“Wow, Ikuru! That’s cute!”
The day after I registered with the Merchant’s Guild, Ikuru and I were going into town.
It was Ikuru’s suggestion that we should actually walk around the city and see things in person before deciding on a store location. So today, we were planning to see the city in the morning, and then head to the merchant’s guild after lunch.
It wasn’t too sunny, nor was it too cloudy… just the right balance of weather. The sun’s rays were warm, and I felt like I was being wrapped in a fluffy blanket.
“Is that a general store? Can I go see it?”
“Do what you want.”
“Hmm, well let’s see!”
The store window is decorated with cute tableware and small accessories. There are also miscellaneous goods such as handkerchiefs and cushions, but the store seems to have mostly kitchenware.
As I open the wooden door and enter, I can smell a sweet aroma drifting from inside. I looked around the small shop and quickly figured out the cause. Sitting on the shelves as soon as I entered, I saw a collections plants and flowers in small bags.
“Yes, this is our most popular potpourri. Customer, you’re new here…welcome.”
The clerk at the counter of the store approached me and said that it was potpourri. This seemed to be the store’s signature product.
I smiled and said hello, but my eyes turned to the potpourri.
It had such a nice smell.
“It’s perfect to decorate your home, and it also makes for a great gift.”
“I see…it’s very cute, isn’t it?”
I’d love to have one…but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go back home soon, so maybe I’ll buy the potpourri next time.
A bag full of little colorful flowers is just like a girl’s dreams!
“I’m staying at the inn for now, so I’ll come back to buy some more once things settle down!”
“Yes, thank you.”
It was regretful to leave, but I’d just have to be very patient…and once I get my shop, I’ll definitely come back to buy it. I left the shop and began walking down the street again.
“You didn’t buy it?”
“Hmm…I’ll get it once I buy a store! It’s a lot of work increase the luggage.
While Ikuru was concerned, he continued to say, “that’s wise.” It’s just like Ikuru, isn’t it?
“But in any case, the small street is a lot busier than I thought it would be!”
“…Yeah. Most of the shops are open, and there’s a decent amount of traffic.”
Currently, I am walking down a small street with Ikuru.
There are a wide variety of shops, including the general store I just saw, some food-related shops, shops dealing in weapons and armor, and etc. There are a lot of people passing by, and I get the impression that every shop has a fixed number of customers.
Yeah, I think this would be a great place!
“Let’s just take a look at the alleyway and then we can go to the guild.”
As I was walking down the last street, we moved to another road. The small street was bright and cheerful, but what about the alleyway streets?
Once I took a step forward, I saw a stylish street appear.
“I thought it would be quieter because it was an alleyway.”
“It’s pretty lively…”
Looking at it, it’s not that different from the small streets, and the foot traffic is also not very different. There are some shops that are closed, but each one of them had a mysterious atmosphere.
The small streets seem to be cute and unified, but in this alleyway, each shop had its own independent design. Therefore, I think the word fashionable is more appropriate than the word cute.
Come to think of it, I had heard that there were many hidden gems to be found in the alleyway. Perhaps we’ll find something of interest.
“Do you mind if I take a look?”
What does Ikuru want to see?
I follow Ikuru’s line of sight and see…a bookstore? There were shelves protruding outside of the store, stacked with books. I wondered if it was like a used bookstore. Come to think of it, this reminds me that I don’t have any books at home. Only the basic knowledge-type of books that God gave me.
“Yeah. Let’s buy something here while we’re at it! I don’t have any books at home, so…”
“Hmm, that’s right.”
As we enter through the open door, I can smell the distinct smell of old books. It’s a scent that I’m not familiar with, as I don’t normally read many books.
The books are clean and in good condition although seemingly stacked up in a mess. Judging by the titles, I can see that they are arranged… well, stacked…by genre. They seem to be better managed than it appears.
A person came out from the back, as if buried in a book. His long hair is tied back and he is wearing a dark green robe. That intelligent face with the glasses…he could be a woman judging by the length of his hair, but from his voice, it must be a man…he looked to be in his twenties, but had a very calm and deep voice.
I returned the greeting and Ikuru gave a light bow.
“What kind of books are you looking for?”
“Well…I don’t have any books I’m looking for in particular, but I’m hoping to find something good.”
I think that might have been a bit rude, but I’m not even sure what kind of books there are, so I decided to be honest and tell him. The shopkeeper handed me some books from the messy pile, saying, “That’s right…I recommend this for you.”
“Thank you! May I have a look?”
He chose three books.
The titles are all simple, with bland covers on them…huh?
“Oh, this book…”
“Yes. Isn’t that what you need right now?”
“…Well, yes. But how did you know I needed this?”
I squeeze the book that was handed to me and gently look at the shopkeeper’s face. He’s smiling in a way that I can’t tell what he’s thinking.
I received three books:
<Goddess Letisreel and the Jewel Flower>
<The House of the Beginning.>
<Cultivation and Preparation of Medicinal Herbs>
I don’t know what the house of the beginning is referring to, but…a book about the goddess and a book about growing medicinal herbs…The only people who know I’m looking for the goddess are God and Ikuru.
So how does this man, the shopkeeper, know about it…?
“…What do you mean?”
“Oh, don’t be so alarmed.”
Ikuru had been looking around the bookstore alone, but before I knew it, he was standing in front of me and the shopkeeper. As if to protect me, Ikuru was hiding me behind his back with his right hand.
Ikuru’s staff at the inn had been left at the end because we were shopping. The proof of this is that Ikuru was bare-handed.
“The books told me. They said, “I think this person wants to read me!”
