TN: Gomen! Gomen! I haven't had time to do this in a while. I thought about it before Thanksgiving. Then I thought about it before Christmas. But, I never got around to it. Meh.
I've also been watching Park Shi Hoo (Prosecutor Princess) in the currently playing Cheongdamdong Alice. The Alice reference is from Alice in Wonderland. The lead character is a normal, hardworking girl who finds she cannot change her unlucky fate no matter how hard she tries. So after being beaten down by life, she decides she will emulate her archenemy, and become a ruthless girl who is determined to marry up into the fantastical world of Cheongdamdong. (Haha, no, I don't want to be like her) That theme song by K-pop rookie Baek Ah Yeon, Daddy Long Legs, made me cry so much when it played for the first time. TT__TT
**If any of you have ever read the book or seen the play, "Daddy Long Legs," you know the significance of the title in relation to the main characters in Cheongdamdong Alice. (Cheongdamdong is the ritzy, artsy part of Gangnam District. Thanks to Psy, I'm sure you all know about Gangnam...so I won't explain further)**
Heh, if you don't see me post anything after this, it's 'cause I'm still watching Cheongdamdong Alice.... Sorry.
It's cold out, and I'm settling down with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Yum. Let's finish the last chapter to volume 13, shall we? (Is it me or is Megumu getting annoying? LOL I think the author wants us to realize what a big impact Megumu will have on Chihaya.)
The chapter opens with Megumu reconsidering her opponent, Chihaya.
The way that she takes single syllable cards...
The way she broke through my defenses...
With every inch of her body, she's declaring, "I want to become Queen!"
I have to topple her! Megumu concludes with resolve.
Meanwhile, Chihaya is retrieving the card she's just taken. She stares at the card and holds it close to her face, as if in prayer.
I did it!
Everyone, I did it!
I was able to do it-- she thinks triumphantly as she recalls the hard work everyone put into supporting her.
The whole room is brimming with anticipation.
The flow of the game... has changed, observes Sudo-kun.
Then, the sound of the stalkerrazzi's cameras going crazy brings our attention back to Megumu, who is now exuding a dark, ominous aura. Her fan boy club is thrilled by it.
Building on her efforts, Taichi, Meat bun, Kana-chan and Desktomu are able to take the next card. Taichi glances over but Chihaya has lost this card to Megumu.
"Good," declares Megumu darkly. Her aura dampens the spirit of the Mizusawa team once again, and they release a collective sigh at the advantage that just slipped passed them. (TT__TT)
Her stalkerrazi notice however, that Megumu said "Good" and not her usual chant of "Good...one more card..." (TN: this is probably significant b/c Megumu is no longer playing for her team, but for herself)
The overseers, Murao-san included, are still shocked by Mizusawa's game and think this team rather odd, and particularly, the chief overseer reconsiders Chihaya.
There's a good feeling.... More importantly, she has a wide filed of vision... hasn't missed any cards... No matter how a card is taken, she is always able to calm down again-- (TN: I'm not sure if the author is referring to Chihaya being able to calm down no matter what card Megumu takes, or no matter what Chihaya takes for herself, but I think the former makes more sense than the latter, no?)
"I'm sending over a card," declares Megumu. The card she sends is the same one Chihaya recently sent over to Megumu.
(TN: In this panel on this page, Hokuo's teacher comments that, 那孩子绝对也是超级虐侍 or "That girl is definitely of superior lineage." Something might be lost in translation here, but I think he's commenting on what a ballsy move Megumu just made.)
Unfortunately, as the next card is read, Chihaya is unable to claim it, even though it's on her own side.
She is able to block her enemy from taking cards on the opposite side with a very, very low guarded hand...
I was completely blocked out from reaching that poem, admits Chihaya in shock.
In contrast, Megumu thinks triumphantly, Of course I would use the ultimate barrier defense tactic... Because I had practiced it earlier especially for the Queen's Competition...
I practiced with everyone...
Something like the Queen's title isn't even worthwhile...
But if I don't win, there's just no way I can make the others happy.
I must defeat you here!!
Chihaya notices the look in Megumu's eye.
Ah! She's angry? Chihaya recalls how she first observed Megumu at the beginning of their game as the most calm competitor she had yet faced. The contrast is rather disturbing.
So strong.... I was so far behind on the Oe card as well, so harsh....
But, she thinks as she wipes the sweat from her face, I've discovered something.
"Sensei!" Chihaya calls after Harada-sensei.
The room is silent with tension and Chihaya and Megumu ready their stances for the next card reading. Sumire notices that the number of people watching the Mizusawa match has increased.
Here I thought the Akashi team was really just a one-man team consisting of Megumu Osaka... thinks Meat bun. But this is the first time I've faced a girl's academy and felt so exhilarated! Just as he thinks that, his opponent violently takes another card from him.
