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I had already decided on the present, but was that really the only thing I had to prepare?
Since I could make cakes now, maybe I should make a birthday cake for her?
Yeah, making a two-layered cake could be fun. I could also write 「Happy birthday!」on it with colored fresh cream.
I should be writing it down on a chocolate plate, but I couldn’t do that without chocolate…
I had all the ingredients for making the cake, so I decided to try making it the moment I got home. It would stay fresh in my Bear Box, so making it in advance wouldn’t be a problem. Still, I should probably drop by Sherry’s place to see how the plushies were turning out first.
Just as I started to head towards the tailor shop, someone called out to me.
I turned around to look, and saw it was Riana-san from the Commerce Guild. She was the one who had helped me purchase my plot of land here.
「It’s been a while, Riana-san.」
「Yuna-san, are you on your way to the Commerce Guild?」
「Not really, I don’t plan on going there today.」
「Oh, did you come by yesterday?」
Emm, I hadn’t been to the Commerce Guild for quite a while since there was no real reason for me to go there.
Most (if not all) of the things concerning my shop were dealt with by Tirumina-san, after all.
Honestly, the only thing I had done myself had been the purchase of the plot of land.
「I was sure that you would have already gone there. Did Tirumina-san not mention it to you?」
「Tirumina-san? I haven’t really seen her the past few days. So, had something bad happened?」
「Oh no, it’s not that. It’s just that your Commerce Guild rank went up. Yesterday, I asked Tirumina-san to tell you to come to the Commerce Guild when you had time.」
「My guild rank went up, huh.」
I didn’t recall doing anything, though.
I had opened a shop, but I left everything to Morin-san, Anzu, and Tirumina-san. Well, the sales must be affecting my Commerce Guild rank, so it made sense for it to go up.
「Normally, it takes merchants a whole year to increase their rank to E, you know.」
「Yes. A new merchant starting a new trade has to work hard to bring their sales up. It takes about a year to get their business run smoothly enough to rank up. Many merchants who don’t become successful in a year’s time just give up and quit.」
Unlike at the Adventurer’s Guild, it was difficult to get to rank E at the Commerce Guild, huh.
「We still have to go through the procedure for increasing your rank, so if you have time right now, could you come to the guild with me?」
Hmm, now that I thought about it, even if I went to Sherry’s place now, she shouldn’t have made much progress since yesterday. It should be better to go there in the afternoon and just prepare the cake tomorrow, right?
Since I figured I was in no rush with other things, I decided to go to the Commerce Guild now.
「By the way, why are you here, Riana-san?」
At this time, shouldn’t she still be working at the guild?
「I’m here for work. It shouldn’t be my job, but I was asked to do it. I could ask you the same, Yuna-san. You didn’t need anything from the Commerce Guild, so why are you in the area?」
「I had some business with Cliff and was on my way back home.」
「There was something I wanted to ask him, so I went to his mansion this morning.」
Riana-san and I chatted about silly topics on our way to the Commerce Guild.
Once we arrived, I noticed there were only a few people inside, probably because the early morning rush was already over.
「Could you please wait a moment? I will return as soon as I finish giving my report.」
Riana-san said and headed to the back. I looked around for a place to wait and quickly decided to sit on one of the chairs by the wall.
Getting a different employee to rank me up would probably have been fine, but it was easier to wait for Riana-san since I knew her already.
Hmm, I normally saw Mylene-san sitting at the reception desk, but she wasn’t here today.
Was she finally doing her actual job as the guild master properly?
As I looked around the Commerce Guild, I noticed a few people staring at me. I still got those looks from time to time, huh.
I covered my face with the Bear Hoodie, and kept waiting for Riana-san.
Since I sat there quietly, I couldn’t help but overhear two merchants speaking close to me.
「You got a second?」
「Look, that’s the child who wears the bear suit.」
「Dude, don’t point at her. Don’t look at her either.」
「Haven’t you heard about the young bear lady?」
The merchant asked in surprise.
「I only heard the rumour that the owner of the shop with the giant bear statues also wore a bear suit around town. I just wanted to ask you if that child wearing the bear suit is said owner.」
Sorry for being a child…
I might look like this, but I was 15 years old, you know.
