After the party at the sunny pavilion, I dropped Bertina off.
Even though it was getting brighter, I couldn't let the frail sister walk alone on the street at night.
'Hmmm... That's what Millie-san said. 'Ladybug is kind.'
'I like to talk, girls.
It must have been when I dropped Millie off before.
You didn't have to go to Bertina to tell her that, did you?
'Talking and dressing up is a woman's prerogative.
'What about nibbling?
'It's a family affair.'
'......, you're getting angry.'
'It's only when it goes too far.
'You should be careful not to go too far, always.
'Then, while you're at it, tell Milly about the term 'werewolf'.
The girls of the 42nd district lacked a sense of danger.
I'd say don't let them take you home.
Well, even if Millie says 'it's okay to go this far' on the way, I'll take her home. It's too dangerous. She might go into the grass saying, 'Slime worm!
She covered her mouth and laughed, throwing her sense of danger as far away as a discus.
'Yashiro-san is a safe bet.
I'm going to attack you, you bastard.
You'll make it impossible to hide your big tits.
'Well, it looks like I'll have to go around randomly touching her breasts. For everyone's sake!For the sake of everyone who lacks a sense of urgency!
'Then, please come to the confessional before you go. I'll tell you a lot of stories.'
You're supposed to be helping people.
To tighten up the girls in the 42nd district who are letting their guard down.
Because it's too late after something happens!
'I'm really relieved when you look like that.
Looking at my profile, Bertina laughs quietly.
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this.
...... I'm sure they can see right through me, though.
I'm sure you'll be able to understand why I'm sending Bertina to you today.
'...... Aren't you going to ask her?
'Yes, sir. I don't listen.
You don't know where I've been, what I've been doing during the day.
These guys, who've been feeling weird about me, know I've been doing something today.
But no one has asked me what it was.
Is it because of trust, or is it a case of the untouchable?
'If Mr. Yashiro wants to talk, I'll listen as much as I can. But I'm not going to ask you any questions.
Bertina looks at me as she straightens up and stops.
'Because I trust you that much, Yashiro-san.
You think I can't do something bad?
You're buying it, Bertina.
I turned a man into a frog today.
I robbed him of his rights. I trampled on his dignity.
I've killed a man today.
I don't want anyone to blame me for that.
I don't want to be blamed for it. I don't want to indulge in the illusion that my crime is lessened.
I honestly don't want to feel guilty anymore, like I'm hiding something.
'Is it wrong to turn someone into a frog?
It's an act that takes away a person's value as a human being.
An act that destroys a person's life.
An unforgivable wrong.
That's what I thought.
Bertina flatly denied it.
'When someone turns someone into a frog, there must be a reason for doing so. It's never something frivolous, is it?I don't think that's a bad thing, although it's a sad fact that there is a great deal of determination and resolve on both sides that leads to such an end.
There was a reason why it happened the way it did.
So turning people into frogs is not a bad thing.
If there is a good reason, there may be room for sympathy for the perpetrator if there are compelling reasons.
If there is an unavoidable and desperate reason.
But that's not all, is it?
There are people like me, and the collector Goffredo, who turn people into frogs for reasons that don't really matter, like to show your power, or to bring them to their knees, or for other selfish reasons.
I'm no different.
Today, I'm driven by sludge-like hatred. ......
'There are people who turn others into frogs in an attempt to trick them. Is that even innocent?'
The frustration he felt towards himself was evident in his tone of voice.
Taking advantage of the fact that Bertina accepts everything, I was taking it out on her like a sulky kid.
Without scolding me, Bertina gave me a gentle smile.
It's a sin to try to trick someone, not a sin to turn someone into a frog.
When he said that, I felt as if the scales had fallen from my eyes.
So it is not the action that is judged, but the motive for the action.
It is true that frogging someone to protect a gynet and frogging someone to make money are two very different meanings of the same action.
...... Are you sure about that?
