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Chapter 2 – The Fifth Round
『"Well, well, it’s finally today’s most noteworthy card, the final match of the fifth round! It’s the entrance of the Seidoukan Academy’s rank #1, player Amagiri Ayato as well as the rank #5, player Julis-Alexia Van Riessfeld, who were engaged in a fierce battle with the rank #3 of Le Wolfe Black Institute, player Irene Urzaiz alias the in the fourth round yesterday!"』
As they entered the stage, the quite familiar voice of commentary and an unprecedented excited cheering welcomed Ayato and Julis.
Certainly, getting rapidly excited considering the finals as the peak was probably stereotyped (usual), but the meaning of today’s cheering was somewhat different.
Everyone probably wanted to confirm with their own eyes whether or not the contents, which were reported, were true.
『"And making their appearance from the entrance gate on the other side are player Song and player Luo of World Dragon Seventh Institute! Though these two can be considered as juniors for you, Tram-san, how do you view this match?"』
『"Let’s see. To put things bluntly, if the reported contents are true, I think that the pair of player Song and player Luo is advantageous..."』
『"I guess that today’s audience is also paying attention on that point."』
Ayato, while hearing such exchanges, once again pondered about the prana flowing throughout his body and checked its movement.
He seemed to have recovered to a certain extent.
What was left (remained)……
Then, one of the youths of World Dragon, who was an opponent, called out to Ayato there.
If he was not mistaken, he was named Song. Somewhat older than Ayato, he had a body toned by being well trained.
Ayato almost unintentionally braced himself, but the youth with pigtail slowly opened his mouth as he straightly gazed at Ayato.
“Regardless of whether or not the various rumors are true, both Luo and I shall fight with all our might. Frankly speaking, I also wanted to exchange fists with you in your full power state, but, this is to the bitter end a Phoenix tag battle. Please don't think badly of me.”
“Eh? Ah, no, don’t be…”
As Ayato was surprised at the unexpected words. Song turned his back around and returned to the other player’s, –– Luo’s, side.
Luo was also probably older than Ayato since he seemed to be about the same age as Song. Though his physique was about the same as Song’s, he was a youth, with black hair trimmed short who held a deeply impressive staff in his hand. Similarly to Song, he had a look that seemed honest.
The staff was not a Lux and seemed to be made of metal. It was quite long extending to about two meters.
“I see. He is without doubt a warrior in the proper sense of term.”
Then, Julis who was in the rear muttered as she was impressed.
“So, there are also people like that. I was a little surprised.”
“There seems to be a great number of people of that type in Garrardsworth and World Dragon, but it is really conscientious of him to expressly come make his declaration. Well, anyway they will probably check at first if you can’t really fight with all your power. And maybe –– they will immediately see through.”
The discipline and training Song cultivated into his prana they both felt in their proximity was considerable. That was not something with which he was born with but probably the fruit of pure effort. It was something that was kneaded well, little by little, for years. As he also seemed to have a considerable amount of experience, fooling the eyes of such a stalwart veteran for any length of time would be nearly impossible.
“It looks like it was the right choice to have elaborated a plan after all. ––Okay, listen Ayato. Here is the mark. Firmly keep it in mind.”
As Julis activated Aspera Spina, she chopped an asterisk at their feet with its tip.
“Roger. Should I assume that the signal will be the fireworks?”
“Yes, the postponement will be five minutes from the activation of the ‘wall’. You have to clear the conditions by then.”
As he checked so while recalling the strategy meeting until a while ago, Julis slightly nodded.
“Though it'll be tough, you must first hold out until my preparations are completed. Just in case, I also intend to make a little diversion, but at best it will just hold them to some extent as I carry out preparations. As to whether or not either side can be obstructed in such a place. I’m counting on you.”
“––I will do the best I can.”
Saying so, Ayato also activated a blade type Lux.
