Tojima looked up, through the hole at the top of the pit, at the clear blue sky. It looked so peaceful as a flock of birds flew over. He turned his attention to the person he was tied to at the ankle, Aiden Cordelia. "Before we begin, I would like to apologize." Tojima said. "You are my greatest friend and I know that it is your dream to become S-class. I knew when we started these trials that the time would come that we would face each other. That the time would come when we would stand before one another as obstacles in the way of the other's dreams." Tojima said. "I knew that and I chose to participate regardless. I am sorry for that, however, in saying that, I have no intentions of going easy on you. We will fight for our dreams here and now. Let the one who's will is strongest win this battle." Tojima said.
"Haha thank you Tojima, I would take it as an insult if you did anything but your best, just don't expect me to go easy either." Aiden said with a smile on his face. "Oh and one other thing... you admitted I was your best friend." Aiden started smiling uncontrollably at the thought that Tojima finally admitted it. "Alright lets get this thing started." Aiden and Tojima then started to wade into the middle of the quicksand while both tied around the ankle.
Tojima and Aiden stood beside one another in the middle of the pit. Tojima looked around at the others whom too stood beside each other, Some spoke to their counterpart others did not. Samarra gave a quick speech before yelling "Let the third phase of the trials begin!.", Tojima quickly obeyed as he formed a shadow tendril which whipped around toward Aiden.
Aiden quickly held up his hand and absorbed the impact of the tendril with his palm. "Wait Tojima, why do we have to fight? The trials are supposed to be about teamwork right? So why don't we work together to get out of the pit first so we don't die, and then we can fight if you want to. Also, it will be a better fight without these anti-magic particles." Aiden asked Tojima.
The tendril liquefied to cover Aiden's hand before solidifying again"I don't believe you fully understand how this works. Whichever side we exit from, the person who entered from that side is automatically granted victory and a place within the next trial. This pit is our arena, time is not on our side. Do you honestly believe that if there were a way out of this which guaranteed us both passage forward that it would not have been my first suggestion?." Tojima said creating a second Shadow tendril and whipping it around from the other side.
Aiden continued to sink as he then mentally agreed with Tojima and nodded towards him. "Then I hope the best man wins." Aiden did not struggle when the tendril solidified around Aiden's arm as he knew any movement, even the slightest would send him even further down into the sand pit. He then had an idea. He let the second attack him without making a movement again. "But how about, if you come out on my side, I will buy a giant bag of hard candy."
Tojima was not pleased to see Aiden take that attack without even an attempt to dodge, however, any sense of guilt was replaced by annoyance as Aiden spoken."This isn't a game!, don't mock me!." Tojima yelled ,pulling Aiden forward, Toward an open palmed thrust.
Aiden let out a bloodcurdling yell as he was being pulled towards Tojima. He then flew into the palm of Tojima and was hit right in the face and flew back once again. Aiden's face was bloodied and he was also kind of exhausted. "I wasn't trying to mock you. I just wanted to win without you getting hurt." He then smiled brightly at Tojima as the sand started to shake around Tojima.
"You fool." Tojima said as he stabbed his tendrils into the ground for support. Tojima held out his hand creating several condensed balls of shadow, which floated upward and began to circle around him.
"Tojima, I don't think you fully understand my power." Aiden then disassembled Tojima's tendrils plunging him further into the sand. The anti magic sand prevented Aiden from immediately stopping the balls of shadow even though he tried to stop them. Instead of using his magic to stop the shadow balls, Aiden started moving to his winning side.
"No, it is you who has foolishly underestimated me." Tojima said holding a knife to Aiden throat and grabbing him by the arm from behind. "In your own cockiness it seems you completely forgot how my illusion magic works. I won from the moment you took that palm thrust head on." Tojima said, pressing the edge of the knife down. "I don't want to hurt you, just do as I say and we may avoid any more unnecessary violence." Tojima said.
"Haha, wow Tojima, I didn't think you would resort to this. I'm also not forgetting about those shadow balls, and it wasn't cockiness that made me forget. You simply overpowered me with those tendrils. But hey at least--" And to catch Tojima off guard Aiden dropped both of them down into the sand, making Tojima drop his knife. Aiden knew Tojima wouldn't kill him over the competition. Sand filled over the two as they dropped further into the pit. Aiden lost track of Tojima. Aiden was able to get away from Tojima and the chain by disassembling his own leg earlier, and then reassembling it without the chain on it. Aiden started to "swim" the opposite direction the sand was falling to get to the surface using his crash magic to pressurize the sand beneath his feet enough to have stable ground but not crashing it.
Tojima formed four tendrils which pulled him from the sand to an elevated position that he could now reach with his new found freedom. He quickly scanned the area see Aiden "Swimming" away. "Not so fast!." Tojima yelled holding out his hand, sending the heavy balls of Shadow down on top of Aiden.
Being completely covered by the sand had taken to much out of Aiden and it seemed like he was almost out of magic. All he could do was keep trying his best to crawl to his winning side, but just as he was about to leave the sand he prepared to be hit by the shadow balls. With his last bit of magic, Aiden threw a single crash grenade at his feet. The crash grenade then blew up moving Aiden forward into the finish and missing the shadow balls. Aiden's limp body, finally lay on solid ground completely exhausted.
Tojima said nothing as he watched his friends reckless stupidity. He looked down at his feet and realized something he had foolishly overlooked. Their legs were no longer tied together. Tojima remembered back to the rules which said that any contestant who exited from the side they entered would be granted passage forward. Never stating that the rule applied only the first who did so. The thought of how meaningless and foolish, albeit funny, Aiden's actions had been brought a slight smile to Tojima's face. He turned and exited from his own side.