28-Episode 26 Treasure Discovery

We left the Sunken Pavilion and headed west.
There is a river ahead where Delia and the rest of the river fishing guild are always fishing, and beyond that is a swampy area.
I wonder if there are any corn farmers. ...... As I was thinking this, Yap Rock, who was leading the way, stopped in front of a patch of grass.

'Watch your step, please.

He said this and walked into the thick grass.
Wuerer, Tot and Cheryl, Yaplock's wife, followed unhesitatingly.


It seems that I'm not the only one who can't hide my confusion, and Estella is clearly frowning.

'I didn't know there was a path here.

Ginette peeked into the bushes.
There was a narrow path that could barely be passed by a single person.
There were no signs, and you had to look very carefully to find any signs of human passage, a veritable animal path.
Thanks to the fact that people had passed through there several times, there were no weeds growing. This is the only place where no weeds are growing.

...... To be honest, it's not a location I'd want to be near on a rainy day.

'Estella. Ladies first.'
'Yashiro, can you please get going?I've got the rest of the world behind me.

...... He's going to make sure I'm safe before he follows!What a jerk!

'Then I'll go to ...... first.'
'No, Jeannette, you come after me.

I don't know what will happen if we put such a ponderous person at the head of the line.
Even if he is bitten by a snake, he might say 'You must be hungry ......' and let the snake bite him as it likes. Even if you found a pit viper, you would never crush its head.

'Excuse me?Can I help you?'

Yap Rock came back, worried about us not following him.

'No, it's nothing. I'll be right there.
'I'm sorry. Not many people pass through here. ......'

Yaplock bows his head. It's not like he has anything to apologize for. ......

'What's the lord doing? The residents are being forced to suffer such inconveniences, and you don't even know about it?
'You know what, Yashiro? ......'

As I vomit out the natural indignation that anyone would have, Estella counters with a dumbfounded look.

'The forty-two districts alone are quite large. There are also diplomatic relations with other districts, and it's practically impossible to keep an eye on everything.
'Oh, what is it?Are you taking the side of the rich?'
'I'm talking in general.

There's no need to stick up for the rich. They are fortunate enough to have money. They deserve to be forced to work six times harder than ordinary people.

'You should try applying for it once. If you are mainly using this road to get to the city, there is a possibility that the lord will act to protect the living environment of the residents.''
'Oh no!I'm afraid so.

At Estella's suggestion, Yap Lock shrunk her small body and shook her head.

'It's not like we have to bother the lord for a path that only we can take. ...... We just have to be patient. We should have made the road ourselves, but we failed to do so, and I am ashamed of that.

...... Is this guy paranoid?
It's obviously the job of the government to build the roads.
And since the residents pay taxes to the lord, they should not hesitate to take advantage of the services available.
I used to go to the city hall to cool off in the summer even though I had no business there.They have water coolers there, too.

Only a small, light-weight yap-rock family can walk along the road, so they are probably not strong enough to trample the weeds. Probably, the path is made up of the parts trampled by the merchants of the peddlers' guild who pass by occasionally.
...... If we're going to carry corn, we'll have to do a better job of maintaining the roads. ............

'You're a small man, you know that?
'I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
'Yashiro. Don't pick on Mr. Yap Lock.'
'I'm just saying that if these guys were bigger, like the bears, the road would have been more level. The Weasel tribe has its limitations.
'Um, we're not the Weasel People.
'What, you're not ......?'

Look at Yap Lock's face.
I look like a .................. weasel, don't I?
Well, even if you put weasels and ferrets together, I can only vaguely recognize them.

'Then what race are you?
'We're the Okojos.

I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who's a fan of your work.
I'm not sure what to make of it.

'............ subtle clan'.
I'm not sure if you've seen this before, but I'm sure you've.

'Yashiro. Don't bully me.'

I'm not picking on you.
I'm just expressing my honest opinion.

'Well, I'd better get going. ......'

