A Moment of Rest
This happened shortly after welcoming the exchange students.
“Alright. With this, I’ve more or less finished preparing.”
I looked up and down the memos I’d written down on the wooden board and gave my shoulder a spin to work out the stiffness.
The exchange students’ bodies and ecologies were all entirely different from one another’s, so there were many different things I had to pay attention to.
Their rooms, for example. Although the second floor of the school building has turned into what’s basically a dormitory, the only ones living there at the moment are Shig and Violet. Having grown up in the grasslands, Luka dislikes heights and has a newly established room on the first floor. Rin, on the other hand, is in water. A deep spring in the forest to be exact.
I have to be careful about their meals as well. Luka isn’t able to eat anything but meat, while Rin’s staples are fish and seaweed. Although Shig appears able to eat just about anything, I do not know what he prefers nor what is poisonous to him, so I have to be careful and try different things little by little.
I also have to produce furniture that matches their each of their physiques… although my ideal society is one where various races can coexist, it’s turning out to be a challenge.
I decided to go take a bath to deal with some of the exhaustion I’d accumulated.
“Ah, going for a bath?”
Noticing me make a move, Nina came along. Bathing with her has turned entirely into a customary thing, I don’t even feel awkward or embarrassed about it at all at this point. Even after marrying Ai, it had turned into us three bathing together. I did start wearing a bathing suit for a period of time, but changing into and out of it every time was tiresome, so I wound up stopping that.
“Do you all want to take a bath with us?”
Even so, Nina extended the invitation to the students who still remained in the classroom.
Before I could say anything to stop her, Yuuki shot her hand up in the air immediately.
“Nina described it to me as a warm spring, I have to say that I am interested in it.”
Violet spoke up as well.
“I wanna go too!”
Despite likely not even knowing what a bath was, Rin stuck both her hands in the air.
“There’s a bath in a place like this? In that case, I want to use it.”
Even Shig seemed to be interested.
“U-U-Umm… I’ll go, too…”
Seeming as though she didn’t want to be the sole one left out, Luka raised her hand very timidly.
“… Maybe I should wait until after?”
“The water wouldn’t be warm without you there.”
Sure enough, Nina rejected my proposal… and so it was decided.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Haah… this feels quite pleasant, Mentor.”
“I-It does, doesn’t it.”
I responded to Violet, who let out a captivating sigh, while hoping that that would be enough of a response.
The destructiveness her mature, adult body held was on another level. Yet even so, she wasn’t making any attempts to hide it in the least. It was likely that she similarly didn’t feel abashed at having her naked body seen. It was a bit rude to think about, but her body was the type that seemed less voluptuous when clothed.
This large bath was constructed under the assumption that I would enter it in my dragon form. Therefore, there was still a lot of space remaining even after everyone got in it. Firewood wouldn’t be enough to warm it no matter how many logs you brought, but it would warm up on its own just by me entering it.
Which is the reason why everyone’s crowding themselves nearby me. There was Nina, who I’d grown used to seeing long ago, Yuuki and Rin, who were still children, and Shig, a man. However, the ones who had a severe effect on me were Violet and—
“Hey, your body’s pretty big, come over here and dunk yourself all the way in.”
Luka. Luka, in particular, was dangerous. Pulled in by Nina and looking nervous… she covered her breasts and stood timidly at the center of the bathtub. In other words, she was right in front of me. Her face was bright red, but it likely wasn’t due to being in too long.
She was the same as me in that regard.
—She was embarrassed.
With a wolf-like lower half, the girl usually clothed everything on her upper half. Accordingly, she seemed to regard having her skin be seen as something thoroughly embarrassing.
Her body corresponding suitably to her age, she didn’t hold the overwhelming destructiveness like Ai or Violet. However, her attempts at covering herself was a frighteningly strong, sure-kill ability.
I couldn’t just stand there looking at her, so I diverted my gaze to Yuuki and Rin, who appeared to be playing around in the water together. Watching them was… how should I put it?
“Come to think of it, Rin, are you alright in the bath? It’s not too hot, right?”
Rin nodded back cheerfully. I’d heard that fish could get scalded by water even as warm as human body temperature, but it looks like it’s fine for mermaids. Well, they’re obviously a homeothermic species, so I suppose it’s alright.
Her flat body type was truly a sight for sore eyes. I could see her purely as a child. Even her lower half being that of a fish’s was an appreciated thing. I don’t feel uneasy around her at all.
Even though she’s also a child, I get the feeling that Yuuki’s starting to grow up a bit. We’ve taken a few baths together here and there, but compared to Rin, she’s growing a bit more curvy, more womanly. Upon closer inspection, I could even see that her breasts were starting to grow…—ah. Upon thinking that, I realized that I was staring and quickly averted my eyes. No matter how much of a child someone is, staring like that is bad. With that, my eyes fell upon Nina.
As far as growth goes, she did seem to be growing. Her features had matured to some extent since we met five hundred years ago, and it seemed like she’d grown just a tad taller. That said, if she continues growing as she has been, I can’t see her gaining Violet’s body type…
The instant I thought that last part, Nina’s eyes met mine, so I once again looked elsewhere. Finally, my gaze fell upon the only other person I could feel relieved around here… Shig. I’d heard that lizardmen often went into hot springs that dotted the area around volcanoes, causing their culture to be one that valued bathing. It seemed as though Shig was happy to be soaking in the hot water.
The lizardmen based their standard of beauty on how long their tails were, so he probably didn’t think anything of those without tails looking at him. He was able to relax despite being surrounded by so many open beauties.
Noticing my gaze, Shig’s expression changed.
“Even if we’re both men, you shouldn’t stare at me like that. I get it, my tail’s short and slender!”
No, I wasn’t thinking about that at all…!!
“What’d you eat to get a tail like that…”
Shig grumbled to himself. I wonder, am I considered fairly beautiful to the lizardmen? I do recall Beol once telling me that the longer the tail, the better.
“So don’t stare at me like that!”
Shig didn’t want me to look at him, but the only other option for me was the flesh-colored garden surrounding me.
My anguish continued for a good while after that.