Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume7 The Third Question
The Third Question
Please read the text below and answer the following question:
- “The forces of King Xiang had arrived at the wall, having suffered casualties and lack of food."
- "The Han forces and the warlords surrounded them."
- "During the night, forces of Han surrounded the encampment of King Xiang and started singing folk songs of Chu. The leader of Chu was startled by this."
- "Has Chu fallen into the Hans' hands? Since when did Chu have so many?"
- "King Xiang stood up in the middle of the night and starting drinking.”
Please write the idiom that was formed to describe Xiang Yu's attitude.
Himeji Mizuki's answer:
“Chu Song from 4 sides (四面楚歌, shimensoka).”
Correct answer. When the enemy forces started singing the 'Chu folk songs' his own comrades should be having, this meant that Xiang Yu's forces were trapped yet had no way to fight back. 'Being isolated and surrounded on all sides' is thus called 'Chu Song from 4 sides'.
Tsuchiya Kouta's answer:
He struck later.
Yoshii Akihisa's answer:
He lost after attacking later, okay?
“The summoned beast baseball tournament will be held at the 2nd sports hall. Will all participating students please—”
The broadcast was aired through the loudspeakers all over the school.
Just like that, it's now the day of the sports meet.
After the boring opening ceremony ended, we stood up from the seats that were specially set for this sports meet and headed towards the baseball arena.
“Yuuji, who's our opponent in the first round?”
“I remember it should be our neighboring class in the same year. We're facing class E. See, this is the schedule.”
Yuuji handed an A4 sized paper to me, and there was a pyramid-shaped diagram schedule on it.
So we're facing class E...though it's our neighbor class, it seems like we didn't interact much with each other. We never faced them in a summon battle, and yet didn't really interact with them during the test of courage event. If I have to say it, the only time we really interacted with each other was during the peeping. In other words, I don't have any information on them.
“Is it okay for us to go up against class E? Will there be any problems?”
I asked Yuuji, who was walking beside. Besides, we have Himeji-san and Hideyoshi on our side, so I have a duty to make sure that they're alright.
“Mm...I don't think there will be much of a problem. I just said hello to their class rep for a bit, and her reaction was rather cute.”
“Eh? Really? You said cute, what sort of person is she?”
“If I have to say, it's...”
Yuuji would actually call her cute. Even if she's the opponent, I'm rather intrigued. How did class E's rep greet Yuuji.
“'Hello, I'm class E's rep, my name is Nakabayashi! We will definitely win today's match!', or something like that.”
“That person must be pretty muscular, right? She's not cute at all, right!?”
No matter how I think about this, I can't possibly link this sentence to the word 'cute'!
“I'm joking. She basically said, 'let's have a good game, we'll definitely not lose~☆ '. Well, that's roughly the tone class E's rep used.”
“I see. Okay~ we won't lose as well!”
“But she's from the rugby team.”
“That's someone who's ridiculously muscular, right!?”
Someone from the rugby team uses such a tone? That's annoying!
“I lied. Class E's rep is the leader of the girls' tennis club, Nakabayashi-taichou. She has a personality similar to Shimada.”
“And her appearance?”
“About the same as Iron—I was kidding!! Where're you running to, Akihisa!?”
“Your jokes aren't good for the heart, Yuuji!”
If she really has Minami's personality and Ironman's offensive power, we can't possibly win.
“Really...Yuuji, stop bullying Akihisa so much. That doesn't involve the main objective anyway. Speaking of which, how's E class like?”
This time, Hideyoshi, who was walking beside us, asked as well. It seems like he's not familiar with class E as well.
“Sorry, well...if there's a need to describe class E, it's that they're a 'sports class'.”
“A 'sports class'?”
“Yeah, Those guys from class E seem to be focused on sports. As they're busy with club activities, their scores were atrocious. However, their physical abilities and senses are amazing.”
So they were a class centered around club activities? No wonder they never took part in summoning battles much. To them, having good club facilities is better than class facilities.
“I see, so they're just a bunch of sporty idiots.”
Hmm...just when I nodded my head in understanding, a figure was walking up to me from the front. Hm, who's that?
“I DON'T WANT TO BE CALLED AN IDIOT BY YOU, YOU IDIOT!”
A girl with a headband saw me and started scolding me. I, I guess this is the first time I met her...
“IF WE'RE IDIOTS, THEN YOU CLASS F GUYS WHO'RE OF A LOWER LEVEL THAN US ARE SUPER BIG IDIOTS! YOU BIG IDIOT!!”
This girl with the head band looked really angry as she pointed at me and started scolding me. This is...
“Akihisa, this is class E's rep, the Nakabayashi I just told you about.”
Seeing me with a puzzled look, Yuuji gave me a rare kind explanation to solve the doubt in my heart.
Ahh, I see, so this is—
“So this is the girl who we just said was muscular all over the place and—”
“MUSCULAR ALL OVER THE PLACE? HOW DID YOU INTRODUCE ME!?”
The girl with the headband widened her eyes and shouted in disbelief.
Ah, sorry. I said the wrong thing. I should call her class E rep.
I used this time to recollect my feelings and stared at Nakabayashi-san. Her appearance did give the impression of being strong, but other than that, there was nothing too weird. That's great...finally, a normal person I don't get to interact with nowadays!
However, my stare just seemed like it created a misunderstanding in her, so Nakabayashi-san suddenly used her arms to wrap around her body and got away from me, shouting,
“WHA, WHAT'S WITH THAT EXPRESSION OF YOURS!? THAT'S WHY I HATE CLASS F IDIOTS!! LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE'S BODIES LIKE THIS, YOU GUYS ARE REALLY PERVERTS!!”
That's a serious misunderstanding, I didn't look at you like that.
