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Botsuraku 135 – Part 2

 

“All right! Here’s another one with a story!”

“Oh. All right, let’s hear it.”

“Huhhh? This story is good too. Here, you read it.”

I wanted Eli to read it for me, but she shoved it into my hands and went on to find the next one. Of course, she was going to handpick another winner. So I read the slip out loud.

“My husband has been fired.

His boss made a mistake and made my husband take the blame for it. I told my husband to take revenge on his boss, but he said that revenge isn’t a good thing.

So after my husband got a new job, he started coming home earlier. He’s not working as many hours as he was in his previous job.

Because of that, my husband and I have been getting along much better.

We had been growing more and more distant before, but our relationship has now improved.

It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m writing this here because I’m so happy!”

And what about the magic train!?

Oh boy, and she hasn’t put her name on the form either!

At least write something about your feelings regarding the magic train, even if it’s a lie!

This story just made me feel sorry for the other two people I’ve rejected earlier.

Of course, this one was a no. I would get rid of it later as well.

This was no longer a random lottery. I could still not stop Eli from choosing the winners based on how much she liked the stories written on their application papers.

To top it off, Eli’s very good at finding papers with stories. During the time I would find one of them, she’d found five.

“Hmm, this one’s no good. There’s no story written here.”

I picked up the paper slip that Eli had just thrown away, and read it out loud.

“I want to take the magic train!!”

Now that was written in a very concise way.

Out of all of the applications I’ve seen, this was the one I liked the most. But you see, Mrs. Eli didn’t like it because it didn’t have a story! Better be more careful next time.

That being said, I put that slip back into the raffle box.

There was no stopping Eli.

Her eyes were everywhere and her hands would not stop.

It really made me wonder if she would be this agile when she haggled for ingredients at the market as she occasionally did.

Those were the eyes and the hands of a housewife!

“Next is this one. Hmm, I think it’s a pass, if only just barely.”

Eli finished reading it, then I read it out loud. It was starting to become a routine.

“I want to show my son the magic train.

I’ve decided to take my chances so we could both see it.

I’ve fallen in love with the magic train ever since I’ve first seen it. I could say I’m even more enthusiastic about the ride than my son.

I have some savings, so I’m planning to use them for our ride.

Please consider my application. Thanks.”

Look at that. That was actually pretty decent.

She even asked us to consider her application quite nicely.

It was very straightforward.

I was starting to get a funny feeling for reading it too many times.

Yup, back to the raffle box, if only just barely.

We then continued on picking slips of paper and reading them to each other, like a well-oiled machine. Eli would give me every piece of paper she found, but I returned any applications I found without a story to the raffle box.

Eli wasn’t choosing the winners, she was just looking for nice stories. But I’m a man who knows what really needs to be done.

I soon found out that while Eli lacked in speed for our work, she made up for it in content.

“I want to get on the magic train that my son made.

I would like the best seat it has to offer.

I have plenty of money. I make lots through my paintings.

My wife is also looking forward to riding the magic train.

I’d also be delighted to be able to return to my hometown after such a long time.

I miss the hot springs in Helan.”

Oh, that seems like it’s from someone I know.

It must be from that person who spends his time painting at the royal capital.

And he applied just like everyone else!

That was something a little different than what I would have expected from him.

Though on second thought, he is a bit like that.

I silently put his application slip into the rejected ones’ box.

Eli’s pace started to slow down as time passed, and she finally came to a halt by dinner time.

“Phew, is it this late already? Oh well, I’ll go make dinner, so please take care of the rest, okay?”

“Sure, leave it to me.”

That was my chance. That’s when I would take out and discard the applications that Eli had selected.

But in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to just throw away those applications after Eli went through so much to read each of their stories, so I decided to give them another chance.

I put them back into the raffle box and did some more random drawings. And I got…

… That fake 4-year old again.

Cold sweat dripped down my forehead.

Please bring an adult along…

Next drawing…

…That broke guy who was miraculously cured of that incurable disease.

No way. You are not riding for free.

I also drew the application from that housewife whose husband had changed jobs. Again.

But you did forget to put down your name on your application.

One by one, I was drawing each of the applications that Eli had chosen.

By the way, my father’s regular application was not selected.

Thus concluded our raffle, after having left the choosing of the winners to fate. Well, if we only look at the results, our winners had already been chosen by Eli.

So let me rephrase that: Thus concluded Eli’s raffle, after having left Eli to choose the winners herself, based on Eli’s criteria.

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