Hyouka:Volume 5 Chapter 2-1
Chapter 2 - Friends Need to be Celebrated
1. Present: 5.2km; 14.8km Remaining
I couldn’t move the gears in my head as I descended down the slope.
Even though I had worked so diligently during the climb, all of my hard-earned altitude was erased in a flash as I began to run down the hill. If this was truly my own doing, and I was going to have to descend at some point anyways, why had I even climbed it in the first place? I gravely reflected on these actions of mine.
Though the beginning of the uphill slope had started off gently, the descent had instantly become a steep drop reminiscent of even that of Hiyodorigoe's. Both sides of the road had once again become densely packed with various cedars, so my range-of-vision was blocked. Had I been half-assed in my descent, I would have ended up being at an angle similar to that of someone falling down a cliff, so from that I ruled out the idea. If I were to start running haphazardly, there would have been the strong noise from my feet slamming the asphalt. Running like this would only destroy the knees. Keeping all this in mind, I decided to adopt an energetic running style mixed with a naturally small stride. Even though my feet would normally start to hurt if I ended up running too fast, it was a given that running downhill made going fast easier. If I didn't run seriously at any point throughout the entire 20km course, I would end up not returning until the sun had set.
As a result, I focused solely on running down the slope.
And yet at the same time, Ibara’s words—that simple sentence she had heard from Ōhinata—continued to spin around in my consciousness.
Like a bodhisattva… Like a bodhisattva…
For some reason, I couldn’t help but feel a slight chill when hearing that supposedly auspicious word, but I descended down the slope too fast to think about the meaning behind it.
The downward slope had one large curve in it. The male students that had smoothly passed me before were running with too much gusto and ended up veering outside the curve. They looked as if they were stomping on furnace bellows. As they realized their situation, I could hear the students up front frantically slamming the asphalt with their feet.
As for myself, I somewhat hugged the inner curve as I turned the corner, and my field of vision finally opened up once more. I could see there was still some snow remaining on the mountains in the distant Kamikakiuchi range. There was no way to say for sure if a winter breeze had been blowing from that direction, but I suddenly began to feel cold regardless.
Satoshi had gone ahead on his bike, and Ibara had also already left. Before Chitanda caught up to me as well, there were some things I wanted to think through first.
As the slope ended and the street became flat once more, I immediately began to relax my legs.
I didn’t remember any point at which Ōhinata and I had had a long, proper discussion face-to-face. Probably because Ōhinata had joined the club, however, there actually was a certain something that I had never really given much thought to up until now. Moreover, if there actually was a problem between Chitanda and Ōhinata, this thing might have been extremely crucial in understanding the situation.
I didn’t relish the idea of thinking about what had happened that day. How should I put this… It’s not like it caused cold sweat to run down my back per se, but I had a feeling that the anxiety I had then still remains to this day.
I could clearly remember both the date and time of week.
It happened on a Sunday.
Translator's Notes and References
- A famous mountain path located on Tekkai Mountain, one of several mountains in a range to the west of Kōbe City. The path is most commonly known because of the “Droppings of Hiyodorigoe,” an event that took place during the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani in 1184 during which an army was surrounded on the mountain path and forced down its steep cliff. For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ichi-no-Tani (This is specifically an account from the famous Japanese war epic, Heike Monogatari, and as a result, there is not much information on this in English, so sorry I couldn’t give you a better source.)
- A foot-operated blasting tool used in old Japanese furnaces. For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatara_(furnace)
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