|Seigaku Academy Host Club
Author: skylark dragonstar PM
When new Seigaku Academy's transfer student Ryoma accidentally breaks an expensive picture, he's forced to become a 'prince' in the school's famous band of boy students who has their own host club and call themselves the Princes of Seigaku while hiding a secret. Parody of Ouran HS Host Club.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Humor - E. Ryoma & Seigaku - Chapters: 7 - Words: 62,957 - Reviews: 49 - Favs: 73 - Follows: 73 - Updated: 10-20-12 - Published: 10-14-11 - id: 7465384
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sorry I couldn't update! Internet connection went down at my home but I managed to type this up!
Also including my thanks to those who reviewed, I'd like to give a big shout out of thanks to JigokuTenshi834, PurpleScorpion, Monkey Girl 13624, Matsuri, Authoress of the Midnight Moon, herseybarrules, 8ranDomsubmiTTer8, smokeydirtcat, and Rychan6 for their wonderful suggestions in response to my request for ideas for this chapter. THANK YOU!
And now, here's chapter 6!
Chapter Six: Princes at the Beach
One day during the Seigaku Host Club's usual business hours, Eiji and Momoshiro were acting very excited today.
Like always, Eiji was in a happy mood and did his usual pouncing onto Ryoma routine while the freshman was doing homework. Ryoma gave a bored sigh. "Eiji-senpai...you're heavy..." he moaned.
"Hey Echizen! You all prepared for the weekend?" Momoshiro said, coming up to Ryoma and patted his shoulder, "We're finally going to go to the beach!"
"Yay! The beach!" Eiji cheered and sang out, "We're going to the beach!"
Instead of being excited, Ryoma still hadn't changed emotion as he stared at the 8th grader with a puzzled expression. "Huh? When did we decided on that trip?"
Momoshiro gave a raised eyebrow at the freshman student. "Seriously? You forgot?" he questioned. "Don't you remember?" Eiji reminded, "When we went to the water park, we agreed we'd all go to the beach later."
If you seem to recall from the end of the previous chapter, the princes suggested going to the beach for their next trip, on Ryoma's mention of his interest to visit the beach that is. Being reminded of this, Ryoma now remembered that the school is having a week off from classes, which led to the decision of taking a trip during that break. "Oh...yeah", he mumbled upon realization.
At this moment, Fuji entered the room. "Everyone, they're here", he announced out loud.
He then clapped his hands and at his command, several employees who work for Fuji's family, wheeled in lots of clothing racks that are covered and brought them altogether in the center of the room. After all the racks were inside, the men who brought them uncovered the racks with a flick of the wrist and revealed racks that are full of different swimming trunks with different designs.
"Fuji-senpai...what's all of that for?" asked Ryoma, appalled to see so many swimsuits that could fill a whole swimwear store in a mall.
"Oh these are some of my mom's recent designs for the summer line and she decided to let us pick some before it's out in stores", said Fuji, standing beside one clothes rack, "I brought these in so we can choose our swim wear for the beach."
Just to remind you all, Fuji's mother makes business by designing clothes. It's her clothing that the Princes wear on their business hours in the club after all, so frequently they are allowed to get her newest designs early.
Ryoma was left speechless. If 'some' of Shusuke's mother's designs were enough to fill half of the big club room, then he's afraid to see how much big entire set of designs the Fuji clothing line has in store.
Momoshiro ran over to the racks and began skimming through each trunks. "Cool! Your mom's designs are awesome senpai!" he remarked, "I'm so glad I don't have to wait in line."
"Mou, I can't make up my mind", Eiji said, "Should I choose this one or that one?" He was holding up one trunks that is red with black patterns and another that's blue with yellow patterns.
While the other princes were busy choosing their swimwear, Ryoma remained distant from the group. "So...we really are going to the beach?" he dare to ask, "Don't you think this is all too sudden?"
"Did we said we're not going?" Tezuka inquired.
"There's no better time like the present", Fuji insisted, "My big sister told me that there will be sunny days ahead. Perfect weather for going to the beach."
"And if I know Yumiko nee-san, her fortunes are always right!" Eiji remarked.
"Hey Echizen," said Momoshiro for fun, "maybe while we're there, I can give you some friendly tips on getting some girls to ask you out. Or maybe, how to ask them out."
Tempting as it was, Oishi interfered, letting his mom personality take over. "Absolutely not!" he stated with great concern, "You shouldn't let an innocent freshman like Ryoma learn those kinds of things too soon in his youth!"
Tezuka then spoke, "Momoshiro, we're athletes who only assist girls with problems, not to gain their interest for silly personal reasons. If this is what you plan to do on our trip, I don't even see the reason why we need to go to the beach to do stuff like that."
At this, Eiji gave a sad expression. "So...we're not going?" he said sadly and eagerly.
"I didn't recall saying that we're not going", Tezuka corrected, "We still have the decision of the rest of the club to consider."
He then allowed the other members to speak now their decision.
It started with Inui, who was writing down things in his notebook when he spoke, "I can arrange transportation and scheduling."
"It does sound like a good opportunity to strengthen our team relationship", Oishi recommended next, "I have no problem with going."
"I think it's a good idea to go", Kawamura spoke, "It should be fun."
All Kaidoh did to respond was a grunt and a hiss, which should mean a yes.
"Then majority rules. Men, don't let your guard down and let's prepare for our trip to the beach!" Tezuka declared in his leadership tone.
"Yes sir!" the others, minus Ryoma, replied willingly.
2 Days Later...
As planned, the princes have went on their trip to the beach for the weekend. Arrangements were made so they'd spend the time on the beach of and stay at the summer house of the Kikumaru family, located on a island in the Caribbean that the family owns. Like Fuji's older sister predicted, the weather was nice and sunny to play outside.
On a big rock that is the perfect place to sit to view the ocean, Fuji sat there in his apple green trunks and topless with a girl from school beside him. The girl was sighing lovingly as she laid her head against Fuji's shoulder and stared at his beaming face with his eyes closed and watching the ocean.
