an English translation of the novel

Page 123-124

“But as the clay dries out while it’s baked, it’ll also get lighter, right?”

“Oh yeah! So then at he very end, the pusher will only be about the third of the ball’s weight.”

Everyone else still looked confused, but I couldn’t help smiling when Shun agreed with me.

“So we’ll have to push it from behind after all,” Mamoru said.

“Now we’re back to the same idea.”

The ball tournament was five days from now. That means that in those five days, we had come up with a basic strategy, make a working pusher, attackers and defenders out of clay, and learn to control them perfectly.

Here I’ll explain the rules of the tournament. There are two teams, the offense and the defense. The offense rolls a large marble ball across the field into the goal while the defense tries to block. The total time allowed for one round is ten minutes, and the team that takes the least time to score a goal is the winner. In the case where neither side scores, both teams play defense as well as offense in a tiebreaker match where the first team to score wins.

Throughout the match, you can only use your cantus, but there is one serious restriction. You are not allowed to alter the ball or the field with your cantus. That means we have to be good at controlling our pieces, the pusher and attackers when we were the offense, and the defenders when we were on defense. In addition, our pieces are not allowed to lose contact with the ground. {If we were allowed to use floating pieces, we would be able to use the ball to absorb any impacts the pusher might sustain.}

The field constructed in the inner courtyard of the school is two meters wide and ten meters long, and paved with sandy dirt and patches of grass so that it required considerable concentration just to push the ball in the a straight line. The defense could put the goal wherever they wanted, but could not do anything else, like making potholes or mountains to protect it.

The pieces only have to be within the weight limits. We are free to decide what shape, or how many pieces we wanted to use, but the more pieces we use, the harder it is to control them all.


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