Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume7 The Eighth Question

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The Eighth Question[edit]

Please read the following passage and choose the wrong conclusion from the brackets.

Jim and Della were a young couple. Even though they're poor, they still loved each other.
Jim had a gift with him. It's the golden watch that's passed down from his family. And Della's treasure was the beautiful hair of hers.
Christmas was about to arrive, and Della wanted to buy a gift for her beloved husband. She cut off her beautiful hair willingly and sold it to the wig shop. She used the money she earned from the sale to buy a platinum locket for Jim to hang on his golden watch.
When Jim returned back home, he saw Della with her hair cut off...he wasn't angry, shocked, unhappy nor afraid, but felt complicated as the gift he bought for Della was that beautiful hair-comb Della always wanted.[1]
(1) Because Della couldn't use the item he bought for her.
(2) Because he felt happy about understanding Della's feelings for him.
(3) Because the originally beautiful Della looked ugly now that her hair was cut, and Jim felt that it was a pity.
(4) Because Jim already sold the golden watch, and the gift Della bought for him couldn't be used anymore.

Kirishima Shouko's answer:

(3)

Teacher's comment

That's correct. This is a famous story about Christmas. The gifts both husband and wife got for each other couldn't be used, but they understood each other's feelings for each other. It's a heartwarming story, and sensei hope that the students can have their own wonderful families in the future.

BTS vol 07 295c.jpg

Kudou Aiko's answer

(3) *Short hair's rather cute too!

Teacher's comment

The answer's correct, but sensei feels that your understanding seem to be a little off.

Either way, the question stated to 'note the wrong conclusion', so (3) is the correct answer.

Sugawa Ryo's answer

(Ku)risumasu' (Christmas) supposed to be the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. THIS STORY IS DAMN WRONG FOR HAVING MAN AND WOMAN EXCHANGE IN SOME SICKLY AND ICKY SWEET EMOTIONAL EXCHANGE!!

Teacher's comment

There's no such thing as option (Ku).



“ALRIGHT EVERYONE! LISTEN UP! WE HAVE ONLY TWO CHANCES TO COUNTERATTACK! WE HAVE TO GET THE POINTS AND OUR TREASURES BACK!”

“““OOOHHHHH!!!”””

“WE MAY LOSE TO THEM IN SCORES, BUT OUR ATHLETIC ABILITIES DEFINITELY WON’T LOSE! WE MUST LET THEM SEE THE ABILITY OF US YOUTH!

“““OOOHHHHH!!!”””

“WE’RE GOING ALL OUT FROM NOW ON! SO…PLEASE ASSIST ME A MUCH AS YOU CAN! WE’RE GOING TO GET OUR TREASURES BACK! OUR MOTTO IS—”

“““GET BACK ERO-BOOK!!!”””

“TIME TO COUNTERATTACK! LET’S DO IT, GUYS!!”

“““LEAVE IT TO US!!!”””

As Yuuji rallied everyone like usual, everyone got pumped. That Yuuji finally did what he had to do. Seems like he’s finally ready to bring on his real ability.

“KONDOU, YOKOMIZO, HIDEYOSHI!”

Yuuji called out the first, second and third batter, and the three people that were called out walked to Yuuji in unison.

“It’s time to carry out the plan. You guys know that we can’t win if we keep this up. Even if we managed to get a base on balls or hit by pitch, it’s unlikely that we’ll get any points from them.”

We managed to defend quite well just now, but our offense is rather pitiful. Yuuji’s right. Even if we manage to get on base somehow, we can’t guarantee that we will be able to get any points from them.

“So right now, we can only bank everything on this plan. I want you people to drag the time on as much as you can.”

“Mn, I got it.”

“For our Ero—for the sake of our reference books, I will think of something no longer how much time I have to drag on.”

“But we can’t fail this time.”

