So, I will be busy all week. Hence, I have decided to update again in the same weekend.
Now, in compliance with akin-'to38's comment, I will avoid describing the MMO she plays from now on to any detailed extents.
I've still not made up my mind though about the romance so if anyone else has any input, I will gladly hear you out (pm, review...whatever is more comfortable for you).
Again, thank you to all for the reviews, your feedback is very helpful to me.
Here is Chapter 4, ENJOY!
~ Cat Out ~
Kai writes out a few equations on a separate sheet of paper while his quantum mechanics professor lectures about something called a Stern-Gerlach experiment and some other thing called a polarizer. He didn't care what the professor was saying; he didn't understand the material one bit after all. Besides, he is close to completing the packet that the girl had given him the past Saturday and the thing had taken him all weekend. Luckily for him, his other three classes were introductory level so they demanded very little of his time.
Boxing in the final answer to the practice problem on the packet, Kai takes a deep breath and decides he should probably give himself a five minute break. Thinking back to the materials he studied over the weekend, he cannot help but be impressed by how much he managed to learn – or more precisely, how much information the girl had managed to stuff into the packet and yet keep it concise and clear at the same time. The packet had contained everything from basic calculus to three-dimensional vector calculus. According to the girl, this would be covered in a span of three calculus courses at most universities.
'And yet I learned all of it in a span of two days.' Kai muses.
He glances over to the girl to see her at her usual: the MMO game where she essentially just kills other players – at least from what he's seen her do in it. He then recalls their little incident on Saturday. He had stumbled onto a little secret she was keeping from the school – namely keeping a pet cat in her suite. In response, she had threatened to abrogate their contract if he said anything about it to anyone. Of course, Kai knew the rules of the residence halls and school apartments just as well as she did and having a fondness for cats, he had no intention to tell anyone. The girl, however, already made the assumption from the start that he would use her secret to some form of advantage of his based on his "holding her necklace hostage". Rather unhappy with how base a character she has assumed him to be, he ended up arguing with her and unintentionally threatening her with the cat's presence in her suite. To his displeasure, the girl took him seriously and said to him, "You're despicable. Using a poor little cat as a bargaining chip…"
The two of them had not really spoken since. There was no reason to, after all. The packet was just as she had described it – completely self-explanatory. Since neither of them really wanted anything to do with one another, there were no other reasons for them to speak with one another.
As Kai is about to return to working on the few problems he has left on the packet, the professor tells the class, "Okay class, time's up and you may go. Remember that there is a quiz in tomorrow's discussion section. I know you are all confused except for A2 but do your best anyway!"
Kai watches as the plump old man promptly proceeds to exit the room. He then begins packing his own things up. As he does, a familiar voice near him addresses him, "Hey."
He looks up to see the girl dressed in white before him.
"By condition three of our contract, I order you to come to my suite at six o'clock for a favor. I'll give you the details then." She then turns to the door and leaves.
Acknowledging her request without bothering to reply, Kai resumes packing. Once done, he gets up to leave as well. As he exits the classroom, however, one of the guys who normally sit in the front of the room approaches him.
"Hi, I'm Shin." He introduces himself. "Shin Asakura."
Kai keeps on walking and ignores the guy.
"You're Kai, right?" the guy who called himself "Shin" goes on. "Kai Hiwatari?"
"That's my name." Kai walks on. 'What does this guy want..?'
"I've seen you on TV before but anyway, I'm not here for an autograph or anything." He goes on. "You a transfer?"
Kai does not answer him but keeps walking.
"Hey, I'm only asking because I've never seen you in any of my previous physics classes." He explains after the silence.
Kai stops and turns to him. He had heard a similar line from that girl too. "I take it the whole class all knows each other?"
"Yeah, sort of…" Shin answers him as he continues walking down the hall again. "Most of us have already taken intro physics in high school so naturally we more or less just skipped straight to the upper levels where it's pretty much major specific. Since the students in the major tend to not move around much, we've all more or less taken the same few classes together since freshman year."
