'Oooohhh!The lord's flag, the gluttony contest version!
'Wow, wow, wow!
'Whoa!I got one too!
The sunlit pavilion is buzzing.
'Yes, yes. I've put a spell on you all to make sure you win the jackpot~. I hope you win~'
Ginette is smiling and letting the kids draw the flag for the children's lunch.
Naturally, all the contents are the cheering version of the lord's flag gluttony contest.
The idea is to get the kids to wave these flags and cheer.
I wonder why no one notices the scowl on Ginette's face when she knows she's going to hit everyone. ......
I'm sure my mom and dad already know about it.
'Hey, hey. Yashiro-san.'
One of my mommy friends calls out to me.
'How's the tournament going in our district?Are we going to win?
'Didn't you see how much Bertina ate?
'I saw it. That was amazing, Sister.'
'I was surprised too. I didn't know you had such a special skill.
...... special ability?I think it's a chronic disease.
'But well, if Yashiro-san is here, I'm sure we can win.'
'Huh?I'm not going to participate.
'Y~ne~. Even if Yashiro-san appears, you'll lose easily.
'You know that much, don't you?
The mothers' friends chuckle.
Then what makes you so sure of victory?
'When Yashiro-san is around, I feel like he's going to take care of it.
'That's a dangerous tendency. You might have a brain disease.
'Hmmm, the way you hide your embarrassment like that is popular among your mommy friends. It's cute.'
I'm not sure what to say....... Stop it, seriously.
'Yashiro-san is also a part of the management this time, isn't he?
'Well, ...... what kind of fate is that?
'Then you've won.'
So where does that confidence come from?
'If there's ever a time to lose, ......'
My mom's friends looked at each other, and they all looked at me.
'''When losing is more profitable, right?
...... They've got it all wrong, don't they?
The fact that I seem to have contributed to the development of the city in some small way is, at the end of the day, a result of my actions. I didn't do it with absolute confidence.
In the worst case scenario, the city could have collapsed.
If I had argued with Assunto and he had come to the headquarters of the peddlers' guild, I would have been out.
There was a greater chance that my amateur knowledge of flood control wouldn't have worked.
It's the same this time.
If we're not careful, there's even a chance that this 42nd district will be turned into a colony of the 41st district.
Don't look at me like I'm a god.
'Please lead the 42nd district to victory.
'Aren't you guys believers in the spirit gods?
I don't even know if there's a Daemyojin in this world.
It seems that the playfulness of forced translation magic has reached its limit.
'If you want to be blessed, drop some money at the Sunken Pavilion and go home.
'Oh no, I can't go home without eating cake if you say so...'
'I see. Since Yashiro-san said so much, I can't not eat it.
'Well then, I think I'll have a shortcake after dinner.
'Me, Mont Blanc.
These guys seem to be enjoying the atmosphere of the gluttony contest.
Well, it's great that they're having a good time, but it's not ...... Daimyojin.
I'm not sure what to do.The Spirit God's 'Gokago' is amazing!
'Isn't it amazing?Hey, isn't this amazing?
'Oh, yes, yes. Not great, not great, not great.
'Not very ............, which one?
It's a great way to shut up the kids who are fussing over the winning flag.
The adults have agreed not to talk to the kids about anything related to 'lord power'.
If they become fanatics of the lord, it will be a big problem. Moderation is fine, moderation is fine.
''Just eat quietly, kids!
The kids are happily holding their lord's flag and biting into their children's lunch.
...... Don't they get bored?You can prepare several kinds of children's lunch.
'Hmm?What's wrong, Jeannette?
As I watched the kids devouring the children's lunch, Jeannette came up to me and gave me a quick earful.
'I was wondering if you could add a few more varieties to the children's lunch.
'That's odd. I was just thinking about that myself.
Jeannette rolled her eyes, and then slowly her eyes arched.
'Yashiro-san is a kind man, after all.
'I'm sure you were thinking the same thing.'
'Mmmm, we're the same, aren't we?
He smiled, wondering what made me happy.
Well, it's good to have a full menu.
...... I wonder if I can make curry for kids?
