Chapter 24: Sometimes Shopping Clerks are Helpful, and Sometimes They’re Downright Nosy
Somehow or other, I’ve found a job and an apprenticeship(?) right away. I’ve always felt I had greater luck than most, but ever since I’ve found myself in this world I’ve been feeling like I never appreciated it enough before.
As for the 17 swords in 7 days deadline, I start tomorrow.
Why not today?
After registering at the Guild, spending several hours getting duped by a merchant, and the over 5 hours in Helward’s forge, it’s already 4 pm, and I haven’t eaten since last night. I’m also worried about leaving The Queen Mary’s for so long. Even though it’s the template for bad guys to act at night, that’s not always how the real world works.
Another reason is …
“Right there, it’s my cousin’s tailoring shop!”
Pietra points out a small shop wedged between two other buildings down a wide mountain road.
The road looks like a main street, sloping gradually from the second level of this tiered city down to a wide open street-stall market on the first level.
While passing people by on the streets, I’m noticing that there are a lot of beastkin. The demographic seems to be mostly human and beastkin, humans making up the greater portion. There are also a number of dwarves (though a few of them might just be short humans) and featherkin.
So why is Pieta taking me to his cousin’s shop? That’s a good question.
I know why I’m heading there; I have no clothes other than the luxurious “Commoner’s Clothes,” and that is bad to wear for so many reasons. But why is Pieta taking me?
Sure this is helpful, since I don’t have a clue as to where the clothing stores are, but is the forge going to be alright with an apprentice missing? The apprentices do a lot of odd jobs, like striking, helping to regulate the fire, and so on. That way the smiths can just focus on forging the best they can.
Well I guess it’s 5 apprentices to one smith – that is, Jetsom – so I guess it’s alright?
Anyway, I have to buy food and clothes with my remaining 21,650 ecrue before the day is over. There’s also one other VERY important thing …
… I need to replace Solyana’s shirt.
I messed up; or like, I didn’t think about it at all.
It was really hot in the forge, I was working next to a roaring fire, and I was hammering away with all my might. What do you think would happen to the clothes I was wearing?
Aaaargh, how could I have been so inconsiderate? There’s no way I can return it to her. Even if I wash it I have doubts that the soot will come out; and also, it’s just soaked in sweat.
It’s totally gross.
Speaking of gross, I need a bath. I haven’t had one in a week; I mean, I couldn’t when I was on the road in the wagon, and then coming to Nyl City I got immediately wrapped up in another incident and didn’t get a chance, and now I’m here.
Fuu … there were a lot of things I needed to do, but I ended up spending the entire day working in a forge.
When we entered Pieta’s cousin’s shop, a handsome woman greeted us. Although she is definitely attractive, “handsome” seems to suit her better than “pretty”.
“Welco- Pieta, what are you doing here? Oh my~ skipping work to go on a date? Even when you say things like ‘I’ll become a Master Bladesmith in no time,’ you’re doing things like this~!”
She’s teasing him pretty relentlessly.
Pieta’s turned bright red.
“I-it’s not like I’m skipping! And this girl is –“
“I’m Jun, a new adventurer hired by Ossan – that is, Gustav-san. Ossa – Gustav-san told Pieta to help me buy the necessary things I need.”
Please spare me from the love-talks.
“Booo… you’re no fun.”
The woman pouts playfully. Maybe she’ll get along with Niera well.
Pieta stands there kind of helplessly, opening and closing his mouth. I didn’t think he’d be so bad against being teased.
“J-juri, cut it out! Man, where’s cousin Moran?”
He finally manages to spit out.
“Moran’s at the weavers’ right now.”
“Hey, hey, but Pieta …” *whisperwhisperwhisper*
“Seriously Juri, cut it out, we just met today.”
“Oooh, it’s not mutual?”
“Damn, cut it out and do your job! Jun, I’ll be waiting outside.
Juri laughs happily as Pieta turns red, then stomps off outside the shop.
I miss what they’re talking about behind me because I’m looking at the clothes.
It’s more of a tailor’s shop, that is the clothes are order made, but there are some ready-to-wear things. I absolutely need things to wear today. But this is a problem…
I’m not really into fashion; I wore school uniforms most of the time in the other world, so there’s no point in being too picky; and on top of that, I’m a girl now. Won’t there be a lot more I need to pay attention to as a girl? Like more types or options or whatever. Girls’ fashion in the other world always sounds like another language when I hear the girls in class talking about it.
That kind of thought is going through my head.
… I’m tempted to just grab something and leave. I don’t like shopping, it’s too overwhelming.
“So what are you looking for? Something tailor made, or ready to wear?”
“Ready to wear. I need all the necessities ready to wear.”
I feel a little helpless. Do they have bras? Will I need to wear a bra? I glance down quickly.
I think I’m good.
“Everything? Need a new wardrobe, huh?”
“New wardrobe … well, I definitely need clothes. You could say I don’t have anything to change into.”
My “Commoner’s Clothes” don’t count.
“That’s not good. For a woman adventurer, you’ll be looked down upon if you don’t take care of your looks.”
Juri’s being a lot more serious now that she’s not teasing Pieta.
“Looks huh … is that really necessary for an adventurer?”
“I know, right? But well, girl or boy, if you show up everyday wearing the same clothes covered in grime, it’ll make human relations hard, no?”
Ah, she has a point. I haven’t noticed so far because my Commoner’s Clothes have miraculously always been clean. Thank the heavens. I was considering selling them, but maybe I’ll keep them after all for emergencies.
