|Author: Jammin’ Rabbit||Original Source: Tamaya Kagiya||Artist: Himexin|
Trying to cover my chest isn’t an option. I have to use my hands to grab the other riders’ bandanas. With all the bouncing around that’s going to happen, people are bound to notice I’m not wearing a bra.
Across the field, the first year students are cheering louder than ever. Hana has rallied them along the arena’s boundary with her spirit alone. Any other year, the first years wouldn’t have been a threat. This year, however, emboldened by a fiery captain such as Hana has given them a fighting chance.
I almost think foul play is going on, and she’s subtly charming her class to be more aggressive. Chances are she isn’t, my aura would be firing off alarms if she did. It’s hard to believe someone as chaotic as Hana could be so charismatic.
Hana raises a fist into the air. “Uwahaha! It’s time to tear those second and third years down from their high horse! Literally and metaphorically!”
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“Oh! Hana’s so fired up, her fist is actually on fire!” Students flock to her like moths to a flame.
I put a hand to my face. “Damn it, she’s going to get found out at this rate.”
“Hey, we’re not losing to that squirt. We gotta kick them down a notch and keep kicking!” Mio shouts from below.
“Easy for you to say. You’re not the one without— oop.” I shut up, almost giving myself away.
One of the instructors walks to the center of the field. Six teams watch with bated breath.
The whistle is blown.
None of the teams are moving an inch. All of us stare each other down, watching for who makes the first attack. Kana throws me a look and shakes his head, suggesting that we should wait.
“Ahhh, geez! All this waiting is killing me. We’re going!” Mio begins to move right towards one of the second year riders, the other three have no choice but to follow after.
“H-Hey! Did you forget I’m the rider?” I cling onto my chest to keep them from bouncing too much.
She shrugs off my protests. “The early bird gets the worm— or something like that?”
“That’s not what that means!”
My team is charging at full speed right into the second year rider team. Any moment now and I’ll need to reach out to grab the rider’s bandana. They will likely try to do the same, so I have to be careful—
“Saeko, watch out!” Kana’s voice rings out, warning me of the danger I’m just now seeing from my team’s blindspot.
Hana’s smug grin explodes into laughter. “Kukuku… you’ve fallen for my trap!”
Both the first and second year teams are closing in on us. I failed to anticipate they would form an alliance.
The intercom’s announcer echoes. “The third year class has made the first move, but it seems the first and second years have struck an unlikely accord!”
“Guys! We’re getting boxed in, we got to pull back!” My four runners finally realize the danger that we’re in.
Mio’s jaw tenses up, I can tell she’s gritting her teeth. “No choice but straight ahead.”
The other teams are closing in from behind us. Backing out or veering off to the side means we’ll inevitably run into them. If we go forward, the only team in front of us is the second year rider.
“This is going to be reckless, but Mio’s got the right idea. Sprint as fast as you can towards that second year group!” As I say that, my team regains the confidence to go forward.
The team we’re charging into stands their ground, and its rider has his hands out ready to reach for my bandana. I watch carefully as the wind blows the tail end of his cloth, and just as it’s blown to the right—
“Dive right!” I shout.
We swing hard right, my hand makes purchase on soft fabric and clench down. At the same time, a pair of hands reach out to me as the rider tries in vain to grab my bandana. He misses and grabs my breasts instead. The hands clench hard on me, pulling my shirt off as we sprint by.
“Ehhhh?! You’ve got to be kidding me!” With the bandana in one hand, I cover my chest with my free arm.
“Wha— what happened?” Mio asks from below.
“Nothing! Just keep running!”
Behind me, I hear the second year rider yelp with joy thinking he grabbed my bandana, then disappointment upon realizing it’s just a shirt, and finally to excitement when he sees that it was my shirt he got.
Everyone, from the bleachers to the students on the field erupt in cheers. The sound of shuttering cameras and flashing lights fill my ears, snapping pictures of my wardrobe mishap.
“Kyaaa~ that’s my little sister down there! She’s so cute when she’s naked!” Hatsumi yells from above.
I wrap the thin bandana around my chest like a sarashi. It’s only enough to cover half my chest, but at least I’m not completely naked.
