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Chapter 1: Heart's PainkillerEdit
*KLANG!* The heavy sound of metal echoed out. Ichika and Rin clashed blades as they faced off against each other.
It was the 3rd of September, during a practical training lesson at the beginning of the second term that was held between classes 1 and 2.
"I WON'T LET YOU GET AWAY, ICHIKA!"
As fellow class representatives, both of them were fighting in this match. Ichika had the upper hand at the beginning, but Rin started to turn it around.
The reason was simple and clear. [Byakushiki]'s second phase was using energy too quickly.
"You used too much energy on your shield!"
"Not over yet!"
Ichika swung his blade, but the [Yukihira Niigata] had already lost the glow of the [Reiraku Byakuya] and became an ordinary physical sword.
If he pulled his distance, Ichika should be able to fire the particle cannon from the multi-purpose left arm weapon [Setsura], but that part had also lost all energy.
"It's useless! This [Shenlong] is designed to be stable and be efficient in using up the energy—[Impact Cannons]!"
*BOOM!* After firing several high-pressure shots in quick succession, Ichika and Rin pulled away from each other.
It seemed that Rin didn't intend on letting go of this opportunity as she threw out the attached [Souten Gagetsu].
Ichika managed to take the powerful hit, but Rin already disappeared from his eyes.
Though the IS Hyper Sensors managed to make up for it as it sensed the enemy's location, it was already too late.
Rin grabbed Ichika on the foot and threw him forcefully to the ground.
As the sunlight was too strong, Ichika immediately narrowed his eyes, and he saw a black figure flying down at him.
Rin remained upside down and continued shooting the [Impact Cannons] at him.
After shooting 10 rounds, the bell rang, indicating that the match was over.
--Needless to say, Ichika lost.
"It's now two straight wins for me. Heh heh, treat me now."
I lost both the first part and the second part of the practical training. After clearing up everything, our usual gang arrived at the student cafeteria.
Having been messed around by her, I felt the agony of defeat as I ate lunch.
On a side note, I chose the miso mackerel set. The white miso is really tasty, and the mackerel's chewiness' really outstanding. Yup, the aunties in the IS Academy Cafeteria did this really well.
"Is that nice, Laura?"
"Yeah. I never thought that I could eat Schnitzel outside my own country."
Laura, who's good friends with Charl, sliced the German cuisine dish Schnitzel[5A 1] (fried beef steak).
"Do you want some?"
"Wah? Can I?"
"I'll take this then! Ehehe, I always wanted to eat this."
Charl ate the Schnitzel Laura sliced for her, looking really delighted.
"Mn~! This is so delicious! Every single German meat dish is nice."
"Well, you can put it that way. The potato dishes are also worth trying."
Laura blushed slightly, probably happy that her own country got praised.
On seeing them like this, the other girls seemed like they also wanted to join in the conversation as everyone started to talk about cuisines.
"Ah—Germany produces a lot of nice sweets like the Baumkuchen[5A 2]. China doesn't have those kinds of desserts, so I'm a bit jealous."
"I see. I'll tell my squad next time to send the Frankfurter Kranz[5A 3] over."
Huh, let me try and recall. A Frankfurter Kranz should be a buttercream cake that's covered in caramel. It's shaped uniquely like a king's crown.
But the Baumkuchen should be like that as well. Do German dessert chefs insist on a hole in the middle?
"Speaking of German dessert, I love that thing, that Berliner Pfannkuchen[5A 4]."
Cecilia said that, but Charl asked back in shock,
"Huh? The Berliner Pfannkuchen's that deep-fried bread that has jam inside right? The exterior's made of vanilla though, so I feel there should be a lot of calories...do you like that kind of thing, Cecilia?"
"I-I calculated the calories carefully before, so there's no problem! That's right, I prepare to fast for the rest of the day when I eat a Berliner Pfannkuchen..."
Do you need to prepare yourself and follow the bushido code of fasting in the first place?
If you want to eat dessert, just eat it. I'll get scolded if I say that, right?
"A deep-fried bread with jam inside. Sounds good."
As expected of Houki. A primary school girl normally wouldn't eat too many deep-fried breads with the nutritional lunch, but she would finish hers completely...Houki seems like she'll get angry if I say that, so I decided to remain silent.
"If you like deep-fried bread, Cecilia, how about I make you some sesame balls next time?"
"A Chinese dessert. It's sweetened bean paste with glutinous flour wrapped around it. The exterior's coated with a layer of sesame and then deep fried~"
"It-It sounds delicious! Ah, but the calories..."
"No problem. Just tell me when you want to eat it."
"Rin-san...you're a better person than I thought you were..."
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU THOUGHT!? SAYING WHAT 'BETTER THAN I THOUGHT YOU WERE'!"
Over here, Rin and Cecilia still have quite the good relationship.
"I like Japanese desserts. That can be called classy, right?"
At one time during summer vacation, everyone went to a green tea cafe, and Laura seemed like she liked the fruit-jelly desserts, it also seemed like she often went there after that.
After she told that to her friends in her native country, they were envious. Furthermore, it seems like they also wanted some Yatsuhashi[5A 5] sent over or something. I do feel that her military friends are really direct.
"If you eat sugar snacks during spring and jelly during summer, you have to eat sweetened bean paste pastries in the autumn."
"Oh, and winter?"
As expected of Houki, she really understands a Japanese's heart.
But if we continue to discuss about sweets, I'll really feel like I want to eat them.
(But I have no time to chit-chat about this.)
Right now, I should be thinking about IS, the problem with my IS, [Byakushiki].
"Sigh...speaking of which, why did I lose even with the power up..."
"I told you your machine used up energy too quickly. Your weapon would already lower your shield energy, so it'll get worse with two of them."[5A 6]
It'll still be okay if that's the case, but even the wing-shaped boosters on the back got enlarged, so a lot of energy is spent.
Though I need two-thirds of my time to recharge the [Ignition Boost] to increase my speed to 1.5 times, it really is too much to use up that amount of energy...
But course, all these won't use up too much shield energy, but because the particle cannon uses the same energy system, I have to use it well.
(Need to quickly switch between close range and long range tactics, also need to get shooting practice, training with the new equipment and...)
ARRGGHH! I HAVE LOTS OF THINGS TO DO!
Even so, my top priority's the same as when I was in first phase. It's about how to conserve my energy.
(Energy, energy. Can't I use a little less energy somewhere? Sigh...)
"I-I don't think that's a problem! Just partner with me!"
Houki folded her arms in front of her chest as she said that.
