After visiting Shia’s stand, we ended up going around the school festival with Tilia.
Everybody introduced themselves before we started our tour. Technically, Noa and Tilia already knew each other but had actually never spoken before.
Fina very nervously introduced herself, while Shuri was simply going「It’s a princess…」. Fina quickly scolded her to introduce herself properly. Tilia laughed and patted Shuri’s head, not perturbed at all.
「Well then, are there any places you want to visit? Or, do you want to eat something first?」
I wasn’t particularly hungry.
「Girls, are you hungry?」
「I’m not hungry, so we can go to other places first.」
「I’m fine with that, too.」
「Me too, I’m not hungry.」
Nobody was hungry yet, so it was decided that Tilia would bring us around first.
Thanks to the mood of the school festival, everybody we passed by smiled at me. They would often utter 「A bear?」or 「It’s Bear-san!」, but they didn’t try to surround me.
On the other hand, quite a few groups of students noticed Tilia was with us and approached to greet her. They would then look at me and ask「Why are you with a bear?」
As Tilia guided us away from one of the groups, she spoke to me.
「I’m so happy to finally meet the rumored Bear-san. Many people in the castle have met you, but most of them don’t know what kind of person you actually are. I heard from Mother that you are 『an adorable Bear-san』while my sister told me that 『Bear-san is very kind.』Also, when I asked father, he simply said 『She’s a bear.』」
Well, I never liked to talk about myself, and I was sure the king would keep his promise about not revealing that I had defeated the ten-thousand-monster army.
「Still, why do you wear this bear outfit? Isn’t it hot?」
She suddenly sprang the question on me.
Luckily, I already had an answer prepared for it.
「Um, I receive the Protection of the Bear with this.」
「Protection of the Bear? Does such a thing exist?」
Tilia looked at me suspiciously.
Well, I wasn’t exactly lying, since if I took off my Bear Suit, I would lose all of the powers it granted me, including heat and cold resistances. Likewise, if I took off my Bear Puppets, I wouldn’t be able to summon my Bears, cast any magic, or even be able to lift a heavy sword. I would simply be unable to fight at all. Also, I wouldn’t have access to my item bag anymore, which was a very important tool to me. Not to mention that, without my Bear Shoes, I wouldn’t be able to run quickly nor jump far.
Really, without the protection of the Bear, I couldn’t do anything.
I could hear Shuri and Noa discussing「I want the Bear-san’s protection, too,」on the side. I wanted to warn them that they would need to wear the Bear Suit to receive its protections, but when I thought about it, I realized those two would be more than happy to, which was a very scary prospect.
「You wear this outfit for protection, huh. Well, it’s fine since it suits you, and you’re really cute in it. I think the boys would be too embarrassed to wear something like that, though.」
No, I was a girl and had also been very embarrassed wearing it. It was just that I had given up caring at this point.
「Ah, talking about bears… Could you please show me your summoned bears next time? They should look just like Flora’s plushies, right?」
She heard about my summons as well, huh. I wondered what else the royal family gossiped about me. Surely, they had other more interesting topics to discuss, no?
「The bear plushies are very cute, but when I asked Flora if I can have one, she looked at me like she would cry and told me no. That’s why I want them even more now.」
Just what was she thinking? How could she even consider taking the plushies from Princess Flora? Even I knew how important those plushies were to her. She always carried around at least one of them everywhere she went, and when she returned to her room, she would neatly place them beside her pillow. How could anyone think of taking the plushies away from her knowing that?
「You can’t take the plushies from the princess.」
Shuri went up to Tilia and told her that. Fina instantly tried to cover Shuri’s mouth, but she was too late.
「Fufu, I know. It’s just that the plushies are so cute I want them myself as well. Still, you don’t have to worry. I won’t take them from her. I wouldn’t forcibly take something so important to her.」
Tilia faced Shuri as she promised her that.
I was glad that she didn’t actually treat her little sister’s belongings as her own.
