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The day to head off to the capital had finally arrived. The plan was to meet at my house right after breakfast.
Yet, when I woke up, I realized the girls were already waiting for me downstairs.
「Um, aren’t you three here a bit too early?」
It was surprising to see the three girls already at my house when I was just trudging down the stairs, not even changed out of my White Bear form yet.
I even woke up earlier than usual just so that I could eat breakfast before they got here, but for some reason, the three of them came over way ahead of my schedule.
「Shuri, I told you we were too early.」
Fina scolded Shuri.
Based on her reaction, Shuri must have wanted to come here as early as possible while Fina tried her best to stop her, unsuccessfully of course.
I looked at the third girl, who didn’t say anything and just waited patiently.
「And, what about you, Noa?」
「I just wanted to leave with the Bear-sans as soon as possible.」
Noa answered immediately.
Well, of course she would. The last time we travelled to the capital, Noa had already been waiting for me outside her mansion, well before our meet-up time.
Since we had decided to meet at my house this time, she couldn’t stand waiting and rushed over instead. It was a bit late to consider this now, but maybe it would have been better if we had met at Noa’s home.
I had only chosen my house so that it would have been easier for Fina and Shuri…
Well, now that they were here, I couldn’t simply turn them away.
「Okay, you can sit down in the living room and wait for me to get changed.」
I returned back to my room and changed into the Black Bear Outfit.
I knew the three of them were excited, but I didn’t expect them to be this eager.
After I changed, I went back downstairs to prepare breakfast. Well, all I was doing was taking out some drinks and bread baked by Morin-san…
Like always, Morin-san’s bread tasted great. I really wanted to have rice this morning, but with the three of them waiting on me, I had settled for something quick and simple.
As I took a bite of my bread, I noticed the three of them staring at me.
「Um, do the three of you want something to eat?」
I asked them.
「Would that be okay?」
「I want some, too!」
I had thought they ate before coming over, but it seemed like they hadn’t. Or maybe, they were entering their growth period?
I took out some more bread, and they all ate it happily. Now I could eat my breakfast without rushing.
Once our bellies were full, we left the Bear House together.
「I’m really excited.」
Noa said while happily skipping down the road.
「I hope we get to the Capital soon.」
Shuri grasped Fina’s hand firmly, with a big smile on her face, to which Fina couldn’t help but smile back.
I already knew this trip was going to be a blast just seeing how happy the three of them were. I had to make sure to thank Shia and Eleanora-san for inviting us to the school festival.
After we exited through the gates, I immediately summoned Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear, prompting Noa and Shuri to run over as soon as they appeared. Fina smiled as she watched the two of them from the side.
「Fina, don’t you want to join them?」
「I do, but I’ll let the two of them have fun first.」
Fina was acting mature. She still looked like a child, but she already thought like an adult.
「Onee-chan, come on.」
The two of them called for Fina and me.
「Shall we get going, then?」
I held Fina’s hand, and we walked toward the other two together.
We separated into two groups: Fina and Shuri were to ride on Hugging Bear while Noa and I would ride on Swaying Bear.
Shuri happily grabbed onto Hugging Bear as she climbed onto its shoulder, and Fina followed suit.
I mounted Swaying Bear, and Noa got on behind me.
「Noa, don’t you want to ride at the front?」
「No, it’s okay. I want to hug you.」
Noa said and wrapped her arms around my waist.
「Noa-neechan, that’s unfair. I want to hug Yuna-neechan, too.」
「Huhu, this is the special perk you get when riding with Yuna-san.」
Noa said and snuggled her face into my shoulder.
「Noa, you don’t have to grab on that tightly.」
「I’m making sure I won’t fall off.」
Shuri looked at us enviously.
Why, though? Well, Shuri always came up and hugged me any time she could, did they really like to cuddle up to me that much?
「We’ll switch tomorrow, okay?」
If I were a guy, was this the part where I would say,「Please don’t fight over me, ladies」?
Actually, nobody would say that in real life. If there was anyone, they were most likely a huge pain to deal with.
