Uwaaaaaa minna-san! When was the last time I updated? XP I suppose it's about 2 years ago hahahaha (I know it's not a laughing matter… I'm sorry… *goes back to plucking mushrooms in the corner*). Anyway I admit the story got drag-gy and I'm really tempted to end it. Many things happened over the course of 2 years, especially work *sigh* …but now I'm burning with passion on finishing this! Therefore it'll be *owari* when the school trip comes to an end! Fear not, I'll be doing a short "sequel" of SG Boarding School. At least that's what I have in mind for now *cough* Enjoy part 3 of the disastrous school trip!
Chapter 34—Hokkaido Part 3: Operation Susukino 2
"Oh god! Would you please think of something, Momoshiro!" Shishido pleaded.
From what they observed, there are two news. The good and of course—the bad one. Good news is that they finally found Akutsu after more than half an hour of 'beast hunting'. Bad news is that Akutsu is currently kicking empty trash bins in a dark alley. He looked pissed. You don't need a torch light to know his veins actually popped out. The unlucky lambs gathered are presented with four options which they evaluate thoroughly:
Option one: IGNORE the delinquent. Turn around and leave. This might result in some sort of heavy and cruel punishment (including no tennis and being stuck alone in the same room with Mizuki OR Yukimura for days) by their heads when their little detour was found out.
Option two: send a REPRESENTATIVE to advice the delinquent to join them. There are two assumptions in this case. If the representative succeeds, the group is likely safe and is able to go back as planned without experiencing further potential problems that the delinquent might impose. However, if the representative failed in his quest, the whole group will be demolished by the delinquent and every member will be going home with black eyes, bruises and cuts.
Option three: advise the delinquent in a GROUP. Persuasion power works better with more people. Or not. As for the consequences and result, refer to option two.
Option four: SURROUND the delinquent and THREATEN him. This intimidates and empowers the delinquent, making him obey to majority's decision. This also leads to two consequences similar to option two. If the group managed to make the delinquent listen to them, they can rejoice in tears. But if the result is otherwise, it's best for the group to disperse and run for their lives before the animal attacks. No doubt, it is very likely that they will end up with broken limbs.
"MOMOSHIRO!" Shishido's loud voice boomed through Momo's ears, waking him from his deep thoughts. Among the four options, which one do you think works best?
"I still think the first option is safer… physically." Momo mumbled to himself.
"Momoshiro-kun?" A worried Atsushi asked.
"Ah… I'm fine. What do you think we should do?"
"Good question. Why don't you prepare an answer first before bringing Akutsu out next time?"
"Shishido-san, Akutsu followed on his own accord. Is there anything—or anyone— in this world that could possibly stop him?" Atsushi answered angrily on Momo's behalf.
"Kisarazu, I mean the one with an 'A' (for Atsushi), why are you siding with Momoshiro? Something going on between the two of you?"
"I think it's best to watch your words before they are spoken." Ryoh replied with a glare. Shishido gave both of them a suspicious look.
Atsushi blushed. He knew the Hyotei member wanted to provoke and embarrass him but it's not something to be taken lightly for a boy in love. It's almost like someone blurt your secret out loud to the others.
"Let's talk to him, maybe he'll listen." Kawamura broke the silence.
"Taka-san, that's option number 3, a bad one. Chances are 50-50, either win or lose. We can't afford to take the risk. No." Momo shook his head.
"What…?" A puzzled Kawamura asked.
"In any case, it's not smart to stay here. He might— …"
"Masami-kun?" Atsushi called out when he saw a dumbfounded Masami.
"Akutsu is gone….AGAIN!"
All of them groaned in agony.
TUT TUT TUT
Momo grabbed his mobile and answered it.
"Er… Akira, I think it's best that we go somewhere else now. Lo—look, what about tennis?"
"Are you alright? Playing tennis at this hour and place?" Kamio rolled his eyes. He had finished yet another song.
"You are the ONE that's NOT alrig—" Sakurai shouted angrily. Not only his kind offer had been turned down but he's being questioned back by someone whom they think might be mad.
"Shhhh! Do not provoke him!" Uchimura hissed.
