My father always told me to keep my cards very close to me.
He always worried my reactions where too honest, and that even though I’m smart, I would be taken advantage of. But that sentiment seemed to fade away with time.
‘Good, good. Looks easy to read but actually is holding her cards out of sight, as expected of my daughter.’
‘She really comes after you dear.’ My mother followed with her polished smile. But somehow, when it came out my mother’s mouth, it didn’t sound like a compliment.
From what he said, my reactions were easily misunderstood, because I tend to be lost in thought.
Although I think this face of mine plays a part in that too, despite my honest efforts.
When I told mother my grievances she enthusiastically told me how I could be a perfect wolf in sheep’s clothing, ‘Going from charming to pitiful so easily is amazing.’ She said. Needless to say, she didn’t see the problem at all and would be fine if I upped the fair maiden act to white lotus flower levels. Also needless to say, I was concerned.
Dear father, mother has scary thoughts.
That reminds me, it’s about time I send my parents a letter.
The day had barely started when I was called to the teacher’s office. When I get there that one eccentric teacher tells me to sit.
“So, how has school been going? Do you have anything that worries you?”
So that’s what this is about.
I don’t feel bullied, but it does beg the question.
“Nothing, everything is going along well.”
“Is that so... If you ever feel uncomfortable you can come to me. That’s what teachers are for!”
… Where were you when the heroine was getting bullied?
“Um, so, since she… hum…” The pauses to catch her words, “I understand how foreign being in this school must be, being nervous is completely normal.”
“I’m fine, but I won’t say it isn’t tough.”
“Right, but there’s one more thing…. Well, where to start. Would you be interested in joining the student council?”
… No, spare me.
That never appeared in the game!
“I don’t think I’m right for the job.” I shake my head still in shock.
I can’t be bothered!
“That’s not true at all! The people on the student council are all excellent student, and someone with such broad knowledge of magic would fit right in. Furthermore, other teachers have told me you are very organized, and that you are a good choice when they need help with something.”
“I… still don’t think I’m adequate for it. The new student council was recently formed and they seem to be doing a good job. I don’t think my presence would be needed. ”
The teacher goes quiet for a bit, looking nervous, “Won’t you reconsider?”
“I’m sorry, but thank you for the opportunity.”
Our talk ended up taking my entire break, so afterwards I have to go straight to class.
I should have eaten sooner.
However, even in class, our talk keeps repeating in my head, and the need to analyze its deeper meaning grows stronger.
Entering the student council is no small matter. With something big as this, that hasn’t appeared on the game, I can’t help but be suspicious.
The student council is made only of capture characters, is that the reason for this? Could the world be correcting itself and sending me directly to them?
But something like this never happened.
If not the world, then its people?
Maybe the teachers are the ones that want me to spend time with the characters and resorted to this.
Or someone else entirely?
But what would they gain?
Questions keep popping into my head the more I think.
“Miss Andrews!” The teacher calls to me.
I immediately take my eyes of the ground, “Yes!”
The teacher appears to want to say something but just sighs “Go get a ball, we are starting the next exercise.” And I do as said.
Could they want me close because of my magic type?
It’s not impossible.
But it was then that something hits my face.
I first notice a sharp pain on my nose and a ball bouncing on the ground. After coming back to my senses I put my hands, that grabbed unto my face on reflex, away.
On my hands I see red blood.
I panic a little.
I cover my nose with my hand. My nose really is bleeding.
“Hey!” Tiane, who was the closest to me at the time, is the first to react.
Then the teacher comes in a hurry, “Ah, are you ok?! It seems you only got a nosebleed, thank god. Tiane, take her to the infirmary!”
Teacher, are you setting me up to die?!
Tiane however, and much to my surprise, doesn’t make any retort and promptly leads me the way.
In the infirmary, the doctor is missing, but since it’s just a nosebleed I’m comfortable taking care of it myself. Tiane gives me paper to put on my nose and I clean my face.
“You were so spacy the whole class. It’s good a ball is all you got, do you realize? What were you even doing?”
Her reprehensive and distasteful tone puts me on edge.
“Did you bring me here just to tell me that? It was about something important to me.”
She makes a complicated face, but doesn’t respond.
“If you have something you want of me I wish you would just say it!”
“You…” She slowly starts to lose her composure, “Do you know what happens to people who scream to me like that?”
Could you not?
But despite her threatening words, Tiane looked uncomfortable instead of someone in control of the situation.
“Didn’t think about it!”
“You should! Why I’m I so soft on you? It will get to your head!”
“Ha! Maybe you have come to like me.” I say with a smile
An argument starts to flare up, but in the heat of the moment I don’t care.
