Chapter 124:

Volume 5, Chapter 9: Jump the Time (II)

Heroes of the Past

Another familiar face. Jacque, with a full beard, stared at us in surprise. His hair was long but well-kept compared to his face. He resembled a man returning from the wilderness after a month.Bookmark here

“Ah shit, I’m interrupting something. Yo, Long, the hell? You can’t be having private talks with students. You’ll get reported, man! That shit doesn’t work in real life. Only in manga, man,” Jacque warned.Bookmark here

“Look at who it is first!” Zhuyu pointed at me.Bookmark here

Jacque shut the door behind. He glanced at the math teacher and then me in shock.Bookmark here

“Yuki? But…. what the fuck?” Jacque uttered.Bookmark here

“It’s definitely Yuki. Well, not the one we know. She’s from the past. And we’re dragged back into it just like that.” Zhuyu confirmed my existence.Bookmark here

“Little hard to take in, you know. Last time I saw her, she was still in a hospital bed with wires hooked up to her. Wait, what does this exactly mean?” Jacque pondered.Bookmark here

“I don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. If Yuki was sent here, then something bad’s coming up,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Pretty sure the only reason I’m here is because Mirei wants me to see the consequences of my potential answer. It doesn’t mean something bad will happen,” I spoke up.Bookmark here

Zhuyu and Jacque remained silent, staring at the floor.Bookmark here

“Hey Jacque, are you a teacher here?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Me, a teacher, that’s crazy! I’m here because one of my friends is a guest speaker for an event tonight and I’m here to see her,” Jacque answered.Bookmark here

“What’s your job then?” I inquired, curious about the man’s employment status.Bookmark here

“I’m a street artist, Yuki. I’m the best,” Jacque responded with a smile.Bookmark here

“Are you serious, Jacque?” I looked at him with disappointment.Bookmark here

“Come on Yuki, don’t give me that look. I was just kidding, okay? I’m a graphic artist for one of Konoe’s companies,” Jacque told the truth.Bookmark here

“That’s more reasonable. I would have beaten the shit out of you once I got back if you were really a street artist,” I threatened, glaring at the man.Bookmark here

“So harsh, Yuki. You’ve hurt the feelings of all the hard workers out there. What are you going to do now, Long? Get everyone together and talk about this?” Jacque questioned.Bookmark here

“Maybe, but not everyone cares. We could leave it as is. Yuki will be sent back to her own time sooner or later,” Zhuyu pondered their next steps.Bookmark here

“Bro, come on, we gotta have heart like those shonen mangas we read back in our undergraduate years,” Jacque encouraged him.Bookmark here

“Really? But it’s probably a good idea to see what everyone says. Alright, let’s go see Jin. Jacque, you free?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah. The talk doesn’t start until seven. I’ve got nothing but time. Wish I had that back in those days,” Jacque replied.Bookmark here

“You totally had time, Jacque. It’s just you mismanaged it,” Zhuyu disputed as he locked the office door behind him.Bookmark here

“Ehhhh…. yeah, you’re right,” Jacque admitted.Bookmark here

We headed out of the main campus, passing the physics building and arrived at a huge, fancy structure. On the lower floors, one could view the interior without any obstruction. I peered through and saw lab tables with a few students performing experiments.Bookmark here

“What’s up with this building?” I pointed upward.Bookmark here

“It’s the new biology department building. Used to be located near the lake, but they built a new one four years ago. Jin should be in here,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Is he a professor?” I followed the zero vector user.Bookmark here

“Sort of. He doesn’t teach here full time, and travels around, performing research,” Zhuyu answered, pressing the elevator button.Bookmark here

“Didn’t expect Kisai to do that. People can change. Jacque managed to be respectable. I’m sure Kisai’s done pretty well for himself,” I remarked.Bookmark here

“Whoa Yuki, that’s pretty insulting, but true,” Jacque agreed.Bookmark here

“I should have called him. Oh well, it’s pretty important news. Relatively speaking,” Zhuyu muttered as we got off at the third floor.Bookmark here

The math instructor knocked on a door and Kisai opened it with his usual grin. Like Jacque, his facial hair was grizzled, but not as unkempt. His hair was medium in length, covering his forehead, with flat sideburns extending just past the bottom of his ear. The researcher wore a white lab coat over an untucked plain, rumpled white dress shirt and black jeans. Instead of his usual casual sneakers, Kisai wore a pair of dark brown leather lace up dress boots.Bookmark here

“Long, finally here to pay me back?” Kisai asked.Bookmark here

“I think you owe me money. That’s not why I’m here. Look who it is,” Zhuyu refuted.Bookmark here

Kisai glanced at me and his smile vanished. A difficult look appeared on his face for a brief moment but disappeared right away. He then nodded with his usual smile again.Bookmark here

