120-Episode 103 Insect fishing

It was two days after the bait had been spread that the men took the bait.

'Hey, hey, Mr. Omero. Did you hear that?
'About what, Mr. Mo'amat?
'Well, it seems that the bug fiasco in Cantalucia was a mistake.
'What do you mean, a misunderstanding?
'The professionals checked it out, and they said there was very little chance of bugs getting in.
'What the hell!Does that mean that Cantaloupe's food is safe?
'Yes, that's exactly what it means. Now I can eat hamburgers every day with peace of mind, though I prefer vegetables.
'That's good news!Not being able to eat hamburgers is like having your life fade away, though I definitely prefer fish.
'No, no, no, ha-ha-ha.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

A jolly alligator and a raccoon are laughing hysterically as they huddle together.
...... Don't they have any sense of theatricality?

I talked to Estella and got her to temporarily allow me to run the business on terms favorable to Cantalcica.
Normally, it's forbidden for one store to advertise another store. It's a source of trouble. However, this is not the case when there is a mutually agreed-upon cooperative relationship, as in the case of Hidamari-tei and Cantartica.
Well, it's a kind of etiquette.

However, we have asked for the cooperation of the restaurants in the 42nd district.
There has been vicious harassment of Cantartica. If this is left unchecked, there is a possibility that other restaurants will eventually be affected,......, he said.

In the event that you have any questions regarding where and how to use the site, you can contact us at the following address. At the same time, I asked them to provide information and also requested cooperation from other guilds.

As a result of this, the two old men I mentioned earlier put on a big show.
Not only those two, but also various other collaborators have been asked to perform the same act in the 42nd district.

This is bait.

If their goal is to destroy Cantartika, they'll take action when they hear that their actions aren't working.
If not, they'll come up with another plan.
Even the most blatant acts of stupidity will not become a threat if they are understood by all the people. Everyone is helping us to clear Cantar Chica's name.
'So you can make a name for yourself if a problem arises. Then we won't be stupid enough to make our own ......'.

'Oh, Yashiro!It's the two of them!I'm sure of it!

I look out the window of the kitchen in Cantalucia and see my targets.
If the faces are unfamiliar and they are not travelers, there is a high possibility that they are from another district.
With this in mind, I sent my brothers to stake out the border of the district and told them to inform me if two strong men came.
After much mistaken identity, they finally caught the real thing.

The two big guys were approaching straight towards Kantaruchka.
Are they gladiators of some kind?Their muscles are so muscular they look like they could rip your clothes off.

'Um, Yashiro-san. Do you want me to prepare the hamburgers?'
'Yes, I will. Make me one that's absolutely flawless and perfect.''
'Yes, sir.

For the past few days, Ginette and I have been helping out in Cantalucia.
With Paula in charge of serving and cooking, we couldn't prepare carefully for catching the target.
So she brought Ginette, who had mastered hamburgers perfectly.

In addition to Ginette, Estella and Natalia were also waiting in the kitchen. The kitchen was staffed by Estella and Natalia, and they were to make sure that the hamburgers were free of foreign substances. They will control the hamburgers with excessive thoroughness and make sure that they are 100% flawless.

'And if you say there's a worm in it, ......'
'You're black.

You can catch them in the act, but if you watch them too closely, they might stop doing it.
We should just keep a casual eye on him.

'Hey!Order up!
'Hurry up!

Two strong men, ...... right muscle and left muscle, are annoyed and raise their voices.

'We have to go.'

Paula stops him as he heads towards the customer service.
I don't want those customers to be alarmed.
They'll be less cautious if they're served by someone they've never seen before, rather than someone they've seen last time. There's less chance of being recognized than the second time.

'I'll go.

I give Paula a pat on the head and straighten my collar.
Today I'm wearing a waiter's outfit that matches the atmosphere of Cantalucia.
It seems that Cantalcica doesn't hire men, so the waiters' costumes are their own. ...... I'm the only one in a costume. ......

When I stepped out into the hall, the right muscle beckoned me with a large gesture.
The left muscle gave me a sharp stare as if to kill me.

'Yes, I'm home!

I said in a ponderous tone, and walked flusteredly to the customer service desk.
When I see this type of clerk, these muscles will think. 'Oh, he's never going to find out. He's so easy'.

