There's a frog in front of me.
A man who until a moment ago was a man.
The frog is staring blankly into the air, his mouth half open.
Thanks to the shrinking of his body, the belts around his neck and waist have been removed and he is free from the chains.
Despite this, the frog does not try to escape.
It seems that his thoughts have not caught up with the sudden end of his life.
I shouted, and the frog shivered and looked up at me fearfully.
'I accidentally turned you into a frog on the spur of the moment.
Then it looked into the face looking up at me.
'Well, you know. That's what I mean.
That's what he said.
He's been paid off, and he's in a jam.
A fitting end for a man who tried to ruin other people's lives for such a trivial reason.
'Well, it looks like I've 'done well'.
As I said this, tears welled up in the frog's large eyes and fell in a trickle.
'Why are you crying?
His voice trembled with annoyance.
'That's what you were trying to do, isn't it?
You just failed, and if you'd done it right, there would have been casualties.
Did you think you'd get a lenient judgment that it was safe because it was prevented?
I'm sure you're not the only one who's had a bad day and tried to ruin Marcia's life, so don't cry like a victim now.
It's not like you're carrying all the misfortune of the world on your shoulders, crying like a little b*tc*!
It's not their fault that Masha, Magda, and Medora were harmed, though it's your own fault that you ended up like this!They were not at fault!It's the result of a bunch of crappy bastards with crappy minds and crappy things to do!You will never have the right to call yourself a victim in the future!
Unable to find a place to hit, I turned around and kicked at the bars of the jail.
There was a deafening sound.
When he looked back again, the frog was crouched with its head in its hands.
His whole body was shaking.
Wasn't it ...... that people who are turned into frogs are stripped of their human rights and cannot be blamed for anything they do?
Even if I were to stop him from breathing right here and now, no one would be able to judge me.
Slowly walk up to the frog and crouch down by its head.
'Suppose I kill you now: ......'
The frog shivers at my whisper.
'Do you think your employer would be sad if you died?
The frog stops moving.
He raises his head slightly and stares at the floor.
'Do you think he'll be angry and retaliate against me for what I've done to his precious friends?
Slowly, the frog turns to face me.
'...... is the kind of lonely life you've been living.'
At these words, the frog let out a single, large tear.
Masha, Medora and Magda have people to grieve for them.
There are people who are angry with you.
There are many people who reach out to you when you're in trouble.
The value of a person's life changes drastically depending on whether or not they have someone important in their life.
Don't live your life like this man, who finally realizes that he is all alone in this situation.
'I got carried away.
'It's not my fault.
'I'm sorry, please help me'.
Don't become a person who can only speak such superficial words.
Even Medora made mistakes.
But at that time, he properly acknowledged his mistake and apologized.
That's the difference in human capacity.
Magda, Masha, Estella, Ginette, and Bertina are not perfect people.
We make mistakes, we cause trouble.
They'll make mistakes, they'll get lost, and sometimes they'll cheat.
Even so, she will never do something cowardly like shifting the blame to something else because she is too busy defending herself.
I will never expose myself to the kind of cowardice that blames my fall on 'bad roads'.
'Have you ever been useful to anyone else?Have you ever tried to be helpful?
Don't cry like a man who thinks he's done well by thinking only of his own interests, setting others up, deceiving them, kicking them down, and gaining temporary benefits and a sense of superiority.
You're not even close to being a bad guy.
You're not even good enough to say, 'After all the evil I've done, I can't blame myself for ending up like this.
If you are a half-hearted good guy who can't let go of common sense and can't let go of your longing for human connection, then quit being a bad guy.
'There's nothing uncool about bowing down to someone, or having your hard work not be appreciated, or having someone point at you and laugh at you.
What's really uncool is.
'The people who drag others down to cover up their uncoolness are the most uncool in the world. Put it in your empty head so you'll never forget it again.
With that, he holds the trash can out in front of the frog.
