311-Preparation for Episode 223 Banquet 9

The rosemary was heated to a fluffy cotton-like consistency and spread into the barrel.
I twirled it around with a wooden stick made from scraps of wood that Imelda had lent me.

'There you go. It's done.
'''' Ohh!

A strange cheer goes up.
Can't you make your voice sound a little more sparkly? d*mn, these people...

'Yashiro-san. This is cotton candy, right?'
'Yeah. Looks like cotton, right?
'Yes. If I show this to Mr. Ukrines, he'll probably make a cushion out of it.'
'Oh, he's getting to the age where he starts to get brittle.
'No, you're not!You're still young, Mr. Ukrines!And I didn't mean it like that. ...... Oh, Yashiro!

The cheeks of Jeannette, who was in a good mood when she saw the cotton candy, puffed up and her eyebrows furrowed into a grimace.
When you present the cotton candy in front of her face, she turns around and smiles brightly.
Her expression changes frequently.

'After all, Yashiro always gives the first one to the manager, right?
I'm sure you're right.
'...... favoritism. No, never.'
'What?It's not like that, is it?

You gave Magda one more loquat before.

'So, let's give it to someone else this time...'
''''' Yes, '''''!

That's a lot of candidates!

It's not only Loretta and Magda, but also Estella and Norma, who are unusually coming forward.
And the muscle-bound bearded men are ...... ignored.

So let's give it to the one who deserves to eat it first this time.

'Here, Neffery.
'Huh?I'm ......, okay?'
'Yes. Eat it and let me know what you think.'
'Wow, ...... is great!Thank you, Yashiro!

Put your hands together and hold them in front of your mouth (beak).
Sometimes when you surprise a Hollywood actress, she'll surprise you with a pose like this,......, for TV.
I wonder if she's studying angles and poses that make her look cute?

You don't have to do that, Neffery.
You're a chicken for all intents and purposes.
You're the same no matter what.

'...... another Nephrite.
'This is a suspicion of suspicion at last!
'Meaning, it's a duplicate, Loretta .......'
'Because of Loretta, we've been diverted from the pursuit.
'What?Is it my fault?

I was just about to start gossiping about me, when Loretta burst out with her stupid daughter.
Estella and Norma were looking at her as if they were looking at a poor girl.

'Oh, my God. Don't say anything funny. Yashiro didn't mean it at all. Hey, hey, Yashiro?
'Yes, that's right...'
'Why are you reading with a stick like that?

Honestly, I don't care.
I don't care about that. Eat cotton candy and be impressed with 'wow' and 'yea'.
Just because you do that, I can use the cotton candy for free for the rest of my life.

'Well, you should try it. Percy's groundbreaking invention has brought a whole new type of snack to this city.

As I emphasized my explanation, Estella, Norma, Magda and Loretta said, 'Oh, so that's what it is.
The only ones who didn't notice were Nephrite himself and Ginette.

'Well, I'll take it.

Then Nepheli poked at the cotton candy.
...... Ah, 'eat', right? I chose 'poke' for visual effect.

What's this?What is this?It's amazing!

Neffery's face lights up. I'm sorry.
...... No, I'm sorry. To be honest, you can't really see the change in expression on this guy.
I'm sure it's a very nice smile.

'The moment I put it in my mouth, it melted away.
'...... melting?

'Are you sure?It doesn't look like it's melting at all.'
'Really, really!When I put it in my mouth, it disappears with a 'whoosh'!

He seemed to be surprised by the texture first.
Well, if you don't know anything about cotton candy, you are first surprised by the way it is made, then by the appearance, then by the texture, and finally by the taste. That's how it goes, I guess.

'So, how does it taste?

Estella approached Nepheli with great interest.
Nepheli says, 'Oh, I don't mind. I forgot to tell you how it tasted...' She made a sarcastic gesture and then gave her opinion again.

'It's really, really sweet!

Well... It's sugar.

'Yashiro!This will definitely be popular!Both children and adults will love it!

I don't know. ...... What about adults?
The guys in District 42 might be into it, though.

