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Infinite Stratos Volume 6 Chapter 3: Cannonball Fast

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Chapter 3: Cannonball FastEdit

Monday, after school. I'm on the side of the tennis court in a gloomy mood.

The reason for this was that it has been put into motion, the Student Council Executive Orimura Ichika Lending Campaign.

"Haaaa..."

A bingo tournament was held in which all clubs participated. The one who managed to acquire the no. 1 spot was the tennis club.

And the reason for my gloomy mood was the Tournament to Acquire The Right For Orimura Ichika's Massage that's being held on the court at both sides.

"Haaaa!"

"I won't lose!"

"That massage that Cecilia boasted so much about, I will certainly win it!"

...Cecilia, what have you done?

Or rather, for that to be the main reason they're so fired up, is a little troubling.

"I'm going!"

"....Guh! W-What a heavy ball!"

"What an easy return!"

"Aah!"

Cecilia is showing her unreasonable stubbornness isn't she....

Well, it's better than being depressed I guess. Seems that lately, she had been training individually at the arena until closing time. If a massage can take away her fatigue, then I guess it's a small price to pay.

After that, Cecilia smoothly advanced to the finals, where she clinched the win with a splendid straight.

As for me, I was distributing towels and sport drinks to the girls in the order that they were eliminated.

"Cecilia, good work. You won splendidly, didn't you?"

"Ha, ha, ha.... It's only.... natural.... Ha....."

"Here's, a towel and also an energy drink."

"Uhmmm...ah, Ichika-san? Right now, my arms feel like lead pipes.....ha, ha,.....that is, if you, could you wipe my face for me...."

"Alright. Got it."

Certainly, being the winner means she had to play more matches, so it's no wonder she's become so tired.

I did as I'm asked to and proceeded to wipe the sweat off her face.

While doing that, the surrounding people screamed out all at once.

"Aaaaaaaa!"

"Cecilia, what are you doing?!"

"You've already won the tournament, that's not fair! Not fair!"

A chorus of booing emerged from all the other tennis club members present at once.

This is Cecilia we are talking about, so of course she took all the complaints head on and even pridefully flicked her hair back.

"It's not unfair! This is just the privilege of the winner!"

With the same pose as usual, she put her hand at her hip while somehow emitting a seemingly dazzling aura.[6C 1]

"Gunununu...!"

"So mortifying! Losing to that princess-like behavior is so mortifying!"

"Orimura-kun! If it's like this, then you must give that service to everyone else too!"

"Wh!?"

Why did my name come up at this point!?

"That's right.... How about, wiping everyone's back while we're changing?"

"Ahh! That sounds good! Really good!"

"I'm also drenched with sweat, please do so."

"""It's okay isn't it, Orimura-kun?"""

Being surrounded in just an instant, I'm troubled with how to deal with the nearing crowd.

"T-There's no way it will be okay! In the first place, if we're talking about when you change then....underwear..."

I unintentionally imagined about that scene.

The girls of the tennis club in their underwear. In the midst of this, I'm walking around wiping their backs. Not good, I can't do it! I definitely can't do it!

"T-That kind of service is not included!"

"""Eeeeehhhhh!?!"""

A bigger booing than the one Cecilia received occurred.

"It's okay, isn't it?!"

"We're wearing sports bras[6C 2], so it's not embarrassing!"

To all the girls who still insisted on refusing to back down, I shouted while making an X mark with my arms.

"No way! Definitely no!"

And then another booing echoed on the after school's tennis court.



Aah, to be able to receive that massage again.... what bliss.

Cecilia thoroughly soaped her body, and then washed the foam while humming.

Once, right after club activities, and now once more in her own room, she showered.

The shiatsu[6C 3] hurts a little bit, but the lymphatic massage[6C 4] after that feels unbearably good

Remembering the feeling of relaxation by the whole palm, Cecilia narrowed her eyes in a trance.

"~~♪~~♪"

She hummed a famous classical song, Vivaldi's Four Season. Just as expected from someone who performed on the piano[6C 5] and violin[6C 6], even while humming, from the rhythm [6C 7] to the tempo[6C 8], there's no disorder at all.

Cecilia's voice is also lovely in itself, which makes the sounds echoing in the shower room seem musical.

After this, since I've wiped my body thoroughly, I'll use rose perfume.

Truth to be told, Cecilia would actually like to soak in a bathtub with rose petals floating in it, but in the end she gave up on the idea.

But, she wanted to appeal with all her might to the boy she lost her heart to.

W-What about the underwear?...

Cecilia hesitated on whether to wear the sexy lingerie she bought when she went back to her home country or not.

But, what crossed her mind was her maid and childhood friend Chelsea, and her words:

"Ojou-sama[6C 9], I think underwear that's too gaudy might have the opposite effect."

.......

I wonder if that would be the case...... But, Chelsea doesn't have a boyfriend, does she?

Somehow, she felt that the precocious smile that was drawn on her face, brought some kind of confidence, and she became even more troubled.

H-How about not wearing any underwear?...

It was quite a bold idea, but when she thought about it, she started to think it might not be such a bad one.

T-That's right. It's only because it will become a hindrance during the massage.... Of course I will wear something for the lower part!

While thinking of that, Cecilia got out of the bathroom.

At the dressing room, she tried to put only low-rise shorts and a high-class silk shirt on her body.

T-This is... as expected, this is too bold isn't it?...

Cecilia, who suddenly felt embarrassed, quickly covered her slightly exposed cleavage.

At that moment, the feeling she felt when her hand touched her breast increased her shame even more.

"A-As I thought, I mustn't go without wearing clothes befitting a lady...."

After that, Cecilia spent around 30 more minutes choosing her outfit.

And then, standing in front of her dearest wish, Ichika's room, she cleared her throat once and then reservedly knocked on the door.

"Alright. Cecilia, I've been waiting for you."

"Y-Yeah... Sorry for making you wait."

In the end, Cecilia decided to wear a safe pajama. That thing that's made from silk is overflowing with a pretty lustrous impression.

I've also held back on the underwear too..... It should be okay right?

Although, compared to what a high-schooler would usually wear, it was thrice more expensive, but that's what it means to be born into a higher social class.

"Then, let's start at once."

"What!? T-that's, uhmmm... I would like to drink some tea first, so as to relax, if you are okay with that..."

"I-Is that so? Sorry."

Ichika offered his bed for Cecilia to sit on, and then headed to the simple kitchen.

"I only have a red tea teabag, please bear with it."

"Y-Yeah, well, I'll let you off this time."

"Thank you."

-*Doki*

Even from just a casual exchange, Cecilia's heart pounded.

Now, only for now, to be able to monopolize the person she loved stirred her heart's beat.

L-Lately, Ichika-san's training has been showing its effect, t-that's.....he looks.....cool

He's also becoming better at controlling IS, and lately he's also able to do well on the energy pace distribution. Cecilia gazed at Ichika who has been conspicuously growing with a complicated feeling.

I'm happy that Ichika is getting stronger, but my position is....

She's sad about becoming less dependable lately.

