This place where it feels as if you could hear sounds from who knows where is deep in the mountains of Kaleneon.
Tomoe had constructed and finished a hot spring resort within Kaleneon in the snow storms of midwinter.
It is the first resort project of the Kuzunoha Company.
There’s practically no signs of a plan for a second one though.
“You know, Lime, when a lot of unexpected things accumulate, there’s times when you blow a fuse. I understand. I really understand that feeling. I have so much to say about that, you know.” (Makoto)
“Different from Shiki, you can sympathize to a certain degree, Lime. In a sense, you are one of the few scarce male employees, so with that in account, I am pretty grateful you are here, you know? But I would like you to avoid the visible dangers. Like, you just have to be a bit careful… Please…” (Makoto)
“…I am really sorry!!” (Lime)
Lime lowers his head vigorously within the steam.
There was a lot of strength in that bow, his head sinks into the warm water.
His trained body had a number of old wounds.
There’s a number that are on their way to healing, but there’s mostly scars.
There’s no wounds made today.
He miraculously was spared with no wounds.
Lime suddenly began to look for us in the Dusk Street.
He wasn’t even thinking about being stealthy, it was such a straightforward entrance that it was as if he was shouting ‘hello~!’.
Obviously, the actions of Lime were caught by the eyes and ears of Rio faster than Lime finding us.
Now that I think about it, he must have acted in that way because he knew that.
Kanta bringing Lime to where we were happened soon after.
It was clear to the eye that he wanted to say something, and he was acting strange for someone like Lime.
He was worried about Mio being there, so I asked her to leave the room.
…You understand, right?
It is Mio.
Even if there’s physical distance, she can still hear us in some sort of way, you know.
And yet, the moment the sound of the door closing rang and he confirmed that we were alone, he took a deep breath and…
“Boss! I have a woman I want you to meet, so could you please come to the bath together with me?! Let’s go!” (Lime)
There was absolutely no point in taking a deep breath…
I was wondering just what the hell he was saying.
I don’t understand at all.
“I said it! I can do this!” (Lime)
“Were those your last words? Before going to hell?”
There wasn’t even the sound of the door opening, and yet, right at the back of Lime…there was Mio.
Of course that would happen…
“Sis Mio! No, it is not what you think! It doesn’t mean that at all!” (Lime)
He is completely calling herSis now too.
If he is using it to address his superiors, then he is not exactly wrong.
“Yeah, right, Lime. It is unthinkable that you would teach Waka-sama bad enjoyments. You are not suicidal after all.” (Mio)
“I am not!!” (Lime)
“Yes! …Eh?” (Lime)
“What’s your ex-cu-se?” (Mio)
“R-Right! I wanted him to show up for a bit in the Weitz Orphanage! There’s a female childhood friend of mine working there, you see!” (Lime)
“Is that the woman you want him to meet?” (Mio)
“Yes! That’s right!” (Lime)
“Then, what’s that about having a bath together, huh?” (Mio)
“I have been thinking all the time that it would be nice to take a bath together with Boss if there was a chance -no, together with the men of Asora!” (Lime)
“Getting to know each other between men?” (Mio)
“That’s right!” (Lime)
“Entering the bath together with people of the same gender is a type of socialization as well. Doesn’t sound like a lie… In that case…” (Mio)
“I forgive you.” (Mio)
“I am sorry!!” (Lime)
“I will by no means…hm? Ah? Eh?” (Lime)
“I said I forgive you. Return with Waka-sama by the time it is dinner.” (Mio)
“Ah, uhm, I don’t really…” (Makoto)
“Please! Please, just once, Boss! Right, since there’s the chance, how about going to the hot spring resort in the demonic mountains that Big Sis Tomoe spoke of! How about going for a bit with me?!” (Lime)
“Going through the trouble of going all the way to Kaleneon?” (Makoto)
We can teleport, so whether it is Tsige, Asora, or Kaleneon, it would be the same, but this is quite the proposal.
Is he troubled in regards to the orphanage?
I am leaving that matter to Tomoe, and the Forest Onis and Eldwas don’t seem like they would cause troubles about that.
But well, he is giving an unusual air to him.
“Okay, we have to return by dinner, so gotta go fast-ssu! Now now!” (Lime)
“Y-Yeah, got it!” (Makoto)
“Now now!” (Lime)
And so, I came here to the hot spring resort of the demonic mountains pushed by Lime.
And well, we are now having a naked talk as he suggested.
Cleaning off the dirt of my body and soaking my body in the warm water really feels good.
It makes it even more pleasant when the place is big.
Spring is getting close in Kaleneon. The climate is beginning to get visibly calmer.
The contrast of today’s vermillion sky of the evening and the snow is amazing.
In time, flowers will bloom and the green will spread.
You would be able to taste the finest of open air baths in the mountains then.
Tomoe will get excited again.
She has been trying to select a place in Asora for hot springs all the time, so that would come first, huh.
There’s already a number of big baths in Asora, so the bathing in itself is already pretty decent there, but…it seems like she is troubled since the word hot springs has some kind of magic to it.
There’s apparently a lot of ambitious people.
