Donation. Ginette is hard at work prepping food for such an incomprehensible activity as .......
The first thing she does when she wakes up early in the morning is to prepare breakfast for the free food waiting for her at the church. I'm speechless.
The early bird gets the worm?You're losing a lot of money!
I was leaning against the kitchen wall, watching Ginette working hard.
Helping?Are you kidding me?
I don't understand why you'd put so much effort into something that doesn't pay off.
Even though it's just a bunch of junk vegetables, the amount of food is amazing.
Are they collecting them from neighboring farmers?
Ginette responds dutifully to my call.
She doesn't say 'help' or 'hinder', and she doesn't look at me with malice.
Isn't it possible that this guy has broken some of his emotional needs?
'Where do you get these scrap vegetables from?
'I'm buying them from a vendor.'
These scrap vegetables?
You're paying for carrot stems, worm-eaten spinach, and the stiff, tough outermost leaves of cabbage?That's the part that should be discarded, no matter how you look at it!
'There are many conscientious vendors who give them away at a discount.
'............ Many?Are you sure you're buying from more than one supplier?
'Yes. In the beginning, there was only one supplier, but he seemed to have talked about it, and later four other suppliers began to sell us the same scrap vegetables at a discount.
You ............ are a sucker, you know.
You're a sucker. 'There are places that will take your waste for a fee.
Moreover, they buy vegetables from several suppliers. ...... It's easy to get a discount if you put them together.
'Hey, let me see your books.
'What?A ledger?It's on the shelf behind you.'
I took out a notebook ...... booklet, or should I say ......, from the shelf by the wall in the kitchen and opened it.
It's a cheap-looking notebook made up of several sheets of shoddy paper.
It's a cheap notebook made up of several sheets of poor quality paper. ............ is too small, the letters are too small. I'm sure there are better ways to cut back than to save money on something like this.
I struggled to see what it said: ............
As Ginette said, the diner buys scrap vegetables from five different sources. And one of them seems to be a vendor in the 27th district.
As for the fish, we can see that it is also purchased from three sources.
And even the bread, which is hardly sold, comes from three sources.
...... It's useless.
'Manager, I have a question.
'What?What's with the sudden change?
'Please let me handle the money account.
'What?But don't worry, I can do it.
'You're not. You're out of your mind. It's just like a game.
'...... Oh, um... Are you angry with ......?
Yeah, I'm angry.
I don't know why, but I'm so angry from the bottom of my stomach that I want to chop an onion for no reason.
'Do the vendors only sell vegetables for vegetables and fish for fish?Can't you buy meat, vegetables, and fruits in bulk?
'If you go to a market, you can find such stores, but vendors specialize in selling vegetables for vegetables and meat for meat.
'Is the market far from here?
'No, sir. It's within walking distance. It's just beyond the main road.
'Is it more expensive?
'It's probably cheaper because you don't have to pay the fare.
'...... If you know so much, why are you buying from a vendor?'
'Yes,............ that's because you said you would sell it to us,............ Your kindness is ...... so!I thought I should be grateful for your kindness!
You're an idiot!
I yelled at him.
But it can't be helped!
Look at that!
It's just like I said!
I'm being played for a sucker!
We're being lied to, and they're calling it a favor!
'Look. In my world, it costs money to throw away garbage. If I can sell that garbage for a couple of bucks, I'll make a fortune!
Even in this town, if the waste was worth money, they'd spare no effort to move it here.
We're being fleeced by eleven different vendors. They're hungry.
They must've been forced to sell bread that failed.
They must have been forced to sell bread that had failed and was no longer saleable. And then they said, 'at a discount' or 'with your kindness' and smiled and smiled. ......
I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you.
...... interesting. I'll buy that fight.
These 11 companies ............ don't think you can get away with it for free, do you?
But that's for later.
Anyway, I won't be doing any more business with this company.
'What?But if you do, the foodstuffs in your store will be sold at .......'
'I'll buy it from somewhere else.
