I Can Do It Alone was first published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 42.
It was later released as part of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei SS Light Novel.
Scroll down for summary.
Preparation is being made for the Nine School's Competition, however with the introduction of new events as well as paired events, First High is just starting to practice.
Chiyoda Kanon, who was chosen as one of the representatives for Ice Pillars Break pairs, was in a bad mood. The cause is not because she has to work with someone that isn't her lover/fiance, but because of the results of her practice sessions so far.
On one side of the practice area is Miyuki, and on the other side is Kanon and Shizuku. Miyuki is participating in the solo portion of Ice Pillars Break, while Shizuku is joining Kanon in the pairs event. The outcome of the last four matches have all ended with Miyuki winning.
After each match it was Miyuki who reset the "board" and created the twenty-four columns of ice each time. To Kanon who has now watched this for the fifth time, is still amazed at how Miyuki can accomplish this. But at the same time is in a bad mood because she has also four consecutive times.
Miyuki rushes over to Tatsuya after completing the task of making the ice columns, and he tells them to get into position. Tatsuya doesn't suggest that Miyuki should take a break like Kanon though he might. The fifth match ends with Miyuki winning yet again, with none of her pillars being destroyed.
Tatsuya begins to analyze the fight and says that having Chiyoda attack and Shizuku defend shouldn't be an issue. He is working on Kanon's CAD while mentioning this to them, and this is one of the factor's for Kanon's bad mood.
Due to Tatsuya being in charge of three different groups for Ice Pillars Break, he was assigned to help with training for this event. When it comes to the main event it will be Isori adjusting Kanon's CAD, and Tatsuya is supposed to share his information that he has learned during practice with Isori for the main event.
Kanon realizes what Isori's strengths are when it comes to magic engineering. Kei is good with pure theory and implementing Engraving magic for practical use, while his adjustments with CADs isn't his best skill. However, seeing how Miyuki is acting in front of Tatsuya makes Kanon wish Isori was here more and more.
Tatsuya says that they lost due to their lack of practice as a pair. Once again, this is another reason why Kanon is in a bad mood, she can't stand Tatsuya's indifferent and disinterested attitude. When Tatsuya elaborates he says that while Shizuku was defending the ice pillars some of her magic overlapped with Kanon's magic. He tells Shizuku to reduce the number of pillars she wants to protect because having just one pillar left will still allow them to win.
As far as Miyuki was concerned it was the opposite, what she saw was that Kanon's vibration magic spread not only to her pillars but also to their own pillars. Which led Shizuku to spread her magic out further to protect their own pillars.
However, Shizuku ignores Miyuki's gaze and apologizes to Kanon. Miyuki believes that there is a mutual understanding between Tatsuya and Shizuku that this is the best course of action considering Kanon's mental state.
Shizuku moved in front of Tatsuya with a look of a puppy that wanted to be "petted". But Miyuki jumps in and ask Tatsuya for advice as well about her performance, and Tatsuya tells her that he will give her advice if she loses. And that if she loses on purpose he will scold her, but Miyuki says that would be an insult to Kanon and Shizuku.
Kanon looked on at this warming scene and with a bitter smile decides that she will put up with it.
◇ ◇ ◇
Later that night Kanon is complaining to Isori.
When Isori asks what's wrong, Kanon says that Tatsuya thinks she must be stupid. She explains how during practice that she lost five consecutive matches against Miyuki, and that it was actually her fault that both her's and Shizuku's magic overlapped. Kanon is also unhappy with the fact that Shizuku went along with it. But Isori says that Tatsuya had a different reason for this, and that is probably due to the fact that they don't have much time to prepare for this years Nine School's Competition.
Isori explains that it's not only Tatsuya but all the members of the technical team including himself are feeling the same way. He also says that Tatsuya has taken on a much bigger role this year as a technician and has the most competitors to take care of compared to the others.
Kanon seems to finally understand and says that Tatsuya must be trying to have practice move along as efficiently as possible.
Isori then looks at an electronic document, and shows it to Kanon. It was a detailed report on Kanon's measurements and progress during the practice matches, that was sent to him by Tatsuya.
While they both feel that everyone is being rushed due to the new rules and events for the Nine School's Competition, they seem to notice that Tatsuya is in even more of a rush to accomplish things. With his talent he shouldn't need to push himself that hard to create spare time, but for some reason he seems to have some need for it.
They couldn't guess the reason why.
◇ ◇ ◇
July 15th, Sunday morning.
Practice is still continuing for Ice Pillars Break, and the team of Kanon and Shizuku is still losing to Miyuki.
Kanon is still aware of the cause, due to her vibration magic, Shizuku has to devote unnecessary magical power to not only strengthen information on temperature change but also strengthen information for vibrations. For that reason they can't defend against Miyuki's magic and her interference power.
Originally Kanon is not good at controlling the range of her magic. She has practiced power, speed and stamina, however has difficulty with precision. And normally Kanon would be the better option for Ice Pillars Break solos but with Miyuki's "Inferno" and her superior magic power and speed, they had no choice but to put her in pairs.
