A few days have passed since the information paper was released to the world.
I heard that the latest issue sold a good number of copies in the forty-two wards because it contained information on the forty-two wards.
Many people were excited and fascinated by a single piece of paper, and it had become the center of conversation.
To be honest, the impact of such an information paper was subtle.
'We're not getting as many customers as we thought.
Loretta looked into the street.
As she had said, the Sunlit Pavilion was open for business as usual.
The number of customers was ...... increasing slightly, I guess.
The lunchtime peak was over, and a quiet time was flowing in the restaurant.
As I stare at the empty restaurant from my usual seat, Magda approaches me with a wistful look.
'............ Magda's, fault?
He must be referring to the illustration that appeared in the information paper.
He said that there are no customers because there are no shopkeepers who look like the illustration .......
But that's not true.
'Of course not!
I put my hand on Magda's head.
I rubbed the base of his ears, and he resisted a little, but sniffed modestly, '...... mmm.
The BU guys are pretty lazy, you know.
When I think back, even during the stormy Natalia Fever, no one rushed to Natalia when she retreated to the carriage.
No one was chasing after her when she left.
They make a big fuss when something controversial comes into their territory. They are not the type to jump into the middle of things voluntarily.
This was also evident during the interview for the position of waitress at Mael's place.
The candidates used only the information they had obtained. That's why they were dressed and answered exactly the same.
No one took a step further and pursued the question of 'what is an interview' in depth.
It is like the inertia of the people who only follow the headlines on the top page of the Internet news and think they know what they are talking about.
When there is too much information, the resources that can be devoted to a single topic become limited. Therefore, they only skim the surface, and as this becomes a habit, they gradually neglect the selection of information and just accept the information given to them.
When they feel that there is still too much information, they start to close their ears to things that are painful to listen to, and eventually they start to listen only to the information they want to hear.
Interviewing is a bother. I wish they would just let me work at a stable place, no matter what.
Such thoughts were oozing out of the candidates at that time.
And there are many such people in BU.
'That's why, if you drag the stall to BU, there will be a long queue, but not many people will come here from there.
In the first place, the idea of paying a lot of money to ride a horse-drawn carriage to eat in another district is not rooted in the people of this town.
Basically, there are too many poor people.
'But there are more newcomers in Cantalucia, you know?Mr. Paula bragged about it.
'Well, I guess there's a certain number of meeja and dirty drinkers in every ward.
In fact, there were a few dirty bastards who seemed to have come here to catch a glimpse of Magda with her big tits.
All of them went home disappointed.
'Unless you're a man of action, you probably won't go to the farthest forty-two districts.
The only people who like to come to the 42nd district are activists like Merle and Tracy, who are honest with themselves and their interests.
There's also an overactive pervert named Lucia who comes here often.
'So, don't worry too much about it.
To be honest, if Magda had stayed in the paper as Magda, we might have had a few more customers.
Like the repeat customers who now frequent Paula's place.
...... Apparently, Paula's place has such customers. Well, I don't really care.
But it's not the same when they come to the store for Magda.
Even though Umaro is there for Magda, he appreciates the food at Hidamari-tei.
I'm sure Jeannette would have mixed feelings if the restaurant was filled with people who came for Magda and not for the food.
You know what I mean.
Even in Japan, there are people who throw away a lot of the main sweets because they want the freebies.
If you want to be treated like that, you don't need to get new customers.
Just let the people who like the taste of the restaurant and the space of the restaurant come.
I'm sure Jeannette would agree.
'So I don't mind at all.
'For a ......, you've got some thick veins there, brother.'
...... Ah, yes.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for and how to get it.
I'm sure you'll agree.
I'm sure it's not as big as the illustration, but Magda is still cute!
'What the hell are these men thinking when they can only judge by the size of their breasts?
'I'm surprised!I never thought such words would come out of my brother's mouth!
Yea, I'm annoyed.
I'm annoyed because I feel like I'm losing.
But I'm not losing!
'Gentlemen. Why don't you take a break with a donut?'
Ginette peeks out from the kitchen.
