At Misuzu Academy, everyone is congratulating Shizuka for getting the Kanto Tournament’s championship. They cheer him on to continue doing his best and call him a hero, captain, leader, etc. Looking aghast and tense, Shizuka tells them to shut up. He asks up to when they are going to be swelled up about that.
He reminds them that the preliminaries for the Interhigh Tournament will be held two weeks from now so focus their energy. Then, he sighs. Narration: “It is June. After the Kanto Tournament is over, while there is still no time to catch one’s breath, the preliminaries for the Interhigh tournament is starting. Everyone welcomes their own respective summer.”
Outside Yuki’s apartment, Usami-san says that it is summer vacation and going to the beach is not bad at all. “Yuki’s boyfriend and also me and my boyfriend (pending), it will be great for the four of us to go on a trip. It’s simply fun to death!”
Opening the door, Yuki asks is that so. She tells Usami-san that June is just starting and she is already thinking of summer vacation. Usami-san asks her what she is talking about when a college student’s summer vacation begins at summer solstice.
Yuki says no, she hasn’t heard of that and they still have exams in July. After going inside, Usami-san notices the sofa. She asks Yuki if it is newly bought. Yuki says yes. Usami-san says that it isn’t bad. She teases Yuki if she specially bought a two-seater sofa to go lovey-dovey with the boyfriend...
Then, she sees Yuki blushing really red as she is puts down a tray of drinks on the table. This made Usami-san put her hands on her face and start screaming that she’s envious to death. “I super really want a boyfriend. I want to do that kind of thing always until I forget all about time with a handsome guy who can turn the world upside down!!”
Yuki looks surprised and thinks that humans can unexpectedly clearly express one’s desire like that... “A few days ago, I bought a sofa for Naruse. It unconsciously cut down our distance to the point that I really considered the situation. I carelessly noticed my body being touched. *grope grope*...
...And in the end, I reacted aggressively. *shouted that he’s not allowed to get carried away* Is...is that okay... It isn’t like it is the first time he groped me. And besides, it feels that I actually don’t really hate it. *looks tense and aghast* Is this a proficiently operating automatic braking system...?!
...Summer is approaching. In the end, can we as ‘lovers’ go there together.” [<- it is that or she just means spending summer together which shouldn’t be the issue in their current relationship] After school dismissal, some classmates ask Shou if he isn’t going home yet and didn’t he hear that afternoon practice is cancelled.
Shou says ya and he has something to do. The others wonder out loud what he meant and can’t he talk properly. Shou recalls their previous two points lost to Misuzu. He passes by the gym and hears some dribbling sound. He opens the door to see Usami-kun shooting the ball into the basket.
Usami-kun is surprised when Shou asks what he is doing. Usami-kun says that isn’t practice cancelled today and is he also going for self-practice? Loosening his tie, Shou says ‘also’, then, he also... Usami-kun says yes and that is because it made him super-duper frustrated over that competition with Misuzu for a short while.
While changing his clothes, Shou says that it is good that he has a bit of enthusiasm shown on his face. Usami-kun says that it is only Shou whom he doesn’t to be told about that. Just then, Hatori and Noda arrive and say that they are there.
Hatori says that like this, the common [/usual?] team members are all gathered. Pointing to Kuon who is stretching at the side, Usami-kun says that even if because his body build is short that he cannot be seen clearly but Kuon is over there. Kuon shouts that he talks too much.
Noda and Hatori agree that they couldn’t see Kuon clearly. While they continue to talk, Shou glances at them and seems to slightly smile. At Misuzu gym, Shizuka shoots the ball in. The others stiffen when Shizuka scolds them about defense and don’t they want to block him since they weren’t even lifting up their arms. Breathing hard, the others say yes!!
A teammate calls out to him that it should be almost time for a break because aside from him, everyone’s limbs are already disabled [/tried to death] even if he knows that it is already just a few days before the preliminaries for the Interhigh tournament.
Shizuka looks around to see everyone already exhausted. He says that’s true and they’ll rest for 15 minutes. While washing his face at the outdoor sink, Shizuka tells himself not to be anxious. “Totally couldn’t see the surrounding situation. If this keeps up, then, there’s no meaning to it...”
Someone [coach?] calls out to Shizuka and says what he plans regarding that matter before. “If you are going, then contact them earlier on.” Shizuka remembers that he is going to visit the basketball division of Osaki University.
At Osaki University, class has just ended. Yuki thinks that it is already June and just like what Usami-san said, summer vacation is going to pass by in a flash but then, before that, there is Shou and the other’s Interhigh preliminaries. Looking really serious, Yuki thinks that this year, Ryuhoku will definitely...
