Second year: the start of the year
A list of all the classes was posted right on the door of the school hall, and Shiraishi immediately made his way to it although he knew that he still remained in the same class. But it was not his own name that he was looking for.
Tana…no, that was Tanaka, not Takako. He continued to scan the list, hoping that her name would be there.
Tanako! That was the right last name, but it might be someone else, as her last name was pretty common. Instead of checking if it was her name, he quickly scanned his eyes down the list, to see if there was any other Tanako in their class.
There wasn’t, so he’ll have to do it now.
“Shiraishi, why are you checking the list? You know that you are staying in Class B.” one of his classmates and friends asked him curiously.
“I am just making sure.” He said, causing the other to roll his eyes slightly.
“You are always so careful. Well, there it is, Shiraishi Kuranosuke. Come on, let’s go. I don’t want to be late on the first day.”
“You are always late.” Shiraishi replied back easily, now very cheerful. He was glad that Ashita was in his class this year, as well being relieved due to the fact that he spot her name before his friend came, as he wasn’t sure how he would explain.
Most of his class members were outside the class room, as their teacher believed that the best way to arrange her student’s seating was to line them up in height order before they even enter the room.
He actually saw Ashita even before she even noticed him, she was talking to some girls rather animatedly, laughing. One of them seemed to be one of her friends from Class C, who also might have managed to move up.
They have talked to each other in the holidays, and then used cell phones to communicate since they were both lectured for using the family phone a bit too long. But despite this, they haven’t really gone anywhere together.
She spent most of her holiday working- in the store her sister worked, while he was occupied with looking after his younger cousins. He had no siblings, but his mother’s only sister had four children in total. He liked being able to be a big brother, so he never objected to looking after them, and his aunt even pays him.
Under the careful instruction of their teacher, they begin to line up into two lines, arranged by their height. This ended up letting Ashita and him almost standing right next to each other, since they were of the same height.
“Shiraishi!” she greeted him happily. “I got in the class!”
“I know! I saw your name on the list when I walked pass the hall.”
“Class, class, please be silent as I arrange your seating.” Their teacher announced.
The two of them naturally obeyed this but they both gave the other a smile before they turned away, both hoping that they might end up sitting quite close to each other, if not sharing a desk.
Unlike some of the other junior high schools, Shitenjouki still have their students sharing desks. Instead of using single desks, they use the old fashioned large tables that were shared by two people. (Author’s Note: I guess I just want this for some weird reason, although I think most school in Japan use single desks instead of these ones. They are basically like a large table with a large space for drawers and it is divided in the middle, so because it is really large, you can have two people using it, and it is divided in half. I remember using these desks when I went to school in Taiwan quite some times ago. I just remember how it does kind of help you to become friends with the person who shares your desk.)
They begin to grow more positive as they were sure that the number of people in front of them was the same, and since their teacher rarely alters the order, they probably would end up sitting together for the whole year.
“Next table, Shiraishi Kuranosuke and Tanako Ashita.”
They both gave their teacher a brief nod, as if neither of them really cared about the outcome. Their teacher smiled good naturedly, as she could tell that they clearly want to sit together, since they kept on glancing at the other. But they did not show their relief due to worrying about the reaction of their new class mate. She was quite happy at this, as it meant that there would be one less complaint. Most of the students usually accepted her seating arrangement, but there had been extreme headaches that arose from disagreements.
Shiraishi and Ashita already had rumours attached to their names due to the fact that they often spent time with one another, so many in the class were looking at them. But the two of them were not even looking at each other, as they both seemed to be completely occupied with putting their things into their side of the desk.
“Class, please leave Tanako and Shiraishi alone just because they are being mature, as the rest of you should be.” The teacher announced. “Boys and girls are not that different and should start to mingle together.”
“Yes, sensei.” The class echoed as they finally turned away from Ashita and Shiraishi, more due to the fact that nothing was going on, and their need of sorting out their own stuffs.
