59-Episode 54 The Woodcutter's Guild Lady

A few hours after our meeting with Ambrose Demilly, the lord of the 40th district, we came to the mansion of Stuart Javier, the head of the Woodcutter's Guild, who resides with Deden in the middle of the 40th district.
In terms of opulence, the lord's mansion would probably have the upper hand, but in terms of pure space, this one might have a slight lead.
In addition to the guild leader's mansion, there was a warehouse for storing wood, a factory for processing wood, and even a simple dormitory for guild members to sleep in.
The fact that it occupies such a large site in the center of the city shows the influence of the Lumberjack Guild's power.
Normally, there shouldn't be a building that's bigger and more spacious than the lord's mansion, but this woodcutter's guild seems to be an exception.

'But we were lucky, weren't we? I'm lucky to get an answer right away.

Estella says in a good mood.
Even though she got a letter of introduction from Demilly, the other party is the head of the Woodcutter's Guild, which has influence over the entire district. We thought we'd have to come back another day, but we were allowed to see him that day.
Demilly laughed and said, 'He's impatient,' which was convenient for us.
The sooner the contract is signed, the better.

'I've heard a lot about you, sir. This way, please.

A group of burly servants led me to a room in a grand building.
...... Is it because they're a lumberjack guild that they're so handsome?I'm not sure if he's a lumberjack too.

In the room you're taken to, a big man, one ...... or two times bigger than the servants, is waiting for you.

'Hey, you've come a long way. I'm Stuart Javier, head of the Woodcutter's Guild.
'It is an honor to meet you, Mr. Javier.'

Estella smiles at the bearded man.
This man with a friendly smile seems to be the head of the Lumberjack Guild.
He is indeed the head of the lumberjack guild. ...... His upper body muscles look amazing.
If he gets angry, his clothes will tear to pieces.

'Thank you so much for making time for me so quickly, even though it was a sudden request.
'Don't worry about it. The other guys will take care of the work. Guild leaders have a lot of free time on their hands.

The big man laughs gaily.
Javier seems to be a very sturdy man.

'I've read the letter from Ambrose. He wants you to send a lumberjack.'

Javier calls Demilly by his first name.
I don't know if it's okay for a lord to do that, but they really seem to be close, just like Demilly said they were 'old friends'. Well, they seem to be close in age.

'Yes, that's right. I'd like to set up a city gate in the 42nd district so that we can go directly to the deepest part of the outer forest from there.

Estella explained, emphasizing the benefits to the Lumberjack Guild.
Currently, the Woodcutter's Guild is operating out of the 40th District and moving through the forest,
The forest is rife with magical beasts and is dangerous. Therefore, they cannot stay too long.
For this reason, lumberjacks have only ventured into the front ...... of the forest, i.e. the area close to the gate of District 40.

If a gate is built in the 42nd district, the lumberjack guild will have a much wider field of activity.
In addition, they are willing to purchase a large amount of sawdust on an almost permanent basis. This must be a very good deal for the lumberjacks' guild.

There may be a few more things to be worked out, such as the entrance tax and the terms of attraction, but the contract itself should go well.
From here on out, this is Estella's domain. It's not my place to interfere.
So I'm standing next to Natalia and keeping her company. ...... She just got mad at me for the way I treated Demilly. Don't do anything you don't have to.

'Mmm. The conditions and treatment are fine. Sounds like a good deal for me and the Lumberjack Guild.
'Yes, sir. I'm sure it will be.'
'I can't ignore a beautiful woman when she says so.

Javier laughs again.
Estella also smiles along with him.

This has been decided.

Good. Now there will be a city gate in the 42nd district, a main road leading to it will be built, and the sunny pavilion will be in full swing.
Welcome to a bright future!
And goodbye, deserted house!

--And then...

'Father, you wanted to see me?

As Estella was chatting with Javier, who she should call Muscle Dharma, wearing a perfect diplomatic smile, a voice suddenly called out from outside the room.
She looked and saw a glamorous young lady standing behind a large wooden door held by a servant.

Her shining blonde hair danced softly and lightly, as if it had been permed loosely at the ends.
Her slender, slender arms and legs are perfectly styled, but her figure is not.
The white skin that shines like a fine pearl gives a feeling of unspoiled purity and noble beauty, and the lips that look like small red fruits will not let go of the viewer's gaze.

And the most distinctive feature is her long, cool eyes.

