Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
T/n: Changed director agency to president agency
The day before the ball game tournament. The decisions for the event were finished in the previous class, but as each of us were planning our strategies and making careful preparations for the ball game tournament, Ryo suddenly remembered something and opened his mouth.
“Come to think of it, there will be a photographer coming to the ball game tournament to take Yuuya’s picture, right?”
“A-ah, yeah, that’s right.”
“Mmm? Ryo-kun, Shingo-kun, what do you mean by that?”
When Ryo and Shingo-kun remembered the conversation with the entertainment company president the other day and asked that question to me, Kageno-kun, who happened to be listening to the conversation, asked them with a glint in his glasses.
The other students were also surprised and turned their attention to us.
“Um… on our way home the other day, a person from an entertainment agency came to scout Yuuya.”
“T-then Yuuya-kun refused the offer, but the agency couldn’t give up on Yuuya-kun, and instead of him joining the entertainment industry, they decided to put him in a feature on the Ousei Gakuen, which will be published in a magazine. The staff members are going to come to this ball game since they got permission to photograph the event.”
I had completely forgotten about it because of Usagi-san and the evolution, but when the classmates heard Ryo and Shingo-kun’s explanation, they all started buzzing.
“I-I didn’t know that was going to happen…”
“Eh, so there’s a chance we could be in a magazine too?”
“Uoooo! We’ll need to work extra hard on this one!”
I was worried about what it would be like to have an outsider come to a school event, but everyone seemed to be in a rather welcoming mood, which I was very grateful for.
Then, one of the boys suddenly muttered something.
“Hmm? Wait a minute? If that shoot is for Yuuya, then if we bring Yuuya into the team, we have a better chance of getting into the picture, isn’t that right…?”
At that word, everyone was silent at once.
“Yuuya-kuuunnn! By all means… please join us in football!”
“Huh? Of course, he will join the basketball team!”
“No, no, no, he should have chosen dodgeball!”
I am very grateful and happy to be recruited, but in the end, trouble is inevitable no matter which event I participate in…
Besides, I wonder if people have forgotten about it?
“Um… I’m supposed to play table tennis, but…”
The boys froze in silence at my words.
“Aahh, that’s right!”
“Why… why didn’t I win at that time…!”
“I want to go back to that day and do the rock-paper-scissors again…!”
I didn’t know what to say to them, because they were all more frustrated than I thought. Then Ryo looked at them all in a daze and put his hand on my shoulder.
“Well, don’t mind these people, just do your best at table tennis!”
I could only nod, with an indescribable expression on my face.
The day of the ball game tournament. The school is filled with the unique and fluffy atmosphere of the event, and everyone is already anxious since the time of homeroom. Today’s schedule is only for the ball game tournament, so no one is in their school uniforms, but in P.E. clothes and jerseys instead.
“Alright, it’s an important ball game tournament for sensei’s bonus. Be sure not to lose!”
“No, it’s not like we’re fighting for you, sensei?”
Everyone nodded at Ryo’s calm tsukkomi. Yeah, as usual, Sawada-sensei is very honest… well, I think she was saying that just to make the place more relaxed. …Is that right?
After the briefing, we headed to the venue for our respective events. And along the way, I met Kurosawa-san from the entertainment agency and the president of the agency.
“Well, Yuuya-kun. I’ll make sure to take pictures of your gallant performance today.”
“Oh, but please don’t be strangely conscious of the camera or anything. From what Miu and Hikari have told me, you’re not used to being photographed yet, so just be natural.”
Confused by the president’s words, I shifted my gaze to the numerous photographers behind her. Following my gaze, the president and Kurosawa-san also turned their gaze once to the photographers behind them.
“…Don’t be nervous!”
Well, there are more photographers than I expected! I had assumed it would be at most two people, but it looks like there are actually about ten photographers who came. And it wasn’t just SLR cameras, there was also some kind of T.V. station cameras prepared, so it was a pretty large scale.
“It’s going to be okay! Once you’re in the entertainment industry, you will get used to this so quickly!”
“No, I think I declined that offer already, so…”
“Ara? I haven’t given up yet, you know?”
I thought she had given up on me already, so I was dumbfounded when she clearly told me that.
“But really, you don’t need to be so nervous today. It’s just that the name of the event is a special feature for the Ousei Gakuen, and we’re going to be taking photos of the scenery of the school and other students. Well, I would definitely like to have Yuuya-kun’s picture, so just keep that in mind.”
She says that I don’t have to be nervous, but if my picture is definitely taken, I can’t help but be nervous.
…Well, it would be all for naught if I lose the game because I get distracted by the photoshoot. So I have to brace myself for it.
“Uh… sorry. I’ll be heading to the venue now…”
“Yeah. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Yuuya-san. Good luck.”
After separating from Kurosawa-san and the others, I went straight to the venue.
“L-let’s do our best, Yuuya-kun.”
When I arrived at the gymnasium where the table tennis match was taking place, Shingo-kun and the other classmates, who were also competing in the table tennis match, had gathered there as well.
“Whoa! I’m so nervous…”
“I didn’t expect Yuuya-kun to join us for table tennis.”
“Yes, yes. I thought you were going to play football or basketball or something like that.”
“Oh, man… it’s not like I’m going to be the one to be photographed, but the thought of a photographer coming here to take pictures of Yuuya-kun makes me even more nervous.”
In this table tennis tournament, other than Shingo-kun, the rest of my classmates weren’t those who were good at sports like Ryo, but rather more of the indoor type boys like Shingo-kun.
I, myself, didn’t often go outside before I started going to another world, and it’s a little comforting to see that many of them are the same type as me. They thought I was going to participate in football and basketball, and the entertainment agency’s staff was going to be there, so they thought the photographers wouldn’t come here.
