Chapter 20:

Summer High Part 3 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club

The third day of the summer high starts with an overexcited Yoshi jumping around us, today with his grandparents.
Chiko´s mother smiles faintly. “If you win this you´ll be in the semi finale, right?”
He nods. “Thank god I don´t have to fight.”
Ran-tan walks to Takara. “Fujima-san I promise I´ll be a good substitute for you.”
Takara smiles. “Thanks, Ran-chan. I´ll cheer extra loud for you.”
Chiko´s parents also wish us good luck.
While walking inside Dai-nii-sama sneaks in with us. He looks at Takara, who seems happy about him being here again. They walk up the stairs to the stand. Takara quickly turns around and gives me a hug. “Good luck!”

The Umamaki Team seems oddly hyper. All members are talking to each other loudly. When they see us they wave at us.
I take a deep breath; just do this like the last two times, a quick three win victory.
We gather. A girl with a black undercut and green streaks offers me a hand, she´s probably the captain.
“To a good match!” She says.
I nod. “To a good match.”
The referee stands between us and begins his usual speech:
“Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Ohtaka Tomio vs. Fujima Taiki,
Fight 2: Kodama Mami vs. Suou Ran,
Fight 3: Tsukuda Aya vs. Kozato Akito,
Fight 4: Matsui Nakaba vs. Suzuki Katsu,
Fight 5: Ishida Yuuki vs. Nura Akaya.
First fighters get ready.”

The Umamaki coach seems like the only one who´s nervous. She tells a member something but I don´t hear what, maybe just some prep talk.
Manami-san comes to me. “Taiki you can do this. Just think about the semi finale being this close.”
I nod. “If we win Takara will be fighting in the semi finale and finale, right?”
“Yeah, that was the deal.” Manami-san answers.
“Good.” I make my way to the ring, just like the boy Umamaki´s coach was talking to.
He smiles at me. “I hope I even stand a chance.” He laughs nervously.
“Good luck.” I tell him.
He nods.

He turns into a black Pegasus with what seems like raven wings, then runs towards me, in unicorn form, and with his hind legs kicks me in the face. He quickly turns around and a wave of black feathers comes flying towards me.
“Point gain Umamaki 8-0!”
I use my horn to shoot gems back at him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-8!”
He goes into hybrid form and tries punching, a few actually hit their target; me.
“Point gain Umamaki 13-8!”
I also turn back into hybrid form and punch back, with gem coated fists of course.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 13-14!”
He jumps away from me, turns into a Pegasus and jumps into the air. From there he shoots more feathers. Oh shit, I think for a second, then get a grip. I try dodging as many feathers as possible.
“Point gain Umamaki 17-14!”
I shoot gems at him hoping to hit him at least a few times.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 17-17!”
Ohtaka dives down towards me, his hooves ready to hit me.
“Point gain Umamaki 18-17!”
I punch him right after he lands.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-18!”
He punches me.
“Point gain Umamaki 19-18!”
And I punch back.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 19-19!”
This goes until the count it at 27-27.
Exhausted we both are breathing heavily. I manage to lift my, now bleeding, arm and ready my gem finger gun.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 27-29! Point win for Fujima Taiki of Kyoto-Nami, 0-1!”

I hear the announcement and lose all strength in my legs. Ohtaka catches me and helps me to my bench.
“That was a fun fight!” He tells me.
I nod. “You were pretty good.”
He smiles faintly. “Thanks.” He says and makes his way to his own bench, here he falls into his coaches arms.
“Good job, Taiki.” Manami-san tells me.
I hold my arm. It hurts pretty badly. Manami-san tends to my wounds quickly.
Ran-tan gets up nervously. She takes a deep breath and her expression goes from scarred to focused.
“I´m off.” She says confidently.

Ran-tan´s opponent turns into a hippocampi; a white horse with a red and pink tail.
Ran-tan also turns into her orange, white and black clownfish hippocampi form.
Kodama shoots water bubbles, Ran-tan gets hit while charging at Kodama.
“Point again Umamaki 6-0!”
Ran-tan jumps and with a beautiful pirouette she slaps Kodama with her fish tail.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 6-1!”
Ran-tan makes water appear around herself, streams shoot towards Kodama, hitting her all over her body.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 6-7!”
Kodama runs for distance, now in hybrid form. She shoots more bubbles.
“Point gain Umamaki 12-7!”
Kodama runs toward Ran-tan, more bubbles shooting towards the latter.
“Point gain Umamaki 16-7!”
Kodama balls her hand to a fist ready to hit Ran-tan but is hit by a wave of water instead.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 16-8!”
Ran-tan shoots more streams of water towards her opponent, who get hit several times.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 16-14!”
Suddenly Ran-tan emerges out of the wall of water she had been hiding in. Her tail hits Kodama in the face. Ran-tan turns slamming her tail into Kodama´s body; then quickly turns into hybrid form, grabs Kodama by the collar and head-butts her.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 16-17!”
Kodama tries to get up hut one water bubble hits her arm.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 16-18! Point win for Suou Ran of Kyoto-Nami, 0-2!”

Ran-tan helps Kodama up, they giggle and Kodama tells Ran-tan something, I´m guessing she´s congratulating our first year.
I hear a loud “Hell yeah!” from the stands, Takara is cheering her heart out.
Ran-tan comes back to us. “I think that wasn’t too bad.”
“Are you kidding? That was awesome!” I hug her.
She´s gleaming with joy.
The others also come to congratulate her.
Akito gets up, cracking his knuckles. “I´ve got this, one more win and the semifinals ours, right?”
I nod. “You´ll try for another K.O.?” I ask, knowing the answer.
He turns to me. “Of course, what better way to get to the semifinals than with a decisive K.O.?”

Akito´s opponent turns out to be the captain who greeted me. Before she turns into black and green unicorn I see a little almost faded scar on her right knee.
She gives Akito some trouble; hitting him with gems over and over again.
Akito turns into his Raiju form and charges at her. He bites into her leg, digging his teeth really deep and throws her over his shoulder. She´s slammed on the floor. Tsukuda tries to get up but her leg gives in.
“15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10…” The referee starts.
Tsukuda tries to get up again but fails, the count continues.
“…9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. K.O., instant win for Kozato Akito of Kyoto-Nami, 0-3!” The referee turns to our bench. “Congratulations to Kyoto-Nami for reaching the semi finale of the summer high!”

After reaching our bench Akito and the rest of the team become a hugging mess. Some have tears of joy in their eyes.

Takara runs towards us and hugs Akito so violently she slams him onto the floor. “You are the best!”
She also hugs Ran-tan. “Good job.”
I also receive a hug. Then Takara turns to everyone. “The next two fights won´t be as easy. Next is Inutoru, they want to win just as badly as us.”
Manami-san nods in agreement. “Gets some rest, especially tomorrows fighters, you are dismissed!”

Dai-nii-sama drives us again. Kei turns to Takara and me. “I´ll cheer for you tomorrow.”
“Does that mean you haven´t been cheering for us so far?” I ask.
“No I did, but from tomorrow on I promise people will actually hear me cheer.” He says.
Takara, in the passenger’s seat turns to our brother. “You cheered pretty loudly today too. Will you come tomorrow and watch?”
Dai-nii-sama seems startled; I only see his ears turning bright red. “I guess, I´ll come tomorrow. I mean just because it´s the semi finale.”
“Tsundere.” Kei mumbles.
I giggle. “But at least he´s watching.”
Kei nods. “It´s almost as if he can´t resist Ta-chan.”
We start laughing. “I mean who can?” I say, taking another look at our older brothers red ears.
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