346-No additives Episode 1 Something is wrong with eve...

It was the first ...... disturbance to occur since I became the lord of the 42nd district, or rather the first since I was born.

It was quietly but surely creeping into this city, and gradually spreading the seeds of threat.
Yes, just like a toxin that corrupts the body.
Those who have been poisoned are not aware of it, and by the time they realize it, it is too late to get rid of it. Such a sweet, deadly poison.

I don't know when it started.
But it was undoubtedly at that moment that I became aware of the commotion.

That day.
That day when an unlikeable person came to see me with an unlikeable serious face--

'Miss Estella. You have a visitor.'
'A visitor?

The sun was setting and the sky was clear.
The sun has already set, and the sky is dark.
It's about time to quit staring at the papers in my study, which means it's too insane an hour to visit her.

'Even though I've become a lord, I'm still a lady, you know?I can't meet someone who would come to visit me at such an insane time.'
'That's true, but ......'

Natalia stammered.

If the visitor is Yashiro, Natalia will invite him in without asking my permission. If the visitor is Yashiro, Natalia will invite him in without my permission. ...... We may need to discuss this at length some day, though.

But this time she came to ask me a question.
It's really unusual, but Natalia is having a hard time deciding.

'To tell you the truth, I'm a bit confused myself. Normally, I'd play a witty and slightly erotic joke on her and then turn her away. ......'
'......In short, you're in that category, aren't you?
'But ......'

Natalia stammered, a complicated expression on her face.
Her position as head waiter, where she should be fulfilling her duties, and the desire to listen to the wishes of her trusted friend, who was also most likely my friend. Her expression was as if she was torn between these two emotions.

'Okay. Let me through.

If Natalia is unsure, then she must be the kind of person who would want to listen to her even if she disrupts the discipline, and if she is such a person, then I would want to help her.

'I apologize for that. I didn't mean to leave the decision to Estella-sama.
'It's all right. I'm a lord. The decision is mine to make.'
'...... You're getting stronger.'

'Thanks to someone else...' I give her a light smile without saying it.
Natalia quietly bowed her head and left the study.
Now, I wonder who's going to show up. ...... I had a few faces in my head, but it was someone unexpected who actually showed up.

'I'm sorry to bother you so late at night.
'...... Loretta?'

And the unexpected visitor, with an unexpectedly mysterious look on his face, said the most unexpected thing of all.

'Actually, I'm thinking of leaving ............ the 42nd district.

When she said that, Loretta's face did not look like she was joking,......, but it was clear that she did not wish to do so, and that she was in serious trouble that she had to take even that into consideration. --

'If you have a problem, you have someone to talk to before me, right?

I offered some light-hearted advice to get rid of this strange feeling in my heart.

'You know, there's a guy at your office who's the biggest softy in town.
'No, ...... that .............'

I thought all would be well.
No matter what Loretta's problems were, I was sure he - Yashiro - would take care of them.

'I want you to keep this a secret from your brother.

That was the most unexpected thing he said.


'Funny ......'.

I couldn't help but mutter to myself as I looked at the scene in front of me.

'Da~rin-chan. It would be great if you could hire Osina at this store.

The trouble that I didn't call for came rolling in on its own.
Why is that? ...... I didn't raise any flags there. I'm sure I've taken the initiative in snapping it off!

I mean, I haven't even been to the 41st district lately!

'Osina's store is in complete and utter financial trouble. That's why I'm thinking of shutting down the store and starting a second life.

Why is that second life going to be in the sunny pavilion? ......

'As far as Osina is concerned, the only thing I can do is cook. That's why I'm changing jobs to make use of my skills.

Osina was a cook who had a restaurant in the 41st district.
She is a beautiful woman with brown skin and long black hair that gives her an oriental look, and her breasts are a C cup size.
Oshina, who had set up her restaurant in an alley two streets back from the main street, the so-called "second street," a very good location in the 41st district, came to the sunlit pavilion with a large package because her business was in danger.

