Chapter 02

Walking up the hill adorned with sakura trees, I paid little heed to it as my destination finally came into view. The high school I was attending for one year. Still in that time, I didn't take the effort to remember my school name or try to be on time for homeroom to start. As a matter of fact, it was already lunch time since the sun had already reached its highest point for today.

Rolling my head around, I continued with it until I heard a crack from my neck and groaned. The kink in my neck was gone now and I began to walk towards the school entrance.

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A dead tree was all that existed in this black and white world…
Where was this place? How did I get here? Why am I here?
Those were the only thoughts that ran in my mind…

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Enjoying the quiet and relaxing classroom atmosphere, I sat at my desk with my boxed lunch in front of me. Sitting in the desk before me was my friend, Sunohara Yuuto with his usual cafeteria bread and carton of fruit milk.

"Seems like we're getting pretty busy around this time of year," Sunohara spoke as he took a bite of his bread and chewed slowly as if he was savoring something, "Though you're going to be busier as well. Isn't that right Okazaki?"

Picking up a piece of meat in my lunch, I looked toward his general direction as he said my name. Before I could answer, a boy in our class started laughing as other students were dropping money on his desk.

"What are they doing over there Sunohara-kun?" I asked as Yuuto was taking a drink from his carton and looked at the person I was pointing towards, "Do those students owe him money?"

Watching carefully, I could see that there was looks of disappoint on the other students faces as I saw the other boy start putting away the money in his pocket.

"Well, don't sound surprised, but they're betting," Yuuto answered as he set his drink down and pointed his finger to the window we were near at, "Before you say anything, take a look outside and you'll see the reason."

Doing as Yuuto said, I gazed outside to see the reason for my classmates betting against each other. It was the one trouble student that was in class 2-C and my fellow classmate, Allen Ventuel.

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Walking past students, I could feel their stare as I tried to disregard them without any avail. Hearing whispers as I passed on by, my feet stopped moving as I turned around to the student that was talking behind my back and glared at him.

I heard a whimper from the student as if he was just whipped and other students shut themselves up as well. Continuing my glare to the student that talked behind my back, I could see him shivering as I scoffed and resumed walking towards my class.

Walking in silence, I turned at the corner and followed down the corridor as the classroom signs change to 2-C. As I drew closer to the classroom, I heard loud noises coming out of the class.

"I'm telling you not to bet in school! It's unethical and it's going to teach bad habits to you!" a female voice shouted as a dry laugh was heard after the girls statement.

"It doesn't matter anyways. What's so bad about making some extra cash at school? I've made a good haul thanks to him," a male voice spoke as I heard his bragging about making a few bucks.

"It matters! As class representative, I don't want my fellow classmates to bet in school," the female voice answered as she sounded angry.

Opening the door to the class, I looked into the room to see the cause of the ruckus. The male student that sat in the front of the class looked towards the door and lost all the color in his face as he saw me. The female student had her head turned toward me and looked simply outraged to see me late to school.

"There you are Ventuel-kun! You're not only late for school and class, but your tardiness is becoming a gambling game for our classmates!" the female shouted as I was slightly annoyed at her for shouting at me.

The girl shouting at me was the class representative of 2-C, I think her name was Oka-something Ushio. Hell, I don't know and I don't really care.

"It's not my issue if he's making extra money. What he does is up to him," I responded in an annoyed tone as I walked past the class rep and headed to my desk.

All was fine until somebody grabbed my sleeve. Turning my gaze toward the area, I saw someone's hand keeping a tight grip on my school blazer's sleeve. As my eyes traveled down the hand, to the arm, then to the person's face, I made a tch noise as Sunohara Yuuto was staring at me with angry eyes.

"Oi, are you stupid? Okazaki is speaking to you out of concern and you're treating her like that?" he asked his usual angry voice towards me as I swung my arm forward and had my sleeve released from his grip.

Forging to my desk, I was stopped once more and forcibly turned around as I stared at the face of Sunohara. Now this was starting to piss me off.

"I'm talking to you asshole!" he shouted in my face as I glared at him and by the looks on his face, I could tell that he didn't like the fact that I was glaring at him, "What the hell do you think your glaring at?!"

Not responding, I looked to the side with a smirk on my face. This black haired idiot here was starting to piss me off and I think he knew that I shouldn't be taken lightly. I clenched my hand into a fist and readied myself to deck him in the face, but was interrupted by the ringing noise of the bell, indicating that lunch break was over.

Stepping in between us, the class representative pushed as hard as she could in order to separate Sunohara from me.

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Splitting up Sunohara and Ventuel from each other, I was glaring angrily at Sunohara for trying to start a fight in the classroom.

"Sunohara-kun, don't go starting fights in the classroom! It'll cause trouble for others!" I shouted at Sunohara as he turned his angry glare out the window and I turned to Ventuel, "You as well Ventuel-kun! Don't go causing trouble and you should try to get to school on time instead of being late all the time!"

Ventuel looked at me with uninterested eyes before smirking at me and walked towards his desk. Dumbfounded, I watched Ventuel toss his bag onto the floor under his chair and sat down in an uncouth manner.

Keeping things to myself, I went over to my desk and grabbed the worksheets that Ventuel didn't get for not coming to class lectures. Hastily walking over to him, I slammed the papers down on his desk as I glared at him before turning around and heading back to my desk as the teacher arrived for the next lesson.

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A noise… No… It was someone's voice…
Why does it… sound so familiar?