Hello everyone, sorry for the late update!

This is a Sakuno-Centric fic. I hope to finish this fic soon but I am not regular with my updates. This is also a RyogaXSakuno fic.

This story is also unbeta'ed so please try to ignore any minor grammar mistakes.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Prince of Tennis or any of its characters.

Word Count: 5,917


Chapter 4: A Prodigy is Revealed####

Sakuno gulped as she paced back and forth next to a sakura tree in the Kanigawa Tennis Gardens. After she had woken up from her fainting spell, the only thing her mind could focus on was the fact that all of the Seigaku Regulars were going to watch her at the tournament. She was in such a panic that she did not notice when someone else walked up to her.


'It'll be alright Sakuno. You can still do this. You just have to stay calm. Yeah that's right, stay ca—'

"Oi Ryuzaki."

"I CAN'T DO THIS!" Sakuno screamed out, sweating from nerves.

"Ryuzaki stop ignoring me."

Sakuno finally noticed the person who had walked up to her during her mild panic-attack.


The youngest Echizen was standing there looking at her blankly, customary cap on, and a grape Ponta in hand. Looking at him made Sakuno realize again why she was panicking.

'R-R-Ryoma-kun's here. That means that all the others are here as well,' she thought, already feeling faint. Sakuno had gotten much better at controlling her fainting and blushing tendencies but under much duress, she lost all control of herself.

"Oi Ryuzaki! Stop doing that." Ryoma's voice broke through the slight haze that she had fallen under.

"G-Gomen R-R-Ryoma-kun." She stuttered, to which he gave an annoyed look.

"What's wrong with you Ryuzaki? You haven't stuttered in a month, why are you doing it now?" Ryoma internally winced at his pinched tone. He had meant for it to come out slightly concerned but he really didn't have much experience in that area.

"A-Ano, it's b-b-because well…" Sakuno trailed off as she bit her lip and looked from the court where the matches had already begun and back to Ryoma.

Ryoma blinked as he put everything together. Sakuno was nervous about playing in front of them. He was stunned, she had looked so confident the other day.

'Although that was before we all decided to go and support her.' Ryoma thought as he watched her nervously bite her lip. 'She's not going to be able to play her best if this continues, but I don't know how to help her.'

Sakuno let out a small squeal when she felt something being thrust onto her head, shortly blocking her view. When she looked up, she saw that Ryoma didn't have on his cap. He also had what looked like red tinged cheeks, but she brushed it off as a trick of the light.

"We'll cheer for you whether you win or lose baka. The only reason we'll be unhappy with you is if you don't give it your all…so just relax ok and play your best."

Ryoma had already begun to walk away when he remembered something. He turned his head and called out, "Oh and Ryuzaki, ganbattene."

He whirled around so fast that he missed the bright smile that Sakuno gave him as she whispered a soft, "Arigato Ryoma-kun."


Ryoga frowned a bit when he saw the small interaction his student had with his younger brother. Both were so shy, or in Ryoma's case too dense, to show their true feelings. He stubbornly ignored the sudden clenching feeling in his chest when he saw the pair together.

When he learned that the Seigaku Regulars were all going to be watching the tournament, he had been worried about Sakuno's state of mind. Sure the girl had gotten much better, but she was still as fragile as she was before when it came to her friends watching her play. She would be fine of course, he had scouted out her competition and so far there were none that could compare.

He had rushed out of his house earlier this morning to find her, but she was too well hidden. By the time he had found her, his brother had already beaten him to the punch. It seemed that Ryoma's little pep-talk had done the trick and he didn't even need to go and reassure her.

The older teen clenched his fist and bit the inside of his cheek. It was an unconscious habit of his that came out when he was feeling very emotional, and right now the sight of his brother and Sakuno in such a lovey-dovey situation made him very irritated.

"Che. Just what are you doing to me Sakuno?"


Sakuno gulped as she stepped onto the court, but relaxed when she touched the brim of Ryoma's cap. She blushed when she remembered a few minutes ago. He had been so nice to her. It was refreshing to hear such honest concern from someone like Ryoma. Although she was slightly disappointed that Ryoga hadn't come to find her and speak with her.

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts; she needed to focus on her match. Ryoga had told her not to use any of her techniques or take off her weights unless necessary but looking at the brawny male in front of her, she couldn't help but feel a bit of fear. Her opponent was looking at her as if she was his next meal. It was unnerving to say the least.

