Surprised Shizuka asks, “Captain? Me? It isn’t..? *huge eyes looking at Kira* Vice captain?” Kira says it’s captain and because of that, his eyes are about to pop out. “By the way, a person like you definitely became the club’s head when you’re in elementary, right? You’re really showing the most interesting expression that I have ever seen.”
Still looking surprised, after a pause, Shizuka admits that he have not. Narration: “And that was three days ago before the competition.” Walking at the stadium’s hallway, Shizuka is still in a daze. “‘Captain’, honestly speaking, I totally didn’t considered it.. When there’s no training, I feel that there’s no one who worked hard twice as much as I did...
...I’m always thinking that it is for my contribution for the team’s victory. -But 'captain', me? Shouldn’t the so-called commander be more..commanding and popular.. a more charismatic leader..” Then, he is surprised when Yuki suddenly appears in front of him and calls out his name.
Shizuka screams in shock which made Yuki muse that is quite a nostalgic reaction [from Shizuka]. Shizuka exclaims how come Yuki is here. Yuki asks why she is here, didn’t he ask her to come...come to the Winter Cup. At the audience benches, Shou pats his lap and calls out to Yuki that his side and lap are free [/empty for her to sit on]. Ignoring that, Yuki just greets back.
Sitting beside Shou, Abe greets out to Yuki. Yuki says that everyone came. Abe says yes, they would at least watch the first day when Mizusu will play. While taking her seat, Yuki thinks that if he’s coming, he could at least contact her so why he is hiding it from her, is his head making some wild speculations..?
Pfft! Shou says the game is starting. Shizuka has the ball. Audience is cheering for Mizusu and Shizuka. Kira passes the ball to Shizuka. He shoots and scores. Audience cheers as his teammates shout that they do that one again. While playing, Shizuka is actually distracted. He recalls protesting to Kira that there are a lot more qualified people than him so why him..
Kira smiled and said yes, indeed, and Shizuka just reflect about that question by himself.. End flashback. Shizuka thinks that it is no good, right now, compared to that issue, he must concentrate on the game for this is a totally important game since that person is watching him. <- referring to Yuki.
Soon, it is game over. Mizusu wins 73 points vs the opponent at 68. Abe complains over how easy for Mizusu to breakthrough this game. They’re so strong that it infuriates him. Himiko says that they won’t be able to watch the game tomorrow because of practice.
Shou looks serious and quiet. He suddenly stands up and says that he’ll go out in a while. Yuki asks where he is going. To her shock, he says that he is going to look for Shizuka. Yuki tells him to wait, why would he go.. At the locker room, someone throws a bottled water on Shizuka’s head. Holding the bottle, he turns around to see Shou saying that is for him, though he drank the rest [of it].
Shizuka refuses for this [bottled water] is basically trash. Yuki shouts for Shou to quickly stop. She thinks that Shou is once again doing some unnecessary provocation. Shou says about this competition just now.. Shizuka asks what.. Shou asks if he is a bit naïve for doesn’t it feel that his actions are a bit clumsy.
This surprises Yuki that she starts to think that indeed Shizuka doesn’t have the vigor he had during the preliminaries. Shizuka’s actions are indeed a bit odd earlier. Shizuka denies it and says that even if they didn’t specially come to tell him that, he’ll also properly adjust before tomorrow’s game.
Shou says that he forgot to tell him something. “I already became the captain.” Surprised and aghast Shizuka shouts, “Who!?” Shou says, “Me.” Shizuka shouts, “Becoming what!? Ryuhoku has just gone through a really big risk..!!!” While Yuki is ‘no comment’, Shou says, it’s captain and by the way, Shizuka unexpectedly didn’t become captain?
Shizuka says, “...! ..I.. I..” Shou says that he won’t be a captain, what, then they are basically not rivals..ha..so..boring--- This made popped veins appearing on Shizuka’s face and hands. He clenches his fist and thinks, “..who..who said, ‘I’m not going to become captain’.”
Shizuka calls out to Yuki who exclaims, yes!! He asks if she can help pump him up. Yuki is puzzled. Shizuka says that it is the vicious slap [on the back] that she did during the preliminaries. Yuki asks eh, that!!? He asks her to please do it since he won’t continue this kind of situation tomorrow..
Then, Shizuka snaps out of it. Putting the towel over his head, Shizuka wonders why he is asking that of her when she is the former manager of another school and even Shou’s.. Turning around, he says no..it’s nothing at all, sorry.. Then, Yuki calls out to him.
He looks back to see Yuki holding up her hand. She says, as a student of Ryuhoku, she also doesn’t want to see Mizusu lose.. Shizuka thinks, yes..I..I-- Yuki says then, she’ll be a bit gentle, okay. He says okay. Just when Yuki slaps Shizuka’s back, Shou also hits Shizuka’s back really hard.
Holding his back, Shizuka shouts at him over what he is doing, that’s quite strong.. Shou claims that it is more effective if it is strong. Shizuka angrily shouts, why you!! Flashback: Young Shou asked moping Shizuka in class if he’s going to quit the club. Shizuka said yes.. Shou asked if it is because it became boring.
Shizuka said that it isn’t that at all..rather, it is like this game earlier, because his shooting is slanted that it caused them to lose. “No matter how hard I practice..there is totally no improvement at all..” Shou turned around and said isn’t that’s nonsense.
