17-Episode 15 Salmon Pink

'...... hunting beasts makes me very hungry'

We returned to the sunny pavilion and gathered in an empty room on the second floor.
Until the renovation of the cafeteria is finished, this room is a simple living room.

There is a small table and four chairs in the room.
I'm sitting diagonally across from Magda, who is seated by the entrance to the room, and Estella is standing behind me. Ginette is out of the room for a moment and is not here.

Magda turns her head slightly to stare at the table and speaks quietly. He speaks of a power beyond human understanding.
The reason he was ostracized by the hunting guild.

Magda quickly killed and flattened a bull that had suddenly appeared on the main street.
According to the story, these Tigers have a greater talent for hunting prey than any other race, and they also have a special ability for hunting.
However, when they use this ability, they become unusually hungry.

'When that flame-like aura comes out, you Tigers are invincible, right?
'...... Yes. When it's activated, the Tigers' strength and speed will increase by tens of times.

That's a hell of a cheat ability.

'...... Magda and the others call that light 'the red, fuzzy, glowing thing'.'
'Couldn't you have thought of a better name for it? ......'
'...... We've been calling it that for generations.
'What a disappointing family, the Tigers......'

It's not just that they have no sense of naming.
I'm not sure what to make of it. ...... Well, I guess that's actually true.

I'm not sure what to make of it.
'......'s weird abbreviation is unacceptable.
'The official name is already weird.

It is said that the Tigers who activate the Red Moya are struck by an intense hunger and devour whatever food is in front of them.
Taste is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what it tastes like, as long as they can eat it. Whether it is raw meat or a creature protected by a tough shell, ...... they sometimes chew up the shell of a turtle and eat it.
And the Tigers are the most terrifying when they are eating. They will mercilessly and unintentionally eliminate anyone who gets in their way. Magda didn't remember throwing me off.
Anyone who comes near me while I'm eating is eliminated. It's ingrained in their instincts.
Dogs and cats get very angry if you touch them while they're eating. It must be like that.

'...... With training, it is possible to successfully control the 'red shiny thing'.
'But you still can't control it, despite your training.'

I continued, and Magda nodded her head.

In other words, every time he went hunting, he ate his prey on the spot.

You can hunt, but you cannot harvest.
Magda says that no matter how strong the beast, you will never be defeated. However, the stronger the beast, the more power you use, and the hungrier you get.
If you hunt a small beast, you can eat it.
The bigger the beast, the more you gobble up.
In the end, it is said that they finish their meal without leaving a single piece of meat.

...... He's the kind of guy who says, 'The staff ate it up later.

'But you're a small eater if you don't hunt, aren't you?

Estella asks Magda.
Right now, Magda has a loaf of black bread and some milk in front of her, but she hasn't touched it at all.

'...... now, I'm full.

That's because he ate that big cow all by himself.

But the incident in the city was really dangerous.
If we hadn't been careful, we could have suffered a great loss.

Just as the riot was beginning to die down, a merchant in an overturned wagon approached Magda.
He said that he was on his way to take the rampaging cattle to a vendor and was upset to see them completely devoured. Magda, who had eaten all the meat, shouted at him, 'Pay for it! Magda, who had eaten all the meat, shouted at him.

So I acted quickly.
I complained that if Magda had not been there, the damage would have been much worse.
Of course, I was not talking to the cattle merchants. I was talking to the people who were there, especially those who had set up store on the main street.

Then, as if following my lead, those who had been affected by this series of events, to a greater or lesser extent, began to speak out.
They ranged from complaints of actual damage, such as 'the rampaging cattle destroyed our goods,' 'they ate all our meat and vegetables,' 'they ransacked our store and damaged our pillars,' to accusations of 'the rampaging cattle surprised us and made us fall and scraped our knees,' 'our old man was knocked down and could not stand up,' and 'our children were traumatized. and other accusations. Arrows of accusations were fired at us from all directions, as if we were in a battle of damage boasting.

After all the noise, those present came to a conclusion about the cattle merchant.
'Isn't it your fault for letting the cattle go in the first place?

At times, the unity of the victims can be very powerful. This is especially true in situations like this.
However, such strong unity cannot be born without a trigger.
Even if you know that everyone in the room feels the same way, everyone is hesitant to take the initiative. They are afraid that they might not get the support of the people around them.

