Chapter 89: The Shopping at the Carousel Merchant Store
Cyril: “Henry, what do you think about this?” Henry: “Good, good. I think it looks good on you. Why not choose that?”
Cyril: “............heyー, can you at least look this way before commenting? It feels a little lonely otherwise!”
It’s a little bothersome, but I look towards Cyril who’s talking to me.
Cyril is trying on the scarves that are lined up on the store display one by one. The white fluffy scarf she has on right now actually looks good on her.
……...so, if her sense of fashion is way above mine, why can’t she choose one or two articles of clothes on her own?
Henry: “Ohー yeah. No, it really looks good on you.”
Cyril: “Hehehe, really? Then you can compliment me by saying, ‘Cyril, you look so cuteー’ like that.”
Henry: “That, I refuse.” Why do I have to embarrass myself like that in public?
…….and seriously, there’s a lot of customers around us right now.
This store is run by Jend’s family, and it is the Carousel Merchant Store’s 3rd floor. We’re in the area where clothes are being sold.
On each floor, they sell different types of items, and they call it a department store. It’s become popular in the last few decades, but due to how many goods they would have to manage, there’s only a few merchant groups that would attempt to make an actual store like that. Normally, you would combine your strengths with other merchant groups and run a store like this cooperatively.
……….and though the Carousel Merchant group does have a few specialized vendors, they are basically running this place on their own. Though it’s smaller than this store, they have two other similar stores around Flowtier.
They also have stores in the main neighboring towns, and you can definitely tell that they are the main business leader in the upper north region of the Alvenia Kingdom.
But they are still the big stores in the rural area, and compared to the Northerntier’s top Merchant Group, the Gerd Merchant Group, the difference in financial power, market opportunities, and influence is astounding.
Basically, the stage they are playing on is completely different.
Cyril: “Hmmmー then I’ll go with this scarf. If that’s the caseー I’ll match the gloves with it tooー. Henry, over here please. Over here.”
Henry: “Yeah, yeah.” And so what we’re doing right now at the Carousel Group’s store is finding winter clothes for Cyril. I’m just tagging along.
The temperature is getting chillier, and during lunch at the Bear’s Keg Inn, Cyril dropped a hint about wanting to start shopping for new winter clothes.
And before she even said it, I knew what was coming up next.
………..and just as I predicted, it was, [so would you mind helping me shop for some?], and that’s why I’m with her right now. When I moved from Ligaleo to here, I got rid of most of my luggage, and I needed some winter clothes too, actually.
Cyril: “.........hm? Oh……? Isn’t that Jend over there?”
Henry: “Yeah, looks like it. What’s he up to?”
While we were heading to the section where they have gloves laid out, we recognized him walking around the store.
He also noticed us in return, waved, and walked towards us.
I’ve seen that muscular 190 cm (～6’ 3”) man put on a Carousel Group Apron and work around the store, but he really doesn’t fit in well.
Jend: “Dear customers, welcome to our store. How are you enjoying the Carousel Group’s most esteemed product selection today?” Henry: “Yeah, you guys definitely got a great number of selections. ……….and so you’re going to keep talking like that to us?” I wave my hand dismissively at Jend who’s speaking to us as if auditioning for a play. It’s so different from his usual demeanor, it almost creeps me out.
Jend: “Right, right. And you two on a date?” Henry: “I’m just tagging along with her shopping…….but I guess it could be considered a date?” I’m always following Cyril around different places, so I guess I’m not feeling like this is anything special out of the norm.
Cyril: “Oh, that’s right. Henry, if this is a date, then usually, the man pays for everything, correct?”
Henry: “Oh yeah. But Cyril, if the man is paying, it usually means he’s also after other things you know….” And I very deliberately look her up and down and smile.
Cyril: “.............I said ‘if this is a date’. You’re just tagging along my shopping, correct? Then I’ll pay what I need out of my own pockets.”
