'...... What should I do, this?'
Estella has a puzzled look on her face.
She is holding a bag of peanuts tightly in her hand.
'Well, you can serve them to the neighbors when you get home.
I'm not sure if Lucia is used to this or not, but her expression isn't too tense. It's ...... slightly twitchy, though.
You will find a lot of things that you can do to make your life easier.
You can't eat all of these gifts,......, and it's nothing but a nuisance to be forced to buy them.
'Even if you have a quota for these peanuts, can you give them away for free?
'They're not free.
'Did you forget, anchovies. Any goods passing through the BU will be subject to customs duties.'
'No, they're not passing through!
What kind of people are they?
They're just going to force their way in and then tax us if we try to take it home!
'If you don't like it, you can just eat it here and go home.
'You'll get pimples all over your face.
'Don't lick the oil off the nuts.
'In other words, you're selling a product you've bought more than you can handle.
'It's not a sale. It's a gift and a tariff.
'It's the same thing, isn't it?
In any case, the beans produced in the BU are probably bought up by the member wards of the BU and consumed by their own people under the guise of quota. The districts apply tariffs to the beans they buy, and the districts receive the taxes.
In the end, it is the visitors who are forced to pay for the beans.
See? It's a forced sale.
'Hey, Yashiro ......, didn't you once say, "I love nuts! Didn't you say that?
'Shall I show you the Conversation Record?I didn't say that.
The actual weight of the sachet was not much, but it must have weighed heavily on her mentally.
Estella's steps are very heavy.
'Is it possible to serve this at the Sunken Pavilion?Of course, you have to pay for it.
'I don't have a problem with offering something I received as a commodity.
'Then I'll take your peanuts too.
'Yes, of course. It's better for us if you do. Serve it with a pile of peanuts next to the set meal.
'That's the same as in the 29th district, isn't it?
We don't force our customers to feel uncomfortable.
'I'll make some peanut butter. Or maybe honey-roasted peanuts or honey-soaked nuts.
'What's that?I have a feeling it's going to be really good.
He was very interested in it.
I used to hate even looking at them.
Well, when the food served in a district with such a large surplus of peanuts was peanuts in their raw form, I knew that there were probably no processed products.
All of them are easy to make, so I'll bring them home and try to make them.
We should offer them as products and get back at least the tariff.
'Natalia. Would you be willing to give yours to Yashiro?'
'Yes. Of course. However, I would like to be invited to the tasting of the finished product.'
'Of course, of course!Right, Yashiro?
'No, what do you mean by "tasting party", ......?
It's not that over the top, peanut butter.
It's a processed product that can't even be called cooking because we don't have a food processor, so it's a bit of a hassle.
'In that case, we'll give you ours. Accept it gratefully and invite us, Millie, Wen, and Hammaro.
'I'd like to stay the night, and if I'm running late, I'll...'
I'll be looking at you excitedly. I thought you were going to say .......
I should have brought it home secretly and made it secretly.
'Oh, by the way, ......'.
Suddenly Estella turns her gaze to the other side of the alleyway - the south side of the city.
'This is the 42nd district, isn't it? ............ The sisters may have overheard our conversation.
'Haha, don't worry about it. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it. ...... In any case, the sisters will be able to smell it and blend in with the tasting.
I'm not going to be so reckless as to hide food from Bertina anymore.
It's better to make sure you have enough for him, so that he doesn't get damaged. It would take a lot of work to undo Bertina's crooked belly button.
'Hmm ......, you seem to be indulging everyone, anchovy.
'Who's that? I've been paid well.
In one way or another.
I don't work for free, or serve, or anything like that.
I'll return it to my benefit in some way. No matter what it takes!
'By the way, Miss Estella.
Natalia pauses in front of the bend.
She looks at you with a cool face.
'I've accidentally run out of ink, and I'd like to purchase a new one from ......, if that's okay.'
'Oh, yeah. That's fine. Let's go to the brush shop then.
'In that case, it's just up ahead. Lady Lucia, please forgive the detour.'
'Don't worry about it. We've got a little more time.
The sun is nearing the top of the sky.
It's almost noon. It would be a good time to stop at the brush shop and then head for the lord's house.
We turned the corner where Natalia had stopped and walked through the winding streets to a dull-colored building with a plaque in the shape of a brush hanging at the entrance.
The interior of the brush shop was small, but well organized, and I did not feel cramped.
