I don't want to be woken up early in the morning, scrambling to get ready for the event, being worked over at the unveiling, rushing back to the 42nd district before nightfall, and then immediately opening the store to deal with the rush of customers.
--I thought that yesterday, but I've already been woken up early in the morning and have been busy preparing.
What a poisonous world we live in, where only bad predictions come true!
Last night, I went out to eat, which I couldn't do last time.
I didn't wear a yukata this time, but it was a bit exciting to walk around the city at night, illuminated by flames.
As expected of a district governed by Lucia, who is a frequent visitor to the Forty-Two Wards, there were glowing bricks everywhere and the main streets were bright even at night.
The stores that used torches seemed to have done so on purpose for the atmosphere of the stores, and many of them had installed glowing bricks.
The atmosphere of this town is starting to resemble that of the 42nd district, isn't it?
I knew that I would have to start preparing early in the morning, because I would have to return to the Sunlit Pavilion tomorrow to open for business.
We knew this, so we ended our night shopping and walk early, and fell asleep much earlier than the drunks did.
My eyelids are heavy.
'Onii-chan. My eyelids are heavyã¼ã¼...... munchies.'
'My shoulders are also heavy because you're riding me.
Don't sleep on people's backs, Hammaro.
If you're going to sleep, do it in bed or on Umaro's back.
Well, I don't have either right now.
'We don't need to move, we can do it in the garden of the lord's mansion.
'So that's why, anchovy. There's no way we can let so many people into the grounds.
'Estella's place is free to enter.
'Of course not!We usually turn away anyone who doesn't have permission!
I don't remember being turned away at all!
It was only the first time.
'I thought Estella and Natalia didn't know the word security.
'Yashiro-sama is the only one with a free pass. The only one with a free pass.
'I'm a little tempted to question why Yashiro has a free pass, though.
Well, I don't think Natalia will listen to you.
Even with a free pass, you can't peek into Estella's bath. She won't let you. I'm sure Natalia and the other waiters will guard you.
I can only wander in when I have something useful to say to Estella, or when she is troubled or in trouble and needs my help.
...... Huh?I'm not sure if I'm being used in a good way or not.
'Estella. Give me the extra money.'
'For what?I'm the one who wants to collect the toll on my gate from you.
I'd stay away if it came to that.
It's not like there's anything going on, but a lord's mansion is always on high alert, isn't it?
There's no wiretap or spy camera. I don't know what they're watching out for.
'Are there that many underwear thieves?
'Your lack of imagination sometimes makes me dizzy.
'I suppose the most orthodox danger is poison.
Natalia told me a threat I could understand.
You could assassinate Estella by secretly poisoning the places she might touch.
...... District 42 was so peaceful that I almost forgot about such danger.
'Estella is a sniffing girl who can't help sniffing anything that makes her s*xually horny, so she pays extra attention to poisons.
'Would you please stop spreading disgraceful falsehoods, Natalia?
It's not impossible, is it?
You're a sniffer.
As we walked along with Lucia, we came to a large square in the 35th district.
At the end of the square, there was a large church standing guard over the square.
I guessed that the 42nd arrondissement, with its church in a remote place far away from the main street, was unusual.
I don't think I'm thinking too much when I say that the church in District 42 stands in a position that looks out over the swampy area.
There must be some meaning behind the church's presence in that place.
Oh, by the way, was the church in District 24 also built in a secluded place?
I guess they have some kind of purpose or meaning in deciding where to build it.
A huge stage was being built in the large plaza where the church was watching over us, which looked almost sacred depending on how you looked at it.
'Oh, Yashiro-san, everyone!It's just been completed!
On top of the stage, the energetic Umaro is waving his hands towards us. --And the corpses of unfamiliar carpenters lying at his feet.
There they are.
A guy who works a lot harder than I do.
I mean, why is he so cheerful?
'Good. Mr. Umaro, it seems you've made friends with the carpenters of this town.
