Friday, February 8, 2013

SBP Game 05

Game 05 - Will You Play With Us?


As Sakura, Hazuki, and Kotori were talking, a short, ghost-skinned, black-haired girl appeared in front of them with one eye covered by her bangs. They turn around and wonder who she might be while Hazuki is stricken with shock.

“It’s a Mizunomachi uniform! It’s the new transfer student, Ryoko Ichinose!”, blurted Hazuki out, still shivering in shock.

“Huh? Hazuki, who is she? Do you know her?”, asked Sakura.

“Y-yeah. She’s the one I told you about back at the cafeteria.”

 “Hmm. So what do we have here?” wonders Ryoko in a condescending tone.

-----------------------

An eight-person group of mostly tall high school girls clad in blue jerseys and warm-up jackets with the word “Seijo” stylishly written in white at the back were seen walking towards a large bench about a full-court away from where Hazuki was waiting for her friends Sakura and Kotori.

Three of the tallest girls in the group were carrying baller bags and equipment with them as they walk. The tallest one in the group – a slightly tanned short-haired girl with an imposing lean physique – sports a rather serious expression on her face as she sets down the two baller bags she was carrying near the bench.

The next one, a spunky-haired girl, was carrying one baller bag which she laid on the bench and opened it to reveal a set of basketballs and pieces of numbered cardboards which look like the ones used for a makeshift scoreboard. 

The third one is a blue-haired girl who could easily be mistaken for a boy. She was carrying a backpack and three shinai swords strapped around her back. She also laid her backpack on the bench and the swords just behind it.

While preparing for the game, they continued their discussion on a certain something that had to be settled on that day.

“Haah. I’m so relieved. But say, was it really bad that we can’t use the gym since we don’t have a coach yet and the boys are preparing for the division tournament?” asked the spunky-haired girl.

“Hm, not really, Momo-chan. This way, we can try to recruit more girls at our choosing instead of leaving it to the coach for the final say,” answered the blue-haired girl in a slightly boyish voice.

“But didn’t Takezawa-sensei tell us that we can’t just pick anyone without the approval of the new coach?”, reminds a blonde-haired girl in the group as she takes out some notes and databooks from their bags.

“Eh? The old man, he’s always like that. He’s so stringent with the rules. Can’t he be at least more lenient since we don’t have a coach yet and all?”, grumbles Momo.

There was a brief silence, after which a girl with waist-length, midnight black hair, stands up after tying her shoelace, as if to tell something important.

“While I do agree with Momoka, rules are still rules, so official recruitment has to wait until a new coach arrives. However, it doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to scout for potential players ourselves. We simply have to invite the ones we wanted to the try-outs and see if they can impress the coach. If they do, fine. If not, at least we tried.”

“That’s right, Himeno-senpai,” compliments the stoic girl.

There was another brief silence, after which a fiery-haired girl spoke up.

“But you know what, guys? I really missed Goro-sensei a lot.”

“We all do, Kiriko. It was really a loss for us when he left, but it doesn’t mean we have to show it. All we can do is hope that our new coach will be as good as Hazama-sensei. No, even better,” replied a brown-haired girl seated at the center of the bench as she puts on some knee guards.

An ominous wind was gently blowing as a short, bespectacled girl grabs a notebook labeled “Seijo Databook # 201 by Irie Saito” placed among a stack of notes near the part of the bench she was sitting on.

Himeno took off her white headband and put it in her bag. She then notices the girl in glasses reading the Seijo Databook.

"Saito-kun, how is your data going?"

"It's almost done, Captain. I only need to gather data from a player or two to complete this."

"Hm, I see. They should be here any minute."

"But, are you really sure they will come here?"

"We won't know if we don't wait. One of them will be sure to come here. But the other one..."

"Hm? You mean that one?"

"Yeah."

"Don't worry about it, Captain. You will definitely convince her. I am sure of it," said Irie with a confident and respectful voice.

