Chapter 2-20 : Business Rival Ⅰ (part 1)

 

「Store Owner-dono, we’re backー」(Iris)

「Ahh~ The inside of the store feels like paradise~」(Kate)

Iris-san and Kate-san, who just returned from work, exhaled while wiping the sweat on their foreheads as soon as they entered the store.

「Welcome back. Is it hot outside today?」(Sarasa)

「Yeah, especially if you move your body around nonstop for a long time.」(Iris)

It’s been a while since we started selling Cooling Hats, and it keeps getting hot lately.

I looked out from the window and looked at the sky. There were no clouds in the sky, only the scorching sun.

However, I couldn’t feel heat from the outside at all because I’ve installed a big air conditioner artifact in my store.

Well, I actually just needed a normal-sized one because it would be enough to cool my store, but since I had so many high quality fangs from Ice Fang Bats, I decided to make a big one.

「Just buy Cooling Hats already. I told you I will make them cheap for you.」(Sarasa)

「Ughh… That’s appealing but… No, I’ll just bear with the heat for now…」(Iris)

「We’ve survived the heat so far, so I don’t think we need Cooling Hats anytime soon…」(Kate)

After I suggested they buy Cooling Hats while pointing at the shelves that were full of Cooling Hats, Iris-san and Kate-san looked away from the shelves with regretful expressions.

「But if you have one, you can work more efficiently, right?」(Sarasa)

「Well yeah, but now we work in a cave most of the time.」(Kate)

Sometimes I ask them to collect certain materials for me, but it looks like they mostly work in a cave to collect fangs from Ice Fang Bats.

In this hot season, fangs from Ice Fang Bats sold like hot cakes, so it’s natural that many Collectors are currently focusing on collecting them.

Since the inside of a cave is not as hot as the outside, some of the Collectors can work just fine even without Cooling Hats.

「Iris-san, Kate-san, welcome back. Here, I have ice tea for you.」(Lorea)

Lorea-chan, who noticed their return, appeared from the kitchen with two cups of ice tea.

Iris-san and Kate-san received the tea, and then immediately drank it at once.

「Pwaahhh~….. Lorea, thank you. An air conditioner and a cup of ice tea are the best!」(Iris)

「You’re right. Ahh~~ This is so comfortable. I’m afraid we will never be able to stay in an inn once we get used to this paradise.」(Kate)

By the way, we have ice tea because I’ve installed a refrigerator in my kitchen.

A couple of weeks ago, Geberg-san delivered the frame for the refrigerator and the freezer, so I made them right away.

Now, my kitchen is finally complete!

With the refrigerator and the freezer, the variety of dishes Lorea-chan can make has increased.

Even though we have Diral-san’s dining hall in this village, I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who owns the most luxurious kitchen in this village.

「Ah, I know what you feel. It’s very nice and cool here after all. It makes me hesitate to go home sometimes. Well, I have the Environment Adjusting Cloth that Sarasa gave me at home, so I can sleep comfortably without feeling hot at all.」(Lorea)

「Oh, that cloth. We also have that on our beds. It sure is comfortable.」(Kate)

「True. To be honest, I’m not sure if we can use such an expensive product for free…」(Iris)

While saying that, Iris-san glanced at me.

「Don’t worry about it. I just feel bad if I sleep in a comfortable bed while you guys don’t.」(Sarasa)

「No, we don’t mind if we have to sleep without that cloth. We’re just freeloaders after all.」(Iris)

「No, no. It’s totally fine, really.」(Sarasa)

The empty rooms, which were originally for visitors, have now completely become Iris-san and Kate-san’s rooms.

However, there’s no way I can take the beddings away from them.

We are living together, so I can’t just let them sleep uncomfortably. Moreover, they do their best working every day to pay their debt, so I have to support them.

Therefore, I ordered two more beds from Geberg-san and made two more futons with Environment Adjusting Cloths for Iris-san and Kate-san.

Now I have five beds, so I won’t have any problem if Master and Lorea-chan want to stay in my house at the same time.

「It’s a good thing that it’s nice and cool here, but we have a problem because of it…」(Lorea)

I tilted my head and looked at Lorea-chan who said that with a troubled face.

「A problem? What do you mean?」(Sarasa)

「Ah, you don’t realize it probably because you work at your workshop most of the time, but sometimes Collectors chill in the store for a while after they finish shopping and get in the wayー」(Lorea)

「ーAre you guys talking about me?」(Andre)

While Lorea-chan was explaining, suddenly Andre-san came into the store.

According to Lorea-chan, he visits my store every day these days.

Wait… Don’t tell me… He came every day because he just wanted to enjoy the cool air here?

「Ah, Andre-san, welcome. Do you have any idea about this matter?」(Sarasa)

「Of course I do!」(Andre)

I knew it.

「Lorea-chan… Does Andre-san… Umm…」(Sarasa)

「Yup. But he is not as bad as the other Collectors who sometimes stay for hours.」(Lorea)

They sometimes stay here for hours!? How could I not notice them…?

「Usually, they will leave after I give them ice tea, so… Andre-san, here’s your tea.」(Lorea)

「Th, Thank you, Lorea-chan… *gulp, gulp* Puuaaahh! Cold drinks are really good when the weather is hot!」(Andre)

After Lorea-chan received the empty tea cup from Andre-san, she immediately pointed to the front door.

「Now that you have enjoyed your tea, please go home.」(Lorea)

「W-Wait! I haven’t finished my errand yet!」(Andre)

「Oh, right. So, how can I help you today?」(Lorea)

「First of all, here’s the materials I collected today. I want to sell them all, and I’d like to buy some potions.」(Andre)

「Alright, please wait a minute.」(Lorea)

Lorea-chan handled the materials Andre-san took out very well.

She has only been working here for a few months, but she looks like a professional now.

She is smart, diligent, and able to learn things quickly.

I’m glad I hired her!

As an employee, she does her job perfectly, as if she has no weaknesses. Wellー

「Is that all?」(Lorea)

「Yup.」(Andre)

「Well then, thank you for the purchase, Andre-san. You can leave now.」(Lorea)

ーexcept her cold attitude toward some people…

 

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