Chapter 2: Part 5
After getting our fill of the many stands in the courtyard, Haruna and I headed for the gymnasium.
It seemed like they were putting on music performances and plays in the gym, but if we stayed for those we wouldn’t be able to make it back in time.
Around half the audience in the gym was comprised of people in headbands looking like they were part of some new defense force. It was almost as if they had come to cheer on some jpop group like the Onyanko Club or something… was some strange idol coming?
In any case, the gym didn’t feel like a very comfortable place to be in, so we headed for the old school building next. This place was close to the sports grounds, so almost all the rooms had been taken over by the sports clubs. For someone like me who didn’t belong to any club, this was a place I had very little to do with.
When I was just about to go into the baseball club room, I heard someone call out to me.
“Oh, Aikawa, come over here~~.”
It was Mihara, who was waving to me in a tank top and with her long brown hair tied up. That was the basketball team uniform, wasn’t it?
Hmm… the girl’s basketball team uniforms sure did strike the eye. Oh, and her player number was fourteen?
“Doesn’t look like there’s a lot of people coming around here.”
“Nah, we’ve had plenty of people come. I guess this is just good timing… also, Haruna-sensei, that’s quite some getup there. There was something like that lying around Aikawa’s house?”
Mihara gave us a teasing smile. It seemed she was curious about Haruna’s Western-style armor.
“Ahh, well… you know, my parents travel a lot…”
I gave a rather vague and mysterious response, but Mihara seemed to pick up on the nuance and gave an “ahh” of understanding.
“Oh? Aikawa’s here?”
A tall young man appeared smiling. He was a good-natured, handsome guy with blue eyes. His name was Shimomura, but his nickname was Anderson-kun.
“Anyways, come see what we’ve got! And afterwards, spread the word!”
Mihara took me by the hand and bounced up and down. Yeah yeah, I gotcha…
So for that reason, I was pulled by Mihara into the basketball team classroom.
The room itself wasn’t very large, and lockers lined the walls on my left and right.
In between those lockers was set some box that looked like a whack-a-mole game made out of cardboard boxes.
“200 yen and you get three free throws.”
A tall girl who was handling the reception desk told me that, and I paid the 200 yen. I was then handed a homemade ball the size of a baseball that was made out of what seemed to be wadded up newspapers and packing tape.
I see, free throws. So I had to toss the ball into the holes in that whack-a-mole thing, and then I would win a prize. So it was like that.
“What are the prizes?”
I began to toss the first ball as I asked that.
“The special prize is an Indian elephant.”
I felt myself jump at hearing that unexpected prize, and I ended up completely missing the holes.
“So you’re seriously going to give me an Indian elephant if I win it?”
“Ahaha, you won’t win it. The closest hole is for a drink. That one in the middle is for potato chips, the one behind that is for a refrigerator, that one is for a Hawaiian vacation… and then, that last one is for an Indian elephant.”
The basketball team laughed around me. They probably had just used the Indian elephant as a joke. Taking a closer look, I saw a few holes in the whack-a-mole box, but some were clearly smaller than the others. Small enough that this ball would definitely not fit.
I thought I would try to force the ball in using my zombie power, so I set up my throw not like a free throw, but a baseball pitch… and then I threw it.
Ping! The ball was repelled back and fell into the hole closest to us.
“Hooray, winner! Would you like a coffee or a soda?”
I was handed a single 100-yen can of coffee, and I had one ball left.
Next is me.
Haruna raised her gauntleted hand.
“Alright, Haruna. Go for the Indian elephant.”
Haruna didn’t show any emotion but gave me a firm thumbs up.”
“Ahahaha. As I said, it’s pointless to try. The hole is way too small-“
Scwhpp! The ball fell right into the special prize hole, even though it was supposed to be bigger.
It was kind of like watching one of those strange magic acts where a magician tosses a big coin right into a bottle.
All the balls that went into the box rolled towards the bottom of the box, so it wasn’t really possible to check which hole the ball had really gone in.
But everyone should have seen that. When I saw the stunned looks on Mihara and that reception girl’s faces, I knew that what I had seen had definitely happened.
I took my hand out of my blazer pocket and patted Mihara on the shoulder.
“I’m really looking forward to that Indian elephant.”
I must have looked like a debt collector right there. Mihara shook in fear and bowed her head down.
“T-That’s not possible! It’s just not! I’m really sorry!”
One more time.
It seemed that Haruna had gotten really into this game, and I paid another 200 yen.
First ball: Hawaii vacation.
Second ball: Hawaii vacation.
Third ball: Indian elephant.
“Two Indian elephants and two trips to Hawaii. I guess for 400 yen that’s not too bad.”
“Why? Why is it going in?”
Mihara and the other club members went over and tried to force the ball into the small hole. But the ball wouldn’t go in.
“How did you do it?”
Mihara and the others looked to Haruna, wanting her to explain the trick.
It’s plain to see that I just shrunk it with a barrier and made it rod-shaped.
I see. This was just newspaper, so a masou shoujo like Haruna could probably change it to whatever shape she wanted. And also, Haruna right now was brimming with magical energy.
“You can have your money back… so please just let us off the hook!”