Though Ser-Versta should be at least usable, it could not be helped since it did not give even the slightest response after all, when he tried to activate it in the waiting room. He had thought that it somewhat acknowledged him in the previous fight, but it was naive for him to think so.
『"Now. It’s soon the match start time! Which pair will break through this fifth round and proceed to the quarterfinal!"』
After that short delay, from the voice-announcer of the broadcast who now became really excited, the school badge on their chest's announced the match start.
“Phoenix fifth round, eighth match, battle start!”
Song and Luo, as expected, parted left and right just as the match started. They both began to aim for Ayato.
“Bloom proudly –– PrimroseDancing nine-spirering-flower!”
Julis’ fire support broke in, so as not let them do as they pleased, but Song warded off the dancing flames with only his bare hands. With his fists, unleashed at high speed, the primrose of flame scattered all too soon.
Though it was a feat possible simply because the fists were loaded with prana it also meant that they were concealing enough destructive power to negate Julis’ technique.
Song, who effortlessly broke through Julis’ attack, instantly shortened the distance and threw a right fist.
Ayato blocked it, with the middle part of the sword, but a prominently heavy shock ran through him. His feet, which held out at the shock as if a huge iron ball bumped, trembled violently and Ayato strongly clenched his molars.
It was clear that this destructive power could not be accomplished with physical strength alone.
In addition. Song broke in, as if to bump into each other’s body, and threw his right elbow into Ayato’s abdomen.
Although Ayato somehow endured it, by concentrating his prana, the power was heavy enough that it almost made him collapse on a knee. All the air was forced from his lungs while his body stiffened for just an instant.
Song did not miss that chance. He turned around on the spot and aimed a backhand chop, so fast as if to tear the air itself, at Ayato’s face.
Ayato just barely deflected it, as he promptly raised his arm, and he leapt back and took up a distance.
Although it was as expected. Close range combat was far more disadvantageous for him. If he was not to fight within his range, by taking advantage of the weapon's reach even a little, he would be hardly a match for his opponent.
“I see… It seems that the rumor is true.” Song said.
Song slowly took a stance. It was a unique form where he dropped his waist and greatly extended out his left foot forward. It was what could only be a stance of kempo, but since Ayato did not recognize the form, and was unfamiliar with Chinese martial arts, he wasn't able to anticipate the schools particular style.
『"Oops, It’s a surprising development from which the player Amagiri is one-sidedly attacked! Certainly player Song’s attacks are formidable, but does this mean that that rumor was true?"』
『"There wasn't his usual performance when the match started. The kneading of the amount of prana is by far incomparable to that until now, too… It can only mean that there is no mistake about the rumor. Well, anyway…"』
As Ayato adjusted his breathing, he shut out the surrounding noises and focused his mind. If he were to lose focus even a little, the match would be decided in an instant. Anyway, without taking his eyes off every single move of Song, he had to prepare for and cope with any movement.
“Sorry, Ayato! He was able to escape!”
Julis’ sharp voice struck Ayato’s earlobe.
Luo, who turned around from Ayato’s left side, unleashed a thrust with the staff in his hand.
Ayato dodged it by a hairsbreadth, but Luo’s staff changed its trajectory upward along the way and this time he was assailed by an overheard blow.
Although Ayato hung his sword and eluded it this time Song, who turned around from the opposite side like lightning, released a jump kick. As Ayato could not completely dodge it a pain, as if his flesh was scooped out, ran through his flank.
Moreover, Song landed on tiptoe on top of Luo's staff, which was held low enough, and Luo thrust it up, along with Song, with exact timing.
It was a perfect combination so far.
Song, who danced in the air, landed behind Ayato and, faster than he could turn around, a palm strike was driven into Ayato’s back
A shock far greater to that of earlier went through Ayato’s body.
His consciousness faded away for an instant but, as Ayato somehow endured it, he forcibly moved his feet halfway and took distance by rolling.
“Hmm. So you endure that blow now … As one would expect.”
Song muttered in a voice oozing admiration, but he once again took a stance and even a tiny bit of opening was nowhere to be found in his movements.
