Chapter 30:

Nationals Part 6 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club


Today´s the quarterfinals against Aoshira, I´m excited but also a bit scarred. Aoshira´s strong, so if we lose at least our friend could have a shot at the finale, but wining would mean crushing their dream.
I shake my head. Yesterday we beat Midohebi and there was nothing to regret, we all fought with everything we had, so I´m going to do the same today.
Our cheering squad lost Dad, he´s back at work, but Chiko’s and Akito´s parents joined.
The two of them are swarmed by their parents; Chiko looks embarrassed while Akito seems to be happy.
Kenta´s mother also came today; she talks to him and Akaya-kun.
Nagisa-kun and Katsu-kun are promptly invited into the conversation. Then she turns to me and Takara, talking to Tanaka-san.
“I wish you two good luck too!”
We nod.
Nii-chan and Taku-san talk then he comes to us and hugs us.
“Good luck, I believe in you two.” He says. “I mean it; I never made it this far so you two should continue.” He smiles slightly.
Taku-san seems to be quite proud.
Yoshi jumps to us. “I´ll cheer really loudly!” Bookmark here

We meet the Midohebi team very quickly. They wish us luck but are also conflicted.
“Who should we cheer for? We´re friends with both of you.” Hiroaki says.”
“You aren´t angry at us?” I ask.
“For winning? A bit but it was fun. We’ll cheer for both teams so give it your all!” He answers.
They decide to visit Aoshira too and leave.Bookmark here

The three quarterfinals are held separately so we can watch the other two later.
The announcer does his usual thing; I barely listen, I´m trying to concentrate.Bookmark here

Then we line up bow and the referee says his thing:
“Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Fujima Taiki vs. Yagari Kita,
Fight 2: Hiroto Haruko vs. Kurosaki Midori,
Fight 3: Kozato Akito vs. Yamamoto Raidon,
Fight 4:Fujima Takara vs. Ichinose Jinpachi,
Fight 5: Mizuki Nanami vs. Haiba Beni.
First fighters get ready.”Bookmark here

Kita and I shake hands.
“Start!”
She turns into Pegasus form and jumps into the air.
I get ready for feathers to come flying towards me, but they don’t. Instead I get a hoof slammed in my chest.
“Point gain Aoshira 0-1!”
I lose breath for a second or two. She turns into hybrid form.
“Sorry Fujima, but I won´t make it easy for you.” She says while running towards me.
I create a wall of gems, she runs around and punches me in the kidney.
“Point gain Aoshira 0-2!”
I manage to turn despite the pain. Using my gem finger gun, with arrow gems, I manage to get a few points.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 7-2!”
We continue this back and forth until we reach 17-17, then it becomes even more of a back and forth, we only manage one point then the other get one and so forth, we´re at 20-20.
She´s back in Pegasus form and body slams me on the floor.
“Point gain Aoshira 20-21!”
I jump up, turn into unicorn form and run towards her, managing to cut her on the neck:
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 21-21!”
Kita turns around and kicks me with her hind legs.
“Point gain Aoshira 21-22!”
I shoot a wave of gems, she dodges them but that was my plan; I turn back into hybrid form and hide in the gems. I run up to her like that and with a gem covered fist punch her in the side twice.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 23-22!”
Kita notices me and tries to hit me back. I run backwards for distance and point my gem finger gun at her.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 24-22! Point win for Fujima Taiki of Kyoto-Nami, 1-0!”Bookmark here

Kita stares at me. “You tricked me!”
I laugh. “Well you didn’t fight like usual.”
“You would have won way faster if I did!”
I offer her my hand. “That was a good fight.”
She shakes it. “You´re lucky we´re friends.”
“I sure am.”Bookmark here

Back at the bench Haru-tan gets a prep talk form Manami-san. This is her first official match after all. I pat her on the back. “Have fun out there.”
She nods.Bookmark here

Midori and Haru-tan have a short conversation, Haru-tan giggles.
“Start!”
Midori´s brown hair turns pink and green, she´s a dryad, just like Haru-tan.
The fight boils down to the two using plants to catch and hit the other.
Haru-tan does try to get a few punches in but Midori catches her fist every time.
Haru-tan manages to slap Midori with a vine.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 16-16!”
Midori uses vines to hold Haru-tan´s feet in place, runs towards her an punches her in the stomach and side, deciding the fight.
“Point win for Kurosaki Midori of Aoshira, 1-1!”Bookmark here

