T/N: I’m still stocking up, so the releases will be once every few days. Once I reach my quota on stock, I’ll switch to a more regular schedule. Just a heads-up.
The author uses english loan words for some terms, I’ve marked them italic.
Primrose apparently put in practice what I had told her. I stopped running into that man all of a sudden while on the other hand my food supply wasn’t cut off. Incidentally, Ms. Newcomer Maid stopped coming as well. Since I’ve told them to leave me alone, it looks like that also included the newcomer maid!
Oh well, I’m basically capable of handling everything myself, and the things I’ve requested have been mostly fulfilled, so let’s go with requesting the rest in person.
First up, the kitchen.
The cook is surprised to see me suddenly pop up at her workplace.
“I’m sorry for disturbing you during work, but I’d like to ask and request several things.”
When I asked her how she’s washing herself, I only received a dubious look in return. Makes sense, though.
Water! is the simple answer here.
Also, apparently, or maybe I should say, as expected, the idea that you can remove dirt if you use soup stock has spread in the cooking world. If it somehow works with that method, it’s all fine, but…
“You see, it’s also possible to boil out persistent stains. If you mix the broth with wood ash and boil the liquid layer above the sediment, it’ll get rid of stains even better.”
She was astonished. To be honest, that’d actually be laundry though. Then I told her my main reason for coming to the kitchen, in short, my wish to obtain beans, ash, and a pot.
This astonished her once again.
“Just what are you going to make with these?”
“…I plan to use them for washing my body and hair.”
The cook probably can’t keep up with what I’m saying, but it’s true.
The beans were dried, so I had to soak them by adding water. …So, see you tomorrow.
The next day while drinking bean soup…
――Hey, wait a moment, those aren’t my beans that I’ve painstakingly put into water yesterday, are they? is what I hoped!
…I could also make soap if only I had someone working with me…but the process of making soap is impossible for a five-years-old like me. I could do it myself if I could use magic arts…and since that’s a possibility, I’ve got to do my best at practicing magic.
The ways of washing I had personally experienced in the other world besides using soap were rice bran and camellia seeds, but I have no idea whether you can obtain either in this world.
As far as I could see, camellia didn’t grow in the copse of trees where I’m training or the garden. Neither could I find any plants resembling rice.
…One day I’m going to leave this house and look for rice! I can’t die until I’ve eaten rice! Ah, no, I guess that’s going too far.
So, seeing how I can’t get my hands on camellia seeds or rice bran, I’ll try it with beans and wood ash. That’s still much better than washing with nothing but water, right?
While pondering about all that, I went to the kitchen…
Ah, wonderful, my beanies were still there.
“What are you going to do with these beans?”
“I’m going to roughly crush them as they are.”
She kindly did it for me, tehe.
As far as I could tell, the beans seemed to have low oil content, so only after adding nuts, a bit of oil dribbled out. Then I put the pulp into a bowl, added the ash, and mixed all of it together.
The cook is pulling a face as if asking me, “Eh? Are you seriously going to wash yourself with that?”, but look, for me it’s a first attempt as well, okay?
“People with healthy and robust skin can put this into a coarse cloth bag and use that for scrubbing. Children and people with delicate skin should put it into a soft cloth bag, add some water, and then use it for scrubbing. As for the hair, you should directly rub it in on the scalp, put the hair in a washbowl, and then remove the scouring pulp with a comb. …That’s the method I’m going to adopt, but since it’s still only at an experimental stage, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.”
I mean I’ve got no choice, right? Since things are different around here compared to the other world, my only option is to try it out and see where it leads me.
Afterwards, I asked the cook whether she got some vinegar or sour fruits. As she apparently had sour fruits in stock, I got some and left the kitchen.
Now then, time to start the experiment!
Usually hot water would be a better option, but now that I can’t even ask Ms. Newcomer Maid to help me out, I have to do with what I can manage myself.
First I drew water from the watering hole with a bucket…no, I guess it’s bucket…and carried it to the bathroom. I had to make several round trips, but it was no problem as I took this as a part of my training.
I prepared the water, and then towels…err cloths I guess ― I wonder whether this world has anything like pile fabric? ― for washing and drying my body, a comb, a handmade bean bag, and the scouring pulp. I was finally all set!
I wet my body with the towel (I won’t call it towel anymore) I had soaked in water first. I also moisten the bag…argh, the ash dissolved! It looks like it’d be a bad idea to moisten it too much, so I scrubbed myself with it right away.
Hmm, I’ve become gray!
