The trio of childhood friends, Tsubaki, Watari, and Kousei rush into a hospital room. Kaori has been hospitalized, following her performance in the competition. Because they stopped playing at one point, Kousei and Kaori have been disqualified from advancing to the final round. Yet Kaori hasn't said a word of reproach to Kousei...which makes Kousei feel even worse. "Have you been playing the piano?" "Do you think you'll be able to forget?" Kaori's questions haunt him relentlessly. Several days later, Kousei spots Kaori, who is back at school after being discharged from the hospital. He wonders whether he should speak to her or not, but then sees that Watari is by her side. Don't get the wrong idea, Kousei tells himself. But he runs into her yet again on his way home from school that day. That's when Kaori implores him to enter a piano competition.