“That's not true! I just thought that Nakabayashi-san plays rugby, so you should look somewhat like Ironman—”
“YOU'RE PICKING A FIGHT WITH ME, RIGHT!? YOU'RE JUST LOOKING FOR A FIGHT, AM I RIGHT!!?”
Not good, she just stared directly at me and looked extremely angry.
“Ahhh, calm down, brawn-haired girl, Akihisa just blurted that out accidentally.”
At that moment, Yuuji saved me at the right time just when I didn't know what to do. But what's with that 'brawn-haired'?
“Brawn-haired? You mean blond-hair? You idiot, I didn't dye my hair blond or anything like that. Do you want a checkup at the hospital?”
Nakabayashi-san seemed to be harboring the same doubt as me as she stared at Yuuji in disbelief.
“No no, I'm not talking about brawn-haired as in 'the hair is blond', but that even your hair is so well-trained that muscles came out.”
“And you dare to say that...”
“—That's what Akihisa thought.”
“WHAT DID YOU SAY!?”
“THAT'S A HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING!!!”
I got hit! I didn't say anything all all!!
“Oh ya, Nakabayashi, I forgot to ask you. Will E class be batting first or later?”
“I DON'T KNOW! JUST DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!”
“I see. Since you say that, we'll pitch first and bat later.”
“ANYTHING! ANYWAY, REMEMBER THIS! I WON'T LOSE TO YOU GUYS!!”
Leaving those words behind, Nakabayashi-san took forceful steps as she returned back to class E's rest area.
“Nice going, Akihisa. That taunt just now was good.”
“What do you mean 'nice going'? Because of Yuuji, she already has a huge bad impression of me! How do you intend to compensate me!”
“Don't mind, Akihisa. If you are willing to work hard, the difference between humans can be patched up, dreams of different magnitudes can be fulfilled, and we can get back those A-books of ours.”
“Hearing you say it like that, the last sentence had the most impact!”
Sigh, but it's true that the A books are important.
“It seems like a quarrel happened. Are you two alright?”
“We're okay. Or rather, things went as I expected. Can't be better.”
“For me, it's really bad...”
What should I say? The mental trauma's too great.
“Sigh...if that's the case, another person thinks that I'm a weirdo...”
I always tried to live under the hood, and yet the society's approval of me seemed to go downhill. That's too illogical.
After sighing for a bit, I guess it was time to call out the summoned beasts. The first inning of this match will be refereed by Mukai-sensei. Seems like we're competing using Ancient Literature.
“Here I go, summon!”
After saying those words out, some little arrays appeared beside my foot. Then, a little figure that had my appearance appeared on it. The summoned beast that normally wore a student uniform and had a wooden sword is...
“So it got baseball clothing. Actually adjusting the system for this tournament, the principal sure is hardworking on some weird aspects.”
My summoned beast looked rather cute with the baseball bat and glove in hand.
“It seems like they automated some aspects of the controls to help this baseball tournament flow smoothly.”
Well, that's right, or else we can't play baseball.
Looking at how the summoning system used to work, even though everyone wanted to wait for a ball, no one would be able to throw the ball accurately. It's good that the principal managed to think of it.
“As for the problems with the system, I guess it's pointless to think too much about it. Right now, the most important thing is that we should focus and get ready for the match.”
“Hideyoshi's right. No matter the circumstances or what, anyway, this is a good chance to get back our confiscated items.”
Though Yuuji said that, he hadn't mentioned anything about the brilliant plan.
“Okay, I'll announce the defensive lineup and batting order. Oi, everyone, listen up!”
Yuuji raised his voice to the other classmates who were ready to take part in the baseball tournament. Every time that happened, it meant that Yuuji had something planned out, so there was no need to worry. That is why everyone would gather and listen to Yuuji.
“Basically, this will be the defensive lineup and batting order.”
- First batter: 1st baseman Kinoshita Hideyoshi
- Second batter: Shortstop Tsuchiya Kouta (Muttsurini)
- Third batter: Pitcher Yoshii Akihisa
- Fourth batter: Catcher Sakamoto Yuuji
- Fifth batter: Right fielder Himeji Mizuki
- Sixth batter: 2nd baseman Shimada Minami
- Seventh batter: Center fielder Sugawa Ryo
- Eighth batter: 3rd baseman Fukumura Kohei
- Ninth batter: Left fielder Yokomizo Koji
Bench players: Kimishima Hiroshi and Kondou Yoshimune.
So I'm the 3rd batter and the pitcher? That feels like a nice position...
“But Yuuji, is it alright that I be the pitcher? Wouldn't you or Himeji-san be more suited?”
If we are to battle using summoned beasts, the ones with the highest scores in our class, Himeji-san or Yuuji should be the pitcher, since wouldn't that make it more difficult for the opponent to bat? And if I'm placed in the outfield, my points may be too low to throw the ball back in time. I think it should be alright if I defend the infield.
“If I could, I really wanted to do that.”
On hearing my question, Yuuji just smiled bitterly.
“If you could? What do you mean by that?”
“If Himeji or I are to pitch, which catcher do you think can catch the ball?”
Hearing him say that, I start to imagine the situation.
Uu. Now that he mentioned it, it's true...
“Oh ya, since the summoned beasts aren't like an ordinary human body, and that it has 10 times or more strength than that of a human...”
“That's the case. Though it's a relatively minor issue, it's like how we can't touch the summoned beasts, so we can't touch the ball as well, but there will still be weight. And considering that the ball is to be used by the summoned beasts, I guess that old granny would increase the points of the ball.”
“I, I see...”
Hearing Yuuji say that, I was a little shocked, but I felt that I could understand it. Even if the summoned beasts' strength are of our points, they're still several times stronger than a human. Just with class F's abilities alone, we are already able to throw with such force, let alone the students of class A.