'What can I get for you?
'A hamburger. Bring it to me in ten seconds.'
'Ju~byo~?Eh? ~~ ...... Geez.'

After pondering for a good ten seconds, I turned a cute smile to my right muscle.

'Yes, ASAP.
'It's already been ten seconds!Are you kidding me?
'Huh?You want me to lick the hamburger before I serve it to you?

My right muscle thumps on the table. The well-made, heavy table seemed to deflect for a moment. ...... arm strength is amazing ............

'Oh!I'm a drinker!Bring me the most expensive liquor in the store!

Assuming the price would be free, the left muscle placed an order.

'I'll have to pay in advance, if that's okay with you.
'U.................., well, I guess I'll just have a cheap drink first ......'

Cantartika is a prepayment system.
If you want to drink the most expensive liquor, you'll have to wait until you can afford to pay a lot of money.

In the end, the right muscle ordered a hamburger and wine, and the left muscle ordered ale and special sausage.
I took the bill and went back to the kitchen.

'...... Yashiro. You're a genius at getting on people's nerves, aren't you?'

At the entrance to the kitchen, Estella heaped praise on him.

'Do you admire me?Do you want me to sign it?'
'I'm afraid I'll be d*mned, so I'll pass.'

'No thanks, I'll be d*mned.
Thanks to my encouragement, they can be as evil as they want to be. 'Let's destroy them because they piss me off.'
This is also a strategy, you know?

'Mr. Yashiro, this is the perfect version of a hamburger.

From Ginette, you receive a perfect hamburger that makes you drool just by looking at it.
...... Wouldn't it be obvious if I bit into it a little?

'Ms. Jeannette. You forgot to put sauce on it.'
'Ah!I'm sorry. I guess it wasn't perfect.'

Jeannette scratched her cheeks in embarrassment, her tongue peeking out cutely.

'd*mn!Is this what you call girl power?
'I'd like to learn from her, but I don't think I can imitate her!

Estella and Natalia are mysteriously damaged.

'I like you, you're a natural!
'It's nice to be natural!
'Oh, um, ...... I'm not a natural. ......'
''''All naturals say that! ''''
'Why are Yashiro and Paula participating in this?

I'm not sure if you're going to be able to do this, but I'm sure you can.
Along with a spell to make it taste better.

'Be delicious, love love love☆'.
'...... What's that sure-to-be-cursed spell, ......'

Estella takes two steps away from me.
You really don't know what you're talking about. ...... It's a delicious spell.It's a magic word that makes men all over the world go crazy with nosebleeds.

And while I'm at it, I'll write your name in the sauce you put on your hamburger. Kids and their big friends will love it.

That's why I'm taking the hamburger steak that I put so much love and care into to the right muscle.
On the hamburger steak, I wrote "Mukki Mukki" in sauce.

'Hey, are you licking me?
'No, no, I haven't licked it yet.
'What do you mean, 'not yet'?Don't try to lick me!Don't lick me!

'Are you a cat?'...... I'm not going to say it, because I'm sure you won't understand.

Putting down the hamburger, and other items such as alcohol and sausages, I leave the seat of the muscles.
Wow, I'm getting a lot of stares on my back. They're staring at me like crazy.

I take a quick look around the restaurant.
The crowd is good. It's reasonably crowded, but not so packed as to impede your movement.
......, of course.
The people here are all "preparers".

Currently, Cantalcica is practically closed.
All the customers here now are people who know what's going on, and they're trying not to get in the way of our activities.
However, they are not theatrical people, so I have given them two simple orders.

One, don't look at the target. They'll know.
And the other is 'eat like a normal person'. ...... This is the most effective. These guys are background. They are categorized as props. They are not even extras.

Now, let's hide behind the ...... "props" and see what's going on. ............
However, we can't watch them closely, so we can only pretend to be working and keep our ears open. After all, if they are alerted, that's the end of it.

If you just want to clear your name as a cantartika, just arrest him in the act. It's a very simple solution.
'This was harassment. Cantalcica is innocent.'

But that would do too much damage to the muscles.
The best that can be done is to ban them.

That's too lukewarm. ...... Don't ever think of disobeying them again.

