The Bathroom Goddess Afterstory Part 4

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其の後の、其の四 新顔の男

Afterstory Part 4 – The newcomer

Author's Note: 
Due to the print publication of this novel, the source story will be deleted today September 9th at 11:55PM.
The process will be detailed in the activity report.
Thank you for reading and hopefully enjoying this novel!

 

 ――やっぱり臭い。

–––It does stink after all.

 泉は泡立てたばかりの緑の泡を、シャワーで流した。

Izumi washed away the greeny bubbles she had formed in the shower.

 ヨーク・ザイの城に監禁中のヒノキ王子から受け取った、壺に入った粉末状の石鹸は、それはそれは酷い臭いだった。

The pulverized soap contained in the vase she had traded with Prince Hinoki, confined inside a tower in Yohk’Zai, had a foul stench.

 そこら辺に生えている雑草を磨り潰したような青草い香りが漂う中、思い出したように時折香る生臭さがたまらない。それはまるで、苔の生えた真夏の水槽のようで、よくもこんな匂いの物体を作り上げたものだと、ある意味感動さえ覚える。

Every now and then, she would be unable to stand the grassy smell floating in the air. Or rather than grassy, it was like the smell of mashed weed, or maybe like the green moss that appears in water tanks during summer reeks. Just thinking that this had been man-made left a deep mark on her, in a certain sense.

 しかも、この石鹸の酷さはそれだけではない。泡立ちが悪く、そのくせ、やたらぬるぬるしているのだ。

But to make matters worse, this soap’s bad points didn’t end there. It was also bad forming foam, and more than often, would remain like jelly.

 それでも、良薬は口に苦しと言うし、きっと無添加だろうし、この石鹸にも良いところがあるに違いない。そう思って、使用を試みてみた泉だったが……

In any case, it is said that good medicine tastes bitter, and that soap was most probably produced without any additives. Thinking like that, Izumi decided to try using it, but….

「もしもこれ以上ないほど肌によくても、精神的に無理!」

“Even if this would be the best thing in the world for my skin, my sanity can’t handle it!”

 盛大にため息を吐いて、シャワーで荒い流すはめになった。

She heaved a deep sigh, and started scrubbing it off under the shower.

 結局、泉はいつもの石鹸で体を洗い、湯船につかることにした。

In the end, Izumi washed herself with the usual soap, and entered the bath.

 長年愛用している、石鹸も悪くはない。悪くはないが、ジェバスの王子からもらった、しっとりすべすべになる石鹸が恋しい。

That soap, the one she liked the most throughout the years, wasn’t bad. While it wasn’t bad, she missed the soft, smooth soap she had received from the prince of Jebas.

 王子お手製のあの石鹸は、王子の言うとおり、素晴らしい洗い上がりだった。

That soap, hand-made by the prince himself, was in his own words, a marvelous bathing experience.

 乾燥肌の泉は、秋口から初夏にかけて入浴後の保湿がかかせない。なのにあの石鹸を使った日はそれを必要としなかったほどだ。

Normally Izumi needed to use a moisturizer from the start of fall until early summer for her dry skin, but she didn’t need to use one the day she tried that soap.

 まだ、一度しか試してなかったのに……

Though, she was able to use it only once…

 泉が残念に思うのは石鹸だけではない。入浴剤に至っては、結局一度も使うことが出来なかった。

But she didn’t only regret losing the soap, for instance the bathing salts, which hadn’t been used a single time by her.

 泉は両手を合わせて湯を掬いあげる。指の間から零れていく湯を眺めて、ため息を吐いた。

Izumi joined her hands and scooped up some water. She sighed as she watched the water dripping down between her fingers.

 あの入浴剤をいれたなら、どれほど素晴らしい香りになっただろう。

If she had used those bathing salts, just what kind of wonderful smell would this water have?

 ――やっぱり、諦めきれない。

–––I can’t give up on it after all.

 泉はきっと虚空を見詰めた。

Izumi stared blankly into space.

 そこに褐色の肌の男を思い浮かべ睨みつける。

And proceeded to glare at the dark skinned man she imagined floating there.

 それもこれも、あの男がつまらない野望なんて抱くから悪いのだ。

All that happened had been his fault for harboring those boring aspirations.

 こうなったら、ジェバスの王子がもう一度自由に世界を旅できるようにしてやる!

If it came to this, she only needed the prince of Jebas to be able to travel the world freely!

