Volume 4, Chapter 7-1: An Unexpected Visit

Winter Break 2016 Week 3 Wednesday

Someone shook me gently. Ugh, please, let me sleep more. It’s winter break! The best time for sleeping in. I finally opened my eyes, seeing Yukie hover above my bed.

“Yuki, good morning,” Yukie greeted.

“Aa… oh, morning, Yukie,” I responded, stifling a yawn.

“Your boyfriend is here,” Yukie said startling words.

I blinked, my weariness gone instantly. What did she just say? I leaped out of my bed, staring at her.

“Yukie, say that again,” I requested.

“Your boyfriend is here with another girl,” Yukie repeated, adding more concerning words.

“I will have to check this out. Yukie, can you wait downstairs?” I asked, walking over to my closet.

Yukie nodded and left. I washed my face in the bathroom, pretty sure it was all a misunderstanding. No need to be so concerned. Yukie sat downstairs on the couch. She wore a wool sweater over a red collared shirt. Despite the cold weather, she wore a black plaid skirt which dropped down to her knees.

“Where are they?” I asked, reaching for my phone.

“In the dining room,” Yukie replied.

Tess and Zhuyu sat in my dining room, already in Mom’s clutches. She spoke with Zhuyu but he gave only short responses in return.

“Yuki, you’re awake. You didn’t tell me about having guests over,” Mom greeted, pulling me aside right away.

“Is he one of the potential ones?” Mom whispered.

“What? No, he’s probably here for something else,” I shook my head.

It was too early for things like this. Why did Tess always show up at inopportune times? Not to mention, she brought Zhuyu too.

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“Tomo, you dropped your wallet at my house. I was going to drive here but Tess saved me the trouble. She needed you for something,” Zhuyu revealed the purpose for his visit.

“Just call her Yuki. My daughter would appreciate it more,” Mom commented.

“I’ll stick to Tomo,” Zhuyu shook his head.

“Such a shame. It would sound so much better,” Mom insisted.

“Okay, enough out of you. I think you need to cook lunch,” I said, pushing her away.

Zhuyu slid my wallet over to me. I opened it, making sure everything was accounted for. You could never be too sure.

“You didn’t open it, right?” I asked, looking over at Zhuyu.

“Only to check whose wallet it was,” Zhuyu replied.

“Your school ID picture is quite different than how you look now,” Tess said.

“You liar,” I accused, glaring at Zhuyu.

“Whoa, I gave it to Tess for safekeeping. Whatever she did afterwards, that’s not my problem,” Zhuyu protested.

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“Fine, I’ll believe you. This is weird, you being here,” I said, glancing at Zhuyu.

“Is it okay for him to be with another girl like that?” Yukie walked in.

“What?! No, he’s just an upperclassman at my university. If anything, I’m closer with that girl,” I tried explaining the situation.

“A love triangle?” Yukie inquired.

“Absolutely not! No, no! Yukie, you have the wrong idea. I’ll explain everything later. Let me introduce you. This is Zhuyu Long, a sophomore and that’s Zha Tess,” I introduced, containing my anger.

“Hey,” Zhuyu said.

“You can refer to me as Tess,” Tess greeted.

“Ah, nice to meet you. I am Tono Yukie,” she said, bowing during her introduction.

“You really didn’t have to bow. I feel bad now,” Zhuyu grimaced at her impeccable manners.

“Such politeness, I am impressed,” Tess said, bowing in return.

“I intruded on your conversation earlier, but only out of curiosity. I apologize profoundly for making assumptions,” Yukie said, lowering her head.

“It’s fine. We’re talking about any secrets here,” Zhuyu said with a slight smile.

“If you want me to learn about Yuki, then I can provide information for a small fee. Just to get to know her better, of course,” Mom poked her head in.

How did the conversation turn out like this? The only good thing so far was getting my wallet back. Seeing Yukie, she really was refined. A lot like Tess in some ways. Not necessarily a bad thing.

