Otherworld Company Chapter 181.2: A Brief Respite

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“Don’t you understand the rules?” (Jiro)


“No, I understand the rules. But is this a game of luck? I have heard that people want to know their destiny, but they also compete with their luck, don’t they?” (Himiku)


“That could be taken that way, but there’s another element to it.” (Jiro)


“Is that so?” (Himiku)



 Himiku is right. If you only listen to the rules, old maid may indeed be a game of luck, in which players compete to see how quickly they can draw a pair of cards into their hands.


 But of course, there are other factors as well.



“Oh, that’s right, it is also a game of poker faces, where the player tries not to have their facial expressions read.” (Jiro)


“Don’t let your expression be read?” (Himiku)


“Ah, when you are playing a game of cards, it is considered a good idea not to show your emotions as much as possible. It is the same as in a fight, no matter how unfavorable or favorable the situation is, if you do not show your emotions, it reduces the amount of information that is passed to your opponent and determines the outcome of the fight.” (Jiro)


“I see, it is true that we do similar things when we fight. There is quite a profound psychological battle within the simple rules.” (Himiku)



 When Himiku heard my explanation, she groaned and looked at her cards, but we’re not hustlers or anything like that.


 Although I don’t think it’s necessary to be that serious.


 That’s what I thought when I suddenly saw Himiku staring seriously at the card in front of me.


 In many manga and anime, these amateurs are either extremely strong or extremely weak.


 I wondered which one Himiku was going to be.



“Let’s start with you, then, from me.” (Jiro)


“Hmm, I see.” (Himiku)



 But that’s not something to worry about now, it’s something she’ll understand once you try it.


 I thought inwardly that this was the first time I had ever played like this, and I waited for the time to pass as I watched Himiku’s cards being taken by Minami, just for the fun of it.


 And then, the game of old maid progressed smoothly.



“Hey, I’m the best!” (Kaido)


“Oh, I’m number two?” (Suela)


“Yes! I’m number three!” (Amelia)


“Number four, a strange number.” (Kitamiya)


“Number five, huh?” (Memoria)


“Oh, I’m done? I’m number six.” (Jiro)


“I’m done. Number seven.” (Masaru)



 Kaido, who had a good initial hand with a small number of cards, was the first to finish, followed by Suela, Amelia, Kitamiya, Memoria, me, and Masaru. 


 And who lost in the end?



“I-I’m such an idiot, I can’t believe I lost.” (Minami)



 The most enthusiastic lost first.



“Master! I won!” (Himiku)



 And it was Himiku who had a close match with Minami.


 As if to boast, Himiku showed me a hand with seven diamonds and seven clubs, and I thought I saw dog ears on her head and a tail wagging.



“Nugaaaa! I can’t read Himiku’s expression at all, that I can’t! What is that expressionless face, that I can’t read it!? Is it a horror story, that it is? I couldn’t move my facial muscles, that I couldn’t tell where his eyes were looking, that I couldn’t!!! And I couldn’t tell if he was nervous or not, that I could not tell!” (Minami)


“Hmph! You didn’t have enough training. If you breathe properly, your body will calm down. You also had difficulty reading facial expressions, but not as much as I did.” (Himiku)



 Even if there was an element of luck, who would have thought that Himiku, with her emotional ups and downs, would show enough of a poker face to play with the observant Minami?


 Not so much when he pulled the card out of me, but when it came time for Minami to pull it out of me, he stripped the emotion from not only his face but also his eyes, creating an expression as if he were being watched by an elaborately crafted doll’s glass ball.


 Minami, seeing this for the first time in her life, let out an involuntary squeal.


 It is said that a beautiful woman’s expressionless face is very powerful, but it is even more powerful when it is done by Himiku, who is usually so cheerful.


 Such expressionless faces caused damage to those who could be seen from different angles, but it was definitely Minami who suffered the most.


 The most affected was undoubtedly Minami, who faced with the expression of a Noh mask, made a tearful expression of fear, an expression that in a sense appealed to the audience.


 However, after more than a dozen rounds of fighting over the “seven” card, Minami was defeated.



