-This is a fragment that will lead to Tachibana Kanata’s doom-

The season when autumn has passed and the wind blowing against the skin is painful. Since the weather forecast said that it would snow soon, many people have started to prepare for the cold weather. Moreover, it has been so cloudy lately that even my mother is complaining that her laundry is not drying.

In the midst of all this, I was meeting up with two people. The place was at a corner of a café, far from the city center, including the school and the station. It is a two-story building, and from the window you can see the beach, which looks cold at the moment.

I ordered a strawberry latte and waited for someone while relaxing. It pains me that I don’t have a smartphone to pass the time at times like this. I would like her to buy one for me, but I have a delicate relationship with my mother, and it is difficult for me to ask her to buy one. I’m thinking that I’d like to solve it somehow, but…

“Sorry for the wait, Kanata !”

Just as I’m about to memorize the menu, one of the people I was waiting for arrives. It’s my partner, Shinkai Sakura, of course. Today she’s wearing a stylish white coat.

As soon as she sat down, she ordered a drink for herself from the waitress. Apparently, Sakura is into matcha (powdered green tea) these days, so she ordered a matcha latte and matcha pudding. I regret now that I should have ordered something other than drinks.

“It’s already getting cold.”

“I mean, the meeting place is too far away.”

“Ahaha, I’ve been going here since I found it recently. Everything I ordered here was delicious. The view is also wonderful.”

It’s Sakura in front of me that chose this place as our meeting place. It’s indeed a nice place, but it’s quite far from my house. I thought about biking here, but I didn’t want to get cold and it was simply too far away, so I decided to take the bus. Perhaps Sakura also came on a different bus.

“Wow, this matcha pudding looks delicious !”

Sakura then began to eat the matcha pudding that had arrived. When I see Sakura smiling as she eats these sweets, I realize that she’s a girl after all.

Also, Sakura’s tone of voice is starting to improve a lot. She has started to forget to use honorifics when she talks to me, although it’s only occasionally. I hope she will stop using honorifics at least with me. And just like that, with the other kids in the class, too…..

When I was thinking about this, I suddenly remembered another person. He was the one who called the two of us out in the first place.

“Come to think of it, Sakura, about him….”

“Him? He should be here by now…..ah, there he is.”

I looked at the doorway of the store and saw another person I was waiting for. He walked straight over and took a seat across from me.

“I’m sorry, you two. I got a little lost and I’m running late.”

“No, it’s all right, Shinya kun. It was me who made this complicated meeting place for us to meet.”

He, Shishiyama Shinya, is the son of Shishiyama Gaen, the chairman of Ichinose Middle School, the private school I go to. We became good friends after an incident in which I broke into the board chairman’s house once before. Since then, the three of us have been getting together from time to time.

Shinya is very smart, beyond the level of a middle school student, and he knows things that even I don’t even know, so I enjoy talking with him a lot. Unfortunately, Sakura is more athletic than Shinya, but he also has good reflexes. He’s a talented person who will shine if he’s polished.

“So, what’s the reason we’re all here?”

I ask Shinya to cut to the chase as I sip my half-empty strawberry latte through a straw. I’m not sure why he called me and Sakura.

“Um, actually I have something to discuss. Would you like to appear in this together?”

Shishiyama kun took something that looked like a poster from his bag and showed it to us two. Sakura took the poster and looked a little surprised.

“This is….”

I also saw a large picture on the poster.

A uniquely shaped wing on a netted racket. Or should I say “gut” and “shuttle” to be more precise? And the court on the back. This is….


Apparently, a badminton tournament is being held at a nearby public gymnasium. The scale of the tournament doesn’t seem to be very large, but it’s likely to attract quite a few talented players. Although he wasn’t the leader, he must have had some ability.

“I wanted to invite my friends from the club to participate in the tournament, but they refused, saying that it was too much trouble to participate in a tournament that wasn’t an official match or that they wanted to take a day off at least on holidays. So I decided that if I was going to go to all that trouble, I would like to participate with the two of you.”

“Hmmm, see.”

The date of the tournament n is next Saturday, which means a week from now.

The rules are simple: Knockout competition. The loser is eliminated immediately, and only those who continue to win get to play on the court. It seems that only the winner and runner-up will be decided.

“The winner will receive a medal and a commemorative shuttle. Somehow, it’s kind of plain.”

“I’ve always wanted to participate in something like this. But I’m not sure I’d be able to do it alone.”

It’s indeed a bit intimidating to participate in such a small community tournament by yourself. I had thought that the limit of being alone would be in yakiniku place or an amusement park, but it seems that Shinya kun in front of me has put himself in an emotional state equivalent to that.

In the midst of all this, Sakura, who had been mysteriously silent, speaks up.

“I guess it’s fine. Let’s enter together, Kanata !”

“…..I guess so.”

It seems that Sakura is willing to go along with it.It seems that the necessary tools are also available for rent, so there’s no need to prepare in advance. According to what I heard, she’s currently playing badminton in girls’ physical education. Certainly, this would be a perfect opportunity for Sakura.

(Hmmm, what should I do?)

It feels somewhat wrong for me to be a contestant here. I have never seen the badminton team practice, nor have I seen Sakura’s badminton skills, as the boy’s and girl’s teams are separated in PE. But at the moment, I’m probably the only one who can win.

I don’t feel the same intimidation from these two as I feel from my father, who remains in a corner of my memory. In other words, I don’t feel threatened by them. I’m sure that I can win at that point.

(And on the day of the tournament, I can’t imagine anyone being stronger than my father.)

I can say this because I have learned a lot from my father, who’s like a monster, but I can definitely win at the level of these two. It may be difficult if there are national-class people at the event, but I’m still confident that I can win. Then…..

“I think I’ll pass.”

“Eh !? I thought you were going to do it !”

“That’s right. Tachibana kun, you can do anything, and it’s not like you’re bad at badminton, right?”

The two ask me why I refused. If I answered honestly, I would hurt them, and since I have found my role in this event, I told them that.

“I’m going to be the one doing the coaching. As a handicap for Shinya kun, who plays badminton in the club, I thought I’d teach Sakura some things.”

“For me?”

“I see. That certainly sounds interesting.”

Sakura is still growing. I took care of her and taught her various things, but she’s in a state where technology and knowledge are not enough for her to win. As it stands now, even Shinya kun, who is foolish enough, will lose the championship. That’s why I will use badminton this time as an opportunity to break Sakura out of her shell.

“Then, in a week, at the public gymnasium.”

We got up from our seats at the same time, paid the bill, and walked out. Shinya kun had leftover caramel latte that he had ordered, so he drank it before going outside. In other words, we parted here.

“Then, let’s practice right away. I’ll ask a friend of mine to lend you some equipment, so wait for me until then.”

“Yes, I’ll do my best !”

Sakura was more motivated than ever. I’m sure that she was eager to show me how good she could be. For her, this was the first time she had ever had the opportunity to test her abilities in a competition. For her sake, I decided to take it seriously.

And at that time, I was so busy trying to teach Sakura what to do first that I didn’t even notice. I didn’t realize that Shinya kun’s eyes had gone from gentle to stern.

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1 year ago

Argg I caught up…. I benge this just this morning