'Sister. We're ready.'
'Bertina, the glutinous rice, it's so hot!
'...... Children, help me.
'''Ginette and the rest of the Sunny Pavilion came to the church and started something interesting again.
''Listen, kids!If you don't work, you don't eat!If you don't help us properly, we won't feed you a single thing!Do you understand?
This time, too, Yashiro-san was the initiator, and he planned this event to make the children happy. He's really a very kind person.
''Then, go tell what I just said to that sister over there who doesn't work but eats more than others.
'''Sister!If you don't work, you shouldn't eat.
Yashiro-san...... is using the children as a check on us............ this must be a very tasty food. I can't stop being excited.
'Yashiro-san, how is the mortar and pestle?I made it according to the measurements you gave me.
'Oh, it's perfect. And Milly, thanks for the zelkova tree.
'Oh, ...... no. I had a great Christmas. ......'
'You're a good girl, Millie. ............ Some lumberjack guild, on the other hand!
'It can't be helped, can it!I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.It's Umaro-san's negligence!
''Wait a minute!I'm working really hard on the city gate right now!
'Yashiro. Let's get started. Loretta's in tears because she's holding onto the sticky rice.
''Ah, it's hot!I want the next instructions quickly!
Millie from the Flower Arrangement Guild brought wood from the forest, and Umaro from the Trubec Engineering Shop processed it into a mortar and pestle, and today they're going to do something called 'mochi pounding'.
The children gathered around Mr. Yashiro, excited to see what was going to happen.
'Okay!I'll show you how it's done. I'll show you how it's done.
''Then, to make it easier for everyone to say, Estella, step forward.
''Yes, I knew you would say that!
He is always lively and the children come alive when he is around. He is truly a ...... wonder.
Then the mochi pounding began with a loud shout.
At first, Mr. Yashiro was pounding the rice, but it seemed that the timing of mixing the glutinous rice was difficult, and Ginette was having a hard time. So they switched players, with Yashiro taking over the mixing and Magda taking over the pounding.
'............ I'll finish him off with one blow.
'Take it easy, man!It's the only mortar we have.
'...... I'll do my best.'
''Then, let's do it!
This time, the rice cake is pounded at a good pace.
This is fun to watch. The children are also very happy.
'Let me try too!
'At ......, change of players.'
'Okay, Estella. Let's go.'
'All right!Let's go!
''Hey, guys!Where's the shout?
''Idiot,......, don't let the kids bother you.''
'''You can say it!You can say 'petan-petan'!It's more hurtful if they don't say it!
I think my kids are starting to look like Yashiro these days.
...... I hope they become interesting adults.
Then the rice was pounded over and over again with the children ...... and eventually it turned into rice cakes.
'Yashiro-san. Anko and soybean flour are ready.
'Then cut the rice cake into small pieces and season it.'
'Oh, Bertina-san, you can also help .......'
'Yes, sir. It's very delicious.
'You're already eating?
I'm first in line. It grows well. It's delicious.
It's an intoxicating taste.
I'd better tell you about this soon. ......
'It's just about ready, isn't it?
I continued to eat mindlessly for the next few minutes. Let's do this even after the new year!Let's do that.
'Haa...... me, I can't eat anymore.
Even if you think the rice cake is quite small, it will fill up your stomach when you eat it.
I'll bring some home for Natalia, who couldn't come today because of work.
'Hey, God of Flatulence.
'Who's the God of Flattening?
Yashiro came next to me with two kinds of flavored rice cakes, one with red bean paste and the other with soybean flour.
The mochi pounding contest, which is held in the church yard, seems to have come to an end as everyone is starting to get full.
According to the custom of Yashiro's hometown, they are going to make "Kagamimochi" (mirror rice cakes) after this. And they keep it on display until the new year. ...... Why rice cakes?
'The 28th is considered to be a lucky day because it is the last day of the year. Well, I don't know much about it myself, but I thought I'd take advantage of it.
Christmas, birthdays ...... and today ......
In Yashiro's hometown, they seem to be very concerned about dates. For us, dates are just a way to see how long we've been working, harvesting crops, progressing construction projects, collecting taxes, and so on.
Somehow, I felt a little jealous of Yashiro's hometown, where he tries to enjoy 'that one day' that comes only once a year.
'What are you going to do when the year ends?
'Hmm?New Year's Day?
