Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
After that, the other classes that were watching our match declared an immediate withdrawal every time they faced our class, so we didn’t have to fight until the end to win… or rather, we did. To be honest, I can’t be honestly happy at all, but Rin and the others rejoiced because a win is still a win, and they comforted me, so my heart felt a little lighter. I’m really grateful.
And just as we won the volleyball tournament, the winners of other events were also decided, and it seemed that our class won the soccer tournament, too, although I couldn’t cheer for them in the end.
I didn’t do well in the table tennis tournament I participated in, but overall the other events did well, and Sawada-sensei was very happy. She really doesn’t try to hide her desire, does she?
As I walked around cheering for the other events, I noticed something noisy on the tennis court. When I looked closely, I saw people gathered around the tennis court, and I could even see some kind of stretcher-like object.
I’m not sure who it is or if it’s okay, but when I went to look at the center of the commotion.
The one in the middle of the commotion was, to my surprise, Kaori. Kaori was sitting there looking listless, and I couldn’t help but go up to her and ask her about it.
“What happened to you? It looks like a serious matter…”
“Um… I participated in this ball game in tennis doubles, and the person I was paired with earlier got injured and couldn’t continue the match…”
When I turned my gaze towards the stretcher, there was a male student there, groaning unconscious. From the look of him, he doesn’t seem to be seriously injured, but still, he was unconscious, so it’s difficult to continue, isn’t it?
“Then… what will you do? You’re still in the middle of the game, right?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t continue without a partner, so I have to forfeit here…”
I found myself opening my mouth to Kaori, who had a sad expression on her face.
“Well, then, I’ll join you. From the looks of it, it was a mixed-gender match, right?”
“Eh? Yes, that’s right, but… we are in a different class, and as expected…”
“Yeah, but at least your current opponent isn’t in my class. Besides, it seems that even if someone isn’t registered, they’re allowed to play… and if your original partner wakes up in the middle of the game, we can just switch again.”
I managed to convince Kaori, who looked somewhat apologetic, and the opposing team agreed, so I would participate in the tennis match as a limited Kaori pair.
“W-well then, Yuuya-san. Please!”
“Yeah, you can trust me.”
It seems that the match was resumed by a serve from Kaori, and while I was standing in a suitable position──.
I suddenly felt a chill and moved my head on the spot, and a tennis ball ran through the position where my head had been a moment ago with great force.
“I-I-I’m sorry, Yuuya-san! Are you okay?”
“I-I’m fine. Ahahaha…”
Wait a minute. Could it be that… this serve was the reason why Kaori’s partner was knocked out…? It was a small matter, but I was secretly glad that my otherworldly combat experience, intuition, and reflexes were put to good use. Or maybe I would have fallen prey to it, too.
After regaining her composure, Kaori carefully served again, and this time she managed to get into the opponent’s court.
However, the opponent returned the serve by aiming at Kaori instead of me.
It was a great strikeout, and sadly, it led to our opponent scoring.
“Ugh… I knew that I would just be a hindrance when it comes to sports…”
“I-it’s fine! Somehow… we will manage it…!”
Although I said so, the opponent will probably come after Kaori more aggressively from now on. That’s only natural since they are here to win.
Well, then, what should I do──?
Starting from Kaori’s serve again, this time, she entered the opponent’s court for the first time, and as expected, the opponent returned the shot close to Kaori.
As Kaori was swinging an empty air, I snatched up the ball from a rather tight position and returned it directly to the opponent’s court. Then, inevitably, Kaori and I are on one side, and the other side is empty, and of course, the opponent is going to aim at that point…
I used the leg strength that Usagi-san had taught me directly, moved in an instant on the court, and then returned the shot to my opponent. The photographers who were following me were surprised to see that scene.
“H-hey, hey… isn’t this Yuuya boy really crazy…?”
“Even when he followed up on the girl who swung and hit nothing but air was so incredible, but moving around the court in that split second was just…”
“And the ball is precisely aimed at the edge of the opponent’s court line; it’s sick.”
To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to the photographers’ situation because it was now just me versus my opponent’s team. Nevertheless, I managed to keep my strength in check, and while keeping up with Kaori, I kept gaining points, and finally, we reached the point where the game was match point.
And as we continued to rally again, my opponent made a mistake and launched the ball high. The ball was now on top of Kaori, and she was full of enthusiasm as she readied her racket.
“This time, I’m going to be useful too…!”
With that enthusiasm, Kaori aimed at the ball and swung her racket down with vigor.
Unfortunately, Kaori’s racket sliced through the air without hitting the ball, and not only Kaori and the photographers, but also the president of the agency and the students around her who were watching the event, were shouting at the scene.
I ran to help Kaori out from behind and swung my racket at the ball that bounced up to the highest point in the air. And my racket caught the ball firmly and hit the ball cleanly through the middle of the opponent’s team.
