Yo, just a little omake re-post so that all of you don't think I'm dead or something.
I will not fall to the tyranny of the disclaimer!
-The Return to My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, as Expected, Doesn't Go as Expected: Part 2: My Everyday School Life has Become More Complicated than It Already Was-
What exactly was my relationship with the adventurer who turned everyday waitress after single-handedly destroying a familia? Even after having known the devil woman for almost three years, I honestly still didn't know how to answer to that question.
Were the two of us friends? I don't know. Maybe?
I guess someone, looking at our relationship from an outside perspective, could call us friends given how we've interacted with one another up to this point, but I don't know if I myself could really say the same.
Yeah, I cared about what happened to her. If she and Bell were to trade places during the closing moments of their encounter with Asura, I'd probably go through the same lengths to make sure she came out safe, but would she do the same for me if I were in the same position?
All past evidence pointed towards that being the case, but that really didn't mean much in the long run. I didn't know a single thing about what her motives were. Hell, for all I knew, my earlier assumptions about the elf being a spy could still turn out to be true and she just happened to be the best actor in Orario. One never really knew with a hack like Zaimokuza at the helm of a project.
That being said, the point is that, I don't know what she, Ryuu Lyon, really felt about me and, for as long as there was still sense in my brain, I'd never claim to know.
All that I really knew was that I cared about her and that there was strong evidence pointing towards her feeling the same way towards me. Nothing more, nothing less, and I'd be damned if I were to allow myself to make assumptions again.
People's actions don't always reflect what they truly felt.
That was a lesson I learned a long time ago.
Just because Lyon acted a certain way towards me didn't mean—
"…I'm… I'm so relieved."
Dammit… I really wish I had brought her somewhere more private. Right now, the two of us were standing just outside my old high school classroom–the only thing keeping my old classmates from seeing all that we were doing being the thin wall that separated room from hall.
Definitely not the most ideal time or place to have a conversation like the one that I knew was coming, but nonetheless, it was a conversation I knew we needed to have at some point… Just not now.
"Lyon…" So, that's why, when I closed the distance between us and purposefully put my left hand onto her shoulder, squeezing it gently, I tried to keep it from happening. "…look, I know that you probably have a lot of questions you want to—"
Fortunately, it seemed like the two of us were on the same page with one another in regards to that, just not the same frequency.
"Don't. Just…don't talk." She didn't want to talk about what happened either, but she very clearly didn't want to for reasons different to my own. My want was borne of a need to mitigate damage and hers was borne from flat out need. "Please."
Just like how it was arrogant of me to mistake Orimoto's nice girl act as genuine care for me back in middle school, I was being arrogant right now in assuming that Lyon, despite all that she's done to prove otherwise, didn't care about me.
The bags under her eyes should've told me that. The way she kept trying to steal glances down at my left arm should've told me that. The way her breathing caught the instant she saw me should've told me that. All of those things should've told me that and yet, I still managed to ignore them to further my own cause… Dammit. I'm such an idiot.
"Alright." That word comes out my mouth much like how I imagined a steel chair would go through a wood chipper. The delivery wasn't smooth by any means, nor did it get through to the other side without an extreme amount of effort on my part, but it went through in the end and that's all I really cared about. Fuck trying to sound smooth in a situation like this. "I'm sorry, Lyon."
What was I apologizing for? Was it for even letting the thought of her not caring about me slip into my mind? Was it because I had somehow managed to get her dragged into all of this dimension-jumping bullshit? Truth be told, I don't really know. Actually, it was probably both of those—
"Ahem. Hikigaya, Lyon-san, if the two of you are finished…" The sound of my old homeroom teacher calling out to us breaks the both of us from our stupors, "…we still have a class to get to."
Oi, Hiratsuka-sensei… Are you really that desperate to seem like the cool sensei character? Being a member of that trope myself, I know how fun it is to burst in suddenly and ruin the atmosphere of a scene, but that only applies when the tone is the deathly sort of serious, like when the teacher suddenly gets kidnapped. When it's the melodramatic kind, people tend to get pissed. Me and the person next to me, being case in point.