It was still raining, and it was getting a little chilly.
Suddenly, I look behind me.
Ginette, Estella and Magda are looking at me.

Estella and Magda seem to be well-trained, so they should be able to handle these weeds.
But ............

'Um, Yashiro?Do I have something on my face?'

This guy might cut his foot on a weed, or catch his foot on a grass root and fall, or sprain his foot. ............

'Yap rock. I'd like to proceed with a little weed trampling. It'll slow us down, if you don't mind.'
'Yes, of course. Then I'll help you.'

No, you can't. ...... is better than nothing.

'Well, let's go.

Just as I'm about to step into the beast path, Jeannette calls out to me.

'I think it's great that you're trying to maintain the path for Yap Rock and the others, but with the current weather conditions, wouldn't it be better to go again on a sunny day?After the rain, the weeds will grow again. ......'

............ What the hell is this guy talking about?

'......?I'm sorry, did I say something funny?
'No. ...... I just felt that the weeds were in the way of me coming through here. Just stay back.'

...... d*mn, who do you think I'm going to go to all this trouble for? ............
I don't like the fact that Estella is giggling behind me as I stomp on the grass.
I don't like it at all.

I put my frustration into my feet and headed down the path.

Through the woods lay a corn farm.
It was large enough. Surrounded by the forest, I thought there would be little sunlight, but there was plenty of sky. When the rain clouds disappear, the farm will be filled with brilliant sunshine.

'It's so big!

Plants as tall as Jeannette are lined up in a row.
It's a cornfield.
Quite large. If we let Magda loose in here, she won't be easy to find.

'Anyway, please come to my house. We don't have anything, but we can offer you a hot drink.'
'That would be great. I'm getting cold.'

The sweat I had worked up while stomping on the weeds had cooled me down completely.
The corn farmer must have prepared corn potage soup for us.

I went to Yap Lock's house with a little hope in my heart, and was astonished by its appearance.
...... This is a barn.

It's a small house, but here you go.

A house?
No, it's a barn, this is a barn.

I'm not sure what to make of it.

Once inside, ...... something made me want to cry.
It's leaking,...... there's no furniture,...... there's only enough chairs for the family,...... oh, okay, okay, you don't have to give them up. I'm not gonna sit on it. I'm not going to sit on it. I mean, the rickety look of this place reminds me of the old sunlit pavilion. ...... What is that, did you make it yourself?

'...... A modest life, isn't it?
'Estella, can't you honestly say it's shabby?
'That's rude, Yashiro.'
'I think we're thinking the same thing.'
'Whether you say it or not is the measure of a man.
'So I'm an honest man.
'I'm sometimes impressed by your positivity.

Estella pulls up a rickety chair and sits down.

Gee ......

The chair creaks with a sound like a gremlin's squeal.

'Isn't there a weight limit?'
'What do you mean, what is it?'

Estella looks at me with eyes that aren't smiling.
I avert my gaze because I feel like I'm going to be turned to stone if I look at her, and sit Magda down next to Estella. Ginette wouldn't sit down even if I suggested it.
Tot and Cheryl sit in the two empty chairs. Ginette had told them to do so.

'We really don't have any ......'.

Yap Lock bowed his head again at the lack of chairs.
'No, that's enough. I'm not expecting it, and it's not making me angry or anything.

'Thank you for waiting.'

Wuerer comes in with a cup on a tray.

'Here's some white water.
'Hot water, huh?

A hot drink!...... No, it's definitely warm, but come on!

'I'm sorry, ...... we don't have anything to serve you. ......'
'Oh, no, ...... sorry.'

You can't complain about the poor people who are trying to entertain you as best they can,......, but do you want hot water?

'...... Mr. Yashiro, I'm sorry.'

I was warned by Ginette in a whisper.
'......I'm sorry.'

I awkwardly looked away.
It's like a studio, with a small kitchen in the back.
Even in Japan, this size of room is for a single person. ......

