Suzumiya Haruhi:Volume3 The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi

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The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi

One day in the headquarters of the "Suzumiya Haruhi Brigade to Bring More Excitement to the World," or SOS Brigade for short (in reality the Literature Club room), Haruhi announced with the same enthusiasm as a baseball team captain who drew the first seed at Koushien:

"We are entering the baseball tournament!"

It was after school one day in June, and it had been two weeks since the "nightmare" event. Since then, I had been unable to concentrate on my studies. My test results were a real life nightmare, on this early summer day. Haruhi didn’t seem like she had been paying attention in class, yet her results made it into the top 10. If there exists a God in this world, I believe that he is a mischievous and biased person.

Oh well, this didn't matter anymore. I am more concerned with the content of Haruhi’s announcement. What was she talking about?

I looked around at the three other people in the room.

The first that caught my eye was Asahina-san, her face as innocent as that of a middle school student. If she had white fluffy wings, she would look like a cute little angel on her way back to heaven. Her face and small body suits her. I know fully well that she can be very glamorous.

For reasons unknown to me, Asahina-san was the only person in the room not wearing her high school uniform. Instead, she was wearing a pink nurse uniform. With her cute lips half opened, she looked intently at Haruhi. She is not a nursing student nor a costume-wearing weirdo, but is just merely following the instructions of Haruhi. Haruhi must have bought this costume from some odd website again. She's been bringing weird clothes and making Asahina-san wear them. I believe many people would be asking the same question, "What's the point in wearing these clothes?"

She replied, "Why do we need an explanation for that?"

Haruhi instructed Asahina-san, "You must wear this costume whenever you're in this room, always!" Asahina-san would resist with "But, but..." In the end, she would still obediently follow Haruhi’s commands with tears in her eyes. She looked so adorable that sometimes I felt compelled to embrace her from behind. Yet so far I have not been able to do that, I assure you.

By the way, just for your information, two weeks ago her standard attire was a maid costume, but right now it’s hanging on the clothes rack. Actually the maid costume suits Mikuru better and I preferred it more, so I do hope she would revert to that costume soon. I believe Asahina-san would comply with the audience's request, though she would be troubled and embarrassed by it. Yup, that would be good.

After hearing Haruhi’s speech on the baseball tournament, Asahina-san the nurse made her comment,


She made a sound as sweet as a canary then stopped. It was natural for her to have such a reaction.

I turned my gaze to the other girl in the room.

Her height is similar to Asahina-san's, but her presence, compared to Asahina-san, was like that of a thin cabbage to a sunflower. Nagato Yuki, as always, was indifferent to her surroundings as her gaze was fixed on her open hardbound book.

About every ten seconds, she would flip the pages with her finger, it was then that people could realize that this girl was still living. I was sure a parrot would have a bigger vocabulary than she would, and even a hibernating groundhog would be more active than she is.

As her presence doesn’t really make a difference, there was no need to describe her in detail. If I have to make a brief description, then she's a first year student, like Haruhi and me, and she is the sole member of the Literature Club - the original occupant of this room. In other words, our club, the SOS Brigade, has borrowed the use of this room from the Literature Club. To be more precise, we have taken over this room like parasites. Of course the school has not approved of this, since our application to form a club has been ignored by the student council.


I turned my gaze away from Nagato's expressionless face, and saw sitting by the side the handsome grinning face of Koizumi Itsuki. He looked at me with an amused expression. This guy's opinions were of lesser importance than Nagato's. This mysterious transfer student - according to Haruhi anyway - brushed aside his bangs and slowly broke into a smile, much to my chagrin. As our eyes met, I had a strong urge to punch him as he shrugged his shoulders meaninglessly. He was seriously asking for a beating.

"What did you say we are entering?"

As no one said anything, I, as always, replied on behalf of the group. Why does everyone treat me as a communication relay to Haruhi? Nothing is as bothersome as this duty.


Haruhi gave me a flyer cheerfully. I took a glance at Asahina-san, who had bad memories with flyers, and saw her backing away trembling, and read out the words on the piece of paper.

"The Ninth City Amateur Baseball Tournament."

It was probably a tournament to decide which baseball team was the best in the city. It was organized by the city council, and seemed to have some history, being held every year.


I raised my head. Haruhi’s one-hundred percent smile almost glowed straight into my eyes, I backed away for half a step involuntarily.

"So, who's entering this field baseball tournament?"

I knew the answer already, yet I still decided to ask.

"Us, obviously!" Haruhi said firmly.

"When you say us, does that include me, Asahina-san, Nagato, and Koizumi?"

"Who else can it be?"

"Couldn't you have asked for our consent first?"

"We'll need to find four more people."

As usual, she only hears the things she wants to hear. I suddenly thought of something.

"Do you know the rules for baseball?"

"More or less. It just involves pitching, catching, base running, sliding and blocking. I joined the Baseball Team for a bit, so I know the basics."

"A bit? Just how long did you join them for?"

"Just under an hour. It was dead boring so I left."

If baseball was so boring, then why join a baseball tournament? And why do we have to participate as well? Faced with my natural question, Haruhi made the following reply,

"This is a chance to leave our mark on the world! If we win this tournament, we could become famous overnight, it's a great opportunity!"

First, I don't want the name of this brigade being spread even further. Secondly, so what if the SOS Brigade becomes famous overnight? What do you mean by a great opportunity?

I didn’t know what to say, and Asahina-san looked stunned as well. Koizumi mumbled, "So that's how it is," without looking concerned. As for Nagato, was she troubled by it? She probably didn't even hear what was being said, as she remained as still as a pottery, her face remained blank as ever.

"Isn’t it a nice idea, Mikuru-chan?"

Faced with Haruhi’s sudden question, Mikuru seemed withdrawn,

"Eh? But... But......"


Like a crocodile ambushing a little deer drinking water at the lake, Haruhi moved behind Asahina-san, who was about to stand up, and grabbed the tiny nurse - or hospital attendant to be precise - from behind.

"Kyaa! Wh... What are you doing?!"

"Listen, in this brigade, the orders of the commander are absolute. Insubordination is a serious offense! We'll handle all opinions during the meeting!"

Meeting? Does she mean those meetings which she holds whenever she felt like stuffing weird ideas down our throats?

Haruhi grappled Asahina-san's neck with her snake-like arms as Asahina-san struggled,

"Doesn't baseball sound like fun? Just so you know, our target is to win this! Not a single defeat will be accepted! Because I hate losing!"


Asahina-san rolled her eyes and blushed furiously as she trembled. While Haruhi held Asahina-san tight like a professional wrestler and nibbled at her ears while staring at me fiercely, seemingly unhappy with me, and looking enviously at Asahina-san.

"Any problems?"

It wouldn't matter even if we had any. No matter what we say, you never intended to listen to them anyway.

"I don't see why not."

Hey! Don’t just agree blindly! How about raising your objection every once in a while?

"Then I'll go get the baseball equipment from the Baseball Team!"

Haruhi bolted out of the classroom like a small tornado. Asahina-san, finally free from Haruhi's grasp, slumped onto her chair exhausted.

Koizumi expressed his thoughts. "We should be lucky that she's not starting a war to capture aliens or planning a trip in search for Unidentified Mysterious Animals. Baseball has nothing to do with the terrifying paranormal phenomena which we fear most, right?"

"Makes sense."

I've decided to agree with his reasoning for now. No matter how insane Haruhi is, she has not asked to go search for aliens, time travelers and espers. If that's the case, instead of wandering around the city searching for supernatural occurrences which was near impossible (this happened to be the main activity of the SOS Brigade), we might as well play a game of baseball. Besides, even Asahina-san was nodding her head in agreement.