'What about you, Neffery?Cotton candy, do you like it?'
'Of course!I love cotton candy!'
'It's .......'
'Wait a minute, you ............ can't stop crying right now. ......'

Percy, who ran out of the store at great speed to get some lentils, ran through the store in twelve minutes when it would have taken him thirty minutes.
In reaction to this, he fell on the floor as soon as he arrived at the store, and until now he had been dying with 'ze...... ze......', but now he is being summoned in a different way ...... Yes, to heaven (paradise).

'Hey, hey ...... Percy, are you okay?

Nephrite peeps at Percy, who looks like he's about to die (which is what he wants, I guess).

'You're crying, aren't you?

You're the one who made me cry.
After all, I love you! That's why.
I bet Percy could survive two years of fasting with that one word.

However, I don't want him to die, so I'll save him a little.
I crouched down beside Percy's face and whispered in a voice that only Percy could hear.

'Hey, Percy. Wouldn't you like to know what heaven tastes like?'
'...... Hey, I'm sorry. I'm having the best time of my life right now. ...... Just leave me alone. ............ I'll never be happier than I am right now, anyway. ......'.

'Please help us maintain a stable supply of jalapeño.'

With that, he pats Percy on the shoulder and stands up.

'Neffery. Percy's exhausted, can't you share some sugar with him?'
'Is this the sugar ...... you want?
'Yeah. He can't even move his hands, so give him a slice of the part he hasn't touched.'
'Yeah. That's fine. ......'

I shred a pinch of cotton candy and bring it to Percy's mouth, who is lying on his back with his arms covering his tear-stained eyes.
Percy opens his mouth involuntarily when something fluffy touches it.
With a flick, Nepheli throws a cotton candy into it.

Percy looks up in surprise at the sweetness that suddenly spreads in his mouth.
He sees his beloved Nepheli bent at the waist and knees, looking at him. In his hand was a cotton candy made of sugar.
The visual information in her brain came together to form ...... 'I was fed cotton candy! And that led to the fact that...


--Percy let out a strange sound and fainted.
I think I'm over capacity.

'............ is a taste of heaven,............, and it's really bad. ............'

Those were Percy's last words.

'Yashiro. The dead are here.'
'I'm sure he went to heaven.
'You really look peaceful.
'Hey, guys. Mr. Percy, he's not dead, is he?

I look down at the fainting Percy around me.
Her eye makeup is all messed up with tears.
She looks like a gal who's been crying.

'......, but well, now you can get the ingredients for the cotton candy for free.
'You can get the ingredients for cotton candy for free semi-permanently!
''Yeah ......, that's not how it works .......''
''Don't worry, it's Percy.''

Magda and Loretta know exactly what they're doing.
The lower the cost of materials, the lower the selling price.
We'll make more profit, and the customers will get a tasty snack for less.
No one is unhappy. Except for ...... Percy.

It's also possible to share cotton candy by cutting it into strips like you did earlier.

Just like Neffery did, you can cut the cotton candy into pieces and share it with others. You don't even have to put your mouth on it, so even if you're worried about indirect kissing, it's okay.

'Then let's all eat together.
'Is that okay, Neffely?
'Yes. We're all friends.'
'Nephrite is a good girl!
'She's a real people person.
'...... Magda has always thought so.'
'You can see the kindness on her face!Hey, manager.'
'Mm-hmm. That's right.
'But, you're all giving me too much ...... praise. You just want to eat cotton candy.''

The girls start laughing face to face.
It's so funny.
After all, it's nice when girls get along like this.

'Let's share with us too~'
'We're good friends, aren't we~'
'Ahhh, I'm looking forward to it~'

I don't look at the excited Mukimuki Osan, even if I have to. Even if I wanted to!

'Well, let's make another one.

By turning the handle attached to the body of this cotton candy machine, the tube filled with lumps of sugar rotates, and the centrifugal force dislodges the cottony sugar into a bowl.
Two people are needed: one to hold a wooden stick the size of disposable chopsticks and twirl the cotton candy, and the other to turn the handle.
Earlier, I asked Norma to turn the handle.
The handle turns with a light force, but it is a little troublesome because you have to keep turning it until the end.
I'm thinking of leaving the real work to Delia.
We need the power of the beastmen. No matter what we do.