All 3 of them nod their heads and agreed to take part in this operation. It’s a rare chance for them to step up, so of course they wish to have an outstanding performance, so they agreed to the delaying tactic. Every time this happens, I always feel that they’re members of class F.


“Ero book, ero boo, ero book…”

“Pillow, swimsuit photo, bathroom curtain…”


…They’re really members of F class…


“PLAY!”


The batter will try to delay the game without breaking the rules as each of them entered the batter’s bunting position. It seems like he wants to get a foul ball to waste more time.

“Are you ready, Yuuji?”

“Of course. I already gave instructions to those guys. Now we just need to wait for the time to arrive.”

“Is that so? Then we can only pray for the three of them to delay time as much as possible.”

“Yeah.”

I exchanged words with Yuuji as I prayed earnestly inside while looking at the situation on the field. Our opponents are the teachers. I don’t even know whether we can even delay some time.


“STRIKE! BATTER OUT!”

“Ku…!”


After recovering, I found that Kondou-kun was forced into a tight spot. Even after hanging on for so long, he finally took 3 strikes.

The next batter Yokomizo-kun went all out to fight, but the opponent landed some perfect fastballs in some nice locations, and he got struck out as well. Hideyoshi’s the only batter left in this inning.

But, our chance—still hasn’t arrived yet.

“It guess it’s about time…”

“Just a little bit. It’ll begin in just a while. Do your best, Hideyoshi…”


“FOUL BALL!”


Just when we were discussing this, the match continued. Hideyoshi continued to swung the bat to try and hit the fastball the teacher pitched.

Right now, the time on the school wall is 2.28pm. it feels like time just went by so slowly because there’s no second hand.

“Damn it. If only that teacher pitched 4 balls…”

“Based on that teacher’s personality, I think he’ll pitch rather carefully.”

The pitcher for this inning is the English Writing teacher Yamada-sensei. Though the pitches he threw weren’t so fast that we couldn’t react, his control is rather good. Looking at this, I don’t think we can expect a 4 balls walk.

“Can’t we hit it out?”

“Well, we can’t possibly hit it far. Besides, the shortstop and second baseman are that Terai and Ooshima.”

One is Terai-sensei who’s young and played baseball before, and the other is the health and physical education teacher Ooshima-sensei. We can’t possibly beat them with our abilities even if we do our best. Besides, the opponent can’t possibly throw four balls, so we can only pray for Hideyoshi to do his best and hang on…


“FOUL BALL!”


I don’t know how many foul balls has it been now, and right now, It’s 1 ball and 2 strikes. While the opponent can throw a ball, we can’t allow any mistakes here. However, with the teacher throwing that many pitches, Hideyoshi’s concentration should be at his limit.

“Not yet, not yet…”

“Hang in there, please, Hideyoshi…”

I can feel these anxious emotions climbing up our backs, but as we are only watching the match, the only thing we can do is to pray.


KLANG!

“FOUL!”


Every time the ball was pitched, cold sweat would break out of my back. Looking at how things stand now, it won’t be weird for Hideyoshi to be out at this point.

The palm of my tightly clenched fist is filled with sweat as I bend my upper body on the bench, earnestly waiting for the time to arrive fast.

“…It’s here.”

Suddenly, Muttsurini muttered.

“Uu!!”

Yuuji felt jumpy and turned around, looking at the loudspeaker hanging on the school building.


“...Zzu…zu…”


Some static could be heard from the loudspeaker as the sharp sounds reached our ears.

“IS IT HERE?”

Yuuji shouted out in excitement.

The next second, the audio broadcast could be heard throughout the entire sports arena.


“Right now, there will be a borrowing race in the center sports hall. All participants, please head to the designated area—”


“““IT’S HERE—!!!”””


Everyone cried out in unison.

After that, Hideyoshi was thrown out and finally ruled to be out. Now, it’ll be a switchover, but even so…we achieved our objective!

“Yare yare…looks like I managed to succeed.”

