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The team cheers for him and watches in anticipation as Haruka passes his opponents one by one. Thanks to everyone's efforts, Iwatobi manages to win the relay race, earning a place in the regional. The four are overjoyed and laughing as they embrace in a group hug, while the silent Rin looks on from afar, reminiscing about his relay with them all those years ago. Here, he seems almost wistful, the aftermath of his earlier envy.

In the locker room, Aiichiro is praising Rin for his performance. Rin, however, seems to be deep in thought, and Aiichiro notices that he looks downcast despite beating Haruka. Seijuro comes in tells them to hurry up as they are leaving to pray at the Hachiman-sama festival.

Nagisa and Makoto are at Haruka's house, and Makoto persuades him to go the the festival. He says that there is a shrine for the God of water, and Nagisa adds that Rei is waiting for them; the four of them must attend together or else it would be meaningless. Haruka agrees to go, surprising Nagisa and Makoto.

While deciding what food they want, Rei spots a melancholy Rin and Aiichiro and nudges Nagisa, bringing it to his attention. Nagisa successfully blocks Haruka from spotting Rei, and says that he will go and buy burgers for everyone, wanting Haruka to wait at a rest area. Makoto gets the hint from Nagisa's winking and leads Haruka away. Nagisa tells Rei that he invited Haruka to the festival to get his mind off swimming, but adds that, now, it might have the opposite effect. They speculate that the worst case scenario would be to have Haruka quitting the relay; Nagisa comes up with a plan, asking Rei to follow Rin and update him on his whereabouts so that Nagisa can lead the others away.

Haruka wants to buy drinks, but Nagisa volunteers instead, not wanting him to move about in case Rin is nearby. Makoto follows along, and finds out about Rin being at the festival.

Rei nearly gets spotted on his mission while following Aiichiro and Rin, who seems rather unenthusiastic about the whole ordeal, but he manages to hide behind a mask. He updates Nagisa and the team manages to prevent Haruka from meeting Rin when he says that he wants to go to the toilet.

Episode 9 31

Rin visits Iwatobi Elementary School.

Rei follows Rin to Iwatobi Elementary School. As Rin stops, he stands in front of the same tree that reminds him of his childhood and his former team. Memories of their past relay resurface, and Rin grips the metal fence in frustration. Holding back his emotions, he runs way from the school, perhaps in an attempt to hide his tears.

Rei remains undetected and updates Nagisa again. While mumbling his thoughts, Haruka overhears and finds out the truth from Nagisa. Haruka says that it is fine, and Nagisa goes to get Rei back.

Noticing Haruka brooding while staring at the sea, Makoto tells him his feelings about their recent relay, saying that he is really happy that he got to swim with the team. Haruka is surprised and starts opening up. He reveals that he always believed that he did not need a reason to swim, just wanting to feel the water. However, he isn't so sure any more because when he lost to Rin, everything went dark. He realises that he is not going to swim with Rin again, and gets dejected. However, when he saw his team swimming again, he decides to go along and take part in the relay if the rest wanted to. In the process, he remembered how it felt to swim in the same lane with everyone, and have people waiting for him at the finishing line. Haruka declares that it made him just as happy. Overhearing Haruka's feelings, Nagisa and Rei are glad. Haruka states that he wants to participate in the relay with everyone.

Before leaving the festival, Haruka gives Makoto a bag of goldfishes.

At the train station, Rin is panting hard, and tells Seigjuro that they need to talk.

At the pool, Gou announces that her brother is also swimming in the relay at the regional, and Haru is seen staring into the distance.

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