469-Episode 271 New Year's Eve is busy and lively.

On the first day of the opening of the public bathhouse, most of the people living in the 42nd district were there.
I didn't know it, but the town was abuzz with rumors right after the construction started.
'Yashiro is going to build something interesting again.

...... It wasn't me, it was the lord and the Torbek Engineering Shop.

As the opening day was at the end of the year, all the guilds seemed to have taken the day off from work, and the bathhouse was crowded with people, people, people from the morning.
It was so crowded that it reminded me of a swimming pool in the middle of summer. The flowing pool and the pool with waves were always crowded with people. I never went there, but I saw it on the news here and there.
But you see, no matter how many people are crowded, unlike the 42nd district, in Japan, touching the tits of a beautiful woman in a swimsuit is a crime, right?

...... Oh, it's the same in this city. I'm sorry, I forgot about that.

I'm sorry.That felt so good!

A carpenter with a refreshed face comes out of a public bathhouse where there is a line.
In such a crowded place, no matter how big the bathtub was, he would not have been able to stretch his legs and relax much, but the carpenter looked refreshed and in a good mood as he had never shown before.

'It's so nice to be able to use the hot water to my heart's content like that!

For the people of this town, who usually wipe their bodies with a tub, it is a rare experience to have a head full of hot water.
The old men don't bathe in the river.
At best, they are kids.

There is usually someone from the river fishing guild in the river, and they can't bathe in such a place.
If you pollute the river, the scary guild leader will be angry.

'It's a pity I couldn't go into the sauna, but I'll come back when the time limit is over.

Today, due to the excessive number of visitors, the bathing time per person is limited to thirty minutes.
I'd like you to take your time, but if you don't, some of you won't be able to stay in the bath for a long time, and the day will end.
Once I explained the situation, the people were willing to accept it and there was no great confusion.

Is that it?
A good-natured lord who--

'In exchange for setting a time limit, we'll give you half-price bathing today.

--Maybe it was because he said that.
What a fool. On the first day, even if the service is inadequate, even if you can't satisfy them at all, they won't complain even if you charge full price.
I'd rather pay twice as much and get a complaint like, 'Oh, you haven't been to a public bath yet?There will be people who want to show off and say 'I've already been there!

Everyone is equal.
We're all in this together.
Let's share the fun.

I wonder if the lord of this place has a slogan like that.

Thinking like that, I was outside the bathhouse, watching the customers come and go.
Estella had asked me to watch the customers' reactions.
Well, I've already found out that they're responding well, but I'd better continue my research.
I'm the one who started it, so...

'Hey, Yashiro!

Mormat comes running towards you, waving and smiling.
I don't know if it's just me, but the luster on his scales is different than usual.

'It feels so good to be in a public bath!Especially the sauna!That's a good one!

Mormat, smelling a little like a man after a bath, speaks enthusiastically.

'At first, I thought, what's the point of being in a hot room, but Omero says the world changes when you push yourself to the limit.

Omero was in the sauna until he collapsed during the test run yesterday. With Becko.

'The water bath after coming out of the sauna is the best!
'All right!All right, just stay away from me!If an old man smells good, it makes me want to kill him.

It's only when it comes from a beautiful girl that you get that feeling!

Apparently, saunas have been accepted in this city as well.
You have to endure to the limit, endure, endure, endure, and ...... release from endurance!

That's a great feeling,......, I'll go in when I'm a little more free.

It's a good idea to use a soap made by Regina. At first I thought, 'What kind of man would want to use a fragrant soap when he's not a woman,' but they were giving away one per person in the guardroom. I took the chance and tried it, and look what happened!Look at the difference in the luster of the scales!In addition, I feel like they've become moist and soft, right?
'It's not like the scales can't do their job anymore, is it?

Is it okay that the scales are getting soft?
Scales are natural armor, right?
Well, no matter what kind of armor you wear, you'll probably be killed instantly by Mo-Mat.

