Hello, I’m Joker.
Muttering in my mind as I glared at Miura, thinking that I don’t have a choice. I didn’t think I would be given such a middle-aged nickname. I had no intention of fitting in, but Miura’s strange choice of words has created a rift between them and me.
But still, joker……a trump card, huh.
If anything, it feels strange to call myself a hidden gem, but for that senior, my existence is like a counterattack, in other words, a trump card. I was like a godsend, so I’m going to make full use of my existence as a senior.
(However, I never thought I would be competing alongside third-year students.)
Miura senpai suggested to me a win-win strategy. So he suggested that I join the third-year students in the sports festival.
Senpai’s class had won two events in the sports festival. And since the 2nd year class 2, led by Yukihana Hisui, had also won two events, we were almost even in terms of points. The reason why the scores are not exactly the same is because there are differences in the results of the various events and the number of points received for winning one move. For example, there’s a difference of about 20 points between the winners of the pole topple and the scavenger hunt. It really is an unreasonable sports festival.
In other words, this class currently has slightly inferior scores compared to the 1st year class 2. In order to win, they have to win the relay at any cost. That’s probably why the third-year students here are also working so hard.
(My class is…..well, I guess we won’t be able to win anymore.)
Most of the classes, not just my class, have given up on winning. The gap between the first-place team and the second-place team is too big. I don’t even know what the relay is for.
This class was the only class that had a slight chance of winning, and they were the only class that was not giving up, but were fired up.
“Everyone, I’m counting on you !”
Miura then sent off the relay runners, including me. Everyone was fired up and determined to win. We might be able to cross the line unexpectedly.
(Whether it comes to mind or not, I’ve often thought of doing this kind of last-minute move.)
It may be more like just barely on the edge of foul play, but it’s still a very risky strategy because it is based on the assumption that you will not be found out. If they find out, the worst that could happen is suspension…..or, in my case, expulsion with room to spare. Especially when that chairman is in charge.
“Good luck, Joker.”
Saying that, the male senior who was walking with me to participate in the relay tapped me on the shoulder. It was annoying as hell, but I silently accepted the tap so as not to be noticed.
And then, there was another look that was staring at me. It was my step sister. As expected, she probably didn’t find out who I really was, but she seemed to be worried about various things. As the student council president or as a member of the class. Either way, I’ll try to stay away from my step sister during the relay.
But that caution soon turned out to be useless. In a bad way, too.
“Have you heard about the running order? You are the fifth runner. You’ll take the baton from Shiina san, the fourth runner, and pass it to me. Okay?”
I nodded my head and expressed my understanding, but it was immediately confirmed that I would be in contact with my step sister. I can only pray more and more, but now that I’ve come this far, I have no choice but to do what I can. For now, no matter who’s my enemy and who’s on my side, if it matches my objective, I will do my best to get involved. Yes, just like Tachibana Kanata did in the past.
And so I came to the center of the field with my step sister’s classmates. Most of the traces of the scavenger hunt that had just taken place had been cleared away, and various final checks were being made, including the receipt of batons and communication between the judges.
“Everyone, don’t give up until the end and run with all your might. We still have to announce the MVP.”
“Yes, that’s right ! Ruri chan, let’s do our best, too !”
From diagonally across from me, familiar faces entered the ground one after another. Hayama, Kisaragi, Yukihana, and other people from my class are coming one after another. Since I’m wearing a mask, I’ve been getting a lot of attention, but maybe they lost interest right away, except for Yukihana, who started warming up. On the other hand, Yukihana was looking at me like a madman. I guess she doesn’t know, but she must be wondering about various things.
However, Yukihana immediately turned her eyes in the other direction. From that direction, the top candidates for the championship, the 1st year class 2, were entering the hall. Among them, the two who stood out from the crowd wereYukihana Hisui and Nanase Natsume. In order to win this relay, I have to surpass those two together.
I was just about to start the relay when I heard someone call out to me from behind. I turned my head and there was my step sister, Shiina Haruka. She was looking at me with a serious expression and burning eyes that I had never seen before. This made me feel a bit nervous.
“You……, no, you’re not our classmate. Still, I’m assuming that you’re going to help us win, right?”
“I see. Then I’ll change my question.”
As if to test me, my step sister looks me directly into my eyes through my mask and asks with weight in her words.
‘Seriously……that means you’re okay to show me and everyone else a great run, right?”
My step sister asks me those questions as if to make sure. I never thought I’d have this conversation between step siblings. What should I…..do? No, what do I want to do?
[Good morning, Kanata.]
[…….I never thought it was boring.]
[Aren’t you going to get serious at sports?]
[Hey, Kanata. Thanks.]
Hm, when was the last time I remembered this? Come to think of it, I feel like I’m forgetting something. Something that touched my heart. But I can’t recall it at this moment. I think it was something important……
“Hey, are you okay?”
My step sister seemed to be worried about my physical condition and started probing me. Let’s see, the question was whether I’m serious about doing it or not, right? That kind of thing….that kind of thing……
I point a peace sign over my shoulder. Then my step sister turned around and went away in amazement, rolling her eyes. I don’t know if my true identity has been exposed, but it seems that there’s no doubt that she’s expecting my success. But of course, I was substituting for Miura, who was the ace of this class.
(……Let’s do it)
I gazed at the guests’ seats from a distance. In it, I see my nemesis, the board chairman, relaxing and drinking tea. He also appears to be on the phone, giving some sort of instructions. What kind of tragedy is he trying to create this time?
This chain of events must be stopped. Even if the way I’m doing it is wrong, this one thing must not be wrong. I don’t want to have to go through that again.
[The first runners, please move to your designated areas !]
The announcement that I had heard so many times that I could hear it in my ears signaled the final battle. I, too, head to my place as the fifth runner. It’s in the opposite direction from my step sister.
The participants in this relay are my class, the 2nd year 1st class.
And the 3rd year class 1, which I will run as a substitute.
The 1st year class 2, which is the candidate to win the race.
Then I saw a girl who was heading to the same place. It’s Shinkai Sakura, who has yet to show much prominence in this sports festival. She’s a bit of a pain in the ass. The possibility of winning this sports festival is almost nil, but the possibility of winning the relay championship is within the realm of possibility.
There are only two other classes participating. The relays are divided into three rounds of six classes each, with the fastest class advancing to the finals. Fortunately or unfortunately, it seems that all of the classes involved in this relay will be participating in this relay. The word “karma” comes to my mind.
At that time, I was prepared. I was prepared for the fact that the existence of Tachibana Kanata would become known, regardless of who I am. Because she would be able to spot me by the way I run.
Yukihana siblings. Kisaragi Yuu. Shinkai Sakura. Nanase Natsume. Hayama Souta. These are the enemies I have to go all out against this time.
And my step sister, who has rarely interacted with me, is on my side this time.
I remember when my step sister collapsed with a fever in the past. Since that time, my step sister has changed a lot. Her words, actions, mental strength, and the way she interacted with me. The root of this change is the weak and feeble appearance of my step sister at that time. I never thought that she would grow up to the point where I respect her.
Somehow it makes me laugh. I never thought I would have such an unreliable and reassuring ally. To be honest, I don’t expect much athleticism from my step sister, but let’s hope she does her best. I’m sure she will run without giving up until the end.
And together with my step sister, I will challenge an unknown number of powerful enemies.
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