「 Oh, Hello 」
I greeted Kuromiya Mokoto-san, a combat young lady, in the lobby of the martial arts tournament venue.
「 It has been a while 」
Arisu greeted Kuromiya-san.
Arisu is the daughter of the Kurama house, she’s deprived of her status, but she was born nobility.
Kuromiya Motoko-san should be acquainted with her since childhood.
「 My, Arisu-san, you seem healthy 」
「 Everyone’s worried about you, is your sister Misato-san doing well 」
「 Yes, she’s doing well 」
「 That’s great. It seems that you’re attending to Kuromori-sama today 」
It seems like a calm conversation, but…
Kuromiya-san is talking to Arisu as a former member of the nobility, and now a servant of the Kouzuki house.
They don’t talk like they’re both daughters of nobility like before.
「 Kinuka-san, have you been doing well 」
Kuromiya-san talked to Kinuka too.
「 Yes, I’m currently working as Kuromori-sama’s attendant as well 」
Kinuka bows her head to Kuromiya-san.
「 As expected of someone who learned the tradition of Anjou arts, you’re not neglecting your training 」
The combat young lady looked at Kinuka’s body and said.
「 Kuromori-sama, would you allow Kinuka-san for a match someday? 」
「 Yeah, she’ll come with Michi to the practice training next time 」
There’s a weekly bodyguard combined training for the security of the young ladies in the training hall of Kouzuki SS.
Rei-chan and Shou-neechan’s lecturing them, but Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san are trying to learn Michi and Edie’s Shingetsu and Qi techniques.
「 By the way, Kuromori-sama, who is this? 」
Kuromiya-san looked at Megu.
Oh, this is her first meeting with Megu.
Kuromiya-san only knows that I’m Kuromori Kou, Kouzuki Misuzu’s fiance.
I can’t tell her that I’m Yoshida Yoshinobu, engaged with Megu.
「 She’s my family, Megu. Megu, Edie, and I are classmates in the same school 」
「 Yamamine Megumi 」
Oh, Megu’s a bit overawed by the young lady.
「 Is that so? I’m Kuromiya Motoko. Pleased to meet you 」
「 Motoko-ojousama’s bodyguard, Mikuriya Kurumi 」
Since I introduced her as family, Kuromiya-san and her bodyguard had a different attitude with Megu, they bowed their heads unlike when talking to Arisu.
「 Megumi-sama doesn’t seem to be a fighter. But, you’re trained…Your muscles look good 」
Kuromiya-san said after looking at Megu’s body.
「 U-Uhm, yes. I’m participating in track and field 」
「 Oh, javelin and shot put were originally games for warriors indeed 」
Is her head filled with nothing but fights?
「 No, uhm, I don’t do javelin 」
This is bad.
She’s already tensed talking to a young lady of nobility, and yet…
When talking to Kuromiya-san, a combat girl, Megu’s getting even more nervous.
「 Well, uhm, have you come to support Edie too, Kuromiya-san? 」
I changed the topic in a hurry.
「 Yes, naturally. Edie-san is our teacher in classical form 」
Kuromiya-san replied naturally.
「 It’s my first time spectating martial arts tournament, but I’m quite interested in women’s tournament 」
She’s a young lady of the nobility, yet, she’s still focused on combat.
By the way.
「 Uhm, Michi came over here straight from school, but… 」
Yes, it’s Saturday today.
Michi went to the venue immediately after the fourth period ended.
That’s why she’s still wearing her school uniform.
Well, in Michi’s case, she always wears her school uniform wherever, whenever, but…
But Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san…
They’re attending the same school as Michi, and yet…
They’re now wearing a wedged hakama like a Taishou schoolgirl.
「 Oh, this appearance? 」
Kuromiya-san replies with a smile…
「 Our mansion is close by, and so we went back home and changed clothes 」
Huh? Kuromiya house is in the middle of the city?
「 Wearing a Hakama makes it easier to move in case anything happens 」
Mikuriya-san told me with a warm smile that you won’t consider her a bodyguard.
If I recall, Mikuriya-san is 14, three years younger than her master, Kuromiya-san.
Having them wear matching Hakama makes it seem like the petite and cute Mikuriya-san is Kuromiya-san’s younger sister.
Although, since she’s appointed as a bodyguard at her age, she should be strong, still.
Well, in Kuromiya-san’s case, she’s also a master of Kuromiya style spear combat, so she doesn’t necessarily need to have a strong bodyguard.
「 It’s hard at the hem part when wearing a skirt 」
Mikuriya-san replied, Michi;
「 I’m always ready to fight even in my uniform 」
Michi declares with pride.
Actually, I think I’ve only seen Michi wearing a uniform or naked and nothing in between.
「 You can take out your shuriken from below the skirt naturally 」
「 I see, you can only take out your weapons from your purse and cuff areas when wearing kimono. 」
No, Kuromiya-san, you don’t have to praise it that much.
