Category Archives: The Bathroom Goddess

The Bathroom Goddess – Afterstory, Part 1

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


Afterstory, Part 1 – A Certain Ambitious King

Mountains of sand, changing shape in the wind.
Karasu sighed as he leant against the boulder that shaded him.
The boulder’s shadow stretched far across the sand.
It would be evening soon.
Under the red glow of the evening sky, a number of dead men and the corpse of a ruba could be seen.

――If only the ruba were alive.

How many times had he wished this already.

But no matter how badly he wished for it, it was fruitless unless he could revert time.

“Create oases and trade routes.”

Karasu thought back to the woman who had casually suggested this.

――Damned goddess of misfortune.

Karasu cursed to himself.

The oasis creation program had been fraught with problems from the start.
The ones responsible for the all-important task of finding the water veins were the Ottko Yuu tribe, who all hated Karasu to the bone.
It took two months of arguing just to reach a semblance of cooperation.
Furthermore, the movement across the desert made the arrijighock difficult to handle, so just that alone required large amounts of hahanero. The amount grown by the Ottko Yu tribe was nowhere near enough.
Thus, negotiations began with Jebas, the home of hahanero. Unfortunately, standing between Yohk’Zai and Jebas were a steep mountain range, and the nation known as Triht. Worse, Triht’s leader, Setsugen, was a stubborn youngster who was difficult to negotiate with.
With Setsugen constantly pestering him for firestones, it took half a year just to secure a route to Jebas.  And to trade with the isolationist Jebas took another three months of top of that to begin.

Even though Karasu had been so busy he couldn’t even sleep, that damned Goddess had said,

“You’re slow. Geez, we can’t wait any longer. Whatever. In that case, I’ll just bring the Tohjian workers to Insen myself.”

Never in his life had he wanted to strangle that woman more.
But despite that, Karasu couldn’t oppose her.

While the woman had been happily enjoying her baths, Karasu had been slowly but surely advancing the preparations.
As proof of that, he had already finished constructing one oasis last month. After sending in material and men, and getting things set up, Karasu had begun working on the second oasis.
That woman had complained to him, but he had still created an oasis in less than a year. How could that be slow.

Karasu was feeling a sense of accomplishment, different to the one when he took I’Jibro.
And the second and third oases didn’t seem too difficult either. Now that he had already worked out the specifics of creating one, the rest could be created by following the same lessons.

Back when the woman had first told him to create a trade route, he had thought of it as a ridiculous task. But although he certainly did meet many hardships, things were progressing smoothly.
The control of I’Jibro was going well.
Getting the tariffs in place was close at hand too.
Everything was starting to come together.
It was probably because of this that he had relaxed and gotten conceited.
He had thought that it would be just another trip in the desert. He had already done it once in the past.
It was just riding a ruba for a bit. Hardly dangerous at all. Thinking that, Karasu had headed into the desert by himself without informing any of his men.
Who could have imagined a bandit attack with such unfortunate timing.

Before he was old enough to have his voice break, Karasu had worked as a bodyguard. He had good sense and talent to go with it, and was regarded highly by trading caravans.
Karasu didn’t hate using the sword. Neither did he hate fighting. This had not changed since becoming King of Yohk’Zai, and he had always stood on the frontlines with his sword.
Thanks to that he managed to turn the tables on the five bandits. Unfortunately, in the process he had lost the ruba that was his lifeline.
What made things even worse was that his leg had been slashed. Thankfully it wasn’t serious enough for him to haemorrhage to death, but it still made it difficult to walk in the desert.
It would be reckless to attempt travelling a distance that would take half an hour on ruba.

Karasu decided to preserve his energy rather than struggle pointlessly.
So he leant against a boulder and gazed at the half-buried corpses. He spent an hour like that.
Sparkling grains of sand in the wind seemed to paint over the corpses.
Back when he killed the merchants in order to take Huuron’s place, had their remains also been buried beneath the sand like this…?
Quite unlike himself, Karasu began to grow sentimental.

“OOOOOOOI, WHERE ARE YOU HUUUUUUROOOOOOOOOOON!”

An angry woman’s cry. And at the same time, a rectangular hole was cut into the scenery.
As usual, the woman appeared in front of him wearing only a single cloth.
It was a bother to get up, so Karasu only moved his eyes.

“You’re slow. I’ve been waiting for you,” he said.

It was a mysterious feeling.
Until just now, he never had even the faintest expectations that she would save him, but the moment he saw her face, it felt like he had been waiting for her all along.
When the woman spotted him sitting on the sand, she glared at him indignantly.

“What the hell was that!”

“What the hell… was what?”

Of course, he had a rough idea of what she was angry about. Still, he decided to pick an annoying answer.

“That! That! That thing in the dead middle of the oasis spring, damnit!”

So it was that after all. Karasu’s lips curved into a smile.

“Oh, it seems you liked it. I commissioned some famous artist from Jebas.”

After looking lost for a moment, realisation flashed on her face.

“Famous artist… Don’t tell me it was the Old Maestro!?”

“Yeah, that’s the one. That Old Maestro was an acquaintance of yours, wasn’t he.”

The woman collapsed onto her rectangular frame as she groaned “Ugugu…”

Karasu decided to finish her off.

“It was well done. It had a bit more meat on it, so it was more to my taste.”

When he had visited Jebas, in that extraordinarily luxurious castle courtyard, he spotted a statue of a naked woman bestowing a sword upon a man in armour.
He had been dumbfounded by the sight, but he quickly began to chuckle as he thought up his revenge.

“An oasis that a goddess watches over. Doesn’t it sound great? I’ve no doubt you’ll be worshipped by future visitors.”

“…It’s true that I helped out with the oasis, but why did you have to make it naked!?” she screamed.

Seeing her red face had really satisfied him. Karasu laughed happily.

“Have a look at what you’re wearing, and ask yourself that.”

Looking down at her cloth-wrapped body, her expression turned bitter.

“Plus, that old man thought that it would be better naked too. Since I felt that it would be blasphemous to misrepresent you, I readily agreed.”

“Didn’t you completely misrepresent my body…” muttered the woman.

Karasu’s laughing only deepened.

“I was just being considerate. I thought it would be pitiful if people started pointing out that the Goddess of the Spring was so much scrawnier than all the other goddesses.”

Her silent and sour expression made him smack the ground with laughter.
It was actually starting to hurt now.
His leg wound had been bothering him the whole time as well.

“Anyhow, bring it out. You have something this time as well, don’t you.”

It was only now that the woman realised he was wounded.

“Oh my. Could it be that you’re injured?”

Karasu nodded.

“I am.”

“You should say these sorts of things earlier. Here. A flute made from the horn of a sekitoha. Apparently you can hear it from a thousand miles away.”

With that, the woman produced a large flute the size of one’s upper arm.

――Again with an incredibly suspicious item…

Whenever she appeared with an item, a lot of the time it was something peculiar.
But Karasu also noted that it was always something that helped.

When he took the flute in his hands, he noticed how light it was despite its bulky appearance.
Bringing it to his lips, he blew.

-BUOOOOOH-

A low sound seemed to spread through the land.
It felt like it went further than a person’s voice could. But he still couldn’t imagine that it would reach anywhere near a thousand miles.

“Oi, this isn’t a fake is it.”

The women tilted her head in puzzlement.

“…W-, Who knows?”

Karasu wanted to slap the flute onto the ground.

“Well, whatever. If worse comes to worse, you can just carry me the same way you do the Tohjians.”

The women complained, “But I have to get up early tomorrow…” with an unwilling expression, but Karasu naturally paid her no heed.

Half an hour later.
Around the time he replaced his makeshift bandage with a new cloth from the woman, he heard the sounds of people coming to find him.
For a while, Karasu had trouble deciding if it was the flute or not.


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The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 20

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


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“Leave.”

With the man’s one word, the servant who had brought the alcohol immediately bowed, and disappeared.
After confirming that he was alone, the man poured himself a cup of the drink that the servant had just carried in.
The lights were all off.
The one pleasure this man had was to keep torch and moonstone away, and enjoy wine in this garden.
He found the dim light of the moon just right for him.

Rotus flowers floated in the pond before him.
Beautiful fish of various coloured swam around the pink petals, and the round leaves around them.
The pond itself was shockingly big.

As the man gazed upon the moon on the water’s surface, he brought the drink to his lips. And the corners of his mouth curved naturally into a smile.
Visiting this place always gave him a sense of reality about the size of what he had obtained.

His birthplace had been an impoverished village.
The water well was so tiny that it could dry at any time, and they lived their lives while carefully sharing it between them.
The crops wouldn’t grow well either, and the men of the village earned money by accompanying travelling merchant groups on particularly dangerous journeys.
He too had crossed the desert as a bodyguard of a merchant troupe.
Although the dangers of his job had brought him close to death, the man remained poor. Always――

But how about now.
A castle replete with abundant water.
A completely extravagant lifestyle.
When he thought of the ridiculousness of his being brought here and made King, he found his laughter impossible to restrain.

――But there was still a long way to go. He would make even larger things his.

The man was very clear about what he was going to do, as well as what he wanted to achieve.

The only concern he had was the naked, or very close to naked woman who occasionally appeared.
He had jokingly told his retainers that she was a goddess, but in fact he didn’t believe that one bit.
She certainly had a mysterious power. She had that container overflowing with water, and she could appear in various places.

But that seemed to be all.

She had mysterious powers, but the woman herself was just a regular woman. That was how he saw her.

Having saved his life, and led him to I’Jibro, that woman had gotten in his way three times.
So the man believed in his instinct, and made preparations so that she wouldn’t interfere any further with the future he painted for himself.
Considering her support for Prince Hinoki of I’Jibro, as well as the Ottko Yu boy, he immediately knew that she was weak to children.

Not only that, from the fact that she couldn’t save the Prince herself and the fact that she even sought help, it was clear that she was far from omnipotent.
He was sure that with just a little threat, she would be beside herself with terror. Thinking this, he wrote her a letter and then attached it to an arrow.
――As he recalled, he wrote something about crushing the kid’s finger each time she interfered, or perhaps something about cutting off his nose and ears…
Either way, it was things that only scum would say.

If she was a boring woman as expected, then she would probably stop meddling out of fear for Prince Hinoki.
When he imagined the face she would make when she saw the letter, his face betrayed another smile.

Feeling quite happy, he swirled his drink.
He liked his drinks strong enough that they felt like they burnt his throat.

After his first cup, he regretted sending the servant away.
He had been doing this since morning, and perhaps because he hadn’t had much to eat, he wanted something to chew on.
Whenever he told his servants to clear out, he would always have them at a distance where his voice wouldn’t reach.

――Can’t be helped. Should I go to the kitchen, and threaten a cook?

The man stood up. And the moment he did, a white light shone above the pond.

“Here’s your order! The ultimate delicacy that goes with distilled wines, fruit wines, sweet rice wines, nigori wine, anything! Cured mullet roe cheese!”

Pitch black hair that ran down white shoulders. The woman appeared half-naked again, rambling energetically no sooner than she had arrived.

“Hell yeah! Got the right guy! It’s been a while!”

The man looked on in dumb amazement as the woman pumped a fist in joy.

――Why…

The man couldn’t believe that his assessment was off. He was proud to say that he was better at reading people than anybody else.

“Oh? What’s wrong? Ah, I know. Here, take these.”

The woman tilted her head in confusion for a while, before apparently remembering to pass over the dish in her hand.

“You wanted some snacks to go with your drink, right?”

“…Yeah.”

Only after he accepted it had he come back to his senses.

“What do you plan to ask of me this time?”

The first time he had just given her the earrings.
However, the next time they made an exchange, for her map she demanded something as ridiculous as saving Prince Hinoki.
What on earth did she plan on asking this time…?

The man studied her carefully.

Her face showed no signs of terror nor fright. The man felt immense regret. He had no choice but to accept that he had completely misread her. She was not so fragile nor merciful that she would back down because of threats to that prince.

It was impossible to tell if she knew what he was thinking, but she smiled as though she had waited for that exact question.

“It’s simple. First, release Prince Hinoki. Second, stop your troops in Triht.”

He snorted.

“What part of that is simple.”

“It’s terribly simple. I can’t understand what part isn’t.”

Anger surged up at her carefree response.

“Then let’s say I release him. Are you telling me to send him to I’Jibro? Even if he’s a child, I can’t imagine a person who had his country stolen from him twice is fit to rule. He’s just going to get locked up somewhere again.”

It was impossible to let go of I’Jibro now. Doing so now would be the same as withholding reward from his soldiers. The man’s strong point was the army in his grasp. If he neglected his soldiers, then his footing would become shaky in no time.
But the woman flapped her hand dismissively.

“I’m not telling you to send him to I’Jibro, nor did I say to make him king.”

“What?”

“I’ve actually met him already. As long as you accept one condition, he’ll hand I’Jibro over to you.”

The man raised an eyebrow.

“What condition?”

“The guarantee of the position and assets of the I’Jibro commoners. If you seize assets from the nobles, you’ll have enough to offset the funds used to take over I’Jibro, won’t you?”

Although it had fallen under his rule, I’Jibro was a bountiful nation, unlike Yohk’Zai which was nothing but sand. The fortunes of the I’Jibro nobles were massive. Just as the woman said, these funds would be more than enough.
But the man couldn’t understand what the Prince was thinking at all, to give up his nation, even with this woman as his ally.
Perhaps she guessed his thoughts, because the woman looked down and spoke.

“To Prince Hinoki, who should have been locked in that tower for life, do you know what his greatest treasure is?”

“Can’t say I do.”

“A map, he said. A world map. He would always stare at it and think to himself that if by some miracle he ever left that tower, he would travel the entire world. He has no interest in the throne. Instead, he despises it. Is it really that strange once you think about it? Because of that throne, he was locked up for a second time.”

The man sighed.
There were no demerits to following her idea, but he didn’t want to do as she told him to.

“Then what about Triht? That country is apparently frozen now. Wouldn’t their citizens be happier under our rule? At the very least, they would be able to live without starving. I’ll say this first, but I’m not giving them fire stones. That lot from Triht first asked us for aid, then the next time they began speaking nonsense about sending them fire stones. Those fire stones might not be worth much in Yohk’Zai, but they need to be handled carefully. Are you telling me to have them carried up those damned mountains for free?”

