324-Episode 236 Return to Ward 42

The carriage on the way back was much quieter.
In the carriage were myself, Estella, Magda, Loretta and Delia.
Masha said she was going to Lucia's, and got into the same carriage with Natalia and Milly.
Umaro and the others would return after they had finished clearing the stalls.
It would be night before they reached the Forty-second District.
As for Assunto, he had some work to finish in the other side of the city and was going separately.

Ginette, Bertina, and the kids are in the carriage that follows ours. It's pretty quiet for a carriage full of kids.

The only sound is the rattling of the wheels.

'I've left a message for Natalia. I didn't have time to write a letter.'
'To Lucia?'
'Yes. She wanted to talk to you as soon as possible.'

The sudden start of the conversation elicited a faint reaction from the passengers.
I'm curious about you. I just don't know what to say.
Well, it's easier said than done. There's no point in arguing over speculation here. It would be better for us if you were a little quieter.

We have a lot to think about.
How do we put the pieces together? ...... But we don't have many pieces on hand.

'I wouldn't get your hopes up with Mr. Tracy and Mr. Donati.

Estella looks down at the floor and lets out a weak voice.

'It's a shame. ...... I thought we had a good relationship. ............ If only we had a little more time, maybe two more. ......'

You can win the majority of the vote if you can get four of the seven lords of the districts belonging to the BU to join your side.
It's true that I started with such an idea. ......

'It's no use thinking about it now. The rest of the world won't sway to our side no matter what. We've seen the end of minorities before our eyes.
'Minorities...... Mr. Donati, isn't it?'

In BU, belonging to the majority is justice.
If you are in the majority, no harm will come to you. You can exercise your rights and receive benefits.
However, if you become a minority, you will be deprived of these benefits at once. ......
Minorities are losers. Losers. They are no better than a hair out of place.
...... That's a nice little rhyme. Okay.

'Minorities are hairless.'
'............ Sorry. I've been thinking about it a lot, and it just doesn't make sense.'

I see. You don't get it.
Estella, you need to work on your senses.

'...... Perhaps I mistook it for 'loser'.'
'Oh, "loser" and "hair loss" ...... look a bit alike!

Magda is on the right track. But it's not just a mistake, you know.

I'm sure you're not the only one who has a problem with this.

Delia's crazy theory made the whole car shout in agreement.
''You can't mistake it for something like that!

''Besides, transparent bras are in the majority, aren't they!
'Yes, everyone. Be careful with transparent bras~. Let's put on a jacket...'

With Estella's devilish words, all the girls in the car began to put on their jackets and lap drapes.
...... d*mn it!

...... I thought it was a show bra, but Ukrines said something I didn't understand, like 'it's invisible and fashionable'. I wonder if our sensibilities don't match. ......

'd*mn!You've ruined the serious atmosphere!'
'Whose fault is that? ......'

It was Estella who couldn't notice my clever play on words, and Delia who brought up the transparent bra.
It's not my fault.

'But I'm sure the other lords were horrified. ......'

Estella suddenly turned back to the conversation, a serious expression on her face.
Fear......'I don't want to be like that,' she said, fear mixed with mockery and anxiety.

'The only troublesome thing is that the person who gave you that fear is not the lord of the 29th district.'
'What?Aren't you following Mr. Erlin because you're afraid of him?''
'You know, ......, you've seen enough to know that, right?

The current head of the BU is indeed Gerasie Erlin of the 29th district, but the one who is holding the BU people in fear is...


Anyone who acts differently is 'evil' - such a consciousness is not extreme, but actually prevalent in the BU.
If you say 'I don't think so' in that situation, you will be kicked out to the minority side, saying 'Then you are on the other side.

'They may think that they are seven people working together to make allies, but in reality, they are in a situation where everyone other than themselves is also an enemy.

You can't play games.
Everyone around you is your enemy, so you can't even make a bad move.

The entire BU has become a surveillance society.

'So we can't expose the evil of the Gerrasi and say, "Come on, turn against them! You can't do that.
'...... Is that what Yashiro did when he fought with Assunto?
'It's like that.