The frog stares at the trash can with a puzzled face.
He stares at it intently and then turns his head toward me.
Once upon a time, not so long ago as ......, when I first came to this town. It was before I settled in the Sunlit Pavilion, and if anything, I didn't even know the name Ginette.
I'd gotten some information in Cantalucia.
Right after I witnessed a collector named Goffredo turn a crying man into a frog.
When he saw the man turn into a frog, he shivered and thought that tomorrow would be his last day, so he rushed to Cantalcica where Paula told him.
I've always wanted to find out if that information was true or not.
It was just that I hadn't had the chance to do so, and I knew I had to check it out at some point.
I wondered if the rumor was true or not, as it would be a very powerful trump card in times of need.
At that time, the fact that you can be turned into a frog for telling a lie was so strong that the information I heard after that was less impressive.
But Paula was very clear.
In response to my question, 'Can a person who has been turned into a frog ever return to their original form? I said, 'To return, you need to fulfill the promise you made.
It's possible to become human again after becoming a frog.
But I couldn't try.
Not if it was only a rumor. What if you turn into a frog and can't turn back?
When I thought about it, I couldn't casually turn someone into a frog, nor could I turn myself into a frog as an experiment.
But now... The perfect villain has appeared.
A true scumbag who wouldn't mind dying right in front of you.
Whether this experiment succeeds or fails, not even a ripple will be felt in my heart.
Well, if I could go back to the way I was: ......
'I guess I'll just have to live a little more honestly next time.
Once again, I hold the trash can out in front of the frog.
The frog, still staring at me, his eyes welling up with tears, gently throws the ...... skewer into the trash.
At that moment, the Conversation Record starts up, and a translucent panel appears in front of me.
A short sentence was displayed on it.
"Can you forgive me?
It's a strange question.
Not 'Do you forgive me? Not 'Do you forgive me? .
It's as if he's testing our mettle.
Can you really forgive someone who told you a lie?
In response to such a question, I felt as if I could understand just a little bit what it means to tell a lie in this town.
However, just because I felt like I could, did not mean that I understood.
I answered the displayed question clearly.
'Oh. I forgive you.
At that moment, a blinding light enveloped the world, and I involuntarily closed my eyelids.
When I opened my eyes again, I saw a naked man crouched down, holding a trash can and crying.
It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your vacation. ............Ughhhh......!'
He cries without hesitation and repeats a misplaced 'thank you'.
It doesn't make me happy to be thanked by a ragdoll.
However, if he wants to give up his ragtag status, I'll at least accept his thanks. But only after I give him back.
'At a later date, you will be punished by the lord.
'Oh ...... I'll do anything ...... this time it's true!I'll be ...... reborn!
'...... do what you want'.
Then you must never forget it.
I'm sure you'll agree that what you tried to do was even worse than what I just did to you.
It's no fun looking down on a naked, sobbing man.
I left the cell, locked the door tightly, and left.
Estella greeted me as I reached the table, invisible from inside the cell.
You idiot, this guy.
What are you crying about?
Estella's tear-stained eyes narrowed gently and she extended her arm.
Her supple fingertips caress my cheek and touch my ear.
It's enough to unravel something inside me like a sugar cube melting in a teacup. ......
I dropped my forehead on Estella's shoulder.
I could smell the scent of the usual Estella, unpretentious and different from when she was in her lady-like mode.
She gently stroked the hair on the back of my head.
Just a little ......
For just a short time, I surrendered myself to Estella's warmth.
'Frogs are cute.
I said this as we left the prison and walked along the deserted street, Estella put her hand on my forehead and looked into my face.
'Wow, you look funny.
'I thought you were checking my fever.
I don't want that impression.
'I've never seen anyone say that frogs are cute.
'Well, I guess they are to you.
Being a frog is the end of life.
As long as that fact exists, frogs will be nothing but an object of fear.