Shizuka angrily stood up and shouted what he means by that. Shou said that because his level is bad that he’ll just noisily say wanting to give up, so how can he possibly improve? “If you want to give up, then quickly give it up.” This shocks Shizuka. So, at night, Shizuka starts to practice. He shot the ball and it bounced on the ring. He lost his footing and fell flat on his face. He went to the bench to drink some water for his throat is so dry..
Shaking his thermos, he realized that it is already empty. Then, he noticed another thermos at the side with a note, ‘For you. (I drank the rest).’ It made Shizuka teary-eyed as he recalled what Shou told him earlier about noisily saying want to give up because his level is bad so how can he possibly improve. End flashback.
Narration: “The first time when I almost give up, he was the one who kicked me on the back with his foot. How frustrating. Really hate him but.. –yes, starting from that day on, I’ve always just look ahead.” The next day, at the locker room, the coach tells everyone that they had perspired a lot and even if today’s opponent is quite terrifying but they should remain calm.
Everyone shouts, yes. In the court, Shizuka looks at the benches and thinks that she [/they] didn’t come today but then, she is a high schooler so she doesn’t have no free time to watch the game. “How come I’ll be made the captain. ..if I don’t go try it, then no matter how I thought about this kind of thing, I won’t know.”
He jumps and shoots the ball. It is in. Then, the opponent steals the ball from him. “Today, and also the future, the thing that I can do is just look onwards--” The score is now 87-83 with the opponent winning. Yet, there is still three minutes left. The coach comments that it is almost but they always couldn’t catch up.
Someone says that it will be bad if at this time, they don’t immediately grasp the rhythm again. Someone curses the discrepancy of points. While spraying his knee with a pain reliever, Shizuka asks what they are saying for didn’t this kind of situation already happened so many times already. “..this small setback is basically superficial..”
The others are surprised for he was obviously putting a lot into the game. Kira quietly smiles then says that this fellow is really an idiot. This shocks Shizuka. Kira says that he always thinks that since the time Shizuka entered the club.
Flashback: In summer, Kira asked if Shizuka considered it is his goal to become an official member during first year high school. Shizuka said yes. Kira asked if that is why he practices by himself during vacations. Shizuka said yes. To Shizuka’s shock, Kira said that he’s really an idiot for Mizusu is not like his junior high before.
He obviously have the strength but there are a good number of third years who don’t have anything to do no matter how hard they tried, and just got sidelined-- The first and second years would have to wait until next year. Shizuka said but if he always think that way, no matter if it is next year or the year after that, the opportunity won’t come. Kira looked at him. End flashback.
Kira says, “One-track mind, stubborn, refusing to lose, you have one-fold perseverance compared to the others-- *pats Shizuka’s shoulder* This kind of idiot can definitely make Mizusu become stronger.” Shizuka looks surprised. Pfft- The game starts again.
Narration: “Beside me, there are mature teammates who always watch over me. *Kira and others cheering/teasing Shizuka* There is also the guy who always pay attention to me. *Shou’s thermos on the bench*” Everyone cheers on as the game becomes intense with the opponent lead with 95 vs 91 points. There is one minute left! Then, Shizuka hears Yuki cheering for him.
Narration: “There is also the person whom I wish to always pay attention to me. ..ah, yes. Whether it is teammates, Shou or even that person, it’s all the same. *Shizuka jumps and does a slam dunk* They are the road signs [guides] that made me become stronger.” And, the opponent wins with 102 vs 100.
While walking out of the stadium, Yuki says that it’s really too bad that Misuzu lost and by the way, it is already past 11am and right now, there is still time to catch up on afternoon training. She tells Shou that obviously, it wasn’t necessary for him to come and watch with her..
Shou says no, it is a bit baffling if she were to cheer for Shizuka alone. While keeping her basketball notebook, Yuki says no, rather than cheering for him..ah.. Shou asks what. She says that it seems that she left her pen at the bench so he can go back first. Shou calls out that she is always forgetful.
Then, a bottled water hits Shou’s head. Shou looks up to see that it is Shizuka who says, what, he also came. Flipping the bottled water, Shou says ya, anyway, he is very idle in the morning and his girlfriend wanted to come. Looking away, Shizuka tells him to quickly get lost. “..ah, there is also something I forgot to say.. I’m also going to become captain.”
Shou says ‘eh’ that made Shizuka angrily shout if he won’t say something a bit different and he really infuriates him. Shou says, “..then, finally, I can compete with you. Let’s see whose team can advance first to the Nationals.”
After a pause, Shizuka replies, “..are you an idiot? *smiles* Mizusu and Ryuhoku are basically not on the same level.” Shou frowns over this and throws back the bottled water. Shizuka angrily shouts that hurts. Narration: “Like that, starting here, continuing on towards a higher goal. Constantly struggling, we welcome a whole new season.”
Comment: Obviously this is Shizuka’s chapter. The Winter Cup turns out to be just reinforcing the sports rivalry of the two rather than anything related to Yuki in any romantic way. Though, of course, they’ll try to outdo each other because of Yuki.
Shizuka find his way back to his first love and he is acting more himself in this chapter. Also, in this chapter, he once again reminds me of SD’s Hanamichi minus the self-confidence. And, their bickering is like Hanamichi and Rukawa, Naruto and Sasuke, and whatever other shounen series there is that has ‘friends’ yet rivals.
Just like how Shizuka reached this point, there are many factors that finally led him to take the challenge of becoming the captain. I think that will help him mature a lot just like it had been with Shou. And, he seems quite confident at the end of the chapter. Scans by 红莲汉化组
Quote of the day:
Don’t be impatient if your dreams haven’t come true. What’s important is you keep working at it. ~ Bo Sanchez