Volume 7, Chapter 1-1: Another Zhuyu?

201X Semester I Week 10 Friday

“Yuki, hey!” someone called my name.

I blinked, seeing Ichizen peering into my face. This again, huh? Strange how these situations no longer fazed me. A classroom again? I could never start off in the comforts of home.

“What class is it right now?” I asked, gathering information first.

“It‘s government, but it’s a self-study session since the teacher left. You’ve been spacing out a lot. Something wrong?” Ichizen asked with concern.

It was weird, being in high school again and Ichizen not dead. Still, it felt comforting to know Ichizen was here, even if he was just a construction of my mind.

“I just need more sleep, that’s all,” I replied, reaching for my phone.

“Oh, you’ve been staying up like me and playing games? Everyone does it, you know? No need to worry about it. This guy I’ve been playing online with, goes by the username Nex, feels like we could be great friends in real life,” Ichizen guessed incorrectly.

“That’s not it. By the way, Ichizen, that sandwich incident….?” I inquired.

“Hey, I did nothing wrong, okay! Sandwiches were threatened and thus were defended. Besides, the teacher was a sandwich man, who took care of matters as he should. Those idols haven’t retaliated yet, so I guess it’s fine,” Ichizen revealed.

“You better hope they don’t. I swear, the freaking things you get into,” I said, shaking my head.

After checking the date, it seemed that the sandwich incident occurred two weeks ago. Quite a considerable amount of time. I got through classes and took the bus home. I noticed the group of idol girls, who insulted me last time, on there. They followed me after I got off.

“You!” one of the girls shouted, waving her finger at me.

“Do you have nothing better to do than trail me? If you’re just going to stand there, at least let me pass,” I made a snide comment.

“We haven’t forgiven you for what your friend did. It ruined our entire performance. The fans were so disappointed!” another girl shouted as the group formed a circle around me.

This was getting annoying. Could I use my powers? I glanced down at my hand, but nothing happened. Should I just continue insulting them and hope they give up eventually? Chances of that were pretty slim. I doubt they would let me go, especially after the destruction Ichizen committed on their male counterparts.

A young man wearing a red dress shirt and black striped dress vest approached us. He wore an eye patch over his left eye and had long hair, tied back into a short ponytail. Wait a minute, I knew him. He passed by us without a glance. Two of the girls immediately stood in front of him, blocking his path.

“Hey, don’t ignore us. Don’t you know who we are? Guess you don’t, considering your ugly school badge. What kind of shoddy student are you? We’ll have to make sure you remember our names,” one of the idols said.

He wore black dress pants with light, white stripes. His school ID hung from his belt. Wait, that symbol. I recalled seeing it at end of the sandwich incident. Could it be a coincidence?

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“Look, I really don’t want any trouble. Let me pass,” the young man finally spoke.

He carried a flat, but piercing expression. Zhuyu, it was all there, the way he dressed and even his stare. However, this person carried a more dangerous aura, comparable to Kyoi’s, and looked less than pleased.

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“He~llo! We’re the best school idols you’ll ever get to see. We placed in the top two for the past two years,” one of the girls announced.

“I don’t follow things like that. I apologize if I haven’t heard of you before, but right now I would prefer if you please allow me to get by. That girl over there would appreciate it too,” the man remarked.

“You’re siding with this bi**h? Fine, we’ll just have to show you idols are not all pretty looks and voices! We’ll beat you down right now. Girls, get him. Make sure she watches!” their leader commanded, a joyful expression on her face.

Three idols inched closer to him, while the others restrained me. Zhuyu stood there with a calm expression. As the idols surrounded him, he sidestepped the one on his left. He caught an idol to his right with a neck hold, retrieving his pen from his vest pocket. He twisted open the pen top, revealing a small knife blade. Oh crap, this guy meant business.

“Hey, like I said before, just let me pass. I’ll even forget you were planning to beat up this girl. Leave, now! If you don’t, something bad will happen,” the man emphasized.

“You…. don’t sc-a …. re us at all! You’re…. bluffing,” the idol leader stuttered.

The man sighed and with one swift movement, sliced off the red ribbon in the captive girl’s hair. His eyes were scary. Please don’t say no. I did not want to notify the police, reporting a massacre, because these idols were idiotic enough to not heed his warning.

“Okay! Okay! Enough, we’re backing off. You can have the girl! We never wanted her. It was just all in fun. Hah, hah, we’ll see you then,” the leader spat out words in rapid succession, dashing away.

The rest of her followers booked it too, leaving only me and Zhuyu behind. The man sighed for the third time, retracting his blade. He clipped the pen back into his vest pocket, giving me a small smile.

“Wait!” I called out.

“Look, it’s probably best you forget what you saw,” the man suggested.

“No, that’s not what I wanted to ask. Is your name, Zhuyu, by any chance?” I questioned.

“What? No, it’s not,” the man replied, shaking his head.

“At least tell me your name, since you did kind of save me and all,” I came up with a lame excuse, curious about his name.

“We’ll probably never even meet again. Doesn’t matter,” Zhuyu said.

“Just tell me already,” I insisted.

“Tatsumaki Ryuu. Are you happy? Look, I’ve gotta go. I hope those idol girls or whatever don’t bother you again,” Tatsumaki finally revealed, walking off into the distance.

Of course it wasn’t Zhuyu. Was my mind just creating alternate versions of the people I actually knew? This was a question I definitely needed to ask Shane and Emily.

- my thoughts:
This chapter contains references to a story I wrote for my high school senior project. If you want to learn a little bit more about it, check it out at: https://lanterndragonworks.wordpress.com/other-projects/a-dragons-revolt/ Keep in mind that it's not edited so it might be pretty rough. But I'll get around to it eventually.
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