Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 288: The Second day, Morning
The second day of the festival.
The baseball finals and the shogi preliminaries will be taking place today.
In the morning, matches between Restia and Misumido, and Belfast and Regulus will be taking place in the first and the second stadiums respectively.
And in the afternoon, the winning teams will fight a decisive battle to decide who’s the overall champion.
There will also be a match for the third place somewhere around lunchtime before the finals. The teams will end up playing in a series of matches though. Nevertheless, restoring their fatigue will be a piece of cake for the special recovery potion made by Flora of the proud “Alchemy Building”.
On the other hand, the matches of the shogi tournament will continue from morning all the way through the evening. The number of participants is unexpectedly large, which makes timing troublesome.
Shogi usually has something that resembles an allotted time, but it’s complicated and bothersome, honestly speaking. As such, it has been decided that during this tournament a player has two minutes to make their move.
This time limit is being made possible through the use of special shogi pieces that changes their color to grey after a minute goes by. Once two minutes are up, they turn black, thus marking the defeat for the denoted player.
If the piece is raised before it becomes black, it will return to its normal color.
We’ve also prepared an hourglass with a two-minute timer for the shogi board to let players think of their moves up until the last possible moment.
Honestly speaking, I want this tournament to proceed on schedule, but there are quite a lot of participants since this tournament, in many ways, is different from baseball and martial arts tournaments. It’s mainly because Shogi is a game wherein age or gender doesn’t matter.
Several people, who pass the qualifiers today, will be forced to play with the seed participants in the main matches for tomorrow.
The assembly hall is already crowded with both participants and visitors by the time I arrive. The seed invitees, such as Doran-san from the “Silver Moon” and the disguised Boy King of Paluf, peer into the preliminary matches as if they are watching a sports game.
As for me, I don’t hold that much zeal towards shogi, so I just merrily pass time by patrolling.
A little bit earlier, one of the players overturned a board on purpose, seemingly because he was about to lose. However, our custom-made shogi board had recorded the positions of each piece right before it was overturned. As such, that person’s struggle was futile. Naturally, the perpetrator was still disqualified.
By the way, Naito-ossan, who was off-duty yesterday, is currently managing the preliminaries. Though it looks like he has a bit of a hangover.
「Ye-ep, I guess it really is undeniable that he isn’t quite sober yet」(Touya)
「Still, it looks like everyone is enjoying themselves. Look over there. That grandpa and the kid with him are happily playing the game」(Yae)
In the place Yae points at, there are certainly two people, an aged person and his grandkid, playing a game. If I am to guess by their facial expressions, it looks like it’s the child who’s putting pressure on the grandfather.
「Speaking of which, is it fine for Yae not to join Juutarou-san?」(Touya)
「My elder brother will be focused on the martial arts tournament starting tomorrow. Therefore for this day, he’s doing special training at the training field of the knight order since this morning. I don’t wish to be a bother to him, so umm… I thought about being together with Touya-dono today… 」(Yae)
Having her own face become red, Yae entangles her fingers together in a bashful and restless manner. Of course, I have no reason to refuse her.
「In that case, shall we go take a look at what’s happening in the baseball stadiums? It’s about time the teams, that will advance into the finals, are decided」(Touya)
「Ah. Ah! If so, I will go change my clothes for a bit, so… Umm, I would like you to wait for me at the “Silver Moon”…」(Yae)
「? I don’t mind…」(Touya)
Saying this, Yae starts running in a big hurry towards the castle. I don’t think there is a need for her to change clothes though… She’s probably sweaty from the training this morning.
As I walk through the streets leading to the “Silver Moon”, I’ve been abruptly caught by the hem of my coat, making me almost fall down.
I then turn around thinking “What the heck?”. There I notice the tiny alcohol goddess, Suika, clinging to me. Hey! wait a minute!
「Oi, what do you think you’re doing…?」(Touya)
「Touya-onii-san, it’s a lifetime request of mine. Lend me money for booze. Karina-chan has confiscated mine a bit ago-o. It’s a festival, yet it’s so cruel for me not to drink sake-e! 」(Suika)
Suika says that while she continues clinging to me and lamenting. Stop that! Your nose is dripping! C’mon! What’s with this goddess?