Tatsuya proposes that they take a break, and suggests that Kanon change her mindset. He suggests that Kanon switches her mindset from what it right now to was it was last year, when she just went on an all out offensive to win without any regard for defending her own pillars.
Kanon complains and says that she has always had this mindset, but Tatsuya could tell that Kanon was conscious of hitting her own pillars and that it was distracting her. So he wants them to abandon defense for the time being until they lose the first two rows of pillars.
Tatsuya also suggest that it is time to switch up partners and to have them face off against the men's pair for Ice Pillars Break. Since they will be facing against another pair in the official competition they need to prepare effectively.
Tatsuya leaves to go consult the engineer in charge of the men's team, which happens to be Isori. Miyuki tells Kanon this and that they will most likely be switching out engineers with this new practice routine. This makes Kanon very happy.
◇ ◇ ◇
Sunday, July 22nd.
Tatsuya and Miyuki are planning to participate in Ice Pillars Break practice, with Tatsuya observing and coaching, and Miyuki setting up the ice pillars.
Honoka shows up to cheer on Shizuku. Honoka is participating in Mirage Bat this year but Tatsuya is still responsible for her CAD adjustments.
While Honoka is talking to Shizuku, Miyuki is setting up the ice pillars for the match, even though they have seen it many times now, everyone is still amazed at Miyuki's magic power and how easy she makes it look.
Honoka asks Shizuku if she has gotten used to the new tactics that Tatsuya has recommended. With a bitter smile Shizuku says that it has become easier to use her magic with this new tactic but it still bothers her a bit. Honoka guesses that Shizuku must feel uncomfortable not defending her own ice pillars. Shizuku agrees and says that she doesn't care if she wins or loses but that seeing her ice pillars being knocked down bothers her. This explanation makes Honoka laugh.
Isori calls out and asks for everyone to get into position. Honoka wishes Shizuku good luck, and asks where Chiyoda-senpai is. When Shizuku points her out, Honoka can see her clinging to Isori's arm. Honoka speaks her thoughts out loud saying that she is envious of Chiyoda-senpai.
Shizuku heads over to her platform for the match against the men's pair. There is no handicap given to either team for this match, but even so it ends with the women's pair winning consecutive matches. Kanon is very proud of her victories, and proudly shows the "V" sign for victory to Isori, but he quickly scolds her behavior.
Honoka congratulates Shizuku as they head back over to the technical team to get their CADs adjusted. The new strategy that Tatsuya has come up with along with the magic used by Kanon and Shizuku has outmatched the men's team. While the women's team is relaxing, the men's team is rushing about and making adjustments for the next match.
◇ ◇ ◇
It is the first day of the Nine Schools Competition. Ice Pillars Break preliminaries for the men's and women's teams will be held today, along with Row and Gunner pairs.
As Tatsuya was looking over the schedule he tells Isori that it would have troublesome if the matches overlapped. Tatsuya is responsible for Shizuku's Ice Pillars Break match and Eimi's Row and Gunner today. With the Row and Gunner match coming up first, Tatsuya headed out.
After he left, Shizuku breathed a sigh of relief, and Isori laughed when he saw this. He asked her if she felt relieved that Tatsuya would be able to handle both events today, and Shizuku says "no" while shyly looking away. However, Kanon jumps in and says that she is relieved as well that Isori will be able to handle his events as well today.
Shizuku goes on to say that since Tatsuya has adjusted the CADs beforehand that even if fine tuned adjustments needed to be made it would be fine for her and for Eimi. While this could have been interpreted as them being unsatisfied with Isori taking over, he didn't take it that way.
When Tatsuya arrived at the tent for Row and Gunner the preliminary match was already over and Tatsuya complimented the girls on their hard work. In the tent was Azusa, Eimi and Kunisaki Kumiko, who is Eimi's partner for this event.
Azusa says that it was due to the strategy and magic sequence that Tatsuya came up with that helped with their victory. Tatsuya had come up with a modified version of Invisible Bullet and combined it with Loop Cast, to create a weapon similar to a machine gun. Hattori also enters the tent and joins in the conversation just to say that this kind of mischievous tactic is something that Tatsuya would come up with.
After the Row and Gunner event, Tatsuya headed back over to the Ice Pillars Break event area. First High will be facing off against Seventh High today, and Kanon is full of spirit.
Isori asks Kanon if she is really going to be wearing that. Kanon and Shizuku are both wearing yukatas, and since Tatsuya was used to this from the previous year, he tells Shizuku that since it is cooler this year it is acceptable. Shizuku asks if it suits her, and Tatsuya says that while last years yukata looked good, this new reddish yukata looks even better.
After hearing this Isori had a pitiful look on his face, he could tell that Kanon was dissatisfied with her fiancee's initial comment.
As the spectators looked at the competitors, the Seventh High team were wearing sailor uniforms, which included a white short sleeve top and a pleated skirt that was navy blue. First High was wearing yukatas with firework patterns on them. Kanon's was a dark blue color, while Shizuku's was reddish.
