Hi there everyone! before some of you wonder "Hey, since when did I add a 'pierrot' to my author alert list?" , it's xMiharuYoite here! :D and well, you should already guess why i changed my pen name lol
anyway, to those who know me from my other stories: I'm back~! :D but my updates will be slow for all of my stories as I'm going to have a busy time next year T.T
and to those who don't know me: Nice to meet you! I'm an idiot who likes writing and claims to suck at it (and its true)
moving on. I'm proud to present to you guys, my first Tegami Bachi fanfic :D though someone else already had the school thing idea..
also, be warned of epic OOC-ness, excuse my mistakes, and Tegami Bachi isnt' mine.
Enjoy! Helpful reviews are loved!
In a land called Amberground, the job of delivering letters is not taken lightly. Telephones were expensive and only the super rich could afford them, making the habit of using letters a norm.
Letters were believed to be a form of the sender's 'heart'. Therefore, the responsibility of delivering them safely is only bestowed upon a certain number of trained individuals specializing in such affairs.
Individuals known as Letter Bees.
"Thank you and please come again!"
Lag Seeing was helping to run a fruit stall for one of his neighbors. Despite the freezing weather of a winter day, he wore clothing only consisting of a thin cotton shirt, patched up trousers, and a scarf. He had no choice, and he wasn't complaining. Lag was from a poor household, and he had limited amount of clothes to wear.
Lag Seeing was thirteen years old. He had pale skin and silvery white hair that made his single amber colored eye stand out. His other eye was concealed under a curtain of hair swept to the left side of his face. His dazzling smile never faltered as he handled the customers, not even when dealing with extra bossy or demanding ones.
"Yes?" His answer was quick and alert. Lag turned to find himself face to face with a man. He looked like he was in his early twenties and he wore a navy blue uniform. A golden emblem shaped like a bee was embroidered on the side of his hat.
A Letter Bee? Lag raised his eyebrows. "How may I help you, sir?"
The Bee dug into his black messenger bag and fished out several items: an envelope, a piece of paper with words printed on it, and a pen.
"Sign here please," he said, tapping his finger on a dotted line on the paper.
Lag took the pen offered to him and signed.
"Delivery complete." Handing the adolescent the envelope with a curt nod, the Letter Bee disappeared into the crowds.
"What's that?" Lag's neighbor inquired while popping several apples into a paper bag for a customer.
The albino boy shrugged and tucked the mail carefully into his pants pocket. "We'll have to find out later. There's work to do now."
The first thing Lag did as soon as he returned home was examine the letter brought to him. His heartbeat quickened as he flipped the envelope around, trying to find out who the sender was. There were no words written on the envelope – Lag noticed that. He was still slightly confused with the whole thing, until he saw the red wax seal shaped like a bee.
Lag's eyes widened. With shaky hands, he carefully broke the seal and tore the envelope open. There were two pieces of paper inside it; one a map and the other a handwritten letter. Lag pulled the piece of paper out, unfolded it, and scanned his eyes across the contents.
He had to read it over thrice and pinch himself a few times before he could believe it was all real and not one of his dreams.
And then he cried – cried tears of joy and relief. All that tension that had built up over the weeks since he took the exams disappeared. All his hard work – all those endless nights of studying, all those days of feverish memorizing – had paid off.
Lag had done it. He'd been accepted as a middle school freshman in his dream school. He had been listed as a potential Letter Bee.
On the last day of winter, Lag was almost jumping with excitement. Tegami Academy is a prestigious school famous for its graduates that mostly become professional Letter Bees after or even before – in several special cases – they graduate. The fees are affordable for middle classed families, so only a limited number of students were allowed to start as freshmen. Lag could never have been able to afford paying, but he'd earned his place through a scholarship exam.
From what Lag knew, Tegami Academy is divided into two courses: one for general education where the students study like any other schools out there, and the other – of course – for potential Bees.
"Lag!" A woman's voice sounded from the other side of Lag's closed bedroom door. "You've been in there for a while now. Do you need any help?"
Lag blinked and snapped out of his reverie. "I'm fine, Aunt Sabrina!" he raised his voice a little in case she couldn't hear him pass the closed door. Sabrina Mary wasn't actually Lag's aunt, but she'd adopted him from an orphanage a few years after his own parents disappeared and left him. She'd raised him as her own since then.
Lag mentally nagged himself for spacing out and turned back to his work of packing his belongings. He arranged his neatly folded clothes into the old trunk given to him by his caretakers. All in total he had three changes of clothes, two pairs of socks –including the one he was wearing – and a pair of worn out, but still wearable spare shoes. He also intended to bring along some personal things, but they were to be kept in his messenger bag.
After checking several times to make sure he had everything he needed, Lag went to clean himself up and change into his best conditioned clothes: a white cotton collared shirt with a black tie and a pair of trousers he'd carefully ironed to perfection.
