Little Busters! Ecstasy : After Stories Vol. 3 - To him, who went into a journey who knows why

Here goes the last volume of Little Busters! After Stories available in the Ecstasy: Perfect Visual Book.
As usual, if you're reading this and willing to help on grammar or any correction regarding the errors you find, please drop a comment or message me through twitter.

Little Busters! Ecstasy : After Stories Vol. 3
o him, who went into a journey who knows why
Available in Little Busters! Ecstasy - Perfect Visual Book
Story: Yuuto Tonokawa | 都乃河勇人
Illustration : Itaru Hinoue | 樋上いたる and Na-Ga

Story synopsis:
It's the sport festival! The Little Busters participated as its own team, although Kyousuke wasn't present due to his bizarre job hunt. With excellent teamwork and incredible skills of the members, Little Busters managed to stay on top of the competition. But, before they knew it, a mysterious masked man appeared to sabotage their victory...!

To be perfectly honest, I didn't enjoy translating this one at all. Tonokawa's writing is so damn messy I don't even

Word count roughly 3670 words.

Scene 1
"Ready, set...."
By the sound of starter pistol resounding in the clear autumn sky, the women's relay race started. The first runner was Kurugaya-san.
"Whoa, she ain't half bad, that Kurugaya-anego."
"Good. We'll make it at this pace... Come on!"
Beside me were Masato and Kengo, voicing their opinion as they watched that scene. Before we knew it, she already made a great distance. So much it looked like as if she was cheating.
"I'll be going now~"
The second runner was Komari-san. I couldn't even imagine it when I first met her, but she's actually a splendid runner. Even so, her opponents were all members of various sport clubs. With the speed of an ordinary people, her distance would be shortened in a moment.
"Do your best, Komari-chan!"
That was the cheer from our third runner, Rin. Upon her support, Komari-san's speed increased even more. Seemed that she took the cheers well.
She finally passed it to Rin, who was almost side-by-side with one of the track and field club.
"Rin-chan, I leave the rest to you~!"
Carrying Komari-san's cheer on her back, the battle between Rin and the ace of the T&F club started....

This was how the story started.
"Sports festival?"
On the council meeting, the two dorm managers asked me about it. I was told that the autumn sport festival -which was halted due to the school trip incident- would likely to be held after a month delay.

"Yup, yup. It's unusual for Natsume-kun for not making his move, but I guess that's because the current leader is you. Isn't that right, Naoe-kun? I was wondering if the Little Busters would participate."
The former manager of girls dorm (for she already passed down that title), said to me while twirling the teacup inside her palms.

"Well, Kyousuke is still in his job hunt after all..."
As the "Leader of Little Busters" title had completely passed down (?) onto me, Kyousuke had been completely devoted into job hunting. His participation rate to such event had became remarkably low.

"Ah, I guess you guys just don't feel like doing it without Natsume-kun, huh?"
"Also, isn't it bad if we still haven't decided yet at this late?" - so I wanted to add, but I could only reply with dry laugh. Well... I didn't feel very good about it too, though.

"Why not? Participating, I mean."
It was the voice of Futaki-san, who was organizing documents. It seems that filing had become a daily routine for her.
"The seniors will graduate in less than six months anyway. I'm sure it's not a problem to participate in something within the range of club activities."
"Well, if you say so..."

Our school sports festival is quite unique, where the inter-class competition and extracurricular club competition are held at the same time. The students who are part of a club become the main players, while the rest of the students can only participate in events like relay race. Of course, the competition of the clubs is always full of high-level battle.

"But, still... Graduation, huh...?"
When there were only five of us, Kyousuke had never suggested anything like participating at sports fest. But with the current Little Busters, we have enough members to participate. If that's the case, then...

"So, how do we get to participate?"
"Just tell me and I'll get you through."
"Now we're talking!" So the former female dorm manager said with beaming smile.

After school, I gathered everyone in the clubroom and cut to the chase. At first they looked completely puzzled, but soon they turned pretty enthusiastic about it. Sasasegawa-san was a part of softball club, but she seemed to be participating on our side this time (Said she wanted to see how her juniors would unite against her as their enemy).

