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Nine Schools Competition IX is the sixteenth episode of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei anime.
Tatsuya and Masaki's teams face off in the final match. Despite knowing that with the rules standing, Masaki's abilities surpass his, Tatsuya confronts him head on, resulting in a spectacular duel. Making a critical mistake, Masaki breaks the rules by accidentally using a lethal attack on Tatsuya. Tatsuya manages to defend partially, but is hit and seriously wounded. However, he uses his self-restoration to overcome his injuries and while Masaki's still in shock from allowing himself to make such a mistake and/or possibly killing his opponent, Tatsuya incapacitates him at point-blank range. Meanwhile, Mikihiko faces off against Cardinal George in a lengthy duel, during which Leo helped Mikihiko only to be hit by Masaki's spell. Mikihiko finally defeats George, but is on the verge of losing to the third member of Masaki's team, when Leo manages to deliver the final blow, allowing First High to win the match.
In First High’s tent, Leo and Mikihiko are bewildered by the outfits Tatsuya has given them. Tatsuya explains they have magic circles inscribed in them that will enhance the wearer’s magic. Tatsuya explains they are to counter Shinkurou’s magic as Invisible Bullet requires visual confirmation of the target. Tatsuya states he’s had them inspected so there is no rule violation.
Mayumi brings up that the final is on the open plains stage so Tatsuya will have to take Ichijou Masaki, who specialises in bombardment magic, in an open field with no cover. Hattori asks if he has a strategy and Tatsuya states if Masaki were to use his normal tactics they would have no chance of winning but as he seems to be fixated on Tatsuya, if he can force Ichijou into close quarters then there is a chance. Takeaki mentions brawling is not allowed and Tatsuya replies he just has to keep his hands off, if he gets close then there is a way.
Before the match, Tatsuya is stretching with martial arts while reflecting on the upcoming match. Tatsuya thinks that were the to fight without restrictions then he’s not confident he could defeat Ichijou Masaki alone, never mind paired up with Shinkurou. Miyuki disturbs his thoughts as she arrives with a cold towel for him. Miyuki brings up the final and says she knows he’s up against a formidable opponent, yet much fight with significant restrictions yet she still believes no one can defeat him. That said she smiles and runs off leaving Tatsuya to reflect that he cannot afford to lose the match.
On the field Tatsuya instructs the pair to use the cloaks as instructed. Embarrassed, Mikihiko asks why only they are wearing cloaks and Tatsuya simply states he’s in the vanguard so can’t wear something so unsuitable for running.
Back in the audience, Mizuki notices that there are spirts swarming around Mikihiko’s robe. Over on Third High’s side, they have noticed the robes and though their team mate thinks it’s a bluff, Masaki and Shinkurou realise it’s a counter measure for Invisible Bullet, but that aren’t sure how it will work as a piece of cloth isn’t enough to stop the spell. Masaki concludes by saying there is no point brooding over it and says he’s sure it’s no threat to their victory. In the box for important guests, the organisers are surprised to see Kudou Retsu taking a seat to watch the match and when asked, Retsu explains he came as he has seen a rather intriguing youngster.
The siren signalling the beginning of the match sounds and Masaki instantly starts bombarding Tatsuya with magic, which Tatsuya immediately counters with Gram Demolition while firing spells of his own at Masaki. The pair slowly walk towards each other across the field casting spell after spell.
The audience are enthralled by the spectacle and back in First High’s tent the team members there are shocked that that Tatsuya can fight at that level despite being a Course 2 student, though Mayumi is concerned by how Tatsuya is attacking less and less as he closes in. Suzune comments that it’s because Tatsuya is being pushed onto the defensive and Katsuto mentions it will get even harder from this point on.
Watching on, Shinkurou is surprised that Tatsuya was able to completely change his attacks from Weight-type to Oscillation-type spells in only two hours. Shinkurou informs his teammate he’s setting off too and takes the field. Seeing Shinkurou break into a run, Tatsuya breaks into a sprint towards Masaki while dispelling attacks until he’s forced to use acrobatics to dodge, at which point Tatsuya uses Elemental Sight to enhance his reaction times to counter Masaki’s attacks.
In the crowd, Yamanaka Kousuke comments to Fujibayashi Kyouko that it looks like Tatsuya finally cannot hold back. Kyouko counters Yamanaka is taking things too lightly as even Tatsuya cannot counter all those attacks with just the five senses, plus in this instance it could be said to be a sixth sense rather than Elemental Sight. Yamanaka counters that might fool the light weights, but not the esteemed eyes of Kudou Retsu.
