Yuusha no furi
93: Harvest Festival 1 (Betting fights)
It's a bright day in autumn.
Several cirrus clouds that look like they've been drawn with a brush are high up in the sky.
The cold air in the morning strains the cheeks and body.

The roads in the village were bustling from the morning.
Just today was a break from field work and building construction for the people to parade through the village.
Visitors from the nearby villages and the capital were arriving.
The inn was ready and flourishing.

Food stalls were called from the capital and peddlers had set up booths.
Grilled skewer, fried bean curd bread, grilled seafood. Fruit juice and alcohol. There were even booths that offered finger rings and accessories that looked like toys and lotteries.
Peddlers sold wares for daily life and a little expensive pottery and metal ware. It's also possible to barter with them.

The food at the stalls costs one or two small silver coins (100/200 yen), but each villager got ten wooden tickets with patterns on them beforehand so they wouldn't have to carry that much money with them. There were ten, so that they could freely enjoy the food stalls. They were like coupons.
Some villagers sold their coupons to travelers for half the price, but it was left to their own discretion and tolerated.

Different from their usual tattered clothes, many of the villagers wore gaudy, ornamented clothes. It seems that they had collected scraps of cloth and made them by hand.

Anyway, contrary to the usual, it was gorgeous.

I was accompanied by Celica, Minya and Lapisia.
We stopped at a food cart where skewers were roasted.
"How about it, sir? --I'll give you one extra."
"Should I get one? Celica, can you pay?"
I handed both the money and the food coupons to her.

"Yes, Keika-sama... I'll also get one."
Celica hands two coupons to the man at the stall.
"Here we go. Be careful not not injure yourself since it's freshly roasted."
"Thank you, very much"
I also received one.
Minya also got one.
Only Lapisia seemed to be distracted, had tightly grasped the wooden tickets and looked around restlessly.

When I take a bite, the fragrance of sweet sauce and grilled chicken spreads in my mouth.
The simple meat is completely covered with the rich sauce.
"It's bittersweet and goes well with the tender meat-- *munch*"
Celica eats refined while hiding her mouth with her hand. She looks out of place since she's the only person who does it, so the eyes of the passing people were drawn to her.
The person in question didn't notice though.

Minya intently gazes at the skewer while moving her mouth.
"Fish sauce and honey, two kinds of vegetable flavors, also... alcohol?"
"Do you think you can make it?"
"A sweet alcohol is used. I don't know this taste. If I find this out, I can make it."
"It seems that the fermentation was stopped half-way to make it sweet like Mirin. This sauce seems to go well with a lot of dishes."
"Understand, I'll do my best."
Minya eats the rest. Then she went to buy another one, probably to further explore the taste.

Lapisia also got hooked and bought one.
They walked hand-in-hand while they were eating. They went looking at the shops around the place.
Only I and Celica remained.

I bought some Sake and grilled food, Celica bought juice and fried bean curd bread as we were enjoying the festival.
By the time we had finished eating, Celica suddenly stopped in front of a stall.
A cloth was spread out on the ground and various accessories were on top of it.
Celica's eyes are sparkling when she gazes at the accessories.

The storekeeper spoke while stroking his beard.
"Come close, come closer. Welcome. How about it, Wife-san, a wonderful necklace will surely nail your husband's eyes on you!"
Celica's cheeks blushed. However, she starts to look through the things enthusiastically.
It's rare for Celica to get caught in sales talk. Well, it's fine since it's cheap.

I roughly looked through the things with "Truth Sight".
All of the stuff here is cheap--hm?

There was a ring with only one ability. It's a finger ring with a transparent blue stone. Fine ornaments are applied to it.
[Ring of Prayer] Recovers your emotional strength when you pray to god and temporarily raises your ability values.

I ask while I look at the gem on the ring that has the color as Celica's eyes.
"Old man, how much is this ring?"
"You've got good eyes, sir! This was sold by a famous noble house when it fell to ruin..."
"You don't have to boast about it. How much is it?"
"*ah, eh*...it'll be two small gold coins."

I speak while I pick up the ring.
"Celica, please pay him."
"It seems overpriced though... yes, Keika-sama."
Celica took the coins out of the small bag that hung from her waist and paid.

The old man clanked the coins and made a broad smile.
"Thank you for the business!"
We leave the cheerful voice behind and left the stall.

