Weeks after the defeat of White Star, Arm, as well as the Sealed God, life is considerably peaceful for Cale and the others.
Although they still need to slowly investigate the last bits of Arm and the many people and organizations they made various deals with, it’s not necessarily something so urgent like an upcoming war. The remaining enemies have chosen to lay low and lick their wounds, while the recently crowned King of Roan Kingdom is doing all he can in order to locate these bastards, with the cooperation from nearly all other kingdoms.
Such a feat is not hard when Arm used to be their mutual enemy.
Cale has also put his information network to work, intent on quickly weeding out these people so he can fully relax and enjoy his life as a slacker. However, he’s aware that gathering information on people who are intent on hiding is going to be harder and take much longer time as well.
Aside from waiting for information to be sent towards him–which then he’ll either take care of himself or happily deliver towards his Alberu hyung-nim, because if he can transfer headaches towards him why shouldn’t he?–there’s really nothing else Cale is supposed to do. He can laze around, eat food on his bed, roll around doing nothing and play all day. Of course, there’s also farming that he takes part in once in a while, but overall his life is good.
No more battles, no more coughing blood, no more annoying white dandruff spouting bullshit about him being a messenger of god or something.
That is why, with a light heart and a casual shrug, he agrees to go to the beach for a vacation.
“Awesome!” The crazy priestess, Cage, exclaims in excitement. She’s pumping her gloved fist, eyes sparkling. “We can try out the new swimwear trend!”
Cale blinks slowly. “A new swimwear trend?”
Waving her hand in a shooing motion, Cage answers simply with a smile. “It’s a trend for the commoners these days, young master-nim. And it only applies to women.”
Raising his eyebrows, Cale decides not to pry anymore. After all, Cage is not wrong. It really isn’t any of his business. Deciding that it’ll be too annoying to listen to the women as Cage starts trying to drag Rosalyn, Hannah and Mary on a swimwear shopping spree, Cale tunes out their voices and focuses on his plate of cookies.
In the end, Cage’s effort is not for naught, as she manages to drag all the women in the Black Castle–sans Sherritt, who is unfortunately stuck there. Cale is starting to think he should look for a way so Sherritt can be brought outside the castle, if only so she can spend more time with Raon who seems to like travelling these days–to shop for new swimwears.
Even On is dragged, leaving Hong to spend his day on top of Cale’s lap and kneading his thigh with his paws as Cale reads a novel book..
“I wonder what swimwear noona will wear?”
“It’s probably something normal,” Cale answers disinterestedly, fingers turning the page.
“What else can a swimsuit look like?”
“That’s true, nya.”
In this fantasy world, Cale has noticed that most swimwears people and even nobles typically wear are the full body types. The only differences Cale has seen are the colors and the length for the arms and legs, but all of them have always covered the neck to the thighs without fail. Aside from that, commoners who can’t afford swimsuits will simply swim with their shirts and pants, a simple and practical choice for people of such status.
Cale doesn’t think it strange. Considering the modesty standards for nobles in this time period, it’s understandable.
That’s why he doesn’t think much of this new trend that Cage was talking about. It’s probably a new type of design for the swimsuit, made to be more feminine or whatever. It really isn’t any of his business, really.
Thinking back, he probably should’ve thought more about it.
…Or maybe not? Looking at the scene in front of him, Cale really can’t do anything but to raise his eyebrow in thought.
Truthfully, if he were not Kim Rok Soo, he probably would’ve blushed and thought the sight in front of him as something scandalous.
But… Cale, no, Kim Rok Soo, he’s someone who has experienced modern Korea. He’s someone who has seen billboards and ads and experienced the internet.
Kim Rok Soo is no stranger to bikinis.
That is why, Cale Henituse does not react much to the sight in front of him, the red haired man simply raising his eyebrow in dumbfounded silence. It’s a stark contrast to Bud, who is gawking like an idiot beside him.
Why, for some inexplicable reason, it seems that the new swimwear trend for commoner women in Roan Kingdom is… bikinis.
Bikinis, of all sizes and designs and colors, have started to invade the fantasy world that Cale transmigrated into a few years ago.
Cale doesn’t know how and when this trend started, but considering that it’s not something so outlandish, he decides not to think about it too much.
Looking around him, it seems that a lot of people are shocked by this new trend as well. A companion to Bud’s unattractive gawking, Glenn Poeff is a worrying shade of red with a dropped jaw, while Hilsman and Hans’ gazes are firmly stuck on anywhere but the women in front of them. At least they have some tact.
Jack is clasping his hands together akin to that of a prayer, his shaking pupils directed towards his sister, seemingly not registering anything else other than Hannah herself. The sight is both worrying and scary for Cale, so he’s quick to look away.
Ron and Beacrox, meanwhile, other than an initial wide eyed look, are very swift in adapting to the current situation. Their gazes are fairly neutral, and Beacrox has returned to busying himself in preparing for snacks and lunch. They’re so quick to adapt to this, to the point where Cale thinks it is scary.
