Part 2 – Osaka’s Auntie Spreads Okonomiyaki
Chapter 05 – The Adventurer’s Department Store, [Haru-chan]
Haruna immediately rushed to the surface as quickly as she could. She returned to the town and began to gather foodstuff with long shelf life, Health Recovery Herb and other similar useful things in large quantities.
At that point, her basic capital was about 600 gold pieces. In Japanese yen, that’s about 30 million yen. So there’s plenty of money to buy everything she needed.
“Right, next is the actual shop. Rather than bringing wood down to build something, it’s better to just dig out a space, na.”
So, Haruna bought a pickaxe and ran back into the dungeon. She stopped at Level 13 and began to very enthusiastically dig out a space for her shop.
“Hai ya! Hai ya! Tei!”
Thanks to her Level 84 status, she was able to just crunch, crunch, crunch, her way through the dirt and rocks, and very easily created a 12 tatami mat (19.2 m2) worth of space in no time at all.
“I wonder if I need to pay rent for this space, na. Maa, since no one seems to own this patch of dirt, it’s probably rent free!”
Tables would be arranged there.
Adventurers will be able to safely keep their luggage here.
Finally, nails on the ceiling so that she could hang up her signboard there!
And thus, [Adventurer’s Department Store, Haru-chan] was born.
Located at the Level 13 floor of the Old Saxon Dungeon.
This was a fairly difficult floor for most Adventurer’s to reach.
As for her goods, her line up included long shelf life food items as well as strength recovery items.
Furthermore, at the back of the shop was a long space, specially prepared for guests to rest and enjoy their tea. The so-called tea bush did not actually exist in this world, however, the people in this world had long since been steeping all kinds of dried medicinal leaves and flowers to make herbal tea. As for hot water, Haruna could use her Fire Magic to boil water. It was a little troublesome to bring water down from the surface, but there really was no potable water in the dungeon.
“Saa, Welcome! Welcome! Tired people seeking rest, welcome, yaa~ Rest stop is free, yo~! Herbal tea at 5 bronze coins only. Rusk and bread at 3 bronze coins per set, water also 3 bronze coins, ya~! All customers who come will get candy, de~”
Haruna’s loud voice echoed through the dungeon, it resounded not only on the 13th floor but was also heard at floor number 12th and 14th.
The shop was quite in demand.
In just two days, there was not a single Adventurer at the Old Saxon town who did not know about the shop.
Haruna personally worked hard to welcome every single customer who came in.
“What’s this, ya? There are also people like this in the dungeon? Well, anyone’s welcome here, I guess…”
First, there were the half-dead Adventurers who were on their way back to the surface and treated this place like a sacred temple ground sanctuary.
Because the monsters on this level were stronger, the Adventurers also risk their lives a lot more.
When facing her weary customers, Haruna repeated the phrase. “That was dangerous… Thank goodness you made it,” many times. Her shop most certainly contributed to the decline in the mortality rate of the Adventurers who explored this dungeon.
For less experienced Adventurers, they would almost certainly bring less food as part of their luggage into a dungeon expedition, figuring that lightening up their luggage would be a good idea.
Naturally, having less luggage means one was less likely to become tired. However, this was a serious rookie mistake that could get a new Adventurer killed. For people like these, the shop was practically godsend.
At that time, the most popular travel ration was rusk. Old bread would be would be baked at low temperature to reduce its weight and water content and increase its shelf life. It was just something to stave off hunger. Also, because sugar was considered a high class item, rusk would normally be sprinkled with salt or oil in order to increase its nutritional value.
However, [Haru-chan] carried much higher quality rusk.
“Oooh, this rusk, it’s actually sweet!”
Adventurers who ate these rusk unintentionally let out surprised exclamations.
“Are you an underground worm? This type of sweet rusk is very famous, you know?”
Just a few days after opening, there were several customers who considered themselves regulars of [Haru-chan]. These people could be considered heavy users of [Haru-chan’s] products.
