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Sanya-san borrowed a room in the back of the guild for us, so we entered it with Miranda-san and her party in tail to listen to their side of the story.
Apparently, after Ruimin had accidentally torn the painting, she simply gave her bracelet to the merchant in order to not get Miranda-san’s party into trouble and left the city without telling them anything.
Sanya-san looked more and more exasperated as she listened to the story.
「I mean, it was my fault, so I couldn’t drag everyone else into it.」
「You could have at least talked about it with us first.」
Ruimin looked down, trying not to make eye contact with anyone.
「If Dogrude-san knew how important the bracelet was to the elves he wouldn’t have accepted the bracelet.」
「Yes, and this all happened only because we gave you the job, so we are all responsible for it.」
The other two female adventurers spoke up as well.
「But it was my fault. I’m the one who tore the painting. It had nothing to do with you.」
「As I said, we were the ones who gave you the job, so we all share some of the responsibility for what happened.」
「That might be true, but… 」
「Even so, there was no reason for you to just disappear on us. Do you know how worried you made us?」
Ruimin shrunk into her chair and apologized with a barely audible voice when the three of them disputed her reasoning.
I also apologized to them in my head. I had doubted their intentions and was almost sure they were after Ruimin’s bracelet. I thought they had just been working together with an evil merchant.
When Ruimin had explained what happened, I first assumed that the adventurers had tricked her into giving up her bracelet. Instead, these adventurers seemed to be genuinely worried about Ruimin from the bottom of their hearts.
They had found Ruimin wandering around in the Adventurer’s Guild and listened to her story about having no money to get to the capital. Then, they kindly offered her a job to earn the money she needed.
「Based on what you said before, it sounds like the bracelet hasn’t been sold yet to someone else?」
「Yes, you’re right. After we found out that Ruimin left her bracelet and disappeared, we immediately negotiated with Dogrude-san and asked him not to sell it to anybody for a while.」
「We didn’t know how long he would be willing to hold it for us, so we even discussed the prospect of buying it back ourselves before he sold it to someone.」
「Yeah, but with us just being low-rank adventures, it would take us a while to get there… He did promise to wait for us, though.」
「All of you…」
Ruimin’s eyes began to tear up and she looked back up at the people who cared about her so much.
I could hardly believe it. They had actually intended to buy it back for her and negotiated with the merchant to hold onto it until they had the money.
Well, that was kind of stupid of them, honestly. To them, Ruimin was a complete stranger, not even a real acquaintance. It would be very unusual for someone to try and buy back something so personal for someone they had just met.
If I had relatives like that, I would cut ties with them immediately; I wouldn’t want them meddling with my business.
Well, I had already done something similar, too, but not to such a length. There were acts of kindness even I wouldn’t do; I wasn’t as naive as them.
Still, I couldn’t really say I hated people who would go to such lengths for random strangers.
「I can’t thank you enough for doing so much for my sister.」
「You shouldn’t really thank us as we haven’t been able to get the bracelet back yet.」
「Still, persuading him not to sell it; that’s plenty to be thankful for, not to mention helping Ruimin by giving her the job.」
She was right. If Miranda-san hadn’t negotiated ahead of time, the merchant would have probably sold it already.
「Please let me do something to express my thanks to you.」
「Oh no, you really don’t have to.」
「In that case, how about you let me hug Yuna-chan just once?」
I thought I just heard some very strange request but decided to ignore it.
Yes, I must be hearing things.
Erielle-san looked at me, but I hid from her stare by pulling down the Bear Hood.
After we finished our conversation, we met with the guild master of this city’s Adventurer Guild.
Since Sanya-san was the one who requested the meeting, Raruuze’s guild master had no choice but to agree.
He was certainly someone who we could go to with any trouble that may come up because of a certain Bear. Yeah, it should be okay now, even if I went on a rampage.
After talking to them, we followed Miranda-san to the merchant’s store so that we could buy back the bracelet.
「This is Dogrude-san’s shop.」
She brought us to a shop, which was situated at a quite nice of a location.
Many people were using the road it was on, so it was definitely a good spot for a store.
As if to prove that, a large carriage decorated with big, fancy ornaments was parked in front of the shop. Definitely a sign of a rich patron.
Since this merchant was dealing with high value goods, it made sense for his customers to all be rich, right?
As we gazed at the carriage, Miranda-san just passed it and headed into the shop. The rest of us then quickly followed her as we didn’t want to get left behind.
Inside, a young man who appeared to be a simple employee greeted us.
He then quickly recognized Miranda-san.
「it’s been a while, Miranda-san. What can I do for you today?」
「Is Dogrude-san in?」
「The boss? He is, but…」
The young man threw a quick glance towards the back room then apologized.
「I’m sorry, but right now, he is with a client…」
Right after he said that, the door to the back room opened, and a man came out.
I quickly got out of the way by moving to the side.
「You’re in the way. Move.」
The man spat out some words, treating Miranda-san and everyone like trash, then left the shop.
When I peeked through the door, I could see the man get into the carriage which was parked outside.
「That man is always so very difficult to deal with…」
After him, a slender man in his mid-thirties came out of the back room.
「Miranda-san, why are you here today? Oh, and I see you also brought Ruimin with you!」
The man, who appeared to be Dogrude-san, noticed that Ruimin was here with her.
Of course, he noticed me, too, but his attention quickly returned to Ruimin as she started speaking to him.
「I’m very sorry about what happened before.」
Ruimin lowered her head.
