Chapter 10:

Two Athletic Idiots Want To Show Off

Why Does Nobody Find Us Attractive?

Juzo stepped out of his front door, but surprisingly wasn't immediately hit with the humid heat that normally plagued the summer. Rather, the air was fairly cool, which left potential for a day full of activities. It was still fairly early at 7:00 am, but Juzo wanted to get to his favorite bakery and grab some items that usually sold out quickly. His path took him past Reina's house, and unexpectedly, she was also awake and outside. Bookmark here

"Good morning, Reina. Why are you up so early?"Bookmark here

Reina jolted at Juzo's sudden callout.Bookmark here

"Jeez, you scared me. I'm going to meet Shinobu at the station today. I got to show her to my uncle's shop."Bookmark here

"Oh yeah, Shinobu's moving here today. Do you know where she's staying?"Bookmark here

"She found a cheap hotel near the station, so she'll stay there until she can find an apartment."Bookmark here

"That's good. Do you want me and Nikko to tag along, help show her around?"Bookmark here

Reina's face suddenly became serious.Bookmark here

"No. This is the first time I'm hanging out with another girl in over a year. Ruin our day and I'll break your neck."Bookmark here

"Alright, fine. Nikko and I will find something else to do today. I gotta get going, so I'll see you later."Bookmark here

Reina waved as they started to walk in opposite directions. Juzo's walk to the bakery took about fifteen minutes, and he arrived in time to grab his yakisoba pan. There were a few more left, so he grabbed one for Nikko. With nothing else to do, Juzo decided to go straight to Nikko's house. By the time Juzo arrived, it was still before 8:00 am, well before the time Nikko woke up, but Juzo saw a golden opportunity. He knocked on the door, and luckily Rinako was awake.Bookmark here

"Huh? What are you doing here this early?"Bookmark here

"Do you wanna see Nikko freak out?"Bookmark here

"Yes."Bookmark here

Rinako let him in, and they slowly creeped up the stairs to Nikko's room. Juzo cautiously slid the door open and tiptoed up to Nikko's bed, while Rinako watched from the doorway. Bookmark here

Nikko was sleeping on his back, and unfortunately for him, his mouth was open. Juzo saw the perfect opportunity and pulled a package of soy sauce from his pocket, quietly opening it. Delicately, he positioned the pack over Nikko's mouth and began to pour. It didn't take long for Nikko to jolt up.Bookmark here

"Ughh, what the hell!"Bookmark here

Nikko scanned the room to see Juzo and Rinako laughing hysterically at him.Bookmark here

"What did you do!? What… is this soy sauce!?"Bookmark here

Juzo nodded his head while trying to control his laughter.Bookmark here

"I hate you. Get out, I'm gonna get changed."Bookmark here

After Nikko got dressed, he met Juzo in the kitchen downstairs.Bookmark here

"Could you not trespass into my house next time you come over."Bookmark here

"I didn't. Rinako let me in."Bookmark here

Nikko took a look around the room, but Rinako wasn't in sight.Bookmark here

"Where is she? I need to give her a piece of my mind."Bookmark here

"She left."Bookmark here

Nikko slouched against the counter.Bookmark here

"Oh, whatever. Where's Reina?"Bookmark here

"She's showing Shinobu around town today."Bookmark here

"Really? Let's go see them!"Bookmark here

Juzo slammed his hands down on the table.Bookmark here

"No. Reina told me she'll kill us if we interfere with them, and I don't feel like dying today."Bookmark here

"Damn, she was that serious? Well, that's perfect because I actually have a brilliant idea."Bookmark here

Juzo already looked disappointed. Bookmark here

"And what is that?"Bookmark here

"Think about it. What kind of guys do lots of girls like? Athletes. Both of us, we're in good shape. We just need somewhere to display our stellar abilities in front of a crowd, so today we are going to the tennis courts."Bookmark here

Juzo thought about it for a bit.Bookmark here

"Tennis? I guess that's fine."Bookmark here

Nikko fist pumped.Bookmark here

"Yeah! I knew it was a good idea! Anyways, we'll leave in a couple hours, so let's just chill here for a bit."Bookmark here

A few hours passed by as the boys played video games while huddled in front of a fan. Eventually, they decided that they should get ready to go.Bookmark here