Truly, this shows how incompetent of a teacher you are. I mean, instead of making sure the all the kids in the classroom are behaving, you're out here being all insensitive. I can even hear someone running inside the classroom! So, stop smirking at me and do your job, woman!
If I was remembering things correctly, I always found every class other than literature to be boring - so boring that I would always have to focus my mind on other things just to get by. Be it glancing around at the others sitting around me, the wall next to me, or the darkness that was created when my arms, desk, and head all joined forces with one another.
Now, even though I had a skill that allowed me to focus on something without fail, I still had to keep my mind preoccupied with other things to keep myself from getting bored. The real only difference was now, I could focus on the lesson and whatever I was distracting myself with at the same time.
So, as Hiratsuka-sensei gave her lecture to the class, I was able to take notes on what was coming out from her mouth, while also letting my mind wander off towards my current situation. To be a bit more specific, I was trying to keep my mind focused on figuring out how I could summon the almighty deity that saw it fit to fuck with Lyon by dragging her into this dimension-switching bullshit, and all the ways I could wrap my hands around their throats and strangle them. Unfortunately however, there was something in my classroom kept distracting me from all my fantasies.
For three years, I had lived in Orario – a place where you could literally be stabbed in the back at any moment. So, to keep that from happening, I quickly got myself into the habit of monitoring any whispering going on around me for any sort of mention. Now, such a habit might be useful in a place as dangerous and volatile as Orario, but not so much in a high school setting, where the only whispers that are uttered are all about everyday, mundane garbage I could care less about.
The moment anyone opened their mouths to say anything, my skill forced my mind to latch onto it immediately. The fact that most of them were about a me and certain (former) elf were the subject in all of them didn't help keep my focus off them at all.
All of them, and I really did mean 'all of them', were about our relationship with one another. Seriously, do none of you people have anything better to whisper under your breaths about? Are all your lives that empty and uneventful?
Wait, a minute, of course that's the case! This is pretty much all their lives are. I can't forget that they're all just high school students, after all. The most interesting thing that's ever happened to them up until this point is probably finally being able to talk to the cute boy/girl they liked, without prematurely pissing their pants, or what kind of ice cream they're going to get after class lets out – chocolate, double chocolate, or choco (whatever the fuck that is) – or some other mundane garbage.
Compared to the life of a person who's spent the last three years killing monsters for a living – a person like myself – it made sense that what would catch their attention, wouldn't seem worth mentioning. Ah, good job brain! You've just helped make your own existence a little bit more bearable!
Finally, as if in response to my prayers, the bell signaling the start of lunch break sounded through the still air of the classroom and the modern Japanese literature teacher with a fear of being alone, went about dismissing the class. Yeah, yeah, I get it. There's an assignment you want done by some allotted time. I jotted all the details down earlier, when you first started talking about it at the start of class. Could you hurry it up a little, woman? Unlike the rest of the plebeian, no-life having children sitting around me (lol), I still have things I need to get to, like a painfully awkward, melodramatic conversation with a person from another universe!
If some people were really dense enough to hear the words 'homework assignment' and not immediately think it was something worth making note of, then that's their fucking problem! Not mine! Throw them to the wolves! No, slather them with bacon fat and then throw them to the wolves! Show them no mercy! School is a place meant to teach kids how to live in the outside world! So, quit it with all the coddling and let me leave already!
Bouncing my leg up and down faster than Tiona Hiryute riding a pogo stick, in the middle of a sugar rush, I impatiently watched as my teacher concluded whatever in the damn hell she was talking about and then promptly leave the room, leaving the class to its own devices for the next thirty or so minutes.
Okay, now that she's finally gone, it's time to—
I nearly jump out of my seat when I hear the distinct sound of something really, really hard slam into the hollow wood of a high school desk come from directly behind me. Thankfully, my first ever skill allowed me the awareness to realize my current surroundings and keep from immediately jumping into battle-ready mode.
Turning around, I find a peculiar sight.
