Jade's brainstorming is giving Asch a number of reasons to pull his hair out, but it seems this time, he's caught in Jade's schemes more than he'd like. With both Asch and Senel at the helm, Jade's plan seems flawless...or is it? Just how much of Shirley's delicious takoyaki can the eating contest contestant's devour before giving in?
|3||Anything For My Sister||3||5|
|4||A Brother's Skill||5||5|
|That's it! Eating Contest!|
|5||A Midsummer Rumble||5||5|
|6||Champion of the Rumble||5||5|
|—First Day of the Festival—|
|Sara|| Wow! There are a ton of people here. And look at all those vendor stalls! |
Oh... right. I'm not supposed to get excited. I gotta stay cool and focus on security.
|Lippy||I would not be surprised to see fisticuffs break out between the two vendors associations over sales rights on the final day. Be vigilant!|
|Milla|| Ah, there you are. Look, I won these fish at a goldfish-catching game! It was quite a lot of fun. |
There are also ring toss, ball-throwing, and target-shooting games. There's quite a lot of interesting things to do here at divinity day!
|Lippy||Well, you certainly look the part, Lord Maxwell—quite elegant!|
|Shirley||Hi (user)! Hi Sara! Thanks for all your hard work!|
|Sara||Hi Shirley! Are you enjoying the festival?|
|Shirley||As much as I can, knowing you guys are stuck on security duty. Do you want a bite of my cotton candy? It's really fluffy and sweet!|
|Sara|| Don't mind if I do! |
Hey... Where's Senel? Isn't he with you?
|Shirley||He's right over there!|
|Senel||Hey kid! This area's off-limits! Can't you read?!|
|Sara||That's Senel for you... He isn't even working security but he's still doing a better job of it than we are.|
|Shirley||Senel! You promised me you'd take a day off work to enjoy the festival!|
|Senel||Who's working? I don't need a security job to reprimand a child for breaking clearly posted rules!|
|Shirley||Senel, did you hear they're gonna have a big fireworks display on the last day of the festival? It'll be so much fun!|
|Senel||Fireworks, huh? Yeah, that should be great.|
|Lippy|| Ah, I do believe I espy Masters Jade and Asch. |
Hmmm? They appear to be engaged in some sort of argument...
|Asch||You heard me! I want to know what little scheme you've got cooked up! No more of your lies!|
|Jade||Really, Asch, you make everything sound so sinister. I'm not "cooking up" any "schemes."|
|Asch|| Like hell you're not! I saw you signing up for the takoyaki eating contest tomorrow! |
There's no way Colonel Jade Mathis abandons his post for some pointless fair amusement. You're up to something!
|Lippy||Is something the matter over here?|
|Jade||Nothing worth concerning yourselves over. I'm just exploring solutions for this reds and blues conflict.|
|Asch|| "Reds and blues conflict"...? |
That doesn't have a damn thing to do with what we were just talking about!
|Milla||Entering a takoyaki eating contest as a solution to the reds and blues conflict? I'm not sure that I follow.|
|Jade|| Resolving intractable conflicts at the festival's takoyaki eating contest is apparently something of a Nawani tradition. |
The competitors in this year's event are divided between the two factions. The faction that wins the contest will effectively win the dispute...
And that faction will be considered to have won the right to sell on the final day.
|Milla||None of that explains why you've decided to participate in the contest, Jade.|
|Jade||Oh, I won't be. Asch here will.|
|Jade||Don't act so surprised. You know that my stomach is too weak for that sort of thing. Competitive eating is a young man's game.|
|Asch||You wretched son of a...! There's no way you're dragging me into one of your insane schemes!|
|Jade||So you're not interested?|
|Asch||Of course not! Those things are made with octopus! There's no way I'm gonna—|
|Jade||Oh? I didn't realize you were such a picky eater.|
|Asch||Shut up! It's not about that! If you're gonna make me participate in your nonsense, then I'm out! I quit!|
|Jade||What a pity. It breaks my heart to think of how disappointed she'll be. Natalia, I mean.|
|Asch||What did you just say?|
|Jade|| Had you forgotten? Wasn't it Natalia herself who asked you to come here? |
The success of this festival was so important to her. But with you leaving early, who knows what might befall it? Whatever will she think?
