TNG Vol. 1 Chapter 2 – Part 3

25 minutes had passed since Shin left the guild and started walking. Before Shin’s eyes was a board with a bear paw drawn on it. As Celica said, it had to be the Bear Point Pavilion.

Shin could hear laughing voices from behind the closed doors. The people inside appeared to be enjoying themselves.

“It must be here.”

Shin checked the sign one more time, then opened the doors. The noise inside grew louder as the doors slowly gave way.

The hall contained counter seats and 7 tables for groups. 5 tables were already occupied, crowded with people looking like adventurers taking swigs from beer mugs.

Shin was looking from the entrance, when the light shining from behind him was suddenly blocked. Wondering what could be the reason, Shin turned around.

“Hm?”

What he saw was an apron with flower decorations and arms 3 times thicker than Shin’s.

“Come on in! You by yourself?”

Hearing a deep, booming voice, Shin looked up. His eyes then met with a boulder-faced man, flashing a smile that could only be called sinister.

“You’re huge…”

Shin’s thoughts escaped his mouth.

Being more than 180 cemel tall, Shin was on the tall side, but the man before him was probably more than 230 cemel tall. Pretty much a giant.

“What’s wrong, boy? Down in the dumps?”

“Ah!! Er, you are..?”

The man’s words shook Shin out of his bewilderment. He had not answered the man at all, though.

“Me? I’m this Bear Point Pavilion’s owner and poster man! Name’s Douma Bear!”

“Poster…man…?”

“Exactly! The popular guy everyone admires and wants to meet! That indeed is I, the poster ma…”

“That’s a poster boy!!”

Shin couldn’t hold in his protest anymore.

“Hmm, I was waiting for someone to react to my joke like that!”

For some reason, the self-proclaimed poster man gave Shin a hearty thumbs-up.

“I guess I’m in the wrong pl—”

“No need to blush, young man!”

“Who the hell is blushing!? How did you even get that idea!?”

The two apparently started an impromptu comedy sketch.

“Nice retort, dude!!”

“Give’em hell!!”

Egged on by a group of  drunk patrons, Shin sighed. He had become a side dish to their alcohol.

“Guess I’m finding another place to stay–”

“Hey, what are you doing!!?”

The same moment, a woman’s voice resounded through the inn, cancelling Shin’s mumbling.

The voice came from behind Douma, but Shin couldn’t see the source because of the man’s giant body.

“Dad? How many times have I told you not to say stupid stuff like that? What happens if rumors start spreading?”

The tone of voice sounded calm, but was clearly angry. Shin, despite being completely unrelated, whispered “whoa, scary…” to himself.

“Well, now, you see, it was like a prank…”

“Shut up.”

All excuses were rejected. The woman speaking appeared to be Douma’s daughter, but the scolding was done in the opposite way than usual.

“I’m going to take care of things here, you go into the kitchen and help mom!”

“O-okay.”

Douma, shoulders dropping, headed to the kitchen. To Shin, his back looked smaller than before…maybe it was just his imagination.

“I’m sorry that you had to see something like that right after coming in. Did you want to eat, or maybe stay?”

Douma’s existence had become “something”.

But more importantly, thanks to Douma leaving, the owner of the female voice could now be seen.

It was a young girl with short brown hair. Her smile was maybe the professional one, but it was still charming enough. More than “beautiful”, the word “cute” matched her well.

If he hadn’t heard the previous conversation, Shin would have never guessed that Douma and the girl were father and daughter.

“Aah, I’d like to stay, please. Is your father always like that?”

“I’d really appreciate it if you forgot all about that…but well, sometimes, yes. Adventurers usually humor him, but it’s hard when he does that to merchants. Staying the night includes dinner and breakfast, for a total of 2 silver Jul coins. If you want to use the bathing area you have to ask first, it costs 4 copper Jul coins. You can have breakfast until the 9 o’clock bell rings.”

“Gotcha.”

Shin didn’t know if the 2 silver Jul for staying was cheap or steep, but he had more than enough on himself, so he agreed.  

“I don’t know how long I’ll be staying though, what should I do in this case?”

“You can either pay day by day or pay in bulk for a number of days, then pay for the rest later if necessary. Just to be sure, you’re an adventurer, right?”

“Yes, I just registered. Celica recommended this place to me.”

“Celica did!? Say that first! 1 silver Jul and 90 copper Jul will be enough for you, then. If you’re an adventurer, I suggest you pay in bulk: you might have to leave town for days on assignments, after all. If you leave with fees unpaid we’re going to throw away your things, so be careful.”

It wasn’t unusual for adventurers to leave town for long periods, so they couldn’t come back to their room for days at a time: in that case they couldn’t pay day by day.

Some adventurers could sometimes take dangerous missions and die during them. Keeping the room intact for an adventurer that could never return, especially if they had fees unpaid, would be a huge minus for the inn.

“I’ll pay in bulk, then. Take this for starters.”

Shin took out from his breast pocket (actually, the item box) a gold Jul coin and gave it to the girl.

“50 days, okay. What will you do with the excess amount?”

“I’m going to use the bath too, so could you take the fee from that?”

“Understood, I’ll let you know when it’s not enough anymore. Write your name in the guest book, then. If you need me to write for you, I can do it for 2 copper Jul.”

“No, that’s fine…is this okay?”

The girl checked the name on the guest book, then went to take a room key.

“….Yes, no problem. Mr. Shin, right? Here you go, your room is number 201, on the 2nd floor. Do you know about the box for valuables?”

“Box? No, first time I hear about it.”

“Then it won’t hurt for you to know. Having a box is a mark of luxury for inns around here. The box is like a safe to store valuables: only the owner and manager can open it, it can protect your things even from physical and magic Skills or Arts. The box itself is a magic item, though. Anyway, if you put your things in there they will be safe even if the inn is completely destroyed. Amazing, isn’t it? You can’t find it in just any inn, you know!”

Shin admired the business spirit of the girl, who managed to sneak in some PR during her explanation of the box. 

The inn was obviously of higher grade than the others around it: if only the “poster man” wasn’t around, it would have been perfect…Shin was about to laugh after thinking this, but barely managed to contain himself.

Receiving his key from the girl, Shin went up to the 2nd floor. He didn’t have any luggage to put down, but he just wanted to see his room.

Shin’s room, number 201, was in a corner of the 2nd floor.

The room was about 15 square mel: it had a table, a chair, a bed and a closet, more than enough for 1 person to stay. In the back of the room there was an object resembling the box Shin had heard about: there were no other similar items around, so that had to be it.

More surprising, however, was that the toilet included in the room was a WC – a water closet.

In THE NEW GATE, toilets did not even exist.

The game pursued realism, that is true, but evidently none of the developers ever thought that players would like to engage in discharging bodily fluids in-game.

If the players felt the urge while out in large fields, and were attacked by monsters then and there, the atmosphere and entertainment would be utterly destroyed.

That did not change even in the death game, so it was the first time in a year that Shin had seen a toilet.

Thinking of the grade of Bear Point Pavilion as a lodging, it was obvious that every room was equipped with a toilet.

Shin had lived for a long time without the need to use a toilet, however, so he felt an odd mixture of surprise and nostalgia.

“Imagine, feeling nostalgic thanks to a toilet…”

It’s been more than one year, will I be able to use this toilet properly…? Shin was somewhat anxious.

 

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