Borrow Frenzy Race Part 1
Five people from each team gathered together in front of the gate for the next competition with Shirley and Canary taking the lead. Cheers were already beginning to rise up from the spectator seats around the sports field. Shortly before the competition was announced though, Shirley wanted to confirm something, so she spoke to Canary through her mind using communication magic.
(Canary. I wanted to confirm once more. You really haven’t interfered at all in this next event?)
(You’re a persistent woman. Don’t worry, I have not dipped my fingers into any of this. It was all taken care of by my secretary. In fact, she told me before she started that she would include a number of rules that would limit my behavior.)
Shirley didn’t think Canary had lied to her before, but she wanted to check once more just to make sure although her lack of faith did annoy Canary somewhat.
Canary’s secretary is one of the few people in the world who can deal with her arrogance. If what Canary is saying is true, and that person is involved, things really would be okay.
This secretary was apparently also the first person who would pound Canary into a garbage bag when her practical jokes would go too far, and Yumina learned the technique from her. You can tell the pecking order between the two from the fact that Canary hasn’t dismissed or treated her secretary unfairly. The secretary usually ends up handling all of Canary’s business…….the excuse given is always that this kind of work is not important enough for Canary to handle herself even though the secretary is actually higher up on the food chain.
(Well, it doesn’t sound like there will be any problems at least. So what kind of competition are they going to have us start out on?)
In order to dedicate this victory to her daughters, Shirley focused her mind sharper than ever before.
After a moment had passed, several teachers inside the management tent lifted up their hands, and using magic power, drew a line on the ground that circled the entire sports field.
A large barrier that emitted magical light grew from the line on the ground, rising up towards the heavens to form a dome that encompassed the entire field. It was like several panes of hemispherical glass had been set down.
This was to be an event that involved adventurers, so the use of magic had to be better accounted for. It wouldn’t do for some spell to misfire and hit the spectators. That was why Canary had hired a number of people who excelled at barrier magic to prevent any harm from coming to the students or other school officials.
Asterios was the most notable of these individuals.
(I’m relieved to know I won’t have to worry about my daughters getting hurt……..but that guy has things hard too.)
Asterios was in charge of maintaining this barrier, but he also had to supervise the added security brought in for the event. He was probably busier than anyone else here. When Shirley turned her gaze towards the man himself to silently offer her sympathy and gratitude however, he gave her a large smile as if to say “Leave it to me.” There isn’t much of a problem if he really doesn’t mind it.
“And now, announcing today’s third event and our first guardian competition.”
Guardians…….with that being said, most of the adventurers here didn’t actually have kids and were just invited here by a friend although nobody thought to worry about that fact. When the voice came out of the magic tool, all the participants, Shirley included, held their breath in anticipation. A low drum roll reverberated through the air as the contents of the upcoming competition were finally announced.
“Event number three. A scavenger hunt.”
Murmurs of confusion ran through the adventurers as they all looked between one another after the announcement was made.
“A scavenger hunt? It’s more plain than I thought it would be.”
“Right. I was told we would be able to use magic, so I was wondering what type of competition it would be.”
This is a sports meet Canary is hosting. Student events are one thing, but it was surprising to hear that an event with adventurers would be so normal.
However as they learned from the previous event, this school is a bit different from others like it, and its sports meets become unique as a result. The large number of magic tools contributes to that of course, but the battlefield available doesn’t hurt either.
“All participants, brace yourselves.”
What is the announcer talking about?
The adventurers who had never seen the school’s sports meet in action before didn’t know what to make of their words, but they quickly found out.
“Woah!? W-What the!? Why is the ground moving!?”
The dirt underneath their feet began wriggling around like it were an ocean of slugs. The level field undulated and stretched before finally settling down into its final chosen form. The field beneath the barriers had quickly and efficiently transformed into a race track lined with different obstacles.
In this remote town’s private school, the appearance altering field is meant to be a specialty of its sports meet. Canary dispatches terrestrial mages every year for the sake of altering the ground between certain events so that neither viewers nor participants would get bored.
