Chapter 77:

Volume 3, Chapter 21: Felicity's Curiosity

Heroes of the Past

“Yuki, sorry to disturb you. May I have a moment of your time?” Yukie requested.Bookmark here

I blinked, looking around. Oh right, my room. It was always a strange adjustment after a mind dive. I opened the door, letting her in.Bookmark here

“Something wrong?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Strange, perhaps I was hearing things? I thought you were conversing with someone,” Yukie remarked, peering around my room.Bookmark here

“Huh? I was just resting on my bed,” I denied, shaking my head.Bookmark here

“It was my mistake. Yuki, I would like you to test this for me,” Yukie said, handing me a bracelet.Bookmark here

I inspected it, not sure what its purpose was. Not too heavy and its design passed for a fashion bangle.Bookmark here

“What does it do?” I asked, unsure of its purpose.Bookmark here

“It’s a charging band,” Yukie answered.Bookmark here

“Like for electronic devices?” I asked, staring at her in confusion.Bookmark here

“Yes, the bracelet surface consists of tiny solar panels. Within the band is a capacitor which stores the solar energy collected. There’s a small indicator light informing you if it’s completely charged. You can hook it up to your phone for accessible charging,” Yukie replied.Bookmark here

“How…. okay, never mind. You just want me to see if it works, right?” I said.Bookmark here

“Yes, I believe there may be minor issues, but it should function,” Yukie confirmed.Bookmark here

“This won’t explode or anything, right?” I questioned, slipping it onto my wrist.Bookmark here

“There’s a safety mechanism preventing the voltage from reaching a critical level. Although if said mechanism failed, then there is a risk,” Yukie replied, glancing at her invention.Bookmark here

“But it won’t, right? Yukie, I’m going to trust you,” I said, staring at the bracelet with unease.Bookmark here

“I verified the calculations with Uncle. If you feel an unusual amount of heat, remove it immediately. Inform me and I’ll fix the issue,” Yukie revealed, a confident look on her face.Bookmark here

“Anything else?” I asked.Bookmark here

“No, that was all. I’ll retrieve the bracelet in a week. If it is successful, I’ll craft a more refined one,” Yuki said and then left.Bookmark here

I stared at the bracelet, not even sure how it worked. Well, not like it mattered. If it functioned as intended, Yukie would be satisfied. Should I study or just go to sleep? Sleep seemed like the better choice of the two.Bookmark here

Tuesday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 6Bookmark here

“That was a very hard midterm,” Felicity said as we exited the chemistry lecture room.Bookmark here

“It was okay. I got most of the questions,” I said.Bookmark here

“Yuki, you have to teach me!” Felicity decided.Bookmark here

“Tess would be a lot better than I am. Kristoph looks pretty down,” I noted, noticing the man walking ahead of us.Bookmark here

“It’s okay! We have one dropped midterm. I just have to do well on the third one. I did above average for the first one!” Felicity pumped herself up.Bookmark here

I passed by my old classmate on our way to the student lounge. She noticed me, waving. It had been quite some time since I last saw her, almost two months ago.Bookmark here

“Yuki, how have you been?” Len asked.Bookmark here

“Len, it’s been awhile. I’m pretty good. How about you?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Ugh, classes have been hard. I guess what they say about university is true. It’s definitely a step up from high school classes,” Len replied.Bookmark here

“That’s true,” I agreed with her sentiments.Bookmark here

“Looks like you’ve been doing alright. I heard from Yuka you have someone reliable to help you out,” Len brought up.Bookmark here

“Yes, she does! In fact, she has the best person around,” Felicity joined the conversation with a brilliant smile.Bookmark here

“Smoke, was it? We met before,” Len asked.Bookmark here

“You are correct! I am Felicity Smoke. Just call me Felicity,” she responded.Bookmark here

“Are you the one that’s been helping Yuki?” Len asked.Bookmark here

“It’s actually my friend, who’s been the one bailing Yuki out. Do you know Zha Tess?” Felicity revealed.Bookmark here

“That’s quite impressive. Zha has quite a reputation. Let’s catch up when you have time, Yuki!” Len waved, running off.Bookmark here

Tess was well-known? She was knowledgeable in a large range of areas, but I never expected other people to know of her.Bookmark here

“Yuki, where did you get that bracelet? It’s very pretty,” Felicity mentioned, pointing at Yukie’s invention.Bookmark here