"Isn't the ocean beautiful Fuji-senpai?" said the girl tenderly.
Fuji gleamed with his sparkly smile. "Yes it is", he said pleasantly, "But I bet it would be more beautiful if I were to take a picture of you standing alongside it."
He held up the camera that was hanging around his neck, for one of his hobbies is photography. "Have I ever told you that your eyes seem to match the color of the ocean?" he added.
It was like a dream for the girl that she never wanted to wake up from. Just her and Shusuke Fuji, all alone...
"Your time's up!"
Unfortunately the two were interrupted by Inui's voice from a distance away. He held up a stopwatch that was beeping, signaling that time's up. He is wearing charcoal colored trunks and a Hawaiian shirt unbuttoned.
"Mou...Already?" the girl with Fuji gave a whine for her moment to be over at that moment as she slid down the rock she and Fuji were sitting on and pouting. Fuji gave her an encouraging smile. "Sorry for it to end so soon", he said to be polite, "But I enjoyed our time while it lasted."
Then, like a proper gentleman, Fuji took her hand and kissed the top of it, making her blush and sigh again. "Oh...I enjoyed it too Fuji-senpai."
It turns out there was a huge line full of anxious and excited girls who want to spend time with Fuji. It was Inui's job to keep time and accept the payment from each girl who's paying the fee to have 15 minutes alone with Fuji. Since Fuji was one of their most popular princes, Inui decided that they can earn some money for the club this way.
"The next girl who wants to spend time with Fuji step up please", Inui then requested as he unhooked the end of a velvet rope that borders the front of the line and allowed the next girl to step forward before he blocked the line again. The girl then had her turn and came on the rock that Fuji's sitting on to start her time.
Yep, unfortunately, to Ryoma's dismay, the Princes have also brought along their usual customers (most of them are girls) to enjoy this trip as well. While Ryoma, who's wearing red trunks and kept his white hat, sat underneath a big umbrella and sitting on a large blanket laid out on the sand, he watched the rest of the Princes were scattered about the beach doing separate activities with their guests.
Elsewhere a distance from where Inui and Fuji are, Eiji and Shuichiro are playing a volleyball game with several students who are also from their school. As always, Eiji and Shuichiro are paired up together on the same team along with a few other boys on one side. Eiji was wearing pink trunks while Oishi wore golden yellow trunks.
Now with their team in the lead, Oishi has the ball in his hands. "Here you go Eiji!" the vice president called out before he made the serve. Quick as a mouse, Eiji jumped up high to follow the ball and twisted his body shouting, "Hoi hoi! Kikumaru Beam!"
His palm met the ball and made it shoot straight at an open spot on the opponents' side, earning them another point. "Yay! Another point!" Eiji cheered as he jumped and did a high five with Oishi.
From the sidelines, fans of the Golden Pair cheered for them.
"Oishi-senpai, Kikumaru-senpai, do your best!"
"Wow! They truly are the Golden Pair no matter what sport they play!"
"You'd think they are in the volleyball club instead of the tennis club", another commented.
As he heard the girls' cheer from the sides, Eiji stopped to look at them and waved back. "Thank you ladies!" he called out, making the girls squeal louder.
It was now the Golden Pair's opposing team's turn to serve the ball so the players went into position. Then when the ball is served and went over the net, Eiji leaped into the air again. "Here's one for you Oishi!" Eiji announced. He spun in the air and allowed his fist to whack the ball behind him. He intended to hit it so Oishi can hit the ball and trick their opponents. But Kikumaru realized that his hit was too hard and the ball flew over Oishi's head and rolled away from the court and down the shore line.
"Oh no! There it goes!" one boy from the opposite team called out.
"Ah! Don't worry! I'll get it!" Eiji called out as he ran after the ball.
"Eiji wait up!" Oishi yelled, running after him, "You shouldn't run off around the beach by yourself!"
Yes, he's all about safety first as the mother of the club.
"But Oishi, I have to get the ball!" Eiji said in return as he continued to chase the ball with Oishi still on his tail.
But then the acrobat decided to have fun with this and sped up his pace. "Well then, you're going to have to catch me first Oishi!" he announced, laughing mischievously. Getting his idea, Oishi couldn't help but chuckle and pursue with chasing after him.
"Alright but don't regret it if I chase you into the water!"
The two then laughed together as Eiji led Oishi further away from the volleyball court and ended up running into the water until the water was up to their knees then they splashed at each other for fun until they got wet.
The girls who are watching the Golden Pair enjoy their game of tag were squealing. "Oh you always see those two happy together wherever they go!" one said excitedly.
Elsewhere on the beach, Momoshiro and Kawamura took the opportunity to host a fun game with several people gathered around. Momoshiro's trunks are iris blue while Taka's were dim gray.
"Alright! It's Watermelon Splitting time!" Momoshiro proudly announced. At this, many girls cheered in excitement for this fun and popular beach game. A tarp was set out on the sand and Momoshiro placed the first ripe watermelon on the center. "Right then. You all know the rules", he explained, being the host, "Now, who would like to go first?"
After a few seconds, one shy girl raised her hand. "Um...I'll do it", she said anxiously, "But I never played this before Momoshiro-kun."
She was then approached by Momoshiro, who placed a hand under her chin and tilt it up so she can see his reassuring grin. "Please, just call me Momo-chan", he insisted, "And don't worry, I'll help you out. Would that be okay?"
The shy girl slowly nodded with her eyes beaming up at Momo, speechless at his handsome grin.
Then Momo suggested, "Right, to demonstrate, how about we have a volunteer?" After scoping through the group gathered around, he found his participant. "Ah Taka-san, how about you give it a try?"
Kawamura pointed at himself. "Me?" he said curiously, "Well...I guess so."
He stepped up and Momoshiro tied the blindfold around his senior's eyes and head. Then he picked up the hammer and walked up to Kawamura saying, "Right then. Give it your best senpai."
