“All right! From today onward, we’re a team. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to practice like crazy!”
Makoto and Nagisa nodded. Haruka just kept rubbing at his head with a towel.
“Oh, right, we should start calling each other by our first names. That’ll make it feel more like we’re comrades, don’t you think? That means Nanase is Haru.”
For a second, Haruka’s hands paused in drying his head. He was hidden by the towel, so his face couldn’t be seen. But he quickly returned to drying his hair.
“Tachibana will be called Makoto.”
“Not very imaginative, huh?” Makoto raised his upturned eyebrows and laughed as if he were amused.
“Hey, what about me?”
“Nagisa, we’ll just keep calling you Nagisa, like we always have. And you all can call me ‘Leader’.”
“Whaaaat?” Nagisa spoke up in a discontented voice. “That’s not right. 'Leader’ isn’t a name at all!”
Makoto laughed, and Rin put both hands on his hips reprovingly. “Listen, the one called 'Leader’ is the most important one on the team, who looks out for everybody and is sort of like the manager.”
“Really? But 'Leader’ still sounds weird. Wouldn’t 'Rinrin’ be better?”
“Uh…” Rin tensed up, his mouth still open. Makoto held his stomach and laughed, and even Haruka’s back was shaking as he dried his head.
Nagisa pointed at Makoto and Haruka. “Also, Mako-chan and Haru-chan!”
Makoto stopped laughing, and Haruka dropped his towel on the floor.
“Tomorrow is going to be really fun! After all, relays are all about teamwork, aren’t they? We’ll all have to work hard together. Let’s practice a lot!” An indescribable atmosphere hung over the changing room, and only Nagisa’s voice rang out with springtime cheerfulness.
–High✩Speed! Chapter 4: Relay