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#3

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3
The V Sign! 1
Shirt: Musashi

81
[Showa 40, April the 1st.]

This is goodbye then, Mother.
Take care of yourself.

Even if it’s a bit tough, you have to stick through it to the end. If you slack off and come home midway...
I know already, mom.

But it’ll be fine to come visit on vacation, right?
Hm, yes, I guess.

/Miyo, please watch over mother for me./
/Volleyball may have stolen your life, but I’ll show you I can beat it./

Well, then...

82
Ah!

“Miss Across-the-river” Good luck, Yumi!
Tadah!

Yumi, take care of yourself! This is just a little something for you, use it at night.
Okay, then...

Ah? Huh?

W-woops! That’s the wrong one.
Ah!
text: Gold

But, you know they say a chill at night is poison for the body, so...
SFX: Teehee

Thank you for this!

Well, how do you like that!?

Please take good care of mother for me, everyone!
Just leave it to us!

83
Then let’s give a cheer in celebration of Yumi leaving her home!
Ah! Gen!

Don’t worry about it, I told you to leave it to us!
Banzai! That’s how it’s gonna be!
Let’s hear it!

T-thank you...
Banzai!
SFX: Tut tut tut tut tut

Take care, Yumi...

Thank you. Thank you, everyone from the row houses...
To answer all of your heartfelt wishes I will become the number one volleyball player in Japan- no, the world.

84
SFX: Waa Waa

Plaque: Kokubunji Elementry School
SFX: Waa Waa Eek

Thur you go! Number 1 on the black, spike the ball thur!

SFX: whmp

See! Ya scored! Keep it up, Keep it up!

85
Thank you!

And now black has the serve!

Yup!

Yeah! Hit it!
SFX: biff

Keep up, number 5!

Okay!
SFX: bmf

Toss the ball up, number 1!
Yup!

Spike it, number 2!
Okay!

Great! You’re doing well.

That takes care of that.

Now we’ve got the serve, let’s finish it!
Hit it!

86
White’s serve ain’t got no punch to it! Come on, number 5, receive the ball!
Number 2, you toss it up!
Okay, now, 6, spike it!

Number 2, 3, and 4, stop it!

Heeheehee

We can’t lose now! Receive it, number 5!
You can’t receive the ball with your back bent like that!

See, just like I said. Heeheehee.
Urgh! Chomp, chomp!

The serve’s coming, number 4!
Urhm!

SFX: Pow Urk

Okay now, number 4 for white, spike the ball!
SFX: Urgh
That decides it!

87
SFX: whump

That was good!

Now we’ve got the serve! It’s our game now! Come on!
SFX: BIFF

Ah!
SFX: WHUMP

Ahahaha!

You sure are loud for someone who came in late!

And you sure have a lot to say for someone who only knows a bit about volleyball...
a-a bit!?

You don’t seem to know who I am!
I don’t! Are you the one they call the four eyed beast?

I’m from Tohoku middle school, that’s a name that’s high in regards!

It certainly is high up there!
SFX: wobble wobble

88
I’m Chiiko Koyama!

Now how about you be quiet!
Koyama?

Why do they call you Koyama, the little mountain? You’re a big one!
Urk!

I always get made fun of for that! Why do people always pick on me for what bothers me the most!
SFX: slump

Heheheh, I guess she’s actually a pretty nice person.

I’m Yumi Asaoka from Shiroyama Middle school in Tokyo.
Hmmm.

Shiroyama Middle? Is it the same Shiroyama that won the Tokyo city tournament...?
Oh, you’re familiar with it?

… So you’re telling me you were one of the members of their team?
Yeah.

You seem to have some confidence in yourself then...

But you wouldn’t be able to receive against my spike.
Hmph.

89
Hmm, I wonder how that’d go...

How ‘bout I show you it and you can try to receive it then?

Here I come!

SFX: BMMF

SFX: dash...

