209-37 Excitement before departure

Early morning.
I wake up in a darkened room with the wooden door closed behind me.
As I twist around in my bed of straw, I feel the warmth of a person next to me.
I reach out my arm, light a candle, and see ...... Natalia lying next to me.

'Mmmm ...... that was lovely, Yashiro-sama.'
You can't do that kind of heavy gag in the morning, can you?

It's making me sick to my stomach.
Also, I'm frustrated that I can't ignore you just because you smell good.

I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this. ...... Don't you have the grace and education of a lady?

'I'm sorry you had to come so early in the morning.
'No, no. I came late at night.'
'How long have you been hiding in here?
'Natalia, what are you doing?

My shout was followed by Estella's screams echoing through the early morning room.
...... You, too, should be quieter when you enter someone's room. ............ Well, that's enough of that.

I think it's Yashiro's fault for exposing his cute sleeping face.
'What, why is it my fault?And I'm slightly embarrassed, can you stop saying things like that?

Three days had passed since the day Lucia and Gilberta had come to stay at the sunny pavilion.
It was thanks to the grand reception we had given Lucia and Gilberta that Lucia had approached each ward. As a result, we were given permission to sell in each district and time to explain about the stalls to the officials of the respective lords.

So today, we will start early in the morning to go around each district with our stalls.
We will demonstrate the stalls in each district, explain the stalls to the lords, and aim to reach the thirty-five districts by sundown today.
We will stay overnight at Lucia's house and return the following evening.

As such, we will not be able to make donations to the Church today or tomorrow.
I have asked Estella and Natalia to take their place.
The breakfast for the next two days has already been prepared. The rest of the menu could be prepared quickly by the church matron and Natalia. It should be no problem.

'Get ready, Yashiro. The others are already waiting downstairs.
'......, huh?Magda too?
'He's been fidgeting in the cafeteria with his eyes blazing.
'...... Like a schoolboy before a field trip.'

Magda doesn't often go on excursions with us.
Ever since we decided on this demonstration, he's been excited and anxious.

'Anyway, you'd better change quickly.
'Yes, ma'am. Ma'am.'
'I wasn't talking to you, Natalia!I mean, why are you in your nightgown?
'You want me to sleep in my serving clothes?
'I'm telling you not to sleep, don't you understand?

Estella pulls Natalia to Magda's room. She will change her clothes there.
After they leave, I change my clothes too.

It's 3:30 in the morning.
There's still time before the wake-up bell.
That's when Jeannette usually wakes up. If we don't get up at this time, we won't make it to the 35th district by sunset. There will be food stalls along the way, too. ...... is a very hard schedule.

I quickly changed my clothes and went out into the hallway, Estella and the others were just coming out.

'Take care of them while I'm gone.
'Yeah. I'll leave it to you.
'Leave it to me. I'll take care of Yashiro-sama's bed.
'I'll make sure he's well taken care of so that no strange people like him can sneak in.
'Yes, I'll leave it to you. Just make sure that's it!

Estella and I shake each other's hands very strongly.
It's tough to have a dangerous person in your family, but...

Estella has agreed to take care of the Sunlit Pavilion.
But it's in the 42nd district. I'm not too worried about it.
What I'm afraid of is spontaneous combustion or a natural disaster, but I don't think that will happen either. I'll ask Estella to be on the safe side.

I walked down the stairs and out into the courtyard, where Loretta was drawing water from the well.

'One gulp!One gulp!One gulp!One gulp!
'No, don't!No matter how hard I try, I can't get this tub full of water!

'Misogi! He didn't even pretend to pour it over his head.
What on earth is he doing?

'What are you doing?

'Heh?I'm fetching water to wash my face, sir?'
'Ugh!That's normal!
'No, it's fine!It's a normal, good thing!
'What does Yashiro want from Loretta?

I'm not looking for anything.
As long as Loretta continues to be played with by me like this, I don't want anything more.

