Chapter 31:

Nationals Part 7 (Takara)

Special Fighting Club

Our cheering squad now gained the whole Midohebi and Aoshira teams.
“You have to win, for us too!” Ki-chan says.
More parents have also joined; Haru-chan´s and Ran-chan´s have arrived today.
Jin-kun walks up to me, being pushed by Ki-chan.
“Kita-chan what are you…” He stops once he´s right in front of me, blushing violently.
“Are you ok?” I ask.
He nods and hands me something. “I wanted to give you that earlier but I didn´t find a good time.”
I looks at the little present; a four leaf clover in light blue resin.
I smile. “Thank you! Did you gather the clover?”
He nods. “Kita-chan put it in resin for me. But I found it.”
I hug him. “That´s really nice of you.”
“Ahem, am I interrupting something?” Taiki asks.
I run to him to show of the good luck charm I just received.
He nods and looks at Jin-kun. “That´s very thoughtful of you.” Bookmark here

We start getting ready for the match. The night before Manami-san showed us all videos he could gather about Moneko, they are intimidating.
The announcer starts: “Welcome to the semifinals of the national high school tournament in special fighting! Only four teams are left to fight for the crown! Our first semifinal will be determined between last years winners Kinkami Academy, representing Fukuoka!” The names of the members are listed, I don´t really listen. “And the Yukihana all-girls high school, representing Hokkaido!” Their names are also listed, again I don´t really listen.
The cheering on our side gets louder, Moneko is walking in.
“The second semifinal will be determined between last year’s second place Moneko private high school, representing Kumamoto! With Coach Gotō Daiki.” I remember that name, he´s a former pro of the Kumamoto red eagles. “Captain Kuno Tadashi, third year and the fighters Hasegawa Emi, second year; Takenaka Ami, third year; Mizusawa Manabu, second year; and Miyasato Sho, second year!” The team waves the crowd. The boys are dressed in a light gray pair of shorts with red top and pink undershirt. The girls wear a light gray skirt with pink yoga pants peeking out from underneath it and the same red top and prink undershirt combo. Their coach is dressed in a pair of long light gray pants a blue shirt with light gray C sticker and a pink sleeved red jacket.
“And the Kyoto-Nami high school representing Kyoto!” The announcer finishes by also naming us. Today our team consist of our best and most experienced fighters, meaning also two first years.Bookmark here

I take a deep breath.
We line up, now eye in eye with Moneko they seem even more intimidating like they see us as a waste of their time and nothing more.
The referee begins: “Best three of five! 18 Points to win! Announcing the fighting order:
Fight 1: Suzuki Katsu vs. Mizusawa Manabu,
Fight 2: Nura Akaya vs. Hasegawa Emi,
Fight 3: Kozato Akito vs. Kuno Tadashi,
Fight 4: Fujima Takara vs. Takenaka Ami,
Fight 5: Fujima Taiki vs. Miyasato Sho.
First fighters get ready.”Bookmark here

We gather in a circle. “Kyoto-Nami…” I begin.
“Fight!” The others answer.
We hear Moneko also saying something; I try not to listen to them or their cheering squad.
Kat-kun seems nervous. I pat him on the back.Bookmark here

