VendM 031: Canned Oden

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Jidou Hanbaiki ni Umarekawatta ore wa Meikyuu o Samayou
Author: Hiru Kuma

Canned Oden

The winter at Seiryu’s lakeside is quite harsh; it’s not quite to the degree of Japan’s snowy areas, but there’s regularly about 5 cms of snow piling up. Any more than this and it’s possible the accumulated snow will crush the tents, so it’s seldom that more than 1 meter of snow accumulates … I hope.

It appears that the monsters on this level hibernate deep underground for the winter and the commissions for the Hunters to subjugate them or collect materials from them are rare, so it’s standard to just hole-up in the community, is what the gatekeeper Karios revealed while eating oden.

It’s just, this year there’s the reconstruction work, so there’s no lack of work to go around the community; the Hunters who would normally migrate to other levels when winter comes have stayed here. That’s what the young shopkeeper, milk tea in one hand, told me happily.

As usual, I’m carried by Ramis to a particular spot during construction work, and in the evening I’m selling goods in front of the Hunter Association.

Before the time the food stalls close shop I only put up beverages, and after that I line up food; that’s the pattern I use. I understand that the air outside is cold, but I don’t have the function to feel temperature, so I don’t suffer at all.

A-, I’m also fine not adding a function to sense atmospheric temperature. Within the types called the next-generation in vending machines, there’s also those that measure atmospheric temperature and will suggest products based on that.

U-, it’s so cold, it’s so cold. Soup and stew, stew.”

There are few people who would come buy products out of curiosity in this violently blowing cold wind in the night. From this voice I’ve become accustomed to and seeing the current situation, there’s no doubt that’s the gatekeeper, Karios.

“Gols, what are you gonna get today?”

“Sweet tea.”

“You always get that.”

“You always get the stewed skewers too.”

So today it’s Karios and Gols who are in charge of the gates. Thank you for your hard work in this cold weather.
After the two of them bought hot products, they stuck them in their breast pockets and the pockets in their clothes for a while, and as a result of using them in place of hand warmers, they established the heat of the products a little.

“It’s warm and toasty today too, na. Thanks, Hakkon.”

“I give you my thanks.”

“Thank you very much.”

Knowing that I’m concerned about the temperature regulation, they always do this, so I give them my thanks.

Ever since I came to this community, right after Ramis, the people I exchange words with the most are probably these two. Maa, in general it’s Karios that talks; me and Gols only make responsive interjections.

The backs of the two, rounded out with thick coats and collars stood up, disappeared into the darkness. Looking at them, I wanted to be situated closer to the gate, but I refuse to leave Ramis so I want to be able to see the girls’ tents; I pass the night til morning at this fixed spot, and seldom move from it.

Every time I see those two off, I see something red enter the corner of my field of vision.
Aa, again, huh?

It’s a single woman wearing a blood-red one-piece dress. So saying, it’s not a short-sleeve dress, but a loose-fitting, long-sleeved, long-length dress; I think she’s probably wearing thick clothes underneath.

Around her neck is wrapped a scarf that’s also completely red; her shoes and gloves too are both the same red tint. But as for that woman’s face, I can’t say much.

With long, black hair that stretches down her back, her bangs reach the tip of her nose. Her mouth, which is the only thing you can see, is also lacquered with bright red rouge.

Standing still in the middle of the night with clothes all one red color is an eerie woman. It wouldn’t be weird if this was a setting where you would normally let out a scream and run away, but I can’t move, and I don’t have a function to scream, either.
And anyway – – I’ve gotten used to it.
This woman, she appears quite a lot, especially at night.

It’s already rare that I get customers at night, but with this outfit. Even if I don’t want to, I remember her. I think it’s dangerous for a woman to go walking around at night, but if you ask me whether or not there’s a person with enough courage to call out to this woman, I’d be a bit troubled for the answer.

Like always, she buys a can of oden, and then su- disappears into the darkness.

There’s a guy who’s been reincarnated as a vending machine here, so it wouldn’t be that weird if there were ghosts. However, that woman has substance, so she’s definitely living. Furthermore, the moment she takes the canned oden, her mouth floats into a smile. She might be a big oden maniac.

No matter what kind of person it is, the fact that she’s a customer doesn’t change. Furthermore, standing – – no, set-up1 like that in a place until no one’s around seems very sad and lonesome, so that calms me down.
Anyway, today seems cold as well, na.

Fuu-, dammit, even in this blasted cold, we’re on guard all night …”

“Give it up.”

