Chapter 110: Iria ④

“Sora’s water gun, ready to fire in two seconds!”

“One second before!”

“Launch it!”

The children, soaking in the bathtub, raised their voices cheerfully and clasped their hands together. Then, hot water spurted from the gaps between their fingers, tracing a parabola through the steam-filled air.

It was a heartwarming sight in itself, though perhaps not for those targeted by the water gun. Silently, Iria, who was washing her hair, got hit in the face by three jets of water. She plunged both hands into the bathwater and retaliated with a movement mirroring the children’s.




The children let out three distinct cries as they were hit by a jet of water far more accurate and powerful than their own. Iria spoke solemnly to them.

“Ain, Zwei, Dora. Only those who are prepared to be hit by a water gun should shoot one.”

“Fuhaha, we don’t flinch, we don’t cower, we don’t look back! You guys, fight back!”


“Ooh no!”

“…Someone’s bad influence is clearly showing.”

Iria muttered softly as she was splashed with hot water on her face again.

After that, a fierce (?) shootout ensued for a while, but Iria pulled the three out of the bathtub before it dragged on too long. She had been warned that it was dangerous to soak in hot water for too long because it would make blood rush to her head.

In Ishka, baths are basically steam baths, and in Melte village, there are no baths at all. Iria had to be careful not to let her younger siblings get sick from the unfamiliar water bath.

Oblivious to Iria’s concerns, the younger siblings, fresh out of the bathtub, were excited and squealed with delight. Iria skillfully caught them and washed their bodies and hair. The technique was the same as when they were bathing in the river at home, so she was used to it.

“It’s easier to wash off dirt with hot water than with cold water, so that’s a plus.”

“It feels good because it’s warm!”

As Iria said while washing her sister Dora’s hair, Ain nodded vigorously while washing her brother Zwei’s hair next to her.

Seeing Ain having fun splashing around, Iria spoke sternly to him.

“Ain, we can’t live in this house forever, you know. It’ll be hard to go back to the village if you get used to this life.”

A lavish mansion, easily mistakable for a noble’s home, boasted a large bathroom. The water they were using was prepared by Lunamaria summoning the water spirit Undine, and it was so pure that it could be used as drinking water.

Even in normal times, using this much water for bathing was a luxury. Especially now that the water of the Kale River was contaminated by Hydra’s poison, it was more than a luxury, it was extravagance.

Upon their return to Melte village, finding drinking water would be a challenge, let alone water for bathing. She knew she was spoiling their fun by saying something, but she couldn’t help herself.

But her concern didn’t seem to get through to the children…

“Huh? But Sora said we could stay as long as we liked, right?”

“He did!”

“He did!”

“…Even so, you know. You can’t expect to stay here indefinitely, can you?”

The three of them tilted their heads in unison at Iria’s words. They didn’t seem to understand what she was trying to say.

As Iria was thinking about how to make them aware of the situation, the bathroom door opened silently and a fifth person came in.

At first, Iria thought it was her mother Sarah, but when she saw a red color in her vision, she unconsciously tensed up.

“Oh, it’s Miro-nee!”

“Oh, uh…”

“It’s Miro-nee!”

Among the three who showed their respective reactions, Miloslav smiled innocently with a seemingly harmless expression.

“I’ll join you, everyone.”

With that, Miloslav walked up to the bathtub, took a bucket and poured water from the bath over herself.

Unconsciously, a sigh escaped from Miloslav’s mouth.

Lately, Miloslav had been shut in her room day and night, working on the antidote research, and her fatigue was evident on her face as a shadow. That shadow faded away as if it melted when she poured water over herself. Apparently, this bathroom was more effective than Iria or Sarah’s healing magic.

And then, it happened.

“Uh, um, I’m getting out!”

Zwei, who had been having his hair washed by Ain, suddenly stood up and hurried out of the bathroom. His cheeks were as red as apples as he left.

“Hey, wait up, Zwei. I’m getting out too!”

“I’m getting out too!”

Ain and Dora followed Zwei out of the bathroom.

Iria called out to their backs in a hurry.

“Make sure you dry yourselves properly, all three of you!”


Their voices came back in response to Iria’s call. They were good at answering, as usual, Iria thought and sighed. Then she heard a chuckle from beside her.

“Hehe, they are lively children, aren’t they?”

“…Yes. They are too lively sometimes, though.”

“Isn’t that much better than the opposite?”

As she said that, Miroslav slowly stood up. The shining white body of the magician was reflected in Iria’s sight.

Looking at Miroslav now, no one would be able to tell that she had suffered severe burns just a few days ago. Her hair, which had been burned and damaged, looked no different from before as far as she could see. Miroslav received healing magic from Iria and Sarah at a fixed time every day, but even taking that into account, her healing speed was unbelievable.

――Looking at Miroslav now, the story of “dragon blood” that I heard from Sora in Melte village seemed much more credible.

While Iria was thinking about such things, Miroslav entered the bathtub from her toes and sighed softly as she submerged herself in the hot water.

Seeing that, Iria silently followed suit and moved into the bathtub.

