400-Those who pull the 55th episode without additives.

'Are you sure, Mom?
'Yeah. A hunter never says two words.'

Just before the bar draw began, Medora made a bet with Use.

'If you guys can get more sticks than me personally, I'll exempt you from the special training.
'Whoa, whoa!Really?All right, let's do this, bastards!
''However, if I win, the special training will be upgraded to 'intense training'.

If you lose, you die. ......
So, what's the plan, hunting guild?

'No, no, if we lose here, then we'll be cowards who need special training!
'Yes, you're right!
'It's just a chance Mom gave us.
'That's right, let's do it!

Use's words ignited the fighting spirit of the hunting guild.
Use and the others would take the bet.

'Listen up, you bastards!It'll take five of us to subdue your mother!It's not impossible!
'That's right!Besides, attacking the players is forbidden!
That means I won't die even if I'm wrong!
'It's not every day you get a chance to fight your mom in such safe conditions!
'If we win against Mom, it'll be a good foil for the District 42 Branch!
'That's right, bastards!This is our chance to go head to head with Mama!
'''' That's right!As long as they don't attack directly, they probably won't die!I'm only a little scared. ''''

Is it bravado or cowardice? ......

'Hmmm. I'm glad you took the bet. If you had said you were too cowardly to take the bet, I would have started my super [...] training right now. Haha, you saved my life, you guys!
'''''............ haha'''''

The only thing that came out was a dry, pathetic smile.
You're all scaly now, aren't you?

'Well, go ahead and give it your all!I'm looking forward to it.

With a bang, the Kaiju left for the waiting line.
The Uzes, sweating coldly, stare at his back with sharp eyes.

'Let's do this, guys!
'''' Oh! ''''

After all, they're hunters too, right?
The more dangerous the hunt, the more they burn.

The more dangerous the hunt, the more they burn,' Medora said, sneaking a glance at me.
I raise a small hand to signal him.

Here's the bet between me and Medora.

One Medora and five hunting guilds. Who gets the most sticks.
This is not a contest between the blue team and the yellow team. It's just a contest between Medora and the five hunting guilds.

Of course, I'm betting on the hunting guild to win.
Well, I don't expect them to win.
The important thing is that Medora and the hunting guilds will be preoccupied with other games than the outcome of the stick-pulling competition.
If Estella and Natalia join Use and the hunting guild, it will not count as a point for the hunting guild.
Because of this condition, the Usses would only act as a hunting guild.
This will destroy the unity of the Blue Guild.

At the same time, I'll have five people block the Medora.
Although they won't be able to block him completely, it's much better than letting him run free.
If Medora wanted to, he could get all 50 sticks by himself.
You have to hold him back.

Pull each other down, crush each other.

'You think you've done well, don't you?

Estella appears in front of me with a cool expression on her face.
She looks as if she sees through everything.

'I hope things work out the way you want them to.
'Well... What are you talking about?
'Don't get so caught up in what you see that you end up getting caught in your own trap.
'Is that a warning?
'No, a warning.

A thin smile, then a serious look.

'I'm not giving up the top spot. It's my pride, you know.'

The blue team is currently the overall leader.
I'm not going to be dragged down in this competition. Such a declaration.

'Good luck with that. We'll do our best here.'
'If the words hadn't come from your mouth, I would have listened to them with open arms, but I'll be ...... wary. Enough said.

Estella left, having said all she had to say.
Natalia had a very serious look on her face. I hope she hasn't made up her mind to understand the Blue Team's situation and get serious .......

I looked over and saw Paula and Norma looking at me.
It's hard to tell if they're smiling or angry.
They seem to have realized that I've made a move to block Medora.

I'm not sure what to make of that.

You look like you're about to say something like that.

The red team continues to say, "Beat the white team!Overtake the blue team! The red team is still chanting, "Beat the white team!
The red team is still chanting 'Beat the white team!


Barbara comes in, her white headband tied tightly.

'You're going to win, aren't you?

Her eyes are expectant.
So far I've been plotting and executing and running the game. Maybe that's what he's starting to think.
But it hasn't really worked out.
Don't get your hopes up for someone like that.

'You won't know until you try, you know.
'What the hell!Say you'll win!
'If you want to win, try your best to win.
'Oh!Aashi, I'll do my best!