'The manager told me that my brother will wake up soon.
'Oh, is that water for me?'
'Yes, it is. It's very cold and wakes you up.'
'I see. Thank you.
'If it's for Yashiro-sama, then ...... the women in the sunlit pavilion will soak their bare feet in it once, right?
'......?I'm going to wash my face with this water now.
'That's why, bare feet!
'I'm sorry. I don't have a blunt instrument at hand.

Just let me wash my face like normal.

'Natalia. No, sir.'

Moving the water into the wooden bucket, Loretta turns to face Natalia.

'My brother is the kind of person who prefers to go direct with his feet.
'I see.'
'Good, Loretta. Now you can thank me for fetching the water.

I shouldn't have thanked you. I shouldn't have thanked you.

I'll just splash my face with the chilled water.
d*mn, ............ works. ......

'Hey. Do you have anything to wipe with?'
'Do you mind if I take my clothes off, Master Yashiro?
'...... Estella.'
'Sorry ...... Natalia, I was actually up all night last night, and I'm at the height of my tension.'

I see. That makes sense ......

But if that's the reason, I guess I'm somewhat responsible for calling you here so early in the morning.
I'll cut you some slack for today. ...... I'm still sleepy, too, and it's too much trouble to get involved.

'I'm sorry, Mr. Yashiro.'
'No, well, it's okay for today. Don't worry about it.
'No. I was going to take them off, but I wasn't wearing any.'
'You've really got to cut the crap!

You're too dense. It's the middle of the night!
Oh, you're in the middle of the night, aren't you?
This gap is fatal!

'...... you can use my bed, just go to sleep.'
'But ......'.
'This tension in the church is not good. ...... Some kids are here. Please go to sleep.'
'So I'm not sure if I'll be able to sleep because I'm ............ so horny, but I'll use ...... it.'
'Estella. Go throw him in the spare room.'
'Okay. Don't make me take care of you ...... anymore.'

That's why Natalia is leaving.
Yeah. I guess sleep is important. I'll make sure I get plenty of it next time.

'Hmmm...... that's what you call adult s*xuality...... I'm not ready for that......'
'If that thing starts to show, you're fired.'
I'm sure you'll agree.

I can't leave a waitress like that in the restaurant.
You can't leave a waitress like that in a restaurant. Natalia was at the end of her rope, both physically and mentally, and her true colors just came out a little bit.
.................. is that what she is? ......

It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your money.

'Yashiro-san. Good morning.

In the kitchen, Ginette was chopping vegetables with a knife, as usual.
He was preparing food to be sold at the stall.

'Your face is wet, isn't it?
'Yeah, ...... this is.'
'I just took it off and tried to wipe it off, but unfortunately I wasn't wearing any.'

Ginette rolls her eyes in confusion.
Yeah. You know, ......, it's your head I'm sorry about, Loretta.

'Do you have a towel?'
'Yes. One moment, please.'

He puts down the knife and runs off at a run.
I'm so grateful. ...... It would be so much easier if everyone was like this. At the very least, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to rush into things for nothing. ............

'Yes. Go ahead.'
'Speaking of which, where's Magda?'
'He's out front. He's keeping an eye on the weather to make sure it doesn't break.'

Ginette giggles.
I guess she finds Magda's cheerfulness cute.
I'm sure there are plenty of things I can do to help, but she seems to be letting me do whatever I want.

'No, I'll just keep an eye on ...... you know?
'That's fine. You've been looking forward to it for a long time.

He takes my towel and looks in the direction of the dining ...... room, or perhaps in the direction of the garden where Magda is.
Let's see. I think I'll go say my morning greetings.
It only happens once a year that Magda is active in the early morning. I've got to get a good look at these images.

'Loretta. Can you check the popcorn for me?'
'Yes, sir!Oh, big brother. Would you like some coffee?'
'Hmm~...... then, please.'
'Can I have some too?
'Yes, sir!I'll make two coffees!

