The Coming Sports Meet
Shirley had been in a strangely good mood these past few days. As for how good, eye-witness statements have noted her humming to herself whether she was busy cooking, bathing, or simply living her everyday life.
So anyone not in the know would naturally wonder if something had happened. However, considering what she’s normally like, nobody would walk up to her and find out what it was that she was so excited about.
“The fourth roll of film……magic treatment, check. Fifth roll of film……..check. Sixth roll of film……great, everything’s okay.”
“Oh, Rubeus. Bring me the film from that shelf there. Beryl, bring over the magic catalyst there…….yes, the mirror stone.”
A row of rooms divided the subspace inside the Hero’s Toolbox magic tool. Inside one of those rooms, Shirley was carefully going over each of her cameras while they were set up on tripods, magically treating them with camouflage, sound insulation, and light shading.
There are as many as ten cameras here all modified with magic to keep them out of view from outside eyes. This was everything she had bought for the sake of taking pictures for this event, those events she would see in the future, and the leftovers from past events that she hadn’t been able to use up.
(Last year’s humiliation will be avenged. With this, I won’t miss a single shot.)
Shirley had never forgotten last year’s sports meet. Back then, Shirley hadn’t really ever used a camera herself before, so she had to borrow Martha’s camera for the event. Unfortunately, she had handled Martha’s camera very poorly. Time and time again she found mistakes in the pictures she took, and time and time again she was made to feel like she had swallowed a bitter bug. But this year would be different.
She’s been studying cameras ever since then and has an ample amount of experience using them. She was now confident enough in her use of cameras that she believed she could wield multiple of them as well as her swords.
“This year……this year I shall capture every single one of my daughter’s majestic moments in this sports meet using these cameras~”
Shirley struck a powerful pose, her spirit smoldering at her back as she once again gave herself away as an overly doting parent. Even the two birds there with her who hold a set of values fundamentally different from humans were left flabbergasted.
A sports meet is held once a year at a private school in a small, frontier village. Similar to the parents’ day visit, this was a special event that allows parents the opportunity to enter school grounds to see their children however the sports meet is something more similar to a festival.
“Fufufu……..no, I must stop myself. There are still weeks left until the day of, yet I cannot hold back my feelings.”
There was no possible way Shirley would miss an event like this.
Even at the best of times the sports meet is a crowded festival event, filled with parents looking to see their children taking center stage. Honestly, the audience(the parents) are more excited for these events than the participants(their children).
Shirley was no exception to this. Despite her expressionlessness, she was very excited for the sports meet three weeks away, and with nobody around for her to talk to about it with, her excitement swelled inside her heart alone.
“Come, there is still more work to be done. I need to to increase the shutter speed next.”
And this was the end result.
Shirley continued to push the two little spirit birds harder and harder, not paying any attention to their expressions that seemed to want to groan.
Beryl and Rubeus usually didn’t do much (unless the girls told them otherwise), but it was impossible for them to resist the passion of their contractors’ mother. That’s why they had no choice other than to follow Shirley’s orders and quickly remodel the cameras as to her specifications.
“……Hmm. The cameras should be good enough for the time being.”
Have two hours already passed since they were first put to work? Beryl and Rubeus have been continuing on like this since Sophie and Tio had left for school, so they were relieved that they could finally rest.
“Next up, we will be double-checking where our cameras will be stationed. I will be leaving the stationed cameras to you two, so be sure to learn everything you need to know before the day of the sports meet.”
Shirley started barking out orders while spreading out a map for the school grounds across the floor.
Apparently they weren’t just helping make arrangements. Shirley was planning on having them help man the cameras the day of like a pair of trained circus monkeys.
They may be a pair of birds, but Beryl and Rubeus are the kind of spirits that hold a level of intelligence on par with that of a human’s. They are even capable of understanding human speech. So while it’s not impossible for them to learn how to use a camera, Shirley is probably the only person in the world who would use such high class spirits such as them for something like this.
“For now, we will go over the exact spots where these cameras will be installed and how you will be moving between these cameras to capture my daughters’ best angles. You two will be in charge of capturing the photo chances I would otherwise miss…….”
Shirley was as exuberant as could be expected and showed no signs of stopping. Another hour passed with Rubeus and Beryl having to put up with this overly doting parent, doing whatever she wanted as Sophie and Tio’s faces floated in their minds. Eventually Shirley did pull out her pocket watch, and after checking the time, she nodded her head.
“…..It’s about time for me to clear up the monsters around town. We’ll stop here for today.”
With that, Shirley climbed up the ladder and exited the Hero’s Toolbox. Beryl and Rubeus saw her off before returning to their aviary with a deep sigh.
