TN: OK, needless to say, it's difficult to translate while watching Korean drama...LOLOL
I've watched Yi San, finished Rooftop Prince (totally loved it!!), contemplating if I should continue watching Chuno and Midas for the ever so talented Jang Hyuk (dude kicks butt in fight scenes). The most emotional I've been was when Secretary Hong met his end in Yi San (I really loved that character and the actor and my eyes were watering with my quivering lip). I don't want to finish Yi San because I know what happens in history to King Jeongjo and his concubine, Uibin. I've suffered with them enough. I can't watch! TT__TT
I have to say, despite the ending, Tree with Deep Roots was worth watching. Soundtrack isn't as great as Yi San, but the title song "I'll Remember" is very touching. So far, nothing beats the title love song for Yi San, "Promise." I melt whenever I hear it. <3
But I think I'm coming to an over-saturation point. Life is not K-drama (thank goodness, otherwise I would have been backstabbed, murdered, heart broken, reincarnated, abused --mostly by in-laws who are Chaebol or royalty-- and suffered from amnesia a thousand times over by now) BIG SIGH.... Big project due Friday, kinda procrastinating here...hehehehe.... So many things to think about. But here's Chapter 66 in case you were wondering where the heck it was. Enjoy!
Opening scene: after Mizusawa's first win at the Nationals, Taichi is talking on the cell phone with Tsutomu
"Yeah, we've already won our first match. Tsutomu-kun, how are you doing over there? What are your thoughts on this year's Fujisaki team?"
Desktomu-kun goes silent, and turns a bit pale.
"What's wrong?" asks Taichi over the line.
Taichi stands still after hearing the news from Tsutomu. Among the 8 people who came as a team, five of them are ranked in the A division. Starting from the first round onward, they're continuously using these members to play?
5 A-ranked members...!
Cut scene: Back to Tsutomu-kun
"I will continue to watch the second round for my investigation... Ah! Sorry..." he says, suddenly cutting off as the Fujisaki team walks past.
"What kind of investigation is he doing? During the match, he was constantly taking notes!" says one member of the Fujisaki team. A guy (?) with mid-length, cropped hair and long lashes takes his notebook away from him.
"Hey!" exclaims Tsutomu.
"If you're a spy, then write this down," he commands. "What there is to fear most from Fujisaki is its female players." He begins to walk away.
Huh? But aren't you a guy? thinks Desktomu.
"But," he pauses. "What you should really, really be afraid of...are its beautiful players." He brushes his eyelid over with a matchstick.
"Ah! It came out!" says another player. "Makoto senpai's matchstick eyeshadow stunt! Today he curled outg on 3 roots!" (TN: 今天擺了三根, literal translation here. I really don't know what she's taking about. Why would anyone put a matchstick to their eye? Doesn't that hurt?)
"This is a good sign! Senpai!"
"GO GO Fujisaki!"
Desktomu watches in horror. Even though I already knew this early on... but all high level karuta players are a bunch of wierdoes!
Cut scene: Back to Chihaya and the gang
Chihaya's ears perk up and she whips around to see who the voice belonged to.
"What is it, Chihaya?" asks Taichi, startled.
".... Did you.... just hear Arata's voice?" she asks.
He looks startled at her question. "What the heck are you saying, Chihaya?" he asks in frustration. "He already said he's only going to enter the individual matches, right?"
"That's what he said, but perhaps he did come after all... I really think I just heard his voice--"
"Chihaya!" Taichi cuts her off sternly, turning his back on her. "It doesn't matter if he's come or not. The second round is about to start... Get yourself together and compete!" he orders.
Everyone looks up at the sound of his irritation.
"I'm... I'm sorry," she apologizes hastily.
"The second round is against Yamaguchi Mioka, (TN: 山口美丘), an all male team, all of them beginners. Our roster will be---"
Fujisaki has 5 A-ranked members... How do we successfully challenge them? And there are other strong teams out there. Right now, there's no time to think about Arata.
But... if he really came, then what do we do? If Arata came to participate in the competition---
Cut scene: Arata hiding with Murao-san behind a wall.
"What... what's the matter, Arata! You're the one who called me out, why are we suddenly hiding?"
"So-sorry!" Arata apologizes. "Murao-san, you're a coordinator this year for the competition."
"There's also other people from the Nagumo Society here... (they've volunteered to help). I had to get up at 5 a.m. this morning!"
