Chapter 158 Fourth Event - Paintball, Part Two - 1

 Marika was advancing toward Shibaryuu Academy, hiding behind obstacles as discussed with her companions.
 Her small size and inability to speak make her relatively suited to silent actions.
『Hazuki-senpai. Shirosaki Madoka of [Crane (Shibatsuru)] and the five members of [Dragon (Shibaryuu)] have made contact. It appears they're negotiating without engaging in battle』
『Okay. Thank you』
 Marika hears Maria's report and decides to listen in.
 ――In this competition where it's best to fire immediately upon finding the enemy and to think about the details after shooting, what is negotiation supposed to mean?
 In a situation where two schools are gathered, a bad move would be counterproductive, so she decided to wait and see.
「So, an alliance...?」
「Yes. I think it is mutually beneficial for both parties if the other two schools, especially Shibahou Academy, fall. Why don't we work together to get rid of the obstacles and then we'll have another showdown?」
「...I see. Not a bad idea」
 It seems that Shibatsuru Academy is planning to join forces with Shibaryuu Academy to destroy the other two schools. Indeed, the number of wins is currently tied at one except for Shibatsuru Academy. They want to win and do not want to lose at this point.
 What will the Shibaryuu Academy side do?
「What do you think?」
 A student who seemed to be the leader was asked.
 Then, the opinions of the members were divided. Some of them want to go along, and some want to shoot Madoka who is unarmed and unprotected.
 It is not surprising. If they are aiming for victory, there are merits to both proposals...
『Fukami-san. What about the other two [Crane (Shibatsuru)]?』
『Iwaki Tsukasa is a little ways off, keeping an eye on the perimeter. Ibusuki Kaname is approaching Shibaryuu Academy's position from the rear』
 Maria's report sounded a little panicked, even though it was from her heart.
 According to Maria's detailed observation, Kaname is gradually approaching the enemy position while becoming invisible.
『Her [Terminal] can use other people's abilities at C-rank. She is probably using Shirahama Saki's invisibility ability』
 She seems to be able to become invisible "only while standing still" as a result of the effect being degraded.
 But since Shibaryuu Academy is also negotiating with her team, she is not completely blind to the surroundings, so she is approaching the area unnoticed as if she were "Daruma-san tripped".
 And what does she want?
 It's obvious. It's a surprise attack. Whether it's "when negotiations break down" or "during a conversation made to look like negotiations" is not clear.
 If possible, Shibaryuu should be warned.
 But Marika, on the other hand, has no way to give a loud warning. Besides, it is too risky for her if Shibatsuru Academy find her. So, what should she do?
 ――This reminds me of the mini live performance before the third event.
 At that time, Marika's [Telepathy] reached the students of other schools. If the sympathy at that time is still valid.
『Shibatsuru Academy leaders, can you hear me? There is a girl from Shibatsuru Academy sneaking up behind you. They might be trying to trick you』
 Marika whisper as she opens a one-on-one Telepathy channel with the leader, and the leader sounds startled and dumbfounded.
「What's wrong?」
「Eh, uh... nothing」
 He finally understood the situation when Madoka asked him, and he cut off the conversation vaguely.
 And then...
「Hey. What is she doing there?」
「...Oh, I have been found out, haven't I?」
 And it worked.
 Marika is alone in the shadows, giggling. And there...
『Hazuki-senpai? Iwaki Tsukasa is heading your way!』
 Marika looks around reflexively and clutches the marker.
 She recognizes the sound of approaching footsteps and points the marker in that direction.
「I'm going to get rid of anyone who gets in the way!」
 With a calm voice, she exchanges bullets with a petite girl, Iwaki Tsukasa, who jumps out of the way.
 The outcome depended on whether or not Marika was prepared for it.
 The result was that Marika's bullet narrowly missed the target and Tsukasa's bullet landed on Marika's chest.
『Shibahou Academy, Hazuki Marika, down!』
 "Oh, I've been hit," Marika thought.
 Marika regrets her early exit, but at the same time she feels she's done it.
 Because now Shibaryuu Academy and Shibatsuru Academy...
「So, the girl who informed me has been shoot, huh...? Well, I guess you were trying to trick us, huh?」
「Well, that's a bad thing to say. It's your fault if you were fooled in the first place」
 Immediately after that, a number of shoots were heard in rapid succession and a series of announcements were made.
* * *
「I'm lucky, is it you? Finally, we've met here after a hundred years!」
 Minamoto rushes at high speed, shouting with authority and holding up his marker.
 Seeing him, Chisato move the bodies as fast as she can, while Chihiro fires an intercepting shot at him.
 They jumped into a nearby shield to dodge his attacks, then quickly jumped out to attack. Sometimes they would come out from the side they had entered, repeating feints, and they engaged in a number of attacks and defenses.
 Fortunately or unfortunately, the battle did not end in a firefight while moving.
 However, dealing Minamoto with his [Acceleration] was a nerve-wracking task, and Chihiro began to feel tired after only a minute or two, even though he and Chisato were splitting the labor between them.
 But at least for a little while.
 Chihiro stood in the shadows for a few seconds to catch his breath, he felt a presence behind him.
 He turn around with his marker ready.
 There, he saw Minamoto smiling at him with his marker pointed at him.
「At this rate, we're going to have to fight each other. So, I have a proposal」
「A proposal?」
 Chihiro nod his head, careful to make it look like a conversation so he doesn't get shot - though Minamoto probably not the type to play tricks like that.
「Yes. How about a duel?」
 He says they will take three steps with their backs to each other, then turn around and pull the trigger, a western style.
 Either one of them will win, or they will fight each other. Either way, the game is instantaneous. It is easy to understand and quick, just the way Minamoto likes it.
 But it is not bad for Chihiro that the game is settled so quickly.
「Heh~. That's the way it should be」
 The boy's smiling face is carefree and Chihiro can see that he is enjoying this situation from the bottom of his heart.
(I'm sorry)
(It can't be helped, this is a game)
 Chisato responds to the heartfelt murmur and comforts Chihiro.
 ――And this is the time to play your trump card.
「Well then...」
「Let's begin」
 The two men put down their guns for a moment to catch their breath.
 Chihiro felt Minamoto's stiff back and whispered to him.
 They said at the same time, taking one step at a time.
 On the third step, Chihiro turns around with a great momentum.
『Shibahou Academy, Hazuki Marika, down!』
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