5-Episode III, Ward 42.

I've never felt so terrible about the night.

What is this world?
It's really dark at night!
The moon was almost hidden, there were no stars to be seen, it was cloudy all night long, there were no streetlights, and all the houses had turned off their lights so quickly that there was no light to be seen.
The only thing that was shining was the cat's eye.

That's even scarier!

'Hee! I said!
I thought I was going to cry!
I cried a little!

After showing the stupid and good-natured waitress how hard the world was, I left the cafeteria and walked around looking for a place to sleep.
Of course, there were no convenience stores or comic cafes, and it was pitch black everywhere.
It seemed that the standard of living was really low in the districts with large numbers, and there was not even a single place to stay. No one would stay in the 42nd district, I guess.
But even if there were lodgings, I don't have any money.

That's why I stayed out in the open. ...... The darkness was so scary that even I, who don't believe in ............ ghosts, shrunk my balls in fear. .
No, ghosts are cute.
This is a different world, after all. What kind of beasts could be lurking here?
There are even giant frogs. ...... Just the thought of them coming out of the darkness ...... and staring at us from behind the darkness... I thought I'd shrivel up and turn into a girl.

That's why I trembled with joy when the sun peeked out.
I worshipped the rising sun for a long time. ...... I felt deeply that this is how old people in the countryside feel when they worship the sunrise.

In the end, I couldn't sleep at all, my head was pounding, my eyes were fluttering, and my legs were dizzy.
But there are two things I've learned from this night.
There are beastmen and beasts in this town.

That cat I mentioned earlier, the one with the glowing eyes in the dark, was definitely a cat.
But the bipedal cat I saw at the gate was probably a cat-people.
There are two kinds of animals in the same lineage, the beastmen and the beasts.
It seems to me that they are different from humans and apes.
Do they have a sense of camaraderie?
Do they understand language?
It's a ...... mystery.
This is the first thing I found out.

Like cats, birds are also different from the tribe of birds (which may be subdivided into the tribe of birds because there were parrots ......).
Early in the morning, when I heard the cries of chickens, I rushed to the place. I wanted to be reassured by the sight of a living creature, whatever it was. Then I saw a tribe of Tori people picking up bird eggs.
'Are you going to eat it? I asked, 'Of course,' to which he replied, 'Do you lay eggs too? When I asked, 'Do you lay eggs too? Apparently, this is s*xual harassment against the ...... Trihuman race. Be careful.

What I'm trying to say is that the Tribe eats birds. It's not cannibalism, and they don't even seem to be disgusted by it.

Probably, they are also raising birds for meat.
If so, it is safe to assume that they do not feel a sense of camaraderie.
...... is the second thing I found out.

Oh, and by the way, one more thing.
You can't tell the s*x of a beastman just by looking at it.
It would be easier to tell if they had a distinctive feature such as torsos or tatemae. ......

So, with the sun finally rising, I set out to do what I had to do.
I don't want to be engulfed in that kind of darkness again. How long I spent shivering and waiting for dawn to break. ...... My heart was breaking.
First, we need a place to stay!I have to get a safe place to sleep!
And for that, I need money!I need to get some money that I can use in this world.
You can sell the spices later. We'll get the gold by any means necessary!
By the end of the day!More than one night's lodging!By any means necessary!

So I walked around the 42nd district.
I was hoping to find some coins!

There was no .............

That's right.
The poorest quarter in the city. People who gather here wouldn't leave change lying around, would they? It's a rule of thumb for penny hunters to pick up pennies in the big city.
Ideally, you should go to a place where there are people who think that pennies are not worth squatting to pick up.
You can pick up a lot of coins.
Incidentally, if there is a big festival like the Gion Festival, the best time to go is the next morning. You will find a lot of coins in the streets lined with night stalls. Shopping at a festival involves a lot of small change. It is easy for them to fall and the crowd makes you hesitate to squat down and pick them up. And some people don't even notice.
I once picked up a small coin worth less than 20,000 yen there. I felt like a winner in life.
The only thing you have to watch out for is "peers". So-called people who have no home and are in a bit of a tight spot for money are looking around for coins in a rather frantic manner, so you have to be careful not to be spotted. To be discovered means instant death.
It is a dangerous job that should not be done for fun .......

