So here's another chapter for you guys
And I'm sssoooo sorry that I was gone for such a long time
But I've recently (well, not so recent anymore) moved towns and I had to pack, unpack, clean, make sure my brother and I got into school…
AANNNNDDD a huge mouse problem! Just cleaned up and plugged holes, fingers crossed that they don't come back
Quick thing to those who can and still are relating, PEPPERMINT OIL SMELLS GOOD though not really sure it works as well as people say it does unless I did it wrong (_ _")
At least those metal box mice traps work THE BEST, MY LIFE SAVER
And another quick thing:
Very Big thanks to all of you guys who reviewed! I know that just saying, "I love this story... update soon!" and "Very cute, can't wait for next chapter..." etc... doesn't take much effort but it really does mean a lot to hear from you guys and to know that you guys are really liking this story! It's a real confident booster (which I need because I doubt myself oh so very much... I'm trying to change! Don't rush me (~"- .-)~ hehe)
And to yumexxfuture mangakaxx... err to Erucchii:
(sorry I just saw the updated name)
First off, glad you liked the chapter and…
1) Yeah, I got told off by someone before (maybe a year ago I think) about using Japanese but it's just a habit that I can't really kick… when I write, the things in English just don't sit right with me, like the words lose their meaning as they would be in Japanese… it's just one of my quirks.
2) If making a glossary will help, then I'll try doing that instead, though I got told off about long A/Ns too XDDD (_ _") I really hate bad habits
3) I know that he uses his right hand for righties and left for lefties when serving a twist serve, since, as I said last chapter, I've re-watched the series… it was like my fourth time and I'm right in the middle of my 5th time plus the manga. I just made him use his left hand since he wasn't aiming for the face (assuming Kawamura's hand was where a lefty's face would be) and I needed Sakuno to see that he's a southpaw since that's how it was in the series.
Looking back on it, yes I did catch that... haha, minor slip up on my part... not sure what came over me lol
Alright so enough of my talkin
(sorry for the long message, just that I was gone for a long time and… yeah nvm)
Disclaimer: I don't own PoT… yup
Chapter 3: Who is Echizen Ryoma?
"Whaa~ Sasuga sempai-tachi!" Horio stood in amazement as he and the others watched the seniors hit each ball. Neither Momo nor Kikumaru were giving in and returned the balls perfectly.
"Ne Sakuno, I don't think that's just regular hitting. They're hitting the balls to match the colors to the cones." Tomoka was amazed at the level that the seniors were at.
"Is that possible?" the brunette girl was stunned as well.
"Well, they're doing it aren't they?" Katsuo commented, unable to close his mouth.
"They're on a whole other level." Kachiro added in. Soon, everyone on the courts stopped what they were doing and just stood, gaping at the regulars' training regime. The regulars were impressed with the two's performance as they weren't missing a single ball as of yet, though Momo was having a few close calls as the ball narrowly scraped the cone. Kikumaru was spot on since he had good vision and could easily aim at whichever cone he needed to hit.
Then suddenly, the two paused and felt the weights on their ankles. They were still able to move around but it got harder as the time passed. Inui suspected that they were feeling weighed down and knew that his training was working. The others had also noticed that maybe this exercise wouldn't be as easy as they'd hoped it would be, but then again, it was to turn them into better players.
"Getting tired Momo?" Kikumaru taunted his kouhai as he hit another ball.
"No way, sempai. I told you, I'm not losing." Momo made another hit, this time hitting the cone spot on to prove his point. Ryoma yawned as he opened one eye and looked at the regulars. After realizing what the motive of the training was, he scoffed to himself; though it was loud enough for the five other freshmen to hear and turned their attention back to him.
"It isn't as difficult as you make it out to be." The boy put lazily.
"If you think it's so easy, then I'd like to see you try Echizen!" Horio looked towards the boy, yelling. He didn't really like how the boy, who was the same age as him, was putting down the seniors that everyone in the club looked up to.
"What did I say about yelling at Ryoma-sama?!" Tomoka thrashed her arms around as she was being restrained by Sakuno.
"No need to be so loud." Ryoma said annoyed since the brunette's loud voice had brought everyone's attention towards the small group.
"What's that group yelling about?" Oishi looked over towards them.
"Saa, it must be over the boy in the grass." Fuji rubbed his chin in interest.
"Che, annoying brats." Kaido murmured to himself, not happy that the freshman from that afternoon had shown up again.
"Haha, sounds like they're having fun." Kikumaru smiled.
