Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 289: The Second day, Afternoon
They run. One kicks the second base, then the third base, and plunges into the home plate with power that could be considered reckless.
A ball is thrown from the center field with a power similar to a laser beam, making its way towards the catcher.
It’s a close play between the runner of Misumido, who’s sliding into the base, and the catcher of Belfast, who’s guarding the home plate.
A cloud of dust forms on the field hiding the two fallen people’s appearance, thus the crowd’s line of sight gets obstructed for a moment. Gulping down with tension, the audience falls silent while watching them. This silence is then broken by the loud voice of the referee.
「Sa-a-a-a-a-a-a-fe ! !」
At once, tsunami-like cheer bursts out from the crowd. Players of Misumido are running off from their benches and lifting up high the person who has reached the home plate.
The finals have been a deadlock for nine innings with a score of 1-vs-1, and the point just now is the decisive point. Thus, it has now become the game-winning hit to victory for Misumido with a score of 1-vs-2.
The Kingdom of Misumido has won the first international baseball tournament. The runner-up is the Kingdom of Belfast, and the third place has been taken by the Regulus Empire.
A silver tape is launched over the heads of the players, where it subsequently flutters as confetti.
Well, it’s been a tense match indeed. Both sides have fought fair and square to the limits of their power.
A thunderous applause buries the players from both teams. As all of that is happening, the award ceremony then takes place.
As the representative of the host country, I present a commemoration trophy and a shield to the team captain and medals to all of the players in the order of their position.
Similar to how it’s being done during the Olympics, I did think about giving medals to each rank. Third place, second place, and first place receives hihiirokane medals, mithril medals and orichalcum medals respectively.
Usually, each participating country in the Olympics should also receive a cash bonus from the host country, but I will entrust that matter to their own respective countries.
The trophy and medals are carved with the words “first international tournament”. There were countries who didn’t participate in it, but it really is the “first” international tournament so to speak, and I have no intention of changing the “international tournament” part.
I wish that countries will still continue to participate in the second, the third tournament, and so on.
A lingering excitement still permeates the audience seats, and applause pours down like rain, wrapping up the players who have fought till the bitter end.
As an extra prize, although it isn’t exactly a prize, I will allow the winning team to use one of the castle rooms as a venue to celebrate their victory. I will also present a congratulatory feast and several caskets of wine I have bought with my pocket money. That said, I hope they at least wouldn’t “pop” the beers because the room will become a disaster. Oh well, I don’t think people here have that kind of custom.
The baseball tournament has drawn to a close without any accidents.
Very soon, it will be four in the afternoon. The shogi preliminaries are probably progressing without a hitch.
Being accompanied by Yae, Yumina, and Suu, I head toward the assembly hall used for the shogi preliminaries.
There are fewer people here in the hall right now than in the morning. The winners and losers were probably decided already.
「Ah, Father !」(Suu)
Among the visitors of the assembly hall, Suu finds Duke Ortlinde and runs over to him.
「Wow, it seems that Misumido is the champion of the baseball tournament. The news has reached even here. 」(Alfred)
「Bad luck for Belfast, isn’t it?」(Trystwin)
「Well, both victory and defeat are words that don’t have an absolute meaning to them. Still, I believe that even us taking second place is enough reason to puff our chests with pride.」(Alfred)
Certainly, it wouldn’t be strange for that match to suddenly shift in either direction. I think that everyone who has watched that game understands that.
「How are the preliminaries going over here?」(Trystwin)
「Fairly well, I dare say. There are several people whom we cannot lower our guard down. Honestly speaking, I don’t want to go up against them.」(Alfred)
There are 32 players who will be participating in the shogi tomorrow morning including the referrals who have been invited beforehand and those who will qualify today.
If everything goes smoothly, the winner will be decided by the evening or so. Still, I wonder how will the pressure of playing consecutive matches influence the games. It would be helpful if we could increase the amount of time in between the matches a bit more, but I didn’t expect there would be so many participants. Please give me a break.
Our plan is to stream the matches tomorrow on a screen so that even more people than before will get to watch them. I’m going to ask Monica and Rosetta to install a big screen later. The installation will be tricky in a lot of ways, so I will also be helping them.
Suddenly, my smartphone starts vibrating in my breast pocket, so I take it out to verify the caller.
