Chapter 89: Near Miss
Chapter 89: Near Miss
Sheryl was changing into her next dress inside a changing room as Akira was just waiting while sitting on a chair. That was when Kashua approached him with a slightly pale face.
She thought that it might be better to wait for Sheryl, but since it should be no problem as long as the one paying was okay with it, she decided to go straight to Akira. Since it would only get harder the more she waited, it was better to just go ahead and out with it. After all, the more she waits, the readjustment will take more time to finish.
Kashua made her resolve and spoke to Akira.
“Excuse me, there’s something I need to ask.”
After listening to her explanation, Akira did not take too long to make a decision.
“Alright. I’ll pay that extra 1,500,000 Aurum above the initial 1,000,000 Aurum.”
He did not show much reaction when he said that he would pay the extra 1,500,000 Aurum. Although Kashua was surprised by it, she was barely able to maintain her usual expression. But since it did catch her by surprise, she inadvertently asked for a confirmation.
“Are you sure you’re okay with that?”
“Yeah, I’m not an expert in readjusting clothing, so if you tell me that’s how much it would take, I bet that’s really how much it would take. It’s basically like fitting equipment, so I have no plans to get a bad result just so that I can pay less, not to mention that I want to see it in its perfect condition. So I’ll leave it to you… It’s okay if I leave it to you, right?”
Kashua was able to completely hide her surprise as she said that to Akira with a smile full of confidence. She fully trusted Celen’s skill. If that was not the case, she would have recommended Akira to decline her offer. But even though she was confident of Celen’s skill, it took everything she had to hide her nervousness.
Akira did not notice that at all as he said to Kashua.
“Well, I’ll leave it to you then.”
“With pleasure, please let me excuse myself to tell Celen to start readjusting the dress.”
Kashua was about to head back to Celen, but she remembered something and asked Akira.
“…Excuse me, you did say that it’s something like your equipment, may I ask you how much you spent on your equipment? Although we handle a different kind of clothing, I couldn’t help but wonder.”
Akira did say that fixing Sheryl’s dress was something like making maintenance for his equipment. So Kashua thought that she should be able to gauge how much Akira was willing to spend this time from asking how much he spent on his own equipment.
Akira did not notice Kashua’s intention as he casually replied.
“This? Well, I bought this suit as a combo with some of the other stuff too. So I don’t think you can use it as a reference, you know?”
“People buy accessories and shoes to fit their dress, so I believe it’s not that much different. So if I may, I want to know how much you paid in total.”
“In that case, it was 80,000,000 Aurum.”
“…As I thought, Hunters’ equipment does cost way more than usual apparel. Well then, please let me excuse myself to tell Celen to start her work.”
Kashua lightly bowed at Akira while hiding her grin before returning back to Celen. The reason why she was barely able to avoid getting herself frozen when she heard Akira’s answer was because of her disposition as a businesswoman.
When she went back to Celen, she quickly told her to get started with the readjustment.
“Celen, I got confirmation. He said he’ll pay the extra 1,500,000 Aurum. So you can start your work.”
“Okay, by the way, how did you convince him to pay more?”
Celen thought that even if Kashua was able to get a confirmation in the end, it would at least take her some time to convince Akira. But not only was she back way sooner than Celen thought, she even got Akira’s affirmation. Celen knew that Kashua was not that skillful, so she wondered what kind of technique she used.
Although that remark from Celen sounded as if she was a scammer, Kashua just ignored it as she quickly replied.
“When I told him about the situation, he didn’t hesitate to make that decision. And when I asked him how much he spent on his equipment, he said he paid 80,000,000 Aurum, you know. No wonder he didn’t bat an eyelash when he decided to pay for that extra 1,500,000 Aurum.”
“80,000,000 Aurum. Good grief, a healthy Hunter does earn a huge amount of money. Miss manager, can you go and seduce him?”
“Don’t be stupid and do your job. We did boast that we’re a shop which specializes in readjusting clothing and that we’re worth paying 1,500,000 Aurum, so I expect nothing less than perfect.”
“You don’t even need to tell me that, I won’t hold back.”
