Campus life was peaceful for once, and with summer vacation approaching, I received news from Toto that our prototype was completed this morning.
“There have been great changes since the last batch, but the overall effect hasn’t changed. It’s still a natural facepack, and as you requested there is now a scent that’s left behind after use. The fruity fragrance isn’t too strong, and is non-persisting.”
I picked one up with my hand and tried sniffing it. Truly, it did give off a nice fruit scent that was slightly acidic, giving it a somewhat refreshing impression. This is more than what I had expected.
“Has it been tested?”
“Of course it has, the effects have been confirmed. No doubt about it.”
“No, I mean have you used it yourself?”
“Then let’s use it right now, the two of us.”
“Right now?! I, um… okay.”
“Its decided then, come on, lets do this outside of the greenhouse.”
Outside the plastic building, we carried the product over to a bench big enough for two.
Then respectively, to each his own we took our seats.
Once we were ready, we immediately applied the face packs.
Maybe because he wasn’t used to it, when I looked at Toto I found that he was suffering while squirming on the spot.
I can’t really make fun of him though, I couldn’t help but squirm myself, this is so frustrating to wear!
After a while Toto suddenly became quiet. I guess he fell asleep or something. Lucky.
Guess I should try to get a nap in as well, I can’t take this off for a while now can I?
It was hot outside due to summer, but because the bench was in the shade we didn’t have to worry much.
The wind the occasionally breezed by felt so nice.
With my face covered in the paste from the leaves, I was lying down on the bench.
…what am I doing? Probably something stupid, but I shouldn’t think about it now. I only have one regret, I wish that we did it inside, it’d be less embarrassing.
“Hey Toto, do you think it had any effect?”
I asked Toto who was lying next to me.
“I don’t know.” he responded indifferently.
Honestly my face doesn’t feel any better, only itchier. …wait, is this the effect?! I could feel my anxiety growing in me.
“Wouldn’t this have been better if we did this in the greenhouse? How many hours do you think we have to stay like this?”
This is so awkward, I’ll just pretend I’m asleep.
A few hours had passed, I had actually fallen asleep until noon.
Probably because of the heat, the face pack had become sticky with sweat.
It’s been about three hours since we put them on, but I can’t take this anymore! It’s too hot! I immediately stripped the mask off and stood up.
“Puha!” I could finally breathe normally after so long. The hot air even felt cooler than usual.
“You took it off, Kururi?”
“I couldn’t take it anymore,” looking up, it seems that Toto had taken off his face pack as well.
“…wait.” this is good, even if was just a bit. There’s something here that I need to be more worried about. What are the results?!
“-!! Your face is shiny.”
Toto’s face was shining like a marble that had just been polished. This is already a good effect, but we only used it for three hours out of its expected use time.
“Your face as well, here a mirror.” I took the mirror he handed me and checked my reflection, and honestly, I was surprised.
My face was shiny, and when I touched it with my finger, it was a little sticky.
I think I just opened a new door for myself.
“This is amazing! I feel like my skin has been reborn!”
“Sometimes my overwhelming talent scares me.” Toto said proudly.
Well, I’m happy as too, it was a success!
“It also has some shortcomings though.”
“Yeah, its way too hot to wear. To the point where we couldn’t take it anymore, the summer heat sucks, right?”
“Its weaknesses are clear, now we need a cooling effect placed on it.”
“A cooling effect? What’s that?”
“I want it so that you get a cold feeling when it touches the skin, to compensate for the heat.”
“There’s not enough time though, summer vacation is right around the corner.”
“No, this is good. With how it is now, there’s already such a great effect, and its not even complete! Next time when there’s a cooling effect installed as well, we’ll raise the prices even further! What do you think?”
With the two of us looking at each other, a creepy laughter started to rise up between us.
Yup, we’re both weird in this way.
“You two look like you’re having fun.”
Iris suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, disrupting our laugh.
It looks like she’s come to visit Toto’s greenhouse today.
“Fun, yeah. Really fun.”
“Come to think of it, you were trying to develop vegetables, right Iris? How’s that going for you?”
