Chapter 261 – Bear-san Advertises the Shop
I was very surprised to find out that Princess Flora had an older sister. I never thought I would be meeting her here, at the school festival, of all places, either.
Not to mention, she was unexpectedly close friends with Shia, but this was most likely because His Majesty and Eleanora-san were close friends as well?
Their families were close, while they were also of the same age. Considering how likely nobles and royalty would interact with each other, I suppose it made sense that they could be friends.
Still, were all royalty in this world this friendly?
Well, it was much better than having a royal family with bad intentions.
「So, how is the stand doing? It looks like you’re not selling much…」
「Well, that’s because we haven’t had any customers yet.」
「They’ll start coming now. Hey kids, you want to try some cotton candy?」
Marcus called out to the kids who I had noticed were staring at me. The children looked at each other, shook their heads, and ran off.
Ah, there goes the customers.
「Marcus, you can’t ask them with such a scary face.」
「What, are you saying my face is scary?」
「You’re not smiling enough.」
Just like Shia said, Marcus’ smile wasn’t what we would consider the best. If a person with a smile like that approached me and asked me to try some food I had never heard of before, I would refuse too.
I, myself, only made food for people I knew and didn’t charge them for it. That was why everybody ate my cooking without running away.
Here, everybody was a stranger, so I didn’t think anybody would try out the cotton candy without knowing what it was, much less pay money for it.
Hmm, Shia’s group was in a bit of a bind. Even if the cotton candy was delicious and novel for this world, it wouldn’t sell if people didn’t know that.
I turned to look at the other stands. Between each of them was a sizeable gap, probably to make use of the practice ground’s wide space and give the stands an open air feel. The shop next to us was selling soup, and the one across was selling drinks.
Had the space between each shop been smaller, the customers from the other shops would have naturally spilled over, and our stand wouldn’t have such a drought. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, so we had to figure something else out.
I turned back to our stand. The first thing to check was the price of the cotton candy. If it was expensive, not many people would buy it, and it might be too much for children, who I expected to be most interested in it. Still, looking at the set price, there didn’t seem to be any problem. Any child should be able to afford it with their pocket money.
Why did I know how much pocket money the children had in this world? Because Tirumina-san had warned me that I was giving Fina and Shuri too much money.
I had been giving them that much because I wanted to thank them for all they did for me, but apparently that wasn’t a good idea, especially since the two of them ended up passing the money along to Tirumina-san to save it for emergencies.
Tirumina-san had given them some pocket money for the school festival from this fund; that was why they had tried to refuse Eleanora-san’s money, but it had been to no avail of course.
Next, I looked at the sign.
The sign only stated ‘Cotton candy’ on it, and I could immediately tell that was a big problem. Our customers had no idea what cotton candy was so a simple sign stating that wasn’t of much use. Without any samples, even if people were interested in what cotton candy was, they wouldn’t even know what the food they would be eating looked like. No wonder people were just passing by and ignoring this stand.
We sadly didn’t have any sample holders. Also, the cotton candy didn’t have a strong aroma like the other foods being sold around here, so we couldn’t attract people that way.
The problem wasn’t the price, but rather the stand’s appearance and lack of advertising.
I didn’t think it was good for an outsider like me to intrude and help them, but knowing how much they had practiced making cotton candy and how motivated they were, it would be so sad if they didn’t even sell anything. Since I was the one who had taught them how to make it, I would feel sad as their teacher as well.
「Why don’t we remodel the stand a bit?」
「There’s not enough advertisement.」
「Oh. Okay sure, but we can’t take up too much space.」
「I will keep that in mind.」
Right now, we definitely wanted to show everyone what cotton candy was. Although I couldn’t make elaborate, plastic food samples like the ones found in my former world, I could try something similar.
Gathering my magical power, I used earth magic and began molding a statue. When I finished, I could hear audible gasps from those around us. It was a two meter tall Bear, sitting down next to the stand.
Using some more earth magic, I created another statue in the shape of cotton candy and placed it in the bear’s hand. With this, the Bear statue appeared to be eating the cotton candy, so anybody should be able to figure out that we were selling food.
「It’s a Bear-san.」
「A bear made a bear.」
Who? Who just said something dumb like that?
I looked around, but I couldn’t find the culprit.
「Well, maybe this is a little too much.」
「Yeah, but why a bear?」
That was probably because my imagination was too influenced by Bears at this point. I would prefer to make something else of course, but ever since I came to this world, my magic attacks were in the shape of Bears, the golems I created were Bears, my restaurant statues were Bears, my summoned beasts were Bears, the picture books I drew were about Bears, and to top it all off, I myself wore a Bear Suit. Sure enough, my thoughts had become constantly filled with Bears. No matter what I tried to imagine, I would always end up back to a Bear.
Thinking about it like this, it was possible that I had passed the point of no return, wasn’t it?
When surrounded by Bears, it was scientifically proven that anyone’s head would become filled with Bears.
「If you don’t like this, I can make something else, too.」
If I tried my best, I should be able to make something else, right?
