A/N: Been gone for the absolute longest time...though I've also been trying to advance my other fics. It's about time this one had a chapter (not to mention I've recently read Volumes 13 and 14...though I'm missing 11 and 12 as of yet LOL).


CHAPTER 5

"Oversight"


It was almost ten o'clock on a weekend morning, with barely more than a week to the Mahora festival. Between classes, deadlines for her manga, library club activities, and fixing up for their class haunted house, Haruna had time for little else – including sleep.

And so she was still in dreamland when the rest of the library club burst in. "Paru! Rise and shine!" Konoka greeted, gently nudging their friend.

"Go away...there's no classes today..." Haruna groaned, digging herself deeper into the sheets.

But even Yue was adamant, pulling the blanket away. "Oh no, you don't! Half the morning's done and we have a lot to do, even for a weekend."

Resigned, she finally mustered enough strength to sit up and put on her glasses...and was greeted by the overly-smiling faces of Nodoka, Yue and Konoka.

There was too much happy anticipation in the air, that Haruna was suddenly suspicious, even in her stuporous state. "Okay, something's going on, and it's not club-related. What is it?"

Nodoka hurriedly handed her a white envelope with cursive handwriting in front. "C'mon, Paru! Open it! Hurry!" The three shrieked.

"What the...? G-give me that!" She then carefully procured the letter she knew was inside, and proceeded to read.


Paru,

Thank you for sending some of your remarkable manga drafts. A lot of work must have gone into making them; your style is very impressive, and the story looks interesting. Good job!

I have been to the ancient ruins, and I must say they are truly wonders to behold. Maybe someday you'd want to visit them too? You definitely seem like the type who enjoys seeing new places.

True to my word, this correspondence is being written and will be sent before I leave Peru, but I suppose by the time it reaches you, I would have already landed in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is not such a long trip from here, you see.

However, I expect to be in North America for less than a day, maybe two, and will probably be en-route to Melbourne, Australia soon afterwards. The address there is what I have written in the usual place, in case you decide to send a letter.

You teacher, Negi Springfield, truly sounds like an extraordinary individual to draw such attention and admiration. Chinese martial arts, you say? If it catches my fancy, then I don't see why I should not try my hand at it. I confess to knowing some sort of self-defense, but not that one in particular, so please allay your fears for me.

And I do hope you aren't one of those in your class who, how did you put it, "like him a lot". I can be quite jealous. (wink)

In any case, you also be careful. Do not shirk on your duties, but make sure your health is never compromised as well.

Until next time, I remain

Very truly yours,

Jai Akira

P.S. Good luck with the haunted house your class is working on. I'm sure you will do fine.


"He's going to take you to Machu Picchu! How romantic!" Konoka screamed.

Haruna rolled her eyes. "Oh no, don't start with that whole 'prince' thing again..."

Konoka persisted. "But Paru...Washington! And then Australia! How does he even get around so fast, and what is he doing? I'm thinking he's in some sort of diplomatic mission or something!"

"That is possible," Yue mulled. "And it's not like he's letting on any specifics even in his letters to you, Paru. That might mean some sort of classified information."

"Ah, think whatever you want," Haruna said, and shrugged in response.

Nodoka was a little less enthusiastic. "W-what was that part about "liking" Negi-sensei...?" She timidly asked.

Haruna's eye gleamed. "Well, aren't you?"

"T-that is...nothing's really happened..."

The manga artist snapped her fingers. "Then we have to do something about that during the festival, don't we?"

Konoka seemed to agree, clapping her hands. "Ah! How about a date at the festival? Sounds like a good idea!"

"We're cheering for you, Nodoka," Yue said enthusiastically. Haruna tried to observe Yue from the corner of her eye, and maybe the other girl was being too enthusiastic, but she let it slide this time. She neatly tucked the letter away.

Meanwhile, Nodoka had gotten more flustered with each comment. "A d-d-d-d-date? Me and N-Negi-sensei? Awawawawa..." So much so that steam started rising from her clothes.

"Ah, but that will be a hurdle to cross when we get there," Haruna was now wide awake, and literally jumped out of bed. "Well then, let's get to work, ladies."


The day had gone without any major problems, though work on the class haunted house continued well into the night. It was almost midnight when Haruna, Yue and Nodoka stepped into their dorm room.

"Why do we have to keep doing this...?" Yue grumbled, already half-asleep.

Nodoka, who was in a similar state, merely yawned, shrugged and started making her way to the bed.

Their other roommate, however, was still relatively upbeat. "Aw c'mon you guys; at the rate things are going, we should be done with the whole haunted house interior just in time for the festival. You know the saying; never leave for tomorrow what you can do today."

Yue got into her sleeping clothes. "You shouldn't have had those two gallons of coffee, Paru. You're too hyper. There's still about a week before the festival anyway."

"Yeah, well you both go ahead and sleep; I'll probably just work on my manga for a while," Haruna replied, closing the room lights and turning on her desk lamp. Soon, both her roommates were fast asleep.

But instead of sketching, she was penning words instead.


Jai,

Ohmygosh, how long has it been since I had last written? A week or so, or more? There's been so much going on lately, so much I wanted to tell you about, but I keep forgetting since there's so, so much to do!

Like I probably told you before, the Mahora school festival is coming up, in a week actually, and our class haunted house is sure to be a hit! I had wanted a maid café, maybe even a no-underwear bar café of some sort...well, not that I'd actually do it, though...but the haunted house idea was cool too. We've been working on it even until midnight, and we're really hoping it'll be done in time!

Oh, there was this one time a few days ago we had a ghost hunt in our classroom! Imagine! A real ghost! There were floating chairs, demonic possessions and everything! Though I think in the end we were able to send it into the afterlife, with Negi-sensei's help.

Anyways, at the festival, there's also gonna be a Library Club Scavenger Hunt, or something like that. Me, Nodoka, Yue and Konoka are all members of the Library Club, have I told you that? We wanna bring Negi-sensei along, mostly for Nodoka, and probably Yue as well. It'll be on the second or third day, I think, though so we have a little more time to prepare for that.

And speaking of Konoka, she was saying how you're traveling to different parts of the world like you're in such a hurry, or like you have a diplomatic mission or something. So you know a bit of self-defense, you said? I wonder what...like karate, or taekwondo, or sword fighting?

Geez, my head's swimming...I'm actually pretty tired, but I had two gallons of coffee earlier, so I don't really feel like sleeping just yet. I'm sorry if you probably might not understand half of what I've written in here; I promise I'll feel much better in the morning.

I just re-read what I've written here, and it looks pretty long. I guess I'll stop here for now. There's still a lot to be done for this week. Oh I do hope you could come back in time for the festival! Would it be too much to ask for, like, a vacation or something, for a couple days?

What am I writing? I really AM stopping now. And probably try to sleep now.

Truly yours,

Paru


Even in her exhausted mind, Haruna knew it was messy and scatterbrained, but she decided to send it anyway. She quickly scribbled a note to either Nodoka or Yue to mail it early the next morning, since she was sure to sleep in again until later on. She re-read her letter once more, and sighed.

Then upon reading one part of her letter, in a moment of clarity, she frowned and took Jai's last communication to her, the one that had arrived just that morning, to check something. Her frown deepened, and after keeping his note once more, added to her own.


P.S. One last thing, though...I'm pretty sure I don't quite remember telling you about our haunted house before. I'm just sort of freaked out a little bit, since you mentioned it in the last one I got. How did you know?