She has attractive eyes that have both the calmness of the bottom of the deep sea and the strength of burning magma.
Those who are stared at by these eyes will think without hesitation.

'I want to be stared at by those eyes and scolded!I want to be cursed!

There was a strong-minded young lady there, with a hint of S in her.

'...... huh'.

Well, that's beautiful.
No wonder the lumberjacks are so excited.

'Oh!Imelda, you're here.'

Javier's old man melts the muscles in his face.
His face is so squishy you'd think his musculature had collapsed.
You like your daughter so much, don't you?

'I'll introduce you. This is my daughter Imelda.'
'...... Hi.'

Imelda took one look at us and greeted us curtly.
...... Hmm?
What's wrong with this guy?

'Imelda. They are the representatives of the lord of the forty-two districts.
'The forty-second ............ district, yes.'

Imelda's price-gouging gaze was directed at Estella.
Estella's face twitched at the blatant gaze, but she managed to keep a smile on her face.

'So, what can I do for you?

He doesn't seem to have any particular thoughts about Estella.
I mean, who is this .................. guy?
Estella is the only daughter of the lord, you know?

'Actually, they're building a city gate in the 42nd district and they want to invite a branch from the Woodcutter Guild.
'Ah. Not a bad idea, right?If a city gate is built in the 42nd district, it will be easier to go deep into the forest, which has been difficult to reach so far, and there will be a permanent demand for wood in the 42nd district in the future. ......'
'I'm not convinced.

Imelda's icy voice interrupted Javier's good-humored words.

............ What's this guy saying?

'Oh, um... Imelda, sir?

Imelda looks at Estella, adding a sarcastic emphasis to each phrase.
I'm not sure if you've seen this before, but I'm sure you have.

...... A palpable murderous energy is beginning to rise from next to me. Calm down, Natalia. If you move, people will die.

'What do you mean when you say ...... unconvincing?
'It means exactly what it says.
'Could you please elaborate?

Estella is a noblewoman.
I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but I'm sure you've heard of it.

...... That seems to have made the guts of the woman next to me boil over...

'Do I need to explain?

She opens her arms and squeezes her shoulders.
It's a gesture Americans make when they say, 'I'm appalled.
I wonder how annoying that pose is when you actually do it.

'Because you're in the 42nd district.The bottom of Allbloom. The city is dirty, the people are shabby, and the only food you can eat is skinny vegetables and hard black bread. There's no sights to see, no traditions or history to speak of. There is no beauty to be found anywhere. Why should our glorious Lumberjack Guild have a branch in such a worthless district?

.................. Just two more times, I'll bear with you.

'I went there once when I was a child, but I regretted it. The whole city was filled with strange smells and I thought I was going to get sick. I don't want to go there again. Besides, aren't there still slums in the 42nd district?It's dangerous.

...... one more time.

'You're mistaken, Imelda.
'Oh?What do you mean?
'It's true that the Forty-second District may not have been a city to be proud of in the past. But in the past few months, our city has changed a lot. The city is more beautiful and the people are more vibrant. And as for the slums, they have now been reborn as a new town under the leadership of the Torbek Corporation, which is based here, and it is a peaceful and open area.
'But it's only the 42nd district, isn't it?

.................. zero.

'I love to admire beautiful things more than anything. Is there even one thing in this reborn 42nd district that is worthy of my love?Is there anything in the forty-second ward that is worthy of my beauty? ......'

I ignore the pompous blonde lady and call out to Estella.
There's no need to give a d*mn about this guy.

I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what's going on. The head of the Woodcutter's Guild is the guild leader, Mr. Javier. Let's get his approval and signature on the papers. You can try to convince him later, in hours, years, centuries.

Then I look the young lady in the eye with contempt, her brow furrowed in disgust, and say firmly.

'The only time you should be bothered by a mascot whose only asset is its beauty is when you're greeting and seeing it off.

'What the hell?

Yeah, that's it.
You keep your eyes on me.

It's not you that's important, it's your father.
More importantly, all you need is your father's autograph.

Conditionally, there is no reason for Javier to refuse this contract.
It is hard to imagine that he would despise a guest who was introduced to him by the lord himself.

No matter what the young lady who was pampered and misunderstood says, this negotiation has already been concluded on a practical level.
Then there's no point in dealing with such a nasty guy.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that these lumberjacks have muscles in their brains.
It's ...... impossible that they're all crazy about this woman.
She just has a nice face.
No, Estella's face is a few steps ahead of yours.

