Chapter 52 – May Festival (First)
It had been 3 weeks since I lost control and made a maid uniform. May came and most of the Icris had fallen, leaving only the leaves. The new green leaves had the feel of both Spring and Summer as they swayed about in the cool breeze. May was definitely in full presence here. After this, it is June, the start of the rainy season as well as the attack of humidity, which is not something easy to endure.
I really had no idea where the wind came from considering where Elzmu is located. Elzmu is really similar to Japan, having all 4 seasons as well as the annoying rainy season. But as the reason the rain managed to extend all the way over to Elzmu was something I really cannot figure out.
Previously, when I raised this question to John-sensei, I was instead bombarded with questions from him. That was dreadful. I was exhausted from explaining everything from what a cloud was to how they were formed. I was totally taken advantage of. But since he was listening with eyes sparkling like a child, it was all right, I guess.
Ah, my bad, I got derailed. In short, it was May now, the month for the May Festival. The entire class was caught up in the festival mood as we prepared for it. That included me, who stayed behind after lessons to prepare.
By the way, even if it was called the ‘May Festival’, that was only because it was held in May. The rest of it was totally similar to a school festival in Japan, with one day, 31st May, being opened to the public as well.
31st May…. I can’t help but grinned broadly when I heard that. It was a pun known by any Japanese.
Gogetsu Sai… snickers.
[TN: May Festival is Gogetsu Sai, while 31st May can also be read as Gogetsu Sai.]
Oi, come out here, the one who said it was stupid. I am very fond of any pun, lame and stupid jokes! ….Ah. I admitted that it was stupid.
Let’s ignore all that, yep. Time to return to the main topic.
We, white house 1st year, had been arguing about which of the classics we should do, the haunted house or a play. After compromising, we had decided on a horror play.
What was this half-hearted attempt? Onii-san would really like to try harder at the discussion. But this kind of discussion can be considered to be a training ground for my young classmates so I endured and kept silent.
I am really admirable, am not I?
The theme of the play would be splatter-horror.
As I cannot ignore their pleas asking if I knew anything related, I began telling them the most horrifying story I had heard throughout my 17 years on the earth. Hehe.
It was really splatter-horror, that story. You know, that famous one? The grandpa and grandma one.
――――――The Tongue Cut Sparrow.
Yes, I shall repeat it again, this story was the one of the biggest trauma I had from my childhood.
Ah, but since sparrows do not exist in this world, I changed it accordingly.
From a grandpa to a meek girl.
From a grandma to a stepmother.
From a sparrow to the girl’s contracted beast, Ochyon.
As for the name, I had arranged it into something familiar in this world. There was a feel of collaboration between the 2 worlds but I ignored it.
The ending was set as being able to hear a painful wail from the stepmother every night. By the way, I am cast as the monster that jumped out of the box when it was opened by the stepmother. I am quite troubled by it. It was painful, being cast as such a cool character with such an average face.
When I said that there was no need to ‘pay’ with the best character just because I had provided the story, I was met with pitiful glances. Must be my imagination.
And so, we were rounded up, without asking, by the hot-blooded Zelda-sensei in the homeroom and we ended up preparing for the play together.
” You finished your costume, Will? ”
As I was stitching the large amount of cloth together, I heard a voice from behind me. For some reason, I was mixed among the girls, and was being in-charged of costumes.
” Yes, all that is left is to cut off all the loose threads. ”
I answered, holding a scissors in my hand.
” Woah, you sure are reliable, wahahahahahaha! ”
Leaving that long and chunky laughter, Zelda-sensei went off. He was also cast as the elder of the village Ochyon escaped back after having its tongue cut, by the overwhelming request from the class.
Yep. He does have that presence.
Be careful, Sensei.
Was what I thought but he seemed to be having fun as well.
Stitch stitch stitch.
My hand was turning sluggish….
…..Shall I make a sewing machine?
” I’m home. ”
Opening the door, I toppled into the room.
” Oh, welcome back~ You finished the costumes? ”
Zen, who went back earlier, said, as he peeked out from the lower bunk.
” Ah, kinda. ”
” Will, what is the matter with you knowing how to sew when you’re a noble? ”
Zen said happily, without a care in the world but I was troubled at how to answer. It was true that the noble me had never sewed once in my life. If you had to ask, naturally it would be the experience from my previous life. Yep. I did part-time at a tailor shop before so my sewing can be said to be perfect~
Saying nothing, I tried to pass it over by smiling as I removed my outerwear and headed over to the wash basin.
” Yo everybody! Let’s get excited and fully enjoy today!! ”
“””””” YEAH!! “”””””
Responding to Zelda-sensei’s roar, the class yelled back.
Today’s the day ————- 31st May, the May Festival.
All the windows of this classroom, located on the 3rd floor, had been covered up and the stage, situated in front of the blackboard, was covered up with a partition where all the props and background laid. I will do my best as one of the show’s characters and contribute to the play.
Well then, let the entertainment show begins!
I said that, but can’t seem to hide how fast my heart was beating.