"I know. Try to understand his situation now and let's help him recover. Nomura-san, Kaneda-san, have you finished?"
"Yes, we are done for now." Kaneda handed Uchimura a piece of paper.
Sakurai, Nitobe and Uchimura read in unison (inaudible to Kamio who is busy singing "Trauma").
Ways to help Kamio-kun (who is currently love sick, or mad; whichever it is):
Distract his attention. Let/ make him do things he normally likes. This will bring his focus to somewhere else other than his current emotional state.
"You will have to cross this off. I just suggested and it doesn't work. As a matter of fact, he thought I was the one with problem." Sakurai said between gritted teeth.
"It doesn't? I thought this works best?" Kaneda replied.
"Then let's have someone else try this again later, won't we? And let's hear Akira-kun say, "Are you alright?" to him." Sakurai answered sarcastically.
"Okay, okay. We'll take this out." Nomura hurriedly crossed the first option with his pen.
Make him eat loads. Eating eases the stomach, as the saying goes "a hungry man is an angry man". When he is full, he will be in a much better mood.
"I heard from a friend that eating helps to ease a person's emotion. They will feel soothed upon having good food down their stomach." Kaneda reasoned.
"There's no harm in trying." Nitobe shrugged.
Match him up with a new partner. The end of one season is the beginning of another. When he finds a new lover, he will recover from his sorrow.
"This is a good one." Sakurai said sarcastically.
"I don't want to be a cupid or match maker. I don't even have a girlfriend myself!" Uchimura hissed.
"A girl?" Nitobe asked. "I thought it's gonna be a guy."
"What? He's not gay!" Sakurai replied angrily. "He's… he's… well; he just walked into an unknown path, wrongly led by Sengoku."
"GUYS, LOOK! THAT'S GACKT IN THE PV! I LURVE HIM!" Kamio squealed excitedly towards them but turned his attention back to the song soon after.
"See?" Nitobe said.
"Gackt's 'bi', okay? He's NOT gay." Sakurai said defensively but knew that he had already lost his case.
"Hello?" Nitobe answered his mobile.
"We shouldn't walk too far." Yuuta said all of a sudden.
"I think you are right." Mukahi grumbled.
"Hm… we are lost." Fuji said with a smile.
"ANIKI! CAN YOU AT LEAST SAY THAT WITH A PANICK TONE IN YOUR VOICE! AAAAARGH THIS IS WHY I HATE YOU!"
"That's Fuji." Kikumaru sighed while he patted Yuuta's sympathetically.
"Fsssh What do we do now?" Kaidoh hissed nervously. After the great supper, they decided to go for a walk since there was still time left. But without realizing, they had walked pretty far from the agreed meeting place—the dragon statue.
"Why don't we ask around? The locals should know."
"Good idea, why don't you go Ochibi?" Kikumaru poked his cheek playfully.
"No, senpai you go."
"Why me? You suggested it, so you should go and ask."
"Because I suggested it, someone else should do it."
The rest shook their head and let out a small sigh.
Suddenly, a soft voice was heard from the back… "—if only we didn't have supper then we won't be lost… If we didn't eat ramen then we won't be walking around with full stomach. It's because everyone is worried about indigestion. Indigestion can be a problem, we might have constipation due to indigestion and then everyone will take a long time when they are using the toilet. And when everyone took a long time in the toilet, the head dorms will find out that everyone had constipation. And when the head dorm found out that everyone had constipation due to indigestion, he will know we had supper without having it properly digested. When the head dorms found out we all had supper outside, they will know that we went out and when they—"
"IBU-KUN, I BEG YOU, PLEASE STOP." Niou said. "I'm on the verge of sticking a knife to my chest."
"Niou-san, that was mean." Ohtori said.
"I did say MY chest, not his. I'd consider that rather 'nice'." Niou replied.
"Ohtori-kun is right, that was mean!" Kikumaru said crossly.
"But it wasn't my fault! If he didn't start mumbling all of a sudden—I mean, we are all tired and lost so—"
"So you can throw your tantrum at him?" Kikumaru finished with a glare.