I didn't tell Barbara anything.
In his case, if he thinks about this and that, his body will stop.
You're free to move.

Stir things up at your leisure.

'Yashippi. I'm ready to go.

Mokoka, and Inez and Deborah are coming.
It seems they were having a separate meeting with the serving team.

'We've finished our assignments for now, too.

Sophie comes to report with a group of men.
Yamboldo, Kabril and Markus. Including Sophie, it's a group of four men who are proud of their strength.

'...... time is up'.
'I'm going to do exactly as I planned!

Magda and Loretta were also in high spirits.

'All right, then, everyone. It's going to be a tough mission, but I'm counting on you.
'...... Everyone, let's go!

Following Magda's order, the players headed for the waiting line.

Magda, Loretta, Ines, Deborah, Mokoka, Sophie, Yamboldo, Cabriel, Markus, and Barbara. These are the ten players representing the white team.
I'm not joining. There's no way I can match the hunting guild or Delia and the others in strength or speed.
I'll watch the battle from here and give the orders. Sophie's here, too, and she can pass on secrets.

I left Riveka out of this because she's a bit dangerous.
There's a hunting guild against Medora. If she gets hurt in the accident, I might get a lot of flak.

'Hey, girl!Hang in there!

With her cute little troop in tow, Rebeka cheered enthusiastically.
She must know that this is the final stage of the battle.

That's right, Riveka. Put some energy into your cheering. Just like we planned.

He crosses his arms and glares at the other teams with a relaxed expression.
We're not in a hurry at all, we're smug, and we'll show it with every fiber of our being.
I send a silent message to them that they are the ones who are cornered.

Estella and Norma were staring at me.
What the hell. I'm not answering.
Of course not. I'm working on the "winner". I can't be bothered with the game at hand.
I'll do whatever it takes.
Well, good luck with that. I'll be in trouble if you don't.

I looked next to me and saw Lucia in the same position as me.
She's not playing, but she's in a position to look around and give orders.
I looked at her and she gave me a provocative smile.

Good luck to you too. For the white team.

The participants are all present and begin to move from the entrance gate into the truck.

The blue team was led by Estella and Natalia, with five members of the hunting guild including Use, two cowherds, and a soldier guarding the prison. It's a solid lineup, but if the five members of the hunting guild can't move, we'll be fighting with half the number of men. Now, what to do, Estella?

The Yellow Team has brought in Paula and Norma, the monster Medora, and energetic people from the hardware guild and the restaurant. Although Medora is the only one who stands out, it's a well-balanced lineup with an army of dynamic waitresses and powerful maidens from the Hardware Guild. Paula's triumphant expression suggests that she is quite confident in this lineup. Let's see what she can do.

The red team consisted of Delia, Milly, Imelda, Gilberta, and a few people from the river fishing guild and the lumberjacks. This group is more of a power push than a mobility push. How Gilberta will stand in the midst of all this, that's what we should pay attention to.

'Whoo-hoo-hoo!I'll show you my brilliant stick-handling skills!

...... Yeah. I don't care about Imelda.
But you're confident you can stand out if you join. Well, let's see what she can do.

'Now then, all players, please enter your positions.

The waiter's voice rang out, and the players were ready.
After that, the rules are confirmed again.
No attacks on the players. No dangerous interference. Robbery of enemy sticks is prohibited.
Furthermore, no points will be awarded if the stick is damaged. In short, do not forcefully take and break the sticks. If you do this, the number of violent acts will naturally decrease.
One more point: it is forbidden to throw the sticks into the field.
The reason for this is to prevent people from quickly going to the sticks and throwing them so high into the air that no one can touch them and make them fall into the camp. Medora would be able to pull off such a feat.
I want you to carry the sticks back to your position.

Please follow the rules and compete. Let's go!


The bell rings, and the players of each team pour out from their positions.

The players of the white team scatter in unison.
They are instructed to touch as many sticks as possible, not to form gangs.

'd*mn it!Plan B!'
'''' Hey, ''''!

I knew it.

There are two possible strategies that the hunting guild can take to win.
Either they raid first to widen the gap between them and Medora, or they try to sabotage Medora from the start to keep her from scoring points. These are the only two options.

