Me: Hi, I decided to rewrite this chapter because I felt it didn't introduce the characters properly. So, I saved the old one and the new one! Please tell me which one you prefer so I know which one to keep and not to keep. I don't own Prince of Tennis!
Chapter 1 – Return to School
"I can't believe our break's finally over."
"Yeah, I think time sped away too fast."
Many chatters and murmurs sounded off in the prestigious school Hyotei Gakuen's campus. Hyotei's towering buildings and Renaissance inspired architecture was home to many of the rich children of Tokyo. Some students were exchange students from another country, some students were even on scholarship. Female students flooded the campus with the latest of gossips, bragging about their expensive and branded bags. Male students on the other hand started flashing their latest shoes and gadgets to one another, bragging as to which one was the most advanced. Many of the other students began trading vacation stories and even began showing small trinkets and pictures that they got during their trips.
"We went to England last week," one of the male students sighed dreamily. "I saw her! You know – Natasha Cumberpatch!"
"One of the best British female players? Get real," one of his friends scoffed. "She wouldn't even look your way!"
"She doesn't need to! I just wanna look at her…"
While the people were talking, two freshman girls walked into campus with their bags prepared. They both were in their freshly pressed beige blazers, white button up shirts and brown pleated skirts. Their skirts dropped right past their knees while the rest of their legs were covered by another bag with the word "Mizuno" scrawled on both of them. The tangerine haired girl planted her hands against her hips while looking around, scanning around for the schedules. Next to her was a small sandy blonde girl with ocean blue eyes who warily scanned the campus and hid behind the taller girl.
"Ayane, you sure this is the right place," the little girl asked, raising an eyebrow. "The last time I trusted your sense of direction – we got lost!"
"I'm sure about this, Kiyone," she beamed. "Besides, we came from Hyotei grade school! We've seen this building a couple of times!"
Kiyone groaned; last time she trusted her friend, they nearly got run over by a delivery truck. "But Yane-!"
Before Kiyone could complain any further, someone scoffed and sneered behind their backs. "Well, look who it is – it's Princess Busty and her dwarf!"
Ayane and Kiyone turned around to see four girls standing in front of them. Kiyone could tell which one their leader was by the handbag and the clothes she was wearing. She noticed the sparkling Swarovsky bracelet, Louis Vuitton bag and what she was certain were Italian leather school shoes. She raised an eyebrow at the thought; who would want to wear such expensive things to school? They were just going to get destroyed anyway. Next to her were four other girls with the same bags, shoes and accessories.
"Well, look who it is – it's Alice with her Tweedle Dees and Tweedle Dums," Ayane sneered back. "So early in the year and you're being mean already, Kamiya Alice?"
Alice, tousling her long blonde hair, flipped it aside and smirked with a dark glint in her bright lavender eyes. "It's Kamiya-sama to you, peasant. Please, Kobayagi. The only reason why you haven't been kicked out is because of those watermelons of yours and you being the heiress to Kobayagi Industries."
Ayane narrowed her eyes and growled. "Yeah, like you're any better! You just pay off every teacher you can just so you can pass!"
Alice fumed instantly and screamed. "You bitch!"
"What's the matter? Something crawling up your boobs," Ayane continued to jeer. "Oh wait, I forgot! You got implants for those!"
Now whether or not that was true, that sent Alice screaming and lunging at Ayane with her manicured nails. "You'll regret that, Kobayagi!"
"She'll regret what exactly," a smooth male voice cut into the conversation.
The six girls stopped their stare off when they found Atobe Keigo standing in front of them with his arms folded.
"Ore-sama did not come back to become president to deal with this petty problem of yours, Kobayagi," Atobe snorted with a roll of his eyes. "First thing in the morning and, you're already picking a fight?"
Ayane stormed towards Atobe and matched his glare with her own. "Oh, what? You're here for your chick-toy? Go ahead! I just wanted to go to class, right Kiyone?"
The smaller girl nodded and jabbed her finger over her shoulder. "It's true. Then the cuckoo blondie over there," – referring to Alice. "Decided to call Ayane "Princess Busty" and me a dwarf."
Atobe chuckled and smirked at Ayane. "Well, she is right about you being quite blessed up there."
Ayane's nostrils flared and she cracked her knuckles, storming up to Atobe. "I don't give a damn if you're a bloody big shot around here! But if you're gonna be a jerk about it, go shove that up someone else's ass!"
Unknown to the tangerine haired girl, girls and other people had begun gathering around. Kiyone swallowed nervously and began tugging Ayane's sleeve. As much as she hated Alice, she hated being the centre of attention more. All the people staring, all the people whispering – the mere thought made her shudder and shiver while she began tugging Ayane's blazer even harder. People began murmuring and muttering amongst themselves. Kiyone jumped and began jumping up and down to grab Ayane's attention.
"Yane, I really don't wanna burst your bubble but," Kiyone began.
"But what," the tangerine haired girl snapped. "What is it!?"
Kiyone swallowed hard, cowering from the volume of Ayane's voice. "W-we're making a scene…"
Ayane stopped and looked around to see other students flocking around. She narrowed her green eyes and held her things close to her, clenching her fingers tightly into a fist until her knuckles turned white. She didn't know her voice would be that loud! She exhaled sharply, trying to calm herself down instead of bashing someone. The things in her bag made her bag heavy enough to be a wrecking ball. She knew so since her brothers said so. Whatever it was, she wanted just to go to class and not deal with Alice.
"See? Now you made such a mess, Busty," Alice sneered and shoved Ayane back. "That's to be expected of a stupid freshman anyway!"
Ayane nearly stumbled if not her sudden planting of her feet into the ground. "Oh yeah, batch years don't dictate whether or not you're freakin' mature anyway!"
Suddenly, a voice cut in with a chuckle. "She's right you know, Kamiya. If you're gonna flaunt your fake boobs somewhere, go do it in a bar where I can't kick you to the curb."
Ayane looked past Alice's shoulder only to find a violet haired girl standing behind her. She had a kendo bokken mounted on her shoulder with her backpack strapped onto her back. She also had a tennis bag with the words "Prince" scribbled across it. Ayane swallowed hard when she saw the girl's dark brown eyes narrow into deadly slits. The girl had a hime cut hairstyle that remained perfectly straight and immaculate despite the wild winds brushing past them. The whole campus fell silent and the girl just stalked past them.
"If you're just going to waste your time flaunting your boobs, Kamiya," the violet haired girl glared at the blonde girl. "I do suggest you just get out of here before you dishonour the name of Hyotei Gakuen's female students."
Alice froze and speechless, suddenly stamped her foot on the ground and screamed. "Girls…!"
The five girls stalked off with the other students dispersing into their own groups. Atobe could only sigh as the girl walked past him without even flinching or even bothering to care who she had just walked past.
"You changed quite a lot, Sanada," Atobe smirked.
The moment she heard the name "Sanada", the violet haired girl quickly pivoted on her heel and glared at Atobe. "Don't you dare use that name with me."
Atobe, seeing her riled, folded his arms. "Ore-sama can call you whatever he pleases, Sanada Momo."
Ayane blinked several times before looking at the samurai-looking girl. She could see the intense glare in her eyes and she could only imagine what the girl could do with the bokken. Then again, why didn't she like the name Sanada? It was just a last name! She looked at Momo again who didn't look like she was going to strike him but still had the glare that could geld him from where he stood. Ayane sighed and quickly tugged Kiyone's wrist.
"C'mon Kiyone, we still have to find out what our class is," Ayane said while swallowing nervously at the sight of the violet haired girl. "I don't think I want to stay and know what happens after she cuts him to pieces."
A pink haired girl walked into her classroom with a plastic bag full of papers. She dropped the papers on her table with a loud kablam as she exhaled sharply, wincing at the pain in her arms. She began to stretch it and flex it, hoping to remove the soreness of her arm. She didn't expect to have that many readings! It was just the first day of school and she had human sized readings?! Get real, she groaned to herself before plopping herself into her chair and dropping her face into the pile of papers.
"That's a lot of cases, Haruka," a black haired loomed over her shoulder. "What time did you sleep last night, kuwee?"
Haruka groaned and looked at Rin's bright black eyes with a fatigued sigh. "I don't know… I don't even remember waking up on my bed…"
Rin flinched and the thought before looking at all the papers stockpiled beneath Haruka's chin. "Is this for Debate Team? I thought you weren't competing this year!"
"Yeah I'm not. But it doesn't mean I can slack off. They made me into a researcher so I had to read some of the material, summarize it down and then, give it to the people."
"Isn't that a debater's job?"
"Unfortunately, many of the current debaters are lazy so they made me do it."
"But you hate reading these things," Rin wailed while flailing her arms in the air.
"Miss Shimohi! I suggest you sit down before you start driving Ms. Hikifumi mad," the teacher strode in after sliding the door open, placing her books on the table. "After all, who wouldn't want one of Hyotei's best debaters in their best shape?"
Haruka groaned and Rin smiled sheepishly while scratching the back of her head. "Hehe, sorry."
The pale pink haired girl drooped over her desk while trying to listen to the teacher. At the moment, nothing seemed better than falling asleep. But it wasn't her fault she was so sleepy! The Debate Team needed her! However, her eyes couldn't help but wander towards her other bag that had "Mizuno" scrawled in bold white letters and a pink dragon keychain attached to it. She smiled at it with a nostalgic smile while looking at her calendar that had been decorated with Chinese ornate drawings on her notebook.
"It's the start of the season again, isn't it," Haruka whispered.
"Yeap, it sure is," she suddenly heard Rin say.
She glanced to her left as the black haired girl showed her a notebook with her calendar marked with a big red 'x'. "Today's the opening day for the tennis season!"
