215-Later, I'll play 43 Woodman.

'Hey, hey, hey: ......'

The day after I spoke with Javier.
On the day of the confrontation, in front of the gate of District Forty-two, I was stunned.

'Bastards!Don't fall behind Austin and Xenobios!
'''Whoa, whoa, whoa!

The lumberjacks of the forty districts roared, their hot muscles rising.

''Hey, Javier. I thought you were supposed to be on your own?''
'No, that's the thing.'

Javier is fiddling with his beard with a bitter expression on his face.
Behind him, a beaming Demilly peeked out.

'I sent you, Oba.

It seems that this head-banging maniac has done something.
I don't think he'd call himself a 'sentimentalist'.

'Since you're going to do something interesting, I told all the lumberjacks about it.
Ambrose is a ...... nuisance.

It seems that Demilly had taken the liberty of firing up the woodcutters without asking Javier's wishes.

'I was also frustrated that the forty-two districts took the once-in-a-century wood.

He said with a face that didn't look regretful at all.

'This time, with the help of the lumberjacks, I wanted to get more wood than that.

I ask. I heard that the lord would give a gold envelope to the person who prepared the best quality wood this time.
Moreover, a certificate will be issued to him for having obtained the best quality wood, and the whole district will honor him.
Honor and money. I'm sure these hot and bothered old men will jump at the chance.

'Of course, we won't interfere with your confrontation. As long as you can provide better quality wood than Stuart, even if it's not as good as the other lumberjacks, you win. We'll just take advantage of it.
''Yes, Javier. They'll think you're the one who can get the least amount of wood.'
'What do you mean, Ambrose?
'I didn't say that!Oh, Oba, please don't stir things up.

That's your punishment for jumping on my bandwagon without asking my opinion.
If the others take all the good quality wood, Javier and I won't have a chance of finding it. If you don't take that into account, you're already in trouble.

......, but well. I'm not going to let that stop me.

'I understand.'

I pushed Imelda's back, and she stepped forward, her posture beautiful and her voice clear.

'Gentlemen. Please don't take it too seriously.
''It's not fair, Obayashi-ro!

Bark all you like, woodcutter.
Cowardice is a word that was invented for me.

''I told you, that trick won't work on a professional lumberjack.''

Javier is completely unfazed, smiling comfortably.
So I'll give him one more push. He pats Imelda on the back.

'I'm really going to hate you.
'What should I do?What am I going to do?
'Stuart, calm down. You're playing right into Ooba's hands.

With Imelda here, I'm sure the woodcutter won't be able to beat us.
All right!Let's declare victory while it's still in the air.

'Come on, guys!Let's fight fair and square!
'Yashiro, you. How can you say such a thing without shame just now, ......?'
'I really want to learn from you as a lord, you have such a thick skin: ......'

The two males are admiring me.
Hmm!You got me!

'So, Yashiro. Where's Austin and Xenobios?'

Javier looks around, as if wanting to say hello.

'They're already in the forest.
'No, no, no. We set a deadline, but we didn't set a start time. The game has already started.
'You ......!You're really cheating like that!

Javier shakes his shoulders and grinds his feet on the ground like an annoyed kid.
It's not ...... cute.

It's not that bad.It's a good thing I have that kind of handicap.I'll go with you.

At the sound of Javier's loud cannonade, the waiters straightened up.
Javier then walked toward the gate ahead of the other woodcutter.

'Look forward to the sunset, Yashiro!I'll make you howl!'

With his right arm raised high in the air and a declaration of victory, he walked past the gate and into the forest.
With Javier's departure, the other lumberjacks were suddenly in high spirits.

'All right!This is a rare opportunity to challenge the guild leader!You guys!Don't be sloppy!
'''Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
'''Let's give the guild leader a surprise!

Wielding muscles like blunt instruments and carrying axes and masakari that look like deadly weapons, the woodcutters rush into the gate.
He looks like a small character who is instantly killed by the ...... hero.

I'm sorry.
'Well, wait. We don't have them yet.
'Who's coming?
'...... Sorry to keep you waiting.

As if in answer to Imelda's question, my awaiter appeared in a flock.

'A good friend and a great sponsor.'
'Well, ......'.

There was Magda, fully armed and ready to go, and Loretta, wearing a work uniform shaped like a knickerbocker. And then there was Estella, dressed in a sporty outfit that made her look more mobile than usual.