From the sounds of it, they’ll have to go through this same thing tomorrow. With that kind of premonition rattling around inside their skulls, the two birds sprawled themselves out across their straw beds, pecking away at their dried beans before releasing a huge yawn.
Between the guild’s pterosaur and the dragon wagon Rangitz, Shirley had been able to exterminate waves of monsters day after day.
Yumina had been gushing to the other staff members, “That Shirley is actively contributing to the guild!” but it was incredibly rude to the person in question.
“Seriously……what is that?”
The answer is probably…….no, it’s definitely because of how she constantly refuses the guild’s requests in favor of spending time with her daughters, but since she wasn’t breaking any rules, Shirley didn’t think there was any reason to complain.
(Nevertheless, this season really is busy. I would really like to spend more time preparing instead.)
It would be too soon for new students to have the sports meet in the spring, and it would be much too hot for a sports meet in the summer. On the other hand, it would be way too cold to have it in the winter either. That’s why it only makes sense to have it in the fall, but whenever Shirley thought about how that coincided with the increase of monster activity, she could only think that the world was conspiring against her.
(But even I have to concentrate on requests to some extent when I imagine the possibility of monsters storming the city.)
A monster entering the city. It is only a matter of course that the sports meet would be cancelled if something like that were to happen. And above all, it would mean Sophie and Tio would be thrown into another dangerous situation.
To put it plainly, that is the entire reason why Shirley had been so active in her monster subjugations these past few days. She isn’t so noble as to be doing this for the sake of the guild, the people, or even the world.
(Although, the burden is a bit lessened since I can rely on others to carry some of the load.)
For the sake of the sports meet……..or rather, for her daughters’ sake, any monsters with any kind of strange or unique ability that would allow it to enter the city must be carefully eradicated. Thankfully, other adventurers are think the same way and share her goal.
The odds of a monster waltzing in to the city plummet so long as there are adventurers willing to bring the fight to them, and it means those rude hoodlums would be out and about and less likely to cause trouble. In that sense, this time of year might be the best possible time to hold the festival.
“For now, let’s eradicate the monsters closest to town until 2 o’clock. Afterwards, I will talk to Martha about what I should put in their lunchboxes the day of……..”
Incredibly busy, yet somehow strangely fulfilled. Soaring through the sky with the chilly autumn breeze blowing through her hair, Shirley was in a good mood during her monster exterminations for once instead of finding the whole affair bothersome.
At that same time, a most unusual scene was unfolding at the school with students still bustling and energetic during afternoon classes.
All of the classes they would usually be having at the moment were held in the morning instead, and it was now time for students to discuss how they would be participating in the upcoming sports meet.
Even the students who loathe school were getting wrapped up in the spirit, and the school building is filled with overly excited children for once.
“Okay then, who will be participating in the bread eating race?”
“Here here! I think Tio would be a good choice!”
“Tio’s the fastest. She’ll definitely come first!”
With that being said, the person standing in front of the blackboard………Sophie and Tio’s homeroom teacher took ideas from from the gaggle of schoolgirls, but Tio quickly objected with a frustrated look.
“Hey……you don’t intend on having me participate in all the individual competitions right? I’m already supposed to be participating in the obstacle course……”
“Eh~? But, you have the best reflexes in the school.”
If you know somebody is going to win, it just makes good sense to have that somebody participate. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the theory in itself, but if they follow through, it means Tio will end up participating in every event available to second graders.
Something that made Tio feel tired and irritated just thinking about it. She needed to firmly refuse, so she looked towards her sister and homeroom teacher for help.
“Now now everyone. That’d be a huge burden on Tio.”
“Indeed. And the sports meet is an event meant for everyone. The rules state that everyone in the class has to equally participate.”
It would be physically and socially problematic to have one student participate in every event. The teacher cleared their throat before continuing the discussion, and the entire class had no choice other than to fall silent.
“Okay, then we’ll have Tio run the obstacle course and the individual events that give us the most points. As for the other competitions…….do we have any volunteers?”
Talks progressed smoothly after that. Although by nature it’s not meant to be a difficult discussion. If a certain event fits well with a student’s abilities, then great. And if nobody ends up raising their hand, students would volunteer each other, and the matter would be settled like that.
“Then last up is the hundred meter relay. Do we have any volunteers? We can have up to four people.”
“Leave it to me!”
The competition to be decided on last was to be the hundred meter relay. When the teacher asked for volunteers, five hands rose into the air.
One of them belonged to Sophie. Among the remaining four was the boy with the biggest body and the loudest voice who held a bit of influence over the other boys in class…….Marco, the so-called class bully.