But! I continued without a care. Scrub, scrub. I managed to even scrub my back somehow. Lastly I washed my face with the scouring pulp and rinsed it all off with water.
…Oohh! Somehow my skin looks shiny! I might just be imagining it, but I feel like it’s become prettier! No, it’s supposed to have become prettier!
In a good mood, I started washing my hair. Wait, I should probably call it washing my scalp.
After I thrust my head into the bucket, wetting my hair, I picked up a small amount of scouring pulp, and thoroughly rubbed it into my scalp.
Oh? This feels really nice. Kinda like hair care at a salon!
While humming a song, I carefully massaged my entire scalp with the pulp, and then I thrust my head into the bucket a second time.
…This is going to be a pain to wash out, isn’t it?
While making that judgment, I picked up the comb, and brushed my hair while intermittently washing it with water.
I’d love to have a shower, really. Or at least a sprinkling can.
After rinsing and combing my hair many times over, all of the pulp was finally out. As a finishing touch, I dipped my hair in water containing the fruits I squeezed into it, and then, after pouring clean water on my head from above, I was done.
“Yay, I’ve finished washing myself.”
I raised my arms into a hurray pose.
All the troubles have paid off. My silky hair looks lustrous and feels fluffy.
…The current me’s care condition is in a really perilous state! My skin’s health is bad and my hair is a mess. Probably because of all the stress. I’m worried that I might go bald despite being a little girl!
――Then again, even the otherworld me had to put lots of effort into hair restoration as it became thin and sparse in no time after she became busy and stressed as a working adult, even though she had full, strong hair before that. Now that I think about it, she often went to get her hair massaged and cared for at salons, didn’t she? There was even a time when a beautician cried out, “I’ve never seen anyone with such a hard scalp!!”…*looks in the far distance*
I don’t remember whether the otherworld me eventually went bald, but the current me has to also do her best at hair restoration since I’ll go bald otherwise. Though I must say that it’s super troublesome to wash your head in this world.
When I went to the kitchen to report on the results of my experiment, the cook apparently needed just a single glance to grasp that it had succeeded. Seeing her reaction, I nodded.
“So it worked.”
“That is…congratulations!” She was happy for me. “Also, umm…can I, err, do the same…?”
“I don’t mind, but I want you to promise me that you’ll keep the ingredients and method secret. Well…it’s not like it’s difficult, but just in case, okay?”
“Of course.” The cook agreed obediently.
“Very well. As for the method, you put this into a bag, wet a cloth, use that wet cloth to wipe your entire body first, and then, after your body is wet, you just need to rub yourself with the bag. In reality you’re going to become dirty in the process, but keep scrubbing without minding that. If you rinse yourself off with water at the end, you’ll become clean and sparky.”
This part is easy.
“Washing your hair…is quite a lot of work and requires a big amount of water, but you’ll obtain nice hair in exchange. After moistening all of your hair, you pick up small amounts of the scouring pulp, and thoroughly rub it into your scalp. Then you thrust your head into a bucket with water, and repeatedly wash the pulp out with water while brushing your hair with a comb. I think it’d actually be easier to wash it out altogether in a river, if that’s an option.”
…Hmm, I wonder, should I knead my hair with the oil I get from only crushing nuts while adding the ash as the main ingredient? The refreshing feel comes from me having added plenty of beans and nuts, though…
“…Oh, right. Dissolve the juice of sour fruits in water and apply it to your hair as a finish. If you do that properly and then wash it out with fresh water, it’ll make your hair softer and fluffier. You have to make sure to wash out the fruit water, otherwise it’ll become poisonous when still sticking to your skin, and it’ll scald you, so be careful about that part.”
I don’t know the fruits of this world, but they should have such an effect, probably.
The cook stared at me in wonder.
“…M-Milady……just how…that knowledge…”
I averted my eyes.
Yep, usually anyone would find that suspicious, wouldn’t they?
“…I was reborn. Craving for love where I would never receive any, my heart got worn out as I abased myself, always trying to gauge the other side’s feelings, while constantly getting hurt from being cruelly mistreated, resulting in me collapsing. On the sickbed this old me passed away. After I luckily woke up, I decided to live freely for my sake alone.”
The cook cast her eyes down.
“…Is that so.”
Hmm, it’s not much of an answer, but it looks like I’ve managed to deceive her. Phew.
After telling her that I’d come back to make new scouring pulp after running out of the remaining rest, I fled from the kitchen.
I mean I’d be in a bind how to answer if she were to probe any further.