415-Additive-free Episode 70: The Fools of this City

'First of all, let's give people an idea of the event with these illustrations, and then we'll collect stories about monsters in this city.

The forty-second ward, where none of the major monsters I know are well known.
Well, that's not surprising.
So we decided to make a masquerade based on the ghost stories that have taken root in the 42nd district, but we couldn't be bothered to go door to door and ask people for their individual stories.

So we decided to hold a competition.

We announced the competition to the people in the village, and asked them to present their own known or invented ghost stories in the square.
He would gather as many people as possible there, including parents and children.
They will be asked to dress up as something they find interesting in the ghost story.

'It would be better if there were illustrations as well as stories.
'That's not possible for ordinary people. I'm not that good at writing or illustrating.

You must have a bit of confidence if you're that good.

'It doesn't have to be creative, it could be folklore, so there will be a certain amount of talk. As for the illustrations, I'll help you if you ask me.

I'll ask you what it looks like, what the mood is, what the nature of the monster is, and I'll draw the image I get from that for you.

'That's quite a generous offer, isn't it? Is there something behind it?'
'I thought everyone in ...... the 42nd district would enjoy taking a closer look at Jeannette's raw belly button.'
'I heard some disturbing words, Yashiro!
'I thought the term "raw belly button" was a bit of a misnomer.'

Molly raises an eyebrow, but there are many parts with the word 'raw' in them, such as raw legs, raw buttocks, raw breasts, and raw cleavage.
Or half-raw tits!

'Anyway, let's get everyone talking about raw legs and raw tits!
'You've changed your mind!

Jeannette's eyes widen, but it's okay, it's changed!
I'm strongly suggesting that change for the better is possible!

'But... It's not easy to make such an obvious monster like the one that Yashiro wrote, is it?There might be a story about the dead peeking through the window, as Molly said earlier, but there's no way to dress it up, right?

You can't dress up as something you can't see.
Even if we could see them, it would be a little uncomfortable to dress up in a disguise that resembles the appearance of an individual and call it a 'ghost'. Estella complained.

'Don't worry. In that case, you just have to embody the image.

Saying this, I draw some illustrations of Japanese monsters.

'This one is called 'Buruburu', and it's the reason I'm afraid to go to the bathroom at night.
'I didn't know that. I've never heard of him before.

Ginette giggled, looking like a sister listening to a child's fiction.
She doesn't believe it at all, but she doesn't deny it. That's what it looks like.

'Also, you know when you feel someone following you from behind in the middle of the night?That's because of this 'Mr. Sticky'.
'It's a very unique looking ghost.

Estella also loosened her cheeks when she saw the comical looking monster.

'Mr. Yashiro, what kind of monster is this?

Molly pointed to a specter called the White Swell.

'It's his fault that my wok smells bad.
'So that was the Obake's fault, too.
'I'm always annoyed by this monster.

Molly and Jeannette looked at each other and giggled.

Japanese yokai are really humorous and come in many varieties.
I think the Japanese of old really had a lot of imagination and creativity.
During the dark nights and long winters, they would give form to their vague fears and anxieties in this way, creating a sense of familiarity as well as a warning.
Not knowing who you are leads to fear.
That's why he made up his "identity" in this way, isn't it? I have this feeling.

'If Yashiro-san draws illustrations of ghosts like this, I'm sure Halloween will be filled with scary ghosts instead of cute ...... ones.'

Ginette's eyes narrowed, looking very happy.
An elegant 'mmmm' escapes from her loosely arched lips.
Her marshmallow-like cheeks are lightly colored and look slightly delicious.

'Let's make some marshmallows.
'Another new dish?'

Ginette's eyes sparkle at my murmur.
Ginette's face comes close to mine, filling my field of vision. She looks into my eyes excitedly.

'What kind of food is that, exactly?

When asked what kind of dish it is, I try to think of the best way to answer.
Well, marshmallows are ......

'It's a candy that looks like boobs.
'............ It's not something we can handle at the Sunshine Pavilion.'

Jeannette's face drifted away.
The light is fading from her sparkling eyes.

It's funny.
It's a candy that girls would love!
It's a cute, SNS-worthy snack!

'Rather than sweets, let's talk about ghosts.

