Chapter 8:

Interhigh Part 1 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club

Kei shakes me. „Wake up, we´ve arrived.”
Takara and I jump out of the bus.
“We´re here earlier than expected.” Hisagi-sensei says.
“Well, there was almost no traffic.” Manami-san stretches his arms.
“My stomach.” Akaya-kun whines.
“You don´t even fight!” Leiko doesn´t look very good herself.
I take a deep breath. “Everyone we can do this! Let´s give it our best.”
Manami-san smiles. “He´s right. Just fight like you always do and the rest cheer as loud as you can.”
We make our way to the changing room, one big room with a screen dividing it up into a girl´s and a boy’s area. After we all changed Manami-san walks us to the first ring for warm up.
“What about the opening ceremony?” Akaya-kun asks.
“Schools only participate in the opening ceremony of the nationals.” Manami-san answers dryly. “Our five starts will start with warm up, you have enough time so be thorough and don´t get distracted when our opponents arrive.”

Sometime later the Hihibaboon High school arrives; an all-boys team with a female coach. Their uniforms consist of red and ocher shorts and a red top with black shoulders and ocher writing with a mismatched pair of shoes one red the other black.

Manami-san pins his red C on his shirt. “Good, take a deep breath.”
We form a circle around him. “I know you can do this, so just enjoy the fights and the atmosphere, don´t think about unnecessary things, ok?” We all nod. “Good. Kyoto-Nami, Fight!”
“Yeah!” We answer him.

“Both schools please stand.” The referee tells us.
We stand in one line opposite to Hihibaboon.
“Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Akai Yuuta vs. Fujima Takara,
Fight 2: Hinata Jun vs. Kyousuke Kenta,
Fight 3: Yoda Taki vs. Fujima Taiki,
Fight 4: Okumura Nikko vs. Inoue Leiko,
Fight 5: Mori Hideki vs. Tousen Chiko.
Fist fighters get ready.
Please bow.”
We do as told yelling “To a good match.”

Takara and Akai stand, waiting for the signal to start. “Fight!”
Takara immediately turns into her unicorn form, charging at Akai, an ocher western dragon, managing a cut on his side.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 0-1!”
Akai turns his head biting her in one of her hind legs, throwing her to the ground with full force.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 2-1!”
Takara gets up, immediately turns into her hybrid form and punches the dragon in the jaw, then her knee in his stomach and finally a gem covered fist right on his head.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 2-4!”
Akai hits the ground but gets up fast, opening his jaws he lets out a torrent of fire. Takara tries to doge but her right leg, the same that was bitten gets burned a bit together with some of her hairs.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 3-4!”
Akai, now fully back on his feet jumps into the air, firing balls of fire and directs them with the wind of his wings. Some of the balls hit Takara, who tries to get some distance.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 6-4!”
Takara, back in unicorn form, shakes her head, gems swirling around her horn getting bigger and bigger. She shoots them at Akai.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 6-8!”
Akai falls but manages to jump towards Takara right after landing. His teeth sink deep into her leg. He hits her with his claws a few times.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 10-8!”
Now Takara seems pissed. She rams her horn into one of his wings. He gets away from her just to get hit by a volley of gems, blocking his view. Takara kicks him with her hind legs and all of her might, he flies a few meters lands on his feet and gets a fist rammed into his face. He lays on the ground and tries to get up, now in hybrid form.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-15!”
But Takara doesn´t seem done jet, back in her hybrid form too, she slams another fist into his stomach, a leg flies into his face and finally she grabs him by the collar, judo flipping him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-18! Point win for Fujima Takara from Kyoto-Nami, 0-1!”

Kei runs towards Takara and helps her to the bench.
“Good job Takara!” Manami-san praises her. “Do you need to see the doctor?”
She shakes her head. “Maybe after the match.”
Kei sits down beside her; I put my hands on her shoulders. “You did really well, captain.”
She smiles. “Good luck Ken-kun.”
Kenta starts walking towards the ring, today he seems more confident than usual.
“Kenta you can do it!” Akaya-kun cheers, making Kenta blush.

