489-Episode 291 Fruit from Lies

After the discussion with the people from the information paper publishing group had broken down, I looked around at the people in power gathered in front of the sunny pavilion and asked.

'Who wants to go see it?
'I'm going. Of course.
'I'm going too. Security is the domain of the hunting guild.
'I might want to go too!

Masha smilingly raises her hand in the tank.
...... you know what I mean?

'Masha. I don't think you should be looking at this.
'Thank you, Yashiro!

I'll warn you that it's not something that someone who is not used to rough stuff would want to watch.
But Masha shook her head with eyes that showed her firm intentions.

'I've been nearly crippled, you know?I want to see it through, and I think I should. The completion of the port is one of my dreams as well.

You don't have to take on such a dirty job. ......

We're going to do the dirty work now.

We decided that when we turned the ruffians into frogs.
We're going to crush this enemy once and for all.
We don't want similar idiots popping up like bamboo shoots in the rain.

Even if it means a bloody mess.

But that's my decision, and I'm not thinking of dragging everyone involved into it.
In fact, I'd rather they stay out of it.

'Magda, please stay at the Sunshine Pavilion and protect Ginette and Loretta.
'What?I want to go!

Loretta, who was very angry about this incident, wanted to join, but Ginette stopped her.

'If we go, we'll be interfering with Mr. Yashiro. He is a kind man.
'............ Yes, I understand.'

Well, it's true that we would be lost in the presence of Jeannette and the others. ......

'Thank you, Jeannette.'

I'll tell you this much.

'But I don't think you're in the way. If you want to see it, I'll show it to you. Even if it results in you despising me to the core.'

That's the kind of lousy thing I'm going to do.
I don't think I can be in a position where I won't be hated.

'I, ......, no, we don't despise Mr. Yashiro no matter what he does. We know that you want to help the city. ...... But I'm afraid I'm going to get scared and stop, so I'll just wait here.

He gently grasped my hand, and with his back to the sunlit pavilion, a smile like the sun bloomed.

'So, please come back to us. Come back to us. To this sunny pavilion.

I felt a sense of relief at those words.

'Oh, I'll be back...'

I took Jeannette's hand and gently put it down.

'I'll be back with all the big men who are hungry after a hard day's work.

They're selfish, so I'll have to serve them a very tasty meal to convince them.
If that's the case, there's no place else to bring them but the Sunlit Pavilion.

'I'm sorry, Jeannette. ...... is the only way I can help you.'
'No, no. If you all decide that this is the best thing for this town, then I will support you in that. ...... Please be safe, everyone.
'Thank you. I'll see you later.

And so, the selections lined up.

'Donnis, take care of Merle.'
'Mm. Be careful, Yashippi.'
'I'm not going to screw up a mission that I've brought up myself.

Leaving the old man and the feeble women behind, we headed for the square in front of the city gate.
If Deborah joins us, she'll be an asset, but Ibert, who hasn't been asked to help this time, is going to be on standby. Deborah, of course, is also on standby.
Deborah will be on standby, of course, because she's not the kind of person who would just jump into the fray without knowing what's going on.

Oh, Gellarcy's going. He's an unthinking idiot.

So, the selected team is as follows.
Me, Estella, Natalia, Lucia, Gilberta, Medora, Masha, and Gerasie and Inez who have been following along.

There's also Watusi.

At first glance, Imelda looks like a weak young lady who is not interested in anything but fashion, but her eyes are filled with flames of anger.

I'm going to make sure that Magda and Loretta get their due.
'But don't you get your hands dirty. Javier cries.

'Hmm ......, how much do you spoil people, Yashiro?But it's a lady's duty to be pampered by men. I'll keep that in mind.

Imelda holds her hand axe and smiles innocently.
The gap is frightening.

'Oh?Here it comes. Hey, Yashiro~!

When we got to the side of the church, Delia and Norma were waiting for us.

