“—Something like that, I guess.” [Ryouma]”
“I don’t really get that last part, but either way, it’s good that everything’s going well, and you also seem to be having fun.” [Carm]
Now that he mentions it… There are some problems and things I’m worried about, but yeah, it doesn’t feel bad. When I think that, I feel like doing it all the more.
“Just make sure not to push yourself too much.” [Carm]
Carm-san smiled and went back to his own work.
After seeing him off, I went through the remaining letters and documents, and wrote my replies.
Recently I’ve started to think about how convenient emails are.
The fastest way to discuss something is for everyone to meet up and talk, but everyone is so busy that the schedules just can’t match.
In that regard, letters that can be read at anytime is the most logical way to communicate.
An evolution of that is email, which allows people to send and receive mails instantly.
It’s been awhile since I’ve longed for a modern convenience…
As I continued my work, before I knew it, a lot of time had passed, and the setting sun was already upon me. Normally, I would take a break here until it was time to end the work day, but…
“Boss~ You have a guest~” [Maria]
“Please let them in.” [Ryouma]
The people visiting me were the florist, Pauline-san, and the butcher, Zeke-san. Their daughter, Leni, and their mischievous son, Rick, were with them.
“Hello, Ryouma-kun…” [Zeke]
“Zeke-san, is something the matter? You seem even more exhausted and thinner than usual.” [Ryouma]
“Ha ha… It’s true that I’ve been really busy lately, but it’s calmed down a little now, so I’m fine. Once the winter gets into full swing, the number of spoils will go down too, and I have Pauline to help me.” [Zeke]
“It is winter, after all. I suppose there’s not much to sell?” [Ryouma]
“Flowers can be made to bloom by force through magic, and there are those that bloom even in the winter, but those are a bit expensive. Customers don’t really drop by the store even if I open. But enough of that, thank you once again for agreeing to look after our children.” [Pauline]
“Don’t sweat it. I’ll be going with you, so my employees will be the ones taking care of them.” [Ryouma]
As I said that, I glanced at Maria-san, who brought them here.
“Just leave it to us, Boss~ Back at the village, we were always the ones taking care of the small children.” [Maria]
“Thank you. You’ve really helped us. Normally, it would’ve been fine if it were just me or my husband, but…” [Pauline]
“They said that there had to be a representative for each store…” [Zeke]
Three days ago we had a conversation. It was the day after my blunder at the Craftsman District, and a letter was delivered through the merchant guild.
“With the worsening of the public order of Gimuru, the stores have also been negatively affected. ‘As such, let us, store owners, gather together, so that we can exchange information and work together to come up with a plan…’ Or so it says. The sender is the Association of Mid-Sized Stores of Gimuru. Was this association put together just recently?” [Ryouma]
“Probably. We’ve never heard of them until now.” [Pauline]
“But it is true that a lot of problematic things have been happening recently. I’m sure there are people who felt threatened by that and started raising their voices.” [Zeke]
It’s not unusual for managers to gather and hold an assembly. Of course, not just anyone can participate. There are conditions, but since they’ve sent us a letter, I suppose that means we qualify.
But when I inquired about them at the guild and found out that they didn’t have any known history, I became wary. Still, just as these two say, it is true that the town hasn’t been in good condition, and that it’s possible that there are those who’ve felt threatened by that, and as such have decided to call out to others. The person in charge at the guild also told me that during my inquiry. And so I figured that this too was me being needlessly apprehensive, and in fact, this was truly just a newly found association.
…Or so I thought.
There were about 50 people. And as one might expect from store owners, it was a gathering of well-dressed people. The moment I entered the large meeting room at the merchant guild, I immediately thought to myself, ‘this is bad.’
I did have an interest in the contents of the meeting, and I did come, thinking that it would be a good idea to meet with other store owners from the same region, but the moment I entered the room, I felt like taking a u-turn and going home. In fact, I think I should go home right this instant.
But while I was thinking that…
“Ryouma? You came too?” [???]
“Huh? Ah, Darson-san!” [Ryouma]
The person who called out to me was none other than Darson Tigger from the Tigger’s Arms Store, who has always helped me out in my adventurer work.
“Darson-san, you came too?” [Ryouma]
“Well, I am making quite a killing myself. These are?” [Darson]
“Oh, please do excuse me, this young man here is my assistant-manager and assistant, Carm-san. And this lovely married couple are my friendly store neighbors, Zeke-san and Pauline-san.” [Ryouma]
I also introduced Darson-san to the three of them.
There were many people who saw our introductions, and there was someone among those who’s worked with Pauline-san before, and then there was another that the three of them were acquainted with, and before I knew it…
“Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve heard so much about your store.” [Merchant 1]
“To be at such a young age and yet possess such an amazing store, you have my admiration! I’ve always wanted to meet you!” [Merchant 2]
“I hear you’re acquainted with the duke’s family too.” [Merchant 3]
“What good luck to be able to meet you here.” [Merchant 4]
“We too would like to be acquainted.” [Merchant 5]
…I was at the center of the store owners.
And then as I cheerfully dealt with them…
“My apologies for having kept everyone. It is already time, so if it’s alright, I would like to start this meeting.” [Man]
…A man entered the room and announced that.
Looks like it’s time for the meeting to start.