「If you really want them, I can give you a set as a present. Just leave Princess Flora’s alone, please.」
「Yuna, not you too. I won’t take them, I said. She had two, so I thought it would be okay to ask for one, but realized my mistake as soon as I saw her expression.」
「Swaying Bear-chan and Hugging Bear-chan aren’t supposed to be separated.」
「That’s what Flora and Mother told me as well. I thought they were simply different colored bears before.」
Yes, to someone who didn’t know them well, they were simply of two different colors. Yet, I was fully confident that even if my Bears were the same color, I could still tell them apart. That was how long I had been with them, after all.
「Anyway, Shuri-chan, do you have the plushies as well?」
「Mhm, I have the Hugging Bear-chan plushie.」
「How about everybody else?」
「I have Swaying Bear.」
「I have both.」
「So, everybody has at least one then. Yuna, please make sure you really give me at least one as well.」
I had promised to give her a set of plushies so she wouldn’t be tempted to take Princess Flora’s, hadn’t I?
The conversation about the plushies turned out rather lively, and before we knew it, we reached a new area.
The academy grounds were bustling with people, so each program had at least some people enjoying it.
「Now then, where shall we start?」
「Yuna-san, where do you want to go?」
「How about we start from the beginning?」
Since I didn’t know what programs there were here, I figured the best would be to just go through from where we were.
We entered the plaza, and we saw students showing off their sword and magic skills. It felt a bit weird watching students perform in their uniforms, but after reminding myself that I was in a fantasy world, I realized that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
「There seems to be something interesting over there.」
With Tilia taking the lead again, we reached a big crowd. Stretching our necks to see what was going on here, we saw that the people here were gathered in front of a stand where a knife throwing game was being held. There were many targets of various sizes placed all over the lengthy stand for the participants to aim at.
The guy currently playing threw a knife and hit one of the targets. He rejoiced and received what appeared to be a prize which he then gave to a girl right after. Was that a hair ornament?
Before I could get a closer look, another guy stepped in front of the stand. He tried to aim for a target slightly farther away but missed all three times and had to apologize to the girl he was with.
「This looks like a place for guys to show themselves off to their girlfriends.」
「We get a prize if we hit the target?」
Shuri was staring at the biggest and the prettiest hair ornament on display next to the stand.
It was a very beautiful hair ornament, and it was also the game’s grand prize.
「This is my time to shine.」
Tilia boasted. Winning at this game seemed to be pretty difficult, though. Reading the rules on a sign next to the stand, the challenger would earn points for each target hit, with more points being given depending on the distance.
The prizes were separated into five grades, and to get the prettiest hair ornament, the challenger would have to earn the maximum number of points possible. The guy from earlier only received the prize from the third grade.
The next person in line tried aiming for the closer targets and managed to win a small hair ornament from the lowest grade. The girl he gave it to looked pretty happy, but the crowd began booing him. In my former world, they would probably be yelling “Die you normies!”.
A girl stepped up to play next. Was she trying to get one for herself?
「Does everybody want to try?」
「I want to!」
「If everybody else is doing it, then I will as well.」
Everyone looked excited to try.
For a split second, I wondered if it was okay to let children hold knives, but then I remembered that both Fina and Shuri were experienced with using knives to dismantle beasts, so I couldn’t really stop them, especially when they looked so eager. It wasn’t like they would be throwing them at people.
Hmm, since this was a festival, I should join in and have some fun as well.
When I followed the others to step into the line, I could hear people going 「Bear?」「It’s a bear.」all around me but I simply ignored them.
Soon, it was our turn. Tilia stepped up first. When the students running the stand saw the princess, they were all shocked.
「Let me play, okay?」
「Y-yes. Go ahead.」
「Fufu, I’ll take the prize for sure.」
The student gave Tilia three knives, and Tilia stood in front of the targeting area. Which targets would she aim for?
Tilia readied her first knife and threw it gracefully. The knife soared through the air in a nice line and landed with a good sound, right in the middle of a target.
Ooh, she was quite good. The crowd also cheered for her. 「Tilia-sama, you’re amazing.」「Tilia-sama, you can do it!」
Her next two throws also landed on their targets. With her combined points, she won a third-grade flower-themed, hair ornament.
If she had aimed and hit one of the farthest targets just once, she would have won the second-grade prize, yet she decided to play it safe.
After collecting her prize, Tilia returned to us.