However, our speculations were wide off the mark. Not only did they miss their target, the arrows fired by Haruhi had shot through the wall and had flown off somewhere. I only learned of this soon after.

At any rate, I thought to myself, even if it's not baseball, anything that could attract attention would do for her. The SOS Brigade which Haruhi had carried the banner for not only has a despicable name, it's not even a club, not to mention it's not recognized by the school, it was only created because she felt like it.

The official name, "The Suzumiya Haruhi Brigade to Bring More Excitement to the World," is not only long and condescending, it just sounds abstractly absurd. After my suggestion to shorten the name got cruelly rejected, I had not been able to find a chance to change its name.

I once asked Haruhi what kind of activity this club is involved in, Haruhi replied with the face of a soldier who had just cut off the head of the enemy general,

"To find aliens, time travelers, and espers, and play with them!"

This was the famous quote of the eccentric Suzumiya Haruhi, well-known around school since the beginning, and has been associated with queerness ever since she said that.

This was just like crows searching for glowing objects; cats leaping at any small rolling objects; and rushing for the insecticide when one sees a cockroach in the kitchen. Once she sees something that interests her, be it dodgeball, netball or cricket, she'll probably yell loudly, "I want to do that!" Maybe I should be grateful we aren't playing rugby, since we would need to find more people to make up the numbers for rugby.

To put it simply, Haruhi was just feeling bored.

I had no idea what deal Haruhi had gone through, but she returned like a cyclone carrying a whole box of baseball equipment. Inside the small cardboard box which looked as though it contained an abandoned puppy were nine worn-out baseball gloves and a baseball bat with plenty of dents on it, as well as a few dirty hard baseballs.


I said, looking once again at the flyer description,

"This is a softball tournament. Why are you bringing baseballs?"

"What's the difference? They're still balls, and they still fly when you hit them with a bat. Don't worry about that."

I remember playing baseball back in elementary school, but I haven't touched this game ever since then. However, I at least knew the major difference between a baseball and a softball - it hurts when you get whacked by a regular baseball.

"Then wouldn't it be fine as long as we don't hit anyone?"

Haruhi rejected my objection with a look that said, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

I decided not to argue with her,

"Then when's the match gonna be held?"

"This Sunday."

"That's the day after tomorrow!! Isn't that way too soon!?"

"But I've already registered. Oh, don't worry, I've decided the team will be called the SOS Brigade. That I'm pretty sure of."

I felt exasperated. " where are you going to find the other team members?"

"We'll just randomly grab anyone walking around."

Are you serious? With the exception of one person, anyone targeted by Haruhi is usually not a normal person. That rare exception would be me. And I had no intention on getting acquainted with even more mysterious people,

"All right then, you stay put. I'll take care of choosing the team. First..."

I thought of the guys in Class 1-5. The only ones who would come at once without hesitation... That'll be Taniguchi and Kunikida I guess.

Hearing my suggestion, Haruhi replied,

"Those would do."

She treats her classmates as mere objects.

"It's better than none."

The other guys would probably flee at the mention of Suzumiya Haruhi's name. Now, where to find the other two players?

"Excuse me,"

Asahina-san politely raised her arm and said,

"If it's possible for my friend......"

"Then that'll do."

Haruhi responded immediately. Looks like anyone was fine. Maybe for you it didn't matter who it was, but I was concerned. Asahina-san's friend? When and where did she befriend someone?

Asahina-san probably noticed my concerned look and said to me,

"It's fine. This a friend I've met in class,"

She tried to allay my fears. At this moment, Koizumi spoke as well,

"In that case, maybe I should bring a friend as well? In fact, I know someone who's interested in our club..."

I shut him up before he could finish. There's no need to bring your buddies over, they're going to be freaks anyway.

"I'll think of someone."

If there was no selection criteria, then there are other friends I know of. Haruhi nodded her head pleasingly.

"Then let us begin our training!"

Oh boy, it was only natural for the topic to come to this.

"We start now."

Now!? Where?

"In the track field."

Bring it on! The sound of the Baseball Team yelling their slogans can be heard outside the window.

Speaking of which - I know it's awkward to suddenly change the subject - but I have to let you know, besides myself, the other four people gathered here in this room, for certain reasons, are not normal people. Only Haruhi wasn't aware of this. The other three have all willingly revealed their identities to me, and hope that I would understand. If my common sense was like the Earth, then the three of them would be as incomprehensible as objects revolving beyond the orbit of Pluto. However, since the end of last month, I have gone through some experiences that led me to believe that they might be telling the truth. I didn't want to know the truth, but ever since I was forced into Haruhi's club, I don't think this small wish of mine has ever been granted.

To put it simply, the reason Asahina-san, Nagato, and Koizumi would appear in this school was all because of Haruhi. They all seem to hold a particular interest in Haruhi.

To me, she was just a very giddy high school girl. But I was the only one who thought that way, and lately, I'm having doubts myself about this belief as well.

I can guarantee that it wasn't me that was going crazy.

It was the whole world that was going crazy.

Thanks to the experiences mentioned above, I was now standing in the dusty track field with the other out-of-this-world members of the brigade.

Being forced off the field by us, the Baseball Team looked stunned at us. I mean, how else would they react? A mysterious club suddenly appears, with a sailor uniform schoolgirl, who seems to be their leader, waving a baseball bat and yelling insanely. While they were still busy being awestruck, the track field, which was reserved for the Baseball Team, was taken over before they even knew it. They were even made to pick up and throw the baseballs. How can they not be bewildered?

Not to mention our group was dressed in normal school uniforms, plus one nurse amongst us.

"Let's start with a thousand bats!"

Just as Haruhi had forecasted, standing in a row on the pitcher's mound, we were now covered in a rain of baseballs.


Asahina-san knelt down and covered her head with her glove, I risked my life to catch the balls, making sure they don't hit her. Speaking of which, each of Haruhi's strikes had a killing instinct in them. No matter what she does, she always goes all out.

Koizumi carried his usual grin and easily dodged the balls.

"Hmm, I haven't played like this for a long time. Makes me feel nostalgic about it."

Koizumi casually stepped away from Haruhi's wild strikes while revealing his snow white teeth to me. If you have so much energy, why don't you come help protect Asahina-san!?

I turned to Nagato and saw her standing very still while facing Haruhi. She just stood there, completely ignoring the balls flying towards her direction. Not even when the ball flew past her ear by a few centimeters did she move a bit. Occasionally she would slowly move her gloved left hand, like a remote-controlled robot, and catch the balls that would directly hit her, then slowly put her hand down again. You ought to move around more. Or perhaps I should compliment you on your good eyes?

Maybe I shouldn't be paying attention to other people, as a bouncing hard ball skipped past my glove and under my legs, and went straight for Asahina-san's knees. How careless of me.


Asahina-san the nurse yelled, "It hurts......"

She started to sob, I can't take this any longer.

"I'm counting on you guys!"

After telling Koizumi and Nagato that, I shielded Asahina-san and brought her out of the white line.

"Hey! Where're you going? Kyon! Mikuru-chan! Come back here!"

Asahina-san knelt down and covered her head with her glove, I risked my life to catch the balls, making sure they don't hit her.
Asahina-san knelt down and covered her head with her glove, I risked my life to catch the balls, making sure they don't hit her.

"She needs medical treatment!"