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I'm sure you'll be pleased. I'm sure you'll be pleased with it. Your menu is very popular among children.
'Is that what it is?Does that mean my ideas are childish?
'Uh-huh. That counterargument might be a little childish, don't you think?
Hmm. He's become a man of words, hasn't he?
But what the heck. ...... Being expected is not really my thing.
I'm the kind of person who wants to achieve my goals without attracting attention.
After that, the time passed slowly, the kids ate their children's lunch, my mom's friends enjoyed their cakes, and I began to feel a little sleepy, when the end bell rang in the evening sky.
Sixteen o'clock. It's almost time to finish work.
'Ginette. I'm going to go see Umaro for a bit after this.'
'I'm going to ask him to join the tournament. He's staying in the dormitory over there right now.'
'Oh, I see. ......'
Dusk can make people feel lonely.
That's why I've taken the necessary steps.
'We're having a pot luck tonight.
'Hot pot, sir?
'Oh. I've invited Mormat and Delia, so the ingredients are free!
I'm sure we'll have a delicious salmon hot pot.
'Well, I'm looking forward to it.
Ginette's smile returned.
'You won't feel lonely if you're having a good time.
'Um, ......, are you leaving already?'
'Hmm?No, I'm going to the lavatory.
'Oh, I see. The restroom is in the back there.'
'I know that.
'It's in our manual, sir.
She seems to be into this kind of pranks lately.
'Hey, Yashiro!I've brought you some vegetables!
'Look at this!We've caught such a big salmon, it's worth holding off on fishing!
Mormat and Delia walk into the store together.
They have good timing, don't they?
'Well then, we'd better get going.
Seeing Delia and the others, the mothers' friends leave their seats.
They pay the bill in turn and prepare to leave.
'Thanks for the food. It was delicious.'
'Yes. Thank you very much.
'Sis, it was delicious!
'It was delicious!
'Thank you, sir. Flag, I'm glad you won.
It's late in the evening and you kids still have so much energy. Share a little of that energy with me.
Bye!See you later!
'See you later!
'See you later!
'Watch where you're going, or you'll fall!
'Bye, bye. Bye-bye, bye-bye!
The kids leave the store in a hubbub.
Now, I'm going to the bathroom.
I'm about to go to the bathroom when Mo-Mat stops me.
'What?I'm first.I had a reservation.'
'Why don't you go to the bathroom, you ......'
Mormat made a difficult face, then waved his hand, 'No, it's nothing.
What is it?I don't understand him at all.
Oh, is that it?Did he really want to go first?
If you wanted me to take your turn in the bathroom, why didn't you just say so? Well, I won't.
I went into the bathroom, finished what I had to do quickly, and prepared to leave.
When I came out of the bathroom, I saw Mo Matt at the door.
'I'm not happy that you said that.'
Wow ...... I'm glad a girl said that to me. ...... He's a pervert. ............ Wow......
Mormat, who has a habit of wanting to be abused by girls, asks me with a strangely serious face.
'You can win this gluttony contest......, can't you?
'Don't ask me that. Ask Delia. She's a player.'
'You're the one who picked him, aren't you?
'They're all guys who would have been picked naturally even if I hadn't.'
The top four are unassailable.
'But they're the ones you're sure you can get to, aren't they?
'It's ......, Mo-Mat. Are you trying to put pressure on me?'
'No, I'm not. It's not, but ......'.
With an unusually sullen expression on his face, Mo'amat slaps me on the shoulder.
'I believe you. ...... a lot.'
What do you mean 'a lot'?
It's so creepy.
I feel like I'm losing my mind.
I hope none of you are trying to put all the blame on me.
Maybe it's better to lose in a big way.
'I'm preparing the pot. Come home early.'
'Then let me go quickly.
'I'll be waiting for you.
'You can go ahead and eat first.
I pat the crocodile-faced man on the shoulder and head for the exit.
On the floor, Ginette and Delia were chatting.
Oh, that's nice. It's always more comforting to look at a beautiful woman with big boobs than to talk to a bitter old man. ............ Though the thought of going to see Umaro makes me a little depressed. Another old man. ......
'Magda and the others will probably be back by the time I get there, so you can go ahead and eat.