She's holding a plate of colorful donuts.
'Magda, you like chocolate donuts, don't you?
'Loretta likes peanut butter, right?
'Yes. I like that!
'Would you like some fresh cream, Yashiro-san?
'No, I'll have a plain one.
'Plain is for me.
Didn't you have a choice?
'So, half and half.'
He said, splitting the plain and whipped cream donuts in half.
I didn't even agree to a half-and-half.
'......, I'll take a ride.
'I'm riding this wave!
Magda and Loretta joined in, and as a result, all the donuts were divided into quarters.
What's with the bite-sized ones?
'It's a good deal to have a variety of flavors when everyone eats together.
'You can eat any flavor at any time.
'One bite at a time, it's a luxury.
Magda corrected Ginette's comment while I was thinking that she was not Bertina's daughter.
As she bites into her donut.
'...... 'Eating together', luxury ...... amu amu'.
'That's right!'Yes, Magda, you said it nicely!But I'm also happy to be able to eat all kinds of food, so I'm happy to be able to eat all kinds of food together, bite by bite!
'Huh!...... is difficult.'
Ginette giggled as she watched the exchange.
Then she finger-combs Magda's hair with a natural hand.
This is Ginette's way of encouraging you.
There's nothing wrong with Magda.
There's no need to compete with each other, you know.
Well, if that's what the manager says, then I guess it's okay. As for the sunny side up.
So, all that remains is ......
'Well, I'm going to go out for a while.
'Where to, Yashiro-san?
'I have some business in the 29th district.'
............ So, all that's left to do is to act to reach a conclusion that 'I' can accept.
'I just wanted to see Gerasie's face. ............ grin'
'Oh, um, Yashiro-san!I'm not sure what's wrong with your face,......!
'Well, I'll be back~!
I shook off the voice of Jeannette, who was chasing me, and headed for the New Road.
Basically, I'm a sore loser.
I can forgive a little forcefulness if it's for my own good.
'Dad, I'm closing the store.
I call out to Dad, who is behind the counter calculating today's profits.
It's been another busy day.
The drinkers who had come after dark were gone, and it was just me and Dad.
The store and the main street are quiet, and the fatigue of the day rushes over me.
I like this feeling of contentment.
As I wipe the table and think, "I have to prepare for tomorrow," ......
It came to me suddenly.
A customer came running in, shouting loudly.
A customer I've never seen before.
The regulars call me 'Paula-chan,' but this person is a 'waitress. She must be a stranger.
Since the publication of the newsletter, more and more people have come to the shop after seeing it, and this person must be one of them.
If you're a regular customer, I'd be willing to be a little flexible. ......
'Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, the last order is already over. So I'll see you tomorrow. ......'
'I don't have time for that!
The customer was dressed shabbily, like some drunkard, but his face was very serious, and he was swallowing spit several times, as if he was in a great hurry.
I'm not sure what to make of it,.......
I'm not sure what to say.
The first thing that came to mind when you said that was Yashiro.
Yashiro usually has a very bad eye, and he's also a bit of a cheater. But when he looks at us, his eyes are a little gentler. ...... And even though he's a cheater, that part of him makes me think that Yashiro isn't so bad. ...... .......
I'm not sure.I'm not sure. There is!
But I think that if someone who doesn't know Yashiro well sees him like this, he'll think that Yashiro is a cunning man with bad eyesight.
So I say that I know him.
But what does that mean?
'Well, ......, just calm down and listen.'
'If you tell me to calm down and listen, I'll get even more nervous. ......
As I waited with bated breath for the next words, the man said something outrageous.
'That man has been captured by the soldiers of District 29.
'He was suspected of fraud,......, and he resisted, but soldiers are inflexible, aren't they?So they ...... took him away.''
Yashiro is a ...... fraud?
So the soldiers caught him and took him to ......
'Yeah, but, why?When you say the 29th district, it means that just recently ...... what?What do you mean?
'Calm down!Calm down!
I can't calm down.
Yashiro's always doing dangerous things.
You'll be able to find a lot of things that you can do to make your life easier. I was always worried about that.
