Chapter 48 – Bath
“Once more, let me thank you and formally introduce myself. I am the Ruler of Winberg, Ranzelf Forde Winberg. For removing that curse placed on me, I thank you. Also, like before just call me Ranze.”
(Note: For those who have forgotten, Ranzelf or Ranze is the middle-aged man he chatted with in coffee shop Accoriente in Ch 34)
『Thank you very much!』
Right now, I’m in a so-called audience chamber, and everyone lowered their heads to me.
“No, it’s fine, so! Please raise your heads!”
On Earth, no one had lowered their heads to me in gratefulness, so I ended up feeling bad.
(Note: Not sure about the last part)(TLC 恐縮 is like feeling bad for receiving kindness)
“You say that, but do you know Seiichi? You saved me, a king, you know!”
“That might be the case, but please stop it! I’m going to mentally die!”
“It’s that bad?!”
As they somehow understood how desperate I was, everyone raised their heads for me.
And this time, with a slightly serious expression, Ranze-san says,
“However, I am obligated to at least give some sort of reward to you.”
“Eh?! Bu-but like I said, I don’t particularly――”
Hearing me repeat myself, Ranze-san smiled wryly.
“Well, I understand that you did it out of goodwill. However, doing nothing and just saying『Okay, goodbye』when a country’s king has been saved is out of the question. That’s why Seiichi. You can request something that you want. If it is within my power to, I shall grant you whatever you wish. That’s how much meaning your actions hold.”
I didn’t know how to reply to Ranze-san words.
I don’t really understand it very well, but nations have to keep up appearances, so thinking about it, just declining for the sake of my own convenience is a bit…
As I was thinking about how to deal with this situation, I suddenly remembered something.
“Umm… In that case, there is one thing.”
“Sure, what is it?”
“Please help me with training my magic and skill.”
Besides me, everyone tilted their heads in confusion at my proposal.
“It might sound strange, but… The truth is I can’t handle my magic or skills well. To be specific, I can’t precisely adjust the strength, I’m at the mercy of my skills and magic, and so on… In any case, I can’t use them properly at all. That’s why, since there happen to be several experts in their fields, it would be nice if they could teach me～? Or so I thought…”
I don’t think it could be helped that my speech had gradually lost its momentum towards the end. After all, everyone was staring at me with dumbfounded looks on their faces.
‘For example, although Louise can’t use any attack skills, I thought she could still teach me her body movement technique, but… After all, she is known as the country’s greatest combat power, so maybe that wouldn’t be allowed?’ was what I nervously thought inside.
“Shishou… You’re still striving to get stronger… I respect that.”
“Hm… Seiichi-kun’s drive to improve himself is impressive.”
“Being able to use magic at such a level, yet still being unsatisfied… I still have a long way to go.”
Huh? They have an unnecessarily positive impression of what I just said. Even though I just stated the truth.
Their reaction was so good that it made me feel silly about worrying in the first place.
Then, Ranze-san called out to Florio-san and Louise.
“The two of you shall assist Seiichi in his training. Hey, it’ll be good stimulation for the two of you, too.”
“”Yes! As you wish.”
Oh… It was given the OK after all. No, I’m happy about it, but you know?
My concerns really ended up as needless anxieties.
This time it was I that was dumbfounded, and so the two siblings in front of me, Floria-san and Louise approached me.
“Shishou. I would like to learn together with you too so I will be in your care.”
“Me too, I’m interested in your peculiar magic. Well, the magic that dispelled the curse on His Majesty seems to be a unique magic that neither I nor anyone else could replicate, but… Even so, this could be a good stimulus for my magic. I’ll be in your care.”
And so, I was able to find the necessary teachers to help me learn to manage my power.
“Yosh! Well then, leaving the formal stuff aside for now… Seiichi! You should go take a dip in the bath here!”
At Ranze-san sudden proposal, I let out a dumb-sounding voice.
“This city doesn’t have any public baths after all… Seiichi, you haven’t taken a single proper bath since you came here right?”
”Eh? Ah, yes.”
Certainly, much less since I’ve arrived in this city, I haven’t had a chance to take a proper bath since I’ve come to this world… By those words alone, I’m hella filthy, but I can just clean myself with magic.
But not getting that refreshing sense from bathing, is quite regrettable.
“Well don’t think too hard about it! Just get in.”