I know their M.O. because Paula showed me the Conversation Record.
Before long, he slices into the hamburger and says out loud...

'Hey, hey!What's going on here?

Yeah. Exactly the same line.
Are these people stupid?
How can they do the exact same thing in the same store? ......

But now it's clear.
These guys aren't just after money, they're definitely trying to destroy Cantartika.
They are trying to create a bad image of Cantar Chica by making the same accusations over and over again.
No matter how many people around him say, "Cantartika is not bad. No matter how many people around them say, 'Cantartica is not bad, it's the muscles that are bad', these people will not stop. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not, whether you believe it or not. The purpose is to make a scene here and leave it in people's memories.

So you should know, ......, just how dangerous what you're doing is.

'How can I help you?
'There's nothing to be done about it!Look at this!'

The right muscle pointed at the hamburger.

'...... "Munchy" ...... Pfft. What's this?
'That's what you wrote!I'm not looking there, I'm looking inside the hamburger!

When I turned my gaze to the hamburger, I saw ...... a huge grasshopper peeking out.
I really wonder ...... how it got in there. ......

I'm not sure what to do.

These are the same words I saw in the Conversation Record. It's the same word for word.
It's not "there was a worm in it" but "there is a worm in it". It's not a lie because it's in there. Then, with the line, "You want the customers to eat it?", he makes the people around him believe that it is the restaurant's fault that it contains insects.

They may have been influenced by someone, or they may be scamming people out of their depth.
If you ask them, 'Did you put the worms in there? 'Do you have proof?' 'Did you see it? If I were the mastermind, I'd teach them to say that. I'd get angry, change the subject, and make it a moot point. Then, I would continue to intimidate them with a loud voice to reduce their strength and energy to make a good argument.
You will lose heart and say, "Enough. I'll just do what you say and get this over with,'" the store will be finished. It's a complete surrender.

It's tricky, but you have to keep your mind strong and keep saying, 'What's different is different.

In addition, I hate to death this kind of shameful idiot who can only make threats less than scum. ............ Stand up to them reasonably with a strong heart.... I'm not sure what to do.
...... You've got the wrong guy to fight, punk. No, you thug. No, no, no. Incombustible garbage.

They are the industrial waste that God had to produce when he created the world.
Put the trash in the trash.
Give the scum what they deserve.

'Hmmm, ...... is strange.

He crosses his arms and tilts his head in a big way.
You'll be annoyed by this move. ...... I did it on purpose, okay?

What's wrong with that?I'm not sure what to do.I'm not sure what to do.
'Isn't it a mistake to say "put" instead of "......"?
'What the hell are you doing?Do you have any proof?
'Have you seen it?You'll get away with it if you don't!

Hmm, as expected, it's a textbook response from .......

'Well, well, well, just calm down and listen to me for now.

I begin to explain in a slow tone of voice, controlling the hysterical shouting of the men with my hands.
Yes. Carefully, so that even an idiot can understand.

'I can think of two cases in this case. ...... The first is the possibility that you got in before you burned it.

I stick out my index finger and raise the first possibility.
I look at the men, but they don't seem to be interrupting me. I guess they're trying not to say too much for fear of being caught by the Judgment of the Spirits.
Good choice.
Then let's get to the bottom of this.

'But that's not gonna happen. Look at it. The meat's cooked through, but this worm, down to the last leg, is still clean. Do you know how hot to cook a hamburger?If it was in there, it wouldn't stay this clean.
'Ugh. ......'
'What the hell is that?Then it must mean it came in afterwards!'

As soon as the left muscle let out a small groan, the right muscle couldn't take it any longer and spoke up.
Hey, hey. Are you sure you don't want to keep quiet?If you talk too much, you'll choke yourself.

'That's just not possible.

But I'll simply deny it.
Then, as expected, the right muscle started screaming.

'How can you be so sure?You wouldn't have known if you'd come in while you were out of sight!

I knew this guy was dangerous. If you're not sure what you're looking for, you can always ask for help. ...... Since he gave me a good word, I'll take him up on it.

That's what I mean. It means that this worm went into the hamburger of its own volition. ...... Take a good look at it again.