'When a new strong enemy appears, be the first to be killed.
'What are you talking about?Absolutely not!

That's the position you're in.
You're in the position of 'mob character combatant C'.

'So, what scent did you get?
'It's lavender!
'You're a girl!
'That's nice!Because it smelled so good!

This time, I'm giving away free use-size soap at the reception desk of the public bathhouse.
Fragrant soap is a luxury item. You don't need it if you don't have it.

But once you use it, you'll want to use it again, and when it's gone, you'll think, 'Oh, it's gone,' and you'll think, 'I don't mind spending a little more for this,' and eventually you'll think, 'It's a must have, it's not enough without it! If this becomes the case, the product will continue to be sold forever.
This sample is a stepping stone to that.

The scents range from flowers and fruits to honey and milk.
Let's see, what will be the most popular one?

'If you like it, I'll tell you which scent I recommend to you.
'Oh, Yashiro's recommendation. I'm curious. What's the scent?'
''Men's Fruity,'' he said.
'That's the smell of old man sweat, isn't it?Hammaro, the man in charge, made me smell it and I fainted in agony, you know!

Oh, so you already knew that.
I wish I could have seen it, the fainting Mo-Matt.
So it's Hammaro sitting on the watchtower?
Are you sure about that?It's the first day.

I was a little anxious and looked towards the entrance of the bathhouse and saw Ricardo waving at me with a happy glow on his face.

'Oh, there you are!Oi, Oba!
'Mo-Mat, they're calling you.
'It's not me!It's obviously you, Yashiro!I said, 'Oba'!

d*mn it.
Why do I keep getting approached by old men like this? ......


'There will be a lot of women taking their first bath today, so stay away from the women's baths. I'm going to warn you so that you don't have an accident,......, but the girls in the forty-two wards are rather open-minded and friendly,.......'

--This is because of the dry smiles and the restraining orders.
I would have preferred to investigate the women's baths too!

'I like that!Make one for me.
'Are you Lucia?

'You're Lucia?' She ordered me to do it with an impassive face.
I think the lords of this city should respect me more.

'Before jumping on a new thing, what's going on with 'Lovely Yann Avenue'?
'Hmm?Yeah, it's going well.

It's been a few months already!

'Aren't you taking too much time?
'You know. It's a huge construction project that's going to remake the whole street.It's only natural that it would take a long time!How many buildings do you think you'll have to rebuild?
'Umaro built two public bathhouses in less than a week.
'Don't compare it to that!It's too far outside the norm, Torbek!

From Ricardo's point of view, Umaro and the others seem to be out of the ordinary.
Well, when he said with a nonchalant face, 'No, we've built a large bathhouse once at the sunlit pavilion, so if we have the know-how, we can shorten the construction period even if the scale is large,' I was shocked, 'Is this guy for real?

No matter how much you mobilize the entire Trubec Engineering Department,......, I think the speed was rather normal when the sunlit pavilion was renewed,......, am I forcing myself that hard?It's not my fault, is it?I'm sure it's Umaro's fault.

It's not my fault.
'It's not my fault, is it?
'I don't know what you're talking about, but when has it ever not been your fault?
'd*mn it!I was wrong to ask you!Mormat!
'Well, isn't it Yashiro's fault?I don't know.

What a bunch of guys!
Are they unhappy men?

'What are you talking about?

Just then, the man I'd heard so much about, Umaro, appeared.

'Umaro, is it me?
'What?Well, ......, maybe it is, isn't it?I don't know...'

You too, Oumalo!
I felt so uncomfortable that I decided to continue using these guys as my chins in the future. Maru!

'Umaro, what's the progress on 'Lovely Yann Avenue'?

Ricardo, being an idiot, asked Umaro, the person in charge.

'Oh, it's almost finished. In fact, after the rough work was done, it was handed over to the carpenters of the 41st district, so I think the lord knows more about it than I do.
'I didn't know that you handed it over to our carpenters.
'You should be more interested!