That's why I've decided to take on the role.
Not out of a sense of justice, of course. If you're just a bystander who has nothing to do with it, you're an idiot for talking about it.

But at that moment, I was a party to Magda.

The cattle merchant would have been helpless to do anything more if he had tried to corner Magda, who was completely unresponsive to his attacks. So what would the cattle dealer do next?
That goes without saying. Find out who was involved.
I can't stand it when he does that. That's why I volunteered to be the one to light the fire.

My prediction was correct, and once the fire was lit, it burned like an inferno.
Not only did people complain about the damage caused by the rampaging cattle, but some even came to Magda's defense.
''If it weren't for this girl, our store would have collapsed! You've done well for such a small body! That's great! And so on.
Some of them even praised Magda's achievement and said that they would not allow her to walk on this street in the future if she was in trouble.

As a result, the cattle trader withdrew his claim against Magda, saying that he would assume that the cow had escaped.
I was deeply relieved to hear those words.
I don't know how much I would have had to pay for a whole cow if I had been claimed for compensation. ...... A full meal of grilled meat is only a small part of a cow. ...... horrible, horrible, horrible.

The reason why so many people defended Magda after she did such a crazy thing has something to do with her appearance and her subsequent actions.

Magda is small and has little expression, but her face is not badly made. You could call her cute.
Such a small child ate a lot of food and said 'thank you' in a satisfied manner after finishing the meal.
The adults in the room, both male and female, were sunk.
I was in a bit of trouble, too.
If it hadn't been for the beef I was eating, I might have been fooled. ...... You see, when he was satisfied with his meal, I thought, 'How much did you eat?
If you take a child to a family restaurant and he or she doesn't refrain from eating, you'll yell at him or her, 'No, refrain! You'd yell at him.That's how I feel.

I was always on the edge of my seat because every time the beef went down, I thought, 'Now that's 10,000 ......20,000 ............ Oh, 50,000 is going to fly! .

Fortunately, I was not charged.
Instead, the cattle merchant was blacklisted from the main street.
A flyer saying "Sloppy management caused damage to the city" was made and posted on the bulletin board in the main street. Apparently, the cattle merchant was not allowed to pass through the main street during the period when the flier was posted.
He will have to bypass the main street to go to the business meeting or to deliver the goods.
That would be a huge loss. The wagons were so rickety.

The main street of the 42nd district, though shabby, was neatly leveled.
They are strong enough to withstand the passage of horse-drawn carriages.
But if you go down one alley, it's the worst road after the worst road. ...... I hope they don't let the cows escape again.

By the way, don't tell anyone that I was secretly overjoyed when the flyer on the bulletin board was placed on top of my handbill.

'Thank you for waiting~!

Jeannette comes to our room on the second floor with a plate of grilled salmon.
While we were talking, Ginette had been cooking lunch for everyone.
This salmon was given to me by Delia of the river fishing guild. She gave me about ten of them for free as a sign of friendship, so I thought I'd give them a taste of how they should be eaten.

'Wow, ...... the flesh is really red.

Estella's eyebrows furrowed as she looked at the grilled salmon.
Apologize to the salmon, you rude bastard!

'Don't look at me like that. He's been out to sea once. He's like a sea fish.

'Huh?How can a river fish go out to sea? If you tell a stupid lie, I'll turn you into a frog.'
'I'm not lying. This red flesh is the proof.'
'Are you saying the flesh turned red because it went out to sea?'

Estella gives me a blatantly scandalous look.
Ginette, on the other hand, sits across from me and leans forward, curious.
Next to her, Magda is also staring at me. His vacant eyes seemed to tell me '...... more'.

'Are you saying that if you soak it in salt water, the white meat will turn red?
'No, of course not. The reason it's red is because it's eating krill.

It's the same principle as the red shells of shrimps and crabs.

'What's more, ............ this salmon fish is actually a ............ whitefish!

'What the heck? I was hoping for a ...... reaction, but everyone fell silent.
Then they looked at the salmon on the table, then at me, and all of them had a pitying look on their faces.

'......Yashiro, finally, even your eyes are bad. ......'
'Anyway, why don't you tell me what else is wrong with you?

Estella said rudely.
Salmon is really a white fish.