Fortunately, I didn't meet any such "colleagues" in the 42nd district.
That's right. There's not a penny to be found.

So much walking and no results. ...... d*mn.

However, thanks to this, I was able to grasp the geography of District 42.
The area around the swampy area adjacent to the 30th district was the most desolate, but it became more lively as we approached the 41st district. There were more houses and stores, and we found an inn.

And there was a huge building on a hill near the border of the 41st district.
It was probably the mansion of the lord who ruled the 42nd district.
As evidence of this, the area where the lord's mansion was located had well maintained roads and was reasonably neat.
There must be some disparity among the districts.
Lords decorate their surroundings to show their power.
The streets around there must be the highest level in the 42nd district. ...... low. It's not that hard to see.

The restaurant called "Sunshine Pavilion" where that good-natured shopkeeper was located was built in a particularly low level area of the 42nd district.
No wonder there were no customers.

The west side of the forty-second district is a swampy area. On the south side, there is an outer wall, and beyond it, there seems to be a forest.
To the east is a more or less prosperous area, and to the north are steep cliffs, as beyond the swamp. In other words, the 42nd district is built in a kind of cul-de-sac, surrounded by cliffs to the west and north, and by the outer walls of the city to the south.
...... Wow, what a gloomy location.

Anyway, in the spirit of 'if you want money, go where the people are,' I went to the prosperous eastern part of the city.
The time is just before noon. Thanks to the fact that I've been wandering around the 42nd district since just after dawn, I've been able to kill a good amount of time. In the early morning, stores are not open and there are no people.
I'm going to wander around the city, which has finally begun to show signs of life.
First, let's observe.

There are about half humans and half beastmen in the 42nd district. Looking at the people on the street, I'd say so. Incidentally, "Beastmen" is a name I've taken the liberty of calling all the dogs, cats, birds, fish, and other creatures that walk on two legs like humans. I don't know the official name.
I think there are a few dogs and cats, and many sheep and lizards. ...... Sheep are a bit more beautiful when you look at them like this. ............ No, they're way out of my strike zone.
I'm not sure what to make of that.

The city seems to have a diverse mix of people living in it.
But ...... there are no frogs.
There were so many of them in the swamp. I don't see any in the city.

'Wait a minute!

That's what I heard when I stepped into the wide, big street.
It was the main street of the Forty-second District. The street was wide enough for two horse-drawn carriages to pass each other, and both sides of the street were lined with bars and restaurants.
In the middle of such a big street, a person was on his knees.

In front of the man, a muscular, villainous-looking man stands slumped over. He has a clean-shaven skinhead and a beard, the kind of face that makes you think at first glance, 'I don't want to get involved with you.

'Wait, you guys. I've waited long enough.'

The strong macho man said in a thick, dusky voice, looking down at the man on his knees.

'If you can't keep your promise, you'll have to turn into a frog.
'Ta, please!No, please!Please don't do that!
'I'm sorry, but that's the rule decided by the Spirit God.
'Wait, ......!Please!

The man on his knees looked up, his face smeared with tears and snot, and clung to the strong macho man.
As if to ridicule the man on his knees, the strong macho man said in a thick voice.

''The Judgment of the Spirits!

Immediately after the strong-armed macho announced this, the kneeling man's entire body was enveloped in a pale light.


As the man cries out on his knees, the strong-armed Macho makes a translucent panel appear. It's the Conversation Record.

'Here, take a good look at this. See how it's clearly written here?I'm gonna pay you back exactly what I owe you by the due date. You said so yourself, didn't you?
'No, no ......, I'll pay you back!I will definitely pay you back, just a little more ............?

The man on his knees began to make excuses, but suddenly began to suffer.
The pale blue light that enveloped his entire body gradually became redder and redder, and the light intensity became blinding.

'Yes, it's ............... ............ Kae... ...I don't want to go to ............!

