༺ Hassan’s Day off (3) ༻
In the blink of an eye, it was already the next morning.
The mornings in Sodomora were usually filled with the chirping of birds and dew-glistened flowers blooming in the fields.
Since it was a Sunday, many people would often walk their way to the sanctuary or temples of the gods or goddesses they worshipped.
If not, they would be dealing with things that they were unable to do during the weekdays or even take a break and rest all day.
On the second floor of Luna’s cabin, the cabin owner— Luna, who had been driven to a corner of the room, was in tears as if she were about to break down at any moment. It was evident from the quivering of her eyes that she was extremely panicked right now.
I felt like I had made a big mistake. But, this problem must be addressed firmly so that the problem doesn’t get bigger with time and similar problems don’t arise in the future.
So, I spoke out.
“Uh, I’m not really angry, you know. Just tell me what in hell you were trying to do to me. What kind of spell were you about to cast?
Luna told me that she was trying to cast a spell or something like that on me last night.
The heavy weight I felt every night these days was probably because of Luna’s spell. So, it was no coincidence that I had a nightmare about a huge rabbit crushing my body the previous night.
“Well, that’s… I was trying to cast a spell, you know…”
“What kind of spell?”
“A spell to lower your flirting—”
What the hell! What kind of spell was that? Hearing her say something that was out of my expectations made me feel dizzy in the head.
“W-Why are you casting something like that on me?”
“It’s because I always smell the scent of other women on you, Hassan. There was a nymph’s scent the day before. And then Hippolyte—”
Luna’s words felt like an excuse to me…
Right then, I felt very embarrassed and was at a loss for words. Before I could even realize it, I had already done several offenses that gave me a bad rep with Luna.
However, I never had the intention to cheat on her. Did Luna misunderstand me?
“Whatever, just don’t do anything like that to me again. What’s the effect of that spell anyways?”
“I-I can absorb a little bit of energy from your body—”
“Energy from my body!?”
Now I could finally understand why Luna was so lively in the morning these days. Conversely, it also became clear why I felt so listless even though I didn’t have low blood pressure or any other complications.
All of this fiasco was because Luna was somehow sucking out the energy from my body! I was unable to believe that Luna had such an ability. It was both astonishing and horrifying.
“But if there is a curse like that, isn’t it more effective to use it on the monsters and cultists instead of me?”
Luna shook her head at my innocent question.
“I can only use it when touching someone’s skin.”
Then it would be hard for her to use it silently on others. Moreover, I never wanted to see Luna stick to other people’s bodies— casting spells or not.
Was it like an exclusive curse for Hassan or something?
“Besides, didn’t you belittle my curse the last time—!”
“Oh, yeah, you’re right.”
The word curse reminded me of when Luna wrote my name in red letters.
Now that I think about it, I started to feel heavy after that curse was cast on me. In my opinion, it was not a big deal. However, it seemed like Luna was bothered by that time.
“A-Anyways, I didn’t mean to do it for a long time either. I heard that if a woman doesn’t consent to her lover touching her, men might cheat or break the relationship—”
“What does that mean?”
I was not sure where Luna heard that, but it seemed like Luna also had her own share of insecurities about our relationship.
I didn’t really think much of it, but I could understand that she might have different thoughts about it.
“Anyways, I was really surprised.”
“I won’t do it anymore—”
I was able to easily notice that she was disheartened by this incident.
I hated spending a weekend morning in such a dreary mood. I thought it would be great if she could quickly recover her energy and cheerfulness. So, I subtly tried to lift Luna’s mood.
“Do you want to go eat some meat?”
“Yes, I want to eat pheasant!”
It was good that she was so easy to please.
* * * * * * * * * *
We devoured two whole-baked pheasant meat from our usual go-to tavern, the Nymph’s Wings.
It’s been several days since we started eating this dish, so it was highly likely for us to get sick of it by now, but Luna showed no signs of discomfort while eating the food. Was it perhaps because she was going through a growth spurt?
“Don’t you get tired of it already?”
“It’s good. Also, the price here is the cheapest in this area. We should save money for the time being since the guild building has collapsed.”
It was fortunate that Luna was feeling better already.
Someone once told me that… when your girl gets angry and both of you get into a fight, or if the situation becomes a bit awkward between us, buying her something delicious always helps in those scenarios.
When I used it in real life, it did work out quite well.
People get sensitive when they’re hungry; when they’re sensitive, they easily get angry or depressed. It feels like this was the wisdom men have discovered over the ages by being with women.
