「Excuse me. My name is Hiraku. May I meet with Michael-san?」
I politely bow as I asked the shopkeeper.
「My apologies, please wait a moment. Let me ask if he’s here.」
The shopkeeper went inside.
I then ask Gulf who’s beside me.
「Is this the right place?」
「Ah, when I came here before, I was led to this place.」
Today, Gulf’s wraps his head with a cloth and hide his body using a mantle.
When he came here before, Gulf won the championship of the martial arts tournament.
That made him considerably famous.
We’re not wary of this area so we enter the city nonchalantly but Gulf was immediately surrounded by the local residents so we were forced to withdraw temporarily.
He’s incredibly popular.
But mostly those are there for him for battle challenges, business invitations, or solicitations for some people….
Because of that, Gulf is now dressed like this when we enter the city.
He looks really suspicious but at least there’s no commotion now.
But I was surprised when I saw other people dressed like him.
They seem to be adventurers.
「Oi, sorry, he’s not here.」
The shopkeeper seems to be unable to find him.
Michael-san is doing a lot of business, could it be that he’s in another shop?
It can’t be helped.
Let’s change our schedule.
I left Big Tree Village and came to Shashaato City.
My purpose is to carry additional cooking ingredients to the store I left for Marcos and Paula to manage.
A while ago, ancestor-san heard about the store and went to Shashaato City.
It seems like both Marcos and Paula are doing well.
However, though I’m the one who taught them, I was perplexed to know that their situation greatly differs from my assumption.
It is good that the shop is prospering but the number of employees is totally unexpected…..
Opening a store is harder than I thought.
Unfortunately, we can’t industrialize.
This is a world of magic but not everyone can use magic.
Manpower can only mean they need to hire more since everything can only be done manually.
Ancestor-san, who went to Shashaato City, brought back a letter from Marcos and the content was asking us to send more ingredients.
The timing is good since I thought that it is necessary for me to go see the situation first hand.
Since ancestor-san will send me himself, it will be harder to prepare for the ingredients I’ll be bringing there than travel preparation.
I thought that someone coming with me is unnecessary but I agreed eventually because Loo said that it is an absolute necessity.
But why? Isn’t Shashaato City a normal port city?
Isn’t it safe there?
Ah, there are monsters around that city.
Let’s decide on who’s going to be my companions.
Ancestor-san will be the one sending us to the city so of course he’s included.
As for luggage carriers…..six minotaurs from Village Two.
Three cargo vessels that can be pushed or pulled.
Six lizardmen as both guards and helper for loading and unloading the things we brought.
I thought that it is already good as it is but it was pointed out that I have no dedicated guard.
I told them that I don’t need it but now that I think about it, I have never been to other towns or villages of this world.
The only place I have visited are……the northern dungeon and the sun castle?
The rest are places made by me.
I didn’t want to go out until now either.
In a certain way, I am a novice villager.
Though I don’t need guards, I want a guide.
Given that condition, they should be those who have been to Shashaato City.
Frau, Rasuti, the lizardmen, and two civil servant girls are qualified.
I thought Loo and Tier have been there too but that’s not seem to be the case.
「I may have been there but the name of that city doesn’t ring a thing in my memory.」
「Me too. Maybe….I’ve been there once…but I’m not really sure.」
As for Frau, Rasuti, and the Lizardmen, they used to go there to sell crops to Michael-san.
Though the lizardmen accompanying us should have gone there already….they already have the role of guarding the minotaurs.
It seems like Gulf also went there alone to register as an adventurer.
As for the other civil servant girls, they have gone there for shopping several times when they were small.
Among them, Gulf is the only one who could guide me around Shashaato City so it has been decided that Gulf will be my guard.
I apologize for troubling you.
I, Gulf, ancestor-san, 6 minotaurs, and 6 lizardmen started moving.
Some people say that there are too few guards but we’re only going to a city where people live.
I don’t want to be treated like a child.
Ancestor-san’s teleportation magic moved us to a place near Shashaato City. Gulf and I went ahead to meet with Michael-san.
The luggage carrying group will be going directly to the shop so ancestor-san is with them….
I never thought that I won’t be able to meet Michael-san so I didn’t ask ancestor-san.
I’m like a lost child.
「Gulf, for the time being, can you guide me around the city?」
But before that.
「Please pass this letter to Michael-san.」
He was surprised.
「Gulf, is it normal for someone to leave a letter?」
「I think it’s normal.」
I thought that I failed.
However, let’s confirm the details first.
「This is Goroun Company.」
「Yup, that’s true.」
「Then, there is no doubt that I should leave these letters here.」
The letters were written by Loo and Tier before we came here.
I don’t know the content since I’m looking forward to Marcos’ and Paula’s shop.
I passed the letter to the confused storekeeper and strolled around the city.
This place is more developed than expected.
That is my impression.
There are stone pavements and carriages and cargo vessels frequently pass by.
This is a port city so logistics might be its backbone.
There are many people and it is full of vigor.
