CHAPTER 3 Act 2
During the break, each student was split into their own groups. Despite the fact that they are from various organizations, I can tell that they are all having a good time talking. It's as if they aren't separated by their organization.
Right now, I intend to go to the cafeteria on my own as usual.
Initially, my sister didn't usually prepare my lunchbox since I told her I wanted to try the meals at the cafeteria.
"It's time to go." I mutter as I leave my seat.
During class, we just focused on the test.
Yes, a quick exam was given, but I passed it with flying colors.
To be honest, that was not an exam, but rather a brief quiz to prepare us for the impending midterm examination. Next week, before the forthcoming school vacation, we'll be taking a midterm test.
Teacher Fireil reminded us of the demanding schedule that will take place this month, including the school trip. As a result, it was prudent to plan ahead of time.
Eventually, after I had left the classroom, I went straight to the cafeteria. And just like the other day, the crowd grew rapidly. This atmosphere doesn't bother me, but as I suspected, the whole school population was staring at my back. Giving me an unsteady glimpse.
Looks like they've started noticing me now.
Just like I used to, I ignored the attention and ordered a meal. I did a quick sweep of the area to see where I might locate a suitable seat. However, there was a girl waving at me, trying to get my attention. It's simple to say I recognized her immediately; she was the Secretary of Student Council, Lou Leyand.
"Come here, Mr. Seid!" she says.
I attempt to ignore her call a few times while I turn and look about, but I have no option because there is no vacant seat elsewhere.
There's a typical rule that if you order a meal, you must eat it right here.
"In the end, you can't find a seat, did 'ya? You see, don't decide to ignore me, Mr. Seid."
"Um, is this seat available?"
So, as soon as my thoughts chose to approach her, I asked her if it was acceptable for me to have a seat. Obviously, she wants me to sit here, but I asked her nonetheless, disregarding her words.
"Hey, as I said, don't ignore me."
"Then if you don't mind."
I sat before she caused a scene.
It seems she was pissed off by my actions towards her, but she kept her annoyance to herself.
"I think that's a part of you, Mr. Seid."
"Nothing. In any case, how's your day off?"
Day off? Was she referring to my absence yesterday?
"Ms. Leyand, stop beating around the bush and tell me what's your objective?"
"Uh?" She furrowed her brows, "Pfft... Hahaha..." then chuckled lightly all of a sudden.
"You're as cautious as ever, Mr. Seid; am I being too suspicious?"
"Eh? Oh my, you're really serious with words; despite that, I'm only here to warn you, perhaps..."
"I suppose it's something to do with Organization?"
"Ping-pong! You're correct," she sounds enthusiastically, lightening the atmosphere.
Seriously, what's going on with her today?
"Could you possibly stop being so friendly? I'm aware of Student Council's methods toward the students."
True, sort of. They try to be as pleasant as possible, knowing that all they want to know is if you are a threat or not.
"Hoh? You're making me a little uncomfortable," she adds, making a straight face, "Regardless, Student Council usually does this type of stuff, you know what it means; especially for those new to our school."
Essentially, they always remind new students to fulfill their obligations as blue bloods. To be specific, they want you to decide which side you are on.
"What if I claim I didn't change my intentions then?"
My food nearly finished as I take an another bite.
"I don't have any plans to join any of them, unless I have to."
"What can I say? Those are Mr. Seid's actions, not mine, but allow me to give you some advice."
"What is it?"
"Didn't these stares make you feel anything?"
"Hm," I observe the area without moving my head, "There's nothing in particular."
Apparently, all of their attention is clearly and very trudgingly focused on us. And I know she noticed it too.
"You don't feel anything, yet they're ostracizing you."
"As it turns out..."
It's staggering, to say the least.
"Say," as she grabs my attention and asks, "there was the approaching school trip, right?"
Our school excursion will take place two weeks prior from now.
"The question for you is, are you prepared for anything that might happen?" she remarked, making a taunting grimace.
I fell silent for a moment, thinking about her reasoning.
That looks like a warning than an advice.
When I look back today, I notice that they began to avoid me in the first place. Therefore, I thought that there's something off.
"It's none of your business anyway."
"Hmm, you are too relaxed with this, Mr. Seid. Well then, please pardon me for wasting your time," she said as she walked away from me after a brief conversation.
In the end, she's just an annoying busybody.
After she had left, I completed my meal and tried to go back to class as soon as possible.
But I was temporarily halted at some point.
"You're behaving arrogant this time, you jerk!"
A strong female voice could be heard coming from the corner stairwell.
This is not the building where my class is, but you must pass through it before entering the following building, which is where you can find my class.
Actually, this location is rather secluded.
"What are you doing?" A guy popped up and asked me a question from behind.
I can see that this will be a terrible event.
I was discovered before I could flee. I was going to switch routes, but this was an unlucky incident.
There are several ways to escape this situation.
Pretending I was passing through here by chance was the greatest option.
"Wait a sec, you're the tranferee student, right?" He exclaimed.
And because of that, my bad luck has swiftly escalated.
I didn't respond because many people were peering at me right now.
Definitely, they're eyes are accusing me of being suspiscious.
If I'm not mistaken, there were four females and a guy, plus the man who saw me, for a total of six people here; and they've been up to something fascinating.
Among them was a female student who appeared to be being harrased, perhaps by these people.
She was kneeling on the floor, and her eyes squinting in anguish.
Specifically, they've beaten this female student for fun, I suppose.
That person seems weak and powerless, and she couldn't do anything about her attackers.
What a tragic sight.
Seemingly, her bruises and open wounds on her head allowed the blood to pour across her whole face. This implies that they do this, not just this time, but frequently. Her cheeks are swollen, and her fingers appear to be fractured.
Even though she was kneeling, she couldn't keep her balance since she was leaning on the wall.
Because we had been heard, I chose to ignore these folks and walk away as if I hadn't noticed them. This has absolutely nothing to do with me.
"Hey, are you coming to help this girl?" A certain female, who appears to be the leader, asks.
Remarkably, they don't look panicked seeing someone caught them by accident.
"Help? I don't know this person, and I don't owe her anything, so why should I?"
In some ways, I'm not entirely incorrect. Is it necessary for me to help a stranger? If I'm going to protect her, I'm dragging my own life with me.
"What? Hahaha," she scoffed, "What an apathetic person you are."
"Not really, I just look to see if I can get something out of it."
"I see. Um hey, you're the new student, right?"
Now I'm positive that they all recognized me. Though...
"I don't have time to talk to all of you right now since the class is about to begin."
To get out of this, I had to reason with them.
"Looks like it? Uh, please don't mention this to others, okay?" she added pleasantly, wearing a fake smile on her face.
"I don't see why I should. You definitely have pleasure playing with her, huh?" I turned around and took a step as I try to escape.
However, they had no intention of releasing me.
Promptly, they threw me a bag that belonged to the female they had thrashed. Nonetheless, their aim is poor because it didn't land on me. Though it made me believe it was silly, like it was child's play.
Due to their actions, I initially stopped.
"Do you think you'll be able to go without our permission?" said the other female student.
"Most likely," I replied.
"Ha! What a joke. The rumors about you are certainly foolish in some ways, considering you're fleeing? We are aware that you defeated Steve, but it was only a normal game."
Definitely, it was all a game, after all.
"Um, may I ask why you do these things?" I asked, turning my head back slightly to them.
"Huh, what do you mean that kind of thing? Ah, this?" The female leader immediately ordered the two males to kick the harassed girl.
And, with glee on their faces, they mercilessly kicked that poor student multiple times.
I'm watching them as the girl tried to resist the pain. I can hear some cracking sounds and the blood splatters along with their kicks. The most notable thing is that the girl didn't shout for help.
"Do you want to help her now, Mr. New Student?"
"Help, then what? That didn't even respond to my question."
"Based on your reaction, you're not inclined to help her, are you?" she asks, tilting her head while making a bland expression, "Well, you're interesting!"
Soon enough, they stopped gradually after getting an instruction from that woman.
"To answer your question, nothing special, it's just fun," she smirked as she leaned down and grabbed the girl's hair.
All of them suddenly grinned and laughed as if they were mad—no, they were nuts.
"How do you feel seeing this, Mr. Transferred Student?"
"Feel? I'm not sure, but from the sight of her, I'd assume that was excruciating."