............ Only her boobs are a disaster, though.

'We don't have time for this either. Mr. Javier. We'll talk about your beautiful daughter another day, but for now, let's talk about work.

I'll shut out the outsiders and get on with it.
The lady should just stare at me in the corner of the room.
It's thrilling to see your beautiful face twisted in humiliation.
I'm sorry, I'm quite a douche myself. I have no intention of giving in to you.

'So long, Mr. Javier. Please continue your story at .......'

Estella held out her papers and was about to resume her story when a shrill voice interrupted her.

'If you set up a branch in the 42nd district, the name of our noble woodcutter guild will be tainted!It's humiliating to have lumberjacks in a city that's not even beautiful!I'm absolutely, positively against it!

What beautiful city?
Why don't you do something about your roads before you say that.

I ignored the selfish young lady and quickly signed the contract ....... I looked at Javier and I was mortified.

'I can't sign this contract!

Javier flipped his hand.

You just said with a smile, 'It's not a bad deal' and 'It's a good deal for the Lumberjack Guild'!

'Hey, Mr. Javier!

I couldn't help but close in on Javier.
I tried to be quiet, but with this ridiculous atmosphere, my temper tantrum would go into overdrive and I'd get a huge fever.

'You're not saying that just because you don't want your daughter to hate you, are you?
'Hey, young ............ man.'

The eyes of a rugged man who has been living in the dangerous forest for decades glare at me.
The power is so great that it gives me goosebumps all over my body.
...... My cells start screaming that it's dangerous to go against this guy.

'............You're right, but what?
'What? No, no, no!

I'm not going to listen to my cells' warnings!
This guy's an idiot!
He's an idiot!

'Imelda is my reason for living!I'll overrule any opinion I have to keep Imelda from hating me!That's my Justice!
'Don't be so pathetic!

This guild leader didn't just mix public and private, he put his personal feelings first!

That's why you've turned into such a selfish young lady.

''Well, the beautiful me will see you off, so please leave me alone!

d*mn, you're a nasty woman for quoting my words just now .......


As I am still reeling from Javier's unexpected flip of the hand, Natalia whispers quietly in my ear.

'...... I can finish him off without anyone noticing, can't I?
'............ Let's not do that.'
'......I see.'

Scary. ...... Natalia, Estella's insults have been quietly accumulating. ...... I hope they don't explode somewhere. ...... ......

'Come on, come on, this way. I'll show you the way out!'

Imelda turns away and quickly leaves the room.
...... Can't we just close the door and start the negotiations all over again?

'...... Sorry, you two.'

After Imelda left the room, Javier whispered an apology.

'As you can see, once she starts talking, she doesn't listen.
'...... It's because you raised her wrong, isn't it?
'Because she's cute!

...... It's not 'because', you bearded muscle!
I'm sure you're aware of your own insanity when you make an honest apology like this. If so, why don't you just sign the contract like an adult? ......

'I'm sorry about the negotiations, but I promise to accommodate you on the sawdust. Ambrose introduced us. Can't you just end this somehow?

I can't set up a branch of the Lumberjack Guild, but I'll give you the sawdust. ...... That might be a good place to start, but ............ That's not good for me!
If the Lumberjack Guild doesn't come, the city gates will never be built.

If that happens, the main road will disappear.

Then, what will happen to the sunny pavilion?

'...... It can't be helped. If you push it too far, it will only worsen the relationship.

And Estella, too, began to say things as if she had given up.
For this guy, just being able to conclude a sewage contract with Ambrose Demilly, the lord of the 40th district, is enough to make him happy.
He must think that he doesn't need to stick to the gate.

That's not good enough!I do!

'Imelda!Listen to me for a second!

In this situation, I can't pretend to be something I'm not!
The point is, all you have to do is convince that selfish young lady, right?
If we do that, I'm sure this idiot parent will send us a branch of the Woodcutter's Guild just for the love of their daughter!

'Imelda!Come back here for a minute!

But no matter how many times I called and shouted, Imelda never showed up.
I don't think she's gone that far,.................., but I don't think so.

I'm not sure what to say.
'It's no use. Just for a little while, okay?'

Imelda returned with a graceful gait.
............ She's an idiot, too.

'So what is it, you stupid fools?

Imelda is smiling, as if her good mood has returned somewhat.
This guy is probably vulnerable to cajoling.

But I don't think just flattery is going to help.

If he doesn't change the negative image he has had of District 42 since his childhood, he won't shake his head.

