sunnyskies: (Default)
Tree ([personal profile] sunnyskies) wrote2013-08-13 08:16 pm

High Speed! Chapter Four

A quick note, because I've gotten a couple of questions about it: I include a link at the bottom of every post with a link to the site where I downloaded the raws of the novel. If you scroll aaaalll the way down, it's the very last thing in each post! Please let me know if the link/download breaks, and I will upload it elsewhere myself.

With that out of the way, have another chapter to hold you over for the last couple of hours before we finally find out what happened to Rei and Makoto. (Don't worry, this chapter is happier than the last one.)

Chapter Four: Relay

A freezing wind was blowing along the road to the school again in the morning. Rin was running by himself down the road where everyone was hunching their shoulders and walking with their faces turned downward. He passed by the other children as they exhaled their white breaths into the air, sometimes almost seeming as if he was going to run into them.

The poplar-lined street didn't lead to the swim club, so it wasn't the best choice for running. During the time when everyone was commuting to school, there were too many people on the road, and he couldn't run like he wanted to. Therefore, there wasn't much meaning in Rin running here, and it couldn't even be said that he wasn't a bit of a nuisance to the people around him.

Ahead of where Rin was running, a brown-tinted white scarf was waving in the wind. Rin raised his pace a little bit and caught up to the scarf, his breath coming out in white puffs as his feet stopped moving.

"Good morning, Yazaki-san."

A smile was blooming on Aki's face today, too, as she turned around. Rin wondered if she just always walked around with a smile on her face.

"Good morning, Matsuoka-kun. Did you run here?"

"Yeah, it's sort of like training." To illustrate this, Rin puffed out a few more white breaths.

"Ah, that's amazing. But running in a place like this is sort of dangerous."

Rin breathed the puffs of white back in. "Yeah, but I'm careful when I run, so…"

Aki's scarf fluttered in the breeze, brushing against Rin's cheek. The scarf which remained stained even though it had been washed… Rin didn't know why Haruka had climbed down the bank to pick up that scarf. At this point, he had no intention of asking, in the same way that he didn't intend to pursue the reason that Makoto had been trembling.

And so, Rin didn't even think of asking Aki why she was still wearing that brown-tinted scarf. "I'm sorry I asked you to do something unreasonable yesterday."

As Rin said this, Aki shook her head slightly. "Not at all. I think it's a good idea for Nanase-kun to swim in the relay, too."

"Oh? Why's that?"

Aki cast her eyes downward at Rin's straightforward question, still smiling. Then she raised her gaze slowly, looking somewhere far away. "Nanase-kun seems like he can do anything all by himself, doesn't he? He's good at studying and sports and even art. He really can do anything, right? That's why everyone relies on him, but it would really be something for Nanase-kun to rely on anyone, wouldn't it?"

Rin certainly thought this was true. He had only just transferred, but the image that Rin had of Haruka was exactly that. But even if Haruka didn't have the will to go out and get involved with other people on his own, it wasn't like he was completely isolated. On the contrary, he was considered the most reliable person in their class, and when people relied on him, he always did his best to meet their expectations. This was the strange balance that people around Haruka had to maintain.

"I think Nanase-kun is a kind person. He probably holds back even when there are things that he really wants to say because he doesn't want to make people worry too much, don't you think? I'm sure he doesn't mean to hurt anyone or push anyone away. But I think it's not good for him to think that way so much. I think he needs to learn to be more assertive." Aki turned to Rin, looking as though she wanted to hear what he thought.

Honestly, Rin had never thought of just going along with Haruka's personality. He knew that Haruka didn't exactly have a happy-go-lucky disposition, but what Rin was only concerned with was the fact that he wanted to swim in the relay with Haruka. "I was thinking the same thing. That guy has no sense of humor. He should learn by watching me, don't you think?" he joked lightly, being vague with his agreement.

Aki laughed a bit at his words. "It's true. Add the two of you together and divide by two, and it would be perfect."

"Are you saying I'm already too much by myself?"

Aki's meaningful laugh confirmed his words. "Oh, no, not at all. But I really do want to see Nanase-kun working together with all of you." She looked up at the sky. Wintry cirrus clouds were flowing across the expanse as though they had been drawn with pastels.