Kawamura gave a hesitant chuckle, still nervous if he should miss the target. "Um...are you sure I'll do fine Momo? I'm kind of useless without using my eyes."
"Nonsense. Just give it a shot and let your instincts handle the rest", Momoshiro advised.
"Great. Here you go."
And with that, Momoshiro casually handed the hammer into Kawamura's open hand, without thinking about the danger that instantly came the minute Kawamura took the hammer.
Kawamura suddenly tensed up, his fingers clutching the hammer tightly and his muscles are pumped up as he gave a growing growl.
"Uh...Taka-san?" said Momoshiro hesitantly.
"OH YEAH! COME ON BABY! LET'S GET SMASHING! BURNING!" Kawamura suddenly roared, raising the hammer over his head as if he's Thor.
Momoshiro and the other students got a scare when Kawamura switched into his burning mode that they backed away from him. Now with a hammer in his hands, Kawamura randomly started pounding the sand on various spots without thinking, scaring Momo and the others as they scattered away, wanting to avoid getting hit. Without his eyes, he's dangerous to get close to.
"OH YEAH! OH YEAH! OH YEAH!" Kawamura continuously yelled.
"AH! Taka-san try and calm down!" Momoshiro cried out, "You're supposed to be smashing the watermelon!" He tried as best as he can to avoid getting too close to Kawamura.
But Kawamura could not control himself and continued smashing the ground around him. "LOOK OUT! I'M BURNING!"
Just when everyone thought that Kawamura might get stuck in his burning mode forever, he was caught unexpectedly when his foot stepped on a frisbee someone had left on the sand. Upon stepping on the object, Kawamura slipped and fell forward with his face on the sand, and bringing the hammer smack down right on the watermelon on the tarp. His strength made the watermelon burst and break open in pieces. After falling, the hammer slipped out of Kawamura's grip and he returned to normal. He lifted his face from the sand, took off the blindfold and looked lost.
"Huh? Did I hit it?" he said innocently.
Relieved that Kawamura returned to normal, Momoshiro sighed with relief. "That was close...Memo to me, NEVER let Taka-san play smash the watermelon ever again."
The only two princes, besides Ryoma, who weren't involved in a fun activity are Tezuka and Kaidoh. Tezuka, like Ryoma, was sitting under his own shade and enjoying his peaceful time and wore amethyst purple trunks. Elsewhere, Kaidoh was putting his body to work by doing his jogging exercise. He ran along the shore in his white trunks and bandana, while dragging a car tire behind him that's tied with a rope around his waist for an extra weight, huffing and hissing with each step.
As for Ryoma, he watched his seniors go about their own activities and sighed. "Rich people these days...You know there is a beach in Chiba we could've gone to", he mentioned, "Why come all the way out here in the Caribbean?"
"This is one of the Kikumaru family's favorite summer vacation spots to visit. Kikumaru's family enjoys taking trips to the beach and so built a private summer resort here", said Inui, who was nearby, "It was quite fortunate that Eiji managed to get his father's permission for us to stay at their villa for the next two days while the family is out on business."
"Still", Momoshiro spoke, after playing watermelon smashing and was coming over to where Ryoma and Inui are, "was it necessary to bring all of our customers along too? It'll get crowded."
"Just be fortunate that Eiji's family has allowed us all to stay here for free. And don't forget, our job is to entertain our clients. We mustn't disappoint them after all", Tezuka reminded of their duty, "And they'll be staying at the hotel so be thankful."
"Yes sir", Momoshiro sighed.
Then Ryoma heard Eiji calling out, "Ochibi!"
Eiji came running up to Ryoma, carrying a big bucket with him. "Hey don't lay around napping! Have some fun in the sun!" he insisted anxiously, "I know! You want to go join me in shellfish hunting? I bet we can find something good for dinner!" He tugged on Ryoma's arm, insisting that he joins him with puppy dog eyes.
But as always, Ryoma didn't seem to be interested and shrugs. "No thanks sempai", he sighed, "I'd rather lie here and take a nap all the same."
Eiji pouted but nothing he says will make Ryoma change his mind. So he forgot about Ryoma and left to find Oishi and start shellfish hunting.
Now from his spot, Ryoma could see Kaidoh, still training, and jogging across the sand and was about to pass by their area. To make it challenging, Kaidoh had tied a rope with one end around his waist with the other is tied to a thick car tire that he drags along behind him for weight. Before he passed them, Momoshiro spotted him and decided to speak. "Oi Viper, training again?" he called out, "Sheesh what part of taking a vacation do you not get? You train nearly wherever we go!"
But Kaidoh paid no attention to Momoshiro as always and continued his run. "Shut up!" he barked back between pants, "If you want to win in tennis, then you've got to train and stay in shape!" And he continued on with his jogging while Momoshiro scoffed at his persistance. "Stubborn guy", he said with a shake of his head.
Eventually tired of just sitting down, Ryoma got up and decided to take a walk around the beach. As he walked along the shore, he found Eiji and Oishi still on their shellfish hunt by some tide pools and are in the water. Eiji was crouching down with the water up to his ankles and digging into the water with his hands.
"Find anything Eiji?" Oishi called out from where he's searching.
Eiji at first didn't answer because he's concentrating on looking for shellfish. As he dug more, his hands soon felt something hard that he quickly grabbed the object and took it out of the water. To his excitement, it was a good catch. "Oh boy! Lobster!" he cheered, picking up the crustacean creature carefully and dropping it into his bucket, "Oh and look! Another one!" He pointed to another lobster lying on a rock and ran over to where it is, splashing through the water.
Eventually, Ryoma watched Eiji uncover more shellfish that is filling up his bucket in seconds. But watching the shellfish gave Ryoma a puzzling thought. "That's funny...I thought this beach isn't the type to have shellfish around", he thought. However, that thought was proved wrong when to Ryoma's surprise, the whole area he's standing on was littered with shellfish in a minute.