When she was asked to help with Ichika's high-maneuver combat training, she refused because she was depressed at the moment, but she might answer with a "I'll take that request after all" if she was asked again now.

While thinking about that, Ichika brought the red tea.

"Here."

"T-Thank you. Itadakimasu wa."

The tea that's been made to be a little lukewarm was extremely easy to drink, and the tea fragrance spread out inside the mouth.

A hot one would have been hard to drink, so-. That nonchalant consideration made Cecilia's heart beat even harder.

"........."

"........."

As the two of them were drinking the red tea in silence, 10 minutes had already passed.

T-This isn't good. This is not good at all.....! Ichika-san will think I'm a boring girl who doesn't have any topic to talk about at all!

Truth to be told, it was just because Ichika was also lost in his own thoughts, but Cecilia, who would not permit such a silence to stretch in front of her, started to search for a talking subject with all her might.

"By the way Ichika-san, how's it going at the Student Council?"

"Hmm? Yeah. I had been helping with paperwork until yesterday, but as of today, the club rental has started so... Truth to be told, it's hard."

"Don't you think that just being wanted is enough to get happy?"

"Is that so? In the first place, could my presence make the members happy?"

"O-Of course! At least, it does for me!"

Unintentionally, Cecilia over-reacted and even leaned her body forward.

"A-Alright. I got it. Calm down."

"O-Okay...."

By the time she was calmed by Ichika and returned to the bed, there was no more red tea left inside the cup.

"Hmm? So, has Cecilia also finished her tea? Then, let's start the massage."

"O-Okay...!"

While feeling embarrassed from saying that last word in a squeaking pitch[6C 10], Cecilia timidly rested face down on the bed.

"U-Umm hey, Ichika-san?"

"Hmm?"

"T-That's....."

-S-Should I say it? But but, what if he thinks I'm strange.....? Aaah, mou, Just say it with spirit, me!

"S-Should I undress the lower part too...?"

"Wha!?"

"N-No, it's just so it will be easier to massage.....!"

"I-It's alright. It's alright so please stop it, Cecilia. Please don't say things like Tatenashi-san would."

-Mu. That person said those kind of things? Unforgivable. T-That's not it, the reason I can't forgive her is just... that it is very unlady like!

"Cecilia."

"W-What is it!?"

"No, well, please relax a little. Your body is stiffening up, you know."

"I... I understand."

Taking a deep breath, she released the strength within her body.

Calm down, she thought to herself. Realizing her body was about to be touched by Ichika again made her heart ring.

"Then, I'll start from the feet."

"Y-Yeah."

While her heart throbbed at the moment, Ichika's hand touched Cecilia's leg.

-*Dokin!*

Along with the slowly starting massage, the silk of the pajama between the two skins made a *zara-zara* sound.

Cecilia was at her limit, just controlling the beat in her chest. She was at the stage where she couldn't feel the sensation of the massage at all.

A.... But, it feels good....

That massage which uses all parts of the palm, comfortably released all the fatigue stored in her legs.

Furthermore, to have the person in your heart doing it, made it even more enjoyable.

Cecilia, while being soaked by an unspeakable pleasant feeling, let out a feverish sigh.

"Haa.... Ichika-san, you're really good at this, aren't you..."

"Yeah. Thank you for the compliment."

Finished with the calf, Ichika started to touch her thigh.

Cecilia's heart skipped a beat for an instant, and then, as calmly as she could, she spun some dressed-up words[6C 11].

"H-How is it? My body."

"Hmm? Aah, just as I had expected, your legs really are long and slender aren't they? Did Cecilia use to work as a model?"

"It's because I'm a representative candidate student, so I've done something like that a few times. Especially lately, since there's an approach of pushing representative candidate students as idols."

"Is that sooo, so it's just like I thought. Next time, how about showing me one of your pictures."

"O-Okay. I'll bring it next time."

While saying it as it didn't matter, Cecilia started to desperately think about which picture would be a good one to show.

There's one where I was wearing a dress, but maybe I should show him the plain clothes one..... there's also the one with the s-swimsuit....

Had she known something like this would happen, she would have done something better during the photo-shooting, is what she regretfully was thinking now.

During this summer's photography session in her hometown, she was unmotivated enough to not remember which clothes she wore during the session. ......In other words, a complete failure.

Ichika-san too, wanting to see the model picture at this time...... that's unfair.

Cecilia inflated her cheeks a little.

But, that sulking face couldn't hold for even 2 minutes, because of the pleasant feeling of the massage.

Aah, this feels good....

From the back of the knee, to carefully loosen the thigh, Cecilia let out a sigh in a trance.

And then, having finished with the thigh joint and finally reaching the bottom, Ichika's hand stopped temporarily.

"Aa-...that's, can I skip to the hip next?"

"N-No you can't. Please, do it thoroughly, that's......the b-bottom too....."

"O-Okay."

Ichika nodded as if to steel his resolve, and then he took a deep breath.

As expected, even Ichika-san too, I-is a little conscious about it isn't he......?

Of Cecilia being a woman. As one of the opposite sex.

B-But as expected, it is embarrassing, isn't it? To be touched on the b-bottom....

"T-Then, Cecilia. I'll do it, okay?"

"O-Okay. Whenever you're ready."

*Dokin!* The noticeably big leap of her heart hurts.

Cecilia silently gulped to clear her mouth of saliva, as if to not let it be seen, and waited for Ichika to touch her bottom.

Since I've done tightening stretches for 30 minutes each day, it'll be fine...it's fine

*Thump* *thump* *thump* *thump*

-Munyu[6C 12]

".....!?"

Ichika's fingers were eaten by a soft bulge.

File:IS v06 133.jpg

Although she was being massaged, Cecilia was strongly conscious about Ichika's hand touching her bottom, her face reddening as if it was being boiled.

"I-Is it firm?"

"T-That's, right, it feels a little, firm...... I-Is it because of that? Because Cecilia is playing the piano?"

"Y-Yeah. When I play the piano, I concentrate my senses fully, and....when I practice, there're some occasions in which I sit for a long time too...."

"I-Is that so....."

"Y-Yes...."

Both Cecilia and Ichika were in a "what should I do" condition, and they continued the fumbling conversation.

By the way, inside Ichika's head.....

Uwaaa, so soft! This wouldn't lose, not even to Tatenashi-san's.....not good, not good!

....Something like that is going on.

Wanting to move quickly to the hip, Ichika's massaging hand moved faster.

But, by doing that, the soft elasticity was felt to the utmost of his palm, causing Ichika's face to redden on top of Cecilia.

"T-Then, the hip....."

"Y-Yeah."

Since it has come to this, she would have liked to be touched a little more, is what Cecilia thought, but for her own shame that had almost reached the limit, she obediently consented to Ichika's suggestion.

J-Just as expected, anything more than this is.... That's, if we're not officially dating first......

"Please tell me if it's unpleasant or painful."

"O-Okay."

When her backbone was getting shiatsu-ed, there was a little suffocating feeling, but overlapping with that, she was engulfed in a pleasantness as if her body had become lighter.