By 12 PM, lunch began and students began filling the cafeteria. As expected of a prestigious school, even their school food was top of the line. Chefs made their roast beef, roasted pork belly and even, grilled food right in front of them. Sushi decorated the tables with many different colours and the foods represented each of the culinary styles around the world. Ayane and Kiyone couldn't help but gawk at the sight of it as they held their own lunchboxes with their homemade lunches, not sure whether or not they should eat their food or grab randomly from the buffet full of food.
"Good golly, look at all this," Ayane gawked. "It could end world hunger!"
Kiyone nodded slowly. "You can say that again…"
Before the girls could make their way to their chairs, fan girls suddenly rushed past them which made the two comically twirl around and fall on their butts.
"Atobe-sama, I made this bento for you!"
Ayane groaned and rolled her eyes. "I've only heard of this guy while I was in elementary and now all I see is this dumbass being an arrogant brat! There's nothing great about this guy!"
"Well, personality-wise, you're not wrong," someone said from behind.
Ayane turned around to see Momo with her own lunch. "Momo-san!"
Momo chuckled while looking at the cafeteria, scanning for a good table. "Heh, good you remembered my name. I thought you were going to do the stupid thing he did this morning."
Ayane laughed before nodding. "I never got to introduce myself! I'm Ayane Kobayagi! My friend here is Kiyone Getsugan!"
Momo turned to the two freshmen. "Ah, you two were the ones Alice was picking on this morning!"
The tangerine haired girl shrugged with a sigh. "Yeah, guilty as charged."
Momo waved her hand dismissively and chuckled. "Nah, don't mind her. She's more bark than bite. By the way, the name's Sanada Momo – I'm a senior."
Ayane looked up and down at the violet haired girl. "Wow! Most seniors well are kind of… well, small."
"No kidding, your generation caught up to us pretty quickly in terms of height," Momo shrugged. "The only ones I know who's taller than anyone here are two people: one's a sophomore and another's my friend – Uchiha Isane."
Ayane gawked. "W-wait! National Rifle Specialist Uchiha Isane studies here!?"
"Yeah, she's a pure Hyotei student – elementary to middle school," Momo nodded and sighed. "By the way about Alice, don't worry about her. The only thing she can do for bite is scratch you with her manicured nails which will probably break after a couple of days. To think she was made vice captain of the tennis last year before the seniors graduated…"
Ayane blinked in surprise, gawking. "Of the tennis team? Are you serious?"
Momo shrugged. "Apparently so. By the way, they're holding auditions for the club's regulars but anyone can join. I don't know anyone bold enough to join the regulars on their first year but you could join. I mean, they're a bunch of good people from what I hear save for Alice and her dumdums."
Kiyone beamed with her mouth becoming a shape of an 'o'. "Ohhh, cool! When does that start?"
"Starts after classes," Momo continued looking around before finally letting out a sigh. "Oh great, looks like I'm eating on the roof again. All those fan girls stole all the tables and I'm in no mood to be near shrieking little girls today."
Kiyone scrunched up her face in disgust before looking at Momo. "Do you think we can join you upstairs?"
Momo nodded and ruffled the small girl's hair, beckoning the two girls to follow her. "Sure why not? As long as Alice and her lackeys are around here, I don't think you two are gonna get any peace."
The two girls immediately followed after the senior as they began making their way up the stairs. Ayane couldn't believe how big the middle school building actually was. On the outside, it looked like a normal sized building with four floors. However, what she didn't expect was the floor plans of each room to be as big as the garden down below. Even her class room looked more like an auditorium rather than a classroom. Each and every classroom was air-conditioned and even their chairs were the foldable with cushions. In grade school, they had wooden chairs and tables with hard floors but her classroom had a carpet! What kind of person fuelled Hyotei Gakuen anyway!?
"You're probably surprised," Momo said as she continued climbing the stairs. "Don't worry, I was too when I first transferred here."
Ayane nodded. "Where were you from, Momo-senpai?"
"I came from Rikkai Dai," Momo said before exhaling deeply, climbing more stairs. "C'mon guys, keep up. You're not gonna be able to join the tennis team if you can't even climb a measley 4 flights of stairs."
Kiyone puffed and wheezed. "Easy for you to say! You're bigger so it's easier! I gotta work harder than you two because I'm smaller!"
Momo laughed before noticing the door that led to the rooftops. "Well, here we are."
Ayane and Kiyone shielded their eyes from the blazing sunlight as they found another girl sitting at one of the benches. Unlike Momo, she had a platinum silver pixie cut hair with eyes greener than Ayane's. When she saw Momo, she immediately stood up and towered over the rest of them. It didn't take Ayane long to figure out who the girl was. After all, nobody could miss a 6'2 ft platinum silver pixie haired senior who had her own customized rifle sitting next to her with the name UCHIHA ISANE emblazoned in gold lettering.
"Oh my gosh," Ayane gawked.
Kiyone blinked several times. "Wow… you're taller than you appear."
Isane suddenly jumped and yelped, pulling her rifle close to her body all in one smooth motion she was ready to shoot. "Ah!"
Momo jumped in between the two. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, don't shoot! It's just our new friends and me!"
Isane exhaled sharply and put down the rifle, looking away abashedly and whispered softly. "Oh… I'm sorry…"
Kiyone cocked her head to the side in amusement. Isane looked far more confident on TV especially when she was about to take a shot. But now that she saw her, she had never seen someone so shy and mild. Compared to Momo who appeared to be as tough as nails, Isane had softer features and kinder looking green eyes. While Ayane's flared and sparked like dancing flames, Isane had a demure look in her eyes. Even the way she picked up her things, she looked so wary. Kiyone never had seen someone so over-cautious that it actually looked like something like an ant would terrify the poor girl.
"Hi, I'm Ayane," Ayane beamed and extended her hand. "Nice to meet you!"
Isane nearly jumped out of her skin before meekly extending her hand, shaking Ayane's. "H-hi, I'm I-Isane…"
Blinking in surprise, Ayane turned to Momo who shrugged.
"She's always been that shy. Not sure why but she was the first friend I made when I came here," Momo smiled and sat down on one of the ledges. "So, shall we eat?"
Ayane and Kiyone exchanged glances with one and another, nodding. "Yeah!"
The four girls sat down in a circle before unwrapping their bento boxes, clapping their hands. Ayane beamed as she saw the strawberry panna cotta on one side plus her chorizo fried rice with grilled teriyaki squid. Kiyone grinned at the sight of grilled vegetables glazed with balsamic vinegar with a mushroom rice pilaf. Momo had her sushi and Tendon glazed with tempura sauce. Isane on the other hand had chicken teriyaki with beef kamameshi rice and a side of yasai itame.
"Itadakimasu," they chorused together before digging in.
Ayane dug into the chorizo fried rice. "Mm, I'm so glad Hina-nee-chan came home from Canada today! She makes the best chorizo fried rice ever!"
Momo chuckled and looked at her food. "Yeah, that definitely looks good. So, first impressions of middle school?"
Kiyone shrugged. "It kinda just looks like elementary school 'cept the kids are bigger."
Momo nodded. "Yeah, there's that. But have you met any of the older ones?"
The tangerine haired girl scoffed with a fold of her arms. "Yeah, that pompous brat named Atobe."
"Yeah, he's always been like that. Ever since I transferred, apparently he was that much of a jerk even way before."
"Momo, you shouldn't say things like that," Isane quietly twiddled with her thumbs. "Many people here are Atobe's supporters…"
Momo rolled her eyes with an annoyed scoff, shoving more food into her mouth. "Come on, Isane. You and I both know for the fact that his ego is the size of a T-Rex. And speak up a bit more, we don't have a remote control to make your voice louder."
The silver haired girl hung her head. "Oh, I'm sorry…"
Ayane shook her head, astonished by the difference in personality. "Wow, you're so different. On TV, you're like this awesome National rifle star. But here in Hyotei…"
"Yeap, she's mousier than a mouse," Momo sighed and shook her head. "Anyway, I saw you two have racquets. Are you two going to join the tennis club?"
Ayane and Kiyone exchanged glances with one another before nodding. "Mm hm!"
Momo nodded. "Well, I can show you how to get there later on. Ever since Hyotei expanded, people have a tendency to get lost on the school grounds."
Kiyone cast an accusing stare at Ayane. "You don't say."
"Hey! In my defense, I didn't know they switched buildings!"
The violet haired girl laughed. "Heh, don't worry about it. You guys are freshmen; it's forgivable to get lost. Just don't congregate in the hallways and block the path. That's the only thing I get ticked off about by the freshmen."
"You mean the way they seemingly congregate together into a tiny group and start talking to one another in a hallway," Kiyone asked.
"Precisely that," Momo grinned before hearing the bell ring. "Well, looks like our lunch break will be up in 10 minutes. We better head back. Isane's and my class have a strict teacher who would make you do push-ups for every minute you're late."
Kiyone flinched and waved them off. "Eugh, you guys better go then!"
Momo darted off but before Isane followed her, she turned to the freshmen. "Uhm, it was nice meeting you two. I hope we meet again in the future."
Ayane grinned. "Yeah! I definitely want to know how to shoot people with a rifle!"
Isane laughed softly before grabbing her rifle case and bolting after Momo. "Momo, wait for me!"
The two freshmen nodded to each other and packed up their own lunches before heading straight to their classroom. Ayane and Kiyone ran down the staircase before unfolding their schedule, looking at the next teacher. The two girls sighed to themselves before looking at the subject: Math. The two girls groaned before their bolting had changed into trudging. They dragged themselves to the classroom and when they slid open the door, they found a blonde girl with thick rimmed glasses writing down some mathematical equations on the wall. She looked at the book before muttering something about "how people make it so hard for themselves" and something about "there are at least 30 shortcuts as to how this can be solved".
"Um, ma'am," Kiyone asked while approaching her warily.
Ayane popped up right past Kiyone and beamed. "Hi ma'am! Sorry we're late!"
The girl said. "You are not late. You came in approximately 10 seconds before the bell rang."
