Rockwall Lou – V2 Chapter 3

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑

(3)

To live in a new land, one needs a place to call home. However, Luo did not know the process of finding a real estate agent to rent a property.

The boy’s thinking was quite simple.

If there’s no place to live, then create one.

As Luo descended beneath the outer wall, he looked for a spot that wouldn’t catch people’s attention. At the end of a narrow pathway, there were discarded broken bricks and rotten wood. The cobblestone pathway was cracked, and weeds peeked through.

Luo touched the outer wall.

The wall shimmered in a rainbow hue, and a hole large enough for a person to pass through appeared. Inside the hole was a dome-shaped space.

“Entrance, complete.”

Entering inside, he touched the wall on the right. Once again, the wall shone in a rainbow color, and a staircase stretching diagonally upwards was formed. After climbing for a bit, a rectangular space emerged.

“This is the living room.”

Inside the wall was pitch dark. Luo’s eyes faintly glowed red. Even with night vision, it wasn’t comfortable in such darkness. He needed a window. Luo made a square hole on the outer side of the wall, but it would let rain and wind in as it was. Some ingenuity would be required.

Next to the living room, he created a kitchen, then stairs leading to a bedroom, and above that, a storeroom. He ensured rooms weren’t stacked directly on top of each other, keeping the structure’s strength in mind.

The result resembled the structure of an ant’s nest.

Ultimately, Luo decided to create an entrance on the rooftop. From the top of the outer wall, the cityscape was visible in its entirety.

However, Luo stopped his work.

He had heard a strange noise coming from within the wall where the stairs were unfinished. There was a continuous soft rustling sound and irregular dripping noises. It seemed like something was moving rapidly.

The moment he made a hole, water gushed out with incredible force.

“Ugh!”

The water pressure knocked Luo off his feet, sending him tumbling down the stairs.

“Ouch, that hurt.”

Holding his head, he crouched down, only to see a vast amount of water flooding in.

“There’s water flowing inside the walls.”

This was an unforeseen circumstance.

Luo was unaware, but on the east side of the city of Arche, there was a mountain, and from a lake at its base, an aqueduct was constructed leading to the city. The water drawn through the aqueduct passed through the water channels inside the outer walls, supplying public facilities and water fetching areas.

At this rate, he would drown.

Fighting against the water pressure, Luo climbed the stairs and used magic to seal the hole. The water stopped immediately, but he was soaked to the bone.

In Luo’s village, there was a communal well. Fetching water was a task for the children, and a queue would form at the well as the sun rose. Luo, not wanting to encounter boys of his age, would head out early in the morning and fetch water quickly.

There was a limit to how much water one could draw and carry at once, so several trips were necessary to fill a large jar.

Therefore, water was precious.

Luo pondered.

Water settles at the lowest point. Drawing water from a low point is challenging. But in this city, water flowed at a higher elevation.

Returning to the kitchen below, Luo touched the wall. The part he touched glowed in rainbow colors. In his mind, he extended a thin, long space upwards. Once connected, water started flowing from a hole in the kitchen wall. Normally, one would fill a bucket with water and use it sparingly for boiling or washing dishes, but with this setup, water was available anytime.

Watching the water fill the sink, Luo remembered.

It was a time when both his father and mother were still alive. While drinking tea after dinner, his father explained.

[. . . . . .A bath?]

[Yes.]

 ㅤ

Boiling water in a large pot and getting in it naked is the way to go. Usually, water is poured into a bucket to wash the head or soak a cloth to scrub the body, but it’s cold in winter. However, bathing warms the whole body. His father emphasized that it blows away the fatigue of the day in an instant.

[Isn’t it hot?]

His father blew on the steaming hot tea and took a sip.

[You adjust the water to get the right temperature. Neither too lukewarm nor too hot. And you immerse yourself up to your shoulders in plenty of water]

[How much is plenty?]

[Enough for Mom, Dad, and even Luo to get in together.]

He’ve never seen such a big pot.

[Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an iron pot. A large wooden barrel or even stacking bricks will do. You can boil the water elsewhere and transfer it.]

His father was more talkative than usual.

[Actually, Hotch-san has a bath in his house. I saw it the other day, and it was magnificent. Of course, fetching water might be hard, but that’s for Mom and Dad to handle. What do you think, Luo?]

[What?]

[Want to try a bath?]

[Yes.]

His father grinned.

[Carla, Luo also want to try a bath!]

While washing dishes, his mother spoke.

[Hotch-san’s house has its well. They might draw as much water as they want, but we share a community well. Using too much would inconvenience others.]

His father was caught off guard and couldn’t retort immediately.

She turned to him, and his mother smiled gently.

[Also, how will you get the firewood to heat the water?]

In a land where the rain is scarce and the wind strong, large trees are hard to come by. There’s just a small grove on the outskirts of the village to block the wind, and firewood is more precious than water.

After that, his father was on the defensive, and the bath talk faded.

Recalling the conversation with his father, Luo muttered.

“To immerse up to my shoulders in plenty of water.”

There was a firewood seller in the market earlier. If one has money, they could buy as much as needed.

Maybe, just maybe, we could take a bath.

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