|Sara||Um, Jade... I really don't think it's a good idea to rile up Asch like that...|
|Lippy||Dear me, but that is a frightful expression upon his countenance!|
|Asch||Jade, you bastard... I swear to you that I'll remember this.|
|Jade||I shall interpret that comment as you assenting to my plan. Wonderful.|
|Sara||And this will resolve the conflict without any bloodshed? If so, maybe we should join in too? But I wouldn't want to ally with either faction...|
|Lippy||I believe that is exactly the point, Lady Sara. Jade intends to have Master Asch participate as a way to mediate between the reds and the blues.|
|Jade||That's very astute of you, Lippy. But of course, Asch alone will not be sufficient.|
|Sara||Wait, so you mean...|
|Jade||Indeed. A plan is already in motion. I do believe we'll pull this off somehow.|
|Sara||This sure is turning into a big deal, huh, (user)...|
|Lippy||It appears the takoyaki eating contest is being held tomorrow, on the second day of the festival.|
|Milla||Hmmm... A takoyaki eating contest, you say...|
|????||Hey, let go!|
|???||What are you doing?! Release Shirley right now!|
|Milla||Did you hear that?|
|Sara||Oh no! Shirley's surrounded by those vendors association goons! The red ones!|
|Senel|| You bastards...! |
You think I'm gonna let you abduct my sister?!
|Shirley||No, Senel, wait! I don't think they mean me any harm!|
|Men||Yeah! We just wanted her help!|
|Senel|| Her help? |
You have the nerve to ask for her help as you're dragging her away?!
|Shirley|| Calm down, Senel, please. Listen to what they have to say. |
They said that one of the priestesses who was making takoyaki for the takoyaki-eating contest has fallen ill.
|Men|| We Nawanians consider takoyaki to be a gift from the gods. |
Cooking the takoyaki for divinity day is an important role, overseen by the temple itself!
We just wanted to ask your little sister if she'd be willing to take up that responsibility.
The takoyaki she made the other day was amazing. I'll never forget it!
|Milla||I see. You consider her talented enough to fill in for a priestess.|
|Men||Absolutely! Being chosen to cook for divinity day is considered a great honor!|
|Sara||Wow. Well if it's that big of a deal, Shirley, maybe you should consider it? You're with me on this, (user)?|
|Shirley||If I can be of help, then of course, I'm happy to do it. But if you're against it, Senel...|
|Senel||No, I misread the situation. If you can be of service to others, then by all means.|
|Men|| Just keep in mind that the job doesn't end with the eating contest. If we reds were to win at the contest... |
Then the custom is that on the next day, our faction's cook would make takoyaki for the festival visitors.
|Shirley||Hmm... Sounds like I'd be pretty busy.|
|Senel||Then the deal's off!|
|Milla||What are you so upset about, Senel?|
|Senel|| The last day of the festival is when they have the fireworks display! Shirley's been looking forward to that! |
Besides, we agreed we'd come here for fun, as tourists. I can't let you work Shirley that hard on our vacation!
|Men||But she's the only one with the talent to do the job! We can't just find someone else!|
|Senel|| You won't need to. If you're that determined to have Shirley do it... |
...then I'll do it instead!
|Senel|| I'll have you know that I'm a very accomplished baker. I'm sure cooking takoyaki is no different from baking bread. |
You'll get your takoyaki either way. I trust you've no objections to that?
