Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume7 The Fifth Question
 The Fifth Question
Remember these baseball rules!
Yuuji: “So that's how it is. Since Himeji doesn't understand baseball, we will do a simple explanation of the rules.”
Akihisa: “We're normally the ones being taught, to think that it'll be the other way around.”
Mizuki: “Ple, please teach me well.”
Yuuji: “Now, we're going to explain the foul called 'balk'.”
Mizuki: “Balk...is it?”
Yuuji: “That's right. This is a foul when the pitcher's pitching.”
Mizuki: “A foul? What is it about?”
Akihisa: “For example, when the pitcher's steps on the rubber to pick off the baserunner in place but didn't throw the ball out.”
Yuuji: “Or throwing a pickoff while the toes are facing the batter.”
Akihisa: “And there's also the 2-part pitching stance—stopping midway throwing the pitching motion, even if it's a little bit, these are all fouls.”
Mizuki: “Let me see, pointing the toes at the batter yet throwing a pickoff, and the 2-part pitching stance...”
Yuuji: “Anyway, it's not okay as long as the pitcher does something to hassle the batter or make the batter misunderstand.”
Akihisa: “Like letting the batter think that 'the pitch is coming' only to throw a pickoff, or making the batter think that the pitch won't be coming and pitching out of a sudden. This will severely affect the match.”
Mizuki: “I see...so letting people misunderstand is called a balk...”
Yuuji: “Well, yeah, you just need to think this way.”
Mizuki: “Then, Akihisa-kun...”
Akihisa: “Hm? What is it?”
Mizuki: “You balked.”
Mizuki: “You balked.”
Akihisa: “What are you saying, Himeji-san?”
Mizuki: “Akihisa-kun balked.”
Yuuji: “Haiz...I'm too lazy to even comment about this...”
In the end, class 3-E and 3-F couldn't beat each other, and so we advanced to the next round without a fight.
“It's time for the semi-finals.”
“Yup, the class of that Toko-Natsu pair.”
We've just battled against them in the test of courage a while back, and now we met each other so soon. It seems that we have sort of inexplicable relationship with those two.
“Um, so that means 2-A lost?”
“I guess they did.”
“They lost? They have the almighty Kirishima-san!”
The class rep of 2-A, Kirishima Shouko-san is someone whose scores is greater than even Himeji-san's. How did she lose to that Toko-Natsu group?
“Mm...well, she's not as bad as Himeji but Shouko doesn't know much about baseball. I guess that's the reason why she lost.”
“The way I see it, there are people who are as impressive as Kirishima.”
“Well, I guess so.”
Anyway, since class A, which is led by Kirishima-san, lost, we have to be ever more cautious now.
I guess there's only 1 or 2 times that we can get points from the third years.
“It's pointless to think about it now. Let's hurry to the sports center.”
“That's right. We should be able to understand once we play against them.”
I'm wondering about the fact that 2-A lost to them, but to us, this may be a good thing. Besides, the key to us winning is the plan Yuuji comes up with. Class 2-A has Kirishima-san, who understands Yuuji's personality and thoughts thoroughly, leading them, so they should be harder to beat than class 3-A with better marks.
“Hm? What is it, Akihisa?”
“If class 2-A advanced, what would your plan be?”
I think Yuuji thought of a plan against 2-A already.
“I actually planned to get Kubo to join us by charming him over and play 10 vs 8.”
On hearing my question, Yuuji casually answered back. 10 vs 8...if we can do it, the difference between both classes can be reduced, so it will be to our advantage. It's just...
“Charming Kubo-san over? What are you saying? How can Kubo-san do such a dirty thing?”
“Really...if you can think this way, maybe it's a blessing to you...”
“The real Kubo got blinded by those corrupted feelings...”
“...Not knowing is the real blessing.”
“Eh? Why is everyone looking at me with pity when I mentioned Kubo-san?”
Those eyes looked like someone just died. I can't understand them at all.
“Oh yeah, Yuuji, what's our plan now?”
“To be honest, I really didn't expect 2-A to lose with Shouko and Kubo among them, so I didn't really make any adjustments for the match with class 3-A. However--”
Though he says this, Yuuji must have planned already.
“--I guess we should just kill their summoned beasts.”
I see, this plan is easy to understand.
“Seems like you guys don't have any sportsmanship at all...”
“This tactic is the worst...”
“Kill them? We're going to kick them out?”
Seeing Himeji-san look so puzzled, it seems that she still doesn't understand Yuuji's plan well.
“Got it. So we're going to beat those guys up during a mess-up until they can't show up?”
“...Who're we doing it on?”
“I'd say, you guys have already accepted such a plan without hesitation...”
Muttsurini, who's used to assassination, taking photos from the shadows, cover operations and doesn't even have any relation to sportsmanship. Of course, he accepted it without any resistance. I'm different from Muttsurini, I'm a pretty fair guy normally, but we have an aim we have to achieve no matter what, so it can't be helped that we have to use such underhanded means to win.”
“No, it's alright even when it's not a mess. There are many other means besides attacking directly.”
“Yup, like sliding into the opponent or throwing a 'Hit by Pitch'.”
“...Or faking a swing and hitting the bat on the opponent.”
“That's good. Great that you can understand.”
“I say...you guys are really too evil!”
It's too crude to call us evil. If there's a need to call us that, just say that we have a flexible approach to the rules.
Standing beside us, Minami rolls her eyes and says,
“I say, you guys...if you guys do such a thing, you deserve it even when you're scolded and called 'despicable'!”
