Canary’s Plot Revealed
The school’s sports meet may have come to involve a large number of adventurers, but it was at its heart still an event held for the students. As such, the opening ceremony began as normal with a student procession from the entrance.
From the beginning this part of the event, based on military parades held to boost public confidence at the beginning of a war, wasn’t anything really worth seeing.
If hundreds or thousands of soldiers wearing large, shiny armor were marching down a city’s main street it might have looked like a parade with added fanfare. This was just children however, and they were simply walking out onto a field.
At best it was an opportunity for any parents lucky enough to own cameras to catch a few pictures of their children……..
“What in the world…….a roll of film goes by so fast.”
“It’s too early! The opening ceremony only just started though!?”
Kyle, Cudd, and Leia all unleashed an unrestrained tsukkomi. They learned about the barrier magic Shirley had used to give her maximum angles to shoot from when they first joined her in the red team’s spectator seats, but none of them had understood just how fast Shirley could go through a full hundred picture roll of film.
“Did you really shoot a hundred pictures of just the opening ceremony? You’ll run out of film like that.”
“…….aren’t you misunderstanding something? I only said that this camera had used up a roll of film.”
“Including the other cameras I’ve installed around the grounds, I have taken a total of 353 shots so far.”
“That’s not something you should brag about!”
“But wait, you said you hid cameras in other places away from the stands right? Where did you find the time to shoot……”
Is this another technique born from becoming a doting parent? To run between cameras installed around the sports grounds without anyone ever noticing or realizing she had left the bleachers. Kyle shuddered as he understood that these that sounded like a pack of lies was in fact the truth.
“…all those. There…..!”
At that moment while Shirley gazed down at the students who had lined up after their march, she reacted as if she had just noticed something.
Raccoon was standing in front of the school, giving a bland and painless speech for everyone who’d gathered. Shirley wasn’t too worried he’d cause any trouble, but she was relieved to see him acting even more amicably than she thought. With his fear of Canary keeping him in check, she could fully focus on the matter at hand.
“……..Ah. There Mom is. Over there.”
“You’re right. Mama”
Standing among the crowd, Sophie and Tio had begun stealthily waving their hands after they noticed where their mom was sitting. Shirley met their gazes and waved back while changing out the film in her camera.
“Honestly, it’s the middle of the opening ceremony. I shouldn’t have to focus on these kinds of things when I’m not a member of the staff here.”
“You do realize that what you’re saying and what you’re doing are two completely different things right?”
While complaining about having to keep an eye out for the lolicon principal, Shirley’s index finger was repeatedly pressing down on the shutter so fast, it blurred out of existence from the high-speed continuous shots. The only part of her paying any mind to the principal was her mouth as her eyes were securely locked onto her two beloved daughters as they waved to her.
Shirley continued taking her pictures while giving absolutely no mind to the three pairs of eyes watching her in disbelief as she went…….until suddenly a sound awfully similar to the noise a bone makes when it breaks came from her hand.
“…….Oh no. I’ve used up another roll of film. Perhaps I really do need to go about this a bit more systematically.”
“No Shirley-san!? Your finger! They aren’t supposed to bend like that!”
“Oh, how shameless of me.”
Apparently as Shirley took the hundredth photo of this roll of film, the bones in her finger finally gave way from the continuous high speed shutter shots and crumbled away.
Shirley looked at her finger a little surprised, but that was it. She casually grabbed her finger, re-set it in place, and finally reloaded her camera with a new roll of film.
“There you are Shirley.”
“Yumina? Are you on duty today…….?”
Yumina, the guild’s receptionist. It looked like she was in a hurry because while still in her uniform, she was threading through the crowds of onlookers looking for Shirley and the others. Her breathing was a bit heavy by the time she finally found them and took a seat next to them.
“Actually, early this morning, we found a huge pile of clothes in the guild’s women’s dressing room that looked like they probably belonged to you……so I was wondering if……Grandma might’ve…….er, the Guildmaster might’ve done something again?”
“……..it is just as you assumed.”
Yumina bowed deeply after hearing Shirley’s lifeless laugh.
“I am honestly…….truly sorry! For all of the trouble my grandmother has caused you! I will be sure to firmly beat her afterwards, and you are free to kill her to your heart’s desire! She won’t die even if you kill her, so don’t feel you need to hold back!”
“That was always my plan even if you hadn’t said anything.”