'Did you finish your difficult talk?
'We've had a quick look around, but there's a lot of bad people hanging around today.

They seemed to be happy.
They're kind of excited.

'I was just thinking that I don't want any more riffraff making a big deal out of me.
'I heard the kids were scared, too, and I thought, "Screw 'em! I thought, 'Screw that!

The damage caused by the ruffians roaming around the square in front of the city gate was growing day by day.
The ragtag group was probably gathering under orders from somewhere, but there was no way that they would just meekly obey orders.
If they could do that, they wouldn't be ragtag in the first place.

When they gather in numbers and find that the people around them are not resisting, they start to run amok.
And we've reached our limit.
It was about time.

I added Delia and Norma to my team and continued on.

'Oh, I left Barbara behind.
'That's fine. His priority is rehabilitation.'

Barbara's an ex-gangster.
He's working diligently in Yap Lock's fields.
He's starting to study and his language is getting better.
I can't have him getting into trouble in the middle of all that.

He should be thinking about his sister and his new family.

I walked a little further and was stopped in front of the road leading to the river.
I was going to pretend I didn't see him when I saw his face.

'Hey, wait, Oba!Don't ignore me!
'Estella, your childhood friend is calling you.'
'That's strange, I heard 'Oba' in my ear. In your best friend's voice.

You must have some freshly landed mozuku stuck in your ear.
My best friend's voice?What kind of voice is that?

'What are you doing, Ricardo?
'We're the Third Ward Alliance. If we're in trouble, we're in trouble.
'I didn't call you, .......'

Ricardo was ready to join in.
He's got Alvaro, Gustave and the others behind him.

'I'll join you, soldier!I'll join you, soldier, but I don't think boiled eggs are fair!

I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this. ......
I'm not sure what to make of that.His eyes are bloodshot.

I'm not going to forgive you for trying to harm the beautiful Masha. ...... I'm not going to forgive you for trying to harm the beautiful Masha. ......

Gustave is madly in love with Masha.
If Masha is attacked by thugs, he will be so angry that he will make everyone involved bleed.
This guy seems to be the most likely to go out of control. ......

'I'll make you crawl on the ground crying, apologizing and begging for your life. ............ Haha!

Hey, stop it!
That high-pitched voice and that laugh is not good for you, you know!
You can't be so merciless with your opponents.

Mr. Gustave. Don't be too reckless~'
'Huh!You're worried about Masha-san?What luck!Of course, Masha-san!I can easily kill them all!
'In moderation, right?
'Yes, sir!Half killed!

I think I'll leave the control of that thing to Masha. ......

'......, why are you here, Demily?
'Haha. Well, just in case.'

Demilly, an old man who is not really suited for rough work, was there with Ricardo.

'You're not going to join us, are you?
'No way. I'm such a non-violent person that I hesitate to kill even a big insect. I don't want to get into any trouble.
'Then you should go to the Sunshine Pavilion. It's dangerous.'
'But you know what Ricardo said, don't you?We, the three poorest districts, are an alliance. We're no longer the poorest, though.' ......

He's still a very loyal old man.
Leave the dangerous stuff to the young guys and just pay the bills in the back.

'Estella, take care of Demilly.'
'Yeah. I'll protect her.

I'll make sure that Estella protects Demilly, and keep her away from the scene.
The Lord of Smiles is not suited for this crime scene.

The air seemed to vibrate with the enthusiasm of those gathered at .......
That's a lot of spirit.

The goal is the square in front of the city gate.
And what we're going to do there is to turn a hoax into fact.

In other words, we're going to cause bloodshed in the square in broad daylight.
And we'll do it from the 42nd district's side, just as that reporter tried to lead us there!

''Let's go!

Now, when the hoax becomes a fact, what will you write?
Are you going to write, "This time it's really a violent incident"?You can't write that, can you?
You can't write that, can you? It would negate the previous article, right?

It's a biased article that you could write because you thought you couldn't do anything about it anyway.

