Okonomiyaki Chain Store – 39 – Onsen is a Great Success

Part 9: Osaka’s Auntie Builds a Hot Spring

Chapter 39: The Hot Spring is a Great Success

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Onionpi

Note from Gumihou: hot spring and public bath are used interchangeably. Technically, onsen or hot spring should have their water sources from natural springs while public baths are baths that are open to the public and usually provide regular hot water only.

However, with the ability to transport spring water from the source thousands of miles away in trucks or synthesizing the hot spring minerals into powder meant that public baths could also become ‘hot spring’ as well.

Considering that Haruna had provided her own ‘spring water’, with its own special minerals and restorative features, it could legitimately be known as a ‘hot spring’.

“This hot spring is made with my special Recovery Magic Hot Water, na. I can guarantee that you will heal from whatever minor cold and injuries if you go in, ya de.”

“That might be true. B-but…” Natalia continued to avert her face.

“I’m not going to cover my chest! Don’t you know that if you keep squashing them down like that they’ll go flat one day?”

Naturally, Haruna was letting everything float free. The only thing her little hand towel was covering was the top of her head. Her ‘girls’ were actually bobbing partially above the water, but since this was a public bath, there was nothing strange about it. At least, not to any Japanese…

However, Natalia was completely scandalized by all the shocking things she had been, ahem, exposed to. The girls were indeed very large. It was as though the strength of an Adventurer was represented by the size of their chest…

“Even so, I guess it’s good manners to cover these girls up, naa. Ah, but since we have the opportunity, we should totally hang out naked [1], right?”

“Hangout naked!?” without the culture to back it up, Natalia misunderstood meaning behind this very suspicious saying. “We shouldn’t… E-even though we are women, we-we must maintain a distance like men and women t-t-t…”

As expected, she had completely misunderstood what Haruna really meant.

“You’re really an ‘ahou’, naa. Why is Natalia making such weird jokes while I’m trying to have a serious talk with you, yan?” Haruna smiled wryly at her. “Really, what are you such an ‘ahou’?”

To the Kansai people, the word ‘ahou’ means idiot. Similar to Tokyo’s ‘baka’. However, where ‘baka’ is used almost affectionately in Tokyo, ‘ahou’ is considered insulting. The whole ‘baka’ vs ‘ahou’ situation is reversed in Osaka, however, where ‘ahou’ is considered friendly and ‘baka’ is insulting.

“Natalia is part of my family. Seeing one of my family members injured makes me feel bad, you know? That’s why it’s important for us to hang out naked and talk about it. That’s what having a large bath is good for, ya. That way, we can shed our armours, embrace our differences and talk about things, you know?”

“I-is that what this is about…” Natalia slowly exhaled.

“Anyway, since this our first time, let’s not do anything too aggressive, wa.”

“What the heck are you talking about now!?”

“It’s like the difference between love and shopping. When it comes to shopping we can bargain as forcefully as we like to bring the price down. However, it’s not good to force love onto others.”

The warm water must have melted a lot of tension out of Natalia’s body as she slowly relaxed into the bath. She was having difficulty caring about Haruna’s weird comments at the moment. “Having a large bath is really nice, isn’t it?”

Natalia noticed that her breathing was growing slower, “I can stretch my legs out as far as I want, and time seems to move very slowly. It feels as though I am in heaven.”

“Right? Right? Hot springs calm both the body and the mind. It’s really miraculous, nen.”

“I can feel the accumulated tension from years of stress leeching out. I think the Hot Spring will be very popular with the Adventurers.”

Adventurers were professionals who fought monsters and deal with all kinds of threats to their lives day and night. The stress of surviving and thriving under these set of circumstances would take a toll on both body and mind.

Even if they wanted to, they could not safely relax within a dungeon.

Natalia drifted closer to Haruna, and bumped their shoulders a little. “I guess, this is… not bad…”

“Hn? What did you say?”

“Nothing, it’s nothing…” Natalia refused to say anything else. Perhaps it was the tranquil serenity of the hot spring, but she felt like she shouldn’t break the peace here.

“Speaking of which, I think this is the first time I spend such a lo~ong time with Natalia and not see you busy rushing around, naa.” She nudged the girl back with her shoulder, “You work too hard. It’s fine to take a break now and then.”

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The [Haru no Yu] public bath was introduced as a bath which requires customers to wrap themselves with a towel before entering the bath. It was a nod of respect for the culture of the people here. The entry fee was set at 5 bronze coins.

At first, they thought that business would be slow since people might be shy about entering a bath practically naked with comrades and strangers. However, this prediction proved to be wrong, in a good way, of course.

Well, to be he fair, [Haru no Yu’s] customers were all Adventurers and the majority of them were men who could care less about being seen naked after going through life and death situation on a regular basis.