The problem was... Kyousuke. Since he was absent, I told him via text. The reply was, "Sorry, don't think I can participate. Must fly to LA that day," or something along the line. (I don't know what kind of company he's getting into. That's a total mystery).

Since then, Kyousuke never turned up at all. In the end we had to participate without him.

....Right at this moment, is Kyousuke feeling lonely?
Although just for a little... I felt lonely without him.

And, so here we were. Just as expected, having a member of T&F club as our opponent in relay race was our tough luck. Although Rin had gave her best, she just couldn't win if they started running at the same time.

"Aah, we didn't make it..."
"Never mind that. Ain't that impressive that we could make the TF club put up a good fight against us?"
"That's true, but still..."
Our rank gradually dropped down. We ended up being in the third place following the T&F Club and the Female Basketball Team.

Our anchorwoman was Sasasegawa-san.
"Here I go!"
"Sa-chan~ Do your best~"
"Faito desu~!!"
There was so much passion in everyone's cheers.

"Alright! Everyone! Now is the time for the Little Busters drill cheers I came up with!!"
Kengo suddenly jumped out and stood on the front side, then he began dancing and wiggling.
"Uh, aren't you just swinging around like usual.....?"
"What!? Well, how about this!? Yeah! One! Two! One! Two!"
"The hell with your one two!? That ain't gonna be helluva cheer!!"

"Mi- Miyazawa-sama is making such shameful dance and cheers, all for me...!! I- I cannot afford to lose~!! Heyyah heyyah!! Move outta my wayaah!!"
It's super effective!!
"See! Isn't the effect of Little Busters drill so great!? Now, repeat after me! One! Two! One! Two!"
"No... I'm pretty sure that's just the Kengo effect..."
In the end, thanks to Sasasegawa-san's intense rush, our group reached second place for the female relay race.

Following that event, Kurugaya-san's absurd accuracy rate at the ball-toss game and the absurd arm strength of our two men at tug of war, have led us to good results. The Little Busters advanced to the final phase with 540 points, setting us at the first place.

"Phew... Unbelievable. Never thought we could go this far..."
"That's right. This is the fruit of Little Busters drill exercise. One, two, one, two!"
"Umm, although I think it has nothing to do with Kengo's exercise, but this is great."

Nishizono-san murmured.
"Please look over there."
Beyond what Nishizono-san pointed was the score board.
"At the rightmost panel.... Before one knows, Mysterious Team X was written-"
"Mysterious team, you say...!?"
On the scoreboard, the name "Mysterious Team X" was written coarsely with chalk.
"Well, that's eerie, but.... Zero score."
"Huh... The heck with 'em, entering the competition at this late...."

Only one premonition crossed into my mind.
"Isn't that... just like what Kyousuke would do?"
"That struck me odd as well, young man. I also had the same thought."
"I mean, only Kyousuke-senpai would put an appearance like that..."

"B- but... Just a while ago, Kyousuke-san sent us his travel picture."
The mail Komari-san received was a picture of Kyousuke wearing a sash written with "Celebrate!! Lost Angels" in Japanese and souvenirs like skyscraper models and pennants in his hand, plus the background scenery in a distorted perspective.

"Whoaaa, this is totally fake!! This is obviously fake!! This is totally still in Japan!!"
"Eh!? But those pennants clearly has "Welks to Los Angels" written, ain't that right!?"
"It is, but it's not even written in English. Plus it's wrong too."
"No matter how many times I see it, it's still Los... Anjels, though."
"Those are some serious misspelling... but the correct one is Los Angeles, so......"[1]

......I had no doubt that Kyousuke had invaded this event...

Scene 2
The final event was Cavalry Battle. Actually, each unit must be manned by four people, but without Kyousuke there's only 10 of us. We arranged teams of 3-3-4.
The first unit, with Kud as the knight, while Masato and Nishizono-san made the steed. That said, actually it was just Kud riding on Masato piggyback style while Nishizono-san just tagging along. The second unit played Rin as the knight, with Kurugaya-san, Komari-san and Sasasegawa-san forming the steed.