Shiraishi scribbled something in his homework diary before he quickly shoved it into her side of the desk.
‘I am so glad that you are in my class, and sitting beside me, I would like us to be closer friends this year.’
A few moments later the homework diary was back in Shiraishi’s desk, only that it contained an extra sentence.
A year ago, he had entered the tennis club as a hopeful first year, one among numerous others, but now he was the captain of everyone in this room. Most of the third years smiled at him as he took his new place at the very front, one of the only two in the uniform of the tennis team. Because of this the first years were looking at him with something that was between admiration and reverence.
Overall, it was easier then he expected, he just had to give a pre written speech about the tennis team and club, along with a brief summary of what happened last year. Most of the first years were too lost in their own dreams of fame, while the second and third years were all deeply occupied with the ranking matches that would soon occur.
One thing that worried him was the gossips he accidentally heard from a couple of first years as he instructed them about the right way to hold a racquet.
“I heard that the captain is only a second year student, and was in the school team last year, even though first years aren’t usually allowed to be in the team. Apparently he managed to be in the team as he beat everyone else.”
“You three, don’t talk so much.” Shiraishi quickly interrupted them. “You have to concentrate more.”
“You are certainly famous.” Konjiki whispered as his friend walked past him. “But this will probably work against you.”
“I know.” Shiraishi said as he gestured at a group of second years some distance away. “I suppose I can only enjoy being the captain before the result of the ranking match is displayed. I only hope,” he added, “That nothing bad would happen.”
“Shiraishi! Don’t neglect us!” the only one other then him that was in last year’s team yelled out from the other end. “I might be your elder but you are still obliged to point out my mistakes as you are the captain.”
It was a reminder to both Shiraishi and anyone within hearing range: because the end of the year match made Shiraishi the captain of both the tennis team and the club, everyone was obliged to listen to him- despite any resentment or circumstances.
He felt rather disillusioned when he worked out the result of the ranking matches, he had thought that he would be happily preparing himself to welcome his new team mates for the year, and he should be happy- both Konjiki and Hitouki made into the team, while Ishida was so close that Shiraishi was positive that he would be in the team new year.
But he was unhappy as he realized that he had to be the one to handle the disappointment of those that failed to make into the team, and he realized that there were actually people who resented him in the tennis club because he had been allowed to participate in the ranking match despite being a first year, as well as the end of the year match. This was worsened by the first years who innocently repeated these gossips.
“This is not what I expected.” He admitted out aloud to the empty tennis court.
What did he expect? He thought that he would be accepted as the captain for the mere sake that he won the end of the year match, as all the past captains were, but he could not be deaf to some second years’ complaint that they might be in his position if they had been allowed to participate in the end of the year match…if they had the special privileges that he had.
“That’s all just because last year’s captain likes him, as he played double with the captain.” Someone had purposely said out aloud when he walked past, he probably said more, but Shiraishi was not in the mood to continue listening.
He was not sure what he should do. Should he remind them why the captain allowed him to join the ranking match in the first place? Because he saw Shiraishi winning against the first years, then the second years, and even beating many of the third years. This interested the captain enough to play a match against the first year, and although Shiraishi did not win, he convinced the captain of his potential and capability.
Shiraishi hit the ball with full force as he recollected the boy he had beat before he was noticed by the seniors. Would Oshitari be in his place if he had been the winner that day? At least Oshitari definitely thought so.
Oshitari would probably cause him problems when he announces the result of the ranking match, as Oshitari did not make into the team, while he, being the captain, was automatically in the team. The worst thing, he realized, was that he actually quite likes Oshitari, and if he had not end up in the team last year, they might have become quite good friends.
“I’m not even sure if I want this any more.” He realized. There probably were people who protested against his presence in the team last year, but he never really had to worry about that, as someone else- usually the captain, or a senior on the team, would defend him.
But he was the captain now. The one expected to be dealing with these problems.
