"Guidepost" is the one hundredth and two chapter in Ahiru no Sora.
Sora and Momoharu meet Madoka at the school’s staircase. While jokingly teasing Momoharu’s hairstyle, Sora notices the odd interaction between Madoka and his captain. After Madoka’s silent departure, Sora notifies Momoharu that she has been acting a bit strange lately. Sora questions his captain that did something happened between them? Momoharu calmly replies, no need to worry and nothing strange happened. Youko, the Kuzuryu High girls’ team new captain at the school's court, instructs her teammates to start their shuttle runs warmup routine. Before they can begin their training exercise, their team member Sasaki decides to inform Madoka and others about leaving the team. Upon hearing, Madoka questions Sasaki as to why she has decided to quit the team? Sasaki politely apologizes to Madoka for her decision and informs that the teams’ training regimen is a little hard for her, and due to that, she hasn’t been able to keep up with them. After Sasaki’s sudden departure, Youko notifies Madoka that it’s not a surprise she quit the team because Sasaki had been skipping a lot of their practice sessions. Youko then informs Madoka to remember their schools’ club policy. To join a particular club, the person must follow the appropriate procedure by filling out the enrolment application form.
However, properly joining the club doesn’t mean everyone is serious about it. After completion of the shuttle run exercise. Youko urges her club members on the following practice routine to raise their voices as they exercise. The girls’ team members request their captain for a short break. During the interval, Youko informs Madoka that doesn’t the basketball court look a bit bigger. The boys’ basketball team members might be a group of troublemakers, but they were all serious about the sport, and it feels lonely without their presence. Madoka agrees and recalls the recent moment when she ignored Momoharu at the schools’ staircase. At the Kawasaki bridge, while calmly paddling the bicycle, Nao is training Sora on improving his stamina. Midway through the jogging exercise, an exhausted Sora requests his manager for a short break. Nao refuses and instructs Sora to continue the training exercise. Nao’s number one priority in her practice menu is ‘running time.’ While paddling, Nao explains that running training helps build stamina, and in Sora’s case, she has mainly divided the workout into four sets of 10 minutes running exercises. Nao further states Ten minutes might seem like a short period. However, somebody that is relatively faster can cover a distance of 3 km in 10 minutes. This training not only strengthens the physical stamina but also toughens the mental stamina as well.
An exhausted Sora tells himself, five minutes remain in the conclusion of the workout, and he can do this. After completing the training exercise, a tired Sora sits at the steps underneath the Kawasaki bridge. Nao asks Sora will Momoharu be alright in asking Satsuki-sensei to become their teams’ advisor again. Nao then looks up at the sky and states that it's raining again. Sora responds that Momoharu informed him to leave the advisor discussion with Satsuki-sensei to him. Upon hearing, Nao shares her opinion that it would have been better if a non-suspended member like herself would have gone to meet Satsuki-sensei. Sora urges his manager not to worry, and their team captain knows what he is doing. Sora further states that Momoharu’s apologies and haircut aren’t enough to make the guilt disappear. That is why Momoharu is so self-driven at the moment, and he is trying his utmost best to make their team regain the club status. Upon hearing, Nao agrees, and she is impressed by Sora on understanding how their captain thinks. After the short interval, Sora continues his training exercise. While jogging, Sora asks Nao, since he is a small individual, doing this rigorous training will surely increase his muscle mass. However, he is a bit worried that this training routine will stunt his growth. Nao smiles at his question and responds it’s the opposite. During the growth period, one’s height stops increasing when that individual stop using their muscles, referring to training exercises or taking part in extracurricular activities. Nao requests Sora to stop using the calcium bar because his body already has a lot of calcium intake.