I lifted my hand and ignored Haruhi's protests, then carried Asahina-san's arm as I led her to the clinic. I'm sure her nurse uniform would fit in better in the clinic than inside the dusty club room or the rough track field. I can't be wrong about this.

Asahina-san covered her eyes with her hands to rub off her tears as she walked shoulder to shoulder with me on the corridor, it was only then that she realized she was leaning against me,


She made a sound so cute that I would have loved to record it, and leaped away while looking up at me with her slightly reddened cheeks,

"Kyon-kun, you can't. If you get too close to me... It'll happen again..."

What'll happen again? I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Asahina-san, you can go back now. I'll tell Haruhi that the injury on your leg would take two days to heal."


"Don't worry. Haruhi's the one who's wrong, there's no need for Asahina-san to feel guilty about it."

I shook my hand and said that. Asahina-san lowered her head slightly and glanced at me, her teary-eyed look simply increased her charm further.

"Thank you."

As Asahina-san gave me a smile so adorable my legs nearly wobbled, she turned around at me as though feeling sorry, then finally walked off. Couldn't Haruhi learn from her for once? I have a feeling she wouldn't look bad at all like that.

When I returned to the field, the batting practice was still in progress. What surprised me was that the members of the Baseball Team were now in defense, while Koizumi and Nagato stood outside the field.

When Koizumi saw me, he smiled happily.

"Oh, you've returned?"

"What's she up to now?"

"Just as you see. It seems she wasn't satisfied with our performance, and she's been like that since then."

She was simply incredible. Every ball she hit flew to the direction that she had intended.

The three of us had nothing to do apart from observing Haruhi's astounding strikes. This mentally insane girl finally put down her bat and rubbed off her sweat while looking very satisfied. Koizumi said cheerfully, "She's really amazing. She actually managed a thousand hits."

"What's really amazing is that you actually bothered to count."


Nagato turned away silently, I decided to follow her as well.


I made a suggestion to the little schoolgirl in her sailor uniform. "Could you make it rain on the day of the match? A big one that would force the match to be canceled."

"It's not impossible." Nagato walked while answering plainly, "But it is not recommended."

"Why's that?"

"Partial data alteration of the environment would result in side-effects in the planet's ecosystem."

"Side-effects? For how long?"

"A few centuries to ten thousand years."

Now that's a long time.

"Then it's better not to do it."


Nagato nodded her head forward for five centimeters, then continued to walk forward without stopping.

I turned around and saw Haruhi standing on the pitcher's mound preparing to pitch.

Two days later. Sunday. 8.00 A.M. sharp.

We were gathered at the Municipal Sports Ground. There were two baseball fields adjacent to the athletic track field. The tournament would take two weeks to complete. The tournament uses five-inning games. The semi-finalists were to be decided by tonight, with the semi-finals and final being played next Sunday. Only our team was dressed in our school's track suit, while the other teams were dressed in their standard baseball uniforms. This is a bit off topic, but I'd still like to mention this, this was the first time I've seen Nagato wear something else besides her school uniform.

I later learned that this grass baseball tournament had quite some history (this was the ninth installment), it looked like a prestigious tournament. If that was the case, how I wished the organizers would reject Haruhi's application when she handed it in.

I might as well mention this, after giving Taniguchi and Kunikida a call, the two of them agreed to come right away. Taniguchi's targets were Asahina-san and Nagato, while Kunikida said, "This sounds like fun" and decided to come as well. I'm glad that they're both so simple-minded.

The person Asahina-san brought to help was a second year female upperclassman called Tsuruya. Her hair was as long as that of Haruhi's before she cut it short. She was an energetic girl, as when she saw me she said,

"So you're Kyon-kun? Mikuru always talked about you. Hmm..."

For some reason, Asahina-san felt very nervous with this comment. Just what did she say about me?

At this moment, the fourth player I brought was now facing off with Haruhi.

"Kyon, come over here."

Haruhi dragged me towards the side of the organizer's tent with her incredible strength.

"Just what were you thinking? Look at that thing, you're actually going to let her play baseball?"

What do you mean 'that thing?' Isn't that a bit too rude? She may be 'a thing,' but she's still my sister.

"She even introduced herself, saying she's now in fifth grade and is ten years old. She's too adorable to be your sister. No, that's not the point, it would have been fine if she were playing in the junior baseball league, but this is a baseball tournament for all ages!"

I didn't just bring my sister without thinking, this was all part of my meticulous plan. I thought - why on Earth do I want to get up on Sunday morning just to do some exercise? I never intended this. It was inevitable that things have developed to its current state. If that's the case, it was only natural for me to at least want this tournament, which I have no interest in, to be over as quickly as possible. It would be excellent if we lose in no time and everyone can go home. Even without my sister, with such a rag-tag group, we'll definitely lose the first game, since the leader of this team is none other than Suzumiya Haruhi. If we accidentally win, it would create a chain of bothersome events. This was why I had to inject something that would ensure the team would lose. If I brought an amateur elementary schoolgirl in, we would surely lose. Like hell we would win!

Of course I couldn't let Haruhi know what I was thinking, I wasn't that insane after all.

"Hmph, forget it." Haruhi snorted and turned around. "We'll let them win one inning. It won't be fun if we win too much."

Looks like she's hellbent on winning, just how does she intend to win?

"We still haven't decided on the fielding positions and batting order yet, what do you have in mind?"

"I've already thought of that."

Haruhi's face shone with satisfaction, as she took out a piece of paper from her track suit pocket. Leaving till today to decide on the positions, I have no idea what criteria she uses to decide who plays where.

"I've decided to use this, I'm sure no one would disagree?"

There were two pieces of papers. Each piece was drawn with eight lines. It resembled those ladder-tracing lottery games, was I seeing things?

"What are you talking about? Of course it's a lottery. It's divided into lottery for batting and fielding positions. I'll be the pitcher and first batter, by the way."

"So you've decided on this method instead?"

"What's with that look of yours? You got a problem with that? This is the most democratic way. Ancient Greek leaders were chosen by ladder-tracing as well, you know!"

Stop comparing the political system of Ancient Greece with the selection method of a modern Japanese baseball team. Besides, you only decided this on your whim, just how democratic is that?

...Forget it. This way, we could lose quickly. According to the tournament rules, the game would end if the score difference between the teams was more than ten runs. I think I should prepare to go home now, since our first opponent was a top team with the best defense in the tournament for the past three years.

The Kamigahara Pirates. This was the baseball team of some nearby university. In a way, they had a tough playing style. They were all very serious, intending to win. We could catch a glimpse of their prowess just by watching their pre-match warm up. Their screams were so full of power, even their pitching was breathtaking. This was a proper team. From a bystander's point of view, they were a formidable opponent. I thought to myself - have we come to the wrong place? At that moment, I really wanted to take a look around to make sure whether this was the venue for the baseball tournament - the Municipal Sports Ground.

While I don't feel that losing is a bad thing, I started to have an urge to escape from this impending tragedy. Our team was so crappy that I felt like apologizing to our opponents.

Just when I was about to formulate an escape plan, Haruhi made everyone stand in one row,

"I'm going to give out my strategy, everyone follow my instructions."

She sounded so much like a coach.

"Listen carefully, our priority is to reach base. Once we reach base, we'll be able to steal a base before the pitcher throws all three pitches. Swing at the ball if it's a strike, but ignore it if it's a ball. Simple, isn't it? Just follow my plan and we'll be able to get at least three runs per inning,"

That was our game plan according to that brain of Haruhi's, but just what was her confidence based on? It was based on nothing, of course. She is the physical manifestation of baseless confidence. But wouldn't this sort of person usually be called an "idiot?" Besides, this girl is not just a normal idiot, she is an idiot at the top of the idiot food chain, the Queen Idiot of the Idiot World.

