Chapter 27:

Volume 2, Chapter 5-2: I Don’t Understand These People

Heroes of the Past

Just the act of Kyoi sitting there, biding her time, scared the hell out of me more than anything. There was no smile, no visible expression, or anything. That was the really terrifying aspect of it.Bookmark here

“I’m done. Now, Tess, I know you’re my friend so I won’t have you grade it. So we’ll get a third party to do it. Yuki, you’re the one I pick. Tess, give her the answer key,” Felicity decided.Bookmark here

I hoped to avoid any involvement. Sighing, I drank one more cup of whiskey. Surprisingly, I still felt pretty good. Alright, maybe I was getting the hang of it. Tess handed me the answer key and a red pen.Bookmark here

“Tomo, this is a great power. Use it well. Do not give a 95 or above unless it is well deserved. Now, go!” Tess said, a burning passion in her voice.Bookmark here

Alright, time to do this. A few of the other girls in the room pulled Felicity away from the table. Tess and Kyoi stood by the door, talking about something. Let’s see, what was this test about?Bookmark here

I glanced at the papers and saw various equations and ugly math symbols. I saw something called a Laplace, matrices with a story problem at the top, integration with Greek letters, and a bunch of other terms I was not familiar with.Bookmark here

They duked it out in math? Why? Out of all the possible things, why would you pick that? Well, I guess physics could be pretty bad too.Bookmark here

“Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, infinity, 89….,” I checked the answer key.Bookmark here

This made no sense to me. Whatever, I just needed to check their papers. It didn’t matter if I had no idea what the questions asked. As I placed the red pen down on the paper, Tess grabbed my hand. She stared at me with a serious look.Bookmark here

In addition to the answer key, there was a stapled supplementary sheet with detailed solutions. It also provided information on when to give partial credit and how many points should be awarded based on the amount of work someone did. Tess was thorough as always.Bookmark here

“Okay, I’m done,” I announced, placing the red pen down five minutes later.Bookmark here

“Let me look over it,” Tess asked.Bookmark here

I handed the papers over to her. Tess flipped through the pages at a lightning speed and nodded.Bookmark here

“Come get the papers. It’s done,” Tess said.Bookmark here

Felicity walked up with a smug look, one full of confidence. I wanted to compare it to Kisai’s look but I couldn’t. Felicity’s look was more shallow and lacked a certain element only Kisai seemed to possess.Bookmark here

She took the paper and glanced at the score circled in red at the top. Kyoi thanked me for my efforts, a rather strange action coming for her. She looked at the paper, shrugged and then glanced over at Felicity.Bookmark here

“So how did it go, Felicity? Have you calmed down a little bit yet?” Kyoi asked.Bookmark here

“No, it’s a guaranteed win for me. I know it!” Felicity declared.Bookmark here

“If you want to argue with a 97, then I don’t mind,” Kyoi said, no pride in her voice.Bookmark here

“Ugh….,” Felicity said, her voice faltering.Bookmark here

Felicity glared at Kyoi and then threw her exam down on the table. I obviously knew the score. Kyoi looked down and saw a 55 circled in red.Bookmark here

“So are we done here?” Kyoi asked.Bookmark here

“Damn you, Kyoi. Fine, I’ll admit defeat for now but it doesn’t mean my opinions of you have changed,” Felicity replied.Bookmark here

“Alright, it looks like everyone’s calmed down a little!” Memoria said, throwing open the door.Bookmark here

“You’re very, very late!” I shouted.Bookmark here

“I’ve been busy with a few things. I thought I asked Ichaival and Shan to check up on you guys,” Memoria remarked, tilting her to the side with innocence.Bookmark here

“Yeah and that damn Shan locked me in here even though I tried to leave,” I said.Bookmark here

“Yuki! You can’t leave! Not now, I have to challenge Kyoi in something else!” Felicity shouted out.Bookmark here

Kyoi shook her head and with a swift movement knocked Felicity out. The woman fell to the floor. Memoria asked Tess to help carry her sister out of the room. I watched as the two left with Felicity in tow. Ko heaved a sigh of relief and walked out. Everyone else left too, leaving only Kyoi and me.Bookmark here

“Kyoi, I have a question for you,” I said.Bookmark here

“Fire away, Tomo,” Kyoi nodded.Bookmark here

“What’s the deal between you and Zhuyu?” I asked, staring at her.Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Anyways, it’s time for me to visit the bar again. I’ve had enough trouble from Felicity,” she answered.Bookmark here

“Fine, I’ll find out sooner or later,” I muttered.Bookmark here

I returned to the living room and saw a few people asleep on the floor. I needed some food anyways so I walked to the dining room. Zhuyu stood near the box of empty water bottles, talking to the guy Kisai hugged earlier during the night. Shan was also there, talking to Ichaival and a women I didn’t recognize.Bookmark here