“If that's the case, it can't be helped. If someone like Himeji or Yuuji is pitching, I don't think anyone in our class can catch the ball.”
Of course, it's not that we can't catch their pitches with the gloves...but if there's an accident, like being hit on the body or something, it seems that I can fly off into the Heavens.
“Then, can't Himeji pitch and Yuuji catch?”
Hideyoshi raised his hand and asked, but before Yuuji could answer, Himeji-san already answered first.
“I, I'm sorry, but I don't understand baseball at all...in fact, I have never played it before...”
“That's the case. We'll consider everything else later, but right now, I need to let Himeji understand the rules of baseball in the first round, which is why I left her at right fielder. However, looking at the scenarios in the future, I may need to do some defensive realignments.”
Forget about those guys on the baseball club, in a tournament of baseball that's held with summoned bests, I think it's not easy to hit the ball to either left or right, right? Besides, when the ball is hit out, it will be harder to hit to right field, and the infield situation is rather messy, since it would be harder for people who are not used to playing there, so Yuuji's judgment should be correct.
“This is all I have to say. Any questions?”
Yuuji looked around at everyone. It seemed that nobody had any questions.
Thus, all of us naturally formed a circle around Yuuji, and Yuuji shouted to encourage everyone present.
“Okay, let's go—ARE YOU GUYS READY!!?”
“SO WHAT ABOUT E CLASS? THEY'RE JUST A STEPPING STONE!! WE CAN'T POSSIBLY LOSE!!”
“OUR AIM IS TO ADVANCE TO THE FINALS AND TAKE REVENGE ON THE TEACHERS!!! OUR GREATEST AIM IS TO KILL THEM OFF, GET THEIR SCALPS AND OFFER THEM TO OUR FALLEN COMRADES' (A-books) GRAVES!!”
“EVERYONE, THE TIME HAS COME!! THIS WILL BE A WAR FOR OUR IRREPLACEABLE FRIENDS (A-books)!!!”
“““LEAVE IT TO US!!!”””
The guys' eyes were burning with passion. Those enemies of ours who took away our friends without remorse—the teachers' team led by Ironman will suffer DIVINE PUNISHMENT!! WATCH AND LEARN, YOU TEAM OF DEMONIC TEACHERS!!!”
“Well, about that, Minami-chan...things have developed like that. It feels like...”
“Yeah...it's like we got those kinds of books confiscated from us...”
“I didn't bring any A-books to school...”
Our class F was finally united. Because we must remain united and beat those classes above us!!
Mukai-sensei, who was acting as the umpire, shouted as the voice echoed throughout the sports arena, and with that, the match officially began. The real match is played with summoned beasts, so it doesn't matter where we stand...but for easy control, everyone's standing behind their summoned beasts, so it's basically not much different from being on the field ourselves.
“Let's have a nice game! Summon!”
The first batter of class E said hello as he stepped into the batting box. The defensive side isn't required to stand at a particular place, but the batter has to remain in the batter box. It seems that it's to prevent the batter from seeing the defensive signals and the location of the glove.
Class E, Sonomura Toshiya, 117 points
Class F, Yoshii Akihisa, 71 points.
The subjects tested for every inning were, Ancient Literature for the 1st inning, Maths for the 2nd inning, Chemistry for the 3rd, English for the 4th and Health Education for the 5th. So right now, it was a battle of Ancient Literature.
My summoned beast was holding the ball in its hand, waiting for the catcher's signal. As the breaking ball can't be used, Yuuji can only indicate the trajectory and the speed. Let me see, the first ball. Yuuji's summoned beast is putting its hands at—the middle!?
(Can I really throw it right down the middle!?)
I used my eyes to ask Yuuji, who was behind the catcher summoned beast. This would be the common way we would communicate with each other, as Yuuji answered me in the same manner.
(No problem. This is the first ball, and the opponent isn't used to controlling the summoned beast. I just want to test out the opponent.)
(Okay, I see.)
On getting Yuuji's reply, I understood that he wanted me to throw a strike down the middle. Considering that we have to taunt the opponents, let's throw a slow ball. Since I have to throw a strike, it's best for me to preserve my energy.
(I'm pitching, Yuuji.)
(Okay, bring it on!)
I just need to follow the trajectory Yuuji pointed out and throw the ball. Ready...
“THROW THAT DAMNED BALL BETTER, YOU IDIOT!!!”
“I SHOULD BE THE ONE SCOLDING YOU! GIVE BETTER DIRECTIONS, YOU SCUM!!!”
The ball let out a sharp sound and disappeared behind the blue sky.
That damned Yuuji, that was basically what I just said.
“You two...no matter what, throwing a slow bulls-eye down at a club member was really dumb...”
The first pitch was sent flying for a homerun, and we immediately fell behind, 0-1.
“Let's have a good game! Summon!”
With no one out and no baserunners, the 2nd batter was already standing in the batter's box. I received the ball and exchanged looks with Yuuji.
(Akihisa, you bastard! If you mess up next time, I'll stuff that bat up your butt!)
(Right back at you, Yuuji! If you make another mistake, I'll break your leg bones with the bat!)
After confirming the signal through eye contact, I launched the first pitch to the 2nd batter.
““GIVE ME THAT BAT!!!””
Yuuji and I immediately ran to the rest area and sounded out our request. We lost points again! This damned bastard...how useless is he!? This is stupid!!
“I CAN'T STAND YOU TWO IDIOTS!! WE CAN'T LEAVE THIS TO YOU TWO!!!”
“ACTUALLY TRUSTING IN THOSE TWO IDIOTS YOSHII AND SAKAMOTO!! WE'RE THE BIG IDIOTS!!!”
