Teitan Academy: Open My Eyes
Chapter 04: Smash
The room had become chaos. In the minute after the riddle had been displayed, the room had become chaos. Fangirls on the bleachers were cheering, boys were staring, competitors were copying the riddle down on their new blank sheets of paper, and it was a good fifteen minutes before things quieted down the least bit, and the judges were able to get the competition back on track.
"And so, whichever team is able to produce the correct answer, which will be judged by our very own chairman, Kuroba Toichi, will be getting two hundred points added to their team score! Are you ready?"
Cheers were his answer, before things mellowed into faint murmurs so the competitors could work.
Most were staring very intensely at their copied riddle, unable to truly make something out of it, considering the possibilities.
"'Kisses to me', huh...?" Masumi mused as she tapped her pen absently. Around her, her teammates clutched their papers in their hands, sweat forming on their foreheads. She sighed in exasperation at their fairly useless attempts. "Kiss can be represented by an 'X', but then how many X's does it want?"
Not a single person replied to her unanswered question. They were too busy trying to burn holes through their paper so that the answer would magically come to them. They were smart, sure, but riddles just weren't their thing, even if they had already seen at least twenty of them from previous heists.
If her teammates weren't going to cooperate, how was she going to figure it out? Sighing, she turned to peek over the shoulder of her nearest seatmate, aforementioned seatmate too busy scribbling to notice, not that the honor student really got anything out of looking at it. She couldn't read the scribbles, whether they were going to turn out to be helpful or not, the latter being more likely.
"Sera-kun, do you think that the written 's' sort of looks like a five?"
She blinked, almost comically, as realization dawned. Thanking the person, she didn't bother to find out who exactly, who had suggested it half-heartedly, she set to work on the riddle again. If she recalled it correctly it would equal to about that number...Now to do the damned multiplication...
"The 'Jewel cursed by the Moon' would be the Syamantaka gem, if I recall correctly," Saguru noted absently as he eyed the note with interest that was apparent for the first time since the whole affair started. "It is said that there was a legend attached to this particular jewel right now, it itself currently being displayed at the Beika Museum, so I am fairly certain about the degree of correctness."
Heiji shot him a dour look. "Because of course you would know, genius," he bit out, almost angrily, though there really wasn't all that much heat to it, not that it was actually intended to be in it.
The half-Brit only shrugged nonchalantly, ignoring the Osakan. "'To the nearest minute will do'...that must mean that the first line, 'Kisses to me', refers to the time this heist would take place."
"Stop ignoring me!"
Nonchalantly, the blonde shrugged. "I wasn't ignoring you. I was just stating what I thought about this note. It's not my fault that you mistakenly thought that I was ignoring you. After all, you always have been quite a bit dense, if someone else hasn't told you that already. If not, they should."
"You think you're smart, don't you?"
"No, only that I'm considerably more intelligent than you are, at the very least."
"Don't you know how to say 'yes' the proper way?"
"I assure you that I do everything properly, including not getting sidetracked, unless a certain someone."
"You were just sidetracked a few moments ago."
"I was still thinking about it."
Meanwhile, Shinichi himself had been figuring some things out. Okay, so maybe, just maybe, he eavesdropped just a bit. But just a little bit! It wasn't his fault that the others always talked so loudly!
Okay, he'll stop with the denials.
...But it was true!
Totally, completely true!
Sighing, he turned back to his math, if he got that part of the riddle solved correctly, but not before a quick glance around at his teammates. Kaito himself hadn't signed up for this particular competition, which he found quite weird – not that he wasn't thankful for it – . Well, sort of. The magician had done just about every other sort of thing like this. So why hadn't he signed up for this?
Pulling his mind back from where it had wandered off to, he focused back on the riddle. Fifty times e should be around...That means that the time would be that...a synonym of new is virgin...the virgin reign...uh...That's it!
With a triumphant grin, his hand shot into the air as he finished scribbling down his answer, almost wincing as it put unnecessary strain on his still injured arm from the whole beach incident. Honestly...when was it going to heal anyway? If he had gotten this correctly, it should be...
An attendant came to collect his paper for inspection. Waiting on the edge of his seat in anticipation, he bit his lip, almost hard enough to draw blood. Unsurprised as he was, he let out a breath when it was indeed...