Jeannette has stopped talking about marshmallows.
Apparently, they thought it was a 20% boob quota mixed in with Halloween.
Even though it wasn't: ......

'When Magda and the others get back, why don't we take a little walk around town and gather some information?'

Jeannette has a little time on her hands today.
That's why I suggested it.

'But when Miss Delia comes back, there will be a gymnastics class in the evening.

That was it.
For Ginette and Molly, their bellies were more important than Halloween.
Rather, they were burning with a sense of mission to do something about their bellies for Halloween.

'Then let's get some information from our immediate surroundings.

She turned her gaze to Estella.

'Are there any seven wonders passed down in the lord's manor?
'No, I don't. There are no legends about ghosts.
'Like the portrait whose eyes move at midnight.
'What's that, scary?I've never heard such a scary story!
'Musical instruments that play music by themselves in the middle of the night...'
'Oh, come on!There's a room near my bedroom where I keep my heirloom instruments.
'A waiter who strips naked at midnight: ......'
'Oh, there it is.'

The fear drained from Estella's tense expression.
She looked both relieved and incredibly dismayed.

'I'd really like to investigate this in detail.
'You don't have to. It's the head waiter you know so well.
''Didn't the head waiter have a face like this ......?
''Oh dear, oh dear!

I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this, but I'm sure you have.
...... This, this guy, he's ...... disappearing again!

'Natalia, what if Estella's tits shrink any more?
'I'll point and laugh at her.
'They won't shrink, but I can't overlook that statement, Natalia!
'Then let's be kind and shed a few tears of grief.
'That's just as annoying!

Estella's spirits increased when Natalia appeared.
'You two really get along, don't you, squire?

'I thought you were coming home late, but you were selling oil at this place.
'I'm not selling oil. I just came to show you Lucia's letter.'
'You can't hide the fact that you want to treat me to a red bean paste doughnut while you're here.
'No, I didn't mean that. ......'

Estella glanced at Jeannette as she said this.
Ginette bows her head with a puzzled look.

'I'm sorry, I didn't notice. I'll bring it to you now.
'Oh, no, you don't have to be so careful. ...... I'm sorry.'

You don't look sorry at all, Estella.
She gently holds out her hand to Estella, who puffs out her (flat) chest in anticipation.

'9Rb, sir.'
'I know, I know. I'll pay you.

I do my duty, and she glares at me with a look of disgust.
It's natural to charge for food in a cafeteria, but you're an unreasonable lord.

'Manager, I'd like to ask you one thing too. At ...... expense.'
'Hey, Natalia!You can't expense this!
'Oh, so it's Estella's pocket money!I'm sorry about that, but I'm grateful for the money.
'Don't decide on your own!...... d*mn it.

Estella seemed to have given up, and ordered red bean paste donuts for herself and Natalia.

'Would you like to join us, Molly?I'll treat you.'
'Well, ............ is a good place to start. ......'
'Hey, Molly.

'Squishy, squishy, your will.
The will of paper that falls when it blows. Have a will of iron.

I'm sorry. I'm currently on duty, even though it looks like it, so I'll refrain from ......!
'Molly ......, you don't have to be so teary-eyed.'

Whether it's because she's lamenting her weak will, feeling guilty for refusing the lord's invitation, or feeling sad that she has to hold back when she wants to eat, Molly's eyes are beginning to water. Well, the last one is probably the reason.

'So, Estella-sama. What win were you talking about just now?'
'How long have you been here!

Natalia seemed to have a clear understanding of what was being said.
This guy has actually been lurking for quite some time now, watching for the right moment to come out, hasn't he?

'I know some of the tales of monsters in the lord's mansion.
'Are you sure, Natalia?I've never heard of them.

'It's not something that Estella would want to hear.

'It's a well-known story among the waiters,' Natalia says.
Then she begins to talk quietly about the apparition.

"'The nightly wear and tear on the tits'.
'That's creative!

Estella stood up and pointed at Natalia.
You don't have to point it out with such vigor. You don't have to point it out with such vigor. ...... It's probably a true story, you know?

'You usually grow when you're asleep.
'Yeah . So, as a result of the struggle between normal growth and monstrosity, it remains flat.
'It's not flat!
'Shut up!'

Estella roughly covers Natalia's lips.
Natalia, her mouth covered by her hand, raises an eyebrow in a 'oh dear' sort of expression.

