|“||Honest and virtuous. I can spot a liar from a mile away.||”|
Cheerful, straightforward, with a spring in his step. Sometimes he gives people a feeling of unpredictability, but that's not something he dwells on. He's a man of his word, and he despises lies. He has a natural sensitivity to them, and if he senses you've lied, he can become somewhat terrifying.
In hot summer months, Nagashi Somen is the best choice for a cool, refreshing feeling and a full belly. In Japan, regional Nagashi Somen ceremonies are frequently held, and they've even set a world record.
How to Acquire
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|Contract||Attendant, where are you looking? I'm here! Hehe... I'm Nagashi Somen, and I hope to learn a lot from you!|
|Log In||Hey! Attendant, what a coincidence meeting you here. Have any plans today? I can go with you!|
|Ice Arena||Hahaha! This place is really cool. Attendant, are we going to stay here together?|
|Skills||It's those liars who were in the wrong first!|
|Ascend||As long as I'm with you, there's nothing I can't do.|
|Fatigue||At times like these, I just can't bring myself to say goodbye...|
|Recovering||I'm back, Master! Did you miss me~?|
|Team Formation||Don't worry, just leave it to me!|
|Notice||Attendant, the food is finished! Can I try a bite?|
|Idle 1||Why is it, do you think, that people tell lies? It clearly only brings suffering...|
|Idle 2||Dear Heaven, thank you again for today, and for another chance to be by my Attendant's side.|
|Idle 3||Living life free as the wind is the best! Right, Attendant...?|
|Interaction 1||I'll never tell a lie, even if it means never saying another word again. I'll absolutely never deceive anyone.|
|Interaction 2||Don't lie to me, Master Attendant!|
|Interaction 3||A-- Attendant? Are you hurt? ...Don't cry, Attendant, you know I can't bear to see you cry the most.|
|Pledge||I... actually always felt grateful that I'll never get sick or die... this way I can do anything that you want. I can be with my Master Attendant, together always.|
|Intimacy 1||Nothing! ~I was just thinking about how lovely you look when you smile! Hehe~|
|Intimacy 2||You don't need to force yourself to be so candid. I only hope that you won't say anything that you don't truly feel.|
|Intimacy 3||Why do I need a reason to like you? Master Attendant, you'll always be the most important person to me.|
|Victory||Attendant, have you been waiting for me to come back? Hehe...|
|Defeat||Don't look this way...|
|Feeding||Wow! Attendant, how did you know I was hungry?! Thanks!|
I. Noodle Shop
“One somen plus one onsen egg!” “Gotcha!” “Granny, where’d you get this kid? A hard worker, this one!” “Hehe, isn’t he! Lil’ ol’ me just had a stroke of luck.”
Granny passed the bowl of noodles to me, and I served it to the customer on a tray.
“Your somen and onsen egg’s great!” “Thanks!”
I wiped the sweat off my brow, taking another tray off Granny’s hands.
“Granny! You take a break please, I’ll handle it!” “Don’t sweat it, lil’ ol’ me can handle some bowls! Hey, watch it! Did’ya get burnt?”
I blew on my hand, the red patch of scalding from soup becoming increasingly visible. But Granny didn’t scold me, instead retrieving a wet handkerchief and pressed it against my hand.
The day I met Granny, she was alone in these mountains with a basket, picking some wild greens. The slopes weren’t steep, but nevertheless quite treacherous for the elderly. When she almost tripped, I couldn’t help but move forth to brace her.
Granny’s an empty nester, her son always away and traveling. Always hanging around the mountains, I was considered a child of Granny’s.
“Kiddo, you’re a good boy, but you’re so impulsive!” “Ain’t it ‘cus I’m worried about Granny, hehe.” “Your hand alright?” “It’s alright! Can’t let the customer wait!”
A frequenter of the restaurant looked in our direction with interest, making me smile with embarrassment.
“You two’re so close, you’re almost exactly like Granny’s son was.” “That so! What was Big Bro Hui like?” “Real energetic, that boy!” “As if he can compare to Nagashi Somen here! That kid learnt himself some skills and ditched, I can count the days he’s at home in a year on one hand!”
Even though Granny mocks her traveling son, the wrinkles in her eyes show her pride deep down.
The village wasn’t very big, and ours was the only restaurant here.