Unlike when he was massaging the bottom, he took the time to do each bone one by one, and that made Cecilia once again let out a pink sigh.

Aaah.... It feels good.... It's as if today's fatigue is getting blown away

5 minutes, 10 minutes of supreme bliss continued.

And then, when Ichika's hand reached the neck joint, he suddenly called out to her.

"Cecilia."

"Hya...!?"[6C 13]

The voice that reached almost directly into her ears, and the breath from it, slightly brushing against her, made her body jump in surprise.

"Your hair sure is pretty, isn't it. And furthermore, it smells nice too."

"U-Umm you know, that's, because I use a good shampoo so.....Hya!?"

Ichika took Cecilia's hair into his hand and started playing with it.

With his fingers touching her nape, Cecilia's heart got bewildered.

I-Ichika-san....? Suddenly, why are - huh!? F-Finally, you've become aware of my charm!?

Really, you're so slow - unable to finish that kind of thought, the suddenly fast approach made Cecilia's heart throb violently enough to hurt.

Before she realized what was happening, Ichika had put his body on top of hers, as if to cover her. She could feel everything, even the body temperature.

"Cecilia..."

"Yes...."

"Your body, can I touch it directly?"

"B-By all means...."

Cecilia timidly replied. Almost as if answering, Ichika's hand immediately entered through the pajama's opening.

Kyaa!?

While being surprised from the recent events, Cecilia remembered something which had imprinted on her a very similar feeling.

I-Ichika-san.... Aah, it's just like a dream....

"It's not a dream."

Aaah, it's real isn't it!

......?

That exchange just now, doesn't it seem weird?

"It's not weird at all."

Look, again! Even though I didn't let out my voice.

Cecilia, who had remembered the out of place feeling, sprang out of bed.

And then, what was there was -

"Ojou-sama, even though I had instructed you to hold back on the underwear so much."

"Ch-Chelsea!?"

The person who's supposed to be in England, her personal maid and childhood friend Chelsea.

"T-T-This is..."

"Yes, it's a dream."

*Bang!* The sound of an exploding balloon echoed. Inside the world that suddenly turned completely white in an instant, only Chelsea's smile could be vividly seen.



"Uel.... That was a cruel....., such a cruel punchline!"

Cecilia sprang out of bed.

She was on top of a bed in a completely dark room. The clock's needle was pointing at 2 A.M.

"T-This place is...?"

Bewildered by the differences from her usual bed's comfort, Cecilia's eyes wandered from left to right.

Consequently, she discovered a person sleeping in the bed right beside her.

"I-Ichika-san...?"

That means, the part until the massage was real, but the problem is - .

W-Which parts were a dream....?

Something like that.

Winning the Tennis club tournament, receiving the massage as a reward, and then falling asleep midway through the massage from the excessive pleasantness, and right now she is currently in Ichika's room.

"...Fu."

Feeling somewhat mentally fatigued, Cecilia sank her body back into the bed.

Beside her, Ichika, who was oblivious to Cecilia's current circumstances, breathed silently while sleeping.

Really....what a terrible failure.....

While thinking that aloud, Cecilia let out a laugh as if she had enjoyed it in some way.

Then, with a somewhat affectionate look on her face, she fixed her gaze on Ichika.

Someday....I'll make you fall to my charms.

She made a gun with her fingers, and then fixed her sight on her target.

"Bang."

Cecilia said with a mischievous smile.



"Whaaaat!?"

Morning, screaming voices were echoing inside the school cafeteria. .......H-Hey, shhhh! Shhhh!

"C-Charl! Rin! Lower your voices!"

"B-B-But!"

"Ichikaa! Explain yourself!"

With eyes wet with tears and eyebrows raised, Charl and Rin drew closer to me again.

""Why did Cecilia come out from your room wearing pajamas!?""

Somehow, I feel like an absurd misunderstanding had been born.

"Even if you ask why, it's just like what it looks like."

Cecilia smoothly slid her hair to the side in a haughty manner.

Cecilia! Why are you pouring oil on the fire!?"

Disregarding the nervous me, Cecilia smoothly continued her words.

"A girl and a boy spent a night together. In other words, it was that kind of thing."

"N-Nooo!"

"Ichikaaa!"

"Gyaa! Wait wait! Yesterday, I gave Cecilia a massage! She was staying in my room only because she fell asleep midway!"

I carefully conveyed the truth word by word.

Having done that, Charl and Rin let out a sigh as if they had been relieved, and then returned to their seats.

"So it's only that..."

"Well, I thought it was something like that in the first place anyway."

Saying that, the two of them then returned to eating their meal.

By the way, for the menu, Charl picked cream stew, while Rin chose Gome Yakisoba[6C 14].

"...Even though there was no need to tell the truth too. Stupid Ichika-san...."

"Hmm? What is it, Cecilia?"

I missed hearing what Cecilia, who ate a BLT Bagel, seemed to have said in a small voice.

When I tried to verify it, she turned her face the other way sulkily.

"Nothing."

? Why are you in a bad mood so suddenly? I really don't understand.

....But, I'm glad Houki and Laura weren't here. Had this talk been heard by the two of them, I wonder what they would've said.

".........."

".........."

U? Huh? Somehow I feel an intense glare (x2) directed at me.

Timidly turning my face around, what I saw were the figures of Laura & Houki, folding their arm and standing like Niou

"Ichika...you bastard, so you broke the dorm rule didn't you."

"R-Rule?"

"Special rule number 1! There must be no girl staying in a boy's room!"

"C-Calm down, Laura!"

"Eei, shut up! If you plan to be like that, fine then! I'm staying at your room today!"

"Whaa!?"

"Wait, why has it gotten like this. If it gets like this, well.... then I'll apply for candidacy too."

"It's only to keep the balance!" is what Houki added.

Why has it become like this....

"Huuh! That's not fair! Then me too!"

"Ichika! Prioritize me! I'm your childhood friend right!"

Gya! Charl and Rin are joining too. Why, what happened!?

"What are you making such an stupid fuss about this early morning!"

*Bishi!* I seemed to hear a voice that could freeze the air.

Tapping her fingers on top of her folded arms is my real sister, who fits extremely well with the jet-black suit, Orimura Chifuyu-sensei.

"These stupid kids!"

*Supapan!* Chifuyu-nee hit the head of us five. Incidentally, she especially used her fist for me. ....Wa, it really hurts.

"Alcott."

"Y-Yes!?"

"Don't forget to submit the reflection essay."

"O-Okay..."

"And Orimura"

"Y-Yes?"

"I'll let you have the disciplinary room for three days. Be happy."

"T-Thank you very much....."

Wh, isn't that too harsh? This really is my sister!

"Now! How long are you going to eat slowly like that! Quickly, eat your breakfast and go to the classroom! That's all!"

*Pan!* *Pan!* With Chifuyu's clapping sign, the girls in the cafeteria that had been preparing to flee started to move in haste.

I also started to slurp my miso soup from the grilled salmon set meal.

It seems like the saltiness has slightly thickened.

Is this what they call the taste of tears I wonder.