They laugh and go back to their benches.
“Sorry.” Haru-tan says.
“You seemed to have had fun though.” I say.
She blushes. “I really tried.”
“I saw that, but having fun is also important, so don´t worry too much.” I pat her head.
Akito makes his way to the ring, our second years start cheering loudly.Bookmark here

Raidon stands there waiting for Akito to finally stand in front of him.
Akito seems a bit intimidated.
“Start!”
Raiju vs. Naga, an interesting matchup.
None of them let much time go by; they start attacking each other, both in full creature form.
Raidon coils his body around Akito and squeezes.
Akito´s face shows his pain, but he scratches at Raidon managing deep cuts.
Raidon doesn´t let go. Akito seems to take this as an invitation to try for a K.O. He bites into the snake body; Raidon lets out a scream of pain and uncoils his body. But it seems that was little too late.
Akito swings him and smashes Raidon on the floor multiple times, then let´s a lighting cover his body, making its way to Raidon, shocking him. Akito let´s go and Raidon lies on the floor.
The countdown starts and ends.
“Instant win for Kozato Akito of Kyoto-Nami, 2-1!”Bookmark here

Akito helps his opponent back to his bench again and comes back to us to get praised.
Takara gets her taping checked by Manami-san then gets up.
“Na-chan you might not fight today.” She says confidently.
Nami laughs. “Sure, don´t mind me.”Bookmark here

Jinpachi smiles when Takara joins him in the ring.
“Start!”
Takara turns into a unicorn, Jinpachi into a nixie.
They have a very intense back and forth.
Jinpachi using manly water sprays to keep Takara at a distance.
Takara shooting gems at him, while trying to close the distance.
They rack up the points fast, they´re at 27-27 when it seems they want to end the fight.
Takara, now in hybrid form, runs towards Jinpachi, hiding behind a wall of water, coating her fist with gems, she runs around the water wall and punches an unsuspecting Jinpachi in the side.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 28-27!”
Jinpachi immediately turns and shoots a spray of water in her face, making her fly a few meters.
“Point gain Aoshira 28-28!”
Takara runs towards him again, he tries to hide again but his water wall is pierced by gems. Jinpachi manages to not get hit but doesn´t see Takara she does a classic one-two punch, looking very familiar.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 30-28! Point win for Fujima Takara of Kyoto-Nami, 3-1!”
The referee turns to us and with a big smile announces. “Congratulations Kyoto-Nami, you are the first team to reach the semifinals!”Bookmark here

Takara collapses from relief, well her knee gives in. Jinpachi catches her and helps her limp back to us.
Kei and I jump up to take her.
“Seems like Takara-chan is stronger than me.” He says.
“You didn’t let her win, did you?” I ask him.
Jinpachi shakes his head. “I might like her but I wound never just let her win. I have some pride too you know.”
“That one-two was awesome!” Kenta says.
“Did you teach her that?” I ask.
He nods proudly.Bookmark here

After a quick visit at the doctors and a re-taping of Takara´s knee, we join our cheering squad.
Takara, Kei and I sit close to Tanaka-san and Nii-chan.
The first fight is Moneko vs. Kinkami. To absolutely no one’s surprise Kinkami wins with 0-3.
Yukihana and Saibāteku are next. Yukihana´s captain twirls and flips through the ring, apparently she was a gymnast before starting special fighting, there seem to be a few girls who had that career.
Yukihana wins.Bookmark here

The next day the fights to determine who will join the other teams in the semifinals are held. Of course we came to cheer for Aoshira.
Their fist fight is against Saibāteku, living up to their name, their coach sits on the bench with a laptop. Apparently they´re all for analyzing.
Aoshira manages to win the first two fights but loses the following three.Bookmark here

After a break Aoshira and Moneko fight, and Aoshira gets demolished by Moneko.
A fear of them not making it spreads in my body.Bookmark here

That fear comes true after the fight Moneko and Saibāteku have; Saibāteku is demolished, like Aoshira before them.
Moneko makes it very apparent that they would have made it to the semifinals easily if their quarterfinals fight wasn´t against Kinkami. Bookmark here

The four teams for the semifinals are clear and the matchups are announced: “In two days the semifinals will be held! First we have the Yukihana all girls’ high school vs. Kinkami Academy! The second one will be Moneko private high school vs. Kyoto-Nami high school!”Bookmark here

I stare at Takara. She seems to be thinking the same. Every fight we had so far was easy compared to what awaits us in two days.

Glitch
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