The man on his knees disappeared, leaving such a scream behind.

You will find a lot of things that you can do to make your life easier.

............ Is that frog the one who got down on his knees earlier?
Seriously, are you going to be turned into a frog? ............

'Then I'll take this equipment, your house, your family, and all your other possessions.
'Kero!Kero Kero!

A giant toad clung to the strong macho man as he bent down to pick up the equipment, croaking 'kero kero' in a desperate voice.

'Don't you ...... touch me!

Enraged, the strong macho man punched the frog and kicked it in the face as soon as it stood up.
The frog flew through the air like cotton dust, rolling two or three times on the ground.

'The frog has been abandoned by the Spirit God!Right now, you've been stripped of all your rights as a human being!No one can complain even if I kill you right here!If you understand that, then get the hell out of my sight!

The frog managed to stand up on wobbly legs under the terrifying shout.
He looked around and pretended to ask for help, but no one was there to help him.
On the contrary, the gazes of those around the ...... frog were filled with contempt.

What is it?
If you become a frog, do you lose your human rights?
I was human until just now. ...... Is that what a frog is in this town? ......

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The frog headed for the west ...... side of the city in the direction of the wetlands.

This is the rule of this city.
Is this the rule set by the spirit god who rules this city?
That's why there are no frogs in the city, why men on their knees are afraid of becoming frogs, and why the angry ones scream that they will turn their opponents into frogs?

What a horrible city.

A liar can't even have human rights.

I saw something disgusting.
I have no sympathy for the man on his knees, but ...... the sight of the strong macho man gleefully picking up the man's belongings is disgusting.
I felt contempt for him, as if I were watching a moron taking pleasure in tricking a ...... moron.
Let's get the hell out of here.
At any rate, I don't want to have anything to do with that strong macho man.

I was going to walk down the main street, but in order to continue down the main street, I had to pass by the strong-armed man. ...... I don't like that.
I had no choice but to walk into the nearest store.
It seemed to be a bar, with square tables and a few chairs placed in a chaotic fashion.
The place was rather crowded even in the daytime. Many of them seemed to be here for lunch, but there were also some who were drinking in the daytime.
As soon as I walked in, there was a counter, and a well-built man with crooked ears like a bulldog called out to me, "Welcome.

I walked past the counter and chose an empty table to sit down.
Immediately, a young woman comes over to me to ask my order.

'Do you know what you want to drink?

Sighs ......?
The girl with the wheat-colored skin has ears that hang down like a golden retriever. A tail sprouted from her buttocks.
Is this a store run by the Innu people?
As I stared at the tail, the dog-eared shopkeeper covered her buttocks with a tray and glared at me adorably, saying, 'Ecchi! The dog-eared shopkeeper covered his buttocks with a tray and glared at me cutely.
What's with this guy? He's kind of cute.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it!...... Oh, I don't have any money. ............

Well, we can run away again.

'What kind of alcohol do you have?
'We have wine, ale, and beer.

The girl smiles indulgently and says in a friendly tone that feels almost familiar.
I'd give her fifty points for customer service. Well, it's probably more popular with the drunkards.
...... Drinks, huh?

'Do you have any soft drinks?
'Grapefruit juice or grape juice.'
'Grapefruit juice, then.'

I might have to run as fast as I can after this. I'd rather not drink.
The waiter smiled and held out his right hand as I placed my order.

'Grapefruit juice is 20Rb!
'Eh ............'.

You want to pay first?
No, you don't. If we pay in advance, we can avoid being eaten alive. It's so simple, isn't it?
Is that a normal system in this town?

But I'm screwed. ......
I don't have any money on me.

I glanced at the dog-eared shopkeeper.
He's got a puzzled look on his face and keeps holding out his right hand.
It is possible to say 'I don't have any money' and leave now. ...... It's not very cool, but...

'Sir. If you've come to my house with the intention of running away from me, my father won't shut up about it, okay?