Despicable? Scolded? What is this girl saying?
“Hoho, Minami, it seems that you don't understand.”
“Yup. Seems like Shimada hasn't gotten the whiff of our sportsmanship.”
I, Yuuji and Muttsurini answered in turn. Can't be helped though. Even though she didn't study enough, there has to be a limit.
“Wha, what do you mean by that!? What are you trying to say?”
“Listen up, Minami.”
Seeing the troubled and puzzled Minami, all three of us answered loudly in unison,
“““DESPICABLE AND DIRTY ARE THINGS THAT ONLY LOSERS WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT!!!”””
“YOU GUYS ARE REALLY ROTTEN!!”
This is the golden rule of winning and losing. To win, we have to pull all the stops.
“Uu, well, but even if we force the opponent's summoned beasts to be immobile, it doesn't mean that we will win, right? How should we deal with it? And looking at their points, we can't possibly do much damage to them, right?”
Hideyoshi voiced out his doubt.
That's true. It's okay to take them out, but what do we do after that?
“The opponents are the 3rd years. And the spot-check was only done on the 2nd years, so their desire to win isn't a great, right?”
“Mn, that's true.”
We're motivated to get back those confiscated items, and we're a whole lot different from the 3rd years who're just participating this school event out of necessity.
“So we'll use the difference in strength of motivation.”
“Using the difference in motivation? Even if you say that...”
“Ahh, well, just look at it. Besides, there's no other way anyway.”
“Mn, I got it somewhat.”
Yuuji didn't explain the plan further, and we head to the middle sports arena where the match will begin.
“...At times, I really thought, what's so good about that guy...”
“Using such evil means just to get back the A-books....”
“Ah, ah hahahaha...”
"--STRIKE THREE! BATTER OUT!"
The umpire's call echoed throughout the sports arena, and the 1st batter Minami walked back in a lonely manner. As expected of class 3-A, their ball velocity and control can't be underestimated.
"Sorry, I really couldn't hit it..."
"Don't worry, Shimada. There's a huge difference in scores anyway."
Yuuji consoled Minami like a coach. This time, we're using Chemistry as the subject, and as it's not Minami's speciality, it couldn't be helped that she couldn't hit it. Besides, Yuuji's plan isn't to hit the ball, but to attack through violence, so it doesn't matter that we didn't hit the ball.
As the second batter, Sugawa-san called out him summoned beast. On a side note, this match's batting lineup goes like this.
- First batter: 3rd baseman Shimada Minami
- Second batter: Shortstop Sugawa Ryo
- Third batter: Pitcher Yoshii Akihisa
- Fourth batter: Catcher Sakamoto Yuuji
- Fifth batter: Right fielder Kondou Yoshimune
- Sixth batter: 2nd baseman Tsuchiya Kouta (Muttsurini)
- Seventh batter: Center fielder Kimishima Hiroshi
- Eighth batter: 1st baseman Fukumura Kohei
- Ninth batter: Left fielder Yokomizo Koji
It'll be bad if we use violence right from the start, so the lead-off batter just need to hit in a normal manner, while Sugawa-san and me behind are to act according to the situation. If we feel that it's alright, Yuuji will give us the go. It'll be great if the first batter Minami can make them let their guard down...
Class A, Natsukawa Shunpei, Chemistry, 244 points.
Class F, Sugawa Ryo, Chemistry, 59 points.
As how things went in the past, the pitcher and catcher are the baldy-sempai and the mohawk-head, the Toko-Natsu group that we're all too familiar with. I heard that the pitcher and catcher were different in their match against 2-A. Maybe they decided to take over this time because they know that Yuuji and I are partnering in this one. Those two really hate to lose.
“59 marks? This guy's score is really pitiful.”
Standing on the pitcher's mound, baldy-sempai saw our displayed scores and happily mocked us. This guy's looking down on us as usual.
But even though we got laughed at for our grades. Sugawa-san doesn't look like he really cares. His summoned beast just raised the bat and gets into a swinging position, As expected of a member of class F, he didn't lose his patience even though he got treated like an idiot.
“Oh, you don't even have the guts to argue back? Such a useless bum.”
After saying this nonchalantly, baldy-sempai's summoned beast gets into a pitching motion. IT gathers all the force in the arm, and at the next second, he throws the ball out.
The next moment, the ball landed neatly into the glove of the mohawk-sempai's summoned beast. I noticed it a bit when Minami was in the batter box. That ball's really fast.
“What's wrong? That was right down the middle,”
The baldy-sempai gave a mocking smile at us as he looked down on us and receives the ball from the catcher. Sugawa-san doesn't respond at all as he just readjusts himself as he readies his bat again.
Seeing Sugawa-kun's unmoved look, the baldy-sempai just looks bored as he snorts. He then pitches the second ball.
He didn't swing at all again. Now, it's two strikes. Sugawa-san continues to stare at the opponent, seemingly analyzing the situation calmly.
“You're going to be the 2nd one who's going to be struck out!”
Baldy-sempai pitches for the 3rd time. The breaking motion isn't too different, but the velocity's a lot slower than before.
Did he miss the timing? Sugawa-san didn't swing the bat as he just remained over there. The pitch just landed inside the glove. If that's the case...
“STRIKE THREE! BATTER OUT!!”
Like what baldy-sempai predicted, he really struck Sugawa-san in three strikes. Now, it's 2 men out with no baserunners.
