Chapter 61:

Volume 3, Chapter 7: Buying Those Pesky Textbooks

Heroes of the Past

Winter Break 2016 Week 3 SaturdayBookmark here

I woke up and felt terrible. Did entering dimensions cause this much pain or was this from using my powers? Probably the latter.Bookmark here

In the bathroom, I stared at the mirror, noticing my eyes droop down. I wiped my face and checked the mirror again. Okay, better. I headed downstairs, expecting Yukie at the dining room table, but saw no one. No note in sight either.Bookmark here

“What to eat, what to eat?” I muttered, searching the fridge for suitable food.Bookmark here

I took out noodles, microwaving them, and checked my phone. A message from Felicity. She asked how I felt and I responded with an “okay”. My phone vibrated right away. Felicity wanted to go get textbooks today.Bookmark here

“I hope I don’t collapse,” I murmured after agreeing to accompany her.Bookmark here

I informed Yukie about my plans and she responded with her usual pleasant smile. I performed stretches while waiting for Felicity, in hopes of relieving my pain. Still tight, but better than before. After awhile, there was a beep outside. Time to head out.Bookmark here

Felicity wore a festive ribbon in her hair today. I thought she only wore such accessories for special occasions. She stared at me for a long time before departing. This was getting uncomfortable.Bookmark here

“Something wrong, Felicity?” I asked, avoiding eye contact with her.Bookmark here

“You’re really tired. Was it training with Tess?” she finally said.Bookmark here

“Something like that. My body still hurts,” I nodded.Bookmark here

“I can ask Tess to lay off the intense training. It won’t be good if you’re like that during school. Leave it to me! I’ll get everything settled,” Felicity assured me with her dazzling smile.Bookmark here

“Thanks for the concern. What classes are you taking this quarter?” I asked, curious about Felicity’s upcoming schedule.Bookmark here

“Taking a finance class. There’s also, let me think, that’s right! I’m also finally taking a science class. I’ll be seeing you in chemistry!” Felicity responded.Bookmark here

“What’s your major, Felicity? I’ve never asked though we’ve known each other for awhile,” I realized.Bookmark here

“I want to do something in my parent’s company. I’ve looked into business, but I have interest in the sciences too. Well, I still have time to think about it. What about you, Yuki?” Felicity answered, entering the freeway.Bookmark here

“No idea,” I admitted.Bookmark here

“No problem. You’re still a freshman, but you should start considering options. Sorry if this brings back any bad memories, but what was Ichizen planning to do?” Felicity brought up, switching lanes.Bookmark here

I actually didn’t know. Ichizen never really talked to me about school stuff, unless he wanted help. But, knowing him, he probably desired an easy major.Bookmark here

“He always kind of barely scraped by. Probably wanted to do something with writing since that was the only thing he was decent at,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Do you know how much your textbooks will cost this quarter yet?” Felicity asked, exiting the freeway.Bookmark here

“Should check right now,” I said, pulling out my phone.Bookmark here

I scrolled down to my classes page. Five books to buy. Clicking on the university book page, I inputted the books listed, inspecting the estimated price.Bookmark here

“Around 250,” I reported.Bookmark here

“Not too bad,” Felicity commented.Bookmark here

After finding street parking, we headed toward the university bookstore. Holding my right hand up to block the sunlight, I noticed a familiar face walking toward us.Bookmark here

“Shan?” I called out to the tall man.Bookmark here

“Hey, what are you guys doing out here on a weekend?” he greeted.Bookmark here

“It’s been awhile since we’ve last met. Are you here for textbooks too?” Felicity questioned.Bookmark here

“Nah, I have some lab work to take care of. I’m on my lunch break right now. I should probably check when I get back home,” Shan revealed.Bookmark here

“Lab work?” I asked, surprised by his response.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I work at one of the university labs. They needed someone to maintain the equipment since the main researcher was out of town,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

Judging Shan purely on his behavior at school, I didn’t think he was that motivated. Then again, he was in a pretty tough major, so he had to have some skill. Guess I learned something new about the heroes everyday.Bookmark here