His opponent is a tall young man with grayish white hair fraying like feathers and yellow eyes. Two little scars are visible on either leg. He looks very confident, even scoffing when Kat-kun stands in front of him.
“A first year really?” He says so loud everyone can hear.
The cheering squad starts laughing.
Mizusawa points a finger at Kat-kun. “You won´t stand a chance, better give up now.”
Kat-kun doesn´t say anything he just stares at Mizusawa.
Kat-kun turns into a phoenix and immediately flies into the air. He starts raining down fire balls and hot ashes.
Mizusawa quickly turns into a griffin. He tries dodging but gets hit a few times, apparently he´s surprised by that.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 8-0!”
Kat-kun dives, cutting Mizusawa with his talons.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 9-0!”
Mizusawa bites into Kat-kun’s talon, cutting him. His beak is really sharp, I think.
He slams Kat-kun on the floor.
“Point gain Moneko 9-2!”
But that wasn´t all, Mizusawa flies into the air just to dive and slam his body into Kat-kun.
“Point gain Moneko 9-3!”
Kat-kun tries to get up but Mizusawa does this slamming a few times.
“Point gain Moneko 9-7!”
He then bites into one of Kat-kun´s wings, again cutting him with his beak. Mizusawa throws Kat-kun into the air and jumps right after him, slamming him onto the floor like this.
“Point gain Moneko 9-8!”
Kat-kun finally manages to get away; he spits hot ashes into Mizusawa´s face.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-8!”
Kat-kun flies back into the air, again shooting ashes and fire.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 15-8!”
Mizusawa doesn´t seem that impressed. He flies to Kat-kun grabs his back with his lion paws and dives, letting go of Kat-kun so he slams back on the floor.
“Point gain Moneko 15-9!”
Kat-kun turns back into hybrid form. Mizusawa does it too, now towering over Kat-kun, smiling. He starts beating the first year. Kat-kun punches back.
They end at a 17-17 tie.
But they don´t seem to notice or care, they continue the beating until they´re at 20-20, then 30-30 until finally at 40-40 Mizusawa seems to have enough.
He turns into a griffin and slaps Kat-kun with a lions paw.
“Point gain Moneko 40-41!”
Kat-kun throws hot ashes at Mizusawa, to run for distance.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 41-41!”
Mizusawa charges at him, cutting Kat-kun with a talon.
“Point gain Moneko 41-42!”
Kat-kun manages to punch Mizusawa again, it´s become obvious that Kat-kun doesn´t have the strength to turn back into a phoenix.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 42-42!”
Mizusawa now seems to finally have enough of our first year. He turns back into hybrid form, grabs Kat-kun’s arm punches him in the elbow from below and throws him over his shoulder.
“Point gain Moneko 42-44! Point win for Mizusawa Manabu of Moneko, 0-1!”Bookmark here

Manami-san and Hisagi-sensei run to pick Kat-kun up, he´s unconscious.
Aka-kun seems a bit more terrified of his fight now. Without saying anything he makes his way to the ring.Bookmark here

Hasegawa is a lean girl with long blonde hair, tied up into a ponytail; her bangs cover one eye, the other shines in a mossy green. Her face is sprinkled with freckles, she wears flower earrings.
She smiles at Aka-kun, he smiles back shyly.
This fight ends way faster then anyone of us would have thought.
Aka-kun turns into his hellhound form and is immediately grabbed by a vine, Hasegawa is a dryad.
She slams him on the ground over and over again.
He manages to get away after Hasegawa gained some points off of him.
Aka-kun charges at her, but is held back by vines, this time with sharp thorns. Hasegawa walks up to him and starts punching him. At first I don´t see how the cuts in his face come to be but then I notice Hasegawa covering her fists in thorns.
She stops after a while; Aka-kun is badly beaten. She smiles a cute smile, the vines vanish, she catches Aka-kun and throws him over her shoulder.
The countdown goes over fast. “… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, K.O. Instant win for Hasegawa Emi form Moneko, 0-2!”Bookmark here

Again Manami-san and Hisagi-sensei carry the beaten first year out of the ring.
Aki-kun jumps up, he looks angry, no he´s furious. Bookmark here

Moneko´s captain Kuno awaits him. He´s tall has brown eyes, two beauty marks under the left. His hair is puffy and a light brown, almost beige. He wears a tiny necklace around his neck, with some sort of pendant. A fake smile on his lips finishes his look.
Aki-kun doesn´t hesitate; he charges at Kuno, a Manticore, and with a few fast strikes leaves cuts all over Kuno´s body.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-0!”
Kuno seems surprised at just how many points Aki-kun got and decides to take some of his own. With incredible speed, almost matching Aki-kun´s, and precision he shoots needles from his scorpion tail.
“Point gain Moneko 10-10!”
This turns into a constant back and forth, 20-20, 30-30, 40-40 and finally 45-45.
Both are breathing heavily. Aki-kun uses a speed I have never seen before, he slashes Kuno´s right shoulder.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 46-45!”
Kuno shakes his head needles flying all over the place; Aki-kun dodges them all but slows down while doing so giving Kuno a chance to slash him in the back and stab his right leg with the scorpion tail.
“Point gain Moneko 46-47!”
Aki-kun seems confident. His fur starts standing tall, lighting flickering around him. Aki-kun charges at Kuno, bites him in the shoulder and throws him on the floor. Before Kuno can even begin to struggle a lightning bolt hits him.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 49-47! Point win for Kozato Akito of Kyoto-Nami, 1-2!”Bookmark here

Moneko´s cheering squad goes silent, our cheering squad starts becoming louder.
Gotō-san on the bench seems to be surprised at this loss.
Aki-kun screams and gets hugged by the other second years.
As soon as they come back to the bench I also hug him.
“Good job! I´ll get the next one!” I say.Bookmark here