Although I was worried for a moment about how my hair is black, I realised it was a bit late since I just remembered that when Rurune changed into human form, I had already taken the robe off.
“Then… I’ll take you up on your offer.”
And so I decided to take a bath. I mean, if you’re a Japanese you’ll understand it right? Baths are the best after all.
After that, the talk turned into Ranze-san coming along into the bath, and so he personally guided me to where it was.
The changing room was already about the size of a public bath on Earth, so while I was being overwhelmed by the spaciousness and grandeur, Ranze-san quickly stripped off his clothes and headed for the bath.
I also hastily took off my clothes, and put my feet into the bath.
As I entered, I was shocked by its magnificence.
Of course, there was a Merlion-like statue, from which water was gushing out, and there was a water fountain in the bath as well.
Looking around, I saw a Jet Bath and an electric bath just being there like it was normal, something which can also be found in bath houses on Earth. …It was likely to have been created with magic… Magic is really versatile, isn’t it?
As I was unintentionally astounded, Ranze-san came over.
“Oi oi, don’t just stand there staring, hurry up and get in the――”
Seeing Ranze-san suddenly stopped and his eyes opened wide in shock, I tilted my head in confusion.
“…Yo-you have quite an excellent thing…”
“Where the heck are you looking at?!”
I quickly covered up my lower half.
Even though I expected him to be talking about my black eyes and hair if anything!
Just when I was exposing a foolish side of myself to him by covering up my lower half while we’re nude, Ranze-san nodded with a convinced expression.
“I see… With such a splendid tool in your arsenal, no wonder you’re popular… This is the first time I’ve seen something of your class.”
“That’s wrong! Leaving aside the matter of me being popular or not, that’s definitely wrong!”
I’m not an exhibitionist of the guild, I wouldn’t be showing it as if it were a natural course of action right?!
While I was heating up before even entering the bath from feeling ashamed, Ranze-san laughed it off with a「My bad」before getting into the bath.
Before entering the bath, I poured some water over myself, washing away my shame to some extent before I got in.
“Ah… …Aaaaaaaaaaaaah… …This feels so good…”
I wonder why. When you enter a bath, that ends up getting said reflexively, right?
“Hey, Seiichi. It seems like you are quite familiar with bathing. On this continent、normally only the nobles and royalty have baths. Is it different in the Eastern countries?”
“Eh? Ah, well… Something like that, I guess.”
Sorry to every one of the Eastern countries. I told him some random customs.
But, the thing about me being used to baths, is probably because of me being Japanese.
Foreign countries back on earth seem to not have a habit of soaking in baths, but it doesn’t seem to be the case in this world.
When you’re busy, I think showers are fine, but when fatigued from a hard day of work, then soaking in hot water is really the way to go. Baths are the best.
As the bath was so comfortable, my facial muscles relaxed to a slovenly state, and at that moment Ranze-san said with a serious face,
“You know, I… Someday, not just this in this city, but even in the many towns and villages of this country, I want to build public baths. No, not just in this country. I wanna have all kinds of people know that such an amazing thing exists. Doesn’t matter which country or race they are from. However, with all these pointless wars nowadays, I don’t have the time, and embarrassingly enough, I don’t have the money either.”
“Even so, I dream that someday, people from all kinds of countries can stop warring, and take baths together while naked, just like this.”
“You can call me an idealist, or a dreamer, or whatever. But what’s wrong with talking about my dreams? It’s not about whether or not you can realise it, but just by having dreams, you can put in the effort to move, even just a little, toward that direction. After all… You only get to live once. Reckless, impossible, bring it on! You’ll lose out if you don’t dream right?!”
Ranze-san laughed as he said so.
“Ahhh… I acted really out of character there. …As expected, baths are amazing. They can even exposure your true feelings… Well, I, too got somewhat troubled and wanted to complain a little anyways. Just forget about it.”
To the Ranze-san who said that sounding somewhat lonely, I replied.
“…Invite me to have a bath again sometime. At that time, I’ll try inviting some of my acquaintances from the guild too.”
The Ranze-san who was stunned by what I said――.
Finally smiled at the very end.
Zakir Gilford was walking in Tsezaar Castle with a fierce look on his face.
Then, men in luxurious armour unlike that which Zakir was wearing came from the opposite direction.
