Follow us on:
Facebook   Discord   RSS

Chapter 59: Bath, Envy, and Weapon Shop

Leave a comment

Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

「Children really are nice and warm.」
「I see.」
Oh, you don’t get mad about that?」
「I’m aware that I’m a child after all.」

Upon entering the bathroom and washing up, Viviana suddenly grabbed me again for some reason. Currently, I’m in the bathtub while being hugged from behind. Even though human touch does feel somewhat calming, I can’t help but stay alert. After all, at this distance, she can kill me with her bare hands if she wanted to.

「So you won’t let your guard down even in this kind of situation?」
「On the contrary, consider that I’ve already let my guard down enough to allow this.」
「I suppose that makes sense. Cielmer… what’s driving you to persist to this extent on your own?」

『It’s because Ciel is here with me.』

After giving an immediate answer only Ciel can hear, I act as if I’m reflecting on the question. While thinking about how I should answer Viviana, 『Nmn, mhh…』 Ciel let out some troubling moans. Is there something wrong?

「It’s because I want to leave this country even just a second faster.」
「And you have a reason for that, right?」
「No comment. What about you Viviana? What made you think of having a bath with me?」

Hearing my question, Viviana went silent for a moment before suddenly letting out a deep sigh.

「I was worried that you were pushing yourself too much. I thought, maybe I could hear you out and take some weight off your shoulders.」

I see, she intended to counsel me then. I don’t see the need to do that here in the bathroom, but I guess she saw this as a perfect opportunity. Come to think of it, these past several days were too extreme of an experience for a 12-year-old child.

「Today, in particular, you were exposed to obvious killing intent, right? There are cases of people who are fine with monsters but can’t handle malevolence coming from other people, you see?」
「Certainly, that does sound likely. Combat with monsters generally happens outside the town walls after all. In the case of people, while you can mentally brace yourself for it, even the streets you’ve felt safe in up until now wouldn’t feel as safe it was before. At worst, you even could have a nervous breakdown from it.」
「However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for you. And that’s despite the fact that you already seemed mentally exhausted from dealing with the guild master prior to this.」
「Well, I’m already used to it. That’s all I can say about that.」

I know it’s a heavy discussion, but please don’t just go silent all of the sudden. I can’t see Viviana’s face from my position, so I can’t figure out what she’s thinking about anymore.

「Why don’t we get out before we get dizzy?」

Since Viviana can’t move from the tub before I do, I exited the bathroom first and dried myself with a towel. Viviana then exited the bathroom looking quite despondent, which is making things feel somewhat awkward, so I deliberately ignored the mood and talked to her.

「Viviana… you’re concerned for me because I’m a Song Princess, right?」

Viviana immediately reacted, but I suppose she doesn’t know what to reply with as she hesitated to continue her words. After a few seconds of what felt like a long time, she began speaking once again.

「My concern… isn’t because of your Job. Rather, my party and I admire you for being C-Rank at your age despite having a Disappointing Job. That’s why… I wanted to be of help, no matter how small. Though it seems like this help was uncalled for.」
「It was.」

Hearing my agreement, Viviana awkwardly averted her gaze.

「Viviana, I’m glad that you feel that way. However, I still… don’t have the emotional leeway to accept your concern. After all, it’s been only a few days since we first met.」

The reason I’ve lowered my guard against Carol and Celia is because we’ve been with them for several months; because I’ve gotten to know them to a certain extent. Even so, I’m still reluctant to tell them everything. Though a part of it might be because we’re in a country where duke Rispelgia is. Seemingly realizing something, Viviana’s expression suddenly changed.

「That’s right. I suppose I was a little too hasty about this.」
「However, there is one thing I would like to ask for help with. If you don’t mind, I would like to have the permission to avoid combat even in the event that I get wrapped up in the royal capital’s stampede.」
「I’ll relay that and report everything that has happened today. If possible, we’d prefer if you’d join us as well, but it really can’t be helped. Sorry for bothering you today. And… thank you.」

After changing into her clothes, Viviana headed to the door leading outside. With her back facing me, 「See you tomorrow.」 I gave her a goodbye. Viviana turned around and waved at me as she left, 「Tomorrow then.」

While I stretched my back as I’m finally done for the day, 『No fair! No fair!』 I hear Ciel’s voice in my head. Because of the gap from the serious discussion from earlier, this unintentionally made me laugh. On the other hand, 『So mean, I even held myself back the whole time!』 Ciel reacted with a peevish tone.

『I’m sorry about that. What wasn’t fair?』
『That you two were in the bath.』
『I see, I should’ve switched back then. I’m sorry, I wasn’t considerate enough, wasn’t I?』

From Ciel’s experience, she’s never had that sort of skinship with other people. Since she’s protected by my barrier, perhaps I should’ve switched with her back then and only focused on staying alert. However, Ciel told me that I was wrong.

『That’s not what I meant. Not that.』
Umm, what do you mean?』
『It’s not fair that Viviana took a bath together with Ain! I wanted to take a bath with Ain too!』
Ahh… That… would be difficult.』
『I know. I know. Still, I’m just envious…』

In the first place, in a sense, we’re always taking a bath together. However, considering how upset Ciel is, that’s probably not the point. I can see Ciel from an objective viewpoint, but Ciel can’t. Thinking that this might be the difference, I reflect on what happened earlier in the bath while mentally replacing Viviana with Ciel.

Though with that said, it’s absolutely unlikely for Ciel to take the same exact actions as Viviana did. After all, Ciel expresses a lot of emotions and laughs at even the smallest things. She might even have some facial expressions that I could only see if we’re face-to-face.