'No, sir. We'll be waiting for you when you get back.
'You'll get fat if you eat at night.
'Oh, ......, but we still want to eat together. ......'
'Well, if I'm not back by twenty o'clock, you can go ahead and eat.
Jeannette smiled softly and stretched out her arm to straighten my collar, as if it were a matter of course.
'I'm waiting for Yashiro-san to come back.'
That's a bit of pressure, though, isn't it?
'Well, in moderation.
I patted Ginette on the head and left the store. ............
'Ginette...... what's wrong?'
'Oh...... no............ that......'
Ginette squeezed the sleeve of my dress with a weak ...... grip.
I couldn't help but reach for the arm that stroked my head. It felt like that.
'I'll be right back.'
He gently wrapped his fingers around the fingers that were picking at his sleeve and slowly lowered his arm.
Relieved, Ginette finally smiled at me.
'...... Something's not right.
'Then I'll go.
'Yes, sir. Have a safe trip.'
I tried to smile, to put a smile on my mouth.
But I wasn't sure and quickly turned my head away.
When I left the restaurant, Ginette followed me outside and added a few words.
'I'll be waiting for you, making a delicious hot pot.
'Oh. I'm off.
I raise my hand and start walking towards the main street.
...... It's hard to do.
These days,......, or more precisely around the beginning of the year,......, people have begun to look at me strangely.
When Mormat's field was improved with lime, when he fought off the harassment of the ruffians, and at the gluttony contest,...... the people around him said in unison.
'That's what Yashiro is all about.
...... What do you mean by "as expected"?
You may be mistaken, perhaps?
If you ask Yashiro, he'll take care of it. ......
You gotta be kidding me.
I'm a fraud.
The reason I'm here is to gather information about the city, to formulate a secret plan to defeat the "Judgment of the Spirits" nonsense,............, and for me to succeed as a con man in this city. ..................
Where can I find a scammer with a face like this.
'...... Maybe it's time to move on.
Well, that doesn't mean you have to do anything about it right now.
However, I think it's not right to just keep putting it off, saying 'tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow'.
'When the ...... opportunity arises,' you know.
But surely, that's not now.
I still have things to do.
For now, ............
'I think I'll just go see Umaro and go back to ...... for a hot pot.'
It doesn't have to be now. But I put that day in the back of my mind for now.
I'm sure Jeannette will see right through me when I'm thinking like that.
She may seem absent-minded, but she's more perceptive than you think.
We walked through the darkened main street to the carriage stop.
And that's when I met an unexpected guy.
'Hello, Mr. Yashiro. Are you going to the 41st district?
It was Imelda.
Imelda was riding in a large private carriage, and she poked her head out of the window and approached me.
'Would you like to join us, if you don't mind?We have a date, just the two of us, that we promised to have.
No, I didn't make any promises to you. ......
'Are you sure you're okay with this impromptu date?
'I'm fine with it. You can make promises as often as you like. It's not like you're saving it for later.
As expected of a popular girl, she has a different way of saying things.
If it were me, I'd be thinking over how to make the most of that one time and let the statute of limitations expire without being able to use it in the end.
If there are two tickets in front of you, one for Ginette's titty rubbing and the other for Estella's titty flattening, and you can only choose one of them,......, you will be looking for how to get the most profit out of it. ......
'What do you want me to do?
'Well, I'll take the "rubbing ticket"!
'...... What are you talking about?No, you're talking about boobs. That was a stupid question.
It's a stupid question. ......
'Come on in, sir.
'Are you heading to the 41st district too?
'I'm in District 40. I'm going back to my parents' house.
'I see. Well, I'll let you take me halfway.
The attendant came down from the platform and opened the door for me.
The carriage of Imelda's house is large and has a spacious interior.
'It was designed by Mr. Yamboldo.
'Mr. Janbold is the number two at Torbek's construction company. I haven't seen him lately, that horse face.
'You do good work, Janbold.
'Yes. Umaro's designs are also very good, but Yambold's designs are more delicate and more popular with women.'
'Wow, ...... that horse face is so delicate. ......'
