目前日期文章:200801 (27)

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As always I never get enough done in my holidays, I planned to do a heck lot more then what I actually did. It seems that my blog usually suffers the most. I planned to have a lot more reviews but it seems that I wouldn’t get that much done. I meant to make a review about Baldur’s Gate 2 (the role playing game that introduced me to RPG- role playing game) as well as numerous mode guides. The problem is that I already can’t remember that much now since it is about two years ago, or at the very least one and a half year ago or so.

But anyway, I guiltily admit that I have spent a large proportion of my holidays playing Neveriwinter nights 2. Good game…and the truth is I got more then a bit addicted. And the problem is that I ended up charging through the game because I just really want to see that happens… which is bad because I didn’t get to do some of the side quests. I will replay it but even if I do it soon I won’t be playing it much because my holiday is going to end in a week or so, so I have to control myself. But anyway…this entry will contain thoughts about the game and maybe I can have more entries talking about the plot/storyline and the non-plyaing-characters who will join your group- ie.your henchman…

 first of all, the size of the game…it is too BLOODY BIG! You have to have 1GB of RAM to play this. In my case my computer just has this, so I can just play the game, but surely everyone know that when your thing have the minimum requirement it will actually not perform that good? Initially I was considering giving up because the mouse moves really slow and my PC seem to be running instead of walking, so you can imagine how ‘fast’ walking will be. Luckily albatross-sis managed to find a way to handle this. We basically make the resolution much lower, and basically turn off most of the flashy effects- shadows, weather and all kind of that stuff. And then the game is actually PLAYABLE!!! Running is running!!! And despite everything the animation is still really good.
 Some of the animations are so pretty!!! And one aspect of the game that I really like is that sometimes you can see animated films of your henchmen talking to each other, and sometimes they do the same when they talk to you. It is as if this is an animated film. Basically you don’t just see this tiny minature figure of about 2 cm on your screen, you can see your characters as if you are watching some sort of an animated film…So it is really cool in that aspect.
 One good thing, I suppose it is a good thing is that they sort of force you to have all of the NPC at one stage, because you have to have some NPC in order to get some quest done. This sort of differs from Neverwinter nights 1.
 One very weird thing about the game is that there is no sense of time, in the other RPGs there is always a sense of time, your entry will have the game time and in the bioware series you can usually have the game time shown when you hold your mouse over the key on the screen that let you pause. And your game will be saved in game time as well. However, in neverwinter nights 2, there is no sense of time as the game is only saved in our time and your entries don’t have the game time at all. So basically you never know how much time passed in the game world. This is strange cause this is the first time I can remember playing a RPG game without knowing what the game time is, but yet it is actually pretty smart. Because most of the time the time in the game world does not matter. Although there are occasions where it does. But most of the time it does not.
 As mentioned before, the animation is really good, and some of the costumes are really nice. They have this new class- a warlock- and although I still don’t get what it is (it seems a mixture of a mage and a fighter) I really wanted to play one because the clothing is super sexy! I always play a female the first few times so I am only speaking for the female PC’s clothing, but a female warlock have this really awesome as outfit, it honestly make the wearer look really sexy. But I still decided to be good and play a fighter related class- a monk. In my opinion it is much easier to get through the game as a fighter related class. And the detail is really good too.
 Another unique thing in the game…your character’s death. In the Baldur’s Gate series if your PC die then you are screwed, you reload. But if the NPC die when they are still in your group then you can resurrect them. The icewind dale series differ because your whole group is made up of characters you created. (basically in baldur’s gate you get a six people group, and your PC is one, the other five are NPCs created by the designers…in Icewind dale you get a six people party but they are all PCs you created, there are no NPC created by the game designers that can join you.) So in Icewind dale you will only have to reload if all six of your party die. You can just cast a spell to resurrect them. In neverwinter nights 1- the original campaign, if your henchman dies then they just disappear and you can find them next time you go to the temple of Tyr (recollect the all wonderful stone of recall that I have mentioned), but if you die then you have to reload, although you can ‘respawn’, you will find yourself in the temple of Tyr and you can just continue the game from where you left, but you get your experiences and gold deducted, so most of the time it is better to re-load. In the neverwinter nights 1 expansion the same theory applies, the pc can’t die, but if their henchmen die then you have to resurrect them (with a rod of resurrection that you can buy and find throughout the game.)
 Having said all this…Neverwinter nights 2 is very…interesting. The PC can die, you will only have to reload if all of your party die. Note, your group is usually made up of four people- including you, but sometimes you are allowed to have five people in total. But the strange/funny thing is this: Once the fight is over the character in your group that died will just jump back up. They will have only one hit point so you probably have to rest, but the really weird thing is that they just jump back up themselves, no need to bother about any spell or anything, it is all automatic… But a big problem then exist: you can’t escape the area if some of your party members are dead.
 Neverwinter nights really mean ‘your party have their own opinion’ when they said that line, unlike Baldur’s Gate…in the game you basically control one person, and most of the time that is your PC. But if you click on another NPC then you can control them. But the problem is that those not under your control will have a mind of their own. Basically this is what happened…an illustration…
 I was in a fight and there were only a few enemies left and it was basically at a situation where I will soon win without much difficulty. But the sorceress in my group then cast this big destruction spell. (basically it is as if someone used a bomb in order to kill a rat…) And there was this other time when I clicked on the sorceress because there was a large group of enemies in front and I wanted to cast a fireball spell (area spell) during this time my PC, who only had a few injuries, drank one of the potions. Which was unnecessary since there was no fighting yet, and she isn’t that injured as to need it. Basically, you only really get to control one character at a time so be careful…
 MAJOR COMPLAINT: the game ends up being really hard at the end. Really really hard. It is more realistic but I am still complaining because it is REALLY HARD TO FINISH! As someone said in their website: they don’t mind a hard battle that last long but they start to have doubts when half of these times were spent reloading the game. I am not kidding, the end is probably the hardest I have played. Even worse then Icewind dale 2 because that was just due to the final final fight. In this game it starts from the latter half of the final chapter. I admit, I started to use a cheatcode for most of the latter half of the final chapter when things get desperate because I couldn’t be bothered to work out a way… But…in the Baldurs gate and icewinddale series the enemies you kill have the same amount of experience. Eg. A goblin might give 10 experience, it doesn’t matter how good you were when you killed it, whether you spend 10 minutes or seconds to destroy it. Also, if you are level 10 or something, and your enemies is only level 1 then they are not likely going to be able to harm you, even if there are twenty of them. Unfortunately the same thing does not apply in neverwinter, so you might have to fight about twenty goblins and get really little experiences even though you had a hard as fight…that is another reason I used cheatcodes…
 I don’t know if it was because I build up this really great anticipation due to charging through the game but I was really disappointed at the end, because I feel a sense of “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS IS IT?” a sense of un-fulfillment. Laugh, maybe it is because I hoped for a happily ever after ending. Likewise the romance really disappointed me, especially when I actually quite liked the ones in never winter nights 1 one, but more about these two bit in the summary and character section. (if I get to do them, hopefully I’ll get to do them…)

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autumnleaf16 發表在 痞客邦 PIXNET 留言(0) 人氣()

For some reason I feel like putting this up. When I started to read about prince of tennis I have only heard the Atobe, Shishido, Sanada and Yuushi version (for explanation please see previous entries). Then I heard the Ooishi version. At that time I, like many other, naturally wonder about who will get to sing the next version. Although I didn’t think it was likely for Shiraishi to be able to sing the 2008 version, I still tried to picture what it might be like- I ended up seeing Shiraishi singing with Koharu and Yuuji doing the back up vocal, and I can see this happening in the interval- Koharu’s praises will lead to Yuuji shouting at him and so on, typical Shitnehouji stuff really.

To be honest, my secret hope was naturally that Shiraishi will get to sing it but my bet was on Yukimura and Tezuka. With the exception of Shishido it really seems a buchou/fuku-buchou song. (Yuushi would be the fuku-buchou of his school if they have one, at least that is what I think…) for those of you who have read my previous entries will know that I believe Yukimura’s version will be quite a tragic version, you kind of feel that it is the last valentines day and all that… Or Tezuka…because it was some sort of competition between Atobe and Tezuka and since Atobe won Atobe get to sing it. Basically I was really really shocked to learn that Kai from Higa would be singing it. (which is probably what the majority feel.) Granted that he is revealed to be the fuku-buchou of Higa but still…I think Kite deserves to sing it. (Okinawa style, and the seiyuu for Kite really is from Okinawa….)

But one day I got bored (yes, I know) and I then had the idea of writing what might be the conversation that goes on if Shitenhouji get to sing this song. But someone I ended up using Zaizen and Kenya instead of Koharu and Yuuji doing the back up vocal… So this is it…what might be happening if Shiraishi get to sing the song, as well as having the back up vocal done by Zaizen and Kenya. (I suppose this is not that absurd because one do sort of get a feeling that Shitenhouji’s other doubles pair, other then Koharu and Yuuji, is Kenya and Zaizen, and they did do their best of rival players together.)

Basically name means this person is singing, and the lyrics is in the italic bit. (name: ) means the character is speaking…

Valentine kiss (Shitenhouji version)
Shiraishi: Shalala a lovely kiss (Zaizen: Kenya-senpai, what are we doing?)
Shalala a kiss on my face (Kenya: I told you already, we are here to represent Shitenhouji, as well as everyone in Kansai.)
Shalala a lovely kiss (Zaizen: But why this…song? And why us? )
Shalala a kiss on my face (Shiraishi: Are you two really doing the back up vocal?)

Tomorrow is very special, special day (Zaizen: I feel like a big idiot…)
A chance which comes around once a year (Kenya: Can you please at least try? I told you, this is very important as it will reflect everyone’s perspective regarding our school, as well as Kansai)
Oh darling, Oh darling (Zaizen: If this is so important then why can’t our coach do it with Shiraishi-buchou?)
I love you! (Kenya: He did offer but Shiraishi said…)

Everyone is delighted on this carnival (Zaizen: All the more reason for me to not do this then!)
Take the heart of your boyfriend (Kenya: I guess I better get Koharu and Yuuji to do it then…)
Oh baby, oh baby (Zaizen: This will suit them…senpai what are you saying in that text?)
Love me do! (Kenya: I am merely stating the truth, that you can’t sing at all.)

A sweet sweet chocolate (Zaizen: That is not true! I can sing!)
Even if I try and give it to you (Kenya: I doubt it, especially from what I just heard…)
Because I just don't stand out (Kenya: even Kin-chan or Gin might do much better then you.)
I might just have to use my special method to win your heart (Zaizen: I can sing! I’ll prove it to you!)

Zaizen: Valentine day kiss (Shiraishi: What did I tell you, Kenya? That is the best way to deal with him.)
Valentine day kiss (Kenya: Eh…Shiraishi…I accidentally pressed send.)
Valentine day kiss (Shiraishi: Well, I don’t think Koharu and Yuuji coming here will be that a bad thing.)
With a ribbon ... (Zaizen: That was pretty good, wasn’t it?)

Shiraishi: The sunset park the colour of wine (Kenya: That was actually not bad)
I want to experience a lovely romance (Zaizen: I told you that I can sing!)
Oh darling, oh darling (Kenya: Maybe you should sing more.)
I love you! (Shiraishi: Actually, why shouldn’t he?)

The telephone call which calls you out (Zaizen: But…but…this song is given to Shiraishi-buchou because he is the buchou.)
I want you to know how I feel (Kenya: But you will probably be the buchou next year. I mean, do you really think that Kintarou will be the buchou instead of you?)
Oh baby, oh baby (Zaizen: But…)
Love me do! (Shiraishi: here you go, Zaizen)

Zaizen: The chocolate I save to this day (Kenya: I am starting to question his ability of singing again.)
Is my very own lips (Shiraishi: don’t worry, we’ll just move to Plan B.)
In your arms (Shiraishi: by the way Kenya, I haven’t sort out the cleaning duty yet, I am still not sure about who should clean the toilet.)
I'll deliberately close my eyes for you (Zaizen: Buchou, that is abusing your power!!!)

Valentine day kiss (Shiraishi: Well, I am having doubts about whether I am a good buchou since my team members are not following my orders. So I might as well assign you to the cleaning duties, as you will have to obey, and that will make me feel better…)
Valentine day kiss (Kenya: I am impressed, although I still expect him to protest a bit more.)
Valentine day kiss (Shiraishi: haven’t you heard about what happened with Rikkai yesterday? They had to re-record their song as their fuku-buchou ended up screaming ‘that is too slack’ at their second year.)
An adult taste ... (Kenya: But is Zaizen doing this out of gratitude as you are not like Sanada from Rikkai, or is he is afraid that you might try to be like him that way?)

It's been the chocolate of love ever since that day (Koharu: Looking really good, Hikaru!!!)
Open up the silver wrapping (Yuuji: You traitor! You want to die?!)
And double check my feelings (Koharu: I can’t help it, Yuu-kun, Hikaru just looks too cute singing that song!)
Anyone and everyone will experience romance (Yuuji: This is all your fault, Hikaru!)

Shiraishi and Kenya: Valentine day kiss (Zaizen: Yuuji-senpai…please calm down…Shiraishi-buchou, Kenya-senpai, help me!!!)
Valentine day kiss (Yuuji: I am going to make you pay for this!)
Valentine day kiss (Zaizen: Yuuji-senpai, please remain calm!!!)
An anniversary of our love ... (Kenya: guess you better finish the song, Shiraishi)

Shiraishi: Shalala a lovely kiss (Yuuji: I am not going to let you get away so easily!)
Shalala a kiss on my face (Zaizen: I want to change school!!!)
Shalala a lovely kiss (Kenya: I think there is a cable there…oh, I guess I should have said that earlier)
Shalala a kiss on my face (Shiraishi: and this is valentine kiss sung by Shiraishi Kuranosuke with the back up vocal done by Oshitari Kenya and Zaizen Hikaru. We had a great time singing this song so I hope that you will enjoy it too.)

Laughs, it seems that it turned out to be Shiraishi and Kenya picking on Zaizen…at least it seems to turn into that way at the very end…

autumnleaf16 發表在 痞客邦 PIXNET 留言(0) 人氣()

Okay…this is not really a rant rant as some bit is just my opinion. I was going to do this earlier, but due to not managing I thought I might as well talk about Genius 371- which I just read.

First of all, I am not sure whether I like the match between Yukimura and Kin-chan. The reason is because there was this whole thing of Kintarou being on the same level as Ryoma, if not better as he is said to be the person closest to muga, and yet we just see him being beaten by Yukimura really fast. Of course, nothing will be wrong with this if it isn’t for the fact that we all know that Echizen is going to beat Yukimura- or at the very least be able to put up a very close match. So how come Kintarou have to suffer in order to show Echizen’s miraculously improvement, once again… but I really should have guessed this will be happening, all the rival school are basically victims and since Shitenhouji is the school in the semi-final, they will naturally suffer in the final. (even Shiraishi- the only winner from Shitnehouji, and Kin-chan, whose match end in a draw). What really bother me is not the fact that Yukimura beat Kintarou because Yukimura is said to be the very best, so we can only admit that he is better, just like we (speaking as a Shitenhouji fan) admit that Shitenhouji can only be third last year because Rikkai was better. As I said, what I don’t like is the whole idea of Echizen can have this miraculously improvement, just because he is the hero in this story, because if he is not then the same thing that happened with Kintarou would be happening to him, he would be in that state, instead of being his normal cocky self. (gosh, someone beat him, anyone!)

I don’t really like how Yukimura’s technique seem to be freaking his opponent out, since that is the impression I have when Shiraishi (is it Shiraishi? Or is it Gin? I personally think it is Shiraishi) said what he heard…

But Shitenhouji is such a friendly school! I love the shot of them all jumping down to go to Kintarou’s side. (but buchou-sama, shouldn’t you forbid Kintaoru to play a match with Yukimura since you seem to have heard of what he can do? Although whenever I read that bit when Shiraishi commented about how Kintarou is using his own way to delay time, my instant thought is this: “Buchou-sama…are you alright?” For some reason I think he is actually broken due to what he just saw in the singles 2 match…I don’t know why but I got a feeling that he is at a state of “I don’t care about anything right now…”)

I LOVE THE SHOT OF SHIRAISHI AND KIN-CHAN!!! This convince me even more (not that I need much more convincing) that Shiraishi and Kintaoru have a brotherly relationship, and that Shiraishi certainly regards Kin-chan as his little brother (that is why I really really think that he should be an only child). Well…most people seem to see them in a brotherly relationship, although many more seem to see it as a father-son relationship. (I don’t agree because for goodness sake, he is only a fifteen year old boy!!!)

I don’t know why but I’ve been seeing this really weird image in my head, after I saw Kintarou getting beaten, as well as recollecting Yukimura’s words of “Are you going to where that kid/child is?” to Sanada, I could suddenly see Shiraishi walking down to kneel beside the defeated Kintarou and address Yukimura even though he is looking at Kintarou, and then says the following: “And what will you proof by beating this child?” And then, tonight, just then, when I saw Shiraishi rushing to Kintarou’s side, I really thought that something like that might actually be happening- although the situation will differ. But I can also see Shiraishi suddenly turning away from Kintarou in order to look at Yukimura and yells out (a bit more emotional, not staying so calm. I just personally always see Shiraishi as being very calm. But maybe his elderly brother’s protective nature suddenly kicks in) “And what does doing this to this poor child actually proof for you, Yukimura Seiichi?” Hmm…maybe this will be a good fan fiction idea… but I am taking a break from doing ‘chapters’. But this might be a good idea for a shounen-ai story between Yukimura and Shiraishi (and I have been thinking about doing one…)

Note: I don't think Yukimura is wrong in anyway because it's Kin-chan who wanted to have a match with him. but yet i do kind of feels that there is no point in Yukimuar agreeing. Just kind fo a 'WHY?' And since Shitenhouji really cares for Kintarou they will probably be more emotional...which will probably be the setting of the context of this story, if I ever get to do it.

autumnleaf16 發表在 痞客邦 PIXNET 留言(0) 人氣()

Title: A ‘perfect’ gift
Written at: December 5-6, 2007
Summary: An incident on Valentines day cause Shiraishi to explain to Ashita why he would not want someone ‘perfect’ to be his girlfriend. Theme: fadf
Word count: 1442
Author’s Note: First of all this will probably be my last stories in chapter for a while, one reason I have decided to stop this is because I finally feel that I have run out of all ideas. (Although I can’t make an absolute promise as I didn’t really though that I’ll continue after the first story and I often get inspired when I read the latest genius, but right now I think I probably wouldn’t be doing this for quite sometime…I’ll try and see if I can finish my other stories).
To an extent this is probably my response to all these fan fictions I see where the OC is just perfect. I seriously can’t stand that idea: an OC that is just beyond the world perfect, being able to be good at everything. So I am trying to explore what this really means- and why it is actually not that good to be so perfect.