“I will now take my leave. Yuki, I’ll be upstairs unpacking, so please call me when lunch is ready,” Yukie announced, shuffling away.

“Speaking of lunch, will you two be staying? It’s a good opportunity,” Mom urged.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to refuse,” Zhuyu said.

“Yes, same for me. There are other matters I must attend to. Perhaps next time,” Tess agreed.

We relocated to the living room. I looked over at Tess, waiting for her to inform me about her reason for coming.

“Tomo, when you have the time, I want you to travel to another dimension. There are only a few more days left before break ends. I wish for you to gain real battle experience,” Tess requested.

“You mean today?” I asked.

“No, I hope within the next few days if possible,” Tess responded.

“How about Friday?” I selected.

“Sure,” Tess replied.

“That girl, is she your cousin?” Zhuyu asked.

“Yeah, she’s staying here until her parents finish their relocation,” I answered.

“I see. That finishes up the business we had with you. Be ready, Tomo,” Zhuyu said.

“Do your best at maintaining your health and getting enough rest,” Tess reminded.

What a weird morning. What should I do now? I had today and tomorrow off. Maybe I should call Chihiro and Yuka. They might want to hang out. Although, I did want to learn more about my cousin. Wait, why not both at the same time?

Five minutes later, Yukie and I sat down at the dining table. Mom made fried rice for lunch, placing the wok in the center, telling us to refill our bowls anytime.

“Yuki, I never thought you would make friends that fast,” Mom brought up.

“Oh, you mean Zhuyu? He’s not exactly a friend, more like an acquaintance,” I said.

“There could be better, but he’s not too bad,” Mom evaluated.

“Chihiro and Yuka are coming by later,” I revealed, not commenting on her statement.

“Okay. I’ll be sure to leave the snacks out,” Mom said.

“Yuki, you sure are popular,” Yukie commented.

“No. I just happened to meet them through one of my friend’s friends,” I disagreed.

An hour later, my friends arrived. I led them upstairs where Yukie looked through a photo album.

“Oh, is this your cousin? She’s really cute,” Chihiro praised.

“Where are you from?” Chihiro questioned my cousin.

“From a small province. It’s the one with all the research buildings,” Yukie replied, showing them a picture on her phone.

“Oh, I’ve heard about that place. It’s a budding academic area. Why did your parents leave?” Yuka said.

“They believed the technology here would assist them more. They travel back and forth if needed,” Yukie explained.

“I see. It must be tough not knowing what’s going to happen. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you if you ever need it!” Chihiro assured her.

“I thank you for your assistance,” Yukie said.

Yukie continued going through the photo album. The latest photos in there were from two to three years ago. This might be a good chance to place some updated ones in.

“Yuki, who is this boy that keeps showing up? Is he your real boyfriend?” Yukie asked, pointing at Ichizen.

“Ah, well, he was a dumbass and an idiot. But, he was a pretty good friend. He got into an accident and died,” I revealed.

“I apologize for bringing up such a difficult issue then, Yuki,” Yukie said, lowering her head slightly.

“There’s no need for that. Anyways, it’s time I actually updated this. Want to help me out?” I asked, pulling open a nearby drawer.

“That sounds really fun! I’m in,” Chihiro replied immediately.

“Organziation is my forte,” Yuka answered.

I pulled out a box of more recent photos from the drawer, dumping them on my table. Everyone sorted through them, selecting the best. Yukie held each photo in the air. Chihiro organized photos with incredible speed, only giving them quick glances. Yuka took her time, inspecting the quality of the photo.

“Yuki, none of these photos contain pictures of the girl from this morning,” Yukie commented.

“I only did get to know them recently. It would be weird if I had photos with her already,” I noted.

“We should take one right now! Yukie would love it too!” Chihiro suggested.

“That’s not a bad idea. I need to find my camera though,” I agreed, crawling over to my desk.

“Found it!” Yuka said, waving it in the air.

It took a few tries but the four of us finally settled on a suitable group shot. It had been awhile since I relaxed this much. I really should enjoy these days more considering what was ahead.

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