In the first place, red and white fish are classified according to the type of muscle.
Red meat is suitable for long distance swimming.
It is the white fish that has high instantaneous force.
If we classify them as such, salmon is a white fish.
It's just that its flesh is red.

'Is that true?
'I told you that my country is an island nation, didn't I?I'm a bit advanced when it comes to fish.

That's why I know how to eat a good salmon.
In fact, I've already made salmon flakes!
Ginette's soup stock was good, so I used it and seasoned it with sake to make a very tasty salmon flake. Now we can enjoy the old rice stored in the sunny pavilion.
Rice mixed with salmon flakes.
Sounds delicious, doesn't it?
I don't have time to cook rice today, so I guess I'll have to try it another time. ...... No, that's too bad.

'Oh, by the way, I made the salmon flake rice that Yashiro-san mentioned.

'Great job, Jeannette!Bring it to me now!'
'Yes, sir!'

With a cheerful reply, Ginette left the room.
The kitchen is being renovated, so there is now a simple fire pit in the courtyard. I built it myself.
He was cooking rice there. He's good.

All you have to do is mix the cooked rice with salmon flakes and you're done. It's also good sprinkled with white sesame seeds or mixed with chopped green onions and butter.

Oh, I see.

I may have found a way to use this.

It was almost the same time Estella looked at me and Jeannette came into the room again.

'What?What, what, Jeannette?
'Yashiro-san and Estella-san are kissing!
'No, no, no, I didn't!I didn't!

The timing and the angle I saw it from must have been terrible.
I was accused of something I didn't mean.

'You know, Jeannette. If you're going to do it, do it more secretly.
'I don't even do it sneakily!
'Then I'll do it in a sticky way.
'Not even sticky!What do you mean, 'sticky'?

Estella's face turns bright red.

'It's red meat.
'Oh, shut up!

Estella turns her back to me and sits down next to me.
She seems to be planning to eat.

'Hey, that's weird!I'm pretty sure I was invited to participate in the tasting of the new product.
'I didn't say I wouldn't take money.
'You're really going to let money ruin your life one day, aren't you?

You idiot.
I've already experienced such things.

'Estella-san. You don't have to pay. It's on the owner's authority.

'I'm really glad you're a decent person, Ginette. Just be careful not to let Yashiro infect you.

What kind of new virus am I?

Except for Magda, who had already declared that she couldn't eat anymore, three servings of the grilled salmon set meal were laid out on the table. Grilled salmon and salmonara soup. Rice balls mixed with salmon flakes. All kinds of salmon.

It smells good.

Ginette cringed at the aroma of the grilled salmon.
Estella, on the other hand, is not so keen.

'...... is red.
'Shrimp and tomatoes are also red.
'I'm saying it's red because it's a river fish. For example, what if beef was green?Like cabbage.'
'Would you say, "Hey, is this ...... alien? You might say.
'......, that's ............, what does that mean?'

So aliens are not recognized in this world.
Maybe there is no concept of the universe.
Exactly, 'I observe, therefore there is a universe'.
If you don't pay attention to the universe, it's as if it doesn't exist.

Thanks to this, a very funny gag has slipped. This is a serious matter. This is a liability issue.

'Well, if you really don't want to eat it, then it can't be helped. Stuff it in your mouth, even if you have to cry about it.'
'...... I can only hope that you have some kindness in you, even if it's just a grain of sand.

Ignoring Estella's grumbling, I put my chopsticks into the salmon.
The flesh of the salmon, which has been roasted to perfection, easily unravels with a simple push of the chopsticks and becomes just the right size.
I take a bite of it and throw it into my mouth. ...... chew ............ Delicious.
It's totally salmon.
It has a nostalgic taste.

'It's delicious!

Ginette squealed with delight.
She holds her mouth with her left hand and stares at the salmon, her big eyes narrowed with happiness. The look in her eyes was what you might call envy.
Then Jeannette took a bite of the rice ball mixed with salmon flakes.


Instantly, her eyes widened like a gourmet manga and she looked as if to say, 'What is this? He looked as if he wanted to say, 'What is this?

'The salmon meat and rice grains are screaming in your mouth!

...... Hmm, that's too bad!
I don't know what that means.

I also took a bite of a rice ball mixed with salmon flakes.
Hmm ......, this would be even better if the rice was good.

'Is it that good?
'Yes. It's so good I'm sorry I didn't know about it before!
'......If Ginette-chan says so much, ............'