“Ahh! Hideyoshi! Nice going! Nice job too, Kondou and Yokomizo!”

Patting Hideyoshi’s shoulder as he returned to the bench, Yuuji looked extremely happy. We were waiting for this moment!


“Eh? What’s wrong with them? We got 3 outs on them, yet they look so happy.”

“Uu, who knows.”

“Those guys must be planning something.”


Several teachers feel amazed by our reaction. It’s true that our attack ended, but this is a trap for our next inning. We focused on the last inning, and we have to use that inning to get our final victory!

“Yoshii, Sakamoto. I don’t know what you’re happy about, but hurry up and get on field to defend!”

Ironman walked to our noisy bench and prompted us to hurry up and get ready.

“We know, but just wait.”

“? Wait for what?”

“You’ll see. I think they’ll be here soon.”

I smiled to Ironman who doesn’t understand anything and looked around. As expected, a few people are running over to us. They’re here! Our class F classmates!”

“What are those guys doing? Why are they rushing so fast—”

Ironman stared at the 3 students who came running here and can’t help but have a question mark above his head. At this moment, those students shouted at the supervising teachers who are on the baseball field.


“Endou-sensei! We’re having a borrowing race! Sorry, but please come along with us!”

“Eh? But I have to be in charge of the match here!”

“Just come along with us!”

“But—”

“It’s useless to talk further! An ordinary event’s much more important than the baseball tournament!”

“““—u?”””


I can see several teachers widening their eyes in shock. That’s right, this event was planned beforehand. This baseball match’s just used as a good chance to get along, and the other events are of priority.


“Ah, well…sorry senseis. I have to go first.”

“Hurry up, sensei!”


The teacher in charge of supervision in this match, Endou-sensei, got dragged by the hand.


“This can’t be helped. The teachers on the bench will have to—”


“Funakoshi-sensei! Please come along with us!”

“Takenaka-sensei, please!”


The other two teachers on the bench were called up, and the ones who called them were our F class members as well. With that, the teachers have no more additional help.

“Sakamoto, that’s your plan, right?”

“Well, what do you think?”

“Stop messing around. Weren’t the people who came over all F class people?”

“Haha, that’s a coincidence, right?”

Of course it’s not. After knowing the lineup of the teachers, Yuuji already requested our classmates to borrow a few teachers away. I guess the paper they drew should be something completely different from what they needed to borrow.

“Ironman, there’s no other teachers left now, you know.”

“Can’t be helped. I’ll just have to ask the teachers in the previous few innings.”

“That’ll be against the rules. The rules were already decided that the ‘same subject can’t be used twice’. Didn’t you forget?”

“Then what do you want me to do? There’s no more teachers who can act as supervisor, and we can’t use any teachers who’ve supervised the previous few subjects. Are you planning on making us compete with 8 players?”

Ironman’s sharp eyes brush past our faces. He must have thought that we will use this to render the match useless. No no, who’ll do such a bothersome thing? Besides, we won’t get any benefit if that’s the case.

“I—Nishimura-sensei, there are other subjects that can be used to decide this, isn’t it?”

“What are you saying, Yoshii. The teachers who were able to supervise were taken away.”

“No. What I mean is that even if the supervising teachers were taken away, there’s another subject that can allow us to continue playing.”

This is the plan Yuuji thought of in the beginning. Using the sports meet exchange match’s programmed rules to let us continue this match, a way for us to win.

“For the 5th inning, we’ll use physical education—we’ll win with our real ability!”

We’re not deciding this through marks, but using our own bodies. Physical education is able another subject the students need to learn. We’ll use this real baseball match to thoroughly crush the teachers.

“Alright, everyone. Put on your gloves! The 5th inning’s not going to be easy!”

Yuuji stretched his arm out and pointed at the gloves we borrowed from the baseball club beforehand.

Thus, it’s now the final inning. This is the only teachers-vs-students exchange match, and it will now begin for real.