Sometime before, I had thought that she should be able to produce her own alcohol with ease since she’s the goddess of spirits, but that was a great mistake. It looks like she’s not allowed to make her own alcohol down here because it will be under the category of the power of a god. Speaking of what this fellow can do down here, she apparently has some knowledge about alcohol. Therefore, she can do alcohol analysis by tasting and not get utterly drunk despite how much she drinks, can’t she? If I try to think about it again, it does sound nasty… Oh! Isn’t she capable of using the Drunken Fist martial art style or something? … That’s is very nasty, I suppose…
Despite how she looks drunk as usual, it probably feels like a buzz to her.
「You have a cup which produces something like a wine or any other sacred treasure like that, don’t you?」(Touya)
「J-just wait a minute! This cup can only produce the sacred wine of gods “Nectar”, and I am tired of it already-y! I am so-o ti-i-ired of it! I-I just want to drink a lot of unusual local wines brought here from different places during this f-festival!」(Suika)
She begins stomping “do-do-da-da”. It’s not like I don’t understand her, but I still want her to act a bit more dignified. She is a goddess after all… Does she not have this thing called the pride of a goddess?… They often say that “you cannot win against kids and drunkards”, but this girl is both.
Not good! The looks of everyone passing by is painful.
I breathe out a sigh and squat so that Suika and my eyes are on the same level.
「It’ll be alright for you to drink after the festival ends. If you stay sober and help the castle maids, then we will arrange a drinking session for you. Can you promise me that? 」(Touya)
「Easy-peasy! If I can drink that alcohol afterward, then I will be able to go on an alcohol-free holiday for some time! 」(Suika)
In more ways than one, it’s strange for a person who looks like a kid to talk about alcohol-free holidays, but I guess it’s fine. I don’t want to be entangled in a mess such as this anymore.
「Look here. Will that arrangement be fine for you? Also, keep this with you at all times. Despite how strange it is, you won’t get injured even if it gets twisted, you know? 」(Touya)
From inside “Storage”, I take out a gold coin and a bag of beef… eer, jerky made of dragon meat, and pass them to Suika.
This one coin is more than a lot as the allowance for alcohol, but this girl will just spend all of it on booze anyway. It doesn’t matter to her if the alcohol is expensive or cheap as long as it’s alcohol.
By the way, it apparently doesn’t even matter if the alcohol is tasty or not. Even if the alcohol is bad, it’s said that both have their own flavors. In that case, is she really fine without drinking various wines from down here? Isn’t she just blabbering?
Oh well, she should be able to hold out for three days if she has at least this much no matter what she does. Ultimately, it’s better than her clinging to me again.
「Yaafuu~! Thank you~! I love you, Touya-onii-chan~!」(Sukia)
With money and a bag of jerky in tow, Suika kisses me on the cheek and runs away towards the direction of a liquor store at full speed. What a truly cheap divine love.
Having now parted with Suika, I then arrive at the “Silver Moon”, which is definitely flourishing more than ever before.
Even though it’s just before noon, the dining hall is jam-packed with people enjoying their meals. Looks like the guests are being kept waiting even more than yesterday. … Aah! Is the inn understaffed because Doran-san has gone off to watch the shogi matches?
It usually isn’t so congested here, and just a couple of assistants are enough to handle everything.
Once I’ve shown my face in the kitchen, I can see that Mika-san is hurriedly finishing one dish after another. Her intensity is as if she‘s on a battlefield.
「Yo, do you need help?」(Touya)
「Come in, come in! I’m already extremely busy! For starters, go take this order to table three!」(Mika)
Although I had said it half-jokingly, I was then pressed with a tray that contained soup and meat with fried vegetables. Eeh? Seriously?
There’s no way I can refuse now, so I didn’t complain and start carrying the tray with the cuisine to the table. As I line up the dishes in front of the guest sitting at table three, another visitor raises up his hand and calls to me from an adjacent table.
「Hey Lad. Bring us a grilled fish Polo, a potato stew, and a vegetable salad」
「Eeh? Aah, Yes-yes. One grilled fish Polo, one potato stew, and a vegetable salad」
I’ve totally been ordered. Wait a minute. I don’t work here, you know!