“Oi oi oi, I threw that ball really slowly already. Shouldn't you swing your bat already?”
Baldy-sempai mocked us with a taunting tone. Ever since we began, his way of pitching was basically mocking us. This sports meet is planned by them, so they're still angry about this? They're the ones who came up with the punishment in the first place...
“What's wrong, Sugawa-san?”
I asked Sugawa-san softly as I went past him. Maybe he noticed a flaw in the opponent's attack.
“No way, I couldn't find a way to attack.”
“No matter how I tried to look for it, I couldn't find that sempai in the erotic yukata...”
“I see, this information is way too useful.”
If that's the case, I don't have to waste my time looking for that sempai. Though it's a little...no, it's really a pity, but now I can concentrate on the match. Let's think of it in another way. Maybe this might be a good thing.
“You're going to be the 3rd batter I'm going to strike out, Yoshii Akihisa!”
As I walked into the batter's box, the baldy-sempai on pitcher's mound said that to me.
Class A, Natsukawa Shunpei, Chemistry, 244 points.
Class F, Yoshii Akihisa, Chemistry, 57 points.
After a while, our scores are shown. I understand that my score will cause me to be in a tough battle. Unless I can hit the ball in the middle, the ball shouldn't be able to fly into the outfield. However--
“I won't give up like that, Hengawa-sempai.”
“HOLD ON A MINUTE! DID YOU JUST MIX MY NAME WITH THE WORD 'HENTAI' TO CREATE A COMPLETELY NEW SURNAME!?”
“Ah, sorry, hentai-sempai.”
“NO!! I DON'T WANT YOU TO CHANGE IT TO 'HENTAI'! CALL ME 'NATSUKAWA'! JUST GIVE ME A PROPER NAME!”
“Sorry, because your name pronunciation is easy to mix up.”
“SINCE WHEN IS IT EASY TO MIX UP! THE ONLY THING SIMILAR IN 'NATSUKAWA' AND 'HENTAI' ARE THE NUMBER OF KANJI WORDS!!”
“My my, don't be so agitated, Natsukawa-hentai.”
“So you mixed them up because 'sempai' and 'hentai' sounded all too similar!?”
The fated duel's within the bat of an eye as baldy-sempai's burning up. This isn't any different from a hot-blooded shounen sports manga anyway.
“Damn you, Yoshii Akihisa...I'M SO GOING TO KILL YOU!!!”
Baldy-sempai's summoned beast raises its position and gets ready to pitch the 1st ball—which quickly came rushing here.
The first ball was right down the middle. I didn't react to this pitch at all as I analyze the situation.
“Heh, seems like you don't dare to take action.”
My reaction seem to make the baldy-sempai happy, as after he received the catcher's throw back, the baldy-sempai snorted in a rather good mood.
Then, he pitches the 2nd ball.
At this moment, the opponent pitched another ball right down the ball.
“What the heck. You're pretty quiet now.”
Like when Sugawa-san was on just now, I just let two pitches fly by me to see if there's anything. Baldy-sempai just snorted in a bored manner.
“I'm just checking where you're pitching. I'll get the next one.”
“Checking where I'm pitching? HA! Stop lying! You just couldn't hit my pitch, right?”
I didn't answer him as I just wait silently for the next pitch.
Like how he pitched against Minami and Sugawa-san, the opponent's been pitching only in the middle. It's really just like his personality. He wants to strike me out within 3 pitches, so I guess the next pitch is straight down the middle again.
“Che, so you can only look at the ball? You guys are wimps!”
It's true that I've been observing the ball up now. However, I'm not just looking at the ball, but also the positioning of the pitcher. The baldy-sempai would stand at the same place after both the 1st and 2nd pitch. As expected of this 3rd year sempai. He really knows how to control his summoned beast, and his posture is rather stable.
But that's going to be his Achilles' Heel.
“Alright, time for the final blow!”
After getting into position, the opponent pitches the 3rd ball at me. I use this chance to match the opponent and swing my bat hard at the opponent.
The white ball zips through the air as it flies towards my head while I throw the metal bat at the opponent's face. Both of us use our killer throws, and at that nail-crunching moment, it finally reached my head.
The pitch the opponent threw grazes past my temples, and the metal bat I threw flies past the opponent's nose.
““YOU'RE TOO DESPICABLE!!””
“YOU TWO ARE THE SAME!!”
That damned bastard made me think that he would throw all three pitches down the middle, and the last pitch came flying at my temples! If I didn't dodge it at the last minute, it would have become a huge tragedy that couldn't be recovered!
“STRIKE THREE! BATTER OUT!”
My throw just now was treated as a swing by the umpire, so I got struck out. So now, with 3 men out, it will be a switch over.
There's no other ideas I can think of. Better gather with Yuuji and the rest on the bench and talk it through first.
“Sorry Yuuji, those guys may be wary of us already.”
“Don't mind. Just make up for that failure through your pitching.”
“...Don't worry, everyone will help you out.”
“That sounds rather normal, but for some reason, I'd think what you guys are talking about is the worst...”
“Don't these guys know of something called sportsmanship...?”
“Like being cautious, induced base on balls, there's really a lot of technical terms in baseball.”
Of course, I can pitch. My scores aren't great, so the power of the ball isn't much, but I'm rather confident of my control. I'll smack that ball hard into the opponent!
“Alright, time for us to go up. EVERYONE, LEVEL THEM TO THE GROUND!!!”