It could be that, from having that stupid thought found out, I got hit once again.



"Okay, everyone. Today we're going to have a lesson concerning high-speed maneuvering."

The assistant homeroom teacher, Yamada Maya-sensei's voice echoed at arena no.6.

"I said last week that this arena no. 6 is connected to the central tower so we can do a self-study on high-speed maneuvering, didn't I? Well then, let's have the personal-IS users perform first!"

After saying that, Yamada-sensei flashily directed her hand at me and Cecilia.

"First, equipping the high-speed maneuver package [Strike Gunner] is Alcott-san!"

The 4 firing bits that are usually equipped on the side binder, and also the missile bits connected to the hip part, so as to simultaneously use the propulsion power from these bits, totaling 6 units, seemed to be the package's special feature.

It achieved the high-speed & high-mobilization, by sealing every cannon mouth from each bit, and connecting them to the hip parts.

At a glance, the bits looked like a blue skirt.

"And then, using normal equipment, but managed to create a virtual high-speed maneuver equipment by adjusting the thruster maximum output, Orimura-kun! Let's have these two perform one lap for us!"

Good luck! Those kind of cheering was heard all around us. Cecilia and I lightly raised our hands to answer the cheering, and then returned to concentrating our senses on our ISs.

Umm let's see, what should I do with this auxiliary visor for high-speed maneuver?

[Ichika-san, is there anything you don't understand?]

Immediately, in the private channel, Cecilia gave a timely help.

"Right on time. This visor, I have to change the mode to use it, right? How do I do that?"

[Ah, you have to change the mode to high-speed. And also, do a synchronized surveillance set-up on each thruster.]

[Got it. Like this right?]

Changing the mode using Eye Touch (Look Designation), for an instant, a light membrane spread out and covered my whole vision field. After that, the scenery that I've been seeing until now became more clearly projected into my eyes.

[You can get dizzy if you're not used to it. Be careful.]

"Yeah, Thank you."

[N-No. It's nothing... A-After all, I'm Cecilia Alcott.]

While listening to Cecilia's words, who seemed to have gotten embarrassed, I also pointed my unit towards the sky.

"Then, ......3, 2, 1, Go!"

Along with Yamada-sensei's flag signal, Cecilia and I soared to the sky at once, and then increased our speed to break past the speed of sound.

The flowing scenery should have only been seen for an instant, but thanks to the auxiliary visor, everything can be seen clearly.

E-Even so, this really is amazing....!

Even now, I still get surprised by the speed of the IS, but this speed already matches the speed of a regular Ignition Boost (Instant Acceleration).

[See you later♪]

Only glancing at me, who's still perplexed at the speed, without even turning her head, Cecilia moved ahead. And then she immediately ascended, moving along the outer circumference of the central tower where the academy's monument resided.

As expected of someone who is used to this. Yosh, me too.

To compensate for the difference from the usual circumstances, I control the suit with even more prudence than usual.

We're currently on ultrasonic state, so if we hit something, it won't end with just some pain. There's also the possibility that the tower itself will be destroyed from the shock wave.

In any case, while being careful with the speed and the suit's inclination, I chased after Cecilia.

"Alright! I caught you."

[Hmm? I thought you were captivated by my charming hip.]

"S-Stupid."

[Just joking. Ufufu♪]

Exchanging that kind of conversation with Cecilia, who was in a good mood for some unknown reason, we turned back from the top of the tower.

And just like that, we returned to the arena's surface side by side.

"Okay. Good work! You two were really excellent."

Yamada-sensei praised me and Cecilia with a happy face.

I wonder if having your student doing an excellent job can make you very happy, because Yamada-sensei was jumping up and down from it which made her voluptuous bust bounce along with her.

Uuu, just as usual, she's really a person who makes it hard to find a place to direct your gaze at.

"Hey, Ichika, hey!"

"W-What is it, Laura?"

"You also, that's....well..... Do you like a bigger chest better?"

"Wh!? No, you're wrong! I-It's not like I've done something to feel guilty about you know!?"

"Fu, fun! Is that so. .....It's good then, if it's like that....."

"Y-Yeah?"

"N-Nothing! -Eeei, don't look this way!"

I was mowed down by the hand of Laura in her deployed IS form. Having done that, the mentioned AIC(Inertia Blocking Barrier) was put into work, and my neck got locked in a weird angle.

Y-You were the one who talked to me first, weren't you!

During this time, Chifuyu-nee clapped her hands and everyone turned their attention to her.

"Listen here. We have an exception this year so the first years will participate, but more than just doing it, I hope for each individual here to leave some results too. The experience you'll get in this Cannonball Fast will surely live on. Well then, the training IS users, go and start choosing your suit, and immediately board your assigned unit. Do it fast. Start!"

This regular yearly event, Cannonball Fast, was originally an event for the second years who had already arrived at the preparation chapter of the curriculum. But this year, since there are unexpected circumstances, such as the large number of personal IS users, students starting from first year will also be participating.

The training unit group seemed to use the usual prize in order to make the whole class completely get into the rivalry battle.

"Alriight, let's win this~"

"I have to show my good points to onee-sama here!"

"Win and get a free dessert coupon! I have to get serious here!"

Could it be that from being swamped by all these spirited girls, all of the teachers were also coaching earnestly.

Especially Yamada-sensei, who had really gotten her spirit into it. Today she used the usual IS suit which is a little revealing in the chest area.

The person herself probably opened it only because the chest compartment doesn't fit her.

It's too stimulating for a 15 year old.

-while thinking that kind of absurd thing, the girl in question, Yamada-sensei herself approached me.

"Orimura-kun, the performance back then was really magnificent. Especially for someone who uses that visor for the first time, to be able to pilot the unit like that was really amazing."

"T-Thank you very much!"

Since my IS is in the deployed form at the moment, my line of sight is higher than usual.

If I wanted to look at her face, her chest would inevitably be seen too, so I let my gaze roam around while scratching my hot cheek with my finger.

"Orimura-kun? Ah...."

Up until now, it seems that unless she is warned, Yamada-sensei can't see anything else around her when she's excited about something.

Yamada-sensei, who has just realized about my gaze, folded her arms as if to hide her chest, and also turned her body to the side.

"U-Umm, maybe It would be better to buy a new IS suit?"

"Really?"

"B-But, Orimura-kun can't concentrate during the lesson..."

"Ha, haa...."

"B-But, in that case it would have to be a specially ordered one, wouldn't it.... I had just semi-ordered the one I use now to be made too, so, it seems like a waste to change it so soon..."

Yamada-sensei was murmuring as if she's swallowing her own words. That embarrassed face is strangely charming.

While she was troubled by what she should do, Chifuyu-nee turned up.

"Orimura."

"Y-Yes."

*Dosu!* My neck was chopped. It really hurts.

"To look at your teacher like that is impudent, you know."

"T-That's not..."

"If your unit doesn't use any additional thrusters, discuss with Shinonono-san there about tuning the energy distribution. Got it?"

"O-Okay..."

A consideration from my kind older sister. .....I'm moved to tears.

