The sun has completely set and it's pitch black.
However, the body of this person is shining vaguely brightly.
And in that light, there is something like a black shadow standing there, staring at you. ............
'Lo, Loretta, let's run!
'Da, no!I'm too weak to ............ stand up!
'I thought you were okay with being scared!
'Actually, I was just pretending that I could afford not to come out!I'm scared!Oh, no, Onii-chan!
I ran over to Loretta, who slumped to the ground, and picked her up. ......, but Loretta is so weak that she can't even stand up. ...... You have to give her a piggyback ride to get her to move.
There's a ghost right there,............, and I want to get out of there as fast as I can!
'All right, Loretta!I'll come get you tomorrow!
'No!I don't want you to leave me here!I'll curse you!I'm going to haunt you for the rest of your life!
That's what I'm afraid of!
'Then jump on my back!
Turning her back to Loretta, she roughly pulled her arm and tried to carry her on her back, but ......
'Ow, ow, ow!It hurts!My arm is coming off!
'Why don't you lift your hips a little and put yourself on your back!
'I can't get any strength in my legs!
'...... Can I lend you a hand?
'......Hold on, then.'
'Huh. ...... Thank you, stranger.'
'...... No, that's about it.'
With the help of a kind person, I managed to carry Loretta on my back.
All right, now all you have to do is dash away ............ and you'll be ...... free ...... ............
I felt uncomfortable and turned around.
Loretta also felt uncomfortable, and looked back at the exact same time.
'...... How can I help you?
There was a black shadow staring at us from within the pale light ............
''What?Where is it?Where is it?
''I'm a ghost, aren't I?
You don't know what you're doing?
'Huh?What's that?What kind of spell is that?
'I'm returning you to the heavens!
'Are you a wizard, Hero-sama?
'Oh, um, ......, you're Hero-sama, aren't you?
'No, I'm just a cafeteria worker.
'No!You are a hero. You are a precious gift from God to this world. I understand. I sense a noble soul. Yes, your soul shines very differently!
...... What the hell is this ghost?
Are you recruiting for some kind of weird religion?
'Big brother ............, this person is not a ghost ............, right?'
'Oh ............ hmm, if you say so ............'.
I stare at the vaguely glowing woman in black.
She is dressed in black with a black cape and a black hat with a large brim on her head.
Then, to see if she is a ghost, he lowers his gaze quickly.
'You have .............'
'You're still talking about boobs at a time like this?
The ghost screams, hiding her chest .
'Loretta, you've made me look like a pervert, even to a ghost.
'Not the chest, the legs!I said you have legs.'
'...... feet?If it's feet, then it's .............'
The ghost, a little teary-eyed, fearfully puts his foot out in front of him. As if to show us.
Thin legs with tight ankles. The bulge in her calf tickles the fancy of men.
'Big brother, is your foot also a hot mouth?
'You're really not allowed to have any contact with Regina.
Don't lump me in with the leg fetishists of the Seafaring Guild. It's disgusting.
'In my country, ghosts are said to have no legs. This guy has legs, so that proves he's not a ghost.
'That ...... ghost, could it be that I'm ...... a ghost?'
The ghost ......, or ghost, asks with a surprised expression.
Since it is surprised, it is probably not a ghost.
'At night like this, with your whole body glowing dimly, it's no wonder people think you're a ghost.
'Oh, you mean this light ......, that makes sense.'
He nodded his head in agreement and gave an embarrassed smile, as if he were a ghost.
I'm not sure what to make of it. She is probably older than Ginette and Estella. She has a calm atmosphere. Probably in her mid-twenties.
No normal person would come to a place like this at this hour.
Then it's natural to assume that he lives nearby.
If he lives around here, calls me 'hero', and is around that age, then ......
You're Theron's childhood friend, the one who studies flowers?
'Yes, I am. Yes, I am. ...... But you understand well, don't you?'
'Well, I had some information.'
'Did she say something like, "She looks like a firefly squid"?
'No, I didn't say that.
I feel like a rapidly depressed ghost.
Maybe I'm a little negative.
But you're a firefly squid. ............ You know yourself very well, don't you? I'm starting to look like a firefly squid now.
'Firefly squid, are you a human?
He denied me with a straight face.
You seem to be a bit annoyed.
...... You're the one who called me a firefly squid.
'I'm Wendy Avery. I'm a scientist who studies flowers.'
