This chapter really took a lot out of me. First, homework distracted me from it, then final exams, then summer school, and then Skip Beat. As soon as I read it, I couldn't stop until I was finished. Thus now more time was wasted. But I finally got it done! And the other chapters shouldn't be too far away either :)
Theodore carefully sipped his coffee and opened up the morning newspaper. The taste of caffeine and the smell of rich boiled coffee beans comforted and relaxed his senses. Looking outside the window, the day was bright and sunny, and not a hint of clouds in the sky. Leaning back onto his thickly padded chair, he sighed with content. Now this was something he could get used to. Living in his own house, experimenting in his own personal lab, and doing whatever he wanted. Now everything would be perfect had it not been for the noisy hustling and bustling right next to his ear. Shaking his head, Theodore put down the newspaper to look at the disastrous comedy that was unfolding before his eyes.
Devon, the usual egomaniac, was hurrying to dress up his little brother for his first day of school. He knew that making a good first impression was very important, and he really didn't want Daren to face any kind of teasing from students in the school. Of course, if word that people were teasing Daren ever reached Devon, he would track those people down and make sure they never show their face in public again.
Still, Devon just wanted Daren to fit in and make some friends. Although Devon personally never had many friends in school, since all he had was tools and enemies. One was either going to be of use to Devon, or they might as well be one of the ants that Devon crushes down. So making friends was going to be new to him too. But Devon didn't want his cute little brother to face those kind of situations. While mumbling to himself, he took out a turtle-neck sweater and a pair of glasses that covered up the top half of Daren's face. While adjusting the glasses and helping his little brother into the sweater, Devon smiled and dreamed of the happy campus life that Daren would soon lead.
Theodore could only look at this scene with a look of pure bafflement. He'd seen many surprising things in his life. He'd even witnessed many previously thought impossibles become the possible. But never in his life had he ever felt so sorry for someone just by looking at them getting ready for school.
Devon stepped back and admired his creation. Daren was fit snugly into the green turtleneck sweater and a pair of skinny blue jeans. For shoes, Devon picked out a pair of black runners. The sunglasses on Daren successfully hid the confused expression of his face. Devon couldn't help but compliment himself on his fashion choices. With these clothes, Daren will be sure to make tons of friends!
Dark Sun looked down at his sweater and tried to stretch his arms, unsuccessfully. Looking puzzled, he took off his sunglasses and asked Devon, "Are we done?"
Devon nodded approvingly, "Yep we are. My hard work on picking clothes wasn't for nothing. Have confidence Daren! All your friends will compliment you on your fashion sense today when you go to school."
Coffee erupted from Theodore's mouth, which splatted over the entire breakfast table. Dark Sun looked at him with a look of surprise while Devon gave Theodore a look of disgust. Theodore, realizing his outburst, mentally felt very lucky that Devon didn't shoot him down right then. Awkwardly wiping his mouth with a napkin and using the newspaper to bulkily wipe down the table, he coughed stumblingly to end the stifling silence.
"Ahem, so... Devon, didn't you say that you previously hired a fashion designer for Daren? There was really no need to spend your precious time picking out clothes for such a trivial matter."
Devon 'hmph'-ed, a very unrefined gesture for the Solaris Emperor, and replied, "Time spent on Daren is time well spent. Besides, the fashion designer wasn't to my liking."
Theodore smiled sarcastically. Trying to save Dark Sun from a lifetime of embarrassment, he continued the conversation.
"So, what about the designer didn't you like? You could always have just asked them to change their style you know."
Devon shook his head and was about to say something, until his assistant, Kyle, cut in.
"Emp fired the designer because she came to work 5 minutes late. It was against the standard Solaris Company protocol and at least 6 different section rules."
Devon, satisfied, nodded his head in agreement.
The green-eyed scientist couldn't help but look up at alarm when Kyle started talking. Truthfully, he didn't even know the Solaris Emperor's assistant was standing there the whole time. Looking at where Kyle was standing, Theodore should have easily noticed his presence, but somehow, it was like Kyle appeared out of thin air holding his usual laptop and business leather bag. Could it be, that the Solaris Emperor's assistant possesses not only the tirelessness of a robot, but also the hiding skills of a ninja? Besides, what a lame excuse to fire someone!
"Well then... Why not just hire another designer for Daren?"
Devon sighed, "I thought of that at first. I mean, there's tons of other famous designers I could've called upon. But then I thought that it might be better for me to pick all of Daren's clothes personally, just to show how important he is." Devon turned around and elegantly smiled at his little brother, only to be greeted with a blank look from Daren.