Second year: exchanging secrets
He was rather quiet at dinner that night, but his parents did not worry that much, since their son was entering his second year in junior high school, and he was also the captain of the tennis team and club. It was quite natural that he was stressing slightly due to the new pressures that he would have to face.
Still, they decided to confirm this.
“Kuranosuke, the nearby temple is holding their annual festival this weekend.” His mother began tactfully as he obediently rose to help her clear the table after their dinner, making sure that every place was wiped. “Are you going to come with us tomorrow?”
“When have I not gone to it?” he asked curiously. They would always go with his mother’s sister and her family, and after he spent a certain time looking after his cousins he would be allowed to have the rest of the night to himself, spending the money that he just earned.
“Well…since you seemed a bit occupied lately…” she commented, but her son quickly assured her that the cause was simply what she and his father had already guessed.
Instead of returning to his home work, he picked up his cell phone instead, dialling Ashita’s number. They were closer now, and often spend lunch time together. He was now sure that she was not just a friend to him, as instead of feeling embarrassed at the teasing of his classmates, he almost wanted them to be true.
But did Ashita like him as he liked her? Or did he just happen to be the strange friend that she made who happened to be a boy? Were they even close friends?
Excluding their walks to the train station at most days, the only place that they went together was their classes. If they went to the festival together, then wouldn’t that be a development in their relationship?
Friends do this too, he assured himself as he pushed the dial button, so she shouldn’t be that shocked.
This was probably the first time that he would be happy to see his cousins go, Shiraishi thought as the four younger children all cluttered around him. It was not because he didn’t want to be with them, but because he really wanted to spend sometime with Ashita in a place that was not their school, or the way towards the train station.
“Kuronote-niichan,” one of his cousins began, obviously speaking on behalf of all of them, “Can you go to that stall and win the lolly jar for us?”
“What?” Shiraishi almost spat out the water he was drinking, as his cousins were never that demanding. Was the whole world really going crazy just because he wanted to be with Ashita?
“The lady at the stall said that to win the gigantic jar that big,” another one gestured, only to be quickly corrected by a younger sibling, who probably just increased the size by at least three times. “You just have to use a racquet to hit this can some distance away.”
“It’s like tennis isn’t? That sport you always talk about.” The youngest whispered, tugging at the end of his jumper, since he could not be bothered to change this time. “Mummy always says that Kuronote-niichan is really good at it.”
“And you don’t have to pay the entrance fee.” The oldest one added, “We’ve saved up all our pocket moneys ever since we saw the price last year.”
“Ok, I’ll do it.” Shiraishi said simply, as there was nothing else that he could do.
It was strange but he actually felt more nervous then what he had felt at both the ranking and end of the year match. Was it because the consequences of the loss would be so severe? To see his cousins disappointed was worse then simply losing, because if he didn’t manage to get in the team last year he still had next year, and likewise, he could still participate in the end of the year match this year. He did wish to succeed, but he would not have been that miserable if he failed, because it was not a chance that would slip away forever.
But how long would it take his little cousins to get that amount of money again, and would this price still be here a year later? He would attempt again by using his own money if he didn’t already know that his cousins would not accept it.
Young as they were, they were taught very well.
He was starting to understand why the captain had want him to pursue his perfect tennis, because some times you should make sacrifices in order to win due to the consequences of winning, or just losing.
“Please let me get this.” He whispered as he threw the ball into the air.
He must have succeeded as his cousins were soon screaming his name, one of them was even hugging his legs.
“Are they your siblings?” the woman in charge of the stall asked as she handed the jar to him. “What a good brother you are.”
“No, they are my cousins.” He quickly explained.
It was Ashita, although she looked rather different as she was wearing a yukata with sakura patterns instead of their school uniform. But he was more occupied with the fact that she was watching him with a very puzzled expression, instead of the way she dressed
“Is that Kuronote-niichan’s girl friend?” one of his cousins whispered out.