"H-How did...When did all this shellfish get here?" he nearly shouted in panic.
But this was no problem for Eiji, now that he has found plenty of shellfish. "Well, looks like we'll have enough to have a lobster dinner tonight", Oishi announced. At the sound of this, Eiji was more enthusiastic than ever, since lobster is one of his favorite foods. "Yippee! Lobster dinner!" he cheered and jumped happily.
From nearby, Shusuke watched a pleasant Eiji with smiles, but Kaidoh, who had stopped jogging upon reaching the spot where his seniors are, was also curious as to how there are suddenly so much seafood lying on the beach. That was when he and Fuji heard a distant chattering coming from the other side of a huge rocky hill that they were standing right in front of.
"What's that sound?" asked Kaidoh.
Wondering what is making the noise, Kaidoh and Fuji climbed up the huge rocky wall and made it to the top, so they're able to see the other side. Once they looked, the two got a surprise to see a huge military like truck parked on the sand and a whole line of men dressed in SWAT armor passing down bucket after bucket full of shellfish from the truck on on the sand.
Overseeing the work is Inui himself, writing down things in his notebook as usual and taking count of the shellfish they have brought.
"Sadaharu, what's all this?" asked Fuji.
Hearing Fuji's voice, Inui turned and looked up to Fuji and Kaidoh present. "Oh Shusuke, Kaidoh. Tezuka's police force have stopped by. They wish to make it up to Eiji from our water park visit and brought all this for him", Inui explained.
At this sight, Kaidoh was flabbergasted, but Fuji couldn't help but grin. "Well. At least Eiji will be pretty happy tonight with all the lobsters he found", he remarked.
Seen enough, Kaidoh started climbing back down and return to his own business, leaving the men to their work.
As Eiji, Oishi, Takashi and Ryoma were collecting as many shellfish as they could find and carry and gathered them together on the sand to take a look at their catch. Eiji gazed at the pile of shellfish hungrily and smiling. "Hey Oishi, you think we might find an eel too?" he asked eagerly.
"Maybe", said Oishi, "But I'm sure we'll have plenty for dinner with all this food we found."
"Yeah. You're probably right."
Now the girl customers were interested when they saw the boys gathering shellfish so they came to look at the loot they got. To impress the girls, Momoshiro wanted to show off a fresh crab that was close to him and held it out in front of him proudly. "Cool! Check this out!" he said happily, "Doesn't this crab look delicious to eat?"
But when he presented his crab to the girls, they discovered a horrifying sight when they spotted something small, black, and wiggly on the crab. "Ah! It's a centipede!" they shrieked and ran away from Momo.
At first, Momo was unaware of what they were scared of, until he looked down at the crab he's holding. Startled, he yelled and dropped the crab on the sand.
As some of the princes were trying to calm the frightened girls down, Ryoma then came up, bent down and picked up that centipede, not scared or affected by it at all. After staring at it for a second, he then easily tossed it back in the water. "There", he said in accomplishment.
Stunned by his noble deed, the girls looked at Ryoma with loving eyes and ecstatic emotions.
One girl sighed romantically, "Oh Ryoma...he's so kind."
"And he's very brave", said another.
While Ryoma is surrounded by his admirers who keep showering him with compliments and questions, the princes watched from nearby, impressed with their youngest member's gesture of courage. "I'm amazed", said Eiji, "Normally any other freshmen would get startled or cautious with bugs."
Momoshiro nodded with his senior. "True. I mean, Echizen should've at least acted somewhat cautious. Like what if that bug was poisonous?" Inui then stated, "As Echizen already figured out, that was just a mere sea louse."
"Well whatever it was, Ryoma sure is different from any other freshman I've ever seen", said Kawamura.
Now as the girls continued asking Ryoma questions, one girl then said, "So, there isn't anything that you're afraid of Ryoma?"
This question led Ryoma to wonder to himself. "Something I'm afraid of?" he said in curiosity, "Hmm...Let's see..." He began to think but couldn't find anything that answers the question. Taking his long silence as an answer, the girls then spoke, "Maybe he doesn't have a fear!" "Ryoma you're so manly!" "I bet he isn't scared of anything!"
It was here, upon hearing their conversation, Momo, always coming up with new mischievous ideas, saw Kaidoh close by and spoke, "Hey Viper, you interested in a game?"
"What now?" Kaidoh moaned. Normally, he doesn't have any interests in any of Momo's games and jokes. But this one will change his mind particularly. Momo insisted, "Hey at least listen first before you act bored. Let's see who can find out Echizen's weakness, the thing he's most afraid of."
As tempting as that proposition sounds, Kaidoh continued to act uninterested and scoffed. "Why bother finding out something like that out of Echizen?"
"Oh come on! Aren't you curious yourself?" Momoshiro questioned, raising and eyebrow, "Or...unless you don't have the guts to do it, I perfectly understand." This he said on purpose to give Kaidoh the push he needed. Hearing Momoshiro's last words, Kaidoh abruptly turned around to face him again. "Shut up! Did I said I haven't got any guts?" he snapped.
"Oh? So then are you going to play or not?"
"I didn't say I was going to!"
"Then how would you say if I provide a special prize for the first one who does discover Ryoma Echizen's fear?" Inui suggested, stepping into the conversation. Momo and Kaidoh looked at the data man with curious expressions.
"Prize?" Momo repeated, "Like what sempai?"
Inui gave a small chuckle as his glasses lens shone in the sun. Then he reached into his Hawaiian shirt pocket and brandished a DVD in a case. "The winner will receive this DVD containing rare and never before seen clips of Nanjiro Echizen's games during his US Open tournament days", the data man announced.
Momo and Kaidoh's jaws dropped as they stared in awe. Ever since the tennis hero faded from the public, getting clips of the famous tennis player has been difficult and there has been less merchandise and DVDs sold out to the world. This was truly an exceptional prize for tennis players such as Momoshiro and Kaidoh.
