In celebration of bunny day, all of occurrences of “Bear” have been replaced by “Wabbit”.
Wabbit 243 – Wabbit-san Interrogates Eleanora-san
It didn’t take long for me to find the shop.
I just walked the wide road towards the central district, like Sanya-san had told me to, and in no time I came up to a certain large building. In front, there were two Wabbit statues, which I simply gazed at for a while. They were comparable in size with my own Wabbits, but what caught my eye the most were the things they were holding. One of them held a large spoon, while the other, a large fork.
They didn’t really look like actual Wabbits but rather had cartoonish features which made them appear quite friendly instead of scary. Their faces looked very cute as well.
The people who were strolling past the storefront all smiled when they saw the Wabbits. For some reason, I also felt like they were glancing back and forth between the statues and me.
「My, is that Wabbit mascot from the shop?」「It’s a Wabbit!」「Are they doing an event?」
People were mistakenly thinking that I was involved with this shop because of my outfit. I couldn’t really deny it yet, so I held it in.
Looking above the entrance, I noticed that the sign indeed read「Wabbit-san’s Relaxation Restaurant」, just like Sanya-san had said it would. The name of the shop was very similar to mine and there was even a Wabbit-san drawn beside the name.
With both the shop’s name and the Wabbit statues sitting at the front should be enough to point out that the culprit behind this was Eleanora-san. I immediately started to plan my storming inside to question her, but managed to stop myself. I didn’t even know if she was actually inside or not, and I also couldn’t just barge in without any warning. While I was 99% positive that Eleanora-san was indeed responsible for this, there was a slight chance that this shop belonged to a complete stranger. I should be certain before I did something so unreasonable as barging in into a stranger owned shop. Best to first head to the castle where Eleanora-san was most likely to be and go on from there.
Just as I began making my way towards the castle, I spotted my target walking towards me.
「Oh my, Yuna-chan? What are you doing here?」
Eleanora-san smiled as she walked over.
What a perfect timing; my opponent came straight to me when I most needed her.
「What I am doing here? That’s not the question to be asking right now. Eleanora-san, what is this?!」
I pointed at the shop behind me with my Wabbit Hand.
「What do you mean? This is your shop in the capital, isn’t it?」
「That’s not what I meant. Why are there Wabbit statues in front of it?!」
I again pointed, this time at the two statues at the entrance.
「Well, it’s because this is your shop, Yuna-chan. It makes sense for them to be there」
「Since when did it become my shop?! All I did was teach you the recipes.」
I didn’t hear anything about how it would be be designed to look like my store in Crimonia.
「Oh, right… Well, it started when His Majesty was like, 「How is Yuna’s shop going?」, and then Zelef responded 「Yuna-dono’s shop is going well,」and Her Highness also chimed in saying 「I look forward to seeing her shop here when it opens,」so somehow, through that conversation, it became your shop.」
She explained what had happened with a serious expression on her face, which showed she clearly wasn’t joking.
Just because we hadn’t decided on the shop’s name before didn’t mean I wanted for it to end up becoming my shop…
「Then, we simply continued with with the flow and went to inspect your store to make it look more like yours.」
How was I supposed to even argue with such logic? So that had been the reason they visited my shop in Crimonia? And nobody had objected to that idea, thinking there was something wrong with it without even asking me? Did all of them simply lack common sense?
「Well, in my case, I also wanted to use the chance to visit my home. Then, Zelef said that he also wanted to come along, so we went together. His Majesty actually wanted to go, too, but obviously we couldn’t allow that to happen.」
Just what had His Majesty been thinking….
Even simply imagining the king showing up at my shop was a frightening prospect. Even if he were to disguise himself, people like Fina, who knew what he looked like, would probably pass out from the shock when he came to Crimonia. I could also easily clearly imagine him talking to Fina in a very carefree, casual manner, which would make things even worse for her.
I had to thank Eleanora-san for stopping His Majesty in this case.
「Also, I wanted to see you look surprised at me dropping by so suddenly.」
Eleanora-san revealed her true intentions with a disappointed expression, which made any appreciation I had for her previously vanish completely.
