Chapter 4- Contingency
Written by: Duck Rogers
Pre-read by: hawker-748
Glancing up from his desk, Tsukune casually looked around the room. Methodically, his eyes passed over the students one-by-one, lingering every so often on a point of interest. Yokai Academy's most important and well-known rule was to never reveal what kind of monster you were. For whatever reason this was, Tsukune had no idea and quite frankly he didn't care. Fortunately, this also happened to be the least enforced rule in the school. It didn't take a high IQ for Tsukune to figure out what type of monster most of his classmates were. Within the first couple weeks of school, the different kinds of monsters had begun drifting into their own cliques. Harpies hung out with the harpies, zombies with zombies, and so on. Looking around, Tsukune took note of all of it. With every advent of new information Tsukune would jot down additional notes. Among these notes, he had constructed a comprehensive list of monsters he had seen within his room and throughout the halls of Yokai.
Goblins...check. Orcs...check. Imps...check. Lizard men… Tsukune's eyes shifted up slightly as to not draw too much attention to himself. Across the room, the human could barely make out the lizard men having a competition to see who had the longest tongue. Yeah...check. After finishing reading his notes, he frowned. The list definitely had quite a few monsters on it, however, it was far from complete. Besides the students who didn't display any hints of their true identities, Tsukune for the life of him couldn't identify some of the monsters, and the scary reality of this all was that this ignorance might actually cost him his life. Realizing the irony of the whole situation, he stifled a laugh.
"What's so funny?" said a voice in front of Tsukune.
"No, no. It's nothing," Tsukune replied, brushing off Mizore's question. She probably wouldn't get the joke anyway.
"Whatever," she said simply, not wanting or caring enough to press harder for an answer. A few more moments of silence passed before she spoke up again. "We going to the club room after class today?"
Thinking for a second, the boy shook his head. "Sorry, not today. I have stuff—" Looking across the room, he made eye contact with the girl he had been observing. "—to do…" The girl gave Tsukune a seductive smile and waved in his direction. Putting on the friendliest smile he could muster without looking forced, Tsukune returned her gesture. Hopefully, she buys the act. God knows I don't deserve the Oscar, but it shouldn't be too hard to fool a high school girl. It wasn't that Tsukune had any malicious intent, but he already learned the hard way that no one could be trusted and a pretty face could only get him into trouble.
Unbeknownst to the girl, Tsukune had begun noticing her trying to get his attention the day after the announcement of Saizou's death, and also oblivious to her was the fact that it took every ounce of his effort to keep his hormones in check and not go talk to her. Quite frankly, she was gorgeous. She had an angelic appearance and a voice that would make any goddess envious. The real kicker, however, was what she wanted with him. She had her own personal troop of male groupies following and doing her every whim, so what would she need him for? Something tells me the last thing she wants is a pleasant conversation over lunch. Tsukune sighed, flipping to his next page of notes.
Monster Type: Seems to have some form of mind control/influence over males. Due to this fact, Kurumu can be speculated to be a Succubus, Siren, Mermaid, etc.
Comments: Advise caution when alone with her and avoid prolonged eye contact.
Danger Level: Medium
At the moment, Kurumu was probably the biggest threat to his safety. It was obvious that she'd been targeting him for some time now and noticing this, Tsukune had always went out of his way to make sure Mizore was by his side in order to forestall their impending encounter. He even went as far as only taking his bathroom breaks when Mizore was leaving to take hers.
Weakness: She craves attention and praise from those around her and she isn't afraid to show off when she has to or when she sees that it could benefit her. Frequently flaunts around a seductive and flirtatious demeanor when speaking to boys, but this interactions seem to be only aesthetic in nature. No signs of any deeper attachment to any of these boys. Judging by the state of her clothing and how tidy she keeps herself it should be noted that she puts a lot of attention on her appearance.
These shouldn't be too hard to exploit if the time comes to it, thought Tsukune.
"You don't need help do you?" Mizore said with genuine concern. Noticing Tsukune wasn't paying attention, she followed his gaze across the room. In her line of sight she was able to spot Kurumu as well. "What is it? Do you have a date with the big-boobed bimbo?"
