--Close your eyelids and concentrate on your nerves.
The flow of the wind, the warmth of the air, the scent of oxygen. Your consciousness melts into the world with the feeling of becoming one with everything that exists there.
All five senses are unleashed.
In the space between nothing and something, I grasp the world...
'Huh?How did you know that?You just closed your eyes, didn't you?
In the back of the sunlit pavilion, I was sitting in my usual seat, meditating, when Ginette approached me and shouted in astonishment.
...... Huh. It's not a big deal.
'It's a result of your daily practice.
'What have you been training for, at all ......?'
I didn't hear it shake at all, so--
'I didn't notice.
'That must be it. I felt a faint desire to kill you in that instant.'
He glared at me with eyes like sharpened knives, and flicked them with sharpened knives.
Ha-ha-ha, come on, you can't take out the real thing. You'll get arrested.
'What have you been up to, sir?
'No, I've been playing around a lot lately. I just thought I should be more careful around here.
'Playing ......?Oh, you mean like Halloween and the Miss Contest?
Because the whole town has been holding a lot of events recently, I haven't fooled anyone at all.
I'm afraid this will dull my con skills.
That's why I decided to take a break and do some training.
'I've been slack lately, so I've been working on my senses.
In addition, by showing a glimpse of this kind of tireless effort, 'Oh, that's why you're so great, Yashiro!You're not on the same level as a pumper!How wonderful! This is a secondary effect.
'Are you doing that kind of nonsense all year round?...... is pathetic.
At a time when she should be getting praise, she is getting a very sour look on her face.
I would have thought that Estella would understand the importance of daily practice. ......
'You know what? Practice is all about accumulation. They say that if you miss a day of practice, it takes three days to make up for it. In that respect, piano and tits are the same.
'Definitely not the same.
I don't know why I don't get it.
You're sharpening your nerves with your daily practice.
I mean, is there a piano in this city?
Wouldn't it be strange if there are pianos in this city?
Well, it doesn't matter.
I'll show you right here and now the proof that Estella never misses a day of training.
Take out five cards from your pocket. All white, same shape, same size.
Write the words "Curse of the Tits" on four of the cards and leave one blank.
Turn them over and carefully shuffle them so that they are completely unrecognizable.
The card is then spread out and presented to Estella. Naturally, the front is hidden from view.
'Come on, draw!
Estella pulls out the blank card without hesitation.
'Ohhhh! Magda and Loretta applauded, wondering how long they had been watching.
'This is the result of your training.
''I'm not practicing every day for something as trivial as this, though.
'''What, no? No!
''Shut up, you guys!Really!
This is the kind of Estella who wants to avoid this kind of randomly written 'curse of breasts' that has no effect on her, because she's worried about it.
'You want to rub'.
I'm not going to take that kind of flack at all.
Tea time is over, the guests have left, the dishes are mostly done, and it's time to relax.
I was in the same place as usual, indulging in the same silly conversation that I always repeat.
In short, I was bored.
'Oh, I want to play .......'
'Didn't you just say that you were too relaxed to play?
I've had a lot of events.
Field day, Halloween, beauty contest. I even reformed the church's bread, and meddled in something called "Lovely Avenue".
That was all because I was busy!
Because I was super busy!
Give me a break, man!
Give me some time to myself!
I want to cheat as much as I can!
'Estella. Do you want to pay a lot of money for a smelly vase that has nothing to offer but looks great?
'I don't want it, it's such a trivial thing!
If you wanted it, I would've sold it to you right here and now.
''Um, Yashiro-san. Are you in need of money by any chance?
'No, I have money. If you're asking me if I need it or not, I'd like it a lot, but for now, I'm not in trouble with money.
'I see. That's a relief.
Ginette patted her chest, relieved.
Ginette patted her chest, taking about eight times as long as Estella.
Like Estella, I can't take the shortest route.
'I have money, but I'm not satisfied. So you're thinking that you want to get into some kind of trouble again?'
'Hey, stop it. If you talk about it, it will come to you.I don't want any trouble.
I've gotten into a lot of trouble this year.
I've been involved in a lot of troublesome troubles this year,......, including difficulties from BU.
