“Wanna make a little bet?”

I stood on the basketball court, handed the ball to Suika, and was about to get fired up to start playing defense when she suddenly said something like that.

“What is it suddenly?”
“No, it’s better to have a sense of tension in this kind of game, isn’t it? That’s what we always do with Natsu.~”
“Even if you say that, Suika usually wins.”
“We dont know that until we try it out. Besides,……, Arase-kun, you are an experienced player, right?”

I didn’t say a single word of that, but I was surprised that Suika could see through that.

“How did you know?”
“Because when we were practicing shooting earlier, you were rebounding well and passing the ball very well. You were very good at passing the ball, and you were very precise in where you put it out, and in your instructions. You were like a devil of a coach.”
“No, I’m sorry about that ……. It’s been a while, so I got a little overheated. ……”

“I don’t blame you. Even though this is an individual practice, it was great to be able to do it with the same intensity as a club activity! It was a happy mistake for Suika!”

I don’t know what exactly is a miscalculation, but it seems that the practice earlier was not necessarily a nuisance to Suika. I’m glad.

“I mean, it’s only one hand, right?”
“Then I’ll give you a handicap!”
“……Well, all right, I understand. But please be gentle with me. It’s been three or four years since I’ve done anything right.”
“Okay, okay, okay! I’m going to do everything I can to win!”

I’m not going to skimp at all.

“So, when you say bet, what are you betting on?”
“Well, let’s see. Normally I’d buy you a drink or something, but you already bought one~”
“How about if I buy you a drink at the convenience store on the way home?”
“There aren’t many convenience stores around here. The nearest one is about a 20-minute walk away.”

That was it. I had underestimated the countryside.

“Oh, well, how about this?”

Suika seemed to have come up with something.

“The loser says he’ll do whatever the winner says, one thing!”
“…… that’s a huge disadvantage for me.”
“Ehh, that’s good! Let’s do it! I can order you to do anything, right?”

Suika stirs things up with a good look.

Anything is ……

For a moment, I thought of something bad and shook my head.

“Are you sure you’re okay saying that?”
“Hmhmmm, that’s just if you win!”

Suika confidently replies.

“Hey, how is it?”
“I understand. But don’t complain if you lose, okay?”
“Hmph, You too!”

The battle that could not be lost had begun.

There is no three-point line on this court. Therefore, each point counts as one point.
Normally, the score would have been five points first, but because of the handicap, Suika had to score six points, and I had to score three points to win. Since Suika was playing with one hand and not her dominant hand, half of the handicap was a little too generous.
Suika still intends to win, but I will show her that the handicap was a mistake.
To be honest, I am not confident.

Suika will take the lead.
I sit back and get into a defensive stance, a feeling I haven’t had in a few years.

Suika looks me in the face, fakes right, left, and right again, and then tries to dribble past me.
Somehow, I manage to catch up with Suika half a step behind, while still being caught in the fake. However, Suika didn’t care about it, and she forced me to shoot the ball.

The ball was a layup and went straight through the ring.

“Hehe! How’s that!”

Without thinking, I spit out a line of frustration. Suika makes a face.

“I’m next!”
“Okay, come on!”

I receive the ball and immediately start dribbling with my left hand, and after shaking it left and right, I start to pull it out with a mighty swing.

“! Aah!”

Suika followed my dribble as well. But soon I stopped and fired a jump shot. Suika couldn’t react to it. She was completely shaken off.
However, the ball I released bounced off the ring.

“Ah, it ain’t going in. ……”
“Ouch! That’s not your dominant hand!?”
“If it had been my dominant hand, it would have gone in.”
“Still, I win! Suika’s next!”
“Okay, come on!”

From there, Suika and I took turns playing offense and defense.
It had been a long time since I had felt this way, so I didn’t shoot well in the beginning, but I gradually got used to it and started to shoot well.

However, Suika was the same way.
This is the difference between Suika and the current players.

When I got tired, I would try to take advantage of the difference in size. Each time I did this, Suika did not say anything, but her face would blur with frustration.

And so, before I knew it, we were engaged in a heated battle, both of us shooting and stopping each other.

And then…

“I did it! I won!!!”

Suika’s last shot did not hit the ring, but went under the net to win the game.

“I won, I won, I won, I won!—-“

Suika was so happy that she was jumping around.
……, Suika must be pretty good after all.
I thought I didn’t have that kind of passion left in me, but it was just plain frustrating.

“…Well, it’s been a while since I did this, so I guess that’s about it.”
“Oh? Arase-kun, is that an excuse?”
“No, not really. It’s not like that. It’s just a fact,…….”

I wonder if it’s my imagination that I’m getting agitated by Suika as well. Fujibayashi too…….

And our clothes were different. I’m in civilian clothes. That’s no excuse.

“Pfft, still, a loss is a loss. A win is a win.”
“Yeah. I lose. So, what about the, uh, bet? What do you want me to do?”
“Well, let’s see, Arase-kun……”

I choked up. What kind of orders will be given?
The tension is getting higher now.

“I’ll see you next time!”
“If I come up with something good, I’ll use it.”
“….. Well, okay. Don’t give me any weird orders, okay?”
“Weird …………!”

For some reason, Suika’s face turned red. Hey, what on earth did you imagine?

“I-I won’t. And I haven’t thanked you for saving my life before. I have to thank you first!”
“Thanks for before?””
“Yes? For when I was injured!”
“Oh, that’s it. I completely forgot. You didn’t have to thank me.”
“Nooo! That won’t make Suika feel better!”
“Then how about …… offsetting that thank-you?”
“…… hey.”

I guess it didn’t work. I thought it was a good idea.
I don’t think Suika would give any weird kind of orders, but ……. If this had been Fujibayashi or something, it would have been a chastity crisis.

Once the battle was settled, I looked at the phone in my pocket. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the time displayed there.


That meant I had been here for about two hours.
Even so, I had overdone it. The 1-on-1 was so heated, as was Suika’s shooting practice, that the score didn’t budge from the middle of the game.

“Eeh! It’s already that time! Oh, no! Oh, I’m getting so many calls from my mom. ……!”

Suika also panicked at my words and looked at her phone. Then she screamed.
Apparently, her mother had sent her a line of worry or anger because she was running too late.

“S-She definetly will be mad at me when I get home…….”

It seems to be the latter, judging from her pale face.
Suika hurriedly put the ball away.

“Well, see you later, Arase-kun!”

And then, like a hare, she run away from the place.


“Oh no, no, no, no! I have to hurry!”

Suika was running along the dark night road as fast as she could.
The sweat from earlier still hadn’t receded, and she was running as fast as she could, sweating even more.

“…… eh?”

The sound of the brakes squealing, Suika collided with something.
The bicycle, which had collided with something – an unlit bicycle – overturned on the spot, and the wheels spun around.

“Ouch. …………”

Suika then collapsed on the spot, holding her legs.


“How often do you get hurt, really ……?”

I took a deep breath and went after Suika.

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