 その為にも窓の外の世界が平和であることが欠かせない。

To do that, it was indispensable for the world beyond the window to be in peace.

 ヒノキ王子の為にも、カラスの野望の犠牲になろうとしている人々の為にも、そして泉自身の為にも……

For prince Hinoki’s sake, for the sake of all the people who were being victims of Karasu’s ambitions, and for her own sake too…

 ――目指せ、世界平和!

–––Let’s do it, peace for the world!

 泉は決意も新たに、拳を握り締めた。

She clenched her fists as she renewed her determination

 そして、はたと気付く。

Then, she suddenly noticed.

 あちらの世界との繋がりが絶たれぬようもらってきた、この真夏の水槽臭石鹸を欲しがるような奇特な人がいるのかどうかということに。

Her connection to that world wouldn’t be cut as long as there was a certain someone there who would need this mid-summer parched water tank reeking soap.

 ジェバスの王子から、緊迫したあちらの世界の事情を聞いてから、泉はまず、本物のフーロンに再開して、カラスの正体を確かめた。そして、ヒノキ王子に会って、彼の意思を聞いた。

After hearing the tense situation that world was in, Izumi went to meet the real Huuron first, and checked Karasu’s real identity. Then, she met with Prince Hinoki, and asked for his will.

 次に会うべき人は果たして誰だろう?

Who should she go meet next then?

 ロテンやユアタァーリに会って、水脈の話をすべきだろうか?

Maybe she should go meet with Roten and Yuataree to have a fine conversation with them?

 それとも、アクア姫に世界情勢がまずいことになりそうなので、お兄さんが国に帰ると伝えに行くべき?

Or maybe go explain what was happening to Princess Aqua , and tell her that her brother is coming back?

 そういえば、スナユのヒトウ王女が、婚約者であるトージのコーノウ王を絶賛していたっけ。力になってもらうため、彼の王に渡りをつけるのもいいかもしれない。

Actually, didn’t Sunayu’s queen Hitow talk highly of her fiance, King Cornou from Tohji? Maybe it’d be a good idea to stop there and ask for their assistance too.

 水脈の状態も気になるから、ミラにも会いに行きたい。

And since the underground water currents worried her too, she wanted to meet with Mira again.

 カラスの野望を挫き、困っている諸国を助けたいという目的ははっきりしているけど、何から手を付けていいか分からなかった。

Her resolve to crush Karasu’s ambitions and help all the countries affected by them was set, but she still wasn’t sure where to start.

 何より、いったい誰が、こんな真夏の水槽石鹸を欲しがるというのだろう。

In the first place, who on earth would like that mid-summer parched water tank stinking soap?

 いつヨーク・ザイとトリートの間で、火蓋が切られるか分からないのに、しょっぱなからこんなことでは先が思いやられる。

Then again, she had always been worried about a dispute starting between Yohk’Zai and Triht anytime soon.

 そう考えたとき、ふと、トリートの国主ゼツゲンのことを思い出した。

Thinking about that again, she remembered the ruler of Triht, Setsugen.

 雪山で出会ったゼツゲンは寡黙で誠実そうな若者に見えた。

When she met him in the mountains, Setsugen gave the impression of a reserved and honest lad.

 事実、人望もあったようだし……

Though later she found out he was quite popular…

 その彼が、まさか、ヨーク・ザイに戦争をしかけようとするとは。

But for him to wage a war with Yohk’Zai was a bit hard to imagine.

 しかも、どうやら万に一つも勝ち目がなさそうではないか。

In the first place, he wouldn’t have a chance to win if that happened.

 泉は湯船の中で腕組みをして考え込んだ。

Izumi continued thinking as she folded her arms inside the bathtub.

 そうだ、まずは戦争が起きぬよう時間稼ぎをしなければ。

Then it occurred to her, first she needed to buy time while there was no war.

 武力衝突が起きてしまえば、後々まで遺恨を引き摺ることになるだろう。そうなれば泉の目指す世界平和への道は遠のいてしまう。

If a war were to happen, the scars left by it in the form of resent would remain for a long time. Only distancing the peaceful world Izumi wished for far, far away.

 それにしても、どうやって時間稼ぎをするべきだろうか。

But then again, what could she do to buy more time?

 双方の戦の準備はどこまですすんでいて、一体どこが戦場になるのだろう。

Just how far did the preparations for war go in both sides, and where were they planning on carrying it out?

「うーん……」

“Hmm….”

