YOU LET RYOU ON NOW!
I met someone at the dance. I feel like a girl for writing about it, but it really is a fairly monumental landmark. Her name is Noelle Bakura--from what Rey told me, her cousin Ryou is the schizophrenic guy with the Ring thing--and she's he only girl I've ever thought of...romantically. We had two moments, but both were interrupted by Rey to keep us out of trouble. Noelle nearly killed him for it the first time. I should probably mention for later reference--like I'll ever forget anything that's happened tonight--that they're best friends, so of course they're going to be going from one extreme to the other.
As I was about to put my journal under my mattress, I caught sight of Noelle's mask hanging on my mirror and flipped it back open.
One last thing: Noelle is Tigresa.
Finally finished, I slipped it into its place and laid down. It was two in the morning, but my mind was racing and I knew there was no way I would be sleeping tonight. I played the dance over and over in my head, mostly watching our two 'moments', imagining how they could have gone hadn't Rey stepped in...
Sometime during this reverie, I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up to the sun streaming through the window I'd forgotten to draw the curtain over. Funny: I had no recollection of ever pulling the curtain back in the first place. I preferred to leave them shut so that sunlight didn't wake me up. Figuring I had done it in my half-sleep state the night before, I brushed it aside, got up, and shut the curtain. Vaguely remembering there was something I hadn't wanted to forget, I glanced over at my clock. "Eight. Why'd I get up at eight?" I mumbled. Then the thing I wanted to remember came back to me.
I opened my laptop and put on the gloves and headset quickly and logged in to Ihsanotok. This early in the morning, the game seemed so real that I completely forgot it wasn't.
I walked along the forest trail to the training grove that Prince King had shown me. There was no reason for me to waste the time I spent waiting for them, and I figured the best way to use it was to learn how to fight. I soon reached the clearing. Unlike before, this time the goblins were alive.
One grabbed me from behind, hanging on by my neck. Others started jumping at me; some clung to my legs, others pulling on my arms and cloak. They weren't light, either, and dragged me to the ground within a matter of seconds. They beat me with their tiny fists, sending jolts of nearly unbearable pain throughout my body.
In a spastic attempt to free myself, I began flailing madly, sending several flying through the air, only to be barraged by a second attack. When I finally managed to get back to my feet, another goblin--no, by the look of its distinctive hands, the same one as before--grabbed my neck, this time able to pull me down all on its own.
As this one dragged me back, the other goblins moved away, essentially in some sort of retreat. It cried out something to those who weren't moving in a high, clear voice. The answering grunts from the fleeing goblins made me conclude that my captor was female; the others' reaction to her made me conclude she was their leader. She dropped my shoulders and did a front flip, landing with both feet on my chest, sending the air whooshing from my lungs. A wicked grin spread across her strangely pretty face, revealing sharp white teeth, such as I had not observed in the other goblins. There was an aura of power around her, like she was used to getting what she wanted, no matter how--and she expected to get it now. She knelt, her face right in mine.
I grabbed the hand that was reaching for my throat and flung her over my head into the tree behind us; she let out a shriek of agony. Now that I was in control, I approached her slowly, feeling the same evil smile creep across my lips. "You'll be my first kill. Are you ready?" I concentrated and a ball of energy formed in my palm. Excited with my success, I pointed my hand at her.
She raised an arm to shield her face and screamed, her body expanding and her limbs slimming. "Don't!"
I dropped my hand, shocked. "Noelle?" I knelt beside her, my high wearing down fast. "Noelle, are you all right?" Her terrified expression made my stomach sink. "Noelle, I'm sorry."
Slowly, her arm lowered. "It's fine, Mokuba." She'd used my real name. "And kind of my fault. I wanted to surprise you; I didn't think about what it would look like to you. I should have known better." She grinned. "It reminds me of why I've got an account on this game. The first time I pulled a joke on Rey, Tigresa went to the healer and I had a couple of bruises. It was way worth it though. His face was priceless, and I managed to get a screenshot of it." Unexpectedly, Tigresa leaned against me. "Of course, that really wasn't scary, just painful. You, though. Man, you were emanating bloodlust. I've never been more terrified...no, I take that back. There was one other time..." Her eyes glazed over, and a flicker of horror crossed them before she was back. "Anyway," she said hurriedly, "you were awesome. I guess I shouldn't piss you off on here." She gave a short laugh. "Teach me the art of intimidation, O wise one."
Another voice answered from behind us. "Like you really need it, my beloved--" The voice cut off. It was Prince King. Obviously.
"Watch your language!" Tigresa sat up. "You ruined the moment, bastard. Asshole. What the fuck? What the hell?" Despite the angry words, she had a grin on her face. One glance at me and it faded. "I've been wanting to get those out at an appropriate time. Sorry."
"Get used to it," King whispered into my ear. "If you intend on getting close to her."
I shoved him away, much to Tigresa's amusement.
"What'd you tell him, Rey?" she asked with mock irritation.
"Just warning him about being with you," he replied in his squeaky voice.
A blush rose to my face. I still wasn't comfortable with the idea of being...together.
She, on the other hand, was either perfectly fine with the idea or a great actress. Tigresa's grin was almost to the point of breaking her face in two. "What's wrong with that, Mokuba?" she asked. Despite her expression, the question was obviously sincere.
Crap. She'd taken it the wrong way. "I-I...I didn't…"
There was a slight flush to her cheeks. "Never mind." Tigresa looked down, then back to me. "Anyway, you obviously came to the clearing for a reason, and I'm guess that was to fight. Let me go find those goblins, and—"
"No, no." Those things kinda freaked me out now. "I think I've got the idea. Is there anything else to this game?"
