34 Fight, the Third.

Zayd's forehead felt very hot.

After using a thermometer, Aunt Naomi found Zayd's temperature to have indeed risen.

However, it was merely that in the end.

Luckily it was a temporary temperature increase, not a fever.

---

The following morning, when he woke, Zayd felt fine.

Fully recovered, he felt fit to fight already.

From what had happened, Zayd understood that the 'switch' caused what seemed to be excess stress on his brain.

As he only possessed a slim understanding of what was going on in his head, he could only gather his thoughts, deriving theories from them.

Zayd was in his room currently with a notebook before him. The sky was dark, and he had already returned home from School and Boxing Club.

On the page were a few words already scribbled out in Zayd's terrible handwriting.

'The Switch'

'Known effects: Increased reaction time, possible predictions; Boxing knowledge temporary increase, possible increase of focus; Combinations flow, footwork gets better.'

'Side effects: Theoretically induced a temporary temperature increase. Further side effects remain unknown. (Perhaps there is a chance of possible brain damage with lengthened usage without rest).'

As of yet, Zayd had done minimal online research into what happened whenever he entered a fight. It was only during combat when he felt the 'Switch' flip.

On a separate page, Zayd noted down things about himself. There was a saying, 'Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.' - Some guy named Sun Tzu, probably.

On the page was listed Zayd's cardio not being a problem. Zayd's 'gas tank' seemed rather large according to Mr Kaiju's standards. Mr Kaiju seeing things that way meant that his 'gas tank' must be extraordinary to some extent.

---

Zayd's next opponent was another tricky one.

This guy, in particular, was sneaky. He hid his punches well while also weaving his way out of any jabs coming his way.

He seemed to be a reaction time fighter. With a defence that he neglected, all that was left was footwork.

Getting to such a level required hard work and practise- this guy had become a Dark Horse to some fans.

Of course, the matches thus far had been gaining more viewership as things went on. So far, the preliminaries were over: the Quarterfinals had just taken place, what remained were the semi-finals, then the Bracket finals. After all of that, what remained were the Championship finals.

Zayd watched some videos of his opponent and noticed that there was consistency within the footwork. A Pattern was horrible. That is because they are easy to recognise.

However, the way things were with his opponent's actions, his Pattern was challenging to discern. For example, if a fighter got hit with a jab, they will attempt a Left Hook. You jab, and once more, you see his Left Hook counter. With this guy, he moved in a strange manner that made it so you would not know what was coming.

What Zayd noticed was a minor detail that was pivotal to discovering the key to the Pattern. Zayd could not understand what the Pattern was despite having viewed so many videos of his next opponent.

Putting those thoughts to the back of his mind temporarily, Zayd slept, and the dawn of the day of his fight came.

Today, Zayd felt much more relaxed overall compared to the last two fight days. Instead of an energetic stream of blood flowing through his body, making him want to move, everything felt calm within him.

'Finally, inner peace.'

Zayd noted momentarily.

The previous day, he had gone to School after he had recovered from the temperature increase overnight.

At School once more, Zayd focused on his lessons with much more ease.

Minoru noticed this difference in his demeanour and was rather glad to see it.

"Zayd-san, how do you feel compared to the last time you fought?" She inquired. "I'm not going to lie. You acted like a drug addict that hadn't had his daily fix the other day."

Behind Minoru, their classmate Miyoko joined in the conversation.

"I agree with Minoru-san. You looked horrible!"

Zayd was used to the two's comments and felt less uncomfortable speaking with people he did not know, like Miyoko.

"Wow, guys, thanks so much! I'm so flattered right now. I understand that you can't see it on my face- so trust me on that." Zayd said sincerely.

"We won't." Minoru and Miyoko said simultaneously.

---

That night, Zayd waited for the fight to begin. Before it did, he noticed a familiar face.

"Hey, ref! Are you the referee for my fight again?" That's right- it was the same referee as the first two fights.

"Yeah, I am. Why? Are you dissatisfied with my performance?"

"No, of course not. I like you."

"Thank you." The ref nodded. "But sorry, I'm not gay."

"You can change your gender." Of course, Zayd not being uncomfortable speaking to others did not mean he said the right things all the time.

The ref: "..."

"Don't say such things. The match will begin soon. Prepare yourself."

---

Zayd's opponent stood opposite him in the Red Corner.

Up to now, Zayd had still not been able to decipher his opponent's Pattern.

A minute later, the match began.

Zayd touched gloves with his opponent before he retreated carefully.

"Zayd, go for the body more than the head! Remember that you need to find out the Pattern."

Zayd used his Jab to hit his opponent's face. Unfortunately, his opponent seemed used to this.

Zayd was trying to lure a counter out from his opponent to view the Pattern.

Instead, he got clipped by a sneaky Jab that came out of nowhere.

His opponent had no guard. His hands were down.

Zayd noticed the strange footwork once more.

His opponent would not slip the punch, but it seemed as though Zayd had missed his shot by mere centimetres.

While the statement remained true, it was because the opponent leaned out of range slightly.

That was only possible due to the footwork enabling his opponent greater mobility in and out of his range.

Zayd began to see something in the middle of blocking and dodging his opponent's counters.