“ALRIGHT! TIME TO BRING OUR ALL TO THE FIELD!”

“““UOOHHHH!!!”””

Again, I’m the pitcher now, and Yuuji returned back to being the catcher. Our opponent this time is the seventh batter Hasegawa-sensei who’s on for the second time. I was really scared until a while back, but at this moment, I don’t feel afraid at all.

(Outside corner, high, curve.)

I pitch the ball according to Yuuji’s direction. Although my pitching ability’s only at recreational level, but it’s enough to deal with the teachers who aren’t athletic enough!

“Uu…”


“STRIKE!”


Hasegawa-sensei just stood there blankly as the ball just flew into the catcher’s glove. With that, we managed to take the lead in the ballcount.

(Keep low. Straight.)

Nodding my head slightly, I pitched it down and middle. Now, I’ve already forced Hasegawa-sensei into a tight corner.

(Inside corner. Low. Slow ball.)

This is a feisty ball from Yuuji. I smirk slightly and pitch a slow ball as according to his instruction.

“Oh, oh my.”

Completely missing the timing of the slow ball, Hasegawa-sensei bent low but missed the swing.


“STRIKEOUT!”


We dealt with one. Now the next batter’s Ujiie-sensei, and after that, it’s Yamada-sensei.

Yuuji and I mixed slow balls and changeups to mess around the opponent’s batting. This unkind mix dealt with Ujiie-sensei and Yamada-sensei well.


“BATTER OUT! CHANGE!”


The umpire called for a change over.

“Good thing we weren’t facing Ironman or Ooshima-sensei.”

“Yeah.”

I returned back to the rest area and exchanged a few words with Hideyoshi nearby. Good thing we weren’t facing Ironman or Ooshima-sensei. In a real match, those two will definitely be the people we need to watch out for.

“Actually, I really wished that we could borrow them in the borrowing race.”

“Let’s not talk about the kind Endou-sensei. It won’t be that easy to borrow Ironman and Ooshima-sensei.”

Hideyoshi’s right. Those two won’t let us drag them away so easily. Maybe they might even ask to see the content of the paper. If that happened, our lies will be seen through. We would end up revealing the content of the papers if we asked too much, and that’ll be adding insult to injury. So we have to play just a little risk.

“It seems that Ironman and Ooshima-sensei still don’t trust us.”

“After doing so many stupid things, it’s no wonder they won’t believe us.”

We returned to the bench while talking.

After the outfielders all returned, Yuuji looked around at everyone and finally spoke up,

“Alright…now, it’s our last chance to attack.”

Right now, the score’s 0-1. It’s now the bottom half of the last inning. This is our last attack.

“It’s not enough to get a point. We’ll lose if we can’t get a turnaround in this inning. We don’t have a chance of winning in extra innings.”

If we get into extra innings, the teachers who were taken away for the borrowing race will come back. At that time, we’ll go back to deciding this match using scores. At that point, our chances of winning will become zero.

“This inning is the time when we have to show off our real ability. No matter what, we have to get 2 points. LISTEN UP, YOU GUYS! WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO WIN THIS MATCH!!!”

“““OOHHHH!!!”””

Our morale’s really strong, so strong that we can see the light of victory. Now, we can only progress on.

However, at this moment—

“If that’s the case, can I switch out with Tsuchiya?”

“Eh?”

“As the first batter of this inning, Minami suddenly made this request. Switch out? What does she want to do?

“What’s wrong, Minami? Don’t you have any confidence?”

“Mn, one reason is that I don’t have the confidence. Either way, I can’t possibly play baseball as well as guys. A girl’s physical abilities can’t match a guy, and I’m not so experienced with baseball after all.”

“I see…girls don’t really get involved in baseball often.”

As compared to us who often skip class to play baseball, Minami’s experience with baseball is really minimal. However, I don’t think she would lose to anyone of us in terms of athletic ability…

“So I want to switch with Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya would definitely perform better than me. And besides—”

“Besides?”