「No, it’s fine. This is cute, and you made it for us. It will help advertise our stand perfectly.」
Luckily, nobody had a problem with it.
「Great. I made sure not to reinforce this Bear statue, so it can be broken down easily. Just break it when the festival ends. Be careful though, the whole thing should crumble at once when you do.」
「You want us to break it?」
「Well, it’ll get in the way after the festival ends, won’t it? It’s not like it will be of any additional use after the festival.」
My customer-attracting Bear (not panda for once), stood there in full glory.
I noticed a few children were already staring at the cotton candy in the Bear’s paw. I immediately recognized them as the group of children who had been at the academy entrance.
Hmm, maybe I could get these children to help us out.
「Marcus, make three cotton candies.」
「Hmm? Okay, sure.」
The children’s focus quickly shifted to Marcus as he started to make them. The white threads zooming out of the machine must have caught their attention, and when Marcus deftly coiled the threads around a wooden stick, they couldn’t resist but comment. 「Ooh.」「Something weird came out.」「What’s this?」「Is this food?」. The children were completely captivated.
I could easily see the results of Marcus’s hard work. He had clearly practiced a lot and now weaved the candy like a true pro.
Next, I called Fina and Shia over and whispered in their ears. Fina nodded and went over to Shuri and Noa and whispered to them as well while Shia responded with 「Oh, I see. Good idea,」while nodding at me slightly.
When Marcus was finished making all three cotton candies, I took out some money to pay for them. He tried to refuse, but I told him 「I’m a customer,」and gave him the money.
Then, I handed one candy each to Fina, Shuri and Noa.
「Thank you very much.」
「Thank you, Yuna-san.」
The three of them thanked me and began eating happily.
「It’s so good.」
「It’s tasty and sweet.」
The three of them commented on how tasty the cotton candy was as loudly as they could.
This was what could be called the fake buyer trick. Well, anyone standing nearby should already know that the girls were helping the shop, but since the girls were enjoying the cotton candy so much, it shouldn’t be enough to scare any customers away, thinking this was just a scam.
The children couldn’t help but stare at the girls eating the candy so happily.
Many people who were about to pass by our stand stopped to take a look. First, their eyes fell onto my Bear Suit, then on the Bear statue which was eating something, and finally, on the strange food that the girls were putting into their mouths.
「What is that?」
「Are they eating cotton?」
People were slowly starting to become interested and a crowd gathered.
I looked over at Shia and she gave another knowing nod.
「Alright, since we’ve attracted such a crowd, we will now hold a taste-testing session. Please stay and try some. It’s very sweet and delicious.」
Shia called out at the crowd.
When Marcus heard Shia mention a taste-testing session, he immediately began making more cotton candy. Cloud-like cotton once again appeared out of the machine and he skillfully curled it around a stick. The spectators were all surprised and looked on with curiosity.
Then, Shia took the freshly-made cotton candy and passed it around for everyone to try it.
One after another, people pinched-off a piece and ate it, all shocked by its taste and cloudy consistency. They didn’t expect for it to instantly melt in their mouths nor that it would be this sweet. Some children even began asking their mother to let them try some.
Slowly but surely, our candy was gaining traction. Some of the customers even invited other passersby to join, and I happily joined them for a while, before moving behind the stand and sitting down.
I could leave it to the students to do the rest. I was an outsider, after all.
After I left to the back of the shop, the children started calling 「Bear-san」, so I waved my hand at them. It would had been problematic for the stand if I was seen negatively. I behaved well, as if I was some sort of mascot character.
With this, the word should spread, and we should continue to gather a crowd. The Bear statue could be easily spotted among the stands, so new customers would have an easier time finding this place.
I was quite happy, looking at everyone buying and eating the candy for the first time. They all seemed to enjoy it.
「Oh right. Shia, I think you should already know this, but the candy will eventually melt, so make sure to let the customers know.」
If some customers decided to bring it home, they may be surprised that the cotton candy would eventually lose its structure. Well, even if any complaints occured, they should be rather insignificant for the stand’s business.
「Okay, I will make sure to remind them.」
「Okay, Shia, do your best. We’re going to head off now.」
「Onee-sama, please do your best.」
「Sorry, I really wanted to bring you around, but…」
「It’s okay, we have Yuna-san with us.」
「That’s what I’m most worried about.」
How rude. I didn’t do anything yet, so could she not make it sound like I was the problem here.
Well, I couldn’t deny that my outfit attracted a lot of attention, but…
「In that case, how about I guide them around?」
「Tilia-sama, you would do that?」
「Bear-san, you can call me Tilia.」
「Are you sure that is okay? Well, then, could you please call me Yuna and not Bear-san?」
「Alright. Yuna, I’ll guide everyone around so Shia won’t have to worry.」
「Doesn’t she have to help out with the shop?」
I asked Shia instead of Tilia.
「It’s fine. Tilia-sama only promised to help out on the third day.」
Since it was fine to do so, we started our sightseeing tour together with the princess, Tilia.
Fina and Noa looked worried, but they should get used to it, right?
In the next chapter, we will get to look around the school festival. lol