Chapter 26:

Nationals Part 2 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club

First day of us fighting; it´s very obvious that most of us didn’t sleep all too much.
I look at Takara, she´s putting on a black choker.
“Where did you get that from?” I ask.
“Oh Inutoru’s captain gave it to me and I thought I could bring it to the nationals with me.” She says smiling.
We make our way to the gym and are immediately greeted by a hyperactive Yoshi declaring that he´s made it to Tokyo.
Chiko´s brother appears behind his son. “I took some time off, almost all of my vacation days. So make it be worth it.”
Chiko hides his face in his hands. “Why?”
Yoshi jumps around. “I even brought the banner with me!” He points at the roll in Chiko´s brother´s hands.
Another person, Dai-nii-sama comes to us. “I got this flag from some weird kid.” He says. “That´s the weird kid.” He points at Yoshi.
Yoshi starts gushing about Dai-nii-sama being a pro.
“Why are you wearing that?” I ask him.
Dai-nii-sama is wearing a face mask, a pair of shades and a baseball cap. “Isn´t it obvious? So nobody sees who I am and they won´t annoy me.”
“Oh my god! Is that Fujima Daichi?” A girl walking past us asks her friend.
“I think, but how´d you see it?” The friend asks.
“Those are his siblings.” The two girls giggle and are out of sight.
Dai-nii-sama takes his disguise off. “Well that didn´t work.”
“Taku-nii it´s very nice to have you here.” Akito goes up to Chiko´s brother, Chiko right behind him.
“No Koto don´t encourage him!” Chiko complains.
“Taiki-sama, Takara-sama good luck.” An older man says to us.
Takara and I look at each other confused, even Dai-nii-sama seems perplexed.
“It´s me Tanaka, your butler.” The man says.
“I´m sorry I didn´t recognize you in casual clothing.” Takara says.
I nod.
“Don´t worry.” Tanaka-san begins to cry. “I´m so proud to see the two of you standing here. You already did so well.”
Dai-nii-sama walks up to us. “G-good luck, I´m sure you two won´t suck.” He says.
Taku-san puts an arm around him. “Don´t worry I´m going to continue my lessons to becoming a better brother.”
“I don´t need to learn that.” Dai-nii-sama complains.
“Oh you do.” Taku-san says.
Tanaka-san pulls out a camera. “The other servants couldn´t come so I´m going to record everything.”
“What a coincidence, I´m recording too!” Taku-san says, camera in hand.
Dai-nii-sama also pulls out a camera. “Father asked me to record it.”
Taku-san stares at the camera. “That´s a very expensive model.”
“Really? I just bought the first one that looked good.” Dai-nii-sama says.
“I don´t talk to rich people.” Taku-san says sulkily.
“Does that mean no lessons?” Dai-nii-sama asks.
“Oh no we´re still having those.” Taku-san smiles.
Manami-san tells us to get ready so we say goodbye and make our way to the ring.
On our way the Aoshira team wishes us luck from the stands; Midohebi probably is getting ready for their fight already.

“Welcome everyone to the second day of the national high school tournament in special fighting! Today the first and second round of Blocks C and D will be held. This first round of the D Block will be fought between the Kyoto-Nami high school representing Kyoto!” An announcer yells. The names of our fighters are listed like they were in the summer high finals.
“And the Kuroihakauchō Academy representing Shizuoka! With Coach Ogura Katzuhiko; captain Kakihara Koko, second year; and fighters Asumi Aimi, third year; Uesaka Iori, second year; Ono Hana, first year and Shimazaki Junichi, second year! A big applause for all fighters and may the better team win!” The announcer continues.

We line up. The Kuroihakauchō team; I´ll just call them Kuroi from now on, are dressed in a black pair of shorts with yellow stripes on either side and a black top with one yellow stripe in the middle with the word Kuroi and their number.
“Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Inoue Leiko vs. Shimazaki Junichi,
Fight 2: Suzuki Katsu vs. Uesaka Iori,
Fight 3: Kozato Akito vs. Asumi Aimi,
Fight 4: Nura Akaya vs. Kakihara Koko,
Fight 5: Fujima Taiki vs. Ono Hana.
First fighters get ready.” The referee announces.

Leiko gets up from the bench and smiles. “Wish me luck.”
“Good luck!” We tell her.

Her opponent is a tall boy with black undercut. His blue eyes look almost fake especially because his eyelashes are really long. He wears a black choker with golden heart around his neck.
It goes fast; Shimazaki turns into a black Pegasus. He runs to the edge of the ring and fires feathers.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 0-7!”
Leiko goes into Naga form, making her way to Shimazaki.
He uses his feathers to create a wall and obscures Leiko´s sight.
She´s hit by a hoof, which just shot out of the feather wall.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 0-8!”
Leiko manages to doge another hoof, swiftly uses her snake body to coil around Shimazaki´s horse body and squeezes. He lets out a squeak of pain.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 1-8!”
Then she uses the blood from the wound she sustained because of the feathers to make needles; sharp and very pointy.
The needles hit Shimazaki all over his body.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-8!”
He immediately turns into his hybrid form. Leiko´s snake body loosens its grip around him. Shimazaki starts running away. Leiko grabs him again. More blood needles hit him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 15-8!”
He bites into Leiko´s tail, she lets go. Shimazaki now runs up to her, throwing feathers in her face. He jumps through them and punches her in the face.
“Pont gain Kuroihakauchō 15-10!”
He tries for another punch, Leiko doges and with a pissed off face rams three big blood needles in his body.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-9! Point win for Inoue Leiko of Kyoto-Nami, 1-0!”