Haruka climbed down the stone steps at just the same time that Makoto was descending, too.

"Hey, I'm not too late, see?"

"Let's go."

Haruka and Makoto ran side by side, their breath puffing out white as they went.

When they neared the Mutsuki Bridge, Nagisa was waiting for them. Haruka met Nagisa's excited wave by raising his right hand a bit. Nagisa's gaze went past Haruka and Makoto, and he waved hugely at whoever was standing there, too. Without looking, Haruka knew. It had to be Rin. The approaching footsteps got progressively louder, and just before Haruka reached the bridge, they fell into step beside him.


In response to Rin's greeting, Haruka raised his hand fleetingly. It looked more like he was trying to tell Rin go away with his wave.

Nagisa came up to run beside Haruka. "Nanase-kun, today I'm going to keep up with you properly!"

"If you've been resting here, then it's not real training."

"Well, then, tomorrow I'll run in place while I wait for you." Whether he was serious or joking, it was such a Nagisa-like thing to say that it was almost laughable. Behind Haruka, Makoto and Rin had burst into laughter in his place. Haruka looked at Nagisa's puzzled face - it seemed like he had been serious.

"When I said I'd run in place, I meant I'd run really fast!"

The pair behind them laughed even harder. Rin's feet got tangled for a second, and he looked as if he was going to lose his balance.

"I'm going to leave you behind while you're talking." Haruka raised his speed a little bit. Was the wind blowing on the Mutsuki Bridge again today? Haruka forgot to think about it until he had already finished crossing.

Nagisa was earnestly trying to keep up with Haruka. If he kept up that pace, he wouldn't be able to run next to Haruka for the whole trip. That was how it had been yesterday. Nagisa's breath was coming short, and when Haruka saw him slow down a pace, he lightly turned his eyes downward. I guess that's as far as he goes.

A sigh mixed with Haruka's long breaths. Then, by just a tiny increment, Haruka let his pace slacken.

"Oh?" Rin said quietly. Haruka could almost hear him saying "You're so nice, Nanase," and he tsked inwardly. Nagisa caught up to him, smiling as if it hurt a bit. It looked like he'd lost the energy to keep talking.

When they reached Iwatobi SC, Nagisa's shoulders were shaking with his gasps.

"You did a good job," Rin said, lightly patting Nagisa on the back. Nagisa looked like he wanted to say something, but he was breathing too hard for his voice to work. Even so, by the time they had changed and headed out to the poolside, Nagisa had completely returned to his usual self.

"Matsuoka-kun, are you doing relay practice today?"

"Yeah." Rin replied as though he wasn't sure whether he wanted to or not. Even though he wanted to practice, they didn't have enough team members. Also, it had nothing to do with Nagisa.

"Fifth graders have time trials today. So, um, if - if - I place first in breaststroke, will you let me join your relay team?"

Rin took a long look at Nagisa's face. Where in his fragile body did Nagisa find a foundation for such confidence? Was I wrong? Is Nagisa different than I thought he was? Rin hadn't thought of him as anything more than the cute little-brother type. Until now, Rin hadn't felt even an atom of burning fighting spirit from Nagisa.

But when Rin thought about it, he had only been watching Nagisa for a month now. And really, when Rin had been in fifth grade, he'd been even more confident and audacious. He would have thought it was only natural to be chosen over the sixth-graders as a representative.

"Fine, but only if you place first." Rin made the promise lightly. There was almost no chance that Nagisa would fulfill the condition.

"Yes! Hey, listen, Nanase-kun, I'm going to try my absolute hardest!"

"That's good, do your best."

It was a vague answer, but it looked like that was enough to encourage Nagisa. It wasn't time for him to swim yet, so he was just being innocently joyful. Maybe I was overthinking things, Rin thought, getting caught up in laughter with him.

"Hey, Matsuoka-kun, is it okay to make that kind of promise to him?" Makoto whispered, sounding worried.

