Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode Of Side-A: Episode 3

It was finally time for the perfectural tournament to begin. Shizuno, Ako, Kuro, Yuu, and Arata finally set their sight on the road to the nationals. However, this tournamnet was not going to be easy. All ive of them knew that they were newly established, so no one would really recognize them from the start. The team that they were going to look out for was Bansei, the school with the strongest mahjong background, having lost only once in their fourty tries to the national tournament with their only loss coming from the same school Shizuno and their team was representing when Harue was in their cast. After all of the training these five girls had from Harue, all of them were raring to go to take on the road that lies ahead of them. Their journey had begun.

Immediately, the road to the nationals was no picnic, as their first round had them facing Bansei right off the bat. They were going to face them sooner or later, so what better way to defeat them than to do so immediately in the very first round of the tournament. None of them were disappointed, for it was only a matter of time before they face them anyway. Their sole goal was to win at any cost. The first round immediately begins, and Kuro would be the first one to test out the waters of the leader of Bansei’s mahjong team. Although she would find ways to get her opponents to lose faith, Kuro would immediately turn the tide by making the first round her victory. Of course, everyone from Bansei’s school was shocked, but Shizuno, Ako, Yuu, and Arata knew that it was meant to be. They are very serious about making it in, and they will not hold back, even against the top team of their prefecture. Their team would continue to do very well until the final match, where Shizuno sealed the deal, and their team would win the first round of the tournament. Their momentum was high, and it was not stopping anytime soon.

The tournament was over, and they had won, going to the nationals that Shizuno, Ako, and Kuro had dreamed of. Much to Shizuno’s pleasure, Nodoka’s team also made it to the nationals as well, it meant that they will be able to see each other after all this time. Although there was much time left before the nationals started, by no means was their training over yet. Harue introduces a new type of training regimen that, every weekend, they will go to different prefectures to challenge the second best team of that area, and challenge them that week to perfect themselves as players. Harue’s team was not able to do that in the past, but because rules have changed, they can use this to their advantage and improve as players. Within the seven weeks time, they are to challenge every second place school at least once during the time frame. Shizuno immediately chooses their first prefecture to be Nagano, the area where Nodoka’s team won.

That weekend, they wasted no time going to their school, highly fancying the place they were in. When they arrived to meet the team, it was by no means tea and cake. The school they were facing was Ryuumonbuchi, and by no means they were second place for no reason. Shizuno and Amae Koromo would fight each other, but Shizuno would continue to lose no matter how many times she plays her. Instead of breaking down like what Harue did back then, Shizuno was actually pleased to fight someone of her strength, now understanding how Nodoka was able to beat her. However, Koromo stated that it was someone else who defeated her, a name of which neither of them remembered. To think that there was someone as or more powerful than Nodoka or Koromo was something outside of their minds. However, their current goal was to improve themselves, and thinking about who was better than them would not do any good. The group would continue to challenge Ryuumonbuchi. Soon, everyone was playing against each other.

The seven weeks would easily fly by as they faced the second place schools that they know off. After that, Harue would introduce them all to a final training camp to hone their skills as team players. After that, they will be able to rest until the actual tournament commences. Finally, the national tournament was drawing near, and all five of the girls, including Harue, were on their way to going to the tournament. Before they get there, they would stop for a quick break for gas and snacks. Here, Shizuno, Ako, and Kuro would take a break together when they encountered two girls who were wearing the same uniform. Apparently, both girls were going to participate in an event for their school which could only mean one thing. The two would have to leave to get on their bus, but Haure and Arata arrive, commenting how their school was Senriyama, said to hol the second best mahjong team in the country. Clearly, they were going to be tough people to face once they are up against them. The group would finally arrive to Tokyo, where the tournament was held. Ako asked Shizuno if she was going to see her, to which Shizuno does not wish to only if Nodoka herself wanted to see them. Ako’s sole goal was to participate in nationals only to see her. In fact, that was what Kuro and Shizuno also had in mind as well.

Finally, the day of the national tournament has arrived. Arata would draw a lot to see where they would be placed in the tournament. Immediately the tension was on Ako and Shizuno, not because there were so many tough competition surrounding them, but that there could be a high chance that she would bump into Nodoka by accident, causing a rather awkward reunion. However, their first encounter with her school was by no means an awkward matter. The group would run into Saki, to which all would easily felt her rather strong presence. If that was the type of girl they would have to face, they would have to give everything that they have just to defeat her along with the rest of her team.

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