There are 50 sticks for a total of 40 players, 10 from each team.
Even if all the players got one stick each, there would be ten sticks that would be free at first.
Since the sticks cannot be thrown, it takes time to move back and forth between the sticks and the position no matter what. A simple calculation shows that the hunting guild with five members has a huge advantage. --If there's no interference.

So we interfered.
The white team dispersed, one stick in each hand.
Twenty sticks for ten.
Our first plan was to keep the free sticks out of the hands of the enemy.

If Kabriel, Yamboldo and the other strong men could hold the sticks, even the hunting guild would not be able to make a killing.
Naturally, those who are not in the white team are also eager to earn points.
It won't be the sole domain of the hunting guild. No, they won't.

Then, they would have to narrow down their options.

The five of us will hold the monster Medora at bay.

That's the best we can hope for.

'We're not going back to the camp, Mom!

Three hunters stand in front of Medora with two sticks. Two of them are circling backwards.

'Huh. So you've given up on attacking and are sticking to defending?That's pretty reluctant for a hunter, isn't it, boys?
'No, Mom. That's not right.'

Use stepped in front of Medora and closed in on her.

'This is an all-out assault!
'Hunt down Mom!
''Let's do it!
''Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Medora was attacked by the five hunters. However, Medora was in no hurry at all and fought them off with just her body movements.
She continues to fend off the hunters who rush at her like a matador.

'You still can't catch me with that kind of movement.

Indeed, not a finger was touched.
However, Medora was also not able to get close to the position.
A sort of stalemate ensues.

'All right, boys!Keep your momma in check!I'll get a stick!I'll get a stick, and if you keep her down, we win 1-0!
'''' Hey, ''''

Use gives the order to the remaining four to leave the battlefield against Medora.
With Medora under control, there is no one to interfere with Use. ...... No way.

'I won't let you!
'Hey!The Hardware Guild!

Norma put her hand on the stick Use had grabbed.
The sturdy wooden rod, 20 centimeters in diameter, creaks and squeaks.

'I don't have time for you!Get your hands off me!
'I don't give a d*mn about your situation. If you want it, go ahead and take it from me!
'd*mn it!

Norma's signature move of letting her opponent's power pass her by. She's a good fighter.
Norma uses her long stick to play with Use in an interesting way. Perhaps it's because of his training with Delia, but he seems to be a good match for opponents who are forceful.
It would be a tricky opponent for Use.

'We can't afford to waste time!

Use quickly gives up and leaves the stick.
Then, perhaps judging that he was easier to deal with than Norma, he changed his aim to the stick that Barbara was holding nearby.

'Whoa, what the hell!This is Aash!
'It's mine now!

Use rotates the stick in his grasp in a direction that Barbara can't get a grip on.
If Use rotates the stick to the right as if he were grasping it, Barbara's wrist will open outward as she holds the stick facing him. Then the force does not come in.
In that moment of power loss, the stick is pulled out at once, and Use runs back to his army.

'Ah!Wait, you!That's not fair!

Barbara rushes after him, but no matter how many times she grabs the stick, it is shaken off by Use's skillful handling of the stick.
Use seems to have firmly mastered the spirit of controlling the strong with the soft. He avoided Norma, probably because he judged that Norma's skill was too high and it would take too much time to fight her.
Use, who usually deals with magical beasts, is in a position to take care of his own life and the lives of his friends. His decisiveness and grace are as good as any.

Barbara would be no match for her.

All right!I got one!I'm coming back, you bastards!
'd*mn it!You'll have to play with Aashi again.
'See you next time!

Ursus dodges Varvara and returns to his comrades fighting Medora.
Varvara is in hot pursuit, but she's not being taken seriously. It's as if he doesn't care about him.

'Hey, monkey girl. Did you come too?'

Medora smiled at Barbara, who had followed Use to her front door.

'Now that you're here, I'll give you this stick if you want it.

He holds out a stick in each hand to Barbara.
When Barbara reaches out, the sticks are quickly pulled, and Barbara's arms fly through the air.

'Huh. What's the matter?Don't you want it?'
'No ......!

Varvara, in a fit of rage, throws out her hand, but Medora manipulates the stick with such exquisite movements that it barely misses her.
She is being completely played.
Of course, the hunters of the blue group do not just stand idly by and watch, and all five of them are trying to get the stick that Medora is holding, but they are all at each other's mercy.

