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"The Moon and the Ring" is the sixty third chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Kaname and Tsukishima at Kawasaki City park

After having a friendly and casual conversation with Kaname and his sister Sayuri at their residence the following day, Momoharu and his colleagues meet each other at their teams’ locker room. They discuss Kaname’s recent decision not to join their basketball team. Kenji informs his teammates that Kaname lied to them about not joining their team, and he is not that weak physically and athletically. Upon hearing, Yasuhara states that why would he lie to them? Chiaki replies that a 2-meter-tall person on your first-year high school basketball team any school would want to recruit him and immediately make him the starting center of their club. Chiaki further comments with a ton of expectations piled up like that anyone would snap from the pressure. Afterwards, all of them head out for an early morning jogging. Sora still confused about Kaname’s decision, reconfirms from Kenji that what he heard from his other teammates is true. Natsume replies that he should forget about Kaname and focus on his training since the Inter-High Preliminaries are right around the corner.

While in a deep sleep, Kaname recalls the dreadful final moments of his last middle school match in which his team lost due to his indecisiveness. Kaname suddenly wakes up and realizes it was just a terrible dream, and then remembers that he is not attending school today due to his poor health condition. He then recalls Chiaki’s and Momoharu’s words on them participating in the upcoming Inter-High Preliminaries. Later on in the day, Kaname goes to a nearby sports goods store. While glancing, one of the sneakers in the store catches his attention. While looking at those basketball sneakers, Kaname comments that the newer shoes look stylish and futuristic. The shopkeeper notices Kaname and politely asks if he requires his assistance in purchasing those shoes. Upon hearing, Kaname replies that he just came to visit the store and not to buy anything, and further comments that he quit playing the sport of basketball. The shopkeeper becomes a bit sadden by his refusal; Kaname then thanks him for his considerate assistance. Tsukishima, who is Kaname’s senior from Saijo High, she and her friend notice his presence at that store. Upon seeing him, Tsukishima becomes excited and tells Kaname that it has been a while since she has seen him. Tsukishima then introduces Kaname to her friend, and afterwards, the two of them head to a nearby park.

While walking, a cheerful Tsukishima asks Kaname since he came to the sports goods store, questions him and asks that he might have started playing basketball again. Kaname replies that he just went to the sports goods store to glance through some items, and it is an old habit of his since he was a kid. Kaname further comments that whenever he feels a bit nervous or worried, he usually goes to the store, and glancing through items eases his tension and helps him calm down. Upon hearing, Tsukishima jokingly pushes Kaname and tells him not to say such weird stuff like that, and further comments that it is such a letdown that he quit playing basketball, and states that she had such high hopes from him back in middle school. Tsukishima questions him again that in her second year of middle school, a rumor spread that he (Kaname) had a crush on her. A confused Kaname answers and confirms that it was just a rumor. Upon hearing, Tsukishima replies how unfortunate, referring to she might have affection feelings for him. She then questions Kaname again that besides basketball, what other extracurricular activities or clubs is he part of? Kaname replies he is a member of the science club Kuzuryu High and tells her it is more fun and enjoyable than basketball. A low-spirited Tsukishima looks at the ground and responds that she is glad to hear that. Kaname is shocked at her response.

A frustrated Kaname practicing at his home basketball court

During their conversation, Fujita, one of Tsukishima’s colleagues from Saijo High, sees the two at the park. Fujita notifies Tsukishima that their school’s library will be closing soon, so they should hurry. Upon hearing, Tsukishima replies that she forgot that they have an upcoming exam. She then politely excuses herself and introduces Kaname to Fujita. Kaname greets his former senior, a confused Fujita looks at him, and he greets him as well. Upon departing, Tsukishima notifies Kaname that she is now dating Fujita. A shocked and astounded Kaname looks at her and doesn’t reply. While heading towards their school’s library, Tsukishima tells Fujita that it is Kaname from their middle school basketball team. Fujita replies that you mean Mokichi (Kaname’s nickname). A frustrated and angry Kaname heads back to his residence and, while practicing on his home’s basketball court, recalls all the dreadful moments he experienced at his middle school. Sayuri and her parents see an energetic Kaname. On his final layup attempt, Kaname falls to the ground and tells himself that the person he disappointed the most was non-other than himself. He then encourages himself to try playing basketball again.

Characters

Reference

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