Houki's personal IS [Akatsubaki]'s unique one-off ability [Kenran Butou] is the complete opposite of [Reiraku Byakuya]. In other words, it increases the amount of energy, and can also transfer energy with a single touch. That's normally hard to do between ISs.
(Speaking of which, Chifuyu-nee did seem to say it before that [Byakushiki] and [Akatsubaki] were a pair. The initial design was for both machines to use each other's energy.)
--Most likely, it also has the significance of controlling each other.
[Byakushiki] can destroy energy, and the [Akatsubaki] can increase it.
So these two machines are the [keys to stop each other].
"Why are you looking so awkward? You're my bride, so team up with me."
Laura was poking at my right cheek.
Recently, Laura's been a lot gentler, and would even joke around. However, it's hard to tell because she always looks so cold.
"Unfortunately, Ichika's teaming up with me! I'm his childhood friend, and [Shenlong] can fight in close range or mid-range, so it matches with [Byakushiki] well."
"Wha, why are you deciding this on your own...!? Ahem! If that's the case, this Cecilia Alcott-sama will take part as the representative candidate with a long-range type machine. I can cover the ranges [Byakushiki] has a problem with."
"No, I'm first in line if we're talking about childhood friends. And also, well, how should I put it...[Byakushiki] and [Akatsubaki] look just like a picture when together. It-It matches..."
She sounded really vague at the last moment, and I couldn't hear it clearly. Anyway, with Houki leading the charge, everyone was willing to be my teammate. Why did this happen?
"Mn...but there aren't any group tournaments to take part in recently."
"Maybe there will be one out of a sudden."
"At that time—I think I'll go with Charl."
Maybe she was shocked that she got named, as Charl's hand that was holding the fork full of Carbonara[5A 7] suddenly stopped.
Then, she put down her fork and spoon, rubbed her hands together, and asked,
"Wh-Why-Why's that so?"
"We teamed up before."
"Oh, I see..."
The eyes that were glittering one second ago suddenly became dark like obsidian, as Charl continued to eat with an empty look.
...Wha-What just happened.
"I knew that would happen. Haa..."
Charl's sigh felt like a fuse as the other girls started scolding me.
"You're really too much..."
"Really, don't you know what a girl's heart is?"
"Ichika-san's blockheadness can't be forgiven at times."
"I'll treat you to Cafe ja, Charlotte. Don't feel so downheartened."
"Tha-Thanks, Laura...and everyone."
Charl seemed to be really touched as her eyes brightened. She smiled at everyone...except for me.
"I-I didn't say that for you."
After saying that, Rin folded her arms in front of her chest. However, she blushed, seemingly shy.
"Heh...Rin, you're rather gentle even though you say that."
(Ohh, as expected of Charl, always friendly to everyone regardless of gender. Her friendly personality's rather good.)
"...Why are you looking at me."
"No, you're thinking too much, Houki?"
"...Why are you looking at me now?"
"You're thinking too much, Laura."
After saying that, both of them gave me a karate chop each.
The karate chops have the hidden meaning of 'You must be thinking of something rude'.
(The-There's no such thing, right?)
The karate chops landed again.
After finishing my lunch with a lot of commotion, we headed to the arena for afternoon practice.
"It's such a waste to have so much space..."
The changing room that became my personal one made me really insecure.
After putting on my IS suit, I summoned [Byakushiki]'s control panel to begin my adjustments.
(Mn...[Setsura] does take up too much energy. Can't I control that a bit?)
As I continued to think about it, my eyes suddenly went dark. This isn't a metaphor, it's real.
Huh? Huh? Huh? Wh-Who's that?
The voice that came from behind me sounded even more mature than my classmates, but the slightly cheeky tone made it feel as if it's a kid who loves to play pranks.
The fingers covering my eyes were somewhat dry and icy cold. The fingers felt really comfortable, and I was in a daze for several seconds.
"Okay, time's up."
I turned around to see who's the one who released her fingers and said that,
"...Who are you?"
She's a girl I don't know. No, looking at the conversation just now, I don't think that answered the question.
The girl in front of me has a tie that signifies that she's from the second year. Showing a happy smile as she stared at this puzzled me, she then raised a fan that I had no idea where she got it out from and raised it to her lips. Looking at her again, this second year is really enigmatic.
She looks rather carefree and gives off a rather relaxing presence that I don't hate. But the smile on her face is of the complete opposite. It looks teasing, and in another sense, I can't calm down.
In other words, I'm worried that 'She would do something to me'. It feels that she's hard to read, really mysterious...am I praising her too much?
The second year looked behind me, and I turned to look there to see what's going on—
My face got smacked with the fan.
"Bye bye! Got to hurry up, or else you'll get scolded by Orimura-sensei."
Feeling a bad premonition, I turned to look at the clock on the wall. It's already 3 minutes past the start of lesson time.
"UAAAAHHHHHH! OH-OH NO—I'M DEEEAAADDDD!!!"
I again turned to look at that culprit, only to see that there's no one there now.
"...And that's your excuse for being late?"
The instructor from hell, Orimura Chifuyu didn't have a look of sympathy on her face at all.
"No, well, about that? I'm saying that a girl just walked up to me—"
"Say the girl's name out then."
"I-I told you that I met her for the first time!"
"Oh? So you put 'Chit-chatting with a girl you met for the first time' as a higher priority and came late for lesson?"
"No, that's not—"
There was no room for interruption at all.
"Dunois, prepare for [Rapid Switch] training, the target will be this idiot. Don't mind."
I MIND THAT!!
Having a hint of hope in my heart, I turned to look at Charl.
She returned me a radiant smile.
(That's it, Charl! You won't do such a reckless thing!)
"Then, Orimura-sensei, I'll start the training."
GYAAHHH! CHARL'S SMILE ISN'T OF A MERCIFUL GODDESS BUT A HEARTLESS ANGEL!
Her IS floated into the air, and the particles of light gathered in her hands, forming the shape of a gun.
"What is it, Orimura-kun?"
GYAAAHH!! I'M SEEING VEINS ON HER FOREHEAD!! WHY-WHY'S THAT? WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY, CHARL-SAN!!?
"Let's go, [Revive]."
*BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM!!*
My voice got overpowered by the sounds of bullets...GGYYYYYYAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
"That's what I'm saying! Please send me the live equipment over!"
"We can't grant that request, Cecilia Alcott. Your [Blue Tears] needs to provide us the actual combat data for the BT weapons, not live weapons."
"I know, I know that well...ahh, really, you're too rigid!"
After the 6th practical lesson ended, the changing room that was packed full of 2 classes of girls was filled with hot air and chattering.
