Odd returned back to his room. He was grateful Ulrich was still out with whatever girl he was pursuing at the current time. Odd wanted to work in silence, especially since his tutoring session with Aelita had given him a major headache.
That girl, he thought to himself as he rubbed his temples. She's surely going to be the death of me. There were no repercussions if he decided to resign his position as a math tutor, he recalled. He mulled over it for a minute, but didn't come to a solid solution. In all honesty, he didn't see any hope in improving Aelita's understanding of math. She lacked any care for doing well. Idiot, Odd thought. He regretted the thought, thinking it to be a bit too harsh, but couldn't come up with a better word to substitute it for the moment. He couldn't comprehend how someone could have so little interest in doing well. He guessed that she probably was very capable of being a good student, she just had no desire to apply herself. A potentially useful mind, completely wasted.
Deciding to push all memories of his study session from hell to the side, he opened his desk drawer and took out his latest project. Odd shook his head at the object in front of him. He was very much disgusted at it, yet impressed at the same time. This one little device had brought about his demise, but it was so ingenious.
He had been in the final round of Kadic's annual robotics competition and was so sure that it would be an easy victory for him. Of course his only opponent in the round was just as worthy of being in the finals as he, but his foe was consistently second to Odd in everything. It was a shock that his rival had won first, but the bigger surprise was that his own robot had malfunctioned. Odd had double-checked all the robots systems before the competition and his engineering had never failed before. After a brief examination, Odd reaffirmed that his robot's problem was not caused by a mistake of his, but rather by an outside interference. The robot's electronics had been disabled by a device. The device he now had in his possession – a non-nuclear EMP device. He figured the electromagnetic pulse had been controlled by his enemy, and he confirmed his suspicions when he found the EMP in his opponent's room after snooping around a bit.
Oh Nicholas, Odd thought, you evil genius. Odd hated that Nicholas had got the best over him, but he couldn't help admiring his cunning wit. Of course, he also loved the fact Nicholas had been so gullible to leave the thing out in the open.
Odd knew that it would only be a matter of time before Nicholas discovered it was missing, so he had to work quickly. He would write down the basic mechanics of the device and then return the EMP before Nicholas ever noticed it was gone. He wanted to know how it worked, any more importantly, how he could improve the design for his own benefit. He wasn't going to turn it in to the judges of the competition nor was he just going to steal it for the sake of stealing it. Odd had to admit he and Nicholas had a weird relationship. They were always each other's opponent, yet they both had a certain amount of respect for each other's intellect. Frenemies was the closest term Odd could come up with to describe Nicholas and himself.
He had finished writing down his notes on the EMP in his secretive shorthand when the door to his room opened. His head shot up, scared it might be Nicholas, but it was only Ulrich and the latest in a long line of girls he had managed to date, Yumi.
Odd and Ulrich both acknowledged each other with a nod, but didn't exchange any words. Even though they were roommates, they hardly ever talked – mostly from a lack of common interests. Odd was obsessed with learning and Ulrich only cared for superficial things such as dating whatever girl he could get and so on. Odd picked up the EMP and walked out of the room to return the device, leaving Ulrich and Yumi alone in the room.
"You're room's really cool," Yumi said as she sat down on Ulrich's bed. "I kinda wish I sometimes lived on campus, but I guess that'd be a little impractical since I live down the street, huh? But still, it'd be pretty cool."
"I guess." Ulrich pulled the chair away from his desk and sat down in it, facing Yumi.
"So, you said you wanted to talk to me about something?" Yumi asked. She smiled at Ulrich.
Ulrich shifted in his seat. He decided there was no better way to start by saying, "So I've been thinking about you and me..."