Chapter 3:

Volume 1, Chapter 2: A Potential Lead

Heroes of the Past

Sunday Autumn Quarter 2015 Week 3Bookmark here

I regretted accompanying Ichizen. Just a terrible nightmare, right? However, things weren’t that convenient. I touched the scrape on my arm, the result of climbing a fence. What was going on? No, focus. Right now, math homework required my attention. I looked at my computer screen and then at the math textbook. What was I even doing anymore? Rain pelted against the window, worsening my mood. Sighing, I tried psyching myself up, but failed. My motivation levels were at an all time low.Bookmark here

“I’ll try looking it up,” I muttered.Bookmark here

My phone screen lit up with Ichizen’s name and number. I heard the doorbell ring, growing more persistent with each passing moment. Damn it, Ichizen was outside but I did not want to see him right now.Bookmark here

“Mom, can you go get the door?” I yelled.Bookmark here

There was no response. I headed downstairs, seeing a note on the couch. Ding dong, ding dong. Time to punish Ichizen for this annoyance.Bookmark here

“Alright, I’m going to open it now!” I shouted, readying my umbrella.Bookmark here

He stood outside, rain dripping down from his ugly red sweater. When his right foot crossed the doorway, I poked his forehead with the tip of my umbrella. Next, I struck him in the stomach. Ichizen keeled over, shock on his face. Inside, I felt ecstatic but kept my calm composure.Bookmark here

“Yuki…. oh fudge, I can’t believe…. you did that,” Ichizen finally said, slumped on the floor.Bookmark here

“Get up already. It didn’t hurt that much,” I commanded, poking his neck.Bookmark here

Ichizen finally stood up two minutes later. I placed the umbrella back into the basket, waiting for him to speak.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I wanted to talk about that message we received. You know, the one on our phones and from that weird notebook,” he said, taking a seat on the sofa.Bookmark here

I stared at him. My eyes moved towards the umbrella basket. Ichizen’s eyes widened, glancing at me with pleading eyes.Bookmark here

“Alright, Yuki, calm down. I swear I have something important to say,” he pleaded.Bookmark here

“I’m going to hit you with the umbrella and we’re never talking about it again,” I disagreed, ignoring his plea.Bookmark here

“Yuki, let’s be careful now. We don’t want anyone getting hurt. It’ll only make things worse,” he added.Bookmark here

I sighed, taking a seat near him. If he had nothing important, I would kick him out. No mercy for him at all.Bookmark here

“I was reading some blog yesterday because I got stuck on homework. I think you’ll want to take a look at it,” he revealed, pulling out his phone.Bookmark here

“This was so important you had to come over instead of just messaging me about it?” I asked with a dangerous tone.Bookmark here

“Trust me, it’s something you have to see,” he answered, handing his phone over.Bookmark here

I looked down at the screen and scrolled through the blog. The earliest entry originated four years ago and discussed eyewitness accounts of high school students using supernatural powers. Wait, really? This blog looked pretty suspicious. All the pictures on the blog were blurry, making me doubt the authenticity. Seemed like a scam site designed to draw in people like Ichizen.Bookmark here

“What I am to suppose to see? It’s probably just some hack story the creator made to get views. How is this related at all?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Check out who wrote it,” he pointed out.Bookmark here

I scrolled to the top, clicking on the “About” button. A picture of a young woman popped up, along with her contact information. Felicity Smoke, where had I heard the name?Bookmark here

“Yuka knows her. She mentioned someone with that name to us on the first week of school,” Ichizen said.Bookmark here

“I don’t see how her blog has anything to do with what we found,” I asked, still confused.Bookmark here

“You see, she uses the words `heroes’ a lot. She’s clearly emphasizing it. Whenever she talks about the supernatural powers, it’s always a hero’s duty. Can’t be coincidence. Let’s see what she knows,” Ichizen explained, a smirk appearing on his face.Bookmark here

“That’s pretty flimsy. Still, if we can get information then it’s worth a shot. Get out now, Ichizen, I need to do my homework,” I directed, shooing him away.Bookmark here

“Wait, you’re not gonna offer me food? Maybe at least a drink,” he protested.Bookmark here

