Chapter 10:

10

Extracurriculars 怪獣教師


I've made a revelation, or discovery if you will. I've learned new information: I can't be left alone for even a day. It's insane to comprehend, I know, but I had to face the music and so do you. As much as I'd like to be left alone and undisturbed by anyone, more than anything else in the world mind you, it just can't happen. I tried. I had something good going. My seventeen years of peace were cut down, and it appears I won't be able to get even a day of it back.Bookmark here

How did I figure this out, you might ask? Well.Bookmark here

This revelation came to me in the wake of being impaled by a legion of screws. It hurt. Really badly.Bookmark here

The first thing I did after working through that pain (hospitals are for chumps and rich people) was to figure out the culprit, and it really wasn't that hard. All I needed to do was figure out who might have the capacity, be it mental, physical, financial, emotional, etc, to pull off such an elaborate stunt.Bookmark here

After some thinking and narrowing down who has what capacities in what areas, I realized I could get my answer using common sense by simply asking myself "Who would do something like that"?Bookmark here

I had my answer instantly.Bookmark here

Nishioka Manami was without a doubt the culprit. The full metal assault on my spinal cord and the surrounding area was something so cruel that only someone as evil as her could orchestrate.Bookmark here

However, I don't think she herself attacked me. She coordinated it, and someone else executed it. It wasn't Nishioka, because there's no way she'd put in the effort of sneaking to my window and hurling screws at me at one o'clock in the morning. Her range of behavior didn't include going the extra mile or two to get my attention.Bookmark here

And that's what it was. Not an assassination attempt. Not an attack. Just a cruel attention grabber, or a way to "send a message". I also knew what I did that made Nishioka go this far, even if it was someone going that far on her behalf, and I still have no regrets.Bookmark here

Overthrowing the government seems like an anarchist's dream, and interesting in general, but I'm neither an anarchist nor interested.Bookmark here

When asked how overthrowing the government sounded, I just said "Hmm." and went home. I admit it was rude, but I couldn't give an actual answer if I wanted to when it was that sudden. Maybe she would've given me time to think, but I had made enough on-the-fly decisions that day and didn't want to risk incurring any more.Bookmark here

I thought there was no attention-grabber more annoying than poking someone on Facebook, but Nishioka one-upped that, which wasn't all too surprising. She's the type to set out to break records like "World's most annoying paper jam".Bookmark here

One o'clock in the morning was a horrible time to get brutally attacked. I was sleeping.Bookmark here

was.Bookmark here

I went to the bathroom, cleaned and disinfected the wounds as best I could as an unprofessional, then went back to bed as I cursed Nishioka before resting my head back on my pillow.Bookmark here

"Ignoring me again, are we?" Said a voice sharper than the screws, waking me up further, which I didn't think was possible.Bookmark here

Nishioka was sitting on the other side of my bed, at my feet.Bookmark here

"Why-"Bookmark here

"Before you ask me anything, let me ask you why you're ignoring me."Bookmark here

"Are you so desperate for a high school boy's attention that you'd sneak into his bedroom at night?"Bookmark here

Awkward silence filled the room. She knew what she was doing, and I just wanted to see if she would admit to it.Bookmark here

"I suppose I am, but you make it seem pitiful when you put it like that. There is nothing to pity."Bookmark here

"No shame, huh?"Bookmark here

"I didn't come here with indecent intentions, so of course I feel no shame."Bookmark here

"So breaking and entering doesn't tip off your moral compass. Got it. I thought you had self-awareness figured out since you criticized me for my lack of it, but it appears I was wrong."Bookmark here

"Just answer the question."Bookmark here

"Technically, I didn't ignore you. I did say 'hmm' before I walked off. I didn't give you a yea or nay answer, but those aren't the only two responses to a question like that, so it's not ignoring you."Bookmark here

"That doesn't count. 'Hmm' is a sound. You didn't even have to open your mouth to say that. You could have given me a real response, but you didn't. Do you think so little of our conversations that unpursing your lips isn't worth your time?"Bookmark here

Nishioka knew the answer, but I kindly reminded her.Bookmark here

"I don't think that little of you. I think that little of everybody. Don't feel bad about it, because I'm indiscriminate."Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

She responded with silence.Bookmark here

"Would you have given me time to think about it?"Bookmark here

"Of course."Bookmark here

"Be honest. You didn't come here because I 'ignored' you. You came here because you need an answer urgently, right?"Bookmark here

"I did come here because you ignored me, but you're right in the sense that there was another reason."Bookmark here

"Well, you don't just throw a proposition like that at somebody without also throwing time to consider."Bookmark here

"I have no time to consider, and I would've given it to you if I did, believe me."Bookmark here

I spoke bluntly to Nishioka so I could get a grasp on what was really going on.Bookmark here