Slightly further away, Cecilia was using one hand as she called the international line through the phone to haggle with the person in charge of her IS who was in her native country, England.
"Speaking of which, why do you need live weapons?"
The reason is simple and quick, but she's reserved about saying it out directly.
—Because an IS that only has BT weapons won't be able to beat Ichika-san's [Byakushiki].
(I'll lose if I can't pierce the shield and let it run out of energy.)
During the simple practical training that also included breaking, Cecilia was the only one who lost to Ichika.
Having lost to [Byakushiki]'s second phase that used energy quickly, Cecilia's pride was in a mess.
(Just me, just me...)
As she let out a painful and silent expression, the in-charge on the other side of the phone sighed.
"Listen up, Cecilia Alcott. Your mission is to collect the actual combat data of the BT weapons. Not to mention we have problems now since the new equipment was destroyed last month."
"No need for excuses. Good bye."
*Pak!* The phone that was hung up left behind an empty beeping sound.
"AH, THIS IS SO IRRITATING!"
Cecilia raised her right hand as she wanted to throw the handphone away in fury.
"Ce-Cecilia? What's wrong?"
Charlotte was the one who called her. Having changed from her IS suit into her uniform, she was wiping the sweat off her hair.
(Charlotte-san's the least affected when [Byakushiki] entered [Second Shift]...)
Even though the reason was that all her weapons used live ammunition, Charlotte was still really strong even if they were taken away.
(Right now, the ranking order is Laura-san, Charlotte-san, Rin-san, then Houki-san, Ichika-san and me...)
She sighed heavily. On seeing the IS data value [BT weapon synchronization rate at 37%], her heart felt really heavy.
(Though I heard that I can continue the lasers at will when the synchronization is at its maximum...)
Is it true? She couldn't help but think.
(I've never been able to use them like this successfully...should be just in theory...)
Speaking of which, Cecilia was the only one amongst the national cadets with an 'A' grade in compatibility with BTs.
Because of that, she had the privilege of entering IS Academy and having a personal machine. But since she couldn't get the data as expected, she didn't know how long these privileges would last.
"Huh, well, Cecilia, let's just go to the cafe beside the cafeteria. I don't think you want to remain in a bad mood all this time, right?"
Charlotte was still worried that Cecilia couldn't break out of her funk, so she continued on,
"Oh yeah, let's get Ichika and everyone along. It's better that way."
"...I'm not going if Ichika-san's going."
Just when Charlotte realized that she spoke the wrong words, it was too late. To Cecilia, who had lots of dignity, even if he was her crush, she still hated to face him as the loser; or at least that's how she would be now.
"Then how about the girls go, Cecilia?"
"Uu...you're right. Since Charlotte-san's so understanding, please pardon me for joining in."
Cecilia's mood improved as she looked up and walked towards her own locker.
Cecilia's footsteps regained her usual confidence. To her, this suited her best.
The next day, the school used the SHR[5A 8] and first half of the first period to hold a school meeting.
Of course, it's about the school anniversary that's held in the middle of this month.
(But with so many girls gathered over here...)
It's noisy, and if they get any louder, it'll be a ruckus.
"And now, we'll have our Student Council President explain."
The person who announced this calmly should be one of the Student Council members, and these words made the laughter subside quickly like the tide.
"Good morning, everyone."
The girl with the second year tie stood on the stage. She's the one who appeared yesterday at the changing room.
I was about to shout out, but held back as I looked at her.
As our eyes met, she showed a smile.
—Not good. What's with me? I feel like my heart's beating really hard...
I tried my best not to let others realize that my heart's wavering as I continued to listen to the Student Council President.
"Okay okay, I had to deal with a lot of things this year, so I couldn't say hello to everyone. My name's Sarashiki Tatenashi, and I'm your Student Council President. Nice to meet you."
The smiling Student Council President's charisma was able to charm everyone regardless of gender, as everyone below the stage applauded enthusiastically.
"Then, the important event this month is the school anniversary, so I'll allow for special rules. As for what's going on,"
With a refined movement, she pulled out her fan and shook it at her side. As if matching the movement, a hologram screen appeared in mid-air.
"I call it the Every Club Fight For Orimura Ichika War!"
*PAN!* The fan opened with a crisp sound, and with that, the large screen showed my photo.
It wasn't a joke. The hall really shook because everyone cried out.
While I was still flabbergasted, everyone turned to look at me.
"Please remain quiet. Every year, the clubs will set up booths during the school anniversary and hold voting events. Also, the school will provide special funds to the leading clubs. But I do feel that it'll be too boring if I do that this year—"
Sempai pointed at me with the fan.
"So we'll forcefully get Orimura Ichika to join the number one club!"
Everyone screamed crazily.
"THAT'S GREAT!! PREZ'S THE BEST!!!"
"IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE'LL DO OUR BEST...WE'RE GOING FOR IT!!!"
Please don't treat the autumn tournament like that...
But, am I really that valuable? I can't take part in games for girls, and I'm not the manager type.
"Speaking of which, I never agreed to this..."
Still feeling dazed, I turned to look at the Student Council President.
And then she winked back at me.
...No, even if you wink at me like that, it still troubles me...
"VERY GOOD VERY GOOD VERY GOOD! MY FIGHTING WILL'S STARTING TO BURN!"
"LET'S GATHER AFTER SCHOOL! EVERYONE, GATHER YOUR IDEAS! WE'LL DECIDE ON WHAT TO DO USING VOTES!"
"IT'LL BE BEST IF WE GET NUMBER ONE. AT WORST, WE MUST ALSO GET NUMBER ONE!"
These girls just can't be stopped once they're motivated.
And thus, even though I only heard this for the first time and didn't agree to this, this war over me began.
After school, on the same day, our class had a last minute meeting in our classroom. Right now, everyone's deciding on what booth the class should set up.
As the class representative, I have to gather everyone's views, but—
(The content includes 'Orimura Ichika's Cowbot Club', 'Play Twister with Orimura Ichika', 'Eating biscuit sticks with Orimura Ichika' and 'Play King's Game with Orimura Ichika'...wait, what's going on?)
HUUUUUUUUH!!! The cries echoed throughout like a surround system.
"You-You idiots! You would be happy about setting up such a booth!?"
"I'll be happy! I promise!"
"That's right, that's right! You have the duty to service the girls till they're happy!"
"Orimura Ichika's shared property!"
"The other classes were all chattering about, and our club sempais have been really naggy."
"Just treat it as if you're helping others!"
"You must have the Messiah attitude!"
What's with this nonsense? Speaking of which, what am I to do...
I looked around for help, but Chifuyu-nee herself wasn't around anymore.