You can find a lot of people who have been in the same situation for a long time, but they are not the same people.
I'm sure you'll have a lot of trouble in the future. I'm sure he will continue to be troubled. You are a kind person. ...... But each of those troubles will help you grow, and will be converted into kindness that will help someone else, and will be returned to the world.
She said this in a sister's voice, then smiled warmly like a mother.
'Isn't that a very nice thing?
It's going to take a long time for my troubles to be transformed into kindness, though.
It's going to take longer than a koala to digest and absorb eucalyptus non-toxically.
'And Yashiro left a proper path to redemption, didn't he?
'Did you hear anything from Estella at ......?'
In the event you have any questions concerning where and how to use the web site, you can contact us at the web site.
But she shook her head that she did not.
'You can tell that by looking at Yashiro-san.
The 'mother of us all', who has taken in numerous kids and raised them, sometimes harshly, but most of the time indulging them, opens her arms and says with pride.
'I love you so much, Yashiro-san.
There was the smile of the Holy Mother who had saved the hearts of all the children who had come to live in the church for various reasons.
Ginette, who had closed her heart tightly, must have been liberated by this smile and saved many times.
It seems that this kind of love is equally given to a rebound like me.
'...... at all'.
Ginette is definitely like her mother.
'You shouldn't have said that to me so defenselessly. What if I misunderstood and attacked you?'
She opened her arms, exposing her hidden big tits.
'Let's eat,' I said, and if I ran out, Bertina's reaction time wouldn't be enough to protect her.
'It's a mother's duty to trust her child.
'Then, I'll take your word for it. Let's eat.
'It is also a mother's duty to discipline her children's mischief.
'Ouch, ouch, ouch!
He pinched me on the back of my hand.
You're not as strong as you look, Sister.
No matter what I do, she'll wrap me up.
If I make a mistake, she'll scold me.
It's not every day you find someone so precious.
Even the landlady would've hesitated to tell me what I'd done wrong.
But Bertina is ......
'I frogged that thug today.
One little nod and she'd take it.
'How did you feel?'
'It was the worst feeling I've ever had.'
'I see... I've never been, so it's refreshing to hear about your experience.'
Bertina has never frogged anyone before.
'So, what did you do after that?
'I turned her back into a human.
'That was the plan all along, wasn't it?
...... You talk like you know what you're talking about.
'I wanted to do an experiment. Can you really turn a person back into a frog?'
'I see. That was a valuable experience.'
'Don't you despise it?
'If it was for selfish and self-righteous reasons. But I have a feeling it's not.'
'I don't care about the right answer. It's what I think. Because it's the only truth I have.
I challenged the experiment for a very self-righteous reason.
'Well, there was one miscalculation.
'I turned the annoying a**h*le into a frog. ...... The frog had an unexpectedly cute face. I'm not sure what to say. The frog was so cute that it ...... drained the poison right out of me.
Otherwise, I wouldn't have cared what happened to that bastard.
Bertina laughs, covering her mouth.
Just when I thought he had stopped laughing, he would look at me and start laughing again.
I tried to recover several times, but he still started laughing.
It's ....... You're laughing too much.
'I'm sorry ......, but ...... it's so funny.'
After I had laughed and caught my breath, I wiped the tears from the corners of my eyes with my fingers, and Bertina told me this old story.
'Ginette used to look at frogs and say something similar to what Yashiro is saying now. He said, 'You have pretty eyes.
'Yes. ...... Hmm. I wonder if living under the same roof makes us similar.
I've become a Ginette-level softie?
It's a joke, but it's not funny.
I'm afraid that when Bertina says it, it might really happen.
So I'll make it a real joke.
She opens her arms and grabs her breasts.
'That's not going to happen because the most distinctive part of you doesn't look anything like her at all.
'Hmm ......, please drop by the confessional before you leave.'
Walking down the brightly lit night street with a laughing Bertina.
I felt strangely calm, as if everyday life had returned to me.