I'll make you pay for what you've done.

I'll make sure you pay for what you've done.

The ragdoll rolled on the ground, letting out a voice that sounded like it was going to blow up to heaven.

As soon as they arrived at the plaza, Alvaro and Gustave ran toward the ragtag group of people who were hanging around there.
Alvaro, who was quicker than the others, had gotten the first move.

One step behind, Gustave stood in front of the four ruffians and flashed his sharp fangs.

'Those of you who can prove here and now that you have made no contracts whatsoever, swear to it. If you can't, we'll consider you to be obstructing our business and eliminate you--and we'll consider you to be no more than a piece of trash who tried to harm Masha-san, and we'll fry you and throw you into the sea!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

I'm not sure what to do. I'm not sure what to do.
I'm a faithful follower of yours. I am your faithful follower.

You're the guru of the Masha Sect.
If you're a spirit god and Masha, Masha's share is higher.

'What the hell is that?We're just ordinary people who've come to observe the construction of the port, you know!
'Yes, yes, yes!Why do we have to be beaten up?
'Because you look scary.'

It's true that I judge whether someone is a scumbag or not by their appearance, but you're being harsh, Imelda.

'What, you're going to hit me because I'm afraid of your face?
'Oh?Isn't it normal to hit someone because they have an ugly face?

It's not normal.
Which world line is that common sense?

'I'll tell them that District 42 and the hunting guild are trying to unfairly exclude strangers!I'll sell the information to the press and tell everyone in this district!
''Oh my~?Don't forget about the Sea Fishing Guild!
'We also have a lumberjack guild, and you're blind too?There's nothing we can do to help you.
'Ah!Don't let the woman come out of the woodwork!

The ragdolls that shouted at Masha and Imelda sank to the ground, rubbing their cones with a tremendous rotation.

'Your outburst against Masha deserves to die.
'You got some nerve yelling at my daughter, don't you, young man?Hmm?'

Gustave and Javier beat the crap out of each other at the same time.
I wonder if ...... is dead, that scoundrel?

'Come on, you guys. If you don't want to die, answer my question honestly!

Medora barked in the middle of the square.

The sensible wards in the square are sheltered by the macho men of the Lumberjacks' Guild and the River Fishermen's Guild, and take refuge in a corner of the square.
Those of you who are not immune to violence are asked to leave the square immediately.
The ragtag group that has been loitering around the square has been cut off by the hunting guild and the guards.

The ragtag group is trapped.
In front of them is Medora.
They are surrounded by beasts of prey who are viciously strong on their own.

The key to a long life is to answer honestly.

'I won't even ask if there was any money exchanged or if you were dazzled by any other rewards. It's a simple question, everyone answer yes or no!Are you here because someone told you to or not?Now answer!

A gust of wind blew through like an air cannon.
A few ragheads fell on their buttocks, agitated by the wind.
Every ragdoll was stunned.

A ragdoll is a ragdoll because he can't get along with others.
It's hard to believe that such individualistic ragpickers - there are less than thirty of them in the square now - are working in groups for a single purpose.
These people are individualists.
Each of them is acting in his own interest.

The current situation is the result of them acting together under separate contracts.

The fact that there are a bunch of ragtag people together is proof that someone is giving orders behind the scenes.

'Anyone who says yes may leave.

Medora points to the exit from the square behind her, which is blocked by several hunting guilds.

'...... Oh, well, I'll take it then.'

A long-haired, smirking ragdoll steps forward with a flirty smile on his face.
He seemed to think that he could get away with saying 'yes'.

So, before he can open his mouth, I straighten my arm and point at him.

'But if you tell a lie, I'll frog you immediately.

I said in a temperatureless voice, and the flippant smile disappeared from the long-haired man's face.

'Nah, it's fine. ...... The swamp is close from here. I'm sure you'll be able to move to your new home in no time.'

The long-haired man's throat twitched and the edges of his mouth quivered.
His voice leaks out, but not into words.