「Princess, you’re amazing.」
「Hehe, of course I am. I’m good at knife throwing, after all.」
That was good and all, but for a princess to be skilled at knife throwing, wasn’t there something wrong with that? Well, it might be fine if she had learned it for self-defense, but why throwing knives?
Noa confidently stepped to the targeting area and aimed for the same targets as Tilia. Her first two throws missed, but she managed to hit her third throw, so at least she got the smallest hair ornament.
「That was close. I almost received no points. Fina, Shuri, it’s better to aim for the targets closer to you.」
It was Fina’s turn next. She followed Noa’s advice and only aimed for the closest targets, earning her a small ornament as well. The closest targets were meant for children and beginners to aim at. That way, anybody could get a prize, and I noticed there was a large number of small hair ornaments prepared.
Just as I was about to try, Shuri jumped in front of me.
「Are you sure you want to try?」
「Onee-chan taught me how to hold a knife, so I’ll be fine.」
She had taught her how to hold it, not how to throw it.
Still, since Fina didn’t say anything, I figured there was no harm in letting her try.
When Shuri stepped to the targeting area, the spectators became rather excited. 「How cute.」「Will she be okay?」「Do your best!」and other comments came flying at her.
Receiving her three knives, Shuri took aim for the closest targets just like Fina. Her first throw was too far to the right and the second was too far to the left. Her third throw managed to hit, but the knife didn’t penetrate the target and fell to the ground.
All around us, we could hear people saying 「She tried her best.」or 「Give her a prize!」
Shuri returned looking very dejected. Well, that couldn’t be helped. She was small and had never done it before.
「Shuri, I’ll give you mine.」
FIna tried to give Shuri the ornament she won herself, but Shuri shook her head.
「But that’s yours, Onee-chan.」
These two were such good sisters…
「Okay, then I’ll win one for you, Shuri.」
「I mean, I can’t really use hair ornaments with this hood of mine.」
I said and pointed at the Bear-san Hood that was covering my head. I didn’t need the ornament since I was covering myself with the hood anyway, so it was better give it to Shuri instead.
「Okay, time to show my skills.」
The crowd started to clamor the moment I got up to the targeting area.
「It’s a bear.」「Bear.」「Did she make that suit for the festival?」「Who’s wearing the costume?」It looked like people thought I was a student here.
「Here you go.」
One of the female students passed me the knives while taking a glance at my outfit. Did these girls make the ornaments themselves?
I took the knives and looked at the targets. Which ones should I aim for? Since all of the targets were stationary, my Bear-san Homing Skill could easily hit any one of them.
I decided I had to do my best for Shuri.
Grasping the knife in my Bear-san Puppet, I threw the first knife. It flew through the air and solidly hit the bullseye of one of the farthest targets. The crowd cheered. 「Amazing!」「She hit it right in the middle, and on the farthest target.」「That’s gotta be a fluke.」
I threw the second and the third knives, and of course, they hit dead center again, each on a different, farthest target.
「Amazing.」「The bear is so cool.」「What is this? She hit the farthest target three times in a row.」「Bear-san’s amazing!」
The crowd continued to cheer wildly. They were exaggerating things. I was sure any regular adventurer could do this. I wasn’t a C ranked adventurer for nothing, after all.
I walked up to the girls running the stand to receive my prize. They looked shocked and exchanged a few questioning expressions before handing me the grand prize.
I felt a bit bad taking it like that, but, oh well, it was worth it for Shuri.
With the beautiful hair ornament in hand, I immediately decorated Shuri’s hair with it.
「Thank you, Yuna-neechan.」
「It looks good on you.」
She beamed me a bright smile. I was glad I worked hard; this smile was completely worth it. I couldn’t help that I had stood out so much, but the crowd seemed to think I was just playing a role for the program, so it should be fine… right?
「Uuu, I’m jealous.」
Noa looked enviously at Shuri.
「Okay, how about I get one for everyone then?」
I looked over at the remaining prizes, and the girls running the stand turned stiff.
「Yuna-oneechan, I think you should stop here.」
「Yes, you shouldn’t clear them out.」
Fina and Tilia stopped me after seeing their expressions.
「Okay, I will try again myself, then.」
We rejected Noa’s request, and left the knife throwing stand before we brought about even more trouble for the students managing it.
With that, the sightseeing of the school festival begins.