As the regulars of Shitenhouji were pretty popular, they would jokingly describe Valentine day as their ‘chocolate buffet day’: what they were expected to return on white day was definitely outweigh by all that they would get. Since most of them were still young boys who were not attached, they would compare and brag about the chocolates they received.
“Seems that Kenya is the clear winner again.” Chitose commented as he wrote the latest tally onto the board in the club room. “I am shocked, Zaizen! You are the only second year regular while there are so much more third year regulars!”
“This is the last opportunity girls have with third years so they naturally give more to senpai-tachi.” Zaizen retorted as he began to eat from the pile that marked him as second. “But what about buchou?”
“Shiraishi won’t be first as everyone know he’s taken.” Koharu dismissed this simply. “Although he might make you slip down a rank like last year.”
The said buchou of Shitenhouji entered with a rather trouble expression, as well as a large bag full of sweets. The latest gift he received was in a fabric bag along with a carefully wrapped box that he carried in his hand.
“Is Tanako-senpai upset again?” Zaizen asked. “My sister-in-law always used to sulk if my brother gets a lot of gifts on valentine day.”
Shiraishi answered with a nod as he dumped everything onto the table: “I can’t blame Ashita as I’ll feel quite jealous if I saw this much piled on her desk and in her locker.”
“Yes, Yuu-kun, that is what I feel too!” Koharu declared out dramatically, only to be smacked on the head with a duster by his doubles partner. “Who is the traitor?”
“By the way,” the two of them yelled out at the same time as they both grabbed Shiraishi from one side. “Where is our friendship chocolate from Tanako-chan?”
“How would I know? She hasn’t even given me anything yet.” Shiraishi muttered, and his normally patient tone was almost non-existent.
“So that bag and box is not from her?” Kenya asked. “I thought that was why you didn’t put it in with the rest.”
“No, this is from Chida-chan. She shoved these into my hands before I could even refuse. You guys take whatever you want because I am not going to eat anything from her.”
“I don’t understand why you dislike her so much as to deliberately reject anything from her.” Chitose pointed out as he unwrapped the very expensive chocolate. “I thought that any guy, regardless of having a girl friend or not, would be flattered to receive her attention.”
“Because she is what? Perfect by being good at everything, as well as being really rich?” Shiraishi said with a roll of his eyes. “I never liked her in the first place, and now I really dislike her due to the way she behaves toward…”
The very person whose name he was just going to say entered the room at that instant, but much to the disappointment of many, she only had her school bag in her hand.
“Where did that come from?” she immediately muttered, pointing to the fabric bag.
As Shiraishi began his explanation along with the emphasise that he did not want to accept it at all, someone opened the bag to reveal the chocolate butterflies in it: chocolates were melted in order to be shaped into butterflies before they were left to cool and harden.
“Chida-senpai does not seem to be much of a cook.” Zaizen laughed out as he picked up a particularly bad shaped butterfly.
“I saw an even worse one.” Shiraishi said, briefly turning away from his girl friend. “The wings are not even similar in size…”
Ashita actually turned quite pale and she quickly muttered something about having left something in their classroom before she dashed out of the boys’ tennis club room.
“Wasn’t my explanation clear enough?” Shiraishi asked with a sigh. “Is she that angry because I still received chocolate from someone she dislikes?”
Kintarou entered shortly after Ashita’s departure and his senpai all immediately noticed that he was eating the same chocolate butterflies that they were just mocking.
“She certainly knows who to bribe.” Chitose teased. “Should I count these as yours or as Kin-chan’s?”
“Kin-chan, you can have mine as well.”
“But isn’t this bad?” Kintarou actually had enough self control to halt his automatically stretching hand. “If I eat Tanako…Tanako-senpai’s gift for you.”
“Tanako-chan/Tanako-senpai/Ashita gave these to you?”
“She put all these bags into my hand when she walked past me.” The first year said innocently. “Shiraishi, are you alright?”
Not only did the buchou of Shitenhouji have his head buried in his hands, he was also muttering the following over and over: “I – screwed- up. I – really – screwed – up.”

He only managed to find Ashita after he spent quite sometime running around because she was sitting at the far end of the field, hugging her knees.
“She…Chida…insisted on taking some of the sweets that I made, what I was going to give to you and others.” Ashita explained when he silently took a seat beside her. “If I knew that she planned to give it to you under the pretence that she made it in order for you to laugh then…”
“I am sorry.”
“Don’t apologise.” She said, her tone quite sharp. “I know that some of the butterflies looked really bad. But it just still hurt to see you making fun of it…Kuranosuke, don’t lie by telling me that it isn’t that bad, because I saw how you would judge it if you are not biased.”
“But I was still biased because I dislike her a lot.” He pointed out. “Ashita, I really am happy that you made them for me, that you went through all this trouble instead of just buying something from the supermarket. This is why I am truly happy at your present, even if they do look a bit strange.”
“I gave all the remaining ones I brought along to Kintarou as I thought that it is too ugly. But I still have some at home.”
“They are just not perfect.” He corrected her. “I think that is why we were all picking faults with it, because we thought that ‘Miss Perfect’ made it.”
“You should have guessed that she is always so perfect.” Ashita said rather bitterly. “Rich, beautiful, high grades…”
“But you are the person that I like.” He interrupted. “Ashita, I would still not like her if you don’t exist, and it will be because of her perfection.”
“How come?”
“I don’t like perfect tennis but I must admit that it taught me a very valuable lesson: it made me realise that imperfection is so much better then perfection. When a thing or a person becomes perfect then they become boring because there are no more changes. I don’t want my relationship to be like a single repetition of a particular day.
“A person will give the others too much pressure if they are perfect. If I am her boyfriend then I’ll feel that I have to be as good as her- I’ll probably just end up trying to keep on pleasing her instead of being happy myself.
“That is why…” his words trailed off when he saw that his girl friend has leaned back and closed her eyes. Her very even breathing then indicated that she really was asleep.
“And to think that I just made one of the best speeches in my life.” He said with a fond sigh as he took off his regulars’ jacket in order to drape in over her like a blanket, and as he did so he heard her mutter something about her baking.
“Who is the single minded person this time?” he whispered.
He couldn’t help but to wonder whether she actually did stay up all night in order to make these butterflies for him, just like what she did for his fifteenth birthday present. She barely slept the night before as making that sweatband turned out to be much harder then what she originally thought.
The final sewing was still not that good as some lengths between the outer and inner band were larger then the other parts, while the stitching on the joint was a bit too tight- causing the two ends to be scrunched up instead of being flat.
But it was this imperfection that made this sweatband special, these very faults reminded him that Ashita made this for him and that he could not just get something identical by going to the local sports store.

Author’s Note: As I said before, one motivation I have from the story is to attack the idea of a perfect OC, I don’t really know why but I just seriously can’t stand that- an OC that is so perfect and can beat the boys and anything (this is not because I am sexist but I am just sick of another “Princess of Tennis”. So hopefully this idea came through, and another idea I think it will actually be quite bad for one of these boys to have a girl friend who play tennis (unfortunately this idea couldn’t fit but I got quite angry when I saw people saying how impossible it is for Sakuno to get together with Echizen since she doesn’t play tennis). But if she is really good then you might get jealous, if she isn’t then she might feel insecure.
Although I still don’t know why I really can’t stand these oh so perfect OC at least I manage to show that I think they are actually quite unrealistic and will probably not result in a perfect relationship.

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First of all, message to Satsuki-sis: Thank you so much for the text of support. I think I am better now, but I am still not ready to reveal any detail about the ‘incident’, I sort of still need to think about it, but the problem is that I don’t really want to think about it- kind of shows by me typing up this entry instead. I am still in the process of recovering…(end of message)

I have a long rant I want to do. Ok, there is this new girl at work, she came at about November’s end and after having worked with her for three times I realised something: I DON’T LIKE HER. I SERIOUSLY DON’T LIKE HER.

1) She wastes food. I guess this is just one of my personal disapproval. Ok, in my mum’s opinion I waste money by buying useless stuff, by buying expensive food. (my mum disapprove me buying canned drinks from vending machines) but my defence is that I don’t usually throw away something without getting something back. Eg. I get something in return when I buy stuff, but if I throw away food then that is a waste. Ok, I can understand if it is a case of you biting into something and realise that it is so disgusting that you really can’t eat it, because that has happened. But in this case…

On her first night she was eating our u-don (one of the best part of my job: free food…) and she only ate about half. She then asked me this: “how do I get rid of this?” I naturally thought that she meant she can’t finish it so she want to put it somewhere and take it home. So I said this to her and much to my shock she said this: “No, I want to get rid of it. I want to throw it away. I ended up half forcing her to take it home by saying she is really wasteful if she does that. (and I really hope that she didn’t just chuck it away.)

2) Food wasting incident number 2. Aka spring onion incident. This is a Japanese restaurant so we sell miso soup and miso soup have spring onions in it. Just a few small pieces. We only put two or three pieces (I personally don’t know why you do it anyway…) and she put about 10 times more. So I took all the extra ones out and put them in a spare bowl, so later on I would just grab spring onions from that ball instead of opening the fridge (where the rest are.) at the end of the night she needed to use a spare bowl so she took that one and I saw her tilting the bowl near the bin. I know that she was going to throw it away if I didn’t stop her, why else would you be in that position? This irks me quite a bit because you just don’t do this, even if the food is cheap, and in this case it is not. I heard that spring onions cost quite a bit, and it is not even her food, it is not as if she brought it.

3) She also presumes a lot. On the same night as the spring onion incident she said she is going to stir fry something and said she’ll make me one too. I told her very politely, “No, thank you, kind of the offer but no thanks, I want to eat something else.” And so I made whatever I wanted to eat, and was eating that. But it turned out that she still made two and upon my refusal of taking it said: “Don’t you eat onion?” I think what angered me is her presumption of making that food for me when I told her no, I don’t want it, and showed this by eating the stuff I made for myself, and doesn’t she realise that all these stuff does cost?

4) But ultimately what really angered me is this final incident. At work there is this iron tray along with various cooking utensil. It is very oily and whoever get there first wash it. You can do a “I can do it for you” if you want to, my sister’s friend who used to work there did that when I first started, likewise my boss’ wife, because that thing is hard to wash. And depending on the situation you can say: “Ok, thanks, can you do it?” or “Nah, it’s ok. I can manage.” And that is the end of that.

In this girl’s case she just as good as half shoved, half pulled me away. I don’t really understand why but this made me really angry, I almost want to slap her. I don’t really understand why as she is doing this without malice, but it just anger me. Maybe it is because this is an intrusion of my personal space? My biggest trouble now is that I don’t know how to make a stand for myself without making a scene. I don’t want to clutch and bend over the sink, because it is not as if I really love doing that task. Although the good thing is I’ll only be working one more day with her, and the person who originally works on Friday will be coming back in January.

5) I think she seems quite posh, although she doesn’t exactly look like one. According to both my mum and sister my clothes get some oily and sauce smell when I get back, I don’t know as I think I lack both a sense of taste and smell. So you get changed, which is what everyone do. But my co-worker would wear a bandana to protect her hair. This is not that bad but she also put on these rubbery gloves to scrub do even the lightest task of washing (we have the rubbery club for serious cleaning) Even if she just have to wash one relatively clean pot she still put on gloves…

This made me recollect what Albatross-sis said to me one day. She said that there are girls in the lab that shrieks at the lightest acid being on their hand, according to her the acids are completely harmless and having these splashed on your hand is seriously not a big deal. She then said she can’t understand the girls who insisted on wearing gloves for every single thing, and that why are they doing chemistry if they can not handle this? I can’t help but to think about this too, if she can not stand the slightest possibility of her hand being harmed as to wear gloves the whole time then why the heck is she working as a kitchen hand? Because you are required to wash and scrub a lot.

In regard to this last incident I am not saying that she is wrong, but I am just saying I don’t understand why.

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I suddenly feel like putting one of my what if fan fictions…so here is one. After reading some one’s review about the prince of tennis games I decided that Yuushi (as I said, I can not manage to think of Oshitari Yuushi as just Oshitari, as I’ll immediately think of both cousins…) is just like an upper class version of Sengoku- I mean, the stuff he says to girls... but then Kenya does not seem to be like him at all, so I can sort of see a case of Yuushi pestering Kenya about possible girl friends, about pick up lines, and I can so see Kenya thinking: “Gosh, why does this guy have to be my relative?”

This then caused this what if fan fiction…I know that Kenya is not the fukubuchou but for the purpose of my stories he is, since I’ve made him the fukubuchou in them…


A misunderstanding due to reading someone else’s text…

(in Shitenhouji)

Kenya: “Heck, another lot of text from Yuushi, no doubt it is about that girl he has a crush on… Let’s see what he says… ‘I plan to say the following lines to her so I want you to check that they would be alright.’ I should really just tell him ‘no’ since it’s all going to be from these romantic films that he watches…Ok, first one: ‘‘Is the soft blush that appears on your lovely face due to the sunset, or is it because of me…’ (1)
Kenya: “…”
Kenya: “Why does this guy have to be my cousin…”
Shiraishi: “Kenya! Practise is starting! I can’t believe I have to come and remind you, I thought I only have to do that for Kin-chan! You are also the fuku-buchou!!!”
Kenya: “Coming!”
Kenya: “I’ll just delete them later. Gosh…thanks to Yuushi I am going to be a bit late…which is enough to make Shiraishi yell at me…”

Chitose: “Kenya, I left my phone at home so can I borrow yours?”
Kenya: “Sure, go ahead.”
Chitose: “Thanks.”
Kenya: “Wait a second…Yuushi’s text messages…”
Chitose: “(whistles)”
Koharu and Yuuji: “What is this? ‘Though I am able to close off emotions I realise that there is one emotion that I can never erase. And that is my feelings for you…’” (2)
Kenya: “Out of all the things they could have saw they have to read the message that contains how Yuushi plan to tell that girl his feelings.”
Kenya: “This is…this is not what you guys think…”
Chitose: “Now, now, Kenya, there is nothing wrong with having a girlfriend.”
Shiraishi: “What is going on? Why aren’t you guys practising?”
Koharu: “We were just a bit distracted at learning that Kenya has a girlfriend!”
Shiraishi: “Really?”
Yuuji: “This text pretty much says it all.”
Shiraishi & Watanabe: “Let me see…”
Watanabe: “Ah, Kenya has reached that age in his life! The age where he finally falls in love!”
Kenya: “It…it is nothing like that!”
Watanabe: “No need to be shy, Kenya. When I was your age…”
Kenya: “This is not from my girlfriend! It’s just my cousin asking me advice on how he should talk to the girl he has a crush on.”
Watanabe: “As I was saying, by the time I was your age there was quite a lot of girls after me! This is something that you can be very proud of.”
Koharu: “So there is no need to continue denying it!”
Zaizen: “Congratulations senpai, so that is why you have been distracted lately during practise.”
Kenya: “I have not been distracted!!!”
Zaizen: “And for being a bit late too.”
Kenya: “It is because I was reading this text.”
Watanabe: “Ah, to be young and be in love again…a grand feeling. When you want to spend every moment with that person…”
Kenya: “I’ve told you guys so many times already! It is nothing like that! Shiraishi, help me!”
Shiraishi: “Well…I suppose I can understand why you are late although I still don’t approve as you are the fuku-buchou. But if she wouldn’t distract you then tell her that she is welcome to come and watch our practise anytime that she wants.”
Kenya: “…”

(in Hyotei)

Yuushi: “What is taking that guy so long in replying my text? I told him that this is very important, and that he must reply back as soon as possible. Eh? Finally…huh? What is this? ‘YUUSHI YOU BAKA I HATE YOU!’ Baka?!” (3)

(1) this is what Yuushi said in the prince of tennis games.
(2) same as above
(3) being called a baka by a person from Kansai is much more offensive then being called a baka by a person not from Kansai. That is why Yuushi is so surprised.

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I must say, I have been wrong!!! I was talking to this girl online, well…not talk talk, but talking via e-mail. And anyway through various bribes and threats and negotiations she keep on asking me to put my long entries under link. Initially I was just “No way!!!” but then due to latest bribe I decided to give it a go. So I put some of my link yesterday and I was thinking about deleting them today, so they are not under cut due to thinking that I shouldn’t just be like this, when I realised that my blog is looking much better due to the link/cut. So…

I have been wrong. She is right.

But anyway, I was at work the other day (which remind me, I have quite a lot of rant in regard to work that I want to put up.) but anyway, I heard the song “what about me” from the nearby radio and I just had a big shock, as that song seemed so applicable to my life at that stage. I had a fight with my sister at that time and the reason is because I felt that she doesn’t ‘respect’ me at all, that it is always about what she feel- that she refuse to even think about what I am feeling. But I mean, we were eating out and I told her that I don’t like people eating from my food. To be honest, I think it is more due to the fact that I don’t think I have a choice, so that is why I really don’t like it. And I seem to be proven right as my sister said the following: “I don’t care if you don’s like it or not but I am doing it anyway” That line still angers me even now…(although hitting my key board in anger is probably a really bad idea.) yes, I should snap back but I don’t want to argue with her as there has been times when arguing with my sister almost caused my mum to have a break down…

This is the song…taken from some website…

What About Me Lyrics (by Shannon Noll)
Well there's a little boy waiting at the counter of a corner shop
He's been waiting down there, waiting half the day
They never ever see him from the top
He gets pushed around, knocked to the ground
He gets to his feet and he says

What about me, it isn't fair
I've had enough now I want my share
Can't you see I want to live
But you just take more than you give

Well there's a pretty girl serving at the counter of the corner shop
She's been waiting back there, waiting for her dreams
Her dreams walk in and out they never stop
Well she's not too proud to cry out loud
She runs to the street and she screams

What about me, it isn't fair
I've had enough now I want my share
Can't you see I want to live
But you just take more than you give

So take a step back and see the little people
They may be young but they're the ones
That make the big people big
So listen, as they whisper
What about me

And now I'm standing on the corner all the world's gone home
Nobody's changed, nobody's been saved
And I'm feeling cold and alone
I guess I'm lucky, I smile a lot
But sometimes I wish for more than I've got

What about me, it isn't fair
I've had enough now I want my share
Can't you see I want to live
But you just take more than you give

I think the last line of the last verse is true, really applicable too, you know that you should be grateful for what you have, you know that you are really lucky, but you still can’t help but to wish for more. You need more. I certainly feel that way, if I can be fully acceptant about my life then I would never be doing any of the shits I have done when I get depressed. I know that I am quite lucky, but yet I can still get depressed. My defence is that our pain hurt even if they are not that heavy for the mere sake that they are happening to us. That is why, I think one of the worst thing you can ever say is “you have no right to complain, because I am hurting more then you.” But then how can you be allowed to complain? Because there will be numerous others who hurt more then you.


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I am a biased person, and I freely admit that in Prince of Tennis, my main focus is on Shitenhouji, and that they are my main concern. I admit this because I pretty much read the manga for the sake of Shiraishi, after I saw his match.
However, please do not tell me that I find his sacrifice noble because I am biased for him, because I like Shiraishi due to hearing his beautiful speech in Genius 316. So tell me, what act of bias that made me like this character in this first place? What act of bias that made me like this speech from this character who is then, completely unknown to me? It is like saying you like someone’s voice and have someone saying you are only saying that you think their voice is nice because of your bias. But what bias made you think that person’s voice is nice?

But anyway, we all know that 40.5 is out, and I naturally tries to find stuff about Shitenhouji (well, I doubt that I would read Prince of tennis if Shiraishi did not exist), although it is not that easy. I wish Shitenhouji is loved more as I seriously think that they are a great school. But anyway, for now, I will just put my own comments about what few information I have discovered in regard to 40.5.

