Girl and Gachihomo
This was an incident that occurred while Ellis and the others were busy in Skycastle and were away from Warren.
In front of the Merchant Guild’s signboard, you could see a small girl confirming the job postings for the day.
Would she be around the same age as Claire and Credia? She had straight gray hair that looked a little messy, a thin body as thin as a bean pole, and ragged clothes that would definitely be difficult to compliment.
But, there was something about her eyes, like the strength of a beast on the hunt.
When the young girl had finished reading all the offers posted, she let out a bitter sigh. That was because every job listed there had the words ‘Guarantor required’ scrawled across the bottom.
Things had started getting a little dangerous since the Merchant Guild started offering numerous new jobs within the ever-growing Lily Garden and Freedom Promenade, so often times new positions would require somebody to vouch on your behalf as a sort of character test. But this girl had never been told about such a thing before now unfortunately. After all, she didn’t have anyone who could have told her in the first place.
“Haa, I’m hungry.”
The young girl had traveled to Warren all the way from Marsfield on foot. One day she was suddenly told that her Mother and Father had both died. An acquaintance of theirs was ordered to act as her guardian, but for some reason that decree was rescinded not too long after. That person hadn’t hesitated for a moment. The second they were able, they abandoned her and went off to Skycastle on their own.
The girl tried finding work in Marsfield, but that’s not something that could be easily found with her status. However she refused to ask for any type of help or see if there was any other kind of decree her lord could give to help her. She was already fed up these decrees. After all, it was because of a royal decree that her parents had died.
So the young girl decided to head to Warren, a well known trade city. Surely there would be a job there for her.
The girl sold off the few possessions she still had for the trip’s expenses. Even after selling everything she owned however, she didn’t have enough money to get a carriage ride over, so she was forced to walk the way instead. But the young girl was confident in her physical strength, and despite her young age, she had enough skill to be able to protect herself if a monster attacked her. In the end it took her less than a week to make it to Warren all the way from Marsfield.
But reality wasn’t as sweet as she had hoped.
The girl sat down on the cold dirt and sighed once more. At that same time, Goro Meiko, one of the gachihomo Muscle Brothers passed by. In recent days the fashion style that says, “I’ve been living out of an alley for a while now,” had grown increasingly rare in Warren, so Goro noticed the little girl sitting in front of the Merchant Guild’s message board right away. Feeling slightly concerned, he walked up to her.
“Pardon, but is something the matter little girl?”
Being so suddenly called out to, the girl almost jumped out of her skin. Turning to look at Goro, she immediately rose to her feet and offered a simple bow.
“Sorry, I’ll leave right away.”
At the same time, a monstrous growl resonated from the girl’s belly. Her hands quickly flew to cover her stomach as if that would somehow mask the noise.
“Are you hungry little miss?”
Instead of giving an answer, the girl’s face turned a deep shade of red as her head turned downwards.
“Okay then, do you like fish?”
Too surprised by Goro’s words, the girl nodded without realizing it.
“Then follow me. I know where we can eat some delicious fish.”
And so the girl was taken to the Revitalizing Home for a hearty lunch.
Revitalizing Home. It’s the gachihomo’s paradise, but that doesn’t mean it’s all gachihomo, all the time. Men like Goro had chosen to live their lives a certain way, full of fire and certainty. They say there isn’t a gachihomo out there who does things half-heartedly which is part of the reason why so many of them are so unnecessarily well-toned.
But on the other hand, the reputation for Revitalizing Home’s fish dishes had become famous, and while there were many people who were interested in trying out these exquisite dishes, most of them weren’t sure if they were allowed to eat out at a gachihomo bar when they weren’t gachihomos themselves. As such Revitalizing Home would become just the ‘Revitalizing Fishery’ during the lunch hours. Goro helped in managing the store and was responsible for creating the store’s menu as well.
“Table for two shopkeep.”
“Oh, welcome Goro! Hoh, and visiting with a woman today, how strange.”
An energetic clerk wearing a happi jacket greeted the two of them as they entered. Of course the clerk was a true gachihomo as well. Goro guided the young girl to the front counter before taking a seat next to her.
“What do you recommend today?”
“Today we have fried rice straight from Ceramics topped with either the Miss Ellis special – fried shrimp and white sauce for a refreshing spice bowl, or the Miss Frau special – pickled fish and different seasonings for something a little more spicy.”
“Hmm, okay, which one do you want?”
Goro turned to the girl and asked her what she wanted to eat, but as the girl sat there with her mouth open, it became unclear if she had heard anything the cook had said.
“What, do you like fried rice that much?”
At this question the girl started excitedly nodding her head.
“All right then shopkeep, get us two of each.”
For some time a silence fell between the two customers. The girl would glance over at Goro every now and then, but Goro never looked back. It didn’t take long for the food to be cooked and two bowls to be placed in front of them both.
“Careful now. The fried shrimp on the piping hot bowl just came out of the fryer, and I don’t want you to burn yourself.”
The girl’s eyes became as round as the bowls placed in front of her. A fragrant smell rose up alongside the steam from one of the bowls. Some kind of food had been coated and bronzed before being laid across a bed of rice. The other bowl had dashes of crimson sprinkled throughout and a glistening slice of fish laid out on top. It was the so-called tempura and tekkadon.