On the field, Shinkurou is dashing for First High’s monolith when Leo jumps in front of him. Shinkurou readies a spell but Leo pulls off his clock and tuns it into a solid shield, stopping the spell. Leo swings his armament device at Shinkurou, who dodges backwards in the air and narrowly dodges a blast of air in midair. Landing he sees Mikihiko and starts to attack him, but his vision is blocked by Mikihiko’s illusions. Leo swings his armament device down towards Shinkirou and is about to take him down but misses due to taking a blast from Masaki. Shinkurou then uses gravity magic to pin Mikihiko down. But when Masaki returns his sight to Tatusya he has almost completely closes the gap in an instant. The shock causes Masaki to launch an unadjusted spell which was lethal force at Tatsuya. Tatsuya immediate sprins onto action and acrobatically manoeuvres to blow away as many of Masaki’s shots as possible but is unable to get them all and is hit by the last two. There is a huge blast and those in the audience fear for Tatsuya’s safety. The blast blows Tatsuya’s body forwards and he tumbles towards Masaki. Masaki is in a panic as he’s realised that he used too much force. The massive damage triggers Tatsuya’s Regrowth and he instantly restores the damage and lands on his knee and gets back up immediately. Tatsuya then leans in towards Masaki before he can react and snaps his finger, amplifying the sound with magic. The sound is so intense that even the audience is forced to cover their ears. Everyone watches on in amazement as Masaki falls, defeated and Tatsuya collapses to one knee to catch his breath.
Back at First High’s tent Mayumi is utterly shocked by what she saw and asks what happened as Tatsuya should be critically injured after the illegal over attack but Katsuto tells her to calm down as there are body strengthening techniques within the martial arts techniques Tatsuya is proficient at as well as the fact the match isn’t over.
Watching in the audience, Yamanaka comments he’s always amazed by the speed of Tatsuya’s Regrowth. He’s silenced by a stare from Kyouko and so Yamanaka says he didn’t see anything, and Tatsuya’s resilience is otherworldly. Kyouko comments that doesn’t make it ok to use Tatsuya as a lab rat and that he’s a valuable asset and one of only two in Japan and of around fifty rumoured globally. Yamanaka says Kyouko called it when she said Tatsuya would use his abilities, and she replies that taking on an opponent like Masaki with just a low spec CAD is too tall an order even for Tatsuya so she wouldn’t blaming Tatsuya for using Flash Cast. Yamanaka comments that Flash Cast is certainly a threat and asks if anyone in their unit could compete with the technique as even Yanagi can barely compete.
Back on the field, Shinkurou is stunned by Masaki’s loss and his teammate has to warn him about Mikihiko’s incoming attack. Shinkurou dodges and faces off against the injured Mikihiko who is determined to bring Shinkurou down. Mikihiko uses his cloak’s illusions to block Shinkurou again and launches a multi-spell combination attack upon Shinkurou and though he attempts to dodge, Shinkurou is struck by lightning and incapacitated. Mikihiko then collapses to one knew and is unable to defend when the remaining member of Third High’s team attacks but their attack is stopped by Leo’s cloak. Leo then knocks them out with his armament device.
With all three players down, First High wins the match and the students are elated to have won the Rookie Event. Tatsuya, Leo and Mikihiko return form the field to thunderous applause. Tatsuya turns to Leo and comments he stole the spotlight there, and Leo responds it wasn’t the plan as Masaki’s attack really immobilised him for a while, having not taken a hit like that since getting hit by a motorcycle two years earlier. This shocks Mikihiko, who asks if Leo had any defences up and Leo replies that embarrassing, he didn’t, which is why it took so long to get up. Leo asks if Tatsuya is ok, and Tatsuya explains he’s ruptured an eardrum so can’t hear so well. Tatsuya then asks why Mikihiko looks so shocked. Mikihiko asks if Tatsuya didn’t hear what they were just saying. Tatsuya apologises and says he only heard bits such as Leo getting hit by a motorcycle. Mikihiko then asks why that didn’t raise any questions in Tatsuya’s mind but Tatsuya doesn’t know what Mikihiko means. Leo tells Mikihiko to brighten up as they just won. Tatsuya turns around and looks at Miyuki, who is crying with joy at Tatsuya’s victory.