“Nugaaaa! I can’t end up losing like this, that I can’t! Ms. Himiku, you will play another game this time, one-on-one with me, that you will!!” (Minami)


“Hmm, is this even a game where you can duel? I can’t just run away in front of Master. I will accept that game. What kind of contest is it?” (Himiku)



 To eliminate her defeat, the competitive Minami asked Himiku, with whom she had a close fight, for a rematch.


 Himiku, like a knight, accepted the match fairly and squarely, but I think it would be better if she at least listened to what it was about before accepting.


 As for me, I like to have fun with everyone, but I also like to watch matches.


 I was curious to see what kind of game they would play this time, and it was the same for the other members.


 I was surprised at how tense the last game was, and I enjoyed watching it.


 I think I’ll enjoy the next time too.



“It’s all about speed, that it is!” (Minami)


“Speed? What kind of game is that?” (Himiku)



 And Minami’s chosen game is speed.


 There may be local rules, but it is one of the few playing card games that require physical activity, where the first person to play the numbers in order and get rid of all the cards in their hand wins.


 Perhaps Minami chose this event to suppress Himiku’s poker face.


 Everyone on Earth, including me, must have thought so.


 Ah, this is also Minami’s loss.



“Mufufufufu.” (Minami)



 The grinning Minami, who was shuffling the cards into red and black, looked determined to win, while Himiku, on the other hand, was on the lookout for something in Minami’s expression.



“I’m not sure if you really want to do this, Minami.” (Masaru)


“The two words ‘Masaru’ and ‘Retreat’ don’t come out to me depending on the time and situation, that I don’t!” (Minami)


“No, that’s how you normally use it.” (Karen)


“Ahahaha, Ms. Minami is really excited.” (Amelia)



 Kitamiya and Amelia chuckle at Minami, who for some reason seems cool even though she’s saying something normal.



“Well, Masaru, you’re always welcome, that you are. Ready the signal to start, that you should.” (Minami)


“Haa, I don’t know what will happen. Ms. Himiku, are you ready?” (Masaru)


“It’s my first time, but it shouldn’t be a problem.” (Himiku)



 Both of them lined up their initial cards and were ready to go.


 The testers are all prepared for this battle, believing in the possibility that there might be a slight chance.






 The speed duel began with Masaru’s signal.


 The moment when Minami played the first card of nine and Himiku the first card of five.



“[Body Enhancement].” (Minami)




 Minami tried to overwhelm her opponent by using enhancement magic on herself, but…



“Is this alright?” (Himiku)


“What the, huh?” (Minami)



 I saw Himiku’s hand was slightly blurred, that hand was empty, and in the center was a pile of playing cards with black characters.


 Now, let’s think calmly here.


 Even though she is usually a housewife who cooks, does laundry, cleans the house, and shops, and even though she has been sealed up for a long time before that, and even though she can be slow at times, Himiku is just as good as the instructors.


 What would happen if such a being, had a speed battle with us?


 If you only reach the conclusion first, you will simply lose.


 Not just any defeat, but a defeat so overwhelming that the word “overwhelming” seems too weak.


 At the moment Himiku’s arm was said to begin, it moved so quickly that no afterimage was perceived.


 In the blink of an eye, she had used up all her cards.



“Uh, that’s a lie, that it is.” (Minami)



 Minami, who was confident and ready to win, did not want to admit the reality and checked the order of the cards in the stack, but it was nothing but an act to signal Minami’s defeat. [T/N: Karma was quick.]



“Master, did I win?” (Himiku)


“Yeah, you win.” (Jiro)


“I see! That is great! I will dedicate this victory to master!!” (Himiku)



 Himiku, who had been checking to see if it was all right that it ended so easily, broke into a smile and gave me an aura of wanting praise, so I nodded my head, and her smile grew by 30%.



“…” (Minami)



 Minami, who had experienced overwhelming defeat in the game genre, was so white and burned out that you could almost hear a creaking sound.


 The people around him couldn’t help but laugh at him, saying it was a foregone conclusion.



“Nugaa!! You’re too much of a cheat, that you are!” (Minami)



 Minami’s cry caused the room to overflow with laughter.



Note for the Day

It’s nice to have a break like this in a bleak atmosphere, isn’t it?



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