~ Saki Fantasy Mahjong ~
~Side Story 01 ~
There was silence in the stadium, everyone cannot believe their eyes.
“The Winner of the match and our Current Reigning Champion – Miyanaga Teru.”
The moment the referee announced the winner, the whole stadium descended into a state of pandemonium. The ones who lost their winnings were crying that the fight was rigged. Others were laughing in satisfaction at the huge killing they made. The competitors were no better. Various fighters were crowing about the downfall of their former bitterest adversary, while a select few were glaring daggers at the red head for defeating said former champion.
The referee himself seem to be having a mild revelation at the outcome. Who can blame him though, it was certainly a huge upset. Many have said that the match was disproportionate from the start. On one corner, you have a girl barely out of her elementary school years and on the other you have a towering man about four times her age and size.
Well they were proven right- just not in the way they expected.
Breaking from her survey of the crowd, the newly crowned champion looked at her touted adversary in disappointment. The muscle bound man lay on the arena floor, yet to wake up.
Saki would have woken up by now.
She supposed it just goes to show that age isn’t everything… But, after all that fanfare and convincing she had to do to be allowed to participate here. Just to have everyone be felled in a single punch felt a bit anticlimactic. This may not be a legal tournament but she was hoping for some standards. Her imouto gave her more challenging fights without even trying. Heck, Saki will probably be able to wipe the mop off the so called ‘veteran’ fighters here and just to show the unfairness of the world her little one wasn’t even allowed inside.
Burying her disappointment, the red headed girl resumed scanning the crowd looking for a familiar mop of brown hair. As expected there was none around, Teru did say that there was no need to watch. Besides, the elders adamantly forbade Saki from going here. And despite evidence to the contrary, her imouto does try to be respectful and dutiful as she could.
But, Teru knew that Saki was definitely here. Even if she can’t confirm it right now due to their link being muffled on her little one’s end.
A warning sign in itself her mind whispered. Her little one only does that when the younger girl wanted to hide or do something she would disprove of.
A cheerful voice sing -songs in her ear. “Onee-chan, I have a surprise for you …”
– even if Saki managed to hide perfectly today she would still suspect. Her imouto botched any attempt of surprise the previous week. Seriously, the past week was an eye-opening experience regarding her imouto’s non-existent acting ability…
Squeaking every time she passed by while lugging a big basket that is taller than her around the house.
Clumsily panicking with adorable inept attempts to hide said basket behind one of the furniture.
Teru grinned in remembrance.
Its times like this that make her happy to have an eidetic memory.
Though, she suppose she really ought to give her imouto some lessons in deception… someday. Maybe.
Wait … Is that a pigtailed brown hair?
A closer examination yielded a negative result.
Sighing the red head broke from her examination of the crowd. This is going nowhere, the whole area is simply too large and there are too many blind spots for a physical survey to work. Its time for more drastic measures.
Teru pulsed her aura like a wave, skimming on every surface inside the arena. This action caused most of the people inside to experience a case of mild goosebumps but the red head was sure that they will brush it up as nothing. From her brief stint in this place, there were none that can identify what she was doing.
But, her little sister certainly could.
For a few minutes, Teru stood with her senses stretched waiting for a response.
But, there was no answering caress to be found. Not even a flare to signify someone noticed her probing.
All of her earlier good humor fled.
She got her confirmation.
Saki obeyed their instructions after all.
She should be happy, but its all Teru could do to keep her hand from bunching into fist and punch something.
This whole venture was pointless.
There is no point of staying here.
The red head eyed the arena’s only exit with distaste. It was now filled with a bustling crowd, packed together like sardines- pushing each other in their hurry to get out. From the corner of her eyes, she spied a couple of stranglers who were covertly following her movements. No doubt from the moment she gets off the arena, they would accost her.
She really does not have the energy for this. Not today.
Decision made Teru jumped out of the arena into the open ceiling above. With nary an effort, she crossed the six story tall wall within a single bound and safely landed on the other side.
On the arena, those who witnessed the superhuman feat of their newly crowned champion began murmuring.
“What the hell?!”
“We were planning to hustle THAT?!”
“That person can’t be human!”
Teru, on the other hand, didn’t pay attention to the increasing level of noise on her back. She walked faster, hoping to get home before nightfall. Looking at the sky, the sun was halfway down the horizon and the stars were already starting to appear. In a few minutes, the gates to their home was going to close and no one was allowed to go outside or inside. If she used that technique she can possibly make it if she hurry –
A brown sized blur tackled her.
Teru reflexively caught the familiar shape but not before the impact sent her sitting on the ground.
But, the evidence can’t be denied. The moment Teru opened her eyes – her vision was dominated by Saki’s face – grinning cheerfully from ear to ear.
“Saki…” You came …
A pleasant warmth was spreading through her chest. It was all Teru could do to stop grinning like a lunatic.
“I bought your present, Onee-chan.”
And true enough, beyond her imouto’s adorable face – Teru could see the well-known basket. At this angle, it was easy to see that it was filled with freshly picked ripe strawberries.
Saki cutely bobbed her head in confirmation.
Taking her hands off her imouto whom she reflexively embraced in the collision, she slid the basket off and set it aside beside her.
Saki freed from her burden made herself comfortable in her elder sister’s embrace. The red head gave a fond chuckle at the gesture.
“Did you watch my match, Saki?”
“… I’m sorry, Onee-chan. I know that I’m not suppose to be here…”
Giving her imouto a gentle rubbing on the head to show her appreciation. “I’m not mad, Saki.” The implications inherent to that sentiment went unsaid.
But, not unheard judging from the conspiratorial look Saki sent her way.
“So how was it?”
“Uwaahh… You were up against a really tough guy.”
“Tough?” She can’t remember anyone that she fought today who can fit that description.
“He has lots of tattoos and looked really really mean.”
” Ah… that guy.” He flew out of the ring with one kick to the chest.
“Onee-chan is so amazing. You waited for the first swing and in the moment that tough guy left his guard down, POW!”
“I’m pretty sure you can do that too. You know?”
Saki shook her head. “But, Onee-chan doing it would look cooler.”
Her imouto gave the final word with all the earnestness of a besotted child and just like that Teru lost any of her willpower to argue.
Teru rested her head on the latter’s shoulder to hide her face from view. She was sure that it cannot get any redder when she heard a soft whisper, “Onee-chan… I’m glad I came to watch your match.”
Her heart lighter than ever with an emotion she cannot name, the newly crowned champion could only embrace her imouto a little bit tighter.
At that moment, she was sure that nothing will ever convince her to let go of this precious person.
– The Battle’s Aftermath
– A Moment in the Past of the Miyanaga Family Vol. VIII