'Besides, it's easier for Medora-chan to come to this store...'

That's the biggest problem of all!
This Osina is a calm, beautiful woman who always has a smile on her face, and she is also Medora's best friend.
You'll be able to find a lot more than just a few of these in the marketplace.
Medora is so in love with Osina's cuisine that she will only eat out at Osina's restaurants.
Just like Estella, who is in love with Ginette's cooking.

'Go back to District 41.
'Cold ne~, Da~rin-chan~!'

Osina hugged me with tears in her smiling eyes, as if she had drawn a single line.
Stop it!You're too old for this!

Yes, Osina looks like this, but she's the same age as ...... Medora.
She looks to be in her twenties, but her real age is ............
It's called a beautiful witch. ...... Women are terrible.

'Anyway, we've got enough on our hands. We don't need a newbie.
'Even a sous-chef would be fine, though, wouldn't it?
'Are you aware that you're being incredibly arrogant?

I'm sure you're aware that I'm being very generous.

I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not, but I've heard of it.
Not only that, but we have a lot of helpers who can come to our aid in a pinch. Delia, Norma, Paula, and Nephrite.
And the ham girls are also training on the floor. There is no shortage of people, no matter how you slice it.

Even though .......

'It's not that we don't have problems,......, these days.

My gaze naturally drifts to a certain shopkeeper.

'Yes, beef cutlet is waiting for you!
'Oh, come on, Loretta. I ordered the grilled salmon set meal, remember?
'What's ............?I'm sorry!
'Oh, that's okay, that's okay. Whatever you eat at the Sunlit Pavilion, it's delicious.'
'Yes, yes. Loretta, don't worry about it.'
'Heh, for a greasy-faced guy like you, a cutlet would be perfect.
'You're right.
'Shut up, you guys.
'Oh, um, ...... I'm really, really sorry.
'''' It's okay, it's okay. Loretta is cute, so I'll forgive her for anything. ''''

The four carpenters at Trubec Construction Company make sickening noises in perfect harmony.
I'm not sure what to make of that. but ......

'I knew there was something wrong with Loretta... ......'
'N~?You're worried about the fact that there's no tsukkomi?

Oh, no. That's what's bothering me.

'He's the kind of guy who wouldn't make a mistake like that.
'Wow, that normal girl gets high marks from Da-ling-chan. That's great.'

Loretta is a guy who is always positive about her work and works hard.
It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your time with your family. It should be ......, but...

I've been making a lot of rudimentary mistakes like that lately.
'...... Loretta has been in a daze a lot lately.'
'Oh, Magda. There you are.'
'...... Ears on the wall, Magda behind.'
'No, there's no such proverb. ......'

I've been in that situation all the time. Magda's got your back.

'Hmph~. Little, little, pretty girl...'
'...... Hmmm, that's it. 'I'm both the sign girl of the sunny pavilion and the mascot girl of the 42nd district! I'm sure you've heard of her.
I'm sure it's only in that fox's mind that it's boiling, judging by the ending of that word. ......

Magda's primary source is often Umaro. That's some biased reporting.
Well, it's cute that no one is harmed by it.

'So, are you out of your mind?
'I'm at ....... Yesterday, when Becco, Usse, and Pompeo came to the store one after another in the afternoon, Loretta did not say 'Welcome'.
'Isn't it possible that she dared to ignore them?
'...... It's not impossible. But Loretta is not the type to do that.
'I guess. He would have played with her in a more obvious way.'
'It's safe to play with customers, isn't it, here. It's funny.
'...... Greeting customers when they arrive is a basic part of the customer service industry. It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your visit.
'Oh, you're absolutely right. Even the lowest of the low needs to have a minimum.'
'Hmmm, interesting business policy.

While Osina was shaking her shoulders happily and Magda and I were pondering rather seriously, Assunto came into the store.