“It’s fine. I can’t say that they’ll give as much gold and silver as you want, but Triht can be of use to Yohk’Zai.”

The man furrowed his brows.

“It’s impossible for them to have anything like that.”

It was because they didn’t that they declared war with Yohk’Zai.

“Triht has exceptional blacksmithing. The Triht swords are currently very popular in Jebas. As you know, Jebas is a bountiful country that people often call a paradise. In fact, even their culture is a few steps ahead of other nations. And yet Jebas still can’t create a sword as sharp as Triht’s, and are trying to buy as many of them as they can.”

The man recalled the face of the young Triht king, who was the very model of honesty.

“That Setsugen is terrible at negotiations. If he had something like that, he should have mentioned it sooner. I’ll buy those swords. No need to deal with Jebas.”

The woman laughed.

“You must be joking. Who on earth would give fangs and claws to the very beast trying to hunt them down?”

“So you want to say that Jebas is safe, then? It’s because they’re so plentiful that they might be aiming for hegemony.”

“No need to worry. Jebas is a religious nation. Invading another country goes against the first of their 47 precepts. Even a king wouldn’t be forgiven if they violated this. Jebas is a sleeping dragon. And that dragon is holding Triht’s sword. You have no chance of winning.”

The man ground his teeth as he glared at her. She smiled triumphantly in return.

“Well? You don’t have any reason to confine Prince Hinoki or attack Triht anymore, do you?”

“Aye. Exactly as you say.”

When he spat that out, the woman’s eyes looked at him hopefully.

“Then-”

But he thrust the plate of snacks right in front of those eyes.

“But I think I’ll refuse. I do regret having to give these back to you though.”

His desires were not limited to just I’Jibro or Jebas. With those two nations in his hand, he could destroy even larger nations.

――It was no big deal. All he had to do was destroy Triht before they could complete the swords. He had the initiative.

The woman sighed sadly.

“Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t come here to ask you a favour.”

She stared right at him.

“I came here to threaten you. You have no choice except to obey. Isn’t that right――Karasu?”

“Karasu? Who is that supposed to be…?”

When he heard that name, his vision went blurry, and he only remained standing by force of will.
He couldn’t let her see his discomposure. He pretended to remain calm, but just how successful had he been?”

“Kyousui is healthy, by the way. She’s living happily with Huuron. Ah, that reminds me, I think she’s pregnant too. Doesn’t that make you happy as her older brother?”

Ignoring the man――ignoring Karasu――the woman continued to blather on and on.
He held no lingering affection to the name he had as a child, but when he heard the nostalgic name of his sister, he failed to lie to himself any longer.
With the snack dish still in hand, he sat down atop the gorgeous rug spread by the pond’s edge.
The retainers――particularly the army――only followed Karasu so blindly because they saw Tenuhg in his overbearing way of doing things.
Tenuhg was still the Hero of Yohk’Zai to them. Even that cunning Teo Keh had blindly followed him too.
It was clear as day what would happen if the woman he himself declared as a goddess, went and announced to the world that he was an imposter.

“…How long have you known?”

It was pointless to resist any further. Having judged so, Karasu surrendered.

“I guess… since you gave me the earrings?”

“Hah. I really am filled with awe. So you knew everything from the start.”

“Not everything. I always thought it was weird when I realised that the stains on the earrings were blood. You should have been wearing them for over ten years, so why would you bleed that much?

“My suspicions only grew larger after you gave me that mantle. Since it seemed expensive, I wanted to return it, and I was connected to none other than Kyousui… and a man with red earrings.

“You know, this window connects me to the person I want to see.

“That’s why I was puzzled about it.

“As for when I was sure that he was the real Huuron, it happened a little earlier when I met the Prince of Jebas.

“――Things you receive without paying back for will end up hindering you――

“I always thought that it was a saying of Yohk’Zai, but that’s not right, is it. The Prince of Jebas told me that it was a saying passed down in a certain village in Yohk’Zai.

“And I had heard this same saying from the man who had been with Kyousui.”

The earrings and mantle he gave as payments had completely divulged his lies.

“I guess the earrings really weren’t enough.”

To think that the dated aphorism from his home town would come true and actually hinder him…
A laugh of self-mockery escaped Karasu’s lips.

“Perhaps they weren’t.”

The woman simply shrugged.

“Just to let you know, Huuron won’t agree to becoming King.”

“I could tell that from a glance. Rather than his grandfather, he’s more like his father, isn’t he. That’s why you helped him escape with your sister, right? I doubt it was purely kindness and familial love that drove you thought.”

Karasu snorted again.

It was just as she said. When the soldiers turned up looking for Iyoh’s son, Karasu realised from Huuron’s personal history that this was an opportunity of a lifetime.
It wasn’t that he had no feelings for his sister, and Huuron, his childhood friend. But his desire for advancement had been a greater driving factor than his worry for them.

“So you can just keep living as Huuron, the King of Yohk’Zai. As long as you release Prince Hinoki, and make peace with Triht, that is.”

――I see. A threat.

Karasu sighed. How could he refuse.

“Ah, also, I also have a few things I want your help with. Don’t worry, it’s all really simple stuff.”

This woman’s ‘simple’ was always anything but.

“What do you want?” asked Karasu, a little wearily.

“Did you know that some of the underground water currents have changed? It’s causing problems in eastern Insen.
On the other hand, the home of the Ottko Yu tribe that you’ve been picking on has lost its water current, and this small animal called the sunarabi has gone along with it.
Worse, the arrijighock that the Ottko Yu use, actually feed on those Sunarabi, and have moved away as well.”

“Don’t tell me that since the arrijighock have followed the sunarabi to Insen, you want me to prepare that land for them? If you’re fine with me destroying Insen, I don’t mind helping out though.”

The woman shook her hands in panic.

“No, that’s not it! Why did you suddenly come to such a crazed conclusion.”

After giving a tired sigh, the woman continued speaking.

“The sunarabi aren’t going to Insen. A few of them have, but they’ll disappear from there before long. That’s what Mira told me… aah, umm, Mira is a helper I have in the Kingdom of Insen.
She’s a genius, but she’s also kind of a scatterbrain, but anyway, she’s definitely really knowledgeable and she was certain that the sunarabi wouldn’t be coming to Insen. By the way, do you know of the Witch in Black of I’Jibro?”

“Is it a story of a witch that takes away bad children? Like any other made-up story to discipline children?”

The woman shook her head.

“According to Mira, the true form of the Witch in Black is actually the arrijighock. In the past, the arrijighock appeared as far as the I’Jibro Capital. A number of children really went missing. But right now they don’t leave the Ottko Yu area in the north. And that’s not because the Ottko Yu tribe have been making them stay there.

“The sand, huh.”

Karasu answered it for her.

“Correct! The sunarabi that appeared in Insen hated mud. Both the sunarabi and the arrijighock can only live in dry land.”

There was water underground. He finally knew what she wanted.

“You’re demanding I give them a place to live?”

“You say it rather harshly, but yes.”

The woman grumbled with a frown.
Karasu crossed his arms and sneered.

“Even if I have I’Jibro, Yohk’Zai is still a poor nation. The lands I have to give are limited as well. If I invite tribes from outside, I’ll be finished even without your little tricks! Are you telling me to do a double suicide with the Ottko Yu tribe?”

“No. Of course it won’t be for free. I’ll have the Ottko Yu tribe work as well.”

“Work?”

“Yes, they used to use the arrijighock to dig wells in the desert. I’ll have them do it again.”

“Are you telling me to change desert into fertile land? We’ll starve before anything sprouts.”

“Of course I wouldn’t ask for the impossible like that. But you can at least create an oasis, right?”

Karasu frowned. There were a number of oases. While he had been lost in the desert, that oasis city he visited was one of them. Not only that, but there were merchants who travelled between the Capital to each oasis.
Though those journeys were never as tough as the ones Karasu and his fellow villagers had braved themselves, often using routes plagued with aridity and bandits.

“So let’s create oases and establish trade routes!”

While he was caught off guard, she pressed him further.

“Moonstones from I’Jibro, zhaltkane from Insen, hahanero and glass from Jebas, frostsnow grass from Triht, coconasso from Tohji, and zora beans from Sunayu. Don’t you think trade could improve the living standards of every country? Right now the Tohji King is after zhaltkane for his new wife, and Jebas is particularly hungry for moonstones. As for Yohk’Zai, they need hahanero to keep arrijighock away as well. Even the frostsnow grass that you made fun of has its share of demand. After all, it really does make cheap wine taste like fine wine!”

Karasu was taken aback as the woman insisted with clenched fists.

“So you’re going to establish some oases, use the soldiers you prepared to invade Triht to protect merchants, and in exchange you can tax them, or charge a bodyguard’s feed, or demand recompense.”

“And also,” she continued,

“It won’t only be goods crossing the desert. People can be moved too. Most urgently, we’ll be able to move skilled water engineers across the desert from Tohji, to help protect Insen from water damage. Mira of Insen, and King Cornou of Tohji. If the geniuses of the east and west rack their brains together, I think most problems can be solved. No, I’ll definitely have them solve everything.”

Just how on earth was this simple…

Karasu could feel a headache coming on. Bringing his cup to his lips, he drained the liquor in one gulp.

“So you plan to use me as a manservant.”

“Why are you always so harsh with your words. I’m telling you to join hands with everybody, so that everybody benefits together.”

With empty cup in hand, Karasu stood up again.
Pointing at the mysterious frame she was in, he glared at her.

“Then get out from there. Just like the people living here, live on the ground and crawl through the mud like the rest of us.”

“No.”

The woman flatly refused.

“Arrogance! How can you talk about joining hands with everybody. when you alone just spectate and give orders!”

Watching him spit out these words, the woman simply tilted her head in wonder.

“Goodness. Aren’t you the one that called me a goddess? Don’t you know that gods are completely selfish and wilful? All the more so for goddesses,” she declared quite plainly.

His eyes widened, and he was lost for words.
The one who called her that really was nobody but him.
The people worshipped the gods, but the gods were never with the people.

“Ku… Kukuhahahaha!”

For some reason it all suddenly felt unbearably funny, and he began to roar in laughter.
To think that this position of King would turn into the mere manservant of a goddess.
The reason that he swapped places with Huuron was not simply because he sought riches.
He had wanted to test himself. He had wanted to see how far he could go.

But that would end as a fruitless dream.

Karasu reached out for the plate that she now held in her hand, and popped a small slice into his mouth.
The delicious taste of this new snack, tasted more bitter than anything before.

“Aye, you most certainly are a goddess. Now then, O cruel Goddess of mine. Shall we release that Prince first?”

Karasu threw away the cup in his hand, and began to walk forth.

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――3rd King of Yohk’Zai, King Huuron
He saved I’Jibro from the tyrannical Queen Akka.
Before the outbreak of war with Triht, he made peace, and avoided bloodshed.
Furthermore, he invited the Ottko Yu tribe back to the desert they had been chased out of, and using their power, he developed trade routes through the desert.
Through these actions, he revived the economy of not only his own country, but those of the neighbouring countries as well.
Together with his later exploits, these achievements caused him to be famed as the Sacred Kingdom of Yohk’Zai’s strongest and greatest king――


Hello.

Thank you for staying with me, and my incredibly slow update speeds. It took a while, but I believe that we got here thanks to all the readers that earnestly stayed with my story until the very end.
Now then, I hope that you will follow me on my next work as well


 

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Hello, it’s the translator.

There are a few short stories to go, but they were written much later than the original series, and so you can consider this to be the final chapter of the Bathroom Goddess.

So how was it? Did you enjoy the story? Were my translations okay? It’s the only third person narrated story that I got so far into. I really don’t have the best writing skills, so I struggled quite a bit with it. Still, it was a good experience.

If you did enjoy yourself, please help me share it with everybody else by rating and reviewing it on Novel Updates.

Finally, now that I’ve completed the whole series, please consider buying the light novel to support the author.  You can get it here.


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The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 19

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


Vote for Izumi here!


Under the starry heavens, a man hummed as he stirred a pot.
Ingredients that seemed to be mushrooms and vegetables bobbed up and down in the boiling liquid.
The white steam spread freely an appetising aroma, as it drifted into the sky.

Izumi’s stomach growled.
It had been a few hours since dinner, and she was feeling a little peckish now.
But she knew that if she ate now, she would regret it much later on.

“The coconasso will be done soon, so wait just a little, okay?”

Hearing Izumi’s stomach, the man smiled amiably, before accepting the zhaltkane from her.
He pressed a knife against its bamboo-like opening, and split it open.

“I’ve told you many times already. I’m fine.”

“Come now, don’t be shy.”

“No, I’m not being shy about it. I told you, if I eat before I sleep, I’ll get fat so I don’t need it.”

The man stopped his stirring hand, and carefully beheld her.

“You have nothing to worry about. In fact, I think getting a little fatter would do you good.”

“If I let my guard down because of your words, I’ll become a fatty in the blink of an eye!”

“Really? But, look, there’s really nothing in here but mushrooms and vegetables. You’ll really be fine. Honest.”

Izumi sighed at his irresponsible words.
Oh? Wasn’t Coconasso the fantastic food that saved Tohji from famine? Then wasn’t it also perhaps high in calories?
Paying no attention to Izumi, the man places slices of zhaltkane into a mortar and began to grind.

“My, you’ve really helped me out. To be honest, Coconasso Hotpot is really no good without a good dash of zhalt. Ah, it’s not that I hate it or anything, okay? It’s just that after eating the same thing for ten days…”

A complicated look of grief appeared on the man’s face, as he gazed into the distance.

“Now then, time for the finishing touches.”

After scraping the mashed zhalt into the pot, he gave it a light mix, and then tried the taste with a big spoon.

“Mn, yummy. It really does bring out the taste,” nodded the man with a smile.

After spooning it into one of two wooden bowls, he held it out to Izumi.

“Here. I wonder when the last time I shared a meal was. After all, I’ve been travelling alone for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.”

Apparently he had already decided that she would be eating.
Izumi reluctantly accepted it.

“Itadakimasu.”

