Chapter 38:

More Than A Team

Fantasy Life

Yun sat atop the tree, looking out into the distance. Over the forest he could see the typhon, Tatum, flying in his direction. Alba flapped her wings vigorously as though to warn Yun of the danger posed by such a creature. Below, Kaida emerged followed by Kaguya holding a gun. Quietly, Yun hid amongst the leaves of the tree and watched things play out.

Kaida ran behind one of the stick shields on top of the hill and started firing at Kaguya, who dodged them with ease. "That's your plan? Hiding like a coward instead of facing me head on?"

"Shut it!" Kaida fired again using the second gun she had. Holding the two guns in both her hands, she made a run for the next shield up the hill before Kaguya could get closer.

"It's no use." Kaguya placed two fingers into her mouth and whistled loudly. Tatum landed just behind Kaguya and bent forward to hear her next command. "Bring that girl here immediately."

Tatum nodded and slithered his way up the hill while using his snakes to extend out and reach for Kaida. As one snake was about to take hold, Alba came swooping down and clawed at the snake. Tatum pulled the snake back and it transformed back into a fingernail. Kaida looked up at Alba, realizing Yun must be close by.

"So you've got someone else here with you huh?" Kaguya shrugged. "No matter. Tatum will collect all of you and bring you to me. Say, where is that unicorn of yours? The one in the chariot race."

From behind the shield, Kaida answered, "She is taking a well-deserved rest."

"What?" Kaguya laughed. "Approaching me without a mythical creature? How stupid are you? Not that it would help you any. No creature could defeat my typhon!"

Kaida looked to the sky and smiled before glancing back at Kaguya. "I wouldn't bet on that if I were you." Just as Kaguya had done, Kaida lifted two fingers to her mouth and whistled.

A confused Kaguya looked up to see a black figure coming down on Tatum. Yami came speeding towards the creature and clasped his claws around Tatum's wings, pinning him to the ground. All of Tatum's snakes were attempting to bite Yami but having trouble penetrating his scales. "Where did that dragon come from?" Kaguya shouted.

"That dragon is my mythical creature and friend, Yami," Kaida said proudly.

"But you used a unicorn in the first game! Ugh! It doesn't matter so long as I can take you down. With your skill, you must be the boss of your team."


"You mean you're not? Every team needs a strong leader to take charge."

"You're teammates aren't subordinates."

"Those chumps wouldn't be anything without me! That goes for the Naha and stupid Sapporo team too!"

Kaida clenched her fists. "If that's the case then you have my pity."

"What makes you think I need pity?" There was a rustle from behind Kaguya, she turned to see Jun, Rei, and Kei all emerge from the forest with their guns aimed at Kaguya. "But you're all supposed to be covered with paint!"

"Miss Kaguya Nobuko was it?" Kaida began. "Teammates are neither people you partner up with nor are they people to boss around because you're stronger." Kaida emerged from the shield with her guns lowered. "My teammates are my friends!"

"Well let's see what your 'friends' think of this!" Before Kaguya could pull the trigger, a bang sounded from behind Kaida, and Kaguya fell back, rolling down the hill. Kaida turned back to see who had shot. "Yun!" He was standing at the foot of the tree.

"Sorry, I would have helped sooner, but I couldn't get a good shot from the tree top."

As Kaguya reached the bottom of the hill, a whistle blew and Shoji's voice emerged over the stadium speakers. "We have a winner, folks! All remaining participants please leave the stadium at once!"

Kaguya shook as she sat up. "I... lost?"

Kaida and the others all cheered happily as they exited the forest. Kaguya followed close behind in shame. As the group emerged from the greenery, the crowd erupted with applause for the winners. Kaida saw Yui jumping up and down next to Oden and Chiyo, waving at them. She ran out to greet the team with tears in her eyes.

"I'm so proud of you!" Yui jumped on Kaida who tumbled into Kei and Rei. The twins laughed as they saw the girls dog-piled on the floor.

"We did it Yui! Did you see us?" Rei exclaimed as she stood up.

"I couldn't take my eyes away."

Tsuda approached the group, followed by Tani. "I just saw the win. Congratulations everyone." There was a red welt on his left cheek.

"Sensei, what happened?" Yun asked. "You look worse than we do."

"Oh, just a little bickering between men is all."

Yun laughed, "Hold on. Alba, would you mind?" Alba, who was resting on Yun's shoulder, took off and flew in circles over Tsuda's head. A white light shone down from Alba's wings. As the light shone, the wound on Tsuda's cheek began to shrink until completely gone.

"Wow! Thank you Alba!" Tsuda said gratefully. Changing the subject, he said, "Let's hurry and set up for the closing ceremony. I think you'll want to hear the results."

Some of the forest was cleared by the staff to make way for the platform where Ibuka was going to announce the results. Just like the opening ceremony, all the teams were lined up in front of the stage. Kaida noticed that the energy was very different from the first day. Everyone no longer felt nervous but instead a mix of joy and excitement to the disappointment of losing.

Ibuka took the stage and began his speech. "Good afternoon everyone! We have witnessed an incredible match here today. Now, I am sure you are all aware of who our winner is, but before that, there is some urgent news that I must bring to light. It was brought to my attention that the equipment for the second event had been tampered with."

The audience gasped and began to talk amongst themselves. Yui turned to Tsuda and asked, "Did you find the culprit?"

"Wait and see," Tsuda smirked.

"A team was put together this morning and together they found that the coach and two members of the team from Naha were responsible for the varying equipment failures experienced the other day. As such, the coach has been permanently banned from participating in any further Fantasy Life competitions and the win given to that team has been given to the team that the judges believe outshined the others. For the first time ever folks, we have a three-time winner at the Fantasy Life Nationals. Give it up for Team Ashikaga!"