This is the first time I've been able to get a good idea of what's going on.
Umaro. Don't think of things in terms of you.

There are always a certain number of idiots who can't help themselves in any world.

'The carpenters of the 41st district have recruited a large number of women and entrusted them with the design work. There are a lot of ideas that only women can come up with, such as designs from a woman's point of view and points that would be nice to have, and the results are quite interesting.
'But, Torbek. It'd be faster if you made it yourself. You should do it.'
'...... No, I think the current method is the best for District 41 in many ways, such as passing on skills, gaining hands-on experience, and training newcomers. ......'
'Is that so?It would be more interesting to finish it quickly and start the next one. Just like the forty-two districts.
'Yashiro-san!He doesn't know anything about anything!
'What, you don't know anything about that either, Umaro?

Ricardo is an idiot.
Especially when it comes to things he's not interested in.

'Then come and make yourself a bath!
'No, the construction of the port will start after the new year.'
'Don't worry!All you have to do is make it in your free time!
''Yashiro-san, that's not good!I almost touched it just now!
'You didn't have to hold back.

People who don't know how hard it is to make things immediately say things like 'just' and 'enough'.
Then why don't you do it yourself?

'Well, if you don't have time, I can't help it, but I'll make an appointment for you. I'll be there before you.Do you understand?
'If that's the case, I'm sure it'll be faster to ask the carpenters in District Forty-One.
'No, you can't!

Ricardo crossed his thick arms in vain and blew his nose like a kid.

'I want to entrust the first public bathhouse in District 41 to a reliable and skilled carpenter!I'll have my guys build one based on that, so just come and build one. Do you understand?

I don't know who you think you are being so selfish, but I'll tolerate you for once.
The lord of the neighboring district, a stranger if you will, is praising you with open arms.

For Ricardo, it's probably just a simple idea of wanting something good, but for Umaro, his selfishness makes him happy.
The timing must have been right, and it must have touched Umaro's heart.


Umaro said shortly as if to cover his tears, and smiled happily.

I can't help it.
Let's at least build a public bathhouse.
It's the most sweaty district around here.
If you give me a portion of the profits, I'll suggest a stylish spa worthy of the lovely Yann Avenue.

'What's with all the men and their shabby meetings?

Estella shrugs her shoulders and walks over to the men's room.
That's not fair!You forbid me to go to the women's bath, but you come to the men's bath!

'Okay, let's switch places!I'll leave it to you!
'You can't leave it to me. Natalia is watching over there, so we have enough hands.'
'But that doesn't mean you should slack off.
'I'm here for the meeting.

After this.
After the mayhem of the opening of the bathhouse is over, we have the next event coming up.
...... You're cramming too many events in.

It's not a problem, because Jeannette and her team are preparing for it.
I'm not sure what to say.You're going to do something again?Do you want me to join you?Hmm?

Ricardo interrupts the conversation, and Estella and I look at the smiling muscle lord in silence. A sullen look on his face.

'...... I wonder why. I don't get the same feeling of 'I can't help it' as I did with Lucia.'
'Yeah. I just feel like, 'What's he talking about? I just feel like, 'What the hell is he talking about?
'Why are you guys doing this?Me and Lucia Suarez are equal!You should treat us as equals!In fact, the longer we've known each other, the more privileged I should be!
'You know, Ricardo, ......, have you ever heard of the term 'likability'?
'Are you trying to say it's low, you?
'No. It's not even close.
'I'm taking care of you!
'What about ..................?
'Oba!You spoil him too much, and he'll only get worse!You'd better educate him properly!
'Why is it me? ......'

Estella's education is the job of her parents, her governess.
Or Natalia's responsibility.
I'm not at fault, I have no responsibility, no obligation.

I'm not Estella's family.

'By the way, Ricardo. Are you sure you want to be here?Are you free?Why don't you just go home?
'You, don't be like Oba in that way!

You're an idiot, Ricardo.
Your stupidity is what's making Estella like this.