"Don't worry about it too much. Anyway, if he places first, then he places first, and it means he's got enough fighting potential that we can count on him." Rin had decided to discern Nagisa's true, hidden nature. He wanted to find out whether that frail chest really was filled with a burning, passionate heart. If Nagisa really wanted to swim in the medley relay, he had to at least have that, or he'd be in trouble.

"Not that, I mean about Haru. Nagisa seems to think that Haru is already on the team."

"It's the other way around. It's kind of unfair to Nagisa, but this is a little plan to get Nanase to swim in the relay." It was a slim hope, but it was the first step towards his goal. As far as Rin could see, Haruka didn't seem to be distancing himself from Nagisa quite as much. When he saw how happy Nagisa was at becoming a member of the team, while he himself was refusing to swim, how long would Haruka be able to stick to his opinion? If he felt even a little resistance to the idea of disappointing Nagisa, then the possibility was there. Just like when Haruka had let his pace slacken for Nagisa this morning.

It was shaky, about on a level with praying and waiting for a miracle, but it was a plan.

Fifth grade time trials were held in the twenty-five meter short course pool. They would compete by eights, in backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle, in the same format they would in a competition, and have their fifty-meter times taken.

Makoto had gotten the answer "I'll think about it" from Haruka, but he thought that there was still a bit of distance from that to "I'll swim." It wasn't that Nagisa wanted to compete in freestyle, he wanted to swim with Haruka. Haruka was in the swim club, so Nagisa had come to join, too. Haruka started running, so Nagisa started running with him. Haruka competed in freestyle, so Nagisa wanted to swim freestyle, too. He hadn't asked Nagisa about this, but it looked clear enough to Makoto. To do things in order, they'd need to get Haruka to properly join as a team member, and after that they could think about Nagisa… As Makoto was thinking about this, he watched the fifth grade time trials, where Nagisa was standing on the starting block. The second heat of breaststroke was about to start. Makoto wondered exactly how much energy was packed into that frame, which looked so small compared to the other fifth-graders.

Nagisa put his toes on the edge of the starting block and bent his body double. He placed his hands on the edge of the block, waiting for the signal.

"On your mark!"


The whistle sounded. All eight swimmers jumped at once. The point where Nagisa hit the water was closer to the blocks than the other competitors. A stroke, a kick. By the time Nagisa raised his head above the water's surface, he was third. He was about two heads behind the front swimmer. It couldn't be called a good position, but Nagisa wasn't rushing himself, and he didn't seem to be feeling any strain. On the contrary, he seemed to be swimming with an even more comfortable stroke than usual.

All of the competitors were breaststroke swimmers, like Nagisa, but they each had their own various rhythms and styles. There were those like Nagisa, with big strokes that moved a lot of water. There were those who accelerated by turning their arms faster than was usual. There were those who seemed especially strong, and those who cut through the water as sharp as knives.

By around the twenty-meter mark, Nagisa was gradually closing in on those ahead of him, and had even drawn level with the second-place swimmer, but after the turn, the other swimmer had pulled ahead again. Even so, Nagisa drew level with him once more, and maybe the other swimmer was too impatient, because his rhythm broke slightly. Just like that, he slipped back into third place.

With about ten meters remaining, Nagisa was slowly raising his pace again, until there was barely space between him and the front. Since the outcome was decided by a wall-touch, Makoto thought that Nagisa's taller opponent would have the advantage, but just then, right before the goal, Nagisa stretched out his hand. That hand touched the surface of the wall, and the victory was decided.

Nagisa raised his face from the water, looking around himself worriedly. Then the times and rankings were announced, and his expression changed completely. He raised his right fist high, jumping through the water to express his joy.

Makoto gave him a round of applause, and then waved excitedly at him in return. "That's amazing, Nagisa! You did it!" Makoto gave him a thumbs-up, sticking his hand out in front of him. Nagisa mimicked his gesture.

Rin was standing with his arms folded and his mouth half-open, looking a little dazed. "He seriously…did it," was what he finally said.

There was the sound of a splash from behind them, and when Makoto turned around, Haruka was swimming. Did he start swimming now because he had been watching Nagisa's time trial? Or was the timing a matter of chance? If asked, he probably wouldn't say, but if Haruka actually was worried about Nagisa, then it was something he'd never done before. Perhaps something inside of Haruka was subtly changing.