"Hey pretty thing, how's about ya give up now and I'll take ya out ta dinner tonight?" The disgusting boy said while licking his lips.

Sakuno hid a small shiver of disgust and slowly walked up to the net and asked in a slightly wavering voice, "Rough or Smooth?"

The boy obviously heard the fear in her voice and laughed maliciously as he looked her up and down, making Sakuno grimace. "Smooth, like how I'm sure your creamy skin is gonna feel tonight."

Sakuno's hand shook in both disgust and anger as she spun her racquet. It clattered to the floor softly and both sides took their places, with the boy to serve.

Sakuno pulled the brim of Ryoma's cap down to cover her eyes, a move she had seen the prince do countless times. It was time she got serious and focused on this game.

"The game between Ryuuta Fujisaki and Sakuno Ryuzaki will now begin. Fujisaki to serve."

Sakuno looked up at her opponent, eyes as cold as ice and smiled softly. This was going to be fun.


The boy's comments about Sakuno had not been very quiet. The whole crowd that had gathered to watch the match had all heard exactly what the boy had said. This included the super-overprotective Seigaku tennis team and one particularly vicious grandmother.

"WHAT DID THAT LITTLE *#&$^ SAY!?" Eiji shouted as the frowning Oishi tried to calm him down.

"FSHUU!" Kaidoh hissed in anger.

"BURNING! I WILL RIP HIM TO PIECES!" Kawamura yelled while wielding a racquet, no one was sure how he'd gotten it, his eyes gleaming.

"RAGH!" Momo raged.

"Hm, perhaps he should have a small 'accident'?" Fuji's eyes were wide open and gleaming with an eerie light.

Tezuka's glasses glinted and he nodded along with Fuji's idea.

"Hn." Ryoma's fists tightened around the fence he was grabbing.

"Hm, maybe I should use him as my next test subject for my newest juice?"

Every one paused at this before giving evil grins. That was an extremely appealing idea. Instead of death they should make the little pervert suffer.

"You should all be quiet and pay close attention to the match. There's no way Saku-chan would be beaten by this loser, but she just might surprise you." A familiar voice said as they all turned to face the speaker.

"Aniki? What are you doing here?" Ryoma questioned with a frown.

"Yo chibisuke and friends, I'd love to answer your questions but I'm here to watch Sakuno's match. It's already starting." Ryoga smiled cheerily as he faced the court again.

"Eh, but I'm worried about Sa-chan. She looks like she's afraid." Eiji mumbled weakly as he watched the way Sakuno's hand trembled.

"Heh, no that kid's angry as hell. This is gonna be a quick and brutal match." Ryoga said smirking as he watched Sakuno pull the brim of her cap down over her eyes. He was of course annoyed with what the little punk across from her said, but was soothed with the knowledge that Sakuno would issue a good enough punishment.

"Eh, but you haven't ever met Sakuno so how would you know?" Eiji pouted as he said this but his eyes never left Sakuno's form.

All of them turned to Fuji when they heard him gasp. His piercing blue eyes were wide open as he watched Sakuno on the court.

"Her eyes have changed."

Eiji looked back at Sakuno curiously, but her eye color was the same. "What do you mean Fujiko? Sa-chan's eyes are still the same color."

Fuji looked seriously at Eiji before responding, "No, Eiji-kun. I meant that Sakuno is completely different now."

"Eh? You're right!"

All of the Seigaku members and Sumire Ryuzaki watched in shock as their shaking little Sakuno turned into a confident albeit slightly malicious being.

"Hoo, he really must've pissed her off. She's gonna completely crush him." Ryoga predicted in an amused tone.

The Regulars all watched as Fujisaki served. It was a normal serve, maybe it had slightly more power than average behind it but that was it. It was something that none of them would have any trouble with but from what they had seen of Sakuno, it was almost as if they were watching a bullet shoot towards her.

They watched as she ran towards the ball, shocked when she easily hit the ball back to her opponent's side. The return was nowhere near as fast or as strong as Momoshiro's or Kawamura's returns but was surprisingly strong for a girl of Sakuno's age and stature.

The ball landed directly on the opposite side of where her opponent was, earning her a point. This caused Eiji to let out a quiet whoop and high-five Momoshiro while the rest simply smiled or smirked.