"I see." Kai comments nonchalantly as he turns a corner in the hall. This guy is certainly talkative and Kai wouldn't be surprised if he's into gossip too. The last thing he wants to do now is tell this guy that he actually ended up in quantum mechanics by mistake and risk having the whole class talking about it.
"So are you friends with A2?" Shin asks.
Kai turns to look at him. He has no idea who or what A2 is. "A2?"
"That girl you always sit near in the back." Shin answers. "Weren't you two talking to each other?"
'Who the hell calls their kid A2… ?' Kai mentally notes. He then recalls when he saw her running around in a towel and rain boots smack in the middle of the afternoon on Friday. 'Well, I suppose it's a fitting name for such a weird girl…'
"Well anyway, A2's just the nickname she insists on going by." Shin goes on. "I don't think anyone in the class knows her real name. She never talks to anyone…at least not 'til you showed up."
Kai listens but doesn't say anything in response.
The guy goes on anyway and asks. "So did you really not know her name?"
"No." After that, Kai picks up his pace to split from him.
That evening, Kai arrives at the door of the suite in which his tutor resides just as she had requested of him. He rings the doorbell and waits patiently for the door to be answered and it soon is, albeit again, by her suite mate, the same one who had answered the last time he came by.
"You must be here for her again, huh?" She greets him, her expression a mixture of annoyance, amusement, and boredom. "Well, come on in."
She turns to lead him inside the suite. As soon as he has entered, Kai immediately heads down the hall to where A2's room is. Just as he arrives, the door opens and she emerges from the room, a soft juice drink with straw and a textbook with pen and paper in hand.
"Oh good, you're here." She greets him.
Unnoticed by either of them, a fluffy white cat slips out of her bedroom.
"So, what did you want from me?" Kai asks her bluntly. He wants to get this over with already.
"Right, so the favor I need from you is…" she opens the door further and indicates with an eerily gleeful smile to the pile of stuff scattered all over her floor. "This."
Kai stares for a few moments at the mess. Her mess, to be exact. While the last time he had been here it was already messy enough, it would seem that over the last two days or so it had gotten a good deal worse. Aside from her books, papers, writing utensils, clothes, garbage, and the pile of metal that was present before, now, there is also spilled sand from the cat's litter box, a few folders and binders, a printer, two gaming consoles and a few games scattered about.
"Please clean this up for me to the best of your ability." She asks happily.
He snaps out of his amazement and turns to her, "You expect me to clean all of this up?"
"Why, yes. By condition three, as long as it's not illegal, directly against the other conditions of the contract, publicly embarrassing, or nonsensical in wording, you are bound by the contract to obey my command – whatever it may be." She repeats some of the terms of their pact to him. "So I fully expect you to do what I had just asked."
Kai stares grumpily at her for a few moments.
"It's not illegal for you to clean my room, right? Nor is it directly in violation with any of the other terms, right?" She asks with a big smile. She then adds. "And since this is just my room, there's no public crowd that will see you clean."
'What did I sign myself up for…?' Kai curses mentally before turning from her.
"I get it." He tells her. "I'll do it."
"Good! Make sure you put the books somewhere where they are in plain view. Other than that though, you can put things wherever you want as long as the room looks neat." She tells him as she leaves to go to the living room. "Thanks a bunch!"
Kai stares at the pile on the floor for a while. Back home, he had never had to clean something like this up; he had a butler at the mansion and he wasn't a particularly sloppy person either. Where should he even start cleaning from?
'She's doing this to spite me…' He concludes mentally. He then recalls how unhappy she had been with the whole arrangement in the first place and how detailed and well explained that packet was. He was certain that no textbook would go so far as to derive every step of an equation and label each step with the trigonometric and algebraic identities used to get there. This could only mean that the girl herself wrote them up for him. 'Then again, it was practically forced on her after all. If not for me, she wouldn't have to spend time writing up instructional packets with practice problems.'
'I wonder how long that packet took her…' Kai ponders in his mind as he picks up some of her clothing.
