I Work As A Healer In Another World’s Labyrinth City - Chapter 73
Escape from the Bath.
Repeat attacks from the succubus. One was yesterday's large-scale raid, another was this morning's attack, and this marks the third assault overall. But no matter how many times she comes, it's the same thing. This mansion's defenses won't fall to the succubus alone. Once again, she won't last more than a few minutes before she turns tail and runs.
-Or so I thought.
「W-What is it!? What the hell is happening!?」
「The lights are going out...!? Shit, I can't see a thing! The succubus went off somewhere!」
「Those bat-shaped monsters... c-could they be Light Eaters!?」
However, against my expectations, the frantic voices of knights can be heard from all throughout the mansion. Somehow, it sounds like this time the succubus has brought monsters.
「...Shiki-sama, let us leave this place and quickly rejoin the knights.」
Perhaps sensing the turbulent atmosphere, the saint makes a suggestion. However, before I can proceed with her proposal, I notice that something's wrong.
-The lights are going out. Along with the sound of something breaking, the lights in the dressing room are steadily going out.
「Those things, don't tell me they're...!」
Ruruka shouts when she sees the spectacle. And, at the same time, several bat-like monsters crash through the frosted glass between us and the dressing room and break into the bath.
「I knew it, those are Light Eaters!」
Ruruka says in response to Eris' shriek.
「Light Eaters are, y'know, monsters that persistently attack sources of light. I think they live in caves around this area, so maybe the succubus brought them...!」
Apparently those bat monsters are called Light Eaters. And the fact that the lights are going out is seemingly the work of those monsters as well. But even if we try to intercept them, as you'd expect, we're not armed in the bath.
「Aaaah, the lights...!」
In the blink of an eye, all of the lights in the bath are destroyed.
「O-Oi, is anybody hurt?」
「I-It's fine! Light Eaters don't attack people! I think they'll probably fly off right away to find other lights!」
Along with Ruruka's voice, I hear the saint and Yuel both confirm that they're safe.
I was going to confirm Eris' safety as well, but somehow it seems that won't be necessary. There's a sensation touching my back with a mass that can only belong to Eris. The sensation of something soft being squeezed against me.
...I wonder if she was scared because monsters suddenly attacked? Or else, was she actually trying to protect me?
But it's not like Eris is wearing anything right now. If she sticks to me in these circumstances, that soft sensation touching my bare back will be risky in various ways.
「...! T-That's, I-I'm sorry.」
「N-No, it's fine. I-It's totally fine.」
Has she realized the situation? Eris practically bursts off of me.
...I'm glad it's dark in here. If there had been visual information as well, I might have acted on my instincts even with Yuel watching.
「B-But man, I really can't see a thing, huh...」
「This is an unfavorable situation indeed. The knights seem to be in disarray as well. We must meet up somehow or another... perhaps we ought to have called someone, some female knights, into the bath with us.」
「It's a bit late to say that now. For the time being, let's get out of the bath... Yuel!」
There's also the option of waiting until my eyes adjust to the dark, but right now we need to meet up with the knights immediately. The only thing we can do here is have Yuel, who is effective in darkness, lead us to the exit.
「Master, this way.」
Yuel takes my hand and begins to pull. Looks like she intends to escort me to the exit like this. That's Yuel-san for you. She's incredibly reliable.
...But the dressing room glass was definitely broken. Yuel may very well avoid it, but I'll likely end up stepping on it inadvertently.
「Yuel, give me live commentary so I can understand the situation too.」
I give Yuel proper instructions so that she'll share information with me as well.
「Understood. Well then, Master, I will lead you by the hand. First, we will get out of the bathwater. There is a significant level difference, so please step high to climb up.」
「Yeah, got it, Yuel.」
In order to get out of the basin, the first step is to climb up following Yuel's directions. I reach up out of the water with my right leg, take a big step, and climb out over the invisible raised edge.
-Then, my foot slips.
Against my will, my body tilts forward.
-As for why I'm falling down, my mind begins to consider the possibilities.
Bath additives. It's those. When you get into an alkaline hot spring, there's that phenomenon where your skin becomes slightly slippery. That slipperiness caused my foot to slide...!
I hear Yuel shriek. I feel myself falling down, but I can't see a thing in this pitch-black darkness. Nor do I know where I should put my hands, so I most likely can't perform a safe fall either.
However, that instant, something supports my body. Most likely, Yuel saw me about to fall over and is doing her best to hold me up. But with Yuel's physical strength, she can't stop me when I'm already in the process of falling. I just take her right with me as I fall over onto the floor.
「Ow ow ow...」
There's a dull pain in my head, but no sensation of crushing Yuel. I vaguely tried to hold my hands out toward the ground, but looks like I somehow managed to support my own body weight.
「M-Master is, M-M-M-Master is... o-on top of me...!」
...By some chance, Yuel might have hit her head.
I call out to her to confirm that she's safe.
「Yuel, are you okay?」
「I-I am fine! I-I am, I am fine whenever!」
She seems okay. I don't really get what she means by ’’fine whenever’’, but at least she doesn't seem to be seriously injured. I feel a little relieved.