The houses are either made of stones or bricks and they are either two or three-story-tall.
The highest building is about four-story tall.
When I asked Gulf, he said that rooms at the highest places are the cheapest.
Thinking of I reason, I concluded that it is probably because toilets are only installed on the first floor.
There’s no elevator either so moving up and down using stairs is a pain.
Thank you for coming with me. Gulf’s guidance is adequate.
However, I feel like this is too business devoted.
Inns, cheap restaurants, high-class restaurants, weapon shops, armor shops, tool shops, training ground….
Though I don’t really know this area, why are you going to take me to the adventurer’s guild?
Though I yearned to be an adventurer that can use sword and magic, I don’t think I’m capable of being one.
I’ve been plowing fields and I think it suits me the best.
However, I, at least, learned on how to request for adventurers.
By the way, Gulf.
How many times have you fought a match while I’m talking with the guild employee oniisan?
You’re my guide….but don’t forget that you’re supposed to guard me too.
「The other party is the one who started it. Not my fault.」
I continue walking around the city with Gulf.
Though we’re walking all over, we still can’t find Marcos’ and Paula’s shop. It seems like there are still a lot of places we haven’t seen.
「Do you know where the market is? I want to know the prices.」
「Ah, there are about….5 to 6 markets. The biggest one is in the south but it is not for retailing.」
「Then, where’s the second biggest?」
「North. You can see it from here. That huge building.」
「That’s the market?」
「That’s the arena but we will reach the market before that.」
「Alright, let’s go there. Let’s finish eating this.」
Gulf and I found a stall and bought food there.
This is market research.
I think Marcos and Paula have already done this but it is necessary to verify it myself.
It is cheap….the amount depends on which stall you buy from.
I have no comment on the taste.
At least I now understand why Marcos and Paula’s shop is popular.
When I was thinking of researching at the next stall, I was called out.
No, it is not someone who’ll promote their product to me.
It is a familiar face.
It is the shopkeeper of the Goroun Company that I entrusted the letters with.
「I-I found you. Great.」
The shopkeeper suddenly blew the whistle that’s hanging around his neck and bowed to me.
「I’m very sorry, Hiraku-sama. The president is moving towards here now.」
Did he already pass the letters to Michael-san?
I guess he did but why is he here?
I suddenly stopped thinking after seeing a carriage running towards us with all its might.
It stopped before us and Michael-san looks like he’s going to roll down with how fast he gets out.
「Vi-village chief-san. Great. We found you.」
「Did something happen?」
Seeing how flustered he is, I became worried.
「Ah, no cough. Let us apologize first.」
When Michael-san gives the signal, the shopkeeper, the one who found us, bowed again.
「I didn’t know it was Hiraku-sama. That was very rude of me.」
Michael-san also lowers his head.
No no, what rude?
I looked at Gulf since I don’t know what they mean but it looks like Gulf doesn’t know what’s happening too.
「Actually, I’m at the shop when you came.」
While Michael-san is explaining, the shopkeeper continuously lowers his head.
「I know that this is only an excuse but the only ones who call me, the president, Michael-san are my relatives.」
I finally understand what’s happening.
The shopkeeper thought the Michael-san I’m referring to is an ordinary employee and not the president.
Because of that, the shopkeeper only noticed that he misunderstood something when he found out that there’s no employee called Michael working there.
As for Michael-san, he usually pretends to be out of office.
So that’s why they consider themselves rude.
「I’m also at fault for not informing you that I’ll come to visit.」
I think the root of all of this is me who did not make a proper appointment.
Since that is the case, I don’t mind it.
The shopkeeper there shouldn’t mind it too.
「Th-thank you very much.」
「Michael-san, though he misunderstood, he managed to properly convey what happened so you don’t have to get mad.」
With that, the matter ends there.
I told Michael-san that I wanted to know where the shop is.
「Do you want to go there using the carriage?」
「Is it far?」
「No, it is not that far…..」
「Then, let’s walk since I still want to see look around the city.」
Michael-san told the coachman to return with the carriage and act as a guide for me.
Though the carriage was asked to go back, there are four additional people accompanying us now.
Michael-san introduces them to us.
「This is my son, Maron.」
「I have heard about Hiraku-sama from my father. Please continue to favor Goroun Company in the future.」
He looks like a serious man who’s in the latter half of his 30’s.
He seems to be the next president of the Goroun Company.
Another one is Tito who’s in charge of accounting.
And Randy who’s in charge of supply.
Both of them are Michael-san’s nephews.
They are Maron’s cousins.
The last one is Milford.
He seems to be the chief security officer of the company.
Everyone will be attacked by monsters and demon beasts as soon as they go out so guards are indispensable.
Though it is common for a company to hire adventurers during times like those, the Goroun Company seems to employ guards permanently.
It seems like their line of work made them decide to permanently employ guards.
These four walked along with me who’s sightseeing the city.
My apologies for causing trouble.
