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"First Campaign" is the sixty eighth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Sora and his teammates arrive at the Tournament Venue

The Inter-High Preliminaries has begun, Sora and his teammates head towards the tournament venue. Upon arrival, Sora is excited and eagerly wants to know who are their first-round opponents. In comparison to others, both Nabe and Masahiro feel a bit intimidated by the other members of the high school basketball teams. A confused Masahiro notifies Nabe that their attire seems a bit out of place compared to other people at the venue. An excited and cheerful Sora rushes towards the basketball court and gets yelled at by his Captain, Momoharu, to act maturely. During that time, the Shinmaruko High team also arrives at the tournament venue. Tokiwa sees Sora and comments that he is energetic as ever. Chiba jokingly thumps at Sora’s forehead and advises him not to get riled up or overconfident on participating at the Inter-High Preliminaries. Kaname sees Chiba for the first time and goes in a state of shock to see someone whose taller than him. Tokiwa notifies Sora that if their team, Kuzuryu High, wins the first two matches, they will have a chance to play against his team at the tournament.

A confused Nabe politely asks Kento where are the changing rooms. Kento replies that there are none at this venue; however, he can go upstairs to change his attire. Momoharu asks Chiba how did they perform at the Kanto Tournament? Chiba replies that they performed moderately well in the tourney; however, they lost in the quarter-finals. He further commented that the opposing team was one of the favorite Inter-High teams, and on concluding, stated that his team will pay them back a hundred fouled. Tokiwa informs Sora that his team will compete in today’s first round at the very end and teases Sora that he and his teammates will observe them thoroughly. Chiaki being a bit frustrated by Tokiwa’s good looks and appearance urges him to leave kindly. During that time, Tarou makes his way to the tournament venue and greets everyone. Upon seeing him, Kenji jokingly replies it is ‘Farto Kabachi,’ and then he urges his teammates to start their warmup. Tarou becomes a bit frustrated and urges Kenji to pronounce his name correctly and requests others not to ignore him. Sora then questions Tarou’s presence and asks that his team is competing at another location and why he is here? Tarou replies that he came to get a glance of his cousin Nao. Chiaki then jokingly mocks Tarou for his energetic and show-off behavior. During that time, Tarou receives a phone call from his teammate Katori that their match is about to start and where is he? Upon departing, Tarou angrily notifies Sora and his teammates that the way they treated him was discourteous; and he will return that favor by defeating them if they happen to compete against his team in the tournament.

Nao brings the official Kuzuryu High teams' jerseys

Meanwhile, upstairs at the tournament venue, the members of Shinjo Towa Academy are mentally preparing themselves for their upcoming first-round match. Kojima notifies his friend Takahashi that Kuzuryu High is a newly formed team, and they have some novices or rookie members on their team. On hearing, Takahashi replies that it reminded him of their first-year team at Shinjo Towa Academy and further comments that after struggling for the past three years, their team finally have the opportunity to compete at this tournament. In concluding, Takahashi states that this is his final tourney; and through his performance, he will leave behind a miracle for the team so that current or upcoming members of Shinjo Towa Academy will remember him in good memories. Some of the first-years of Shinjo Towa overhears their senior's conversation. Takahashi sees their astonished faces and tells them not to laugh at his opinion. The freshmen responded that they would never even dare to laugh at him, and in fact, they share the same dream with him, and then all of them bow to show their appreciation and respect to Takahashi. Yukio and Ruko also overhear their conversation and urge their freshmen to be positive and say, let us aim for that goal together.

Ruko assures his first-year teammates that at this tournament, everyone will have an opportunity to compete. In concluding, he states that they’re indeed winning their first-round match. Kojima sees his cheerful teammates and smiles. In total, 18 teams are competing at the Kawasaki Inter-High Preliminaries. Only three teams will qualify for the Kanagawa Representative Tournament. Nao brings the official uniforms for her team. On seeing it, everyone becomes excited. Masahiro being a bit enthusiastic at the moment wears the jersey in reverse. Nao also shows them that she also brought their new practice t-shirts, which have Kanji characters of Kuzuryu High embroidered. They all wear their official uniforms, and Kenji then urges his teammates that let's go to the court for warmup. As Sora and his teammates make their way to the court, a determined Shinjo Towa team starts their warmup. Takahashi, as their captain, chants his team's name, and they begin doing layup drills. Kenji sees his opponents for the first time and gets excited. He then urges his teammates that they should do the same warmup exercises as their adversaries are doing.

Takahashi requesting his friend Kojima due to his injury not to participate in the match

In comparison to his teammates, Momoharu feels a bit nervous and urges himself to get his act together. Everyone on the court sees Sora practicing and one of the people in the crowd tells his colleague that he looks like a grade-schooler and further comments he is too short to participate in the tournament. A serious Sora continues his warmup routine on practicing making three-pointers. Meanwhile, at Shinjo Towa’s bench, a low-spirited Kojima looks at his teammates. Takahashi sees his friend and notifies Kojima that he will not be participating in the match due to his severe injury. Kojima assures Takahashi that he is aware of his serious injury and he will not participate. In concluding, an angry Kojima notifies Takahashi if he doesn’t win this match, he will be mad at him. Nao announces the starting members of Kuzuryu High and then urges them to stay focused and go all out. On hearing, Kenji encourages his teammates that let us win this match. The tournament officials announce Kuzuryu High and Shinjo Towa Academy team names, and both clubs enter the court.

Characters

Reference

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