"Earrings" is the one hundredth and six chapter in Ahiru no Sora.
At the Inter-High Kanagawa Prefecture quarterfinals, Kitasumi High lost to the powerhouse Yokohama Taiei High. Shiraishi’s team is one of the esteemed clubs from the Kanagawa region that regularly qualify for the Inter-High Tournament. Nao arrives at the tourney venue a bit late and sees her dejected cousin. Upon seeing Tarou’s depressing nature, Nao decides it's not a good time to have a conversation with him. Meanwhile, at Kuzuryu High, Madoka and her teammates are busy doing their daily training regimen in preparation for upcoming district tournaments. The captain of the girls’ team, Youko, urges her squad to raise their voices during their practice routine. Madoka messes up the timing of the layup of the shot. Upon her futile attempt, Madoka apologizes to her friend Youko and assures she will successfully make the next layup shot. Youko smiles, comments, no need to be worried, and it's alright.
After the conclusion of their training session, Madoka and Youko head to their team's locker room. Upon changing their attire, Youko questions Madoka that she has been acting a bit strangely lately? A confused Madoka apologizes. Youko replies, it’s fine, and she doesn’t need to apologize to her for anything. Youko further comments that these past three years have been phenomenal for their girls’ basketball team. Upon the departure of their adoring seniors, it’s not just you, Madoka, who is affected. It’s actually everyone on their team. Youko then critiques that after their senpais graduation, the girls’ team has become disordered. Their carefree or slacking seniors have left a significant impact on their team, and she misses them. Upon hearing, Madoka then jokingly tries to text and inform her graduated seniors about Youko’s ragging opinions about them.
Youko further states that she is not trying to indulge or interfere in the private life of her friend and urges Madoka if she needs anyone to talk to, she will always be there for her. Madoka smiles at her suggestion and thanks Youko. Before heading out, Madoka quietly gives her opinion that her best friend Youko is the most talented individual on their team and the one who takes all the practice sessions extremely seriously. As both are exiting the school, Youko suggests that instead of going to their residence, let’s have dinner at a café or restaurant. Madoka politely turns down the offer and informs Youko she already has plans to meet up with their senior Tama today. Madoka, to meet up with Tama, heads towards the local karaoke restaurant. While going there, Madoka gives her interesting opinion that it’s been kind of difficult lately to see how hard people’s fruits shine (success) next to her darkness (downfall).
On reaching the karaoke bar, Madoka critiques Tama that she should have chosen a restaurant near their school, and on the way, she accidentally met her father at the subway station. Tama and her colleagues smile at Madoka’s suggestion, and then they all decide to choose a song of their liking. Afterwards, Tama asks Madoka to tell her about the whole story of the recent argument she had with her supposed boyfriend, Momoharu. Madoka replies nothing happened, and she is not dating anyone. Madoka then tears up and requests her senior for advice in regards to relationships. Tama smiles and states that’s the whole reason she invited her today to the karaoke restaurant, and the others will be arriving soon, referring to the boys’ basketball team members from Tamagawa High. As they’re conversing, Tsukasa and his friends arrive at the restaurant. Tama questions Tsukasa that they are late on arrival. Tsukasa apologizes to Tama and notifies his basketball team had some practice earlier. Upon hearing, Tama replies that she didn’t know they all were members of a club. Tsukasa smiles and comments despite his odd-looking appearance. He is a serious athlete. On seeing them, Madoka becomes a bit confused and shy. Madoka questions her senior that she didn’t inform her about this. Tama smiles at Madoka’s question and replies that on purpose, she kept this a secret. Even her boyfriend doesn’t know about this private gathering.
