119-Episode 102 Bugs

'A bug?'
'No. It looks like there's a bad bug~'

Regina came to the sunny pavilion to add some more medicine. ...... It seems that this guy never went outside during the really hot season and the heavy snow season.

Regina told me about a rumor that was going around the main street.

'You know Cantartica, right?You know, the one with the plump dog-eared shopkeeper with the little butt?
'I wonder if there's another way to describe it.
'The dog-eared clerk with an estimated D-cup.
'That's already a description of the clerk, isn't it?

It's hard to get information out of this guy. He deliberately veers off in a direction that I find interesting.
If you're hungry for conversation, make some friends.

'So, it seems that Cantar Chica has done something a little bit wrong.
'What do you mean "messed up", ...... worm?
'That's right. There was a big bug in the food he served to the customers.
'In what?
'A hamburger, apparently.'
'It probably got mixed in while I was kneading it by hand.

If you leave the hamburger seeds unattended in the kitchen, they might be contaminated by insects.

Did I teach you about hamburgers?
Cantaloupe's meat is good. Even a slice can be used in one way to make a feast.
I think I taught it to them at the festival in the sunlit pavilion. ...... I may have done something unnecessary.

'...... Are you depressed?'
'Boobs?On the contrary, I think they were growing a bit. ......'
'I'm serious, I'm asking you.'
'If you're serious ......, they should have grown at least half a size, if not one size.'
'That's not what I'm talking about, that's what I'm serious about!

What are you seriously talking about Paula's boob growth record?
And I'm just a little curious!Tell me more later.

'As expected, she was a bit down.
'I see. ......'
'Well, you should watch out for yourself. You don't want to touch all sorts of erotic things and cook with them, do you?'
'I won't!

Our cafeteria has perfect hygiene!
If a small insect gets in, Magda will kill it instantly!
Although I do get a little 'red blur' here and there that makes me hungry!

'But I'm curious...'
'That too!And the bugs!

That kind of trouble can cause rumors that linger for years to come.

'Let's go have a look.
'Don't you ever learn?

Leaving the idiot Regina behind, I headed for Cantalucia.
...... I feel a little responsible for teaching her about hamburgers, after all.

'Oi, Paula, yes .................., na ......'.

When I entered the cantartika, a depressed Paula was crouched on the floor.
I wonder if it was because of the bug problem. ...... Cantalcica was temporarily closed.

'Hey, Paula,......, are you okay?
'........................ Ah, Yashiro... ...'

Paula, who was holding her knees, looked up.
'............ You look terrible. Her eyelids are red and swollen, and there are dark circles under her eyes.
It's easy to ...... tell if she's cried too much and hasn't slept. Her ears and tail are flattened.

'I heard that. I'm sorry to hear that.
'...... I'm quitting the store.
'Hey, hey, hey!Wait a minute!

You just said that without asking the owner's opinion.
And that's a serious statement with a lot of power, isn't it?

'It's true that I may have made a mistake!But everyone makes mistakes!The important thing is to never make the same mistake again!
'............ or ............ worm... ...or ............ me ............ I'm not a ...... restaurant. ............'
'Anyway, you're acting like a restaurant, so calm down.'

He crouched down next to Paula and patted her head.
............ I'm sure it's not a good idea to fluff her canine ears at this point. I have to be careful not to touch her ears.

'............I've lost my customer's trust ...... ......'

'Then we'll get it back.'
'Can you .................. do that?'
'Of course you can, .......'

'Wow, that's hard to do.

'Look at the Sunken Pavilion. Since the old man left, things have been going wrong, and until recently, there were no customers at all, right?But it's back on its feet. People can tell that you're making an effort.

I never thought I'd be preaching about the value of hard work. ......
It's natural to work hard. It's the results that follow that count!There is no value in effort!
I really want to say ....... But that's too much for Paula right now. If you don't make her look at what she can do now and give her confidence that it's not in vain, ...... she might really quit the store.

Hard work is noble. Hard work is rewarded. Hard work is cool!
............ It's hard to fool yourself ............

I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it.It's a good idea.

Effort is precious!
...... I'm making a lot of effort right now, aren't I?I'm not sure what to do.

'...... what should I ...... do?
'For now, it's about preventing it from happening again. It may be painful, but you have to face the fact that it happened and find out why it happened.
'I don't know the cause .............'
'That's what we're going to find out!I'm going to review the kitchen, the equipment, the cooking method, everything, one by one, and pick up every possible contamination, no matter how small. And when we find the cause, we'll make it public.

Paula stood up with a look of surprise on her face.

