Chapter 6:

1.6. Familial Pain

The Writer's Illustrator is Stuck in Cookie Cult (LN)

I cautiously made my way to the teacher’s lounge. Saint High is a big school, and somehow, even though Avner has been a student here for 3 years now, he has no recollection of how the teacher’s office looks like.Bookmark here

My AR highlighted this glass door. Looks like I’m here.
A few students who had the access key made their way in, I got to the door before it shut.
How did Miss Myn expect me to enter if I didn’t have permission?Bookmark here

The place was fancier than I expected. It’s the scene of a decked out office space, each teacher having their own mini cubicle. Panels flying here and there. Some teachers preferred using a physical keyboard while others typed using the digital ones. Bookmark here

If I’m not wrong, there’s this blog talking about a newly developed eye tracer software which uses the movement of your eyes to formulate words.Bookmark here

It’s still in its beta stage, from what Avner read up. Neural wave technology is still under development, so the next best thing they could come up with was using the eyes.Bookmark here

I followed the guide to Miss Wyn’s space.Bookmark here

“Lia?”Bookmark here

“Avner, come here.”Bookmark here

“What’s going on?”Bookmark here

Lia lowered hirs head.Bookmark here

“I hear that something happened in your family this morning?”
“By that, you mean?”Bookmark here

“I suppose it’s not something I should be actively pursuing. But can you promise me something?”Bookmark here

Lia’s ears perked up to Miss Wyn’s words.Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“Do your best in your upcoming exam.”Bookmark here

Upcoming exam, as in next week. It should be possible.Bookmark here

“I will.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what happened to you but what you showed me this morning tells me that you’re a student with potential. Don’t let that go to waste please. Good academic mastery is important if you want to enter the science classes.”Bookmark here

“I know that.”Bookmark here

Miss Wyn then shifted her attention to Lia. Bookmark here

“Lia, I’ve called your brother here to tell him to take good care of you okay? If you have anything, you can always come talk to me through direct messages alright?”Bookmark here

“Un,” Lia nodded.Bookmark here

“Now, with this it should be alright now.”Bookmark here

“Un,” Lia shrunk even further.Bookmark here

“Is it because of what happened this morning, Lia?” I asked.
Xe was silent.Bookmark here

“Hm.. just to be frank, good grades won’t fix our family.”Bookmark here

“Avner, that isn’t an excuse to not study.”Bookmark here

“I know. I’ll turn over a new leaf, something clicked inside me, so I’ll make sure I’ll get through my next exams.”Bookmark here

“That’s good to hear.”Bookmark here

“Big bro. You liar.”Bookmark here

I sighed. Bookmark here

How many times has Avner promised to correct his grades?Bookmark here

“I promise, Lia. I promise.”Bookmark here

“Promise?” xe raised hirs head and looked at me with expectation.Bookmark here

“I promise.”
“Don’t let her down, Avner.”Bookmark here

“I won't. Definitely.”Bookmark here

It’s very unfortunate that Lia won’t be able to understand the truth of how a family works until xe sees to the end of it. Xe has excellent grades. Though not to the point of extreme, xe’s at least above average when it comes to smarts.Bookmark here

Which is a little concerning. The industrial complex is crumbling, yet some people continue to follow outdated methods of learning. Bookmark here

“Let’s go Lia.”Bookmark here

After a little more consultation with Miss Wyn whereby she leaked some of the exam topics to me. Lia and I left the teacher’s lounge.
“Study hard big bro. I don’t want to see mommy angry. Please.”Bookmark here

“If only you knew your big bro was no longer your big bro, you wouldn’t worry so much.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“Have you read of stories where another soul gets transposed into another person?”Bookmark here

Lia shook hirs head. Alas, xe’s not a novel addict. What a pain.Bookmark here

Which does make me curious. What kind of web novels exist in this world?Bookmark here

“I’ll make sure to get good grades this time for sure. But don’t expect many changes, alright?”
“That won’t happen. Mommy is angry because she cares about us.”Bookmark here

“Not the case, unfortunately.”Bookmark here

Lia’s body shook, her entire being revolting against my words. I don’t think I should push further. Bookmark here

I will agree that parents care about their children to a crazy extent. I just don’t agree that getting angry will help in a child’s development. Bookmark here