With Milford on the lead, I followed Michael-san along with Gulf, Maron, Tito, and Randy.
I’m a little ashamed for walking with other men of age in a row.
Our walking in one line was finally disrupted when we arrived at our destination.
Yeah, really big.
My first impression of the building, what’s this monstrous roof?
The roof is at the height of a two-story building and the inner part of the store….is really wide.
What’s with this area?
The interior is also bright….what’s with those window like things? Is it light magic?
And at the center is a mountain of people…..
Eh, a total panic?
Ehto….it doesn’t seem that the business is ongoing.
Screams can be heard too.
「Michael-san, is it usually like this?」
「No, it is usually quieter….」
…….This is bad.
Though it might be good if our shop is not the cause….
I want to grasp the situation but I can’t seem to do so.
「Do you want to do something?」
It was ancestor-san.
He came here earlier than us so he might know what’s happening.
「What’s causing all of this?」
「Ehto….they run out of stock.」
「Run out of stock?」
「Yeah. They can no longer cook curry. Though we are carrying ingredients, it might cause a ruckus if we declare that we’re here with supplies.」
In short, our shop is the cause.
I want to panic but I have no time to do so.
Since that is the case, it is necessary for me to do something.
「First of all……ancestor-san, can you make a loud sound?」
「Yeah, something like an explosion but nothing exploding.」
「Ahaha. It’s okay. If it’s only a sound like that, I can do it.」
「Can you also make my voice louder?」
「Then, please do so.」
「Yeah. Michael-san and the others, please hide at the back and cover your ears. Gulf, I want you to make a way for me. Don’t use weapons or force. The other party are our customers.」
With my signal, ancestor-san made a loud explosion sound.
The building even trembles.
「Please don’t move and crouch down to where you are. If you move unnecessarily, you might get injured. Please follow my instructions.」
My voice is really loud because of ancestor-san’s magic.
It seems like they were surprised by the sound so they quietly crouched down.
「Yes, continue to stay where you are. Please crouch down quietly. It will be great if you don’t panic. In fact, I’m here to talk about a piece of good news for you. If you leave without hearing me, it will be counted as your loss.」
Though these crouching people are somewhat puzzled, I continue talking.
And I asked the minotaurs and lizardmen make a way towards the counter.
They seem to manage to make the customers on their way to move in order to go to the counter.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Afterwards, I found a lot of employees behind Marcos and Paula.
They seem to be safe.
I sent a signal to Gulf and ancestor-san to move to where Marcos’ group is.
Though the crouching people are obstructive, in order to not cause any confusion, it will be better for them to continue crouching.
We finally arrived.
Ancestor-san stopped his magic and checked if everyone’s not injured.
「Village chief, I’m sorry.」
「Let’s talk about the details later. For now, stand and repeat everything that I’ll say.」
Ancestor-san loudens Marcos’ voice for me.
「First of all, blewgh….ah, I’m Marcos, the acting manager.」
I told him to repeat what I’m going to say….he blew it immediately.
「This crowd and confusion, I apologize for it. I would like to know first if there’s anyone who’s injured? Please raise your hand and inform me.」
Fortunately, no customer was injured.
「Earlier, we ran out of ingredients so we can no longer cook curry. However, new ingredients have arrived a little while ago. We can cook them immediately so please wait a moment. Also….as an apology for this disturbance, everything today will be free of charge.」
Hearing that it will be free, the crouching customers shout with joy.
「However, it is necessary for us to do something about this crowd so I apologize but we have to dissolve the present queue.」
It was dissolved at once.
After an hour, the shop resumes its operation.
「Today, even if a person was not involved earlier, we will still serve him for free. You can invite your friends later. Thank you in advance. Today’s disturbance, I’m really sorry.」
After making Marcos bow, all other employees bow too.
「Now, please line up slowly without rushing….」
Once you give them solution like this, they won’t begrudge and some will even forget what happened earlier.
But there’s still a thing that needs to be done.
I instructed the lizardmen and minotaurs to do something.
「Ask the customers if they are hurt in any way. If there’s anyone injured, ask them to come here.」
I heard a while ago that there was someone who fainted and someone who fell down.
They are probably treating them as a simple arm or foot pain and enduring them.
Even so, we can’t just abandon them.
「Paula, is there someone here that can use healing magic?」
「Village chief, I can use healing magic.」
Ancestor-san raises his hand.
「Then, I’ll be troubling you.」
This is not the time to decline.
「Paula, how about our employees? Is someone injured?」
The employees are young girls and boys. They are both younger than I imagined.
I’m not even sure if they are at the age of a junior high school student or an elementary schooler.
They are not injured.
Or are they enduring it?
They’re probably alright.
By the way…..this place, is our shop the only one here?
Are there other shops?
Is that so?
And here I am thinking of apologizing to the other affected shops around. It seems there are none.
「Start cleaning! Clear everything that the disturbance earlier caused! Those who are in charge of cleaning, bring the cleaning tools now!」
It is still early noon.
A busy day has just started.