'Why do you have to look at me like I'm an incompetent child?It's Natalia who's talking nonsense, isn't it?
'That's not necessarily true, Estella.
'Yes, I do. It's obvious to everyone.

I'm going to tell her a ghost story that's very familiar in Japan.

'In my hometown, there's a ghost story called 'Bancho Nyuyashiki'.
'Doubt it!
'6cm......7cm......8cm......9cm......... ...I'm 1cm short~ ......'
'That's an A cup!It starts at 10cm!
'Shut up, you two!

Molly, who was left behind, stared at our exchange with an annoyed look on her face.
I wonder if she's glancing at the kitchen because she's waiting for Ginette, who went there to get some doughnuts, to return.

'So, I'm going to dress up in that Bancho Nyuyashiki costume ......'.
'I won't let you!
''You're not going to give it up to anyone?That's Estella-sama.''
'I didn't say that!And I won't do it even if I die, such a masquerade!
'Manager, please come back soon .......'

Molly is fidgeting.
Then Ginette returns with a tray of tea and doughnuts.
She puts the tray on the table and smiles at me.

'Mr. Yashiro, please repent.

Apparently, he heard me.
...... It's just me again.

'I remembered this story from the Bancho Nyuyashiki. ......'
'You don't have to tell me what it reminded you of, Natalia.'

I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that.
I mean, you're usually sitting next to Estella nowadays, Natalia.
She used to stand behind Estella. She didn't even sit down when I offered her a chair.

'In the lord's family, there is a strong curse that is only placed on women.'
'What?I don't know anything about that!
''The curse of 'Do not grow up' that the previous generation's wife has been placing since right after Estella-sama was born is ......''
'Ah ......, I remember that painfully ......'.

Estella's face is twitching like I've never seen it before.
She seemed to know exactly what she was talking about.

'And this curse will be passed down from generation to generation. ......'
'I'm not going to put a curse like that on my own daughter.'
'Well, well, well. Why are your breasts so much smaller than mine?
'Young lady, this was said when she was four years old...'
'......' 'Natalia, can you send a letter to your mother requesting a visit?Carry on the tradition. ......'
'Estella, you can't do that!It's a joke of Natalia's!'

Ginette is desperately trying to prevent her best friend from falling into the darkness.
Come on, Ginette!
Such an abominable curse should be broken in our generation!
For a bright future where the Cremona family will also have a Boin!

'Will you lift the ban on Estella's mother's disguise for Halloween?
'No, I won't!That's disrespectful!Most of all, I don't want to see it!

I think she's the scariest monster so far.

'Oh, you're the revolutionary child of the donut world...'
'What?Why is Hammaro relaxing with a red bean paste doughnut?
'There are no customers, and he was taking a nap during snack time.

Oh, I didn't know that.
I didn't know that this restaurant even prepares its own snacks.

It's not like some relative's kid came here to help.

'Hey, Hammaro.'
'You're the scariest thing I've ever seen. ......'
'...... 'Hammaro?' while I'm talking to you. Don't do that.'
'Well, okay. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen?'
'My sister!
'No, it's not something close to me like that.
'I'm talking about ghosts and things like that, things that kids might be scared of.
'If you treat them like ghosts, you'll get really angry later.
'What's that 'hmm? What?Are you trying to test the limits of my protectiveness?

Don't tilt your head with a curious look!
I'll take you away!
...... Oh, by the way, Lucia's coming over at night. We have to hide her!

'Hammaro. At night, the monsters and their masters come to take you away, so lock your doors and go to bed early.
'Our guests are welcome!
'Don't do that!You'll be eaten!
'No, I don't think they'll eat you. ...... No matter how much Lucia says they won't.'

That's sweet, Estella!
Lucia will eat you!

'I'm going to send you a demon bed-hopping lord.'
'I'm sorry, I finally understand how scary this is. Hammaro, make sure you lock your door!
'Hey, guys. Calling the lord of another district a ghost is indeed rude. ......'
'What are you talking about, Jeannette? It's Lucia and Tracy, remember?It's okay, it's okay.
'I'm sure you're not fine, Yashiro.'

'It's ...... already,' exhaled Jeannette.
As long as you don't go beyond the limits of what they won't be offended by, they're more than happy to be broken up like this, you know.
Well, I guess Ginette knows that, so she doesn't really try to stop me.