............ and.

'Hey. Is that a lemon?

I ask Yap Lock, spotting the yellow fruit piled up in the kitchen.

'Huh?Yes, it is. The kids wanted to eat the fruit. ...... I didn't realize how sour it was. ...... I was stupid to choose it because it was cheap. ...... '

I'm starting to feel sorry for you.

'Hmm?Are lemons cheap?'
'Well, you know ...... if you've ever had one, it's not something you can eat unless you like it a lot.'

It was Estella who answered my question.
I wondered if she had ever taken a bite out of a lemon, and she gave me a sour look.

Don't these guys know how to use ...... lemons?
If they're cheap, you might be able to buy them in bulk. ...... Contract with a lemon farmer to handle them for your garbage collection guild. ......

'......Yashiro, your face............ no way, you can do something with lemons?'
'Oh, yeah. It's a very good ingredient. For example, .............'

And then I discover another excellent ingredient.

'There's ginger, isn't there?
'Eh...... ah, yes. I mistook it for a potato and bought it. ...... I couldn't eat it either. ...... I hate myself for being so ignorant and shallow.

Don't even hold a grudge.

I'm not sure if you've seen this before, but I'm sure you've.
...... There are farmers who grow ginger even though the correct way to eat it is not widely known. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what you need to do.

'By the way, do you have any sugar or honey?
'Sugar is too expensive. ...... If you're looking for honey, I have a rather large supply that I got from a friend.'

If you have plenty of honey, you can make something wonderful.

Hot water, lemon, ginger, honey. ...... Yes, hot lemonade.
Some people don't like to add ginger, but ginger raises your body temperature. If you drink it when it's cold, I recommend adding a little bit of ginger. It will make you feel warm from inside even after you finish drinking.

So, squeeze some lemon and make a hot lemonade.
That's what a hot drink is all about, isn't it?

'...... Mmm!It's delicious!

Ginette says to me with a twinkle in her big eyes.
I'm sure she's shuffling it around in her mouth anyway. All right, just shut up and drink it.

'It's making my heart thump in my chest.

A new version is coming!
You must be getting all warm and fuzzy. Then I'm glad.

'I never knew that lemon and ginger could make something so delicious. ......'
'If you know how to use them properly, things you thought were worthless will turn into something wonderful. It's something you can't discover if you don't try it and just assume it's inedible from the start.

Well, I just knew about it.

'...... I see. I was really wrong about everything, wasn't I ......?

Do you really care about what I said?

'But you deserve credit for not throwing it away even though you thought it was worthless. That means you didn't throw away your potential.'

I'll follow up for now.
This is the type of person who will be driven into a corner regardless of my intentions.
If you are not careful, you might be driven into a corner and explode on your own.

'Don't throw away the possibility of ...... ............'.

Yap Lock recited the words I had randomly uttered.
No, I didn't say anything that big, did I?

'I'll make it my ...... motto.'
'No, don't do that. It's not that heavy a word.'

'Our family motto: ......'
'Don't do that, you'll be too embarrassed to face me.'

Don't inherit such random words.

'Hahaha...... this is really delicious. Couldn't you make it a menu item at the Sunlit Pavilion?
'It's easy to make with honey and lemon, and the cost is negligible, so it could be on the menu.
'I'm glad to hear that!

Ginette seemed to like the hot lemonade very much.
I wonder if it's okay like this: .......
Perhaps simple things like this are more acceptable.
Perhaps there is a reason why things that have been handed down from generation to generation have survived without being eliminated. If that's the case, I wonder if people would like carme-yaki ...... or beckoning candy?

'So, we're going to buy honey from Yap Rock's place. ......'
'Oh, no!It's corn!The honey is a gift!


Yap Lock is leaving the house in a hurry.
Wuerer explained that there was some corn in the warehouse that had been harvested.

