Chapter 157 Fourth Event - Paintball, Part One - 1

「The fourth event, as I have already explained, is a sport called paintball」
 This event seems to be well-known in foreign countries.
 It is played with a special gun called "marker" and harmless paint bullets.
「Originally, there are multiple rules and regulations, but this time we will use simple rules」
 Each team will be made up of up to five members from each school, and the four teams will fight in mixed groups.
 If a player is hit by a bullet, he or she is out of the tournament. If a flag placed on the team is knocked down or stolen, the whole team loses.
 Players are free to use their abilities. However, killing or seriously wounding a player is penalized.
 The only conditions for victory are to hit the flag with a marker or to attack it with a bullet, but, in case players are interested, they are allowed to engage in a hand-to-hand combat. Well, since paint bullets have a certain bullet velocity, there is basically no need to fight each other.
「We have prepared the equipment you need」
 To avoid any inferiority in the tools, uniform tools are distributed.
 The markers were designed to look like model guns, but were more hobby-oriented. The marker comes with a magazine and does not need to be reloaded during the battle. However, since it is a single-shot type, reloading requires a single action with one hand.
 Another important feature is the goggles that cover the face up to the mouth. Paint bullets are so powerful that they leave marks for several days after hitting the target, so the face must be well protected. At the same time, camouflage-like clothing and gloves were also provided for protection against dirt and for physical protection.
「Hmm. I didn't expect it to be so serious」
 Hana puts on the equipment while saying something like, "It's not cute." Despite her mouth, she is well prepared, but she doesn't seem to be particularly interested in military things.
「It's going to be a little difficult to move around...」
 Kamishiro, who is a fan of hand-to-hand combat, is not so sure about the comfort of the camouflage clothes. Lucille and Marika are also preparing for the event in an indifferent manner, and the Shibahou members are not very excited.
 As for Chihiro, his impression that this kind of game is dangerous is slightly improved.
 Surprisingly, the game is safe and sound.
 However, he wonders what will happen if [Lost Item] players play with their abilities.
「Now, let's decide the positions of the teams. One representative from each school will draw this lot in turn」
 Lucille, the vice-president, played rock-paper-scissors with the leaders of the other schools and then drew lots.
 As a result, Shibahou Academy was allocated a position on the left side of the field, where the ground was raised a few tens of centimeters above the ground.
 The advantage of this position is that it is easy for the players to see the approach of the enemy, while the disadvantage is that they are easily seen by the enemy. Fortunately, the obstacles on the field kept them from being in full view of the enemy.
 In front of Chihiro's team, there is Shibatsuru Academy, which is a well-defended position with many obstacles.
 Shibatsuru Academy took an orthodox position at the top of the field, whereas their position was in a hollow opposite to that of Chihiro's team.
「The competition will start in ten minutes. Please move and prepare yourselves, and wait in your positions. Those who are not ready will be disqualified on the spot」
 With that, the staff cut off the explanation and dismissed the participants.
 As each school started to move, Lucille called out.
「Okay, let's hurry up and get ready. We don't have much time, so let's all run」
 Everyone nodded their heads and started running to do the necessary work for the operation.
* * *
 After ten minutes, the competition started without a hitch.
 An announcement over the loudspeaker and the sound of a pistol immediately followed signaled the start of the competition.
「Here we go!」
 At the same time as the start of the game.
 Hana runs out holding a gun marker in her hand.
 Chihiro can see her just as well as Suzu did, but she must have already activated the [Cognitive Obstruction].
 In accordance with Plan B, the attack on Shibatsuru Academy is left to Hana.
「Well then, shall we go too?」
『Quick action』
 A few seconds later, Lucille and Marika also move out of position.
 When they were a few meters away from each other, Chihiro looked back at Kamishiro, who was acting as a guard.
「Kamishiro-kun, I'll leave the protection to you」
「Yeah, leave it to me」
 Kamishiro smiled, holding up a marker in his right hand.
 ――After consultation, it was decided to leave the defense of the position to Kamishiro-kun alone.
 The reason is that Shibahou's position is not very well suited for defense, and if more people are divided, the attack will be insufficient.
 Then, it is concluded that Kamishiro is the best choice for one of them.
『It's best to leave Shibakkou's [Acceleration] to your wild instincts』
『Wild, huh?』
 Kamishiro followed the decision itself, although he seemed to be a little upset by Lucille's words.
 In fact, Kamishiro was the most likely to be able to handle Minamoto.
 And according to the basic pattern of this game, the ace would be sent to the school which is not to be allowed to win. If this is the case, then there is a one in three chance that Minamoto will be sent to attack. Therefore, it is safe to place Kamishiro, who has fought with him once and knows Minamoto's pattern, and who is also very athletic.
 Meanwhile, Lucille and Marika will target Shibakkou Academy and Shibaryuu Academy alone, respectively.
 They should start their actions immediately after Hana's attack. If Hana succeeds in capturing the flag of Shibatsuru Academy, the surprise attack will take place right after the news that one of the schools has been eliminated.
 The remaining Chihiro is a ranger.
 He is told to move a little later than Hana, Lucille, and Marika, and to move freely according to the situation.
 The serious roles of Chihiro are to intercept the attacking units of other schools in the center, to follow Hana in case she fails, to help Lucille and Marika in case they need help, and so on. If Hana fails, he will follow up, and if Lucille or Marika needs help, he will respond to them.
 Although there was a pattern that Lucille would be in charge of this part, it was decided that she would rather concentrate on the attack and take a shot with her [Genius] sense.
『Besides, you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve, don't you?』
『I'm not sure. My ability is almost useless in this situation』
 However, Chihiro does have one trump card, or rather a hidden gem.
(When the time comes, you can use me as a surprise attacker, Nii-san)
(I'm counting on you)
 That is Chisato.
 She can materialize as a phantom, and functions as the sixth person who is not supposed to be there. She can be very useful, for example, to invite the opponent's attack by intentionally showing herself, or to widen the range of search and seizure by splitting up with Chihiro.
 ――The advantage they have saved from the third event will be fully utilized here.
 And so, with a relaxed pace, Chihiro leaves the camp.
 He descended a gradual slope and carefully passed through the muddy, waterlogged ground. When he reached the hard ground, he first cleaned the mud from his shoes.
 In front of him is a brick wall.
 He went around from the right side and proceeded, looking around him.
『Shirahama Saki has disappeared. The three player of [Crane (Shibatsuru)] are moving slowly toward the [Dragon (Shibaryuu)] camp with the exception of Shirosaki Madoka. The [Dragon (Shibaryuu)] is defending the entire perimeter. Only Minamoto Katsuya of the [Turtle (Shibakkou)] invades the [Phoenix (Shibahou)]』
 While moving, Chihiro hears a voice echoing in his brain.
 Maria is in charge of the transmission of overhead information from the audience. Since there is a possibility of “confusion” if more than one person speaks, including Aika and Riko, he asks them to give a brief commentary while abbreviating the names of schools and so on.
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