“Are you Yoshii? Whether it's about the test of courage meet before or this competition...I'll make you regret taking on us 3rd years! Summon!”
The first batter from class 3-A entered the batter box with hostility. Seems like the test of courage made more seniors hate me now.
Class A, Hotta Masatoshi, Chemistry, 217 points
Class F, Yoshii Akihisa, Chemistry, 57 points.
Soon after the summoned beasts appeared, our scores were shown. As expected of a student from class A, the marks aren't to be underestimated.
(Let's take this guy head on. I want to see how far the ball will fly with such a difference in scores.)
That's what Yuuji's telling me with his eyes. Yuuji's right. Right now, we're facing class A opponents, so we have to see how good they are. If things so smoothly, we'll be facing the teachers' team that's even better than class A. We have to know how far we can go before we should hold back. That is an important thing.
I nod my head slightly to indicate that I understand, and then let my summoned beast get into a pitching posture. Yuuji's glove is located at the low outer corner of the strikezone. Even if it gets hit, at least it won't fly out if it's not a solid hit, right?
Compared to the baldy-sempai's pitch in the previous half of the inning, the pitch of mine is a lot slower as it flies towards Yuuji's glove.
Facing the pitch I just threw, the opponent just let it by and doesn't swing the bat. Does he want to check my pitch velocity and power? The score's over there already, so he won't feel that I can threaten him. If the next pitch lands in the strikezone, I guess he would swing.
Then, Yuuji throws the ball over. This time, it's slightly high at the corner. Is he trying to make the opponent have a hard time hitting the ball (is that a free stance)? Well, I can't really think of a reason why such a difficult thing.
I follow the position Yuuji indicated, and this time, the opponent swung the bat.
KLANG—The crisp sound of the impact can be heard, and this time, the opponent did swing the bat.
It seemed that the batter either missed or wasn't used to playing baseball as the ball missed the center. The fly ball didn't drag its distance as it flies.
Looking rather angry and hurt, the opponent returned to the bench area.
I see. Even if the difference in scores is larger, it naturally doesn't cause the ball to fly far if the opponent missed the center. On the other hand, when facing class E, even though their scores were about the same, the ball would naturally fly near. It's not that power alone can win games as this would be no different from other baseball matches. However, the stronger class still has overwhelming superiority.
“Okay, I'm okay. Summon!”
A familiar voice can be heard as the second batter called out his summoned beast.
Class A, Tsunemura Yuusaku, Chemistry, 223 points
Class F Yoshii Akihisa, Chemistry, 57 points.
It's the other member of the Toko-Natsu pair, the mohican-head sempai who was the catcher. Even if he's really rotten deep inside, he's really worthy of being a member of A class, having such high scores.
“BRING IT, ON, YOSHII! SAKAMOTO! I'LL RETURN ALL THE SHAME I BORE WITH INTEREST!!”
The mohican-head sempai glared as he said that to us. Seems like he's rather pumped as well. What should I do...
(Let's pitch a ball first.)
Yuuji positions his glove. His glove is aimed at the far corner where the bat can't possibly hit. I guess he has a plan if he wants me to throw that far out.
I open my arms wide and pitch the first ball. At this moment, the mohican-head sempai deliberately swung the bat. Alright, now we have a strike--
“Ahh, my hand slipped!”
Just when I thought that, the mohican-head sempai continued his swing without stopping as he swung the bat back to Yuuji's summoned beast that's getting ready to receive the pitch.
Class A, Tsunemura Yuusaku, Chemistry, 223 points.
Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, Chemistry, 109 points.
Having been hit on the head hard, Yuuji's summoned beast had its points changed due to the damage, and the 200+ points up till now got deducted by a lot now.
“Sorry Sakamoto. That wasn't on purpose.”
Glancing back to look at the umpire's decision, the mohican-head sempai said that to Yuuji.
If that act just now was deemed as intentional, he would be forced off the field. That sempai was probably worried about this, which was why he just said those insincere words.
“...No, no need to worry about it. A lot of mishaps often happen in sports anyway?”
Yuuji doesn't look bothered by it as he said it with a smile on his face. His summoned beast bends down to picks up the bell that was dropped due to the impact.
“I see, Sakamoto's rather magnanimous.”
“No no. I'm not really a kind person.”
Both of them seem to maintaining their smiles as they said that peacefully. After that, Yuuji throws the ball hard at the opponent with all his force.
--At the summoned beast of that mohican-head sempai between us.
With the blunt impact sound, Yuuji threw the ball directly at the mohican-sempai's summoned beast head.
Class A, Tsunemura Yuusaku, Chemistry, 191 points.
Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, Chemistry, 109 points.
“Sorry sempai. It seem that I really can't control my summoned beast well.”
This time, it's the mohican-head sempai whose score got reduced. Yuuji lost about 100 points, and yet the opponent lost only about 30. It seems that since Yuuji's summoned beast was weakened, the difference in power was clearly shown on the ball that was pitched.
“But this can't be helped. A lot of accidents happen in sports, right?”
“Uu...ye, yea. I'll forgive you with a smile then. Besides, there wasn't much damage anyway...”
The mohican-head sempai smiled as he said this, but veins are popping out of his forehead. I see that he really looks like he wants to rush up to Yuuji. However, he showed these emotions to the umpire,
“YOU TWO, CONCENTRATE ON THE MATCH! BOTH OF YOU WILL BE EJECTED IF YOU DO SUCH A THING AGAIN!!”
