The morning of the second day of the tournament.
I left the sunny pavilion before the sun rose.
With a cart full of menus for the fourth round.
'Sorry, Milly. Delia's not home, Magda's asleep, and there was no one I could rely on.
'Hmm. I'm fine. I'm an early riser.
Milly pulled the heavy cart piled high with luggage with a cool face.
It's ...... really shameful to have such a small child carrying the luggage. ......
'I could have asked Umaro and the hamsters to do it, but ...... they're a little weak. ......'
Loretta, Umaro, and Percy are actually not that powerful. Neffery and Paula are not so strong either.
I guess not all beastmen are powerful.
I misunderstood because the ones around me are so powerful.
Milly. If you get tired, please let me know right away. I brought you some tea, so you can take a break whenever you want.'
'Mmm. Thank you, Ms. Jeanette. But I'm still fine.
Millie is pulling the cart, smiling and showing no signs of fatigue.
The rest of us, except for Jeannette and Millie, are supposed to come with Estella and the others after the sun rises.
The reason I left so early in the morning was part of the plan.
It's no exaggeration to say that the impact of the food when it appears will determine the winner.
Millie hums as she pulls the cart.
She seems to be in a very good mood.
'You know, Miry, ...... I'm really happy right now.'
She smiles at you with a carefree smile, and shakes the large ladybug hair ornament on her head as she says.
'I'm very happy that the ladybug can rely on me, and that I can be of help to everyone, Miri.
This is a tournament where the forty-two districts fight as one.
I want to do something too. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would like to do that, and they won't hesitate to help.
That's why, even though she was asked to do the tedious job of carrying the luggage early in the morning, she was smiling happily.
'Thank you. That's really helpful.
'Heh heh ......'
With a lot of effort, Millie pulled the cart. The fact that she walked a little fast may have been because she was embarrassed.
Ginette smiled at the sight of Miry's back.
When our eyes met, Jeannette gave me a big smile as well.
We have to win.
We can't afford to lose here.
Because everyone in District 42 is working so hard.
No matter what happens to me, ............ I'm going to win no matter what!
'Um, Yashiro-san. That person is ......'.
When we reached the central plaza of District 41, Jeannette pulled on my clothes.
There was a figure squatting in front of the giant beech mushroom statue,......, or statue of the spirit god, standing in the central square, and Jeannette pointed at it and said.
'Isn't that your opponent in the fourth round?
Ginette was right, the figure was Gustave, a large man with a piranha face, a ravenous fish.
As I recall, he was praying earnestly before.
'You're a pious man, aren't you?
'Are you praying for victory today?
'What?Well then, I'd better get out of the way.
It's not fair to have a spirit god on your side.
'Hmm?I believe you're ...... from District 42.'
Your voice is high again today.
It's still high this early in the morning.
...... you can't lose.
'Haha!Good luck today!
'...... Why do you talk in such a high-pitched voice?Does my voice sound like that?'
Piranha's face twitches slightly.
Even though I'm speaking to her in such a friendly manner.
'Are you so unsure of your ability to win that you need to ask so desperately?'
'No, no. This is my daily routine. I'm not worried about the game. I'll win by a landslide anyway.
You've got a nerve.
All right. I'll give an extraordinarily effective attack to a man like you who's a man of faith.
'Hey, Spirit God. Gustave doesn't need your help. He doesn't want you.'
'No, I didn't say that!
'So, lend me your strength. So that I can beat Gustave.'
'Z, that's not fair!I was the one who prayed first!
'Prayers don't come first or last, do they?In the first place, you didn't pray for victory, did you?Then I'm the one who came first, aren't I?
'Of course I was praying!In the first place, I pray every morning, 'May today be a great day!If we win, that means it's a great day, doesn't it?
'Eh~......, but even if we lose, it'll be a great day if Masha praises us, right?'
'Mach ...... to Masha-san: ......'
''You lost, but you did well.''
'That ...... is ............'
'Hey, you don't have to win then. That's why, Spirit God. Let me win.'