“IF THAT'S THE CASE, I'LL PITCH! YOSHII, SUB!”
“I'LL CATCH THEN! SAKAMOTO, SUB!!”
“Class E 3-0 Class F”
“...Arr, suddenly a large crisis...”
“No no no, this isn't a crisis anymore. Only one side is getting the points...”
Even if the pitcher and catcher were changed, the opponent still hit a homerun off us. Right now, the score is 0-3. Those class E bastards, to think that they're rather impressive.
We asked the umpire for a timeout at the pitcher's mound. At that moment, Himeji-san, who was guarding the outfield came running over in small steps.
“Hm? What's wrong, Himeji-san?”
“Is it really alright to change pitchers like that?”
“Mn, it's alright as long as we're not changing with bench players.”
There're a lot of rules in real baseball, but the summoned beast baseball tournament doesn't seem to have too many restrictions. However, if we're overboard with our efforts, some people may have issues with regards to this.
"Anyway, let's regroup. Akihisa will still be the pitcher, and we have to attack cautiously. Akihisa, you better throw the ball better this time."
“Mn, got it.”
After deciding the plan, we all return back to our defensive positions. I'm the pitcher again...got to pitch seriously this time.
After returning back to the pitcher's mound, I wait for the batter to get ready. Now, I'm facing the 4th batter, which means--
“Yoshii Akihisa, you actually called me muscular...I, I definitely won't forgive you!”
So as expected, it's Nakabayashi-san from class E. As expected from the 4th batter, she has amazing presence.
(Akihisa, it's the 4th batter now. Just pitch with all you got.)
I nod my head to respond to Yuuji's eye signal. I'm not so stupid to mess up here.
Trying to hold down the nervous feeling in my chest, I sigh deeply and get ready to pitch.
“HIT BY PITCH. BATTER WALKS.”
“LET ME BEAT HIM UP! JUST ONCE, JUST LET ME BEAT HIM UP!!”
“Calm down, Nakabayshi! We have the upper hand now. Wouldn't our efforts be futile if you make the match invalid because you were too much?"
The guys in class E are trying desperately to calm the raging Nakabayashi-san.
I used too much force and missed...would Nakabayashi-san be willing to forgive me if I immediately take off my cap to apologize to her?
Even though I'm feeling despair with regards to the relationship with the neighboring class rep, the match still continues. Baserunner on 1st, and nobody out. It's now the 5th batter.
(Alright, no time for games. Pitch seriously now.)
(I was being serious since the beginning...)
I sighed, and pitched the ball to where Yuuji's glove is. Maybe the batter felt pressurized as there were consecutive homeruns before, as the batter in the batter box frantically swings at a fly ball that falls in front of the second base and sends him out. With that, we finally got our first out.
(Good, good, very good. Now, pitch here.)
Yuuji readies his glove. I missed and hit Nakabayashi-san, but right now, I'm getting used to the rhythm of the game, so there shouldn't be any problems now.
“STRIKE! BATTER OUT! SWITCHOVER!”
Next, the 6th and 7th batters were out, so now it's finally time to switch sides. This time, we'll be batting.
“Alright! There was a little miscommunication, but it's basically still within my plan! Let's hurry up and get the points back and kill off class E!”
Speaking of which, our class's normally disorganized. It's only when we're attacking that we can finally fulfill our abilities.
“Our first batter will be Hideyoshi. It's up to you.”
“Leave it to me.”
After saying that, Hideyoshi turns and walks to the batter box. Do your best, Hideyoshi!
“Kinoshita, I'll immediately crush you and use this momentum to get all the way to the finals!”
Standing on the pitcher's mound is Nakabayashi-san, who's acting as pitcher. She's burning with passion all over. Being the class rep of the class full of people in clubs, her attitude right now is basically what I would expect.
After confirming that Hideyoshi entered the batter's box, Nakabayashi-san starts to pitch. Hideyoshi stares carefully at the ball that flew here, and just lets the first ball fly past.
The umpire shouted out 'ball' really loudly. The catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher, and the 2nds ball is thrown.
The second ball never landed in the strike zone cleanly as well. Nakabayashi-san looks somewhat troubled as she receives the ball, and gets into position cautiously before throwing the next pitch.
This time, it finally entered the umpire's strikezone. It seem that Nakabayashi-san was unable to pitch well because she couldn't decide on the pitch as it made her look anxious.
As the match continued, it's now 2 balls and 2 strikes. As Nakabayashi-san starts to pitch again, Hideyoshi, who hasn't been moving up till now, finally takes action.
Hideyoshi seems like he's deliberately not swinging with full force as the bat grazes the ball. This is what they call 'cut', right?
“Oi, Yuuji, that swing Hideyoshi just did...”
“Yeah, he's most likely trying to get base on balls.”
This is a baseball tournament that's played with summoned beasts instead of being there themselves, but the basic rules of baseball hasn't changed. If the opponent throws 3 strikes, it'll be a strikeout. But if the opponent throws 4 balls, the batter can walk on to first base. However, it seems that the umpire isn't too stringent on pitching fouls.
He used the same method to hit the next ball. This method can lure the opponent to throw a large amount of pitches, it can also cause psychological burden on the pitcher. Already unused to controlling summoned beasts in this tournament, the 1st batter's already being so tough to handle. I guess the opponent must find it tough, right?
And another ball. Now it's 3 balls and 2 strikes.
“Damn you...KINOSHITA, YOU'RE BEING TOO DESPICABLE!”
Being on the pitcher's mound, Nakabayashi-san's gritting her teeth in anger. Right now, in this world that so emphasizes on winning and losing, this is a common tactic, but Nakabayashi-san doesn't seem like she would forgive him.
