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#10

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5
sfx: splash

sfx: chatter chatter chatter

What’s all the fuss about?
Ah, Coach Maki...

Mari hasn’t been back since yesterday evening.
I thought it was a bit strange so I checked her room but nobody is there.

I see...

So that’s what happened...

… Meaning what?
Hrm, I’m not exactly sure myself but it’s possible that Mari has left us...

I had a feeling that something like this would eventually happen.

Why?

Well, Yumi, you see...

6
Excuse me, good morning...
Oh, it’s the security guard. What is it...?

Miss Tsubaki left this with me yesterday night.
For me?

Yumi, I’ve left Tachiki. There’s one thing that I’d like you to know and that’s why I’m writing this letter. That telegram that you received about your mother being ill was not sent by me. The houseboy in my father’s employ did it without my knowing because I wanted to be the queen of the match. Of course I also feel responsible for what happened. I am not sure what I should do to apologize for what happened.

However, there is also another reason for why I’m leaving Tachiki.
It is because I want to have a match with you that’s fair and square the next time we meet.

7
Not only would competing while on the same team cause trouble for others it would also get in the way of our team play. If we’re on different sides it would make for a cleaner match.

Let’s meet again at the national volleyball tournament. I’ll show you that I can handle your lightning strikes then.

Is it all true, Mari...?

I was completely convinced that Mari was the one that sent that telegram.
I should be apologizing to her as well. I placed all the blame on her without really looking into it... I’m sorry.

Yumi...

Yes, it seems that Mari has left...
Well...

How could she do that... at such an important time!?
That’s right! The nationals are coming up... It’s too cruel!

8
Is the team going to be all right now?
I didn’t know Mari was that kind of person!
What a coward!

You’re all wrong!
Mari’s an amazing person!

She worked hard and put her heart into making it so Coach Maki could come back!
She felt like she would get in the way of the team so that’s why she swallowed the pain of it all and left!

I’m the one to blame for this. I was a fool.

I hope you can understand how Mari feels.

It’s just like Yumi said. Mari is definitely not the kind of person you should be blaming.
Things will be fine.

But with Mari gone we’ve lost a lot of our power...

Don’t complain.

9
Mari’s just a person like the rest of you. Making a big fuss over her leaving accomplishes nothing. We will just have to fill the hole that Mari has left!

If we don’t do that then we won’t be the ones holding the national title.

Yes, I’m sorry.
We’ll do our best, Coach!

sfx: woo~oo~oo

Then it’s off to work for you girls. Training begins at three.
Uheheh

Who was it that just made that strange sound? Was that Chiiko?
Ahahahahaha
I-I don’t know nothing ‘bout that~!

Yumi, do you understand now? What I meant when I said I expected this...? You and Mari were destined to eventually fight against each other. Now you’ll both be able to make progress. You’ve made a friend and a rival.
Mari, we’ll definitely meet again at nationals. I won’t lose!

SFX: creek kachan drrrr

Yumi, it looks like the President’s finally getting to his promise!
Yep...

But it’s under construction so that means our training will be outside.

It’s better outside anyways. The weather’s nice.

And if you fall on your butt you don’t have to worry about the floor caving in!
sfx: ack!

Grr! Them be fightin’ words, buster!
Haha!

11
Ahem!
Oh, sorry...

sfx: woo~ooo~

Yumi, it’s time for your practice.

Good luck getting to the nationals!
Thank you. I’ll be leaving first!

Okay, let’s split into two sides and have a match.

I’m going to watch how you girls look while you play and get a handle on what our strong and weak points are so I can figure out how I should coach from now on...

12
Uhm... Nichibou is going to be there too, right?
Of course.

You girls probably have some bitter memories about that.
We did lose horribly back then.

You can’t lose this time. We’re going to win!
Yes!

Okay, split into two groups. We’re starting right away!

Here we go!

sfx: bweee

sfx: zubaarrrrn

sfx: zuuuuuuun

13
14
sfx: bishhhhoon

I’ll get it.

Uhm, excuse me...

sfx: zubmph

15
Ah!
sfx: guuuurrn

Hm?
sfx: bmph

What are you doing!?
That ball is our lives! How could you kick it!

Stop it, Yumi.

But, coach!

You did the same thing back then.

16
That’s true. I did the exact same thing back then... But that look in her eyes...

O-okay, coach. I’m sorry.
Mhmm...