“Ahaha … it’s not on purpose that I don’t have a change of clothes. I lost my luggage before I came to this city. It’s a bit troublesome, huh?”
I laugh sheepishly while rubbing the back of my head.
Juri looks me over carefully.
“How much money do you have?”
“About 21,500 ecrue.”
“Hm… ok. Since you’re Pieta’s acquaintance I’ll give you some free advice.”
She winks at me.
“First, you’re going to want to splurge on your boots. They’ll have to last you through thick and thin, and those boots you have … I don’t suggest it. They look flimsy and hard to move in. Buy a pair with some grip. That might cost you anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 ecrue. There’s a cobbler across the street, ask Pieta to show you later.”
Well, I agree that these thigh high boots are ridiculous, but they are actually very flexible and wear-resistant. But yeah, I don’t like them either. I’ll keep them just in case though. Anyway, new shoes are expensive!
“Next would be pants. You’ll want a few, sturdy, durable pairs, but since they might get roughed up in combat you don’t want to go overboard. We have some here, ready made. It’s best to keep your skin more covered than less in the Labyrinth. If you get shorter boots you’ll definitely need longer bottoms.”
I definitely want pants. These shorts ride up like crazy.
“Socks… quality wise it would be good to get a lot of the best, since feet are an adventurer’s life, but at your budget you will only be able to afford a pair or two. As for shirts, anything that’s easy to move in goes. Ah, of course you’ll need underwear. Also, a breast wrap … would you like one?”
… That means I’m pretty flat, right? Yeah, I know. I get it. Thanks.
I think for a bit.
“In a few days I should get some money, and I don’t think I’ll be going into the Labyrinth any time soon, so underwear, socks, and pants should take priority? Also, the shirt I’m wearing now was someone else’s, so I need to provide a replacement.”
“Ok, got it.”
Juri purses her lips together.
“One pair of these sturdy, flexible pants, 5 pairs of underwear, and 2 pairs of these thick-knit socks would be 6,100 ecrue.”
Eh… well, maybe that’s about right. There are pants that go for over 11,000 yen in our world, so wouldn’t these be considered pretty cheap? Actually, they probably ARE cheap pants, even here. Juri seems to be showing me things within my budget.
“For two pairs of pants and the rest the same?”
“Um…” Juri traces something on her palm with her finger. “9,600 ecrue.”
Dang. I don’t like the thought of wearing the same pants two days in a row, but I have the shorts after all.
… I thought the Commoner’s Clothes were a pain and wanted to sell them as soon as I could, but having a set of eternally clean clothes will make things much easier in the future.
“Ok… just one pair of pants. About the shirts then?”
“Over here. These ones are 1,000 ecrue, here’s 1,500 ecrue. They’re cheap, and comparatively not as durable as other ones, but these can always be worn under other shirts and tunics, so it won’t be a waste to buy one or two.”
I take a look. Well, I’ll just take the cheapest… It won’t be too late to buy durable clothes right before I enter the Labyrinth, and in theory I’d have armor to go over the top. Also … I technically DO have all these clothes from the Commoner’s Clothes set that don’t get dirty. The problem is … Solyana’s shirt, huh?
A long, dark green shirt catches my eye. I don’t know much about fashion, but it’s a flattering shirt for a girl, cinching in at the waist, with elegant long sleeves. It’s simple otherwise. The color caught my eye more than the style. I think Solyana would look good in that color.
“Um, that one …”
“That one is 2,500 ecrue.”
Expensive! Well, expensive for me. I look at the other shirts in the store. Fashion can get pretty elaborate, huh? … I don’t want to know how much they cost. I tilt my head to the side and think. Even if I’m not going into the Labyrinth, I need pants that are durable in the forge. Also, it would be a waste to get something too cheap and never use it again. I have underwear and socks with Commoner’s Clothes, so I can afford to skimp a little… alright. I’ve decided.
“Nn… it’s not too good to skimp on a present that’s both a thank you and an apology … Can I get that shirt, 1 pair of the pants you recommended, 2 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of socks, and 2 of the shirts at 1,000 ecrue?”
“Wow, Jun, you’re so cool! Putting your own needs aside for another lady! Well, okay, let’s see…”
Juri pulls out a tray that is divided into compartments. There are stones and stick-like things in it. She moves them around as she calculates.
“That would be 9,200 ecrue. Is that ok?”
“Yeah, that’s good.”
Whew, I was right, it was all under 10,000 ecrue. Lucky.
Juri insists I try on the pants to check my size. It was good I did, I guess. Wearing uncomfortable pants due to a mistake in size would be tough for 7 days until I get paid.
When I pay for the clothes, it takes me a bit to count out the coins. Un… I should write myself a memo on what they all are. I’m hoping I do my math okay, because I’m not keeping track of how much I have left with what types of coins I have. It’s strictly all numbers in my head.
Juri hands me a cloth bag. It’s nothing special, more like a sack.
“It’s a special service for you this time, a bag, since you don’t have one. Ah, by the way, there are public baths on the second level near the Guild.”
“I-I see. Thanks for that.” … That bad, huh? Well I guess I spent all day working in a forge.
She must have noticed my complicated look, since she says,
“It’s not that bad, but working in a forge gets sweaty, right? Anyway, thanks for coming! And treat Pieta well!”
She grins and says the last bit loudly as I head out the door. It was clearly aimed at Pieta, since he turns bright red before walking quickly away.