“Yuki, I finally caught up with you. Feeling better yet?” Zhuyu suddenly appeared behind me.
“Son of a-, what are you still doing here?” I exclaimed.
“Waiting for you,” Zhuyu answered.
“Oh, I see. Let’s go then,” I said.
We walked to the train station and I paid closer attention to all the stops. I really hoped my time in this weird, alternate reality would end soon. It was a pain to relearn everything and pretend nothing was wrong.
“Hey, Shigetzu, you just finish classes?” Zhuyu inquired.
I saw Shan with a woman standing next to him. Oh, she was the person who utilized blood to materialize different weapons. So even the members of Lilith’s team existed in this reality.
“Yeah, stopping by somewhere with Natalia first,” Shan replied.
“How are your classes so far?” Zhuyu questioned, leaning on the train doors.
“Not too hard yet. What are you doing here so late? Classes ended awhile ago. Unless….,” Shan observed, glancing at me with a knowing smile.
“She stayed behind to fill in for someone. Yuki wasn’t feeling to well yesterday so I decided to wait for her,” Zhuyu disclosed.
“Wait, how did you know that I had a meeting?” I asked.
“Oh, Tess told me,” Zhuyu revealed his source.
Zhuyu and Shan continued talking until the older man got off at his stop.
“See you later. Darryl said he wants to do something this weekend,” Shan informed the man.
“Really? How rare. Okay, I’ll talk to him about it tomorrow,” Zhuyu said with a smile.
Still wasn’t used to that. Zhuyu smiled, but this version appeared more natural. Seriously, he was more approachable this way. Then again, I didn’t know Zhuyu too well, so maybe he was actually like this. However, the chances of that were pretty slim, considering his blunt attitude.
“Hey, who’s that girl with Sha-…. Shigetzu-senpai?” I inquired.
“That ‘s his girlfriend. You sure you’re fine? No fever or anything like that,” Zhuyu responded, placing his hand on my forehead.
Whoa, too close, too damn close. His actions were logical, considering the relationship with me in this dimension. But, I didn’t know him like that, so this was strange.
“It looks like you’re fine. Maybe you shouldn’t go to school tomorrow,” Zhuyu suggested.
“I just need to get more sleep,” I assured him.
We arrived at our stop and Zhuyu escorted me to my house. I went inside and sat down on the couch. How many more days would I have to endure?
“Yuki, you look stressed, something wrong?” Dad noticed.
“No, it’s nothing. just a little tired,” I replied.
“You sure? Need me to call the school so you can rest up tomorrow at home?” Dad questioned.
“No, it’s not that bad. I’ll lay down and see how I feel by dinnertime,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll start dinner then. Your Mom will check up on you when she gets home,” Dad said, exiting the living room.
“Wait, wait, you’re cooking?” I stopped him.
“What’s wrong, Yuki? I always do unless your Mom’s earlier than me,” Dad revealed.
“Just wondering what you were going to cook,” I said.
“Probably a roast. Your Mom seasoned something last night,” Dad answered.
“Okay, sounds good. Wake me up when it’s done,” I said.
“Of course. You sure you don’t aspirin, anything like that?” Dad asked.
“I’ll be fine,” I replied and headed up to my room.
Now was a good time to search around my room. I yanked open my closet, finding the usual assortment of clothes. The bottom section of it yielded nothing useful. Next, I inspected my dresser, discovering school supplies and more clothes. Oh, a yearbook, dated 2012. I flipped through and checked the table of contents. This was the year Shan graduated. There were photos of him along with all the other heroes.
“I learned nothing. Great,” I muttered and fell asleep.
Sometime later, Mom stood above my bed, holding a thermometer. Dinnertime already? I yawned and felt refreshed.
“Feeling better, Yuki? I heard Long took you home today. Doesn’t look like you have a fever,” Mom asked.
“Much better,” I answered, getting out of bed.
“I’m sure getting some food in you will help too,” Mom remarked, exiting my room and I followed behind her.
I saw a plate of roasted beef, steamed vegetables, and shrimp with chopped pieces of ginger scattered around it.
“Eat up, Yuki. You look better,” Dad observed, handing me a bowl of rice.
“I will,” I said.
The doorbell rang three times after I took my first bite of beef. Damn, this was delicious, on par with Yukie’s creations. Mom brought Felicity, who carried a sports bag over her shoulder, into the dining room.
“Yuki, sorry to barge in!” Felicity greeted.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll be staying over tonight anyways,” Mom responded, retrieving another bowl for our guest.
“Did you forget, Yuki? My parents are out of town along with my brother,” Felicity explained.
“Yeah, I totally forgot,” I admitted.
After washing the dishes, I entered my room, and saw Mom setting up a bed for Felicity. My friend sat in the back, staring out my window. What was so interesting outside? I walked over and peered out as well. I only saw my neighbor’s lit up window with the blinds down.
“Hey Yuki, Long lives pretty close by, doesn’t he?” Felicity inquired.
“Yeah, I guess,” I responded.
Felicity remained silent afterwards. What was up with her abrupt question and no follow-up? Whatever, she was weird that way.
“It’s all done. I hope it’s comfortable enough,” Mom announced and then left.
“Thanks for all the hard work, ” Felicity thanked her.
Felicity unzipped her bag, placing a lab book on my table. It was the exact same one used in my current chemistry course in college. Were the classes at our school so advanced it already covered university level material? Considering how elite and posh the school appeared, that made sense.
“Sorry if I’m distracting you, Yuki,” Felicity apologized, flipping to a page containing a hand-drawn table.
“Don’t worry about it. What time are you planning on sleeping?” I questioned, checking the clock in my room.
“Probably around eleven. I have to finish my lab report since it’s due tomorrow. A lot of it is just writing and interpreting results, so let’s chat while I’m doing it. Anything new?” Felicity suggested.
“How about you go first? I’m sure you have way more interesting stories,” I deferred.
“I ran into Darryl and his girlfriend the other day.They look really good together. Yi’s lucky!” Felicity mentioned.
Oh, Jen’s actual name. She seemed awfully calm about the entire situation. Could it be the woman had her eye on someone else? If Ichaival was taken, who was left? Zhuyu, maybe? No, even here, he was pretty close with Kyoi. Shui, Zhang, and the other males didn’t stand out too much. Actually, Shui did, but Felicity didn’t know him that well. Leaving only Kisai as the most viable candidate. He was charismatic and pretty chill to hang out with. Of course, there could always be someone outside of the heroes I was unaware of.
“Yuki, you still there? What do you think of Jin?” Felicity’s words disrupted my trivial analysis.
“Sorry, I was thinking. What about Ki-, uh, JIn?” I asked her to repeat the question.
“I was wondering what you thought about Jin’s behavior lately. He’s lazier than usual, which makes me so mad. But, he still gets better scores than me. God, he’s just too special,” Felicity ranted as she filled in the table.
“Isn’t he always like that?” I countered.
“I swear he’s doing less work than usual. I wonder why?” Felicity sighed.
“Come on, Fel-, Konoe, he’ been like that since you’ve known him. Maybe it’s a sign he’s changing,” I offered a potential reason.
“You’re a silly goose for thinking that, Yuki,” Felicity dismissed my words.
This reality was comforting, too much of a pleasant break from all the heroes’ business. Everyone was nice and all, but things seemed too…. perfect. Similar to a storybook fairytale. That didn’t quite seem right at all.