Chapter 54 Sports Festival, Post - Part 1

 The first event after lunch break is the mixed gender relay.
 As this school has a policy of equality between men and women, the event is unique in that it is not divided by gender, but instead the ratio of men to women is decided to be 50/50.
 Again, the third race is divided by grade.
 Shuka from Class A and Kamishiro from Class C are the only two runners to face each other directly. Coincidentally, both of them are anchors.
 Class C led the race until the first and second runners. However, they are overtaken by Class B in the third run. The reason for this is that the third runner of Class C is one of the participants in the cavalry battle and is fatigued, and so Class B is one of the best class of the school year in terms of overall performance, as previously expected.
 Class A remained in third place until the third runner. After all, all three members of this class had participated in the cavalry battle.
「If anything, aren't we overworking our main players? Well, me too」
 Because of the difference in ability between the top and bottom runners, it's inevitable that some of the runners would be overworked.
 But the question is the fourth runner.
 How well will Kamishiro recover from Aika's treatment? How much will Shuka's explosive power be affected by the condition of 200 meters including curves, and will the B team be able to keep the lead they made?
 The fourth runner of Class B starts running in first place. He is still fast. Under the condition of no ability, it is quite fast. Next, Kamishiro takes the baton and bursts into speed.
「He's suddenly going full throttle!」
 Kamishiro's ability is to strengthen his overall physical capabilities. The principle is still the same: it takes time to reach the top speed. If he tries to push his body too hard, it will be hard on him, but he can't win otherwise.
 Chihiro, who saw the race, looked at Shuka, who is behind Kamishiro and is about to receive the baton.
 The corner of her mouth turned up in a smile, and she looked ahead.
 The moment she received the baton, she went into top speed.
 She quickly closed the gap to the second place and then to the first place. Kamishiro, of course, doesn't lose, and runs even faster.
 Maisaka makes a small gut punch. Well, Kamishiro has overtaken the students of Class B to take first place. But shortly after, Shuka takes second place.
 And now, it just ten meters to the finish.
 There is little difference between first and second place. Kamishiro and Shuka are in a dead heat until the end, and reach the goal almost simultaneously.
 Who won?
 As all the spectators watched with bated breath, an announcement is made in the field.
『The winner of this race is Class C!』
 There are shouts of joy and disappointment from each class. Class C would now receive more points than the other teams.
 Looking at the large scoreboard, Maisaka muttered.
「Well, are things getting a little complicated now?」
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 Tug-of-war between boys and girls, between grades.
 To be honest, Chihiro had no idea why Maria had entered this event. But later, after seeing her imitate Chihiro's trump card, he somehow understood her intentions.
 Since there are three teams, the representatives played rock-paper-scissors, and the B team is chosen as the seed.
 Kamishiro, Shuka and Hana are not participating in the tug of war. The reason for this is that students who can compete in individual events are more likely to participate in other events. At the same time, it seems to be an event where students who do not participate in individual events concentrate, and the ratio of girls is unexpectedly high.
 In such a situation, Maria, standing among the students of the C team, stood out a little.
 She is wearing the same gym clothes as everyone else, and there is nothing strange about her appearance. However, her attitude toward the competition is clearly different from that of the other students.
 She holds the rope tightly, and her legs are planted in the most powerful position.
 When the signal to start the race sounds, she pulls the rope tightly and stomps her body into the ground. Probably, her body is now exerting more force than it should.
 Just like her fist.
 She deliberately exerted a level of force that hurt her body, and the damage to her body is mitigated by her ability to heal herself. By exerting more than her full strength, Maria's strength must have far exceeded that of a single, powerless girl.
 But since it's a team competition, it is unclear how much of an impact that had on her performance.
『The winner of this competition is Team C!』
 Team C narrowly defeated Team A.
「...But, this isn't fair, is it?」
「I guess so」
 In the "following" finals, the exhausted C team lost, and ended up in second place.
「Isn't this game almost decided at the time of rock-paper-scissors!?」
 Chihiro could understand why Maisaka wanted to intervene.
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 At the obstacle race.
 A student, who has an ability to strengthen his jumping ability, easily leaps over a hurdle of more than one meter placed at the innermost part of the track. Another student used his levitation ability to jump over the hurdle, and the last student used his wind ability to knock down the obstacle without touching it, which caused him to have to start over.