When we were all securely set upon the Bears, we finally departed towards the capital.
With the opportunity to travel far away from town for the first time, Shuri could hardly contain herself.
「We’re going so fast.」
「Shuri, don’t move around so much.」
Shuri kept wiggling around, so Fina tried to calm her down, while Noa and I rode alongside them peacefully.
The Bears ran at their regular speed; we took a break in the middle of the day for lunch before continuing on.
Eventually, the three girls fell quiet.
At some point, Shuri had dozed off while Fina held onto her so she wouldn’t fall off.
Noa also fell asleep while holding onto me from behind.
「Shuri was so excited yesterday that she could barely sleep. She also woke up really early just so she could go to your house quicker.」
「Noa most likely did the same.」
The Bears ran smoothly so that they wouldn’t disturb the two girls. Looking at them, they were still fine to travel since the last break. After a few more hours of steady progress, the sun eventually began to set.
Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear dropped their speed and got off the main road. After looking around for a bit, I spotted a rocky hill where we could stay for the night.
「Yuna-san, will we camp out here tonight?」
Noa asked, having woken up partway through the trip.
「I’m going to put a house down somewhere that’s hard to see.」
I wanted to be sure that the Bear House couldn’t be seen from the main road.
We moved around to the other side of the hill, and then Noa and I got off Swaying Bear.
「Onee-chan, what are you doing?」
Shuri asked, rubbing her eyes.
「We’re going to camp here tonight. You can get off Hugging Bear now.」
Fina and Shuri climbed off of Hugging Bear soon after.
Looking around for one final time, I brought out the travel-use Bear House from the Bear Box.
「It’s a Bear-san!」
Shuri yelled out in surprise.
Oh right, Shuri had never seen me take out a Bear House from my Bear Box before, had she?
「We’ll stay in there tonight.」
「Yuna-neechan, you’re amazing.」
Thanks to the Bear House, Shuri’s sleepiness was swept away.
「Okay, let’s not dilly-dally and go inside.」
I transformed Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear into their cub forms, then took the three girls inside.
Shuri looked around excitedly the moment she entered.
「I’ll prepare some food. The three of you can sit down and relax.」
「I will help you.」
「I’ll help as well!」
While I was grateful for their offer, I didn’t really need their help. I was planning to whip up just a simple meal.
「I can make it myself. The three of you can take a break with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.」
I let Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear take care of the girls while I headed to the kitchen.
「Yuna-oneechan, tell us if you need help with anything, okay?」
「Okay, I will.」
The girls headed over to the sofa with the Bears while I started to prepare some hot food for us.
Today’s dinner would be rice with hamburg steak, paired up with miso soup and salad as a side. Since we had bread for breakfast, I decided to go with rice for dinner. I had gone through the trouble to obtain it, so there was no reason to keep the rice stashed away.
Since I already prepared the rice and hamburg steak in advance, all I had to do was take them out of the Bear Box. I didn’t have any salad ready though, so I had to make some. Tirumina-san had asked me to have Fina and Shuri eat more vegetables, and I agreed with her. Having a balanced diet was important, after all.
I hadn’t made the miso soup yet, either, so I whipped some up while adding daikon, carrots, and potatoes. They shouldn’t find miso soup strange, since they all had already tried it at Anzu’s shop before.
Once I had everything prepared, I began bringing the dishes out to the girls, who were still playing with the Bears. Fina noticed me enter and came up to me.
「I will help you carry them.」
「I’ll also help.」
The other two didn’t want to lose to Fina and offered to help as well.
「Thank you, everyone.」
We set down all the food and began to eat.
「This is delicious.」
「Mhm, it’s so good.」
「Yuna-san, you can make anything.」
「That’s not true.」
I was being overestimated.
「You are a chef who can make such delicious dishes, an amazing adventurer, and even a shop owner. You are amazing!」
「That’s not true. If one keeps practicing, anybody can get good at cooking. Also, the shop is doing well because Morin-san, Anzu, and Tirumina-san are helping. I’m not doing anything.」
Not to mention I could only fight well because of the Bear Suit. Although I was able to somewhat rely on my experience from playing the game, that wasn’t enough by itself.
