Turning back the clock to that morning.
Faced with a situation where she might be forced to change into a set of overexposed clothes for the third time in her life, Shirley launched an assault on Canary’s lodging house alongside Leia.
“An immediate execution!?”
Shirley mowed down every trap Canary had set in her house for any trespassers and did not hesitate to bring her sword down on Canary’s head as she peacefully slept away in her large canopy bed. Unfortunately Canary woke up just before her head could be cut off and instantly blinked away using space magic.
Shirley clicked her tongue. Her two-colored eyes shone in anger, and her grip around the sword she made with her imagination alchemy tightened. Finding where Canary had disappeared to, she slowly advanced. The clothes she was wearing might be light and colorful, but the way her hair lifted up into the air because of her swirling fighting spirit and magic power made her look like a demon.
“Hey, what’s with this first thing in the morning nonsense! I was still sleeping you know!? And I would have died there if it wasn’t for my brilliant dodge!”
“None of that matters. Now just shut up and die.”
“Wait wait wait!!”
Sensing the upcoming battle, Leia threw her arms around Shirley’s waist and desperately tried holding her back.
“Maybe we should hear what she has to say first!?”
“Release me Leia. Today’s the day. Today I finally end this evil witch……!”
“FuHaHaHaHaHahahaha! It’s useless, useless I say! I am not one to be defeated by some overly doting parent who has had all her blood rush to her head!!”
“Please don’t fan the flames Guildmaster! Oh man~, would you two idiots just calm downnnnnnn!!”
Shirley is moments away from committing full-blown murder, and Canary is egging her on while still in her pajamas. Leia screamed and screamed again and again inside that chaotic space, but after a while, she finally managed to bring them both down into a discussion. She wanted them to try sitting down and calmly talk this out, but there was only a single table and chair in the room. Since Leia was to act as the arbitrator, she took the chair and placed the two of them on either side of her. Meanwhile because of the fuss they had created this early in the morning, Shirley and Canary were made to sit upright on the ground in a seiza while reflecting on their actions. Shirley was the first person to speak after everyone got into position.
“So then, what is the meaning of this? You’re the one who stole my clothes……just what are you plotting on this all important day?”
“Plot? I am no villain carrying villainous designs. I act in the pure interest of livening up the children’s sports meet.”
“You have the gall to say that…….”
Unwilling to hear anymore, Shirley raised one knee while picking up her sword, but Canary easily handled the murderous intent being directed her way by simply pointing a finger.
“If you try and go wild while wearing that, I’ll be able to see your panties.”
Shirley’s face turned a bright shade of red as she immediately sat back down. Using both her hands she rolled down her skirt as far as it would go before glaring at Canary with tears in her eyes. The wicked Golden Witch took all that hate on with a smile on her face.
“You won’t be able to do any flashy moves in that outfit. It appears I am in complete control here after all no?”
It was over. Completely done. Once Shirley had understood that, Canary rekindled her mockery.
“Hmm~? What’s wrong~? Were you not looking to kill me~?”
“Guuuuuu~…….! T-This is why I hate short skirts……! The smallest movement……and people can see your u-underwear…….!”
Looking back, it might have been better to carry out this assault in her pajamas. However Canary was one to maliciously and repeatedly stab a person’s weak point, and as Leia pointed out, there was no telling what Canary would end up telling Sophie and Tio if Shirley were to go out like that. That’s why she had no choice than to dress up in these embarrassing clothes.
“But Guildmaster, what’s really going on? This is completely different from what you told me earlier.”
“Mm. Then let me go in order.”
Canary corrected her sitting posture before giving Shirley an truly rotten look.
“Shirley, do you know what the war dance is?”
“Not at all.”
“It’s a traditional dance handed down across generations all around the continent.”
During times long past, there was a custom of gathering the young girls of a village together and having them perform a dance in honor of warriors who were heading out to war. This is the war dance, and it was quite popular across the continent for a time.
Although the custom has died away in recent years, the war dance lives on as a traditional dance usually performed during festivals held by countries or smaller territories.
“That outfit is a war dance uniform from my husband’s hometown. Girls known as cheerleaders would wear and perform……..during certain kinds of festivals not too different from this sports meet. As a matter of fact, I learned about the sports meet from my husband in the first place, and it is from his description that I have reproduced this event.”
“They had sports meets that long ago? And you called them……cheerleaders? I have never heard of any dance group going by that name before.”
During her time being learning how to be queen, she was thoroughly educated on the traditions, customs, and history of other countries and regions. Her memory hadn’t rusted over in the slightest even after ten years had passed, yet she had no recollection of anything that was being described to her. Canary simply smiled.
“Naturally. Of course you wouldn’t know.”
A clear understanding over a lack of knowledge. that was a little worrying, but Shirley ultimately decided not to mind it. Canary’s husband lived a thousand years ago after all…..there are bound to be a countless number of things that have faded over time and failed to make its way into the annals of history. There are plenty of things that Shirley could not know having only lived during modern times.
“…..as I said before though, I completely hate this.”
