The bandit that Assunto had told us to watch out for has arrived in District 42.
It seems that the bandit was targeting the popcorn, just as we had been told, and that the popcorn had actually been damaged and was now being held in a prison controlled by the lord.
The only thing he was after was the raw material for popcorn. It was the corn.
When I heard of popcorn, I thought of the product. So did Assunto. We were talking about popcorn as a sweet snack.
...... d*mn. I didn't realize I'd be making 'assumptions' and failing to manage the crisis. ......
'So, are the yaplocks hurt?'
'They're fine. Rather, they were only concerned that it might reduce the amount of popcorn they could distribute to the Sunshine Pavilion.
'I see. ......'
At any rate, I'm glad to hear you're not hurt.
I'll go check on him tomorrow.
'......, but for that...'
'We need to do something about Loretta and the others.
We can't keep working if they're down.
My eyes naturally went upstairs.
I wonder if Jeannette and the others have been able to talk to Paula properly.
'Hi~. Is the Great Myojin of Tits around?
While I was worried about the condition of the sick man, a knock on the open door brought a familiar Kansai dialect into the store.
'Who's the titty god?
'Oh~, I knew you were here, Dai-Myojinhan.
'So, who's the Great Myojin of Boobs?
'If it's beneficial, I have to tell Estella-sama about it.
'That's why, I told you it's not like that, didn't I?
I'm tired of walking left and right all over the floor. ...... Two people like this are a pain in the ass.
'The manager told me to make a house call to the chickens.
'And how did it go?
'Your parents came out first. ...... I couldn't believe it. ...... I thought I might have to leave. ...... I've never really talked to them. ............'
I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not.I've never talked to you.
'That's just anemia.'
'Yeah, but it was a dangerous anemia.
Regina pulls out a notebook from her pocket, opens it and shows me.
In the notebook, there was a detailed description of what she found out as a result of her examination, but among the countless sentences, there was one sentence that Regina pointed out to me.
"Linear onychomycosis at the base of the nail.
'How long ago do you think the base of the ...... nail was?
'Well, I'd say two weeks, or ...... a week at the earliest.'
'A week, or ......'.
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Similar white lines may appear even if you hit your fingernails somewhere, and in most cases, they are benign and there is no need to worry about them.
However, this is not always the case when the situation changes.
It is said that linear nail polyps can also be caused by zinc deficiency, which is the cause of ............
'I see. So that's what it is. ......'
A deep, deep crease is etched between my eyes.
I had overlooked it,......, or rather, I hadn't noticed it.
I should have put myself in their shoes more,............, but first.
'You need a sermon.
'Yeah, right. ......Well, I don't know how you feel about that, but in moderation.
'...... What did you find out?'
'I'm sorry, but can you explain it to us so we can understand?
'Osina is also curious about it.
I'm sure those of you who don't know about nail polish vitiligo don't understand the significance of my and Regina's reluctant expressions.
'That ...... Yashiro-san ......'.
Ginette and Estella come out of the kitchen.
They are holding earthenware pots in their hands, and their expressions are not good. ............ Paula's guy.
'You didn't eat it, did you?'
'Yes. ............ Yes. How did you know?
Ginette comes over to where we're sitting and shows us the contents of the earthenware pot.
Inside was a bowl of rice gruel that was completely chilled but still looked delicious. It was completely untouched.
...... This must be sad for Jeannette.
'Hey, Jeannette. Loretta's bribe, what have you made for her lately?
'Huh?Well, ...... actually .......'
Apparently, there was a secret hidden here as well.
'Recently, Loretta-san said that she wanted to make her own bribes,...... and I thought it was to practice cooking,...... since Magda-san also said something similar at one time. I'm sure you'll agree.
'...... Indeed, but Magda soon realized that. If you're going to eat it, you might as well make it taste good.
Magda, you're the one with the bright idea.
'Loretta and Paula. And Nephrite all have the same symptoms.'
'Have you found the cause?'
Estella, who had been quiet and somber, bites down.
Yes, I did. I'm sorry ...... that I misjudged and told you to 'consider the possibility of an epidemic'.
'It seems that Nepheli had linear onychomycosis on his nails. It's a white line that appears on the nail, and it's caused by a zinc deficiency, and the cause of that zinc deficiency is--'
With all eyes on him, he pointed out the source of the problem.
Extreme dietary restrictions, unbalanced eating habits.
As a result of such recklessness, he became deficient in zinc, which is not produced by the human body but is essential for human growth.
'That's why both Loretta and Paula have anemia. ......'
Jeannette's lips quivered.
I thought she was worried, but ...... that face was ............
'I think I need to speak to Loretta-san properly ...... and if possible, to Paula-san and Nepheli-san.'