「Only when we saw your shop sign, we realized that we still didn’t decide on a name for the shop. So, I thought it would be best to use yours as a reference.」
「Was there seriously nobody against that idea? Having ‘Wabbit’ in the name, I mean?」
「Nobody did, really. Zelef simply commented「It’s a fine name,」and His Majesty followed up with 「I don’t mind it,」after we returned, so we just went with it.」
Somebody should really have said something, though. The shop’s name had ‘Wabbit’ in it. This shop was being run by the country, so wasn’t that just plain weird?
「Still, since the country is managing the shop, shouldn’t you be calling it something like 「The National Restaurant,」「The Royal Palace Restaurant,」or 「The Restaurant of the Purveyor to His Royal Majesty」?」
「I don’t really understand the last one, but as we’re not trying to make it difficult for people to enter, we decided against such names.」
「So you’re saying that having ‘Wabbit’ in the name will make it easier for people to enter?」
「That’s not what I meant, but the name will surely become popular amongst the citizens, prompting more people to come in.」
This was the first time I heard of word ‘Wabbit’ being popular among the general population. Wabbits were dangerous and terrifying; they could attacked people on sight, so it was best to avoid them..
Swaying Wabbit and Hugging Wabbit were different, of course, but that was still what the regular Wabbits were like.
「We thought of the name shortly after we visited your shop. Even though Wabbits are normally scary, the Wabbits at your shop and in your picture books are not scary at all. They’re actually quite cute. It’s all in the way you portray them.」
She had a point there…
Heck, anything scary made into a cartoonish version would most likely look cute. Even terrible monsters like goblins, orcs, and dragons, appeared much more docile and adorable in cartoons.
「If you’re aiming for the popularity with the general citizens, does that mean anybody can eat here?」
Due to the lack of eggs, most of the dishes should be pretty expensive, especially if they wanted to sell all of the egg dishes.
「Just like with your shop, we wanted anyone to be able to come and eat here. Still, it will take some time before that happens, as our costs are quite high at the moment.」
There wasn’t much that could be done about that. There just weren’t enough eggs available on the market. Unlike my shop, which had the orphanage’s cluckers supporting it, they had no choice but to purchase them at a high price.
「When we manage to increase the supply of eggs, we should be able to lower the costs and in turn have prices more suited for the general population.」
「Still, with the starting prices so high, will any customers even come?」
If nobody could afford to taste it, then it didn’t matter how delicious the food was. Cooking was made for people to eat it, after all.
「News about this place selling pudding have already spread amongst the nobles. Thanks to that, there have been many inquiries about the shop before we even opened, so you don’t have to worry about us not having any customers.」
It sounded like the shop had already began advertising itself to some degree.
Getting the word out there was just as important as the recipes, after all. No matter how good the recipe was, if nobody knew where they could taste it, nobody could eat it.
「We’ve also been sprinkling around some rumors about how delicious your cakes are, so the shop is already beginning to establish itself a reputation.」
It looked like I didn’t have to worry about them not having any customers. With nobles and other rich people visiting, there should be no way for the shop to close down before it even really started to get up and running.
「Anyway, we plan on making money off of the rich clientele first and then reinvest the profits into egg production. With the current prices, the people will be basically funding our business out of good will.」
While she said good will, the way she said it sounded more like the words of a scheming merchant…
「Still, if the country is managing the shop, then money shouldn’t be an issue, right?」
「It’s not that simple. We were given a limited budget, after all. And, with it, we had to purchase a building at a good location, secure a starting supply of eggs, and train a number chefs. All of that cost quite a lot of money and more or less burned the budget.」
When she put it that way, it did indeed seem a bit less simple. Making those Wabbit sculptures must have cost them a lot as well.
「You must have had it hard, huh.」
「Yes, getting everything to fit the budget wasn’t simple. That’s why we plan on getting money as we go and use it to improve the business, which will in turn slowly help us lower the prices.」
Was that really how business worked?