After being lectured by the umpire, those two didn't say anything more as they return back to positions to complete the mission. This time, Yuuji threw the ball into my glove. And my summoned beast readies itself to fire another pitch.
Before I pitched, my eyes receive the signal Yuuji gave me.
(It's time, Akihisa.)
I finally got the attack signal from Yuuji. The catcher's glove is set at the middle, but my pitch is aimed at the batter's head. Aim at the head and throw. I must break the enemy's head!
“Bring it, Yoshii!”
The mohican-head sempai gets into the free-swinging posture...that's an easy way to swing, either for the catcher or the hitter—he should be aiming it at Yuuji, right? That hit just now must have vexed him. If that's the case, right now, we just need to blow off the enemy's head.
In this tense atmosphere, my summoned beast lets out the 2nd pitch.
The ball that's aimed at the forehead of the batter and the bat that's deliberately aimed at the catcher let out forceful hits as we all hit our targets like we were attracted.
“--HIT BY PITCH!”
Don, dong...the ball rolled on the ground several times, and the results of the attack are shown.
Class A, Tsunemura Yuusaku, Chemistry, 177 points.
Class F, Sakamoto Yuuji, Chemistry, 7 points.
“AKIHISA YOU IDIOT! YOU DIDN'T DECREASE HIS POINTS BY MUCH!!”
“WHAT ABOUT YOU, YUUJI! YOU GOT HIT TOO MUCH! DEFEND YOURSELF PROPERLY!!”
Yuuji got 100 points reduced, and that mohican-head sempai just lost 10+ points. If this keeps up, we're going to be killed by them.
“OI, YOU BASTARDS! THAT WAS DELIBERATE, RIGHT? YOU HAVE GUTS TO DO THIS TO YOUR SENIORS!”
“WHAT NONSENSE ARE YOU SPOUTING!? YOU SEMPAIS ARE ANGRY THAT YOU LOST TO US IN THE TEST OF COURAGE, RIGHT!?”
“WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!? IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT LIKE THIS, FORGET ABOUT WHAT BASEBALL TOURNAMENT OR SUCH, LET'S JUST--”
“FINE BY ME! I HAD ENOUGH OF YOU THIRD YEARS ANYWAY. LET'S--”
The other bench players started a commotion. It's true that we didn't like each other, so it can't be helped that there would be so much antagonistic intent. Is this the chaos that Yuuji planned to raise?
Acting as the catcher, Yuuji smirked. If a battle's about to begin, I have to hurry up and choose my target so that I can punch him with all I got when I get the chance.
“STOP YOU!! ALL YOU IDIOTS!!”
At this moment, a certain person with a hoarse voice entered the fray that's about to become a battlefield. Who is it? Coming here to interfere while our objective was about to be complete!
“Really, you brats are really a lost cause...why can't you be obedient even when I let you people use summoned beasts to fight it out?”
Putting her hand on her forehead as she said this—is the damned old granny who always interfered with us.
“WHAT THE HECK, GRANNY!? WHY DID YOU COME HERE!!?”
Yuuji inadvertently clicked his tongue and questioned her. Besides, since his plan was ruined, I can understand Yuuji's reason for being unhappy.
“CALL ME THE PRINCIPAL, YOU DAMNED BRAT!!!”
The principal snorted as she turned to Yuuji. She then turned around to glare at all of us before saying,
“Really...the moment I heard that you two classes are matched up, I immediately came over to see the situation. To think that it ended up like this again. It's rare for the guests to find that our summoned beast baseball tournament is rather good. I can't possibly allow all you idiots to wreck it and ruin the school's reputation.”
It seemed that the damned old granny came over to watch us once she saw that it was us class 2-F vs 3-A...she really thought everything through.
“Please don't stop us, principal! We have a duty to use physical education to teach those useless scum from 2-F what respect and common sense is about!”
“We're the ones who can't stand you guys! Treating others as idiots and looking down on us so badly! Principal, please let us kill these sempai scums who love to put an act!
“I TOLD ALL OF YOU TO SHUT UP!!! YOU DAMNED BRATS!!!”
Facing the quarrelling group of people, the principal roared again. As expected, an elderly person sure can do things when she takes action. Everyone just shut up once she roared.
“Really, you idiots...so you would come up with this because the pain of the summoned beasts won't be inflicted on you...”
The principal shook her head reluctantly, thinking as she stares at us.
Finally, as she puts her hands on her hips, she decide to say to us,
“I've decided to change the settings of the summoned beasts in this match.”
Everyone present just expressed their doubts in unison.
Change the settings of the summoned beasts? What does that mean?”
“Only this once, just once. I'll let all of you feel the pain that's inflicted on the summoned beasts. With that, you won't think about all sorts of nonsense and play ball seriously, right?”
Inflicting the pain the summoned beast suffers onto the body—anyway, it's about setting the summoned beasts to be like mine?
“Alright, that'll be it. All of you are to play seriously now!”
Leaving these words behind, the principal waved her hand and turn around to walk to the school building.
Things just happened out of a sudden, and for a while, I didn't know what to do. It's alright to change the settings of the summoned beasts, but if that's the case, what about our plan?
“Sorry, please allow us to take a timeout.”
Yuuji asked for a timeout to the umpire, and this match just interrupted officially. After confirming that, we should start a strategy meeting.
Yuuji and the infield players are all gathered near the pitcher's mound. Okay, what do we do now?
“What do we do now, Yuuji? Our plan to create chaos was ruined.”
