IS:VolumeSS1 Chapter3

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Chapter 3: (Sparkling) Fireworks are a Maiden's Color[edit]

How did it come to this…

Below the sign with “Best Couple Contest” written in gigantic letters, I stood with Charl on my right and Laura on my left.

“Um… Dunois-san and Bodewig-san, are you both forming a couple with this man…?”

Both of them said that they wanted to participate, and this is what happened.

Sure, the prize is quite appealing… but seriously?

It’s probably not worth thinking that I don’t necessarily have to participate in this contest in this way. Yeah… not worth it.

“Hey… Charl?”

“We are definitely going to win, Ichika!”

“Um… Laura?”

“If I take this seriously, winning the whole event will be no trouble at all.”

“You know, both of you are representative candidates and you get a sizable wage for that, don’t you? So what’s the point of being so picky over this prize—“

“That isn’t the issue here.”

“That’s not the problem.”

...Is that so.

Disregarding me hanging my head sadly, the two take a step forward in an energetic manner.

“Hmm. To be honest, something like this is beyond my expectations…”

Yeah, see!? You’re causing trouble for the lady hosting this event.

“But no matter, it seems interesting, so let’s go with it!”

---What!?

The host lady flashed a victory sign with a smile towards the energetic crowd.

Wow, what an amazingly carefree person. The mood must be important for her.

“Now then, the best couple’s contest is starting! First up is the aquatic three legged race!”

This is like a competition…

“…What are you doing?”

“Ichika, you’re combining your right leg with mine.”

“Your left leg is with me.”

Laura and Charl quickly tie their legs with mine while speaking to me.

“Hey, wait! This isn’t ‘three legged’ anymore!”

“Nothing we can do about that.”

“Can’t help it.”

I wonder why, these two are supposed to be on friendly terms yet I can see fireworks sparking between them.

“Everyone, please get to your respective starting lines!”

Carefully walking along, we somehow make it to the starting point.

After which, exactly 10 seconds later, a pistol resounds signaling the start of the race.

“Start!”

� “Let’s go, Ichika!”

“Go Ichika.”

“Hey, wait, wait— uwaahh!”

My left and right legs get pulled at simultaneously and I take a magnificent fall face down.

My face hits right into the water. It seriously hurts.

“What are you doing Ichika!”

“Ichika, what’s with you!”

Eh. This is my fault?

“S-sorry…”

I should say that both Laura and Charl fell into the pool as well.

There’s no way we could be able to run over the mats intended for two people to go with the three of us anyway.

The two get out of the pool ahead of me after skillfully removing the ties to their legs in the middle of the water.

“Special-couple team, unfortunately for you, that’s last place.”

That’s alright, we’re not aiming for the top place anymore… at least I’m not.

Maybe I’m a little disappointed, but I’ll go with it just being my imagination.

I move towards the edge of the pool in order to climb out.

“Here, grab on Ichika.”

“You should hold on Ichika.”

At the pool side, both of them offer their hands to me at the same time.

One of them is definitely going to get mad here depending on who I choose…

“T-thanks.”

I grab onto both their hands and climb out of the pool, and the next event is already being announced.

“The next event is the love-love Frisbee throw! The couple with the best coordination between them and who can continue the longest wins!”

Oh… well, at least it doesn’t seem like anyone will get injured…

“Here Ichika!”

“Take this, Ichika.”

Whoosh swoosh.

“Whaaaa!? Don’t throw it at the same time you two!”

Somehow I managed to catch them in each of my hands, and throw them back one by one.

“Ichika, I’m increasing the pace so we can increase our count.”

“I’m going faster.”

“No, wait, wait!”

I manage to deal with the Frisbees flying at me. However, Charl and Laura at the same time unintentionally mess up their aim.

“Ah.”

“Ahh.”

Right and left, they are both way off.

To get these I have to…!

“Ahhh!”

I catch Charl’s frisbee with my right hand, and Laura’s using my left foot.

But obviously since I took such a big jump, I end up falling that way into the water.

� “Haa…haa…haa…”

“Ichika, are you okay?”

“Yeah… I think.”

“I see, there’s the next match then.”

“N-no. Let me rest… please.”

“No.”

“Not happening.”

“…..”

What the hell is with this!

After, a variety of contests are held, with me suffering each and every time.

And hey, ‘Cabbage Cutting Contest’ and ‘Water Rocket Launching Contest’, just what do those have to do with being a couple?

As far as Charl and Laura, or rather the representative candidates’ physical ability was by far the best. Even with me weighing them down, in a nearly frightening way we had jumped into the top spot.

And then the final contest that would decide it all was announced.

“Here we go! We have reached the final contest in our competition! The final event is a competition involving the couple’s level of happiness: shaved ice speed eating!

The shaved ice speed ‘ahhhn’ show down!

“What!?”

“If a man is fitting of his loving girlfriend, then he should be able to eat any amount of shaved ice! Participants please go over to the table now!”

I’ve got a bad feeling about this. No. I’ve got nothing other than bad feelings.

“Ichika.”

“Ichika.”

Gikun. Sound of surprise.

“Come on over here.”

“Sit down here, Ichika.”

Two evil demons are beckoning me! Ahh, I wish the nearly 10 servings of shaved ice that are already on the table is a mere illusion.

“Ichika, you aren’t going to say no to doing this are you?”

Charl was smiling. I don’t sense any ill will there, but it’s become clear that it’s a sensitive land mine.

“Ichika, you bastard, are you declining my invitation!?”

Laura took a criticizing attitude, or to put it better she was being honest. Frankly speaking, her honesty on this situation just causes me trouble.

It’s like yelling “Why won’t you get caught in the trap!” to a wild rabbit.

Ugghhhh.. I want to run away! I want to run away, but…!

This is what someone said long ago.

‘If you run away today, you will need twice the amount of courage to fight tomorrow.’

Then if you run away tomorrow, the day after tomorrow will not come for all eternity…!

Yeah, that’s a good line! It’s cool! Right, I’m not going to run away!

So, I take a seat.

“Ready, start!”

Pow! The sound of the pistol echoes around.

� “Ichika, aaahnnn.”

“I’ll f-feed you, ah…ahhnnn.”

I have spoons of shaved ice held out at me from both sides. The strawberry flavor is somewhat of a relief, the melon flavor’s not bad either.

‘munch, crunch’

“Here! Here! Here!”

“Eat! No holding back!”

‘mmmnggg!’

A rush of shaved ice gets poured into me in quick succession.

I’ve already past the stage of my mouth being cold and heaving a headache.

Breathe, I can’t breathe!

“Laura, slow it down a little.”

“What are you talking about? You’re the one that should slow down Charlotte.”

‘Bang, crackle!’

Fireworks scatter between the two of them.

“Ichika!” “Ichika!”

Two heaping spoonfuls of shaved ice get shoved into my mouth at the same time.

“gueh..”

‘Thud.’

“Eh? Ichika…”

“What’s this. It’s too early to be sleeping.”

I collapsed from oxygen deprivation!

I yelled that in midst of my fading consciousness.