“…I don’t believe that story.”
I hear the shopkeeper’s reply, but Ikuru doesn’t change his stance and remains in a form of protection for me. The shopkeeper continues to say, “It’s true…” but Ikuru doesn’t listen to it.
The shopkeeper, who looked troubled, handed a book to Ikuru as if he had just remembered something. It seems that he accepted it without thinking, perhaps because it happened so suddenly.
“I’m sure this book will be good for you.”
“…Why are you doing this?”
“—I chose it!”
Suddenly, a voice echoed in the shop.
I hurriedly looked around, but I couldn’t see the owner of that voice.
“Oh…it’s unusual for you to come out in public, isn’t it?”
“Yeah! But I smelled something good coming from this girl!”
That said, the one that suddenly appeared in front of me was…a fairy, I guess.
It was about the size of my palm and had wings on its back. It had black hair and slightly pointed ears. It was wearing clothes that looked like a robe.
“What, a fairy…?”
“Tch! You don’t understand. No! I am the book spirit!”
It flies from in front of me, to Ikuru, proudly posing with its fingers and puffing out its chest.
“A spirit…! Why would such an entity be in a bookstore like this?”
Ikuru, who would normally say something like “Hmmm” or something like that, is actually flustered. Looking at Ikuru, I wondered if seeing spirits was that rare. “Don’t you know?” He said a few words to me.
“Unlike fairies, there’s only one spirit in the world for each type…”
“What! That’s amazing…!”
“Yes, yes. I’m amazing!”
Oh, my gosh! Then, the spirit flies to the shopkeeper and sits directly on his shoulder as he puff out his chest.
“I see, so it’s true that the books tell you, isn’t it?”
With a smile on his face, the owner continues to say, “I don’t do anything without warning.”
Indeed, if it’s the book spirit is, he can find the book one wants to read right away…it makes sense. Maybe.
“I am able to see the red thread connecting books and people!”
“That’s so amazing!”
When I responded honestly, Ikuru became a bit exasperated. Apparently, he has regained his usual facade.
“Yes, after all, I’m a book spirit. But that doesn’t mean I choose books for everyone. Only those who really need a book and who I like…”
“Oh, I…you mean you liked me?”
This cute little spirit liked me?
That made me a little, well…more than just a little happy. Because I think this is exactly what fantasy is all about.
But, if its a spirit, does that mean Maro will grow up in a similar way?
“Yes, that’s right! This is fate, isn’t it? This bookstore doesn’t have that many people come in even though it’s such a good selection of books!”
While laughing, he flew all around the shop.
“But thank you for choosing my book.”
“You’re welcome! Will you buy one?”
“Yes. All the books you picked out for me and all the books you picked out for Ikurru. Oh, Ikuru, is there anything else?”
“…No, I’m fine.”
“Heheh! Every time!”
When I indicated my intention to buy, his face lit up as if he was happy to see me, and his flight speed increased dramatically.
“Thank you. It’s hard to tell which one of us is the shopkeeper this way.”
“Leave choosing the books to me!”
“Only for those you like, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right!”
I couldn’t help but feel that this was a bit like a comedy bit…but I could tell that they were good partners. Is this like a book lovers gathering?
Are the alleyway streets full of these strange shops? As expected, the alleyways of a fantasy world are very different.
I pay and receive the books and put them away in my backpack. Ikuru picked them up and carried them on his back as they were, so I let him spoil me. The four hardcover books were quite heavy.
“No, don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, this is a bonus!”
The spirit handed me a small book. When I looked at the title, I saw that it was called “My Book.”
Looked at the contents, I saw that everything was handwritten. I wondered if this book was handmade…?”
“I wrote it! Let me know what you think of it next time!”
“Eh! It’s really homemade…can I really have this?”
“Yup. But let me know what you think of it later!”
Is it really okay to receive a book that was made by the book spirit itself? It could be an issue if it’s incredibly rare or something. But I can’t help but wonder about the title. ‘My book?’ I wonder if it’s about the biology of spirits? I’m looking forward to reading it.
“Well, we should get going.”
“Oh, did you have something you needed to do? I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”
“No, no, thank you very much!”
Apologetically, the owner offers an apology, but I tell him, “We had a great time.”
“I’ll come again!”
“I’ll be waiting!”
“Yes, thank you.”
It made me happy to see the two of them respond to my words with smiles. Ikuru and I left the store, deciding that we would definitely come back again.
Once we stepped outside, it was more lively and crowded compared to the quiet interior of the bookstore.
“That was a mysterious shop, wasn’t it? Are all shops on the alley streets like this?”
“That store is special. Basically, alley streets mostly have normal shops too.”
When I look where Ikuru was pointing out to me, I saw an ordinary food stall. Next to that was a regular clothing store, a lunch store…and a row of other shops.
I was a little disappointed because I had thought this was an alley street fantasy, but I was still glad I had visited the bookstore.
While walking towards the merchant’s guild, we found a good-looking food-stall to have lunch.
For now, our goal is the Merchant’s Guild, and a new shop!
Thinking about that made my footsteps light. Ikuru was walking a little ahead of me like normal, but I wonder if he was excited too.
With that in mind, we eventually arrived in front of the Merchant’s Guild.
…Oh, come to think of it…what book did Ikuru get?
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One thought on “Chapter 38: Mysterious Bookstore”
Thanks for the chapter!
Wait, wait, wait… Hina, what are you saying about that disappointment not been “alley street fantasy”?! Normally you know that good things doesn’t happen in those “alley street fantasy”, right? Unless we’re talking about Aria the animation or something like that… ugh… I’m feeling bad for think this now.