'Wait a minute!After all, it is my true intention to win and then be recognized by you!God of Spirits!Please, give me true victory ......!
Ignoring me, Gustave kneels down on a giant beech mushroom.
I'll agitate him from behind with my nasally voice and mannerisms.
'Ugh ......, he's using the spirit gods to attract women. ...... That's terrible.'
'Hey!How can you say that?It's not like that, Spirit God!I'm not the slightest bit impure like that ......!''
''You're not thinking about it?Really?'Not even a little'?
'No. ............ some ............ of those things... .........'
'Yes, skeevy!Evil!The enemy of women!A lousy half-fish who tried to use a spirit god to get a woman!
'I'm a piranha!
'Of the skeletons?
'I'm not a skeleton!
' 'Not even slightly?
'I am moderately skeevy!
Gustave is confused.
This guy's funny.
'Spirit God. You'd better not side with him. He'll think you're a member of the Mutsrees.
'Who are the Mutsuri?
Gustave stomped his foot on the ground, anger evident in his voice.
Piranha's eyes sharpened and glared at me.
'If you lose, it's your fault!
Well, we're opponents, so it's my fault if you lose.
He doesn't know that yet, so I'll keep my mouth shut for now.
Gustave clenched his teeth and turned his back.
'I will repay this humiliation with a match. Win the next game, and District 42 will taste defeat!Prepare yourself.'
With that, Gustave walks away.
Ginette, staring at his distant back, begins to panic.
'What should I do, Yashiro-san?It seems that your fighting instincts have been ignited.
Hmm. A guy with a burning fighting spirit can be troublesome. ......
'Spirit God. May Gustave continue to cross Masha's path until he chants 'not that one' a hundred times.
'Hey!What are you asking me to do?
Gustave came running back at a great speed.
He looks desperate.
'Yes. It's time to pass each other.
'Oh, my God!No more of that, no more of that, no more of that, no more of that, ......!
After glaring at me, Gustave kneels in front of the statue of Beech Mushroom and begins to chant "without earlier" in a very fast voice. If you have too much faith, you might be worried about such trivial things.
If you ask me, religions are mostly just assumptions.
'Okay, while we're at it, let's head to the venue in comfort.
'Um, are you sure you want to go to ......?'
'He who believes will be saved. If I believed that the Spirit God wouldn't be involved in such a silly prank, I wouldn't be so pissed off to cast a disarming spell. You don't have enough faith.
'Is that the kind of ...... thing you're talking about?
I don't see any gods.
If I can't see it, I can only talk about it in my imagination.
If that's the case, it's as good as saying it.
Gustave. I hope you've wasted your energy and exhausted your mind.
I'll see you at .......
Proudly and proudly, I made my way to the venue.
If it wasn't a gluttony contest, but an arguing contest, I'm sure I wouldn't lose to anyone, I thought.
And so the second day of the competition began.
The auditorium was packed again today. There's even standing room.
Well, if District 41 wins here, the game is over.
Moreover, word has gotten out that Gustave will be playing in the fourth round, and most people are predicting that this will be his last fight.
I'm sure a lot of people would like to see that.
'Come on!I'll be cheering with all my might today!
Like the day before, Norma wore a super mini and cleavage 'thump! She is wearing a very mini and cleavage 'doh!
'I'm going to cheer as hard as I can today!
'I'll do my best, too!
The two who were defeated the day before are wearing matching cheerleading uniforms and cheering for the team today.
Delia ...... Boing!
I'm glad to hear that ...... Delia is doing well.
She must have had a good night's talk with Marcia and gotten over it.
You should have a friend, after all. ...... I don't have any friends, though. Hmm.
Yashiro-san. You're in trouble!
While the preparations for the first match were underway, Imelda came running over to me, blood running down her face.
It seems something has happened in District 40.
'The 40th district's player for the fourth game is .................. your father!
Your father is ...... the guild leader of the woodcutter guild, Stuart Javier!