As I've stated earlier, I didn't know a lot about Ryuu Lyon. I did, however, know for certain that she was a level 4 adventurer. Now, as my life up until now has probably made very clear, one doesn't get to just be one of those. It takes having an iron-cast fortitude to get to.
So, that's why I was surprised to see Ryuu Lyon with her head pressed up against the surface of her desk – the desk directly behind my own might I add (thanks Japanese school seating system!) – her body completely limp. If I was still in Orario, I might be tempted to compare the scene to something from an anime, but since I wasn't in that place anymore, I really couldn't do that anymore unfortunately.
"Lyon-san?!" The concerned cry of one of my female classmates rings through the air, but I'm up out of my seat and by the (former) elf's side long before then. Not to say that I was actually concerned about the woman's health — she was a level 4, after all — but the bags underneath her eyes meant something and considering all the new information that was probably thrown her way today, I could tell that her brain had finally decided to give out on her.
Grabbing her shoulder and shaking gently, I ask in a low whisper, "Oi, Lyon, snap out of it. I thought your kind were supposed to be more cultured than I am. You're causing a scene, y'know."
It seemed that was enough to shake her out of her stupor as she turned her attention, and head, my way before slowly raising her eyes to meet my own. Oi. Could you stop that? I'm trying to scold you here, and that's pretty hard when you suddenly decide to act all cutesy like that.
"My apologies, Hikigaya-kun." The moment those words left her mouth, I knew that I was going to be getting out of this classroom without a fight. "Did I embarrass you? I was always under the impression that you cared not about for the opinions of other people. To think that you were actually always so thin-skinned underneath that cold expression of yours."
"Ha? You're figuring out that I'm embarrassed to be around you now? Woman, you seriously can't be that dense. I already knew that you could be an idiot at times, but I never thought that you could be this much of one."
"Resorting to attacking my intelligence level now, Hikigaya-kun? You must be really desperate for a defense if that's all you can muster in retaliation."
"Couldn't I say the same for you though, Lyon-chan? Isn't the pointing out of a lack of defense, the biggest lack of defense of them all? Did you really think that you'd be able to run by that by me unnoticed? Did you suddenly forget that I'm much smarter than you'll ever be?"
"Back to calling me an idiot then? With the amount of times you've called me that up until this point, I'm beginning to wonder if you're just very insecure of your own level of intelligence and are just calling me that to feel better about yourself."
"No, I call you an idiot because you are one. Stop throwing around your own twisted logic around as if it's fact, woman."
"That's certainly rich coming from you of all people, Hikigaya-kun. Must I remind you of all the countless times I've heard you do the same? Please, before you speak on anyone else's shortcomings, do me a favor and learn from you own."
"Oi, could you stop trying to throw my insults back at me? You and I both know that you're nowhere near smart enough to—"
"—U-um, Hikki?" My eyes blink rapidly as I hear the sound of Yui Yuigahama's voice calling out to me. Just then do I realize my current position and the lack of space between I and a certain (former) elf, who had stood up from her chair at some point. We weren't exactly standing chest to chest, but we were the closest thing to it. Hell, I was basically just standing over her at this point.
"Ah, Yuigahama?" As I say that, I turn towards the pink-haired airhead in question, making sure to make a step's length distance between the blonde and I after I do so.
"A-ah, s-sorry, am I i-interrupting something?" Huh? Why in the world is this social butterfly acting so awkward? Did something between now and the last time I spoke to you that made you act this way, Yuigahama-san?
"Um…" I glance over my shoulder at the former waitress who I was conversing with prior and find her glaring at my old clubmate. "No, not really." The hairs on the back of my neck bristle when I say that. Oi, stop it! I get that you don't like being so easily dismissed, but that kind of glare is going too far! "What is it?"
