I Became Friends with the Second Cutest Girl in My Class - Chapter 232
T/N: Thanks Thiranoyama and Tango 2102 for the coffee! Kept forgetting to do this because we haven’t been releasing chaps for the series lately, sorry abt that.
Chapter 232 – First Step
After spending our one-hour lunch break leisurely, we went to our respective positions for the afternoon practice.
Nozomu, the only one in the red team among the five of us, was forced to join the cheering squad for practice because of his stamina. Meanwhile, the rest of us would go to practice for our respective events.
“Alright, Maki and I will go this way. See you later Yuu, Nina.”
“Mm! Okay, I’ll be running as hard as I can since it’s been a while! Ninacchi, you’re practicing for the centipede race, right? Be careful not to hurt yourself!”
“Roger~ Don’t worry about me though, I’ve never fallen in a centipede race before. You should worry about Rep instead~”
“…Can’t refute that… I’ll do my best…”
As Nitta-san pointed out, I wasn’t very athletic compared to the girls in our group. Not to mention Amami-san, even Umi and Nitta-san were way more athletic than me. If I were to race against them, I would definitely lose.
I had discussed with Umi in advance about what event we should participate in and decided on the three-legged race. I’d probably end up holding Umi back so I should do my best in practice.
By the way, to compare both of our specs:
> 50m sprint time: Umi > me
> Height: Umi >= me
> Leg length: Umi >> me
> Cooperativeness: Umi >> me
It was a little depressing to think about. Since we were going to compete together, I shouldn’t show her my pathetic side. I didn’t want to embarrass Umi.
“Maki, make sure to follow me closely, okay?”
Just like how she treated Amami-san before an exam, Umi was a devilish instructor when it came to something like this. She wouldn’t show any leniency toward me no matter what happened.
However, if I followed her coaching, I’d definitely improve, so I did my best to meet her expectations.
The three-legged race was a relay event. The participants were divided into male pairs, female pairs and male-female pairs and each of them were divided into three-legged races with two person groups and four-legged races with three person groups.
It was inevitable that there would be differences in physique for the male-female pairs. Therefore, cooperation was important.
Anyway, they didn’t stop couples from participating in the three-legged race, they encouraged it. In fact, the moment we applied, they immediately approved it without much noise. Apparently, an incident occurred during the last sports festival which was why they did this.
I won’t ask what it was, though.
“Alright, let’s try running now. We’ll start slowly, okay? Follow the rhythm and go around in a circle.”
“Okay. Uh, where should I put my arm? Your shoulder? Or your waist?”
“Shoulder for the real thing, but for now, the waist will do.”
“…Alright, excuse me then.”
I placed my hand on Umi’s waist, then pulled her closer to me.
I felt the softness of her body pressing against mine. I was used to this sensation because we did this all the time at home, but it still felt embarrassing doing this in front of others.
“Jeez, you’re too fidgety, Maki. This is just practice, so relax, okay?”
I should focus on Umi for the time being.
“Don’t look at your feet too much. Look straight ahead and keep up with the rhythm.”
I shouldn’t think much about matching Umi’s pace, I just tried my best to follow the rhythm. One, two, one… two… Alright.
“Ah, this probably isn’t the best time to say this, but…”
“Hm? What is it? More advice?”
“No. It’s something to motivate you…”
Umi whispered to my ear,
‘If you practice hard, I’ll give you a reward~’
Her whisper made me feel tingly.
“What’s the reward?”
“Hm~ Who knows~”
Now that was mean. Well, it wasn’t like I could help it.
Thanks to that, my attention was completely focused on Umi.
“…I don’t really need a reward, I’ll still do my best either way, but if you say so…”
“Look forward to it then~ Okay, let’s take our first step together~”
“Sure, but do we really need to exaggerate it like this?”
“Yes. C’mon, let’s do it~ Ready, set~”
We looked at each other before turning our gazes ahead at the same time. Then we took our first step.
One, two, one, two…
“Louder, Maki! With me, c’mon!”
“One, two, one, two.”
In the noisy field, I focused my all on Umi’s lead and continued to bring my voice out so that Umi could hear it.