Seeing that, Zakir’s frown deepened further.
Gradually, the distance between Zakir and the men was reduced, until the head of the group of men noticed Zakir.
That man had darkish blond hair, and red eyes also containing the colour of contempt. Although he had a handsome face, his horrible personality was oozing out of him, and he had a constant expression as if looking down on people.
”Oh~? Why why, if it isn’t the country’s strongest Zakir-kun～.”
Zakir tried to do a light nod and pass through, but the group of men walked into his path and blocked him.
“Why so cold, aren’t you and I comrades?”
“…What is it.”
Zakir felt disgusted inside.
――Leader of the first unit of the Kaiser empire, Aurius Fencer.
That was the name of the man, who picked a fight with Zakir whenever anything happened.
“No no, I don’t particularly have business with you or anything, but… Nn～, I’ve heard a rumour. Of all things, that ≪Shien (Death Smoke)≫ targeted His Majesty.”
“Furthermore, without being able to capture ≪Shien (Death Smoke)≫, you let him escape… Oh dear, the ≪King’s Blade≫ sure has fallen far.”
At Aurius’ words, the other men sneered.
Ignoring those men, Zakir once again tried to move away from them, but Aurius pulled Zakir around by his shoulder and whispered in his ear.
“That’s what happens when the likes of you commoners get full of yourselves. In the first place, your Second Division made up of commoners, is merely a pawn meant to be sent to exhaust the enemy before we come in to crush them.”
“Well, I’d rather not have clean up after your messes when you do poorly. Try your best to not to anger His Majesty. If you were all to disappear, then it would be troublesome for us, wouldn’t it? Fuhaha.”
No matter how much he was insulted, Zakir carried on with his deadpan expression, not even letting so much as an eyebrow twitch.
Annoyed by that attitude, Aurius clicked his tongue loudly and pushed Zakir away.
“Tsk! What a boring person. …We’re leaving, you guys.”
In the end, all Aurius did was quarrel as much as possible with Zakir before he left.
The sole remaining person, Zakir, leaned against a wall and murmured softly.
“…This sword of mine, what is it suppose to be used to protect..?”
No matter how much he stares at his hand, the answer isn’t written on it.
And then, the words of the escaped ≪Shien (Death Smoke)≫ once again came to him.
“…It was as he said. To feel joy from killing others…is messed up. It is to nurture a life that’s a hundred times harder.”
Zakir was someone, who couldn’t do much other than wielding a sword.
Through that, he was able to save many people.
But he realised, that to save one, he would only be able to do so by killing another.
And so right now, his very reason for existing was crumbling.
“――a pawn, huh.”
It held a different meaning from what Aurius had meant it to be, but still, it pierced deeply into his heart.
I――Takamiya Shouta, and everyone from my class, were spending our days at the Barbador Magic Academy, training to subjugate the Demon King.
While Zakir-san and we didn’t know, the other students arbitrarily decided by themselves, and then together with that robed old man…if I remember correctly, his name was Helio? They negotiated with him.
As a result, we were sent to this Magic Academy, learning all sorts of magic, and receiving training in the ways of the sword. I wasn’t really bothered by it, but it seems like the others were quite displeased with Zakir-san’s basic training, and because of the accumulating stress, they ran wild.
And right now I was in the middle of the discussion about being at the academy, with my childhood friend Araki Kenji and Kannazuki Karen-senpai the three of us, in the academy’s courtyard.
“…Kannazuki-Senpai, do you think alright for us to continue on like this?”
When I asked that, I could immediately tell from looking at Kannazuki-senpai’s face. …That she didn’t think it was alright.
As for a reason as to why this discussion was being held…
“If we were to continue as we are, we’ll be completely isolated from the academy.”
Yes, ever since a certain day, the relationship with the previously enrolled students have steadily gotten worse.
The reason was likely the arrogance of us heroes.
“…Who was the cause for this situation again?”
“It’s the fault of those guys who were in the same class as Seiichi, Aoyama and them.”
Kenji practically spat out those words, but Kannazuki-senpai was calmly shaking her head.
“It’s true that they might be one of the causes of it, but the main cause of it is something else. It is――”
“Oh? You there, what are you three doing over there?”
A voice suddenly interrupted us.
We all turned our eyes at the same time towards the direction of the voice and saw 3 guys standing there.
