It's nine o'clock in the afternoon, four hours after the final fight of the day had ended. The final fight was between Arief Mirson and Julia Richter, a one on one fight as they didn't have enough contenders left to make up a final tag team, where Arief came out on top.
After watching the final fight, the group decided to separate slightly as they went off into two groups. Miyu, Susumi and Haru had all decided to take a short walk around the academy before returning to their dorm, the Garcia's and Momo had stayed at the beach while Callum had left to go back to his dorm.
In dorm Japan, Susumi and Miyu are sat watching television while Haru was in his bedroom, both if them conversing in English. Yoshida knew how good Shibata's English was, so she liked to practice her own knowledge with her, receiving corrections on her pronunciations and use of a word where needed.
In fact, after so long of conversing, they had begun to neglect the television and focus on a book that Shibata had gotten from her room. The book was one of many that she used in order to learn the language and become fluent, so she was going through it with Miyu and practicing as they worked through.
Overtime, Miyu had actually been shuffling closer and closer to her friend, in order to get a better look at the book, completely unaware of how close they had gotten. Before she knew it, they were so close that when going to ask what something was in the book by pointing it out, their elbows touched and shocked her slightly.
"Ah! Sorry!" She naturally returned to her language. "I didn't realise how close I was!" She commented, shuffling away slightly.
"It's fine!" Susumi responded, striking a little smile at Miyu, making her blush slightly.
Such a pretty smile!
"A-ahhh," She struggled to exit the awkward situation she had created. "Oh! Do you remember that website we heard about when we first got here?"
"The voting page?" She asked.
"Yes!" Miyu called out. "Now we've been here a while, how about we take a look at where we stand?" She said in a funny tone, playfully nudging Shibata.
"Sure," she agreed, getting the laptop shared amongst the dorm from the coffee table in front of them. "What was it called again?"
"Osoru Academy voting!" Miyu confidently replied, overjoyed with her correct use of English.
Typing exactly that in, they found several results that seemed to be from the previous years of OA. Having clicked on the wrong link, being from the year before, Susumi noticed what name was at the top, and recalled that it wasn't even the actual victor.
"Oh..." She said upon seeing the name.
"What is it?" She asked, looking at the name herself. "Nishimura Hisako?"
"She-... Oh never mind," she went back on herself.
"Here's ours," she pointed out, clicking on the correct link and bringing up the page.
Before being able to see all of the names and ranking, they were put on a page where it seemed they HAD to vote in order to proceed and see the results. After saying how neither of them wanted to vote, especially with how awkward it was in each other's presence, they spent some time snooping around the website to find a way around it. Surely enough, they managed to find the results page without voting.
The results list was huge, considering it had every single competitor on there, splitting up the ranks in four positions of first, second and so on. Luckily, the website had a filter option, so they were able to find out the ranking for specifically the Japan competitors.
In first place was Susumi Shibata. This didn't really come as a surprise to them, since she was yet to lose a single fight. Miyu Yoshida was in second place, which did come as a surprise to at least herself.
With someone as likeable and cute as her friend Momoka, especially with the amount of coverage she got on the television since arriving, she definitely expected her to be above. However, it was a vote for who they wanted to WIN at the end of the day, and Miyu did have more wins under her belt...
In third place was Momoka Goto, leaving Haru Nakamura in last place. Haru hadn't really done anything to get himself any publicity besides fight, though he was a good fighter. Though there did have to be a last place, they both felt that if he were to find out about his position, he'd feel extremely unmotivated.
After viewing the results, a pop-up appeared on-screen directly in the centre of the page. 'Hello again Visitor, would you like to cast a new vote?' it read, as Susumi repeated it out loud and the two wondered over the prompt.
"What does it mean?" she wondered.
"It means someone has used this laptop to vote on her before," Shibata explained. "But it belongs to the dorm, so anyone could've done it."
"Who would've already voted though?"
Then as if on cue, the dorm door slowly swung open, revealing Momo and Laurence as they were exchanging goodbyes.
"Ciao!" Momoka said, turning to her partner. "Je t'adore!"