“Do you need to go now?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“I still have time left before heading back. Tomo, I heard from Tess and Long about your fight,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

“Good or bad things?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Everyone’s first fight can’t be glorious. You got experience though, so I’m counting on you to carry Darryl,” Shan responded, giving a small smirk.Bookmark here

“Wait a minute, why do I have to carry when you can do it?” I realized.Bookmark here

“Nah, I’m sure Darryl will appreciate it more if you do it. He doesn’t need my help, but you will be perfect for it,” Shan elaborated.Bookmark here

“I don’t really get it,” I gave up, having no clever retort.Bookmark here

Shan left after a few more minutes of conversation. Felicity and I continued our walk to the bookstore. Inside, I pulled up my list of textbooks again, searching for them. Despite it being Saturday, there was a sizable amount of people inside. Felicity returned to my side after ten minutes, carrying two books in her hand.Bookmark here

“Did you manage to find the chemistry lab book yet?” she asked, glancing at the top bookshelf.Bookmark here

“Yeah, they’re over there. I’m searching for the chem textbook right now,” I pointed at a nearby shelf.Bookmark here

Felicity and I bought the books we needed, depositing them in the trunk of her car. Felicity checked the parking meter, suggesting we grab lunch since there was still time left.Bookmark here

“Sure. I feel hungry right now,” I agreed.Bookmark here

“What do you feel like eating? There’s a bunch of options. Excuse me, looks like I’m getting a call from someone,” Felicity said, stepping away.Bookmark here

I pulled out my phone, noticing a text message notification. From Tess? Damn, I hoped she didn’t want to train right now. No, it was a warning about Ace being near me. Why now of all times? I requested backup, immediately on alert.Bookmark here

“Okay, I understand. I’ll be sure to check into it when I get home,” Felicity said in the distance.Bookmark here

Tess responded no one was free in my immediate area. Shan was definitely nearby, but busy. I was not looking forward to engaging in combat with Ace.Bookmark here

“Sorry about that, Yuki. Did you figure out where you want to go?” Felicity inquired.Bookmark here

“I don’t know the area too well, so you should decide. I’m fine with anything you think is good,” I replied, more concerned about Ace.Bookmark here

Someone walked up to me. Ace stared at me with her intense eyes, but said nothing. Alright, we weren’t in a dimension, so she couldn’t inflict any serious damage. Unless she could create artificial one like Tess, then I was screwed.Bookmark here

“Well, you’ve powered up, Tomo Yuki. Your fight yesterday was subpar. I hope you’ll reach your full potential, so when I fight you, I won’t have to worry about holding back,” Ace said.Bookmark here

I found myself unable to speak. The killing aura she emitted prevented me from taking any action. Felicity, not noticing the threat Ace posed, smiled at our exchange. I would feel a lot better if one of the heroes came by any time now.Bookmark here

“Ace, you never change. Are you done harassing Tomo?” a woman asked.Bookmark here

I expected Tess, but saw Ruiqi. She stood with a cool smile, looking at Ace. This was better than nothing. A former hero definitely made me feel better about the situation.Bookmark here

“Kaze, I have no issues with you. I came here to check up on Tomo Yuki, nothing more,” Ace said, walking away.Bookmark here

I let out a sigh of relief, thanking Ruiqi for her help. She didn’t say much, but it helped disrupt the intimidating atmosphere Ace created.Bookmark here

“Ruiqi, do you go here?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Oh, I guess I’ve never told you. Yes, I go here. I was planning to buy textbooks and saw Tess’ text. Don’t let Ace scare you. I don’t know exactly what’s happened, but she won’t hurt you yet. She only fights when necessary. Say hi to Long for me,” Ruiqi said, giving a wave before walking off.Bookmark here

After explaining the situation to Felicity, she treated me to grilled sandwiches. I felt calmer after the food. Ace had expectations for me, seemed like too much work. But, I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to survive. Damn you, Ichizen, for leaving all of this to me.Bookmark here

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