That's enough. I just want to get through the end of the year in peace and quiet.
But, well, you're right. ......
'I think I should tell you this.
'What is it?'
Ginette and Estella's expressions tightened a bit as I looked at them seriously.
Magda and Loretta also stared at my face from behind Ginette and the others.
'When Jeannette pats her chest, it takes about eight times as long as Estella, doesn't it?
'Don't bother saying such trivial things!
''It's true, Estella-san and the manager's travel distances are too different.
''Shut up, Loretta!
'...... Estella is the shortest distance.'
'You too, Magda!
'Oh, Yashiro-san. Please repent!
I'm the only one who gets pissed off, even though everyone else is making noise.
It's always the same.
Yeah, it's really the same.
Because this is--
This is the Sunken Pavilion.
When you say ......, it sounds like the last scene of a movie, right?
If my life were to be shown in a theater, this would be the last scene.
So you don't have to get into any more trouble, okay?
I'm serious, okay?
I'm not pretending, okay?
You hear me, genie god?
Seriously, if you give me any trouble, I'm gonna blow you away, okay?
I'll make a punching balloon with your face on it and sell it to you.
...... Oh, I bet if you had a guy from this town make one, it would be a mushroom get up and spill.
'Oh ......, I don't trust the Spirit God.'
''Why are you suddenly talking about that!
Ginette is startled and says something a little unclear like, 'The Spirit God is a very merciful person.
There's no way that such a benevolent person would harass me with such exquisite and troublesome harassment every time.
'No, he's laughing at me as I run around frantically. He must be.'
'You really shouldn't talk to ...... the Spirit God like he's your friend. You're being punished.
'No, big brother could be friends with the spirit gods.
'...... Even the spirit gods are in your strike zone.'
'Oh, um, Yashiro-san ......, you can't do that, can you?'
In addition, the people in this town are basically Alvistans, but there are those who attach sama to the spirit gods and those who don't.
Surprisingly, Estella does not wear a sash. ...... though she sometimes does it in front of church officials as a good girl. Oh, you know, there are times when she addresses you without any context. I guess that's when I'm making a wish to the spirit gods. Mainly in the chest area.
'Estella doesn't often add 'sama' to the spirit gods, does she?
'Eh, is that so?I've never really thought about it.
My impression is that she basically doesn't.
Estella and Magda are the ones who don't add 'sama'. I remember Lucia also said 'spirit god'.
And the ones who do are Ginette and Bertina, and Loretta .......
'So, if you call a genie god 'sama', you can grow up to at least a C cup. ......'
'Of course not!I'm not interested in such nonsense, the spirit gods.
'Estella-san has suddenly started using samae!
'...... The woman who never misses the slightest possibility, Estella.'
'Oh, shut up!I'll always pay my respects. I'm a devout Arvistan.
That's not very pious. Estella's faith is a blur.
She's only going to cling to it when it suits her.
It's a little like the Japanese who only go to shrines during the New Year's visit and the exam season.
Wow, I feel very close to you.
'I'm sorry, please!
While I was feeling strangely close to Estella, a small voice floated into the cafeteria.
A small girl peeked in through the door with a reserved look.
A large ladybug hair ornament is swaying on her head.
'Hello, Miss Milly. Welcome to the Sunlit Pavilion.
'Oh, ...... you're not a guest today,...... I'm sorry, aren't you?'
'No. You're always welcome here, Millie.'
'Haha. Thank you for your time.
I'm not sure what to say, but I think it's a good idea.
On her shoulder is a pochette that looks like the usual large Boston bag. It's a pochette. That's what Milly says.
'Hey, Miriri!Can I ask you a question?'
Loretta raises her hand and dances in front of Milly.
'What is it?Loretta-san.
'What do you call the Spirit God, Miriri?
'Huh?Let's see, ...... God of Spirits, right?
'...... but a B cup.'
'What?Why do you say that out loud, Magda?
'...... Yashiro's hypothesis has been rejected.'
'There are cases where you can't reach a C even if you put it like that.'
'That's right!That's right, isn't it!I thought so!
I'm sure you're right!
I'm sure you've heard of it.
It's okay, it's okay. I'm not going to let them bother me.