The dog-eared shopkeeper says with a smile.
Even though he's smiling,......, he's very powerful. I thought I saw his canine teeth gleam.
I mean, Dad?I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea. ...Is that fat guy his father?
...... I'm glad you don't look like your father.

It's a good thing you don't look like your father. 2-0-RB!

More pressure from the clerk.
Not good. If you say 'I don't have any money' here, I don't think you'll get out safely. ......

What to do: ...... How to get through: ............

As I was thinking about that--

'Hey!That's my seat!Get out of the way!

Suddenly, I heard a loud shout from the entrance of the bar.
When I turned around, I saw that the strong macho man who was sitting at the counter was giving him a hard time.
......Wow, you didn't have to come to this restaurant of all places. ............I think I've walked into the worst restaurant of all.

'...... that gofreed guy again.'

The clerk clicks his tongue and glares at the strong macho man who pushes the customers away from the counter and sits in the back seat.
'That guy's name is Goffredo?

'Do you know him?
'There's no one in the 42nd district who doesn't know that guy.

The dog-eared shopkeeper put his face close to my ear, covered his mouth with a tray, and told me in a whispered voice.

'He's a collector who has the 42nd district as his territory. As soon as he stares at you, he'll take all your money and leave you with nothing.
'I think you should pay your debts.
'That's it!

The dog-eared shopkeeper's eyes became lively, and he held up his index finger, wagging it in front of me.

'He's got a twisted personality, demanding more money than he owes and even asking for money he doesn't remember.
'It's a scam, isn't it?
'But his words can't be judged by the 'judgment of the spirits'. Even if you think it's absolutely crazy, the Conversation Record shows that he's right all the way through. ......

That's a typical scam.
When you are listening to the conversation, everything sounds fine, but when you open the door, you find out that you are wrong. But when you open the door, it turns out to be a different story! But the contract says exactly what it says, and in the end, the conclusion is that it is the one who did not listen to the contract properly that is at fault.
I wonder if that kind of business is possible in this city. ............ I wonder how they do it?I'm curious.

'Also, he loves to make people into frogs more than anything. It's so badass.
'What happens to people who are turned into frogs?
'What? It doesn't matter. That's the end of your life.
'Your life is over?
'Yes. You can't live as a human anymore. No one's going to help a guy who turned into a frog.'
'Not even your own family?
'Of course you don't want ............ anyone to know that your family member turned into a frog. If it comes to that, it's better to lie and say 'I died of a sudden illness'.

What's better ......

It's funny that you would risk becoming a frog to hide the fact that your relatives became frogs.

'A person who becomes a frog can never return to his original form?
'To go back, you need to fulfill the promise you made.
'So I can go back, can't I?What happens to my human rights after I return?Will they be restored?Will they still be revoked?How will your family react?
'What, what, sir?Did someone you know turn into a frog or something?
'Oh, no, ............ I'm new to this city and I'm a little surprised. I just saw a guy who was turned into a frog.

Oh no, no, no.
You can't tell me that there's a good chance you'll be turned into a frog.
I got carried away and asked too much. I should be a little more careful.

'It's fine if it's a promise that can be fulfilled later, but if you miss a deadline or break a promise that can't be reversed later, you're out.
'I see.
'Then, when you return to human form, I'll treat you the same as before. Humans live with the blessings of the spirit gods. Your dignity as a human being will be restored.

The same as before?
How is that even possible?
It's okay for the abandoned, but what about the abandoned?Is it possible to treat the person who abandoned you the same way as before?
It's also possible that you'll be able to get a lot more than just a few of these.

In any case, becoming a frog seems to be the end of life in this town.

But I don't like the idea of maliciously turning someone into a frog. That's why I hate him so much!

The dog-eared shopkeeper sticks out his tongue at Goffredo.
What's with this girl, she's kind of cute.

While we were having this conversation, the man who had just had his seat at the counter taken by Goffredo came to the table in front of me. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that he evacuated.
At the table in front of me, three men who seemed to be acquainted with each other were poking fun at the evacuated man, pointing and laughing at him.

