Millie's room was neat and tidy, with a very girlish decor.
There were dried flowers hanging on the pillars and potpourri on the shelves. Small bottles of oil filled with something were lined up on the shelf, very colorful. Is it aromatic oil?
'Oh ......, don't look too ...... much, okay?
'Kun Kun Kun!Kun Kun Kun Kun!I'm not sure.
'Nyaaah!Don't sniff me!
Millie pushes my abdomen 'yeah'.
Oh, you're leaving?I won't let you. I'm staying.
Enough joking around.
It's a pretty room.
'H............ that so?
'Oh. It's like 'Miry's room'.'
'......Miri's room, right?
That's true, but the room is just as I imagined it would be, and it doesn't disappoint.
It seems to be the embodiment of the 'girl's room' that junior high school boys with no female siblings might fantasize about.
'Milly's hobby is making sweets, right?
'Yeah?Yes, I do.
Millie never disappoints.
Oh, here you are, a real idol. It's not a fake profile written by the agency for business, but a real girl who is a real girl.
I'm not sure what to say.
'...... Miri, you're a girl?
I'm not sure about that.
It's okay, it's okay. Just let her be.
'Yashiro. I'll pick it out of you if you don't.'
While Jeannette is arranging the food on the table, Estella is giving me a cold stare.
Hmph, you look like you can't even pick it.
'I'm going to pick it back at you.
'Why do you keep saying that when you open your mouth?
Because you're just pretending, right?
See, I'm rather polite, you know?
'It's ready. Now, please eat first. I put my heart and soul into making it for you.'
'Oh, it smells so ...... good. ............ Thank you.
Sitting down politely and not forgetting to pray to the spirit gods, Millie brings Ginette's special soup to her mouth.
'Nï½ï½ï½ï½............ is the taste of the sunny pavilion...... oishii......'
Millie sniffs it, as if impressed by the taste.
'Are you okay?There's still plenty left, so please eat slowly.
'Thank you for the ......, Jinetto-san. Thank you, Jinetto-san. Ladybug-san and Estella-san, too.
'Just eat. You're busy after this, aren't you?
'Hmm. I'll eat then.
We drank the soup, and picked up some fried chicken and salmon flake rice balls in between.
Ginette seems to have brought quite a lot of food with her.
We were watching Millie as she ate.
Let's wait until Millie finishes her meal.
'Oh, yes. This is from Magda.
I'll give you something Magda gave me before we left the sunlit pavilion.
'Mmm. Miri, honey popcorn is my favorite. Salt and caramel are good, but honey is the best.
I think Miry would agree.
It's like a relative of the flower fairy.
Open the bag and breathe in the sweet aroma.
She lets out a sigh and smiles happily.
But it suddenly becomes cloudy.
She grabs a bag of popcorn, turns her head ...... down, and spits out a few words.
'Derria-san, ...... are you angry, ............?
It's not directed at us, it's not directed at anyone.
The popcorn must have reminded him of it suddenly.
In the event that you've got a lot of time, you'll be able to take a look at the web site and find out more about it.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm not sure what to do.
I thought about waiting until Millie finished her dinner, but ...... it's different if Millie can't eat because of anxiety.
And it seems that Estella had the same idea as me.
When Estella called out to her, her shoulders tightened.
'Can you talk to me? What happened with Delia?'
Millie must have understood that we knew about the argument between Delia and Millie.
In a muffled voice, Millie let out a word of affirmation.
'...... Hmm. Listen .......'
Ginette says she witnessed an argument between Millie and Delia.
Millie seems to regret it, even though she seems to be worried about Delia.
'There's a big pond near the forest. ............'
'It's a large pond used for forest management. It's deep in the forest, so Yashiro might not have seen it.'
'Hmm ......, the water there is already very low ......'
'There's a canal that leads to the river in the big pond, but the water level in the river has dropped, so the water can no longer flow into the canal. Mormat was complaining about the same thing.
Estella added a few notes to Millie's story.