I don't care about them. What do you want today?'
Did you come to see me because you wanted to see me?
Oh, how cute. ...... Oh, no, apparently not.
He turned to Jeannette with a happy face.
'Hmm. I've come to share with you today.
Ginette looked into Milly's face with a smile and a happy look.
A bunch of leaves are handed to Ginette. I'm not sure what to do. ...... That's a lot.
I'm not sure. I heard that there were a lot of people staying here last year.
'Well, they're Hiral leaves. Are you sure you want so many?'
'Yes. Eat them all.'
Hmm, I've heard that somewhere before: ......
'It's that time of year already, isn't it?
'Hmm. I want to play in the river with everyone again this year.
Oh!That's right!The leaves of the hilar!
It is said that the hot season will come soon after the leaves are harvested, and the heavy snow season will come right after that.
Well, it's already that season, isn't it?
'Well, are the leaves of the hilar eaten in every ward?
I wonder if each district has its own characteristics.
It's like zoni in Japan.
'No, isn't Hilal's leaf a culture unique to District 42?
Estella replies, smiling a little bitterly.
'That's the only way to preserve food, in the past.
In the 42nd district, which is the poorest district, it's difficult to make dried meat and other slightly rich preserved foods. ...... Or, even if such preserved foods were available, many of them couldn't afford them.
In the event that you have any questions concerning where by and how to use the internet, you can contact us at our own web site.
...... What is that? It makes me cry.
'Let's make lots of oshiruko again this year.
'No, Yashiro. I'm glad you showed me a glimpse of kindness, but everyone can already buy enough preserved food.
District Forty-two has made great strides in the past year.
There is no one who can be called poor anymore, Estella said.
It is said that the lord has started to provide protection allowance to poor families who are financially strapped.
They used this as a foothold to build a system to rebuild their lives.
When he met Yap Rock when he was at the end of his rope, he decided that he could not leave him alone and took action. He breathed a sigh of relief that he had managed to keep up appearances, although it took a long time.
The lord of this district is such a good-natured man.
'So, we might not be able to eat Hilal's leaves anymore?
Well, it's a poor preserved food.
Last year we made boiled rice and soup.
From this year, every family will eat meat. And yakiniku is becoming popular.
I was thinking something like this.
'Oh no!I want to eat soaked hilar!
'...... It doesn't feel like the end of the year without it.
Loretta and Magda were fiercely opposed, and Milly was nodding her head vigorously.
'Then, let's have boiled rice and soup together again this year.
Ginette said with a look of excitement on her face.
'I'm also a big fan of hilar leaves.
She flicks her tongue at him.
Oh, I see.
So this is it. It's like a ritual. Even in Japan, where there is no longer a need to store food during the year-end and New Year holidays, it continues to survive, as if it would be lonely without it. It is truly a poetic tradition.
It's not about rationality or right and wrong anymore.
At the end of the year in the 42nd district, a leaf of hilarity is indispensable.
I guess that's how it is.
'Well, let's stock up on a lot of ......, are they going to come back to stay?
I'm sure there were some unavoidable circumstances last year, but this year, why don't you prepare properly in advance?
I can't stand it when it becomes an annual event, that kind of foolishness.
'It's fun to be with you all, so let's make lots of preparations.
Ginette was eager.
Oh, I'm sure this is inevitable. ......
'Speaking of annual events...'
Next to Magda and Loretta, who are playing nicely with Millie, Estella asks me.
'When is this year's Festival of Light going to be held?
'The Festival of Light?
'You see, we did it last year. We used the streets to return the light to the church.
It's a festival we planned to attract people to the road in front of the Sunken Pavilion when it wasn't called a road yet.
It was a big event with a lot of stalls to show off the glowing bricks.
Thanks to this event, a street was built in front of the Sunlit Pavilion.
'We're not planning to hold it this year, are we?
Nothing, nothing at all. ......
'I just wanted to put a street in front of my store.
There's no reason to do it now that the road is clear.
In the first place.
'It's too late for that, isn't it?
Last year's festival was held much earlier than that.
If you want to do it, you'll have to do more laying the groundwork in advance.
'Then why don't you just tell me?