Suddenly, the bell began to ring out of nowhere as if on cue with her calculation. The two freshmen exchanged glances with one another as she continued muttering and mumbling some sort of math mumbo jumbo they didn't understand. The two girls stared at her for a moment before walking back to their seats, opening their notebooks. The blonde girl looked at the board before looking back at her own notes and then looked at the book before surveying the board again to make sure she got everything right. She traced her finger on the board, looking at the calculations then nodding. Kiyone leaned over to Ayane who sat next to her.
"She's creepy," she whispered to the tangerine haired girl.
"No kidding," Ayane chuckled sheepishly.
"I understand my muttering may cause some distress but for now, I will be the substitute teacher," she suddenly said, shocking the two girls back into attention. "I am Hitomi Yamaguchi, senior of Hyotei Gakuen."
Kiyone blinked several times and leaned over to Ayane. "They allow students to be substitute-?"
"They allow students to be substitutes should they have the proper qualifications, Ms. Getsugan," Hitomi suddenly said, as if hearing her from a mile away. "If you wish to ask, you should just raise your hand. You were 60-30-9-1 on percentage. 60 percent you would whisper to Ms. Kobayagi, 30 percent that you would simply ignore, 9 percent you would ask and 1 percent you would blatantly ask me where the teacher was."
Kiyone blinked and exchanged glances with Ayane who shrugged. "How the heck did she calculate that all in her head, Yane? That makes my head hurt…"
"I don't know. I guess that's why she's qualified to be a substitute teacher for a reason," Ayane pulled out her notebooks and began copying the notes on the board. "Anyway, you wanna try out?"
"Try out for what," Kiyone asked while blinking her eyes several times.
"You know, the tennis team?"
Kiyone whined and dropped her head onto her book. "Yane-Yane, just because we've been playing together ever since we were 7 years old, doesn't mean we're good enough. I'm sure they're a lot of better people out there."
"We'll never know unless we try," Ayane beamed with determination. "It's settled then! We're gonna try out for the team!"
As soon as class ended, the students headed straight to their clubs. Ayane and Kiyone both began throwing their things into their bag with Hitomi quietly packing her things. The blonde girl could see the excited chatter between the two before nodding. She placed her books quietly into her bag before approaching them. She watched how Ayane threw her hands enthusiastically in the air while Kiyone gave her a sceptical look. Ayane's the passionate one, Hitomi looked on carefully. If they were doubles players, she could tell which one was the playmaker.
"Well, what are we waiting for, Kiyone? Let's go head there," Ayane beamed.
Kiyone raised an eyebrow. "You sure we're gonna win against these guys? We don't even know how well they play!"
Hitomi chuckled and cleared her throat. "Well, it's normal to doubt your skills every now and then. Just never believe they are never good enough."
They both looked up at her. "Yamaguchi-san!"
Hitomi shook her head. "No worries, you don't need to be so formal with me. I'm just a senior here."
"Um, Yamaguchi-senpai – do you happen to," Ayane began until the door slid open, revealing an exasperated Momo. "Momo-senpai!"
"Hitomi, we got a situation! Kamiya and her lackeys are messing up the tennis court," Momo gasped and panted. "They're declaring war on anyone who supports the captain!"
Hitomi narrowed her eyes. "Well, we can't let her do that now can we?"
Ayane and Kiyone exchanged glances as the tangerine haired girl declared. "We can help you!"
"You don't have to! This is an internal problem," Momo said before gesturing Hitomi to follow her, noticing the two other girls follow her in pursuit. "You're not even part of the team or the club yet!"
"It doesn't matter," Ayane declared while bolting past Momo and Hitomi. "I've got a personal score to settle with Alice."
The four girls ran towards the court where they saw Alice standing on top of one of the benches. The other members of the tennis club gathered around her as Momo, Hitomi, Ayane and, Kiyone saw the people all listening to Alice. Ayane gawked and watched the students flock towards her and Kiyone could only scrunch up her nose sceptically. Momo sighed with her tennis bag slung onto her shoulder with Hitomi shaking her head. From behind, Haruka, Rin and, Isane ran towards them in their jerseys.
"Let me guess, Alice trying to take the captaincy via support," Haruka folded her arms with a raise of an eyebrow.
"It seems so," Momo scowled.
Ayane flailed her arms frantically, wailing. "They can't just do that! Aren't captains handpicked by the coach?"
"Not ever since Atobe became captain," Rin explained with a twitch of her nose, shaking her head. "There are two ways to become captain here…"
Ayane nodded as Kiyone swallowed hard. "And, what would that be?"
"One is by the virtue of power and the other is by the virtue of support and democracy," Hitomi explained before grabbing her things. "We better get down there."
Rin nodded. "Yeah, kuwee!"
Ayane watched the seniors bolt down and nodded to Kiyone. "Come on Kiyone, we gotta move!"
The sandy blonde haired little girl darted after her while they made their way to the tennis courts. Kiyone looked at Alice with a scowl; why would anyone want to follow her? She looked at how Alice had to stand on a bench to get everyone's attention. She watched how Alice had that condescending smirk on her face while her "lackeys" as Momo-senpai had dubbed them, surrounded her. Wait a minute, she realized what Hitomi said. If captains could get displaced by the virtue of power, does that mean regulars can as well?
"Yes, yes they can, Kiyone," Hitomi rebuked her thoughts.
Kiyone yelped at the sudden answering of the bespectacled blonde girl. "Wah!"
"Regulars can also get displaced. In Hyotei, failure is not an option," Hitomi explained while following after Momo and the others. "I should know. I learned that the hard way."
"So," Kiyone shook her head. "You're no longer a regular?"
"I am now because I won the ranking match last year," Hitomi replied and shook her head. "But the person I lost to before, it was disgusting to know who I lost to."
Hitomi glared at the blonde girl who started dictating to all the freshmen what to do. "It's the girl on the podium who's dictating to others what to do."
The moment they get inside, that was when the whole crowd looked at Momo and the others. Terrified, the other members of the tennis club cowered in fear when they saw Momo's eyes flashing darkly and saw Rin, Haruka, Isane and, Hitomi standing behind her. Ayane and Kiyone peeked out from behind the seniors while watching the other members pale in fear. Alice chuckled and clapped her hands, stepping down from the bench with the help of her friends.
"Well, well, look who it is," Alice chuckled and bowed mockingly, jeering. "Ladies, don't forget to give respect to your seniors especially since they're regulars."
Ayane gawked at Hitomi and glanced at them. "W-wait, you guys are regulars!?"
Haruka nodded and snickered. "Yeah, why else would we come here and try to make Kamiya shut her big trap?"
"You don't know the meaning of respect, Kamiya," Momo growled and unsheathed her racquet, pointing it at Alice. "If anything, your actions right now merit treason! I invoke…!"
Ayane suddenly cut her off by bursting past the seniors, declaring. "I invoke my right to challenge a regular for her spot!"
Momo swivelled her head towards Ayane. "Ayane? What in the world-! You're not even part of the tennis club yet!"
"Yes, that's right," Alice sneered. "What's the matter? All your brains went into your boobs or something?"
"I'm pretty sure yours did," Kiyone piped up and pushed past Isane. "I mean, how else would you have boobs?"
Rin's mouth formed an 'o', whispering. "Oooh, burn."
"Well, she did have intent to join," Hitomi explained and shrugged. "So, I guess it does make her eligible in some sense."
"Is that so," Alice twirled her blonde tresses with her finger with a sickeningly sweet smile. "Alright, for my amusement – I'll let you. Who do you wish to challenge? I don't mind if you challenge the seniors, Busty. We do need fresh blood."
Ayane, undaunted, jabbed her finger and pointed straight at her. "I challenge you, Kamiya Alice! For your regular's position!"
All the girls gasped but Alice laughed it off. "Sorry dear, I don't do singles. I do doubles. You don't even have a doubles partner!"
"Guess again, dumb blonde," Kiyone pointed to herself with a proud grin. "It's me – Getsugan Kiyone!"
Seeing this, the girls of the tennis club began to murmur. The ranking matches were not supposed to happen until a week later, let alone be challenged by a new comer! They huddled around and the friends of Alice looked at her warily, waiting for her to say something. Ayane cracked her knuckles in determination with her nose scrunching up and her eyes shooting daggers at Alice. Kiyone stood right next to Alice, waiting for her response. The two girls knew what they did was beyond unorthodox but Kiyone and Ayane glanced at each other. Their looks said it all; they just about had it with the crazy blonde.
"Very well, very well," Alice chuckled with an amused smirk. "What could two baby freshmen do against me anyway? It'd be like taking candy from a baby."
"The only baby here is you," Kiyone jeered with a grin. "Besides, Yane-Yane's gonna crush you like Swiss Cheese!"
Alice's haughty expression immediately turned into an angry one. "Bring it!"
The two girls nodded and immediately went to their tennis bags, pulling out their racquets. The seniors who had accompanied them crowded around them as Ayane started warming up. Kiyone started flexing her wrist and bobbing her head to loosen her neck. Hitomi couldn't believe what was happening; first day and there was already a mess of things! She scanned the area and sighed; they weren't there yet. All the regulars weren't here yet but she was hoping they would all come and see Alice take a butt whooping.
"You sure you want to do this, Ayane," Momo asked and watched her fix the grip tape on her racquet. "Most freshmen aren't even allowed to challenge. The only reason now it was allowed was because Alice wants to crush you."
"Good, the feeling's mutual," Ayane seethed and threw a nasty glare at Alice's figure. "Who does she think she is? Stomping and parading around Hyotei as if she owns the place!"
"Well," Isane began.
Hitomi put her hand in front of the silver haired girl and shook her head. "Isane, best you don't start."
"Oh… okay," Isane whispered before hanging her head.
Haruka snickered. "If you beat her, you'd be doing this club a huge favour honestly."
Ayane chuckled and raised an eyebrow at Haruka. "Wow, she's that bad?"
"Dear, bad is an understatement for that brat," Haruka rolled her eyes while stifling a laugh. "Oh I believe we haven't introduced ourselves yet. I'm Hikifumi Haruka, senior."