'Oh, no, ............ I have very few ...... acquaintances, and ...... I don't have anyone in the guild who can help me.'
'Yes. The food and drink guild and the peddlers guild. If you don't introduce us to a merchant there, we won't be able to bring the vegetables here. ...... We also have to decide on the fare. ...... So, asking someone else to do it now is not an option. ............'
I don't know what Ginette is talking about.
In other words, Ginette, who is not a good negotiator, does not want to say, 'I don't like the current merchant, send me another more decent one.
Then, it's simple.
'Why don't we just go through the guild?
'But if we do that, the merchants won't be able to bring the food here. ...... The market is also frequented by the general public, and many of them don't want to buy in bulk from people in the food and beverage industry like us. In order to avoid running out of stock,......,......'.
'Then buy directly from the farmer.
Jeannette stopped moving.
'What's so surprising about that?
'If the peddler's guild is selling all the goods in one place, then there must be a commission there. So the consumer pays more and the farmer gets less.
The reason why farm stores in the Japanese countryside are surprisingly inexpensive is that they are not run through vendors.
If you want to buy unsalable garbage vegetables, you should get them from such places.
'Besides, I don't trust the peddlers' guild, which has sent as many as eleven merchants to a single store and has done nothing to correct the situation.
Since they call themselves a peddlers' guild, they must be an organization that organizes all the peddlers across the district.
If that's the case, it's strange that they haven't noticed the unusual situation that merchants from eleven different places have come to this restaurant. Therefore, the peddlers' guild is condoning this fraud and letting it go.
You can now add this to your 'list of people you wouldn't mind smashing'.
'Are there any farmers and fishermen in District 42?
'Yes. There is an agricultural area around the church. There's a big river running behind it, and fishermen live by the river.'
'Then take me there.
'Are you going now?
'No, later is fine.
The sun is just beginning to rise now.
There's no way we can talk at this hour. You can only talk to him when it's convenient for him. If you're busy, you'll be turned away or you won't make a good impression even if you can talk. Don't be hasty.
But I'll secure a supplier as soon as possible and stop wasting money like this.
But first, we have to go to the church, which is now eating our food for free, and tell them to end their donations.
It's the least I can do.
If he's okay with it, then maybe it's a matter of letting it go.
We can't let people who take advantage of the bottom-feeder to line their own pockets go unchecked.
All the scammers except me should disappear from the world.
'Let's go to church first. I'm sure it will be a meaningful time.'
'Yes, sir. The church in District Forty-two is a nice place. I'm sure Mr. Yashiro will like it.'
I'll like it?
Not at all. It's enemy territory.
'Then, I'll finish my preparations as soon as possible.
Ginette clenches her fists and makes a cute little bump.
With Ginette at my side, I read the account book, which was written in fine print, from cover to cover.
As I left the cafeteria and walked along the south side of the road, I saw a field.
A few people seemed to be hard at work in the fields early in the morning. ...... Oh, I was surprised. You'll be able to find a lot more than just a few of them. ...... You're not vandalizing the field, are you?
'Mr. Mo-Mat. Good morning!'
'Ah, Ginette, good morning.'
The man with the crocodile face, Mormat, gives a momentary look of suspicion when he sees me.
...... You think I'm suspicious?I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that.
You may need to negotiate with him sooner or later. ...... Make a good first impression.
'That's a lot of energy.
'Nn...... ah. Oh, well.'
The reply is stiff.
I'll try to smile and take a step further.
'Can I have a look?
'Here?That's fine, but there's nothing here, is there?
'No, sir. I just got to this town two days ago. Everything I see is unusual.'
'Oh, I see.'
After getting his approval, I parked the cart with enough food for thirty people on the shoulder of the road, told Ginette no, and walked into the field.
The field was surrounded by waterways and seemed to be a decent place for farming.
However, the land seems to be a little thin.
The leaves of the crops in the field are a little thin. ...... I think this is a carrot.