Fujisaki looked absolutely furious that the small girl was able to score against him. He had been expecting the small girl to either miss the ball or not run to it at all. After his first serve, she just kept on scoring like it was nothing. Honestly he felt like she was toying with him at times. The score was already 5 games- 0 in her favor and it was pissing him off.

'So the little bitch thinks I'm not worth her time huh? Well get a load a'this!' He thought with a vicious smirk as he served.

The ball was sent flying towards Sakuno's face with no bounce intended.

The crowd froze as they saw the serve's intended target not even move out of the way. Then all of a sudden the girl dipped forward, swinging her racquet backwards toward the air as the ball past her head.

"AH! Oishi isn't that Marui's…" Eiji trailed off when Sakuno returned the ball.

It bounced directly in front of her opponent and flew straight up to hit him directly in the face.

"It c-can't be." Oishi stuttered in shock as Sakuno's opponent fell to the ground.

"G-Game, Set, and Match, Sakuno Ryuzaki advances!" The umpire choked out as he ran to go and check on Fujisaki.

"That was Bunta Marui's Temporal Difference Hell technique! Sakuno shouldn't be able to do that!" Sumire yelled in shock as she watched her granddaughter walk off the court and towards them.

"No, that was a different technique."

Everyone turned to look over at Fuji while Inui began logging Sakuno's match into his data book.

"What do you mean Fuji-sempai? That was definitely Marui's technique!" Momoshiro yelled out as whispers broke out amongst the spectators.

"No, Fuji is right. The spin that she put on the ball was different," Tezuka's cool voice rang out, silencing the rest of the Seigaku team.

"The Tensai is correct. Sakuno's technique was actually based off of the Rikkaidai red head's but unlike him; she has complete control over where she wants the ball to go."

They all turned to Ryoga with wide eyes. That was virtually impossible to do. If she could control the ball like that then she would be…

Ryoga grinned at their stunned faces, "That's right. That girl's a genius when it comes to ball control."

The stunned group didn't know what to say about this news. Could Sakuno really have had that much ability and have it completely overlooked.

'Ryuzaki, just what have you been doing these past few months?' Ryoma thought before he turned and grinned. Sakuno Ryuzaki just became far more interesting than he had ever thought possible.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, another person's gaze followed the young girl that had just won.

"That was my Temporal Difference Hell…"


When Sakuno reached the group, they began to bombard her with questions.

"Sakuno just when did you get so good?"

"Saa…Sakuno-chan just what have you been doing these past two months?"

"Did you have a teacher?"

"Hn, Ryuzaki what's your relationship with my aniki?"

Everyone paused at Ryoma's question. Ryoga did know an awful lot about Sakuno. It was beginning to make them suspicious.

Before Sakuno could even open her mouth to answer, Eiji and Momoshiro had already jumped to conclusions.

"YOU'RE A PERVERTED STALKER! Don't worry Sakuno-chan, we'll protect you!" Eiji yelled as he pushed Sakuno behind him and Momoshiro stood in front of them protectively.

"No! Sempai, Ryo-kun's not a stalker! He's—

Momoshiro covered his mouth in horror. "He's the older guy you've been dating for the past two months right?" He turned to Ryoga and yelled, "YOU EVIL PERVERT! YOU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF SAKUNO'S NAIEVETY!"

Sakuno pushed Eiji out of the way and grabbed Momoshiro before he could lunge at Ryoga. She gave Ryoga a pleading look but he didn't see it because he was too busy teasing his very angry and very jealous younger brother.

"…Aniki, are you really the one that has been dating Ryuzaki for the past two months?"

Ryoga smirked mischievously as he said, "Well, she's been with me every afternoon for the past two months. You know she's just so cute that sometimes I can't keep myself off of her."

Ryoma's aura completely changed. He became eerily silent and he gripped his can of ponta so hard that he crushed it.

"So you're the reason she's missed our practices for the past two months?"

Ryoga, not noticing the changes in Ryoma merely nodded with a huge smile on his face.

"Kono yaro," Ryoma grit out before he rushed at his older brother.

"ENOUGH!" Tezuka's commanding voice caused everyone to freeze. He turned toward Sakuno and said, "Now Ryuzaki-chan will explain all this so stay silent until she finishes. Is that clear?"

Everyone nodded and true to their word, stayed silent until Sakuno finished explaining everything.

"So he," Ryoma pointed to Ryoga, "is not your boyfriend?"