Then Celen started her work with a big smile and a serious face that showed her pride in her own skill.
As time passed by, Sheryl had tried a lot of clothes, but she had not decided to buy anything yet. She must have her reasons as to why she did that, but the biggest reason might be because none of them incited any particular reaction from Akira.
Kashua, who was always standing near Akira and Sheryl, slowly noticed that too. Thus she made a suggestion to Akira.
“Excuse me, would you like to try picking clothes for your companion?”
“Yes. I believe she’ll be happy too if you do that.”
Kashua thought that if it was something that Akira picked, Sheryl would definitely want to buy it.
“Well, even if you tell me so…”
Since Akira had no confidence in his fashion sense at all, he did not think it was a good idea. But Sheryl, who heard that, seemed to be interested in that idea.
“Eh, Akira will pick my clothing for me?”
Sheryl looked at Akira with eyes full of hope, which made it hard for him to refuse her. But to be honest, Akira did not think he could pick anything good.
Looking at the troubled Akira, Alpha just giggled and offered help.
“Should I do it for you then? Although, I can’t say for sure if I’ll do a good job since I’m not really knowledgeable with all the clothes in this shop.”
“Are you sure you’re okay with that?”
“I’m the one who chose this shop after all. So, let’s see if my choice can defeat your bad luck or not.”
“Now that you mention it, I did say something like that too.”
Akira decided to completely rely on Alpha to pick Sheryl’s clothing. He then looked back at Sheryl who was staring at him with hopeful eyes.
“Well, I’ll go and pick something, just wait here for a bit.”
“I’ll be looking forward to it while waiting.”
Sheryl smiled happily at him. Although, in reality, Akira was not the one who was picking clothing for her, she had no way of knowing that. She was so happy since she thought that Akira would do that for her.
Akira browsed through all the articles in that shop. Even though from outside it looked as if he was only randomly glancing through the clothes in the displays and racks, it was enough for Alpha to scan all the clothes there. But of course, Kashua who did not know that looked a bit surprised by how Akira was behaving.
He already made a round through that shop. But Alpha had not picked anything yet and he found that strange.
“You didn’t find anything good?”
“Nope. That was only to check all the clothes in this shop so that I can make a good combination. I’ll tell you which one to pick, so carry them when I tell you, okay?”
Akira followed Alpha’s instruction as he went and picked a set of clothing complete with the shoes before he returned to Sheryl and handed them over to her.
Sheryl then went back to the changing room to try the clothing that Akira, or to be more precise, Alpha, picked for her.
After she finished changing, she stepped out from the changing room and bashfully asked for Akira’s opinion.
“H-how do I look?”
Rather than focusing more on showing the cuteness of a girl of her age, it was a beautiful dress that gave off innocence or pure feeling. It also had an opening on its back that showed a bit of Sheryl’s girly charm. Her already beautiful figure made that dress look even more attractive. Sheryl, who was clad in that dress, looked bashful as her cheeks turned reddish, it gave off a conflicting impression of cuteness and loveliness compared to the mature-like dress that she was previously wearing.
Kashua could not help but to give genuine praise.
“It looks really good on you.”
Kashua also gave Akira a compliment inside her heart. Other than the fact that all of those clothes that Akira picked were relatively cheap articles in that shop, she had no complaints at all. But also because of that, it was hard for her to recommend something more expensive right after that.
Alpha smiled smugly and asked Akira.
“How’s it? It’s pretty good, isn’t it?”
“Well, I think it’s better than all the other clothing until now.”
“You don’t look that excited though. Do you have any complaints or something?”
“Even if you tell me so. Just like you said, I might have gotten used to this kind of thing because of the clothes that you usually use. And also, to be honest, I like your current clothes more.”
In order to increase her likeability, Alpha’s appearance was actually adjusted to Akira’s preference, so it was not surprising at all. Not to mention, all of Alpha’s clothes were high-class clothes. Thus, it was rather unfair to compare that to Sheryl’s clothes.
Alpha just smiled bitterly as she said to him.
“Well, at least I know that you think the clothes I picked are better than what that clerk recommended. I guess I’ll settle with that for now. It seems that compared to your bad luck, my skill still has the upper hand.”