'What are you running away from? Give him a good beating.'
'Don't be reckless!It's ...... Goffredo, remember?If you go against him, he'll turn you into a frog.
'Even so, I don't like him, do you?
'Good. I'll go tell him what you just said.

'You idiot!Stop it, seriously!

From their conversation, I'd say that Goffredo is a notorious hater.
I hope he'll have a hard time while he's alive, even if it's certain that he won't die well.
Like hitting your little finger on the corner of the dresser every morning. ...... That's not so easy.

'But that guy. I'd like to punch him at least once.'
'Haha, you can't do that. You'll get half killed.'
'Yes, yes. Goffredo's swordsmanship and martial arts are at a level where ordinary adventurers are no match for him.'
'In my imagination, he's already beaten me to a pulp.

The men laughed and laughed as they talked about this.
The dog-eared shopkeeper is looking at the men with a dumbfounded expression.

............ Oh, this smells like money!

I'm sorry.

When I let out a deliberate sigh, the men at the table in front of me stood up at once.
They're staring at me with scary faces.
No, that ............ scares me, can you please stop making that face?

'You can punch that guy in the face, can't you?
'Oi, oi, you'll turn him into a frog if you're too careless, kid.

A man who had been kicked out of his seat at the counter took up my challenge.
The word 'fool' means 'to talk big'. ...... Isn't there a bias in the way the word is translated?
I might have to look into that sometime.

'Well, I guess you can't do that if you're too scared to run away.
'Well, if I wanted to, I could come back here unharmed.
'Oh, ......, then let's do it, shall we?I'm going to punch Goffredo in the face, okay?Not the old man next door, but Goffredo's face.

I wonder if the reason he keeps repeating himself like this is to leave a promise in the Conversation Record.
I see. It's interesting that there are people who feel uneasy if they don't carefully repeat words like this, which means that verbal fraud is so rampant. ............
It's interesting. But I can't deal with amateurs who pile up words unnecessarily.
The moment you think 'I don't want to be cheated', you're a sucker.

'I could punch Goffredo in the face.

I said each word with emphasis.
The men let out an exclamation of 'Oh ......'. Are you numbed by grace?

I looked over at the dog-eared clerk, who was also rolling his eyes at me.

'Well, why don't you go and punch him? Right now, right now!'

The man who had lost his seat to Goffredo came at me half-heartedly.
He doesn't like the fact that I told him I could hit Goffredo when he ran away with his tail between his legs.
Short-tempered people are suckers for a scam, old man.

'But first, how about a bet?I'll quadruple your bet if you pay me up front.'
I'm in!
'I'm in!
'Sure, me too!
'Well, me too!

The four old men in front of me all got in.

'The stakes are 1,000Rb each. How much do you want to bet?

When I said that, they all answered in unison, '1000Rb for the one I can't hit!
All of you take a bite. ...... Be adventurous, old men!
That's it. I'll give you a little incentive.

I'll give you a little incentive. ...... They're a bunch of pussies. That's why you're being lambasted. You'll live in the shadows forever. Yeah, why don't you move to the swamp?It would suit you.
'I can't keep quiet when you say so much!
'Okay, then I'll take three mouthfuls!
'I'll take four!
'I'll take three!
'Me too!

13,000Rb for four people. ...... Well, that's about right. That's 130,000 Japanese yen.
That's 130,000 Japanese yen. 30,000 will get you a place to stay.

Dazzled by the quadruple payout, all the old men handed me their winnings in advance.
Yeah, it's easy.

'Hey, clerk. What about you?'
'Oh, me?I'll pass!I'm not interested in gambling.
'Well, don't be like that. If I beat him up, will you buy me a glass of grapefruit juice?

'Oh, that's it?If that's all there is to it, then ............ hmmm ...... Goffredo is always a bad guy to have on the sidelines at our house. ............ Yeah!If you punch me in the face, I'll buy you a drink!
It's settled.

So I got 13,000Rb and a free drink ticket and walked to the counter where Goffredo was sitting.

There was no one at the counter, perhaps because they were afraid of Goffredo.
Only the unfortunate Master, unable to escape, was hunched over the counter.