“Oh, Yukie made it. She wanted me to test it out,” I responded.Bookmark here

“It’s very eye catching. I might want to contact her about it,” Felicity decided, a sparkle in her eye.Bookmark here

“What’s this about Tess being popular?” I asked.Bookmark here

“She is. Yuki, do you know what kind of classes Tess takes?” Felicity inquired, opening the student lounge entrance door.Bookmark here

“I’m assuming 300 level, 400 level classes,” I responded.Bookmark here

For once, I saw no one familiar sitting at any of the tables. How rare. It did, however, give me a good opportunity to chat with Felicity one-on-one.Bookmark here

“Tess already finished her undergraduate degree,” Felicity dropped a huge revelation.Bookmark here

“Wait, she’s a sophomore, right?” I exclaimed.Bookmark here

“That’s just her year. Tess already completed the introductory classes and prerequisites for the science, math, and engineering majors during the two first years of high school,” Felicity revealed.Bookmark here

“The book she was reading that time in the library….,” I recalled.Bookmark here

“A 600 level class book. Tess is amazing, isn’t she?” Felicity confirmed my suspicions.Bookmark here

If Tess already graduated, she surpassed Shan and Kyoi. It made sense, considering how she taught with such ease, bored with the topics covered in my classes. Why didn’t she pass her responsibilities onto someone else?Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Yuki. Tess won’t be leaving anytime soon. She’s in the process of completing her masters here. She’ll still be around,” Felicity assured me.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I’m going to need some time to let everything sink in. Umm, do you know Jen?” I blurted out without thinking.Bookmark here

For a second, Felicity’s face turned cold. It immediately reverted back. Now that I thought about it, did Felicity even know the other heroes in-depth? I assumed she did, but maybe not. For sure, there was something up with her and Jen.Bookmark here

“I do. I was in the same class with her for…. some high school classes,” Felicity responded, a sweet smile on her face.Bookmark here

“You should probably know her since she’s a hero and all,” I realized, hoping to shift the topic.Bookmark here

“I’ve seen her a few times in the training facility, but never practicing with the others. I mean, she is a lower tiered hero after all,” Felicity said.Bookmark here

Ichaival was a lower tired hero too. Then again, he did have the distinction of being Shan’s partner, but Felicity’s remark was more poignant and sharper than usual. I should probably back off.Bookmark here

“Felicity’s here too, huh?” Zhuyu arrived, taking a seat next to me.Bookmark here

“Hey, Long! How are your classes?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

Nice. Thank you for your arrival, Zhuyu. You saved me from a potentially dangerous situation. In fact, I would forgive you for sitting next to me. I would have to remember not to mention Jen in future conversations with Felicity.Bookmark here

“They’re alright,” Zhuyu gave a short response, taking out his laptop.Bookmark here

“What’s up with that response? You need to give more details. Yuki agrees with me too,” Felicity demanded, staring at me with an expectant look.Bookmark here

Don’t drag me into this. If that’s all he had to say, just let him. He wasn’t compelled to answer with excruciating detail.Bookmark here

“What do you want to know then?” Zhuyu asked, a rather tired look on his face.Bookmark here

“The people you’ve met, the professor, you know what I mean,” Felicity responded.Bookmark here

“There’s not much to talk about. I go to class, take notes, and leave. That’s about it,” Zhuyu provided a terse response.Bookmark here

“So boring. You can give me more details than that. Jin would,” Felicity prodded him for more information.Bookmark here

“You’re right. I’m sure he entertain your questions with more detail,” Zhuyu said, typing on his keyboard.Bookmark here

“Hey, Zhuyu, I heard you store archives at your house,” I brought up.Bookmark here

“Did you need something?” he asked, glancing up from his screen.Bookmark here

“Do you have battle videos? I was hoping for some references,” I explained.Bookmark here

“If you want copies, I’ll ask Kuan. If you want battle profiles or notes Tess took, I can definitely send you those,” Zhuyu replied.Bookmark here

“That would be helpful. I think-,” I started, but stopped after Jacque sat down.Bookmark here

“Hey, how’s it going?” he greeted, taking a seat next to Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“If you think taking a midterm is fun, then just amazing,” I responded.Bookmark here

“Oh yeah, what midterm was it?” he asked, placing his red water bottle on the table.Bookmark here

“Chemistry,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Sounds terrible. I mean, I’ve never taken the class, but it probably is hard, right?” Jacque said, twisting the cap off.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve met before, but this is Felicity Smoke. She’s one of my friends. I guess Zhuyu’s too,” I realized, pointing at Felicity.Bookmark here