He then looks around. There's no room for him to even move in this room as the floor is practically covered all over. He then spots the open closet near the door.
"Make sure you put the books somewhere where they are in plain view. Other than that though, you can put things wherever you want as long as the room looks neat."
'Well she did say I can put them wherever I want to.' Kai justifies as he begins throwing everything except the books into the closet. 'I only have to make this room look neat.'
Out in the living room, girl with long, light colored hair neatly writes the final answer of one of her homework questions. She then looks over the rest of what she did.
'Halfway done.' She smiles at her progress. 'And all in a matter of fifteen minutes, too. Looks like I'll be able to help my clan in-game at camping for Tezza after all.'
"Meow…" the fluffy cat beside her calls to her.
"Hello, there Hika," the girl pulls the cat a little closer to her and gently strokes its back. "Are you happy that I'm almost done?"
"Meow." Hika replies to the sound of her voice.
"My clan's co-leader said that if I show up for just one more epic, I'll be eligible for another piece of epic jewelry." She tells her cat. She then adds, "I can't wait."
A low rumbling sound erupts from the girl's stomach, forcing the girl to take notice of her hunger.
"Oh, right…I forgot about dinner." She then tells Hika, "I'll be right back to grab some food."
With that, she heads off to the kitchen and opens up the freezer. After pondering a little, she takes out a box of microwaveable pizza and begins to open up the box. Her suitemate then comes down the hall towards the door.
"A2, I'm heading out to go to a friend's birthday party." Her suite mate tells her. "Want me to bring back any food for you?"
"Only if there's anything unusual or delicious, like always, please." The girl answers as she places the pizza into the microwave.
"'Kay." Her suite mate replies as she puts her shoes on and opens the door to leave.
As her suite mate leaves, the cat called Hika follows her out the door unnoticed by either of the girls.
A few minutes later, the microwave oven beeps and signals to the light haired girl that her dinner is ready. She promptly takes out the instant meal and begins to consume it. Moments later, Kai comes out of her bedroom and heads towards the door. As he passes by her, he tells her, "I did what you asked."
He then leaves the suite.
The girl soon finishes her pizza and returns to her homework. Looking around, she notices Hika is no longer in the living room. Believing that her cat has simply went off somewhere to hide, she shrugs it off and continues her work.
Kai traverses down the hall and proceeds to take the stairway down to the ground floor. As he does, two girls follow behind him, loudly conversing. He didn't really care what they were talking about; it likely would not be of any interest or concern to him since he doesn't know them but due to their loud volume, he cannot help but overhear them.
"Jessica, I'm sure it's my allergies." One girl protests in response to something the other girl said. "It's too warm for me to have caught a cold."
"Shirley, you don't catch colds necessarily because the weather is cold; it's a viral infection of the respiratory system." The one called Jessica replies. "Besides you're allergic to cats, right? There's no way there are any cats in the dorms; it's against the rules. You should go get this checked out with a doctor before it becomes a flu."
"But I'm telling you, it's not a cold!" the girl called Shirley insists. "And there is a cat in our building! I saw it wandering around the hallway earlier."
'Are they talking about A2's cat?' Kai wonders. He then recalls how secretive she was about it. The girl had stuffed her cat in the closet in an attempt to hide it from him. 'She wouldn't let the cat walk around on its own, would she?'
"Well if it's bothering you so much and you really did see a cat in here, why don't you go report it to the RA?" her friend suggests. "It's probably just a stray that wandered in."
Kai soon exits the building and goes his separate way from the two strangers. 'Whatever, her cat's not really my business.'
Later that night, the girl comes out of her shower fully refreshed. She had completed her homework due the next day and she is now free to enjoy the rest of the night however she prefers. She puts back all of her toiletries and enters her now cleared room. No longer are there clutter and clothes all over the floor but the floor is now clear and without a single obstruction.
'He sure did a good job cleaning.' She comments in her mind as she takes in the sight of the clean looking space.
She then proceeds to look for some clothes to wear in her drawers. As she opens the top drawer she is surprised to find it empty.