Without even trying to hold back the feelings welling up from within his heart, Makoto dove into the lane next to Haruka.

While Rin was in the shower, he called out to be heard in the stall next to him. "Nanase, what are you going to do?"

"About what?"

"About Nagisa. He seriously came in first."

"Looks that way." Haruka's voice was nearly a whisper, and was almost drowned out by the noise of the shower.

Feeling unsatisfied, Rin sounded a bit irritated as he raised his voice. "So, what are you going to do?"

Instead of an answer, he heard the sound of a shower curtain being opened. Rin blew out a long breath through his nose and scrubbed his head as if he were trying to tear his hair out.

When Haruka got to the locker room, Makoto and Nagisa were there ahead of him.

"Nanase-kun, did you see me?" Nagisa rushed over to him with so much energy that Haruka almost thought Nagisa was going to jump on him.

"Yeah, I saw."

At that answer, Nagisa smiled with his whole face. "You know, this is the first time I've placed first!"

"Is it?" It was Haruka's usual type of reply, one without any particular interest or disinterest. But Nagisa's smile made it clear that was enough for him.

When he saw that Rin had come out of the shower room, Nagisa returned to the main question. "So anyway, about your promise, Matsuoka-kun…" Nagisa's words trailed off shyly, and he looked up at Rin with those big, round eyes. Rin wasn't sure what the conversation had been about, but there was only one promise Nagisa could be referring to.

"Well, I did promise. You're a member of the relay team, too, Nagisa."

While Rin was still finishing his sentence, Nagisa had already turned back to Haruka. "I did it! I made it onto the same team as you, Nanase-kun!"

"Guess you did." Haruka's casual answer caught Makoto and Rin's ears. He said it so smoothly that it almost slipped past them.

Makoto's eyes opened wide and he looked at Haruka. "Haru, did you just--"

"Nanase, are you serious?" Rin's words drowned out Makoto's. He had to hear it again to be sure. "Are you really going to swim with us in the medley relay?"

"I was going to."

At Haruka's blunt answer, Rin couldn't hide his joy. "Yes! We did it, Tachibana!" He turned to Makoto in a victory pose, yelling with more enthusiasm than Nagisa.


"All right! From today onward, we're a team. Starting tomorrow, we're going to practice like crazy!"

Makoto and Nagisa nodded. Haruka just kept rubbing at his head with a towel.

"Oh, right, we should start calling each other by our first names. That'll make it feel more like we're comrades, don't you think? That means Nanase is Haru."

For a second, Haruka's hands paused in drying his head. He was hidden by the towel, so his face couldn't be seen. But he quickly returned to drying his hair.

"Tachibana will be called Makoto."

"Not very imaginative, huh?" Makoto raised his upturned eyebrows and laughed as if he were amused.

"Hey, what about me?"

"Nagisa, we'll just keep calling you Nagisa, like we always have. And you all can call me 'Leader'."

"Whaaaat?" Nagisa spoke up in a discontented voice. "That's not right. 'Leader' isn't a name at all!"

Makoto laughed, and Rin put both hands on his hips reprovingly. "Listen, the one called 'Leader' is the most important one on the team, who looks out for everybody and is sort of like the manager."

"Really? But 'Leader' still sounds weird. Wouldn't 'Rinrin' be better?"

"Uh…" Rin tensed up, his mouth still open. Makoto held his stomach and laughed, and even Haruka's back was shaking as he dried his head.

Nagisa pointed at Makoto and Haruka. "Also, Mako-chan and Haru-chan!"

Makoto stopped laughing, and Haruka dropped his towel on the floor.

"Tomorrow is going to be really fun! After all, relays are all about teamwork, aren't they? We'll all have to work hard together. Let's practice a lot!" An indescribable atmosphere hung over the changing room, and only Nagisa's voice rang out with springtime cheerfulness.

"Good morning, Nanase-kun!" As soon as Haruka entered the classroom, Aki's bright voice bounded into his ears.

"Hey." For the moment, he gave her the bare minimum answer.

