47. Boy Scout
“The first one…”
“In regards to my name, I am called Iwaitounnai. Please feel free to use Iwa.”
“Fumu, in that case, Iwa. Where are we?”
At present, Kuro, Shiro, and Rin are being guided to the front of an office building within a certain city. The reason is because Kuro requested to meet their leader.
“This building is the property of our leader, Wako-sama. We are here because you desire to meet Wako-sama. This one made contact with Wako-sama earlier and Wako-sama also wishes to meet with you.”
Kuro is more surprised by the fact that the building before their eyes is property of their leader called Wako than by the fact that Wako wants to meet them.
“Che, why does anego Wako want to meet with people like these.” (Koro)
“Your jealousy is unsightly.” (Iwa)
“No, I ain’t!” (Koro)
Kuro, Shiro, and Rin ascend to the top floor in an elevator while listening to the clatter of the youkai who attacked them. Incidentally, when they passed through the part of the building were a lot of ordinary people pass through, Rin held Kuro and Shiro within her arms where they pretended to be stuffed toys.
Koro too pretended to be a crow sized stuffed animal within Sei’s arms. Iwa passed himself off a a large skin headed man in a suit and was able to get onto the elevator without any trouble.
“Each time we do this, each time, why do I have to pretend to be a stuffed animal…”
“Koro, be silent.”
The elevator reaches the top floor while Sei and Koro have an exchange everyone can hear.
“Wako-sama is right this way, please.” (Iwa)
An office appears on the other side of the elevator doors. A young woman with fluttering aqua blue hair can be seen inside.
“I suspected as much when I heard our respectable host is called Wako, Iwakoshinpu. 1”
Kuro speaks out with nostalgia in his voice the moment he sees that woman’s appearance.
As if responding to those words, Wako too speaks.
“Fufuu, it’s been a while, bake neko.”
“Fumu, it really has been, bake kitsune.” 2
Kuro and the woman share a peaceful chuckle upon calling out to each other.
“Ano—, anego Wako, are you acquainted with this black cat, suka?”
“We’ve been friends since long ago. I believe it has already been a couple hundred years since we last saw each other…”
“Sapporo and Asahikawa, as faith began to build in each region, we stopped moving.”
Towards Koro’s words, the woman called Wako and the black cat called Kuro answer.
“By the way, not too long ago, I heard that this building is the property of our respectable host. Around when did this happen? If I recall correctly, I am certain you used to live along the Kamui Kotan river…”
“I wasn’t going to live in such an inconvenient place forever. I wanted to create a comfortable living environment, then I was the owner of this building before I knew it.”
Wako tells Kuro, Shiro, and Rin that she not only owns the office building they are in but that the surrounding buildings and land also all belong to her.
Should an ayakashi with eternity be serious, taking hold of a vast amount of wealth is no trouble.
“Well then, as much as I would like to relish our tales of old here, there is no time. I shall explain afterwards, but we must leave immediately. Follow me.”
“We must leave?”
“Circumstances have become a bit troubling.”
Wako, without waiting for any response, has Kuro and the others cram inside of a private, lustrous black, V.I.P. car.
—Pretend a handsome noble diamond is here—
After visiting the Ashikawa zoo, we head to our next destination, a training institute deep in the mountains. It is an accommodation facility within the large forest sufficiently large enough to house 200 first year high schoolers and 120 third year middle schoolers.
“Everyone, change into your jerseys—. Then, for the rest of today and tomorrow, for one full day, you’ll be having a survival recreation in the forest. Reference the exhibits you saw at the Ainu museum to make various crafts—. You can’t sit this out.”
At Ootani-sensei’s command, the Accommodation Recreation’s main event begins. While it is called survival, this event is one where we craft tools necessary for our daily lives using the resources of the vast forest surrounding the training facility. The teachers will then evaluate the finished tools and some sort of prize will be given to the group with the highest evaluation. In addition to making tools, our scores can be increased by doing things like making a fire and gathering food.
“Seems like the group that won last year baked clay to make some pots.”
Aihara-san tells us.
As each group is only provided with a saw, shovel, and hatchet, lighting a fire is amazing. The fact that they were able to also make pottery means someone was probably accustomed to the outdoors. I’m jealous.
“Well then, what should we do first…”
“Hey! You’re the leader of this group, Yuuki Kousuke, right!?”
Immediately after I start to think about our next course of action the same way our group leader would, those from nearby groups call out to me.
Ah, I guess I more or less am the leader of this group.
“Have a match with us on this recreation! Then, if we win, Yuuki Kousuke! You bastard, you’re to never again get so friendly with Uruka-sama!”
“Yeah, yeah! Also, stay away from Uruna-san!”
“Don’t go near Owl-chan either!”
Eh? What’s with this situation? Not only am I all of a sudden being challenged to a match, conditions are being tossed on one by one even though I never agreed to it.
Looking closely, the high schoolers who challenged me to the match seem to be members of Mizukami-san’s fan club. The middle schoolers are probably the fans of Uruna-chan and Owl-chan. Coincidentally, all the members of the 5 teams who challenged me are their fans.
What lousy karma.
The class representative is also making a bitter expression.
Urd does her best to keep from laughing.