Sakuno blushed and shook her head while saying, "No, we're just friends."

Ryoma looked relieved for a few seconds but then it was replaced by his usual smirk.

Meanwhile Ryoga gave a sly smirk as he whispered to himself, "For now."

"So you've been doing some hardcore training with the pervert?" Momoshiro asked, ignoring Ryoga's protest to his new nickname.

"Hai. I'm sorry for worrying you all but I wanted to focus completely on the training."

Fuji smiled with his eyes closed as he asked, "Well Sakuno it seemed to have paid off, but what was that last technique called?"

Everyone turned to Sakuno as she smiled proudly, "That was my Angelic Return. Unlike Marui-san, I can control where I hit the ball so it isn't a double-edged sword for me."

Inui's glasses glinted when he asked, "Ryuzaki-chan, you learned that move from watching Marui-kun use it against us that one time correct?"

Sakuno nodded, a bit confused by the question.

"You are a true genius then Ryuzaki-chan," the data tennis player explained.

Sakuno turned tomato red and sputtered. She frantically shook her head saying that without Ryoga's teachings she wouldn't have gotten this far so she was just a hard worker and not a genius. They all laughed happily at her familiar display of bashfulness and relaxed.

The rest of Sakuno's matched went smoothly, with her never losing a set. She didn't use any of her other techniques other than the basics during the rest of her matches. The young girl beat her opponents easily with her surprising speed and control. Several times she surprised the Seigaku group but not as much as when she used the Angelic Return.

It wasn't long before she made her way into the finals. They had not been watching the other matches so it was a mystery as to who Sakuno's final opponent would be.

"Sa-chan you're doing AMAZING! You'll win the tournament FOR SURE!" Eiji shouted as he jumped to hug the small girl. Surprisingly Sakuno was strong enough to hold him up without any problem.

"Eiji-kun's right Sakuno-chan, you're doing wonderfully but don't relax yet. The final match still needs to be played."

Sakuno smiled a bright smile at Fuji, making Ryoma's eye twitch minutely and Ryoga's smile to strain slightly, and nodded. "Thank you Kikumaru-sempai, Fuji-sempai; I know I can't let up just yet."

The youngest Ryuzaki had a feeling that her last match wasn't going to be an easy one. Unlike the others, she had noticed who would be playing her in the finals. She would need to pull out every trick she had for this one.

"Ah, the match is going to start soon. I've got to go. Arigato again Sempai," Sakuno yelled as she ran towards the court.



"Oi, why is the Seigaku tennis team here?"

The team turned in surprise toward the speaker. It was Akaya Kirihara from Rikkaidai. He was with all of the Rikkaidai Regulars except for one.

"What are you all doing here?" Momo asked abruptly but was completely ignored by Akaya.

"Hello Sadaharu," Renji said in a quiet tone as he walked over towards the other data tennis player.

"Echizen, we should get together and have another match. It's been too long since I've played you."

Ryoma grimaced at the thought of playing Yukimura once again. It had been a thrilling match but in the end he had soared above the previously ill tennis captain.


Before Yukimura could even begin to ask why, Momoshiro yelled, "STOP IGNORING ME! WHY ARE YOU ALL HERE?!"

"We're here to support the red headed idiot," Jackal said smoothly.

"Wait, Marui-kun is in this tournament?" Fuji's eyes were wide-open, unnerving Jackal but he was still able to nod in confirmation.

"NYAH! Then he's playing against Sakuno-chan! This'll be an interesting match, but why would Marui-san want to play in a small tournament like this one?"

Akaya gave Eiji an annoyed look and scoffed, "It won't be a match; it'll be a slaughter. Marui-sempai's here for the prize, a year's worth supply of his favorite gum. He won't be holding anything back."

All of their eyes widened except for Ryoga's. They all knew that Bunta Marui was completely obsessed with any kind of dessert and gum, especially gum.


Before Eiji could run after Sakuno, Ryoga grabbed his arm.

"Let go! I've got to go and tell Sa—

Ryoga began laughing.

"Eh, Ochibi I think something's wrong with your Aniki," Eiji said while blinking in surprise.

"No, don't tell her. This'll be interesting. I want to see just how much she can do against one of Japan's best High School Volleyists."