'Yeah!I've got it!

Using the crowd of hunters as a cover, Barbara suddenly jumped out and put her hand on Medora's stick.

'Heh, nice work, monkey girl. But ......!

But with a slight flick of Medora's wrist, Barbara's body popped up and was flung away.

'That wasn't an attack. I just changed the direction of that monkey girl's power. In other words, it was the monkey girl's self-destruction.

Medora's right. It wasn't so much that the stick knocked Barbara away, but rather that her body flew away with the momentum of her plunge.
That's it. It's like aikido.

To catch Medora's stick, which flees with dexterity, you need a moment of sharpened explosive speed, but if you go in at that speed, you will be blown away by your own momentum.
There's no way to beat that thing, is there?

'What's the matter, you bozos? Your movements are getting slower. Are you giving up already?

I'm not done yet!
'Even Aarthi won't give up!
'Hahaha!The monkey girl is the most energetic!

Medora swings her stick.
The wind pressure blows Barbara, Use and the other hunters away.
After all, Medora is someone who shouldn't be included in the category of humans.

'Well then, I'm going back to my position.
'Wait for me at ............!

Barbara crawls, gets up, and jumps for the stick Medora is holding.
That's tremendous persistence.
But there is a difference that cannot be overturned by feelings alone.

'Good eye, monkey girl. You should know defeat better and be stronger. Then I'll at least remember your name.'
'Shut up!I don't need you to remember my name!
'Hahaha!You should know your place before defeating me!

Medora pulled the stick lightly and thrust it out vigorously.
With that, Barbara's body rolled around on the ground like a paper toy.

'Haha ......!Haha ......!Haha ......!

He collapsed in a heap, in pieces. A great deal of sweat was pouring out of him.
Barbara won't be able to get up again.

'...... Sophie, put the finishing touches on this. Get the word out to everyone.'

I whispered to her, and Sophie nodded her head.
Tell them the finishing touches and have them pass them on to the competitors.

It was convenient that Barbara was too exhausted to get up.
Medora has the last two sticks.
All the other sticks have been taken to a position somewhere.

'Now, it's time to settle this. Let's see you make a last ditch effort!
'd*mn it!Let's charge!
'''' oooohhhh! ''''
'Hmm, you're a dead end. You're failing.'

Medora's body appears to shake, and she vanishes.
The hunters who rushed forward lost their targets and collided with each other, sinking into the ground as if they were folded together.

I wondered where such a huge body had disappeared to, but Magda was looking up at the sky.
When I followed Magda's gaze and looked up at the sky, I saw Medora floating far ahead. A huge body like a cloud of clouds is flying in the sky.

It is forbidden to throw the stick, but it is not forbidden to jump while holding it.
And considering Medora's jumping power, that huge body would definitely reach the Yellow Team's position.
There was nothing anyone could do to stop him.

Just when I thought that...

'Escape ......, hey!

Barbara made a mad dash and a huge jump to get her hands on Medora's stick.
It was pulled with force through the air, and Medora looked back with a surprised expression. Then he lifted the corner of his mouth in a very happy expression.

When he landed, one of the two sticks was completely in the yellow team's position, but more than half of the stick that Barbara grabbed was out of the yellow team's position.
The competition continued.

It's a fight for the last stick.

'That's some guts you got there. I'll give you a pat on the back.
'I don't want it!Give me the stick!
'You can't do that!
'If you're going to ......, why don't you join Magda?

Magda leaps out from behind Barbara, clings to the 20cm diameter stick, and uses her whole body to spin it.
Medora's arm, which hadn't faltered even with the use of heavy machinery, was lifted up so that it bent back.

'...... Barbara, pull.'

Barbara pulls on the stick with all her might.
But the stick didn't move a muscle.

'That was a close one.

Magda's surprise attack was able to create an opening for Medora, but it was not the decisive blow.
If there had been another Ines or Deborah, it might have been possible.
In any case, Barbara had too little strength left. She was sitting on the ground and shaking her shoulders violently.
It's impossible to rob him like that.

'Magda's judgment was not bad. If you had fought together with Use's bowers, you might have been able to take at least one of them.
'...... Assumptions are just that, assumptions. Even under those conditions, you still might not have gotten one.

