240-Episode 152 Jeanette's Worries

Jeannette's story was hard to believe.

'Delia and Milly arguing?
'Oh, no. I'd call it an argument. ......'

Ginette made a panicked correction, and then began to talk about the situation in a rather depressed manner.

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But that was not the case.
That's probably why Ginette is showing such a downcast expression now.

'Then one day - about two weeks ago ...... ago, on my way home from church, I happened to see Millie.'

Ginette's expression clouded further.
Her eyebrows furrowed and a hint of sadness drifted over her face.

'Ms. Milly ...... seemed to have lost a lot of weight. The usual cute smile has disappeared and she looks like she is ...... trying to force a smile.

As if her heart ached with every word she said, Jeannette pressed her chest. She clasped her hands and looked as if she was praying.

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Millie and her guild of flower arrangers are in charge of the forests in the 42nd district.
They must be taking special care of the flowers there and elsewhere because it never rains.
Neither too much rain nor too little.
It's hard to grow plants.

'So I told her that she should come to the Sunlit Pavilion next time for a delicious meal. We'll secretly serve you a big bowl of soup. ............ Wow!It's not that I'm being patronizing or anything, it's just that Millie was looking so skinny that I couldn't help but ......

I'm sure you've heard of it. So you are trying hard to make excuses. ...... You don't have to try so hard to excuse yourself for that.
You'll still be doing your service even if I warn you.

'So, what did Millie say to you?

From two weeks ago, when Jeannette said she talked to Millie, to today, Millie has not come to the sunny pavilion.

'Yes, she said ......, "When I have time."'

In other words, Millie has been in a "no time" situation for the past two weeks.

I see.
That's why Jeannette has been looking out the window and letting out a sigh.
Looking for the person who never came.

'So, I can see why you're worried, Jeannette.

Estella says, crossing her arms and looking as if she's worried too.

'But it doesn't seem right that you were arguing with Delia.
'Oh, um... That may be a problem with my expression. When I say that they were arguing, they were not arguing with each other, and when I say that Delia-san was very fierce in ......, it may sound like Delia-san was in the wrong, but that is not the case... ...Um, I mean, ......'.
'Just calm down. It's okay.

We know both sides of the story.
We're not going to deny Delia's or Milly's character based on one-sided information.

'Anyway, why don't you just tell me what you saw?
'Yes. ...... I'm sorry if I'm misquoting you. ......'

With that preamble, Ginette begins to speak again.

'This was on a different day than when I met with Millie-san, about a week or so after ......'.

That means it was about a week ago now.

'On my way back from visiting a church, I heard someone shouting, and I walked towards the river. That's when I saw ...... that ............ Delia was very angry with Millie... ...Millie was trying very hard to argue with her. ......'
'Millie's rebuttal?

I'm not sure what to say.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it.

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It's a little hard to get the point across through the internet, which emphasizes more than necessary that neither side is at fault.

'Do you want to go and see them in person?'

I agree with Estella's opinion. It's hard to say for sure at this point.
Besides, I haven't seen either of them in a while.

I've heard that there hasn't been much rain since Theron's wedding. ......
After that, there was one time when it rained a lot, but it hasn't rained again since then. So, the current water shortage must be quite serious.
I wonder if they are busy with the countermeasures.

'...... Delia bought a lot of popcorn about a week ago.
'Did she stock up on sweets?
'......Yes. I'm going to be out of time for a while.'

If you buy popcorn that doesn't have a long shelf life, ...... it won't taste as good.
If you bring him something sweet, he might be willing to listen to you.

But I'm also worried about Millie, who was said to have lost weight. ......

'Um, Yashiro-san: ......'

Ginette presses her chest to suppress the anxiety that is rising in her. Her eyes are wavering.

'I've thought about going to see her many times,......, but I hesitated because I thought that if I interrupted her when she was busy,......, it might bother her. ......'

I'm sure Millie will take care of you and make time for you even if she is busy.
And even if she has to cut back on her own sleep and rest time to make up for it.
That's probably why Ginette chose to wait patiently. In this sunny pavilion.