「Oops, looks like this will also be something big.」(Touya)
I then entrust this place to Yumina and teleport to the church located on a hill at the outskirts of the town.
「S-so it’s tomorrow?! A-at what time?!」(Elias)
「Around midday, it seems. It may be earlier or later either way.」(Touya)
About the call I received and who the caller was, I convey this to Her Eminence the Pope, who’s currently preaching the teachings of god at the church. Her breathing then becomes rough, most likely due to the excitement. Is she really okay? I am a bit worried, given her age and all. Shouldn’t she be more than 60 years old? Still, I have no intent to ask a woman about her age.
「W-what are we going to do, Your Eminence?」(Phyllis)
「Calm down, Phyllis. It’s no use getting impatient at this late hour.」(Elias)
The Ramisshu templars don’t understand the topic of their discussion, so they’re just blankly staring at them. Only cardinal Phyllis understands it and gets agitated in a similar fashion. Well, I suppose it’s unreasonable for them to get used to things like this.
While they question the details, Karen-nee-san mutters by herself.
「Nevertheless, it’s so unusual ~noyo. Something like the descent of the World God into a lower world hasn’t been several millions of years since the last time it happened ~noyo?」(Karen)
No, he has already descended twice by now. Well, according to the talk we had afterward, it seemed he had used a portion of himself like an avatar or something the first time he went down. Even so, his existence seems to be just that outrageous.
This time though, I don’t know if he’s going to use that same avatar to descend or if he will take the form of a human and descend like what my nee-sans did.
「I-if we offend him in some way, this world may end or…」(Phyllis)
「He won’t do that. I’ve already told you that he takes a non–interference policy towards this world, to begin with. I think it’s fine to not get worked up over his arrival.」(Touya)
I calm Phyllis-san down since she has started to talk about something strange. Will she really be okay? She really isn’t behaving like a candidate for the position of the next pope.
「First of all, my sister and I will be present during that time, so everything will be alright.」(Touya)
「Ye-ep, there is also this matter of the subordinate god, so it’s a bit tough for me to meet him ~noyo… 」(Karen)
Nee-san folds her arms with a difficult-looking face.
Of course she would be. Actually, it was her duty to either capture or subjugate that NEET god. However, that same god had gotten himself absorbed by an evil god and became unreachable for the gods.
If I’m not mistaken, my sisters didn’t make it in time by just a few moments all because Karen-nee-san was sleeping.
The evil god has yet to display any movements whatsoever. That’s good on one hand, but that also makes things ominous on the other hand. Lower–class frazes continue popping up here and there same as usual. They themselves are then defeated by high-ranked adventurers.
As I thought. I have to find a method on how to repair the world barrier.
It’s technically possible. Right now, I’m thinking that the Reverse World visitors Grandpa Palerius met 5000 years ago are the key to this mystery.
Perhaps… It’s just an assumption, but there might be a possibility that a golem, with a particular ability or its user, was summoned by grandpa Palerius from the Reverse World with an experiment or whatnot.
And by using that ability, it could’ve repaired the barrier of the Surface World. Maybe it’s like that?
As I feared, the key may lie in the Reverse World.
While I ponder on this matter, a noisy cry, or perhaps a cry of an animal resounds for some reason from the side opposite to the church. Is that a cat’s cry?
Turning my sight, I notice dozens of cats running up the hill leading to the church. Uee?!
They continue meowing as they jump at me. Rather than calling it an attack against me, it looks like they’re telling me to go somewhere. What the heck?!
I summon Kohaku from the castle at once with “Gate”. If it’s her, she should be able to understand the language of cats.
All of the cats immediately becomes docile with the appearance of the Divine White Tiger, allowing Kohaku to get information out of them.
「Well then. What’re they saying?」(Touya)
『Yes, it appears that… Nyantaro is having a duel or something. They’ve come to you, Lord, wishing that you stop Nyantaro and the other party.』(Kohaku)
「A duel? With whom?!」(Touya)
『With the demon king, it seems.』(Kohaku)
What a headache…
Sparks fly from a saber and a rapier. Multiple series of thrusts are released toward the demon king by Nyantaro. The opponent then parries the edge of the rapier with a saber and goes for a horizontal swipe, but Nyantaro nimbly dodges it with the help of the innate agility of cats and restores his posture.