"It seems like it'll take quite some time, so I'll head back to the staff room first. Tell me the results later."
Uwaa, onee-sama's really gentle.
"Yamada-sensei, we can't use these weird ideas, right?"
"Huh? You, you want my suggestion?"
Pull yourself through, Vice-Homeroom Teacher.
"Huh, erm...mn, I-I think the eating biscuit sticks together sounds good....?"
The vice-homeroom teacher Yamada Maya-sensei blushed as she said this...damn it, she's a landmine.
"Anyway, how about some normal suggestions?"
"How about a maid café?"
Laura was the one who came up with the idea...huh?
Everyone, including me, was stunned.
"It should be popular amongst the customers, right? And we can earn revenue if we sell food and drinks. I remember that outsiders can enter school through an invitational ticket system, so a lot of people would want a place to rest."
Though she's saying that with the same old cold tone, these words really differred from her image a lot, and everyone in class had to spend some time to understand.
"Huh, erm...how does everyone feel about this?"
Even though it's by majority, all the girls still looked stunned.
"Isn't this good? We'll just let Ichika be in charge of being the butler or cooking."
Charl said that, probably to speak up for Laura as she attracted all the girls' attention.
"ORIMURA-KUN, AS A BUTLER!!? ME, ME!!"
"AND THEN, AND THEN!?"
"WHAT ABOUT THE MAID OUTFITS? I'M IN CHARGE OF MAKING THE CLOTHES IN THE DRAMA CLUB, SO I CAN SEW THEM!"
The class just went intense out of a sudden. I feel that I'll be pouring cold water over the girls if I hold back their passion at this point, so I'm hesitating on whether I should stop them.
(Oh well, let's just treat it as a café with very weird uniforms.)
"I have a correspondence if we need to get maid outfits, including the butler outfit. I'll go ask if I can borrow it."
As unexpected as ever, the one who said that was Laura.
Huh? Everyone widened their eyes. Laura suddenly felt that things weren't going right, so she deliberately coughed a few times.
"—Ahem, I mean Charlotte will be the one asking."
Laura's face turned a little red, perhaps feeling shy due to the overwhelming stares.
And then, Charl, who got called, revealed a puzzled look.
"Huh, erm, Laura? Are you talking about last month...?"
"I-I'll go ask. Don't be angry if I can't get them."
Facing Charl who was looking anxious as she said that, all the girls in class replied back with confidence and in unison,
"We won't be angry!"
And thus, Class 1-1 decided to set up a modified maid café. A 'Service Café'.
"...Anyway, class 1 decided to set up a café."
In the staff room, I concluded the results of the meeting to Chifuyu-nee beside me.
"I really want to say that you chose something really uninteresting, but there should be something else to that, right?"
"No, well...it's something like a, Cosplay Café. Ya."
"Who's the one who came up with that? Tajima? Or is it Liadi? I guess it's one of the people who like to create quite the ruckus, right?"
I'm somewhat hesitant on whether I should tell the truth to Chifuyu-nee who's giving a wry smile.
But never mind, I still decided to say it out.
Chifuyu-nee widened her eyes. Uu, I really hate this silence.
After blinking twice, she started laughing.
"Fu...hahaha! Bodewig? That's really unexpected. But...ku, hahaha! She was the one who came up with the idea of opening a cosplay café? Her personality really changed so much."
"So you're really surprised...aren't you?"
"Of course I am. I know her past, so this really surprises me. Fu-Fufuu, she said that she wanted to open a cosplay café...HAHA!"
After laughing a while, Chifuyu-nee rubbed away the tears in her eyes that came out due to the laughter. Was that really funny...
To the other teachers in the staff room, it seems that it's a rare scene for Chifuyu-nee to have such a reaction as everyone widened their eyes and stared at her in a mystified manner.
"Mn, mnn—well, is that all for the report?"
After noticing her surroundings, she cleared her throat and adjusted her tone.
"Yes, just this."
"Then, you just need to write the equipment and food needed on this request form. Remember to send it back in a week. There's no problem, right?"
(Uu, looks troublesome...)
"There's, no, problem, right?"
Chifuyu-nee's forceful tone made me straighten my back and answer.
She's still very scary when she's like this. That's Chifuyu-nee for ya.
(But Chifuyu-nee did change a lot as compared to the past.)
I don't really remember but Chifuyu-nee was really scary when she was in middle school. She was like a sharp blade, that others would be hurt if they touched her. Even I would feel scared of her as a family member.
(But ever since I went to High school, she became somewhat more sociable. Speaking of which, she often hung out with Tabane-san...)
The peerless genius, Shinonono Tabane. Most likely, the only person in this wide world who can stand side by side with her is Chifuyu-nee.
--I understand that, and I dare say that. That's true.
"Orimura, there will be all sorts of military personnel and IS related enterprise representatives coming in from different countries. Normally, ordinary people are not allowed to take part, but the school will be giving out an entrance ticket to every student for them to enter. You need to think of who you want to invite."
The report to Chifuyu-nee ended like that. I bowed and walked out of the staff room.
After hearing the sliding door shut behind me, I sighed deeply.
The moment I walked out of the staff room, there's a girl waiting for me already.
That's a face I would never forget. She's the Student Council President, Sarashiki Tatenashi.
"...What is it?"
"Hm? Why are you so wary of me?"
"Do you want me to say the reason..."
Whether it's the fiasco because I was late or the commotion during the school meeting, this sempai's the culprit behind them all, and yet she's staring at me happily as if nothing had happened.
"Ah, I want to say that I'd forget it if it wasn't shocking at the beginning."
"I won't forget it."
After saying that, I headed to the arena.
The sempai near me naturally walked alongside me.
Seems like it'll be difficult to shake her off.
I do feel that this person's giving off a fearsome presence, yet she doesn't strike me as strong—well, it's like 'some situation' guided her here.
"Relax, relax, don't be so unhappy. It won't be beneficial to you if you shut yourself in since you are young, you know?"
"Whose fault do you think that is?"
"Mn—how about I switch the conditions around a bit? This person in front of you here will be your IS instructor from today onwards, okay?"
"No need. I have a pile of coaches."
Houki, Rin, Cecilia, Charl and Laura. My fingers are all used up just counting them.
"Uu-n, don't say that. I'm the Student Council President after all."
"Wait, don't you know? The IS Academy Student Council President is—"
Just when Sarashiki-sempai intended to continue on, a girl in front of me came running over with dust flying. No, wielding a bamboo sword with one hand and attacking.
I stood between both of them in reflex, and sempai evaded me fluidly as she pulled out the fan.