'No, if you do that, you'll lose even more credibility and we won't get any more customers!
'Why would I lose trust in you?
'Because they might think ............ that you've been doing it so sloppily. ...... or ......'
'Are you being that sloppy?'
'No, I'm not!I'm very careful and put my heart and soul into my work!...... But if insects get into it, it means that ............ it wasn't made properly... ...So I'm scared. ......'
'I'm scared because I don't know.
'What about ............?'

People are afraid of the unknown.

'I'm afraid because I don't know why it happened. We don't know why it happened, so we're afraid it'll happen again.
'That's ...... true, but ......'.
'And it's the same with the customers.
'And the customers?

If there is a restaurant that has caused a problem, what the customers hate the most is dishonesty.
For example, if there is a restaurant that has a food poisoning, and the restaurant says, 'We checked the food and there was no problem, so we are fine! Who would want to go to a restaurant that says, 'We checked it out and it's fine!
In the first place, "we didn't find out" or "we didn't find any problem" are either incompetent or they are trying to hide something.
It is a betrayal of the customer to neglect to investigate the ...... problem that caused the food poisoning.
If a restaurant does not take measures, it is like advertising, 'You don't have to come here anymore.

By disclosing the cause of the problem and what measures you have taken to prevent it from happening again, you can proudly declare that you will never make the same mistake again. If you don't do that, your customers won't be able to eat with peace of mind.
'...... Won't you lose ............ customers if you do that?
'There will be fewer. Definitely.'
'But they won't disappear. And if you keep showing them that you're doing your best, the customers you lost will definitely come back. If you show your sincerity, your feelings will surely be conveyed. All we on the store side can do is do our best and trust the customers.
'......We believe in ............ our customers.'

There will be more people who will attack you with malice.
But there are also a few people who will support you.

'If you really want to continue the store, don't run away!Now is the time to make a stand!
'I'm going to ............!I'll never give up until I show my sincerity and my customers believe in me!
'Okay!You said it well!

...... Hmm.
It's not like the hamburger store went under because of the hamburger I taught them.

'You see ............, I know I can't say this to Yashiro, but ......... ...'

Paula stares at me with a feeble atmosphere, like a candle about to go out.
They are so weak that they seem to disappear,......, but deep within their eyes is a strong core of radiance.
It's a little bit of a mock-up, as if she knows exactly what angle to look up at to make herself look the cutest. ............

'...... Help me, will you?
'............ coward.'
'That's a compliment, isn't it, "Paula's cute"?

Hey, hey, hey, hey. ......

'If you can talk like that, you're good to go. Well, let's go check it out with all our might!

The kitchen of a restaurant is a treasure trove of trade secrets, so to speak.
The old Paula would never have let me in there.
However, it seems that her caution towards me is gradually waning as I have been involved with her in various ways, such as teaching her how to make cakes, occasionally helping her out at the Sunshine Pavilion, and collaborating with her on the tacos at Sunshine Pavilion No. 7.

This time, however, I have a big goal to investigate the cause.
That's how serious Paula is about reviving this restaurant.

'I've never been in this kitchen before.
'Yashiro is the first person to let an outsider in.
'It's highly classified here, isn't it?
'That's because we're the number one restaurant in the 42nd district.'
'Oh, ......, how can you talk so big in front of me?
'I'm as good as the Sunshine Pavilion.

One is a diner. One is a diner, the other a bar.
They have different clientele and food concepts, so it's hard to compare them. ......

'Oh, so this is the smoker that makes the sausages.

This is a large box for making smoked fish, and at first glance it looks like a wooden locker. It has a large opening door at the top and a large drawer at the bottom. The meat is hung on the top and smoke chips are burned on the bottom, sending the smoke upward.
In Japan, "Sakura chips" made of finely cut cherry trees are popular.

'Oh, so you use hickory chips?
'I know exactly what you mean. I guess it was a mistake to put Yashiro in the kitchen. ......'
'I'm not going to steal your technology. Besides, I already know it.

Hickory is a member of the walnut family, a wood commonly used in North America. If you are a baseball player, you may have seen bats made of hickory.
Hickory, like walnut, is very suitable for smoking meat. You have made a good choice. It is indeed a famous restaurant that sells sausages.

'Next time, try smoking with a different wood. The smell will change and the taste will be completely different.
'Is that so?
'What, you've never tried it?Apples and beech wood are pretty good.'
'Oh, I'll try ...... next time. Now that the lumberjack guild is here, ......'

I see. So wood chips for smoking are the domain of the lumberjack guild.
If you ask Miry, she might be able to help you out. ......

