'What do you want at the koji factory at this hour?
I was stared at by a boy who was clearly suspicious.
'We're here at the invitation of the koji maker. Are you a member of this company?
The boy bites his lip and looks down. ...... Are you an outsider?
How dare you say, 'What do you want'?
'I'll call him Percy II.
'Don't do that, ......, for either of you.'
The way he sneaks around from the shadows of the building to see what's going on inside is just like Percy, the sugar factory manager (his sister runs the factory) who is a stalker full of stalker tendencies in District 40 (although in terms of time spent there, he's almost a resident of District 42).
The only part of Percy's introduction that doesn't need additional explanatory revision is the 'stalker' part. ...... He's a jerk.
'Boy. Live a decent life.'
I'll give you some advice from an older man to a naive boy who is about to step into the same path as Percy. The path you're on is a thorny one. It will be a hard road unless you have a thick personality that doesn't mind the cold stares of others, or is even a little comfortable with them. ......
'Is your brother a decent human being?
''Of course, ...... is!
''Please refrain from making dangerous statements.''
In the event that you've got any questions regarding where and the best way to get in touch with me, please do not hesitate to contact me. ...... You guys have some nerve, don't you?
I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what to say and do in the other districts. You never know who your enemies might be or what threats might be lurking around the corner.
Assunto whispered to me in a devilish voice.
What does ...... that mean? It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're going to be doing and how you're going to do it.
Estella bends her back to look at the boy, who is only a little shorter than her, and peers into his face.
Then she speaks softly with a gentle smile.
'You don't have to be a decent person to advise people to live decently.
'Hey, Estella. What kind of advice is that?
'No, I'm just trying to show you that you should respect the opinions of your elders to a certain extent.
'Don't proceed on the assumption that I'm not decent.
If you're willing to respect the opinions of your elders, you should just agree to what I say. I may not look like it, but I've lived roughly twenty years longer than you.
'I'm not here with any guilty intentions.
'So you're not some kind of industrial spy.
'Of course not!
The boy raises the volume of his voice in response to Estella's question, somewhat disapprovingly.
If you're not feeling guilty, then ......
'Are you here because you're feeling naughty?
I try to play adult jokes on the boy, with some clever wordplay. ...... and.
'........................ different from... '......... maybe'.
He's clammed up!
What?You don't suppose there's a women's bath near here that's open early in the morning?
Oh, yeah!I got it!A girl's dormitory?There's a girl's dormitory near here, and it's the best place to see the gals in their sleepy clothes and changing clothes!Isn't that right?
'Yashiro. You're mute but noisy.'
'What do you mean, that?
Estella is looking at me like she's looking at a grain of rice stuck to her cuff.
This guy reads my mind every now and then. ...... I can't believe he could see through my poker face. ............ You're the lord of the forty two districts.
'Master Yashiro. I've been looking around and I don't see any women's baths that are open early in the morning or any women's dormitories that might have innocent gals in their nightgowns.'
'Mmmm ......, Yashiro's face talks like a mouth that talks a lot.
...... What a bunch of guys. ...... Every single one of them saw through my perfect poker face. ......... ...As expected, the three sharpest men in the 42nd district!They're the only ones I've had to deal with.
'Oh, uh, brother!I don't have any s*xual feelings in that sense. Besides,......, it's not a good idea to think or talk about such things!
I've been lectured in earnest.
To the pre-stalker army peeking at private property in the early morning.
'I'm a more pure-hearted ......'.
'Even the girl you like works here?'
'Huh!Why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why did you break my peach?
'Calm down. 'Calm down. You haven't said "I thought" and you've cracked a peach that doesn't matter, so calm down for once.
Oh, I see.
So this stalker prep was acting like a criminal in the early hours of the morning just because he wanted to catch a glimpse of the girl he liked. So that's it. ...... He's not a prepper, he's a stalker.
'Too bad. It's too late.
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'What's the matter with you, all of a sudden?
'No, I just have a feeling that the word 'hag' is going to come out of my mouth when I see the painted hag. ...... I thought I'd say it while I can.'