I point to the grasshopper peeking out from the slit in the hamburger.
Yes, the grasshopper is 'peeking out' of the hamburger.

'Why did it come in through the butt?It's not like it went into bed just to go to sleep.

Normally, if a bug wants to get into your food, it will go in head first.
Could it have come from somewhere else?Not likely. Because there are no holes anywhere except in the slit.
The hamburger has been hammered many times to get the air out. There are few cavities in the meat. If you're going to cut into it, you should at least have a hole. There are none.
Therefore, this grasshopper did not enter the hamburger by its own will.

'Besides, this grasshopper is ............ strange. ......'
'So what's so funny about it?

The right and left muscles stood between me and stared at me with a face like a young man.
Huh, I'm not afraid of that.
You know what?If you try to touch me, ...... you'll be in for a world of hurt. ............ Natalia.
Nice to meet you!If you can, do something cool to stop her before she touches you.
I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun.

So, back to the topic at hand: ......

'I've never heard of this grasshopper living in the 42nd district. ......'
'You just don't know anything about it, do you?You're just ignorant!
'Ignorant?...... I was once known as 'Dr. Bug'?
'What ......?
'Is this me, who goes all the way to the forests of District 42 and District 40 to look at this and that, ...... ignorant?
'............, you're lying ......, anyway?You're just making stuff up.
'Would you like to try the Judgment of the Spirits?

You can do it.
It's also true that I've followed Millie and the anteater brothers all the way to the forests of District 42 and District 40 to look at this and that. Well, it wasn't insects I was looking at, but flowers.

I've never heard of this grasshopper living in District Forty-two.''

No one ever comes to me to talk about grasshoppers. And I haven't collected any such information.
I've never heard of them. I'm not interested.

But I'm sure this is what it sounds like to these muscles.

'Bugs like this don't exist in the 42nd district.

'Now, ......, where the hell did this bug come from?
'I don't know. ............ Didn't the guy in this store put them in here on purpose? I don't know.
'So you're saying that the guy in this store put the bugs in there?
'That's right .......'

The left muscle stops the right muscle from slipping up.
...... You're a cool guy, Left Muscle.

If the right muscle says 'that's right' now, he'll be trapped in the 'judgment of the spirits'. They must know that it wasn't the shopkeeper who put the bug in there.
How could you let that happen?

But that's like confessing 'I'm the culprit', isn't it?

'Isn't the problem not how it got in there, but the fact that there's a worm in there right now, huh, shopkeeper?

The left muscle seems to have passed the baton.
The right muscle is getting smaller in the back.

'Let's say, for example, ......'.

I say again, pointing to the grasshopper in the hamburger.

'Is there any way you could make this taste good?'
'No!Do you think I'm an idiot?
'Why do you say that?
'Are you doing that?

A blue streak appeared on my forehead, and my left muscle grabbed my chest.
Natalia!I think it's time for me to go!What's going on?Are you on a break?

No help is likely to come, so I take my own way out.

'Oh no, what's this?

I thrust my hand into the pocket of the left muscle that was approaching me.

'What the hell are you doing?

In a panic, the left muscle releases me and moves away from me.
Then, with a slight blush on his cheeks, he squeezes his collar and glares at me with a grudge.

'Hey, you're a pervert!

Hey, come on, stop it. If you react like that, it will make me look like someone who is into s*x.

'............, you're in trouble. That's what I'm talking about.

So don't blush!
Only beautiful women or beautiful girls are allowed to react like that!

'I'm sorry for the unpleasant reaction you're showing me, but ............ can you explain this guy to me?'

I raise my hand high, the one that's tucked into the pocket of my left muscle.
There was a product in my hand that looked exactly like a grasshopper in a hamburger.

'Nonsense!How could something like that be here?

As he said this, his left muscle went through his pockets.
He seems to be in a great hurry.
That's probably true.
The bug that Dr. Bug had assured him didn't exist in District 42 had just come out of his own pocket.

But that's a self-serving interpretation on both sides. ......

You can explain it to me, can't you?
'Hey, that's ............ me. ...... Oh, hey!Did you put a bug in my clothes?
'No, no, I didn't!I'm serious!I didn't do that!