“Nope, I don’t have that kind of pity. Do your homework,” I commanded.Bookmark here

“I can do it before I sleep. Besides, I’m playing this new online game. I met someone named Bruno on there and we make a great team. I’ll do it after I finish a few rounds with him,” he replied, giving me a thumbs up.Bookmark here

I shut the door on him, returning upstairs. I flipped to the back of my math book, expecting a revelation. Giving up five minutes later, I returned to my original strategy. I copied and pasted the problem into a search engine, finally making progress.Bookmark here

Wednesday Autumn Quarter 2015 Week 4Bookmark here

“I’m surprised you wanted to meet Felicity,” Yuka said, drinking her cup of coffee.Bookmark here

“More like Ichizen,” I commented, laying my head down on the table.Bookmark here

I met Yuka during middle school and we became close friends in high school. I usually hung out with her, more than anyone else, because of her availability. Currently, we sat inside the student lounge, waiting for Felicity.Bookmark here

“Hey, I’m not late,” Ichizen declared, taking a seat.Bookmark here

“Felicity said she’ll be here soon,” Yuka revealed.Bookmark here

We chatted about trivial things until Yuka’s classmate arrived. Felicity wore a pink raincoat with matching rain boots. Her blonde hair was tied back into a ponytail.Bookmark here

“Yuka, I came over as soon as possible. What did you need?” Felicity questioned, taking off her rain coat.Bookmark here

Her gray, wool cardigan was one of the more expensive brands. I wondered if she was well off. Then again, anyone could afford such clothes if they saved up.Bookmark here

“Felicity, these are my friends Tomo Yuki and Michi Ichizen. Ichizen wanted to ask you about your blog,” Yuka explained.Bookmark here

“Oh, I’ve stopped updating that since I entered college. What did you want to know?” Felicity asked, taking out a scrunchie.Bookmark here

“Why the word ‘hero’?” Ichizen asked.Bookmark here

“I guess because they were really heroes, saving people from dangerous situations. I might have embellished a little bit though,” Felicity admitted.Bookmark here

“Seriously, that’s it?” I cut in.Bookmark here

“Pretty much, but the events were all real, I swear. If you wanted to know more about what happened, you could try to find some of my classmates. A few of them go here,” she revealed.Bookmark here

“That would be awesome! I’m interested in hearing more about it from different people!” Ichizen exclaimed.Bookmark here

I sighed, keeping my mouth shut. Ichizen could do whatever he wanted for now if it meant getting to the bottom of those weird messages.Bookmark here

“Speaking of my old classmate, there’s one right there. Long!” Felicity shouted, waving at someone.Bookmark here

A man wearing a black jacket and striped dress pants turned his gaze towards us. He walked over, a flat expression on his face.Bookmark here

“Oh, Felicity, did you need something?” he asked with a blunt tone.Bookmark here

“I was telling these freshmen about the mysterious events at our high school. Do you know anything?” she asked.Bookmark here

“Not really. That’s more of your forte, isn’t it? There was one rumor about people suddenly flying into the air and hitting the ground hard. That’s just a rumor, though, up to you if you want to believe it,” Long answered.Bookmark here

“Hah, a student like you wouldn’t know anything. Always busy studying, right?” Felicity remarked.Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Long said, departing without even saying goodbye to Felicity.Bookmark here

I crossed my arms, looking over at Ichizen. He had a gleeful expression, similar to a small child opening a present on Christmas.Bookmark here

“What now?” I asked.Bookmark here

“We’ll try to track down people Felicity knew from her high school. They might be able to tell us something,” Ichizen replied.Bookmark here

“Probably won’t find anything, but better than doing nothing,” I agreed.Bookmark here

Felicity spoke with Yuka about something related to their class. I watched her, discerning if she told us the truth. No real reason for her to lie, but you never knew with people.Bookmark here

“Could we get the names of people that might know anything?” Ichizen requested.Bookmark here

“I guess, but it’s going to be weird if you just walk up to them,” she responded.Bookmark here

“It won’t be weird if you’re with us, right? Can you please help us?” Ichizen begged, a determined expression on his face.Bookmark here

“When are you guys free?” she agreed.Bookmark here

“You’re willing to help us?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, you’ve peaked my interest in all of this,” Felicity answered.Bookmark here

