Chapter 5

Prologue V

“Are you also afraid of me? Because that would be one of the reasons that I could think of why you would want to get away from me as soon as possible?”

When Kishikawa-sensei closely stared at my face, I tried to keep my distance from her, as I didn't want someone to misunderstand the situation, as she's a teacher that's admired by a lot of boys and, at the same time, an object of their affection.

“It's not that I'm afraid of you, but…”

“Then tell me what I need to do in order for me to show my appreciation for what you have done to me.
Oh wait! It seems that I haven't introduced myself yet.”

Sensei then gently brushed back the pigtails that were hanging over her shoulders, and she put her hands on her chest.

“I'm Kishikawa…
I teach physical education and I'm also the advisor of the swimming club.”*

She hesitated for a moment to say her name because she was embarrassed to say it as it's a pretty name that didn't fit her image.
(I knew that because later on she would tell me about that.)

I'm Umihara Ryouta, a first-year section A student, and my attendance number is two.”

“Umihara Ryouta…
OK! I memorized it.
Umihara, do you like to swim?”

“To a certain extent, yes, but I'm sure I'm no match for the students at the swimming club.”

I guess that's not the answer that sensei was looking forward to.
Even if the character of swim is in my name, it's not like I would automatically like it.
But really, in truth, swimming is a sport that I'm confident in doing.

“If you weren't in any clubs and there was a boys' swimming club here at our school, I would have definitely recruited you.”

“Thanks for the kind offer, but I'm not planning to join any clubs.”

“I see, but there are many things in life that you will discover when you belong to a club.
For example, there may be times when you want to start a club to meet with people who have the same passion as you.
Also, joining a club is not the only way that you can get involved in different clubs.”

Ever since I met her, she's always been a positive person, full of sunshine.

Seeing her like that is one of the reasons why I changed my perspective on high school life.
Though I can say that nothing has changed in me since freshman year.

If I didn't meet Kishikawa-sensei that day.
If I didn't help her, I wonder what would have happened in my high school life…

“I'll need to get the other members' permission first, but if you're interested, why don't you visit me at the swimming pool.
If you have time, also bring your swimsuit, as I'll teach you how to swim for a little bit.”

Kishikawa-sensei waved her hands lightly as she walked away.

The figure of her straight body walking down the corridor in the sunset was so picture perfect that I unconsciously muttered her name as I stood there looking at her back as she walked away.

The goddess of Anegasaki High School, the adviser of the swimming club, “Female Knight-sensei”.

I've noticed that she's strangely concerned about me ever since I met her, and we've never lost touch.

But that doesn't mean she's giving me preferential treatment.
Even after we get to know each other, we're still students and teachers.
That's why when we meet, we just casually talk to each other, and sometimes we even coincidentally meet during our days off.

However, from the perspective of those around me, it's very strange that a teacher is personally close to one of her students, so we both agreed not to show that we have a good relationship in front of other people.
I'm not saying I'm guilty, but it's a rule that must be followed as common sense.

One year after that encounter, the second spring at Anegasaki High School has arrived.
It had been about a week since I had transferred to a new class.

For some reason, after I entered the classroom, the atmosphere around me became really stiff…
It's not like I'm intimidating them, but I can't help that they are afraid of me.
That's why I can't even greet them properly.

One of my classmates, without reading the atmosphere at all, stood up and came over as soon as he saw me.

“Umihara, have you heard? Today the swimming club's pool will be open to the public during the club activity tour.”

The person who is talking to me is Uesugi Jun.
We've been in the same class since our first year, and we often hang out together at school.

He's a short-haired boy who gives a very refreshing impression.
He's a quiet guy, but when he opens his mouth, he won't stop talking and will have a comment on anything around him. 

Uesugi was so excited about having a chance to tour the swimming club pool, but what he didn't know is that…

“The swimming club is a girl's-only club, so even during the welcome period for new students, boys wouldn't be allowed to enter the club.”

In truth, Kishikawa-sensei said that it was possible to let the boys in during the club tour period even if they weren't allowed to join the club.
But I will keep it a secret from him because if I did tell him, he would be too excited and it might cause some trouble.

“Well, that's true, but you know, my desire to go to the swimming club pool is genuinely pure.
So I think female knight-sensei would let me off the hook.”

“Who would believe that you have pure intentions when you are acting like that? If Kishikawa-sensei sees you, she will immediately mark you as a student that needs to be observed.
Also, don't add to the struggle of the swimming club; they already have too many problems regarding peepers during their club activities.”

“Is that so? Hey, I'm just wondering why you are so knowledgeable about the swimming club.
Also, I've heard rumors about you and the female knight-sensei staring at each other every time you pass by each other in the corridor.
Wait, could it be…”

Well, I guess he's correct to suspect that I know a lot about the swimming club.
After all, I learned all about those things when Kishikawa-sensei told me stories about what was happening during their practices, but I haven't seen their actual practice.

“I'm not doing things that I know in the first place that doing them would be too risky.”

“Umehara, my friend, why are you hesitating?” Paradise is waiting for us! Let's go on an adventure and discover the wonders and mysteries of so-called swimsuits.
Besides, is there anything more important than visiting the swimming club? Of course not.”

I don't mind being called a killjoy, but at this point I don't really know how I would reply to him.
Looking at Jun, he is now laughing wickedly without a care in the world.

A lot of students think that Kishikawa-sensei and I are at odds with each other, and Jun seems to think that way also.

Maybe they thought that since I have been given a nickname, the intelliyakuza, I'm not compatible and I'm the exact opposite of Kishikawa-sensei, who has an image of a female knight.


Meiru is roughly translated to “A budding gem”

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