'How are they doing this year?
'Not so good. Well, it's like that every year.
Even so, carrots seem early in April. ...... When I looked at the next field, lettuce was growing. Beyond that, there are pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, and ............ a haphazard sense of season.
Is it possible to harvest vegetables all year round in this world?If so, it's a paradise.
I pick up the soil and crush it with my fingers. It's ...... moist enough, and it smells ...... of compost. It doesn't look too bad.
I guess they don't use any pesticides, because the lettuce is pretty much wormed out.
It's a nice vegetable. I want some of this.
'Are you interested in farming, looking at the state of the soil?
I'm not interested in farming, I'm interested in the commercial value of the vegetables here.
'Would you like to take a bite?
'Are you sure?'
'Oh, yeah. We won't make much money selling them anyway.'
'Is that so?
I guess complaints about vendors are similar in every world.
'We throw away what we can't sell. Feel free to eat it.'
'Well, I'll take your word for it.
'Here, dust off the dirt, wash it in the river there, and you can eat it.'
'Ah!What are you doing, Yashiro-san?
Seeing me take the carrots, Ginette also came into the field.
'I got it from you. I didn't steal it.'
'Hahahaha!There's no one who can steal vegetables in front of the owner!
Mormat laughs out loud.
Ginette walks up to me, stares at the dirt-covered carrot, and drools .......
'Are you hungry all year long?'
'Ha!No, no, no, no!I missed breakfast today, so that's why I'm ......!
''Well then, here's a present for you too, Ginette.''
'What?No, no, no!No, thank you, thank you!
Morgatt pulled out the carrot without hesitation.
I'm sure you're not the only one who has a problem with this.
He took it with both hands and bowed deeply.
'Thank you very much. I'll thank you again at .......'
'No, no, no!One of them won't even be worth 1Rb if you sell it.'
'How many bottles does it take to get 1Rb?'
'We're trading by weight, ......, but it's about seven or eight.
If one of these weighs about 150 grams,......1, that's 1Rb per kilo,.......
At the sunny pavilion, I bought 10 kilograms of scrap vegetables for 80Rb.
After all, it's much cheaper to buy directly from the farmer.
'I've washed them.
While Mormat and I were talking, Ginette seemed to have washed the carrots.
Let's have a taste.
I took the carrot from Ginette and bit into the tip. .................. Yes, it's sweet. But, well, subtle?
It's okay. But it's good enough to serve in a diner.
'Oh, it's so sweet~......'
Next to me, Ginette is impressed.
She puts her hand on her cheek and stares at the carrot with an enraptured expression. ...... Is that so?
You'll find a lot of people who are looking for a way to make their lives easier. In a way, he's happy, but objectively, he's unhappy.
Jeannette's eyes sparkle as she leans in close to me.
'If you cut off the part I bit off, you can serve this carrot in the cafeteria, right?
'...... I think there's a difference between saving money and being stingy.
I'm a proponent of saving money in the right way.
More than anything, when I see Jeannette's stomach churning, I want to say, 'Just eat one.
'Oh, that's right!If we don't go soon, everyone will be waiting for us hungry!
The sun is shining brightly in the sky, and the crisp morning air is gradually getting warmer.
A little too much of a detour.
'Well then, Mr. Mo-Mat. I'm sorry to bother you while you were working. The carrots were delicious.'
I straighten up, say thank you, and hold out my right hand.
Seizing my hand, Mo-Mat smiled happily.
'No. I know you're still getting used to the city, so let me know if you need any help. I'm always here to help.'
'Thank you very much.
That's nice of you to say.
Now I'll definitely have to help Mo-Matt when I'm in trouble. By the Judgment of the Spirits. ...... Well, even with such a threat, there's not much this old man can do about it.
But for now, I've got a farmer's connection. All right.
I left the field and headed for the church, pulling a cart.
The church was a stone's throw from Mormat's field. ......, but...
I thought it was a haunted house.