SFX: Ah! bmf

SFX: thud

Heheheh...
A turnaround receive!
Who are you...!?
SFX: tmp

90
I remember seeing your face before, but...
And besides that, that turnaround receive you just did was...
Heheheh.

It seems like you two have the same goal as I do.

I’ll see you then.
Ah!

What was that about...? But what an amazing receive that was!

She was definitely the person they called the number one middle schooler, Mari Tsubaki, from Kamimeguro middle school...
Though she wasn’t able to make an appearance at the Tokyo city tournament because her teammates couldn’t keep up with her...

91
SFX: dong

Oh, no! I was told to assemble by one o’clock. I’m late!

Me too!
What are they up to?
SFX: tap tap tap thump thump

Public Company Tachiki Factories

It’s over here.
SFX: huff huff gasp gasp

92
So you’re here too!

I knew it.
Yup.

Nice to meet you.
Me too... I mean, nice to meet you too!

Hehehe
Heeheehee

Ah! Oh, no! We’re late!
Yeah, that’s right!
What are those two up to?!

Reception Room

SFX: batum

93
Sorry we’re late...

You’re in for a rough ride if you’re late on your first day for work.
Ah!

/I knew it!/

Well, anyways, take a seat over here.
O-okay.

Uhm, excuse me...
What is it?

Do you have any seats that are just a wee bit bigger?

Use this one.

Heehee
I’m sorry about this...
Haha

94
Well then... This is our supervisor Takayama. I’m the coach, Keisuke Maki. Nice to meet you all.

Could you please introduce yourselves?
I’m Kaori Matsubara.

Mari Tsubaki .

Kimie Okada. Nice to meet you.

Sachiko Kubata.

Chiiko Koyama. Nice to meet you.

I’m Yumi Asaoka.

95
Now then, your captain will be the eldest one among you, Miss Matsubara. She also happens to be your senior at this company.
Nice to meet you all. If you have anything you don’t know please don’t hold back, go ahead and ask.

I have a question.

Uhm... where’s the cafeteria? And do you think they’ll let me eat three persons worth in one sitting?
A-amazing!

I’ll take you there later and don’t worry about food.
Ah! Thank you...

Yes, Ahem, remember that you are employees of Tachiki Factories before you are volleyball players.
You’ll be working from 9 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon in the factory...

Practice will be following that. I’d like you to keep that in mind at all times.
Yes!

That’s all starting from tomorrow. As for today, please take it easy and rest in your dorms.
Coach Maki, I’ll leave it to you to show them around.
Okay.

96
Tachiki Factories Women’s Dormitory.
It’s here.
It’s not very pleasant looking.

Room number 10 is for Kaori and Sachiko.
Okay.

Mari and Kimie in number 11.
12 will be Chiiko and Yumi.

Yay! We’re in the same room! Hurray!
SFX: squeeze

Get some rest today then. Everything will start from tomorrow.
Don’t forget to say hello to all the other workers.

It’s finally starting. My brand new life is beginning. A page from the book of my youth is turning.

97
Wait a second here, Kaori. Is this the gymnasium?

It’s like a pigsty in here!
It is quite awful...
Is this the company I joined with such big dreams and expectations...?

Sorry that it’s so old and stuffy in here but I don’t think you’ll be finding any dreams or hopes here.
SFX: squeak squeak

It must have been difficult enough already for a small company like this to build even one gymnasium.
But...

98
Hey! Did you not hear the signal to assemble?
Ah! Coach!

Coach, this gymnasium is a bit...
Let’s begin with warm up exercises.

Coach!

You’re not going to get great players just because you’ve got a nice gymnasium.
The hearts of those players practicing in them comes first and foremost!

Now, begin!
Oh? Chiiko’s not here.
She was here just a moment ago. How strange.

Oh, over there.
What’s going on?

Hey! Let me go!
Be quiet, you little man!

What’s going on? Who is this?
Coach, it’s a spy.

99
A spy?

Yeah! He was snooping around the gymnasium and peeking.
When I came out of the toilet he was staring around, he was so suspicious!
You’ve got it all wrong, I’m telling you...