“Ehh? But we won the prizes…”
Everyone in the room probably hated me at that moment. Maybe I was teasing them a bit too much.
I let out a huge laugh to dispel the awkward feeling in the air, and everyone else also joined in.
Except for Haruna of course, since she couldn’t laugh.
In the end, I managed to get away with a free can of coffee, and we headed towards the track team’s room next.
I wanted to just check in with Tomonori since it was on the way.
When I went into the track team’s room, I saw Tomonori standing there in a swimsuit.
She was red from ear to ear and holding some kind of sign.
There were no other track team members in the room.
The only people there were Tomonori in that extreme getup… and Yuu.
Her usual gauntlets and plate armor were now in Haruna’s possession, so right now she was wearing…
… Huh? … Why? Why was she wearing a bunny girl outfit?
Eh? Was this a reward? Was I being rewarded right now? This was just beyond incredible!
More importantly, the only people here were Yuu and Tomonori? What were they doing alone in a small room like this?
I felt a bit like I was watching a scene from some detective novel unfold in front of me.
Where were the other track team members? I couldn’t see any kind of festival exhibit in this room.
All there was here was Tomonori in a bikini… but actually, she sure had a nice body. She would probably look amazing if she stripped…
Were all vampire ninjas just beautiful like this? I guess vampires were definitely famous for being beautiful. On the inside she was a tomboy, but to think she could be so… wait, shouldn’t I be saying something to Tomonori right now?
“Tomonori, please explain what’s going on here. Why are you wearing that at a place like this, and why are you squatting and rolling into a ball like a roly-poly when you see me?”
“We’re selling CDs.”
Yuu answered me.
Taking a second look, I could see now that there was a CD stand set up and there were a lot of CDs lined up on there. You could see the covers of all the CDs. Were these… Haruna’s CDs? This was Sera here… and this one had Tomonori pictured. When in the world did they make these?
“So, why exactly is the track team selling these?”
“To be honest, the track team didn’t really know what we were going to do for the school festival, when Master showed up…”
For some reason, Tomonori kneeled before us and looked like she was about to confess to a murder or something.
“… So you ended up having to sell these CDs… but why are you selling Haruna’s CDs and not something made by the track team?”
“To be honest, everyone on our team didn’t really care about the school festival… so they didn’t want to do anything. But my class isn’t doing anything but a display, so I wanted to actually do something more for the festival…”
“So in the end, you put on a bikini and started selling CDs?”
First we sell five hundred thousand copies. And then we aim for a million copies.
Haruna gripped her fist in determination. That phrase sounded awfully familiar… it was like something I had once heard from a game creator… who made a game that couldn’t even be bought unless you had the necessary rights… (1)
“So why is Yuu dressed like that?”
“Because it’s all my fault…”
Yuu probably felt responsible for what had happened to Haruna… at any rate, she probably said something to the effect of “I’ll do anything if it’s for Haruna,” and Haruna probably mercilessly thrust this task on her.
“But I mean, if Tomonori is here in a swimsuit and Yuu is here in a bunny girl outfit, these CDs should sell really well, shouldn’t they?”
Tomonori looked extremely apologetic as she looked down and played with her index fingers and mumbled. Yuu picked up where Tomonori had left off.
“We haven’t sold a single copy.”
Hearing that, Haruna’s face twisted from the shock.
At that moment… it felt almost as if an earthquake had struck, and all the CDs that were decorating the stand fell to the floor.
And in case you were wondering, the CD stand hit me on the head.
“Haruna, please don’t show any emotion.”
Yuu stared right at Haruna.
Ahh, I forgot! Haruna seemed to want to say. She stopped and took a deep breath.
Tomonori picked up the CDs from the floor and returned them to the stand. I also helped out.
“There wasn’t even anyone who bought it as a joke?”
“No, I wonder why… it’s really a mystery.”
I picked up one of the CDs with Haruna on the cover and took a good look at it.
200,000 yen, with tax.
As if this would sell! Was she an idiot! Also, anybody who didn’t know why this wasn’t selling was also an idiot!
The song titles were written on the back cover.
It seemed that no matter who was on the CD cover, the contents were the same.
There were four songs in total.
Broken Heart Magnum// Haruna.
Crazy Snowman// Seraphim.
Together with my Friend// Yoshida Yuki.
Necromancy// Eucliwood Hellscythe (Instrumental)
It was an instrumental! Yuu actually had a song in here! I guess she really couldn’t sing when they recorded this.
I guess there’s no other choice. I’ll stay here and help sell them.
“I see. Should I help too?”
The minute I suggested that, I was tossed out of the room like some naughty brat being tossed out of his house.
What the hell.
If someone as disgusting as Ayumu is here, even the things that could sell wouldn’t!
Where the hell was there something that could sell here?!
As I felt myself filling with regret for not being able to enjoy the sights of Tomonori in her swimsuit and Yuu in her bunny outfit for a bit longer, I left the sports club rooms in the old school building by myself.
(1) A reference to Opoona, a game produced by Koei for the Wii. The game was super hyped but you apparently needed proper rights to even buy it, and it was also significantly overshadowed by the concurrent release of Mario Galaxy. Needless to say, the game suffered from poor sales and also became the butt of many jokes on 2chan.