I moved to Houki's place just like I was told. Since my IS is deployed at the moment, I don't have to walk using my feet. It's really comfortable.

"Heeyy, Houki."

"......"

Talking about Houki, could it be that because the energy distribution is quite hard, she's been staring at the holographic projection screen?

I raised the volume of my voice, and called her once again.

"Heey, Houki. Heey"

"!? W-What!?"

"Well, I'm also in the no additional equipment group, so Orimura-sensei told me to exchange opinions with you."

"I-Is that so! Then, Ichika, sorry for rushing you so suddenly, but look at [Akatsubaki]'s energy distribution!"

Houki, whose face brightened up because she felt that she has been saved with my arrival, moved to my side and showed me the display.

It seems like when the [Fold-Out Armor] is turned on, the energy is not enough.

"[Byakushiki] has the big thruster for speed, but [Akatsubaki]'s all-roundness sure is amazing isn't it. Since it can achieve high-speed maneuver by just releasing the fold-out armor in the back and leg parts."

"But, it's meaningless if there not enough energy to use it. Really, that person's creations are always like this..."

Whenever the topic of the conversation becomes Tabane-san, Houki always frowns. At such times, I can't help thinking about how sisters should be nice to each other.

"What about [Kenran Butou]?"

"T-That one....I still can't use it."

"Is that so. This is just from an amateur perspective, but I feel like somehow, [Akatsubaki] was created with the basis of using [Kenran Butou] as the energy supply."

Houki's IS, [Akatsubaki]'s one off ability, [Kenran Butou], has the ability to refill and multiply energy.

Thereby, matching it with the situation when releasing the high-energy consuming fold-out armor to supply it - or something like that I guess.

[Akatsubaki]'s fold-out armor seems to use [multiple energy]. Like the BT weapon, it's capability when diverted to offensive and defensive, and even mobility role is first class.

But, if they're not steadly supplied by using [Kenran Butou], the unit would immediately run out of energy. ....How do I say this, it seems very similar to [Byakushiki].

"Then, how about deactivating the leg part and only activating the back part? For balance control, use the unit's common thruster."

"Well, I also thought about it, but the fold-out armor's output will become too weak. I also thought about completely deactivating the fold-out armor altogether but -"

"You won't be able to win the race right?"

"That's right.... Ununu."

It's the hate-to-lose Houki we're talking about, since she's already participating, it's just normal for her to seek victory, isn't it?

And neither do I like losing, just like her. That's why I completely understand her feelings right now.

"Ichika, how do you plan to adjust your unit for the race?"

"Me? I plan to seal [Yukihira Niigata] and redirect the energy completely to the thrusters."

"Completely? What will you do if you get attacked?"

"Avoid it."

"What about when you want to initiate an attack?"

"I'll ram them."

It was the final conclusion after a long consideration, but Houki bursted out laughing from my answer.

"Hahaha. You're just like an inoshishi-musha[6C 15] aren't you."

"Gu.... Even though I've thought about this earnestly."

"Fufu. It's very like you so it's okay isn't it. .....I'm going to think longer about this alone. Thanks for the help, Ichika."

"Yeah, you're welcome. I won't lose to you on the match day."

"It's the same for me."

"Then, see you later."

"Aa."

Parting with Houki, this time I headed into the thruster-expansion group where Charlotte and Laura reside.

By the way, once sorted, it becomes like this.

High-speed maneuver group : Cecilia, Rin.
Adjusting the unit's output group : Houki, me.
Thruster-expansion group : Charlotte, Laura.

Now that I think about it, that Rin, she seems brimming with confidence.

[That package is made better than I had expected. Just wait for it, I'll beat you completely at the race!]

I remembered Rin's figure when she folded her arms and arrogantly announced that.

As I thought, the package is nice. I wish I could get it, even if only once.

But after all, my dear unit, [Byakushiki], seems to have quite the spoiled personality. Even its former development place, Kuramoto research institute, has already given up on developing any expansion equipment for it. It's a lost cause already.

If I really want to get an equipment expansion, it seems there's no way other than asking Tabane-san for it.

.....But, I wonder where that person is right now?

After the incident with the Gospel during the summer, Tabane-san whereabouts are still unkown. As usual, it made quite a commotion in the world though. Haah...

"Ah, Ichika♪"

Charl, who discovered my presence, waved her hand.

While raising my hand lightly in response, I arrived at the two close friends, Laura and Charlotte's group and returned my IS into standby mode.

"How are you two doing?"

"We've just finished installing the thruster-expansions. We're going to start adjusting it now, right?"

"Aa, that's right."

Indeed, now that they mention it, both of them are still wearing their IS suit while only deploying the head part of their IS.

File:IS v06 157.jpg

Charl's headband-like gear, and Laura's rabbit-ear like head parts, both of those look like some kind of cosplay[6C 16] gear and they somehow look a little cute wearing those.[6C 17]

It seems like because it's in the middle of reading the installed data, both of their headgears wiggled once in a while. That makes them looks even more like animals, somehow making my heart feel ticklish.

"Could you show me a little too?"

"Yeah, of course. I'll do a lap with Laura. I'll forward the images to you. It's on channel 304."

"Ooh, thanks. Just as expected, to be able to see the point of view of a first-rate pilot is really nice isn't it. This really is an useful function."

That function called [Direct View], is the sharing of the field of vision information - in other words, I can see the world that Charl see through my IS. It's like a television, or rather a live image stream.

"I'll show you the view from my point of view too. It's on channel 305."

"Ooo, thank you. But, Laura's field-of-vision-movement-level is too high so it's hard just to follow."

"You idiot. Devote yourself in learning to keep up."

"I know. Please let me learn from you, Laura-sensei."

"Fu, fun. Who is a Sensei[6C 18]?"

Even while saying that, Laura's cheek was dyed red as if she wasn't that unhappy with that title.

It seems she was just shy about it.

Now then, connect to the channel and..

"Ichika, are you prepared?"

"Aa, perfectly. .....huh, to be able to see your own face on live broadcast sure feels strange isn't it."

"Huh!? No, well, it's not like I keep looking at Ichika's face all the ti...."

"Hmm?"

"I-It's nothing."

Gazing strangely at Charl, who was waving her hand repeatedly, Laura deployed her IS, [Schwarzer Regen], first and started to float.

"I'll go first."

"Ah, wait for me! Lauraaa!"

Although late by one step, Charl also deployed her IS, [Raphael Revive Custom II].

Both of them safely controlled their units to run through the arena no.6 course, and then ascended to the central tower's outer circumference.

I see.... So that's how you accelerate.

Charl and Laura, I grasped their piloting method while looking at each of their terminal screens.

They have different methods of acceleration, but the similarity in their brake timing becomes a very good reference for me.

"Ichika, how is it?"

Laura and Charl returned a few moments later.

"Yeah, welcome back. As expected, you're good aren't you? Both Charl and Laura?"

"Just this much is basic stuff. I didn't do anything special."

"Just as expected of the representative candidate students. I've learned a lot."

"Yup. You should dedicate yourself to learning."

