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When it was noon, we decided to return to Shia’s stand.
Since Shia had told us about how none of them could take a decent break from working, I thought we could help a bit if we at least brought them some snacks. The girls naturally didn’t object.
Still, having to line up for snacks was a pain, so I was planning on simply giving them Morin’s bread. Shia had also mentioned that some friends were coming over to help her and I would feel bad if we didn’t bring enough for everyone.
I had plenty of Morin-san’s bread stashed inside my Bear Box, so they could have as much as they wanted, no matter how many people were there. That was why we decided that simply bringing them Morin-san’s bread would be the best.
As we made our way to the stand, we saw many people walking around and eating cotton candy. I was really happy to see that all these people were enjoying it. Shia’s group had worked hard to learn how to make it, so I really hoped it would continue to sell well.
Arriving at the stand, we immediately noticed an unknown student doing their best to attract customers. Was she one of the friends Shia had mentioned?
Unlike me, she actually had friends, huh.
「Shia, it looks like the stall is doing well.」
I told her as she passed some cotton candy to a child.
「Yes, my friend came over to help us, so we get a lot of customers.」
「Yeah, but don’t forget we owe her a meal in return.」
Marcus cut in, explaining the favor needed to be repaid. A meal sure sounded like something a student would ask for. Asking for money was a thing for adults. I looked around some more, but I didn’t see Tilia anywhere. She had said she would come help after she finished whatever she had to do in the morning, so she most likely wasn’t done yet.
「Shia, Tilia isn’t here yet?」
I wanted to thank her for yesterday.
「Oh, Tilia-sama is at the back.」
When we went around back, we came upon Tilia, crouching dejectedly with her back to us. She looked so gloomy I could almost imagine her just aimlessly twirling her finger in the sand.
「Tilia, what’s wrong?」
「Well, when we told her we didn’t need her help anymore, she started acting like that.」
「You did that? Why?」
Shia proceeded to explain that when Tilia had began calling out for customers, all the students who knew her started to gather in front of her. After Tilia had happily told them that the cotton candy was delicious, all the students rushed to the stand, yelling their orders one after the other.
Seeing such a huge crowd form up, other people had wandered over to see what the commotion was all about and found out that Tilia was there. Then, word of her presence had spread further, which attracted more customers and garnered even more attention. That vicious cycle had spiraled completely out of control, and the crowd turned into a huge problem for the stand and the surrounding area.
Even with three people making the cotton candy, they couldn’t have handled the amount of orders pouring in. Shia and the others had felt a sense of impending danger and forced Tilia to hide at the back of the stand before it was too late. Eventually, things had calmed down, and we arrived soon after. Even with Tilia out of the way, there were still more people here compared to any of the other stands around. This was, without a doubt, the effects of a famous person.
Well, what had happened made complete sense when thinking about it. If Tilia, a princess, called for people to come then there was bound to be many who answered the call no matter if they were students, nobles, or commoners. In this case, even those who were here for different attractions would rather come here when they heard Tilia’s name being mentioned, and when a princess recommended something to them, no one would dare to say no to it. Not to mention that her beauty and smile were beyond captivating. Just a smile from her alone was enough to make men grovel at her feet. Such a technique was something I could never do…
Looking at the results, the princess’ charm had been far more effective in attracting customers than the Bear statue I had created.
「Because of that, we were forced to ask Tilia-sama to stop helping us.」
So, that was why she had started to sulk…
I walked up to Tilia from behind.
「Tilia, are you okay?」
「Yuna? Let me tell you…」
TIlia turned around when she heard me but then began looking left and right.
Was she looking for someone?
「Hmm? Where’s Yuna?」
I was standing right in front of her.
「I thought I just heard Yuna’s voice…」
Yes, she had, because I had just asked her something.
Tilia’s eyes stopped on me for a moment, but then continued on to the girls standing next to me.
「Yuna-oneechan is right in front of you.」
Fina and the others looked at me slowly, and Tilia’s gaze came back to me again. Her head then tilted slightly.