When she tried a spoon of the thick, white soup, what she first experienced was a gentle, mildly sweet taste. Passing down her throat, was this umami flavour the zhalt?

“How is it?”

She could see the expectation in the eyes of the man. When he tilted his head a little, the tied, shoulder-length silver hair made a pleasant sound.

“Aah, yeah… It’s delicious,” she replied, eyes still glued to his hair.

This person… really is Princess Aqua’s brother, isn’t he…

Rare for a man, he had a beautiful face, and it closely resembled Princess Aqua’s.
Most importantly, his rare silver hair was proof of royalty.
He was the Prince of Jebas, who heard the Old Maestro’s tales of the world-travelling Conyork the Second, and who then left the country himself.
And he was now sitting in front of her, slurping coconasso soup.

Izumi stole glances at him, as she slurped from her bowl.
If he returned to Jebas, then wouldn’t the King, Princess Aqua, Utaseyu and Aschu all become happy?
But this was a prince who ran away from his own country. If she clumsily brought things up, then he might run away.
Not only that, but ‘to make the people of your motherland happy, become a sacrifice for them’ wasn’t right to her. No, but then, shouldn’t he at least return before Princess Aqua came of age?
Izumi continued to watch him, as she was confused by her own half-baked thoughts.

“It’s good, isn’t it,” smiled the Prince, who met her gaze.

“It is,” she replied without much thought――

After she heard the news last night from the woman with the stomach problems, at first she thought that she needed to tell Roten.

But then when she placed her hand against the window, she hesitated.

What if the people of the Ottko Yu tribe abandoned their current village to live together witht he arrijighock?
If they followed the sunarabi and arrijighock, in the future they would only been se as invaders, wouldn’t they?
It wasn’t guaranteed that the final destination of the sunarabi would be uninhabited like the plain with the tree.
Since she was seen as an angel, she couldn’t give careless advice to them.

Because of that, Izumi wished to be connected to somebody who could solve the problem, or perhaps somebody who give her a clue, but…
Why then, was it this person?

“Umm… is there something on my face?”

His words made her realise that she had been staring, and she looked down.

“Aah, I’m sorry for being impolite. It was nothing.”

Even she knew that she was being awfully suspicious, but the Prince showed little sign of minding, and simply replied,

“Really?”

before going back to his soup.

“You’ve been travelling alone for a long time, right? Do you have some goal?”

“Hmmm. Good question. I suppose to widen my world-view?”

I see. He’s probably following the footsteps of Conyork the Second.

Izumi was impressed with him.
But then, the Prince furrowed his brows, and then shook his head.

“No, I’ll stop this. I’m sorry, I was just putting on airs. I’m simply out having fun. It’s incredibly fun to wander here and there, and experience various cultures and specialty products. At the moment, my source of income is from using various materials that I’ve gotten, and selling balms made from them. But well, what’s actually been getting me the most money recently is the soaps and bathing powders that I sell on the side.”

“SOAPS AND BATHING POWDERS!?”

When he came clean, at first she considered trying to convince him to return and discuss things with Princess Aqua, but his next words blew such thoughts right out of her mind.

“Yes. The soap can be used from head to toe. Once you try it, your skin becomes smooth and without blemish. Not only that, but the bathing powder is multi-purpose, dealing with things from moisturisation to anti-perspiration. It’s extremely popular with housewives.”

Izumi’s eyes glittered. She couldn’t just swallow his story, but then again she had already experienced mysteries like the fire stone, or the frostsnow grass, so she believed in him just a little.

“Shall I give you one to try? As thanks for the zhaltkane.”

“IS THAT OKAY!? …Ummm, should I bring you something? I know. I got some good liquor the other day…”

In her joy, Izumi was about to climb through the window, but she suddenly grew embarrassed about openly wanting it so much.

“Nono, it would be unthinkable to accept anything else from an angel. Please, take this.”

The Prince opened up a large sack, and retrieved from within an olive bar of soap, and a porcelain jar wrapped in cloth.

“Froth up the soap well, and as for the bathing powder… Let’s see. If it’s a bath the size of that one, then perhaps two spoons would do? Please test the amount as you go.”

“Wah! Thank you. This might be the happiest trade I’ve ever made.”

Izumi gleefully accepted it.
Upon opening the lid of the jar, she was met by a fragrance similar to roses.
Not only that, but unlike the forceful rose smells of the bath powder she already used, this one was natural-smelling, fresh, and refreshing.

“What a nice smell. It’s amazing. You made this yourself, huh.”

The Prince nodded at her.

“Yes. From collecting the ingredients, to doing the mixing, all of it was done by me. But still, to think that at the end of my journey, not only would I dine with an angel, but that angel would so happily accept something I created. I really am a lucky one.”

The Prince gave a genuinely happy smile.

“Eh? End… of your journey?”

“Yes.”

Izumi stared inside the jar. When she breathed on it, the powder danced like sand.

“Could it be that this is why you gave this to me?”

“No, certainly not. Well, it is the last one, but…”

“Then how come?”

“Once I return to my country, I won’t have the time to work hard at creating medicines or bath powders any longer. To begin with, I wouldn’t be able to obtain the ingredients any longer.”

I see…

Izumi hung her head in dejection, but then shook it vigorously to expel those thoughts.
It was a happy thing for those waiting at home for him.
And what would become of her as a person if she valued bathing powder to this extent.

“But, why so suddenly?”

“A storm is…”

No sooner had he spoken did the Prince fall silent, gazing up into the sky.

Izumi watched him think, and waited for his next words, but the Prince stopped moving completely, as though his heart had been taken by the stars.

Under the moonlight, his silver hair glittered like a jewel.

Frozen like that, his beautiful face made him seem like a doll with no soul.

“What about a storm?”

The Prince seemed somehow terrifying, as he was absorbed with the night sky, so Izumi urged him to continue.

“The storm in I’Jibro. Before long, my country will also be…”

For just an instant, the Prince turned a desperate look to Izumi. But he immediately lowered his gaze, and then smiled as though it had never happened.

“The reason that I’m going back to my country, is because I’m going back to where I belong. That’s all.”

While the Prince seemed to have gotten over something, in contrast Izumi was panicked.

“W-Wait, wait. What do you mean ‘storm in I’Jibro’? What happened to Prince Hinoki!?”

“Prince Hinoki… Aah, the tragic prince of I’Jibro.”

“Yeah, the one that was confined in the tower by his step-mother! He better have left the tower!”

After her reflexive threat, she came back to her senses. The Prince of Jebas had nothing to do with it.

“I’m sorry,” she apologised, but the Prince shook his head and told her not to mind.

“Prince Hinoki. Yes, I hear that he left the tower.”

Izumi fell to the ground in relief.

Thank goodness. You managed to get out.

Tears of joy gathered in her eyes, but his next words made that joy vanish.

“Because the place he’s confined now is the Yohk’Zai royal castle.”

“Huh?”

“Prince Hinoki is presently confined in Yohk’Zai. Do you know him?”

“…Why…?”

“Eh?”

“Why is he confined in Yohk’Zai’s royal castle!? Who did it!? Who trapped him somewhere like that! …Could it be that Queen Akka…”

Had Huuron failed? It couldn’t be that Queen Akka killed him…
Izumi blanched at the horrifying thought.

“Why would Queen Akka be the one to trap him in Yohk’Zai’s castle?”

The Prince’s voice was deeply confused.
Izumi questioned him in a trembling voice.

“Then who did it?”

“King Huuron of course.”

It felt like something had struck her in the head.
When she heard ‘Yohk’Zai’ earlier, she had also considered this, somewhere in her heart. But she simply didn’t want to believe it.

“But, why would he… What about Queen Akka?”

“Queen Akka has passed away.”

Izumi gazed at the Prince of Jebas in a daze.

“An explosion of unknown origins occurred in the castle. It was reduced to rubble, and Queen Akka was discovered beneath that rubble.”

“Explosion?”

Her heart skipped a beat.
She recalled what those soldiers had been desperately protecting, and suddenly it felt like her chest was being crushed.

“They say that because of the tragedy at the castle and the death of his step-mother, Prince Hinoki was in no state to govern due to the emotional shock. Because of that, King Huuron sheltered the Prince, and was also asked by him to govern I’Jibro in his stead… Or so the rather convenient story goes. Anybody with the slightest desire to think would realise the truth.”

――Wine and gunpowder.
Huuron had told her the contents of the carts.

“King Huuron had come to I’Jibro’s royal castle, there just happened to be an explosion, Queen Akka and many high officials just happened to be casualties, and Yohk’Zai’s soldiers just happened to be completely unharmed. How could anything so convenient happen by change.”

“――Is it… my fault?”

“Sorry?”

The Prince furrowed his beautiful brows at Izumi’s feeble mutter.

“I asked him to. When he was on the way to I’Jibro, I asked him to save Prince Hinoki from the tower. So Huuron…”

“Please calm down. That should absolutely not be the case.”

The Prince firmly rebuked her.
Izumi sluggishly raised her head.

“Because you asked him on the way, King Huuron took possession of the I’Jibro castle? Do you think he could destroy the castle and take over I’Jibro with no preparations at all? Of course he had planned to do this with his soldiers from the start.”

In other words, even before Izumi’s request, Huuron had known about Queen Akka’s trap, and still intended to march to I’Jibro.

“With Prince Hinoki as a good reason, nobody in I’Jibro would be able to revolt against him. While everybody gazed on in shock, I’Jibro fell under Yohk’Zai’s rule――regardless of whatever they say on the surface.”

“And now, King Huuron is going to bear his fangs against Jebas…”

Izumi was calm again.
According to Prince Hinoki, Jebas was called a paradise. She knew why Huuron was aiming for it.
She recalled his eyes filled with brilliance――and the ambitions that burnt behind it.

“So you really did know who I was, Angel.”

How could she not. Just look at his hair.

“The Prince of Jebas, right? Because Princess Aqua almost got married to a much older man, she really hates you now, you know.”

The Prince’s handsome face cramped a little.

“What on earth is Father thinking… No, I suppose I’m not one to talk.”

Both this Prince and Princess Aqua were beautiful. If it was their father, surely he was beautiful too, or so she thought as she was imagining his face when, suddenly, a bearded man came to mind.

“But wait, isn’t there Triht in between Jebas and Yohk’Zai? As I recall, the leader of Triht, Setsugen, was looking for Yohk’Zai’s fire stones.”

Could it be that Triht joined hands with Yohk’Zai?

“Triht is in a crisis right now. Apparently the ground is frozen, and they need fire stones. And so they asked Yohk’Zai for assistance, but Yohk’Zai rejected them. With their backs to the wall, Triht declared war on them.”

“That can’t be… They told me that fire stones could be found lying about just anywhere.”

“Just because it is a common stone, you believe it natural to offer it out of the kindness of your heart?”

Izumi looked at the Prince.
His tone was unexpectedly grim.

“That is wrong. Even a common stone is still an asset of Yohk’Zai’s. If Triht needed fire stones no matter what, they would have no choice but to enter into negotiations with Yohk’Zai. If that wasn’t possible, they would need to take other measures. If you gave aid without reward, Triht would grow used to having things handed to them. And Triht would rot because of it. ――Things you receive without paying back for will end up hindering you.”

Izumi could only stay silent.
The Prince tilted his head, and smiled amiably. Suddenly, his severe aura disappeared.

“――Just kidding. That was a saying handed down in a certain Yohk’Zai village. I just wanted to try saying it once. On an individual level, you are most definitely correct. But most of Yohk’Zai is covered by sand. You couldn’t call it fertile. If they saved Triht for free, the citizens would surely find it unforgivable.”

However he interpreted her silence, the Prince took her hand to comfort her.

“As an angel, it can’t be helped that you’re unfamiliar with the circumstances of the lower world. Were everybody as selfless as you…”

He was wrong.
Izumi wasn’t selfless at all. Even just now, her feelings prioritised bathing powder over the people waiting for this Prince.
No human was selfless.

“Triht erred in their choice. Now that I’Jibro has fallen into the hands of Yohk’Zai, Triht will stand little chance. And King Huuron has gained yet another excuse. An excuse to destroy Triht, you see. And using Triht as a foothold, Jebas would be next…”

After the Prince bitterly declared this, a strong wind extinguished the campfire.

The moon seemed even brighter, and illuminated the surroundings.

The overlapping mountains of sand were blown into new shapes.

Somewhere in this very desert, Prince Hinoki was held captive.

Izumi recalled the words the Insen woman had shouted during their parting. She hadn’t managed to catch it all, but it was surely about Prince Hinoki…

“Hey, Prince of Jebas. It really is my fault after all,” she quietly declared.

His eyes grew dark as he watched her.

“They were seeds that I sowed. That’s why…”

“You’ll reap them yourself?”

“No.”

Izumi shook her head.

“Things are going to get a little busy for me. Perhaps I might need to borrow your strength in the future. When that time comes, would you perhaps lend it to me?”

“As you wish, Angel.”

As the Prince of Jebas bowed reverently, she bade him goodbye and closed the window.

Just as she told him, Izumi was about to become busy. Relaxing in the bath would have to wait.

She was going to have to meet a great many people. And she was going to have to talk with them.

But she had already decided who she would be meeting first.

Izumi closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.

She remembered the face of the man with the earrings.

“The King of the Desert, descended from Yohk’Zai’s Founding King, Tenuhg. Please. Connect me to him.”

Izumi lent an ear to the pounding of her heart as she opened the window.

Please. Connect me to him.

――And as she prayed for this in her heart…


One chapter left until the end.

 

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^ That was the author’s note.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 18

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


Vote for Izumi here!


Mira was born in a peaceful village.

Situated far from the Capital, the soil was fertile, and its seasons were beautiful.
If you headed to the eastern tip of the Kingdom of Insen, you would find some mountains, and upon crossing them you would arrive in the land of sand.
Not only was it situated in a basin formed by those mountains, its summerr were sultry, its winters freezing, but it was troubled by neither flooding nor snow.

Almost all of the villagers made a livelihood of growing zhaltkane. It was by no means an easy lifestyle. Come harvest, things became so busy that you would even want the help of a khat. Even so, the time they spent here was relaxed, and warm.