“Besides, in moments like this, a guy showing his best in baseball looks really cool, doesn’t he?”

While saying that, Minami smiled happily.

Minami really looked cute for saying this. Though she did all sorts of terrifying things in front of us, but maybe she has the heart of a girl more than anyone. That idea suddenly popped up in me.

“…I’m going.”

Muttsurini picked the bat up and walked towards home plate. After indicating to the umpire that he wanted to exchange places with Minami, he entered the batter’s box.


“PLAY!”


The umpire called for the bottom half of the 5th inning to begin. The batter’s Muttsurini, and the pitcher we’re going up against is the P.E. teacher Ooshima-sensei.

“Ironman’s the catcher…seems like they’re wary of us making a close play.”


“Well, we were the ones who said that we wanted to take revenge.”

Most likely, they’re afraid that once we hit the ball, the baserunner running to first base will collide with the catcher. If Ironman’s the one blocking main base, we’ll be blocked by him or even sent flying away no matter how hard we ram in. We have no chance of winning if we ram into the catcher.

Ooshima-sensei pitched the first ball rather forcefully as the arm swung down. The ball zipped through the wind and flew into the glove.

“…uu (PANK!)”


“STRIKE!”


Muttsurini swung the bat below the ball and missed. If he swung it below the ball, it means that the opponent’s pitch was a lot faster than he thought. As expected of Ooshima-sensei. He’s really a P.E teacher.

“…(su)”

Muttsurini readied his bat again. Ooshima-sensei and Ironman spent some time with the signal, and the second pitch was thrown.

This pitch seems to be flying at a fastball speed, but it glided sideways at the last second. Is that…a slider!? It’s just a teachers-vs-students exchange match. What sort of ball was he pitching! That’s not like what a mature adult would do!”


“STRIKE!”


Muttsurini missed the second swing. Now, it’s two strikes, and he’s trapped now.

“Nice pitching, Ooshima-sensei.”

Ironman threw the ball back at Ooshima-sensei as he said that. Right now, Muttsurini’s staring at Ooshima-sensei’s wrist as he gets ready to bat.

Ooshima-sensei pitched a curveball this time. Will Muttsurini be struck out?


“BALL!”


The umpire decided that this was a ball. Looking at where Ironman was putting his glove at, I thought it would be a strike again….it seems like Ooshima-sensei’s control isn’t that good.

Ooshima-sensei swung his arm and pitched the fourth ball. This ball…will he hit it…!?

“…GO…!”

The ball flew by the pitcher and rolled to third base. Hasegawa-sensei’s guarding third base, and I never heard that he’s athletic. There should be no problems.

“Oh, oh my.”

After picking up the ball, Hasegawa-sensei hurriedly threw to first base, but Muttsurini already passed first base before the ball even reached there.


“SAFE!”

“““WOOOOOHHHH—!!”””


Nice! Now we have the tying run on base. Now, it’s no man out, one man on first base, and the next batter is—

“I’LL FOLLOW TSUCHIYA AND GET ON BASE!”

The leader of the FFF—Sugawa-kun.

Sugawa-kun grabbed the bat with swagger and waits for the ball. Ooshima-sensei pitched a straight fastball at Sugawa-kun.

“…Gu…!”


“STRIKE!”


Sugawa-kun just stood there with wide eyes. He probably never expected Ooshima-sensei’s pitch to be that amazing.

Ooshima-sensei then pitched a few more fastballs, and Sugawa-kun missed. After going off, Fukumura-kun went past him and entered the batter’s box.

“…That was fast. Watch out there.”

“Mn, I got it.”

Having returned to the bench, Sugawa-kun reminded me. I have never seen Sugawa-kun look so serious, even though it was for the ero-books.

“Ku…!”

Fukumura-kun swung the bat, and the ball rolled up to the front of the pitcher. It seems like his swing lost to the power of the pitch.