While Luo also took position so as the both of them sandwiched Ayato, he gradually shortened the distance.
One might say that the situation was heading for the worst.
Even though he was overwhelmed in a one-to-one fight, in a two-to-one, it was no longer possible for him to do something.
“Come out –– LoropetalumRed Wall of Shearing Flame Petals!”
At the same time with the voice of the dignified Julis, a huge fire wall, which suddenly blew up from the ground, bisected the stage from one end to another. Its height would be around ten meters. It was not something that even a Starpulse Generation could jump over without any scaffolding.
Song also looked up at the wall of flame with a surprised face, but he seemed to have immediately noticed the intent behind it.
“I see, so she separated me and Luo.”
There was only Ayato and Song on this side of the wall of flame.
In other words, Julis and Luo were left on the other side of the wall, but the strength of the flame was tremendous, and one could hardly see through it.
『"Oooh? Is this a skill of player Riessfeld, the wall of flame, which suddenly appeared greatly divides the stage! …Oh, spectators of the audience, please use the large screen. We have divided the screen and projected the image from a different angle in there!"』
“For the time being, with this it’s a one-on-one.”
As Ayato stood up while saying so, he wiped his mouth. Though blood was slightly on it, he could not afford to worry about it.
“Hou… Do you mean to say that you have a chance to win if it’s a one-on-one?”
Song slowly adopted a stance again while staring at Ayato with a look of hawk.
“Honestly, I think it will be tough, but I cannot afford to give up, can I?”
Ayato also set up his sword forward (at the opponent’s eyes) and measured the distance.
Since Julis had done it, next up was his turn. He must somehow clear the conditions necessary for the next move. And while Ayato was still able to endure within.
“Fufufu, well you’re right. I ask something silly. I apologize for that.”
Only for an instant on Song’s face, a faint smile floated –– and disappeared at once.
“What’s wrong, is it only this level? If so, it’s not much as the rumor says, !”
While somehow enduring Luo’s fierce attacks, Julis unintentionally bit her lips.
First, she forcibly created a one-on-one situation. It was successful. Since this was a prerequisite in Julis’ plan, one could say it went so far according to plan.
Julis’ miscalculation here was that Luo’s ability far exceeded her expectations.
She by no means underestimated him, but she once again realized the thickness of World Dragon Seventh Institute’s layer.
[Do you tell me he’s the rank #23 with this strength? He’s strong enough to enter the Top Twelve in Seidoukan…] Julis was inwardly tut-tutting.
Julis defended against his staff, which he rapidly and continuously unleashed, with her thin sword, and launched a solid attack from behind and above with the Livingstone DaisyFlaming Crimson Decapitator unfolded. However, Luo skillfully handled his long staff and did not let any of the chakrams get close while maintaining an advantageous range.
“––No. Wrong. So you use a part of your power to maintain this fire wall.”
As Luo once took distance, he turned a fleeting gaze towards Julis’ back and muttered so.
“To maintain this much firepower on such a scale, the prana consumption should be no joke. As a result, you can just use only the remaining part of your prana for the battle.”
––To make matters worse, he was really sharp, too.
“Well, I wonder about that.”
Julis also returned the chakrams once again and adjusted their lineup.
In fact, originally the Livingstone DaisyFlaming Crimson Decapitator could bring about dozens of chakrams, but now on the convenience of prana and concentration, six was her limit.
Including this Phoenix, Luo and Song had experienced the Festa three times. Looking only at their combat experience, one could say that it differed from Ayato’s and Julis’. Nevertheless, to think that she was easily seen through.
“Supposing that it is so, this can hardly be called a good plan. Even without going to such length, there were other ways to bring a one-on-one, weren’t there?”
That was also correct.
If it was simply just to make a one-on-one battle form, then there were number of different means.
However, it would just delay the time of their defeat after all. There were no paths which led to victory.