Our plan right from the beginning was to create chaos with the 3rd years, but it ended up like this, so our plan could only end with failure. We can't win if we play with them head on!
“No problems. Things are different from what I expected, but if that's the case, we can launch our secret weapon here.”
“That's right. It's a good thing that the next batter's that baldy, so there's no need to go easy on him.”
After saying that, Yuuji walked to the umpire and turned to the bench, asking for a switch of players.
“Himeji will replace Yoshii as the pitcher, Yoshii will be the catcher, I as the catcher will switch to Shimada's 3rd base.”
So the defensive alignments and pitcher are to be changed? So Himeji-san is the pitcher, I'll be the catcher, Yuuji defends 3rd base, and Minami returns to the bench to rest?
We follow Yuuji's instructions and head to our respectively areas. Himeji-san came out from the bench, running to Yuuji to say something to him. I can't hear them as they're too far away. What are they saying?
“Sakamoto-kun, I, I can't be the pitcher. I never played baseball before, and I can't really play sports...”
“Calm down, Himeji. Listen to me.”
“No, no! I can't! I can't do it.”
“Baseball focuses on teamwork, so the trust between the teammates is important—especially the pitcher and the catcher, which has to be the closest.”
“Ah, I see...but...”
“A pitcher and catcher that can create a beautiful combination—it's often called 'husband and wife' in baseball.”
“Eh? Husband and wife...”
“That's right. From now on, I won't be the catcher. Akihisa will be the one. The result of this match will prove whether you and Akihisa can develop a good 'husband and wife' relationship.”
“You must believe in your relationship with Akihisa, so throw that ball in your hand out to see it. Akihisa will use all his strength and catch your pitch. That's the 'partner'--no, 'husband and wife' relationship.”
“I...I got it!”
“Remember this, Himeji. Use all your strength. Don't think about where the ball will go. Just use all your strength to pass your feelings to Akihisa. If you deliberately hold back, your trust between each other can't be established.”
What's going on? I don't know what's going on, but I have a bad feeling about this.
Just when I'm trembling at this unknown chill, Himeji-san, who finished talking to Yuuji, came running over. She looks really energetic.
"Well...Akihisa-kun, please guide me through!"
"Mn, please guide me through as well, Himeji-san."
Himeji-san seem to be rather nervous as she started stuttering.
"I believe in Akihisa-kun, I'll pitch the ball with all I got!"
"Haha, I'm happy to hear that. Let's do our best."
"Okay! Let's do our best. Let's create a wonderful family! Well...my, my beloved..."
What? What did Yuuji just say to her?
"Then, please catch my pitch!"
After she took small steps to the pitcher's mound, Himeji-san starts her preparations as she gets ready to pitch. Oh well, better not think too much. I just need to do my own job.
I'm standing at where Yuuji's been standing up till now as I let my summoned beast squat at the catcher's position.
Alright. Right now, there's one person out, one man at first base, and the match continues.
"Heh~I don't really understand what stupid plan you're thinking of, but that's not going to work on me! I'll show my strength to you. Summon!"
The opposing 3rd batter--baldy-sempai entered the batter's box and gets ready to summon.
"I, I'll do my best...summon!"
The pitcher and batter's scores are shown half a second later.
Class A, Natsukawa Shunpei, Chemistry, 244 points.
Class F, Himeji Mizuki, Chemistry, 437 points.
"Wah! That's woman's score way too much..."
On seeing Himeji-san's score, baldy-sempai started trembling. That can't be helped. Like what everyone can see, Himeji-san's scores are the elite amongst the elites, so even baldy-sempai from A class can't possibly beat her.
"Damn it. Leaving Takashiro behind may be a bad decision..."
Baldy-sempai looked troubled as he muttered to himself.
Takagi? This name seems familiar. Where have I heard that name before...
"O, okay, please guide me through!"
Just when I was thinking, Himeji-san's already getting ready to pitch. I should be the one who should learn from her--HOLD ON A MINUTE! I DIDN'T REALIZE IT JUST NOW, BUT AM I THE ONE WHO'S SUPPOSED TO CATCH HIMEJI-SAN'S PITCHES!!? I'LL DIE REALLY BADLY IF I FAIL!!
"Let me see. First, step on the rubber, and then..."
"Ho, hol, hol, hold on a minute Himeji-san!!"
"Hm? What's wrong, Akihisa-kun?"
I called out to stop Himeji-san, who's getting ready to pitch. Himeji-san is so gentle and understanding. I guess she would hold back a bit, but since the difference in our scores are so far different from each other, I don't know what's going to happen, so it's better to let her try out.
"You see a runner at first base? Throw a pickoff at first base to prevent him from stealing base. Would you like to try it?"
The runner at first base didn't run too far away. I just want Himeji-san to throw a pickoff there so that she can get used to it. Anyway, I just want to let Himeji-san throw a ball first.
"A pickoff--ah, I got it. I just need to throw to first base, right?"
"That's right. Can you please throw to Fukumura-san at first base?"
"I understand. Then--"
Himeji-san's summoned beast raises its arm and gets into a pitching position.
Class A, Tsunemura Yuusaku, Chemistry, DEAD.
Class F, Himeji Mizuki, Chemistry, 437 points.
Class F, Fukumura Kohei, Chemistry, DEAD.
Class F, Himeji Mizuki, Chemistry, 437 points.
--There were immediate reports of two deaths.
