Oh, even better.
“Yes, natural, hot water. You can even have them reserved. It’s quite popular with adventurers and families.”
“The capital is in the valley, right?”
“Ah, yes it is. I’m surprised you knew that.”
The brother thought about it before saying:
“If we do go, we’d want to stop by the towns on the way. We might stay more than two nights at some places. So it would be better to go separately.”
“Good, but we aren’t in any rush. We can go to the capital together!”
“…I’ll discuss it with my sister. We’ll give you an answer tomorrow.”
“Okay, well, we’ll be going to our rooms now. Thank you for everything.”
The siblings went upstairs together. Then the brother came back down and said something to the innkeeper. The innkeeper smiled and said she would bring it to their rooms. Was it hot water?
“Nyra, weren’t you against it? You said I cared too much about those children.”
“Did I? I was only concerned about taking a detour, as we are supposed to be making a report. I have no issue if they come with us.”
“There is something about them. And I sense a purpose there that I can’t quite understand.”
“There is also Ornie.”
“He almost blew our cover. What is a bird person doing all the way over here? Well, they do appear almost anywhere.”
“Still, that sister does seem to attract just about everyone.”
“Norfe as well. And I can almost understand it…”
“Ah, I don’t mean it in any strange way!”
Next to them, a worker brought up a bucket of hot water to the second floor.
“Here, one bucket of hot water. That will be 100 gil. Also, this. That will be 500 per bottle. Half of it is for the bottle itself. It would only have been 300 if you drank it downstairs.”
“It’s fine. It is a gift. So that is 1100 gil altogether? Here.”
“Yes, thank you.”
The door closed.
“Maki-chan, I’m impressed!”
“Oh, it’s nothing Chiharu. You just need to use your head. Now, let’s get cleaned up and open these bottles!”
They used the hot water to clean themselves. It was mostly just cold sweat that they had to wipe. Their hair felt quite damp by now, but they couldn’t wash their wigs, so they just had to bear it. Lastly, they washed their undergarments and hung them up to dry. As they didn’t know what could happen, they opted to wear their day clothes instead of pajamas.
Maki took out the two bottles of Hamanasu wine and two bottles of apple wine and placed them on the small table.
“This is today’s haul.”
“Oh, you’re so cool, Maki-chan.”
“Ahahaha. Now, which should we drink first?”
“I heard that each town has a different kind of apple wine. Let’s try that tonight.”
“Yes, I guess we should avoid overdrinking.”
They drank directly from the bottle.
“It’s so good.”
As it was a simple drink made in every town, the alcohol content was quite low. But that only meant that the flavor of apple was strong, leaving a delicious mildly sour and richly sweet aftertaste.
“I feel so alive.”
“So do I. Hey, Chiharu…”
“Who do you think is the one following us from the castle?”
They were not so childish as to believe that they were really free.