walk a free and tranquil yet trackless path. Which do you prefer?”
“Come again?”

Just then, there was a loud crack, and the handle of the coffee mill that Kafal was holding snapped.

There were ominous signs.

Setulev was abundant in water and had sultry summers. It was quite obvious what people would do in a place like that.

“Whoa! People, people, and more people!”

The river created by the power of the Regalia flowed through the capital areas and had swimming spots established along its banks.

Artificial sandy beaches, conjured by magic, were adorned with parasols, where people in swimsuits were enjoying themselves in various ways. Some were swimming, others were sunbathing, playing with balls, building sandcastles, or indulging in food.

Taking advantage of such a crowd, stalls selling toys and food gathered like ants attracted to sugar.

Looking down at the beach from the embankment, Lucella was in awe. It was her first experience witnessing water activities so meticulously transformed into a leisurely affair.

Incidentally, Lucella, and Kafal accompanying her, were both already in swimsuits.

Lucella was wearing a red one-piece swimsuit… Well, could it even be called a one-piece? It was a mere cloth mass that covered only her torso, with frilly decorations that couldn’t even be called a skirt attached to it.

It was still better since it was at least trying to hide her body. This swimsuit was a ready-made product selected from a nearby store. Lucella had endured a tough battle with Viola, who tried to reduce even a square millimeter of fabric in her swimsuit, and barely emerged victorious, earning herself some self-esteem.

The material of the swimsuit was woven from the processed silk thread of an Iron Spider, treated with a special resin and chemicals.

It dried quickly even when wet and didn’t become heavy when soaked, making it a popular choice for swimwear. In the past, harvesting Iron Spider silk had been a common quest for adventurers, and swimsuits had been considered luxury items. However, with the establishment of the technology to domesticate Iron Spiders (albeit with occasional escape incidents), humanity gained access to affordable swimsuits.

Kafal, like Lucella, was also wearing a bright red swimsuit, but its design was a bit more daring.

It had a top that resembled a hammock, suspending her ample bosom, and bottoms that resembled lingerie. She wore a pareo that flickered like flames.

Unlike Lucella’s swimsuit, this one wasn’t bought; it was a replica created by a clone generated through the “human shapeshifting method.” The swimsuit the store clerk intended to sell was instantly duplicated before their eyes, leaving the clerk astonished.

And so, the two of them had walked here in their swimsuits. When Viola told them it would be fine, Lucella questioned her sanity.

However, Lucella had been so busy and hadn’t walked much around the city until just now when she realized that during this season, it wasn’t uncommon to see people walking around in swimsuits. So there shouldn’t be a problem… She couldn’t help but feel that they had attracted the heated gazes of people passing by, regardless of age or gender, but she wanted to believe it was just her imagination.

As they descended onto the sun-heated sandy beach, they felt the presence of splashing water blending into the air, relieving the warmth on their skin.

The guys who caught sight of Kafal stood there dumbfounded, their mouths hanging open as they watched her walk by. Some even let out a soft whistle in admiration.

“Now then… We came without much thought, but what should we do?”
“…This is… deeper than I expected… And it has a current too…”

Lucella suddenly noticed that Kafal was glaring at the river so much it felt like she was growling at it.

The river indeed had deep sections where even adults failed to reach the bottom.

“Hey, Lucella. Are you really planning to swim?”
“That’s why… I’m here.”
“I’ve heard that humans can drown even in knee-deep water. And this place is worse…”

She was firmly holding Lucella’s hand.

“Hey, how about we give up on swimming and do something else on the waterside?”
“Don’t worry…so much. I used to… bath in the river… near our home.”
“I mean, that’s because I’m familiar with that place. And I had a good grasp of the vicinity… and there weren’t so many people around… Besides, I can use my original body to help on the mountain.”

Kafal refused to budge on the matter, acting anxious.

Kafal should’ve been well aware that the current Lucella was far more tenacious compared to average humans.

