Chapter 5: Part 5
Maybe my complaints about the cold had finally gotten through, but we decided to hold the next round in my house.
The sound of laughter came from the variety show on the television, while the table was laid out with oranges and hot tea.
Sitting under a kotatsu surrounded by girls was enough to seriously warm my heart. This would be supreme bliss if I hadn’t gotten poles thrown at me or electricity ran through me.
I couldn’t count on Tomonori or Haruna anymore. Instead, I would leave it to our lovable necromancer, whose favorite motto might as well have been “peace and tranquility.”
The third round will be a portrait contest.
Yuu ended up picking an extremely normal, safe contest for the third round. Yuu, you’re so unbelievably understanding…
“Who are we painting?”
Sera looked at Yuu seriously, her sketchbook in hand.
Do not worry. You will not be shocked by electricity.
Well, I guess I could be their model. Standing still was a zombie specialty, after all.
“Get out into the hall and make a pose. I’m gonna draw you too.”
“Umm, this is a portrait contest, right? So you only need to draw my face.”
“Shut up and go make a good pose!”
I will also draw.
“Okay, me too!”
It seemed that everyone was going to draw me. It really wasn’t clear who was competing against whom anymore…
Anyways, I was in the weaker position here, so I obediently went out into the hallway and put my right hand on my hips. It was a “resting” pose, similar to how I would stand in a line.
It seemed that Haruna wasn’t all too pleased with my choice though…
“Just sit down already.”
She threw another command at me. I let out a resigned sigh before plopping myself down onto the cold floor.
“You’re a bit hard to draw like that, so could ya spread out your legs a bit?”
Tomonori said that, and I spread out my legs a bit.
“Put your heel on the top of your head.”
How was I supposed to do that?! But I humbly obeyed Sera, and desperately forced my right foot’s heel onto my head. What kind of weird yoga class was this supposed to be…? Ugh…
“Now move your left elbow to touch the toes on that foot.”
Elbow? I tried to carry out Saras’s orders… but ugh, this was impossible. Just impossible.
“Your hand’s hard to draw. Hide the fingers.”
While I’m like this?! Ugh… gngngnggggg…
“How disgusting. Turn the other way please.”
Sera glared at me, so I took my foot off from my head and began to turn around.
“Hey! Don’t move that foot! I’m drawing that part right now!”
“Turn around. Now please.”
“Aikawa, don’t close your legs!”
“Ugh, dammit! What the hell do you want me to do?!”
It seemed that twisting my body this way and that worked out though. Everyone soon successfully completed their portraits.
Let’s get to it and take a look at what everyone drew then.
Haruna seemed to have drawn a dot. Maybe when she looked at me all she saw was a dot? I asked her about it, and she said she tried to draw everything in a micron-sized space. She said that the picture would totally look right under a microscope or something… wow, what a genius…
For some reason, Tomonori drew me wearing a baseball cap and with flames coming out of my eyes. What kind of weird sports anime character was that supposed to be?
Yuu’s drawing was really good. But hmm… why was my hair all slicked back? Wait, was she thinking about Steven Segal again?!
Now we got to the two portraits which really mattered. First up was Saras…
“It’s a cat.”
She drew a cat! And it was a calico cat! I don’t know if it was a Persian cat or a Chinchilla cat, but this was the first time I’ve seen someone draw a long-haired cat! Also…
“Was all that crazy posing I did a waste?!”
I hit the table with my fist. But Saras didn’t seem to pay me any mind, and just looked extremely satisfied with her drawing. Sera took a glance at Saras, before showing me her sketchbook.
“I properly drew you.”
Last but not least… ew! It looked like I had eight heads and six noses! This was gross! Exactly how big did she think my face was?! This was just really gross! What exactly happened to my joints and stuff?! Seriously, think a bit more about using the proper dimensions! Dozens and dozens of comments like this filled my head.
To think that Sera would be such an awful artist… I guess cooking wasn’t her only weak point.
“A perfect likeness of Ayumu, wouldn’t you say?”
“It looks more like Neo Exdeath!”
Strangely, the person who ended up bursting out laughing at Sera’s drawing was Saras.
Haruna and Tomonori both had somewhat mocking smiles on their faces, but Saras was laughing out of pure, simple amusement. This must’ve been the first time I’ve seen Saras like this, so all I could do was stand there dumbfounded.
“Ahh, that’s just too strange…”
Saras actually had tears in her eyes as she looked at Sera’s sketch. She seemed to set off a chain reaction, and soon everyone was laughing together.
“D-Do not make fun of me! … This is my victory, yes?”
“I hardly think so.”
Saras couldn’t seem to let Sera get away with saying that, and responded through her laughter.
There is no winner.
Everyone nodded. It was a unanimous decision.
“You are saying that my portrait loses to this?”
Saras snorted. Yeah, it was true that Saras’s drawing was way better than Sera’s. But…
“Well, it wasn’t a cat-drawing contest though.”
Saras shut up when she heard Tomonori’s all-too-correct opinion. She seemed a bit shocked, probably since Tomonori was the last person on earth she might’ve expected to corner her like this.
“Why exactly did you draw a cat in the first place?”
“I am good at drawing cats.”