I wasn't familiar with the word 'New Year's Day', but I'm sure Yashiro's hometown would have all sorts of things to do. I was a little curious.
'We'll do all kinds of things. Like feathering.'
'Feathering?What kind of things?
'It's a game that two people play. ...... What's the word? ...... You take a wooden hagoita, and you take turns hitting each other with the feathers.'
'You hold the board and hit the feathers ...... alternately?
In my mind's eye, I see images of a pair of men holding a wooden plank and alternately striking a fleeing chicken with it.
'That's cruel, isn't it?
I feel sorry for the chickens. ...... We have to stop them from playing such dangerous games.
'And then there's kite flying.'
'Octopus flying: ......'
In my mind's eye, I see an image of a wriggling octopus being slammed into hot oil.
'You'll splash the oil!
'I don't know what you're talking about, but ...... it's not the same thing anyway.'
These are all things that seem to torment living things.
Isn't there a more peaceful way to play?
'Backgammon is surprisingly fun if you take it seriously.
'It's a piece of paper with squares on it. You roll the dice, and the number of squares you roll is the number of squares you can advance to, and the first one to finish is the winner.
'............ Is it fun?'
'It's fun!It's even more fun when you write commands on the squares.
Yashiro says confidently.
If Yashiro says so much, it must be interesting. ...... I might want to try it.
'Alright!Let's do it, dude!
I and Yashiro's shoulders shook as he suddenly called out to us from behind.
When we turned around, Percy from the sugar factory was standing there. The black make-up around his eyes is still in place today.
'Why are you here?
'Well, I've been going through some stuff, like ......?
Percy's demeanor like this means that he's ...... probably going to be ...... soon.
'I'm sorry!I'm here to bring you some eggs.
Nepheli came to the church to deliver eggs.
'Hey, what's this?What are you guys doing?
Nepheli showed interest in the rice cake pounding we were doing, and got excited.
'd*mn it!If you're going to do something, why don't you call me?
'Of course, Mr. Nephrite!It's good to have everyone together, isn't it?
'Oh!...... You scared me. You're here, Percy?
'Yes!You and me, we're buddies!
'...... Yeah, ...... since when ......'
'Don't look so uncomfortable!I'll cry.
So Percy got wind of Nephrite somewhere and was here before us. ...... You're a stalker, now.
I'm not sure what to say.What about that backgammon game we were talking about?Why don't we play it together?How about you, Nephrite!
That's how you're going to get a promise to play with Nepheli. ...... You're straight in love, Stoker Tanuki.
I'm not sure what to say.I'm not sure what to do.
'I didn't come up with it. It's a traditional game that's been passed down from generation to generation in my hometown.
'I'd like to try it. Oh, but ...... I'm busy this time of year. ......'
'How about the night of the 31st?Everyone's finished with work and won't be free from that time onwards, right?
'...... Hey, are you going to pass the year in the sunny pavilion?
'That's my girl!You know what you're talking about!
'Don't be silly. ...... Let me relax at least for the New Year's holiday. ......'
'...... (sugar, I'll bring a lot of sugar!)'
'...... (You're always doing that.)'
'...... (You use it, sugar!Cake, it's really good!
The guys are having a secret conversation ...... but I can hear them all.
'Yashiro-san, what's wrong?
'...... dangerous magwai between men.'
'Wow,......, brother, Umaro is still more useful than that raccoon.'
'That's terrible, a normal girl!
'You're terrible to me, too!
Because of Percy's noise, everyone gathered around.
'How about we all have a New Year's Eve backgammon tournament at the Sunlit Pavilion?That's what I'm talking about.
'That sounds interesting. If you'd like to join us, please come.
'...... Hey, Ginette, ............'
'Doesn't that sound like fun?
'............Well, if you say so ......'
'Yes!It's a deal!I don't know.Isn't it nice, Neffery-san?
'Yeah, ...... after the end of the work day, ......'
'Yay!I'm staying with Nepheli-san!
Percy shouted with great emotion,......, but that statement was indeed ............
'............ Oh, don't do that. Forget it.'
'Yashiro. The bedrooms are on separate floors for men and women.
'They will be anyway.'
'Oh, no!No, Mr. Nefari!That's not what this is about!'
It seems that Nephrite's opinion of Percy has dropped.
Rather than trying to make up for it now, he'd better find another way to make up for it, if he's a man.
'Hmmm ...... I wonder if I can go ......'.
