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Chapter 147 Opening - Part 2


「Each school, please compete fair and square」
 
 Principal Ootori concluded the ceremony, and the students from the four schools bowed in unison.
 After that, the teachers from the other schools gave their greetings one by one, and finally it was time to announce the events.
 
「The events have been drawn fairly by a third party and sent to the person in charge of each school. I have just received it and I haven't checked it yet, but I will announce it now」
 
 Principal Ootori takes out his smartphone and operates it for a few seconds of silence.
 He inhaled lightly and announced in a solemn voice.
 
「The first event, an indoor match by one representative. The second event, Okonomiyaki big-eating contest. The third event, Word Seeking. The fourth event, paintball. The fifth event, Survival」
 
 Immediately after the announcement, no one spoke.
 This is partly because it took some time to associate the contents with the simple names of the events, but it is more because the contents were unexpected.
 And from what is known, there are quite a lot of variations.
 There is also a sense of randomness, drawn from a large number of candidates.
 However...
 One of the boys from Shibaryuu Gakuen, Osaka, opened his mouth with trepidation.
 In an accent unfamiliar to Chihiro, he said something.
 
**a
「Is almost all of us participating in this?」
「Yes. From the third event onward, all the events will be in a format where up to five members can participate at will」
「Uwaa」
 
 Principal Ootori announces the dismissal, saying that the details of the events will be announced by the persons in charge of each event.
 
「Now, there will be one hour of preparation time. The first event will be held at the training site of the school, so please be there by the appointed time」
 
 With these voice as a signal, Shibatsuru, Shibaryuu, and Shibakkou academy members disperse.
 Chihiro, on the other hand, watched the Shibatsuru Academy members who were leaving.
 For a moment, he could see meaningful glances from the other side.
 It seems that they are aware of him. Thinking so, he felt relieved.
 
「Okay, everyone. Let's go back to the student council room」
 
 Yotsuba urged Chihiro and the others to go back to the student council room.
 Principal Ootori accompanied them, as well as a staff member for the competition. It seems that his role is to make sure that the competition is in compliance with the rules.
 The staff members, including the one leading the setup of the venue, are not Shibahou employees, but are dispatched by a government agency.
 
「Umm, what the staff members are usually doing?」
「We are mainly engaged in activities to spread the understanding of [Lost Item], protect people with abilities, and find them. ...Oh, some of our staff members work with the police and other organizations」
 
 When Chihiro heard the phrase "police," he had a bad feeling about this.
 But if "that person" is coming too, she should have informed him, but she didn't inform him in advance at the school festival either. There is a possibility that she is still guarding outside, but it is too much trouble for him to think, so he forgets about it for now.
 
 In the student council room, Ayase was waiting with coffee.
 The coffee was poured into cups for all the members and served with cookies for tea.
 After finishing the work quickly, Ayase got up from the seat.
 
「I don't want to disturb you all, so I'm going to move to the venue of the first event. Please do your best」
 
 After "she" left, the remaining representatives immediately started the strategy meeting.
 First of all, Yotsuba let out a breath.
 
「This is unexpected. Three competitions in which everyone participates, and all in a row」
 
 Of course, it was a possibility.
 It was fortunate in that it was a team competition, where strategy and teamwork could make it unpredictable. But, the problem was physical fitness.
 
 To this, Lucille turned to Principal Ootori and asked.
 
「Principal, can you tell us a little more about each event? .」
「Okay. The first one is――」
 
 This is the same format as the matches often held in Shibahou.
 No kicks, no aiming, no weapons. The winner is when the opponent can't stand up or gives up.
 The four schools will be narrowed down to two in the first round, and the winner will be decided in the second round.
 
「This should have been in the proposal submitted by Shibakkou Academy. Perhaps, they have an absolute ace in direct combat」
 
 In other words, Shibakkou Academy would throw in an ace at every opportunity.
 Therefore, it is better to think that Shibakkou is not easy to win.
 
**b
「The second event...is almost the same as the first. The winner is the one who eats the most within the time limit of 30 minutes. Ingredients are prepared in a mixed state, but you do the grilling yourself」
 
 Needless to say, this must have been the idea of Shibaryuu Academy.
 Due to the difference in okonomiyaki characteristics, Shibakkou Gakuen in Kyushu is going to stall... Is it safe to make such an optimistic prediction?
 
 The third event, Word-seeking, was proposed by Principal Ootori.
 The competition is to find a number of small balls hidden in the school building. Each ball has a letter written on it, and the participants guess and answer the sentence formed by collecting the letters.
 
 The fourth event, paintball, seems to be a competition in which players shoot paint bullets at each other with a gun using air pressure. Those who are hit by bullets are disqualified and ejected from the competition. The team whose flag is taken by its own team loses. The team that remains until the end wins.
 
「The fifth event is supposed to be something that will be held in a secluded area of the school. Although it will not be an outdoor activity since the schedule cannot be arranged to finish by the end of the day, the details will not be announced until the very last minute」
「Thanks for the information. ...As expected, there are a lot of physical events」
 
 The first event is obvious. It would be nice if the competition was decided immediately, but that's not going to happen as long as the opponents have their aces up their sleeves. And this was double-elimination. Even if he/she wins, it may be difficult to recover if he/she is too worn out.
 The second event is also a tricky one. Eating too much will make people sleepy and slow down their movement. It may affect the next and subsequent events.
 Then come the third, fourth, and fifth events, in which everyone is "expected to participate".
 Both the third and the fourth require a lot of brainwork and tact. Besides, these events are supposed to be hard because of running around and holding a gun. Chihiro and the other must not fail in this event, but there is a possibility that they may give too much of their all and suffer in the fifth event.
 
「What should we do? If possible, we must win it from the beginning」
 
 However, they did not seem to be able to come up with an optimum solution. 

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