Chapter 5-13 : Shopping Ⅰ
「I… I want to go with you guys!」(Lorea)
「…Eh? Lorea-chan, you can take breaks from work but you choose to go with us? A snowy mountain is very cold and quite dangerous. Are you really sure?」(Sarasa)
I asked Lorea-chan to confirm if she was just being considerate, but she nodded and looked at me with a serious expression.
「Of course. Sarasa-san, before you came to this village, I thought I would spend the rest of my life looking after my family’s general store, but since you came, my life has totally changed.」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan relaxed her face, turning her serious expression into a smile, and continued talking.
「Thanks to you, I’m now able to work at this store and have learned a lot of new things. You even teach me magic, and because of that, I can even use a little magic. Sarasa-san, I want to keep trying and learning new things, so please let me go with you!」(Lorea)
Seeing her saying all that with a bright face, I feel like I can’t bring myself to say no…
Her desire for learning new things is so strong, and as her master and her employer, I think I should let her do what she wants.
「Hmm… Alright… You may go with us.」(Sarasa)
「Yeah, but I need to tell your parents first.」(Sarasa)
Daruna-san and Marie-san trusted their daughter to work at my store because they thought that working as a clerk at my store would be safer than working as a merchant because she doesn’t have to walk outside with a lot of valuable goods that are prone to becoming the target of bandits.
Therefore, I thought at least I had to tell her parents before taking her to do a dangerous job, but Lorea-chan stopped me.
I spontaneously straightened my back when Lorea-chan called me with a loud voice.
「I’ve been working here for months as an official employee of this store, so I don’t think you have to tell my parents about my job every time. I should be the one telling them, not you.」(Lorea)
I understand what she means, but I still think it’s my responsibility as her employer.
「Uhh… Iris-san, Kate-san, what do you think?」(Sarasa)
As the people who are older than us, I asked the two for their opinions.
「Hmm… At first, I thought Lorea was right about this, but then again, considering that she is still a minor, I… I’m not sure, to be honest. Perhaps Kate has a better opinion.」(Iris)
Kate-san shrugged when Iris-san glanced at her.
「Well, I think Lorea’s parents will understand. I think one of the reasons they allowed Lorea to work here is because they hope that Lorea will become independent and will be able to take care of herself. Store Owner-san, after you left the orphanage, did you ask for someone’s permission to decide your future path?」(Kate)
「No, I decided it myself.」(Sarasa)
Not just after I left the orphanage, even right after my parents died and I entered the orphanage, I’ve been deciding everything on my own.
I think I understand what Kate-san was trying to say.
If I can be independent at such a young age, why can’t Lorea-chan?
Lorea-chan and I are not so different in age. I think I should start trying to trust her more.
「Alright, I understand. Lorea-chan, I will treat you as an adult from now on. I won’t say anything to your parents, but in exchange, you should tell them in detail, and if they don’t give you permission to go with us, you should stay at home until we’re back. Do you understand?」(Sarasa)
「Understood! Thank you, Sarasa-san!」(Lorea)
When Lorea-chan smiled brightly at me, I raised my index finger and looked at her with a strict face.
「There’s one condition. If your parents do allow you to go with us, I want you to listen to what I say and I want you to stay close to us. Don’t ever think to wander around without us.」(Sarasa)
「Don’t worry, I got it!」(Lorea)
「Good. I will put extra winter clothes for you on the ‘To Buy’ list for now.」(Sarasa)
「Iris-san, we’re going to South Strugg tomorrow. Do you have anything to report?」(Sarasa)
「I don’t think there’s a problem with the preparations, but I think we have to bring some cooking utensils in case we camp on the way?」(Iris)
「No, I don’t think we need that. My plan is we’re going to arrive in less than one day, so we’re not going to camp on the way. Lorea-chan, I’m sorry but, can you make bentos for Iris-san and me for tomorrow’s lunch?」(Sarasa)
「Of course. You can leave it to me.」(Lorea)
「Hold on, Store Owner-dono! We’re going to go to South Strugg with a cart full of artifacts and materials, right? We will need more than a day!」(Iris)
When Iris-san said that with a confused face, Kate-san nodded in agreement.
