"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We will be landing in New Haven shortly, please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts. Do remain seated until the seatbelt logo has turned-off."
Shin shut his book and kept in his bag before placing it carefully under the seat of the chair infront. Leaning back, he sat perfectly straight with his eyes closed, waiting patiently for the plane to land.
Slowly, the plane descended, coming closer and closer to the ground below. There was a small bump that jostled everyone in the plane, signalling that they had touched down. As the plane accelerated and deccelerated along the velocity curve, it eventually eased into a comfortable pace and the plane was steered to its intended place on the airport grounds.
"Ladies and gentleman, welcome to New Haven. The temperature outside is around 15°C, the weather is clear and it is a slightly cloudy day. We hope you have enjoyed your flight, please have a pleasant stay and please come and fly with us again."
Shin remained in his upright position with his eyes closed as people around him stood up and pushed past each other to get out of the plane first. There were a couple of grunts as the passengers retrieved their bags from the baggage compartments overhead and moved out.
After waiting for three minutes, Shin himself got up and took his bag from under the chair. He bowed to all the air-staff as he passed, causing some of the air stewardesses to blush lightly at the politeness from the handsome-featured foreigner.
Clearing smoothly through the customs and baggage claims, Shin stepped out of the airport onto solid ground with his luggage and a subway map and city map in hand. He breathed a sigh, he was fine with flights but he still would rather solid ground over anything. Following the signs, he headed in the direction of the subway. Contrary to common belief, Shin actually was pretty good at finding his way around, as long as the map was paper and not digital.
Alighting at Achieven University, New Haven, Shin got off the bus and walked through the grand gates of the renowned school. Students were spread all around the campus, a few groups, a few couplese here and there. Lone students were also loitering about or heading somewhere. One particular student with spiky black hair and headphones stuck him as someone familiar, but that student disappeared around the corner and Shin just shrugged it off.
After asking around in passable English, Shin was led to the principles office by one of the helpful students.
"Mr Shin, from Oujou University I presume? You are here for the two-months exchange?" The principle asked in a formal but friendly tone.
Shin nodded wordlessly and handed the man the required documents and his particulars.
"Welcome to Achieven University." The principle said after looking over the documents. "I heard from your university that you are one of their most hardworking students with not only amazing academic results but also astounding contribution in your co-curricular activity. You should fit in well here at Achieven. Here are the listed times for your classes, and please feel free to join any activity that interests you. I hope you will enjoy your stay here. The vice-principle, Doctor Perforth, will show you to your dorm and have a student show you around the campus."
There was a soft knocking on the door as it was opened.
"There he is. Ryan, this is Mr Shin, I leave him in your care."
With that, Shin was waved out the door to follow Doctor Perforth.
The University was decorated rather beautifully according to Shin, there were trees and bushes all around and the autumn season was giving the leaves varying shades of red and yellow. Several flowers that still bloomed added even more colour to the peaceful sight as maple leaves fell to from the trees.
The vice-principal talked to Shin out of politeness and was glad that this exchange student wasn't one of the talkative types so he only needed to say what was necessary with one or two comments on the scenery.
When they arrived at Shin's home for the next two months, he was led up a flight of stairs to the 5th floor. There were only four rooms on this floor. Doctor Perforth pulled out a key from his chest pocket and unlocked the corner room before handing the key over to Shin.
"We were told that you prefer quiter rooms so we have given you the corner room. It is no smaller or less furnished than the rest."
Shin nodded in appreciation. He was rather hoping for a corner room. It didn't matter if it was smaller or what not.
"Doctor Perforth, you called?" An average height man with green hair arrived, wearing a sleeveless top that showed off his lean biceps.
"Mr Peace, I called for the dorm head. Where is he?" Doctor Perforth asked.
"Sorry Doctor Perforth, the dorm head sent me instead." Alexon Peace grinned and shrugged. "You know how he is. It's practice now. I'll be shot too if I take too long. Let's make this quick?"
"We should rethink who we choose." Doctor Perforth muttered. "That aside, Mr Peace, Mr Shin. Mr Shin, Mr Peace, the assistant dorm head. I am sorry to inform you that the dorm head could not join us, so Mr Peace will show you around instead." Clapping them both on the shoulder, Doctor Perforth headed back to his office to continue minding his own business.
