Chapter 13:

First Practice

Fantasy Life

The bell rang for class to be dismissed. Kaida got up from her seat and packed her belongings. She moved leisurely when heading to the changing room for she was nervous. While changing, Kaida looked over her new uniform. Today was the team's first practice, and Tsuda had given each member a custom-made suit to wear. It was a tracksuit with wisteria purple pants and a jacket of the same color with a white shirt underneath. The shirt and pants were skin-tight to make Kaida and the other teens more aerodynamic. Kaida blushed with a little bit of embarrassment.

As she left the changing room, Rei entered and said, "Hey Kaida! Sorry, I'm late." She stared at the purple uniform. "Oh wow, that looks great on you!"

"You think so?" Kaida asked, her cheeks still red.

"Totally! I'm about to change myself. Head to the field and I'll catch up in a bit."

Kaida did as Rei asked and headed toward the field for practice. Tsuda and Tani had prepped the other mythical creatures for the day's event. The twins were stretching as they waited for the girls. Kaida looked around for Kei but saw no sign of her yet. As she approached the group Tsuda came up to her.

"Glad you made it on time Fujihara," He said smiling. "Do you know where the other two are?"

"I just saw Rei in the changing room, but I haven't seen Kei all day."

"We're coming!" A voice shouted from a distance.

Kaida and Tsuda turned to see who had shouted. Out in the distance, Rei was running toward them followed by a tired Kei. The two girls made it to where Kaida was standing. "Finally made it," Kei panted. "Sorry, we're late."

"Not at all. You're right on time." The girls and Tsuda walked back over to where the twins were. Tsuda got up in front of the teens to elaborate on how the practice would work. "I'm glad to see everyone on this fine afternoon. I hope you all are ready for a fun practice."

"You bet!" Yun shouted enthusiastically.

"Glad to hear it! Alright since this is our first practice let's go over a few things. As I am sure you all know, the events held for the Fantasy Life League are all variants of different types of sporting events, scaled to accommodate the usage of mythical creatures. The games can range from jousting to rugby to tag or even chess. We will not be informed of the game or its rules until the very last minute, so it is of the utmost importance that we enhance our physical strength, mental strength, and teamwork."

Kei raised her hand. "Um, pardon me, but are we going to play a game today for practice?"

"That's correct miss Tachibana. The game that Tani and I came up with is a blind man's bluff."

"How do you play that?" Rei asked.

"It is a variation of tag. In the original game, one person is blindfolded and has to try to tag the other players. The challenge is for the person who is 'it' to use their other senses and for the players to be as quiet as possible. In the version we are going to play, there will be a time limit of twenty minutes and it will be your creatures who are blindfolded and they have to tag you."

"Hold on, so all we're doing is not getting tagged by our creatures? Sounds easy don't you think?" Jun remarked.

"Oh, I assure you this will be anything but easy. Animals and mythical creatures alike have sharp senses, much stronger than any humans'. I doubt hindering their vision will pose much of a problem at all. You five on the other hand have to figure out a way to avoid being detected by the other four senses. And to improve teamwork I am allowing the creatures to tag any one of you that they can. For example, if Asa tags Yun, it is still a win for the creatures."

"Ok, I get it," Rei stated. "Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun!"

"Oh, and one more thing," Tsuda said. He turned to face Kaida. "Fujihara, I know this is a practice match but I want you to choose either Yami or Chiyo to play this game. I'll give you a moment to think about it."

Kaida didn't need much time to consider her choice. "I pick Yami."

"That was quick. Might I ask your reason?"

"Well, it's because Yami didn't get to participate in the jousting contest. It would be unfair of me to pick Chiyo again. Besides," She glanced at Chiyo, "I don't think running from something with a sharp horn is a good idea."

Tsuda laughed at her statement. "Very well. Tani and I will blindfold the creatures, then we can start the match."

Tani and Tsuda prepared some white pieces of cloth. They had to tie several pieces together to make a blindfold big enough for Yami and they had to trim a piece down to fit around Alba's small head. Dallas and Matsume had no issue with their blinds and Asa created her own blind from the cloth wrapped around her body. Chiyo went over and stood next to Tani where they could watch from the sidelines. Once everyone was in place Tsuda gave one final word of encouragement.

Holding a whistle in his hand he said, "Alright everyone! When I blow this whistle the creatures will begin their search for the students. Be careful not to get too crazy. I want no injuries from this. My watch is set for twenty minutes. Good luck to you all!" Tsuda blew the whistle and the game began.