The store was filled with the pungent smell of ink, giving the impression of a newspaper shop rather than a stationery shop.
'Welcome. Do you want a brush?Ink?
A bent-waisted old woman appears from behind the counter with the speed of a spinning doll.
She's a broken-down manager.
'I'd like to have some ink.
'Are you from somewhere else?
The old woman stops to pick up a nearby bottle of ink and looks up into Natalia's face.
'Wait a minute, then.
She leaves the counter and retreats to the back.
A few minutes later, the old woman returned with a small, portable tube of ink.
'It's easy to carry, and it won't spill in an accident.
'Thank you for your concern, sir.
'You know. When I see a beautiful woman, I'm reminded of myself in the past. I can't help but be nice to them. Hee hee hee ......'
What the hell, Estella. Are you imitating Ginette with your adorable scolding?
In any case, it's a relief to know that this is a good store that provides the best products to meet the needs of its customers.
Although, they may be recommending something a little more expensive.
Well, Natalia seems to be convinced, so that's good.
'Well, we'll be on our way.
'Oh, one moment, please.
We pay the bill and are about to leave when the old lady stops us.
She comes to the entrance of the store. Is she seeing us off?......, I thought, but...
'This one's for service. Take it.'
--He hands each of them a bag of potato chips, about the size of a large potato chip.
...... No way, this is ............
'That was the worst store ever!
What's a good store? You're a pushy salesman!
'I've got more .................. hahahahaha......'
With a bag of beans in each hand, Estella continues to let out a dry laugh with a face like a noh mask.
d*mn ...... it's so heavy!
'Why do I have to buy ink and it comes with beans!And now peas!
I'm not sure what to make of that. ...... I wonder how I'll consume the peas.
I'm sure you'll have a great time.
'How many kinds of beans are there?
'Seven kinds, of course.
Lucia, who doesn't have any luggage of her own, says with a cool face.
There are seven kinds ......, and the seven wards of BU are from 23 to 29, so ...... each ward produces a stupid amount of one kind of bean.
Just like the lentils here: ......
'Why do you set quotas on the amount of beans to be harvested and then sell them to us like this?
If you don't have enough, you don't have to produce.
'Well, there's a reason for that, too. If you're curious, just ask.
Lucia, who seemed to know what was going on, pointed forward with her chin.
'They're gathering over there, the heart of the BU.
When I turned my gaze, I saw that it was the lord's mansion I had visited in the morning. The time was noon. It's time to move in, to the enemy's main camp.
At the lord's mansion, a number of luxurious carriages that had not been there in the morning were parked.
They must have only just gathered there. They were about to be moved to the stables.
'First of all, let's go and leave this unwanted baggage in the carriage.
Lucia, empty-handed, says, pointing to the beanbag Gilberta is holding.
I'm with you. There's no way we're going to have a meeting with these things.
When we went to the stables to drop off the beans, the old horse keeper who had taken care of us that morning smiled and led us to the carriage.
Our carriage had been taken off the horses and moved to the far end of the garage. ...... I guess they're not letting us out until all the other lords have left.
'Your carriage will be over there, sir.
Pointing to the far end with his hand, the old man bowed his head.
Then, he threw a curse word at our backs as we tried to get to the carriage.
'I've put a gift for you in the carriage. It's a thoughtful gesture. Please accept it.
At those words, a nasty sweat broke out on my back.
Estella and I ran out together and opened the door of Lucia's carriage.
You can find a lot of people who are looking for the best way to get the most out of their life.
...... Here comes the specialty of my district: ............
'I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. At ......'
With a grin and a chuckle, the old man ...... no, the old man left the scene.
I should have locked the ...... carriage. It might be worse than having your things stolen.
'......Yashiro. How many different ways do you know of to eat sole?
'............Just ask Jeannette.'
I don't know how I used to eat solanaceous legumes ....... ............ I can only think of boiling them in salt. No, there must be something. Remember ............ I'm sure there's some good information in the landlady's bag of wisdom. ......... ...Remember, me!
'Enough about the beans, let's go see the lords. The problem is that the sluice and the compensation ...... are both non-negotiable issues. Pull yourselves together, both of you.'
'Yes, sir. Yes, sir.'
Estella's expression tightened.
As I watch her...
--Lucia called her name.
'Don't look at her with that 'I tightened up my chest while I was tightening up' look, it's a pity.