The thing is, a lot of the stuff is not what I have thought about and the problem is that I have already written my fan fiction with my own ideas. I don’t think I can change these ideas now- and I started to write these fan fictions about half a year ago, and since the author is quite inconsistent himself I hope no one will mind that much for me to continue sticking to my old ideas.

 First of all- the author’s inconsistency…a while ago there was this official merchandise, some characters get to release a necklace that have their name and date of birth on it, while the necklace is more like a little silver plate. But anyway, Shiraishi’s birthday on it is said to be at December 14. And here is a picture of the product.

But then, we look at 40.5 and his birthday is said to be in April 14. Well, same date but different month. If I am honest then I must say that I like his birthday being in April as that make him the oldest third year, and I think he is really mature. But this inconsistency is too unfair…

 Shiraishi is not an only child, but the middle one as he has both an elder and younger sister. His dad is a pharmacist while his best subject is chemistry. Seems that he is following his dad’s footsteps. And he is even in the health care committee!!!! He is also able to recognise up to 200 different types of poison plants and seem to like these type of books. As I read this I suddenly wonder whether that was what happened to this hand? I can suddenly see this picture: a really little Shiraishi went to visit his dad and then wanted to play with medicines and so he spilt some chemical onto his hand (if his dad is one of those that develop medicine).

 He is into chess and healthy gymnastic (健康体操). When I first saw the kanji I thought that it meant aerobics, but other people say it is yoga. So either way…Shiraishi seems a bit like a health freak, no wonder Kenya said the following to him at the yakiniku compeitition: “Aren’t you really into health stuff?” I mean…he even buys health good and joins health lessons. That is how he spends his allowances. (But Shiraishi…aren’t you a bit young to be doing this kind of stuff? Gosh…you can join the old people group- which already includes Tezuka, Sanada and Tachibana. Gosh…if there is such a group then buchou- Sanada, fukubuchou-Tezuka, members- Shiraishi and Tachibana and others…)

 He even likes girls who smell like shampoo, or who uses shampoo. But he dislikes girls who seem quite open and are out to get guys, or girls that disobey the rules. Well, I think he had some bad experiences with girls that seem out to get him since he is so popular.

 Shiraishi and Kenya are in the same class! Yet I still believe that they had a rivalry in the past that prevents them from being really really good friends.

 Shiraishi actually visits the infirmary the most and this kind of crack me up when I read it. The thing is, in any BL manga, the school infirmary (ie.school health room, is where these kind of stuff happens) and also…I couldn’t help but to wonder, surely Watanabe is not the teacher in charge of the infirmary? Note: In Japan, or at least from the manga I have read, you actually have to have a license and diploma in order to be the teacher in charge of the infirmary/school health room. It is much higher then the school nurse. For none BL supporter-, sorry for bringing this up.

 One of my major disappointment: KENYA IS NOT THE FUKUBUCHOU, as that player number nine really is. Sigh…I seriously think that Kenya deserves to be the fukubuchou. Kenya and Shiraishi are in the same class, so this kind of support that they probably are good friends, yet I still believe that there is something in the past that prevents them from being closer friends.

 Shiraishi’s unnamed technique, previously known to most fans as ‘that’ or ‘the spinning shot’ actually does have a name. it is known as ‘Entako shot’ and it basically just means ‘roundtable shot’. In think Shiraishi’s character is quite non-nonsense, so the name is probably literal. (that is one of the thing about the OVA that really made me angry, the fact that they didn’t show this. To me, I feel that this shot is Shiraishi’s only indulgence. It is symbolic. He allows himself this one elaborate shot even though he knows that he can do this in a much more effective and simpler way, so I think that this is another reminder of the fact that he doesn’t like perfect tennis, and that this is one of the few hints for the others to realize this.) but somehow I can’t help but to have an image of Shiraishi reading the stories of Camelot…

A reminder of what this shot is…Ok, I have ranted about the Niou transforming into Shiraishi thing so often, but the thing is, I didn’t really understand what Shiraishi’s entako shot is until I saw Niou using it as Shiraishi, (the shot was drawn more clearly in the final- singles 2) so that is why I will include this picture. NOTE: THIS IS NIOU, NIOU! BUT HE IS USING SHIRAISHI’S ENTAKO SHOT.


 Shiraishi’s have no subject that he is not bad at, he and Koharu are the only ones in Shitenhouji to have this. Most buchou don’t have any bad subject. (Kintarou is the exact opposite, apparently the five subject he is the worse at is the five most important subjects…I don’t know how that kid is going to do in his third year. I can suddenly see all his previous senpai going to his house and help him. What can I say? Kintarou is really spoilt by everyone in Shitenhouji…)

 Zaizen’s family structure gave me quite a shock. I don’t know if this is a culture thing or not, but to an extent I am a bit surprised that with the exception of Akutsu, every one of them have both parents. If this is a NZ manga then I would sort of expect maybe 1/4 of them to have step parents, single parents, divorced parents, step siblings

 But anyway, Zaizen’s family structure: Parents (ok, this is normal); elder brother (this is normal too), sister-in-law (I immediately thought the following: his brother must be quite a bit older then him, as he is only 14 but I then thought, hey maybe his brother married quite young so…), nephew (I almost sprayed out my tea at this point. It just gave me quite a shock. So obviously his brother must be quite a bit older then him, but as many said, Zaizen does seem someone that is pretty spoilt- the way younger child.

 Shitenhouji’s uniform…well, their girls’ uniform. I don’t know what I can say about it. It…it…there is no word for me to describe it so I will just put up the picture from 40.5, it is in Japanese but from the kanji, it seems that it is yellow at some part. Because their boys’ uniform is the normal gakuran I thought that the girls’ uniform would just be the serafuku (the sailor outfit) and I was just wondering colour it would be. But I still think that Yamabuki is worse because their boys’ uniform is really weird too.
.

 I finally saw the order of their first game- the second round, against Okahura and well…
Singles 3: Zaizen: 6-1 (I really believe that Zaizen would get to play the first match of the nationals but I thought he might get 6-0 as he is a tensai afterall! Unless he has the same mistake as all the tensai? He likes to let his opponent get some points? Then I must say he is pretty good since it is only one game. Although this seems quite contrary to Shitenhouji’s teaching- at least what they think is their teaching)
Double 2: Gin and Koharu: 6-0. (the first tea spraying incident. I just…I don’t see how this work. I suddenly got a bad feeling that Watanabe and Shiraishi might just randomly pick the orders since they know they will definitely win.)
Singles 2: the previously unnamed fukubuchou: 6-0. (perhaps Konomi-sensei is trying to tell us that he is a really good player. However I still can’t really care about him, even though he is a member of Shitenhouji.)
Doubles 2: (this is the second tea spraying incident.) Chitose and Shiraishi: 6-0. (my first thought: “Well, there goes all my theory about Shiraishi, how he doesn’t play doubles anymore because of his perfect tennis. And that he only played in the semi-final. This all goes out of the window!” But why on earth did Shiraishi say he haven’t had a match for quite sometime? He just had one not that long ago. But it seems Shiraishi can play doubles. But my main complaint: “Why can’t it be Shiraishi and Kenya?” I just really really really want to see the two of them playing doubles together. Or at the very least let me see Shiraishi and Zaizen.) (voice of reason- it is not as if you get to see these matches anyway.)
Singles 3: Kenya: 6-2. (I felt quite a pit fall when I saw this. Once again, my theories are being chucked out. Not to start with the fact that I firmly believes that Kenya should be the fukubuchou, he is not one of their top 3 players?)

Side note: I seriously can’t call Oshitari Yuushi as Oshitari now. I wrote this fan fiction (maybe more of a dream novel) with Kenya in it and since it is about how he and this girl get together, it starts off with them calling each other by their last name. So she keeps on calling him “Oshitari-kun” so whenever I see the name Oshitari I just think: “which one is this one?”

Well, one last parting gift, Shiraishi’s page in 40.5, in Japanese- but there are various translations on the web which I have seen.

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Yes, I am an absolutely irresponsible person as I have been neglecting my fan fiction- this is because my sister saw a copy of Neverwinter nights 2 being sold on Trade me (for non-NZ friends who have not heard of this site, it is a bit like e-bay.). And after some discussion we decided to buy it, and we did, and it turned out to be a great as bargain. But the negative side is that I am pretty addicted to playing it now. Ok, I am not neglecting my fan fictions completely but I haven’t been doing them that much, but I have been playing the game a bit too much.

I want to finish the game before summer school start, before January. Gosh…my life is a repetition. Last year this time I was playing Neverwinter Nights 1- ie. The first series of this game, the first game.

But anyway…on my friend penguin-chan’s blog (aka Nylle15) she had a very interesting post. I’ll just quote her, or the person she quote.

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.
2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in your own post.
5. When others respond with a desultory comment, you will ask them five questions.

My blog doesn’t get much visitors but I still decides to do this. So, anyway, this is the five questions that I got from her. (and she gives hard questions!!!)

1. Which among the Rikkai characters made a strong impression on you? Well, I didn’t really take account of the rival school characters that much when I first read them, so I will type out what I think now…which is after much reading and quite some poundering.

Yukimura- now that I think about it, his first appearance made quite an impression because of the way he is drawn, quite delicate almost up to the point of being frail, but yet every one of his team mate seems so devoted to him (I remember seeing that bit in the anime- when someone told Marui off for eating his cake. That really made me think: “wow…this respect seem to be like awe more.)

Sanada- the character who made an impression even before I read it, when I heard about how he would slap his team mates if they lost, as well as making other slap him.

Niou- after some poundering about the Niou/Fuji match in the nationals I am now convinced that Niou is a really self-sacrificial character as well (for explanation please see previous entry- the fan fiction: “Heads you lose, tails he win.” Basically I am sure that he choose to copy other’s technique because he think this is more likely to let him win the game, and since I think he would not care that that much about his own lose and win, I think the reason he is really eager to win is because of his team.
And even before that, his attitude towards Sanada- especially when he slapped Sanada. This convinced me that his relationship with Sanada is much different then everyone else.

2. What's your ideal Saturday night? I think it will be being able to write a story that I really like, that I am really satisfied with, as well as having a supply of milo or tea as I write it, as well reading nice books and fan fictions that will be inspiring (I often feel really good if I just got inspired by something.)
I think that is something I’ll be most satisfied with, although spending sometimes with really good friends will also make the Saturday ideal, but I don’t want it to be every every Saturday, because the truth is we do need to have sometime alone as well.

This is a side note but a friend I would like to spend time at the weekend with is Satsuki (not her real name but she’ll know who she is, so will some of my other friends.) Well, we are at different levels of school so I basically can only see her at weekend or holiday, but I really like spending time with her as we often just both forget our age and just have fun. (well, she is really young, I guess, unlike me). But a fun thing to do with her is fan-girling, and she never minds how much I go on about the characters I like, and vice-versa. It’s just fun! And I love talking about fan fiction stories with her. We actually argue a lot, and sometimes it is due to the most trivial thing, and sometimes we even end up doing this. “IS SO!” “IS NOT!” but it is not serious, because we do this in good fun, and I think it is because we know no matter what happens this will not affect real life. So that’s why.

3. What is one principle which you live by? The principal I would like to live with is to be able to forget the past, but if you know me then you will know that even though this is the one thing I want to do, the one thing I need to do, it is the one thing I simply does not seem to able to do. But I think the principal I live with is this: “Your opinion is the most important thing, if you think something is this then continue to believe this despite what anyone else might say.” Eg. If you think this pasta is really nice, but everyone else says it taste really bad…ignore them! If you think it is nice then it is nice! Don’t start to think that you shouldn’t like it just because no one else agrees with you.

4. What would you rather do for the rest of your life? I’ll say be a proper writer, as well as continuing contributing to fan dom by writing fan fiction.

5. If you could make Konomi change one thing in PoT, what would that be? This is such a hard question! (I protest!!!) there is TOO MUCH things I would like the change in regard to Prince of tennis.

Ok…the thing I most want to change: Make Shitenhouji win the semi-final of the national. (I actually don’t care if they only become second, which they most likely will) but as I have previously stated/ranted, I really believe they should be the one who win it, and that they would have won it if Seigaku is not the author’s chosen school, aka.the hero school. And it really make me sad to think that this school did all these things for winning, and want to win so much, but never had a single chance just because they faced the hero school. (for my reason why Shitenhouji should have won the semi-final this year please refer to previous entry: http://autumn-leaf16.livejournal.com/29463.html)

This is, of course, impossible. So the things that could be changed…to let Shtienhouji be the runner up last year. If they did not have the misfortune of facing Rikkai in the semi-final then they would be the runner up as they would have definitely have beaten the other two schools and advance to the finals. I really don’t see why this can’t be the case. Maybe the team for Majinofuji this year can’t reflect their strength last year, but Shitenhouji gave Rikkai a much more difficult game, so Shitenhouji last year is still stronger then Majinofuji.

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Title: Heads you lose, tails he win
Written at: November 27-28, 2007
Summary: Contain spoilers about the singles 2 match of the nationals as well as the chapter after it. Shiraishi ponders on the singles 2 match in the final of the nationals, what Niou’s lose mean to him as well as making a realization about Niou.
Word count: 1610
Warning: More like a warning but I’m totally not on Seigaku’s side. In fact, this match is something that I really would like to forget if I could- so this should give you a hint of what the story will be like.

Courtesy was expected from anyone, but it was especially important for the buchou to demonstrate this. This was why Shiraishi still gave a polite nod when he happened to come across either Niou or Fuji, even though he would really prefer to ignore them due to the reminder their presence brought up.
He really shouldn’t let what happened in the singles 2 game bother him, but it was affecting him in a very strong way.
That was why he left the stadium as soon as he could. His team mates did not blame him at all as they could see that their buchou was clearly affected by what had happened. He tried to act otherwise, but his emotions were no longer so carefully concealed under that patient smile now that he finally released the burden and secrets he had due to his sense of responsibility.
Even Kintarou realised that something was wrong when his buchou’s threat was accompanied by a rather strong anger instead of a stern expression, although it was his thoughtless words that caused this.
Shiraishi would not deny that Kintarou’s words made him very angry, especially when he was already in a very foul mood due to what Seigaku’s coach was saying. But Kintarou’s immediate attempt of cheering him up then quickly proved that there really was no malice in his words as his kohai would only voluntarily apologise if he felt that he did do something very wrong.
It was probably the coach of Seigaku that made him more upset, her words of how Fuji has showed himself to be as good as Tezuka, as well as achieving revenge for what had happened.
To have revenge…
That made Shiraishi felt that he did something dreadfully wrong, a crime of some sort. He suppose he could be said to have done this if he looked from Seigaku’s view, but to use that word still seemed to be going too far- everyone was allowed to have this dream of being the winner.
It was unfair for him to be labelled as having done a wrong just because he won a match against their team member.
He also heard these accursed words of ‘the real winners’ again, many were saying that he only won in the semi-final due to luck as Fuji’s triumph showed who really was better.
Was he useless just because he was not a genius? He had to first watch an opponent suddenly climbing to his level just due to a sudden change in attitude, and now the same thing was happening again- but to make things worse, he was now seen as being suppressed.
Nor was Fuji the only one that hurt him- the fact that Niou could just copy his technique made him more then a little upset. He would not say that Niou put no effort in unless he had proof, but he was still sure that Niou did not put as much an effort in doing perfect tennis because he was obviously training himself to be like Tezuka at the same time.
But wouldn’t this mean that Niou’s imitation was not as good as his? He had to believe this. Yet he doubts that this would make a difference as everyone seemed to have made up their mind already.
He and Tezuka were both involved in this game due to what Niou did, but unlike the latter, Shiraishi did not have Fuji defending him. The truth was that Fuji’s sixth counter would not give him that big a disadvantage because hitting cord balls was only one of the skills he was highly skilled at. In fact, that was one of the reasons he choose to play perfect tennis: to not specifically rely on any particular technique.
Yet this obvious truth was not seen by anyone else, as most were ready to believe that Seigaku was the hero…He was not from Kantou so he was not exactly sure about what had been going on, but it was clear that there was an antagonism against Rikkai. It was probably because Rikkai had been the winners of the Kantou regional for the past sixteen years, as well as the winners of the past two nationals.
As his coach had reminded them- human kind find it very easy to be jealous at those who achieved great success.

“Oniisan, can you get off if you are not going to play?”
Muttering some sort of an apology, Shiraishi quickly went to sit at one of the benches instead. He had wander to the park as he was not sure where he should go after he managed to coax Ashita into giving him sometime to think alone. He could not return to his lodging as it would only result in his team mates bombarding him, at the very least Kintarou would be dragging him onto a tennis court in order to cheer him up as things were that easy to Kintarou.
So he somehow ended up being here.
As he watched all these kids lining up to go on the swing, he smiled due to recollecting the time he and Ashita took his cousins to the park: the four children all ended up arguing about who would get to be pushed on the swing by him first, as well as who could go and buy ice cream with Ashita.
The same kid who chased him off the swing took a seat right beside him when his turn was over, and he then began to play on a game boy- causing a great deal of envy, especially from those who were watching around him.
“Oh my gosh, it’s a clone of the final boss!” someone yelled out.
“Don’t worry, he’s not as good as he is not the real monster.” The owner of the toy said, even though he was quite nervous.
That was right! Shiraishi realised. No matter what, Niou would not be as good as him if he was using his perfect tennis. It was not because Niou was not good, but it was just that anyone using another person’s playing style could never be as good as the original.
He knew that he was one of his school’s top players, but he would still lose to many of his team mates if he tried to use their playing style instead of his own.
The kid beside him let out a triumph yell at the same time the familiar music that accompanied the hero’s victory starts to play.
“So this means that you can finish the game soon!”
“But this round is easier then the next one. This is just the clone.”
“I heard that a lot of people get stuck on this round if their level is not high enough…”
He must have turned around really sudden as the kids all began to apologise.
“No, I’m not angry. Tell me,” he began, using the voice he often uses with his cousin, as well as Kintarou if the situation demanded it. “What is this game about?”
They eagerly retold the old cliché of a hero going to save someone and he listened to all this with a smile even though this was not what he wanted to know.
“…and then you meet this clone, which is actually made by the final boss- the villain,” the boy who owned the toy continued, “You have to beat him before you can face the final boss. The clone is really good but the final boss is still better.
“Do you want to try, oniisan? You can play the round I just won.”
“I think I’ll pass but thank you very much.” Shiraishi rejected the offer gently before he muttered to himself. “I feel too sorry for this clone to attack him.”
“But he is one of the bad guy!” the children all pointed out innocently, clearly very confused.
But there was no villain or heroes in real life, in this national. Everyone had a right to wish for this same thing due to reasons of their own. He felt that one could only be labelled as a villain if they were trying to win just for the sake of preventing another from achieving their dream.
He realised something else from the kids’ game…
He actually felt very sorry for Niou Masaharu, because the other had been playing a game that he could not win at all.
Right now, Niou lost, and people from Seigaku were saying that this was because Niou was simply not as good as their buchou, while he was just convincing himself of this same fact: that he was better then Niou when it came to his own playing style.
But what if the table was turned? Would this then be seen as Niou’s own triumph? No, not likely. People would then say that Niou only managed to win because he transformed into Tezuka and Shiraishi, that it was their skills that caused the win.
The main reason he felt sorry for Niou was because he believed Niou’s actions were guided by a sense of sacrifice toward the team, despite Niou’s cocky and rather careless attitude. Ultimately, everyone wished for glories of their own, but Niou deliberately threw his chance away. As Shiraishi was sure that Niou understood of the consequences of his action, he must have decided to do what he did because he believed that this method was more likely to score a win for his team- a bit like why he played perfect tennis.
“I hope your team at least will know of your sacrifice for them.” He whispered quietly. “And that will be enough, wouldn’t it? Because that is why you made this decision.”

