I. Little Guitar
Going for a walk in the forest, I came upon a group of people. They surrounded someone who claimed to be a travelling singer from an island, and they used the guitar in their hands to play beautiful melodies, gently singing.
When I regained my senses, I found myself hiding behind the tree, holding my hands on my chest. I didn't know why I had this expression of enjoyment. The song was already finished and the people have dispersed. But I couldn't forget the feeling of the strummed strings.
"What a beautiful melody! I want to hear it again!"
But that traveling singer is already gone. They were always wandering around; it wasn't easy to find them.
If I had some friends, I'll definitely talk with them about how regretful I felt about encountering something I like but can’t enjoy again.
I have no more interest in going for a walk. I sat down where the traveling singer had just sung. I put both of my hands in the air and began to imagine how they played that guitar.
Looking at my hands fiddling in the air, my heart suddenly had an idea - if I could play it myself, couldn’t I listen to it every day?
This strange idea swept away the regrets from just now. I always had nothing to do, so I immediately made up my mind. I began to count on my fingers to calculate the songs I could learn to write or sing myself. I was born with a nice human body- it’d be a waste if I didn’t use it!
But the biggest problem is the guitar.
"Guitar, huh? If I have to buy it, then I can go to any music store. But the biggest issue is..."
I don't have to worry about money since I don't eat anything, but now, it’s become a big problem. I was so excited to learn how to play and sing like a travelling singer, but now, almost gave up halfway through.
Until I passed a small town, and my attention was drawn to something small and cyan.
“It’s a guitar!”
It was buried under a pile of abandoned old furniture. Although only a small part was visible, it was clearly the strings of a guitar.
I dug it out from the pile of furniture and wiped it down a little bit. Then, I compared it with my body. It matched with my height. It was a very cute little guitar. As long as the tone’s good, it’s perfect.
I gently plucked the strings.
The guitar’s neck suddenly broke. Its body also rose into the air. There were only a few strings that connected from top to bottom.
II. Mr. Drunkard
No wonder it was thrown into the pile of abandoned furniture. Now I know what's going on – this is a broken little guitar.
I really don't know how the original owner treated it for it to break. But right now, I can’t play this thing, unless I find someone who can fix it.
In order to prevent the little guitar from losing any parts, I carefully wrapped it with a picnic cloth and held it in my arms. Now I need to find someone who can fix this thing.
The truth is, after asking around everywhere, I found a guitar crafter who claimed he was able to repair the guitar. But he didn't look as reliable as he was supposed to be. And... he reeked of alcohol.
"Hic…huh? You said you want to fix the guitar?"
"...You, can you really fix it?"
"Funny, is there a thing I can't fix? The question is, how much do you plan to pay?"
Sure enough, there’s no free lunches in this world.
"I have no money......"
My voice was so soft that I can't even hear it. But Mr. Craftsman seemed to hear it very clearly.
"Do you think I’m a servant who can freely serve you? No money, no repair. Beat it, now!"
"Please, please help me. This guitar is very small. It shouldn’t be too troublesome to repair it… probably."
"Tch, I really don't know how a Food Soul like you loves strumming the guitar so much. I wanna help you because of your lovely looks, but I won’t do it if there’s no reward."
He grabbed his messy and greasy hair as if he’d just thought of something.
"Well, if you can give me good wine to drink, then I’ll help you."
"Do you know the nearby town’s winery? It is a good place to brew gin. If I can go there and get some good drink, repairing hundred guitars for you won’t be a problem, but... I heard that they’re worried about the Fallen Angel that suddenly appeared. If you can solve this, they will surely give good gin as a thank you gift."
"Is that the case... Wait… You mean, you want me to?"
"Ain’t you a Food Soul? Wiping out the Fallen Angel is an easy job for you. If you solve this, I’ll have an endless supply of booze to drink, and of course, your guitar!"
III. Impostor Attendant
I’ve never heard about eliminating a Fallen Angel in exchange for liquor from a winery. And then use it for the repairing fee...