Was it annoying? That’s what I thought, but everyone was very positive about it, and I’m very grateful.
There are two different types of table tennis tournaments: doubles, and singles. I will participate in the singles tournament, and Shingo-kun will participate in the doubles tournament.
After a little while, the fixture list was posted, and I went to check it. When Shingo-kun saw the list, his expression grew cloudy.
“Uwahh… My first opponent is a student from P.E. class, huh…”
“Ah… there was no physical education class or anything like that on the field trip the other day, so Yuuya-kun doesn’t know about it.”
When I tilted my head at the words I didn’t know, Shingo-kun explained to me gently.
To summarize the content of the explanation, it seems that apart from the “General Class” that Shingo-kun, I, and the others belong to, there is another class called “Physical Education Class” where students who are admitted through sports recommendations get together.
I didn’t know about this class because I never met them in school. After all, they were in a different school building, and they didn’t participate in the field trip we took part in.
However, it seems that this “Physical Education Class” took another special class instead of the field trip. It was called “Physical Education Class”, so I guess they were taking a special class that was tougher than our field trip, wasn’t it? Well, fortunately, I had some skills, so I didn’t have that much trouble with the field trip, but…
“I-I heard that Ryo-kun was supposed to be in P.E. class, but he wanted to focus on something other than sports, so he was put in the same general class as us.”
Ryo, you really do have the specs like the main protagonist of the story! Rather than the existence of another class, Ryo was more surprising to me.
“Ugh… I would hate to just lose the first game.”
Shingo-kun walked over to his doubles partner with grief on his shoulders. G-good luck. No, I’m worried about Shingo-kun, but I also have to think about my opponent, too, right? I haven’t even practiced table tennis in class, will I be able to do well?
I was getting anxious now, and before I knew it, it had come to my turn.
“Come on, let’s get some pictures!”
The photographer followed me around tightly. No, I can’t be natural in this situation!
“Um… could you please take a few more steps away…?”
“I can’t do that.”
Apparently, I don’t have the right of refusal. I give up and head to the assigned table tennis stand.
“Hoo? So you’re my opponent here, huh?”
There was a man with amazing muscles standing in front of me. He was dressed in a tight, short-sleeved, half-pants gym uniform, and looked taller than me, maybe around 190cm tall.
And most of all, he has a sharp and piercing face, like a certain sniper who doesn’t allow himself to stand behind. [T/n: sorry, I can’t get the reference for this.]
…Hmm? Huh? Is he really a high school student? He doesn’t look the same age as me at all!
While I was frozen in place by my unexpected opponent, the schoolboy opponent(?) snapped his fingers.
“Fufufu… can you keep up with this delicate technique of mine?”
By all accounts, he is far from delicate in appearance! If anything, I get the vibe that he’s going to say that power is everything!
I mean, why would there be a boy like this in table tennis! He doesn’t look like a table tennis player by any stretch of the imagination! I mean, isn’t there some sport that’s more appropriate for him?
…Doesn’t he belong to that “P.E. class” that Shingo-kun was talking about? I remembered that all of a sudden, but…
The boy in front of me methodically checks his racket to ensure that it’s in perfect condition, while I am getting even more anxious. Then he glances at the photographers.
“Fumu… it’s a little uncomfortable to have a match while feeling the strange stares, but…”
“Ah, I-I’m sorry.”
My classmates took it well, but the boy student in front of me seems to dislike it.
“What, don’t be so apologetic. Always perform your best in every situation; that’s what being a professional is all about.”
He doesn’t look like a high schooler… Maybe he’s a famous player that I just don’t know about. But if anything, he’s got the dignity of a professional background.
“Hmm? H-he is! Isn’t he the “Sniper?” one of the nation’s regulars?”
“Wha-what!? That “Sniper” who always hits that exact spot?”
“Speaking of which, he was also a student at Ousei Gakuen, huh…”
“He’s so unlucky… to have his first match against the sniper.”
No, wait, he’s really famous! And they even call him “Sniper”? What a perfect fit!
But… sure, as the staff says, I’m not having any luck against such a famous player or anything like that. I don’t even practice table tennis in class, so will I be able to compete properly…?
As I was anxiously holding my racket in my hand, the umpire-sensei came over.
“Yes, let the match begin. Well then… begin!”
Then, my opponent took a low stance.
“Fuh… my serve is enough to beat you…!”
When he said that, he hit an amazingly spun serve! The ball spins like a bullet and comes towards me.
“W-what a serve!”
“He’s aiming right at the corner of the opponent’s court…”
“Him being called the “Sniper” is not just for show… huh.”
Hey staff members, since when did you guys become a live reporter?
They are terrified of the skill my opponent possesses in disregarding their job of photographing. I wonder if that is okay?
Regardless, I focused on the ball that was coming towards me.
I was surprised by the momentum of the racket swing and the unusual rotation rate of the racket, but the moment I focused my attention on the ball he had hit, the ball suddenly seemed to move slowly to me. It had been moving at a normal speed, but now the ball and the movement around me appeared to be in slow motion.
However, I had a vague recollection of this phenomenon.
It also happened when I almost got hit by the male boxer model who came in late when I took photographs with Miu-san before. It seems that my body, which is getting used to the speed of fighting in the other world, doesn’t feel it’s fast anymore unless it is as fast as those monsters.
I still can’t get used to it, and I’m still confused, but if I just stood still like this, he would have scored a point, so I hit the ball back in exactly the same way he hit it.
The ball penetrated the table tennis table and went straight through the gym floor.
The teacher, the photographer, and I, too, stare at the table tennis table and floor, which have been struck out in silence.
“Sensei, I forfeit.”
I gently raised my hand.