'What, it looks to me like a deep rift has been created that can't be repaired!
It seems to Jeannette that the men are working together and trembling with a sense of accomplishment. ...... This is definitely a pattern that when you recover your strength, you will be grabbed by the hand and said, 'You've got to be kidding me! I'm sure you'll be able to figure out what's going on. He said.
'Hmm. I'll tell you.
Lucia looks at the finished stage and says admiringly.
'I didn't think you could really do it.
'Did you place the order knowing it was reckless? ...... Are you an ogre?
'No, Yashiro. You can't speak for others either, can you?
'I trust Umaro.
'So do I. I think the fox master is a trustworthy man.'
'...... Trust can give a very different impression depending on the person who says it, can't it?
Estella lets out a dry laugh with a subtle expression.
'I'm not threatening you or anything.
Lucia's was a threat, though.
'You can do this, can't you?I trust you. Don't let me down, okay?Hmm?' Something like that.
'It's a magnificent stage, by the way.
Lucia was more than pleased with the result than she had imagined.
Since I told her yesterday that I'd take care of it in the morning, she must have expected it to be more appropriate and shabby.
'...... This is what Umaro is capable of.
'Of course!You're a can-do kind of guy, Umaro!
It seems that the people in District 42 were expecting this quality.
The low stage was probably designed to bring the kids up on the stage, and the audience seats were designed to give a good view of the stage no matter where you sat.
Isn't this design, including the church in the background, designed to look good?
In the eyes of the audience, the stage would have a considerable impact.
I approached the impeccable stage and ran my index finger along a board in one corner.
'...... Isn't this area a bit too canny?
'You're a demon, aren't you?I did the best I could!
A carpenter from the 35th district gets up and accuses me with tears in his eyes.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I treated you as if you were from Trubec Engineering.
They would have said, 'Onii! but they'll make sure to upgrade next time, right?
'I'm going to do a job that won't let them say a word. Like that.
I guess living in the 42nd district will infect you with the company animal virus.
Maybe the reaction of the carpenters here is normal.
'It's not safe for children to walk through here. Hammaro, I'll put a canner on it.
'What's your answer?
'That's not a reply!
'You're in charge!
'Good. I'm counting on you.
'High, high, high, head!
'Who are you to say that my head is too high?
'I didn't say that!I've been falsely accused!
While they were making a fuss about it, Umaro handed Hammaro a canner, and Hammaro applied the canner with a practiced hand.
Oh, it's good, isn't it? If you can do this much, you're good.
'Oh, a little kid like him can make such a beautiful canner ......!
'Torbek's construction store ...... is horrible.
The carpenters of the 35th district were surprised to see the shavings from Hammaro's canner.
The sound of them gulping down their saliva could be heard all the way up here.
Hammaro, are you so good that other carpenters are surprised?
Umaro. You like it a little too much, don't you?
'Well then, let us hurry up and prepare the food. I'm sure the people of the city will be gathering soon.
The sun is beginning to rise in the sky with enthusiasm.
After breakfast, the unveiling of the rice cake will take place.
In the meantime, the glutinous rice must be steamed and prepared.
Anko and kinako (soybean flour) were made at Lucia's house in the morning.
All that remains is to perform the mochi pounding after the people have gathered and leave early before lunch.
On the way back, I'll buy some seafood and grill it on the beach over a shichirin. ...... I don't even want to look at mochi for a while.
As we were busy preparing for the event, we began to feel the warmth of the sun, and the 35th district mochi pounding ceremony began.
The venue was filled with the sound of 'Peetan!Pettan! was heard in the hall.
A child of the Bug People raised a large pestle and pounded rice. The adults in the hall shouted along with him.
Humans, insects and beasts are all smiling without distinction.
This town has changed, hasn't it?
'Hey, girl, is this okay?
'Yes. It's well done.
'What's mine!What's mine~!'
'Yes . It looks very delicious.''