"You don't feel sorry for this girl, do you?" She grinned and slowly moved closer to me, "Say, I can tell you have excellent looks too; if you don't mind, can we have a long chat after this?"
I remained silent while closely examining her. She was well aware of her womanly wiles, and she was serious about them. Having said that, I assume she did this to everyone she met. Except that this approach does not appeal to me.
She's slowly putting her hands on my cheeks and tucking her body into me.
However, I easily grab her hand and push her against the wall.
While gripping her hand, I was surprised at how calm she was.
However, her group seemed shocked, and of course, they planned to pursue me, but she instantly said to them, "Don't worry, I'll handle this."
They are extremely carefree. Why don't they try to stop me?
These people, on the other hand, are not from my class. Based on their appearance, I believe they are not new to our school and are in the same grade as myself.
"Are you attempting to seduce me?"
"Jeez, you're an aggressive type, aren't you, Mister? Anyway, do you like it?"
"Clearly, it's pain in the ass; you're annoying piece of trash."
"Oh my, you're pissed off?" she smiled seductively, closing her face in mine, "then can you let me go, it hurts you know?"
Instead of listening to her plea, I tightened my hold and tried to be as nasty as necessary. I'd like her to feel threatened to be exact.
Based on my observations, she's not the sort of female that shows weaknesses; plainly, she likes to show off her strength to the weak.
Despite the fact that she only knew me via hearsay, she didn't hesitate to approach the perilous edge.
Nonetheless, I'm not weak enough to fall for her ruse.
"Get off on me, geez... it's starting to... -argh... -ugh"
"What are you doing man!"
"Stop him, you two idiots," yelled the other female on their side.
So they're still trying to hurt me since I'm alone?
Accordingly, the two guys charge towards me, but before they can do anything, someone comes out, or should I say, speaks out of nowhere.
"What are you doing here, Mr. Seid? Why are you with this gang of delinquents?"
As she approached, I stayed passive.
She was the one I met today before I went to my class. She should have brought her companion, but I don't see her with him right now.
In the eyes of others, her look is fairly imposing, and her remarks are amiably taunting. She has a personality that is similar to Zei's, yet she thinks differently.
"Why are you not responding? And you bunch of fools, what are you up to?" she said.
I'm not sure what she was doing here. It's rather odd that I can hardly hear her footsteps.
"Ah, Mr. Seid, can you let go of that filthy woman?"
Her eyes fixed on me. I didn't say anything. But, having squandered a lot of time here, I let this woman go.
"U-Uhm Ms. Auguron..."
As I let go, this girl was quivering in terror, obviously indicating that the newly arrived strange woman was not a regular student.
"What?" She said to her, having a scrutiny stare.
Even after approaching us, I have the impression she is one of the representatives.
"Erm Ms. Aug... ron... this... this thing is..."
"Either way, I don't see anything wrong here." She stridently remark to the female leader of the group.
Technically, they were bluffing. They were acting ignorant in this incident. And that woman was oblivious to the entire situation, even the harassment made by these people.
"O-Of course Ms. Auguron... there's nothing unpleasant here, right everyone?" the guy said.
"Ah, don't speak if you aren't the one I'm asking. Anyway, I don't want to see all of you, so hurry up and get to your class."
"Y-Yes," they said in unison.
After they all fled, the only people left were myself, that woman and the bullied female student.
"Sigh, now what to do in this case."
She ponders with a slight sigh.
Ignoring all of this, I also intended to return to my class because this no longer concerned me.
"Are you the kind of guy who doesn't talk naturally, Mr. Seid?"
"Hm?" I paused for a moment and looked at that woman, "What do you want? Do you want me to thank you? I don't believe I needed your aid."
"No, it's not that. But I'm interested in what you're doing here. I'd want you to explain."
"Seems like this was purely coincidental, huh?" I remarked sarcastically.
"Yeah, I was walking by and happened to see you in this scene."
"It's not necessary for you to know, but I was also passing by here."
I'm speaking truthfully because she gave me a completely honest response.
"I'm leaving now. Take care." I added.
Simply put, I disliked taking responsibility in this situation, so I went ahead of her.
"Mr. Seid, I thought you were here to see her?"
I came to a complete halt and replied to her, "I'll go ahead; I'm a trustworthy guy, so you can rest assured that this matter will remain here."