“Hey, Shan, what’s the deal with locking the door? You saw me going for the door. You know I wanted out!” I yelled.Bookmark here

“Calm down, Tomo. There’s a perfectly valid reason I closed the door,” Shan said.Bookmark here

“You closed the door on her?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“It was more like Darryl told me he wanted to get going so it was just the slip of a hand. I didn’t know Memoria had locked it from the outside. So if anything, it’s Darryl’s fault,” Shan explained, pointing at Ichaival.Bookmark here

“Seems reasonable,” Zhuyu nodded.Bookmark here

“Yeah, seems something like Darryl would do,” the man Kisai hugged agreed as well.Bookmark here

“See, everyone agrees,” Shan said.Bookmark here

“Whoa, what’s going on? I didn’t do anything. You bully, Shigetzu,” Darryl denied.Bookmark here

“Darryl, why are you lying to Tomo? She’ll get really mad, you know,” Shan shook his head in disappointment.Bookmark here

“Everyone having fun?” Kisai walked into the dining room, his face pretty red.Bookmark here

“Hey man, you good?” Zhuyu asked, looking up at Kisai.Bookmark here

“Of course, of course. Dude, you’re so warm,” Kisai responded, hugging Zhuyu from behind.Bookmark here

“Really? Tomo, did you need something?” Zhuyu asked, attempting to pry his friend off.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I just wanted to get some food,” I responded.Bookmark here

“There’s still a lot left. Hey, Jin, you know who else is warm? Shigetzu,” Zhuyu suggested.Bookmark here

“Dude, you’re totally right. Shigetzu!” Kisai said, moving towards Shan.Bookmark here

“Hmm, actually I’m not the warmest here. If anything, Kuan is a much better option,” Shan commented as Kisai half hugged him.Bookmark here

“If we’re going that route then it’s obvious Darryl is the best choice. He has a puffy vest, guaranteed warmness,” Kuan said, adjusting his glasses.Bookmark here

“Wow,! It just ends up being me again,” Ichaival protested.Bookmark here

“You guys are right. What am I doing with my life? You’re totally right,” Kisai nodded, approaching Ichaival.Bookmark here

Sighing at their juvenile antics, I filled a plate full of food and sat down at the dining table. The woman at the table appeared a little out of it as Shan pushed a glass of water towards her.Bookmark here

For now, I would observe them. I needed to at least confirm Felicity’s supposed criticisms of everyone. Although I caught a glimpse of it when I saw Zhuyu and Shan not doing school work at school.Bookmark here

“How’s Kristoph?” the woman asked.Bookmark here

“Asleep finally. He’s going to have a sore back tomorrow when he wakes up,” Kisai replied, releasing Ichaival.Bookmark here

“Tomo, it seems you had a hard time with Felicity and Feng,” Zhuyu remarked.Bookmark here

“It was terrifying. So what’s up with you and Kyoi? Don’t lie to me,” I asked, shoving rice into my mouth.Bookmark here

“I’m in her debt, severely so. That’s about it,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Really? Seems like there’s more to it,” I prodded.Bookmark here

“No, I pretty much just owe her due to various circumstances,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Okay, I’ll let you go for today but I will find out more about it,” I said.Bookmark here

“As you wish, Tomo. I think you’ll come to find out many different things about us,” Zhuyu said with the hint of a smile.Bookmark here

“Oh, we should probably introduce you. This is Kuan, he’s a hero like us,” Kisai said, pointing at the man wearing the zipped up grey sweater.Bookmark here

“Nice to meet you. I’m a support member for the most part but I fight pretty well if I have to,” Kuan said.Bookmark here

“You’re kind of weird. Just like them,” I said without thinking.Bookmark here

“Long, my love for lolis has been discovered. Quick, we must escape,” Kuan stood up in a hurry.Bookmark here

“Dude, calm down. Like he said, Kuan is a pretty good support member. He’s as versatile as Jin,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Where’s Jen? I thought all you heroes would be gathering up in one place,” I asked, looking around the dining room.Bookmark here

“Oh, she left about two or three hours ago. Right, Darryl?” Zhuyu said, an obvious smile on his face.Bookmark here

“Yes, tell us about Jen’s departure. Did you make any plans or secret meetings before she left?” Shan joined in.Bookmark here

“You guys suck. She needed to go home and sleep. She has things to do unlike the rest of you,” Ichaival replied.Bookmark here

“Hey, trying to go through that loli route is no easy feat. It takes dedication!” Kuan countered.Bookmark here

“Screw you, I’m not talking about that,” Ichaival said.Bookmark here

“Speaking of, when’s the translation patch coming out, Long?” Kuan asked.Bookmark here