The knowledge that I had acquired from modern society was surprisingly helpful.
Lost in such thoughts, I subtly asked Luna a question to change the mood.
“What will you do after eating?”
Usually, we would have gone to the guild even if it was the weekend and would have proceeded to do some quests. However, with the destruction of the Mars Guild’s guild building I had no choice but to remain unemployed.
Of course, I was still able to survive for two to three months with the 50 silvers I had earned so far. Moreover, if I were to spend the money miserly then I could use it as living expenses for around six months to a year.
“I don’t know yet. Do you have anything in mind, Hassan?”
“I don’t have anything in mind either.”
“Then it’s best to just rest at home.”
I nodded at Luna’s words, acknowledging it as a plausible choice. Thinking about it, I had been working hard lately; almost too hard.
I thought it would be good to do nothing for about a day and recharge my energy. So, after roughly finishing the meal we got up from our seats to leave when—
“Hey man, I heard something unbelievable these days”
When I turned my head to the sound of someone talking to me, I saw that the innkeeper of the Nymph’s Wings was looking at me.
“I heard a Samaritan with black hair had knocked down someone from the cult. Although a few Samaritans are taking residence in Sodomora right now, I immediately thought of you when I heard these rumors. Perhaps it really was you, bro?
Had the rumor already spread so much that it even reached the innkeeper’s ears? Even though it hadn’t been long since the incident took place?
I felt a little proud for some reason.
“Even if it sounds like a lie, it’s not. It really happened. I knocked him down myself.”
“Wow, that’s a great piece of news! I know that it’s your business, but I’m really happy for you bro! Not to mention, my tavern will also gain some benefits if one of our regulars just happened to be an outstanding adventurer.”
Was it similar to the stores that promote it as a place that celebrities have visited? In this world, a famous adventurer was no different from a celebrity, so I understood where he was coming from.
“Since you are making a big fortune, that ridiculous big-nose musician friend of yours would probably be pleased.”
The words “big nose” immediately reminded me of Marco’s face. Was he still alive even?
“How is he doing lately?”
“You don’t know? Well, if you’re busy, you might not be able to keep tabs on him. That’s understandable. Anyways, ummm, how should I say this? I need to talk to you about something…”
“Something to say? What is it?”
Suddenly the innkeeper turned his face toward me in a swift motion. Damn it! I was shocked because of his sudden action. I barely held back my fist that was about to go up to punch him square in the face.
He whispered softly in my ear.
“I have something important to tell you. Can you spare me a minute—?”
“You want me to spare you some time?”
“Keep it a secret from that lady.”
I also had to keep it a secret from Luna?
When I looked at Luna to ask her opinion with a subtle look on my face, she just shrugged her shoulders.
“I’ll sit here and wait.”
Luna was already used to waiting for me. So I left the room, following the innkeeper, who guided me down to the basement.
We went to the basement, where I had massaged the innkeeper’s wife, the Nymph Echo, not long ago. As I walked into the room I had once entered, I could see that the room was still the same. It was set up like a newlywed couple’s room.
But if there was anything different from before—
“Oh, my! Holy shit!”
“As expected, you are surprised too. Brother, I wanted to ask you just what the hell happened here!”
The innkeeper paced back and forth as if he was distraught about something. Our eyes were now drawn to the woman named Echo, sitting on the bed in a somewhat reserved posture, with her hands folded above her legs.
“Hello, Mr. Healer.”
However, she was quite different from the Echo I had seen before.
Echo, who I had met before, was like an immature teenage girl. The Echo that I was seeing now seemed like a voluptuous married woman in her late 20s or early 30s at most.
She no longer exuded the fresh vibe of youth in her spring. Should I say the feeling she was giving off was akin to the sweetness that had intensified just before the fruits were fully ripened and about to fall to the ground?
Overall, her chest had grown quite a bit, and her physique had gone through a complete change. I would have mistaken her for Echo’s older sister or young mother if she didn’t greet me as she did.
“What in the world is going on here?”
“That’s also what I want to ask you! Her body changed within a few days after you healed her waist!”
Did it make sense for a person to change like this in just a few days? It felt like the years that had been pushed back so far had returned to her all at once.
“I thought you would know what happened. Do you have any idea?”
Of course, it was not that I didn’t have a clue about this situation. After I massaged Echo’s chest, it seemed like I had inadvertently also healed her Curse of Slow Growth and that was the only reason I could think of for her current change in appearance.
I might be correct about that. That should be the only cause of this strange event.
“So what’s the problem here? Didn’t she become more beautiful now?”