In truth, I'm uninterested in this.
"Are you saying you're ignoring her?"
"Do I need to say it?"
"I believe you'll respond yes; well, since there's nothing wrong here, I'll go ahead as well."
And she begins walking with me while ignoring the poor girl.
I was astounded by her actions as I was puzzled by them.
"Why are you still standing there? The class was about to start, right?"
Though she asks, I didn't answer her.
"What? Didn't you realize the situation, Mr. Seid? As I said, I didn't catch them in the act, so there's nothing wrong; in fact, I saw you hurting that filthy woman. Hm, I wonder if I need to report you to the higher-ups about this?"
I still haven't said a single thing, and I'm still taken aback by this.
What exactly is this facade? Is she blatantly unconcerned with the girl, as I am? Or maybe there's more to it.
"No, probably I keep this matter alone."
"Um, I don't know what you mean, but certainly you can see her state, right?" I asked.
"Yeah, so what?"
Hold on. If I analyze the situation, is this precisely what the Student Council had said to me?
"Um, are you worried about her, Mr. Seid?"
"Tell you, I assume you don't have an organization?" I abruptly asked the harassed student.
She nodded in response.
"Thought so. How come?" I added.
"T-They don't want me in."
Evidently, she was struggling in her speech.
"Want you in?"
Basically, she didn't get an approval in joining the organization?
Hmm... This event is now clear to me.
This girl was abused since she did not belong to any organizations.
If I remember correctly, the Student Council had indirectly told me this the day before.
But what about the reports, though? Did they make certain that the students would be able to live normally here?
"This school was terrible, huh," I murmured.
"Hoh? I think you understand your situation now, Mr. Seid."
The strange woman mockingly approached me.
"Then, Mr. Seid, I don't want to talk to you right now, but like I said, you may come and visit us after class."
"I'm sorry, but I will refuse."
"Woah, you're quite a hasty person. Well, that's to be expected. We'll still wait for you."
She began to walk away, but she stopped at some point.
"Mr. Seid, you may call me Esper, it's a pleasure to meet you," she said as her shadows completely disappeared.
I'm not sure why these organizations are so obsessed in recruiting me while other people, like this woman, are struggling to join.
Is there a difference?
This poor woman, I can't relate to her in her current state, and I don't know what she's going through.
Regardless, it's not my problem to begin.
"Um," she glanced at me and stared into my eyes.
Since I had no intention of helping her, I turned around and ignored her completely and went ahead to my class.
However, she abruptly began to speak of her own volition, "T-Thank you."
Two words resound vividly in my ears.
But I wonder...
"Why? Why are you thanking me?"
I'm impressed she's still able to speak after such harassment.
Her cheeks are swollen, yet she attempts to talk to me.
From the start, I didn't do anything to her, so I'm confused.
"If I presume," I returned my gaze to her, "You were instantaneously relieved when I unexpectedly got here? Though I didn't do anything to you and it's indirect, isn't it the likely scenario why you're thanking me?"
"Um, y-yeah. Even a bit, I feel i-indebted to you... o-once again, t-thanks for coming here."
"To be honest, it's kinda strange to thank me in the first place. Anyway, why are you still insistent on attending this school?"
"Just a piece of advice; instead of coming to this school and show the people how pathetic you are, why not just quit? After all, you know what's going to happen to you if you persist. If you're sick of it, just leave. In the end, you're causing a lot of troubles."
To be frank, this sort of student is a nuisance. They're pitiful.
"...Y-You're right. I'm pathetic in this way. B-But I'm not as good as y-you think. S-So this will be my p-penance."
"Hm? Punishment, you say?"
"To be honest, I owe them a lot."
"Y-You see, I was k-kicked out of the o-organization, and s-since then, I-I've apparently b-been bullied by more than j-just those guys."
"Kicked out, huh? Um, I'm not sure what you did in the past, but it doesn't concern me; now, excuse myself."
Hearing about her background won't get us anywhere, and I'm not interested in other people's lives.
She was surprised by my quick avoidance, but she immediately smiled and said her final words to me, "Uh, Mr. Seid, t-thank you once again."
Subsequently, I left the area immediately.
After that incident, I didn't get a chance to learn her name in the end.
Little did I know, she'd already gone.