Niou had his head hung low. He felt ashamed at what Kikumaru said. "I—I… well I—"
There were giggles.
"… … … I don't mind though, but the transvestites looked down on you." Shinji said and when Niou looked up, one of the transvestite giggled and winked at him, sending shivers down his spine.
That was why Kikumaru and Ryoma refused to talk to the "LOCALS"—because they are walking down a famous part of the red district; an area full with transvestite.
"Anyway we should start walking back to the same direction we came before. Though it will take some time but I believe we will be able to turn back." Fuji said and led the way. Time is running short and if he lets them take the lead again, they will never return.
And it was while they turned their way back, Fuji's mobile rang.
"I'd already looked over there! I don't see him! Get back here Mori!" Ishida said angrily.
"What's wrong with you? We agreed to look for Akutsu, what are you angry about now?"
"I'm NOT angry about anything. I just don't understand why we have to go around looking for him."
"Isn't that obvious? If he caused any trouble like just now—though the intention was good, he might be caught by the police and then the authorities will alert the head dorms! We are doomed if that happens!"
"Why is it that we had to run around like a herd of mad cows while the other groups get to enjoy what they are doing?"
"You have a good point there Ishida. But trust me; they are definitely not enjoying themselves right now." Bane peered into his watch. It's 12.45 in the morning.
"What do you mean?" Ichimura asked.
"I called the others and it seemed like Momo's group is searching for Akutsu as well. They spotted him awhile ago but soon lost track of him. Nitobe and the others at the karaoke are worried over Kamio and apparently Fuji's group is lost and surrounded by women-lookalike people (A/N: no hard feelings!). But anyhow, I already asked them to keep an eye on the crowd, just in case they bumped into Akutsu."
"Marui and the others?"
"I failed to contact that group. Let me try calling Kuwahara."
RING RING RING
"Hello?" a grateful Jackal answered. He was hoping it would be one of his team mates.
Upon hearing the voice at the other end, Jackal's heart sank.
"This is Kurobane. Is your group alright?"
"Er… not really."
"Is there any trouble?"
"I got separated from them. I have no idea where they were headed, and I'm still looking for them."
"Alone? That might not be a good idea. Why don't you join us first, then we'll look for them together? And not forgetting Akutsu."
"Akutsu?" There is simply no logic why Akutsu's name came up.
And so Bane filled Jackal in with the details briefly—including the fact that they are looking for the delinquent. Jackal agreed that this is a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. A bigger group meant more eyes for lookout—both for Marui & gang and Akutsu.
"Yes, if we could meet up and search for them together, it would be great. Where are you?" to have him look for them is much easier than to have the whole group come looking for him alone. Who knows which member in Bane's team will go missing while they come looking for him? Then there will be no end in searching for each other.
"We are at… Doyoubi Street."
"Where is that?"
"It's across Nichiyobi Street and Kinyobi Street."
"Sorry? Where is it exactly? I mean, any landmar— hello? HELLO? HELLO?"
Jackal's mouth turned into a sharply curved 'O' shape. He can't believe his luck.
(A/N: I know this is kinda messy and all, but please bear with it hehe)
Back to Momoshiro's group.
"Yeah? Kurobane-san? WHAT? You mean—huh? HUH! ...SERIOUS! Okay… Alright..."
"What is it, Momo?" Kawamura got nervous hearing Momo's tone.
"AHAHAHAHAHA there's NO problem at ALL, Taka-san. Bane-san said that first of all, of course, is that we have a missing Akutsu. Then secondly, we have a lost-and-separated-with-a-flat-mobile-battery Kuwahara-san. Thirdly, we have Eiji-senpai's we-are-lost-and-tired-and-surrounded-by-transvestite group. Fourth, we will need to comply with the heal-Kamio-and-his-broken-heart-plan, and lastly we have a non-contactable group. There's absolutely no problem!" Momo continued his uncontrollable manic laughter.
"OH GREAT, JUST GREAT." Shishido said and slapped one hand to his forehead. Its 5 minutes to 1am.
"At this rate, it's impossible to meet up as promised." Masami groaned.
"What should we do dane? Mizuki will find out dane!"
