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Chapter 1: Swim
The chapter opens in the pool, just like anime did, except, unlike anime, there's only Haruka and Makoto. Haruka finishes a 1000m run, but he doesn't seem at all out of breath. Then, he notices Makoto's hand extended to him to help him out of the water. As Haruka gets out of the water, Makoto tells him that he swam as gracefully as ever and that he reminds him of a dolphin. Haruka then tells him that it's about time he stops putting '-chan' on Haruka's name. Makoto asks him if he was done for the day (unintentionally putting Haruka's nickname at the end of the sentence), which only makes Haruka tell him that he doesn't have to put his name at the end of every sentence and that he should start calling him 'Nanase' instead. Makoto tells him that he calls him 'Makoto' and asks should he call Haruka by his first name then. Haruka shrugs and tells him if he does that, he won't speak to him ever again. Makoto decides that he'll go simply with 'Haru'. Makoto settled his goggles into place as he stood on the starting block and jumped in. It reminded Haruka of an orca ferociously pursuing its prey, but, without waiting for Makoto to reach the wall fifty meters away, Haruka headed to the shower room, rought stripping off his cap.
In January, a new transfer student arrived to Iwatobi Elementary School. He introduced himself as Rin Matsuoka, but after his introducion, the classroom went silent. The one who broke the silence was Makoto, who stood up smiling at Rin. Rin immediately recognized Makoto and he said that Rin got in the same class as him and Haruka. The class started chattering and wondering how did the three know each other and by the end of third break, Rin got tired of all questions he received as a transfer student.
As Rin headed towards the classroom with other students after he finished eating his lunch, someone put a hand on his shoulder. He turned around knowing whose hand that was. Haruka told him to come with him, and without waiting for Rin to say or do anything, he started walking ahead himself. As he walked behind Haruka, someone pushed him from behind and it turned out that it was Makoto, who tells him not to be left behind. The whole class was watching the three of them with curiosity as they walked off.
As they got between the school building and the pool, Rin shouted how the cherry tree that was near them was beautiful. He pointed out that when it's spring, cherry blossom will fall and will drop into the pool, adding that he would like to swim in a pool like that. As Makoto was telling him that the water would still be cold at that time of a year, Haruka interrupted him and, with a shocked voice, asked Rin if he was planning to stay there next year. Rin then asked him if he was planning of pranking on him because he was a transfer student, laughing. Makoto then told him that it's not the case and that they have to ask him something. Rin started defending himself that he didn't know that they were gonna be in the same class, thinking that Makoto and Haruka were mad because he got in the same class as them.
Chapter 2: Water
Chapter 2 starts by describing a shrine called Misagozaki Shrine, located on a medium-sized mountain, overlooking a fishing harbor. It is described that the view from Misagozaki Shrine is so beautiful that poets wrote about it long ago. The story then goes on to describe the small harbor town, called Iwatobi. Iwatobi was surrounded by mountains and the sea, and had only one road in and out of town, with the houses packed tightly next to each other.
Haruka's house was halfway up the steps to the Misagozaki Shrine, so to get everywhere, he had to climb the steps. Normally, Haruka would go to swim practice on his bike, parked at the bottom of the steps. He would always time his descent on the steps to meet Makoto, but today Makoto is running late. After some consideration, Haruka decided to take his bike and ride to swim practice first, deciding that Makoto could catch up to him anyways and that they would see each other at practice.
On the way to practice, Haruka had to pass the Shiwagawa River. As he was riding on the bridge, the wind blew at him, especially strong today. As he got to the middle of the bridge, Haruka spotted a classmate Yazaki Aki, looking into the river gloomily. She was part of the Iwatobi swim club and a member of his class, but Haruka didn't know her well. After despairing that Makoto isn't there to help him out, Haruka chides himself and ponders whether or not to stop and talk to her. Luckily, Aki notices him there and calls to him. Haruka stops and asks her whats wrong, and she responds by telling him her scarf dropped in the river. Haruka tells her the river is too wide, and that it is impossible to get her scarf for her. He then apologizes and rides on.
Haruka meets up with Makoto at the swim club, with Makoto slightly late. He tells Haruka that his fishbowl got dirty, so he hastened to clean it before he left home. Slightly annoyed, Haruka suddenly remembers Aki, wondering if Makoto saw Aki when he crossed the bridge. As Haruka starts to ask Makoto, he stops himself, telling himself the incident wasn't important. Makoto asks him what's wrong, and when Haruka tells him it's nothing, it triggers Makoto's memory and he remarks taht he saw an upset Aki earlier on the bridge. This pushes Haruka to say that the reason Aki was so upset was because she dropped her scarf. Then, Haruka cuts of the conversation, saying he's going on first, telling himself the conversation is meaningless.
