58-Episode 53 Knock and Knock

...... I've got another problem.

'...... What are you going to do about this?

There are now two wax statues of me in front of me.

'Did you pick them up again, big brother?
'Can you stop talking like I'm collecting them?

It's been a week since Estella asked me for advice about sewage and I decided to sell sewage to the 40th district.
Today is the day I'm heading to the fortieth ward. ......

'...... was also placed in the square.'

Magda, who went to the main street with her sister while pulling the Sunlit Pavilion No. 7, apparently found this thing in the central square. And he took it down for me.
Another finely crafted wax statue just like me.
What's different is the pose and the writing on the base.

This time the wax statue has its arms outstretched and is looking up at the sky. ...... I've never dressed like this before.
I thought, but Magda denies it.

'...... Yashiro was dressed like this when he asked the crowd.'
'Are you serious ......?'

I was a little excited at the time, so I can't remember exactly what I did. ............ but if you ask me, I might have done it. When I asked him if he wanted to be a livestock or feel the innovation, he said: ......

But to come up with a new statue in a week is ...... not carving a new statue now, is it?

'But your words are extreme this time.

Loretta says as she looks at the words engraved on the pedestal.
It has a strong message of 'Overturn common sense! I'm sure you've seen it before.
......It's true that we talked about something like that, but ......it's really embarrassing to see it in writing again.

'I hope the number of people will continue to increase.

As you wipe the last wax statue with a cloth, Jeannette says something terrible.
...... You've got to be kidding me.

'Magda. If you see it again, bring it back immediately. I have permission from my lord. Justice is served here.'
'...... All right.

I wondered how it was possible to take something that belonged to someone else without permission, but since it was illegally placed in the first place, and since it was a threat to the lives of certain individuals, the lord gave me permission through Estella.
In the future, if you find this wax statue, you must remove it immediately and leave it to me to decide what to do with it.

I can't stand it if rumors spread that I'm a hero.
I'll have to tell my sisters who run the stalls on the main street to check the square regularly.

'Mr. Yashiro. You're going to District 40 today, aren't you?'

Ginette asks me after I finish cleaning the wax statue.

'Yes, that's right. I think I'll be back in the evening.
'I thought that might be the case, so I've prepared a lunch for you.
'Oh, you're so thoughtful!

That's Ginette!
She's the kind of girl who has the power to do anything she wants.

'Are you going to go around the forty-first district?

Ginette looked vaguely happy.

'Is there something you want me to buy for you?
'Oh, no. It's not that. ......'

Ginette says, a little embarrassed.

'We had so much fun going outside the gates before that I was wondering if we'd ...... be going the same way again. That's all I'm saying.

Ginette smiles shyly.
Well, this guy doesn't go out very often, does he?
I'd like to take him somewhere again, but the ............ store is too far away.

'Do you want to take a break from the store sometime and go out together?
'No, no!If you do that, your customers will be in trouble!

...... How can you say such a big thing when the store is currently deserted?

I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that," said Ginette, still looking a little sad.
But ......

'I am more than happy to be here ...... in this store with you all.

The words that came out with a gentle smile seemed to come from the heart.

Well, I guess we'll just have to go to ...... soon.

'Unfortunately, I'm only going to be in the 41st district for a little while.
'Just a short visit?

Because District Forty-one is sandwiched between District Forty-two and District Forty, you would normally think that you would have to cross District Forty-one, but the topography of District Forty-one is a bit peculiar, so you can take a shortcut.

Here in All Bloom, District 42 is located on the south side of the east, and District 40 is located on the east side of the south. The forty-first district, which is sandwiched between the two, has a fan shape with a bowed outer wall in the southeast.
Therefore, if you go from District 42 to District 40, you will have to walk a long distance if you follow the outer wall, but if you take the inner route, you will reach the district in no time.

'So, it's not that hard to get to the forty districts, is it?
'Yes, it is. I guess it's a distance that Umaro and the others can walk to.
'Oh, so that's what you meant.