The price of zhaltkane had long been stable. Even if they couldn’t live in luxury, it was possible to live on zhaltkane without lacking food nor clothing. Perhaps that was why the villagers were all so gentle and carefree.

Mira had a thought. If she had been born somewhere else, she would surely have suffered in life.
Mira was thankful for her family. She was thankful to all the villagers. And she was thankful to the zhaltkane too.
The steady lifestyle gave the villagers peace of mind, and it gave birth to a place accepting enough to even accept a person like her.

Mira was aware that she was an oddball.
Since infancy, Mira had always seemed to have a few screws loose. She would always be staring blankly into the sky, and even when you called out to her, she wouldn’t reply. She would also have trouble staying in one place, and would often disappear before anybody noticed. And finally, she would always be discovered in outrageous places.
It was not just the one time that the villagers had to search for her. Even so, none of them rejected her, and they simply watched over her kindly.
Everyone had seen her as a child that they needed to protect.
And when she turned eight, her assessment suddenly changed.
The reason she stared blankly into the sky was because she was finding questions from across the world, and thinking about their answers. The reason she would never reply was because the questions demanded her undivided attention, and she never realised you were talking to her to begin with. The reason she would never stay in one place was because once she found her interest in something, she would lose sight of everything else.

The teacher who realised her talent was also an oddball. Although he had graduated from an elite university in the Capital, he turned his back on the path of becoming an official, and instead taught a school in the backwater village that Mira lived in.

Once, Mira had asked him why he came to her village.
He gave a somewhat self-mocking smile, and muttered,

“Because I discovered that I was a ribitt in a well. I ran away.

“But you…” said the teacher, as he placed his hand on Mira’s head.

Not long afterwards, he counselled her parents to let her attend school in the Capital.
At first, they doubted his words, when he claimed that their daughter was an undeniable genius.
But after they saw Mira distinguish herself under his teachings, they began to seriously consider it.

However, Mira herself refused.

Growing zhaltkane granted a steady lifestyle. But to support a child living in the capital on it was uneasy.
Not only that, Mira was female. Even if she became an excellent student with fantastic grades, far from becoming a high official, it was doubtful as to whether she could even enter university.
There was no point to forcing a burden onto her parents and two brothers if she couldn’t pay them back.
The teacher mourned her talent, but Mira had no regrets.
Mira knew that there were plenty of things to learn, even without going to a fancy university in the Capital.
The flowers in the fields, the insects that crawled the earth, the moon and stars as they glittered in the night sky; questions about the world were endless, and she would never be lacking in things to ponder. To Mira, everything around her was a teacher as well.

And so, Mira’s worth had completely changed after the teacher had moved into the village.

Until eight, she had been worried about as an absent-minded child, but after that she was praised as a prodigy.
And now, when she was twenty, her worth changed once again.

――The difference between a genius and an idiot is paper thin.

Sometimes in disbelief, and sometimes in knowing jest, this line had become used to describe her.

Even though she was older now, neither her occasional absentmindedness, nor her habit of disappearing had been fixed at all. She was painfully aware that it was a problem.
Mira knew best that this new assessment fit her perfectly.

And now, considering the situation she currently found herself in…

“…I might really be an idiot,”

she muttered, as she gave a huge sigh.

Why had things come to this…?

It all began with a lake on the edge of the village. She had set out to observe the eggs of an insect that made their nests in asch leaves, found on lake shores. It was then that she had noticed the change.

Even though it hadn’t been raining, the water level had increased.
At this point, she should have run back to the village and discussed it with the villagers and her teacher.
The lakewater was used for irrigation as well as paddies. A change to the lake was a serious matter for the village.

But Mira’s bad habit reared its head.

With a new question in her mind, everything else was pushed out.
It was as though all sound from her surroundings disappeared, and her vision narrowed until she could only see one thing.
All she knew was that it had to do with the lake.
Mira walked the circumference of the lake, and noticed that one of the streams feeding into it had deepened. And so, she began to walk and follow it upstream.

She continued to observe as she walked, careful of the terrain beneath her feet. When night fell, she would set up a bonfire and rest, and when day broke, she would resume her walking.
Mira continued to walk, as she gave thanks to her mother, who had prepared food and a flint because of her habit of becoming a vagrant, and finally, she reached what she believed to be the source.

She was in a forest now.
A common, zuki forest that the villagers would often come to for lumber.
But there was a clear change. The ground was muddy for a large area around the forest.
The river continued beyond the river, but the muddiness stopped here. It was likely that this place was the cause then.

With a tree branch, Mira dug the ground here and there. Just digging a little was enough to find water.

Zuki trees preferred a drier environment. Finding this much water here would meant that even the healthiest trees here would one day rot and die.

As for the cause, first, Mira considered changes in the climate, causing a mountain peak somewhere to thaw and flood the place.
But how strange then, that only this place was wet.

In that case, the next idea she came up with was a change in the currents of the water table.
Considering how more water gushed out the further down she dug, this seemed to be correct.

At the moment, the increase in water volume was just enough to cover the forest. But if this continued to grow, or perhaps the subterranean water currents changed again, then the zhaltkane would no doubt be affected as well.

This time, the thought of going back to the village occurred to her.
She walked around the quagmire, measuring its scope, as well as the water level on wet trees.

Then, just as she thought to return, and was wiping her muddy hands on her clothing, it happened.
Two never-before-seen, small, long-eared animals appeared in front of her.
The animal jumped out from a hole about the size of two cupped hands, and then began scratching the base of its ear with its forelegs.
Its eyes were round, and under the mud, there was white fur. After shaking off the mud from its body, it noticed Mira, and then bounced off into the forest.

At that moment, the idea of returning to the village disappeared from her mind.

She chased after the light, hopping animals. She was out of breath, her legs were dirtied from splashing mud, but Mira paid no mind.

After a long, long chase, it suddenly ended.
It was when she left the forest, and had just reached a grass plain.
The animal let out a cry, and then suddenly, its long ears could no longer be spied peeping from out of the grass.
She ran to where it had been in a panic, and found that both animals were laying there, bleeding.

Wondering what on earth had happened, she looked around but only saw grass, blowing in the wind.
Although Mira felt that something was wrong, she grabbed the two animals, planning on bringing it back to study.

Thinking back, that had been a mistake.

Just as she registered two lustrous black poles, rising from the bloodied earth, those poles turned out to be a gargantuan insect that appeared before her.
Seeing it clack its horn-like, feeler-like organs together, Mira immediately placed the animals into her bag, and ran.
As she ran, she looked back to find that the insect had disappeared… Instead, a swell in the ground seemed to follow her.
It was even more frightening than had the insect been chasing her in the open.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Stay awayy! Please stay awayy! I’m all skin and boness! I’m not tasty at alll!””

The massive insect answered her desperate plea by appearing from underground.
Mira clung to a lone tree in the plains, desperately trying to climb.
Tree climbing was not her strong point, but her desperation somehow got her up.
But she couldn’t relax. Although the insect’s six, bony legs didn’t seem suitable for climbing trees, if it did manage to climb it, it would be the end of the line for her.
Face soiled by mucous and tears, Mira prayed that it wouldn’t be able to reach her.
But Mira’s prayer would be answered in a mysterious way.

A boy, and then for some reason a half-naked woman. Two ghosts appeared to save her.
Ordered by the boy ghost, she tossed the long-eared beast――apparently called a sunarabi――away from herself.
The ghost duo immediately disappeared, but the insect――called an arrijighock by the ghosts――stayed put for a while, by the sunarabi blood.
Her hands, still trembling from terror, rubbed the ghost boy’s wet clothing against her skin.
Only once she made sure that the sharp smell had transferred to her skin, could she finally feel a little relieved.

Just as the boy suggested, Mira forced her terror-stricken mind to work again, and realised that the arrijighock was staying away from the smell.
She then waited patiently.
The arrijighock wandered about regretfully by the bloodstains, before eventually disappearing into the earth.
Once the sun had fully set, she wrapped the ghost boy’s clothes around her legs and climbed down from the tree.

Then, she ran.

She ran, and ran, and ran.
She had reluctantly left behind the bloodstained bag.
Thanks to that, the flint, the small leather cape soaked in oils to repel the rain, as well as her portable foods had come to nothing.
It was only when her knees shook, her legs felt weak, and she was sure that she couldn’t run a step further did she find a boulder to crawl onto.
She wet her sore throat with her saliva, and then lay down on the rock. Looking up at the star-filled sky, she finally calmed down.
There was a lot to think about. A change to underground water currents, sunarabi, and arrijighock. She had a lot of questions about the ghosts too, but considering that as well would have exceeded Mira’s capacity.
She decided to forget about it for now.

Mira had only intended to use it to calm herself down, but as she traced each constellation, one by one, eventually she became absorbed in it.
After tracing over fifty constellations, her eyelids grew heavy.
Just before she drifted off, an urge that overpowered even sleepiness assaulted her.

――My stomach… hurts…

Was it because she had been exposed to too much fear, or was it because she had lay down on this cold boulder without wiping her sweat…
Prompted by the intense pain, Mira rolled off the boulder, dug a hole, and then crouching across it, she removed her clothing.
At some point, her sweat had run cold.

After making it just on time, and relieving herself of the pain, she looked around, and then blanched.
As for why, it was because the place was surrounded by nothing but urcyn trees, with their poisonous sap.

Had she not been obsessed with counting the stars, had she taken care of the cold, had she observed the surrounding vegetation, had she not chased after the sunarabi, and had she just simply headed straight back from the lake to begin with…

Regret tormented her endlessly.

With only one hope left, she checked her pockets. Inside her jacket, she found only a cylinder, hard to the touch, and was crestfallen. It was zhaltkane. Before going to the lake, she had gone to the fields to cut off a piece to see how well things were doing. Naturally, she couldn’t use this to wipe herself.

Would she give up wiping, or would she deal with the rash?

Pitiably stuck between these two horrible choices, she gave a large sigh and muttered to herself.

I knew it…

“…I might really be an idiot.”

“Eh? An idiot?”

Even though nobody should have answered, a confused voice reached her ears.

“That’s weird. I asked the window to connect me to somebody knowledgeable.”

The mutters came from the voice of a young woman.
Mira turned her head in confusion. There was still a long way from the village, and she remembered that there hadn’t even been a hut around here. This wasn’t a place for a woman to be wandering in the middle of the night.

“Well, whatever.”

Mira could hear the woman’s dumbfounded voice from the other side of the boulder.

“Ummmm, are you perhaps troubled? Or rather, where on earth are you?”

“I-, I’m here! I’m actually very troubled right now…!”

It was impossible for her not to be suspicious of a voice in the middle of nowhere. But you couldn’t escape an emergency without compromise, and more importantly than anything, the fact that it was a woman had encouraged her to seek help.

“Mn? The other side of the boulder? Could you maybe come here instead?”

“That’s, umm, I’m kind of stuck here at the moment…”

“Then just wait a little, okay? I’ll grab some clothes and shoes, and head there once I’m changed.”

Mira fell silent.

If she needed to go get clothes, then didn’t that mean that this woman was currently naked?
Mira had checked many times. There was no sign of any humans in this forest. What was a woman doing walking about naked here!?

――C-, Could it be that she’s on a lover’s rendezvous…?

Just thinking that had turned Mira bright red.
And then that bright red turned deathly white.

If she was on a rendezvous with a lover, then of course, that meant there was a man nearby. If the two of them came here, they’d see her squatting here with her whole butt on display. No, even if it was just the woman, it wouldn’t change the fact that it was embarrassing.

Mira frantically called out to stop her.

“S-Stop please. It’s a bit problematic for you to come over right now…”

“Oh. Really? That’s troubling. I actually wanted to ask you for a favour, but… Ah, I know!”

Apparently the woman had thought of something.
Mira waited patiently.

After a while, the woman’s voice came again.

“I’m going to fly it overrr. Catch it, okayy?”

Eh? Catch what?*

Before Mira could ask, something glid gently through the air, to land before her eyes.

When Mira first saw it soar through the air, she thought it was a paper kite.
In fact, her master was a kite enthusiast. It was his dream to create a kite large enough to ride on. To support him, she helped with the schematics and materials, but for some reason the villagers stopped them in a panic.
Because she had read through various books on paper kite making from the capital, she had a little confidence in her knowledge of them.
But when she reached out and picked up the paper, she found that it was different to any paper kite she knew.

The thing in her hands had been created through folding.
With a pointed head, and a set of wings, it brought the image of a bird to mind.
Was the repeatedly folded head, and the weight added to it, done in order to modify its centre of gravity and lifting power?
Curious about how it was made, she unfolded it, and it became a piece of paper in her hands.

Mira gasped.

It was said that the rich merchants of the Capital used not leaves, but paper, to wipe their butts!

This woman had surely known about Mira’s predicament, and sent this to help her, while tactfully pretending not to know anything.

Although Mira felt it was a waste to do this to such a curiously-folded kite, the woman said that she had some favour she needed to ask as well.

“Hey, did it reach you?” urged the woman.

Mira resolved herself. She needed to return this favour.

Just before she wiped her butt, some words became visible under the moonlight, but she paid no heed and wiped, before throwing the paper into the hole, and then burying it up.
After fixing her clothing, she climbed onto the boulder. As expected, the woman was on the other side of it. And as expected, she was stark naked.
What was unexpected, was that the woman was not just an ordinary woman.
Mira remembered this mysterious rectangular vehicle with its shining lights.
The woman was the ghost that saved Mira from the arrijighock.
When she first witnessed a ghost, something she had always thought to be imaginary, she was struck with shock, and then fright.
But now that one had saved her from a crisis, not once but twice, even that terror had softened quite a bit.

“Thank you very much. You saved me.”

When Mira came from behind the boulder, she found the woman looking at her with surprise.

“Eh? Saved you? …Or rather, aren’t you the person that was attacked by the arrijighock?”

“Yes. Thank you for helping me that time.”

“You can thank Roten. I didn’t particularly…”

Mira guessed that Roten was the name of the ghost boy.

“Um, this may be an awkward question, but was that insect your familiar, Lady Ghost?”

Now that she was meeting with a ghost for the first time, she found her curiosity welling up.