Ooshima-sensei quickly picked the ball up, checked the condition at second base, and saw that the agile Muttsurini was about to reach second base with several centimeters left.

Giving up on second base, Ooshima-sensei then coolly passed to first base to throw Fukumura-kun off. Right now, it’s 2 men out with the runner on second base.

Finally, it’s time for the next batter, and I stepped up.

“Aki. The timing’s really great. You’ll be the hero if you can knock that out!”

“Well, please do your best, Akihisa-kun! I’ll be cheering for you here!”

The two girls in our class cheered for me energetically. Of course, I’m really happy that they would encourage me, and I hope to perform well now. However—

“Thanks. I don’t know if I can live up to your expectations, but I’ll do my best.”

Anyway, I can only answer like this, and I turn around and head to the batter’s box.

“So you’re the batter, Yoshii. Seems like things just got interesting.”

The catcher Ironman said that to me as I entered the batter’s box.

Yeah. I feel that this is really interesting.

“Yup. If I can get a base hit, we’ll catch up, and I’ll be the hero of our class.”

“Those girls just cheered for you, right? I know that you want to hit it out—but as a teacher, I have a pride that won’t allow me to lose. I won’t let you hit it out like that.”

“I never expected you to give me any leeway anyway.”

I answered Ironman and raised the bat.

Ooshima-sensei already got ready to pitch the ball. After that, the pitch from Ooshima-sensei flew by me and landed directly into Ironman’s glove.


“BALL!”


The first ball was a ball. It didn’t land into the strikezone well. Maybe he’s wary of me.

“I thought that you would swing at the first pitch.”

“Because you thought that I would try to act cool in front of the girls?”

“Mn, you can say that.”

Ironman pitched the ball back to Ooshima-sensei. I twist my neck lightly and stamp on the ground below me lightly to flatten the red dirt ground lightly and hold the bat in my hand tightly.

Ooshima-sensei checked that Muttsurini’s still at second base, and then pitched the ball at me. It’s a fastball this time, low at the strikezone.


“STRIKE!”


I silently let this ball fly past. Seeing me like this, Ironman seem to feel that something’s not right. It seems like he’s thinking that I’m thinking something bad again.

After checking Ironman’s signal and the position of the glove, Ooshima-sensei threw the third pitch.


“BALL!”


Facing the third pitch, I still had no intention of swinging the bat. This time, the ball felt like it was outside the strikezone. It seems like they’re becoming more wary of me now.

“What’s wrong, Yoshii? Not going to hit?”

“Yeah. Well, how should I put it…I have a lot of ideas in my mind.”

I deliberately made such a taunting tone to make Ironman more wary of me.

I don’t know what Ironman’s feeling now, but I can feel that Ironman just moved the glove slightly behind me.


“BALL!”


Another ball. Now it’s 3 balls and one strike. Right now, the opponent can only fight it out with me.

“…”

Ironman adjusted the glove for the fifth pitch, and I silently grip the bat for Ooshima-sensei’s pitch.

The ball went nicely down the middle to the strikezone. Unlike the four powerful pitches before, this pitch focuses on control instead. I don’t think it’s a curveball, so it’s time to swing the bat. Facing this ball, I have confidence that I can hit this half the time. But…


“STRIKE!”


I still didn’t swing the bat. Though I am confident that I can hit the ball half the time, it means that I will miss half the time.

“Is that really alright, Yoshii? Don’t you want to be the hero to tie this ball game?”

“No, I do want to be the hero.”

Seeing that I let the ball slip by, Ironman looked really intrigued and couldn’t help but say that to me. To him, it seems that I don’t want to knock a base hit. Well, it’s no wonder he would think that way when I didn’t hit that ball just now.

As I hold the bat to a short position, the sixth pitch immediately came to me. Like the pitch just now, this pitch focused on control as it landed into a nice center position. At this moment, I can’t let any ball pass by me.