Before me stands a tall, slightly muscular girl. Brown blonde hair tied to a bun, heavily made up yellow eyes and tiny silver piercings in her ears. She wears the same fake smile as Kuno did.
Takenaka turns out to be a Nekomata, she charges at me the moment I turn into a unicorn. I feel claws hitting me in the shoulder and teeth sink in close to it.
“Point gain Moneko 0-2!”
I shake her off and kick her in the face.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 1-2!”
We have a short back and forth of bites and kicks, it´s 20-20.
I shoot gems at her, she continues to scratch me, the points go up to 30-30.
I turn into hybrid form, she does too. We start a brawl, 40-40.
Fists are flying, feet hit and even the occasional head butt happens, 45-45.
I coat my fist in gems and punch Takenaka in the stomach.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 46-45!”
Takenaka stumbles a bit, then charges at me, slamming one of her feet into my side.
“Point gain Moneko 46-46!”
I grab her shoulders, coat my good knee in gems and slam it into her stomach, then using my joined fists slam them in the back of her head.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 48-46! Point win for Fujima Takara of Kyoto-Nami, 2-2!” Bookmark here

Gotō-san and the other team members seem surprised again. I smile their fake smile at them.
I get hugged and high fived.
Kei smiles. “We could actually do this!”
Taiki gets up, cracking his knuckles. “Then I´ll end this.”Bookmark here

Miyasato is a meek boy with beige hair, yellow eyes, a tiny scar under the right eye. He doesn´t smile, no he looks tense.
Taiki turns into a unicorn immediately shooting sharp gems at his opponent.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 10-0!”
Miyasato turns into another Nekomata, he charges at Taiki, scratching and biting him wherever he can.
“Point gain Moneko 10-10!”
Taiki shakes him of, kicking Miyasato in the process.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 11-10!”
Miyasato comes back, scratching and biting.
“Point gain Moneko 11-17!”
Taiki shoots a few more gems and they quickly reached the 17-17 mark.
Like in the other matches it doesn´t end there. Their points go up to 40-40.
Taiki, now in hybrid form too exhausted to turn back into a unicorn, uses his gem finger gun.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 41-40!”
Miyasato, still in Nekomata form slashes Taiki’s cheek. Taiki manages to gain some distance again.
“Point gain Moneko 41-41!”
Taiki shoot another precise gem.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 42-41!”
Miyasato seems to start getting pissed off. He runs back to Taiki, this time biting him in the shoulder.
“Point gain Moneko 42-42!”
A paw hits Taiki in the face.
“Point gain Moneko 42-43!”
With the last of his strength Taiki punches Miyasato with a gem covered fist.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 43-43!”
Miyasato lets go of Taiki and takes a few steps back, allowing Taiki to use his gem finger gun.
“Point gain Kyoto-Nami 45-43! Point win for Fujima Taiki of Kyoto-Nami, 3-2!”Bookmark here

The announcer yells loudly. “Kyoto-Nami won! Congratulations you will fight in the finale!”Bookmark here

Our bench becomes a hugging, sobbing, cheering mess.
Kei runs up to Taiki and picks him up.
Our cheering squad yells loudly.
As soon as Kei puts Taiki down I run him over to hug him, tears in my eyes.Bookmark here

After a few minutes we have calmed down slightly. I look to the other match.
Kinkami beat Yukihana 3-0.
Haya-kun walks up to me, a big warm smile on his face.
“Taka-chan you won!” He hugs me. “I´m so excited for our finale!”
I nod. “We’ll l beat you.” I say confidently.
Haya-kun starts laughing. “No offence but you don´t stand a chance.”
He´s picked up by Haji-kun, wishing us good luck for the finale.Bookmark here

We meet our cheering squad outside.
The parents that are here hug their children, weather or not they fought today.
Our dad isn´t here today but Tanaka-san hugs me and Taiki, he´s crying. “I´m so proud of you!”
Nii-chan pats our heads, a smile on his face. “Good job!”
After everyone calmed down Midohebi and Aoshira join us, most of them tears in their eyes.
Jin-kun hugs me, then hugs Taiki.
Ki-chan runs Na-chan over with her violent hug.
We celebrate a little longer until the exhaustion really hits. Bookmark here

In the hotel Manami-san tell us to rest as much as possible, the finale is in two days, so we get one day to rest.
Just before I go to sleep my phone starts blinking, a message:
I heard that you and Taiki made it to the finale, congratulations! I´ll arrive in Tokyo tomorrow night, so I´ll be able to see you two. I´m really proud of you and I´m sure your father is too.
Love, Mom.
Bookmark here

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