Chapter 5: Food and a bath are so nice…didn’t you know?

It took a long time, but after hours of forcing myself to walk, the feeling in my legs returned. The villagers cheered for my recovery. I feel like I just won a race, but now there is a new problem…

“I’m hungry,” I muttered out as I held my growling stomach.

“No surprise there,” stated Cornelius with a small grimace on his face. I must have looked really weak to him. I haven’t eaten in so long, so it would be best not to eat a huge meal right away, so after speaking with the elder of the village he provided me with some chicken soup, which I gladly ate in a cabin with Cornelius. The other heroes decided to explore the games of the Rock village.

The soup is really good…let’s ignore Oliver asking if I am a cannibal when he delivered the soup to the cabin. My wings aren’t chicken wings, even though that’s how they appear right now.

As I ate the soup, I noticed that Cornelius was staring at me pretty hard.

“Something wrong?” I asked before taking another sip of the chicken soup. It really is good.

“Are you really sure about refusing the offer from the king?”

I nodded saying, “I thought you were fine with my choice already.”

“I was, but I think it would be best to accept the offer,” stated Cornelius and added, “Remember that you are still of the demon race and other villages might not be as accepting as the one here. In fact, they might aim to kill you.”

Cornelius had a point. I was known as a killer of humans in this world…a monster, but that’s not me now, but will people believe me?

I finished the last of my soup and then spoke to Cornelius filled with confidence.

“I understand the risk, but I want to see more of this world. If the other villages want me dead then I will just run. I will run until I have seen this world to the fullest, so I will still refuse the offer of the king.”

Cornelius was silent before he smiled and nodded saying, “You really have changed Phoenix and I hope you stay this way.” Cornelius suddenly placed a firm hand on my shoulder with a determined look in his eyes.

“Promise me that you will never go back to the way you were. Even if your memories do return please remain the way you are now…a friend of the humans.”

“I promise.”

Cornelius was smiling, but then his smile faded as he retracted his hand and stepped back placing a hand to his nose.

“You really need a bath badly.”

“…I know.”

I haven’t bathed in so long, so I do need a bath. My hunger is satisfied for now, so let’s look for a bathroom…where is the bathroom?

“Where is the bathroom?”

“Bathroom…do you mean the bath house?”

Bath house…oh like in the Roman times or maybe it is like the hot springs that are found in Japan back in my world. I hope it is the Hot Spring one.

“I was going to head there myself with Sebastian, so let’s go together.”

Go together…I guess that would be nice and we can all get clean together. I wonder if Luna and Korra are coming too.

I followed Cornelius out of the cabin and down the road in the direction I believe is the bath house. On the way, we ran into Sebastian, but apparently that wasn’t an accident, since he was standing in front of a building that I was told was the bath house. Steam is coming out and the place looks like it is made of wood, so maybe this is like a hot spring. I always wanted to go in one, but I wonder if you had to be completely bare when entering just like in manga and anime. That might be the case, but there should be a wall separating the girl and boy baths, so no problem.

I entered the bath house with Cornelius and Sebastian (Korra and Luna were already in the bath according to Sebastian) and after being handed a towel, we headed into the dressing room…strange…why did we enter the same dressing room? I guess there was only one for girls and boys.

Cornelius looked at me as he placed a towel on a bench and stated, “Just remove your clothes and place them in the basket. We’ll have someone wash it for you as you bathe.” I nodded, but then I noticed that Sebastian had already stripped ALL of his clothes off. I guess he doesn’t mind me looking (reminds me of my father’s). Surprisingly, Cornelius also began to remove his clothes starting from his shirt. He has really nice muscles and some scars (I’ll ask to heal them later).

“Aren’t you going to remove your clothes?” Cornelius suddenly asked before he removed his underwear.

“Is it OK?”

“It’s fine to remove your clothes in here.”

Cornelius says it is fine, but is it really OK. I am a girl after all, but considering that Sebastian is already walking around butt naked in front of me, it must really be fine. I guess I better undress then, but…

“Is something wrong?”

“…I don’t know how to remove this armor.”

It never crossed my mind. I have never worn armor and I haven’t removed this armor since coming here. This is very troubling.

I heard Cornelius sigh and mutter, “Should have expected this.” Cornelius approached me and asked me to turn around, which I did. I guess he is going to help me undress.

Looks like there was a clasp on the armor just behind my neck. The armor fell off almost immediately. I feel lighter now.

“…Huh?”

Cornelius sounds confused. I glance at him and saw that his eyes were really wide. Sebastian’s eyes were just as wide. Why are they so shocked?

“Cornelius?” I stated as I waved a hand in front of his face, but then I noticed that he was looking at my chest. Is he concerned that my chest is still wrapped with cloth? I know how to remove this, so I don’t need help, but the moment I began to unravel the cloth, Cornelius turned as red as a ripe tomato and wrapped a long towel around me. I don’t need the towel yet, though.

“Phoenix?”

“Yes?”

“Are you a girl?”

“…Yes…didn’t you know?”

For some reason, Sebastian had fallen on the ground…with blood dripping from his nose. He needs medical attention.

“Cornelius, Sebastian…”

“How long?”

“Huh?”

“How long have you been a girl?”

“…Since I was born.”

What a strange question to ask. Does he think I had a gender change? I don’t think a world of magic would have such surgeries.

