50-Episode 48 Cooking

'Hey!Here comes the bait!

Pulling a cart full of food, I came to the sewage construction area.
The purpose of this was to serve bribes to these people who were hard at work.
I used a lot of vegetables that I bought from Momat to fill the bellies of these workers.

'Couldn't you have said it a little better?
I've been waiting for something like this!
'I've been waiting for something like this!
'Don't you guys get too happy!We'll protest properly!

The time was noon.
It's noon, the time of the day when the belly bug plays as loud as a philharmonic orchestra.
The mouth-watering aroma of salsa sauce must be irresistible.

'Haha, that looks good ......'.

Umaro, who had completely abandoned his protest, hurriedly got in line.
Several days have passed since the heavy rains ended, and the reconstruction of the forty-two districts is almost complete. All that remained was to deal with the situation on a personal level.
Therefore, we and the Torbek Engineering Firm had started the next stage ......, namely the sewage construction. We wanted to make sure that the next heavy rain would not cause any damage.

The hams have been working hard from early in the morning until late in the day. Umaro praised them, saying that they have become accustomed to their work and their efficiency has improved considerably.
And, after all, it seems that the hamsters' ability to dig holes is so great that it is said that sewage construction would be impossible without the hamsters.

Now, if the demand for hamsters is born, there will be no need for them to be avoided again.

'Come on, come on, you guys!Wash your hands before you get in line!

The one clapping her hands and guiding her brothers in a familiar manner was Loretta, who had come along to help with the stall. Normally, my sisters and I go around the stalls together, but today I'm accompanying her because I want to see my younger siblings working. She's worried about them for some reason.

'Mr. Umaro. How are my brothers and sisters doing?Are they doing well?
'Yes, yes, yes!Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

It seems that Umaro is still not used to Loretta, and is very embarrassed when she stares straight at him.

'Your face is so red!
'You're so red!
'You're so annoying!
'It's so annoying!

Umaro and Loretta's voices matched perfectly.
As they got used to dealing with their younger brothers, would they all start saying the same thing at the same time?

'Big brother, Taco Sue!
'Oh!Distribute them in the order they were made. Ask him if he'd like soup or water first.''

My sisters are the ones who make the bribe dishes.
However, all they did was to put chopped vegetables and smoked beasts that Magda had caught on the tortillas they had made at the sunny pavilion, and pour a lot of salsa sauce on top.
However, this simple dish is quite delicious. Once you try it, you will become addicted to it.
Goozuya was so addicted to tacos that she started ordering them for dinner as well.

'Oh, what a spicy aroma!
'Oh my god!

Goozuya happily munching on a taco. The ham kids are swarming around her.
They seem to adore her. I guess Goozuya's reformed.

'You can eat meat and vegetables with just one of these, right?
'How did you think of that?
'It also goes well with the soup.
'The sunlit pavilion is amazing.

The tacos seem to be generally well received by the carpenters as well.
...... Well, it wasn't my idea.

'But thank goodness for this bribe food.'
'Oh. There are no other places that serve food.
'Also, the waiter's daughter is cute and ......'
'Yes, yes!I'm for braids.'
'I'm a freckle girl.
'Idiot, you guys. You don't understand!The one with the lisp is the number one!

It seems that the sisters have a fan base, and even a faction.
...... If you do anything weird, I'll change all the salsa sauce to Tabasco.

Anyway, ......
The image of the "slum dweller" has been completely rewritten.
Well, it's only a matter of time before ...... this circle expands, although it's limited to the people of Torbek.

My sisters are making tacos quickly, and Loretta and her sisters are handing them out.
Loretta is also popular among the carpenters for her friendly manner.

It'd be a great help to the diner if the carpenters at Trubek Construction become regulars. Good luck, guys. Try to get some customers before the construction is over.


While I was watching my sisters working, a chicken came running across the street.
...... What is it?I'm scared, scared, scared!The birds are coming!A bird!

'Good work. You've got a lot of energy today.

This bird, which gives off a slightly nostalgic atmosphere for Japanese people, is Nepheli, the only daughter of a poultry farmer.
Her thought processes are like those of an 80s anime heroine, and her gestures are cute, but ...... her face is completely that of a chicken, so she is a maiden who gives you a delicate feeling when you look at her.

