After Tracy and the others left, I wrote the letter to Mahr that Estella had asked me to write, and I came back to New Town.
'Ah, Yashiro!You've come to the right place!
Todoroki-ru No. 1 was still being adjusted, and Norma and the rest of the Hardware Guild were crowded around it, clutching their tools with deathly expressions on their faces. ...... Give him a break.
'I just solved a problem a few minutes ago. Take a look and let me know what you think.
'That's fine, but ...... you guys need a break. You're dying.'
'It's okay, we're professionals at this ...... thing. ......'
'No, Norma, ...... your face looks pretty spectacular, too.
There are dark circles under your eyes and your hair is a mess and bouncing all over the place.
You can't be s*xy when you're this skinny.
I hope Norma doesn't go beyond the line of 'languid'.
'Take a look at that.
He points to a crate floating about two meters above the ground, which serves as a cargo bed.
If you look closely, you can see a round metal ...... bowl-like object attached to the bottom of the crate.
Is that supposed to change the center of gravity and reduce the shaking during landing ......?With that thing?
'Well, we'll see. Hey!Lower the crate!
At Norma's signal, the old man from the guild operated the Domoke-Ru-1 and lowered the crate.
The crate began to descend slowly and quietly, but when it was only 40 centimeters away from the ground, it began to rampage even more violently than before.
'It's not fixed at all!In fact, it's getting worse!
'Hmmm ......, that's sweet. Hey, bring it here!
Once again, Norma's signal caused the old man from the guild to move.
He lifts up the crate on which he landed, removes the bowl attached to it, and runs toward you.
A flat lid was tightly fitted to the top of the hardware on the bowl.
'Come on, open it.
I was told to open the lid of the metal object on the bowl handed to me.
Inside was a slightly thick, milky white liquid.
'...... What's this?
'It's whipped cream!
'What are you doing?
'I'm using the shaking to make whipped cream!
'It's not ready!
'Do it a few dozen times, and it'll become fluffy!
'No, it won't!
Don't underestimate whipped cream!It's very delicate!
'But there's only one way to make use of that shaking: ......!
'You're trying to suppress the shaking!What are you trying to do with it?
'Because it's impossible!It can't be fixed!Pfft!
'Hey, someone!Go take Norma home and put her to bed!He's too tired to be a funny character!
It's not uncommon for people to get stuck and go off in crazy directions ......, but it's rare for someone to go to such extremes.
Come to think of it, Norma was a guy who didn't take pressure well. Before a big show, he would always argue by himself. ......
'This guy is mostly exchanging letters, so don't be so hasty and take your time to investigate the cause. ...... Go home and sleep today.
'Mmmm ............, okay.'
In the event that you have any questions regarding where and the best way to get in touch with us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The back of her back is rounded and her shoulders are slumped, and the sight of her walking back is so melancholy that it brings tears to my eyes.
The old man who brought me the bowl calls out my name with a face like he's about to cry.
The man who brought me the bowl called my name with a face that looked like it was about to cry. ...... I was about to cry when he called my name. ............ Don't stare so hard, you're scaring me, your face.
I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that, Norma. Yashiro asked me to help him. I was so excited that I could be of help, that I could help you. ............ Isn't this the result?I'm sure you're very depressed. ......'
In the event that you've got a lot of time, you'll be able to take a look back at the Conversation Record and see that the words you just uttered may seem like the words of an older, more caring woman, but the man uttering them now is a muscular, bearded man. ...... I can't resist the urge to punch him.
'Hey, please. Comfort him.'
'Hang in there, me, hang in there, me!Don't lose heart even if the old man's face is closer than necessary!
'Hmmm, no!That's not what I meant!I just want you to cheer Norma up.
Baka, you. My heart's about to break right now.
'Or else, Norma-chan ............ might break.'
'Umaro-tan is the only one who can help Yashiro-chan, and I'm ....... You know how Norma feels.
'...... I don't get it.'
I don't get it at all.
'Why'd you say "Umaro"?
'Oh, no!I just did what I always do: ......!'
'Is that what you always call me, ......?
'Because you're so cute, he~!
Hahahaha, I'll tell Umaro next time. 'You're a popular guy!'
As I watch Norma's back as she moves away, I feel like I can't leave her alone.
The desire to be accepted is so strong that it makes you spin out of control. It's not that I don't have such experiences. So, I can understand the heavy feeling you have at that time.
...... It's not something that you need to think about that much. ............ It's just a matter of moving on. ..................
Just this once.
I'm basically the type of person who doesn't take it easy on others.
'Thank you for making this in such a hurry!I'll use it right away, thank you!
These guys worked so hard that they collapsed so I can write to Ma'ru now.
If it had been true, it would have taken two or three more days. It's nice to know that we can move on without loss.
You can thank him for that.
'Get some rest, and fix it perfectly. I'll be counting on you.
I'll be counting on you.' You can give him words like these.
'If Yashiro is counting on you, you won't be able to rest!You guys, get up!Let's resume repairs!
'No, go home!
'...... Yashiro-chan ............, if you don't moderate, we'll ...... ...... will die.'
'No, no, no!You asked me to comfort you!