"I don't think we can handle this situation, it's out of our control. Why don't we just call the head dorms for help? Worse comes to worst, we'll just be forced to do running for a whole week without practice." Muromachi shrugged. It bothers him but things can't get any worse than that.
"NO!" the whole group shouted in unison.
"I can't believe how naïve you are…" Shishido shook his head in disbelieve.
"What?" Muromachi asked.
"Do you actually know who has the highest authority and influence among the head dorms?"
"Uh, Atobe-san? No, Tezuka-san?"
"Wrong. It's YUKIMURA-SAN."
An image of Yukimura's angelic smile flashed into Muromachi's mind… but the image soon became distorted and a devilish smile now spread across the head dorm's face, with two horns appearing on his head. Oh, and he has a tail too.
Muromachi shivered. How could he forgot that Yukimura is at the top of the hierarchy? He should have known better. We're talking about the devil himself!
"Now is not the time to discuss this. Shouldn't we start by doing something to help the other groups?" When no one interfered, Ryoh continued, "We can keep a lookout for Akutsu and Kuwahara-san while we search for Fuji's group. Since one of the groups couldn't be contacted, there is nothing we can do except to wait for them to contact us when they reached the dragon statue and realized no one is there."
The others murmured in agreement.
"Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go." Masami said.
"Before that, would someone please slap Momoshiro back to reality?" Ryoh glared at the laughing Momoshiro who couldn't accept the reality that he just landed everyone into trouble. To top it all – he was the one who suggested and planned the whole 'Operation Susukino', which only meant he will be severely punished upon being discovered that they had all snuck out despite warnings.
"I'll gladly do it." Shishido and Hiyoshi volunteered at the same time.
"Akira, are you hungry?" Uchimura asked.
"Not really. If you guys want to eat something, there's the menu over there." Kamio turned back to sing his 'Kizuna'.
"See, he doesn't feel like eating." Sakurai said. "There's no point, we can't help him. A broken heart needs time to mend, and not some plan we devised."
"You think I didn't know? But we are looking for a faster and less painful method. He's our team mate for god's sake. Can't leave him like this, can we?" Uchimura replied angrily.
"Don't worry we still have the last option, don't we?" Nomura said assuringly.
"You mean match him up with someone else? I think not." Sakurai shrugged.
"Why so? What's the problem with this plan?" Nitobe argued.
"Like I said senpai, it isn't as simple as we thought. I believe we shouldn't interfere so much in Akira's life."
"Sakurai-kun has a point there. Maybe we are doing something unnecessary." Kaneda nodded in agreement.
"Okay, let's not argue further. We will try this one last method. If it doesn't work then we'll forget it okay?" Nitobe suggested.
"Alright." The rest mumbled without looking at each other.
"Now then, shall we look at the candidates?" Nitobe took lead of the discussion.
"Well you know… all those we have in SG Boarding School. We have pretty good… um, guys overall." Nitobe said awkwardly.
"I thought we agreed that Akira wasn't … you know. And I thought you guys would introduce girls to him. The least that we can do now is correct what he had done wrong."
"That would be doing things to your favour. You don't even know whether Akira prefers … you know… or not."
"But how do you know he doesn't prefer girls compared to… you know."
"Of course he'd prefer you-know, otherwise he wouldn't go for him (Sengoku) in the first place! Have some respect for his choice, would you!"
"I respected it all along! Although he went out with a you-know, especially him, but since we are friends and team mates, I pretended not to know what happened between that you-know and him!"
"Woah, guys. What's this "you know" and "him"?" Kamio turned to face both Sakurai and Uchimura who were red in the face at this point. Apparently they were so engaged in their argument that they didn't realize they had been half-shouting half-screaming across the small karaoke room. Even the waiter popped his head into the room and only left when Nomura and Kaneda assured him that it was a slight disagreement.
"… Nothing." Sakurai sat down crossly and gulped his orange juice.
"Yeah, nothing." Uchimura stood up and excused himself to the washroom.
"Isn't there a way to solve this?" Nomura whispered to Kaneda and Nitobe.
"I don't know, but we are all doing this for Kamio-kun. It just never occurs to me that they'd argue over something like this."
