Conversation Between S-rank Beauties Volume 2 Chapter 1 part 6

After school, once the number of students had settled down,
 

 
Haruya and Yuna headed to the staff room after making sure that the number of students had calmed down.
 
Yuna Takamori.
 
Walking down the corridor alongside her, who possessed a different elegance from Sara even among the S-class beauties, Haruya asked her.
 
“…Um, about the perimeter run, wouldn’t it be fine if we just pretended we ran it and no one found out?”
 
Perhaps due to entering introverted mode, his voice involuntarily became lower than usual.
 
It wasn’t because he was nervous about being next to an S-class beauty, definitely not.
 
“I… don’t like doing dishonest things, so I’ll run.”
 
“You’re serious, huh?”
 
“I’ll run, but if you really don’t want to run, you don’t have to, you know?”
 
She was more serious than he had thought.
 
Despite her calm demeanor, Haruya was taken aback by her gal-like attitude.
 
Feeling his own shallowness, he couldn’t help but say.
 
“…No, I’ll run too.”
 
“Then let’s do our best together.”
 
And after such a trivial exchange,
 
not long after, they arrived at the staff room.
 
Yuna informed him that they would start the perimeter run from the teacher’s seat.
 
“─Teacher, we’ll be running from now on.”
 
“You two are diligent to inform me beforehand. Alright, go ahead and run one lap.”
 
Standing next to Haruya, Yuna nodded.
 
But just as she turned away, the teacher seemed to remember something.
 
the teacher slowly spoke to Yuna’s back.
 
“…Oh, right. Takamori, do you have any intention of joining the basketball club?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Perhaps it was an unexpected topic, as Yuna’s shoulders trembled slightly.
 
“Why are you asking me like that?
 
“Oh, I’m the advisor for the basketball club. We’re going to have practice matches with other schools soon, but we’re short on experienced players…”
 
Scratching the back of the head, the teacher continued.
 
“I remembered from your self-introduction card that you were in the basketball club in middle school. I just wanted to ask if you were interested.”
 
In this class, immediately after enrollment, all students were asked to fill out a simple self-introduction card to get to know each other.
 
One of the items on the card was “What club were you in during middle school?” so the teacher must have been referring to that.
 
By the way, on that self-introduction card, Haruya wrote down that he was in the track and field club.
 
“Sorry, but I… I’m not interested in joining the basketball club.”
 
“I see. Well… I can’t force you. That’s too bad. Well, if you ever change your mind, you’re always welcome.”
 
Haruya hear Yuna’s clear refusal.
 
For her, basketball seemed to be a sensitive topic.
 
Yet, the teacher remained unruffled, as if the teacher had anticipated being turned down from the beginning, which made Haruya feel uncomfortable.
 
Following Yuna’s retreating figure with a somewhat displeased expression, Haruya suddenly heard the teacher speak to him.
 
“…What about you, Akasaki? How about joining the basketball club?”
 
“Do I look like someone who enjoys sports?”
 
“You don’t.”
 
He was answered immediately.
 
Sadly, it’s just how it is, Haruya thought inwardly.
 
“I’ll repeat it, Takamori… You’re always welcome to join the basketball club if you change your mind. And you too, Akasaki.”
 
Am I just being treated as an extra?
 
Haruya couldn’t help but smile bitterly inside as he walked away following Yuna.
 
Then, it happened.
 
“Akasaki, you were in the track and field club in middle school, right? You should try running seriously. You might gain something from it.”
 
The teacher stopped Haruya and said that.
 
“…Are you setting up the perimeter run just to bring me back to the track and field club?”
 
“No, no, I didn’t think that far ahead. I just thought you and Takamori are similar. It was clear that Takamori had something on her mind about basketball. So I thought it might be reasonable to assume that you, who are similar, might have something on your mind about track and field.”
 
” ……………… “
 
When he remain silent, the homeroom teacher continues,
 
“This is just something I thought could be a catalyst, nothing more. Looking at the atmosphere, you two seem quite alike. Akasaki…you may be able to help Takamori.”
 
“Help her? Isn’t that usually the teacher’s role? Besides, Takamori-san doesn’t really seem to be struggling with anything.”
 
“True, but…sometimes people can only open up to those similar to them. And Takamori is struggling…or she should be. Definitely. Probably…maybe.”
 
(Whoa, this teacher is getting totally casual and haphazard all of a sudden.)
 
While inwardly calling her out on that, Haruya was actually rather impressed by the homeroom teacher’s perceptive eye.
 
(She’s an unfathomable guy. It is true that I’ve been weighed down by my past in track and field too…)
 
As Haruya sighed and started to head for the outdoor running, the teacher mumbled towards his back:
 
“What you’re carrying, Akasaki, is something Takamori can surely help shed light on…”
 
“…Huh?”
 
When he turned around, the teacher was already back at her desk.
 
Once again, Haruya thought that the teacher was unfathomable.
 