“SWING HARD, KINOSHITA! IT'S TIME TO SETTLE THIS!”
“Sorry, but I can't oblige. We're now 0-3 down, and this match only has 5 innings. We must get points from you.”
Due to time constraints, this baseball tournament matches are only 5 innings long. As the attacking side, Hideyoshi's judgement is correct.
“WHAT! ARE YOU AFRAID OF ME? FORGET ABOUT BASE ON BALLS AND SWING A BASE HIT!”
“It's useless no matter how you taunt me. I just want to do my part.”
“DAMN YOU! STOP SAYING TO MUCH AND PLAY—CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE A MAN!”
“...You say that you want me to be more like a man?”
“--STRIKE! BATTER OUT!”
“Sorry everyone. I can't do it.”
“No worries, this can't be helped...but why did you swing so hard at the last minute?”
“Don't mind, it's just that I won't back away with regards to certain things.”
I don't really understand, but anyway, Hideyoshi got forced out. Right now, the second batter's Muttsurini. This guy's pretty good at sports, and is very used to controlling summoned beasts. He probably won't let us down.
Ancient Literature, Class E, Nakabayashi Hiromi, 105 points.
Ancient Literature, Class F, Tsuchiya Kouta, 22 points.
“What do we do now, Yuuji? I feel that Muttsurini will die really badly!”
“That's a coincidence for once, Akihisa, I feel this way as well.”
Even if he can hit the ball, with the unique difference in scores, he can't possibly hit the ball far, right?
“But Akihisa, you don't have to worry too much.”
“No, even if you ask me not to worry...”
Is there a way we can think of?
“WE MUST BELIEVE! IF WE BELIEVE, EVEN THE YOUKAIS WILL STAND ON OUR SIDE!”
“AH, NOW WE CAN ONLY PRAY TO THE GODS!”
And we're doing this in such a ridiculous manner.
“Please, killer youkais...”
“Watch out! That guy's using the name of evil spirits!!”
If the prayer really comes true, maybe the evil god would ask for a sacrifice from us?
As we're talking about this useless thing, Muttsurini hit a rolling ball to the batter and got struck out. Now, it's 2 men out. Next, it's the 3rd batter—ahh, time for me to take the bat.
“Alright, I'll hit a big one!”
“Oh! Akihisa, we'll leave it to you then!”
“Leave it to me!”
Thomp thomp! I beat my chest as I enter the batter's box. No problems. I'll do well!
“--Hit by Pitch, batter walks.”
'IT HURTS! IT HURTS! MY ORGANS GOT RUPTURED!! OUUUCCCHHHH!!”
The first ball was a hit by pitch on the face. The impact of the ball that hit my summoned beast's face was transferred onto my body. You don't have to go that far!
Facing me, who's rolling on the floor in pain, Nakabayashi-san, who's standing on the pitcher's mound, says seriously,
“FROM THIS MOMENT ON, AS LONG AS YOU'RE THE ONE BATTING, I'LL THROW THE BALL AT YOUR BODY!”
“THAT'S A LOUSY DECLARATION! YOU'RE HATING ME FOR WHAT HAPPENED JUST NOW, RIGHT!?”
Can someone replace me for my next bat?
I drag my body that's in pain to 1st base, Uu...that was just a misunderstanding...
“Alright, now the real powerhouse is here.”
Now, it'll be the 4th batter Yuuji.
Ancient Literature, Class E, Nakabayashi Hiromi, 105 points.
Ancient Literature, Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, 196 points.
Like usual, both their scores are displayed to everyone.
Yuuji's scores are so high, has great control over his summoned beast, and he's pretty athletic, so there shouldn't be any problems. Facing off against the opponent from class E, he should be able to take one down.
“Ugh...that's guy's terrifying, but the next batter is 'that' Himeji...better settle it here.”
Nakabayashi-san glared at Yuuji's score and muttered.
If the next batter after Yuuji is just a little prick, maybe Nakabayashi-san would deliberately throw a Base on Balls to avoid the confrontation, but unfortunately, behind Yuuji is the second in our year, Himeji-san. Of course, she doesn't want to deal with Himeji-san when there are baserunners on, so she chose to face off against Yuuji.
“Class F's rep, I'm going!”
With 2 men out and 1 baserunner on, Nakabayashi-san gets ready and pitches the 1st ball at Yuuji. The white ball flies straight at the glove--
KLANG—the sharp sound echoed, and the white ball flew into the air. There's no need to see where it went, this is a real homerun.
Class E 3-2 F Class
Yuuji and I return back to home plate, and we got 2 points. Now we're just 1 point behind class E.
“Damn it...it seems that I need to deal with Sakamoto through hit by pitch...”
““JUST USE A NORMAL BASE ON BALLS!!!””
Yuuji and I shouted out at Nakabayashi-san. We thought that she was a normal girl. Only after we started playing against each other that we realized that Nakabayashi-san's really weird somewhere.
“It's been tough on you, Sakamoto.”
“...That was a nice hit.”
“Good one, Yuuji.”
Once we returned back to the bench, everyone received Yuuji warmly. Isn't anyone concerned about me being hit by the ball?
“Alright, it's time for Himeji to go up. The way I see it, let's use this chance to hit another homerun and even the score.”
“Uu...that's a bit hard for Mizuki, right? Her grades are good, but she's not really good at sports.”
Minami gave a wry smile. Himeji-san's body is already extremely weak, and she doesn't really get the chance to play sports, so this can't be helped.
“I thought that way as well, so I told Himeji just now that she doesn't need to swing the bat.”
“In other words...you want Himeji-san to get Base on Balls?”