Ayane smiled and bowed. "It's an honour to meet you, Hikifumi-senpai."
"Anyone who could smart mouth Alice is a friend of mine," Haruka chuckled and patted the tangerine haired girl's head. "Just call me Haruka-senpai."
Rin grinned and jumped on Haruka's shoulder, extending her hand to Ayane. "Hi, I'm Shimohi Rin! I'm Haru-chan's doubles partner!"
Ayane beamed. "Nice to meet you too, Rin-chan!"
"She's a senior by the way," Haruka pointed out and laughed softly, leaning on Rin's shoulder. "She just doesn't look like one and act like one."
Rin pouted and folded her arms. "Mou~, you don't have to be so blunt about it, Haru-chan!"
Ayane giggled and glanced at Kiyone who was already all set up, resuming a more serious expression. "You ready?"
"Let's do this," Kiyone nodded and followed Ayane into the court.
Other members and other freshmen gathered at the bleachers while Alice and her partner stepped onto the court. Ayane and Kiyone took their places on the other side, watching Alice begin giving her partner information. Ayane looked over to see the other freshmen gathering and huddling up together, terrified of what was happening. She could understand; not many freshmen had the balls to challenge and put her down. But she and Alice go way back; ever since Elementary, she had made it a point to keep teasing Ayane about her big boobs and Kiyone about midget-sized height. Seeing that she was strategizing, Ayane turned to Kiyone and glanced back at Alice for a moment before lowering her voice into a whisper.
"I'm guessing she's not used to running," Ayane watched Alice's legs jiggle and snickered. "If she were the running type, her legs wouldn't jiggle so much. So make her run. She's probably a baseline player from the looks of it."
"Yeah, she's gotta take the advantage of the fact that her partner is skinny-winny," Kiyone pointed out and then looked at her legs. "I think her partner's legs are even longer than her upper body."
Ayane nodded. "She's obviously the volleyist. You need the legs to run."
Kiyone pouted and puffed up her cheeks. "Yeah you're telling that to someone who's still 5'0ft."
Ayane patted her head with a sheepish smile. "Don't worry, Kiyone. Things will turn out for the better. You're just a late bloomer."
The two doubles pair took their positions while Hitomi took her place on the arbiter's chair. The freshman swarmed the area with people from other clubs looking on interest. The other senior members took their places in the bleachers with the regulars. Momo, Haruka, Rin and, Isane looked over with anticipation, wondering what could possibly happen. Nobody had ever challenged a regular like that before. Then again, there was a time two freshmen before them took down the other members of the regulars all by themselves – in both singles and doubles.
"Money goes on Ayane and Kiyone," Momo smirked and folded her arms. "What do you girls think?"
"Alice is obviously more talk. But we'll see," Haruka shrugged. "I heard she took lessons just so she could maintain her position as vice captain."
Isane poked Momo and asked in a hushed voice. "Oh… if you don't mind me asking – how did Kamiya-san become vice captain?"
"You know what? I don't remember," Momo pondered for a moment. "I just remember she made a big mess of things and then poof. She became vice captain."
As the match began, Hitomi raised her hand. "We're going to do this – race to 15! Whoever gets to 15 points first, wins!"
Ayane raised an eyebrow. "Eh? I thought we were going to play a full match."
"Probably it's done that way to make it faster," Kiyone shrugged to her doubles partner. "You never know. Besides, for all you know – they do that so that they can have more matches in a day and easily settle the ranking."
Ayane nodded and bent her knees, ready to play. "Kiyone, get yourself ready."
Kiyone nodded as Alice and her partner took their place. "Yeah."
While watching the two girls, Alice chuckled. "Well then, it's time to go off with your head!"
Ayane snarled. "The only one who's head's gonna be rolling today is yours!"
Hitomi, seeing the tension rise up between the two players, raised her hand to declare. "Kamiya Alice – Ukemiya Fujiyama versus Kobayagi Ayane – Getsugan Kiyone! Game start, Kamiya to serve!"
Alice smirked and picked up the ball, tossing it up. She couldn't help but let a haughty chuckle bubble from her throat; who did these freshmen think they were? She looked at Ayane and shook her head again. Ayane couldn't possibly have the speed let alone the fitness to fight her. She could see Ayane's breasts jiggling around from the mere slight movements while Kiyone stayed in front and swung left to right. She glanced at Fujiyama who nodded at her. She tossed the ball and served it straight to Ayane. The tangerine haired girl however didn't seem to be intimidated at all.
"You gotta be kidding," Ayane gawked with an annoyed groan. "Hina-nee-chan can hit that harder than you can!"
Kiyone backed away as the ball zoomed towards Ayane. The tangerine haired girl smirked, twisted her ankle for a pivot before pulling back for a double fisted back hand. The moment the ball touched Ayane's racquet, it exploded right off her racquet as Ayane swung her racquet with full-force. The ball screeched and zoomed towards Fujiyama who yelped and ducked while Alice jumped out of the way, screaming in terror. The ball exploded right at the baseline and left a scorch mark before bouncing and hitting the hedges. All the freshmen gawked and looked at Ayane who exploded the shot towards her. Even the regulars couldn't help but gape at what had just happened!
"That thing sounded like a cannon," Momo shook her head. "H-how?"
Haruka scratched her head, bewildered. "I-I don't know. Even her throwing her whole body weight and punching her hips shouldn't make that kind of explosion."
Isane shivered at the explosion, hiding behind Momo. "That sounded like dynamite…"
Alice and Fujiyama looked at the whole in the hedge behind them before looking at Ayane. On the other side, Kiyone had a huge grin on her face while Ayane had a smirk plastered on hers. It was only then that Alice felt real fear of fighting someone physically stronger than her. She dropped onto her knees, shivering. Fujiyama saw Alice shuddering and trembling, dropping her racquet.
"0-1," Hitomi declared in surprise, glancing at Ayane. How… in the world did she get that kind of power?
Kiyone waved her hand at the two girls, puffing up her cheeks. "Heeeeey! My turn!"
Fujiyama ran to Alice, trying to pull the girl up. "Alice, get up! We can't lose to these brats!"
At the sight of this, Momo shook her head. "I don't think this is even going to reach 15. It might even reach just 5 at this rate."
Rin nodded. "Alice hasn't fought in a real match before, has she?"
"Nope, not one. These two look like seasoned players already."
Alice nodded but still trembling, stammering. "Y-yeah, I-I'm alright."
The blonde senior looked at Kiyone who now stood at the receiving end. She glanced at Ayane again and her heart just started racing. It started jumping and her feet had firmly glued themselves to the court. She looked at the scorch mark a metre away from her, trembling. Sweat poured down her face as her hand shuddered from trying to keep the ball in place. Her palms had become clammy as she weakly threw the ball and served it straight at them, only to have it hit outside.
"Fault," Hitomi declared.
Fujiyama glanced at Alice. C'mon Alice!
Alice nodded and swallowed hard, throwing the ball in the air again. She served it only to hit outside again with an awkward spin, landing and bouncing off the wall near the bleachers.
"Double fault, 0-2," Hitomi gestured to Ayane. "Ayane's turn to serve."
Fujiyama picked up the ball and shook her head. "Alice, you have to get your head in the game. It's just nothing."
"Nothing…? Nothing," Alice almost screeched at Fujiyama. "DID YOU SEE HOW STRONG THAT SHOT WAS!? IT COULD HAVE TAKEN MY HEAD CLEAN OFF!"
Fujiyama rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you're just exaggerating. I don't think a ball can blow your head clean off."
Raising her hand, Kiyone piped up. "It can't decapitate but it made a dent on an armoured car once!"
Fujiyama froze and turned to Kiyone who cocked her head to the side innocently.
"Yane-Yane and I played before in a street court," Kiyone suddenly said before beaming with a grin. "When we were playing, an armoured car happened to pass by and her shot broke my racquet so it hit the armoured car. The dent was pretty big last time I checked."
Fujiyama gawked as Ayane picked up the ball.
"Enough about me," Ayane chuckled and waved her hand. "I'm gonna make this light so Kiyone actually gets to do something."
Kiyone pouted. "I am doing something! I'm breathing!"
"I don't mean that, Kiki! You're just standing there!"
"Your face is just standing there!"
Ayane sighed and tossed the ball up into the air, serving it as lightly as she could. The ball echoed with a small pop and flew towards Fujiyama who grunted when she swung her racquet. The ball zoomed towards Kiyone who simply stood there while watching the ball. Fujiyama smirked, seeing that Kiyone wasn't going to move. But that all changed when Kiyone suddenly jumped and spun in the air before slicing the ball downward. The ball began to spin as Kiyone rolled her racquet around the ball once more, flexing her wrist and sent the ball to sit on the very edge of the doubles line. The ball continued to spin around before slowly stopping. Now that's what got Fujiyama panicking. From what she saw, there were multiple tennis balls flying around like petals.
Rin rubbed her eyes. "Was it just me or did I see… multiple?"
"You're not the only one," Haruka shook her head. "I saw multiple too. I couldn't even tell where the ball went!"
Fujiyama gawked and slumped over as Hitomi declared. "3-0!"
Momo shook her head and smirked. "That's it, all Ayane has to do is explode the shot…!"
To which Ayane picked up the ball again and shrugged. "I'm lazy. You know what, I'm just gonna end it here."
Kiyone swallowed hard, asking sheepishly. "Cover my ears?"
"Cover your ears," Ayane said and gripped the ball tightly.
Alice and Fujiyama yelped when Ayane tossed the ball high into the air. She leapt up a bit, locking her arm back. She looked at the court and knew exactly where to land it.
"Off with your head," Ayane declared.
She smirked before smashing the ball with her whole body weight. The ball didn't just explode this time but thundered throughout the entire court. All the people covered their ears as the ball screamed and exploded on the court with a loud kaboom! The ball exploded right in between Alice's legs as she could do nothing but stand still. Hitomi gawked and looked at Ayane who landed on the ground inaudibly and pointed her racquet with a grin.
