Stealing Spree - Chapter 1726
While waiting for the tennis match to start, I used my free time to check my messages. There are the usual updates from my girls with their occasional silly antics caught in a photo.
There’s one where Saki showed me how Nami and Hina were struggling to cut a paper with a dull pair of scissors. I don’t know what they’re trying to do but the frustration on their faces is quite amusing.
There’s a short clip that Akana sent. She brought Futaba and Eri with her to hang out with Yae and the other girls. And from that clip, it showed Eri arguing with Elizabeth regarding my title that the chuuni created. The other girls who were listening to them found that hilarious.
Well, it’s a bit embarrassing for me but thankfully, I’m not there with them. I also have no idea why it matters to Eri. But I would hazard a guess that hearing that full title really sounded bad. I mean, Breaker of Relationships? She’s probably doing that for Akane. On the other hand, Elizabeth was just so enthusiastic that someone had the patience to discuss that with her.
Maybe after today, those two would form a bond of friendship over that silly disagreement.
Apart from those two instances, I also received a message from Sumire. She and Umi are hanging out with Nina and Mami. Their topic of conversation circled around Ogawa, and Tadano before landing on me.
With how inquisitive Nina was, that girl apparently noticed their reactions when she mentioned my name. And because of that, the vampire fanatic started raving about her suspicion.
“Senpai, I heard you’re a vampire. Why have you not bitten us yet?”
Reading that was hilarious in its own way. And from the way she wrote that message, I could imagine that gremlin was also suppressing her laughter.
Really, what’s wrong with that girl and her obsession with vampires?
Ah. Before I forget, since that girl has been brought up more than once today, I tried digging into my unread messages, and sure enough, I found one from her.
Compared to what I heard from Nami and Sumire, Nina’s opening message was simple, “Senpai, this is Nina. I’m looking forward to finding out more about you!”
Wait. That’s not simple at all, right? Hidden beneath that message was her intent to find out if I was really what she suspected or not.
Anyway, there are more messages but those are more wholesome like Auntie Yayoi’s thoughtful reminder while saying she’s missing me or Yue’s scenic photos taken by Kaoru-san.
I took my time to reply to all of them and before I knew it, Fuyu’s club and their opponent finally showed up and cheers erupted from both sides.
Putting my phone back in my pocket, I made my way to the audience area. I then debated whether to pick a seat right in front or find an inconspicuous spot to hide myself in.
In the end, I picked the latter after seeing the number of audiences gradually filling up the seats.
They’re mostly from their school and as someone as recognizable as me after my transformation, I had to be careful not to be spotted.
Though I wouldn’t mind being approached and questioned by curious ones since I would mostly give them vague answers, I still prefer not to be bothered by loose mouths that could start hatching up new rumors that might affect Fuyu or Akane.
That’s too much trouble.
At the same time, I doubt that even with my attempt to be low-key here, it will be a miracle if no one tries to approach me.
With my overly acute senses that could somehow notice a gaze landing on my back, I already noted a few who were curiously glancing in my direction.
Hopefully, they wouldn’t get the courage or the urge to stand up and take the empty seat beside me.
Well, enough about that.
Putting my focus on the court, I checked Fuyu’s condition as well as her team. There’s nothing different than yesterday so they’d probably be fine.
On the other hand, their opponent looked like they were more competent than their previous one. And based on the cheers I was hearing from those supporting them, they’re a powerhouse in this sport.
That gave me the motivation to check them out. To my surprise, they’re from a familiar high school.
The 2nd High School.
Yep. One of the affiliated schools that Hayashi-sensei owned.
I guess that’s normal, huh? If our school has the Girls Basketball club that showed its excellence, it should be no surprise that the other schools can also produce a fairly competent club even if they’re not sports-oriented.
Recalling my time when I visited that school with Eguchi-sensei, it’s not that much different to ours. Moreover, the suspected students that I investigated there weren’t a part of this tennis club.
In any case, when my eyes scanned the faces of those tennis club members, I found someone familiar that triggered a short recollection of memory.
It’s not one of my previous girls but simply someone I considered to be a target before.
At the moment, I saw Fuyu who also recognized the girl walking over to that side. They both amiably smiled and shook hands with each other.
Yep. That’s the reason I didn’t push on trying to steal her. That girl was a senior in the tennis club that Fuyu was also a part of...
Alright. Now that’s quite a detail that I couldn’t put my fingers on. Why did my past self also avoid the girls around Fuyu? Is it just an extension of not bothering Akane and her friends? I don’t know.
I don’t have another comparison to make with Futaba and Eri since those two were already in a relationship and I never found a potential target in their clubs.
Ugh... I better stop overthinking this. I wouldn’t be able to find an answer to it anyway.
Taking my attention away from that side, my eyes simply followed Fuyu for the next few minutes.
I told her I would be watching within the crowd so she eventually tried to find me after doing some preparation.
Her first scan of the crowd failed to spot me. Maybe because she’s far away.
The second attempt also failed since she avoided some idiots who thought it was fine to whistle and get her attention.
And at the third attempt, I raised my hand for her to see.
Thankfully, that’s a success. She waved back at me and silently mouthed, “Wish me luck.”
As a response, I used gestures to deliver my message which earned me a cheerful laugh from the girl.
Following that, Fuyu hopped back to her team, looking jolly and satisfied.
Somehow, I couldn’t help but find that adorable. Is this an effect of having my attention solely on her?
Uh. No. We’ve been alone several times already but this is the first time I’ve been seeing her in this kind of light...
Haa... I’m hopeless.
A few minutes later, the tennis match officially started and the crowd was immediately silenced.
The format was the same so she’s going to have her turn after the two doubles matches.
Tension rose as the first pair of double pairings stepped up to the court. True to the hype and the reputation this 2nd High School Tennis Club has, they immediately applied pressure on their opponent.
And as expected, the game went differently than yesterday.
The first match was lost due to being outskilled and a few errors on their serves and returns. It ended with a tragic score of 6-2.
The second match wasn’t that far off and they suffered just the same. At the very least, they took one more game than the previous one. They became doomed when their errors amounted to 4 points or if you pooled it together, a whole game. It ended with 6-3, bringing the team their second loss.
With the gloomy atmosphere starting to settle on the side that supports the Cloudpeak High School Tennis Club, Fuyu stepped up for her match against that former senior of hers... In a way, her match became a deciding game on whether their club could still have a hope to advance to the next stage or not. And obviously, it put a lot of pressure on the girl’s shoulder.
Before her match started, Fuyu glanced one last time in my direction. The pressure was clearly written on her face. Nonetheless, when our gazes met, the girl’s face relaxed as she seemingly got pumped by another surge of motivation.
Uh. Is that my ability to alleviate pressure working once again? That’s wild. In any case, I’m relieved to see her back to her optimal state.
At the same time as the whistle to start the match echoed across the venue, I started cheering for the girl.