“That's right, besides, Himeji's marks can't be underestimated. It's okay if the bases are loaded, but when nobody's on base, I think the opponent won't want to fight it out.”
That's right. Besides Yuuji and Himeji-san, everyone here is of class F level, so with nobody on base, it's best to let her walk and fight it out against someone else.
“Base on balls, batter walks.”
“Ah, okay, thank you very much.”
While we're talking, Himeji-san got base on balls. Right now, it's 2 men out, a baserunner on 1st base, and the next batter is--
The 6th batter is Minami, but it seems that she doesn't look confident...
“Eh? Minami, you don't know how to play baseball?”
Minami's pretty good at sports.
“Ah, it's not that I don't know how to play it. It's just that...”
Minami sighed and walked towards the batter box in a lonely manner. What's wrong?
Ancient Literature, Class E, Nakabayashi Hiromi, 105 points.
Ancient Literature, Class F, Shimada Minami, 6 points.
“ALRIGHT, EVERYONE, TIME TO DEFEND! WE HAVE TO DEFEND WELL!!”
“I HAVEN'T EVEN BATTED YET!”
Minami's shout is ever so hollow. In the blink of an eye, she hit a rolling ball to the 3rd baseman and was immediately thrown out.
Sigh, too bad that the subject for this inning is Ancient Literature. Minami's not good with this subject at all, so this can't be helped.
Anyway, this series of offense is over. After the switch in sides, the 2nd inning is carried out through maths. Alright, time for me to--
“Hold it, Akihisa. You're not the pitcher in this inning.”
“Eh? Not me?”
Just when I was about to step up on the mound, Yuuji suddenly called me to stop me. Now what?
“This round will be conducted with maths. Shimada will be the pitcher.”
“Maths...ah, I see.”
Maths is one of the rare few subjects that Minami's good in, and Yuuji's rather good in maths too, so he should be able to catch Minami's pitches. Looking at this inning, they should be at around class B's level.
“That's the case, Aki, leave this inning to me. I'll do my best to hold them off.”
Minami patted me on my shoulder and I said,
“Mn, then I'll leave it to you then, Minami.”
“Okay, leave it to me.”
PA! Minami and I exchange high fives as I walk off the pitcher's mound. Minami's been through the baptism of the summoning battles and the summoning tournament, and she's already outstanding at sports, so I can leave the pitcher mound to her. If that's the case, I'll defend the second base Minami was defending.
Just when I was thinking this as I walked down the pitcher's mound, I find Himeji-san walking towards where I'm defending as well, staring at me for some reason.
“Hm? Himeji-san, is there something?”
“Ah, yes, that...”
Himeji-san came running over with small steps. What's wrong?
While we talking, Himeji-san raises her hand like she's hailing for a taxi. Eh, so I just need to copy her action?
“Like, like this?”
I followed what she did and raised my hand. Himeji-san immediately revealed a radiant smile--
Pa, she high-fived with me.
“Let's do our best, Akihisa-kun.”
“Ah, mn, let's do our best, Himeji-san.”
Himeji-san is smiling as she ran off to the outfield. I don't know what's going on, but she wants to encourage me by clapping hands together? So she's feeling the same as us?
Is that so? Then Himeji-san...
“She really wants to see our precious A-books...”
That's bad. These aren't things that girls should read.
“...What's going on? I feel that there's a severe misunderstanding here...”
Alright, time to wake up and defend. With class E as our opponents and Minami maths marks, they most probably won't be able to perform too well. The ball can't possibly fly into the outfield, right? In other words, I'm more important as an infielder now.
Mathematics, Class E, Oumura Shintarou, 65 points
Mathematics, Class F, Shimada Minami, 193 points.
The huge difference in points can be expected, the opponent's the 8th batter, so there shouldn't be any problems.
After the 1st and 2nd pitches, the chemistry between the pitcher and catcher makes us not worry for them. But Yuuji missed the 3rd ball, and it landed in his chest. The pitch Minami threw with such a high score was extremely fast, so missing it is to be expected.
Mathematics, Class F, Shimada Minami, 193 points.
Mathematics, Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, 175 points.
Minami and Yuuji's marks are shown in front of us. Up till now, Yuuji's marks have been hovering around the 200 mark, so that slip up caused him to lose 25 points. If even Yuuji's summoned beast can suffer such damage even with those kind of marks, I think it will be bad if it's anyone else, right? If I'm the one catching, the pain would even end up on me, so I have to avoid being the catcher no matter what.
While I'm thinking about this, the match is still ongoing. After that, Yuuji slipped up on another ball, but both of them managed to hold off the 3 batters. Minami's maths is really strong.
“It's been tough on you, Minami. Nice pitching.”
“Your pitching was strong, amazing.”
“Fufu, that was because I didn't managed to do well during batting just now. Of course I have to compensate through defense.”
Minami blinked one eye as she said that to me. Uu, it's cool when she does it--
“ONEE-SAMA! ONEE-SAMA'S THE BEST! SEEING ONEE-SAMA LIKE THIS, MIHARU...MIHARU HAS ALREADY...”
A certain girl from class D was shouting and cheering from the stands.
--Wouldn't girls fall for Minami if she does this?
“It'll be our offense now.”
“It's the 7th batter now, so Sugawa starts.”
“Osu! I'll hit that ball high and far!”
After saying that, Sugawa-san storms towards the batter box with mojo. Unfortunately, he knocked a high fly ball and got tagged out. Though the next batter Fukumura-san managed to get a base hit, Yokomizo-san and Hideyoshi didn't perform, and we ended the 2nd inning without earning a point.
3rd inning, 4th inning. Both us and class E didn't manage to get a point.
It's now the final inning. The subject for this round should be Health Education, so--
“Muttsurini, we'll leave pitching to you then.”