Meanwhile, the third unit......
"Yeah! Let's get this done, Riki!!"
"Yahaha!! Let's la fight!!"
The steed, Kengo and Haruka-san. And I, as the leader, had to be the knight.

"No matter how I think about it, Kurugaya-san is more suited to play this role after all......"
"What are you saying, Riki? You're my leader. No one else but you."
"He's right. This way it'll be much more interesting!"
"Even if you say so, I'm sure Kurugaya-san playing the mighty hero will have more impact...."
Sorry to admit it, but I really think that I have no charisma.

"First of all, once the knight gets the headband taken off or falls off to the ground, they're out of the game... So, hold the steed formation from collapsing. Just keep that in mind."

Kurugaya-san smirked and giggled upon hearing my words.
"I see... As long as the knight doesn't fall to the ground, huh? Then, Rin-kun..."
The two started whispering about.

"Bwoon!" The sound of battle trumpet resounded in the schoolyard.
"Okay! Let's go, everyone!!"
We swiftly stood up.

"Wafuu! Charge! Rush and charge desu!!"
"Alrrriiight!! I'll show you my peerless muscles!!"
"Well then, we'll be going."
There was this one team charging in right away.

"Eeek!! They're charging in!!"
Masato charged full force straight ahead and destroyed the opponent's steed.
"Whoa! Is that alright!? Did that count as foul!?"
Although I was worried, seemed it was okay.

"I see... That was an effective strategy. As expected from Masato."
"No. If we do that I'm gonna fall for sure. So let's not."

"Let's get started, Rin-kun!"
Kurugaya-san acted as a calapult and sent Rin flying in the air. Then, Rin jumped upon the opponent's steed, snatching their headbands, and flew away once again. That instant, the cloud of dust raised as the steed rushed to catch Rin.

"Alright, now for the landing."
"Kurugaya! Over there!! Go!!"
They immediately changed their route.
"Bwoosh!! Screeecchhh!!

"Natsume Rin, keep it up and we'll crush them all!!"
"Howaaa! You all are too fast~~!"
It was a cavalry even more dreadful than Yoshitsune's Hassoutobi[2]...... (And poor Komari-san, being swung around here and there.)

Kengo stared at me with a passionate pair of eyes.
"No, it's impossible for me to copy them...."

So we continued to destroy our opponent units, one after another.
"Alright! We are sure to win at this pace!! Do your best, everyone!!"

Right after I spoke out like that...
"What about that?"
...A voice resounded.

"Huh!? Who was that!?"
"You asked me who I am. Then I shall answer you."
Clop, clop....
"This is... the sound of horse hoofs!?"
The sound was getting closer.

"Uwaaaah!!" "Kyaaah!!"
The remaining units from extracurricular clubs were wiped out by a gust of wind.

The one appeared from the cloud of dust stirred up by the fierce squall of wind was...
"A horse!? A real, life horse!?"
"Hmph... Are you not entertained?"
A man, riding a white horse in his white medieval armour, flipped over his mantle and spoke out.
"I shall answer you. I am The White Mask!! And this is my noble steed, White Horse no. 1!!"

The moment I heard him, I shouted...
"What? Why is the first reaction assumed me as this Kyousuke guy?"
"That's Kyousuke's voice!! And Kyousuke surely would do this kind of thing!! I mean, only Kyousuke would!!"
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself, accusing myself as that Kyousuke guy? Isn't that awful to point your finger to a stranger like me that far?"
"Well, that's true... But then... only Kyousuke would reply like that!! Now, unmask yourself and show us!!"
"Hmph, now I'm already exposed, there's no way around it."
When the mask was taken off, the face of Kyousuke biting on a rose stem appeared. That very moment, the girls who had been watching screamed shrill with excitement.
"....Ouch.... Wha- what the—?"
My butt got pinched by Haruka-san behind me.
"What are you getting so fascinated at, Riki-kun?"
"Ah... Uh... No, nothing..."
How could I not... I mean, he's so cool.....