「 That movement will alert the enemies. But when using skirt, you can do this 」
Michi moves her hand like she’s fixing the wrinkles and swings her hips.
「 And like this; 」
Michi’s white fingers are holding a shuriken before anyone noticed.
「 Wonderful. Kurumi and I want to learn that natural way of taking out a weapon 」
「 If we’re a little more confident in our martial arts, then we could go out wearing skirts like Michi-san, but… 」
「 Kuromiya Arts use Hakama in training 」
Mikuriya Kurumi-san said.
「 We’re accustomed to wearing Hakama when acting aggressively 」
「 Yes, we came here wearing Hakama with the intent to fight 」
「 This is a martial arts tournament venue so you never know when you might be asked to participate in another bout 」
「 Yes, and so we changed our clothes to prepare for a fight in any situation 」
「 It’s a little exciting, everyone in here are fighters, but I prepared a spear, just in case 」
Looking at the direction Kuromiya-san pointed at…oh there’s a tall gentleman dressed like a butler holding two long objects in a cloth bag.
Right, it won’t be just the young lady of the nobility and her bodyguard coming here.
There are also adult bodyguards other than Mikuriya-san.
「 No, people who don’t apply for participation won’t be fighting 」
「 But, it’s just for the rare possibility. 」
Well, they might get hurt from getting too excited from spectating the matches, but…
Bringing in a spear in this place is a bit…
「 Why not? I think the mood itself is fun 」
Turning around to the familiar cheerful voice and I see Nei.
「 Actually, half of the spectators who came over today are also participating in martial arts 」
Nei looks at the spectators in the lobby.
True, their physique says that.
「 Women MMA isn’t that popular yet, and so most of the people come from the same dojo and gyms as the competitors to cheer on them. But of course, some people are just pure martial artist fans 」
「 I mean, this is what Margo-oneechan set up. That’s the reason why today’s tournament has a higher number of people doing martial arts than the normal matches 」
She whispers to us to make sure others don’t hear.
「 What did Margo-san do? 」
「 Well… The tournament itself has been going on for quite a while but there’s never been a women’s martial arts tournament with such high prize money 」
「 Look, we had a meeting with Takasaki-san from Kansai before, haven’t we? We talked to him and made him the organizer of the tournament here 」
Oh right, there was that one boss in the Kansai Yakuza that has influence over the Martial Arts Industry in Japan.
「 Margo-oneechan gave the prize money for this tournament. Of course, Margo-oneechan’s sponsor gave it to her, but still 」
「 You see, women’s MMA tournaments are classed based on their weights. Then, the offer is three times the prize of ordinary tournaments on each class 」
If that’s the case, then various athletes will come for the prize.
「 Furthermore, Margo-oneechan went behind the scenes and created the “Super Unlimited Class” 」
「 That Unlimited Class allows everything. Everything goes, for real. And, the championship prize for that is; 」
「 It’s 30 million yen! 」
T-Thirty Million Yen.
「 Furthermore, it’s a winner takes all system, second place and below only gets a trophy and nothing else! 」
What the hell?
「 If you don’t make that much impact, then you won’t get famous in this world. We’re not taking it slow here 」
Margo-san’s aim is to enter America’s martial arts show business in America as an indie.
One of the goals is to gather sponsors to sell her name in Japan.
She needs to gain fame as a martial artist and get talked about as fast as possible.
「 Well, as long as Margo-oneechan wins, that 30 million yen will just come back to her 」
I get the theory, but still.
「 With that said, the Unlimited class has attracted well-known fighters from martial art dojos all over Japan in hopes of winning the 30 million yen! I’ve done a lot of advertising in various martial arts organizations and gyms! All the organizations are having a hard time running their business, so when they hear the prize money, they got interested! I’m sure that more confident fighters will jump at it without thinking twice! 」
Then Margo-san and Nei’s plan was a hit, and strong names are participating?
「 We were cautious to pass on this tournament but it seems that there are a lot of athletes who came to see what a tournament with 30 million yen prize money is like 」
I see. So that’s why there’s a good number of martial artists gathered at the venue.
「 Yes, I think that this is going to be a good and hot competition for Margo-san to make a name for herself 」
Nei said, but…
「 But, Margo-san has to absolutely win against such strong players, right? 」
If she doesn’t become the champion in this tournament, then she can’t move to the next step.
「 Well yeah, she also has to get back the 30 million yen by all means 」
Yes, for Margo-san and Nei, the prize money is just for the show.
Can’t let other athletes take it away.
「 So, Nei-oneesan, uhm, is Edie and Haruka-san also going to compete in the unlimited class? 」
Megu asks Nei.