Leiko makes her way back to us.
Nagisa-kun hands her a water bottle.
“Thanks.” She sits down. “So Date how´d you like your fist fight watching from the bench?”
He smiles. “You were great!”
Katsu-kun gets up. “Akaya, Date I´m off.”
I look at them. “When did you become friends?”
“During summer camp.” Nagisa-kun says.
“You go Katsu!” Akaya-kun screams.
Takara gets up and puts her hands on Katsu-kun´s shoulders.
“Don´t worry too much about winning, have fun, ok?” She tells him.
He nods.

Katsu-kun´s opponent is a boy with chin length black and brown hair, tied up into a ponytail. He has big eyes one blue the other brown, his ears are covered in golden piercings and around his neck is the same choker as Shimazaki wore.
He smiles at Katsu-kun.
Katsu-kun turns into phoenix form, he shoots fire balls from the air.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-0!”
He seems so confident that he doesn´t see the flaming German shepherd jump into the air.
Uesaka bites Katsu-kun in one of his wings, forcing him to land.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 8-1!”
They have an exchange of blows, both in hybrid form.
The points go up to 17-17.
It becomes apparent that both fighters are desperately trying to get the final two points.
Katsu-kun hits Uesaka with a fire ball.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-17!”
Uesaka claws at Katsu-kun.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 18-18!”
This back and forth goes until they reach 22-22.
From Kuroihakauchō´s bench a loud “Iori you can do this!” is yelled; it´s Shimazaki.
Uesaka smiles and mouths “Sorry” to Katsu-kun, he punches Katsu-kun in the stomach and claws at his shoulder.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 22-24! Point win for Uesaka Iori from Kuroihakauchō, 1-1!”

Uesaka runs into Shimazaki’s arms.
Katsu-kun slumps back to us.
Akaya-kun and Nagisa-kun hug him.
Takara and I run to him. “Don´t worry. You did well.”
Katsu-kun sits down next to Leiko. “Sorry.” He mumbles.
Leiko pats his head. “It´s not your fault he wanted to impress his boyfriend.”
Akito also pats Katsu-kun´s head. “I´ll win, so watch me.”

Akito´s opponent, a tall dark skinned girl with white hair and piercing yellow eyes waves at him. She has a scar over her left eye and the right side of her mouth. She points at Akito´s scar over his nose and smiles.
Asumi and Akito turn into a Griffin and a Raiju respectively.
They have a fast exchange of blows. They run, doge and punch each other through the whole ring.
Feathers and lightning fill the room.
I occasionally manage to actually see what´s happening.
Akito claws at Asumi.
Asumi using her beak to peck at Akito.
Akito´s lightning hitting Asumi.
Asumi´s talons grab Akito and throw him to the ground.
I don´t even listen to the points being announced, they change so fast anyway.
Then Akito bites Asumi in the back, throws the griffin on the floor, a lightning bolt hitting her.
The referee begins the countdown. “… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Instant in for Kozato Akito of Kyoto-Nami, 2-1!”

He comes back to us, high fives Chiko and claims a pat on the head from an overjoyed Takara.
Akaya-kun, still sitting close to Katsu-kun gets up.
He doesn´t say much just a “Taiki-senpai I´m sorry but you won´t get a chance to fight them.”

The captain, a girl with messy brown hair that almost look like feathers and blue eyes waits for him. She wears a bandana on her head, a knee high sock on her left leg and a longer pant leg on her right leg, all in yellow.
She offers Akaya-kun a hand which he shakes.
Kakihara turns out to be a siren, she stays in hybrid form.
Akaya-kun turns into his hellhound form and runs towards Kakihara, biting her in the arm and throwing her over his shoulder.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 2-0!”
Kakihara, still on the floor locks her legs around Akaya-kun´s neck and swings her body on his back. She punches him and uses feathers to cut him.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 2-6!”
Akaya-kun throws her off of his back and bites into her leg. He uses his claws to scratch her a few times.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 6-6!”
Kakihara lets out a blood curdling scream, Akaya-kun sinks to his knees and changes back into hybrid form.
“Point gain Kuroihakauchō 6-7!” The referee yells, seemingly also slightly affected by Kakihara´s scream.
Akaya-kun gets up. He shakes his head and slaps himself to regain composure.
Kakihara smiles and opens her mouth, presumably to let out another scream.
Akaya-kun punches her in the face before she can do anything. On the floor he punches her several times more.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 11-7!”
Kakihara pushes him from her. Tries to attack him but is hit with fire balls so often she doesn´t realize that the points are going up.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 18-7! Point win for Nura Akaya of Kyoto-Nami, 3-1! Congratulations to Kyoto-Nami for reaching the second round!”

Akaya-kun is run over by Katsu-kun, Nagisa-kun and Takara.
We hear our cheering squad yelling loudly.
Kei hugs me with tears in his eyes.
Leiko, Nami and Ren are hugging.
Manami-san and Hisagi-sensei high five.

After we all calmed down a bit we decide to sit in the audience until the other fights are over and to watch Midohebi fight.
Dai-nii-sama sits down next to us, to escape Taku-san´s brother lessons, he says.
He starts talking about the fight and I even compliments our fighters, especially Akito.
The second match is over and we finally see who we´re up against next: Akasamemaki.

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