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#1. Naruo, the Hachi-dan Demon

Slash the Sky #1

tl by danluffey

1)
Sora o Kiru (Slash the Sky)

3)
1: [Ever since the general sports motto changed from "effort and guts" to "happy and fun,"
2: [spiritualism was buried in a dusky grave, never to see the light of day again. Or so it may have seemed...

4)
1: [But it's still alive right here!
2: "Stooooop!!"

5)
#1. Naruo, the Hachi-dan Demon

6)
1: Boooooow!!
poster: Seirin University Kendo Club
sfx: fssssh
2: [Takayama Shinichi, a first-year in the kendo club at Seirin University.
3: [This story chronicles his days of undying perseverance.
4: Ahem.

7)
1: [Naruo, Hachi-dan instructor of the Kendo club.
2: Last year, we let victory slip right through our fingers in the final hour.
3: This year, we will use that pain as our fuel as we unify ourselves and march to victory.
4: /#1 in Japan, huh... is it really that big of a deal?
5: First, we need to cultivate our stamina high enough so that we may face the finals with calm minds.
6: /Which means that from here on out, practice is going to be Hell...
7: /Just imagining it gives me the shivers...

8)
1: We will not rely on cheap tricks. First, I want you all to focus on pounding the basics into your body.
2: /The basics? They're always the hardest...
3: Today, we'll begin with practice swings.
4: Line up!!
5: Yes sir!!
sfx: tok
6: C'mon, first years! Hustle!!
sfx: dash
7: Alright! Let's go!
8: Yeah!
9: Let's get fired up!

9)
1: /Oh no!! I shouldn't have eaten that jumbo curry plate for lunch! What'll I do if I start to feel nauseous?
2: /After all, these guys think that 500-600 swings is nothing but a light warm-up...
3: Five steps forward, five steps back, aim for the mask!
4: Begiiiiin!

10)
1-3: Mask!
sfx: whap
4: Wider arcs! Thrust your hips out more!
5: /Thus began another day of training that would no doubt suck every last drop of water out from my body.
6: /I love kendo, but...

11)
1: /I'm not especially athletic, and my kendo skill isn't anything to brag about.
sfx: Men!
2: /There's no way I could do the same thing as kids who've been to high school competitions and national tournaments.
3: Stretch your elbows out more!!
4: /Why am I here, then?
5: /Well, allow me to explain...

12)
1: /I continued on to SU straight from SU High.
sign: Seirin University School
2: You may not care what faculty you go into, but we have the recommendation quota to worry about.
3: With your grades, you may one option left.
4: (I had long hair back then
5: Haa...
6: You were in the kendo club, correct? How did you do in the city tournament?
7: Not so well. I made it to the third round in the team tournament, and to the fourth in the individual one.
8: Will you continue practicing kendo at the university?

13)
1: N-no way! I'm not that suicidal!
2: It's 100% advantageous during admissions if you write that you'll join a club, though...
3: But sensei! Seirin's kendo club is filled with national level athletes!
4: So what? Try it out. If you can't do it, you can just quit later. Lots of people do that.
5: I'll die before I can get out!
6: You may get a little beat up, but trust me, you'll make it out alive. This will get you in without having to take an exam, so you should be thankful.
7: Or would you rather study exams night after night until your eyes bleed?
8: Art brings bread.

14)
1: /If I had only studied a little harder in high school... But it's too late for regrets now!
2: /If I had just gotten a recommendation, I could have actually enjoyed my university life, and maybe entered some other club with a lot of girls in it...
3: /That reminds me of yesterday...
4: Takayama!
5: Yamamoto! How are you?
6: Great, great! You've really become an athlete, haven't you?

15)
1: These are my friends from my club.
2: Hello!
3: /Woah, they're so cute...
4: H-hello.
5: Takayama went to high school with me.
6: They told poor Takayama here that he could only go on to university if he joined the kendo club, so he stuck with it, kicking and screaming all the way!
7: Oooh, really?
8: That's terrible!
9: O-oh, it's nothing, really! Haha...
10: /I was so shocked by the difference between us, that even after he completely tore me to shreds, I could do nothing but laugh along with him. Absolutely pathetic...

16)
sfx: Men!
1: /I'm going to have to quit soon...
2: What are you shaking like that for?!
3: /I... I can't take it anymore!
4: /M... my arms f-feel like they're going to fall of!
5: Your steps are getting shorter!
6: /Of course they are, you... h-huh?
7: /Woahh!!

17)
1: I-I'm completely out of sync with everyone!!
sfx: men
2: Takayamaaaa! What are you doing?!
3: Sorry, sir!!
4: /M-my shoulders won't rise all the way up!!
5: /I-I can't feel them!! Is my body...

18)
1: /falling apart?!
sfx: pop
2: Takayamaaaa! Put some effort into it!!
3: /Th...
4: /the jumbo curry!!

19)
1: Takayama? You're still at it? I thought you would've quit by now.
2: Poor guy...
3: You really are stupid...
4: Kendo is so lame!
5: /I-I'm finished...
6: /I-I knew I wasn't cut out for this...
sfx: men!

20)
sfx: wham
sfx: jerk
sfx: thud
1: Stand!!

21)
sfx: haa
sfx: yank
sfx: smack
sfx: wheeze
sfx: clatter
sfx: wham

22)
sfx: haa
sfx: haa

23)
1: Meeee... nnn...
sfx: men
sfx: smack
2: Men!!
sfx: fwip

24)
1: Phew... all our senpai went home, and I think all of us got through the showers, so let's head out.
2: Huh? Where's Takayama?
3: Right here. Dead.
4: /Of course, after the practice swings, he made us do left and right hits, and then charges.
5: /But I don't remember any of it. It was like my body was just moving on its own.
6: /Maybe this means I really have pounded my body into that of an athlete's...
7: Alright, time for me to get in the shower too.
8: (Ah...

25)
1: Gggh... gggh... I... can't get up...
2: Am... I really this out of shape?
3: Alright, time to eat!
sfx: shiver
4: H-hey, stay still!

26)
1: Uuuu!!
sfx: plop
2: It-it's no good. I can't lift my shoulder...
2: I could hardly eat breakfast, too. But I have to eat somehow, or else I'll die at practice today!
3: growl
4: What's up with that guy?
sfx: munch
5: Hey, look over there. Isn't that...
6: Ta... Takayamaaaa!
7: Go ahead! Laugh if you want to! I don't care anymore!!
sfx: munch

#1. Naruo, the Hachi-dan Demon / END

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