As I listened, I sorted out the information I had, and Ginette just watched anxiously as things unfolded.
'So, ...... Miri and her friends go to the river to fetch water every day instead of every other day, ...... carrying large water bottles, going back and forth between the river and the forest, watering the flowers in the forest...' ...'
The river and the forest are quite a distance apart.
He must have been so busy that he didn't even have time to relax. ......
'It's not all the plants in the forest, so I'm getting by. ...... If this keeps up, the guild leader might collapse. ......... ...............'
Millie's hands tightened, and the popcorn let out a dry sound.
'Well, I've never seen the guild leader of the flower arrangement guild before.
'He's a very kind man. She's human, an old lady, but she's smart and understands the feelings of others.
She's the one Millie trusts the most. The old lady must be a picture of good-naturedness.
'I'd like to meet her, maybe.
What is it?
I'm not sure if it's a good idea for me to meet her, but she's starting to get visibly upset.
'Oh,......, I don't mean that in a weird way at all,............, but when Miry introduces you to a boy... ...that ............ might make a big deal out of it. ......... ...Mirii, I've never had a boyfriend before... ............
That's a very ...... old-fashioned name for a boyfriend.
I guess it just means a normal friend, but it's a little ...... uncomfortable when people use the term boyfriend.
'Speaking of boyfriends, didn't you have anteater brothers?
'Oh,......, Neck and Tic are ......, well, childhood friends,.......'
Isn't that right?
I'm not sure what to make of this, but I think it's a good idea.
'Neck and tic, all of us in the flower arrangement guild know each other well,......, so I don't think there will be any strange disturbances,.......'
I'm not sure if I'm going to cause a fuss,.......
'Oh, but someday,............, I'll introduce you properly,......, okay?
'Ah, ah. That's right,......, one of these days.
I don't know what's going on here.
I don't know, am I going to be introduced to Millie's parents?It's the boss at work, right?I wonder if it's that ostentatious. ......
I'd like to meet you once too.
'Hmm. I'm sure we'll get along just fine. The guild leader said that you are a good person.
What about ...... me?
You don't think we'll get along?Because you're not a nice person?
Well, you're not a nice person, but...
'Oh, I'm sorry ............, so I went to ...... to ask Ria-san for a favor.'
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do it.
I went to Delia for advice because fetching water had become too much work and I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. ...... Perhaps it was something to do with the waterway.
'She wants the surface of the river to be higher than the canal. ......'
In the middle of the conversation, Jeannette raises her hand fearfully.
'Maybe it's uncommon sense to ask this, but ...... are the waterways built in such a way that the river water doesn't flow into them?'
He questioned the point that the surface of the river was lower than the channel.
He wondered why the water was not allowed to flow in at all times.
'The channel is directly connected to the river. However, the inlet for the water to flow into is located much higher than the river bottom.
'Why is that?Wouldn't keeping it at the same level as the bottom of the river prevent this kind of situation in case of water shortage?
Ginette's question is reasonable.
But Ginette is overlooking something very simple and very important.
'Ginette. How many times have you ever had a water shortage?'
'Huh?Well, ............ as far as I know, this year is the first. ............ Ah.'
'Yes. That's what I'm talking about, Jeannette.
District Forty-two had been plagued by flooding every year until last year.
Every year during the rainy season, a disgusting amount of water would fall from District 29, and combined with the rain, it would submerge everything.
'If the entrance to the river is set at the level of the riverbed, the annual flooding will be much worse. Digging up soil is easy, but burying a channel once dug is difficult.
Once the soil is dug up and reburied, it becomes softer than before.
If it is exposed to a fast-flowing river like the one here, it will collapse.
There are ways to do this, such as installing simple sluice gates, but ...... the sudden water shortage this year has prevented us from making such drastic changes.
In addition, we are currently in the rainy season, and we don't know when we will have another heavy rain like last year.
It would not be a joke if we tried to deepen the channel and it resulted in serious flooding.
'Besides, the deeper the channel, the more water will flow out of the river, so we have to be very careful.
