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The following day, Fina and Shuri dropped by early, so Fina helped me prepare dinner while we waited for Noa to arrive.
「Yuna-oneechan, I’ve set the plates.」
「Thank you. Can you prepare the tea as well?」
「No problem. Shuri, Noa-sama will be arriving soon, so don’t tire yourself out too much from playing with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear, okay?」
「Okay… Let’s play again later, Swaying Bear, Hugging Bear.」
I listened in on their exchange while I focused on the cooking.
While Fina was helping me set up for dinner, Shuri rather chose to play with my cub-sized Bears.
Just as we finished all the preparations, Noa knocked on the door.
「Could it be that I’m late?」
Noa asked after seeing that Fina and Shuri were already by the table.
「No, you’re on time. Those two came early, so I got them to help me make dinner.」
「Oh, is that so? I should have come earlier as well, then…」
「Don’t worry about that. Well, let’s continue talking while we eat.」
After everyone got seated at the table, Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear curled up next to me. Today’s dinner was fried rice with a side of salad and soup.
「We’re going to decide on our date of departure, right?」
Noa asked after she ate her first spoonful of rice.
「Yes, but first, there’s something I want to tell Noa and Shuri.」
「Tell us something?」
「What is it?」
Noa and Shuri looked at me with their spoons hanging in midair.
「The two of you want to ride on Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear on our way there, right?」
The two replied without hesitation, as I had expected.
「Just thinking of being with Bear-san for an entire day makes me happy.」
「Yes, me too.」
Shuri nodded at Noa’s words.
Could it be that those two were actually more similar than I had thought?
Of course, Fina liked my Bears, too. I often saw her petting them when I summoned them.
「Riding Bear-sans to the Capital… It will be the best trip ever!」
「I want to ride Bear-sans soon.」
They have already entered Bear-san mode… The trip would take longer, but maybe it would be a better idea to keep quiet about the Bear Gate and just go to the capital with the Bears?
It still felt like a waste of time, though.
「Yuna-san, what’s wrong?」
Noa asked me when she noticed me playing with my spoon.
「Hm? Oh, nothing, I was just thinking.」
「I was just thinking that it would be nice to be able to get to the capital in an instant.」
「In an instant? If I could do that, I’d be able to go see Mother anytime I want!」
Well, if she used the Bear Gate, she would indeed be able to meet Eleanora-san whenever she wanted… I decided to swallow those words and keep quiet for now.
Grasping the timing to reveal a secret was unexpectedly difficult. When I had told Fina, I thought she already knew about it, so it was easy. Telling someone who I was sure didn’t know was much harder, especially since it wasn’t absolutely necessary to do so.
「Well, if that was possible, then what would the two of you do? Would you still want to ride all the way to the capital on Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear?」
「I want to go with Bear-sans!」
Shuri replied immediately.
「If I could get there in an instant, I would love to try it out sometime, but I also want to go on a trip with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear…」
It seems that Shuri wanted to go with Bear-san no matter what while Noa was a bit more undecided.
「Why did you ask us something like that anyway?」
「Just as a reference.」
I understood their feelings. Even if I told them about the door, they probably wouldn’t want to use it in the end, and even if they did, they would regret not going on a trip with my Bears.
「Yuna-oneechan, how about we travel to the capital with Bear-sans, and then, on our way back, we use that.」
Fina tried her best to be vague when she talked about the Bear Gate.
Her idea wasn’t bad; they would get to travel with the Bears, but we also wouldn’t waste time coming back. Yeah, it was a good plan.
「Fina, what is that?」
「Um, it’s nothing.」
Fina kept her promise and kept the Bear Gate secret, while Noa didn’t press any further and returned to eating her rice.
「Okay then, let’s all go to the capital with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.」
After talking for a while longer, we decided to depart a few days before the festival began.
That way the three of them would get to enjoy the trip itself, and I could pick a different time to tell them about the door. Just like Fina had proposed, I could easily tell them about the door for our way back. Timing would also be much better, then.
After the meal, I pulled out some pudding for us as a dessert, and after that, the three of them played with the cub-sized Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear until sunset. Noticing they were getting tired, I let them sleep over with Bears.
Next morning, I began to prepare for our trip to the Capital.
Since there would be three children coming along, I should bring something to keep them entertained. We had reversi, but that would get boring after a while, so I decided to also bring a deck of cards. It would be the main feature of our trip.
I had worked on the cards little by little at any chance I got. For the Kings, Queens, and Jacks, I drew little Bears on the front of the cards.
The Bears on the King cards wore crowns, the ones on the Queen cards looked like queens, and the Jacks bore swords. Of course, the Jokers were also Bears in the end.
I planned on having chibi bears on the backside of the cards, but right now they were still blank. I wasn’t confident I could draw fifty-four of the exact same thing, after all.
I wanted to have them printed, instead.
If I accidentally messed up the card while drawing, the whole card would be ruined, after all the effort I put into drawing the front.
I had to check with the Commerce Guild to see if they could print the cards for me.
