“Team three is definitely going to win,” Maria said with a rare look of admiration.
Team three beat team four by a huge margin of twenty-two seconds to seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds. We drew straws against team three and fortunately got to advance directly to the finals.
“Looks like we got lucky.”
“Since we have time, let’s think of a good strategy.”
“Can you fix the disk?”
“My cantus isn’t powerful enough to bake more clay onto it to restore it perfectly. The most I can do is patch it up temporarily.”
While Shun, Satoru and I tried to work out a solution. Maria and Mamoru went to watch the semifinal bout between teams three and two.
“In any case, lets try to fill in the cracks on the disk first.”
“Can we get some clay to fix this?”
Satoru went to relay my question to the Sun Prince. In the end, we were told that if we could exchange some of our pieces for the same amount of clay the pieces weighed. But since baked clay was lighter than wet clay, the amount we would get in return was a lot less.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. There was one defender that was damaged earlier, so let’s trade that in.”
We filled in the cracks and Shun hardened the clay with his cantus. How should we use the leftover clay? I kneaded it into a ball, then flattened it until it was a paper-thin.
Wait a minute. This might…
“Saki, stop playing with it,” Satoru said.
“Hey, we might be able to beat team three with this.”
“What are you talking about?”
Shun looked over from the repaired disk. “Did you just think of something?”
I nodded tentatively, and told them about my idea.
“Amazing, you’re a genius.”
My ears reddened at Shun’s compliment.
“Yeah, well it’s a pretty cheap trick, but they definitely won’t be expecting it,” Satoru said. As usual, he was trying to insult me, but he couldn’t deny that the idea was good.
“We should do it, Satoru. There’s no other way.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“We don’t have time to try anything else.”
We all set to work flattening a new piece of clay and attaching it to the one I made earlier. Since we were all working on the same thing, we couldn’t use our cantus, so we had no choice but to do everything by hand. We finished just as Maria and Mamoru burst into the room.
“The semifinals just ended. And something really bad happened!”
“Don’t tell me, we’re up against team three? But we have a plan against them,” Satoru said, as if he was the one who had come up with the idea.
“No,” Maria said. “Team three lost. Team two is our opponent in the finals!”