“No, no, I mean yes, I mean no.” Shiraishi began, confused at what he should say. Technically she wasn’t his girl friend, but he wanted her to be.
He saw her frowning once more as she heard his cousins addressing him by their special name for him, so that was what she was bewildered about. For a moment he was scared that her agreement of attending the festival was only in his mind.
“I was going to the place we arranged to meet when I suddenly saw you.” Ashita explained before she turned to the two that accompanied her. “Well, niichan, neechan, this is the person I’m meeting.”
They were obviously the beloved elder siblings that she had talked about, and judging from the way her sister was glaring at him, he was sure that he would not be able to make it home if he accidentally said anything that might make Ashita upset.
But Ashita was smiling at him, so he was certain that she was quite glad to be with him as well.
“She is very pretty, Kuronote-niichan.” One of his cousins giggled and upon seeing her mother approaching to collect them from their elder cousin, she yelled out. “Mummy, look at Kuronote-niichan’s girl friend!”
“I am so sorry.” Shiraishi said once more, when he and Ashita finally managed to be left alone, after her elder siblings’ warning to him and his aunt’s examination of the Ashita in a way that almost seemed as if they were marrying!
“But you family is nice, and I guess they all care for you greatly.” Ashita said. “But why do your cousins call you ‘Kuronote’? I thought your name is…”
“My first name is Kuranosuke but because of this,” he gestured to his bandaged left hand as he explained. He usually unwind the bandages when he get home and only put them back on before he goes to school, or outside during day time, but he didn’t want Ashita to see the true nature of his left hand, even though he was wearing a jumper. “They thought that my name is actually ‘Kuronote’, black-hand, as they think that the skin beneath the bandages is black”
“But why is your left hand bandaged? Every one is curious about that.” She asked innocently.
“That…that is a secret, Tanako.” He said softly.
“Can you tell me?” she asked. “I’ll tell you one of my secrets in exchange, so you can be sure that I wouldn’t tell anyone else.”
“What is your secret then?”
He was sure that he could trust her, but he never told the real reason to anyone ever since that incident in pre-elementary school. Upon seeing that part of his left hand due to a play ground accident, none of his former playmates had wanted to play with him again. Even though his class mates were all at least thirteen now, he was still a bit paranoid.
“A lot of my friends ask me why I always wear yukata when I am not in my uniform.” She began, “That is because I don’t have any other clothes. My parents died when I was very young, and at that time niichan just started university, even though neechan was beginning to work. Because of this we had little money, so neechan and I decided to save money by only wearing yukata since neechan can get cheap fabrics from her job, and make the yukata herself. Neechan is really good at this,” she added, “She made this yukata and isn’t it pretty?”
“Very pretty.” He agreed. This was quite a secret, as every one would probably gossip about her lot if they found out that she was so poor that she could barely afford clothes. “I’ll tell you only if you promise that you wouldn’t be scared.”
Seeing her nod he began, sharing something that he has never told anyone willingly before.
“I have a skin disease on this part of my hand,” he began. “It’s not contagious but…”
“But everyone usually think it is?” she said in a very understanding way, “One of niichan’s pupils had some sort of illness too, and no one would go near him, even though it isn’t contagious either.”
“That’s why I’ve never told anyone this,” he continued, “But what happens is that this part of my left hand can’t be exposed to the sun for a long time, if it does then my skin begin to have rashes and even start to peel.”
“So that is why you cover it up with bandage. But why are you doing it now? Its night time and you are wearing long sleeves.”
“Well…I was afraid that you would see it.” He mumbled. “That part is really pale and…”
“That’s silly,” she interrupted him, although her tone wasn’t angry, just a bit exasperated. “I am not just going to stop liking you because your skin is different from every one else’s.” she scolded
What…what did she just say? That she liked him? But maybe that was only the way that a friend might like another friend.
“You like me?” he repeated dumbly. “Really?”
She gave a nod, although she was blushing now. “I like you, I really do.”
