“Now this is checkmate!” (Akanuma)
Akanuma, with a quick flick of his glasses that could be heard even as a turn, uses the intercom to direct the horsemen.
Amazing! This is the first time I’ve seen someone say “checkmate” in real life outside of chess!
While one person was excited by the unusual sight, the 1B team was overrunning their opponents in the piggyback fight, thanks to Akanuma’s precise instructions. Strength is justice, and strength is power!
The most physical elite of both the men’s and women’s B class are competing in the piggyback battle, but they have prepared a plan to be ready for anything. Akanuma and the other members of the Otaku group were in charge of analyzing the battle situation and giving instructions from their seats. They are truly a command post, and they are doing a lion’s share of the work.
On the piggyback, wearing an earpiece is Mineda, the princess of the piggyback, a gal with long hair that covers her ears. Mineda, who acts as the messenger, signals to the other piggyback with hand signals that had been discussed beforehand based on the instructions.
When given a signal, Shiori and Kaomen Prominence pounce on their opponents’ cavalry like fish in water. Truly, this world is a survival of the fittest.
By the way, this Akanuma is renowned for being undefeated in the board game Diamond Game and being on par with Aihara-senpai, the president of the board game club, in shogi. They should play board game.
Akanuma and his Otaku group, who initially felt anxious about not being able to contribute, were given the role of strategic analysts for the sports festival.
Thoroughly analyzing the participants for each event, strategies and tactics, scoring distribution, and the movements of other classes, they conducted simulations. The results showed that Class B had no chance of losing.
There were no concerns about information leaks from spies, and there were no elements that could lead to defeat. The outcome was already decided. It was as if our class had already won. Wahahahahaha!
“Ah, S-sorry. Hihi…” (Shakado)
A murmur spreads through the crowd. Shakado managed to snatch the hat off the powerful opponent’s piggyback. It was an unexpected giant-killing, leaving the opponent bewildered. It was a complete victory for Class B.
“Is it really okay to do such a reckless thing?” (Akanuma)
“Nice one, Akanuma. We’re counting on you for the next match too! Oh, and checkmate sounds lame.” (Yuki)
“I casually received such harsh words… Wait, are we really playing a piggyback battle to begin with?!” (Akanuma)
While Akanuma, who gave the instructions himself, is now holding his head in confusion, the triumphant piggyback group returns. They walk back proudly, like victorious barbarians.
“G-Gee, Shakado.” (Yuki)
“Hihi… I-I can’t do anymoreeeee!” (Shakado)
“You can do it! You’re our trump card. Shakado, do you like piggyback battles?” (Yuki)
“W-Well, even if you ask me like it’s soccer… Hihi… Hiiiiii!” (Shakado)
“Ace attacker Shakado. The opponent is finished. Here, I’ll put a ★ sticker with ‘Defeated’ for you.” (Yuki)
“Chi-chan, help meeeee!” (Shakado)
“Hey, Yukito. Why Shakado-san? I think it’s too harsh for someone like her based on her type…” (Hinagi)
Hinagi-chan, who had been cheering until just now, approaches me, who is also not participating in the piggyback battle, and asks a question that seems too late. Even Shakado, with tears in her eyes, nods in agreement. After already having four ★ stickers of our piggyback shot down, what in the world is she talking about……
For my part, there is no room for doubt, but it can’t be helped. If she says so, I’ll explain it to her.
“Prepare yourself, Hinagin!” (Yuki)
“Eh? W-w-what are you doing, Yukito—–!?” (Hinagi)
Without a pause, I strike at Hinagi. The sudden outburst made Hinagi-chan try to defend herself.
“That’s it!” (Yuki)
“…..Huh? Uhm……What……?” (Hinagi)
Of course, I would never actually hit her. Hinagi-chan is a delicate girl, and there’s no way I would do such a thing. Seeing Hinagi-chan looking puzzled, I slowly approached her and lightly flick her forehead without applying any force.
“Ouch! …it doesn’t hurt. ……What’s gotten into you all of a sudden, Yukito?” (Hinagi)
Hinagi-chan rubs her forehead but feels no pain. However, even though she says “Ouch!”, it might just be a natural reaction for someone to say it out loud, just like how people involuntarily say “yoikoi sho” when they lift something heavy.
“Why didn’t you guard yourself this time?” (Yuki)
I ask Hinagi-chan, who is blinking and looking confused.
