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I was at home playing with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear when I heard someone knocking at my door.
「Yuna-san, sorry to bother you when you’re busy.」
I opened the door to see Lala-san bowing at me.
「It’s fine. What brings you here today? If you’re looking for Noa, she’s not here.」
Noa came over to play occasionally, and when she did, Lala-san would come to pick her up. However, Noa didn’t come by today.
「No, I’m not here for Noire-sama today. It’s about the tea leaves you gave Cliff-sama the other day.」
Lala-san looked a bit hesitant to continue.
「Ah, right, the tea leaves. Could it be that he got sick from it?」
I took a guess based on how she was acting, but I really hoped that wasn’t the case.
「No, he didn’t get sick. Actually, Cliff-sama was a bit doubtful when he first tried the tea, but now he is enjoying it quite a lot.」
Oh, I was wrong. He actually liked them.
What was she fidgeting about, then?
「If the tea tasted good, you must have brewed it well.」
「Thank you for your compliment, but the tea only tastes delicious because the tea leaves you brought are of such high quality.」
「Well, I’m glad he likes it. How is he doing, though? The tea is supposed to help relieve fatigue, but I’m not sure about how well it works.」
I was eager to know how Cliff’s body had reacted to drinking the tea.
「After drinking it, Cliff-sama’s condition improved drastically. Now he has a cup three times a day and can carry on until the night without losing energy.」
「Is that so?」
「Yes. Before, he had been waking up feeling exhausted, but now, for the last couple of days, he feels rested when waking up, and can do his work properly without feeling sleepy.」
Based on what I was hearing, it seemed to have effects similar to an energy drink. Still, since she didn’t say he had trouble going to sleep after drinking it, maybe it was a bit different?
I remembered how drinking energy drinks was like in my world; it definitely kept people awake at night. I could easily imagine a mangaka drinking some to fight off sleepiness so that they could stay up all night, without having to sleep.
On the other hand, Cliff was able to go to bed without a problem, even after three cups a day.
「So then, Cliff-sama’s assistant, Rondo-san, who was also quite tired lately, tried some, and liked it as well. Hence, both of them wanted to thank you for the tea.」
「I’m glad the tea has helped them.」
This proved that the tea leaves from the Sacred Tree were working as intended.
Since I was wearing the White Bear Suit at night, drinking it had no effect on me. I simply enjoyed it for its taste.
「So, about the tea leaves that you gave to Cliff-sama… we ran out. I came to ask if you could possibly give us some more. Of course, Cliff-sama will pay you accordingly.」
So, she came to get more tea leaves. That was why she was all fidgety, not knowing how to ask me.
I still had some left, so I didn’t mind giving them some more. Weren’t they going through it too quickly, though?
I was pretty sure it was bad to consume energy drinks at such a rate. Well, from what the elves told me, they seemed to drink it pretty often, but even so, we didn’t know if it would cause harm from overconsumption. Not to mention that Cliff and the elves were of different races, so it could affect them differently. Also, I hadn’t asked the elves how many times a day they drank it, so I couldn’t compare.
What should I do?
「I don’t mind giving you more, but can you warn them to not drink too much?」
「Is it bad for the body?」
Lala-san immediately looked concerned, so I quickly shook my head.
「No, I think it should be fine.」
I didn’t believe there were actually any side effects, but I wasn’t a scientist nor did I know the complete properties the tea leaves had.
Even when I used the Bear’s Eyes of Observation, it only stated that it “restores magical power” and “removes fatigue”. It didn’t mention anything else, so based on that information, there should be nothing dangerous, but I still wasn’t entirely convinced. For example, eating too much sugar or salt could be harmful to the body. It was possible that the skill didn’t convey such details properly.
If the same applied to the tea, then it was important to balance its intake. A balanced, healthy diet was important after all, no matter whether if it came to food or drinks.
「It’s just that if Cliff wants to get rid of his fatigue, then he should rest properly instead of relying on the tea.」
There might be no side effects, but if I were to compare it to an energy drink then he shouldn’t be drinking three cups a day.