As for my parents, well, I'll have to convince ...... Natalia. She's a bit of a hardheaded person. ...... She'll probably say she wants to spend New Year's Eve ...... at home.
I'm against it!
Imelda was the only one who firmly objected.
'I've been told to go back to my parents' house for New Year's Eve. Therefore, I request that we postpone the New Year's Eve at the Sunken Pavilion!
'No, what other space is the Sunken Pavilion trapped in?
'We can't postpone the New Year's Eve, so please come and stay at ...... another time.'
'I don't want to, I don't want to!It's not fair, it's not fair!
Imelda went into 'no' mode.
Let's just ignore her for now. The fate will not change even if we resist.
And three days later ...... on the night of December 31st.
The backgammon tournament was held.
'Ah, Mr. Nefari. Welcome.
When I arrived at the sunny pavilion, there were already many people there.
...... Something is wrong in the dining room. ............
'What's wrong with this?
'Well, Yashiro told me that backgammon should be played with everyone sitting in a circle.
'Oh, ......, it's so deep.'
The tables and chairs in the dining room have been moved to the corner, and layers of rugs have been laid out on the floor.
Oh, it's warm.
'We've put straw between the rugs. The floor is cold.
This is the kind of ingenuity that makes Suntari-tei so special.
The wood stove is making a crackling sound, warming up the space.
A large piece of paper with many circles on it is spread out on the rug, and a flat wooden board is placed underneath it. I think it was so that the paper would not be tilted by the straw under the rug.
'What are you doing now?
'I'm writing down orders. Do you want to write something too?'
According to the story, you have to obey the orders written on the squares where you stopped.
So you can't write anything too strange, can you? ......
'The person with the biggest boobs gets to wear a bathing suit': ......
I'm not sure what to do.
...... Someone was ready to write something weird: ............
'Mr. Neffery. Come here!It's open!'
'Oh, thank you.
I'm Percy, I run a sugar factory in the 40th district. He's very witty, a little weird and funny.
He says the black around his eyes that looks like animal features is makeup. ...... I don't think you should worry about such small things.
Around the backgammon, from Yashiro to the right, are sitting Ginette, Estella, Loretta, me, Percy, Oumalo, and Magda.
'Hey, where's Natalia today?
'I couldn't bring her, as expected. ...... She's the head maid.'
I wonder if Estella is a lady of some sort?
I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you out. ...... She's also good friends with Imelda from the woodcutter guild.
'Do you want to write something, Mr. Nephrite?
Loretta hands me a pen. ............ A brush?Why a brush?
'Oh, I'll use that brush later. Don't worry about it.'
If you say don't worry about it, well, I don't. ...... I glanced at it and saw the order to 'get your face scribbled on'. ...... It looks like that's what the brush is for.
Oh, man. Yashiro continues to do strange things. It's just too much for a normal person like me to think about.
...... Well... That's what makes him different from other men. ..................
I'm kind of embarrassed that I thought of it myself. ......
Stupid, stupid, me...... what are you thinking......
'Hmm?What's the matter, Neffery?'
'What's with the red turban?
'It's always the same!
When people are this shy, Yashiro is always ............ insensitive, which I think is a sin.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're going to do and how you're going to do it.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it.
Can I write about it here?
I point to one of the large squares with the word 'Agari' written in front of it and say.
'Oh. Just make sure it's worthy of the final challenge.'
Yashiro smiles happily.
You can still have that kind of relaxed expression on your face. ............
I'll write my orders in that square.
I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's a good idea.
"Tell the person you love about your feelings.
Yashiro's expression changes when he sees what I've written.
You're ...... conscious.
It's a little ...... scary.
But it's a good opportunity to ......
If Yashiro stops here and tells someone who isn't me that he has feelings for me, ...... I'll give him my blessing. And next year, I'll be a clean slate.
If I stop here, ...... then I'll tell you exactly how I feel. No matter what the outcome ......
End of the year.
I think it's a good time to make a move.
'This,......, this is going to be interesting!
'...... Hmm, interesting.'
'Heh, ............ interesting things you've written, Neffery.'
'Do you like ............?'
Loretta snorted, Magda chuckled slightly, Estella grinned, and Jeannette put a finger to her chin and tilted her head.
Come on, let's play.
Win or lose, ...... I won't regret it!
Let's get started!
With such a call from Yashiro, the backgammon tournament began.