'Nepheli doesn't move his head back and forth when he walks, does he?
'No!Of course not, I'm not a bird!

No, I'm a bird, but you are.

'So, what do you want?
'What do you want, I mean, we're .........'

This girl, Nepheli, is a little nostalgic, but she does this cute gesture without any sarcasm. Her face, however, is that of a chicken.

'Yashiro is making something new for everyone in town, isn't he?
'It's the carpenters at Torbek's construction store, though.
'Hmmm. Yashiro is so humble.

He understands us and recognizes our good and bad points. He has the kind of personality that makes you wish you had a childhood friend like him next to you. Even though she has a chicken face.

It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're doing. ...... If it suits your palate, it's fine.

He hands me a small package.
As he does so, he discovers a cut on Nepheli's fingertip.
Is it a 'I'm not very good at this, but I worked really hard on it' kind of thing?What's more, shouldn't his hands be wings?From the neck down, it's completely human. ...... The face is chicken.

I thought the lunchbox culture was not in this city. ...... What did Neffery bring?
I opened the package he gave me.
What came out of the package were two eggs. ........................ What's this?

'I boiled some fresh eggs for you. Do you like boiled eggs, .................. that ......?'
'I don't know why you've been saving them, but I like them just fine.'
'Really!I'm glad you like ...... it.'

I'm so relieved, Neffery.
...... Where did you cut your finger in the process of making boiled eggs?

It's a good smell. What's this?

Nepheli shoves the boiled egg at me, intrigued by the taco.
What's that?You're going to eat a taco while I'm eating a boiled egg?Is that bullying?

'It's called a taco?Huh.'

Nepheli gazed at the tacos with great interest as his sister explained.

'Hey, Yashiro. Don't they sell these?
'I'm thinking of reopening the stall when the construction is over. I'm planning to sell them at that time. ...... Do you want some?'
'Yeah............, yeah. Because it smells so good.'
'Well, wait a minute. Hey, sister. Get her ready.'
'Aaah!But!............ I don't have any money.'

Nephrite hurriedly stopped his sister from making tacos.

'That's okay. I'll trade you this boiled egg.'
'Really?...... Our eggs aren't that expensive.'
'Is that so?

I don't know what a fair price is because I'm always getting them at a discount.
The taste is good and the yolk is firm.
Since I changed their feed, they seem to have started to lay eggs every morning. He once boasted to me that the taste of the eggs had also improved dramatically.
But still, they can't sell them at a high price. ...... Well, I'm the one who's getting them at a low price.

This is the first time I'm going to treat you to a little something.

'That's fine, as long as you spread the word about how good tacos are to everyone you know.
'Great!I've heard about Yashiro's food stall before, and I've been wanting to go there so badly. I've always wanted to go. ...... But I don't have a lot of money. ......'

Every family seems to have a tight budget.
It's more ......

I walked up to Neffery and whispered in his ear. I don't want the Hammies to hear.

'You don't mind, do you?I mean, you know, ......'
'You mean these kids?
'Yeah, well, yeah.'
'Not at all.'

Heh. Some people aren't prejudiced.

'Because Yashiro believes in these kids, right?'
'Eh?Yeah. Yeah.
'Then I believe in them too. I feel like I can believe in people that Yashiro believes in.''

What a nice thing for a girl to say. ...... I really regret that my face is a chicken.

'Taco Sue!
'Wow, thanks, shorty.'
'Little guy?'

Nepheli is really 'girlish', isn't she?
It seems to fit the ideal image of a girl in good old Japanese fiction.
Except for the ...... face.
No, wait. Maybe in the not-too-distant future, chicken-style girls will become very popular. .................. No. No.

'Wow ...... delicious ............!

That was genuine emotion. And the voice was clear.
I could tell that Nephrite genuinely liked the tacos.

Including Nepheli, voices of satisfaction could be heard from everywhere.
It was like the site of a festival. A taco festival?
Loud laughter and the smiles that only come from eating good food. In the midst of this joyful circle, ham kids are mingling and smiling here and there.
These people are no longer prejudiced against the slums.
This may be the result of Umaro's great prestige. ...... No, if you work together, sweat together, and work toward the same goal, a sense of camaraderie and bond will naturally arise.
At any rate, it is safe to say that the hamster people have found a place to belong.