“Of course, I have no problem with that. Thanks to this, our marriage and bonds are only getting stronger. However, the problem is that she is now not only pretty in my eyes.”
“Fuck, those beggar-like bastards keep flirting with my wife!”
Oh, in the end—
If it was before, Nymph Echo, in her adolescent girl appearance, might not catch anyone’s attention. However, the now matured and voluptuous Echo was an undeniably attractive woman, even in my eyes.
Echo was the innkeeper’s wife, so there would be many cases in which she would have to greet the guests. Then the innkeeper who could do nothing but watch that scene before his own eyes would be totally feeling angry.
“That’s not the only problem. The rumor that there was a mature-looking nymph has spread so widely that even the high-ranking nobles have heard of it—!”
“Who are these nobles you are talking about—?”
“Of course, I’m talking about those annoying aristocrats. Anyway, they’re asking me for tips and tricks on how to make nymphs grow up like my wife. But how should I know?”
“…Then did you talk about me?”
I feared that rumors about my massages were growing out of control. In this world, illegal medical practices were subjected to severe punishment.
Of course, someone said that if it was only a massage, then it was still acceptable. Still, many things about what I did during a massage could be deemed to be suspicious even if it was part of my job. Thus, I shouldn’t let my guard down.
“I didn’t say anything about you, of course. We have sworn by the River Styx to keep each other’s secrets, haven’t we? Still, there is a limit to what I can gloss over. What should I do about this? Is there any way out?”
* * * * * * * * * *
After roughly finishing the conversation with the innkeeper…
As I headed to the restaurant on the inn’s first floor, I saw Luna sitting at a table, collecting the bones of the bird meat she ate and creating a bizarre tower with them.
“What did you guys talk about?”
Luna’s round eyes widened when she saw me approach her, and she immediately asked me about my conversation with the innkeeper.
“Nothing much, really. It’s just work-related stuff.”
“Really? Forget about it then. Look at this. I made it well, right? It’s a bone totem!”
Luna declared in an excited tone as if she was very proud of the small bone tower that she had created on top of the plate. I glanced at it while wondering what was so special about it for her to brag like this.
It was looking much better than I thought it would as she could build a pyramid out of bones. How the hell did she make it?
Was it the temple for idol worship? Or the false sacrificial offering?
“You made it very well. Does this tower have any effect?”
At my question, Luna opened her eyes wide and stared at me as if looking at someone strange.
“Of course, it doesn’t have any effect at all. Hassan, sometimes you ask some weird questions in such a serious manner. Is this something like a cultural difference?”
What the fuck—?
I felt like I had taken a punch to the gut from Luna unintentionally and my face flushed red in embarrassment.
Anyways, that was how our lunch ended.
On the way back to Luna’s cabin together…
“Hassan, do you have any concerns?”
Luna’s question snapped me out of my thoughts.
“Concerns? No. Why?”
“You haven’t said anything since earlier. Did the innkeeper say something serious?”
Luna’s gut feelings were quite sharp, weren’t they? In fact, that was all I had in my head since my conversation with the innkeeper.
Since things have already reached this point, should I discuss this with Luna?
“Luna, do you happen to know about Baron Fleur—”
When I was going to bring up the topic like that—
“Oh, my~ Who is this~? What a rare occasion to see all of my cute friends in a place like this~”
A languid voice, trailing off at the end of each sentence, echoed behind me, leaving a sensation of something sticky latching onto my ears that I just couldn’t shake off.
“I can’t believe this~ My luck is excellent today~ I could meet all my precious friends in this place like this~ Hassan~ Or should I call you Sodomora’s little hero, now~? Like this~”
The red hair of Nemea, the alchemist witch, wearing a pointed cone hat, bounced like the scorching tongues of fire. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d see each other again like this.
“There’s been a lot of interesting rumors about you these days~ That’s your story, isn’t it, my friend~? I was curious because you didn’t come to see me~ Are you avoiding me on purpose~?”
Looking at her face-to-face like this made my limbs tremble as though I had committed some serious crime.
“Hi, little girl~ I feel like you are getting shorter every time I see you~ Is it because you’re a kid~?”
Luna’s face kept on getting darker and darker without her speaking a word. When I was about to open my mouth because I thought something would happen—
Luna, who moved really quickly, caught up to Nemea, the witch, and wrapped her arms around the witch’s waist, grabbing her sides. After positioning herself behind the witch like that she clasped her fingers together and held her tight.
“You~ What are you doing~? Don’t press my stomach like that~ Something’s going to come out, hey~”
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