As we continued to follow Charlotte, the area in which we walked gradually began to change from a decrepit area to the more highbrow place that we were currently walking on. While dirt roads seemed to dominate the majority of the city, the area we were currently on had beautiful brick roads of a red color, as well as elevated grey sidewalks that were also made of bricks. As we were finally approaching the bathhouse, we passed by the massive structure that was the Library of Dene. While it’s large tower could be seen from afar, giving you an idea that the library was of great size, the actual structure was absolutely massive and seemed to take up four city blocks by itself.
The tower that stood at one of the corners of the library, was an incredible structure that seemed to go at least ten stories high, making you wonder how it couldn’t be seen from everywhere in the city. According to Charlotte, the tower housed books and scrolls that were exclusive to high-ranking mages employed by the government and those who had the distinct honor of being granted passage to the tower.
Paying attention back to the ground and the surrounding area, I quickly noticed the rather well dressed people that walking around the area. Looking at their appearance, I guessed that these people were either nobles or wealthy merchants, and it made me feel very out of place with me in my dirty clothes, especially now that they were quite short for me and made it appear as though I hadn’t bought new clothes for years…
Looking at Charlotte, I wondered how she didn’t mind leading the two of us destitute looking girls forward through such a highbrow place, although looking around, it seemed that almost everyone was ignoring our existence, despite the fact that we so clearly did not belong in such an area.
As we finally stood at the entrance to the bathhouse, Charlotte turned to the two of us and asked:
“So, what do you guys want to do? Do you want to take just a shower, or also enter the bath. If you choose to take the bath however, just know that you won’t be able to stay there for too long.”
“Are the showers and bath open area?”
“Hmm? Ah, the showers have walls between them and a curtain at the entrance to each. As for the baths, there are four large baths, two indoor and two outdoors. All showers and baths are separated by gender if you’re worried about that~”
“A shower is fine then, I just want to get rid of the grime and this stench on me.”
While I was curious about the bath, since I’d seen quite a few in anime, manga, and novels, the truth was that I wasn’t interested in being surrounded by a bunch of strangers while being naked, nor did I want to enter a hot bath at the moment, but just wanted to take a simple refreshing shower where I could relax and get my thoughts together.
“Okay then, let’s go in~”
With that, the three of us walked inside the bathhouse as Charlotte walked up to a reception desk and handed quite a few coins before receiving three wooden passes and a lock in return. Turning back to look at us, Charlotte then asked the receptionist for something as she passed her a few more coins. After receiving the coins, the receptionist walked inside a door behind the reception area before returning with three small bars of soap as well as two bottles that I guessed were meant to be shampoo.
“Here you go you two.”
With Charlotte passing a bar of soap and a bottle to each of us, I was once again amazed at the commodities that existed in this fantasy world, although seeing the amount of coins that Charlotte had passed to the receptionist, I knew that this bath of ours wasn’t exactly a cheap event.
Following Charlotte, the three of us arrived at the women's changing room. It seemed that the women’s part of the bathhouse was located on the left side of the bathhouse while the men’s side was on the opposite right side. Inside the changing room, Charlotte moved to where the lockers were and put our bags inside before telling us as she began to undress:
“All right, you can undress now, feel free to throw those rags you’re both wearing on the trash over there.”
At her suggestion, both Ailya and I stayed silent as neither the two of us looked at the tattered clothes we were wearing. Neither of us had the desire to throw away the clothes we carried as both of us had a deep sentimental attachment to these tatttered outfits. For me, these were the only clothes as well as possessions that I had from my world. And for Ailya, they were the last thing she had to remember her mother by, as all her outfits had been custom tailored by her, including the one on Ailya at the moment.
Looking at the hesitant expressions of the two of us, Charlotte put on an annoyed expression as she said:
“You two don’t really plan on keeping those… Ahhhh whatever! Bring them here.”
As she said that, Charlotte took some of the clothes she had bought for me from one of the bags and placed it in another, as she took the empty bag and held it open.
Seeing what she had in mind, I gave Charlotte a thankful smile before undressing and putting my clothes in the bag. Next to me, Ailya had also undressed and done the same.
Taking a whiff of the contents in the bag, Charlotte’s face contorted in clear disgust as she rolled up the bag and shoved it to the end of the locker, before placing the other seven bags on top of it. With this done, she put her own clothes inside there as she closed and locked the locker before motioning for us to follow her.
Staring at her, I stayed absolutely still as Charlotte turned around and asked with a confused expression:
“What’s wrong? Got anymore issues?”
“Yeah, what about our towels? How are we supposed to dry ourselves after we shower?”
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll dry us off with magic.”
“So… are we supposed to just walk naked to the showers?”
“ Yes, if you have an issue with that, you’re free to stay here. But just remember that I’m the one with the key to locker, so you’ll have to wait here naked until I get back~”
Releasing a sigh, I decided to accept my fate and followed after Charlotte as Ailya followed after me. In this manner, the three of us walked completely naked towards the showers, with Charlotte unashamedly leading the way as I followed behind her trying to cover myself and Ailya doing the same after seeing my reaction. As we made our way through the bathhouse, I felt a bit relieved that there weren’t too many women on the short way to the showers, and that they didn’t bother to pay any attention to us as we passed by them…