Then Kaori, who had just flailed before, almost fell over with the momentum, and I moved to Kaori’s side as soon as I landed and held her.
“Are you okay?”
“Yu-Yuuya-san… uh, thank you very much.”
I’m glad that Kaori managed to remain uninjured.
“Did you get that!? You got it, didn’t you!?”
“Alright, alright, alriigghhtt! Now that is perfect!”
Just then, the president was talking to the photographers with some kind of excitement, but well, it’s none of my business. Anyway, the one pitch I just made was the final score, and we were able to win the game successfully.
“Ugh… in the end, I could only be a hindrance for Yuuya-san…”
“I-I don’t think so, but…”
I tried to comfort the depressed Kaori somehow, but no matter what I said to her, she just shook her head.
──After that game, her partner woke up safely and went to the next game, but her partner fainted on Kaori’s serve again. And I couldn’t bother them anymore, so, unfortunately, she had to forfeit the game… I don’t know what the right thing to say to her would be.
But the fact that her serve gave me chills even though I’m supposed to have evolved, let alone leveled up, in another world must be honestly amazing. While I was seriously unsure of what to say to her, the smiling-faced president and the photographer approached me, as if they had gotten a good picture.
“Yuuya-kun. That was a great game earlier! Besides, we also took a good shot of the scene where Yuuya-kun held Kaori-san in your arms earlier!”
Apparently, what she was discussing with the photographers earlier was about the scene where I held Kaori in my arms. I didn’t particularly care for it at the time, but now that I think about it, I did something incredibly daring, I…! I’m so embarrassed now!
“Ugh… I was only a hindrance from start to finish…”
To Kaori, who was depressed, the president made an “I got an idea” expression on her face.
“Ah, right! Kaori-san, if you don’t mind, would you like to take a picture with Yuuya-kun?”
“Eh… what? Are you sure about that?”
“Of course! The two of you looked so good together in that scene earlier, and I just need a few more pictures of you two. Yuuya-kun would be fine too, right?”
“Huh? Eh, yeah. I’m fine, but…”
“By all means, please do so!”
Kaori’s expression brightened at once, to the point where the depression she had felt earlier went away. No, is it really okay? And under the instructions of the president, Kaori and I line up next to each other.
“Look, Yuuya-kun. Don’t be so distant, come closer to each other.”
“Eh, more than this?”
“I don’t mean you have to embrace each other, just come closer, okay?”
The president says so, but Kaori and I are already close enough to touch each other’s shoulders…
When I looked to the side, I saw Kaori’s eyes met with mine, and we both blushed and looked away involuntarily.
“Geez, your innocent looks are dazzling for an old lady like me. But I don’t need that innocence right now, so make sure you have a smile on your face.”
“I-it’s impossible.” Kaori and I looked at each other as we blurted out the same line at the exact same time.
“Now is the chance! Shutter, please!!!”
The moment we laughed, it was truly a professional photographer. They were able to capture those smiles without missing a beat.
After the ball game was over without any problems, everyone finished changing out of their P.E. clothes and were about to go home when I saw Kaori standing near the school gate.
“Huh? Kaori, what’s going on?”
Kaori stammered while blushing a little, and eventually opened her mouth with a look of determination.
“Yu-Yuuya-san! Would you like to walk home with me?”
“Hmm? Okay, but… what’s going on?”
“Um… I’m sorry for the trouble I caused you today, and more importantly, I’m really happy that you helped me out of a difficult situation. So, to thank you for that, why don’t we stop somewhere on the way home?”
Apparently, Kaori is going to thank me for today’s ball game tournament.
“Oh no, you didn’t have to worry about that.”
“No! I’ve been helped by Yuuya-san many times. Of course, I don’t think I can repay you for all of that with this short detour, but still…”
“Well, since you’re saying that much, I guess I should go for it.”
Kaori’s eyes sparkled with joy at my words. It’s a good thing that she’s this happy, to be honest.
“Well, just being with Kaori is more than enough for me, and that is worth it.”
I’ve never had a friend before, so it’s a real pleasure to be invited to hang out with her like this, and it’s a precious time for me.
…I want to have fun with everyone again next time. While thinking like that, Kaori, who froze with a red face for some reason, opened her mouth with a determined look.
“Yu-Yuuya-san! Um… could you please shut your eyes?”
I’m not sure, but Kaori says that with a serious expression, so I honestly shut my eyes. Then, for a moment, a pleasant scent tickled my nose, and I felt as if something really faintly touched my cheek, opposite to the cheek that was kissed by Luna some time ago.
When I open my eyes, I see Kaori’s cheeks are even redder than before.
“That, what is that exactly?”
“It’s a secret.”
While I tilted my head, Kaori smiled somewhat mischievously and in a charming way.