They all looked at Ryoga like he was crazy. Sure Sakuno had gotten better but she couldn't be anywhere near Marui's level. That would be virtually impossible for someone to grow that much in two months. She'd get slaughtered out there if they allowed her to play.

"Oh look, the match is starting," Akaya commented, halting everyone's conversation.

"99.9% that Sakuno will lose this match," Inui mumbled out with a deep frown. He didn't like those statistics.

"Heh, I wouldn't count on it. That kid can be hella surprising," Ryoga chuckled out but no one really paid him any attention.

'Now show them all the results of your hard work Sakuno-chan.'


Sakuno calmly walked over to her side of the court and curiously watched the bubble-blowing red-head warm up. She had decided to keep her weights on for the first set. She wanted to see just what his strategy, if he had any, was against her. Marui wasn't someone who she could beat with just the basics but she wasn't going to use her illusion techniques until they were necessary but she had no doubts that they were going to be necessary.

"Hello, you're Sakuno Ryuzaki right?"

Sakuno jumped slightly when she heard a voice inches from her face. She hadn't even seen the red-head move. She must have zoned out again.

Turning towards her opponent she nodded shyly.


Bunta Marui was extremely excited about the final match of the tournament. He had only entered to win the year's supply worth of gum, but he had also found an interesting player.

It was a small, cute, high school girl. He didn't recognize her until he saw her kind eyes. They were the same as the girl with long braids who always cheered for Seigaku. Personally he thought that this new cut suited her more, but it wasn't her looks that had interested him. No, it was the fact that she could use his Temporal Difference Hell technique. That made her interesting and stand above all of the other players in the tournament.

"Hello, you're Sakuno Ryuzaki right?"

He felt slightly guilty when she jumped; he must have disturbed her thoughts. It took her a few moments before she nodded shyly.

"Hi, I'm Bunta Marui. Let's have a good match 'kay?"

She nodded and shook his hand. The two then separated and walked to their respective sides.

He hoped that she would give him a challenge; so far it had been pretty boring for him. If the prize had been something other than his precious gum then maybe he would have tested her first and dragged out the match. However that was not the case so he went ahead and prepared himself to completely dominate this game.


"Let the final match between Bunta Marui and Sakuno Ryuzaki begin. Marui to serve!" The umpire called out.

Bunta threw the ball up and served. It was a hard and fast serve that any average player would have trouble with, but Sakuno was able to return it. The two volleyed for a good minute before Bunta decided to end it.

"Here it comes, Marui-sempai's Tsunawatari!" Akaya yelled in excitement.

The Seigaku Regulars swallowed and looked at Marui with grimaces. Meanwhile Ryoga looked thoughtfully at Sakuno.

'What will you do now Saku-chan?'


Sakuno dashed forward as soon as she saw the ball rolling neatly along the net. She had seen this move before during the match between Seigaku and Rikkaidai. She knew she could return it.

Time seemed to slow as she rushed towards the small ball. She extended her racquet just in time to gently volley the ball over, preforming an exact replica of the Tsunawatari.

Stunned silence followed as the ball gently dropped to the ground. No one other than Ryoga had expected Sakuno to copy Marui's move. It stunned them all into immobilization.

"Heh, that crazy kid," Ryoga mumbled with a wide grin.

"N-n-no way! Sakuno-chan shouldn't be able to do that! We've all seen the way she used to play; even with a couple of months' worth of training couldn't change her that much!" Momoshiro yelled out but his eyes never left the court.


Ryoga turned his head towards his younger brother when he heard the urgency in his voice.

"You taught Ryuzaki the Muga no Kyochi!?"

All of the tennis players turned towards the pair when they heard this. The Muga no Kyochi was an unbelievably hard technique to master and for someone such as Sakuno to master it in a few months was unheard of. It could only be done by those who had an astronomical amount of innate talent and skill. If the girl did possess such qualities then she was an absolute monster.

"No, I didn't teach her it," they all breathed a sigh of both relief and disappointment, "That girl could already use the Muga no Kyochi when I first met her."

All the tennis players had equal expressions of horror and disbelief. How could their little clumsy wobbly-hips Sakuno have been able to use the Muga no Kyochi? Just how much of Sakuno's ability did they overlook?

"Well if that girl is a Muga user, then this'll be interesting. Bunta-kun has never played one so I suppose this will be a good experience. He's already starting to realize that he's going to have to up his skills for this match." Yukimura said nonchalantly, while his gaze locked firmly on the court.