The woman who introduced herself as Wendy lightly pinched the hem of her black skirt and gave a graceful bow.
The fact that she can greet me like this shows that she has aged appropriately.
'I'm Loretta!It's nice to meet you!
She throws herself on my back and stretches her arms out. ...... I'm going to have to give this guy a lesson in etiquette.
'Thank you for your time. Ms. Loretta, and Mr. Hero.
'Can you stop that?Just use Yashiro.'
'Oh no!I can't believe you're calling me Hero-sama!
'That's why you shouldn't call me Hero!
'But he's so great that he has a ...... hero statue. ......'
'Oh, that matter has already been settled.
The idiot who erected the statue without permission has been dealt with.
I'm going to use him as a joke for a while.
'So, what do you want from us?
Wendy called out to us as we came out of the brickworks.
'Yes, actually,' she said, wondering what we wanted.
'Actually,......, that ............ is not a stalker or anything like that, so please don't misunderstand me. But ...... I saw Hero-sama passing by here in the evening, and I've been following him for a while. ......'
'You're a stalker.
'I'm a stalker.'
'No, no, no, no!I just wanted to talk to you!
'So, you've been sitting here waiting for us to come out?'
'You're a stalker.'
'It's a stalker.'
'That's why!............Uh, I can't argue with that. ......'
Wendy curls her back and cries bitterly.
I'm sure this was the shadow that Loretta saw in this area before she went to the brickworks.
But why is this thing emitting light all over its body like this?
Are you some kind of super what person?
'Actually, I ...... feel I'm at my limit. ......'
Depressed, Wendy begins to pontificate.
'In the end, what I'm chasing after is a dream that can't be realized. ............ If that's the case, wouldn't it be easier if I just threw everything away and gave up? ......'
But you have your reasons for not wanting to do that.
I say, and Wendy turns to me, looking like a pigeon that's been hit by a peashooter.
No, it's more like she's popping popcorn at Neffery.
I'll try it next time.
'...... How do you know?
'Because you're giggling.'
'I've come to the conclusion that I have no choice but to give up,' he says to the 'others' with only one goal in mind.
They want you to say, 'That's not true. They want you to tell them to 'try a little harder'.
They can't find a reason to work hard on their own, so they want someone else to push them.
'In my country, there is a very troublesome race of 'carebears'. You're a lot like them.'
'...... troublesome ............?
I guess I'm not used to being explicitly denied.
Wendy became visibly depressed.
Well, not when your childhood friend is that Theron.
I'm sure he took everything Wendy said in a positive light and pushed her every step of the way.
But when that became the norm, he instantly became anxious.
She thought that this person who always supported her was the only one who was special, and that the rest of the human race was negative. ...... And even to this special person, she wondered if she was really straining herself.
I'm too afraid to ask that. But I'm curious.
And when that happens, what he turns to is 'approval from a third party'.
If I say, 'It's okay, hang in there,' I'm sure Wendy will be saved. Just for a moment, just for a little while. But it won't last.
Then you have to push her away.
And correct her so she can stand on her own two feet.
The trouble is, I have my reasons for keeping him positive.
'You're having trouble because you don't want to admit the answers you already have. To avoid admitting the answers you don't want to admit, you just keep making excuses for this and that.
Wendy turned her head completely down.
I guess she's been spoiled so much that she doesn't know how to respond to harsh words.
'Hey, big brother.
I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it.
...... Hey, can you please get off?I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
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That's what he got.
It's the exact opposite.
'Quite the opposite, huh?
Wendy said, 'I have to give up. But if she meant it, she wouldn't have gone to the trouble of waiting for me to come and talk to her.
'Wendy doesn't want to give up Theron at any cost. I don't want him to be a nobleman's son-in-law. But she's getting impatient because her research is not producing the results she wants. Time is running out, and you want to scream, 'I'm dead! You want to shout 'no more!
'You're going to shout 'Damepo'?That's a pretty cry, isn't it?
'No,......, I've never used that word,.......'
I'm sorry, but I got caught up in a weird part of the story and lost my way.
Wendy, you don't have to go to the trouble of denying such things.
In the event that you have any questions concerning where and how to use the internet, you can contact us at the following web site: ...... Anyway, Wendy wants to keep Theron around even if it means exposing herself to the world, she wants him to stay by her side, she doesn't want to give him to anyone, she wants to make love to him from morning till night on weekdays. I want to kiss her goodbye on weekdays, I want her to come to me at work and say, "Are you kissing me? I'm sure you'd like to do that too.I'm sure you'd like to do that, anyway!I'm not going to be able to do it.