Ginette, who rarely goes out from within a 100-meter radius around the sunlit pavilion, not to mention the 42nd district, nodded her head with a satisfied expression.
I also entered the 42nd district from the cliff on the 30th district side, so I wasn't really aware of that area.
So I thought that we were coming across the 41st district, but that was actually the case.
However, it seems that Umaro has been sleeping in a housing complex in New Town lately.

'Well, have a safe trip.'
'Oh. Thanks for the lunch.
'It includes Estella-san's portion, so don't eat it alone, okay?
'Can I put the proceeds in my pocket?
'Please don't sell it to her.

Tsk. I thought it would be a good way to earn some money. ......
Then let's at least let Estella take this lunch. She should at least carry the luggage. It's ten years too early to be trying to get free food.

After being seen off by Jeannette, I headed for the lord's mansion where Estella was waiting.

The houses that lined the 40th district - perhaps due to the fact that it was the home of both the Woodcutter's Guild and the Torbeck Engineering Company - were simply spectacular.
Not only were they well designed, but they were also solidly built and designed to be comfortable to live in. All in all, it is a first-class building.

Umaro, you put a lot of effort into this.

Most of the buildings are made of wood, and few of them are made of stone or brick. Even the bridges spanning the city are made of wood. These forty wards are like a "city of wood".
Looking at the buildings alone, it is second to none, even to the 30 wards I saw before.
Perhaps the buildings here are built with a kind of cheat-grade skill not befitting a low-class district. The disparity between this district and the others is amazing.

It's a truly wonderful cityscape. It deserves praise. ............'s,but.

'What's with this road ......'.

The footing was terrible.
Even though the rainy season had long passed, the road was still pitted from the heavy rains, and the deep ruts left by the horse-drawn carriages on the muddy road were still there. Due to the passage of time, the soil has lost its moisture, and the grooves have hardened.
The road is bumpy.
Since it's dirt anyway, why don't you just sprinkle some water on it and level it out? ............
Beautiful buildings and the main road like a baby path.

Forty wards was a very unbalanced city.

'Don't get frustrated, this road......'
'Many people in the forty wards find pleasure in gazing up at beautiful buildings and magnificent trees. ...... It's easy to neglect your feet.

Estella, walking next to me, lets out a chuckle.
On the other side, Natalia follows with a cool expression. But she still seems to have difficulty walking.

'Well, you'll get used to it, and it won't bother you.
'I don't want to get used to this.

I want to sign a sewage contract and have the hamsters dig up this whole area. ......

So now we are heading to the lord's mansion to negotiate with the lord of the forty districts.
It seems that Estella has made an appointment for us by letter.
According to Estella, the other side seems to be willing and the negotiations will go smoothly.

Estella was also in a good mood because if she could get the contract, a lot of money would come to the 42nd district.

'Oh, I can see it now. That's the mansion of Mr. Ambrose Demilly, the lord of the forty-second district.
'............ It's huge.

The lord's mansion was as big as a small gymnasium.
Such a large building would be uncomfortable to live in. ......

Surrounding the huge building is another huge wall that goes on forever.
Along the wall, at equal intervals, stand stern-looking men who look like Kingsguard.
...... This is an unbelievable security posture for District 42. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out why.
I'm sure you'll be able to figure out how to do it.
...... Well, I think Natalia can take care of most things.

When you reach the wooden gate, which is also much bigger than necessary, Natalia will talk to the gatekeeper.
We handed her the invitation from Mr. Demilly and waited for a while before a messenger came and led us into the mansion.
The inside of the mansion was spacious and all made of wood. The open architecture and the smell of the wood gave it a vaguely Asian feel. It was a nice building with good ventilation.

'Welcome. Welcome to my building.

We were ushered through a long corridor to a reception room, where we were greeted by an old man with a bald head.
This man must be Ambrose Demilly, the lord of District 40.

'Thank you for inviting me, Oji Ambrose.
'Estella. Hasn't she become even more beautiful?'
'No, Mister...'
'Is there a man in your life you're interested in?
'...... Miss. Even if it's a lie, give me something.'
'Huh!Eh, uh, .................. nothing.'

What kind of unfaithful conference is this?
After watching Estella's troubled expression with satisfaction, Mr. Demilly looked over at me.

'So you must be Obayashi.
'Nice to meet you. Mr. Demilly. Rumor has it you have no hair.