''...... ah............ ah,ah.......''
''Judgment of the Spirits.''

He pointed his finger and chanted, and the man's whole body was enveloped in a pale light.
Of course, since he didn't say anything, he wouldn't turn into a frog.
Not that it would--


The man went half-crazy, scratching his head and running screaming.
Tears sprinkled from his wide eyes, and he staggered because of his violent shaking of his head, his legs tangled and he fell down heavily.
He was so distraught that he wondered if it was possible for a human being to be so distraught.

'I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I must have flown a bit.

He smiles coldly and walks over to the man lying on the ground.
As I moved, I saw the ragtag group of people around me stiffen in unison.
Ignoring the outside world, I still hold my head in my hands and let out a ragged breath, 'Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! I stand beside the man who is still holding his head and letting out a ragged breath.

'I'll do it right this time, so answer me. 'Hi' or 'yes', it's easy, right?

When I call out to him, he looks up, glares at me, and then rises to his feet, slashing at me with a knife.


Medora reacts, but a little too late, and I feel a pain in my left arm.


And with a dull thud, the long-haired man's head plunges to the ground.
It wasn't Medora who did it.

'You should know that hurting the people of my district is an act for which you should be sentenced to death without trial.

--It was Natalia.

'It's coming out, the blood, my friend Yashiro. You need medical attention right away.
Yeah, I'm fine. Not now.
Not good!Do it now.

He grabbed my left arm and I couldn't move a muscle.
Gilberta is looking up at me with a face like she's about to cry.

It's only a light cut, though. About 10 cm?
It hurts, but it's no big deal.
And I've already bled when I accidentally cut my finger while cooking.
It happens all the time.
More or less blood, that's the difference.

'Thank you. But it'll heal if you keep spitting on it.
'I ask you, is that true, what you said?
'Yeah. It's not a serious injury.
'Then believe me, my friend Yashiro, I do.'

And with that, Gilberta relaxed her arm.
Now, I'm going to take my arm out - but I can't. It's still tightly gripped.

'I will, take care of the wound, I will.

No sooner said than Gilberta licked the wound on her arm.
A small, faintly warm, soft tongue flicked back and forth across my arm.

...... Um, Gilberta?

'This will heal, the wound.
'Oh, oh ............'.

What an innocent smile!
I'm not sure what to say, but I'm going to say it. It's hard to say.

'I'm the head waiter. Lend me that man's knife. I'll go and choke out that undesirable man right now.'
'Hey, stop that Lord of the 35th district!

If he gets out of control, I'm dead, no pun intended!

'Calm down, Lucia. If you lick the affected area, which is still slightly wet with saliva, you can do an indirect kiss.
'Oh, that's a good idea!So let's go to ............ and see who can lick the anchovy's arm!

I was thrown a rock as if to take it out on me.
Gilberta caught it, though.

Well, playing with these guys is making the atmosphere a little more pleasant, so... we'd better get started.

We're not interested in the truth.
We don't care what you think you're doing here.
In case you're really just here for the sights, I don't care.

"This place is crawling with scum.

That alone is a distraction.
It's a disadvantage.

So we get rid of every last one of them.
Make it impossible for them to stay here.

This long-haired man is just the thing to make an example of.

'Natalia, sit him down and hold him down.

She instructed Natalia to raise the long-haired man who was pinned to the ground.
She then moves behind him, gets down on her knees, and puts her arms around him from behind.
It's like a hug - though I wouldn't hug him even if he were dead.

With a wave of his arm, a knife comes out of his cuff.
It's a hidden knife I haven't had in a while.
I put it to the neck of the long-haired man.

'What?Wait, wait, wait!Hold on!

The man jerked and writhed as the knife was applied, but Natalia held him in place.
The man is unable to stand up or move his arms and legs, but he is trying hard to prolong his life with the only mouth he can move.
In other words, he is begging for his life.