“Then allow me to explain the rules. Each team will consist of five runners who will be made to run a relay to the goal while avoiding obstacles along the way. Judges will be waiting at key points and will give runners a memo with a kind of ‘thing’ written on it. Runners will be made to go collect this item and bring it back in order to proceed. Note that shortcuts and skipping judges are both considered against the rules.”
So it’s a mixture of a standard scavenger hunt and an obstacle race. If anything is going to trip up a contestant, it would be the type of item they get on their memo――――.
“S-Somehow…..doesn’t the obstacle course bit seem more dangerous than usual?”
You could call the altered terrain hilly if you wanted to be cute, but any normal person would see those hills as cliffs and walls. There were at least ten of these steep cliffs, and each of them was at least a meter thick. Inbetween them were these wide, gaping holes filled with mud. A single board stretched across these holes that adventurers could cross, but the board itself was thinner than a line of rope. Overall it wasn’t the type of obstacle course you would expect a half-hearted adventurer of being able to clear.
It was a harsh field designed exclusively for this sports meet and the adventurers who would be participating. The students were excited to see a huge obstacle course they had no knowledge of, but the low-ranked adventurers like Kyle had a cold sweat flowing down their backs.
If that was indicative of the kinds of events they would have to go through, they were going to soon regret so lightly deciding to compete.
“As an aside, when a competitor receives the memo with their ‘item’ written on it, a small hole will form in the barrier that will allow you to borrow said item from the audience. Remember that you are not to otherwise get spectators involved. You are also not allowed to use any mid-size or larger destruction magic. Competitors are also prohibited from interfering with other participants, and the use of the 《Fly》 spell and space magic are also not allowed.”
(……Well, that should be fine.)
《Fly》 is a spell that reduces the gravity on the caster to induce a floating effect before they are then able to propel themselves through the air. It’s the kind of magic that is completely antithetical to an obstacle race. As for space magic, if that were allowed Canary could finish the race instantly. It is the natural rule to be made if one were looking to prevent the sports meet from becoming boring.
“The order of runners is randomized. If our participants could move to their starting positions.”
Shirley and the other contestants moved out to the five different starting points marked out by flags. Shirley’s spot was at the very end, a position referred to as the anchor…….but when she turned to see who she was going to be competing against…….
“Well of course. Did you expect any differently? I may not have had any part in planning out the individual competitions, but I did make it clear they were to make them as exciting as possible.”
Canary spoke plainly, and Shirley agreed with her. Real battles aside, for entertainment purposes it is best to have competitors with similar level abilities face off against one another.
“Thus we will be beginning the scavenger hunt involving volunteers from our very own Adventurer’s Guild. For a better view, please enjoy the magic video we have floating above the field!”
Feeling the audience’s eyes turn towards the large screen projected up in the sky which had been used during the second event as well, a strained tension settled over each of the runners. They pulled their bodies taut and waited for the ball to drop.
“And thus begins our third event, the scavenger hunt. Go!”
Both of the starting runners kicked up a large plume of dirt smoke as they kicked off the starting line and charged forward. They used magic to strengthen their bodies, and with various pebbles from the rough ground thrown back behind them with every step they took, they made it to the first rock wall.
“And so both our contestants immediately make it to the first barrier! How will these intrepid adventurers make it over the wall!?”
Neither adventurer slowed down as they came close to the wall. Just before they splattered themselves against it though, the adventurer from the red team had a pattern transcribed on both his arms glow up while the white team adventurer pointed the end of their spear at the wall.
The rock wall cracked and shattered beneath the man’s fist after it had been hardened and strengthened to the absolute limit while the wind swirling around the spear made it almost look like a drill as it dug its way through the solid rock. Both adventurers managed to break through and continue on through the course after about 20 seconds. Ordinary people had spent the majority of their lives away from battle, so seeing these flashy techniques capable of collapsing solid rock fascinated them. A unified “Ooh” rose up from the stands.
Basically, this just served as proof that the people are protected from threats like monsters, and it is quite rare for any of them to see adventurers use their power.