'Where I'm from, frogs are just everyday creatures, and some people even keep them as pets.
Bell's horned frogs and dart frogs are also popular pets.
Even if you don't, if you go to the countryside, you will find them singing in chorus around the rice paddies every summer.
...... Oh, by the way...
'Are there any frogs in this city?
'Yes, there are. Didn't you see them earlier?
'No, not the frogs, the creatures. Beetles, lizards, crickets, you know?Just like that.'
I've seen beetles and lizards and crickets in this city.
I've seen crickets and lizards and crickets in this city. I've seen crickets, lizards, and crickets in this city. ...... Come to think of it, why is there a difference between when a muskmite chirps and when it doesn't, when there are no four seasons?Is it because they are in breeding season or not?...... Hmm, I don't know.
'Aren't there tadpoles or something in the rice paddies?'
'Well. At least, I haven't seen any in the forty-second district.
Are there any frogs?
Maybe they were exterminated because they didn't like the frogs.
If the jinx of 'If you see a frog, you'll be turned into a frog' spreads, they'll be considered pests in no time.
'Cause they were harmless creatures in my hometown. Except for a few poisonous ones.
They don't destroy crops, they rarely invade houses, and I've never heard of them attacking people. The only damage they do is noisy at night in summer.
In my hometown, frogs are black-eyed, round-eyed creatures that make you fall in love with them when you stare at them.
Well, individual impressions of frogs may vary.
I'm fine with amphibians and reptiles, so I don't find them repulsive or repellent.
They were also popular among women in Japan. They sold frog calendars every year.
'At that time, the frog was staring at me with a tearful face, so I must have saved him, right? If you had done the same thing to me with a raggedy face, I would have snapped your front teeth with a gouge. It's because frogs are cute, isn't it?
That's it. So that's it.
Hearing my precise and accurate analysis, Estella says with a smile in her voice.
'In short, you're using the cuteness of frogs as an excuse for your good deeds, aren't you?
'It's not an excuse, it's a fact-based analysis--'
'Oh, yes, yes. Cute, cute, cute.'
He stroked the back of my head while saying that.
Hey, isn't that 'cute' on me?
Don't be so rough with me. I can hear Demilly's footsteps.
'But I've never seen that before. I've never seen a frog turn back into a man.'
The fingers that had been playing with my hair move away and Estella presses my chest.
If I had to add a sound effect, I'd say 'clap'.
She presses her chest with a clunk.
'I'm going to poke you?
Raise your hands and shake your head.
'No, no, no, no,' he said.
'......' said Estella in disgust.
She turns her gaze toward the prison, which is now a long way away.
'I've heard about it, but I was skeptical.
'Me too. That's why I did the experiment.'
Estella purses her lips.
She must have been about to say something, but held it back.
She turns her head to look at me, and her face looks like she's about to cry again.
...... Don't cry.
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.
My theory is that the Judgment of the Spirits will not work on those who have become frogs.
Frogs are deprived of the human rights guaranteed in this city.
In other words, the things that every person in this town has will disappear. Perhaps even the Conversation Record.
The Judgment of the Spirits will make a false judgment based on the Conversation Record.
When I checked my Conversation Record, there were no insect or animal noises in it.
There was no sound of a buzzing insect, no cow bellowing in my ear.
If a stray cat pounces on you on the street and you say, 'Oh, that's nice, isn't it cute?', it will be recorded in the Conversation Record as a rather annoying monologue.
The voice of a non-person will not be recorded in the "Conversation Record".
If this is the case, then the Judgment of Spirits, which judges lies based on the Conversation Record, cannot judge animals whose voices are not recorded in the Conversation Record.
In other words, there is a high possibility that the Judgment of the Spirits will not be able to judge former humans who have turned into frogs.
There is a possibility that his past statements will be left behind and he will be multiplied, though.
Well, if there is a possibility that you can avoid it, it would be useful to take out an insurance policy.
