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    Takane no Hana

    Chapter 16

    The True Identity of A Girl Who Looks Like A Blade

    Translated by Hikaru
    Edited by VampireKnight


     

    It is the second day of school life. We are gathered in the large gymnasium, after changing into our gym clothes.

     

    “We’re going to play badminton today,” said the female teacher in charge of the physical education class.

     

    The Imperial Academy, which produces future managers and politicians, also has a physical education class. It is the same as the high school I used to go to in that the two classes are held together and divided into boys and girls. Right now, the students of Class 2A and Class 2B are gathered in the gym.

     

    “Girls, take the east side of the court. Boys, take the west side.”

     

    “So, boys, let’s get moving.”

     

    The male teacher in charge of the boys’ physical education led the students to the court. 

     

    It was a relief compared to the classroom lessons we’d had. I guess it doesn’t matter if you go to a prestigious private school or a mediocre public high school, the physical education content is almost the same.

     

    “Nishinari. You’ve got a better body than I thought.”

     

    “Ah…… I happen to do some muscle training now and then.”

     

    While moving to the other court, I have a light conversation with Taisho who walks next to me. 

     

    In reality, I was only trained by a physical labor job. I’ve already quit that job, but Shizune-san will be teaching me self-defense from now on. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble exercising.

     

    “It’s quite a big gymnasium, though.”

     

    “Well, it’s about 3,000m2. I’d say that’s pretty big for a gymnasium.”

     

    The scale is different from the usual gymnasiums built inside schools. Rather than a gymnasium, it is more like a huge event hall.

     

    “Once you’ve warmed up, we’ll start practicing rallies.”

     

    After running three laps around the outside of the court and doing some light stretching, badminton practice began. I didn’t know this, because I just transferred in the other day, but apparently, badminton lessons have already been held several times. The practice soon became more like a match, and Taisho and I went to the edge of the court to wait for our turn.

     

    “Huh….”

     

    Thanks to Shizune-san training, my body hasn’t slowed down. ―I think I can manage to keep up with the physical education class. I’m glad. School life is tough for me in many ways, but I think I can face it without worrying about PE class.

     

    “Hi, Nishinari-kun.”

     

    Suddenly, a voice called out to me from behind. When I turned around, I saw Asahi-san there. Apparently, Asahi-san was currently waiting for her turn and had spare time to waste.

     

    “I was watching~ You were good at it.”

     

    “Well, I’m not bad at sports, but Asahi-san seems to be good at sports too.”

     

    “Oh, did I give it away? As you’re saying, I’m pretty good at sports too.”

     

    Asahi-san said proudly, and Taisho spoke up for her.

     

    “Asahi is a good skater too.”

     

    “I’m confident in my sense of balance. What are you good at, Taisho? Like golf?”

     

    “I’m good at golf. My dad used to make me play with him when I was a kid,” Taisho said with a laugh.

     

    Listening to their conversation…… made me shiver.

     

    “Um…… do you also learn skating and golf at this school, by any chance?”

     

    “Yes. In our sophomore year, we will play polo too.”

     

    “Po, Polo…?”

     

    As I tilted my head, Asahi-san took over the explanation.

     

    “It’s a kind of equestrian sport. You ride a horse and control a ball with a stick.”

     

    Riding a horse……? I’ve never ridden a horse in my life.

     

    ―I was so naive.

     

    I thought I could keep up with the people around me in physical education class…… Apparently, that was just for now. I have no experience in golf, skating, or polo. I guess I couldn’t escape Shizune-san’s lessons.

     

    “What’s wrong, Nishinari?”

     

    “It’s nothing……”

     

    I’m feeling down, and Taisho is worried about me. I let out a sigh and looked at the court. It looks like I still have some time before my turn comes around.

     

    “By the way, the school has very elaborate gym uniforms, don’t they?”

     

    “Oh, that’s right. It seems to have been designed by one of our graduates.”

     

    Asahi-san said as she picked at her collar.

     

    “Is that so?”

     

    “Yeah. He’s now an apprentice of a world-famous fashion designer, so I’m sure he’ll get a good price for this design in the near future.”

     

    Wow, it’s an amazing world. I want to escape from reality. I was concerned about this when I took on the job of caretaker, but I knew I was out of place at the Imperial Academy.

     

    “Oh, it is Konohana-san,” said Asahi-san who looked at the center of the court.

     

    There was Hinako, holding a racket. The shuttle was lobbed up, and Hinako smashed it sharply. The shuttle fell into the corner of the court, and Hinako won.

     

    “Konohana-san, you can not only study, but you can also do physical activities well.”

     

    “That’s right. You’re also the object of admiration for us girls.”