(((Usually you’d promise to lecture them and then beg for forgiveness though~)))
Apparently it’s already been decided that Canary would be killed twice over once this was all done. Kyle and the others gave the two women who were constantly having to deal with Canary’s mischief a sympathetic look.
“Since I was right, I would really like to return your clothes to you as soon as possible……but a powerful seal was set, and we can’t touch them……”
“No, it’s nothing you should have to worry about. I already assumed she would have gone at least that far.”
“Once again, I’m truly sorry…….but do you know why she did this?”
“Haa, she said…….”
After Shirley and Leia explained what had happened that morning, Yumina looked as if she had suddenly figured something out.
“I see……so that’s why you look so lovely today……”
“Would everyone please stop saying that…….? I am already well aware this kind of outfit does not suit someone of my age…….”
None of the male adventurers within earshot wanted to make Shirley angry, so they all kept their lips zipped. Instead they quietly let their eyes wander over her thin limbs, supple hips, and rich bosom and enjoyed the view.
Shirley didn’t mind it earlier when she was too focused on shooting Sophie and Tio’s pictures to think about it, but she was starting to once again feel ridiculously uncomfortable now that things had settled down.
“I think you might be misunderstanding the reason why everyone’s staring, but…….please try and enjoy the sports meet anyway.”
Yumina was about to take her leave after saying that much, but she stopped after suddenly remembering something.
“I almost forgot…….if you are going to strangle Grandma, could you wait a bit? In her own way, she is trying to do good.”
“Hm? How unusual for you, Ms. Receptionist. You always make the Guildmaster out as a heartless villain whenever you talk about her.”
“Because she usually is. This time though she’s brought in all these adventurers and created this mess because……”
Before Yumina could say anything else, her words were cut off by her uniform suddenly being swapped out for the same cheerleader outfit Shirley was wearing.
“Hoooooo!! The charming appearance of our receptionist~~~!!”
“……….huh? Eh, what?”
Everyone was confused for a moment over what happened, but a voice rang out over the field like some kind of presenter. As the male adventurers raised joyous cheers and the female adventurers blankly stared from a distance, Shirley, Yumina, and everyone else synchronously turned their heads to the culprit. Canary.
“What are you doing over there Yumina!! Today is a special festival for our precious children! You’ll be joining in on the war dance for my white team, so get over here! *Hiccup*”
Canary has apparently been drinking since she first got here. She was swinging around a bottle of alcohol in one hand, and in the other was the uniform Yumina had been wearing a moment before. It looks like she used space magic to replace Yumina’s clothes.
“……..I’m sorry Shirley. Forget what I just said. Excuse me, I need to have a small talk with the chairman who thinks it’s okay to drink alcohol on school grounds first thing in the morning.”
Yumina put on a shining business smile, but her goodwill wasn’t able to reach her cold, lifeless eyes. She slowly walked down the stands and up to Canary while cracking her knuckles.
……..A little later Yumina would return to the guild with her uniform back on, a familiar broken black horn in one hand and blood splatter clinging to her cheek.
The opening ceremony had come to a close, and after the majority of students had filtered off the field, the sports meet’s second program could begin…….and Shirley was missing it because she wanted to double check her cameras and wash her hands.
She had been looking forward to this sports meet……but only the parts of it where Sophie and Tio were participating. Right now the first years were running through their events which made it pointless from Shirley’s point of view. So it was time to finish up a few chores and snag a couple close-up shots of her daughters.
(What is that Canary up to?)
As the school’s chairman, Canary should be lying back in the management tent, but for some reason she has chosen to sit in the white group’s spectator seats instead. Since Shirley was trying to grab the win for Sophie and Tio, this would prove troublesome.
It’s not that she thinks the school’s own chairman would try to rig the games or anything, but as an opponent Canary was going to be difficult to deal with. It wasn’t hard to imagine that she would be her biggest competition during the events.
“What are you doing back here?”
On her way back from washing her hands, Shirley was busy trying to think up new ways to handle Canary when she bumped into Sophie and Tio carrying their water bottles.
“I could ask the same…….but I guess you forgot your water bottles in your classroom?”
“Ahaha……well, we both did.”
“By the way Mom, what are you doing during the parent competition?”
“They haven’t told me yet. Canary said she would pass out assignments when it starts.”
Canary thought things would be more exciting if nobody knew what they were going to do until right before.
“But it sounds like both of us will be able to compete with you.”
“Yeah! They said so as soon as I told them Mama was an adventurer.”
“Now if only I can win too……”
“Hm? What’s wrong Mom?”