'You should be the one to organize it. The town's events are under the lord's jurisdiction, right?
Even if that's not the case, we've had a lot of new events this year.
I can't be bothered with events that are already over.
'If you want to make this an annual event, you should discuss with Natalia and the guild leaders which ones to keep and which ones to leave out. It's not something you can just do on a whim, you know.
'...... field day, Halloween, Miss Contest'.
'Well, well, ...... it's true that we've done a lot of things just for fun.
There's a difference between the first time and the second time onwards!
The first time, even if you fail, they will tolerate you. It's a memorial, a memory, a memory, a vasminarnier.
But that's not good enough if you want to make it an annual event.
The 'why' of the event becomes important.
Just because it's fun doesn't mean it will last.
People cannot spend money, time, and passion on something that they know will fail.
'If you want to do it, you have to start from the beginning of the year.
'I see, I was looking forward to .........'
'We don't know if we'll have Halloween or field day next year, do we?
'No, let's do it, it's a good opportunity.
'Are you taking into account the possibility of putting pressure on the district's finances?'
'I'd like to do the light festival at ............. It was very beautiful, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and we made a lot of profit.
It seems that the festival of lights is the first priority.
'Whatever you do, think about the scale. Otherwise, it will either expand too much and go bankrupt, or shrink too much and die out naturally, either way, it won't last.
It was the same with Jeannette's birthday.
Loretta and Magda wanted to throw a party as big as last year's, or even bigger, but Ginette refused. I agreed with Ginette.
Expanding the scale of the party every year would put pressure on the management of the Sun Goddess Pavilion, and more importantly, it would be too much work for Ginette.
The people who are celebrating also have to bear a lot of heartache.
The more grand the celebration, the greater the hardship.
If someone says, "We'll rent out the Tokyo Dome and celebrate with 100,000 people just for you! I'm going to rent out Tokyo Dome for 100,000 people to celebrate for you alone!" would make you feel depressed and pressured to fall asleep, right?
Everything is better in moderation.
So, I kept Ginette's birthday this year to a small one.
We gave her a small gift and ate Ginette's home-cooked meal together with those close to her.
The cake was the only thing I tried a little harder. I did.
That's about right.
'You're right, it can be hard to keep Halloween going every year at the level it is this year. ......'
On Halloween, the Trubek Engineering Shop, the Hardware Guild, and the Clothing Guild--or rather, the Uclines--worked extremely hard.
A number of the latest technologies were presented for the first time.
We can't keep up the Expo-like excitement every year.
Downsizing is necessary to continue for a long time.
'But I want to maintain the level of last year's Light Festival.
'Well, if each store made a profit, why don't we ask for sponsorship?
Even last year, when we didn't know what we were doing, we were able to get some sponsorship.
I'm sure we can get as much money as we want from people who know the taste of the festival.
'Oh, if we hold a festival, we'd like to have fireworks at the same time.
'What, it's not a wedding?
'No, fireworks are not limited to weddings. In my hometown, there are many places that set off fireworks together with festivals.
'I see. ......Yeah, I'll think about it.'
'...... You look so happy.'
Estella is very positive.
I can see that she wants to do the festival of lights no matter what.
Did you enjoy eating so much?
'It was for Imelda's entertainment, though.
As if remembering those days, Estella gazes at the sky with a happy face.
'I wore a yukata, carried a gumbo, and ate strange food stuck in a stick. ...... It was fun, right, Yashiro?
He smiled at me in a natural way.
It was an act that emphasized the fact that this guy and I had spent the same amount of time together.
At that time, Jeannette and the others were in the middle of their work.
It's like me and Estella were the only ones playing around, isn't it uncomfortable?
'Estella-san, were you happy that you could monopolize your brother?
'No, it wasn't exclusive!Because Imelda was there!
'...... After the festival, she was so excited to receive a coin purse from Yashiro. Magda was bragged about four times.
'That's because, you see, at Yashiro's request, I had to give up my own personal purse to make up for it!
I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that.
You really are a careless lord, aren't you?
'Anyway!The Festival of Light is so much fun, I'm going to make it an annual event starting next year!And I want to keep good relations with the church.
Estella said in a loud voice to hide her embarrassment.