I glanced over at the vector user, hoping he follow up. He knew her better than I did. Zhuyu noticed my glance, but did nothing. Why do you always do this?Bookmark here

“I’ve met Felicity before. Thanks for the introduction anyways, Tomo,” Jacque revealed.Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s good then. When do you think you’ll be able to get the videos, Zhuyu?” I returned back to the original topic.Bookmark here

“Depends on Kuan. I’ll call you once he responds,” Zhuyu answered.Bookmark here

“Thanks,” I said.Bookmark here

“Felicity, it’s rare for you to be here,” Zhuyu noted.Bookmark here

“Hey, I’m here when it’s possible. Don’t judge me, Long,” Felicity countered.Bookmark here

“Just an observation,” Zhuyu muttered.Bookmark here

“When did you meet Jacque, Felicity?” I asked, curious about their initial meeting.Bookmark here

“Last year, probably spring quarter. He was sitting here with Long and a few other people,” Felicity replied.Bookmark here

“Seems right. I’m pretty much always here unless I have class. Yep, my life is pretty damn sad,” Jacque confirmed, a downcast look appearing on his face.Bookmark here

“Hey, that’s not true. I’m sure there’s something good ahead,” I tried cheering him up.Bookmark here

“Tomo, you are right. I should totally try bettering myself, but I’m lazy, so I probably won’t even do that. F**k my life,” Jacque sighed, taking out his laptop.Bookmark here

“Jacque, I don’t know you that well, but I’m sure your life isn’t that bad. Get rid of those negative emotions. Come on, I’ll even help you out!” Felicity disagreed.Bookmark here

“Uh, I guess,” Jacque said in an unsure tone.Bookmark here

“Great! What’s your favorite thing to do?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“Play video games?” Jacque responded.Bookmark here

“Something else,” Felicity dismissed his first answer.Bookmark here

“Read-,” Jacque began.Bookmark here

“Try again!” Felicity said, interrupting him with a smile.Bookmark here

“Fine, drawing, I guess. Art in general,” Jacque responded.Bookmark here

“How good are you?” Felicity questioned.Bookmark here

“About average, I guess,” Jacque replied.Bookmark here

“Alright, I’ll introduce you to one of the affiliates associated with my father’s company and help you improve!” Felicity offered.Bookmark here

“I appreciate it, Felicity, but are you sure?” Jacque asked.Bookmark here

“Of course! No problem at all. I hate seeing people waste their potential! It makes me so mad!” Felicity assured him.Bookmark here

Felicity took out her phone, typing on it. Zhuyu sighed, an amused, but skeptical look on his face. Jacque had a “what the f**k just happened” face, one with moderate concern and reserved optimism. Well, she sure hated people wasting their potential. Guess she did know several people fitting that description.Bookmark here

“Hey, did you see that update? Dude, dem nuts though,” Jacque said to Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“Yeah, that was a pretty close call. She stuffed him into her mouth though. How do you even….,” Zhuyu responded.Bookmark here

While those two talked about stuff, I spoke with Felicity. I wondered why Zhuyu seemed so distant when speaking with her, despite knowing her from high school. Actually, he was like that with other people too.Bookmark here

“Hey, how’s Jin been?” Felicity suddenly asked.Bookmark here

“What? You talk to him, right?” I responded.Bookmark here

“I don’t see him as much as you do. I’m a bit jealous, to be honest. It’s nice you get to be with Long and Jin so much. Darryl too, but I see him much more than the others,” Felicity came up with an unexpected answer.Bookmark here

“I guess,” I replied with a lame answer.Bookmark here

“Has he been mean to you at all?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“He’s been pretty nice, despite my mistakes. I’m sure he wouldn’t get angry if I messed up big time. Doesn’t seem like the type,” I revealed.Bookmark here

“Good. It’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with everyone,” Felicity suggested.Bookmark here

“Okay? I’m sure if you contact him, he’ll be more than willing,” I failed at comprehending her logic.Bookmark here

“Is he alive or is he dead? He’s sitting right there in the chair….,” Zhuyu pointed at his screen.Bookmark here

“I’m pretty sure he’s alive. It’ll just take something major to awaken him….,” Jacque responded, nodding.Bookmark here

Felicity was weird today. I understood Ichaival, but why Zhuyu and Kisai? Zhuyu seemed indifferent towards her, pretty typical. Kisai, well, I didn’t know enough to form an opinion. He must have done something impressive to catch her attention, or maybe they were just really good friends. That seemed plausible since Kisai was an easy person to get along with.Bookmark here