“That way of saying it was completely bad, you know that, right?” (Makoto)
“…Yes. Uhm, Boss…” (Lime)
“Sis Mio is a bit…you know…” (Lime)
“She has gotten a bit softer, don’t you think…?” (Lime)
“Softer…? Hmm…” (Makoto)
Her drastic emotional changes like an instantaneous kettle might have slightly decreased.
It is true that Mio and Tomoe have changed a little.
“If it were the past Sis, who would have known what would have happened. And yet, she said ‘I forgive you’. And she didn’t show any kind of atmosphere to her after that.” (Lime)
“It can’t be said for certain yet what changes they had, but the two of them do feel like they give a different air from before.” (Makoto)
“On the other hand, I feel like Big Sis Tomoe has gotten stricter though…” (Lime)
“That depends on what you say, Lime, right?” (Makoto)
“…That’s in part true, but…” (Lime)
“Well, you may be right. In the past, she would push away things without a care, but now there’s times when she would consider them. When it comes to Mio, it depends on the contents, but the moments when she would take one breath before taking action have increased. At least that’s what I feel.” (Makoto)
This is simply my impressions of when Tomoe and Mio are with me.
Just that, the statements of Lime this time around are from the time when he himself was desperate and Mio gave him a ‘wait’ for a little bit.
I have known Lime for long, and he is one of the few men who I can speak to familiarly.
“Now then, we have washed off the soap and are now refreshed. We are also having a naked talk between men too here, but…what do we do now? Want to call Shiki, Mondo, or Beren as well? If you have something you want to talk to me about with just us two, I am listening.” (Makoto)
Did Lime’s childhood friend in the orphanage get in some kind of trouble?
…I don’t think there would be a problem of that degree that would require me though.
Maybe that woman and Lime are marrying?
I have never acted as a matchmaker, and in the first place, I myself am not married, you know?
“Actually, my childhood friend was raised in the same orphanage as me, and she is currently looking after the children there. Her name’s Seina.” (Lime)
An employee of an orphanage.
There’s such a job route too for an orphan, huh.
The adventurer path Lime chose is really impulsive, but I feel like that’s the main route people take.
There’s also many who take jobs in companies.
In Rembrandt-san’s place, there’s quite a lot of orphans employed.
“She said she wanted to meet the representative of the Kuzunoha Company once.” (Lime)
“Me? Why?” (Makoto)
The…Weitz Orphanage, was it?
I don’t know how much the other companies support the orphanages, but the kind of support the Rembrandt Company does should be a popular method.
On top of that, it is the place Lime was raised, so it is kinda like his hometown. That’s why we have been giving them gifts every now and then.
If she were to ask for even more support than what it is already being given, it is not like we can’t, but it would be troubling.
It would be a pain if other companies were to suspect us helping them out so much.
“She said it would be rude not to meet the representative even though they have been receiving such generous support. Uhm, I know you are busy. If you want, I can have Seina and the director show up in the company.” (Lime)
“…Hmm, Lime.” (Makoto)
“The Weitz Orphanage, right? I do think we have been giving them a generous amount of support.” (Makoto)
“No doubt about it.” (Lime)
“If they were to forcefully ask for even more, it would be troubling, you know?” (Makoto)
“No, Boss. It is not like they are trying to ask for more money, or trying to show you the tragic state of the orphanage to pull even more support.” (Lime)
That’s the only thing that comes to mind, though.
And then, if I were to show up and were to see the situation of the children as well as the tattered (probably) building, I feel like I might end up promising to give them more support.
Don’t know yet though.
It would be sad if they were to think of me as an easy representative.
“It is actually the contrary.” (Lime)
…In other words, the support is too much?
Then there’s not really any need to meet the representative, right?
Cause you know, even if they stay silent, they would get plenty enough support and it would be from sponsors that don’t say much back, right?
Isn’t that the best?
“I once again confirmed the support of the Kuzunoha Company, and it is overwhelming. It is on a level where the Weitz Orphanage can sustain itself from just the support of the Kuzunoha Company.” (Lime)
The orphanage is able to work without worrying about the eyes of the sponsor and the children won’t starve.
Isn’t that ideal?
…No, the moment I thought about ‘ideal’…my thoughts stopped for a moment.
“…Could it be…” (Makoto)
“They are suspecting us? That there might be some sort of conspiracy, or ulterior motive?” (Makoto)
“…I am truly sorry about this, but…that’s exactly right. Sorry.” (Lime)
In other words, donating out of good will is impossible.
Suspect support that doesn’t ask for anything back.
There’s nothing as scary as something free.
It must be that, right?
The lower the organization is in society, the more suspicious they get about the actions of others that don’t seek for anything in return.
This is something I was taught by Rembrandt-san.
Thank the donations given out of good will.
Party to the support that asks nothing in return.
Free is the best.
It just doesn’t work that way.
