Screw you Derg, I'm going to read at whatever speed I damn well please.
What comes after Christmas? That's right, New Year! So we skip to New Year and New Year happens. Exciting stuff. Also Bethly becomes an alcoholic after trying amazake (which is apparently a low-alcohol kind of sake that it is tradition to drink around New Year)
Bethly: "Gulp... gulp... fuuu... delicious..."
Okay, she doesn't actually become an alcoholic but she does take a liking to it. Afterwards they head to a Shinto temple, as is tradition, and Yuzuki's mom got Bethly a nice yukata.
The parents leave the kids to have fun, and Yuzuki tactfully leaves the two lovebirds to their own devices almost immediately.
Yukito: "No way, did she actually get lost...?"
No, you dingus.
Yuzuki: "I met up with Hinata-chan, so I'll see you two later~"
With the third wheel out of they way, they head on over to receive their fortune. Yukito explains that the great blessing is the best one.
Bethly: "That's the one I'll get"
She's certainly confident, I'll give her that. Let's see what she got.
Bethly: "It says "great"...! Is this a great blessing!?"
Yukito: "Umm... it's... a... uh... great curse..."
Bethly: "...worst luck...!?"
Bethly: "...once more"
I... don't think that' how that works... but they talk to the shrine maiden and it turns out that's exactly how it works. Capitalism, ho!
Yukito: "...good luck in the future"
Apparently out of all the positive ones, that's the worst one.
Bethly: "Once more!"
Now that I think about it, didn't she have a gambling problem when it came to a claw machine way back when...?
Bethly: "I'm going to keep trying until I get "great blessing""
Yukito: "Oh... that's right... that time with the UFO catcher..."
Yukito remembers it too Luckily it only takes her 3 more tries to get the great blessing. He then explains the detail of the fortune to Bethly because apparently they don't just say what kind of blessing or curse you'll have but also which areas of life it applies to. In Bethly's case she'll have luck with the person she's waiting for, in business, and in her wishes coming true. Lucky her that she got such a good fortune after only five tries! So then Bethly stands on her tippy-toes to hang the bad fortunes, but as she's tying the last one she stumbles... luckily our hero is there to catch her right away. They attribute it to the "person you're waiting for will arrive" part of the great blessing.
Anyway, once that's all done they go get something to eat.
Bethly: "Oh... takoyaki... I know takoyaki"
Takoyaki is great, she has good taste. Yukito tells her he's going to go buy some.
Bethly: "No, I'll do it. I want to buy it myself"
She goes off to buy takoyaki and has a short conversation with the stand owner (ゴゴゴ) and when she tells him she's from Canada he's so in awe he gives her a second skewer of takoyaki free of charge. On the way back all the other stand owners call out to her enticing her with fried foods... and she ends up buying something from each one of them.
Bethly: "All of those, please"
Bethly: "Great fortune in business... everyone I bought something from also gave me something for free"
While they're talking about how a lot of the shops seem to be selling something made out of potatoes, she notices something that looks like konnyaku. I may or may not have mentioned that she really likes konnyaku, so naturally she runs off to get some and comes back with 2 extra skewers she got for free.
Bethly: ""Wishes coming true." It really is excellent luck... hahaha..."
I think she just used up her year's worth of great fortune on food and stumbling in less than an hour. Amazing
After the shrine they head over to Yukito's mom's cafe (in case you need a refresher, whenever I refer to Yukito and Yuzuki's "parents" that's actually their dad and Yukito's step-mom aka Yuzuki's mom. Yukito's mom lives separately and usually only shows up when people go to her cafe but unlike the other two she actually has a sprite) for what is apparently an annual New Year party being held there.
Maria: "Oh, if it isn't Yukito. And Bethly-chan too"
Yukito lets her know that they've already eaten a ton during their shrine visit, but when she offers Bethly some pancakes...
Bethly: "I'll have some, please"
Bethly: "My dessert stomach is only one-eighths full... I can't come here and not eat Maria's pancakes"
Yukito stares at her in disbelief but she gladly eats the pancakes too. Later that day...
Bethly: "...am I fat?"
Yukito: "Ummm... have you checked the scale?"
Apparently she did, but she doesn't remember how much she used to weigh before (doubt.gif) so she doesn't know if she's getting fat or not...
Bethly: "So I want to hear it from you... am I fat?"
I wonder if this game has dead ends...
Yukito: "Nah, even if there's a day where you eat a lot, I don't think that makes you fat"
Bethly: "Phew, thank goodness."
Yukito: "But I'm pretty sure that the part that I ate is going to make me chubbier..."