"It's my entire fault. I was the one who came up with this idea." Nomura shook his head. "I learnt it from a friend. He had such experiences."
"With another guy?" Nitobe raised an eyebow.
"No, no! He is straight… it's just that when he couldn't get over his ex-girlfriend, he started distracting himself with something else but nothing works, until one day another girl confessed to him. At first he accepted her because there was simply no other means to help him forget his previous girlfriend but soon when he learnt more about his new girlfriend, he realized he grew to like her more and more. So… so I thought that this method may help Kamio-kun to overcome his problem." Nomura explained in a small voice.
"I think it's a wonderful idea though." Kaneda smiled.
"Me too, though the gender part is still unsettled…" Nitobe said quietly, trying his best to avoid the words from being heard by Sakurai who was munching on the chips with a dark expression.
The door opened and Uchimura came back in. He had calmed down a little, and without looking at his team mate, he took a seat at the opposite side.
"WAAAAH!" Nitobe screamed all of a sudden.
"It's already 1 in the morning! We should be gathering at the dragon statue! Kurobane called earlier to check on us and I told him we're trying to 'heal' Kamio. He said things aren't going well with the others but nonetheless – meet at the statue till the others arrive."
"WHAT! We're late!"
And the group hurriedly calls for their bill to be paid and dashed out of the karaoke centre. But as they reached the dragon statue 10 minutes later, they saw NO ONE there.
"Oh my god, they must have left us because we were late." Kamio said nervously.
"No good, he didn't pick up his phone." Nitobe replied.
"No way! They would at least call us if they don't see us by 1, wouldn't they?" Uchimura said anxiously. "I mean, they won't actually leave us here and go back on their own, right?"
"I don't think so too." Sakurai nodded worriedly. They will call it truce for now and continue with their 'little disagreement' later on.
"So this is… Kinyobi Street. I see a phoenix statue over there." Kirihara said.
"No, we need a dragon, D-R-A-G-O-N statue." Niou replied.
"Well, they are almost the same."
The rest turned and stared at Kirihara—wondering what kind of education he had. Phoenix and dragon are two very different mystical creatures. He would have at least watched Dragon Ball as a kid!
"Nothing." All of them replied in unison, which made Kirihara even more suspicious.
"I never knew Susukino is THIS big. I mean, we can't even find the dragon statue and our team mates!" Niou lashed out angrily.
"This is a new area for us and we are not familiar with it. Came as no surprise to why we are lost. I guess the bigger problem would be to meet up with the rest. I contacted Nitobe just now and apparently they are on the search for Akutsu as well. They were at the dragon statue half an hour ago but no one was there." Fuji said.
"W—What? No one was there? Gosh, where is everyone!" Yuuta was shocked. This could mean that they won't even be able to make it back to the inn before 6 when the head dorms wake up!
"You must be kidding! I thought we were the only one that's late!" Mukahi said.
"Then you guessed wrong. We—"
"AKUTSU!" Kikumaru screamed at the top of his lungs.
Akutsu gave them a glare but simple walked off, brushing past a big guy.
"Hey you." The big guy in leather jacket called out to Akutsu. The delinquent turned with a threatening look.
"I think there's something you need to say to me." The big guy said with a fierce look.
"SORRY! We are so sorry! I mean, he is sorry!" Kikumaru rushed forward.
"Get lost; it's none of your business." Akutsu growled.
"Akutsu, let's not get into something that we shouldn't. We must head back now." Fuji said.
"I said, STEP OFF!"
"A—Akutsu-san, please… we cannot fight… the head dorms will find out and we will all be in trouble, especially Momoshiro-kun." Ohtori begged.
Akutsu became silent. It's as though he is trying to understand what Ohtori said.
The big guy became impatient. He moved towards Ryoma—who was standing beside Akutsu—but was blocked by Kaidoh and Kirihara.
"There are 10 of us here, and more are coming (partly true) so don't think you could beat us all." Kirihara warned. "You still want a piece of us, huh?"
"You watch out." The big guy said as he realized that he had been surrounded. With a last burning look, he left.