'It's 'money', Master Yashiro.

Natalia is quick to point out my slight misspokenness.
It doesn't matter if you say it wrong. We get almost 80% of our information from our eyes.
If someone shows you a bald head like that, you will at least say the wrong thing.

'I've heard rumors from Estella, too.
'Hi, I've heard rumors of a very handsome man.'
'Hmm?It's a little different from the rumors I've heard.

I was immediately rebuffed.
His smiling face seemed to indicate the depth of this man's heart.
This man is good at his job. However, he is the type of person who will never make it big because he is still naive.
Moreover, he is the type of person who is satisfied with a modest level of success.

That's what I thought in the exchange. Perhaps I am not far off.

'Well, have a seat.

He offered me a couch, and we sat down on it.
Estella sits next to me, and Natalia stands behind Estella.
Across from her sits Mr. Demilly, looking dignified.

'So, did you say sewage ......?Can you tell me more about it?'

He must not have a lot of time, because he got right to the point.
Demilly's expression tightened and he quickly moved on to the business meeting.
No goofing off from here on out.

'Oh, yes. Yashiro, please explain the details of the system.
'That's why I brought you here.
'Oh, well. Let's start with .............'

I'll summarize the main points and include a lot of 'this is it! I'll summarize the main points and explain with a great deal of excitement about the technology that I'm most excited about.
The beauty of a clean city.
The advantages of sanitation.
Reduction of damage from disasters and prevention of diseases.
Furthermore, the importance of securing drinking water and how to do so.
He gave a digest of the series of messes that the 42nd district had experienced and how they had overcome them.

Demilly listened to me intently, occasionally nodding his head in admiration.
...... Okay, one more push.

'And now!I'll pay the installment fee for you!
'Oh!That's a great deal.
'Yashiro, why are you talking in such a high-pitched voice ......?Or rather, what's ............?

Don't worry about the details, Estella. It's a good thing Demilly took the bait. That's fine.

'Hmm. I was originally going to ask you to do the work, but now that I've listened to your ...... story, I'm even more determined. I want you to deploy sewage in my forty districts.
'Are you sure, Oji-sama?
'Yes. I'd like you to start the work right away.

Estella threw up her hands in joy.

'We did it, Yashiro!We sold the sewage!
'Whoa!Hey!Don't hug me!

Perhaps she was too excited, but Estella jumped on my neck.

'Aaah!I'm sorry!

When I pointed it out to her, she immediately moved away. ............ She is a very careless person.

'Hahaha. I'm relieved that Estella has found a good man.
'Oh, Oji-sama!That's not how it is with Yashiro!
'Is that so?You look like you're very close.
'They are ............ well, maybe ...... good, but ......'.

Don't glimpse at me. I don't know if you want my opinion.
Demilly and Estella's father must really be close.
He's an old man Estella's known since she was little. Something like that.

'I'll have the papers ready in a minute. Can you wait a moment?'
'Yes, sir. Mister.

Estella nodded in a good mood, her expression somewhat girlish.
I think this is a person to whom you can expose your honest self.
It's either ............ or he's a bald man.


Sitting back down next to me, Estella smiles at me as if to say thank you.

'Good work. Yashiro is really good at this kind of negotiation, isn't he? That was a brilliant sales talk. I'm glad I brought Yashiro along.

Estella looks relieved.
She had said from the beginning that it was a negotiation with a high probability of success, but perhaps she was nervous because it was a negotiation that would decide the fate of District 42.
He seemed to have loosened up and could now afford to make jokes.

'I was worried that Yashiro would say something rude,' he said.
'Whose hair is missing?
'You're being rude right now!
'You know what? You're the one who said, 'His hair follicles are dying out', aren't you?
'No, I didn't say that!I said, 'I'm not in the mood!
''Not even a strand of hair?
'I've at least got downy hair!
'No, you don't!
'Oji-sama!Please excuse me for a moment so I can have a look!
'Hey. You guys. That's enough or I'll kick your asses out!

Beneath the shining scalp, Demily's smile radiates a dark aura.

'Huh?I'm sorry, I can't help it!...... Come on, Yashiro, apologize too!
I'm not sure what to do with it.