'Would you please take a look at the 42nd Ward?I want you to see the reborn Ward 42 with your own eyes.
'No, thank you. It stinks.'
'As for the source of that smell, ...... I can assure you that District Forty-two is now cleaner than District Forty in that regard.
'Forty-two wards are cleaner than forty wards?You've got to be kidding me. If you talk too big, I'll turn you into a frog.
'Oh, good.

If you think I'm lying, you can call the spirits' judgment.
I assure you.
The forty-second district, with its sewage system, is cleaner than this forty-second district, with its poorly maintained roads!

'............ You're very confident, aren't you?
'I've just signed a contract with the lord to sell the technology. I think it's proof that the technology is more advanced than here.
'............Yes, sir. ............... ...'

Okay, one more push.

'Ma'am. There's something very attractive and beautiful for you in the 42nd district.

It's my masterpiece.
I can proudly say that this one is the number one in all of Broome.

'Is there really such a thing as ............?'

He looked at me quizzically, but with interest.
You've got a bite. ......
I'm going to fold it up and make him say 'yes' for sure!

'Miss, how do you ...... go to the bathroom every day?


There was a high-pitched sound, and I felt a sharp pain in my cheek.

'Hmph, there's no need to be insolent!
'...... No, no, no. ............ I didn't mean to s*xually harass you. ...... ......'

You're an impatient young lady.

'The filthiest and most unsanitary thing in this city is, without a doubt, the toilet. But there are clean and beautiful toilets in the 42nd district.'
'You want me to come and see the ............ toilets?It's so rude!

It's a flush toilet.
If you see it, you'll definitely want it!
If you're a beauty lover, you might even rub your cheeks at the sheer beauty of it!

'You're talking nonsense. The only thing you can be proud of is your ...... bathroom. ...... This is why the forty-two districts are ......'
'Wait!Who said it's only toilets!There's a lot more to it than that!

Popcorn, tacos, etc. ............ Well, it's a little plain to present, but... At least if you have the actual thing, you can negotiate with them. .................. Oh, you do.

It's not even worth visiting if you can't convince this beautiful woman of its beauty right here, right now.
'Then let me show you. The pride of the 42nd district. Natalia, prepare my lunch!
'Very well, sir.

This is the lunch Ginette gave me this morning.

I thought about eating somewhere, but I hadn't gotten around to it yet to avoid getting full before the negotiations with the Lumberjack Guild.
People slow down their thinking when they are full. It is better to be moderately hungry before a battle.
And Ginette's lunchbox is designed so that you can't stop eating halfway.
They are so delicious that you can't help but eat them. Especially when you're with Estella. ...... You can be sure that they will fight for it.

'Ready when you are.

The Lumberjack Guild's reception room. On a table in the middle of the room, a familiar lunch box from the Sunlit Pavilion is placed.
Curious, Imelda and Javier approach you.

'Now, take a look at this: ......'

This is the best home-cooked meal in District 42!
It's Ginette's lunchbox!

'This, this is ............'
'Huh. ......'

Imelda and Javier looked into the lunch box and couldn't help but squeal.

Ginette's lunchboxes are truly a work of art, not only in terms of overall balance and color, but also in terms of the detailed decorations and thoughtful touches added to each of the side dishes.
With the dexterity that I have acquired from my master and the skills that I have developed through my career as a con man, I am confident that I can create the highest quality products in most cases. But even I, of course, can't bring myself to compete with this.
There is no dish in this world, or in Japan, that can compare to Ginette's cooking.
The proprietress is only a competitor because of her memories.

'My God, ......, this is beautiful.

Javier let out a sigh of admiration.
Imelda doesn't say a word, just stares at the glorious array of dishes.
But it is this silence that affirms the beauty.
It is truly a case of 'no words'.

'What do you think?This is the finest cuisine the 42nd district has to offer.
'Hmm. The Forty-Two Wards have truly been reborn.

Javier nodded in admiration.
That's right!More bites!
And sign the papers at ......

'It sure is beautiful!But ......'

............ 'But'?

'But'? 'This is only a temporary beauty that will quickly decay over time.

.................. Haaaaaaah!

'I find value in beauty that is eternal and unchanging.
'Wait a minute!I'm sure there are plenty of beautiful things out there that aren't immutable, like flowers in full bloom or the ever-changing scenery of a city!
'Flowers bloom beautifully again when the time comes. A changing landscape is beautiful even if it changes its form. But what about this?