I bite my trembling lips tightly and squeeze my white fingertips.
Ginette is angry.
Very quietly. But definitely.
'Abandoning your meal ...... is unacceptable to me.'
Estella is puzzled by the unusual expression on her best friend's face.
She calls out to her to follow her, but--
'But, you see. I understand that you are a girl of your age and you want to be beautiful, and so do I. So, don't be so angry. ......'
'No, that's not right, Estella.'
--that's the exact opposite direction of thinking.
'If you want to be beautiful, you should eat well.
'But,......, I've also experienced that if you eat a lot of food because it tastes good,......, your ...... weight will go up. I'm sure you don't understand this, but girls do. I'm not sure if you're aware of that, but I'm sure you're aware of that.
You're an idiot. I care about it too.
There is something called the halo effect.
To summarize it roughly, the first impression influences all subsequent images, but it is so influential that it is not foolproof.
For example, if a handsome man hands you a cookie and says, "Here, eat this, it's delicious," girls will eat the cookie, thinking that he is kind and happy.
But if a dark-skinned guy gives her the same cookie and says, 'Here, eat it, it's delicious,' she will probably get defensive. 'Isn't there something in it? And so on.
The halo effect was made fun of by the phrase 'but only for good-looking men'.
In order to make the most of the halo effect as a first-rate fraudster, I always take good care of my body.
If I eat too much, I moderate it and exercise moderately.
That's why I'm so handsome!
'Regardless of the source of your confidence,......, it's still a woman's heart,.......'
Estella is being strangely insistent.
'You've been consulted by one of the three of us, haven't you?
Estella suddenly closes her mouth.
That's tantamount to a confession.
'And you asked me to keep my mouth shut.'
'So there's no one else ...... Loretta can talk to.'
'You're ...... totally.'
Estella shrugged her shoulders in resignation, letting out a ...... sigh.
'I'm afraid of you sometimes.'
Pulling up a chair next to me, Estella sits down and begins to speak.
She looks as if she's apologizing to Loretta in her mind.
'Loretta was very troubled. In the worst case, she might have to leave the Sunken Pavilion, and she was seriously worried.
A short breath was taken by Ginette and Magda.
So much for ...... that.
I'm sure you're not going to be able to stay here just because you've gained weight, are you? Or do you think it's your decision?If you gain a certain amount of weight, you'll be fired.
You can't have that.
'...... Just kidding. I'm sorry.
I was taking it out on you.
But it did bring down my brain fever a little.
Enough for me to realize that I was fuming.
'Perhaps Loretta wanted to lose weight. The quickest way to do that was to restrict her diet. ...... Maybe she didn't have time to exercise, but ...... she skipped dinner anyway.
Huh. ...... Ginette let out a distinctly audible sigh. This is also unusual.
'And what drove him to that point was ......'.
'...... a mistake at work.'
Magda guessed the answer before I did.
He knew why Loretta was depressed. But even after realizing it, he still couldn't understand why she was bothered by it.
If you've made a mistake, you can take steps to avoid it next time.
Loretta didn't do that. That's what we wondered. Because she was always so unlike him.
'Even when she made a mistake at work, she couldn't take action. ...... Probably because he doesn't understand why his mistakes don't go away.
He knows the cause. He said he was in a daze because he skipped a meal.
It must have been very hard for him to work in a workplace filled with so many delicious smells and so many delicious foods when he was hungry.
Smells stimulate the hunger center.
And hunger diminishes one's attention span.
Loretta's brain wasn't spinning fast enough to come up with such childish measures as going to the kitchen with a whispered refrain so as not to forget the orders she had received.
And even such a primitive countermeasure, she had not been able to implement.
That must have made him impatient.
'Impatience slowly wears down your mind, and eventually your thoughts become completely consumed by negative emotions. 'I'm no good for making such a mistake,' he said. ......
'That's why I'm so worried about ......'.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'm not sure what to do. She opens her mouth with a firm determination, with an expression that could even be seen as blaming herself.
'Loretta told me that she was thinking about leaving ...... the 42nd district,' she said.
Ginette lets out a muffled scream.
Magda, too, listens, her face expressionless, but her gaze never averts. Her tail is wagging slowly. He seems to be searching for a place to put his mind.
'Did you think you'd be fired from the Sunlit Pavilion because of your continuous failures?
Amidst the heavy atmosphere, Regina lets out a light voice.
She wasn't joking, but was probably trying to be considerate of Ginette and Magda, who were feeling overwhelmed.
And Regina herself must know that. She knows why Loretta said that. And that she doesn't think she'll be fired from the sunlit pavilion.
'...... Loretta loves the Sunny Pavilion. And everyone there.'