 泉は唸った。本来なら頭をからっぽにして、ぼんやりと湯気を眺めているか、持ち込んだ本を読んでいる風呂場の中で、これ以上はないというほど頭を働かせる。

Izumi groaned. Normally she would clear her mind of any thoughts, and either stare blankly at the steam, or read a book she had brought to the bathroom.

 ――私なら、地の利を生かすかな。

–––I’m the only one who could create any advantage I guess.

 雪山に誘い込んでゲリラ戦に持ち込めば、ヨーク・ザイは苦戦しそうだ。

If they could get Yohk’Zai inside the snowy mountains, they would probably have trouble against small guerrilla armies.

 ――って、防衛戦じゃないんだし……

–––Wait, that’s not exactly defensive tactics…

 そもそも、トリートは火石がほしいのだから、打って出るしかないだろう。

In the first place, since Triht needed fire stones, they had no other chance but to go fight for them.

 だがトリートの人間が、慣れない砂漠で満足に戦えるとは思えない。

But it was hard to imagine they would be able to fight to their fullest in a terrain they were not used to, like the desert.

 でも、例えば、そう、砂漠に慣れた人々と結託し準備をすれば、それなりに戦えるかもしれない。

So, if for example, they were to form an alliance with people used to the desert, they might have a better chance.

「……え?」

“…huh?”

 泉は思わず声をだしていた。

Izumi accidentally let her voice out.

 雪山で出会った時、ゼツゲンはザハーリャのカッケナーガ族に会いに行く途中だったと、ユノハ姫を狙うハゲ親父から聞いた。

When she met Setsugen inside the mountains, he was in his way to meet with the Kak’Kenah tribe, or so she had been told by the old baldie who was trying to capture princess Yunoha.

 そしてゼツゲンは、ヨーク・ザイの宰相テオ・ケーがフーロンに会えたかもしれないと分かると、ザハーリャに用はなくなったと言っていた。

But then when Setsugen heard that Teo Keh had probably already met with Huuron, he said he didn’t have any business in Zaharya anymore.

 それは、つまり……

Then, that would mean that…

「そういうことだよねえ」

“Everything makes sense now.”

 泉は項垂れた。

Izumi drooped her head.

 なんてことだ。カラスのみならず、ゼツゲンもまた、泉と出会った時点で物騒なことを考えていたのだ。

How could it be. Not only Karasu, but Setsugen too, both were thinking of carrying out something dangerous when they met with Izumi.

 窓が繋がった先の人々は決して困っているだけの弱者ではなかった。

The people she met beyond the window were not only weak people in trouble.

 泉は己の浅薄さをまたも思い知った。

Izumi noticed her own naiveness.

 もっとも、ゼツゲンの場合は止むに止まれぬ事情があったようだけど……

Maybe in the case of Setsugen there were certain circumstances beyond his own control…

 しかし、どんな理由があれ、それは戦火に巻き込まれる人々には言い訳にもならないだろう。

But still, no matter what the reason, that is in no way an acceptable excuse to involve normal people in a war.

 そう言えば、カッケナーガ族はどうしてトリートと手を組もうと考えたのだろうか。

Then again, why did he think the Kak’Kenah tribe would accept to join forces with Triht?

 しかも、族長の弟はユカマに買収され、宴の席でゼツゲンに毒を飲ます予定だった。そこから考えるに、カッケナーガ族内部にも、また問題があるようだ。

On top of that, the brother of the tribe chief had been bribed by Yukama, and was prepared to poison Setsugen’s drink in a banquet. Taking that into consideration, it seemed there were internal problems in the Kak’Kenah tribe too.

そう、考えたとき。微かに人の声が聞こえた。

When she thought that far, she faintly heard a person’s voice.

 耳を澄ませば、それは男の声だと分かる。

After listening a bit more attently, she noticed it was a male voice.

 呻き声と……悪態をつくような声。

A groaning….and rude voice, the kind that would seem to be used to curse.

 ――えーと……

–––Err…

 泉は困った。窓が泉の望む相手の元に繋がるのだとしたら、自分は今、誰のことを考えていただろうか。

Izumi was worried. If the window really connected to the person she was wanted to, who was she thinking about this time?

 戸惑う間にも、声は絶え間なく聞こえる。

While she hesitated, the voice continued speaking without a moment’s rest.

「くそっ」「駄目だ」「ちくしょう!」

“Dammit” “Screw this” “Goddammit!”