“Mm, they look delicious. Let’s dig in. Ah but shopkeep, bring this girl a spoon.”
Goro noticed how strangely the girl was staring at the chopsticks she had been given, so he asked for her to be given a spoon and waited for her to dig into her own food before he started on his.
The girl used her spoon to cut into the fish fillet, carrying it to her mouth. The outside was sour and a little spicy, but the juicy meat in the middle had a sweeter taste. Between how tasty that first bite was and just how much her stomach was grumbling, the second and third bites came much quicker until she was wholeheartedly scarfing the dish down her throat. The bowl was licked clean in an instant.
Next up was the one with the fried fish. Once again the girl used her spoon to cut into the crispy fish on top first. The crispy fried outer layer felt just as she had expected it to on her tongue, but the soft, fluffy inner layer that was exposed after she bit into it surprised her. The sauce that had been used to coat the dish was also sweet and delicious, complimenting the rest of the rice well. This dish she made sure to take her time on, savoring every bite and taking the time to chew her food.
By the time the second bowl had been emptied, the girl was stuffed. Her nerves finally settled, and she was able to get over her anxiety enough to be able to speak.
“Finished. That was absolutely delicious. My name is Marcosia. Mister, thank you so much for the food.”
Goro had been waiting for her to say something first. If there were circumstances to her situation, it would be boorish to just out and ask her about them. If she were to simply leave here after getting a good meal, then that would be fine, but if she wanted to say more about herself, Goro would definitely be willing to listen.
“Mm. My name is Goro Meiko. I’m an employee at the Merchant Guild.”
“Don’t be so humble now. Isn’t Goro considered an executive at the guild?”
The store manager gave his own two cents into the conversation from behind the counter, but Goro didn’t say anything. Marcosia on the other hand decided to ask Goro a question upon learning about his status in the guild, even knowing doing so was a little rude.
“Um, Mister Goro. Is there any work in Warren you can do without having a guarantor?”
The young girl had started to trust Goro. Trust him enough to tell him everything. Everything.
Goro was dumbstruck at first when this little girl went so far as to tell him about her origins, but since she had trusted him enough to hold nothing back, he felt like he could trust her as well. More than anything, as a chef he felt like a young girl who could so honestly pack the food away like she had would be pretty terrible at hiding anything.
If Ellis or any of the other girls were here, he could ask them for help, but unfortunately they were away from town that day. So what should he do?
“Understood. Follow me.”
Goro took Marcosia over to the Thieves’ Guild. Before making any plans to help the girl, it would be best to inform Baltis about the girl’s past. But to Goro’s surprise, Baltis wasn’t that concerned about it.
“Yeah, it will be fine. If anything happens, I’m sure our little adviser will take care of it. And in the worst scenario, Mebett and Ka-kun are currently living in Warren.”
“Thank you for your understanding.”
Next Goro took Marcosia over to the casino Ril Rush. The place was busy as usual, so it took a moment, but eventually he was able to pull aside Machel. He introduced her to the little girl he had met and instructed Marcosia to tell Machel everything she had told him. Marcosia did just that, leaving nothing hidden.
Machel was a little surprised to hear about Marcosia’s origins just as Goro had, but that was quickly washed away by the urge she felt to protect this girl from the same darkness that had plagued her own childhood. There was also the fact that Mebett had become something of an idol the last couple of days, playing in the event plaza with Ka-kun and the other city children creating a small soft spot for kids in a lot of people’s hearts. So when Marcosia’s story was over, Machel gave her a reassuring smile, letting her know she’d be more than happy to help.
“So with that being the case, I’m going to go ahead and act as a guarantor for her. I’ll go around, try to find a good place where she can work, so if you could get her cleaned up, give her a bath, I’d really appreciate it.”
Marcosia’s goal of getting a job had moved forward so fast her head was spinning, and it wasn’t until Machel had dragged her halfway out the building before she collected herself enough to remember to thank Goro for all his help.
“Mm. In Freedom Promenade, we accept everyone. I’m sure Miss Ellis will understand.”
Assuring himself of that fact, Goro headed back to the Merchant Guild.
Marcosia was the only daughter of a husband and wife duo who had called themselves the Wolf Pack Couple. They were a duo who were famous in Marsfield for a time for the lovely performance they put on during the Marsfield Art Competition. A competition that ended when the duo revealed themselves to be not beastmen, but demons. They tried to steal the Brave Ripper after they lost the competition and were killed by Ellis. The duo were a breed of indigenous demons that differed from the more common summoned demons, yet they had to obey the Demon Lord’s orders all the same. Their demon daughter was forced to follow that same order as well and continued ‘searching for the claws’ even after her parents had died. She didn’t know who it was that had killed her parents, nor did she know enough details about their deaths to go looking for their killers if she wanted to. That’s why once the order had been released and she was free to do what she wanted, she immediately set out to find work which saved her from being forced under Berunal’s order again.
By the end of the day, it was decided Marcosia would start working at Trans Happy.