She recalls Shou telling her about persevering until the last second but those guys had become stronger. Yuki thinks that she cannot replace nor give them any help when they bear those pressure and anxiousness so she’ll definitely give her all-out effort to cheer them...
Her thoughts are interrupted when some guys shouts for her to save them. As the guys catch their breath, Yuki thinks that these are the guys from the basketball division... Suwa tells the guys to calm down. He apologizes to Yuki and asks if they can interrupt her for a while. Yuki asks him what had happened.
To her surprise, the guys are already on their knees and bowing to her that she must accept the job of becoming Osaki basketball division’s manager!!! This surprises Yuki. She asks if it is temporary again. They exclaim no, it will be official, forever!
Yuki protests by saying that they already have two official managers... Suwa says no, for one of them suddenly resigned. While one of the guys holds her hand, he shouts they know that her eyes look like they want to immediate refuse. Another one shouts that the other division members are infatuated with her work before that no matter what, they hope that she can become the manager. “Please. Please, Machida-san. Capable Machida-san. Legendary Machida!!”
Yuki still has a not amused expression. Later at her apartment, Shou asks Yuki why she is becoming a basketball manager again. While typing on her laptop computer, Yuki says that even if he said manager but actually, she’ll only come over to help on the days when she isn’t working.
Shou tells her that he really hated that time when she became a temporary manager. Yuki says so, this time she told him and actually, if he isn’t going to agree to it then, it will be only until they find a new manager... While Shou is glancing at her, Yuki thinks that of course, since she already accepted it, she wants...to always do it until the end--
She hears a squeak that she immediately holds up her hands in front of her chest and asks what is it. Shou says that it is nothing and what’s with her hands. She says that is nothing. Shou says by the way, it isn’t easy for her to buy a sofa so how come she isn’t sitting on it.
She tells him that it is because he’ll recklessly grope strange places. He asks ‘strange places’ is where? Yuki didn’t reply. He leans to her and says that he likes her and she also likes him and they are obviously lovers who are going steady so can she give him an example of what place cannot be touched.
Looking tense, Yuki wonders what place..no good, she totally couldn’t of something and she couldn’t refute him. Shou insists on where, is it the eye ball? Yuki thinks that overall, it is probable that Shou is quite reasonable. “No, but...”
She is surprised when Shou sits on the sofa again and says that they go back to the topic. He asks if that frivolous guy is still in the basketball division. She asks who. He says that senpai at the convenient store. Wondering if Shou has the right to call Suwa frivolous guy, Yuki says that he’s there but nothing will happen.
She explains that some time ago, he only introduced him to a girl she knew, that’s all... Shou says that didn’t he say he doesn’t want them seeing outside of work. Stiffening up, Yuki says, ...but. He kisses her at the side and says that he’ll endure [be patient]. He lies down on the sofa.
While looking at his nails, he asks he is really great, right? Thinking that ‘every potter praises his own pot’, Yuki says ya, ya. He tells her to quickly ask him, ‘what reward do you want?’ Blushing Yuki says no, she won’t. And so, Yuki became a manager again.
At Osaki basketball gym, Yuki formally introduces herself and that she’ll be their manager starting today, yoroshiku [/I’m under your care]. A guy says that because Yuki still has work for around 3-4 days each week, everyone is not to persistently annoy her with Machida-san, Machida-san.
The others still laugh and call out Machida-san, Machida-san. The other manager gives Yuki a thumbs up and thanks her for coming over. “If there is anyone who is sexually harassing you, I’ll definitely twist him off [/break him into two]. So, definitely tell me.”
Yuki says twist, okay. The others shout for Natsumi [guesswork from 夏美] not to reckless say things and quickly back off already. Yuki thinks that indeed, when she was working temporarily before, she was all alone but right now, she is with a senpai-manager so she’ll definitely properly do her best.
While the others are practicing, Natsumi asks Yuki to help her change the towels since they ought to be already clean. Yuki says okay. While walking, she thinks that it seems that the laundry room is at the right turn corner... And, she sees a black haired guy bending down and peeking from the corner.
Yuki asks if something happened. Shizuka shouts in surprise and apologizes. The two are surprised to see each other. She asks him what he is doing at this kind of place. Shizuka says that actually, during the Kanto tournament, the Osaki coach asks him to come over and watch the practice. “I walked back and forth, and in the end, I got lost...”
Yuki says is that so. She thinks that it is amazing for the university to take the initiative to go and get him to watch the practice. He asks her why she is wearing a sports t-shirt. “Are you pulling grass?” She says no, the short of it is that, she also joined the basketball division...
