The WTP Club
The next few days went similar to Monday. Food was being brought and was eaten after a joint workout, which Glenn insisted on. After that, the four got to work. On the 4th day, however, there was some rebellion against the food Glenn served them - a huge bowl full of dry vegetables and raw meat – and Sousui and Sikh even refused to participate in the workout due to suffering from muscle soreness. Wark ended up being the only one going through with the workout while only protesting quietly.
The former office room they had claimed for themselves had actually started looking unexpectedly inviting. The group had loosened the broken glass from the windows and put curtains in front of them as well as in front of the doorway.
The mold had been completely removed from the wall and floor. Sharp edges had been sanded off and protruding nails had been pulled out.
In the center of the room was now a round carpet and four beanbags adorning the edge of the carpet. Since, because of the curtains, there was hardly any light coming into the interior anymore, the group had also gotten several lanterns, put candles in them, and mounted them on the walls.
Last but not least, in an anteroom right in front of the new WTP headquarter, the group had put up a flag showing a strange logo that Va had designed. It was a circular seal with "WTP" written in big, bold letters in the center and surrounding the letters were various abstract drawings.
Sousui had doubts that it was really clever for a “secret organization” to expose itself like that, but he had to admit that the flag also radiated a certain coolness. So he went along with it. To sum it up: The place in its entirety looked really comfortable now and the amateur builders felt a little proud of themselves.
While Wark finished his training together with Glenn, Sikh presented his progress to Sousui. Sikh was now winning most of the online matches, but he was still relatively low on the world rankings. Sousui wondered if this was already good enough to join Landini's clan. He didn’t want to be too hasty, as he didn’t know if Sikh would get another chance if they rejected him now.
Glenn seemed to be more impatient. “How much longer will it take until we can sign up for Landinis clan?”, he asked while looking over Sikh’s shoulder.
The day before, he had run into Va at school again and she, to his concern, had looked quite tired and exhausted. Va had also written surprisingly little in the WTP chat group in the past few days. Glenn didn't want to wait anymore, he finally wanted to know what was really going on between Va and Keiichi.
While Sousui argued not to rush anything, Glenn brought up Wark’s suggestion again.
"Can’t we just grab Keiichi’s or Va’s phone?
"Grab Keiichi's or Va's phone?" A curious voice was suddenly heard from the anteroom. The four of them flinched.
With elegant stride and fluttering red hair, a girl, whom Glenn immediately identified as none other than Emily, appeared in the doorway.
"Hi!" She greeted the perplexed group graciously.
"I knew the logo was a bad idea”, Sousui commented.
Emily laughed. "Why? I think it looks really artistic. I was impressed. How can I join you guys?"
"Join us?" Glenn's jaw dropped. "What…? Why…? How…?", he stammered.
"You were so distracted on our date", Emily explained "Honestly, I have never experienced that before. Usually, the boys get way too worked up on dates with me... and then I run into you, who doesn't seem to be interested in me at all."
"I'm sorry about that", Glenn apologized hesitantly "That must have been the most awful date of your life. My head was really somewhere else."
"Don't worry, don’t worry. It’s all good", Emily replied, crossing her arms behind her back "But it did make me curious. What could possibly be keeping you so busy? It gave me no peace, so I decided to follow you."
"You did what? When?" Glenn was speechless. He hadn't noticed that he had ever been followed.
"Well, earlier, on your way here.” Emily glanced around the room. "This all seems super important here. What exactly are you guys doing here?"
Glenn and Sousui looked at each other questioningly. They were unsure if they should just let Emily in on everything, or rather give her an excuse as to what they had gathered here for. No excuse would sound more absurd than reality anyway.
Before they had decided, Wark already took the floor. "Luckily, Lenin has a pre-programmed message for exactly this question. Lenin, WTP introduction!"
Lenin responded promptly. “WTP - Weed to People, is an organization founded by Va, dedicated to stopping Keiichi from his plan to take over the world and replace women with living anime girls. In our many years of existence, we have already managed to expose numerous Keiichi fans and infiltrate Keiichi's army. It's only a matter of time before WTP overthrows Keiichi and saves humanity! WTP #1!"
Sousui clutched his head. If only he hadn't tried out orders on Lenin along with Wark.
Glenn was visibly irritated too. "'Weed to People'? Va said we'd be called 'We The People', didn't she? Also, how does it make sense that we're called Weed to People but still get minus importance for the weed command? And why is this even bothering me!!?"
Glenn suddenly seemed very upset. Emily would probably think she had ended up among complete morons. And as much as Emily gossiped, his reputation at school would go down the drain in no time. He ruffled through his hair vigorously.
To his surprise, however, Emily seemed quite amused. "You guys really are fun. Now I want to join even more."
Sikh, happy to see their guest being so entertained, also joined in the laughter. "Very very funny, yes indeed!"
"On the other hand..." Emily's expression darkened "I actually wouldn't be surprised if Keiichi really pursued such sick plans!”
"You know each other?", Sousui asked surprised.
“Right, you and Keiichi are in the same class, aren’t you?”, Glenn inquired.
Emily nodded and explained "I've actually known him since middle school, though I never talked to him much. He has always acted a little bit weird, and he has always shown very disrespectful manner towards everyone, especially girls, as if he felt superior to them. And he has always loved anime and brabbled about how the world in anime was so much better than ours. Well, because of that I was even more surprised when he was after Va all of a sudden"
"Wait, wait!", Glenn interrupted "Keiichi was in love with Va? She never told us anything like that She made it seem like she barely knew Keiichi until last summer.
"Yes, at the beginning of 3rd grade”, Emily confirmed “Though everything between them always seemed strange."