"A-ah, I wanted to know if you were coming to club today," Yuigahama asked, letting out an awkward chuckle as she reached her hand up to scratch the back of her head. I could immediately tell that wasn't the question she really wanted to ask. "I know that Hiratsuka-sensei said that you were supposed to help the Lyon-san, but…" Ah, right. I was supposed to give Lyon a tour of Sobu once classes ended. Nearly forgot. "But I thought it'd be nice to be together… y'know?" She held her hands behind her back and glanced down at the floor bashfully. "After what happened…"
Ah, right. That. I can't help but avert my gaze from the airhead in front of me when the memory is forced back to the forefront of my mind. To be perfectly honest, I haven't actually thought about that moment in years. One really didn't have time to reminisce about past events when they were busy scrounging up a living/eventual fortune.
If I'm remembering things correctly, then on Valentine's Day weekend, Yukinoshita, Yuigahama and I went out a 'date' together, which culminated into a scene where the two basically confessed that they had feelings for me. They didn't do so outright, but anyone with a brain could tell what they were trying to get at. We basically all agreed that we'd deal with anything that came our way, even if it ended up hurting us in the end.
"Yeah." I nod my head as I say that and the air-head's face lit up with a smile the moment I finished saying those words, which caused a small smile of my own to grow on my lips. "I'll try to come by if I can."
"Oh, okay then, I'll see you later Hikki!" she exclaimed back in response happily, before running back to her usual clique, who were all looking my way curiously. Oi, the hell are you riajuus looking at? I didn't do any—
Feeling a sudden chill run down the spine of my back, I turn my head and glance back over my shoulder towards the (former) waitress, and find her glaring at me, or rather, past me towards said group of people. Um… Hey, Lyon, why are you glaring at those perfectly normal, riajuu school children like they were all monsters from the dungeon? Could you stop? I know that I joke about having them blow up, but I don't actually want them dead.
"Um… Lyon?" I call out to her in the most brusque tone I can manage, doing so in hopes of having her refocus her ire towards me.
"'Hi-kki?'" The blonde (former) elf repeated under her breath slowly, before turning her gaze back at me with her head tilted to the side. "Hachiman." Despite it being winter, I could feel a bead of sweat run down the side of my forehead. Lyon, why are you suddenly calling me by my given name? "Why did she call you that?"
Not knowing how to respond, or rather, being too terrified of the level 4 adventurer before me to, I simply stand there completely still and completely silent.
Eventually, the woman let out a sigh and shook her head disbelievingly, crossing her arms over her chest, which caused a reaction that I dare not describe even mentally, as I didn't have a death wish. "Earlier, you said that you would answer any questions that I have, right?" I nod back hesitantly. "Then take me somewhere private. Now, is a better time than ever."
Lyon walks off towards the door before I can answer, which prompts an exasperated sigh from me. This is going to be a long day.
Shoving my hands deep into my pockets, I move to follow her out, all the while feeling the pitying stares of the rest of my classmates. Oi, I appreciate the sentiment, but all of you hurry up and get your own lives? Stop sticking your noses where they don't belong. I'm a grown ass man, dammit! I can handle something like a woman who's pissed off at me, even if I have no idea what exactly she's pissed off at me for!
As I think that, I wonder who I'm trying to convince — them or myself.
Oh, who am I kidding? The answer was obviously the latter.
If I had to pick one thing from my world that I missed the most, excluding Komachi of course, MAX Coffee would definitely be that thing. Fuck any friends and family – again, except for Komachi (and also Totsuka)! MAX Coffee was always there for me! Whenever I needed another boost of energy to get me through the day, I could count on this yellow-and-black can of sugar and condensed milk with coffee mixed in to lift my spirits!
Oh, how I've missed you and you're sickeningly sweet taste, my dear MAX coffee! After all of these years of separation, I've finally returned to Chiba, so please, my dear, liberate my tongue from the everyday bitterness of this mundane existence!
"Um… Hikigaya-kun?" A (former) elf calling out to me breaks me out of my reverie, something I don't appreciate in the slightest. Oi, woman! Can't you see that I'm trying to have a moment here! Stop cutting in! You already had yours this morning! "What exactly is… that?"