I'd rather have honey than ...... corn that doesn't taste good. ......
According to Wuerer, there is no corn in the 42nd district that can be boiled and eaten. ...... Well, it may be skinny corn with small grains.

Magda is the only one who is waiting for corn to appear.
His tail has been fully extended since a while ago.

...... It probably won't taste good. Don't get your hopes up.

'Thank you for waiting. This is our corn!

Yap Lock returns, breathless.
He's soaking wet. I've only been out for a little while. ...... I'm dreading the trip home.

There were about twenty stalks of corn on the table.
They all looked small and hard.
Well, they don't seem to have the money to do anything like breeding or soil improvement, so they can only produce ...... corn of this quality.

'.............................. Hmm?

No, ...... wait.
This is ............

I pick up a piece of corn on the table and take a closer look.
This grain ............

'Hard, isn't it?Even if you boil it or bake it, it's not very edible. ...... No, I'm embarrassed.'
'...... Looks hard.'

Magda picked up the corn and looked a little disappointed.
Don't try to eat it raw.

'If you want to eat it like that, you'll have to harvest it while it's still unripe.'
'Is that so?

Yap Lock rolls his eyes at my words.
When this corn is fully ripe, the skin becomes hard and inedible.

'Then all the ones we have now are no good. ...... They're ripe and then dried in the sun to prevent them from rotting. ......'
'You're drying them?

I exclaimed.
Yap Lock shrunk and looked as if he was about to cry.

'Yes,......, it was more convenient to grind it into powder to feed the birds,......, so I dried it to make it easier to grind into powder,......, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

I grabbed Yap Lock's shoulders with all my might as he continued to apologize half-crying.

'Heee!I'm so sorry!
'Nice work!

Yap Lock stares at me with absent-minded eyes.
What kind of face is that? You should be proud.
You did a good job.

'Can I see that powder?
'Yeah. ...... Oh, yes!I'm home!

Yap Lock is leaving the house at full speed.
For some reason, even Wuerer left the house with him.
Are you trying to protect your wife from her husband's scandal?It's not a scandal or anything. ......

'Yashiro . Can you explain that to me?

Estella, who had been silently watching what was going on, quietly spoke up.

'How can you be so happy with bird food?
'It's not bird food. It's the staple food of humans.
'Staple food, huh?

Jeannette also looked at me curiously.

'To begin with, corn is a member of the grass family, ...... akin to wheat and rice.
'...... but it's hard.'

Magda rolls the corn on the table between her fingers in disgust.

'That's why we grind it into flour.
'But I don't think that's normal, is it?

Of course you did.
I've solved two problems at once.

'd*mn you, Umaro. You're confusing me.'

Who could blame me for swearing?
When Umaro brought out the sweet corn and said 'there is corn in the 42nd district', I thought he was talking about sweet corn.

That's not true.

'This corn is flint corn.
'Flint ......, what's different about it?'
'Everything's different.

There's a difference between a rain umbrella and a parasol.
They are used for different purposes.

Sweet corn is thin-skinned and contains a lot of sugar, so it is suitable for boiling or baking. However, the skin of sweet corn is too thin to be used for milling because it becomes dry and crumbly when dried.
Flint corn, on the other hand, has a thick and hard skin. Therefore, it is not suitable for biting and eating, but it can be dried well and is suitable for milling.
And the fact that it can be made into flour means that ......

'You can make tortillas!

Ginette tilted her head again with a curious look on her face.
Keep wondering. When you make that face, it sets off a flag that things will work out.

'It's a kind of bread that's eaten as a staple food in certain parts of my world.
'Is it corn bread ......?
'Well, something like that.

If you can make tortillas, you can make ......
If you can make tortillas, you are outside the Church's definition of a 'wheat-based dough baked in a stone oven.
It's not wheat, it's corn.

'Here you go, sir!

Yap Lock came back carrying a large bag.
Wuerer was using a large animal skin to protect the bag from the rain.
I see, it's powder, so he followed her to keep it dry. She is a very thoughtful wife.
...... reminds me a little of the landlady.
I'm sure you've both been through a lot.