'Don't be greedy!Are you the right of greed?
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.

Oh, Estella. What were you telling this old man?
I'll have to hear the details later.

'My Lady, Master Yashiro. May I have a word?'

Natalia stepped between Estella and me and spoke in a hushed voice.
I may have gotten a little too excited. ...... I wonder if Natalia will be angry with me?

'I've checked and there is no ............ hair on your face.
'What the hell is Natalia doing here?
'Maybe I should quit sewing!
'Mister!I'm just kidding!These two are a bit of a joke.I'll make them apologize!We'll make them apologize, at least for the sewage!Come on, both of you, apologize!'

Estella looks so scared.
...... It can't be helped.
Natalia and I both bowed our heads and apologized honestly.

''I'm sorry. I took a closer look and saw that it was fluffy.''
''Are you sarcastic, both of you?

Estella and Demilly looked at each other like young men, even though I had done them the favor.
This is why noblemen are ...... so selfish.

'Oh, that's right. Mr. Demilly the fluffy. I have a favor to ask you.
'Then you should first learn how to ask people for things, Oba-kun. ......'
'Don't get too frustrated, Mr. Demilly, or you'll go bald.
'I'm already bald, Oba!It's so shiny!
'Mister Oji!Calm down!You mustn't admit it to yourself!

As Estella began to flick the knife in her pocket, I decided to negotiate seriously.

'As I said when I told you how the sewage system works, you need a lot of sawdust to purify the water.'
'Hmm. You were talking about that. ...... So?'
'I want you to send a few people from the Woodcutter's Guild to District Forty-two.
'But even if we send them to the 42nd district, they'll end up going outside the outer wall, right?I don't think we need to send them all the way there. ......'
'Oji-sama. Actually, I'm thinking of building a city gate in District Forty-two.''

'You want the city gate in District 42?'

Estella, who had taken over the conversation from me, explained that the city gates of District 42 would have quite favorable conditions for the Lumberjack Guild, and made a passionate speech about how serious she was about attracting them.

'District Forty-two needs a lumberjack guild.
'I see. ...... So you're saying that you're not only going to dispatch personnel, but you're also going to establish a branch of the Woodcutter's Guild in District 42?
'Yes. By doing so, the forests in the 42nd district will also be under the control of the Lumberjack Guild, and the environment will be protected.
'So you want to set up a branch in the 42nd district ....... It seems that the Trubec Construction Company is also steadily increasing its sales. ......'

There is a precedent for this, and that precedent is doing well. This should be a significant positive factor.

'Hmm. All right. The head of the Lumberjack Guild is an old friend of mine. I'll tell him to make the arrangements for you.
'Thank you, Oji-sama!

Okay, good. Things are moving along nicely.
Now all that's left is ......

'But there's one thing I'm not sure about: where to put the gate.

Demily wrinkles his brow with a sullen expression.
'I don't get it,' he said, his expression telling.
The eyes that were looking at me were unexpectedly sharp, and they were filled with such power that I could clearly see that this man was the lord of a district.
I can't cooperate unless my doubts are resolved. He exuded the caution that is characteristic of a lord, who cannot put himself in danger with one careless word.

'Why would you set it up so far west, away from the main road?

The explanation Estella had just given included the location of the gate.
We are going to build the city gate not on the east side where the main streets are, but on the west side where the churches and farmlands are spread out and deserted.
Normally, there should be a wide open road in front of the city gate to bring in goods from the outside. It is also desirable to have a main street in front of the city, where adventurers from the outside first run into restaurants, taverns, and inns. It's more profitable that way.

However, we dare to build the gate on the west side of the street where it is not popular.
Why is that? ......

'There is a water purification facility on the west side of the territory. Therefore, we will build a processing plant right next to the city gate, and the wood brought in from the city gate will be processed there and used in the water purification facility located a short distance away. This will greatly reduce the transportation cost.
'Are you saying that you're only using the city gate for lumber?
''No. There's also a hunting guild in District 42, they'll use it as well.
'...... Hmm.'