 In the unique quiz competition, Maisaka answered the quiz questions one after another correctly in succession, and avoided the penalty imposed for incorrect answers to achieve a good result.
 In the candy-eating competition, students who strengthen their five senses found candies one after another by taking advantage of the rule that "additional points are awarded for finding additional candies".
 And so on.
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 The score of each team, somehow or other, did not make a big difference until the last event. Each team's ace played an active role as an ace, and got the points where they could.
 The temporary first place goes to Class A, followed by Class C and Class B.
 However, depending on the result of the last event, the scavenger hunt, there might be a difference.
「...But, I wonder if it's a good idea to bring the scavenger hunt at the end...」
 Kamishiro, who had finished all his duties and was in a resting mode, muttered next to Chihiro.
 He glanced at the parents' and guests' seats. Compared to the time around noon, the place is much less crowded. Well, the traffic here is not convenient, so it is inevitable that people leave early.
 It is sad that the number of people is decreasing as the number of "things" is decreasing.
 But then, Maisaka showed his great knowledge,
「I heard they put it last because the time required is hard to read. I heard that the previous record was just under an hour」
「Isn't that the problem with bringing it at this time of day?」
「Don't get me started to talk about who was the first between eggs and chickens, okay? Instead, why don't we support Takatsuki-san?」
「I guess so」
 Kamishiro answered immediately.
 The scavenger hunt, like the tug-of-war, is a one-shot game, mixed gender, ignoring grades. Twelve students, one from each class, compete at once.
 The starting point is on the opposite side of the track from the students' seats. At the signal of the start, the twelve students take off at once and run half a lap on the track.
 And on the other side of the starting point, right next to the student seats, there is a box with a topic, and the student who comes in first place draws a piece of paper with the topic written on it. The goal of the game is to complete the remaining half of the lap with the item written on the box.
「S-Sandwich...!? At this time!?」
「Hey, wait. What's sand from Koshien?」(*Note: the sand at Koshien Stadium => reference)
 One by one, the students who drew the paper let out cheers and screams. It seemed that the challenges are rather devilish, and that is one of the reasons why it took so long.
「Oh, it looks like Takatsuki-san is going to pull it too」
 Aika arrived at the box a little late. She is at a disadvantage in a simple competition because of her age and gender, but in a scavenger hunt, she may well be able to turn the tables.
 Aika puts her hand into the box and pulls it out, then looks at the paper in her hand.
 Her eyes widened and she stiffened.
 Seeing that she doesn't move even after more than ten seconds, the girls in 1-C shouted. At their behest, Aika ran to the student's seat and unfolded the paper.
 Then, after some giggling, all the girls looked back at the boys.
 They pointed at Chihiro. No, it's not him but Kamishiro who is getting attention.
 But Aika still hesitated. Her face is also red.
 Just as Chihiro is beginning to worry about what's wrong, his eyes met hers for a moment.
 Then, as if she had made up her mind, Aika started to move. She rushed to the 1-C boys' seat, pointed at Kamishiro, Chihiro and Maisaka in turn and said. 
「You three there, play rock-paper-scissors!」
 ...Rock, paper, scissors?
 The three of them did as they are told, all with a question mark on their faces. As a result, Chihiro won after two rounds of rock-paper-scissors.
 Aika froze, looking surprised for some reason.
 She thought about it for a few seconds, and then said.
「Then, Maisaka, run with me!」
「What? Oh, okay」
 Maisaka, with a confused look on his face, agrees, and runs around the track with Aika, finishing in a daze. Maybe thanks to the sandwich and the sand from Koshien, she came in first.
 Still, what's going on?
 Kamishiro and Chihiro looked at each other,
「Izumi-kun, you should read the air」
「Eh? What?」
 The girls shouted.
「Haha. That piece of paper said "boyfriend or girlfriend (or candidate)"」
 So, that's it.
 So that's why Kamishiro was being pointed at.
 But why Chihiro, who won the rock-paper-scissors game is excluded?
 ...Why didn't she just choose Kamishiro from the beginning?
「Change! That's what it's all about」
 Chihiro heard one of the boys say, and for a moment he felt a strong desire to kill him.


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