Hah, I wish. Any boy would die to have one date with her. Tsukune thought. "No, I just have some errands I need to run. It's no big deal. I can do it myself. Thanks for asking though."
The bell signalling the end of class rang out and almost instantaneously students began pushing and shoving to make their way out. Not being in any rush whatsoever, Tsukune patiently waited for everyone else to leave. A little confused, Mizore turned to him. "I guess I'll see you later, Tsukune."
"Yeah, see ya." They both waved to each other as Mizore exited the classroom. Once no other students were insight Tsukune took a deep breath and began packing up his belongings. Right before he put his notes away, a smirk crept its way upon his face. Taking his pen, he scribbled down one last note in his Kurumu "profile".
Additional Comments: Big-boobed bimbo.
Since the last class ended almost half an hour earlier, the halls of the school were devoid of any signs of life, save for one person. Tsukune made his way through the school, paper and pen in hand. Yokai Academy was the setting of the war that was soon to become Tsukune's life, and his only regret was that he didn't recognize it as such sooner. This is more like a hunting ground then a battleground, Tsukune thought, and it just so happens that humans are in season.
Luckily, for the prey, there was no shortage of hidden passageways, tight corners, staircases, and empty rooms for him to hide, or better yet, utilize to his advantage. Drawing in the floor plan on his makeshift map, not a single characteristic escaped Tsukune's inspection. Sure, right now, this information would be almost useless to him—at least until he was able to get the chance to actually set his plans in motion. Despite this, the fact didn't seem to deter Tsukune. He felt a great sense of comfort and solitude from just knowing the floor plan.
Reaching the end of the hall, Tsukune made a quick note before turning around heading back the way he had come. The map was crude, but it had everything he would need for the time being. He quickened his stride, turning corners every now and then before finally stopping in front of a door. Hesitating for a moment, Tsukune took a deep breath and reached for the doorknob. It was locked.
Figures, he thought, sighing. Bending over, Tsukune examined the door's lock. From what he could tell the rusty lock was having enough trouble just trying to hold itself together. Looking both ways to make sure the hall was empty, Tsukune took a step back then slammed his shoulder against the door. Just as he had thought, the lock wasn't strong enough to survive the combined force of his weight and momentum and it opened easily. After straightening himself out, the human gave the room a once-over. It was a typical janitor's closet, but to Tsukune it was more akin to an armory. Like a boy in a candy shop, Tsukune began grabbing a various assortment of tools he could use, stopping every few seconds to check his monster list. Among the supplies he had grabbed were a few buckets, a can of red paint, fishing wire, rope, a hammer, nails, duct tape and a screwdriver.
Satisfied with his spoils, Tsukune looked at his notes one last time. His eyes passed over Kurumu's name. I might as well deal with this now, he thought, leaving the janitor's room and heading over to the cafeteria. Unsurprisingly, the cafeteria was just as empty as the rest of the school, seeing as there was about another half an hour until dinner. Quickly making sure the cafeteria ladies were inside the kitchen, he made a beeline through the tables. Tsukune climbed onto the stage and examined the catwalk above. To his right, he found what he was looking for—the pulley system. After tampering with it for a few minutes, Tsukune was able to work it sufficiently enough. He tied the rope of the pulley to the bucket and poured the whole can of red paint within it. Giving the pulley a few experimental tugs, he lifted the bucket of paint as high as he could. For the last step, the human walked over to where the other ropes were tied and began fastening a tight knot in order to secure it in place.
That should do it. Satisfied with his handiwork, Tsukune left the stage and headed for the exit, his mind slowly drifting back to the events since his inception into this world. It sure as hell hasn't been easy, he thought, shuddering. How many times have I been almost killed already? Two? Three? Something tells me that this whole ordeal isn't going to end until I'm in a body bag or some unmarked grave in the forest. Trying to clear his thoughts of how gruesome his death would likely be, Tsukune shook his head vigorously. No, I'm still alive, aren't I? I've survived this long and I've even made a friend. I'll make it out of this. I'll see my family again.
Feeling a surge of motivation, Tsukune pulled out his monster list. Reading over the names of the different types of monsters, he began writing additional comments on the weakness section for a few of the lower class monsters he had observed. Maybe I would make a good reporter for the Yokai Gazette. Tsukune laughed to himself. Reaching the last name on the list, the human paused.
