Cover page: “Wait, Naruse, that’s my drink. Don’t casually drink that!!” At his house, it is quarter to 5am. Shou washes his face in the sink and look serious. Narration: “—thinking of it carefully, it seems that this is the first time I’ve believe firmly in someone like this.” At Misuzu Academy, Shizuka has finished counting up to 50 as he lifted some weights. He recalls telling Yuki that it is useless to believe in Shou, he doesn’t know what her relationship with Shou but that guy absolutely won’t treat anything seriously and for her to be such a serious basketball manager, it is unworthy of her to take such great pains to think about Shou. While drinking some water, Shizuka wonders why he said those words. His smiling captain tells him, “Hey, Hakamada, it seems that you got a GIRLFRIEND. No longer single, congrats” Shizuka chokes on the water. While coughing, Shizuka asks what nonsense he is talking about and the water got into his nose. The captain laughs and says that didn’t he grab the wrist of a girl from some other school and hurriedly ran off with her, you closet pervert [/shy but passionate inside]. Shizuka tells him that it is not so, it is only the manager from Ryuhoku High who brought back to him something he left, that’s all. While wiping himself dry with a towel, Shizuka seriously tells him that right now, it isn’t the time to discuss such a nonsense topic for next week is-- At the Ryuhoku gym, Yuki holds a chart and says that it is the start for the qualifying matches for ‘Kanto tournament’. The others are surprised. Tonomura tells them that this year, they can participate in the Kanto tournament and they have to win the qualifying competition and be among the top six schools in their prefecture. The others are shock that they have to be in the top six of the whole prefecture. A guy shouts that is hard, and it is super super high, isn’t it. Abe says that last year, didn’t they got a good ranking in the qualifying competition. Hatori says that’s right, it is because of Kido-senpai, that super high level third year and also, last year, Naruse.. He stops, before angrily screaming geez, at this urgent moment, that brat is skipping club activity. “Where the heck is he strolling off to--” Someone shouts that without Shou, they cannot win. Another one asks Abe that weren’t he in the same class as Shou, so did he hear anything.
Abe says about that, when he mentions any topic about the club, Shou would change it and start talking about some pornographic stuff. Someone shouts for Abe not to make Shou change the topic. Yuki seriously thinks that idiot, it has been four days since he left that contemptuous paper about [temporarily] leaving the club, and speaking of that person involved in this matter-- In 2-C class, Shou is getting ready to go home when someone calls out to him that someone is looking for him. It is Yuki. Shou says that it is truly rare for her to come, is she going to confess. Yuki says about the club activity, she has something that she wants to tell him. Shou apologizes and says that he has something to do so they talk about it next time. She tries to tell him to wait but his fangirls are already all over him asking if he won’t go to the club today and how about having some fun together. Shou says that he got something to do. Yuki wonders what is that ‘something to do’. She thinks that he is always running away and in the end, she also wasn’t able to get him to start talking. She wonders what he is doing. At her house, she sits on the sofa and wonders what to do since it is only a week before the tournament qualifying competition, and they cannot fight if ace pointer Shou isn’t around. She notices the remote control on the sofa and remembers to watch a college competition that she recorded. She thinks that if it is of use, she’ll burn it into a CD and bring it to school. She opens the television to see a full bodied woman in bikini at the beach. While she is surprised by this, her younger brother scratches himself and apologizes to her that he wanted to record the ‘around the world bikini fast trip’ and in the end, he erased that basketball competition show. Yuki darkly says that it is okay, she also recorded it in her room. She thinks of her unreliable younger brother, unrequited love [with Kido], her broken treasure [cup], etc. and if she didn’t have excessive expectation or trust from the start. She tells herself to calm down, she’ll know later on. She recalls Shizuka telling her that for Shou, basketball is just a game and something fun to play but if it becomes a hassle, he’ll easily give up the club. She tells herself not to excessively believe in Shou.
At the gym, Shouji complains that it is already the 5th day and in the end, that jerk Shou still didn’t come today, what the heck is going on. Two-toned hair guy says that he texted Shou and he only sent him a strange sticker. In LINE[? Or any internet texting/call app], two-toned guy wrote, ‘what are you doing--!?’ and Shou’s reply is a character sticker that is picking its nose. Abe comes in an eye-witness report. It is around yesterday 10pm, at Shou’s neighborhood park, a classmate has seen Shou strolling around with earphones. Someone shouts if Shou’s goofing around. Another shouts that didn’t he ask him to borrow ball net from the volleyball club. While wiping the basketball, Yuki tells them to calm down for the next competition is very important and everyone should concentrate on practicing. “I’ll be the one who’ll bring Naruse back to participate in the competition.” They start shouting onee-sama and that the basketball is already sparkling. She thinks that this is the basketball club that Kido-senpai and the others had painstakingly build up that she won’t it just stop with no progress during their time. As a manager, no matter how, she must bring back that idiot. She goes to Shou’s class to look for him. Someone says that his bag is still here. Another tells her that Shou told him that he’s tired so he is going to skip class today. Yuki thinks that it would be okay, she’ll just calmly talk with him. Yuki finds Shou sleeping at the roof. She blushes a bit as she looks at him. Then, she slaps her face to snap out of it. Waking up, Shou calls out to her and says that it is quite unexpected that she wears cute underwear. He is staring up her skirt. Yuki quickly steps away from him and reminds herself to talk calmly. She asks him what’s up with that paper. Shou casually says that he wrote the kanji wrong. Yuki scolds him to change it if he knew that it is wrong. She says no, that’s not it, she wants to ask if he left that silly note, everyone would understand and the Kanto competition is going to start soon in a week. She says that it seems that he is randomly walking around late at night so how about properly explaining about this temporarily stop club activity. Standing up to leave, Shou says that it is nothing, he is only going out to have fun, that’s all and it has nothing to do with her.