“Ah, no, I’m not a ghost or anything. Roten isn’t either, of course. Ah, but Roten’s tribe, the Ottko Yu tribe can communicate with arrijighocks, so maybe calling them a familiar isn’t entirely wrong.”

“The Ottko Yu tribe. I have heard of them. The ill-fortuned tribe chased out of the land of sand. If I remember correctly, they made a living digging wells, or something…”

“What the. So you really are knowledgeable.”

The ghost …or rather, the naked woman, smiled happily at her.

“Sorry for being so blunt, but could you tell me what that letter before said?”

Mira very nearly failed to swallow her shriek.
That wasn’t paper given to wipe her butt!?

“After you’re done with it, you can do whatever you like with it. It’s just a guess, but I think it will be very helpful to you in the future.”

It was already helpful…

“By the way, where is it?”

Perhaps feeling some doubt about how Mira was tense and silent, the woman sent her a searching gaze.

“Eh? ….Ummm …That… Ummm…”

Her whole body ran with a cold sweat.
The woman said that she wasn’t a ghost, but she was definitely an existence with inhuman and transcendental powers.
If Mira earned her wrath, she might even lose her life.

“Oh? Did it not reach you? Maybe I shouldn’t have used a paepererr plene…” muttered the woman, as she scratched her head.

Mire couldn’t bear it any more, and fell to the ground.

“My deepest apologies! My stomach was upset, and after I finished my business I used it to clean myself. I buried it together with the waste, b-but there was something important written on it, wasn’t there!? I will go dig it up. Only, because my stomach was upset, there was a lot of liquid and… whether it can still be read is…”

She really was an idiot. The biggest idiot in all the land. Even though she had just barely survived, here she had gone and thrown her life away again. She couldn’t help but feel regret over not being able to live to see her master fulfil his dreams of soaring the skies.

“Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh~~~ No, that was my fault…”

Hearing the stumped voice, Mira looked up to find the woman at her wits end.

“So that’s what you meant when you didn’t want me to come over, huh.”

“Are you not angry?” timidly asked Mira.

The woman simply gave a self-depreciating smile.

“Without knowing what was going on, I even went and asked you for a favour. That was my fault.”

“I really am sorry…”

Mira hung her head. The woman was a surprisingly good person, which made Mira feel all the more pathetic for failing to help her.
She tried to at least remember what she saw under the moonlight. It wasn’t the language used in the Kingdom of Insen, but she recalled her master teaching her in the past.

“Umm, from what I could tell, I think I saw something like “toy” and “custard” or something. That was truly all I saw. How can I possibly apologise…”

“Ummm, don’t be so down, okay? Ah-, I know! I actually have one more favour to ask, so could you maybe help with that? Please lend me your knowledge. I’ve been looking for somebody to read that arrow letter and answer my question, you see.”

“I will do anything I can to be of use,” replied Mira, her face now blossomed into a bright smile.

“Thank goodness. You see, there was actually this ceremony to determine the next chief of the Ottko Yu tribe, and I’m actually wondering about the words of the arrijighock that Roten heard while we were there.”

“The words of the arrijighock?”

“Yes, they kept saying “We can’t stay here” and “It isn’t here” and “Let’s chase after it” and they were looking for sunarabi. And also, Yuataree, ah, Yuataree is Roten’s big sister, you see. She’s also the new chief, and she said that the insects had been murmuring something over and over again. So, it’s just a thought, okay? If all the sunarabi have disappeared somewhere, then the arrijighock will be starved for food, right? Then won’t that mean the Ottko Yu tribe will be thrown into a crisis as well? After all, they depend on each other, the tribe and the arrijighock.”

“That makes sense.”

“And so what I wanted to ask was, where exactly have the sunarabi gone? ――Actually, now that I mention it, you were holding sunarabi the last time we met, weren’t you… Where was that?”

Mira could boast of her carelessness. But the woman in front of her seemed to be a good match in that respect.

“This is the Kingdom of Insen. We’re situated to the west-northwest of the land of sand, Yohk’Zai.”

“…Then, does that mean we’re quite far from the Ottko Yu tribe?”

“I don’t know where exactly the Ottko Yu tribe are living, but I suspect we are quite far from them.”

“I suppose we would be. Aah, geez, why did the sunarabi move so far away. Isn’t there any way we can get them to go back? Could we use the arrijighock to herd them back, or something?”

Mira held her chin in thought for a while, before shaking her head.

“Even if we chase them back, I do not believe that we could return them to where the Ottko Yu tribe are living. First, let us think about why the sunarabi moved to begin with.”

Mira firmly believed that everything had a reason.
From the changes in the shape of the moon, to the reason that appas fell from trees, none of it happened ‘just because’. There was always a reason.
There was an incident that happened half a year after her teacher first moved to their village. The baabaas in Mira’s family, as well as the neighbouring households, suddenly started having trouble producing milk.
The adults all ignored the issue, and wrote it off with the reason, “Well, this stuff happens sometimes.”
Sometimes there would be a lot of milk, and sometimes there would be less. One day, the baabaas would start producing milk again, they reasoned, and left it alone.
But Mira couldn’t help but wonder. The baabaas in her family were all young, and ate a lot too, so she couldn’t think of why they wouldn’t be producing milk any more.
Mira couldn’t help but want to find out why. And so she skipped school, and spent the whole day following them around. She waited until her family fell asleep, and then with a pillow in one hand, she waited through the night by the baabaas’ side, and finally came upon the reason.

――There were flees in the baabaa beddings.

The baabaas were being bitten by the many flees, and because of the discomfort, they stopped producing milk.
In addition to the answer, Mira also received itching all over her body, her father’s fist on her head, as well as his thanks for her troubles.
The villagers immediately burned all the bedding, and after that began smoking the flees.
This incident gave Mira confidence, and conviction.
Everything happened for a reason.

The sunarabi hadn’t simply left their old home ‘just because’. They hadn’t simply come to the Kingdom of Insen ‘just because’.
The arrijighock chased after the sunarabi.
Then what were the sunarabi chasing after, that brought them all the way here?

Mira’s thoughts immediately brought her into a world of silence.

The abnormalities in the lake. The muddied forest. The sunarabi that appeared from the hole, and the arrijighock that tunnelled through the earth.
――Finally, the ancient profession of the Ottko Yu.

The many untied threads came together into a single rope.

“The sunarabi were chasing after the water!”

“Eh? Water?”

“That’s right. The underground water currents changed. The sunarabi I found had come out from the ground. The sunarabi probably move between the surface and the subterranean water currents. The reason that the Ottko Yu tribe were able to dig wells in the past was because the arrijighock preyed on the sunarabi, and the tribe could use them to determine the underground water flows!”

“Oohh!” exclaimed the woman, as she clapped in applaud. “In that case, the Ottko Yu probably can’t keep living where they are now, huh.”

Mira nodded.

The problem would extend beyond just the Ottko Yu tribe. If the underground water currents had changed, it would affect lands everywhere. Insen as well.
Mira produced the zhaltkane from her pocket.

“What’s that?”

Zhaltkane. Would you be so kind as to look at it?”

Mira passed the zhaltkane over, and the woman examined it curiously from various angles.

“It’s a produce for flavouring that my village cultivates, but because of the changes in the water table, we might not be able to any longer…”

Mira’s voice was dark. How was she going to break this news to the villagers who were depending on this for their livelihoods?

“I see. So it isn’t only the Ottko Yu that’s troubled. Hmmm… To be honest, I think I’ve gone way past just ‘meddling’ by now…” muttered the woman, powerlessly. “Should I let Roten know first? But then…”

The woman groaned.

“Hahh, I guess I’m just going to rest for today. Gotta wake up early tomorrow. This was a, uh, zhaltkane was it? Could I take this? If I don’t take something from here, I might not be able to connect to the next person.”

Mira didn’t understand what she was talking about, but it was nothing to lose a zhaltkane or two. She immediately consented.

The woman lifted her arms wearily, and placed a hand against the rim of the vehicle.
A rattling sound reached Mira’s ears, and then the entrance shut.
Just before the woman disappeared, Mira remembered.

It wasn’t “toy”, it was “boy”. And it wasn’t “custard”, it was “custody.”

“That letter! It said “boy” and “custody”!”

Mira quickly shouted just before, far from only the woman, even the vehicle disappeared without a trace――


Oh gods. I haven’t washed my hands yet…

 

*妹*

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“things became so busy that you would even want the help of a khat.”
If you replace khat with ‘cat’, you get a Japanese saying that means ‘super busy’.

Couldn’t think of an English equivalent, sorry.

Also, zhaltkane looks like sugarcane.


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The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 17

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


This chapter is dedicated to Komo! Thanks for playing along, Komo! You really didn’t read much though!

If anybody else wants to read visual novels with us, join us here! Just introduce yourself to get voice privileges!

Also, vote on the two polls on the front page!


Sorry guys. I’ve been translating koku wrong. The one the author is using is 30 minutes long. Been getting them mixed up with the Chinese shichen. I blame Vanadis.
I’ll go over the old chapters to check for other such mistakes. In my defence though, koku has changed a lot in Japan, throughout the ages.


The stench of alcohol filled the room.
Izumi glanced at the bag behind her. Long ears, stained with red liquid, were peeping out of the bag.
It was unmistakably the source of the smell.
Not only that, the more she got used to the smell, the more bloody it seemed to smell.
Just how on earth would one describe this unique stench?
Perhaps if you dove into a dumpster with your heavy drinking friend.

Oh? Speaking of which, they still haven’t paid me back for last week at the bar…

Thought Izumi, as she tried to escape reality. Unfortunately, the small hand gripping her arm wouldn’t let her.

When she turned around, she found Roten’s sharp glare.
His anger was completely justified. Izumi knelt to his eye-level, and then lowered her head.

“I’m sorry! It’s always gone pretty well, so I thought it would this time too, but…”

She started with an energetic apology, but her voice grew smaller as time went on.
Thinking about it, perhaps she had gotten carried away.
She had been completely convinced that the window would connect her to where she wanted, and that she would definitely be of use to them.
Now that she was calm, she realised that it had also connected to people she didn’t want to meet.

As she reflected, Izumi looked at Roten.
Even if their appearances were different, he reminded her of the boy trapped in the tower.
Prince Hinoki who wanted to quickly become an adult.
Izumi had felt anger at Queen Akka ever since.
And when she considered that Roten was being tormented by that same queen, the rage caused the blood to rush to her head.

Perhaps she shouldn’t have carelessly promised.

Even so.

All she could do was hope that the window would connect to the right person.
In that case, there was only one thing to do.
She took Roten’s hand as he trembled in anger. He tried to shake her off, but she squeezed tightly.

“I really am sorry. Before the ritual begins, there’s two koku left, right?”

Izumi looked at the control panel in the way. The illuminated top half showed the numbers of a clock. It would start an hour from now.

Calm down. It’s okay, there’s still time.

Telling herself this, she stared into Roten’s eyes.

“Before the ritual begins, I’ll get the window to connect somehow.”

Even if she shouldn’t have made promises she couldn’t be certain she could keep, what would happen if she told him the truth?
The boy desperately holding his tears would become anxious.

“I’ll make it connect, so just believe me and wait. Please.”

Blood oozed from his lips as he bit them.
Roten glared at Izumi with anger in his eyes.

“One koku. If in one koku you haven’t managed to do it, I’ll jump out myself!”

Izumi wanted to shriek.
It caused her to imagine something from a gore film, and the blood left her face.
Izumi nodded like a bobblehead.

“I-I got it. I got it, so don’t be hasty.”

Roten didn’t reply. In exchange, he stared at her with bloodshot, and teary eyes.
His eyes seemed to tell her to hurry, yet at the same time, told her that he believed in her.
Under his gaze, she stood in front of the window.
She took a deep breath, and then slowly exhaled.

――Please!
――Please connect to Roten’s sister! Yua… Yua… What was it again?

Izumi turned fearfully back to Roten.

“Umm, what was, your sister’s name again…?”

His temples twitched.

“Yua! I remember the Yua! It’s a name that we don’t have in the Heavens, so it was a little hard to remember, hahaha…”

Had she ever been so terrified of a primary schooler before?
Roten stared at her with a look that could kill, before silently sitting down on the rim of the bathtub and crossing his arms. His hands gripped his arms, as though he was struggling not to strangle her.

“It’s Yuataree,” he whispered.

Izumi went over the name again and again in her head.
Even if she forgot her own phone number, she would definitely remember this name.
Time to start again.
Izumi placed her hand against the window, and then took a deep breath.

“Connect me to Yuataree! If you don’t, I’ll turn you into fixed window!” she shouted in anger, before opening the window with a bang.

The scenery changed.
Hot, dry air, wafted into the bathroom.
A vast desert expanse lay before her eyes.

A desert?

She wondered, but when she looked to her left and right, she found boulders strewn about.
No, not just there. There were boulders far into the distance, as well as right beneath her window.
A large desert clearing was surrounded by boulders.
Far into the distance, just across from where Izumi was, stood a large tent atop a giant boulder.
Beneath the tent, and immediately around it, Izumi could see people standing about. It was too far, and she couldn’t see the faces, but all of them wore the same blue clothes.

“Which one is Sister? Where is Sister!?”

She didn’t know when he approached, but Roten screamed with a trembling voice as he scanned the surroundings.
Before Izumi could call out to him, they heard a confused voice.

“That voice… it can’t be, Roten?”

The voice came from close by. Shockingly close by. Izumi almost fell over in surprise.
When Izumi leant out of the window just a little, she immediately came face to face with a woman who looked right back at her.
She looked a lot like Roten. It was definitely Yuataree. She had been right next to the window.
She was kneeling on top of a carpet, itself on top of a boulder.

“I did it…”

It felt like Izumi would collapse from the relief.

“Angel!? Roten!?”

Yuataree’s eyes visibly widened in shock.

“Sister.”

“Why did you come!”

Roten’s voice was relieved, but Yuataree’s rebuke cut him off.

“…The insects are stirring.”

“Eh?”

Izumi tilted her head.
She couldn’t see insects anywhere. It was just sand and boulders, as far as the eye could see. Not only that, she couldn’t hear the cacophony that the insects made, like rough metal on metal.
But Roten looked at the sandy clearing with a serious expression.
When she happened to look at Yuataree, she found her watching the sand with a sad expression.”