'After all, if we don't win first place here, we'll be eliminated from the forty districts, so it's the guild leader's turn! I'm not sure what to make of it.
I can see ...... being taken for a ride.
'''Harbiel!Harbiel!Harbiel!I'm not sure what to do.
'''There's nothing I can do. ......, I'll get it!
It's probably something like that, anyway.
''So, how much do you eat?
'...... What are you doing out here?
I guess he's given up on the game,......, or rather, he's going to put the final blame on the big man in the forty-first district and let it go unanswered.
'...... The forty-first district is going to have Gustave as planned.'
Magda, who was on a reconnaissance mission, has confirmed the names of the contestants.
It's me, Javier, and Gustave.
Now let's see if we can win .......
--Boom, boom, boom!
The bell rings for standby.
I was about to head for the stage when Jeannette came running up to me.
She looks very anxious.
'Oh, ...... are you sure you want to use that menu ......?
I came up with the menu this time and convinced Estella to let me put it together.
She said, 'If we don't do this, we won't have a chance.
I also asked Estella to do one more thing for me.
I talked to Ricardo and Demilly first thing in the morning and got permission to do a small demonstration.
You know. It's just a simple demonstration of cutting food in front of an audience. A tuna dismantling show is a lot of fun, right?It's like that. It's a show, it's a show.
It's a show, a show. ...... It'll be a lot of fun. ............ Hmmm.
Ginette. You just keep on cooking. And ......'
I put my hands on Ginette's shoulders and flip her around.
Then I tell her back.
'Try not to look at me.
'...... Yes. I understand.'
Ginette said in a mysterious voice and walked back into the kitchen without looking back.
When she went on stage, Javier raised one hand and called out to her.
'Hey!Nice to meet you.'
'You're so outspoken.
'Ha ha!We're on the same side, aren't we?
Javier is in a very good mood, but his ...... knees are shaking.
He's very nervous, isn't he?
I'm not sure if he was nervous before the opening ceremony.
'Just because you're in front of the guild members, you shouldn't be too cool about it. You'll be embarrassed later.'
'Ha, hah!Don't say anything stupid!I've got no time for this at all!
That line is already a temper tantrum.
And there was another man on the ...... stage who was glaring at me.
'Hey, it's been a while since I've seen you this morning. Have you been chanting it a hundred times, Gustave?
'Of course I did!
I knew it. His voice was high-pitched. You're joking.
'But I'm lucky. I never thought I'd be able to compete directly with you. ............'
The piranha's mouth, lined with sharp fangs, turns into a distorted grin.
'I'm going to humiliate you in front of this huge crowd!The shame I suffered in front of the statue of the Spirit God will be returned to you tenfold ......!
I'm sorry. This is the type of guy who can't take a gag. ......
'If I show my butt right here and now, it would be at least that embarrassing. ............ Shall I show it?'
'Please don't!You've got a future ahead of you!
No, a future that is destroyed by having your buttocks out is ...... No, a future that is fine with having your buttocks out is more of a problem?
In any case, this guy is actually a good guy.
I'm not sure what to say.If you win, I'll show you my ass!
'I don't want to see it, sir!
'I'll put Javier's on too!
'I still don't want it!
'...... Even if you don't want to show it to me, ...... I don't know why it hurts me so much when you refuse it outright, man.
It seems that Javier was damaged for nothing in a meaningless place.
Gustave, you're a terrible guy.
'In exchange, if I win, you'll show me Estella's ass!
'No, I won't!
Suddenly, Estella appeared on the stage.
Behind her are Ricardo and Demilly. Incidentally, Estella is in acting lord mode.
'In exchange for the demonstration, we, the lords and the acting lords, will keep a close watch on you. I'm sure there won't be any wrongdoing, but just in case. Do you agree to this?
'Yes, of course.
As soon as I agree, Natalia appears from behind the lords with a knife in her hand.
'Natalia will cut it for me?
'I, Natalia, would like to give you a demonstration.
With her words, a table is brought in front of Natalia.
There was a plate with nothing on it.
