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Since we would be resuming ou trip early in the morning, I instructed Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear to wake me up so that I wouldn’t oversleep.
At least I didn’t have any distractions like games or manga to keep me up all night, so I was able to go to bed early. If nothing happened, I might even be able to wake up on my own.
The next morning, the bears woke me up by lightly tapping my face with their paws. I thanked them and went down to the first floor.
「Good morning, Yuna-san.」
Sanya-san and Ruimin were already waiting for me by the table.
「You’re both up early.」
「That’s because Ruimin woke me up. We prepared some breakfast, but it won’t be as delicious as what you served us yesterday.」
They had prepared enough bread and drinks for the three of us.
I thanked them, then joined them by the table.
「Did you two sleep well?」
「We did. There’s no way we wouldn’t be able to sleep well on such a comfortable bed.」
「The bed was very soft and smelled nice.」
「I’m glad I aired it out, then.」
We then continued to chat as we ate the bread.
The bread wasn’t as good as Morin-san’s, though. Well, it wasn’t like it was bad, but… Morin-san’s was just hard to beat.
With our bellies full, we resumed our journey to the Elf Village.
Our first stop would still be Raruuze, which was also conveniently the place where Ruimin had accidentally torn the painting and had to sell her bracelet to pay it off.
「Hmm, before we talk to the merchant you sold the bracelet to, maybe we should talk to to the adventurers who gave you the job. They could offer us more info on the ruined painting.」
「Talk to the adventurers?」
「Yes. We might learn something that’ll make it easier to negotiate with the merchant.」
Sanya-san brought up a topic midway.
「Well, they are a female-only party, and their leader is called Miranda. They really helped me out by offering me the job when I was stuck with no money. They’re all nice people.」
Ruimin talked about the adventurers with a smile on her face.
「Still, my mistake caused them a lot of trouble…」
「What exactly was the job again?」
The only thing we knew was that she had accidentally destroyed a painting as Sanya-san didn’t pry further.
「I had to clean at a shop that sold things like artworks, ornate vases, jewelries, and other ornaments.」
So, it was a task that required physical labour, but the goods also needed to be treated gently. It made sense for it only to be available for female adventurers.
Still, when Ruimin had been cleaning, she managed to accidentally ruin a painting.
Could it be that those adventurers were working actually with the merchant and simply conned her out of her bracelet?
Yeah, they could have noticed her bracelet beforehand and tricked her into destroying what was actually just a cheap painting. It was something that quite commonly happened in manga and light novels.
Still, I had no evidence of this being the case while Rumin also seemed to trust the adventurers.
It was more likely that she just sold the bracelet because she has no other way to repay them.
While I was glad that she didn’t have to sell her own body, I still couldn’t get rid of the feeling they might have been aiming for her bracelet from the very beginning. Sanya-san had said that those who knew how the bracelet worked should also have known about its true value, after all.
Hmm. I really must have read too much manga and played too many games to think like this.
「What about the merchant, then? Did he seem like someone who would give the bracelet back if we gave him the money?」
「I think so…」
So, there shouldn’t be any issues in getting it back.
「Still, if it’s such a valuable bracelet, there must be a lot of people who would want it…」
That would be a problem, especially if the merchant had already sold it.
「We can only hope that it hasn’t been sold yet.」
Right now, all we could do was hope for the best and hurry to Raruuze.
Also, even if it had already been sold, we could still try to buy it back from whoever bought it.
Hmm. If the merchant refused our money, would the knife which Eleanora-san had given me come in handy?
It had the seal of the Foschuroze family on it, so if they didn’t return the bracelet to us, they would have this and that happen to them. Would it be okay to use it in this situation?
I feared that the more I used it, the more karma I’d build up.
Our journey proceeded smoothly in the following days.
Thanks to the Bear House, we were about to avoid any dwellings. According to Sanya-san, we would reach Raruuze within a day.
Still, the clouds up ahead didn’t look too good. They were much darker than the ones above us.
I wasn’t a weatherman, but even I could tell that there would be rain up ahead.
「I don’t think that we’ll be able to reach the city today.」
We got this far without it ever raining, so we couldn’t really complain.
Obviously, even my Bear Suit couldn’t help me overpower nature itself and change the weather, so we would just have to deal with it.
「Onee-chan, what should we do?」
Slowly, raindrops began to trickle down from the sky. The droplets just bounced off my Bear Suit though, so I stayed dry.
Taking another look at the sky, I realized it would only be a matter of time before it began pouring.
「Yuna-chan, can you bring out your house?」
Sanya-san requested we use the Bear House as shelter to get away from the rain.
I agreed, of course.
I didn’t want the Bears to run through the rain and honestly didn’t feel like running through it myself.
We quickly started to look for a secluded place to take out the Bear House before the rain got worse.
「There. That should be a good spot.」
I took out the Bear House behind some trees, and we rushed inside.
「Looks like we just made it.」
We managed to get inside just before it started to really pour down.