“You can hear it, can’t you, Roten. I can’t anymore…”

Yuataree seemed to scan the sand, as though looking for what she had lost.
But eventually she gave a small shake of her head.
Yuataree gently placed her palm on the hand Roten held against the windowframe.

“It’s fine. I already know that these insects haven’t been calm these last few days.”

“…Last few days? Why haven’t I heard of this!”

“I received a report from the nest guards that they’ve been repeatedly whispering something too quietly to hear.”

“Please, Sister, you must leave this to me!”

No sooner had he said this, did Roten try to leave the bathroom.

“I will not!” she roared.

She stood there firmly with her back straightened, and looked down at Roten.
Izumi and Roten looked up at her and shuddered.
Her caring expression was nowhere to be seen, and her gaze was now sagacious and dignified.
It caused one to lose their breath.
――Even though she wasn’t too different from Izumi in age, where was this force coming from?
It surely came from the difference in pressure they had, growing up.
Had Izumi been acting incredibly presumptuously?
As these thoughts rose up in her, Izumi quietly dropped her gaze.

“But, Sister, you can no longer…”

But next to her, Roten had not yet given up.
Izumi looked at him in shock. Even if it was his sister, he really had guts to talk back, the way Yuataree was now. Izumi could only silently cheer for him.

“I can no longer what?”

Yuataree’s tone was cold.

“Do you wish to say that I am unqualified for Chief because I can no longer hear their voices?”

“That’s…”

“Listen well, Roten. I will be the next Chief. Just because I can’t hear their voices, you think that over twenty years of training for the position could possibly lose to a child who can’t play the leaf whistle at nine?”

Roten’s face quickly turned dumbfounded.
Izumi watched over them in suspense.
Yuataree was being firm. Roten wordlessly looked up at her. He looked like he would cry at any moment.

Suddenly, Yuataree laughed. It was mocking.

“Roten, do you not believe in your sister?”

He tightened his grip on the window frame, but didn’t reply.
If he admitted it, it would harm her pride, but if he refused, he would be sending her to her death.

“Don’t be so arrogant just because your ears are a little good.”

How painful was it for her to mock her brother like this?
Because Izumi knew, she could only hold her tongue.
Silence fell.

But soon after, she heard a piercing, metallic noise. It came from the tent. Looking its way, she found a large gong.

“It can’t be! There should still be time!”

Roten’s words told Izumi that it was the signal to begin the ceremony.

“It seems like the new king is not only greedy, but capricious. This is an unforgivable slight. …But we can only obey. We have the power to control the insects, but not enough to make them our enemy.”

Yuataree gave one glance at the tent, before turning her gaze to Izumi. She bowed without a word.

She didn’t speak, but Izumi knew what she was saying.

“Please take care of my brother.”

“Wai-”

Wait. Izumi swallowed her words.
Even if she told her to wait, was there anything Izumi could do?
Even Izumi tried to negotiate, apparently the people from I’Jibro were in that faraway tent, and to begin with, Izumi had no cards to play against this capricious queen. It was something obvious after just a little thought, but Izumi hadn’t realised it until now. She really had overestimated herself. She had thoughtlessly assumed that as long as the window connected, she could do anything.

Looking not at Roten, nor the depressed Izumi, Yuataree descended from the boulder.
There were hollows that you couldn’t even call primitive steps, but Yuataree swiftly descended them, and reached the bottom boulder.
There wasn’t even thirty centimetres distance to the sand. An arrijighock could just jump and capture her in an instant.

Yuataree placed the green leaf to her mouth.

-pyuuuuuuuuuuuuuui pyuuuuuuuuuuuui-

A long, comfortable sound.
The moment she played this, three black lumps appeared from inside the sand.
Each one showed only the top part of its body, and ran circles in front of Yuataree.
To Izumi, they seemed like the dorsal fins of hunting sharks in the ocean.

“Hey, what do you need to do for the ceremony?”

With her eyes still on Yuataree, Izumi questioned the stock-still Roten.”

“The ceremony…”

Izumi hadn’t expected a reply, but it came surprisingly readily.

“The ceremony is called the I’Nabano Shiloh’la, and involves controlling the insects with the whistle, and getting on its back. While on its back, the candidate needs to walk on their backs, all the way to the other shore to be acknowledged as chief.”

“That’s so reckless!”

Izumi could only call it an act of suicide to use such a ferocious insects as a bridge.

-pyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuui-

The sound of the whistle was loud.
But the insects continued to circle in the sand, and showed no signs of letting her on.

“Hey, do you think it’s possible like this?”

“How could it be! Sister’s playing is perfect, but they aren’t listening at all.”

“Why!?”

“I don’t know!” he screamed.

Izumi looked at him again.
He was trembling.
His face was pale blue, and he looked like he was about to collapse.
Like this, his heart would break if he saw his sister attacked by the insects.

“Roten.”

Izumi wrapped her arms around his trembling shoulders.

“It might be unfair to say this to you, but get it together. You heard the insects earlier, didn’t you? Then listen again. Listen to what the insects are saying!”

Roten shook his head.

“I can’t. The sound of the sand is getting in the way, and I can barely hear a thing. And if I help her, Sister will lose confidence in her abilities as Chief. She wouldn’t forgive me!”

Her earlier rejection seemed to have quite an effect. He had lost all his willpower.
When Izumi saw his hollow eyes, she grew irritated and shook his shoulders.

“Stop making excuses! You can believe in her if you want! But I can’t! I only just met her. How could I believe her. Listen. I’m the angel that gave you Conyork the Second’s hair. You’ll trouble me too if she dies here and wastes all my work! Children don’t need to overthink things. Don’t think, and just listen to the voices of the insects!”

“The voices… of the insects?”

“That’s right! Your sister believes in your ears too, doesn’t she?”

The will to do things, returned to his eyes. Seeing this, Izumi slowly told him what to do.

“Now then, Roten. Listen carefully.”

Guided by her voice, Roten closed his eyes.

-pyuuuuuuuuuui-

The sound of Yuataree’s whistle.
The sound of blowing wind, and arrijighock, pushing through the sand.
That was all Izumi could heard.
But Roten furrowed his brows, and began moving his lips.

“We can not stay… here… it is not… here.”

“What? What isn’t?”

“Shut up, I can’t hear them.”

His rude and conceited tone came back to him. Izumi sighed in relief. It was weird when he wasn’t like this.

“Not here… Not here… It isn’t here… Let’s chase it.”

Like I asked, what isn’t here!?

The more she had to stay silent, the more she screamed in her mind.

-pyuuuuuuuuuuuuuui pyuuuuuuuuuuuuuui pyuuuuuuuuuuuuuui-

The sound of the flutes continued incessantly. Even Izumi who couldn’t understand it, could hear the anxiety and impatience.

Hurry, hurry!

Just as Izumi prayed, Roten’s eyes shot open.

“I’ve got it!”

“What!?”

“The sunarabi! The arrijighock are looking for sunarabi!”

“Sunarabi… Huh?”

She looked over to the shower to find the bag from the earlier woman. By now, far from just the ears, the whole bag was soaked red.

“Are the insects here hungry? But there are three of them. We only have enough for one.”

I wonder if it tastes like rabbit.

While thinking about stupid things, Izumi came up with an idea.
Even if one sunarabi wasn’t enough to satisfy them, perhaps one sunarabi was enough to fool them.

“As long as she reaches the other side, she’ll be Chief, right?”

Izumi reached for the bag. She was hesistant to touch something so bloody, but she steeled hersef, and grabbed it with vigour.
Ignoring the disgusting, sticky sensation, Izumi held it up.
After feeling its weight, Izumi nodded. With her strength, it would be more than enough to throw this down to Yuataree.

“I’m going to throw this down to her.”

“Eh?” shouted Roten.

“Yuataree! The insects are hungry! I’m going to throw you the sunarabi, so hold it up to them, and tell them this!

‘If you carry me to the other shore, I’ll give you as many sunarabi as you want’

After you get there, don’t say anything unecessary, and just climb a rock!”

Yuataree looked up at her in surprise, but she immediately nodded and blew.

-pyuuuuuuuuipyuuuuuuuui-

Izumi waited for her to stop blowing the whistle, and then throw the bag.
When Yuataree caught the bag, she pulled out the sunarabi from inside, and holding it by the ears, she held it up to show the arrijighock.

-pyuuuuuuuuipyuuuui-

And what happened when she did? The arrijighock lined up before her.

“It worked! It really worked!” cheered Izumi, when she saw Yuataree step on their backs.

After Yuataree blew her whistle again, the arrijighock began to quickly move, each one circling around to the front of the queue each time she finished walking on one.
Without stumbling once, Yuataree walked all the way to the other shore.
After rushing up a boulder, she threw the sunarabi at the three insects.

-pyuuuuui pyuuuuui-

Izumi had no idea what she was saying. But they jumped around the sunarabi for a but, before happily disappearing into the sand again.
When they disappeared from the clearing, the sound of a gong resounded.
The ritual was a success.

“Thank goodness. Sister…”

Just as Roten muttered that, some uproar occurred.
Izumi could see the people moving about beneath the tent. Somebody handed a long pole-like thing to the person in the middle of the tent.

The formalities to complete the ceremony?

Just as she thought in wonder, an arm stretched out before her.
After it grabbed the window frame, the owner of the arm brought his small body above the window. It was Roten.
With his feet still on the windowframe, he glared towards the tent, before turning to Izumi.

“I’m going. Angel… Umm, you’ve really helped me,” he said bashfully, and was met with Izumi’s smile.

“Stay healthy,” she said. “Tell the new Chief hello. And also, your sister… is a terribly wonderful sister.”

His discouraged face spread into a smile.
It was the first time she had seen him do so.

“Of course she is.”

With those words, Roten leapt out the window, and ran at full speed to Yuataree.

Izumi watched him leave with warm feelings, but she suddenly felt a disturbance in the force, and looked forward.
Beneath the tent, a person entered her sight.
She couldn’t see their face. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that they were looking at her.
That person rose the stick that they had received earlier.

What are they going to do?

Just as she strained her eyes, something roared through the wind.
A gale flashed past her face.
A hard sound rang out behind her, like stone being destroyed, and after that was the sound of a light object bouncing on the floor.

“Idiot! Close the plank!”

“Eh-?”

While Izumi was stunned and confused, Roten who had returned without her knowing appeared right before her, and slammed the window with enough power to rattle it.

Calm returned to the bathroom.
The steam that had collected on the ceiling cooled, and then dripped into her bathtub.
The sound of the bouncing finally stopped, and when Izumi turned around, she shrieked.

“Eh-? Eh-? EEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!?”

There was a small hole in the wall now.
Not only that, right next to the blood puddle, lay a single arrow.

Could it be that I almost died?

Or so she thought, her face turning white as a sheet, but she immediately realised that she was wrong.

There was a folded piece of paper tied to it.

Izumi fearfully picked it up, and then unfasted the paper. After unfolded the rough, thick paper, its contents gave Izumi a shock.

“I can’t read it…”

Izumi’s mutter resounded sadly through the bathroom.

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*


“I wonder if it tastes like rabbit.”

Japanese have counters. It’s like how you say ‘three ears of corn’. Here, ‘three’ is the counter. In Japanese, there’s a counter called ‘wa’. It’s for birds. So three birds is called, ‘three wa of birds’.

Oh, but also rabbits. Birds and rabbits. Why are rabbits treated as birds? According to urban myth, the buddhist priests of ancient Japan were not allowed to eat many types of meats, but birds were except.

But rabbits were just so delicious that they claimed that the ears were actually wings, and thus rabbits were birds, and okay to eat.

Well, that’s just how the legend goes. There’s probably some much more boring historical reason for this.

At any rate, sunarabi probably comes from ‘suna(sand)’ and ‘rabbit(English word)’. So presumably it looks a lot like a rabbit, despite the few descriptions in the novel.

When Izumi thinks, “I wonder if it tastes like rabbit”, in the original text, she’s wondering, “I wonder if I count this with ‘wa’.”


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The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 16

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


This chapter is dedicated to Komo and Squinty! Squinty! Thanks for playing along again! Komo! It’s a shame I didn’t get to hear more!

If anybody else wants to read visual novels with us, join us here! Just introduce yourself to get voice privileges!


A mysterious pane moved and cut off Yuataree’s form.

Her heartbroken gaze beheld Roten, until she disappeared beyond the pane with a click.

“…Sister.”

A weak mutter escaped his lips.
She was no longer anywhere to be seen. The panel was thin, and tinged white, with delicate rises and falls. He didn’t know how it worked, but like staring into deep water, no matter how he stranged his eyes, he couldn’t see a person.

Yuataree was long gone now.

Roten clenched his teeth. His eyes were wide, and his breath had stopped. The blood was rushing to his head, and his brow felt terribly painful. He knew that he was making a terrible expression. But Roten continued staring in the direction that Yuataree had once been.
It was because Yuataree had taught him that boys could never cry.
Even if he couldn’t see his mother or sister ever again, Roten couldn’t cry.

Yuataree had been a strict sister.
In place of their weak mother, who was busy with her duties as Chief, Yuataree had strictly disciplined Roten.
From teaching him his studies, to how to treat elders, to his duties as the son of the Chief. If he made even a little mistake, he would be hit without mercy. Just because he left a little jiitake left on his plate, he was forced to sit in front of the dinner table for two koku.

Even so, Roten loved his sister.
It was because he knew that Yuataree’s strictness was built atop her love for him.
In order to teach him to read and write, she stayed up until dawn drawing pictures and words on cards. When he made a mistake in his courtesy, she would bow with him. Until he managed to swallow the jiitake, she would wait by him.
She was stricter than anybody, but kinder than anyone. To Roten, Yuataree was the best sister in the world.
And in order to protect him, that sister had recklessly attempted the ritual.
And it was all because he couldn’t use the flute well.

“Sister.”

This time, there was strength in his voice.
He had to do it in her place, no matter what. There was no time for him to pity himself.

“…This can’t be.”

He heard a voice from behind him.

“How long are you going to hold me!”