“I like you too,” he told her very shyly, “Ashita…daisuke.”
She nodded once more as she accepted his stretched hands.
“I like you the best too.”
Author’s Note: I thought this chapter was quite fun to write, especially the scene at the festival. To be honest, I initially didn’t thought this would end so long, it’s mainly due to the festival scene. Initially it was just going to be the two of them meeting up and confessing to one another. But I like the additional bit of his cousins, as that is kind of a way to show the development of his character.
In regard to his hand, I know that he used it to scare Kentarou but I really don’t think that he would purposely bind up his hand in order to do that, so I really think that there was something wrong with his hand in the first place that requires him to bandage it up. Well, Oshitari is naturally referring to the Oshitari in Osaka, not the one that went to Tokyo. Just in case although I’m sure that everyone knows.
In regard to what they said to each other at the end of the chapter: daisuke, it means ‘like the best’ and it is usually used by younger children more. So that’s how Shiraishi and Ashita got together and once more I have to point this out: they are very young, only thirteen.
Shiraishi’s name is Kuranosuke but his cousins call him Kuronote because as I said, they thought that his hand is black due to the bandages and sort of mishearing his name when he was first introduced him. I just wanted to do this bit, although I’m not even sure whether anyone would be calling him that later on. But basically Kuronote is like a nickname from his cousins. Kuro means black, while te means hand. So combined together it roughly means black hand.
Second year: to be the captain
As Shiraishi expected, Oshitari and many of the second years who failed to make into the team immediately protested as he read out the result.
“What is unfair about it?” Shiraishi asked, forcing his voice to be rather cold. “You all participated in the ranking matches but did not have enough wins to be it the regular team.”
“Shiraishi is right.” The vice-captain added quickly. “And Oshitari, you will not be in Shiraishi’s place even if you had won against him that day a year ago. I’ve played against you both and I can tell you right now that he is better then you.”
“Then let him proof this by beating me right here.”
“You cannot expect someone, even if he is the captain, to win every single match.” Shiraishi said disapprovingly. “It wouldn’t mean anything…”
“It might show that I only lost to you last year due to chance.” Oshitari retorted back sharply.
Shiraishi has semi-assessed both his and Oshitari’s skills by the result of last years’ end of the year match, and this year’s ranking match. He was probably able to beat Oshitari, but he was not absolutely certain.
“Shiraishi, you probably have to do this,” the vice-captain advised him. “I know that it is not a smart thing but…”
“Given our situation right now, I have to beat him in order to maintain peace for the club and team.” The younger captain acknowledged the truth bitterly.
I have to win, he realized.
This was exactly like the incident in the festival during the weekend. He was in a situation where he would do anything in order to win as the consequences of losing was simply too great.
At least he had his perfect tennis- that should help him.
“Alright,” he finally announced. “But I want everyone to know that this is only happening because after I beat Oshitari last year, I was asked to play with the seniors- which eventually led to the Captain breaking rules for me. What we will do is only allowed,” he repeated again, “because he might easily have been the one in my place. It is only due to my breeching of rules in the first place that allows us to ignore the rules of our school.”
Seeing the nods of agreement from everyone, including the trouble makers, he turned to directly address Oshitari. “If I win, then you will accept me as the captain, but if you win, you will only take my place as a member of the tennis team, and you will play against all the regulars in order to decide who the new captain will be. This is fair isn’t it? Since I had to play against everyone to be the captain.”
“He will only be the vice-captain if he is unable to win against me.” The vice-captain butted in heatedly. “If he fails what you succeeded in.”
“Yes and that too. Oshitari, do you agree?”
The two second years immediately moved into position upon Oshitari’s nod in order to begin the match.
Oshitari, as Shiraishi recollected, was unusually fast. But luckily, this would not hinder him as no matter how fast you were, what you could do with the tennis ball was still limited; and because he studied all the rules of tennis in order to develop his perfect tennis, he was relatively familiar with all of them.