"I heard you're swimming in the relay."

Haruka surveyed the classroom. Makoto hadn't come in yet. Rin was getting out his textbooks and notebooks with an expression of feigned ignorance. Haruka decided that Rin must be Aki's informant.

"More or less." Haruka tried to indicate that he wasn't completely positive, but it didn't seem to come across to Aki.

"Thank goodness! I really did think it would be good for you to swim in the relay, Nanase-kun. But I wasn't sure I said so clearly enough before, so I was worried."

You didn't have to worry. I'm surrounded by a bunch of other annoyingly meddlesome people, Haruka thought, but said something else. "How's your team?"

"Oh, it's going well. Our times are getting shorter every day, little by little."

Ultimately, that was what being in a relay meant. You couldn't swim just for yourself. You had to be concerned with things like winning and losing, responsibility, and teamwork. All of the things Haruka tried to avoid were packed into that list.

Until now, Haruka had swum to find a place under the water where he was free from obligation. But now, swimming in the relay was creating obligations for him even under the water.

"I can't wait to see Nanase-kun swimming with everyone! I definitely think your team will place first, Nanase-kun. You're all so fast!"

"It's not my team." Haruka paused for a moment to take a breath. Then he raised his voice so that Rin could hear. "Rinrin's the leader."

Rin's shoulders twitched. The whole class's gazes gathered on Rin, and after a second of silence, the laughter started. Even Aki couldn't withstand it, and burst out laughing.

Rin stood up and, squaring his shoulders, headed towards Haruka. Just as Haruka was wondering whether Rin was going to vent his agitation on him, Rin took a deep breath, regained his calm, and spoke in a voice that only Haruka and Aki could hear.

"You know, at my last school, I was always bullied and called 'Rin-chan'. I hated it so much that I transferred here, so I'm begging you. If I keep getting called 'Rinrin', I might have to transfer again."

Haruka hadn't known about any of that. He didn't have any interest in what Rin had done at his previous school. And anyway, this whole story about being bullied seemed fishy to him.

"I'm sorry." Aki apologized in place of Haruka.

"Wait, why are you apologizing, Yazaki-san?"

"Because I laughed. I didn't know anything about you being bullied…"

"That's right, I was too shy to say anything back to them, so the bullying just kept getting worse and worse. It was terrible."

"Oh, really?" Aki was listening, her face serious.

As if there's any way someone shy would call himself shy. This is beyond fishy; it's more like he's trying to get a laugh was all Haruka could think. But I'm not an easy enough mark to laugh at something like this.

Right at the point Haruka was thinking that this was so stupid he couldn't go along with it anymore, with perfect timing, Makoto walked into the classroom.

"Good morning, Haru, Zaki-chan, and, um, Rinrin, was it?"

"You shouldn't call him that!" Aki told Makoto, looking serious, before Rin had a chance to say anything.

"Oh, really? I thought we had decided on 'Rinrin' yesterday, but…"

"He said there was some bullying about names at his last school."

"Bullying? Who was bullied?"

"Matsuoka-kun, obviously!"

Makoto, the easy mark, raised his upturned eyebrows and laughed.

"Don't laugh!" Aki said it so seriously that Makoto resisted laughing any more.

"Sorry, sorry. But there's no one around here who would bully you for something like that, so you can relax." Just as Makoto said this, like a gong announcing the end of a boring match, the chimes rang to announce the start of class.

March came, and the days grew warmer, the tiny buds on the trees blew in the wind, and little by little, the birds' calls grew more energetic. The wind was blowing over the Mutsuki Bridge again today, but it had lost its winter harshness.

The breaths that Haruka and Makoto exhaled were no longer white. They were invisible and warm, melting into the wind. Rin was catching up behind Haruka, and at about the same time, Nagisa was coming forward to meet him.

"I wasn't resting, you know. I was running in place the whole time." Nagisa was breathing quite hard.

Rin's breaths aligned with Nagisa's. "You know, you say the same thing every day."

"Well, I run in place every day."

Rin seemed somehow irritated today, to the point that he got caught up in Nagisa's insignificant comments.

