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When I arrived at school on the day of the athletics carnival, Iwamuro-kun whispered for me to come with him. He wanted me to check his skin for him. Reaching out, I touched his face with the back of my hand. Mn, smooth and supple.
I told him as much and he thanked me happily before returning to the other boys. Perhaps it was impossible for him to go back now.
In the main events I was relegated to only cheering. My friends and I were watching from inside a tent to avoid the sun. Maybe I should have asked Iwamuro-kun for some sunscreen.
People had been gossiping about how Emperor was channelling his frustration from being unable to compete in the cavalry battle into training his team for the baton relay. They must have been true because his team passed over the baton like clockwork and took first place by far. It was actually a little scary how they seemed like some kind of army…
As for the girls in our grade, Tsuruhana-san did really well. I could already see her being cocky for a while.
Eventually it was time for the three-legged race so I headed to the starting line and tied myself to Ikoma-san. That was when I noticed that Wakaba-chan was at the starting line with me.
So Wakaba-chan was competing too? In the same group as me too. Was Wakaba-chan supposed to be good at sports again?
I decided not to worry about it though. I didn’t have time to focus on others. We had trained pretty hard for this, so I wanted first place if possible.
“I’ll give my all, Reika-sama!”
Ikoma-san was plenty fired up too.
With the signal fired, the two of us shot off while chanting in time. I heard a pair fall down behind us. We were near the finish line. I’m aiming for first place!
But just as victory was in our grasp, a pair shot past us from behind and took the prize!
Because of the shock I missed a step, and we stumbled into second place. I looked up to find Wakaba-chan with the flag for first.
“We did it! First place!”
Wakaba-chan seemed overjoyed, but her partner’s face screamed ‘oh no’ and she frantically tried to stop her.
“Eh? How come?” Wakaba-chan asked blankly.
Her partner whispered something in her ear, and then Wakaba-chan looked my way. Hm?
The girl pulled Wakaba-chan away and disappeared into the crowd.
“I’m sorry, Reika-sama. I can’t believe I let you down…”
Ikoma-san looked discouraged and incredibly frustrated. Eh!? You don’t have to take it that seriously!
“It was not meant to be. There was simply a faster pair than the two of us.”
“Shall we try our best in our next event? We still have the ball-toss, correct?”
I’d never particularly cared about winning at anything at an athletics carnival, but I guess some people did.
That very same ball-toss event turned out to have Wakaba-chan once again. She appeared and competed, couldn’t control her ball toss, and hit somebody from another class running nearby.
As it turns out, that victim was Afrodite who caused a huge fuss, screaming,
“MY HAAAANDD!! MY LIFEE AS A VIOLINISTT!!”
which ended with a frantically apologising Wakaba-chan. While she was busy dealing with Afrodite, she ended up in last place.
In the afternoon finally came my costume race.
My costume comprised a grey dress, grey leggings, and a large mouse-ear headband. We didn’t have mouse-pad gloves, so I was using ones for a cat instead. For safety, I was wearing running shoes on my feet. For the same reason I wasn’t allowed to carry a pumpkin in the other hand, so it was turned into a backpack instead. Compared to my team-mates who were obviously a Cinderella, a prince, and a fairy godmother, my costume felt a little more vague…
Wearing a blonde wig as well now, Iwamuro-kun came over to show me how he looked. His lips and cheeks were painted pink.
I mentioned that I had some gloss as well and asked if he wanted some.
was his reply. That’s how I ended standing in front of a 170cm+ Judo Club member as he knelt in front of me with his eyes closed and lips puckered.
Eh? Was I supposed to do it?
Iwamuro-kun had climbed the steps of maidenhood a lot faster than expected. I made sure to use extra glossy lip gloss for him, and wasn’t stingy with it either. Mn, mn. You’re totally cute.
He stood in front of the mirror and then snuck in a few duck lips. Come back to us, Iwamuro-kun…
For some reason when it was my turn to race, the cheers of the crowd turned to noisy chatter. When I looked at the audience, a few of them even turned their eyes away uncomfortably. Why? Was it weird?
“Reika-sama! You’re so dignified!”
And Serika-chan, Kikuno-chan, and my other girls began giving me weird cheers.
In the end we didn’t get first place, but we did become the talk of the school. Cinderella seemed to be having a blast the whole time too. I gave him glittered gloss as a present.
After a lot of other events, it was finally time for the cavalry battle.
The participants from my class were some of the buffer guys, Iwamuro-kun included. He was a maiden on the inside though. Was this going to be okay?
When some of the more popular teams passed through the gate, the cheering seemed to erupt further. When the first years came out, Fellow Stalking Horse gained quite a lot of cheers from the girls. He was supposed to be my Vice Village Chief but he was popular. It was somehow really frustrating.
The one who gained the most cheers though was my beloved Tomoe-senpai. I clapped like mad for him. Do your best, Tomoe-senpai!
The battle was even more intense than in middle school. I think it was because of the huge difference in physique and power.
But despite that, Fellow Stalking Horse was still fighting on par with our seniors, taking headbands left and right. O comrade! Bring glory and honour to our village!
Thinking about the maidenly Iwamuro-kun, I looked for him in worry but found a completely different person to the guy who had happily worn the Cinderella dress.
He was roaring a war-cry as he charged through his enemies. Do your best too, Judo Club!
While all this was going on, Tomoe-senpai’s team was mowing everyone down, racking up victories without a sweat.
You’re so goddamn cool, Tomoe-senpai!!!
For the first time in a long time, I could hear O Fortuna roaring in my head!
I ended up entranced and stopped watching everybody else. When I snapped out of it, Iwamuro-kun had already lost. Sorry I wasn’t watching. I’ll lend you some facial toner to take care of that sunburn.
Fellow Stalking Horse was among the survivors. You’re amazing, Fellow Stalking Horse!
But Fellow Stalking Horse was targeted by Tomoe-senpai. After falling for Tomoe-senpai’s feint, he left an opening which Tomoe-senpai used to steal his headband. The bad boy grin that Tomoe-senpai wore when he did that sent my heart pounding!
Suddenly I wondered what Emperor was doing. I looked over and he was frowning with his fists clenched, staring doggedly at Tomoe-senpai’s team. He looked positively mortified to be sitting out.
…If you’re going to be this upset about it you should have just competed. I wonder why he even announced his retirement. What an idiot.
At the end, Tomoe-senpai squared off with another 3rd year team and won, becoming the king of this year’s cavalry battle.
I stood up and vigorously applauded his gallant figure. It was a struggle just to not jump up and down while waving at him.
While I was clapping, Tomoe-senpai looked my way, and then gave a thumbs up as he winked and smiled. Eh-! Me!?
I couldn’t help but look around and behind me, but Tomoe-senpai pointed right at me. He waved at me, before heading back with his friends, arms on shoulders.
I saw a phantom fountain of blood splurt from my nose.