Natalia takes out a bright red apple from her ............ pocket.
It was the apple that she and Milly had gone to pick before.
Natalia throws the apple into the air and swings the knife two or three times.
The apple falls onto the plate, is neatly cut into eighths, and rolls onto the plate like a flower opening.
An amazing feat.
But the real work is yet to come.
Natalia took one of the eighth apples and dexterously cut into it. ......
The result is a cute little rabbit apple.
It's so cute!
The audience shouted.
'Wow, this is... It's quite .......'
'Hmm. Well, it's good, isn't it?
Demilly and Ricardo's reaction was positive.
As a presentation of the existence of such technology, it was a success.
In the midst of the warm atmosphere, Natalia cuts four apples into the shape of a rabbit and arranges them on a plate.
She then took the plate to the ...... player's table.
The crowd erupted.
Everyone was at a loss for words, 'You're not ......, are you? They were looking at the audience without hiding their uneasiness.
Ricardo and Demilly's soft expressions were gone, and their ...... face muscles were tense.
'Now, let's start the fourth round,' I said.
As I said this, an inarticulate cry of grief went through the hall.
It seems that there are still people who can't face the reality, so I'll make it clear.
'For the fourth round, this rabbit apple (four apples) is on the menu!
'I feel sorry for the rabbit!
'You're lying!Tell me it's not true!
The audience shouted in unison when they heard my words.
But I don't care.
The menu for the game was decided by the last place of the previous game.
Forty wards had chosen a spicy chicken that no one would eat, and had made a small move to give an advantage to their ward.
Do you have something to complain about this menu?
When I glanced at him, Javier looked pale, and Gustave said, ......
'Oh ...... how dare you ...... spirit god ............'.
He was praying.
'Hey, hey, hey. You're overreacting, guys. ...... This is just an apple, okay?
No one seemed to be able to argue with my words.
'Come on!Let's get on with it!
I ignore all the people present and take my seat.
If you don't want to eat, don't eat!
I'll eat it, though!
'Yes, that's right. ...... This is an apple. ............'
'That's right...... an apple...... this is just an apple......'
Gustave and Javier also took their seats, mumbling.
'I'll be going now,......'
Estella turns on her heel and walks quickly into the service entrance.
She said she was sad to say goodbye when she got emotional. I guess he doesn't want to see it.
'I'll watch from here, Obayashi!
'Well, I guess I'll do the same.
Ricardo and Demilly seem to be staying onstage to watch the game.
d*mn, these lords ...... don't let anyone use the VIP room.
A plate is placed in front of the players and the game begins.
The bell rings, the hourglass is reversed, and the sand begins to fall.
I'm going to eat!
Gustave makes up his mind and reaches for the rabbit apple.
'Wow!I'm so glad we're going out as a family...''
Just as Gustave is about to grab the apple, I teleport to Rabbit Apple A.
Then Gustave's hand stopped just before he touched the rabbit apple. He is shaking and stiff.
''Hey, hey, hey. Don't get too excited!' 'Hurry up, mom and dad! At that time, this happy family of rabbits had no idea that such a tragedy would happen ...... later.
'Aaah!I can't!I can't!I can't ............ do anything that would tear the happy bunny family apart!
I'm not sure what to do.I can't let any of you be left out!
Yes!It's just as I thought.
Before, Ginette and Estella couldn't eat this rabbit apple.
Even Magda was resistant to it.
The statues of the spirit gods in this world are all abstract in form, and the residents of this city tend to find deformed things like this rabbit apple unusually cute.
However, it was doubtful whether this would apply to Gustave and Javier.
I feared that it was unlikely that the old men, let alone the cute girls, would not be able to eat the cute rabbit. ...... It seems that I have won the bet.
I knew that Gustave would be inedible because he's so religious that it's ridiculous.
'Yes!I'll eat it!It's just an apple!
On the other side of Gustave, Javier picks up the apple to inspire himself.
I will not!
'Father!I don't want to see my father like that!
'Imelda!Are you Imelda?