“In other words, having Tomoe vouch for you about your workplace ended up having a negative effect instead?” (Makoto)
“Using the excuse that it was your bonus to teach them cooking as well?” (Makoto)
“…That was truly helpful, thank you very much.” (Lime)
“It was our own decision to do so, so don’t mind it. I see. So the extra food and clothes was also a bad idea, huh. I thought that was decent though.” (Makoto)
“…It was an incredibly helpful support. But fresh vegetables are not something that you just have extra of, you simply eat them if you have those. Dried food can be stored, so it is not stuff that you can have too much of. On top of that, the sizes of the clothes were varied and had no dirt. It can’t be helped that, even people aside from Seina, would hold slight suspicions from this.” (Lime)
Since we were doing it, I thought it would be best if they were to last long, and fresh vegetables have more nutrients.
Children grow fast, so I thought that it would be better if the sizes were varied.
Just that, we get a whole lot of fresh vegetables in Asora, so it really is on a level where we have more than we need.
Even the dried food, we chose trial products that were mass-produced and could be eaten.
The clothes were made when the Gorgons and Orcs were practicing.
It is not like we bought them with a whole lot of money!
Also, the Weitz Orphanage is useful to Asora as well.
It is completely our convenience.
We are having the demi-human employees purposely go there to check the reactions of the children and the employees.
I have been properly getting reports from Tomoe about this every now and then.
Most of them were happy reports about there practically being no signs of being looked down upon.
There was a decent amount at first though.
Thinking about the relationship between the Kuzunoha Company and the Weitz Orphanage, this might be natural, but treating demi-humans as slaves and animals even if they are weaker than them is also a hyuman trait.
“As someone who has seen Boss personally, I understand that this isn’t much for Boss and the Kuzunoha Company. But in the eyes of the normal populace, what do you profit from doing this? The more estranged the people are, the more doubtful they end up being…” (Lime)
Can’t we use that?
The orphanage may have a similar perception, but it wouldn’t be strange, right?
“…The base of it is about criminal rehabilitation though.” (Makoto)
“Criminal? Boss?” (Lime)
I feel like it could work.
It could be applied.
Also, if you say the support of the Kuzunoha Company is excessive, Seina-san and Direction-san, it would be easier for them to accept if I were to bring out a demand like this when I am meeting them.
“It is about a matter that Tomoe brought out before.” (Makoto)
“Big Sis?” (Lime)
Edo and Onihei. <Onihei is about “Heizō the demon,”. He led a band of samurai police and cultivated reformed criminals as informants to solve difficult crimes.>
Both of them are big favorites of Tomoe.
She would happily do the modifications, no, she might even spearhead it.
There wasn’t much use in Asora, and it was a system that there were no plans to be made.
“More enemies might appear, but we will be able to pour more strength over to this side for a while. There’s room for consideration, huh…” (Makoto)
“Uhm, Boss? What are you…” (Lime)
Time to leave the bath.
If I end up getting a heat stroke when it is between men, I feel like I would get teased by those two.
…Tamaki might join in on that, so it would be three, huh.
Whichever the case, I wouldn’t want that.
“Labourers…no, create a yoseba.” (Makoto) <Yoseba is a place where a large number of day laborers and job seekers gather. Also called a stop. In addition, it is a jail word used by the yakuza.>
“Labourers? Yoseba?” (Lime)
“I will meet Seina-san tomorrow. I will be the one going to the orphanage.” (Makoto)
“! R-Really?!” (Lime)
“Of course. I will go together with Tomoe, so ask for times they are available.” (Makoto)
“It would be best for it to be at a time Boss can. They can manage whatever convenience you need. You are doing work in the Dusk Street right now, Boss.” (Lime)
“…No, you were the one who trespassed the Dusk Street, Lime.” (Makoto)
“Ah, right… Sorry about that.” (Lime)
“It is okay. It wasn’t something that we could work out in one or two days anyways. We spoke to the top there, but who knows how much of what he said we can trust. Since it is that kind of place, we are evaluating how to move before doing anything. In that case, I will match the convenience of the orphanage.” (Makoto)
Also, the people this time are receiving our support.
Our standing is originally higher.
If we match the meeting time to their convenience, we can move the conversation to our advantage.
I will take as much advantage as I can get.
That Weitz Orphanage.
If they had just silently received our support, as long as they didn’t speak ill of us or anything, they would have been able to operate as they were.
You won’t be getting away from this, we are going to restructure you.
“I will set things up by today!” (Lime)
“Counting on you. Well then, let’s go back.” (Makoto)
“It is okay if you were to tell me while we get dressed. There’s something I would like to talk about in regards to your secret technique!” (Lime)
“You, asking me about a secret technique?” (Makoto)
What is he talking about?
The Lime today is a real mystery.
“I have already looked at the goods a plenty lot, so please tell me to a degree that Big Sis won’t kill me-ssu!!” (Lime)
He certainly did raise some sort of short scream and clapped his hands together at the time when I was washing my head.
I really can’t understand him.
“Talks involving Tomoe and Mio are truly landmines right now. So, please Lime, make sure not to slip anything from your mouth. Depending on the contents, not only your words will be slipping, but your life too! I bear no responsibility for resurrections, okay?!” (Makoto)
“My lips are sealed!” (Lime)
I feel like this won’t go well.
The return to the Demonic Mountain’s hot spring resort.
This time around, I finished bathing without collapsing from a heat stroke.