I sat down on the counter seat, which was empty.

'What's the matter with you?Do you have a problem with me?

I'm sure you're aware of the fact that you're living your life in such a way that others can complain about you.
But I didn't come here to pick a fight with you.
I'm here to discuss business.

'Wanna make a bet?
'A bet?
'Yeah. Whether or not I can KO you with one ...... 'just one shot'.
'Hahahahaha!You're going to KO me with your sprout-like arms?You've got to be kidding me!It's not even a bet!

Goffredo opened his mouth and laughed loudly.
Hmm. Sounds like you're getting a good start.

'It's not a bet, is it ............?
'You never know until you try, do you?

He then places 10,000Rb on the counter as if to slam it down.

'If you're not sure, you can get out.
'The ...... kid is ............'.

On top of my 10,000Rb, Goffredo slammed 10,000Rb down on the counter with such force that it looked as if he had a grudge against it.

'Fine. Come at me with all your might.

His face is scary!
He's not going to fight back with a conditioned reflex, is he?

Let's go!

If you look at it for too long, you might get scared, so I'll make it quick.

I swung my right arm wide and hit Goffredo in the cheek with a straight right hand.


You can't even call it a sound. It's a light ~~~~~~ crash.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it. ............ ouch!

My arm!The base of my finger's broken!I must have!
It really hurts!I want to cry!

On the other hand, Goffredo's eyes widened in astonishment, probably because my punches were too ............ meager.

'............ Huh, as they say, you're pretty good. You win the game.'

With that, I sashayed away from the counter.
There's nothing more to say. Then I want to get the hell out of here.
Because that guy's face scares me.

I'm sure Goffredo doesn't know what I mean.
He won't know the true meaning of me showing up out of nowhere, betting 10,000 rb on him, punching him in the face, and leaving.
He looks weak, but he's actually very strong. Or maybe you imagined that.
'This guy must have a chance to win,' he thought, 'otherwise he wouldn't have challenged me to such a reckless fight. Above all, he must have thought, 'There is no fool who would lose 10,000Rb in such a trivial matter.

But that's okay.
From my point of view, I got 3,000Rb, or 30,000 Japanese yen, for free. I made a killing.
I'll give you any amount of money you want. It won't hurt my pocket.

When I returned to my seat, I was greeted by a group of men with subtle expressions on their faces.

'Hey, what's going on?Goffredo's still alive and kicking!
'What?Did I say anything about 'stunting Goffredo'?

All I said was 'punch Goffredo in the face'.
And I did just that.
What's wrong with that?

Kotori ...... and a glass is placed in front of you.
It was the dog-eared shopkeeper who brought me a glass of grapefruit juice, filled to the brim.

...It's really bothering me, isn't it?

I say to the dog-eared clerk, who makes a subtle face as if he's rolling a bitter bug around on his tongue.

'That's what's going to make you an adult.

There are plenty of times when you've been looking forward to something so much, but when you actually experience it, it's not so great.
People grow up with such bewilderment in their hearts.

Thus, I left the bar, enjoying the fresh grapefruit juice.
I would have liked to have eaten, but ...... it was not a relaxing atmosphere.

Anyway, I think I've managed to get enough money for accommodation.
3000Rb, the first currency I've gotten in this world. I think I can get by with this.

Today, right now, my otherworldly life begins.
Yeah. I feel like I'm on the right track.
It's going to be fun.

I was filled with hope for the future when I was approached by an unexpected person on the ...... main street.

'Oh!Thank God, I found you!

I looked back at the familiar voice and saw ............

'......You're ............!
'I've been looking for you, sir.

There he was, the clerk of the rundown diner, 'Hidamari-tei', where I had dared to eat my way out of last night.

My heart is beating fast.
My breathing is going crazy.

Oh no. ......
I'm telling this guy a very clear lie: ......
And I clearly dared him to eat and run: ......

If he wanted to, I could ............

A chill ...... ran down my spine. ............ Oh no, I ......

I might be turned into a frog. ......?