Finally happy with what he saw, the albino boy then proceeded to lug his trunk of clothes to the tiny foyer of the cozy house he spent years growing up in. He had just set his heavy luggage aside and was reaching for his coat and scarf when he heard footsteps coming his way.
"Here you go Lag," Aunt Sabrina appeared from the kitchen and handed him a small parcel secured with thin, but very much sturdy strings. "In case you get hungry on the way," she said.
Lag took in his hands and nodded gratefully. "Thank you so much, Aunt Sabrina."
His mother figure stood back, wiping tears from the corners of her eyes. "Take care of yourself, Lag. Don't let me hear anything that would make me go all the way over there just to smack you in the butt."
Her words were teasing, yet there was so much love and warmth in them. Tears welled up in Lag's eyes. And without even thinking twice, he'd rushed over and hugged the lady like how a child would hug his mother after thinking he'd lost her and finally finding her again.
"Thank you so much for everything!" he wailed almost uncontrollably. Aunt Sabrina sighed and returned the hug, her own tears spilling at the sight of her adoptive son's.
"Silly boy. You're thirteen now," she chided lightly. "Stop crying over little things already or else you'll be called a crybaby even in middle school."
"B-but still.." Lag stammered. "I-I.."
"Shh," Aunt Sabrina held him an arm's length away from herself and studied him with eyes that shone with pride. She reached out tenderly and wiped a tear from Lag's visible eye with her index finger and smiled, ruffling the boy's hair. "Enough of this. It's getting late and you're going to miss the carriage at this rate."
Reluctantly, Lag nodded and inhaled sharply, trying to calm himself. He straightened up, took his coat and shrugged it on, and slung his messenger bag across his shoulders. He headed to the door, paused, and turned around for the final time.
"Goodbye Aunt Sabrina," he bit his lip in order not to tear up all over again. "Take care."
The lady nodded, and Lag closed the door behind him. He stood on the porch and tried to take in everything he could see: the details of the walls, the arrangement of buildings along the ever-so-familiar street. Lag imagined burning that image into his mind.
I'll come back some day, he vowed. I'll make you proud, Aunt Sabrina. Just you see.
And with that set in his mind, Lag Seeing started off in his journey to achieve a big dream. To be the best Letter Bee that had ever existed.
Despite his combined efforts with his foster mother, Lag could only afford to get a ticket for a ride that makes its stop halfway through. Lag didn't mind. He was fine with walking the rest of the way. He'd done some calculations and assumed that it would only take him about three hours to walk to Yuusari Central. He wasn't worried at the least. He had plenty of time and he knew it.
Lag boarded his ride after handing in his ticket and promptly took his seat randomly. When the vehicle started moving barely ten minutes afterwards, Lag was somehow not surprised to see that he and an elderly couple were the only passengers. Not many people in his hometown could afford to travel.
Lag rested his elbow on the space between the seats and the windows, and leaned his chin on his hand. He stared outside as his surroundings passed by at a steady speed. The sky was dark and clear. Clusters of stars shone brightly and twinkled as though they were winking at those on the surface of the earth below them.
The albino adolescent had no idea how long he'd been staring at the stars while thinking about almost everything; his faint fuzzy memories of his parents, the times in the orphanage, and the days he'd spent growing up under the care of Aunt Sabrina. And of course, there was his reason to become a Letter Bee.
Back when Lag was a child, someone had told him that letters were the 'hearts' of people put in the form of words and paper, and even a single word could make a person cry with joy or relief. Lag had never once believed that his parents were dead. Ever since he was at the tender age of eight and had first learnt how to read and write, he'd been writing letters addressed to Anne Seeing, his birth mother. But he'd never once sent them. Lag dreamed to be a Letter Bee to travel the world so that someday, someday he could find his mother and deliver to her his 'heart'.
"..I want to see you, mom.." he breathed after a wistful sigh. He soon got bored of staring outside and closed his eyes. He started nodding off, and dreams caught him soon after.
Lag found himself in a world completely different from his own. A huge mat of greenery was stretched towards the horizon. Unseen birds chirped and chorused each other. Dozens of colorful insects darted here and there.
But what amazed him the most was the brightness of the surroundings.
It is impossible for one to squint from brightness in the land of Amberground unless you're very close to the artificial sun. Lag was certain he was nowhere near the light source, but his eyes were already closed to slits. And unlike the light emitted from the artificial sun that was only capable of illuminating certain radius, that light was warm, bright, strangely reassuring, and Lag was almost certain that everyone in that place would get the same amount, not caring where there are.
Lag could feel himself smiling in the dream. Everything was so peaceful, Lag almost wished his world was like that and not as it is now.
Lag opened his eyes and didn't even bother stifling his yawn. His ride had stopped and he could hear the carriage driver announcing their location. Lag hurriedly gathered his belongings and got off, politely thanking the driver.