“It can’t be helped. There was only this way in order for us to win.”
“…Hou. So that means that you still have a card to play.”
Luo chuckled while spinning his staff.
“I can’t wait to see it, but –– if it’s the case, do it quickly. Otherwise, the battle will be settled on the other side of the wall, you know?”
“Did you mean to say that my partner will lose?”
“ in his current state is no match for us. You also understood that, right?”
Luo just replied as if it was a matter of course.
“…Yeah, that’s right. The current Ayato, in order to win against you, would not have much choice but to skillfully launch a surprise attack.”
“A surprise attack, huh… Well, both Song and I are not so kind as to give you an opportunity to do it.”
As if to say “with this, the chitchat is over”, Luo re-set his staff.
While also slightly retreating, Julis reset the chakrams to a defensive formation little by little.
While at the same time exploring the sign on the other side of the wall, she secretly checked the ground with a side glance.
(A little more to the right, huh…)
Luo moved so as to use that opening.
He flipped the chakrams aside, opening the way, and jumped within Julis’ range in an instant.
“It’s too late!”
A stab of a shrieking sound flicked off Julis’ thin sword, which she tried to defend with, and was driven in her chest.
Although she protected her school badge, by reflexively twisting her body, she was thoroughly blown off her feet.
(I probably have many ribs broken with this… But with this timing! )
As Julis took the defensive and immediately fixed her posture, she canceled the Flaming Crimson Decapitator (Livingstone Daisy) and focused her mind.
“As if I will let you!”
To Luo, who was about to give the coup-de-grace, Julis slightly laughed while bearing the pain.
Her opponent was originally good in long-range combat; and moreover, it was now a situation where she lost her weapon. That judgment was correct.
Right. Luo was right.
He was right, therefore –– he went directly for his opponent’s weak point.
“Bloom proudly –– Amaryllis Duo FlosSix-Petal Burst Firebloom/ Twin Blooming Flowers!”
On Julis’ both hands, small fireballs were born one by one.
Even so, Luo was not daunted. He probably had the absolute confidence that he was more advantageous at this distance.
However, Julis had shot the fireball of the right hand not towards Luo, but right above.
“––Honestly, I am impressed.”
Contrary to his words, Song said with a slightly amazed look.
“To have endured my attacks so far even though you devote yourself to the defense, it’s really something. Moreover, your reaction is clearly getting better. No wonder you see through my breathing, range and the timing of my attacks. I can say that it is the proof of your excellent response ability. But –– it’s regrettable, your body can’t keep up with it.”
Ayato, who had the wall of flame, which immediately blazed behind him, focused his mind without taking his eyes off Song, even though he was breathing roughly.
Although he had somehow avoided a lethal blow, the damage accumulated was considerable. His uniform was torn here and there falling apart and he had countless bruises and lacerations.
Even so, the tip of the sword, which Ayato set up, was directed straight towards Song without shaking at all.
“If you were in your unsealed state, our position might have been reversed. No, I would probably not even have held out so far.”
“I don’t think it would have been the case though.”
Ayato honestly responded to it while adjusting his breathing.
In fact. Song was strong. Since he won and advanced until the fifth round of the Phoenix it was natural. What’s more he succeeded, not merely with the type of strength which relied on a weapon or ability, but with his own strength which was the result of pure and thorough training of his body.
That said, even so he could not afford to give up yet. At least, for Ayato –– for Ayato and Julis, there was still a card to play. For that purpose, he must somehow clear the conditions.
As Ayato took a quick glance at his feet, the asterisk that Julis carved some time ago was there.
––The rest was just the timing.
“But bullying you any further would be unbearable even for me. As an expression of my respect for you, I will end it with the next move. ”
At that instant, with a large sudden increase, prana concentrated on Song’s fist .
The skilled fist warrior of World Dragon used a technique to explosively raise an offensive ability similar to meteor arts by gathering prana in one point. Perhaps that was it.