“But I’ll be here for you at least. You can count on me.”
“Don’t lie big bro.”
“Okay. Okay.”Bookmark here

I suppose I’ll have to find ways to patch up Avner’s family. I’m not confident in preventing the divorce, nor I’m I confident about mending the schism in the family. But one thing is for certain, I have an obligation to act my part.Bookmark here

After all, I’m no longer just Avner Cross.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

I sat on the couch and browsed through the notes given by the teachers. They’ve covered a lot. For subjects like English Literature, Science and Mathematics, I’ll have to depend on my base knowledge. Bookmark here

Priority should be given to subjects like: Geography, History and ICT.Bookmark here

For I know but a lick of what these subjects are about. Sure, I may have the knowledge of a college student, but that doesn’t make me omniscient.Bookmark here

History is going to be a pain. Actually, it might not be.Bookmark here

“It’s similar to Earth. ”Bookmark here

World history. Bookmark here

If that’s the case, maybe I should narrow my focus and read up on past year papers. I remember Avner’s mother buying an entire gigabyte of practice questions. I’ll go through those and filter out the important ones. Bookmark here

“Avner.”Bookmark here

Oh. I’m getting distracted it seems. I knew I should have locked myself up in my room.Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

“What are you studying?” Aline, my aether asked.Bookmark here

“I’m sorting through the important things to study. It’s too late to study everything.”Bookmark here

“This is why you should’ve studied earlier.”
“I know.”
“I’m warning you, if you don’t pass all your subjects this time, you’ll really get it. You wouldn't want that would you?”Bookmark here

This family is getting on my nerves.Bookmark here

“Good. Study hard, I wish you the best.”Bookmark here

“Will do.”
I got up from the couch and locked myself up in my room. I’m sorry I have to leave Lia to study alone in the living room but I just can’t.Bookmark here

[Master. Master. CutieTT’s live stream is scheduled at 7:00 pm. Message to all fam, I’ll be streaming ‘House of Cards 2’ with my V-tuber gang, Fibroz and... show more. ]Bookmark here

Really? Avner is messed up. I don’t even follow V-tubers back in my world.Bookmark here

“I’ll not be watching it. In fact, turn off all notifications and third-party systems that can distract me.”Bookmark here

[Are you sure master?]
[I’m sure. Just do it.]Bookmark here

[Notifications for all applications have been turned off till next morning. Third party widgets have been deactivated till further notice. Master is acting weird. Randell suggests receiving help from one, Daymond Cross, or two, Aline Wought.]Bookmark here

And not Narie Hill, my mother, because this AI is smart enough to recognize that she’s not in the mood, I’m guessing.Bookmark here

“Randell, don’t disturb me until 8.”Bookmark here

[AI disabling until 8. Good luck master!]Bookmark here

Good. Now.Bookmark here

“Fuck.”Bookmark here

I ran my hands through my hair. This is a pain. How many things do I have to deal with? I don’t think I can study until I get the load on my brain down on paper.Bookmark here

One, study for the exams.Bookmark here

Two, find out more information about the demon-angel war, and demon association.Bookmark here

Three, investigate the baking club and prevent the vampires from infecting more people.Bookmark here

Four, find out why Pu’er is different from the person I know from my memories.Bookmark here

Five, find Novelle.Bookmark here

Six, start a drawing regime and build up my reputation as an artist.Bookmark here

I’ll prioritize studying. The <Cookie Cult> story begins next year, and the MC is set in the science classes. The original Avner ends up in the art classes. My crude guess is that Novelle is the MC and will somehow make her way to Saint High.Bookmark here

That’s just an assumption. I now need to consider whether to continue following the original, which is keeping to the art stream or entering the science stream so that we’d end up in the same class?Bookmark here

Another thing I should do is investigate the baking club. I can leave finding the demon association aside for now. There’s a possibility they might come find me, and not the other way around. So it’s wasteful to go searching for it myself, and it would be difficult when I’m tied down by the schedule of my family.Bookmark here

I’ll observe Pu’er again tomorrow and see if I can glean any clues from the way xe’s acting.Bookmark here

Time passed, I sorted and arranged the important contents to be studied into a custom folder. Pareto’s principle. Bookmark here

Knock. Knock.Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“Big Bro. Mommy wants you to come out..” Lia’s timid voice resounded.
Family culture. Got to give it to you.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.