It seemed to be an ordinary day for a mock version of the National Tournament. Even Atobe went as far as bringing Shitenhoji and Higa Chuu from their cities. Rokkakku participated as well as Fudomine. Yukimura was happy about the idea since he was going to be claiming a match with Seigaku's Pillar of Support. However, Sanada and Kirihara had other plans.

The captains of each school: Tezuka of Seigaku, Atobe of Hyotei, Yukimura of Rikkaidai, Tachibana of Fudomine, Shiraishi of Shitenhoji, Aoi of Rokkakku, Akazawa of St. Rudolph, Kite of Higa Chuu, Kajimoto of Josei Shonan and Minami of Yamabuki were all serious in a classroom that Ryuzaki-sensei had provided for them. They were the once who had to decided the rules of their mock tournament, how the schools were going to be divided and who gets to play who.

Meanwhile, everyone else were outside the tennis courts. "It's been quite some time since I was last here. Nothing much has changed." Kirihara said as he looked around with a smile on his face. "You are referring to the day that you came and disrupted Seigaku's practice, made a mess of their courts by being a show-off, making Kaidoh-kun angry and having him belt it out on his teammates, and falling asleep once again on the bus as you left Seigaku. Did I miss anything?" Renji of Rikkaidai said as he turned to Inui who was writing something on his notebook.

Eiji, Mukahi, Kamio, Marui, Itsuki, and Oshitari Kenya were snickering at Kirihara's expense. "You got everything, Renji." Inui seconded without looking away from his notebook. Kirihara simply huffed and crosses his arms across his chest. Everyone was mingling with everyone, even Kaidoh was talking to Wakato, Ryo of Hyotei, and Chinen. It was just then that Sakuno, Tomoka, Dan of Yamabuki and Kintaro of Shitenhoji came running to them. "A-ano… Inui-sempai, Kikumaru-sempai, have you seen Ryoma-kun?" Sakuno asked as she tried to catch her breath. "Yeah, have you seen Koshimae around here?" asked Kintaro. "We've been looking for him desu." Dan informed them.

It was just then that Inui stopped writing and closed his notebook. "Now that you mention it, I haven't seen Echizen since everyone got here." Inui said, trying to think where the said freshman would be. Eiji looked around, "The last time I saw Ochibi was by his tree at the end of the tennis courts." Eiji told them."Arigato, Kikumaru-sempai." Tomoka said, bowed then raised off to where the red head Seigaku sempai told them Ryoma was. The rest followed her. The sempai's simply chuckled as they watched the freshman ran off. "It took them nearly half an hour to ask us where that super rookie might be, right Inui?" Renji spoke and got only a nod from Inui as he was still watching the freshman running.

Mukahi turned to Eiji, "What do you mean when you said 'his tree'?" Eiji turned to him with a grin, "you see, Ochibi has this big tree at the end of the courts that he usually sleeps under when his not running or having matches." He explained which made more sense to the other now. Inui wondered if it were really where the freshman in question was. With these many people, Echizen would surely look for another place to hide and sleep. Inui knew that Echizen knew better than to sleep in view with Dan, Kintaro, Aoi and Ibu around. He smirked to himself as he now wondered where Ryoma really was.

Inui looked around and saw who were there, who was talking to who and who were in groups. It had struck him and Renji noticed. "Finally noticed Inui?" Renji asked him with a smile on his face. Inui didn't have to answer. Jirou and Choutaro of Hyotei weren't there as well as their own Echizen. However, Renji nudged Inui to look at the sides and the Seigaku Data player saw Jirou sleeping next to Kabaji who was standing by the sleeping magic volleyer.

"Now that is interesting..." Inui said as he opened his notebook once again. Aside from Renji, the others looked at each other, wondered what Renji and Inui were talking about.

At some other part of the school, Echizen Ryoma was in the back part of the library, sleeping. He had heard of the other schools coming and knew that the red head menace of Shitenhoji and his nearly carbon copy of Yamabuki was going to be there. Add the loud captain of Rokkakku, the library was the one place no one would find him. He sleep quietly, not knowing that someone had already found him. Though he wasn't being forced to wake up, Ryoma's watcher remained silent and kept watching as the youngest Seigaku regular rest before facing the others for their mock tournament of sorts.

Choutaro smiled, "Mits'keta, Echizen…" he whispered as he watched from outside the library's window and just smiled. Yes. Otori Choutaro of Hyotei Gakuen had been enamored by Seigaku's rookie from the very moment he saw the said freshman flawlessly definite Hiyoshi. He wondered if he could ever, at least once, play a singles match with the super rookie. He had always wondered how Hiyoshi and Atobe had felt when playing against him. "Someday… I'll ask you for a match, Echizen Ryoma-kun… But for now…" he cut his train of thought as he looked away and returned to where the others were. His doubles partner had already began suspecting him.

"No need to correct Shishido-sempai's suspicions right now…" he thought and smiled as he began to walked back. Yes, Choutaro still had time. And this mock tournament was what he needed to have Echizen Ryoma know that he existed and that Choutaro had feelings for him.

TBC… ^_^

A/N: How's that for a prologue? Read and review, my good people. You reviews matter to me and it'll determine if Choutaro will have Ryoma with or without oppositions. *laughs*