Henry: “I see. That’s very astute of you.” I was ready to jump on the ride if she agreed, but yeah, I thought this would happen.
Henry: “So it turns out that I am just tagging along with her shopping.”
Jend: “.......I mean, I don’t care either way, but……”
Jend looks a little tired of our charade as he mumbles.
……...and I do feel bad for him. I get it that we’ve been in this limbo for quite some time now.
But I have a lot to think about as well. If possible, I’d like to keep it at this lukewarm state for a while longer.
Henry: “So you’re helping out with the store today?” Jend: “Yeahー I’ll help out when we’re down a few people, but today, it’s more or less just observing.”
Henry: “Observing?” I don’t get it.
Jend: “I’m looking at which products are selling well, and what kind of routes customers are taking when walking around the store. I also pay attention to what products they look at carefully and think over, and the number of customers during certain periods of time…….stuff like that. I keep an eye out for other stuff as well, and what we need to buy more of and how we should display the items.”
He’s spilling out the details one after another, but if he’s really keeping track of all of that, he’s got an incredible perception.
Cyril: “But isn’t that what a regular worker should be doing, no?” Jend: “.....Cyril. I’m technically the son of the Merchant Group, and if anything happens to my brother, then I might end up taking over the family business.”
And with that, Jend lets us know that it’s not normal in a roundabout way.
Jend has a brother that’s 6 years older than him named Shadeーーhe’s currently acting as a secretary to his father as he follows him around and earning valuable experience for the future.
He’s actually the same age as me, and when he reached adulthood, he got married to a childhood friend. They already have a 2 year old son, and they don’t have to worry about heirs now, but……..if anything happens to him now, Jend would have to consider his circumstances and options.
As an Adventurer, he’s definitely reliable and dependable. So I can only pray that nothing like that will happen.
Jend: ‘Besides, Henry and Teo have been showing me tricks on how to scout, so I’ve gotten better at paying attention to my surroundings. If that’s the case, I should find other ways to make a use out of the skill.”
Henry: “YーYou think so?” It’s true that both Teo and I taught him some Scouting Skills, but could you really use that for merchant business? Or is Jend just really good at utilizing his skills in different ways?
Just to try it out, I try checking out the surroundings for a while.
Henry: “............yeah, I don’t think those are related…..”
I got a feel for where everyone was on the floor, but besides that, I got nothing. I haven’t got a clue about what’s popular or anything like that.
Jend: “Well, you’ll also need to know about the products too. You might be much more experienced as an Adventurer, but I wouldn’t lose to you when it comes to experience running a business.”
Henry: “A competition like that wouldn’t even be a fair fight in the first place.
That’s way out of my line of expertise.
Jend: “Well, I can’t keep chatting. My dad will get onto me. See you guys. Enjoy looking through our products.”
Cyril: “Yes, Jend, good luck with your work.”
And with a “yeah”, Jend turned around.
Jend: “Oh! That’s right. Since you all are here, I’ll give you this.”
And he handed something that looked like coupon or ticket.
Henry: “? What’s this?” Jend: “Right now, there doing drawings on the 1st floor. It’s tickets for those. If you get 5, you can draw once.”
He handed over 4 to us.
Henry: “.......is that okay that a worker here is giving out coupons like this?” Jend: “Well, I had to do some shopping of my own and got those. ……..but the store owner’s son can do the drawing without drawing out criticism so….”
Ohー yeah, that makes sense.
Henry: “Well, if that’s the case, I’ll happily accept these.
Jend: “Sounds good. See you guys around.” And Jend really left us this time.
Cyril: “Henry, gloves. We’re going to the gloves section. And after that, let’s look at some coats.”
Henry: “Yeah, I know, I know. I want a new set of gloves for myself too.”
I didn’t buy a scarf because it would be annoying to have something wrapped around my neck, but I did plan to buy gloves.
And like that, I enjoyed my shopping time with Cyril.