Ah! Daddy!
Daddy...?
Oh! Mari!

Ah! Miss Koyama! Let him go!

What do you think you’re doing!? That’s President Daigo Tsubaki from Sumishiba Electronics, our parent company.
What!?

I’m incredibly sorry. She’s just a new employee who joined yesterday.
Is that right... ouch!

Miss Koyama, what are you doing!? Apologize at once!
I was so out of line! I’m sorry...

Coach Maki, you too.
Ah, sorry.

100
Lower your head a bit more. This is the president from our parent company we’re talking about! Hurry up!

Ah, don’t worry about it, everyone makes mistakes.
SFX: HA HA HA HA HA
SFX: Ah... Sorry...

Daddy, what are you doing here?
What am I doing here? I obviously came to watch you!
That’s Mari’s father...
That’s right. Miss Tsubaki’s different from you girls. Make sure you watch yourselves.

I don’t need you to do that. Why don’t you go back to your company and sign some documents!?

Whatever will I do with her? She’s so selfish and completely in a trance when it comes to volleyball.
You are quite right, sir... Truly. Ha ha ha!

As a parent I’d like to have had her go through highschool and college however she wouldn’t listen to me and insisted on coming here to play volleyball.

Volleyball is my life.
I’ll make this team number one in the world. You’ll see...

101
Well, that’s how it is. Hahaha! Take good care of her!
Ha ha...
SFX: whump

More importantly, daddy, can’t you do something about this gymnasium?
What are you saying? This isn’t my company.

So why don’t you talk to the president of Tachiki and have him do some reconstruction.
Hmm.

Mari, we’re in the middle of practice here. Don’t go around doing whatever it is you like.

Coach Maki! What are you...

I understand. Daddy, hurry up and go home.
But...

I said to go home!
I got it! I got it!

Please pardon the rudeness.
Hmph.

That coach, it’d be nice if he watched how he talked more.
Ah, yes, I’m sorry, it’s because he’s young, you know how they are...

102
Okay, everyone, put away the balls.
What?

Right now you shouldn’t be touching the ball with your hands.
There are plenty of other things you need to do before holding the ball.

First you have to build strength in your bodies. Make your legs strong and your arms powerful!
Now start with calisthenics and move on to bunny hops.

Coach!

Please don’t say such strange things!
What?

We’ve done so much of those practices for beginners that we’d get sick of it. We should be practicing things that would be more beneficial to us in matches.
That’s right.
Yeah.

We came here to play some real volleyball, right, everyone?
Yeah!

Yumi?

103
That’s right. I think so too.

Hmph...

Since we’re going to be playing matches against a bunch of other teams and making it out to the next olympics...
Didn’t you say that was your goal, coach?

I see, well, you’ve got that much confidence in yourselves, huh?
Coach, you should know very well how skilled we are.

All right then, let’s have a match.
With who?

The Tokyo Olympic gold medalists, Nichibo Kaizuka!
What?!
Are you serious?

104
I can see it, it’s over there!

Wow! What a big factory!

So this is Nichibo Kaizuka... Over there Tokyo Olympic gold medalists like Kasai and Miyamoto are lying in wait for us.

Ah! My heart is fluttering...
What are you talking about?

You think I should get their signatures?

How silly! We’re going there as equals, to fight against them, not to fawn over them as their fans...
Uhmm, I guess you’re right.

105
Coach Maki, this is too much, to suddenly have them play against Nichibou...
But Mr. Nichibou gladly gave us the okay.

And they’re all confident in themselves. That’s more than enough.
Hrmph...
SFX: Squeee

Time to get off, everyone.

The waiting room will be on your right side after you enter.
Okay.

This is Nichibou’s gymnasium. As expected it’s quite a sight.

Nichibo... As our opponents there’s nothing that they’re lacking in.

106
But I wonder if we’ll be able to win. I’m starting to feel uncertain.

Whether we win or lose isn’t the question. We just have to try hard.

Whaddya think will happen if we win?

If that happens then let’s have them build a brand new gymnasium for us as a reward.