The two of them kept a distance that was neither too close nor too far away, and neither of them opened their mouths. The bathroom was covered by a veil of silence.

A faint sound of water and rising steam. The laughter of three people can be heard from afar.

――It was Miroslav who broke the silence.

“Do you have something you want to ask me, Iria?”

“……Will you answer me if I ask?”

“Yes, of course. With the condition that it is within my ability to answer, though.”

At Miroslav’s answer, Iria slightly furrowed her brows.

As she had stated to Sora in Melte village the other day, Iria had already noticed the connection between Sora and Miroslav. Miroslav was acting on Sora’s behalf, and had been undermining “The Falcon Sword” from within.

Do you have something you want to ask? Of course I do.

Why did you betray your comrades? Why did you betray Larz? Why are you following Sora? Why, why, why――

But Iria did not try to voice such questions.

Of course, it was not because she had forgiven Miroslav. Rather, it was the opposite. She was not confident that she could restrain herself when it was confirmed that everything that had started with the duel between Larz and Sora, the collapse of “The Falcon Sword”, was the work of Sora and Miroslav.

If she hurt Miroslav here, what awaited her was retaliation by Sora. That would not only affect Iria, but also her mother and siblings.

Besides, the improvement of the antidote that Miroslav was working on was essential for Iria, who had been infected by Hydra’s poison. For many reasons, Iria couldn’t bring herself to harm Miroslav.

Thus, she deliberately steered clear of the truth, keeping her doubts to herself. That was Iria’s decision.

It may be called postponing the problem, but she could not think of any other way to maintain the status quo.

“For now, there’s nothing in particular.”

“――Is that so?”

After hearing Iria’s reply, Miroslav nodded slightly after a brief pause. Perhaps, she had read Iria’s feelings accurately in that instant.

After a short while, Miroslav opened her mouth again.

“Then, let me tell you something from my side. To be precise, it’s not a talk, but a request.”

“A request? You, to me?”

“Yes. Iria, what you are thinking right now, I want you to keep it a secret from Larz.”

The moment she understood the meaning of those words, an unmistakable anger appeared on Iria’s face.

“…What do you mean? Don’t tell me, you still intend to deceive Larz? Or do you mean to say that you don’t want to be hated by Larz at this point?”

“No, I have no intention of returning to Larz’s side, nor do I think I can. I asked you to keep quiet for Larz’s sake, not mine.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Not understanding the meaning of the other’s words, Iria pursed her lips.

Miroslav continued her words while gently scooping up the water in the bathtub with both hands.

“It’s about Master Sora.”

“…What happened to Sora?”

“Master Sora doesn’t have much hostility towards Larz. Probably because of the situation when he was attacked by the King of Flies. At that time, Larz was just unconscious.”

Larz did not harm Sora with magic like Miroslav did. He did not abandon Sora intentionally like Iria and Lunamaria did. Larz had no fault in the matter of using Sora as a bait.

Of course, that does not mean that Sora is friendly to Larz. Larz did not hide his disappointment towards Sora until now, and he rejected Sora’s claims one after another to protect his comrades after he regained consciousness.

In that sense, Sora probably hates all of the “Falcon Sword”.

However, the hostility he directed at Larz was faint compared to the hostility he directed at Miroslav and others. At least, that’s how Miroslav felt.

“I was kidnapped, Luna was imprisoned, and you were bound. Now, our lives are in Master Sora’s hands. I don’t know if you are listening, but Master Sora intends to make public the incident of the King of Flies and make us apologize in public.”


“Yes. Perhaps he intends to do so to show that the guild’s judgment was wrong, and also to fabricate a plausible reason for us to join the “Blood Spraying Sword”. And this is the crucial point――Master Sora’s revenge against the “Falcon Sword” ends here. He probably thinks that he has taught them a lesson enough by humiliating Larz in a duel and disbanding the “Falcon Sword”.”

“But that’s only if Larz behaves himself――is that what you mean?”

Miroslav nodded clearly to Iria’s question.

I see, Iria thought with a difficult face. If she told him the truth from her mouth, Larz would surely be furious. Furious, and try to get back at Sora.

If that happens, Sora will surely unleash his spear again that he had put away once. Larz has no chance against Sora now, who can even slay a mythical Creature, let alone the previous Sora.

Miroslav warned Iria of that out of fear.

“Right now, Larz is grateful to Master Sora. For rescuing me from Skim Mountain. And if he hears about this hydra hunt, he will admire him rather than try to oppose him.”

“The griffin extermination thing. When I heard it from Larz, I thought it was unlike you…so, you acted with that much thought behind it.”

“I won’t deny it.”

Nodding lightly, Miroslav got up and got out of the bathtub. And then she headed straight for the bathroom door.

While it may be extreme to resort to a crow’s bath, but as someone who has been ordered by Sora to improve the antidote, she probably feels that every minute and second is precious.

I wondered why she would go to such lengths for someone she once despised, but I was certain I wouldn’t get an answer even if I asked.

――In the bathroom that Miroslav had left, Iria looked up at the ceiling alone.

She just wanted to be blank and not think about anything right now.

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