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Chapter: 190

After teleporting away from the Devil’s Mountains to Daikokuya, I changed from Jonah to Schwartz and went up to the office as I yawned. 

Since I could not summon more than two vehicles at a time, the motorhome couldn’t be summoned with the LVTP-5 set up in the Devil’s Mountains. Once in the office, I laid down on the sofa and wrapped myself up in a blanket. I was able to get some sleep in the Devil’s Mountains, but it was only for a short time each time. 

I ended up oversleeping and it was already noon. 

While I ate a bento box and tea, I heard a voice from outside the store. 

"Good day –" 

"I think the store manager is not at home. Is the shop closed?" 

"Didn’t we have a spare key?"

"Ah, indeed. —it’s in the toolbag somewhere… Here it is."

Apparently, Amy and Presera, as well as Alm and Sylvara, arrived from the Marida trading Company. I cleaned up and went down to the first floor to unlock the door to let them in. The shop would not be open while I was not here, but the building and products still needed to be cleaned regularly. 

"Come in. Thanks for coming to work."

"Ah, Manager! Good to see you!" 

"Good to see you all too." 

Amy and Presera gave a beautiful bow in front of the door and stared at me. It made me wonder if they were waiting for something. 

"Don’t you have anything to ask? Didn’t you instruct us to try out the products?"

Alm spoke up. 

"We were allowed to use it. Such a good item, too bad it’s very expensive." 

Next came her sister, Silvara. But what did you say again…? Oh. 

Then I noticed their fur. Previously, it was kinda difficult to say that their fur was beautiful. Even as a compliment. Don’t mistake me. They were good women nonetheless. But as adventurers, and escorts, their fur was far from glossy. You could even use unkempt. 

It was different today. 

Both Alm’s blonde hair and Sylvara’s silver hair gave off a brilliant luster as their hair stretched down to their shoulders. Their big foxtails were also smooth. The difference was like heaven and earth… 

Looking back at Amy and Presera’s hair, it also gave off a beautiful luster – unintentionally, I reached out to the long-haired presera and touched it. Previously, it was stiff. Now it was smooth and comfortable to feel. How come they changed so much after only a few days? I mean, the changes shouldn’t have been this fast normally… 

I didn’t know what they normally used, but it seemed that I wasn’t the only one who was ‘empowered’ in this world. Shampoos and conditioners also had a better performance here than in my previous word. Perhaps – the very nature of keeping clean and healthy may be embodied in this world.

"Eh, excuse me –"

"Manager, you are disturbing Presera now. Aren’t we supposed to work now?" 

Only after hearing Alm’s voice did I notice the reddened face in front of me. I was so absorbed in checking her hair and thinking about the changes that I hadn’t noticed I’d done it for a few minutes.  

"Whoops, my bad. Both of you are quite beautiful." 

"Beautiful…" (x2)

"What? Here I thought the manager liked Amy more."

Sylvara grinned, but Amy and presera still looked like teens. From my point of view, they were no different than little sisters.

"That’s enough talking. Amy, Presera, please prepare to open the shop." 

"Ye-yes!" (x3)

Returning to Silvara with a bitter smile, Amy and Presera immediately set about cleaning the store so they could open. Although I was free on the first day of business, I think I actually liked the job of selling something. 

However, the sight of them move with such alacrity reminded me of the people who were devoured by those kobolds I encountered. Among the carcasses were small arms and legs – most likely children. Of course, most of the remains were adults. 

"Are you worried about those kids? You’re still young, but do you think you’re doing enough?"

Alm said this as she stood next to me. 

"Hey, Alm. What kind of country is this country from the perspective of ordinary people other than aristocrats and adventurers?" 

"That’s a first. I think it’s a good country? There are some people who aren’t living well, but it’s basically a comfortable country to live in. My sisters were born in the north, but there were only a few stories from other countries." 

Alm lowered her voice. 

"You… You know I was a slave before, don’t you?"

"Yeah… I heard." 

"Until a while ago, slaves were reluctant to speak in this country. Nowadays, the feeling of inferiority is gone and it’s commonplace to not have one. But in the Drak Kingdom, it’s different. In that country, all the poor and sinners fall into slavery. People buy and kidnap people. Not just in Drak, but in the Viceburn Empire. Who knows what kind of treatment is being received there." 

"… Why won’t they leave?"

"Because the Devil’s Mountains between Drak and Murtmerga are dangerous. Even for the adventurers, it’s dangerous, and they’re not allowed to enter or leave unless they are in large caravans. This country is friendly to people, but tough for smugglers." 

"… I see." 

"The story went awry. It was about this country —" 

"No, that’s enough for now. I’ll be in the office. The security of the store is in your hands once more."

"That’s like basically doing almost nothing, but at least I get a salary for it." 

I called to the others and returned to the office. However, what I heard from Alm was quite interesting. Maybe the identities of those remains I found, given Alm’s story, were refugees from the Drak Kingdom. An adult dressed in clothes didn’t looked to be an adventurer, and the child seemed to have only trousers. I didn’t know why they were there… but now I had a clue. 

Poverty – or runaway slaves – they wanted to go to Kurtmerga. Even if they knew it would be considered smuggling. But they were caught by the Kobolds passing through. However, how many people actually left the country? How many managed to survive the journey? 

As I was in thought, I heard someone climb the stairs. 

"Manager? We’re still cleaning, but it seems there are customers…"

"Already? Are you sure they’re customers?" 

"Well… They look like nobles as they have attendants with them, but they’re wearing hoods and are looking to meet Schwartz…" 

It was Amy who came up, but did Chancellor Bergman come again in a hood? It’s been decided that the liaison would be done while mixing in with the customers during business hours of the store to report the progress of the work. But I hadn’t heard he’d come today. Besides, she said nobles… as in plural?

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