“So this entire time…you’ve been a girl?”

“Yes.”

Cornelius is red up to his ears now as he tightens the towel around my body…could it be that this entire time, he thought I was a boy and that’s why I am in the same changing room as him? I would find this insulting, but then I remembered that Phoenix hid her gender, so it is understandable why Cornelius would be mistaken.

“So is there a problem?”

Cornelius is shaking. Is he cold? I would think he is cold, since he I not wearing anything. Should I let him have the towel instead?

“LUNA, LUNA, LUNA!”

Cornelius began to run out of the dressing room, but suddenly slipped to the side grabbing a towel to cover his manhood. It really does resemble father’s so much.

“GIRL, GIRL, GIRL!”

“What are you yelling about?”

That sounded like Luna, but then those words were followed by a scream and then a loud slap. I wonder if a fight occurred.

“Cover up that thing and then explain,” Luna scolded from the outside. I guess Cornelius’s manhood was showing.

“Girl…”

I could only make out the word girl, before I noticed that Sebastian was beginning to wake up. His nose is no longer bleeding, but there is still blood around his nose and cheeks.

“Are you OK, Sebastian?”

Sebastian only gasped when he saw me and then wiped some of the blood off his face, but he looked pretty shock as he looked at me.

“Girl…girl…”

That’s all he muttered. He must be shocked about me being a girl.

“I’m a girl,” I stated hoping that would snap him out of his shock, but that only caused him to scream and run out of the dressing room. The moment he left, I heard a familiar scream followed by many slaps. I hope Sebastian wasn’t slapped too much.

“COVER UP THAT THING!”

That was definitely Korra screaming.

It was silent for a while, but then Korra and Luna suddenly entered wearing bathrobes. They approached me with serious expressions. When Luna finally reached me, she peeked pass the towel that was wrapped around me and then looked at me seriously asking, “Are you really a girl?”

I nodded.

“This whole time?”

I nodded. Looks like they wanted to be sure of my gender.

“I don’t know why you kept your gender a secret, but I wish you told us sooner.”

“I…”

I guess I should tell the reason.

“I wanted to be strong.”

“Strong?”

“Women are seen as weak in the demon race from what I remember, so I decided it was best to act as a male so my strength could be acknowledged by my companions. It became a habit of acting like a male, so it never crossed my mind that I would need to tell anyone.”

This was the truth for me, even if the original me might have thought differently.

Luna seemed to accept my answer and with Korra and Luna’s help, I was led to the dressing room for girls.

…Why do Cornelius and Sebastian look half dead? They are lying on the floor face down covered in bruises. What exactly happened out here?

“Don’t mind them,” Korra said as she pushed against my back, “They just got divine punishment for making innocent women see something so disgusting.”

Disgusting? What did they show that was so disgusting? Should I ask? Maybe it is best not to ask.

I finally entered the bath and I have to admit that it was heavenly. When I get back to my own world, it would be nice to soak in a hot spring like this. Oh, Luna and Korra entered the bath too. Luna and Korra swam to my side and they both looked at my breasts (my breasts were surprisingly big without the bindings around them).

“You really are a girl,” stated Korra as she ran her hand through her wet hair. Luna, on the other hand, cupped her breasts looking disappointed. Why does Luna look sad?

“So,” Korra began, “you kept your gender a secret, so does that mean the demon king isn’t aware of your gender either?”

I shook my head saying, “He doesn’t know.” I don’t think that the demon king knows, even if we do know each other since young.

“I wonder how he would react if he knew the truth,” stated Korra and for some reason had a smirk on her lips. Would the demon king’s reaction be so entertaining to Korra?

Anyway, I finished my bath and put on a bathrobe that Luna offered me. It was really soft and made me yearn for the softness of a bed, but there was something more important than sleep at this very moment: food. I know I ate a bowl of soup not too long ago, but I am still hungry.

Still wearing the bathrobe, I entered the dining area that was reserved for hero’s party that was connected to the bath house, which was very convenient considering that our clothes still needed to be cleaned and bathrobes were not proper wear when eating in a restaurant. Sitting at the table, I noticed that Cornelius and Sebastian were already there (no bruises present, so they were most likely healed) drinking from cups filled with what looked like green tea. I want to have a sip too.

“Hello,” I greeted, but Cornelius and Sebastian refused to meet eyes with me. Are they mad at me? Are they mad that I didn’t tell them my gender sooner? I feel a little depressed by their obvious avoidance.

Korra suddenly slammed her hand on the table making Sebastian and Cornelius jolt and look at her.

“Don’t ignore Phoenix just because you realize she’s a girl!” Korra yelled and it made me feel happy that she was getting angry for me, but I have to admit that I was shocked when she added, “Besides, her boobs are practically a feast for the eyes!”

It didn’t seem I wasn’t the only one shocked, since Cornelius obviously became bright red and Luna looked depressed. Why did Luna get depressed? Ah, Sebastian is staring at me now with a glint in his eyes…why do I feel like his look is disgusting?

Cornelius suddenly cleared his throat trying to cover the redness in his cheeks.

“I admit that I am still shocked about Phoenix being a girl, but I am willing to accept the truth,” stated Cornelius and then smiled at me adding, “No more secrets OK?” I just nodded with a smile. I don’t know why, but his words made me smile.

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