"I bet Echizen said something again." Momo momentarily lost his concentration but was brought back to the training by Ryuzaki-sensei calling out his name. When he turned back, he dodged a tennis ball that nearly hit him in the face. "Wha-, Ryuzaki-sensei, that wasn't fair!" The black haired boy pouted.
"There's no such thing as no fair when serving. You're opponent isn't going to wait for you when you aren't paying attention." She said with a smirk on her face.
"No way~ and here I thought I was going to beat Eiji-sempai." Momo sighed.
"Ha haa~ Zannan munen mata raishu~" Kikumaru waved at the other. Momo then commenced to walk off the court when he was stopped by Inui who was standing behind the net.
"Hold on, Momo. It seems that I had forgotten to mention the penalty that comes when you fail to complete this exercise." The bespectacled third year stood with an ominous aura leaking from behind him. He was holding a glass of green stuff in a cup and was pushing it towards the second year.
"Don't tell me..." All the regulars paled when they realized what was in the glass.
"Inui's Special Vegetable Juice." The taller boy grinned and gave the glass to Momo who took it reluctantly. He looked at the slushy green glop and gulped before chugging the liquid. Then after a few moments, he tossed the glass and ran out of the tennis area, heading towards the water fountains screaming in agony.
"Wh-What happened?" Tomoka shuddered a bit. Sakuno was speechless.
"I think we just witnessed Inui-sempai's rumoured deadly concoction of juice called Inui Juice." Horio informed, gaping just like everyone else on the courts once again. This had also peaked Ryoma's interest as he had never seen anything like what he had just witnessed. Moreover, a juice that was able to make Momoshiro, the one with the bottomless stomach that was able to tolerate any food item, hurl with disgust was very terrifying.
"No no no way, I don't wanna!" Kikumaru immediately got defensive just as Momo had disappeared. "I'm not drinking it!"
"Well, the only way that you'll get out of drinking it is if you hit all 20 tennis balls." Inui then served the next one. Kikumaru was determined to accomplish this task.
"Oishi, you're next!" Ryuzaki-sensei called towards the vice-captain who hesitantly went for his turn. He had to be careful, otherwise he might get caught off guard like Momo did. He had to remember that spectators were also part of the game and he couldn't let outside things influence him.
After a few rounds, Oishi and Kikumaru were doing pretty well and were starting to feel confident about accomplishing this. "Yosh, this one's blue..." Kikumaru mumbled to himself and locked onto the blue cone until Inui suddenly spoke up.
"Are you sure it isn't red?" He said last minute and Kikumaru suddenly hesitated.
"What?! No it isn... uwahh~" the redhead then missed and found the color to be blue. "No fair, you cheated!"
"You shouldn't let outside opinions cloud your judgement. If you do, it will cost you a point and possibly the whole game." The rest now feared being the next to go on as they realized that there will be little things that Inui or Ryuzaki-sensei will do to get them to misjudge or lose focus.
Kikumaru was now faced with the Inui Juice and he was dreading the smell as he took a look at the glass. He then drank it whole and immediately ran screaming. Next up was then Kawamura who was hesitant until Fuji handed him his racket.
"Horrraaa! Red!" the third year exclaimed.
"What's with that sempai's intensity?" Tomoka questioned.
"That's Kawamura-sempai," Kachiro told her.
"His personality does a complete 180 when he grabs hold of a racket." Horio continued. They all watched as he was doing well with is "BURNING!" and was going at it with all his might, until he accidentally missed one target. He was then sent running.
"Oishi-sempai's doing good as well, isn't he?" Sakuno commented.
"As expected of our fuku-buchou. (vice-captain)" Horio said with a proud smile and nod.
But unfortunately, Oishi had also accidentally missed as he stumbled upon the weight of the ankle weights and was forced to hit a volley that had gone off target. He now realized how cunning their coach really was as she was smiling at him triumphantly. Kaido was up and in the middle of his turn, he hit a snake and predicted the ball to be red when it turned out to be yellow. And after drinking, he tried to put on a brave front in front of everyone but as the taste intensified in his mouth, he paled more before finally giving in and ran out.
"Uwahhh, even Kaido-sempai wasn't able to handle it." Horio had now developed a fear of the drink and prayed that he wouldn't be forced to drink it one day.
"Even Fuji-sempai missed." Kachiro said as the other freshmen looked to see the brown haired tensai rubbing his arm.
"I guess I missed." He told Inui.
"He missed on purpose." Ryoma rolled his eyes.
"But why would he?" Sakuno questioned.