Ahh, I can see that. Everyone had something they were good at that they wanted to show others.
“Well, looks like this is a tie!”
Yeah, looks like it. Nobody else seemed to have any objections either.
But now the score was still one to one, with one tie. We couldn’t really crown a winner like this.
Well, looks like I have no choice here. I raised a hand and everyone else fell silent.
“Well, allow me to suggest a final competition then. How about we break this tie with a game of hardcore Yagli Gures?”
Saras gave me a puzzled look. Good, good. Just don’t ask any questions and accept it already. Once you two go into battle mode you’ll never quit until a winner is decided, right? Fu fu fu.
I felt myself stiffen in terror at Sera’s all-out verbal attack. Could it really be that she knew what Yagli Gures was…?
“The leaf woman knows what it is?”
Sera shook her head at Haruna’s question.
“No, I was simply stating the fact that Ayumu himself is gross.”
That’s a relief… wait, no it isn’t! That’s pretty horrible!
“Yagli Gures is this thing where you take olive oil and-”
Tomonori loved dressings and oils almost as much as she loved sports, so she seemed to know about this.
“Well, it’s the national sport of Turkey, actually. So it’s not anything strange.”
Before Tomonori could get too deep in her explanation, I butt in and tried desperately to leave them with a more positive image of the sport.
“In that case, I have no complaints.”
“Whatever the contest, I do not mind.”
Exactly. As. Planned!
The little inner me pumped his arms as I stared at Sera’s voluptuous body. She was like an embodiment of female charm and sexuality.
But there was someone who wasn’t very happy with my staring, and that person was… not Sera, but Saras.
Saras scowled and pushed her arms against her chest, before giving me a look like she was the sinister head of an evil government office or something.
“Time is wasting. And this will probably become our last battle. So, Seraphim, let us decide on a penalty for the loser.”
“Penalty, you say?”
“Just having a winner would make for quite a boring game. And I would not receive anything for winning either. What do you say?”
“Understood. I am prepared for any penalty.”
Something about Sera’s unfazed expression probably ticked Saras off, because she came up with a terrifying idea.
“Hmm… well then, the loser must kiss Orito.”
A wave of shock ran through our living room, which had been all smiles up until a second ago.
Orito was one of my classmates, and liked chasing skirts so much that he kept a database in his head of all the profiles of all the girls at our school, a database which he continuously updated. I hope that’s enough to convince you, he was insanely annoying.
And the loser would have to kiss him. I really don’t think I would ever want to win a package of cup udon so much that I’d risk having to do that.
Also, for the vampire ninjas, kisses held special significance. A kiss was a symbol of marriage. So the person who lost this competition would become Orito’s wife.
There was no way Sera would agree to these terms. Saras was probably counting on that.
But Sera okayed this penalty with a serious look on her face.
Will you be okay?
Yuu seemed worried.
“A-Are you sure about that?! You’re gonna do it?! That’s like… harps and little Cupids flying all over the place! Real serious stuff!”
Tomonori was in a panic. She seemed to understand how serious this was.
Only Haruna, who couldn’t care less what happened to other people, seemed completely unshaken by the penalty.
“Okay okay, so whoever loses gets the penalty. And if Ayumu goes off and sexually harasses someone, he gets the penalty too!”
“I could not ask for anything more.”
“Wait, why is my name in there too?! You put me into that javelin match and that steel beam race, and now this too?! Also, stop betting your lives on a game when you don’t even know the rules yet!”
Hi. I’m the guy who just gets ignored no matter what he does. Name’s Aikawa Ayumu. Nice to meet you. God dammit…
“Sounds like fun! Okay, let’s meet at my place. I have a whole drum can of olive oil, so I’ll go first and get things ready!”
“I’m coming too~~.”
Saras (who didn’t look very happy), Haruna, and Tomonori all got out from under the kotatsu and left the room.
I was left with Sera, who still looked perfectly calm. I spoke up in a low voice.
“Exactly what are you playing at here?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you’re getting a bit too deep into this, aren’t you?”
“Do I really look like an impulsive person to you? As always, your eyes need checking.”
Tap tap. Yuu tapped on the desk.
It seems impulsive to me as well. Please explain yourself.
Seeing Yuu’s memo, Sera let out a deep sigh.
“This is no longer about Hiraga Gennai. Until now, I have never been able to match Saras in any area. As a vampire ninja, Saras is my commander, and I have become accustomed to always looking at her back, wishing I could catch up and be more like her. As a person, Saras is my friend…”
At that point, Sera fell silent. She seemed to be searching hard for her next words, and looked me straight in the eye.
“And she is my rival.”
Saras was not her rival as a vampire ninja, but as a person. I didn’t really know what she meant, but before I could think about it too much Sera shook her head, her cheeks slightly red.
“I-In any case, no matter what the contest, I will not run. I will become her equal.”
After finishing with that, Sera also slipped out from the kotatsu.
W-What exactly was going on? I have no idea.
But Yuu seemed to understand how I felt and left a single memo before she followed after Sera.
Seraphim has always felt beneath Sarasvati. However, she has found a way to be Sarasvati’s equal in one matter. That matter is Ayumu.
…Me? Ugh, dammit! I still have no idea what’s going on!