Edit 7/12/15: Well this is awkward. I have forgotten a bit of this work, so before I continue I am going through it (and overhauling my eighth grade writing in the process). I plan to delete most footnotes, as I now think they're redundant. I will leave an additional note if I change anything other than grammar.

July 2011. New York City, USA

"I got bored."

The words resonated through the auditorium, to be broadcast to televisions and radios all over the world. It was inconceivable. Ryoma Echizen, the Prince of Tennis, the Samurai Junior, the rookie from the land of sakura who had brought professionals twice his age to their knees, was calmly stating that he was leaving the Pro Circuit for "a while."

He had appeared in August 2008, defeating Lleyton Hewitt in the US Open finals. For the next few months, he had lain low, training and participating in relatively small-time tournaments around the world. However, when January rolled around, he appeared again, boldly announcing that he would take a Calendar Grand Slam on his first try. That same month, the Australian Open fell to him. The world could only watch in awe as the teenager made good of his words, becoming the youngest person to ever win all four of the world's major tennis tournaments.

Throughout that thrilling year, he was rarely seen relaxing, or in public. He was constantly either training or trying to keep up on his studies. When asked what drove him so hard at such a young age, he simply smirked and replied, "I'm keeping a promise." This only sparked more questions, but all were haughtily ignored. He was, after all, a prince.

Needless to say, the whole world knew the Ryoma Echizen's face. That only made his recent announcement all the more confusing. A wildly popular young tennis player appears, shatters all low expectations of him, then announces that he will soon disappear, much like his father.

As questions from the press erupted, the center (and cause) of all the chaos calmly walked off stage. He waved off the inquisition, simply stating, "Don't worry, I'll be back in a month and a half for my Grand Slam."

With that, Samurai Junior took his leave.


On the other side of the world, the dark and empty halls of Seishun Kokou were completely empty. The news from a ground-shaking press conference in New York City had yet to reach Tokyo, and all the students slept soundly in their dorms. In the pale, ghostly moonlight streaming through a window, trophies, awards, and pictures gleamed.

Seishun Kokou was proud of their tennis team, and they had good reason to be. After their sister school's triumph at the Junior High Nationals two years ago, both schools had an influx of registrations for their clubs. On top of this, seven of the Regulars from that miraculous team were now at their school. In 2009, the High school took second place at Nationals, their momentum only stopped by the Emperors of Rikkaidai. An almost exact repeat occurred the year after. Now, though, the stage was set. All of the teams were once again assembled and prepared to fight. The new lineups almost mirrored those of two years ago, and it was time for the fierce battle of wills to ensue once more.


July 2011. Narita International Airport

"Heh… It's too hot…"

Amidst the crowds outside Narita Airport, a boy stood by the road, hiding his face with a white Fila hat and sunglasses. His battered tennis shoes scuffed absently against the sidewalk, and over his shoulder, a Yonex tennis bag dangled.

A soft, lazy meow came from a cat carrier in his hand. "You think so too, huh Karupin? Damn oyaji had better be here soon…"

Well, there's a quick prologue for ya. Actual chapters are more than three times this length. This is my first actual story, so tell me how I did. Personally, I'm really excited to write this. I really like the two years later fics, so I wanted to try my hand at one.

I've pretty much decided on slight Thrill Pair, but if you'll die if it isn't something else, REVIEW or PM me. Just keep in mind that romance will play a small part (unless, again, you're going to die if I don't change that).

PS- As of his press conference, Ryoma has won two of each tournament. He doesn't have two Calendar Grand Slams, though, as his first US Open was the one in the canon anime. Any questions (I know that was probably confusing as hell), just PM me or REVIEW and I'll get back to you.