"You just got served," she grinned.
Kiyone groaned at the pun. "Yane…"
Alice twitched and shuddered, falling to her knees. Fujiyama looked back at Alice when she noticed something pooling beneath the blonde. Unfortunately for Alice, Kiyone was the first to notice it.
"Wow, what kind of chick pisses herself in public," Kiyone raised an eyebrow.
Seeing that she wet herself, Alice screamed and broke into a fit of tears. Alice bolted off with her other friends following her, leaving Fujiyama on the court to glare at the two girls. Kiyone however just cocked her head to the side without showing any signs of intimidation. Fujiyama could feel her blood boiling and snarled at Kiyone, grabbing her by her jersey.
"You little brat, I oughta," Fujiyama hissed and prepared to throw Kiyone onto the ground.
"Kiki," Ayane bolted towards her until she saw a tennis ball zoom past her and right past Fujiyama's ear, prompting the girl to drop Kiyone. "Huh?"
The moment she looked back, she saw a fair skinned brunette with bright ruby red eyes and a slender, red haired dark skinned girl with sparkling amber gold feline eyes. She looked at both of them to notice the brunette held the racquet as she stepped down. The people began to murmur as the two girls began to step down the stairs. Fujiyama shivered as the brunette calmly walked towards her and right past Ayane. It was then Ayane felt a sudden crushing weight drop onto her shoulders. She gasped for air and looked up to see the brunette keeping a calm expression despite everything.
"Ukemiya Fujiyama," the brunette declared. "By the rules of the match, Kamiya Alice's fleeing has resulted into a default towards these two girls here. Therefore, by the virtue of strength and skill – you are both hereby relieved of your regulars' positions effective today."
Ayane blinked several times before whispering. "Who is that?"
The red haired girl smirked, folding her arms. "That's Kurenai Shizuru – Hyotei Gakuen's captain."
Fujiyama growled. "You can't do that! The ranking matches aren't supposed to be effective this week!"
"By accepting her challenge, you made yourselves vulnerable," Shizuru simply said. "Now, if you intend to physically abuse them – I will make sure you are also brought down accordingly. Is that clear?"
Ayane shivered at the eerie calmness of Shizuru's voice as Fujiyama nodded. "Y-yes… buchou."
"Good," Shizuru smiled and relaxed a bit. "Now go comfort your friend. I don't think Alice-senpai has ever faced someone that strong before."
Fujiyama nodded and bolted off. The moment Fujiyama bolted off and left the premises, Shizuru turned to Ayane and Kiyone.
"Well, since you both effectively took out two regulars," Shizuru smiled and chuckled. "What can I say? Welcome to the tennis team."
Ayane and Kiyone gawked and looked at each other, bowing. "Th-thank you!"
Shizuru shook her head. "No need to bow. By the way, by taking out my vice captain – I now need one. So…"
"I'll do it," Ayane grinned and volunteered. "I don't mind paperwork!"
Shizuru, astonished, smiled and laughed softly before shrugging. "Alright, since you were the one who took out Kamiya Alice with that explosive serve. From here on out, you are now Vice Captain Kobayagi Ayane!"
The crowds cheered and the regulars ran down towards the court. They began grabbed Ayane and Kiyone and began tossing them into the air. The two girls gawked and exchanged glances with one another before beaming happily. They got into the tennis team! Shizuru couldn't help but chuckle as the red haired girl stood next to her.
"So, you think we got it now," Mai raised an eyebrow.
"I think we've always had it, Mai. But," Shizuru smiled at the sight. "These two girls are really something."
A few days later, it was only then Ayane had realized how much paperwork she took on. She looked over the papers and many of them had to be changed. She groaned at the sight of the line-ups that she had to change everything that had Kamiya Alice's or Ukemiya Fujiyama's name into hers and Kiyone. She sat in the club room, fixing the papers while Kiyone began to organize them by pile. The sandy blonde haired girl groaned and looked up at Ayane before playing with her yo-yo again.
"Wow, in a few days – we became vice captain and regulars," Kiyone recounted. "And now, we have a match in the next 3 hours. What could possibly go wrong?"
"Uh let's see," Ayane counted a bit before raising an eyebrow. "Wrong paperwork and default due to fraud!?"
Kiyone raised an eyebrow before nodding. "Yeah, you got a point."
Suddenly, the door swung open with Hitomi coming in. "Guys, prep yourselves. We're about to leave."
Kiyone blinked several times and gawked. "B-but it's 3 hours too early!"
"The place is pretty far," Hitomi said and began picking up her stuff. "Don't worry about your own entrance. We fixed that already. You can worry about those ones later."
Ayane looked at the paper and then at Kiyone, nodding. The two girls immediately began packing their things, placing the papers aside. Ayane couldn't help but feel giddy inside. This was the time she got to see the other regulars play! She had only heard of their play styles but never had seen them up close. But now because she and Kiyone were regulars, they got to see Hyotei's finest in a tennis match. Kiyone grabbed her things as well and slung her bag over her shoulder.
"Ready," Ayane asked.
Kiyone beamed. "Yeah!"
The two girls bolted out the door with Hitomi following suit, locking up the clubroom before heading to the area. She couldn't believe what had happened in one week. One day, Ayane Kobayagi and Kiyone Getsugan were just students in a class she had to substitute in. Now, Ayane was vice captain and Kiyone became her doubles partner. She couldn't believe that all that just happened in one week! She looked at the picture hanging on the wall when she placed her hand gently on the frame. She saw a smiling team with two freshmen just like Ayane and Kiyone as well save for the difference of hair colour and skin.
"Just like them, huh," she whispered before catching up with the rest of the team.
It took them at least an hour to get to the place and they were lucky that they were five minutes early. Many of the courts were filled with other teams from other schools. Ayane and Kiyone couldn't believe they have gotten that far. They have never been to district games for schools; they always played in the junior tournaments. But even then, they had never seen people take it seriously. Kiyone gasped as she saw girls who were also her size, playing and exploding shots. She couldn't believe that people that small could generate that much power! While they were walking around, they found Shizuru talking to one of the ball boys and officiators to borrow the court.
Shizuru had already found a court to practice in before their matches started. "Alright, we might have to shock ourselves into the game today but take it slow – I don't want you guys throwing your health away for a game. Tell me if your body cannot handle it and I will switch you out. Yamaguchi-senpai," –turning towards her bespectacled upperclassman, Shizuru did a rundown, "is everything and everybody in top shape?"
Hitomi adjusted her glasses. "According to my calculations, as long as Mai-chan, Ayane-chan, Kiyone-chan and you win your matches, we can simply slack on the first two."
Shizuru looked at them. "Alright, but that doesn't mean that I will allow you to hold back your potentials. Play with everything you have. Our first match is against Yuugetsu Chuu and I'm not planning to have our team get wasted by some unnamed school, is that clear? Show them what a Nationals calibre player really is."
Ayane cracked her knuckles with a huge grin on her face. "Hehe, they're not gonna know what hit 'em!"
"No problem, Yane-Yane's gonna crush their heads like lemons," Kiyone gave her a toothy grin.
Mai flipped her hair back. "Heh, this better be good."
"Shizuru-chan," a voice called out.
Turning around, Shizuru saw Oshitari waving at her and Gakuto bouncing towards her. "Oh, you're here!"
Gakuto grinned. "Good luck! You're gonna need it," – he lowered his voice into a whisper. "Especially when you have someone as klutzy as Rin."
Rin pouted. "HEY! I HEARD THAT!"
Oshitari smirked before shooting a glare at one of the fan boys who were ogling at the girls' legs. "You'd probably make us look bad if you were guys. Then again – at least I get to watch you play."
Shizuru bowed. "Thank you for the compliments but flattery is something I highly discourage. The good luck, I'll take though."
"Arn~," Atobe scoffed with a fold of his arms. "Show them that they are not worth playing against."
Shizuru nodded. "I have full faith that my team can take down whoever is in their way."
"You bet you should," the capped dash specialist stepped out from behind Atobe. "You have a title to secure. You can't just send in some newbies just because they're good."
"Shishido-senpai, if you were there the day Kamiya-san got displaced, you would understand why these two girls made it to the team."
The male Hyotei team gathered and walked the girls to the other courts. There, Ayane and Kiyone could see another group of girls coming in. Some were in jet black with pink stripes, the other girls had orange and green and, there was one group in white and blue. Kiyone saw them walk into the courts with their bags and the words "Seigaku" emblazoned on their bags. Accompanying the girls, there were also a group of boys following them and talking to them about certain things.
"That can't possibly be Seigaku's best," Shishido scoffed. "I mean, c'mon."
"You're right, they're not," Mai looked at them closely. "I don't see the famous Bloodstained Souma Fuuka walking among them."
Shizuru nodded. "They're probably saving her for the later matches. That is if, they make it through the preliminaries."
Rin looked at her captain with a grin. "So, let's go kick some butt, kuwee~!"
The girls' team nodded and began walking towards the court. The men's team stayed in the bleacher's watching over them. Kiyone noticed a group of girls in purple and blue uniforms walk into the court. She swallowed nervously while watching the people fill in the court. Ayane stood next to her with Mai standing on the other side. She could feel herself trembling but she wasn't sure for what reason. Fear? Excitement? Nervousness? Whatever it was, she could feel something fluttering in her stomach.
"You okay," Mai glanced at Kiyone.
Kiyone nodded numbly. "I-I suppose…"
The redhead laughed softly. "You've never been to something this big?"
"I-I have but," Kiyone hung her head. "It feels so different, senpai."
Mai nodded and patted her head. "Don't worry, everyone gets that."
While observing each and every member, Momo scowled at the sight of the match-up. "Such stupidity, I can't believe that they have a foreigner to play for them."