 窓の外の相手は、かなり苛立ち、焦っているらしい。

The person in the other side of the window seemed quite annoyed and impatient.

 誰か分からないが繋がってしまったものは仕方がない。泉は腰を上げると、窓を開けた。

She didn’t know with who the window connected, but there was nothing she could do about that. Standing up, she opened the window.

「あら、新顔」

“Oh, a new face.”

 窓の外に現れた人物は初めて見る顔だった。年のころは二十歳かそこらだろうか。長い髪を赤い組紐で括っている。むき出しの筋肉質な腕は、砂の国の人々と同じ褐色だ。

The person standing outside the window was someone she had never seen before. He seemed to be in his twenties, and his long hair was tied with a red string. His exposed musculous arm was of the same brown hue as the desert habitants.

 しかし、男がいるのは、砂漠ではなく岩場だった。

But the place where this man was, wasn’t the desert but a rocky area.

 大小様々な岩がごろごろと転がっている。男はその岩の上に座り込んでいた。

Many rocks of various sizes were tumbling around, and the man was sitting on top of one of them.

「あぁ?」

“Ah?”

 男は怪訝な顔で泉に目をやり、

The man shot a dubious glance at Izumi and…

「あ? ……うわああぁあ」

“ah?…..Whoaaa.”

 叫んで、腰を浮かした。

He stood up screaming.

 しかし、すぐにその場に尻もちをついてしまう。

Immediately falling beckwards and landing seated on the ground.

 驚きのあまり、腰が抜けたのだろうか? と思いよくよく男を見て、泉は青くなった。

Izumi looked at the man worried, palling by the thought he may have dislocated his back out of the shock.

 男のむき出しの左腕は、その手首から先が、岩と岩の隙間に挟まっていたのだ。

His naked left arm was buried inside the rocks from the wrist upwards.

どうやら、腰が抜けたのではなく、岩に挟まった腕のせいで、立ち上がれなかったらしい。

At least, it seemed he hadn’t dislocated his back, but he couldn’t stand because of his arm was trapped inside the rocks.

「いってえ……」

“That hurt…”

 痛めたのか、男は自由な右手で左の肩を撫でる。

He painfully started massaging his left shoulder.

 それから泉を睨みつけた。

Then proceeded to glare at Izumi.

「おい、女妖術師。身動きの取れぬところを狙うとは卑怯だろうが!」

“Hey, necromancer. Don’t you know it’s of cowards to sneak up on people when they can’t move!”

 手首から先が岩に潰されてしまっているのではと心配した泉だったが、男は随分元気そうだ。

Izumi was worried his arm might be getting crushed under the rocks, but the man seemed to be plenty energetic.

「いや、べつに狙ってないから。……ところで、腕が抜けないの?」

“Well no, I wasn’t exactly trying to do that. …by the way, you can’t pull your arm out?”

「見ればわかるだろう。くそっ、俺としたことが」

“You can tell only by looking. Damn, what did I get myself into.”

 男は腕を挟む岩を力任せに蹴る。するとどこからかぱらぱらと土が降ってきた。

The man forcefully kicked the rock covering his arm. After a while, many small rocks fell all around them.

 泉はぎょっとして窓から顔を出した。そして、またもや青ざめる。

Izumi stuck her head out the window startled. And soon, turned pale again.

 男の居る場所はかなりの急勾配で、はるか頭上まで、岩が積もっているのだ。それもみるからに不安定で、今にも崩れ落ちそうだった。

The place where he was was a steep slope, and many rocks were piled up far above them. The way it stood there, seemingly about to fall in any moment screamed danger.

 いや、きっともう、崩れた後なのだろう。土に塗れた岩お数多くある。

Actually, some of it might have just finished falling down, seeing how the ground was showered in rocks.

「落石に巻き込まれたの? っていうか、そんな風に蹴ったら、上から岩が落ちてくるんじゃないの!?」

“Where you trapped by the falling rocks? Or actually, if you kick the rocks like that, won’t that cause more of them to fall from above?!”

「だったらどうしろって? ここで餓死するのをまてってのか?」

“The what do you want me to do? Just sit here like a duck and wait ’till I starve to death?”

 男はなおも岩を蹴り続ける。

The man continued kicking the rock.

「ちょっ、ちょっと! 待って!」

“W-wait! Stop!”

 このままでは泉まで落石に巻き添えを食う。

If he continued like that, Izumi would also get dragged into a rock avalanche.