And now, today, it's come back to me. ......
I'm not sure what to do.Did you do something rude to the lord again?Hey, tell me!
'Wait, wait!Just calm down for once!
I was so excited that I grabbed the customer's pocket.
I was so frustrated and distressed that I pressed the customer to hurry up.
'I'm suspected of fraud, but that doesn't mean I'm actually guilty.
'Of course not! ...... Well, sometimes I think it's a bit unfair, but ...... But!
I'm sure you'll agree.You want to help, right?I'm not sure.You want to help them, don't you?
'Of course you do!
It's not right to get caught for an unjustified crime.
...... It may not be without reason, but...
But if Yashiro is doing it, there must be a reason. Yashiro is not the kind of person who does bad things. That's for sure!
'Oh, but first...'
I'm itching to get some information, but the customer - who doesn't really seem to be a customer - is too pushy to tell me what's going on.
It makes me want to bite him on the throat.
'Just for the record, what's the guy's name?
'There's such a thing as privacy, isn't there?If it's someone else, he's going to tell you, a stranger, a secret he doesn't want you to know.
'Privacy ....... Yeah. That's important, isn't it?
'What, it's a simple confirmation. You give me a name, and I'll know if it's you.Then we'll talk.'
I'm a little bothered.
I feel like he's not telling me anything about himself.
Can I trust him?
We don't have much time. Once the sentence is set, there's no way to get it back.
I wonder what kind of punishment the lord will give?
If the lord is gentle like Estella, you can expect extenuating circumstances. ...... The lord of the 29th district has a grudge against ............ Yashiro,
I'm not sure if you'll be able to trust me, but I'll give you my initials first.
My heart clenched.
'Y'...... of Yashiro'............ is it still Yashiro'......?
'Apparently, it's a hit.
Not knowing what to do, I looked at my father.
He nodded slowly with a mysterious look on his face. I think he meant to say.
'...... Oba, Yashiro'.
Immediately after I said the name, the customer covered his face with his hands and let out a heavy sigh.
Then, after muttering a short '...... I see', he began to talk in a hushed voice.
'I'm not familiar with this district, and I'm not close to Yashiro. But when I think about him being captured by the soldiers,...... I want to help him,...... I think so.
I knew it. ......Yashiro was captured. ............
What are you doing, Yashiro? ...... You keep worrying me ......
'Can you lend me a hand?
'There's a thing called bail money. In short, it's a way to pay for your crimes.
Sin with money: ......
I heard a story that a man who was accused of smuggling bread was forgiven after making a large donation to the church.
Solve your sins with money...... I don't know what the aristocrats think. But ......
'What will happen to Yashiro without that bail money ......?
'It's not ...... for a minute.'
He shook his head with a somber expression.
Then he let out another sigh and ......
'I know of one guy who had ...... one of his arms cut off.'
'An arm ......?
'In the worst cases, even beheadings. ......'
A shiver came from deep within me.
It was such a ...... misunderstanding that the arm or ...... beheading or ............
'Yes, how much do you need?
'You'll need a good amount. At least ......1 ten million Rb.
'I,000 million!You can't do that!
'You don't have to bear the burden alone. You can collect money from people who care about Yashiro.
Yes, that's right.
If Estella, Norma, Delia, and everyone else work together, ...... we can ask Medora-san and Imelda's father for help if we don't have enough.
I'm not sure what to do. If you don't hurry, you'll be sentenced. We can't make it in time if that happens!
'But, even if you say so suddenly...'
'Don't worry, there's a way!
As if to hurry me up even more, the customer said.
'Just pay the deposit for now. We'll pay the rest later and show that we're willing to pay it anyway.
'And if I do that, will Yashiro be spared?
'But we have to release the accused, and not for a small sum. It has to be at least 100,000Rb.'
100,000Rb is a lot of money.
So far, Yashiro has changed this city in many ways, and thanks to the food court, festivals, and other events, we've been able to save some money.
I can't say that we've become wealthy, but ......
'You can ...... ............ get that much to help Yashiro. Right, Dad?'
I looked at my dad and he nodded silently.
