TENNIS CAUSES DEATH.
One day, Inui was sitting in the locker room. He was concerned. This particular day was special. It was the day where they would be selecting the new regulars for the Seigaku tennis team. He had worked hard to gain his regular spot back and he didn't want to end up losing it again.
So he hatched a plan.
Tezuka entered the locker room and spotted Inui.
"Oh, Tezuka," said Inui, turning around. "You were just the person I was looking to speak with."
"Oh?" said Tezuka. This was his own special way of telling Inui that he had permission to speak.
"Well, as it turns out, I was reading this article the other day…" Inui said. "And it stated a very interesting fact concerning tennis. I read up on it, and found that it was very true."
"Is that so?" Tezuka said. "Is this an announcement that concerns our whole team and might help us improve our tennis skills?"
"Perhaps," Inui said. "Would you like me to share with you what I discovered?"
"Let's wait until practice starts, and you can tell the whole team," Tezuka answered.
"Very well," said Inui as he did a jig on the inside.
About an hour later, the entire team was assembled on the courts, and Tezuka had posted the lineup for the selection matches. Inui was a little worried that he had forgotten about Inui's announcement, but right before he dismissed everyone to begin the first match, he stated, "Before we begin, Inui has something to share with us concerning tennis."
Inui cleared his throat as everyone turned around and listened to him intently.
"I read an article the other day," Inui said, adjusting his glasses as he looked down at his little data book that he carries around with him everywhere. "And as it turns out, researchers in a recent study discovered that the leading cause of death among young teens is tennis."
Inui didn't look up right away. Then, after he allowed his words to sink in, he gazed at the crowd. Eiji had pretty much fainted and would have collapsed if not for the fact that Oishi caught him. Taka was looking ultimately distressed, Kaidou was wide-eyed, and Ryoma had adjusted his hat so it was covering his face. Momo's jaw was on the court, and Fuji was still stone faced. The various other teammates who were not regulars had various reactions as well, but the most priceless reaction of all was Tezuka's.
"Hm, well, that's interesting, let's start the matches," he said, perhaps a little TOO quickly.
The crowd nervously dispersed, and Tezuka approached Inui.
"Is this true?" he asked very seriously.
"Yes it is true," Inui replied.
"I see," Tezuka said as he turned around and walked away.
The selection matches commenced. Inui went around and took data on everyone, and he could tell that they all were clearly holding back. Kaidou's Boomerang Snake was off, and Eiji tripped over himself in the middle of an acrobatic play. Taka couldn't even enter his BURNING! mode, and Momo kept missing his smashes. Oishi accidentally hit Eiji in the back of the head with one of his shots, and Ryoma actually messed up on a Twist Serve. A freshman foiled the Tezuka Zone.
A FRESHMAN FOILED THE TEZUKA ZONE.
However, when Inui reached the last court, he found that Fuji didn't appear affected at all.
After Fuji finished owning the person he was playing against, he approached Inui.
"Still gathering data?" Fuji asked pleasantly.
"Yes," said Inui. "Say, aren't you concerned with the fact that the leading cause of death among young teens is tennis?"
"Oh, that?" said Fuji with a chuckle, turning his back to Inui. There was a bit of a pause, and then he looked over his shoulder and pierced Inui with his stare. "I've known about that for years."
Inui actually stumbled back.
"What?" he said.
"That article you read," Fuji said. "I already read it once a long time ago."
"But…" Inui started.
He was pretty sure he had made the whole thing up, but now he was concerned.
"Um…right…okay…" Inui said, scratching the top of his head.
"Do you not believe me?" Fuji asked.
"What? No, of course I do," Inui replied, trying not to seem suspicious. "The article I read was a couple years old, anyway."
"Didn't you say that researchers in a recent study discovered that the leading cause of death among young teens is tennis?" Fuji questioned.
"Um…" said Inui.
Thankfully he was saved by Tezuka who was calling him to begin his match.
He backed slowly away from Fuji and tried not to make any sudden movements before he was completely out of sight. During his matches, Inui was mixing up data of his opponents and kept predicting the incorrect outcome of the situations.
Several hours later, the roster was looked upon. Fuji had won the most matches, and that seemed reasonably normal, but then it concerned everyone to find that, out of everyone else on the team, the person who had won the most matches was Horio.
Ryuuzaki was baffled and wondered if someone had messed up the scoring somehow, but each player confirmed it. No one from the original group of Regulars appeared in the new group except Fuji. NOT EVEN TEZUKA. Not even the freaking Prince of Tennis himself.
Inui kicked himself for falling prey to his own trick.
"All right…" said Ryuuzaki slowly. "I guess…I'll have to order eight new jerseys for our upcoming match against Hyoutei…"
All of the previous regulars bowed their heads in shame as they removed their Regular jackets, except Fuji who remained happy and proud of his accomplishments.
"Inui, I wonder if you and I read the same article," Fuji said to Inui as they entered the locker room with the rest of the team.
"To be honest, Fuji, I made it up," Inui replied. "I was hoping to throw everyone off just a little bit so I would ensure myself a spot on the regulars again, but instead I completely screwed over the team for any future matches we're going to have. I had no idea that the actual leading cause of death among young teens was tennis."
"Oh," said Fuji. "I made it up too."
Inui stared at Fuji.
"What?" he said.
"I wanted to one up you by saying that I had already read the article," Fuji admitted.
Just then, Tezuka walked over and glared at them both.
"We all let our guards down," he said.
And so, the new Seigaku team went forward and was subsequently crushed by Hyoutei. In fact, a couple of the kids who made the team actually died from being under so much pressure.
Reporters stated that they had never seen this sort of thing before. A newspaper article was printed later that day, and it stated: "TENNIS CAUSES DEATH AMONG YOUNG TEENS."