"Moving without hesitation...not bad."
Unbelievably, sempai used the fan to block the bamboo sword and then knocked a karate chop with her left hand.
As the girl fell, the glass window shattered.
"Wha, what's going on now?"
A barrage of arrows aimed at sempai's face as they flew by. Looking closely, there's a girl at the window on the opposite school building dressed in a hakama and pulling a Japanese bow. Wha-What the heck!
"Lend me that."
She kicked the bamboo sword that's lying beside the girl and grabbed it as it flew in midair. She then threw it out.
The bamboo sword went through the shattered glass window and landed pin-pointedly in the middle of the archer girl's forehead, beating her beautifully.
*BAM!* A third assassin came rushing out of the tool cabinet on the corridor.
She had boxing gloves on her hands. Taking light steps, she swinged over the heavy punches that were full of body weight.
"Fufu. How energetic...oh yeah, Orimura Ichika-kun."
"I think you don't know about this, so let me tell you. In IS Academy, the Student Council President is the proof of something."
Sempai covered her mouth with the half-opened fan and said happily.
During this time, she continued to dodge the boxing girl's ferocious attacks with little movements. That's really amazing.
"The Student Council President is the leader of all the students—"
She dodged the right straight punch in a circle-like manner. *Tonk*...she kicked herself off the ground and leaped into the air.
"And also the strongest."
And then, she sent a spear-like spinning kick, sending the boxing girl flying back into the cupboard as if it was a rewind, unable to say anything.
"...That's how it is."
She spun around and let the fan that was let loose when she did the spinning kick to fall back into her hand before it landed on the floor, and then held down her floating skirt.
"Did you see it?"
"No, I didn't!"
Fufu, sempai laughed twice and closed the fan.
"...So what's the situation now?"
"Hm? As you can see, this weak me often gets in danger, so I need a knight to protect me."
There's a liar in front of me.
"You just told me you were the strongest."
"Oh my, you saw through me."
She chuckled happily again...it's not important at all, but this way of laughing is rather elegant and really suits her. What kind of person is she...?
"Well, basically, anyone will come and attack the strongest Student Council President. If she wins, that person will become the Student Council President."
"Haa...that's quite chaotic."
"Yup, but ever since I became President, almost nobody was able to beat me. So just now, that was."
She pulled towards me and dragged my face close in—WAAH! THAT'S CLOSE! THAT'S TOO CLOSE!!
"You caused that, you know?"
The gentle aromatic fragrance soothed my nerves.
The fragrance made me lose my sanity, and my heart started to pound wildly.
"Hm? Well, since I put you as the prize of this month's school anniversary, the sports club that won't be able to get first like the fighting type clubs can only use force. They want me to step down, cancel the rules of the prize and get you at the same time."
These are just wild guesses. I should add that, but I feel that her guesses are mostly right.
It seems that she has a talent of reading people's minds. In other words, she seems like she can tell that my heart's pounding like crazy. That's really scary.
"Then, I would like you to come over to the Student Council office for a visit. Please come along. There's tea for you to drink."
"So I take it as you want to go?"
To refuse her...seems like I can't do that.
"Mn, very good, this onee-san likes to see Orimura Ichika-kun being so honest."
"Ju-Just call me Ichika."
"Really? Then call me Tatenashi. You can call me Ta-chan."
"I don't really mind either way. Haa..."
I raised my hands to surrender. It seems like I can't disobey this person in front of me.
Seeing that I gave up my struggle, sempai looked delighted. Unlike the mature smile she showed just now, she looks really immature, as if a childish prank had just succeeded.
"...How long are you going to remain blank over there?"
"I'm so sleepy...it's so, late already..."
"Do your work."
For some reason I hesitated once I heard such a voice from the other side of the door.
"Hm? What's wrong?"
"No, I think I heard that voice somewhere before..."
"Ah, that's right. She should be inside now."
After saying that, Tatenashi-sempai opened the door.
The heavy door was pushed aside without any noise, and it seems to be a rather good door.
"Welcome back, Prez."
The one who welcomed her back was a third year girl. This girl with glasses and braided hair looked like a 'resolute yet efficient' person as she held the files with one hand in a manner that suited her.
The girl who was standing behind her surprised me.
It's Nohohon-san[5A 9]...wait, that's strange. Why?
"Mn, please sit over there. Tea will be served soon."
Nohohon-san looks like she's six times more sleepy than usual. Though her face went up by about 3cm when she noticed me, it immediately sank back onto the table.
"We're now facing the guest. Pull yourself through."
"I, can't, do, it...I'm, sleepy. Can, I...go, back, now...?"
With her last ounce of hope, Nohohon-san asked the question word by word, but the third year's merciless answer crushed her completely.
"Huh, Nohohon-san? Are you tired?"
"Oh my, you two are calling each other by nicknames. You two sure have a good relationship."
Tatenashi-sempai, who became President in only her second-year, let the third year sempai deal with the brewing of the tea as she raised her arms elegantly and sat down on her seat.
"Ah- no, well, I don't know her real name..."
*PAM!* Nohohon-san stood up, and for the first time, I saw her shout loudly,
"How mean~ you kept calling me by a nickname, so I thought that you liked me~..."
Just as I bowed down in apology because of this really insolent act, the third year sempai who served the tea here interrupted.
"Don't lie, Honne."
"Hehehe. I got seen through. Got it, nee-san~"
"Yes, my name's Nohotoke Utsuho. My sister here is called Honne."
Nohotoke Honne. This name...it's basically Nohohon-san if I shorten her name.[5A 10]
"Huh? So you sisters joined the Student Council?"
"Yup. The Student Council President has to be the strongest, but the other members can join as long as it doesn't reach the maximum capacity, so I recruited those who grew up with me."
Tatenashi-sempai explained to me.
Oh, so these three grew up since young? Is it because Nohohon-san just said that 'We served as maids for generations'?
"Besides, it's my duty to serve ojou-sama."
Utsuho-sempai poured the tea that was just brewed into the cup.
She looked rather refined when she did that, and she gave off the vibe of a secretary or a head maid.
"An, don't call me ojou-sama."
"Sorry, I just said it out of habit."
Seeing how the conversation went, I think the Sarashiki family should be of some nobility?
I can tell that from some of Tatenashi-sempai's actions.
"Orimura-kun, please have some tea."
Utsuho-sempai poured some tea for me as well. Her courteous attitude made me cautious.
"Honne, take the cake out from the fridge."
"Okay~ I'm very efficient when I'm awake~"
Are you serious...
Her movements were still as slow as ever, and she looked like she was going to fall from the way she walked, maybe because she was still groggy.