"Technically, she's not a foreigner," Isane laughed sheepishly with a soft whisper, twiddling with her thumbs. "She's half Jap and so, she can't be foreign now can she?"
The arbiter took his place on the seat as the teams of both sides went to their respective bleachers. Kiyone fiddled around with her yo-yo, bouncing in her chair. She couldn't wait to play! Much to her disappointment however, she saw Haruka and Rin stand up first and head towards the court. She pouted and folded her arms until she felt someone pat her head. She stopped only to look up at Shizuru who had a smile on her face.
"Don't worry, you'll get to play today," Shizuru reassured the small girl. "Haruka and Rin secured this spot and they said we can only change names, not the positions."
Kiyone pouted and nodded. "Aww, so – Yane and I are Doubles One?"
The arbiter looked to both sides as the doubles pair of both teams reported to the court. "Doubles Two will now begin! Yugetsu Chuu's Schleiden-Toumanari pair versus Hyotei Gakuen's Hikifumi-Shimohi pair! Game start, Hikifumi to serve!"
Yuna sauntered towards the net and extended her hand to Haruka. "Let's have a good game."
"Yeah, we should." Haruka also shook hands.
Rin extended her hand. "Kuwee~, let's have fun!"
Mayumi swat her hand away. "Hmph, you should go play in Whimsy land, you loser."
Rin stuck out her tongue while watching Mayumi walk away. "You're a meanie!"
The pale pink haired girl sighed and looked at Yuna who rolled her eyes at her partner. "She's always like that?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Yuna sighed deeply and beckoned to Haruka. "Shall we begin?"
Haruka nodded and spun her racquet. "Choose – smooth or rough?"
However, it landed on the rough side. Yuna nodded and picked up the tennis ball before giving it to them. The two girls looked eye to eye before retreating towards the baseline. Haruka inhaled deeply before looking at the shiny teraflex court beneath her feet. She looked at her racquet which she had recently restrung before sniffing the air for the freshly watered plants around the court. A small smirk curved up her lips as she bent down to play.
Haruka bounced the ball a few times. "Are you ready to beat them?"
Rin lowered her stance to start their formation. "Yeah, let's do this, kuwee~!"
The two girls took their position with Rin directly in front of Haruka. The girls of Yuugetsu Chuu took their place on one court side each. Haruka smirked; this was the most basic formation for a doubles pair to use. She could see how the two girls interacted with one another. She also looked at the one she believed was the captain. The girl didn't look like she even cared what was going on. She saw the girls play with her nails as if there were some dust speck on them before making a sideward glance towards the doubles pair. On the Hyotei side however, Shizuru and the others looked on intently to see what play they'll use.
"So, Australian formation off the bat," Momo asked Shizuru.
The brunette shrugged. "Probably, it was one of the best formations they started out with."
The pale pink haired regular tossed the ball into the air and sent it towards Yuna. With that flying, Rin immediately locked eyes with Mayumi and began following her movement. As long as she could block her, Mayumi wouldn't be able to attack. She would be forced to tango with her up at the net. Yuna jumped into the air before attacking the shot from right between her legs. Rin gaped before grinning in delight; she could feel her blood rushing. Her body instantaneously springing after the ball before jumping a twisting her body mid air to hit the ball.
"Well, this is gonna be fun," Rin sang happily. "You call that acrobatic play? I'll show you acrobatics!"
Yuna, seeing that Rin could also do what she could, jumped up in the air and returned the shot. "Is that all you can do?"
"Don't be so sure," Rin grinned as she did a 180 degree split to deflect the ball to float.
Seeing the ball float in the air, Mayumi chased after the ball and pile-drove it with a forehand. Rin let out a slight "eep" before dropping to the ground and having Haruka deflect it instead. The ball zoomed back towards Yuugetsu Chuu's side while Rin quickly gathered herself to stand upright, watching the ball. Yuna this time spun and used the momentum hit the ball towards Rin who tapped the ball slightly to make it land right at the edge of the net before falling on Yuugetsu Chuu's side.
Yuna clicked her tongue and nodded. "Not bad."
Rin grinned and giggled. "It's been awhile since I last fought another acrobatic player!"
Haruka smirked and tossed the ball up into the air again. "This is where the game ends! Rin, let's finish this!"
"You got it!"
As the ball zoomed towards Yuna and Mayumi's side, Mayumi scoffed and charged the ball down. "Hmph, don't be so sure, kiddie."
The moment Mayumi charged the ball down, the ball exploded from Mayumi's racquet as Rin jumped over to deflect it. What nobody expected however was the shot to have that much weight as it began to drill against Rin's racquet. The black haired acrobatic player winced as she placed two hands on her tennis grip, trying to return it back. Her palms began to sweat and she could feel her wrist straining and yanking itself out of position. Frantically looking around, Rin had to forcibly put the shot at the net as it finally bounced off her racquet.
"Oww," Rin hissed at the pain, noticing the soreness of her wrist. "She really knows how to make me look bad!"
"Net! 15 all," the arbiter declared.
Haruka walked over to Rin. "You okay?"
"Welp, she hits like a truck," Rin laughed sheepishly. "I don't know if that's how taking a shot from Ayane feels like or if it's like carrying a 20 pound bowling ball!"
Haruka looked down at Rin's wrist, seeing the soreness of her wrist. "You sure you don't want to back up first? We can have a time out?"
Before Rin could say anything, Mayumi hollered from the other side. "What's the problem? You're taking forever! Stop talking amongst yourselves and dance a little!"
Brushing her pale pink strand away from her eyes, Haruka prepared another serve. "Alright, don't be so hasty about it!"
Sadly, it didn't go over the net.
Rin turned back to her partner whom she noticed was getting very anxious. "Haruka?"
Gaping and heaving, Haruka looked at her racquet and then at the net. I gotta keep calm. I have to make sure she can't return the shot so we can seal off that power!
She tried to serve again only for the ball to smack the net. "15-30!"
Clicking her tongue, Haruka mentally berated herself. How could she bring them down now? She remembered the look on Rin's wrist and how the ball managed to bend in Rin's racquet strings. She looked at the damage on Rin's racquet and then at her opponents. She looked at her own racquet while closing her eyes, placing her hand over her chest. She could feel her heart pounding hard against her chest; where do people get that kind of physical power? It didn't make any sense to her! That should be humanly impossible!
"Hey," a voice suddenly snapped her out of it.
Haruka snapped her head up as Rin dropped her hand on her shoulder. "Relax okay? Everything's gonna be fine! Trust me!"
Haruka knew it was a big risk, wincing at the idea of subjecting Rin to the cannon shots. "Can you handle her shots?"
Rin positioned herself at the net. "Yeah, don't worry about it! I just didn't expect it to be that strong."
Haruka, chuckling, prepared to fire another shot.
"Oh yeah, one more thing," Rin pointed out before walking up to Haruka, pinching her cheeks. "Yaaaaaah!"
"Ow," Haruka yelped and rubbed her sore cheeks before staring at her incredulously. "What in the world was that for?"
Rin puffed up her cheeks and stuck out her tongue at Haruka. "Don't be so stiff! You of all people should know that otherwise you're going to turn into a statue!"
Staring aghast, Haruka then suddenly broke into laughter and nodded. "You're right. Thanks, Rin. Ready?"
Rin shifted from left to right while eyeing her opponents. "You bet!"
Mayumi twirled her racquet and swung around drunkenly. "Hurry up! You're taking too much time over there!"
Resuming a serious face, Haruka let the ball crack off her racquet. "Like they always say, haste makes waste!"
Yuna sliced the ball right under. "Think a power serve's gonna stop me?"
Skidding across the court for a volley, Rin managed to jump after it. "Gotcha!"
Mayumi gave her a pile driving forehand. "I wonder if you can return this!"
"Another power shot," Haruka went behind the base line and sent it back. "I've noticed something though, is doing a forehand all she knows?"
Deciding to test her theory, Haruka glanced at Rin who immediately got the message. "You got it!"
Mayumi ran towards the left to block a volley only to have Rin fire a shot towards her backhand side. The ball zoomed past Yuna who jumped out of the way to let Mayumi take it. Haruka prayed deep in her heart that the strategy would work but her eyes widened when she saw Mayumi smirk. With one full swing, Mayumi exploded the backhand shot straight towards Rin.
"Rin, look out," Haruka shouted.
The acrobat, seeing the ball, yelped and dropped to the ground as the ball echoed behind her. "Woops, sorry…"
Haruka shook her head and helped Rin up. "Never mind. As long as you didn't fracture anything over it, losing a point doesn't matter."
Isane gulped before tapping Hitomi meekly, whispering. "How did her shots get that hard?"
"By prolonging the presence of the ball on her racquet, she managed to increase its strength though she only has a split second to do this." Hitomi adjusted her glasses and writing out the force diagram for Isane to understand better. "Her strings also is put at a certain tension somewhere around sixty maybe. She also has a thicker string for her racquet around 15 if I'm seeing correctly. Rin is a control player; her racquet uses a seventeen because she's not a power type."
"But if her strings aren't that tense," Isaned asked. "Shouldn't it be able to absorb the impact?"
"Assuming that Mayumi simply hits like a normal person then, yes," Hitomi explained to the silver haired regular. "There's a ninety percent chance however that Rin will be flying towards the wall more often. But, there's a ninety percent chance that Hikifumi and Shimohi will win the match, six-four."
Isane stared at her as if she grew another head. "How can you say that if Rin won't be able to return shots from Mayumi!"
"Who said that she had to keep firing at Mayumi then?"
Isane stopped for a moment and watched the game continue. Yuna jumped up and volleyed the shot to Rin who skidded across the court to keep up with her. She ran side to side from each side of the court while Haruka kept her eye on Mayumi. While Yuna and Rin were tossing the ball between each other, Haruka began racking her brains on how to stop something that powerful. Rin nearly broke her wrist over it and she didn't have the power to deflect it either. The ball exploded from Mayumi as Haruka charged the ball down.