"What happened and how bad is it?"Bookmark here

"Pretty damn bad."Bookmark here

"Start with what happened first. If you say it's bad, then follow up with something barely worth scoffing at, you'll look foolish. Not that you haven't already done that somewhat."Bookmark here

"Are you just going to keep criticizing me?"Bookmark here

"As long as you keep giving me things to nitpick, probably. You chose to come here at one in the morning, so I'd say you brought this upon yourself. Perhaps if I weren't tired, this conversation would move forward... Just tell me what's going on."Bookmark here

"You've heard of casters, yes?"Bookmark here

I had heard of them. Talks of how they're a rare few who have some special blood and can do magic-type tricks and whatnot.Bookmark here

"And you've probably heard that the existence of casters is generally kept quiet?"Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

"Not anymore."Bookmark here

"How so?"Bookmark here

Nishioka elaborated.Bookmark here

"A caster shot a concentrated ball of energy straight out of her hand at a road sign. There was a news crew doing live coverage of the area at the time, and the cameras happened to get a full view of her doing it. A caster demonstrating their ability was broadcasted to thousands of regular people, maybe more. The Hwen government cut the broadcast shortly after as damage control, but people had already seen it."Bookmark here

I didn't really find this interesting, relevant, or concerning. I knew it was concerning to many people, but not me.Bookmark here

"The video is also circulating everywhere online. Social media sites are working overtime and then some to remove all posts with the video and posts that talk about it at all, but there are too many people posting it for the companies to keep up, even with computers auto-purging the sites. A few sites have shut down entirely to prevent people from talking about it."Bookmark here

Social media frenzies happen by the dozens every day. This one, albeit infinitely more interesting than the other shit people are outraged over on a daily basis, is still the same as the rest. I was certain that, just like the rest of everything on the internet, this was a passing fad that would be forgotten soon enough. Either that or the government would eradicate all traces of it online. As such, I responded according to my stance on the matter.Bookmark here

"And?"Bookmark here

"The caster in the video is a student from the academy, and she's in uniform in the video."Bookmark here

"Okay."Bookmark here

At this point, Nishioka had begun to lose her cool. Arguably, she lost her cool as soon as she snuck into my house.Bookmark here

Burglars aren't cool.Bookmark here

Anyway, she became irate, and understandably so. I was being an ass.Bookmark here

Angrily, Nishioka ranted.Bookmark here

"Why are you so calm? Are you too oblivious to realize how big of an issue this is? Do I need to explain it to you? I don't think I do, but I'm going to just in case you really are that dumb, and because it's not just one problem that came of this incident. It's a whole slew of problems. Every news and media group from the ends of the Earth and back have barraged me with requests that I comment on the video, requests for interviews, and all kinds of other shit."Bookmark here

"And as much as Tenjouin likes to parade around on her high horse proclaiming that it's 'her school', she's ignoring me and won't take any responsibility for this situation, nor will she help at all. If it was her school, she would be able to represent the school on the news just as well as I could."Bookmark here

"It also turns out that she wasn't the only caster at the academy. Because she went and exposed her ability on camera, a bunch of other students who were also casters in secrecy decided they were done hiding it, and have created factions amongst each other, all of whom have declared war on each other."Bookmark here

"There's a whole lot of other problems, but those are the most pressing. Can you still not see how any of these are a colossal fucking issue?"Bookmark here

"...No, I understand that all of those are massive trouble brewing on the horizon."Bookmark here

"Then why aren't you acting like it? There's no way someone can be this composed after hearing all that. Not even you."Bookmark here

"Simple. I don't care. I thought you knew this."Bookmark here

"I'm saying this not as an educator, but as a person- you are an asshole."Bookmark here

"I know."Bookmark here

"How inconsiderate and out of touch with reality do you need to be in order to hear about this, and then do nothing when you know you can?"Bookmark here

"I just look out for myself."Bookmark here

"Oh yeah, I forgot. Let me re-add 'selfish' to the list of things you are. I already knew all of this about you, but somehow I feel as you've deceived me. I thought you were starting to show just a little care for others, but it seems I was wrong."Bookmark here

"Yeah, you were."Bookmark here

"It's fine. I'll leave so you can sit around and do nothing, but just be aware that your inaction is putting the lives of every student and teacher at risk-"Bookmark here

Before Nishioka could finish what she was saying, I tried to shift over to her as fast as I could, but I unintentionally phased over to the side of the bed she was sitting on, and I ended up right next to her, practically in her face. It wasn't the most comfortable distance for speaking, but I wasn't going to move back. I had made up my mind.Bookmark here

"What do you need me to do?" I asked.Bookmark here

Protecting Ms. Kamiya was more than reason enough to get involved. Even if she didn't necessarily need to be protected..Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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