Now all that remains is for the general public to react. ......

'Oh, that ......!

That's when it happened.
There was someone who called out to me. It was a bold and courageous call.
When I turned around, I saw a thin woman standing there, looking somewhat gaunt.
She seemed to be somewhat frightened as she called out to me in a reserved manner.

'Um, ......, this isn't the store ......, is it?

It sounds as if it contains something.
This stall is only for carrying bribes to the sewage workers, but there is no reason why you should stubbornly answer 'no' when asked if it is a ...... 'store'.
I understand what this woman is trying to say. Then ......

'No, this is a mobile food stall. I have permission from my lord.

The woman's face blushed slightly as she pointed with her chin to the exhibition permit that was still attached to the roof of the stall.

She must have been attracted by the smell of the tacos and the joyful voice.
It's been a few days since I started carrying the bribe food, but I've felt her eyes on me from afar since the first day. They must have noticed that we were the ones who used to pull the stalls.
But, or maybe that's why no one approached ...... us.
They must have been under the impression that the people working in this stall were slum dwellers.

But this woman approached me.
Maybe it was the smell of the tacos, or maybe it was her happy voice. ......
Maybe it was the smell of the tacos, maybe it was the happy voice, or maybe it was the way she looked at the hard-working hamster people. ...... It didn't matter.
This step that this woman has taken is a very meaningful and big step.

'Oh, by the way,......, how much is that?

The woman asks in a frightened tone again.
Seeing the expression on her face, I showed some thought, and then answered.

'Well, I'll take ......1 and 10Rb.
'I'll buy it!

That was my immediate response.
His eyes were a little bloodshot and a little scary. Did he want to eat so badly?

But I can't help but understand his feeling.
It is a world where bread is said to be 20Rb.
Not only is it half the price, but it also includes meat and vegetables. This is more than enough to make you think, 'This is a good buy! This is more than enough to make you think, 'This is a good buy!

By the way, ...... these tortillas are of course on sale at the main store of the Sun Moon Pavilion for 10Rb.

'Okay, you guys!It's now open for sale to the public!

Hearing his enthusiasm, the people who had been watching from afar all rushed over.

''Sell it to me, too!
''One for me too!
'I've got two!

The momentum was tremendous.
It was even more powerful than the popcorn.
Did you want to try it that badly?

............ No, something's different.

'Big brother. It's kind of awesome!Tacos are very popular!

Loretta says happily, not hiding her surprise.
It's very popular ......, or rather ............

'Loretta. I'm sorry, but I need you to go back to the sunny pavilion right now and bring me another cart.'
'Do you want two stalls?
'There's construction going on in the street ahead. I'll have to deliver food there as well.'
'I see. Then should I call Magda-chou for backup?'
''I guess so.''

Loretta and her sisters can't do the math.
Ginette can't leave the store, so let's have her call Magda.
The store will be a little thin, but it probably won't be too crowded, so it should be fine.

I'm going to send Loretta and her two sisters back to the restaurant to get more supplies for the stall that's here now, Sunshine Pavilion No. 2.

If my prediction is correct, we'll need quite a lot of them.

'Hey, are you still selling here tomorrow?
'Do you have any other dishes?
'Does 'second store' mean we can eat at the main store?

The questions came in rapid succession.
I couldn't answer any of them because the next question came before I could answer it.

Then came the decisive question, and I became convinced.

'You're not going to raise the price here, are you?

I knew it.

Because of the floods, prices are going up.
The vegetables at Mormat's farm had also been devastated.
The river fishermen's guild has been unable to fish due to the heavy rains, and the hunting guild has been busy repairing the forest outside the outer wall. Magda has been exempted because of her injuries, but no one has been hunting.
Other producers must be in a similar situation.

The heavy rains have severely depressed the distribution of food.

Without goods, prices will rise.
If prices go up, some people will not be able to buy.
This is especially true in the 42nd district where the gap between the rich and the poor is extremely large. Many people are probably trying to overcome this food shortage by 'endurance'.

As I looked around again, I noticed that all the people crowded around the stalls looked somewhat worn out.