'I'm sorry, but I need some help. ......'

As I said this, I looked at her and saw a lot of piercing eyes staring at me.
They all want to do it.
I'll take the one that twines you around the pole.

Percy is out cold, and the old men are saying things like, 'You don't understand a girl's heart, Yashiro, asking a girl to do the heavy lifting,' and 'Girls are attracted to boys who can be trusted,' so I can't ask.

In the end, I guess I'll have to do it myself.
Magda and Norma, who can be asked to do it, will want to observe what others are doing because they don't want to fail in their turn.
...... I can't help it.

'In order'.
'''''' Yes! ''''''

I got a really good response.
You're preschoolers, aren't you?

'Yeah, it's harder than you think.
'It looked so easy when we saw it.

Norma, who took first place in a game of rock-paper-scissors, and Estella, who was second, struggled with the cotton candy, which didn't hold together well, and created an oddly shaped cotton candy.
Norma forcibly made a shape with her hands and cheated, while Estella made a strange, elongated shape.

'...... "White fluffy something sweet snack" vs. "Red fuzzy something shiny"'.
'Don't use 'red fuzz' for this!
'...... Yashiro, excuse the abbreviation. This is the venerable ...... of the Tigers.'
'All right, get on with it!I'm tired, you handle!'

Magda was not happy, but Ginette gave her a stick and she started making cotton candy.
I'm sure you've figured out the trick after watching it a few times, but Magda's cotton candy was forming a beautiful fluff.

'...... And here, add some coarse rice.
'Don't add more without permission!
'......I'm going to make a giant cotton candy.'
'No such thing!

Magda added it on her own, so I asked Neffery to pass it on quickly.

'Wait, I'm not ready for ...... that!

No need, no need, no need.
If you're in Japan, you can go to a buffet and they have it, anyone can do it.
When I was a kid, they used to have them at the rooftop amusement park of department stores. You put in a hundred yen, and out comes a batch of lumps, with a box of disposable chopsticks around the side of the machine.

'Oh, look at that!Isn't it pretty?
'Wow, it's amazing. Mr. Nefari.'

Oh, I was thinking and didn't see what Nephrite was doing at all.
Well, it's not something I can watch over.

At ......, the first two people who failed are staring at you in frustration.
They're looking at me with a look of 'Wow, we want revenge! They're looking at you with a face like that. ......

'Then it's finally my turn!

Loretta rolled up her sleeves, stepped forward, and succeeded as usual.

'It's not very exciting, is it?Everyone, make it more exciting!My cotton candy turned out great!
'No, Magda and Nephrite made it too, so I thought it wasn't worth the fuss.
'That's terrible!It's not fair!Please praise me too!

'You were very good, Loretta.

The good-natured Ginette took the trouble to praise her.
Well, now we know that anyone can make cotton candy.
It might be a good idea to let the kids make their own at the party.

If we make it a selling point that people can make cotton candy by themselves, we may have a big hit at the Sunda-mari-tei.
It's kind of fun to do it yourself. For example, cotton candy and soft ice cream.
...... Soft-serve ice cream is indeed impossible, isn't it?

'I'll be the last one'.

And here comes Ginette with all her might.
But I'm sure she'll succeed as usual.
I don't think she's going to show her 'obsession' with cotton candy.

'Okay, let's go.
'Yes, please. Please.'

He throws in a few sprinkles and turns the handle.

'No, I'm fine, just keep going to .......'

Suddenly, Ginette started singing a nursery rhyme, which upset me.
A song I taught her. ...... d*mn, this song is now embarrassing to listen to.

'Ginette. What's that song about?I've never heard of it.'
'Yeah, Estella!Don't come near me when I'm cooking!You'll burn yourself!
'What's wrong with you? You look so scary.'

