sunnyskies: (Default)
Tree ([personal profile] sunnyskies) wrote2013-07-23 09:00 pm

High Speed! Chapter One

Here it is, as promised! I know there's a couple of people doing summaries, but this is just a straight-up translation. I figured, since I have a lot of time on my hands right now (and I want to get better at Japanese), why not go all the way?

Without further ado, High Speed! by Ohji Kouji.

Chapter One: Swim

The water is alive. Even at times when the water's surface stretches out in silence, when not even faint ripples can be seen, it is just holding its breath, as if waiting for its prey. And, if you were to jump in, with a momentary spray of droplets, it will instantly bare its fangs and attack. It will wrap itself around your body, trying to steal the freedom from your limbs. The more you struggle, the more heavily and persistently it will coil itself, and before long, all your strength will be exhausted.

However, if you adjust your position without struggling, the water will become calm. From there, push your fingertips to the space at the water's surface and create an opening, then slowly slide your body forward - your arms, your head, your chest, your stomach, and your legs.

Do not reject the water, accept it. Do not deny the water, acknowledge its existence. The important thing is to take in the water; to feel it with your skin, your eyes, your soul. Not doubting the things that you feel. Believing in yourself.


Haruka put his hand on the wall of the pool and lifted his face out of the water. Even though he had just swum the thousand-meter crawl, he wasn't at all out of breath. When he got his goggles off, there was a hand being held out in front of him. His eyes followed the arm up. A boy named Makoto was looking down at Haruka with a friendly smile.

For a sixth grader, Makoto was a good bit larger than average. He had broad, solidly built shoulders, and riding just above them, a face young enough that it looked out of balance with the rest of him. He also had kind-looking, upturned eyebrows. That was Tachibana Makoto.

Haruka took his hand, and was pulled out of the pool with an amount of strength that was surprising coming from that smiling face with its upturned eyebrows.

"You swim as gracefully as ever. It's like you're a dolphin, Haru-chan."

"I think it's about time you stopped putting '-chan' on my name."

He didn't have Makoto's height, but his slender, tense body gave off a sense of energy that didn't seem to come from his muscularity. Also, there was a look in his eye that somehow made him appear fast. That was Nanase Haruka.

The two of them had been going to the Iwatobi Swim Club for three years already. It had originally been Makoto's suggestion, and Haruka just went along with it; even now, he still felt that way.

The only things they had in common were that they went to the same school and were members of the same swim club. And one other thing - they both had girly names.

Makoto didn't mind much, but Haruka was stuck on that last point. He hated being teased about his name more than anything, and whenever he could, he only used his surname in public. Even so, at times when he absolutely had to say his first name, he was in the habit of looking fixedly to the side and whispering it as quietly as he could. Whenever he saw that happen, Makoto would look amused.

"I get it. So, are you already done for the day, Haru?"

That was what Makoto, who had called him "Haru-chan" since kindergarten, decided to call him. With just that change of name, it felt like their relationship changed, too.

"I told you, you don't need to put my name at the end of every sentence. And call me by my last name." Though he wasn't angry, he spoke curtly, in a commanding tone. It was how he always was.

Without seeming bothered at all, Makoto just kept smiling and replied, "Haru, you call me 'Makoto', don't you? Should I call you 'Haruka', then?"

Haruka shrugged his shoulders at the unfamiliar form of address. "If you call me that, I won't talk to you anymore."

"Well, then, I'll definitely go with 'Haru'."

It always ended up that way. No matter how loudly Haruka tried to talk over him, no matter how hard Haruka tried to resist, in the end things would eventually go Makoto's way. At times like these, Haruka would shut his mouth and look to the side. Talking about it any more would be annoying, but on the other hand, there was no way he was going to just give in completely, either. In Haruka's case, he showed that with his behavior, by silently looking away.

Makoto settled his goggles into place as he stood on the starting block, and then, in a flash, he jumped in. Water splashed everywhere. Unlike Haruka, he forced his way through the water with an almost violent stroke and a thrashing kick. He was like an orca ferociously pursuing its prey.

Without waiting to watch Makoto reach the wall fifty meters away, Haruka headed to the shower room. I want to hurry and wash off this pool water that's gotten all lukewarm because of Makoto. Thinking only that, he roughly stripped off his cap.