“Aah? What is this? This sarcasm… not so kind anymore, huh. Are you finally showing your true colours? I did wonder what goes inside that carefree mind of yours.”
“I’ve got nothing to hide, please don’t project. If you took a wrong assumption about me that’s on you.”
“Humph! But maybe I’m right?” She smirks.
“Do you hate me that much?!”
She doesn’t immediately answers but makes a lost expression I have never seen on her “I don’t know! But because of you I don’t even understand anything anyone on this school is thinking anymore!”
After she pushes these words out, we stop and just sit on the bed that was right beside us.
Words, after said, will stay. That is reality. It’s a serious condition.
Yet, after cooling off I feel a slight urge to laugh.
I do feel great, how mysterious, how stupid.
They do say venting out is good for you.
I genuinely feel like laughing, it’s weird.
“W-What are you laughing about, there’s nothing fu…nny, ha…” Tiane gets influenced by my laughs but tries to fight it off, “Ahaha, pff ha, arg there’s nothing to laught at! Pff.”
Tiane hides her face behind her hands, doing her best to stop laughing, and I fall back on the bed and try to muffle my laughs on the sheets just to remember that at this rate I will start bleeding again.
When I manage to stop laughing I’m already tired and in need for air.
I look at the girl next to me whose face is halfway crying and laughing.
I understand Tiane is dangerous, but right now I’m not afraid of the girl next to me.
What a peculiar feeling, like the calm before a storm maybe.
“Let’s call a truce.”
“Huh, truce?” She gives a dull response to my sudden comment.
“Yes”, I got up and sit straight on the bed, “I’m fine with whatever you think of me, but let’s not go against each other. We are even in the same group, its counterproductive don’t you agree? And a real examination is coming up too.”
Before I get to hear her answer my nose starts bleeding again.
Gah, I had it coming.
Concern appears once again on Tiane’s face as she pinches my nose almost immediately and reproaches me again, but this time something feels different.
“See! I told it wasn’t funny… I dare you to keep laughing!”
I wave her hand away and get up to grab paper to clean myself. Again.
A while after, two people enter the room. For the first time I see the twins side to side. First enters Michael, and then Noah, the later looking visibly annoyed. Once again, I’m confused how the heroine could distinguish them by looks alone, they are identical, with the exception of their eyes.
I remember my nose.
Ah! I don’t want to be seen like this! I hold a clean paper to my nose to hide better.
“What, you are here too?”
“Tiane, it’s been a while. You’re still as beautiful as ever.” Michael addresses Tiane in a flattery tone very characteristic of him, “And the other girl…”He refers to me from across the room, “We have meet before, in the rose garden. Do you still remember me? Huh, did you hurt your face?” He takes a step forward in my direction, but Tiane puts herself in front of him.
“She got a ball to the face, that’s all.”
Tiane blocks his way to me, but I’m stuck wishing she would protect my dignity too.
“Aha, no need to be so defensive, what am I even supposed to do?”
The way he smiles reminds me of my mother for some reason. It’s a pristine smile that I’m sure gets him girls. It looks quite cool on him.
No good, I need more paper.
The placement of that last phrase looks wrong for some reason…
“So, what happened to you two?”
“I hurt my leg.”
“You seem fine.”
“Ah, thank you. It makes me happy you aren’t able to notice. It does hurts though.”
“It was an ugly fall.” Noah continues, “If I were to kick him right now his scream would be proportional to his injury, but please believe his words alone.” He finishes with an inflammatory comment and moves up to me, seemingly with no more interest in that conversation.
“Didn’t you say you weren’t friends?” He asks in a low voice.
“Because of our friendship I’m bleeding again. Shut up.”
“…Are you angry?”
“And are you sullen?”
“Aaa, alright, don’t glare at me like that.” He makes a complicated face, “I won’t ask anymore.”
I keep my head turned to the side so he can’t look at me as I tend to my nose. He doesn’t leave my side, maybe unwilling to go back to his brother, so we spend a while in awkward silence.
“Sophia”, asks Tiane by the door, “Did it stop?”
“Eh? Ah, yeah, it seems so. Are we going?”
“Ok.” And when I get close to her I whisper, “But go with me to the bathroom first.”
I look back to the twins that are left alone in the infirmary room. Those two hate each other. I see them ignoring each other’s presence, being side by side by obligation alone.
It’s rather sad.
“Sir,” A man in black enters a well illuminated office, “We have received a report from the border. The monsters there have been getting even more aggressive lately. I fear we cannot hide this matter from the king anymore.”
The other man, sit in front of the desk, plays with the pen in his hand.
“And how is the experiment coming along?”
“Everything is going according to the expectations, sir.”
“Good.” He puts the pen down, “In time… once the pieces are all set, I will be sure to put then to good use.”