If not warned, it was possible he might decide to have even more than that.
「Yes, of course. I’ve also been telling Cliff-sama to rest properly.」
「If you can make him promise to only have one cup a day then I’ll give him more.」
「Okay, I can promise you that. I’ll tell Cliff-sama and only serve him one cup a day even if he asks for more.」
Since Lala-san promised me she wouldn’t let him have too much, I gave her the same amount as last time.
「I know I keep saying this, but only a little at a time.」
「Yes, I understand. I will make sure that he doesn’t drink too much.」
Lala-san bowed and returned to Cliff’s mansion.
Cliff had proven the effects of the tea leaves for me, but now I was afraid that he was drinking too much. I should probably not serve this at the shop. If people found out about its properties, things might get out of hand.
Once Lala-san was out of sight, I returned to playing around with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear. Fina and Shuri joined in after a while, and eventually Noa came as well.
A few more days went by, and I built a few more cotton candy machines as I wanted to make some cotton candy for the children at the orphanage.
「Yuna-oneechan, this cloud tastes really good.」
「It’s so fluffy.」
「When it melts, it gets all sticky, though.」
「It melts in my mouth.」
「It’s so sweet and tasty.」
Seeing the children happily snack on them, I felt confident that it would work out well at the school festival.
The days continued to pass by peacefully.
One day, I was spending my time taking a nap on Swaying Bear’s stomach, but then Swaying Bear tried to wake me up all of the sudden.
「Let me sleep just a little bit longer…」
I mumbled and hugged Swaying Bear’s arm tightly, treating it like a body pillow.
Yet, Swaying Bear continued nudging me, and eventually even used its paws to make me stand up.
I asked Swaying Bear why it was interrupting my nap before noticing someone was calling for me from outside.
「Whoooo is it?」
I let out a small yawn and climbed off Swaying Bear’s stomach. I really wanted to nap for a while longer.
Rubbing my eyes, I walked over to the entrance to see who was bothering me and was met by Riana-san from the Commerce Guild.
「Yuna-san, your order is complete. I brought it here for you.」
「Thank you, Riana-saaawn.」
I yawned again.
「Oh no, did I wake you up from your sleep?」
「Don’t worry about it. I had nothing to do, so I took a nap.」
I had been bored today, so I summoned Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear, played around for a while, and then took a nap.
「Okay, I won’t fret over it then.」
「Anyway, you were saying that the playing cards are done?」
「Yes. Here they are.」
She said as she pulled out a small wooden box from her item bag. Taking the box out of her hands, I immediately opened the lid to have a look.
Inside was a set of cards that had the bear drawings printed on their back sides properly. I also flipped some cards over to check if the other side was okay as well.
They were very well made.
「How is it?」
「They’re great. Thank you, it turned out better than I expected.」
「I’m happy to hear that.」
「Riana-san, really, thank you.」
I thanked her again.
「This is just our job, no need to thank us.」
Since it would be a hassle for her to take all the card sets out at once right here in front of the door, I invited Riana-san inside.
「Still, was it really okay for you to deliver it yourself? What about your job?」
The Commerce Guild should still be very busy, right?
I was sure they would send somebody else to bring the cards, so I was surprised when Riana-san came to deliver them herself.
「It’s fine. It’s my day off, after all.」
「You came to deliver the cards even though it’s your day off?」
「Well, it’s not something I could ask other people to do for me.」
I felt like I caused her a lot of trouble…
「Still, I get to come inside the rumored Yuna-san’s house. That’s enough of a reward for me.」
「Everybody is very interested in what your Bear-san shaped house looks like from the inside.」
「It’s just a regular house as you can see.」
I brought her to the guest room and took out some drinks from the fridge.
She delivered the cards despite it being her day off, so I felt I had to at least serve her some drinks as thanks.
Once Riana-san sat down, she started to bring out the remaining card sets I had ordered. I sat down on a chair opposite of hers, and watched her as she neatly stacked all the sets on the table. There were quite a lot of them, so it should be the hundred I had ordered.