“If you’re willing, then great. I don’t have class anymore. What about you, Ichizen?” I asked, glancing over at him.Bookmark here

“No, I’m free,” he replied.Bookmark here

“Lucky for you guys, I just got out of my last class. Let’s go! Yuka, I’ll see you in class tomorrow,” Felicity answered, putting her coat on.Bookmark here

Ichizen and I followed Felicity. She pulled out her phone, calling someone. After a minute, she gave us a thumbs up.Bookmark here

“We’re really lucky! My friend, Tess, is at the library right now. Let’s go!” she declared.Bookmark here

We walked to the library as a light drizzle came down. Ichizen noticed me glaring at the sky but said nothing. Good, he was finally learning. In the library, Felicity led us towards a study room.Bookmark here

“Your friend’s in here?” I asked.Bookmark here

Inside, I saw a young woman with medium length brown hair. She had five thin, black hairpins arranged in the shape of a star on the upper right part of her hair. I stared at her hairpins, intrigued by the pattern she selected.Bookmark here

“Fel, what’s the urgent matter?” Tess asked.Bookmark here

“I exaggerated a little. You remember my blog about heroes, right?” Felicity replied, taking a seat next to her friend.Bookmark here

Tess told us to sit down and we took the seats opposite her. She closed her textbook and stared at the ceiling. I glanced at her textbook and saw the word biology written on it. Most likely an upper level one too.Bookmark here

“I assume you refer to your experimental blog. I recall little about the incidents since I rarely attended classes in the afternoon. Although, people referred to constant noises occurring on the fourth floor,” she said.Bookmark here

“Oh, I heard about that too. This is getting me fired up. Tess, have you ever seen any of these heroes?” Felicity asked, nodding her head.Bookmark here

“No, that area is more of your expertise, Fel. Especially when it comes to your imagination,” she replied.Bookmark here

Did she just take a shot at her friend? The way Tess phrased things, my initial thoughts about her blog being a farce were confirmed.Bookmark here

“Tess, is Jin still on campus?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“I think he already left. Did you ask Long? They have classes together,” Tess answered.Bookmark here

“Oh, I probably should have. Anything else?” Felicity pressed.Bookmark here

“Sorry, Fel. That’s all I have. Michi and Tomo, was it? I’m surprised you want to know about something like that,” she remarked.Bookmark here

“Just curious after reading Felicity’s blog. It really is epic, you know? An adventure with the hero traversing throughout the land and using their powers for good. It’s what every kid dreams of!” Ichizen revealed.Bookmark here

As the two friends chatted, I noticed how Tess referred to Felicity as ‘Fel’. They must be close friends. Should I do the same for Yuka? I could imitate Tess’ style. Yu? No, didn’t feel right.Bookmark here

“Yuki, let’s get going,” Ichizen stated.Bookmark here

“Yeah,” I nodded, leaving the room.Bookmark here

“Tess is pretty amazing, you know? Her exam scores were the highest for our graduation year,” Felicity revealed.Bookmark here

“She does look like the studious type,” I commented.Bookmark here

“Long isn’t too bad either and Jin too. Both of them are pretty smart,” Felicity said.Bookmark here

“Man, must be nice. I wish I could get that kind of help,” Ichizen remarked, nodding with a solemn look.Bookmark here

“I guess? Let’s keep going,” she decided.Bookmark here

We followed Felicity around for an hour, finding her old classmates. We obtained no new information. Nearing the north entrance of the school, I checked the time.Bookmark here

“I need to get home and start doing homework,” I brought up.Bookmark here

“That reminds me, I have a test tomorrow. Guess I’ll talk to Tess later tonight and get help from her,” Felicity said.Bookmark here

“All this talking about homework and tests is getting me down. I’ll jump online and see if Bruno is on again later,” Ichizen said with an excited smile.Bookmark here

I ignored Ichizen and all three of us walked to the bus stop. I went through the information I learned today. First, Felicity’s stories on her blog contained some truth. Second, the blog was far from an accurate portrayal, based off of hearsay and mixed with Felicity’s dramatic embellishments. She was being a little too helpful. Were we being set up by someone then? Damn it, why did we have to receive those messages?Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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