But be happy.
Your troubles end today.

I picked up a bag of corn flour.
...... Okay, that'll do.

'Ha, yes!
'I want to start stocking this flour regularly tomorrow. I want you to handle the milling too. How's that sound?'
'Yes, .................. too, of course!I'll be happy to do it!

The smile finally returns to Yap Lock's face.
Yes, laugh, laugh.
This powder is in very good condition.
There are no impurities in it and the grains are even. It's silky, fine corn flour.
The color and smell are good.

It is a proof of the care with which Yaprock works. It could have been ground by Wuerter, but it doesn't matter.
If you leave it to these guys, you'll get consistent, high quality tortillas at sunny side up.
If you make tacos, they might become popular.
You can even bake them as bread.

This is currently treated as worthless in this city. ......
There may be more treasures sleeping in this city.

'...... yashiro'.
'Hmm?What's up, Magda?

Magda walked briskly up to me, opened her mouth with a 'mmm', and powder came out of her mouth with a 'zarah ......'.

'...... not very tasty'.
'Don't eat it as is!Knead it and bake it!
'......I want to eat it.'
'Have you been hunting somewhere?What's with your appetite?'
'Um, I'm also interested in ...... that 'tortilla'.'
'I'd like to try it, too.

These people's appetites are unfathomable.
However, ......

'Let's go back to the sunlit pavilion, or we won't be able to cook.
'Let's go back!I'll take the flour with me!

For some reason, Yap Lock is very enthusiastic.

'I want to see it too. I'd like to see my corn ...... no longer needed, but once again needed by someone. ......'

Well, as a farmer, I guess it's natural for me to feel that way. ......

'Well, I guess I'll go back and roast it.

'Yes!I'll help you too.

Ginette is in an extremely good mood.
I wonder if she's happy about the new menu that's about to be added to the menu at the Sunlit Pavilion.

'Yashiro-san is amazing after all.

He gently clasps his hands together and puts them to his mouth so that they slightly touch his lips.
He exhales into his hands like a man who exhales when he is cold, and murmurs into his joined hands.

'Yashiro-san is like a magician who can revive ...... the dreams and hopes that everyone has almost lost in an unexpected way.

That's a hell of a buy.
There's nothing magical about what I'm using. It's just a verbal technique that plays on the mind of the opponent.
So-called 'deception techniques'.
You take an infinitely wide view of things and make your opponent's view infinitely narrow. That's how it works.
If you call such a trick full of seeds and tricks as magic, you are cheating.

'It brings dreams back to life. ...... That's right. Mr. Yashiro is just such a person.
'Hey, stop it!The way you're being respected is really creepy!
'The Garbage Collection Guild is the Dream Rebirth Guild!
'Stop it!

I'd hate for people to think I created such a cold organization!
What's the 'Dream Rebirth Guild'?
Is it a fraudulent organization created by a third-rate fraudster?It's too cold!


As I began to feel the chill in Ginette and Yap Rock's eyes, my youngest daughter, Cheryl, came running up to me clutching a piece of corn.
But her progress was blocked by Yap Lock.

'Hey, Cheryl. Don't you dare call Mr. Yashiro that. He's a man of great ideals, and he's like a savior to us hopeless people.

No, no, no!
No! No!
I'm not like that at all!

'Look, Cheryl. 'Yashiro-san' ......, no, 'Yashiro-sama'.
'San'!Just "sir"!No, I prefer 'sir'!If you want, you can just call me that!It's kind of cute when little kids call you by your name!I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's a good idea.
'Yashiro......, that sounds like something a dangerous person would say. ......'

Shut up, Estella.
You don't understand. You don't know what it's like to be about to be elevated to the top of a shady organization that obviously smells like a mine.
He's not just a guru.He's a god.
I'll do everything I can to stop it!
I'd be happy to take on the stigma of being a pervert who enjoys being called out by a little girl!