'I'm not looking at you!
'......Yashiro......, you're a ...... man.'
'So, I'm not looking at you!
'Estella-sama. More importantly, please notice that Lucia-sama gave me a pretty bad rant.''
'Huh?...... Ah, I see!
'Now, now is the time to say, "Can you talk about other people's breasts, you lazy tits? You can't tell me what to do until you can pinch a coin.
'You've got some nerve, Estella!
'I wish you would calm down, Lady Lucia. Natalia's, what she just said. And I'm thinking 'fifty steps', everyone here.
''Who's got fifty steps?
''Anyway, you ...... are all terrible.''
Someone should notice that I'm disgusted. What are you guys talking about in the lord's mansion?
I mean, brace yourselves.
'If it's locked, make sure it's locked. We can't handle any more of them.'
'All right, I'll... I'll make sure it's locked.
'Also, it looks like the BU guys are gathering at ......, but won't they each give you some beans as a 'souvenir'?
'That's okay. I'm not sure if you've heard of this, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
...... These rules sound like they were set by kids.
It's not like the system is immature.
'Well, let's go.
'I guess so. I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this.
Clenching her fists, Estella says firmly.
'We should also brace ourselves so that we don't make a profit or loss due to petty jealousy.
'I understand, I do.'
Lucia and Gilberta are also in high spirits.
'Then, let's go. If I may be so bold, I would like to escort you to the entrance.
Straightening her posture, Natalia, in battle mode, walks out to lead us.
The people on the grounds are glancing at us, but they seem to be intimidated by Natalia's resolute advance.
Lucia is also behind her, and it is quite scary when they all show their serious aura.
If I didn't know these people and they were suddenly bombarded with this aura, I would choose to retreat temporarily. That's how seamless they are.
They're really something, aren't they?
--And Estella, staring at the back of the two, looks a little disappointed.
'I'd like to ...... be able to have that kind of dignity one day, too. ......'
'Don't push it. That kind of thing is a kind of talent.'
'But I'm a lord, too. ...... someday!
'You just have to develop your good points.
I can't imagine Estella spreading an aura that keeps others at bay.
She should be the kind of lord who stands closer to others and solves their problems with them.
'Natalia won't betray you. So, why don't we share the responsibility?
'......, is that right?'
'...... Yeah. Yes, we do.'
Estella has a weapon that only Estella can use.
And that weapon is far more powerful and formidable than their aura, which can only make me retreat temporarily at first sight.
You can be confident.
You should be confident in your ability to drag me to this point.
...... I'm not gonna tell you.
'Welcome, Lucia Suarez, Lord of District 35. Estella Creamona, Lord of District 42. We've been expecting you.
A beautiful woman with dazzling silver hair was standing at the entrance of the mansion.
She had a straight back, a clear voice that reached my ears even though she was not big, and a clear presence that was not too assertive.
She was probably the head waiter of this establishment.
It seemed as if Natalia and Gilberta were fighting with each other.
'Let me take you to my master. This way, .......'
The silver-haired head waiter invited us into the hall.
The waitresses on either side of the entrance, holding the large doors open, have lost their presence, as if they were inorganic objects, and remain in the shadows.
When I peeked at Natalia's face, I saw that she was quickly checking out all the gestures and behavior of the waiters. She must have a sense of rivalry.
Perhaps noticing my gaze, Natalia spoke in a quiet voice that only I could hear, keeping her posture steady.
'The head waiter is number one and he has E-cups.'
'Where were you looking, you?
'The same place as Master Yashiro, sir.
You can't just decide where people's eyes are going.
If you're at my level, you can tell by the sound of your walk without even bothering to look.
We walked down a long corridor and arrived in front of an ostentatious door.
The door is so big that I wonder if it is necessary to make the entrance so big, and it stands there with a sense of intimidation.
'The Lord is waiting for you here. Please come in.
In response to the head waiter's bow, the waiters on either side of the door moved noiselessly and opened the door quietly.
On the other side of the open door, there was a large, long table with seven high-ranking people sitting in a row.
It's as if we're the accused brought before a judge and jury, aren't we?
'Welcome to the 29th Precinct. Please take your seats.
In front of the lords, there is a table more than two sizes smaller. There are two chairs.
The seating suggests that we are the inferiors. He's probably trying to pressure us by putting us face to face.
Lucia says briefly, and Estella bows lightly in sympathy, then sits back in her chair.