Speaking of health education, this will be the guy we first think of. This guy has points that surpasses a health education teacher, and it's now time for him to perform. If this guy's to throw the ball, I don't think anyone can hit it.
“No no, hold on. Muttsulini will be the catcher in this round. I'll be the pitcher.”
But Yuuji dampened my mood.
“Eh? Yuuji's going to be the pitcher? Why?”
Yuuji's health education marks shouldn't be lousy as well, but it's a whole lot less as compared to Muttsurini's. We're only behind by one, so shouldn't Muttsurini be pitching?
“I say...didn't I say it just now? If Muttsurini's to pitch with all he got when Health Education's the subject, the catcher will die if he's hit.”
That's right. It was a similar situation when Minami was on the board.
“That's true...but you just need to catch the ball well. Wouldn't there be no damage if you catch the ball in the glove?”
“In other words, I'll die if I miss one!”
On a side note, the summoned beast that's acting as the catcher in this tournament doesn't have any defensive equipment. In this situation, if Yuuji's hit directly by Muttsurini on the body, even Yuuji's summoned beast will suffer severely.
“Really, Yuuji...you're so spineless. If you're a man, you should bet your life and finish the match.”
“I see, so I'll let you be the catcher and show off your manly side.”
“I'm sorry, I'm really sorry.”
It'll be a joke if my summoned beast is to catch that ball with such low marks. Even if I can catch it well, the damage on me will be tremendous.
“What's wrong, Akihisa? Aren't you good at controlling your summoned beast? Forget about the score difference, I think you should be able to catch Muttsurini's pitches.”
“No, it's not that easy no matter how you say it.”
Having just seen the power of Minami's pitch when it was about 200. The speed was already terrifying. Compared to that, it'll be easier to hit against a pitch that's flying at 130 km/hr. Even if we can't pitch curveballs, it'll be too terrifying to throw pitches with that kind of speed with just summoned beasts. Besides, if the pitch hits me while I'm the catcher, the pain the summoned beast takes will be inflicted on me. This will be way too risky. Even if I'm really used to controlling the summoned beast, I can't take such huge responsibility.
“Besides, the opponent's class E, so I can still hold them off if I pitch. More than defense, right now, we need to worry more about offense. Remember, we're still 1 point behind.”
After Yuuji said that, he turns to walk towards the pitcher's mound. He's right. Even if we can hold off the opponents, we'll lose if we can't score. More important than the defense now is that we have to find a way to score in the bottom half of the inning.
Health Education, Class E, Yumata Hirofumi, 52 points
Health Education, Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, 147 points.
The scores of the pitcher and the batter are out. As Yuuji said, there won't be any problems with such a difference in score.
“STRIKE! BATTER OUT! SWITCHOVER!”
In the blink of an eyes, Yuuji already struck all three out, and it's now the bottom half of the inning. Though Muttsurini missed the catches twice, health education's his speciality, so he didn't suffer that much damage, and we managed to end this inning safely.
“Alright, time for us to make a comeback! Who's starting?”
“Me, I guess.”
We've been through exactly 2 rounds of batting, so now it's Hideyoshi up as the 1st batter again. Okay, we're settling this in this round.
“Please, Hideyoshi, you must hit the ball out.”
“There'll be no problems if it's Hideyoshi. Do your best.”
“...I'm looking forward to it.”
“Kinoshita, no matter what, you must hit the ball out!”
“Show them what you're made of Kinoshita! All hope is on you!”
“That's right! Do your best! And try to hit the ball out!”
“U, uu, I'll try to hit—”
“““THIS IS FOR THE SAKE OF OUR A-BOOKS!!!”””
“What's wrong, Hideyoshi? You didn't swing hard at all!”
“Those encouraging words of yours drained strength from me...”
For some reason, Hideyoshi looked really tired. That's weird, even if Hideyoshi's summoned beast is tired or hurt or what, it shouldn't bounce back onto Hideyoshi himself.
“Alright, everyone, don't be disheartened. Muttsurini's next. There will be something good!”
Yuuji said this, seemingly to encourage everyone. That's right, sending Muttsurini in health education, we're really looking forward to it.
“...I'm going up.”
Muttsurini walks into the batter box. His score is--
Health Education, Class E, Furukawa Ayumi, 102 points
Health Education, Class F, Tsuchiya Kouta, 589 points.
Such a shocking difference. If he can hit the ball, Muttsurini would definitely hit a homerun.
“Tsuchiya-san's amazing. If that's the case, he can hit a homerun.”
“Mn. If he can, it should be a homerun.”
Standing beside me, Himeji-san clenches her fist and makes a little victory pose. It seems that she and I have the same thought. Unfortunately...
“However, I don't think it can happen. Tsuchiya won't be able to hit it.”
Minami said to break Himeji-san's wonderful imagination.
That's right. Muttsurini can't perform now.
Minami's words made Himeji-san, who still doesn't understand baseball too well, have all sorts of question marks on her face.
“Because there's too much of a difference between both of them. The way I see it, Muttsurini will be forced to walk.”
“Walk—ah, you mean that the opponent will throw a Base on Balls and let Tsuchiya-san on base?”
“Mn, that's the case.”
If they're to face off now, it'll be extremely likely that Muttsurini will hit a homerun. But if they send him on base, they won't lose points if it's just a baserunner. on. The opponent will win if they can keep this point, so they'll try and avoid facing off against Muttsurini.
“Base on Balls. Batter walks.”
As what we expected, Muttsurini got sent on base. In that case, we can't get a point now.
“The way I see it, class E's plan is to deal with Akihisa and send Yuuji and Himeji on base first before taking on Shimada.”