'I'm sorry. Oh, thank God. Mr. Yashiro is here.
'Oh, no.'
'...... Hmm, I'm stuck.'
'Um, ...... I'll order properly, can you at least serve me?
'Pfft, pfft, pfft!

Assunto, who I hadn't even welcomed, strode into the restaurant without permission. Trespassing. I think I'll turn him in to the neighborhood watch.
When I looked down the hall at ......, there was no sign of Loretta. She seems to have gone into the kitchen.

'I'd like to ask you a few questions.
'The color of your wife's underwear?'
'...... Are you interested in that?
'No, not particularly, but if you insist on telling me, I'm all ears.
'I can't tell you, sir. It's a top secret.'
'So you do know. You saw it, didn't you?Erotic.
'...... obscenity.'
'I can't think of the best answer, whether to tell you not to proceed on the assumption that you've seen it or to tell you that it's not a problem since you're a married couple, but please stop for now. It will affect my reputation.

Assunto folded his arms with a difficult look on his face. A sigh escapes from the pig's nose.
Osina, who was sitting across from me, stood up and gave up her seat to Assunto.
She then came and sat down next to me in the chair with a smile on her face.
...... It's not that I was caring, this is.

I'm not sure what to say.

Normally, water is served to visitors at such times, but ............ Loretta is still not in the hall.
I'm not sure if you think that Magda's presence will be a problem,......, but I'm sure that he would have checked the situation in the hall himself and acted on his own initiative, instead of leaving it to others.

'Sorry, Assunto. Do you have a minute before we talk?'
'Yes?Yes, sir?

I tell him with my eyes that I don't want to talk to you, and I turn to the kitchen.

'Loretta, water for the customers!
'Yes, sir!

Loretta came out in a panic.
She is holding a pitcher of water in her hand.
But she looks at me and puffs up her cheeks.

'Magda, you're here, aren't you?

Then why don't you do it for me,' he seems to say.
But that's not right anymore.
No matter who was there, Loretta said, 'I'll do it! I'll take care of it! Especially when it came to the Sunlit Pavilion.

I knew there was something wrong with this guy.

'Yes, Mr. Assunto. Here's your water.'
'Thank you very much.
'By the way, you didn't hear me say "Welcome", did you?
'No, I didn't.'
'Say it properly, sir!
'...... Sorry. Magda doesn't have a very good impression of Assunto, so she doesn't want to give him a heartfelt service. ......'
'Um, Magda, ...... even if you're joking, it's a little hurtful, so please don't do that.'
'......You can have the 'judgment of the spirits' applied to you.'
'The Spirit God will not judge you for your personal feelings!......'s, before, I'm so hurt by your confident way of saying that!

If you say 'I don't like you' to someone you like, it will not be caught by the 'Spirit God's judgment'. It is a matter that cannot be judged by the Conversation Record.

But I can tell you this.
Magda doesn't like Assunto that much!

'Magda. Meetu.'
'I don't dare ask what you agreed to, but since you're here as a customer, can't you please treat me accordingly?

...... Your face, it's so close.

'So, Mr. Assunto. Are you ready to order?'
'Yes,......, let's have a curry.'
'Yes, sir!...... curry...... curry...... curry......'

Perhaps in response to his earlier mistake, he ruminated on his order in a whisper so as not to make a mistake.

'Curry ...... is mellow and fragrant, rich and full of flavor, a perfect collaboration of spiciness and deliciousness that will make you experience paradise when you take a bite. ......... ...sizzling.'

Loretta was drooling and her stomach was growling loudly.
I'm sure she's hungry.

'......The spicy spices are very appetizing. ......'
'......So,tacos. That spicy salsa sauce wraps your tongue in happiness and ......'

Loretta turns back to the kitchen, mumbling.
...... or Magda. Why did you mumble 'taco'?