If the river level drops, it will have a negative impact on the river fish.
It is extremely difficult to restore an ecosystem once it has been damaged. It's best to avoid making any unnecessary changes as much as possible.
'I see. ...... I'm sorry for my short-sighted opinion.'
'No, that's the first thing everyone thinks about, so don't worry about it. That's what Natalia pointed out to me when I suggested it.
Estella and Jeannette are not that far apart in age. Then, this is the first year for Estella to experience water shortage.
Lack of knowledge is nothing to be ashamed of. If you don't know something, you can learn it.
It is much more shameful for those who let ignorance remain ignorant, and even for those who are unaware of their ignorance.
'So maybe you're doing the same thing, Millie?
''No,......, but Miry and the others don't want the channel to be deeper,.......''
Then, Miry's eyes wavered.
Her small, cherry-like lips curled into a tight line.
She looked as if she was about to start crying, as if she remembered what Delia had told her.
She managed to hold back her tears and slowly put into words what had happened.
In the event that you have any questions regarding where and how to use the internet, you can contact us at ....... I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to do it. ...... I'm afraid the guild leader is going to collapse. ...... I'm afraid the guild leader is going to collapse. ......'
I'm sure Miry acted on her own.
And she regrets it.
'Miri ...... thought that Derria-san would be very kind and would understand if I asked her sincerely ............'.
I'm sure you'll understand.
It seems to be easy to use, but it's actually a double-edged sword.
Because we are acquaintances, we have to be able to draw a clearer line than other people.
If you're both professionals, you can't just take it easy. That's more often the case than not.
Ginette would be happy to make Millie a meal if she was asked to do so.
Then, 'please eat three meals a day with the guild members. It's a good idea. What would you think?
Even Jeannette would probably have no choice but to refuse. In fact, you would have to refuse.
If you accept our "kindness" as your "right," your profit will be eaten up unilaterally.
It is important to understand that other people's "generosity" is not free.
You must never forget that you are being given something for free that is not free.
'......Miri,' she told Derria,......, 'I'm having trouble getting water to flow in the canal, so I need you to raise the water level.'
Miry clenches her fists.
She clenched her fists as if to condemn herself for not forgiving herself at that moment.
'......I want you to temporarily dam the river to raise the water level,......' she said.
'Are you ...... damming it up?'
Jeannette looked at me and Estella alternately.
It was Estella who answered her gaze.
'Actually, that's what Mormat was complaining about too ......, "I don't want to block it completely, but I want you to pile up rocks at the bottom of the river and temporarily restrain the flow of the river."'
Pile up rocks at the bottom of the river to narrow its width.
This will reduce the amount of water flowing out to the sea and temporarily raise the water level in the middle of the river,......, the proposal said.
But it's the idea that angers Delia the most.
I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what's going on. ......... scarier than I've ever seen her ............... ...'
'Well, ......, but it's not completely blocked, is it?It's also temporary, which means you'll have to put it back in at some point, right?...... Is there something wrong with that?
Well, Jeannette might not know.
Millie and maybe even Estella might not know.
Damming the flow of the river means that ......
'The salmon won't be able to come back'.
I'm sure you've heard of it.
Her reaction was ...... did Millie know about it?Or maybe she talked about it with Delia.
In any case, to make the situation easier to understand, I'll give you an explanation.
Ginette is looking at me with eager eyes, wanting to know more.
'As I may have told you before, salmon are fish that go out to sea once and come back to the river. If you block the mouth of the river where they go, they can't come back.
The salmon in this town seem to come up all the year round, and there must be many of them still coming up the river.
'The fewer the number of returning salmon, the fewer the number of eggs they lay in the river. The fewer eggs there are, the fewer salmon there will be. ...... Well, that's the way it is.
The salmon will return to the river where they were born.
If fewer salmon are born in the rivers of District 42, fewer will return to District 42.
In the worst case, they may disappear.
'We can't block the mouth of the river without a clear promise of how long it will last. I'm sure Delia would agree.