Javier asks the rabbit apple in his hand. With a serious face. He picked it up and held it again with both hands as if it were important.
'Beautiful things must not be destroyed forever!I sincerely hope so!
'Imelda!No doubt, this rabbit apple is Imelda!
'...... No, it's not, Father.'
Downstage, Imelda (the real Imelda) mutters with a scowl.
'That's not fair, Obeyashiro!How about a fair fight?
Ricardo clenches his fists, accusing me strongly.
'What's not fair?Where's the rule about no talking during meals?
'Yes, that's ............, but it's a natural moral thing to do if you're interfering with other players ......!
'I'm just talking to myself, don't worry about it, just eat.'
'Of course I care!
He's a noisy one.
'Well, let's ignore the outsiders and I'll eat, too!
'If it's ......, you can suffer the same!I'm a cute, cute, cute bunny!I love sweet treats, you know?
'............ Ricardo, are you crazy?'
'Shut the f*ck up!I was just imitating you!
Ricardo's face turns bright red.
It seems he was quite embarrassed.
Well, 'ping pong' is not ......
'Yes, yes, bunny rabbit, bunny rabbit'.
Grab an apple and bounce it around on the table.
'Tsk, tsk!Do you think I'm stupid?
'Bounce, bounce, bounce... ......'
After bouncing three times, I bring the rabbit apple to my mouth: ......
I bit into it as if it were my own.
A scream echoed through the audience.
He deliberately opens his mouth to show the shattered pieces of meat as he repeatedly chews.
Shack-shack, shack-shack, shack-shack, shack-shack, shack-shack, shack-shack.
Gustave and Javier have gone pale and are staring at me dumbfounded.
...... I'll give it one more push.
I pick up the next rabbit apple, this time pointing my voice at my own apple.
'How dare you!Avenge your brother!
'Good!Good luck, bunny!
'Let's kill that guy!
The audience cheers Ringo on.
'That's not fair, you little bastard!
I lifted the rabbit apple high in the air, grabbed the skin of the apple for the ears, and ripped it off with great force.
'And then, munch munch munch!
''''' Don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then, holding the remaining two apples in both hands, he gobbles to the right and to the left in a rambunctious manner.
''''' Rabbit! ''''
In the midst of the screaming, I quickly raised my hand and announced in a high-pitched voice.
All kinds of curses fly around.
But this is good.
In situations where the game is on the line, those who are cornered may do something they would never normally do, just because they have no choice.
In this case, Gustave, who doesn't want to concede the victory, may devilishly eat the rabbit's apple in order to compete with me.
If that happens, I won't stand a chance.
The only way for me to win is to push him to the limit.
The original thought in my mind, "It's a pity to eat such a cute thing," is combined with the thought of "It's terrible to eat a rabbit" from the entire audience, making me believe that eating a rabbit apple here and now is a crime worthy of extreme punishment.
Have you ever heard of this?
We are easily influenced by the voices around us.
If 90% of the people in the room insist that something is not wrong, even though it is clearly wrong, they will insist that it is not wrong even though they are convinced that it is wrong.
They think that they might be the one who is wrong.
On the other hand, when more than 90% of the people in the room insist that you shouldn't do something that you feel a little guilty about, you won't be able to do it.
Neither Gustave nor Javier can eat the rabbit's apple anymore.
Especially if there is someone in that place that you don't want to be disliked.
Masha and Imelda are the key players this time.
'Ah, delicious!Cute bunny, yummmmm!
'Don't you have any blood or tears?
'Somebody, stop him!
'Spirit God!Let him be punished!
'Please don't bully him any more!
I'll just eat it.
I'll have a second helping.
In the end, I was the only one who ate the rabbit's apple in the forty-five minutes of shouting.
As a result, I had eight servings, while Gustave and Javier had none.
The result was that I had eight servings and Gustave and Javier had none. The defeat of the 40th district was confirmed.
But still, ......
'Gosh,......, the rabbit,......, the rabbit,......!
'Terrible......Why are you like this............'