"We have a winner!"
"Congratulations, Shin-chan, congratulations!"
"Kaito, get off of me!"
But even he couldn't stop the almost giddy grin from making its way onto his face. He hadn't ever received such attention before. Before he came here, sure, he was pretty famous for his little deductions here and there, but nothing much more. But there was pros to transferring to Teitan...
For example, back where he came from, he happened to be a walking murder magnet, and saw death more than necessary. Or was it just one of his friends that was the murder magnet? It didn't happen around here anymore, something that he was profusely grateful. But he couldn't help wondering anyway.
But it wasn't really the time now to wonder about such things.
Besides, the cons far outweighed the pros of the situation!
...Okay, maybe not.
"Isn't it time for you to go now?" he tried instead, knowing that any attempt to get away from the Kuroba was immediately rendered fruitless,almost disappointed when its wasn't assent that he received.
"Nope~! Still have another 15 minutes~! Are you losing your touch?"
"I conclude that I should be insulted by that comment. But aren't you talking about Hakuba with the time part?"
The competition itself ended as expected, the White team securing their win by a good seventy-five points in the lead from the Gold team, leaving the Red team for third, to put it nicely so someone won't throw a fit.
Currently, everyone was out for dinner with their respective families. While the Host Club sat, grouped together at the Hakuba household, their parents where striking up intelligent – or as good as they could get – conversations about business and the like with each other. Well, at least the men were. The women were busy cooing over how well their children had done once again.
"I can't believe you guys won again," Heiji groaned comically, burying his face in his hands as he picked at the fries on his plate, almost absently, and dipped them in the ketchup. "Damn your luck, Kuroba! We should totally ban you from being on any team!...Unless I'm on the team, of course."
Said person only shot the glum Osakan a cheerful all-too-bright smile, taking a break from trying to feed Shinichi a cookie to reply. Aforementioned person himself was grateful that the Hattori had intervened, though the latter himself didn't seem to be particularly happy. "Talking about winning, you owe me money~! Hand it over, else I'll just steal it. I know you have it on you, anyway, I searched you earlier."
"When did you...never mind, I'll just shut up about it. Just remind me to never bet against you ever again," the jade-eyed boy grumbled moodily, drawing out a wad of bills, snapping his chicken leg in half, cleanly. "Even if it's only some unneeded pocket change, it's still money." Shinichi and Masumi only stared at the bills that the others had considered 'pocket change' – which was technically five hundred thousand yen.
Damn those rich people...
"I do wonder where you got your stupidity from, though," Saguru input monotonously from where he sat, handling a plate a carefully prepared well-done steak and vegetables. "Kuroba-kun's so lucky, you've got to be insane to even consider betting one yen against him. You're father is plenty respectable – as is your mother. You're the only stupid one in your family, or so it seems."
The Osakan bristled. "Yeah, well, you're the only one in your family that's so arrogant and heartless. Last time I met your dear father, he seemed much more open and easier to talk to than you are."
"You think? Well, that's because..."
Ducking out of the line of fire of the continuous insults that followed, the rest of the members watched for a while with little interest, before getting on with life and their meal, into their own little conversations.
"What did you bet anyway?" Shinichi glanced suspiciously at his lookalike. "I know for sure that Hattori wouldn't have agreed to a bet if it was only if his team won, he would win, if yours won, then you win. What did you blow this time?"
"Absolutely nothing, Kudou-sama!" None of the club members bought the act for a millisecond, least of all the younger honor student, who glared down at their king's bowed form in front of him. "So?"
Innocent act finally dropped, said Kuroba bounced back up. "I only bet him that if he won, I would kowtow to him five times at every social gathering we met at until his death, along with a quota of...let me see...a million yen, if I recall correctly. He would win if either my team didn't win, all the while getting fifty points above his, the third team won, or if his team got the most first places."
Masumi sighed. Of course even their bets would be totally insane like the people that made them themselves.
Well, as they say, there aren't any such thing as stupid questions, only stupid people that ask questions, so therefore, there are no crazy bets, only crazy people that made bets? That made no sense...
Polishing off the last of their meal, with Heiji and Saguru still giving each other dirty looks, they headed back for the closing ceremony.