A northerly wind blew, making the poplar branches rustle. There were no leaves left to fall, and the trees trembled like the voice of an old man asking for forgiveness.

In front of Iwatobi Elementary School's main entrance, a broad, two-lane street narrowed into a poplar-lined road where there wasn't even enough room for cars to pass each other, and continued at that width until the next intersection. Because there wasn't much to block it, in the winter there was no choice but to walk with the wind in your face. The children who went there would determinedly hunch their shoulders and close their mouths tightly against the cold.

It was in this season, just as the new year began, that Matsuoka Rin transferred into the school.

"My name is Matsuoka Rin. I came here from Sano Elementary School. I have a girly name, but I'm definitely a guy! I hope we all get along."

The classroom fell suddenly silent. Maybe they're nervous, being faced with a new classmate. Or maybe the class is full of habitually quiet honor students. But he didn't have long to think that, as the silence quickly turned to chatter. Well, I'm an out-of-season transfer student, since I came in January of sixth year, and on top of that, I have a girly name, so their reaction is only natural. While Rin was thinking that and looking out over the classroom, one of the boys stood up.

"Matsuoka-kun!" It was Tachibana Makoto. He was looking at Rin happily, with a friendly smile on his face.

Rin had already known that he went to this school, but… "…Tachibana-kun? I didn't know you were in this class."

"Yeah, I am. Haru-cha--I mean, Haru is with us, too." Makoto turned his head to look to the side. In the spot he was looking at, Haruka sat, staring at Rin just as expressionlessly as ever.

"I see…Nanase-kun is here, too." Nanase Haruka. Acting just as unsociable as always. I knew he went here, too, but I didn't think we'd be in the same class.

The three of them had several things in common. They were all sixth graders, they were all swimmers, and they all had girly names. And now, being in the same class was added to that list. The class started chattering once again, wondering how the three of them knew each other. This mystery became the subject of their curiosity and drew everyone's interest.

At recess, it wasn't an uncommon sight to see classmates gathered around the transfer student. In a way, you could say that was a transfer student's fate - to be met with a barrage of questions, to be pumped thoroughly for information, to be laid completely bare. To be made to talk about things that even close friends don't know each other well enough to want to talk about. Even so, in order to do well as a transfer student, the first impression is very important. No matter what the question, it must be answered clearly, with a smile.

However, as you might expect, by the end of the third break time, Rin was finally beginning to get tired. So, when afternoon break came around, he lined up with the others who had finished eating. Well, time to go start the second half of today.

Just as he was taking a deep breath to prepare himself, someone put their hand on Rin's shoulder. Though there wasn't much strength in it, he could feel a strong energy from the hand, and he frowned a little. Even without turning, he knew. It was Haruka. He couldn't think of anyone else in their class who would do that.

"Come with me for a second." Without saying anything else, Haruka started walking ahead by himself.

Rin watched him go and took in a breath, shocked by Haruka's pushiness. For a moment, he wanted to throw his arms out like a foreigner, but then he thought, That kind of affected pose wouldn't suit a transfer student, would it, so he didn't. While he was watching Haruka's back, wondering what to do, someone unexpectedly gave him a gentle push from behind, and he stumbled forward a bit.

"What are you doing? You're being left behind." Makoto's smile passed by on Rin's side.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm going."

Rin felt someone's gaze on him and looked around to see that the whole class was watching the three of them with eyes full of curiosity. It's a good thing I didn't take that completely ridiculous pose, he thought. Then, as if running away from their gazes, Rin hurried after Makoto.



Haruka's steps stopped between the school building and the pool. Above them, the branches of a large cherry tree spread without leaves or flowers, filled instead with the cold of winter. Almost as if it was looking for something, it faced toward the distant sky and stretched with all of its might. The cherry tree had been there since long before the school had been built.

Rin spoke up, his voice out of tune with the mood. "Whoa, that tree's amazing! Is it a cherry tree or something?"

It's a cherry tree, Haruka thought, but didn't say.

"It's a cherry tree," Makoto said, laughing because he understood what Haruka was thinking.

Rin put his hand on the trunk of the cherry tree and looked up at the sky through a gap in the complex tangle of branches. "Hey, when it's spring, and the cherry blossoms fall, a lot will drop into that pool, huh?"

