Anxiety came to her, pushing away her confidence. Even so, she tried not to show it on her face. But Chihiro read Riko's inner thoughts directly.
It was unforgivable.
Kamishiro is okay. After all, it's not right for someone who doesn't have something to be jealous of someone who is really strong, someone who has something. But Chihiro was clearly not a strong man.
"Why should I be threatened by a weak man like him?", she thought.
So, she couldn't forgive herself for feeling threatened by him, even for a moment, and she felt sick to the core of her being that even in the face of someone who could see through her true feelings, she could only maintain herself by pretending.
So, Riko hurts Chihiro.
Over and over again. Not only with violence, but also with stares and swear words and everything. She put him down, made him look bad. And at the same time, Riko increased her efforts within the class and succeeded in establishing a certain status for herself.
It was fun for her to watch Chihiro stagnate and be marginalized.
But at the same time, she was afraid of him coming to school.
So, she continued to torment Chihiro.
Until he disappeared. Yes, until he disappeared from Riko's sight.
But, now, on the way to home after school, a few steps after she parted from her friends, someone called out to her.
She turned around and saw Izumi Chihiro standing there. Somehow, he is wearing his school uniform. But, why now, after all, he didn't show up until after school today?
「...What is it, Izumi? Are you going to apologize for being so cocky yesterday?」
Riko made a lecherous smile while avoiding eye contact with Chihiro.
And although fear was something that she had instilled in Chihiro, he still approached her in a deserted place. Even she doesn't know what he was thinking, it still a good catch.
Chihiro shows no sign of being shaken, and comes around so that his eyes meet Riko's.
「No. I came here to continue where we left off yesterday」
Riko's eyes almost met his, so she hurriedly averted her gaze.
...What the hell is this?
Clearly, there is something different about Izumi Chihiro.
She doesn't know why he's acting so calm.
She doesn't, but it's a chance.
「Heh? Even after all that, it still wasn't enough for you? Okay, let's do it. I'll give you a lot more」
Riko answered him with a smile.
Anyway, this is a sign of change. The fact that he didn't go to school and came to see her probably means he's in a state where he can't do anything else.
So, she can push him now.
Once Chihiro is expelled, Maria is next.
「Thanks. Let's go」
Nodding lightly, Chihiro turned around and began to walk with Riko following.
They are headed for the school. Shibahou Academy keeps its gates open for a long time after school to give its students a place to train. After all, if they want to conduct actual battle training, or rather "private combat", it's quicker to use the private training area in the academy, just like yesterday.
As they arrived at the academy, they checked the availability of the training rooms.
To Riko's liking, the same training room as yesterday is available. That room is located in the back of the building, so there are few people passing by. It's an environment where she can do whatever she wants to do, she thought.
「So, Fukami-san's not with you?」
「Yeah, sort of」
Regardless of their relationship, they seemed to be getting along well. Even yesterday, Maria had gone out of her way to accompany Chihiro and had acted as if she was protecting him.
If she was not there today, she must have run out of love for him.
If so, it was worth allowing her to accompany him yesterday.
Then, after a short walk, they reached the training room.
「By the way, I forgot to change my clothes, but it's okay」
After all, it doesn't matter if it's wearing a uniform or not because it's just a one-sided attack.
Riko then starts to take off her jacket and puts it at the end of the room, and pulls out a wooden sword from the toolbox. If she's wearing a blouse and skirt, there's a risk that he will see her underwear, but when he has a disgusting fantasy, she can strike him a blow while he's at it.
Chihiro, on the other hand, silently locks the entrance and takes off his uniform jacket. He also pulled out a wooden sword.
As yesterday, the two faced each other with the same distance between them.
"...I wonder if they've taken any precautions", Riko's thought.
But what can he do in just one day? No matter whether he is honing his skills or training his abilities, there is no way he can dramatically increase his power overnight.
And so, just shatter that strange confidence.
「What's the signal?」
「You can do anything you want」
「Okay. Then let's get started」
After making sunglasses with her illusion, Riko stepped forward toward Chihiro.
At the same time, she created an illusion that looked exactly like her current self, and sent it towards Chihiro at a speed somewhat faster than her real self. The phantom also makes a large swing from the top. She thought there would be a huge gap if Chihiro tried to block it.
And If Riko sees Chihiro defending himself and removes the illusion, there will be no obstacle to his attack.
As expected, Chihiro seemed to have stopped in place.
Then, Riko took a large swinging stance and made the illusion disappear.
There, she thought that the stunned Chihiro had been struck and is defending himself, but...
He wasn't there.
Instead, Riko saw the tip of a wooden sword aimed straight at her throat with one right hand. Chihiro's left arm is raised like a shield, and Riko could see that he is trying to catch the phantom's big swing with his arm.
His thrust could not be defended. Her wooden sword also had been raised too high.
On the contrary, he is about to take a step to attack. And so...
A direct attack hit her.
For a moment, Riko's breath choked and her eyes flickered. The tip of the wooden sword is particularly well protected, but even so, the pain weakened her hands and feet, and it took her several seconds to regain her position.
"Had I been read? Or was he prepared to stop the wooden sword with his arm, even if the illusion was real? That Izumi Chihiro?", she thought. But before she could say anything else…
「There's too much room, Nishizaki-san」
Chihiro reposition his wooden sword and then hit her jaw.
In desperation, Riko swung her wooden sword wildly. But there is no response, and the wooden sword simply sliced through the air.
On the other hand, Chihiro is calmly parried.
And at the moment when her arm is far away from the center of her body, he thrust into the center of her chest. The impact is so strong that she frowned.
She couldn't do it. She's going to lose.
To Izumi. To that Izumi. She'll lose to him... in strength.
Riko screamed and raised her wooden sword.
But before she could bring it down, Chihiro took her right hand off the wooden sword, made a fist and punched Riko's stomach with full force.
The impact reached her internal organs, and the wooden sword in her hand fell to the floor in a heap.
[A boy should never punch a girl in the stomach, no matter what!]
When Riko was in elementary school, she remembered the words of her female homeroom teacher when Riko had a fight with a boy. Although the other boy was injured more severely, it was mainly the other boy who got upset because of the difference in gender.
It was the same on the middle school.
When the boys were told that they would be at a disadvantage if Riko punched them in the stomach or face, they were all scared. And if she kicked them in the groin, Riko would win regardless of the difference in strength.
Thus, she thought that boys are just small fry.
They're just small guys with big arms. That's what she thought until now.
「Nishizaki-san, you're being quiet today, aren't you?」
Chihiro grabbed her hair while saying that.
He pulls it hard at the roots and pushes her to the ground.
With a scream, Riko tried to roll on the floor, but a wooden sword is thrust next to her face.