Until the promised day, Chihiro continued to train as much as he could after school. Since he was confident that he had already mastered the basics, he asked Maria and Riko to help him, and focused on the actual fighting style.
Thanks to Aika, who has experience in martial arts, being around, he learned more about techniques, variations, and how to deal with various situations.
And just like the first semester, Saturday is elective day.
He had the option of changing the course, but after much deliberation, he chose Art and Information Processing, the same as the first semester.
He wanted to be strong, but he did not add combat training because he thought about his future.
It is unlikely that Chihiro will become a police officer or an athlete because of his physical training. If that is the case, then it is better to prioritize the path that will lead to the internal application score.
However, even for Chihiro, there is a change in his environment.
「Hey, Chihiro. Shall we go to the art room?」
After the morning HR, Aika came to talk to Chihiro with Riko. Both of them changed their first semester elective to art.
『I'm going to reverse the order』
That's what Aika said. So, she, who had originally chosen "Home Economics and Art", changed to "Art and Home Economics".
『Me too, I'm honestly tired of training until Saturday』
So, Riko, who had chosen "Home Economics and Training", changed to "Art and Home Economics”. It seems that Riko, who deals with illusions, has found painting and sculpture suitable for image training.
Maria is still "Art and Music". As a result, all four of them ended up in the same class in the first and second periods.
「Hahaha, keep the normie in line」
Just before leaving the classroom, Chihiro could not help but laugh at what Maisaka had told him face to face.
And so, they have classes. During the art class, Aika and him worked in pairs on figure sketches, and during the information processing class, he took classes to calm my mind and body.
「Yeah. What about lunch?」
「Let's eat first」
After HR, Chihiro left the classroom with Kamishiro.
――Good luck, Chihiro-kun.
Aika and Chihiro look at each other and nod. She's also taking a day off from helping in the infirmary to come watch the match. Riko and Maria are also with her.
For the lunch, Chihiro decided on the Tonkatsu set meal.
Just in case he might throw up, he didn't order a large portion.
And since it's Saturday, the cafeteria is relatively empty. So, Kamishiro and him chose a seat in the corner, facing each other.
「Why did you decide to join Shibahou?」
During the meal, Chihiro was suddenly reminded of something Suzu had asked him the other day.
Although Chihiro and Kamishiro are not so close as to be friends, so they had never talked about such things before. But now he's somewhat curious.
Kamishiro stopped eating at Chihiro's question, and after a few seconds of silence, he answered.
「...Because I wanted to be a hero, I guess」
「You know, like in manga. Also, the police and disaster rescue workers, I guess. I've always wanted to be a cool guy like that... no, I want to be one」
So Kamishiro worked out.
He tries not to be ashamed of himself or others.
It's a way of life that Chihiro - and many of his students - will never be able to imitate.
「You must think I'm childish」
Kamishiro laughed. Embarrassed, but proud at the same time.
But Chihiro shook his head.
「No, I think you're cool, Kamishiro-kun」
「I see. ...Thanks」
That smile on his face was like a boy's dream.
Then, Kamishiro's smile faded and he made a sincere expression.
「That's why I can't lose to you」
Kamishiro is aiming far higher.
That's something he's been feeling for a long time, and just now he realized it was true.
To get to the top, so no one could beat him.
――At the same time, his declaration sounded like something else.
Kamishiro fighting for his goal.
He would not fight for personal grudges.
It's as if Kamishiro is telling himself this.
（...No wonder everyone admires him）
Chihiro looked back into Kamishiro's eyes, thinking.
「I don't want to lose to Kamishiro-kun either」
Chihiro was never going to be as good as Kamishiro.
His reasons for fighting include personal grudges.
Still, he doesn't want to lose. Chihiro has his own reasons.
After that, they ate their lunch without speaking a word.
☆ ☆ ☆
After taking a good rest and changing clothes, they went to the large training area.
This time, Maisaka is in charge of setting up the room, but when they arrived at the corner of the room, it is almost completely reserved. The booths on either side of them are empty, but the number of visitors exceeded that of the last time.
It seems that Maisaka spreading the word, so beside Aika, Riko, Maria... Hana, Shuka, and even some of the senior students are there.
Really, why did Maisaka gather so many people?
When Chihiro turned his head to at least give Maisaka a glance, he suddenly heard a voice in his ear.
He stopped and whispered.