After briefly visiting each personal IS users (Rin is in class 2 so she's not here), I started to tune my unit again.

"Orimura-kun, how was it?"

"Ah, Yamada-sensei. Well, Just as expected, everyone's really amazing aren't they?"

"Orimura-kun should do his best too. Cannonball Fast is a battle race where you can obstruct the other participant, that's why dogfighting[6C 19] is also important for winning the race."

"It will be hard since I have only one long range weapon....but I'll do my best."

"That's right! Since we're here, how about having a mock battle with me? Of course, under the Cannonball Fast condition of high-speed maneuver battle."

"Huh, is it okay?"

Yamada-sensei's unexpected suggestion surprised me instead.

To be able to train under real battle conditions would be extremely helpful.

"Yes! My suit is already adjusted for high-speed maneuver battle too, so I can start right away."

"Then, please take care of me."

"Okay♪"

Yamada-sensei, whose face held a huge smile, deployed her IS [Raphael Revive]. This unit, unlike Charl's customed unit, is closer to the default. The pair of physical shields is the signature of this unit.

"By the way, the shield will be used as side thruster for this. For expansion thrusters, there are 3 of them in the back side."

While saying that, Yamada-sensei unveiled her IS. In addition to a shield placement on the side, the three large thruster on the back seemed to appeal for their existence.

"Uwah, that's quite rugged isn't it. Laura's and Charlotte's weren't that big."

"These expansion thrusters were originally meant for atmospheric breakaway before being converted into this. That's why, as a trade-off for using rocket fuel, it has become this big."

"Wha!? Wouldn't rocket fuel cause an explosion?"

"As far as I know, the security measure for that is perfect, so it's okay. Look, if I set it up like this, the absolute-defense barrier's range gets wider."

"I see..."

Now that I have been at the academy for around 5 months, I've managed to remember general IS-related information.

That being said, it's all thanks to Yamada-sensei's after school supplementary lessons.

"Then, let's begin. Are you done getting ready, Orimura-kun?"

"Ah, yes"

I called [Byakushiki] and deployed it.

After that, both of us lined up at the start line.

"Then, let's start! .....3, 2, 1, Go-!"

"!"

My field of vision suddenly felt constricted. And then suddenly released at once, my field of vision became vividly clear.

This unique feeling of the field of vision for high-speed maneuver, I somehow got used to it after experiencing it for the second time today.

[Orimura-kun, you really are a fast learner, aren't you? Well then, I'm going to ascend okay?]

"Yes."

I replied to Yamada-sensei through a private channel, and followed after her.

Let's try the accelerating technique that Charl showed earlier.

Just before entering the curving track, I decelerated, and then accelerated right away to get past it.

Alright! It worked well!

While preserving the balance using the thruster's output, I tried Laura's burst-accelerating style.

After spontaneously decelerating, I raised my speed at once to slip past the solid curve, and I lined up next to Yamada-sensei just after that.

Alright, I managed to catch-uppp!?

Suddenly, Yamada-sensei pointed her hand to her back and fired a machine gun. - Damn it! I forgot that this is a combat race!

"Orimura-kun, you're quite good but you still have a long way to go."

"Kuh!"

At the end position of the side roll that I did to avoid the machine gun fire, I receive a timed grenade attack.

"!!"

*Bang!* The grenade exploded right in front of me.

Getting caught on the explosion, I was thrown out of course.

Hitting the floor because of gravity, even if IS has an automatic response against attack function, my whole body still hurts.

Raising my body, I saw Yamada-sensei descending.

"Good work, Orimura-kun."

"Thank you."

Just as expected of Japan's ex-representative candidate student. I'm no match for her skillful IS-control.

I wonder if she's the same person as the one who destroyed herself during the entrance examination...

I once again thought, had she not experienced some stage panic, I might have been completely beaten during the test.

"Can you stand?"

"Ah, yes. Somehow."

I used the thruster to raise my body up, and then slowly lowered my feet to the ground.

"Well then, sensei will go see the other students' condition."

"Ah, okay. Thank you very much."

"Not at all."

Yamada-sensei bowed with a smile, and then she went to the practice suit group's side, who has been struggling hard.

Maybe I should re-check the adjustment one more time.

After that, I spent one hour of the self-study period to re-adjust my IS.



"Haaa-..... Today was really tiring."

Since today is finally the day before the tournament, I end up receiving Laura's extra hard training until the usage time for the arena just barely ended.

[Listen! The important thing in a high speed maneuver battle is a composed judgment. And also, a swift action based on that judgment is required. Do you get it?]

[Evade, counter-attack, defend. The judgment to decide those in an instant right? I thought I've gotten much better at those though.]

[No, you're still too soft. In the first place, your energy shield usage is too inefficient. If you didn't use it when evading, you might not need to decelerate.]

[I see.]

[Then, let's practice on it right away.]

[A-Alright!]

It ended up continuing for two hours....

Dragging my body to return to my room, I showered right away.

Along with my sweat that's washed and swept by the hot water, my fatigued senses became clear right away.

"Fuu..."

Coming out from the shower and wearing some clothes, I jumped towards my bed, and landed on my back.

Even so, although I thought I already was more or less accustomed to it, just as expected, high-speed maneuver battle is really different from normal isn't it...

*Kon* *Kon*

"Hmm? Yesss."

Being called with a knock, I headed to the door. Opening the door, Laura was standing there.

"Huh? What's wrong?"

"No..., well..., I was thinking if you want to have dinner together..."

Laura unusually stumbled upon her words.

The attitude too, she seemed to be unable to calm down and kept fidgeting.

"Hmm? Huh? You look quite cute."

"!!"

"I haven't seen that clothes before. Why is it?"

Laura's clothes is a long one piece dress.

That slender silhouette matched really well with her slender body and its black color contrasted with her silver hair to make her look pretty.

That string belt nonchalantly wrapping her hip looks like some kind of stitched ornament and it drew my eyes.

"T-This is! C-Charlotte bought this for me yesterday!"

"I seee. It looks nice doesn't it. You look like a lady from somewhere when you wear that."

"L-Lady...!?"

"Now then, shall we go for dinner?"

"....Lady....lady..."

"Laura"

"!? I-It's nothing! Dinner isn't it! L-Let's go then!"

Those limbs of her started moving awkwardly and her right hand and right leg moved forward at the same time.

"W-What's wrong? Are you okay?"

"E-eei! Shut up shut up!"

Smack, my back was chopped by Laura. .....Why?

"It's your fault.....because everything is your fault!"

"Uwa! Wait, stop it! .....Aaah geez!"

I took Laura's hand that had been doing a chopping dance, and swept her feet out from under her using the basics of Aikido.

"!!"

Laura's petite body casually floated. Using that chance, I slid my body along the floor and embraced Laura.

"Wha, wha...!"

"Calm down. Really."

"U, umu..."

Laura who looks just like she's being princess cradled, stopped rampaging and slowly nodded in my arms.

Managing to stop the chop dance for the present, I brought Laura to the dining hall in that position.