Today too, the bald-headed Karios and crew-cut Gols are on guard all night. Although it’s just among the community’s guardsmen, they have quite the reputation, so on the nights that rare, dangerous monsters keep showing up, they’re often put on rotation.

“So cooold. If I had another scarf to wrap up in, I’d feel better, ze.”

“As always, it’s an unpleasant color.”

Hahn-, I don’t care about your opinion. My lucky color is red, see. A long time ago, a fortune-teller who often got things right told me that.”

Honestly, I don’t really know what to think about a grim-faced ossan wearing a bright-red scarf, but to each his own. It’s the best for the concerned party if he wears things that he likes.

“Speaking of red, there’s this rumor.”

Aa, the one about the woman in red, huh? Recently I’ve heard there’s been a lot of people saying they’ve seen her late at night. If it’s a harmful ghost, then they gotta exorcise it.”

In this world, there are ghosts, the objects of fear, but they’re existences that might need to be exterminated, huh? As expected of another world. These two people aren’t showing frightened behavior at all.

That rumored ghost is, without a doubt, that woman. I also mistook her for a ghost at first, so I fully understand why there’s that kind of rumor.

The two men took up their usual canned oden and milk tea in their hands, and quickly marched off in the direction of the gate. Right before the two’s figures disappeared, the usual red-clothed woman cut into my field of vision.

It might be a little late, but I just realized the conditions for that woman’s appearance. She always comes right after those two show up. And then, clasping the canned oden like that, she chases after those two in the direction of the gate and disappears.

As you would expect, with all this information laid before me, even I will suspect it. This red-clothed girl probably likes Karios. She buys his favorite canned oden, and she coordinates her entire outfit to the red color he said he likes.
That stalker-like mindset is scary, but she’s just watching over him from afar so she doesn’t mean any harm by it … probably.

As she motionlessly observes them, a strong, cold wind blows, and it disturbed her bangs. I gasped at the face that came into view under it.

Clear eyes and a well-shaped nose. Her expression with her cheeks dyed red is quite alluring to see. It was to the degree that I unconsciously used the vending machine security camera to record it.


Her voice, that I heard for the first time, is frail; the night wind drowned it out, but you can feel the heat of her feelings in it.

I’m certain that Karios doesn’t have a lover or wife, na. If she goes for him pretty seriously I think he’d fall for her, but it doesn’t look like this woman has the courage for that. And then there’s the matter of his own tastes, so there’s nothing I can do but warmly watch over her.

Clutching the canned oden, tottering after Karios, once again she walks off in the direction of the gate.

“Alri-ght, today’s my day off-! What should I do~.”

Raising his voice, Karios stepped up, almost skipping with merriment, and appeared in front of me. It’s the first time I’ve seen Karios in every-day wear, but, maa, it’s pretty normal, na. It’s just, the red scarf is too much; it would be best if he had an old masked hero’s mask to go with it, it looks like.

“How about going to that tools store and getting some fixtures?”

It looks like Gols is going to guard after this, so he buys milk tea in his usual outfit.

“O-, th,that’s true. Just like you said, I’ll go to the tools store!”

Are, he’s kind of sowasowa acting nervous. Staring at his reflection in the glass, he’s checking that his clothes aren’t out of order.
Seeing this, Gols let out a small “Fu-“ laugh.

“O, okaaay, then what should I bring as a small gift … a-“

“A,ara, Karios-san.”

Seeing the woman coincidentally passing by, Karios’ back *pin-to* went ram-rod straight. As for the woman, with both her hands carrying bundles, she became petrified.

“Wh,what a coincidence. I was just about to go to the tools store, you know.”

“I,is that so. I’m also just about to return there. A-, that scarf is always a beautiful red, ne.”

“Really? I actually like red.”

Karios’ tone is uncomfortably polite. Despite the cold weather, the temple of his forehead is covered in sweat. It seems like he’s quite nervous.

The woman as well, her line of sight is all over the place, and her behavior is a little suspicious, na. Are, aren’t these two giving off kind of a good vibe – – A, that woman’s face … I’ve seen it somewhere. Her bangs are pushed back with a curved headband so it’s in plain view, but it’s that red-clothed woman. I have to bring up the picture from the security camera to match it, but there’s no doubt.
Are-, could it be mutual love? What’s this, I had thought I’d give them my blessing, but for some reason, I’m kind of irritated.