The two elf sisters were a little wet, of course, while my Bears and I were completely fine.
「This house is really useful.」
「Yeah. Normally, we’d be soaked by now.」
「And, even if we found a good tree to hide under, this heavy rain would surely get through. It will also probably get windy soon, which wouldn’t help.」
「I hope it stops raining soon, though.」
It was indeed now raining quite heavily outside.
They would have been soaked if we had went in just a minute later.
「There’s nothing we can do about it. You saw how dark those clouds were, so we will probably have to stay inside for a while.」
As the elf sisters continued to chat, I decided to serve us some tea.
With how dark the clouds overhead were, we probably wouldn’t be able to travel any further today.
Hopefully, the rain would at least stop by tomorrow.
Sanya-san said we shouldn’t force ourselves to continue on in the rain but rather spend the rest of the day relaxing.
In a blink of an eye, the elf sisters sat down and then started an energetic conversation between then.
They hadn’t talked in such a long time, so they still had a lot they wanted to catch up on. It was nice they had gotten this opportunity to sit down and catch up in peace, rather than on top of my Bears. I told them I would be heading up to my room to rest and took the bears with me.
After entering my room, I dove straight into bed, with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear following suit.
Taking a nap with the Bears would be great, but I remembered I had something I wanted to do, and instead sat down on my chair. I then took some thick paper I had prepared earlier and started drawing playing cards.
For the card suits, I decided to use the four elements of this world: fire, water, wind, and earth.
The problem I had was deciding what to use for the Jack, Queen and King. I thought of using His Majesty or Cliff for the King, but that felt a bit boring and could cause issues later on, so I decided against it.
The only other thing I could think of was 「Bears」.
I would be making the cards to play with the children at the orphanage or with Fina, after all, so drawing Bears would be better than drawing real people. No matter how I looked at it, the Bears seemed like the best idea, so I started drawing; a Bear on the each side of the King, Queen, and Jack cards. This was a great way to spend a rainy day.
For the Kings, I added a crown on top of their heads; for the Queens, I drew Bears in dresses; and for Jacks, I had the Bears hold swords.
The Jokers would have a Bear as well, of course.
The backs of the cards were still blank, but I decided it would be easier to print a design. I began to make a bear-print design. I was so concentrated on the work that I almost didn’t notice something hit my back. It was Swaying Bear.
「What is it?」
Before Swaying Bear could reply, I realized there was somebody at the door.
「Yuna-san, are you in there? Are you sleeping, perchance? I’m going to open the door, okay?」
The door opened before I could respond, and Ruimin entered the room.
「Ruimin, is there something wrong?」
「Yuna-san, why didn’t you respond? Didn’t you hear me knocking?」
「Sorry, I was too focused on my work and didn’t notice.」
I collected the cards that were scattered on the table and put them into the Bear Box.
「So, what’s wrong?」
I asked her again.
「What will we have for dinner tonight?」
「Eh?! Is it already that late?」
I looked outside and saw that it was already pitch black. Well, that could be partly due to the heavy clouds as it was still raining, but it should be getting late anyway. At this rate, it seemed like it would be raining until tomorrow morning.
Ruimin and I headed downstairs, with the Bears following closely behind.
「Yuna-chan, were you asleep?」
「No, I was awake, working on something. Anyway, I’m going to prepare dinner right away.」
「Thank you again.」
For the last few days, I had been preparing dinner, and in exchange, Sanya-san and Ruimin had been preparing breakfast.
I quickly threw together some simple dishes and served it to them.
We ate, and then took some time to rest our bellies.
After a minute of relaxing, Sanya-san took a quick look at the situation outside.
「With all this rain, even if we depart and make it to Raruuze tomorrow, we will have to wait there for a while.」
「Oh, I guess I didn’t mention this before: Raruuze City has a large river, and to get to the neighboring country, we need to get a boat. So, even after the rain stops, none of the boats will be able to depart for a while.」
Yeah, this was the first time hearing about it.
A river, huh?
Rivers could get dangerous when there were heavy downpours. The currents could get too rapid to get across, so there was nothing we could do about it.
Sanya-san continued to tell me more about Raruuze as we drank some tea.
Alongside the large river, there were also many canals splitting off while the river itself acted as a border that separated the two countries. So Sorzonak was directly across the river, huh. And that was why a boat was necessary to get there.
On the opposite side of the river, there was another city, which grew thanks to trading with Raruuze.
Just listening to Sanya-san’s explanation made me all excited. It sounded like there would be many different goodies in this area.
I decided to place a Bear Gate somewhere around there if I found a good spot.
「Ruimin, did you also take a boat on your way to the capital?」
「Yes, I did. It was a huge boat. It was able to carry many horse carriages at once.」
It sounded like they weren’t just the simple ferryboats I had imagined, but actual ships.
I had ridden a boat out to sea before, but it was only a small one, so I looked forward to riding a big transport ship.
We will resume the story of getting back the bracelet in the next chapter.
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