The Flower Arrangement Guild, to which Millie belongs, manages the forests in the 42nd district and occasionally asks the Lumberjack Guild to cut down trees for them.
The lumberjack guild's main job is to cut down the trees outside the outer wall. I guess that's where they are separated from each other. Or maybe I'm the only one who asks the flower guild to cut trees.

'...... is ready.

While I was intrigued by Cantartica's special smoker, Paula had completed the preparation of the hamburger. She plans to verify this by actually recreating it.

'What do you wear when you make it?'
'Just like this.'
'Hmmm ......'
'Should I change it?
'Well, ideally, it would be better to have different people in charge of the inside and outside. ......'

That kind of sunlit pavilion also has a ginette that comes and goes. ......

'Well, that's okay for now. Just try to make it as usual for now.'

With a somewhat nervous look on her face, Paula began to make the hamburger.
She puts the lump of meat into the meat mincer and minces it.
If there's a bug in that meat mincer,......, you might not even notice.

'Do you use that meat mincer for sausage meat?
'Huh?U,um...... no?'
'No, it's just a question. Don't worry too much about it. You'll get hurt.'
'Uh, yeah...... I'm kind of nervous......'
'I'm fine as usual.

I know how you feel.
Even when you're doing something you normally do, you get anxious when you think you're being watched.
Especially when you are being watched for the purpose of looking for problems, as in this case.

I put the twice ground meat into a bowl, season it, and knead it quickly.
Yes, she's good. Paula must be a hard worker. I've only been teaching her for a short time, and she's already made it her own. Though I guess she's still not as good as Jeannette.

And then, the highlight of the hamburger cooking, the process of removing the air from the inside of the hamburger by slamming it into the palm of your hand.
The sound of the hamburger patting and slapping echoes in the air.

'Now all I have to do is cook it .......'

'Well, let's grill it.
'But the ...... worm, it came out of the hamburger, so it's not right if it's not in there at this stage.'
'Let's just try to finish it. Leaving out work based on assumptions is the worst thing you can do in verification. You might find the answer in the place you left out.'
'Oh, I see. I see. Okay. I'll bake it then.

Paula hurriedly put the frying pan on the fire and started to heat it up.

If the worm had attached itself to the hamburger just before cooking,...... it might have burrowed inside the not-so-hot hamburger to escape the heat,.......... ...Well, that's highly unlikely.

The kitchen is filled with a delicious aroma.

'Speaking of which, what happened to your father?
'He's at the butcher's guild. He was determined to find out if any bugs could have gotten into the meat while it was being transported.'
'Don't be too flashy and antagonistic.

That act is like shifting the blame to you, saying, 'It's not my fault, it's yours.
Even if the insects were attached during transportation, you can't escape the responsibility of neglecting to check the product before use. I think you're just making enemies.

'It's ready, hamburger!

The hamburger steak is placed in front of you, ready to serve.
Yeah. Looks good.

'...... Bon appétit.'
'Yashiro, are you sure you didn't just want to eat it?
'I'm doing my research. It's just that it looks really good.'
'Hmm. ............ Well, well. If you want to eat it so badly, I'll eat it specially for you.
'Chopsticks, please.
'Can I use a knife and fork?
'You're so pretentious. ......'

It's easier to eat a hamburger with chopsticks.

I cut the hamburger with the knife he handed me.
The juices are pouring out of the slit.
It's absolutely delicious.

'............ Are there any bugs?
'I don't care if there are!
'No, you should care!
You'll never know if you eat it with a hamburger.
'...... How mental are you, Yashiro ............'.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but I think it's a good idea.
It's a good idea to take a look at the actual information on the web.
...... I really hope you don't have eyes and mouth.

'Well... I'll eat it.

The hamburger is cut into large pieces and filled to the brim.
The reason I made it large was so I could enjoy the juices. If you cut it into small pieces, the juices will escape.
Mmm!It's delicious!I want to eat it on top of rice. I want to eat it on top of rice and eat it with the rice soaked in the juice.

'Well, how is it?Is it good?

As I'm chewing the hamburger that I've eaten too much of, Paula looks at me and asks.
Her eyes are a mixture of anticipation and anxiety.

'It's delicious!This is bad!

Paula clenched her fist tightly.

'If you want, you can come here every day to eat.

That's great service. Were you that happy to be praised?
Well, I don't need it since I'm eating at the Sunlit Pavilion.

'But ...... didn't seem like there was anything wrong with it. ......'