'What is it, Hammaro?
'Yo-kai Darin!
'Hammaro, that's not a demon. It's a monster.

I tried my best to shake off the horrible images that flashed through my mind.
They say this kind of talk attracts people, so I deny it firmly and shake off the unpleasant images so that they don't come.

As I was shaking my head to erase the images in my memory, the door of the sunlit pavilion opened in a hurry.
Did I really summon him?
When I looked back at the door, I saw Magda standing there.

'...... I'm home.'
'Welcome home, Magda.'
'I'm home, Mr. Manager. Big brother.'
'Oh. Hammaro said you were the scariest Loretta he'd ever seen.'
'Oh, dear!I didn't expect a whistleblower!
'Hammaro, what were you talking about?
'Hammaro?............ Oh!...... What?...... Hammaro?
'What did you think of just now?Don't act in a way your sister can't understand!

It seems that Hammaro is difficult for even the eldest daughter to understand.

'......But more importantly, Yashiro, I have a visitor.
'...... Are you the guild leader of a certain large guild?
'...... I understand.'

This is the first time I've ever seen such a thing. ......

I'm not sure what to say, but I'll try.I'm here!
'Masha is very welcome!

I'm so glad!
I'm so glad!
Not that way!

'Hey, Masha. Don't let your tail fin flap. It'll splash water.I mopped the floor. Don't make a mess.'

'Because I'm so happy to see you all!

It was Delia who was pushing Masha's tank.
Delia was pushing Masha's tank, looking uncomfortable as the splashing water wet the floor.
I guess Delia has come to care about such things. Looks like she's growing up.

'By the way, Yashiro-kun.

Masha puts her arm over the edge of the tank and peers into my face.
Her eyes arc gently as if teasing me.

'It looks like there's another visitor~'
'No way, this time!

I'm not sure if it's a pattern of letting your guard down once and then the real attacker appears!
But then Bertina came into the store from behind Delia.

''This time, no surprises!

I couldn't help but give thanks to the spirit gods.
There are days like this, aren't there!
Have you finally noticed?I've been doing this for a while!
I'm a guy who's good at what he does!

However, the atmosphere was not so easygoing.
Bertina stepped forward with a serious look on her face and stood in front of Ginette in silence.
Then she quietly raised her arm and put her hand on Ginette's cheek.

'...... What?Um, Sister?'
'............ Good. You don't look so bad.'

Ginette gulps as Bertina lets out a sigh of relief.

'I'm sorry. Did I cause you any concern?

By the way, Ginette had decided not to participate in the donut festival for some reason.
It was a reason she made up to convince the kids, but the unnaturalness of it must have made Bertina feel uncomfortable.
She even went to check on Ginette in this way.

'Um, Sister ...... actually'.

Tormented by a sense of guilt, Ginette told him honestly.
The reason for not attending.
And apologize for worrying her.

'Please don't worry about ...... me like that anymore.
'I'm sorry .......'
'But I'm glad I didn't do anything wrong. You're always pushing yourself too hard.'
'That's not true ............, thank you for worrying about me.'

The mother and daughter share a quiet laugh.
There was remorse and forgiveness, so there would be no rancor left.

'But Ginette has come to care about such things, hasn't she?
'I've always cared about it, even before ....... I'm still a girl.
'You've been blessed with good friends who have brought you good changes. Don't forget to thank them.
'Yes, sir. I've been blessed with wonderful people. Many.

Ginette then slowly looks around at the faces of everyone in the room.
She must be thinking of the faces of those who are not here. She gazes for a moment beyond the door.

'I'm getting a little curious, too. Ms. Delia's gymnastics class.
'The sisters?

Ginette rolled her eyes in surprise.
Delia lifts her lips in a pout and spreads her hands towards Bertina.

'Then let's do it together, Sister. It was Yashiro's idea, so even the sisters can do it together. Hey, Yashiro?
'Well, yes, but ...... you can't do it in that outfit, can you?'

Bertina is wearing a sister's uniform today.
You can't exercise in that.

'I'm fine. I have clothes for field day.


'We also got long sleeves and long pants.

Such merciless words were added right after I raised my arms.
...... Why?
Sleeves and hems aren't really necessary in this town, are they?

