Chapter 34:


Fantasy Life

Gunfire continued to erupt throughout the arena. After some debate, Kaida and Jun agreed to venture near the cave to examine the damage. Kaida counted enough people to make up around twenty teams, all gathered around for a big shoot-out. Three more teams, one of them being Sapporo's, arrived to join the fray. In the cluster of people, Kaida had counted about eight people who had not been shot yet. All of the others were running off the field, followed by their mythical creature.

Jun requested that they leave while they were still undetected to look for other teams. It was a peaceful walk until they heard a gunshot from a clearing nearby. It was the Naha team versus the Tokyo team. Kaida could see a bright blue splotch on one of the boys from Naha. The one who shot him was a girl who Kaida had not seen before. All five of the Tokyo players were together but Kaida only saw four mythical creatures: a Cerberus, a weretiger, a werewolf, and a ghoul. All together made for one nightmare of a team.

Kaida and Jun listened as the girl from the Tokyo team spoke to the Naha team. "I suggest you all call it quits right now. We were generous enough to let you win the last game, but you almost blew it. Just like Sapporo did with the first game. And I was so hoping our three teams would face off against each other in a tie-breaking round."

"We're sorry miss Nobuko," a girl said. Kaida recognized her as Mori. "We'll leave immediately."

"Oh, Mori. I'm glad one person in Naha has a head on her shoulders. I think you could still be of use to us."

One of the other girls from the Tokyo team jumped up with enthusiasm. She had a petite figure but wore a cheerful smile on her face. Kaida thought she bore a striking resemblance to Kei. "Oh! What are you going to have them do Kaguya- chan?"

"Oh Koto, didn't I tell you to stop calling me that?" Kaguya turned her attention to Mori. "Since four of you are still in the game, I want you to track down that newbie team from Ashikaga for us. They made the Sapporo team look like a bunch of amateurs and they had you guys looking like a bunch of idiots. They won't make a fool of my team. Am I clear?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Good. Now go and report back when you've found something."

Kaida turned to Jun. "We have to tell the others."

"We can't lose them though."

"I'll stay with Asa. You and Dallas hurry back and alert them of what we just saw."

"Will you be ok by yourself?"

"I think so. I can sense that Yami is close by so hopefully we'll meet up with him soon."

"Alright, be careful." Jun got on Dallas's back and rode to the hill.

Outside the arena, Tsuda and Tani made their way to a building where they met with Ibuka and a few others to look over the gear used in the rock climbing game. Ibuka saw his friend walk in and said, "Glad you made it. Sorry to pull you away from your team."

"Not to worry. I've got a very capable manager looking out for them." Shifting topics, Tsuda asked, "Have we found anything yet to indicate foul play?"

"As a matter of fact," Ibuka had one of the staff hand him a piece of the rope that Kei was using to climb. "The rope did snap when it got caught on the rock but look at where it broke."

"It's a straight line."

"Yes, someone cut this rope. Slightly so that no one would notice, but enough to where it would break under pressure." He turned to grab a harness. "This was also tampered with. A girl came to say that the tightening clasps kept coming loose so she didn't feel safe climbing in it, causing her to forfeit the game."

"This is crazy!" Tani commented. "Who would do this?"

"We're running DNA tests now and matching them to every competitor. Due to the number of participants, it is taking a while."

A staff ran over and shouted, "Mr. Akio sir, we have a match!"

Ibuka turned immediately and asked, "Who is it?"

"I think it's better if I show you, sir," the man said. He directed them to a computer where the results were pulled up on the screen.

"What a shame that they would stoop to this," Ibuka grumbled. "You sure it's him."

"Yes sir."

"Tsuda, I am going to file a report to my fellow Board Directors. May I send you and Tani on a mission for me?"

"What can we do, Ibuka?"

"I want you two to go and confront this man's coach with this evidence and have him pull his team out immediately."

"We're on it." Another employee handed Tsuda a package with the documents. With the evidence in hand, Tsuda began his drive back to the arena.