Celica talks anxiously.
"Is that aright? I heard that it's normal to haggle at such stalls."
"I don't mind. This ring contains magic power. It was probably dirt cheap."
"Oh! Is that so? --By the way, what kind of magic power is it?"
--Come to think of it, the name of the god isn't specified.

"Let's see... It seems to recover you emotional strength and raise your ability values when you pray while thinking of me when I'm a Valor God."
"...eh!? It can't be, is this something like a Ring of Prayer!? That would be worth several holy gold coins..."
"Well, it was a bargain --Celica, stretch out your hand."
"I don't have a use for it. The most suitable for it is you."
I and Lapisia have so much magic power that it'd just corrode and Minya has less of a need for it.

"Ehm... but"
Celica look perplexed for some reason while I take her left hand and forcibly put the ring on her finger. I planned to put it on her little finger but because the ring was too big I put it on her ring finger.
"Don't lose it."

Celica's cheeks blushed red and she cast her eyes down.
"Of course, I'll treasure it, for my whole life... ehm, Keika-sama"
"Thank you very much... I'll... stay by your side forever"
She hugged me after she said that. The soft roundness is pressed against me.
For some reason she was smiling as if she'd sob.

"Ah, yes...? Treasure it from now on"
I didn't quite get it but hugged her tightly.
When I did this, a "*fumya*" leaked from her lips.

After that, I and Celica held hands and walked aimlessly around the festival.
Celica was smiling while her cheeks were blushed the whole time. Her hand emitted a gentle warmth.

After we had enjoyed the gorgeous atmosphere for a while, a young man shouted loudly from the roof of the mayor's house.
"Well then, you can now show the fields to the goddess's statue. First are the children!"
The village's children are running to the courtyard of the mayors's house.

Lapisia comes running to me and speaks.
"Keika! Can I also go?"
"Sure, go. But, mimic the other children. And don't use your full strength."
Lapisia nods with a bright smile and her white dress waves as she runs cheerfully, revealing her slender thighs.

The children lift the altar with the statue and go out to the fields.
It seems to be a ceremony to show the fields to the Mother Earth God Lupersia with the intention of "It's thanks to you that we could harvest that much."

They slowly marched along the fields and returned after one lap.
"Mother's statue, it's very beautiful!"
"Aren't you glad?"
She broadly smiled when I stroked her head. She seems to be happy that the mother is adored by everyone.
It's natural I guess.

After the children, it's the young men's and women's turn to carry the altar. They are lifting it up while their bodies are sticking to each other.
Maybe because of the influence of alcohol, voices of "*eek*" or "*yipe*" could be heard.
They'll probably continue to talk deep into the night about their memories of the event they've all participated in.
Speaking of the Mother Earth God, she's a god of fertility.

When that was was over, the man again shouted from the roof of the the mayor's house.
"Next is the harvest festival and Keika Village renaming event! The beastfolks will hold demonstration fights! You should bet on who'll win!"
Apparently there are also other fights apart from Minya vs. Mahal.

Minya turned her modest chest away and spoke with a composed face.
"Then, Keika-oniichan... until later."
"Give it your best--and don't forget the advertisement."
Minya's tail was standing straight as she walked with supple movements.

"I look forward to it."
When I said this, Celica worriedly frowned with her well shaped eyebrows.
"But, will Minya-chan really be okay? ...Mahal has lived long and should be superior in fights."
"I believe in Minya. She'll definitely win."
"...is that so. You have to believe, right?"

"Don't worry about it too much. Minya has few experience but I've seen her fighting against stronger opponents, so I'll bet everything on her."
"Eh!? ...Very well. I'll also believe."
The coins made a *clank* sound when Celica tightly grasped the bag with the money.

There was a special venue at the northern side of the village.
People are gathering around a square stage.
Everyone brought the food that they have bought at the stalls and they were eating and drinking.

A woman with a loud voice acted as announcer.
"Everyone who has come to the festival. Today we hold a fighting competition to celebrate the harvest and the renaming of Hero Keika Village! Who'll win, who'll lose!? Place your bets, the matches begin now! The first match is between the foxfolk Chando and the catfolk Anila!"
Chando is a skinny 18 years old youth with a pale face.
On the other side there's Anila with her healthy body trained by running.
The betting ratio is Chando 6 vs. Anila 3.

It seemed that a lot of people bet on Anila's victory.
An upper limit has been decided for bets.

I ask Celica.
"Did you bet on Chando?"
"Yes, just as you've told me to do. ...Anila-san looks stronger though..."
"People's strength is not determined by appearance."
It's a save bet because I had looked at him with "Truth Sight".
Chando has the same high level Magic Fighter job like Tilt.