And then Yukito died. RIP
I kid, he survived. He tells her that in Japan there's such a thing as "New Year fat" since all you do is sit at home and eat a bunch, but reassures her that she'll be fine if she just eats normally tomorrow. But she still wants proof so he literally sweeps her off her feet into a princess carry.
Yukito: "See? I can easily carry you, so it's fine"
According to VNDB she weighs 48kg. Yukito must be lifting while we're not looking.
We then skip to their winter break ending, and once they all reunite at the Broadcasting Club room they talk about their snow sculpture plan for the winter festival. Apparently they needed to get it approved and, surprise surprise, they got it approved, and Yukito and Bethly prepared a model of the sculpture so that they have an easier time coordinating. No special images or particularly fun dialogue here, so moving right along to a few days later when they start preparing to make the thing. Luckily for them they don't even need to make their own pile of snow this time, they're apparently having people from the fire department do it with snowplows and stuff but they figure it's not fair for them to stand around not doing anything so they help out anyway. At the end of the day everyone's exhausted but their 10-meter block of snow is complete. Yukito volunteers to help with the other blocks of snow like the mad lad that he is.
Yuzuki: "Onii-chan, you're really going to...?"
Mizuha: "Geez, you're as soft-hearted as always"
Hinata: "Seriously, you're horribly good-natured"
Momiji: "Haha, that's true. You haven't changed a bit over the years"
Bethly: "That's your strong point"
Moved by his selflessness and despite their fatigue, all the girls volunteer to help as well. Cut to a week later, Yukito ends up having to wake Yuzuki and Bethly up because they're tired as shit.
Bethly: "...I'm sleepy... and... sore..."
In the process of them complaining we find out that the two girls took a bath together yesterday because they were so tired. Now Yukito isn't the only member of the family who's seen Bethly naked.
Yuzuki: "Bethly's skin is so white and pretty... and her boobs are pretty big..."
Yukito: "Yuzuki's chest isn't that big. So having seen yours I'm sure she was envious."
Poor girl has her brother and his girlfriend talking shit about her chest size behind her back.
After school they head off to work on the sculpture.
That thing is fucking huge lol
Hinata: "It's too hard!" that's what she said
Turns out if you compact a bunch of snow, it doesn't stay all light and fluffy. Luckily Yuzuki notices someone else using a chainsaw for their sculpture... but none of them have a chainsaw back at home and they can't afford one. (Though I'm pretty sure it doesn't cost that much to rent one, but maybe that's not really a thing in Japan) But Bethly proposes a cheaper solution.
Bethly: "... a handaxe"
As expected of the descendant of a dynasty of lumberjacks. After they go and buy a few, Bethly gets to go first as the Canadian in the group.
Yuzuki: "That looks like a special technique..."
Hinata: "AHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHA! HOW FUUUUUN♪"
She seems to be enjoying herself as well. We skip to a few days later and they're apparently making progress.
Yuzuki: "Good work, everyone. Here's some hot tea"
She's their camerawoman so I guess she doesn't have to axe the snow. Yukito is being a super tryhard and forming bricks out of the snow and laying them to make the castle... I wonder if he knows you can just make a brick pattern on the side and it will be nearly indistinguishable? When they take a break, Yukito takes his gloves off and his hands are blue from the cold. I'm not a doctor but I think that usually means it's time to amputate them.
"With an angry look on her face, Bethly took off her gloves and held my hands in hers"
Just look at that pout
She blows on his hands to warm them up and the game even has a breath cloud animation. How fancy. Thankfully that seems to cure him and he no longer needs to have his hands amputated. At one point Yukito hits a part he's sculpting a bit too hard with the axe, and it collapses, and everyone makes fun of him like the good friends they are.
Hinata: "Yuzuki-chan, did you get that? Did you?"
Yuzuki: "Y-yeah... I recorded all of it"
Hinata: "Senpai, we should definitely use that scene for the competition, right?"
Now Yukito's failure will be immortalized in their video for all to see!
We then skip a week ahead and the gang goes back up to the mountain to apparently have some fun. All work and no play, and all that.
Hinata: "Uwaaaaa! Yahooooooo!"
Yuzuki: "Hinata-chan sure is energetic..."
And Bethly gets to show off her geographical knowledge
Bethly: "That neighbourhood is where our house is, and that's the sheep park over on the other side..."
Bethly: "That wide open area over there is the Hololo university park. It was all green in the spring, but now it looks like a white canvas..."
Bethly: "I learned that the last time I was up here..."
Momiji: "Was that when you went here on a date?"
Bethly: "Yup, a date. The two of us came up here... it was fun. We made a lifetime's worth of memories"
"Not having expected such a blunt answer from Bethly, everyone around blushed"
Momiji: "Ahaha, so lovey-dovey~"
Mizu-nee doesn't seem as happy though...