“If you’re going to toss conditions like that, then we can give conditions of our own for when we win, right? For example, something along the lines of, ‘Do to anything we say!’”
That remark is by Takigawa. He makes a proposal and arbitrarily moves the situation along while the rest of us were frozen stiff at being challenged to this incomprehensible match that came out of nowhere.
“Anything you say… isn’t that a bit tyrannical?”
“You’re the ones being tyrannical! Demanding something like not to approach the high school Madonna and the 2 middle school idols is no different than ending a man’s school life! Or, is staying away from Mizukami-san and the others not a big deal for all of you? Are you making this challenged when your love only goes that far!”
“Damn it! Fine, it’ll be a match with those conditions!”
“We’re fine with that too! If your group somehow manages to win, we’ll listen to anything you say!”
“Defeating Uruka-sama’s group is painful, but we shall give it our best in all earnestness!”
Eh? What is going on?
Takigawa settled the discussion all on his own and now the groups who made the challenge are setting off into the forest completely satisfied.
“It’s fine, it’s fine, we’ll win.”
“Saying we’ll win, we’re against 5 groups!? If they cooperate, won’t it be 5 vs 1!?”
“It should be fine, dabe.”
Hearing Takigawa’s strange self-confidence, there is nothing I can say.
[There is no need to worry. Should an emergency come, please leave it to me. By making some puppets with your special ability, a mountain hut could be made in 3 hours.]
Near makes a proposal through the spirit thread. A mountain hut would be way too strange though, so rejected. Still, Near might be able to make pottery. Alright, should it really look like we’re going to lose, I’ll ask.
“Yuuki-kun, you don’t have to worry about this. I, even if we lose, wish to continue being friends with you. I will make sure to tell them afterwards.”
“I feel the same as onee-chan. I won’t be the slightest bit bothered if you continue to approach me from now on either.”
“I feel the same, desu.”
The class representative, Uruna-chan, and Owl-chan, the three of them encourage me.
I appreciated it.
“Everyone, thank you. Still, I don’t want to lose, so let’s properly win this. So, what should we do first? Securing ourselves a base is important, but…”
“If we want to reference last year’s winning group by making pottery, wouldn’t a place where the ground opens up into clay work? If we’re doing that, then gathering wood and ivy will be essential.”
While I am deciding what we should do as a group, Takigawa begins giving appropriate instructions.
“Ah, isn’t that a Japanese white birch tree!? Collect its bark. Oh, and the branches over here have dried up pretty well.”
Takigawa collects tree bark, fiber, and tree branches in turn.
“The grass here isn’t growing to well… Bingo! The ground here has clay.”
Takigawa found clay.
“We’ll need to start a fire before anything else. We need to prepare some stones, cut the dried branches a bit, unravel the tree fibers and birch bark…”
Takigawa uses the hatchet to prepare the branch with practiced hands and gets a fire going within 10 minutes.
“Takigawa, you had an ability like this!?”
It isn’t just Ishida and I who are surprised, everyone in the group is.
The other groups also seem to be trying to start a fire, but none of them have succeeded. To begin with, the record for starting a fire the fastest for the Accommodation Recreation seems to be 1 hour after starting. In other words, Takigawa’s few minutes is the fastest of this event ever.
“Takigawa is incredible! I was under the impression that you were just a frivolous guy who gave comic relief!”
“You are really amazing, desu! My only impression of you was of eating venison at the zoo, desu!”
“That’s right. When I heard your selfishly thoughtless remarks earlier, I judged you as a fool who doesn’t think ahead. I’m reflecting a little now.”
“A foolish, venison eating, comic relief, frivolous guy!? That’s how you saw me!?”
Takigawa is shocked by the honest impressions of Aihara-san, Owl-chan, and Uruna-chan.
I also thought he was just a foolish, venison eating, comic relief, frivolous guy, but I’m reflecting. He is incredibly talented.
“Still, this is truly remarkable. Is doing this normal for you?”
“Ah—, yeah. Mizukami-san, are you familiar with the boy scouts?”
Tagikawa begins to explain at the class representative’s words. His ojii-san holds a high position in an organization known as the [Boy Scouts] and would engage in volunteer work and outdoor recreation. Apparently, he is very zealous in regards to education.
“As part of those activities, he’d often take me into the mountains when I was little… without a tent or any food, and with nothing more than a hatchet. Basically, ojii-chan was responsible for procuring food while I was responsible for setting up the basecamp. Things like starting fires are my forte…”
Takigawa, maybe remembering some sort of trauma, turns a bit blue as he reminisces about his ojii-san. What a dreadful organization… the Boy Scouts.
“Ah, jii-chan is the strange one among them. The Boy Scouts aren’t that strict of an organization. Don’t get the wrong idea. At any rate, if it comes to survival skills, leave it to me!”
Afterwards, Takigawa also makes an ivy basket and uses it to collect edible wild mushrooms and plants. Then he begins to make stone axes and stone knives. As I am able to learn how to make them, I give him a hand. Everyone in the group kneads clay according to his instructions to produce plates and jars.
At this moment, our group being victorious is roughly settled.
I then notice I haven’t seen the class representative for a bit now. Did she go to the bathroom?
T/N: Seeing the Takigawa has that sort of back story, his carefree attitude makes a lot more sense. He is a survivor.