Let me announce the batting and fielding position of the "SOS Brigade" baseball team, decided by the God of Lottery:

First batter, pitcher: Suzumiya Haruhi. Second batter, right fielder: Asahina Mikuru. Third batter, center fielder: Nagato Yuki. Fourth batter, second baseman: Me. Fifth batter, left fielder: My sister. Sixth batter, catcher: Koizumi Itsuki. Seventh batter, first baseman: Kunikida. Eighth batter, third baseman: Tsuruya-san. Ninth batter, shortstop: Taniguchi.

That was the line-up of our team. There were no substitutes or managers, and no cheerleaders even.

After both teams paid their respects to each other, Haruhi went straight for the batter's box. Completely forgetting the existence of helmets, we had to borrow some second-hand white helmets from the organizing committee. If there were anything that truly belonged to us, then it would have to be the nine yellow loudspeakers Haruhi brought for us.

Haruhi pushed the tip of her helmet upwards and picked up the aluminum bat she snatched from the Baseball Team, then revealed a fearless smile.

When the umpire yelled, "Play ball!" The opponent pitcher stretched his arm back and prepared to throw the first pitch.


A loud clear metallic sound was made, and the white ball flew far off. It went over the head of the center fielder and bounced off the wall. By the time the ball was thrown infield, Haruhi had already run to the second base.

I wasn't particularly surprised, as this was a piece of cake for Haruhi. Asahina-san and Koizumi felt the same as well. As for Nagato, I guess her emotions does not include being surprised. However, the other members of the team besides us four were all stunned, and looked awestruck at Haruhi, who lifted both her arms and gave a V-sign. Our opponents were even more dumbfounded.

"Their pitcher's nothing! Just do what I did and you'll be fine!"

Haruhi yelled confidently. Unfortunately, what she did had the opposite effect. Since this would lead our opponents to cancel the thought of showing mercy on our girls.

Our second batter, Asahina-san, wore her wide helmet and walked hesitantly towards the batter's box.

"M, may the best wi...... Kyaa!"

Before she could finish, a high angled straight ball came shooting over. How dare these bastards do that!? If you strike Asahina-san out in three strikes, you'll have to face serious consequences, a brawl was inevitable at best!

Asahina-san had become as stiff as a Buddha statute, and only looked as the remaining two pitches flew past her. When the umpire announced that she was struck out, she breathed a sigh of relief and returned to the bench.

"Hey! Why aren't you swinging the bat!?"

Haruhi's complaints are nothing, what's important was that Asahina-san was safe.

Nagato, our third batter, walked silently to the batter's box, dragging the tip of aluminum bat on the ground.


She ignored all the balls being pitched and was struck out very quickly. She then silently returned to the bench, took off her helmet and handed the bat to the next batter - me.


She quietly sat on the bench and reverted to being a decorative doll.

Haruhi's yells were becoming annoying. Geez, it's your fault for expecting so much from Asahina-san and Nagato.

"Kyon! You've gotta hit this! You're the fourth batter! The cleanup hitter!"

I really do wish you wouldn't put so much hope on a fourth batter who was just picked by lottery.

I learned from Nagato and stood in the batter's box silently.

I didn't swing at the first pitch. It was a strike. Now that was scary. That ball was fast. It basically sliced through the air and made a swishing noise. I had no idea what its speed was, but I guess it's faster than one could blink. In fact, the moment I felt the pitcher had thrown the ball out, the ball had already landed in the catcher's glove. Did Haruhi actually hit this sort of pitch?

The second pitch. Whoa! The ball curved. Is this what they call a curveball? If I ignored it, it would be a ball, but I still swung at it. And so it ended with three consecutive strike outs, and both sides had to switch positions.

"You idiot!"

When our opponents went to their dugout to take a break, Haruhi yelled furiously at the left field and threw her glove to the ground.

This was too embarrassing.

To be precise, our defense had more holes than you would find in a tropical savanna ant hill.

The outfield defense was especially ridiculous. It was perfectly normal for our right fielder Asahina-san and my sister the left fielder to not catch any balls at all, this I could tell from their pre-match warm ups. So when the ball flew to the right field, it had to be retrieved by me the second baseman; when it flew to the left field, Taniguchi the short stop would have to run for his life to retrieve the ball. Whenever Asahina-san sees the ball flying towards her, she would kneel down and cover her head with her glove, so don't expect her to do any defending. As for my sister, she would chase the ball happily, but the ball would always land three feet away from where she was standing, so she wasn't of much help either.

Nagato the center fielder was flawless when catching the ball, but she only reacted to those that flew within her defensive perimeters, and her reactions were just dead slow. If a line drive flew past her, our opponent would have scored a run already.

......Might as well hurry up and lose so we can go home already! That wouldn't be too bad.

"C'mon! Bring it on!"

Only Haruhi walked enthusiastically towards the pitcher's mound. The gloves, shin guards and chest protector for our catcher Koizumi were of course all borrowed.

Our opponent's first batter bowed to the organizers, then headed to the batter's box.

Haruhi slung her arm and made her first pitch.


It was a very good strike, be it the angle, speed or control of the ball. The ball landed right in the center of the strike zone. The strike had so much power that the batter didn't even have a chance to swing his bat.

Of course, the SOS Brigade members, including myself, weren't surprised by this. If this girl were suddenly called up to the Japanese National Soccer Team, I think we won't be too shocked about it. There was nothing which was impossible for Haruhi.

It wasn't that simple for the opponent's first batter, though. He couldn't swing his bat for two consecutive strikes, and only managed to react for the third pitch, but he still struck out. It seems like one of those change up balls that curves slightly when entering the strike zone, it was as unpredictable as Haruhi's personality.

Haruhi slung her arm and made her first pitch.
Haruhi slung her arm and made her first pitch.

The second batter listened to the suggestions of the first batter, who never managed a hit, and tried to bunt. Yet he hit the ball outside the foul line twice and missed the third pitch, so he was struck out as well.

Seeing how the situation was beginning to change, even I was feeling uneasy. Both teams weren't going to drag on like this till the last inning, were they? As expected from their clean-up man, the third batter made a direct hit on Haruhi's powerful fastball. If you keep pitching fastballs, it's only a matter of time before it gets hit.

The ball flew way past the head of Nagato, who remain rooted there, and disappeared into the distance. With the look of Medea who had just been betrayed by Jason, Haruhi looked intently at the third batter who had just hit a home run.

Anyway, we were now one run behind as a result.

The fourth batter managed to hit a double; while the fifth batter took advantage of an error from Kunikida, and our opponents ended up taking the first and third; the sixth batter scored a second run by hitting the ball out into the right field; the seventh batter hit the ball towards third base, the ball was picked up and quickly thrown home by Tsuruya-san, tagging the runner out. This ended the first inning.

At the end of the first inning, the score was 2-0. I never thought we would have fought this valiantly, though it'll give me more of a headache. Just hurry up and let them score ten runs so we can go home already!

At the start of the second inning, our fifth to seventh batters - my sister, Koizumi and Kunikida - were all struck out consecutively, we have already entered the second half of the inning before we could even draw our breath.

Our opponent seems to have identified the outfield as our main weakness, and it became obvious that they were targeting the ball towards that area. Every time Taniguchi and I would run frantically towards the outfield, trying to catch the ball, but our success rate was about 10%, and we were simply exhausted. Oh well, in order to relieve Asahina-san of her pain, running this much was a small price to pay. Since Asahina-san still looked so cute even when being scared senseless.

