Extra Chapter 3 takes place during Chapter 13… Or does it?
“Daphne, I need to talk to you,” lightly called a voice from behind her. As Daphne turned, she saw that the one who spoke was Aase. She seemed a little nervous, perhaps.
“Alright. What did you want to talk about?”
Aase hesitated, looked around to take in the other people in the camp, and then very nearly whispered, “In private, please?”
“Ah,” uttered Daphne. It had dawned on her that it was one of those medical conversations that people would spring on Healers at odd times. Daphne was already use to receiving them and her professional demeanor took over immediately. “Please, right this way.”
Daphne escorted Aase to the edge of the camp, a place that was barely illuminated by the camp fires without being pitch black in the rapidly darkening night. After a surreptitious look around them, Daphne said, “Alright, we should be fine talking here. Did you have any further concerns about your hair color?”
It was a guess, and an ice breaker question at the same time. In Daphne’s experience, these kinds of consults could take a while to get going if she didn’t facilitate to some degree. On the other hand, Aase started to flat out deny it.
“No, no. It’s not that. Well… not the hair on top of my head at least…”
Aase nodded sagely… or understandingly, and asked, “Then you also experienced a color change to your pub-”
“Don’t say it out loud,” hissed Aase, talking over Daphne. “No! Well, yes, that area changed as well, but it’s not about that area at all.”
Aase, red with embarrassment, stopped talking completely, and was just looking about her, apparently making sure no one heard their conversation so far. Aase might actually die from embarrassment if someone had overheard that. Daphne kindly cleared her throat and asked, “Then what other hair are you talking about?”
Aase was focused again, but still quiet, thinking hard about how to say it. Finally, she decided on the words, “I haven’t had to shave since I came to this world.”
“Or my under arms.”
Aase looked completely bewildered by Daphne’s lack of a reaction, and stated, “Yes. I haven’t had to do any of… that grooming since I landed here, Daphne. I was a little bit stubbly before your people kidnapped me, but now I can’t find even a trace of hair in those places. It’s had me a little bit freaked out for a while now.”
“Isn’t it normal for a woman to not have any hair in those places,” asked Daphne quizzically.
“What? No. Every woman has hair in those places. Are you actually telling me you’ve never had any leg hair?” Daphne shook her head. “Or underarm hair?” Daphne shook her head again.
“As far as I know,” said Daphne, “I’ve never met any woman who has had hair in those places. Men do, of course, but never a woman.”
“…You’re actually telling me that women in this world don’t have to spend time grooming their legs and underarms?”
“Don’t you find that strange?”
“I find it strange that women in your world have to do something like that in the first place.”
“…But I’m not from this world. Why would I suddenly have all that hair disappear? Not like it was a large amount in the first place, because it wasn’t. It definitely wasn’t.”
“I can’t even hazard a guess, Aase. Maybe Mercedes could if you told her?” Daphne couldn’t tell, what with patient confidentiality.
“Absolutely not. I wouldn’t trust Mercy with anything more important than a loaf of bread.”
Daphne could begrudgingly admit to the wisdom of such a feeling. Mercedes was really beginning to betray Daphne’s trust in her as a person.
Aase went back into introspection mode and said aloud, “But if I don’t have to shave anymore, that’s really going to save me so much bother. And it means I can wear anything I want, whenever I want to. Oh, this is absolutely wonderful…”
A smile of pure glee was beginning to creep across Aase’s face as she was muttering to herself. Daphne concluded that the medical consultation period had pretty much come to an end and asked, “Is there anything else that was bothering you?”
“Yes, actually,” said Aase as she returned to herself. “Since we’re on the subject, I was wondering if tampons exist in this world? I mean, it’s not quite time for that time yet, but I want to be prepared, you know?”
And so it was that Daphne and Aase had their first actual conversation with one another, on the topic of feminine hygiene, which succeeded in bridging the gap between the two for the first time. While this conversation would prove to be less than memorable for these two, it was the first brick to lay the foundation for their friendship in the future. And lo, little did either of them know that the reason why women in the world of Meaorh did not need to shave was because their Deity was a Goddess herself, and when she built the world from the barest firmaments of reality, she ensured that the presence of magic power in women would absolutely remove the requirement for shaving those annoying parts of the body.
No living being in the world of Meaorh ever knew this, nor would they ever know this. For what Goddess would ever admit to her believers that she had customized reality itself to simplify her own personal grooming?
The next morning…
“Fuck,” I cursed as I cut myself shaving again. All the magic in the world and these barbarians couldn’t make a safety razor. Damn that hurt! And the shaving soap didn’t make the sting any less severe!
I pulled the shaving instrument from my face to give it yet another dirty look, as though that would make the tool more compliant. It was basically an old barber style straight razor, complete with a wooden handle it could fold into for travel purposes and a pin to lock it in place for use. The only difference was that the blade itself was much shorter than your classic straight razor, probably because it could be used as an effective weapon otherwise, because lord knows it’s wasn’t an effective shaving instrument!
I normally only shaved close in my previous world when I had to look presentable for something or other. Otherwise I used an electric razor to keep my facial hair down. But nooooooo, none of those here in Meaohr! Either way though, I was going to have to pass myself off as a military officer today, and that meant not having any stubble. …Back at it, then.
“Fuck,” I cursed as I sliced my chin. Damn it! Just a little more to go… then I could go beg Daphne for some healing magic.
How the hell did Aase keep those legs of hers so smooth? It’s not like I couldn’t notice with those pajama shorts of hers. Should I ask for shaving tips…? Nah. I felt like I’d have to hand in my man card if I did that. Just a little more, just a little more. You can do this, Xander.