Shomin no Aji – Chapter 360

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Going out with Mariel-chan!
I somehow managed to contact Sei with Kurogane’s help, so I decided to go shopping with Mariel-chan. In the capital, the noble district where nobles reside is located closest to the royal palace, the business district surrounds it, and the status of residences get lower the closer to the outer walls that protect the Capital they get. The branch of the Bastea Company is set up right in the middle of the business district, just between the noble district and the lower district. And, although Mariel-chan’s home is in the noble district, the company of her family is located in the business district, so her home is right on the boundary between the two districts. Because the main objective today is shopping at the Bastea Company, me, Kurogane and Mashiro who turned into their human forms boarded a carriage and picked up Mariel-chan on the way.

Our Ellisfied family is located the closest to the royal palace even among the nobility, so there’s quite a distance between our home and Mariel-chan’s home. I am not fond of traveling by carriage, but the pavement of the noble district was properly maintenanced, so there was far less vibration than on the way from our fief, so I didn’t mind it that much.

Nevertheless, shopping with Mariel-chan today… whoaa, I am so looking forward to it!
I had fun shopping with Miria in the town in our fief, but Miria can’t go against my preferences because she is my attendant, so the last time I went shopping with a friend was in my past life.

I would like to get shown around various stores, but this time’s missions are “Choosing ingredients for Mariel-chan in the Bastea Company” and “Becoming acquaintances with Sei and others in a casual manner” these two.
However, that “casual manner” is quite difficult.

If Sei was a gi-… no, in a disguise, I could praise his wonderful clothing, and we could start talking carefreely, but because Sei is enrolling into the academy as boy, we can’t become friends by praising his clothing.

However, “a respectable family’s daughter becoming intimate with a boy she encountered in a company” is quite the hurdle.
In the first place, something like young ladies going to shop themselves doesn’t happen very often, much less something like women picking up men…
Darn it, we did not arrange how we get close.
They will apparently appear in a casual manner while we are shopping, so mistaking him for a shopkeeper might be the only way.

With no plan whatsoever, the carriage arrived at the Baron Mayor’s mansion where Mariel-chan was waiting.
Mariel-chan’s home was within a stone’s throw of the wall separating the business district with the noble district. It was a snugly estate.
Mariel-chan came from a door immediately after the carriage stopped at the carriage porch in her little garden.
After the driver helped Mariel-chan in, we set off towards the Bastea Company.

“Thank you very much for coming to get me, Cristea-san!”

From what I heard, she has been eagerly waiting at the entrance for my arrival.
It seems that she is like me, having a really good time since our first tea party, but just recalling what Mariel-chan might really be looking forward to, my smile darkened a little.

“Erm, we are going to the Bastea Company to purchase ingredients today, yes?”
“Eh, ingredients? … Ah. Yes, ingredients. Wow, I am so looking forward to the Yahatul ingredients!”

… This is the face of a person who has completely forgot. When I glared at her, Mariel-chan looked out of the window to avoid my eyes and said “My, today’s clear weather is made for shopping!”
Even though I was about to forgive her for having wild delusions about Kurogane and Mashiro…
Speaking up for Sei who is not even my acquaintance (for now) would be difficult. I don’t have the right to restrict her from doing this and that anyway.
Well, I do think that she won’t have any delusions about Sei once she befriends him, but…

While trying to pull myself together and talking with Mariel-chan, the carriage arrived at the Bastea Company.
I, who was helped down the carriage by Kurogane looked up at the Capital’s branch of Bastea Company for the first time.

“Thats quite a splendid building, isn’t it…”

It was slightly further away from the main street of the business district, but it appears that the location of the company wasn’t that bad.
In this world, the reconstruction of buildings isn’t something that happens often, so the interior is what gets upgraded at most.
The Bastea Company seems to be doing well from its outward appearances. The building itself was influenced by Yahatul as it brought an oriental atmosphere. Yep, looks good.

“Shall we enter then?”

I am looking forward to seeing what items the Capital’s branch has.

“Yes, let’s enter! Ahh, I wonder if they are here today…”

Mariel-chan beside me was fidgeting with a slightly blushing face.
Her bashful appearances look lovely, but I won’t get deceived…!
That is her “Will I be able to resupply the moe today?” bursting with expectations.
With “I might fail to introduce Mariel-chan to Sei” thoughts in my head, I entered the Bastea Company.

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