"Kyaaa!? What is it, what is it? Why the princess cradle!?"[6C 20]

"Bodewig-san's so lucky...."

"Me too! I want that too next!"

"Aaah! Somehow, the fact that it suits them so much feels mortifying!"

...Damn it. Right after we entered the dining hall, we were found by all the girls present there.

Actually, the fact that we didn't meet with anyone until we arrived here is really strange.

No, there's not time to think about that right now. I have to do something about these girls.

"......"

"Laura, I'm going to put you down okay?"

"Aaa, yeah...."

I put Laura, who answered in a disappointed tone for some reason, on the floor.

Anyway, she sure is light, isn't she. Girls' bodies are really light, aren't they.

"""Orimura-kun!"""

"Ah, I don't give this kind of service."

"Why!?"

"It's not fair to do it only for Laura!"

"That's right, that's right!"

I somehow managed to pacify all the girls complaining with a "boo" and made them return to their seats. Such conversation took close to 5 minutes.

"Haa, it's always noisy every time...."

"......"

Laura folded her arm, as if embracing those 2 hands that I touched earlier, while her cheeks were dyed pink.

"Hey, Laura, what are you going to eat? I think I'm going to eat the mugitoro gohan set meal."

"......."

"Heeeyy, Laura. Lauraaaa."

"W-What is it!?"

"I've been asking, what're you going to eat."

"I-Is that so! Then, fruits salad and choco pu..."

"Choco?"

"N-No! It's nothing! I didn't mean that!"

"Ah, you mean the choco pudding? That one's tasty, isn't it."

"......"

"Even so, it's unexpected isn't it. I've always thought Laura doesn't eat those kind of things."

"B-Because I was given one by Charlotte before and it turned out tasty..."

"Is that so. Then, let's not hold back today and eat it shall we?"

"U, umu..."

Just like that, me and Laura took our dinner and arrived at the table.

By the way, the mugitoro gohan set meal is a set meal with fried pork giblets and grated yam put on a boiled barley and rice.

If you ask me what's tasty about it, it's the special wasabi gravy put on the fried pork giblets that makes it first-class in tastiness.

The burning spiciness from the sauce being poured by the mugitoro gohan is a secret happiness of mine.

"Even so, Laura, are you sure you have enough for dinner with just that?"

"You're the one who said that it's more healthy not to eat much for dinner, weren't you...."

"Ah, that one huh? But, if you're not on a diet, it's not like you have to force yourself right? Laura is so light too..."

"L-Light you said!?"

"Waaah, wait! Don't get mad! It's okay isn't it, being light!"

"That's....true, but..... Jeez...."

As if still not fully content, Laura returned her hand to the fruits salad.

That figure of eating salad while wearing a one piece dress is just like a CM or a scene from a movie.

I... I might be a little enchanted by it...

"? What was that?"

"N-No, nothing at all."

"Is that so."

Me and Laura returned to eating our meal.

With that, suddenly, our conversation stopped, but this is usual.

"........."

"........."

Both me and Laura don't dislike a lack of conversation such as this.

On the contrary, this way there's a clear distinction between calm times like these, and the noisy school's life, and I feel relaxed because of it.

"Ichika."

"Hmm?"

Unusually, Laura called out.

I stopped my hand that I used to eat and raised my face.

"Finally, it's tomorrow isn't it."

"Cannonball Fast, isn't it? I have to do my best."

"I'm gonna say this now, I'm not going to lose, you know."

"Yeah. Right back at you."

With just that few words, Laura and me started eating again.

Being my first high-speed maneuver official match, the feeling of nervousness and anticipation about the unknown, swelled out from my chest.



Cannonball Fast match day.

The grounds are saturated with people, and the sky is filled with fireworks that let out thunderous claps.

"Oooh, the weather sure is clear isn't it."

While looking up at the autumn's clear sky, I obstructed the sun rays using my hand.

Today's program is, first, the second year's race, after that, it will be the first years with personal IS race, followed by the first years training unit race. And then, it will be an exhibition race from the third years.

"Ichika, you are already here. Get ready, quickly."

"Alright, Houki. Well, I've been thinking, a lot of people has come to watch, don't you think?"

"Aa, seems like it's because of the aforementioned IS industry related personnel and government related personnel coming. Many of the spectators are just guards for said people."

Even leaving those aside, to have this many attendants assembled, has once again taught me about the fact that IS has a lot of attention on it.

Even so, in front of this large number of adults, somehow I have to get a result that's not embarrassing.

Now that you mention it, where was Ran seated again? Ummm....

While remembering the seat's number, I turned my eyes to that direction.

Looking for Ran using the IS' zoom function, suddenly my ears were being pulled.

"Ouchouchouch!?"

"Come quickly! Really....it's not like you're a child or something."

"L-Look here! The one treating me like a child is y... ouchouchouch!"

"The teachers are going to get mad at me if you don't come!"

"I understand! I understand so let me go!"

"Really."

Uwaaah, it hurts. I thought my ears were going to be torn off.

However, well, it's also true that there's no point dawdling here, so I also returned to the pit.

I hope Ran doesn't get lost. ....Well, there's no way that is going to happen, I guess



"Ummm....F45...F45...."

Ran was walking while looking downward, checking her seat number on the map at her hand.

*Don!*

"Kya!?"

"Huh?"

Because she was walking while looking for her seat, sure enough, she bumped into someone.

Ran hurriedly regained her composure and bowed her head.

"I... I'm sorry."

"No, it's okay. Don't worry about it."

The other party is an older woman with fluttering, beautiful blond hair, who releases her overflowing adult's charm.

Uwaaah...what a beautiful woman....

She should be around the later half of her twenties, I think. Her body, which is covered with a gorgeous red suit, is the figure of a woman at her peak.

Her eyes were covered by sharp model sunglasses.

Such voluptuous breasts, slender waist, and tight hip would attract people's eyes regardless of their gender.

Ran compared her own figure to that person's, and she shrank, thinking about her inferior body.

"Are you hurt?"

"N-No. I'm sorry."

"Is that so, I'm glad. Then, please be careful."

"Y-Yes."

The blond woman slightly waved her hand, and Ran slipped past her through the side.

Just before they passed each other, the gold earrings on her ears slowly shined.

J-Just as expected from an IS-related event. People from all over the world have come to this event, haven't they?

Ran unintentionally looked down to her chest.

I'm still in my growing period so it should be okay....right?.

Ran, who had finally found her seat around 10 minutes after that, sat there and excitedly waited for the start of the race.

To think that I'll be able to see Ichika-san's figure in an IS, live!

Furthermore, today, there's also the birthday party after this event.

Ran forgot about her usual Student Council President self, who puts on a cool and calm front, and her heart bounced around just like a child waiting for a circus show to start.



Waaa.....! A grand cheering sound could be heard even in the pit.

The 2nd year race is taking place now. It seems like a dead heat battle, with the participants overtaking each other, a big free-for-all where the winner can't be decided up until the end.

"Huh? Is this 2nd year's Sara Welkin, England's representative candidate student?"

