Chapter 11: Witch-sama Builds A Public Bathhouse for the Villagers

“Master, the public bathhouse has been completed.” (Lara)

With the salt crisis solved, I’ve become more and more excited about my life as a feudal lord.
As I was doing my daily round of the village, Lara gave me a progress report on the hot spring facilities.

The private bathhouse that Lara and I will be built within the mansion’s grounds.
The fences have already been built and it looks fantastic.
They are also going to drain the sand from the bottom of the hot spring to make it more comfortable.

On the other hand, there’s also a public bathhouse for the residents’ consumption.
The villagers informed me that they weren’t comfortable with the idea of sharing a bathhouse with their feudal lord so they asked for permission to build a separate bathhouse from mine at a different location.
They created a water system to transport spring water using a plant called ‘bamboo.’ Apparently, the plant is endemic to Yapan region.
The baths for men and women will be separated and the bathhouse they planned to build was quite large.

“Thank you for being so considerate but what materials are you guys gonna use to build the public bathhouse?” (Yuo)

“The materials are gonna be sourced from abandoned and dilapidated houses in the village since the trees in this region are very hard to cut.” (Lara)

I see, so the materials are gonna sourced for free.

While checking, I saw that the building was nearing completion and the construction was good enough.
Still, it’s still surprising to me that they were able to build two bathhouses in a span of a week.
I’m convinced the change in food quality is the reason the villagers are much more tireless.

(T/N) Two bathhouses: Yuo’s private bathhouse and the public bathhouse.

When I arrived at the construction site, I found the villagers working in harmony.

“Witch-sama! I’m in a very good mood today! Thanks to the hot spring and the salt, I, Sunrise, am doing very well! Also, the bathhouse is almost finished!” (Village chief)

“Oh, Village chief-ojiisan… have you gotten bigger?” (Yuo)

The village chief was standing out so much.
He was carrying several thick timbers on his shoulders.
It is hard to believe that he was the same person who was shivering like a newborn sheep until recently.  Somehow, he seems to be getting more and more buff.
No, no matter how you look at it, he’s a macho old man! 

Could this be the effect of the hot spring, food, and salt?

“Witch-sama! We’ve been able to use the hot spring regularly during the construction which caused us to turn out like this! We won’t lose to the younger kids anymore! The food has been so good lately, too!” (Village chief)

Hearing the village chief’s rave, the other villagers who were helping with construction started to gather around us too.
The scene was a bit bizarre.
Everyone got tanner, but their smiles were wider and their bodies looked better.

The addition of salt probably caused their appetites to improve, which led to an increase in their body (muscle) mass.
However, being surrounded by all the nice bulky villagers kind of feels like a nightmare.

“Witch-sama, your hot springs are the best!”

“We will follow you for the rest of our lives!“

The villagers praised the hot springs in high spirits with wide smiles on their faces.
I wonder if this is still within the realm of recovery magic.
The mystery of the hot springs continues to deepen.

“Master, how much will you charge for the hot springs?” (Lara)

Only a week later, the public bathhouse for the residents was successfully opened.
At first, people said it smelled like hell, but I’m honestly happy that more and more people are starting to like the hot springs.

However, Lara’s question brought me back to reality.

That was it.

The hot springs are my property, right?

How about we go out on a limb and offer them free of charge to the residents? Just like how we distribute the salt.
Anyway, if everyone recovers their essence and energy due to the hot springs, the village would be revitalized and the tax revenues will increase.

But hmmm… Free of charge? I’m not too sure we could do that.
Managing the operations of the bathhouse, cleaning, and maintenance would be a very large expense.

I see, even if the spring water and materials come for free, there are still a lot of expenses to cover.

I think I read in a political science book that it’s not good for a feudal lord to provide everything for free.
Let’s see, I think it was something like, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him one meal.
Teach him to fish and he can feed himself for many meals.’

However, this is a remote area.
A cash economy isn’t common here because the villagers are self-sufficient.
In fact, even the taxes are collected in kind, such as in the form of farm produce.
That’s the reason why it would be awkward to charge them money.

“That’s right! It’s quite awkward for me to charge you for the entrance fee so why don’t we impose a gratuity system instead? Every villager who uses the bathhouse can donate money for the bathhouse’s operating costs and maintenance.
Children and the elderly really only need to donate a small amount while those who make a lot more money could donate accordingly.” (Yuo)

“Gratuity… A donation system.
I see, that sounds feasible.” After pondering my proposal for a quick minute, Lara agreed.

Thus, the public bathhouse in the village opened with a gratuity system in place.

(T/N) Gratuity is basically just a tip.
An amount beyond the agreed service fee out of gratitude or consideration for the service/goods offered.


Meanwhile, the villagers were saying:

“Did you hear? Witch-sama’s hot springs are finally open to us!”

“The village chief got all muscled up because of that hot spring! I heard it never makes you feel fatigued again.“

“Indeed, it blows your fatigue away!”

“GAHAHA! Fatigue getting blown away is a good analogy! I’m addicted to those hot springs!”

“Oh, once I get into the hot spring, it would be hard to get me out of there.
I can’t imagine life without hot springs!”

The villagers were busy raving about the opening of the public bathhouse.  What was particularly a hot topic was the fact that the bathing fee was collected via a donation system.

“My children their grandfather can use the bathhouse too!”

“Maybe my knee pain will be cured…”

“I am so grateful to Witch-sama for sharing her miraculous spring with us commoners!”

The villagers felt a strong sense of trust, akin to faith in their lord Yuo.

(T/N) This is as far as I go for tonight.
I’ll try to edit this at a later time, I promise.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter and any corrections are greatly appreciated, just refer to the corrections panel on the navigation bar.

Also, times are tough so if you can, please do consider donating to my ko-fi.
I would greatly appreciate it ^.^

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