'But if he collapses, it might be hard for me to call for help and be alone.


Ginette gasped at Loretta's words.
She hadn't thought of that possibility. ......

'What should I do ...... when I knew ............ that you would abandon me like this, what a terrible thing! ......
'Wait, wait, wait!I'm not sure that's the case yet!
'But .......'
'Okay, okay, Ginette!Then let's go to Millie's place first.

As if to appease Ginette who was about to start crying, Estella looked into her big eyes and spoke to her.

'Is that okay, little Ginette?
'...... Yes.'

Millie is the one who is worried about falling.
Delia doesn't have to worry about that.

It would be better to reassure Ginette, who is overflowing with anxiety that she has been storing up alone without telling anyone.

'...... You should have consulted me earlier.'
'That's right, manager. We're friends, aren't we?
'I'm sorry ...... that this is caused by the lack of rain, and I'm afraid it will only cause you unnecessary anxiety. ......'

There's nothing you can do when you're dealing with a natural disaster.
That's what he thought, so he kept quiet. He didn't want to make them nervous.

'But ...... you're right. I should have told you sooner. ...... I'm sorry.'

Ginette bowed deeply.

'Oh, no, I didn't mean to ......, I'm not accusing you of anything!
'Yes. I'm well aware of that.

Ginette smiles slightly.
Perhaps she felt a little lighter for having spoken.

When the smile returned to Ginette's face, the atmosphere in the cafeteria softened a little.
After all, it's hard to get things in order when there's nothing where they should be.

'...... has renewed my awareness of the need for urgent action.'

Magda looks over at us with her tiger ears pinned up.

'...... A smile is the best condiment.'

I'm not sure what to make of that.
He thinks he said it well. When he sees that the reaction of the people around him is not so good, he shakes his tiger ears and ......

'...... something'.

'No, you're right.

'No, you're right, Magdacho!I said Magdacho was good!Let's give it up for Magdacho!

Loretta began to clap her hands.
Estella started clapping along with her, and I sort of followed suit, and eventually even Ginette joined in.

'...... Loretta. You're getting too excited.
'I followed you and you chided me!

The follow-up must have been a bit forced and embarrassing. Magda took the initiative to stop the clapping.
But Magda was not wrong.

Ginette's smile is definitely one of the selling points of the Sunlit Pavilion.
There are many customers who come to see Ginette's smile. Old lady Mum and the old men around her.
The woodcutters who come to see the gates of the 42nd district also come here in the evening to be soothed by Ginette's smile.

He tries his best to smile when he's working, but his smoldering anxiety still shows on his face at a moment's notice.
It is easy to see through a forced smile.
Especially if you're as simple as Jeannette.

That's why Magda is right, we need to solve Jeannette's problem right away.
I also prefer to see a cheerful smile anyway.

I don't know what I'm talking about,.......

I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's worth it. This is a serious situation.

Yeah, this guy's in it for the profits, yeah.
It's in my best interest to relieve Jeannette's anxiety, from a broader perspective.

After all, ......

'The sight of Jeannette gives me an appetite.'

It's like a conditioned reflex.
When I see Jeannette's smile, I want to eat something delicious.
There must be many customers like that.

For the sake of those customers, Ginette needs to smile more naturally.

'Big brother'.

Magda, Loretta, and Estella stare at me.
Come on. I've got something good to say once in a while. Don't be impressed.

''Don't talk about boobs at a time like this.''
''Who would have an appetite for Jeannette's tits!

Are you saying that boobs are a side dish?

Stupid thing!Staple food!
No, that's not what I meant. ......

I'm not sure how to get rid of this image of mine.

'Um, Yashiro-san: ......'

A little anxious, Jeannette looks into my face.

'...... were you different?
'You too, Jeannette?'

I'm going to eat a handful of rice while staring at your cleavage, you son of a b*tc*.

'Smh ...... ugh.'

Ginette erupted in a fit of giggles, her shoulders shaking slightly.
Then, unintentionally, tears spilled from the corners of her ...... eyes.

'What ...... is that?

The person who spilled the tears seemed to be the most surprised and hurriedly held the corners of his eyes, but once he became aware of it, he couldn't stop crying. ......