Before the owner of the winery arrived, Mr. Craftsman and I sat in the reception room and waited. I lifted the picnic cloth a little and stroked the dirty guitar...
"If there really is something that’s made me decide to challenge a Fallen Angel, then it must be you! My little baby!"
Finally, the owner came to the reception room. He said he originally wanted to go to the Chef Union and hire a professional Cooking Attendant to deal with this.
"But… If I knew that there was a Cooking Attendant in town, then I don’t have to trouble myself and run around anymore!"
The owner seems to have misunderstood something.
"Thank you, but we're not..."
I just wanted to explain. But I was immediately held down by the guitar craftsman.
"Hey, don’t reveal your identity for now. Help first, then you can explain it later."
The owner didn't seem surprised at seeing me growing mad. Instead, he continued to inquire this drunkard, posing as my Master Attendant.
"It happened so suddenly. That Fallen Angel’s now occupying the underground cellar. My workers couldn’t flee in time and no one knows what will happen now. Can you still manage this?"
"Don't worry, my Food Soul is a girl who can solve anything~!"
I hope that your conscience hurt when you patted your chest and promised that…
"That's great. Within these 2 days, my customers’ orders have been delayed; we can’t drag on anymore. I’ll take you to the underground cellar!”
So, this fake attendant took me, the Food Soul who didn’t belong to him, to the underground wine cellar with the owner of the winery.
"I’ll leave whatever’s behind there to you guys!"
The owner opened the door and politely invited us inside. Then, tightly shut the door behind us.
"Ah? I need to come too?"
"This is part of the job of a Cooking Attendant too!”
Looking at his panicked appearance, I feel like I got a little bit of revenge. But it seems that this "Master Attendant" still felt the need to show some "backbone."
"Looking down on me now? Back in my heyday, I’ve eaten so many things, seen so many people; this little thing is… hmph...!"
Suddenly, there was a loud noise in the underground cellar.
“Thump! Thump! Growl!!!”
I was shocked. But when I looked back, "Master Attendant" had already sneaked into an empty barrel, trembling inside of it.
“This kind of behavior can make anybody look down on you.”
I don't care about him anymore. I followed the sound and fumbled forward.
The wine cellar was very dark. The oil lamp, originally hanging at the door, had a weak flame from burning so long. Its dim light only let me barely see a small ladder.
When the last glimmer of light slowly faded away, I came to a room that seemed to be empty.
Then, with the sound of heavy breathing, I can almost predict how terrible the next battle will be. I clearly don't have this kind of experience.
“Uwaaaa!! Who’s there?”
The slightly hoarse voice sounded drunk. Was is the Fallen Angel who just talked? Just as I hesitated in my answer, an oil lamp in the other side of the room was lit up. It was a person with white hair and red horns; it wore a smirking face as it sat upon a stack of barrels. Perhaps calling it a Fallen Angel is better.
IV. Songstress Of The Future
"Ahahaha! Lucky me! I’m Aizen, you wanna drink?" This Fallen Angel, who’d caused all this trouble to the winery’s owner, was now introducing itself and inviting me to join its private cocktail party. But...
"This isn’t right? Why are you here?"
"Why? Obviously because there’s good liquor here. I’ve had a hard journey from a faraway place. It’s not easy to find a place like this. I won’t quit my drinking until I’ve had enough!"
It seems this guy is enjoying its discovery. But that brings trouble to the owner. Fortunately, it seems to be a talkative Fallen Angel. Maybe I can persuade it to stop.
“What? You want me to leave?”
"I’m really not a fighting expert. But I have to do this to help the winery’s owner. Please, I’m begging you!"
"Ah? Based on what I heard from you, can you find me a place with more wine?"
"I can’t...but if you need something, then I’ll try my best. As long as I can do it!"
“Give me some wine.”
"...why do all of the people I meet love drinking so much! Do you have nothing else to do but this?"
"Oh ho, what you say is very interesting. What I seek is, of course, to always keep on drinking. Besides, what else can you give me to pursue other than this? Do you have it?"