When I asked this Toto made a proud face again, looks like they’ve had some success.
“It was completed around the same time as the face pack, and because I wanted to show the two of you the fruits of my labour, I invited Iris to come today as well.”
“I’m fine with that.”
“I am as well” Iris responded in her usual smile. The smile that’s still refreshing on a hot summer day.
“As for the results, there have been improvements, like this.”
In Toto’s finger was a seed. It doesn’t look like any seed I’ve seen before though.
“I have the seeds for potatoes, leafy vegetables, root vegetables, grains, and some fruit. When fully grown they should be about ten-times their normal size. I was going to plant some in a vacant plot of land, and observe it until harvest. This is a necessary step needed to see whether it truly is completed or not.”
Iris’s eyes seemed to sparkle at his description, it looks like she wants to see the end result as soon as possible.
“So which seeds are you going to plant first?”
“I don’t know, the observation step is necessary for all of them. They still aren’t finished products after all.”
“Isn’t it fine, Toto?”
“Not really, if I made a mistake and created a failure, I don’t really know what would happen.”
“That’s why we have Iris here, right?”
“Well, yeah I guess it’ll be okay.”
Toto handed the seeds over to Iris, and the sparkle in her eyes seemed to shine even more so.
“Are you going to send some to your family?”
I think it’s good that Iris’s purity hasn’t changed since coming to a school built for the aristocracy. Her familial love and spirit of self-sacrifice are the same as they always have been.
I should really learn from her.
“They collect the mail in the evening, so hopefully the seeds are a success. If we plant them now, we should be able to confirm the results soon.”
“Didn’t you two do most of the work? I’d feel bad if you had to grow these as well, so let me do it.”
“Well, this is for our benefit as well so it’s no big deal really. I’d actually really like working together on this, and honestly, I wanted to try growing one of them myself.”
“Well don’t take from mine then, ask Toto for one.”
The two of us turned to Toto.
He noticed our lines of sight, and started shifting around uncomfortably. He’s probably not accustomed to the attention.
“From now on most of the work on those seeds will be done by you two. Take care of them, these are for my benefit too you know?”
Iris’s cloudless face went “Aha!”
“Then if our labour bears fruit, does that mean we’ll split the profits between the three of us?!”
Her face that was smiling so pleasantly was downright cute. Please by all means, do it again!
“That’s what I’m saying, because I’m not doing any of the manual labour that’s correct.”
This shocking revelation seemed to dawn on Iris and I.
We’re free to use the land as we wish, but none of it has been plowed yet, we have to do it ourselves.
Looking over the land Toto got for us, it was a considerable size.
This is a painful amount of land to plow with only two people.
I didn’t even have the energy to respond to Iris’s energetic “Let’s do this!”
I know we’re supposed to be healthy teenagers but we can’t do this alone…
Well, I guess there’s no choice. I didn’t want to use this, but it would be better than depressing Iris with my words.
“Iris, I have a way to plow the fields quickly, but it’ll be a little weird. Are you okay with that?”
“Of course, if it’s your suggestion Kururi then I have no objections.”
Well I’ve obtained her consent, but I still didn’t do it. I could, but I really really didn’t want to.
I collected magic into the palm of my hand, and poured it into some nearby flowers.
Compared to last time though, this time I controlled it so that the magic only poured into the five that I designated.
“Those who are not visible to the naked eye, materialize.”
My magic was then absorbed into the flowers.
A sound that resembled a thousand ropes snapping reverberated from inside the earth, and just like last time the soil grew into a small hill before something had crawled out.
Unlike the hundred that I had summoned last time, this time I made sure to only make five.
“U~i!” “U~i!” “U~i!” “U~i!” “U~i!”
Just by looking at them I wanted to hold my head in shame.
Like last time, it was a radish with limbs with dug-in faces resembling that of old men. Another failure. I might have no talent for this magic.
They spread out their short limbs and began to run around, as if to fully enjoy this world.
Five is enough, I’m not being suddenly attacked by the urge to kick them like last time.
“Kururi, what are these?”
Iris took alternating glances between me and the radish creatures, she was acting a little weird.
This is bad, they must’’ve been creepier than I thought.
