I take no credit for the wonderful cover art for this story - warp-y from DeviantART made it for me, and she also has some other really awesome pictures (a lot of great Sword and Blade ones!) in her gallery, so you should check it outttt :)

WARNING: This fic is NOT fluff and bunnies. It may seem like it at first, but it's not. M-rated is mostly for his thoughts, and upon occasion, his actions. You have been warned.

8/06/12: Finished correcting mistakes and editing chapters. Tell me if ya notice any other errors.

Prologue

I'm Marx. Marx, not Mark. People tend to get that wrong a lot. I have purple fur, large purple eyes, and a blue and red jester hat with white puffs at the end. Maybe a little on the small side as puffballs go, but I was okay with that: it was my intelligence that made me stand out from others.

Though, I never have actually formally attended school. I like to learn on my own; exploring the forest around my house sometimes, sometimes staying at home and reading tomes. But my foster parents were evidently concerned my behavior was not reflective of what a normal pre-teen's should be. They thought sending my to school with other kids would benefit me somehow.

We used to live in a house relatively isolated from society. But that all changed this year.

See, we moved to the little known Hayashi Grove, on the planet Popstar. It's on the exact opposite side as the town Dreamland, which is home to the legendary weapon, the Star Rod. It was the town closest to our old house, and a very small one at that.

Attending school wasn't even a requirement, and in Hayashi, more often than not made no difference in what your life would be like. Most people stayed in this town for their lives; so little known, hardly anybody new came in, and for some reason or another, nobody left. It's like the world had completely forgotten about the country town.

This isolation probably explained the botched way they added me into the system. They just placed me with the grade of kids my age - regardless of what I knew or didn't. My foster parents assured me they would figure out my skill level and adjust accordingly.

I was pretty sure they were wrong, and the school director had no idea what to do with new kids, but at least I'd be put with students my age.

To be honest, I was a little worried about attending school. I didn't think I'd have a problem with learning what they had to teach, but I wasn't so sure about the whole social part of it. Firstly, I was certain there wasn't anyone of the same species as me: I'd snuck off to the town before to watch the people there, and the most prevalent species' were Yaban: tribal sort of people; very short with peachy colored skin and green or white hair, and Yariko, whom looked much the same but with red or orange hair, and they were taller. Some dees were mixed into the lot too, but I knew I'd still look a lot different than everyone else.

Nevertheless, I was optimistic about school. I like to think I'm an optimistic person.

Chapter 1

The school building was only one floor, nestled among lots of trees. A small lake was only a few meters from the school.

I showed up about fifteen minutes late because my foster parents got the times all wrong for when it started. I also got really confused about my schedule; apparently one class didn't stay together for a whole day, but rather moved around a bit. So, for example, I might have one group of kids in one class, then an entirely different group for another class. It was all really puzzling, because it meant I couldn't just follow one person to know where I was going.

First class was easy enough to get to, because the principal pointed me in the exact direction for it.

I showed up after everyone had already taken their seats. The teacher, a tall Yariko with vibrant red hair and a white bow, smiled at me.

"Ah, you must be Marx. I'm Mrs. Rorschach. You have first hour with me, and if you ever get lost during the rest of the day, feel free to come back here and I can help you to your next class."

I nodded and glanced worriedly at the rest of the class. At least ten pairs of eyes, all fixed on me with various critical or curious expressions.

Mrs. Rorschach put a comforting hand on my back, but when I flinched from the touch she quickly snapped her hand back in confusion. Recovering, she turned to the class.

"This is Marx," Mrs. Rorschach announced. "He just moved here not too long ago, and will be in your classes. Say hello."

A chorus of 'hi, Marx,' sounded. I wasn't sure what to do, so I just bowed a bit and smiled nervously.

"You can sit there," the teacher said, gesturing to an empty desk toward the back of the room.

I padded over and hopped into the chair. A boy to my left, quite clearly a Yariko, didn't even glance my way but stared at his desk like his eyes would eventually burn a hole into it.

Instead I turned to the person at my right; another reddish brown haired Yariko, but one much taller and thicker than the others. Not that he was fat; just very muscular.

"Hi," I greeted happily.

He glared. "What are you talking to me for?"