Magda's opinion is not entirely wrong.

The method I used when I had a war of words with Assunto was to create a common enemy and bring him to our side at once.
When there is a common enemy, a powerful bond can be created even between people who do not know each other very well. Or rather, it is easy to make people believe that a bond has been formed.

But we can't use that technique this time.
It could not be used in the first place.

There are two situations in which I cannot use this technique of creating a common enemy and drawing them to my side.

The first is if you don't like me enough to appeal to them.
The incident on the main street when I had a run-in with Assunto. At that time, the people in District 42 knew very little about me. For better or worse, they didn't have any information about me.
That's why I was able to win them over.
But if the crowd was disgusted with me, as they were at the gluttony contest.
No matter how many words I say, their voices fall on deaf ears. It's as if I've put a lid on my heart, and my words are rejected.

And one more thing.
That's when the common enemy is me.

That's exactly what happened to BU this time.
During the gluttony contest, I made "Obayashi" the common enemy so that "42nd district" would not be an enemy of the crowd.
By manipulating the impression that 'it's Obayashiro who's bad', he made people think that 'District 42' and the 'Acting Lord of District 42' were his allies.
By making the audience think that they were allies with a common enemy, Obayashi, a sense of solidarity was created, and Estella's words would reach the audience more easily. That was the goal.

But this time, in BU, the common enemy is the 42nd district, which includes both Estella and me.
And anyone who joins the enemy will be recognized as an enemy.
The same goes for Lucia in District 35, Tracy in District 27, and Donis in District 24. ......

The BU's have been united from the beginning and will not even negotiate with the enemies that appear later.
The "enemy" will continue to be the "enemy," and the unity of the BU will grow stronger.

However, on the other hand, it can be said that the unity of the BU is only to the extent that it is immediately recognized as an enemy when it comes into contact with an enemy.
Robust and fragile.
It's like a bond that's only ostentatious in appearance, like papier-mâché.

'What a cowardly bunch. They only care about what others think.
'But that's why they're so tough. It's a disgusting aspect of nobility. ...... Haha.'
'...... Cowardly hexenbiests are hard to hunt. In fact, hexenbiests that are confident in their power are easier to deal with.
'Oh, I know what you mean. It's hard to hunt down a cheating person who runs away or cheats!My brothers and sisters can be scolded by ...... and my parents can be scolded by .......'
'Is that so?If Omero starts making excuses, I'll throw him in the river,.......
'Why did you rephrase that, Delia?You didn't change a thing, did you?

If you have a personality that is as easy to understand as Delia's, it would be easier to talk about. ......

'I might have to go to Loretta's house for a home visit once.
'Don't do it!Really, please don't!My parents are the kind of people no one should be allowed to see!They're even worse creatures than Wendy and her perverted father!
'Loretta, I know how you feel, but ...... you're being rude to Wendy.'
'...... to Wendy's father, not?'
'Yes, to ...... Wendy.'

Estella doesn't seem to want to protect the old man either.
If he were to say to anyone, 'Don't be rude! If he were to say to someone, 'You're always half naked! he'd probably say back.

'By the way, though, ......'.

I've been thinking over and over again, 'I should ask ......, but I don't want to ......, but I want to ......... ...' Estella, who had been repeating such conflicting thoughts over and over, apparently decided to listen after all.

'Has Yashiro ...... come up with anything?
'How to make the most of your boobs?There are at least three ...... for now.'
'No, no, no, no!
'First of all, ......'.
'Because I'm not listening!And those three are definitely not 'effective'!

Estella is probably trying to do as much as she can to help herself.
But her brain and heart can't keep up with the sudden turn of events, and she probably needs some clues and hints.
She feels bad about relying on me, but her first priority is to protect the lives of the residents of her district. --And that's about it, I guess.

'It's still too early to tell,' he said.
'It's ......, you know.'

So, it's best not to say anything rash right now.
I don't want you to have strange expectations, and I don't want you to go off in a crazy direction.
However, I'll leave you with the hope that there may be something that can be done.