The backgammon tournament began with such a call from Yashiro. ââââââââââ
'Please don't call me a toilet!I don't want to be a toilet character!
'Oh, you're so clever, Loretta.
'Haha!We look alike!
I did a great job of imitating someone I know, which was written in the square I stopped in. ............ I was so embarrassed!
I'm sure it's my brother. I'm sure it's my brother. He's whistling a tune he can't play.
But!But that's just the beginning!...... The first group is approaching the square I drew. Now, who's going to stop?You're going to have to go through the same painful memories ...... that I once had to struggle with for three days and three nights!
'Oh, I'm taking a break, Percy's next.
'Oh, thank you!I'll take good care of the dice you gave me, Nephrite!
Mr. Percy rolls the dice with exaggerated joy.
The number that came up was ...... '3'!
I did it!It landed in the square I wrote the dreaded order in!
'My face is scribbled with ink.
What?Mr. Percy, you're already scribbling!
'It's not graffiti!
I was going to do the humiliating 'meat on forehead' that my brother did to me before.
You can't use it, Mr. Percy!I'm disappointed!
'You're a terrible person, aren't you?
You're a man who can't read the atmosphere, Mr. Percy.
This is no good. You'll never be popular. You'll always be a 'good friend'.
That's what happens when you can't read the atmosphere.
'You're right, it's no fun to write anything on Percy's face now.'
'Hey!I'm not making this face to be funny!
'd*mn it!I thought you were on my side, what's wrong with you, you fox?
Mr. Percy stood up and screamed.
You're disgusting. I'll never be popular.
'All right, all right. I'll take care of it.'
With a tap of his knee, the older brother stood up.
He walked into the kitchen and brought out a wet towel.
'Percy, give me your face.
My brother wiped Percy's face. ......
Percy turns his face from the one his big brother was playing with to his face.
...... That face is not fair. ......!
I'm not sure what to make of it. That face is a panda, for all intents and purposes. It's the panda people!
This is ...... not fair.
Of course you're going to laugh at this. ......
''Pa......, Mr. Percy......, don't look so funny.......''
I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.
There are worse things than meat. ...... I found out about it that day.
I knew it that day. ââââââââââ
Percy's face became funny, and Umaro laughed and laughed as he watched his favorite Nepheli laughing at him and hurting him.
Magda wished she could tell him.
Magda wanted to tell him that if he behaved that way in such a situation, he would be the one who would suffer. ......
'...... Umaro's turn.'
'Oh, thank you, Magda!
Umaro happily rolls the dice.
...... Now, what kind of tragedy will befall ...... Magda if her intuition isn't off. ...... Here's an interesting thing... .........
"I'm going to make some resolutions for next year.
This is ...... this loose order of things that may or may not be ......
'Oh, that's the one I wrote, isn't it?
The manager says happily.
...... Funny. I can't believe Magda's hunch is off. ...... In fact, what's the point of having Umaro if nothing funny happens to him? ...... What's the point of having a comedian who doesn't do comedy? ...
'My ambition for next year is to complete the city gate!I'm going to finish the city gate!
'Gosh, this is boring!Next, next!
'What?It doesn't matter if it's normal!
Yashiro feels the same way as Magda. That's Yashiro. He knows what he's doing.
'Yes. Magda's turn is next.'
Feeling somewhat uncomfortable, Magda rolled the dice: ...... '3'
......1,2,3............ turns his attention to the command written there.
'I'm going to decapitate Umaro.
Umaro has just attracted a god.
The god of comedy!
I'm pretty sure it was ...... who wrote this. It's Yashiro. He's standing next to Magda, giving a little gut-punch.
'In ......, it's an order.'
'Ugh ...... please go easy on me ......'.
'...... Don't worry, your head won't fly off.'
'Are you talking about that level?
I put my finger on Umaro's forehead, who looks shocked, and decapitated him with a light flick.
--I can't believe it!
It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your money.
...... Even though I took it so easy on him.
'Ah, d*mn it, Magda got the better of me... ......'
Such a happy voice rises.
The source was Yashiro.
Yashiro's frame is stopped one square before Magda's stop.
'Except '1'!All but '1' is coming!
Umaro's words must have reached the heavens. The dice rolled by Yashiro showed '1'.
'Why is that?
'...... Great pulling power. ...... As expected, Umaro. You've got it.'
'Aren't you happy?