Mizuha: "Sounds like your relationship is going well"
I think she might be a little jealous...
But back to the more important topic of sightseeing, they try to find their sculpture but apparently they can't see it from here because a building is blocking it. As they discuss that, some of the girls start giggling.
"Looking around, I saw Hina drawing in the snow behind us"
"Starting from our feet, she drew a huge umbrella with a heart above it"
"Bethly's and my shadows fit perfectly under the umbrella"
Hinata: "Lovey-dovey, senpai!"
Turns out the real reason they went up here was to collect makeup snow for their sculpture, and they had Momo-chan-sensei bring her car to that end.
Hinata: "Senpai, I have a question"
Hinata: "What's makeup snow?"
Luckily for us she wasn't paying attention the previous day and Yukito has to explain it all over again. As time goes by the snow used for their sculpture will get somewhat dirty, so makeup snow is just clean snow they're going to use to cover the dirt up and make it look nice and white again.
Hinata: "And after you're done placing the makeup snow, Bethly-san will warm you up directly again. Right, Bethly-san?"
Bethly: "Yes... I'll warm him up"
This girl has lost all sense of shame
Hinata: "Yuzuki-chan, did you get all that?"
Yuzuki: "Yeah, I recorded all of it"
Hinata: "This scene is definitely going to be used for the competition. Right, senpai?♪"
After they finish collecting the snow, they head back down and start to put it on their sculpture.
Bethly: "The snow... it's not white, but a very pale blue..."
Everyone seems equally shocked by this discovery. It makes it seem as though none of them have actually lived anywhere with a lot of snow before. After taking turns putting on makeup snow and warming their hands, they seem to be nearly done. And the snow festival staff even hand out free cup ramen for everyone to eat and warm up. How very generous.
A few days later Yukito stays behind in the clubroom working on stuff related to the documentary, and when he finally join the group, something has happened.
Mizuha: "The question is do they have enough time..."
Hina notices him and calls out to him
Hinata: "Look over there!"
It seems about a third of someone else's huge sculpture went and collapsed.
Hinata: "There was a really loud noise! And then!"
Apparently some people got hit by the collapsing snow, and while they were fine, everyone was told to stop working on their sculptures until the fire department double-checks them all to make sure they don't collapse too. Yukito seems to be sure that their sculpture will be fine, so hopefully it doesn't get rejected. The next day the investigation of their sculpture still isn't complete, so Yukito tells everyone to go home while he stays and waits to see if they'll be able to resume work that day.
Bethly: "I came back, of course"
And she brought him the same kind of heating pad he brought her way back when they first met and some hot canned coffee. They wait around some more, but the results aren't announced.
First thing in the morning Yukito gets a call from the committee telling him to come to a meeting at noon. At 2 pm he shows up at the clubroom where everyone is waiting for him and tells them what he learned. Apparently because of the warmer-than-usual winter they're being more strict in regards to the structural integrity of the sculptures, so they've put together a list of sculptures that will might have to be taken down... and theirs is on the list. But of course our team of main characters won't take that kind of abuse, so Yukito says he's going to go talk to them again.
Yuzuki: "We'll all go, onii-chan"
And they manage to convince the committee member they talked to re-review their sculpture. In the mean time, because they can't sit around doing nothing they start building the tons of snowmen they need to populate the castle. In the evening, the committee member comes to tell them that they haven't reached a decision yet because the committee is split on whether or not to take the sculptures down, so they'll decide the next morning, and tells Yukito to come to the meeting to help their case. In the meantime, they stay late to make as many snowmen as they can. Momo-chan-sensei insists they eat, but they don't care so she drives off... and comes back with Maria.
Maria: "I've brought you all food"
Well that disproves my theory that she's actually a spirit of the cafe and can never leave. Also she seems a little under-dressed considering the weather. When Yukito asks her if it's fine for her to leave the cafe, another car pulls up and it turns out she convinced all of her customers to come help, and brought chairs and a stove from the cafe.
Maria: "I also made pancakes for dessert"
Bethly: "Maria's pancakes!"
Maria: "With plenty of maple syrup, of course"
She knows exactly how to woo Bethly.
The next day, everyone's waiting for Yukito to come back. Finally, he does.
Bethly: "...how did it go?"
Yukito: "The committee decided..."
Yukito: "...to allow us to continue!"
But as they're all celebrating and getting ready to start, Yukito notices something. And he tells everyone that they should hold off on working on the sculpture for now because everyone stayed late and it's bad to work when you're sleepy. But something tells me that isn't the real reason...