My team makes a wide berth around, still getting chased by the three other teams. They’re beginning to tire, impatience showing on their faces. The remaining second year team, having seen me take out their other rider, abandons the alliance and grabs a first year rider’s bandana.
The second year rider doesn’t see Kana riding up from behind, and loses her bandana to him. Now we’re two up, and Hana is the only rider left on the field. We have her team sandwiched with nowhere to run.
“Hoh? It’s come to this…” Hana shuts her eyes, falling into thought.
Her four members are panicking, sweat coats their entire face, and they look like they’re about to keel over. “What do we do?”
The first years have actually been closing the gap on our lead. We could just as easily lose it in the next few games, so squeezing as many points as possible this game will give us a buffer zone.
Hana’s eyes snap open. A plan has sprung in her mind and a wide, undeterred grin puts us on guard.
“The battle has been lost, but the war isn’t over!” She throws her bandana to the ground.
“In an unprecedented move, the first year class has dropped their bandana to end the match prematurely! Truly a spectacle of strategic planning!”
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“What? What happened?” Mio is just as confused as I am.
“In other words… Hana’s team committed suicide…”
After the tragedy that was the cavalry battle, I went back to the relief tent to find Gouda jerking himself while sniffing my bra. I kicked him out so I can put it back on in private. He had to participate in the next game anyway.
Sports Day is turning out to be more intense than the previous two I participated in. Maybe because Mio and Hana are at each other’s throats. Through Hana’s— for a lack of a better word— leadership, the first and third years are neck and neck in points.
We’re down to the final game of the day. The relay race.
Hitomi and the student council created a hybrid relay this year. The race begins with a rope climb in which a member of the relay team must ring their bell at the top. Doing so sets in motion the next two runners who will run a lap around the track field, passing a baton. Finally, a third runner must run half a lap, draw a card out of a box in a pseudo-scavenger hunt, and deliver it to the finish line.
Of course, Mio and Hana’s fierce competitive streak means both of them will be the anchors. I’ve been designated as the rope climber because once again, I’m the lightest member in our class.
I want to argue that my breasts are anything but light, though I don’t think anyone will listen.
Mio pulls me off to the side, out of earshot from the other students. “No more playing nice. If Hana wins, I’m never going to hear the end of it. I might just tear my hair out!”
“You two are the only ones taking this seriously—wh-whoa!”
She picks me up by my jersey. “You know how she laughs. Do you wanna hear that everyday for the rest of your life? Where’s your pride as a third year?”
“You’re right… we still have the rest of the school year, and losing to the first years means the second years are going to look down on us, too. What do we do?”
“When you and the others start climbing, use your magic to cut the other teams’ ropes.” She says, clenching her fist.
I take a deep breath and very calmly explain, “That’s called murder.”
“Will the relay teams proceed to their starting positions!”
“Hooo…” A stale breath escapes my lungs.
I’m first as the climber. The second and first year representatives are on either side of me. We step onto the cushioned mat to take our place in front of the fifteen foot rope. In the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty short. Daunting nonetheless.
A referee walks up behind us. “One your marks… get set… go!”
Instead of climbing right away, I leap as high as I can, giving me a quick boost past the others. The second year student catches up quickly, his thick arms clearing the length of the rope in seconds. He rings the bell first, then me, followed by the first year student right after.
I drop back down to see three runners already in full sprint. Kana had selected both baton runners from the track and field team’s sprinters. No doubt, the other two classes did the same.
Disaster strikes when our second runner trips, scraping her knees on the ground. The other two runners overtake her, but she gets up and presses on to hand Mio the baton.
Hana and the second year anchor have already reached the drawing box. Both of them seem very confused at what they’ve drawn. The second year runner is panicking, while Hana has the most disappointed expression on her face. She shakes it off, and grabs her bag.
Mio finally catches up. She reaches in and pulls out a small index card. Her head c̲o̲c̲k̲s̲ up like a deer in the headlights.
“Do you think she grabbed a difficult thing to find?” Kana asks.
Before I can answer, Mio runs in our direction.
“She might be looking for something we have. Everyone pull things from your pockets and get ready!” I tell our class.
