After it was decided that I would be staying at Pioro-san’s place, he brought me to the spice store of the Saionji firm. Apparently, the store and their house was connected.
“Welcome. Oh, it’s just dad.” [Miyabi]
“What do you mean it’s just dad? Besides, it’s not just me, you know? Ryouma’s here too.” [Pioro]
“Sorry to disturb.” [Ryouma]
“Ryouma-han, the guest room has been prepared. Make yourself at home.” [Miyabi]
Miyabi was tending to the store just like this afternoon.
But how did she know that I would be staying over? It was decided just now, wasn’t it?
“Oh, are you not staying over?” [Miyabi]
“No. Thank you for having me. I was just wondering how you found out when we decided it just a while ago.” [Ryouma]
“The guest room needs to always ready so that it can be used whenever necessary, so I’m always tending to it. Besides, it’s dad we’re talking about. I figured he’d offer you to spend the night at our place.” [Miyabi]
“I see. Thank you.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t mind it. Want me to show you to your room?” [Miyabi]
Pioro-san would be going back to work, so it was Miyabi-san who accompanied me to the guest room.
“Think of it as your own place.” [Miyabi]
The room she brought me to was big for one person and was furnished with high quality furniture. It had a warm feeling to it.
“I’ll be sure to cook you up a supper that won’t shame the Saionji name, so look forward to it!” [Miyabi]
“Thank you. I’ll look forward to it.” [Ryouma]
Miyabi-san nodded in response, apparently satisfied by my reply.
“I’ll be going then. You rest up until supper.” [Miyabi]
Miyabi quietly left the room.
…And now, I’m all alone. I wonder what the supper is going to be.
…I had nothing but those preserved food last night, so I’m a little hungry. I wonder if they’ll be serving meat. Or maybe fish? But this country doesn’t have a lot of seafood dishes. It’s an inland country, so it doesn’t have its own sea. And the only fish it’s able to procure are either those from the river or dried fishes. Fresh marine products are either expensive or just straight up impossible to purchase.
An exception to that would be the towns situated near a lake like Shikumu. Places that have marine products as their main industry tend to have more seafood dishes.
But when it comes to seafood, the first thing that really comes to mind is Japanese cuisine. But, dang… I haven’t eaten any since coming here..
I was thinking it would have spread to some extent considering how many otherworlders have been brought here, but I couldn’t find even a single Japanese dish in Gimuru. Maybe I should try asking Pioro-san if they sell soy sauce and miso around here. They deal with food products, so in the worst case, they might have something similar.
I rested in my room while thinking about food. After a while, a male servant told me that supper was ready.
“Ryouma, you came. Please. Have a seat.” [Pioro]
When I got to the dining room, Pioro-san, Miyabi, and another fox-tribe woman were all already seated. The fox woman looked like Miyabi-san, so she’s probably Pioro-san’s wife. She sure is pretty…
“Excuse me.” [Ryouma]
“You don’t have to be so formal. And I think you’ve noticed her already, but this here is my beloved wife and Miyabi’s mother, Kurana .” [Pioro]
“Kurana Saionji. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” [Kurana]
“Ryouma Takebayashi. The pleasure is mine.” [Ryouma]
“I’ve heard the rumors. Word says you’re quite the promising young man.” [Kurana]
“Not at all. My luck just happened to be good. I’ve also been blessed with good people. All I’m doing is hiring talented people and relying on them.” [Ryouma]
No, really. If not for everyone, I probably wouldn’t even have a store.
The only reason I’m where I am today is because of the people I met.
“If you can say that from the bottom of your heart at that age, then you’re already a brilliant young man.” [Kurana]
“Indeed. When the young see some success, sometimes there are those who let it get to their heads. They stop seeing what’s around them and they start thinking there’s nothing they can’t do.” [Pioro]
“Business consists of the customer and the employees. Business exists because there are people. If a merchant were to ever forget those around him and act as if they don’t exist, then it’s the end of for that merchant. When you hit the bottom, regardless how much talent you have, you’ll be forced to turn to dubious means. The fact you understand that means you’re plenty brilliant yourself, Ryouma-han.” [Miyabi]
Is that how it is?
“You can learn how a merchant should conduct himself in the future. Right now, just being able to talk politely is already amazing. Just look at Miyabi. She doesn’t talk politely at all.” [Pioro]
“Dad! What are you comparing us like that for all the sudden!?” [Miyabi]
“Well, there was an easy comparison nearby, so…” [Pioro]
“Miyabi, you don’t have to force yourself, you know? You can just talk like you normally do.” [Kurana]
Oh, so she really was forcing herself?
“You noticed too, right, Ryouma? That Miyabi is forcefully changing the way she talks.” [Kurana]
“A little. I didn’t think much of it though since it’s normal to change the way you talk to customers.” [Ryouma]
“See? Even Ryouma, whom you just met, saw through you. Like this you’re just being a shrewd child who’s trying to talk in a dialect she doesn’t really know .” [Kurana]
“This is so mortifying…” [Miyabi]
Ah, she’s down… Still, is it really something to mortified about?
 – Had to retype this name so many times because I kept accidentally typing Kurama. Speaking of which, I knew someone who was convinced that Kurama (from Yu Yu Hakusho) was a girl. Couldn’t believe it when we told him he was a dude.