As the three of them made their way out of the building to return to the sports field, Shirley suddenly stopped talking and hid behind the school’s shoe rack while holding Sophie and Tio close. While wondering what was going on, both of the girls peeked around the shoe rack and followed their mother’s gaze. There they found Canary who was speaking with a girl student.
“Ah……that girl is…..”
“Mm. She’s from the next class over.”
“What is that witch plotting……”
Did they stumble upon a blackmailing incident? Using everything she had learned about Canary until now, Shirley came up with the most likely explanation for what was going on. However the atmosphere between the two felt a bit too calm for that.
“Thanks for coming today Grandma. Mom and Dad might have been too busy to be here, but I’m happy you came here to support me.”
“Haa. Thinking about what I should say now……you don’t need to thank me for that. It is a most trivial of things for someone such as I. As one of my granddaughters you should feel free to rely on this old woman to your heart’s content while in this city.”
Saying that much Canary reached out to the little girl who was only slightly shorter than she was and playfully ruffled her hair. She wasn’t making the same mocking smile she usually did, but rather a cheerful one like a bright young lady.
“Going by their conversation, that girl must be one of Canary’s descendants…….this is…….”
“I remember hearing from one of my friends that her parents were too busy to be able to make it to the sports meet…….”
Shirley was starting to understand why Yumina had said what she did earlier in the morning.
“It’s so amazing to see the sports meet so busy. But, is it going to be okay? Big Sis Yumina seemed awfully angry with you.”
“A silly question! I told you before in return for your parents not being here I would make this sports festival one you would never forget! And we’ll start things off with a war dance from the most beautiful women in the city to raise morale――――”
Physically stuck as a small child, Canary proudly puffed out her slim chest as she boasted to the little girl. It turns out the Golden Witch, notorious the world over, was putting all her energy into livening up a school sports meet for the sake of a very ordinary girl who would otherwise go unnoticed in the public eye.
Not only did she get the town’s adventurers involved, but she pulled all the stops to get Shirley involved in the war dance. This, was too weird. Thinking about other people? Not Canary. Shirley had known her for ten years now, and she had never seen Canary like this before. It was throwing her off, but it wasn’t just her. Even Sophie and Tio were confused.
“Ah, I have to go. Bye bye Grandma.”
“Mm. And just leave the parent competition to me. I shall lead the white team to victory.”
After giving their goodbyes, Canary saw the young girl off as she rushed back towards the sports ground before turning on her heels……and then promptly froze in place when she found Shirley and her two daughters staring at her from behind the shoe racks.
A strange silence filled the air that nobody wanted to break. Shirley didn’t know what she should say while a cold sweat dripped down Canary’s back. It was Sophie and Tio who finally brought change to the status quo.
“………Chairman, you’re a surprisingly good person.”
“Yeah, yeah! I always thought of you as super overbearing, but I will need to honestly rethink that!”
There were a ton of things she’d done you wouldn’t be able to praise her for, but after thinking that she did all that for her granddaughter’s sake, Shirley felt she could forgive her if only a little. However after having her deeds pointed out to her like that, Canary’s face turned a shade of red as bright as the sun, and with her arms wildly flailing in the air, she began to shout.
“HUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuh!? W-What are you talking about, you idiots!? I just thought it would be fun if I messed around with the sports meet, and that’s it! You hear me!? It’s all for me, myself, and I!! I didn’t really want to participate myself; I just thought personally messing around with those greedy adventurers blinded by desire would be a great way to kill time……. Oi, what’s with those warm looks……….? S-Stop it………Stop looking at me like that……..!”
“It’s okay. We understand everything.”
“We understand. The chairman is kind.”
“That’s why I’m telling you little girls to stop looking at me like thaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!”
Canary’s whole body writhed under those gazes that oozed affection as if they understood everything. Because of how she usually acts and how she usually talks, it seems she has zero tolerance towards this kind of response.
From there, Shirley slowly approached Canary without making a sound. Then leaning forward…….she remembered all the times Canary had made fun of her for being a doting parent and whispered sweet payback into Canary’s ear.
“Those with glass houses shouldn’t throw stones………..you doting parent.”
“Uu…….UWAaAAAAAAA!! I’m being put on the same level as Shirleyyyyyyyyyy!!”
Unable to bear the shame, Canary spun around and ran away with tears in her eyes.
“I-I’ll remember this Shirley!! You’ll regret this during the parent competitionーー!!”
Canary spat out a few lines like some low rank villain after suffering a loss, but for some strange reason, Shirley wasn’t too scared.