Chapter 9:

Interhigh Part 2 (Takara)

Special Fighting Club

We stand opposite of the Akaryuu team. In their red, black and gold uniforms they’re quite intimidating. Their captain, a short blonde girl offers me her hand. “To a good match.” She says sarcastically.
I shake her hand. “To a good match.” I say honestly.Bookmark here

“Oh I think I remember her, always lost against her in middle school.” Aka-kun remembers.
Kat-kun nods. “Same.”
The referee begins his announcement. “Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Fujima Taiki vs. Aido Tsubasa,
Fight 2: Nura Akaya vs: Haibara Rin,
Fight 3: Tousen Chiko vs. Akemi Fudo,
Fight 4: Suzuki Katsu vs. Yamaguchi Ryota,
Fight 5: Fujima Takara vs. Daikami Izanami.
First fighters get ready.”Bookmark here

Taiki gets ready; he looks a bit exhausted from the last fight, his opponent doesn´t.
Taiki, in unicorn form manages to body slam Aido before he can react.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 1-0!”
Aido, a reddish-brow dragon, doesn´t seem surprised, he even smiles. With one fast move he bites Taiki in the back and throws him to ground, trying to keep him there.
“Point gain Akaryuu 1-2!”
Taiki changes back into his hybrid form and manages to free himself. He uses his gem finger gun and gets a few good hits in.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-2!”
Aido, still smiling, in now also in hybrid form. He runs towards Taiki, grabs his arm and starts to punch him multiple times.
“Point gain Akaryuu 7-10!”
Taiki also manages a few hits and, again frees himself, gaining some distance.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-10!”
Now Aido´s plan becomes apparent; he runs, now in dragon form, towards Taiki bites him in the leg and punches or, like now scratches him.
“Point gain Akaryuu 10-15!”
Taiki uses his gem finger gun again, but this time he doesn´t get away.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 13-15!”
It turns into a confusing mess of gems, fists and claws.
“Point gain Akaryuu 17-17!” the referee announces.
Taiki, now back in unicorn form and breathing heavily, gained some distance again. He makes gems appear around his horn and shoots them.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-17!”
A fire blast hits Taiki.
“Point gain Akaryuu 18-18!”
Another gem hits its target.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 19-18!”
A clawed hand scratches Taiki.
“Point gain Akaryuu 19-19!”
Taiki turns back into his hybrid form and manages one punch.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 20-19!”
Another quick exchange of blows and the score is at 23-23.
Aido smiles, says something to Taiki and grabs his arm, one claw scratches his face and without him noticing a bust of fire follows.
“Point gain Akaryuu 23-25! Point win for Aido Tsubasa from Akaryuu 0-1!”Bookmark here

Taiki sits down without saying a word. I don´t dare say anything either. Kei gives him a water bottle and puts band aids on his wounds.
“Well then wish me luck!” Aka-kun says half excited, half worried, breaking the silence for a moment.Bookmark here

Aka-kun´s opponent is also a dragon; her scales shimmer reddish-pink with some black mixed in. Haibara fires a few fire balls hitting Aka-kun, who doesn’t seem focused.
“Point gain Akaryuu 0-5!”
Apparently the point announcement woke him up. He charges at her, sinking his teeth into her tail and using his own tail to shoot fire balls at her.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-5!”
Haibara frees herself, scratches Aka-kun and flies into the air. There a few more fire balls hit.
“Point gain Akaryuu 7-8!”
Aka-kun seems to use the same stagey as he did in his fight against Kat-kun. He jumps, bites Haibara´s shoulder and uses his weight to get her to fall. On the ground he quickly turns in to his hybrid form and pins her to the ground, punching her as often as he can.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 12-8!”
Haibara frees herself, breathes fire into his face, claws his shoulder and bites into his leg.
“Point gain Akaryuu 12-11!”
Aka-kun turns back into his hellhound form. Both of them get ready to shoot balls of fire at each other, racking up the points to 16-16.
Aka-kun bites her, Haibara claws at him and the points go up to 17-17.
“Just two more points! You can do it!” I cheer Aka-kun on.
He seems to have heard that because what he does next goes so fast I almost didn´t see it: Aka-kun turns around, his foot swiftly lands in Haibara’s face and while she gathers herself Aka-kun kicks her feet from under her.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 19-17! Point wind for Nura Akaya of Kyoto-Nami 1-1!”Bookmark here

Aka-kun bounces back to us. I pat his head. “Good job!”
He beams. “Thanks.”
“Great, outdone by a first year.” Taiki mumbles.
“But Taiki-senpai I won for you.” Aka-kun says, showing big puppy eyes.
Taiki smiles lightly. “Sorry, as the vice-captain I shouldn’t act so immature.” He stands up and pats Aka-kun too. “You did really well.”
“Aka-chin, that was pretty good.” Ken-kun hugs him.
“That was the same tactic you used against me!” Kat-kun says.
“Well you were the trial.”
“Oh no.” Chi-kun shivers. “I don´t want to do this.”
“Good luck Tousen.” Manami-san says, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“Why did you put me in the Ace position? Why not Takara-san?”
“Because we need her to close the match should you or Suzuki mess up.” Manami-san answers.
“Then you could have chosen Mizuki-san, I mean they have so many dragons wouldn´t a nixie have been a good idea?”
Hisagi-sensei pats Chi-kun on the back. “The referee is waiting. Take a deep breath and just do your best.”
“Yeah, if you lose I´ll get another win.” Kat-kun says, I think it was meant as encouragement but I ´m honestly not sure.Bookmark here