"No way...For real?" Momo beamed with excitement, "I've been trying to look at one of Samurai Nanjiro's games for years but they never sold a DVD before he disappeared!"
Hearing the prize Inui has, the other princes gathered to stare at the DVD. "How did you even get those Sadaharu?" asked a curious Kawamura. The data man only gave a small chuckle and pushed his glasses up his nose. "That would be a trade secret..." he stated.
"I want them!"
Momoshiro tried eagerly to jump and at least grab one of the photos to get a better look, but due to Inui being one of the tallest members of the club, the senior held it high over his head, out of Momo's reach.
"Ooh! I want to play! I want to play too!" Eiji chirped, jumping up and down enthusiastically with his hand raised. "So then, I guess we're all in", Fuji announced as he joined the group, having interest as well in the game, "Isn't that so Tezuka?" All eyes looked at their president.
Finally after giving one stoic glance to the group, Tezuka turned away and said, "Do whatever you want."
With the president's approval, Inui announced, "Right then. The objective is to find out Ryoma Echizen's big weakness. Your time limit is until tomorrow at 8 pm sharp."
Everyone, except a few, nodded in agreement.
Operation: Find out Ryoma Echizen's Weakness
With the game started, each of the princes set out to discover what is Ryoma's biggest fear. It first started with Inui, Momo and Kaidoh. In his plan, Inui told Ryoma that he and the junior princes were going to take some girls on a small field trip to explore a cave not too far from the beach and suggested that Ryoma should come along to accompany the girls. Surprisingly, Ryoma agreed to come.
The few princes and the girls that they brought walked to the cave Inui spoke of and walked inside. In the lead is Inui with a flashlight in his hand while their guests followed closely along with the other three boys. As expected, the girls grew nervous at how creepy the cave looked from inside that they huddled together.
"Inui-senpai, what is this place?" one girl asked, fear is audible in her voice.
"This cave is explained to be a route that'll take us to a normal road. But...inhabitants rarely come through here. This cave has a dark and scary history..."
His spooky story telling voice made the girls even more nervous as they got closer together. And while they walked, Kaidoh had started to look rather uneasy as he gulped. When Momo noticed his behavior, he decided to have some fun with this.
"Hey, you're not scared that we might see the ghosts are you Viper?" Momo taunted.
Unwilling to let Momo see him scared, Kaidoh straightened up his posture and spoke back. "Shut up! I'm not scared of anything!" he boldly stated. (Even though he really is.)
"Momo-chan...I-I'm scared", one of the girls said with a trembling voice, "What if there are ghosts here?" Momoshiro put his best smile on and placed a hand on her shoulder. "I doubt it. But if there ever is then you can expect us Princes to protect you, my fair princess", he reassured, giving a wink. This made the girl more comfortable when he saw his wink and felt his warm touch on her shoulder.
"I have a feeling that we may see some ghosts..." Inui then spoke, "...I do recall hearing a tale that a strange creature dwells in a cave such as this." He then held the flashlight upward so the light made his face shine in a spooky way. "Few who even dare to venture in that haunted cave, they come face to face with that creature...and get their souls sucked away!"
Suddenly, as if on Inui's cue, a black cloaked figure floated up from behind Ryoma, who stood in the back of the group. It gave a howling sound and shouted, "BOO!"
The girls screamed and ran away in fright after the sudden surprise. But nobody seemed to notice that Kaidoh had given the biggest scream and ran off in a different direction. But anyways, the girls huddled behind Ryoma, who is surprisingly unaffected by this startling sight. He stood there oblivious and staring at the 'monster' quietly.
"Momo-senpai...what are you doing?" he asked curiously.
Momo came out from behind Ryoma with the 'monster' in his hands (which was only a scarecrow stick figure with a black cloth draped over it) that scared everyone but Ryoma. He was the one who scared the group just now. "Seriously? You weren't scared?" said Momoshiro, dumbfounded at Ryoma. "Hmm...most unusual", Inui pondered while pushing his glasses up his nose, seeing that their plan failed.
"Um, Kaidoh-kun, are you alright?" one of the girls said in concern.
Nobody noticed it before, but after seeing Momo's prank, Kaidoh mistakenly took it for real and had dashed over to hide behind a rock, hands on his head and cowering over and gave a trembling hissing sound.
This was all too fun for Momoshiro to witness as he began to howl with laughter. "HA! You are scared!" he bragged, unable to stop laughing. Kaidoh in return only growled in frustration and the fearful side disappeared and was replaced by anger.
"Shut up!" he barked as he then gave Momo a hard shove.
Nearly lost his footing but regained his stance, Momoshiro finally stopped laughing and took it as an assault. "Oi! Watch where you're shoving, Viper!" he snapped back.
"You want to fight?"
The two 8th graders went head to head once again, not even giving time to berate over their failed attempt to scare Ryoma, who is still unaware of their intentions. But for one certain person among the group, the attempt did not all go to waste. Inui was now writing down in his notebook with an interested grin on his face.
"I have managed to collect interesting data on two of our princes' frightened reactions..." he said in a pleasant mood.
Attempt To Scare Ryoma Echizen By Fear of Ghosts: Failed
Next to try out was Eiji and Shusuke, who both came up with a clever plan.
"Come on Ochibi! There's something I want to show you!" said Eiji anxiously as he dragged the freshman across the sand on the beach. He then brought Ryoma to where the armored vehicle from before was parked on the sand. It was left alone and no police man was in sight.
"Sempai, are you sure we're allowed to use this?" Ryoma had to make sure. "It's alright. We asked the police force men and they agreed to let us use it for a while only if we're careful", Shusuke assured.
Eiji then climbed up the back of the truck and stood in front of the closed doors and began to enter the combination in the key pad lock. In his head, he thought of the plan he and Fuji made up a minute ago. They are going to bring Ryoma inside the van and shut the doors to trap him inside. Their intention was to see if Ryoma would have a fear of being in the dark.
