107-107 Public Baths

"Hey ......, nice place you got here, Noor?

 At the entrance of a newly opened large bathhouse, a familiar man approached me from behind.

 When I looked closely at his face, I saw that he was a colleague of mine who had worked with me at the construction site.
 He was a self-proclaimed "Master of Public Baths" who occasionally told me about unusual bathhouses.
 I hadn't seen him for a while, and had almost forgotten his face.

...... It's been a while. How have you been? It's been a while since I've seen you.
"Yeah, it's been a while, I guess. It's been a while since I've been back to King's Landing.
Have you been away?
Yeah. I've been away from King's Landing for a while. I left King's Landing for a little while to get away from my beloved bathhouses .......

 It was a little surprising that this man who loved bathrooms had left the royal capital, which he called his paradise.

What do you mean, "keep my distance"? Why would you do that?
...... You were with me then, and you still remember. You were with me then, and you still remember the big mistake I made at the Hydra Baths.
Oh, that?

 A colleague of mine made a big mistake at a bathhouse called "Hydra-yu" that I visited with a guy once.
 The next day or so, a sign was put up at the bathhouse stating that it was dangerous for bathers and that it was closed for business.

But I heard that they removed the dangerous items and reopened the bathhouse.
"But that doesn't change the fact that the old traditional bathhouse almost died because of me. I have to atone for that crime, no matter who asks. ...... That's why I've imposed 'no bathing' on myself for a while.
"No bathing?
Yeah. In other words, ──── after that, I forbade myself to go to the bathhouse. I didn't go to the bathhouse at all, and I didn't even wash my body. That's the kind of punishment I have to take.
"........................ I see.

 ...... Sure, it might smell a bit.

...... But you know what? I'm not sure what to make of it. The "no bathing" ban is effective today. ...... What do you think, Noor? I'm sure you've been bored with life without me, the 'Flo King'.
No, not really.
...... Well, don't be so shy.
I mean it.
............ By the way, since you're here, you're going to join us in the bathhouse, right?
Of course.

「ならば一緒に行くか. 俺が解説してやろう」





「いや. この浴場は造りとしては極めて王道(オーソドックス)だ. 浴槽(ふろ)自体に特筆すべきことはそれほどない……だがそれを補って余りある、王都の歴史的にも画期的なとある特徴がある. そこに触れずして、この浴場は語れないだろうな」


 この男はやたらと浴場の歴史に詳しく、その成り立ちやら由来やら、俺に会うたびにこと細かに講釈してくれる. 説明が詳しすぎて、中身は半分ほども理解できないのだが.

「何を隠そう、この新しい浴場はクレイス王国史上初、『半官半民』で造られた大衆浴場なのだ. 長い浴場(フロ)の歴史がある、この王都でさえ初なんだ. 意外だろう?」


「まあ、それだけだと、わからないかもしれんがな? 面白いことに、この浴場には国で指定管理されている『特級迷宮遺物』、『湧水の円筒』が収められ、訪れた客がそこから流れ出す水を直に(・・)見ることができるようになっているんだ」


「ああ. 普通『湧水の円筒』は王都の給水施設の中に収められていて、そこから各施設に水路を通して水を引いている.
 王都の市民の生活を支える重要施設だし、『湧水の円筒』そのものが世界的に見ても非常に貴重な品だからな. 実際に本物を目にした奴なんてほとんどないんだ」



「そうだな. ここクレイス王国は昔から雨があまり降らず、水源となる山も特にないから水にはとても苦労していたらしいが……冒険者たちが『還らずの迷宮』から幾つもの『湧水の円筒』を持ち帰り続けてきたおかげで、今や水に全く困らない、世界でも有数の土地になった.

「へえ、すごいんだな. その……『水の出る筒』というのは」

「ふふ、だろう? 王都でこんなに『浴場(フロ)』の文化が発展しているのも、そのおかげなんだぜ. おまけに、ここ王都には上水の水路もちゃんと敷かれていて、下水と雨水を分けて地中に排水しているんだ. こんなに水道が発達した街、世界のどこを探しても、他にはないハズだ」
I've never been outside of King's Landing.

 I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's a fan of your work.

