The other day, when I had gone to Noa’s place, she said,「I want to go outside,」so today I dragged her, Fina, and Shuri on a picnic. I had first gotten permission from Cliff, of course.
「It’s been a while since we’ve gone outside of town.」
「Have you been studying properly?」
「Yes, I did promise Father, after all. I also don’t want to know what Mother would do if I don’t.」
Trying to give Noa a proper break from her studies, we headed towards a hill with a nice view near the town. We rode on Hugging Bear and Swaying Bear to get there, of course.
「It has gotten warmer recently.」
「Yeah, I’m really glad that I dismantle inside the cold storage room now.」
「The cold storage is chilly.」
The meat brought to the orphanage was all dismantled by Fina and Shuri. To avoid spoiling the meat, they dismantled inside a cold storage room.
「Really? It doesn’t feel like it’s gotten any hotter to me.」
Noa’s room was on the second floor, so maybe the breeze made it better for her?
「Yuna-san, don’t you get hot wearing that outfit?」
The three of them looked at me as if I was suffering from heatstroke in the Bear Suit.
I lightly pulled onto my outfit to readjust it. On the outside, the outfit sure did look hot and humid to be in, but in reality, it wasn’t so at all.
「I’m fine. In fact, it’s quite cool.」
The three of them looked at me in disbelief. Well, looking at my outfit, anyone should think that it was hot to wear and not something to be worn around during the summer. Yet, despite its hot appearance, it was actually very comfortable and cool. I really had to thank God that this outfit was able to adjust temperature for me. Still, if I had that ability myself, I wouldn’t have to wear this outfit to begin with.
Now, I couldn’t take the Bear Suit off unless I wanted to be hot, and if it got any hotter later on, it would be even harder for me to take it off. While the outfit did keep me cool, I had mixed feelings about it because that feature forced me to wear it all the time. Maybe I shouldn’t be thanking God, after all.
As I was pondering this, the Bears carried us to the top of the hill, so I quickly jumped down and laid out a blanket on which we could have lunch. I gestured the girls to sit down with me and took out some rice balls I had prepared this morning.
I had used sour plum, marinated meat, and whatever other ingredients I thought would taste good. The rice itself had been freshly made this morning, so not much could go wrong. There was quite a lot of them, but if we didn’t finish them all, I could always just place the remainder into my Bear Box.
On a side note, the rice balls were regularly shaped. I had not made them into Bears.
The three girls often ate rice at Anzu’s shop, so they were quite interested in the rice balls I had prepared for them…
「They all look delicious.」
Sitting down, we took our deserved break while enjoying a nice, cool breeze that blew on top of the hill. I was glad to see the three of them so relaxed and happy.
After we ate, Noa went over to where Hugging Bear was. She was lost in thought for a while, before speaking up.
「Do Hugging Bear-chan and Swaying Bear-chan think it’s hot?」
She asked as she gently grasped Hugging Bear’s fur with her hand.
「If you decide to trim their fur, could you please give some to me?」
「I want some, too!」
Shuri quickly jumped at the chance to get some fur for herself.
Hugging Bear and Swaying Bear both cried out and ran away from Noa, hiding behind Fina and I.
「I think they thought you were going to pluck their fur straight off.」
「N-no, I would never do that. I’m just suggesting that maybe you could trim their fur when it gets hotter. They didn’t have to run away like that… 」
Noa said and made her way back to Hugging Bear who didn’t run away this time.
Well, the Bears shared my heat-resistant skills, so they wouldn’t get hot, either. Also, would it even be possible to trim their fur?
Well, if their fur grew out again, we might really be able to use their fur for clothes or blankets.
「Since it’s hot, why don’t we go down and swim in the river?」
I suggested, diverting the topic from my Bears’ fur.
There was a river by the fields just outside town. Of course, it wasn’t as big as the river that ran through Raruuze, but it was still large enough to swim in.
「Um, I’ve never swum before.」
Fina mumbled, 「Because back then, Mother was sick.」
Shuri then said she had never swum before, either.
Since their mother looked so healthy now, I had forgotten about her past condition. Tirumina-san had been bedridden due to her illness, so Fina worked without playing every day so she could support her family, while Shuri couldn’t go out to play by herself.
「I’ve been to the river plenty of times, but I’ve never gone for a swim. I just play in the water instead.」
At the back of my mind, I imagined a noble-lady styled Noa, wearing a straw hat and a one piece dress, her bare feet splashing in the river water. Yeah, that seemed like a way nobles would spend their summer free time.
Still, didn’t that mean that none of them knew how to swim? Well, I had never swum in a river before, either… The closest I had come to that was swimming in the elementary school pool.
「How about we go swimming in the sea next time we have the chance?」
Noa perked up all excited.
「Yeah. It’s much easier to get to the sea now, after all.」
All we had to do was go through a tunnel to get there; a beautiful blue sea was waiting for us to jump into.
While they hadn’t been able to go before, thanks to a certain somebody creating the tunnel, it was now easy to go and take a dip.
