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In celebration of our new God Emperor!
Also, I forgot to recommend them last time but!
Go Gently by Shana the Short (SB)
A rather funny alternate universe story about this completely oblivious Taylor who is friends with Emma, Sophia, and “Mr. Eikawa”.
Queen of the Swarm by Vherstinae (SB)
A pretty good Starcraft/Worm crossover where Taylor develops a Crawler-like ‘Kerrigan’ physiology.
The day of the excursion was met with clear weather. I departed after a good meal.
I’ve had a history of suffering on these excursions but this year I was a little different. I thought of a way to walk without tiring!
In the past I always took large strides in order to make more progress. But the trick in mountain climbing is to take small steps!
Why didn’t anybody teach me this earlier! Just how much unnecessary suffering did I go through…
Besides that, I also brought out my old stepper machine to train. Say goodbye to the exhausted Reika!
Well, to cut to the chase I ended up in the lagging groups again, but maybe because it was an easier hike this year, I had more fun than expected. I want to believe that it was my stepper training and strategy at work.
If only things were this easy every year. Being the kind girl that I am, I told all my fellow slowpokes about my small steps tactic.
But you know, there have always been some kids that were worse than me, you know? It’s just that they all throw in the towel early and ride away in a car. Last time they were sitting at the base of the mountain drinking tea or something. Isn’t that kind of unfair?
I’d want to do that too! But being the coward that I am, I never could find the timing to quit, so I was stuck with climbing to the end. And since the exercise was oddly good for my circulation I wasn’t hit by a wave of anaemia the one time it could have made itself useful.
Anyway, there were plenty of kids who retired early this time too, riding away gracefully in their car. Well, some of those were members of my group though. For example, my fellow Pivoine member Haginokouji Fuyuko-sama, whose face would probably look good with those round eyebrows that the ancient Heian nobility wore.
Fuyuko-sama is attached to my group because it’s the biggest faction, but she’s a bit different to everyone else. Maybe it’s because of her face, but it kinda feels like she lives in another world…
Sakura-chan might be “Japanese style” but this girl is plain “ancient Japanese”. She’d probably look more natural in a juunihitoe than western clothes.
“Look, Reika-sama. We can see the ocean.”
“Truly. How beautiful.”
Yes, I have enough energy to speak this year. It’s wonderful. I wish I had this much energy every year.
Or rather, if we just didn’t climb a mountain each time I wouldn’t have this problem to begin with. We went to Kamakura this year, so we should have just stuck to money-washing,
or just eating soft custard pudding.
I hope I have somebody to go sightseeing with, this time.
When we arrived back at the hotel after the hike I went and changed clothes.
Aah, I can finally get out of this track jacket. They don’t suit me. If possible I’d like to avoid being seen in them outside.
I fixed up my appearance before heading to the hotel for lunch when I found the classes arranged around tables by class. The main course was seafood. All the exercise really gets your appetite up~
Oh! This Kamakura vegetable soup is pretty good!
But when I looked around, the Externals were ignoring the food in favour of huddling their heads together. I see. They still have their entertainment to do, so I suppose it’s no time to be eating. They really have it tough.
Around the time the food was finished, Class 1 began their skit.
Unsurprisingly it was a choir but they had a leader whose voice was trembling a bit. Can’t blame them though. I’m just thanking my lucky stars that I’m not an External…
After that there were concerts and skits too. My class was doing their best singing, with a piano and some people on the tambourines too. I don’t think I’m biased in saying that their practice paid off.
In the class with the concert there was this one kid whipping his hair back and forth as he played the violin, but I have to wonder if he moved into the right school.
Finally, it was Wakaba-chan’s turn.
In the spirit of being in Kamakura, her class performed the “Benten and the Five-Headed Dragon”. According to the story, in the past there was a terrifying five-headed dragon that lived in the Kamakura lake who caused natural disasters, demanded children as sacrifices, and just made life for the villagers hell. But then one day a heavenly nymph descended from the heavens who was so beautiful that the dragon proposed to her, but she rejected him and told him that she couldn’t marry someone wicked, so he reformed and became a good dragon.
The guy playing the dragon was dressed in a mask and black cloth while the girl playing Benten seemed to be shrouded in white cloth. The other roles included the narrator, the villagers and stuff too. Wakaba-chan was holding a stick attached to blue cloth and was pretending to be the ocean.
“ZAZAAAN~ ZAZAAAN~” she yelled as she waved her stick, enthusiastically playing her part.
…Umm, Wakaba-chan, you’re great, you’re really shining up there. Trying your very best to wave the stick even when nobody is really watching you. Even though sometimes you got so tired that you had to do it with one arm, you gave your all to the role until the end. Well done.
It couldn’t be that she’s being picked on, right? Or so I wondered for a moment, but there was a kid playing the part of Enoshima island so I guess I was just being paranoid. The part of the ocean is still better than being an island, right?
When my class’ act was done, they came over to thank Satomi-kun and I.
“Thank you so much for all your help.”
“Thank you very much, Reika-sama.”
All I really did was get them that music room, but Satomi-kun practised with them and gave them the advice including the idea about borrowing the maracas and tambourines too. He really is great at taking care of people.
“You performed very well. It appears that your practised paid off,” I said.
They all looked really happy. It looks like they became closer through all this. But it’s not good to only stick to themselves, so hopefully they’ll get close to the others too.
The class that won the prize for best sideshow this year was Wakaba-chan’s class.
The prize were enough tickets for free meals at the cafeteria for all of them. Wakaba-chan’s eyes were shining. The food at our school is quite expensive so I suppose she didn’t have much chance to try it. Good for her. I wish I could give her recommendations.
After that whole affair, I became closer to this External girl called Ikoma-san.
But I’m a bit troubled because she looks at me with these eyes that seem oddly worshipping. I’ll bet she has some weird image of me in her head.
Ikoma-san who always looks at me with these sparkling eyes filled with respect… I’m too cowardly to disappoint her, so I vowed to myself to keep up the act around her.
Ikoma-san, if you like my hairstyle so much, how about you curl your hair too?