Exiting the arena, the adrenaline left Jun and Kaida's bodies. They ached from all the tension built up during the game. The fatigue must have shone on their faces because Yun asked, "Are you both alright?"
"Oh yes, just tired," Jun answered honestly.
Tsuda pulled out the keys to the van. "You guys wait here while I go bring the car around." Tani followed Tsuda as he dashed to the vehicle.
Rei noticed a glum look on Kaida's face that emerged once Tsuda was out of sight. "That doesn't look like the face of a winner. Are you not happy with the results?"
"Sorry, Rei," Kaida said. "It's just that, something happened during the event that kind of has me a little uneasy."
"What is it? Can we help?" Kei jumped in.
Jun spoke next. "You guys didn't notice anything?" Everyone shook their heads. Jun glanced at Kaida before continuing. "Chiyo used her time magic again."
"What?" Yun said astonished. "Are you sure?"
Yun thought for a moment. "Tell us what happened, and don't leave out any details." Jun and Kaida took turns filling the others in on all the events that took place before their time jump including the whip used to startle Chiyo that pushed them back to fourth place, and the wheel that nearly lopped their heads off. Yun stayed silent until they had finished the story. "Honestly it sounds like if Chiyo hadn't used her magic, you two wouldn't be standing here right now."
"Yeah, you'd be planning our funeral," Jun remarked.
"The same thing happened back in the forest when Rei and I were about to be crushed by a tree," Yun continued. "But in that case, we all remember traveling through time. Therefore, I can deduce that it is only noticeable to those who Chiyo uses the magic on, which is why only the two of you can recall the incident. It also seems like she only uses her time magic in a life-threatening situation."
"I would agree with you on that," Kaida said. "We never really got into trouble during practices, so it made sense that Chiyo never used that magic then."
"So we found out why Chiyo uses her time magic, but that still doesn't explain how she learned it," Yui pointed out.
"Well," Yun began.
"Well, what Yun?" Kaida asked.
Before Yun could give a response, Tsuda pulled the car up near the group. "Never mind, it was nothing. We can discuss this more later. For now, you both need to relax."
Back at the hotel, the girls were all in the bath together, trying to enjoy the evening after the day's event and preparing for the day to come. Kaida had wrapped her hands covered with blisters from gripping the reins so tightly. She counted herself lucky compared to the soreness that Jun was in. After the game, all the competitors were required to have an exam with a provided physician. Jun was told that it was fortunate he had his helmet on or he could have suffered a significant concussion from the fall. Aside from some scrapes and bruises, he would be fine after a good night's rest.
Kaida sank deeper into the bath as she exhaled. "Today was exhausting."
"I'm not surprised with how intense your match was," Yui said. "Take it easy and get some rest tonight."
"You all need more rest than I do. I have a feeling that you, Rei, and Yun are going to have a tough game to play tomorrow."
"We'll beat them!" Rei exclaimed. "Then after we win tomorrow’s game and get the two games we need, it's off to the League!"
Yui held up her hands to block the water that Rei splashed. "Calm down. It won't be that easy. Sure we won the first round but the odds of us winning again are slim. I mean, about fifty schools are competing at this thing."
"Speaking of, I didn't see that typhon out there today," Kaida interrupted. "Does that mean it will be out there tomorrow?"
"Most likely, and that will be the hardest opponent to beat."
Rei stood up. "I say we all stop talking and go get some shut-eye. After all, we can't beat these guys when we're half asleep now can we?"
The other girls all laughed at Rei's remark before proceeding to leave that bath with her. That night, Kaida slept as soon as her head hit the pillow. She woke up refreshed, not having any memory of sleeping so well. Rei and Kei were already up and preparing for the day while Yui was just waking up.
The same process as the previous day happened. The competition started late in the morning. All the schools were lined up and filed into the arena just like before. This time the arena had its usual grassy floor. In the center of the stadium stood a long and tall wall of stones and rocks. As the team entered, Shoji began introducing the players to the event.
"Good morning everybody! I hope you all had a good night's sleep because we have a fun game for you! Please remember if you are not playing today's game, step over to the sidelines." Tsuda, Kaida, and Jun, along with their creatures, moved off to the side along with the competitors that competed in the chariot race.
Shoji looked around at those remaining on the field. "Woah! We sure have a lot of players today. I guess you all want to hear the details of the game, so without any more delay, you all will compete in rock climbing!"
"Oh no," Jun said hopelessly. "Of course, it had to be a physical challenge."
"Rei is the strongest of the three," Kaida commented. "Maybe she can handle doing it."
Shoji proceeded to explain the rules. "Before you stands the wall you will be climbing. Each team will send two people up while a third person and their creature stay down to hold the rope that will be supporting the two on top. We don't want anyone to fall one-hundred feet to their demise now, do we?"
"Great we're screwed now," Jun stated.
"The mythical creatures of the two players on the wall have two jobs. The first is to try and knock the other players off the wall. Second, if players fall, their mythical creature can help them back onto the wall. If the player is repelled down to the ground before they can readjust, then they are disqualified. The winner will be the first team to reach the top of the wall and hit the buzzer." He pointed to a small button located at the top of the giant wall. "Keep in mind, only one person from each team needs to touch the button to win."
"We have to climb up there?" Kei gulped. Her palms were already sweating.
"Oh and one more thing." As he spoke, Shoji pointed to small screens scattered throughout the wall. "Each team will have to follow a path to the top. Along the way, you will come across some screens that will have trivia questions. Answer correctly before continuing. If you answer incorrectly, then the rock handles you are holding onto will fall off the wall causing you to fall as well."
There was a murmur from the crowd which was overshadowed by one of the competitors shouting, "That's impossible! No one can climb such a wall."
Shoji shook his head. "Ah my friend, if you deem this impossible then you have already lost the game." His voice shifted to a more light-hearted tone when he spoke again. "Alright, each team will have ten minutes to decide who will climb and who will be supporting. After which, the two who are climbing will receive harnesses to wear. Go on back to your coach, time starts now!"