"Haru-chan," Rin yelped as she saw her partner charging the ball.
If I can just deflect it before it gets on the court, Haruka thought while bringing up her racquet to shield her face. "This is gonna hurt…!"
The ball slammed straight onto Haruka's racquet but the ricochet wasn't strong enough to fly onto the other side. The ball limply dropped against the net as Haruka exhaled sharply at the situation. She glanced back at Rin who was flexing her wrist, most likely trying to get the feeling into her wrist back. She looked at Mayumi who smirked in amusement, tousling her hair.
Mayumi smirked. "Well, so much for that grand plan, huh – Hikifumi?"
"Game, Schleiden-Toumanari pair, 1-0!"
Rin yanked out her hair, grabbing Haruka and shaking her. "Haru-chan, how in the world are we supposed to return something that strong!? We can't even get it to just float over the net!"
"Calm down, Rin," Haruka grabbed her partner before examining the marks on the court. "Those power shots are impossible to return in close range but…"
The girl turned to her partner.
"I'm sorry for not being able to return it," Rin hung her head. "I had no idea she would be that strong."
Haruka shook her head. "No no, wait. What if we tried moving farther?"
Rin gawked at her partner. "Eh?"
"Think about it, it's simple physics. The longer the distance, the more the force will decrease because it spends more time flying, correct?"
She hesitated for a moment to think. "Y-yeah but what does that have to do with…?"
"It means that if we stayed farther away from the shot, there's a good chance that the ball will weaken on its travel towards us."
"Yeah, maybe," Rin walked towards the baseline. "But are you sure it's gonna work?"
Haruka positioned herself at the net. "I'm praying that it does."
It was Mayumi's serve now. "Alright, I'm not going to make you guys able to return this!"
Her serve exploded like a cannon and despite Haruka's efforts in moving back, the ball flew high into the air and landed on the bleachers. "Out! 15-love!"
Rin gasped and ran towards Haruka who fell to the ground, gripping her wrist. "Haru, are you okay?"
Wincing at the blow, Haruka picked up her racquet. "Even one swing... my wrist would have been done for."
"Well, nice try," Mayumi chuckled and mounted her racquet on her shoulder. "But too bad chickie, that doesn't work. I'm stronger than the both of you put together."
"Not exactly," Haruka rebuked and looked at her racquet. "Your racquet, it looks far tenser than it should. The tenser strings are, the more power because you're forced to delay the shot. That's only one part of it though. Its basic physics: she only has a split second to prolong her shot and put more power into it. It will take you at least two seconds to make shots like that. Then again, I don't think you guys will even react fast enough."
"Is that so," Mayumi chuckled. "Just so you know, the racquet tension of this thing is only 17."
Rin overheard the conversation and started to get a feel of it. "Her strength is monstrous but I doubt she can keep it like that forever."
The two headed back to the baseline while Yuna chided. "Why did you tell them that?"
Mayumi jeered at them. "I don't think they'll beat my strength, Yuna-senpai. I'll just give them four aces and then we'll have our second game."
"You underestimate your opponents too much," Yuna shook her head and lowered her body at the net.
Again, the ball exploded from Mayumi and Rin leapt back to follow Haruka's plan. She began praying that Haruka's theory worked. The farther she was; the less force the ball would have and then she would have enough power to take the shot and send it back. Unfortunately, the ball blasted right through her defense and sent her racquet flying again. Rin kicked the dirt with a pout as she moved to the other side to receive the next shot. Unfortunately, it was the same outcome and sent her racquet flying yet again.
"Game, Schleiden-Toumanari pair, 2-0! Change Court!"
Rin gasped and heaved, dropping onto the ground. "Haruka, why...? Why can't we return it?"
"It doesn't make any sense," Haruka followed her to the other court. "Give me more time, Rin. I'm sorry…"
As the two doubles players changed sides, Mayumi jeered. "They're breaking down. That's a good sign at least their shots are the least of our worries."
Yuna's face remained impassive. "Don't be so sure. We're actually lucky."
"There's a rumour that Hyotei does have someone who could put you to shame," Yuna pointed out. "I'm guessing it's the tangerine haired girl. I didn't hear about her only until later on. We were supposed to face Kamiya and Ukemiya but apparently, they got displaced by these two. According to the rumour, the girl made a hole through one of their hedges and dented an armoured car. That's something you can't do."
Mayumi ignored her and waved her hand dismissively at her upperclassman. "Whatever, if the third years are easy to beat, so will the first and second years."
Yuna rolled her eyes and scoffed. "And this is why we're going to lose."
Rin sighed deeply and looked at the ball in her hand. She looked up at the two players right across the court before looking at the ball again. She looked at Haruka and then placed a hand on her shoulder. She remembered the repercussions of using the serve but did she have any choice? She looked up to the two players standing before her as she nodded in determination. Rin gripped the ball tightly and tossed the ball up into the air. She twisted her body last minute and with a punch of both her shoulders and hips, Rin sliced the ball right beneath it to cause the ball to spin. The two girls gawked in surprise as the ball slithered past them and landed right at the baseline.
Haruka gawked and shook her head. "Rin, don't! Last time you used the Twist Serve…!"
"Don't worry, Haru-chan," Rin fired another Twist Serve. "I'll buy you as much time as I can…!"
Mayumi this time managed to return it. "Don't speak too soon!"
Jumping towards it, Rin hit the ball from in between her legs. "Yahoo!"
The ball leapt over the net as Yuna volleyed it over. Haruka managed to return the shot and tried to shoot it past Yuna only for the girl to contort her body and block the attempt. Haruka bristled at the attempt and bolted back to the baseline while Rin tangoed with Yuna for the net. However, Rin sent a drive volley to which Yuna jumped away and let Mayumi receive. She saw the girl in a fully pulled back stance before swinging the racquet with full force. Haruka gawked; that was the exact same thing Ayane did!
"Rin," Haruka screamed. "Move!"
Unfortunately, the shot zoomed right at her and blasted Rin despite her using the racquet as her shield. Rin staggered back even with her heels digging into the teraflex court. From the force, the ball rolled off Rin's racquet as the black haired acrobat gasped and fell back.
Mayumi smirked with a fold of her arms. "Hmph, that's only the beginning, brats."
Rin glowered and hissed. "Who you calling a brat…!"
"Rin, leave it," Haruka tried to calm down the two parties. "We have a game to play…"
Yuna glared at Mayumi. "Mayumi, ease off. We're supposed to be playing, not trash talking."
"Whatever," Mayumi waved her off yet again. "Stop being so nice, Yuna-senpai."
Rin served again with the Twist Serve only to have Yuna catch the ball before it dropped and hit the ground. Rin leapt back to catch the girl's return and dropped it lightly. Mayumi stayed in the back as Yuna dove for the ball to slightly lob it. The black haired acrobat found herself in a pinch; she could feel her chest heaving and puffing for more air when she could barely feel her legs. She gripped her racquet tightly until her knuckles turned white, trying to push her body even with her legs searing in pain. However, the last volley had Mayumi suddenly jumping into the fray and blasting the ball again towards her with the same move.
"Game, Schleiden-Toumanari, 3-0!"
Ayane jumped up and snapped. "That's my move! That's the Magnolia Blade!"
"You idiot," Atobe rolled his eyes and shoved Ayane back down by her shoulder. "It's called the Jack Knife."
"The what," Ayane raised an eyebrow and snapped. "Don't tell me you came up with that name on the spot just so you can have naming rights!"
Haruka looked at Rin who was beat. "Haruka, what should do we now?"
"I haven't seen an opening so far," Haruka hung her head before realizing that there was one thing she hadn't tried. "I think it's time I pulled out my move."
Rin gasped and gawked at her partner. "But I thought you were saving that for the Prefectures!"
Haruka snapped around and asked. "Do you have any other plan that can beat them?"
Rin opened her mouth to say something only to shake her head. "No."
"I know you're worried about me but," Haruka shook her head and patted Rin's shoulder, with a twinkle in her chocolate brown eyes. "We have to win. That is the Law of Hyotei and its dragons."
Rin nodded before beaming. "Yeah! I got your back, aibou!"
Haruka smiled softly and nodded. "Thank you, Rin."
Seeing the two Hyotei girls renew their resolve, Mayumi now started with her serve. She looked at the two dragons with a smirk. They're not gonna get anywhere even with that technique, Mayumi scoffed mentally. Whatever that new technique was, she planned to crush it. Mayumi's service exploded but Rin knew better now. With the power she was packing, the black haired acrobat watched the ball zoom towards her before running towards the wall. People gawked and stared at Rin as if she grew another head. But Rin paid them no heed but instead ran fast enough up a wall to kick off it. With that, she began charging the ball and even as it explosively ran towards her. Rin smirked and when her racquet came in contact with the ball, in the last minute she sprung forward for more force to blast the shot back at Mayumi. The girl gawked; how was Rin able to return it now!?
"Impossible," Mayumi growled before smashing the ball at Rin. "How did you return it?"
At this, Haruka took her stance. "Just like a dragon waits. It breathes fire but from behind it also lashes out…!"
Haruka lowered her stance until she was only a few inches away from the ground. Her arm pulled back as the ball zoomed towards her. Rin had already cleared the way and waited behind her at the baseline. The moment the ball bounce and froze right in front of her, Haruka slashed the ball and sent it flying over the net. Yuna leapt for the ball in an effort to return it but the moment the ball bounced on the ground, it spun a bit before jumping away from Yuna and landing on the other side.
Yuna looked. "Impressive… So, that's the famous Dragon's Tail."
Mayumi panicked. "The what-!?"
