The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary

The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary – Chapter 229, Tempted by Strange Thoughts


Translator: Lizz

Proofreader: Xemul


The hot water was so clear that they could see the bottom of the lake. As far as they could see from the shore, the bottom of the lake was covered with a fine sand-like substance, and they could not see anything that seemed to be dangerous. Also, the lake’s depth suddenly increased a little further from the shore, but the water seemed to be only up to Lapis’ waist at most.


“We can take a bath here just like this, can’t we?”


Ange said as if she had suddenly been struck with a great idea. Loren gave her a skeptical look. 


Indeed, the hot water in the lake in front of them had the right temperature, and didn’t irritate the skin. Since it was well off the street, they wouldn’t have to worry about being seen by anyone either. The only one who could be watching would be Loren and Klaus. 


Their camp was not set up near the lakeside, but rather a short distance away. The lake was filled with boiling water; it was not a good idea to be too close to the water’s edge in case of an unexpected attack. And considering these circumstances, it was not too difficult to block the view from the camp. In the worst case scenario, Loren and Klaus would only have to look away from the lake for as long as they needed to.


In other words, it was not so difficult to make Ange’s suggestion a reality – it was just a matter of how. 


Loren wondered, however, if it would be a good idea to take a bath just because it was readily available, when they didn’t even know what was lurking around. He thought it was too careless, but Leila and Laure took to Ange’s suggestion.


“Indeed, this scenery is hard to come by.”


“It’ll be an open-air bath, won’t it?”


The sun was still quite high. They had left Karlovy in the morning, arrived at the lake after a half-day’s journey, and had only done some casual exploring, there should still be quite a bit of time left until the evening. Loren wondered if they wanted to take a bath because of the time, but then lightly slapped himself to straighten his thoughts.


It shouldn’t be about the time of day or the scenery, but about taking a bath here, and about preventing that somehow.


The party had seven members in total. Three had already agreed with the idea. If a majority vote was taken, their idea couldn’t be overturned once the majority, four people, agreed with it. Loren had thought that they would still need one more person, but when he saw Klaus with a face that showed he was thinking about something absolutely ridiculous, he realized that the deal was already set. 


There was almost no chance that Klaus, who was thinking of taking a mixed bath if there was a chance, would reject the idea that might provide him with that chance.


“Shouldn’t you be more vigilant? We don’t know what’s out there.”


Still, he couldn’t not warn them. When Loren expressed his reluctance, Leila countered.


“But even during normal commissions, if there is a place with water near the camp, people will bathe in it. In this case, it just happened to be hot water, so it is not so out of the ordinary.”


It was not like Loren didn’t know what she meant. When he was a mercenary, he had been told that if there was a stream or river near the company’s campsite, he should bathe in it and cleanse his body. Mercenaries couldn’t be said to keep very good hygiene, but being filthy would only lead to illness, and it was the policy of their company to wash and bathe as much as possible when they could.


“What do you think, Lapis?”


Having had actual experiences, Loren could not find a more effective way to refute this argument, so he asked Lapis, who was standing by his side, for her opinion.


“I think we need to be vigilant, but if Loren is vigilant, I think it’s going to be fine.”


[‘I’ll take care of the wide-area monitor for you, onii-san.’]


As if in response to Lapis’ words, Shayna’s voice echoed in Loren’s mind. With the ability of Shayna, the King of Death, it was possible to know if any living beings within a fairly wide area were trying to approach their encampment. Even if, by mistake, an undead being were to approach from the bottom of the lake, it would be extremely difficult for it to draw closer under the watchful eye of the King of Death, the highest-ranking undead being.


The only exception that could slip through Shayna’s monitor was an Elder, the highest-ranking vampires, coming from the bottom of the lake while erasing all of their traces. But the possibility of an Elder coming from the bottom of the hot water to harm the girls while they were taking a bath was so low that it was ridiculous to even think about. 


“Besides, we haven’t experienced a hot spring yet, even though we’ve come all the way to the hot spring town.”


As Lapis let out her true feelings, Loren’s shoulders dropped, but no one objected to her words. The only one who didn’t seem to be too keen on the idea was, strangely, Gula, but she also didn’t seem to be willing to voice her objections and remained silent.