'That's extremely dangerous. ...... You can say it now until you're ready.'
If you say it now, no matter what kind of hag comes out, you won't have to say, 'You're even more hag than I thought! If you say it now, no matter what kind of hag comes out, you won't have to say, 'More hag than I thought!
Let's say away a year's worth of hags here.
'Oh?Oh, ......, is that so?
Assunto rolls his eyes when he sees me like that.
And then, what's funny, he starts to grin with his cheeks relaxed.
'Are you ......?
'No.' I was just marveling at my own inadequacies. I was just marveling at my own inadequacies. ............ Hmmm, what I did was neglect to share information. However, I'm not so sure ...... that's the way ............ it should be.
What a creepy guy.
You can use the word "admiration" to mean either joy or admiration, or to mean lamentation or sorrow. ............ Well, I wonder which meaning he was admiring.
He sits on a low legged couch and stares at Assunto, who smirks at him.
Me and Estella are sitting, but Assunto and Natalia are standing by the wall.
As I was wondering if this was the kind of person I should be standing there to greet,......, the door quietly opened and an old woman walked into the room.
Her face is etched with long, deep wrinkles, and her sharp, raptor-like eyes and thin, crisp eyebrows give the impression of being tough.
The sullen expression on his face gave the impression of severity rather than sullenness.
If there had been a teacher like her, she would have been an absolute pain in the ass.
If you were told that she was the only craftsman in the world, you might be convinced.
Although she doesn't have the dignity of Lucia, the hard work she has put in has made her age more convincing.
When Estella and I sat up at the same time, the old lady quietly lifted her hand and restrained us, saying, 'Keep it up. We obeyed obediently, as if she wanted us to sit down.
After taking in a large amount of oxygen into her body through her thinly opened mouth, she said quietly in a voice that sounded as harsh as I imagined.
'Lady Rebekah will be here shortly. Please wait a moment.
After he finished, he quietly bent at the waist and bowed.
...... Isn't that him?
In the event that you have any questions regarding where by and how to use it, you can call us at the web site.
It's a good thing that you're not the only one. She is the one who is in charge of the arrangements and procedures for these visits and the management of the factory.
The koji maker devotes all his energy to managing the koji, and the old lady, Bertha, is in charge of all the other chores and affairs.
That's why she's so dignified.
A person who can move a person like that ...... sounds troublesome.
For now, let's talk to her and see what she has to say.
--I'm not sure.
The moment the door opened quietly, the air in the room suddenly became tense.
As someone entered the room, Assunto tightened his hold on himself.
As if in response, our bodies also lightly shrank.
'It seems I've kept you waiting a bit. I'm sorry, forgive me.
When I turned my gaze to the door to see who had entered, I saw a white fluffy thing swaying just below my field of vision.
I slowly moved my gaze downward.
'You've come a long way, haven't you? I am Rebekah Whitehead, the head of the koji maker.
The door slammed shut, and propped up in front of it was a very minimalistic young woman with fluffy white rabbit ears.
The rabbit people. But still small. Maybe even smaller than Magda. More than Hammaro, less than Magda, maybe 110 centimeters.
His limbs are limber and his speech is clear. She seems to have clear opinions, so I should probably describe her as a girl, but after seeing her large, round eyes and her smiling face, I feel like describing her as a little girl.
'Hey, what's this juvenile j......'
'Yes, stop, Yashiro-san.'
He tapped me rather hard on the shoulder.
Assunto looks at me with a businessman's face and whispers information to me.
'That word is forbidden. No, ......, let's rephrase it as 'related words'.'
I guess she doesn't like words like 'little girl', 'child', 'brat', 'chubby', 'Estella-level', and the like.
Young girls, by nature, do not like to be treated as children.
This little girl is probably one of those little girls.
From the looks of her, she is about five or six years old.
'I can hear you, Assunto.
'What?...... Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha. You are indeed a man with a good ear.
'Mmm. Well, that's fine. Most people who come here are surprised when they see me.