'Maybe it's just my imagination, but I have a feeling that ...... tacos are about to be served.'
'That's odd. I get that feeling too.'
'Well, I don't mind tacos. I'm not too picky about food.
'I've been in a bit of a daze lately.
'Are you Loretta?
'Yes. Maybe you should give her a break.
'I guess so. No matter how much you like it, your strength is limited. You'll get tired, and if you try to get through it just by liking it, you might get sick. ...... Why am I in the position of listening to you, Yashiro-san?I'm not sure what to make of it.

I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it.
He must have thought that if he kept talking, he wouldn't be able to talk about himself. How self-centered of him.

'...... pig-chu'
'What's with the cute swear words? I'm rather pleased.

You're right, it's become a nuance like some loose character.
It's unpleasant.

'So, what's the story? What's the story?
'Actually, it's a story in the forty-first ward. ......'
'Don't bring the problems of other wards into the forty-second ward. ......'
'No, there's a possibility that it's not just a fire on the other side of the river.'

Most of the time, it's a troublesome or annoying problem that Assunto goes out of his way to give advice.
He's not the kind of guy who would come here to waste time and effort.

'I don't want to ask, but I'll ask.
'So, ....... There was an incident where a peddler working in the forty-first district was attacked.

In the event that you've been listening to the information, Magda and Oshina's expressions become slightly stiff.

'Raids themselves are a common occurrence. There are a lot of incidents where people from rogue guilds, people who don't have a permanent place of residence, and miscreants from other places target money and food.
'It's quite disturbing, isn't it?
''It's the kind of incident that you wouldn't come across in the 42nd district. It's not that uncommon outside of here.

Do your job, vigilante.

'The peddlers who deal in luxury goods even hire skilled bouncers,......, but let's leave that aside for now. The important thing now is ......'.
'The case of the attack on the peddler in the forty-first district, huh?
'Yes. He is a merchant who mainly trades in food, and he was carrying a variety of food in his cart at the time.
That's when he was attacked.

The bandits robbed him of a large sack full of food by themselves.

'Well, the merchant was not injured, and the damage was not cheap, but it was not so great that it could be called serious.

It's a painful loss, but it's not enough to make a big deal out of the guild.
At least, it is not enough to put a bounty on the bandit's head.
...... I didn't know there was such a system. Thank goodness I don't have a bounty on my head. I was on the wanted list when I first came here.

I've been wondering about a certain ...... word the bandit said in that story.

Assunto held up a finger to get our attention.
He leaned forward and waited for the next words.

'I heard that the bandit said this - "Do you have any popcorn?"'
'...... popcorn.'

Magda whispers.
The name of his specialty must have escaped his lips at the mention of it.
The bandits were after the popcorn. In Japan, this would be a funny story, but popcorn was a revolutionary food for the districts around here, where sweetness was scarce.
At least, it has become a hot sweet in the wards from 42 to 35, where Yodari-tei used to pull its stall.
In the 35th district, the sweets are more famous than cakes. We couldn't even sell cakes in the other side.

So, the merchant who was attacked by the bandits accidentally slipped up. If you want to eat popcorn, go to District 42.

These words naturally made my spine tense up.
The bandits are in ...... the 42nd district?

'Naturally, I gave strict instructions to the merchant who spoke carelessly. ......'
'Well, you're in charge of this whole area, aren't you?'
'Yes. I'm in charge of the forty-second to forty-second districts, where the fashion originated.''
'......, that's an incredibly positive way of looking at it.'

I thought it used to be the three poorest districts.

'Anyway, there are some bandits with a sweet tooth who are after the popcorn, so I guess we should be careful with the sunshine pavilions and mobile stalls.'
'Yes, sir. If anything should happen to Sunlit Pavilion or any of you, I'm prepared to make a large claim for compensation to ...... headquarters.''

Assunto's eyes are serious.
If the comments of a vendor in the area under Assunto's jurisdiction were to be the start of something, and if by mistake the people involved with the Sun Goddess Pavilion were to be harmed or even injured, the blame would fall on Assunto, and his personal feelings might even damage the friendly relationship between us... ...or something like that.