KLANG! I swing the bat to let out a nice crisp and light sound, and the ball rolled out of first base.


“FOUL!”


Right now, it’s 2 strikes and 3 balls.

“…Are you waiting for a base on balls? That’s a passive way of thinking.”

“Ah, no. I don’t mean that—”

“Humph. Stop lying. From the way you swung the bat, even an idiot can tell what you’re thinking.”

Having seen me swing the bat, Ironman muttered. He’s right, I am aiming for a base on balls. I intend to hit all the pitches into foul territory until the final ball comes.

“It’s rare to have such a chance, and yet you want to waste it.”

“Well…actually, I was thinking the same way…”


KLANG!

“FOUL!”


The seventh pitch was a foul ball as well. Ooshima-sensei should be irritated by now?

“But since it’s a rare chance, I want to repay what I borrowed.”

“Repay? What do you mean?”


KLANG!

“FOUL!”


“Uu…how should I say it? I’m really troubled. I bet everything on such an important match, yet I didn’t accomplish anything before this thing ends.”

“Hm? What are you saying?”

“I can only wish that others can finish off this wish that I would never give up on. Should I be depressed, or angry, or is it an inexplicable feeling…”

“I have no idea what you’re trying to say here.”


KLANG!

“FOUL!”


I hit the ball aside, and it grazed past the grass.

I grip my bat again, and watch the opponent pitch the ball.

“I don’t know how to express it, but anyway—”

“Anyway? What are you trying to say?”

The ball zipped past the outside corner.

I didn’t swing the bat this time, but casually answered Ironman’s question.

“—I’M JUST UNHAPPY THAT I’M NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER TODAY!”


“BALL! BASE ON BALLS!”


Ooshima-sensei’s concentration was finally worn out by me and finally lost control. Now I can get onto first base.

“Speaking of which, sensei. Is that really alright?”

“What?”

“If you really want to fight it out with us, you would send me and Yuuji onto base, and focus on Himeji-san, right?”

Ironman faced off against me. If that’s the case, he would be going up against Yuuji too. If the teachers wants to win this game without worry, they would focus on Himeji-san who’s after that.

On hearing me say this, Ironman remained silent, and suddenly burst out laughing.

“WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, YOSHII!? LISTEN UP—”

Ironman pointed at me and said it clearly to me.

“We teachers have to be role models for you students. If we can’t face you all head on, what can we teach you!”

Now that he mentioned it, I can’t say anything for a while. This teacher’s always giving us corporal punishment, so why didn’t anyone sue him to the educational committee. At this moment, I seem to understand the reason.

Our conversation came to an end. I turn around to look at the batter, Yuuji. Yuuji’s staring back at me.

“I paid you back for the test of courage, Yuuji.”

“…Stop joking around. Don’t think you owe me just that.”

I passed my bat to Yuuji, who gripped it tight. Alright, now I’m a runner at first base, and now I can only leave everything to Yuuji.

“I’ll leave the rest to you then.”

“Got it. I’ll hit the ball out.”

I nod hard at his forceful reply and turn to walk towards first base.

Our class F just needs to catch up by one point. Right now, it’s two men out and runners on first and second. If Yuuji can hit a long ball, we can win with a base hit, but if only one person returns to first base, we’ll definitely lose in extra innings. This is an easy to understand situation.

Right now, my body’s stiff straight due to the tension, and I can only stand at first base and watch the duel between the pitcher and batter. Once the ball gets hit, I have to run with all I got. If I can get to home plate, it’ll be our F class win.

After Ooshima-sensei checked the runners at first and second, they got ready to pitch.

The first pitch left Ooshima-sensei’s hand.


“ST—STRIKE!!”


The signal of the strike rang throughout the entire arena. The way I see it, this ball was really fast. The fatigue of the full count off was still there, but Ooshima-sensei just pitched it as it were nothing. It was strong as ever, and no wonder Muttsurini was only about to hit a short ball.