Thinking for a moment, he wrote a few sentences before placing the list securely in his bag, hoping for the first time since its creation, that he would never have to use it.
The pencil tapped on the table in a slow, rhythmic beat. Even though the sound was foreign to the room, it still felt more natural and befitting then the silence that occupied it previously. Tsukune's pencil was like a metronome, its hypnotic up-and-down movements served to alleviate his rising boredom. Both of them had promised to hang out in the clubroom before lunch and if Tsukune had known it was going to be this boring, he would have declined without a second thought.
Dropping the pencil, Tsukune's eyes swept the room for the umpteenth time. To say the Newspaper Club's "club room" was barren and lifeless would be an understatement. Besides the two club members, the only distinguishing things that even hinted that club activities took place in this room were a couple of old issues of the Yokai Gazette that lay strewn upon the table and the ancient dust-ridden printing press in the corner.
Lazily, the boy's attention drifted to the girl in front of him. Her face was deep in one of the previous editions, and Tsukune could barely make out her furrowed brow over the top of the paper. The human sighed, reaching out for the paper closest to him. Before he could even read the bold headline, Mizore broke the silence.
"What's up?" he asked as Mizore slowly lowered the paper to reveal her face. Before he even saw her face he already felt the aura of discontent emanating from her.
"This sucks," she said flatly. "I don't even think this can be called news."
Tsukune raised his eyebrow. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Sliding across the table the paper stopped in front of Tsukune. "Have a look for yourself."
He gave her another glance before picking up the gazette in front of him. "Come on, Mizore. It can't be that b—"
Immediately, his whole face began to turn a deep reddish hue. Not even his ears were spared from the sea of red that swept over him. Mizore's statement about this newspaper not being "news" was indeed correct. However, Tsukune didn't expect in the slightest to see what was now in his hands.
Besides the bold headline, "The Yokai Gazette", text was nearly nonexistent on the paper save for a few captions. Instead, the majority of the newspaper consisted of photos of various female students in swimsuits and other racy attire, some of which left little to the imagination.
"W-what the hell is this?" Tsukune choked out, his eyes running over each girl and their different amounts of dress. He couldn't deny that every single one of these girls looked extremely cute and attractive.
"Hey, Tsukune. How about you wipe the drool off your face?"
Finally tearing his eyes from the paper, he saw that Mizore had her complete attention on him. Her pale arms were crossed and the handle of her lollipop was angled towards the ground.
Scratching the back of his head, he forced a chuckle. "Hey, I wasn't drooling. I was just, uh, you know. A little surprised." Tsukune raised the newspaper up so Mizore could see it. "This thing is one step away from being Playboy!"
Mizore tilted her head to the side. "Playboy? What's that?"
"Come on. You know exactly what it is," Tsukune scoffed.
Mizore gave him a blank stare. "I wouldn't be asking if I knew."
Tsukune took a deep breath before speaking. "Well, uh, how do I put this? Playboy is a magazine that exploits… No, exploits isn't the right word. Or maybe it is? Um, anyway you can say it hires woman, errh, well-endowed woman to display their...womanly parts," Tsukune mumbled almost incomprehensibly.
"Oh, like a porno magazine?"
Tsukune's jaw hit the ground. "W-what? You said you didn't know!"
"Yeah, I know what a porno magazine is, I mean who doesn't?. I just didn't know what a 'Playboy' was," Mizore said matter-of-factly, a grin on her face. "By the way, how do you know so much about Playboy anyway."
The human's face went red immediately. "E-enough about me. I mean, come on! What healthy teenage boy wouldn't be surprised if they saw something like this? How did the faculty approve of this paper in the first place?"
"If you weren't so busy drooling and had actually read you might know why." Mizore lifted the paper and pointed to a caption: Various Swimwear of the Human World
"Whatever," Tsukune said exasperated, massaging the bridge of his nose. "Let's get back to work."
"Sure," she said before pausing. However, the silence was short lived. "Hey, Tsukune."
"Yeah, what is it?"
"Would I make a good playboy model?"
Tsukune face-palmed. "Let's just go get lunch." Without waiting for her to answer, he stood up and walked over to the door, holding it open as they both left the clubroom.