"Mostly just interacting with other characters," Rey replied. "So, not really." Apparently the look Tigresa gave him jogged his memory. "Well, I guess there are the Hunters, but they're really rare, so we never worry. Don't trouble yourself about them."
"Noelle, I need on there to work on my essay. No, I'm on Ihsanotok with some friends; go to the library. But I've already typed half of it on there. Didn't you save it to a floppy? No. Why not? Because we didn't have any left. Go to the store and buy some. It's raining outside. Sucks for you. Noelle, please. No! The essay is due tomorrow! You should have thought about that. I did. Then why are you so pressed for time? I didn't allot enough time to Calculus. Too bad." I was getting confused: even though it was Tigresa's mouth and voice, it was obvious the argumen was between two people. "This is my midterm Psychology project. Waaah. Noelle… Maybe you should have picked an easier major. NOELLE, YOU LET RYOU ON NOW!" The last sentence was definitely not Noelle or her cousin, who I had finally identified as her opponent.
King cringed. "Mr. Bakura. Nice guy, but he's not the kind you fuck around with. Noe, you'd better get off."
"Don't call me 'Noe', Rey. Gimme a sec, Ryou."
"All right," he answered.
Her head, which had been looking over her shoulder, turned to me and king. "How about we go hand out today?"
Damn. "I doubt Seto will let me."
"You're not even going to ask?"
"C'mon, Mokuba," Rey added. "He let you go to the dance, didn't he?"
I groaned. "That's because there were chaperons."
"What about that guy who picks you up everyday? That's what he's for, right? Bodyguard?"
My jaw dropped. "How…? When did I say that?"
"Did you think I'm an idiot? Mokuba, I flew him from Chile for high school."
"Have you never noticed how different I look from everyone else? That I've been speaking English with an accent on Ihsanotok?"
"To be honest, no." Not until that moment. Now that I did, I realized that the tan I'd first seen was more brown than gold. And the English. Seto had said that by the time I finished learning it, I wouldn't be able to distinguish between it and Japanese. I guess he was right. "Isn't Chile a third world country?"
"Largely. My parents manage to make a pretty good living, though. I got a computer and some language software. I learned English and Japanese, and when I finished grade school—at least as much as was offered—my parents hired me a tutor. My father contacted an associate, and now I live with her and her husband here, in Japan. I took ninth grade at the public school, and now I'm a freshman at Kotonashi. Just because I'm juvenile doesn't mean I'm stupid. I've got the second highest IQ in the school, and I think third in Domino."
"Don't flatter yourself, Rey. You're fifth. I think it's Seto Kaiba first, Ryou is…are you second or third?"
"Third, I think," he replied.
"Then it's that one girl, Stanley…oh, what's her first name?"
"Becca?" Wow, I thought.
"Yeah, yeah, Becca Stanley, in fourth. Then you, Rey." She shook her head. "So we have established that Mokuba had a body guard and that Rey isn't as much of a dumbass as he seems. Now go ask your brother if you can go to the arcade."
"How many times do I have to say no before you get the point?"
"But I'd have Winan with me!" I argued.
"It's his day off." Of all the freaking employees he gave vacations, it just had to be Winan.
A growl escaped my throat before I could stop it. "Isn't there anyone you trust to watch me?"
In that case… "Then why don't you come with me?"
I turned away. "Ryou should have walked to the store in the rain," I muttered angrily. "I guess I'll have to wait and talk to Noelle on Monday."
"Ryou? Ryou Bakura? And who is Noelle?"
Does being brilliant come with a heightened sense of hearing? "Yes, Ryou Bakura," I replied. "Noelle is a friend. She's his cousin."
I heard his chair creak back at "she's". "Is he going with them?" Or maybe it had just been a delayed reaction to "yes".
"No. He has to work on a college research paper." I looked back over my shoulder.
He was staring straight at me. "Akron will go with you." Was it at "she's"? Hell if I knew anymore. "The same rules apply: run off and you will be stuck here."
"What do you wanna play?" I asked as we entered the arcade, leaving Akron to stand against the wall beside the exit, right where Seto had ordered him to stay.
"How about Ditch the Chauffeur?" suggested Noelle. She and Rey exchanged a mischievous glance.
I groaned. "How many times do I have to explain this to you? If I try to make any epic escape, I'll be grounded. Big time."
Noelle rolled her eyes. "Whatever. You only hesitate because you know you'll get caught."
"Reverse psychology doesn't work on me, Noelle."
She shrugged. "It was worth a try. I think they have a new game. C'mon!"
To my surprise, Rey looked just as confused as I was. Nevertheless, we followed her to the back of the room, behind the DDR set. Sure enough, there was a new game: Battle Royale. "Dude," Rey and I simultaneously whispered in awe.
"That book is my Bible!" Rey cried as he ran up and hugged the machine, then Noelle. "You. Are my hero."
"You're welcome," she replied with a malevolent grin. "There's four seats and three of us. You do want to play, don't you Mokuba" At my eager nod, six game tokens emerged from her jacket. "Two for you, two for me, two for Rey. That gets us fifteen minutes of play time, and the ability to save the game so we can come back anytime we want and pick up where we left off."
Just as we were slipping the gloves on and readying to lower our visors, someone dashed around the corner shouting, "Wait!" We all turned to see Becca pull tow tokens out of her pocket. "Mind if I play?"
I've had this chapter done for forever, but I've been too busy/lazy to type it up. I know it's been over a year, but I hope that it's satisfactory. I'll try to keep up on this and Evil Angel from now on!