Loretta is more enthusiastic than ever.
She doesn't go out very often either.

If she's so excited now, she won't last the second half.
After all, we're going to go halfway around the perimeter of All Bloom. You'll be standing and walking the whole way. ...... creeps me out.

I'm going to see Magda's face while I wait for my coffee to be ready.
Go through the dining room, open the door, and step out into the yard.
And ......


Magda was asleep, curled up in a ball on the cart.
It seems he's been working so hard that his batteries are already dead.
He probably didn't get much sleep last night either.

Well, Magda has been to District 40 before, so I'll let her sleep until then.
After that, it's going to be tough.
............ The problem is that I'll have to pull a cart full of ingredients.
I'll leave one to Loretta, but I'll probably have to pull the other one.

'Anyway, let's get Magda inside. She's going to catch a cold.'
'...... Mwah.'
'You're breathing so happily in your sleep, ......'
'You're in a dream...'

I peeked under the cart Magda was on and found Hammaro there.

'What are you doing, Hammaro?

Hammaro had crawled out from under the stall and was holding what looked like a tool in his hand.

'I was reinforcing the stall at the request of the master!
'For Umaro?
'He said he had some business to attend to today that he couldn't miss, so he declined to accompany Magda.
'...... No. I didn't call you in the first place, Umaro.

I know you wanted to go out with Magda, but ...... work, you. Of course, you're a carpenter.

'Hmm?Does that mean that Hammaro will go with us?
'That's the plan all along!I'm going to follow you even if you tell me not to!

He's a hamster with the power of a beastman!
I'll be more comfortable with Hammaro!

'Well, take care of him, Hammaro.'
'Yes!Come aboard the great ship!.................. Hammaro?

I can't remember what I'm supposed to call it.
...... I wonder what his real name is? This is a name I've given myself. ......

'Well, Hammaro. Can you help me set up the stall? We're leaving soon, so I need it done by then.'
'It's already finished!

But it goes by Hammaro. ...... I don't know what's going on in his mind.

'Magda. We're leaving soon, so stay inside and sleep until then.'
'............mf...... piggyback'
'You know what ......'
'I'm not leaving here without a ...... piggyback ride.'
'I have to help Ginette and stuff.'

I can't help or prepare anything if I'm carrying Magda.
And once Magda is on her back, she will never get off until she wakes up, turning into a crying old man.

'Onii-chan!I'm here!
'Oh!You'll do it for me?
'Yes!I'll get a piggyback ride instead!
'What are you going to do if I take your place?
'Then I'll be piggybacked with you!
'The load has doubled!

I'm not sure if Hammaro is a useful person or not.
He's not a bad guy, but ......

'Yashiro-san. I'm ready to go.
'The coffee is in... ...... Why is Hammaro here?
'Angel's escort!
'Ah, Umaro-san asked me to help Magda-chou.

We can understand each other, can't we, sister and brother?
Or is it that Umaro's illness is well known?
Well, either way, it's unfortunate knowledge.

'Well, let's get some coffee and get going.
'I suppose so. I think it would be good to have something light in your stomach.
'I want to eat something too!
'First thing in the morning, a feast!
'............ mnyu. Magda can have cake.

'No, I mean a light meal.

'Right. I'll make some rice balls. You've already cooked rice, right?'
'Yes, sir. For this morning's donation.'
'We can eat the food from the stalls later, but not the rice. Let's eat it while we can.'
'Right. We'll have okonomiyaki or popcorn after this.
'Then I'll help too!While the manager was away, I became a rice ball making machine!

Yeah,......, the two of us. We made enough onigiri for fifty people to donate.

Delia-san, you helped out too, didn't you?

Well, she used to bring them when she came to help out at the store.
But, well, ...... let's try something different today.