The opening bell resounds.
The people yelled with "*uooo!*"

The first one who moved was Anila.
She makes use of her fast legs and rushes forward. Her speed is faster that the wind.

She exhales sharply and swings her arms. Her fingernails are bathing in the sunlight.

However, Chando bends with a *hyoi*.
But Anila flings up in pursuit.
It's the same as Minya's "Instantaneous Leg Power" skill which strengthens the legs to increase the speed and jumping power. She executes multiple attacks.
Her sharp nails and kicks are assaulting Chando.
However, Chando avoids them by a paper-thin margin.

Next, Chando is squaring off.
He casually makes a fist and reaches out at Anila's face.

"Got you nya!"
She grasps his hand and rotates the fist once.
She releases a kick to his pale face while drawing a large arc.

However, Chando bends his body while he raises his arm.
Anila's slender legs are in the sky.
Just like that, Chando threw Anila backwards.

Chando used magic for the first time against Anila who was in the sky.
"'Gale Fist'"
The distance between them is shortened in an instant and he unleashes his fist that is clad in wind.
Anila crosses her arms to receive it.
A dull sound echoed.
Anila's face distorts from pain.

Furthermore, Chando's legs are cloning while they dance.
"'Wind dance'"
It can't be blocked by Anila, who's in the air.
While she desparately tries to deal with it with her hands, Chando runs his heel into Anila's stomach.
"*Gufu!* --Nyaaaaa!"
Anila is struck to the ground and stops moving.

The announcer declares in a loud voice.
"Winner, Chando! ~No~, Anila-san also fought great, but regrettably it wasn't enough. It was a great match. Everyone, applause~"
In between the interval of the clapping hands, screams of "I did it!" or "*uwaa*, this month's profits!" could be heard.

Chando bowed and left the stage while Anila was carried away on a stretcher.
By the way, Chando is the son of the fox tribe leader Mahal.

After waiting for some time, the announcer spoke.
"We continue with the cowfolk Sujata and the foxfolk Sara. It's a fight among women. Now, everyone, have you placed your bets?"
Sujita's body is plump and soft and Sara is slender and flexible. Their tails were bushy like writing brushes. Their eyes are shining brilliantly.
Sujita 4 vs. Sara 2.
It looked like Sara was popular because the first match was won by a foxfolk.
"Celica. Have you bet on Sujata?"
"Yes, of course."
She holds a wooden ticket and lets the bag with the coins clank.

The announcer shouts.
"No matter who wins or loses, there'll be only one match! So without further ado-- start!"

With a *gong!*, the start signal rings and they are slowly walking about the stage.
Sujita's voluptuous breasts are swinging in large movements and Sara's tail is swinging like a brush from side to side while they are waiting for a chance.
The first one to move is Sujita.
With the horns at her forehead she's thrusting forward at her opponent.

Sara easily avoids her and unleashes her fists. She aims at Sujita's back.
However, Sujita suddenly turned around and caught Sara in between her breasts.
Sara can't pull the her fist out. She releases kicks because she can't separate from Sujita but can't land a decisive blow.

Sujita presses her whole plump body against Sara.
Sara rages violently under Sujita and becomes quiet after about a minute.
It's an easy victory.

While the crowd was making a stir, the announcer pulls herself together and shouts.
"Just what is this?! Sujita won without even using her hands and legs. Winner, Sujita!"
"*Waaa*", everyone is excited.
"I was right on the money!" "Those breast, amazing!" "*Uwaa! The family expenses...!"
Some guys are likely to lose their livelihood.

"Sujita was even stronger than I thought."
"I wonder, why wasn't she able to separate from her?"
"It seems to be a technique of body absorption. The opponent feels like he's stuck while he is wrapped. I guess this would be very effective against men in a brawl... It looks like you'd also be quite suited for it..."
When I speak while looking at Celica's big breasts, her cheeks are blushing and she hides them with her hands.
"I-If you want me to... should I try to learn it...?"
"You're not refuting it?"

Sara is carried away on a stretcher and the announcer shouts.
"Well then, it's time for today's main event! The leader of the foxfolks Mahal versus the member of the Hero Keika party Minya! I looks like a fight of an adult man against a girl, but who'll really win? Everyone, have you placed your bets!?"

"*Waaa!*", agitated by the announcer the people were shouting in excitement.
Minya's fight was about to begin.