When our pusher and attackers came onto the field, all the members of team five looked disturbed.
The pusher glided slowly into position with its arms up behind the ball.
The attackers were deployed in a neat formation. Three were positioned in a triangle in front of the ball and the other two were guarding either side of it.
The vanguard attackers were shaped like triangular pyramids, with the tip pointed forward. They looked like paper airplanes because the long edge of the pyramid was touching the ground, and the flat side was facing up. The two guards were bottom heavy, shaped like squashed cylinders, with numerous protrusions on the surface. Actually the protrusions had no real purpose, but had the effect of making the guard look more sturdy.
“Play fair, work together as a team and do your best. Got it?” the Sun Prince announced, and blew the whistle to start the match.
The vanguard advanced slowly. The pusher was still building up power, so the heavy ball stayed where it was. While it was stationary, the ball was vulnerable, but trying to rush it too much risked damaging the pusher. Then again, since Shun was controlling it, such a blunder was unimaginable.
The defenders couldn’t gather up the courage to advance and continued wavering uselessly from side to side.
The ball finally started rolling slowly forward. It gradually gathered speed and hurtled down the field with the three attackers leading the charge.
Team five finally realized our plans and hurried to gather their defenders in the middle, but it was too late. We were going to crush them in a single blow. The attackers plowed through the defender’s heavy walls like they were made of paper. A second later, the marble ball rumbled past. All that happened in the blink of an eye.
The second we broke through their defense, team five was defeated. The marble ball made straight for the goal and fell into the hole with a resounding thud. The time was twenty-six seconds, faster than Satoru had predicted.
“I wish they had tried harder; that wasn’t even a competition,” Satoru said.