"Also...when we were students, there were also members who came to support us. I guess you can say it's a showing of gratitude? This sort of thing is reciprocal..." smiles Murao.
Arata is moved by his words.
"What are you doing, Arata? You only signed up for tomorrow's individual tournament, right?"
"Well, that's..." he begins. "I came over to watch my friends play...."
"Oh, Fukui's debut competitive high school team?"
"Ah, no!" says Arata.
"Well, they're in a tight spot right now. Only three people signed up to compete and at this point it's not certain how long they can last. Team competitions are high school karuta's focus, but... to hone your strengths there is only the individual competition."
"Murao-san!" calls out another organizer from behind.
"Arata," Murao-san says before leaving, "in order to prepare yourself for tomorrow's competition you'd best head home!"
As Arata contemplates his words, nearby, a member of the Fukui team who was also his junior high classmate, is talking on the phone frantically.
"Ah! Phone! I finally got through. Sensei! Sensei, where are you right now? Is Tajiri-kun there with you? We were held back as a 3 member team, so we're just getting started in the second round. But the competition is about to start now..." He collapses in shock at the words coming out of his cell phone.
"You got into an accident and now you can't start your car... You're still in Kyoto proper... It's gonna take you at least another hour to get here...."
He and his remaining team member hug each other in despair. "I'm so sorry, Masaki! For this national competition, you even moved your laser eye surgery!"
Arata calls out his friend's name.
"Shouji, it's you, right? It's me, Arata. We were class-mates in middle school." (TN: He's the one who got into a fist fight with Arata for bringing up his ailing grandfather in a conversation)
"Wataya Arata," he says.
"Right," says Arata.
"Do you study at my school?" His friend suddenly grasps him by both shoulders, recognizing Arata as his school mate and the strongest karuta player.
Cut scene: At the H and I group competition halls at Omi Jingu shrine
"Wah, look at this!" says one of the overseers. "Fukui's team only has 3 members! Also at the regionals only 3 high schools participated...."
"But I thought Fukui is famous for its karuta...?"
"Seems like everyone is part of a karuta society instead."
"Ah, Fukui's Nagumo Society is really strong, and well known!"
Cut scene: Arata participating in the team event (-_-;)
"Are those three players really strong?" asks someone in the audience as the Fukui team sits down. Arata coughs uncomfortably behind a hygenic mask.
What am I doing?
What the heck am I doing? Arata asks himself. (TN: Dunno, buddy, you're responsible for what you do and you don't know how you got there? How are we supposed to know??)
Arata then freezes from shock as his mentor (from the Nagumo Society) calls out that those participating in the H and I hall competitions should start going in for the second round.
"I can't do it!" declares Arata, clutching at his friend.
"What do you mean, Tajiri-kun?" says Shouji between his teeth. He takes off Arata's glasses.
"Don't worry, without these glasses you aren't Arata. You're Tajiri-kun."
But... even my glasses are taken away... really, all I can do is sit here... (and it wasn't easy arranging my cards)...
Arata notices that the two players of the five who automatically win because Fukui's team is short two members remain seated with the rest of the team though they aren't playing. He notices that they are still quite serious in demeanor.
"Time's up," calls out his mentor nearby. "Begin the competition!" Arata twitches in shock. The reader recites the opening Naniwa Bay poem.
Ah, ah! Already....
I really only came because I wanted to watch Chihaya and Taichi play... I hope this doesn't all come to naught, and I get caught by an overseer---
Cut scene: Chihaya and the others lined up on the tatami, waiting to begin their second round
Taichi observes his surrounds and exhales.
Even though I said that to Chihaya... but the person who is most conscious about it is me...
"Taichi, don't be so distracted," says Chihaya. Kana-chan and Meat bun looked shocked and mutter "You're one to talk!"
"If Arata did come to watch..." Chihaya continues, "I want to show off to him and say, 'This is my team! We're really strong!'" Taichi and the others watch her in bemusement.
Even though I don't really get it, thinks Tsubuka blushing, but I want to help Ayase-senpai show off.
We advance into the next round of competition... You just watch! Arata, thinks Chihaya.
But, of course that's impossible at the moment.
Cut scene: Arata looks with dread at the cards in front of him.
I can't win.... I'm not supposed to win the game for the other two players. But this... this is even more tiring than actually competing.