Estella, still doubtful, slowly brings the salmon to her mouth.

'............Yes. It's a fish.'
'Not much of a reaction, huh?

'I've never eaten anything this good before! I've never eaten anything so delicious!

'If they say it's a fish from the sea, I can eat it without any problem.
'But wouldn't that be cheating the customer?
'Is that so?If what Yashiro said is true, he's been out to sea once, right?It's not a lie, is it?'
'Isn't that so: ......'

It's just a normal conversation.
Let's be more impressed. The taste of grilled salmon.

Well, I'm not so particular about food that I'll start talking about it when I have a good meal.
Unless it's a gourmet manga, the reaction to a good meal is like this.

'Yashiro-san. What should I say when I put this fish, which can be called river fish or sea fish, on the menu?
'Well, you can just call it 'grilled fish set meal'.
'Oh, ............ that's right.

There is no need to label it as 'river' or 'sea'.
Since grilled fish is served, there is no problem with the grilled fish set meal.

'This rice mixture is also very good.
'If you change the rice, it will taste several times better. It should have a higher potential.

This is not an ingredient to make stinky rice edible.
It's for making good rice even better.

'Would you like one, Magda-san?

Magda had been watching us in silence for a while.
His eyes were glued to the rice ball with salmon flakes.

'If you can eat it, please do.
'...... Thank you for the food.

Magda received a rice ball of mixed rice with salmon flakes and ate it with a small mouthful.

'............ delicious.'
'It is, isn't it!

For some reason, Jeannette smiled happily and patted Magda's head.

'Oh, yes.
I had an idea to cover Magda's flaws.

'Hey, Magda.
'I'm not giving you .............'
'Who said anything about giving it to me?'

Magda twisted around to hide the rice ball. I'm sure you're full of ...... food.
I've got my own.

'Tomorrow, we'll go hunting together.'
'...... together?'
'Yeah. I'll help you overcome your shortcomings. We'll bring back some big game and sell it to the hunting guild.'
'...... Magda, can you do that?'
'Yes. No, I'll make him do it.

And we'll make a fortune.
...... Hmmm, just you wait, you miserable old men of the hunting guild.
You can suffer as much as you want from the deal you made. I'll make you regret your grand gesture.

'I'll make you a bento.
'...... "Bento"?'

Magda's pronunciation was unsteady as she parroted back.
Could it be that there was no word for bento?

'You know how adventurers and hawkers bring food with them when they go on long journeys?It's a one-time use version of that.'
'In other words, you're talking about bringing enough food for one meal?
'Well, I guess so.

As expected, Estella is a quick learner.
There's no restriction to one meal, though.

'If you get very hungry after hunting your prey, you can eat the lunch box you brought. That way, you won't have to touch your prey.
'......, but I can't afford to cook.
'You'll have to cook first, and then you'll just eat.
'...... bread, maybe?'

I see.
It's not customary to carry cooked food around in this world.

Come to think of it, I don't see many people walking around eating outside.

'For example, I take this rice ball with me.

When it comes to lunch boxes, it's onigiri. And grilled salmon.

'But if you take the food outside the city with you, ...... won't it get cold?
'What's wrong with getting cold?

Bento is still delicious even when it's cold.
I used to eat freshly cooked rice after I let it cool down.

''Good. Let's all go hunting tomorrow. I'll show you the beauty of bento.'
'That sounds great!I want to go out with you guys!
'How about Magda?'
'...... good.'
'You can hunt, can't you?
'...... I'll take care of it.'
'Then let's do it.

If it works, we'll have a source of income.
We'll have a large surplus of scrap vegetables for lunch, and Magda will hunt the beasts. The hunting guild will buy the beasts we hunt, so it's perfect.

'Estella-san, would you like to join us?
'Ummm ......'

Ginette's invitation was met with reluctance by Estella.

'It's not that I'm doubting Yashiro, but I really think that hot food tastes better. It's not that I doubt Yashiro, but...'
'Don't say that again. It's even more vain.
'Does cold rice taste good?
In my country, there is even a food called 'chilled Chinese food'.

It's a food that's declared to be 'ready' everywhere in the summer. You could say it is a summer tradition.