And so our opponent scored five runs in this inning. The score was now 7-0. Just three more runs and it'll be over. We should be able to wrap things up by the next inning, I guess.

First half of the third inning. Our turn for offense.

Tsuruya-san, who tied her long hair behind her head, kept hitting the ball foul. She seems like a very energetic person, but in the end she hit a ball that ended up landing in the catcher's glove. She tapped her helmet with the bat and said,

"Sure is hard! Just hitting the ball alone was already tough."

Haruhi frowned and seemed to be in deep thought. Whatever she's thinking, it wasn't going to be good.

"Hmm, looks like we'll have to use that......"

Haruhi murmured and slowly walked to the umpire and said, "Time out!"

She then grabbed Asahina-san, who was sitting obediently with a loudspeaker in her hand, by the neck,


Haruhi dragged the slim figure in the track suit and disappeared behind the bench area. She and Asahina-san were each carrying a large sports bag, I would soon find out what those bags contained.

"W,wait...... Suzumiya-san! Nooo......"

Besides from Asahina-san's cute screams, the wind blew across the rough voice of Haruhi yelling away,

"Hurry up and take it off! Now put this on!"

Here we go again.

And so, when Asahina-san reappeared, she was dressed in the most appropriate attire for this situation. She wore a sleeveless shirt with bright blue and white colors, coupled with a mini-skirt, she even had two yellow pompoms.

Such an impeccable cheerleader. Where did she get this costume from? What a mystery.

"She looks gorgeous..."

Kunikida said enjoyably.

"Mikuru, can I take some pictures of you like that?"

Tsuruya-san giggled and took out her digital camera phone.

By the way, Haruhi was also dressed as a cheerleader. Wouldn't it be fine if only she were to wear that...... I didn't think like that then. To be honest, Asahina-san just looked too cute in that cheerleader costume, though she'd look cute in anything.

"I wonder if you'll look better with a ponytail?"

Haruhi caressed Asahina-san's hair and attempted to tie her hair behind the back of her head. When she noticed that I was watching, she scowled her mouth like a duck's beak and gave up tying the hair.

"Then, let's get to work!"

"Eh? W,w,what do we do?"

"We do this!"

Haruhi went behind Asahina-san and lifted her weak, pale arms, then began to swing then up and down. Such unbelievable choreography. Haruhi yelled loudly by Asahina-san's ear, "Scream! Scream loudly!"

"Wah...... Everyone, please do you best and score a run! Everyone...... Do your best!"

Asahina-san was forced to yell in such a pretentious way. At least Taniguchi was fired up by this, as he swung the bat with vigor, preparing to get on base. However, I have a feeling no matter how hard he tries, he's never going to hit the opponent's pitches.

As expected, Taniguchi returned dejected to the bench in no time.

"Man, this is hard."

And so, the batters position was rotated and Haruhi once again went to the batting zone.

In that cheerleader costume of hers.

It was quite a feast for the eyes when Haruhi and Asahina-san once dressed up as bunny girls, and right now their costumes was just as distracting.

Our opponents already didn't know where to look. Asahina-san was perfect in every way; while besides her personality, Haruhi was equally flawless - in both her looks and her figure.

Haruhi took full advantage of the opponent pitcher's error and made a hit, striking the ball towards the center field past the second base. During the confusion of the opponent's trying to scramble the ball back infield, she had already taken third base. The third baseman's eyes were looking in a suspicious angle when Haruhi slid towards the third base.

The next batter was a pretty cheerleader girl whose charms far surpass Haruhi's. Asahina-san held the bat with trepidation. Under the watchful glare of many guys (myself included), her face blushed furiously red in embarrassment. Such a great scene.

The pitcher was so distracted he could only throw a weak pitch, but Asahina-san still didn't swing her bat. The opponent even deliberately threw an easy-to-hit curveball.


Her eyes were shut when she swung her bat, so a ball that could have been easily hit wasn't even scratched at all.

And so, Asahina-san was once again one pitch away from being struck out. At this moment, Haruhi began swinging her arms while standing on the third base. What was she doing?

"She seems to be making a signal."

Koizumi came and explained.

"Did we even have signals to begin with?"

"No. But from this situation, I can more or less imagine Suzumiya-san would resort to using signals. She's probably trying to call for a squeeze."

"Signing for a squeeze with two outs? Even a lame duck coach can do better than that."

"I deduce that she probably believes the chances of Asahina-san scoring a run is near zero, so she decided to employ a squeeze play, which would result in the infielders making an error; or perhaps if Asahina-san does manage to hit the ball, she might be able to do something as well?"

"The thing is that our opponent has figured that out already."

The infielders have all gone into defensive positions and were prepared. What signals was Haruhi making? It just looked like she was signaling to hit the ball.

In the end, the squeeze play failed miserably. Asahina-san didn't even know what squeeze play was, so she could only tilt her head and wonder what Haruhi's signals meant. She was eventually struck out.

Asahina-san lowered her head and returned to the bench, with the look of a puppy who had just enraged her master. Haruhi called her over,

"Mikuru-chan, come over here, and close your jaws tightly."


Haruhi pinched hardly the sides of Asahina-san's trembling cheeks with both her hands,

"This is your punishment! Let everyone see that cute face of yours."

"Ah...... Ah......"

"Are you an idiot?"

I knocked on Haruhi's head with my loudspeaker.

"It's your fault for making such funny signals. Why don't you go steal home plate yourself, you moron?"


Beep beep beep! Koizumi took out a cell phone from his track suit pocket, and frowned after looking at the LCD screen.

Asahina-san looked shocked and pressed her left ear with her hand while looking off into the distance.

Nagato turned and looked vertically upwards into the sky.

When everyone else went to their defensive positions, Koizumi called me back.

"Something's come up."

I didn't want to know, but I'll hear what you have to say.

"A Sealed Dimension has appeared. Probably the largest we've ever seen, and it's expanding at a very rapid rate."

Sealed Dimension.

A gray world which I was too familiar with. How could I forget? Thanks to being trapped in that gloomy dimension, I now have to carry a mental scar for the rest of my life.

Koizumi continued to smile,

"That's how it is. Sealed Dimensions are created as a result of the pressure being subconsciously emitted by Suzumiya-san. Right now Suzumiya-san is very frustrated, which explains the appearance of one right now. Unless her mood improves, this Sealed Dimension is going to keep expanding, and the 'Avatars' which you're so familiar with will wreak havoc on everything."

"......You're saying Haruhi's getting moody because the team's losing? She can get so frustrated as to create such a retarded dimension?"

"Seems to be the case."

Koizumi took out a cell phone... Asahina-san looked shocked and pressed her left ear with her hand... Nagato turned and looked vertically upwards into the sky.
Koizumi took out a cell phone... Asahina-san looked shocked and pressed her left ear with her hand... Nagato turned and looked vertically upwards into the sky.

"She's so full of it!"

Koizumi made no comment but simply smiled at me. I sighed and said,

"This is so annoying."

Koizumi looked at me and said,

"What's the point in saying this now? You sound as though it has nothing to do with you. This is a serious incident, and you have a lot to do with it. Weren't our positions decided through lottery?"

"It was decided through lottery, so what?"

"And you were chosen as the clean-up."

"I don't feel glad at all with that."

"Suzumiya-san wouldn't care less about whether you felt glad or pressurized by it. The thing is that you were chosen as the clean-up."

"Can you please explain in a language I can understand?"