"That's right. She doesn't have a personal IS, but she's an excellent pilot."

I also learned some piloting skill from her, added Cecilia. She already deployed [Blue Tears]'s high-speed maneuver package, [Strike Gunner].

She's really motivated isn't she. I won't lose either.

Just like her, I also deployed my IS and started getting ready for the race.

Beside me and Cecilia, the other participants, Houki, Rin, Laura, and Charl were already waiting in the pit.

"Even so, Rin's package is really bulky isn't it."

"Fufun. Nice isn't it. The maximum speed of this package won't lose even to Cecilia's."

That high-speed maneuver package [Feng], besides the thruster that looks like 4 expansion thrusters stacked together, there's also the additional chest armor that extends forward. ....Could it be, is she going to ram into others using that....

The [Impact Cannons] are facing the sides, I think they're configured for interference fire.

It really is up to Cannonball Fast's specification isn't it.

In that regards, Rin might have the most advantage between us.

Cecilia's package is originally designed for breaking away from a raid, and the other members' IS have a makeshift high-speed maneuver specification. Rin, the only one whose IS is completely tuned for the Cannonball Fast specifications, is one step ahead of us.

"Fuun. I'll teach you that a battle is not solely decided by the weapon that is used."

The one saying that cool line is Houki.

In the end, it seems that she'll be dealing with the energy insufficiency by manually controlling the fold-out armor.

"A battle is all about the flow. The one who takes control of the flow will win."

Laura, who equipped 3 additional thrusters on the back joined in the conversation.

Even if it's not personalized equipment, she seems to also have some confidence in the race since the new thruster model is pretty good efficiency-wise.

"Everyone, let's go all out on the fight"

The one summing it up by saying that was Charl. Just like Laura, she also equipped 3 additional thrusters, 2 on her left and right shoulder and 1 on her back.

The custom wing thrusters that have been fitted onto Charl's unit, which was already custom made in the first place, have transformed into a shape that further increases the output thrust.

"Everyone, are you ready? Please move to the starting line."

Yamada-sensei's voice, which has become a little leisurely, resounded.

Each one of us nodded, and started to move to the starting line by following the guidance marker.

[Byakushiki]'s condition is also good today, so I have to do my best.

[Now, the first year personal IS user's race will begin!]

The loud announcement echoed.

We all reached our starting position, and began to ignite our thrusters.

*Hyuuuuuiiii......*

Pulling down the hyper sensor visor used for high-speed maneuver, I focused all my senses.

Over the center of the full-house audience, the signal lamp lighted up.

3.....2.....1.....Go!

"......!"

The scenery was distorted for an instant due to the sudden acceleration. Soon after, the vision field caught up to the speed due to the support of the hyper sensor, but no matter what, I still got bewildered for an instant during the start of the acceleration.

Cecilia rushed out first didn't she...!

In the blink of an eye, the first corner was passed, and Cecilia managed to gain the lead.

"Ichika, I'm going first!!"

Rin, who said that, suddenly began a fight.

"H-Hey!"

"I got you, Cecilia!"

The [Impact Cannon] that was facing sideways was directed forward and continuously shot.

Cecilia rolled to evade those shots. With that movement, Rin used an explosive acceleration to overtake her.

"Kuh! Not bad!"

"Hehen! Too slow!"

"-how naive."

"!?"

Matching her timing with Rin's acceleration, Laura who followed her right behind came forward. It seems she used the slipstream with her IS to wait for a chance.

"Damn it!"

"Too slow!"

Although she tried to direct her [Impact Cannon] hastily, Laura's large caliber revolver cannon was fired a bit faster.

It wasn't a direct hit, but in a high-speed maneuver state, being shot at got Rin strayed quite far from the course line.

Furthermore, Laura's diversionary fire reached me as well and separated us even further.

"Kuh! Just as expected, Laura is really strong!"

I also accelerated to catch up to her, but the difference got bigger at every corner.

"Ichika, I'm going first."

"Heyy, even Charl too?"

"It's because timing is the most important thing in Cannonball Fast. Well then."

Charl, who further increased her output power, closely pressed Laura.

Just when I was going to focus my senses to follow after them closely, a red laser jumped in.

"This is - Houki!"

"I'm sorry, but could you let me through!"

"As if I'll let you do that easily!"

[Akatsubaki]'s katana, which can be used for both short and long range, released lasers while Houki closed in on me.

I deployed [Setsura]'s beam claw and began to shoot it.

"Not bad!"

"As if I'll let you shoot me down that easily!"

Cecilia and Rin added their attacks to us, who were dog-fighting in close range.

*Don!* The [Impact Cannon]'s bullet and [Blue Tears]' cannon rounds hit the shock absorbing wall and exploded.

"The race is not over!"

"The real race has just started!"

The climax of the battle race. When it entered the second lap, an incident occurred.

Suddenly, an IS that came flying from the sky shot at Laura and Charl, who were on the lead.

"!?"

"That's....[Silent Zephyrs]!!"

Without even directing his gaze at Laura and Charl who went off course, the sudden aggressor's lips curved upwards to reveal a smirk.

Translation Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. Ojou-sama mode activated
  2. Sports bras are a bras that provides additional support to female breasts during physical exercise.
  3. Shiatsuis Japanese for "finger pressure," and consists of finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques.
  4. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended by proponents to encourage the natural circulation of the lymph through the body.
  5. Musical instrument, do I need to say more?
  6. Same as above
  7. Rhythm is movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.
  8. Tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece.
  9. Ojou-sama is the term used to refer to ladies of high social standing. English equivalent is "Milady" or "Lady"
  10. Like at chapter 2, the original Japanese word used here is also 裏返って, but in this case, it's because she speak in high and squeaking voice instead of mispronouncing a word.
  11. In other words, she tried to make her words feels natural and befitting of a lady.
  12. Sound of butt being grabbed.
  13. Sound produced from mouth due to sudden surprise caused by physical sensations, like stroking or tickling
  14. Gome Yakisoba is a variation of yakisoba where they put beef, shrimp, carrot, bamboo shoot, shitake mushroom, and various other ingredients on top of it and then soaked and mixed with some kind of paste that's made from potato starch that's been diluted with water.For picture
  15. Inoshishi-musha means a soldier who only knows charging ahead like a boar. It's composed of 2 Japanese words, Inoshishi(猪) which means wild boar and Musha(武者) which means warrior.
  16. Cosplay, short for "costume play", is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.
  17. Kemonomimi (ie: Animal-ears).
  18. Basically she is expressing that calling her sensei is ridiculous. It can also be translated it into "Sensei, my ass", but it feels too rude considering Laura wasn't cursing here.
  19. Dogfighting: A dogfight, or dog fight, is a form of aerial combat between fighter aircraft; in particular, combat of maneuver at short range, where each side is aware of the other's presence.
  20. "Ohime-sama dakko" or "Being carried like a princess" is a recurring action in anime, manga and light novels that occurs between love interests in which one party carries the other in his/her arms. It is considered a high level move and the fantasy/desire of all girls out there. English equivalent is the Bridal Carry.

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