     

    Not only Taisho and Asahi-san, but the other students also looked at Hinako with admiration. I had heard beforehand that she was a good student of both literature and martial arts, but there was no doubt that she had the ability to live up to her reputation.

     

    “Well, but when it comes to PE, it’s not just about Konohana-san……,” Taisho said as he looked away from Hinako and shifted his gaze to the other girls.

     

    “Yeah…… Miyakojima, she is awesome too.”

     

    Asahi-san also nodded and looked at another female student. The two of them looked at one of the girls, who had black hair tied up and reached to her thighs. Compared to Hinako, she is slender and tall for a girl. Her eyes and nose are as good as Hinako, and her face is definitely that of a beautiful woman.

     

    The girl hit the shuttle back with light footwork and knocked it down into the opponent’s court. She was so good that even an amateur can see it.

     

    “You don’t know Nishinari. That person is Miyakojima Naruka. She’s not as famous as Konohana-san, but she’s pretty famous in the academy.”

     

    “……is she famous?”

     

    “As you can see, she is very athletic, an all-around athlete. She is probably even better than Konohana-san in physical education. Besides, you know. She’s one of the coolest beauties in the school.”

     

    “Cool beauty…”

     

    It’s true, though, that the dignified appearance of the woman suits her well.

     

    “But the best feature is…… that,” Asahi-san muttered to herself.

     

    The practice was over and the girl walked out of the court. At that moment, two girls who were watching the practice walked up to the girl.

     

    “Oh, that! Miyakojima-san! Thank you for your hard work!”

     

    “You are really good!”

     

    Somewhat awkwardly, the two girls worked on the girl. But the girl looked at them with eyes as sharp as blades and,

     

    “―Ah?”

     

    “Huh!?”

     

    Her dusky voice intimidated them.

     

    “I, I’m sorry!”

     

    “It’s nothing!!”

     

    In fear, the two girls turned pale and ran off. Asahi-san, who was watching the scene, let out a sigh.

     

    “I don’t want to say this really, but…… Miyakojima-san is a little scary. Basically, she is silent all the time and her facial expression is so stiff.”

     

    “I’ve heard all kinds of rumors, like behind the scene she is in a motorcycle gang, or that her family is a yakuza,” Taisho said in dismay.

     

    Both of them seemed to find the rumors more trivial than amusing.

     

    “Well, it’s just a rumor after all, and you don’t have to believe it at all…… Either way, she seems to have a wall built around her. I’ve tried to get up the courage to talk to her several times before, but she just avoided me, saying she had something to do.”

     

    “I see…”

     

    The Imperial Academy is a place where only the best students are allowed to attend. There is no such thing as bullying or discrimination in this school. But even so, there are students who seem to stand out from the crowd.

     

    “Nishinari, it’s our turn now.” 

     

    Taisho told me, and I headed for the court. 

     

    The physical education class went off without a hitch.

     

     ◆

     

    On my way back to class, after I changed into my uniform in the locker room, I looked for Hinako just to make sure she was still there, but she was in the middle of walking with her female classmates. Outwardly, being a popular person has paid off. Aside from a long break like the lunch break, I might not have to worry so much about a short break between classes.

     

    “……Ah.”

     

    “What’s up, Nishinari?”

     

    “I’m sorry. I think I left my shoes in the locker room, so I’ll go get them.”

     

    I parted with Taisho and went back to the locker room. I was so conscious of Hinako that I neglected myself.

     

    “There it is.”

     

    I open the door to the locker room and find my gym shoes on the counter. If I relax, the next class would start so I hurried out of the locker room―.

     

    “Ah!?”

     

    “… Wha!?”

     

    As I walked out the door, I almost bumped into a female student. We looked at each other in surprise.

     

    “Are you okay?”

     

    “Yes. I’m sorry…”

     

    When I apologize, I look at the girl’s face and ― stiffen. Naruka Miyakojima. The girl who had been the topic of conversation in the class earlier was there.

     

    “So, I’ll leave you to it…”

     

    Pretending to act as naturally as possible, I turned on my heel. I was about to head back to the classroom when the girl grabbed my sleeve and held me back.

     

    “Hey.”

     

    I can hear the girl’s voice.

     

    “Are you really…Itsuki?”

     

    A chill ran down my spine. I opened my mouth fearfully.

     

    “You’re wrong.”

     

    “No…… No, no, no! Itsuki! You’re Itsuki! I’m sure!”

     

    Her face broke into a smile, and her voice boomed. The girl looked at me with shining eyes.

     

    “Wow, whoa… Itsuki…!!”

     

    With tears in the corners of her eyes, the girl approached me with her arms outstretched.

     

    “I’ve missed youー! Itsuki!!”

     

    “Ugh!?”

     

    She hugged me tightly.


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