'Oh, brother!I'll calm down!I'll get my wits about me!No one said anything about that.
'Look, Wendy's really upset!
'How can you know everything?
''Did you really think I wanted to do that?It's painful!We're kind of a painful couple!
Loretta is puzzled at my back, but if you ask me, I don't understand why she can't see that.
All the couples in the world think the same.
In short, I don't want to let go, but I don't want to make a fool of myself.
That's what this is all about.
'Then we'll just have to make our research a success.
It's the most honest and simplest solution.
'Once your research is complete, Theron's flowerbeds will sell like hotcakes. Isn't that right?
'Ha, yes!I'm confident about that!
Wendy nodded vigorously, her eyes filled with absolute confidence.
The bricks are only in demand as flower beds. But even those flower beds are not in demand here in District 42.
That's probably why Wendy is putting everything she has into her research on flowers. She firmly believes that if her research is successful and the demand for flowers increases, the demand for Theron's flower beds will also increase.
However, this confidence will disappear in an instant.
'If the ...... research is successful, it will be .............'
Well, that's the hardest part, isn't it?
If it were easy, everyone would be a millionaire by now.
'So, what kind of flowers are you studying?
Theron said, 'A flower that doesn't exist in this world yet. ......
'I'm researching ...... a glowing flower.'
'A glowing flower ......?'
'Yes. I'd like to create a flower that accumulates sunlight in its petals during the day and makes its own petals glow brightly at night.
I've never seen a glowing flower ...... before.
'That's what I've been researching for a long time.
'So ...... have you made yourself glow?'
'No, sir!I mean, yes, but no!
Wendy waved her arms in the air, glowing dimly.
'This is due to the fact that I was exposed to sunlight while waiting for the ...... heroes to arrive, and the ...... light powder adhered to my body and clothes. ......!
'Is this light powder something you invented?
'Huh?Oh, yes. Yes, I did.
If the thing that makes this guy's body glow exists, ............ we can use it.
'Can you show me some of your research?
'Huh?............Yes. I'll take you to my lab.'
We followed Wendy as she led us to an old house not far from the brickworks.
Wendy, who was walking in front of us, was cheerful and made it very easy to walk. How convenient.
The laboratory had a strange atmosphere with its windows made of wooden boards.
Despite this, the inside of the laboratory was filled with dim light.
'Is this the result of your research?
Inside the lab, there is a large desk and shelves.
But I was more interested in the large number of burlap bags piled up on the floor.
Light was leaking out of them. They must be filled with light dust.
There seemed to be quite a lot of it.
'I'm eternally fifteen years old, but after seventeen years of research, I've managed to create a substance that accumulates sunlight and emits light at night. My age is eternally fifteen, though.
You're already two years overdue. There is no way you can start research at the age of zero, so you must be of a certain age.
'And when I stay in the lab, the powder inevitably sticks to me. ...... Even if I wash it, it stains me to the point that I can't get it off. ...... Also, this powder is not easily soluble in water. This may have something to do with the fact that the powder is not easily soluble in water. ......'
'Is it hard to dissolve in water?
'Yes. It doesn't dissolve easily and doesn't flow easily.
'Is this all you have in stock?
'For the time being, yes. We can make it in the future, though.
'How much do the materials cost?
'It doesn't cost that much. The ingredients are a secret, but they're extracted from some plants you can find in the woods around here. It's almost like it's free.
I see. An ideal situation.
'So, how were you going to make the flowers glow with that powder?
'At first, I dissolved the powder in water and fed it to the flower to make it glow from within.
When red water is given to a white flower, the 'conduit' through which the water passes can be seen through the red. This can cause the white petals to turn red.
This may be an application of that. ......
'It's impossible if it's insoluble in water.
'Yes. It was a failure. So I tried applying it directly to the petals.
'And the result?
'It withered. ......'
'Well, that's what happens when you're smeared with a foreign substance.
'I tried this and that, but ...... none of it worked. ...... I tried every method for a year. ...... ...... but ......'.
It took me seventeen years to perfect the light powder, and now it's been a year since I started my research on making flowers glow.
The research period is overtaking my age more and more.
'......I'm beginning to think it's impossible .............'
Plants are alive.
There is no way that you can add a foreign substance to a living thing and alter it into something else so easily.