'So, let me borrow your pants.
'No, thank you!
'Don't worry. I'll pay you back.'
'Please don't use such a trivial lie as insurance for your life!
If I'm about to be subjected to the Judgment of the Spirits by some madman, there's a good chance I'll be saved if you're the first to cast the Judgment of the Spirits on me.
In addition, I'll have the right to legally own your pants until such an event occurs.
'That's the best of both worlds, isn't it?
'For you, that is!...... It doesn't matter if it's not pants or anything else.
Well, that's true, but...
'I might throw away something I'm not interested in. ......'
'Can you please refrain from saying things that make me wonder if I should tell you not to throw away my things or if I should tell you not to be interested in my pants?
It's like telling a fish not to swim or not to be interested in your pants.
Do you want me to die?
'...... pants craving murder case'
'Don't die, please, for such a trivial thing. Also, if you've developed craving syndrome, it's not murder, it's death by disease.
'I'll have silk pants on my grave ......'
'I refuse to do that.
Does this guy have no blood or tears!
'He's got no milk or tears.
'Blood, blood!And all three of them!
I don't know.
Isn't this the moment when the true value of Judgment of the Spirits will be tested?
Will you do it?
Will you do it?
'You seem to have a disease that only allows you to talk nonsense.
'You're making me do it.
'What are you trying to be cool about? I'm not cool, not at all.
Estella frowned with a puffy face as if she was chewing on a bitter bug.
That's an awful sour face.
You're the yakuman of the sourpuss world.
'Oh my!What's the matter Hammaro, what are you doing here?
'You're the boss's errand boy!
It seems that Umaro told him to go to the 41st district.
...... Don't let Hammaro go alone, it's dangerous.
I'm not sure what kind of errand it was.
'My lord wants me to see if he's doing anything strange ahead of time!
'That's a very important mission. Good work, Hammaro. Thank you so much for your hard work.
Estella, who is well aware of the troublesome nature of her childhood friend's outbursts, is working on Hammaro. She's deeply concerned.
That idiot lord would have said, 'Let's build a public bathhouse! and start evicting people from their homes before they even have a plan.
It's dangerous if we don't have a thorough discussion with Umaro.
We'll have to wait and see. You know what you're doing, Umaro.
'Where's Onii-chan?Let him go?
'Who's that, man?
'He's on parole.
'Congratulations on your probation!
'Don't teach troublesome words to kids who don't understand anything, you'll get them in trouble.
They like to use the words they learn. ......
'3,000 points to Mai Ping.
'I don't know where you use it, but don't teach them unnecessary words.
It's double the rate of Don.
There's plenty of ways to use it.
I'm not sure what to do, but I'd like to know what you think.
I was relieved to see that she had returned to her usual mood.
It was a smile that clearly showed such emotion.
You're being too cautious.
Well, I'm glad you were there for me this time.
'Well then, let's go back to the sunlit pavilion and have some dinner.
'Yeah, sure. It's Ginette's feast. I'm filled with anticipation.
''Eh, which part?''
''Yashiro!It's clearly your fault that even Hammaro is being adversely affected!Do your penance!Before the feast!''
I think the lord of this city is a racist for blaming only me and not Hammaro who climbs on my back.
One day, he will be denounced. I'm sure it won't be long. Yeah.
'They say evil will die out.
'And since the root of all evil shows no sign of dying out, those words are a bit of a stretch, aren't they?
With Estella's cat punch on our shoulders, we walked through the main street and headed for the sunlit pavilion.
'Welcome back, Yashiro-san.
When I opened the door of the sunny pavilion, Ginette greeted me with a sunny smile.
'I'm home, Ginette!
'Wait a minute, Estella. Did you hear that?I thought you were welcoming me back.'
'Welcome home, Estella.
'I'm back, Jeannette!
'You weren't called, but you're home!
'Welcome back, Hammaro-san.
'If you're going to say it, say it right to the end, Hammaro!