If I may add one more thing to Estella's explanation, the river that flows out of District 42 is connected to the ocean. This is proven by the salmon.
When we were building the sewage treatment plant, we found out that the water from the river flowing out of the outer wall of District Forty-two seems to pass under the cliff that rises between District Thirty and the sea.
There seems to be a large cavity under the cliff, and the river flows out to the sea through the underground .......

Then, if we dig a little entrance to the underground and reinforce it to prevent the cliff from collapsing, we can complete a new delivery route for the Sea Fishing Guild.
Masha and the other members of the Sea Fishing Guild can use it to bring their nets to us, and it would be even better if they could share some of the sea fish with us.

'In other words, you don't expect adventurers or ordinary people to use the city gates from the start, and you're only building them to improve the lives of the Forty-two Wards, right?
'Originally, the outside of District 42 is a deep forest. Adventurers won't wander into it. If someone falls off the cliff, that is not the case.''

If you were to fall from the road in the 30th district to the bottom of this cliff, you would die, most likely.
However, unless it was really such an extreme case, no ordinary person would use the gate of District Forty-two.

'Yeah. Then there won't be any trouble with the other wards.''

Demiry nodded broadly as if he was satisfied.
It is not uncommon to have disputes over the amount of tax to be charged or the number of users, and keeping the number of users limited is the quickest way to avoid trouble.

As for the entrance tax, the lumberjack guild is pushing for a heavier tax outside of the forty districts in the name of ...... preventing people from overcutting trees outside of their own supervision. I guess it's really for profit.
So, if that's the case. If the lumberjack guild is invited, the 42nd district will be under their supervision, which means that the entry tax can be reduced.
Furthermore, by placing the city gates close to the water purification facility, the transportation cost will be greatly reduced. A processing plant in the immediate vicinity would be a perfect solution.

The sewage from the 42nd district will now be available for use without any problems.

And more.

............ Mmm.

The west side of District 42 has been nothing but vacant lots and forests until now. If that area is developed, people will naturally gather there.
I've been talking with Estella, and we're planning to pave the main road extending to the east and the road to the church to create a main road. If it's sturdy enough for wagons, it will make it easier to transport the processed wood and the crops for the MoMats.

And this is where I made my most forceful and passionate statement: ......

If the roads are built, it will be easier for Alvistan's people who believe in the spirit gods to go to church!
Believers should go to church on holidays and offer a prayer or two!
If you only rely on them when it suits you, won't the spirit gods distrust you?
Trust is the key to faith, I said.

Ginette wept and said, 'You're right,' and Estella said, 'It's true, I'm only praying at certain times now,' reflecting on herself and showing signs of remorse.

So, the construction of a highway connecting the east and west of the 42nd district is being planned very positively.

Oh, by the way, I've just realized that if that happens, the Sunlit Pavilion, located right in the middle of the highway, might start to receive customers.
Well, what a coincidence.
It's the perfect place to take a break from work.
Coincidence, coincidence.

...... Hmmm.

With this, we can turn around the 'bad location' that we've had for so long and couldn't get over!
It's a huge victory in reverse!

Now all we have to do is talk to the boss of the lumberjack guild, attract lumberjacks, build the city gate, and redevelop the west side of the territory!
The future is bright for ............ and me!

The guild leader of the lumberjack guild is an old friend of mine. Wait for me. I'll write him a letter of introduction. I'm sure he'll readily agree. The forest on the 42nd district side is a difficult place to reach. If you can make it easier for him to get there and back, he'll lend you a hand without a second thought.

What a great seal of approval I got!

It's true that outside the 42nd district, there are a lot of hexenbiests that will send you to the other side if you encounter them. It would be too much for mere lumberjacks to handle, unless they had Magda.
Much less felling a tree there. ......
I see, so this is an advantage for the lumberjack guild.
If it's a win-win situation, negotiations should be easy.
In addition, we have a letter of introduction from the lord.

............ Hahaha, I won!
I won again this time. ...... I'd like to know how you lost.

I felt very good in the face of a negotiation that was sure to be an easy win.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do,......, but I think I'm going to expand the Sunshine Pavilion store. I don't want it to be overrun with customers. Hmmm...

While Demilly was filling out the letter of introduction, I couldn't help but be in a buoyant mood.

That is, until I met that woman.