'The devil ............ the devil ............!
The ...... people in this town are amazing.
Isn't that a bit of an overreaction?
The rabbit crying because he couldn't eat his apple wasn't overreacting or anything, was it?
'Hmm!Good win, good win!
When I returned to the waiting area of the 42nd district in high spirits, ...... something, everyone had a delicate look on their faces.
Well. At any rate, they're all looking away.
Yeah, yeah. I understand. I get it.
'Oh, big brother worked hard!You won the game for everyone, and gave us hope for the fifth game!
'Yeah, that's ......, right!No, it was kind of a ...... great game. ...... Yeah, yeah!Good job, Yashiro!
I'm not sure what to say, but I'd like to know what you think.
You can find a lot more information on the web at .......
It's not that hard.It's just like this for me!Hahahahaha!It's not so bad!
He said with deliberate haughtiness and pride.
You can still see a twitch of his smile.
'Ah~, but apples are not to be eaten in large quantities. Sorry, I'm going to the bathroom.
...... There are times when you're better off without me.
Somehow, you'll change your mind by the fifth round.
I left the waiting area and headed for the exit of the venue.
If I disappear for an hour or so from now, the atmosphere will improve a bit.
I don't know. I haven't felt this way in a long time.
I guess I'm a fraud.
...... .................. You've got the haters down pat.
This is what a fraudulent creature should look like. ............
His voice was sorrowful, desperate, and a little tearful. ......
I couldn't help but turn around.
'It's an apple!It's just an apple!
Ginette was standing in front of the audience, holding a rabbit apple and a knife.
Then, without a moment's hesitation, she removed the rabbit's ears ...... and peeled the apple cleanly.
'Look!It's an apple!It's this apple that Yashiro-san ate!
In Jeannette's hand was just an apple, with the skin neatly removed.
'I'll eat it too. I love apples!
He said, and took a bite of the apple.
The sound of crunching shook my eardrums very clearly.
'It's delicious. It's a very, very good apple.
Ginette is talking to the audience.
But ...... I don't know why ............ those words were so powerful in my heart... I felt a tightening in the back of my throat.
'Jeannette. Can I have one of those delicious looking apples?
'Sister ...... yes. I'll have it ready for you right away.''
'Oh, ......Miri, ......I want some, too.'
'Oh, sure, I'll have some as well.'
'I'll have some too!
'I like sweets, so bring me more!
'...... Magda would eat it all if it weren't for the ...... next game. ......'
'You'll be patient. We'll eat it all up for you.
'Can I have one too?
'Hey, Neffely, can you help me peel it?
'Oh, I can't help it, Paula's at ....... Leave it to me!
The heavy air that had been stagnant began to move at once.
It's a great way to get the most out of your time with your family and friends.
'Oh, yes, yes!I'm actually really good at peeling apples!I'm a carpenter!
'I'm also a sculptor, that I am, so I have some skill, that I do.
'I'm a hunter in charge of a branch of a hunting guild, that I am.Skinning is a piece of cake!
The bastards are also getting excited for some unknown reason.
And Jeannette calls out to me.
With her usual voice.
With her usual smile.
'How about it?Please join us, Yashiro-san!'
'...... ah ............'
...... d*mn . No, no, no.
'I've eaten too much and my stomach hurts, so I'll go to the bathroom first~'
'Yes!Then go wash your hands.
He raised one hand and left the hall in a huff.
Don't be so careless. ......
'I can't even eat another piece of apple. ............'
My heart is full. ......
This is the only way I can do it.
This is the only way I can achieve my goal.
When I made the curry and on the first day of the tournament, I was not myself, and as a result, I got into trouble.
I relied on someone else.
I trusted ...... others, saying that people who are fooled are fools.
You can't change.
You can't change.
You can't change.
You can't have a good time with everyone. ......
But still, ......
'Until we win, we have to work hard ............ 'together''.
Something in my chest is holding me up, making it hard to breathe. I was in the mood for something refreshing.
Preferably-- something other than an apple.