“What are you even talking about?”
Akira exasperatedly replied to Alpha, but of course, he did not show that on his face.
Sheryl was still waiting for Akira’s opinion. Since Akira was the one who picked it for her, he carefully chose his words.
“I do think it looks pretty good on you. What do you think?”
“I like it quite a lot.”
“I see, I’m glad to hear that.”
“Yes, thank you very much for picking this wonderful dress for me.”
Sheryl looked overjoyed as she thanked Akira.
Akira and Sheryl then sat on a chair and were talking to each other to spend time.
Sheryl, who was still wearing the dress that Akira picked for her, looked extremely delighted. She looked both mature and a bit childish from the other people’s point of view.
They still had some time until Celen finished adjusting Sheryl’s dress. Since Akira had paid for the bill, he actually could spend time outside the shop and return back later. But for Sheryl, Celen asked her to stay in the shop in case she needed her for basting or other fine adjustments. In order to get nothing less than perfect adjustment, Sheryl obediently followed Celen’s request to stay in the shop. So Akira also decided to stay in that shop to accompany Sheryl.
While they were waiting, Akira also finished discussing about the things related to their next expedition to Higaraka residence ruin.
Unlike what he had expected, Sheryl quickly agreed with his offer to regularly go to gather relics. But after their discussion, there were a lot of changes compared to before.
One of the big changes was related to the ownership of the relics. All of the gathered relics would be owned by Akira; Sheryl and her gang would then sell them and get 50% of the profit from the sales. As for how to sell them, it was all up to Sheryl and her gang. It also applied to the relics that they had gathered last time.
Just to be sure, Akira then asked Sheryl again.
“Well, it might be strange to ask you this since I’m the one who came up with it, but a lot of things happened last time, so like, are you really okay with that?”
Sheryl and her gang had gone through a lot of stuff the previous time they went out to the wasteland. Not only did they get attacked by a swarm of monsters, one of the Hunters that were together with them also attacked them. But even so, Sheryl accepted his offer with a straight face and that made Akira a bit worried.
But her smile did not change at all as she replied.
“Yes, it’s a good offer for us too. Moreover, if anything happens, you would save us again just like last time, right?”
Sheryl was bashful when she said that. Rather than remembering the dangerous experiences that she had gone through, her mind was filled with how cool Akira was when he saved her. Although the scene that she remembered was not that far from what actually happened, it was still a bit exaggerated by Sheryl’s own imagination.
Akira thought that the last expedition was a failure, that was why he made a serious expression as he said to Sheryl.
“Yeah. Since I took in the request, I’ll do better next time.”
Sheryl looked immensely content. It sounded as if Akira was serious about protecting her, but of course, she herself knew that it was a bit of overstatement from her side.
“In that case, there should be no problem. Actually, I was thinking of making this request to you, but I was unsure whether you would agree to it.”
“Is that so? Well, I’m okay if you’re fine with it…”
There was actually something that still bothered Akira, but since he was the one who came with that offer in the first place, he decided not to press the question.
Sheryl and Akira then continued talking to each other to kill time. But suddenly, Akira felt like he had forgotten about something. So he asked Alpha for confirmation.
“Alpha, am I forgetting something?”
“Forgetting something? I don’t think you’re forgetting anything though. You’ve talked with Sheryl about that offer and I don’t think you have any fixed plan after this. And it’s not like there’s anything that you need to immediately prepare for.”
“Is it only my feeling? Hmmm, I feel like there’s something…”
“If I have to say something, you had only prepared yourself to go out to the wasteland assuming that there are no bounty monsters. So if you have any plans to go out to the wasteland any time soon, you’ll have to readjust your supply in case if you accidentally come across one of the bounty monsters. But you have no plans to go out any time soon, right?”
“…Ah, that’s it!”
Although that was not what Akira was looking for, since Alpha mentioned it, it piqued his interest. He might have to go out to the wasteland soon because of some kind of reason. After all, Akira knew well about his own bad luck.
“Yep, that does bother me. I guess it’s better if I prepare myself when I have the chance.”