Now, release my sister!
|Men||Well, that's an interesting proposal. Let's put those skills of yours to the test!|
|Senel||I'll make takoyaki in my sister's place. So let her go!|
|Sara||Huh... Senel was boasting about his bread baking skills, but...|
|Milla||Yes. General cooking aptitude is of little consequence when it comes to making takoyaki.|
|Men||Well, that's an interesting proposal. Let's put those skills of yours to the test!|
|Lippy||There's a takoyaki stand right nearby. It seems they intend to take him there to have him demonstrate his ability.|
|Senel||I won't let you thugs take Shirley!|
|Shirley||Senel... You don't need to do this for me.|
|Senel|| Heeyeaaaarggghhh! |
Damn it... Why can't I cook up even a single perfect takoyaki...?!
|Lippy||Master Senel... It's clear how much effort you've exhibited here...|
|???????||Pathetic. This takoyaki won't cut it. Stop embarrassing yourself.|
|Men||Everyone salute the association captain!|
|Leader||All right, back to work.|
|Senel||You're their leader...?|
|Leader||So this is the girl, 'eh?|
|Shirley||I... I suppose so.|
|Leader|| Sorry kid, but your takoyaki ain't gonna cut it. We're gonna need your sister to fill in for the priestess. |
Don't worry—we're not gonna hurt her. We'll give her right back when the festival's over. Come along, miss.
|Shirley||Don't worry about me, Senel. I'll be okay.|
|Senel||Damn it! This isn't how this festival was supposed to go!|
|Sara||Don't get so upset! Everything will be okay.|
|????||This may yet end the way you hoped, Senel.|
|Senel||Jade?! What are you talking about?|
|Jade||If the reds win, it means Shirley won't get to see the fireworks, yes? But what if they were to lose?|
|Senel||I see your point, but... What can I do?|
|Jade||It's quite simple. Join the takoyaki eating contest on the side of the blues and... win.|
|Lippy||When you said Asch alone would not be sufficient, you meant...|
|Jade||Yes, precisely. Asch is entering as a member of the reds.|
|Milla||I don't think I understand your plan, Jade. If they enter on opposing teams, how will this solve anything?|
|Jade||If one of them won, it wouldn't. But I intend to have them tie.|
|Sara||What?! You're rigging the outcome? Is that a good idea?|
|Jade|| A victory on either side would only lead to more resentment. A tie is our best hope for getting them to come to an agreement. |
Now, naturally, it wouldn't do for anyone else to figure out what we're doing. And since it has to be an exact tie, that won't be easy.
|Senel||I understand. If that's the only way to rescue Shirley, I'll do it. This way she'll still get to see the final day fireworks.|
|Sara||Wow, (user)... Things sure have gotten complicated, huh?|
|Lippy||The takoyaki eating festival is tomorrow! I do hope everything turns out for the best...|
| —Second Day of the Festival— |
Inside each of their hearts...
A powder keg is primed to explode!
|Sara||Wow, (user)—what a crowd!|
|Milla||The eating contest is being held over there. It looks like it's about to begin.|
|Lippy|| Greetings friends. It's a great honor to present this year's takoyaki eating contest, which will begin shortly! |
My name is Lippy, and I'll be your host for this event. Please do not be shy with your cheers and applause!
|Sara||What the... Lippy's emceeing the contest? When did that happen?!|
|Lippy||I have several special guests to introduce! First, let's hear it for the cook for the reds—traveling adventurer Shirley!|
|Shirley||I have no idea what I'm doing, but... Thank you for your applause!|
|Lippy|| Can our next special guest's love for his sister lead him to victory? Representing the blues, I'm proud to introduce Shirley's brother, Senel! |
And our final special guest is a remorseless competitor fueled by rage and sorrow. Meet the newest member of the reds, Asch the Bloody!
Are all of our competitors ready? Then I will start the countdown! Three... two... one...
Zero! Commence eating!!!
|Senel|| Shirley's takoyaki really is fantastic! |
With a flavor like this, who knows how many I could eat! I could really win this!