Suddenly, the white arms wrapped around his waist made him indescribably irritated. He struggled to escape her arms. The liquid below him splashed as he kicked, and suddenly, the woman tightened her grip in a panic.

“H-, Hey, don’t struggle.”

“Release me, Flasher Woman!”

“I told you I wasn’t a flasher! Wai-, rather, calm down for a minute!”

“I am calm. Release me this instant, you insolent thing!”

“I-, Insolent…?”

The woman sounded bewildered. But her grip just grew stronger and stronger.

“I’m technically an angel, okay!? How am I insolent!”

By now, even Roten knew that this woman was no spy.
It was because he considered that she might really be an angel that he endured elbowing her in the gut, or headbutting her in the ear. Amongst the things that Yuataree taught him as the son of the Chief, was self defence. Breaking free from a frail woman’s grip was no trouble for him.

“I’ll let go, but you have to promise me one thing.”

“I’ll do whatever you want, so spit it out already.”

He obeyed her because he wanted her to let go this instant.

“Look over there.”

The woman turned, with Roten still in her arms. It was a white plank, not unlike that which separated Roten from his sister. This one ran vertically, and was quite large.

“You absolutely can’t open that door. Ah-, and this window is no good either. If you charge through while this window isn’t connected, I can’t even imagine what might happen…”

That was two things.
Roten looked around, peeved.
He was inside of a small room.
And the things inside of this almost irritating brightly coloured room were all things he had never seen before in his life.
A light pink tube, and then a slightly darker pink tube, as well as an elliptical prism with a hole right down the middle. Attached to the wall was a long, snake-like, shining rope, and at the end of it was a silver head, that hung above the two of them.
As Roten stared intensely at the insides of this room, suddenly, something occurred to him.

“Oi. If I can’t open these boards you call a window and door, then how am I supposed to get out of here. Don’t tell me that you intend to lock me up here forever.”

Indeed. In this room, there were only those two exits.
And unbelievably, when the woman heard his question, she let out a surprised, “Eh-” before falling silent.
Did she really intend to lock him up here?

“I need to take the ritual in place of Sister. I can’t keep your promise.”

――He didn’t care if she was an angel or not anymore. He was going to break out of here.
Roten prepared to move. Realising this, the woman called out in panic.

“Of course I’m not going to lock you up here. It’s okay, that window will connect you to the person you want to meet. So we can return to you to your sister. …Probably.”

“Probably?”

Her words had given him hope, but when he heard that last word, anxiety gushed up in him.

“No, uh, definitely! I’ll definitely return you to your sister, so first please tell me what’s going on. Inauguration rituals, and insects and stuff, I don’t understand what you’ve been talking about at all.”

It sounded a little bit like the woman was simply buying time, but if she was truly an angel, and this was truly the Heavens, then Roten had no means of returning to the mortal world. He reluctantly nodded.

“I get it. I’ll tell you everything… Angel. I will abide. I won’t open the planks without permission, and I will explain. So let me down already. I don’t know how it is in the Heavens, but in the mortal world we call it ‘lewdness’ when a naked woman embraces a man like this.”

“…A, man…? …But, well, I guess.”

Roten finally succeeded in escaping her arms.
As his feet touched down into the warm, bath-like liquid, relief came to Roten.

“It’s common sense in the Heavens to be naked, but I’ll conform with your mortal courtesies for a while. I’ll be back right away, just-, just wait there, okay? Okay? Don’t move, and don’t touch anything!”

“I got it,” nodded Roten, and the woman disappeared out of the room from the plank she called a door.

It opened and shut with a sound. But almost immediately afterwards, the woman reappeared with a white cloth wrapped around her body.

“…You’re misunderstanding the mortal world.”

With a single cloth that covered neither legs nor shoulders, what part of this was ‘conforming with mortal tendencies’?

“It can’t be helped, okay. My bar’throwb is still in the wash, and I was worried about taking my eyes off you. Anyway, forget about me. More importantly, explain. Why is it that you two didn’t want the other to become Chief? And what does it have to do with I’Jibro? Also, what relationship do you have with Conyork the Second?”

The woman fired one question after another.
Certainly, it was no time to be worrying about her misunderstanding. Roten opened his mouth to speak, but,

“Ah-, wait, yeah, hang on a moment.”

the woman immediately interrupted him.

“You’ll tire out if you keep standing. I’ll start feeling cold too. At least stick your feet in.”

With those words, the woman left the room again, and this time came back with a cloth in hand.
She placed one of them on the rim of the container that Roten was now standing in.

“You can sit on this. Aah, your cuffs are wet, aren’t they. It might not help much, but I’ll fold them for you.”

After Roten sat down as directed, she knelt down at his feet and began folding his pants.

“Oh? This clothing…”

The woman’s long hair was casually tied behind her head. When she tilted it, the stray hairs that weren’t tied in would tickle Roten’s knees.
Suddenly, Roten recalled something that happened as a child.
During the hot summers, Yuataree would often bring him to play in water as a break. When there wasn’t time to get naked and swim, she would always bend over in front of him to pull up his pant cuffs.
Under the sunlight, filtered through tree leaves, he would sit on a large boulder, while her hair fluttered in the wind. The water in the stream would sparkle brilliantly.
It was a precious memory, with his precious sister.
The woman in front of him doubled up with the image of his sister.

“…Sister.”

“Eh?”

The woman raised her head and tilted it, at his quiet mutter.

“I-, It’s fine! Sister always told me to do things myself! I’m not a little child.”

When he considered that the woman might have heard him calling for his sister, the embarrassment became unbearable.

“What are you talking about? You’re plenty little enough.”

The woman was taken aback for a moment, but then suddenly hung her head and clenched her teeth.

“What’s wrong? Are you feeling unwell?”

Roten was sent into a panic when he saw the woman hold her stomach. Perhaps the air in the mortal air didn’t sit well with her body. Or could it be that his existence was contaminating the essence of this world? But despite his worries, what escaped the suffering woman’s lips was a laugh.

“Wha-, What are you laughing about!”

“I’…m sorry. You just remind me of a child I know, so I just.”

Roten clenched his fists and stood up. The humiliation made the blood rush to his head. But that was only for a moment.

“It’s shameful to let your emotions control you. Remember to control them.”

His sister had often told him this.

Since the woman kept saying “I’m sorry,” Rotan spat out “It’s fine,” in reply, and sat down with his head turned away.”

“I really am sorry. That one was my fault.”

The woman took a few breaths to stop her laughter, and then sat on the rim opposite Roten.

“So why do you two not want the other to become Chief? Is there something wrong with the inauguration ceremony?”

The woman was no longer smiling, nor stifling a smile. Now that she seemed seriously willing to listen, Roten changed his attitude too. Straightening his posture, he placed his hands on his knees. He was the next Ottko Yu Chief, and he needed to look the part. Calming his mind, he spoke as calmly and slowly as possible.

“The inauguration ceremony occurs when the position of Chief is passed on. The main meaning of the ceremony is to show to the king of I’Jibro that we have the power to make the insects obey us.”

“I’Jibro…”

“Right. To explain the ceremony, first I need to explain the history of the Ottko Yu tribe. We were originally a desert nomad tribe. Apparently we made our living by digging wells for other tribes. But because we didn’t have our own land, other tribes were harsh to us. Even though they asked us to dig up water for them, once we lost our use, their attitudes became cold. Perhaps they thought that we were aiming to steal their lands. Sick of that life, our ancestors sought a land of their own. With good timing, they met a king of I’Jibro. The king was interested in their ability to control the insects, and presented us with an offer for land in I’Jibro, in exchange for rescuing his mother from a tower. At the time, the one who negotiated with the king in our place was Kon York the Second. It wasn’t all he did for us, but I’ll leave that for now. Having gained a place to live from the king, our ancestors made a promise with the king. If the king of I’Jibro so wanted, we were to provide the power of the insects to help him. But at some point, the meaning of the promise changed, and if we ever lost the power to control the insects, we  would need to return the land to the king.”

The further the story advanced, the wider her eyes became, and the more her mouth hung open.

“What’s wrong?”

Naturally he was left in wonder, but the woman just shook her head a little.

“I was just a little surprised. I’ve heard some of this story somewhere else, you see… But I see. So the boy who had his mother imprisoned ended up becoming the king.” muttered the woman, with her arms crossed. Before long, she looked up and him and asked,

“Meaning. Meaning that it’s time to pass on the position of Chief, and you need to show the King of I’Jibro your power.”

“That’s right. Normally the one who chooses the time is us. But demanded that we do so now… They completely forgot the meaning of the promise, and as time passed on, they became more and more greedy.”

Roten’s gaze dropped to his knees.
His fists clenched unconsciously.
His arms trembled, and his fingernails dug into his skin.

“My mother can’t stand up for long. Sister has only just lost her ability to hear the insects. And I… I can’t convey my voice to the insects! Because of me, because of me, Sister…!”

“How… cruel…”

A hand with longer fingers covered his trembling fists.
At some point the woman had knelt down in front of him again.
Her hands were trembling too. Roten wondered if she was crying. But he was wrong. She was angry. Her eyebrows were raised dangerously, and she was looking at their hands.

“I’ve got it,” said the woman, and she stared right at him. “So all I have to do is give you the power to talk to the insects, and your sister the power to hear the insects, right? Then I’ll send you to your sister.

“When does the ceremony begin? Where’s your sister now?”

“It starts in about two koku… Sister should be praying in front of the ritual nest right now.”

“I see. Then we’ll barge in! If the two of you aren’t qualified to be Chief alone, then you can just do it together. Or is there some promise that it has to be done alone?”

Roten shook her head. She had a point. There was no reference to the number of Chiefs. It was obvious that there was one, after all.

“Then I’Jibro shouldn’t be able to complain. As long as the insects listen, it should be fine even if there are two of you. Or rather, you can prove to them that it’s fine! It’s unforgivable to harass a child like this!”

Right now the woman seemed even angrier than Roten was.

“Leave it to me,” she said, as she held out her chest. Roten felt embarrassed for suspecting that she was a spy. This woman was undeniably an angel. He was certain that she would mediate for him, just like Kon York the Second once did.

“Then, Angel. Can that plank connect me to my sister?”

“Yes!”

The angel stood up with vigour, and placed her hand to her the ‘window’ plank. But she suddenly froze.

“What’s wrong? Won’t it open?”

“Eh? Ah, mn, it will, you know?”

There was definitely uneasiness in her voice. But now that he was distracted by the hope that she had given the Ottko Yu tribe, he didn’t think too much of it.
Perhaps it was too heavy for her to move. Thinking that, he placed his hand behind hers to help.

“Ah-, wait!”

The plank moved much more easily than expected.
Almost like fog clearing up, the white-tinged plank disappeared.
Roten thought that he was about to save his sister and the Ottko Yu tribe. But what met his eyes left him shocked. Far from his sister, he was looking at some place he’d never even see before.

“Where… is this?”

A flat expanse of green. A damp wind brushed his cheek, followed by the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind. It was one large tree, surrounded by a sea of green grass.

“H-, Huh? This place isn’t… the ceremony place… huh…”

Roten looked up at the woman standing next to him. The image of the woman’s dumbstruck expression entered his eyes.
Rage bubbled up from deep inside. What “Leave it to me!”.
The fact that he believed in her once just made him all the more angry.

“You damned liar! You really are just a breast-flashing woman!”

“EEH!? You’re that disappointed in me? But, I mean, I do feel bad but… this alone I can’t… Anyway, shall we close the window and try again?”

It was when the woman feebly tried to close the window that it happened.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Stay awayy! Please stay awayy!”

A somewhat shrill, yet somewhat deep, voice. But definitely a woman’s.
And at the same time, a familiar GICHICHICHI sound.

“I’m all skin and boness! I’m not tasty at alll!”

While Roten was too dumbfounded to even scold the dumbfounded woman next to him, another woman jumped out before him. Without noticing them, she single-mindedly tried to climb the tree.

-GICHICHIGICHI-

When Roten saw what emerged to chase her, he screamed.

“Arrijighock!”

The arrijighock noisily clacked its jaws in threat, and placed a forelimb against the tree.
It couldn’t climb it. But the woman was clumsy, and seemed like she would fall at any moment.
Roten fumbled with his shirt. There were zaza leaves inside his pocket, used for leaf whistles.
Taking one out, he placed it against his mouth.

-pyuuui pyu pyuui pyu pii-

The sound began clear, but immediately grew weaker.
Still, Roten continued to blow, and made the wind vibrate.

“Eh? That, eh? Wai-, eh? That’s a leaf whistle? Wait, you guys make insects listen to you, wha-, could it be that it’s one of the whistles!?”

Roten ignored the discomposed breast-flashing woman and desperately blew the flute.
But the arrijighock simply turned his way once, and wouldn’t part from the tree.

――Strange.

Even if he was terrible with the flute, never had an insect paid so little attention to its sounds.
Roten continued blowing, and listened carefully.

-GICHI GICHICHI GICHICHICHI-

“Please don’t come heree, I’m really not yummyy.”

The woman’s voice was getting in the way of the insect’s.
Roten had the best ear in the village. Even so, it was no easy task to understand the insects.
He grew irritated, and then shouted.

“Shut up! If you want to be saved, then shut up! Don’t make a sound.”

“Yessh! I’b sorrwy! …Wahhh, first id’s an insecd anbd now id’s a ghostdt? Plwease jusd cud mee a break alrweadyyy…”

The woman stiffened with a start, and began apologising with mucus running down her face. After apparently finally noticing them, she looked their way, before almost bursting into tears again.

“I told you to shut up. Shut your mouth right now!”

Perhaps overwhelmed by his threatening look, the woman nodded without a word.
The noise was finally gone. Roten desperately strained his ears.

-GICHICHICHIGICHICHI GICHICHICHI-

He looked up with a gasp.
The arrijighock kept mentioning something over and over again. That was ‘starvation’. The starving arrijighock stubbornly pursued the woman. He immediately realised why.

“You there! You have a sunarabi don’t you! Throw it away, now!”

“Zu-, Zunarabi?”

“A four-legged animal with long ears. You have one, don’t you?”

“Ah-” muttered the woman in realisation. Apparently she knew what he was talking about.

“Throw it away now! The arrijighock is going after it!”