Finally he got the door opened and said, "It's open! Let's go!"
"Be careful Eiji", Shusuke advised, "This kind of truck is not something to play with."
Eiji in return gave a smile of reassurance. "It's okay Shusuke. What kind of trouble would I be in?"
But something seemed to be bugging Fuji's mind. "Still...Why do i have a feeling that I'm forgetting something important about Eiji?" he thought to himself.
Now Eiji excitedly was the first to walk in the empty space. "Hey come on Ochibi! There's lots to see in here!" he beckoned.
While he was calling Ryoma, Eiji was unaware that the doors have been accidentally triggered to close shortly after opening.
Without warning, the door to the armored van slammed shut and trapped Eiji inside like an animal, startling Fuji and Ryoma. A second later, Eiji screamed and panicked from the inside. "Ah! Help Shusuke! I'm stuck! Get me out of here!" he cried out in fear, fists pounding against the door rapidly. Hearing his brother-in-law's cry of help, Shusuke jumped up and quickly started working on the lock.
"Hang on Eiji! I'll get you out in a second!" he spoke loudly for Eiji to hear on the other side. He quickly then tried to enter the right combination on the lock but the first code he entered was denied. "Shoot! What's the password?" he asked himself in urgency.
Ryoma continued to hear Eiji screaming like a little child, something that he had never heard before that he got concerned for the 3rd year. "W-What's the matter with Eiji-sempai?" Ryoma asked Fuji nervously, "He doesn't usually act like this."
At first, Fuji was about to say he hasn't got a clue...until realization struck him that he opened his eyes and mentally face slapped himself. "Of course. How could I be so stupid to forget?" he blamed himself, "Eiji has a bad case of claustrophobia since the end of elementary."
Ryoma never thought that the cheerful Eiji Kikumaru would be claustrophobic. "Eiji-sempai? Really?"
But the more he thought about it, it did kind of make sense since Eiji loves to jump around and do acrobatics. To be stuck inside an enclosed space might be frightening if you're bouncy and energetic as Eiji.
It was here that suddenly, the cries have stopped and it became silent, making Fuji and Ryoma concerned. "Uh...Eiji-senpai?" Ryoma called out.
Finally Fuji pushed in the right code and the doors reopened. Quickly Fuji and Ryoma climbed into the van and using the sun's light from outside, they were able to see the inside.
Eiji is seen cowering in the far corner of the back, hands on his head, away from the light and whimpering like a lost puppy. "Eiji? Eiji are you okay?" Fuji called out. "Calm down...Calm down nya..." Eiji was heard whimpering, unable to stop trembling. Fuji came and knelt beside Eiji then patted his back to calm him down.
"It's alright Eiji", he said with comfort, "Everything's alright now."
As Fuji was calming Eiji down, the doors to the vehicle were closed once again, this time, trapping the three of them altogether. Again, Eiji panicked as his claustrophobia kicked in. "Ah! Now we're stuck!" he screamed.
But then again, this was the plan Fuji and Eiji intended from the start. Knowing that Ryoma is inside with them Fuji realized, their plan was now in motion. "So...You alright Ryoma?" the tensai then asked in the dark. He and Eiji were expecting Ryoma to freak out, but they heard nothing from the freshman.
Finally Ryoma answered casually, "Yeah. Why do you ask?"
Fuji and Eiji were hit with surprise at Ryoma's response that they were quiet for a few moments. "...Oh, it's nothing", Fuji finally answered.
And to their dismay, the Dream Pair's original plan to use the dark as Ryoma's weakness was a failure.
Attempt to Scare Ryoma Echizen By Claustrophobia and Darkness Plan: Failed
When it was Kawamura's turn to try and find Ryoma's weakness, after Ryoma and the Dream Pair were thankfully rescued and freed from being trapped in the police van, he was hesitant to try out what he had in mind. He invited Ryoma to have something to eat at the snack bar.
"So, why did you brought me here Kawamura-senpai?" asked Ryoma when they reached the bar. Kawamura tried his best to show that he's not hiding anything as he hesitantly smiled and said, "Well, I was thinking that maybe you'd like to try the tropic punch. It's really good when used by real fruit. You want a glass?"
Now Kawamura looked behind the counter of the snack bar and then looked down, where he had laid a cutting knife on the counter and took a deep breath. "Here goes..." he said mentally as he bravely reached out to touch the knife.
From a distance, it just so happens that Oishi was walking around nearby until his eyes caught Kawamura about to grab the knife. He gasped and shouted in alarm, "Wait Taka, don't!"
Too late. The moment his fingers are wrapped around the knife's handle, Kawamura's burning mode kicked in and he roared. This was Taka's plan from the first place, aichmophobia, fear of sharp objects. And since he is greatly feared in his burning mode, this would make Ryoma even more scared.
"SHOCKING! I'M BURNING! COME ON! COME ON!" he continuously yelled while spinning his arm with the knife wildly.
When it was expected that Ryoma would act frantic and panic at the sight of him swinging a dangerous knife, all Ryoma gave was a silent reaction but his eyes widened upon this sudden change of behavior from Kawamura. Finally after swinging the knife randomly, Kawamura said, "HOW'D YOU LIKE THAT MONKEY?"
The knife was now held at a few inches from Ryoma's forehead and froze there for a while.
In an unemotional behavior, Ryoma stared at the knife in Kawamura's hand and said, "Um Kawamura-senpai, you really should put that down."
Snapping out of his burning mode, Kawamura realizes that he is holding the knife in a dangerous position. Embarrassed, the 3rd year rubbed the back of his head and said, "Oh...right."
Attempt to Scare Ryoma Echizen By Aichmophobia (fear of sharp objects) Plan: Failed
It was nearly almost the end of the day, and so far, none of the princes had any luck. Instead of joining in the game, Oishi was out to look at the fishes again. Since he owns a big aquarium in his room and enjoys fishes, he wanted to see if there are any new species. Then something in the water caught Oishi's attention and he leaned over to get a closer look. Seconds later, he gave a smile of realization.