'Estella. Lovely, the avenue isn't finished yet and he doesn't understand the progress at all.'
'What are you doing?If you're not going to do it, why don't you give up your position as lord to someone else?''
'You idiot!I'm busy. I don't have time for one thing at a time.
'How dare you say that when you were so excited about Halloween and the field day, and were planning a stupid event like the Fart Festival.
'No, that's ............!

I just thought it looked like fun. --You can't say that.
Keep your mouth shut. I'm sure you can't come up with a good excuse.

'Listen, Ricardo.Events and developments aren't just something you do on a whim.It's the duty of the lord to plan and manage them well at the beginning of the year.
'Oh, you're good at throwing boomerangs, Estella. You're stabbing yourself in the back.

How can you say that when you're always jumping at every event that pops up?
Well, I'm making you jump at everything that comes along.

'Well, you should learn from my skills and hone your skills as a lord.
'Shut up, young man. Junior.'
'I'm sorry for overtaking you~'
'You didn't overtake me!

Ah, these guys aren't bad friends, they just want to mount each other.
They're so close, these childhood friends.
But Estella's character is so twisted only in front of Ricardo. ......

'Ricardo. I'm glad you're getting special treatment.
'I can't help but feel like I'm being looked down upon.

Of course you do.
Because you're being specially looked down upon.

'Um, Estella-san, ......'
'Hmm, what-- oh, Umaro. Sorry, I'll turn around. So, what is it?'
'Hey, Oba. What's this strange scenery?'
'Just an ordinary day in the Forty-second Ward.'

Estella and Umaro are conversing with their backs to each other.
They've gotten used to it, haven't they?

'I think we need a public bathhouse in the lovely Yann Avenue.
'In the lovely avenue?
'I'm sure women would love the daily changing baths, and I think a lot of people would use it if there was a place where they could sweat it out after exercising.
'I'm sure they'd love that.
'That's why I'd like you to let us use the time between the construction of the port to build a public bathhouse.
'What, for Ricardo's sake?Why?What a waste.
'What do you mean, 'wasteful', Estella, you?

Well, it's definitely a waste, but ...... Umaro wants to do it, you know.

'Ricardo. Did you bribe Umaro in any way?'
'I didn't do anything.'

Well, if there was a bribe, it was dignity for Umaro.
He was happy, wasn't he, that they trusted him?

'Well, if Umaro can do it, why don't you let him?
'Yeah, I'm sure Umaro wouldn't disrespect my work.
'...... Haha. Thank you.

Umaro is tickled by Estella's complete trust in him.
They both turn their heads away from each other, which makes for a strange picture of a fox cowering behind Estella.

'Well, I'll leave you to it. As long as you make the port your top priority.'
'You have my word on that!

And so it came to pass that a public bathhouse was built on the lovely Yann Avenue.
I'll tell Regina to hurry up and get more hot spring water, soap, and shampoo.
Then there are the tin toys.

'It's just that...'

Estella muttered to herself.

'Water, what are we going to do?

There are no rivers in the forty-first district.

'Well, that's ......'.

Umaro glances at Ricardo.
When Ricardo notices your gaze, he proudly states.

'The hunter has the power!You can go and fetch as much as you want!

...... Oh, he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Me, Estella, and Umaro held our temples at the exact same time and let out a sigh at the exact same time.

'Hahahaha!What the hell is this?It's so much fun!

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.
It's following me to ....... I'm sorry.

'You're looking good, Estella's 'friend'.
'Don't do that. It'll ruin my reputation.'
'Mmmm. That's terrible, both of you.'

Smiling, Bertina scolded us.
'Sir, I believe justified ostracism is an individual right!

'Let's all eat well together.

Apparently, ostracism is not allowed in this church.

That's why a mochi pounding contest is being held at the church today.
Everyone wanted to participate, and it ended up being just before the end of the year.
It was this time of the year last year, too, and it might become an annual event--a mochi pounding contest at the end of the year.
...... and some of them will come to stay at the Sunlit Pavilion, right?I've given up. You can do what you want.