|Asch||You'd better not get carried away and forget what we're here for.|
|Senel||I haven't forgotten. But these really are fantastic! A pity their quality is wasted on an octopus-hater like you.|
|Asch||Are you trying to antagonize me?! I just want to get this over with!|
|Senel||So you claim, and yet I don't see you eating. I don't see how you plan to stay in the contest at this rate.|
|Asch||You think I'm afraid of these wretched balls of flour?|
|Asch||See. No problem!|
|Senel||Then dig in! You'll have to eat a lot more than that to win this!|
|Asch||Worry about yourself! I'll have you begging me to stop before this is over!|
|Sara||Wow, look at them all shovel those takoyaki in... I'm getting hungry just watching them!|
|Senel||I can't believe how many I've eaten. These are going straight to my hips...|
|Asch||Do you never shut up? You're already complaining and I've barely gotten started!|
|Senel||What? Now who's the one who has forgotten why we're here?!|
|Lippy||All of the competitors have already cleared their tenth plates! That means they've each eaten over 80 takoyaki!|
|CompetitorB||Ugggh... I think I'm done...|
|Senel||I can't give up now! I have to fight hard for Shirley!|
|Asch||Fight as hard as you want! You'll never get ahead of me!|
|Sara||Whoa... The other competitors are dropping like flies, but those two are still going at it!|
|Lippy||The stage is emptying rapidly as the remaining competitors dig into their 20th plate of takoyaki!|
|Sara||Look, (user)—Asch is really starting to slow down...|
|Senel||Staring to hurt... already... Asch? What happened to going... all the way?|
|Asch||You're one to talk! I can see your hand trembling as you lift it to your lips!|
|Senel|| But I'm still going strong... |
I'm not giving up yet!
|Asch||Then bring it on!|
|Sara||Senel and Asch have both picked up their paces! Are they gonna be okay?|
|Jade||*Sigh* I was afraid of this. They've both lost sight of our objective.|
|CompetitorC||*Burp* I... I give up...|
|CompetitorD||Oof... I'm gonna be sick...|
|Lippy||And that's another two down! Only a few gallant competitors remain!|
|Sara||Wow... That look on their faces...|
|Lippy||Dear me! That's an expression I will not soon forget.|
|Senel|| I... I'm done... I'm so sorry, Shirley... |
I can do nothing more...
|Lippy||What's this? Master Senel has fallen to his knees with a look of deep regret upon his face! A tragic end for a brave warrior!|
|Asch||Hmph. I knew he was all... talk...|
|Lippy|| Dear me! After swallowing one last takoyaki, Master Asch has collapsed! Can I get the tally, please? |
Master Senel has eaten 374 takoyaki! And Master Asch...
Has eaten 376! By the slimmest of margins, Master Asch has bested his rival!
|Spectators||[Cheers and applause]|
|Lippy||And with that, neither the reds nor the blues have any competitors remaining!|
|Sara||Oh no! It was supposed to be a tie, but Asch beat him outright!|
|Jade||I never imagined those two would take this whole thing so seriously. Quite the amusing display!|
|Sara||Amusing?! But now the reds are gonna end up winning the contest!|
|Jade||Oh, I seriously doubt that.|
|Sara||What do you mean?|
|??||Keep them coming! I'm ready for the next plate!|
|Lippy||We're now down to just one competitor! The champion of this year's eating competition is none other than...|
|Milla||Keep them coming! I'm ready for the next plate!|
|Lippy|| We're now down to just one competitor! The champion of this year's eating competition is none other than... |
|Sara||What?! Milla, you entered the competition too?!|
|Milla||I certainly did. These takoyaki are fantastic!|
|Shirley||But...Lady Milla didn't enter the competition in represent of either Reds or Blues.|
|Milla|| That's right. I had no interest in supporting either faction. |
Is that a problem?
|Man||It's a huge problem! Now we don't have a resolution to the issue of which faction gets to sell on the final day!|
|Jade||Then with no clear victor, why not merely divide up the vendor area into two halves?|
|Man||To hell with that! We'd all end up with half as many customers! We'd be ruined!|
|Jade||I see. So you need a solution that doesn't cut into your sales? In that case, I do have an idea. Can I count on your assistance, Milla?|
|Milla||I suppose that's fine. What is it that you want?|
|—Third Day of the Festival—|
|Sara|| (user)! |
Phew! There you are! I was afraid I'd lose you entirely in this giant crowd!
|Jade||It appears our plan was a success. I can't imagine we'll be hearing any complaints from either vendors association.|
|Lippy|| Each faction has had its territory cut in half, but you've made up for it by doubling their customer base! |
Reconfiguring the portals on the tombs to connect to major cities instead was a stroke of genius, Master Jade!