We're all grateful to you, Yashiro.
If I can repay him, this is what I'll do: ......
'Good. Then, when the soldiers come here later, give them to them.
'What, the soldiers are coming to ......?
'They don't know much about the 42nd district either. They don't know much about the Forty-two, after all.
Yashiro ...... kept quiet so as not to bother us. ...... You're such an idiot. You can at least bother me. I'd rather you did.
That's why they're looking all over for someone who knows Obeyashiro. That's why I've been looking for him ahead of time.'
'To let me know?
'Yeah. Anybody would have panicked if a soldier came barging in out of nowhere. You might even misjudge what your priority really is.
This guy ...... might be a good guy.
'Soldiers will try to intimidate you and make you do what they say. So don't ever be intimidated. And tell them this. "I'll pay you handsomely. For now, just take the deposit and go home.'
If I had not heard this story, I would not have known the word "deposit.
If a soldier had suddenly asked me to pay 10 million Rb, I might have given up and left ...... Yashiro to die. ......
'Thank you. Thank you for coming to talk to me.'
'Heck, ...... what. I just wanted to see him smile.
I'm no good at this.
I can't believe I doubted such a nice guy, even for a second. ......
'Just let the soldiers have the money. That way, they can't do anything to you. However, it's a shame for a soldier to be silenced by money. You know what I mean.
Shame. ......, is that right?
Yeah, I kind of think so.
'So, don't tell anyone about this. And no matter who comes, act as if nothing happened.'
'Huh?Even Estella's ...... friends?'
'Don't worry about the money. The soldiers will go to the guy's house in the city anyway. The money will come naturally even if you don't move.'
'So ....... That's right, isn't it?
'You just don't make a fuss and pretend nothing happened until the case is solved. If you offend the soldiers, you can't be sure that ...... beheading ............ won't happen.
My throat rumbled.
In order not to provoke the soldiers, you can ...... pretend that nothing happened, I guess.
I'm going to go somewhere else. Oh, yeah. Can you think of anyone who might be willing to pay?
'Then Estella's a good choice. She's a lord.
'You ......?No, no, a lord is not a good idea. ...... Things would get too big. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what you need to do.
Sober and money ......?
I'm sure you'll be able to find a lot of people who'll be able to help you out. ...'
'It's Regina and Norma. Where can I find them?'
'Regina is on the east side of this street. Norma's on the west side of the street. But they both sleep early at night, so they might be asleep.'
'Oh, okay. Thanks for all your help. Then do your best.'
'Oh, yeah!Thank you, sir!
Rounding his back, the visitor disappeared into the darkness of the night to avoid being seen.
He must be hiding to avoid detection by the soldiers. To save Yashiro.
'Oh, yeah!Dad, do you have any money?'
When I asked Dad, he seemed to have already prepared some money for me, and there was a big bulging cloth bag on the counter.
100,000Rb............ is a huge amount. It's not every day you get the chance to see such a large amount of money in one place.
But this is also for Yashiro. ......
'Is there anyone from the store?
A few moments later, just as the customer had said, two soldiers came into the store.
They had a very scary look on their faces and were shouting loudly.
The two soldiers wore armor a little more luxurious than Estella's guards, and their faces were unfamiliar to me.
They seemed to be soldiers from District 29.
'Do you remember a man named Obayashi?
He's here: ......
This soldier also knows Yashiro.
It's his full name. ......
I knew it, Yashiro, you've been captured.
'If you have any idea who he is, please go to ...... as a witness.'
There's no more time for hesitation.
'Here's the deposit. ......'
'With this, please ......Yashiro to ............'
I'm so scared, my voice is shaking.
The words don't come out right.
But the soldier seemed to understand.
'If that's the case, I'll take it. I hope to see you soon.
With that, he left the store.
As he passed the entrance, he turned to me.
'Don't say anything else.
He nailed me and left.
My heart hurts.
I feel like I've done something terrible.
Because you lost a lot of money?
Because I was afraid of the soldiers in the 29th district?
...... Because Yashiro is not here?
'......Yashiro............, please come back soon......'