“I haven’t told you anything yet though.”
“I can already take a guess at what you are going to say. You intend on gathering a number of the town’s young women, including Leia, and have them perform at today’s sports meet so you can revive this tradition from your husband’s hometown right? And you now plan on having me participate as well.”
“Correct. You know me so well. I was thinking of forming two teams who will each cheer for the red and white team respectively. Most adventurers are men with a taste for the sensual…….and nobody hates the sight of young girls dancing.”
Shirley had noticed recently there were a large number of young women gathering in the suburbs for something, but it turns out they were practicing for this war dance. Sure it might help to liven up the festival, but Shirley’s response remained the same.
“I absolutely hate these, so please return my clothes as fast as possible. And now that I think about it, isn’t this war dance supposed to be a young woman’s dance? Don’t you think it’s a bit strange for me to get involved? Although looking at these clothes I don’t think they’re made for young women either……”
“Are you trying to tell a joke here? You’re young enough.”
“It’s not about what I look like. It’s the contents that matter. I’m already in my thirties. Having a bunch of people looking at me while looking like this would be too painful…..!”
“Well~…….I wonder about that?”
Unlike Shirley, Leia was a sociable person who interacted with other adventurers. That’s why she knew. The ruffians of the guild were willing to worship just about anything so long as it looked good.
In fact, there were quite a few men who were licking their lips when Shirley was wearing that revealing waitress uniform before.
“Whatever the case, I cannot abide by you not participating in the war dance. I will not be returning your clothes.”
Canary cut Shirley off before she could throw another fit by pointing at the clock on her wall.
“Do you really have the time for this? If you don’t head to the school now, you’ll miss out on getting a good place. You still need to install as many as ten cameras do you not?”
Unfortunately for Shirley, even time was on Canary’s side. In the end, she decided to head to the school, prioritizing her daughters’ sunny smiles over her own shame.
“Go ahead…….just laugh already.”
And that brings us back to now, with Shirley having completely given up and a dry smile scratched onto her lifeless face.
“Um…….p-please cheer up.”
“Hey, is Shirley perhaps one of those incredibly unfortunate people…….?”
“W-Well…..not always, but whenever the chairman gets involved……”
It was bad enough when Mira, Chelsea, and Lisa who had joined the group partway through all voiced their thoughts aloud. But after Sophie and Tio tried averting their gazes in an attempt to spare their mother some pain, Shirley truly felt like she was seconds away from breaking down in tears.
“Haaa~…….no, it’s fine already. I’ve given up in all sorts of ways. I will definitely bury Canary once everything is over, but for the time being…….it’s about time for the sports meet to begin. Let us take a commemorative photo.”
“Eh!? Is it really okay!?”
“Mm. Okay Mom. Everyone gather around.”
Cudd watched, amazed as Shirley circled around Tio, Sophie, and their friends, pressing the shutter at such a high speed it was amazing that it hadn’t been worn out.
“That person is as manipulative as ever. I mean, forcing that outfit onto her and ordering her to dance on the day of the performance? Is Shirley even able to dance?”
“Actually, we should be okay there. I don’t know what the white team decided on, but our red team chose to run through a couple practice sessions this morning. Shirley watched the routine once, and she was able to perfectly repeat it back to us afterwards.”
Not sure what to think anymore Cudd glanced back towards Shirley. By now he’d seen Shirley blatantly prioritize her daughters a number of times already, so he understood how Shirley had been forced to participate in this war dance. However with how serious Shirley always is, he had wondered how she would cover for her lack of experience.
Understanding that things would be okay though, Cudd pressed down on his nose with his fingers before forcing his gaze away from Shirley and onto Kyle who was currently hunched over and staring at the dirt.
“Hey, are you okay? Do you want me to grab you some tissue paper for your nose?”
“No, I’m fine. I pressed down on my nose just in time and blocked it up with healing magic.”
With two hills bouncing around and a skirt that threatened to show off Shirley’s underwear every time she moved, Kyle had just barely been able to avoid showing his younger sister a disgraceful side of himself he would have never lived down. Taking a deep sigh, he did his best to try and calm himself down.
“Well it’s not an unreasonable reaction. This outfit is a bit lewd, but it’s cute too. Most guys would go crazy if they saw a bunch of girls wearing it. How about it? Don’t your hearts beat faster when you look at me? Nishishishi”
“You……all the nutrition that was supposed to go to your head and height got absorbed somewhere else.”
“You’re trying to say my chest is only big because I’m short right!? It’s hard to deride someone while also sexually harassing them. I’ll kill you!!”
“Come on you two. Let’s just calm down, and…….HUUUUUUUH!?”
“W-What’s wrong!? Did something happen!?”
Kyle’s eyes opened wide after they noticed something out of the corner of his gaze, and slowly, his trembling finger pointed towards the white team’s spectator seats. As the chairman, Canary should have been sitting at the management tent. Instead she was sprawled out on a luxury sofa floating in the area where the white team’s parents were supposed to gather while wearing the female students’ gym uniform.