"You just wanted to drink this, that's why you missed on purpose right?" Inui accused.
"I wanted to try it just this once." Fuji confessed and took the glass.
"Fuji, no fair!" Kikumaru called out from the ground where he and other victims were currently resting their aching taste buds and stomachs.
"Ahh, this is good, I highly recommend it." The brunette smiled with a satisfied look. Inui sweatdropped as he wasn't expecting that response. Everyone in the court then agreed silently to themselves that Fuji was indeed a fearful person.
"Usotsuki! (liar)" Kikumaru fell back to the ground in denial. Finally, it was Tezuka's turn and it had gone flawlessly.
"As expected of Tezuka." Inui said, impressed that his buchou never ceased to amaze him. Then he walked over to the others that were collapsed on the ground and proceeded to tell them the things that they needed to improve on. He told Oishi, Kikumaru, Kawamura, Fuji and Kaido to exercise their muscles and build up on their quads, triceps and biceps so as to improve their grips and dash movements. To this, they questioned where those muscles were located.
Inui then moved on to telling Momo that if he held back 70 percent of his power, his accuracy would improve. Tezuka was then told that he did well in completing the exercise though he needed to be more flexible... then Inui commented that his expression was too cold. Everyone snickered at this comment, though Tezuka didn't react to it.
"So now, we shall start off your exercises by raising the number of weights on your ankles." The data tennis player told the others.
"Are we using the same amount as you?" Kawamura wondered.
"I wouldn't mind 5 weights, sempai." Momo grinned.
"Regulars must wear 10 weights." Everyone froze after Inui corrected them.
"Don't joke with me!" "Wear them yourself!" "That's not funny! You..." the boys started throwing tennis balls at the poor guy. Ryuzaki-sensei understood that this exercise would increase their stamina and thus improve their skills, but she decided against jumping into the line of fire.
She then turned towards Tezuka who also just looked onward. "You know, you shouldn't push yourself too much Tezuka. You should just think about your future and rehabilitation."
"Right now, I'm only thinking of winning the upcoming tournament with them." He answered. Ryuzaki just sighed and wondered why there were so many people who hated to lose on one team. She just smiled at that and hoped that this year would be a bit more interesting. The boys then resumed their practice.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"Alright, so that's the end of practice. Second and third years go and get changed, freshmen clean up and I'll see you all tomorrow morning." Ryuzaki-sensei announced. She then called for all the freshmen to gather for a moment just as she signalled for Ryoma to come over as well. "Alright everyone, this is Echizen Ryoma and he'll be helping out with clean up today and tomorrow." Ryoma was surprised by the last part.
"I thought I was only here for today?" The boy was obviously annoyed that he would lose his free time, especially since the practices were early in the morning then right after school.
"Well, fighting in school has its consequences." The coach reasoned. Ryoma couldn't help but feel that there was an ulterior motive to all of this but he couldn't fight against an adult, unless it was his father. Ryuzaki just took the boy's silence as him accepting the punishment, so she then told everyone to play nice and to be careful while they were cleaning up.
"Tough luck, ne Echizen?" Horio wrapped an arm around the other's shoulders as if he felt his pain. Ryoma just shrugged his hand off and started putting tennis balls into buckets.
"We should hurry and clean Horio-kun. We did sort of cause a lot of trouble at practice today and we shouldn't cause any more for everyone." Kachiro said.
"Fine." The boy agreed. Just then, as they were nearing the end of their practice, a few second years had made their way over towards the group of freshmen. "You guys really made quite the scene at practice today." The second years gathered. The one with the headband was looking down at them with an annoyed face. The trio was shaking, a bit scared that they were going to get pounded by the upperclassmen.
"Yeah, you even disrupted the regulars' practice with your loud mouths." Another said.
"W-We're sorry, sempai. We-We didn't mean to do anything of the sort." Katsuo shuddered.
"Well instead of chatting, you guys should be picking up the tennis balls. That's what the freshmen are supposed to do." Second year, Arai Masashi lectured them. "So how about we teach you freshmen a lesson." He nudged his friend who made an understanding smile.
"Why don't we have a little challenge?" The other second year, Ikeda Masaya, suggested.
"If you win, then you get off scott free for disrupting today's practice." The last second year, Hayashi Daisuke, then continued on.
"But if you lose, then you'll have to pay us 200 yen each. Sound good?" He asked them. All the other freshmen were worried for their fellow classmates as these were second years that they were dealing with, and the most ill-tempered ones to boot. They couldn't say no very easily as they might offend their seniors, so they really had no choice but to agree. There was also the fact that they had in fact disrupted the practice in a way.