“However much you try to defend. This fist will pulverize any weapon or arm which tries to block it. Well, it’s not at the level of your Ogre Lux, but you better dodge it rather than trying to block. Of course, if you can, that is!”
At the same time he finished to speak, Song stepped into Ayato’s range in a breath.
Terrified legs shook the earth as his body also quaked thinking of palm strikes similar to gouging.
He was too well cornered to evade it. However, as Song said, with the prana of the current Ayato, defending against it would be impossible. One could easily understand that by seeing the amount of prana Song gathered in that fist.
Just before the palm stroke reached Ayato’s chest… The two of them noticed a small explosion overhead.
It was the signal which Ayato and Julis had decided for.
––At that moment.
Ayato released his full power only for an instant, dodged the palm stroke and jumped towards the wall of flame soaring behind him.
Though the voice of Song, who was at lost for words, was heard from behind, Ayato’s consciousness was no longer there.
Just before Ayato’s figure was swallowed in the flames, the wall of flame split in two just like that of Moses written in the Old Testament. And just like from the front, Julis’ figure jumped from the other side of the wall towards this side.
As Ayato and Julis exchanged only a glance like passing travelers, they switched each other’s target, in an instant despite being scorched by the flame.
Song and Luo opened their eyes wide in great surprise and hurriedly tried to take a stance, but it was already late.
It was only natural since Luo was now facing Julis mainly involved with long-range attacks and Song was now facing Ayato, who could only perform close range combat.
The two people were completely taken by surprise.
“Amagiri Bright Dragon Style First Sword Fighting Skill –– !” The edge of Ayato’s sword cut and tore Luo’s school badge. And. During the same exact moment…
“Burst and fly!” The dual fireballs emitted from Julis’ left right hands smashed Song’s school badge.
“End of the battle! Winner, Amagiri Ayato & Julis-Alexia Van Riessfeld!”
As the mechanical voice declared the conclusion, the wall of flame vanished, and both Ayato and Julis greatly exhaled and sank down to the ground.
Not only Song and Luo, but also the audience was taken aback. Though the dumbfounded atmosphere and silence smothered the stage for a while with, which began before long, only sparse applauses, quickly turned into great cheers, which erupted from the stands, like a tsunami.
“Phew… we won, for the time being, but…”
“It was really close.”
As they canceled the winner interview after the game this time, too, Julis and Ayato were heading to the waiting room along the passage.
Although the winner interview was not an obligation their image, in the area of press relations, would worsen if they canceled too many. There would also be cases where the good publicity, natural to the Festa, would suffer without them. Today, though, both Ayato and Julis had no room to be able to answer.
Although they won, as Julis said, it was a really close match. If their timing was off, by even a little, it would probably be themselves who would have been defeated.
“Well, still it’s great to have gotten over today. After all, we will rest all day long tomorrow which is the adjustment day. And you will be able to go all out in the next match, right?”
“Yeah, on that point, it'll be all right… But, what about you, Julis? Um, about the degree of injury…”
“What, this much is no big deal. There may be some cracks, but it does not seem to be broken.”
Julis smiled wryly while lightly rubbing the area of her chest.
She seemed to have been directly struck by Luo’s staff in their recent match, but at least it should not be accompanied with any illness.
Even so, Julis continued to speak as if it was nothing.
“More importantly. There is the next match. Even if you are able to use all your might they will likely be quite troublesome opponents.”
“Oh, if I’m not mistaken, our next opponents are––”
Ayato suddenly stopped walking there. This was because someone was standing ahead in the passage, in front of the waiting room.
A moment later, Julis also noticed him and opened her eyes wide as she was surprised.
“Hou, those are unexpected visitors. I don’t think you have come to congratulate us, but what kind of business do you have with us?”
The two people, who were standing in front of the waiting room –– Song and Luo, responded to these words with a serious look.
“We have indeed come for that, but can’t we?”
“…It was our complete defeat today. It was admirable.”
At these words, Ayato and Julis unintentionally looked at each other.