Kannazuki-senpai murmured, annoyed.
Just from looking at her behave like that, I understood everything.
…That these 3, were the main cause that Kannazuki-senpai was talking about.
“Please don’t glare like that, Kannazuki-san. It makes your beauty go to waste, you know?”
The person who said that frivolous warning without any hesitation, is Kisaragi Masaya.
A third-year student, like Kannazuki-senpai, and the leader of an idol group that flourished not just in Japan, but globally.
In truth, Kisaragi-senpai, with his silky brown hair, and his sweet looking face, continued to charm a large number of women.
And above all, he was the former captain of the soccer club. If I remember correctly, he handed over his position to the Aoyama and quit the club, with the reason that his time for playing around would shorten or something stupid like that, didn’t he?
“So? What were you talking about? We wanna join in too.”
“…This doesn’t concern you bastards.”
“Woah! Scary～! But, forcing such a fierce girl to submit is fun too.”
Being glared at by Kannazuki-senpai and showing a savage smile, was Ooyama Tsuyoshi.
With muscular sun tanned skin, the shade of mocha and red hair styled in a soft mohican.
Formerly of the Boxing club like Kenji, but he too gave a random reason and stopped attending.
Belonging to the same idol group as Kisaragi-senpai, his overflowing wildness was apparently quite popular with female students.
From behind Ooyama-senpai, a man with a Host-like hairstyle appeared.
“Tsuyoshi, don’t scare girls like that alright? Look, she’s completely afraid there.”
Spitting out a line that disgusted Kannazuki-senpai was Tougou Rento.
A long blonde hairdo that’s so gaudy it’s annoying.
His face is like the others in Kisaragi-senpai’s idol group, good looking.
But I haven’t heard any good things about him from my female friends. …But, that applies to all of the guys standing in front of me.
In front of those 3, Kannazuki-senpai glared at them with cold eyes.
But, as if he didn’t mind that, Kisaragi-senpai continued talking.
“Now, now, don’t be so cautious. We only came here out of pure curiosity. Look, if you don’t tell me…then I might just cause some trouble, alright?”
If the worst among the female group were Nojima and her friends, then among the male group it would be these guys for sure.
And associated with them, would be Seiichi’s classmate Aoyama.
Nojima’s group had a lot of bad rumours going around them on Earth, but since they’ve come to this academy, they have yet to cause any problems. Above all, if you to talk to them, they are nice enough that the rumours seem like lies.
Hearing Kisaragi-senpai’s words, Kannazuki-senpai had a bitter expression on her face for a moment, but it quickly changed back, and she straight-to-the-point replied,
“Then, shall we talk. About the reason why we’re being isolated in this academy.”
“Oh, so it’s just about that.”
Hearing what Kannazuki-senpai said, Kisaragi-senpai let out a voice that sounded bored.
“That’s obviously because of us.”
And then, he pointed his group out as though it was obvious.
“You say we’re getting isolated, but that old man…Helio-san was it? When he stated his conditions, besides sticking these bracelets on us, there was one more condition.”
“LikeーIーsaidー…he wants us to show off the power of us heroes.”
Certainly, it was something that he had said.
But, aside from equipping the bracelets, there shouldn’t have been any other condition that we needed to absolutely fulfil. Well, I don’t really understand the meaning of these bracelets either, though.
“Furthermore, don’t talk about the school, even in this world, being able to control 2 attributes is already amazing. Yet, we can use 4 you know? See, it’s this special power that sets us apart from them. Even the magic taught in class, with just a little practice, we learnt to use it casually.”
“YeahーYeahー. I had a number mock battles, but…weren’t they too much like small fries? It’s seriously hilarious. At this rate, beating the Demon King will be seriously easy.”
“Also, Helio-san even said it. Beastmen and demihumans and the like are lower lifeforms. Especially the demons, they’re the Demon King’s followers, so their lives aren’t worth anything, he said.”
“Even so…! What all of you are doing is too much!”
Kenji, tired of what his seniors were saying, shouted.
…As of late, the heroes have begun to develop a tendency of looking down on those around them, and with having obtained powers that were unthinkable of on earth too, a severe discrimination mindset had started growing.
It’s not like we directly saw the seniors do something, but we’ve seen Aoyama and his friends assault the enrolled students and stopped them.