“Karios, if you’re going to the tools store, then how about you take some of her stuff?”

Oo, nice follow-up, Gols.

“Th,that’s true. If you’re alright with it, would you let me carry your baggage?”

“Th, thank you very much.”

Receiving the stuff, the two of the walk away shoulder to shoulder. Watching their backs, Gols heaved a large sigh.

“Good grief, they should hurry up and get together already.”


I think so too. I voice my agreement to Gols.

Late at night, as the same two guys take their leave from in front of the vending machine, once again the red-colored woman – – the tools store’s shop attendant made her appearance. As always she clutched the canned oden, watching Karios’ back.

“Karios-sama. How should I convey these feelings?”

She is definitely a maiden in love.

According to Gols, previously in the community, there were some Hunters with nasty behavior that tried to drag her off somewhere in the dark, and it seems like Karios saved her.

With that as a trigger, somehow or other, before he knew it, he had seriously fallen for her. With his over-excited personality as a bad habit, and the woman seeming to be a late bloomer, he was unable to take the first step and it dragged on and on until it reached the situation they’re in now.

The tools store girl too, she seems to have become aware of Karios ever since the previous incident; Gols, watching from close by, wants to think of something to fix this irritating relationship.

U-n, a chance, huh. Calling out to the man would be the best, but in front of that stern face, that girl will be too nervous so she won’t be able to speak well.
That said, if she had an excuse to approach him then … naa, there’s that, isn’t there?

Haa, today as well, I’m wrapped up in your favorite red, but I can only look after your figure from behind … e-

Ignoring the girl who began to talk to herself, I changed my body. It’s the vending machine I was when I offered vegetables to the food and beverage stall owners.

“These are vegetables?”

Tilting her head in front of the daikon I’m offering, the girl opened the glass lid to the locker.

“A, e, is it ok to take this?”


Confirming the girl timidly took the daikon, now I change into egg-selling mode. And then, like before, I offer one pack of eggs.

Next, this time I drop down chikuwa (fish-paste cake). It might be a little late to say this, but the wealth of vending machine products is surprising. This is something that I found in a certain parking-lot.

And then, lastly, I returned to the usual vending machine mode, it’s a bit out there, but it’s a product I like. It’s flying fish soup stock in a plastic bottle.

This was something I discovered in vending machines in Osaka, but the flying fish made it a bit expensive – – in other words, there’s a single, whole flying fish stuck in there.

“U,um, er, to have received so many things, um, what should I do with them?”

For my last act, I drop down a canned oden. Seeing that, the woman’s eyes went wide and she stared at me. Looks like she realized it.

“You mean, these ingredients, they’re to make this stew, ne-.”


“Th,thank you so much! With this, I can make that person notice me!”

Understanding everything, the girl bowed her head towards me many times, then rushed away in a directions different than the usual gate’s direction. Seeing her earnestness, I hope it will go well, but thinking that Karios’ spring has finally come, I think it can’t be helped that I’m irritated.

“Gols, Hakkon, love is so wonderful! It’s like every day is sparkling! A, that’s right, it was yesterday. She made me her home-cooking again, and it was so good.”

A few days later, the girl made oden and invited Karios for a meal; with that as a chance, the two soon became lovers. And from then on, every day, me and Gols were subjected to listening to his fond love-talks about her.

Gols, with a face of absolute boredom from the bottom of his heart, is shooting cold stares at him, but Karios completely doesn’t realize it. Over and over and over; the fact that he doesn’t get tired of talking about her is the only thing I can praise him for. Once it’s past a little bit, it becomes an annoyance.
I am beginning to regret mediating their relationship a little.

“And so that’s how it is. A, it’s almost time to change watch guards. Then, I’ll buy my usual. It’s not as good as her home-cooking, but this is delicious in it’s own right!”

With a merry tone, like always, Karios bought the canned oden and I dropped it for him.

Hi-a-! Cooold! Wh,what the, Hakkon, it’s not hot, zo!”

Keh-. It’s chilled oden, eat up.

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  1. The raws use counter words; “one (person) – no, one (inanimate object like a table)”. I have done my best.

<t/n: Thank you Moon for your donation!
Gols + Hakkon = best wingman tagteam. And cheeky, bitter Hakkon is the best.>


  1. >This red-clothed girl probably like Karios

    >invited KArios


    Also for Wfb 61

    > what the called me

    >the girl my husband has spoke highly of

    > it would be too much trouble bring back
    to bring them


    Thank you for the chapters!


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