“What do you think, Loren?”


“There’s no choice. First, let’s take the rope out of the luggage.”


With five approved, one opposed, and one neither approved nor opposed, there was no way to overturn the decision, so Loren decided to go with the majority and made a request that had everyone wondering what the hell he was starting.


“I never thought I’d be setting up a bathhouse at a place like this.”


Despite his grumbling, Loren started to work on the place without stopping once he had decided to give in. He purposely left the undergrowth near the lakeside uncut to form a natural wall, and hung cloths on the ropes tied to the trees to create a simple but effective partition to block eyes. If the wind blew, the other side could still be seen, but since they were in the open air, they would have to put up with it.


The work was almost complete when he laid out some cloths on the ground, creating a place to change clothes and wipe wet bodies. He also covered a suitably large rock with a cloth, making a place to sit down.


“Loren, can you tell me why you tied me up with the rope first?”


Near Loren, who was working, lay Klaus, blindfolded, hands and feet bound with ropes, unable to move. Loren was dismayed to see that he had crawled over like a caterpillar. He had left the guy lying on the edge of the encampment because he was in the way of his work.


“Do you really need me to say it out loud?”


“It’s unthinkable if you think I’ll peek at them. I would like to ask you to correct that opinion.”


Loren felt a little surprised at Klaus’ words. He had expected that Klaus, with his indiscriminate fondness for all women, would definitely take a peek when the ladies were bathing here, but Klaus’ denial did not sound like a lie to him.


“I will not sneak a peek. I will demand a mixed bath directly and openly!”


“I understand. Just lie there for a while.”


Doing it openly wouldn’t make it better. If the only girls present were Ange group, he could have told him to do as he pleased. But since Lapis and Gula were also present, the idea of letting Klaus see them was unacceptable to Loren.


“I know you want to see, too, Loren!”


“I’m not saying I don’t. I’m a man, too.”


Loren couldn’t say that he was not interested. 


However, in his mercenary days, there were countless stories of people who had been subjected to unthinkable horrors for peeping on female mercenaries bathing, and Loren was often shown the scars. The mercenaries probably told Loren those stories to warn him that he should be careful not to get found out because if he did, he would be in similar trouble. But for Loren, this meant that if he didn’t want to be in trouble, he shouldn’t peek.


“I still want to be in one piece, you know. I’m not willing to trade an earlobe or the tip of my pinky finger for a piece of my dick.”


“What a scary thing to say…”


“Do you want to hear the story of a guy who got one of his balls crushed because he thought if he still had one of them, it wouldn’t be a performance problem?”




“He laughed and said he was glad he didn’t have one eye.”


As Loren continued to work while having such a disturbing conversation, the place took shape to some extent. Lapis and the girls entered the other side of the partition with change clothes and cloths to wipe their bodies.


“I’m sure you know this, Loren, but you can’t peek.”


Before going to the other side of the partition, Lapis approached Loren, stabbed her index finger to his chest and said. With Klaus tied up on the ground and couldn’t possibly peek, such a warning could only be directed at Loren now. He nodded and replied.


“I value my life a lot.”


“You can’t see through the cracks either. Just look the other way, okay?”


“Do you really have no trust in me?”


Loren looked a bit downcast at Lapis’ emphasis, but she didn’t seem to care. She repeated it once more.


“You really, really can’t. Absolutely can’t.”


“Whassis Lapis-chan? What’s with all the pretense?”


A surprised-looking Gula, who was carrying an armful of clothes and other things, interjected from behind Lapis. Wondering what this was about, Loren looked at Lapis. For a moment, Lapis, who had kept a really serious face, smiled slightly.


“You can’t, alright?”


“Sorry for your expectation, but that’s impossible. I can’t answer such a question.”


“I’ll ask Ange’s group to go somewhere that can’t be seen.”


“That’s not the problem.”


“I’ve been looking forward to this~”


Waving her hands, Lapis disappeared to the other side of the partition.


“In the end, do you even want to hide or not…”


Loren watched her go with a very tired face. At his feet, Klaus, who was so frustrated that his expression was recognizable even with the blindfold, was gritting his teeth.



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