Still, I return to the kitchen and convey to Mika the items that were ordered after receiving them. Upon doing so, the next tray with cutlery has then been handed over to me.
That’s why I’ve said “Wait a minute”!
As such, I try saying that “I think this is enough”, but I’ve then been silenced by Mika-san’s power of gaze, which is practically screaming “Go right away!”. I have no choice but to swallow my words. This is a bloodbath. She’s carnage itself.
There is a saying “Make use of anybody who’s at hand”, but for her to make even the king do her bidding is…
I then carry the dish to the indicated table and receive yet another order. This is bad! I can’t get out of this mess!
「Your Majesty?! What are you doing?」
The one who stiffly calls out to me from the entrance of the “Silver Moon” is a newcomer to our knight Order, Lance-kun.
Did he drop by to have lunch? He must be visiting Mika-san, but right now she’s carnage itself. Setting that aside, I am now saved from this nightmare!
「Lance-kun! I’m giving you a royal decree!」(Touya)
「Eh?! Ah, Yes!」(Lance)
「For the entirety of this day, you are to go under the command of the “Silver Moon” manager. I will convey this matter to the knight order. Your tasks will basically be taking the orders and carrying the dishes of the customers. You are to undertake this duty at once!」(Touya)
「Yes? No, Yes!」(Lance)
While standing in attention, Lance receives my order and hurriedly rushes into the kitchen. As expected of someone born in the Knight Kingdom of Restia. It’s wonderful how loyal he is to his duties.
Immediately afterward, Lance-kun comes out wearing an apron. He then starts carrying the dishes to their designated tables and receives orders from new guests just as I was doing a while ago.
Don’t think bad of me, okay? Think of this as one of the ways to capture Mika-san’s heart.
I am afraid to be used any more, so I leave behind a scapegoat and jump out of the “Silver Moon”.
While I continue waiting for Yae near the entrance, I take out my smartphone and let Rain-san know about Lance-kun’s situation. I am saved because it looks like they can replace him with someone else.
You know, it would be for the best if Mika-san leaves behind a recruitment notice for a day worth of work in the adventurers guild today. After all, Doran-san would be absent tomorrow as well.
「I’ve made you wait」(Yae)
When I turn towards the voice calling out to me from behind me, I see Yae standing in a yukata with her hair propped up.
Her dress, which should be called an outfit of “a yukata-wearing beauty from Japan”, consists of a light purple yukata with a morning glory drawn on it, a light blue obi, and small geta shoes. It looks… nice.
「You had said before that his event would be a festival, so I asked mother and brother to bring it. H-how does it look?」(Yae)
「Oh well, it suits you. I can’t find the right words to describe just how well it suits you」(Touya)
「I-is that so?」(Yae)
Truth be told, people who are wearing yukatas can be seen here and there throughout the town. This is because Brunhild has a lot of immigrants from Ishen, so it’s not that strange for them to wear yukatas like that during a festival.
However, I haven’t seen anyone whom their yukata matches them as much as it does with Yae. Is me being in love with her why I’m seeing her in such a favorable light?
「I even have to leave my katana behind…」(Yae)
「Well. That’s natural, I suppose…」(Touya)
In a yukata and with a katana, huh? That would’ve been a mistake. She would have looked like a casually-dressed, poor and masterless samurai. I’m glad that Yae decided to dress stylishly as a girl.
「I’m concealing a dagger in my bosom though」(Yae)
Of course, it didn’t entirely go that way. (Black: Oh c’mon Touya! I know you love it.)
[Well, for the time being, let’s head towards the stadium. Probably, the teams advancing to the finals have already been decided, but a consolation match has most likely begun by now.]
「I guess so. … Ah, Umm, E~to, Touya-dono. M-may we h-hold hands…?」(Yae)
I then firmly grip her nervously presented hand, and we start walking.
While we’re both showing signs of embarrassment, I advance through the town filled with street stalls together with the happy-looking Yae in tow.
Come to think of it, I received a report yesterday. It looks like there are people who have set up tents and camps outside of town since they were unable to book an inn. After all, I couldn’t possibly think that this event would gather so many people.