Indeed, the interior of the car was designed to be pleasing to the eye and functional.
If Umaro's design was 'stunning', Yamboldo's design was 'beautiful'.
What's more, Torbek is full of skilled carpenters. The future looks bright.
'I'm sure Torbek's construction company will get bigger and bigger.
Maybe. Haha. I've made such a big deal out of it.
I had the cafeteria completely renovated for a mere 640Rb, a mere pittance that Gusuya had overcharged.
After that, I made sure he got his money's worth and more. ......
'......' is what happened.
I will not mention Gusuya's name, but I will tell you an old story.
Imelda doesn't know anything about our past.
Well, there's nothing important that she needs to know.
It was a date, and I wanted to talk about something fun.
But Imelda's expression didn't clear up. On the contrary, it became cloudier and cloudier.
It was as if she was suffering from motion sickness, and her expression was fading from her face.
'What's wrong?Are you drunk?'
'Yashiro-san. Would you please listen to me?
'Huh?Oh, it's about .......'
An air of seriousness drifted from Imelda.
What the hell. They all look so serious today.
'I have a rival I don't want to lose to. Who do you think it is?
'Who's that? ......'
That's the only person Imelda would recognize as a rival.
I'm sure you'll be able to find a lot of people who'll be able to help you out.
I see, ...... gouging was his merit.
'So if it's not Estella, then who the hell is it?
'...... you ............ don't mean Magda?'
'No, sir!I have no interest in those pointy-eared children.
I don't know.
I don't know, it sounds like a good way to describe a certain category of people. ......
I'm not sure what you're talking about.You and Umaro are in completely different positions, aren't you?'
'No, sir. Mr. Umaro is standing far ahead of where I should be.
'He's trying to get the ...... Queen of Boine-Sama division, isn't he? ......'
'I'm not going down that road, am I?
She glared at me with a mischievous look, then tidied her messy hair with a hand comb.
I guess she's a real lady, since she can make every appearance like that.
That means the path she should take is probably the path of a lady.
'Yashiro-san. It's not that I'm blaming you,......, but I'd like to ask you, do you remember ......?
The first time I met Imelda was when I went to see Javier in order to attract a branch of the Woodcutter's Guild to the 42nd district. ...... That's when I said to Imelda: ...... ......
I'm sure you'll agree that it's a great idea to have a good time.
'I don't remember you ever saying that to me!
'Heh heh heh, I want to be pinched!
'No, you didn't!
'Well, let's see, ...... 'gggggggggg ......''
'It's not the same when it's 'goofy'!
Well, to be honest, I do remember.
But ...... I said some pretty harsh things. ...... I hope you won't rehash them. ......
'Mr. Yashiro said this: ...... "The most beautiful girl in the world, Miss Imelda!
'No, I said that!That's not what you're saying right now!
'Miss, how do you go to the bathroom every day at ......?
'Yes, I said that too, but!I've been thinking about it a lot, and I'm really sorry that I said such a lousy thing!I'm sure you'll agree.It's a little bit different, isn't it?I'm sure you'll understand.
I'm sure you're not the only one who's had it.
'I'm sorry. I was hesitant to say the words that Yashiro-san said to me. ............ Because he pointed out the bad part of me so precisely... ...'
Then you should not have bothered to say it. ...... When I was about to say it, Imelda said the words.
'The only time you need to worry about a mascot whose only claim to fame is its beauty is when you welcome it and see it off.
This is the word that Imelda would hate to hear the most, as she was a bit pissed off after being interrupted in her negotiations with Javier and also being ridiculed by District 42 and Estella.
I was so sure that it would be the most damaging thing for her to hear me say that I let it go, and it was so harsh that there was no way to follow it up.
I knew you'd remember. ......
'Honestly, ......, it stabbed me in the heart.'
'...... I see.'
I think it's funny to say 'sorry' and apologize here.
I take responsibility for my words, and at that time I had to say this much. At least, that's what I decided.
'Honestly, ......, it was hard for me.
...... I'm being blamed so much!
What should I do? Should I apologize?
No, no, no. No, no, no. It would be uncool to break down right there. You're responsible for the words that come out of your mouth. If you think it's not a mistake, then you should be proud of it no matter what anyone says.