If there is no problem with the work, then it must have been mixed in with the food. ...... tools ...... ventilation windows and gaps in the walls, let's check. ...... ......


Paula calls out to me in a strangled voice.

'I ............ lied, I didn't lie. ......'

What, all of a sudden?

'I really don't cheat or lie to hide my bad points!

Oh, ......, I see.
I'm not sure how the bug got in there, and I gave him a hard look, so he thought I was lying. So you misunderstood that because I made a difficult face, people suspected that I was lying. ...... He's trapped, too.

I'm not so blind as to doubt you.

Even in the forty-two districts full of sycophants, Paula is a particularly trustworthy partner.

I know that you're an honest, hard-working person who's always looking straight ahead and making an effort.

He's not gonna lie to save his own skin.
I know that all too well from my time here.

Look at this. Paula's tail after I said 'believe'. See how she's wagging her tail?
That's not a 'hooray, I got you' kind of feeling. 'Yay!I'm glad you believed me! It's a reaction of 'Wow!
............ That flapping thing didn't get a bug in it, did it?

'There's nothing wrong with the process. Then it's the environment. It's going to take some time, but we're going to take a thorough look inside the kitchen. There might be a crack where insects can get in, or maybe there's a nest somewhere in the shadows.
'Ew ......, I hate looking for that .......'
'It's for the customers.'
'Yes, you're right!I'll do my best!

Paula and I split up and searched the kitchen.
There were woodchips in the kitchen, so we thought they might have been mixed in there, but ............ the result was white. No problem. The kitchen was clean, neat and tidy to the point of being f*cking disgusting.

...... Hmmm. Oh boy.
I don't know what to do. ......

I'll just say, 'I checked it out and it's fine. So it's okay now! I think I'll just announce that I've done all the work.
I've worked so hard. I think that effort should be more appreciated.

'...... d*mn. This place is too perfect. You should've cut corners and run a less sanitary business.'
'No, you can't do that!We serve our customers with all our heart!

But if it's so clean, you can't even get a clue. ............ Oh, I see.

I don't know. What kind of insects did you get in there?
'............ Why?'

He gave me a look of disgust.
You don't like bugs?'No, not the kind of bugs.

'No, I think you might be able to narrow it down to a certain type of bug, don't you?

If it's a winged worm, it can get in anywhere, but if it's an earthworm or something like that, it's going to narrow down the route of entry.

'...... Actually, I'm saving it as a warning, aren't I?

You should throw that thing away right now. ...... Well, I appreciate it this time.

'Can I see it?'
'............ Yeah. Give me a minute.'

With that, Paula headed toward the back of the kitchen.
The second floor of this building seems to be used as a residence. She must have passed through the kitchen and headed for the living space.
Without much waiting, Paula returned.
In her hand, she held a small box the size of the palm of her hand. I don't like the idea of a ...... bag, even if it's ...... dead, because it looks like it might escape.

'So, can I see it?
'Uh, yeah......'.

Paula steps away from me as I hand her the small box.
She doesn't want to see the bugs. She's a little girly like that.

I gently open the lid of the small box.


A voice leaks out.
I can't help it. ...... No, I can't help it.

Inside the box was a grasshopper-like insect, about eight centimeters long.

'...... Paula.'
'What, what?'
'I finally figured it out, ...... what was wrong with it. ......'

Paula leans forward, and I tell her clearly.

'It's your head!

There's no way a big bug like this could accidentally get into a hamburger!
This is a worm that was put there with malicious intent!

'Let me tell you the conclusion. Cantartika did nothing wrong!
'Ho,............ really?'

Huffing ......, Paula slumped to the ground, letting out a breath.
Her legs and feet must have relaxed in relief.

'............ Thank God'.

Yeah, I'm glad.
It was good, but then ............ another problem arose.

'Do you remember the face of the customer who brought this to you?'
'Yeah......, yeah. They're the ones I've had this happen to. ...... As expected.'
'What were they like?
'They were a couple of big guys, very conspicuous. But I've never seen their faces before.
'I don't think so. He had very little luggage. And what he was wearing didn't look like an adventurer either. ......'
'I see. So, did they claim any financial compensation from you?
'Uh, no. I just gave them free money for the meal. ......'

So it's not a kind of extortion,............
If that's the case, there's only one thing I can think of.

'Looks like someone is trying to ruin the reputation of this restaurant.

It's called a negative campaign.
Are they trying to steal customers away from the restaurant by giving it a bad name? ...... Or are they planning to shut it down? ......

Whatever it was.

I'm going to have to take him to task for his ...... stupidity.

You'll never be able to hang around this town again.