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The next day, I woke up to a sun shining through the window. The completely clear sky made yesterday’s heavy rain seem like a dream. We should be able to depart easily.
We quickly ate our breakfast and set out for Raruuze.
Yesterday, our enemy was the rain, but today, it was the road. It was full of puddles, and some areas were even in such a poor state that a carriage couldn’t pass them. Luckily, my Bears didn’t have much of a problem. They walked when the road got really bad and ran the rest of the way. Over time, their feet got really dirty. Even though they would be clean again if I unsummoned them, I still felt bad for them. It looked especially bad for Hugging Bear; since its fur was mostly white, the dirt stood out even more than on Swaying Bear. During our breaks, I petted their heads to thank them for their hard work.
「That’s it. That’s the city.」
I immediately looked up front when Sanya-san said that and saw the walls of a city… A massive city. It was way larger than Crimonia, which wasn’t small to begin with.
「We’ll cause a commotion if we ride the Bears to the gates, so is it okay if we walk from here?」
People would surely panic if they spotted the Bears, so I asked the elf sisters if we could walk the rest of the way.
「You’re right. If we ride any closer, people might spot us.」
Sanya-san agreed, so we all got off the Bears.
「Thank you for taking us all this way.」
Ruimin thanked the Bears, with Sanya-san following suit. They both petted the Bears’ heads, eliciting happy cries in reply. After thanking them myself, I returned them to their gloves.
「Should we get going, then?」
Thus, we began our walk to Raruuze. Since the city walls were already in sight, it shouldn’t take us too long. As we got closer, we saw a few people exiting the city on horses, while we were the only ones heading for it. I thought there would be a lot of traffic, especially with how the elf sisters had described the city to me. Well, maybe it was due to the rain. At least we wouldn’t have to wait in line to get inside this way.
When we reached the gates, the gatekeeper looked at me in surprise.
「What’s with that outfit of yours?」
「It’s just a bear suit.」
No matter how many times people asked me that, this way was the only way I could respond. The answer must have been enough for the gatekeeper, as he didn’t pry further, but rather simply told us to place our guild cards on the crystal board. The board didn’t turn red, of course, since none of us had committed any crimes. The gatekeeper then just notioned us past with a 「Go ahead,」and looked away. He must have dealt with all sorts of people and was skilled at ignoring people like me. Well, I was happy that he just let us past without any complaints. However, the moment we entered the city, we drew all sorts of gazes.
「We’re being stared at.」
「Yeah, we definitely are.」
It was obvious that we would be getting the looks: a girl dressed as a Bear had suddenly entered the city. It happened to me all the time. For the sisters, however, this must be the first time something like this happened to them.
「I was thinking of heading straight to the Adventurer’s Guild, but maybe you want to wait at the inn instead, Yuna-chan?」
That was probably Sanya-san’s nicer way of saying 「It’s too embarrassing to walk next to you, so go wait at the inn instead.」 Too bad for her, though, as I wanted to go to the Adventurer’s Guild, too. As a former gamer, there was no way I could just sit still and wait at an inn right after entering a new city. I was also curious about the adventurers Ruimin had gotten involved with, and we might even have to deal with the merchant afterwards. I wouldn’t have cared if Ruimin was just a stranger to me, but during our journey to here, we kind of became friends, so I wanted to tag along.
「If I won’t cause you too much trouble, I would prefer to come with you. Still, if you insist, I’ll stay at the inn.」
Sanya-san did not expect my answer and became slightly flustered.
「Yuna-can, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that everybody is staring at you all the time, so I thought you might prefer to stay at the inn because of that.」
Oh, it seemed like I misunderstood her intentions; she was actually worried about me.
「This happens all the time, so I got used to it. If you two won’t be too uncomfortable with being in the center of attention I would prefer to join you rather than stay behind.」
「I’m fine with it.」
「I’d feel bad about making Yuna-san wait for us by herself, so I’m okay as well.」
Ruimin’s kind response brought a smile to my face.
「Alright, then we’ll go to the Adventurer’s Guild together.」
Just a few minutes after we set out towards the adventurer’s guild, however…
「We’re getting stared at.」
「Yeah, we are.」
The two of them complained again. They were right of course, as whether they were just passing by or doing something in the area, everybody took time to look at us. As usual, I pulled down my Bear-san Hood to at least hide my face.
「We should hurry.」
「Yeah, we should.」
The elf sisters started walking faster to escape everyone’s attention quicker.
Maybe it would be better if I distanced myself from them a bit? I slowed down to let them get ahead.