Laughing to himself, Theodore realized that this was just another twisted way for Devon to show his love for Dark Sun. But still, the most important matter has yet to be solved. Theodore can't let Dark Sun's first day be ruined because of his incompetent brother's fashion sense.
"Did the designer sketch out any drafts of outfits yet?"
Devon started, "I suppose she did, since she was supposed to-"
"Bring her completed drafts to hand in to Emp that day." Kyle cut in again and started rummaging through his leather bag, trying to find the papers. "Here it is."
Theodore received the papers and flipped through them briefly. When he was young, he too didn't bother with fashion too much, since studying took up most of his time. Heck, he didn't even have time to get a girlfriend in his school years. But to those that had the free time, love and fashion weren't a problem for them. Secretly, Theodore was extremely jealous of those people, and often looked at them with envy. Looking at these papers, Theodore was reminded of those 'free' people all over again. Very fancy yet simple. Elegant to the finest detail. Classic and modern enveloped together into a collaboration of clothes that one would call, "absolutely beautiful."
"What did you say?" said Devon, quite curious, since he himself never looked at those designs. He fired the designer before she even had time to take the sketches out of her bag. How Kyle had the designs in his possession was beyond him.
Theodore never meant to say that out loud. "Nothing. N-nothing at all."
Damn, it would be so sad to let clothes like these go to waste. Wearing these, Theodore wouldn't be surprised if Dark Sun created a new fashion trend. But how in the world would Devon be convinced to let Dark Sun wear them?
But thank the fangirls that Kyle cut into the silence. "Emp, the meeting starts in 15 minutes. You have yet to get dressed and it will take at least 10 minutes to get there."
Devon shoved back, "Delay the meeting. I wanna send Daren to school myself."
"I can't do that. This meeting requires the CEO's of 10 of the world's most important companies. There will be no other time where so many giants of the business world will be able to meet again. It is of the utmost importance that we attend. Since the Solaris Company is number 1 in the rankings, not attending the meeting would be revealing to the media that you're forfeiting that same spot."
That seemed to finally mean something to the Solaris Emperor.
"Alright. Fine." sighed Devon, "But there were some things I needed to take care of first." At this, he turned around and looked at Theodore. "Theodore, for the sake of protecting Daren, I have registered you as his father in his school registration papers. That way, no one will know that Daren is connected to me. I think this will be the best way for him to lead a normal life."
Theodore opened his mouth in shock, face frozen in an unimaginable expression.
Devon turned to look at Daren now. "Daren, from now on when you are at school, you will no longer be Daren Solaris, but Daren Avery. Please remember this fact! It's very important that you don't give yourself away, alright?"
'Order: Last name changed from Solaris to Avery at school.'
"Yes, Devon." said Dark Sun.
"But. But. But. But. But... Wha-? You can't just do this! Don't you need my signature or something for things like this?" cried Theodore. This just wasn't fair. He didn't even have a girlfriend yet. Now who would want him if he's already registered with a teenage child? This just totally ruined his life plans. His love life. His marriage. His REAL kids. They're all in jeopardy now!
"Oh don't worry about the specifics. I got your signature." smirked Devon as he walked towards the door. Smiling tenderly now, he continued, "Come on Daren! You're ride to school is here!"
Theodore didn't even want to know the dirty tricks Devon had up his sleeve to get the signature. But this was a good chance now that Devon was temporarily distracted.
"Psst. Kyle!" whispered Theodore. "Help Daren? There's no way he'll be able to last the first day wearing those clothes. Do you happen to have the designer's finished products with you?"
A light of recognition and pity flashed through Kyle's eyes. He always knew that Emp had the fashion sense of a horse, and it really was a sad predicament for Daren to be in. Rummaging through the bag again, he found what he was looking for.
Theodore watched with amazement as Kyle lifted out one of the outfits that was featured in the designer's papers. It was perhaps the simplest outfit, a sleeveless black hoodie over a long sleeve top and a pair of dark blue jeans. But it was still miles better than what Dark Sun was forced to wear right now.
Both nodding in understanding, a mutual plan was formed. Kyle, reminding Devon that they were going to be late for the meeting, finally managed to get the Solaris Emperor inside a car. Saying a swift goodbye, Kyle told the driver to leave. Finally, Theodore was left alone with Dark Sun and his own personal driver.
Dark Sun, seeing his master leave, still wasn't very happy. He felt that he really wouldn't be able to fulfill his job if Devon was so far away from him. Besides, the sweater that he was wearing really didn't make him feel very good. It's too hot, and way too irritating.
Theodore threw the clothes over to Dark Sun. "Hurry and change if you know what's good for you. We'll leave after you change."