As I walked Bertina to the church, I asked her about something that had been bothering me before I left.
'Have you ever hated anyone, Bertina?
'Not to the point of holding a grudge, but to the point of saying, 'I don't want to see his face.
When you are a child, you may have such feelings.
No, when you grow up a little more and become more sensitive than when you were a child, you are bound to have one or two such people.
Even after you become an adult, there will be people with whom you have disagreements.
There will be people you don't like and people you don't understand.
Some of them must have been insufferable and despicable.
If you've lived as long as Bertina has, and come into contact with as many people as she has, there's bound to be one or two people you can't get along with.
'I can't think of any.
'Not even one?
'That's right. Although I can't say for sure about the time when I was a child, when my memory was not clear.
'No, you don't have to go back that far...'
'I didn't go back that far, did I?
Oh, ......, I think he hates me now, don't you?
You've got a lovely smile on your face, Bertina.
'I can be angry. But that doesn't mean that you hate them.
'But you can't like everyone, can you?
'Not trusting is not the same as disliking, is it?I'm at least as cautious as you are, you know?
I don't trust people I don't know well, but if you're asking me if that's 'dislike', ...... well, it's not.
'Are you trying not to hate them?
'No. If you go out with someone normally, you'll see the good things about them, right?I just think it's more fun to like those parts.
This idea has been passed on to Jeannette.
'Is there anyone, Yashiro-san?There are people you don't like.
'More than I can count.
'Hmm. Now, shall I ask you to join me in practicing hating people? I'd like to experience the feeling of dislike for a little while.
You say that happily.
It's probably impossible for you to dislike someone.
You'd stop at 'sad' or 'disappointed' at best. You don't have to do that.
Bertina bows her head and walks into the church with a cake for the kids who couldn't attend the party.
As soon as Bertina entered the church, the happy voices of the children could be heard outside.
I don't want you to get cavities from eating cake at this hour.
As I turned on my heel and was about to return to the sunny pavilion, I heard the window of the common room open, and the loud voice of the kid came from there.
''Nee-chan, thanks for the cake!
Faces, faces, faces of the kids lined up in the window of the common room.
Every single one of them is looking at me, the scoundrel, with a happy smile on their face.
I feel like writing the word 'vigilance' on their decors.
'Tell that to Jeannette!
'Yes!I'll tell her tomorrow!
The oldest kid says it on behalf of the others, and the other dumb kids are waving their hands in glee.
You're looking at a man who turned a man into a frog today.
You should be more afraid.
And behind the happy kids, Bertina peeked out and smiled happily.
She had whipped cream on her cheeks.
'There's the culprit of the nibbling!
'Sister, that's not fair!I said later!
'Hmmm . You've been found out, haven't you?'
'I'm going to eat cake!
No one would blame you for snacking.
Maybe if you grow up here, you won't have time to hate anyone.
I watched as the kids who had been bitten by the cake scattered from the window, and raised one hand in greeting to Bertina, who had been looking at me all the way.
I'll tell her when I get back to the sunlit pavilion. I'll tell her that Bertina ate the kids' cake.
Well, I guess that cake was for her.
I'm sure she ate a lot of it at the ...... party.
As I walked along the brightly lit street at night, I wondered if there used to be people living around here.
Jeannette had mentioned this to me during the heavy snow season.
There used to be people living around here, too.
I should have asked her about that, too.
Somehow, I felt it would be better not to ask Jeannette, or rather not to ask her.
Well, most of them must have moved because they couldn't make money anymore.
Like the family of the anteater brothers who moved to the fortieth district to start farming.
In the old days, there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor in the Forty-second Ward. ...... Or perhaps it was too poor.
There was nothing on the west side.
Delia and her friends were there because of the river, but Momat's field was abandoned on the outer wall.
I wonder if it has something to do with it.
It's close to a swampy area.
It was probably not a place where people liked to live.