The rest were surprised that Akutsu actually restrained himself from spitting out bad remarks at the big guy. (A/N: or perhaps there were just so many interruptions that he didn't have the chance? Either way, it's all good!)
"Fuji here. Yes, we found Akutsu… … Yeah, we will find our way to the dragon statue and wait there. Okay, let the others know. See you." Fuji ended his conversation with Bane.
"Senpai, let's go. We are late." Ryoma said to Akutsu who seemed to be struggling between rationale and freedom. For some reason, he wondered why he couldn't defy the little boy's words.
"OI, it's this way, chibi." Akutsu led the way when Ryoma walked towards the opposite direction.
P/S: Group persuasion works! Or maybe you just need to pick the "right" person to do the persuasion, aye?
"Really? That's great! See you later then, Fuji." Kawamura sighed in relief when he received news that Akutsu is with them now. "Minna-san, Fuji and the others found Akutsu. They are now heading towards the meeting point."
"Serious! Oh my, that is wonderful news! Let's get going too!" Shishido rejoiced at the news that they are finally heading home. And this was shared among the rest of the group.
Momoshiro came back to reality when he heard about Akutsu. "Ow! My face! It hurts!" There were finger marks on his face, both left and right.
As for Kamio and Kurobane's group, they head towards the meeting point too when news on Akutsu being found reached their ears. It's time to head back as everyone had their share of enjoyment and frustration.
At 2.25am… all of them finally regrouped.
"So is everyone here?" Kurobane asked
"Senpai, Marui-san and the others are not here." Momo replied.
"You are right; they couldn't be contacted since we split up. Do you suppose something happened to them? Try again."
"I guess there's no need to wait for them. I just received message from Yagyuu-san—they reached the inn half an hour ago." Kirihara said. "Apparently they were at the dragon statue at 12 and when no one showed up, they just went back on their own."
"WHAT! Argh! They are so mean!" Mukahi growled angrily. "Where were they when we had the worst time of our lives looking for—"
"I think that's enough. We should leave now." Fuji intercepted into the Hyotei member's sentence.
"What, Bane?" Amane asked.
"Something doesn't feel right…"
"Did we left out something?" Atsushi questioned.
"I don't think so… yet it felt like we have forgotten something." Bane replied.
"You must be tired… it happens when you tend to think too much sometimes. Let's go." Minami said and the rest followed suit.
"Shhh…" Momo hushed the others.
"Momoshiro, since when did you take the lead again?" Shishido asked him between soft whispers.
"I am always in-charge." Momo answered non-chalantly.
There were noises at the back as everyone struggled to keep out of sight. Kirihara is leaning so close to Ryoma that it's too close for comfort. Yuuta and Shinji are trying to squeeze themselves between Ryoma and Kaidoh, but fear the latter. Kikumaru is inching closer to Fuji every second as Niou moves closer towards him. Bane is whacking Amane for making unnecessary 'cold' jokes while Hiyoshi is nearly thrown off the line when a jealous Mukahi tries to jump between Fuji and Kikumaru but failed. A lot of commotion is happening as everyone waited impatiently at the entrance of the inn. They have to make sure the coast is clear before scrambling back into their rooms.
Current time: 3.12am
"How long more do we have to wait? I'm exhausted!" Mukahi hissed angrily.
"I can see a shadow moving! Do you dare to take the risk!" Momo replied between gritted teeth. He's not enjoying this as much as they do.
Kaidoh shivered at the mention of a shadow.
"Shadow? We have been squatting down here for the past 10 minutes without any progress! Argh I can't take it anymore!"
Before anyone could stop him, Mukahi pushed the main door and jumped into the inn. There were silent gasp from some.
Few seconds later, Mukahi stuck his head out from the door and motioned for the rest to come in. They did as they were told.
"Momoshiro, that SHADOW you were talking about—is that tree branch swinging left and right. I think you should get your eyes checked or something. We can't have you mix up the tennis ball for a burger, can we?" Mukahi tried to stifle his laughter.
"Very funny, senpai. We can't have you jumping on Mizuki-san, you know. God knows what we will be seeing." Momo replied sarcastically.