The kids on either side of Jeannette were excited to receive praise for their own Abekawa Mochi.
After a brief explanation of the process, we had a hands-on corner.
The participants, mainly children, were given the opportunity to make rice cakes.
The adults gathered around Estella and Lucia, as it might become a future industry. Everyone is asking questions and taking notes with serious faces.
'I like it. ...... I want to do it too. ......'
The human kid mutters, staring at the large mortar and pestle.
The insectoid kid was able to lift the pestle even though it was bigger than his body, but it was a little too much for the human kid.
However, it was a little too much for human children. They could only pound a few times with the help of adults.
The human child was not allowed to push himself too hard, so he was put on hold.
But this man would not let it go.
'Don't worry!I have this for you all!
Umaro arrives with a mortar and pestle that are twice as compact.
Seeing the kid who couldn't pound rice, Umaro immediately took action.
He made a compact mortar and pestle in a few minutes.
In the direction Umaro came from, there are three dead carpenters lying around. No, they're alive, though.
'With this small pestle, everyone can pound mochi.
'My fox brother is awesome!
'I want to do it!
'I want to do it!
'A dream product from the master of the building!
'Hammaro can do it with the big one, right?
'It's infecting the children of the 35th district!
Hammaro was playing with the neighborhood kids, and before he knew it, he had become very popular.
It's hard to believe now that these guys were shunned by the people, isn't it?
Likewise, I hope the fact that there was widespread discrimination against beasts in this town will also become an unbelievable thing in the past.
And the bad reputation of Torbek's construction company, too.
'That carpenter is amazing.
'That carpenter built this stage, didn't he?
'I've heard that the carpenters in the 42nd district are vicious and atrocious.
'What do you mean? He's a good guy.
'Rumors, rumors. My husband heard such a rumor at the Engineering Guild.'
You can't trust rumors.
Those who had witnessed Umaro's work seemed to have overridden that assessment.
It's obvious at a glance. His skill is unmistakable. You know a good thing when you see it.
'Come on, kids. Line up in order. I'll do the shouting.
I like you, big brother!
''Y-ha-ha. Thank you. All right, you can line up too.''
The kids crowded around Umaro, and a girl of about twelve hugged him tightly.
Umaro fought them off with a smile.
Even the cutest girls don't seem to be nervous around kids. ...... ............ Oh!
I'm not sure what to say.
I'm not sure what to make of that.
I hurriedly appraised them and found that they were ......E cup ......!
I'm not sure what to do.
The future Jeannette candidate is here ......!
'Alright, big brother will teach you how to make rice cakes!
'Yashiro-san. You can't.'
I rolled up my arms and tried to rush into the circle of kids, but Ginette grabbed my clothes tightly.
Oh, it's okay. Jeannette is only teaching the kids, not participating in the cooking, so there's no problem with touching her clothes.
That's not a problem, but ...... something is really swollen. It's as if the rice cake is contagious.
Even a child's kiss is not tolerated if it is mixed with evil feelings.
The kids enjoying the seasoning at the table over here have already learned how to do it.
Now all we need is a little help from Magda and Loretta and we'll be fine.
'Why don't you let me pound some rice, too, Ginette?
Magda forbade me to pound rice with a large pestle, but I think Ginette can do it with a small children's pestle.
Worst-case scenario, even if he falls on his butt, he won't be shaken around by the weight.
'Oh no. You don't want to take the fun away from the kids. ......'
'Hey, kids! Please teach this sister how to make rice cakes~''
''Huh, am I going to be taught?
Under Umaro's guidance, the kids started pounding mochi.
After pounding a few times, they were already very good at it.
Beginners are welcome.
Inexperienced people welcome.
Children are the kind of creatures you want to teach.
'So, when you're done...'
'See you later!
'Yes. It's your turn.
Ginette at the end of the line of kids.
She has two heads and four or five chests missing, but her innocent smile does not make her look out of place in a crowd of kids.