Meanwhile, Choi Han, someone who has also more or less experienced modern Korea just like Kim Rok Soo, doesn’t bat an eyelash to the women’s new appearances as well. The innocent looking man is blinking like normal, breathes like normal, and looks absolutely normal as well.
“You guys look good,” Choi Han is the first to comment, his words said with his usual innocent smile. It brings a set of fresh smiles from the women in front of them, and inwardly, Cale raises a thumbs up for his fellow Korean man.
Beside him, Bud is sputtering, spouting some nonsense about Choi Han being a smooth motherfucker and other bullshit Cale happily ignores, the red haired man casually pointing his thumb towards the beach.
“Go ahead and play all you want.”
Cage is grinning, her hands on her hips as she cocks an eyebrow towards Cale. Her style is the most unique in Cale’s honest opinion, her bikini having sleeves reaching her elbow with a ribbon at the center between her moderately sized breasts. Cale has to admit that it looks good on her. Such style definitely fits her personality.
“Not any reaction, young master Cale? Please compliment us too! This noona of yours wants to hear!”
Cale sends an unimpressed look towards Cage (seriously, how many times must he say that he has no interest in being Cage’s and Taylor’s little brother?) before he sighs, shooing them away with his hand.
“Yes, yes, you guys look good. It’s not bad. Go play now, don’t just stand there.”
The people around him voice out their own affirmatives, though Cage smacks his shoulder before she runs towards the beach along with a bunch of hyper Wolf and Tiger Tribes children. On, Raon and Hong are hot on their heels, and for a moment, Cale’s gaze is focused on On, shoulders slumping in relief when he finds that On has chosen a considerably modest swimsuit fitting for someone her age.
It looks cute too, Cale thinks to himself as he walks towards the hammock set up by Ron just a few moments ago. On probably likes her new swimsuit, even though she probably won’t spend much time near water. Though as long as it’s not something too revealing for someone her age and she’s comfortable, Cale is satisfied enough.
Patting the considerably luxurious and large hammock, already decorated with various soft pillows for him to lie on, Cale hums in satisfaction.
This position is not too close and not too far to the sea, enough for him to enjoy the sensation of the beach without having to roll on sand or getting wet. Ron and Hans have also provided him with a large umbrella, and the trees also play a part in giving enough shade. This setting is perfect for him to laze around as the children and the others play on the beach.
With a light heart and a soft sigh, Cale lies down on his hammock, fingers opening the latest novel he’s been reading recently. He is content, lazing about reading novels, the sound of waves and his people happily playing serving as a nice background noise.
So focused on the book he is, that he nearly does not notice the person approaching his hammock until she’s standing right beside him.
Blinking, Cale puts down the book on his lap, head tilting to the side as he looks at the newcomer.
“Miss Rosalyn? Is something the matter?”
Rosalyn is standing beside his hammock, a white shirt covering her body. Her hands are pulling the shirt down to cover her lower body as well, though considering the size of her shirt, it can’t cover much more than her upper thighs.
The genius mage is biting her lips, eyelashes fluttering as she anxiously directs her gaze towards the sandy beach before she looks towards Cale once again.
“Young master Cale, can I sit here for a little bit?”
Cale sits himself up at that question, the hammock rocking gently at his movement. He stares at Rosalyn for a few moments, his gaze questioning. Truthfully, he still wants to lie down, but Rosalyn doesn’t seem to look good, her expression awkward and her body movements weirdly lacking the confidence he used to see from this frankly amazing woman.
“Of course, Miss Rosalyn,” is what he ends up saying, the young man shifting for a little bit before he pats the spot beside him on the hammock. He puts aside his novel for the time being as well, calm reddish brown eyes focusing entirely on the mage. “Please, feel free to sit over here.”
Eyes brightening for a little bit, Rosalyn slowly climbs to the hammock as well, seating herself neatly beside Cale. Her hands are still pulling her poor shirt down, the young woman silently awkward.
“…Is something wrong, Miss Rosalyn?” Cale has to ask, since it doesn’t look like Rosalyn is going to talk anytime soon.
“Ah, no, not really, young master Cale,” Rosalyn tries to reassure him, her eyes shaking.
“Are you sure? Are you not going to play with the others, Miss Rosalyn?”
Rosalyn bites her lips, her hands tugging her shirt lower when it inevitably rises back up. Cale simply watches it happen, an inkling at the back of his mind on what might’ve transpired, and what might’ve been the reason Rosalyn approached him in the first place.
Without looking at Cale, Rosalyn finally finds it in herself to speak, confirming Cale’s suspicion.
“Young master Cale, do you not think this… is a bit strange?”
“…Not really?” Cale says, raising his eyebrow. “Looks like a normal beach activity to me.” Glenn looks like he’s about to get pummeled to the ground by Cage’s beach dodgeball skill, but that’s not the point of the conversation right now.
“And the…” Rosalyn bites her bottom lip. Hesitantly, she continues on. “The swimsuits?”
Cale frowns. “Miss Rosalyn, are you perhaps uncomfortable with your swimsuit?”
At that blunt question, Rosalyn can’t help but to flinch. Finally directing her gaze back to Cale, she can only stare helplessly at him, cheeks tinted red.