But unexpectedly, Nohohon-san didn't fall as she safely served the cake.
"Orimura--, the cake—the cake here's super super super super super super super~...delicious-"
She continued to say that as she ate her own slice of cake...well.
"Don't do that, Honne, the Nohotoke family's customs will be doubted."
"No problem, no problem. It's delicious. ♪"
The younger sister continued to focus on licking the buttercream off the base of the cake, but the strict elder sister wouldn't allow her to do that.
*GONCK!* Utsuho-sempai used her fist to slam down on her.
"Do you still want me to hit you, Honne...if that's the case, it can't be helped."
"I haven't said anything yet~ I haven't said anything at all~"
Nohohon-san's eyes were tearing up.
"Okay okay, I know you two siblings have quite the good relationship, but we have a guest in front of us now."
"I'm very sorry."
The three members of the Student Council turned to me again.
"Anyway, let me tell you what's going on. Ichika-kun, since you haven't joined a club yet, we received a lot of complaints. It'll be very serious if the Student Council doesn't force you to join a club."
"So that's why you set up the school anniversary voting battle...?"
That's really troublesome. I'm already busy with IS training. I don't even have time to join any club activities.
On a side note, having clubs that are formed by girls only is really, well...unreasonable. I can't join them, and I can't handle the mental stuff. What happens when it's a sports club? I don't even have a male changing room and bathroom.
"Thus, as a condition for exchange, from now until the school anniversary ends, I'll be giving you special training, including IS, of course."
"Please allow me to refuse."
"Don't say that. Ah, please have some tea. It's nice."
The fragrance of the tea reached my nose. I gently took in that soothing aroma and gently sipped the red tea that was at just the right temperature.
"This tea's nice."
"Utsuho-chan's red tea is the best in the world. Next, please try the cake."
As sempai recommended me, I tried the strawberry cake that had lots of buttercream on it.
Even though there's a lot of cream, the cake tasted nice but not sickening. It's really smooth and silky...hold on, when did I become a gourmet reporter?
"And then allow me to teach you."
"No, I said that there's no need. Why do you need to teach me?"
"Hm? The reason's simple. Because you're too weak."
As she answered that really smoothly, I didn't catch her words for a while.
But the moment I realized what she said, I felt...really unhappy about that.
"I don't think I'm as weak as what you said."
"Nope, you're weak, very weak, so weak that you're pitiful. That's why I said that I'll train you until you're at least decent."
Of course, I don't have the patience to remain calm after being told that by her.
The moment I realized it, I found myself pointing at Tatenashi-sempai.
"Then let's have a match. I'll listen to you if I lose."
That smile on her face showed the words 'You fell into my trap'.
"Yup, that's a hakama."
"I know that!"
Tatenashi-san and I were facing each other on the tatami dojo after school. Right now, we look like martial artists from ancient Japan who had been wearing the white torso guard and the navy blue hakama.
There's only sempai and I in the dojo. The Nohotoke sisters seemed like they had work, but well... then again, Nohohon-san's actually a Student Council member.
"Okay, as for the winning conditions, you win if you can make me fall onto the ground."
"But on the other hand, I win if you can't continue to fight. Will that do?"
"Huh, no, wait, hold on..."
Isn't that too disadvantageous to sempai? Just when I wanted to say that, she said first,
"I'll win anyway, so it doesn't matter."
Even though I knew it was a low-level taunt, I couldn't help but get angry as I got into a defensive stance.
When I was learning kendo at Houki's dojo, I also trained in ancient barehanded martial arts in anticipation that the blade would break.
My body already remembered that skill, and I wouldn't forget it completely even though I'm somewhat estranged to it.
"I'm coming over."
"Anytime you're ready."
The smile didn't vanish from Tatenashi-san's face at all, and the casual expression made her all the more enigmatic.
(Anyway, let's try this.)
I firmly slid my foot over and grabbed Tatenashi-san's arm. However...
She immediately countered and grabbed me, and my body got tossed hard onto the tatami mat.
For a moment, I lost my breath. I felt tremendous pressure within my lungs, and after choking out some air, Tatenashi-san's finger seemed to be searching for my carotid artery as she stroke me.
"That's win number one."
After letting me realize that she could kill me in that situation, Tatenashi-san let go of me.
I can't beat Tatenashi-san if I don't have the attitude of going against Chifuyu-nee. That's what I thoroughly realized.
But if that's the case, I can't take action casually. Things just got sticky.
"Mn? You're not coming over? I'm going over then!"
*Don*. She suddenly closed in on me quickly. The way she slid on the floor was perfect. No wait, that's one of the secret ancient techniques 'No Rhythm'[5A 11]
Simply put, humans live through 'rhythm'. Besides the heartbeat, there's the breathing rhythm, so for example, the so-called 'Matching presence' is a positive show of this. In contrast, a 'non-matching presence' would be the opposite.
And the move of the highest class causes people to be unable to feel the rhythm. The martial art move that uses the undetectable rhythm is called 'No Rhythm'.
With the sounds of three hits, my elbows, shoulders and abdomen got hit lightly, and while my body stiffened in reflex, sempai landed her palms on my chest.
The air in my lungs got forced out, shaking my consciousness. And then—
"Watch your feet."
*ZUDON!* My back landed hard on the tatami mat.
And as I got thrown- it seemed that she used the 'penetrate'[5A 14] move to touch several of my joints. Even though I tried to get up immediately, the slight numbness made it hard for me to move around easily.
"That'll be two wins for me. Do you want to fight on?"
Her clothes completely unruffled, Tatenashi-san gave me a gentle smile.
But since I'm a guy, how can I give up so easily!
"It's not over yet. I can still fight...!"
But even though I said that, my body was still unable to move.
I breathed in deeply, and got myself up as I exhaled.
"Mn, hardworking guys are really amazing."
"You flatter me..."
Deep inside, I commanded my legs that were wobbling, and barely managed to stop myself from wobbling any further.
Tatenashi-san faced me again. Even though she's been giving me the same smile all this time, to me, it's a terrifying face that's hidden deep within.
It's like a thick fog in the forest that doesn't let anyone see what's inside. Humans aren't afraid because it's thick. They're afraid of the unknown inside that they can't grasp.
This can be applied to this person.
The iron wall-like smile made me unable to guess her true thoughts.
However, I can't say that it's a lying smile.
Tatenashi-san's been smiling all this while, but I'm really at a loss because I don't know why she's smiling.
(Calm down...calm down...I'm not facing a monster. Since my opponent's a human who can stand on both legs, there's a way to beat her.)