Not knowing how to respond to the question being posed to me, I simply blink at the woman in front of me, before I suddenly remember where aforementioned woman came from. "Oh, this?" I ask, holding the can in my left hand a little higher in the air so she could get a better look at it. "This is a can of pre-prepared coffee." Balling my free hand into a fist, I use it to gesture towards the vending machine that I got it out of by lightly tapping on its clear plastic window with my knuckles. "This right here is what we call a 'vending machine'. Whoever owns it, typically it's whoever owns the land it sits on, pays to keep it stocked with a select variety of items and people in turn put money inside of it to get those items – just like how I did with this can."
The moment I got finished with my explanation, I began to wonder if what I said really registered with Lyon as she blinked at me before her head suddenly began to act as if it was on a swivel, constantly shifting between myself and aforementioned box of assorted soft drinks and canned coffees.
Eventually, the (former) waitress began to nod her head in understanding - a gesture that I didn't believe one bit, but I decided to shove it to back of my mind. The two of us had a lot more important things to discuss than the intricacies of how a vending machine worked. Besides, even I, someone who has spent most his entire life with the damn things around every corner, barely understood how they worked.
Sure, I may know the basics of how it operated, but that was effectively it. I didn't know a single thing about how the technology inside of it worked to make sure that my money eventually turned into a can of MAX coffee. That's the kind of stuff other people are paid to know so that I – the everyday, working class citizen – wouldn't have to.
"So, about what you wanted to ask me…" I trail off as I subconsciously lean against the vending machine next to me, taking a long sip of my MAX after doing so. Damn you, my time in Orario! You've made me so used to playing the mysterious sensei character that I physically can't keep myself from acting to my trope, despite being back in the real world! Do you even know cringey I must look to other people right now?! Fortunately, I had brought Lyon to the one vending machine in the school that I knew got the least business (the one that was closest to the spot in which I'd usually eat my lunch), so no one would be able to see me do so. "We're completely alone right now."
If I was talking to anybody else, I'd be concerned that the words that just came out from my mouth would be misconstrued to mean something else. Thankfully, I was talking to someone who absolutely loathed me and my existence, and had no such inclinations to do so like a certain, other elf I knew of – whose mind was so addled with trashy romantic novels, that I was sure her first thought would be something equally as trashy, which would then prompt her to call me a pervert or something.
Ah… The actions of a stuffy, secretly perverted himedere-type were so easy to call. I'm going to be miss being able to use that to my advantage to whenever we'd start verbally beating each other down. Now that I'm back to actually dealing with real life people and not trope-embodiments with, well, bodies, I'm going to have to start thinking about what I'm going to say again. Dammit. All my genre-savviness meant nothing now!
"Ah, right." With a nod, Lyon cupped her chin and entered a state of what I had to assume was thought, before casting her gaze to the area around her. After what I counted to be five seconds of aimless looking around, her deep blue eyes found me and her lips began to move once again, "Where exactly are we? How did we get here?"
"One moment I was by your bedside, taking care of you while you remained unconscious from your battle with the monster rex in Rivira and the next…" As she trails off, I can't help but raise the can in my hand to my lips and take sip out of it, as my shoulders suddenly started to feel much heavier than I remembered. Huh. That's odd. Last I checked, my school uniform wasn't enchanted with a limiter. Why does it suddenly feel so heavy? "…I wake up on the ground, here in front of this school. The only two things in my mind being that I needed to find you and a set of instructions I needed to follow if I wanted to do so."
"Lyon…" My mouth, being moved by the sort of empathy that can only be borne by having been in the same shoes as someone going through something terrible, acted on its own without thinking of what it should say after it, leaving me with all of her attention and nothing to say after it. Agh! What the hell are you hesitating for? You have all the answers! You could just explain to her what's going on and that'd be it! Man up and do it already! "I… This… Why you're here right now… It's all my fault. I'm sorry."
