284-196 Koji craftsmen are difficult to please.

'Hey, my knight. Tell me your name. I'll make a special note of it.'

The malted rice maker Rebeka, nine years old, looks five, sits on the top seat in a good mood and points at me.
I was about to slap her on her kneecaps, which were spread so wide, but that's okay. It's more convenient to let these children get on with it.

'Forgive me, Princess, for speaking my name in your beautiful ear. My name is Obeyashiro.'
'Ha-ha-ha. Why are you talking like that?It's disgusting, it doesn't suit you, just talk normal.

I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what you like. ...... That's why kids...
...... And Estella. Don't give me goosebumps.

That's enough. I'll just go with normal.

'Well, forgive me for talking like this, okay?
'Mm. A person's character comes out in their face. It suits you better that way. I'll specially forgive you for your foul language.'
'Hey, thank you, my princess.
'Mmmmm!That tickles.'

Rebeka rolls around on the couch, scratching her neck.
She's never been treated like this before, and she's having a grand old time.

'...... He really is a horrible man, isn't he, Yashiro?
'It's true ...... that when it comes to women, young or old, regardless of status or personality, you can always sneak right into their pockets. If I discover a way to go back in time, I'll go advise my then self to stop wasting my time and raise the white flag immediately.

Estella and Assunto are talking nonsense over there.
Don't blame me for your poor negotiation skills. I'm the standard and you're not trying hard enough.

You know, it's the parents with children who make the big purchases, whether it's a house or a car, and their weakness is usually their children. It can be said that being liked by children is one of the basics for winning a big business deal.
If you want to increase your business profit, you should be liked by children.
If you are seen as a child-lover, your reputation with third parties will be enhanced and you will be given a good impression.

It's a basic rule for con artists.

They're not scammers, so they probably don't know that.

'Yashiro-sama loves children, you know.

Natalia is mistaken.
It's true that the kids in the church and the ham kids have a strange fondness for me, but it's not because I like kids. It's just that they like me on their own.
Children are said to be the natural enemy of swindlers because they cannot understand theoretical conversation.
They are only used as props to trap the negotiators.

However, if the negotiator is a kid, we need to adapt to him.
I don't like it, but I'm good at it.
That's all I'm saying.

'...... in a s*xual way.
'I'm going to say a definite NO to that!

Natalia is not mistaken.
That was malice.

'Hey, my knight.'

Rebekah bends her index finger upward and calls me.

'I'm going to allow you to sit next to me. Sit here.'

Then he pats the couch.
He pats the couch, gesturing for me to sit next to him.

He then pats the sofa, gesturing for me to sit down next to him. 'Nii~' he says, showing the happy expression that kids sometimes show.
I often see this kind of expression on the faces of children when their relatives' older brothers come to visit them.
In short, it's the face you make when you've got a toy.

'Well, excuse me.

My seat has changed, and the seating order has changed.
I sit next to Riveka.
Estella is sitting across from me and Assunto is sitting across from Rebeka.
Natalia is standing quietly behind Estella.

The next thing you know, Bertha is standing by the door.
She is Rebekah's right-hand woman, and is in charge of the entire operation of this koji factory.
Maybe she's like the head waiter at the lord's place. The way she masks her presence is very similar.

A few moments after we had all taken our seats, several women who looked like factory workers came into the room. They replaced the tea that had been served in front of us with a new one and quickly disposed of it.

'Well, even though it's a business meeting, I've already talked to the assessor about the main points. This time, I want him to taste the bean sauce and tell me some other interesting stories. Don't be so formal, just take it easy.

As he said this, he gave Bertha a twirling finger signal.
She bows deeply and leaves the room. She probably went to get some bean sauce.

'No, my knight.

Elbows on my thighs, Rebeka peers into my face.
She's a prepubescent kid, so I guess she's overly skinny.

I mean, this guy. He says he's learned my name, but he never calls me by it.

'I've known the name Obayashi for a long time. You're the one who invented bean paste, aren't you?
'I didn't create it. I just taught him how to make the seasoning in my hometown.'

If they think you're the creator, they'll ask you to create a new seasoning and send you out to do research.
I can teach you what I know, but I can't help you with what I don't know. I'm just an amateur with a little knowledge. I have no intention of changing that position.

'Hmm. You're humble. You don't look it.

Rebekah laughs, shaking her shoulders with a chuckle.
This kind of one-liner is also very childish.

'So, what's this 'other interesting story' you're talking about?
'I want you to tell me about a new, innovative, exciting, and novel seasoning like bean sauce.
'I don't know.

No, I can't think of any new seasoning.
I've got a few ideas on how to use bean sauce.

