「Un... Good morning, Kamishiro-kun」
When Kamishiro arrived at school and saw Aika in the classroom, he walked over to her first. Kamishiro looked as embarrassed as ever, but Aika too had a faint blush on her cheeks as she greeted him.
「Wow, don't show off in the morning」
「Well~ they look good together, don't they?」
The classmates who watched from afar said delicately.
Over the past two weeks, Kamishiro and Aika's relationship has grown considerably closer. Like now, Kamishiro no longer hides his affection for Aika and Aika's response is a mixture of sincerity and affection.
And a few days ago, on Wednesday, they went to the cafeteria alone and had a small talk.
They are not in a relationship yet, as Kamishiro declared if he gets a B grade in the upcoming exam. Well, they don't seem to be going to school together yet, and they may not even be holding hands, let alone kissing.
However, the general opinion is that it is only a matter of time.
「Hey, Riko, what's wrong?」
「Nothing. I'm just tired」
Riko glanced at Chihiro while she played with her usual friends. But without rely on his mind-reading ability, he knows what she means from her looks that as if to say, "So what will you do?".
Indeed. The sooner he makes an appointment, the better.
So, after nodding to her, Chihiro got up from his seat. Then, seeing that Kamishiro had left Aika's seat, he called out to him.
The boy stopped and looked back at him with a surprised expression.
It's the first time for Chihiro to talk to him. Moreover, he hadn't spoken to him since being invited to the cafeteria a while ago, so it was understandable.
But Kamishiro doesn't seem to be affected by the conversation.
Really, his calm behavior did not make Chihiro dislike him, but rather made him feel good about Kamishiro. Anyway, Chihiro tells him exactly what he planned to say.
「I have a request」
「Yes. After school today, I'd like you to accompany me to a training session. Match style」
Kamishiro's eyes widened.
And, a little later, the classroom is buzzing. Apparently, there are a few students who had been paying attention to the two of them since the exchange with Aika.
If they are flustered, the information would spread through the classroom in no time.
That "Chihiro" has challenged that "Kamishiro" to a match.
It had enough impact to attract the attention of the people around.
「Okay, but why all of a sudden?」
Despite the buzz in the classroom, Kamishiro's reaction is still calm. He looked surprised for a moment, but soon smiled and asked.
「Well. We have a test coming up soon, so I wanted to do it before then」
"Oh..." someone said approvingly.
Well, the test is coming soon. The words must have given them a different idea than the truth. Maybe they think Chihiro wants to make some memories before he left the school in the near future.
After all, there is a possibility that the Chihiro of a while ago would have thought that way.
And Kamishiro nodded.
「Yes. I'd like to get some training in before I make my decision, so thanks」
The classroom is buzzing again.
Hearing this, Chihiro gave a small bow to Kamishiro.
「No, don't worry about it. Then, see you after school」
They exchanged a few words and parted ways.
As Chihiro walked back to his seat, he could see Aika looking at him with a puzzled expression on her face.
Apparently, the rumor of the match had spread to the other classes within half a day.
And so, after school. There are more than ten students who followed Chihiro and Kamishiro as they left their seats. It must have been mainly because of Kamishiro's popularity. Since his confession to Aika two weeks ago, he has become well known as "the first-year student who is closest to getting a B rank".
「Can I stop by the cafeteria first? You know what they say, when you're hungry」
At Kamishiro's suggestion, the two of them finished lunch first. Without saying much to each other, Kamishiro finished his curry and hash rice, and Chihiro finished his pasta with meat sauce.
When they had cleaned up the dishes, Kamishiro asked him.
「Oh, by the way, where should we go?」
「I've reserved the training room. Not a private room, but a large one」
「Oh, that's great」
"After all, some people care about this match", Kamishiro says that with a smile.
It's hard to fight on an empty stomach, but it's also dangerous to hit each other right after eating, so they took a long break after eating.
By the way, Chihiro had chosen a rather light meal of pasta, but he wondered if Kamishiro would be able to handle eating that much. Perhaps he is accustomed to it, and so he can digest it quickly.
After a break, they went to the changing room to change their clothes and uniforms, and went out to the training area.
Looking around, the audience numbered nearly twenty. Among them are Maria, Riko, and Aika.
After that, Kamishiro and he faced each other at a distance of a few meters.
「What are the rules?」
「No time limits. You lose if you fall and can't get up, or if you give up. The rules are the same as in class, weapons are allowed...」
Kamishiro nodded "OK" as Chihiro showed him the wooden sword he had prepared.
「I'll use my bare hands as usual, but you're welcome to use it」
It's not a handicap, but Kamishiro is simply better at hand-to-hand combat. In fact, he's never been seen using a weapon unless it is regulated that way.
Chihiro thanked Kamishiro and grabbed the wooden sword.
As the two began to concentrate, the buzz around them diminished. All that could be heard is a faint murmur. Some said that the match would be decided in an instant anyway, others said that they wanted to see the match for a long time. But none of the voices are thinking about Chihiro's victory in the slightest.
That's why it means a lot if he wins.
「Let me give the signal」
Said Aika, stepping forward.
Kamishiro and then Chihiro nodded silently in return, and she took a light breath,
And with that, the match began.