A koji maker rumored to be difficult.
With that kind of information, anyone would imagine someone of a certain age.
The first thing I imagined was a stubborn-looking old man with gray hair.
I didn't expect it to be a little girl like this. ............ That would surprise anyone.
'However, I find that I like to see the goofy faces of those who are surprised to see me. It's annoying when people make fun of you, but pure surprise can be entertaining.'
'Yes. I'm sure you're right. That's why I brought you here without telling you. They are my beloved friends and companions ...... and I trust that they will not misbehave, so I have taken this action.
How dare you? You just said you were 'negligent in sharing information'.
You're a merchant at heart, aren't you? You look as if it's all going according to plan.
'You're a man with a hateful style. ......
The malted rice maker, Riveka, chuckles throatily.
Her white hair swayed softly, as if she were a white head.
'I'm sorry, everyone. I'm sorry I startled you.
Assunto bows his head lightly, his face showing no sign of remorse.
So you've been using these little point-scoring tricks to get in.
So you're an 'old man who provides interesting things' for the little girl there.
'Ms. Rebecca Whitehead. Sorry for the delay. My name is Estella Creamona, Lord of the Forty-second District.'
'Good. Don't be so formal. I don't like formalities. You can make yourself more comfortable.
'Well, at .........'
Estella looks at Assunto.
She's not sure how much easier she can take it.
After all, he is a craftsman who is rumored to be difficult. If he's offended, he's likely to be told to leave or banned immediately.
'Here, there's the man.
When Estella can't decide what to do, Rebekah calls out to her in a friendly atmosphere.
As she does, her finger points at me.
'As long as it's that guy's face, I'll allow you to joke around.
'Whose face are you messing with, Kola?
'Ho-ho-ho, good. Don't be so angry, Assunto. I'm in a good mood today. I'll tolerate this level of rudeness.'
Which one of us is rude?
But from Assunto's attitude, I'd say the little girl really is a koji maker.
Moreover, it seems that she is usually quite strict.
Gently, Natalia calls out to me from behind.
From the way her voice is hushed, she's trying to tell me something important.
'If you're allowed to joke around with Yashiro-sama's face, that means you're allowed to dance around with him, right?
--Either that or he's trying to say something stupid. Yeah. It was the latter.
Go ahead, try it, hip-pullin' dance.
'Um, can I call you Riveka-san, as a sign of affection, at ......?'
With extreme care, Estella asks Rebeka.
'No, no, no. It doesn't matter what you call me. As long as it's not 'chan'.'
Can't I call you 'chan'?
You're most comfortable with 'chan'.
'I'm supposed to look younger. Especially when compared to Bertha.'
No, you're young, and Bertha's an old woman, so it's natural.
But it's not right to make assumptions based on appearance.
There are beautiful sisters of indeterminate age in the Forty-second Ward, and this little girl might be older than us despite her appearance.
When I met Bertina for the first time, she gave me a hard time for talking too much.
It's safer to tread carefully here.
'...... Is that artisan named Rebeka much older than she looks?'
'That's right, funny face!
The long rabbit ears of Rebekah caught the private conversation I had with Assunto.
...... Don't interrupt my private conversation, you're making it difficult.
I'm not sure if you'll be able to find the right one for you.
No, I see you.
I mean, you look like you're about five years old. ...... Are you going to get banned for that?
'Apparently, I can look quite young. But... But my real age is much older.
I don't think you're sixteen or something with that look. ............
'How old are you?
'I'll be nine this year.
'You're just a kid!
Next to me, Assunto sniffs, 'Piggy! Assunto sniffs.
But, this is unavoidable!
I've been pretending for so long that I'm nine years old!You're right in the middle of being a kid!
'............ Gaki, Jato?'
Rebeka's rabbit ears flared up. It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your vacation.
...... It's not scary at all, in fact it's quite cute.
But it's just before a business meeting. I'll try to keep my good mood.
'No, I'm sorry. I stand corrected.
'Oh!You're correcting me?What word are you going to correct?I'd love to hear how you're going to change a malicious word like 'brat' into something that'll make me feel better!