Ah, so that's it then? That's why you're hesitating? You feel responsible for dragging her into a mess that she had no part being in and causing within her all of the same emotions that you experienced those three years ago? That's bull and you know it! You know what'll really make her feel better about what's going on? Knowing that you understand what's going on and that the two of you aren't in a world that both of you have zero understanding about! Stop acting all melodramatic and talk to her so the two of you can come up with a solution! Don't let this real-life situation, with real-life people play out like a scene from a piece of work that can't create a natural conflict! You're better than that!
"Hikigaya-kun, what do you—?"
"—Do you remember how I always said that I was never originally from Orario?" There we go! Sheesh! You'd think the emotional side of a twenty year old man would be more to the point! "That I was from somewhere far, far away?"
The (former) elf blinked at me and I swear that I could see the very moment that she was able to put one and two together. "You… You're from here?" I nod my head. "So, that means…"
"Yeah… Again, I'm sorry."
For a while, silence reigned supreme between the both of us. Neither of us spoke. I did so because my emotional side was too guilt-ridden to allow our body to do so. I assumed that Lyon went quiet because she was still trying to figure out what all of that meant. That, or just flat out didn't know how to respond. It's not everyday when someone you've known for near three years suddenly declares that they're from an entirely different universe, after all. I could understand her being hesitant, or just too overwhelmed by everything to speak.
No matter how I saw them, the people in Orario still had feelings. They had hopes and dreams they wanted to fulfill; people they cared about and wanted to protect; and most importantly, no matter the circumstance, they had lives that they didn't want to be taken away from them with no explanation.
I know what it was like to be in her shoes, to have your entire life be ripped away from you without any sort of explanation, so I can't help but understand why the situation is playing out like it is. This wasn't borne from melodrama. No, this was completely and utterly human, to be expected – anyone in the same shoes, no matter how hardened, would react similarly.
"Hachiman…" At some point, Lyon had removed herself from directly in front of me and situated herself to my left, taking a page from my book and leaning her back against the faux glass display of the vending machine. "It's alright. I don't blame you for this."
"…Thank you, Ryuu."
Hey, look at that. For once, you actually managed to make a situation better than it was before, my emotional-side. Good job!
After what happened between Lyon and I during lunch break, the rest of my classes came and went smoothly as I remember, once again ending with a certain (former) elf slamming her forehead hard into her desk due to information overload. Having seen her behave in such a way already, I'm wasn't quick to get up and go check her condition. She was a grown woman, after all. A grown woman who used to go be a level-4 adventurer.
Of course, the rest of my classmates, not knowing this fact, didn't think the same way as I did and rushed to her side to provide aid. Unsurprisingly, a fair amount of them were male. Pft! What idiots! Are all you so blinded by your hormones that you don't realize that the tree you're barking up isn't even a tree? It's a goddamn cactus! Get away now while you still can!
"Wow, you're friend over there sure got real popular didn't she, Hikki?" If I was my old self, I probably would've said something along the lines of 'suddenly hearing Yuigahama's voice made me jump a little', or whatever, but I wasn't my old self. Far from it. I had noticed her approach long before she was even halfway to my desk. One of the perks of Conscientia Strennessum and being able to be take stock of every little thing that went on around me, all at once, I suppose. "Um… Hey, wait! Aren't you supposed to be giving her a tour—"
"—Ah, that's right isn't it, Hikigaya-kun?" Alright, now that made me jump in my seat a little. Seriously, woman?! I know that you're a level-4, but how the hell can you move from a desk surrounded on all sides by people, to my side without making a single noise? Are you just that naturally quiet or are my ears already beginning to fail on me at the age of twenty? "You are supposed to be doing that, aren't you? How about, for once in your life, you stop being your rotten self for a few minutes and do as you've promised?"
Huh? Why are you suddenly insulting me, Lyon? Did I do something in between the few seconds I looked away from you and toward Yuigahama to piss you off? If so, then I suggest you pull together some val— I mean, yen, and invest in some anger management courses. That trigger of yours is way too easy to fire, if you get what I'm saying.
"Oi, Lyon, were manners never taught in your household when you were a child? Can't you see that I'm talking to someone?" I don't hesitate to fire barbs back at the (former) elf, as I'm currently operating on the morale high ground, meaning that I had all of the power in this coming clash. "Wait your turn. I'll be with you in a bit."