There was a rickety wooden building that looked like it was about to fall down.
The roof was pointed, and there was a cross with a circle attached to the end of it, perhaps to mark the church.
Are all the buildings in the 42nd district like this: ......
I don't know what they're looking out for, but they've got wooden walls surrounding their premises and even a gate. ...... Who would steal anything from a ramshackle church like this? The labor costs will add up.
Or are you under attack from other religions?If that's the case, I'd like to tell them not to waste their efforts. Even if left alone, this church will collapse in a few years.
The reason why this church has a fence and a gate is because the woman sitting across from me on the train said, "I wouldn't look at yours even if you asked me to! I feel as uncomfortable as a woman of the class of 'I won't look at yours even if you ask me!
This leaning wall could collapse with a single kick.
Ginette called out loudly as she arrived at the gate.
Then ............ wow ......
Little kids came pouring out of the church.
All of them were smiling happily and making a mad dash for the gate.
The kids flock to the ginette. ...... I watch the scene from a little distance, a little detached.
...... No, I'm not good with kids. It's because they don't understand logic.
said one of the boys, pointing his finger at me and shouting when he saw me.
Hey. Didn't they teach you not to point at people?That finger is going to bend in the wrong direction.
'It's a man!
'It's really a man!Ginette's brought a man!
'Sister!GinetteNechan is here!
'Oh, um!Everyone!Calm down!Yashiro-san is a person who has agreed to help us, and we are not related to her in any way. ......'
'You're getting married?
'Huh?No, I'm not!...... probably.'
'It's so boring!
'No, even if you say it's boring, ......'
It's getting kind of exciting.
But I don't want to get involved, so I ignore them.
I turned my back to the kids so that they wouldn't see me.
If you make eye contact with them, they'll come to you.
I thought .........
You don't have to make eye contact with the kid to get him to come over.
He kicked me in the ass.
' 'Ouch! That's it!Squeak, squeak, squeak!
'Squeak, squeak, squeak!
Two squeamish kids. One has a human face, the other a fox-like face. ...... They're both men, right?
Okay, go easy on them.
'You little shit!
He takes the fleeing kid by both sides and starts spinning as hard as he can on the spot.
The kid screams.
How about that!Do you realize how scary adults can be?
'Squeak, squeak, squeak!
That voice quickly turned to laughter.
...... d*mn, I'm pretty tired and I haven't done any damage. ......
'Ah, I'm tired. The end.'
It's only been four days since my body was rejuvenated!
I feel like an old man!
I put the kids down and looked up to see a ............ line forming.
'What ...... is this?
'They're waiting for their turn, Yashiro-san.
The children in the line were all looking up at me with sparkling eyes.
............ Are you serious?
I count the kids in line. ............ eight people.
What, am I gonna die?
'Come on, Jeannette. Let's get ready to eat. We're all hungry, right?
Let's get the hell out of here.
I'll serve you what I made today. So disperse, children. Dismissed.
The kids won't break ranks.
Not only that, but the little girl at the front (presumably 4 years old, beautiful with cat ears) started to get all pouty-eyed.
Jeannette approached me and gave me an earful.
'Just one ...... at a time.'
'...... Are you a demon?
'............ I got it!Don't piss on me if you're scared, kids!
Oh, crap!Holding a little girl is no fun at all!There's nothing soft about them!
The two girls in my arms laugh and squeal.
...... I wonder if they'll all do this for real.
A calm, cool voice said.
I looked and saw a surprisingly beautiful woman standing there.
I stopped spinning and looked at her.
She had beautiful silver hair and eyes as clear as jade. Her nose is well defined, and she looks like a genie or an elf from a storybook, an unrealistic beauty. ............ Ah, an elf. I'm not sure if he's an elf or not. The ears are pointed.
'Sister, good morning.
'Good morning, Jeannette. By the way, what kind of event is this?
'Yes. Mr. Yashiro is teaching us an interesting game.
'Yashiro?Do you mean him?