Tsukasa and his friends courteously praise all the girls for their good-looking and charming appearance. They all try to confirm are all from Kuzuryu High. Tama and her friends confirm. One of Tsukasa’s friends admires Madoka’s hairstyle, and he tries to verify whether she has a boyfriend. On hearing this, Madoka becomes even more confused and requests her senior Tama that she wants to leave the restaurant quickly. Due to being occupied in conversation with Tsukasa and his friends, Tama doesn’t hear her. Upon being ignored by her senior, Madoka decides to stay. She quietly sits and confusingly stares at everyone in the room. At the end of the Karaoke session, one of the members of Tamagawa High request Madoka to give her contact information. Madoka bluntly refuses to provide her cellphone number to him. She replies you’re too flashy for my taste, and I don’t feel comfortable having a relationship with you. The individual notifies Madoka that she is a very straightforward and candid person.
After departing from the Karaoke bar, a depressed Madoka sits and waits for the subway train to arrive. She recalls the unusual conversation she had at the restaurant. After all the recollection, Madoka states that frank and flashy individuals are not her type. Going to the Karaoke bar was a complete waste of her time, energy, and it's not like she wants a boyfriend right away. Madoka then remembers her former argument with the person of her liking, Momoharu. The subway train arrives before making her way towards the shuttle; Madoka decides moving forward, she will focus on her studies and high school basketball career. While she is entering the subway, Madoka realizes that her left earring is missing. Madoka decides to go back to the Karaoke bar and requests the employee to assist her. As Madoka is searching, the staff member informs Madoka that they tidy up the room properly when the customer leaves. If any of his colleagues had found it, they would have certainly given the lost earring to her. The staff member then falls in love with Madoka’s attractive appearance and informs he can buy her a new set of earrings. Madoka being mad about her lost earrings, confusingly responds, no thanks but thanks.
Upon her unsuccessful attempt, Madoka decides to remember the path she took heading towards the subway and chooses to look there. Tsukasa sees Madoka and asks what she is doing? Madoka replies she is trying to find her lost earring. Tsukasa then requests all his colleagues to assist him in locating Madoka’s lost earring. While searching, Madoka recalls when her sister Sumi gave her these earrings as a gift. Upon getting married, Sumi decides to leave her family residence and move out. Madoka questions her elder sister that she is only 23 years old and getting married? Sumi smiles and replies, will she miss her? Madoka becomes furious and responds that she will not and, afterwards, she changes her statement that she will miss her and feel lonely without her presence. Upon hearing, Sumi gives her earrings to Madoka and notifies her that she is giving them these as a gift. Sumi urges Madoka to take care of these earrings because they’re her prized possession, and she purchased them on her first paycheck. All of a sudden, it starts to rains. Madoka is unable to find the lost earring and frustratingly looks at the sky. Tsukasa and his friends bring flashlights from their school and continue to search for the earring. Tsukasa asks Madoka to remember when she last noticed wearing the earring.
Madoka responds she had that worn earring while at the Karaoke restaurant. Tsukasa requests Madoka to show him the other pair of the earring. Tsukasa text messages the picture of the earring to his other colleagues. Madoka appreciates his help and sincerely thanks Tsukasa for it. Tsukasa replies to thank him once the earring is located. Afterwards, Tsukasa then tries to confirm from Madoka that these earrings are her prized possession and, by any chance, are they a gift from a person she likes, referring to her boyfriend. Madoka replies that it’s a secret and can’t tell him. Tsukasa smiles and continues to search for it. Their relentless efforts are successful. Tsukasa’s friend calls and notifies him that he has found the earring on a broken clamp. Madoka thanks all of them and feels a bit ashamed that she suddenly misjudged them due to their odd behavior and looks. Tsukasa then politely asks Madoka for her cellphone number. A confused Madoka stares at him. While providing Tsukasa, her number Madoka asks if he is always this persistent with girls. Tsukasa smiles and responds that you could say its way of life, referring to relationships. Upon departing, Tsukasa informs Madoka that she can call him anytime. He or his friends will be always there to help her. Madoka smiles and quietly comments, what a funny bunch, and spending time with them kind of feels a bit energizing. Madoka then stares at the full moon in the sky and heads towards the subway station.
- Madoka Yabuchi
- Youko Kokubu
- Wakamori Sayuri (mentioned)
- Sachi Funakoshi (mentioned)
- Momoharu Hanazono (flashback)
- Tsukasa (debut)
- Sumi Yabuchi (flashback)