He intimidates Estella, who approaches him, and removes her.
...... Don't go deep into it. Just listen. And on the way back, fall and hit your head and lose your memory of this place.

'Hmm, hmm, hmm...'

That's funny. The song I taught you wasn't supposed to be a waltz like that. ......

'Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm...'

Yeah, that's right.
Ginette was a creature with no sense of rhythm or sound.

'I'm not very good at this.
'Huh?That's terrible. It's true, I'm new at this, so I may not be very good at it. ......'

No, I'm not. I'm not talking about the cotton candy, I'm talking about the song.

'Like this, like this, like this...'

Why are they singing?
Well, I'm glad you're having fun. ............ Hmm?


She shakes her body slightly and hums a strange but happy tune through her arched mouth.
I'm not sure if this is what Ginette is ...... cooking with.

The kitchen was changed to an island kitchen when the Sunlit Pavilion was remodeled, but that kitchen was mainly used for serving food and helping me, and Ginette always used the kamado by the wall. That's why the only time I saw her standing in the kitchen was from behind. ......

Ginette stands facing me as I turn the handle of the cotton candy machine.
I can see Ginette's face even better today because she's bent over a little and is looking into the trays.
I've never seen Ginette's face so closely and head-on while she was cooking before.

What can I say? ......
I felt I understood one of the reasons why Ginette's cooking is so delicious.

With such a good expression on her face, the food would be delicious.
Well, there's no way that a face can change the taste of food.
While thinking about this, I couldn't help but stare at her.
The smile on Jeannette's face made ...... me feel nostalgic.

'Yashiro, look at this. It's well done. ...... Yikes.'

Ginnette, who completed the fluffy cotton candy, let out a small scream as soon as she looked up.

'I'm ...... surprised.'
'Oh, I'm sorry.

Oh, no.
I've been staring too hard.

'You were probably staring at Jeannette's bent-over breasts again, weren't you?
'Hmm?Oh, that's right. That's what I meant. Boobs are so cute!

Rather than being thought to be ...... admiring Ginette because she was cooking so happily, it's better to be disgusted with '...... this titty man again'.

'...... something different than usual'.

I don't want you to guess.

'Um, Yashiro-san. What do you think?

A cotton candy was presented in front of me.
It was fluffy and fluffy to the point of perfection, so fluffy and fluffy that if you showed it to a child, they would be overjoyed with all their might.

'Please give me a grade.

And on the other side of the room, a big smile bloomed.
I know you can't be too harsh with a smile like that.

'You're perfect. You've got your license.
'Really?I'm so happy.'

'Wow' is ...... you.
Even Neffery wouldn't say that nowadays.

'After all, it looks delicious when you make it, doesn't it, Jeannette?
'That's true. What's the difference?
'The ingredients are the same, but the finished product is very different.
'...... Hmm. An amateur can't understand.
'Yes, yes. Magda probably doesn't understand either. Don't be arrogant.'

Nefari is telling Magda off. 'The comfort of success?

You may not understand. The difference between you and Jeannette.
Estella's and Norma's faces showed their 'gung-ho' to do well, Magda's and Loretta's faces showed their greed to master quickly, and Nephrite's face was that of a chicken.
In the midst of all this, only Ginette seemed to be enjoying herself as she faced the cotton candy.

Probably, in his mind, he was thinking of those who would eat it, 'I want it to be delicious.
There was a clear difference between Jeannette and the others in terms of 'who she was cooking for'.

I don't mean to say that cooking is a matter of love, but I do think that food that is made with the eater in mind and for the sake of the eater will taste better.

So, this is for Yashiro-san.
'Only Yashiro-san hasn't eaten yet, right?

When I looked around, I saw that the old men of the hardware guild were all sharing cotton candy, saying things like 'we're good friends~'. ...... Who made that?

I'm sure you'll like it.
'Oh, that's not fair, Yashiro!I want to eat your cotton candy too, Ginette.
'...... Magda deserves it too.
'Then I want some too!

Girls flocking to Jeannette. '...... You hyenas.
But Jeannette kicked them off with a smile.