But as my classmates take out cell phones and wallets, one boy even spits out his gum into his hands, Mio pushes past them. She kneels down with her back to me. “Saeko, get on. Now!”
I’m not given a choice. The students push me forward. As soon as I climb onto Mio’s back she takes off in full sprint.
Hana has a bag slung over her shoulders, already making her way to the finish line. Whatever object is in her bag is the key to her victory. Whatever I have that Mio needs won’t matter if we don’t get there first. She pushes her legs to the limit, and soon we’re gaining on Hana. Fast.
“What’s this? Despite the accident, the third year team has caught up with the first year!” The intercom’s frenzied commentary is only serving to make my heart race faster.
Mio’s toe-to-toe with Hana. The finish line is only a few more strides away. Out of nowhere, Hana torpedo dives head first. She lands with a loud thud as she tumbles past the finish line and rolls into a group of spectators. We come up close behind, inches away from running it in first.
“A stunning end! The first year captain, Hana has crossed the finish line first, with the third year running up second, but the second year team’s anchor crosses empty handed! The game isn’t over, folks. Now the judges must determine whether each anchor successfully delivered the correct item.”
Hitomi and the other judges rush to Hana. The pink-haired trickster picks herself up and brushes the dirt from her jersey.
“Now the moment of truth as the judges confirm Hana’s card and item…”
Hana looks our way and cackles. “Uwahaha! The moment I’ve been waiting for— the climax, the finale, my last act!!”
Rika reads aloud the card, “Sunglasses!”
“Kuh. She got an easy one!” Mio complains.
“There’s no way Hana doesn’t have that.” I say, hopping off Mio’s back.
Hitomi holds out her hand as Hana turns her bag upside down. Few pieces of lint drop out until an enormous, d̲i̲l̲d̲o̲ plops into Hitomi’s hand. Not an ordinary d̲i̲l̲d̲o̲. It’s ribbed, has a thick base, and is colored pink like Hana’s hair.
Everyone has fallen silent.
Exasperated sighs and a hesitation to announce the item is all that comes through the intercom. All eyes go from gawking at the d̲i̲l̲d̲o̲, to simultaneously snapping in Hana’s direction. All except one.
“Uwaahh~ Hanachin is refreshed,” Hana looks as though she experienced her most powerful o̲r̲g̲a̲s̲m̲ yet.
There’s a shadow cast over Hitomi’s face. “Explain this, Hana.”
“Aha. You see, I snuck two extra cards into your drawing box and was hoping to get d̲i̲l̲d̲o̲. I didn’t end up drawing it, but I still wanted to go through with the joke so— GUBOOUH!”
Hitomi picks Hana up by her face and chucks her across the field like a shot put. Hana commits the whole way without flying or softening her impact, and crashes into another crowd of students.
Mio picks me up again and carries me to Hitomi and the judges. “What about us?”
The judges and student council members confer with each other over Mio’s card. They study it, look at me, then nod as they quietly mumble to themselves.
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“Well, we can make an exception to treat Hana’s extra cards as legitimate. She failed her own plan, anyways.” Rika suggests to the rest.
“This is acceptable,” Hitomi says, throwing me a thumbs up.
The judges return to the tables, and Hitomi hands the card back to Mio.
“What? Someone tell me what’s going on!” I ask Mio in particular.
I don’t need to see to know she’s got a smirk behind her hand. “If we win this, your t̲i̲t̲s̲ are MVP.”
She forfeits the card to me. Written in bold is a five letter word that spells out, ‘B̲o̲o̲b̲s̲.‘
“You could have just delivered yourself! This doesn’t make me happy at all!” I toss the card to the ground and stomp on it. “Damn it, Hana.”
Hitomi’s voice comes through the intercom. “Congratulations to the third year class for clinching the victory. The first year class gave them a good fight, but placed second with only a single point behind.”
Without a moment to process our victory, the entire third year class gathers around us. Hugs and applause come from all directions, our names are cheered on repeat. Hatsumi waves a flag of my face excitedly from the bleachers.
Aside from my b̲o̲o̲b̲s̲ getting all the attention, today was pretty fun. And I know there’s more to look forward to next week.