Now there is a branch of the Lumberjack Guild, and the young lady there lives happily every day. You never know what will happen in this world.
There are Ricardo and Javier who come all the way to take a bath.
The west side will probably change again. More lively. Louder.
'...... I'd rather you didn't make so much noise.
Such a murmur escaped from my mouth as I arrived at the Sunlit Pavilion.
The sunlit pavilion has been standing here for a long time, and it must have watched the changes in this city.
The way it stood there, so solidly, was even somewhat reassuring.
As I walked around to the entrance, I could hear a lively voice inside.
'Why do you take the top strawberry when you ask for a bite?
'Because they're delicious.
'Because they're delicious, it's good manners to hold back!
'But I like strawberries more than Norma, I think.
'Don't be silly!I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who loves strawberries. ...... I'll tell you how much I love strawberries for three days and three nights.
Probably, this is the most noisy time in the history of the Sunlit Pavilion.
'What are you making a fuss about?
I open the door and go inside, and Jeannette comes running towards me.
'I could hear you outside.
'Listen to me, Yashiro!Delia's in trouble!
'What the hell?You said you'd give me a bite!
'Strawberries are not included in a bite!
'Oh, God. Ginette, get Norma a new cake. It's on me.'
'Then I'll treat myself.
'The manager and Yashiro are being too lenient with Norma, aren't they?
'It's your mismanagement!I'd rather complain that they're spoiling you too much!
Delia and Norma often argue with each other, but they are actually very close.
They often show a high level of cooperation, such as "A-Un Breathing" (Norma matching Delia) and "Eye Contact" (Norma understanding what Delia is trying to say).
'...... ginette. You can also add pudding a la mode to Norma.'
I'm sorry I put you through so much trouble.
I'm really sorry.
'Yashiro, I want some pudding too.'
'You just have to get fat.'
'Hmm?I'm not getting fat.
'Only when you're young, that's when you can talk like that!
'Oh, you change when you're Norma's age.
'I'm not that different from you .............'
I don't know how old 'not that different' really applies.
But I'm pretty sure I'm older than Delia. ......
Okay, I'll ask Delia how old she is next time.
'Delia. Don't tell Yashiro your age.'
'What, why not?
'I'll give you my pudding a la mode if you promise.'
We've been beaten to the punch. ......!
And the demon god is looking at us.
He's looking at me so hard.
'Well, you two can eat as much as you want today.
I cover it up with a casual smile.
Though Norma's gaze doesn't leave me at all.
Keep smiling, keep smiling.
You can fake it with a smile.
Delia and Norma were invited to the restaurant free of charge by the manager as a 'special service' because they had helped him fight off the thugs and deal with the situation afterwards.
Even when it's not a special service, don't these guys eat for free?
No, it's fine.
'You've got a much clearer face.
Estella walks up to me with a plate of strawberry shortcake in her hand.
...... Go ahead and leave it, you nasty bastard.
I'm not sure what to do.I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's worth it.
'...... There were some left, so I thought you didn't want them.'
'I was just going to the bathroom!
'Only Umaro-san and Javier-san can fool you with that smile, you know!
I see .
...... Ah, Magda's giving her strawberries to Loretta.
I'm sorry. You just wanted a little attention, didn't you?
'And you're pretending to want me to take your strawberries?
'No, I'm not!I'll never give them to you!
Estella hid the cake behind her body and threatened me.
This is the lord of this ward. ......
'What did you talk to the sisters about?
'We didn't talk much about boobs.
'That's not the topic I'm asking about.'
She stabs the strawberry on the cake with her fork and points at me with it.
'Eat it, strawberry.
'Well, it's not much to talk about.
Thank you for that little speech.
...... Oh, yeah.
'I wasn't talking to Bertina, but I had a question for you.
'What is it?'
Estella might know more about it.
She might know a lot about what it was like before the west side was deserted.
I glanced over to see that Ginette was about to go into the kitchen to get a new cake.