"Me...? Uh… I want to be a singer. That's why I came..."
"Singer? Is it a person who can drink without worry?"
I don’t know why- when I mentioned the singer, I couldn’t help but start talking about my dream with this Fallen Angel. From how I suddenly had this whimsical dream to why I worked hard because of that. For a time, I forgot that I came here to chase this guy away, not chat with it.
"Singer, huh? How powerful is it?"
"Know that singing is a voice that can pierce people’s hearts. I dare say that even if you just listen, you’ll definitely understand that feeling!"
"Oh? Then can you sing a song for me?"
Aizen’s sudden proposal stunned me.
"I said I want you to sing a song for me. Let me hear it. If it’s good as you said, then I’ll agree to leave. How’s that?"
Singing... Of course, I can. But I don’t have a little guitar with me now. Will it work if I just sing?
Looking at Aizen’s expectant expression, I finally decided to give it a try. Although this is my first time singing, as long as I can sing like the traveling singer, it definitely won’t be a problem!
"Spring, spring is coming~ flowers are blooming~ birds are flying happily~ rivers, rivers... la la la la la la la la la ~".
I clapped my hands to the rhythm and tried to remember the way the traveling singer sang. Although it didn't feel right, it was my first time. It’s not bad that I can sing like this... maybe…
I comforted myself a lot. Then I secretly took a peek at Aizen. It just quietly stared as I sang. In the end, my voice got softer and softer, because I didn't really know how to continue singing.
"H… how is it?"
I put my hand down and waited for Aizen’s reaction. For a while, it was silently rubbing its chin.
"Well... just like you said, it seems like there’s a bit of feeling... but it’s quite fun to watch you sing!"
"Fun? You should say it’s ‘pleasant’ to listen to!"
"Hey - looking at how hard you’ve worked, I was too embarrassed to say no. Anyways, now that I’ve had enough booze, I’ll find a new place to sleep.”
Aizen confirmed. Then, it slammed the ceiling with its drunken body and immediately drilled out, disappearing in no time.
“…you should at least use the door.”
Anyways, I succeeded. The noise created by Aizen down in the wine cellar when it left shocked the winery’s owner. After they found out that the wine cellar was now completely safe, he was really overjoyed and thanked me many times.
After all, in their opinion, I used brute force to defeat the Fallen Angel.
Even the guitar craftsman now looked at me with different eyes. He received a reward from the owner as my "Master Attendant," and was invited to go to the winery and have a good drink. Of course, before this, he promised to fix my little guitar. In this way, I can really sing and perform like a traveling singer!
V. Apple Pie
“Master Attendant! Mas-Ter-At-Ten-Dant!” A small figure, wearing a straw hat and holding a cute little guitar, looked everywhere in the restaurant.
"Really, why do you want to hide from me? I worked so hard to write a song for you. Is this how little you appreciate?"
This little girl shouted out her questions. But the restaurant was still quiet.
"...sigh. Hey, how did someone drop a hundred gold coin here?"
"Oh, that's mine!"
The one suddenly popping out from the counter and claiming the coin was the Cooking Attendant the little girl had been looking for.
“Oh, Master Attendant! You finally want to hear my singing now?”
"No, no, Apple Pie. You misunderstood me- I came here to find my money.”
“What? Is there anything bad in my song?”
“Bad or not, have you ever asked someone else?”
"Let me tell you this. My voice can even vanquish the Fallen Angel from before. And there’s a guitar maker who appreciates it!"
"Yes, using it to deal with the Fallen Angel is good... What about the guitar craftsman? What did he say after listening to it?"
"After that? Well, he quickly escaped. I don't know where he went...Why are you asking these kinds of things? Come here, take a seat.”
Apple Pie brought out a picnic cloth and made it into a rope shape. She forcefully tied her Master Attendant and pinned him to the stool.
"Come and appreciate the new song I created for you, Master Attendant. I named it, 'The Soul-Piercing Melody'!"