"Uh, but seriously... If you wanted to conceal yourself, you should've made it less obvious..."
"Well, that was an emergency. Can't help it, okay?"
"Who cares about that...."
"Anyway, if you want to claim your victory, then have it after taking me down."
"Huh? You're probably that Mysterious Team X, aren't ya? You're at 0, dude."
"How naive, Masato. The champion of this Cavalry Battle shall be granted 5000 points."
"No no no!! That would be around ten times greater than every score we've reached!!"
"I have the permission granted by the event committee leader."
The committee head set up a placard with "APPROVED" written on it, her eyes turning into heart-shaped and all that stuffs. She clearly is a fan of Kyousuke.

"There you have it. Well, come forth, Little Busters!!"
As he announced that, Kyousuke crowned himself with reversible red-white cap[3]. It looked pretty tight on him, so his figure looked pretty uncool.

"Heh.... Interesting. We'll find out if it really has horsepower. Hold on tight, Kuu-kou!!"
"Roger that~!"
Masato headed straight to tackle the horse!!

But the horse was unfazed, even after receiving the blow right ahead.

"As expected, Masato. But I wonder how long you will survive against this horse, who had received Hokkaido Daisetsuzan[4] nature power as much as she wants?"
So it's not a thoroughbred.

"Kh... Uoooh......"
Masato retreated slowly then gradually increased his speed.

"Damn! Masato can't win!! Let's go, Riki!!"
Kengo went thrusting to the horse flank.

"How naive. Hiyahh!!"
Along with Kyousuke's battlecry, the horse distanced itself from Masato and galloped around the area.
"Woah, that's dangerous!"
"Now they can't come near! No... If Masato's strength can't even bear any effect, then humanity is doomed once they're closing in!"
"Yeah, whatever with that. This is still Cavalry battle, isn't it?"
It's ridiculous to think that these two were seriously facing a real horse as opponent.

"Well then, how about this!?"
Bwoosh! The dust raised as Rin's cavalry team going round and cutting in behind the horse.
Though Komari-san was just getting swung around.

"Now!! Let's go, Kurugaya!!"
"Got it."
Kurugaya-san launched Rin up high to the sky!! At the same time, the cavalry dispersed and Kurugaya-san alone headed straight to the horse!! Simultaneous attacks of Rin's aerial attack and Kurugaya-san's ground attack!!
"Eat this!! Double kiiick!!"
The horse didn't even budge, much less looking back.

The horse sent Rin flying with a back kick!
Looking at the situation, Kurugaya-san also changed their direction to follow Rin. Rin turned around in the sky and landed to the ground splendidly, but...

"Thrown off the horse!! Disqualification!!"
"Fweet!" The referee blew the whistle.

"Wh- What the—!?"
"Too bad for you. White Horse No. 1 has no blind spot."
Rin was done for.......

"Isn't that horse way too strong......?"
Can us human win?

"Hmph. So here is our turn, Kuu-kou...."
They stepped forward.
"What about you, Nishizono-san?"
"How do I say it... I suppose I should be glad that I had been forgotten."

"Watching Rin-san and Kurugaya-san earlier, we have came up with a certain kill technique!!"
"Let's go, Kuu-kou!! The combination of muscle and rocket!!"
"Target: Kyousuke-san's head!!"
Masato grasped Kud's feet...
"All green! Ready to launch!!"

"I see! This way, they can aim for Kyousuke's cap without dealing with the horse!! Moreover, with the velocity powered by Masato's strength... This could work!!"
Kengo had turned into sportscaster.

"Wafuu! This is Kunya Rocket no. 13!!"
Kud had been launched!!
Looking at the situation, Kyousuke snickered and then muttered.
"Dear, what are you gonna do if I dodge away?"
"Ah, damn!! I didn't even think of the landing!!"
"Wa- Wafuuu—!!"

Kyousuke held Kud up.
"Wa- wafu?"
"There you go."
Kyousuke picked up Kud's headband.
"I'm glad you're not hurt. But you're out of game."
"Wa- wafuu.... We're done for..."
"Tsch... Damn it..."