"Rinrin, you say the same things every day, too. Like about how we're a team…"

Before Nagisa had finished speaking, Rin cut him off. "Come on, Nagisa. My name is 'Rin.' It's definitely not 'Rinrin'."

"What, really? You mean, that complicated character isn't read as 'Rinrin'? Oh, well. It's fine."

"What is?"

"It's fine if I keep calling him 'Rinrin', right?" Nagisa wasn't asking Rin, he was looking to Haruka for approval.

"It's okay with me."

"Haru, you…!"

Makoto interrupted Rin, who looked like he was about to snap at Haruka. "That's no good, Nagisa. If you keep calling him 'Rinrin', he'll have to transfer again."

"In that case, 'Rin-chan' is fine, right? Geez, so demanding."

Just as Rin was about to say something to Nagisa, Haruka sped up. "I'm going to leave you behind while you're talking."

Makoto pushed Nagisa's back lightly. "Nagisa, don't slow down."

The warm breath of the four boys ran through the air over the riverbank in the approaching spring.

In the beginning, Nagisa's breath would be ragged by the time they reached the changing room, but nowadays he was completely fine. Maybe he's getting used to running. As Haruka was thinking about this, Rin, who had already finished changing, put his hands on his hips and abruptly raised his voice.

"Everybody, listen up!"

We can hear you even if you don't yell so loud. What are you so fired up about? Haruka didn't put the thought into words, but complained with his gaze instead. It didn't look like it got through to Rin, though. He just kept talking loudly.

"I'm sure you all know that the meet is getting close. So I was thinking, we should change up our practice methods."

"How should we change them?" Makoto asked, putting on his cap.

"I was thinking we could make relays the center--or really, make our practice all about relays."

"Yes!" Nagisa immediately threw both his hands in the air in celebration. Ever since he had become a member of the team, Nagisa had been looking forward to relay training. Everything seemed to be working out in his favor.

In contrast, Makoto looked worried. "What should we do about our other practice?"

"We won't."

"We won't…? You mean…"

"I want us to concentrate on just relay training."

Rin's enthusiastic gaze met Makoto's bewildered one. "But we have to practice, or we won't swim well at the meet."

"The other races…" Rin paused to look at Makoto, then at Haruka. "…We won't swim them."

Silence filled the locker room, the tension piling up and building. In the midst of the oppressive atmosphere, Haruka's words drifted, not yelling or attacking, as if he were simply talking to himself. "Who decided that?"

"No one has. It's being decided right now. I'm not entering any events other than the relay, so I wanted everyone else to do the same. I feel like if you don't, if you won't go that far, we can't win."

Haruka slammed the door of his locker closed with a sound that echoed and hurt everyone's ears. "Who are we supposed to beat? What are their times? Why do we just have to go along with whatever you say?"

"Haru!" Makoto cut in when Haruka paused.

Good timing, Haruka thought. He didn't intend to argue with Rin anymore, and on top of that, he didn't intend to go along with Rin's way of doing things anymore, either. It was troublesome to be dragged around and to have Rin being stubborn. Haruka was going to do what he wanted. He felt that he had communicated all of these things well enough. That was why he felt that Makoto's interruption was well-timed.

I want to hurry and go somewhere where Rin's enthusiasm can't reach. I want to hurry and sink into the water. Haruka turned his face to the side and fell silent.

Makoto spoke up with a question. "Haru, we're on the same team for the relay. That isn't going to change, right?"

Haruka had no intention of resigning. He hadn't made the decision frivolously. He meant to see it through to the end. Those feelings wouldn't change, and he didn't intend to change them.

While Haruka was still looking to the side silently, Makoto let out a small breath and turned back to Rin. "Why are you so hung up on the relay? If you have some kind of reason, you should tell us."

Rin's resolve didn't waver at all. With his hands still on his hips, he looked past Makoto at Haruka. He had probably been prepared for some dissent. That was probably the reason why he was so firmly resolved. "I'm not gonna force anyone. But if you really want to win in the relay, you've got to do at least that much. Since I've decided to do this, I want to be the absolute victor. That's my reason."