'...... Every day, every day, it's painful to think, "There's another salmon that didn't make it home today."'
Ginette imagines Delia's feelings and shares her pain.
Delia is fond of salmon, but her fondness goes beyond just being a "favorite" and reaches the level of being a special person who has grown up with her since she was a child in this river. There are many aspects of Delia that make me think so.
She sometimes swims with salmon.
'Salmon are single-minded fish. Even if the mouth of the river is blocked for some reason, they will try their best to come back to their home. Even if the water level is so low that they hit the bottom of the river and are covered with scars, even if the water runs out and they are washed up on land, they will continue to migrate back to the river where they were born.
It has often happened in the past that unplanned weirs have reduced the number of river creatures ....... As you can see, this is no longer the case in modern Japan. ......
The same thing can happen if the mouth of the river is blocked without planning in the 42nd district.
'It would be easier if the salmon were smart enough to come up the narrow estuary in a well-behaved line.
Nature's creatures don't work that way.
'Millie and her friends work hard to take care of the flowers and trees in the forest, watch over them with trepidation, and take action whenever something goes wrong. ...... The same thing is happening in the river.
Millie's voice was choked with tears.
I don't mean to blame you, but ...... it might not be a good idea to let the story go unanswered here.
'People can survive disasters because they have wisdom. Those who don't have it need to be protected by humans. You know that, right?
'Hmm ...... Miri, maybe I was so desperate that I could only see myself .......'
'It's okay, Miry. We all get desperate at times like this.
Estella touched Millie's nodding hair.
The little antennae sway and hang down gently.
'It's my job as a lord to guide people who are so desperate that they can't see anything but what's in front of them, so that they don't run into each other. Can you leave it to us from here?
I think I was just included in the "we" part of the sentence.
'Besides, Yashiro didn't mean to blame Milly.
'Hmm. I know that. ...... Ladybug, you're so kind. ......'
Still slightly downcast, Milly turns her face towards me.
The large ladybug hair ornament on her head is swaying.
'I think he gave me the courage to apologize to you. ...... I've always wanted to go and apologize to you, too, ...... but I haven't been able to... ...'
It takes a lot of courage to apologize to someone.
It's not good for your mental health to drag it out without getting a chance to do so.
Millie's exhaustion may have been caused by such mental fatigue.
'One of our best employees even prepared popcorn for Delia.
'Haha. Loretta, you're excluded from the 'excellent' part.'
'Huh?No, no, no.I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will help you out.
I don't know.
Yeah. I guess this is a little better than being depressed.
'We'll go with you.
'Yes, we will. I was going to talk to Delia-san as well, so why don't you go with us, Millie-san?'
'I think you'll have more courage to meet her if you're with us.
I'll ask them to extend the break a little longer, and if necessary, we can stop by the forest first, and I'll take Millie to see Delia.
I have a hunch that ...... Delia would be interested in that.
When I first met her, she seemed to be the lone female guild leader of the river fishermen's guild, but recently she has become much more rounded and is always playing with someone.
It seems that he often appears at the Sunlit Pavilion, or goes to New Town to play with the hamsters.
According to Bertina, she also comes to the church to help with the hard work.
Delia is talking more to people about herself than before.
She is able to help others and be kind to others. She's getting better at that.
But this time, she hasn't talked to ...... me or Estella about it.
So maybe Delia is feeling sorry for herself now.
She can't come to me for advice because she feels guilty.
Probably, Delia was also too occupied to say anything harsh to Milly.
'Delia's probably pretty depressed.
'What?You're not angry?
You're still reading too much into this, Estella.
Delia loves salmon, but ...... she loves the residents of District 42 even more, especially us.
So, Yashiro-san. I'll bring you some sweet treats to comfort you.'
Perhaps Ginette is more sensitive to these things.
Estella, perhaps because of her position as a lord, tends to judge things based on the interests of the guild and the thoughts of the person in charge.
