“Ryouma, it’s been a while, nyaa.” [Miya]
“Are you doing well?” [Wereanna]
“Barley Tea for four please.” [Syria]
This time it was Miya-san and Wereanna-san’s party.
“It’s been a while. Haven’t seen you lately.” [Ryouma]
“It’s because we left town for a job. Miya was with us too.” [Wereanna]
“I’m glad you came back safely. Here. Barley Tea. I’ve chilled it for you.” [Ryouma]
The customers came one after another.
I worked the stall while taking turns with others so I could eat and rest.
We were really busy, but I could feel the zeal and the liveliness of the town on my skin.
Before I knew it a faint darkness had already covered the world. The distant setting sun leaving behind nothing but a lingering memory. But despite that, the surrounding crowds seemed to suggest that they were just starting, as they grew even noisier.
“I’m back~. Boss~ I’ll take over, so you can have your supper~” [Maria]
“Thank you very much. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” [Ryouma]
I quickly ate my supper. I say ‘supper’, but all I would really be eating is our stall’s special hot dog.
“Are you going to be having supper here tonight too~?” [Maria]
The preparation period included, I’ve been eating here a lot lately, so that’s why she said that.
The food tastes good, I can get the food without having to line up, and I can go back to work immediately, so it’s really convenient.
Hot dog provides carbs and meat. If I eat it with stir-fried vegetables, the nutritional value I can get is surprisingly good. I suppose the oil and salt content is a bit high, but it’s hot throughout the day and with how much energy I consume, I think it’s probably fine… Yeah, it won’t be a problem. I’m young too.
People say that this kind of thinking is a trap when someone becomes aware of their age, but… I never had any problems in my past life, so I’ve never really experienced it. As such, I ordered 4 hot dogs without a care and one plate of stir-fried vegetables. After pouring myself a cup of tea, I leave the cash and find myself a seat.
…Oh, is that seat free?
There were three women seated on a four-seater table, who looked like they were about to stand up… And then they did.
Immediately, I secured the seat for myself.
I bit my hot dog. Soft bread greeted my teeth, followed by an elastic skin, out of which poured out the juice of the meat. As I tasted the sourness of the ketchup layered over the hot dog, more and more of my saliva came out. There was quite a bit of girth to it, but it gradually managed to pass through my throat.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” [Prenence]
Prenence-san’s voice resounded loud and clear . Even though I’m seated by the entrance, I could still hear his voice clearly despite all the tumult from the other tables and the crowds of people.
After announcing that the performance would be starting, three female dancers went up the stage. They danced along with the music, gathering the attention of the onlookers and quietening the crowd.
I’ve seen them many times during practice, but they really are amazing.
Maybe it’s because of the influence of light novels, but when you talk about dancers, most would imagine them to be scantily dressed. Unlike that usual image, however, these women don’t show much skin. The girls all wore the same dress, which was a one piece with a thick fabric and many colorful frills. Only a little bit of the sleeves and the feet were shown, and they would dance while lifting up their skirts a little.
Moreover, because the tip of the skirt had weights, when they turned, from time to time, their skirts would expand.
As such, the male customers near the stage would try to look up at their skirt and the female customers around them would glare at them coldly. For one, a husband who brought his family had just been slapped by his wife.
“This looks to be a success.” [???]
“Yes, fortunately. …? Guild master!” [Ryouma]
I wondered who it was that was talking to me, but then I found out it was actually none other than the guild master of the merchant guild, Grisiera-san. Moreover, behind her was the guild master of the tamer guild’s Gimuru branch, Taylor, and a young man I wasn’t acquainted with, who was carrying a tray.
“Is something the matter? Why are you here?” [Ryouma]
I believe this is actually the first time we’re meeting outside the guild by chance.
“It’s not good for the body to stay cooped up inside all the time.” [Grisiera]
“We’re using the festivities as an opportunity for us old people to walk around town.” [Taylor]
“I see. If it’s no trouble, won’t you accompany me?” [Ryouma]
“I’d be glad to.” [Grisiera]
“Excuse me. Oh, sorry to make you carry my food.” [Taylor]
“Something at this level, please don’t mind it.” [???]
…Who is this man? I thought he might have been someone from the guild, but the atmosphere about him says otherwise.