Haruka and Makoto looked toward the pool. Since no maintenance had been done, the dead leaves that had fallen were scattered all over it.

"I want to try swimming like that sometime, in a pool full of cherry blossoms." Rin said, sounding strangely emotional.

Makoto took a long look at the face he was making. "At that time of year, the water would still be cold, so you wouldn't be able to. I really think it's better to swim in the summer."

Haruka was shocked. "You plan to still be here next year?" His voice mingled with the sound of the branches crying in the north wind, which drowned him out.

Rin took his hand off the cherry tree and put it into his pocket. "What's the idea, calling me out to a place like this? Do you prank the transfer student on the first day, or something?" As he said it, Rin started laughing, as if he found the idea funny. Caught up in his amusement, Makoto laughed, too.

Haruka looked on with cold eyes, and Makoto lightly cleared his throat and turned back to Rin. "No, Matsuoka-kun. Jokes aside, there's something we want to ask you."

Before Makoto had finished what he was saying, Rin interrupted him. "It was a coincidence, seriously, a coincidence. When we moved, I happened to end up at this school. I was surprised, too! I never thought I'd end up in the same class as you guys. It's a pretty freaky coincidence, huh?"

They had met Rin several times before at town swim meets. That was their only connection. They weren't what you'd call especially close; they'd barely even had a normal conversation.



It happened last March. The first one to come and talk to the others was Rin.

"You're fast. Are you really a grade-schooler?"

It wasn't clear whether he was talking to Haruka or Makoto, but either way, it was Makoto who answered in that instance. "You're Matsuoka-kun from Sano SC, aren't you?"

He remembered that Rin had looked really happy when he heard that. "Ah, you knew!"

It was the first time they had participated in a town swim meet. Haruka had won in the hundred meter freestyle, and Makoto had won in the hundred meter breaststroke, but in the fifty meter races, both wins were taken by Sano SC. By Sano SC's Rin, specifically.

"They only had long course today, but if they had short course, I bet I could have won the hundred meter, too."

He didn't sound like he was being a sore loser or like he was trying to be tough. They thought he was probably right. Both Haruka and Makoto had yielded to Rin at the start. They had only overtaken him at around seventy meters - in other words, after they had made the turn.

Though Haruka had won, he wasn't particularly happy. He didn't care about winning or losing. He had never once swum for the sake of winning. He just felt strangely irritated at the discrepancy between their starts.

When Haruka had overtaken Rin and reached the goal, Makoto was as happy for him as he had been for himself. "Congratulations! It's great that you won!"

As if you didn't just win yourself, Haruka thought, but instead said something else. "Who's that?" He pointed at Rin, who was lying sprawled out by the poolside.

"They called him Matsuoka-kun, from Sano SC."

It wasn't a name that he'd known before, but now that he knew it, it didn't make much difference. Haruka just wanted to remember him: the opponent who had annoyed him so. The way he looked, lying there with his goggles still on, chest heaving. I wonder if he's crying. That was what Haruka was thinking when Rin disappeared from sight for a moment, and then Haruka turned away. It was after this that Rin had come to talk to them. They only spoke for the short time until the awards ceremony.

"I've got to work on my strength some more, too." Rin was about the same height as Haruka, but had achieved very good balance; indeed, you could say that his physique was well-suited to competitive swimming.

"I don't think it's just about strength, though," Haruka said. He had never once swum a race relying on strength alone.

As always, it fell to Makoto to follow up on his comment. "Matsuoka-kun, your underwater kick off your start was amazing. I was surprised that you could fly through the water like that!"

Suddenly, someone called out to Rin from a ways off. "Hey, Rin! The awards ceremony is about to start!"

"I got it, Sousuke! I'll be there in a second!" Rin answered, then turned back to Haruka and Makoto. "I won't lose next time. Let's swim together again, yeah?" He waved easily as he left.

"We'll work hard so that we don't lose to you, either!" Makoto returned with a grin. "Ah, look, look, the awards ceremony is starting!" He pushed on Haruka's back as he said this.

That was how they had met Rin. Since then, they'd seen him at nearly every meet they'd gone to.



The cherry tree's branches were tossed by a sudden gust of wind, and they bent with a great groan. Dust was kicked up, and all three boys reflexively closed their eyes. For just a moment, an incredibly strong whirlwind blew past them. The dusty wind roared off toward the schoolyard, swirling left and right, running riot as it pleased.