|Jade||Well, Milla deserves much of the credit. It was the way she dealt with that one malfunctioning portal that gave me the idea.|
|Asch|| Hrmph! Look at you patting yourself on the back... |
You failed! This would have been a disaster if Milla hadn't agreed to bail you out!
|Jade||Well, if you'd like to believe that, I shan't try to convince you otherwise.|
|Sara||Wait, what does that mean?|
|Asch||Wait a minute, Jade... Did you know Milla would enter the contest all along?! You bastard...!|
|Milla||Hmm? No, it was my own idea to enter. I simply wanted to eat more of Shirley's takoyaki.|
|Sara||All's well that ends well, right? Let's not concern ourselves with every little detail!|
|Asch||I'll remember this...|
|Jade||Well, if that concludes the debriefing, I should be heading off soon.|
|Asch||Where do you think you're going? The festival isn't over yet!|
|Jade|| There are some particularly interesting tombs to the north of Nawani. I'd been hoping to explore them. |
The vendor associations have finally seen fit to grant me the permission I needed to do so.
|Sara||Wait... Is that the reason you were trying to mediate between the reds and blues all along?!|
|Jade||An interesting theory. I'll leave that to your imagination.|
|Asch||Fine, go explore your damn ruins! You won't get any help from me!|
|Jade||There goes Asch, storming off again... Such a short-tempered fellow. Well, I'll be off. I wish you all the best.|
|Sara||Jade's kind of weird, but... He's not a bad guy, you know?|
|Sara|| Shirley! |
I heard you decided to help out at the takoyaki stand after all? Is your work there already done?
|Shirley||Yeah, the fireworks were about to start so they told me to go ahead and take a break. They're actually really nice.|
|Senel||This way, Shirley. I've reserved us a viewing spot atop the highest hill.|
|Shirley||Thanks, Senel! Let's go!|
|Senel||What about you guys? If you want to watch the fireworks, that hill over there is going to be the best spot.|
|Sara||Thanks! But we're still on security detail, so...|
|Senel||Ah, of course. Forgive us for enjoying ourselves while you're working so hard.|
|Sara||No, don't worry about it! I wouldn't have it any other way!|
|Lippy|| Now that the major conflicts have been settled, why don't you two go and enjoy the festival a bit? |
I am perfectly capable of handling security in your absence!
|Sara||That's very nice of you, Lippy. But it wouldn't be any fun if we left you behind.|
|Milla||Sara and (user) are quite close, aren't they?|
|Sara||Bwah! M-Milla?! When did you get here?!|
|Milla||I understand that the divinity festival is considered an opportunity for men and women to deepen their romantic bonds.|
|Sara||What are you talking about, Milla? Where did you hear that?!|
|Milla||I read it in a divinity festival guide book that Alvin loaned me. Is that information not accurate?|
|Lippy||Are you sure that wasn't some sort of guide for picking up women?|
|Sara||Well, I... I guess that's not really inaccurate, but... I mean, the divinity festival is about much more than that!|
|Milla|| Is that right? The information about humans I read in books seems to be so much more complicated in practice. |
There is quite a crowd here today. Do be careful that you don't lose sight of each other.
I want to try out every food cart so I'll see you later. Enjoy the rest of the festival.
|Lippy|| She's certainly heading to those carts with quite the intent gleam in her eyes... |
Hmm? And who's this approaching from the other direction?
|Leader||Hey fellas! Go ahead and stand down. We'll take over your posts.|
|Leader||You've done great work for us throughout the festival. It's time you all got out there and had some fun!|
|Sara|| Well, you don't need to tell me twice! Thanks! |
Come on, guys! Where should we go first?
They're selling apple candy over there, shaved ice over that way... Is that yakisoba over there? That sounds good!
|Lippy|| You certainly have changed gears quickly, Lady Sara! |
I must admit that I'm in a mood for revelry myself! If you all don't mind, I'd like to try that yo-yo fishing game.
| A summer evening, lit by vendor carts, as fireworks burst in the air. |
Abuzz with energy and passion, Nawani's divinity festival...
Has brought smiles to the faces of its guests once again.