“Yuki’s back, huh? We done fucked up?” Kisai’s words mirrored that of Zhuyu’s.Bookmark here

“Is my appearance that ominous?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Could mean a lot of things. “Garbage” as Kristoph says,” Kisai answered.Bookmark here

“Bro, what’s the plan?” Jacque asked.Bookmark here

“Let’s talk inside,” Kisai decided.Bookmark here

I saw multiple lab tables and an assortment of equipment. Some I recognized and others were foreign to me. On the left side, there was a desk with dual monitors and an office chair. Kisai grabbed stools for us and we gathered around a table.Bookmark here

“Is it safe?” I pointed at the desk surface.Bookmark here

“I’m sure the radiation will turn out to be a good thing,” Kisai joked, unplugging one of the machines.Bookmark here

“What exactly is your job, Kisai?” I questioned, glancing around the room.Bookmark here

“The country’s most renowned researcher, Yuki. I’m so prestigious that campus presidents request me for guest speaking opportunities,” Kisai exaggerated.Bookmark here

“Most of that is true. Dr. Kisai is pretty well-known,” Zhuyu vouched for his friend.Bookmark here

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at a more prestigious place?” I countered.Bookmark here

“I’ve studied and done research at other universities. But, there’s a nice facility here and plenty of companies willing to donate money,” Kisai replied.Bookmark here

He stood up and checked his computer. He typed on his keyboard and jotted down notes on a nearby notepad. The man returned and stared at us with an expectant look.Bookmark here

“What are we going to do?” Jacque questioned.Bookmark here

“Kick some ass, right?” Kisai performed a finger gun gesture with both hands at Jacque.Bookmark here

“Hold on, is it really the best choice for us to do this hero thing again?” Jacque interjected.Bookmark here

“Damn, never expected Jacque to turn down ass kicking,” Kisai said.Bookmark here

“Maybe we should think about having younger people take over,” Jacque suggested.Bookmark here

“Takes too much time. Some of our powers require knowledge of natural world phenomenon. We’re well-versed enough that we can attempt new things we couldn’t pull off in our younger days,” Zhuyu argued, adjusting his glasses.Bookmark here

“Long makes a good point, but I understand Jacque’s feelings. Might be time for us to transfer our powers. But without Tess, I have no idea how to even do it,” Kisai considered.Bookmark here

“Guys, have you forgotten I’m here? I really don’t think any of you should be fighting. Still, if you manage to reunite everyone, I can see what Zhuyu means. If you really want to save this shit, it’s worth considering,” I provided my opinion.Bookmark here

Zhuyu and Kisai glanced at each other, exchanging knowing looks. I didn’t exactly care about the outcome since it was just Mirei’s way of scaring me. Still, this was a potential future. Whatever, things seemed to work out for them. Even without my input, they would figure out a solution.Bookmark here

“Speaking of which, how’s everyone doing?” I questioned, curious about their status.Bookmark here

“Pretty good. Some of them aren’t in the area anymore,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Who left?” I inquired.Bookmark here

“I’ll let you handle it, Jin,” Zhuyu deferred to his friend.Bookmark here

“No,” Kisai refused, his voice flat and serious.Bookmark here

“The fuck? Just do it,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Almost all of Lilith’s team isn’t here. Xi and Ksi are the only ones in the area. Long can tell you more about Xi. Darryl and Shigetzu left but they’re back. Oh wait, Lau’s gone too. He’s off doing something,” Kisai listed.Bookmark here

“I’m surprised most of you stuck around,” I noted.Bookmark here

“Jin travels a lot. Doesn’t stay around too long. Still, opportunities are here,” Zhuyu commented.Bookmark here

“Can you convince everyone?” I inquired.Bookmark here

“I’ll try. Not sure if it’ll work though,” Zhuyu answered.Bookmark here

“Sorry if we’re bothering you, bro. We arrived without asking first,” Jacque apologized.Bookmark here

“Jacque, get out. You just realized that now? Come on, I’m so damn busy. You too, Long. Yuki, you can stay,” Kisai joked.Bookmark here

“Are you in contact with everyone?” I ignored Kisai’s statement and looked at Zhuyu, the most competent person in the room.Bookmark here

“Might be hard since everyone’s working. Maybe tomorrow since it’s the weekend. Jin, you still in contact with Darryl?” Zhuyu questioned.Bookmark here

“Uh, haven’t seen him in awhile. Kuan too. What about Shigetzu? I’m sure he’s still connected with Darryl. Let’s go out for drinks,” Kisai suggested.Bookmark here