Ginette, on the other hand, simply judges things based on 'good or bad', 'fun or painful', 'like or dislike'.
He is a bit optimistic, but he judges things by focusing on the other person's mind and emotions, saying, 'If I do this, they will be happy.
I can do both.
I can do both. I can make my target buy a product, and I can give him the satisfaction of having bought a product.
A con man must have the skill to provide both.
Profit and emotion cannot be separated.
An emotional supremacist who doesn't care about profit smiles at me.
'I want to meddle again.
...... The scary thing about this guy is that he unintentionally and maliciously takes advantage of the fact that it's hard for us to say no. ............ ............ It's a little bit cute, just like 'imitation'.
It's a little cute.
He said, holding up a bag of honey popcorn.
'Yes. To deliver the 'element of energy'.
Ginette lifts her cheeks with both index fingers.
You say the 'source of energy' is a smile, right?
'Seeing your friends will make you feel better, Delia.
............ d*mn it.
I used popcorn as bait to avoid saying anything.
Delia will probably get better when she sees us. I mean, she's just thinking 'it's hard to see you', not 'I don't want to see you'. In fact, they must be thinking that it is difficult for them to go and see us even though they want to.
Therefore, if you go to them, you will be saved. It will make it easier for them to talk about their pent-up feelings.
That's why we're going to go to them to deliver the "element of vitality," in other words, we're going to go to them.
I was so embarrassed that I was included in the element of vitality that I wanted to cover it up with popcorn, but you saw right through me.
This is why natural unawareness is ......
'Oh, oh, no, ladybug!
Just as the conversation was coming to a conclusion, Millie shouted loudly.
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it'll help.
'Miri, can I chase after you?
'Aren't you going with me?
'If it's us, we can wait for you, right?
Shaking her head at Estella and Ginette's words, Miri took a deep breath and said with an unwavering heart.
'Miri, I want to apologize to Derria-san properly, so I want to ...... get something for her.'
He said it would take some time to prepare it.
'Then I'll go ahead.
'I want you to hurry up and help ...... Daria-san, too, just like ...... Miri.'
'We haven't done anything yet.
'Yeah. Just by coming to see me like this, ......Miri, you've helped me a lot, ...... so'.
I'm sure Delia is still suffering from ongoing anxiety.
I'm not sure what to do. That's what she said.
'Well, I'll see you later.
'Hmm. ...... Thank you. Ladybug, ......Jinetto and Estella too.
'You can do that when you're all done.
'I'm just meddling.'
The three girls giggled and smiled at each other.
Suddenly, Miri claps her hands together.
'And then, Miri, I'm going to stop by the forest once and then I'm going to ...... be late, maybe ......'.
'I'll be waiting for you until Milly gets here. Hey, Yashiro.'
'Then we should also stop by the sunny pavilion once. If we're late, we'll worry Magda-san and Loretta-san.
'Then let's hurry up and leave. Millie, I'm sorry I couldn't spend more time with you.
'No, it's fine.
There was still some of Ginette's cooking left, but it was decided to offer it free of charge, saying, 'There's still plenty left, so if you'd like, you can share it with everyone working hard in the forest.
The container will be delivered later. With ......, Millie was given an excuse to come to the Sunlit Pavilion.
I guess they want her to have a proper meal.
So, each of us made preparations quickly and we left Miry's room.
Millie came to see us off at the front of the restaurant and gave me a last word.
'Come and visit me again at ......, okay?
-- ...... My back itches as I stare at the back of the car as it turns away and runs away, embarrassed.
I want to ...... take it home with me.
You can find a lot of people who are interested in this kind of thing.
It was a design that reminded me of the sweetness and sourness of first love, with two birds facing each other, eating cherries one by one that were still connected to the branch, a plate that was perfect for Millie's store.
At the same time, I thought that the person who made this plate must be an unspoiled, in love maiden.
'Yashiro, I'm coming~'
'Yashiro-san~. I'm coming~'
The sky I looked up at was cloudless, and the sunshine that illuminated the ...... world was too bright.