Perhaps she simply didn’t know how to evaluate the danger on a human level, as dragons practically didn’t have ‘drowning’ among the causes of death.

Lucella thought for a while, and then…

“Ah, wait Lucella…!”

She broke into a run while pulling Kafal with her by the hand she was grasping firmly.

Kafal stumbled along as she was pulled, and the two of them jumped into the river together. Water splashed and bubbles danced wildly. The two felt a sense of floating. They got completely drenched and floated up.


The pleasantly cold water cleansed Lucella’s body.

Kafal also raised her head out of the water and shivered like a drenched dog. Her long hair soaked up the water and clung to her body.

“Hehehe. You can’t… match me in strength… as a clone.”
“It’s okay.”

Kafal didn’t seem to understand what Lucella was trying to say.

Lucella was treading water while still holding hands with her. It wasn’t like she excelled at swimming, but with her current body, any physical movement came easily to her.

“It’s okay.”

Lucella said once more. She could understand her feelings. This was… water. Lucella knew the circumstances in which Kafal lost her egg. Most likely, the fear of losing a child was linked with ‘water’ in her mind. Because of that, she had grown overly timid in allowing Lucella to come into contact with water.

Lucella was happy that she was worried for her, but she didn’t want to waste having fun in the water because of that. In the first place, even a dragon’s heart might not take it if she started worrying about every little detail like that.

Kafal attempted to say something, but she just sighed without saying it. The strength left her shoulders along with it.

“Right… I got it. Let’s swim together.”

With that, Lucella got her official permission.

As Lucella was about to start swimming while testing her capabilities… she suddenly realized something.

“…Mom, can you… swim?”

She forgot to confirm whether Kafal could swim in that form.

“That much is nothing…”

Kafal dove into the water like a diving beast, disappearing into the depths. Then, resurfacing with only the lower half of her body visible, she propelled herself forward with a fluttering motion, almost as if she was flying across the water.

“Oh my. Why is this happening?”

Kafal, fixing her posture, submerged completely underwater and began tracing a spiral trajectory as she made her way back. After swirling around in the depths for a while, she finally planted her feet on the riverbed and rose up, pushing herself up from the bottom.

“I won’t get washed away like this!”
“Mom, that’s not swimming.”

Only Kafal’s head peeked out of the water, spreading her flame-like hair on its surface.

“Can’t be helped. I’ll teach you… the human way… of swimming.”

Kafal’s expression changed three times in an instant.

Taking into account the nuances of her words, it seemed to transition from frustration, thinking “I can’t even do something like this,” to a sense of disappointment, “I came here to have fun with Lucella,” and then to a change of heart, thinking “But it seems enjoyable to learn how to swim from Lucella.”

Lucella smoothly glided through the water, demonstrating the breaststroke. Considering the high abilities of Kafal’s clone, once she showed her the technique and gave her some pointers, she would quickly be able to swim.

“Do dragons… bathe?”
“I suppose ones that live at the sea or large lakes do. As for me, there’s no place on Mount Kuguse for me to swim, as you know.”
“So I instead cleansed my body with flames. When I was in my group, I used to take lava baths. Red Dragons are considered adults once they can do that.”
“L-Lava bath… That’s on… a different scale.”

Lucella flinched back a little hearing Kafal’s strangely happy explanation.

As ‘proof of adulthood’ suggested, that would be fatal even for fledgling Red Dragons whose scales and carapace were still undeveloped. As expected, even Lucella wasn’t confident she’d come out safe if she jumped into the lava.

But well, even the lava-bathing Red Dragons could most likely be unable to do butterfly strokes in the lava.

It was natural for her to be unable to swim.

Author’s note:

I’m digressing, but unlike Kafal who hasn’t learned the anthropomorphization method, Blue Dragons in general can all shapeshift into humans.

After all, if they transform into human forms, even a single barrel of alcohol would turn into an amount they can’t fully consume.


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