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Chapter 54 Sports Festival, Post - Part 2


 After that, the final announcement of the results is brought up to the closing ceremony. Well, since the distribution of scores for each event had been announced, it could be figured out based on the distribution of scores just before the event... but even those who took the trouble to figure it out are not so naive as to say it out loud.
 After a few words of appreciation from the principal, the announcement is finally made.
 
『Announcement! The winner is Team C!』
 
 *whoa*
 A cheer went up from Class C of each grade. On the other hand, Class A and Class B are disappointed.
 
『The winning team will receive a prize of 1000 yen worth of coupons for the school cafeteria and purchases』
 
 As soon as the prize is announced, the mood in the hall turned to "Oh, yeah...", which is quite amusing.
 After the closing ceremony, the students cleaned up and left the school.
 The next day is not a vacation, but still the closing ceremony. The school's management policy is that the ceremony will be over in half a day, so students are encouraged to drag their tired bodies along.
 
**a
 
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 
 
「Good work. Well, I'm glad we won」
「Yes. Although I don't intend to be so attached to the result, it feels much better than losing」
 
 After coming home, they change their clothes and gather in the living room.
 Riko and Maria, the women, seemed to be in a good mood after the sports festival. Chihiro, however, while smiling at them, is not in a happy mood.
 
「What, Chihiro? Are you still worried about Takatsuki-san dumping you?」
「...Don't say it clearly」
 
 It's not that she can't see through him, but she knows. Because Riko and Maria must have heard that exchange.
 
「It can't be helped. Takatsuki-san is a human being, she has her own likes and dislikes」
「...Yeah」
 
 Of course.
 But he just can't keep up with his feelings.
 And as he thinks about it, he starts to feel depressed again. But he shakes his head lightly and tries to change his mind.
 
「Did Takatsuki-san really dump Izumi-kun?」
 
 Maria tilted her head with a look of uncertainty.
 
「That...」
 
 "Of course she dumped me", Chihiro's thought.
 But feeling uncomfortable to say it himself, Chihiro kept his mouth shut.
 However, by chance, Aika refused to even choose Chihiro. If that wasn't a rejection, what was it?
 
「That's it. Why did Takatsuki-san choose a person she didn't want to choose? If she didn't want to choose, why didn't she leave you out from the start?」
 
 Maisaka was chosen because he was "just right". After all, Maisaka's personality is not likely to be misunderstood by either himself or others. It's a good choice for an on-the-spot partner.
 If so, it would have been better to mention Maisaka's name from the beginning.
 "Hmm", Riko groans and raises her hand.
 
「Maisaka is actually her true love, and she didn't want you to know it」
「...Stop making assumptions that you yourself don't believe」
「Oh, you caught me」
 
 Riko sticks her tongue out at Chihiro.
 
「I mean, Maria, I didn't think you'd be so obsessed with the subject of love」
「I'm not obsessed, I'm just wondering. Nishizaki-san, do you have any doubts about her behavior?」
「Yes」
 
 Riko nodded her head easily.
 She smiled and looked meaningfully at Chihiro. 
 
**b
 
「But I'm not going to tell Master」
「Eh?」
「That's good. If she's going to ignore you, why don't you just screw her? She might be more forgiving than you think」
「...No, no no」
 
 Chihiro tried to imagine it for a while, but it didn't seem realistic at all.
 Then Riko chuckled and dropped the subject of Aika.
 
「Anyway. How about "this" stuff?」
 
 She flipped up her clothes to reveal a mark that looked just like Maria's.
 
「It's rather nice, this one」
「Yes. It's working better than I thought」
 
 Maria nodded at Riko's comment.
 
「Is that so?」
 
 Chihiro, on the other hand, is not feeling it.
 This was because the mark only affected Maria and Riko, not Chihiro himself.
 And the only things he could verify beforehand were the conditions under which the ability would be activated and the conditions under which the effect would be applied. Although he did not know how the effect would work.
 
「Yes. I feel like I've been able to exert 10 to 20 percent more strength than usual」
「Me too. I felt strong when I made the illusion」
 
 And so, here's the summary of what has been learned.
 The condition for activation is that the subject is in physical contact with Chihiro. The subject must swear to obey Chihiro. When activated, a mark will appear on the subject.
 The subject, who has the mark, receives a boost to all actions. To be precise, it is not an enhancement, but rather a sort of forcible raising to a "good state".
 Chihiro can also restrict the actions of the bearer of the mark at will. Riko, who participated in the verification, testified that her action seems to become sluggish.
 The mark cannot be removed by Maria and the others. But it can be removed at will by Chihiro's thought, and it can be reapplied by performing the first step again.
 
「Is it named [Command] or something?」
「How about [Ruler's Blessing]?」
「Well... I'll go with [Domination] for now」
 
 It's a pompous name, but it can't be helped since [Command] has a slightly different meaning.
 The ability to strengthen others, not oneself.
 
「Still, it's a little hard to use」
 
 The target of the effect is too limited to be of much use.
 Chihiro is having trouble deciding whether or not to show it in the ability assessment.
 
「I wonder?」
 
 But Maria tilted her head. 
 
**c
 
「The essence of this ability is not in how easy it is to strengthen a person or how much it is strengthened the person. Rather, it's the opposite」
「The opposite?」
「Yes, the opposite」
 
 Maria opens her arms and hugs herself. Stronger, and stronger.
 
「Once I surrender my heart to you, you will bind me for life. If I defy you I'll have to spend the rest of my life under the curse of your control」
「The curse of domination」
「Chains, if you want to call it that」
 
 After said that, Maria removes her hand from her body, and this time touching her neck.
 
「Once chained, I have no choice but to devote my life to my intended master. It's the best proof of loyalty, don't you think?」
 
 Chihiro, who hears that, felt a thrill of immorality run down his spine.
 As if guided, he looked into Maria's jet-black eyes. Naturally, she desired Chihiro's fingers, tongue, and everything.
 Perhaps it was because they had been together so many times before.
 Chihiro let himself be assaulted by the urge with a concrete image...
 
「Master」
 
 Riko's thin fingers grabbed Chihiro's wrist.
 Not to stop him, but...
 
「Please don't make me the one who's left out...」
 
 Chihiro smiled and nodded in response to her indirect plea.
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