Just as Cliff had told me, there was a ton of merchants from other towns at the Commerce Guild when I went to see Mylene-san.
How did I know they were from other towns?
Of course, it was because Crimonian merchants wouldn’t keep staring at me, since they were already used to seeing me. On other other hand, foreign merchants would keep at it as if I were some kind of rare animal.
Based on what Mylene had told me, there probably weren’t a lot of merchants from Crimonia who didn’t already know who I was.
Information about the Bear who took down the Black Viper was a well-known secret, after all. Not to mention all the rumors about a Bear opening a shop and selling great egg dishes.
It was due to that, that there weren’t many people left in this town who looked at me with curious eyes. Only outsiders would stare at me.
On a side note, there was a certain piece of very important information that that the Crimonian merchants still didn’t care to learn. They had no idea what my actual name was and rather just called me「Bear」.
How rude of them to do so after all this time…
Once I got to the reception area, I saw a lot of female receptionists, but Mylene-san was nowhere to be found.
She must be busy as the guild master, and couldn’t just play around the receptionist desk all day long, huh.
Riana-san, one of the other receptionists I was familiar with, was there, but she was already with another customer. I met her gaze when she looked in my direction, and she nodded to say hi.
There was a long line and everyone was busy. I didn’t really feel like waiting, so maybe I could just come back tomorrow?
When I was about to leave, Riana called out to me.
When I turned around, I saw that she was done with her customer. Technically, it wasn’t my turn yet, but…
「What did you need today?」
「I have something I want to discuss.」
When I looked behind me, there were still many people in the line.
「Is Mylene-san busy?」
「There’s some work she has to do. If you’re okay with me, I can listen to what you want to talk about.」
「Really? But there are other people still waiting in line.」
「It’s fine. The other girls can take care of that.」
She said it pretty casually, but was it really okay?
Riana-san then proceeded to say something to a staff member working at the back, and they took her spot.
「Okay, we can speak back here.」
I felt like they were giving me VIP treatment, but was that really okay? I decided to inquire with Riana-san.
「This applies to any guild, but people who contribute a lot to the guild naturally have to be treated better. It’s the same treatment we give to all the important people in the town. If we make them wait too long, they might become upset, which might in turn cause trouble to the guild.」
「Well, it’s not like I would be mad for waiting a while.」
「I know, but we think of you as someone important to the Commerce Guild, so we have to give you priority.」
「Yes. With all the monster materials you sell to us, and the eggs you provide, not to mention the tax we get from the Mireera Tunnel and your shop, there’s no way we can let you wait in a line.」
Riana-san was making me sound like some sort of an amazing person.
The shop was all thanks to Morin-san and Anzu, though. The eggs were also provided because the children at the orphanage were working hard, with the support of Tirumina-san and the other adults, of course.
As for the tunnel, all I had done was dig a hole through the mountain. How hard could that be?
Cliff did all the cleaning, put the lighting and managed everything.
Yes, all I had done was dig a hole. And even that was all thanks to my Bear Suit. Why should I be getting this special treatment for things others did?
Okay, the Bear Suit could be considered a power of mine, and I was technically the owner of the shop, but even using that as an excuse…
If I let myself get carried away and took this kind of treatment for granted, I would end up becoming like those stupid, arrogant merchants and nobles. I would never want for something like that to happen.
「So what was it you wanted to discuss?」
「Do you know where I could do some printing?」
「Yes, I want to make multiple copies of the same thing. Where can I do that?」
I took out the deck of cards from the Bear Box and showed it her.
「It’s a little different from the one I’m used to, but is this a card game?」
Riana-san looked at the Bear-san cards and guessed correctly.
So there were card games in this world as well, huh. I should look into it when I had time.
「That’s right. I want to print more of them if possible, and also have a background for all of them copied. Is there a place I can get it done?」
「Yes, there is. If you don’t mind, we can take care of it for you.」
That would be quite helpful. I proceeded to explain to her about the front and back sides of each card and even prepared the backside picture so it could be printed on each card.
「The costs don’t matter to me , so please make the cards out of a strong, durable material. Also, I would like a hundred sets.」
「A hundred sets?!」
「Well, I don’t think I’ll need that many, but I prefer not to run short and have to ask you for a reprint.」
I needed ten sets just for the people at the orphanage, and since playing cards could get damaged easily, I wouldn’t need to worry about it for a while if I had enough extra sets.
「Okay, I understand. I’ll put in the order for you.」
「How long do you think it’ll take? I’ll be going to the Capital soon, so I would like it done before I go.」
I told Riana-san our departure date.
「I’ll request to have them finish it before that date.」
「Anyway, I must say, these drawings of Bear-sans are really cute.」
Riana-san said while carefully examining each drawing.
「If you decide to sell these to the public, please let us know. The Commerce Guild will be glad help you with the process.」
「Okay, if I do, please take care of me then.」
「When your order is done, we’ll deliver it to your home.」
With the printing order all sorted out, I left the Commerce Guild and returned home.
In the end, they decided to travel by bear.
She couldn’t tell the two girls 「we won’t be using Bear-sans」, after all. lol
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