「Dogrude-san, you haven’t sold Ruimin’s bracelet yet, right?」
「Yes, I kept it just in case.」
He looked at me for a second again, but Sanya-san went up to Dogrude-san and greeted him.
「Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Sanya, and I’m Ruimin’s older sister. I came here today to buy back her bracelet.」
「Ruimin’s older sister?!」
Dogrude-san looked at Ruimin, who nodded.
「I see. Lute, I leave the shop to you. Everybody, please follow me to the back room.」
Dogrude-san guided us to the room he had come from earlier.
It was a wide room which appeared to be Dogrude-san’s meeting room as there was a long table situated in the middle with plenty of chairs placed on both sides.
「Please take a seat.」
Dogrude-san sat down on his own chair at the end of the table, while the rest of us took a seat on the left side.
Also, I was pretty sure that Dogrude-san kept glancing at me every now and then.
「As I said before, I would like to buy Ruimin’s bracelet back. How much will it cost me?」
When Sanya-san asked that, Dogrude-san suddenly averted his gaze then took a quick bow.
「I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to return that bracelet.」
「Wait, what are you saying? Didn’t you promise not to sell the bracelet to anyone?」
After she heard him say that, Miranda-san got up from her seat and angrily pounded the table.
「I’m very sorry.」
Dogrude-san apologized again.
「Why? You did promise and now even Ruimin’s older sister is here, willing to pay you for it.」
「Could you please explain so that we can understand?」
Sanya-san calmly asked him.
We waited for Miranda-san to sit down again then listened to Dogrude-san’s explanation.
「You all saw that man who barged out earlier I presume? He was going to purchase the painting Ruimin-san had accidentally torn. When he found out he could no longer buy the painting, he left, to put it bluntly, outraged.」
Well, it made complete sense for him to be mad.
If I found out I couldn’t buy a limited edition copy of a game which I had previously reserved, I would be outraged, too.
「I’m really sorry for damaging it.」
Ruimin apologized for what was now probably the hundredth time.
「It’s okay. Things like this happen once in a while in a business like this. I must be able to push through a situation like this if I ever want to be a first rate merchant.」
「A first rate merchant wouldn’t make such a mistake hiring someone like Ruimin, wouldn’t they?」
「I’m sorry it’s all because of me.」
Miranda-san smacked Erielle-san over the head again. Miranda received a displeased glare in return, but she just ignored it.
「So, what has all this to do with not being able to return the bracelet?」
Sanya-san returned the conversation back to its original topic.
I could already see where this was going but held myself back as this was about Ruimin.
Dogrude-san then began to speak slowly, making sure not to cause any misunderstandings.
「I tried to negotiate with the client, and we managed to agree on getting him a replacement painting. Two days ago we sent someone to Sorzonark to fetch it, but then…」
「Heavy rain started to fall.」
「The replacement painting was to arrive from Sorzonark yesterday, but because of the heavy rainfall, the boats couldn’t cross the river, and we weren’t able to get the painting on time.」
So, the painting was stuck in the city across the river…
「Isn’t there anything that can be done?」
「I already checked to see how soon the boats could depart, but it appears it will be a couple of days at the earliest.」
Yeah, it seemed like there was nothing they could have done to avoid this scenario.
It would most certainly be too dangerous to sail across the river after such heavy rain.
「It was decided that if I do not prepare the painting by tomorrow noon, I would have to give him the bracelet.」
「How did it end up like that?」
「Well, that’s… When Miranda-san came by the other day, that man overheard us talking about the bracelet and tried to negotiate for it. I refused, of course, but now with what happened… I lost all my bargaining chips.」
When Miranda-san finally understood, she fell silent and lowered her gaze.
「It’s not your fault, Miranda-san. I didn’t take the surroundings into account when we talked about the bracelet inside the shop. It’s because of that the client has demanded that I hand it over if I cannot get the replacement painting by tomorrow.」
「Is there really nothing we can do at this point?」
「With how things turned out, I don’t really see a way to salvage this.」
He shot down Sanya-san’s last hope.
Even with the influence as the capital’s Adventurer Guild master, she was unable to do anything in this situation.
Well, I still had my crest, so maybe I could do something about it?
「The client’s name is Letobell and he’s a very influential merchant in this city.」
「Why did it have to be him of all people.」
It sounded like he was someone well-known around these parts.
「You can’t do anything either, Sanya-san?」
「It would be very difficult. My influence is only really effective when dealing with the Adventurer’s Guild. Using it against a merchant of Letobell’s standing, however…」
What about my crest then, would it be enough? If this guy is as influential as they were saying, maybe it wouldn’t work, either.
The room went silent again.
Wait, wasn’t there an easier way to fix this problem?
「So, basically, things will be fine as long as someone gets the painting from the neighboring city, right?」
I broke the dead silence, actually speaking for the first time since entering the shop
「I don’t mind getting it for you, so just tell me where do I need to go.」
「Boats can’t cross the river, so how do you plan on getting there?! Swimming would be impossible even for you and I never saw you fly.」
「I don’t really need to swim or fly to get there.」
The skill I had learned after finishing the golem subjugation would finally find its use here.
Yeah, this was just the job for the Bear Water Walking skill.
After the golem subjugation arc, many people commented asking whether Yuna learned any new skills from it.
I remembered thinking one up, but because it was not a skill which could be commonly used, it only came up now. It took a while, but I finally found a use for it.
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