'Why did you decide to make a glowing flower in the first place?
'It's ............ a longing, I guess.'
Wendy smiled weakly and looked up at the ceiling as if gazing into the distant past.
In the faint glow, Wendy speaks quietly. She tells of a distant day.
'There is a clan close to us that lives on a hilltop full of flowers. They are truly beautiful, graceful, and most of all, they look good with flowers. ......'
Wendy squeezes the hat she's wearing.
The large brim was pulled down, obscuring Wendy's face.
'I wanted to play with flowers like that, too. I wanted to play with flowers like that. ...... But they told me, 'Flowers don't suit you. ...... Our family doesn't have the habit of flocking to flowers. ...... '
So he's been studying all these years in order to make up for the emotional scars he suffered as a child.
But what the hell is this guy's family,......?
I'm not sure what to make of that....... That's how I started my research.'
With that, Wendy took off her hat.
On Wendy's head grew a bushy antennae shaped like leaves.
'A glowing flower for us, the Mayuga people, who have a habit of flocking to light!
The ones that swarm the vending machines in the summer.Moths, right? Moths!
They're attracted to light, aren't they?
But ...... these days, I don't really care about those goals. ............ I just want to be useful to my boyfriend, who supports my unsuccessful research with "great, great, great. I want to be useful to him. ...... That's all I can think about now. ............'
Wendy muttered with a complicated smile of embarrassment and self-mockery.
'Maybe that's why it's not going to ...... work out, because I can't ............ help him or make his dreams come true with such frivolous feelings. You can't ............ ...... help him or make his dreams come true with such frivolous feelings. ......'
It's a dream to create a flower that moths will flock to, and a reversal of fortune to turn around a brickworks in distress. ............
If that's what you're looking for now: ......
'Don't you need to make the flower shine?
This is good.
This smells like ............ money.
'Why don't you just leave everything to me?
'Eh ............ hero-sama ...... no way .......'
'I'll take care of it.'
'Oh ............ yes ......'
Tears welled up in Wendy's eyes.
She couldn't help herself, but she couldn't give up on Theron either, and she couldn't go back.
She wanted to turn to someone, but she had no one to turn to. There was no sign of anyone else in the lab. She'd been working alone.
And then he got stuck and lost. ...... And then he met a hero.
I'm not a hero, but ...... my presence moved Wendy. She couldn't move forward or backward, but I made her take a step forward.
And then she followed me, dazed and confused. ............ And then I enlisted her help.
Good fortune doesn't just come to you when you're quiet.
You have to go out there and get it.
I'm telling you, those 17 years and a year you spent scrambling were not in vain.
You moved me.
Then I'll give you what you want.
'You'll leave it to me, won't you?
'...... Yes. I look forward to working with you. ......!
After that, we talked for a while and I left the institute.
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...... She's a carefree one.
That's okay. I played a little prank on her at ............ Wendy's.
And so, after a long day of work as a member of the committee, I returned to the sunlit pavilion.
'Welcome back, Yashiro-san. You're very late, aren't you?
The restaurant was closed, but when I knocked, Ginette came out immediately.
She must have been waiting for me in the dining room.
'Mr. Manager, I'm home!
Loretta woke up just before arriving at the restaurant and cheerfully greeted her return.
Ginette's eyes widened.
'Ro, Loretta-san...... your forehead......?
She must have sensed something. She then jumped off my back and ran into the bathroom. She must have gone to look in the mirror.
'Whoa!What the hell is this?
I heard an exclamation from the bathroom, and I couldn't help but blurt it out.
'...... Yashiro-san. What did you do?
'The fare on my back.'
'...... already. Don't bully me.'
He chided me gently. But at least this much.
'Oooohhhh, big brother!What did you do to me?
Loretta comes running out of the bathroom, standing on her head and glaring at me.
Make the word 'flesh' glow on your forehead.
'I put Wendy's glow-in-the-dark powder on your forehead. It'll keep you safe on the streets at night, won't it?
'I wish you'd made a prettier pattern anyway!What do you mean, 'meat'?
What's wrong with a cute pattern?
'It will come off if you wash it.
'I'd heard that it was insoluble in water!I was dreaming!
Oh, he slept there, didn't he?
''Oh, my God!You're just doing unnecessary things, big brother!Magda!Please lend me some hot water!
While scrubbing her forehead, Loretta ran to the back of the kitchen.