"You should always be aware of your manners wherever you are and at whatever you do!" Aunt Sabrina's nagging voice echoed at the back of his mind. The memory of her yelling at him when he'd accidentally forgotten to thank a neighbor for bringing them some fruit made Lag nostalgic. It had only been roughly two hours since he had left, and Lag was already missing his home.
Grow up, Lag Seeing. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. The Academy is your home now.
As soon as Lag got off, the driver took the reins once more and yanked, urging his horses to start moving. Lag caught a glimpse of the elderly couple that shared his ride in the carriage.
So this wasn't their stop, he thought. He turned and gazed towards the distance. Lag was standing in the middle of a huge desert. Lag could only see sand, rocks, and plants so few he could count them with his fingers. The walking path was barely visible as there was a light breeze blowing and shifting the sand.
I've got to hurry, Lag decided, staring at the moving minerals on the ground with dread. A sandstorm might be coming.
Unfortunately, Lag had underestimated the challenge of crossing half a desert while dragging a trunk of clothes along. Being a little skinny and tiny for a boy his age, Lag had to use a lot of strength just to lift the thing.
And by the time he reached a particular spot with where he had to climb down countless number of small rock cliffs, Lag was going on by sheer willpower. His luggage seemed to get heavier and heavier with every step he took. Keeping his balance seemed to get harder. His shirt and forehead were moist with perspiration. Lag silently prayed to whatever deity he believed in to keep him safe from falling.
"I can't.. give up.. just yet.." he bit his lower lip as he took one last step before collapsing. The space between cliffs were just enough for him to sit and perhaps set a camp in – thankfully. Lag leaned against the rough surface and took in greedy gulps of air, letting his lungs and heartbeat recover. When he'd calm down enough, Lag let his gaze wander towards ground below him.
And he stared.
The view was lovely, yet intimidating in a way. He could see Yuusari Central In the distance, as well as the artificial sun hanging in the centre of the sky like a humongous Christmas decoration, casting a glow over the dark land. Lag's destination was just dead ahead, but the road leading there would be tricky to use. From where he stood, Lag could make out shapes moving in the sand – shapes too big to be desert animals. They looked tiny from such a high spot, but Lag knew they would be difficult to deal with close up.
Gaichuu Buckers were insect-like creatures that bury themselves in the sand, waiting for their prey to step into reach before bursting out and taking them by surprise. It then drags its prey back into his nest to feed on their hearts.
Or at least that was what Lag remembered reading from the Gaichuu encyclopedia he'd gotten hands on from the flea market. He reached into one of his coat pockets and pulled out the map to the academy he'd received along with his letter of acceptance. With a pen he carefully marked out the spots he'd seen movement.
Five bold crosses were scribbled on the paper in a zigzagged pattern. Lag frowned, a little bothered by what he saw. He slipped the piece of worn out paper back into his pocket and reached into his bag for a clean sheet.
Using his bag as support, his laid down the paper and started writing, maneuvering his pen gracefully as he formed neat letters on the pure surface.
Are you fine there, mom? Are you eating healthily? I miss you so much.
I'm currently on my way to Tegami Academy, mom. I've just been accepted there and school's starting in a few hours! I may not look like it, but I'm really nervous, since I've never been to a proper school.
Please don't blame yourself for that, mother. I can't bear to make you cry, so please don't blame yourself. I've grown up now, mom. I'm thirteen this year and I'm going to be a fourteen year old boy in the next 311th day. Aunt Sabrina had taken good care of me over the years, so you needn't worry. I've learnt to be independent in those few years!
I'm currently crossing the desert by myself, but I'm sure I'll be fine. I'll be fine because after all this, I can finally walk on the road of a Letter Bee. And I'll be able to see you again someday.
Take care, mother. They said you're dead, but I know otherwise. I'll see you soon enough.
A drop of moisture landed on the paper right beside Lag's signature. Lag sniffled. His eyes were brimming with warm tears. He quickly ran his coat sleeve across them, chiding himself for his tendency of crying whenever he writes a letter to his mother. Lag had a soft and innocent heart, which often resulted to him being bullied by older children in his hometown. Aunt Sabrina had never stopped telling him to man up.
The thought of his hometown made him wan to sob even more, but Lag clenched his teeth and took in deep breaths, forcing his tears to stay in his eyes.
Lag ate and drank from his supplies after calming down to prepare himself in case he makes a mistake and had to run for dear life. When he was done, he tied the parcel up securely once again with the strings, stuffed it into his messenger bag, and pulled the zipper all the way.
Lag then stood up and stared downward. Five Gaichuus. One boy with nothing but his luggage and a bag of food and stationery.
Lag inhaled deeply one last time, and before he could lose his courage, he descended the rest of the way down the cliffs to go on his way.