As I followed along despondently, a great commotion suddenly arose from the front ranks. At the same time, our procession came to an abrupt halt. Thinking this odd, I stepped out of line to my right to look ahead. At the end of Ōtemachi, on the corner that turns toward Yakushimachi, the road was blocked and a contest of back and forth pushing and shoving had begun. The physical education instructor was making his way back toward me, yelling for order until he was hoarse. I asked what was happening, and he told me the middle school had clashed with the teachers' college at the corner.
It's said that middle school and teachers' college students are perpetually at odds with each other in every district. I don't know why, but their temperaments appear to be entirely incompatible. It takes very little to spark a quarrel. Most likely they're all bored in the confines of the countryside, and this is how they kill time. I enjoy a good quarrel myself, so when I heard they were clashing I dashed off toward the front. The middle schoolers in the fray were yelling for the 'welfare students' to stand aside. Those behind were yelling for the forward ranks to push harder. As I cut my way through the students and approached the front, I heard a shrill, sharp voice ring out with, "Forward!" The teachers' college students silently began to advance. Apparently the clash over precedence had been resolved, with the middle school yielding. As it played out, the teachers' college outranks the middle school.