While they were talking, they heard voices of girls arguing about something about a half-court length away from their bench. Himeno turned around to see four jersey-clad girls. One of them wore a black jersey, the rest wore red jerseys.

"Hm? Something's going on over there," alerted Himeno.

"That doesn't look good," affirmed the brown-haired girl.

Himeno, Saito, the blue-haired girl, and the brown-haired girl immediately ran towards the scene.

-----------------------

The three former Fujinosawa students were gathering together at the open court as per invitation of Hazuki Horio, who wishes to teach her friends Sakura Minamimoto and Kotori Konno the game of basketball in gratitude for their gesture of friendship two years ago.

They were about to start playing when a short, pale-skinned girl came at them, part out of curiosity. Hazuki was shocked to see her. The pale-skinned girl is actually the transfer student Ryoko Ichinose.

"M-Mizunomachi? T-that's her! The transfer student! Ryoko Ichinose!" mutters Hazuki.

“Huh? Hazuki, who is she? Do you know her?”, asked Sakura.

“Y-yeah. She’s the one I told you about back at the cafeteria,” replied Hazuki.

"Mizunomachi Middle School? They were the Prefectural Champions which made it to the National Finals, right?", asked Kotori.

 “Hmm. So what do we have here?” wonders Ryoko in a condescending tone.

She walked past the three Fujinosawa girls and took the basketball from the floor close to where they stood.
She then looked at them closely, as if she was really interested in them.

She dribbled the ball a few times and then spinned it with her left index finger.

"Heh, so you used to play for Fujinosawa, right?"

"Well, that's only me," answered Hazuki as she starts introducing Sakura and Kotori to her. "These two are with me, but they haven't played a single game yet."

"Is that so? I actually thought they played with you since they are wearing Fujinosawa jerseys."

"Well, what do you want?"

"Heh, are you really sure they can learn basketball from you?"

"O-of course, I am! I'm pretty confident in my abilities, you know."

"Hm? Really? Sorry, but I don't really think you're that good."."

"Huh!? What did you say?"

"What did I say? I'm just telling you what I think."

Hazuki let out a tiny voice as she shakes in slight anger.

"Hazuki," muttered Kotori in concern.

"H-Hazuki-chan," said a concerned Sakura.


Ryoko took something out of her jersey - a piece of paper with a note written on it. 

"Come forth to the open court near the park after class. I shall be waiting for you." 

"Hmm, okay, I'll tell you. I received this note from an anonymous sender," informs Ryoko as she shows the note to Hazuki, who has already calmed down but still visibly angry.

"I thought you guys are the ones who dropped this in my locker because you came here before me," she continues as she puts the note back in her jersey. "So, did you?"

"No," chorused the three girls. A moment of silence. Sakura then took a piece of paper from inside her shorts as she speaks up.

"Uh, actually, I got a similar note from my locker as well."

"Eh? You also got one?" uttered Hazuki in shock. "So that's what you were reading back in the locker room."

"Yeah. I didn't think of it as something important so I didn't tell you or Kotori-chan about it."

"Huh, is that so?"

Hazuki then turns to Ryoko, who was still holding the ball.

"Hmm, if you and Sacchan got the same note, then what could that mean?"

"I think I know what this is about, but just to be sure, you did receive a note, didn't you?"

"Well, yeah, I did, but that was about a week ago. I did plan to come here sooner, but I didn't want to come here alone. So I took Sacchan and Kocchan here."

"I see. So if you guys didn't send me that note but you also got the same note, that means..."

"Hey, you guys."

A stern voice was heard as Ryoko and Hazuki were talking. They turned around to see a group of three tall girls wearing blue-colored jerseys and opened warm-up jackets.

"So you finally came. We have been waiting for you." spoke the black-haired girl.

"So, this onee-chan was the one who sent the notes to our lockers?"

"Yes, I did."

She bowed her head slightly as she introduces herself to the freshman group.

"Nice to meet you. I am Mashiro Himeno, team captain of the Seijo Academy Girls' Basketball Team."

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