I took two deep breaths.
A candle flame that wouldn't waver appeared in my head as I calmed myself down and gathered my concentration.
"Mn, you're serious now."
Facing my silent response, sempai responded silently as well. At this moment, there's a really tense feeling between us, as if both sides are about to use their killer moves.
(Got to have the determination to take down the opponent in one hit...let's go!)
I utilized the Shinonono ancient martial arts hidden technique 'No Rhythm' to break sempai's 'still' with my 'move'—and attacked before my opponent could.
Perhaps feeling that my speed now is completely different from behind, Tatenashi-san took half a step back to gain a suitable distance.
Before sempai's foot landed, I reached out and grabbed her arm to swing her—out?
This time, I was the one who fell forward as my chest landed directly on the tatami mat. I started coughing, and my consciousness became all blurry.
But I used my momentum to suppress this unbearable feeling and grabbed Tatenashi-san's ankle.
"It's my win now!"
I forcefully swung her ankle up and grabbed the body of the opponent that was flying back.
"That's too naive."
Normally speaking, I did grab her from under her armpits, and yet sempai used her right hand to support herself on the tatami mat in an unbelievable manner. She then spun around to shake me off before landing a Capoeira kick.
"Your attack's not too bad."
(Martial arts and ancient martial arts and Capoeira[5A 15]? Just who the hell is she?)
I finally realized what she meant by the 'strongest'. It isn't just some bluff or daydream, but a down-to-earth fact.
Even so, I can't lose to her.
Right now, I can only hang on. This is the only part I can't succumb, a man's determination.
Even though my body got kicked, I landed on my hands and feet before rushing forward.
In front of me, sempai already recovered as she smiled.
(At this point, I'll use any means! Anyway, I can't lose here!)
I hastened myself again and swung my fist hard at sempai.
—In the end
Sempai's torso guard was completely open, and the cleavage that covered in the bra bounced out.
The breasts under the high-quality laced underwear looked quite voluminous, and they definitely won't lose to Houki's...no wait, what am I thinking!?
"Ichika-kun no ecchi."
Even if I want to find an excuse, this situation's completely my fault.
Wavering inside, I'm full of openings. Sempai didn't shriek at all as she quickly pushed my hand aside.
(Ahh, I'm deeaaaaddd!!)
And at the next moment, I fully experienced what's called an aerial jumbo.
How many times did I get hit by sempai? I lost count after the seventeenth hit, and gave up on it—actually, I fainted.
"Onee-san's underwear show's pretty expensive, you know?"
Kukuku. In the end, I seemed to hear a happy laugh.
"Where did he go? Really...that bride's a failure."
Today, Laura was handling Ichika's IS training.
As the second term started, Ichika suggested that it was really inefficient to have everyone coaching him. Everyone felt that it was true and thus decided to do it in a routine manner.
As the special training was to begin today, Laura, who was often lucky at the critical moment, was the first person to coach him...but even though she was lucky, they just played janken.
(Speaking of which, that guy's been spending too little time with me. That's preposterous.)
Moving quickly, Laura gradually slowed down before stopping.
(Is he avoiding me...?)
Obviously looking somewhat anxious, Laura tried to shake away her cowardly thoughts as she shook her head.
(No, there's no problem! No problem, no problem...I guess.)
However, once this idea popped up in her mind, it was hard for a girl's fragile heart not to be clouded.
Right now, Laura's heart was being taken by some mysterious anxiety. Her impulses made her want to use the IS private communicator to check Ichika's location, something that was against the rules.
(Nobody's looking...I won't be spotted...Okay, it's alright. I just need to activate it for a short while and get the data...)
I'm still feeling guilty, right? Laura looked around to check the situation, something rare for her.
(Ve-Very good. Now I just need to activate my IS in stealth mode.)
She held back her crazily beating heart *DOKI DOKI* and secretly activated the IS.
"Wha-What is it?"
Suddenly being called, Laura tried to cover her own actions as she turned around with killing intent.
--And the person standing behind her was Chifuyu.
"What hideous things are you doing? Pull yourself together."
*PAM!* The rare attendance book attack appeared.
"Call me Orimura-sensei."
Even Laura couldn't look up at Chifuyu easily. No, more accurately, she couldn't beat Chifuyu's overwhelming presence.
"Are you okay? I just saw Orimura in front of the sick bay."
"Huh--? Wh-Which sick bay!!?"
"Don't be anxious. How irritating. He's at the sick bay on the first level of the club building."
"The sick bay at the first level of the club building..."
Seemingly repeating herself, Laura bowed to Chifuyu and intended to run.
...But Chifuyu stopped her before she moved.
"Bodewig, I must remind you first that as a personal IS pilot, it's against the rules to activate an IS outside the designated areas, and also against international treaty."
Laura answered as a matter of fact, but her tone sounded really unstable, probably because her guilty conscience was working against her.
"The-Then, I'll be leaving first."
Walking 5 meters away from Chifuyu, Laura controlled herself, trying not to hasten herself, but once she passed that area, she started running.
Seeing her student like that, Chifuyu murmured to herself,
*GYA GYA*, *GYA GYA*.
The trees that were swaying with the wind let out that sound.
I felt the heat that belonged to the beginning of summer as I continued to run to somewhere.
(I need to hurry up.)
For some reason, I knew that.
My running legs were affected by the heat and gradually slowed down.
There's a person in front of a well.
That's a beautiful woman with glamorous black hair tied high, wearing a red and white miko outfit.
For some reason, I felt that my heart was about to stop, and naturally stopped.
She gradually walked over, yet I couldn't see her face.
I know that she's beautiful, but I don't know who that face belongs to.
But my heart was fulfilled. Soon after—
I heard a gentle humming in my ears and gradually regained consciousness.
At that moment, the sharp sunlight caused me to frown.
On noticing my reaction, the person who realized that I was awake brought her face to me as she looked like she wanted to block the sunlight.
"Are you awake?"
Tatenashi-san's face is right beside me....speaking of which, Tatenashi isn't a girl's name, right?
"Hm? That's a name exclusive to the Sarashikis. I'm the 17th generation of the Sarashikis."
Still not fully awake, I answered blankly.
...Hm? Hold on, that's strange. Did I just say something...?
Suddenly realizing the problem of the position, I was completely awake.
I thought the inexplicably soft and nice-smelling object was a pillow!
"Wh-Wha-What are you doing?"
"Using my thighs as your pillow."
Tatenashi-san was right. But even so, why must she give me the 'Don't ask any weird things' look?
Speaking of which, sempai changed already? The thigh pillow that's separated by the stockings actually feels so comfortable.
(DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! I'M GETTING A FEELING THAT I'M DEAD IF THIS KEEPS UP!)
Just when I wanted to get away from sempai's thighs, she quickly used her hands to press my shoulders down.
Losing my balance, I again fell back to the soft thigh pillow. No, THIS CAN'T DO!
Opening the door forcefully and shouting was Laura.
After seeing sempai and me like that, she suddenly looked expressionless.
...Ahh, it's over. My teenage years are so short. I don't even have strength to see the boat lights.
"Eliminating the target."
Deploying her IS from the fingertips, Laura activated [AIC] and came slashing over—UWAAHH!!
Tatenashi-san smiled and quickly drew her fan and threw it at Laura's forehead.
The part that was nearly deployed completely made Laura want to back away.
Not letting go of this opening, sempai immediately rushed in. After grabbing the fan in the air, she opened it and quickly used the paper fan to press onto Laura's carotid artery.
On seeing the precise ability and smooth execution of the methods, Laura and I were unable to hide our intrigue.
Though Laura has the [Absolute Defense] barrier, if sempai, who was a lot faster than Laura, really wanted to kill her from the beginning, she would have done so already. Realizing that she lost, Laura gritted her teeth and dispelled the IS.
"Mn, it's good that you can be obedient."
After saying that, Tatenashi-san patted Laura's head twice and then turned to me,
"Then, since things are done, let's go."
"The third arena."
It seems like neither Laura nor I can beat this smiling sempai.
"That's strange? Ichika."
"I-Ichika-san? I heard that you were training in the fourth arena!"
Unexpectedly, Charl and Cecilia are both at the third arena. Maybe they're here to train? They're still in their IS suits even though their ISes are removed.
On seeing me, Laura and Tatenashi-san, an intriguing look appeared on their faces,
I don't know if she's mindful of Tatenashi-san, but Cecilia asked that with an unhappy look.
"Ce-Cecilia, that's the Student Council President."
"Ohh. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing that face before."
Charl's feeling anxious about Cecilia, who's rude due to her bad mood, as she tries to round this off, but that kindness was wrecked cleanly. Charl really has it tough...
"Mn, don't be so mean. Ah, I'm now Ichika-kun's personal trainer, so we will have chances to talk to each other in the future."
"Huh? What does that mean?"
"Ichika you bastard...!"
"WAHH! HOL-HOLD ON! THIS-THIS IS, JUST THE OUTCOME OF OUR BATTLE! UU!"
Seeing the three girls close in, I said something that sounded like an excuse.
"We promised that the loser will have to listen to the winner, right?"
Sempai smiled as she said that...ahh, don't make things so complicated.
As expected, everyone wanted to fight with me. It's really hard to convince them.
Speaking of which, why did I come here in the first place...?
"Then let's begin. We'll follow the people with experience. Charlotte-chan and Cecilia-chan, please use the [Shooter Flow] to spin around in a [Circle Rondo] for him to see."
Shoot...what? Also, did she just say London?
"Huh? But these are shooting-type fighting maneuvers."
"I can do it, but...this is for helping out Ichika-kun, right?'
It seems like both of them realized it, and I'm the only one here who got left aside.
"Is that because his [Second Shift] has a long-ranged—shooting attack?"
Laura said that unhappily. It seems that she's still wary of sempai.
"Mn, you're rather sharp. But that's not all."
*Tonk tonk*. Tatenashi-san patted her palm with her fan and continued,
"In a shooting contest, the most important thing is the control. But if I have to classify a particle cannon that can't be fired consecutively, it's more like a sniper rifle. In other words, it has penetrating power that can kill in one hit. But everyone knows that Ichika-kun's shooting ability isn't suited for long-ranged combat."
Gua, I got hit on my wound while being ignored.
"So he would deliberatedly—"
"Defeat his opponent at close range."
"That's right. You're really sharp, Laura-chan."
Tatenashi-san opened her fan and praised Laura. Looking closely, there's the pretty words 'wonderful' (Migoto) on it— when-when did she change those words...
Hm? What's with Laura? She looked stunned.
"Hey, what's with you? Are you alright?"
"No, nothing! Don't look at me!"
Laura turned her body and evaded my hand that was ready to be put on her shoulders before locking my hand and turning it backwards---OOWWWWWWOWOWOWOWOW!!!
"Okay okay, lovey-dovey couple, Charlotte-chan and Cecilia-chan seem to be ready, so just watch."
Tatenashi-san clapped twice to call us.
Having been finally released from Laura's grasp, I rubbed my hurting arm and looked above the arena.
"Then, let's begin."
"Ichika-san, please watch this."
The [Revive Custom II] and [Blue Tears] spun at each other.
But the two units didn't move close to each other as they moved to the right. Both of them continued to fly around the cannon-hole shaped arena with their backs against the wall.
"I'm going over then, Cecilia."
"Bring it on."
The two gradually accelerating units soon started firing.
Both of them continued to spin about as they started evading while accelerating infrequently, returning fire in the meantime as they continued to move around quickly without slowly down.
"As expected of Cecilia, your skills are good...oh my."
"You too, Charlotte-san. I can't imagine that to be a second generation frame with that mobility."
As they continued to talk, both of them increased their firepower.
"Mn, Ichika-kun, you understand the great thing about this? They have to move at high speeds and shoot. They need to focus on dodging and shooting at the same time, so it's hard to do it like them if you can't be one with your machine."
The [PIC] controlling the machine was originally set to automatic, but it's hard to maintain such delicate motions in that situation. But if I set it to manual, I have to pilot the machine as well. To be honest, that's really difficult for me.
I have to stay calm. Don't think about anything else and just focus on those two things...not good, my head's hurting.
"Experience is important, but you need to have such high-level of control. Do, you, understand~"
*Fuu*. I got blown at the ear...wahh, when did she move behind me?
"WH-WHA-WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Noticing me, the two shooters raised their volumes.
And then, both of them gave a 'It's over' sound as they got hit by the torrent of gunfire.
Perhaps they lost control as the tremendous impact caused them to lose balance and knock into the wall.
"Are-Are you alright?"
"How could we be..."
"Of course not!"
Both of them got up and immediately rushed towards me.
"We were practising so seriously!"
"What were you fooling around with?"
"No, no, I wasn't fooling around..."
""YOU WERE FOOLING AROUND!!!""
Remaining in the arena were me, who's being closed in, the enraged Charl and Cecilia, the chuckling Tatenashi-san and the sighing Laura.
<ref>tags exist for a group named "5A", but no corresponding
<references group="5A"/>tag was found.