The left muscle, having lost its escape route, turns on the right muscle.
The right muscle was very upset by the sudden shift of responsibility and made a 'very nice remark'.

'Because I've only brought one fish today!

After he finished, both the right and left muscles tightened their expressions at the same time.
But I'm not going to let this go unanswered.

I'm going to pick up the spilled words right away.

'And?Where's the one you brought today, right now?

The muscles shut their mouths and avert their gaze.

'Where is it now?

I ask again. But they don't answer.

'Then, what the hell, ...... can you tell me your names, addresses, and guilds you belong to?
'Hey, why do we have to answer that ......?
'Yes, that's right, that's right!
'I'll tell you why .......'

He said in a matter-of-fact, clerical tone, as if he were a clerk delivering a decision.

'It's because we're going to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court. You and the guild you belong to.
'Our guild has nothing to do with this!
'Don't be silly. I'm not sure what to make of that.

There's someone behind these guys.
If you use him as an excuse,......

'I'm sorry!I admit everything!So please don't drag the guild into this!
I'll never come back to this store again!No, I'm not coming to this town!So, please!

Muscles put their hands on the floor and bow their heads.
If you don't want to involve the organization, does that mean that ...... these guys acted on their own judgment?
Instead of following orders?

Well, it doesn't matter.
An apology after a wrongdoing has been exposed is not a repentance, it is a plea. When you need to say 'I'm so sorry', these guys are saying 'please help me'. ...... Do you think I'd forgive such a brazen guy?

You can easily find out which guild these guys belong to.
If they want to disappear to avoid that, that's fine. I'll hunt them down so they'll never come back to this town.

I'm gonna make them ............ sorry they ever did what they did in my territory.

Now, choose.
Become a frog and forfeit your human rights. ............
Or stay human and become subhuman: ..................

If I had to choose, I would have given him that kind of harsh punishment, but...
I look back at the kitchen and call out to the other side.

'Yes, that's right,......, but what do you want to do, Paula?

As I call out to her, Paula emerges from the kitchen.
This time, it was Paula who was harmed.
I don't think it's right for me to come in and take all the blame.

Paula puts her hands on her hips and looks down with disdain at the muscles on their knees.
Now, what do you think will happen?

'I'll forgive you if you guarantee to pay for the last time and this time, plus the estimated sales during the time you had to close the store.

...... He's a solid guy, this one.
Sales come first.

I'll pay you!No, I'll pay you!So please, let's keep this between us!

Muscles, in a desperate plea, broke Paula, who had been the biggest victim.

'Forget it, just leave the money and go home. If you want to pay in installments, please tell me how many installments you want to pay first.

I knew she was solid.

But if you ask me, you're too lenient. Too lenient.
Nothing good will come from showing mercy to such people. In fact, it may even lead them to do bad things.
However, it's not a good idea to sanction them too much, and above all, Paula says it's okay. Then, let's leave it at that.

I'll leave the rest to the parties concerned.
For now, it looks like our work is done.
When business goes well, you can get into trouble like this. ...... You have to be careful at the Sunken Pavilion too.

'Yashiro-san. Thank you for your hard work.'
'No... Thank you for your help. Estella and Natalia too.'
'Good. I'm not going to let the bad press in the 42nd district go unnoticed.
'I didn't do anything, sir.

You really didn't do anything for me, Natalia.
Why didn't you just jump out of the way?
Well, it's a good thing we worked it out.

Oh, yeah.
The giant grasshopper I pulled out of my left muscle pocket was a model I had Bekko make of the last grasshopper Paula had saved.
He put it in his palm, put his hand into the pocket of his left muscle, pulled his hand out and at the same time made it look as if he had taken it out of his pocket.
Well, it's a common magic trick.

Three or four misunderstandings in a row can easily twist the facts.

I don't know much about bugs, there's no guarantee that this grasshopper doesn't exist in District 42, I didn't have a grasshopper in my pocket, this grasshopper is just a model, and most importantly, I'm not a clerk here.
I'm not a shopkeeper here. All of this is just a bunch of muscular people making up their own minds. ...... Well, I made them think that.

I hope they learn their lesson and don't hang around here anymore.
I hope I can stay out of trouble from here on out.

You could at least listen to my little wish. Hey. Dear God.