「Stop this, Cat Knight!」(Zelgadi)
「I’m unfit to be a guard of the esteemed mother if I can’t handle at least this much ~nya! 」(Nyantaro)
So says Nyantaro while broadly grinning and squinting his eyes towards the Demon King.
Both of them slowly step towards each other. Their confrontation takes place in the school campus with the sunset going down behind them.
The two then kick the ground at the same time, shortening the distance. As they are about to exchange a certain-kill kind of attack…
My magic makes them slip in the place they are supposed to clash, making them fall strongly down on the ground. Are those two idiots?
I then breath out a sigh as I watch two people (or is it one person and one animal?) come rolling and crashing down.
「What the hell are you doing, Your Majesty The Demon King?」(Touya)
「D-Dukedom King of Brunhild? About this! I was trying to gauge the strength of this damned cat who himself claims to be Fiana’s guard. I hold no ill will here!」(Zelgadi)
Sakura’s mother Fiana-san works as the headmistress of the school here. This cat here is Nyantaro, whom Sakura has summoned.
He says something about seeing the cat’s ability, but that’s suspicious. I have a feeling that he’s just plain jealous at being shown the cold shoulder by his daughter and former lover (they aren’t married though).
Well, it looks like he still has his reasons. He didn’t use magic after all.
Everyone else is the same. Sakura’s magic has become more powerful than before, probably due to being a god’s dependent and receiving its effects. It’s just my personal opinion, but her magic power, in her usual state, is already more powerful than that of the demon king. Which means that it’s possible that her summoned beast, Nyantaro, is powerful in his own regard.
But I digress. Is he an idiot, for having a duel with the king of a whole country? As for the Demon King, leaving behind his own guards and coming here by himself, what the hell is he thinking?
「What the hell are you doing as well?」(Touya)
「Nyaa?! I’ve been told by the princess not to restrain myself once the demon king comes ~nya! If possible, it wouldn’t be a problem to make him completely unable to stand on his legs during the festival ~nya!」(Nyantaro)
The demon king grasps his chest and falls down. Oi… He should’ve withstood that one the best…
The demon king is struck down by the poor treatment of his own unforgiving daughter.
What should I do about this…? When I look at this person, I get quite scared of the will that his daughter possesses.
It’s just, assuming that Sakura and I have a child, that kid will become this person’s grandchild. Won’t this guy die a sudden death if even his grandkid says something like “Annoying” to him…?
「… is it done, Nyantaro?」(Sakura)
A classroom window opens, and Sakura peeks outside. Despite how nonchalantly she looks after giving an order to beat up her own father, I think I once again reaffirm to myself that she still possesses the demon king’s blood in her.
The moment his daughter shows up, the demon king springs up and rushes over at full speed under the window where Sakura is looking down.
「Farnese! I’ve finally managed to get here after so long. Let me meet with Fiana at least for one day!」(Zelgadi)
「Mother is busy. The demon king is a bother.」(Sakura)
Pisha! She closes the window. Couldn’t you have thought of a better way to express yourself… Look! The demon king has turned pure white.
「Dukedom King of Brunhild… I’m being hated by my daughter, am I not?」(Zelgadi)
「No… I probably can’t say that with absolute confidence. I think that she would’ve been more severe if she really hates you.」(Touya)
「Are you saying that this is not severe?! My chest hurts so much that it’s about to explode, you know?!」(Zelgadi)
In Sakura’s case, I have yet to feel the difference between her disliking someone and her hating someone.
If I have to be perfectly honest, it feels like she treats the demon king as someone bothersome or not worth talking about. In any case, she has probably no interest in him. They had no contact with each other as parent and child, so it’s not like I don’t understand her either. Without such feelings between them, she sees the demon king as just a mere gloomy ossan.
How should I say this? I cannot seem to grasp the sense of distance between them… I guess I should start by closing that distance.
「Even though things look like this, I did plan on breaking my heart so that both Fiana and Farnese could live happily even if they know nothing about it… That girl came into this world without the royal horns. She hails from the lineage of the demon king, and yet without horns… Most of the nobles likely wouldn’t have accepted a daughter like that. I wished for her to live as an ordinary person, at an arm’s length away. If only those talks of scorn and the treatment of being a taboo princess could be taken back… This is something that’s beyond someone’s control.」(Zelgadi)
Well, I am sure that even Sakura understands that there have been some unavoidable circumstances, given how things had happened back then.
