|← Previous||Next →|
People discuss how the match between Arata and Harada-sensei is going. Someone says that the best player to defeat Meijin Hisashi Suo is none other than Arata Wataya.
When Kitano-sensei says he hopes Harada loses, he gets a flashback of what happened 31 years ago at the Yoshino Society Tournament. Midori Makino, whose name was Midori Kawai at the time, is revealed to be the reader of the final match between Harada and Kitano. It turns out that Harada had declined to play the match if Midori was reading as her voice would 'ruin his game sense'. Stunned by this, Midori married the guy who consoled her at the time and moved to Kushu. After that, Harada won the qualifier match, and even became the challenger. But he lost to the reigning master at that time. Midori never forgot her grudge against Harada and worked extra hard to become a professional reader.
Chihaya realizes what Arata wants to say with his karuta - "I will be the one to claim victory."
Meanwhile, Megumu Ousaka and Haruka Inokuma are playing their match, with Megumu leading the game. Haruka gets disturbed by the 'Do Your Best, Megumu' headband that Megumu is wearing, and starts to lose control of her game sense and commits a fault.
Megumu sends her a card whose opening syllables are 'Chiha'. She thinks Megumu is looking down on her as it is revealed that her maiden name was 'Chihara'. Sakurazawa-sensei wonders if even the invincible Queen can get used to losing.
Coming back to the Master Qualifier match, Arata is gaining lead, by a tiny margin. He then switches his cards' positions, which Chihaya realizes that Harada-sensei considered a way of losing cards, if done without any reason.
Harada gets a card and it is shown that he avoids moving his arm as much as possible in order to minimize inertia so that when the decisive syllable comes, he can extend it freely in any direction he wants. Kitano says it is impossible to pull of something like that for a young lad like Arata. But then, Kitano realizes Harada can't win this match.
Later, fate turns around and Harada and Haruka end up winning their matches by a tiny margin of two cards. After that, when the starting time of the second match is announced, Harada says that he will forfeit the match, an announcement which shocks everyone. He goes over to Midori and tells her that he prefers her reciting rather than Igarashi's, to which she replies by crying. Kuriyama and Murao say that Harada is toying with Arata.
The chapter ends with Taichi watching Chihaya whispering something in Arata's ear.
In order of appearance: