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Summary: Teshima seems to have a mysterious ability that enables him to understand the ever-quiet Aoyagi. Can the Sohoku first-years imitate his powers as well to prove who's best at reading their opponent?

With Invisible Power

ONODA: “With Invisible Power.”

[SECOND-YEARS walk in]

TESHIMA: Hey, you guys are here early.
AOYAGI: Good day.
ONODA/IMAIZUMI/NARUKO: Aoyagi-san!/ Silent-senpai!, you came at the perfect time!
AOYAGI: ?!
TESHIMA: What’s the matter, guys? Why are you suddenly rushing for Aoyagi?
IMAIZUMI: There’s something we’d like Aoyagi-san’s help with!
NARUKO: It can only be Silent-senpai!
TESHIMA: Calm down and explain what’s going on.
ONODA: I–I’m sorry. Um, the truth is…

🚲 🚲 🚲 🚲


ONODA: [hums] All right! I’m gonna do my best today in practice!
NARUKO: What’s up, Onoda-kun? Yer in a really good mood.
ONODA: Hehe, you can tell? The truth is…
NARUKO: Hold on! Don’t tell me, Onoda-kun! I’ll guess it. [thinking strongly] Hmmmmmm…! Ya got a pass to go to an anime event, didn’t ya?!
ONODA: Eh?! W–Wow, that’s right!! How did you know, Naruko-kun?!
NARUKO: That is because… I’m psychic!
IMAIZUMI: You’re not psychic, even I could’ve gotten that right.
ONODA: Ehh, you too, Imaizumi-kun? H–How?!
IMAIZUMI: Onoda, you were really worried about whether or not you would get the pass to the anime event yesterday. By remembering that, anyone could reach the same conclusion.
ONODA: Ah! Oh, I see!
NARUKO: Hah! Hotshot being a hotshot! Ahh, ya really are a boring guy! I was tryin’ to get the place all cheery but ya had to be a buzzkill right before practice.
IMAIZUMI: Wasting time talking about boring things is the buzzkill.
NARUKO: What?! Ya don’t even know a single trick to lightening the mood, so don’t talk down on me!
IMAIZUMI: ……Oh yeah? Then I’ll guess too. Naruko, you’re wearing red underwear today, aren’t you.
NARUKO: Ahhhh?!!!
IMAIZUMI: Heh, from that look on your face, I’m right.
NARUKO: [thinking] It’s true… The underwear I’m wearing today is my favorite one… Red with the Tiger mark on it!
ONODA: Wow! Imaizumi-kun came to the clubroom after Naruko-kun had changed, so how do you know?
NARUKO: Y–Yeah! Tell me what trick ya used!
IMAIZUMI: There is no trick, it’s mentalism. The art where you read people’s thoughts from their expressions and gestures. Don’t you know about it?
IMAIZUMI: [thinking] Does Naruko not realize that he tends to be bowlegged when he’s wearing red underwear?
IMAIZUMI: In any case, don’t group your fake psychic ability with my mentalism.
NARUKO: Whaaaat mentalism?! Yer just observing the person carefully and guessing what they’re thinkin’! I can do that too!
IMAIZUMI: Hmph! Then go ahead and try it! But not on Onoda, he’s an open book. Anyone can tell what he’s thinking just like earlier.
ONODA: [shocked] I–I’m sorry for not being useful…
NARUKO: Don’t worry about it, Onoda-kun.
IMAIZUMI: Let’s see… Someone with more of a poker face would be good.
NARUKO: Someone who’s always quiet and doesn’t talk…
ONODA: Someone who is normally difficult to read what they’re thinking…
ONODA/IMAIZUMI/NARUKO: Ah.