However, I think that the reason Sakura avoids the demon king has nothing to do with the incidents or circumstances that have gone by. She‘s just avoiding him because those incidents and circumstances are depressing for her.
Assuming that’s the truth, I’m in no position to voice my opinion here. Still, I feel awkward to deal the final blow to the parent here.
While I’m at loss about what to do, Fiana-san walks out of the school while being accompanied by Sakura.
「Oh… Ooh! Fiana! It’s been a long time!」(Zelgadi)
「Same here, Your Majesty The Demon King. Welcome to Brunhild.」(Fiana)
Sakura obviously looks astonished at how Fiana-san answers with a smile to the demon King.. Oi-oi, your mouth is hanging open.
「I am sorry for the troubles this girl has caused you. Please find a way to forgive her.」(Fiana)
「Ah, no, it’s fine. It’s I who’s at fault for showing up all of sudden. I had arrived yesterday but was then turned away by Farnese.」(Zelgadi)
Fiana-san then stares lightly at Sakura, who in turn simply averts her eyes, looking embarrassed. Looks like Fiana-san wasn’t told anything about that.
「…Look, I was sure that he would’ve been a hindrance to my esteemed mother. In addition to that, you are also busy with the preparations for the children’s assembly.」(Sakura)
The demon king reacts towards those words. Aah, that reminds me. There was that event.
「I believe that they’re talking about inviting the children in town and school tomorrow and the day after, and holding a tale recitation club. That way, even the children who can’t reads will be able to have fun.」(Touya)
In this world, books themselves aren’t that cheap, and the literacy rate isn’t high enough for everyone to be able to read story books. That’s why such stories can only be heard from people like minstrels or storytellers. There are also theatrical plays and the like, but the fee is still too high for a child to shoulder even though the fee for these kinds of plays are usually low.
Moreover, a lot of those plays are so standard that everyone knows them, which is why they are performed most of times.
Therefore, I’ve selected a few stories that will probably please the kids among the digital books I currently have, asked Sakura and Linzie to “translate” them, and created new storybooks.
Though we still had to change the words that didn’t exist here, like “guns” or “automobiles”. Folktales and fairytales weren’t changed that much though.
While I am recalling this information…
「Alright! In that case, I also will help with this children’s assembly or whatnot!」(Zelgadi)
His Majesty The Demon King starts talking fast and strikes his chest.
This person. Here he goes again and starts saying something bothersome. Even so, I won’t say anything about him being “annoying” or…
「No, we can’t possibly…」(Sakura)
As expected. She’s reluctant to make the king of a whole country help her out. So while she’s in the middle of softy rejecting him, the demon king interrupts her and continues.
「Don’t sweat it. You’re busy, right? I’ll be more helpful than this helper of a cat, right?」(Zelgadi)
「Hey, I ~kyannot ignore that remyark ~nya… I will definyately be of more help ~nya 」(Nyantaro)
The man and the cat scatter invisible sparks between them. Just how long do they plan to continue fighting? Should I make them slip once more?
Oh well. This is this, and that is that, I guess. Isn’t this a chance to mend the strained relationship of the father and the daughter?
We aren’t going to make him do anything as the king of a whole country, and the one he’s going to help is his own daughter. He’s also wearing the badge, which makes him look like an ordinary person. In the end, there are no problems in the surface. This might also soften Sakura’s hard attitude towards him.
No other choice then. Should I give them a hand? I begin addressing Fiana-san.
「If he says that he’s going to help us, then why not accept his help? After all, we are shorthanded as of the moment.」(Touya)
「We are, but…」(Fiana)
「And besides, I believe there are many things that can be put to practical use in Zenoasu as well, like the way this school operates or its education policy. If we look at it as one part of a cultural exchange, it’s probably not a bad proposal.」(Touya)
「Yep! Certainly! 」(Zelgadi)
“That’s just what I’ve been thinking” nods the demon king. I don’t how serious he is about this, but let’s leave it like this.
However, Sakura looks astonished and decides to ignore such considerations of mine by raising an objection.
「If it’s help we need, then Nyantaro will do. Look, he can even read books.」(Sakura)
「However, he cannot pronounce words clearly, can he? 」(Touya)
「It’s ~nyat like that ~nya! I am fluent in ~anya lyanguages ~nya!」(Nyantaro)
Nyantaro raises his voice out of his heart. The outcome was obvious, wasn’t it?