'Well, that's true. But I'm glad you're growing up and--'

Medora's big hand stroked Magda's head, then draped over Barbara's.

'I'm glad to have met such a reckless young woman.

Barbara brushes Medora's hand away in annoyance.
She seems too frustrated to take Medora's praise in stride.

'Don't forget your frustration.

Medora handed the stick to Magda.

'Here's your reward. Take it home with you.'
'It's at .......'
'Your hard work is worth a stick. That's what I've decided.'
'...... Okay. I'll take it.'

Magda is carrying the last stick and Barbara back to the white team's position.
There was no one to target the gaping Magda.

If there had been, it would have been blocked by Medora and the head waiter.

'Hah ...... hah ............ d*mn ......!'

Barbara bit down on her back teeth.
You don't realize it, do you?
You probably don't realize that there are a lot of people around you who were touched by your efforts.
That's quite a feat. The guts.

You know.
Magda wasn't planning to make a move, but she came to your aid.
Magda hates to lose. She might've felt your frustration.
If you moved Magda, then you've done enough. You should be proud of that.
Well, you should be as frustrated as you can be right now.

Magda's in the white team's position and the field is clear of sticks.
The game is over.

The waiter runs to each team's position and counts the number of sticks won.

Our bet was a draw, as Medora and Use's hunting guild each got one.
Maybe Medora was just being clever and made it a draw, though.
Medora has a soft spot for her own guild members, after all. Use and the others may be awarded for their bravery.

'The tally of points earned has been completed.

The waiter's voice rang out, and all the players took notice.

'First place goes to the yellow team, with 19!

The yellow team cheered loudly.
The yellow team, except for Medora, had won the sticks efficiently.

'Too bad, Yashiro.

Paula walks up to me with a triumphant look on her face.
Next to her is Norma, who is walking leisurely.

'You may have thought you'd shut Medora down, but it was the other way around. Medora-san was the only one who was able to contain the hunting guild!
'It was a lot easier for us because the blue group was quiet.

Norma and Paula are sweating slightly.
They must have done a lot of running around and worked hard.
As proof.

'Norma's gym uniform has a sweat stain on her cleavage.
'Where are you looking?You need to see more reality!
'That's right, Yashiro. White Team, you're in big trouble.'

'See you later,' Paula and Norma said briefly as they left.

'And the second place goes to the red team with 15!

With Lucia giving instructions at the top of her voice, and Gilberta acting as a lubricant and buffer, the power-pushing red team had achieved the second highest score after the yellow team.

Lucia is personally giving words of encouragement to the players.
She must have been very happy. She was so excited that she forgot to come to me to complain.

'Did you see that?You saw my brilliant performance!

Apparently Imelda was doing something too. Imelda seems to have had some kind of success, and she must have gotten some of them, because she looks very proud.
By the way, I remember that she had formed a team of lumberjacks and was running east and west.

'And third place goes to the blue team, with nine!

The Blue team, missing five members of the hunting guild, fought hard with half of their team.
Natalia was doing a good job of controlling the Yellow and Red teams, and the team led by Estella was steadily gaining points as one.
If they hadn't crushed the hunting guild, the blue team would have been in a position to win.

'Last but not least, the last place goes to the white team, with seven points!

The white team did not raise any voice.

The players were staring at me.

I didn't say a word.
I didn't have the words to say.

The players moved at my command.
I told them to move to prevent the stick from being won rather than to win it.
Let the hunting guild and the medora collide and crush each other.

And this is the result.

'Is it sinking in, Yashiro?

Estella comes in wiping sweat off her face.
I guess she got the result she imagined and came to give me a lecture.

'If you dig a lot of holes to get people down, you might end up in one yourself.

They were so busy dragging others down that they neglected their own scores. That's what he's trying to say.
It's a mistake to think that by crushing the enemy, we will naturally improve ourselves - I don't know if you think so, but that's what you're trying to say.

'Look here, Yashiro. It looks like the results of the total score have come out.

Estella, who had probably already calculated the results by heart, pointed at the scoreboard with a face full of confidence.

'I kept my top position as promised. And you -- you seem to have fallen into the hole you dug.

The scores on the board read.

Blue team 3630 points
Yellow team 3580 points
White team 3380 points
Red team 3480 points

The white team was clearly shown to be the lowest.