"Simple. Because this is what Suzumiya-san wishes, that's why you were chosen as the fourth batter. This is not coincidental. She wishes for you to perform the role of the clean-up, but right now she is very disappointed that you have failed to live up to her expectations."

"Well, sorry about that."

"Hmm, I'm troubled by it as well. At this rate, Suzumiya-san's mood would continue to deteriorate, and the Sealed Dimension would continue to expand,"

"......Then what should I do?"

"Do well in the game. If possible, make a long hit; or better still, a home run, especially those that fly very far off. How about scoring a very long home run, and even smashing the score board at the far side of the field?"

"Don't be ridiculous. I only score home runs in video games. How am I supposed to make such powerful swings?"

"We all sincerely hope that you can do it."

No matter how much you hope, I'm neither a god nor an elf, how was I going to find a solution?

"Then try your best to prevent the opponent from ending the game within this inning. (In this tournament, when the score difference is ten runs, the game would end.) If the game ends here, then it'll be the end for the world as well. No matter what, we must limit their score in this half to within two runs."

Koizumi said in a very serious manner which didn't fit in with this atmosphere.

The second half of the third inning began. Haruhi walked towards the pitcher's mound in her cheerleader costume. Asahina-san also wore her cheerleader costume and went to the right field.

Haruhi revealed her arms and legs without hesitation, and ignored any runners on base while still throwing her pitches from the set.

The first batter struck the ball and it flew right in front of Nagato's face. She made the out, but she didn't even look at the fly ball hit by the second batter. When the ball rolled from the left field into the center field, he had already run to third base. Haruhi's pitches were still full of power, but as she kept throwing fastballs, they were bound to get hit. As expected from the defending champions, they then scored two runs by making two hits and taking advantage of an error from Kunikida. The situation was now becoming critical. There were already runners standing on first and second base. Just one more run and this game would have to end forcefully, and no one will know what will happen to this world.

Whack! The white ball flew high and drifted towards the right field. Asahina-san stood at where the ball would land, and curled herself in fear. There was no time to think, I ran with my life for the umpteenth time towards the right wing. I've gotta get that ball!

I leapt and caught the ball. The ball barely went in through the tip of the glove.


I then quickly threw the ball with all my force to Taniguchi, who was standing by at second base. The two runners thought this was going to be a long distance hit and were already going. Taniguchi quickly stepped on second. Double play!

Phew, we somehow managed to survive this. How exhausting.

"Nice play!"

I embraced the praising look of Asahina-san, while Taniguchi, Kunikida, my sister and Tsuruya-san all mobbed my head with their gloves. I gave them a V-sign while looking at Haruhi's reaction, and saw her carrying a troubled expression as she looked at the score board (which was basically a movable white board).

I sat on the bench and covered my face with a towel. Koizumi now walked towards me,

"Continuing where we left off,"

I really didn't want to hear this.

"There is a solution to this. When you and Suzumiya-san went to that world, how did you manage to return?"

Like I said, stop making me think of that again.

"If you use that method you used back then, we might be able to improve the situation."

"I refuse."

Heh heh heh Koizumi giggled. Now that laughing noise of his sure pissed me off.

"I knew you would say that. Then how about this? It'll be fine as long as we win this game. I've already thought of a good idea, it should be able to work, since she shares a common interest with us."

Koizumi grinned softly and headed towards Nagato, who was standing in the white on-deck circle staring blankly into the distance. He then mumbled something to the side of Nagato's ear, whose short hair seemed to wave slightly. Suddenly, Nagato turned her head and looked at me with her emotionless eyes.

Does that mean she agreed to it? She nodded her head like a puppet whose strings had just snapped, and walked in strides towards the Batter's box.

I turned my gaze leftwards and saw Asahina-san staring at Nagato,

"Nagato-san...... She's finally......"

She said with a pale expression, which made me concerned,

"What's she doing?"

"Nagato-san seems to be chanting incantations."

"Incantations? What the hell's that?"

"Um...... That's classified information."

I'm sorry. Asahina-san gestured as she lowered her head. That's fine, it can't be helped if it's classified information. Sigh, looks like that surreal stuff was about to happen again.

I had a firsthand experience with Nagato's incantations.

It was a very hot May evening, if Nagato hadn't barged into the classroom that day, I would now be taking a long nap in my grave. At that time Nagato was also chanting something very quickly, and defeated the person who was trying to kill me. Ah yes, Nagato was still wearing glasses back then.

What was she trying to do this time?

Then I understood at once.

The bat swung, it was a home run.

Nagato seemed to have just casually swung the bat, and struck the center of the pitcher's fastball. The ball flew high up above the field, and finally disappeared at the back of the wall.

I turned my gaze towards my teammates. Koizumi grinned elegantly and nodded to me; Asahina-san looked a bit stiff, but wasn't surprised; while my sister and Tsuruya-san simply exclaimed, "Wow......"

The others simply dropped their jaws and went into shock. Of course, it was the same for our opponents.

Haruhi leapt joyously towards the home plate and tapped on the helmet of Nagato, who had just circled all the bases with a blank expression.

"That was amazing! Where'd you get so much power from?"

Haruhi pulled and twisted Nagato's tiny arms excitedly. Nagato still remained expressionless and allowed Haruhi to have her way.

A while later, Nagato walked towards the bench and handed the bat to me.

"This..." She pointed to the old baseball bat and said, "Alteration in boost attribute data."

"What's that mean?" I asked. Nagato looked at me for some time and said,

"Homing mode."

She only said those words and walked back to the bench and sat at the corner, picking up a very thick book lying by the side and began to read it.

The score was now 9-1. It was the first half of the fourth inning. Looks like this'll be the last inning.

The opposing pitcher still hasn't recovered from the previous shock, but still managed to throw a good fastball towards me.

Now I finally understood the meaning of Nagato's words.


The bat moved on its own, my arms and shoulders were simply dragged along by it. Whack!

I originally thought I merely scratched the ball, but I never would have imagined that the ball would have rode the wind and flew far up, it flew over the wall and lawn, and landed on the baseball field next door. It was a home run. I widened my jaw.

Homing mode was really incredible......

I threw away the bat, which was now installed with a automatic homing device and acceleration booster, and began to run.

As I passed second base I turned to look at the bench. Haruhi's hands were raised up and when our eyes met, she quickly turned away. You ought to celebrate wildly like Tsuruya-san and my sister! I saw Taniguchi and Kunikida looking shocked once again, while Asahina-san and Koizumi remained speechless, and our opponents simply exchanged glances with each other.

I felt really sorry for them, but the shock suffered by our opponents refused to wear out.

Next, my sister walked shakily towards the batter's box. As the helmet was too big for her, nearly half of her face was covered up, so I can't really blame her for not being able to maintain her balance. This trump card I specifically kept just for losing now swung her bat hitting the pitcher's ball, and whacked the ball over the fence. In other words, she too has hit a home run.

No matter how crazy things get, there was a limit to ridiculousness. For an 11-year-old fifth grade schoolgirl to whack a ball, which was thrown by a college student at the speed of 130 km/h (according to my instincts), over the fence - in reality it was just plain impossible.

"That's amazing!"

Haruhi never doubted this twisted reality one little bit. She took my sister's hand and danced wildly with her and smiled merrily,

"That's an incredible talent! You have a bright future ahead! You'll be in the Baseball League in no time!"

My sister let Haruhi swing her around madly while screaming joyously.

How should I say this? ......Hmm, the score was now 9-3.

I was now sitting on the bench and wrapping my head with my hands.