If there is a way to do something about it, it is .................., but whatever it is, there is not enough information.

'Did you say four days from now?'
'Is it the day of the meeting of the lords?'
'It's the day of the inequality trial by majority vote.'
'Inequality ......, of course.'

Estella once called the BU's majority rule 'a fair way to go'.
Now that you're here, you know firsthand. The inequality of majority rule.
It's violence of numbers to silence the opinions of others.

'He said it would be in four days. We can barely move today, so we have four days left. ...... No, we'll be going to the 29th district in the morning of the fourth day, so we can only really move for three days. ...... ...... d*mn.

As she spoke, she seemed to be coming to terms with the situation.
In the end, Estella placed her elbow on her thigh and bit her thumbnail.

Three more days of .......

'...... Yashiro. Estella.'

Magda calls us.
I turned my head to see Magda and the others looking at us with the same look on their faces.

'...... If there's anything Magda and the others can do, we'll help you.'
'That's right!Tell us everything!Tell me now!
'I and the guys from the river fishing guild will do our best to help you!

Those are encouraging words.
Even if there was no concrete solution in those words, and even if they were not accompanied by a reassuring persuasiveness.

'Thanks, guys. If you need anything, feel free to ask me.'
'...... of course.
'You can count on me!
'I'll leave it to you!'

Estella expresses her gratitude honestly.
She almost cried a little.

And then the eyes of these reliable animal girls all turned to me.

...... What?

You can find a lot more information on the web at .......
'No, you can't!
'No, you can't!

The three beastly girls crowd me.
'...... these guys.

'Hey, hey. I know.

I'm not going to be as reckless as before.
I've said so many times. ...... Convictions are hard to get rid of, aren't they? I don't trust you at all.
......That's how much they care about you, I guess.

'...... If you tell a lie.
'If you lie to me, will you make me drink a thousand needles?
'...... No. Right in front of Yashiro, the manager's ......'
'...... playing volleyball with her tits.'
'Boob volleyball!
'It's me and Magda-chou, with the manager in between us, throwing our right boob and left boob at each other and smashing them together!
'That's not volleyball, is it?

I don't think there's any volleyball in this world.
I'm not sure what to make of that.

It's just ...... that game. I want to see it!
'...... Oh no. It's all over.
'It's back to the drawing board!
'The salmon I let escape was delicious!
'Guys, you're using the wrong words slightly. ...... Also, Delia. You didn't let him go.

I think he meant to say 'counterproductive' or 'backfired'.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. ...... I understand the nuance.
In fact, I use it in the sense of "the end result = no good! It's a feeling. It's a feeling, you know.

But Delia's is different.

Even though she was in a serious situation, the atmosphere in the carriage was relatively normal and joking.
This is more comfortable,......, but I don't know.

You will find a lot of things that you can do to make your life easier.
Estella poked me in the side with her elbow.

'Don't worry about them too much. Not just for Magda and the others, but also for ...... Ginette.'
'...... I don't mean to.'
'Then it's okay. ......'

'It's okay,' Estella said, pinching my cheek.
Isn't that okay? What are you protesting about?

'Because I haven't seen your face like that in a long time. ......'

That face is the one Estella pointed out to you in church.
She said I was 'smiling'.
No, well, I'm aware that I was laughing, but ...... I'm sure I didn't have a face that would cause this much concern.

This is a great way to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money.
...... Am I a puffy mascot? I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that.

I'm sure you'll be fine.
'...... No.'
'No, I'm not.'
'Estella is...'
'Heh, me?'

While pinching my cheek, the four girls begin to talk. ...... Let go of me.

'...... Estella always sits casually next to Yashiro.'
I'm not sure if you've seen this before, but I'm sure you've.
'If we sit next to each other, Estella always touches Yashiro...'
I'm not sure what to do....... Touching doesn't ...... mean anything weird like that. ...... It's just a normal thing to make you look at me, or to warn me, or something like that. I'm sure you'll understand. ......'

I'm not sure what to make of that.
Her face turns bright red as she points this out.

'...... ech'.
I'm not going to let you be the only one to say that, Yashiro!