'This time, it's for you, Yashiro.

He smiled and silenced them all with his unapologetic cheerfulness.
No one would be able to argue with that.

'Ginette-chan also gives the first one to Yashiro quite often, doesn't she?
'There are times when I feel that ...... is a favoritism.
'Big brother, it's not fair.

It's not fair. ......

'Hmm. That's right.'

I thought he was going to be embarrassed and make a big impatient retort, but Ginette admitted it surprisingly easily.
But Jeannette admitted it surprisingly easily, so easily that I was surprised.

'Because if you're nice to Yashiro-san, something good will happen to you later. Right?
'...... bribe?'

Ginette shakes her shoulders with a giggle and laughs, 'Maybe so.
You may think it's a light joke, but ...... really.
Anyway, here's some cotton candy for you. I put my mouth on it and bit into it so that no one would steal it.
Ah, sweet, sweet.

And then--

'Excuse me.

--Natalia came into the sunlit pavilion.

'Oh?There's something unusual here.

She looks at the cotton candy bowl placed in the store and shows interest.
Then, he glanced at the Mukimuki Osan who were frozen in place behind it.

''It looks like there are some unusual creatures here.
'''Oh my god!You're awful, Natalia!

It's your biology that's terrible.
Stop wiggling, old man.

''So, Natalia. Is there something wrong?
''Yes. I received a letter from Mr. Donnerty.'

Here it comes.

I had asked Mahr to write to Donnis, directly or indirectly, and get him to participate in the party at the 24th District Church, and the result has arrived here now.

If Donnis didn't participate, this banquet would be a failure.
It would remain a mere social gathering. That may be meaningful, but it's not enough to overturn ...... the BU.

Estella looks at her once and then opens the letter she received from Natalia.

As everyone watches with bated breath, Estella's eyes move quickly over the letter.
Left to right, top to bottom.

And then ......


After folding the letter, Estella--

'The banquet has been decided.'

--with a triumphant smile on her face.

It seems Donnis has made time for it.
I've already gotten the approval of the 24th district church and the koji craftsman Rebeka.
If you contact me in advance, I can arrange a date for you.

'Natalia, I'll write a letter to the 24th District Church and the Koji Workshop right away, so please make arrangements for a carriage.
'Very well, sir.'

Estella instructed Natalia, while I instructed the others.

'Magda, you go to Torbeck Engineering, and Loretta, you go tell Delia what just happened.
'...... Understood.'
'Okay, sir!
'Then I'll go inform the sisters.
'Please. Norma and the old man will be with me to finish the bearings.
''All right!
''I'll take care of it!

Time starts to move at once.
Everyone present does what they have to do.

It's great that the banquet has been decided, but once it's decided, there's no going back.
The only way left is to make it a success at all costs.

'Hey, Yashiro. What are you going to do about the store?
'Oh, I'm sorry, Nefari. Can you do it?'
'Yes. I'll take care of it.

I need you to look after Jeannette until she gets back from church.
The church could be tomorrow, but since we're taking the ...... kids with us, the more time we have to prepare, the better.

'Percy, do you mind if I let him sleep?
'If he's in the way, you can pull him into a corner and leave him there.
'Um, I'll get you a blanket.

As if she had any objection to the idea of leaving Percy alone, Jeannette hurriedly ran behind the counter.

'I think if you sprinkle some chili on it, it will raise your body temperature and you won't catch a cold, Percy.
'I don't have a Yashiro .......'
'I'm going on a super express and coming right back!I'll be in charge of the store!

As soon as she said that, Loretta ran out of the store.
She must have thought that she couldn't leave it to Neffely alone. If he hurries, he'll be back soon.

'Well, then, Nephrite. When the customers arrive, keep them waiting until Loretta returns.'
'Yeah. All right.'
'...... with some light talk.'
'Don't raise the bar, Magda. ......'

And then each of us leaves the store to do our part.
We'll do everything we can.
To draw Donnis in. And to f*ck the BU guys over.

To put it mildly, to protect District 42.

Well, it's not exactly a gala. Not for me.