 泉は慌てて浴槽から出ると、真夏の水槽石鹸の入った壺を手に取り戻った。

Izumi hastily stood up from the bathtub and went to pick up the vase with the mid-summer water tank soap.

「ほら、これ! これ、あげるから!」

“Hey, look at this! I’ll give you this!”

「ああ? こりゃ、バフルじゃねえか。相変わらず、ひっでえ臭いだな」

“Ahh? Aren’t those buffles? They smell as awful as ever huh.”

 どうやら男はこの石鹸を知っているらしい。

Apparently this man knew of this soap.

「で? これをどうしろって?」

“So? What do you want me to do with this?”

 泉は桶に湯を汲むと、中に真夏の水槽石鹸――バフルの粉を入れて溶く。するとみるまにお湯はぬるぬるになった。

Izumi scooped up some water in a bucket, and put the mid-summer water tank soap–––buffle powder in it. After a while, the water was slippery.

「これを腕に塗って、岩の隙間にも流し込んでみて」

“Soak your arm in this, and then let it flow through the gap between the rocks.”

 男はようやく、バフルをどう役立てるかが分かったらしい。

The man fiinally seemed to understand how the buffle could be used.

 臭いに顔を顰めながら、ぬるぬるを塗りたくる。

He soaked his arm while he grimaced at the smell.

 仕上げに桶を傾け、岩の中に湯を流し込むと、大きく深呼吸をした。

Finally he inclined the bucket, and let the water flow through the rocks. He took a deep breath.

「ふんっ」

“Huff.”

 そして勢いよく腕を引く。

Mustering all the force he could, he pulled his arm.

 また、ぱらぱらと土が降ってきた。

Once again, rocks fell around.

「お願いだから! もう少しそっとしてよ! じゃないと、窓を閉めて私だけ逃げるわよ!」

“I’m telling you to stop! Please stay quiet for a while! Else I’ll close the window and go away alone!”

「うるせえ、妖術師だな。抜けねえんだから仕方がないだろうが」

“Shut up you sorcerer. Do you think I can do something else when I’m trapped like this?”

 そう言って男は二度、三度と腕を引く。

Saying so, the man yanked his arm again, and one third time.

 泉ははらはらしながら男の様子を見守った。

Izumi’s heart raced as she watched him.

 しかし、一向に腕が抜ける気配はない。

But in the end, it didn’t seem like his arm would move a single inch.

「くそっ、抜けねえ」

“Dammit, I can’t pull it out.”

 泉は再度バフルを溶いたお湯を作って男に渡す。そうして、腕を挟んでいる岩を覗き込んだ。

Izumi prepared another bucket of water mixed with buffle and handed it over to the man. Then she peeked over to the rock.

 痛がりもしない様子を見ると、怪我はないようだ。きっと挟まれた先は空洞になっているのだろう。

Seemingly not in pain, he probably wasn’t wounded. There was probably a vacuum on the other side of the rock.

 それによくよく見れば、腕の周りに少しだが隙間もある。

After looking closer, there was also a small gap around his arm.

 そう……隙間があるのだ。

There was in fact…a gap.

「……ねえ。まさかだけど、手を握り込んでない?」

“…Umm. Just in case but…maybe you are clenching your fist?”

 泉は、半眼で男に尋ねた。

Izumi asked him in a monotone voice.

「……」

“…”

 男は目を見開いたあと、黙り込んだ。そして泉から視線をそらし……

He seemed surprised for a second, then fell silent. A while after that he looked away from Izumi…

 次の瞬間、男の腕はいとも簡単に岩から抜けた。

In the following seconds, the man’s arm came out of the rock without problems.

 ――馬鹿だ。馬鹿がいる。

–––He’s an idiot. He’s definitely an idiot.

「ちっ、違うからな。これには理由があって」

“It’s- It’s not what you think. There was a reason for that, I tell you.”

 泉の視線から、自分が馬鹿にされていると感じ取ったのだろう。

He probably noticed he was being taken for an idiot by Izumi.

 男は狼狽えた様子で弁明を始めた。

Flustered, he started explaining himself.

「火薬袋を持ってたんだ! き、貴重な品だからな。出来れば、持って帰りたかったんだ」

“I was holding a bag with gunpowder! That’s really valuable so, if possible, I wanted to take it home with me.”

「……ふうん」

“…Hmmm.”

 男を見る目が、どうしても冷ややかになってしまうのは仕方がないだろう。

She couldn’t avoid giving him an indifferent look.