I was about to explain, but Magda spoke up first.
I'm sure everyone understands this, but I dare you to put it into words clearly.
'...... If you think your mistake is a stupid mistake, you will think that Loretta should leave ...... the sunny pavilion 'on her own'.'
'I guess so. So as not to burden me or Jeannette.'
'......In order not to make us feel guilty for kicking out Loretta-san,............, right?
'...... Loretta's mistake is a small one that Magda and the others can follow up on as much as they want. No one would blame her - at least, no one would want her to quit because of it.
'But there was only one person who couldn't forgive that small mistake. That was--'
'Loretta-san, you're ......, aren't you?
The members of the Sunlit Pavilion looked at each other and nodded in agreement.
Our understanding is correct. We confirm it.
'And Loretta, who loves the Sunshine Pavilion--'
After our conversation, Estella quietly sums up the situation.
'--I wasn't sure I could stay in District 42 after I couldn't work at the Sun Goddess Pavilion anymore. If you're in District 42, you're going to hear about the Sun Goddess Pavilion no matter what. ...... It must be ............ too painful for Loretta to not be able to be a part of it.
I'm not sure what to say, but I'm sure you'll understand.
It's all due to the negative thinking caused by her overwhelming diet.
'...... d*mn it. All of them are incapable of learning. ......'
I couldn't help but sigh and swear at the same time.
Well, it can't be helped.
They're all idiots, all of them.
'Didn't Delia once cry that she couldn't show up at the Sunshine Pavilion?
'Ah. That was when she confronted Milly and the other guild members about the water shortage. 'Because Yashiro would be angry with me.'
You ran away on your own, abandoned your place, but you couldn't abandon it and wanted to cling to it, but you couldn't, so you cried.
It's the same this time.
'You're you too, Estella. How could you let this happen?
'I didn't think it would come to this. It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're going to do and how you're going to do it. ...... I've had to restrict my food intake from time to time, and I've made mistakes at work when I've done that,............, so I know how you feel. I'm sure you'll be happy with the results,...................
As I stared and listened to Estella's excuses, I gave up and bowed my head.
That's right. You're partly to blame for all the trouble we've gone through.
I don't know if it's a girl's problem or what, but tolerating selfishness is not kindness.
It's like what I taught Jeannette a long time ago: "It's not good faith to overlook a meal.
Although Loretta pretends to be an adult and the eldest daughter, her thinking is still childish. She is thoughtless, she thinks she can do anything, she is naive, she tries to carry everything by herself, and she is a lonely person who is more afraid of being hated by others than anything else.
'Even though I'm ......, I'm not Loretta's guardian.
To tell you the truth, I want to know everything about Magda and Jeannette, not just Loretta. Clearly, that's ego. But it's what I really want.
But I don't do that because I can't take that much responsibility.
I respect what I have to respect. I don't go into areas I shouldn't.
It's frustrating, but it's inevitable. Loretta is not my daughter.
'It's ...... a troublesome age for them.
Loretta and Paula and Nephrite.
They are, for better or worse, modern girls with little social experience.
It's too late for them to get into real trouble. However, you can't be too protective of them.
...... d*mn it. I don't know why I should even bother with that.
You're right. ......
Why should I be bothered with that?
It's not an exaggeration to say that I was forced to brainstorm.
So, if that's the case. You should be paid for your labor.
You need to be paid or compensated.
'For all the trouble I've gone through, they'll have to go through something that's not trouble.
'Why don't you clarify whether you're in serious mode or goofing off?
'I understand how you feel, but ...... no, I don't understand any of this 'let me rub you' stuff, but ...... these girls are exhausted both physically and mentally right now, so please take that into consideration.
It was Ginette, who was full of surprises today, who denied Estella's lenient discretion.
'Punishment is necessary. Spoiling them is not the only way to educate them.'
Ginette said with a stern expression, her fingers crossed in front of her chest and digging into the back of her own hand.
'I will punish you. I have neither the right nor the authority to do so. So I will not regret if you shun me or avoid me afterwards.
With unwavering conviction, Ginette made a decision.
'I will take care of you. And until you recover, I will take care of you. In the meantime--'
He said in a clear voice, interspersed with the words ......, which might cause trouble for many people.
'The Sunlit Pavilion will be closed.
Sacrificing everything else for the sake of the three of us.
I guess that's Jeannette's way of saying .......
'Ji, Jeannette-chan......, um, really......'
'Are you sure?' I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure it's a good idea.
'...... Master. You can hire Magda in Cantalcica until Paula comes back.
That was Magda's way of saying that she agreed with Ginette's opinion--
'Well, I guess I'll just do as I please.
--This was the moment when the decision was made to close the restaurant for a long time.