As we were excited over the play, the class was filling up quickly. Guests, instead of students, sat behind the long tables, waiting for the start of the play.
Then, all of a sudden, the entire class went dark. 1 fireball appeared, then another one as the partition was taken away, revealing the stage.
And the play started with the narration——
◆Shitakiri Beast ~ Ochyon and Me and the Chills that Came~ ◆
A long long time ago, there lived a girl.
She was a cheerful, bright and honest girl.
But, after her father passed away, she was abused by her stepmother everyday almost to her limit.
Today too, from her stepmother’s orders, the young girl walked out of the field.
” …..Huuu, I finished plowing the soil. I will have to wait till afternoon to plant the seeds.. ”
She wiped her sweat away and stretched her back. Thinking of having her lunch, she ran to the tree stump across the field where she had placed her only piece of bread on.
But when she got there, she was surprised. The place where the bread was supposed to be, laid a tiny bird across the half-eaten bread, sleeping.
” Mr Bird, could it be you who ate the bread? ”
Pressing her growling stomach, the young girl woke the bird up. She had not expected any response from it as she knew that birds can’t talk. She was simply talking to herself.
” I am sorry. I was starving to death so I was unable to resist and ate it. ”
The bird, who had woken up, sounded really sorry and shrank even smaller. The young girl was very surprised to see the bird talking.
” So that’s what happened…. It’s okay, you must be very hungry. ”
But the young girl was as gentle as ever.
A cute smile appeared on her face as she told the bird not to worry.
” Thank you! I have nothing to give in return but if it’s okay with you, would you like to make a contract with me? ”
” A contract….? ”
The girl tilted her head, unfamiliar with the word.
” Yes, I might not look like it but I am one of the highest ranking sacred beast. If you make a contract with me, we would always be together. I will always be here for you whenever you need help. ”
The bird said happily and the girl’s eyes sparkled.
” Does that means, you will become my friend?! ”
Happily, the both of them did the contract, which was to give the bird a name. After giving a name to the nameless bird, they completed the contract. Its name was Ochyon.
They got close almost immediately and between her stepmother’s orders, they spent the time playing together.
The one not amused was her stepmother.
Her pretentious stepdaughter had managed to do something not many people had done, that is to form a contract with a sacred beast. She had to do something to break the 2 of them up.
She hid behind a tree, watching the 2 playing around.
A few days passed and it was when the young girl left for the field.
The stepmother force-fed Ochyon grains hidden in her house and to prevent it from talking ever again, she cut off its tongue and chased it away. It was a plan she came up with, accusing Ochyon of stealing food to justify her chasing it away.
The young girl got a huge shock when she came home.
” Stepmother, do you happen to know where Ochyon went to? ”
She asked, hoping to know where Ochyon was. Her stepmother then shouted angrily.
” That beast!! It said it was hungry and ate all of our precious food so I chased it away!! ”
Happy with the stunned face the young girl was making, she left with huge strides.
” If it’s Ochyon, he would leave half of it untouched. ”
The young girl was gentle but that did not mean she was stupid. Realizing her stepmother’s plan immediately, she went chasing after Ochyon.
She ran deep into the forest and asked a crow while trembling.
” Mr Crow, do you happen to know where Ochyon is? ”
The pitch black crow glared at the girl with its beady black eyes.
” What would you do if I were to tell you? ”
” He’s my friend. He might be hurt! ”
Looking at her eyes that shone pure, the crow smiled and told her that Ochyon was at its village located around that huge tree.
Following the crow’s instructions, the young girl delved deeper into the forest before she saw it, the big tree.
” Ochyon, it’s me! ”
She yelled and a huge bird, who was the sacred beast village’s elder, appeared.
” Sorry, but Ochyon had his tongue cut by your stepmother and can never talk again. Your stepmother is dangerous and Ochyon is still young. As the head, I cannot let him be with you. ”
Having heard that she cannot be with her friend, her shoulders fell.
” But still, our tribe and I are thankful to you, the one who saved Ochyon’s life. ”
He then invited the young girl into the huge tree where she and Ochyon had a brief reunion as she stayed for their banquet. Suddenly, pale bluish-white balls of flame appeared around Ochyon. The surrounding plunged into darkness for a moment and Ochyon disappeared.
” Where is… Ochyon? ”
She asked the elder, puzzled.
” Ochyon really loves you very much. ”
Still, the young girl did not understand.
Only that when she hugged Ochyon, she felt cold to the touch.
Ochyon was dead.
The bleeding caused by having its tongue cut off was too much for its young body to take. However, its strong feelings for the young girl was so strong that it tried to go against death.
” A present. ”
The elder held out 2 boxes for the young girl to choose.
As she did not have much strength, she chose the smaller box and in a semi-trance, she went back home.
Of course, once she reached home, her stepmother pulled the dazed girl to her side, asking her to spit out all that had just happened. She too, snatched the box away.
And when Stepmother opened the box, there was gold and treasures inside. She then cursed her stepdaughter.
” Why did she not choose the big box? It can’t be helped, I’ll get it myself. ”
She said as she went out into the forest happily.