"Okay, so what things are on our checklist for the Newspaper club?" Tsukune asked.
Mizore rubbed her chin in thought. "Hm, we definitely need more members. Ms. Nekonome said we should at least have four members in the club. Also, we need to start working on this year's first edition. And…" She stopped and looked at Tsukune.
"What's wrong?" Tsukune asked.
"We need a new club president," she stated.
Tsukune paused. "We can wait until we have more members," he murmured.
Mizore simply shook her head. "No, I think you'd make a good president, Tsukune."
"I can't! The last thing I want is to draw even more attention than I already have to myself. I have enough on my plate." Or would it be more appropriate to say that I'm on enough plates as it is? he thought.
"Just think about it, Tsukune. You're the one who wanted to save this club, and if we actually do end up saving it, it'll be thanks to you."
"I-it isn't just me. You're helping too."
Both of their eyes met, and Tsukune knew once that happened he was done for. It was like her eyes were pools that reflected her innermost desires unto him. He didn't see the hope and longing in her eyes, but instead he felt it as if it were his own.
"Fine, I'll do it." Tsukune sighed in defeat.
"Cool. Thanks, Tsukune," she said embracing him tightly. "I'm always here to help you when you need it."
Wow, she's surprisingly warm for a monster called a snow woman, he thought, but all too soon the newfound warmth left his body only leaving behind a cold loneliness.
"Oh, I almost forgot. Ms. Nekonome asked for me to tell her if everything in the clubroom was still in good order. I might as well get that over with right now." Mizore walked past Tsukune. "Save me a spot in line."
"Yeah, sure thing."
Tsukune stood silently as he watched the back of Mizore Shirayuki. Maybe I should go with her. I really shouldn't be walking alone when I'm being targeted. The boy took a step forward only to be stopped by a voice that was behind him.
"Hey, you're that Tsukune guy, right? I've been meaning to catch you alone for a while now. You sure know how to keep a girl waiting, don't you?" she winked.
Speak of the devil…
"I'm sorry. Do I know you?" Tsukune feigned ignorance. Act stupid and they'll think you're stupid. If they think you're stupid, they'll underestimate you. The logic is simple enough.
The girl made an exaggerated gasp. "Tsukune! How could you not remember me? You're a real jerk, you know that!"
Tsukune looked the girl up and down. She wore a tight looking yellow sweater that seemed to pronounce her already amply-sized chest twice fold. This was accompanied by her short skirt that left little to the imagination.
"I think I remember you now. You're Kurumu Kurono. You're in my homeroom with Ms. Nekonome."
Kurumu gave Tsukune a seductive grin. "Oh, did you remember me, or—" She scrunched her breasts together and pressed them against Tsukune's chest. "—did you remember these?"
S-she got me there. Tsukune thought, freezing up. He could feel a really heavy nose bleed coming on. Oh my god, they're so soft! They're...they're like pillows! W-what should I do? Tsukune thought frantically, his muscles tensing up.
"You should consider yourself lucky that the most popular and drop-dead gorgeous girl in the entire school has taken an interest in you." Tsukune opened his mouth but no words came out.
Kurumu seemed to sense Tsukune's flustered nature and she pressed on. "Hmm, you want to do more?"
"I, uh, don't know what, um, you're talking about," Tsukune finally stammered out.
"Tsukune, I think I really like you. What say you become one of my boy toys? I'll treat you real nice," she said, her voice as soft as velvet.
"Aren't you a little too old to be playing with toys?"
"Ooh, feisty. I like that in a man, but you shouldn't try and resist me" she cooed in his ear. The human could barely make out the shape of a tail that appeared from behind Kurumu. "You see, I happen to be a succubus and I'm no stranger to male desires." Kurumu slid a finger down Tsukune's face.
"Unfortunately, I don't have that much influence over the females." She gave him a pouty face. "However, I think you can change that for me."
"H-how would I do that?"
"Well, since you currently hold the title of the 'Monster King', I'll never have as much influence as you do. I was wondering if you'd be so kind as to give it to me?" Tsukune's body remained still as the tail that had slowly coiled itself around his throat began to tighten.
Using his strength to take in a breath, Tsukune grimaced. "You should take a number. There's a line."