I crossed my fingers and prayed to God of Spirit.
God of Spirit, please ...... let me see Yashiro soon.
I'll do whatever it takes to make that happen. ......
'Hey, Paula. Can I have a moment of your time?
Did your prayers to the Spirit God reach you?
'No, actually. Jeannette said she saw a strange man earlier.
It was much sooner than I'd expected.
'...... ya,si ............ lo?'
'Hmm?Yeah, it's me.
--Yashiro, I see you.
'What the hell?What's wrong with you?
What, he's already been released?Isn't it too early for that?
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
It's a great way to get the most out of your life.
No......, then, am I possibly............
I kicked the floor and ran out of the store as fast as I could, not caring that I hit a table nearby.
The boulevard shines dimly in the light of the glowing bricks.
I felt that the light from the bricks made the darkness of the sky stand out even more.
There was no sign of the two soldiers in front of me, behind me, to my right or to my left. ...... There was also no sign of that drunken-looking customer.
I was ............ tricked, wasn't I?
'......What should I do............'
I mumbled, and tears began to flow, spilling noiselessly.
Palpitations. Nausea is terrible.
100,000 Rb...... was a huge amount of money. I've never seen anything like it before. ...... If I had been calmer, ............ my father and I would have worked hard to save this money. It's ............ my fault ...... that I'm ......... ...
I got dizzy and couldn't stand up.
As my knees relaxed and my body was sucked into the ground, Yashiro caught me.
His arms, which were surprisingly strong and sturdy compared to their appearance, held me firmly by the waist.
I surrendered my body to Yashiro's chest.
It's very calming ...... and the smell of Yashiro ............ but I can't stop feeling nauseous.
My whole body is shaking and my head feels like ...... something's wrong with me. ...... me ...... me ...... ......
I turned my face, soaked with unstoppable tears, to Yashiro.
I'm sure she looked terrible. For a moment, Yashiro looked surprised.
Then he says to me with a very serious expression.
'Show me the Conversation Record.
The Conversation Record is a treasure trove of privacy.
I'd hesitate to show it even to my future lover. It's the kind of thing you want to keep secret.
But with ......Yashiro, ............
'Yashiro............ help me......'
...... can be pampered.
I'm sorry, I think. ............
But never touch his ears. ...... He's so gentle. He knows exactly how delicate we beastmen are,.......
You can feel the warmth of Yashiro's body slowly flowing through you.
I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out. ......
I'm not sure how many times I've seen ...... this.
I'm not sure how many times I've had to ask for help from Yashiro.
When the store was about to go under, when I was accused of having insects in my food, and ............ much, much more ......
I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not.
He asks for something in return, he looks uncomfortable, he acts like he's not going to do anything ......, but he helps us.
Everyone knows that.
He's a bit of a pain in the ass, but that's Yashiro.
But when we really, really, really need help, he'll say, 'I'll take care of it' like this.
This is a very rare and precious ...... thing, and it makes me cry.
'...... I know.'
'I'm going to call everyone!
When Yashiro called out, Magda and Loretta appeared from outside the store.
Were they with you?
When their eyes met, Magda and Loretta pursed their lips tightly together.
'...... You're guilty of making Paula cry.
'Not at all!I'm going to take you down to the studs!
With large strides, Magda and Loretta ran down the main street at night.
Magda to the east, Loretta to the west.
And Yashiro, stay here: ......
'You're very popular, Paula.
You make me laugh with your jokes.
...... What's that? Oh my god. ......
Oh my god. Those two ......
I dared them to 'play' with me about the paper. ...... They're so sweet, really.
'Yashiro...... sorry............ no, thank you.'
'You can wait until after you're done.'
In the next few minutes, Cantar Chica was packed with people.
It was the middle of the night.
Everyone was angry.
Ah, so this is the 42nd district.
Our town that Yashiro and Estella had worked so hard to build.
It's the important ...... 42nd district that we all have to protect together.
I'm sorry for calling you out so suddenly. --I need to talk to you guys.'
Yashiro said in a low voice, and the midnight District Forty-two meeting began.