“No, it was just an accident. Both team one and team two can be considered winners, okay?”
Having heard what the teacher said, no one else dared to complain.
The tournament that had gotten the entire class riled up ended on this unexpected note.
“I can’t believe this. He definitely did it on purpose!” Maria seethed. “Team three even warned us before the match.”
“Yeah, no way it was an accident,” Mamoru said in agreement.
“He planned the whole thing,” Satoru chimed in. “Slipping past the ball, breaking the pusher’s arm, it was all part of the plan. Don’t you think so, Shun?”
Shun stayed silent, his arms crossed.
“What? Don’t tell me you believe him?”
Shun shook his head.
“No…I’m thinking about what happened before that.”
“The pusher suddenly stopped, almost as if it had hit a wall.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. The pusher felt really strange. And it’s not like there was anything on the ground stopping it.”
We were at a loss for words. Shun had the sharpest senses out of all of us, and he wasn’t the type to just make up stuff like this.
In that case, the only possible explanation was that someone had used their cantus to stop our ball. Apart from breaking the tournament rule about using your cantus directly on the ball, the fact that someone had interfered with another person’s cantus – I’ve mentioned this before – was a blatant violation of the Code of Ethics. If two canti were to come in contact with each other, a rainbow interference pattern would appear and space would become distorted, creating an extremely dangerous environment.
In other words, someone in team two was okay with breaking the most fundamental of rules.
Imagining a person doing that was so disturbing it felt like the ground was about to give way beneath my feet. That day, we were silent on the way home. Everyone was probably in a state of shock. But even then, we didn’t know the true nature of the fear that writhed deep inside us.