You're not happy?
It's a shame that you're getting a second bite at the apple as Yashiro intended.
What a delicious development.
'Hey, Jeannette. Do your best to get '4' out.
Yashiro hands the dice to the manager.
Magda's and Yashiro's frames are stationary in the fourth square from the manager's frame.
In other words, what is written there is.
"I'm going to decapitate Oumalo.
If they can stop here in this fashion, it's pretty awesome!
I can't help but get my hopes up!
I'm going to go now.
The manager rolls the dice. All eyes are on the dice.
The dice slowly turn and finally the dice rolls a '6'.
'4......5......6............. Let's see. ......'
The manager leans forward and reads the command written on the spot where his frame has stopped.
''Go back two squares.''
After returning two squares, the manager's frame stops at the same spot as Magda's. ...... The manager apologetically gives Umaro a deco-pin.
I'm not sure what to say.
Estella shouted, throwing her arms up in the air.
Loretta and Nepheli, the first two to go up, applauded.
The night was deepening, and ...... the backgammon was coming to an end.
The only ones who haven't gone up yet are me and Yashiro.
Now we are fighting for the last place.
I'm just a stinker who got caught up in a lot of things and ended up here.
Yashiro-san, on the other hand, said, 'I'm all about how to drag others down!That's my way of backgammon! That is my backgammon way! As he said, he kept pulling down various people's legs, and before I knew it, he was fighting with me for the lowest rank.
Then, Yashiro-san was one step away from ......, and the dice came to me.
If I roll a 6, I will win.
If not, I'll lose on my next turn.
A tense moment.
I closed my eyelids in prayer and threw the dice.
The dice rolled and came up with a ............ '5'.
'Aah!That was a close one!
'Ha-ha-ha!Too bad for you, Jeannette!You can't give up your victory so easily!
'Well... It's not so easy.
Ah, one more and we would have won in a landslide. ......
I pushed down the disappointment that was welling up in me and moved my frame forward by five.
And the sentence written in the square was: ......
"Tell the person you love about your feelings.
For a moment, the air in the cafeteria shook.
The calm and peaceful mood that had been flowing earlier disappeared ...... and was replaced by a tense and tense atmosphere.
"Tell the person you love about your feelings.
You have to obey all the commands written on the squares. That's the rule of backgammon.
'Oh, you know what, Jeannette!I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you out.
That's what Mr. Yashiro said to me.
I'm sure he was just being considerate.
But don't worry.
I had decided to say something when I stopped at this square.
I was looking at this square and thinking, 'This is nice.
I stood up and took a deep breath.
Then, I look at the person to whom I should convey my feelings.
My eyes met with Yashiro's.
You must tell her exactly how you feel. To the person you love.
Someone's throat rang with .......
I didn't care and continued speaking.
In order to convey the emotions that were overflowing from within.
'I love everyone here.
I'm happy to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
'So, I'm going to tell the person I love how I honestly feel.
I'll change my overflowing feelings directly into words.
'Thank you very much for all your help this year. I look forward to working with you again next year.
I bowed my head deeply.
This is my honest feeling.
This is my honest feeling towards the people I love.
May the coming year be a joyous one, too!
The church bells are ringing.
The church bells rang. Only today, the bells ring at the time the date changes.
'Ladies and gentlemen. Happy New Year!
A new year has just begun.
I'm sure there will be a lot of fun things waiting for you this year. Because there are so many wonderful people by my side.
'Oh, my God. I'm no match for you.
With that, Yashiro lifted up his frame and mine, and let them reach the goal at the same time.
'I think we can call it a draw.
'Ah, ha......, yes!
If Mr. Yashiro rolls the dice again, he would have won.
He made it a tie. ...... I like ............ such casual kindness.
'...... Hey Yashiro. If you're looking for the best way to make sure you're getting the most out of your time with your family and friends, then you're in the right place. ......
'Well, well, well!I'm not sure what to do.
As Estella was about to say something, Yashiro stood up, interrupting her.
Now that you mention it, I might be a little hungry.
Mr. Yashiro is a really thoughtful person.
'Do you guys all get old at the same time at the beginning of the year?Didn't I hear you say something like that before?
It's true that in this city, as each new year arrives, we add up our ages as 'seventeen years old this year'.
'No, I don't.'
It's different this year.
'Because I haven't had a birthday yet.
I would like to take my age on my birthday, I think so.