'Yes, sir. Mr. Obayashi. He's been helping out at our store since yesterday.
'Well, ...... at the Ginette's Diner. ......'
The beautiful sister is staring at me with her finger on her thin chin.
I feel nervous when a ...... beautiful woman stares at me. ......
I'm not sure what you mean by cool beauty.
Her face is too neat and tidy, giving her a cold impression. I think I'd cry if she got mad at me.
'So, should I just line up here?
'Yes, that's right. Let's line up together.'
'Hey, two adults!
Are you on the level of ...... Jeannette, you beautiful sister?
If I hold you guys, you'll have a lot of trouble with all the things hitting all the places.
'Oh, is it for children only?
'Adults have to pay extra.
I'll do it if you pay for it. ...... I'll touch you in various places, of course.
'Then let's give up. I'm afraid I don't have a lot of money to spare.
Without any pretense of regret, the sister easily withdraws ......, which is a little disappointing for us .......
I'm Bertina. I'm a sister in this church.
The sister who introduced herself as Bertina held out her right hand and asked for a handshake.
My name is Ginette, so I'll just omit .......
I shook Bertina's hand and greeted her.
'Nice to meet you, Bertina.
And ...... my right arm is squeezed with a tremendous grip.
'...... What kind of upbringing do you have to have to call someone you've never met before?Besides, I haven't heard your name directly from you yet.
'I'm sorry, I'm sorry!My name is Obayashi!My name is Yashiro!Nice to meet you, Miss Bertina!
'Yes, sir. It's nice to meet you too.
If I were a fish, I'd have a small bone.
...... If I were a fish, I'd have five or six small bones broken off. ......
Scary, this guy. Super scary. ......
'The sisters are usually very kind, but they are very polite and when they get angry they are very scary.
Ginette sneaks an earful at me.
...... Tell me first, that kind of thing.
'Well, Jeannette. I'm sorry, but I'm looking forward to working with you again today.
'Yes, sir!Everyone, please help me!
Ginette said, and the children replied cheerfully, pulling the carts into the grounds.
They were probably getting ready for breakfast.
'Miss Bertina. Do you have a moment?
'Yes, what is it?
I make sure that Ginette and the children are inside the church, and I open my mouth.
'Do you know Jeannette well?
'Yes, I do. I've known her since she was a little girl.'
'And you know his house?
'She's the one who took over the diner left by her grandfather, but ...... the business doesn't seem to be doing well.'
'Then let's talk about it.
Facing Bertina, whose expression has not changed, I say straight to the point.
'I'd like to discontinue my donation of food.
'...... Is that the will of Ginette?'
'No, sir. It's my idea.'
'...... May I ask why?
'Ginette is not in a financial position to be donating to others. The chairs in the store are all falling apart, and the only food we can buy is garbage vegetables. This is not going to improve our lives any time soon.
'You're absolutely right, .......'
'Eventually, he'll collapse. Overworked.'
'I've been concerned about that for some time.
'Then you'll agree to cut off the donation, won't you?
'No, thank you.
'What about ............?
'I said I couldn't accept that.'
'No, because ......'.
I was surprised.
I was expecting him to say, 'I can't help it,' given the flow of the conversation.
Is this man self-centered?
'There are a lot of children in the church. If Jeannette's donations are cut off, they will starve.'
'I understand the importance of the children, but why would Jeannette continue to donate at the cost of her own life?It's too much to ask.
'Then I agree to terminate .......'
............ This guy.
Don't think you can get away with anything just because you're beautiful, okay?
'I've been saying since ...... much earlier ...... when that girl's grandfather passed away that donations are not necessary.'
Bertina is staring at me with a blank expression.
The quiet look in her eyes sent a shiver down my spine.
'If that's what Ginette wants, I'll agree to cut off the donation at any time. It's not something I can force her to do in the first place.
'But he wouldn't say that, would he, ......?
I'm sure he won't say that. Even if he could talk.