Rin stared after the wind, spitting out some dirt. "What the heck is with the wind today? Ugh, I've got sand in my mouth. Is the wind always like that around here?" He spat again.

"It definitely doesn't usually gust like that. I thought we were going to be blown away! Come on, let's go back into the school, Haru." Before he had even finished speaking, Makoto had turned his steps toward the school building. The other children who had been playing in the yard were also running back toward the school as if they were being chased by the wind.

It wasn't as if Haruka had brought Rin here to show him the cherry tree. He still hadn't asked Rin anything, or figured anything out. Did I get cheated by the wind? he thought, feeling frustrated. He still didn't know whether Rin's transfer was just a coincidence. However, it was easy for Haruka to guess that it was going to affect both himself and Makoto in some way. However it affected them, it was going to be troublesome.

Haruka would pass on getting wrapped up in it. That was why he had called Rin out here, intending to warn him away, but he felt like pursuing the matter any further would just be a bother. The more he obsessed about it, the further he'd get drawn in, anyway.

Turning his gaze away from Rin, who was running off toward the school building, Haruka looked up just once at the wind-tossed branches of the cherry tree.

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Back to art translations | Forward to Chapter 2


Chapter two is about twice as long this one, and I translate sort of slowly, so I was thinking of splitting it up into parts so that I could get it posted a bit faster. If anyone has an opinion either way on that, let me know!

Please also tell me if there's anything that sounds awkward or that is incorrect in my translation, because I admit I'm not exactly fluent in Japanese, and I'm always trying to improve! Concrit is welcome. :)

Translated from raws downloaded at this post.
yuki013: (reinagisa)

[personal profile] yuki013 2013-07-25 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
I was waiting for someone who could properly translate this! I've read summaries but I think a translation is way more accurate. Very good work in my honest opinion, even if I don't know Japanese.
I also would like to ask, may I translate this in my mother tongue? I'm Italian and the fandom here is growing up very quickly, so I'd like to work on this novel. I'd credit you of course, it goes without saying. Just let me know if I can.
I already can't wait for the next chapters! Bye ^^

Me too!

[personal profile] kobaltaoi - 2013-08-29 22:30 (UTC) - Expand

Thank you so much!

[personal profile] denayaira 2013-07-25 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
I mean, whoa, I've been holding myself from reading the summaries since I'd prefer to get into the details, and then, here you come!

I don't know any Japanese (and still struggling with my English too, pffft) but so far this translation is better than the other that I've found. This is more understandable for me, 'til the point that I forgot that this is a translation and not originally an English story. And I think that's what a good translation means. (plus you even come to us with the table content's translations too ;))

I think it's fine to split the next chapters into parts so we can get the updates faster; buuut, I don't really mind waiting a bit longer for a full translation, anyway. Just please don't drop this, okay! :"D

Gonna wait for the next chap now.
Once again, thank you~
takako: (uru - :o)

[personal profile] takako 2013-07-25 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
If I get my hands on a hard copy of this, I'd be happy to assist with Japanese->English proofreading and such. My Japanese isn't 100% perfect either but I've been translating manga and light novels for a while now (upwards of 8 years?) so I think I could help at least a little!

(no subject)

[personal profile] takako - 2013-07-27 03:08 (UTC) - Expand

... wait..

[personal profile] takako - 2013-07-27 03:12 (UTC) - Expand

Re: ... wait..

[personal profile] takako - 2013-07-27 23:24 (UTC) - Expand
stripedtabby: (KH: akuroku shoulder carry)

[personal profile] stripedtabby 2013-07-26 03:31 am (UTC)(link)
oh gosh this is wonderful! thank you so much for translating it! It reads beautifully and easily, and I know I didn't come across any strange wording anywhere. wonderful, wonderful work!
summerbutterfly: (Music)

[personal profile] summerbutterfly 2013-07-26 07:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't really know much about translating, but I'm thrilled you are taking this on and I just wanted to say thanks!
chizakuranoyoru: (Default)

[personal profile] chizakuranoyoru 2013-07-27 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
Hello, nice to meet! I've loved your translations, really looking forward to someone translated the novel, I would like to ask the favor of letting me use your translations in the future, I translated into Spanish, of course with their respective credits to your post. I can?

