Chapter 12:

Summer Traing Camp Part 1 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club

We sit in the bus, our destination unknown, at least for us.
“We´ll go to Chiba!” Manami-san announces excitedly.
“Chiba? Why?” I ask him.
“How nice of you to ask.” He sits down.
“Oh no this will take a while.” Chiko says half laughing.
Manami-san begins. “Well Asuka-chan, my lovely, wonderful fiancée…”
“A woman is interested in you?” Akaya-kun says, presumably without thinking.
Manami-san seems angry. “Yes and we´ve been dating since high school!”
Akaya-kun nods. “Sorry, I was just a bit shocked.”
Manami-san continues. “So Asuka-chan and I used to fight for the Chiba sliver souls…”
“Like the Pokémon game!” Akaya-kun chimes in again.
“That was soul silver.” Katsu-kun says bored.
“Oh, sorry.”
“So we were pros, I got an injury on my elbow; I still have metal plates in there. But Asuka-chan continued, I decided to become a physiotherapist.”
“So you´re not from Kyoto?” This time it´s Kenta who asks.
“No, we´re both originally from Chiba. She got a job offer from the Kyoto White Tigers, so we moved to Kyoto, that was about three years ago.” Manami-san continues.
“Our brother fights there too.” Takara mumbles.
“I know, I ´m sorry to say that but he´s an arrogant prick.” Manami-san says.
I shake my head. “Don´t worry, most people think that.”
“So how does that relate to the Chiba situation?” Kei asks.
“Oh, almost forgot. While Asuka-chan was fighting in Chiba she had this teammate called Akimoto Gin, he´s now the Coach of the Midohebi Academy´s special fighting club.”
Everyone still seems to have few questions.
“He just started about a year ago, that´s why we never really had anything to do with them. And we´re going to Midohebi because it´s a very sports oriented school with a lot of facilities, that are mostly empty over the summer time because most teams go into the mountains or Tokyo for summer camp.”

Our first brake arrives; we leave the bus to walk a bit. Takara seems to be in pain. “You ok?” I ask.
She nods. “I´m just not used to the knee brace.”
“Maybe you should go to a doctor, just to know what´s wrong.” I say, apparently that was the wrong thing to ask because she refuses to continue to sit next to me and instead now sits next to Nagisa-kun. Kei comes to me.
“You talked about the knee.” He says.
I nod sadly. Looking to Takara I see Nagisa-kun handing her and the other first years cards.
At least she won´t be bored, I think.

We arrive a few hours later, the sun´s already starting to set. Kita runs and hugs Nami. “Nana! Nice to see you again.”
Nami nods. “I started to miss you, Ki-Ki.”
Jinpachi comes towards me yawning. “What´s with Takara-chan?”
“Injured.” I say.
“Oh, you also lost the interhigh.” Raidon laughs.
I nod sadly.
“Well we at least mad it to the semi-finals.” He says. “So both of our teams have to train their butts of, if we want to see each other at the nationals.”

We stand in the main gym. A tall brown haired man with yellow eyes, a nose piercing and a scar on his chest stand there, behind him the, I presume, Midohebi´s special fighting club.
“Welcome!” He says with open arms. “I´m Akimoto Gin, you might have heard of me. This is our manager Itou Momo and our captain Tomoe Hiroaki.” He points at a brown haired girl with pink streaks and a boy with big green eyes and glasses.
Akimoto-san continues. “We have a lot planned this summer: I hope you like to run. You´ll be doing that a lot. Your training will mostly be for stamina, strength and strategy, we´ll have very few training fights.” He looks at the plan in his hands. “Some weightlifting for those stick arms…”
“Gin-senshu please be a bit nicer.” Momo tell him.
“That was being nice… What I meant was to build your muscle mass you´ll be doing weightlifting, that ok?”
Momo nods.
“We´ll also be putting you on a diet, again for building muscle mass.” He continues.
Akaya-kun lifts an arm. “But there no weigh classes.”
“Doesn´t matter. The diet isn’t anything extreme, so don´t worry. It´s mostly you eating more proteins, it´s not meant to slim you down but to help you not collapse while training. You´ll also be doing a lot of rope jumping.”
I look at Takara, she´s standing next to Jinpachi, who supports her.
“But don´t worry you´ll also be having some fun!” Akimoto-san says sarcastically.
“Gin-senshu.” Momo warns him.
“I mean, we have a healthy barbecue, fireworks and a test of courage planned for you.” He says.
Akaya-kun again asks a question. “Do we have the pew pew fireworks?”
Akimoto-san stares at him. “What?”
“Do you mean fountains?” Katsu-kun asks.
“Yeah those!” Akaya-kun says.
Akimoto-san still confused answers. “I think we have some of those, to be honest the firework has been lying around for some time now.”
Momo comes forward. “I´ll show the girls to their room and Hiro will show the boys to theirs.”

We lay on somewhat old futons, Kei´s right next to mine.
Akira-kun, one of Midohebi´s first years pulls out an empty bottle. “Let´s play truth or dare!”
The bottle lands on Jinpachi. Akira-kun smiles. “From the girls, who do you think is the cutest?”
“I would say Takara-chan.”
“I thought she´s not your type?!” I point angrily at him.
“Well, physically she isn´t but she´s nice.” He tries to defend himself.
Kei pulls on my shirt and shakes his head.
I sit back down. “I have my eyes on you.”
“Don´t even think about flirting with her.” Kei tells Jinpachi.
“Why, you have a crush on her?” Toshiyuki, a Midohebi third year asks.
“Ew, no. She´s like a sister to me. I just want to protect her from a playboy.”

After a while I get asked the same question, my answer: “Obviously Takara is the cutest.”
“Isn´t that a bit narcissistic?” Chiko laughs.
“Siscon.” Raidon mumbles.
I blush. “I don´t have a…”
Kei pulls me back on the futon.

Now Kei is asked a question by Yasutomo. “What´s your least favorite thing about Taiki-san?”
Kei looks at me bored. “Too many things.”
“Choose one!” Yasutomo demands.
“He tries way too hard to act like Ta-chan despite being way different.”
Everyone stares at us. “How do you mean that?” Raidon asks.
Kei, with bottle in hands answers: “It´s only one question per turn.” And turns the bottle.
Akaya-kun has to go to the girls and sing a love song. He comes back blushing violently. “They wanted to know who the song was for.”
“And, what did you answer?” Akira-kun asks, excited.
“For my dog.” Akaya-kun hides in his blankets.

The next morning we begin our training from hell. First running 30 km up a mountain.
I turn around and see Takara sitting on the grass pulling out some flowers. I quickly run to Nagisa-kun who´s refilling our water bottles. “Nagisa-kun could I ask a favor of you?”
He nods.
“Could you take care of Takara when you have time?”
“Thanks a lot!” I say over my shoulder as I leave.

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