As the two of them exchange dangerous glare, the rest crept quietly back to their rooms, tip-toeing as inaudible as possible.
"Echizen! How could you do this! Tezuka and I trusted you as Seigaku's pillar and yet you sneaked out with the others last night." Oishi said in a devastated voice, shaking his head. "We know it was Momo who took the lead but how could you allow him to do it? You should have stopped Momo from doing everyone else any harm!"
"There's no need for further explanation. We knew everything, Echizen. And don't you dare deny that you went. We have an eyewitness and several of your senpai finally confessed after one whole hour of interrogation." Mizuki said.
"Echizen, that was bold of you. I never expected you to actually disobey the head dorms." Yukimura said with an artificial sad look.
"Bu—buchou, I… I … … … I didn't mean to disobey you. I… am sorry." Ryoma said apologetically towards Tezuka. What is done is done. Though he didn't want to go at first, the fact is that he DID sneak out with the other regulars.
"Then your punishment…" Sengoku began, "…is to be Mizuki and Yukimura's slave for 1 week!"
"No…. NOOO… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO—" Ryoma screamed at the top of his lungs.
Ryoma bolted up. It's morning. Marui—who slept beside him threw a pillow and whacked him mercilessly.
It's just a DREAM. A DREAM. Yet it felt so real. Could it be a premonition?
CRACK. The room door opened.
Ryoma turned to see all the head dorms and their assistants came squeezing into the room.
"What happened?" Sengoku asked nervously. It's only 6 in the morning, and the first night through.
"Something happened, Echizen? You are breathing hard." Tezuka asked. Beads of sweat started forming on his forehard.
He still couldn't calm himself down. As a matter of fact, seeing the head dorms after the dream is even more frightening than it seems.
"I—I am fine." His voice shook a little as cold sweat trickled down his spine. What is this feeling? Guilt? Fear?
"Are you alright? You seemed pale." Tachibana asked, concerned.
"Y-Yeah… I am fine."
There were shuffling sound as Yuuta tossed over from one side to the other, with his left hand resting on Shinji's stomach. The rest were still sound asleep. They were so exhausted that not even the scream of their kouhai can wake them up.
"Echizen-kun, did you have a nightmare? Do you want to wash your face?" Aoi asked after several seconds of silence.
"No, I don't think so."
"Ara, I think you better wash up. It's about time to wake up anyway." Yukimura suggested.
"That would be best… and I wonder why the rest aren't disturbed by your scream…" Mizuki agreed suspiciously.
It was this moment of horror that Ryoma will never forget for the rest of his life. He saw (or rather, imagined) a distorted version of Yukimura and Mizuki. To add to it, his dream this morning… It all dawned on him now. This is punishment for breaking the rules. A slave to them for a week… It can't be real… no way…
All colour drained from his face.
"E—Echizen!" Oishi called out to a pale Ryoma. He looked as though a vampire had just sucked every single drop of his blood.
"I think there is something that we need to be informed about." Tachibana said during breakfast at the table.
The rest of the regulars choked in their miso soup.
It was difficult. No, more accurate to say that it was a challenging task to wake the people who were out last night. The alarm clock didn't work. No one woke up except for Fuji—not to mention Ryoma who actually woke up from a nightmare, pale as a ghost. When the rest finally managed to open their droopy eyes, the head dorms only gave them 15 minutes to wash up or there will be no breakfast for those who were late.
The dining hall was silent except for the sound of food munching and slurping of miso soup. Most of them were trying to keep a straight face, as though nothing happened.
"I don't think Tachibana should repeat himself." Tezuka voiced out finally.
Momo began to sweat hard, so does the others who felt guilt and fear creeping into them.
"We—we were at the recreational room till late at night." Shishido said.
"I don't think it was that simple. Do you, Sengoku?" Yukimura said while stirring his miso elegantly.
"I doubt so." Sengoku replied while eyeing a tired Kamio without a blink. "According to Kajimoto-kun, the recreational room was empty when he went in at about 10.30pm."
"Ahahahaha well we were no longer there at 10.30, were we?" Momo laughed while scratching his head.