Without my Bear Suit I wouldn’t even be able to lift a weapon, let alone deal damage. As for magic, if I didn’t have the aiming skill that was built into the outfit, I would never have been able to hit anything.
Without my Bear Suit, I couldn’t even defeat a horned rabbit.
「When you say it like that, it really feels like I can’t do anything.」
「Noa, you’re only ten years old, you still have a lot ahead of you and many things to learn.」
After we finished eating, we lounged about for a while to let the food settle before heading off to take a bath.
For some reason, Noa and Shuri brought the bears along with us.
「Why are you bringing Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear with you?」
「So we can go into the bath together, of course.」
「I want to go in with Swaying Bear…」
It was fine for them to enter, but I should unsummon and resummon them beforehand. It was my little trick to getting them clean; that way, I never had to bathe them.
Well, I did sometimes take baths with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear as well, carefully washing them with feelings of gratitude, and the Bears seemed to be happy when I did that for them.
If Noa and Shuri wanted to wash them, I should probably let them, instead of ruining their fun by cleaning them magically.
「Make sure you clean them properly, okay.」
Fina and I looked at the two with big smiles on our faces.
Once we entered the changing room, I took off my Bear Outfit.
I was kind of sad that I was so used to wearing the Bear Outfit, but when I thought about how I was living in a fantasy world, I would tell myself that it couldn’t be helped.
After wrapping a towel around my body, I looked at the other girls to see how they were doing. Fina was telling Shuri to fold up her clothing properly, to which Shuri obediently began folding her clothing tidily before putting them into a basket.
Next to her, Noa was also hurriedly trying to get her clothes folded. Our eyes met.
「I always fold up my clothes properly, you know.」
For some reason, she made an excuse.
「I haven’t said anything, though.」
「Well, anytime I do something good, you look at me just like how Father does when he praises me.」
I didn’t even have children but it seemed like I was already making faces as if I were watching over my own offspring…
「All three of you are really good kids…」
I said as I took the Bears over to the bathing area. Everyone first washed their body and hair, then we all helped wash the Bears together.
Noa had a hard time cleaning Swaying Bear by herself, so I helped her. As for Hugging Bear, Fina and Shuri made a good washing team.
Their fur foamed up with bubbles easily; in no time, Swaying Bear was all covered in white bubbles. Once we were done soaping them up, we washed them off with hot water, revealing their beautiful, shiny fur underneath.
「Hugging Bear-chan got all flat.」
Well, its fur was wet now, so of course it wouldn’t be as fluffy.
After we finished washing the bears, we all stepped into the bathtub together.
Gosh, it felt good.
For a Japanese person, bathtubs were the best. A bathroom that only had a shower just didn’t feel the same.
I submerged myself into the bathtub, with Fina next to me. A bit further away, Shuri and Noa gazed at the water-pouring Bear Statues.
Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear were sharing the small cub-sized bathtub. They looked like they were enjoying the bath as well.
This was so relaxing. It was definitely a lot more fun than going through the Bear Gate. Yeah, it was a good choice to go on a trip with everybody like this.
Slowly, the tiredness from the day seeped out of us, and once we were satisfied, we left the bath.
「That felt really good.」
Noa commented while wiping her body dry.
「Hugging Bear-chan, you have to dry yourself properly, too.」
Shuri said and tried to wrap a towel around it.
「Shuri, dry yourself before trying to dry Hugging Bear.」
Fina scolded and wrapped a towel around Shuri instead.
Such a peaceful, wholesome sight…
I put on the White Bear Outfit and took out milk for all of us.
It was refreshingly cold and tasted great.
We took turns drying each other’s hair with a dryer, then finally tried to dry the Bears with it.
I was tempted to unsummon them so their fur would dry automatically, but the girls wanted to dry the Bears, so I let them do it.
They started out on their leisurely journey. lol
Yeah, things are always laid back when the other girls are around.
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