Ironman threw the ball back at Ooshima-sensei. Both of them decided on the next pitch, and Ooshima-sensei again got ready to pitch.


“BALL!”


This time, it’s a low ball. Yuuji didn’t swing as he just let that fly by. Right now, it’s 1 ball 1 strike.

Everyone can only swallow their saliva and wait for this crucial third pitch.

Ooshima-sensei rested his right hand on his shirt and wipes off the sweat.

Yuuji focuses his weight on the back foot, seemingly storing energy so that he can launch a hard one here.

Ooshima-sensei tilted his body forward and forcefully swung the ball.

That was a fastball that came right at the batter.

Swinging the back foot that’s acting as the center of gravity, Yuuji spins his body and swings the bat hard.


--KLANG!


The crisp sound echoed throughout the arena.

““—u!!””

At that moment, Muttsurini and I used all our strength to sprint to the next base.

BTS vol 07 339.jpg

The ball landed right in front of the center fielder, and the center fielder who’s rather far out ran front to get that bouncing ball.

Muttsurini, who was on second base, quickly stepped onto third base and ran to home. And I stepped onto second base and ran to third.

I can feel the teacher in charge of center field picking up the ball.

“Ooshima-sensei!”

What entered my ears was the voice of a young teacher. Terai-sensei picked the ball up and quickly passed the ball to Ooshima-sensei who’s in the middle.

At that moment, Muttsurini stepped onto first base. It’s now 1-1. We’re even!

The third base coach told me to stop.

This instruction is correct. Besides, I won’t make it if I continue to run. But even so—


“““YOSHII!!”””


I stepped onto third base and continued running to home.

Now’s the time. I have to get onto home plate!

I frantically try to run on the arena. I’m almost there. There’s just 5 m left.

At this moment, Ironman caught the ball from Ooshima-sensei. He’s blocking me as I continue to run to first base, spreading himself defensively to block me in a melee brawl. As we collide, if the ball dropped out from Ironman’s glove, I’ll win. However, Ironman will win if I get blocked completely.

“—Uu!”

I grit my teeth and lowered my body as I get ready to crash in. Like me, Ironman immediately lowered his center of gravity to block me.

At this moment,

“—U!”

I tilt my body aside and spin around Ironman.

“Uu? Ku—!”

Trying to block my impact and lowering his center of gravity, Ironman couldn’t catch up to my unexpected action. As his body slowed down by half a step, I fall forward and reach my hand out to home plate.

The dust scattered, and everyone present couldn’t help but hold their breaths.

And then, the umpire loudly declared the outcome of this game.


“—SAFE!!!”


“““YYYYYYYYYEEEESSSSSSS!!!”””

Everyone in F class jumped up from the bench and let out delighted cries.

“…Nice going, Yoshii.”

Pa Pa. Ironman patted the dust of his shirt and said that to me.

“Because I thought that it could work?”

“It could work? Even if I were the opponent?”

“No, since I’m going up against Nishimura-sensei, I felt that it could work. Didn’t sensei tell me that?”

I impishly imitated Ironman’s tone,

“‘We teachers have to be role models for you students. If we can’t face you all head on, what can we teach you!’”

As I understood Ironman’s personality, I felt that it could work. Because he’s one that will honestly block me head on, so I felt that this bypass plan could work.

On hearing me explain that, Ironman couldn’t help but widen his eyes, and then responds happily,

“I see. If that’s the case, I have to change my attitude towards you next time.”


“THE TEACHERS-VS-STUDENTS MATCH BETWEEN CLASS 2-F AND THE TEACHERS ENDED! FINAL SCORE’S 2-1. CLASS 2-F WIN!”

“““THANK YOU FOR THE MATCH!!”””


Finally, the baseball tournament that belonged to us ended.


Notes[edit]

  1. Text given was extracted from the story 'The Gift of the Magi' by O Henry.