Masaki returned to Alrescha by himself.
Thanks to the Ring Gear’s navigational functions, it didn’t take too long for him to return, but it was already the last class of the day.
He headed towards the classroom at a quick pace as he was getting really late.
At last, he finally arrived at Year 2 Class A.
Originally, he was supposed to be introduced to everyone at 08:00 this morning, but many hours had already passed since then.
A long time.
Masaki remembered what had happened that morning and sighed.
Shirley picked him up from the station early in the morning and then they arrived at the school building. He got involved with the man called Ishounuma in front of the elevator and ended up taking the stairs.
On the way, Shirley heard about an emergency and they separated.
After that, there was another problem. Masaki found himself in the perilous situation of being attacked by a wiry man.
Just when he had been driven into a corner, Alice’s Dialect fell. He got wrapped up in an arrest drama, but as a result, he was saved.
Koori the Breaker Supporter treated his injuries, then he greeted his teacher and headed towards his classroom but…
Due to him meeting Alice once again, he was taken out of the school building. His plan had already disappeared.
It was strange even when he reconsidered it. He had been nowhere near the classroom.
But he was lucky to have been able to taste that wonderful tea. It had been very delicious.
Apart from that, he ended up joining a committee before he even set one foot into the classroom! But, when he checked his Ring Gear, its status still said “Registration Application.”
Alice left early and went home. With that sequence of events, Masaki finally arrived at his classroom––
Masaki took a deep breath before the door.
He couldn’t hear any voices inside from the corridor. It was surprisingly quiet.
Class was definitely in progress so he knocked on the door and slowly opened it.
No one was there.
The words “PE : 12B Gymnasium” were on the large monitor in the classroom.
“Guh…this day is quite unlucky…I only wanted to introduce myself…”
Since he hadn’t brought his PE kit, he would have to go to the gym without a change of clothes. The building had 60 floors but thanks to his Ring Gear he never got lost.
Alrescha, 12th floor class, 12B gymnasium––
He pushed the large iron door open.
He heard high-pitched voices and the rhythmic sound of a basketball hitting the floor.
Dam dam dam…
It was Shirley dressed in her gym clothes and jumping with the orange ball held in one hand. The two bunches of brightly-coloured hair on the back of her head left behind a trail like an afterglow.
It was like everything around her was going in slow motion as she threw the basketball in her hand into the ring.
It was a so-called slamdunk.
While Masaki stood there astonished, he had a flash of nostalgia.
He watched a similar figure do that seven years ago. But back then her hair was short and the basketball ring was at a lower height for children.
But it was still high.
She played very well in a one-on-one match.
Shirley ran from the middle of the court after her score.
“Huh…hold on…that’s a little…”
She was running like she was in a sprint competition, and then tackled him like in American football.
Since he had his back to the iron door, he couldn’t avoid it.
He caught her.
It was an unexpectedly light and soft touch.
“Honestly, where did you go!? When I asked the teacher, he only said ‘I don’t know.’ After that, did something happen!?”
Masaki pushed her back before he answered.
Whether she was wearing her PE kit or her uniform, the feeling of being close to her was startling.
“Shirley…we’re high school students now so you should think very carefully…”
“Everyone is staring…”
The girls became excited and were saying “Who is he!?”, “Could he be her boyfriend!?”.The boys looked shocked. It was a really awkward situation to be in before he could introduce himself on his first day.
Shirley separated herself from him and stuck her tongue out.
“Nihaha, that’s right! I’m also sweating.”
“No, that isn’t it. That wasn’t what I meant.”
Even though she had become a female high school student, her delicacy hadn’t grown at all during those seven years.
Shirley pointed at the court.
“Masaki, let’s have a long overdue match! I’m really looking forward to it. You must have thought about a lot of things that you want to do when we met up again right!?”
“Yeah, it will be fun for me too but…”
A girl walking briskly approached them. Amongst all the people around him that were wearing white shirts and shorts, she was the only one wearing a red jersey for some reason. A wide headband held her hair back to show her forehead. Judging from her height and looks, she would be described as a child.
––Was she an elementary school student?
But, this should be a high school. Did she skip grades? Or maybe she was a high school student that looked young?
“Oi! Sakurazaka, you’re in the middle of a game!”
“Ah, I’m sorry.”
She didn’t only look like an elementary school student, the strangely important-looking girl pointed at Masaki like one.
“What class are you in!?”
“Today I transferred––”
“Ah, so you’re Kusunoki Masaki! You must have some nerve to be late to my class when you just transferred!”
“Eh!? Could you be…the teacher?”
“Hohou? Why do you have such a surprised look on your face?”
She wasn’t––a girl, and the PE teacher’s eyes were starting to look dangerous.
But since Masaki was a honest person, he started to blurt out unnecessary things.
“I was sure that you were an elementary school student.”
“Alright, I get it. First, I’ll tell everyone in the class about your transfer. And after that, you’ll do 100 squats––”
Although it was true that he was late, Masaki wouldn’t be able to do 100 squats.
There were about 30 of his classmates gathered around.
It was a strange situation for him to be introducing himself in.
“I’m Kusunoki Masaki. I’m looking forward to working with you…erm Shir…Sakurazaka-san is my childhood friend.”
The girls were saying things like “Is that all there is between them?”…then the small teacher raised her large voice to stop the relentless question time.
“Al-right, class is resuming now! The next team should get onto the court! Kusunoki, why aren’t you wearing your PE kit?”
“I didn’t know that we had a PE class now…”
“You didn’t hear about it?”
“Che, he didn’t tell you about my class huh, is he trying to make a fool out of me. I’ll strangle that guy Hariya after this! Then you’re going to observe!”
It seemed like he didn’t have to do the 100 squats anymore. Although she spoke harshly, maybe she was actually a kind teacher. Though he still couldn’t help but feel sorry for Hariya-sensei.
Masaki watched from the corner of the gym like he was told to.
The girls who weren’t playing at the moment came over to him with curious faces.
“You’re really not in a relationship with Sakurazaka-san?”
“…Well, I was really surprised too but…she is still just like a child, right?”
The girls talked to each other in whispers.
“She really is a little childish right?” “I heard that it was bad.” “But even for a childhood friend, wasn’t that a bit much?” “That’s right, it’s totally suspicious isn’t it~?”
A group of aggressive-looking guys came over to the place where the girls were surrounding Masaki.
There were three male students.
“Hey, transfer student.”
“Who are you guys…?”
“We came to have a little talk with you. If you can talk with the girls, then you can talk to us, right?”
The girls around him stepped back from the guys who had an intimidating air around them.
It was an unpleasant atmosphere.
“I’d go but…since I was already late, I shouldn’t leave.”
“Don’t worry about it, class is nearly finished.”
While he said that, the chime rang to signify the end of class.
He heard the voice of his teacher saying “Right, class is finished!!”
The reason for him to refuse seemed to have disappeared. He wanted to talk to Shirley but…he didn’t want her to have a confrontation with those guys.
There was nothing he could do so Masaki decided to follow them.