The rest then turned back to the courts, shocked to see that the first two sets had already ended in favor of Marui.

Sakuno frowned into her water bottle as she drank. The match was almost finished, with the score being 5-0 in favor of Marui. She would have to take off her weights and use her Illusion Tennis if she wanted to get anywhere in this match. Bunta had proved himself to be even better than the last time she had seen him play and with her weights she was just no match for the Rikkaidai tennis player.

'It's time to get serious.'


Marui sensed the change in his opponent as soon as she returned to the court. He had watched her take off what seemed like a dozen weights that made an extremely loud clatter when they fell to the ground. As soon as they were off, the girl seemed to almost float on the ground. Her steps were almost silent to his ears and so graceful that it seemed as if she were dancing.

'This'll be interesting.'


Sakuno gripped the tennis ball gently, almost caressing the small ball in her palm. It held her attention entirely. Nothing could break her trance.

Slowly she through the ball into the air and—


"f-fifteen love!"


"S-so fast…"

When the match had reached 5 games to 0 in Marui's favor, all the Regulars had believed that Sakuno's bag of tricks had finally run out. Therefore, it came as an extreme surprise when her next serve was practically invisible. They had seen when she threw the ball up and raised her racquet, but after that it was almost as if her swing was invisible.

"So she's finally decided to get serious."

Everyone spun towards Ryoga, with equally shocked and interested expressions.

"How?" None other than the steely vice-captain of Rikkaidai voiced the question that was on everyone's mind.

"Sakuno's a very determined girl when she wants something. She puts her all into doing something and this is just the results of two months of her labor." Ryoga smirked. Sakuno would have been so happy to see just how surprised everyone was over her progress.

"Aniki, what was that technique she just used?"

Ryoga rolled his eyes, trust his brother to be more concerned with the newly revealed tennis move than Sakuno, "There really isn't anything special about it. It's just a high-speed flat serve. Sakuno calls it her Invisible Serve. She also has a return that's similar to it called the Invisible Swing only that's a ground-stroke."

Ryoma gripped the fence tightly in excitement at the prospect of facing such a serve. He had to get Ryuuzaki to use it against him after this.

"5 games All, Marui to serve!"

The group all whirled back around to watch the match so fast that they completely missed Ryoga's frown.

Sure, that move was extremely useful, but Sakuno had yet to reach the level of stamina necessary to use that technique consecutively.

'Sakuno, just how long can you keep this up?'


Back on the court, Sakuno panted from exhaustion. She had reached the limit of her stamina, but her opponent was just as, if not more, exhausted from trying to keep up with her serves and returns. She had to win another 2 games to end the match, she had to push her limits.

Sakuno quickly set herself in the court as Marui served. When the ball reached her, she quickly hit the ball with the frame of her racket, which caused the ball to vibrate with such force that when it reached Marui's side of the court, it looked like there were multiple balls.

Her 'Illusion' was a trick she developed to beat Ryoga. Even after two months, Ryoga still had trouble with that move.

"6 games to 5, Ryuzaki to serve!"


"Nyah! Sakuno might just win this!" Eiji shouted as he jumped up and down in excitement.

"No, this is it for that girl. She put up a good fight, but Bunta-kun has figured out her trick," Yukimura said, his eyes glued to the match in front of him.

"WHAT! No way, he's still losing! Sakuno can still win this!" Momoshiro yelled out before he was quieted by Fuji's words, "No Momo, he's right. Marui has figured out the counter to Sakuno's technique."

"What do you mean Fujiko?"

Kirihara snorted in disgust as he said, "The ball only has one shadow baka. If Bunta-sempai follows that then he can return it easily."

'What will you do now Sakuno?'






"45- All!"

Sakuno grit her teeth in frustration. She only needed to win this last game and she' d win the tournament. She knew that Marui had figured out a counter to her Illusion but that move had been her ace. It was the last of her perfected moves.

'I guess I'm going to have to use that even though it isn't perfected yet.'


"7 games to 5! Game Set and Match. Ryuzaki Sakuno is the winner of the annual Kanigawa Tennis Tournament."

"W-what was that? Bunta-Sempai figured out the counter for that last one, but what kind of technique was that?" Kirihara stuttered in disbelief.

They all shared equal expressions of shock, and all jumped when the piercing sound of Ryoga's laughter cut through their shocked haze.

