Chapter 27:

Nationals Part 3 (Takara)

Special Fighting Club

We watch Midohebi´s match against Kitora, the representatives of Tochigi. Taiki and I are enamored with their yellow and orange striped jerseys.
Midohebi struggles a bit against the aggressive team but manages to win the fifth fight and with that the match.
We want to greet them but our fight starts soon, only three fights of the first round are left and we haven´t eaten anything yet.
On our way our cheering squad encourages us. We bump into a young woman.
“Sachiko-nee-chan?” Kat-kun asks. He helps her with the wheelchair.
“Sorry the train ride took longer than expected.” She says.
Yoshi jumps up and sits next to her. “I´m Tousen Yoshi!” He introduces himself.
Sachi-chan giggles and also introduces herself. She wishes us luck and gives each of us a granola bar. Aki-kun looks a bit embarrassed.

After a short meal, we make our way to the ring. Everyone´s nervous. I smile.
“Don´t worry, we´ll make it! We have a promise to fulfil and Midohebi is also giving it their all.” I say.
We say our Kyoto-Nami fight call and everyone seems to have calmed down a bit.

“Welcome everyone to the second round of the D Block of the national high school tournament in special fighting! Can you believe that the day started with 16 teams and now just hours later we´re down to only eight? Our first match of the second round will be fought between the Kyoto-Nami high school representing Kyoto!” The announcer yells. The names of our fighters are listed like they were in the first round.
“And the Akasamemaki High school representing Kōchi! With Coach Takahashi Fukita; captain Yamashita Shoji, second year; and fighters Yamadera Rina, third year; Kobayashi Naomi, second year; Yamamoto Takahiro, third year and Akasaki Yuri, second year! A big applause for all fighters and may the better team win!” The announcer continues.

Akasamemaki wears a light gray pair of shorts and a top with dark gray and red stripes.
Our fighter bow.
The referee starts. “Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Suzuki Katsu vs. Yamamoto Takahiro,
Fight 2: Fujima Taiki vs. Yamadera Rina,
Fight 3: Kozato Akito vs. Kobayashi Naomi,
Fight 4: Kyousuke Kenta vs. Akasaki Yuri,
Fight 5: Tousen Chiko vs. Yamashita Shoji.
First fighters get ready.”

Aka-kun and Nagi-kun are encouraging Kat-kun.
“You won´t lose again!” Aka-kun says.
“You sister is watching don´t you want to show off in front of her?” I ask.
Kat-kun nods and makes his way to the ring.

His opponent is a red haired boy with big green eyes and a scar on his right eyelid. On his right ear an earring sparkles golden. I discover two more scars: On the left side of his neck and his right knee. He wears a beaded band on his left biceps.
He looks confident.
Yamamoto turns into a red jaguar, green lightning buzzing around his body.
Kat-kun stays in hybrid form.
Yamamoto starts running and hits Kat-kun multiple times.
“Point gain Akasamemaki 0-8!”
Kat-kun throws fire balls at Yamamoto.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-8!”
They hit each other over and over until they´re at a tie; 17-17.
Kat-kun ends the fight fast with a technique I´ve never seen him use: He throws burning ashes in Yamamoto´s face and while the Raiju is blinded Kat-kun goes in for a punch.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 19-17! Point win for Suzuki Katsu of Kyoto-Nami, 1-0!”

Kat-kun comes back to the bench with a big smile.
“You did it!” Aka-kun hugs him.
Taiki gets up and with a smile makes his way to the ring.

Yamadera is a blonde girl with almost golden eyes. She moves very elegantly as she offers Taiki a hand.
Her elegance shines through in her transformation; she´s a Ho-Oh, big golden wings and a long tail shining in all sorts of colors.
Taiki goes into unicorn form.
They´re fight starts with an exchange of gems, now formed like tiny balls or bullets, and golden fire balls.
The points go up quickly until they reach 20-20.
Yamadera uses light to blind Taiki and scratches him with her talons.
“Point gain Akasamemaki 20-21!”
Taiki quickly turns into hybrid form and using his gem finger gun shoots arrow shaped gems at her, unfortunately she dodges most of them.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 21-21!”
This goes on for a while; one does an attack but only manages one point until the other attacks.
They´re at 27-27 when both not only seem exhausted but also annoyed.
A fire ball hits Taiki.
“Point gain Akasamemaki 27-28!”
Yamadera tries to hit Taiki with one of her talons but he catches her foot and slams her on the floor. Before she can react two bullets shaped gems hits her in the shoulder.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 30-28! Point win for Fujima Taiki of Kyoto-Nami, 2-0!”

The Akasamemaki bench does not look all too happy, no they look desperate. A blonde boy and a white haired girl with pigtails seem to be encouraging the next fighter; a girl with puffy gray hair kept together by a red bow, on her neck a golden choker gleams. He big blue puppy eyes are filled with tension.

Taiki seems pleased with himself. I stare at him.
“You can change your gems forms pretty well.” I say.
“Well I did practice a lot.” He answers.
Kei gives him a water bottle. “Come on Kozato-kun, win us this round.”
Aki-kun nods. “Sure.”

The girl, Kobayashi looks nervously at Aki-kun.
He smiles at her, she smiles a shy smile back.
Kobayashi turns into a grey Pumi, with blue flames surrounding her, Aki-kun´s tiger Raiju form towering over her.
She tries to bite and scratch him a few times but it´s a quick fight.
Aki-kun with incredible speed hits her from every direction, without her really noticing where he´s coming from.
She looks around nervously, probably trying to find Aki-kun and dodging him. That doesn´t happen though, Aki-kun speeds through the ring and with him lightning. One hit with his lighting covered paw is enough to force Kobayashi to her knees.
“15, 14, 13, 12, 11…” The referee starts the countdown and ends it.
“Instant win for Kozato Akito of Kyoto-Nami, 3-0! Congratulation on winning the second round and making it to the third!”

We become a cheering mess. Aki-kun is hugged by the whole team.

On our way out Midohebi meets us. They won too, now it´s just one round that separates our fight. The Block semi finales will be Kyoto-Nami vs. Ōkamiki and Midohebi vs. Makuma. If both of our teams win the Block finale it will be Midohebi and our promised fight.
Our cheering squad also comes to congratulate us.

Now we have two days to rest, the E and F Blocks have their first two rounds tomorrow the next day are the third round of the A, B and C Blocks, then the following day the third round of or D Block and of the E and F Blocks.

In the hotel most of us are way too exhausted to do anything, our fighters fall asleep right after dinner. The rest of us takes a bath and lies down too.
Taiki and Kei hold my hands again.
In two days, the Block semi finale, I´ll finally be fighting.

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