Thank God that Theodore was here. Dark Sun really didn't like what he was wearing right now. It got in his way too much. Shouting out thanks, he ran back inside the house and happily threw off the sweater. He considered shredding it with his claws so he'll never see it again, but decided not to since this was still something his master gave him. Running back out, he felt much lighter and relaxed.
Nodding with approval, Theodore told Dark Sun, "Alrighties now. Devon threatened me on pain of death that I accompany you to school. So get in the car, I still have experiments to do when I get back home."
Dark Sun hesitated. He didn't want to ride in a boring four wheeled car. Yes the car had it's own personal driver. And yes the car was shiny and cool-looking. But he didn't want to feel cramped inside one of those cars. Looking around, there were tons of other automobiles to choose from. But one caught his eye. Curiosity prompted Dark Sun to go and take a look.
Theodore was confused at Dark Sun's hesitation. All he really wanted to do was to get a sweet ride from this Ferrari and head back home to do more experiments. Besides, why was Dark Sun heading towards the motorcycle area?
"Theodore, I wanna ride this to school!" said Dark Sun, finally making his decision. This was a motorcycle, according to his microchip, and he had already been programmed on how to ride it. In fact, Dark Sun was capable of operating every known automobile, from trucks to airplanes. But the motorcycle seemed to be the most 'fun' of them all.
"A motorcycle? Dark Sun you want to ride on a motorcycle for your first day of school?" asked Theodore, disbelievingly.
"Can't I?" replied Dark Sun. Theodore winced as the teen unleashed his fearsome pair of puppy eyes. Sighing, the scientist pulled out his cellphone and dialed Kyle's number. It seemed that the two brothers did have some things in common. They both have their own ways to get what they want.
"Yes?" said Kyle, picking up the phone.
Theodore sighed, and told him the current predicament.
"That's fine. He's allowed to use any of the cars in the garage. The keys to the motorcycle are hanging on the shelf."
From the phone, Theodore heard a, "What motorcycle? What keys? Let me talk to Theodore." The scientist assumed that that was the Solaris Emperor, still getting ready for his meeting. Then Kyle's voice came again, "But Emp, the meeting starts in 3 minutes. At least fix your tie." At this, rustling sounds could be heard, and Devon picked up the phone.
"Daren wants to ride a motorcycle? I disapprove!"
Theodore agreed, "That's what I thought too."
"No, he can't ride a motorcycle by himself, but you can be in the front and drive for him. Daren can sit in the back."
"What?" shouted Theodore over the phone, "Then you might as well just let him drive by himself. I've never rode on a motorcycle my entire life!"
"Then he can't ride on it. What if Daren gets into an accident? Tell him to just use the Ferrari today. I'll think of an idea tomorrow."
At this, Dark Sun patted Theodore on the shoulder and said, "But I really, really want to ride on the motorcycle." The teen knew that the odds were leaning away from his side now. He must hurry and convince Theodore to let him ride the motorcycle!
Theodore hesitated before agreeing with Devon. He didn't even know if it was Dark Sun's fault or not. Sighing, the scientist replied, "How about this, Daren can ride in the front, and I'll ride on the back. That way, if anything happens, I can still help him."
Devon didn't really like that idea much either, but Kyle, always so reliable, cut in once again. "Emp, we have exactly 30 seconds before the meeting starts. Please prepare your speech."
Frustrated, Devon quickly gave Theodore an answer, "Fine. You can do that. But if anything happens, I'll turn YOU into an experiment."
Before Theodore got a chance to reply, the Solaris Emperor had already hung up.
"Oh the things I do for you." muttered Theodore under his breath while turning to face the expectant Dark Sun. The silver haired teen had a big smile on his face, ready to hear the good news.
"Devon said that you could ride the motorcycle."
Dark Sun immediately got on the motorcycle, eyes full of adventure.
"But only if you let me ride in the front."
Dark Sun's face immediately drooped. He wanted to ride this all by himself!
Theodore sighed. "Don't worry, I have no intention of sacrificing my life for things like this. Heck, I don't even know how to turn the damn machine on. Just make sure on your way to school that you drive safely alright? I trust you won't get into any accidents. Your microchip should already be programmed on how to ride this thing."
Dark Sun nodded, face filled with delight once again. Theodore walked over the shelf and picked up the keys and a pair of slim sunglasses. Tossing the items over to Dark Sun, he headed over to the personal driver still waiting in the Ferrari.
"It's fine, Daren can drive himself to school. Why don't you take the day off?"