"Ye—yeah, we were at the back garden. Right, Kikumaru?" Mukahi said nervously. He could feel Atobe's glare at the back of his shirt.
"Right, the back garden… haha."
Things just got more suspicious when Shishido, Momo, Mukahi and Kikumaru started agreeing with each other. It's just like tossing the ball from one person to another. Akutsu continued with his meal as though it doesn't concern him. Yanagizawa and Atsushi continuously throw nervous glances at Momoshiro. The Fudoumine members stared blankly at their food without a word while the rest of the Yamabuki and Rudolphians put on an I-know-nothing-and-am-dead-asleep-last-night expression. Ryoma tried his best to avoid any gaze that fell upon him. He was not to utter a word of what happened last night to those who were not involved, and our dear little boy knew well enough what would be the consequences of breaching it.
"And what were all of you doing at the back garden?" Oishi enquired further.
There was silence as everyone scanned through their brain for an answer. And then suddenly…
All eyes turned to THAT person. Who, in the name of Seishun Gakuen and an elite tennis club regular, gave such an idiotic answer?
"What was that again, Hiyoshi-kun? I doubt I heard it right." Mizuki said sarcastically.
"Gardening. We were … well, we were…"
Great. They'll drag him to the back garden later and make sure he does some REAL gardening.
"Enjoying the scenery and fresh air." Fuji replied.
"Ore-sama thinks that something fishy just happened last night." Atobe chirped in.
"What do you mean, Atobe? Nothing happened last night." Mukahi said while trying his best to suppress a yawn.
"Ye—yeah A-a-a-tobe-san you are thinking too much." Nitobe said with a yawn. Several others got affected by his yawn and followed suit (A/N: I yawn too everytime I read this sentence; it's infectious).
The others merely kept quiet and held out their pinky finger in discreet. It was a secret pact that they made and no one by all means is to spill.
"JACKAL!" Marui shrieked hysterically upon seeing the bald-and-tan regular player standing at the dining hall's entrance. He too, is as pale as a ghost though no one noticed.
"Kuwahara…?" Bane whispered with his mouth hung open. He finally remembered what he'd forgotten last night. Jackal.
"Good morning." Jackal greeted them calmly with a radiant smile. It might have been their eyes, but his teeth shone brighter than they have ever seen before.
"Where were you?" Yukimura asked. He only noticed the shaver's absence at the breakfast table when Marui screamed his name. Too many things happened these 2 days and his mind was still preoccupied with the chibi's scream this morning.
"Um… well… at the garden." Jackal replied hesitantly. Thank god the head dorms did not realize that he JUST got back from Susukino. Jackal is wearing track suits like he normally did, so there was no telling whether he had been out or had just woken up from bed. He made sure the coast was clear before he crept back into the inn. He was caught by surprised by Kajimoto who passed by the reception. Jackal then explained that he had been walking around the inn and because it's still early, he'd wanted to keep the noise down so had decided to walk as quietly as possible.
"The garden again? Were there treasures or something?" Sengoku asked in a suspicious tone.
"Sorry?" Jackal could not quite catch that. "I um, woke up a little early this morning so I went out for some fresh air and running. I guess I got too absorbed into it… just realized it was time for breakfast."
Most people could tell no one exercised for several hours… but this is the regulars we're talking about!
The head dorms did not wish to dwell into the matter further, what not with the involvement of Jackal and Fuji. For some reason, it was difficult to hoax it out of them. Things were certainly fishy—anyone could tell—but as long as everyone is here safely, it wouldn't matter for now.
"Take your seat." Yukimura finally responded.
A/N: Hope everyone had a fair share of laughter XD My greatest joy in writing is to know that others enjoyed it.
Check out a snippet from the next chapter. Who wants revenge? Who should pay for it?
Chapter 35—Hokkaido Part 4: The Revenge
"Some people just have terrible memories. Maybe I should refresh that a little."
"Nothing. Coming down to Hokkaido isn't exactly what I expected. It relives the nasty experience I had."
"Of course you wouldn't know. It wasn't you who suffered the humiliation and pain. Didn't they have a saying? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
"What are you talking about senpai?"
"Oh you'll see."