“These are magic organisms. They’ll faithfully work for us so we can use them to plow the field.”
“They’re so cute!!!”
Iris screamed out as she caught one of them and hugged it.
“What is this?! It’s so cute!! Kururi, look! Aren’t these children just adorable?!”
I wonder what I’m feeling right now… I can’t describe it.
All I know is that I really want to kill these guys right now.
Hmm? You’re asking me whether I’m jealous of these guys? Jealous of a radish?
That would be my greatest shame. There’s no way I would lose to a radish!
The radish who was being hugged let out a little “U~i~” in an odious voice.
I heard that. He just said ‘U~i~’. I’m sure of it. They always say ‘U~i~’ when they’re expressing themselves.
Just don’t look at them Kururi, just keep yourself calm.
Don’t let their voices get to you, no matter how irritating they are.
I grasped the flower popping out of the radish’s head, the one that Iris was hugging, and tossed it.
“Now start working, we need to get this field ready quickly.”
“U~i!” “U~i!” “U~i!” The one that I just threw suddenly started a protest, but it wasn’t as threatening because there weren’t as many of them as there were last time. I can just ignore him.
“Hey! Kururi, you can’t do that, bullying these weak children like so…”
Eh?! She’s angry at me? Its that guy who…
“Don’t be so rough with them anymore, do you understand?”
The guy that I had just thrown was patted on the head gently by Iris. It slightly raised its body/chin at me, it almost felt like he was looking down on me. What the hell? What part of these damnable weeds are are cute?
As soon as the field is ready I’m immediately returning you to the ground! Just you wait radish!
Immediately after the two of us plus the five radishes started plowing the field.
We each had our own designated area to work on.
It was hard work plowing the field with a hoe, but it was pleasant feeling my sweat flow.
Doing things like this isn’t so bad every once in awhile, only studying is bad for the body, you need exercise sometimes.
I took a glance at the radishes, but they were working seriously. I guess they were faithful to my instructions this time.
If it’s like this, I can fully concentrate on my work!
At that moment one of the radishes fell over. It fell out of balance when it swung the hoe up.
Oh, it was the guy that I threw a little while ago.
Iris immediately rushed over to its side, and raised it up.
She gently stroked his head, paying careful attention to it.
“Sorry, I guess we worked you a little too hard, huh?”
As if to assert that there was no problem it let out a “U~i!” with a crisp face, and clung to her. I’ll get angry, you know?
“You’re so cute!!”
Iris hugged the radish lovingly.
Its face contorted nastily as it let out a “Wihihihi~” sound, more disgusting than any other radish I had ever seen before.
With all my strength I grabbed it.
With its head held tightly in my hand, I threw it away as far as I possibly could from Iris.
“Kururi?! What are you doing?!”
“Just now that guy went ‘Wihihihi~’, didn’t you hear that?!”
“I didn’t! So stop doing that Kururi! It’s not nice!”
“But… he said ‘Wihihihi’…”
After I was scolded by Iris, I tottered back to my work area. Glancing at the radish, I could see its condescending face twist into a smile again.
I kill you! You’re only a radish! You’re only alive because I allow you to be!
I thought work would proceed smoothly after that, but soon after another radish fell over in the same way.
Of course Iris rushed over there, and hugged it, showering it with love. How cunning, should I also pretend to fall?
“There! It absolutely said it right there! It went ‘Wihihihi!’”
I ran over to warn Iris, but the one that was kicked out of the group then was me.
It did it! It totally did it! I swear!
For a while this cycle repeated itself, and I was kicked out of the group every time.
Damn radish. If it weren’t for Iris you would already be soil by now.
Iris will be tainted by the radishes at this rate. Oh, how I hate them so.
What should I do? What can I do to save Iris?
“You need some herbicide?”
From another direction I wasn’t looking at, I heard a heavenly voice call out to me.
It was Toto, he seems to have understood the situation. You are a true friend, man.
Eventually I decided it would be better to just ignore the radishes for now.
They might be a pain, but just you wait until we’re done with work.
With that said, on this day I caused the biggest radish massacre in history.