"That's pretty big talk from someone who isn't a regular." They all then turned towards the other freshman that wasn't part of the club.
"Ryoma-kun." Kachiro and the other two were silently telling him not to get involved, but just as they expected, Ryoma stubbornly wouldn't listen to them.
"You're passing judgement as if you were part of the ones with authority." Ryoma stood up to them.
"What was that brat?" Arai stepped forward but was held back slightly by Ikeda.
"A-Ah, please d-don't be mad at him." Katsuo tried to reason, albeit tried.
"And he isn't part of the club either." Horio mentioned bluntly.
"Just let him go, Arai." He told him. "Since he isn't part of the club, I doubt he can play tennis anyways." Now that sentence had just irked Ryoma to no end as they assumed that he couldn't play tennis.
"You aren't part of the club, right?" Hayashi looked at him. "You're just here because you got in trouble with Ryuzaki-sensei, so you shouldn't be talking since you aren't a part of this." He brushed him off and Ryoma hated it when people did that to him.
"So, what do you guys say? Are you up for a little game?" Arai asked, forgetting about the emerald haired boy.
"Well, if it'll get us out of trouble then... I guess it's fine, right guys?" Horio looked towards Katsuo and Kachiro.
"Y-Yeah, it's worth a shot since we'll get in trouble anyways." Katsuo reasoned. Kachiro nodded in agreement.
"Hehe, then let's get started." Arai said and looked at his friends with a smirk. Ryoma was familiar with that kind of expression, it was the kind that was always looking down on others and always had a hidden meaning behind it. He knew that there was something going on but since they weren't worth his attention, he decided to leave them be.
"You just have to hit this can in ten shots. Like I said, if you win, then we'll forget about your little disruption. But if you lose, 200 yen each understood?" Ikeda repeated as he placed the can down.
"Hai sempai." Katsuo decided to start but ended up missing each time. Kachiro was next but resulted in the same way as Katsuo.
"What up with that, you two suck." Horio sighed at them.
"It's much harder than I expected." Kachiro explained.
"And it was our first try at playing tennis too." Katsuo added. "It's all up to you now Horio." The two looked at the brunette. The other freshmen were getting a bit worried since this was their last chance to get the second years off their back.
"Alright, I, Horio, with two years of tennis experience shall try a hand at this task." The boy announced.
"Yeah, go for it." Arai just smirked at him. Ryoma noticed this look but still didn't say anything. Horio then commenced and tried to hit the can. But every shot he took, missed the can, though it was in the vicinity of the can's area, it never did make contact.
"Horio-kun..." everyone was getting a bit worried now.
"No way..." the boy was also worried.
"You have one shot left, make it count." Hayashi reminded him. Horio then took a deep breath and hit the ball. It looked spot on and everyone had their hopes on it. Then it made contact with the can, surprising the second years, but the can didn't tip over, surprising everyone else. At that moment, Ryoma had heard something and finally understood what was going on.
"Gahh, I was soo close." Horio sighed, relieved from the pressure.
"Well, the consequence was 200 yen right? Here." The boys handed in their share.
"Oh, I think you guys are mistaken. The cost was 200 yen but then there's a ball rental fee of 500 per ball. So each it's 5200 yen."
"Huh?! We don't have that kind of money." Kachiro panicked. Everyone else also looked a bit panicked but they couldn't bring themselves to rise against their sempais.
"Well, I wonder what we're gonna do about that." Ikeda wondered tauntingly.
"Maybe you guys can work off the debt by working for us." Arai came to the conclusion.
"But..." Katsuo felt a knot in his stomach.
"Oi, even if I'm not part of the club, I was part of the problem so let me try too." Ryoma spoke out much to the groups surprise.
"But Ryoma-kun, it's really difficult." Kachiro tried to reason.
"Yeah, and even if you do know how, it's impossible." Horio blurted as well.
"You know if you try, it'll be 5200 for you too." Hayashi told him.
"Don't try to be the hero and saved them, just save your wallet." Arai teased.
"You afraid to get shown up by someone not part of the club?" Ryoma teased back.
"Ryoma-kun!" the freshmen trio knew that the emerald haired boy was now showing his bad side.
"Fine, do what you want. But if you lose, don't come crying and saying you weren't part of any of this." Arai growled. Many murmurs were now surrounding the courts as they watched with nervousness. Ryoma then asked to borrow Horio's racket and the other gave it without a word. It went silent as the freshman took his stance and eyed the spot that he needed to hit. He knew that there was something wrong with this game and he was going to expose this in front of everyone. He absolutely hated people who picked on others just because they were younger.