From what I’ve heard, there was a guy who tried to take advantage of a girl by flaunting his power. Fortunately, the situation didn’t take a turn for the worse.
The seniors who pissed off Kenji had an uninterested look on their faces.
“Huh? What are you saying? We’re heroes, you know? Obviously, it’s fine no matter what we do. After all, we’re going to fight to save the world.”
“Kenji…if you get too cocky, I’ll crush you, get it?”
“Seriously cold…actually, that passion is annoying as hell.”
Truly, an explosive atmosphere.
But, Kannazuki-senpai cut into that atmosphere.
“…Whatever. Kenji, Shouta, let’s go.”
Called strongly by Kannazuki-senpai, Kenji felt reluctant but backed off.
And so, as we were passing by Kisaragi-senpai and his friends, Kisaragi-senpai said loud enough that we could hear.
“Isn’t it natural that the weak obey the strong? Even in Earth’s society, people were kicked down, used, or just crushed. That’s why we, the strong, are just using that privilege. Why can’t you even understand that.”
Kannazuki-senpai ignored that voice, and together with us, walked back towards the academy building.
Kyarasuti Art Competition
Thank you for waiting!
My Internet is safely connected, at last I have settled down a bit, so I want to resume posting new chapters.
However, I am not accustomed to university life yet, so although new chapter updates may stop, I’ll endeavour to keep on posting new chapters no matter what, please treat me well in the future.
After saving Ranze-san and it was arranged so that skill and magic training will be overseen by Louise and company, one month has already passed.
During that one month, I spent my time shopping with Saria and Al, and doing collection requests and easy subjugation requests such as slime subjugation.
Saria and Al were not told of the events within the royal castle. I promised not to after all.
But I told them that, as the prize for winning the Royal Capital Cup, I am getting some help training my skills and magic.
In this regard, for some reason Al had a grim expression, Saria also had a complicated expression. I wonder what’s the matter?
Rurune, who did not return to her donkey form since then, often tries out various food from the street stalls while walking together with me. …Though there is no need to worry about money, Rurune’s appetite is incredible. She can easily eat twice as much as me…
Anyway, though I was passing every day enjoyably, because of certain business today, I have to go out.
That business, is the Kyarasuti Art Competition.
Because Clay and May are both participating in the competition, I have to go take a look.
When I told Saria, Al, and Rurune, the three of them said they would come along, so we are now headed toward the venue together.
“Painting, huh…it’s a world that I don’t quite understand …”
Altria, who clasped her hands behind her head, grumbled.
“Hmm…I might not understand it much either. How about you, Seiichi?”
Saria who responded to the words of Altria, asked me so I answered honestly.
“No, to be honest I don’t understand it well either. Rurune doesn’t understand it either, right?”
“Eh? I do understand it though?”
Because of the unexpected reply, I involuntarily blurted out. Even though she’s a donkey …she can understand art..?!
Thereupon, Rurune stuck out her chest and answered.
“Art… basically, is a meal, right?”
“Good, she doesn’t understand.”
It is a relief that Rurune is the same as usual.
After that, having a trifling talk while walking, we have arrived to the venue of the tournament.
“It’s held here, huh…”
The place where Kyarasuti Art Competition is held, was the town square where I met May for the first time.
Usually there are many street stalls open, but today not even one was open, and instead, a huge stage and a lot of people filled the area.
“Incredible… Although I don’t think all of these people are participants, among them, a good number of them are probably painters.”
“Hey Seiichi, is it okay to not meet up with that May person?”
Al asked, as I was in a state of surprise at the sheer number of people gathered at the venue.
“It’s okay. Besides, with so many people, it will difficult to locate her right?”
Altria too floats a wry smile towards the crowd of people.
However…there is really a lot people. Probably because of that, there is a lot of incredibly strange people though.
For example, there is a person who have an appearance similar to a clown (pierrot). With this dense number of people, as one would expect, you can’t really do a performance.
In addition, there are people who put on outfits with indescribable design, people who walk around carrying bizarre sculptures and more; there are many eccentric-looking people that I’ve never seen in town gathered here.
“As expected of artists… Their desire for the limelight isn’t half-baked…”
While I’m inwardly shuddering at the surrounding people, suddenly an announcement, like the one at the royal capital cup, is heard.
“—-We’re very sorry for the wait. Without further ado, the Kyarasuti Art Competition will now begin.”