"That girl actually did it. She finally completed it."

"…completed what?"

Ryoga gave his brother a feral grin as he spoke, "She completed the Entaku Shot. It's a sidespin smash that she hits with the frame of her racket that causes the ball to fly in a circular ring formation until it hits the court."

"She's only been practicing with you for 2 months! How can she do all of these things?" Momoshiro yelled out in disbelief.

Ryoga gave them a feral grin as he turned towards where Sakuno would be exiting from the court.

"That girl's ability is prodigal, borderline monstrous when it comes to tennis. This is only the beginning; she hasn't reached her peak yet."

Ryoma frowned at his brother as he asked, "How did you of all people find out about Ryuzaki's talent? You didn't even know her until two months ago."

Ryoga paused, grin slowly disappearing as he answered, "I just gave her the one thing you all never gave her…confidence in her ability and guidance. Sakuno has a bit of an inferiority complex and with you only pointing out her mistakes made it worse. It stunted her innate tennis abilities. If I had not shown up when I did then she probably would have quit tennis."

The group all remained silent after that answer. How could they have overlooked the potential and problems Sakuno had?

"Saku-chan congratulations!"

Ryoga's yell knocked them from their thoughts. They all turned to see both Marui and Sakuno walking towards them, trophy in hand.

"Nyah Sakuno, you were great!"

"You were really amazing Sakuno-chan!"

"You gave me interesting data Sakuno-san."

"Good work Sakuno."

"Saa, that was impressive Sakuno-chan."

"Hn. Mada mada dane."

Sakuno blushed but smiled happily at the praise the Seigaku team gave her, "Thank you, but I couldn't have done it without Ryoga."

"Let's go celebrate then! How about we get some sushi at Kawamura's?"

After a chorus of agreements they began walking towards the restaurant.

Ryoma's fist clenched at that. His brother, his aniki, had been the one to help the girl he likes, not him. If he had not disliked Ryoga at first, then he sure disliked him now. A tap on his shoulder brought him out of his thoughts.

"A-arigato Ryoma-kun. What you did this morning really helped and I don't think I could have done it without it."

He blushed slightly as he took his cap and placed it back on his head.

"Hn, you would have been fine without it. You have talent Sakuno, but you're still mada mada dane."

Sakuno gave an almost angelic smile at his praise and sped up to walk with Ryoga.


Ryoga had a pinched look on his face as he watched the small interaction between his brother and Sakuno; a look did not escape the ever-vigilant eyes of the Seigaku head coach.

"You like her then? Is that where your dedication to her comes from?"

Ryoga's surprised expression said it all for her though.

She barked out a laugh at the irony of his affections. It seemed that the Echizen men were cursed to give their affections to the Ryuzaki women. Her daughter and Nanjiroh had been a couple long ago before he decided to leave for America to chase his tennis dreams. Now it seemed as if it was the same.

"…Just make sure you don't hurt her."

Ryoga looked appalled, "No, I'd never!"

Sumire laughed again and shook her head, "Relax Ryoga, I know you won't. Your expression was all the answer I needed."

Sumire then walked faster, leaving Ryoga behind.

"Hey Ryo-kun, what did Oba-chan want?"

Ryoga slowly turned his head to Sakuno and shook it, "Nothing Saku-chan."

Gently, Ryoga reached out and held her hand, "You did amazing out there Sakuno. I'm so proud of you."

Sakuno blushed at the handholding and grew redder at Ryoga's use of her first name and his praise. Her heart sped up as he entwined his fingers with hers. It was different from the feeling she had when Ryoma praised her. It was just as strong, if not stronger than what she had felt with the young prince.

"A-arigato R-R-Ryoga, but I couldn't have done it without your help," She said while she shyly curled her fingers around his.

Ryoga gave her a small smile, one that she had never seen before, and leaned down to kiss her cheek.

"You're an amazing girl Sakuno. You could have done this without me easily. Unfortunately, I have to go now. Tomorrow we can celebrate just the two of us alright?"

Sakuno could do nothing more than nod as she was still surprised from the kiss on her cheek.

Ryoga smiled cheekily as he whispered into her ear, "Then it's a date."

####A Prodigy Is Revealed End####

Well, that's it for this chapter. I'm sorry for the late update but hey, better late than never.

I would like to thank all of you who stuck with this story and reviewed. I love hearing from you so please let me know what you think.