Final note: Congratulation to all that made it here, and now- explanation. I’ve already had a whole big rant about this whole Niou transforming thing at my blog. But basically the parts that I am really angry is that:
1) Fuji said that Niou is not as good as Tezuka, implying that him beating Niou does not mean anything, yet no one defended Shiraishi- almost as if the author is suggesting that Fuji beating Niou does equal to Fuji beating Shiraishi.
2) how people say Fuji’s sixth counter is a proof that he can be as good as Shiraishi- as the story and my blog entry point out, this is really stupid because Shiraishi is the last person this will apply to.
3) Ryuzaki-sensei’s words (seriously, I’m starting to doubt her suitability as a coach instead of just wondering about her capability.)
4) the fact that I already think Shitenhouji should be standing in the final (I have reasons to believe this, which is in my blog entry)- and that the author have to pick on the one person who did win.
5) I also don’t like how Fuji uses his original three counter as I feel that is suggesting Niou/Shiraishi is not as good. (although I didn’t get to discuss this idea in the story).
6) I actually feel really sorry for Niou- the fact that he is in a lose lose situation in my opinion, hince the title.

In regard to Niou… I really don’t have a grasp of Rikkai’s character. The truth is, I thought that Niou might be a bit like Fuji, he does not care about tennis that much. However, as I think about why he would do this, copying others when I firmly believed that he have the ability of having a really good playing style of his own, this is the answer I came up with: he does this for his team. Once I realized this I am really touched, and now I actually think this is why Niou does it. He is quite cocky, but I think he really does care about his team, he just doesn’t easily show this. Why else would he put himself in this lose-lose situation? And Niou is one of the smarter kids in regard to daily life, so I think he will be aware of it, that is why I think he did what he did for his team.

But the sad thing is that the rival schools are just really dismissed. We see all these people who eventually end up going “Oh my gosh Tezuka is so noble for that he did” but do we have anyone going ‘Oh my goodness Shiraishi sacrificed his own enjoyment for his team?’ No. Even if I omit that example, because I think Shiraishi deliberately hides this from his team (advertising- please read ‘An impossible opportunity’), there are still other proofs. For example, Atobe deciding to be more offensive in the national’s quarter final- which is a sacrifice as he is giving up doing what makes him have more fun. Do we get any: “Atobe did all that for us?” No, the closest we get is Sakaki-sensei doing something like “Yeah, and that’s his decision”. No one commented on this (as opposed to whenever someone said something inspiring from Seigaku). I am sorry but I just think that the rival schools has been treated too cruelly, the author is making the hero school much too heroic.

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Title: A higher place
Written at: November 24, 2007
Summary: A chance meeting between Yukimura and Shiraishi makes the two boy question why they both want to be the first so much by refusing to accept anything less as being good. Told from Yukimura’s point of view.
Theme: The idea of wanting to do better even when you are already amongst the top.
Word count: 1533
Note: First of all, this particular story is dedicated to my friend penguin-chan, (aka as Nylee15 on life journal), I guess this can be a Christmas present to her. I had the idea for this story and then I wrote it, and then afterward I saw so many people writing fics for their friends. I know this sounds bad but this really is not an after thought, (I don’t just dedicate stories to people on a random whim.)
I realize that giving her this story is quite suitable because if I do not know her then I doubt that this story will be written. She is a Rikkai fan and I initially didn’t like Rikkai that much, but through out conversation she kind of makes me change my view toward them. At the very least she made me see that there is more to Rikkai then just them being the ‘final boss’.
When I begin to write this story, I decided to not tell it from Shiraishi’s point of view, what I was going to do, but from Yukimura’s point of view- a challenge, as this is the first time I told one of my prince of tennis fic from someone other then one of the members in Shitenhouji’s view. But because it is from Yukimura’s point of view, it seemed a suitable gift for my friend, as she lieks Yukimura a lot.

The stadium that had been previously packed was now almost empty saved for a few staff doing the last lot of cleaning and packing up. The few who took notice of the boy who walked in just gave him a brisk nod before reminding him that the stadium would be closed soon.
Yukimura was not sure why he wanted to be here. He wished for a quiet place to think and this was not the most idea location.
Maybe this was his mental preparation as he would be standing here in two day’s time with his team mates as a player for the first time after so long.
He knew that his team mates were all deeply concerned and rather paranoid about him even though none of them said anything at all, but they were all frightened that the miracle had a limit.
“We must win.” He said out aloud.
Everyone said this with the wish of it coming true for them, just as anyone would be worried due to thinking ‘what if’ despite every other circumstance.
Despite how confident the regulars of Rikkai appeared to be, they were boys like everyone else, so they would still be troubled by doubts. They were even more vulnerable now that the what if became the truth when they lost to Seigaku in the Kantou regional.
That was probably why he was here. He needed to be alone and ponder about every thing in order to not be distracted during the national’s final match.
The consequence of the final’s outcome was very great because it might permanently affect both him and his team members drastically. Losing the Kantou regional already made his team mates feel as if they failed him, while he could not help but to wonder whether things would be different if he had managed to be with them.
“We will win.” Yukimura repeated.
With the departure of the workers, everything was suddenly very still. He even felt that he could detect any movement or sound in the now empty stadium. This was not an exaggeration because he did immediately notice the slight shuffle behind him.
“Who is there?” he asked as he turned at the same time.
Shiraishi Kuranosuke was not really a stranger to Yukimura because they had met in the last nationals as the two second year buchou. But the reason he remembered the other quite well was completely different from everyone else- it was not because of the bandages that covered almost all of his left forearm, but because he happened to see the buchou of Shitenhouji staring at the bronze medal around his neck with a strange confusion after the presentation of the award a year ago.
As if he was deciding whether he wanted it or not.
“Yukimura-kun? I didn’t realise that someone else was here as well.”
He naturally waved that aside with some polite words. It was difficult for him to resume his thinking now that he was aware of the other person, but he could not just get up and leave as that was too rue.
“Congratulations for making into the finals once again.” Shiraishi’s words naturally made him return the following due to common curtsey: “Thank you, and congratulations for your schools’ victory today.”
Instead of the expected smile with a ‘thank you’, he was to receive the following bitter reply.
“Yukimura-kun, you saying this is almost like an insult.” Shiraishi informed him dryly. “People who see second best as a failure should not say ‘well done’ to those who are only third best.”
Yanagi had little data on Shiraishi as well, but what he had gathered has been enough to make them wary, especially after this year’s semi-final. Someone who could continue to remain so calm in such a circumstance was naturally dangerous, especially when he was also one who did not let people easily guess what was on his mind.
Because Yukimura was like Shiraishi in this way, he could still detect the other’s slight dislike behind these polite enough words.
“You do not like me or my school.” He stated.
“I can understand the wish of wishing to excel even if you are already at the top.” Shiraishi admitted. “But I do not approve your school openly announcing this and hurting those who did worse.”
“So we should be hypocrites like your school by accepting the award even though we do not want it?” the buchou of Rikkai immediately retorted back.
A slight smile actually formed on Shiraishi’s lip and Yukimura was sure that he was doing a similar thing. An understanding just passed between the two boys- they both still hold onto their own belief, but they no longer condemned the other for their view.
“But I must point out that my team was truly happy with being third in the national.” Shiraishi said. “I should be too…but somehow I wasn’t. I still don’t really know why.”
“Who can truly say that they will be satisfied with not being first?”
“But how many will see being third, or even second, as a complete failure?”
A silence elapsed as Yukimura was forced to consider the meaning of these words by thinking about what he had felt when he learnt about the result of this year’s Kantou regional, as well as what his team will feel if they could not win their next game.
One reason was because they had the potential of being first, although he knew this was not the whole answer: Rikkai would never be acceptant about being second no matter how good Seigaku might become.
“Would you be happy if your school was second last year?” Yukimura suddenly asked.
“I think so.” Shiraishi replied rather hesitantly, “Although I don’t think it is just because I know that Shitenhouji is much better then Majinofuji. But first is what I want, while second is acceptable- I am just not as ambitious as you.”
There were probably few who would argue against what Shiraishi just said, but Yukimura happened to be one of them.
It was also because Rikkai had been first in the last two nationals, and they had held onto the title of the Kantou regional for an even longer time.
Becoming only second best would be seen as a great fall.
“But I am happy with being third once again.” Shiraishi said. “I would love to be in the finals, but I am not unsatisfied with what I got. This is because I realised that there are other things that are equally important.”
Upon saying this, he stood up and began to walk down to the entrance. He did not deliberately stop when he passed the other buchou, but he did say the following in sincerity: “Good luck in the final.”
His sudden departure was explained when Yukimura saw the girl that had entered the stadium, she must be searching for Shiraishi as Yukimura has never seen her before.
“Ashita,” Shiraishi greeted this girl with an embrace. “I thought we aren’t meeting up until about thirty minutes later.”
“I was really worried when I heard that you went to the stadium alone.” She muttered, leaning against him.
Yukimura almost felt that he should duck down due to their display of affection. Despite how skilled he was at tennis, as well as how mature he was, he was still only a fourteen year old boy!
“You didn’t need to worry because…” their words trailed off as the two were walking away.
He stayed a bit longer, continuing to ponder on the question that was raised by Shiraishi, although it was already hidden amongst his other thoughts.
The shout of “Yukimura” accompanied by a much softer “Seiichi” made him smile as he immediately recognized the voice of his two closest friends.
“I just wanted to think for a while.” He explained to the two clearly worried faces, although most others would not have reached this conclusion. “I’m surprised that Yanagi didn’t calculate this out.”
“We better go back as it is getting dark.” Sanada stated, while Yanagi muttered something about how he has worked all this out, only that he was not a hundred percent certain about the exact ration.
One possible answer for the question of why they were all so obsessed with doing much better when they had already done so well suddenly came- it was for friends like Yanagi and Sanada, for team mates like Yagyuu; Niou; Marui; Jackal and Kirihara.
He did not really know or understand Shiraishi any better after their ‘conversation’ but he was sure that the other had been unsatisfied with being third because he wanted to be able to achieve a higher result with the team mates that he cared about greatly. The difference was that Shiraishi saw second, not first, as good enough.
At least this was why he himself wanted to be first so much. He was not able to be happy if he was second because he wanted to be the champions with his team mates, he wished to let them have the best.
Likewise, they wished for him to be the buchou of the team that came first for the sake that they think he deserve no less.

Author’s Note: I am not sure what I feel in regard to how I portray the characters of Rikkai, but I personally think it’s not that bad. (Let’s hope penguin-chan will not mind), but this is not so much examining character. Initially I didn’t really like Rikkai for not accepting the award for second place in the kantou regional but now I see this in a different light. Is it not a bit hypocritical to take it if they don’t want it? Although I can understand why you would still take it even if you are disappointed with the result.

Basically I was thinking why Shiraishi was unsatisfied with being third- because this is a very impressive result (and the truth is that they should have been second, and they probably know it). But I was thinking why he was so unhappy with this result as to be so drastic about it- choosing to play his perfect tennis and all that and I guess this is my answer: because of a loyalty and love for his friends/teammate/school. Then I suddenly thought of Yukimura, because I think Rikkai is quite like this. For the same reason they were not able to be satisfied with being second in the Kantou regional or the national (which might not happen). I then wanted to have Yukimura telling the story, I am not really sure why I choose Yukimura in particular but I think it is probably because I can see the two of them talking to each other quite clearly.

Once again I want to emphasize about the fact that they are all still boys. Even though some of their attitude is really amazing- especially most of the buchou and fuku-buchou, some of the sacrifices and mere action that they performed really make you wonder whether such things would be done by much older boys, or even adults.

Lastly I really believe that Yukimura, Sanada, Yanagi are very good friends, not just team mates. I also think that Yukimura has been the buchou from his second year as well (like Shiraishi).

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Title: Poisoned hands
Written at: November 23, 2007
Summary: A incident at the weekend caused a misunderstanding amongst some of the regulars in Shtenhouji to wonder whether Shiraishi’s left hand really is poisoned or not!
Word count: 1099
Note: This is more of a random drabble, so no overall theme.

Due to the approaching Kansai regional, the regulars of Shitenhouji were all quite tense in their own way: Shiraishi was even more obsessed with getting everything to perfection; Koharu and Yuuhji were telling more jokes then usual; while Watanabe seemed to be smoking so much more then before.
That was why Kenya was not really surprised to see Zaizen being a bit absent minded. But since he was a good fuku-buchou, he decided to talk with his kohai even at the risk of being told to leave him alone.
“Kenya-fuku-buchou…” much to his shock, Zaizen actually addressed him this way before he even said anything. As the two of them were quite close, Zaizen would only address Kenya as fuku-buchou instead of senpai if the situation was quite serious.
“I know that this is going to sound really stupid,” Zaizen began, his tone rather hesitant, “But do you think it is possible that Shiraishi-buchou was not lying about his hand?”
A long silence passed as Kenya spent a very long time staring at Zaizen before he started to laugh.
“Are you really Zaizen?” Kenya finally asked. “Or is this Kintarou in disguise?”
“I am being quite serious!” the second year protested rather indignantly, which naturally caused his senpai to laugh ever harder.
“Zaizen…you are telling me that you actually believe that Shiraishi’s left hand is poisoned?” Kenya asked when he finally managed to stop laughing.
“Because I saw Shiraishi-buchou during the week end and he actually put his right hand in a bucket before he poured sand over it! And haven’t you realised that he kept his right hand hidden completely today?” Zaizen explained, his tone rather worried.
Kenya had to frown as this was true. Shiraishi hade his right hand in his pocket the whole time, deliberately doing every thing with his left hand. Whenever Shiraishi recorded stuff down during tennis practise, he would hold a clip board with his right hand and write with his left hand, but today he actually placed the clip board down first before he started to write with the same hand.
It was possible that Shiraishi’s right hand was injured, but why would he be putting his hand in the sand- the method to make his hand ‘poisoned’?
Kenya quickly shook his head as he realised the absurdity of his thoughts. Was he turning into a kid in pre-elementary school by believing in stuff that can only happen in fantasy manga?
“He probably has his own reasons in…”
His word trailed off as Shiraishi happened to enter the club room. Both boys observed their buchou carefully, especially taking account of the fact that his right hand was still in his pocket, and due to the slight gap between the end of his jumper and pocket, they could see that bandages were around it.
“There must be a valid explanation,” Kenya whispered out.
“But what about the sand?” Zaizen hissed back. “And why is he deliberately hiding his hand as if he doesn’t want any one to know that it is bandaged?”
“What is with you two?” Shiraishi finally asked, since the two of them were both looking at him in a very strange way.
“Buchou…your hand…” Zaizen began.
“Oh, I got injured during the weekend, my cousins’ cousin’s dog bite me.” Shiraishi explained rather easily as he began to unwind the bandages. The two other boys exchanged a slight look before they both slowly walked up in order to get a closer look.
“Is my wound really interesting or something?” Shiraishi asked dryly as he threw the discarded bandages into the nearby bin. He frowned a bit as he raised his right hand in order for a closer examination. “I don’t really need to have my right arm bandaged, but my aunt just panicked and grabbed a whole roll of bandage.”
“Why were you hiding your right hand the whole day?” Kenya asked.
“What do you think? It is because I look really stupid with both hands bandaged.” The answer was so simple that Kenya and Zaizen could only blame themselves for not having thought of this themselves.
“And I can’t have my left hand un-bandaged. Well, I could, but there is no way I am going to wear a jumper the whole day.” Shiraishi continued.
“What about the sands?” Zaizen butted in as he shared what he saw on the weekend.
“Zaizen…please don’t tell me that you actually believe that my hand is poisoned.” Shiraishi finally said after having a similar reaction as Kenya.
“No, but I was just wondering why buchou was having sand poured over his hand and then bandaging that hand and hiding it! It just all seems too strange.” Zaizen pointed out.
“I got bit by that dog as it was trying to bite this cat and…”
“Gosh, Shiraishi, I didn’t know that you are that type of guy! Rescuing kittens in your spare time.” Kenya teased.
“Well I didn’t think that either of you will actually believe that my hand is poisoned.” Shiraishi retorted back calmly, immediately silencing them. “I had to rescue that cat because my cousins wanted me to. They then wanted to keep that cat so I went to buy some sand for them- which is necessary in keeping a cat. I had my hand in the bucket because I was trying to measure how much sand that I should buy.”
“And that’s it?” Zaizen and Kenya examined out in the same time. There was nothing out of ordinary in his story at all, yet they had both been mislead into thinking that some strange factors had been at work.
“That’s it. Now, are you two going to practices or not?”
As he watched the two of them leave, both teasing the others for having ever consider the possibility that his hand might really have been poisoned, Shiraishi couldn’t help but to laugh again.
His day today has been quite good. He told Ashita that he had to use his left hand to write as his right hand was injured as soon as she arrived. It was important for him to tell her because she was right handed and sat to his left, so his elbow might bump into her’s if he did not warn her about the fact that he would be writing with his left hand.
She had not answer him, but later on she wrote him a note asking him whether his wound was serious- making him wonder whether she might actually still care about him.
This was enough to make him smile and be happy for the whole day.

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Title: An impossible opportunity
Written at: November 5-7, 2007
Summary: An explanation to why Shiraishi did not play in Shtienhouji’s first game in the nationals as well as a further exploration to what he feels in regard to his perfect tennis, and why he does this.
Theme: Why Shiraishi hides the reason of his dislikes from his team mates and the idea of no turning back once you committed yourself to a decision and action.
Word count: 2293
Note: In Genius 315, Shiraishi actually said that it has been a long time since he had a match. We know that he didn’t get to play in the quarter finals as he was the fifth person to play and Shitenhouji won all their first three games. The only other game they had was at the second round, since they didn’t need to play in the first round, it was against Okahura, a school in Hyogo (which is in Kansai as well). In that match Shitenhouji had a won of 5-0 as they all had to play as it was their first game. But due to what Shiraishi said, it seems that he was the one who did not play it. (I am completely disregarding their player number nine), he was the one on reserve. This then really make me wonder why? Why didn’t the buchou play?