"Strange in what way?" Glenn decided to dig deeper and was annoyed for a moment that he hadn't realized sooner that Emily might know some things about Keiichi.
Emily explained "As you may remember, Va transferred to our school in 3rd grade and was originally assigned to our class.”
"Now that you mention it, I realize that I have indeed never seen her before”, Glenn confirmed.
"From the very beginning, Keiichi acted strangely towards Va", Emily continued "He behaved as if he was already familiar with her, as if he had been friends with her for ages. Va, understandably, seemed very uncomfortable with that. And then all of a sudden, she changed classes and I never saw the two of them together again. Really strange story..."
In the meantime, Emily had made herself comfortable on one of the beanbags. Wark offered her Glenn's unpopular food, but Emily declined thankfully.
Sousui took up Emily's story. "Yes, Va became part of our class just before the end of the first semester last year. However, she never mentioned any specific reason for the transfer. It somehow hadn't even occurred to me until now that Keiichi might be the reason."
"Now you guys owe me an explanation", Emily demanded, analyzing the expressions of the boys, "How did you find out that Keiichi is planning to 'take over the world' as you call it?" She chuckled.
"Find out? Your story kind of contradicts what we have been told...", Glenn replied, as he played around with his fingers and contemplated what to tell Emily.
In the end, he decided to just tell Emily everything that had happened so far in the WTP Club. While Va probably wouldn't have been pleased to hear that an outsider was being let in on so much, Emily had clearly helped them a lot and seemed genuinely curious.
In fact, so much had happened during the past two weeks that it took a few minutes for him to bring Emily up to date. However, Emily continuously listened with interest and, after Glenn finished narrating, even expressed her understanding for the idea of violating Keiichi's or Va's privacy.
"I’ve been thinking." Sousui took the floor. "Maybe Va even wants us to find out the truth for ourselves. Otherwise, why would she have gathered us together under false pretenses? If she didn't want people to dig up her and Keiichi's past, she wouldn't have started the WTP club in the first place, would she? It should have been clear to her from the start that, first, we wouldn't buy her story, second, we'd quickly find evidence that her story couldn't be entirely true, and third, we'd want to get to the bottom of the real story afterwards."
"Do you mean we basically have Va's permission to snoop through her phone?", Glenn asked, not being quite convinced.
Emily, however, seemed excited. "That sounds logical. It feels like we are about to solve great mysteries!"
So it suddenly seemed like a done deal to use Va's phone to find out about everything that had been going on between her and Keiichi. As if she were a veteran WTP member, Emily shouted "You better be prepared, dirty Keiichi!"
The five of them began brainstorming how they could secretly grab and search through Va's phone. Although, to be more precise, only four of them were actually at it as Wark kept getting distracted by his own phone.
However, when Sousui asked if anything was going on, Wark denied it.
Fortunately, by the end of the day, they had still managed to come up with a plan that looked promising and directly entrusted the newest member with the most responsible task.
The next morning, while Va had gym class, Emily sneaked out of class by saying that she had to go to the bathroom. While glancing at her phone, she went to the girls' locker room. Sousui had managed to secretly shoot a photo of Va in the morning to let Emily know what clothes she had to look out for.
"Gray cloth pants and a white long-sleeved blouse with chess pieces stitched on it", she muttered to herself as she walked past the benches. Then suddenly the pattern of a horse's head caught her eye. That had to be Va's blouse, no doubt about it. Emily picked the blouse up and spotted a king and a rook on it as well. Feeling confirmed, she began rummaging through the pockets. A wallet, keys and a needle with fabric fell into her arms. Emily wondered if Va had stitched the chess pieces on the blouse herself and paid her respect for the work. However, there seemed to be no sign of the phone. "Phoney, where are you?", Emily hummed softly.
Then she noticed Va’s shoes underneath the bench. She reached her hand inside and was successful: There was the item she had been looking for. Va had apparently taken extra security precautions for her phone. Quickly, Emily put Va's clothes back together the way she thought she had found them and sneaked out of the room with a brisk step.
Glenn and Sousui, who had also excused themselves from class, were already waiting outside.
"Do you have it?", Sousui whispered excitedly.
Emily nodded and proudly presented the phone.
"Yes, that's Va's phone, no doubt about it. No one else would draw board game characters on their phone case", Glenn confirmed "What is it about these games that she likes so much?"
They turned the phone on.
The pin code had already been figured out by them with a smart strategy. Glenn had written into the WTP chat during a break and had informed Sousui in time for him to place himself behind Va. When the message had popped up on her screen, Va, overzealous as always when it came to WTP matters, had immediately unlocked her screen to answer Glenn. Thus, Sousui had been given the opportunity to memorize her pin code. The plan seemed to have succeeded from start to finish.
Tensely, the three now looked at the phone while Sousui typed in the pin code. It worked; they were directed to the home screen.
Glenn took a deep breath.
"What now?", Emily whispered.
"Go to her chats!", Glenn commanded.
Sousui did as he was told and typed "Keiichi" into the search-bar. No results popped up. Sousui looked cluelessly at the others.
Fortunately, Glenn remembered how Va had vented her frustration on Bane by driving his importance to endless depths. "Try 'idiot', 'moron,' 'pervert'", Glenn suggested. Oddly enough, the phone actually had a contact named "megalomaniacal pervert" saved. To the group’s relief, its profile picture clearly showed Keiichi.
"Typical Va", Glenn commented, rolling his eyes.
Heart pounding, Sousui now clicked on the mutual chat of Va and Keiichi. A flood of messages opened up in front of them, all of them from Keiichi. The three were stunned.