「Yes, I’m Yuna.」
I reintroduced myself to her.
Tilia looked at me as if she didn’t believe me, though.
What was that reaction? Was she unsatisfied that a girl like me came out of the Bear Suit?
「Certainly, the hands and feet are like Yuna’s.」
She recognized my hands and feet.
Everybody recognized me only after seeing those parts, huh…
「So, why are you wearing a uniform?」
「Shia said I can’t wear my Bear Suit because it stands out too much. She forced me to change into her spare uniform.」
I gave a simple explanation.
「That’s true, your bear costume stood out quite a lot. Still, I didn’t know you were actually such a cute girl, Yuna.」
Now that was a troubling comment. Even at this point, I had trouble believing that me wearing the Bear Suit could be considered cute, and then she suddenly brought out this…
「Yes, it was definitely unexpected for me, too. I didn’t realize such a cute girl was hiding underneath that bear costume.」
「Not you too, Shia.」
Tilia looked at Shia and immediately seemed as if she just remembered something.
「That’s right. Listen, Yuna. Shia first asked me to call for guests and then told me to stop. I was doing my best but she said I was just causing trouble.」
「That’s because a crazy amount of people gathered because of you and we couldn’t keep up with the demand. I do feel bad for making you come back here, but we had no other choice: we just aren’t efficient enough to keep up with such a crowd.」
There was a limit to how many customers any food stand could handle. It depended on the size, the number of workers, and the speed at which the food was being made. It only made sense for Shia’s stand to be overrun when Tilia had been attracting customers.
「But the only reason I’m helping is to thank you for introducing me to Yuna.」
Oh right, there was that, too.
Thinking about it, wasn’t it a completely unfair trade? Tilia needed to value herself a bit more. She had traded time she could have spent having fun at the festival just so she could meet me.
「Well, you’ve helped us plenty enough.」
Tilia had tried her best, but what happened couldn’t be helped. Even though she was a student, the fact that she was also a princess didn’t change.
Besides, wasn’t asking a princess to help out kind of unfair to the other stands? In my former world, this would be akin to having a celebrity help out as a form of advertisement. It was complete overkill for something as simple as a school festival.
Shia tried her best to explain to Tilia that it wasn’t her fault, but Tilia wouldn’t accept it. It was very likely that Tilia had actually been looking forward to helping the stand, seeing her sulk like that.
Even I, having never experienced a school festival before this, also felt that helping out could be fun. It was why I had given them my cotton candy machines and had even made them a Bear statue. Knowing that my help was a factor in their success made me feel happy, so I somewhat understood Tilia’s feelings.
I tried to comfort Tilia, hoping to make her feel better.
「I understand. I’m fine now. I will stop being selfish.」
Just as Tilia began feeling a bit better, someone’s stomach growled. We all looked around to find where the sound came from.
「Shia, did you guys eat lunch yet?」
「Not yet. We were going to take turns in going out to eat.」
Well, seeing how crowded they were with customers earlier, they most likely didn’t get the chance to go.
「If you would like, I brought some bread for you.」
「Is it the same bread we had when you were escorting us before?」
「Yes, it is.」
「I want some!」
Marcus and Timor, who were still in the middle of making cotton candy, both replied. It looked like the three of them all remembered the bread I had given them when I had acted as their bodyguard during their school outing. Well, Morin-san’s bread was delicious, so that made sense.
「I will leave some out here, so eat whatever you like.」
I took out enough so that everyone, including the female student who was helping out, could have their fill.
「Yuna-san, what will you be doing now?」
「We will go around the festival again, I guess.」
There were still many areas we hadn’t visited yet.
Up until noon, Noa and Shuri had tried to take revenge on the games they had lost at, so we ended up going to the same places as yesterday. We planned to go to some new places this afternoon; it would be boring to keep returning to the same areas, after all.
「How about bringing Tilia-sama with you, then?」
Tilia was surprised at Shia’s sudden request.
「Even if I can’t call for customers, I can help you with other things.」
Shia shook her head.