「 No way, super unlimited class is only open to people with a reasonable amount of skill and sponsor endorsement, and squeezing Margo-oneechan it was already the best we can do 」
Yeah, Margo-san’s an unknown name in the martial arts world, and so being able to enter the 30 million prize money class is unusual.
「 I mean, there are also other classes, but it would be meaningless for everyone to enter the super unlimited class and beat up our allies 」
Nei said laughing.
「 The goal for Team Kuromori today is to win all the classes 」
Then that means.
「 Edie’s entering the 48Kg class, Haruka’s entering the 54Kg class, and Kendou Maria-chan’s entering the 60Kg class 」
Oh, Tendou Otome(Now Kendou Maria,) has the heaviest one.
「 We’re also taking the prize money on that one since the prize money for the regular weight class is still higher than the regular tournaments. So those who couldn’t participate in super unlimited class but have good career and achievements will be there 」
「 Then that means, the only high school students competing are Edie and the girls? 」
Edie’s in her first year, Haruka-san and Kendou Maria are in their third year.
「 No, there are others like them too 」
「 My, that’s something to look forward to. I’m interested to see how martial artists of my age fight
「 Uhm, do they have middle school combatants? 」
The 14-year-old Mikuriya asks.
「 Nope! I mean, the organizer doesn’t accept such entries from middle schoolers 」
Nei smiled wryly and said.
「 Oh, so that’s why Michi-san didn’t participate in the tournament 」
Kuromiya-san is convinced.
No, look, Michi’s in her third year in middle school, but…
Michi’s vocation is to serve as Misuzu’s bodyguard and so she has no interest in martial arts tournaments.
Michi remains quiet.
「 I’d like to participate in a tournament like this and compete with the best, but… 」
「 Motoko-ojousama, Gozensama will not allow that 」
The younger bodyguard told her Master.
「 Indeed. Grandfather will not give his permission 」
As expected, having a young lady of the nobility compete in a martial arts tournament will be a problem.
「 So, Ya-chan, what’s going on inside now? 」
I asked Nei.
「 Well, the preliminaries of all the classes are over, and we’re moving over to the main event. We’re having a late lunch break now. The program got delayed in the morning after all 」
Oh, I see.
「 Everyone’s in the waiting room. Want to check on them? 」
「 If it’s before their match, then they might be tensed out? 」
「 Oh, Haruka-chan and Maria-chan are. Edie and Margo-oneesan are cool 」
「 I want to see Aneue 」
She’s worried about her sister, Kudou Haruka
「 Yeah, we should go then. This way 」
Nei guides us, then she stood in front.
「 Kuromori-sama, may we come too? 」
「 I want to feel the atmosphere of those who are before their fight 」
「 Then, you can come with us. Oh, please leave the guy with the spear behind 」
Bringing in a spear in the waiting room would stand out too much.
「 Oh, you’re right, it would be rude to bring arms when you have no plans on participating 」
Kuromiya-san agreed then instructed the man carrying their spear to wait for them.
「 Worry not. Kouzuki house’s Michi-san and Kinuka-san from the Kurama house are here 」
Kuromiya-san’s subordinate reluctantly agreed and waited.
「 Well then, let’s go 」
We followed Nei.
The waiting room is one floor below.
Just getting down the staircase and you can already smell the sweat.
Even in the small space at the top of the stairs, separated by a concrete wall, athletes are working their bodies and preparing for the afternoon fight.
You can tell that they’re tense.
Oh, they’re girls but they’re also martial artists. They’re well built, and some have their hair up and blonde to intimidate their opponents.
「 Kuromori-sama 」
Arisu clings to me.
「 Yeah, it’s going to be okay 」
I hold Arisu’s shoulders.
「 Yoshi-kun, are we sticking out too much? 」
Megu whispers, but…
「 No, I don’t think so 」
There are other people in the waiting rooms, encouraging their athletes.
Some are fans, others are family.
Megu and I are Edie’s classmates.
Michi is Haruka-san’s sister.
Arisu and Kinuka look like family members of athletes too.
Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san with their Hakama sure stand out in this tense background.
They look like they’re cosplaying from an outsider’s view.
Although, both of them are elegant and warm beauties…
They’re also looking around with an excited face.
「 What’s the big deal if you made it through the qualifiers?! Focus! 」
「 Got it!! 」
I hear a voice I’ve heard before in front of the camera and lights.
Oh, the two Karate girls.
Kudou Haruka and Kendou Maria.
「 Maria, louder! 」
「 Got it!! 」
Oh, Kudou Haruka was the champion of the high school girl’s karate last year.
So, she has TV documentary shows covering her.
People gather around and record.
Some people are watching in amusement, while others are looking at Haruka and the team with open contempt.
「 Haruka-san, Mitchan came to cheer you on! 」
Nei called Kudou Haruka.
「 Aneue! 」
「 Michi? 」
Michi entered and the lights all shined on her.