As Shou reaches the door, Yuki throws her school shoe on his head. He looks back at her. Yuki says for him to not have enthusiasm for it, how about giving up. Losing her calmness, Yuki shouts that it would be good for him to just quit, super idiot. And, she goes back inside. Shou just glances at the shoe that she left. Yuki wonders why-- She recalls the time when her mother is trying to pacify her younger sisters about wanting to see some magical girl show. Her mother told Yuki that it is the last showing of the movie and the girls wanted to watch it. She asked Yuki if they can watch it, and they just go to the aquarium next time. On the calendar, it is written that it was Yuki’s birthday that day and they’ll be going to the aquarium. Yuki tries to calm down and tell herself that it is okay, she understands, do not have excessive expectation and trust, always maintain calmness, forever do not lose herself. And now, she seriously lost it. Yuki thinks that she obviously went to bring him back yet she told him ‘quickly quit’. Seeing Yuki heading towards the clubroom, some students ask if she still has work. She tells them that she is going to check on the uniforms. As she opens the club door, she recalls leaving her shoe on the roof and she must get it back. Suddenly, something drops on her head. It is her shoe. Checking the uniforms, Yuki wonders why in front of Shou, she couldn’t control her feelings. She recalls him asking her when she smiles and if this keep up they lose so.. [<- I think first chapter]. She blushes and quickly stands up. She hurries off while holding Shou’s uniform. She thinks that she truly did thought of ‘it is alright with you around’ when obviously, until now, she never had that kind of thinking. Even if she knew that this is just futile but she still excessively believes in him, and cannot stop thinking of him. She passes by a public basketball court and sees Shou playing basketball. While Yuki is bewildered, she calls out his name. Shou notices her and asks what she is doing here. She says that she is on her way to his house and what is he doing. Wondering if he is always doing this everyday until late at night, Yuki asks if during these five days when he is on leave from the club, he is practicing here by himself. Shou didn’t reply.
A man with a dog asks if she’s talking about that young man, he has been practicing everyday in the early morning since he sees him everyday. Shou tells the man to shut up. This made Yuki asks how come he won’t tell them and if he wants to self-practice, he can do that after club activity at school. Yuki is irked when he tells her to shut up, idiot. He says that this is such a humiliating thing, that he just doesn’t want her to see it. He tells her after suffering a crushing defeat against Shizuka-chan that day, he wants to cover it up so he said those words ‘no matter lose or win, it is only just a competition’. “..after that, I’m always thinking of that defeat so before I become a lot better, I don’t plan on returning to the team.” Yuki thinks that isn’t he the idiot when he is obvious very frustrated. Yuki protests that isn’t it better to practice with everyone. Shou says that he doesn’t want others to see him putting his all-out effort. Yuki asks why. “I really like you when you put your all-out effort.” He glances at her and asks if she just confessed. Thinking it is over, Yuki tensely denies that she’s confessing. He tells her that he has been wondering why she is holding that basketball uniform. Yuki is surprised for she forgot about it. She lies by saying that she got it instead of her bag, and compared to that, starting tomorrow, properly attend the club activity. Bending down near her, Shou asks her to help him wear it. Yuki tells him to quit joking around. He asks her to help him wear it and he’ll go back to the club. She curses but still, she puts his uniform on him. Then, Shou quickly hugs her. Blushing Yuki calls him stupid, they’ll be seen by others. He admits to her that since he was young, he always thought that playing basketball is only very interesting, that’s all. “It is like a game. I’m very happy if we win. I’ll think ‘there’s next time’ if we lose. That’s all there is to it. –but seeing Yuki-senpai everyday, everyday, all alone clumsily working hard. *Yuki cleaning the basketballs* I’ve understood the meaning of ‘being serious’. ..after falling for senpai, it is the first time I knew the feeling of ‘frustration’. *Yuki thinks same for her, it is the first time she knew* ..Yuki-senpai, I won’t lose to anyone again so just believe in me.” Yuki is moved. She tightly holds his shirt from behind and says that he’s really arrogant. He mutters..wholeheartedly. Blushing, she says that she’ll try to see it. He asks, what, so vague. Narration: “In this way, I unexpectedly like you.” Then, Yuki suddenly slaps him[/his hand] that Shou says that hurts. Yuki tells him that he’s not allowed to recklessly grope around, and she’s going home. Shou wants another hug but Yuki wants to go home.
Comment: In some ways, these two are pretty much the same that due to pride, they’ll lie and conceal their own feelings. Aside from that, it seems that not only with Yuki but also for the others, Shou wants to keep his image of ‘being cool’ and ‘unfazed’ by anything even a defeat. Yuki also tries to do that too regarding frustrations especially with her siblings. In the end, with each other, they tend to ‘lose it’. Well, in Shou’s case, he is already ‘caught in the act’ here so he finally admits things. It might be slightly hard for Yuki though she did blurted out that she likes him putting his all-out effort. Anyway, even if they are like that, they had influenced each other in changing their attitudes/lives. That lovey-dovey at the last part is quite nice. I wonder if this is some sort of ‘Faster than a kiss’ wherein they are going to do almost everything as lovers except for the confession. ^^;; Scans by 红莲汉化组
Word of the day:
Anything wonderful can happen in that little margin of time when you don’t give up but keep on believing. ‘Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’ Galatians 6:9 ~ ~ 101 mottos for success by J. Richards and M.S. Fontaine.