Prologue

"Sempai, why are we here?" The vice captain tucked the strands of blonde hair that didn't fit into his ponytail behind his ear as he strolled alongside the taller, dark-haired boy. "This is a commoner park."

"That's right, and we'll get to the soccer fields soon." Sempai folded the map he was looking at and put his hands behind his head, "Great day for soccer isn't it? I'm sure there are going to be a ton of people on the fields."

"Sempai, you look like some sort of tourist. I thought we were supposed to be recruiting members for our team, not strolling through some commoner playground."

"Oh, look there are some people on the field!" Sempai exclaimed, ignoring him, "Some of them don't look that bad." He stopped behind a chained fence where he could get a decent view of the game. There were four people playing, two of which stood out. They were clearly much more skilled than the others. "Hey, Yasuo."

The vice captain looked up from the clipboard he was studying. He had given up trying to understand why they were here and started flipping through the copies of the school tuition papers he had ready for new team members. "What is it now?"

"Those two look pretty good." He watched as one stole the ball and kicked it into a goal. "They look they same age. I wonder if they're twins."

"What does it matter? They're peasants." He held up the clipboard, pointed to one of the schools listed, and changed the subject. "This school looks nice. I heard that they have a lot of good members."

"Hmm. The kids never look like they're having fun there, though," Sempai said, still not taking his eyes off the boys.

The vice captain sighed and let the clipboard hang by his side. He glanced, for a moment, towards the sunset. "Well, I have homework to do, so I'll be heading home. Tomorrow we need to go to some of these schools and try to advertise ourselves. I'm sure your father would be mad if we didn't find anyone, so let's try to focus."

Sempai crossed his arms and muttered, "Mmm. See you then," distractedly as he continued to watch the game. Yasuo looked at him for a moment, surprised. He had expected the usual exaggerated goodbye when Sempai would yell out his first name.

He might actually be interested in those commoners, he thought to himself, but it's a waste of time. The headmaster never lets people in his school that can't possibly pay for it.

Tohru passed the ball to Daisuke, and with a smooth kick, they scored yet another goal. He paused to bend over, trying to catch his breath. It was almost dark now, and the kids they had been playing with before had left hours ago.

Unconsciously, he cast a suspicious glance over to the path, past the chain link fence. That guy was still there.

Tohru jumped when the ball flew past him.

"Tohru-chan! Are you paying attention?"

Tohru picked up the ball and walked over to his twin brother, speaking in low voice, "That man has been watching us play for a really long time now. I wonder why he's here."

Daisuke squinted over at the figure still standing behind the chain fence. He shrugged, taking the ball from Tohru and starting to juggle it between his knees. "I don't know. People have watched us before. Maybe he just likes the way we play."

"But no one has watched us for so long bef-" Tohru stopped talking. The man had started climbing the fence, and was running towards them at top speed, smiling broadly. "Dai-kun, he's running for us! Get away, I won't let him touch you!" Before Tohru was able to do anything, however, he was grabbed by the shoulders and was spun around to stare face to face with this man, who looked strangely young for his size.

His dark eyes blazed with an almost intimidating zeal, and Tohru had the strange desire to brush the short, wild mess of black hair on his head.

"You're perfect!" he yelled, sounding joyous. He let go of Tohru's shoulders and stood with his hands on his hips, looking them up and down, "You guys twins? You look exactly alike!"

Tohru glanced at Daisuke, who looked just as confused as he felt. He nodded, though usually people didn't need to ask, giving into the man's overwhelming energy.

"How old are you?"

Daisuke answered this time, "We're fourteen. We'll be in the ninth grade next year."

"Great! You can call me Sempai and I'm the team captain of…" He looked around, seeming a little confused, but shook it off and looked back at the now thoroughly confused twins standing before him, "It seems my partner walked off with the papers, but I'm the team captain of the Himawari High soccer team! I'm inviting you to join!"

Tohru and Daisuke only stared at him, agape.

"Himawari High?" Tohru sputtered, "TheHimawari High? The high school with the top ranking soccer team in the district?"

Sempai nodded proudly, and Daisuke stared, wide-eyed, at his brother. He had never heard of such a school. He came up and stood next to Tohru. "Um, would this school by any chance have some sort of cost? We don't exactly have a lot of money to spare."

Sempai scratched the top of his head. "Oh. I hadn't thought of that. The school tuition isn't cheap, it's true, but I've got some good connections. We'll work something out." Sempai took a note pad from his jacket pocket and scribbled something down. He then handed it to Tohru, still standing right in front of him and then added, "I'll meet you at the school tomorrow at ten. Any questions?"

The boys shook their heads slowly, throwing each other unsure looks. Sempai beamed at them, patting them both on the head at once. "Good good! I feel like we're starting to connect already!" He turned and starting running off, waving cheerfully, even as he proceeded to climb the fence again. The twins watched him go, and Tohru stuffed the note in his pocket.

"I feel like we have gotten into something really big," he said, dazed.

Daisuke grabbed Tohru's outstretched hand and started off the field, "Can you imagine? A real soccer team! With uniforms and practice dates and a locker room and everything!"

"Sounds expensive," Tohru replied quietly, wondering why Sempai didn't use the entrance to the field like a normal person as he swung arms with Daisuke.

"Well, he said he would work something out. Maybe we'll get in!" Daisuke giggled, obviously excited. Tohru smiled at him.

"As long as we can both go," Tohru added. They both felt the same way.

Maybe, finally, they would get the chance to play the sport they loved so much.