"Je t'aime aussi," he replied, with a big smile on his face.
What are they saying!?
Then just before he departed, they shared a quick peck on the lips as Momoka became all giddy and waved him goodbye down the corridor. She let out a loud and exaggerated exhale, falling back on the door frame like some kind of cliché, before entering the dorm and spotting her friends. Looking in her direction.
"Ummm... Bonjour?" She greeted, in a confused tone.
Neither of them said a word, though they were both pulling the same sort of expression. A somewhat confused face, whilst striking a small smile they seemed to be holding back. Momoka raised her toes off the floor, balancing on her heels and looking down, before biting her lower lip and titling her head in confusion. Placing her hands behind her back, she walked over towards the two and sat opposite them.
"What?" She asked, exploding out with curiosity.
"Have you ever used this laptop to vote on who you think should win the tournament?" Shibata asked.
"Eh?" She sank back into the arm chair. "What website?"
The two gave her a very intimidating look. Then, without the use of any words from the two, she quickly gave in and owned up.
"Okay, OKAY! I only used it to vote for Laurence because I liked him and it was on the day we first spoke! Though I didn't realise you HAD to vote for everyone to submit it so I just did that too."
"Hmmm," Miyu reacted, leaning forward over Shibata's lap. "So who did you vote for out of us?"
"Ahhh!" She sat up, covering her embarrassed expression with her hands. "Don't make me answer that!"
"Oh come on," encouraged Miyu. "We already know the results, so we won't mind!"
Momoka pouted, trying to remain calm but only resulting in her face turning red anyway. She then let out a little defeated scream and finally gave her answer.
"Haru!" She confessed. "I just voted for him b-but I don't know why!"
Sure, you don't...
"Okay, I'll believe you," Miyu responded, pausing for a moment before leaning in again. "So, we saw that kiss just th-"
"WELL it's late," Momoka cut her off, shooting up onto her feet as she shuffled across the living room. "I think I'll be going to bed now!"
As she made it to her bedroom door, she went through her purse to find her room card, glancing back towards the two on the sofa. Miyu, looking straight at her, puckered her lips and started to exaggerate a kissing motion, lighting her up like a traffic light.
In attempt to quickly flee, she swiped her card but missed the scanner, resulting in her walking face first into the door. She cried out a silent 'ow', before carefully swiping her card again and entering her room, rubbing her face better.
Miyu and Susumi were left back alone again. Miyu continued to giggle about the Momo situation, with her eyes still fixated on the door, while her friend tried to calm herself, looking into the back of her neck.
Yoshida turned around, coming face-to-face with Susumi at a distance too close for comfort, but neither of them retreated. The two looked at each other in silence as their laughter became no more. Nothing but the two looking at each other.
"S-so..." Miyu broke the silence, shuffling back ever so slightly and clearing her throat. "Is there anyone on the island that you like?"
Her eyes widen, and her face lights up.
"What? N-no, no one."
"Are you sure?" She continues her pursuit. "That was a very 'Momo-blush' moment you just had!"
"It's nothing like that!" She insisted. "It was just an unexpected question... I haven't really spoken to anyone on the island so..."
"No one attractive?"
She took a moment to reply. She shifted her eyes to her right into the distance, trying to calm herself during the sudden interrogation. Yoshida noticed her looking elsewhere, and looked over her shoulder out of curiosity, but the moment she did Susumi's eyes were back on her.
She looked her up and down while she looked away, then looking her straight in the face once she faced her again.
"No," She gave her foreign response. "No one."
"... Not even Haru?" She whispered, nudging her slightly.
"MIYU!" She playfully slapped her arm, causing the two to break into laughter again.
They continued to laugh for a little while, before Miyu pointed out how late it was getting. She dismissed herself, parting with a goodnight as she entered her bedroom, leaving Susumi in the living room on her own.
This is a whole different side to her that we've been seeing lately, in the past however many years actually. Not once back in training did she commute or show any sort of interest like she does these days... What changed?