 I've seen the capital of the Magic Empire, the city of Mithra, and several villages and towns, but none of them had waterways like the capital.
 I've always played "dobusarai" in the city of King's Landing, but there are no such ditches in other cities.
 I can only confirm what I can see, but it seems that this city is built very differently from the others.

I've had the opportunity to visit a few cities recently, and I've never seen anything like this anywhere.
I've been around a few cities lately and I've never seen anything like it. Well, the bottom line is that this newly opened bathhouse is the first bathhouse in history where you can directly see the spring water cylinder, which is deeply related to the history of the royal capital. It's a must-see, right?
"Maybe so.

 Come to think of it, the "bathing ticket" I received has a cylinder with a strange pattern on it. This must be the "cylinder of spring water".

 I hadn't been interested in it until now, but now that you've explained it in such a way, I feel like taking a look.

How about it? Does this raise your expectations?
"Yes. I'm looking forward to it.
Let's go in with an open mind. I'll explain everything once we're inside. Follow me. ────

 Suddenly, I was stopped by a man who seemed to be a guard at the gate of the bathhouse.
 I thought he was stopping me because I was still carrying the Black Sword, and I prepared to explain myself.

 Apparently, the guard was not talking to me, but to the man next to me.

"Excuse me, ......, would you like to accompany us?
"Hmm ......? What's wrong with me? Nothing, I'm empty-handed. I don't think you're carrying anything dangerous.
No, I'm sorry, sir. ...... I just, uh...
I'm sorry to tell you this, but if you don't go to ......, you'll be disturbing other customers.
"...... what?

 I looked around and saw that the people around us were avoiding the two of us and keeping their distance in a nice circle.
 It's a good idea to take a look at your own personal life.

 ──── He's a little stinky right now, that's for sure.

I'm sorry, but could you please accompany me quietly?
Why ......? It's also a public facility that is supposed to be for the welfare and sanitation of the citizens! You can't just kick me out no matter how dirty and smelly I am.

 Oh, so you're aware of the smell after all.

But this facility is also for entertainment purposes. ...... If you just want to get rid of the dirt, there are other places to go. Please come with me. ...... Who are you bringing with you?


 Apparently, I'm considered one of his kind.

"────, wait. That guy has nothing to do with me! If you're taking him, you're taking me alone. ......!
...... Is that so?
Well, it's not that I have nothing to do with him, it's that I know him. ...... I just met him earlier today.
Well, I don't think you're in any trouble. There's a black sign ...... at the entrance that says, ......? You can leave the ...... or the black sign ......?

 Then the man was grabbed by the shoulders by two guards.

"Noor ......, I'm sorry. I'm sorry it had to come to this.
No, I'm sorry I had to go by myself.
I'm sorry I had to go alone. ...... It's okay, don't worry about it. I'll take care of this, you go ahead. Don't worry, I'll catch up with you soon. Don't worry. ...... won't kill you.
"Well, yeah.

 I gave him a thumbs up and watched him being led away by the guards with tears and a smile on my face at the same time, and then I left the Black Sword in the luggage storage area at the entrance and enjoyed the big, new bathhouse.

 When I actually entered the bath, I found that the tub was quite large and that there was plenty of room for all the people in it. There was also a place to wash your body, and to my surprise, there was a water bath and a steam bath.

 That alone makes it an excellent bathhouse (floor), but it's not all.
 There were countless other unusual baths there as well.

 Among them, there was a rather unusual bathtub called the "Water Dragon Bath," which was operated by "wind magic" and produced bubbles as the warm water flowed.

 There were so many other baths that I could not use them all at once, and it was fun just to watch the customers using them.

 The "public bath master" said it was a traditional bathhouse. As for me, I think it's quite an interesting place.
 After all, it's not something you can just hear about from other people, but you have to actually experience it for yourself.

 I think I will come back again and again.
 I've got a lot of "bath tickets" here.

   ◇ "It was more interesting than I expected.

"That was more fun than I thought.

 After I washed my body and enjoyed the baths, I went out to the hall of the bathhouse, drank a cold drink that was sold there, and took a break.

 Then, after admiring to my heart's content the "gushing water tube" that was visible from the hall, I left the bathhouse.

He didn't come back after all, did he?

 I didn't see him again that day.

 But I was grateful to the man who had taught me so much, and I prayed for his safety in the clear night sky of the capital.