Nearby, Delia and Norma were still frolicking, but that wouldn't be a problem as long as Ginette didn't hear them.
'There used to be a lot of houses around here, didn't there?How--'
Why did they disappear?
I was about to ask that, but my mouth was blocked by Estella's protruding strawberry.
'...... That's not what we're talking about here.
Estella's eyes were shimmering with sadness as she looked at me.
'Ah!I love you, Yashiro. Getting strawberries from Estella...'
'You guys, if you take your eyes off ...... for a moment, the rumors will get out of control.
Suddenly, Estella shoved a strawberry into my mouth.
You can't help but think that you've been 'ooh-ing' at her.
'Nah, I just wanted to shut Yashiro up.
'Big brother, did you play with Estella's tits again?
'...... Loretta. Who said anything about tits?
'Hahahaha!Estella-san has a knife in her hand and she looks like Yamamba!
She grabbed the knife and chased after Loretta. Estella chased after Loretta.
She glanced at me, her eyes telling me to keep quiet.
You can't let them hear you talk about it.
...... What the hell is going on around here?
'Here you go, folks. Pudding a la mode!
'Wow, that's some nice decorations you got there.
When Ginette reappeared, the hall's attention was focused on her.
Delia is hovering around Ginette, and Norma is admiring her work.
You're right, it's much more sophisticated than what I taught you.
I'm not sure how much a professional can change the way fruit is cut.
'...... saw the manager's true intentions.
'Estella-san, look at this!Look, look, there's enough delicious-looking pudding a la mode for everyone!
'Oh?That's good, they have enough for Norma too.''
'Hmph. The manager is a nice and thoughtful woman.
'Well, then, I guess we don't have a deal.
'One moment, please!I'll treat you to a crepe tomorrow.'
'I promise!I'll never tell my age!
Delia's on a roll.
Magda liked the crepe so much when I told her that there was another way to eat it, and it quickly became one of her favorite sweets.
However, the clean and sturdy paper is slightly expensive, so it has not reached the eating style familiar in Harajuku.
Even though the shape is similar. They are still served on a plate and eaten with a knife and fork.
...... If they could be made to be eaten on the go, I'm sure they would sell like hotcakes at the No. 2 and No. 7 Yodamari-tei stores.
If it's crepe batter, Ginette can make a lot of it very quickly.
I taught her how to make mille crepes a long time ago, so she's already mastered it.
'Ah ............ yummmm!
Delia took a seat and chewed on the pudding.
Her expression is melting, as if she is expressing the softness of the pudding.
'You know, the pudding that the manager makes seems to be extra soft and sweet.
'I don't think so, sir. Yashiro's pudding is also delicious.
At the moment, the only people who can make pudding are me, Jeannette, and Chef Pompeo, the owner of Forty District Luxury.
Magda and Loretta can also "help".
I've tried to make a prototype before and it failed, so I think I'm almost there.
'...... Yashiro likes boobs, so he wants his pudding to be soft.
That's a given, of course.
If you don't care about the soft and fluffy texture, what kind of man are you?
'...... In the case of the manager, the soft ingredients are leaking out.'
'Estella-san is biting too much, it's a bit of a turn off!
'No, not at all.
Ginette puffs up her cheeks and pats Magda's head with a 'puff'.
What's that, a reward?
Is that supposed to be a punishment?
I'm just doing penance?
Isn't that a little harsh?I'd like that too.
Look at that! Magda's ears are shaking with joy!
'I wonder if I'll ever learn to make pudding.
'Shall I teach you how to make hard-baked rice crackers?
'I'm talking about pudding, am I?
No, I heard it depends on your boobs and how soft the pudding is.
If that's the case, I thought it'd be better for Estella to have something unique.
It's caring, caring.
'Ginette, eat with me.'
'Yes, I will. I've made one for myself as well.''
Ginette pokes her tongue out.
'Seven thousand rb!
'Don't compete with me, Estella.
