Volume 1, Chapter 2: A Potential Lead

Sunday Autumn Quarter 2015 Week 3

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.

“I’ll try looking it up,” I muttered.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

“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.

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

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

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

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

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

“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.

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

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

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.

“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.

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

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?

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

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

“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.

“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.

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

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

“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.

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.

Wednesday Autumn Quarter 2015 Week 4

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

“Why the word ‘hero’?” Ichizen asked.

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

“Seriously, that’s it?” I cut in.

“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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

“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.

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

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

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

“What now?” I asked.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

“When are you guys free?” she agreed.

“You’re willing to help us?” I asked.

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

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

“No, I’m free,” he replied.

“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.

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

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

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.

“Your friend’s in here?” I asked.

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.

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

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

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.

“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.

“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.

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

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.

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

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

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

“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.

“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.

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.

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

“Yeah,” I nodded, leaving the room.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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“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.

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?

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