“Last time I checked, it should be out next week. Should be around 96 right now,” Long replied.Bookmark here

What was this “loli” they referred to? And what significance did it have with anything? I was pretty confused about it but continued listening.Bookmark here

“Jin! Here you are!” a woman shouted, entering the dining room.Bookmark here

A woman with medium length black hair tied with red ribbons entered the room. She wore a pair of icy blue glasses and she was mad. Kisai looked up and waved at her with no fear in his eyes at all.Bookmark here

“Hey there, Melody. Did you need me for something?” Kisai asked, despite knowing the obvious answer.Bookmark here

“You promised me that you’ll help clean up the living room and here you are with your friends. Get your ass over there or I’ll drag you over,” the woman threatened.Bookmark here

Kisai sighed and nodded. He walked away with the woman and there was silence for a few seconds. The conversation continued on, as if nothing happened. Really, we’re just going to pretend that didn’t happen?Bookmark here

“So, the last episode should be out next week,” Shan said.Bookmark here

“Oh, it should be good. An extended length or will be there be a season two?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“From the looks of it, there might be another season,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

“I really like the character design for the supporting heroine. It really has some good contrast with the weapon she uses in combat,” Kuan added.Bookmark here

“Isn’t it also because she’s a loli?” Zhuyu pointed out.Bookmark here

“No, she doesn’t count as one. I mean, look at her design. It’s not right,” Kuan disagreed.Bookmark here

“Fair enough. So….,” Zhuyu said .Bookmark here

I couldn’t quite follow what they were saying. Things got pretty complicated as they talked about the story and the various characters involved. It appeared that anime was much deeper than I thought. At least when they talked about it it seemed that way. I finished my food and realized I was still not closer to figuring out who these heroes were.Bookmark here

“By the way, is it just me or do you all like watching anime? Is it just something you do?” I brought up.Bookmark here

“That’s not true. Kisai doesn’t especially like it but he watches on occasion. Same with Darryl over there,” Zhuyu said, an accusatory stare in Darryl’s direction.Bookmark here

“I have better things to do,” Darryl argued.Bookmark here

“That’s a lie. I text this guy and asks if he wants to play a game with me. I get a response immediately saying he’s free,” Shan debunked Darryl’s statement.Bookmark here

`It’s just something to do during our free time. Manga too. I’m sure you saw Shan doing that during finals week,” Zhuyu said, looking over at me.Bookmark here

“I don’t especially care. I’m just curious about your hobbies,” I said.Bookmark here

“It’s a good thing Felicity isn’t here then,” Zhuyu said, glancing at the opened dining room door.Bookmark here

“Oh, she did mention something about that. Why’s she so mad about it?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Probably because I forgot to help her study for a test,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Okay, tell me more,” I asked for the details.Bookmark here

“Tess was sick that day, one of the rare times that she ever is. Jin had work that day so she asked me for help. And I kinda forgot. I ended up catching up on the anime I missed when I could have helped her,” Zhuyu explained.Bookmark here

“Really? You’re kind of a scumbag, no offense,” I commented.Bookmark here

“None taken. But let’s be fair here, Felicity has a lot of other people to help her. That doesn’t excuse it but still,” Zhuyu explained.Bookmark here

“It’s okay. I support you,” Kuan said.Bookmark here

“That’s it?” I asked, hoping for something bigger.Bookmark here

“Yeah, pretty much. Did you expect some long winded tale about some heroes saving the world?” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Why’s Felicity so pissed at you then, Shan? I mean you’re a year older than Zhuyu and the others right?” I asked, turning my attention to the upperclassman.Bookmark here

“She probably hates my work ethic,” Shan explained.Bookmark here

“She can’t hate you that much. I mean, she’s normal when she’s not drunk, right?” I asked.Bookmark here

“I guess. Felicity’s alright as long as she isn’t out for vengeance,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

I learned many things tonight at this party. One, these people were crazy and could hold an insane amount of alcohol in their system. Two, people spilled a lot of secrets when they were drunk. Three, I was slowly starting to get a better idea of who these heroes were.Bookmark here

“Looks like it’s time for us to leave. You ready to go, Long and Darryl?” Shan asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, let’s go,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Do you need a ride too since Kristoph is pretty out of it?” Shan asked, looking at the woman who was drinking water.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I appreciate it. Do you think I look okay?” she asked, standing up.Bookmark here

“You are walking without any stumbling and your eyes look good. You pass,” Shan confirmed.Bookmark here

Shan and the others left, leaving me alone in the dining room. I stretched and finally felt the alcohol kicking in. I yawned and then felt my head dropping down. I couldn’t keep my eyes open for much longer….Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.