I blinked in surprise. "Oh. Sorry." Looked back to the front. Had I done something wrong?

"All right, class," Mrs. Rorschach said. "We'll continue our lesson on division of fractions. Marx, you can try to follow along best you can, and if something is confusing, ask a neighbor."

I was getting the feeling Mrs. Rorschach had never before gotten a new student who did not know the curriculum. But that was okay; I could learn quickly and hopefully catch up with whatever they were doing.

She sketched out several problems on the chalkboard. "There. Solve these on your papers, and I'll collect them once everyone is finished." She then walked over to her own desk and started shuffling through papers.

All the students bowed over their desks and started scribbling frantically on blank sheets.

I blinked a few times and glanced around at each student before looking down at my own desk. Yep, there was a pencil sitting there, and a piece of lined paper.

Glancing at the burly Yariko next to me, I saw he held the pencil carefully in his hand to write. Weird... I'd always read words, but never realized how exactly they were created. My foster parents didn't do much writing, and to be honest, I never went in populated areas enough to see someone writing.

I mean, of course I knew the words were written out somehow. But not that you needed hands to write. I'd used sticks in dirt once to imitate the words I'd learned from books, but this was much different. The lines were so small and cramped: I couldn't achieve that kind of neatness by holding the pencil in my teeth.

This was bad. I... didn't know how to write. Should I tell the teacher that? I didn't want to interrupt anyone else quietly working...

Instead, I leaned over to the taller kid next to me. 'DERRICK' was written in bold jagged letters at the top of his paper, followed by the copied problems.

Most of them, I noticed, were solved incorrectly, and therefore had the wrong answers.

The kid, presumably Derrick, glared when he noticed my gaze. He covered the sheet with his hand and whisper-hissed, "Don't cheat off me!"

I looked away and settled back in my chair. Like I'd be cheating off him. I had no reason to cheat; these problems were all really easy! I could do them all in my head! To mentally prove this point to myself, I systematically solved each problem on the board. Easy as pears.

Or wait... was it pie? Frowning, I evaluated each of the types of food, trying to conclude which was more easy. What the? Did that mean how easy they were to make, or just how easy they were in general, or - ... This was stupid. Neither pies nor pears could be described as easy. How disappointing.

I sighed. Maybe I should tell the teacher I couldn't write. It wasn't like she wouldn't find out eventually. "Mrs. Rorschach?"

She glanced up from her work - and so did most of the students. "Yes, Marx?"

Now almost everyone was looking at me. Class must not be interrupted like this a lot. Immediately, I felt embarrassed. "I... uh... I... can't write."

At first, confusion clouded her eyes, then they traveled to my sides, and lack of arms. Her mouth formed a perfect O. Other students started to whisper among themselves. I felt increasingly nervous. Was it so uncommon to not be able to write? Or to not have the capability to write?

"Right," the teacher said. "You... Okay." She nodded and smiled, recovering herself, it seemed. "That's fine, Marx. I won't expect a paper from you."

What? That was it? "But, I can do the problems," I said.

"Marx, they are equations requiring several steps. It's okay if you aren't able to do them without writing the steps down. We'll figure out something different for you to do."

No, no, no, why wasn't she listening? "I can do them!"

She gave me a sympathetic smile. "Don't worry about it; we aren't accusing you."

Of WHAT? Being stupid? I bared my teeth. "Do you want me to prove it? I can! The first answer is two times the square root of three!"

Mrs. Rorschach stared. "How... how did you do that?"

Beside me, Derrick hurriedly erased his answer {negative 1} and wrote down the one I'd said. His hand shot into the air.

"Uhh, yes Derrick?" The very puzzled teacher said.

"He cheated off my paper! He saw my answer and said it!" Derrick exclaimed.

"Now, Marx, cheating is not allowed -"

"I didn't cheat!" I snarled. "He lied! He had the wrong answer! Go on, look at his paper; all the work is wrong!"

She held up her hand. "I understand being in a new school is hard, but we'll accept you even if you don't fully understand the material. You'll catch up, don't worry. I'll let your cheating go this time around, but don't do it again."

I sank back down in my seat and seethed in fury. Math... was certainly not my favorite subject.