"You can't hit the can directly otherwise you wouldn't be able to knock it down." He explained to the trio.
"What are you talking about kid?" Ikeda felt a bit worried.
"There are rocks in the can, right sempai-tachi?" The boy tossed the ball in the air with his left hand and it seemed like the world was going in slow motion. "Ne, if I hit this can, will you give me 200 yen?" He then whacked the ball and it flew towards the can, hitting the lid.
"S-Sugoi, he hit the can with amazing precision." Kachiro gasped. The can tipped over and revealed many rocks hidden away inside of it. There were many gasps and shocked expressions as the can tipped.
"Ahh, sempai-tachi really were cheating!" Horio accused. The three second years scowled but it didn't stop there. Ryoma grabbed another ball and hit the can over and over, denting it slightly.
"If I hit it 100 times, will you give me a million dollars?" Ryoma asked with a smirk as he looked like he was hitting the balls nonchalantly.
"W-Why isn't this kid in the club?" Hayashi wondered as his eyes were wide.
"Wh-Who do you think you are?" Arai snapped at the boy.
"Just a kid who learned tennis from his dad, but sempai-tachi, just because you were born a year before us doesn't justify you doing something like this." Ryoma's eyes turned cold.
"This kid..." Arai took a step forward before a voice called out to them.
"Oi Arai, making trouble with the first years again?" They all turned to see Momo.
"O-Oh, Momo, naw, we were just playing around with them." Ikeda said with shifty eyes.
"Something just came up, so we're leaving first Momo. Let's go guys." Arai and the other two left.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"Haa~ Momo-chan-sempai, you saved us!" Horio was overwhelmed with relief. By then, everyone had finished with the cleanup and were all going home. Momo had decided to stay a while and helped up with the cleaning just a little. Now he, along with Ryoma and the trio, were walking home.
"So why did you stay behind sempai?" Katsuo asked.
"Hmm? Well, I wanted to walk back home with you guys this time around. But more importantly..." the blackhaired boy looked towards the golden eyed boy who then looked at him curiously. "Why would you lie to me and say you didn't know how to play tennis, Echizen?"
"I didn't lie, I said that I don't like tennis, not that I didn't know how." He mumbled.
"Well, if you don't like a sport then why would you bother to learn how?! That doesn't make any sense!" Momo argued. The trio did have to agree with that, if you didn't like something, then why bother learning it in the first place?
"My dad taught me how, so there's no way of getting out of it right?" Ryoma informed. "And it was your fault for assuming that I didn't know how." Ryoma then rushed forward and turned the corner, leaving the boys behind.
"Hey Echizen, I wasn't finished yet!" Momo dashed forward as well, following but when he got to the corner, Ryoma was already gone.
"Where did Ryoma-kun go?" Katsuo asked out loud.
"Ah, he lives up there in that house. So I'm guessing he just went through the gates already." The second year told them. "My house is also past there so I'm heading this way. See you guys at tomorrow's morning practice!" He waved to them. The first years agreed and waved goodbye before walking straight.
"Hmph, that bratty kouhai..." Momo was left to ponder on his thoughts as he was walking past the Echizen home. "From his accuracy, anyone can see how good he is at playing. So why would he not join the club if he's that good?" the boy just scratched the back of his head in frustration but decided to leave the answers to his questions for later, when the kid finally decides to share his past with him.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Back at the school, Tezuka had witnessed the little game that the first years had with Arai and his friends. He wasn't happy that they were conducting unauthorized games while the first years were supposed to be cleaning but he decided to let this go for once.
"So did you see anything interesting, Tezuka?" Ryuzaki-sensei asked, interrupting his thoughts as she and Oishi turned towards him. The freshmen had all gone home but he was still looking out the window, seemingly looking at nothing.
"Sensei, who is Echizen Ryoma?"
Gahhh, that took a lot of my energy
I'm supposed to be doing online lectures but I felt bad that I hadn't updated any stories in sooo long
So I finally decided to finish this one up today
I hope you guys can forgive me
I have been neglecting my psychology class because I have to the lectures and readings at home
So that's what I've been doing for the past week, plus 3 other courses
But I will do my best to update this more regularly when I get my things straightened out
I'm suuuper sorry again~
Hope you can forgive me and please forgive any mistakes present (_ _")
I hope I'm not rushing this too much
And thanks for the support guys~
It means a lot~ (-/ / /-)
Till next time