I called out to an old man nearby.
The man, who was about to bite into a taco, looked at me with eyes like a dog that had been put down.

'How much have the prices of food gone up?
'Oh, ...... so much that I don't even want to talk about it.'
'............ doubled?'
'More like four times. ...... Bread has jumped nearly tenfold in price. ......'

Ten times?
That crusty black bread is 200Rb?
That's 2,000 Japanese yen!That's impossible. ......

In addition to the stagnation of logistics, there are people who want to make a killing at times like this.
I remember there were people who came out when the earthquake happened in Japan. There was a guy who was selling rice balls from a convenience store for 1,000 yen.
I wonder if there are such people in this city. ............

'I thought prices would settle down in a week or so, but ...... it seems like the peddlers' guild doesn't have any goods, either. ............ It's going to drag on for a while.

There are no goods.
It can't be helped.
Mormat would sell vegetables if he had them.
But we don't have them.
So many things have gone wrong.

'The stores on the main street have all gone up in price, and we can't afford it. ......'

The main street is where all the taverns and markets are.
Paula the dog-eared shopkeeper's tavern is also on the main street. Now that I think about it, that tavern must have been a high-class place where rich people gathered. ...... I'm kind of a brave guy for going into such a place with nothing, aren't I?

I know it sounds like a bad idea, but ......'.

Holding a taco in one hand, the old man squeezed my hand.
Wrinkles etched deeply into his forehead. A pleading look.

'Please, please don't raise the prices at this restaurant. That's it!

The old man bowed his head.
I looked over and saw that all the spectators watching our exchange were nodding in agreement.
There were many eyes looking at me like abandoned puppies, as if they were clinging to me.

The current high prices seem to have taken a heavy toll on the poor.
The piles of unsaleable vegetables piled up at the sunny pavilion looked as if they were being forced upon me. ...... It's strange how this makes you feel as if you were very lucky.

It would be interesting to use the disaster as a seed to blow the whistle on the wealthy who are trying to fill their own pockets.
If I go around selling food at unbelievable prices, all the customers will come to me.
And the memory of doing shoddy business in a time of disaster will be burned in the minds of consumers, and will haunt them long after normal times return.
You should see the pain once.
Think carefully about who is supporting the economy of this city.


Such a loud voice calls my name.
It's too cheerful for Magda ....... This voice is ......

'Yo!I'm here to help you!'
'Whoa!What the hell is this guy?

Goozuya was the one who screamed at Delia's appearance.
Goozuya seemed to have become a fan of Delia after seeing her in a mini-skirt maid outfit.

'Goozuya, House!
'Hideous!That's too bad, Yashiro-san!
'Goozuya, House!
'Yes, Delia-san!

Ah, ...... another man who has developed a stupid disease. ............ The future of the Torbeck construction company is bleak.

'The little tiger girl said, "...... Magda has to make popcorn," so she asked me to go instead.
'Was that an imitation of Magda?

Not enough to give me goosebumps.

'But, are you sure?What about the work of the River Fishing Guild?
'We've already finished repairing the river, thanks to the little hams Yashiro sent us. Now we're free until the flow of the water calms down and we can start fishing!
'I see. Did the little hams help?
'Oh!I would have traded them for Omero.

You can't just throw them away that easily, Omero?You're the vice guild leader, right?

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

I'd forgotten that Nephrite was still around when the guests came in droves.

'Who is this overexposed, trenchant ...... and lovely woman?What does she have to do with Yashiro?'

Nepheli gave Delia a wary look.

'What's with the bird?
'It's not a bird!

Well, it is a bird.

'Delia is the guild leader of the river fishing guild with whom we do business, and she's a part-time waitress at the Sunshine Pavilion.
'She's Yashiro's mabudachi!
'Mab ............, I'm a friend of Yashiro's too!You can't lose!
'What?You want to play ...... with me?'
'Stop it, Delia. Nefari is a weak girl.

If you try to compete with Delia, ...... they'll add tandoori chicken to the stall menu.

'What ...... are you doing? ............ I'm ...... pretty weak too, you know?

If you were weak, the whole world would be sickly and dying!

'Well, you know. Get along with me.'
'If Yashiro says so, ....... I'm an open-minded person.'
'I don't mind at all, though.'