'I'm sorry!I'll tell you everything!I'll be honest!The money!They gave me money and told me to come here!But I don't know who it is!I swear!The only people who would go out with a ragtag bunch like us are the ones whose identities should not be known!That's why we don't pry into our client's affairs!I swear!I'll tell you everything!Please!Please help me!

He asks a quiet question to the screaming man.

'So the answer to Medora's question is 'yes', right?
'Ah ...... ah, yes. The answer is 'yes'. ......'

Immediately after hearing the answer, I pulled the knife I was holding against the man's neck as far as I could.
There was a dull swooshing sound, and bright red liquid spurted into the air.

Seeing the bright red liquid spurting out, the long-haired man became speechless with his eyes all round, and fell down with the whites of his eyes.

'Oh my god!Did you f*ck me?

The ragtag group began to make noise, ran away, attacked the nearby hunters and woodcutter, and a huge brawl began.
Now we can eliminate them all with impunity.

With this in mind, I concealed the toy knife in my sleeve.
A toy knife with a gimmick that causes a stinging pain when you slide it over your skin, and immediately afterwards, bright red water spurts out from the handle of the knife.

People are a little bit unfortunate creatures that can't even sense what's going on with their own bodies when they're convinced of it.

People are so gullible.

All of the ragtag group were taken down by the hunters in one fell swoop.
I don't know who did this, but some of the ragheads were bleeding profusely from their noses, and some of them had their lips cut and bled.

There was also a guy who had a cut lip and was bleeding. That hurts...'
'No, what you did was far more shocking, wasn't it?

I've explained it to her beforehand, but Estella's face is blue.
Why?It's not surprising that the magic is broken, is it?

'...... How did you make that in such a short time?
'I had a hard time, you know?It's hard to get a good red. Also, this slight stickiness?
'You don't have to show it to me. ...... It looks like real blood, and it makes my spine tingle.

You're the one who's always holding the knife out.
If you stick your knife in me, you'll see real blood, not the fake I've prepared, okay?Pull yourself together if your spine's itching.

'Just when I thought you'd been holed up in your room for five minutes, you're making something like this?

Early in the morning, I received a forewarning from Mahr, informing me that I was to meet with the members of the information paper publishing group at the Sunlit Pavilion.
So, since it was obvious that the meeting would end up breaking up anyway, I presented Estella with an ingenious plan to take advantage of the situation and get rid of the troublesome ragtag group.

This was the "truth from a lie" strategy.
The information paper said that the 42nd district and the carpenters had masterminded a brawl and bloodshed, so we actually did it.

Now, do you think they will publish the exact same article in the information paper?

"Another brawl! but that's when the lie of that pouty-faced woman reporter that 'what was intended was not conveyed' will come to light.
If you can prove that you can write what you intended as you intended, you will know that the biased article was intentionally biased.

Well, you don't have to blame me for being so impatient anymore.

'You kids didn't see that, did you?
'Of course they didn't. We evacuated them as our first priority.
'I'm sure they've taken refuge in our home and are probably eating our chef's signature baked goods right now.

The children and women took the initiative to leave the square.
However, due to the increase in the number of people stumbling around, there were not that many people.

In spite of the evacuation order, a few people stayed here to watch the storm.
The only ones who stayed of their own volition were those who were irritated by the rumblings, those who were worried about what would happen to the 42nd district, and the reporter who wanted to write an article about this incident.

Well, I guess that reporter doesn't know that the headquarters he is supposed to go back to has been banned.

'So, what do you do with the ragtag bunch you caught?
'Fine him and let him go.

Confiscate all the advances they've received.
This left them with no profit, just a painful loss of time and effort.
I'm sure they won't do the same for the construction of this port.
They were beaten up pretty badly.

The hunters, lumberjacks, and guards must have been frustrated at being told to 'stay out of trouble' and 'stay out of our way'. They were happily hunting the ragpickers.