'It was these people.

Then, a little further away from the others, stood Ginette.
She was carrying a large basket, looking like she was going on a field trip.

'...... And yet, your equipment is all over the place.
'Well, we don't have any equipment for going out.

The only equipment that seems to work outside the gate is what Magda and Imelda are wearing.
As you would expect from a professional, Imelda is also wearing equipment that looks reasonably strong. He has the appearance of a lumberjack.
I had expected him to walk gracefully into the forest with a parasol. So, I was a little surprised.

'The forest is a dangerous place where death is a constant companion.
'...... Hmm. In particular, the gates of the 42nd district go deep into the forest, so the level of magical beasts is also vicious.
'That's right, big brother!You too, manager!You're too careless!

Loretta is giving me and Jeannette a hard time about our outfits.
...... No, you're just as bad, aren't you?

'I borrowed it from Umaro-san!
'Oh, so it's Torbek's work uniform.'

But what the heck,......, you look good as usual, man.
Even if you get fired from the Sunlit Pavilion, you'll be able to make a living that way.

'By the way!I'm not sure what to do with it.
'What the hell? I didn't tell you anything.
'Even if I didn't say anything, you gave me a look like 'even if I'm fired from the Sunshine Pavilion, I'll be able to make a living in that field'!I'll never quit, you know?

Is this guy an esper?
Or is my face that obvious?

To try ...... Loretta's lower left breast, lock on!

I'm not sure what to say.You can't just stare at the left lower tit!

I've heard that's easy to spot, my face. I'll be careful.

'Um, ......, is there a problem with my outfit?I've chosen the most comfortable clothes I have. ......'

Ginette asks with a worried look on her face.
There was no way that Ginette had any weapons or armor, so she must have done her best.

But what I'm curious about is the basket.

'Is it lunch?
'Yes!Let's all enjoy it together.

It's a complete picnic.
Well, I guess that's fine with Jeannette.
I don't want to see her wielding a sword and slashing down demonic beasts, and I can't even imagine it.

'The manager is probably not used to going out, let alone out of the forest, so ...... it can't be helped.
'Huh?Oh, um... I've been going out ...... a lot lately, you know?I've been to the 35th district and so on!I'm sure you'll agree.

It's not as if you can compare the safety of the 35th district with the forest outside,......, but for a gynecologist, you're more active.

'...... okay. Magda will protect the manager and Yashiro.
'Please protect me too, Magda!
'.............................. What?
I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it.

Teary-eyed Loretta.
Well, don't worry. Magda's not going to put Loretta in danger.

'I'm not so sure I'm up to the task of dealing with a deep-seated hexenbiest either. ......'

Estella sometimes follows Masha out of the gate, but it seems that she usually only goes to the 35th district and rarely goes into the forest.
She's got a knife on her hip that's even more impressive than usual, but I wonder how far it will go.

'I never thought the time would come when Imelda would be a part of the two tops.
'Oh-ho-ho!When it comes to forests, I'm light years ahead of you.

Of course you are. It's my day job.

'But, Estella...'
'Hmm, what?
'I'll give you credit for having a steel plate in your chest.'
'I'm sorry, but I made it myself, here!...... Whose chest is the iron plate?

I'm sorry, but...
I don't know if I can survive in the woods with such a noisy crew. ...... Yeah, I don't need to think about it. It's impossible.
That's why.
I'll choose not to try.

'Well, I guess I'll just wander around the entrance to the forest, eat my lunch, and come back.
'What?Yashiro, aren't you going to get some wood?
'...... Magda will be safe.'
'I'm confident in my ability to run away!
'I'm looking forward to lunch.

And so on. ......

'There's no way we can compete with Javier and the others, even if we try hard. There's no need to risk it.
'Then what about the game?

Estella said in an impatient tone, as if she wanted to win somehow.

'The game has already been won.
'What ......?

The only ones who know the plan are me and Imelda.
The rest of the team is in a daze.
The only one, Ginette, looks like she's having fun going out with everyone.

'But it doesn't change the fact that we're going out. We're counting on you, Magda.'
'I'll leave it to you, .......'
'And you, Loretta.'
'Oh, you're expecting me, too?
'You've got a good nose and ears and a good head on your shoulders. I'm counting on you.
'Wow, yes!I'm counting on you. ............ I'm starting to feel like 'good' is a bad word!