「Hmm? What's wrong?」
「No, it's nothing」
Chihiro shake his head and answer. Even if Suzu really is there, it would be useless to look for her. Just take what she said as an encouragement.
And so, the two, Chihiro and Kamishiro, stood facing each other with some distance between them.
Kamishiro with his bare hands, and Chihiro with a wooden sword in both hands.
「Well...Izumi, are you really okay with that?」
Maisaka, who had stepped up as the starter, frowned, but Chihiro is serious.
「Yes, it's no problem」
「Okay, but... well, the rules are the same as last time, right?」
No time limit. If the player falls and can't get up, or gives up, he loses. The rules are the same as in class, but weapons are allowed.
And since the last time they fought under these rules, Chihiro's fists nearly shattered.
So, he must be prepared to take the same or worse damage in some cases.
He breathed in and waited.
They looked at each other, and Maisaka took turns looking at them, then announced loudly.
After Maisaka start the match, Kamishiro is coming straight at Chihiro.
He aims for his stomach with his right fist. As before, Kamishiro has no intention to be cunning.
This time, however, he is on full throttle from the start.
Just one breath after Kamishiro started to move, he is already in front of Chihiro. The first blow using the body-strengthening technique came from the start.
...first move, first victory.
As expected, Kamishiro's fist is extremely powerful, even though Chihiro uses his crossed wooden swords to block it.
The palm of his weapon hand goes numb, and he take a few steps backwards from the impact.
（...Really, I had actually planned to intercept him with a counter attack, but his attack was so fast that I could barely defend myself）
Chihiro exhaled and swung his right wooden sword.
Kamishiro kicked the floor again at about the same time.
「Didn't you know it, Izumi-kun?」
Kamishiro brushed off Chihiro's hit with his arm, and then swung a punch at his stomach.
Chihiro guarded it with the wooden sword in his left hand.
And then, the wooden sword bounced up with a somewhat light sound.
「If you don't have a lot of strength and skill, two swords will only reduce your power and speed」
A right fist came relentlessly at his stomach.
This time it struck deeply, and Chihiro is blown backwards - or so it seemed to the viewer.
Yes, Chihiro had started to retreat before impact.
Though he hadn't been able to avoid it completely, Kamishiro's fist had only gone in shallowly, killing much of the impact. So, he could avoid the fatal blow.
And now, Kamishiro is probably planning to make his decision now.
Still, he showed a slightly surprised expression as he readjusted his stance.
「...Hey, why can't he block an attack like that?」
「Izumi can read the minds of people he sees. That's how he anticipates their attacks」
「Well, I know that, but...」
That's what the viewer said.
But, if Chihiro want to give a reason other than his mind-reading, it would be familiarity.
Both in the last fight and in the actual training in class. He had seen Kamishiro's moves many times. Thanks to this, he has the timing and patterns pretty well in mind.
Though this time Kamishiro is even faster than before.
「If you're going to drop your weapon, now's the time to do it」
「I understand that this is a little tweaked」
They exchanged a few words and resumed fighting.
Perhaps having given up on the stomach shot, Kamishiro's target is the left shoulder. But as if to block it, Chihiro slashes from the lower left. Kamishiro, who saw that, stops moving for a moment and dodges just in time.
Chihiro then swings his right wooden sword horizontally.
Kamishiro is forced to hold back his left hand long enough that Chihiro could launch a two-stage attack again. And then, the wooden sword strikes Kamishiro's left arm.
「It's still light」
Kamishiro's right fist is squeezed at close range.
Noticing that Chihiro is raising his left wooden sword to attack him, Kamishiro retreats a few steps.
A moment later, Chihiro was caught off guard.
From the look in Kamishiro's eyes, Chihiro panicked and tried to move, but there is no chance for him to move.
So, Kamishiro moved forward immediately, grabbed the right wooden sword with his left hand, and swung his right fist. He did this, as he had done in the previous serious fight.
The wooden sword broke.
Chihiro knew it would break.
That's why he prepared two swords in advance.
Chihiro swung the left wooden sword and hit his shoulder. But that wooden sword is grabbed in the same way.
It snapped with a creaking sound, making it useless.
Kamishiro slowly backed away, taking one or two steps backwards.
Then, his whole body radiated a spirit that made Chihiro gulp.
「I guess it's time to get down to business」
「...Yeah, I guess so」
Chihiro knew Kamishiro is extraordinary.
He threw away the wooden swords in his hands, feeling the cold sweat on his cheeks.
He then smiled back at his opponent as best he could.