"I've only heard rumours but there was a reason why these two were feared," Yuna said and looked at Haruka and Rin. "The Twin Dragons of Hyotei…"
Mayumi scowled and sent another serve towards them. Rin volleyed the shot towards Yuna who kept her eyes on Rin's movement. As long as I can seal her movement, Yuna watched Rin dash back and forth. I can create enough ground for Mayumi to use her piledrivers. Yuna cast a glance towards Rin who deflected the shot towards Mayumi. As the shot flew to Mayumi, Yuna smirked – fatal mistake! But for some reason, Haruka didn't look the least bit bothered. With a smirk curving up her lips,Haruka used another Dragon's Tail shot. Soon, Mayumi and Yuna found themselves being pushed against the wall by the two dragons as Rin jumped up into the air and sent a shot blasting right down at them.
"Game, Hikifumi-Shimohi pair, 1-3!"
Yuna saw their sudden improvement. "You were holding back the entire time?"
"No," Haruka shrugged. "We just like cruising a bit."
Mayumi hissed while Yuna put her hand on the girl's shoulder. "It's alright because we'll be taking the next game."
"Jack Knife again," Mayumi's eyes glinted.
"You might have to."
Mayumi's demeanour changed while she set herself at the baseline. "Alright, time to let 'em have it!"
Haruka didn't like the look in Mayumi's eyes. "Rin, get ready."
Rin lowered her body. "You got it."
Haruka bounced the ball lightly. "Hopefully, they won't be using heavy shots again. We were able to get the fourth game from them but I don't know how we're going to keep this up."
The ball cracked off and the rally began. Mayumi sent it towards the edge of the court but Rin sent it right back at her with a volley. Yuna took her position from behind Mayumi with her backhand ready. "I think my Jack Knife should end this."
Her shot sailed across the net and sent Rin flying again even farther than before. "0-15!"
"Rin," Haruka ran towards her partner. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Rin flashed a wide grin, jumping up to her feet. "No worries!"
Mayumi jeered. "You're probably too skinny. Maybe that's why your shots stink."
Rin glared and lunged at her, spitting venomously. "Wait 'til you see what happens later, you ninny!"
Yuna put her hand on Mayumi's shoulder and shook her head. "Mayumi, behave."
Mayumi scowled and stalked off, leaving Yuna to bow apologetically. "I'm sorry for my partner's rudeness. I'd like to continue the match."
"Yeah," Haruka dragged Rin away from Mayumi. "We should continue it."
Rin snarled while kicking and struggling against Haruka. "The nerve of that girl saying that my shots stink! I'll show her real acrobatic play later on!"
Haruka sighed and shook Rin silly. "Rin, enough! The angrier you are, the more stamina you'll use up!"
"It's stamina well spent!"
Yuna exhaled deeply and faced Rin. "Time for a real show of acrobatics."
"You bet," Rin glared while she heard Haruka's serve crack off her racquet.
Mayumi grinned evilly and swung back for a Jack Knife. "I think it's time I brought out my higher level Jack Knife, don't you think?"
Haruka managed to deflect it but with much effort. "Her shots keep increasing in power, there's no way I can send it back like this all the time!"
Scoffing in annoyance, Atobe glanced at Shizuru. "Kurenai, this better not be all that your doubles pair can do."
Shizuru chuckled and raised an eyebrow at Atobe. "If you quit assuming and actually put your eyes on the court rather than yourself then, you know that Hikifumi-senpai has a plan."
The Jack Knife once again plastered through their defence. "0-30!"
Haruka scowled deeply; she wasn't getting anywhere! "There has to be an opening. Forcing her to net play isn't much of an idea since her shots get even stronger there."
She served the ball again and Mayumi volleyed the shot on Rin's left side. Rin twisted her body and sprung like a coil spring, catching the ball before recovering with a tumble to tackle the next shot. Haruka sent the shot back with a backhand while Yuna volleyed the shot. Rin leapt for the ball again as she gave her a drive volley right in between Mayumi's feet. Haruka jumped back to prepare for a shot but Mayumi didn't react in time as the ball just zoomed right beneath her. It was then it occurred to Haruka what her weakness was.
Mayumi spat venomously, balling her hands into fists. "Che that was luck! I'll make sure you don't get past me again!"
"Oh yeah," Rin snarled. "Don't spout off so much!"
"Rin, wait," Haruka grabbed Rin's shoulder, pulling her close to her. "Do it again."
"Do what again," Rin gave her a bewildered look.
"Aim between her legs. She's not fast enough."
Rin slowly nodded while looking at Yuna. She exhaled sharply while gripping her racquet tightly, looking at the two players standing before her. She could feel her legs becoming numb but she looked at the portion where her shot had managed to get away from Mayumi. She looked at Mayumi who stood at the net while Yuna prepared to receive her service. Come to think of it, Rin looked down where Mayumi stood and then at the net. She was never at the net during the whole game. She looked at her stocky build before realizing what Haruka was going at.
"Of course, she's made for power," it finally hit Rin.
Haruka served fast and Yuna returned the ball. With the shot zooming towards her, Rin quickly prepared to volley as Mayumi began to counter. She smirked; Mayumi was trying to anticipate her moves! She looked at one corner at the end of the doubles court before spinning last minute to make it look strong. Out of fear, Mayumi gasped and bolted for the back until Rin just lightly tapped the shot over the net with a grin.
The arbiter declared. "30 all!"
Rin gasped for air. "We really should stop fooling around now."
Haruka put her hand on Rin's shoulder with a chuckle. "You don't say…"
The Twin Dragons gave each other a high five, preparing to strike again. Haruka looked over to the other side, seeing Mayumi now at the baseline. As much as she wished that she could pinpoint targets, she could only pray and hope that she had enough accuracy. Breathing deeply, Haruka tried to calm her rapidly pounding heartbeat before serving the shot. The ball flew to the "T" portion of the court as Mayumi stared in surprise, only to see the ball's mark right on the "T". Haruka sighed in relief; well, that was stressful.
Mayumi gasped in admonishment. "B-But, you guys were just losing like 10 minutes ago!"
"They were toying with us like how a predator does with his prey. In this case," Yuna gripped her racquet tightly and shook her head. "We're the prey."
Haruka shrugged with a sheepish grin. "You're a smart and crazy strong girl, Mayumi. I'm sure you figured out that Rin and I were just fooling around, right?"
Rin grinned and peeked out from behind Haruka. "If you can't beat us then, you're no match against the Kobayagi-Getsugan pair then!"
Mayumi snarled as Yuna shook her head. "It's over, Mayumi. We've already lost."
"What!? We can still plaster them," Mayumi snapped at Yuna kept a stern face. "Yuna-senpai!"
"If they were that annoying when playing around, imagine them at full power," Yuna explained and looked at how Haruka didn't look like she was sweating at all. "While we were blasting and throwing out all our power, Hikifumi and Rin were conserving their energy so they could wear us down."
Haruka smirked and began her service, serving a fast shot. "Now, Rin!"
Gakuto scoffed and rolled his eyes at the black haired female acrobat. "Geez, she knows how to make Kikumaru look good. I'm still better than Kikumaru though."
Upon hearing that comment, Rin slapped the ball hard and glared at him. "Get a grip, coconut head! I'm still working on my technique here!"
Haruka positioned herself for another shot while Oshitari smirked. "Dragon's Tail, she's going to do it again."
Atobe watched them progress almost instantly. "They were losing the first three games on purpose. Normally, people would rush to finish."
Shizuru's soft voice cut in. "They weren't losing on purpose, Atobe."
Isane gulped while she watched Rin and Haruka get their second game. "You do know that Shimohi-senpai just came from a fever right?"
Hitomi patted the rifle specialist's head. "We know but, I made sure she took her meds before started playing. It's been almost a week now."
Ayane couldn't help but gawk; Rin was playing that well even after coming from a fever? "What if the fever comes back? What if she suddenly just collapses on the court?"
Kiyone groaned and shook her head; Ayane could sometimes be such a mom. "Geez, you're going to grow white hair by the time you're third year. I liked it better when you started ranting on how much you hated Atobe."
"Game, Hikifumi-Shimohi, 2-3!"
Yuna nodded and picked up the ball. "Alright, my turn."
Haruka lowered her body at the net, glancing back at Rin. "Yeah… it's about time we get serious."
Yuna served the shot as Rin leapt for the ball. This is where Ayane and Kiyone found themselves at the edge of their seat; this was the real Twin Dragons of Hyotei pair playing out there! Rin soared high into the air before spinning for a strong forehand. Despite Mayumi's strong return, Rin quickly dove down to deflect the ball before tumbling back on her feet. Haruka volleyed against Yuna, keeping her at bay by the net. Yuna could feel her chest throbbing and tightening from how much air she was using. She gasped and panted for air, blocking whatever she could before stumbling around.
Ohtori looked at Shizuru. "Shizuru-chan, what position are you playing?"
"Singles One," Shizuru smiled abashedly. "I'm just there to make sure things don't go wrong."
Shishido whacked her back with a playful slap. "You don't need to sound so humble! There's a reason why you should be arrogant! I mean - you're the best ladies player in Hyotei!"
Ayane raised an eyebrow. "No thanks, I'd rather not have her sounding like a mole diva," – while referring to Atobe while directing with her head, "over there."
Jirou was now getting excited in watching Rin play. "Go, Rin-chan, go!"
Rin back flipped into the air and sent a linear shot that was almost impossible to do. "Game, Hikifumi-Shimohi, 3 games all!"
Atobe watched the match with a smirk. "That was fast."
Oshitari was too busy looking at something else. "This is better than cable."
The magenta haired acrobat could only sigh hopelessly at his doubles partner. "That's because you're looking at their legs, Yuushi!"
Shizuru smirked. "Now, finish them, Hikifumi-senpai, Shimohi-senpai."
Rin smashed the ball again. "You got it, buchou!"
"Don't worry much because we've gotten the game all sewn up!" Haruka did another Dragon's Tail.
Yuna and Mayumi didn't like the sound of that and before they knew it, they had closed the margin on them.
The umpire declared, "Game and set, Hikifumi-Shimohi pair! Six games to three!"
-This is my first PoT story that involved something like this! I'm not much of a drama romance person. Please review!