“You’re really a worrywart. Well, there’s nothing bad from getting yourself well prepared though.”
Akira then told Sheryl that he would leave her for a bit.
“Sheryl, I just remembered that I had to do something, so I’ll leave for a bit. You just wait here and contact me if you need anything.”
“If it’s something that I can help with, I would like to help too.”
“No, I’m okay with going alone. I’m going to buy ammo and stuff, so it’s faster if I go alone since I have this augmented suit.”
“I see, alright then. I’ll contact you if anything happens.”
Sheryl looked slightly disappointed as she saw Akira off.
After Akira left her alone, she started to regain her calm as she realized that she was a bit too excited until now.
She took a deep breath to calm herself. By pure coincidence, she saw a mirror in front of her. She stared at her own reflection on that mirror, then stood up and took a pose in front of it. She could not help but start smiling again when she did that.
She was actually confirming her own appearance which she had polished in order to get the upper hand during a negotiation. By looking at her reflection, she could understand how she looked in others eyes.
Although Sheryl stood in front of that mirror for that sake at first, it slowly shifted to her enjoying the dress that Akira had chosen for her. When she looked at herself smiling in front of that mirror, she quickly snapped back and returned her expression to normal in panic.
Now that she had calmed down, Sheryl went back to her chair and started thinking about her plans for the future, to be more precise, how to sell the relics. She had to get as much money as possible out of those relics for Akira’s sake too. Thus she seriously thought about what she should do to sell those relics.
Kashua noticed another group of customers entering into her shop, and she quickly welcomed them.
Her new customers were a group of 3. A lightly armed young Hunter boy and two girls. Kashua scanned their outer looks and recognized them as customers. Or at least, there was no need to kick them out from her shop. She then welcomed them with a big smile.
“Thank you very much for coming to our shop, how can we help you today?”
When Kashua spoke to them, one of the girls who was overwhelmed by the impression given by her shop twitched in surprise, so the other girl decided to step up and replied to Kashua.
“Uhm, we just want to look around for clothes and other stuff, is that okay?”
“Of course! I’ll be nearby. If you have any question or if there’s anything that interests you, feel free to call me.”
Those girls then walked into the shop, while the boy followed behind. He looked really tired as he mumbled.
“Say, can we take a rest for a bit? And like, we’ve been looking around for a while and you girls haven’t even bought a thing, you know? Is there really a need for me to be here to carry your stuff?”
It was obvious that the girls’ mood soured. It was true that they planned to buy new clothing, but since they were on a limited budget, they had to carefully choose their clothes. Moreover, both of them planned to show their new clothing to that boy. The reason why they had not bought anything was because that boy gave nothing but a dull reaction every time they showed the clothes that they picked.
“Just shut up and follow us. You promised us to accompany us for the whole day today, remember?”
Since it was rather embarrassing if they had to be honest with him, the girl hid her embarrassment by scolding that boy.
That boy did not notice the girls’ real feelings at all as he dragged his legs behind them.
“I know, I know. But Yumina, putting me aside, I think Airi is getting tired too, you know?”
Airi quickly interjected. Yumina smiled and replied.
“There, you heard her right, Katsuya? So stop complaining and come here.”
“Okay okay… I should’ve brought lighter equipment since it’s not like we’re going to the wasteland, huh?”
In order to protect Yumina and Airi who were only wearing normal clothes, Katsuya thought that he should bring some weapons and decided to carry pretty heavy equipment with him. It was too late for him to regret that.
Kashua’s new customers were none other than Katsuya, Airi and Yumina.
Although Katsuya helped Yumina and Airi choose clothes at first, he made an excuse saying that he was tired and was able to break away from them.
After Yumina and Airi complained and told him to return after taking a short rest, Katsuya was looking for a place to sit down. He then caught a glimpse of a table inside that shop and went to take a seat on one of the chairs around it.
He noticed that someone else was sitting on a different chair near that table. So he asked for permission.
“Uhmm, is it okay if I sit here?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
It was Sheryl. She smiled at Katsuya as she gave him her permission.