“Not knowing what the event is, start off by sending a solid team of strong adventurers…….I see, both teams had the same idea.”
To be clear, obstacles of this level will prove to be no problem for high ranking adventurers. The real challenge will come from whatever ‘items’ they are forced to borrow.
The two adventurers were neck and neck, and after they powered through the rest of the course, they reached the judge at the same time. After reading the memos they were given though, both men’s faces became abnormally intense.
Just as Shirley began wondering if something had happened, the two men once again began to run. They passed through the field’s barriers, rounded the spectator’s seats, and disappeared into the distance.
“…….are they going outside the school to borrow something?”
“Looks like it.”
“…….I’m almost afraid to ask, but does that secretary of yours have a penchant for the extreme like you?”
“Just so. That person is the kind of unreasonable brute who would clench her fist and overreact simply because I ordered her to collect the 100 most popular types of sweets from across the world.”
“I see, so they’re at least someone with a bit of common sense.”
“How did you come to that conclusion?”
Shirley began to meditate, blocking out Canary’s protests as the little witch gently tugged on her white hair.
Last year’s sports meet had a scavenger hunt as well however everything that was written on the memos were items a child could easily borrow and carry like hats or shoes. If adults are playing……or more specifically adventurers, then it isn’t too hard to guess that the items will be things difficult for ordinary people to get.
What those things actually are though……the red and white team runner returned just as Shirley began pondering that very thought. The white team runner happened to be riding the dragon wagon Rangitz while the red team runner had the head of some huge monster……thankfully it turned out to be a stuffed animal.
“Isn’t that the stuffed gigarex monster the guild keeps on the second floor?”
“It’s a race between one man who could quickly borrow an item and run back and another who would have had trouble borrowing his item but gets to quickly return.”
The red team’s adventurer was clearly in the lead at first, but there was no way he could match up to the overwhelming speed of a dragon wagon. In the end it was the white team adventurer who made it back to the judge first with the red team adventurer regretfully trailing behind.
“Haahahahahahahaha!! Behold! An overwhelming lead that will be impossible to overcome!! The white team’s victory has been all but assured for this event!! Mortified? Lost hope? Pukukukukuku!!”
A vein popped in Shirley’s temple as she thought about how good it would feel to pull out her sword and cut down this annoying instigator. However Canary wasn’t wrong either. Both adventurers ran at about the same speed, so it would be difficult for the red team to catch up on this leg of the race. Any ground would have to be made up starting with the second runner.
The white team passed off its baton to its second runner with the red team passing on theirs shortly after. Both adventurers made their way through the different obstacles like the tightrope without incident. The gap between the two runners didn’t change all that much, and the white team reached the second judge first.
The white team runner was already on their way out of the barrier by the time the red team was given their memo, and just like before, the adventurer’s face grew intense after they read what was on it.
“W-What in the world is it this time……..she’s heading over here.”
Instead of moving for the barrier, the red team’s runner instead cut across the field and ran straight for Shirley.
The adventurer was actually familiar. It was the female adventurer who was sitting with the young man Shirley had assumed was her husband when Canary had debriefed all of them about this year’s sports meet. If she was remembering right, Shirley thought she had heard they were both A rank like Asterios.
“You’re that famous B rank adventurer right? Shirley?”
“Yes, but is there something you need to borrow from me? If so, what in the world……?’
could it be? Before Shirley could even finish asking, the adventurer threw her arm over Shirley’s shoulder, pulled her away from Canary, and quietly whispered into her ear.
“I’m sorry, it’s really hard for me to ask this.”
“…….okay? What is it?”
“No, really, you might think I’m insane, but could you please remain calm and hear me out?”
“Of course, please get on with it. We’re wasting time like this――――”
“Actually, I need to borrow your bra. The one you’re wearing right now.”
“……………are there maggots living in your brain?”
Or perhaps being outside in this heat has melted her brain into soup, and in a moment it’s going to pour out of her ears? Dressed in a set of light clothing more revealing than anything she had ever worn before with the exception of her swimsuit, Shirley’s body literally trembled with worry for this female adventurer’s head.