「Then, can you try saying “nata-mame-nana-tsubu, nama-gome-nana-tsubu, nana-tsubu-nata-mame, nana-tsubu-nama-gome”?」(Touya)
「nyata-mame-nyanya-tsubu, nyama-gome, nyanya-tsubu, nya-nya-tsubu-nyata-mame, nyanya-nyagome… nya-a-a-a-a-a-a!!」(Nyantaro)
See what I mean?
Nyantaro crumbles down to his knees, and Sakura starts groaning.
「Look. Setting that aside, I don’t think there’s a reason to flat-out refuse his desire to help us, you know. Don’t you want to make this children’s assembly a success, Sakura?」(Touya)
「… Got it. He may help.」(Sakura)
Hearing Sakura reluctantly accept his proposal, the demon King shows a delighted-looking smile.
「Even so, don’t be a hindrance to mother. And don’t teach the kids anything strange.」(Sakura)
「Okay! I promise」(Zelgadi)
Fiana-san overlooks the conversation with a smile on her face. It’s subtle, but that might’ve also been another form of parent-child relationship. Ah! That reminds me.
「Fiana-san, may I ask you to stand over here?」(Touya)
「Eh? Over here?」(Fiana)
「Your Majesty, go over here. Sakura will stand in between. Just like that, keep standing.」(Touya)
「What’s this for?」(Sakura)
After making them stand with Sakura in the center, I lower myself a bit and prepare the camera of my smartphone.
*Kacha!* The shutter sound echoes and a photo is taken.
All that’s left is to take out a paper used for making flyers out of Storage and print the photo with “Drawing”.
Although it’s possible to print even without taking a photo, looking at a picture makes the photo more accurate. I’m told that Professor would eventually make an artifact capable of making flyers that can be used by anyone, but right now she’s devoting herself to working on the dimensional gates.
Once finished, I hand over the finished photo to each of the three people.
「Oooh, this is something!」(Zelgadi)
The trio of parents and their child are watching as the photographs are handed out (although it’s not technically a photo), each showing different reactions and facial expressions.
「M-may I take this picture of myself, Dukedom King?!」(Zelgadi)
「Yes, you’re welcome to. I’m giving it to you as a commemoration of today.」(Toyua)
「You have my gratitude!」(Zelgadi)
In contrast to the demon king who’s shouting in joy, Sakura displays a troubled expression. Don’t tell me! Is she going to cut out or fold just the part of the demon king on it!? I’m asking you to at least not do it here!
As expected of Sakura though. She didn’t go that far and just made an annoyed face at her own father acting like a child towards the photo he’s holding. Even I can understand her. That ossan is supposed to be more than 100 years old after all.
As for Fiana-san, she’s looking at the picture with clear admiration.
Oops, that’s right.
I then take out a white, mass-produced version of smartphone from “Storage” and hand it to Fiana-san. Taking the interest of our country into account, I should hand her one since she’s sort of like the chief executive of an educational institution, namely the school. She can learn how to use it from Sakura.
Seeing this, the demon king starts talking about him wanting one as well, to which I notify him that I only hand them to the rulers of foreign countries who are members of East-West Alliance. He then responds with something like “Then Zenoasu will join as well”. Oi-oi, is it fine for your country to join just for that reason…?
The country has been in a state of national isolation for some time, and them opening up to the world will certainly be welcomed warmly. Nevertheless, is it fine for the reason to be just that?
According to the demon king, their country has been thinking about heading in that direction since the collapse of Yuuron, and he’s just doing nothing more than taking an advantage of the current opportunity… I find that reasoning suspicious. I wonder whether that’s true or not though.
Oh well, them joining the Alliance isn’t something I can decide by myself, so we will settle this discussion after the festival ends.
Given the current situation, we might have to think about sending invitations to other countries like Hanock, Ferzen, Lail, Elfrau, and Ishen. Aah! Including Palerius island as well.
Rather than calling it the East-West Alliance, it’s better to name it the World League at this point — though we don’t know yet if the other countries will accept our invitation or not.
Looks like things will get busy either way. And so I breathe out a sigh.
ED: Renderence, Blackswordsman, Empress