The dim-witted woman had finally found a foothold. Placing a foot on a branch, with one hand she hastily unfastened the bag on her back.
Roten began to undo his clothing as he watched.

“Eh? What are you doing?”

The breast-flashing woman was hysteric when she saw him strip, but he ignored her. After he finished, he soaked them in the liquid at his feet.
Suddenly, a strong smell filled the small room.

――This should be good enough.

Roten looked up at the same time the dim woman threw the sack on her back.

“Y-You dumbass!”

His eyes widened.
Of all things, she threw it towards him.
But luckily, the bag opened in the air, and the wet sunarabi landed on the floor.
The arrijighock immediately ran to capture it.
The bag approached his head. He tilted to avoid it, and then bundled up his wet clothing.
He heard the bag land behind him.

“Uwah-, what is this. It stinks of alcohol.”

“Tsk.”

Roten clicked his tongue. Apparently there was still a sunarabi in there.

“Oi! Woman! Take this!”

He tossed his balled clothing at the dim woman. She almost fell over, but she caught it.”

“There are hahanero leaves weaved into those. Rub it all over you so the scent sticks in. Wait until the sun sets, and then wrap those around your legs. Try and get as far away from here as possible!”

“Yhess-! …B-, Butd why?”

The arrijighock turned their way with the sunarabi in its mouth.
It began approaching at terrifying speeds, attracted by the scent of the remaining sunarabi.
There was no time left to throw it back.

“I’m closing this!”

He shouted, as he closed the window.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

The Bathroom Goddess – Chapter 15

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ.

Thank you for your consideration, guys!


This chapter is dedicated to Ame and Squinty!

Ame! Sorry about the other day! 

Squinty! Thank you for the Kikokugai reading session!


A tatami mat size is 85.5cm wide and 179cm in length (about 33.5 by 70.5 inches)


Izumi loved to bathe.
In the sultry summers when it felt like she would boil. In the winters when it felt like even her bones would freeze. And naturally, even in spring and autumn, she continued to enjoy her baths.
Even on days when nothing went right, just the smell of soap could lift her spirits.
The moment that her body submerged into hot water, it felt like her troubles and fatigue simply disappeared.

And today too, she looked forward to bath time.
But the moment that she opened the door and her foot touched the cold floor, Izumi let out a great sigh.
Even though it should never have been in her bathroom to begin with, right now it was the first thing that entered her gaze.
In her experiences thus far, she had been given a lot of hard-to-deal with things, but this one surpassed them all.

“…What am I supposed to do with this.”

Izumi even forgot to turn the shower on, as she muttered.

Beautiful, shining silver hair. It was the symbol of the Jebas Royal Family, and considering its volume, had apparently been grown to that length with much care.

Izumi tried to put it into a bucket, but there was so much that it wouldn’t fit. After a lot of thinking, she just placed it into a transparent garbage bag.
She really didn’t know what to do with it. Keeping it took up space, and she had to be careful not to damage it either. But there was an even bigger problem.
Through her experiences thus far, she learnt that what she gained in the previous meeting would be useful in the next.
In that case, she was worried she would meet Hiqyuu, who wanted this hair the most. Thanks to that, she hadn’t opened the window even once.
But when she met them last night, there was one thing she noticed.
Apparently, the window often opened to somebody she wanted to see.

When she met the stranded man, and she was worried for his safety, the window opened up to Prime Minister Teo Keh.

When she met with Yeti Setsugen, and she felt sorry for doing something bad to him, she ended up saving his sister.

When she met with armoured guy Arshu, and she was wondering if he reconciled with his wife, the window opened to the woman herself.

When she met Prince Hinoki trapped in the tower, and she was feeling worthless about being unable to save him, she was able to pass the key to people who wanted to save him.

When the Yohk’Zai delegation fell into Queen Akka’s trap, and she wanted them to help Prince Hinoki, in the end she met with them too.

And finally, when she met with the Old Maestro, and heard about Arshu’s marriage with the Princess, when she wondered about how the Princess felt, she was able to meet with her too.

After so many times, could you still call it coincidence?

The window would connect Izumi to those she strongly wanted to meet. Then in that case, was it possible that it would avoid the people she didn’t want to meet…? Or so thought Izumi.
But the problem was that Izumi couldn’t imagine anybody who would want this hair except for Hiqyuu.

――After all, was there any use for hair except for making a wig?

Not only that, but apparently this silver colour was rare enough that it was treated as a symbol of royalty. And truly, out of all the people Izumi had ever met, only Princess Aqua had possessed silver hair.
Izumi turned on the shower, careful to avoid getting the bag wet as much as possible.

While being careful not to get suds everywhere, Izumi finished washing her head and body before getting into the bath.

But it wasn’t working. She wasn’t relaxing.

It might be a different story if she was in an onsen or public bath, but why, in her own home, did she have to worry about other people seeing her?

Izumi poked a wet finger at the hair through the bag.
To be honest, getting rid of it was easy. She only had to take it outside.

But once she considered that somebody other than Hiqyuu might need it, she was hesitant. Not only that, but she couldn’t bring herself to simply destroy such beautiful hair.

Izumi looked up at the window, and gulped.
Would it connect to Hiqyuu, or somebody else?
It was a match between her and Hiqyuu.
A match to see whose desire was stronger.
――She had a good feeling she would lose though.

She wanted Arshu and Utaseyu to be happy together. She wanted Princess Aqua to be fine with this, and find her own partner. These feelings weren’t a lie. But when she recalled Hiqyuu’s tragic expression when they parted, she thought that perhaps his feelings were stronger.
Having said that though, she couldn’t just keep the window closed forever.
As though the world had heard her thoughts, a sound came from beyond the window.
She could hear a number of people whispering to each other.
The contents of their whispers weren’t audible, but she could tell that they weren’t the voices of her neighbours.

If it was Hiqyuu, she was going to immediately shut the window.
Having found her determination, Izumi opened the window.

“…I won.”

She had never met these people before.
A middle-aged woman, a young woman, and a child.
The middle-aged woman was lying atop some bedding on the stone floor. Behind her, the other two sat on a carpet the size of a tatami mat.

“Hello. Is anybody in need of help?”

She tried speaking to them, but Izumi was in confusion.
All three of the people staring at her speechless had a head full of dark brown hair, and none of them seemed to be balding.
She couldn’t imagine that Princess Aqua’s hair could be of any use to her.

“Who are you!”

The first one to come back to their senses was the boy, who was closest to Izumi. Probably two or three years younger than even Prince Hinoki of I’Jibro.

His eyebrows and eyes slanted upwards, and gave him a very strong-willed and sharp impression.

“Answer!”

No sooner had he stood up, did he draw the dagger at his waist to point straight at her.

“That’s a terribly difficult question for me to answer, but… If I said that I was called an angel yesterday, would that help? Do you know what an angel is?”

Izumi tilted her head in wonder.

Would a mystic have been better?

Their appearances were quite different to those of Jebas. Their clothing, their faces, everything was closer to the people of Yohk’Zai.
Behind the boy, the two women gasped.

“Angel-sama!? Roten! Sheathe your sword!”

The younger girl ran over and hugged Roten from behind.

“Sister! Please let go of me. There’s no proof that this thing is an angel. She might be a spy from I’Jibro!”

“I’Jibro!?” cried Izumi in shock.

Apparently Queen Akka had all sorts of enemies. Considering that she was the type who could lock Prince Hinoki in the tower, Izumi wasn’t surprised that she had incurred the wrath of others.

“I’m not an I’Jibro spy. Well, I’ll still be troubled if you ask for proof, though. Can’t you just believe me?”

“Who would!”

Roten glared at Izumi with sword in hand. But the young girl――apparently his older sister――frantically stopped him.

“Sheathe your blade, Roten! Even if it’s the power of I’Jibro, how could a single spy make it into our village?”

Apparently her calm but stern voice was not reaching him.
As if to show that his sister could not stop him, he stepped forward anyway, and raised his sword.

“Greedy thing of I’Jibro, I shall punish you in place of the heavens! You can redeem yourself in the afterlife, you breast-flashing Woman!”

“HAH!?”

At first Izumi had felt sorry for him, sure that he had been wronged by Queen Akka… But his next words caused anger to shoot through her eyes. She wasn’t naked because she wanted to be.

“Who are you calling a breast-flashing woman!”

Taking a firm stance in the bathtub, she pointed vigorously at Roten.

“Have a good look! Just how am I flashing anything!!”

And right after she said that, Izumi regained her sanity.
She was acting exactly like a pervert.

“Um――”

Ignore what happened just now. She was so embarrassed that she wanted to dissolve into the water, but when she forced back the embarrassment and wanted to say that, the boy cut off her words.

“You are most certainly flashing them. So what dissatisfaction could you have when I call you a flasher.”

Izumi was dumbfounded.
Was he just too young to feel embarrassed about a woman’s naked body? Could it be that he always got in the bath with the sister that was hugging him right now, and that’s why he was used to women?

“No, umm…”

Drained, Izumi placed her hand against the windowsill.

Oh, that’s right.

Izumi looked behind her.
She wasn’t sure how it was going to be useful, but it would definitely save them from their predicament.

Let’s just hand it over already, so I can enjoy my bath.

Izumi reached for the garbage bag, and then handed it through the window.

“You can have this.”

She undid the knot, leant through the window, and then placed it onto the floor. From the open mouth of the bag spilt the sleek silver hair.

“This is…”

Roten muttered with sword still brandished.

“…The hair of Kon York the Second’s.”

His sister finished his words.

Izumi tilted her head in wonder. Conyork the Second. She was sure she had heard the name before.

“The fraud who travelled the world, Conyork the Second!”

She immediately remembered, and struck her hand in realisation.
The Old Maestro had told Aqua’s brother about him.
Apparently he really did travel the world.

“Are you really an angel?”

Perhaps because she was holding the silver hair, and seemed to know of Conyork the Second, Roten looked at her questioningly.

“Y-, Yes. That’s right.”

If she told him no, she would end up as “Breast-flashing Woman” again.
Izumi threw out her chest, and nodded.

“Nobody in the Heavens possesses a dirty heart. That’s why everybody is naked there.”

Unable to fully swallow it, Roten furrowed his brows, but at least he seemed to have calmed down for now. After lowering his sword, he turned around and said,

“Sister, please let go of me.”

Having made sure that her brother had calmed down, Roten’s sister immediately kneeled and lowered her head.

“O Angel. By bringing the hair of Kon York the Second, does that mean that you acknowledge me as Chief?”

Izumi had absolutely no idea. While Izumi was bewildered, Roten cut in front of his sister.

“Angel. Please give that hair to me! My sister, Yuataree fell ill the other day, and lost the power to hear the voices of the insects. It would be impossible for her to complete the inauguration ceremony. She will simply become food for the insects!”

“No, please make me Chief. Roten is still young, and cannot use the flute well. It is when you cannot convey your heart to the insects that you will truly become their food. Please, make me Chief.”

“Right now she can’t even bring back Kon York the Second’s hair! It’s impossible for her to become Chief!”

“I failed because Kon York the Second’s hair is enshrined deep in a valley with many nests. For the ceremony, I only need one nest to obey. It is more important to convey your voice, than to hear theirs. It is still impossible for Roten.”

Izumi became more and more lost.
The two of them kept taking turns in trying to convince her, so she asked them to wait.

“C-, Calm down, you two. Could you first explain from the beginning why you’re arguing about becoming Chief?”

It didn’t seem that they were trying to steal the position out of greed. Instead, it felt like they were doing it because they cared for the other. That’s why she calmed them down and asked them what was going on.

“Explain…? All you need to do is name me Chief!”

“Roten! This won’t do. In the future, you’re going to be supporting Ottko Yu.”

“Yuataree. Roten. Please stop this. You’re troubling the angel.”

The reclined middle aged woman had noticed that Izumi couldn’t stop them at all, so she spoke up. Izumi turned to look at the woman she had forgotten about.
Her face was completely pale, and it was obvious that she was unwell. She rose with heavy movements.

“Mother! You musn’t! If you don’t lay down-!”

“Exactly, Mother!”

“Quiet.”

The woman who seemed to be their mother, held them back firmly, and then lowered her head.

“O Angel. I apologise for the rudeness of my children. But their impoliteness comes from their care for each other. I implore that you show them mercy.”

The woman’s formal attitude caused Izumi to flap her hand in panic.

“No, nono, I never thought of them as rude or impolite at all.”

Except for the Breast-Flashing Woman comment.

The woman smiled in relief.

“Thank you very much.”

Then, once again, she bowed deeply.

“I understand why you graced us with your presence with that hair in your possession. It was because you sensed that we were in a crisis. Please, grant power to us, the citizens of Ottko Yu.”

“Eh!? Ummm…”

There were tears in the woman’s eyes.

“So what Kon York the Second taught us was true. If you continue to bear a righteous heart, salvation will come for you.”

Izumi could feel a cold sweat on her back.
If after all this time, she said “Actually, you’re wrong…”

“Then, I’ll do whatever I can.”

――What exactly can I even do!?

Screamed Izumi, in her heart.
She had already handed over the hair. What else could she do?
Izumi was regretting her thoughtlessness, but it wasn’t time to be regretting.

“For now, please lay down. And please tell me what’s going on. With as much detail as possible, and from the very beginning.”

But first of all, the sick woman needed to lay down.

“Yes――”

The woman bowed for the third time.

“Chief! A messenger from I’Jibro has come.”

Suddenly, they all heard a voice. And seemingly chasing that clearly anxious voice, were audible footseps.
Tension ran through the expressions of the trio.
Faster than Roten could run off, Yuataree moved into action.

“There’s no time. Angel, please take care of Roten. Please shelter him until the inauguration ceremony is complete.”

No sooner had she said that did Yuataree pick up Roten.
Even if he was a child, it should have been hard for her to hold him up to the high window.
But Yuataree did so easily. Perhaps it was like the strength of a mother, lifting a car from her child.

“S-, Sister!”

Roten struggled violently.
Almost at the very moment that a man opened the door, Yuataree pushed Roten at Izumi, and then shut the window.

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*

*妹*


Sister, Mother, should be ‘esteemed sister’ and ‘esteemed mother’, but it feels too distant for this particular context.


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