Norma is Norma, don't let something like this cheer you up. You're too simple.
My expectations aren't worth a penny.
'Please, Yashiro. Please, Yashiro. Give Norma a good dent and put her in a state of 'I'm going to bed! Please, Yashiro.
'Don't give me such a difficult request!
I'm not sure what to make of that.
'...... I'm going to die, okay?
'Oh, God, you're so annoying!
Why do you have to look at me so accusingly?
It's not my fault, you know!
It's not my fault. ............ d*mn it.
I'm not sure what to do.I'm not sure what to do.
It's a good idea.Lack of sleep is the enemy of your skin!
'It's nothing, it's just my skin ......!
You can't ruin a beautiful woman's beauty.
'''''Beautiful ..................Beautiful ......... ......... are you talking about us? '''''
'No, not you, you old men!I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
The rest of the hardware guild (all of them muscular men) reacted quickly, glancing at me in embarrassment.
It's annoying as if I'm surrounded by countless fruit flies. Oh, if I had some insecticide, I'd spray them!
'Yashiro-chan, you ...... were becoming attracted to Oumarotan, and you ...... were talking about us in such a way ......... ...'
'I don't think so!
I wasn't talking to you guys!
I was talking to Norma!'Only to Norma!
'Hey, Norma. You can tell these old men .......'
He turned his gaze to Norma, ............ startling her.
'............ Huh. ............ Wow... .........bi,bijin............'
Norma froze with a bright red face.
I'm not sure what to do.
'Oh, my God!I'll take good care of your skin!
''We're coming with you!
''Look, guys!We're not just a hardware store!
'''That's right!We're a hardware store that combines technology and beauty, and we're "attractive"!
That's right!Hardware must have both performance and beauty!
'''Beauty, it's important!
'''The Hardware Guild!
'''Alright!We'll sleep for three days and three nights to get back what we lost yesterday!
...... Just for the record, I'll add this again.
Except for Norma, the rest of the group is a bunch of burly, bearded males.
'palm.................. or go back, I'm sorry!
............ I don't think too much sleep is good for your skin. Well, don't say it.
'Thank you, Yashiro.
No need to thank me.
...... It's just a result of a conversation that went in a direction I didn't expect.
'And ............ thank you for calling us beautiful!
'No, I didn't!
'We're all about you, Yashiro!
'No, no, Umaro!No, no, no!
'''See you, Yashiro-tan!
I'm sure they'll be there too.
............ They must have been too tired to think straight. That's right, that must be it. When they go to bed and wake up, their brains should be formatted. If ............ hasn't, I'll force-delete it myself.
'...... Huh. You've wasted your time and energy on something stupid.
The members of the Hardware Guild have all disappeared.
Silence returned to the area around Todokeiru No. 1.
It was precisely because of this silence that I noticed the small voice.
'Oh. You've been found, haven't you?
I turned around and saw Bertina standing there.
I don't know where she was watching me from, but she was walking towards me with a happy face.
'After all, Yashiro-san is very popular,' she said.
'I'd like to have the right of veto, though.'
'Mm-hmm. Love is something you can give and be given for free.
'I guess it's true that there's nothing scarier than free.
He listens to such jokes with a happy face.
Her eyes suddenly turned to me, and ...... an indescribable warmth enveloped me.
This is the kind of maternal love that Bertina sometimes shows.
It's not a scolding, praise, or concern, just a watchful, ticklish look.
She's come all the way here to see me now. To say something.
And then, after I noticed it and confirmed that I was ready, he slowly extended his arm.
Bertina's fingertips caress my cheek as she gently approaches me.
'You seem to be working hard, very hard.
For a moment, a chill runs down my spine.
You will find a lot of things that you can do to make your life easier.
But instead of scolding me, Bertina just looked at me with a quiet smile.
I like the way you are working hard, Yashiro. But--'
It's not a sermon.
No persuasion, no advice.
It's just small talk,' Bertina said.
'Even when you're working hard, it's good to do so in your own way.
Just my opinion.
If you look at it a little differently, ...... please?
'Do I look like I'm reckless?
No, sir. It just doesn't look like you.'
No, it doesn't.
Now I'm meeting the lords of BU at Estella's behest.
To clear the fire in the 42nd district.
This is undoubtedly helping people, and I've never taken the initiative to help people in the past.
So, it's not like you?
No, ...... not at all.
'Yashiro doesn't look like he's having much fun right now, so I'm worried about that, but only a little.
'Because right now I'm driven by a sense of mission.
'I have to do this.
'I have to do this,' 'I'm sure this is better.
Not for me, but for someone ...... else, for everyone.
'Mr. Yashiro smiles happily at all times. I'm sure you don't realize it yourself. Like this ....... ......'
As she said this, Bertina pinched the space between her eyebrows with her left thumb and index finger to make a crease, and lifted the corner of her mouth with her right index finger. And then she smiles a vicious smile. ...... It doesn't look very 'fun', does it?
'...... What part of that is a smile?
'Hmmm ...... I thought I did a good job, but don't they look alike?'
I don't know.
I don't have the taste to stare at my own smile in the mirror.