In the event that you have any questions concerning where and the best way to get in touch with your loved ones, please do not hesitate to contact us.
It's because of your extreme reaction that you get called out on so many things. Donnis and the like...

'Anyway, just let go of me, whatever. My cheeks will fall off.'
'...... new discovery'
'Yes, sir!My brother's cheeks feel surprisingly good!
'I think I know why Estella wants to touch you!
'Just let me go!
'...... Almost there.'
'Just a little more.'
'Just a little more, huh?Jashiro. See?

And so my cheeks were puckered all the way until we reached the 42nd district.
...... Maybe, but it's a little sore.

Back to the 42nd district, we got off the carriage in front of the lord's mansion.

'I've been waiting for you!Well, the new bearings I made are performing very well, take a look!
'Oh, Mr. Yashiro. What a coincidence to meet you here. I have some of the finest wood I could find this morning, by chance!Would you like to see it?I'm sure it'll be good material for playground equipment.
'Oh, Yashiro. I was thinking, when you use our eggs to make doughnuts, use only the yolks. ......'
'Welcome back, Yashiro!I put some lettuce and lemon on the side of the plate for the fruity sausage. ......'
'Yes, stop!You guys need to calm down!

--There were a lot of people waiting for me.
No, not greeters, salesmen?

'Wait a minute, ......, we're in a lot of trouble.'
'What kind of trouble?

As the girls crowded around him, Theron looked worried.
He has a new brick in his hand. ............ You too, Theron?

'Yashiro. ...... Huh?What's this?Is it a blue sky market?'

Ginette gets out of the carriage after him and rolls her eyes at the temporary flea market.
That's right. It looks that way, doesn't it?

'Well, I'm late to the party, aren't I?

Regina comes in with a carefree voice.
Did you come to show off your new drug?

'You should have seen it. I've written a new type of thin book that reverses the roles of myself and the fox carpenter, and it's quite a masterpiece. ...... Ah!I'm not sure what you're doing.

I'm not sure what to make of it. ...... It's a bad omen. I don't have a role to play in the first place.

And so, hero. ...... What's the big deal?'
'Oh, ...... well, let's just say. I'll tell you.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to help these guys, but ...... it's something that could affect the entire 42nd district.

Theron, in particular, must be curious because he thinks it's their wedding that triggered it.

With their faces like this, there might be fewer couples who want to have a wedding.
If that happens, the amount of money coming into the sunny house will decrease.
After all, it's the only restaurant on the road to the church and a pioneer in wedding receptions. It's also a pioneer in cakes.
Every time a wedding is held, a substantial amount of money rolls in. It's ...... expected.

So, aside from Theron, Wendy needs to have an aura of happiness around her every day. If Theron is like this, Wendy will be depressed.

'Do you have time after this?Let's go to the Sunken Pavilion and talk.
'I'll be there!
'Of course, no problem!
'Can I go home and tell my dad that I'll be late?
'Yeah, me too!I have to go tell Dad.
'Okay, we'll meet at the Sunlit Pavilion in thirty minutes.
'I'll prepare something delicious for you.

With the new product in hand, each of them headed back to their homes.
Let's go back to the sunlit pavilion, too.
I want to settle down at home.

And before that...

'Theron. Go get Wendy. Maybe she'll mind.'
'Yes, ...... just.'
'Wendy has recently started researching light powder again. ......'
'............ Is it glowing?'
'Yes. This morning, she was fully exposed to the powder and sunlight. ......'

Now the sky is getting dim.
By the time these guys gather at the sunlit pavilion, it will have already become night.

'...... If you see this before you go to bed, you're not going to be able to sleep.
'I'm sorry, too.'

Theron bows his head. But, well, never mind.
It'll save you a lot of money on lighting. ...... haha.

'Estella. What about you?'
'I'm coming with you. I'll write a letter to Demilio and be on my way.

'I'll write a letter to Demilio and let him know things are moving.

'And let Ricardo know, too.
'Don't worry. I'm sure Master will contact you.'
'I'm just kidding, I'll write ...... properly.'

