Chapter 12:


Fantasy Life

After practice, the group went out to eat together. Tsuda treated the teens to a restaurant in town. They were given a table to sit at and the staff brought tea for everyone to drink. Kaida and Rei sat next to Kei and the three girls started some small talk. The twins were seated on the other side along with Tsuda. Yun was content with listening to the girls while Jun drank his tea silently.

"So Kei, what made you want to become an idol?" Kaida asked.

"Well, it's been a dream of mine since I was a girl. My grandma used to be a singer when she was my age. She is the person that inspired me to pursue this dream."

"Wow!" Rei exclaimed. "So you can sing and dance?"

"Yes, I actually have a show coming up. It's nothing big but I'd love it if you all could come."

"We'd love to!" Rei and Kaida said together.

Their synchronicity made Yun laugh. "My apologies," he said. "I couldn't help but notice how close the two of you were."

"Well, Rei and I have been best friends since we were kids," Kaida replied. "So tell us about yourself."

"Yeah," Rei chimed in. "I'm curious to know more about what you meant earlier about winning is not just strength."

"To elaborate, my caladrius is not a particularly strong creature. I myself am also not very strong and was sickly as a child. Other kids would bully me about my lack of physical ability. Jun over here always had to stand up for me."

Jun set his cup of tea down and scoffed. "It's because you're too much of a pushover."

"Well, anyway," Yun resumed. "One of my classmates said to me after playing a game of baseball, 'you'll never accomplish anything because you are so weak.' I told myself that day that I would prove to him, to everyone that being great isn't all about being strong."

Kaida admired Yun's drive. He had something to prove to the world and she realized he deserved to be on the team more than anyone. She took note of how different the twins were from each other. Kaida was happy to have made friends with Kei and was certain that Yun would be friends with her and Rei. But she wasn't so sure about Jun.

"Um," Kaida trod cautiously. "So will you tell us a little bit more about yourself?"

"Why should I?" Jun snapped.

"I didn't mean-" Kaida lost her words. "You don't have to say anything if you don't want to."

"Hm, it's not like we're friends so don't go thinking we are."

Rei slammed her hands on the table. "What is your problem?"

"Calm down," Tsuda ordered.

Jun smirked. "Aww, did I hit a nerve? Well, the same goes for you too."

Rei clenched her teeth. "Why you-"

Kaida placed a hand on Rei. "It's alright, nothing to get worked up over."

"Backing down are we?"

"Jun!" Yun shouted. The room went quiet. "I think that is quite enough."

"But Yun-"

"Don't make me angry, Jun." Yun shot him down with sharp, almost disdainful eyes, the kind that makes your skin crawl.

"Fine, whatever." Jun got up from the table and left.

Once the door shut, Yun turned to face the girls. "I deeply apologize for his behavior. I'll have a stern talk with him at home."

"Did I do something to make him mad?" Kaida asked. "He doesn't seem to like me very much."

"You did nothing wrong."

Tsuda turned to face Yun. "Please ask your brother what is troubling him. We can't have conflict amongst members of the team. If this is how things are going right now then we have a tough road ahead of us."

"Yes sir." Yun stood up from the table. "I'll go find Jun and talk some sense into him." He gave a quick bow, then left the room.

Later that night Kaida and Rei met up with Yui and informed her about their new team. Kaida made sure to mention how she and Rei were both fond of Kei and Yun. When it was time to talk about Jun, however, neither knew of anything positive to say.

"Hm," Yui thought. "That sounds just like him."

"You know Jun?" Rei asked.

"Well, no, but they are popular in the school so digging up some info wasn't hard." Yui pulled out an old notebook from her book bag with some handwritten notes and page markers. Flipping the pages she said, "Let's see here. Kei Tachibana, she was popular in middle school and is great at singing and dancing. She has some videos on the internet with over one hundred thousand views."

"Wow!" Kaida exclaimed. "I didn't know she was that good. I'll have to check out her videos later.

Yui flipped the pages in her book once more. "Next, the twins. Both have been popular with the girls since their first year. Yun is the youngest of the two and is the favorite. He has a relaxed demeanor and is always cheerful, despite being hospitalized several times as a child. The older one, Jun, is renowned for his short temper and his 'bad boy' appearance. Even so, he works hard and excels in athletics." She flipped through the book one last time. "That's all I've got on them."

"That's not much," Rei commented.

"Don't worry. I'll find something sooner or later. Then maybe we can find out why he was being such a jerk earlier."

"Let's wait and see what Yun says," Kaida protested. "Tomorrow is our first practice together. Maybe we can work things out then."

Yui closed her notebook. "If you say so, Kaida." She packed her bag and began to leave, only pausing to say, "Remember, if you need anything I am just a quick phone call away. Don't hesitate to tell me if this continues. Promise?"

Rei and Kaida responded, "We promise."