Ten hours into the next day, the entirety of Team Japan were sitting in the living room/ dining area, eating their breakfast and chatting amongst each other. The television was on but no one was watching it. All they were waiting for was the fight schedule.
Momoka let out a huge sigh of relief as she finished her cereal and placed the bowl down, stretching her arms and legs out as far as she could.
"Isn't it great how the fights don't start until the afternoon now?" She asked the room. "Gives us more time to explore the island and just... RELAX!" She shouted, letting out another exaggerated stretch.
"Don't you think you should be focusing on when your next fight is, rather than relaxing?" Haru asked, lifting his singular weight on one of the single chairs. "You lost your tag fight yesterday, so if you don't concentrate today then you could be outta the tournament."
"I guess..." Momo replied, sinking into her chair quietly.
"Couldn't you be a little less harsh with her, Haru?" Susumi stood up, looking his way and blocking Haru's view of Momo.
"I'm just making sure she knows," he retaliated. "Last thing we want is someone from our team going home because they were too 'comfortable'. I'm just looking out for her!"
"You call that looking out for her?" Shibata continued to argue, stepping closer to the stationary lad.
"If you're too gentle with someone then they'll never understand or take it seriously!" He finally stood. "You should know that of all people."
Susumi paused briefly.
"What did you just say?"
"ENOUGH!" Momoka exploded from her seat, clenching her fists as she caught the two's attention. "I'm leaving, and don't any of you even think about following me!" She pointed to each individual, including Miyu. "Maybe by the time I come back, you two would've grown up!"
She stormed out of the dorm, resulting in the two finally ending their confrontation as Haru stormed into his room. Momoka kept her nails dug in her palms, storming from the building and leaving the dormitory section of the academy. Tears strolled down her face, as she tried to wipe them away with her knuckles, talking aloud to herself.
"How dare he try and 'stand up for me'," she cried, attempting to hide her face from any passers by. "When has he ever cared about how I feel? NEVER! Everything's always been 'Miyu this', 'Miyu that', how about ME for onc-"
Momoka's rant was ended abruptly when she collided with two boys that she failed to see coming. Looking at their feet, trying to avoid eye contact, she apologised in English and tried to run around them when she heard her name.
She looked back and at eye level, recognising at least one of them to be Callum, with his friend Jacob.
"Are you okay?" Callum asked.
"Daijou- uh, I'm fine!" She corrected herself, looking away from him whilst using her arm as a handkerchief.
"Are you sure?" He persisted. "You don't seem fi-"
"Hai, hai, hai," she insisted. "W-where are you going?"
"Oh we're uh- going to go pack."
"Yeah, well... I've already lost two matches so no matter what I'm out of the competition. So I'll be heading back to the UK after tomorrow's ceremony."
"Does Miyu know?!"
"Not yet but I'm gonna tell her later. Please don't tell her before I do."
"O-okay... I-I got to go..."
"Yeah me too, I'll see you round," he said, waving goodbye as they parted ways.
Oh no... Laurence he-he also lost his first two fights didn't he? Does that mean he's gonna be going back tomorrow too? I don't want him to leave...
Without a second thought, she whipped out her phone and dialled Laurence's number. When answering, he could tell just from her tone that there was something wrong with her. It was so unlike her.
She asked to meet him, and so the two met up and sat down at a table inside the shopping centre. There she explained everything, revealing she knew about him and how Callum was leaving.
"I-it's not ju-st you leaving but... Miyu is gonna be upset!" She explained, crying whilst also dipping in between the languages when she couldn't think of the English word or phrase. "Miyu doesn't deserve this, not on top of everything else!"
"Hey," he took hold of her hand, bringing an unexpected pause to her weeping. "As long as someone like you and Shibata stay by her side, she'll be fine even without him," he insisted, before standing up and sitting beside Momo. "As for you, I'M not going anywhere!"
"Huh?" She questioned, grabbing a clean tissue from beside the used pile.
"I'm not going anywhere! Baka!" He responded, generating such a happy and shocked reaction you'd think she'd been struck by lightning. "How could I ever leave your side?"