Estella's bid came in right at the start.
But I understand, Estella.
That was about as destructive as it gets, wasn't it!
'I'm afraid it's not for sale.
Ginette puffed up her cheeks and poked me in the side.
See, she's only angry with me again.
Even though Estella was the one who bid on it.
'...... Manager. I've closed the store.'
'Thank you, Ms. Magda. Magda-san, come eat with us here.'
Magda ran quickly and clung to Jeannette's waist.
She was sitting on a chair watching the pudding, but before she knew it, ......
Magda is greedy to be praised by Ginette.
He and Estella took a seat next to Ginette.
I took a random seat in an empty one.
Next to Loretta and Norma. Across from Jeannette.
'When did you give the signal to close?
'Uh-huh. It's a secret signal between me and Magda.
'I know it too!I learned from Magda that when the manager does this, it's a signal to close the store.
Loretta fluttered the "L" made with her thumb and forefinger as if twisting her wrist.
'The secret's out, isn't it?
'Huh!Was that a bad idea?But, but, but, everyone here is a friend and a good person, so I thought it was okay to ......!
'...... Loretta's pants today are moss green.'
'Why are you telling me this, Magda?
'...... Everyone here is your friend, and you're a good person, so I thought it was okay.'
'Mwah!If you say so, there is no way to argue!
Ginette giggled as she looked at Loretta, who was holding her head.
It seems you didn't have to keep it a secret.
It's not like it's a sign of inconvenience if they find out.
'Then let's keep it a secret from everyone here.
I have a feeling that by tomorrow, all the kids in the church will be doing the same thing, I think.
'Oh, by the way, on the way to drop Bertina off, I asked her if there was anyone she didn't like.
'You mean the sisters?I don't think so.'
'Oh, I can't think of any.'
'Hmm. Sister is a person who falls in love easily.
Ginette seemed to know exactly what she was talking about.
I'd like to see Bertina's frown for once, though.
'When the rebellious children tell the sisters that they hate them, they get very depressed. It's sad, sad, sad. ...... It must be heartbreaking to see that. I'm going to go say I'm sorry right away.
This must have happened many times.
Maybe Jeannette has been there, too.
'That's why the children of the church grow up never saying "I hate you" to anyone. They know how sad it makes the person who says it feel.
'Some model students, right?'
'I've never been told that, have I?
That's because they're gynets.
'Let's send in Use or Assunto.
'I recommend ...... Becco.'
'Oh, no, Magda, you can't. Gosaru-san is popular with children because of his funny face.'
'No, gentlemen. You can't say that.
He got angry when I listed the people who might not like him.
'The children of the church are all good kids. I love them too.'
Where did you get the 'too' from? ....... 'Well, if you ask me, none of them swear or talk behind my back.
'Everyone is learning from the sisters.
She laughs, as if to say, 'Of course I am.
The fact that she can boast about her mother without embarrassment must be due to the good relationship they have built.
I hope the oldest mischievous boy doesn't turn out to be a serious motherf*cker.
'It's a really nice city. Forty-two wards.'
Ginette's eyes, smiling quietly, seemed to be staring somewhere far away, not here, and for a moment she looked like a different person.
A Ginette I didn't know.
That's what I felt.
'We have to be good role models, don't we?
But soon the familiar Ginette came back.
She smiles at me.
'Yes, you do.
The smile makes me feel like I'm about to give a hand to the kids, which is not like me.
'I'll leave health and physical education to you.
'It's imperative that we correct this bad example first.
'I'm sure you're right.
'Hey, Yashiro, don't do that in front of the kids.
'My brother will have to spend more time in the confessional.
'I can't help it, it's ...... Yashiro.'
The people around us all looked at us in disgust, and we received the familiar words from the front.
'Oh, God. Please repent.
This is the Sunken Pavilion of today.
The current 42nd district.
I don't know the history that existed here before that.
The day I found out came sooner than I expected.