The regulars of Shitenhouji were all really surprised at how fast Hyoutei was able to triumph over the school that managed to be fourth last year. But then Chitose’s presence was the obvious reminder that Shishigaku was lacking some of their most important members.
“You will probably be in this position if you stayed in Shishigaku.” Shiraishi commented to Chitose, when the two buchou were about to begin the final singles one game.
“I think Kippei would be the buchou.” Chitose replied back easily. “He was much more responsible then me.”
“And this guy?”
“You should know, your fuku-buchou last year slaughtered him.” Chitose pointed out before he made a prediction. “I don’t think he can hold out against Atobe Keigo for long.”
But the game was lasting much longer then Chitose’s forecast. It was true that Atobe was dominating over his opponent completely, but someone with his skills should have been able to end the game in a much shorter time.
“Don’t even think about it, Zaizen.” Kenya ordered, seeing that his kohai was about to say something cutting to Chitose.
“Atobe is not really attacking.” Shiraishi explained for some of his team mates, almost frowning, “He is doing this on purpose. He has to be, because his defence is very good.”
“But why?” Yuuji asked. “Why let it drag out for so long?”
“Yuushi once said that Atobe always play the game with a very strong defence in order to drag the game and wear out his opponents by attacking them with their own weaknesses in order to result in a sense of defeat in both the body and mind.” Kenya recollected.
“But what is the point? This is just as bad as deliberately losing the first few games in order to show off you skills by suddenly catching up.” Shiraishi said. “Years later…no, just months later, who will remember how the game of 7-5 or 6-4 was achieved? Will anyone still know that you actually deliberately lose the first few games and that once you made up your mind you did not let them score at all? Will they know that you could have done a 6-0 if you wanted to?”
His words were quite bitter as he was thinking about what happened to Shitenhouji last year. Despite his school having done so much better then Majinofuji, they would still be regarded as being exactly the same as they were both Rikkai’s defeated opponents.
That was why he was so determined to win for his school.
As bitter as it is, Shiraishi thought, the one who wins is the winner, while the others were all categorised under the same label: the ones who lost. And it is also too risky to let your own enjoyment cause this…as I had.

“SHIRAISHI!!!”
Kintarou automatically covered his ears while the other regulars all sighed. Many of Hyoutei’s club members turned to look…almost stare at their coach since his yell was still audible despite their loud cheering.
“We need to go over the order for our first game.”
The orders were always arranged by Watanabe but he would then go over them with the buchou, although Shiraishi rarely felt the need to change anything.
Today was different though, three spaces were still blank.
“We’ve played this school before and it is highly, highly, highly unlikely that we will be unable to get an overall score of 5-0.” Watanabe told him as he handed the list to Shiraishi.
“Singles 3- Zaizen. This is a very good idea as he will probably be the buchou next year so it will be good to let him have the first win in order to boost up his confidence as he rarely gets to play in a singles match.” Shiraishi commented as he began to read the orders.
“Doubles 2- Koharu and Yuuji. Singles 2- Gin. So you want to let that guy get his wish of playing with Gin again? Doubles 1- Kenya…why are the rest blank?”
“Because it all depend on your answer.” His coach told him. “As I emphasised to you, it is very unlikely that we will be unable to win the first three games, therefore, the people who play doubles 1 and singles 1 will have the knowledge that they will not harm the team if they somehow lose.
“So which one do you want to play? Doubles 1 with Kenya or singles 1, an even more secure position?”
“I can not believe that you are telling me to not care about winning.” Shiraishi said in sheer disbelieve.
“I am offering you a chance of not playing your perfect tennis since you will not have to be so concerned about winning for Shitenhouji. Although I doubt that you will lose because you are still very good without your perfect tennis.” Watanabe said bluntly. “Do you not want to have some fun in tennis again by playing in a way that does not bore you?”
“So sensei some how knows.” Shiraishi stated as he picked up the pen to write his name.
“I began to notice that you no longer have that same sense of excitement when you play and sometimes there is even dread in your expression. Most of all, you are not really happy when you win- the only explanation will be because you do not like that playing style.”
“It is boring, the most boring thing in the world. But I will continue playing it until the day I stop being part of Shitenhouji’s tennis team.” Shiraishi said determinedly as he turned the now completed form over in order for Watanabe to see.
“And this is your final decision?” Watanabe asked. “To put yourself as the reserve?”
“I must play my perfect tennis because my team mates will wonder why I do not play my best. I do not wish for them to find out that I do not like my perfect tennis…not only will this make them feel bad, it might also insult them as it hints that I think their skills are not good enough if I must make sure that I always win by playing a style that I do not like.”
“Wait,” Watanabe called out because Shiraishi was about to leave the room. “Tell me truthfully, do you think your team mates will do the same in your circumstance?”
“That does not matter. I am the buchou and I have been the buchou since last year. As the buchou I must always put my team’s interest over mine no matter what.”

The Hyoutei-Shishigaku match must have finished as he found Kenya practising with Zaizen in one of the empty courts.
“I get to play singles?” Zaizen sounded as if this did not really matter that much but his two senpai knew that he was quite thrilled.
Even though everyone in Shitenhouji with the exception of Kintarou could play doubles, the singles position was still quite fixed. Kintarou naturally always played singles since his wild style of playing prevented him from playing doubles. Shiraishi also always play singles and he and Kintarou tended to rotate the position of singles 3 and 1 between them, while Chitose usually played singles 2.
Of course, this order could be altered due to circumstances.
“Chitose-senpai is playing doubles 1 with Kenya-senapi?”
“Well, for Kenya’s sake I can’t really make Kintarou his doubles partner and since you and Gin will both playing singles…” Shiraishi laughed out before he quickly changed the subject to prevent either of them from suggesting the alternative. “Chitose is very skilled at doubles. I heard that he and Tachibana Kippei used to slaughter all in their path whenever they are paired up together.”
“Buchou, you sound as if you are playing a computer game.” Zaizen said dryly. “But Shishigaku does not seem that impressive.”
“Maybe most of Shishigaku’s best players, excluding Tachibana and Chitose, were third years last year. So they probably had a better team in the last national, a bit like Majinofuji. The opposite of us, as we have a much better team this year. That is why we must work really hard to be the winners because we have the capability of doing so.”
“Is that the order?” Chitose said this as his greeting when he approached them.
“Alright, I’ll find Koharu and Yuuji so our doubles players can play against each other, as well telling Gin to have a match with Kin-chan, then I will practise with Zaizen myself.” Shiraishi declared out.
“Kenya, there is something I’ve wanted to ask you for quite sometime.” Chitose said as they watched Shiraishi dragging Zaizen along with him. “Does Shiraishi not know how to play doubles at all?”
This arrangement for their practise did make sense since Koharu and Yuuji will be playing doubles in Shitenhouji’s first game, but it was quite strange that Shiraishi did not just ring these two and play a doubles match with Kenya and Chitose before Koharu and Yuuji arrives.
This was also not the first time such a thing has happened, nor could Chitose recollect a time when he actually saw Shiraishi playing doubles. Whenever the buchou of Shitnehouji practised with the joking pair, it would always be the two of them against him by himself.
“He is a much better doubles player then me and most others in the team.” Kenya said firmly. “He was a regular ever since his first year and he used to play doubles with our buchou throughout that year. He also used to play doubles against Koharu and Yuuji with Gin so I really don’t think that he dislikes playing doubles. But now that you mention it, the last time I saw him playing doubles was in our first year.”
“So why did he stop playing doubles once he became the buchou?” Chitose pointed out.
“Perhaps it is because of Nakakurai-buchou- he was Shiraishi’s doubles partner and Shiraishi really respected him.” Kenya finally said, although he himself was unconvinced by his own words as he quickly added: “But I don’t really believe that he would stop playing doubles completely just because Nakakurai-buchou wouldn’t be his partner.”

The real reason was because Shiraishi did not want to play doubles using perfect tennis, but as he told Watanabe- it would be too strange for him to not use the better way of playing. So he decided that the best way was to avoid playing doubles at all- not very difficult since a buchou was usually expected to play singles.
“Buchou, how come Kenya-fuku-buchou never asks to play singles?” Zaizen pointed out, interrupting Shiraishi’s thoughts.
“I think it is because he likes playing doubles much more then singles, even though he can definitely play singles if he want to as he is the fuku-buchou.” Shiraishi explained, referring to Shitenhouji’s famous end of the year match. “He’s quite like my own buchou.”
“But shouldn’t the buchou always play singles if they are the best in the team?”
Shiraishi did not know how to answer this seemingly easy question at all- his words of the most important thing being your enjoyment had to be swallowed as he himself was doing the very opposite.
But not only did held his buchou in very high esteem and respect, he also firmly believed that his buchou had been one of the best buchou he had ever come across, even though it probably would have been better for him to play singles 1 instead of doubles 1 with the first year.
Then wouldn’t his buchou actually understand why he might not choose to use his perfect tennis?
Before he became the buchou, the most important thing in tennis was naturally his own enjoyment. He did want to win, and he did care about his team greatly but ultimately it was his own desires that made his judgement.
He quickly gave up the idea of continuing to experiment with the idea of a perfect tennis as he did not wish to throw away his own enjoyment for what was only a slight improvement.
He rather lose then win with his perfect tennis because he saw no point in winning in anything if he did not approve or even like the process.
Then he became the buchou and made the mistake of only remembering that he was the buchou by deciding to let the benefit of the team override his own interest completely.
He felt as if he was turning into a machine- he would just get on the court with the intention of getting everything finished as soon as he could. It was not as if he liked dragging a game out as Atobe would, but he missed the sense of anticipation he once had. His dominate concern had to be about winning for Shitenhouji, not about whether he would enjoy a game or not. Like most boys he wanted challenges, but as the buchou he had to hope that the differences between the skills of himself and his opponents would be very vast in his favour.
Shiraishi was not still sure whether he might still make these decisions if he only becomes the buchou this year. While his views on the duties of a buchou did not seem to have changed, it was what happened in last year’s nationals that affected him so much.
But regardless of whether he would still have reach the same conclusion, it was simply too late. He could not change his decisions now because he already did the sacrifices his choice required him to make.
He could only continue walking this direction. This was why he would be the reserve in Shitenhouji’s first game, as the only way he could avoid playing his perfect tennis while he was part of the Shitenhouji tennis team was to not play tennis at all.

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I went to the Shiraishi forum that I usually went to and I saw that some people put the following up. Official family information- or it seems to be official character information but there is quite some problem…

Birthday: April 14th. (this is a contradiction because in previous official merchandise, Shiraishi’s birthday is said to be at December. While I admit that I like his birthday in April more, because this means he is the oldest in the school- heck, this make him the oldest third year. He will be even more older then Marui, who is born on April 20th. Note- I saw the following info on the internet- school year starts in April in Japan so if your birthday is in April then you’ll be the oldest in your year. Eg. Say it is August and you already turned 15 in April and your are born in 1999, you will be a third year student in junior high school. But if you already turned 15 and is born in March 1999, then you will be in senior high school. Cause their school year goes from April to March. So if you are going to be 15 in the March of the following year, ie born in March 2000, you will be a third year too. But on the other hand this is too irresponsible! Changing his date of birth completely!!!)
Interest: I didn’t really get that one…so no explanation yet.
Family member: Parents, younger and elder sister- one each. (I really don’t know why but I always imagine that he will be an only child. Must admit, I am a bit disappointed that he is not. But once more- I seriously don’t know why I have this firm believe that he is an only chid)
Father’s profession: Pharmacist. (does this have anything to do with his bandages?)
Favourite’s subject: Chemistry (this seems his dad’s influence. Lol. Once again, I don’t know why but I always thought that he’ll be more of a literature sort of person.)

But seeing the rest should be very interesting! I can’t wait to see 40.5- well, I really can’t wait to see all the Shitenhouji related bit.!!! My guess is that he sentence accompanying Shiraishi’s page will be his famous “the one who wins is the winner”. (for Kenya: “Naniwa’s speed star is at a higher level”. For Zaizen: “It is alright if you get in my way.”)

This is totally random and is fan fic related but I really want to write a story where Kenya and Shiraishi started their first year as doubles partner, and then become the buchou and fuku-buchou in their second year. (as I said before, I really believe that Kenya is one of their top three players once you exclude Kintarou, just like Seigaku ignores Echizen in this hierarchy.) but somehow this then seem to be a setting for a BL story even though my original intention is just a friendship fic…

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Title: A thousand paper cranes
Written at: September 16, 2007
Summary: Shiraishi discovers the paper cranes he folded with Ashita more then a year ago, when she was sick in the hospital. This then made him realise how much she cares for him.
Word count: 1438
Warning: most of the other stories in chapters are actually more focused on Shiraishi and his own conflict in regard to tennis and being the buchou- however, this one is quite romance based so yeah…(well, I usually write that kind of stuff and considering this is the ninth story in this series it shouldn’t be that surprising. That I would eventually write one. It’s more on the sweet side.
So this story is inspired by the whole a thousand cranes thing, which is that if you fold a thousand cranes then you get a wish, and it is usually given to people who are sick, a wish of getting well.

Once again, Shiraishi leant forward to place his hand over his girl friend’s forehead to cheek her temperature.
“You, neechan and niichan are all so bad.” She protested. “It’s not as if a slight fever will kill me. You don’t have to be here, you can go and play tennis with your friends.”
“But I want to look after you.” He told her firmly, and he was sure that the redness of her cheek was not caused by her illness at all. “I much prefer being with you instead of playing tennis.”
“Do you want to eat or drink anything?” he asked.
She shook her head. “I think I just need to lie down.”
“Then I’ll get you another blanket.” He decided.” There is some in the closet, right?”
“Kuranosuke, don’t use that door!” Ashita yelled out but her warning was much too late. Her boy friend had already opened the door they were not meant to use, causing him to be buried underneath the context of the rather full closet.
“I’m fine.” Shiraishi quickly assured her, although he was quite surprised at the amount of pain you could receive just from being hit by masses of clothes.
He was searching for blankets when he suddenly noticed the box that had fell down with the other clothes. As he prepared to place the lid back he naturally glanced at the context: it was filled with paper cranes and some unfolded papers that were placed at the very bottom of the box.
These papers…they seemed very familiar…

“I am so sorry for not visiting you more often, Ashita.” Shiraishi apologised as he sat down beside the hospital bed. “But because of…”
“I know, because I got injured during the Kansai regional of tennis. I understand that you have to use all this time to practice.” Ashita told him understandingly. “Did you do well?”
“We are the winners of the Kansai regional.” He told her proudly. “I’m so happy because we will be able to go to the nationals this year. But you will recover soon, wouldn’t you? I never realise how dangerous karata is…”
“It’s not a serious injury, Kuranosuke. Will you…will you stay long?” she did not want to beg, as he would probably agree if she do so, even if he was meant to be doing other things.
“I will stay with you until today’s visiting time is over, but I probably can’t come to see you every day.” his voice trailed off as he could see that she was rather bit sad at this. “By the way, I brought you a present .”
He took out the object he had carefully inserted between his textbooks in order to prevent it from being damaged in any way, and placed it into her now stretched hands.
It was a stack of origami paper, each sheet in a bright and colourful traditional Japanese pattern, much like the yukata that she would wear.
“It is so pretty.” She whispered in wonder as she spread the papers out to see each one, occasionally saying “I want a yukata just like this one.”
“I thought that we can try and fold a thousand paper cranes together.” Shiraishi suggested rather shyly.
Ashita immediately nodded. “Do you think we can get a wish each?”
“Maybe, I certainly hope so.” He said as he took the first paper.
“If we don’t…” Ashita said very softly, her voice barely audible. “I will have the same wish as you so what you want will come true.”

“Kuranosuke, are you alright?” Ashita asked him rather worriedly as he was still staring at that box.
“You kept them.” Shiraishi finally said. “You actually kept these paper cranes.”
“Paper cranes? So that’s where I put them.” she smiled as she took some of the cranes out. “I must have folded this one because I am not as patient as you, I can’t be bothered to do everything to perfection.”
“Why did you keep them?” he asked her.
“Because you gave them to me,” Ashita answered simply. “I kept these cranes and papers because they are like the ribbon that you gave me for my birthday. It is a present from you.”
“Even after I…”
“They are your gifts to me so I treasure them because I always feel the same way about you. Although I did think that I should stop throw them away after you showed me that tennis is more important, I think that is why I shoved them in my closet.”
“I…” he wanted to apologise to her once more for the mistake that I made but she quickly stopped him by leaning forward.
“You’ve apologised enough,” she said firmly. “Just show me that this will never happen again.”
“I am here, right?” he pointed out. “Ashita…did you not fold more paper cranes with these papers because I wasn’t there?”
He did try to visit her every two days but it was rather difficult as the nationals were approaching, as the buchou he had to train the rest of his team as well. The hospital’s visiting hours tended be finished when he was finally free. Now that he thought about it, he probably only visited her on a weekly basis.
Nor did he remember their promise of folding a thousand paper cranes, as he was so occupied.
They always used to spend Sunday together at the very least, but when the regional and national began to approach he would sometimes use these Sundays to practise. But they would walk to the train station together since his extra practices did not use to be very long.
Then he was possessed by the obsession of doing anything he could in order to win after Shitenhouji returned as being third in the whole national. After that day he began to practise so much that he ended up almost only seeing her in class.
He had been really single minded so he didn’t really realise that it was quite miraculous that she didn’t end their relationship when he barely saw her in the holidays.
“Don’t you remember what happened at that festival?” she asked him instead of answering him.
“I remember.” He told her firmly. After all, that was their first date, as well as where they confessed to each other.
“I told you that I like you the best, didn’t I? When you like someone the best you want to always be with them, right?”
He quickly nodded at this, although he did not understand her. “The only reason that I broke up with you is because I know that I would want to be with you instead of practising tennis more if you are there.”
“This is why.” Ashita stated simply. “I wanted you to spend more time with me, but the opposite would happen if I broke up with you. We still go out together even though it was not very often, but if we break up then I wouldn’t be able to be with you anymore.“
“But you never once told me that…”
“It was very easy to see that you really want to reach the finals next year, and I was afraid that you might actually dump me if I was too…”
Her words were interrupted as Shiraishi pulled her in his arms, whispering his apologies to her once again.
“I don’t deserve you.” He said simply. “Do my other achievements matter if I am such a lousy boy friend?”
Like most other schools, there were many girls who were fan of the regulars- especially the buchou. Shitenhouji differs as their buchou was regarded as having a girl friend before he even assumed this poistion, although they technically only went out in their second year. As a result, many girls would tell Ashita how lucky she was, and the two of them would always laugh about this together.
“But Kuranosuke, you are a really good boyfriend apart from that period. It is just as if you were sick because you are the way you used to be again. So attentive and caring.”
“I will try and always be like that for you.” He promised her before he released her and covered her with her fallen blankets.
“Let us fold our one thousand cranes.” He said as he took out the unfolded papers, placing them on her lap. “I have a wish that I really want to be granted.”
“And what is it?” she asked him rather hopefully.
“To be with you forever.” He told her simply, and he was finally rewarded by a kiss on the lips from his girlfriend.
“We have the same wish then.”

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Title: Additional duties
Written at: September 12, 2007
Summary: On his way back to Osaka from the Kansai finals, Zaizen ends up having a conversation with Shiraishi that made him understand his buchou so much more, as well as some of the responsibility that comes from being the buchou.
Theme: What it means to be a captain, that it involve more then being one of the best players in the team.
Word count: 2364
Note: Zaizen kind of become the person to tell this story, although this is from his point of view completely. I think I do like Zaizen, even though I might have liked him the least in the very beginning as he was really rude to Kawamura (Kawamura is probably my second favourite character so…) But I think Zaizen is a very interesting character and somehow I believe that he’s actually not that a bad kid, just a bit sharp tongued. And I also believe that he has a big respect for Shiraishi.
Warning: I’ve included my own interpretation about Koharu and Hitouji’s relationship and since I don’t believe that they have that kind of relationship, you might not want to read about that bit if you strongly support these two as a couple/pair.