She looks like an older sister who is watching over them with her eyes, or a person of the same age who is enjoying herself with the same feelings.
The kids over here quickly took to her and swarmed her.
Oh, the little bug people have also started to join the crowd around Jeannette.
You're very popular, Ginette.
Maybe it's because the symbol of motherhood stands out more than anyone else.
Yeah. It's a good thing. No touching, though.
'Sis, do it like this!
'You're swinging too high!
'Sis, you're hurting me!
'Huh, ......, uh, gentlemen, please be a little more gentle.'
Ginette waggles her pestle, surrounded by kids.
Perhaps because it is a small pestle for children, he can swing it normally without any problem.
Nevertheless, the kids who "want to teach" want to teach him the "technique" based on their own experience.
The kids who swung vigorously and were told by Umaro, 'It's dangerous to swing so high', said, 'Don't swing so high! The girl who was pounding rice with trepidation said, 'You can be stronger than that...' She was teaching Jeannette what she had been taught with an impish look on her face.
It's only natural that she would panic if she were told all at once what was ordered for each individual.
You don't have to listen to what the kid says even half the time!
You should have just said 'yes, yes, yes' and let it go, but Jeannette is always asking 'is it this much? Is it like this? But Jeannette is very disciplined in checking. I guess that makes the kids happy.
The circle around Jeannette became larger and larger.
'Hey, guys. Let's take turns pounding rice cakes, not just me.
'I'll teach you until you can do it properly!
'I'll teach you!
'No, but ......'
Jeannette gives me a troubled look.
No matter how light the pestle is for kids, it will tire your arm if you keep swinging it.
It's time for me to help her.
'First!Let's see what you can do, the first annual rice cake pestle contest!
I raise my hands in the air and shout, and all the kids' eyes turn to me at once.
It's no big deal.
All you have to do is line up the kids and let them take turns pounding the rice cake as hard as they can, one at a time.
We should be ready to go home by now, so I think it's time to end this.
'The 'Best Petticoat' with the most energy will receive a wonderful prize from Estella, the 'Queen of Petticoats', the lord of District 42!
''Who's the queen, here?
Estella, who's got a good ear, comes barking at me from a table full of adults far away.
Well, that's scary. I wonder if she's an oppressive, corrupt lord.
'The judges are Lucia, the lord of this district, 'Miss Pettit', and Gilberta, the head waiter, 'Miss Petite'.
'You've changed the meaning of "petty" by putting them together, anchovy!
I didn't mean to.
Even the loudest of the lords, the kids said, 'Miss Pettan is awesome! Queen of Pettan, you're so cool! I'm sure you'll be glad to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with that. I closed my mouth like that.
Then, as the adults looked on, all the kids in the room, regardless of whether they were human, beast, insect or human, lined up in a row and performed their best pounding.
Based on the energetic shouting, the vigor of the pestle, and the childlike cuteness of the pestle, the lords of the 42nd and 35th districts and the head of the caterers discussed the matter, and a girl from the Monterey butterfly tribe was crowned the winner.
A human girl was chosen as the runner-up, and a beastman boy who cried because he failed was chosen as the special prize.
The beastman boy swung the pestle too vigorously and it landed outside the mortar. The hall was filled with laughter, but he was so frustrated that he was crying.
I thought this was a case that Estella would not leave alone, and sure enough, she got a special prize.
What a well-balanced screening result. In other words, it shows the convenience of adults.
In other words, the convenience of adults is hidden.
'We'll win next year! or 'I'm going to buy a pestle and practice! I'm sure you'll be happy to know that we're not going to be there even if it becomes an ...... annual event.You know that, right Lucia?I'm not coming!
You can do whatever you want in the 35th district.
As for the mortar and pestle, ask Torbek's construction store to provide you with a first-class one that is easy to use and strong.
Incidentally, Estella, who was worried about the prize, wanted to offer me her own knife, but I rejected her offer, saying that I would not give something dangerous to a child, and decided to deliver a mortar and pestle set later.