Since Shiraishi was not finding the match that difficult, Oshitari was naturally experiencing the very opposite. He could not understand how Shiraishi was managing to counter his every move despite being much slower then him- it almost appeared as if Shiraishi was foretelling what he was doing.
“Right now, Oshitari relies on his speed too much.” The vice-captain commented. “As for ‘our captain’, it seems that he can predict what his opponent will do.”
“This is because he knows all the rules of tennis much better then us,” the only senior who was in the team last year explained. “He can predict what Oshitari will do quite correctly because he knows how each serve is formed, as well as what the ball will do.
“This is perfect tennis.”
The victory of Shiraishi over Oshitari ensured most people’s obedience, if it failed to gain their admiration and respect. This was one of the first occasions that caused him to wonder about the importance of winning. He also began to feel that he must win every single match since he was the captain, least he was doubted once more.
He started to use his perfect tennis more and more as the year went passed, likewise he was spending so much more time on practising.
However, the real cause happened in the semi-final of the nationals, when they played against Rikkai.
Shitenhouji lost all of their first three matches.
Yes, all three matches were very intense and Rikkai only managed to win by a very narrow margin in each match. But did that matter at all? No matter how close or exciting the matches were, the winners were the winners, while his own team would eventually end up being regarded as only the ones who lost- not the team who might have won, or the team who gave Rikkai their greatest challenge in the nationals this year.
For his team mates’ sake, he participated in their wild celebrations upon their return to Osaka. He even cheerfully told every one that they should all be celebration as they won their last competition in the nationals, therefore taking third place.
It was not as if he was lying, yet he felt as if he was. He believed that he failed his captain- who broke all rules by allowing him to participate in the ranking match in his first year, and then letting him be the captain, as well as spending so much of his own time in teaching him personally.
Was that why he found himself wandering in the empty school instead of going home like everyone else? He spent a long time staring at their latest award and kept on asking himself why he wasn’t happy, before he finally gave up and went out to the tennis court instead.
“You wanted me to be the captain so I could take our team far, because you thought that I have the potential do so.” He said out aloud as he began to serve. “But did I really succeed?”
He began to question whether another person in his position would have done a much better job then him, whether things might have been different if someone else had been the captain this year.
He didn’t notice how hard he was swinging his racquet until Ashita forced him to stop by grabbing the racquet away from him. As soon as he stopped, he realized that his hands were so sore that they were almost limp.
“Kuranosuke, what are you doing?” Ashita demanded, almost screaming at him. “What is wrong with you?”
After a long silence, he told her the only thing that he could think of: “I am practising. But how come you are here?”
“Practising at this time?” she snapped back. “On this night too? And you want to know why I am looking for you?” she continued sharply. “I waited at least an hour for you before I decided to leave and find you.”
At her words, he immediately remembered that they had arranged to go on a date today. How could he forget about this out of all things? And she said that she waited for an hour, so he must have been here for at least two hours.
By now she had forced him to sit down on one of the benches. She then sat beside him with his racquet out of his reach by placing it on her other side.
“Ashita… Are you angry with me?”
“I was,” she admitted, using her free hand to touch his forehead. “But I am worried now. Anyone would be after they saw their boy friend practising tennis as if he was possessed. I almost hope that you are sick, because if you are not, then I seriously don’t know what is wrong with you.”
“I…I just feel bad at the result.” He confessed, as she was the only one that he could tell this too.
“Kuranosuke, our school is third out of the whole of Japan,” she began gently, “You told me that the last time our school was in the nationals was about four years ago and did not even reach the quarter finals. So, why are you unhappy about such a good result?”
“I know that but I just feel that I should have done better. The last captain…”
“Would be so happy at what the team achieved with you as their captain.” She interrupted him, in frustration this time. “It is not as if things will be that different if you are a third year now!”