“Huh…? N-No, That’s… Thank you.”
As they were perplexed and did not know how to respond to it since they did not think that they really came to congratulate them, Song held out a hand towards Julis.
“It was you, who thought of that strategy, right Gruene RosePetalblaze Witch? Be its conception or good timing, it was a splendid combination that could not have been possible without mutual trust.”
Although she took his hand, Julis was still somehow perplexed.
“But –– you should be careful. A strategy of that level would be useless against your next opponents.”
“…What do you mean by that?”
A dangerous light was lit in Julis’ pupils, but Song continued speaking without being agitated.
“You do not have to be so wary. I did not particularly come here to check you, this is pure advice. Take it exactly as it means.”
“Even if you say so, do you think that I will obediently believe you? In the first place, you have no obligation to do something like that. Much less since our next opponents are your comrades.”
Since Ayato’s and Julis’ match was the last of the fifth round, they already knew their next opponents. In the sixth round, the opponents of the quarterfinal would be once again a pair of World Dragon –– and what’s more, both were in the Top Twelve of World Dragon.
“Belonging in the same academy does not necessarily mean that we are comrades. Or is Seidoukan that monolithic?”
“No, that’s… well, you’re right, but…”
Julis did not really know what to say and turned her face away.
Certainly, even within the same academy… No, it was precisely because it was within the same academy that there was trouble. That was probably the same even elsewhere. Only Garrardsworth was distantly related to that kind of talk, but there was also no telling how their internal conditions were.
“What, the reason is simple. Well, let’s say that we do not just get along with your next opponents –– both Li ShenYun and Li ShenHua. Even so, we do not intend to tell you their weakness––”
“We had a good impression towards you. At least, more than towards those twins. That’s why we wanted to send you a Yale. That’s all.”
Song, who said so, floated a wry smile and shrugged his shoulders.
It seemed like it was really his intention.
“I understand. Then, I will ask again… what do you mean by strategy would be useless?”
“It’s because that sphere of action is the place where those twins are the best. When it comes to deceit, cheating or taking their opponents by surprise, they possess a gifted ability. No matter what kind of plan you may elaborate, they will always see through you, and come to say it. Moreover, they will never allow tactics like what you showed this time.”
“Tactics like what we showed…?”
As Ayato frankly asked so again, Song turned honest eyes towards him.
“Your tactics are based on the fact that you regarded your opponents on an equal footing as yourselves. Naturally that is accompanied with risk but you guys accepted it. In other words, you may call it a part of bargaining in combat. That’s why we can accept to have lost against you… Well. I would be lying if I say that it is not frustrating.”
“But those guys are different. They don’t regard their opponents on an equal footing and always look down on them; They never jeopardize themselves without building absolutely advantageous conditions. They twist and crush their opponents as they please. They don’t respect their opponents, and don’t even give room for bargaining. That’s the Li sibling's way of doing things. We just can't come to like them.”
“You guys have probably also watched their matches, right?”
Speaking of the and of World Dragon, they were one of the top favorites. Of course, their matches and data were also thoroughly disseminated.
Ayato also tried to reconsider. Recalling the records they studied he observed that their matches were all one-sided and often developed to where they tormented their opponents. It was indeed something that was not very pleasant to watch.
“I will be troubled if you overestimated us too much. If we can easily win, we might also choose such way of doing it. After all, there is no meaning if one doesn’t win in the Festa.”
To Julis’ words, Luo lightly laughed.
“If so, then it just means that it was a poor judgment here on our part.”
“Anyway. I did not say to not elaborate a plan. Be careful.”
As if Song and Luo had said enough… They turned around and left.
While Julis saw off their retreating figure with a meek face, she released the lock of the waiting room with her school badge.
“––What do you think?”
As he asked so while entering the room ahead, Julis replied after a short pause.
“Well. I don’t think they are lying.”
“I agree with you.”