Katsuya, who was about to take a seat without waiting for Sheryl’s permission, suddenly stopped. He was smitten by Sheryl the moment he looked at her.
Sheryl was still wearing that dress which gave off a mature aura. Katsuya, who saw that, felt like Sheryl was on a whole different world compared to him. If someone told him that she was a young lady from the inner district who was visiting the outside of the wall, he would have believed without questioning it.
Katsuya was rather famous among the young Hunters in Drankam. Because of that, he was extremely popular among the young girls in Drankam and that caused his evaluation for girls to be extremely strict.
But even so, he was smitten when he saw Sheryl. Katsuya’s evaluation of Sheryl, who was clad in that high-class dress, was completely different compared to the other girls around him. It was even enough to get him enamoured. From his point of view, her appearance was simply destructively beautiful.
Sheryl tilted her head since Katsuya was frozen still.
“…Uhmmm, are you not going to take a seat?”
“Ah, yeah, right.”
Katsuya quickly snapped back to reality as he flusteredly took a seat.
Sheryl then looked away from Katsuya and returned back thinking about her plan. But she could feel Katsuya staring at her, so she decided to stop there.
If Katsuya said something, Sheryl would normally reply to him. But he was only staring at her without saying anything.
Thus, she decided to say something first thinking that it could not be helped. Looking at his equipment, it was easy to notice that Katsuya was a Hunter. While also killing time until Akira returned, she decided to extract any info that she could from a Hunter who had enough resources to visit that shop.
Sheryl threw a smile at Katsuya.
“Are you here with your friends today?”
“…Eh? Ah, yes, I am.”
Katsuya was only able to flusteredly reply when Sheryl suddenly spoke to him. He was actually in the middle of thinking of any subject that he could use to strike a conversation with her. But since Sheryl caught him completely off guard, everything that was inside his mind suddenly vanished.
“Do you come here often?”
“H-here? W-well, I was actually accompanying Yumina and Airi looking for clothes and we somehow ended up in this shop. Shops around these areas look expensive, so I don’t really come here a lot, but like, ah, that Yumina and Airi, I wonder if they have enough money? Wait, they haven’t bought anything yet, so I guess it’s fine, huh?”
Katsuya was so nervous that he started saying things that Sheryl did not ask about. But even so, Sheryl kept on staring at him while still smiling. Since there was a beautiful girl staring at him, Katsuya tried to hide his embarrassment by laughing.
While on the other hand, Yumina and Airi were going around the shop, browsing the clothes.
Yumina took a cloth from a rack that interested her, she then checked the design and thought that it was pretty good. But after checking the price tag, she returned it back to the rack and inadvertently said.
“…Yikes, so expensive.”
That shop was selling high-class clothes by the lower district’s standard. And of course, high-quality clothes would cost a lot of money. It was not like Yumina could not pay for those clothes, but she needed extra courage to use that much money.
It might be a good reward for a Hunter who worked hard every single day. Yumina thought so, but if she bought it, used it, showed it to Katsuya, and Katsuya thought that it did not look good on her, there was no mistaking that she would get depressed.
So she decided to try it and show it to Katsuya first, but she could not find him around. Yumina then grumbled.
“Katsuya is not back yet? He’s taking too long, good grief, what exactly is he doing?”
Katsuya had made a mistake the other day that caused him to almost fight against Akira, and of course, Yumina and Airi were also roped into that incident. As an apology, Katsuya promised that he would accompany them for the whole day today.
Airi, who was with Yumina, then said.
“I’ll go look for him.”
Airi then left Yumina to look for Katsuya. It did not take long before she returned alone.
Yumina, who expected Airi to return back with Katsuya, tilted her head in confusion.
Airi was an expressionless girl. But that one time, she looked obviously grumpy as she answered Yumina’s question.
“Hitting on a girl!”
Airi’s bad mood also infected Yumina.
Silavin: Seriously. This guy seeks what he can’t have. Happened with Sara and Elena. Now, Sheryl.
For those worried, there is no NTR. So, don’t worry. Anyways, Sheryl is head over heels for Akira at this point. Well, mentally, she is dependent on him, so, head in her heels?