At this time, Momoshiro and Kaidoh seemed to have given up all hope with their 'Find Out Echizen's Weakness' plan. It was already near sunset and none of them had found out what makes Ryoma scared. The two juniors were sprawled out on the sand on the beach and were sulking.
"Man...I give up", Momoshiro sighed in agony, "Honestly, that kid is like made of steel or something. We've tried everything!"
"What kind of a guy is Echizen anyway?" Kaidoh muttered.
The two of them looked up when Oishi came up to them carrying a bucket filled with something. "Guess what? I've managed to catch some eel we can serve as well for dinner tonight", the vice president said pleasantly, "I bet Eiji's going to be happy when he sees this."
"Eel?" said an interested Momoshiro, "Oh yeah eel is Eiji-senpai's favorite fish to eat isn't it? Sounds like we're going to have one rockin' dinner tonight. I can hardly wait."
Curious, Kaidoh took a peek into the bucket and saw some creatures swimming in the water filled bucket. Though in the sea water, they had trouble identifying the sea creatures clearly in the murky liquid.
At that moment, Kaidoh's eyes widened in shock. He seemed to know exactly what the sea creatures' are identified as since he comes from a family that cares for different kinds of animals.
"S-S...Senpai...that's...those are..." he stuttered, looking rather afraid as he stared at the creatures with wide eyes and took a step back from Oishi.
Oishi gave a curious look in his eyes as he asked, "What is it?"
Elsewhere, Ryoma decided to explore more of the beach on his own without his senpais bugging him with weird things. He has made it to a part of the beach that has tall rocks lying in the water that are big enough to climb around on. As he walked around the rocks, he stopped to gaze at the ocean ahead of him.
As he looked at the water in wonder as he remembered the question that he was asked before by one of the girls. "...Something that I'm afraid of..." he thought, "...What is it?" He remembered that he never did answered the question.
The more he stared out at the water, he somehow started to get a nostalgic feeling. It was as if a faint memory was trying to come back to him but he just can't remember what it is...
But before he could think more, he heard a female voice calling out, "Hey Ryoma! We're up here!"
He followed the voice and looked up to find three of his normal customers standing on top of a big rock behind him. "You girls better be careful up there", he noted out of concern, "You wouldn't want to fall."
"Oh he's so protective", the girls sighed.
While Ryoma remained nearby and tossing stones into the ocean to try and skip them, he didn't notice that four newcomers had come to the beach. These guys are not from their school but they are Japanese tourists who were wandering the beach currently. They are more like delinquent punks who have been drinking lately and are in a daze.
It wasn't long until those teens have spotted the girls from Seishun Academy and are attracted by their looks.
"Hey, check out those cute girls", one of them said with a sleazy look in his eyes.
Upon seeing the strangers, the girls made some distance between them and the other group, feeling rather uncomfortable from the way they act. But they got afraid when the older teens came closer.
"Tourists from Japan huh? How about we hang out together?" said another of the boys. He reached out to place a hand on one of the girls but she backed away.
"Leave us alone!"
But seeing their vulnerable state made the boys want to woo them more and came closer and were about to grab them.
But at that moment one of the boys yelled in pain when he felt something hard hit his back. "Ow! What the heck-!"
He turned around and looked at the ground to see that it was a rock that hit his back.
"Hey, you there!" said a voice.
Having heard the girls' cries of help, Ryoma had arrived, revealing himself as the one who threw the rock before. In his hand is a stick he picked up and he tossed a small rock in his hand so they would act like a tennis racket and a ball. "I guess you guys don't know the meaning when they said 'go away'", he said in a cocky tone. Pleased to see one of the princes coming to their rescue, the girls called out, "Ryoma-kun!"
Ticked that a kid smaller than them threw a rock at them, the teenage boys glared back at Ryoma.
"Why you little brat!"
"You're going to be sorry!"
Back at the beach, Oishi is frantically running across the beach, holding out the bucket full of 'eels' away from himself. As it turns out, Kaidoh just discovered that what Oishi caught weren't eels at all.
"Those are not eels! Those are poisonous sea snakes!" Kaidoh yelled in panic.
He and Momo ran away from Oishi frantically to avoid getting attacked by the snakes, but that didn't help Oishi calm down at the fact that he's carrying something dangerous.
"Well do something!" Oishi yelled anxiously, "How do I get rid of them? Where should I put them?"
"Anywhere! But can you at least get them away from us senpai?" Momoshiro shouted over his shoulder.
They continued running around while Tezuka and the others watched in a mix of amusement unamused. Then Tezuka looked at the sky to see the sun sinking down. "Inui, the sun's going down. We should pack up and head indoors soon", he suggested. Inui nodded and was ready to go and gather the club's customers together so he'd take them to the hotel they'll be staying at.
But then Eiji realized something's missing. "Say, I haven't seen Ochibi in a while. Where did he go?" he wondered. After mentioning this, the others seemed to realize that they haven't seen Ryoma recently as well.
One of the girls that Ryoma had saved managed to escape from the men and ran back to alert the other princes.
Kawamura came up to her and asked, "What's wrong?"
"It's Ryoma", said the girl worriedly after catching her breath, "He's in trouble!"
Once the boy's name was mentioned all of the princes' attention was gathered and are on alert.
Back to the situation, Ryoma was having difficulty handling the three strangers on his own. He ran out of rocks to use and is now being surrounded by the intruders unarmed. One of the teens then threw a quick punch at Ryoma and the boy nearly fell back but regained his stance. However he did felt a small sting from his forehead where the punch landed. "Ha! Think you're tough now eh kid?" said the one who punched Ryoma.
"Leave him alone you bullies!" the remaining girls cried from where they stood. Ryoma had told them to keep away so they won't get hurt but they are frightened in watching him getting going against a few boys older than him.