「Ah, c-commentary. I was giving live commentary! Umm, currently, above my nude body, Master's nude body is hanging over me. T-The distance is so close that we are nearly touching. M-My heart is beating like crazy.」
...I can't feel relieved at all. I wasn't saying to comment on those aspects. Situation report aside, I'm not asking her to go so far as confessing her inner feelings.
「W-Wait a minute, you, what are you doing!?」
「You pushed her down!? D-Did you just push Yuel-chan down!?」
Eris and Ruruka didn't understand the situation very well, but thanks to that report, it sounds like they do now. This is bad.
「The towel has come off as well, so Master is currently not wearing anything. A-, a-, a-a-a, amazing... it's amazing...」
What is she calling amazing? In this situation, Yuel is the only one who can see clearly and distinctly in the dark. But as for me, I don't have the slightest clue what's going on. Yet Yuel is barely squeaking out her voice, repeating ’’it's amazing, it's amazing’’ over and over.
「I-I'm embarrassed, and my face is hot. But, I'm really happy.」
I can hear Yuel's voice, almost like a whisper in my ear.
...No wait, she really is whispering into my ear. There's the sensation of Yuel's sigh-like breath getting trapped in my ear. I can't see well, but we must be very close.
I only have a vague understanding of the situation, but in any case, I'm starting to feel like things will get awkward if we don't separate.
「M-My bad, Yuel. I'm gonna move now.」
I'm currently in a posture with both hands and both knees on the ground. Yuel is most likely in a position tucked directly between my hands and my legs. I quickly move my limbs to cross over Yuel.
My slippery hand slides. In my haste, I must have shifted my body weight too much. Having lost its support, my body drops straight down. I reflexively drop to my elbows and succeed in arresting my momentum, but... that was close.
「S-Shiki-sama... after all, Shiki-sama's tastes... That you had no reaction to me as well, it must have been because Shiki-sama has a taste for young girls after all...」
As I'm struggling like that, the voice of the saint coming to some sort of conclusion reaches my ears. But that is a terrible misunderstanding. I open my mouth to refute the saint. As I do,
「M-Master and I are clinging to each other, naked!」
Yuel cries out.
「Master is lying on top of me. We're stuck close together. His muscles are rugged. He's sturdy. It's very warm;I can feel Master's body temperature.」
Then, as if delighted from the bottom of her heart, Yuel speaks. Now that she mentions it, beneath my body there's some sort of squishy sensation. It seems like, thanks to what just happened, I ended up pinning Yuel down for real.
Did Yuel misunderstand something? She wraps both hands around my back and squeezes tight.
「Y-Yuel, wait! My hand just slipped, that's all, my hand slipped!」
Oh man, if I don't give her an explanation, who knows what Yuel will do thanks to that aforementioned false rumor. I try my hardest to clear up her misunderstanding.
「...That's the same thing you said when you ’’accidentally’’ touched my chest before.」
Eris remarks. Okay, something like that might have happened.
...Eris probably holds quite a grudge over the se*ual harassment. But please refrain from bringing that up now. Seriously, stop.
「S-Shiki!? Is it true!? T-That's no good! At least not with Yuel-chan!」
Ruruka takes Eris' words seriously and starts freaking out. Then, a splashing sound rings out.
After that, there's a shriek and the sound of something tumbling on the ground.
...She probably fell over. Because she was being reckless, even though she can't see well.
「Ruruka-san got out of the bath, stepped on the soap and fell down. She dropped onto her butt on the floor. The towel she was holding fell into the bathwater.」
Yuel calmly gives me an explanation of Ruruka's situation as well.
So she fell over after all, huh?
...But does that mean that currently, Ruruka is completely nude? That Ruruka is stark naked, on the floor, down on her ass? I can't see her, though. Even if I strain my eyes in the direction of her voice, I can't see anything.
「Master is staring intently at Ruruka-san sitting naked on her butt.」
When I strain my eyes to try to look in Ruruka's direction, Yuel comments on that as well.
「E-Ehhh!? H-Hey, don't look! Don't look at me!」
「I-I can't see!」
It's no good. If I glance over, Yuel will report on it.
「E-Eris-san and Ruruka-san are both looking over here. I-It's embarrassing, but if M-Master desires it now... even if we're being watched, I'm fine with it!」
Then Yuel declares that.
When I concentrate really hard, Yuel's face appears before me. Looks like my eyes have grown slightly accustomed to the darkness. Yuel's face is right in front of my eyes. She's just a few centimeters away, taking rough, shallow breaths, staring intently at me.
「Earlier, I heard what Saint-sama was saying to Eris-san. That against the succubus, there is a very effective countermeasure. Master's se-」
「Y-Yuel, don't say any more! I don't need live commentary either, m-my eyes are already used to the darkness!!」
Perhaps since some time has passed, the floor has become slightly visible. A-As long as I can see this much, I should be able to make it to the dressing room somehow.
「A-Alright, let's hurry to meet up with the knights!!」
I shout, in order to drown out Yuel's voice.