Episode 28 – Fast Approach

Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330655556357602/episodes/16817330657714299225

After lunch, we went to an area where we could enjoy a sports activity on the water.

The sports activity consists of various pieces of equipment floating on top of a large pool, and you have to cross over to the other side of the pool without falling into the water.

I heard that this area is popular mainly among children.

However, since it was just around lunchtime, the place was relatively empty, with only a few people here and there.

Thanks to the fact that we had finished lunch early, we had the place almost completely to ourselves.

“All right, let’s have a game to see who can clear the area the fastest.”

Juri senpai, who was in a good mood as she stretched lightly and made such a suggestion.

All three nodded in agreement.

“It’s a competition~, I’m sure it’ll be fun~ !”
“I hope so.”
“I’ll never lose.”

Then we lined up side by side at the starting point and we started off at once.

Following the seniors, I crossed over the mat designed to look like a floating log in the pool and climbed up the jungle gym-like equipment…..but because it was floating on the water, it was unstable, and the foothold was wet and slippery, it was difficult to climb up.

Hanabi and the others seemed to be having a hard time……however, only Juri senpai was able to easily and swiftly climb over the jungle gym and reach the top in no time at all.

Looking down at us from the top, Juri senpai waved her hand.

“Hey, you guys are running late !”
“J-Juri…..why are you so fast…..?”

With the help of Futaba senpai, Nagisa senpai, who was out of breath, finally crossed the log and looked up at Juri senpai at the top.

She sure is too fast. What kind of balance does she have……

As I was amazed at Juri senpai’s athleticism, she slid down the slide from the top of the jungle gym and splashed into the pool.

Apparently, she had cleared another stage.

We cooperated with each other and managed to clear the first stage, and then came to the second stage where Juri senpai was waiting for us.

“You finally came, I’ve been waiting for a while.”
“You’re too fast, Juri……”

Hanabi said in amazement.

Hanabi has good motor nerves, but Juri senpai is probably even better than her.

As if to prove it, Juri senpai progressed through the second, more difficult stage without difficulty.

Nagisa senpai and Futaba senpai seemed to have no intention of competing with each other and were cooperating with each other to advance through the stage.

Following Hanabi, I also managed not to fall into the water.

And then, when I was about halfway through the second stage, I saw a badly balanced piece of equipment swaying unsteadily.

As I managed to clear the stage, which involved crossing a wobbling, unbalanced piece of playground equipment, Hanabi, who had been following me, suddenly let out a small scream.

“–Hyaa”

Just as I was about to cross the path, Hanabi slipped and lost her footing.

“Oops, are you–oh, whoa !?”.

I reached out my arm to support Hanabi as she was about to fall, but because my feet were wet with water, I slipped, and I fell down with her.

[ [ [Ah….] ] ]

I found myself in a position where I was pushed down by Hanabi, and inevitably my face was close enough to almost hit Hanabi’s lips.

The first to speak out at that moment was neither me nor Hanabi, but Futaba senpai, Nagisa senpai, and Juri senpai, who were watching the scene from close by.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help you.”
“No, thank you.”

I raised my body first and hold out my hand to Hanabi who is sitting down.

I suddenly noticed that the three of them were looking at us in a daze for some reason, and I tilted my head.

“……Is something wrong?”

Then Futaba senpai shook her head as if in a panic.

“I-it’s nothing~!”

Juri senpai and Nagisa senpai nodded in agreement.

As I tilted my head again at the aloofness of those three, I suddenly heard something rumbling from behind.

“H-huh…….I was surprised……”

When I turned around, I saw Hanabi with her back turned, and it seemed like she was muttering something to herself……but I couldn’t hear it clearly because it was drowned out by the bustle of the surroundings.

◆ ◆ ◆

After clearing the water sports, we all went around various areas and had fun.

“We’ve been playing a lot since this morning~”
“Yes, I think it’s been a long time since we’ve played this much.”
“Ah, our summer vacation is over today…….”
“We will have summer classes next week, and everyone will be busy.”

The air is suddenly filled with a sense of deep sadness.

However, I feel that they are feeling something like comfort at this moment.

Even the silence was comfortable,……and that’s exactly the kind of atmosphere they had.

A relationship with nothing to fix.

Seeing the four of them together, I felt a sense of alienation.

But that’s okay. I understand that this is a space created by the relationship between the four of them.

I didn’t want to disturb that atmosphere, so I remained silent and looked at the scenery in the distance.

“Shall we go home now?”

One of the four said, and after a somewhat regretful silence, everyone nodded their heads.

And then, as we were walking through the wave pool area to get to the changing rooms.

Suddenly, I overheard a couple nearby talking and pointing toward the pool.

“Hey, isn’t that kid in a bit of trouble ……?”
“Eh, seriously. Is that kid drowning?”

The voice made me look toward the pool and I saw a child flailing his arms and legs in the current, as if his float had drifted too far away.

Nagisa senpai, perhaps noticing that I had stopped, called out to me.

“Asahi san, is something wrong?”
“Is someone drowning there…..?”

Then, Nagisa senpai also noticed a drowning child.

“O-oh no, we have to call the staff quickly…..!”

No, there is no time to wait for that.

The moment I thought that, I ran out as quickly as I could.

I jumped into the flowing pool and swam toward the child as if against the current.

However, just as I was about to reach the drowning child……the adults around me seemed to notice the drowning child and pulled him to the side of the pool.

Apparently, it was not my turn.

Well, at any rate, I was glad that nothing serious happened.

Yes, it was when I stroked my chest in relief—

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my right leg.

N-no……my legs…..

My leg had cramped up and I felt a pain in my calf muscle as if it had been pinched with pliers.

Because of this, I couldn’t move my body properly and was swept away by the current of the pool.

I moved my hands frantically to quickly rise to the surface, but I sank to the bottom of the pool as if my body had turned to lead.

M-my breath…….

Only bubbles rise to the surface of the water.

The edges of my vision gradually narrowed as the blackness covered the edges of my vision.

S-someone….help me …….

I desperately stretched out my arms as if to ask for help, but my hands could not even grasp the water.

Eventually, my consciousness was cut off at the bottom of the pool.

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Deadmilkmen
Deadmilkmen
7 months ago

LOL

Deadmilkmen
Deadmilkmen
7 months ago
Reply to  Deadmilkmen

Man… We float naturally. With just his arms he’d be perfectly fine until a leg cramp goes away.