Oh, what? You've noticed.
You've grown up, haven't you?

Let's go then. Today's entry tax is on the lord. You can go back and forth as many times as you like!
'Why are we going back and forth?One trip should be enough!

You idiot.
If it's someone else's money, don't you feel like wasting it!

'Hey everyone!Don't let Yashiro poison you!
'...... Magda might 'accidentally' forget something a few times.
'I've always wanted to try jumping under a gate!
'Then I'll claim my share from the lord's house.
'Enemies!You're all enemies, aren't you?

You're all enemies!
I'm sure they'll take the fun side, these guys.

'Gentlemen. Don't pick on them too much. Hey, Mr. Yashiro?

Ginette asks me while patting Estella's head.
But the answer is 'NO!

'Estella. ...... You're cute when you're bullied.'
'I'm not happy about it!

I'm sorry. You're not happy? It's a good-looking guy, a good-looking guy.

'Then we'll follow the rules and go to the forest.

At Imelda's command, we stepped outside the gate.

'I'm excited.
'I'm thrilled.

The elation that Ginette and Loretta were feeling must have been of a different kind.
Loretta's nervousness is slightly tinged with fear.

'Ginette is so carefree.
'What's with you all of a sudden?It's kind of terrible!

The depths of the forest outside.
It's a danger zone even the professional hunting guilds would be afraid of.

If you're going out there like a picnic, ...... you're a big deal in a way.
I'm not too nervous about it either.
No matter how much of a beast it is, it doesn't come out near the city gate that often.
The gatekeepers are always there, and after a few conflicts, hexenbiests will avoid the gate.
They probably want to live peacefully over there.

Therefore, it is relatively safe to stay near the gate. The gatekeepers will be there when you need them.

'...... No goofing off from here. It could get you killed.'

Magda's ears perked up as she stepped out of the gate. Magda's ears perked up. Magda's expression seemed to become more stern.

The area in front of the gate had been cleared of trees and a good deal of land had been cleared.
It's not like you're going to walk out of the gate and suddenly get zapped by a hexenbiest ...... that's been lurking around.
Well, we need to keep our heads up, don't we? So...

'Estella, can you stop joking about your breasts?
'You're the one who's become a joke, not only with your face but also with your thought process.Can you please be respectful?
'No matter where you go, you're always joking, aren't you ......'.

Estella was giving me the cold shoulder.
That's why Espeta's ......

'...... Espeta'.
'The other day I wrote 'Obayashiro' and it turned out to be 'Obakashiro', but I'm not going to correct it. It was a pretty important document, but I dare you.'

What's with the sober harassment?
I wonder if the letters Estella uses are also similar, 'ya' and 'ka'.

'Both of you. Take it easy. Magda is sulking.'
'...... Magda's advice has been ignored: ......'

Magda kicked a pebble on the ground.

'Oh, sorry. Let's keep it tense. It's dangerous!'
'Yes, out of fear, I did, I did!I'm deeply sorry and I'll listen to you, okay?Get yourself in a better mood, Magda.'

I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
...... There's no sense of tension.

'The lumberjacks are now asking, "Do you want to go deeper? You can't go too far into the woods, considering the time it takes to cut down the tree and transport it, but there might be better trees further in, and the more magnificent the tree, the longer it takes to cut it down! The more magnificent the tree, the more time it will take to cut it down!' 'I'm sure they're moving around here and there, thinking about ...... or something.
'Considering we have to be back by sundown, time is pretty tight.

If you go deep into the forest, you might find some great trees that are more than just once-in-a-century wood.
But it's valuable because it's not often found,......, and it's not something you can just walk into the forest today and find.

That's why we have a chance to win.

'Magda, Imelda!Make sure the area is safe!
'...... I understand.'
'It can't be helped, can it?

Two people who are familiar with the forest will go a little deeper into the woods to check if there are any hexenbiests.
In the meantime, I spread out a sheet at a suitable point along the outer wall, a little far from the gatekeeper.

'Hey, Yashiro. Aren't you going to go deeper into the forest?'
'Hey, big brother. What are we doing here?
'A picnic, right?

Estella and Loretta both made funny noises.
Only Ginette was happily starting to prepare her lunch .

''Imelda is clearly on my team, you know . Now we have an alibi for entering the forest.

In addition, all of the people from the 42nd district branch are on our team, and Austin and Xenobios are doing their best in the forest, so there is already no problem. ...... Well, I guess I should go too, just in case.