Seems like the opponent checked through our scores. Of course, they won't take on Yuuji or Himeji-san, but rather attack Minami. If that's the case, even if I bunt, I can only gift the opponent with an out...
“Oh yea, Akihisa, I don't know what's your score?”
“I remember my health ed score is around 23.”
“That's really pathetic.”
“Tha, that's because, because...my reference books (A-books) got confiscated...”
“WHAT WERE YOU READING ALL THIS TIME, IDIOT!”
With such a score, if there's no miracle, I can't possibly hit the ball into the outfield. But if I can get on base, I can get Yuuji or Himeji-san to get one back.
“Don't think too much, Akihisa. Just relax. It'll come to us.”
Though the situation is disadvantageous to us, Yuuji still looked rather casual.
“What do you mean? Have you thought of a plan?”
“No, I don't mean a plan or anything...stop saying so much. Get on board. If you don't get there, the umpire's going to be mad.”
“Ah, okay, I'm going then.”
“Akihisa-kun, do your best.”
“Thank you, Himeji-san.”
With Himeji-san seeing me off, I turn to walk to the batter box. Seeing Yuuji look so confident, I know he's planning something, but I don't know what it is. What does that Yuuji plan to do?
“Yoshii-kun, please hurry up.”
“Ah, okay. Sorry.”
The umpire's staring at me now, and I can only scamper to the designated batter box. Once my summoned beast got ready, the opponent confirms Muttsurini's position before getting into a pitching position.
“Oh ya, Sakamoto, Aki just asked. Is there a plan you prepared?”
“No—just look at the field. You'll understand, we won't lose this match.”
“Won't lose? But the situation's disadvantageous to us.”
“No, you're mistaken. The one in a disadvantage is them. Think, it's now the bottom half of the 5th inning, we're behind by one, and the subject's health education.”
“I know that. But Tsuchiya's already on base...”
“And on base—is that Muttsurini.”
A call can be heard from class E.
After confirming that the batter won't throw over to hold him at first base, Muttsurini dashes towards 2nd base. I see! So that's how it is!
The pitcher threw the pitch, and it flew to the catcher's glove. In order to help Muttsurini steal base, I try to swing as wildly as possible. If I can block the catcher's vision, I can increase Muttsurini chances of stealing base greatly.
After catching the ball, the catcher immediately throws the ball to second base. Damn it! At this moment, it'll be hard for Muttsurini to steal base--
“...Eh? Hard? That Muttsurini?”
Of course not! This is health education, Muttsurini's unbeatable! If the opponent's class A, it can still be talked off, but when the opponent's only at about 100 points, how can it be tough for Muttsurini?
As I say this--
The moment the catcher throws the ball towards second base, I seem to see a glint in Muttsurini's eyes.
Muttsurini's summoned beast suddenly accelerated. That guy was deliberately running slow!
Muttsurini's summoned beast steps onto 2nd base at a speed the human eye can't catch, and he didn't stop as he dashes towards 3rd base. At this point, the catcher just threw the ball to second base. Muttsurini slowed down to confuse them, causing the catcher to throw to second base and not third base! It's true that if Muttsurini did that, the catcher would have ignored second base and went straight for third base right from the beginning. That's a brilliant plan!
The catcher immediately gave the instruction, and the second baseman immediately throws the ball to third base. Will Muttsurini be tagged out?
It's also tough for him to get from second base to third base. Now, what will he...
At this moment, Muttsurini muttered that code word. This is a special activation command that only summoned beasts with more than 400 points can have. Muttsurini has this unique ability, and like what the term means—it can cause the summoned beast to increase speed.
“HOW IS IT POSSIBLE!?”
Class E just let out a cry of disbelief.
Muttsurini steps onto third base at a speed where only the afterimage is left behind, and the ball is still in mid-air.
“STOP MESSING AROUND!”
The third baseman finally catches the ball and throws the ball back to home plate. However--
Muttsurini ran faster than the ball as he steps onto home plate, taking a point in an exciting fashion.
Class F's bench erupted into roars. So now we're 3 all. We're tied!
“Alright! Let's get it back at one go!”
Getting ready for the next pitch, I let my summoned beast raise the bat and get into position. It should be alright if I can use the chance when the opponent's wavering due to what Muttsurini did--
“HIT BY PITCH. BATTER WALKS!”
“Why...why is it that I always get hit by pitch...”
If you're affected by what Muttsurini did, just send me a base on balls!
Health Education, Class E, Furukawa Ayumi, 102 points
Health Education, Class F, Yoshii Akihisa, 0 points.
“Yoshii Akihisa, KIA!”
“Eh? Hold on! The match's still not over! What happens if my health ed drops to 0?”
Does this mean...
“Akihisa, go take the replenishment tests. I'll let Kondou be the pinch baserunner.”
“Damn it! Isn't this way of getting off too lousy!?”
Why is it that I have to take the tests in this rare sports meet? I feel that the summoning system's not right!
“Well, you don't have to worry about the match. As things stand, we'll definitely win.”
“Uu...that's too much...”
I drag my heavy steps to the staff room.
In the end, while I was taking my health education replenishment tests, class F was able to send class E home with a base hit. But for me, who's unable to take part in the match, I'm feeling really uninvolved...
- This is taken from the pivotal battle of Gaixia. As much as I like to talk about this really enthusiatically, there's really too many things to talk about here. Basically, this happened in Ancient China after the fall of the Qin dynasty. As the warlords started clamoring for power, the forces started to overwhelm each other, leading to two warlords fighting against each other. Liu Bang, leader of the Han people (who would later win to become the first leader of the Han empire in China, one of the most successful regimes in Chinese History), and Xiang Yu, leader of the Chu people. The link provided would be an in-depth description about what happened in the battle, and the idiom was taken from a pivotal scene in this episode.