There was a lot of noise as soon as we entered the store.
The sunlit pavilion is really bustling.
Well, unfortunately, I couldn't smell the dinner wafting from the house.
It was exactly open for business, and it smelled like a diner.
It was the smell of a diner, which somehow became a soothing smell.
'I've made a feast for you.
Ginette smiles at me as she pats Estella's clinging head.
Isn't this guy the one whose trademark is a smile, not the lord of the 42nd district?
'If Ginette becomes the lord, Estella's 'Lord of Smiles' will also be returned.
'I'll give it back any time, that's for sure.
'But I'm not going to become a lord.
'If you do, that is. If Ginette becomes a lord, I'm sure she'll be called--'
With a trademark smile.
'Lord of the Bulge'.
'Ginette, repent!Let me do penance!
'Oh, Mr. Yashiro. Please repent.'
Oops, I accidentally did that.
I was more interested in the bulge than the smile.
'...... Yashiro, as usual.'
I'm not sure. He is the usual big brother.
Magda and Loretta look amused when they see me being scolded by Jeannette and forced to do penance.
Is my misfortune that much fun?
''Welcome back, sir!''
They take both my arms and lead me to my usual seat.
What is it?Why do they look so happy?
'No matter how it ends, you seem to have sorted out your feelings, Yashiro-san.
Bertina was sitting in the back seat.
Smiling, she took the seat where the feast would be served.
'You have an amazing sense of smell.
'I've been invited, Ginette. She was so excited that Yashiro-san asked her to come.
Seeing how excited Ginette was, I said, 'I have to go eat! So she came here with joy.
Well, with Bertina, it's unlikely that any food will go to waste.
She's a city-friendly eco-sister.
...... Or maybe she's an ecological sister who eats out of control.
It's a good thing that you're not the only one. I'm relieved that Yashiro-san came back as Yashiro-san.
If I had killed that man there, I probably wouldn't have come back here.
If that didn't happen, I guess I wanted to come back to this place.
Well, the food is good, there are big tits, it's reasonably noisy and relaxing, it shakes every time you walk, and hidden big tits come around all the time. Yeah, it's a good place, this place.
'This place is relaxing, and you can poke your tits.
'Mr. Yashiro. Do you want to repent before dinner?
'I'll apologize to the spirit gods before I go to bed.'
'Oh my god ......'
With a pop, Bertina's knuckles caress my forehead.
I wonder if she means to hit me. The air in my fist is so tight that I can't feel any impact.
Isn't this the kind of thing that makes bad kids grow up?
I can't think of any daredevil ideas that would seriously offend ...... Bertina, though.
What?I'm not sure how long I've had that thought in my head.I'm sure I'll cry if he gets really mad at me. ...... This sense of crisis, when did it happen?
It's time to party, folks.
With a cheerful voice, platters are brought in one after another.
No, what's a party?
'I've made everything that Yashiro-san said he wanted to eat.
With a platter piled high with fried shrimp, hamburger steak, and fried chicken in her hand, Ginette peeks her tongue out in a cute way.
If I had been a cat, I would have seized the tongue that stuck out with a 'meow! If I were a cat, I would have stopped her.
Or should I do it even if I were not a cat?I have a feeling I should!
But unfortunately, the tongue escaped back into her mouth before she could seize it.
'This one is curry~!
'...... This is fried gori, Yashiro's famous favorite food, with Delia, the food provider~'
'I worked hard to catch this, Yashiro!
Magda with Delia, served in the French style.
How did you get all the ingredients in such a short time?
'Yes. Stewed root vegetables. You like this kind of food, don't you?
Norma brings me a small bowl with a gentle manner.
Even though it looks brown and unpretentious, it looks so delicious that my stomach starts to churn at first glance.
'I didn't know Delia and Norma were here too.
'I'm here too~â'
Masha comes out of the kitchen with Medora pushing the tank.