'We'll use the kitchen.
'Yes, sir. I'll help you.'
'Oh!My brother and the manager can have their coffee.I'll do it.'
'I'll take care of it.' 'My sister works like a horse!
'...... Magda, just take the cheesecake.'
'It's a rice ball, Magda!And I'll help Hammaro.
'Oh dear, ...... forced labor, .......'

Well, since Loretta's up for it, let's get her to do it.

'Okay, I'll make the filling, you grab it.
'Yes, sir!

After taking a sip of hot coffee, I went into the kitchen, chopped up the ribs into small pieces, and fried them sweet and spicy.
It's a kind of soboro.
The aroma of this sweet and spicy sauce is very appetizing.

'Haha, ...... smells good, doesn't it?

Estella comes into the kitchen after putting the head waiter to bed.
Wash your hands.

No, I'm not saying Natalia's too good for you, but this is a restaurant kitchen.

'Do you want some Estella?
'Yeah, sure. I'll take it. I won't be able to enjoy the taste of the Sunlit Pavilion for a while.
'A while? ...... I'll be back tomorrow evening.'
'But you'll be closed for two days, right?

It's impossible for us to reopen right after we get back.
No, it's not impossible, but it's pretty tough.
I haven't done any preparation yet, and I'm not physically strong enough.

'To tell you the truth, we were planning to close after the lunch for adults started.
'Well, we've announced it beforehand, and I'm sure they're understanding.

The day after Lucia and the others stayed overnight at the sunny pavilion, the announcement of the closure was made to the customers.
There were some complaints, but they seemed to be generally understanding.
The source of the dissatisfaction was mainly Torbek's people ......, or rather the master of the building.

Oh. Also, Imelda said, 'Where do you want me to drink tea? I remember Imelda saying. ...... Drink it at home.

'Here, Loretta. Make me some of this stuff.'
'I'll do it!
'I'll help you. I've always wanted to try it.'

Estella rolls up her arms and stands next to Loretta.
...... Wash your hands. If you've touched your clothes.

'What's with the heat?
'Muhaha. Beginners often do that.'

As Estella faints in agony over a hot bowl of rice, Loretta laughs at her. It's a very triumphant look.
...... You've been doing the same thing for a while now. You never learn, no matter how many times I tell you.

'Wow, ...... Loretta, you're good. They're all the same size.'
'No, sir!And this is the perfect size to make you want to eat another one while enjoying the satisfaction of eating it!

--That's the size I told you about.
It's amazing what you get used to. Loretta is making more and more rice balls of exactly the same size.
As a product, you have to maintain a certain quality and quantity.
Loretta. You've grown up.
You used to be able to do nothing but carry. And I'm only in charge of chatting and funny NGs. ......

'Hmmm ......, it's hard to get a beautiful shape ......'.
'Hey, Estella. Don't touch it too closely. It's for other people to eat.'
'But come on, ......'
'This is a quick and easy way to grab it, Estella.'

As if to show Estella an example, Loretta grasps a beautiful triangular rice ball in about three times. She is very skillful.
...... playing with clay.

'Estella. Put it on the plate once.'
'Ugh. ...... I messed up.'

A crumpled, misshapen rice ball is placed on the plate.
There were grains of rice stuck between Estella's fingers.

'Ooh, don't lick it!

She stops Estella, who was about to put the rice grains on her fingers in her mouth, in a panic. ...... That's why onigiri are for others to eat.

It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're doing.
'It's ...... not that sticky, is it?

You can't have saliva all over or just a little.

'Wash it clean with water and make the next rice ball. Make it quick.'
'All right, ......, you're so finicky.'

You idiot.
A restaurant must be extremely strict about hygiene.

'What's with the heat?
'...... Don't you have the ability to learn?

Estella's eyes tear up as she holds the hot rice in her hands.
Onigiri is a rather difficult dish to make.

In the event you're not sure what you're looking for, there are a number of things you can do.

'Good work, everyone.

In the cafeteria, Ginette, holding Magda in her lap, greeted us.
Magda was sleeping peacefully.