“I don’t really think it’s anything weird,” Cale finally answers Rosalyn’s true question, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. “It’s just swimsuits. It’s different from the ones nobles tend to wear, but it’s not bad. As long as you’re comfortable wearing it and it doesn’t hinder your activities on the beach, it’s not bad at all.”
“You don’t find it weird, young master Cale?”
“Am I supposed to?” He shoots back. “It’s just swimsuits. Anyway,” he shrugs his shoulders again, gaze directed towards the people playing on the beach. “Just wear whatever makes you comfortable. Bud and the others’ reactions were a bit over the top, but now they’re treating it as normal, aren’t they?”
True to his words, Bud and the others have already adapted to the new swimsuits the women wear, their eyes not straying anywhere inappropriate as they play around with each other. If anything, Bud and Glenn look more worried about being pummeled to the ground by Cage’s dodgeball skills, while On, Raon and Hong are busy making sand castles with Mary, the only woman in the group who is using a full body black swimsuit. Considering Mary’s ongoing effort to feel more comfortable in showing herself out of the black robes that used to cover herself from head to toe, Mary showing her wrists and feet, as well as her face are enough improvement.
Turning his gaze back towards Rosalyn, he gently continues to speak, the gentle breeze making his red hair sway lightly. “Miss Rosalyn, if you’re uncomfortable with your current swimsuit, it’s okay for you to change to whatever makes you more comfortable. What matters is for you to have fun.”
Eyes widening at the sight before her, it takes Rosalyn a few moments to speak, her shy gaze directed towards the white cream colored hammock.
“I’m not exactly uncomfortable with this swimsuit, as it was me and Cage who picked it from the store,” she admits softly. Her hands clench around her white shirt, the genius mage’s hair fluttering because of the wind. “I am just unsure of how other people, and especially you, young master Cale, would react about it.”
Cale raises his eyebrow in surprise. “Me?”
Eyebrows furrowing, Cale can’t help but to honestly speak. “I don’t really understand why you’re unsure about my opinion, Miss Rosalyn. You know I’m not the type to be much bothered by things like this.”
Rosalyn chuckles, “yes, I suppose so,” she sighs softly, her eyes crinkling as she smiles. “I should’ve known, hm? Ah, I really can’t help it, though, it seems that your opinion matters a lot for me, young master Cale.”
Rosalyn does not answer, the young woman simply sending him a secretive smile Cale cannot hope to decipher.
For a quiet moment, her gaze is directed towards the happy screams and laughter from the spot where the children are playing, her red eyes soft as she takes in the sight of their smiles.
Then, ever so slowly, her clenched fists loosen up, the young woman coquettishly pointing towards her shirt.
“Then, young master Cale, is it alright if I take off my shirt?”
“…Sure…? You are wearing a swimsuit underneath, right?”
“That is correct. I can’t take this shirt everywhere I go if I want to play, since it’ll be a hassle. Is it okay if I entrust this to you for a little while, young master Cale?”
“Thank you very much,” Rosalyn smiles brightly, her eyes crinkling. Then, with her fingers curled on the ends of her shirt, she lifts it up ever so slowly. Cale, for lack of anything better to do, patiently waits as she lifts her shirt up, revealing a tight fitting black bikini underneath. Her breasts heave as her shirt is lifted fully, and Cale’s eyes respectfully looks up towards Rosalyn’s face, the action as swift as he is surprised at the fact that he actually found himself staring for a little bit over there.
Rosalyn doesn’t seem to think much of it, however, or she simply doesn’t notice. She smiles towards Cale, her eyes soft yet slightly mischievous as she asks.
“What do you think, young master Cale?”
Cale’s answer is short. “Sure, not bad.”
Rosalyn laughs. “Not bad?”
“Yes,” Cale nods. “Black looks good on you, Miss Rosalyn.”
Her eyes crinkle as she smiles. “Yes, black looks good on us red haired people, doesn’t it?”
“Sure,” Cale agrees, nodding lightly. “Are you going to play now, Miss Rosalyn?”
“Yes, and I’m sure you want to rest, young master Cale?” She asks as if she already knows the answer to her question, considering how she’s already handing her used shirt towards Cale.
“That’s right. I plan to lie down and read novels all day,” is Cale’s honest answer, hand reaching out to receive Rosalyn’s shirt. “Enjoy playing, Miss Rosalyn. Please tell the children not to forget to eat when lunch is ready.”
“Yes, of course,” Rosalyn chuckles, her tone fond. She steps down from the hammock, cocking her hips when she gazes back towards Cale. She’s ten times more confident than she was before, the genius mage already back to the confident state that Cale is used to seeing in his daily days. Rosalyn looks even better when she’s as confident as this, Cale can’t help but think. “See you later, young master Cale.”
“Yes, see you later.”
Lying back down on his hammock, Cale sighs in content. Cage and the others have happily greeted Rosalyn when she joined them, and now her voice and laughter can be heard in the background as he reads as well.
Turning yet another page from his book, Cale thinks that yes, his life right now is certainly good.