Even though she is a fourth class noblewoman, it seems that there is no need for us to be more obsequious than necessary.
You can find a lot of people who have been in the same situation for a long time.
Some of the seven lords frowned overtly, as if they didn't like it. ......
In the event that you have any questions regarding where by and how to use it, you can contact us at the web site.
Gilberta stands diagonally behind Lucia on the left, and Natalia stands diagonally behind Estella on the right.
I naturally took the position of standing in the center between the two head waiters.
The lords in front of me each had what appeared to be a head waiter by their side.
The silver-haired beauty who had just walked up behind the man sitting in the middle of the seven lords and stopped.
So that's the lord of the 29th district.
He looks a little young to be called old, in his mid-twenties.
The man speaks in a firm and intimidating voice.
'Well. The reason I've asked you to come all the way here today is none other than .......'
The man with his elbows on the table and his fingers crossed in front of his chest glared at me in the manner of a company executive and made his demands in clear terms.
'You will be compensated for the water shortage caused by your negligence. You must bear in mind that this has already been decided and there is no room for any objection.
The high-handed words continued.
'If you promptly arrange for the compensation we seek and pay it based on your deep regret, we will be able to continue our good relationship in the future.
After taking the trouble to call him, he said, 'This is a decision. This is a decision that has been made, and you must accept it without complaint.' This is more than a lack of courtesy.
Depending on the situation, it could be taken as a declaration of war.
'The contents of the compensation demanded by us have been compiled in documents for each district. I hope you will take a look at it and respond as soon as possible.
'Excuse me, may I have a moment?
Estella raises a small hand and asks for the right to speak.
Then, the lord of the 29th district did not change his expression, but spoke plainly as if he were a machine that had responded to a sensor.
'All those who are willing to allow this person to speak, please raise your hands.
With these words, two of the seven raise their hands.
The majority vote suddenly began to ...... What the hell are they doing?
Then, for the first time, the lord of the twenty-ninth district turned his head.
'May I ask why?
The lord of the 29th district is looking at one of the women who raised her hand.
Incidentally, the Lord of District 29 did not raise his hand.
'She is the Lord of District 42, and I presume that the content of her statement is about the Water Gate. Since the sluice gate is a matter of life and death for the Forty-Two Wards, we thought it would be unwise to silence her opinion here.''
Holding his chin, the Lord of the 29th district pondered silently for a few seconds.
'Are there any objections?
No one answered that question.
'Then, once again. All those who are willing to allow him to speak, raise your hands.
This time, six of the seven raised their hands.
The lord of the 29th district also raised his hand.
'All in favor. Therefore, you are permitted to speak.
After declaring so, the lord of the 29th district turned to Estella.
'I give you permission to speak.
'...... Thank you.
It seems that Estella can't hide her confusion at this.
She ignores us completely, starts a discussion on her own, and then gives us permission to speak by majority vote.
It's as if she's been programmed like a mechanical doll, with optimized, lean movements. ...... If you look at it in a perverse way, it is like a routine, simplified, rush job.
This is evidence that these guys do this sort of thing on a daily basis.
They are indescribably ...... creepy.
There are no smiles, no private conversations, no slouching.
All of them are standing up straight and looking at you with no expression.
It's a horror story, isn't it?
'I'm naturally curious about the sluice ......'.
'The floodgates have already been opened.'
In the middle of Estella's story, the lord of the twenty-ninth district announces the result with words as sharp as a razor.
It seems the floodgates are already open.
'I heard about your visit beforehand. The floodgates are only a measure to get you to attend this meeting, not its true purpose. Therefore, we opened the gates as soon as your visit was confirmed. You can rest assured.
'...... Well, thank you.
I don't know what to say. Estella has that look on her face.
I don't know what to say. I guess that means they don't listen to our opinions.
'If the floodgates are open, we are safe.
'Then, the meeting is adjourned at .......'
'No, wait!One more thing!That's the main thing I want to talk about!
Estella bites the lord of the 29th district, who is trying to close the meeting quickly.
She stood up and leaned forward with her hands on the table.
'We are .......'
'Raise your hands if you are willing to continue allowing this person to speak!
With a force and volume that drowned out Estella's words, the lord of the 29th district asked for another show of hands.
This time, five people raised their hands, and the motion passed.
...... Do you have to do it every time, majority rule?
In the event you're not sure what you're looking for, you'll be able to find a lot more information on the web.