The driver nodded and drove off. Theodore could now hear the 'Pbbbb' of the motorcycle behind him. Finally remembering something important, he ran back to Dark Sun to remind him of one final thing.
"If Devon ever asks if I was with you on the motorcycle, just say yes, alright?" shouted Theodore over the roaring of the engine. "If Devon finds out I wasn't with you, then you'll never be able to ride on the motorcycle again!"
That seemed to get Dark Sun's attention. Promising to follow Theodore's orders, he grabbed the clutch and started giving some gas to the motorcycle. In a matter of seconds, Dark Sun took off, leaving behind the satisfied green-eyed scientist in a cloud of dust.
A boy walked down the hallway of a school, seemingly ignoring all the gasps and shudders of the people that he walked past. The usually extremely busy and noisy hallway was immediately choked into a silent and tense atmosphere. The normal students, who completely filled the hallway, somehow all parted away like the water for Moses, afraid of even touching the boy. The boy though, walked past all that while yawning and reliving last night's events. The fights at the battle tournament lasted way longer than usual. Because of that, he had to smash another alarm clock this morning. He would have skipped this whole day altogether, except for the fact that today was the day he could fight in the battle simulator. Grudgingly, he managed to somehow make it to school.
Whispers of, "There's him! The monster of D Class!" and "Quickly! Everyone take cover!" could be easily heard had the boy been paying any attention. But the boy, rustling his spiky flame orange hair, could care less than what others were saying about him. After all, he didn't want their attention anyways. But it was true that his appearance was quite eye-catching. Possessing an extraordinary and rare natural flame colored hair, it made him stick out like a sore thumb. Not to mention the silver dragon tattoo that seemed to wind it's way up on the left side of his face, ending near the eyebrows.
Kicking open the door to his own classroom, he saw a sight that others would have payed to see yet was an everyday occurrence to him. This was the troublemaking class of Yelan Academy, in other words, 'let the cows graze' class. This was the class of typical delinquents and misfits of society. This was the class that everyone looks down upon because of their horrible manners and failing grades. Indeed, the D Class had been a terrible blemish in Yelan Academy's name, often costing it much of its reputation. Usually, for the people who even bothered to come to school in the morning, the class would be filled with chaos. Fights, often involving weapons, became a habit for the students of D Class. There were even weapon dealers for those who wanted that extra something to spice up their fights. Don't be surprised to see students selling tickets, inviting those who would like to come see a particularly bloody match. All in all, this was the way of the most famously hated class, D Class.
But rowdy as they were, there was still a boundary line for these delinquents. When the boy kicked open the door, everyone froze in their spots for 5 seconds. It would be quite comical actually, if someone had bothered to pass by, but this was the hallway that everyone avoided. Who wanted to be near these gangsters anyway? But if someone had been there, they could have seen a student stopping in a mid-swing of an axe, towards a boy who was mid-way of pulling the trigger of a gun. They could have perhaps seen a crowd who looked as if they were built out of stone, what with their unmoving expressions and stiff faces. Maybe if someone had passed by, they could have seen a short, middle-aged teacher daring to poke his face from behind his desk, looking all grateful for the stop of this chaos.
The boy, utterly oblivious to his surroundings, only thought of one thing: sleep. All he wanted to do was reach his chair, cover his face with the chinese novel he was planning to read, and sleep the class away. One could literally see the eyes of the students who were all 'frozen in time' move in sync with the boy. When the boy finally reached his desk, pulled out his chair and relaxed, a collective, barely audible sigh could be heard. True to his thoughts, the minute the boy leaned on his chair, he fell asleep. Now a tenser atmosphere could be felt around the frozen students. Who would be brave enough to go check if 'the monster' was really asleep? Finally, one brave soul left his frozen vigil to go up to the sleeping boy, and pulled on his sleeve. Since the boy showed no response, it was like the classroom erupted once again. The crowd was suddenly screaming it's head off, cheering for the two that were fighting. The student swung his axe, only to miss the boy who held the gun. A blast could be heard, and the axe dropped from the other student's hand. The battle was over, but the crowd wasn't done cheering yet. More things could be seen throwing around and the overall noise was enough to deafen a person who was standing outside the entire school. The middle aged teacher could only sigh and duck down behind his desk again. At least this way, he'll be safe from the troublemakers. The boy however, was still leaning on his chair, enjoying his well-earned sleep.
Dark Sun was quite enjoying his new toy. VROOOM! VROOOOOOM!VROOOOOOOOM! The motorcycle took him to speeds that exhilarated him to an emotion he couldn't quite name. Perhaps it was because its been so long since he felt it. But the 'fun' emotion that was coined by his microchip could only have been the answer. Then again, how could he know what it was like to have 'fun'? He didn't even remember anything before the implantation of the microchip. He didn't even know if he felt this way before. But whether he did nor not, Dark Sun wasn't ready to let the entertainment end there.