🚲 🚲 🚲 🚲


TESHIMA: Haha, I see. So that’s why you need Aoyagi. All right then, guys, try to guess what Aoyagi is thinking. Reading a person’s state of mind from their expressions and gestures to make an attack or a diversion is also done in races. Such tactics are important in order to win. It’ll be good practice… So, who first? Naruko?
NARUKO: Nyahahaha, this will be easy!
AOYAGI: ……
NARUKO: [thinking] ?!…Oh no… I have absolutely no idea what Silent-senpai is thinking…
TESHIMA: Well? Have you got it?
NARUKO: Eh… Yes… More or less…
IMAIZUMI: Then say it already.
NARUKO: …!! S–Silent-senpai! Ya put a hand to yer stomach and looked troubled just now! Were ya thinkin’ that practice is a pain because yer stomach hurts?!
TESHIMA: That’s what he said. How about it, Aoyagi?
AOYAGI: ……
AOYAGI: [thinking] That’s completely wrong. I didn’t put a hand to my stomach because it hurt, but because I’m hungry. That’s also why I looked troubled. It’s the total opposite, Naruko.
TESHIMA: Hmm… I see. He put a hand to his stomach and looked troubled because he was hungry, not because of stomach pain. It’s the total opposite, Naruko.
AOYAGI: [nods] That’s right.
NARUKO: Ahhh, it was the opposite! I was so close!!
TESHIMA: You next, Imaizumi.
IMAIZUMI: Yes, sir.
IMAIZUMI: [thinking] I already read my opponents’ state of minds during races. If I didn’t do that much, there’s no way I could win a race.
AOYAGI: ……
IMAIZUMI: [thinking] …!! There’s no change at all in his expressions or gestures! No, wait! I think he looked up slightly…
NARUKO: Hey, Hotshot. Well? Can you read his mind?
IMAIZUMI: Yeah! Aoyagi-san’s gaze moved up slightly 40 degrees to the right for a moment! That trajectory points to Tadokoro-san’s locker! Which means, he was thinking about Tadokoro-san! How’s that, Aoyagi-san?
ONODA: I was watching Aoyagi-san too, but I had absolutely no idea that he looked up at all! Nothing less from Imaizumi-kun! You have incredible eyesight!
AOYAGI: ……
AOYAGI: [thinking] It’s true that I looked up for a brief moment. But that was because I saw dust, not because I was looking at Tadokoro-san’s locker. Are the first-years even cleaning the clubroom properly?
TESHIMA: Hmm… hmm… Sorry, Imaizumi, but you’re wrong too. Aoyagi looked up not to look at Tadokoro-san’s locker, but because he saw dust. You guys shouldn’t slack on cleaning because practice is tough.
IMAIZUMI: Unnggh, I see.
NARUKO: Ahahahaha, you got it wrong!
TESHIMA: Oh yeah, why don’t you try it too, Onoda?
ONODA: Eh, me?
TESHIMA: I said it would be good practice, didn’t I? Think of it as a race and try it out.
AOYAGI: ……
ONODA: [thinking] Wah… It’s no good… Aoyagi-san’s expressions and gestures don’t change at all, so I have no idea what he’s thinking… Mm? Huh? But…
ONODA: U–Um, Aoyagi-san, could it be… that you’re holding back a sneeze right now?
AOYAGI: !
ONODA: I–I’m sorry! It’s just… Your nose looked like it stiffened a little, so I thought that maybe… I–I–I’m sorry!
TESHIMA: Hmmmm, close!
ONODA: Eh?
AOYAGI: [thinking] That’s right. You were really close just now. I wasn’t holding back a sneeze, but holding back from scratching my nose because it got itchy.
TESHIMA: Aoyagi probably got an itchy nose.
ONODA: Ah, I see! So that’s why his nose stiffened.
TESHIMA: But being able to notice that slight difference in his expression… You surprisingly have skill, Onoda!
ONODA: Haha, thank you!
TESHIMA: Then we’ll have Onoda as the winner of this contest–
NARUKO: Hold on a moment!
TESHIMA: Huh? What’s wrong?
IMAIZUMI: Teshima-san, could you show us an example?
TESHIMA: What, you want me to do this too?
NARUKO: Yes, sir!
IMAIZUMI: But with a handicap.
TESHIMA: A handicap, huh? I don’t mind. What do you want me to do specifically?
IMAIZUMI: Could you wear a blindfold?
TESHIMA: Okay. That’s troublesome though, so I’ll just turn my back on Aoyagi and close my eyes. Is that okay?
NARUKO: That’s plenty!
IMAIZUMI: [thinking] He won’t be able to see his expressions or gestures this way.
NARUKO: [thinking] No matter how good Perm-senpai is, there’s no way he can tell what Silent-senpai is thinking!
TESHIMA: Hmm… It’s difficult… But… Let’s see… Aoyagi, you’re thinking about what bathing powder to use for your bath tonight, aren’t you?
IMAIZUMI: Wha– Teshima-san! You shouldn’t play around because you have a handicap! How do you suddenly come upon bathing powder–
AOYAGI: No, he’s right.
ONODA/IMAIZUMI/NARUKO: Ehhh?!
NARUKO: Teshima-san really is psychic!!
ONODA: H–He has mind-reading powers?!
IMAIZUMI: I don’t believe it… Is this for real?
ONODA: Um… How did you know?!
TESHIMA: Oh, this doesn’t involve psychic powers or mentalism. Aoyagi always uses bathing powder that smells like the forest. Since we had good weather and strong winds today, I caught a scent that was similar to it from the mountains around here. So, I just thought that maybe…
AOYAGI: [thinking] That’s right. Before I came in here, I was thinking about the bath I would take after practice. Then I realized that I was almost running out of the bathing powder that I use now. So I was thinking that perhaps I should change it to something else once in a while. But he should have only realized about the bath from the scent of the forest…
AOYAGI: …Junta.
TESHIMA: Eh? …Hey, don’t praise me so much, you’re making me blush.
IMAIZUMI: Aoyagi-san… is praising him? With that face?
NARUKO: He looks the same as always to me… but if Perm-senpai says so, then it must be true.
ONODA: They’re teamwork really is amazing.

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