'What~, I see. ...... I was expecting a little .......'
'I'm sorry I can't help you.'

I'm not sure why Assunto bowed to Rebeca, who looked disappointed.
...... So, did you tell her that 'Yashiro-san might know of some other interesting seasoning'?

'Oh, no. I didn't say anything.

As if he had read my expression, Assunto quickly interjected an excuse.

I'm sure you'll be able to understand why I'm disappointed. ......

...... What's with the roundabout declaration of 'disappointed'?
You can't have your own expectations and then be disappointed.

I'm going to give you a quiz then. Those who can answer correctly will receive a special gift.

Sudden quiz time.
This is also very childish. When you're dealing with kids, you're faced with this sudden quiz time over and over again.

'You have probably heard of miso, don't you? How is that miso made?

With a strange clause at the end of her sentence, Rebeka gave us a question.
It's not a quiz, it's just a question of knowledge.

She tried to pick me out first, but when I made a face like I knew what she was talking about, she turned her attention to Estella.

'Here, Lord of the Forty-second District. Answer me this.
'Er, let's see, .......'

Estella liked Ginette's miso soup, but she wasn't the type of person who would look into the process of making miso. In fact, it's doubtful that she even knows how to make miso soup.
Basically, he only knows about things in the 42nd district.

Estella looks at Natalia as if asking for help.
In response, Natalia quietly raises her hand and turns to Rebeka.

'Do you mind if I answer on your behalf, Miss Estella?
'Hmm. Very well. You have my permission.

Natalia knew that there was a good place to drink in the 33rd district. It was highly likely that she was gathering information about other districts to help Estella.
More importantly, she knew in advance that she was going to meet the koji maker. I'm sure she'll find out at least a few things.

Without much concern, I waited for Natalia to give me an answer.
Even with our eyes on her, Natalia did not show any signs of impatience and opened her mouth in a relaxed manner.

'First, we need to catch the wild miso.
'You're kidding!

I stood up at the unexpected answer.
Wild miso?

What is it then?
You're saying that brown, sticky thing has arms and legs and is running around in the forest?

'The tool I use is a fishing rod.
'The sea!You're in the ocean!
'Hmm, Master Yashiro. You're joking. If there were miso in the sea, the sea would become miso soup. .................. It's a river.'
'The river will turn into miso soup!

I don't know how serious she is, but Natalia gives me that answer without changing her expression at all.
Estella's expression was tense, so she didn't believe Natalia's crazy story.

'Mm-hmm. You're a funny girl.

But Rebekah is smiling happily.
She's not giggling, but she looks like she's in a good mood.

'After all, beautiful women are also intelligent.
'Yes, well, I suppose so.
'Natalia, be modest!

Estella's quick reply to Natalia's boastfulness.

But when she saw Natalia, she said she was beautiful. ...... No, she may be beautiful, but the way she said it bothered me a little.
It's not that she looked at her face and said she was beautiful, but that she had information about what someone else had defined as beautiful,.......
I wonder if he's even looking at that information paper.

'But it's not right.

No, 'What? What?
It's not a good idea, is it?

'Natalia. Miso is made by mixing soybeans and koji and letting it mature.

Assunto gave Natalia the correct answer, which was too misleading.
At that moment, Natalia's gaze changed.
'...... What's he talking about? ' or something like that.

Oh, Natalia knew what she was talking about, and she blurted it out.


Rebeka, who had been in a good mood next to me until a moment ago, suddenly became quiet.
Well. Because Assunto had stepped on a mine.

'Oh, what?Wasn't it?
'.................. No. Isn't that right?'

Rebekah's bunny ears flapped.

............ Assunto. Do you know what a promise is?
I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
If you're not sure what you're looking for, it's best to check with your doctor. It's ......... cold.

And Assunto.
Don't ever forget this.

Children are creatures that want to be told the right answer.
Sometimes you have to ask them to tell you the answer to a very simple problem.

Theories and logic do not apply to children.
Kids are creatures of emotion.
It's not about logic.
Fun or no fun. That's what's important.
...... Look at that. Rebekah's turned her head.

'...... I think I'll stop doing business with the peddlers guild. ......'

Hey, hey, hey. Stop muttering horrible things in a whisper.
If the bean sauce doesn't appear on the market, the demand for soya beans won't increase and the number of soya beans in the 29th district won't decrease.

'No, no,......, if I've done something to offend you, please apologize,.......'
'There is no need to apologize. ...... You were just answering a normal quiz.

In the event that you have any kind of questions concerning where and how to use the internet, you can contact us at the web site.
This is a great way to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money.

You'll be able to find a lot more information on .......

'That answer is inadequate. You can't turn those hard soybeans into miso by sprinkling koji on them and letting them sit.

Rebekah glances at me, still looking unhappy.
It's a 'let's see how you like it ......' kind of look.
It's really hard to fix a crooked belly button. ...... You owe me, Assunto.

I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not. If you don't know what you're looking for, you'll be surprised. I can't say it's the right answer without mentioning the point that would definitely surprise a stranger. What, Riveka?
'The most surprising part, you say?

Rebeka is a koji maker, but since she asked about making miso, she must know at least the whole process.
I've heard that this factory makes miso and soy sauce. Maybe they have some of those products.
When you go to a miso factory for a factory tour, they usually show you the first surprise.
Let's make it a problem and get him in a better mood.

Then, I'll give you a problem instead. The first step in making miso is to wash the soybeans. We use plenty of water to thoroughly remove the dirt from the soybeans. ...... At this time, what do you think we do with the soybeans that float instead of sinking to the bottom?Estella.
'What, me?'

When I asked Estella in the middle of the question, she crossed her arms in panic and said the answer that came to her mind quickly.

'I'll sink it!
'Don't get mixed up.

If you're going to treat me like everyone else, I won't bother asking.

'Hmm?Hmm?What, you don't know anything about that?'
'Huh. ............ Sorry, I didn't learn enough.'

Estella shrinks at Rebeka's innocent words. ...... but it's something you don't need to know, don't worry about it so much.

However, Estella's appearance caused Rebekah's mood to improve slightly.

'What do you do with the beans, Rebekah?
'Throw them away.
'What?What a waste.

'Mmmm ......, miso is delicate. You need to choose your ingredients carefully.

Soybeans are usually submerged in water.
If it floats, it often means that it has problems, such as insect bites, blemishes, or has not grown properly. Removing them properly will make the miso taste much better.

And here comes the problem.

'The cleaned soybeans are soaked overnight in about three to four times as much water as the beans. ...... The soaked soybeans undergo certain changes. Now, what do you think it is?

Then he pointed at Estella again.
'What, again? Estella twists her head like a little boy.
You've got a really good reaction. Look, Rebekah's crooked belly button is growing straight and long.

'It's germinating!
It's going to taste bad!

When they germinate, the nutrients in the beans are taken away.
But it's a fair point, considering the changes that appear after being soaked in water.

Another wrong answer, and Estella looks reluctant because I've pointed it out to her.
But that's okay!
On a quiz show or any other kind of show, unusual answers by others are the best entertainment.
When combined with a well-paced comedy, it can make the audience laugh.

Look, Rebekah is laughing with her mouth open.

'Ha-ha-ha...... is good. Good, Lord of the Forty-second Ward. You're an interesting lord.
'Oh, no, ...... I'm sorry for my lack of study.'
'What are you talking about? If you knew anything about miso, I wouldn't be in a position to help you.

The word 'no position' made Assunto break down. He bends his body and presses his belly with both hands as if he had been driven into his stomach with a huge stake.
Has he been hit in the stomach by the tremendous stress?

'There is no shame in not knowing. It is a shame not to think. What you don't know, you can learn from.'

Estella's curious answer seemed to please her, and the joy on Rebekah's face was seeping out, multiplying and overflowing.

'What is your name, my dear?I'll try to remember.'
'............ Oh, Estella.'

'No, you just said your name, didn't you? And then Estella says her name again.
In short, Rebecca only intends to remember the names of people she likes. It seems that the self-introduction she made earlier went from right to left.
I guess Assunto's name is remembered thanks to the bean sauce.

Estella, on the other hand, seemed to be liked for her personality.

'You're too stiff!You should talk more frankly and in a friendly manner!It's more fun that way, of course.

--Rebecca had accepted him as a friend.

'E......, then, it's nice to meet you again, Rebeka-chan.......'
'Mm!Nice to meet you, Estella.'

It seems that even if we get along, you can't call me 'chan'.
I don't know if you're allowed to call me that, Estella.
Natalia is getting a little annoyed in the background.

'Lady Riveka.

Bertha comes back with a small urn under her arm.
As soon as she enters the room, she directs a frightening voice at Rebeka.

'How dare you call out to my lord? I never raised you that way, sir. Please be polite, respectful and respectful to others.

At Bertha's words, the aura of unhappiness that had been radiating from Natalia dissipated.
Wow. I've always thought that talented little kids are often spoiled and grow up to be unruly brats, but Bertha seems to be an adult who can discipline them properly.

'But, Estella and I are friends now. You can't get mad at me for calling you that, can you, Estella?
'Um, well, I'm not ...... angry, but ......'.
'Look at that!Bertha is old-fashioned in her thinking!

