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"Something to Protect 4" is the eighty seventh chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Chiaki vs. Takahashi

The intense first-round match between Shinjo Towa Academy and Kuzuryu High is underway. Kuzuryu High is trying their best to maintain the lead. Takahashi and his teammates, through their resolve and persistence, are gradually closing the deficit gap. A desperate Masahiro tries to steal the ball from Roku and gets himself in foul trouble. The referee whistles and indicates a defensive foul by number 6. Nao requests the tournament officials for a member change, and a well-rested Kaname joins the match. The onlookers in the crowd comment that only one minute remains to conclude the match, and Kuzuryu High, to preserve their lead, is letting all their starting members participate. Kaname praises his senior Masahiro for his efficient defensive skills. Masahiro being angry at his recent foul attempt, replies to Kaname not to make fun of him and furiously heads towards his team’s bench. Masahiro criticizes himself for his poor performance and comments that it will be his fault if Kuzuryu High loses this match. To lift his friend’s spirit, Nabe replies to have patience, and their opponent has also made some mistakes. Both are fortunate to participate in this well-known tournament where only the chosen few who have trained for years get the opportunity to compete. In comparison to their other teammates and Shinjo Towa Academy, they’re still novices, and if it were the former them a few months back, both of them would have already given up.

Masahiro agrees and replies that he is impressed by Kenji’s and Chiaki’s performance at this tournament and hopes to play basketball like them and desires to become a helpful pupil for his team. Nabe agrees with his friend’s opinion. Roku heads towards the free-throw line and efficiently makes both the free-throws. Shinjo Towa Academy closes the deficit gap to 4 points. The other teams at the tournament venue praise Kuzuryu High and Shinjo Towa Academy for their exceptional performance and comment that they have never seen an entrancing game like this before. Kuzuryu High has possession of the ball, and Kenji is leading his team’s offence. Sora from the bench gives words of encouragement to his teammates and urges them to score.

Sakamaki informing Madoka that Yuka has left the Tournament Venue

Madoka, from the other side of the court, smiles at Sora. Tsukishima also arrives and quietly watches Kaname. Kenji passes the ball to Chiaki, who then gives it to Kaname. However, the pass is too high both Kojima and Kaname try to retrieve the ball. Kaname, due to his tall height, somehow manages to tap it. Momoharu then retrieves the loose ball and attempts to dunk. Takahashi from behind blocks him. Yuka leaves the tournament venue, and before departing, Hayashi gives his opinion to Yuka that only a minute was left to conclude the match, and they should have waited. Yuka smiles and replies that she would like to hear the result of the match from her son. She further comments that her old acquaintance, Sakamaki, told her that dreams and hopes give birth to life. The importance of life is found in the precious things we protect, referring to family members, friends or colleagues. In concluding Yuka states, that she has found a dream that she would like to pursue, referring to become a coaching instructor at Kuzuryu High.

Madoka then tries to look for Yuka on the second floor. However, she is unable and heads outside. Sakamaki sees Madoka and informs her that Yuka just left the tournament venue. Madoka questions that the match is about to finish, and she left early? Sakamaki replies that doctor Hayashi had to go back to the hospital for some emergency, and on departing, Yuka told him to convey her message of thanks to her (Madoka). Sakamaki then tries to make his way to the men’s washroom. Madoka notices his flu-like symptoms and politely gives Sakamaki some disposable tissues. Momoharu heads to the free-throw line and is unsuccessful at his first attempt. Kuzuryu High girls’ team member urges Momoharu to calm himself down and encourages him to relax because their team is leading. Chiaki voices his opinion to Momoharu that he knows the second free throw will not go in. Momoharu angrily stares at his brother. Kaname also joins their conversation and comments that just make sure the ball touches the front rim. A depressed Momoharu prepares himself for the second free throw attempt and comments that he can’t stand people who lie to him; however, hearing the truth about his inefficient basketball skills pisses him off. As captain, he is a feeble individual.

A happy and cheerful Tsukishima watches Kaname

Momoharu attempts to make the second free-throw the ball touches the front portion of the rim. Yukio and Kaname position themselves for the rebound. Kaname, while trying to grab the loose ball, comments that he was an irrational individual. If he hadn’t quit playing in between, he would have been on par skills-wise with Shinjo Towa Academy. He has had enough regrets already in his life and hopes that Tsukishima is on the court seeing him perform. An impressed Tsukishima looks at Kaname and smiles. Kaname touches the loose ball and falls to the ground. Momoharu somehow manages retrieves it. A frustrated Shinjo Towa Academy first-year student comment that their team lost an excellent opportunity to gain possession of the ball. Everyone at Kuzuryu High celebrates that their team will win. However, their rejoice doesn’t last long; Roku from behind steals the ball from Momoharu and then gives it to Kazushi. Kojima requests his teammate to pass him the ball. Kazushi, from the half-court line, quickly throws the ball towards his senior. Kojima efficiently receives the pass, successfully makes the layup, and Shinjo Towa Academy closes the deficit gap to two points. An injured and fatigued Kojima falls to the ground, and Kuzuryu High calls for a timeout.

Characters

Reference

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