Having left the royal palace behind, we were looking through the kingdom’s largest trade district.
It really was bustling in activity. There were tons of shops and even more customers filling them, it seemed as though they were thriving quite well.
What stood out in particular among them was a shop selling weapons and armor.
There were rumors going about concerning the Heroes summoned by the kingdom saying that they made it to the fifty-first floor of Rigal Den and making it back safely.
It also looks like the Monster House’s existence is well-known now, too. Skilled adventurers were grouped together preparing to head down into Rigal Den.
Their goal was obvious. If they managed to make it through a part of the dungeon that not even those Heroes could, they could work for the kingdom. That simple goal was what drove this rush.
“There really are so many things, aren’t there!”
Shuri was looking at all of the various items for sale, her sparkling eyes darting to and fro between them.
I wonder if all girls like shopping so much?
“Daichi! Let’s take our time looking around later!”
“Yeah, sure, sure. We have the money. There’s something you want to buy, right?”
Lots of adventurers inevitably meant lots of guys.
In other words, as someone walking around with such a pretty maid, I was being glared at by a lot of people. There were even a few people trying to rip me off by asking for crazy prices for flowers.
“Hey, you there. You got yourself a pretty good woman, eh? How about you let me have geh—!?”
I kept getting provoked.
Retaliating to his glaringly obvious provocation, I stripped him of everything that looked like it was worth something. The look on his face was glorious.
He kept on pleading for mercy, but I pretended to not hear him. If he wanted that, he shouldn’t have acted like. He should be happy I only went that far after he made a move on my woman.
“Daichi, we’re here.”
“Oh, so this is the Adventurer’s Guild…!”
Hamakaze and I had arrived at the Adventurer’s Guild. This was our original destination.
Also, as we’d decided to head to the next dungeon, we’d be leaving the city in two more days.
I let out a gasp in admiration. Passing through the door, I could see just how big it was.
With a wide, long room, there was a small bar area far in.
There was a wooden counter split up into seven areas, each area having its own window. Each one was responsible for something. Starting from the right side, there was Registration, Quest Reception, and Payment Reception, each having two windows.
This time, however, I ignored all of those.
My goal was the last counter area—Information Sales.
I told them what I wanted information on.
The information I received was concerning a certain dungeon.
It looked as though it had currently been conquered up until its twenty-seventh floor. As for how fast it’s being cleared… like molasses, really.
It’s going so slowly because the dungeon is like a labyrinth with complex paths needed to take in order to finally reach each of the stairs.
Moreover, the walls and floors are mirror-like crystals, making it easy to lose your way.
Because of those reasons, it was given the name Trance Labyrinth.
After purchasing a map of the labyrinth and various supplies we’d need, we spent the rest of our free time to look around the shopping district as I’d promised.
We looked around clothing shops, book shops, greengrocers, food stalls, restaurants, general stores, even slave dealers.
“Daichi! What do you think of this one?”
What Shuri came out of the fitting room wearing was an orange dress.
Innocence was the first thing that came to my mind upon seeing her.
Her being shorter than the norm turned into one of her good points. Her innocent appeal went up by her choosing an outfit like this dress.
It was only a single color, but since it had a little bit of a gradient, it didn’t have a bad balance to it.
She spun around in place and the hem fluttered, letting me catch a peek of her slender white legs.
Dangerous. Very dangerous.
Forcing myself to look up, the first thing I saw was her collarbone, followed by her thin neck, then her childlike face… she was looking at me, her head tilted to the side. Light sweat gave her face a charming sheen.
Gah, she’s so cute.
“… It’s nothing.”
“But why’d you sit down so suddenly then? Did you hurt yourself?”
“N-No! I-I just didn’t want to stand anymore, that’s all.”
Please don’t ask my why.
Fortunately, Shuri didn’t seem to feel like inquiring any further.
“So please, just buy that. It really suits you. See, the price is a good match.”
“Yeah! I’ll buy this one then!”
Shuri ran over to the counter to buy it.
And I somehow managed to keep my pride as a man.
“Aah! Today was so much fun!”
After that, we went around window shopping, ate a meal, and after having a generally good date, we returned to the inn.
“That was fun.”
I was pulled this way and that across the city and was honestly tired, but after hearing Shuri say how much she enjoyed it, I didn’t feel like I lost out on anything.
“Still though, you pretty much only talked with me, are you sure that’s all you want?”
In the end, the only thing I bought for her was that single dress.
Other than that, we really only walked around talking with each other.
“Yep! I’m sure as sure can be!”
“You don’t have to hold back if you have something you want—you know that, right? You played a huge role in the dungeon back there.”
“… You know, Daichi, girls can like more than just having people buy them stuff.”
I think I hit a nerve. She looked like she was pouting.
“That’s not what I meant, but I apologize if I said something wrong.”
“You don’t have to apologize, just listen to me, okay?”
Shuri clasped my hands.
“Girls like being near the ones they love, feeling their warmth, spending their days together with them… just that’s enough to make us very happy.”
Her grasp grew stronger. Her cheeks were red. It wasn’t due to the evening sun, either.
She was probably embarassed.
I was embarassed, too.
It was like it was getting hotter.
My heart was pounding.
I truly felt that I could stare into her eyes forever.