'Masha, Medora's here too?
'Yeah, I'm going to ...... dream about it, so be careful.'
Don't look down at me from so high up.
I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night and say, 'Whoa! I'll jump out of bed.
'You've all helped me.
'Masha and Medora?'
Estella, who had been clinging to Ginette, stood up and looked at the dishes that had been brought in.
'...... I wanted Ginette-chan only.'
'That's terrible, Estella!
I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results. Well, the mermaid there was joking around.
'Medamama, you're the one who made the butt hamburger!
'That's a heart!Don't say anything stupid in front of my darling!
I don't care if it's a butt or a heart, can you please stop glancing at me, Medora.
Your gaze, it's got offensive power. You'll take as much damage as if you walked through a poison swamp.
'This is Medora-san's hamburger steak.
What Ginette showed me was a very large hamburger.
It looked like it could fill a frying pan by itself.
'Did you cook this properly?
'Yes, sir. It was worth cooking.
Ginette clenched her fists and smiled with a sense of accomplishment.
I see. If you cooked it, it's probably not inedible.
Just don't expect unnecessary difficulty in cooking.
Look at mine too!
Masha shows me the hamburger on her plate.
'The original shrimp~â'
'It's not even in its original form. ......'
'I'm sorry. It's hard to turn it over without destroying the tentacles and legs. ......'
No, Jeannette. You have nothing to apologize for.
In the first place, it's a mistake to try to recreate such a delicate thing with a hamburger.
Well, I can do it!
'Then you can eat those two, Yashiro. I'll take care of Ginette's cooking.
'You idiot. If I eat Medora's hamburgers, I'll be full.
'It's nice to be a boy who eats a lot!Yuck!
'Oh, no. My chest is burning. I might only be able to eat a bite or two. ......'
Can you please stop attacking me before I eat?
I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it.
Magda slipped past the crowd and presented me with a small plate.
'...... Magda's handiwork. I did my best to cook it myself.'
On the plate was a cat-shaped hamburger, a circle with two triangles attached to it. No, it was Magda-shaped.
'...... because Yashiro got mad at me.'
So this hamburger is a thank you for that.
...... Just because I'm mad doesn't mean there's anything to be mad about.
'Thank you. I'll be grateful.
'Savor your meal.
'I've got some more for you, darling.
'Oh, you still have more, Medora?
I don't even know if I can finish this big one, even though it's impossible, even though it's absolutely impossible.
Bertina patted herself on the stomach, and it looked reassuring.
I'm glad you're here!
'Then, for tomorrow's smiles. Let's all eat together.
She must have sensed the unsettling atmosphere.
The party began with such a greeting from Ginette.
Needless to say, all of Ginette's dishes were delicious, and the hamburger steak that Medora and Masha had kneaded was delicious in its own way, and Magda's homemade hamburger steak tasted nostalgic.
The hamburger steak made by Magda tasted nostalgic. It tasted a little like the hamburger steak I made for the landlady. It tasted like a beginner had done his best.
'Whoa!What?What day is it today?
The carpenters who have finished their work roll their eyes as they enter the sunlit pavilion where the party is being held.
Their nostrils flare wide.
Stomach in chorus.
'Wow, that curry you're holding smells so good, Loretta!
'Then I'll have curry!
''Today, we can offer a special curry with fried chicken!
'''What's that, it looks so delicious!
Apparently, Loretta came up with it during the tasting.
Well, we're still working on toppings for curry, aren't we? We've only done it a little during the field day.
Curry with pork cutlet is very good, isn't it?
Loretta's playfulness led to the birth of fried curry, which became a popular menu item that day.
As the day drew to a close, I quietly put away the various thoughts and emotions I felt that day.
I will not forget. But I won't be trapped either.
Tomorrow, I'll live as usual again. I swear on my heart.
I think "I swear on my boobs" is more enthusiastic than "I swear on my chest", yeah.