'If you try to damage my friendship with ...... Yashiro-san, I'll ...... crush you, even if it's headquarters.
'Don't raise me up on your own.

You're not the kind of person who takes priority over Headquarters.
I'm a little scared of your evaluation of me.

'If there's anything wrong, please contact us immediately. If you want, we can form an escort team and dispatch it!
'You don't have to do that. ...... Well, I'll let you know as soon as something happens.'
'Huh. ...... Not at all. Young people these days are careless or lack a sense of urgency. ......'

Assunto let out an old man's small talk.
I'm sure he would have thought that if he had been in this neighborhood before I arrived, his careless comments would have strangled us, and at worst could have led to the collapse of the guild.

'...... Are you a peaceful person? That's it.

Assunto gulped down his glass of water in frustration.
But aren't you the one who's lost his peace?
In the past, you would've thoroughly educated yourself in that area. But lately, you seem to be eager to handle and expand sales channels for bean sauce and other new products, and you don't seem to be holding seminars to win over others.
According to Assunto, 'It's a waste of time to spend time learning skills you don't need. I've rounded up, really.

Thank you for your patience.

Loretta returns to our table just as Assunto has finished complaining.
As she holds out a plate of freshly prepared food, she tells Assunto the name of the dish.

'It's Neapolitan!

Me, Magda, Osina and Assunto all stare at the Neapolitan on our plates in silence.

'Oh, what is it?What's wrong?It looks really delicious, so eat it before it gets cold.
'Um, no, well, there's nothing wrong with it, but ...... what's wrong with this ............'

Although Assunto is not particular about his food, he could not hide his confusion about this.
If it had been tacos, he could have said, 'I knew it! ......

'Ms. Loretta. If you're feeling tired, can I get you something to help you stay energized?
'Huh?No, no, I'm fine.What's wrong with you, Mr. Assunto?
'You're the one who's upset, Loretta.
'...... What?'

He really doesn't know what's going on.

'Magda, tell him.
'...... Assunto ordered the curry.'
'What?......Sure, did he?'
'......And Magda blurted out tacos.'
'H...... bloke?'

I'm not sure what to make of that.
This is a serious situation at last.

'Um, everyone. What's wrong?

Ginette, who must have finished her work in the kitchen, came out into the hall.
She walks slowly over to our table.

'Shaking her large bulge,' she said.
'Mr. Yashiro. Since this is a situation like this, why don't you behave yourself?
'Da~rin-chan, for better or for worse, you're never shaky.'
'......It's Yashiro, so it can't be helped.'

I'm not going to participate in ......!

In this kind of situation, Loretta has always come up with something to say in order to get a piece of the action.
It has always been that way, and more importantly, Loretta herself must have really liked this kind of behavior.

And yet, this time, she didn't respond.
Or rather, she doesn't even seem to notice.

'...... This is a serious situation.

Magda raises her eyebrows.
To make that expressionless Magda raise her eyebrows is ...... a pretty big deal.

'Loretta. If you have any problems, you can talk to us at .......'
'No, I'm not worried about anything!

Loretta interrupted me and waved her arms in an exaggerated manner.
What kind of situation is it that you're not worried about? ......


Ginette slowly walks up to Loretta, who shows a blatantly strange reaction.
She does her best to look normal, not hiding her concern.

'I don't mean to force you, but if something happens and you feel like you're having a hard time, please remember that we're here for you, Loretta.

Then, he gently laid his own hand on Loretta's hand.
She bent her fingertips lightly and grasped her hand with a strength that asserted that she was not overstepping, but that she was firmly here.

In response to Ginette's words, Loretta said: ......

'It's ......, it's okay, it's .......'

She averted her gaze.
It's something she can't talk about with us.
Ginette's eyebrows twisted sadly.

'...... I see.'

She said quietly, forcing her voice to be cheerful.

'Then let's continue to work hard, shall we?
'......Yes, sir.'