Hinata: "I'm not really sleepy though. But, well, if senpai says so"
He goes back to the clubroom later on can compares the sculpture before work was paused, and after.
Yukito: "...just as I thought..."
Bethly: "...what is just as you thought?"
Turns out Bethly snuck up on him. He decides messages everyone on LIME to gather in the clubroom, shows Bethly the photos and asks if she notices anything different between the two.
Once everyone shows up, they finally mention what it is they notice. Apparently it looked whiter before the pause, and now it looks dirtier even though while work was suspended the sculptures were covered up. Apparently the makeup snow started melting off. So he's worried it might weaken because of the snow melting, and because the statue was actually only checked a while back and during the meetings with the committee they weren't actually looking at it, it might have to be taken down after all. They decide that the best thing to do would be to have it checked again. Two days later they got it checked again... and it turns out there's a chance that it will collapse, so they're going to demolish it. As he's explaining this he starts to tear up and apologize.
Yukito: "And Bethly..."
Yukito: "I told you we'd make bright and happy memories but... I... I can't do anything..."
Bethly: "...don't apologize..."
Bethly: "It's nobody's fault... nobody did anything wrong"
Bethly: "I... had fun. Making a sculpture, working hard together with everyone, was really fun"
Bethly: "So I made plenty... bright and happy memories..."
And so their sculpture was taken down. They just brought a snowplow and demolished the thing.
Hinata: "It took so much effort to build that, and now it's just destroyed like it's nothing..."
Everyone is understandably disappointed that they can't participate in the festival anymore, but Bethly has an idea...
Bethly: "...a snowman. We can make a snowman"
They talk to the committee and they're allowed to build a whole bunch of tiny snowmen
Yuzuki: "...they're cute"
Well, at least they got lots of footage for their Broadcasting Club documentary. But Momiji doesn't seem satisfied
Momiji: "Can we really have our participation end like this?"
Momiji: "It's true that the sculpture is gone... but, back then... remember what you said, Bethly? That if we could all participate in the snow festival it would be a lot of fun"
Momiji: "We can still participate again next year, and the year after that. But Bethly only has this year, right?"
They talk about the possibility of rebuilding the sculpture, but smaller, so that they can realize Bethly's design.
Bethly: "Hearing that from everyone makes me happy..."
Bethly: "But the sculpture is gone... it can't be helped. It's over..."
As they look outside, they see that it's snowing.
Hinata: "Oh! So NOW you fall!"
Momiji: "If only it started earlier..."
I feel like the snow melting depends on the temperature, not whether it's actually snowing or not but okay.
Hinata: "I'm going to go make a complaint!"
And she runs off. Everyone follows her outside, where she's using her footprints to write in the snow.
Yukito: "You wrote "baka"... are you a middle-schooler?..."
Yuzuki: "Ahaha... that's very Hinata-chan of her. But it looks fun. I think I'll do it too"
So they all start drawing in the snow, and draw something akin to Bethly's sculpture design.
Bethly: "...this reminds me of that time in middle school"
Bethly: "When he was seeing me off, Yukito did the same thing"
Apparently he drew a huge snowman on the airport's viewing platform. I don't remember if I mentioned that in the blog when it happened, in fact I don't remember it happening at all... But if they say it happened, it must have. And then Yukito realizes that they can do the same thing to participate in the snow festival. He has Bethly sketch a new drawing and they decide to use the university park that Bethly so aptly described as a canvas... as a canvas, and they get permission to do so from the festival committee and the university.
Momo-chan-sensei: "It's a good idea... but how are you going to draw?"
Yukito then explains that they all got skis to use to trace out the lines of the sketch that Bethly made according to the instructions of the people up on the mountain, since the idea is that you'll be able to see the whole thing from there. At first Bethly and Yukito go up the mountain, but later on Yukito trades places with Hina. Bethly stays up there because she's the artist, after all. As they work late into the evening, Yukito's mom brings more food, uncluding...
Maria: "Tada♪ Hololo's Special Canada-Style Pancakes! With lots of blueberries on top. Just spread some maple butter and enjoy!"
Maria: "Fufufu... so, how are they, Bethly-chan?"
Bethly: "Great job, Maria...!"
"The sun began to rise, making the fresh snow glitter"
Bethly: "My body is tired, but my heart is warm..."
Bethly: "Because we finally finished it"
Yuzuki: "It's beautiful..."
Bethly explains that since no two snowflakes are alike, this one represents them, and is unique. How delightfully cheesy
Probably about time for me to stop for today. Thanks for reading the entirety of this edition of "Reading Endless SoL Very Slowly. www"