Later, Haruka is on the diving block with a talkative Rin next to him, noting the coincidence of them meeting and being in the same swim club. Thinking it is stupid, Haruka dives in the water. After relaxing in pool whilst swimming, Haruka gets up and is greeted by Makoto. Haruka asks about Rin, then decides he wants to get as far from Rin as possible, not wanting to get involved with the new student. He makes up his mind to make sure Makoto doesn't get involved with Rin either, because sooner or later, Haruka knows if Makoto is involved, he will be too.
Meanwhile, after Rin is finished swimming, a young boy asks him if he's friends with "Nanase-kun". Rin remarks that they're more of rivals, because they swim against each other. Rin thinks the boy is so tiny, and then revises his perspective of him, thinking that he's an unbelievable bragger for telling him can swim the 500 meter. Then, when asked what his specialty is, Rin responds with "anything". The kid introduces himself as Hazuki Nagisa, and asks Rin to help him improve his butterfly. Rin responds reluctantly, until he realizes Nagisa is about to cry, and regretfully agrees. Days pass, and Rin helps Nagisa out at his butterfly. Then, Rin spots Haruka practicing his swimming, with Makoto timing him. Rin jumps in to race Haruka, and the two vie for lead back and forth before Haruka wins. Rin is tired, but unable to suppress his excitement at such a fast swimmer and what he deems a worthy rival.
Afterwards, Haruka is irritated about his race with Rin. He thinks to himself that to be thrown into disarray by someone like Rin is a horrible thing to experience. When Makoto comes out, Haruka rides home with him, glancing down at the river to see if the scarf is still there, which it isn't.
The next day, the wind is still blowing hardly. Haruka is suddenly standing with Makoto, watching a procession of white-robed people walk by, crying and weeping as they go.
The next morning, Haruka is confronted by Aki, who apologizes for making him worry the day before about her scarf. She says that it sank, and that's when she gave up, noting that if it didn't, she would probably have watched it forever.
As the classes are brainstorming for a suitable graduation memory, Aki comes up with the idea of planting flowers around the cherry tree in the school yard. Makoto agrees and the classes decide on it.
Later on, Makoto asks Haruka if he has a fever, stating that his face is red. Irritated, Haruka responds with a no. However, Rin and Makoto strike up a conversation, and when Rin comments on Haruka's fever possibility, Haruka grows angry and leaves. He later confronts himself, telling himself he does have a fever, Haruka realizes that he is worried about Rin's swimming capabilities, because Rin can swim the 50 meter faster than he can and up to the 70 meter mark, Rin was still beating him. Haruka decides that he will end up feeling irritated if he doesn't run like Rin, and he starts the two kilometer jog. During his run, Haruka realizes that he is out of shape and at a loss of breath. Frustrated and embarrased, Haruka tries to catch his breath when he spots Aki's lost scarf that has resurfaced after being caught at a crevice in the river. At that moment, Aki appears and asks Haruka if he is okay, after seeing him breathing hardly. Then she spots her scarf and Haruka offers to go get if for her. As Haruka steps onto the riverbank, he suddenly feels dizzy again and tumbles into the river. There, he loses consciousness.
Haruka regains consciousness in the hospital, with a worried Makoto hovering above him, begging him not to exert himself and telling him he has a fever of 104 degrees. Makoto then goes on to tell Haruka that Rin and himself had been crossing the bridge when they heard Aki's cries of panic. The two had pulled Haruka out of the river and Aki had called the ambulance. After Makoto leaves to get the doctor, Haruka notices Rin standing off to the side silently, looking at the floor. With an honest heart, Haruka thanks Rin for saving him, surprising even himself, and Rin nods in response.
Afterwards, Rin is walking back with Makoto. Rin remarks that he was truthfully scared back there, and Makoto smiles, responding that Haruka will be okay, but Rin adds on that he wasn't scared about Haruka, but about Makoto himself. Rin asks Makoto about the incident and how badly he was shaking when he pulled Haruka out. Makoto feigns ignorance and turns away, closing Rin up. After Rin gets off the bus, Makoto is left by himself. He suddenly starts shaking severely and cries, while something inside him feels like it had snapped after being stretched to a breaking point. With no restraint, Makoto is left crying endlessly by himself.