Granny’s a really great person, she always makes a few extra bowls after closing shop, distributing them to the orphans and lonely elderly in the village. Big Bro Hui naturally inherited this kindness too, studying medicine under a teacher. And the time he spent at home lessened.
But even so, it wasn’t anything bad. It’s what the smiles of Big Bro Hui and Granny are telling me.
I love this lifestyle, just like I love this village, this restaurant, and Granny.
II. Go or Stay
Even in her old age, Granny ran the restaurant. She often said with a smile, that if Big Bro Hui ever returned, she’ll make him a bowl of his favorite noodles.
In the eyes of Granny, Big Bro Hui was strong, brave, witty; any positive trait you could think of, he had it. That’s why he won’t hesitate to put himself forward if his help was needed.
Having endured through harsh times, Granny knew that in times of despair, the helpless wish for only the guiding arm of strength to take them by the hand. That’s why Granny didn’t hold Big Bro Hui back when he decided to leave.
But lately, I couldn’t help but remember his words to me when he left. “Do you really have to go? Granny’s getting old…” “So you think I’m in the wrong too?” “‘Too’? Who else is there?” “Myself…” “Why are you still leaving then?” “I want to be by the side of those who need my help.” “But…” I wanted to tell him that “Granny needed you too~” The lights in Granny’s room only go out late in the night after he returns, even when she has to open the restaurant early next day. Can’t he tell? No, surely he knows… Why else would he look so sorrowful?
“Don’t worry, I’ll write home often. Don’t look so sad, I’m just going to be a military medic, I’ll be alright.” Master Attendant fastened his luggage, turning to leave. “If only the wars will end…”
Came the faint mumbling of his voice, though it was crystal clear in my memories. Even his silhouette vanishing in the distance filled me with fear.
But why? I’ve hardly seen that silhouette, yet I felt like I won’t get to see it ever again……
“Nagashi Somen, what’s wrong? You don’t look too well.” Granny dried her hands on her apron, standing beside me, worry written over her face.
“...No, it’s nothing, just a tad tired.” Nothing has changed, yet Granny looked really uneasy as well. “Big Bro Hui, no letters from him today either?”
“That kiddo’s always been like that, must’a forgotten.” Granny said with a smile. “Right, let’s close shop early today, take it easy at home! Granny’ll make you yer favorite dishes!” “Ok!”
I pinned this feeling of unease on Big Bro Hui’s missing letter. Only when that wounded, sorrowful man came to our doorstep did my premonition come to fruition.
Silence settled over us as we made eye contact. With confusion and disbelief, my gaze focused on the white envelope and sack of gold coins in his hands. The man lowered his head with remorse, thrusting the sack of coins to me. This man, imposing and soldierly, crumpled before me in tears.
“If it weren’t… If it weren’t to protect me, he wouldn’t have died to that fallen angel…”
Uncomfortably settled into a daze of grief, I was snapped back by the words “fallen angel” and widened my eyes in shock.
“What! Fallen angels?! What happened to ‘everything will be fine’! Weren’t there the protection of other Master Attendants and food souls?!” I stepped forward, gripping the man’s shoulders.
“Yes…” “Then how…!” “... But there were too many enemies.”
Seeing his expression, I knew I couldn’t put the blame on anybody. Neither having stopped him from going nor went with him to protect him, I wasn’t in any position to speak. But Granny? If Granny heard about this, how would she feel?
Forcing myself to calm down, we pieced together the full story from both of our views.
Big Bro Hui wasn’t a simple military medic as he told me. He went onto the battlefield, and even though it wasn’t against fallen angels, the dangers of a sudden ambush were still present. Yet he didn’t allow me to go with him, having pondered it, he decided I should stay with the village, where I’m more needed.
Compared to himself, he’d rather have the safety of the village. Compared to Granny, he’d rather go to distant lands to save more people. He once told the man, that it’s precisely due to my presence that he steeled his nerves to go. Is it so that I can accompany Granny? But to Granny, we’re worlds apart.
When Big Bro Hui left, I wondered many times, was there truly no other choice?
“Hui told me at the end, please don’t let his mother know.” The man said suddenly. Only then did the issue plaguing me all this while resurface. Having awaited the return of her son for so long, will Granny be able to take it?
“I’ve thought long and hard, and I still think it can’t help to hide it from her, so I came to tell…” “Don’t! Please, don’t tell Granny about this, at least for now…” “Eh?” “I’ll tell Granny in your stead.”