That loud voice reached his ears.
'Let's hear all about it, Estella!And the anchovy!
Boom!And then, the door was thrown open and Lucia walked into the sunlit pavilion.
...... Why are you here?
'Are you going to do something fun while I'm gone that I don't know about?I will not allow you to do such a thing!
'No, ......, it's none of your business.'
'What do you mean, anchovies!I'll just gather up the inedible parts of the crab and feed them to you.
You're making me sick!
'Um, ...... Lucia-san?'
'What, it's Estella?
'What can I do for you today, ......?
'Whoa, whoa, whoa!Isn't that Millie?You're looking even prettier today!Can I rub it on you?
'Calm down, you perverted lord!
'Anchovies. Even Estella can get hurt, you know?Be careful what you say.
'You're the one who's a pervert!
What, you're not even aware of it?
Are we finally at the point where we need to quarantine him?
'What are you doing here?It's not the kind of distance you come to for no reason, is it?
Just to be sure, the 35th district, as seen from the 42nd district, is the furthest district located on the diagonal of the outer districts.
Even if you use the New Road that passes through District 29, it's still far away because it's on the diagonal.
It's not a distance I can come to very often. ......
'Hmmm. There's a lot of demand for fireworks, a new specialty of our district. The tax revenue has gone up, so we've upgraded the carriages!The speed of the horses is much higher than before!Isn't it amazing!
'Spend your effort and money elsewhere!
Do you really want to come to the Forty-Two districts, you!
''Hmph, you're a little scary guy. I've brought you something that is often traded in District 35 at this time of year.
'Is that the kind of food that is preserved for the heavy snowfall season?
'Yes. Well, let's just say it's a tradition. Gilberta, bring it here.
'Yes, I will.'
I guess he wanted to surprise us by hiding the contents of the package until the last minute.
Lucia had Gilberta, who was waiting out front, bring the package to her.
The square box that Gilberta brought was covered with a black cloth.
You're really rushing me to the last minute.
'I was thinking that if I could get Ginepu to cook this, it would be delicious.
'Wow, I'm glad. I wonder what kind of food it is. I'm excited.
Ginette approaches Gilberta with her request.
Estella also seems to be interested and takes her place next to Gilberta.
Then, Magda and Loretta huddle together, and Milly also seems to be interested and places herself in the crowd.
The girls crowded in front of a square box covered with a black cloth that Gilberta was holding.
Then, at Lucia's signal, the black cloth is removed.
'Now, let's open it up!
'I'll rip off the black cloth in a flash.
At that moment, the girls in the crowd screamed and fell backwards.
Gilberta was holding a glass aquarium with a huge sea eel swimming in it.
The girls screamed, probably because the conger eel was rushing toward the glass of the tank.
'What, what, what ...... is this?
'Hahahaha!Estella doesn't like spindly things, does she?'
Lucia's reaction was as expected, and she was very pleased.
Perhaps a little startled, Jeannette turns back to me while holding her chest.
'What's wrong?Do you want me to help you hold it down?'
'No, sir!Um, Yashiro-san, do you know what that is?'
Ginette had never seen a conger eel before, and didn't even seem to recognize it as a fish.
'Ah. It's delicious. There are several ways to prepare it. ......'
'I see. Would you like to tell me about it?'
'That's fine, but...'
'Hey, Lucia. How do you usually eat these?'
'I usually open it up and roast it or steam it. If you keep them in an aquarium, they'll live through the heavy snowfall, so they make good preserved food.
Is it a preserved food?
Well, it's good enough for a week or ten days.
'Then I'll tell you the best way to eat them.
We've just gotten a good one.
'Ginette, you want to try mirin?
'Yes!I want to use it!
Just the other day, we received mirin from Ribeka, a koji maker in the 24th district.
He said he had rice malt, so I taught him how to make mirin.
I told him how to make mirin, because mirin can expand the range of cooking.
In return for the mirin, he gave me the recipe.
The more seasonings, the better.
I can make teriyaki with this...
I can't stop dreaming.
And mirin is useful in this dish too!
I'm going to make kabayaki sea eel and sea eel rice!
Such a lively but strangely relaxing daily life passed like this.