If you don't want to talk, don't ask.
And so, in Ginette's own way, she shows her concern by telling him to go about his day as usual.

Well, Loretta is a girl of her age.
She may have some problems that she doesn't feel comfortable talking about.
If you poke and prod her too much, she may end up becoming more difficult to deal with. ...... Should we keep a close eye on her for a while longer?

However, Magda is looking very 'curious! But since Magda looks like she's very curious, she's probably going to watch her carefully without Loretta noticing.
It seems that she can gather information and at least find out what's bothering Loretta. It would be one way to decide how to deal with her after knowing that.

'Well, why don't you eat your bribe while there are few customers? Magda can go with you.'
'...... Hmm. Then I think Magda will have a curry.'
'Magda, is that a dig at me or something?I don't mind if you do.'

Assunto let out a wry smile.
In the slightly relaxed atmosphere, Ginette's question went to Loretta.

'So, Loretta, what would you like to eat?
'Well, I'm ...... going to have to wait until later!

...... Funny.
The bribes are taken at random times, depending on the number of customers.
It is necessary to take it while you can, not only for your own sake, but also for the sake of the other members. It's not just for you, but for the rest of us as well. ...... The Loretta of the past would never have said that.

'Oh, um,......, I'm in the mood to eat alone,............, hahahaha.'

You can find a lot of people who are looking for the best way to get the most out of their life.

'...... Then I'll eat alone.'

Magda sulked.
It's so easy to understand why he's sulking, and he's wagging his tail like he wants attention as he heads for the kitchen.
But Loretta doesn't respond to this obvious appeal for attention. 'Aaah!I didn't mean it like that!All right, I'll eat with you!I'd rather you eat with me! I was expecting ...... a reaction like that, but ......

I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.

He said that and quickly left our seats.

'Is something wrong, sir?

Ginette looks like she's about to cry, worried about Loretta's obvious strangeness.

You're right. ......
Loretta used to be like this ...... when she was worried about her younger siblings' lack of employment, and when she was being sticky with a vicious landlord ......

'You're not in debt, are you?'
'Oh, no. I can't be sure. It's just a parable.'
'So it's .......'

Ginette breathed out a sigh of relief, but her expression remained dull.
Debt is hard, you know.

But if that's the case, then it makes sense why she hasn't told us.
'Because I don't want to get in trouble' sounds like something he'd think of.
Or maybe he's trying to get into debt with someone we don't know, someone very important to him. ......

It's also possible that he has a loved one somewhere who owes him a lot of money,.......

Assunto raises a similar possibility to the one I was thinking of.
He was thinking about the same thing at the same time.

'If you're on the same page, if you're thinking of getting married, you might want to try to do something about it on your own.
'Is there such a person in Loretta-san's life ......?'
'No, no. That's just a metaphor. I can't be sure.

Not at all.
There's no way that Loretta would be indulging in a man from who knows where.
If there is such a man, I should have him come to me first to say hello. I'm also Loretta's big brother. I'm like a guardian, you know.

'...... Assunto. Can you think of any suitable people to wash around Loretta?
'Um, Yashiro-san,......, for example?It's not a given that Loretta has a bad bug, so don't look like such an evil god ......, okay?

No, no, but...
Recently, Loretta's mood has changed a bit.
She's gone from the boisterous, energetic girl she used to be to a more ladylike girl with a slight shadow.

............ Love?Is it love?

'.................. Assunto, where is the weapon shop?
'Yashiro, let's calm down!It's not a problem, Loretta, if such a person existed in the unlikely event that it did, you would have reported it to Yashilo first!

I can no longer leave it to others.
Just when I turned my gaze directly to ...... Loretta to keep an eye on her.

'...... ah'.

Like a puppet with a broken string, Loretta fell to the floor.


A chair collapses and makes a noisy noise.
Ginette and I rushed over at the same time, and Magda came running after us.
When we picked her up, Loretta's face was completely white.

I don't think I can take the time to check on her.