And of course, one should not look down on the allure of hot spring.

“Oho, now you no longer have to come home all dirty to your wife. How nice is that?”

“Ah, I wouldn’t be scared of the Scorching Lava Lands of the Demon Country if it is at this temperature, na.”

“Hey you, why are you wearing your helmet in the baths?”

“It’s my policy to wear this helmet at all times.”

It did not take long for word to get around about the existence of this brand new service at the 13th dungeon floor.

Moreover, in addition to mere hot water and whatever psychological effects one might get from a standard hot spring, the fact that this one actually contained restorative powers spread like wild fire among the Adventurers. Very soon, Adventurers from all over the country began flocking in to challenge the Old Saxon dungeon just to visit the hot spring.

That’s right, the hot spring was now drawing people in like a major tourist attraction.

In a special book, published by the Royal Capital on famous places in this period, Old Saxon was listed as the ‘Town with a Hot Spring in the Dungeon’.

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Old Saxon soon became famous for having a hot spring called [Haru no Yu] at their 13th floor dungeon.

There were two types of baths offered, one Rock Pool and another wooden tub type called the Cypress Bath. The baths were separated according to gender, but the gender assigned baths would switch every day. 

Shy people may wrap themselves up in towels, but majority of the Adventurers would just get in naked and let everything float freely. Ordinary hot water and mineral bath could improve blood circulation, but [Haru no Yu’s] bath went beyond that. If you happen to have a cold or feel a little ill, a soak in the water would cure you immediately.

Because of this, there were quite a few sick people who hired Adventurers to escort them over to this hot spring to find a cure, or at least relieve their chronic illnesses.

There was also a special resting area right next to the hot spring where you can lie down and rest, or enjoy a cold drink. You can also order Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, and Udon Noodles. They have also recently started selling a new food called Gyoza, a must-try item.

The owner of this place was a gorgeous woman called Haruna. A Platinum Class Adventurer, beautiful as an angel. She’s also one of the most influential merchants within the Royal Capital. Too many people wanted to marry her. It is estimated that the number of Adventurers who wish to marry her numbered around 300, as for merchants and aristocrats, that number was close to 500.

However, with Haruna’s state recognised titles for being ‘The Woman who Drove Giants Away’ and ‘The Woman who Made Dragons Cry’. It was kind of hard to match her with anyone for the time being.

Because of this, the Town of Old Saxon become so crowded that it was hard to believe that just a few years ago, this place barely rated five lines of words within the book of records. However, everything has changed now. The book actually dedicated a whole chapter to Old Saxon Town and gave recommendations on what to do and where to go. 

If you have an inquisitive mind to see something new, you should definitely visit the Old Saxon’s 13th Floor Dungeon Hot Spring. Hire some escort from the guild and visit the place safely, you will definitely not regret it!

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Needless to say, with such glowing recommendations, the number of tourists increased by several folds.

“It’s getting a little too busy, the customers are endless, naa.”

When Haruna first opened the store on the 13th floor, it was meant to play a support role to increase the survivability of the Adventurers who challenge the Old Saxon dungeon. However, it had now become a super busy place filled with customers coming at all hours of the day.

“It’s turning into a super busy sentou [3], naa.”

“I have no idea what that is, but yes, this place is getting very busy.”

Natalia was seated on the other side of the table and drawing up business plans.

It looked like their hopes to open up [Haru-chan] in other dungeons were getting closer to reality. At this rate, it looked like it won’t be long before dungeon stores become something commonplace. This would totally change the way people challenge dungeons in the future.

“Hey, do you plan on putting up hot springs at other dungeon stores?”

“Hhmmmhhmm… I don’t think it’s efficient for us to go around visiting these dungeons just to refill hot water… this is a difficult question, na… we should hold this question until we find an actual dungeon level hot spring source… Hmm, we could look for places where the steam comes up to build our shop, I guess. That way, we can provide a hot spring service as well.”

“Wait, isn’t this putting the cart before the horse, wa…” Haruna frowned as she pondered over the problem. Having a hot spring was a special feature of the first [Haru-chan]. There’s the option of letting it remain as a main store’s feature.

Speaking of steam, she had heard one of the male Adventurers singing a folk song about steam wafting from hot spring…

Haruna blinked, wait. Even if she could not give them a steaming hot spring, she could still give them steamed food!

Haruna was suddenly inspired.

“Since I can make gyoza, surely I can make something like pork buns, right?”

 

 

[Gumihou: Ah, food-inspired thoughts are the best, was.]

 

[1] A naked hangout – It means a perfectly honest dialogue. Remember those films where warring yakuza faction would hold meetings in saunas? Naked and honest discussion, no clothes, no weapons, no lies.

[2] Sentou – Public bathhouse where you pay to enter

 

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