Pointing to the lunchbox, Imelda raises her eyebrows.

'If you eat it, it will disappear. If you don't eat it, it will decay and look like nothing. I don't approve of these things that are only pretending to be beautiful for a moment!

............ No.
I'm sure nothing I say will make sense to this guy.

'But ............'.

As I slumped my shoulders, Imelda said to me.

'I admit that it is a beautiful dish. In recognition of this temporary beauty, I will send you to inspect the 42nd district once, and only once. If you can convince me with that one visit, good. Otherwise, ............ the Woodcutter's Guild will not go to District 42 forever. Is that okay with you?

Is this an opportunity ............ or an opening in a game of chance?
I felt like I was staring at a mirage shimmering beyond the haze.

After leaving Javier's house, we returned to the 42nd district.
On the way, we took a break and ate our lunch, but I didn't take a bite. I had no appetite.

Once ...... just once ............ is enough to convince that selfish young lady that the location of the sunny pavilion will not be improved. It's a good idea.
As prices normalize, competition among restaurants will intensify.
Ginette must not be satisfied with the relocation of the restaurant.
In that place, in that restaurant, we have to compete with other restaurants. ......

d*mn ............, it's all dark before my eyes.

'It's all dark now, isn't it?

I looked up at Estella's voice as she walked next to me and saw that it really was pitch black.
It seemed that the sun had gone down before I knew it.
Because of my stop at the Lumberjack Guild, I was late getting home.
I had originally planned to return in the evening.

'Hmm?That's ......'.

We had just entered the 42nd district and were about to step out into the central square when Natalia seemed to have found something.
She pointed ahead and stared at it.
When she turned her gaze in that direction, she saw ............

'Ah!Mr. Yashiro!

There was Ginette.
With a small lantern hanging in her hand, she was waving at us in front of the central square.

'Ginette. What's wrong with you, here?

I walk over to her and she runs up to me.
And then she looks up at me with a somewhat happy expression on her face.

'Well, ...... you said you'd be back in the evening, but I thought you were a little late. ......'
'So, you came to check on me?'
'Oh, well, ...... I haven't been out much, so I could only come this far. ......'

It's much better than being alone in an unknown place.

'Did I keep you waiting long enough?'
'No, sir. I just got here. This lantern is proof.

He claimed that the fact that he had the lantern meant that he had left the store after dark. ......

I don't want him to do anything rash like this, but ............ I think I should thank him now.

'Thank you, for picking me up.
'Yes!Thank you all for your hard work. How did it go?Did we get our story straight?
'You know, Ginette...'

Estella went on to explain what happened today.
As we talked, we entered the central square and continued walking.

'I see. The Woodcutter's Guild said that ............, but it's good that the sewage was decided, isn't it?
'Yes. That alone is a relief.''

I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that,' said Ginette and Estella, smiling warmly.
...... Sewage alone is not enough.
If you can't attract the lumberjack guild, ............ the sunny pavilion ...... is ...... ..................

I'm not sure what's wrong with you, Yashiro!

I rushed as fast as I could towards the eerie shadow standing in the middle of the central square.

'Oh, it's ...... again.

Ginette seems to have just noticed it, so maybe it was placed there just now.

It was just taken down this morning,......, but I wonder if they made it in a hurry. ............ There was a life-size wax statue of me standing there. I'm not sure what to do.

'This is the third one, isn't it?
'It can't be helped. Natalia, help her carry it.
'Yes, sir. Let's cut them up and split them up.'
'...... No, that's not ............ good-looking ......... ...'

Natalia is saying horrible things, but it doesn't matter.
Yes, it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter, because when I saw this wax statue, .................. it hit me.

You can do it. ............
This is ............ good!

'Hmm ............ hmm hmm ............... ...hahahahahahaha!Good!This is good!This is good!This is great!I can do it!I can do it if I have this.
'Ya, Yashiro-san!
'Hey, what's going on, Yashiro?

I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure it's a good idea....... Oh, no, let's not mention Natalia.

Anyway, I see a chance to win!
God hadn't given up on me yet!
You've got a good point there, God!

'What the hell?
'And Natalia, too!
'What is it?

I looked around at everyone present and gave them instructions on how to seize the opportunity that was beginning to present itself.

'We'll get the culprit!I'm going to catch whoever made this wax statue and set it up here, no matter what it takes!

Thus, I began my mission to capture the mysterious sculptor.