Yuki is startled when Shizuka is freaking out when someone calls out, “Shizuka-chan-?” A couple of girls pass by and says that just now, there was someone talking at this side and can they take a picture together [with Shizuka]. Seeing how tense Shizuka looks, Yuki thinks that he was chased after and in the end, he got lost. She muses that he is a popular guy.
Yuki grabs his sleeve and softly says over this side. Shizuka blushes. He tells her that he is fine and he can go by himself. Letting him go, Yuki apologizes and tells him to go to that window side and he should be able to find the manager. Shizuka thanks her. Then, Yuki congratulates him for their win at the Kanto tournament.
Yuki is puzzled when he doesn’t look happy as he says, ya. She asks him if he isn’t lively. This snaps him out of it that he starts slapping his face and says that it is nothing, his body temperature is normal. Yuki says no, about that, he had helped her a lot so if there is anything about the club activity, she can listen to him.
Yuki muses that she faintly feels that there are so many things that she is the same with Shizuka. After a pause, Shizuka tells her that it feels that he strived hard in vain. “After winning the Kanto tournament, my enthusiasm is quite astonishing...
...I’m obviously the captain and obviously, I have the role of leading the team but after putting everyone aside, I panic by myself and dashed off... Even if I’m very angry, I’m also very anxious. Always worrying if next time, we can still win or not. Next time, will someone surpass us? Next time, would THOSE GUYS become stronger...”
Yuki recalls Shou saying the same thing about ‘those guys becoming stronger’. She muses that is that so, whether the winner or the loser, both have uneasy feelings and are always perplexed. “But, this is...” Yuki says that Shou said the same thing. “This is definitely because he is taking it too seriously but instead, lost his self-confidence and caused him to become flustered and lost.”
She thinks that this is the proof that one is striving hard for a higher goal. She says, “So, I think that the pressure and anxiousness that you’re feeling, they are all your partners [/companions towards a higher goal].” Shizuka looks moved by it.
Yuki waves at him and says that right now, she is working so see him in a while at the gym. Yuki is surprised when Shizuka suddenly hugs her from behind. She calls out his name. He hugs her tighter that she shouts, hey. She is surprised when Shizuka suddenly pushes her away and apologizes. He walks away, leaving Yuki stunned.
While his heart is beating fast, Shizuka kept on thinking, ‘...no, no, no good, no good... *covers blushing face* ...I like you.” A guy passing up looks surprised by that. Narration: “And, starting the countdown of each person’s summer...” At the Ryuhoku gym, Shou asks his teammate if he felt this chill just now. Abe says no, and is he okay.
Comment: This chapter pretty much confirms to me that Shizuka and Yuki are quite similar that in a way, Shizuka is a male version of Yuki. Aside from what Yuki mentioned and both worked their way to where they are now, Shizuka is the type, at least for now, to keep his unrequited love a secret.
This part reminds me of the time when Yuki was in love with Kido but Kido has a girlfriend so Yuki never told him about it. Of course, she has Shou to keep her distracted at that time and she no longer has much contact with Kido afterwards.
Here, Shizuka still meets with Yuki at times so I’m not too sure how long he can keep bottling his feelings up especially since he falls deeper in love with her with every encounter they have. And, based on Yuki’s reaction after the hug, I think she OUGHT to more or less know what he feels for her.
From the looks of things, if this goes past Shou’s high school graduation, the mangaka might indeed go for a Slam Dunk-type of love triangle. That is two ‘rivals’ who are teammates and is involved with the basketball manager. In a way, both are trying to out-compete the other but have to work together as a team. ^^; And, in this case, there’s Suwa on the side, too.
As for the love relationship, it seems that Yuki isn’t used to being touched in other ‘strange’ places. Shou isn’t pursuing the matter further but somehow, I don’t know, is it because she isn’t ready yet or something? Like, it doesn’t come naturally yet for her.
I’m not too sure what to think about accepting the manager job again prior to telling it to Shou. Like Yuki is her own person who doesn’t need to keep on asking permission from Shou regarding everything she wants to do, and just cross her fingers that it is okay with him. Or, she should have consulted him about it first since it is against his wishes.
In the end, I guess it boils down to one’s limits and perhaps, there would be some sort of compromise. That seems to be what the two are doing since they are obviously ‘different’ in personality, intimacy, pacing, priorities, etc. I cannot help but think that if his girlfriend is some fangirl like Usami-san or the twins, Shou would have lesser or no problems with what he is currently having with Yuki. ^^; Haha, but then, that would be a totally different story all together. =P
Oh ya, the other manager seem cool. At least, she is not a fangirl-type of girl for a change. Regarding the anxiety of either loser or winner, I think that really happens in sports. In the end, one would just have to do one’s best and hope for the best outcome. Scans by 红莲汉化组
Word of the day:
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. ~ Arthur Somers Roche