Feeling his hair being whipped behind his face, Dark Sun dodged in between cars, totally ignoring the streetlights, and frightened everyone he passed half to death. But the silver haired teen kept on giving more and more gas to the motorcycle, in the end reaching double the normal speed limit. This caused the motorcycle to glide through the air whenever it ran over a bump on the road. However, Dark Sun still felt that he had enough control other it to dodge anything standing in his way. Truthfully, he's been purposely going the wrong way just for fun. If he was really heading for school, the fun would end too early. Without being late, he tried to prolong his happiness for a few minutes longer.
Then, his cellphone rang.
Taking out the cellphone from his pocket, the caller ID showed that Devon was calling. Hesitating to pick it up, Dark Sun panicked. Devon wasn't supposed to know that he was riding on the motorcycle. Theodore made sure to warn him about that. What could he do? Doing a 180, Dark Sun drove back in the direction of the school, while clicking the answer button on his cell.
"Daren! I got a short break from the meeting. Just wanted to check up on you.
"Are you at school now?"
Technically, Dark Sun wasn't lying, the microchip made sure of that. But he was driving at a ridiculous speed upon finally reaching the school's front gates.
"Why is the background noise so loud? Are you at your new classroom?"
The microchip had already mapped out the school for Dark Sun. All he has to do was park the motorcycle near the door to the classroom. But, as always, Dark Sun was going at a ridiculous speed even inside the school grounds, trying to find his classroom.
"Well, I'm almost there..."
"Almost there? The driver should have sent you to school 15 minutes early! Did something happen? Besides, why IS the background noise so loud? It almost sounds like you're driving a-"
Dark Sun had no time to listen to what Devon had to say afterwards. A pink haired girl, who was carrying two huge metal maces, seemed to pop up out of nowhere, and was directly in the way of himself and his new classroom. What's more, upon seeing Dark Sun, she just stood there, gawking, completely ignoring the fact that a roaring motorcycle was approaching her 200mph. Just realizing his speed, Dark Sun immediately knew that there was no way he could stop the motorcycle fast enough without hitting the girl. Swerving with all his might, Dark Sun managed to avoid hitting the pink haired girl, but couldn't manage to save his motorcycle. Jumping off at the last second, he scooped up the girl, still looking at him with big huge puppy eyes, and jumped out of the way.
Everyone at D Class was still as loud and rambunctious as usual. They couldn't even hear the roaring of a motorcycle that was coming their way. The flame haired boy, who was supposed to sleeping in content, suddenly opened his eyes. Jumping away from his desk, he growled in both anticipation and anger. Suddenly, a jet black motorcycle burst through the wall, and smashed several desks that were near it. Seeing his own desk being crushed, the boy became that much more irritated. Baring his teeth, the dragon on his face seemed to writhe along in anger with him. With one hand, he stopped the motorcycle before it could cause any further destruction. Eventually, the motorcycle's wheels stopped turning, and the class only just realized what happened. A humungous hole was what's left of their wall, and what's left inside the classroom wasn't pretty either. 'The Monster' of Class D had been awakened, with a motorcycle in his hands. All the students suddenly said a silent prayer to God for the person who was riding that motorcycle to not suffer too much before he dies. Although they were delinquents, they still felt sorry for whoever it was. Nobody who angered 'the monster' has ever came back a pretty sight. Rather, they didn't come back at all.
Lifting up the easily 500 pounds motorcycle with one hand, the flame haired boy threw it towards the direction it came from, and walked out to see who had the guts to disturb his sleep.
Dark Sun wasn't expecting this reaction, but still managed to catch the motorcycle without dropping the girl. Setting his beloved motorcycle upright, he also helped the girl to her feet. Looking back at whoever that threw the motorcycle, Dark Sun decided that he definitely won't forgive that person, no matter what. That person seriously dented the motorcycle with his rough treatment. Now how was he going to explain this to Theodore?
"You little punk, did you realize what you just did?" said the boy who was literally fuming with anger as he walked out of the classroom. He really liked that desk. That desk was always so comfortable to sleep in. Now it's crushed, by this white-haired brat and his motorcycle. The flame haired boy started thinking of all the ways to ruin that pretty boy's face.
Dark Sun wasn't so easily intimidated either and gladly accepted the boy's challenge.
One could just taste the palpable hatred that filled the air as the two giants confronted each other.