'...... I've cried for three days and three nights.'
'I'm sorry!I'm sorry!
I'll get down on my knees for you!
So please don't stare at me like that!
'......, but even if you say so, I did something that can't be helped, didn't I?
'I wish I had that enlightenment a couple of turns earlier ......'.
My heart is also in a wispy state. ......
'Yashiro-san. Will you listen to me? I'm not sure what to say.
'Yes. Don't laugh. I want you to listen to me. I just want you to listen to me.
His serious eyes stare straight at me.
Thanks to the hard work of the Hammies, the road to the 41st district has been cleaned up quite well.
Thanks to their efforts, the carriage does not shake at all, and the only sound inside is the regular rattling of the wheels.
I've got to take this seriously.
I've never seen Imelda look like this before.
I thought she was joking when she said Umaro was her rival,......, but the look on her face is that of a serious, determined person.
'I am ......'.
Imelda declares, right in front of me.
'I'm going to complete the branch of the Woodcutter's Guild and become a great branch leader!
It seemed like a natural dream, but ...... it was also a bit surprising to me.
As the daughter of the Woodcutter's Guild, there was no need for her to stick to the branch. If she stayed at the headquarters and hooked up with a good man who was a candidate for the heirship, her life would be safe and she would be able to live a life of fun, even if it was a little too much like before.
But this guy says he's going to work as a member of the Lumberjack Guild.
When you're a branch manager, you can't just play around and get drunk.
It's a very good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
It's not finished yet, but when it is, that branch will be an important base, even more important than the headquarters. I want to protect and develop that base with my skills, my brain, and my beauty.
The fact that beauty is included does not mean that she is abandoning her womanhood.
She only wants to stand at the top of that branch as the daughter of the woodcutter guild.
'There will be various conflicts. You may be slandered. But I want to make that branch the best ...... in the city, the best lumberjack base in the world.
It's a far-fetched dream. At first glance, it seems reckless.
But this guy has decided to work towards that dream, one step at a time.
Such a question was answered by Imelda, who had a sad look in her eyes.
'You were jealous, weren't you? No, I'm still jealous of you. ......'
Letting out a ...... breath, Imelda changed her tone slightly.
'If you're heading to the 41st district at this hour, Yashiro-san is probably going to see Umaro-san, right?'
'Hmm?Yeah, you know exactly what I mean.
'All of Yashiro-san's relations except for him will return to District 42 at night.
'I see. That's an excellent deduction.
If we're going to see Ricardo, it'll be at an earlier hour.
If I were to go all the way to District Forty-One at this hour, the only person I'd be meeting would be Umaro.
'What are you talking about?
'No, I'm trying to get you to participate in a gluttony contest. He might be the strongest depending on how you use him.
It remains to be seen how far Magda's power will take him, though.
'...... I envy you.'
'What about ......?'
'Umaro-san,......, I'm really jealous of you.'
I don't see what you're talking about.
What are you talking about?
'Did you want to enter the gluttony contest?If that's the case, there's still a slot open at .......'
Imelda says, closing her eyelids and interrupting my words.
When she closes her eyelids, the pungent impression becomes stronger.
Then, when she opens her eyelids again, large, striking, powerful eyes are staring back at me.
'It's you, Mr. Yashiro.
Imelda's large eyes looked at me with a surprised expression.
'If you ask, Mr. Yashiro will invite me into the same field. You'll have the right to stand and stand with us,......, but he,......, Umaro, is different.
I clenched my fists tightly.
Imelda's thin, white, delicate fingers, which seem to be only for picking flowers, are clenched tightly.
Her thumbnail was red and congested.
'He's ...... always involved with Mr. Yashiro,' she said. He is always ...... being approached by Mr. Yashiro. ............Wumalo-san is ............relied on by Yashiro-san.'
'That's a thing, isn't it? I'm just being brazen and using it for good .......'
'That's why I'm jealous!
Imelda floats her hips and closes in on me.
The sudden movement caused the carriage to shake.
I reach out to support Imelda as she loses her balance, but her hand is stopped by Imelda. 'It's not necessary,' she said.
