Winter Break 2016 Week 1 Saturday
I looked down, seeing white sheets covering me, and Yuka sitting nearby. She noticed my movement, closing her book.
“Oh, you’re awake, Yuki,” she declared.
“Yeah, I still feel like crap though. What time is it?” I asked.
“It just turned 12 a few minutes ago,” Yuka answered.
“I haven’t been out for a long time then,” I said, relieved.
“No, have some water,” Yuka said, handing me a glass of water.
I nodded at her words, drinking the glass of water in two gulps. It felt pretty nice, I had to admit. Throwing the white blanket off, I yawned, looking around the dark room. The only light source was from the open door.
“I’m guessing this is the second floor,” I said.
“Tai helped me carry you up here. You were muttering things, as we brought you up here,” Yuka revealed.
“Huh? I don’t remember that at all. What did I say?” I asked, curious.
“Something about Ichizen. I couldn’t quite hear it clearly. Looks like you miss him, huh?” Yuka replied.
“Of course I would. He was a good friend, even if he did make me angry most of the time. I feel responsible for his death,” I said.
Shoot, did I reveal too much? No, Yuka wouldn’t question the phrase. At least I hope she wouldn’t.
“You shouldn’t though, Yuki. Ichizen did what he did best, finding adventure, so I think he was happy in the end,” Yuka assured me.
But was he though? There was no doubt in my mind Ichizen found the adventure he seeked. Yet, was he content with the ending? He could have been in my place right now. Ichizen would love this right now.
I balled my right hand into a fist, frustrated with the outcome. He should still be alive. I would just have to keep going on with this hero thing to figure out what really happened. Tess and the others hid secrets. That I knew for sure.
“Yuki, Yuki! Hey, snap out of it,” Yuka said, looking at me.
“Sorry, I was just thinking about a few things. What did you say again?” I asked.
“It looks like you’re fine now. Let’s head back downstairs and get you some more water,” Yuka replied.
I nodded and walked downstairs together with Yuka. At least my head didn’t hurt as much anymore. I saw Tess holding a plate of food when we passed by the living room. She noticed me and gave me a wave.
“Tess, you okay?” I asked, looking at her.
“Of course. I just took a quick nap,” she answered.
“Really? You had a lot to drink. Are you sure?” I asked one more time.
“I’m fine. How about you, Tomo? I heard from Tai that he carried you up,” Tess answered, placing a piece of steak into her mouth.
“Uh yeah, I’m doing okay. Where’s Felicity?” I asked, looking around the room.
“I don’t know. I woke up half an hour ago and just went to get food. She might be upstairs tending to people,” Tess replied.
“I think I did see her there,” Yuka confirmed.
“Tomo, if you see Feng again, tell her that I’m ready for another round if she’s willing,” Tess said.
Really? I mean, Tess did look fine now. What was up with these people? I nodded in agreement and walked towards the dining room to get a bottle of water. Yuka and I stared at the empty box.
“It’s all gone,” Yuka said.
“I have a pretty good idea of what happened to it,” I muttered, recalling Zhuyu and Shan standing near the box earlier in the night.
“Well I’ll just go to the kitchen again. You want to wait here?” Yuka asked.
“Yeah, I’ll just sit down here,” I replied.
Taking a seat, I saw Shui and Kristoph at the opposite end of the table. Seven opened water bottles were on the table. Six were near empty and the last one was still half full. And of course Zhuyu and Shan were here. Kristoph had his head on the table, probably sleeping. Shui was pretty alert for someone who downed so many shots. Or so I thought.
“I told you I’m fine, Long. In fact, I can get another shot,” Shui said, reaching out for an empty shot glass on the table.
“Yeah, yeah. You’re okay, man,” Zhuyu nodded.
“Hey, I just remembered something. I have homework to do,” Kristoph exclaimed, his head shooting up from the table.
“No you don’t, it’s winter break already,” Shan denied him, pushing him back down.
Kristoph looked at Shan with a confused look. It then turned to one of joy and he put his head back on the table again. People were just falling left and right. At least Zhuyu and Shan still appeared competent.
“Yuki, I’m back,” Yuka said.
She handed me another glass of water. I drank it and felt better. Okay, what should I do now? I certainly did not want to witness another Tess versus Kyoi drink off. That was what landed me in a bed. I guess I should be of some use and help out Felicity on the second floor.
“Yuka, I’m going to go upstairs and help out Felicity. I don’t see what else I can do at the moment,” I decided.