'Mr. Yashiro. Please make it an easy exercise.'

It's not only the ease of the exercise, but also the fact that Bertina's eyes, smiling, contained a request: 'Please don't do anything crazy.
It's the kind of 'request' you can never disobey. ...... I think it's called blackmail, that kind of thing.

I'll do it too!
I'll do it!

Masha and Hammaro raise their arms with the same look.
I'm not sure what to make of that.I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out.

'I'll wait a minute, Hammaro.'
'Do you even know what you're doing?
'I don't know!
'Then I'll stop. You're going to help me with the store.'
'I'm good at that kind of thing!

Hammaro threw up his arms in the air, but Loretta persuaded him to stay at the sunny pavilion.
The gymnastics class is still in session, so it's better that way. I don't think Hammaro needs to lose weight.

I don't think Masha needs it either, but since she wants to join, I'll take her.
Oh, yeah. I'll ask this guy first.

'Hey, Masha. Do you have any stories about ghosts in the sea?

When I explained the story so far and about Halloween, and told him that I was gathering information about ghosts that might be suitable for costumes, Masha leaned forward with both eyes shining brightly.

'How about a mermaid!
'A mermaid wouldn't be a bunny ......'.
'But you know, long ago, mermaids were like ghosts to humans.'
'That's true. I've heard stories that if you encounter a mermaid at sea, you'll be sunk along with your ship.

It was Bertina who affirmed Masha's story.
She said she had heard such a story a long time ago.

I think it was a long time ago that mermaids and humans made peace. ...... I wonder how long ago she heard that story.
It must have been a long time ago. ...... Ah, Bertina's eyes are starting to set. I'll stop thinking about it.

'I think I'd be happy if the kids dressed up as mermaids.
'As for me, I'd be happier if adults dressed up in costumes.
'Yashiro-san's ...... hands are .......'

It seems that his honest feelings were reflected in his arms.
Molly pointed it out to me with a bit of a scowl.
I put the scallop on the pointy part.

'And maybe a sea monk or a siren?They're both sea monsters that are feared by sailors.

Masha smiled happily when I drew illustrations of the sea monk and the siren that she knew, saying, 'Wow, they're cute!
She doesn't know whether they look alike or not. She's never seen one before.
Even in this world where beastmen are commonplace, sea monks and sirens are imaginary creatures.

I heard there are dragons, though.

'Oh, and ghost ships. Skeleton captains, ghost pirates...'
'So there are stories like that here, too.
'Yes, there are. There are a lot of stories about sightings on the sea in the mist.

Haze and mirages tend to appear at sea.
I felt that it is quite natural that stories of ghost ships are created in such a situation.

When I illustrated them, Bertina smiled and said, 'Boys seem to like this kind of thing.

'Bertina. Is there anything in the church, about the ghosts?'
'Yes, .......'

I put my finger to my chin and thought for a few seconds, then my expression lit up as if I'd thought of something.
Then he tells me the story with a face that seems to be unable to suppress a smile.

'There is a monster that is most frightening to children.
'What kind of monster?'

I ask, and Bertina glances at Ginette, who tells me with a mischievous smile.

'It's a ghost who draws maps on the bedding while the children are asleep.
'Map ...... with water, huh?'
'Yes. When they wake up, the bedding is soaked, and the children are most afraid of meeting this monster.

After saying all that, 'Right, Ginette? When Bertina smiled, Ginette puffed up her cheeks and said, '...... I don't know.
Apparently, Ginette had met one before. The ghost.

'Oh, by the way, there was always water ready to boil in the church kitchen.
'I don't know ...... anymore.'

Ginette puffed up, and Bertina chuckled.
Sure, it's a scary ghost for the kids, but it's unlikely anyone would dress up as one.
Like Ginette now, they don't want to admit it.
They won't want to admit that they've met the werewolf. I'm sure they'll avoid this masquerade.

'Mmm!Sister, Yashiro-san will tell you a story about the 'Wasteful Obake'!Please be scared.
'No, Jeannette. Maybe Bertina is one of those freaks.

I'm sure we all share the idea that it's a shame to leave food behind.

As Bertina urged me to talk about the wasteful ghosts, the light outside the window grew redder and redder, and before I knew it, it was time for Delia's exercise class.