It's a good thing that you've got a good idea of what you're doing. We ask you to reconsider your response to us, including compensation.
While Estella was talking, Lucia was just silently staring at the lord she was facing.
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
'Then I demand to see the evidence.'
'Go to ............?'
Perhaps it had been decided beforehand, but without a majority vote or discussion among his peers, the lord of the twenty-ninth district came to us with a counterargument.
'We're asking you to show us proof that your 'fireworks' did not cause this water shortage.
It's almost impossible to prove that.
Even if the fireworks were set off again and it rained the next day, they would say, 'It rained this time, but that doesn't prove that it didn't cause the previous water shortage.
Considering the fact that he deliberately limited it to 'this time's water shortage,' he must be planning to make such a complaint.
Estella's mouth stopped moving.
Either way, I can't give you that kind of evidence right now.
I put my hand on Estella's shoulder.
Estella's shoulders jumped the moment I touched her, probably because she was so nervous.
She slowly turned her head toward me.
'...... Let's bring it back once.'
'......Yes, that's a good idea.'
The floodgates seem to be open, and we've made contact with the BU's.
I've also been able to feel some of the BU's warped forms. It's a good time to rethink our strategy. I originally rushed over to help with the floodgates, and I was hoping to gather a little more information.
'Then, I'll bring back the evidence, meet the demands, and discuss what kind of response we should take.'
Lucia said in an icy voice and stood up noiselessly.
As she stood up, Gilberta pulled out a chair at the perfect time. That's awesome, Gilberta.
'You must understand that you do not have much time. If you keep us waiting too long, we'll have to close the floodgates again.
Estella's lips pursed together.
'You must understand correctly that we can dam the river at any time. You should also be aware of the fact that it is easy to raise the tariffs of the Sea Fishing Guild as well. That's all I have to say. I'll leave you to it.
With the words of the lord of the 29th district as a signal, the exit door was opened.
In the end, he didn't even give his name.
It's been a long time since I've had a guy who's been this straightforward with me.
Lucia whispered in a voice that only we could hear.
Estella and I nodded our heads at the same time and followed her.
Before we leave the room, I'll take one more look at the faces of the BU guys.
We'll probably see each other again, but ............ for now, I've memorized your faces.
As soon as we left the room, the door was quickly closed, separating us from the lords of BU.
It would be cute if they were saying, 'Huh, I'm nervous,' behind the door right now, but ...... that doesn't seem to be the case. The other side of the door was silent, as if everything had been frozen, and there was no sign of anything.
Natalia, who had been silent the entire time in the room, came over to stand next to me and whispered in my ear.
'Did you see the woman at the other table?
There was only one woman among the lords. The one who raised her hand and asked that Estella be allowed to speak.
'That's her. ............ She was an A cup, wasn't she?
'You, what were you looking at, so!
'The theory that all female lords have small breasts has become more convincing!
'Shut up, Natalia!
'You're being rude, head waiter!
Natalia was immediately bitten by Estella and Lucia.
'Lucia-sama is a big-breasted woman in the lord's world, isn't she?
'Mu...... um, that might be the case.'
But Lucia was easily turned. No, it's fallen.
'...... You're cheap, your pride.
'Anyway, let's go back to our respective districts.'
'Right. Let's discuss it later.'
They decided to stop at the 35th district and then take a carriage to the 42nd district.
It would be a bit of a detour, but Lucia's carriage was fast, so it would be more convenient.
'I'll go to the Forty-second District again tomorrow.
'Oh, no. I'm sorry if I'm only putting a burden on you, Lucia. I'll go myself this time.'
'I want to go to the Sunken Pavilion!
Lucia, shouted with all her might.
And, 'You know what you're doing, anchovy!Make some peanut butter! I'm sure you'll get the message. ...... I know.
'If you go to the Sunshine Pavilion, you'll be able to eat delicious food while puffing on the antennae of cute insects. Basically, I'll make my way over there.'
'Sorry. We don't offer that kind of service. You'll be banned, you perverted lord.'
And so we left the 29th district.
Before that, we had to do the very tedious work of getting the carriages of the lords of the districts parked in front of us out of the way and getting Lucia's carriage out of the way, and the contractor who did the work gave us ...... beans as a 'service', and we finally left. We were finally able to leave the 29th district.
...... Seriously, what do you want me to do with all these beans? ............