「Iris’s right. You both may be able to go to South Strugg in less than a day by running while using body-strengthening magic, but how about the cart? The road from this village to South Strugg is quite bumpy, if you run while pulling the cart, the items in the cart will surely get damaged.」(Kate)
Of course, I’m fully aware of that.
It’s not that I don’t have a solution for that.
「Don’t worry, it’ll be fine, because I have an artifact called ‘Shock Absorbing Cushion’, also known as ‘Lazy Cushion’!」(Sarasa)
A Shock Absorbing Cushion or a Lazy Cushion is an artifact in the shape of a mattress than can absorb shock and vibration.
If I put it on the cart, the items I will bring to South Strugg will be unharmed from shock even if we pull the cart while running on a bumpy road.
「’Lazy Cushion’…? Somehow I can understand that its function is absorbing shock as the first name suggest, but… why is it also called Lazy Cushion?」(Iris)
「Wait a second. It’ll be faster if you feel it yourself than if I explain it to you.」(Sarasa)
After saying that, I went to my workshop and returned with the Shock Absorbing Cushion or Lazy Cushion that I made the other day with the remaining materials in my storage.
I spread the mattress, which was about fifteen centimeters thick with a length and width of about two hundred centimeters, on the floor.
「Ta-da! This is a Shock Absorbing Cushion, also known as a Lazy Cushion!」(Sarasa)
「It looks just like a thick mattress. It doesn’t look like anything special.」(Iris)
「Well, it’s not something you can tell by just looking at it. Eii~!」(Sarasa)
I stood behind Iris-san and pushed her down onto the mattress.
「Uwaa!! Store Owner-dono, what are you doing!? …Hm? Hmm?? W, What is this feeling!? I feel like my body is being sucked into the mattress!」(Iris)
「Fufu. I’m sorry for pushing you down all of a sudden. How’s that? It makes you feel like you want to lie down forever, right?」(Sarasa)
Iris-san who was lying on her stomach on the mattress exhaled, feeling so comfortable.
「Yeah, it does! Ahh~ I’m not sleepy but I feel like I don’t want to get up for the rest of the day~」(Iris)
Seeing Iris-san’s reaction, Kate-san and Lorea-chan also lay down on the mattress.
「Uwahh… What a weird sensation… My body feels like “funyaaaa”, no, maybe “munyuuuu”? It’s hard to explain.」(Kate)
「Ahh~ Certainly, you don’t want to get up after lying down on this mattress…」(Lorea)
「Be careful not to fall asleep, okay?」(Sarasa)
「Because you will feel sore all over your body if you sleep on it for a long time. It’s an artifact for absorbing shock, not an actual mattress for sleeping. You feel strangely comfortable as if your body is being sucked into the mattress because it’s killing any shock or vibration that comes to your body. Moreover, it’s not good to be used for sleeping because it lacks elasticity and rigidity. That’s why it will make your body stiff later on.」(Sarasa)
「I see… What a dangerous trap…」(Iris)
「It’s normally used to protect fragile items in a cart while traveling. It’s very useful for merchants who often move from one place to another. Sometimes, rich people and nobles also use it as a sitting pillow when riding in a carriage.」(Sarasa)
「I see. Riding a carriage for a long time will hurt your butt after all. This cushion can certainly make your journey more comfortable.」(Iris)
「But, Iris-san, considering how big your butt is, I don’t think you need it.」(Lorea)
Lorea-chan, who was lying down next to Iris-san, stretched her arm toward Iris-san who was lying on her stomach, and grabbed her buttcheek.
「H, Hey, Lorea, what do you mean by that!? My butt is not that big, you know!」(Iris)
「Hoo~ Certainly, you don’t need a cushion for your butt when riding a carriage. This lump of fat will absorb all the shock.」(Kate)
Imitating what Lorea-chan did, Kate-san also grabbed Iris-san’s buttcheek from the other side.
「Hey, you two! Stop grabbing my butt!」(Iris)
「Store Owner-san, you want to join?」(Kate)
「Eh!? Store Owner-dono will join!? W, Well… I… don’t really mind…」(Iris)
「I won’t! Geez… Anyway, this artifact is not for sleeping, so get up already!」(Sarasa)
Seeing the three fooling around on the mattress, I sighed and shook my head.
Anyway, with this Lazy Cushionー No, Shock Absorbing Cushion, Iris-san and I can run at full speed without worrying about the items on the cart tomorrow.