Hector looked around the bathhouse another time. Aside from his pair of flashlights, he’d brought some candles with him this time. Given how damp the place was, he didn’t think a bunch of light bulbs would’ve been a good idea. And unfortunately, as Garovel had explained to him, the floodlights he’d been using before were not named such because they were supposed to be used in flooded areas but rather just because of how they flooded an area with light.
Of course, electrocuting himself wasn’t a big concern--especially considering all the times he’d been struck by lightning--but he figured it best to exercise caution in case anyone else happened to wander in while he was working.
This particular bathhouse was almost all one giant chamber. Half of it had been carved out of natural rock, and a tall divider cut right down the middle, perhaps meant to separate the male side from the female side. The big tub in the center could have probably held fifty people comfortably, and its hard perimeters of rectangular rocks gave way on the side nearest the entrance for long, flat steps that eased gradually into the water.
‘Welp, I finally found the problem,’ said Garovel. He’d been wandering blindly through the pitch darkness of solid rock in search of the source of the hot spring’s heat.
‘What is it?’
‘A shitload of magma.’
Hector’s eyes widened. ‘How much is a shitload?’
‘More than a crapload, less than a fuckton.’
‘It’s pretty far down here. Won’t be easy for you to reach.’
‘I see two options. You can dig down here and divert some of the magma. And probably burn yourself to death at least once or twice. Or, you can try to add more layers to the hot springs in order to absorb more of the heat before it reaches the water--possibly employing some type of heat-resistant material.’
‘It’s just... I mean, obviously, there’s not supposed to be that much magma down there, or else the temperature up here wouldn’t be so fucking high...’
‘Indeed. It’s probably the result of that earthquake the Queen mentioned, just like all the other flooding we’ve seen.’