If so, I’m sure that she would be extremely adorable… As I was thinking of this, my heart suddenly jumped.

I frantically shook my head and talked to Ciel to distract myself.

『If, by any chance, there comes a time that I’m able to talk with you face-to-face, let’s take a bath together Ciel. If you like, it might be nice to wash each other too.』
Fufu, that would be amazing. It’s a promise, alright?』

It seems like Ciel’s in a good mood now. I let out a sigh of relief and returned the body to Ciel.

「Now then, Ain. What should we do tomorrow?」
『Aren’t we immediately leaving after picking up the sword in the morning and meeting with Chasse and the others in the afternoon?』
「It’s certain that we’ll receive the magic bag tomorrow, right? In that case, we could buy some travel equipment too.」
『I see, buying a sleeping bag might be nice after all. Then let’s stock up on our preserved food supply as well.』

And so we continued talking until Ciel fell asleep.

The next morning. A short while after sunrise, Ciel arrived at the previous weapon shop from several days ago. As before, the one managing the shop is the lady who seemed to be the owner’s wife and as she saw Ciel, she gave us a gaze of suspicion.

「You’re the girl from the other day, yes? The sword is finished.」
「I see, then can I have it?」
「Before that, could you meet with my husband first? Depending on the circumstances, we won’t sell you the sword.」
「… Understood.」

Ciel is glaring at the lady as she enters the back room, 『Ciel.』 so I called her name and chided her. It’s been two days since I’ve been exposed as a Song Princess. I suppose this means that, even with the gag order, rumors are still spreading around. “The white-haired girl is a Song Princess.” Even with only that information, it should be enough to conclude that it’s Ciel. Now then, I wonder what this man now standing before us has to say.

He looked drowsy the last time we came here but his gaze seems somewhat sharp today.

「You, eh? You ordered a sword dancer’s weapon, right? Could you try swinging it around for a bit?」

『Should I?』
『It’ll be a waste of time to get in an argument here, so let’s do as he says.』
『Will you sing for me, Ain?』
『If it’s after you’re done testing it on your own, then gladly.』

「Understood. Where should I do that?」
「We have a yard in the back, so try it there.」

Ciel followed the man and at the shop’s backyard, there’s a scarecrow-like human-shaped thing made of straw.

「Try using this on that.」

As the man said so, he handed over a thin sword that had ornaments adorning its handle. After receiving it, Ciel placed the scabbard on the ground and readied the sword.

Ciel isn’t holding the sword with both arms right in front of her; instead, she is holding it in one hand with the foot opposite her hand positioned behind her other foot. From that stance, she quickly rushes towards the straw doll. She approached with a clear three-step rhythm and slashed the places corresponding to wrists in the same rhythm, first up, then down, and with a kick to close it off. With the momentum from the kick, she then jumped backwards to retreat.

That ends the one flow.

After that, Ciel adjusted her grip on the sword a few times before eventually holding it in front. With two breaths, she then stepped in and slashed the areas corresponding to the neck and the arms, before retreating again with a single breath. While her movements are a bit too stiff for this to be pictured as “dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee”; as expected, using only the Dance Princess doesn’t show too much effect. In the case that Ciel could only fight with a sword, she would probably be weaker than Perla.

Now, since it seems like Ciel’s testing phase is finished, I’ll try singing a song.

A song having a rhythm similar to Ciel’s movements earlier should do well. Still, even if it’s somewhat different, Ciel would match her rhythm to the song, so it doesn’t need to be that exact.

Following the rhythm of my song, Ciel brandished her sword and attacked. What she’s doing isn’t any different from what she did earlier, but her stiffness is now gone and her motions are flowing naturally. Additionally, her strength increased as well, resulting in the straw doll she could only cut on the surface level now getting quickly shredded to the point that it can’t maintain its original silhouette anymore.

By the time we finished, Ciel then stared straight at the man. The man awkwardly stares back at Ciel before suddenly looking away and declaring: 「You pass.」

「I see.」 Ciel only gave a short reply, picked up the scabbard, and returned to the shop interior. She then paid the remaining sum and immediately exited the weapon shop before they could say anything to her.

Heya~! Sudden bath episode as prophesized and more cute AinCiel fluff~! Didn’t stay fluff until the end tho…

First, I like how Viviana is in this chapter. And how it ended, while she didn’t really succeed and ended up coming off as a bit nosey, it did show a lot about her. As some people commented, she’s a bit of both Carol and Celia. However, she’s also less of both. Not as nutty as Carol and not as experienced with handling people as Celia. She does have heart, which sounds cliché but is a valuable thing. Still, it’s a bit unfair to compare Celia and Viviana, Celia’s a full time receptionist after all, imagine being a receptionist in the Hunter Guild with all those ruffians, impressionable young newbies, arrogant fools, nobles incognito and the occasional weirdos. *And* you’re not a stationed receptionist, so you’ll have to adapt each time. Life experience baby.

Also, Ciel being jealous of Viviana, cute. Also, Ain shaking off the sudden heart throb, lol. And then the promise of having a bath together… Cute. It is a bit sad to think of how Ciel actually can’t see Ain when she’s moving Ciel’s body, moreover how they can’t even have any skinship with each other.

Lastly, well, that was awkward. Ciel was really pissed tho, which is understandable. While they weren’t wrong about their suspicion about Ciel (Ain), they should’ve just sold it normally. Now they just got themselves played and without the assurance that Ciel is really a Song Princess, the shop owner — who made weapons for beginners out of care in the first place — now has this stain on his conscience that he will never forget.

Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Gateway to Gender Bender Novels