Seeing Granny smiling gently in the restaurant, my grip on the bereavement money and the condolence letter tightened. I had to find a suitable time, a time when I won’t hurt Granny. Seeing the man vanish into the distance, I made up my mind.
“Who was that just now? Not a customer?” Granny came to my side and asked.
“Nope, nothing to it, just a lost traveler.” I hid the money and letter behind my back and smiled.
“That so, you gotta remember to offer him some water next time, weather’s hot…”
Granny didn’t see through my panicked facade, and I heaved a sigh of relief. Only then did I realize, with one lie came innumerable more.
Everything went smoothly, and Granny didn’t suspect a thing.
Every morning, she opened up shop and prepared the ingredients for the day. After sundown, we cleaned up after the last customer leaves. Granny beaming smile always washed away the exhaustion of the travelers. Once she finds out about Big Bro Hui’s death, that smile will surely fade. That’s why, even one more day…
My decision was right… right?
The days went by without disturbance. Sometimes I’d find Granny sitting at the doorstep, gazing up at the sky.
But, good thing is, I found out she was just worried about the ongoing war and I let go of a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
I went to a neighboring village to stock up on ingredients, and I returned to not Granny, but rather a worried frequenter.
Once he spotted me, he dashed towards me anxiously.
“You’re finally back Nagashi Somen! Granny got a letter and headed to the town outskirts with all the money in the counter! Go check on her!”
Hearing that, I dropped everything and ran towards the outskirts.
At the border, I found Granny with her back arched, pleading at the officers.
“Look Mr. Officer, this is all this old woman here’s got… Please, can’t you just… please…” “No! Don’t think of seeing your son if you’re missing so much as a penny!” “Mr. Officer… Please, he’s my only son…”
Seeing Granny kneeled before them, I rushed forward to brace her and hold her hand.
“Granny! What is this!” “Nagashi Somen! Hui, Hui’s committed war crimes, he owes a lot of money, or else he’ll be executed! Please help me convince this officer!”
“How can it be! Master Attendant’s…” I didn’t know what crimes they were speaking of, and neither did Granny, presumably. But I knew that they were lying. I wanted to reveal the truth, but my words were caught in my throat. Seeing Granny so anxious, I didn’t know how to put it.
The two officers kicked Granny aside and counted the money. I wanted to take the money back, but Granny wouldn’t let go of me. Whilst I held my tongue, their words struck me with grief.
“Heh, didn’t think a dead guy was gonna fetch us this much.”
Hearing that, Granny’s eyes widened and pushed forward to grab the officer.
“What dead guy? What happened to Hui?” “Why don’t you ask that food soul there! Hahahaha!”
Their cackling sent waves of ice tumbling over me. I wanted to square with them, but my legs were frozen under Granny’s distraught gaze.
“Nagashi Somen! Tell me! What’s going on!” “..........” “Hahahahaha, your son’s LONG DEAD! Bet that food soul you’ve been raising has been hiding that from you and hasn’t even given you the bereavement money!”
“No, I…” I couldn’t believe I was about to defend myself. I lied to Granny.
“Old fart, I’d recommend you get that money from him soon, that’s what’s left of your son’s life! I’ll take this as payment for telling you that! Hahahaha…”
No! I had! All the bereavement money swapped out for loose change, and put it in Granny’s stash bit by bit! This isn’tー
Yet Granny couldn’t hear my wails anymore…
I should have known sooner, that once a lie is told, innumerable more follow. I can’t consider it a fluke, making myself think that there was a way for Granny to not hurt.
Really, I’ve always been afraid of myself. But I’ve let myself forget… No matter the intent, lies can only bring misfortune.
V. Nagashi Somen
After that, the wandering Nagashi Somen met Raindrop Cake’s master attendant by chance.
This human was just like Big Bro Hui, an optimistic and passionate person. He brought Nagashi Somen, still scared out of his wits, back to his house, drying his hair with a towel.
“You’ll fall ill like this!” “......”
Under the care of Raindrop Cake’s master attendant, Nagashi Somen slowly regained a bit his vigor. Raindrop Cake’s master attendant, on the other hand, had learnt from word of mouth from his village of Nagashi Somen’s past that he so desperately wanted to forget.
Once upon a time, someone he knew left this world because of a lie with good intentions. To maintain this lie, he told more lies to others.
As if to mock him, others used this same lie to hurt the old lady who always took care of him. Unable to take the shock of her son’s death, the kind old lady passed away too.