She must have gone to Magda's room. Recently, Loretta has been staying in Magda's room. It's good to see that they seem to be getting along well.
A few minutes after Loretta disappeared,......, I heard tremendous footsteps coming from beyond the kitchen, and Magda came running into the dining room.
He seemed to have run as fast as he could.
As soon as he saw me, he raised his arm and stuck his thumb in the air. He thrust his thumb in the air.
'...... really funny'.
She liked that.
Maybe Loretta should take on a 'meat' character in the future.
That's all Magda said, and went back into the kitchen. He must be going back to his room.
Then, Ginette and I were left in the dining room.
'What's that all about?And who is this Wendy?
It's not like she's forcing me, she's just genuinely interested in me.
It's more like she wants me to tell her what happened today.
'Do you want to sit down and talk?
'Yes. Would you like to eat?
'Later. Let's talk a bit.'
Jeannette was facing the kitchen, but when I sat down on a chair, she sat down across from me without hesitation.
I'm sure he hasn't eaten either, but he doesn't show any sign of it. And it's almost time for him to go to sleep.
I'm sorry ......, but....
...... I need to get this to you first, because I'm getting restless.
'Oh, by the way, we were talking about flowers during the day, weren't we?'
Oh, ...... did I miss the start of the conversation?
Was it too abrupt?
d*mn, why am I so weirdly nervous, I'm ......
'Yes. I'm sure you'll agree that it's great to have a flower bed in front of your store.
'Oh~...... that's not what I meant. ............'
'That's not it?...... let's see, ............ other than that, the story of the flowers is ......'
You see, Estella, as if to put it to me: ......
'Oh, a bouquet of flowers?
'You said that Imelda-san has received many bouquets of flowers.
'How is Ginette, ......, doing?'
'I'm not, not at all.'
'I see. ............ Hmmm. ......'
Ginette, who rarely went outside the cafeteria, had no chance to meet a man who would give her flowers.
Then, there is no way for Ginette to receive flowers except from a man she has already met.
Umaro, Bekko, Momat, ......
............ me, or?
'So, you know. I was in the brickworks today and I found something interesting.
'What is it?'
A subdued chorus was interjected to make my conversation go more smoothly.
He's looking at me with a smile on his face.
He's really easy to talk to.
He cares about me, doesn't he?
I don't know how you don't get tired every day.
So you know.
So why don't you take care of yourself a little?
As a roommate,......, as a workmate,............, and also as a man.
'I made an impulse purchase ...... and after thinking about it, I realized that it would be more meaningful for you to have it than for me to have it ............. So, well, ...... if you want, you can have it.
'No, I don't mind if it bothers you.'
'I'd be happy to. I can't believe that Mr. Yashiro would buy me something.
'Oh, ............ well, ...... yeah.'
He can see right through me, that I originally bought it with the intention of giving it as a gift.
'This is it...'
Theron wrapped it up for me and placed it on the table, removing the wrapping.
'Is that a vase made of bricks?
'Oh, yes. There's a very skilled bricklayer. The result of his research. It's light, and the water doesn't spill.'
'It's lovely. ......'
Ginette lifts the vase and looks at it with languid eyes.
Well, you know.
A man who gives a woman a bouquet of flowers is generally an a**h*le, but ...... a vase of flowers is probably safe. You're not a prick.
In the future, even if someone sends a bouquet of flowers to Jeannette, the bouquet will be displayed in the vase that I gave to her.
Whenever Jeannette sees the flowers, she will see the vase as well.
...... Well, so what?
'It must be very beautiful to put flowers in it.
'Hmm~...... I don't know much about flowers, though.'
'I'm sure it's beautiful.
He said with conviction.
She smiled without hesitation.
Ginette looked so happy as she hugged the vase and said such a thing that ...... I lost my mind.
I'll buy you some flowers. ...... You're welcome.
............ I'll buy the girl flowers. ............ No, no, no, no!This is not the same thing!It's not the same thing.You can't get around that, can you?
So this is a no go.
A viciously gentle smile is directed at me, as if to further devastate me for losing my mind.
I release a healing aura with lethal destructive power and spit out the critical words.
'Thank you, sir.
At that moment, I thought my blood was boiling.
I knew I shouldn't do anything I wasn't used to. ......
'Oh, well,......, thank you for your time.
I'm not sure what to say.
I can't say anything else.
After that, I ate the food that Jeannette had prepared for me and went to bed early.
I couldn't sleep at all, though. ......