Our home run onslaught continued. The score was now 9-7. Seven continuous home runs in one inning, I guess we've set a new tournament record.

After hitting a blast, Taniguchi ran back to the bench saying,

"I've decided to join the Baseball Team. I never knew I had it in me, I feel that entering Koushien is no longer a dream. I even felt that it was the bat itself that hit the ball!"

Next to him, Kunikida also naively said, "Yeah, that's true!"

They sure looked excited, while Tsuruya-san slapped the shoulder of Asahina-san, who suddenly felt nervous for no reason, while laughing loudly. I'm glad the three of them are so simple minded.

"Now's the time to really show them our colors!"

Haruhi lifted the bat and said. Shouldn't this be the pitcher's line?

I was beginning to grow tired of the whacking noises, as the balls kept flying towards the scoreboard and bouncing off of it.

It was now 9-8. Until now, the opponent has switched three pitchers. I'm sure they didn't want my sympathy, but I still decided to pity them. Poor guys.

The batting order rotated once again, and Asahina-san, Nagato and I all made consecutive home runs. Finally the score was reversed 9-11 in our favor. Eleven consecutive home runs...... I began to think that this needs to be stopped quickly, since I've discovered that our opponents weren't looking at us, instead their gazes were concentrated on this baseball bat. Could they have mistaken this for some magic bat? Though it was natural for them to think that way.

Before handing the bat to my sister the next batter, I brought Nagato, who was reading her book at the corner of the bench, out for a talk.

"This is enough."

I said. It was rare to see Nagato's expressionless eyes blinking many times, she normally blinks every ten seconds or so.

"I see."

She replied, then placed her tiny fingers over the tip of the bat I was holding and quickly chanted something. I couldn't hear what was being said, but even if I did, I wouldn't be able to understand anyway.

After quickly withdrawing her fingers from the bat, Nagato said nothing and quietly returned to her position on the bench and opened her book again.


When my sister, Koizumi and Kunikida went up to strike again, it was as though their previous home runs never happened, as they all missed the ball and were all struck out consecutively. In fact, this was all due to cheating through advanced technology.

I forgot to mention, there's a time limit of ninety minutes for the games in this tournament, this rule was inevitable if the organizers wanted to complete all the matches within the day. And so, there would be no next inning for this game. We'll win this game if it ends at the second half of the fourth inning.

Must we really win this?

"We have to," Koizumi said, "My colleagues have called, they say thanks to our efforts, the Sealed Dimension seems to have ceased expanding. Though it may have stopped growing, the 'Avatars' are still there, so we still need to think of an idea to clean up this mess. But it's definitely good news that the Sealed Dimension has stopped expanding,"

However, if our opponents managed to turn things around, we would all meet our Waterloo. I was not prepared to use my imagination to guess what mood Haruhi will be in then.

"That's why I have a suggestion,"

Koizumi revealed his white teeth, they were so bright I would recommend him to do a toothbrush commercial, and whispered his suggestion into my ear.

"Are you serious?"

"I'm very serious. If we are to keep the loss in runs at a minimum, this is the only way.

I have to exclaim this once again - Argh!

We requested the umpire to allow us to make changes to our fielding lineup.

Nagato would replace Koizumi as the catcher, Koizumi would move to the center field, while I swapped positions with Haruhi and was now standing on the pitcher's mound.

When Koizumi asked Haruhi to relinquish her pitcher's position, she pouted for a while until she realized that I would be replacing her, to which she gave me a complicated look and said,

"......Well, all right then. But if your pitches get hit, you'll have to treat everyone for lunch!"

She said while withdrawing to her position on second base.

Nagato simply stood there looking dazed, so Koizumi and I had to help her put on her chest protector and shin guards. Was it really appropriate for someone without any emotional upheaval to play the catcher?

Nagato walked in strides towards the back of the home plate and knelt down.

And so, the match resumed. As we were running out of time, I didn't even have time to warm up my pitching skills. Looks like I'll have to face my first time ever as a pitcher head on with such short notice.

Might as well pitch and see what happens.


The ball which I spent all my strength pitching landed into Nagato's glove without any force. Bad ball.

"Be serious!"

The one yelling wildly was Haruhi. I'm always dead serious. This time I decided to try a curveball.

Second pitch. I really wish my opponents could be fooled by me once in a while, but to no avail. The bat swerved hardly towards my powerless ball. It's over. My pitch was just not good enough......

"Strike one!"

The umpire announced loudly. The batter completely missed the ball. A strike was inevitable, yet the batter looked at Nagato's glove in disbelief.

I understood how he felt. His reaction was expected, as my weak pitch suddenly lowered its flight path by about thirty centimeters just before it was hit by the bat, no one was going to believe that just hearing it.


Nagato remained squatted and only moved her fingers slightly to send the ball back to me. I received the wobbling ball, then went into my pitching stance again.

No matter how many times I pitched, I could only manage a semi-straight ball. The third pitch was wide off the mark - it was supposed to be like that, but after flying for a few yards the ball corrected its route and bent sharply, totally ignoring the laws of inertia, gravity and aerodynamics. It even accelerated as it charged into the catcher's glove.

Smack! Nagato's frail body shook a little bit.

The batter now widened his eyes, even the umpire was speechless for a moment. After a while, he announced not quite so confidently,

"Strike two!"

This was getting out of hand, hurry up and finish this!

I was already beginning to slack off as I pitched wildly without even aiming or putting any strength into the pitch. Yet, if the batter didn't swing his bat, my pitches would always end up as a strike; if he attempted to swing the bat, he would end up missing the ball without even brushing its surface.

The secret lies with Nagato making her incantations every time I pitched. As this secret was so big, not even I knew how it works exactly. Perhaps she did the same thing to the bat as when she saved my life and made the classroom reappear, altering its data.

Thanks to this, I now felt like pitching towards an electric fan. Today's MVP has got to be Nagato Yuki.

Very soon our opponent suffered two strike outs, and their third batter was now one strike away from being struck out as well. Was it okay for me to play such a decisive character so easily? I'm so sorry, Kamigahara Pirates.

I neither exerted a lot of force, nor did I made any special considerations as I threw my final pitch towards the pale-faced batter.

The ball changed course and flew towards the strike zone. The batter swung his bat with all his might. The ball changed direction again and became a rising fastball. The bat swerved around again, leaving a residual image in the air. Three strike outs. Phew, it's finally over...... Or not.


The ball kept bouncing towards the netting behind the catcher. Maybe the pitch was too smooth and went slightly out of control after bending. It tapped off Nagato's glove, and the magic ball (according to me anyway) bounced up like a foul ball behind home plate and rolled at an impossible angle.

A wild pitch.

The batter took this golden opportunity and sprinted quickly. Yet Nagato still held her glove and remain fixed on her position squatting aimlessly.

"Nagato! Go pick up the ball!"

Nagato looked expressionlessly at me giving a command, and she slowly stood up and walked towards the rolling ball. The batter has stepped on first base and was about to get into second base.


Haruhi stood at second base waving her glove frantically.

Nagato finally caught up with the ball and picked up the soft baseball as though she were examining a turtle egg, and turned to look at me.

"Second base!"

I pointed to the direction behind me, where Haruhi was yelling. Nagato nodded "slightly" at me in centimeters......

Swoosh! A white beam flashed past my head, taking a few strands of my hair. I then saw the glove fly off from Haruhi's hand. The ball remained squeezed inside the glove as it flew towards center field. I then realized Nagato had merely moved her wrist a little when she threw that.