Words like winning and victory, which never entered into Haruka's reasons for doing things, were coming out of Rin's mouth. I won't swim for things like that. But Haruka kept quiet, because he didn't want to be asked Well, then, why do you swim? in return.

Makoto drew his upturned eyebrows together, looking confused. "Hold on a minute. I want to win, too, but practicing for only the relay is, well… I wanted enter breaststroke events, and compete in freestyle, too."

At the last meet, Makoto had competed and won in the hundred-meter breaststroke. Rin had won the fifty-meter in both the breaststroke and freestyle events. But now Rin was talking about focusing on the relay, throwing away other events where he was favored to win. In the face of such an incomprehensible proposal, it would be stranger not to be confused.

"Can we have some time to think it over? And for today at least, can we practice like we normally do?" Makoto asked.

Rin let his hands fall from his hips and his face returned to its usual smile. His determined attitude melted away along with the breath he let out, disappearing from the locker room. "Sorry for bringing something like that up all of a sudden. You guys can decide what to do for yourselves, of course, and I won't complain. But this is how I feel, and I wanted you to at least understand that."

Makoto nodded, and Nagisa, who had been silent up until then, looked up at Rin. "I'm gonna practice for the relay with you, Rin-chan. And I'm only gonna enter the relay, too!"

Rin smiled broadly. Whatever his reasons, Nagisa had accepted Rin's selfish proposal. "Thanks, Nagisa. But my practices are gonna be really tough."

"That's fine, because I'm number one out of all the fifth-graders!" Nagisa said, his chest puffed out with pride, and Rin spoke up to motivate him.

"All right! Let's hurry up and practice, then!" Rin snapped the strap of his goggles into place, and Nagisa imitated him.


Watching their backs as the two of them headed to the pool, Haruka felt like he was lost in a deep fog. It was as if he couldn't see what had just happened. He had wanted to pass on getting wrapped up in anything. Even so, it looked like he was already completely immersed. Every time he resolved not to be jerked around anymore, the fog just became deeper and thicker.


Back to Chapter 3 | Forward to Chapter 5

I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Please let me know if I've missed any typos or other weirdness :)

Translated from raws downloaded at this post.
cpup: (Default)

By The Way

[personal profile] cpup 2013-08-14 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Can You Please Re Link The Link Again Thank You. Also Thanks So Much I See Your Adding More Pics :D.
inklid: (Default)

[personal profile] inklid 2013-08-14 06:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I want to thank you for your wonderful translations! :) They are flawless and read perfectly, so you should be proud! ^-^

And you're not taking a long time at all! The fact that you manage to get these out in just under a week is amazing :o

By the way, are you going to do Chapter 7 in two parts? I know they did it with the summaries, although I haven't read them :$

summerbutterfly: (muffin)

[personal profile] summerbutterfly 2013-08-15 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this!

Unrelated to anything but my own nerdiness: How did I completely miss that Rin swam breaststroke and not butterfly as an individual event? Ugh, he's a little swimmer after my own heart. SWIM ALL OF THE THINGS, RIN! ♥
summerbutterfly: (luv me moar)

[personal profile] summerbutterfly 2013-08-16 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
Ooooooh. Thank you so much! (I love finding other ex-swimmers that are into Free!)
lishypo: (Default)

[personal profile] lishypo 2013-08-16 12:42 am (UTC)(link)
These make my day, and lately I've really needed that. So thank you so much for taking the time to translate and post these wonderful translations. :)
boomshakalaka: (Default)

[personal profile] boomshakalaka 2013-08-16 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
this chapter was so cute. thank you so much for translating!
cenedra: (Default)

[personal profile] cenedra 2013-08-17 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for translating this! I understand Japanese, but my kanji knowledge isn't enough for me to read the original comfortably so, really, thank you :)

[personal profile] chicory 2013-10-21 09:38 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the translation!

There was one tiny mistake; "Rin blew out a long breath though his nose--"

"Rin blew out a long breath through his nose--"

Otherwise, you did a lovely job again :)
arashinoookami: Made by LJ user kiokushitakaa (Default)

[personal profile] arashinoookami 2014-02-01 09:23 am (UTC)(link)