「How much do they cost?」
「Here’s your statement.」
She said and took out a piece of paper with “Printing Fee” written on it.
「Wait, what about the cost of the boxes?」
I had completely forgotten about the cases and hadn’t ordered them. They must have made them since the cards would scatter about otherwise. I had to thank Riana-san for this.
「Those are complimentary and free of charge.」
「I can’t do that, or I’ll feel bad. I’ll pay for them properly.」
「Then, in exchange, can you tell me how you can play with these cards?」
「How to play?」
「Yes, everybody working at the Commerce Guild is also curious. Of course, I won’t reveal it to anybody else.」
Well, since I had mentioned they were used to play games, it made sense for people to get curious.
If I heard of a new card game, I would also want to know how it was played.
「Sure, I don’t mind showing you. Do you want to play now?」
「Would that be alright?」
「Yeah, I have nothing to do today, anyway.」
I really didn’t have anything to do, to the point where I had even tried using Swaying Bear as a body pillow to sleep on.
「I will be in your care, then.」
I took out a deck of cards from one of its wooden containers and put away the other sets into my Bear Box.
Although I used to play a lot of card games on the internet, the last time I played with a real set of cards was in elementary school.
One by one, I laid out the cards around the table.
「Take a look at these cards. I think you should already know, but there are 54 cards. There are four elemental suits and two special cards.」
Drawn on most of the cards on the table was one of the following symbols: fire, water, wind, and earth. Only the two joker cards were free of those symbols.
「There are many ways to play using these, but I’ll teach you one of the simplest versions first.」
I gathered the cards together back up and shuffled them. Then, I placed each card down on its own again but this time with their backs facing up.
I was first going to show Riana-san the game called Memory.
「This game is a test of your memorization. You flip any two cards. If the cards have the same number, you earn a point. The person with the most points at the end is the winner.」
「I see, so you must remember the numbers of the cards that your opponent flipped too.」
「Oh, and if you guess a pair correctly, you can continue flipping until you miss.」
We played against each other for a while. It turned out Riana-san’s memory was quite good, so we had a fun round without me having the upper hand.
「This is rather difficult. It will be good for the children to improve their memories, though.」
Since she had gotten the hang of Memory so easily, I decided to also teach her how to play Sevens.
It was a game good for formulating strategies.
「In this case, having a 『1』or『13』would be disadvantageous, wouldn’t it?」
「Well, that depends on your luck, too. Still, how the game turns out depends on how you play your cards.」
Next, I taught her Old Maid. This game was more fun with more people, just like Sevens, so I made sure to explain that to her.
「I see, so the last one who still has cards loses.」
「The outcome of the game depends on how well you can hide the joker when you have it.」
A good poker face was needed to dominate in Old Maid.
Well, unlike poker, there wasn’t much at stake here, but it was still fun to play the game. Also, in my case, I could just pull my Bear Hood down, so I didn’t need a poker face.
For the last game, I showed her how to play Grand Millionaire (also known as Extremely Poor).
(TL note: Wikipedia Link)
「This is a bit difficult.」
「Well, cards are being placed down left and right, after all.」
I ended up explaining more games to her than I had planned to.
I had left out card games like poker and blackjack which had annoying rules where it was troublesome to even remember how scoring worked.
「Yuna-san, are there more?」
「There are, but the rules get more complicated.」
「I see. I didn’t know you could play so many different games with a single deck of cards. It’s also good you can play these with more than just two people.」
Riana-san began staring at the cards, deep in thought.
「If we sell this, we would have to include an instruction sheet for the games you can play with it.」
If I were to sell these, a rule book would indeed need to be included. If people didn’t know how to play, nobody would want to buy it.
「Please let me know if you ever have plans to sell these. The Commerce Guild will gladly assist you in the process.」
「Please help me when the time comes, then.」
I didn’t know how I should go about doing it anyway, so having their help would be much appreciated.
「Thank you very much for today.」
「Likewise, thank you for bringing the cards and spending time with me.」
After chatting for a while longer, Riana-san left my house close to sunset.
They’ll depart in the next chapter.
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