「Are you new to this town?」
「Yes, I came from Mireera two days ago.」
「I knew it. So, how much have you heard about that bear?」
「Only that a bear manages the bear shop, which was recommended to me when I asked for a shop that sells good food at the guild yesterday.」
「I’m sure you found its food delicious, right?」
「Yes. It was the first time I had something that delicious. And, when I asked about who ran the shop, I was told that it was a girl wearing a bear suit.」
「Yep, that Bear Missy over there should be the owner. Still, don’t get any funny ideas, okay?」
「Why? Don’t merchants like to talk about making money? She could make a lot of easy profit if she just shared her cooking methods in other towns.」
「Don’t even try that. You will be kicked out of the Commerce Guild for good.」
「Why would that happen?」
「She’s backed by the Foschuroze family and the Commerce Guild itself.」
「Yeah. That’s why nobody from this town dares to even approach her. I have no idea how you planned on getting her cooking methods out of her, but she isn’t someone you should pick a fight with.」
「If what you told me is true, then you’re probably right…」
「It’s your choice whether to believe me or not. I’m just warning you as a fellow merchant.」
「I’ll accept a warning from a fellow merchant and won’t try to cross such a dangerous bridge, then.」
The merchant said while nodding in resignation.
I had thought that fellow merchants would get along poorly, but it seemed like that wasn’t true at all.
Well, I had heard that merchants valued their connections, so it sort of made sense for them to get along.
「A wise decision. As fascinating as the bear’s recipes are, there isn’t a single person dumb enough to pick a fight with that young bear lady.」
「Well, that makes sense if both the nobility and the Commerce Guild are backing her.」
「You really know nothing, huh.」
The other merchant said, amazed.
「Why would you say that?」
「You know, that young lady bear is also a rank C adventurer.」
So, my rank had spread, huh.
Well, it wasn’t like I was hiding it. Anyone could find out if they just looked into it.
Although, that old guard who normally stood by the town entrance seemed very suspicious.
「You bastard, are you making fun of me just because I’m new to this town?!」
「You think I’m lying to you? If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone else. Every merchant from around here will tell you the same thing.」
「You must be joking…」
Yup, that was a joke, right? About everybody knowing, I meant.
「Well, I warned you. Now, what you do is up to you.」
The other merchant said and left.
The first merchant took another look at me then left as well.
The rumours about me must have been spreading around again…
According to Noa, the Foschuroze family was backed by the royal family, and that was why things had been so peaceful till now.
Though this was unrelated to the merchants’ conversation, I was sure that if anybody harmed the children working at my shop, they wouldn’t be let off easily.
This wasn’t due to me being backed by the nobles, but rather, just Cliff making sure the children weren’t bothered. I should probably thank him for that, but I was a bit reluctant to just genuinely admit that I was grateful for his help….
While I was still pondering if I should openly thank him or not, Riana-san returned from the back.
「Thank you for waiting, Yuna-san.」
Riana-san sat down at her reception desk and started the rank up procedure.
「Here you go. Your Commerce Guild rank is now E.」
I thanked her and took back my guild card.
I had now officially became rank E, huh.
「Normally, I should congratulate you for becoming a full-fledged merchant, but I feel like that doesn’t really apply for you.」
「Becoming rank E means becoming a full-fledged merchant?」
「As I must have mentioned before, a new merchant has to pay income taxes like any other merchant, and that makes their first year rather difficult.」
That made sense. It must take a lot of time to build a business from scratch and make sure that everything goes according to plans. Without a good business understanding, it was hard to profit quickly.
「You really are amazing, though. You already became rank E, even though you only joined the Commerce Guild a few months ago.」
「Well, it’s all thanks to everyone working at my shop.」
They were all doing their best working hard for me.
Hmm, I had to reward them somehow.
「Well, in your case, I’m sure you’ll also hit rank D pretty soon.」
She was probably right. I had the income from the tunnel’s toll fees, and the cake sales were going up day by day.
Well, unlike with the Adventurer’s Guild rank, there was honestly no real use in my Commerce rank going up at the moment.
I thanked Riana-san again and left the Commerce Guild.
Since I was hungry, I decided to go get something from the food stalls before heading home.
When I finally reached my Bear House, a pouting Fina was waiting for me there.
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