Chapter 13.1: Strategy
“What now?” Stomping out the fire on a tree stump, Hiroshi tried to sit on it. He groaned as jolts of pain ran through his body. “Shun, you really could’ve dropped me in a gentler way.”
“Ah let me help you with that, one sec.” Akane took out Seventeen and pointed it at him. A light appeared at the tip and Hiroshi shivered as chills ran through his body, but the sensation soon dissipated and he relaxed as feeling returned to his injured left arm.
“Amazing.” Impressed, he bent his elbow a few times. Afterward, he muttered, “Light attribute since it’s clearly healing. High–no, mid level spell around C-rank with its effects boosted by the caster’s talent… C-rank healing spell ‘Blessing’?”
“Correct! Thanks for your praise, by the way.” Akane did a light bow. “It’s pretty impressive you managed to guess all of that.”
“Thank you.” Hiroshi smiled in a proud manner, straightening his back.
On the other hand, Shun didn’t seem as impressed. As Akane moved onto him, he muttered under his breath, “…Machine bastard.”
“Did you say something?”
“Just ya imagination.”
Once everyone was healed, Akira took out a collar with a ‘D’ painted atop it, and asked, “Ah right, does everyone have these?”
Shun and Akane followed with their own prizes.
“Etto… Two B, one C, and one D. So it’s 85 points total, huh?” Akane calculated their gains. “So now our total should be 475 points. Well, not that it matters since we should be in the lead anyways.”
“Do we hafta hold onta them the whole time? What a freakin’ bother.” With a sigh, Shun frowned.
“I guess I’ll hold onto them for now,” Akira said as he collected the collars. But just as he grabbed onto the last one…
“Elimination: Confirmed. Tallying.”
A robotic voice came from all of their collars and the prize collars disappeared from his hand.
“Wha-” Blinking in shock, Akira stared at the sight.
“Hey Onii-chan, your total went up! It’s 315 now.”
“Yours too, Akane. It says 55 now instead of 30, and Shun’s collar has a 75.”
“Huh, only yer’s didn’ change.”
Indeed, all of their values had gone up with the exception of Hiroshi. For a moment he seemed confused, but then his eyes cleared up in realization.
“So that’s how it is.”
“How what is? Come on, don’ keep us in suspense.”
“When the fight is over, the collars are teleported back to the observation area or wherever we are being watched from,” Hiroshi explained. “Then, points are given to the people who took the collars, probably some sort of detection function that it has.”
“Heh.” Shun smugly grinned. “Doesn’ that mean that ya the most useless person here since you didn’ get any increase?”
“Who was it that came up with a strategy while the other idiot ran for his life?”
“Ya wanna go, ya machine bastard?”
“Ahem. Back to the subject, please.”
The three turned towards Akira. He had a rather stern look on his face, which caused them to stiffen up instantly.
“We can’t make the same mistake again and get ambushed.” He got up and started pacing. “Besides Akane, all of us are in pretty rough shape. And even she wasted a lot of mana.”
“Ah.” The three of them nodded in agreement.
“That hammer bastard was a helluva enemy.”
“I rather hated that sword user.”
“Ehhh, the girl I faced was a pushover though?” Akane proclaimed with a smug grin, only to receive a backlash.
“Ya have no right to say anythin’! ‘Mana depletion? What’s that? Is it tasty?’ is what I can imagine ya sayin’, ya crazy mad scientist.”
“All those craters…You definitely took it too far.”
“Even the things I do don’t make me shiver as much as the things you do.”
“Mean!” Pouting, she turned away.
“Anyways, we need to plan ahead this time. We’re done for if we get ambushed again.”
“Oh yeah!” Akane recalled Seventeen after healing Akira’s wounds. “I was thinking of a plan during my fight.”
All three of them scrunched up their faces in horror. To be able to think of a plan while fighting, what a monst-
“Oh come on, you three! I’m not that scary! I can tell what you’re thinking just by looking at those faces of yours!” She protested before calming down and clearing her throat.
“Anyways, I’ve got a great idea!” she announced in a sing-song voice. The three boys shifted uncomfortably upon seeing the wide grin she was wearing.
“Don’t be such downers and just hear me out!”