「I have never swum in the sea before, so I would love to try it.」
「Fina, Shuri, you’ll come too, right?」
「But, I can’t swim.」
「Mhm, me neither.」
Actually, I wasn’t sure if I could swim, either. I only recalled swimming during my elementary school days. I wondered if my body still remembered how to do it properly.
「Well, even if you can’t swim, you can play still play in the water with waves. Also, the sea is nice and cold, so it will feel great to jump in.」
This should be enough to convince them.
After all, they had never been to the sea during the summer (although they probably hadn’t gone during other seasons either), so all they knew of it was what others told them.
Still, wouldn’t the surface of a sandy beach be rather hot in summer?
Well, if I brought a blanket along and made something to shade us from the sun, we should be fine.
Sadly, I had no idea what it was like, either, since I had never been to the beach during the summer. Maybe it would be fine if I just asked the locals about it?
「By the way, are there any clothes we can wear to go swimming?」
「You mean something like thin clothing? 」
Fina, who rarely went to the river, didn’t know.
According to Noa, there were clothes one could wear to get into the water, but were they the same as swimsuits of my former world? What kind of clothing did people of this world wear while swimming?
I decided to ask Anzu, since she was from Mireera.
「I don’t have any clothes like that. Do you know of any place that sells them?」
「I don’t think our town sells any. But, we can get Sherry to make it for us, no?」
If I drew a design for her, would she be able to make it?
I had to ask her before it got too hot, though.
I continued to enjoy the picnic with the girls while brainstorming for our trip to the sea.
First, a swimsuit was indeed necessary. I also had to figure out how many people we should bring. If possible, I wanted to bring all the children from the orphanage and I was pretty sure Anzu would want to visit her home. I should invite Morin-san and the shop staff as well. They always took care of me, after all. Still, taking them all might cause problems for the shop, so maybe I should discuss it with Tirumina-san first?
Moreover, if I were to bring all the children from the orphanage along, I would need to provide swimsuits for all of them. Was this becoming more trouble than I had anticipated?
The following day, I went to Anzu’s shop to eat lunch and to ask her about swimsuits. I ordered a seafood rice bowl which had squid and octopus in it. I also poured some soy sauce on it before eating.
「An outfit for swimming in the sea?」
「Yeah, I was wondering what kind of outfit do you use for swimming.」
「If you ask me, I would say a thin, shirt-like outfit? It dries out fast, after all.」
Eris and the other ladies from Mireera Town all nodded in agreement.
I had thought that kind of clothing would be see-through, but it seemed like they wrapped themselves with some kind of bleached, cotton-like clothing.
「So, why are you asking us that?」
「I was thinking of taking everybody to the sea sometime in the near future, including you and your staff.」
They all looked quite surprised when I mentioned that.
「Yeah. I’m sure Deiga-san is worried about you, so why don’t you come with me and visit Mireera? You haven’t gone home once ever since you came here, after all.」
Well, going there might bring up bad memories, so I didn’t want to force them.
「What about the shop, though?」
「It will be closed for the duration of the trip.」
That much should be obvious, no?
「But our sales…」
「Don’t worry about it. I won’t dock it of your salaries.」
「No, that’s not what I’m worried about. We’re receiving so much money already, so about the profits…」
According to Tirumina-san, the sales were going well, and they certainly weren’t going to go under if they skipped a few days. They were working hard to keep it up, so they deserved a good break.
「Our living quarters are free of charge, we get regular breaks, and you let us do what we like with the shop. If I’m going to take time off to go home, then I can’t accept also being paid during that time.」
It seemed like they didn’t understand the prospect of paid vacation in this world, and even if I tried to explain it…
「You will have to take care of the children and guide them around town, so think of that as your job on the trip.」
The orphanage had many children, and it would be difficult for only Headmistress and Liz-san to watch over them while on a trip. It would most likely be fine if Nif-san and Arn-san came along, but if they refused, then we would be short on hands for sure. In that case, I would want to have Anzu and the others to watch over the children instead.
I asked them to give it some thought and said that we would discuss it later.
I finished the rice bowl and went towards the orphanage to find Tirumina-san.
Would I find her there, though?
In the afternoon, Tirumina-san would either have some tea with the director at the orphanage or visit the Commerce Guild to order ingredients or run other errands. If she wasn’t here today, I might have a hard time finding her.
As I was getting close to the orphanage I saw Tirumina-san, hand in hand with her daughters, walking towards me. Were they going somewhere?
Fina noticed me and ran to me.
「Oh, Yuna-chan. Are you going to the orphanage?」
「I have something I wanted to talk to you about, Tirumina-san.」
Tirumina-san asked as she stopped in front of me with Shuri.
「Tirumina-san, do you have some time right now?」
「I was thinking of taking my daughters to do some shopping, but it’s fine if you want to talk now. Is it important? If so, we can go somewhere else.」
「It’s not that important, so we can talk while walking.」
I walked with them into their direction and started to discuss the trip to the sea.
Here comes the swimsuit event…
Yuna subjugated the Kraken last year in March, so it’s been quite some time since then.
Real life time sure passes quickly.