As they began their training, students started crowding the first floor of the gym to check them out. Mostly because the first years have been popular players back in junior high.
The senior division was as much of a powerhouse as their junior division. But with the graduation of the third years, they needed the new players to be just as good as them. The addition from the juniors was definitely a boost to their already great lineup.
"I appreciate the spectators but they're a little too noisy. This is not even a practice match," Gridas; the vice-captain dug his ears. "I can barely hear myself."
"Don't they have better things to do?" Riff was getting more and more irritated by the minute. He began to regret buying into Ayden's offer of bringing in Zordyz for the tournament.
"Relax cap'n, it's only the first day. Besides, it's not only Zordyz they're here for. Raysa, Hima and Cadence were not around much since they have other classes to attend. But as soon as they're done with that, you can be sure you'll get even bigger crowds than this." Ayden said while practising dribbling not far from him.
"Oh...wait, even bigger crowds? That's not what I want to hear! Come here, you cheeky little punk!" Riff realized he was being teased, chased Ayden around the court.
"Haha! You can never cut him some slack, cap'n. He made a fool of ya," Gridas laughed at the two of them.
Ayden was never the type to put barriers between juniors and seniors. He makes for a good icebreaker, smoothing out and helping to bond the whole team.
Zordyz only came in later when the crowd thinned out, each going back to their own respective class or club. Some were disappointed, not being able to get a glimpse of him in action.
"You're late." Riff said.
"Avoiding the people," Zordyz said casually, changing into his sportswear. "and went to inform my teacher about my leave for the tournament."
"Aren't you taking Magic Cure? You sure it's okay to take such a long leave?" Gridas joined in.
"Not a problem for me," Zordyz answered while warming up. "I can catch up in no time."
"Such confidence! I like it!" Gridas beamed. "Wait 'till the other clubs hear about a medic student being a sportsman as well."
"Please don't spread any unnecessary news," Zordyz cringed at the thought. "I'm only helping because of Ayden. Or else I wouldn't be here at all."
"The first years already gave me headaches, I don't need more attention from the second and third years too."
As Zordyz got to know the rest of the team, the other first-year teammates arrived.
"Hey! It's good to have you back, cap'n." Hima gave him a fist bump.
"Not anymore," he returned the gesture. "Besides, I'm not even sure if I'll be used in the game."
"We know, but still, it's good to have you back!" Raysa and Cadence appeared behind Hima.
"Just having you on the bench is reassuring enough. It'll take a while to get back in shape for the tournament anyway. You haven't been practising, no?" Hima said while warming up.
He did stop his regular practice session after graduating from junior high and only played for fun in the evening.
"Let's get started." Riff gathered everyone to begin the training for the day.
As soon as class was finished, Yuenelia headed towards the school gymnasium.
"I've got plenty of books to keep me occupied though I doubt I can focus on them," she chuckled, tucking her hair behind her ear. That gesture had the boys joking around by the water fountain staring.
She was oblivious to the fact that everything she does would leave others charmed.
She found a corner on the first floor where it was less visible. She had plans to study more but ended up watching the guys practise longer than she realized it.
"Yue, we're all done but can you wait for just a little longer?" Zordyz called out from below and dashes off, leaving her all confused.
It didn't take long before he appeared at the entrance again.
"That was fast." Yuenelia came down the stairs to a fresh looking Zordyz.
He already changed into another T-shirt and sweatpants. Droplets of water still dripping from the tip of his hair.
"Just getting rid of the sweat is all. Let's get going." towel over his shoulders, ready to go.
"At least dry up properly before we go."
"No, it's not," Yuenelia refused to budge and grabbed the towel from his shoulder. She gently patted his hair. "You're too casual with these things, your shirt is all wet from it."
"Can we go now? It's already dark out," Zordyz snatched the towel and stuffed it in his bag. "It'll be dry by the time we're home anyway."
"I've never seen you take a bath after club activity in school before."
"We don't have shower rooms back in junior high," Zordyz answered, munching on a snack bar. "Even if we had them, it's much better to just head home to shower."
"I guess so. School was very near too."
'Haven't felt this good in a long time, showering right after exercise is great.' He thought to himself, enjoying the cool evening air.
New names popping up. Playing sports had been a big part of Zordyz's junior high life. But since I'm not writing a story revolving around sports, I'll try to keep this type of section short.
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