Unable to run away due to his height, one of the intruders grabbed Ryoma by the neck of his shirt and held him up a few inches from the ground. "Why don't we see if this shorty can swim?" the one holding Ryoma insisted. He then walked towards the edge and held Ryoma right over the sea below them, ready to drop him in.
Ryoma tried hard to struggle and get himself loose, but found it useless against the teen's strong grip.
"See ya shorty!" said the teen as he released Ryoma's shirt from his grip.
Tezuka and the other Princes have arrived at the scene, but were a second too late. As soon as he saw Ryoma tossed over the edge, Tezuka ran into action. Without a care, he removed and tossed his glasses to the side so they wouldn't get in his way, and jumped after the youngest prince with a perfect dive. The girls went to the edge and looked down but the two princes were nowhere to be seen from beneath the water.
"Tezuka-sempai! Ryoma-kun!" they cried in worry.
Wanting to avoid getting caught by the authorities, the drunk men prepared to make a run for it. But their way was blocked by the rest of the club members who have stern frowns on their faces. "And where do you think you punks are going?" Momoshiro inquired, cracking his knuckles. Even though the teens were way older than the princes, they found themselves outnumbered and got nervous when they saw Kaidoh give a hiss of warning.
Thankfully since Tezuka was a good swimmer, it was only a while later when Tezuka emerged from the water with Ryoma safely on his back as he waded them to shore. The other princes were awaiting for them on the beach and once they saw the two of them, they ran up to Tezuka to ask about Ryoma's condition.
"Is Echizen okay?"
Tezuka only placed Ryoma on the sand while Oishi analyzed him for any injuries. Thankfully, Ryoma had just woken up and coughed out the water he nearly swallowed and gasped for breath. After checking his pulse, the vice president gave a relieved sigh. "We're in luck", he announced to the others, "He didn't swallow too much water. However we may have to fix this cut of his." He pointed at the small injury on Ryoma's forehead that he received when attacked by the drunk teens earlier. Inui wrapped one towel around Ryoma while everyone else were relieved that nothing bad happened.
"And those intruders?" Tezuka inquired while Fuji handed him another towel to dry off with and his glasses that he dropped. "We took their ID's and had security kindly escort them away", Oishi explained.
"And what about the customers?" Tezuka asked again as he placed his glasses back on his face. "We've brought them back to the hotel. None of them are hurt fortunately", said Fuji, "And Eiji just called for a doctor so he should arrive soon."
"That's okay", Ryoma insisted, "I don't need a doctor." To show that he's not injured, Ryoma got to his feet and was about to walk off until Tezuka halted him by grabbing his shoulder.
"What were you thinking Echizen?" the captain spoke in a stern voice.
Ryoma turned and saw Tezuka giving him a strict frown, showing that he's disappointed about something. "Something wrong Captain?" Ryoma asked. Tezuka, still unpleased, spoke, "Handling those strangers on your own was the most stubborn thing for someone like you to do."
This was the first time Ryoma has seen Tezuka upset with him. "Captain I made it out alright", he said to ensure Tezuka, "There's no need to make a big deal."
But Tezuka continued his serious scolding. "Tell me, are you as tough as Momoshiro, who won 2 boxing matches? Or as strong as Kawamura who is the best home run batter aside the baseball members at school? Or how about fast and flexible as Kikumaru, who has won every gymnastics competition since he was 9?" he questioned, "Your teammates were nearby yet you didn't ask for assistance and handled the situation by yourself. Have you forgotten that you're still only a freshman?"
His words should've made sense to Ryoma in why he's upset, but alas, Ryoma didn't seem guilty or realize what's he done.
Ryoma answered, "I don't understand what you're trying to say Captain."
When he heard this, Tezuka lets go of Ryoma's shoulder and said, "...So that's it."
The other princes were listening to this uncomfortable conversation with awkward glances. After another minute of silence, Tezuka turned so his back is facing Ryoma and the others. He announced, "Men, from here on out, Echizen is under probation not to speak with any of you until he gives a proper confession or explanation for what he's done."
Now the other princes were startled by this statement and thought that this might be too much for a punishment.
"But Captain-" Momoshiro started but received a stern look from Tezuka as he looked at them over his shoulder. "Is there a problem?" he inquired.
Knowing that it's best to not argue with the captain and president of the club, Momo shook his head and kept his protest to himself. "No sir", he replied quietly.
Having that dealt with, Tezuka then walked away from the group without another word, leaving Ryoma stunned and quiet. He was still puzzled at why Tezuka is upset with him. The others were now giving uncomfortable expressions at their captain's orders. Will this trip go on smoothly?
To Be Continued...
Momoshiro: ARRGH! We spent a chapter doing everything and we still didn't find Echizen's weakness!
Kaidoh: What kind of guy did we get stuck with to play this story's main character?
Inui: Have you tested if Echizen is afraid of heights?
Eiji: Did that.
Kawamura: How about animals?
Momoshiro: Hey if Echizen can handle Viper here, he can handle any animal.
Kaidoh: *Hiss* What did you just say? What's that supposed to mean?
Fuji: Well then Tezuka, aren't you rather curious to what scares our rookie prince? Any guess?
Tezuka: None. ...Though...Normally losing tennis is a usually fear tennis players should carry. Am I correct?
Momoshiro: Hey, you could be right Captain! In that case, I shall challenge Echizen to a tennis match! When I beat him, that'll definitely show his weakness!
Kaidoh: As if you can beat him. You'd be lucky if you managed to get the most points before the match point.
Momoshiro: Huh? You said something about me Viper?
Oishi: *sigh* Not again...
Ryoma: Senpais...what on earth are all of you talking about all this time?
Next time, see whether or not the princes discover Ryoma's weakness. And will peace be brought back between Tezuka and Ryoma?
A/N: Again, I'm sorry that all of you have waited so long for this chapter. Please read the next one and find out what is the weakness I have used for Ryoma. On a fun note, I got the colors of the princes' swimming trunks from a picture I found on google of the regulars (minus Tezuka) at the beach.