“Okay, I’ll stay here and read my book,” Yuka said.
I saw Ichaival and a tall Filipino man playing guitar in the living room. Oh, he had that kind of interest? He looked pretty happy doing it too. There were a few people gathered around them, listening.
Finally arriving upstairs, I walked around. It was huge, just as big as the first floor. I might actually be lost. Stumbling around, I ran into a familiar face.
“Yuki, are you already feeling better?” Memoria asked.
“Yeah, pretty much. Where’s your sister?” I replied.
“She should be around here somewhere. How do you like the party so far?” Memoria asked.
“It’s been pretty fun and scary,” I answered.
“Oh, what do you mean by scary?” she asked, moving closer to me with curious eyes.
“Tess is pretty scary and Kyoi too,” I replied.
“Oh, those two. Hmm, I think you’ll enjoy this. Follow me,” Memoria said, walking away.
With nothing better to do, I followed Memoria. We arrived at a sliding door and Memoria pulled it open. Inside, I saw Felicity with a few other people inside. Ko was there too, an animated expression on her face. She made some strange noise effects to emphasize her points.
“Enjoy, Yuki. Please keep them company just long enough so they’re done talking. Felicity is in no condition to take care of anyone right now,” Memoria said and then with a bang closed the door.
Wait a minute, what was going on? I tried opening the door but found it locked. Damn you, Memoira. You did this on purpose. Before I could even think about a way of escaping, someone grabbed me.
“Yu~ki! You’re finally here!” Felicity said.
I shuddered at the sound of Felicity’s voice. This was not going to end well. Resigned to my fate, I took a seat willingly. Tess sat next to me, eating some fried noodles this time. Wait, Tess? I didn’t see her when I first arrived in the room. You know what, screw it. Whatever. At this point, I didn’t really care anymore.
“Yu~ki. Here have a drink. Loosen up so we can talk,” Felicity insisted, pushing a glass of whiskey toward me.
“Uh, Felicity, you sure you’re okay?” I asked, already knowing her answer.
“I feel excellent. Absolutely fabulous,” Felicity replied.
“No, she’s pretty riggity rekt. I don’t even know how to save her,” Ko whispered to me.
“And you aren’t?” I asked.
“No, I’m pretty riggity rekt. Felicity keeps pouring us drinks so I can’t help it. So like I said before, I might not remember anything I say. Just know I mean no harm,” Ko admitted.
“Yu~ki! Let’s talk about something fun! I know, let’s talk about the boys . I mean, you’re hanging out with them more, right? So tell me what you think of them,” Felicity asked.
“Uh, I don’t know. If anything, I’m with Tess more than them,” I replied, not liking the direction of this conversation.
“Fine. I’ll talk about them then. Maybe that will loosen up your lips a little!” Felicity shouted out.
“Not good, ” Tess muttered.
“Tess, do something,” I hissed.
“Tomo, please calm down. Let Fel talk,” Tess said, sipping her drink.
“I just heard you say `not good’. Do something or else we’ll have to listen to her talk about things which may get out of hand,” I demanded.
“Tomo, it’s alright. We’ll get through this together,” Tess promised, nodding with a serious face.
“The hell we will,” I muttered.
“Yu~ki! You know what I don’t like. It’s something that bothers me about the boys,” Felicity asked, looking over at me.
“Whatever do you mean?” I replied, hoping Memoria would come back soon.
“They have so much talent but don’t even put in effort. Jin is a genius but his effort is so bad. He could do so much more but he doesn’t. Shan too. I know because I had class with him once. He’s smart but what does he do? Nothing, I hate it. So much wasted potential,” Felicity ranted pounding the table several times with her left hand.
“Hey, don’t talk about them like that. Let them do what they want!” Ko disagreed.
“Oh, you just shut up, Ko! Like you know anything about them. Nobody wants to be near a weirdo like you. It’s probably out of pity they are even friends with you!” Felicity countered.
Crap, crap, crap. This was getting out of hand. Much more so than Tess and Kyoi. This was different. Malicious intent and emotions were being thrown out here. Tess with her ordinary indifferent expression watched without a word.
“What about Zhuyu then?” a girl near Felicity asked.
“Oh, he’s better than the other two sort of. He tries but there’s something about him that’s still off. He shouldn’t spend so much time watching anime. He’s just as bad as Jin or Shan,” Felicity revealed.
Ko said nothing in response, probably knowing the volatile situation in the room. However, I could tell she wanted to say something. Damn it. Why was I stuck here?