(no subject)

[personal profile] chizakuranoyoru - 2013-07-28 19:08 (UTC) - Expand
vmom: (Default)

[personal profile] vmom 2013-07-27 01:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you, Now I see why everyone is going crazy.

Looking forward for your post of chapter two.
allude: (Default)

[personal profile] allude 2013-07-30 12:07 pm (UTC)(link)
wahhh thank you so much for translating this \o/!! i think splitting chapter 2 into parts is a good idea ;w;

thank you soo much for the translation <3

[personal profile] sarah_infp 2013-08-04 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
^^ I start watching free! a week a go and I become very interesting to read the novel , I am very happy that I found your blog ,would you mind if I translate it into Arabic and post it in my blog with keeping all the credits to your posts ^^ ??
heres my blog http://saroochan.tumblr.com/

Partnership

[personal profile] neige_95 2013-08-05 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so glad to find English translations of this novel!
Might I translate it into Russian? Everything will be done: all links on chapters published in your journal and your nickname will be written right above each post with Russian translations. After the first translated chapter is published in Internet, I shall send you links in order to make you sure all is done according to the rules of translation - you're the owner of Japanese-English translations.
It is my first experience as a translater, so I hope to keep partnership with you.

Can YOU or I post it in Wattpad and Quotev?

[personal profile] adminkurisu 2013-08-09 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you very much for translating the light novel of FREE!! I've been waiting for so long to find someone who translated it and now that I found you :)

Uhmm... If it's alright can I post it in Wattpad and Quotev? Or might as well if you don't like CAN YOU post it?

Because a lot of fangirls or even fanboys out there would definitely want to read it because this is FREE we are talking about :)

I promise that I will definitely CREDIT you so much!! and also I won't forget to include this site :)

Thank you for your consideration :) I hope you can agree with it :)
sion92: (Default)

[personal profile] sion92 2013-08-28 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi! I discovered the anime "Free" only today and I'm glad to find the light novel in english :) thank you so much for the translation! How many chapters are they?

oh, I noticed that you post this on my birthday! xD
kyushiro: (Default)

[personal profile] kyushiro 2013-09-03 08:19 am (UTC)(link)
Oh I really like your translation :D Thank you so much for translation-!! By the way, do you mind if I use your translation for Korean translation?(I mean, is it ok to translate in Korean?) Of course I will post the copyright of your translation. :-)

(no subject)

[personal profile] kyushiro - 2013-09-03 09:00 (UTC) - Expand

[personal profile] black_rabbit 2013-09-03 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi! :) I'm from Poland and wanted to ask you if I can use your translations in order to make Polish version? Of course I'll add credits and link to your site. And thank you for your work, it's really nicely done and easy to read :)

[personal profile] black_rabbit 2013-09-03 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
And I've one question about this chapter, about their first swim race precisely. Rin says, "They only had long course today, but if they had short course, I bet I could have won the hundred meter, too." I'm confused. Hasn't he lost to Haru and Mako because his bounce off the wall in the middle of race was weaker that theirs? Wouldn't it be a disadvantage for him to race in shorter pool (when there'll be more bounces)?

(no subject)

[personal profile] black_rabbit - 2013-09-04 16:10 (UTC) - Expand

[personal profile] black_rabbit 2013-09-04 06:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not so confident in my English, but in this sentence:
"The more he obsessed about it, the further he'd get drawn in, anyway." (penultimate paragraph), shouldn't it be "the more he was obsessed"?
milosflaca: Sanzo my love (anime_sanzo)

[personal profile] milosflaca 2013-09-19 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
I've been looking for this!! THANK YOU!!!!
tempestuously: ([tutu] a sorta fairytale)

[personal profile] tempestuously 2013-12-13 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for doing this!
arashinoookami: Made by LJ user kiokushitakaa (Default)

[personal profile] arashinoookami 2014-02-01 09:18 am (UTC)(link)
Thankyou!

Thank you so much

[personal profile] ichichan 2014-06-20 07:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for the translation, it's so great and easy to understand:D I would like to translate it in another language - italian - if you agree. I would ask you the permission and, of course, I would put the link of the discussion in the same post of the translation. Otherwise, never mind:D Thank you again, you saved me XD