Daniela and I returned to the inn and quickly finished packing. We had stayed here for so long, but once it was decided that we would be leaving, we began to pack our things a little by little every day. And so we were mostly prepared to leave.
“So this our last night here.”
“You seem a little sad?”
Daniela turned to look at me as we lay in bed.
“I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t.”
“Do you want to stay here then?”
“Don’t be silly, Daniela. We decided to go together. You can’t just leave me here.”
It was just a suggestion she made, knowing how hard goodbyes were for me. But saying goodbye to Daniela was the one thing that I would not do. It wasn’t something I could express with words, and so I rolled onto my side and wrapped my arms around her.
“I am sorry. That was thoughtless of me.”
“Don’t worry about it…hahhhh…I’m sleepy.”
I was so relaxed when I was around her, that a yawn escaped me. And since I felt no desire to fight the waves of drowsiness that swept over me, I allowed my eyelids to fall shut.
“Good night, Asagi.”
□ □ □ □
When I woke up, Daniela was gone.
No, of course not. I woke up with my head on her chest, just like when I had fallen asleep. It was a typical morning. I saw the sunlight shine through the window as I got up and went to the bathroom to wash the sweat off of me. We had held onto each other all night and had sweated quite a lot as well. I would have to recommend that she take a bath later.
The magic tools in the bathing room that had caused such trouble for me at first, was now so familiar. The innkeeper refilled it whenever we were away. I crushed the fire and water ore and put them into the hole above the faucet. And then with a turn of the lever, the hot water came rushing.
I had recently discovered that the temperature could be adjusted by changing the amount of ore used. Ever since then, I have been making it extra hot. It just felt better that way.
Once the bathtub was full, I scooped some out with a bucket and poured it over myself. It felt great and refreshing. I repeated this several times and washed before entering the tub. A moan of pleasure threatened to escape my lips, but I bit it down and sunk until the water reached my shoulders. It was the height of pleasure. One might call it heaven.
“Hahhhhh…I love bathing in the morning…”
As I soak in the tub, I think about our plans for the day. First, we needed to check out of here and go to the street stall district. There we would say goodbye to Veiken and head to the southern gate. The imperial city of Vellefrost was in the center of the empire. It was southeast from the mountain gate of Alessa. So, far south of here.
Now that I think of it, we had walked a lot since coming here. We had gone south through Alessa, and the east through the forest town of Valdorf, and then through Senka village and down south. And then we arrived in Replant. We would continue south from here before turning to the east. We would be going to the Imperial Capital from the west.
This was the route that Daniela and I had talked about during the past month. We would cross the valley we had investigated, pass that village and the crags and head east. There were no towns around the rocky area, so we would have to camp outside. But it should be fine. And there was a path along the mountains, apparently. I wasn’t too worried.
“Ahh…I better get out now…”
Noisily, I got out of the hot water and wiped myself dry before putting on my clothes. We would be leaving today, so I put on my fighting gear.
When I got out of the changing room, Daniela was awake and dressed.
“Ah, good morning.”
“Good morning, Asagi. Were you bathing?”
“Yeah. I suppose we were cuddling the whole night, and it got sweaty. Why don’t you take one too?”
“Indeed… I have already gotten changed, but maybe I will.”
“The water’s still hot.”
“Hmm. Alright then.”
She decided and entered the changing room. Well, I suppose I should clean up…
□ □ □ □
I stuffed all of my belongings into my bag and gathered any trash. Then I moved all the furniture we may have rearranged. None of it took very long, and by the time Daniela finished her bath, we were ready to leave.
“Let’s go then.”
Daniela picked up her belongings, and we left the room. I took the keys off of the shelf near the door and looked back at the room that had been our home for a month. It was the best room we’d ever stayed in. I felt somewhat sentimental towards it and bowed with gratitude before leaving.
The sight of lounging guests near the entrance was now so familiar to us. We passed them and headed for the counter. Vegun was there and scribbling on some documents when he noticed us.
“Ah, Mister Asagi. It was today, I believe.”
“Yes. Thank you for a wonderful stay.”
I said as I returned the key. Vegun took it and stared at it for a second as if he were looking at something terribly moving.
“We will miss you.”
“Hearing that makes me very glad that we chose to stay here.”
“Hehe. That was probably not the best thing to say to someone who is going on a journey.”
He chuckled and I grinned.
“Well then, let me do this properly. All of us here will be praying for you and hope that your journey is a good one.”
“Thank you. Goodbye.”
“I am grateful. Take care.”
Daniela and I said as we bowed and walked away from the counter. And like that, we opened the doors and stepped out into the morning city. I turned around once to look up at the Lamb’s Hoof. It was a great place, and I was sure that I would choose it again if we ever came back.
Well then, the next thing to do was to visit Veikin. We would buy some meat skewers, eat, and then head towards our next town.