Meanwhile, his opponent is thinking, What the heck is wrong with this punk? Does he not want to play? I'm giving it my all here.... (and his facial expression clearly shows his displeasure)
I'm sorry! thinks Arata. His opponent sighs.
His face is clearly showing it. It's not easy to make it into the nationals... wanting to take more cards as you compete... wanting to face an opponent who will challenge your skill and help you grow in strength...
Without even thinking, Arata takes the next card, in usual Arata style, and draws unwanted attention to himself.
Wah! How fast! thinks his mentor, a referee for this game.
Ah! Shoot! thinks Arata desperately. I have to be careful.... It was a single syllable card that I usually take and my body just moved on its own.... And I can't even see that clearly.
I remember when that happened before. Having to take cards without using my glasses... He thinks back to the times he played karuta with Chihaya and Taichi.
I want... to be a team with you guys! he thinks.
Arata/Tajiri then receives encouragement from his team captain to win. Arata is surprised.
Even though I advanced to the A rank before Arata... But in the end in all A ranked competitions I've never won a match. But... after, I found out there are actually a lot of people like that. (With this team) even though it was impossible... just with the strength of three, we actually won matches. Even though being the Meijin isn't our goal... even if we're not five people, we were able to happily play karuta like that.
Arata recalls what Shinobu said to him at the shrine, and what Murao-san said before.
"Team competitions are for people who don't love karuta."
"The only way to hone your strength is to enter individual competitions."
Arata and his team begins playing seriously. His mentor, watching them this whole time, marvels at how this team hasn't made one mistake. (Obviously, he's rooting for a home team) But as a three member team, they are clearly at a disadvantage.
I'm not satisfied... thinks Arata as his opponent dolefully takes a card Arata has sent over.
I'm not satisfied...
I cannot offer them any help... There's no way I can help them...
Just as he is thinking this, Shouji loses his match to his opponent, and the opposite team wins this round and the Fukui team has lost. Just as the opposing team cheers their win, Arata puts on his glasses as his team members watch him in bewilderment.
Murao-san.... what is 'strength'?
Once his glasses are on, his entire aura changes to one of silent determination to play it through. Even his opponent notices the change.
Arata takes the next card before his opponent can even move.
"He took it!" exclaims his friend. His other team mate also claims a card.
His teacher is praising how beautiful Arata's movements are (his own student...) and how similar they are to Arata's movements. (TN: *face palm* b/c they are the same person....)
What a beautiful block, his teacher thinks. Even though he's behind by 15 cards, it's clear that this is his opponent is hard pressed to turn the momentum around at this point--
Taking the smallest opportunity to send his opponent a card! That has Arata's signature all over it--
OH MY GOSH! IT IS ARATA!! his teacher finally realizes.
Meanwhile, the audience is extremely impressed with him.
"What is UP with that guy?"
Can it be... he's going to catch up from a 15 card disadvantage? asks another overseer to himself.
The Fukui team has already lost this round and will not advance. But... to compliment my opponent by taking him seriously... I'm giving my team mate the heart to fight to the end!
I want to give them...
I want to give them something...
I want to convey it...
His friend is watching with mouth agape at Arata. The momentum of the game has changed entirely. How amazing. His strength...is completely different!
This is... someone who has the title of Meijin as his goal!
In the end, both Arata and this remaining team member win their respective matches, but their team has effectively lost 3 matches, and thus is disqualified. Teary eyed, his team members hug and thank him profusely as he takes off his mask. But suddenly, a fist comes down on his head.
"OUCH!" Arata cries out and looks behind him. To his chagrin, his very angry teacher is standing behind him.
"What the heck are you doing??" yells his teacher. "Get over here!"
Back at the registration table, he continues to yell at him.
"You're not a member of the Fukui team, are you? And you haven't even signed up as a member to play in the team tournament."
"I'm sorry..." Arata answers lamely.
"Just what the heck is going on?"
"It's not Arata's fault," chimes in one of his team mates. "We were the ones who begged him to do it...."
"Substituting an actual team member with an unregistered player is no simple matter--" his teacher lectures. "I..." he starts to waiver. "I...I...I...I...."
"Now that I know this, I just can't turn around and pretend it didn't happen.... The fact that Fukui's team will receive a penalty and heavy warning goes without saying...
Arata... You may even be disqualified from tomorrow's individuals tournament...."