「Yuna-san, what are you doing? You’re lagging behind.」
Ruimin noticed I had tried to separate myself from them, so I had no other choice but to catch up again. Once I did so, Ruimin grasped my hand and started to pull me along. She most likely missed my intentions, but it still made me happy to see Ruimin do this for me. She proceeded to pull me all the way to the Adventurer’s Guild, which was just about the size of the one at the capital.
「I’ll go greet the guild master here. Ruimin, you should go and check if those adventurers are around. As for you, Yuna-chan…」
Sanya-san looked at me and fell silent.
Why would she…
「Please stay out of trouble.」
Well, that was a hard request… It wasn’t like I tried to get in trouble on purpose. Trouble just always found a way to get to me. Well, it was mostly due to my Bear Suit, though…
I promised I would try my best, and Sanya-san went off to go meet the guild master. For now, I decided to just follow Ruimin around as she looked for the adventurers she had dealt with before. If it turned out that they had indeed deceived Ruimin, I would punish them accordingly. Inside the guild, the amount of attention we got was even greater than what we had gotten out on the streets.
「A bear?」 「What’s with her outfit?」 「That’s a bear, right?」 「A girl?」 「What’s a bear doing in the Adventurer’s Guild?」 「How cute.」 「Is that Ruimin?」 「There’s a bear.」
Among the whispers, only one stood out. As we started to look for the person responsible, they came to us instead.
「I knew it was you, Ruimin.」
A young female adventurer in her early twenties stood before us.
「Is Ruimin really here?」
Two more young women approached.
「It’s been a while, Miranda-san.」
「It hasn’t been that long, but you really disappeared on us so suddenly. We were all worried about you.」
Miranda said and hugged Ruimin tightly.
「I-I can’t breathe.」
Ruimin seemed like she was in pain from being hugged so tightly, but was luckily released soon after.
「Geez, we were so worried about you.」
After Ruimin apologized to Miranda, one of the other two women, who both looked like they were in their mid-twenties, spoke up.
「That’s right. Not to mention that you gave Dogrude-san such an important bracelet.」
She said and pinched Ruimin’s cheeks.
「I-I’m showwy for causing you so much trouble.」
「You really shouldn’t have just disappeared on us without telling us first.」
She was finally released from the pinching attack.
「Anyway, I’m glad you’re alright.」
She said and embraced Ruimin gently.
「Did you make it to the Capital safely?」
Finally, the woman dressed like a magician spoke up.
「Yeah, somewhat safely.」
「You know what Miranda said? She went like: ‘We need to chase after Ruimin.’」
「And you said we should hurry, didn’t you?」
「Of course, with Ruimin involved it would have been an obvious thing to do.」
These adventurers must have been the ones who had helped Ruimin. Based on their reactions just now, they didn’t seem like they had deceived her in any way. It had just been me imagining the worst case scenario.
「By the way, Ruimin, is that girl dressed like a bear-san your acquaintance?」
Their attention suddenly turned towards me.
「Yeah, she decided to come along with Onee-chan and me when we set out from the Capital.」
「What an interesting outfit she wears.」
Ruimin didn’t even comment on that; she just laughed back, instead.
Miranda-san kept looking at me, so I decided to introduce myself.
「I’m Yuna. As you already know, I came here with Ruimin and her sister.」
「I’m Miranda. I worked with Ruimin for a short while.」
「My name’s Erielle. I must say, your outfit is really cute.」
Erielle then shuffled closer to me, so I instantly took a step back.
「Stop that, you’re scaring her.」
「But her outfit is just so cute. Even if I don’t hug her now, I’ll hug her eventually.」
「Don’t just make it worse!」
Miranda-san said and smacked Erielle-san over the head.
「I must apologize for her. You see, Erielle really likes cute girls.」
The woman dressed like a magician apologized in her stead.
「Don’t worry, I’m not a weird person.」
Erielle said and started to approach me again, but I took another step back, regardless.
「Uwaah, don’t run away. Just let me hug you once, at least. Let me feel how soft you are.」
Suddenly someone behind the crowd laughed at her persistence.
「I thought it was getting noisy. And, of course it was because of you, Yuna-chan.」
What were they trying to say? It wasn’t my fault this time at all. Oh, it was Sanya-san.
「Sanya-san, are you already done with your talk with the guild master?」
「Yes. I’m guessing you are the adventurers who took care of Ruimin for me?」
Sanya-san turned her focus to the female adventurers in front of us.
「I heard that you helped out my sister when she was in need. I thank you for that.」
「Oh no, we have to apologize for not being able to prevent her from losing her bracelet.」
Sanya-san and Miranda-san then started talking about what happened, and we headed to the back of the guild.
The merchant will appear in the next chapter, I guess?
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