Chapter 153 Interval, Part Two - 2

 Aika shouted as Kaname exited the stage, operating the equipment beside her.
 A light sound came out of the speakers.
 The song was an idol song from a year or two ago. It is a representative song of the unit whose costumes Hana and Marika wear. The song was chosen because all the members knew it and it was relatively easy to sing.
 During the prelude, Lucille returns to the back and Chisato takes a deep breath.
 The first phrase was sung by just one person.
 Chisato sang hard with her lovely voice, which was not like a man's.
 At that moment, the space around them changed.
 Suddenly, a wall appeared in the middle of nowhere, blocking the edge of the crowd. There was another wall and a heavy door about a meter in front of the entrance.
 Above is the ceiling. And spotlights illuminate the venue.
 If examined closely, the textures of the objects may seem cheap, but the scale of the work is more than adequate, or even better than expected. This much is achieved without adding dynamic images and sounds. In other words, Riko's [Illusion] has not been neglected in her training, even though it has not had a chance to be active recently.
 And when she hears someone's voice saying, "Wow," she feels a little superior.
「Wait a minute, isn't someone other than the representative supporting them?」
「No problem. It's just an illusion, not an ability that affects the mind. There is no direct influence on the representative, and this is not a competition but an entertainment during the interval」
 In response to Kaname's protests, Kaede replied. Apparently Kaede sensed that Riko's ability was not emanating from the power of mental manipulation, or vectors. For once, Chihiro is grateful for her sister.
 And the point of appeal is not over yet.
 The remaining three singers sing in unison, and then the dance begins.
『Izumi-kun is the vocalist. You don't have to dance, just sing』
『Are you sure?』
『Yes. We'll do the dancing』
 That was the instruction Chihiro received from Marika beforehand, but the reason was simple. Chihiro and Chisato can't keep up with Marika and the others' dancing.
 ――To be honest, their dance was not that of mere amateurs.
 Lucille, who was positioned at the back of the center of the stage, seemed to be in a position where it was difficult for her to move, but she leaped in front of Chihiro while stepping beautifully with Hana, then came back and put her hand on Chihiro's shoulder, then moved to the left and right to get involved with Marika and the others.
 The knowledge and repertoire of the dancers were covered by their [Genius]-like sense and mobility.
 Marika and Hana's moves were also quite impressive. Marika, who used to aspire to be an idol, had a good sense of rhythm, although she may have had a long absence. Hana also borrowed Ayase's [Pretending] to maximize her appeal.
「What is this? These girls aren't professionals, are they?」
「Wait, the girl in the middle is cute, but she's a boy, right?」
 The mixture of admiration and bewilderment in their voices made me feel that I had done it.
 Almost everyone knew that Kaname was an idol. However, when Chihiro and the others, who had thought they were just ordinary students until then, gave such an outstanding performance, it was a surprise.
 That's exactly what Chihiro and the others are aiming to surprise and get people's attention.
(Nii-san. This is so fun)
 At the center of Marika's group, the siblings' hearts were pounding with passion, including the excitement of catching a glimpse of a new side of their friends.
 The rhythm of the music and the flow of air created by the dance was pleasant.
 Naturally, not only Chihiro and Chisato but also the other three were smiling.
 They are not afraid to move their bodies. Once they concentrate on the performance and forget their shame, the only thing that remains is a sense of togetherness.
 Chihiro is just a bystander, but before long he is absorbed in the performance.
 He noticed that most of the audience was looking at him happily.
 Soon after the first song was over, they started the second song.
 Since they haven't practiced much, this second song is the end of their performance.
『Thank you, everyone』
 Suddenly a voice by [Telepathy] is heard, and Chisato glances at Marika.
 The petite girl looks forward, talking to the members without stopping her choreography and lip-synching.
『I'm glad I joined. It's been a long time since I've danced like this』
『That was nice』
 Lucille and Hana's voices, which contained some deep emotion, echoed in succession.
(Look, Nii-san too)
 Chisato is urging Chihiro with her singing voice.
 Fortunately, Chihiro's voice reached Marika as he put his heart into it, not knowing whether he could let his heart's voice be heard when he was withdrawn inside.
『Let's sing, Hazuki-senpai』
『It doesn't matter if only we can hear it. I want to hear Hazuki-senpai's song』
 Marika turned around.
 When she looks at Chisato as if to ask her if it's okay, Chisato nods.
 A few seconds later, the song of the angel overlapped with the fourth voice in Chihiro and the others' brains.
 Maria and the others who had interacted with Marika to some extent squinted in fascination at the voice, which was so transparent because it was not mixed with any noise.
 ――And then, like a wave, the reaction spread little by little throughout the entire room.
 It was transmitted.
 Marika's [telepathy] is being transmitted to those who have just met today.
 It is not a miracle.
 The distance of correspondence of [Telepathy] is proportional to the closeness to the other person.
 And singing is a communication tool.
 If the sight of Chihiro and Marika's singing, and the sight of Marika trying to convey the song with her mouth, moved the crowd even a little, it is enough to let her voice reach them at this close distance.
 Well, Chihiro didn't calculate that much to get Marika to do that.
 Thanks to this, the mini live performance by the representative members of Shibahou Academy was a great success.
 After the second song, [Illusion] in the live venue disappeared amidst a moderate applause. Riko later said, "That was so exhausting. I don't want to do it again for a while if I can help it," but her cooperation surely contributed to the excitement of the event.
 After bowing to the audience, Chihiro and the other four slowly exited the stage.
 They returned the microphones to the competition staff and returned to the crowd with Aika, who was in charge of the sound system.
「Thank you very much. I think both schools gave great performances in between the battles.... Are there any other schools that would like to participate?」
 In response to the staff's question, the student council president of Shibakkou shook his head on behalf of the two schools.
「No. After seeing such a wonderful performance, we are not willing to follow them. Rather, we are eager to compete」
「Yes. Now, let's move on to the third event」
 Apparently, someone had the ability to set up a special stage. The stage disappeared at the same time as the voice of the management staff, and a small box appeared in its place.
 On the box was a red button. It was the one for answering quizzes often seen on TV.
「The third event is [Word Seeking]. You have to find the balls hidden throughout the school building, guess the sentences from the letters written on the balls, and answer the questions with that answer button. Each school will have three chances to answer. Do you understand?」
 The place is quiet and only the voices of the staff members are heard, and Kaname's eyes turn to Chihiro and the others.
 The emotion in her eyes is hatred.
 Is it because she has been interrupted in her mission, or is something else affecting her? She silently tells them that she will not let things continue as they are.
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