Then don't stare at each other.
And, Nephrite, don't work too hard. No one can stop Delia when she's out of control.

'Big brother, add more!

The two sisters came back with a box tray full of tortillas and salsa sauce.
They added these to the second store, and the seventh store, which was full, went straight to the next site.

'By the way, where's Loretta?
'Magda-chou caught her!
'He's making tortillas!
'Magdacho, the devil instructor!

I see. So the stall unit of the sunny pavilion is under Magda's command.

'How was the store doing?
'Not bad at all!

If it's not so bad, it's okay.

Maybe this stall will bring in more customers. I'll have to let Jeannette know about that.

'Well, Delia. Can you take care of this stall?'
'I'll take care of it!
'Oh, um, Yashiro!

Next to Delia's thumping chest, Nephrite raised his voice with a hint of impatience.

'Let me help you. I'm sure I can be of help!
'Hey, bird.'
'I'm not a bird!
'Can you do the math?
'Then it's useless.

Delia shrugs, 'Oh dear'.
Delia, the leader of the guild, can read, write, and calculate.

'But, but!There's something I can do, too: ......'

Nefari is about to squeal. 'Cokey! It's not ....... She's about to cry.
I don't know what we're arguing about ............, but wait.

'All right, all right. I'll leave you two in charge here!

Delia and Nephrite's voices came together.
Then, they looked at each other and made a horrified expression.

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

Delia approached me and pulled my arm away from Nephrite.
The arm that was pulled forcibly was pulled in and ...... the elbow went to her boob. ............ Mmm.

'I'm fine on my own, okay?Won't that bird get in the way?'
'Well, don't say that, Delia.'

If you're willing to help me for free, I'm all for it.

'My sisters aren't used to dealing with customers yet. There may be times when they are unsure of what to do. Children feel more comfortable when there are more adults around.
'But you know, .......'

Delia still looked unconvinced.
'I'll let her have it.

'Isn't it also the skill of the 'manager' to handle the human resources well?
'Oh?I'm the one in charge here?
'Of course I am. Delia is our official waitress. Above all, she has the brains to do the calculations.''
'Brains?............ I've never received much praise for my brain .......'
'After all, you need to be smart to be able to handle people well. In that regard, Delia is ......'.
I'm sure you'll be fine.It's rather easy!

It's so easy.

'Leave it to me, Yashiro!I'm the smart one, and I'll be able to use the hamster and the bird to my advantage!
'Oh, please. You can count on Delia after all.'
'Dependable ............?I'm sure she'll be able to do it.'''............ Hahahahaha!Alright, hamster!I'm going to sell off everything I've got here!

That's it for this one.

''Hey, Yashiro ......, is that guy really okay?
''He's a dependable guy.''
'But ...... he seems kind of crass. ......'

Come on, Neffery. Are your eyes holes in the ground?
He's perfectly crass, no matter how you look at him.

'That's why I need your help.
'Delia is reliable, but she's a little difficult to deal with when it comes to delicate care and concern for her guests.
'...... 'A little'?
'So, can you please follow up on that?I can only ask Nephrite to do this.''

'...... Because, apart from Delia and Hammy, you're the only one here now. --Don't say that.

'Wha............ am I the only one you can count on............?'

Estella and the others, they've been busy lately, haven't they?

'All right, Yashiro!I'll work hard for you, Yashiro!I'll get along with that big guy!

'I see. That'd be great.'

I'm cool too.
I think I could make a lot of money doing marriage scams in this town.

...... Most of all, if you cheat on Delia or Nephrite, ............ you won't just be afraid of the aftermath, but the aftermath itself will disappear. I'm sure you're right.

'Well, both of you. Please take care of the rest.
'I'm the one in charge, leave it to me!
'Don't worry, I'm here to help you!

Well, I'm sure they'll get through this.
It's called friendly competition.

'Hey, little sister.
'What's up, big brother?

But I'll give you an insurance policy.

'If those two start acting strangely, come call me right away.
'Yes, sir!All right!

My sisters are the most trustworthy when it comes to listening to me honestly.

'Okay, then, sisters!Follow me half the time!
'''' Yes! ''''

Thus, with multiple layers of insurance, I pulled out of the seventh store of the sunlit pavilion and started walking towards the main street.