'...... There seems to be no magical beasts in the vicinity.
'There's nothing that could be a threat here either.'
'Oh, thank you.

The outer walls of this city are made of stone that emits a magical power that hexenbiests hate.
If you stay here, you won't be in much danger. The gatekeepers are in sight.

So, even though we're outside the city gates, it's safe to make some noise.

'Well, it's still early for lunch, but let's go to the ...... party!

'Oh!We're celebrating.'
'No, no, no!I have no idea what that means!

Estella's brows began to furrow.
It's about time I told you the truth ...... while we eat.

So we had a picnic outside the city gates, Loretta got carried away and went for a walk in the forest, and as promised, we were almost attacked by a magical beast.

The sun was setting, and the lumberjacks were coming home in droves.
And when Javier was the last to return, the sun set as if he had timed it just right.

'Ha-ha-ha!Jashiro!I'm sorry, but I've won this time!

Javier smiles broadly as he holds a magnificent tree.
It's so thick. You could make two carriages out of this tree, it's really a magnificent tree.
This guy holding it with one arm must be a monster.

'It may not be as big as a once-in-a-century tree, but there aren't many trees that can surpass this one!That's the kind of tree this is!

Javier was probably right.
Before we left, the people who had been snarling "Down with Javier! before we went out, all of them have become small. Their "prey," which they brought back with full of confidence, looks so small. Javier's 'prey' must be a tree of that level.

'Well, as expected of Stuart. I was hoping the young guys would bite a little more, but ...... it's not that easy.

Demilly says, patting the young lumberjack's shiny head.
I'm sure this guy was trying to find a replacement for Javier.
Javier is getting too old for this. Even if Imelda succeeds him, he's probably waiting for someone to come along who can compete with Javier in terms of ability.
After all, the Woodcutter's Guild is the backbone of the Forty Wards.

'Come on, Yashiro!Let's see what you've got!Hmm?What's the matter?I can't find it anywhere, couldn't you even pick up a twig?Ha-ha-ha!

Holding a large tree that looked like the sacred tree of some shrine, he laughed gaily, reminiscent of the drunkard who lived on Mt. If he were in Edo Japan, he would surely be exterminated. ...... if samurai swords would work on him, that is.

'Yes, sir.'

'Yes, sir. But it's time to think about disturbing the neighbors.
I'll shut her up a bit.

'Here's the wood we've prepared!

At Imelda's signal, the lumberjacks from the Forty-second District branch of the Lumberjacks' Guild brought in a beautiful piece of wood.
The very familiar figure is the once-in-a-hundred-years wood that's currently the talk of the town.

'Hey, hey, hey!What the hell is this?
'So, this is the wood we've prepared.
'Aren't you going to the forest to get it?
'Hmm?Who said that?

I chuckled and called up the Conversation Record.
As soon as I call it up, Javier and Demilly give me a 'wow......' look, but I don't care. Ignore them all.

'The rules of this game were to pass through the gates of the forty-two districts and to prepare quality wood, right?
'...... Ah, that's right.'

Javier, who was already in the mode of giving up completely, replied in a desperate manner.
What the hell. I'm sure you'll understand.

I'm sure you're not the only one who's had it.

The Conversation Record proves that I'm right.
But... ....... No one wants to confirm it.
Hey, that's not very exciting.

'Well, that's true. You didn't say anything about getting it from the woods, did you?

Demilly adds with a wry smile.
That's what I meant.

I told you.
This game is already decided.
There's no way we can get more than this once-in-a-century wood.

'Ohhhh... ......... I knew it would be like that, but ...... I worked pretty hard on it. ............

I'm not sure what to do.
The aura of negativity is very strong.

Oh dear. I can't help it. ......


'What is it, sir?'
'That's enough.'
'I said, the game is over, so you can go on with your normal life.
'I'm not sure what you mean.

Oh, you're so bland.
You're itching to jump in right now.


He replies to my call in a sultry voice.
Don't give me that look. Look around you.

'You're the guild leader, aren't you?
'What, after all this time?
'No, what. I just thought, 'I can't compete with you if I don't do something this cowardly.

When I said this without any offense, the woodcutter surrounding Javier showed a slight change.