“I have to practise as I want to be the captain again, Ashita.” He suddenly announced, continuing over her loud protest of ‘are you even listening to me?’ “To redeem myself by taking Shitenhouji to the finals next year.”
“What can you do next year that you haven’t already done this year?” she decided to try a different approach since her previous attempts of reasoning were clearly failing.
“To play with winning as the only purpose.” Shiraishi said grimily. “To ensure that I will win by always playing a tennis that is perfect.”
“But you don’t like playing that way…”
“If I am the captain then it is not just about me, because I will be responsible for the whole team. I am obliged to do anything that would help my team to win. I did not do it this year, so…”
Ashita was torn between wanting to scream at him, or retorting to literally beating some sense into him, as she was just so frustrated right now. She couldn’t understand why he was acting like this! Every one else in the tennis team were really happy at their schools’ achievement- as they should be.
Somehow she ended up clinging onto him instead, perhaps it was because she already guessed the full extent he would go to in order to achieve his goals.
“Last year was relatively good, and until now I am very happy this year due to you.” She said wistfully, upon his puzzled look. “But I think next year will be very different.”
He used his perfect tennis at this year’s end of the year match, and it did help him to reach his goal of competing for the position of captain. Ironically enough, his final opponent was Oshitari Kenya.
Oshitari has clearly used the year to strengthen himself, as he was no longer solely focusing on his speed and his other skills were much better. But Shiraishi himself had changed as well, not only has he decided to use perfect tennis from now on, he actually improved his own use of the tactic, not the actual thing because it was not possible to develop perfection.
But that was why perfect tennis was so boring.
The result of the game caused something that has never happen in the school tennis team before, the captain in one year would be the captain next year as well.
Shiraishi did not gloat in anyway, although he was very glad that he maintained his title. He simply walked to the net and offered his hand to the one that he defeated once more.
“You will be the vice-captain and a member of the tennis team next year.” He stated. “So can we finally put aside all our past problems and work together for next year?”
Oshitari grabbed the hand and shook it without any hesitation.
“You had my respect ever since you won against me at the start of the school year.” He replied back earnestly. “And now you increased it, because I finally realize what a skilled tennis player you are.”
“That’s just because I practice more then anyone else.” He said modestly.
At this reply, most members in the tennis club begin to mutter in semi-agreement. They all know that their captain often remain in the tennis court even after the club finished, while some third years could recollect how they used to see him practising in the early morning of last year. Of course, anyone who wished to join him could do so, but most discovered that they were unable to do that much.
“Let us all do whatever we can in order to go further next year.” Shiraishi announced.
Author’s Note: This is my reason of why Shiraishi have the idea of playing perfect tennis, as I said before, I think the sudden pressure and responsibility have a factor in what happens to him, and I hope that this chapter shows this.
I know that in the actual story there isn’t any 3rd or 4th place for the nationals, or at least it was never mentioned, but I decide to change this- in this story, Shiraishi and his team last year was third. I think it’s quite possible since they gave Rikkai the toughest fight, so they must be really good.
As for Oshitari in this chapter, well…I just decided to use him. So he and Shiraishi had some conflict but this is resolved so they end up as good friends. I don’t know but I think that this is not that impossible. It seems that their school doesn’t have a vice-captain, or at least we were never told. But I like to think that Oshitari being the vice-captain is not that impossible.
By the way: A big presumption that I have in my story: I am presuming that their school is co-ed.
Lastly, in regard to his perfect tennis- I don’t understand anything about tennis and my memories of tennis is that I couldn’t even serve a ball properly when I had to do it in school. I’m not reading the magna for tennis, but for the characters. But what I said about his perfect tennis is my theory, and as I saw someone said online- he was countering Fuji’s tennis by the rules, eg. that was what you are meant to do. So I think to an extent he can kind of predicts some stuff, like I think he managed to get the ‘disappearing serve’ because he knows that the ball is more likely to go that way or something. But it’s not the same as data tennis.
I’ll be moving onto their third year in the next chapter.