Yashiro-san! The glutinous rice has been steamed!

Currently, there are four more sets of mortar and pestle on standby, apart from the mortar that Ricardo is shaking like an idiot.
There are a lot of people who want to do it, and a lot of people who want to eat it.
It's not that there are a lot of people who want to eat, it's that there are 'a lot of sisters' who want to eat. Even with five mortars, it's not enough: ......

I'm not sure if five mortars will be enough, but I'm hoping to get a good turnout of experienced people to mass produce more and more rice cakes.

'Stupid Ricardo doesn't know when to hold back.
I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this. ......
'That's fine. The children seem to be enjoying themselves.

In the event that you have any questions regarding where and the best way to get in touch with us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
It's true that the kids crowded around Ricardo, who was performing what could be called a wild pounding, and cheered his powerful and dynamic movements.

'Wow!It's so fast!
'The sound is amazing!
'Powerful!That's amazing!
'Ha-ha-ha-ha!Kids are so cute and honest!Hey, you guys. Don't ever grow up to be like Oba!
'''You're pretty good, even for Ricardo~!
''d*mn, it's too late for that!

Ricardo bared his fangs at me. The kids who were torn apart by Ricardo's fangs are running away happily, ''Hahahaha! and run away happily.
As if the spider had scattered, the kids disappeared from around Ricardo.

'Hey, don't pick on me, Ricardo.
'Shut up!It's 80% your fault, Oba!

Why is it my fault?
I don't give a d*mn who you kids admire.
I may be guilty of being a little too charismatic, though, haha.

'Yes, yes.
'Hmm?Yeah, probably. The grains are gone, but just check.'
'Let's see, ......, yeah. It's good. Good job.'
'Oh ...... oh.'

Ricardo chokes up at Estella's honest encouragement.
You look like an unpopular junior high school boy talking to the girl he likes.

'Well, here's the next one.

Estella takes the rice cakes and puts the freshly steamed glutinous rice into the empty mortar.

'There are hungry children, hungry carpenters, and very hungry sisters, so please hurry up.
'Wait!You're using me as a joke, aren't you?
'I'm glad Ricardo's here. You're no match for me in strength. I can count on you.

'You, you can't try to ride me with your barbed lines like that. ............ This is the only time!

You got me!

'If I take him to the brothel, he'll go bankrupt in a night.
'No, you can't go to a place like that, .......'
'I'm not going.'

A chuckle escaped from the impatient Jeannette.
Besides, there's no such place, is there? I've never seen one.
...... Is there one?

............ Is there?

I've never seen one. I've never seen anything like it. ......

He pinched me on the cheek.
Like a rice cake. Like a rice cake.

There's ...... one.

I'll ask Javier about it next time.
...... No, when I imagined who was the dirtiest adult I knew, Javier came to mind, so I thought.

'...... Ricardo. Mochitsuki is entertainment.
You're right!The shouting is essential!

Magda and Loretta come out of the kitchen and give Ricardo a hard time for his incessant pounding.
Magda stands next to Ricardo and holds the pestle as if to show him an example. Loretta is in charge of turning over the rice cakes.

'...... Loretta, are you ready?
'Leave it to me!I'm going to show you how to make real rice cakes with a pestle and pestle.
'Yes, sir!
'......Standby OK?
'It's ready!Is there anything you don't like about it?I have no idea where you're stumbling...'

Magda's tail thumped happily against the sky.
He's happy to be attended to.

And then he thrusts his pestle firmly at us - Estella.

'...... Magda and her friends' rice cake pounding is dedicated to our lord.

Estella rolls her eyes at the sudden statement.
After about two seconds, her mouth relaxes into a happy grin.

'Since Ricardo is the only one who stands out, I wonder if you were thinking of me, Magda?You're so cute.