But Estella doesn't seem to be keen on it.
Isn't this guy obsessed with stereotypes?
Go ahead, I don't want red meat, go ahead, I don't want cold rice.
You should be reincarnated in Japan and eat ekiben. Your world will be turned upside down.

'Hmmm, ...... cold meals. ......'
'If you hate it so much, you don't have to come. It'll save you a lot of money.'

There's no food for those who don't like it!
You'll be left alone to fend for yourself!

'Ginette. Pack lunches for the three of us. I'll choose the menu.'
'Yes, but... Estella is at .......'
'Leave her alone. She's not really an employee, she's just a free lunch eater who's been doing nothing but collecting food for us lately. There's no need to share your lunch with him.

Estella glared at me with a clearly unhappy look on her face when I assured her.
Huh, you can stare all you want. No matter what you do, there's no way I'm going to break.

'Introductory tax ......'
'It's 400Rb for residents of this city, but 5,000Rb for non-residents who haven't declared to the lord.'

What, do I need to do that?
And 5,000 Rb? That means 50,000 yen?Fifty thousand yen just to enter the city?
I mean, 4,000 yen for a resident, that's too much of a rip-off!

'Well, that's none of my business. After all, I'm an outsider who eats for free.
'What is it?'

I gently call out to Estella, who has bent her head.
I turn my body and look Estella straight in the eye.

'I need you.
'......, I think that's a very lousy thing to say at this time, don't you?
'Without you, I'm sure I'd be screwed. ......'
'...... What's in your heart?
'I don't have 5,000Rb.'
'..................I'll get you a one-time permit. You have to live in the 42nd district for at least three months before you can become a resident.'

Estella is a very nice girl.
I'll give her a compliment.

'You look beautiful today too, Estella.

'Hey, can you stop saying things like that with a straight face?
'Yes!You're so handsome!
'Is that supposed to be a compliment?

You're a hard woman to compliment.

'I'll have the permit for you by the end of the day. In return, you'll get a reasonable reward.
''The right to go on a date with Yashiro-kun for a day (you pay for it).''
'I don't want it!
'The right to eat Yashiro's homemade food (the cost is yours)'
'It's not your home-cooked food that I want to eat!
'The right to eat Yashiro's foot dishes (at your expense).
'What's foot cooking?If you can do it, let's have it done!

In the end, Estella demanded two weeks' worth of lunch in exchange for the permit.
She's such a cheapskate.

'I'd like to see my parents' faces, you know.
'Hmm?What the hell?
'...... I don't think we've progressed to that stage yet, have we?
'What are you talking about?

I don't think we're on the same page,......, but that's okay.

And so it was decided that we would go on a hunt that might decide the fate of the Sunlit Pavilion.
At the same time as making a donation to the church, we also had to prepare the lunch box.

And then I looked at Jeannette.


She was staring at me, looking like she wanted to say something. A little displeased.

'What's wrong?'
'......No, it's nothing, but ............'

Jeannette held her chest and exhaled once.

'............ No, it's nothing, after all.'

What the hell?
If you have something to say, say it clearly.

After that, we discussed what to put in our lunchboxes, which gate to leave from and where to go hunting, and which gate to pass through on the way back to get a discount on the entry tax.
It was mainly me and Estella who spoke, with Magda only interjecting a word or two about hunting.
Ginette was quiet throughout, and I kept feeling uncomfortable, as if something was stuck in my back teeth.

'Well, I'm going to go apply for a permit.

Estella stands up after the conversation.

'Oh, I'll see you off.

Ginette stood up and followed her.
However, just as she left the room, she stopped and turned to look at me.

'Oh, um, Yashiro-san.

And then she softly picked up the hem of her apron dress and bowed cutely.

'How is ...... it, sir?
'How about ...... no, it's cute though?'
'I see!Thank you very much!

I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this.

I'm not sure what to make of .......
I don't know what I'm competing with.

Well, if it makes Jeannette feel better, so much the better.
I'll do what I do best.


Magda calls me. '...... You call me that?

'............ Magda, are you cute?'
'............That's enough.'

That was all she said, and Magda left the room too.
The room next to mine had been rented out to Magda, so she went back there.

I was left alone in the room.
It's hard to understand a woman's mind.
I don't think she's in love with me.

I took a bite of the rice ball with salmon flakes mixed in it, which I had dared to leave behind, and was convinced that the food was still good even when it was cold.