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Chapter 94 is the ninety-fourth chapter of Yuki Suetsugu's Chihayafuru.
While staying at Fujisaki Camp with Taichi, Chihaya and the others are tasked to play four matches that day. Chihaya is paired to Rion for three matches. She lost her first match because of her unpracticed left hand making Rion win. At lunch, Chihaya discovered that Rion's reason of playing karuta is because of her grandmother's supply of rice. Still at the second round, Chihaya lost to Rion by 9 cards. And until the third round, she lost to Rion by 7 cards. At her fourth match, she is paired to Taichi but she also lost.
The Suihoku Karuta Society is having its own training camp in the Kitano residence, but Nikuman-kun is throwing a tantrum. It seems Kana-chan gets to go home because her place is within walking distance, and he was so looking forward with a sleepover with her. Now he wishes he should have gone to the Fujisaki camp instead.
The following day, at the Fujisaki training camp, Coach Sakurazawa orders the participants to charge up a mountain. Chihaya realizes why the Fujisaki players are physically strong. Even Taichi seems fine after the exercise. She recalls what Hyoro-kun told her about Taichi being stronger when she isn't around, and absently wonders what it meant.
Back in the training grounds, Coach Sakurazawa tells the trainees that they will complete 4 matches. The first 3 matches were drawn by her personally, and the fourth is based on their results on the previous three. Chihaya discovers she is going against Rion on all three matches; Coach wants to train Rion on her stamina and tenacity in karuta when she set up their games. The girls' reactions are opposites of each others'; Rion loses heart, while Chihaya is excitedly optimistic. She tells Rion it's like they are practicing for the Queen matches, but Rion says she has no intention to be Queen.
In their first match, Chihaya's left hand movements prove to be clumsy and slow, and inferior to Rion's. Rion is fast, her movements light and agile. Chihaya tries to focus on listening. She loses by more than 10 cards.
She shares Rion's big lunch afterwards; here Rion reveals her motive for playing karuta is the rice she receives from her grandmother Kyoko, who owns some farmland. But since she has become the vice president of the Fujisaki karuta club, she swears they won't lose in next year's interhigh tournament. Chihaya then asks her about what 'superior senses' means; she has this feeling that whenever she manages to take cards from strong opponents, it isn't because of her abilities. Rion tells her she is asking the wrong person.
For the second match, Coach Sakurazawa chose an unskilled reader so players can get used to different types of readers. Rion is not focusing enough, and Chihaya is gradually getting faster with her left hand, reminding Rion how much Chihaya wants to win. She still loses by 9 cards, however.
In their third match, Chihaya commits a fault on one card, and almost touches a dead card that Rion had in their previous match. She realizes that her memories from her earlier matches and her fatigue are affecting her game. Suddenly Coach Sakurazawa interrupts to adjust her posture. She tells Chihaya and the rest of the trainees that Masters and Queens have great posture, and players need to be able to keep their form, no matter how tired they are.As the match resumes, Rion ignores the advice, to the coach's annoyance. Chihaya, on the other hand, takes the advice to heart.
In the end, though, Chihaya still loses to Rion by 7 cards; she loses 3 times in a row. Then Rion tries to answer the question Chihaya asked earlier; she says she can hear the modulation of the sound from readers before the decisive syllable comes.
The coach tells everyone to check their opponent for the final match. Chihaya is still pestering Rion about modulation when Taichi approaches her; they will be facing each other....
Later that evening, Taichi and Chihaya are on the train home. Chihaya is upset that she lost to Taichi, and feels confused about how like a total stranger he was during their game. Taichi then makes an announcement: in the coming fall tournament, he will win against her when she plays with her right hand.
And back in Fujisaki High, Rion asks the coach why she played Chihaya and Taichi against each other. Sakurazawa tells her that when Taichi has self confidence, he becomes a monster. And only Chihaya can give him that level of self confidence.
In order of appearance:
- Rion is called 'master of rice' in this chapter, during her lunch with Chihaya.