To be honest, I thought 'Oh, I don't want it! But they and their parents wanted it, so it's okay.
...... I'm sure it's going to get in the way. It's not something you use on a regular basis.
'I'll make three sets of mortar and pestle as soon as I get home, and come back to deliver them!
Umaro said enthusiastically, so I sealed away my honest impression that 'That's not a gift from Estella, but a gift from Torbek's construction company.
If it's not me, I don't care whose pocket it hurts.
Thus, the mochi pounding party ended in a frenzy, and we set out on our way back to District 42.
As the sun set, Ginette's cheeks were still relaxed as we entered the 41st district.
'They were so cute, weren't they, children?
I don't know how you can have a positive impression after being tortured like that. ......
I'm sure I would've gotten my hands on one.
When the unveiling was over and the stage was being cleared, Oumaro did something that once again surprised the people of the 35th district.
The stage, which had been tightly assembled, was quickly dismantled without the use of saws or nail cutters.
This is becoming commonplace in the 42nd district, but it was a revolutionary event in other districts.
At any rate, there was no noise and no garbage such as shavings or broken wood.
All you have to do is pop off the clasp and fold it up.
Since it is not destroyed, you can use it again next time at a reasonable price. Environmentally friendly too!
Well, I've never seen Umaro use the same stage set over and over again.
They did use the food stalls, though.
'They were making folding tables, so I thought it might be helpful to show them something like that. ...... Was I being a little overzealous?
'No, no, no. They were so happy to bring back the stage set. I'm sure they're dismantling it now and studying it. We may be up all night tonight.'
Estella shakes her shoulder.
She shakes her shoulder only.
The carpenters in the 35th district are so excited that if it were the 42nd district, they'd all be up all night.
But it's a different district. I think they'll sleep at night.
I don't think it's spreading yet, the workaholic virus.
'It's a natural reaction in the face of Umaro's technology!
'...... Behold, this is the technology of Torbeck Engineering.'
Loretta and Magda were proud of Umaro's recognition.
Magda, in particular, was in a good mood all through the unveiling.
Whenever the madams of the 35th district praised the comfort of the seats or the kids praised the texture of the pestle, she would twitch her tail and turn her ears towards them.
I'm sure that all of the high praise for Torbek's work that was exchanged in that hall was recorded in Magda's Conversation Record.
'It's all thanks to you, Yashiro-san.
Don't drag me into this.
You should be alone with your praise.
'We didn't know how to make a stage like that at first either. But we have been blessed with opportunities to create stages and auditoriums for various occasions, such as cooking together in the 41st district, cooking sessions in the playground, and demonstrations for gluttony contests, and we have always been on the edge of our seats with limited time.
...... I didn't mean to push you guys so hard.
I'm not trying to push you too hard, but these guys never say no!
You'll think, 'Oh, I can do that,' you know!
And then, as we were making stalls and stalls for the festival, we realized that we could assemble them quickly if we made them into assemblies, and then we started researching and improving them... and then, while we were with Yashiro, we thought of all kinds of things, I've been thinking about it, trying it out, and putting it into practice.
...... This is ............ not to be blamed ......, right?
It's a story of gratitude, isn't it?
I'm sure you've heard of it. I'm sure you'll agree.
Is it blame?
What, should I be more gentle?I could if I wanted to.I just don't want to do it willingly.
But I'm very grateful to have an environment where I can give my all in each moment. There's no other environment where you can be so blessed as to make the people around you happy. So I'm really grateful to you and everyone!
The unusual self-talk of Umaro landed on the conclusion of gratitude with a refreshing smile.
...... I'm relieved. I wasn't blamed.
'Mm, be grateful.
'Sometimes they thought I was a demon! I've been told that sometimes people think I'm a demon.You need to think about what you're saying and doing.'
'No, that goes for you too, doesn't it?
I'm not sure what to make of this, but I'm sure it's not the only thing you can do.
She knows it's hard to refuse a request from a lord, so she's wielding her power.
'You took advantage of Umaro's personality. He's a terrible lord, isn't he?
'What?I didn't do anything like that!Hey, Umaro?
'Oh, ...... well, ...... haha...'
'You can't deny it!
'Estella-sama. You may not be aware of it, but Estella-sama sometimes places orders like a demon, to the point where you can't help but think, 'Oh, I must have been infected by Yashiro-sama~'.
When Natalia points this out, Estella starts to panic.
What, was she unaware of this?
Or is he just going to forget about it?
How many jobs did you ask Umaro to do in the last year?
'Umaro. You should speak up for a change.'
'No, no. All the requests from Estella-san are for the betterment of the Forty-two Wards, so I'm taking them with a positive attitude.'
'Estella-san, you're even flatter than you think you are! I said.
'I've never thought of saying anything like that before!
'Oh, really?Umaro, you're too nice a guy!
'No, Yashiro. You're the vicious one. You need to realize that.
I've been told to be self-aware. ......
'Maybe I'm just an honest girl who can't tell a lie.
'I'd really like to see the spirit gods judge you for what you just said.
If it were a court of law, I'd probably win, but the spirit gods are always trying to use me against me. ......
I'm sure you're looking at life from a skewed and perceptive point of view. He's sad.
'I wish the God of Spirits was as straightforward as the loli big tits in District 35.
'Don't ask the God of Spirit for big tits.
'Yashiro-san, you can't.'
'No, you're wrong!I'm just saying that you should learn from the honesty of those big loli tits, not that I'm looking for big tits in a spirit god or that I wish spirit gods had big tits.
I'm sure you'll be able to understand the grammar and sense of the word.I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's worth it.
'......Yashiro, so it can't be helped.
I was going to say, "It's not about wishing you had big tits," but then I thought, "I wish I had big tits," and this is what happened. This is unavoidable. It can't be helped.
'Estella-san. Thank you for inviting me too this time. I'm glad I went.
'Yes. I believed that you guys would not be defeated by any rumors or bad reputation if you faced them properly. The results were good, just as we had hoped.
'Hahaha ......, I'll keep working hard to not betray that trust!
The two of them turned their backs to each other and talked.
You guys look like you don't get along very well.
'I'm suddenly burning up!I'm going to build the most magnificent port in the world!
'...... I'll cut down all the cliffs in front of the 30th district.
'Magda, can you please stop muttering about scary things?It's going to be a war, that's for sure!
Umaro would be back in business.
He's still discussing with the others how to deal with the union, but no matter how it turns out, I'm sure he'll do a better job than ever and achieve more than ever.
He said, 'I'm all right now,' but the faint trace of worry in his eyes had completely disappeared.
After all, it must have been good for him to cooperate with his peers, or to participate in the event and hear the feedback directly.
'Well, I'll treat you to a delicious dinner today.
'I'm looking forward to it!I can do my best as long as there's food at the Sunlit Pavilion.
'...... Magda will carry it for you.'
'Muhaha!Then we can make five or six more ports!
'No, I don't need that many. ...... Calm down, Umaro.'
Estella's advice did not reach Umaro, who was excited by Magda's words.
It's not like he's been in high spirits. It's like he's really back.
I say to Umaro, who smiles radiantly.
'You're already at the end of your life, aren't you?
'What do you mean?No, I have an idea, but...?
They're so excited about Magda, they think it's normal.
You're the only carpenter who can do that.
If this were Japan, you'd be a criminal, right?
And so it was that we returned to the 42nd district, with a tired and sleeping Hammaro on our backs.
Now, if we follow the familiar path, we'll soon reach the opening of the Sunshine Pavilion.
I've gotten used to working like a corporate animal, haven't I?
...... Or have I been carrying Hammaro around all this time?Don't stay here, seriously.