As the countdown lights begin, the players prepare themselves. Magic is released instantly with Kanon striking first with Mine Genesis, the first row of ice pillars on Seventh High's side fall. Realizing that with both of their players on defense they were struggling to stop Kanon, they switched to offense and begin to cast magic on First High's pillars. However they were confused, there wasn't any resistance coming from First High on their front pillars.
Kanon continued to launch Mine Genesis against the pillars and was slowly making it through their defenses, while Seventh High kept knocking down pillars without any resistance. But when they came to the last four pillars on First High's side, they could not overcome the Data Fortification of Shizuku.
Seventh High was caught in a predicament, the Chiyoda family's Mine Genesis creates powerful oscillations that can be applied to any material such as dirt, rock, sand or cement as long as the solid matter is recognized as the "Earth's Surface". It is not something that can be completely blocked.
The final buzzer sounds after all of the ice pillars crumble on Seventh High's side. Looking up at Isori, Kanon shows him a "V" sign with a big smile on her face. Next to her Shizuku sneaks a look at Tatsuya and does the same thing.
Back in Third High's tent, Ichijou Masaki and Kichijouji Shinkurou are analyzing the events they just watched. They both agree that even if one pillar of ice is left victory is still possible and that while it is a daring strategy it is much easier to defend. Kichijouji was more surprised in the victory by First High during the Row and Gunner event, which used a modified version of his Invisible Bullet.
Kichijouji is stumbling while trying to figure out what Tatsuya did to modify his magic, along with his new strategy when Masaki begins to go into depth about the strategy. Masaki says that by narrowing down the defensive targets, they can increase the defensive power per pillar. With the risk being that while you can increase the defensive power, there are ways around Data Fortification.
What comes to mind is Miyuki's Inferno and Niflheim. While defending all twelve pillars shouldn't be a problem for Shizuku, they guess that the issue must be with Kanon's magic and how it would clash with her defense.
Even though Kanon's magic has the risk of clashing with her teammates magic they still see it as a big threat. Kichijouji says that he has thought of a plan and will prepare it for tomorrows match.
While the girls from Third High admire him and show confidence, one of the guys is anxious. Masaki asks if Kichijouji will be okay since he has to participate in the Row and Gunner event tomorrow as well. But Kichijouji tells him not to worry.
◇ ◇ ◇
Today is the day of the women's Ice Pillars Break pairs finals, with First High competing against Third High. Early in the morning the men's pair from Third High won first place in Ice Pillars Break, and First High's men's pair for Shield Down won first place as well.
Isori tells Kanon that they must win this match, and Kanon is especially fired up. Tatsuya is going over the strategy again and not much has changed from what they were previously doing, however this time Tatsuya hands Shizuku a short-type pistol CAD. He tells her to keep it hidden, this is the same device equipped with Phonon Maser that Shizuku used in her first year of the Nine School's Competition.
Tatsuya explains that while he doesn't doubt that Kanon will be able to knock down every pillar, the problem would be if they were delayed for an extended period of time. Tatsuya also says that he believes that Kichijouji will have a counter strategy to their normal tactics. Although Kanon understands this, she is still irritated that he thinks she might not be able to accomplish the offensive on her own.
Kanon and Shizuku appear on stage wearing the same yukatas as in their previous matches, while Third High is wearing military looking costumes. Isori comments that Third High seems pretty confident and wonder if they can exceed the expectations of Tatsuya.
As the countdown ends, pillars on both sides begin to fall one after another. However the pillars on Third High's side are falling much faster than on First High's side.
In the Third High tent there are some surprised reactions but Kichijouji says that this was in their range of expectations. Third High is using a combination of Vibration magic, Heating magic, and Weight-type magic to overwhelm Shizuku's Data Fortification.
But even with this strategy going for them, the pillars on Third High's side are still falling faster. They were down to two pillars when their last pillar suddenly floated up in the air, but while it looked like it was floating one corner of the pillar was still touching the ground.
The rules in Ice Pillars Break state that you can't lift your own pillar into the air, but if one point of the pillar is still touching the ground it is allowable.
Kanon's Mine Genesis can't completely effect the pillar in this condition since the face of the pillar is off the ground. Isori says that it looks like Tatsuya was right and that this might be a problem for Kanon. But at that same time Shizuku reaches into sleeve and draws her pistol-type CAD.
The activation sequence stored within this device is for Phonon Maser but it has been improved since last year. It no longer fires from the tip of the gun and can now be fired at any angle that Shizuku wants.
Shizuku aims for the side opposite of the part of the pillar that is touching the ground. If she had hit it from the front it would just fall back into an upright position. After hitting the pillar with Phonon Maser, it crashes down and the buzzer sounds the end of the match.
Kichijouji is standing there watching the screen with a stunned expression on his face, Masaki speaks to him but Kichijouji immediately rushes out of the tent.
Kanon and Shizuku show up in the waiting room with Kanon giving her usual smile and "V" sign to Isori. Shizuku also joins in with her and does the same thing.
At the end of the day, Third High is still leading in overall points, but this Ice Pillars Break confrontation was seen as sign that the tides had turned to favor First High.