Even Masato and Kud were done for......
"Well, well. Now, there's only one team left. What kind of scheme shall you present to me?"
He said with a fearless, yet innocent smile. It's the expression of Kyousuke purely enjoying the game....

(But, for my speech, everyone have been keeping up until this point....)
I don't want to lose.

"What are we gonna do, Kengo?"
"They didn't go well, but we have no other choice but to use the similar strategy with the previous teams. That said, with your physical ability, you'd get zapped by the horse, let alone reaching Kyousuke...."
"Then, it's just simple. We just have to stop the horse."
On that slight chance, I'd charge to Kyousuke. I had no other choice but to win from Kyousuke. Though, in one-on-one battle... I think it's very likely that I'd lose....

"But now, how do we get to stop that near-invincible horse?"
"Haruka-san, do you bring your marbles with you?"
"Oh, that... They were all confiscated by Onee-chan just the other day."
And I thought they'd just be the perfect item to halt them....

"What's wrong? If you're not coming, then I'm gonna get you."
"Damn! Now what!?"
"Well, it's not like we have any other choice but to run."
"As if you can outrun this horse!!"

That moment,
A voice from onlookers. It was Futaki-san. In her hand was the vinyl bag with marbles inside.

"You want to use this, right!? I'll throw it to you, so make sure to catch it!!"
"Oooh, as expected from my sister!! I love you, sis!!"
"Wha-.... D- don't be stupid! I just- I just want to put an end to this foolish game already.....!"
She fidgeted around with her bright red face.
"Aaah, whatever with that! Just throw it to me, Onee-chan!!"
"O- okay then...... Take this!"
Futaki-san threw the vinyl bag toward Haruka-san. Haruka-san then firmly caught it with one hand.

"Alright! Now with Haru-chan Spinning Rainbow Field!! (Marbles Caltrop)"
She magnificently scattered all the marbles from the bag!
Roll roll....
The horse began to flinch upon the marbles scattered all over the ground.
"What's wrong, White Horse No. 1!?"
"Seems that it is scared of sparkly things."
"Damn.... What a shame! Being raised by Mother Nature makes you petrified to manmade products...!!"

"Now is it! Riki!!"
I leapt away from Kengo's back and somehow jump upon the horse back.
"Yeah! Perfect landing!"
"All that's left to do was settling this down with Kyousuke!!

"Hey! Fear not, White Horse No. 1!! Be victor, and I'll present thee thine favorite carrots!!"
Listening to Kyousuke's voice, the horse started to move again.
"Good! Good girl! Now just shake yourself free from Riki! Let him fall!!"

"I won't let you!!"
Kengo blocked the horse.
"Even it's a small chance to win... At least I'll hold you still until your battle with Riki is over. Let the victory be granted upon the strongest name...!!"
"Hoh... That's some guts, Kengo. As I thought, the most formidable in the Little Busters is none but you."
"I devote my whole body and soul as the right hand of the leader! Even if this body rots away, I'll become a demon to protect Riki!! Come forth!!"
Kengo had prepared himself to death for this decisive attack!! His tremendous spirit even had reached me...!!
"Uoooooh!! The way of samurai is found in death!!"[5]

"Speaking of which... Didn't you invent something like "Little Busters Exercise" or something? Come on, lemme see 'em."
Hearing those words, Kengo flinched and stood still.
"Uh, come again? You want to see it? Alright then! I'll show you the higher-level of Little Busters Exercise, part two! Here we go! One! Two! Three! Four-"
"An opening!"
Kengo got kicked away by the horse!!
"Ngwaaaaah—!! Damn it—!!"
He's the strongest, but he's a fool alright...

"Then... I have no other choice but to win the game once for all before getting thrown off!!"
"Here I go, Riki!!"
I extended my hand towards Kyousuke.
At the same time, he approached with his arm aiming for my headband....

Scene 3
I woke up. Was I sleeping...? No. My head hurts. It seems I just lost consciousness.
"Hey, you okay, Riki?"
It was Masato's voice.
"Nah... I just saw a dream... or is it?"

I tried to think back. Ah, I guess it was just a dream. Kyousuke appeared riding a horse, or all of us getting into a trainwreck battle... Everything seems so impossible to had happened in reality....

