Chapter 50:

Volume 2, Chapter 17-1: An Unexpected Visit

Heroes of the Past

Winter Break 2016 Week 3 WednesdayBookmark here

Someone shook me gently. Ugh, please, let me sleep more. It’s winter break! The best time for sleeping in. I finally opened my eyes, seeing Yukie hover above my bed.Bookmark here

“Yuki, good morning,” Yukie greeted.Bookmark here

“Aa… oh, morning, Yukie,” I responded, stifling a yawn.Bookmark here

“Your boyfriend is here,” Yukie said startling words.Bookmark here

I blinked, my weariness gone instantly. What did she just say? I leaped out of my bed, staring at her.Bookmark here

“Yukie, say that again,” I requested.Bookmark here

“Your boyfriend is here with another girl,” Yukie repeated, adding more concerning words.Bookmark here

“I will have to check this out. Yukie, can you wait downstairs?” I asked, walking over to my closet.Bookmark here

Yukie nodded and left. I washed my face in the bathroom, pretty sure it was all a misunderstanding. No need to be so concerned. Yukie sat downstairs on the couch. She wore a wool sweater over a red collared shirt. Despite the cold weather, she wore a black plaid skirt which dropped down to her knees.Bookmark here

“Where are they?” I asked, reaching for my phone.Bookmark here

“In the dining room,” Yukie replied.Bookmark here

Tess and Zhuyu sat in my dining room, already in Mom’s clutches. She spoke with Zhuyu but he gave only short responses in return.Bookmark here

“Yuki, you’re awake. You didn’t tell me about having guests over,” Mom greeted, pulling me aside right away.Bookmark here

“Is he one of the potential ones?” Mom whispered.Bookmark here

“What? No, he’s probably here for something else,” I shook my head.Bookmark here

It was too early for things like this. Why did Tess always show up at inopportune times? Not to mention, she brought Zhuyu too.Bookmark here

“Tomo, you dropped your wallet at my house. I was going to drive here but Tess saved me the trouble. She needed you for something,” Zhuyu revealed the purpose for his visit.Bookmark here

“Just call her Yuki. My daughter would appreciate it more,” Mom commented.Bookmark here

“I’ll stick to Tomo,” Zhuyu shook his head.Bookmark here

“Such a shame. It would sound so much better,” Mom insisted.Bookmark here

“Okay, enough out of you. I think you need to cook lunch,” I said, pushing her away.Bookmark here

Zhuyu slid my wallet over to me. I opened it, making sure everything was accounted for. You could never be too sure.Bookmark here

“You didn’t open it, right?” I asked, looking over at Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“Only to check whose wallet it was,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“Your school ID picture is quite different than how you look now,” Tess said.Bookmark here

“You liar,” I accused, glaring at Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“Whoa, I gave it to Tess for safekeeping. Whatever she did afterwards, that’s not my problem,” Zhuyu protested.Bookmark here

“Fine, I’ll believe you. This is weird, you being here,” I said, glancing at Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“Is it okay for him to be with another girl like that?” Yukie walked in.Bookmark here

“What?! No, he’s just an upperclassman at my university. If anything, I’m closer with that girl,” I tried explaining the situation.Bookmark here

“A love triangle?” Yukie inquired.Bookmark here

“Absolutely not! No, no! Yukie, you have the wrong idea. I’ll explain everything later. Let me introduce you. This is Zhuyu Long, a sophomore and that’s Zha Tess,” I introduced, containing my anger.Bookmark here

“Hey,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“You can refer to me as Tess,” Tess greeted.Bookmark here

“Ah, nice to meet you. I am Tono Yukie,” she said, bowing during her introduction.Bookmark here

“You really didn’t have to bow. I feel bad now,” Zhuyu grimaced at her impeccable manners.Bookmark here

“Such politeness, I am impressed,” Tess said, bowing in return.Bookmark here

“I intruded on your conversation earlier, but only out of curiosity. I apologize profoundly for making assumptions,” Yukie said, lowering her head.Bookmark here

“It’s fine. We’re talking about any secrets here,” Zhuyu said with a slight smile.Bookmark here

“If you want me to learn about Yuki, then I can provide information for a small fee. Just to get to know her better, of course,” Mom poked her head in.Bookmark here

How did the conversation turn out like this? The only good thing so far was getting my wallet back. Seeing Yukie, she really was refined. A lot like Tess in some ways. Not necessarily a bad thing.Bookmark here

“I will now take my leave. Yuki, I’ll be upstairs unpacking, so please call me when lunch is ready,” Yukie announced, shuffling away.Bookmark here