 まあ、抜けて良かったわね。そう言おうとして、泉は嫌なことに気付いた。

Well, at least she was glad he could free his arm. Thinking of telling him something along those lines, she caught on to something weird.

「ねえ、その火薬。何に使ったの?」

“Tell me. That gunpowder, what did you want to use it for?”

 男の周囲に散らばる岩を眺めて泉は尋ねる。

Izumi asked him while glancing at the rock scattered around them.

 火薬と落石、そして男の馬鹿さ加減。今度こそ、まさかとは思うが……

Gunpowder, falling rocks, and the stupidity of the man. For once, this time, if she thought of the all the posibilities…

 男は、そっぽを向いたまま答える。

The man answered while averting his eyes.

「ああ、ああ、御察しの通り、岩を崩したんだよ! 自分で起こした落石に巻き込まれたんだ。文句あるか!?」

“Yeah, that’s right, you guessed right, I was blowing the rock up! I got caught between the rock avalanche I caused myself. Do you have a problem with that?!”

 すっかり開き直っている。

He turned on the offense immediately.

 泉は呆れてため息を吐いた。

She let an exasperated sigh out.

「どうして、そんなことをしようと思ったの……。工事でも始めるの?」

“Why, why did you want to do something like that… Are you going to start building something?”

 男は具合を確かめるように、手首を回す。

He tried moving his hand around a bit to make sure everything was alright.

「違う。道を潰したんだ。ピレーニアから俺の村に降りる道を」

“No. I was destroying a road. The road that goes down to my village from Pirenia.”

「へ? ピレーニア?」

“Huh? Pirenia?”

 どこかで聞いた名だ。でも思い出せない。

She had heard that name before, but she couldn’t remember where.

「ピレーニアって……なんだっけ?」

“Where was…Pirenia again?”

「トリートとザハーリャの間にある山だ。ふん、妖術師も案外無知なんだな」

“It’s a mountain between Triht and Zaharya. Hmm, sorcerers are more ignorant than I thought.”

「あ、そうそう。セントールに聞いたんだった。ピレーニア」

“Ah, right, yeah. I heard that from Sentoor. Pirenia huh.”

 トリートのにぶちん剣士セントールは、ゼツゲンがいた山小屋はピレーニアの頂にあると、言っていた。

The dense knight Sentoor had said the mountain hut Setsugen was in, was located in Pirenia.

 ああ、思い出せて良かった。と、すっきりしかけた泉だが、

She heaved a sigh of relief after successfully remembering.

「……はい!?」

“….What?!”

 思わず声をあげて、身を乗り出した。

She unconsciously shrieked, and pulled herself forward.

「うおっ」

“Whoa”

 何故か、男がのけぞる。

For some reason, the man jumped back.

「トリートのピレーニア!? どうして? どうして、道を崩したの。あ! あなた、ひょっとしてヨーク・ザイの工作員とか?」

“Pirenia from Triht?! Why? Why did you destroy the road, Ah! Maybe, maybe you are a spy from Yohk’Zai?”

 そうだ。男の褐色の肌は砂漠に住む人特有のもの。きっとフーロンに言われて、道を塞ぎにきたんだ。

There was no doubt, the tanned skin he had was a special trait from the inhabitants of the desert. He probably came to block the road under Huuron’s orders.

「だれが、ヨーク・ザイの工作員だ」

“Who are you calling a spy from Yohk’Zai?”

 男は嫌そうに顔を顰めたあと、泉を指さした。

The man frowned in disgust as he pointed at Izumi.

「それより、そうまで堂々と出されると、ありがたみがねえんだけど」

“Though in the first place, for you to show those so boldly, do you even have decency?”

 泉は、男の指の先……つまり、自分の胸を見下ろした。

Izumi glanced to where he was pointing, in other words…her own chest.

「……あー、んんっ、ごほっ」

“…Ahh, mmmm, *cough*

 咳払いを一つ。

She cleared her throat.

 それから、「ちょっと待ってて!」と叫ぶと脱兎のごとく脱衣所に逃げ込んだ。

Then she yelled “Wait there for a sec!” and dashed over to the dressing room.

 大急ぎでタオルを体に巻いて風呂場に戻る。

She returned to the bathroom after hurriedly wrapping a towel around herself.

 男は窓枠に肘をつき、暢気に泉を待っていた。

The man was carelessly waiting for her, his arm resting on the window frame.