The closing ceremony was grand, even the two commoners had to admit. Held that night, with fireworks, lights, and all sorts of other things. It really was a perfect night, the moon full, the sky free of clouds.
While we're on that topic, how did they get platforms big enough to fit a third of the school comfortably on it, with at least a quarter of its space still left free? Damn all those frickin' rich people...
"Remind me again how they managed to move this here in the half an hour we were gone?" Masumi deadpanned to her companion. Shinichi shrugged.
"We probably don't want to know. I mean, rich kids have probably been dubbed as 'crazy' at least a century ago."
Well, anyway, the party afterwards lasted until very late that night –well, actually, into the morning–. Champagne and French wine were passed around, to even the underage. Everyone had a great time doing so.
...Well, almost everyone.
"W...What the hell is he doing?" Masumi watched wide-eyed as she watched a group of boys, Hattori included, sing an extremely loud (and awful) rendition of Lady Gaga, covering her ears and wincing.
"They're all drunk." Saguru deadpanned, materializing magically out of the crowd to answer her question, video camera in hand. She deadpanned in return when she caught sight of the camera he held.
"And oh so very concerned of your friend making a fool out of himself," she rolled her eyes. "Or is it only because of the merits and profits it will bring to club the day after the next?" She wasn't really surprised at his assent.
"The ladies, I find, have no objection to it, if the way they are currently watching the group are any indication. But Kuroba-kun and Kudou-kun seem to be having quite a lot of fun too, but I'll get to that later."
Curious, she turned to look, only to immediately regret she had. Immediately but forcefully, she pulled her vision away from the sight. Do notever look again, she told herself silently. Not ever again.
It was then that she noticed what she had thought odd the whole night but didn't take notice of now – everyone's hair was either exuberant shades of orange, yellow, or pink, or was drab with blue, green, and purple.
Including her own.
Great. Just great. How the hell was she going to get that dye out of her hair? It would waste a lot of unnecessary water, increase bills, or should she just borrow one of the other's? No, they'll probably charge even more...
It had been two days since the passing of the sports competition, and Hattori Heiji was having the most embarrassing day in his life. First, that stuck-up half-Brit goes and puts a video of him doing something he did not remember doing and would not be caught dead doing! Had he been drunk?
He still grimaced when he thought about it.
"Turn it off!"
"Why, may I ask? Your earnings have skyrocketed today."
That bastard of a half-Brit. Why couldn't he just go along with the dumb blonde stereotype? Talking about that, it would be cool...
...But that was not the topic here! First, he had to focus on killing that DAMNED VIDEO! Curse the Hakuba!
"Just TURN IT OFF!"
In the background, Lady Gaga played.
Oh well, at least his earnings had been good. Not that it eased his horrible pain in any way the slightest.
He was seriously considering slicing Saguru's head off neatly with his kendo sword...but murder was a pain to cover up, so that was totally vetoed. And with the security cameras he wasn't sure how to get a hold of in the room...
He decided to remove his depressing thoughts and tried to listen to the other's conversation. It had been a while since the end of club activities for the afternoon, and they were just staying behind.
"So? What's our next project?"
Masumi made an exaggerated show of sighing again. One thing was over with, of course there would be another event right after. Did these rich people really have that much time on their hands?
"The KID heist!" The twins proclaimed loudly, throwing out their arms in an exaggerated excitement, but stopped short when Kaito shook his head. "Then what? Was there another event? We don't remember any..."
"Actually, I already signed all of you guys up for it," Kaito's eyes gleamed. "You see, you're all going to have to..."
Masumi didn't know why Shinichi had looked so horrified when he finished the sentence he had started.
A/N: That's about as long as I can make this damn chapter. Lack of inspiration. Lots of it. Chapters where practically nothing happens are always hard to write. Killed my brain with this. And it was rushed. I hate Tutorial...I want that sticker so you can get out of it! I just found out, people aren't supposed to fortune tell for me, else their lifespan will shorten (I have 8 'suns' (yang), as they put it.). How cool it that?...Haha, just kidding. But I'm serious about the fortune-telling part.
Guess (I totally gave you enough clues to figure out the friggin' riddle!)? What songs do you think would represent the characters?