“Speaking of lunch, will you two be staying? It’s a good opportunity,” Mom urged.Bookmark here

“I’m afraid I’ll have to refuse,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Yes, same for me. There are other matters I must attend to. Perhaps next time,” Tess agreed.Bookmark here

We relocated to the living room. I looked over at Tess, waiting for her to inform me about her reason for coming.Bookmark here

“Tomo, when you have the time, I want you to travel to another dimension. There are only a few more days left before break ends. I wish for you to gain real battle experience,” Tess requested.Bookmark here

“You mean today?” I asked.Bookmark here

“No, I hope within the next few days if possible,” Tess responded.Bookmark here

“How about Friday?” I selected.Bookmark here

“Sure,” Tess replied.Bookmark here

“That girl, is she your cousin?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, she’s staying here until her parents finish their relocation,” I answered.Bookmark here

“I see. That finishes up the business we had with you. Be ready, Tomo,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Do your best at maintaining your health and getting enough rest,” Tess reminded.Bookmark here

What a weird morning. What should I do now? I had today and tomorrow off. Maybe I should call Chihiro and Yuka. They might want to hang out. Although, I did want to learn more about my cousin. Wait, why not both at the same time?Bookmark here

Five minutes later, Yukie and I sat down at the dining table. Mom made fried rice for lunch, placing the wok in the center, telling us to refill our bowls anytime.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I never thought you would make friends that fast,” Mom brought up.Bookmark here

“Oh, you mean Zhuyu? He’s not exactly a friend, more like an acquaintance,” I said.Bookmark here

“There could be better, but he’s not too bad,” Mom evaluated.Bookmark here

“Chihiro and Yuka are coming by later,” I revealed, not commenting on her statement.Bookmark here

“Okay. I’ll be sure to leave the snacks out,” Mom said.Bookmark here

“Yuki, you sure are popular,” Yukie commented.Bookmark here

“No. I just happened to meet them through one of my friend’s friends,” I disagreed.Bookmark here

An hour later, my friends arrived. I led them upstairs where Yukie looked through a photo album.Bookmark here

“Oh, is this your cousin? She’s really cute,” Chihiro praised.Bookmark here

“Where are you from?” Chihiro questioned my cousin.Bookmark here

“From a small province. It’s the one with all the research buildings,” Yukie replied, showing them a picture on her phone.Bookmark here

“Oh, I’ve heard about that place. It’s a budding academic area. Why did your parents leave?” Yuka said.Bookmark here

“They believed the technology here would assist them more. They travel back and forth if needed,” Yukie explained.Bookmark here

“I see. It must be tough not knowing what’s going to happen. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you if you ever need it!” Chihiro assured her.Bookmark here

“I thank you for your assistance,” Yukie said.Bookmark here

Yukie continued going through the photo album. The latest photos in there were from two to three years ago. This might be a good chance to place some updated ones in.Bookmark here

“Yuki, who is this boy that keeps showing up? Is he your real boyfriend?” Yukie asked, pointing at Ichizen.Bookmark here

“Ah, well, he was a dumbass and an idiot. But, he was a pretty good friend. He got into an accident and died,” I revealed.Bookmark here

“I apologize for bringing up such a difficult issue then, Yuki,” Yukie said, lowering her head slightly.Bookmark here

“There’s no need for that. Anyways, it’s time I actually updated this. Want to help me out?” I asked, pulling open a nearby drawer.Bookmark here

“That sounds really fun! I’m in,” Chihiro replied immediately.Bookmark here

“Organziation is my forte,” Yuka answered.Bookmark here

I pulled out a box of more recent photos from the drawer, dumping them on my table. Everyone sorted through them, selecting the best. Yukie held each photo in the air. Chihiro organized photos with incredible speed, only giving them quick glances. Yuka took her time, inspecting the quality of the photo.Bookmark here

“Yuki, none of these photos contain pictures of the girl from this morning,” Yukie commented.Bookmark here

“I only did get to know them recently. It would be weird if I had photos with her already,” I noted.Bookmark here

“We should take one right now! Yukie would love it too!” Chihiro suggested.Bookmark here

“That’s not a bad idea. I need to find my camera though,” I agreed, crawling over to my desk.Bookmark here

“Found it!” Yuka said, waving it in the air.Bookmark here

It took a few tries but the four of us finally settled on a suitable group shot. It had been awhile since I relaxed this much. I really should enjoy these days more considering what was ahead.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.