Magda is a very thoughtful girl in that way, but ...... she's probably not.

'...... Now!
'I'm coming!
''Flatten, flatten!
''Muaaah, is that what you mean?

Yeah, yeah, that's what I meant.

''Good for you, my lord.
'You're being annoying. It's your fault that those two ended up like that!

So don't blame me for everything.

All right, kids. Let's line up in order and start pounding the rice cakes.'
'You'd better listen to us!You'll get hurt if you don't!

Norma and Delia will let the kids pound mochi with the empty mortar.
Yeah, yeah. It's so much easier when you have people you can trust.

''Everyone seems to be having fun.
'We did that once during the heavy snow season: ......'
'Still, it's nice to have fun again and again.

That's about right.
Even Jeannette seems to be enjoying herself.
She shakes her body to the sound of the kids' 'petan, petan'.
She is shaking her body to the sound of the kids' 'petan, petan'.

'Mochi pounding, it's fun~!
'Then turn your gaze to the rice cake pounder!

Estella forcefully holds my neck to the mortar.
Stop!I have things I need to watch over!
Bertina has asked me to watch over Ginette!
I want to watch over her breasts, the way they sway!I want to watch over her breasts!

'Come on, we'll get the other one!

'''Hey, beams!
''Before that, I'll enjoy Magda-tan's splendid mochi pounding for now!
'''You're annoying!

Umaro is looking well.
The carpenters seem to be having a good time, perhaps because they've heard about yesterday's talk.

'Hey, boss?Isn't your posture distorted somehow?
'Stop gaslighting!I'm not distorted!The old lady in the neighborhood says you're always standing up straight and 'handsome'!

Is that what they say about you?
It's true that Umaro's back is straight and his posture is beautiful, but he's not ...... being targeted by that old lady, is he?Be careful. Especially after a bath. The old ladies in this town can be aggressive at times. If she says, 'You look just like your grandfather did when he was young,' dash away. Run to the ends of the earth.

'Carpenters, you've got a bright look on your faces.

Ginette murmurs to herself.
Well, if you ask me, the people who were building the bathrooms and public baths at the Sunken Pavilion might have looked a bit desperate.
Perhaps Umaro and Yambordo were inspiring them.
All that responsibility on their shoulders.

Too much recklessness.

'Oh well. Shall I feed them Ginette's special, delicious rice cakes?'
'Yes, sir. Then I'll do my best to make them.'

A beautiful girl's cooking will be the best reward for them.
At all costs, keep up the good work next year.


The cheerful voices of the children echoed.
Ginette is making a trial product for a new product to be presented at the 35th district, and is seasoning it with gusto.
Magda and Loretta are also working more earnestly than ever, as if they are practicing for their presentation at the 35th district.
Estella, on the other hand, is sipping oshiruko with a carefree face.

She looks the same as usual, but there is something different about her, perhaps because it is the end of the year.
Somehow, everyone seems to be a little more excited than usual.

It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your vacation.
'...... Um, he'll be happy if you let him do it.
'So do I. I'm going to practice so that I don't fall behind Gilberta.

While Natalia participates in making rice cakes, showing a glimpse of her competitive nature, the sun is steadily setting.
The sky turns red, the indigo color spreads, and night falls.

As I watch these changes, I suddenly think.

'Ah, the end of another year.

Bertina pats me on the head, picking up my mutterings that I don't want anyone to hear.

'Thank you for your hard work. I hope to see you again next year.'
'...... Well, in moderation.'
'Yes, sir. In moderation.

The mochi pounding contest was held until midnight, and all the glutinous rice was turned into mochi.
The rice was dried and cut into mochi (rice cakes), made into Kagamimochi (mirror-shaped rice cakes), and some of it was used to make okaki (rice cakes).

It is a strange feeling that something that did not exist is born and takes root.
Somehow, I wanted to eat my parents' zoni.
I wonder if I could ask Ginette to make it for me.

With such thoughts, this year has come to an end.