「やっぱり、ありがたみに欠ける……」

“Seriously, you lack something called decency….”

 バスタオル姿の泉を見ると、嘆かわしいとばかりに首を振る。

He shook his head in pity after seeing her clothed with only a bath towel.

「うるさいわね! だれも有難がってもらおうだなんて思ってないから。それより、貴方何者なの? ヨーク・ザイの人じゃないの? どうして、道を崩したの?」

“Shut up already! I don’t care if someone thinks I’m indecent anyways. In the first place. Who are you? You aren’t someone from Yohk’Zai? Why did you destroy the road?”

 泉は矢継ぎ早に質問した。

Izumi shot one question after another.

「俺は、カッケナーガ族の族長チョウシュウが弟、ゴエモーン。ヨーク・ザイの人間といえば、そう言えなくもないが……」

“I’m the brother of Cho’Shaw, the chief of the Kak’Kenah tribe. My name is Goemon. You could say I’m from Yohk’Zai, but not at the same time…”

 歯切れの悪い物言いが引っかかったが、今はそんな事に気をとられている場合ではなかった。

He was speaking with a half closed mouth, so his enunciation wasn’t the best, but now wasn’t the time to pay attention to that.

「じゃあ……貴方が……ユカマに買収されて、ゼツゲンに毒を盛ろうとした、カッケナーガ族長の弟!?」

“Then…you…are the person who was bribed by Yukama, and tried to poison Setsugen, that brother of the Kak’Kenah tribe chief?”

 泉がそう言うと、男――ゴエモーンはさっと身を引いた。そして、腰に手を伸ばす。そこには短刀が差してあった。

After she said that, the man–––Goemon’s whole body sprung back. He reached out for his hip, to the dagger he carried there.

「お前、何者だ」

“Just who are you.”

 緊迫したゴエモーンの声。泉は慌てて、手を振った。

He spoke with a strained tone. Izumi waved her hands around flustered.

「ち、違うから。間者とかじゃないから。ついでに、トリートの人間でもヨーク・ザイの人間でもないから!」

“It-It’s not what you think. I’m not a spy or something. I’m not even someone from Triht or Yohk’Zai!”

 しかし、ゴエモーンは警戒を解かない。

However, Goemon was still wary.

「俺をゴエモーンと知っての狼藉か!」

“Then you are a rebel against me then!”

 怒気も顕な一喝に泉は震えあがった。それから、はてと首を傾げた。

Izumi trembled hearing him roar in anger. She tilted her head a while later.

「いや、よーく考えて。狼藉なんて働いてないでしょ。むしろ助けてあげたじゃない」

“No, just think calmly for a moment. A rebel wouldn’t want to work for you, but I even helped you out.”

 ゴエモーンは一瞬、きょとんとした顔をしたあと、「それもそうだな」と短刀から手を離す。

Goemon stood still for a few seconds, “You have a point there” he said, and moved his hand away from the dagger.

 泉はほっと息を吐いた。

Izumi heaved a sigh of relief.

「あの、色々と聞きたいけど、貴方が嫌なら多くは聞かないから。一つだけ答えて欲しいの。どうして、道を崩したの?」

“Umm, I want to ask a lot of stuff, but if you mind that I won’t ask as much. The only thing I really want to know is, why did you destroy the road?”

 ゴエモーンは唇を噛みしめた。そして、口を開く。

Goemon bit his lips. Then he finally spoke.

「トリートの奴らが、ヨーク・ザイに攻め入るのを防ぐためだ」

“To protect the people of Triht from being attacked by Yohk’Zai.”

 泉は目を瞬いた。

Izumi blinked a few times.

「もしかして、ユカマと手を組んで、ゼツゲンに毒を盛ろうとしたのも、同じ理由?」

“Could it be, that the reason you accepted to help Yukama and poison Setsugen was the same?”

「そうだ」

“Exactly”

 ゴエモーンは泉の目を真っ直ぐに見る。そして、一気にまくしたてた。

Goemon looked straight at Izumi’s eyes, then continued talking without a rest.