After the young man’s announcement, the people at the venue get excited.
“Wow! That’s some amazing enthusiasm!”
“You’re right… I didn’t expect this competition to be the type that would incite this level of excitement…”
I agreed with Saria as she voiced her admiration.
Al and Rurune are similarly baffled by the cheers from the surroundings.
“Well then, now I will introduce the judge of this competition. Serving as the judge of this competition, one who has established numerous methods of drawing and painting, a prodigy in painting—-Leon Berger-sama”
After hearing the voice of an announcement like that, voices of surprise can be heard from the surroundings.
“N-no way?! That [Master Painter] Leon!?”
“Not only did he spread the now popular abstract painting, but he is also the pioneer of perspective and shading technique and so forth…”
“The existence of that person, is said to have made modern painting advance by 100 years, he’s that type of person…”
At the contents whispered in a small voice, I am surprised.
These techniques are par for the course for painters on Earth, but in this world, it’s different, so if someone created techniques that even I know in this world, then that person is quite amazing.
Or rather, I feel like I’ve heard the family name Berger somewhere…
Without being able to recall where I heard it, just like the royal capital cup, in the sky by means of magic projector, one old man is projected.
That old man, who floated a gentle smile, is probably the person named Leon-san. Although he’s aged now, you can tell he was a good-looking guy in the past from his facial features.
Then, Leon-san speaks in a gentle voice.
“I look forward to your best work with all of your passion poured into it.”
An even greater level of enthusiasm enveloped the venue.
Incredible. This old man, it seems his existence is an aspiration for the painters, to such a degree.
“Leon-sama, thank you very much. Then, I let us move towards the examination immediately. Number 1, if you please.”
Thus, the Kyarasuti Art Competition began without any problems.
However, the thing that’s a bit disappointing is that since there is too much people, it is impossible to get closer to the stage, hence it’s difficult to really appreciate the work, there is no other choice but to review it by the image projected on the sky.
As for this, there is no conclusion to come to but that it can’t be helped.
As we were watching the projection in the sky, a bunch of different artworks were shown. Among them, there were some drawings of landscapes that were so realistic they could be mistaken for the real thing, as well as some that were hard to understand like Clay’s; there was quite a variety.
And so, Leon san politely evaluated each and every one of them, and talked about both what was good and what was bad about it.
Since it wasn’t just the bad parts that were being pointed out, but also the good parts as well, each participant that was being evaluated seemed very moved.
“――Well then, it’s come down to the last two people. Then, next person, if you please.”
And so, after that was announced, The one who appeared on stage, with a dignified manner of walking, was Clay.
…Ahh, I see! I was wondering where I had heard that family name, it’s the same same as Clay’s!
Realizing it a bit too late, I was in a state of surprise, and I overheard some voices coming from my surroundings.
“He is the [Master Painter]’s grandson…”
“I suppose that confidence he’s showing is to be expected then.”
“Hmm… What kind of piece is he going to show..?”
Everyone put their attention to Clay’s work.
I don’t really understand Clay’s art, but that probably can’t be said about the surrounding artists.
As I was thinking that, I watch Clay, who’s projected onto the sky.
Then, what appeared was a work that was twice the size of Clay’s height in length and width, covered in a cloth.
“I-isn’t that a bit big? The other paintings were much smaller right?”
Asked Al next to me, in response to the hugeness.
…I’ve only known him for a short time, but I’ve come to know that Clay carries a large amount of confidence, so for me, it wasn’t really a surprise.
“Clay Berger-san, please give us the name of your work.”
Prompted by the announcement, Clay confidently revealed the name of his work and tore off the cloth that was covering it.
“The name of my painting, is, [Art]!”
Underneath the cloth was a completely red sun drawn over a pure white canvas.
Yes, it was a [Sun].
“A-a drawing from that Clay is…actually decent?!”
“… I wonder why. Right now, I feel like I’m being made fun of…”
Giving slight notice to the projected Clay, who had complicated expression as he murmured that, I was truly surprised.
I mean, this was a guy says that a triangle was [During a sunset, watching the setting sun as the maiden thinks about him] you know?
But right now, projected in front of me is an enormous sun, burning up in pure red.
“Seiichi. Your friends actually draws some amazing paintings.”
“Yeah yeah! It’s a wonderful sun!”
