The chilly air of the early morning filtered through the tiny gap in the window of a small room from the second storey of a simple house in Nara. The loud but familiar sound of the alarm disturbed the silence of that day's beginning, but it was abruptly shut down by the owner of that room. That morning, Kouha woke up from a very good sleep. He yawned and got a shirt to fix himself. Since there was no practice for that day because it's a Sunday, he had all the time for himself and his video games.
Lately, he's been hooked on this certain RPG and he was farming for nerd shit and gems to purchase more features and weapons for his avatar in the game. Even though he got up earlier, he still hasn't eaten his breakfast yet, and his brother had to bang his door open to get him out of his room.
"Mom's being noisy again, just go down, will ya?" Kouen said, looking pissed and ridiculous with his emoboy bedhead.
"Right, right, I'm going, get out." He still has to save his progress, or else, what he's done all morning will be for naught.
Soon enough, they had breakfast, and what Kouen said later on surprised him a little. "Hey mom, could you prepare lunch for me?" His brother told their mother.
"Lunch? What, yer going out?" He asked, a little curious.
"Hiro and I will practice some tosses. Bastard's been itching to do more quicks for the finals to smack the ball right at Nebuya's face. Some rookies are coming too. Wanna join?" Kouen replied in between spoonfuls of food. "And ah, about that. If yer not coming, gimme the keys."
Kouha actually holds the keys to their gymnasium. "But it's a Sunday. We're supposed to rest."
"Rest if you must, but we've gotta grind." Kouen gulped some water after he uttered these words.
He sighed. Whatever. Before Kouen left, he handed to him the key to the gym, and he proceeded to his room, to continue his own 'grind' in the virtual world he's living.
After a couple of hours, Kouha got bored. He��s done with the daily quests, claimed his rewards, defeated some bosses, and even got into a few beef with some other players who are online. With nothing else to do, he's at a loss of a source of fun. Then his brother's words rang in his ears. 'Rest if you must, but we've gotta grind.'
"Damn that emoboy." He got up from his bed, and decided to join in the chaos who were a little crazy in the head to play volleyball during their rest day.
The sound of the ball bouncing from every other direction filled the gym, and the four people inside, who initiated this secret training sesh were battling against each other on who can get more nice receives from their designated monster server – their setter, Kouen Ginoza.
Kouen sent the ball wildly from the other side, and in a flash of white, somebody who was formerly not there received the ball and sent it perfectly back to where the setter is supposed to be.
"Nice receive!" Hiro said as he positioned himself to get the ball. He didn't bother to look who among the two rookies who joined in the practice got it up nicely. The moment he made contact with the ball, he carefully tossed it to the right, expecting someone to be there, but the ball just bounced softly on the floor.
"Ugh – gomen, Hiro-senpai! I thought you're tossing to the left!" Both Asuma and Kakuzo said in unison. Apparently, they all jumped to Hiro's left side (Asuma jumped from the extreme left and Kakuzo from the center, no one was in the right side)
Well, Hiro gets it. It's one of the unique struggles of a left-handed person – his sense of direction for dominant movements tend to veer on the opposite of what's common.
In volleyball, most tosses go to the left side of the court – that's why many aces are left-side wing spikers (outside hitters). Most setters, especially newbies, tend to toss more on to the left side, because it's easier that way. When tossing to the right side, the ball has to travel backwards, where a player's vision (especially the setter) is quite limited or restricted. That's also why many considers the position of the right-side wing spiker (opposite hitter) to be a decoy. They usually just randomly jump to the toss to fool some blockers, and they seldom hit it. That's also perhaps the reason why many opposite hitters are stable at floor defense – since they seldom hit, they would rather defend well.
And since Hiro is left-handed, that toss went to the right. Asuma and Kakuzo, who are both right-handed persons, must've gotten used to hitting from the left side of the setter, where most tosses and quicks usually go. Hiro wondered if Kouen somehow finds it difficult to toss to him since his dominant hand is in the left.
'And I wonder how Ushiwaka's setter keeps up with a left-handed opposite. Jeez.'
He played a mental replay inside his head – no, Kouen doesn't seem to bother. He can set well to him, no problem, even if his left hand will hit the ball, Kouen knows where to pinpoint it to his reach. Now he turned to look at the receiver, and he was surprised to see another Ginoza inside the gym.
"Oi Hiro, that toss was pretty good, don't mind. If I were there, Kouen wouldn't have received it." Kouha Ginoza stepped in to join the practice. "Mind if I join ya?"
"Oh – oh, I'll go over to the other side. Kouen-senpai, toss to me!!" Asuma went under the net to join Kouen's side. The match-up is uneven at 3-on-2, but nevermind that, they're not upping each other at scoring – they're practicing sets and quicks.
Kouen: "I thought yer gonna play yer games all day?"
Kouha: "Easy-peasy, nothing is hard at the moment. Now, serve again ye noob."
That ticked off Kouen, and so he sent another monstrous serve at them, which was received beautifully by his brother. "Yah!"
"Nice receive!" Hiro said. 'Carefully, carefully' He got the ball and tossed it this time, properly to the left, where Kakuzo already made a sufficient run-up.
The ball traveled straight to the forehead of Asuma, and it awkwardly bounced up, where Kouen chased it for a set. "Asuma!"
Still a little dazed by the hit, Asuma's jump was a little short, and his spike made the ball hit the net dangerously before it crossed to the other side, where Kakuzo bumped it up. "Hiro-san!"
"Gimme!" Kouha said from the right side, and Hiro got the ball to cover for another impromptu set-up.
"YEAAAAAH!! Hiro, nice toss!" Kouha offered him a high-five which he returned, after he scored that one when the ball flew off from Kouen's attempt at a receive. "Good thing my brother never forgets to toss to me when he started playing!"
Actually, Kouha was referring to the fact that when Kouen began his passion for setting, he always used to toss first to where his brother usually fields. And ever since before, Kouha just knows he just wanna spike, from anywhere, no problem. There was an incident before in school when other players will complain to Kouen, petitioning to remove him as the team setter, because he only sets to his older brother.
Over time, Kouen changed (read: evolved) and got more used to setting for other spikers, but only when he 'finds them useful'. But he never forgets to set to Kouha, and soon, their brotherly combination on court solicited fear. Their setter-spiker duo soon became known as a force to be reckoned with in Nara.
"Kouen trusts my spikes and I trust his sets. That's how we Ginozas play! Well, it seems that he got used to ya guys so easily unlike before, so ye better hit yer tosses or else that emoboy will chug ya out." Kouha made a thumbs up, waiting for his juniors' reply.
"Ew, shut up." His brother felt embarrassed, and tried to hide his smile underneath the towel he's using to wipe his sweat.
Haiya! I'm back! Sorry if I've been out lately, I just opened a business with my friends and we did some business and inventory shit these past couple of days. But I'm still alive and barely breathing.
I think I mentioned before that I do have a day job, and grad school at night. Of course, I have a life for anime and games in between. So yeah, I'm a busy person hahaha. I'm still gonna write though, coz it's my little secret sanctuary.
Thanks for reading! Prefectural Finals next!
Creation is hard, cheer me up!
Have some idea about my story? Comment it and let me know.
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