Despite being happy, she started to cry a loud and unattractive cry as she wrapped herself around him. She held him tightly, shouting 'Daisuki' over and over, as he held her and patted her back, showcasing a huge smile.
After everything had calmed down, the two were just sitting in each other's arms, when Aimee came along and surprised the two. Laurence asked how she found them, but as she started to explain, Momoka pointed towards the nearest television screen as it showed them both in one frame. At the bottom of the screen, it read the two girls' names...
"Seriously?" Laurence shouts, clearly annoyed as he sarcastically comments on their perfect 'timing'.
"It's fine," Momoka replied, letting go of him and walking away from their chairs. "I'm okay," she smiled, as she faced her opponent, exiting the coffee shop's premises.
They popped their pills, Momoka having to borrow Laurence's after leaving hers in the dorm, then the fight commenced. Momoka was feeling down and therefore wasn't fighting to her best effort, anyone could see that, but she wasn't just going to throw in the towel now. This fight determined whether she stayed in the competition or not, and her opponent was a tough one.
Since they were both athletic fighters, it was hard to keep track of the two. The first minute or so of their fight consisted mainly of aerial attacks on both sides, accompanied with flashy flips and cartwheels to confuse each other. However, Momoka was taking more hits than her opponent and it was starting to take it's toll, as the EPR's effect was beginning to weaken.
With Aimee's foot going overhead, Momoka placed her hands firmly on the ground as she delivered a kick intended for her upper body. She managed to drive it into her stomach, not where intended, but as she came down she clenched her fist and aimed for her opponent.
Being in an exposed position, Momoka couldn't move in time and took the full impact to her chest. Near enough all of her body weight had gone into the one punch, making it all the more affective. Quickly, she wrapped her arm around her neck and held the Japanese girl in a strangle hold.
She grabbed onto her arm with both hands and tried to pry her off, but she didn't have the strength. She could feel her body getting even weaker as her vision followed, she was fearing for both her consciousness and her position in the competition. This wasn't how she wanted to go...
She delivered two elbows into her opponents stomach, weakening her grip but she continued to hold on. She turned her body slightly, slipping through her grip slightly and allowing air back into her lungs, at which point she drove her fist into her stomach. Aimee finally let go.
Standing up immediately, she kicked Aimee in her shin, trying to stop her from using her most powerful attacks. Though in clear pain from the blow, she stood back up and was able to kick her in Momoka's waist, nearly throwing the both of them over.
As they both kept their balance, Momo went for her own kick but Aimee managed to dodge her. With her leg and whole body facing beside but away from Aimee she was totally exposed, open to a game-changing attack.
Before she could correct her mistake, Aimee punched her one arm after another in her lower back, causing Goto to barely remain up right. Immediately after, Aimee swept her off her feet, where she landed face up on the ground.
The fight wasn't over... but it was. Momoka, though in a lot of pain, could've managed to get back up, but she knew it was pointless. There was a clear winner and she couldn't do anything to change it. She stayed down, while Aimee remained in a fighting stance for if she repelled but soon after dropped her defensive.
The announcement was made and it was official. Momoka Goto from Kongo no Kadai Gakkou, Japan was eliminated from Osoru Academy. Once everything was over, the massive coverage on television over the first Japanese competitor to go, Aimee and Laurence went over and helped her off her back.
"I'm so sorry Momo," Aimee apologised, once she was properly stood up. "Because of me, you're out of the competition..."
"It's okay," Momo responded, with a pained smile on her face. "You win fair-an-square, you deserve your victory."
Laurence gives her a hug and she embraces him. Together, they were eliminated during the second elimination period of the competition, and they had both decided to remain on the island. They were going to stay and cheer on their friends who were still going strong, by their side until the end.
There's quite a lot of actual other languages in this chapter in particular, some of which hasn't been translated by myself either. I've done this as a little experiment to try and get my readers more involved, to try and intrigue them so while following the story, they'll WANT to go and find out what these things mean for themselves. Then they can ve surprised/intrigued once discovering the meaning. This may or may not be used in the final version, as it is an experiment.