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Chapter 60 A Game of Love - Part 2


 Aika is the first to move.
 She moved straight ahead without hesitation. Her gaze is fixed on Chihiro's neck, and the height difference made it difficult to make eye contact.
 It would be harder to detect Chihiro's movements without looking him in the eye, but it would be possible to grasp him by looking at his body.
 
「Yaaaa!」
 
 A kick is coming. A spinning kick - no, a back kick.
 It was used in the previous fight. It could be said to be a memory, but this technique, which is difficult to catch breathing, is effective against Chihiro.
 And then it hits Chihiro's defending arm.
 Its blow is not light.
 So, he takes a step back, and Aika regains her position in the meantime. As Aika moves forward again, Chihiro still uses his arm to guard against a front kick. 
 
**a
 
「Not done yet!」
 
 Then came a series of kicks.
 Kicks are often more powerful than fists, but when delivered from the waist, they are more powerful. Perhaps someone must have thought that now is the time to take a chance.
 But the combination of a front kick, a spinning kick and a back kick is difficult to intervene. The timing of the impact is also different from each other, which makes it difficult to release the guard.
 And no matter how much Chihiro defend himself, the damage accumulates as he is attacked.
 
 But gradually, Chihiro’s body becomes fatigued.
 
 It seems that Aika's aim is to fight a short battle with a series of attacks.
 After all, the power of mind-reading has warned him to a certain extent.
 
『If I don't make a decision early, Izumi-kun will probably read everything』
 
 That's what Aika herself said to him once.
 At that time, he was forced into it just as she wanted, but this time...
 
 ...Ahhhh.
 
 A few minutes later, Aika jumped back and moved away.
 It wasn't that Chihiro had done anything in particular.
 Just,
 
「Izumi-kun, are you stronger than before?」
「...Well, I've been training in my spare time」
 
 This meant that Aika, the attacker, is also getting tired.
 Because of Chihiro's steady defensive stance, none of her attacks could be effective, and the number of moves she had to make is increasing.
 Although Aika may not be lacking in training, she also has the role of helping the school doctor. Exercise is not her main focus, and there is a difference between men and women.
 If it takes a long time, Chihiro has the advantage because of his stamina.
 
「*exhale*」
 
 Aika let out a short breath and came at him again.
 This time, Chihiro also moved without being defensive. Rather than relying on his mind reading, he followed Aika's movements with his eyes and delivered his right fist with more than his full strength.
 *pow*
 A heavy impact reached Chihiro's own arm.
 Aika blocked Chihiro's fist with her arm, but her body still shook from the damage. Chihiro felt a throbbing pain in her fist, but felt a moment of relief.
 
「...Yaaaa!」
 
 *slam*
 
 The sound of a strong kick on the floor echoed through the room.
 Then, Aika's right fist, which is clenched tightly, came at Chihiro and hit his stomach before he could evade it. Chihiro had to take a few steps backwards as the weight of the blow exceeded that of the kick.
 
(What was that?)
 
 He knew immediately that he had been hit his technique.
 Not just Maria, but Aika as well.
 
「...Haha. This is not a normal thing to do」
 
 As she said this, Aika pressed her left hand to her right hand. And then, a small light leaked out, indicating the activation of her healing ability.
 
「Takatsuki-san...」
 
 The technique itself could be done by anyone.
 Just like Maria, who has self-healing ability, Aika is relatively suitable for that technique, but Chihiro didn't expect her to use it.
 
(Is this her will?)
 
 Aika also challenged him to this match because she had something she could not compromise. That is why she is prepared to do whatever it takes.
 
 And so, until Aika finished healing, Chihiro spent the time calming himself down.
 It's difficult to move immediately anyway due to the damage he had just sustained, and he wanted to ease the pain in his right fist too.
 Then they both started moving again.
 
「...Yaaa!」
 
 Aika kicked him from behind again.
 But Chihiro is able to time it well, and easily guarded against it.
 
 *boom*
 
 A heavier impact hit his arm. But seeing how Aika frowned at the impact, she must have kicked with more than her full strength.
 ――Now it's time to decide.
 Even though this is a serious fight, he didn't want to watch Aika hurt any more than she already had. Then, with that though, Chihiro swung his clenched fist again. 
 