Meat bun is still shocked. So strong!! She's got practically a guy's strength!
All of Mizusawa's team has lost this card, and Akashi's teacher watches on. Akashi's engine might be Megumu, but the other players are really in the zone with their strength.
He starts tearing up. Setting the goal of crowning a new Queen as they practiced against competitors, that's exactly what happened. They just needed this motivation, and became so strong!
Now the Akashi team has become strong for Osaka-san!
The Akashi team captain retrieves her card and glances over at Megumu. Megumu... you aren't saying anything to us. Is she really strong? That girl...
Both Megumu and Chihaya are out of breath as the next card is read. Megumu moves first, then Chihaya strikes. She still loses the card to Megumu.
Missed it by a little bit... Chihaya observes. I need to be more exact... more precise...
Everyone watches and Chihaya closes her eyes. That centimeter... that little bit... that card's edge...
Chihaya concentrates and as the next card is read, her hand that was resting at her side strikes like lightning and takes it before Megumu could even come near it. Megumu becomes frozen in her spot.
That girl... thinks Sudo, mouth agape. Has she become the type of player who can claim a card with such speed just by touching its edge? I could have sworn Osaka's movement was quicker, but that move was pierced through--
It's incredibly just like... he thinks in astonishment. Shinobu Wakamiya comes to mind.
Megumu.... Megumu is like me! thinks Chihaya as she retrieves the card and Megumu looks on helplessly in shock. Chihaya thinks back to when Harada-sensei told her not to try to beat her opponent's speed. She's the me before I ever had someone say that to me!
Chihaya gets back into position, and it's almost as though Harada-sensei is right there with her. Chihaya is able to claim the next two cards. The audience notices that Chihaya has taken successive cards and that she's pulled ahead of the game. Megumu despairingly notices that her lead has disappeared.
Suddenly, the captain screams out, "ONE CARD!! JUST CLAIM ONE CARD!!" The entire Akashi team is startled by the sudden outburst.
Shoot, she thinks, I was a little too loud. That's because I'm not used to doing stuff like that.
The next card that is read is a "blank" card, but Akashi's captain still goes through the motions with ferocity. Meat bun is very startled.
She goes after a blank card with such force, she really is just like a guy....
Megumu! Akashi's captain thinks. I absolutely don't understand your way of thinking. Or maybe... you really don't want to go down that road of being Queen... and you just want to continue happily practicing with everyone else. (TN: Bingo)
"Megumu," Akashi's captin says quietly. "I'm going to claim a victory first... so you needn't be so anxious." Megumu pauses to think of her words.
Certainly, I may not understand Megumu, but... Beside her, Meat bun has become frightened of his opponent, thinking how scary she is. (TN: Face. Palm.)
She recalls Megumu's words previously, "This year I'm going to enter the Queen's competition!"
Becoming strong...doesn't mean that you've forgotten how to be happy, right?
Megumu, you really are a kind-hearted girl, the captain thinks wistfully.
(Flashback to when the team gave her the head band)
"I want to let everyone be happy, in exchange for their expectations."
This type of feeling is the breadth of your power. We know, but we... want to see your desires fully realized.
Megumu is deep in thought and the stalkerrazi notice her changed expression and get excited again.
Megumu claims the next card, but it seems like both she and Chihaya claimed it at the same time. Chihaya knows it's hers by rule, since it originated on her side, but Megumu challenges that conclusion, saying she was the quicker of the two. Her Akashi team members are completely shocked that she's arguing.
"Well, then, as you please," says Chihaya suddenly admitting defeat. A shock shoots through Meat bun (TN: since this was exactly what he counseled her not to do before the game started).
Don't say courteous words to me, little twit, thinks Megumu in anger. The person to take on the mantle is me, the one who will make everyone happy is me, the one who will challenge the Queen is me....
"IT'S ME!!" she shouts suddenly.
Chihaya gives her a WTF expression, and her Akashi teammates look puzzled. The stalkerrazi brim with pride.
Certainly she conceded the argument, but to get Megumu riled enough to react angrily to words of concession makes the situation clear, thinks Desktomu with a smile. Ayase, this is good.
The real Megumu shows herself. Now Chihaya can be herself, thinks Taichi.
"All right," says Taichi. "From this point forward, we attack, MIZUSAWA!!"
"Yes, sir!" they respond in unison.
"F-fine..." the Akashi captain stammers. "One card--"
"ONE CARD AFTER ANOTHER!" shouts Megumu suddenly.
Sumire realizes that the attention of the entire room is drawn to the Akashi-Mizusawa match. The chief overseer watches them intently.
Both sides are testing their strength... their morale...
The pressure from these two forces...collide!
(End Chapter 73, End Vol. 13)