'I'm sorry ......, but ............ that's not what ...... this is, it's not that. ......'

Estella gently cradles Ginette's head as she desperately tries to smile.
She pats him gently on the head and says, 'It's going to be okay.

'...... Sorry .................. Ugh... ...ugh.'

A small moan escapes from Ginette, and she shakes herself.
She buries her face in Estella's chest, trying hard to keep her voice down so that no one can see her crying face. ......

She was so busy that she might have broken down and collapsed without her knowledge.
That would be the hardest and most terrible thing for Jeannette.
She must have remembered what happened to her grandfather. He was quite distraught when Magda was badly injured.

It's impossible to know now whether or not it was overwork that caused his grandfather's collapse, but it wouldn't be surprising if Ginette thought that he was there to push him too hard.
His recklessness may have come from such a point of view.
In order not to burden others as much as possible, ......

This means that we are running out of time.
We must take immediate action.

It will take some time for Jeannette to calm down.
But we can't just wait for that to happen.

We can't waste this afternoon, when there are relatively few customers.
When you decide to take action, do it immediately.
The more inefficiently you procrastinate, the slower the solution will be.

'Estella. Is the lack of rain that serious?'

The water we use at the Sunlit Pavilion is groundwater pumped from wells, so we don't feel the water shortage that much.
In some places, there are shallow wells that use underground water, but since the well at the Sunlit Pavilion draws water from deeper underground, we don't feel much of a water shortage.
It may be just a matter of time, though.

'Well, it looks like the water level in the ...... river is dropping quite a bit.
'Oh, that's what I was thinking too.

Loretta raised her hand and added to Estella's story.

'My brothers told me that the water level in the river near our house has dropped so much that it's no longer possible to jump in.

In the new town where Loretta lives, there is a river that connects to the 29th district.
The river swells several times and leads to the river where Delia and the river fishing guild fishes.
It is said that the water level there is dropping.

'So, are you and your siblings still bathing in the river?'
'Huh!No, you see, the ...... little ones don't like to be in a small space like a tarai, so they ...... take a bath while playing in the river. '

In the past, when New Town was called a slum, these people had no money and were forced to bathe in the river. ...... You're making a lot of money now. Get in at home.

'You're not poaching, are you?
'No, I'm not!I swear!'

Estella pointed out, and Loretta waved her arms wide with all her might.

'My brothers, who went to help the river fishing guild, discipline them very strictly!

Ah, I see, ...... those who were directly exposed to Delia's fear are risking their lives to teach her a lesson.

It's not that I'm not a good person, but I'm not a good person. I'm sure you'll be able to understand.

Delia is always at full power. And that's just my standards.
There are many things that ordinary people can't stand.
At such times, Omero is the one who takes their place. ...... Good for you, Omero. You seem to be well-liked by the people below you.
I don't envy you in the slightest.

'Before, 'waterfall washing' was popular, saying 'hitting the waterfall will clean you in an instant'. ......'
'Are you doing such dangerous things, your brothers ......'
'My sister does it too. You can go through a waterfall in a skirt and get clean.'

...... Keep your eyes peeled for Javier or anyone else around.

'Are you doing this, Loretta?
'No, I'm not!I'm taking a bath at home.

Oh, I see.
I feel relieved.

I'm so relieved.

Loretta clears her throat, her cheeks pale.
She glances at me lightly.

What the hell. You brought this up yourself.

'According to my brothers, the power of the waterfall has been weakened.
'Perhaps there's a shortage of water in the twenty-ninth district.

Estella adds her reasoning.
Well, sunshine is the same everywhere. When the upstream dries up, the downstream dries up. It's natural.

'That's why I was saying we should break down the cliffs and let the water flow more.'
'No, you can't!You've got to stop them at all costs!If you do that without permission, there will be a war!

There must be river fishing guilds in the twenty-nine districts, and if they changed the shape of the river, they would be in big trouble.

Loretta's brothers were also digging holes in the cliffs to make huge caves.
It was used as a shelter for Loretta's family and as a workshop for Umaro and his friends during the heavy rains last year. ......