“Well, even if you ask me why… I didn’t expect you to flick my forehead…” (Hinagi)
“Yes, exactly! Initially, when I suddenly approached you aggressively, you instinctively tried to guard yourself. It was a natural defensive reaction of your body. However, when I slowly approached for the second time, it didn’t happen. The difference lies in whether you sensed danger or not.” (Yuki)
“Hmm, is that so……” (Hinagi)
“Let’s try observing Shakado’s special ability then.” (Yuki)
“Why are you explaining in such a formal tone?” (Hinagi)
I grab Shakado by the collar and pull her out in front of Hinagi-chan.
“You don’t feel any danger from Shakado, do you?” (Yuki)
“Well… maybe not. Shakado-san looks cute like a small animal.” (Hinagi)
“…I’m sorry… Hihi…” (Shakado)
I explain to Shakado, who doesn’t quite understand what’s going on.
“Shakado, I heard that you were worried about your lack of presence.” (Yuki)
I heard that story from Shakado before. From my perspective, she is one of the most unique individuals in Class B, but apparently, she didn’t have many friends in elementary and middle school. She had a low presence and was treated like air. Her outstanding camouflage ability, fitting for someone who loves reptiles.
“To suddenly dig up black history and take damage… Hihi… guh.” (Shakado)
“It can be put another way. Not earning hate from others. In other words, Shakado has zero hate.” (Yuki)
“W-Was my hate really zero!?” (Shakado)
“That’s right.” (Yuki)
“I-Is that so… Thank you for telling me…” (Shakado)
“Don’t give Shakado any strange characteristics!” (Hinagi)
Hinagi-chan scolds me, but at the same time, it is also Shakado’s strength. Just think about it. Having a teammate who doesn’t earn hate from the enemy or the party is an overwhelming advantage.
“Listen. Mineda, who looks like a gal and seems carnivorous, and Ganmian Shining, who is all fired up to crush the opponent, elicit caution and a sense of crisis from their enemies. But Shakado, with zero hate, doesn’t register in their field of vision. Their consciousness drifts away, and the opponent judges Shakado as insignificant and lets their guard down.” (Yuki)
“Well, yeah, the other opponents do seem tougher.” (Hinagi)
“So, it goes like this.” (Yuki)
Approaching from behind, she makes a gesture to take away their hats. The other horsemen are a distraction, so to speak, and they are instructed to move while hiding the shadowy Shakado with even more other horsemen.
And thus, Shakado’s role is to approach the unsuspecting opponent and do her job effectively.
“She’s in charge of giant-killing in the cavalry battle. If she was reincarnated in another world, she would definitely have a skill for concealing her presence. Her class would be Thief or Assassin…” (Yuki)
“I’d prefer to be a Tamer… Yes.” (Shakado)
“This is the winning strategy in the piggyback battle that we came up with along with Akanuma and the others.” (Yuki)
“It turned out to be a more s-significant role than I thought…” (Shakado)
Shakado, who is shivering and pulling, is in a tailspin. It is no exaggeration to say that the winner of the cavalry battle is in Shakado’s hands.
“Listen, Shakado. Your subtle presence, your shadow-like existence, is a special and unique quality that only you possess. There’s no other way but to make the most of it. You are amazing. You have incredible talent. Believe in yourself. Go out there and annihilate those popular kids who are showing off at the sports festival!” (Yuki)
“M-my uniqueness…?” (Shakado)
For some reason, Shakado’s eyes welled up with tears, and Hinagi-chan gently loosened her expression, giving a kind smile.
“I’m so happy for you, Shakado-san.” (Hinagi)
“Yukito only speaks the truth and is good at praising others.” (Hinagi)
“Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Yukito say anything bad about someone… maybe.” (Shakado)
“Exactly. That’s why it’s undoubtedly your unique personality, Shakado-san.” (Hinagi)
“I see. Is that… so… Hihi.” (Shakado)
Although it seemed like Hinagi-chan and Shakado had reached an understanding, there wasn’t much time left. I had to proceed with the meeting for our next match. I handed over a poster that said “WANTED.”
“Your next target is this person.” (Yuki)
“Y-You sound like an assassin…….” (Hinagi)
“You already have…..” (Shakado)
While Hinagi-chan looked exasperated, Shakado’s expression was somewhat bright.