Yeah! That sounds great!
Hey, if you’re finished changing come greet the Nichibo members.

This is so exciting!

Huh?

Nice to meet you all!

N-nice to meet you!

107
The match starts in 20 minutes. Practice until then.
Ah, Coach Maki!

That’s Nichibo?
That’s right.

But their main players like Kasai, Miyamoto, and Handa aren’t here. Neither is their supervisor, Daimatsu.

Right now these people are their main lineup.
I’ve got some things to talk about with the Nichibo coach.

I heard that their supervisor Daimatsu quit.
Oh? Really?

Other than that, I heard that Kasai got married to someone and quit as well.
Is that true...?
What? Then those people must be their second stringers!

I see. Then the only ones left are Isobe and Matsumura.

Then we might be able to win.
Maybe... No, we’ll definitely win.
This is starting to get interesting!

108
If we beat Nichibo then the newspapers and the magazines won’t be able to stop talking about it. Our names will be all over the newspapers tomorrow...
[Nichibo defeated!]
[Nichibo Kaizuka has finally been defeated! Their glorious practice record has finally been put to an end. Tachiki Musashi makes their appearance in the Volleyball world like a comet flying out of nowhere!]

Yumi, it looks like you’ve composed yourself and will be able to show them how good you are.

I was thinking the same exact thing, Mari.

Thank you for listening to such a ridiculous request from me...
Don’t worry about it.

This is a great chance to see how far the new Witches can go after we lost our main line up.
We should be the ones thanking you.
I’m happy to hear that.

It seems like you’ve gathered quite a few good players.
No...

If your players are the new Witches than ours are just little frogs.
Frogs?

Ah, you’ll understand soon...
?

Now, let’s begin the match.

You look like you’ve got a lot of confidence so I’m not going to say anything. I’ll just watch.

What? And you call yourself a coach?
It’s fine! It’ll just be easier for us!

Thank you for the game!

It’s Nichibo’s attack. Who’s the server?
Isobe.

110
Isobe is the one they called the number one spiker in the world.
The number one in the world... That’s quite something. But, leave it to me, I’ll show you I can receive it for sure.

SFX: bweee

SFX: biff

SFX: Vrrrm

I’ve been waiting for this!
SFX: dash

SFX: bmf

SFX: thud

Wow!

111
SFX: boing!

Move!

SFX: bang

Nice, Mari!
SFX: bweee

Heheh, that was a piece of cake!

We’ve got the serve now, Yumi.

112
Let’s see that devil screwball we’ve all heard so much about.
Fine.

/Here it comes, Mari./
/Let’s see if the world reknown Witches will be able to take my devil screwball serve./
SFX: bwee

SFX: BSSH!

SFX: screeee

Ah!
SFX: wrrr

113
SFX: bounce!

SFX: bwee

Tachiki 1
Nichibo 0

Wow!

Whoa, you did it, Yumi!
Now _that_ was a piece of cake!

SFX: mutter mutter.

Heheheh, they’re getting worried.

Grin

114
W-what just happened...?

/Heh, I know. They’re just smiling awkwardly because they’re getting beaten by a bunch of no-names./

Yumi, keep it up, go for it!
Leave it to me!

I’ll take the first set with just my serve!

Here goes!
SFX: Bwee

SFX: baaaapf

SFX: whrrrr

SFX: bomf

115
Ah!

T-They were able to catch it...
H-how could this be...

SFX: bomf

SFX: pshh

SFX: bwee

It looks like your serve wasn’t all that amazing after all.
N-no! That was just a fluke!

It’s their serve now. Let’s get a hold of it.

Grin

116
/She’s smiling at me again... What’s the meaning of this?/

SFX: bwee

SFX: bamph

I’ve got it!

Ah!?

SFX: wrrrr

117
SFX: whump

SFX: thud

T-that’s my devil screwball serve...
Mari!
Are you okay?
C-can this really be happening...?
My sister and I came up with that serve through blood straining effort... How could she just just pull it off like it was nothing...

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