"Hm?" she stares curiously at it.
'He wouldn't dare to have thrown all of my things out…would he? He couldn't have anyway; I was right in the living room…' her thoughts circulate in her mind as she begins to attempt to deduce what he had done in her room. She then tries the next drawer.
"What the heck?" she exclaims, looking around the room now.
Beginning to suspect that he really had done something unasked for, she checks all of the other drawers.
Zip, Zilch, Nada.
'If he really did throw all of my stuff out somehow, he's going to pay!' She curses him as she checks the other storage compartments in the room.
Having gone through all of the drawers, she now stands before her closet. Grumbling, cursing, and angry, she places her hand on the closet's door knob and turns. As she does, all of her things comes tumbling out, causing her to quickly step back to avoid having it all land on her feet.
'He did NOT do a good job cleaning!' she growls mentally.
Before she could think of something to do as a way to get back at him for this, a shrill sound from her laptop alerts her of a new email message. Deciding she might as well see it while it's on her mind, she goes over to the laptop on her desk and quickly opens the message.
"The residential staff?" she reads out the sender's name. "What do they want?"
She then read the rest of the message to herself.
"To all residents,
It has been brought to my attention that a white cat with collar has been sighted within the residence hall today. As you all should know, the school strictly forbids keeping any pets other than small fishes or turtles. Therefore, tomorrow, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., there will be an inspection of all rooms and suites in the building.
The girl stared at the screen for a few moments. She then storms out of her room and checks every part of the apartment possible for her cat.
'No way!' she checks the kitchen's cupboards. 'They're not talking about Hika, are they?'
Knocking violently on one of her suite mate's doors, she shouts, "Renée, have you seen Hika anywhere?"
The door opens and a girl with dark brown hair answers. "No, is she missing?"
Not bothering to answer the question as she deemed it obvious anyway, she knocks on another of her suite mate's doors, "Sveta, is Hika in your room?
The girl called Sveta answers the door, "No she's not."
She then checks her other suite mate's door while both girls watch her, quite confused. Finding it open, she enters and looks around, "Hika!"
"No way…" the girl mumbles in disbelief.
Kai gives up on his quantum mechanics homework.
It was pointless. He was nowhere near caught up with the course as he had only just finished the material from the calculus packets and that is only half of what he needs to know in terms of the mathematics. There was just one question he was able to answer however and that was only because it was practically the same as one of the derivations in the chapter with some signs switched.
'Well, I tried my hardest.' Kai sighs in defeat. 'Better than last week's homework, at least.'
He gets out of his seat, closes the shades on the window and throws off his shirt to go to bed. He glances at the clock before switching the lights off. It was already one thirty in the morning.
'Will I really be able to catch up?' he wonders as he climbs into his bed. 'That girl did say she'll give me the next packet by Wedsnesday…'
His thoughts are interrupted when someone furiously rings his suite's doorbell. Over and over the sound waves from it fills the room and pierces his ears, causing a very uncomfortable ringing in his head. Kai can tell whoever it is must really be desperate or something.
Kai turns over and puts his pillow over his ears. 'Who would ring the doorbell at this hour…? And this intensely?'
Some commotion from the door soon follows as one of his suite mates who were having a quiet little gathering with his friends in the living room answers. He then finds the noise growing louder as the source of it approaches his room in the hallway. Without warning, his door bursts open, causing him to sit up from his bed and see who it is. His tutor, the girl called A2, stands very much out of breath at his bedroom door, sloppily dressed and holding the wall for support. Behind her is his suite mate who is very confused as to why this girl suddenly forced her way into their suite.
"I…" she begins, still catching her breath and sinking onto his floor. "I need…another favor."
Kai continues to stare dumbfounded by the fact that she had burst in at past one in the morning.
'What the hell? Seriously, what the hell!' Kai repeats over and over in his mind.
Despite her clearly, physically inferior condition at the moment, she goes on to issue him a command, "Help me…help me find Hika! I order you!"