After seeing the glove vanish suddenly from her hand, Haruhi widened her eyes. As for the batter, perhaps the sight was just too horrifying for him, he was lying on all fours before he reached second base.

Koizumi the center fielder picked up the glove and took out the ball, then walked over carrying that universal smile of his. He then touched the ball on the batter, while apologizing at the same time,

"I'm really sorry. We just happen to be quite a disorganized group,"

Don't include me in that illogical group as well. I thought as I sighed deeply.

The game was over.

The players of the Kamigahara Pirates all broke into tears. I wasn't sure what was going on, maybe they were worried about being berated by their team's graduated seniors? Or perhaps they were just gutted at losing to what was mostly a female rag-tag high school squad that even has an elementary schoolgirl in it? Or maybe it's even both?

On the other hand, without even standing in the shoes of the vanquished, Haruhi looked absolutely delighted. She carried a bright smile like the one she had when deciding to create the SOS Brigade and said,

"We'll go on all the way, and then march into the Summer Koushien! Being the national champion is no longer a dream!"

She shouted seriously. Only Taniguchi cheered with her. I wasn't about to break any more sweat, and I'm sure the High School Baseball Federation must be feeling the same.

"Great work,"

Koizumi suddenly appeared by my side. "Speaking of which, what should we do next? Continue with the second game?"

I shook my head and said, "To sum it up, if we lose again, Haruhi's gonna be unhappy, right? That also means we'll have to keep on winning, which means we would require help from Nagato's magic. It's going to become bothersome if we keep ignoring the laws of physics. Let's forfeit!"

"I thought so as well. In fact, I think I'd better go help my colleagues. In order to eliminate the Sealed Dimension, they're still short of the people required to beat up the 'Avatars.'"

"Say hi to those blue guys for me."

"I will. By the way, I've learned from this matter that we must not let Suzumiya-san get bored again. We should seriously consider this fact."

"Well, I'm counting on you." Koizumi said, then went to the organizers to request a forfeit.

He keeps stuffing me with these troublesome tasks with such a straight face, I really can't stand him anymore.

I went to tap Haruhi on the back as she was forcefully making Asahina-san dance crazily with her,

"What? You want to dance as well?"

"I have something to tell you."

I brought Haruhi to the outside of the field, I never thought she would obediently follow though.

"Look at them." I pointed to the Kamigahara Pirates players, who were all sitting dejectedly on the bench. "Don't you think they deserve some pity?"

"What for?"

"I believe that they have gone through lots of blood and sweat just to train hard for this day. They have been winners for four consecutive years, I'm sure they're feeling a lot of pressure within them."


"They've probably got bench warmers crying as well. Look at that guy with the marine crew-cut standing behind the side netting, that's the disappointment I'm talking about. Don't you find that sad? He'll probably never get a chance to come on the field again."

"And so?"

"So let's forfeit!"

I said it matter-of-factly.

"You've probably played enough as well right? I don't feel like playing anymore, honestly. I'd rather we all have lunch and chat together. Frankly speaking, my limbs are shaking from exhaustion now."

It was true. Because I was running between infield and outfield all the time, I was exhausted physically and mentally as well.

From being pleased with herself, Haruhi now pouted like Donald Duck and stared quietly at me with her eyes. Just as I was about to lose my breath......

"You're okay with that?"

Yup. Asahina-san and Koizumi, maybe even Nagato were feeling the same way as well. My sister has been practicing with her bat swings ever since the beginning, but if you give her a piece of candy, she'll immediately throw away the bat.


Haruhi looked at me, then looked at the baseball field. After thinking for a while, or maybe she was pretending to think for a while, she smiled pleasantly at me,

"All right then, I'm getting hungry anyway, let's have lunch! I never thought baseball would be such a simple sport, we won too easily!"

Is that so?

I didn't argue with her, and merely shrugged my shoulders.

When I proposed to withdraw in favor of them progressing to the next round, the opposing team's captain wept while thanking us gratefully. I felt so guilty seeing him like that, since we had used some very absurd cheating in order to steal this victory.

"They've probably got bench warmers crying as well. Look at that guy with the marine crew-cut standing behind the side netting, that's the disappointment I'm talking about. Don't you find that sad?"
"They've probably got bench warmers crying as well. Look at that guy with the marine crew-cut standing behind the side netting, that's the disappointment I'm talking about. Don't you find that sad?"

As I was about to leave quickly, the captain called me back, and whispered quietly into my ear,

"Say, how much are you willing to sell that bat of yours for?"

And so, besides Koizumi, we were now occupying the corner of a restaurant as we munched away at our food.

My sister has already got herself entangled with Haruhi and Asahina-san, as she sat between the two of them while eating her hamburger by picking it up with her knife haphazardously; while Taniguchi and Kunikida were seriously discussing about joining the Baseball Team. Sigh, I'd best leave them alone. Meanwhile, Tsuruya-san has now turned her attention towards Nagato, "So you're Nagato Yuki-chan? Mikuru tells me a lot about you." Yet her silent under classman paid no heed to Tsuruya-san and concentrated on munching her club sandwich.

As though she was about to make an important speech, Haruhi announced to everyone that I would be paying. I have never quite understood why Haruhi would have such wild ideas. I've have never really managed to grasp how her mind works, so I'm not exactly surprised at what's happening every day. I couldn't even be bothered to protest, as it was too troublesome. That's not all, I even felt relaxed as though a storm had finally subsided.

All of this was because a substantial amount of extra money appeared mysteriously in my pocket.

I sincerely pray for the best for the Kamigahara Pirates.

A few days later.

After school, we gathered as usual in a room inside the clubs complex, and returned to our previous lifestyle, as though the baseball tournament a few days ago never happened.

I sipped the brown rice tea Asahina-san, now dressed in her maid costume, brewed for me, while playing Othello with Koizumi. Nagato sat beside us reading her philosophy book that she borrowed from the library, which was as thick as a dictionary. By the way, Asahina-san wore today's costume as per our request. After all, doesn't it just feel better to be served by a maid than by a nurse? Asahina-san held the tray tightly and watched pleasantly at our battle on the board.

This tranquility was no different from before.

And the one destroying this peacefulness, drowning it in the wild torrents of time would always be Suzumiya Haruhi.

"Sorry, I'm late!"

Haruhi apologized insincerely while creeping in like a winter drift.

The sparkling grin that she wears on her face just gives me the creeps. For some reason, every time she smiles like that, I would sense a scheme from her that would make me even more exhausted physically and mentally. What an incredible world.

Just as I expected, Haruhi asked ambiguously, "Which is better?"

I placed down my black Othello piece on the board, and after flipping over two of Koizumi's white pieces, I said,

"What do you mean which?"


I reluctantly received two pieces of paper Haruhi handed me.

Not flyers again. I took a quick glance at both sheets. One was a notice for a grass-field soccer tournament, while the other was one for a grass-field American football tournament. I secretly cursed the person who took the time to print these flyers from the bottom of my heart.

"Actually, I never wanted to join the baseball tournament, but had wanted to choose from these two instead, but the baseball one was held earlier. So Kyon, which do you think is better?"

With a gloomy heart, I slowly moved my gaze across the club room. Koizumi made a small grimace and toyed with the Othello piece in his finger; Asahina-san shook her head constantly, her face nearly in tears, while Nagato simply continued to read her book, occasionally flipping the pages with her fingers.

"Oh yeah, how many people do we need for a soccer or American football team? Would the people from the baseball tournament be enough?"

I looked at Haruhi's beaming smile and wondered, "Which game requires fewer players?"

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