"Ah, t-that's okay, Hikki!" Yuigahama suddenly exclaiming that drew the both of our attention towards the third member of our conversation, who I thought was going to remain silent while I reminded Lyon of how to be a courteous adult. Oi, Yuigahama, I know that you're just trying to keep the peace between the two of us by relenting in your want to speak to me, but you're doing me an even bigger disservice by stopping me from tearing her a new one! Read the mood, woman! "The two of us can just talk later at the room, right?"
"Yeah…" I trail off, grumbling a few select words under my breath in response to not being able to take advantage of the opportunity given to me as I do so. "Fine." I stand from my desk and turn towards Lyon, nudging my head towards the door. "Come on, go get your bags and things ready. I'd rather this not take forever."
My eyes can't help but notice the slight upturn on the (former) elf's lips as she turns around towards her desk – which was still surrounded on all sides by people, by the way. The females in said group just looked at her direction with confused looks and the males… Well, they were all glaring at me. I couldn't stop myself from chuckling to myself at the sight a bit, as I turn away from them and move toward Yuigahama. "Ah, sorry about—"
"D-don't worry about it, Hikki!" Uh, Yuigahama… Do you mind if I make a request? Could you please never wave your hands out in front of you like that again? I know that it's your go to response when you're embarrassed about something, but when you do that, my skill makes it so that my eyes are immediately drawn down towards the movement your hands make and that movement, in turn, makes a couple much more jiggly things move around, and those catch my attention. "I-I'll see you later! Okay?"
With that, the air-head escaped quickly out the room and into the hallway, probably moving towards the club room. Oi, you could at least wait for me to say 'bye' back before you run off, y'know? Why is everyone female I know acting so rude today?
Before I knew it, I had finished giving Lyon the 'tour' that I promised - a tour that consisted of the both of us wandering aimlessly around the school, talking about how we'd take things going forward, as a thirty minute lunch break period wasn't nearly enough time to do so.
To make a long story short, I gave her a brief explanation on how Japanese people tended to act, basically equating our behaviour to that of the elven people without the strange penchant for verbally beating one another up. More, of course, went into the explanation between the two cultures than just that, but going through what I talked about would take up too much time, considering I was moving as I thought.
After that, we then discussed where the (former) elf would be staying from this point on, as she, just like myself, was dumped into Orario with nothing but the clothes that the almighty being who sent us here gave to her (technically, she also had the school bag that was currently dangling from her shoulder, but that was filled with all of the textbooks Sobu required all of its students to have and nothing more than that), and had no place to stay. We quickly came to the agreement that she'd stay with me and my family, as I was sure that my family could easily take on another mouth to feed without too much trouble. Now, if they were going to know about said mouth to feed was another question entirely, as the question as to how receptive they would be to the idea was still unknown - our house did only have three bedrooms, after all, and all of them were currently occupied. She suggested that she get herself a paying job and rent her own place, but I quickly explained to her how that wouldn't work for a person like herself, as she was currently considered to be a minor by all society and Japan had laws that prohibited minors from working a certain amount of time while they were still attending school. Sure, she could work, but there was no way she'd be able to earn enough to pay for a place to live in with the hours they'd apportion her.
With all of the necessary explanations out of the way, I briefly went over a few more things on how to better fit in with Japanese society and ended my near half an hour-long 'tour', leaving with ample time to stay true to my earlier promise to Yuigahama.
Seeing that she was supposed to come with me to my house later on, I saw no trouble in bringing Lyon with me to aforementioned room and that brought the both of us to where we are now, walking down the hallway that I had walked so many times those three years ago. Once again, I allowed my feet to guide me to it.
"'Service Club'?" I couldn't see her due to me keeping my eyes firmly ahead of me, but I could tell from the inflection in her voice that her head was tilting slightly to the side. Oi, why are you still acting all cutesy to me, even when I can't physically see what you're doing? Are you seriously trying to tell me that's just how you act normally? I refuse to believe that! You're a bonafide killer of men, goddammit! I would genuinely appreciate it if you'd acted more like it!