Kenta, in hellhound form, runs bites the yellow Naga and uses his weight to make him fall.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 0-2!”
Hinata uses his opportunity and curls his snake body around Kenta, throwing him to gain some distance and creates a bow with arrows out of his blood, a few of his arrows hit Kenta.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 5-2!”
Kenta doges the other arrows, with an incredible speed he runs towards the Naga again, this time body slamming him to the ground.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 5-3!”
Hinata, now slightly annoyed keeps Kenta on the ground with him and punches Kenta multiple times.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 8-3!”
Kenta frees himself, quickly turns into hybrid form and also starts punching, only difference; Kenta used to do boxing.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-8!”
Hinata gains distance again and tries the bow and arrow method again but Kenta sees through that and, in hellhound form, bites him in the tail, slamming him on the floor again and again.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-13!”
Hinata manages to create mini arrows and shoots them at just the right moment for Kenta to not see them coming.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 13-13!”
Kenta makes fireballs appear shooting a whole barrage of them at Hinata.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 13-17!”
Hinata, obviously worried about the match point, does the mini arrow thing again, Kenta doges them pretty well until a normal sized arrow hits him in the shoulder. He stumbles, making it easier for Hinata to get a few more hits in.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 17-17!”
Now all Kenta needs is a two point lead and victory is his.
Apparently Hinata thought the same; he slithers through his barrage of arrows, quickly turns into hybrid form and rams an arrow in Kenta’s other shoulder, Kenta barely dodges two of the flying arrows.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 18-17!”
Kenta gathers himself, goes into hybrid form and uses the last of his strength to punch Hinata in the stomach twice.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-19!”
Hinata, quickly turns back into Naga form, manages to whip Kenta with his tail, once on the injured shoulder and once on the back.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 20-19!”
Both fighters prepare for a punch to the others face, the one that hits is…
“Point gain Hihibaboon 21-19! Point win for Hinata Jun from Hihibaboon, 1-1!”

Kenta trots back to the bench. Manami-san checks his wounds quickly and lets him sit down, Kenta puts his towel over his head and doesn´t seem to want to talk. Knowing Takara as well as I do it´s no surprise that she sits next to him. “You did well.”
“I lost.”
“Well next time you´ll win.”
He looks up to her smiling face, no one can get mad at her when she smiles like that, so Kenta smiles to. “Got it captain.”
Akaya-kun sits down on Kenta’s other side also encouraging him.
I stretch and while making my way to the ring walk past Kenta. “Man I´m so pumped up right now, that fight really made me want to beat Hihibaboon.” I say without looking at Kenta.

“Fight!” The referee yells.
I change into unicorn form; turns out my opponent is a satyr. I decide to try and win this as fast as possible, so I kick him with my hind legs, he flies a few meters but catches himself.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 0-1!”
Vines come out of the floor, hitting me all over.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 5-1!”
The vines entangle me; pulling one of my legs from under me, one hits me on the back while I lay on the floor.
“Point gain Hihibaboon 7-1!”
I get up turn into my hybrid form and use my gem finger gun to get a few good hits in. Yoda tries to doge but I just shoot more gems at him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-8!”
Before he can do anything I turn back into a unicorn shoot a few more gems with my horn and manage to cut his arm.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-12!”
He creates more vines but I doge, slamming my body into his, quickly turn back into hybrid from catch his arm and judo flip him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-14!”
He tries to hit me but I don´t even give him the chance to move much. I´m still holding his arm and use my gem finger gun to get my final points.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-18! Point win for Fujima Taiki from Kyoto-Nami, 1-2!”

I confidently walk back to the others. “How was that?”
“You´re such a show off!” Takara yells.
Kei starts laughing. “Did you seriously try to outdo Ta-chan?”
I nod. “Of course! As the older…”
“Only by 20 minutes!”
Leiko puts one of her arms around my shoulders. “I´ll get the last win and while I do that I’ll show everyone just how awesome I am, after all I´m cooler than you.”
“Yeah go Inoue-san, win this!” Chiko cheers. Leiko stares at him. “I mean I don’t really want to be the deciding factor, I can´t take that pressure.”
Leiko smiles. “Oh, don´t worry, I never intended to let you fight.”
Kenta gets up. “Good luck, Inoue-senpai.”
“Thanks, though I don´t need it.”

And indeed, she don´t need our cheering. Her opponent, a wolf like Raiju, didn´t stand a chance; he got five points in when Leiko decided to squeeze him, with her snake body, so hard that he lost consciousness for a few seconds.
“K.O., Instant win for Inoue Leiko of Kyoto-Nami, 1-3!” The referee turns to our bench. “First round of the interhigh won by Kyoto-Nami, congratulations!”

After a quick visit at the doctor we´re ready to take a break, the second round begins at noon; semi-finale and the finale are tomorrow. Our brake consists of a bit of food and a prep talk from Manami-san. “Our next opponents are Akaryuu, they’re strong, like really strong, but I have hope, I chose our most experienced fighters in regards to official matches: the Fujima twins, Nura, Suzuki and Tousen.”
Chiko looks shocked. “But, the pressure!”
Manami-san ignores him. “Please be careful, their captain may be a fist year but she´s won countless awards.” He points at Akaya-kun and Katsu-kun. “You two might have even fought against her in middle school her name´s Daikami Izanami.”
Takara, Kei and I have to hold back laughter. “That´s not a real name.”
“It is. Take this seriously, will you?”
We nod.

We arrive about fifteen minutes before the fight starts. The Akaryuu team has already started with warm up.
I take a deep breath. I can do this…
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