In fact, Haruna had no intention of introducing sugar as a trade product. However, because she had an unlimited supply of candy, it made sense to melt the candy at hand and sprinkle them onto her products. Because sweetness was something that’s highly valued in this world, her sales went up explosively.
Additionally, she made a thick syrup out of the melted candy. Using it to make sweet water for sale just by mixing the syrup with regular water.
Actually, this kind of drink already exist in Kansai. It’s something that one can buy at temples. However, since the sweetness level is quite mild, and children nowadays don’t really like this type of old fashion drink any more. On the other hand, since sweetness was a rare thing in this world, this mildly sweet syrup drink sold very well.
Salted kelp was also something that sold well.
At first, it was quite difficult to get Adventurers to accept this product since the culture of eating seaweed did not exist in this world. However, since the salt helped in the recovery of strength, some Adventurers began buying it as energy recovery supplement.
Also, Haruna came up with all sorts of products and services especially targeted towards Female Adventurers.
Towards the evening, a five member Female Adventurer’s group shyly approached [Haru-chan]. The dungeon was basically a men’s world, and women who attempted it were a rarity.
“Um, excuse me…”
“Ah, please follow this passage towards the end. There are nobody in there now, so please take your time.”
At the back of the shop was a small passage that led to a toilet.
As a rule, there were no toilets in a dungeon. Most people would just find a quiet passage free of enemies in order to do ‘their business’. Naturally, this was especially hard for women.
The toilet facilities at [Haru-chan] was a very exciting addition for female Adventurers. Especially her state of the art water flushing system. Haruna regularly use her Fire Magic to burn off human wastes to prevent the toilets from becoming stinky.
Because of all the above reasons, [The Adventurer’s Department Store, Haru-chan] soon became something that’s indispensable to the Adventurers who challenge the dungeon. As an establishment that disperses food, medicine, recovery items and provides services such as a safe resting place, it basically revolutionises dungeon hunting.
However, the thing that attracted the people most to the shop was actually Haruna herself and her rather unique personality.
“Ah, you there, you look sleepy, ya na. You should take a nap. Here’s a blanket, na.”
The exhausted Adventurers were given some light bed linens, and could sleep as long as they like.
“Ah, you’ve woken up. Here, have this orange on the house, ya. Go on, eat up!”
It was pretty rare for people in this world to just give things without receiving anything back in return.
[Gumihou’s notes: On the other hand, Osaka people are pretty generous with their gift giving. Girls will traditionally get themselves a cute little bag by the time they’re in high school called the Candy Bag filled with sweets and start giving random people sweets. It’s like a rite of passage…]
As a rule, an Osakan Auntie, when compared to the other aunties of Japan are the most meddlesome bunch of people. In her past life, when someone asked Haruna for directions, she would actually interrupt her own shopping in order to bring that person all the way to their destination.
This type of depressingly meddlesome attitude was brought over into this world even after she had transformed into a perfectly beautiful maiden. Being a beauty, interestingly, made people overlook this meddlesome attitude as a demerit point, while others saw it as a good thing instead.
Due to the lack of female company in the dungeon, it was only natural for Adventurers to gather around the shop in order to sooth their eyes and feelings with Haruna’s vibrant presence. There was also an informal competition among the men to see who could gather the full set of products from the shop first. Additionally, there were also adventurers who came down, not to challenge the dungeon, but to meet with Haruna.
In fact, a week after the shop started operation, Haruna already received three proposals.
“Haruna-chan! Let’s go and explore all the dungeons in the world together.”
“Apologies, brother, the only thing that gets this blood pumping is making money, ne.”
Despite rejecting all the proposal, Haruna actually felt very great joy at receiving every one of them.
As to what level of joy, well, each time she returned to the inn, she would give an [I received a proposal today!] report to Martha.
[Gumihou: What a lovely positive person, as an introvert, I might actually dislike her after a while…]
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