At the sight of the lifeless old lady, Nagashi Somen took a harsh blow. He knew lies weren’t going to change a thing, yet he still lied to the old lady.
If he hadn’t told the lie and told the old lady the truth in the beginning, she wouldn’t have learnt of his master attendant’s death in such circumstances. The old lady wouldn’t have died so tragically before him either.
After that, Nagashi Somen no longer donned his carefree and joyful smile, he clenched his fist, eyes wrinkling with sadness. “I’ll never tell a lie, even if I have to stay silent, I’ll never deceive others again…”
Hearing this, the smile on Raindrop Cake’s master attendant’s face complicated for a moment. But he couldn’t come up with a reply.
Under the care of Raindrop Cake’s master attendant, Nagashi Somen began helping him run his business. In contrast to the quiet Raindrop Cake, Nagashi Somen quickly picked up everything about the business. Busy with work, he slowly pulled himself together.
Afterward, he returned to his village. For Granny, for his master attendant, he wanted to protect the favorite village of theirs.
He occasionally visited Raindrop Cake’s village too and chatted with Raindrop Cake’s master attendant. They were like brothers, keeping no secrets from each other. It’s then that his buddy asked him for a favor, to cheer up Raindrop Cake.
It’s for that reason he always tells that to the ever-melancholic Raindrop Cake. “Even though it’s said that Food Souls exist to battle Fallen Angels, but our abilities are still limited, that’s why we just have to give it our all doing what we can.”
Nagashi Somen chose to stay optimistic, wishing that his present life won’t be shattered by lies no matter what.
Nagashi Somen’s smile and words moved Raindrop Cake. His smile overlapped with his master attendant’s for a moment, an extremely touching scene.
As he hoped, Raindrop Cake found the will to move forth. Raindrop Cake’s master attendant was delighted when they talked about the change in attitude as well.
“Everything’s improving.” Even though Raindrop Cake’s master attendant was getting thinner from always traveling, he was inclined to believe the words of the energetic and optimistic man before him.
He won’t tell a lie. Nagashi Somen believed firmly. Then he won’t witness another tragedy…
He thought his peaceful life would continue. And when everything shattered, it felt unreal.
It was raining and Nagashi Somen had open his red oilpaper umbrella, not unlike an old friend visiting after years, arriving at the little village deep in the cherry blossom woods.
But the chaotic mess that remained of the village left him petrified, and he dashed to see if they were safe, if he could just find them a moment sooner.
When he found the man he was looking for in the ruins, he was collapsed lifelessly in the mud, Raindrop Cake by his side. Those empty, distraught eyes; Nagashi Somen could never hope to forget the very expression Granny held.
A feeling of unease welled up. Nagashi Somen tried many times to question the dazed Raindrop Cake, but he just kept repeating himself.
“How did this happen! What happened?” “I… I killed Master Attendant… I killed everyone…” “That can’t be! You couldn’t have killed everyone! What happened to him! He was fine before, how could he… how could he…”
No, was he… really fine before? The details he missed flashed in his mind, yet no connections formed. He wanted to know just what he missed, just what caused this cold, lifeless corpse to be all that remained of the man. His unease and terror told him something must have been missed. But he could tell that he wasn’t going to get the answer from Raindrop Cake.
Sadness, anger, dissatisfaction; All sorts of negative emotions burst out of Nagashi Somen, all melding together. He understood more than anyone how Raindrop Cake felt, at the same time unable to forgive him, unable to forgive the Raindrop Cake spiraling into a pit of self-blame, unable to forgive the Nagashi Somen who told the lies back then.
Trying his best to regain control of his emotions, his carefree smile no longer showed as he gripped Raindrop Cake’s collar tight and glared at him coldly.
“Look at me! Tell me! Just what happened?!” No matter how much Nagashi Somen yelled, there came no response from Raindrop Cake. “He would never want to see you like this! You know that! Answer me!”
“Next time we meet, I hope we can have a proper conversation.”
Seeing the soulless Raindrop Cake, Nagashi Somen’s past flashed before his eyes. He wanted Raindrop Cake to pull himself together, yet he found himself trapped by his own demons too. At that moment, he realized he was unable to save Raindrop Cake, who had sunk into the same pit he did.
The storm beats down on the ruins. All that remains is the soulless husk of Raindrop Cake, along with a red oilpaper umbrella meagerly attempting to shield him from the rain.