'There are quite a few of them, so wrap them up and feed them to Magda and Natalia later.

'Yes . Let's do that.'
'...... I wonder if Natalia's portion is needed.'

Estella, who had been forced to work so hard this morning, was in denial, but I told her to let her eat.
I'm the biggest victim here, so let her eat.

'Then, let's eat.
'Ah!I'll eat this weird one myself. Everyone eat the normal Loretta's.'
'Why is it normal?It's the beautiful and delicious-looking one!
'Ah, yes. Eat that beautiful and delicious-looking one.

The failure seems to have taken quite a toll on her.
You don't have to worry about it. It's your first time.

'Well, I think I'll take the unique one with the delicious ingredients.
'Oh, Yashiro!

Estella picks up the first one from the distorted onigiri that she has avoided in front of her.
...... Yeah. It's hard. You will find a lot of things that you can do. I'm not sure what to make of it.
...... But...

'It's pretty good for a first time.
'Oh, ....... You don't have to force yourself to eat it. ......'
'ugh ......Yashiro-san, you always do that.'

Ginette also takes one of the distorted rice balls that Estella made, saying with a happy face.

'Oh, even you, Jeannette?

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

'...... Yes. You've passed the first stage.
'So, the first stage ......?'

Ginette says, the first stage of cooking. It's ......

'It's all about the feeling.

It is to be made with thought and feeling for the person eating it. -- apparently.

'You're scoring too low, .......'

Estella mutters, embarrassed.
What are you talking about now? It's a ginette.It's the only organism that contains more sugar than sugar radishes, this one.

'I'm sure, Yashiro-san has been infected.

Why me?That's an accusation.

'Whenever someone tries something for the first time, Yashiro-san always eats it himself, checks it, and gives us confidence, right? Isn't that right?

The question was directed at Loretta.
After a moment ...... of thought, Loretta nodded broadly.

'Yes, sir. Even if I make a terrible mistake, my brother will eat it.
'No, that's because you shouldn't eat badly. ......'
'I'm very, very happy!

I don't know what the hell they think they're doing with .......
I'm not doing this to please you. ............ Oh my God!Don't look at me like that!

I'm sure you'll agree....... The shape is bad, but the ingredients are delicious.'
'Is that a compliment to yourself?Or are you hiding your embarrassment?

You're a jerk, Estella.
You made these twisted rice balls. You little bastard.

'Since my brother eats it properly, I can think, "Okay, I'll do better next time! I think.'
'It makes me happy when people eat what I make.'
'Yes. That's true. ...... hehe.'

The three of them are looking at me with happy faces.
Stop it. Let me at least feel good about my food.

...... Well, if Estella's depressed face is back to smiling, that's fine.

'I'll eat too!

Following our example, Hammaro also picked up the last of Estella's distorted rice balls. Then he chews on it all at once.

'It's the worst mouthfeel!

'You're honest, aren't you, Hammaro?No, it's my fault for making this, but come on!
'I'm in trouble with my wife!
'No, that's not true, that's not true, that's not true, that's not true, that's not true. ............

No, you don't have to ask me.
Anyway, can you stop looking at me, Estella?

'I'm the second fox sister!

If Norma hears what you just said, she'll give you a hard time, okay?Don't ever say that again.See?

'Well then, Estella-san's funny rice balls are gone and you should eat my rice balls!
'No, you're right, but!You're also very quick to spit venom, aren't you, Loretta?

Loretta thrusts her plate at me happily, and I take one of the rice balls and bring it to my mouth.
Chew............ it.

'Yes. It's just plain delicious.'
'Sure, it's normal.
'The best ever, normal!
'Why is that?It's not normal!It's super delicious!

The ingredients are the same, so it's not fresh, and above all, onigiri are just plain delicious.

'It's not ordinary!It's extra delicious!

While listening to Loretta's voice, we finished our breakfast as usual.