KLANG...with that, the sound of some heavy objects tumbling down continuously can be heard.
The summoned beasts of the runner at first base, that mohican-head sempai and Fukumura-san, who's watching first base disappear together into the wind like good friends.
""WAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! IT HURRTTSSS!!! MY BODY HUUUUUURRRRRTTTTTSSSS!!!"
After a short while, controllers of the summoned beasts cried out in pain as well.
It seem that the settings change managed to catch up to the ball, so both of them got the effects of the damage done to the summoned beasts, which caused them to roll on the floor in pain.
"Ah! So, sorry! I didn't know how to control the strength on the ball, so..."
Himeji-san frantically lowered her head to apologize to both of them who're rolling on the ground. However, I don't think they would bother hearing her apology now.
"Will the bench players please take over the injured players so that we can continue the match?"
The refereeing teacher coldly asked the players to come on. The 2 severely injured players who are unable to move due to the pain are carted off. The opponent sent out one sempai, while Hideyoshi, who was on the bench, replaced Fukumura-san to guard 1st base.
Though she managed to bury two people at one go, Himeji-san seem to be remorseful over it. If possible, I would like to encourage her, but if she doesn't control her strength and use all her force, the next ball will strike me, the catcher. If I get hit by that powerful ball, I'll most likely get sent to a whole new dimension in pain. Though I'm really sorry to her, I really don't want--
"Don't mind, Himeji. Just pitch with all you got."
"Don't worry too much. That's what a catcher should do."
"But if I do this, Akihisa-kun would..."
"Oi oi, why are you saying such a thing? Don't you trust Akihisa at all?"
"Ah...no, that's not it! I never doubted Akihisa-kun!"
THAT BASTARD'S DEFINITELY TRYING TO KILL ME!!!
"Akihisa-kun, here I come!"
NOOOOO!!! HIMEJI-SAN, DON'T THROW THAT BALL AT ME!!!!
"Hm? eh? How did it--"
Himeji-san let out a cute sound and a pitch that's not cute at all. The pitch that can't be seen with the eyes landed directly on the 3rd year senior who's waiting to bat next.
Class A, Kindaichi Shinnosuke, Chemistry, DEAD.
Class F, Himeji Mizuki, Chemistry, 437 points.
The 4th batter of class 3-A didn't even manage to show his score as he immediately become a lifeless soul, never to come back again. Because of that, he became the 3rd victim.
"RE, REF!! THAT WAS A DANGEROUS BALL, WASN'T IT!!? SHE SHOULD BE EJECTED!!"
Standing in the batter's box, the baldy-sempai's expression changed greatly as he argued that Himeji-san broke the rules. But before the umpire could say anything, Yuuji, who's standing at 3rd base, says,
"Oi, sempai? How can you say such a cruel thing? Look at Himeji. You know that she didn't do it on purpose!"
"So, sorry! This is my first time as the pitcher. That's why I'm so nervous..."
Himeji-san came running over to class 3-A's bench and continued to bow to them in apology. Seeing Himeji-san looking so lost about what to do, I don't think anyone would doubt that she didn't do it on purpose.
"ST, STOP JOKING AROUND, SAKAMOTO!! SOME THINGS CAN'T BE FORGIVEN EVEN IF IT'S NOT DELIBERATE!!"
"SHUT UP, YOU SCUM!! Sensei, think carefully. One side is a cute student who's working hard to participate in a class event even though she's not good at it. The other side is one whose evil intent is to tarnish the sacred meaning of sportsmanship, a dumb, evil and ugly sempai. As a teacher, which side will you stand on?"
The umpire mercilessly announced the continuation of the match. Compared to our dastardly deeds, Himeji-san's actions aren't of ill intent at all. In that case, the judgment's correct, but I find that this umpire has a rather distorted view on values.
"OI, YOSHII! HURRY UP AND CHASE THAT WOMAN AWAY! YOU'LL DIE IF THIS KEEPS UP!"
"HO, HOW CAN I DO THAT? DON'T LOOK AT HER LIKE THAT, HIMEJI-SAN'S REALLY SOMEONE WITH VERY RADICAL THOUGHTS!!"
I continue to talk to the baldy-sempai in the batter's box. If I can do it, I really want Himeji-san to get off the field!
"Uu...it's really hard...maybe I can pitch better if I use a little more force..."
Himeji-san returned to the pitcher's mound and said that, causing me to break out cold sweat.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE!! SHE DIDN'T THROW THAT BALL JUST NOW AT FULL STRENGTH!!
The one with the ability to be the valedictorian of our year pitched that without noticing the control. It seem that only the bench is a safe zone. If that's the case, it just made me forget that we have a baseball tournament going on. This isn't a match, it's a one-sided massacre.
"Th, this time...I must pitch it at Akihisa-kun!"
Baldy-sempai and I let our summoned beasts throw our bat and glove away as we just cared about using both hands to cover our heads and duck. A heavy fastball flew right above our summoned beasts' head.
The umpire decided that it was a ball, BUT WHO WOULD CARE ABOUT WHETHER IT'S A STRIKE OR A BALL NOW!!?
"SUB HER OUT, SAKAMOTO! GET THAT PITCHER OFF!!"
"What are you saying, sempai? Himeji's pitches are getting sharper. Isn't she getting into the groove?"
"I CAN'T SEE HER AIMING AT THE CATCHER'S GLOVE!!!"
I agree with that.