In my case, I simply used my money to buy the shop, and then, with the help of my magic, gather cluckers and created pen houses for them. As for everything else, I just left it all to Terumi-san to deal with.
Without money and magic, I would have been unable to open my shop.
Maybe I had to thank God for this one, even though it was all due to my Wabbit Outfit, which he could have made a bit less embarrassing.
「Okay, with this, the name makes more sense, but what about the Wabbit statues in front?」
I complained and pointed at the cartoonish Wabbits statues.
Just because the shop name had a Wabbit in it didn’t mean they had to go all in on the Wabbit theme and even make the statues like I had done.
「With the name of「Wabbit’s Relaxation Restaurant,」I thought it was obvious we also needed to add in the Wabbits.」
What was with that logic? Was she stupid or something? Wouldn’t the sign be more than enough? DidHad she really havehad to include the statues?
「And I must say, the Wabbit-san statues came out nicely, didn’t they?」
I had to admit, they were indeed nicely done. Someone with skill had clearly made them. The spoon and fork very well indicated that the store was a place to eat at, and other differences between the statues were also a of nice touch.
「It was hard explaining what we wanted to the sculptor, though. He didn’t really understand what I was asking for at first, and I was almost considering kidnapping him then dragging him to Crimonia… Almost.」
「I’m amazed you even managed to explain something like this.」
I was pretty sure nobody in this world had ever made a cartoonish Wabbit sculpture, so these were very well made considering the sculptor only got to follow Eleanora-san’s instructions.
「Well, showing him the picture books did the trick in the end.」
「You showed those to him?!」
「Just so that he could use them as reference. Also, I only showed him the Wabbit-san on the front cover. It’s so difficult to just explain what your Wabbits look like to someone who’s never seen them, ya know?」
Was it really ok for someone of her age and status to use “ya know”?
「Yuna-chan, you look like you want to retort to that?」
I shook my head. In the end, it made sense for the sculptor to only make the statues after using something like my picture book as a reference.
I looked closer at the Wabbit statues again. Compared to the Wabbit on the picture book’s cover, they looked a bit different, but they did have all the important features down.
「Anyway, there’s not much point just standing here, let’s go inside, Yuna-chan.」
She invited me inside the shop as I inspected the Wabbit statues.
Personally, I just wanted to get away from here.
Since a while ago, I felt people staring at us, probably because the statues matched the design of my Wabbit Suit.
「Well, both the exterior and interior designs are already complete, so feel free to enter.」
We walked past a sign indicating that the shop would open soon and entered.
The building itself was quite spectacular already, but the inside truly gave off the atmosphere of a high class restaurant.
Except for a certain part: there was another Wabbit statue inside, and it wasn’t like the small Wabbits I had sitting on the dining tables at my shop. There was another large Wabbit statue sitting right in the middle of the restaurant. It had made quite the impact on me right when I entered.
I looked around if there were any more, but luckily, it was just this one. It held both a fork a spoon, which matched the ones outside quite well.
「Referencing your shop, we decided to put one inside as well.」
Yes, I had decorated my interior with some Wabbit statues as well, but their size was completely different.
「As for why we just made one big statue: we’ve heard that because the Wabbits at your store are small, some customers end up wanting to take them home with them, so it was a safer bet going with just one additional large one.」
The Wabbit statues had become a true symbol of my shop, huh? How embarrassing.
And to think that this had only happened because Mylene-san and the others said they wanted the shop to be more Wabbit-like…
「By the way, Eleanora-san, why did you come here?」
Since we entered, I presumed she must have come around for work.
「I came for a final check of the shop. Well, mostly because Zelef invited me to taste-test the dishes. Care to join me?」
「Would that be okay?」
「Of course. The one most suitable for approving our food would be you, after all.」
As I had nothing against it when she put it that way, I followed Eleanora-san to the kitchen. If she was here for the final check, did that mean the shop would be opening soon? If so, it would be difficult for me to get rid of the Wabbit statues. Then again, I didn’t think anybody would agree with my suggestion to remove them, and I would also feel bad for the sculptor who put in all this hard work to make them. What a dilemma.