Bertha's temperatureless eyes spoke plainly to Rebekah, who stomped back as if she'd just taken the demon's head off.

'Yes, you're right. I've lived a long time, and my thoughts must be very old-fashioned. I'm much more 'mature' than you, Rebekah.
'Muhaha!I've always told you not to call me 'chan'!Correct it!
'Rebeka-chan, bellow bellow baa~'
'Mew!Don't treat me like a child!Stop it!

No, that's no longer treating me like a child, it's treating me like a baby.
It's no longer treating me like a child, but like a baby. ...... Who's a long-lived, old-fashioned "adult"?You're a kid enough.

'Oh, um, Mr. Bertha. I really don't mind. It's just nice to know that you like me.
'That's very generous of you. You're as generous as they say, aren't you, Lord of the Forty-second District?

Bertha bowed on behalf of Rebeka and praised Estella.

...... I know, right? You're curious about ............ the word 'rumor'.

'I knew it!

She looks as desperate as if she had just melted all her money in a forex market.

In spite of Estella's wish, the rumor of the "Lord of Smiles" has spread far from the 42nd district to the 24th district. It would only be a matter of time before it became a nationwide phenomenon.

'But, Lord of Smiles,' he said.
'Please call me Estella!By all means!No, please, this way!

She's on her knees, bowing her head, like she's on her knees.
Estella, you're trying too hard.

'Well, Miss Estella. I appreciate your generosity, but Rebekah is a child who doesn't understand unless you tell her, so I have to make it clear that she is wrong. I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that.
'Haha ...... If you want me to do that from the perspective of education, I can't say no.'
'Thank you, sir.'

Perhaps because she was facing Estella, who was sitting on the floor, Bertha folded her hips more than ever and bowed her head deeper and deeper. She bows as if she were doing a standing forward bend.
Then, she slowly raised her body and lifted her face, and at the same time turned her gaze tightly to Rebeka.

'Repeat after me!'Estella-chan'!
'Can you give me a minute, Bertha?

Estella jumped up.
She stands up from her seiza and jams Bertha with her momentum.
This guy's spring is amazing. If there were several track and field coaches here, there would be a fistfight.

'You can't use 'chan'. ......'
I'm not sure what to make of that.

...... Yeah. This old lady is a bit of a disappointment too.
Thank God. I feel strangely relieved.

'All right. Take care of her, Estella.'
'...... Oh, you've already decided ............?Well, it's nice to meet you, Rebeka......-san.'

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that.

And Natalia, who loves her master's comical misfortunes. She's got a really nice smile on her face.
And Assunto is out of the picture.

As for me, apart from being exhausted from playing with the kids, there was a part of me that felt clearer, or at least strangely satisfying, and I felt somewhat refreshed.

"A difficult koji maker

Probably, many merchants had a hard time with Rebekah.
After all, they don't know where Rebeka's mines are.
You can't praise her, you can't push her, you can't pull her, you can't catch her with things, you can't catch her with things, you can't get her to talk about serious business, you can't get her to talk about serious business, you can't get her to talk about serious business, you can't get her to talk about serious business.

Rebekah lives by her emotions.
Even a professor at a top university can't analyze the emotions of a child.
It's harder to predict than tomorrow's weather.

You don't know why you made him angry, and once you do, your relationship with him will be ruined .......
I'm sure you must have looked very uncomfortable.

If it had been Assunto alone, the soybean paste development might have been terminated. The contract would have been easily broken and the distribution would have been doomed.

Estella would be more effective against such an opponent.
She's an authority figure without pretensions.

Best of all, Estella is well-liked by kids.
Like the kids at church. The ham kids. And the kids who come to the sunny side up for kids lunch.

Rebekah, the koji maker, is exempt from the 'bean duty' that all residents of the wards belonging to BU are equally responsible for. It's not something that can be decided by a single lord of the 24th district,......, I'm afraid.
Soybeans are a source of treasure that can be turned into blockbuster products such as soy sauce and miso.
Its profits are not limited to the 24 wards, but benefit the entire BU.
That's why they are given preferential treatment even if they have to bend the rules of BU - it's more appropriate to think that.

If Rebeka falls in love with Estella and settles into a friendly position with the 42nd district, ...... she may become a powerful card against the people of BU.

Even if not, it will be easier to get through to the lords of the 24th district.

So, Estella ......, do your best to get along with that little guy over there.

'Nice work, Estella.'
'Kki,......, you make me itchy, can you stop?

Estella glared at me with her cheeks dyed lightly.

Hey, hey. I see.

Then I'll save ............ for the right moment.