"Hey, Nikko, do you have tennis equipment?"Bookmark here

Unsure, Nikko went to check his storage closet.Bookmark here

"Well, my stuff is right here, and… oh, there's my dad's racket. You can borrow it."Bookmark here

Nikko handed the racket to Juzo, who inspected it intensely.Bookmark here

"Looks good. Thanks. You got balls?"Bookmark here

Nikko rustled around a bit more through the messy pile filling the closest. Out of nowhere, he quickly spun around and whipped a ball at Juzo.Bookmark here

"Yep, got one right here."Bookmark here

The ball hit Juzo in the stomach, and he collapsed to a knee.Bookmark here

"You bastard…"Bookmark here

Nikko beamed with a mocking grin.Bookmark here

"Hey, don't dump soy sauce in my mouth."Bookmark here

Juzo slowly rose back to his feet. Bookmark here

"C'mon, we should get going."Bookmark here

The two took the short bus ride to the tennis courts, arriving a bit before noon. While it was quite hot and humid outside, the boys had seen worse and were willing to tough it out. The courts were empty, so the two were able to peacefully practice for a while. They were interrupted by a familiar voice.Bookmark here

"Nikko, Juzo, hi!"Bookmark here

Juzo looked over curiously, but Nikko waved back.Bookmark here

"Good afternoon, Toshiharu!"Bookmark here

Juzo wasn't sure what was happening.Bookmark here

"Toshiharu? Why are you here?"Bookmark here

"What do you mean? Nikko invited me."Bookmark here

Juzo glared at Nikko.Bookmark here

"That would have been nice to know in advance."Bookmark here

Nikko shrugged.Bookmark here

"Doesn't matter anymore. Let's go, Toshiharu, time to run drills."Bookmark here

The boys practiced playing, facing off in singles matches for about half an hour until a group of people arrived. Two guys and two girls showed up and started warming up on the court beside the boys. Both sides minded their own business for a while, but then one of the girls made a comment.Bookmark here

"Hey, why don't you go play those guys over there? Teach them how the pro's play."Bookmark here

One boy, who had dyed his hair blonde, accepted the challenge.Bookmark here

"I guess if you want to see them get completely humiliated, we can give you a show."Bookmark here

The blonde boy motioned to the other boy, who had a styled, black, crew cut, to follow him. They wandered over towards Nikko, who was stretching after finishing an exercise. Bookmark here

"Hey, can we have a match? We want to practice before our buddies from our club arrive."Bookmark here

Seeing the challengers, Juzo jogged up from the other side of the court to check on Nikko.Bookmark here

"Hey, do they wanna play with us? I heard them trashing us earlier."Bookmark here

Nikko, who was stretching out his shoulders, changed position to stretch out his legs.Bookmark here

"A man's gotta accept any challenge one throws at him."Bookmark here

Nikko stuck up his hand for a high five, and Juzo excitedly high fived back.Bookmark here

"Let's kick some ass."Bookmark here

Nikko turned to the boys and pointed at them.Bookmark here

"We accept your challenge!"Bookmark here

"Alright, let's play. Give us a second to get ready."Bookmark here

The two boys went back to the girls, so Juzo and Nikko went to meet up with Toshiharu. Nikko quickly explained the situation.Bookmark here

"Hey, Toshiharu, we're gonna play those guys. Me and Juzo will start, you'll be the reserve."Bookmark here

Toshiharu nodded.Bookmark here

"Okay. But why are we playing them? I thought we were coming here to play with each other."Bookmark here

Nikko wrapped his arm around Toshiharu and pointed to the other group.Bookmark here

"You see that, Toshiharu? There are girls."Bookmark here

"So? They came with those guys."Bookmark here

Nikko wagged his finger.Bookmark here

"That doesn't matter. If we can humiliate these guys, they'll come running to us."Bookmark here

Having a problem with what Nikko was saying, Juzo intervened.Bookmark here

"First of all, it's gonna be hard to humiliate these guys. They look like they play often. Second, I don't think girls who just ditched some guys because they lost a tennis match would be worth our time."Bookmark here

Nikko picked up his racket and rested it on his shoulder.Bookmark here

"We'll worry about that later. Come on, let's get started!"Bookmark here

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