Al and Saria were also surprised at Clay’s art.
“Hmmmmm…to me it just looks like an apple…”
Rurune-san. That’s just you.
But still, a sun drawn onto a pure white canvas… It’s almost like the flag of Japan.
Even though I end up thinking that, there’s probably no one here who would understand that.
“Clay-san. Now, please introduce your work.”
“Very well! For starters, included in this piece is my ideal in regards to art! The hot burning ideal… It’s like the flames of a matchstick right?”
That’s a seriously small scale ideal..!
Wait, you’re saying that’s not a sun?! At that size, it’s just a matchstick flame?! Even though looking at it, it’s a sun?! Even though you even carefully drew out the sun flares!
“With that said, my painting is different from everyone else’s in that there isn’t a single useless part drawn into it. This pure white canvas is my body, and this match flame in the middle is my passion for art.”
“I-I see… In my eyes, I see a sun though…”
“It’s a match’s flame! I would like for you to not make that mistake.”
Clay. You are you, the same as always, huh…
Even though I thought it was a legit painting, I was in a sense relieved in the end that Clay had not changed a single bit.
And so, now, Leon san will start judging.
Leon san hadn’t spoken in a while, and so he slowly opened his mouth to speak.
“――I too, see it as the flame of a matchstick.”
In response to Leon san’s words, I retorted in my mind.
Up until now you’ve given some legit evaluations, but now you don’t have to show that you have the same blood as Clay right?!
I had an expression of amazement and once again I hear the voices of the surrounding people
“Yeah… It’s esoteric.”
“As expected of the [Master Painter]’s grandson…”
“To be able to say that that is a match flame…”
Why are you trembling?!
Am I the odd one since I’m just a normal person? Artists are scary.
While I was getting frightened by artists by myself, Leon spoke up with a gentle voice.
“Clay… You have been, since long ago, a kid who draws very honestly. Certainly, there have only been works that have been hard to understand by the people around you, but even so, your drawings have always had one of your ideals mixed into it. This time as well, even though it looks like a sun, you don’t say it is, and call it the flame of a matchstick. That is because you wanted to express that instant, where it will end up burning out soon, right?”
“As expected of grandfather… My life is not as big as the sun. But in my small life, my ideal burns violently enough that it would be mistaken for the sun… That is my art.”
That’s really deep, Leon-san!
No, it’s Clay, who drew the piece that’s amazing, huh.
From listening to Leon-san’s explanation, I somehow felt like I understood what Clay was trying to express.
…As expected, it’s a field an ordinary person like me wouldn’t be able to comprehend.
So then, does that mean the triangle painting, that I don’t even understand if it’s okay to call so, is actually a drawing of [During a sunset, watching the setting sun, a maiden thinking of him]? Crap, I don’t get it at all.
“Fufu, Clay… Your passion has been well conveyed. That’s why you should put in some effort so that you can convey that ideal to not just me, but to much more people. That is your task.”
And with that, the evaluation of Clay’s work ended.
And that means, the next person will be the last one ———.
“… Well then, at last, it’s time for the final entry. May Cherry-san, if you please.”
――It’s May’s turn.
After the announcement, though nervous looking, May appears on stage. …May, your hands and legs are coming out at the same time… (TL note: I’m guessing it’s like when your right arm and your right leg move at the same time when normally, it’s supposed to be alternating)
Following May was a work that was the same size as Clay’s, shown covered by a cloth.
Looking at May frozen stiff from nervousness, Al, beside me, spoke up with worry.
“H-hey… Is she alright? That girl. She’s making me nervous just by looking at her.”
“Ahh…yeah, you’re right. But it’s not like we can do anything about it…”
Yeah, we can’t do anything about it.
That’s exactly why, May has to get through this herself or it’s no good.
I watch May, supporting her in spirit.
“Well then, May-san. Please introduce the name of your work.”
She’s really nervous huh.
Having the announcement call out to her, May’s dog tail stood on its end and she stiffened even more.
But, May managed to ease that stiffness by her own power. She slowly took a deep breath, and calmed down her emotions.
“Thi-this is…my piece!”
The moment May tore off the cloth, there stood――.
In the same pose as the hero Napoleon’s portrait of the famous Bonaparte franchissant le Grand-Saint-Bernard by Jacques-Louis David, was me drawn straddled on Rurune in donkey form.