「Thanks to your advertisement, plenty of customers already came to our stand. Those customers will spread the word, so we will be fine to do other things ourselves.」
She was right. The line didn’t seem to get any shorter while we were here, and I could see even more people approaching.
「Also, if we let you help out any further, the other stands will start to complain.」
Wasn’t it already unfair to have a princess help out to begin with?
「So, please enjoy the festival with Yuna-san and the girls.」
Marcus and Timor nodded to Shia’s words and the female student helping out seemed to agree as well.
「Please leave the rest to us and go enjoy the festival, Tilia-sama.」
「Everyone… Thank you.」
Tilia accepted their feelings.
After we had lunch together with a few of them who managed to switch out to eat, we left the stand with our new party member, Tilia.
「Fufu, if I were a boy, I’m sure I would look popular.」
Tilia, who had been so depressed earlier, was now happily walking between Shuri and Misa, with Fina and I tagging close behind.
「They’re all children, though.」
Except for me, who was fifteen, the girls were all only seven to ten years old.
「They may be small, but they are all cute ladies.」
Well, I couldn’t deny that.
We didn’t forget to introduce Misa, and it seemed like Tilia knew who Gran-san was, but didn’t know about his granddaughter till now.
「I must say, I’m really happy to see that all of you are wearing the clothes I bought for you.」
The three girls were indeed wearing the clothes Tilia had purchased for them yesterday, and she was clearly delighted to see it.
Well, I was pretty sure anybody would be happy to see the presents they had given being used. It was better than finding out they had just been tucked away to never see the light of day again.
「Misana, shall I buy something for you as well?」
「No, that’s okay, I’m…」
「You don’t have to hold back.」
Tilia interrupted, grabbed Misa’s hand, and dragged her off to the same shop from yesterday, where we all picked out an outfit for her. Tilia tried to buy something for me again, but I managed to politely decline her offer.
Once Misa’s clothes were paid for, we left the store. Misa walked in front, spinning back and forth happily. She looked very happy that Princess Tilia had bought her something.
「I have now gained another wife.」
「You’re a girl, you know.」
I rebuked Tilia’s joke just as we were stopped in our tracks by a large crowd.
「I wonder what’s going on?」
Noa started to push her way through the crowd, and Misa followed. Shuri also tried to run off with them, but Fina tightly held her hand to stop her.
We slowly made our way through the crowd and came up to something that appeared like a performance involving swords.
「It’s a sword dance.」
So, it should be something like a dance with swords?
There were indeed six students dancing around with swords in their hands.
They swung their swords right and left, showing off their skills. The swords seemed like they could clash any second but always managed to pass each other by a hair’s breadth.
The girls were all mesmerized by the performance.
I somewhat recalled watching something similar on TV, but this was the first time I had seen it in person. The students swung their swords with quite a bit of force, and it was a true spectacle watching all of them perform the same moves so perfectly in sync. I could see no blunders throughout the performance, and then suddenly everybody pointed their sword into the air. Like it was a signal, their movements suddenly became much more harsh, sharp, and quick, yet still, their swords managed not to clash. Finally, they swung their swords in a wide arc before sliding them gracefully into their scabbards, finishing their dance.
The whole crowd erupted in loud applause. Of course, my girls all clapped as well while I attempted to clap with my Bear Hands but sadly, no sound came out.
This was the first time I had seen such a good performance.
According to Tilia, from time to time there were events where groups performed such sword dances together. However, only the best of the students were picked to do it.
「Princess, can you do it, too?」
「Me? I’m not good at being in sync with other people. I can perform a sword dance by myself, but for something as spectacular as this, you need several very coordinated people to perform it.」
Tilia answered Shuri’s question.
True, that dance could only be performed if everybody trusted each other. It also needed a lot of practice and was something I could never do. I was bad at working with other people to begin with, so it would be impossible for me even if I had the willpower to practice it.
With this, Tilia joins the group again.
Next chapter, we will enter the afternoon of the second day. I wonder what will happen to a certain character?
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