“My apologies for my belated introduction. I am Arnold Bernheid. You are Ryouma Takebayashi-sama, yes?” [Arnold]
He knows who I am. Anyway, I should return the greeting for now.
Still, he looks to be human. He has a slender build and looks to be in between the latter half of his 20s to the first half of his 30s. His dress gives me a feeling similar to that of Carm-san, but his sharp eyes and his black glasses gives a strict impression… At the very least, I shouldn’t have met him before.
“I’m sorry, have we been acquainted before?” [Ryouma]
“Not directly. But I have heard of you from above.” [Arnold]
“Ryouma. This kid is… You know… You remember how those guys from the public office got scolded severely? He is the successor of the chief back then.” [Grisiera]
“Oh, that time.” [Ryouma]
Oh~ I’d heard that someone new had taken up the post… So, that’s him.
“I’ve been hearing rumors of you for some time now. Not only did you provide the impetus for discipline to come down upon the corrupt officials, you even provided support for the cleanup afterwards. Moreover, just recently, you accepted a job and contributed again.” [Arnold]
By recently, I assume he’s talking about the tunnel ants.
“Thanks to you, my work has been greatly reduced and I am able to focus on disciplining my staff.” [Arnold]
“I was simply doing what I wanted, but I’m happy to have been of service.” [Ryouma]
“By all means, please do continue to use your abilities as you have until now.” [Arnold]
It seems he’s wanted to meet me ever since taking up office, but due to the suddenness of his appointment, he had too much to deal with, from the leftover work to dealing with the subordinates, and it wasn’t as if he could actually summon me just to thank me. Moreover, because they were investigating and exposing crimes of embezzlement and collusion, he didn’t want to meet me carelessly. Looks like they chose a rather prudent person.
Well, in order to straighten what is bent, it would be a problem if they didn’t do that much. It also helps a lot that they’re not causing me any trouble. If I can continue living and managing the store as I have until now, then I don’t mind cooperating.
“Thank you. Although I can’t give you special treatment because of my position, I will do my best to ensure that the law is followed dutifully.
Of course, if you are able to contribute something, and provided it is true and is reported to the upper brass, then as a result of that, I might be able to give you some special privileges.” [Arnold]
“He said a lot, but basically, he’s saying that you’ll be treated like everyone else.” [Grisiera]
“It’s not easy to make a contribution that would give you special privileges.” [Taylor]
“What I meant was that I was expecting much from Takebayashi-sama.” [Arnold]
“Well, let’s leave it at that.” [Taylor]
“He might actually do it. Who knows?” [Grisiera]
As Grisiera-san said that, she glanced at Serge-san’s stalls.
“…Did you tell him something?” [Grisera]
“What ever could you mean, I wonder.” [Ryouma]
Although I don’t really feel like hiding it from her, but I’ll play dumb for the mean time.
“By the way, Ryouma-kun.” [Taylor]
“How is life in town going for you? It’s been some time since you came here. Is there anything you find inconvenient?” [Taylor]
“If you have anything on mind, just say it. You only meet this gramps rarely.” [Grisiera]
“Right… Everything is certainly different from before, but I’m not particularly inconvenienced by anything. If I had to say then it’s actually convenient now that I can buy whatever I need easily.” [Ryouma]
…Still. I was originally born on Earth and was brought here after death. And then from the Forest of Gana, I came to Gimuru… I sure traveled a long distance.
When I look to my left, I see my comrades who work with me at my store. When I look to my right, I see my business partners. When I look in front of me, I see the troupe, who I became acquainted with just recently, currently performing. And beside me is the big wig of the public office, whom I just met today.
Other than that, of the customers that came today, there’s also the son of the book store, Dansbel-san. There’s the gramps from the pharmacy, whose name I don’t even known. There’s also the neighboring wives, who I came to know during the preparations for this festival, and the members of the guild who remember me from our last job.
I’ve gotten to know a lot of people.
I don’t know if this place is better than the forest.
The forest has its own charm.
“Hmm. From the look on your face, I guess you’re doing just fine.” [Taylor]
“Yes. I think so too.” [Ryouma]
My current life isn’t bad.
As I reflected upon this happiness, the night gradually passed.