“I have Darryl’s contact information, but yeah, I haven’t talked to him in awhile too. Drinks, huh? Don’t know how Ksi will feel about that. I’m down though. Okay, I’ll try reaching out,” Zhuyu decided.Bookmark here

“Bro, what about me?” Jacque looked at Zhuyu and Kisai with an expectant look.Bookmark here

“Yeah Long, what about Jacque?” Kisa nodded at the graphic artist.Bookmark here

“Look after Yuki, I guess? Actually, where are you staying for the night?” Zhuyu brought up an interesting question.Bookmark here

I dug through my wallet, finding nothing of interest. I then checked my phone and found an address.Bookmark here

“This look familiar?” I showed them my screen.Bookmark here

“Those are apartments near the campus. They were recently built, outfitted with the latest amenities. Mirei sure hooked you,” Zhuyu answered.Bookmark here

“You guys are taking me there,” I demanded.Bookmark here

“Aight, Long can do it,” Kisai said.Bookmark here

“Jacque, sorry to do this, but you’ll be responsible. I have to head back and grade tests. You have any projects going on right now?” Zhuyu smiled at the artist.Bookmark here

“Huh? I guess since you guys are such big shots, it’s up to me,” Jacque agreed.Bookmark here

“I’ll swing by once I’m done. Jacque, you drive here?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I can take Yuki,” Jacque answered.Bookmark here

“Hold on, I have a call,” Zhuyu said, moving five feet away from us.Bookmark here

This was awkward. The outward appearance of such a setup looked really bad for him. What kind of excuse would he have to come up with?Bookmark here

“Yeah, I see what you mean. Okay, I’ll try to work on it later,” Zhuyu spoke on the phone.Bookmark here

“Who’s he talking to?” I questioned Kisai.Bookmark here

“Xi. She’s working on research and Long is checking her calculations,” Kisai answered.Bookmark here

“She’s so quiet. I’m surprised she would even ask Zhuyu for help,” I remarked.Bookmark here

“It’s the silent ones who are always the most surprising,” Jacque commented.Bookmark here

“Zhuyu’s not married right?” I looked over at Jacque.Bookmark here

“No. Shigetzu’s the only one. Actually Jin, you’re engaged, right?” Jacque peered over at him.Bookmark here

“Yep. Long’s pretty close though. He’ll do something sooner or later,” Kisai answered as Zhuyu wrapped up his phone call.Bookmark here

“I heard you guys. Yuki comes from a different timeline so it won’t be like this once she returns,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“I thought Ichaival would be the first to get married,” I said.Bookmark here

“Nah, Darryl’s engaged like me. Saw his status update,” Kisai said, checking his phone.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I saw that too. Thought he was going to be with Jen or Konoe. He found someone different. Good for him,” Zhuyu confirmed Kisai’s statement.Bookmark here

“Darryl’s pretty smooth. We’re definitely going out for drinks tomorrow?” Kisai asked for confirmation.Bookmark here

“Sure, let’s see who even shows up. Jacque, what about you?” Zhuyu looked over at the artist.Bookmark here

“I’m in. Yuki, you’ll have to wait. I still have my friend’s presentation,” Jacque reminded me.Bookmark here

“I’ll find something to do. It’s so weird to see you guys like this. A bit uncomfortable, actually,” I said.Bookmark here

“Hopefully Darryl picks up. He just recently came back. Shigetzu will respond though. Just hope I don’t talk to Ksi first,” Zhuyu said, standing up from the stool and stretching his arms in the air.Bookmark here

“Oh yeah, I’m leaving on Sunday and won’t be back until Wednesday. So whatever happens, you know,” Kisai informed his friends.Bookmark here

“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes,” Zhuyu understood.Bookmark here

We departed after discussing a few more things with Kisai. Our next destination was the fountain.Bookmark here

“Jacque will take you to the apartments and make sure nothing bad happens. I’ll swing by later and we’ll go from there,” Zhuyu outlined, taking off his glasses and placing them into a case.Bookmark here

“Anything exciting to do?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Watch people play MMORPG’s in the library,” Zhuyu suggested.Bookmark here

“I’m surprised the university hasn’t cracked down on that yet. I think I’ll just watch videos on y phone,” I decided.Bookmark here

“Sounds good. Jacque, when are you going to be done?” Zhuyu inquired, glancing at his watch.Bookmark here

“Around 8:30. I’ll message Yuki when I’m done,” Jacque waved his phone in the air.Bookmark here

“Kind of creepy you’re getting a number from a young girl like me,” I commented, pulling out my phone with hesitation.Bookmark here

Jacque and Zhuyu held their phones close to mine. Soon, two notifications appeared on my phone. I then wasted time at the library, not really thinking about my situation. Although, I was curious when Mirei would end this entire experience.Bookmark here

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