'What's going on with that cave now?
'It's an emergency shelter now.

Since the new house that Umaro and his friends had built for her didn't leak or lose its floor, Loretta's family rarely had to evacuate anymore.
Therefore, it is said to be a place where the residents of the New Town can evacuate in case of a disaster.
In short, it's not in use anymore.

'Children in the neighborhood use it as a playground. They can run around even on rainy days.

Well, I'm talking about the lack of rain.

'That ...... sucks.'

Sniffling, Jeannette slowly looks up.

'Jeannette. Are you alright now?'
'Yes. ...... I'm sorry. I messed up your clothes.'
'It's okay.'

Estella stroked Ginette, whose eyes were red and swollen.
It's refreshing to see Jeannette being comforted.

It's not something I want to see too often, though.

'Um, ......, if you're going to Millie's place, can you take me with you?

I'm worried about Millie. It's written on her face.

'That's always been my intention. I'm sure she'll feel better with you around.'
'...... I hope you're right.'
'Of course I hope so.

You are one of the few friends that Miri, who was extremely shy, opened up to from the beginning.

''She might be feeling a little uncomfortable that I'm worrying about her. She may also feel uncomfortable that she can't show up at the Sunlit Pavilion.
'Then why don't I make something to keep you energized and bring it to you?

Delivering the taste of the Sunken Pavilion?
As long as I don't have to pay for it, it won't be a problem.

'Can you make it quickly?
'Yes. There's a consommé soup with lots of vegetables. I'll go warm it up!

Perhaps it was a reaction from earlier, but Ginette said with more energy than usual and ran into the kitchen.

'Do you think cooking will make me feel a little better?
'Well, I'm sure he'll be fine.

Ginette is not that weak. At least, that's what I think.

'...... Yashiro.'

Magda, who had followed Jeannette into the kitchen, came back quickly, alone.
In her hands she held two bags.

'...... for Millie and Delia. Honey popcorn for Millie and Delia.'
'We're protecting the store, so you guys should go listen to what Miriri and the others have to say.

If Jeannette is leaving, it's their job to protect the store, and they may have come to realize that.
They've grown up to be very reliable.
So this honey popcorn is their way of showing their concern for not being able to go with us.

'All right. I'll make sure to tell them that you guys were worried about them.
'I'll leave it to .......'
'So you can leave this to us too.'

Yeah. Keep it together, both of you.

'Excuse me. Sorry to keep you waiting.'

Ginette comes out of the kitchen with a slightly larger basket.
It looks like she made it in a hurry. Is it a sign that she wants to get to Millie as soon as possible?

'I've only prepared it and brought it. If you need me, I'll cook in the kitchen of Millie's house.

I see. You can serve hot food there.

'Then, it's just me, Ginette and Yashiro going, right?
'It would be too much pressure to go with so many people.
'Yes. I think so too. First, let's listen to Millie's story, and then we'll go to Delia's.''

Ginette actively voiced her opinion.

I knew it. He's changed a bit. He's no longer just a person who waits.

'Yashiro-san ......, if I try to do something wrong, please stop me like you always do.

He said this with a slightly nervous look on his face.
As always: ......
I'm not sure how many times I've had to stop this guy when he was about to make a careless comment.

He seems to regret that he didn't talk to anyone about it because he thought it might be a burden on Millie.
That's why she's feeling a little preoccupied, I guess.
And Ginette herself is aware of this.

Stop me if I try to do something wrong. .......
You've got a lot of faith in me, don't you?

'...... Estella'.
'Hmm?What's going on, you two?'

I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.

'...... Magda believes in Estella.'
'The only person we can rely on is Estella.'
'Yeah, is that so?If you say so, I'm going to work hard too.
'...... Recently, the manager has been too absent-minded to notice Yashiro's s*xual harassment.'
'But I believe that Estella will be able to stop her brother properly!
'Oh, so that's where ...... I'm trusted?

I mean, they don't trust me. ............ Remember that, guys.

I'll think about punishing you both when I get home. ......
We left the sunny pavilion for Millie's house.