Zaizen gave another yawn as he stared at the scenery. For a boy his age, this was one long trip.
“How are you going to survive travelling to Tokyo for the national?” his buchou asked as he returned to his seat with two boxes of bento.
“I think I’m actually really enjoying distinguishing how each tree can look so different.” Was Zaizen’s dry reply.
“If you really want entertainment then I will arrange for Kin-chan to go to Tokyo with you.” Shiraishi suggested innocently.
Zaizen had to fight down the urge of openly cringing as Kenya described the time he had to travel with Shiraishi and Kintarou as ‘the greatest ordeal’, since he had to keep his eyes on Kintarou during almost the entire trip.
“And that was with Shiraishi, so I had some sort of a break when it got too much.” His senpai had added in horror. “I seriously don’t want to think about what would have happened if Shiraishi was not there.”
“Come on, it’s not that dreadful. It’s always great to talk to Kin-chan.” But his smile was suddenly replaced by a frown. “I wonder if he really is alright being on a different train.”
Shiraishi always take Kintaoru to whatever match that they needed to go, but the nationals require him to leave earlier then everyone else. He would much prefer to have Kintarou travelling with one of the team, but as Chitose pointed out bluntly and truthfully: “We are all really fond of that kid but only you can spend that long a time supervising him without ending up going mad.”
As a result, they decided to let Kintarou return to Osaka by himself as a trial.
“Despite labelling Osaka beside Mt Fuji I think he’ll manage.” Zaizen reassured Shiraishi, referring to the time they first saw Kintarou’s geography test. “At least he knows that Osaka is in Japan.”
“Are you seriously trying to make me feel better?”
The regulars all realise that Shiraishi treated the youngest member of their team in a different way, none of them minded since it was not really favouritism. The only difference was that Kintarou was more like a little brother instead of a following friend.
A question about Kintarou has been on Zaizen’s mind for sometimes but he never asked it as he believed that most people, even the regulars, would misunderstand. But since he was alone with his buchou- as they both missed the train they were meant to take- this was a good opportunity.
“Are you going to let him participate in the end of the year match?”
“No,” at his kohai’s stunned face Shiraishi quickly explained his reasons, and Zaizen was sure that he did not imagine the sudden sadness in his voice. “Being buchou and even fuku-buchou is not easy. I do not wish to make the same mistakes my own buchou made.”
“A mistake? But he made you buchou and you are a really good one.”
“Coming from our tensai that is a great compliment. Should I record it?” Shiraishi laughed before he turned serious once more. “Zaizen, what do you think being the buchou means? You might as well learn this now because you will probably be the next buchou.”
“Arrange everything and support everyone. Be the best in the club in order to help the coach to train everyone else.”
“I thought that too but that isn’t all. You listed what is expected but to be a good buchou you must perform additional duties. For example, you have to make sure that your team behaves…”
“Alright, alright, I was a bit rude to my last opponent.” The younger boy admitted due to the emphasise at the phrase. “But it was 6-0 in such a short amount of time, and considering that he said he was going to ‘trash this second year’...”
“But regardless of the circumstance, saying such a thing will make Shitenhouji look bad. So please restrain your self in the future. If you really want to trash talk, then do it inside your head.” Shiraishi scolded before he continued. “But as I said, you are obliged to make sure your team is behaving, but a good buchou should not achieve this through force. His team should obey what he asks as they believe that he is doing the best for them.”
Zaizen suddenly recollected the first time he met his buchou. Despite appearing rather cocky, he was quite worried about the person who would determine his experience his time in the tennis club. He actually expected Shiraishi to be extremely strict and even slightly Spartan like due to hearing about the amount of extra practises that he would do.
Instead, the buchou that greeted them seemed very good tempered and spoke to them in a rather gentle and soft voice. He had smiled kindly at the first years as he promised to help them in any way that he could.
It was not hard for them to believe him, especially when he was always so patient with everyone when they approached him, even if he was busily doing something else.
But there was a time when Shiraishi showed everyone that he was capable of being angry too. It happened in Zaizen’s first year, when a second year filled a can with stones and promised to give money to anyone that could hit the can and make it fall.
“You are charging them two hundred yens to do this.” Shiraishi had stated flatly when he found out. He did not raise his voice at all, but it was suddenly very cold, different from the way he usually speaks.
“But we don’t mind, buchou.” Someone had protested. “He says that he will give us eight hundred yens if we succeed.”
“Zaizen, come here.” Shiraishi ordered, indicating that things were a bit serious since he was not as authoritative in his first year of being the buchou. It was rather hard to discover where the line between disrespect to a senpai and the duty of the buchou rested. This then forbid him to order the first years that much in case this was seen in the wrong way.
“Hit that can for me, I think you can do it.” Shiraishi commanded, his voice still rather chilling.
Zaizen was naturally flattered at the faith his buchou put in him, but he was also scared because Shiraishi seemed to be in possession of the deep calmness that people only had when they were extremely angry.
“Use a lot of force.” Shiraishi added, his eyes narrowing slightly as he stared at the can.
Because Zaizen was a skilled player even in his first year, he was able to succeed in the first try.
“Well done.” His buchou told him briskly, before he turned to that second year. Many first years would have protested about the trick that was played on them if it wasn’t for Shiraishi’s expression. Even though he didn’t say anything for a long time, it was clear that he was going to do something.
Nonetheless everyone was still quite surprised when he suddenly raised his hand and slapped the offender on the face, the slap was clearly very hard as the noise immediately silenced the whole club.
“If I catch you doing anything like this again, then I will make sure that you are out of the tennis club.” He promised rather chillingly.

“You also have to help your team but not let them worry about you that much.” Shiraishi continued. “This is why I will not let anyone be the buchou before their third year, as your responsibility is not limited to the court, although that certainly is very important.
“You will still enjoy tennis,” unless it is perfect tennis, Shiraishi thought sadly, “But you have to be occupied by thoughts of the whole team. Even if you think that your team will lose, you still have to tell them the opposite.”
“Why did you agree to be one in your second year then?”
“Because I didn’t know what it means. I though I just have to continue playing tennis really well and tell my team ‘well done’ when they win, and ‘don’t worry’ if they lose.”
“No offence buchou, but I think you make it worse then it needs to be. No one will blame you if you want some sympathy from them, or if you are in a bad mood.” Zaizen stated rather bluntly, realising that this was probably the real reason why Shiraishi always seemed so cheerful and even hopeful. His real nature was probably not so optimistic, but for the sake of the team...
“Hitouji once said a similar thing: ‘You are the one who digs these holes.’” Shiraishi said with a sigh. “The reason why I missed the train is because I went to a shrine and spent too long in deciding which one of my two wishes I should ask for. In the end I just left, although I now realise that I should have asked for both, because it is not as if I could only have one.”
Just as no one forced him to break up with Ashita, he was the one who made himself choose between tennis and her.
As he stood in the shrine with these two plates in his hands, he realised that he could not choose this time. He wanted to win the nationals so much, but at the same time he couldn’t give up the hope of being with Ashita again.
“If I seemed depressed then it is because I am a bit stressed due to the nationals as I really want us to reach the finals this year.” He quickly said, which was true enough.
Like all people who made sacrifices, he was naturally nervous when the day of reckoning was approaching.
“I know what will help, playing a match against Koharu and Yuuji as soon as we get back.” Shiraishi suddenly decided, since these two always cheer him up with their joking tennis, although he was no longer so affected by it.
“Buchou…” Zaizen immediately protested.
“It benefits us and them.” Shiraishi explained. “They get to improve their playing style, while we are actually gaining a better concentration. This is why I always make everyone have a game with them regularly.”
“But they…Buchou, I don’t really have objections to that kind of thing but they can get a bit disgusting.”
Shiraishi probably spent a good five minutes starting at his kohai before he started to laugh very loudly. Zaizen didn’t know whether to be embarrassed at the fact that everyone else was staring at them due to his buchou, or for being the one that caused Shiraishi to be like this.
He was a smart enough kid, so this confirmed what he just discovered: his buchou really did bottle most things up to prevent them from suspecting. He was laughing so much as this was a rare opportunity for him to be able to release his emotions.
“Do you honestly think that Koharu and Hitouji are like that?” Shiraishi asked when he finally stopped laughing. “I thought that you would have worked out that they just like to behave in such an extreme way.”
Upon seeing that Zaizen was clearly unconvinced, he decided to reveal one of the great mysteries in Shitenhouji’s tennis club, another was the real reason of the bandages on his left hand. “These two always liked to joke around and most of the time they were allowed as they never did anything really extreme, but I think they wanted to. Their joking tennis then became a way for them to do so.
“They are also best friends, which is another motivation. Koharu told me this: ‘One day this bond of friendship will have to lessen as we will grow up and face situations that we can not do together. So we might as well spend time joking and mucking around together while we still can.’”
“So they really aren’t…”
“No. Does that make you feel easier around them?”
“I was quite scared when Koharu-senpai first called me ‘cute’.” Zaizen admitted, recollecting the way he had been welcomed into the team.

Zaizen was actually quite disappointed when they arrived in Osaka as it was not easy to get another opportunity to speak to his buchou alone. Even though Shiraishi was always willing to talk to anyone from the tennis team, it was much harder for the first and second years as he was often busy.
Since he was standing right beside Shiraishi, he noticed his buchou suddenly frowning when they got off the train, but the train station was so crowded that he didn’t know what had been responsible.
“I should have asked for my wishes.” Shiraishi finally said softly.
He saw Ashita walking past with a few of her friends. She seemed quite happy as she was laughing. It was not as if he was sadistic by wanting her to suffer, but it hurts to see her smiling so happily, especially when he knew that she would not do that for him anymore.
“Um…buchou…” Zaizen suddenly began. “I am kind of glad that I missed the train as I get to talk to you. You know how you said that a good buchou should be respected by his team member? Well, I do respect you as you are a really good tennis player and you do seem to care about us. I don’t think I would have enjoyed tennis so much if you haven’t been my buchou for the past two years.
“I don’t know whether I want to be try and be buchou but if I do, then I want to be one as good as you.”
Shiraishi let out a happy smile and due to the way Zaizen spoke he almost wanted to pat the boy on the head as he would to Kintarou, although he was barely taller then this kohai. “You will be able to be a good buchou if you can speak like this most of the time.”
“But it’s not easy for me to be so polite,” he admitted with an embarrassed laughter, “I guess that’s my additional duties.”

Final note: Another reason that Shiraishi is having this talk with Zaizen as I really believe that Zaizen will be the buchou next year, and initially the one shot was meant to be like this: Zaizen doesn’t want to be the buchou and upon being asked why by Shiraishi, he explains- after he realizes what Shiraishi did he doesn’t know whether he can do the same. So this led to them talking about what are the duties you should do and what are the additional duties.

As for that bit about Shiraishi slapping someone, I don’t know why but I can just see him doing that. (the whole stone and can thing is what a bunch of second years did to the first years in Seigaku in the very first volume. Since that is in the manga I just gave a dehydrated version here). While I do see Shiraishi as being very patient and good tempered, I believe that when he is angry it will be that kind of cold anger, which I think is much more scary. When I read the front of volume 38, when he told his team they’ll try to win by doubles, I actually felt that he is doing this for the team. I think he was a bit worried but for his team he act as if their doubles one would win with no problems at all in order to raise moral.

Lastly, about the reference to the temple, I am not really sure but I read somewhere that you write your wish on a wooden plate then hang it up at this place and pray for the gods to grant your wish. I couldn’t find that much information so sorry about that.

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The eleven boys sat in the table in a circle, leaving one space for Atobe. Since they were eliminated at various different stages in the nationals, there were familiar and alien faces for almost every one. The best way to solve this was to have an introduction- which was quite successful.
“I kept on hearing this weird noise.” Shiraishi pointed out once the last person finished introducing himself. “It sounds like a stampede or something.”
The captains from the Tokyo district schools immediately nodded in understanding.
“Ah, Atobe.” Tezuka said simply with another nod of his head.
“How long is this going to continue?” Shiraishi asked when the chanting was becoming louder.
“Until Atobe enters.” Tachibana told him sympathetically. “Meeting Hyotei for the first time is quite an ordeal.”
“It is going to get louder?” Shiraishi said with a groan.
Whoever said that people from Osaka was loud should come here to be proven wrong. First he had to hear Sanada’s roars, now there was this. Perhaps he should stop complaining whenever Kintarou or Watanabe shouts, because it was no where near this level.
But the noise suddenly stopped, although many of them would probably prefer to continue hearing the loud chants of “Hyotei and Atobe” instead of “Ah, be awed by the sight of ore-sama’s dazzling prowess.”
Even as this was declared out, a jacket flew in the room, landing at the very centre of the table.
“Atobe…” Sanada began, his voice very low, but the buchou of Hyotei seemed completely oblivious to the danger that was approaching.
“Ah, everyone else is here. Well, now that ore-same is here, let us start the meeting.”
“YOU ARE HALF AN HOUR LATE!”
Everyone, with the exception of Yukimura, all started to push their chair back. They could all sense the deadly aura that was radiating from Sanada.
If Sanada was holding a katana then he would probably pull it out due to Atobe’s words.
“But ore-same is the most important person in this meeting, so it is alright for ore-same to be late.”
Shiraishi wasn’t sure whether he should describe this as being thick-skinned, pure shamelessness or true ignorance. What made it surprising was that Atobe could say that when Sanada was probably contemplating on the best way of murdering him.
Beside Sanada, Yukimura actually frowned. Perhaps he thought that his fuku-buchou was being too extreme, since every one was continue edging their chairs away. Or maybe he just wanted to do this for reasons of his own.
“Now, Sanada, the main thing is that Atobe-kun is here.” The address by the last name, as well as the slightly raised tone, made Sanada sat back down without saying another word.
The other effect it had was to cause the person sitting beside Yukimura to move his chair even further away.
This fear was proven to be very rational by Yukimura’s next words.
“Ah, Atobe-kun, I am glad to see you. I must say,” the buchou of Rikkai said very sweetly. “It is a pity that your hair grows so fast as your new hair cut really suited you.”
“You seem to have recovered completely, Yukimura-kun.” Atobe gritted out between his teeth, “Ore-same is glad to see that.”
Yukimura bowed in acknowledgement to this, as if Atobe was paying him homage.
“But know that even though Hyotei lost this year, it will be different next year.” Atobe continued, “Hyotei’s next buchou will lead the next generation to beat Rikkai.”
“We have a very good successor too.” Yukimura said, his smile growing wider.
“Echizen Ryoma will continue being the pillar of Seigaku.” Tezuka butted in with a firm nod from Ooishi, although most other people were looking at them a bit blankly.
“Seigaku winning the kantou regional this year is only this year!” Sanada added heatedly, “Rikkai will continue being the champions. This year means nothing!”
Shiraishi gave a sigh as the others began to argue about how their school would do in the Kantou regional next year, since they were all from that region. Well, Shitenhouji was the unchallenged Kansai champion.
Feeling a bit bored, he took out his phone to cheek if there was any messages, upon seeing the pleading from Kenya that asked him to ring back as soon as possible, he turned to the others to see if they would mind.
“The entire Fudomine team will continue playing next year…” even Tachibana was drawn into the conversation.
They wouldn’t mind, Shiraishi decided as he pressed the dial button.
“Shiraishi you have to save me!” his fuku-buchou yelled out. “We were almost thrown out as our coach was snoring.”
“He did that last year too.” Shiraishi said rather calmly. “Just poke him every five minutes, that will also prevent you from sleeping. But make that sure that he doesn’t start yelling.”
A long silence followed before Kenya said in disbelieve: “Please don’t tell me that was what you did last year.”
“Sort of,” he said with an automatic shrug, although it was not as if Kenya could see that. “But it is not that bad because the food was really good, and they did give quite high quality equipments.“
“But it is so boring!”
“Boring stuff can be good, Kenya.” At this he smiled rather sourly, his perfect tennis was just like that.
“Well, thanks for the advice. By the way, how is it at your end?”
“It is certainly…entertaining.” he said truthfully.
He was going to continue chatting until he noticed that everyone was looking at him strangely, which caused him to quickly end the conversation.
“What?” he asked a bit defensively, “It was an emergency call from my fuku-buchou and since you guys were so busy talking about the Kantou regional while I’m from Kansai…”
“No, that is not the point.” Saeki spoke on behalf of everyone, “It’s what you were saying…it sounds so strange.”
“That’s Kansai-ben.” Shiraishi said, failing to understand their extreme reaction. “It’s not that different.”
“It seems like a completely different language!” Sengoku said. “So, Shiraishi-kun, do people speak like that in where you live?”
“I live in Osaka! It’s not as if I live in some really isolated place.” He pointed out dryly, “I still don’t know why you guys are acting as if I am speaking in a foreign language.”
“Can you teach me some phrases then?” Sengoku pressed on eagerly.
“What do you want to learn? Stuff like ‘the weather is fine,’ ‘where is the train station?’” he mentioned these sentences as they were what he tended to find in text books.
“No, no, no, that’s not interesting.” Sengoku said with a rather sage shake of his head. “I was thinking more along the lines of ‘You are very pretty’, ‘why don’t we spend sometime together?’”
Shiraishi was considering whether he should let Sengoku memorise “I am not a pervert”, if he really would teach him some Kansai-ben.
The sound of Atobe snapping his finger would not have been loud if it wasn’t for the fact that Atobe did it in front of the microphone.
“Ore-same believes that we should begin the main purpose of our meeting.” Atobe declared out. “And that is the recording of the song.”
Why this song in particular? Shiraishi thought dryly as everyone began to flip their ‘script’. His mother would always play that song on these three days without fail: the anniversary of her wedding, the day she and his father had their first date, and of course, on Valentine Day. Being a boy, he thought that the song was very cheesy, and always implored his mother to turn the volume down.
However, he could no longer complain about it as Ashita seemed to like it as well. At the first Valentine day that they spent together, she had clapped her hand in delight when she heard the song and made him dance with her.