'You know that. ......'
'You think he's ...... taking advantage of the girl's good will?'
'Is there a difference?'
'Half the time, yes. ...... There's definitely a part of me that's taking advantage of that girl's kindness.'
'And the other half?
'It's my responsibility as a ...... parent.'
'She used to live here too, you know. She lost her parents, she had nowhere to go.'
'No......, because she had an old man, right?
'My adoptive grandfather.'
Adopted grandfather. ...... No, grandson. ......
So Jeannette was adopted.
'She left here when she was twelve.
Then she moved to the diner.
'Her grandfather was a long-time donor to this church. Just like Ginette now.'
'You mean she's carrying on her grandfather's legacy?
'That's one thing, but ...... you want to protect your brothers and sisters.'
Bertina turns her gaze towards the church.
'Yashiro-san!Sister!We're going to eat!
Did he know what Jeannette was going to do?
Or is it a special ability of the elves or something?...... or just by accident?
'I'm glad you said that because you care about her.
'No, I'm not. ......'
I wasn't thinking of Jeannette when I said that.
I'm trying to protect my base. And to stop wasting money.
'But I can't grant your wish if Jeannette hasn't agreed to it. As a substitute parent, I don't want to see my daughter's face grieving.
Will she be sad ............?
Don't be sad. Never.
That would make it hard for me to stay in that place.
Ginette is not making this donation out of the kindness of her heart.
She's doing it for herself, too.
Knowing this, Bertina is accepting the donation from Ginette.
I'm not sure I can cut down on my donations here: ............
If anything, antagonizing the landlord would be fatal. We have to avoid that.
When he called my name, I looked up and saw ...... fluffy, white, thin fingers stroking my hair.
It smelled good, clear and clean.
I'm sure she'll be relieved to have someone like you by her side. She may not have said it, but she must have been feeling lonely and alone.
It reminds me of that empty house, rickety and spacious.
Suddenly, that day comes back to my mind.
The silence, as if a fire had gone out, and the loneliness that made my familiar home feel like a different place. ......
'Please, please help her.
'No, I'm not ......'.
What a straight-eyed man.
There is no hesitation in his thoughts, such eyes.
However, those straight eyes are a little cloudy.
How can you trust an impostor?
'She's a bit of a loose cannon, you know. It would be helpful to have a solid person like you with her.
Bertina's expression softened a little.
'A little ......, are your eyes holes?
'Hmm, my child is unconditionally cute and also looks like a genius.'
'Are you a parenting idiot?
'I'm an idiot instead of a parent.
The too-perfect beauty that had been giving the impression of being cold as ice was distorted into a crumpled mess.
It was foully beautiful, and had the power to make the viewer surrender unconditionally.
It's not fair,......, to have such a cheat weapon as your initial equipment.
It's a good idea to get inside now. People will be worried.'
'Oh. I didn't eat breakfast either, did I?
Following Bertina, I walked into the church grounds.
A good smell is wafting outside.
They must be reheating it inside the church.
'It smells good, doesn't it?
Bertina's mouth drops in happiness.
'Ginette's food is delicious, isn't it?
'Yes. I can't give you anything in return. That's why I'm going to enjoy it with gratitude.
Coincidentally, it seems that this person is also practicing what I taught Jeannette, 'accept a favor.
'Normally, I should be more reserved, but...'
Ginette must be feeling fulfilled seeing everyone else happily eating.
As long as you can't stop donating, it's better to have people eat well.
Well, we'll have to deal with the cost of ingredients separately. ......
'Oh, by the way, how many more people are there besides the kids from earlier?
'Huh?No, that's all the kids I just saw.
I stopped dead in my tracks.
No, there were only ten kids I saw earlier.
'I've prepared about thirty servings, sir.
'Oh, in that case.'
Bertina patted herself on the stomach and said with a big smile.
'I'm a picky eater.
I may not be able to cut you off, but I'll eat less!
With renewed determination, I walked into the church.