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"Back Light" is the ninety eighth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Yasuhara meets Masahiro and Nabe while jogging

Sora finally returns to Kawasaki, and from Nao, he hears the dreadful news about the locker room fire incident. Later on, both then meet up with Chiaki and Kaname outside the court. They all discuss and pursue each other’s guidance to restore their club. Nao calls her good friend Rin at the music club, and she seeks her advice on how to restart the basketball club. While passing by, Kenji overhears their discussion and confirms his voluntary enrollment. They all head inside the court to practice, and a resolve Sora announces going forward, he will stand on the court by his willpower and determination.

While in suspension, Yasuhara maintains his athletic physique by going out for a 10-kilometre jogging workout every morning. Yasuhara remembers his manager's Nao advice, training regimen and comments that it's not like someone instructed him to do this. He can’t just sit still and do nothing, and he doesn’t want other people to see him shabby or out of shape. While jogging, Yasuhara sees his good friends Masahiro and Nabe practicing at the nearby outside basketball court. Yasuhara asks them as to what they’re doing? Both respond they are doing basketball practice. Nabe and Masahiro to maintain their basketball skills, every day at this court both practice. All three friends gather and ask about each other’s wellbeing. Nabe gives his opinion once their suspension gets lifted, the three of them should go to their school’s faculty office and apologize to them for their wrongdoings. Masahiro replies that this fire incident would not have occurred if they had won the match against Shinjo Towa Academy. Nabe responds that if they had won that match, their team would have faced more formidable opponents going forward. Due to being novices, all three would have become even more useless to their other teammates. Nabe and Masahiro inform Yasuhara that they will use this suspension to their advantage and train extra hard to become valuable team members. Yasuhara smiles at their opinion, and while attempting to make the jump shot, comments if this is idiocy, then count him in.

Sora meets Madoka for the first time after his mother's passing

Meanwhile, at Kuzuryu High, Nao, Chiaki, and Kaname head to the school’s faculty office. They give the school staff member the filled-out club enrollment application form. In the application form, Nao enlisted her club as a basketball hobbyist group. The staff member refuses their application and comments; to complete the process, they would have to get a signature and seal from an advisor. The school principal and other staff members astonishingly stare at them. One of the staff members comments ‘basketball hobbyist group’ what are they thinking. The principal quietly comments that what just occurred in the locker room, no staff member would willingly become the advisor of their club. A depressed Nao, Chiaki and Kaname leave the office. Nao sees her friend Rin and questions her why she didn’t tell her about the club advisor. Rin apologizes and states that she forgot about that. Kaname gives his opinion if this situation continues, there is a possibility Momoharu will not join them. Sora at the school’s court quietly continues to practice improving his shooting skills. While attempting to make three-pointers, Sora comments that he has a lot of catching up to do in terms of his missed practices. He has heard a saying, ‘It takes about three days of training to make up for even one day of a missed practice session.’

Two of Sora's classmates see him practicing at the court, and they request him to accompany them to purchase some items from the local convenience store. Sora accepts their offer, and the three of them have a friendly match of rock, paper and scissors, and the winner will not purchase the items. Sora wins; he celebrates and accompanies his colleagues to the convenience store. A depressed Nao meets up with Kenji and discusses she is worried about Sora’s unusual cheerful behavior because he hasn’t shown any concern or said anything about Momoharu’s absence. Kenji replies that Sora is just acting normal, and he is probably shocked by this fire incident. Similar to them, he also understands the situation. Nao comments even if they manage to restart the club without the disbanded members, she feels something will be missing.

Sora calmly strolls across the hallways of his school. He looks outside the window, glances at the flying birds, and unknowingly bumps in with Madoka. Both fall and stumble onto the floor. A confused Sora sees his senior Madoka and apologizes that he didn’t intend to do that. Sora then notices that the unique scent he sensed in his bedroom yesterday is similar to Madoka's fragrance. Sora stares at his senior and quietly praises her attractive appearance; she is so pretty. Madoka smiles and says, welcome back. Both then head upstairs at the school's terrace. Madoka questions Sora about not staying back at his hometown in Nagano. Sora smiles, and on behalf of his family, he gives Madoka a gift package. While Madoka accepts it, Sora states this item is a specialty in his hometown of Nagano, and his father, Tomohisa, told him to convey his message of appreciation and thanks to you (Madoka).

A depressed Momoharu meets Satsuki at his residense

Madoka then asks Sora if he has heard about the locker room fire incident. Sora responds that he met Nao yesterday, and she explained to him the entire situation. Madoka asks Sora if he is angry with Momoharu and others. Sora replies that he is not upset but surprised because he knew they were all troublemakers from the beginning. A lot has happened, and he believes the ones suffering the most from this incident are Momoharu, Yasuhara, Nabe and Masahiro. Sora further states, Kenji is the one who is more upset about this incident, and he is not willing to understand his reasoning. Madoka stares at him and gives her opinion that he is wrong; the one who has suffered the most from their team is him. Sora then states he wants to play basketball with all his team members. Upon hearing, Madoka tears up and politely excuse herself. Sora then astonishingly looks at his senior. At Satsuki’s residence, Mrs. Satsuki prepares dinner for her husband. Satsuki-sensei tries to assist his wife. At that moment, both hear the sound of the doorbell. Satsuki opens the front door of his residence and sees a bruised-up Momoharu. Satsuki asks is everything okay. Momoharu responds that he would like to seek his advice and opinion about this incident.

Characters

Reference

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