Part 120: Quiz Tournament (Hideyoshi's Question)
BGM: Stuffed Toy
"Yep, that's right. After all, there are two nights in every day."
"Right! December 25th starts at 12:00 midnight. Midnight is during the night, so that's the first night. Then, morning comes, and when night falls again, it's still the same day until midnight!"
"Exactly. And both of those nights are nights on Christmas Day."
"Eheheheheh. Am I awesome? Am I awesome...?!"
With a delighted smile, Aunt Eva patted my head vigorously.
"Wahahaha! Well done, Ange. I tried to make it a hard question, but you solved it like it was nothing."
"Congratulations, Ange-sama. Here is a medal for getting the first question right."
Genji-san held out a gold-colored medal. Grandfather smiled at me, urging me to take it.
"Th, thank you!"
"Keep up the pace. Well now, that is all for my puzzle. Head over there and ask whomever you choose for a quiz."
It was a heavy, gold-colored medal. If I get a lot of these right, my pocket might burst. I'm gonna get so many that I can brag about it to everyone! After bowing to Grandfather, I hurried off with Aunt Eva to where everyone else was gathered.
This one is a little interesting because most people I've seen jump for the international date line solution, not what Kinzo actually had in mind. Either way, it's an easy one.
BGM: Steady Pace
"Did I make it a bit too easy...?"
"No. I think it was just right."
"...Genji. Have I... managed to act the part of a good grandpa...?"
Young children have their own kind of cruelty. They think of kindness as something they will naturally receive. And because they think of kindness as only natural, they forget about it quickly.
"...It is no different from gratitude to one's parents. It will probably take Ange-sama many years before she understands."
"Do you think... that she will eventually remember that I was a fun grandpa?"
"...Yes. I am certain of it."
Kinzo's expression grew slightly darker. Eventually, even Ange will get older, and she will probably hear how the public at large regards Ushiromiya Kinzo. The Ushiromiya Kinzo known by the public is completely different from the Kinzo who plays with his grandchildren. When she learns, will Ange remember the face of Kinzo the tyrant, known of by the world, or that gently smiling face?
"There's no way around it. That's what children are."
"Oh, it's you."
"Children just eat up kindness, and it never remains in their memories. By the time 12 years have passed, she will surely learn what a bizarre eccentric Ushiromiya Kinzo was. Your smile is fated to be painted over by that and forgotten."
"...Most probably. No matter how much I spoil her, my love will not be rewarded."
"However, just as it takes a long time to remember what you owe your parents, Ange will surely remember someday. She will remember the smiles you showed her."
"Hmph... Let her forget. One smile from her is the greatest parting gift I could ever take with me, when my time comes. This is... the essence of unrewarded love."
"I guess grandfathers are always unrewarded."
"Oh, but I have been rewarded. With Ange's smile just now to look back upon, I could happily pass on in my sleep tonight. Wahhahahahahahahaha..."
With a lonely laugh, Kinzo spun around, setting his cape fluttering. This was all the love he could offer Ange as a grandfather. Part of him wanted to be remembered, but he knew he mustn't wish for that. That was... how unrewarded love worked. After looking at Kinzo's back, Beato stared at Ange's back again.
I'm gonna challenge more and more people, get more and more medals for getting them right, and get a wonderful present to show everyone. Uncle Krauss and Aunt Natsuhi are over there. They're looking this way and smiling. I'm sure they've thought up some interesting puzzles. There's Uncle Hideyoshi, beckoning for me to come over. He's a fun uncle, so I'm sure he's thought up a fun question.
Mom and Dad are across from him. They're waving at me, telling me to have lots of fun. Dad probably knows a lot of really hard questions. He might be tough. Over there is Aunt Rosa and Maria onee-chan. It looks like they're reading a quiz book together, searching for a problem.
She can be mean sometimes, so I'm sure her puzzle won't be a nice one. Beyond them are Battler onii-chan, George onii-chan, and Jessica onee-chan. Battler onii-chan is usually nice, but he sometimes says really mean things, and I think he likes seeing me get confused. I get the feeling... that he'll give me a really tough problem.
Is there anyone who looks like they won't be mean? If I can, I'd like to start with some easy puzzles to warm me up. All the way over there are Genji-san and Doctor Nanjo. I don't think those two will be mean to me. And then there's Shannon and Kanon. Shannon knows about a lot of quizzes and fairy tales. I'm sure she'll give me something unique. Then, we have Gohda-san and Kumasawa-san, who are serving tea. Kumasawa-san might be tough. I kinda think she'll give me a really confusing problem.
...It looks like everyone might be pretty tough. Hmmmmm...
Uncle Hideyoshi is calling for me. What should I do? Should I go?
"Do you want to try Uncle Hideyoshi?"
"Yeah. The order doesn't matter. After all, I'm gonna challenge everyone."
I rolled up my sleeves and headed towards Uncle Hideyoshi.
"Wahahahahahaha, here you are. Mine's a tricky one, okay?"
"I wonder what sort of question you'll give her. Don't make it too hard, okay?"
"It's okay if it's hard. I'll solve it."
"Oooh, looking pretty confident there...! Okay, here it comes!"
After clearing his throat, Uncle Hideyoshi started telling his question...
"The boy who floated down a river in a peach?"
"That's right. But you know, one day, an apple floated down that river."
"Yep! And the next day, a butternut squash floated down it!"
"I hate butternut squash."
"And then, the next day, some cabbage floated down it! And the next day, a dill pickle did. And the next day, an eggplant floated by. And the day after that, a fig did!"
"*giggle*. What a strange tale. Did a greengrocer live upstream, or something?"
"Okay, here's the question. What floated down the river the next day?!"
"I've got it. Do you get it, Ange-chan?"
"I don't get it."
"Then I'll give you a hint. There's a pattern to the things that float down the river. Can you guess what the pattern is?"
"Wahahahaha! What a huge hint...!"