As far as Ayato saw, those two people, they would entrap someone by doing any such roundabout thing; in the first place, even they were lying just that much, it would be almost meaningless.
As Julis sat down on the sofa, she took a great deep breath.
“I will take their advice into account, but let’s leave the measures against the twins for tomorrow. Anyway, I’m tired today. I will head right back after resting a little.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
Ayato also sat down and leaned his exhausted body into the back of the chair.
Today’s matches were all over, but there were still many spectators remaining in the hall. Although there was no need to make a racket since the players could use the subway going directly to their academies, they wanted to rest their bodies a bit longer.
After all. There would be no more days of rest from the quarterfinal on to the final.
“…And then, Ayato.”
Then suddenly, Julis teasingly said while slightly laughing.
“Next up is finally the quarterfinals. In other words, if we win through three more times, we will become champions.”
“Three times… It seems a little tiresome.”
As he thought about it. They must overcome today’s kind of fight another three times… He became depressed.
“Fufufu. It’s fine, if you understand that, but. –– Have you thought about something?”
“Hmm? What are you talking about?”
“Obviously, it’s about your wish that we would win the championship.”
Ayato inclined his head, thought a little –– and eventually shook his head.
“Hmm. I did not specifically think of something.”
“I thought you would say that.”
Julis smiled wryly and said so, but she immediately looked straight at Ayato with a serious face.
“I’m thankful for you fighting for me and honestly. Um… I’m happy. But, I think it’s time that you should also look at your own wish.”
“Even if you say so…”
“For example –– how about something regarding your big sister?”
Ayato was a little surprised at the words that Julis just said as he found they were somewhat difficult to say.
The talk with Irene the other day –– the matter that the student council president knew Ayato’s big sister ── Julis had also heard. She was probably anxious about it.
“No, that’s… naturally doesn’t mean I don’t care about it, but…”
“Since Nee-san has her owns reasons for having left the house, I don’t intend to forcibly look for her.”
Ayato remembered the day when he came in Seidokan Academy.
『"Then, why did you choose this academy?"』
Claudia’s words kept ringing on his head.
At that time, Ayato replied “in order to discover a goal to seek after.”
But, –– now that he found it, then what?
“That said, the fastest way to do something about your seal would be to find your sister, right?”
“Eh? Ah, yes… if it’s Nee-san, she should be able to remove it, but…”
To the attitude of such Ayato, Julis’ eyes quizzically tapered.
“Ayato. Are you by any chance––”
As Julis was about to say something, a knock sound suddenly reverberated at the door and a space window, which informed of visitors outside the door, popped-open.
Saya and Kirin were projected there.
Those two, who were fighting the fifth round in a different stage, safely advanced to the quarterfinal, too.
“You expressly came up here.”
『"I know that both of you are tired, but since it’s a rare occasion, I wanted to congratulate early…"』
Kirin-chan, hesitantly, with upturned eyes, said such an adorable thing. Even though it was also right after their match, he was thankful for that.
“Oh, then anyway, I will open now.”
As Ayato said so and stretched his finger to the space console, Kirin, who was flustered, interrupted.
『"Errr, before that, there is one more guest, who has come, but… Is it okay to come in with her?"』
To Ayato, who looked puzzled.
『"Yeah. A visitor for Riessfeld."』 Saya laughed a little mischievously.
Julis who was watching the exchanges and until then did not seem to be very interested frowned at these words with a wondering face.
Saya and Kirin nodded to one another in space window and took a step backward.
One girl appeared from behind them.
She was quite young… rather, very young. She was probably at least about the upper grades of elementary school. It was a girl, who looked simple and quite lovely, but –– if there was a cause for concern –– she was in a maid outfit for some reason.
Julis, who saw the child, stammered with a stunned look.
Jump up↑ Kenpō (拳法?) is the name of several Japanese martial arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word "quán fǎ". This term is often informally transliterated as "kempo", as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization, but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel
Jump up↑ meaning that they come to cheer for them; well something like that
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