“Ah, ore-same will naturally begin.” Atobe said, snapping his fingers once again. “Be dazzled by the prowess of ore-same’s voice.”
It was clear that Atobe was certainly enjoying himself, and everyone doubts that he could get any more into it. In fact, he was all but hogging the microphone now.
Upon finishing his verse, Atobe turned to Tezuka: “Now, Tezuka, see if you can even compare to Ore-sama.!”
There was no doubt that Tezuka was among the very top when it came to tennis, but his singing skills were not in the same rank. Sanada naturally used the world slack, although Tachibana was the one who made a more accurate judgement: Tezuka was not really trying, his voice was almost monotonic, and no one was convinced that tomorrow was a special day.
“Ooishi, yudan sezu ni ikou.” Tezuka said sternly as he handed the microphone to his fuku-buchou, who has been taking very deep breaths ever since the first person began to sing.
Ooishi’s version was much better then Tezuka, although it almost had a maternal touch to it.
When Tachibana took the microphone it was as if he was undergoing a personality change. The rather calm and composed buchou of Fudomine began to sing very passionately, almost roaring into the microphone when he was not waving it.
So that is what Tachibana used to be like, Shiraishi thought as he observed this, I really didn’t’ think he is the type of person who would play in such a wild and aggressive way.
This would probably be quite an interesting piece of information for Chitose- provided that the other will stop laughing at the mere thought of Shiraishi being a participant in this.
Meanwhile, the microphone has passed from Tachibana to Minami, whose version was rather bland, not very distinguished. But it seemed that Yamabuki’s fuku-buchou has always stood out much more then their buchou.
Sengoku has been waiting for his turn very eagerly, as this was surely a very good way to be noticed by girls. He was quite disappointed that Minami did not manage to make him more distinguished, but he consoled himself with the fact that since he was directly after Minami, girls will be more likely to notice him.
“Alright!” he yelled out as soon as he grabbed the microphone from Minami, after being scolded for grinning to himself. “This is for all the cute girls in Japan…no, this is for all the cute girls in the world!”
Needless to say, he gained himself a follower: Aoi Kentarou was starting to regard him as an idol.
“Well done, Sengoku-kun,” Yukimura said with a smile, “However, it is Rikkai’s turn. Genichiro,” he stated, even though his voice has not raised, there was a very strong authority in it, “We will show everyone how well Rikkai performs.”
Sanada certainly tried very hard, but the words seemed a bit strange to be sung by him. As he listened to the verse that Sanada was singing, Shiraishi suddenly felt that he was at the morning assembly, just about to sing the school song.
Yukimura was certainly different, he definitely sang the song with much more convection then Sanada, although many were wandering whether it was done too well. All of a sudden, the song no longer seemed to be about a happy date on Valentine day, but a last meeting between two doomed lovers.
Even though this whole thing was really bizarre and rather pointless, Shiraishi realised that he was actually really enjoying himself. It was certainly much more fun then the Osaka meeting that his coach and fuku-buchou were currently attending. That was why he was quite cheerful when he accepted the microphone from Yukimura, although he was slightly worried that Sanada would suddenly yell out “This is too slack a performance! Put the microphone down right now!”
He needn’t have worry as even though his singing was not particular unusual, it was very good. He might not have moved the audience to tears, but he was never out of tune. The fact that he was thinking of his girl friend made his version rather pleasant to listen to, as they could detect the affection in his voice.
The song was finished by Saeki and Kentarou, the latter doing a very good performance due to the fear of not being able to go on a date for three years if he did not sing as well as his senpai.

When the meeting finally concluded, Shiraishi has to consider the problem of the rest of the night. Kenya told him that he could stay with his cousin Yuushi if things get too late, and this was probably his best opinion as he was sure that the last train has left.
“Atobe-kun, do you know where Oshitari Yuushi lives? I think I will probably have to spend the night in his house since the next train to Osaka only comes at next morning.”
“Ah, stay in Oshitari Yuushi’s house? Shiraishi-kun, are you deserted in Tokyo with no one to turn to?”
“It is true that I don’t really know anyone in Tokyo but…”
“Then ore-sama generously invites you to stay in his house as ore-sama has many guest rooms, so ore-sama is convinced that one of the rooms will be able to suit your requirement.”
“Well…”
“Of course, this will not trouble ore-sama at all.” Atobe continued grandly, “No, not at all.”
Do I sound like a beggar begging? Shiraishi thought dryly.
“Since Shiraishi-kun just agreed,” Atobe said on behalf of Shiraishi, as he was certain his offer would not be rejected. “Ore-sama extends the invitation to all of you.”
“Well…we don’t want to impose on you Atobe.” Ooishi began timidly.
“Nonsense, Ore-sama’s house is big enough for all of you. What do you say to this, Tezuka, ah?”
Sengoku naturally agreed as he has heard of Atobe’s reputation of being super rich.
“Us too! This is awesome! Lucky!” he cried out happily.
Saeki agreed as well, because like Shiraishi, their train has probably left. His original plan was to stay in Fuji’s house, but Atobe’s offer was much better as Kentarou would probably be a bit frightened by Fuji. Despite being very close friends with Fuji, Saeki knew that his friends could be rather unusual.
“Yukimura, we are…” Sanada began, but he was interrupted by his buchou, who seemed on the verge of clapping his hands.
“This sounds fun! Don’t you think so, Genichiro?” without waiting for him to speak, he turned to Atobe, “We are coming as well!”
“Well, Tezuka, it might be good if we go as…”
Tezuka gave a nod as soon as Ooishi finished his explanation, since he knew his fuku-buchou very well.
“Ah, then follow ore-sama!”

When Shiraishi finally returned to Osaka, he naturally had a lot of stuff to tell everyone, as well as distributing a large amount of gift. Upon hearing that he intended to buy some souvenirs, Atobe gave him an enormous pile. Shiraishi didn’t mind accepting them at all, because he knew that this has nothing to do with Atobe being very rich, it was just because Atobe wanted to give him some gifts as thanks for attending the meeting, and being Atobe, he has to do it in such an extreme way.
“How was the meeting, Shiraishi?” Watanabe asked when he picked the young boy up at the train station, rather surprised at his extra luggage.
“It was very interesting,” Shiraishi said after a slight pause, “I learnt a lot of stuff. I think the most important thing is that I realise the images we see of our rivals on court can be quite different from what they are like in daily life.”
Although some people seemed to be quite similar, he thought warily as he recollected the lectures he had received from Rikkai’s fuku-buchou due to being late.
“I am glad that I went.” He finally said. “I really am.”

Final note: The whole thing with the drinking machine is actually one of the first inspiration for this story. Basically in that meeting in 20.5, Aoi said something which caused Sanada to yell at him, saying he is much too slack, Tachibana then told Sanada that he should be a bit tolerant, since Aoi is only a first year. Sanada then said that when he was a first year, he was actually noticing that the water supply in the stadium is really bad, and that he went to suggest them to install some vending machine. That just kind of gave me the idea. And I naturally thought that it will be really fun if Shiraishi is there since he is quite a famous figure in their world. Initially I was going to put Higa’s buchou in but that didn’t fit.

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Title: The singing gathering
Written at: September 8, 2007
Summary: Inspired by the kantou buchou’s meeting in the end of 20.5. Basically a humorous story, the crazy idea of various buchou and fuku-buchou (including Shiraishi) gathering for a meeting due to Atobe’s sudden whim of wanting to record the song ‘valentine kiss’.
Word count: 6528
Note: I got this idea when I was reading Prince of tennis 20.5, which includes this end bit of almost all the buchou of the Kantou schools having a meeting and some how I just had the idea of ‘What if Shiraishi was there as well?” And somehow I just ended up writing conversations of what I think will be happening in this meeting. Then I realized that I want to transfer it into a story, so here it is. This is totally random, and some character are portrayed a bit over the top and the others will probably be a bit out of character since I don’t really have that a very good understanding of their character. Also, I am not really sure how everyone addresses everyone so I might have made some mistakes, then please forgive me. I tried…

Both the coach and fuku-buchou of Shitenhouji were waving at theiri buchou, who was glaring at them from the moving train that was heading to Tokyo. But Watanabe’s smile was genuine, unlike the strained smile of Kenya.
About a week ago, Shitenhouji’s tennis club received a very formal and elaborate letter from Atobe Keigo, announcing that he was going to host a gathering to help the reporters of Monthly tennis to compete their special edition that will cover the whole national. Somehow this involved making the buchou and fuku-buchou of all the participating school to record the song ‘Valentine kiss’, which would be released along with the magazine.
“…and as letting the entire population of Japan be awed by our voices is such a noble goal, ore-same expects all of you who receive this to attend…” Kenya finally gave up in frustration and disgust, “Gosh, he is the number one narcissist. Can I please put this in the shredder?”
“We have to go to another meeting any way.” Shiraishi said with a careless shrug, although the ticket to Tokyo by the Shinkasen was pretty tempting, since he went on ordinary trains before.
Every year, the largest sport equipment manufacturer in Osaka would gather all the sport teams of the city in order to make their annual speech and distribute prices to those who performed exceptionally well.
“But we have a fuku-buchou and a buchou!” Watanabe announced as he charged in the office, brandishing his copy of the letter. “One of you can go to this meeting in Tokyo, while the other can attend the Osaka meeting with me.”
“Kenya should go to the Tokyo one.” Shiraishi put in quickly. “We will probably be given some prices as we came third in the nationals. Since I am the buchou I should be there to accept it. Kenya can also visit his cousin at the same time.”
“So I have to go to that…that ridiculous recording of that stupid song just because I have relatives in Tokyo?” Kenya protested.
Watanabe spent some time pondering, which involved him scratching his chin before he suddenly pressed his hat down even more, the indication of him having made up his mind. “Well, Shiraishi, you are the buchou, so you know best. Kenya, this will be a good opportunity for you to learn how to please girls.”
“What has that got to do with anything…” Kenya’s protest trailed off as Shiraishi immediately began to arrange for the Tokyo trip, deeply relieved that he was not the one who had to go.
But when the train to Tokyo finally arrived, Watanabe suddenly said: “Shiraishi, I think it is much better to send you instead.” As he said this, he actually pushed Shiraishi onto the train, then quickly closed the door.
“Don’t forget that you are representing Shitenhouji!” Watanabe shouted out, waving very cheerfully until the train was well out of their sight. Then he turned to Kenya and picked up the boy’s luggage. “Well, it’s time for us to go back, we have to attend the Osaka meeting tonight.”
“Is this really alright?”
“Shiraishi will be fine, I know that he have his wallet and cell phone in his school bag.” Watanabe said easily. “I also put some extra money in his bag- just in case.”
“So you intended for him to go all along? Not that I am complaining at all.” Kenya quickly added.
Watanabe admits this with his typical grin, “Of course. Shiraishi will probably give more complaints then you if I told him that he is going no matter what, so I let him think that you are going in order to spare myself a worse headache.”
“But why do you want him to go? It is not as if that meeting really requires the buchou to go.”
“Because Shiraishi needs to have some happy memories that happened due to him being the buchou. I know that this singing gathering is a bit idiotic, but I am sure that it will be enjoyable once you get there.”
The answered shocked Kenya because he never expected their coach to be so perceptive, although it could also be interpreted the opposite way: none of the regulars ever noticed how difficult being the buchou was.
“Beside,” Watanabe added, “It can’t be worse then the meeting tonight. Shiraishi’s main job at the meeting last year was to keep me awake. With the exception of dinner and the time when we were presented with free stuff, the meeting was one of the most boring things I have ever participated in.”
At this Kenya suddenly wonder whether he should have insisted on going to Tokyo.
However, they both failed to remember that Shiraishi might face problems from another source.

“WHAT!” Ashita’s loud scream immediately forced him to quickly hold his cell phone some distance away from him.
He couldn’t exactly blame his girl friend for yelling at him as he was meant to be eating dinner with her before he goes to the Osaka meeting, and she told him that she would cook all the dinner since he was the guest.
“I am so sorry!” he whispered very softly as many of the passengers were now looking at him. “But Watanabe-sensei just shoved me on the train. I didn’t even have time to protest!”
“I can’t believe this.” He could hear her mutter something and it probably was not what he might wish to hear, as she seemed to have deliberately pressed her hand over the speaker.
“Ashita?”
“I know it is not your fault, Kuranosuke, but I am just still mad.” She finally said . “I was cooking as soon as I got home and I was really hoping…”
The two of them has reconciled, but what he had done was still a slight barrier- she was afraid that the same thing might happen again.
“Young love.” The matronly woman in front of him declared out dreamily to her husband when he finally hung up the phone after much assurance. “We were like that once.”
This was enough to make him consider whether he should go to one of the quiet carriages. But he should really be figuring out a way to make this up to Ashita, maybe a gift from Tokyo could pacify her?

If it was the train arriving in Tokyo fifteen minutes after schedule was not bad enough, he had great difficulty in navigating his way first out of the train station, then through the city. Unfortunately, Atobe presumed that they would easily find their way to the studio where the meeting was held, so he did not have much time.
Bad luck seemed to favour him- he decided, rather logically, that it would be quicker to ask someone instead of trying to work out the map himself. This made him end up going to the opposite direction.
In the end, he still had to decipher the map himself. Due to all this delay, he was forced to arrive ten minutes late. It was really bad for the representation of a school to be late, but surely the others might forgive him since he was a stranger to Tokyo.
Shiraishi was immediately greeted by Tachibana. The two boys from Kyushu have resumed correspondence after the national as they finally worked out every thing. It was natural that they would talk about their new team mates. From what he heard, Tachibana could respect Shiraishi without much difficulty- he regards the buchou of Shitenhouji’s decision of doing something he did not like in order for his team to benefit as very noble.
“Tachibana-kun.” Shiraishi said with a smile, he truly admires the buchou of Fudomine due to his sense of honour in the singles 2 match with Chitose. “I am sorry for being late but I was lost.”
“Well, you are not from Tokyo so I think that is pardonable.” Tachibana said understandingly. “I’ve been here for about a year now and I still have difficulty in finding my way sometimes.”
The other person, unfortunately, was not to be pacified so easily. Upon seeing the fuku-buchou of Rikkai, Shiraishi’s first reaction was wondering whether he should run for it, as Sanada was glaring at him.
“Well, Shiraishi-kun is here.” Tachibana began in what he hoped to be a rather tactful manner. “I am sure that he is eager to meet the others who are inside so…”
“Ten…minutes…late.” Sanada spelt out slowly, before he suddenly started to yell very loudly. “You should not be so slack, especially when you are the captain of Shitenhouji, who actually came third in the nationals for the past two years!”
“How has that got to do with anything?” Shiraishi immediately retorted back. He knew that he was in the wrong for being late, but this was surely way too extreme. Judging from Sanada’s tone, it sounded as if he turned up to the meeting a whole day late. Beside, it was not really as if being a good tennis player meant that he was good at directions too.
“That’s true.” Tachibana affirmed him when he pointed this out. “Sanada-kun, Shiraishi-kun lives in Osaka so we should pardon him for being a bit late.”
“As a buchou it is his duty to find out all the information about the city he needs to go a few days ahead and read the map over on the train in order to commit it to memory…” Sanada began.
“Well, I would have done that but my fuku-buchou was the one who was going, not me, I was meant to be attending another meeting.” Shiraishi quickly defended himself. “Kenya…Oshitari Kenya hase the map that I brought…”
“As the buchou you should have read the map with him and keep a copy with you in case he gets lost and requires your help.” Sanada interrupted him very sternly. “It is your duty…”
“I am sure that everyone is waiting for us.” Tachibana said as he quickly ushered Shiraishi inside.
“What is it with that guy? I mean, I’ve only seen him at the national and…” Shiraishi began, breathing a sigh of relief. “Actually, he wouldn’t be the guy who was talking about the drinking machine would he? Because there was this guy who was ranting about how slack the organizer was by not having enough water supplies.”
“Rikkai’s Sanada is always like that. Now that you mention it, I think I remember that incident too.” Tachibana agreed, “But Shiraishi-kun, their buchou is much worse then their fuku-buchou.”
“I can’t really imagine that.” Shiraishi said truthfully.
“It’s a different type of scariness, Shiraishi-kun. Yukimura wouldn’t give you a lecture about being late or anything but…” Tachibana didn’t need to finish his sentence as by this time they had walked into the meeting room, where they were immediately greeted by Yukimura, who was smiling at them with what could only be described as a dazzling smile.
The smile put Shiraishi on guard because Watanabe tended to smile like that whenever he had one of his strange plans.
“You must be Shiraishi Kuranosuke,” Yukimura said, offering his hand, “I remember you from the nationals last year, as well as this year.”
“Rikkai’s buchou, I’ve already met your fuku-buchou.” Shiraishi replied as he accepted the hand.
“Oh Genichirou can be so serious about the littlest thing, I should really stop him but he looks so funny whenever he gets so angry!” Rikkai’s buchou replied with an angelic smile, then asked “Did I say something strange?” in a tone of pure innocence when everyone began to edge away, particularly Shiraishi and Tachibana, who was standing the closest to him.
“Saeki-kun! This is Shiraishi Kuranosuke from Shitenhouji!” Tachibana quickly declared out at the sight of a person with a less deceptive expression.
The three boys began to chat rather amiably about who was participating.
“No one is coming from Higa Chuu, a very good thing.” Saeki stated.
“I’ve heard about their behaviour during their match and it is sickening.” Shiraishi said with a nod. “But it seems that I am the only one who is representing a school outside of Kantou.”
“Many others refuse to come, and I suppose I can’t exactly blame them.” Tachibana said understandingly, “This whole idea is quite bizarre.”
“But I think this is really good!” Sengoku announced loudly as he joined them, “It’s a great chance for us to be noticed by all the cute girls in the world!”
“Sengoku-kun.” Tachibana acknowledged with a nod.
“Sengoku Kyysumi, the buchou of Yamabuki?” Shiraishi asked.
“I am Sengoku but I am not the buchou.” Sengoku replied easily. “Wow, one of Kansai’s most famous player actually recognise me, lucky!“
“Wait a second, I always thought that you are the buchou of Yamabuki.” Saeki butted in. “If you are not… then who is it?”
“Minami.”
“Who is Minami then?” Tachibana asked rather softly, just in case.
“Tacbibana-kun, you are the one who lives in Tokyo. How would we know if you don’t?” Saeki pointed out.
“Yamabuki’s uniform is quite distinguished so it shouldn’t be that hard…” Shiraishi began logically.
“I am Minami Kentarou!” the boy beside them protested. At his appearance the three other boys could only laugh rather embarrassedly, as he was basically standing right next to them.
“I am so sorry for not seeing you there.” Shiraishi began, extending his hand. “Anyway, I am Shiraishi Kuranosuke, the buchou of Osaka’s Shitenhouji.”
“I know who you are, I’ve heard of you.” Minami muttered rather bitterly as he accepted the offered hand, it was bad enough to not be recognised, but it was much worse when you actually knew the identity of that person.
Beside Minami, Sengoku gave a slight shake of his head, “I told you, Minami, you need to be more distinguished. See, not only does Kansai’s Shiraishi not recognise you, even people from Tokyo like Tachibana have no idea who you are. Of course, there’s the more important fact that girls will never notice you.”
“Well, people playing doubles tend to be less noticed then people who play singles, even though they are equally important.” Tachibana said, wanting to make up for his early words.
“But my own buchou played doubles with me when he was the buchou and everyone in Kansai knew who he was and there are people outside Kansai who recognised him too!” Shiraishi immediately protested, but he quickly stopped when he noticed that Minami seemed to be on the verge of slouching down in despair.
“Why don’t we go and stand beside the window?” Saeki suggested tactfully. “I want to see if Kentarou is coming. I hope that he will be here soon.”
“Sanada really scared that poor boy at the last meeting.” Tachibana said in sympathy.
“What did actually happen, Tachibana-kun? The only thing Kentarou seemed to remember about the meeting was how frightening Sanada was.”
As Tachibana explained what had happened, the two other boys nodded in empathy. Shiraishi could understand that perfectly as his first meeting with Sanada was rather similar. It was at the national before this year, and as the two teams faced each other, he kept on feeling that the guy with the cap was staring at him.
As he told this story to his companions, they both began to laugh softly, not out aloud due to the fear of being noticed by everyone else, especially Rikkai’s buchou.
“But I think he probably just look like that in general,” Saeki whispered, “I don’t think he was deliberately staring at you.
“He reminds me of that guy in Seigaku, the one that always wear a bandana.” Tachibana added.