I'm not sure what else you think is broad.

I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you.I'm sorry!

'So, Cheryl. What can I do for you, Mr. Yashiro?

While I'm talking to Yap Rock, Jeannette is listening, eye to eye with Cheryl.


Cheryl hands Jeannette the corn she was clutching.
Then, with a big smile on her face, she said.

'I'm giving it to Yachiro!
'Oh, that's it!

Seeing the corn that Jeannette received, Yap Lock starts to panic.
What is it?Did you have a stash of high-grade corn?

'Miss Jeannette. It's a mess that can't even be ground into flour. ...... I use it as a toy for my children.
'A toy ......?It doesn't look much different from the corn I saw earlier, does it?'

From a distance, there doesn't seem to be much difference. Is it ...... a little smaller?

'The grains are uneven, and the skin is harder than the previous one. ......'
'Is that so?'
'Yes. So, I can't give Mr. Yashiro something so worthless. ......'
'No. Sheryl-san gave it to Yashiro with all her heart. I'm sure Yashiro will be very pleased.''

Hey, Jeannette. Don't decide on your own.

I don't have any strange proclivities to find any special added value in the corn that the little girl was holding.
If it's worthless corn, it'll just be trash.

'Yes, sir. Mr. Yashiro. It's a gift from Cheryl.

It's very nice. --Ginette hands me the corn with a big smile on her face.
...... d*mn, even if I get something I can't even eat, .................. ......

'............ yap-lock.'
'Yes, sir. What can I do for you?'
'Let me hit you.'
'Hii!Aren't you furious, Yashiro-san?I'm sorry, I'm sorry!On behalf of my clan, I'd like to express our deepest apologies for giving you such useless corn!

Yap Rock got down on his knees and sent me an ostentatious apology.
But I don't want that!

'You didn't throw this corn away, did you?
'............ huh?
'How much of this kind of corn do you have in stock that's been dried and not ground into flour?
'Well, let's see. ...... There's quite a lot. ......'
'That, I bought them all!I'll bring it back to the sunny pavilion with the powder, so get it ready!
'...... Yes, yes!I'd be happy to!

Yap Lock ran out of the house three times.
Wuerer, Tot, and even Cheryl followed him.

'...... What's going on?

Estella asked, a little confused, after the Yaplocks had left in a hurry.

'...... Yashiro. Is that corn good?'

Magda looked a little curious.

'Um, ...... Yashiro?'

And Ginette looks a little worried.

'Can't ...... go wrong, can you?

I didn't think I'd actually feel what I'd just said.
And I never thought that the 'old unselected food' that I was thinking about just now would be so easily available to me.

'This is a different kind of flint corn.
'Is that so?To the untrained eye, I can't tell the difference. ......?

Ginette tilted her head.
No, it's not. Not at all.

'This is a kind of corn called 'explosion seed'.
'So, ...... "Exploding Seeds" ......?That's kind of a scary name. ......'

Well, it might be called 'exploding seeds' ......
But if you know a different, more common name, I think you'll like it.

If you don't know about this, then you don't have a product in town.

If we do well, we might be able to create a huge movement.

...... Hahahahahaha!Hahahaha!Hahahaha!Hahahahaha!

'Hey, hey ...... Yashiro'.

I want to go home as soon as possible, Estella said to me.
I'm not sure why my mouth is twitching.

'............ Why do you look so vicious?'

Hmmm ...... gold!I can smell gold!

'Is that 'explosive seed' thing so good?'
'Oh ......, it's very popular in the country I was in. It's sold everywhere in the country, and it's such a major food that first-time couples have a high probability of eating it on their first date.
'A couple on a first date?

A first date is a movie!
And speaking of movies, ............

'This 'explosive seed' ............ is also known as 'popcorn'.

Maybe I've got a real treasure on my hands.

The sound of the constant rainfall sounded like a popping pop sound just now.