「ゼツゲンの野郎。俺の村を拠点に、ヨーク・ザイに戦をふっかけようとしやがった。兄は、ゼツゲンと手を組むと……。兄は間違っている! 今更、ヨーク・ザイから独立してなんになる。二十年だぞ!? ヨーク・ザイに併呑されてから、二十年かけて、戦火にさらされ、荒れた畑を再び耕して……。そりゃ、ちっと手狭になったかもしれんが、やっと平和になったって、母や、村の女たちは喜んでいるのに。なのに、またカッケナーガ族を戦乱に放り込むつもりか! 昔を懐かしんでなにになるってんだ……」

“That bastard Setsugen. He wanted to use my village as a base to attack Yohk’Zai. And brother joined hands with him… He’s so wrong about doing that! How long has it been since we were independized from Yohk’Zai? Only twenty damn years! Twenty years since we were held captive by Yohk’Zai, twenty years since we had to battle, twenty years since we had plow all our ravaged fields again… Yes, maybe we did get confined to a smaller area, but my mom, all the women in the village, everyone was so happy. But now, he…he wants to throw all the Kak’Kenah tribe out to fight again?! What does he think of all what we had to go through before…”

 ゴエモーンはその場に力なくへたり込んだ。立てた膝の上に顔を伏せる。

Goemon sitted desperated there, hugging his legs.

「……分かってんだ。ヨーク・ザイと戦になった時、俺はまだ生まれてなかったが、兄は十歳だった。母に代わって、戦場で親父の死を看取ったって話も聞いた。兄や爺さん達がヨーク・ザイを恨む気持ちも分かる。でも、今更なにになるってんだよ」

“…I know. I know I hadn’t been born yet when the battle with Yohk’Zai happened, but my brother was already twenty years old. He succedeed mom after seeing witnessing my dad be killled in battle, or so I was told. I understand why my brother and relatives hold a grudge with Yohk’Zai. But, what could they possibly accomplish this late!”

 泉は黙り込んだ。かける言葉も見つからない。

Izumi remained silent. She couldn’t find words to tell him.

 今の生活を大切にしたい人々と、昔の暮らしを切望する人々。どちらが間違いという話でもない。

It wasn’t just a discussion on wether the people who enjoyed their current life or the ones who resented their past lives were wrong, either.

 だが――

Only–––

「私の目標って、世界平和なのよね」

“The only thing I want, is peace for the world.”

 泉はぽつりと呟いた。どこの世も白か黒、善か悪になんて気持ちよく分かれてはくれない。それぞれ違う皆の希望を全て叶えるなんて無理なのだ。

Izumi mumbled in a sigh. No matter in which world, it’s impossible to separate black from white, good from evil. It’s impossible to grant the wishes of every and each person.

 ゴエモーンは顔をあげて泉を見た。

Goemon raised his head and looked at Izumi.

「あなたが塞いだ道、トリートが復旧するにはどのくらい時間がかかる?」

“How long will it take for the people of Triht to restore the road you destroyed?”

「軽く一月は……」

“One month or less…”

「それだけあれば充分ね。とりあえず立って」

“That would be more than enough. Can you stand for a moment”

 泉はゴエモーンに手を差し出した。ゴエモーンがおずおずと手を重ねると、力を込めて引っ張り上げる。

Izumi stretched her hand to Goemon. He timidly took it, and forcefully stood up.

「貴方の願い。叶えてあげるわ」

“I’ll fulfill your wish.”

「は?」

“What?”

 ゴエモーンが眉を寄せる。

Goemon raised his eyebrows.

「トリートとヨーク・ザイの戦争を止めるって言ってるの。二国が争わなければ、貴方のお兄さんも無茶はしないでしょう?」

“I’m saying I’ll stop the conflict between Yohk’Zai and Triht. If the two countries don’t attack each other, your brother won’t do anything either right?”

「あ、ああ……」

“Ah, yeah….”

 男が頷く。泉は笑顔で男に告げた。

The man nodded. Izumi smiled at him and said.

「だから前払いで何か頂戴。そうね、貴方の髪を括っている、その紐でいいわ!」

“In any case, I’ll need something as an advance payment. That string tied around your hair, that should be enough!”

 

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4 thoughts on “The Bathroom Goddess Afterstory Part 4

  1. Its been a while for me as well so I’m not certain either. I guess the ending basically just tells the reader that the bathroom goddess wants universal peace for the different world, but it also explains how its impossible to grant the wish of every single person. The bathroom goddess learns so much about the world over the course of the story and that information influences her decision making throughout the story. Sometimes, she has to remedy prior decisions she has made (saving the traveler in the start), because she finds out more about the situation. In the end, she talks about how there’s several sides to every story and that all she can do is try to do her best for the world. I think its just meant to leave the readers with a sense of what the bathroom goddess is going to be occupied with for the rest of her stint as a “goddess”.

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