“Scarred?” Akemi asks loudly, when Chi-kun enters the ring.
Chi-kun shakes his head and slaps himself. Akemi looks shocked.
Akemi turns out to be an eastern dragon, unlike the rest of his team. His long body is covered in orange and brown scales.
Chi-kun looks more confident now; in his griffin form he begins the fight. He flies into the air and, like an eagle, dives towards his opponent. His claws on both the eagle and lion feet scratch Akemi, seemingly surmised at this, and one of his wings hits Akemi on the head.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 3-0!”
Akemi, now on the floor, gets up, shoots a geyser of water, hiding in it and bites into Chi-kun’s wing.
“Point gain Akaryuu 3-2!”
Chi-kun shakes Akemi of off him, throwing him. Chi-kun uses that and prepares for another dive, this time his beak hits Akemi.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 4-2!”
Akemi bites into Chi-kun’s wing again and throws him to the ground ripping at the wing.
“Point gain Akaryuu 4-5!”
Chi-kun, now with a bloody wing, tries a dive again, but is unable to. He thinks for a moment, then jumps towards Akemi with all of the strength his legs have, turns and while Akemi prepares to be hit by a wing is instead kicked to the ground.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 5-5!”
Chi-kun, now in hybrid form, kicks and punches Akemi a few times.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-5!”
Akemi gets up swings his tail and Chi-kun now lays on the floor.
“Point gain Akaryuu 10-6!”
Chi-kun jumps back on his feet, a slight smile on his face. He grabs Akemi´s arm, pulls him behind himself, turns into a griffin and jumps into the air. It´s obvious that Chi-kun is in pain but he flies higher and dives, still with Akemi, to the ground. Centimeters before he hits the ground, Chi-kun lets go of Akemi.
The countdown starts.
“…4, 3, 2, 1. Instant win for Tousen Chiko of Kyoto-Nami, 2-1!”Bookmark here

Chi-kun flounces towards us. “What was that with you winning if I lost?” He asks a blushing Kat-kun.
I jump and hug Chi-kun. “That was awesome!”
He smiles. Kei sits him down and looks at his back.
Kat-kun switches his glasses. “Then I´ll try to also get a win. I´m sorry Takara-senpai, you might not be able to fight today.”Bookmark here

Kat-kun´s fight is against another phoenix. The fight starts out pretty even; Kat-kun gets a few really good hits in, one with his phoenix leg, three with his wings and a few more with fire balls.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 9-7!”
But that´s when the fight turns around.
Yamaguchi, in his hybrid form, grabs Kat-kun by a wing and throws him over his shoulder. Kat-kun turns back into his hybrid form. Yamaguchi sits on him punching Kat-kun a few times until he frees himself.
“Point gain Akaryuu 15-7!”
Yamaguchi doesn´t give Kat-kun time to do anything, he jumps and turns into his phoenix form midair, firing balls of fire.
“Point gain Akaryuu 17-7!”
Kat-kun doges a few but is body slammed.
“Point gain Akaryuu 18-7! Point win for Yamaguchi Ryota of Akaryuu, 2-2!”Bookmark here

Kat-kun trots back to us, sits down next to a still semi depressed Taiki and holds his towel in front of his face.
“Well seems like I´m still stronger.” Aka-kun says.
Kat-kun’s towel flies in his face. “Shut up, Nura!”
Ran-chan gives Kat-kun a water bottle. “Luck just wasn´t on your side today.”
I jump up. “She´s right! And I get to fight today too!”
“Good luck.” Kat-kun mumbles, trying hard to hold back tears. Taiki nods.
“I know you can do this.” Kei hugs me. “Good luck, Ta-chan.”
That surprised me, Kei usually isn´t that nice. I nod. “I´ll win this, don´t you worry!”Bookmark here

Daikami Izanami stands in front of me. “Honestly, I didn´t think your team would come this far. Seems like my team got weak, a shame really. Oh, but don´t worry, you can´t win against me, senpai. Though I would´ve liked to fight against the competent twin.” She smiles slyly.
I smile back. “What a shame, you can´t see competence, even when it´s right in front of your eyes. I would get them checked, if I were you.”
The referee stands ready. “Fight!”
I turn into a unicorn, Iza-chan into a phoenix, her feathers shine in all colors of the rainbow.
I make gems appear around my horn, she dodges all of them.
I ran towards her, trying to body slam her, she flies into the air.
I try to kick her with my hind legs, she evades it elegantly.
She turns back into her hybrid form. “See, you aren´t the competent one. I don´t even need my phoenix form, that would just be unfair.”
She runs towards me, one, two, and three kicks land on my body. She grabs my neck and slams me to the ground.
“Point gain Akaryuu 0-4!”
She similes slyly over me. “I´m gonna win this with a K.O.”
I jump up, now back in hybrid form. “Try.”
She grabs my arm and slams me back on the ground, but I lock my legs around her and manage a punch.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 1-5!”
“Pathetic!” She says.
“You´re quite talkative.” I answer her.
“Oh, get like that when I´m bored.”
She punches me in the face.
“Point gain Akaryuu 1-6!”
“If I were you I would concentrate!” I tell her.
“You´re behind on points, don´t try to lecture me.”
I punch her too.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 2-6!”
She stands in front of me. “I´ll end this now, ok. I´m so bored by you.” Iza-chan kicks away my leg, I fall.
“Point gain Akaryuu 2-7!”
I get up and want to run towards her but my right knee makes a ripping sound and gives in. I fall to the ground, trying again and again to get up but my knee gives in again and again.
I only hear “Instant win for Daikami Izanami of Akaryuu, 2-3! Akaryuu wins the second round of the interhigh and will participate in the semi-finals!”
Still unable to get up I just stay lying on the floor, tears welling up.Bookmark here

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