“And then there’s Kyoi. She thinks she’s so good. Pff, I could take her on in a fight if I wanted to. Thinking she’s the best just because she taught Long something. I could be better than her if I wanted,” Felicity said with bitterness.
Damn, If Kyoi were here, she would no doubt destroy Felicity. I sighed and drank the whiskey, hoping the conversation would eventually end.
“Screw Kyoi. Right, Tess?” Felicity directed her glance over at Tess.
“Fel, she’s right here,” Tess revealed.
What! My eyes frantically moved around searching for any other place than here.
“Well, Felicity, I never thought you had such strong opinions of me. It appears I have much to learn then,” Kyoi said, her voice calm but her eyes filled with deadly intent.
“Oh, if it isn’t Miss High and Mighty herself. I figured you would still be in the bar resting after challenging Tess,” Felicity said, the tone of her voice clear that she was not backing off from this fight.
“Fel, you should..,” Tess began but then stopped.
I scooted my chair away from the table, placing distance between the two. I grabbed the cup of whiskey too. I would need some assistance to survive the upcoming carnage.
“Tess, stay out of this. It’s between the two of us. No interference, okay?” Felicity requested.
“If you wish,” Tess replied.
I sneaked over to the door and tried it. Damn, no luck. It was still locked. Memoria, please get back here soon. I might die because your sister is a crazy drunk who talks too much. Might as well watch how it unfolded since there was no escape.
“What makes you think that you can just go around teaching people things, Kyoi? Do you really think you’re that smart? I bet if we had a test right now, I could get a better score than you,” Felicity challenged.
“Felicity I believe you may have the wrong opinion of me. Ko, what are you thoughts on Felicity’s behavior right now?” Kyoi asked, looking over at her.
No, don’t answer. I could see the number of possible casualties rising. I sipped my whisky as the two women stared each other down.
“If we’re going to be honest here since none of us will remember this, Felicity, you crazy,” Ko revealed.
“What did you just say Ko? I thought you were on my side!” Felicity shouted in a loud voice.
“Not when you’re a crazy drunk, I’m not,” Ko muttered.
“Fine Ko! Fine, it’s not as if you’re my best friend or anything. Tess, help me out here!” Felicity demanded.
“I do have tests available right now actually. If you truly want to test out your theory,” Tess answered.
Savior! I could see the light now. Yes, this would provide a good distraction and shut Felicity up. Felicity took a drink from the whiskey bottle and then nodded.
“Alright but we need an even playing field. Kyoi, drink this bottle so we’ll both be at the same level of intoxication,” Felicity demanded.
“Whatever you want,” Kyoi agreed.
Tess pulled out sheets of paper from underneath the desk and handed them to Kyoi and Felicity. Kyoi downed the entire bottle without effort and looked bored. Considering this was Kyoi, it probably was easy for her.
I pulled out my cellphone. Wait, why didn’t I do this before? I could have asked someone for help. I suffered through this for no reason. I had no bars in the room and it looked like the Internet was weak in here too. Damn it, my hopes had been dashed.
I finished my whiskey and watched the two women write on the papers. Ko stood next to me, holding her head.
“Uh, Ko? What’s up with Felicity? Is it just the alcohol or.. ?” I asked.
“Probably a little of both. Her personality isn’t exactly the best at times. But I mean Tess would know that the best,” Ko replied, taking off her glasses.
I heard the sound of a knock on the door. Yes, rescue was coming! Tess walked over to the door and nodded. She stepped back and then the door flung open. I rushed towards it, knowing this was the best possible chance for escape.
“Memoria told us to check in on you,” Ichaival said, noticing me dash.
“I’m going to pretend that you aren’t taking a test in here. Close the door, Darryl. We’ve done our job,” Shan said.
No, no, no! Damn you, Shan. You jerk, I’m not going to forget this. I clawed my way to the door but someone held me back. It was Felicity and her eyes weren’t the forgiving type. The door shut.
“Get back in here, Yuki. We’re not done yet,” Felicity said, making it clear that there was no leaving until she said so.
“Someone should be worrying about the test. Unless you’ve already admitted defeat,” Kyoi said nonchalantly, placing her pencil down.
“I assume you finished,” Tess said.
“Yes. Now we wait for Felicity,” Kyoi said, leaning back on her chair.
Twenty minutes passed and I drank two more cups of whiskey. Felicity left an entire bottle near the desk and I poured from there. The tension in the room had not subsided, in fact, it felt more dangerous than before.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.