"Yeah…" I say as I glance over in the (former) adventurer's direction and find that she was indeed doing as I thought, tilting her head to the side as she looked at me - a sight that made me smirk a bit under the cover of my muffler. Ha! Called it in one! "What we would do was listen to other students' problems and help them solve them in a way that wasn't just us handing it to them." I pulled one of my hands out from the pocket it was in, raised it so that it was level with my head and waved it around mockingly. "Teach a starving man to fish instead of giving him food, or whatever."
"Ah, I see." With that, the both of us fell into silence - something I really didn't mind as we've, specifically, I have been talking quite a lot the past half-hour or so, which wasn't something that I was used to at all with me being the quiet person that I am.
Eventually, after three or so more minutes of nothing but walking in silence, the two of us reached our destination. I could tell by how the panel over the door, stating the room's door number was covered with assorted, colorful stickers. Huh, I just realized something… I have no idea what any of them are supposed to mean. Yuigahama just started to put them up there at some point and I never saw fit to question it. I was too busy hating life to do so.
Now that I think about it, there were probably a lot of things that I just never realized due to my incessant need to believe my life was worse than it was. Not that I'm going to discount any of the hardships that my younger self has had to go through – they were all legitimate problems for a teenager to have – but after having gained a full three years perspective on them, I couldn't help but feel as though myself back then was just me being an immature idiot. Then again, I suppose that's just a thing that comes hand-in-hand with the act of growing up itself, huh?
Agh! What the hell am I doing?! Me, quit your damn brooding and save it for when you're at home, and in bed, will you? You promised Yuigahama that you'd come by and you just wasted two whole minutes standing here doing nothing! Pull yourself together, man!
Sigh. Alright, time to—
"—I'm telling you, it was so weird, Yukinon!" My body automatically stops itself in tracks when I hear Yuigahama's voice suddenly ring through the thin walls that separated clubroom from hallway. "The new girl and Hikki, they totally knew each other!"
"Ah, Y-Yuigahama-san…" Then, after the air-head's voice, came the surprised and hesitant voice of Sobu High's ice queen when she wasn't being so cold, "…w-what are you suddenly—?"
"The new girl I told you about earlier — Lyon-chan! She and Hikki are like, really, really close to one another! I can tell!"
"Um… Maybe you were just overthinking it? I'm sure that there was no way a cretin like Hikigaya-kun could have—"
"No, you don't understand, Yukinon! The moment he saw her, he got up from his desk and dragged her out into the hall so they could talk in private! He even held her hand!"
"Well, I'm sure—"
"Then, out in the hallway they were getting really serious! Hikki was saying 'sorry' to her for some reason and had his hand on her shoulder, and she was talking about how she was relieved to see him… They were even super close, too! Like, their chests were almost touching! She even called him by his first name!"
Wait, woah! Wait a second! How the hell did you even see that, woman?! Were you eavesdropping in our conversation or some—?!
"Ah, I'm sure there's an explanation for that, Yuigahama-san. We should just wait for Hikigaya-kun to get here like he promised and ask him—"
"Then after that, when lunch started, they started to do that thing you and Hikki usually do with one another! You know, being mean to each other a lot!"
"Huh? What do you—"
"Now that I think about it, she even sounds a lot like you too! I'm telling you it was so weird, Yukinon!"
"Don't you think Hikigaya-kun should be finished giving his tour to Lyon-san, yet? You have his contact information, correct?"
Huh? Wait, Yukinoshita-san, why did you just ask that question?
"Ah, y-yeah! I do! Do you want me to call him?"
What?! No, Yuigahama! Please don't do that! Do you want me to die a horrible death, woman?!
"Yes, please do. I have several more questions I need to ask him now."
"Ah, alright, give me a sec!"
Shit, shit, shit! Can't let them know that I just heard all of that! Quickly! Need to use superhuman abilities to reach into pocket and put phone on silent before—!
—Brr… Brr… Brr~!