Heh, so she’s finally here... I’ve been waiting.

Do you need something?

How about a test? I was thinking of joining this team.

I see...

17
Whatta you talkin’ about!? We don’t need someone like you on our team!

Hold on, Chiiko!
O-okay... but she’s just so rude, coach!

It’s fine! Just go over there!
O-okay.

Let’s have a test then.

Someone serve against her.
How about Miss Asaoka over there then?

18
Her eyes look like those of a beast after its prey... But I can’t figure out why she’s trying to pick a fight with me...

Okay, I’ll serve.
Good.

Everyone besides Chiiko get off the courts.

We’re going to start the test.

You’ll defend the rear with Chiiko and receive Yumi’s serve.

19
Chiiko will toss the ball and you’ll spike it and we repeat. We’ll be testing your abilities like so. Okay?
Got it?

sfx: thud

sfx: flutter

sfx: turn

20
Let’s begin!

Yumi’s serve ain’t no joke! Don’t end up with your butt on the floor!

sfx: bamph

sfx: tik

sfx: whoosh whirrrrr

21
sfx: bomph

sfx: stomp

sfx: toss

sfx: jump

sfx: zubaaaaaung

sfx: pshhhh!

sfx: zmph

22
S-she’s pretty good.
Yeah.

Just like I thought. She’s got amazing natural reflexes...

Keep going.

sfx: zubaaaa

sfx: zubamph

sfx: gooooon

23
Hmph.
sfx: pshh

What’s wrong? Why didn’t you catch it?

How many times are you going to make me do this? This isn’t going to show off what I’m really capable of.

Hmph.

What do you want me to do then?

Show me your lightning strike!

… I want to see it.

24
S-she looks like me.

Her attitude and her eyes...
They’re the same as mine were two years ago when my sister died and I gave up hope and tried to lose myself.

Fine. Yumi, show her the lightning strike.

I refuse.

Why?

The serve isn’t complete and if she gets injured...

Heh. That’s a lot of talk for someone who’s just running away.

You’re just scared of having your precious little serve defeated.

25
Am I right?

It might be brash to say this but volleyball isn’t something that revolves only around techniques.
You should have familiarized yourself with what real volleyball is like before you took this test.

Spare me the rhetoric. Are you going to serve or not?

I won’t lose to you.

That’s not something you can be sure of without actually seeing.

That might be the case...

Fine.

26
sfx: stomp

sfx: wobble!

Uh!?

sfx: wobble

Argh!

sfx: wobble

Ahhh!
sfx: gurrrrrrrrrrn

27
sfx: whump

sfx: wobble!

sfx: thud

sfx: jump

Are you okay? Hang in there!

sfx: twitch twitch

28
Continue the test!

Enough already, I’ve already seen what you can do. The test is over.
N-no! It’s not over yet! Serve again!

Hurry up!

Fine, if you’re going to insist then I’ll keep doing it until you’re satisfied.

sfx: bashoooom

29
sfx: zuuuuun

sfx: thud

sfx: kneel

I’m not done yet...

sfx: doomph

Urghh

30
I-I’m not finished...
sfx: pant pant

sfx: stagger

sfx: collapse

Hey! Get a stretcher! Hurry up!
Okay!

sfx: gasp gasp gasp

Infirmary

31
Coach Maki, how is she?

Don’t worry. It was just a slight concussion.
She was really agitated so I gave her a light sedative.

Why was she so intent on picking a fight with me?
Well, I don’t think it was just with you.

But she does seem to be burning with tenacity over volleyball for some strange reason.

We’ll find out why eventually. She’ll be a good player.

sfx: click...

/Ah!/

32
Ah...
I’m not done yet... serve again...

I’m not going to lose...
Come on... Serve...

Ughhh *sob* *sob...

33
sfx: gloom

Ahhhh....

sfx: bomf

*sob*...

I lost! I lost to Yumi Asaoka... *sob*

sfx: crackle!

34
sfx: rumble rumble rumble

sfx: splash splash

sfx: crackle!

sfx: rumble rumble rumble

sfx: tap tap

sfx: tap tap tap slam

sfx: slam

sfx: thud

35
Oh no! Look what happened! And I just spent so much time making this charm for the rain too...

I-I’m sorry...

What’s wrong, Yumi?
You look like you saw a ghost...

Oh, Chiiko... It’s nothing... don’t worry...

What was with the intensity of her emotions? Why...

sfx: tsaaaa

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