I've been a boring person, just making requests and enjoying what is given to me. ...... just like a beautiful mascot. ......'
Imelda sits back down.
She sits deep in her seat, straightens her back, and lets out a long, thin sigh.
'I'm going to be a worthy head of the Woodcutter's Guild and become a worthy person. It's a future I've never thought about before, but ...... I really want to try it.
Imelda smiles at me with a ...... refreshed expression, somewhat relieved after talking to me.
'I'm going to be someone you can rely on, Yashiro-san ....... Both as a business partner and as a woman, I promise. No matter how many years it takes.
'...... Why me?
Imelda says with an air of pride and a smile on her face.
'It's because you are the only gentleman that I recognize.
Clear and fresh: ......
I'm not sure what to say.
You don't even realize that I'm not worth ...... that much.
'That's why you should go for the win in the upcoming tournament, if you're desperate. If the city gates are not installed, my dream ...... will not be fulfilled!
Deep in her eyes, she has a strong will.
Not many people can have eyes like this.
These are the eyes of someone who can carry out their beliefs and grasp their dreams.
These are the eyes of a man who can make his wishes come true and change the world around him.
'Thank you for listening. Mr. Yashiro. I'm so glad you listened.'
'...... Oh. I see.'
Those were the only words that came out.
This is a lot heavier than a confession of love, if you ask me.
...... I don't know if I can carry such a ...... life-threatening thought. ............
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.
I'm sure you've already arrived.
Imelda opened the window and saw that she was in the main street of the 41st district.
'Well then, Mr. Yashiro. Please give my regards to that blessed fox man. Also, tell him that I won't lose.
I'm not sure what you're talking about.
You can't understand it, then you have that level of comprehension.
'It's a mess.
When I got out of the carriage, Imelda looked out the window and left me with these last words.
'I've had a lot of fun since I met you. I'll try to make you feel the same way, so please wait a little longer. Have a nice night.
The carriage pulls away.
That was the heavy sigh that came out of my mouth.
Expectations are heavy, and you ...... are overestimating them.
I'm just an impostor, and my only skill is quibbling,......
'I'm not that big of a guy, I'm ......'.
I'm not going to be fooled.
............ d*mn it!
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to go to the dormitory where Umaro is staying and explain everything!
They're jealous of you!That's a good thing, I'm sure!
'Oh, no!I can't wait to go home and have a pot with Magda!
'I'd love to join you!
Whether it was by chance or aim, I caught a sea bream at a very good time.
Fishing for sea bream has an amazing rate of biting.
You're a more beginner-friendly catch than a herabuna.
'What a coincidence to meet you here, Oumalo.
'I've just finished work and was on my way home. I just happened to be passing by and heard Yashiro's voice.
I wish things would be as simple as this.
Everyone is thinking too complicated. You should live a simpler life!
...... contradicts everything I've ever said. ......
'Well then, Mr. Yashiro.
As if urging me, Umaro pulled my arm and tried to take me to the carriage stop.
Do you want to see Magda so badly?
'Oh, yes, Umaro. There's something I want to tell you.
'What is it?
'I'm not going to lose.'
'Is that the extent of your comprehension?
'I don't understand a thing!
Well, I guess that's all he is. Yeah, yeah. That's all you are.
You're easy to deal with.
I don't get tired of being with you, you're good.
'Ah, the carriage arrived just in time!Come on, I'm going back to the 42nd district!
Umaro gets into the carriage with great enthusiasm.
I'm sure he's not even thinking about tomorrow morning.
Even so, he's sure to get the job done. ......
He's a great guy. You've got a good reputation here and there.
Maybe I need to change the way I interact with him. ......
'Oh, yeah. You're one of the competitors in the gluttony contest. Nice to meet you.'
'Huh?I didn't hear you!
'I just told you...'
'Oh, no!You're always like that, Yashiro-san!...... Well, it doesn't matter.
With that simple reply, he quickly got into the carriage.
I'm in the sunshine pavilion, humming unintelligible tunes like 'hot pot~ hot pot~ hot pot with Magda~'.
This is how he should be.
Ah, I feel so at home here...