You still don't like me, do you, Ricardo? That's deep.
It's a joke that he's been able to make that kind of joke about Ricardo,....... Yeah.

'I was going to go to Mr. Javier's to thank him for the carriage. ......'
'Well, you did say something like that before you left.'
'That's not a problem then. I'll accept your thanks on your behalf.
'No, you should tell Javier about that. ......'

At any rate, it was decided to thank Javier by letter.
Anyway, as long as we make him understand that we don't have much time, there won't be any problems.

'What about Loretta?
'Of course I'll join you!I was planning to stay at the Sunlit Pavilion today!

What is this guy saying?
I think he's going to move in for real soon. I'll accept you if you're willing to share a room with Magda.
Rooms are used more than you think.

'...... Magda's going to have to put up with her sleepiness soon and join us.
'...... Are you sleepy?'
'...... Magda did well today.'
'I see.'
'I'll be there, but I'll basically be on Yashiro's lap.
'You're going to sleep on it, aren't you?
'...... I'm planning to relax and listen to the conversation in a cozy space.'
'No, I'm definitely going to sleep!I've had people fall asleep on me a few times and I couldn't move!

No matter what happens, let Magda sit in the chair.

'Bertina's not going to make it.
'Well, the ...... children are waiting for me, and ...... I may have made them feel lonely, so I want to be there for them as much as possible... ...but...

He stroked the head of the kid beside him and said with trusting eyes.

'These children have experienced the outside world. You might as well call them adults now.

'Ehehe ......'.
'I think it's fine to leave it to these girls,' she said.

'So, ......', Bertina turns her serious eyes to me.

'I think I'll come and have some of the delicious food that Ginette makes.
'If you're coming, come talk to me.'
'Yes, sir. And while you're at it, let's have some of the good stuff!
'Not in addition to the delicious food?

He didn't deny it. ...... d*mn it.

'Well then, Bertina, take the kids to the church for once.
'Yes, sir. I'll join you on the way.

It's the same way to the sunlit pavilion.
It looks like we'll be walking with quite a large group.

'Um, Yashiro-san.

Ginette's eyes were more serious than ever.
She must have something on her mind.

'As for the 'delicious food' I'm going to make, how about a bun, a candy apple, and fried octopus balls?
'Are you asking me to teach you how to make those?
'No, no, it was really delicious, so I thought I'd share it with you.

You're a natural. ......
I don't have time to teach you right now. ............ Huh, well, at least one is okay.

'...... Then let's make fried takoyaki. I'll get the others another time, when I have more time.'

He smiled happily.
I've given Magda the recipe for the buns, and she can teach you while I'm running around with Estella.

And so we returned to the sunny pavilion with a lively, yet slightly tense atmosphere.
Even though we had only been gone for a day, we felt quite nostalgic. Such an atmosphere greeted us.

'I'm back. Sunlit pavilion.

I muttered, and Ginette suddenly stopped walking.
What is it?I turned around to see ......

'Yashiro-san, ...... is wonderful.'

I got such words and a smile.
No, it's not ...... that, you know, Japanese people believe in a lot of things, like the eight million gods, you know?

I'm back, sunny pavilion. Thank you for staying with us.

He bowed his head, and Jeannette imitated me.
...... Oh, this. I'm sure this will become a habit.

'...... Sorry to keep you waiting, sunny pavilion.'
'Magda. Yours is a little more nuanced than mine.'
'...... That's proof that the world hasn't caught up with Magda yet.

'The world revolves around you, huh?

'Come on, Yashiro-san. Let's get ready before everyone arrives.

Ginette rolled up her sleeves and hurried into the kitchen.
Perhaps it's because she's back at the sunny pavilion, or perhaps it's because she's being taught how to make fried takoyaki, but she's in a better mood than usual.

'I wonder what's going on ......'.

I was overwhelmed by his power, but I reminded myself that Jeannette was a workaholic who wanted to work as soon as she got home, so I gave up and went into the kitchen.
At least I should eat something good to calm my mind.
If I don't do that, I'll get tired.