“Tomo, I’ll get the videos for you by tomorrow. Kuan said he’ll give me the server password later today,” Zhuyu updated, leaning his hands on the top of his laptop screen.Bookmark here

“That’s great,” I said.Bookmark here

“Maybe we should have another party soon?” Felicity mused, finally finished typing on her phone.Bookmark here

Zhuyu remained silent, only speaking with Jacque about whatever the hell caught their attention so much. After recalling Felicity’s behavior at the last party, it might not exactly be the best idea.Bookmark here

“I guess I’ll think about it. Oh, I just remembered I have to do something. Yuki, I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye!” Felicity rose up from her seat, dashing off.Bookmark here

“Damn, you avoided a huge mess,” Zhuyu commented once Felicity left.Bookmark here

“You mean the Jen thing, right?” I asked, understanding his sentiments.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Just don’t mention her name carelessly again,” Zhuyu nodded.Bookmark here

“It’s Ichaival, isn’t it?” I asked, staring at Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“When is it never Darryl with Felicity? That’s the better question. I’m just glad she didn’t go crazy like when she’s drunk,” Shan interjected, making his appearance.Bookmark here

“True. Jacque, Felicity was pretty harsh with you,” Zhuyu turned his attention over to him.Bookmark here

“She wouldn’t take any of my favorite hobbies besides art. Ah man, I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” Jacque said, staring at his sketchbook.Bookmark here

“You’ll be fine. Knowing her, she’ll provide the best facilities for you to improve whatever you want to work on,” Zhuyu encouraged.Bookmark here

“Hey, Zhuyu. While we’re on this topic, you still haven’t given me a straight answer about you and Kyoi. Actually, now that I think about it, Ruiqi Kaze too,” I realized, staring at the vector user once again.Bookmark here

“Like what?” Zhuyu looked at me with a rather blank expression.Bookmark here

“You know, do you like her or something?” I searched for the proper words.Bookmark here

“I guess I do. Kind of hard not to when she threatens me,” Zhuyu answered with no noticeable emotion.Bookmark here

“What kind of response is that?” I asked, not sure if he was intentionally providing me with roundabout answers.Bookmark here

“Tomo, if you’re looking for a deeper answer, then I’m afraid you won’t pry it out of me just yet. I’m quite fond of the answer I gave,” Zhuyu followed up.Bookmark here

“Damn you. Never giving me useful answers. What kind of heroes are you?” I voiced my displeasure with Zhuyu.Bookmark here

“The most amazing ones you’ve ever met. Or just the laziest ones,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I shouldn’t have expected anything more than that. Hey, Shan, you’re pretty good in chemistry, right?” I asked the tall man.Bookmark here

“I guess. Get me the solution manual, then I’ll see what I can do,” Shan offered.Bookmark here

“What? No, that’s some bulls**t. I might as well just look at the solution manual than ask someone at that point,” I shook my head.Bookmark here

“Exactly. Why not try Jin? He’s pretty good at it,” Shan offered me an alternative.Bookmark here

“Man, Jin’s good at everything,” Jacque added.Bookmark here

“It’s not a bad idea,” Zhuyu agreed.Bookmark here

“I’m curious about how hard the chemistry classes are here,” I revealed my purpose for the question.Bookmark here

“Can’t really say. I didn’t take any of the introductory ones. I took the upper level ones during my first year,” Shan replied.Bookmark here

“Same with Jin. I haven’t take any chemistry classes here any either. I do have a friend who took the entire intro course. I can ask him,” Zhuyu offered.Bookmark here

“No, it’s okay,” I shook my head.Bookmark here

“I doubt that you’ll have problems. You have Tess, so it’s not like you have no resources,” Shan reminded me.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know. I have class now. I’ll see you guys later. Seriously, you’re going to have to tell me the entire truth about Felicity one day. I want to hear it from you guys,” I pointed at Zhuyu and Shan.Bookmark here

“Hey, hey. All of that should really fall on Long. He knows her the longest out of us all. Oh, and Darryl too, of course,” Shan refused.Bookmark here

“Good luck doing that. Felicity might seem nice, but she’ll refuse to say anything if it really matters to her. Why not ask Ko? She might have information the rest of us might not have,” Zhuyu suggested.Bookmark here

Ko, huh? It did seem she and Felicity knew each other. Although, she did freak me out a little bit, but she was relatively normal. I would try asking her about Felicity’s past sometime.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.