Chapter 157 Fourth Event - Paintball, Part One - 2

『Okay. Then, I'll stay close and keep an eye on things』
 If Shibatsuru Academy and Shibaryuu Academy can collide with each other, Marika does not have to move.
 Following that, Hana and Lucille speak their minds.
『Is it a one-on-one battle? I'll aim at [Crane (Shibatsuru)]'s flag from a position closer to [Turtle (Shibakkou)]』
『Okay, I'll be a diversion. Yuuki, I'll leave the defense to you』
 Kamishiro replies shortly.
 Now, Chihiro...
『I'll move to the [Crane (Shibatsuru)] side and see what's going on』
『Please do so』
 He moved away from the Shibaryuu side, where a large scale battle is likely to take place, and moved closer to the Shibakkou side.
 He moves to the Shibakkou side while trying to avoid the line of sight as much as possible.
 As he was walking slowly in the silence.
 He heard a light sound.
 A light sound broke through the air.
 At the same time, something small passed by Chihiro.
 An orange circle about one or two centimeters in diameter is drawn on a nearby pillar.
(Nii-san, enemy!)
 Immediately, he activates multiple thoughts with Chisato.
 He forces himself to move his body, which is about to go rigid with surprise, and at the same time, the sound of gunfire echoes twice in succession.
 The enemy's attack misses by a hair's breadth and passes by his side again.
 ――Keep moving!
 He ordered himself, moving at a trot to follow the line of fire.
 The attack came from the direction where Shibatsuru Academy and Shibaryuu Academy are located. However, there is no one in that direction.
 Are they already hidden?
 No, Maria would have warned him if the enemy had come nearby. So, the one who fired the shots was an enemy whom Maria did not see.
「Correct. Well, I missed. This gun is hard to shoot continuously unless I get used to it」
 Chihiro didn't expect it, but Saki answered easily.
 She seems to think she can afford to miss.
 Anyway, without a moment's hesitation, Chihiro fired in the direction of the voice.
 A paint shot was fired with the same air noise he had just heard.
「Too bad」
 The bullet failed to hit the target and fell to the ground.
 Chihiro tried to move his fingers to fire repeatedly, but as Saki said, it takes some getting used to. He tried to shoot quickly, but his finger got caught and he could not get it right.
 In frustration, he ran to the nearby wall, where several bullets landed.
 "Tsk," Saki said, her tongue clicking out of her mouth.
「Is it no good? Whatever, I won't go too deep...」
 With that voice, the footsteps move away from him.
 He thought it was a fake, but no follow-up attack came even after waiting for a few seconds.
『Shirahama-san attacked me. But both of us are fine. I think she went straight to Kamishiro-kun』
『She's faster than me. I'll make her regret wasting her time』
 Hana declares encouragingly.
 Chihiro takes a deep breath to compose himself.
 The crisis is over. But he has a countermeasure against Saki at the camp. It is better to leave it to Kamishiro than to chase after Saki. If Hana takes the flag of Shibatsuru Academy, Saki's attack will not occur in the first place.
 Now, let's move to the planned point.
 As Chihiro makes this decision, Maria's voice echoes in his head.
『Izumi-kun. Be careful, Minamoto-kun is approaching』
 This was unexpected.
* * *
 Kamishiro Yuuki was standing alone near the flag of his team.
 There were only twenty students in the large field. With obstacles blocking the sound, the only thing Kamishiro could hear was the wind.
 In the silence, he stares at the front, in the direction of Shibatsuru Academy's campsite.
 He then takes a deep breath.
 Chihiro has just warned him that Saki is approaching.
 Chihiro also said that Minamoto is approaching himself.
 ――It would have been bad if both of them had come here.
 Frankly speaking, Kamishiro not confident that he can take on those two together.
 In a fight, he might have a chance, but in a gunfight, the disadvantage in numbers would be fatal.
 He feels sorry for Chihiro, but he hope that he can at least keep Minamoto with him until he can deal with Saki.
 In the first place, he does not even know if he can defeat Saki for sure.
 First of all, he must be able to sense her approach.
 There are two major possibilities. One is that his opponent makes a good footstep. And the other is…
 The sound of a shoes sinking into the muddy ground is heard.
 Kamishiro hears a faint sound coming from behind him and immediately turns himself around.
 Pss, pss, pss!
 The paint bullets fired in rapid succession neither hit the flag's core nor Kamishiro's body. To begin with, it is impossible to beat the flag with bullets unless someone have a very good aim.
 But due to this, Kamishiro could intercept the flag before it is taken.
 He immediately turns to counterattack, bending down and moving swiftly.
 He then pulls the trigger of his marker in rapid succession.
 The sounds of gunfire echo half-overlapping, and several rounds are fired. Although none of the bullets hit the invisible Saki, the sound and the footprints on the slushy ground increase.
 Perhaps Saki decided that it was impossible continue so she moves forward.
 However, this would only give Kamishiro more information to identify.
 He followed Saki's footsteps and pulled the trigger ahead of Saki, while he himself made evasive maneuvers.
 ――The ground was muddy, even though it had not rained the day before.
 This, of course, was not a spontaneous act, as it was a way of telling Kamishiro of Saki's approach. It was created by Chihiro and his team during the preparation time.
 They borrowed a bucket from a nearby cleaning toolbox, filled it with water, and sprinkled it on the ground around them.
 Several times they went back and forth between the water near the ground and their own camp, and managed to create a muddy area where the shoes could delicately sink into.
 Well, the men who worked especially - or rather, mainly Kamishiro - were extra fatigued.
 The fact that he waited quietly in his own camp was also a way of preserving his energy.
 There was an air noise, followed by the sound of someone falling down with a thud.
 Was the scream accompanying the sound caused by the paint shot, or by the fall?
 Before Kamishiro could draw a conclusion, he moved his marker and pulled the trigger.
 But at the same time, a loud voice is heard.
 Not a paint shot...but "the marker" itself flew out.
 Kamishiro stiffens for a moment at the unexpected attack, which makes it impossible for him to avoid the marker. The hard gun hit his left leg, causing a pain.
 Alternatively, Saki, who had thrown a projectile, seemed to have been unable to avoid the paint shot. She emerges and stands up, rubbing the back of her camouflage uniform, which is stained orange.
 She raises her hands in a deliberate gesture and smiles mischievously.
「I give up. I give up. I mean, I'm disqualified」
「...No, I got hit too. Because of that last blow, I won't be able to run as fast as I can during the competition」
「That's good to hear. They told me to disable Kamishiro-kun if I couldn't get the flag」
 It seems that the other side is also planning various strategies.
 Saki's transparency will be used to control Shibahou. But if it's failed, Kamishiro will be seized and the members who have conquered Shibatsuru Academy will go to Shibahou.
『Shibatsuru Academy, Shirahama Saki, down!』
「Well, I'm going. I hope you'll do your best not to win」
「Yeah. I'll do my best to win」
 After exchanging a strange conversation, Saki leaves. Saki seems to leave the venue after going around the perimeter of the field.
 Now, Kamishiro have to report the situation here.
『Hana? What happened to you?』
『I'm sorry. I failed to surprise them. I'm engaged with Arima Shizuru right now!』
 Kamishiro tried to speak his mind, but Lucille and Hana's communication made him feel threatened.
 ...It is a relief that they succeeded in intercepting Saki, but it seems that Shibatsuru Academy is not so easy to deal with.
『Shibahou Academy, Hazuki Marika, down!』
 Then, an announcement came in, foreboding further chaos.
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