Chapter 230 – Practice Start

We didn’t talk much after that and made our way to the gym. By the time we got there, Umi had just finished changing and was just coming out of the locker room with Nitta-san.

The moment Umi saw me, her face immediately brightened up, but when she saw Amami-san next to me, she puffed her cheeks.

Please, we were classmates and it was a coincidence that we got to walk here together, don’t be like that, Umi.

“Good morning, Umi!~ Hehe, I’ll be with Umi everyday from now on, yay~”

“Morning, Yuu. You came with Maki?”

“Yeah, I ran into him when I went to grab my stuff. Ah right, have you seen Nagisa-chan?”

“Her? She was taking care of her hair when I left. I didn’t want her to bite me, so I left her alone in the locker room.”

“Jeez, she isn’t a wild dog! What about Mio-chan and the others? If they’re here, I wanna say hello to them.”

“Nakamura-san went somewhere with the rest of the student council. The other three went to the yard already. They wanted to see you too, so come over after the meeting is over.”

It had been about a year and a half since they entered high school. In the beginning, those two had the same circle of friends, but ever since second year, they had gotten their own circle of friends.

Well, this was a normal development. I was an exception in that regard since my circle of friends hadn’t changed since the first year.

Of course, I tried to get along with as many people as I could, but I wouldn’t try to get involved with them more than necessary, unless they were important to me.

Well, I felt a little envious of the others who managed to find a new friend group quickly, but I wasn’t too bothered about it. As I was thinking about it, Amami-san and Umi were chatting about their friends and seemed to be forgetting about Nitta-san and my existence. I could see Nitta-san yawning boredly slightly further away from those two.

“…What? I didn’t wear any makeup today, so don’t stare at me too much, Rep.”

“I’m just wondering if it’s okay for you to be here. Don’t you need to be with your class or something?”

“Hmm… It should be fine. I get along well with my classmates, but not well enough to be together with them 24/7. If Yuuchin and the others came separately, I would go to them, but since we’re going together, why would I do that?”

“I see.”

Come to think of it, I’d never seen Nitta-san hang out with anyone other than us.

I knew that she was a good and sociable girl, so she should be able to get along with her classmates.

“What, are you worried about me, Rep?”

“No, not really…”

“Umi~ Your boyfriend is hitting on me~”

“Hm? Is she telling the truth, Maki?”

After hearing Nitta-san’s words, Umi gave me a death glare.

“Of course not.”

“Of course, I knew it.”

“I’m joking, okay? Joking! …Wait, you figured it out?”

“I mean, it’s you…”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!”

Nitta-san immediately complained after hearing Umi’s response. I understood why Umi acted like that, though.

Unlike Amami-san, Umi didn’t put her guard up too much around Nitta-san. It was because of her personality. Umi knew that most of the time, Nitta-san was joking. Besides, Nitta-san knew what she was doing and would never act out of line.

In a way, it showed how much she trusted Nitta-san.

“Anyway, I’m fine. You don’t need to worry about me, okay?”


Well, if she said so, what else could I do? Besides, if she really needed any help, she would probably talk it out with Umi or Amami-san first.

After that, the four of us went to the yard together.

By the time we got there, there were several groups of people wearing different colored headbands.

Red, blue, yellow and green. Our group, wearing blue headbands, were formed around the area Yagisawa-sensei marked on the blackboard.

The third year student in front of us, probably the group leader, instructed us to line up by the order of our classes.

And so, both Umi and Nitta-san went to their respective classes.

Their friends welcomed them when they got there. It seemed like Nitta-san was welcomed by more people than Umi though.

“…Ninacchi seems to be getting along with her classmates just fine.”


As Amami-san said, she seemed to be getting along with the others just fine. I really didn’t need to be worried about her at all.

I guess I should worry about myself instead. After that, I parted with Amami-san and went to the back of the line. Meanwhile Amami-san went to join the group of girls she usually hung out with in class.

After hearing the opening words from the group leader, they gave us explanations about what we would be doing for the practice. Overall, the practice was divided into two, the general practice, cheerleading, and event specific practice. We would be having the general practice in the morning and the event specific practice in the afternoon.

I memorized my practice schedule and then spent the rest of my time looking at Umi.

Now that I think about it, it had been a while since I’d watched Umi from afar like this. I didn’t do this consciously either, my eyes just somehow found their way in her direction.

Then, perhaps noticing my gaze, Umi stared back at me. She smiled mischievously and mouthed something toward me.

‘Ma~ Ki~’

She seemed to be calling my name. It didn’t seem like much, but we used to do that when we first started dating.

‘Look ahead, you dummy.’

‘Speak for yourself.’

After saying that, she turned her head to the front, but not long after, she turned it to face me again.

‘Everyone~ Maki is stealing glances at me~’

‘Umi too’

…Even under the hot summer sun, we were acting the same as always.