'It's ......, right?
'Yeah. That's a lot of work in one day.
'No, I mean, where did you find such a big tree?
'Oh yeah!We went pretty deep into the forest, but we didn't see such a tough tree, did we?
'No, how did you ...... cut down such a huge tree all by yourself in the first place? ......'
'You're a bakemon. ......'
'What are you talking about, guys!The guild leader is a bakemon.
''''', right~! ''''
'I can hear you, guys!
'''' Geez!The monster barked. ''''

Javier barked at the young lumberjack, who seemed to have regained some of his energy.
It suits you better that way.

The point is.
Javier's accomplishments this time have been recognized by everyone here. It's so amazing that we have to admit it.

The lumberjacks' guild was thrilled to get their hands on this once-in-a-century timber.
Austin and Xenobios are certainly amazing for getting it.
However, even if you threw Austin and the others into the forest for a whole day, they would not be able to get this level of wood.
However, Javier would surely get something of this level every time he entered the forest.
After all, he is not just a guild leader.

Above all, he has the power to overwhelm the people around him. He has a charisma that draws you in.

As Demilly said, Javier's age may mean that it is time for him to consider a generational change.
Perhaps Imelda was also thinking about such things.
When he came to boast about the once-in-a-century wood, Imelda showed an indecisive expression for a moment, as if she had something on her mind.
Now that the younger generation is getting stronger, I thought that the father's time would be coming to an end. ......

But no matter.
The monster is still alive and well. He has successfully proven that he can still play an active role at the forefront.
If he takes his time and devises a plan, he may be able to get close to Javier.
However, in such a limited and unique situation, Javier is still one step ahead of him. There is no one else you can rely on in a pinch.

Well, you know.
'I can't lose to the young guys yet' or something like that.
Ugh, you sound like an old man.


But it's far more impressive to create a masterpiece day after day for decades than a once-in-a-hundred-years masterpiece.
I wish the head of an organization could be like that.

'Why don't you praise him? The old man has worked as hard as he can.

I say this to Imelda as she watches the woodcutters get excited.

'Hmm ......, your father should be able to do something like this.

That's the biggest compliment of all.
You know how great it is to be taken for granted.

'But ...... you're right.'

He turns his back to me and says in a cool voice.

'I don't mind giving you a compliment once in a while.

With that, she ran to Javier.
I guess he didn't want me to see his face, which was so relaxed with happiness.

'As expected of your father!
'Oh, no!What is it, Imelda?What's wrong?

As she ran, her emotions got the better of her and Imelda ended up jumping on Javier.
Hanging on to his big, upright, bear-like body, he shouted happily. What the hell. You've got a daughterly side, too.

'I see. So this was one of your aims, Oba-kun.

Demilly comes up next to me, saying in a soft voice.

He looked at his friend, his face beaming.

'Is that ...... sunrise?'
'Estella!Can you re-educate your people for me?

Demilly pokes me with her same harmless face, showing off her dexterity in showing a vein on her forehead while smiling.

'You're so hateful, you know that?
'You're the one who's been firing up the younger guys and blasting Javier.
'Oh, did you notice that?
'When an old man who doesn't take the initiative to meddle so much spontaneously moves, there's something behind it. Maybe Javier has noticed it too.'
'Hmm... I bet.'

Demilly's face at that moment was not that of a lord, but that of a man looking at an old friend.

'You can't lose to the young ones yet, can you? Neither he nor I.'
'When you start talking like that, you're finally an old man, aren't you?
'Ha-ha-ha!It's okay, old man. It makes me feel big-hearted.'

Demilly patted himself on the stomach and then slapped me on the shoulder.

'Thank you. You can use the wood you got today as you like. I'll pay for it.
'You did it!It's a reward I never thought I'd get!
'Hmm... You're not very good at jokes, are you, Oba-kun?

'Well then,' Demilly waved his hand and left.
The time is up. It's time to call it a night.

'Whoa!It's been a great day!

The day came to an end as I listened to the cries of the muscle man who was in love with his daughter.

At a later date, a beaming Javier offered us a large amount of wood, and because of the money saved from the wood, Demilly agreed to pay for the construction of the carriage, and Umaro said, 'Mwaaah!What good wood!It makes my arms sing! He started to work on it with great enthusiasm.

Forty wards, they're really working hard.

Thus, the parade carriage was made quite gorgeous.
And it was free of charge.
In addition, the promised horses were generously lent to us by a very happy Javier.
For free, of course.

I guess it's what you do every day~. Yeah.