But in terms of viciousness, I think you got it just right.
'You have a very peaceful face now.
'Isn't that a good thing?'
'I suppose it is, for a normal person.'
Hmm. You think I'm not normal?
That's a very direct rant.
'Your face now looks a little bit like the face you had back then ...... when you came to ask me to participate in the gluttony contest.
A gluttony contest held jointly by the forty two districts and two neighboring districts.
Whether or not Bertina could participate in the contest was a critical matter that would determine the fate of District 42.
That's why I came to appeal directly to Bertina to participate in ............ for the sake of the 42nd district.
...... I see.
So that's what you did then.
I'm sure you're aware of that.
So that's why Bertina is worried.
...... And if Bertina is aware of it, then surely Ginette is too.
'We are more at ease when there is something cute and devious going on, strangely enough.
'I remember being told to be a good boy a lot.
So, I guess that person didn't know Yashiro very well.
...... Certainly, the landlady did not tell me to be a good boy or to study.
It was usually the homeroom teachers and student guidance counselors who said such things.
'So people who know me well realize that it's impossible for a bad boy to change his ways.
'No, sir. It's the same reason why no one tells a cat to be a cat.
So you're saying I'm a good boy?Who's that?
You'll be turned into a frog if you say that.
'Then I'll make Bertina wear a bikini when the weather turns hot.
'Hmmm. That's not what you want, is it, Yashiro-san?
No, I want it.
I want to see it so badly.
I want you to wear something so tight that you can't hide your big tits!
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure you can do it.
I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
But ...... I see. Are you feeling a little anxious?
'Well, sure. If Bertina left any food on the table, I wouldn't be too happy about it, either.
'Hmm. You're worried about me, aren't you?
'Don't worry about natural disasters.
'That's a big deal. So let's go eat donuts now.'
'No, that was a metaphor. ......'
'I'd like a chocolate and peanut doughnut.'
'Oh, you don't have to have just one, do you?'
'............ Oh, I'm being bought a drink, me.'
'Ginette said to me, "Your pampering skills have improved recently. Maybe it's because of Yashiro.
It's probably my fault.
'If you send a letter to .........'
'It's DOKERU No.1, isn't it? I'd like to see it in action.
Accompanied by the sparkling eyes of Bertina, I walked to the crate of Totoke-Ru No. 1.
When I opened the lid to put the letter in, ......
'Kuusukapi ...... ya'.
Hammaro was asleep in the crate.
............ I think he was banging around a while ago, but this crate.
How did you manage to sleep so soundly?
'Hammaro, wake up. I want to send you a letter.'
'Mnya mnya ............ Hammaro?'
'You, you. Just get off.'
'Muha~............ new sensation,cradle yay!
'What kind of acrobatic cradle is this?
What kind of acrobatic cradle is this?
'Oniichan, if you want to send a letter, I'll do it!
'Can you do it?
'I'm a professional from today!
'Where did you sign a contract with, ......?
He entrusted the letter to Hammaro, a self-proclaimed professional, and watched the crate start to move from a short distance away.
Hammaro, with a practiced hand, manipulated the base to turn on the fall prevention device, and pulled the rope smoothly.
The crate rises noiselessly, and you follow it with your eyes.
Soon, a bell rang far above my head to let me know that the letter had arrived safely.
Now the letter would be returned tomorrow or so.
'It's amazing. To be able to contact other wards while staying in District 42.'
'Only with a very limited number of people in the 29th district, though.
If the church and the sunken pavilion can keep in touch like this, it will be convenient in many ways.
It's not possible with something like DODOKE-ru 1 because the positional relationship isn't up and down, but ...... something like a radio or a degraded version of a telephone might be born soon.
If that happens ......
'If that happens, you can always bring me food from the sunny pavilion, can't you?
Yup. Too civilized for the Forty-second Ward. Not allowed.
It's called ...... delivery.
I can't stand being summoned every hour with one phone call.
I'm going home.
I call out to Bertina, who is looking up from her work.
Hammaro, who has finished his work, comes running up and jumps on my right hand.
...... I wasn't talking to you.
'I'm up for it!
'Hey. What do you mean, 'Hammaro-san too'?What are you talking about, assuming that you'll be treated?
'I'm a good pamperer...'
'That's too bad. You have to choose the right person for that skill to be effective.
'Yes, sir. So I only use it on people I think it will work on.
'............ This guy, huh.
'...... Tell that to Jeannette.'
'Uh-huh. Yes, sir. I'll do that.'
' 'I will,' right?'
No matter what I say, Bertina smiles happily, and there's nothing more I can say.
It seems that in her mind, I've been given the personality of a spoiled softie. ...... You'll get hurt someday if you socialize with people based on that assumption.
I'll ask Jeannette for you.
I'll ask Jeannette for a donut.
I'd say no, but I'm sure Jeannette's too good-natured to refuse.
Looking up at the reddening sky, I began to recalculate the profit I could make from this fiasco.
Instead of making a negative into a zero, I was looking for something that could create a positive from a zero.
'It's really not raining this year, isn't it?
As I walked, I played the abacus in my brain briskly, replying to Bertina's murmur, 'Well, yes.