He sniffed vigorously and glared at me with bloodshot eyes like a child having a tantrum.
It takes a lot of effort to appease a sulking kid. ...... Well, let's give it a try.
I'm sure you're not going to use words like "child" or "little girl" that will get on my nerves, are you?Or what?Or what? 'Lady' or 'madam' or some such transparent flattery?Come on, think hard with your lacking brain. If you make the wrong choice, you'll all be banned!
Assunto looks back at me in desperation.
Don't stare so hard. You've got lard coming out of your forehead, so wipe it off for now, you.
You're about to kick out of a negotiation that's sure to be profitable because of your likes and dislikes.
This Rebekah's not a hard-headed craftsman. He's just a selfish kid.
Then there's an appropriate way to deal with him.
Now, answer me, funny-looking man!I'll tell you what you can say about me right now!
I'll tell you what I'm going to say right now!' He pointed at me firmly and stared at me with eyes full of uncompromising determination.
I kneel down in front of her and take her hand reverently as a knight would.
'Please put me in a better mood. Princess.
Then he gently kisses the back of her hand.
...... Well, since you're dealing with a kid, I guess you can't go wrong with this kind of service.
A low, muffled voice leaks out.
And then the hand of Rebekah, trembling in small increments, tightened.
'Yes!Something sounds good!
Yeah. She seems to be in a better mood.
'Mmm~!What, what, what, what, what!You know how to treat a lady!That's right, that's right!This kind of mature treatment is the most appropriate for me!Mmmmmmmmm!
Girls are always attracted to princesses, and there are not many girls who don't like being treated like a princess.
Especially girls who don't like to be treated like children.
What girls admire about princesses are beautiful dresses, glittering castles, sumptuous meals, colorful sweets ............ and cool knights who swear allegiance to them.
The majority of girls recognize the prince on the white horse as their partner, but the fact that they have a loyal knight by their side is what makes their heart flutter.
Think about it.
Would a prince of another country pamper you?
Will he obey every command you give him?
Even if you're the princess, she's still royalty.
We're on equal footing. No, if the other party is a prince, there's a good chance your position will be weaker.
But a knight is different.
They swear allegiance to the princess and risk their lives for her.
If you give him an order, he will surely carry it out. If you wish, he will give you a kind smile.
If you want to know what will happen to the princess when she finds out that she has her own knight by her side,......, you don't have to tell me.
There are not many boys who are willing to play the role of a knight in a game. Well, maybe not.
They will obey any orders and smile kindly all the while. That's just too much for a bunch of kids who want to act out.
You have to be as mature as me.
A knight is good for a girl who wants to act like an adult.
Because a knight doesn't treat a princess like a child.
The younger the girl, the more she likes the knight.
This is why I've been treating Rebekah like a child, and she's happily saying 'mmmmmmmm' to me.
Kids are so simple.
'Very well!Let's make up for our misunderstanding. Now, sit down, everyone. Let's get to business!
Rebeka's mood returned, and Estella and Assunto exhaled plainly.
Assunto is looking so pale that he looks like he's about to collapse.
Well, if you're the type like Assunto, all you can say is 'you're mature' or 'you're intelligent' or something bland like that.
That is why I feel it is difficult to negotiate with Rebecca.
If you say 'You are young' to a woman in her seventies, it may be a compliment. However, if you say the same thing to a woman in her twenties or thirties, not a few of them may feel uncomfortable, saying that you have treated them like an old person.
It might be a little difficult for those old men who used to flirt with old men. Flirting with children. In no small part because children are not the kind of people that merchants desperately want to be liked.
That's why, when people say, 'Don't treat me like a child,' they think, 'I'll compliment you on your maturity.
However, a compliment is not effective if it is not given according to the age of the child.
What resonates most with a child who says, 'Don't treat me like a child' is a 'pleasant adult experience' - in short, 'treat me like a child'.
The dour koji craftsman was just a child who was throwing a tantrum against an adult who did not understand the mind of a child.