**b
 
「Kuh...?」
 
 His fist is just barely blocked.
 He hit her right arm, so it will be difficult for Aika to attack with her right fist.
 And the same goes for Chihiro.
 ...Another blow.
 This time, he swings his left hand and hits her with a greater swing than before.
 And...
 Aika narrowly dodges the attack. Not only that, she moves around Chihiro's body and grabs his arm with her left hand.
 
「Eh...?」
 
 In a moment of stunned disbelief, Aika is completely behind Chihiro.
 His left hands that had dropped lifted up and went to Chihiro's neck. Her right arm was also wrapped around his neck and squeezed tightly.
 There is no time to pay attention to the feeling of her breasts against his back.
 
「Give up, Izumi-kun」
 
 Chihiro heard a low voice in his ear.
 If he didn't give in, she would strangle him like this.
 Perhaps, when Aika was learning striking martial arts, joint techniques were not her forte. In that case, the degree of restraint is unknown, and if she is not careful, his life may be in danger.
 He can still speak... but...
 
「I'm sorry, but I can't」
「...It's dangerous. If you die, I can't heal you either」
「But still」
 
 He has a special fondness for strangling.
 
『Everything you want to do to Nishizaki-san, you can try on me』
『Nishizaki-san's so unbearable, isn't she?』
 
 Maria was able to endure Chihiro's choking for a long time.
 Chihiro mocked Riko as she cried out from the chokehold.
 That's why he can't give up so easily.
 
(And I don't want to lose this time in a contest of endurance)
 
「I don't know」
「Takatsuki-san too」
 
 Chihiro slammed the heel of his shoe into Aika's foot, catching her slightly off guard.
 
「What!?」
 
 The strength in her arms relaxed. But she didn't let go.
 So, Chihiro tried to step on her foot again, and now Aika let go of her arm.
 *cough* *cough* he turn around. With tears in his eyes, he saw that Aika was watching Chihiro intently from a few steps away.
 
「Are you still going to do it?」
「...Of course」
 
 He gripped his left hand tightly. It would take a while for him to regain his breathing, but he could at least buy some time by swinging it around.
 
 *sigh*
 
 Aika sighs. And then she runs over, staring straight at Chihiro.
 
「...huh」
 
 Chihiro raised his left hand - but quickly returned it to form a guard.
 What came flying at him is a spinning kick.
 It's the most powerful kick of the day, delivered from an extremely excessive action, but Chihiro manages to catch it.
 It hurts.
 His left arm is screaming. It seems he can't fight with his fists anymore.
 
「...Why?」
 
 Then.
 Aika moaned and sat down on the floor. 
 
**c
 
「Why didn't you attack?」
 
 Chihiro could see Aika's final attack coming. Thanks to the fact that she looked him straight in the eye.
 And it was a powerful spinning kick.
 He could have avoided it... and slammed his fist into the body that was defenseless during the attack motion.
 
「Because I was afraid of hurting Takatsuki-san's stomach」
 
 Aika's eyebrows twitched.
 
「Are you going to lose?」
「No... I did it because you're important to me, because I want Takatsuki-san」
 
 Well, he blocked the kick with all his might.
 Chihiro could still fight. However, his arms are battered and bruised, but he could still use his kicks.
 
「...I see」
 
 Aika, on the other hand, remained seated.
 She looked up at Chihiro, somewhat stunned, and said.
 
「...I'm done. I've lost, Izumi-kun」
 
 It was the girl's own declaration of defeat.
 The crowd in the corner of the gallery - Hana sighed in disappointment, Riko frowned in a complicated way. Maria gave a small smile.
 Chihiro couldn't take in the situation right away.
 
「Are you sure?」
 
 Chihiro asked with a pause, only to be met with a puffed out glare.
 
「Don't make me say it again. I lost. Izumi-kun wins」
 
 Tears welled up in Aika's eyes.
 She was a little surprised by it, then smiled and wiped the tears away.
 Then Maria and the others walked up, and the match between Chihiro and Aika was over.
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