Henry: “.......Cyril, I think you bought too many things.”
Cyril: “Hehe, sorry.”
And after that, our shopping continued for 3 more hours.
She has no guilt in her smile and apology, and every time she was thinking about purchasing a certain piece of clothing, she would go back and forth for a while and then end up with, “I guess it’s okay” and bought most of them.
As a result, I was holding 8 bags with both arms. My stuff all fit in one bag.
The weight is not the issue. It’s just hard to walk with this many bags.
Henry: “(sigh). Look, I’ll help you carry all of this to the Governor’s mansion, but next time, be a little more careful.”
Cyril: “Yeーs sir, I will. I’m sorry. I had more money this round than last year, so it was hard to say no to everything that caught my eye.”
I know she’s saving up to buy better gear, but with that goal alone, you can’t keep your motivation up for expeditions. So it’s important to spend some money for yourself doing these kinds of shopping.
……….and I believe Cyril told me that she put 10% of her earnings away to treat herself. With the amount of money our Party is making, 10% would still be quite a bit.
Cyril: “Oh, Henry. Look, they’re doing the drawings over there. The drawings.”
Henry: “Oh yeah, that’s right. I almost forgot about that.”
When we descend to the 1st floor, our eyes look forward to the event that’s happening at the front of the store, and many people are lined up.
Inside the device are different colored balls, and when you turn, it rattles and one ball in particular comes out. And everyone is participating in this familiar game with delight and disappointment at the results.
Looking at the prizes listed, if you get first place……….oh, nice. First place is two tickets to a Hot Spa Vacation Tour in the Rishu Island.
Cyril: “Ummmmm, with the tickets Jend gave us….it’s exactly 20 draws.”
Henry: “........and further evidence that we shopped way too much.”
You have to shop quite a bit to even get up to 1 draw.
Henry: “Here, you can have mine too. I think it’s enough for 2 draws.”
I put down the bags, and draw out the tickets from my pouch and hand it to Cyril.
Cyril: “Understood! Just sit back and watch in amazement at Miss Cyril’s super luck!”
Being pumped up, Cyril yells a “Let’s do this!” and joins the line, and I watch her with a little exasperation.
Cyril got in the very back of the line and looked really excited waiting for her turn.
……..she’s so energetic.
Jend: “Huh? Henry? You’re still here?” Someone calls out to me, and I turn around to see Jend still in the store’s apron.
Henry: “Yeah, Cyril went all out shopping.”
Jend: “Well, we thank you sincerely for your business, dear customer…..oh wow.”
Jend took a look at the bags and strained a smile.
Henry: “You getting off work now?” Jend: “Oh, nah. Once my break is done, I need to help with the accounting and finances.”
That’s true. Jend is quick and accurate with his calculations, and anything dealing with money is usually left to him.
But I’m a little surprised to see him really help out with his family’s business. He’s very active in his Adventurer activities too and also trains. And on top of that, he makes time to help out like this.
……..maybe not compared to me in the past, but to me right now, he’s sparkling with all that ambition.
Henry: “Oh, looks like it’s Cyril’s turn.” Jend: “How many times can she draw, Henry?” Henry: “22 times.” Okay, let’s see what’s going to happen. And I watch from the sidelines with Jend.
………..well, since getting the Sprint Boots, Cyril hasn’t gotten anything good from the Heaven’s Treasure Vault.
As a result, she got the 5th Place Prize candy 22 times consecutively.
Jend and I welcomed her back laughing, and she was hitting us with a “Don’t laugh at meー!”
It's entertaining to watch her.
Raffle Drawings in Japan. Fukubiki (福引) (Lucky Draw) - One spin and a single marble comes out. I think white is usually the "miss" (hazure) (はずれ), and you get a tissue package (pocket tissue) (ポケットティッシュ) (written on the box in the back - lol) as a prize. The package will have some sort of advertisement on it, so that's how that's justified.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 8: The Flame Swordsman