Unlike Shiraishi, Rokkaku’s buchou was unable to dispel Sanada’s yelling as mere annoyance. Most of the buchou and fuku-buchou were very sympathetic towards him, especially when he starts to repetitively bow in apology with the promise of never being late in his entire life.
Although some were watching this with a bit of amusement.
“Are you alright, Kentarou?” Saeki immediately asked in great concern as his kohai entered, clearly very shaken.
“I…I am still alive.” Was Kentarou’s answer as he slouched down on one of the chairs. “I really didn’t mean to be so late…”
“Hey, the same thing happened to me!” Shiraishi said kindly. “So you are Aoi Kentarou. I am Shiraishi Kuranosuke from…”
“You are the one with the really pretty girl friend!” Aoi suddenly yelled out. “I heard from Saeki-senpai, who heard from Fuji-senpai, who heard from Momoshiro-senpai , who…”
“What is this? What is this? You have a girl friend?” Sengoku immediately butted in. “Is she really pretty?”
Shiraishi didn’t know whether he should be relieved that he was being remembered due to this instead of his perfect tennis. Maybe he should tell this to Ashita, as it might cheer her up. His father once told him that a female was vain no matter what she might say.
With the arrival of Aoi, almost everyone- with the exception of one has come. So Tezuka, who has been standing beside the window and observe all this finally spoke.
“Maybe we should start.”
“Yes, it is fifteen minutes pass the starting time.” The ever nervous mother of Seigaku began worriedly. ”Perhaps one of us should ask Sanada-san to enter.”
This would be a good idea if it wasn’t greeted with a long silence.
“Oh don’t bother about Genichirou,” Yukimura said easily, “He’ll enter whenever he wants to.”
“But we should really be starting the meeting!” Ooishi said, his voice even more worried. “According to the agenda we are meant to have some discussions before we…”
“Just how old is Sanada-kun anyway?” Sengoku’s louder voice drowned over Ooishi, “The way he stand outside like that make him look like one of those guards at department stores.”
“He looked like that at last year’s nationals too.” Shiraishi pointed out. “In fact, when I first saw him with my coach he was examining the vending machine, and we thought that he was…actually, never mind.” He managed to stop himself on time as Yukimura’s smile was a bit too dangerous.
“I wonder how old he is,” Watanabe had whispered to him. “Shiraishi, do you think it is possible that he might be younger then me?”
“I doubt it.” Shiraishi had murmured back in equal softness. “Sensei is only twenty six, right? He looks as if he is at least ten years older then you.”
“Shiraishi-kun, are you sure you don’t want to finish what you are saying?” Yukimura asked, his smile making Shiraishi glance behind him to see if there was room for him to back away, “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t tell anyone, especially Genichirou.”
Yeah right was Shiraishi’s initial reaction, somehow he could easily visualise the picture of Sanada chasing him with a katana due to Yukimura retelling him this most ‘accidentally and innocently’ .
“We should really start the meeting!” Ooishi began again, his voice almost on the edge of panicking.
“Ooishi-kun, don’t worry, Atobe is still not here, and since he is the one who arranged this we need to wait for him.” Tachibana said kindly.
Due to Kenya’s cousin, the whole Shitenhouji team has heard a lot of bizarre stories, although none of it has been confirmed as being true yet. This was surely the perfect time to find out.
“Are all these rumours about Hyotei true? About their hundreds of cheerleader and some one who always start the game by throwing his jacket into the air. And I also heard that if you lose a game you have to shave or cut your hair.”
Tachibana and Saeki were going to explain some of these stories when they were suddenly interrupted by the sound of Yukimura tapping on the window.
“Genichirou can be so stubborn.” He said with a slight smile. “I apologise for causing you guys any inconvenience.”
“Thank you, Yukimura-kun but I don’t think that would work.” Ooishi said gratefully, “I don’t think he can…”
With the exception of Yukimura, everyone was stunned when Sanada walked into the room. Even Tezuka was shocked, but being Tezuka, he easily masked his expression and only let out an “Ah” at this.
“Yukimura, I am sorry for troubling you.” Sanada said with a formal bow, but as he saw the rest of the buchou and fuku-buchou, he began another one of his infamous screams.
Yukimura was naturally doing the right thing, sitting by the table; Tezuka and Ooishi were still standing beside the window; Saeki, Kentarou, Tachibana and Shiraishi had formed their own circle in one of the corners, although they were at least sitting on chairs, not on the table as Sengoku was. Sengoku has remembered what Shiraishi said about his girl friend and was pestering Shiraishi to show him some sort of a photo by repeatedly knocking on the back of Shiraishi’s chair.
Of course, there was also poor Minami, who was practically ignored by everyone else even though he was actually standing right next to Sengoku.
“Why haven’t you guys started the meeting?” Sanada bellowed out, “That is too slack.”
Looking at the glass in Kentarou’s hand, Shiraishi could almost swear that the water in it was vibrating. This was absolutely amazing, not even Kintarou’s loudest “Poisoned hands” could achieve this.
“But Sanada-kun, you were standing outside.” Saeki pointed out calmly.
“I was making sure that those who are late will know! The meeting would have begun on time if Shiraishi-kun didn’t arrive ten minutes late.”
“For goodness sake, it was only ten minutes!” Shiraishi protested again, he was more then a bit annoyed at the fact that Sanada was referring to this as if everyone else has been waiting for him for a whole day. “And as I said before, I haven’t been to Tokyo many times and…oh, forget it!” he said in utter defeat when Sanada began another lecture on the importance of arriving on time.
“And Aoi-kun is even worse!” upon finally finishing with the first victim, he quickly moved on to the second one.
“I am so sorry, Sanada-san! I’ll never be late again in my entire life! I swear it!” the first year buchou of Rokkaku said as he stood up and began to bow repetitively at Sanada.
“Kentarou, don’t let this get to you this much.” Saeki whispered, pulling him to sit down again.
Despite being capable of having a deafening scream, Sanada was also in possession of a very good hearing.
“What do you mean by that? You shouldn’t encourage him to be late! He is the buchou and he…”
“Sanada-kun, we are not from Tokyo. I am not even from Kantou. The ticket Atobe–kun gave us did not give us much time to find our way.” Shiraishi said steadily, receiving a grateful look from Kentarou.
“I am not from Tokyo either! That is no excuse for being so slack.”
“Yes, that is true, but Kanagawa is quite close to Tokyo.” Shiraishi reminded him, “While both Chiba and Osaka are some distances away. Most of all, you are over reacting.”
“Genichiro, Shiraishi-kun is right. Why don’t we just all sit back and let the meeting start?” Yukimura said. Although his voice still seemed a bit soft, Shiraishi could tell that the tone was much firm. After all, this was how he spoke with Kintarou whenever he needed to get the younger boy to do, or not do, something.
But the difference between these two was a bit too vast…

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I don’t know when or how exactly this happened, but all of a sudden my day and sleeping time is disrupted, this is really bad because it then works in a cycle. I would sleep late because there are things that I want to do, and because I am sleeping late I am then waking up late, and by waking up late I don’t seem to have enough time, so I will then stay up. Well, I planned to sleep early last night but I got quite distracted as I was reading (I want to know who the killer is). But I think I must be born not liking detective stories, because I would forget about who is who by the middle of the book. Yet when I read romance novels, I seem to be usually able to remember most of the characters. But I also dislike reading too much mystery novels for another reason: for me, they show the ugly side of humanity. Because mystery novels usually involve solving crime that are murders, and the reason of murder just really make you feel sad and at times deeply disgusted with humanity. Perhaps it is also due to the fact that I am not born as an intellectual, so when others go: “Oh my gosh, did you hear that, that is very symbolic”, or “Oh my goodness, that theory makes perfect sense!!!” I’ll be going: “Huh? I don’t get this at all”. So I only occasionally read these kind of stuff.

My main project in the world of fandom is the fan fiction that deals with Watanabe (prince of tennis). That story is unusual. I admit that it is quite a stretch, the plot, as in the fact that I am really stretching it. That assumption and what if in that story is probably a bit too far. (it is highly unlikely/impossible). To tell the truth I am not even sure whether I fully believe it myself but I don’t really care, I just want to finish this story (I think my theory is pretty unlikely, but I am not saying it is impossible yet.) My main problem is that I usually almost always write the draft of these story on paper first, and sometimes typing it up can be really tedious, and it tend to take quite some time (although I am a relatively fast typist).

I am also in the process of doing two more ‘one shot’ in chapters. I’ve got the draft written and I just now need to typed it up. I think these story might interest some people who will be reading this entry. The first one is actually sort of from Yukimura’s point of view. We start with Yukimura thinking about all this the reason they all want to win so much, and then he meets Shiraishi and the two talks a bit. Although I do not think it is a friendship fan fiction, which is what I initially wanted, I still like the result. The other fan fiction involves the singles 2 match in the finals of the nationals, where Shiraishi ponders about what it means, and it ends with him thinking about Niou’s decision. Not very long because this one shot is focusing on Shiraishi , but I think the portrayal of Niou, might interest some people.

Lastly… I don’t know why but I started to read ‘Bleach’. Well… it was sort of because I’ve heard about the story from you know who, and then I went on the internet and had a read about summary and characters, and because I really like the two bleach song I heard. Then the other day, I was doing stuff on the family computer (which contains copies of the manga), and I just thought I’ll have a read. Once I did I just decided to read it, and I then just read it sort of because it happens to be there, and it is quite interesting. Another reason is because I was quite interested in the story of Gin and Rangiku so I actually went to fan fiction.net after I went to Wikipedia, and then I read a lot of really nice fan fictions. (even though I haven’t even read the original story myself). So I guess that’s another reason, after reading stories about them for quite a while I decided to see what they are like in the original story. (although I do know that nothing that much happened). But I am already too much influenced by fan’s version because I might not really think that there has been something like that going on if I have not read fan fictions first. Also… I’ve read too many fan fictions saying that the reason of Gin’s betrayal is due to Rangiku… I think I am starting to believe this myself, although I know that I would never have reached this judgement if it wasn’t for fan fictions. But oh well, so what? My interpretations has always been weird anyway.

Oh, and another reason I have been curious about bleach. Because Watanabe Osamu (prince of tennis) is based on the character of Urahara Kisuke (bleach). Now that I have almost read all of the released volumes, I have to say: they are quite alike (although I think Watanabe is drawn much better then Urahara). But basically Watanabe truly have that sense of only stepping in only when things get really serious. And I am so so so glad that Konomi-sensei based Watanabe-sensei on Urahara, instead of some one really perverted (eg. The captain of the 12th division, and Szayel Aporro Granz- the number eight espada.) By the way I am really worried…the seiyuu for Aporro (what most people call him) is actually the seiyuu for Sengoku (pot again) and the scary thing is that in one scene, Aporro actually says something like: “So the fact that I get to meet the two of you is very lucky!” Yeah… “Toriumi-san, please don’t use your Sengoku voice and tone at that time!!!”

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Title: The way I want to be remembered
Written at: August 29, 2007
Summary: What if Shitenhouji was offered the chance of letting some of their regulars attend the Junior Selection Camp as well? Due to Shiraishi’s refusal at going, Watanabe plays a match with him in order to let him understand his own skills more.
Theme: The idea of a bind on Shiraishi due to him playing perfect tennis, and showing that he could still be very good without perfect tennis.
Word count: 1869

“Do you boys want to make a bet with me?” Watanabe Osamu said as he took out a form from his seemingly neglected filing cabinet and placed it face down on the desk. “Shiraishi is going to enter and charge to the filing cabinet, ignoring us completely, to search for this.”
“What will happen if you lose?” Kenya asked.
“The loser must treat the winner to lunch.”
“There is no way that I am going to accept your bet.” Chitose said. “Face it, Sensei, you are not exactly trustworthy. Beside, I think I can guess what you did.”
“Young people these days…” Watanabe said in seemingly despair. “I can’t believe the next generation is like this.”
“Hey, Shiraishi is…” Koharu began but quickly stopped talking at the mere sight of Shiraishi’s face- the last time he saw his friend with that expression was when he mentioned Tanako Ashita on the day Shiraishi decided to break up with her.
Without any word of greeting to any of them, Shiraishi marched to the filing cabin and yanked it open, then start flipping the files with an uncharacteristic force.
“Looking for this?” Watanabe asked merrily, waving the document at Shiraishi, it was the form saying who the two players Shitenhouji would send to participate in the Junior Selection Camp were.
If this was anyone other then Shiraishi, then the document would be immediately snatched out of Watanabe’s hand. But by now, Shiraishi realised that his actions were not suitable for the buchou of Shitenhouji, so he opted to cross his arms instead.
“Why is my name there?” he asked with a smile that was clearly forced. “I am sure that I wrote Chitose Senri in that square.”
“Well, a coach’s job involves correcting mistakes made by the buchou.” Watanabe declared out in a rather self-sacrificing tone.
“A mistake?”
“We should naturally be sending our best players to the Junior Selection Camp, but this is not what you plan to do.”
“Sensei is right.” Chitose admitted. “You are still better then me even without your perfect tennis.”
“And it’ll be more fun if you come!” Kintarou agreed, earning a dark look from his buchou, who was contemplating whether he should begin to unwrap his bandages.
But Kintarou was distracted by Chitose, who cried out in mock outrage: “I am not good company?”
“Well, you always say ‘Everyone, leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep,’ regardless of being on the train or the car.” The joking pair quoted sagely.
As he watched his own team mates begin another long discussion that was caused by the most trivial thing, Shiraishi could only sit down in resignation.
“And here is the consent form.” His coach said cheerfully. “Don’t forget to write your own name this time. You parents will be so proud of you.”
“I haven’t told them yet,” Shiraishi said with a sigh. “They didn’t see the letter. If they knew, then there is no way that I can not go.”
“Going to this training camp will be very good for you.” Watanabe said, as his voice suddenly turned very serious, the young boy immediately looked up. “I know why you don’t want to go, Shiraishi. You are afraid that people will think less of you if you don’t use your perfect tennis any more.”
“I have been playing perfect tennis for more then a year now.” Shiraishi pointed out. “It has always been better then my old playing style, and as I only recently start to play my old way again, I am worried that I might not do that well. I don’t want people to misjudge me by thinking that I am only good with my perfect tennis- because it is not something that I like.”
“By now you should have realised that the difference is not that wide. Do you not remember how you end up being the buchou in only your second year?”
“I do, but I am still worried…”
“Are you concern about losing without your perfect tennis, or are you actually frighten at the fact that you might end up using perfect tennis in order to prevent your self from losing?”
Shiraishi thought that it was ironic how people, including some of his previous team mates, tended to see their coach as being incapable when the truth was the very opposite. His coach managed to sum up his ongoing conflict by only using two sentences.
While his tennis skills were acknowledged and recognized ever since his first year in junior high school, his reputation was really built up due to his perfect tennis- people were wary of him due to that playing style, not the way he manipulated tennis.
His original plan was to spend the rest of the year practicing in order to make up for the past neglects, but this training camp was held too early.
What would people think of him if they see him losing without his perfect tennis? They would surely criticize his decision, and he was afraid that his pride would end up making him use perfect tennis once more to prevent that from coming true.
That would tie him to his perfect tennis even more, he was actually almost frightened that he might end up being too reliant with it, and therefore not being able to get rid of it.
Feeling someone tapping his head, he was forced to look up again, his coach had grabbed a spare racquet and was using that to tap his head in order to get his attention.
“We are going to have a match, you and I.” Watanabe declared out, his tone was very light, but it was clear that he expect Shiraishi to do what he just said. “If you still don’t want to go to the Junior Selection Camp after this then you don’t have to. I will tell everyone that it is my fault by writing the wrong name.”

The match between the captain and the coach of Shitenhouji’s tennis club naturally attracted a very large crowd- even people who did not know much about tennis was curious.
Shiraishi found himself recollecting what had happened in both his and his coach’s first year in this school. Upon being insulted by the two rudest member of the team that year, Watanabe had ended up beating them, and then announced that he would demonstrate his skills by playing the rest of the team as well.
“I really apologise for this, sensei.” His buchou had said politely as he stepped onto the court with his new doubles partner, being the last pair.
Beside him, Shiraishi bowed to the coach very respectfully, and the warm smile he received from the man made him felt more at ease. After witnessing all six of his senpai’s defeat, he did not think that he had any chance of winning, even if the buchou was his partner.
He then decided that this game would be for the purpose of testing his skills.
Was this what he was doing now? Shiraishi asked himself after he just managed to return the serve, his coach still seemed to be so skilled!
But he was actually not really worried about the result of the match. He didn’t think that it was because he didn’t believe he could win- he refused to rule out that possibility as there was always some sort of hope.
It was because he didn’t need to worry about the consequences of losing as much. This was something that has become too important for him. Wasn’t that what Ashita accused him of? That he was obsessed to the level that he felt he was committing a crime by losing.
It was such a great relief for him to be able to concentrate on a match without forcing himself to do so, because it was no longer so dull.
“Your skills have become much better, Shiraishi.” Watanabe commented. “You are scoring more easily this time.”
Wait…that meant he has improved even without his perfect tennis. So this was the purpose of the game! His coach wanted to let him understand that he should stop doubting himself.
In the end, he still lost. But he was actually feeling quite cheerful, as he had great fun, and he felt that he did all he could, with the exception of using his perfect tennis. Although, he admits, he would be in an even better mood if he won.
It was not as if he stopped caring about winning, it was just that he could stop feeling guilty for losing, since his lose would only affect himself. He would not mind as long as he had a good game with the knowledge that he tried his best.
“Thank you, Sensei.” He said softly as he went to shake his coach’s hand. “I am really looking forward to the Junior Selection Camp now, as I will be able to test my skills with others.”
“It is time for you to do what you want, Shiraishi, do what ever that will make you happy. By the way, Shiraishi,” Watanabe added in a more light hearted tone just as the boy was prepared to leave as he spotted his girl friend. “I should be rewarded for playing with you. Some of Tanako-chan’s puddings will be a good idea.”
“Isn’t it your duty to help me?” Shiraishi asked back in mock despair, although he was smiling even more now.
This was what his coach was like, he would only be serious when the occasion demanded it urgently, as he was someone who liked to have fun. Part of the fun was joking with them as this let him be free of the responsibility an adult was burdened with.
“Shiraishi, it’s pudding-senpai!” Kintarou yelled out, waving at him.
Beside him, Ashita was considering running away or covering her face somehow, as everyone was starting to stare at her, and some were actually laughing.
“Kin-chan, don’t call her that.” Shiraishi said with a sigh as he prepared to unwind his bandages.
“But she has brought pudding, and she is a senpai.” Was the innocent reply.
“Is this the only time you remember what that word mean?” Zaizen said dryly.
After forcing an apology out of Kintarou, he turned to greet his girlfriend by pulling her into his arms. Since the day he first met her, pudding was her favourite food and she loved making puddings. Since they didn’t taste bad he never needed to complain.
“I want one too, pudding-senpai, I mean, Tanako-senpai.” Kintaoru said, pulling at Ashita’s sleeves.
“I should get one as compensation,” Chitose stated.
“Kuranosuke will naturally have one since I made them for him. Watanabe-sensei will have one too,” Ashita began, since there was no way that she could find a way to refuse him when he was yelling out “I want whatever food you are giving to your boy friend as a compensation for practicing with him.” from the other end.
“As for the third one…you can have it, Kintarou, as long as you stop calling me pudding-senpai.”
“Thank you.” Shiraishi whispered to her, knowing that she would understand what he really meant.
“By the way, Ashita,” he added, “I am going to attend that Junior Selection Camp…”

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