希望の夜 – Night of Hope
Day 2 of the Inter-High, and Souhoku is falling apart…?
With Tadakoro down and Imaizumi’s near mental break down, it looks like trouble for Souhoku. On the other hand, their rival Hakone Academy still has one member who is brimming with energy. A lot can happen over the three-day race, and it takes one seemingly insignificant little grain of rice to tip the scales – so it is a massive cause for concern that Souhoku looks to be losing two valuable members while Hakone Academy still has one fresh trick up their sleeves. Yes, really not insignificant at all this pickle that Souhoku is in.
Then again, as Naruko mentioned, this is thankfully a team battle and not an individual one. While individual races challenge the strength of the individual, team battles are different in that you have teammates you can rely on. And so, it will most certainly be trying, but here’s hoping Souhoku manages to pull through as a team.
Amidst all the worrying and anxiety, Onoda’s mother’s visit to the inn was a much-needed source of comic relief. There was that, as well as some much-needed encouragement – become stronger; ride as hard as you can so that you do not inconvenience everyone else (強くなりなさい；皆に迷惑かけないように、一所懸命走りなさい). Aww Onoda-Mama!! Mothers give the best advice ever don’t they?
After a good night’s rest, the longest stage of the three-day race begins. Slopes, mountains, elevations and flats stretching 100 kilometers await the cyclists. It is a race of patience. And on this second day, Onoda has been tasked with leading Makishima, Tadokoro and Naruko to where Kinjou and Imaizumi are up in the front. But seeing as how Tadokoro has not budged an inch from the starting line, Onoda’s task does not look easy in the least. Ganbatte!!