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After leaving the staff room, Haruya changed his shoes at the entrance and headed outside.
 
From now on, Haruya will pay for being late by running a lap around the perimeter.
 
The school grounds of The High School are large compared to other schools, so even though it’s just one lap, the distance shouldn’t be underestimated.
 
When he reaches the main gate, Yuna is doing her warm-up exercises.
 
Without making eye contact with Haruya, she asks,
 
“Akasaki kun, right? Why were you late?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Haruya is taken aback by her sudden inquiry, as she has always been indifferent towards him.
 
“You don’t usually arrive late, right? Not just you, but everyone in school.”
 
The High School is a prestigious college preparatory school known throughout the prefecture.
 
It has produced numerous graduates who have gone on to prestigious universities, so the students enrolled there are generally serious about their studies
 
They don’t usually arrive late unless there’s a serious reason.
 
“…So, I was curious.”
 
“Um, if If you don’t laugh, I’ll tell you.”
 
“I’m not laughing.”
 
She blushes slightly, resembling Nayu-san in some way.
 
Perhaps because of this,
 
Haruya decides to honestly tell her the reason.
 
“I stayed up all night reading manga and overslept.”
 
“…Oops. Ah, sorry. But it’s surprising, isn’t it?”
 
“Huh? Surprising?”
 
“Yeah, because it seems like Akasaki-kun has some connection with Sara. Since Sara is serious, I thought you were too. Oh, but earlier you were planning to skip the run, so maybe you’re not that serious…”
 
His heart skips a beat.
 
He never expected her to be so sure of his connection with Sara.
 
(Does that mean, even if I’m not serious, Himekawa-san is?)
 
Although they’re not supposed to be on the rooftop during lunchtime,
 
Yuna seems lost in thought as she looks up at the sky.
 
“I…I was late because I got caught up in the basketball club’s recruitment on my way to school.”
 
She starts explaining.
 
“It seems like a senior who knew I used to be in the basketball club ran into me and recruited me on the way to school.”
 
“Oh, I see.”
 
“Ah, sorry for suddenly starting to talk. And also for being rude earlier… I’ve been a bit on edge since this morning.”
 
She seems to be aware of her behavior.
 
Her attitude has softened quite a bit now, making for an approachable atmosphere.
 
“Anyway, going back to what I was saying, after hearing about the basketball club, I got down in the dumps without realizing it and my footsteps just got heavier. Before I knew it, time had flown by and I ended up being late. It was really the worst…”
 
“That’s too bad.”
 
“Yeah, so…”
 
Yuna said, shrugging her shoulders.
 
“Doesn’t everyone going on and on about basketball, basketball, basketball seem a bit strange to you?”
 
Some strange switch seems to have been flipped.
 
“I just want to shake off this frustration. Sorry for leaving you behind.”
 
She wanted to convey that, she said.
 
Although he could just run without worrying about her, her consideration shows how kind she is.
 
“…You’re very considerate.”
 
She’s so cute that he can’t help but smile.
 
“You shouldn’t laugh. I mean, isn’t it rude to just sprint off without saying anything?”
 
Avoiding eye contact, Yuna walks out of the school gate.
 
Then, she expertly ties her hair with a hair tie.
 
Haruya follows her outside.
 
Suddenly glancing up at the sky tinged with crimson edges, Haruya felt a sense of nostalgia—it had been a long time since he ran in such conditions.
 

 
True to her words about leaving him behind, Yuna was faster than he expected.
 
Her ponytail swayed gracefully left and right with her beautiful form as her back gradually distanced itself.
 
…There’s no real need to run seriously.
 
This isn’t a competition or race.
 
There’s no necessity to run at all, really.
 
This is just a penalty lap for being late…
 
Trying to convince himself of that, Haruya watched Yuna’s retreating back.
 
(…Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I can take it easy. I’ve already quit the track team.)
 
That’s what he should be thinking, and yet, for some reason,
 
he found himself biting his lower lip hard, maintaining a steady pace to avoid falling behind Yuna.
 
Running like this, he could feel his physical strength and stamina had deteriorated.
 
The force with which his feet struck the ground was far weaker compared to before. Only natural, since he no longer did any training runs…
 
No wonder.
 
I don’t run anymore. …….
 
But for some inexplicable reason, he felt intensely vexed and ended up running seriously.
 
Even he found it perplexing.
 

 
——He must not be left behind. He didn’t want to lose.
 

 
Some part of his heart was determined to catch up to her.
 
Before he knew it, the distance between him and Yuna was steadily closing.
 
But his breathing is ragged, his long bangs sticking to his forehead with sweat, obscuring his vision.
 
“…Hah, hah…”
 
He feels embarrassed to be making so much noise over such a short distance.
 
He doesn’t really need to run seriously.
 
Even if Haruya manages to overtake Yuna, it probably won’t mean anything.
 
However, despite that, Haruya had been running seriously before he knew it.
 
Why did he run seriously?


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