'If we let him go and let the public know that the 42nd district is in trouble, there will be fewer people who will accept our foolish requests.
'If the amount of money goes up, there will be more people who will bite.
'Then we can eliminate them again. Eventually, the mastermind will run out of money.

I don't plan on sticking around that long.

'Oh, but make sure you keep that long hair.

There's a good use for her.
After all, it's the most striking and irreversible incident of the whole affair.
If there were reporters there, they'd be happy to write about it.

'Forty-two wards cut off the head of a visitor.

'And then, when I came to see it again, there were vendors in the square. You'd be surprised!
'I wonder if ...... he'll change his mind that much about being a vendor?
'Do you want me to make him do it?
I'm not sure if I'd be able to do that if I were you.

That type of person is rather easy to brainwash - or re-educate.
If you tell him what's wrong, he'll become diligent as if he were reborn.

'Now the scoundrels can't get near here for a while...'

I look around at the hunters who have finished their work.

'Now that the stressed out hunters, who are more terrifying than the ruffians, have had a chance to vent, security will return to the area.

He didn't want to be in a square overrun with frustrated hunters and woodcutter.
I felt like I'd be taken into a gang office if I even bumped shoulders with them.

'Then, Estella. Contact them and get them to publish the next information paper as soon as possible.'
'Yes. I'll guide them well.

A murder by decapitation in broad daylight is shocking.
They'll want to get the story out as soon as possible.

'Then you can give them the information that Obayashi is the killer. Maybe even some description of the poor victim.'
'I'll use Mokoka for that. Illustrations.'
'Then let Becko draw them. It'll have a bigger impact.'

As we were discussing this, Ricardo came in with a shiny face after a rough day.
Don't look so shiny after a rough day, you barbarian lord.

'Why do you guys have the shoulders of those guys from the information paper?I heard you gave them a place.'
'Yes. We need it.
'You don't need the paper, do you? Just shut it down.'
'No, Ricardo. Ricardo's an idiot. He's hasty, he's thoughtless, he's hasty, he's short-sighted, he's single-celled, and he's so stupid it makes me wonder if his brain is necrotic.
'You're out of line, Kola!How dare you come up with bad words like that?

Of course, if you've seen the real thing, you've got plenty of words to say.

'We need them to write information papers.
'Are you trying to make money off of them?
'No!I'm trying to tell you that you're being naive and you need to get your act together.
'Well, I'll take your money. I'll rent you the best building in New Town. The rent is high. Hee hee~, it's good extra income.

Estella seems to be quite happy with the rent money.
You're really trying to rip me off.

'But I'm not going to make them a fortune.

We're going to choke the press.

'That's why I want you to make an information paper in the forty-two wards no matter what.
'...... Oh, I see. So that's what you're saying.
'Hmm, no.'
'You didn't say anything!
'It's different anyway.
'Well, at least listen!

It seems that the idiot Ricardo has come up with something in his own idiotic way, for an idiot.

'I'm sure they'll write about this. People died. But the truth is, they didn't. So you're going to confront them with that and call it a false alarm?Are you going to file a claim?If you're going to bankrupt them, you're going to have to take a lot of money, aren't you?
'You really are an idiot, aren't you?
'Shut up!

The line may or may not have been a close one.
But the conclusion is completely different.

'When a false report is published, the 42nd district is not in a position to claim compensation.
'No, because if you're accused of a murder you didn't commit, you can get compensation, can't you?
'It's not such a small amount of money that we're going to take from them.

The paper is funded by donations from influential people and subscriptions from readers.
The aristocrats pay a lot of money to look good, and the readers pay to know what's popular.

This is only possible if the information it contains is 'correct'.

'A newspaper full of misinformation will be discredited, and untrustworthy information about "cutting-edge trends" will not be worth one Rb.

In other words, what we're taking away from them is.

We're going to take away their very existence.

But sadly, even if we take it away, we won't get a dime in our pockets.
Oh, what a bummer!