Nao further explains to Sora how the growing period works. That one’s height increase when cartilage inside the joints, hardens and becomes bones, and that’s how one actually gets taller. When the person consumes more calcium than the body requires, the joints stiffen before they get a chance to grow, and its actually proteins that grow the joints. Hence, by consuming more calcium, the growth balance gets thrown off. An unsure Sora agrees with her manager. Sora notifies Nao that after completing the training exercise, he will go and meet up with Chiaki. Nao disagrees and urges Sora to head home after completing the jogging workout because the weather is getting worse, and if he catches a cold by chance, he will gain nothing from this exercise. Sora agrees with his manager. Upon departing, Nao requests Sora to call her once he completes his jogging exercise. Sora thanks her. Nao then heads towards her residence. After her departure, Sora questions himself that all the calcium bars he consumed to gain height were a mistake on his part. Upon realizing his errors, Sora suddenly faints and falls to the ground. The people at the Kawasaki bridge see an exhausted Sora, and they call for an ambulance.
Due to his poor health, Sora’s self-training got cancelled, and he got a high fever. Upon reaching his residence, Yone questions Sora as to what happened. A tired Sora responds that he is not feeling well, so he doesn’t have the strength to converse about this topic. Meanwhile, at Kuzuryu High, Momoharu begs Satsuki to reconsider becoming their teams’ advisor again, and he indeed agrees and understands what Mrs. Satsuki said to him. Momoharu further comments, he is a senseless individual, and the only way to ask for forgiveness was to get on his knees and lower his head by showing respect to the person he admires, referring to Satsuki. A depressed Momoharu urges Satsuki to please reconsider the offer. A confused Satsuki looks at his student. Due to heavy rainfall, Satsuki gives Momoharu his extra umbrella and comments that he shouldn’t be worried about what his wife said to him. Satsuki further states that he can understand his situation, and he would have done the same thing. Satsuki urges Momoharu to be considerate and put himself in the shoes of other people or students. A low-spirited Momoharu stares at the ground. Satsuki further states that he would like to help them, but the situation is out of his hand at the moment. Before departing, Satsuki tells Momoharu that the team should look for another person from school if he is so determined. Momoharu responds their team has asked all the teachers and staff members from the school. The only one who remains is you.
Upon hearing, Satsuki quietly exits the school. While heading towards his residence, Satsuki sees the Kuzuryu High principal. Both then head to a nearby restaurant to have some lunch. The principal discusses with Satsuki about their school’s club status policy. During that discussion, the principal informs Satsuki that he was a member of the baseball team back in school. Similar to the basketball team, his club also wasn’t able to win any matches. However, the excitement of competing and strong rapport amongst the members kept the team lively and active. Those are the things he still remembers and cherishes to this day. The principal then discusses the flaws of their club status policy. Allowing every student to join the club has indeed backfired. The worst part is that students who were serious about joining the particular club get caught up in between. The principal then recalls the moment when he first met Kenji at school. At the time of his suspension, Kenji made an oath to take the Kuzuryu High basketball team to the Inter-High Tournament.
The principal further comments that Kenji's words stirred his heart and motivated him. The locker room fire incident is indeed an unfortunate circumstance. If a person makes a mistake, one should get punished. However, there is no reason for the punishment to be permanent. When children get lost in the path of life, it is our solemn duty as adults and teachers to become the light that guides them. Satsuki agrees with the principal’s words. The principal decides that they should give Momoharu and his teammates a second chance. Meanwhile, at Kuzuryu High, Yasuhara, Nabe, and Masahiro are busy cleaning the school’s staff office. A frustrated Yasuhara gives his opinion that the school staff members should be the ones cleaning their office, and where is Momoharu? While tidying up, Masahiro finds a gaming console in the confiscated items box. Masahiro then tries to find the manga magazines the school teachers took from them. During that conversation, a famous school from Yokohama city calls at Kuzuryu High. Nabe answers the phone call, and the staff member requests to have a friendly practice match with the boys’ basketball team.
- Sora Kurumatani
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Nao Nanao
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Masayoshi Satsuki
- The Principal
- Yasuhara Shinichi
- Ryuuhei Nabeshima