Alexon was the first to speak.
"Hey, I'm Alexon Peace. 23 years year. Design. Assistant dorm head. From New Orleans." He said extending his hand.
"Shin Seijuuro. 22 years old. Second year. Law major. Exhange student for two months. From the Kantou region of Japan." Shin replied equally, maintaining eye contact as he shook the hand extended to him.
"Hmm.. that's interesting. Our dorm head is from the Kantou region too. You know only very few people are allowed on the 5th floor. It's only supposed to be the dorm head, assistant dorm head and VIPS. Since we don't usually have guests, it's usually just me and the dorm head on this floor. You must be some big shot. Welcome, third party!" Alexon slung his arm around his shoulder. Shin being used to the contact from his own schoolmates just let him be.
"Okay, Shin. I'll call you Shin, okay? Put your luggage down and I'll show you around." Alexon winked as Shin pushed his luggage inside the door before locking it and leaving with his new….. floormate.
"That's the indoor sports hall. That's the cafeteria but there are food places all around. That's our magnificent library." Alexon gestured all around as the walked at a rather fast pace, Shin noted.
"The law building is over there. Most of your classes should be in there I think. You can follow the dorm head in the morning. He might not like you walking with him though so I suggest walk behind." Alexon explained as they kept walking.
"Okay we're about done." Alexon said as they made a u-turn. "There's probably something I forgot to show you but my time limit is almost up and we sort of live next door so you can always ask me anything."
'Time limit…' Shin thought. 'Nevermind. He has already showed me the essentials.'
"What are the activities here?" He asked, keeping pace with Alexon.
"Hmm? Oh. Right. That. Er well, I'm really in a rush now. I'm heading to my activity. Oh, this might be good. The dorm head is the captain. Maybe you should just come with to watch. See if you like it." Alexon invited as they made their way to a large field. "Tada. American football." Alexon spread his arms out to the field where practice was currently being conducted.
Without warning, a bullet whizzed between Shin and Alexons' heads.
"F*ing Moss-head! You're two minutes late!" Shouted an all too familiar voice. Shin's heart fluttered.
"Oh come on. I'd like to see you give a tour of this humongous campus in 20 minutes." Alexon whined albeit rather manly-ly.
"Shut up and change! N.O.W." A man with black hair and firearms walked up to them menacingly. Shin's heart almost stopped. What fate was this that he would meet him again. And here of all places.
"Sir, yes sir. I'm going." Alexon jogged to the changing room nonchalantly.
The American football captain and dorm head stood before Shin, and folded his arms.
"What are you doing here?" He asked.
"Exchange programme. However I did not hear about you being at this University, Hiruma-san." Shin finally placed a name to the student he had recognised earlier.
"Hah! You recognise me. The brats back home took a long time to realize that it was me when I first dyed my hair black and took off the piercings." The infamous demon commander of Deimon Devil bats laughed."
"Different?" Shin asked, looking Hiruma up and down. "Stonger and taller perhaps."
"Che. Monster. Here to temporarily join the Achiven Dominators? We don't need half-assed pieces of work though. But knowing you, you aren't that in the least." Hiruma grinned. 'How fun it would be to command this monster.'
"I humbly request to join." Shin said nodding to his senior.
"Suit up. We happen to have line-backer free. You better not have gotten soft." Showing his teeth in a way that was evil and threathening, but strangely attractive to Shin.
"Yes." Shin replied as Hiruma threw him a spare uniform.
"HUDDLE!" Hiruma shouted and his team came scurrying over from wherever they were and Alexon ran out of the changing rooms pulling his jersey over the guards.
"New temp member. Shin Seijuuro. Position linebacker. He will play for us in the game next week if he passes the tests." All the members shuddered. They all remembered the tests.
"Seriously?!" Came and exclaimation from Alexon. "Dude, Shin. You got guts."
Shin merely stared at them all and bowed his greeting. What an opportunity, to play alongside the object of his affections for the past few years. He had held himself back in high school due to duty. But now as he was free and that they were on the same team, he had no more reason to hold back any longer.