Ignoring the baldy-sempai and Yuuji who're arguing, Himeji-san stands on the pitcher's mound, seemingly muttering about something.
"Uu...maybe it's because I didn't trust in Akihisa-kun thoroughly, so I couldn't pitch well...I have to trust Akihisa-kun more..."
Thus, she grasps onto the ball in her hand even tightly as she prepares to do something even more shocking. Eh? What's Himeji-san doing?
"HO, HOLD ON A MINUTE!! DID THAT PITCHER JUST CLOSE HER EYES!!?"
"That's not the case, that's the trust between partners. It's because she believes in the guidance of the pitcher that she would close her eyes to pitch."
"HOW IS SHE GOING TO BE GUIDED BY THE CATCHER IF HER EYES ARE CLOSED!!? YOU'RE SPOUTING NONSENSE HERE!!"
"That's it. It must have opened her inner eye. A truly great player doesn't need sight, he just needs to detect the presence of the pre--the opponent's location."
" SO WHAT IF SHE FOUND MY LOCATION! THE MAIN POINT'S TO PITCH DIRECTLY INTO THE STRIKEZONE, RIGHT!!? DID YOU JUST NEARLY CALL ME 'PREY'!!?"
"Please don't say something overbearing, alright? Prey-sempai?"
"DID YOU JUST SAY THAT!!? YOU JUST CALLED ME 'PREY-SEMPAI' WITHOUT THINKING, RIGHT!!?"
The most important thing right now is whether the prey Yuuji just mentioned involved me or not.
"Well...Himeji-san! Can you hear me? Actually, you don't have to be so serious..."
"Hoo...ha...hoo...ha...it's alright, I can pitch a strike if I believe firmly in Akihisa-kun..."
It seems that Himeji-san just entered a zen phase as she's unable to receive my words or the hand signals. Anyway...I have to use my own means to survive if I want to see the sunrise tomorrow.
"Can, can't be helped. If that's the case, I'll just dodge sideways when Himeji-san pitches. If my luck is good, maybe I can keep my own life!"
"THAT, THAT'S TOO UNDERHANDED, YOSHII!! YOU JUST WANT TO SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE!!?"
"Sorry sempai, I still love my life!"
On a side note, the basic rules of baseball indicates that the batter can't leave the batter box. I feel somewhat sorry that the baldy-sempai in front of me will have to dodge Himeji-san's pitches in the narrow area.
"I'm pitching, Akihisa-kun!"
"PLEASE TRY AND OPEN YOUR EYES, HIMEJI-SAN!!"
Facing Himeji-san's declaration, I could only beg for her to spare my life. But it seems that my wish didn't reach her heart as Himeji-san continued to keep her eyes closed and pitch the ball with all her strength.
A heavy fastball
With tremendous power
Aimed at the baldy-sempai's summoned beast's head.
Everyone knows of a fruit called pomegranate that blooms in the beginning of summer? It's a sweet and sour fruit that's bright red. It grows on the tree, and when it ripens without anyone picking it off, it will drop because it overripes. Once it drops onto the ground, the crimson red flesh and juice will spill out all over the place.
Right now, the image of the batter that's shown into my mind started to remind me of the terrible state when the pomegranate drops for some reason.
Class A, Natsukawa Shunpei, Chemistry, DEAD.
Class F, Himeji Mizuki, Chemistry, 437 points.
Standing beside the summoned beast that got battered badly, baldy-sempai suffered lots of pain as he looked like he's about to lose consciousness and collapsed onto the ground. Seeing this...I can only feel pity for him.
After lunch, I think some people will recover, right? But the baldy-sempai's summoned beast carried its thoroughly devastated state as it disappeared into mid-air.
"Well...Akihisa-kun, was that pitch alright?"
It's only at this moment that Himeji-san finally opened her eyes. It's because she kept her eyes closed that she didn't see that burst pomegranate-like scene. Maybe this might be a good thing to her.
"Well...if we considered our initial aim, that ball was well pitched..."
But for some reason, there's some emotion within me that's making me unable to be happy.
"Next batter, please step up the plate."
The umpire coldly prompted for the next batter.
Looking over at the 3-A bench, everyone there is deliberately looking down, not daring to look at the umpire straight in the face.
"HEHE!! THE 3RD YEAR BATTERS ARE SCARED!!"
It's unknown where that mockery came from.
Hoo...I think the batter's not the only one who's scared.
"SENSEI! WE RAN OUT OF SUBSTITUTES!!"
Class 3-A reported that they don't have any substitutes left. If that's the case, since there are other events going on, there could only be 2 bench players. What should be done? Is he going to get those unregistered to play?
At this moment, I remember a rule included in the summoned beast baseball tournament. Yuuji added a rule that 'Each team is to hand in the list of players. Those players whose names aren't on the list will be unable to take part in the match'. That damned bastard created this plan to fulfill that rule...?
"Not enough bench players? Well...we'll skip past that person's batting order. The other players are to do their remedial tests."
The teacher made that cold decision. This sounded reasonable, but wouldn't that mean that the other players will have to do the tests just to take Himeji-san's killer pitches...?
"Right, so now to the next batter--5th batter, please step up. Those players with no points left are to take part in the remedial tests."
"""CLASS 3-A DECIDES TO FORFEIT!!!"""
And thus, with two Hit by Pitch at two batters and having caused 4 martyrs, a damage rating of 200%, the pitcher of F class Himeji Mizuki became a legend in the sports meet.
- Again, baseball fouls, this time on the pitching side.