By now, we should’ve built several lodgings, right? However, this many people aren’t really a problem in particular when there are no festivals happening. I wonder though, will that still be fine in the future?
As we arrive at the second baseball stadium where the consolation match is taking place, the results of the earlier match are being displayed on a signboard at the entrance.
「First stadium — Misumido, Second stadium — Belfast, huh?」(Touya)
「Which means that the consolation match is being held between Restia and Regulus since they lost」(Yae
I agree. As we enter the audience seats, the match is already in progress. It’s the third inning with a score of 0-vs-0, and Regulus is at the bat.
Just as when we sit down on our seats, a clear sound echoes from the batter’s box. Once we look up, we see a white ball fluttering through the blue sky. Aah! Isn’t it coming this way? Hey, don’t come here. … Oh look, it came.
Shouts of joy erupted at the same time. It was a marvelous homerun.
The batter raises his arm and passes the bases. Regulus does have a lot of heavy hitters, don’t they? They aren’t alone, but theirs are the best.
There was a runner at the second base. Therefore, the score is now 0-vs-2. The match is just opening up, so this point spread can turn around plenty of times. Yae and I decide to watch over how the match proceeds for a short while.
If I am to speak about the outcome, Regulus had continued to hold the lead with a two-point difference, and Restia followed after them.
This is how the third place has been decided.
And all that’s left now is for the final match between Misumido and Belfast to take place in the first stadium.
「I wonder, who’ll win?」(Yae)
「Misumido is superior in terms of raw physical strength, but they won’t be able to win with just that. Belfast has a nicely balanced team in terms of offence, defence, and running」(Touya)
The audience begins leaving the stadium in groups and heads toward the first stadium now. As it is, the majority of them apparently plan to watch the finals.
As for us, we also go with that flow, but then we happen to meet a group of Belfastians while on our way. Of course, they are wearing the usual badges, so the surrounding people probably only see them as regular onlookers.
Yumina then calls out to the King of Belfast, whom she’s accompanying.
「As expected. You’ve come to see the finals, right?」(Yumina)
「I’m also interested in the shogi matches. Touya-dono, please adjust the schedule next time you’re going to hold a festival. It’s regrettable that it’s so hectic」(Trystwin)
I smile bitterly to what the King of Belfast has said. To begin with, this festival was a last-minute convention of sorts.
It seems that the King of Belfast wants to see as much of the preliminaries today as he can since he’ll be appearing during the shogi tournament for tomorrow.
Then, saying that he’ll take his elder brother’s place, the Duke of Ortlinde has apparently remained at the assembly hall for the shogi tournament. The duke is going to participate in the tournament tomorrow as well, so he’s probably observing the enemy’s movements. Say, I wonder if Suu will get bored of accompanying him there and come here to where we are.
As Yae and Yumina are having this kind of talk…
「UNCLE ! TOUYA! Oh! The others are here too! 」
Accompanied by the butler of the Ortline family Reim-san, Suu comes over from behind me and strongly jumps on my back.
When it comes to actions such as these, she’s still so childlike. Though it’s still possible to call it cute nevertheless.
「So you’ve come as expected. Did you get tired of watching the shogi tournament?」(Yumina)
「There is so much clapping there. Father just looks at the pieces and mumbles by himself, it’s so boring」(Suu)
Fuu! Suu then inflates her cheeks. She’s quick-tempered, and she probably likes it better when it’s easier to understand who’s winning and losing. Oh well. That’s fine. Let’s go watch the baseball match together then.
Once she descends from my back, Suu shifts her attention to Yae next to me.
「Yae’s clothes are pretty. It’s a ki-mo-no, right?」(Suu)
「It’s a yukata. We wear them during festivals in Ishen」(Yae)
「It certainly is beautiful. How about we prepare those clothes for everyone and wear them during the next festival?」(Yumina)
「Sounds good. I want to try wearing it as well! 」(Suu)
「Then, it will be good to learn the craft from my mother. This one was made by her as well」(Yae)
Just like that, I pleasantly listen to a girls-talk, that had started before anyone knew it, as we walk towards the first stadium where the finals will take place.
The lid on the decisive battle is about to be removed.
ED: Renderence, Blackswordsman