"Are you wide awake now?"
And that was Kyousuke's voice.
"Yeah.... Wait, what?"
There was Kyousuke in his armor on horseback.

"Uwaah, it wasn't a dream!? Wait, am I still dreaming!?"
"For some reason you're confused.... But I can ascertain you that this is reality. It's your win."
In my hand was a red-white cap I grasped tightly.

"It's Riki-kun's victory~!"
"As expected from our leader!! Alright everyone, let's toss him up!!"
"Hey, wait, don't-"
"Hip hip hooray!! Hip hip hooray!!"
"Whoaaa!! Not this again!!"
And then, the figure of Kyousuke leaving us entered my eyes. I told everyone to put me down, so I chased after his back.
"What? You had splendidly defeated me and claimed the victory. Now is the time for you to share the joy together among yourselves."
"But... you're leaving again, aren't you?"
"Yeah. My job hunt is far from over. Don't tell me... you feel lonely without me?"
Kyousuke always sees through me.

"There's nothing to feel lonely about, you know."
Kyousuke snickered.
"——I'll be back."

——You don't need to feel lonely. After all, I don't feel lonely either. Because I can always come to see you anytime I want, just like this. As long as I have a place where I belong....

The End.

Translation notes:

[1] I had to make a great mess in translating this. Originally, the sash was written with !! ロス・アンジェルス.
The Los Angeles part is written as Rosu Anjerusu while the acceptable "correct" one is ロサンゼルス Rosanzerusu. Yeah it's fukken weird. Rosu Anjerusu also more widely known as a restaurant in Yachiyo, Chiba. So I assume that Kyousuke just went there.

The penant Masato's talking about was written おいでませロサンジェルス Oidemase Rosanjerusu. Oidemase means "Welcome" in Choushuu dialect, and usually only pops out when it comes to tourism. So I just translated it as "Welks!" really, I had no other idea.

Beside of Rosu Anjerusu and Rosanjerusu there's also ラサンゼンス Rasanzens Basically I just had to made intentional typo over here and there about Los Angeles. Japanese is weird. English is also weird.[^]

[2] 八艘飛び Hassoutobi, lit. "Leap over Eight Boats" is a legend from Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Said guy apparently leaped over 8 enemy boats to, um... run away? I'm not very familiar with Japanese legends, so I guess you should just look for it yourself. Also, said technique also appeared in Persona series. Hassoutobi is also a working sumo term, meaning "leap up from the initial charge in order to surprise the opponent". I guess it means like surprise jump attack in this case.[^]

[3]赤白帽 Kouhakubou, lit. "Red-White Hat"is an item used in sport festival to identify which sides are you on. It's reversible and look like this. Please do note that usually it's only used for elementary-school kids sport festival. For middle or high school they usually wear red or white bandannas or headband, such as worn by Riki in the picture above.[^]

[4]大雪山 Daisetsuzan, or Taisetsuzan is a Japanese national park located in Hokkaido. This area is famous for its natural beauty and various unique wildlife. And for the horse itself, Hokkaido horses bred for agricultural work, so unlike racing horses which were bred for the speed, they're twice as large of thoroughbred and very powerful. For more information about Hokkaido horses and tradition, click here. But from what Kyousuke said, it's likely that the horse is a wild or feral horse. Also, there's nothing pointing out about the gender of White Horse No. 1, but I just feel like making it a girl haha lol[^]

[5] 武士道とは死ぬこととみつけたりBushidou to wa Shinu Koto to Mitsuketari, literally means "The Way of the Samurai / Warrior is found in death." is a saying from Yamamoto Tsunetomo in his book, Hagakure. Follow the link for more information, if you want to.[^]

Also, you notice that I use colorful text as a guide for who says what. I use several colors and I know how all of you can roughly guess what color represents who. There are things like verbal tic which can be used to get a good guess on who saying what, but unfortunately I can't translate that (e.g. Komari calls(?) Riki with kanji -kun While Haruka calls Riki with hiragana -kun). So there I color-coded the characters to avoid further confusion.