Chapter 16: A Mall Excursion

Disclaimers: The Infinite Stratos, and any other references, name and products are not mine.

The sun shone down in the darkened room, finally awakening the heavy sleeper resting within. The light reflected on the windows, revealing the floating dust and pollen lazily sway in the morning wind. The roused sleeper rose in a sleepy daze, his muscles stretching to prepare for the day. He groaned as he stretched and rubbed his eyes open. After all, mornings do take a toll on him. He tried to stand up to start the day, but a pair of of arms held him down. These arms are not his, seeing that it is smooth and light. Despite their small size, the grip can be mistaken from that of a grown man's. First minute of waking and a mystery already presents itself to him. Hmm. Thinking for a minute, he can only conclude on one person who matches these hands. Peeking beneath his duvet, he nervously confirmed his suspicions...

God, he hated being right in these situations.

"Laura? What are you doing here?" He said silently. He tried again, a bit louder. Then again, on his normal voice level. Hearing no answer from all three, he tried gently placing his bedmate's hands to the side. Hell, he can't even remember when or how she got here! However, his hands landed not on her arms, but somewhere else entirely, and his hands, thinking that they got the correct body part, started grasping it. Hmm...arms usually aren't this squishy...and springy...

"Mn..." A familiar female voice moaned underneath the duvet. It seems that Laura's still not awake. Wait, these are not her hands, these are her...*Squish*...her...*squish squish*

"GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Guevarra shouted as he rolled away from the bed, slamming his head on the foot of the counter in the process. Not having been satisfied, Fate continued screwing with him by letting the washed plates from yesterday on the counter fall on his face. The resulting clatter awakened the sleeping silverhead, who was naked from head to toe, save the leather belt on her left leg. Stretching her arms high and wide, she yawned before looking at the situation at hand.

"...Oh? It's morning already?" the German said. Blinking twice, she wondered why her beloved is on the floor, wearing only his undies and a boxer short, with plates and cutlery on top of him.

"Alpha? Did you slip on your own clothing again?"

"Shut-" With Guevarra being trolled by Fate and Laura just woken up, nobody noticed that Elaine was knocking for quite some time now, so she decided to just barge in. She was surprised enough that the door was unlocked, but what really made her day shocking was the fact that her friend might have slept with Laura! B-but, that's highly unlikely! Ems isn't that type of-

"HEY!" Snapping her back to Earth, Guevarra shouted at Elaine a few feet away. The effect was she was shocked enough to nearly drop what she was carrying in her hands, which was actually Ems' favorite dish; the adobo, sweet and spicy blend.

"Uwwaaahhh! Stop screaming at me like that! Y'scared me! And your breakfast! It's your breakfast that I nearly dropped!" She humphed, setting down the casserole on the counter.

"Oooohhh! Breakfast!" Guevarra stood up immediately, hurrying towards the counter to reveal what will be his food for this morning.

"Awwww yissssss..." He smiled, taking in fully the sweet smell of oral heaven.

"Oh, and you're quite the baddie, Ems. I never thought you'd have enough balls to date someone, how much more sleep with them! And without letting any of us know as well! Ehh, I thought you were going for-"

"Shut up, Elaine. Too early for your perverted imagination."

Laura, who has been silently watching the event, decided to finally open her mouth.

"What's in that container?"

"It's adobo, one of Ems' favorite! Sweet and spicy blend!" She huffed, chest swelling with pride.

"Wow, you sure woke up early." Guevarra quipped, taking a fork and putting a piece of pork in his mouth. His face lightened up immediately after that.

"Woooh! Can I have this? Can I? CAN I?!"

"Obviously. It's for you originally, but it seems that Laura's unexpectedly here as well, so just share some, okay? At least half."

"Wha—Laura, do you like-"

"At least half." The brown-haired girl said, taking a ladle from the kitchen area.

"But-"

"AT LEAST HALF!" Saying that, Elaine tapped Guevarra's head heavily with said ladle.

Chuckling, Laura unwittingly called attention to herself.

"Crap!" Spinning his head quickly on impulse, Guevarra forgot that he was at the counter, and he smashed his head on the cupboard.

"GAHHH!"

"You're stupid."

"Shut up. And fuck you."

"Is that what you say to someone who delivered food from you from a secret admirer? Tsk tsk tsk. Oh yeah, dress up Laura. Ems loves decency."

Hearing that, Laura immediately scurried for a spare set of clothes in the bag she brought in with her from last night. She wouldn't want to miss out this information about her beloved's secret admirer after all.

"Ahh...what?" The guy in question said, rubbing the side of his head with some cold water from the tap.

"Geez, so lazy. Typical Ems..." Elaine sighed, getting an ice bag from the fridge.

"Who's this secret admirer?" Laura suddenly sat on a chair near the bed. Her relationship with everyone improved since that day of the fight, not just Ichika's. It seems that she finally started giving other people a chance, which is a good thing. A very good thing for her sake. People aren't made to be islands, y'know.

"Secret~. Where's the thrill of the game if I'm going to unravel her so early?"

"Thank goodness it's a she."

"Why, are you expecting a he~? Gosh-"

"Shut up!"

While the other two were arguing, Laura mulled whether it was Charlotte or Cecilia who did this. Given with the facts she currently has, both candidates claim the ability to cook delicious food, although Laura has neither witnessed nor tasted their craft. There is also the possibility that this girl is an entirely different girl from the group! Or probably...

Laura then looks at Elaine suspiciously.

No, no, it's impossible. Based on their actions, it is more like the hybrid of a best friend and a sibling relationship. Laura continues to think.

It's ironic how Laura knows how to read someone's relationship with another yet cannot use this ability to further her relationship with Guevarra. How sad.

Ding Dong! Ding Dong!

"Oh, it's time for breakfast! Alright, see ya!" Just before Elaine was able to leave, she heard her name being called back.

"...AIT!"

"WHAT IS IT?!"

"EAT HERE ALREADY! IT'S JUST THE SAME!"

"WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?!"

"I DUNNO!"

"ANYWAY! I HAVE AN AGREEMENT TO EAT WITH MY FRIENDS THIS MORNING! THANKS FOR THE OFFER!" And with that, she sped away.

"Geez...Hahahaha!" Laughing, he set some plates on the table. Thankfully for him, Laura's already dressed and waiting, still amused by her friends' crazy antics.

"Let's eat?"

"Alright."

Lunch time, at the rooftops...

"So, we're eating lunch with the ladies today, huh?" Stoney asked, bringing some fried chicken that he cooked himself.

"Yeah. I feel embarassed. Since we are dining with the girls, they're bound to bring some tasty, complicated food with them." Guevarra sighed, holding fried eggs and rice in a tupperware.

"Don't be so glum, Guevarra. It's not as if they'll hate you for it." Ichika reassured his downcast friend, carrying sweet and sour fish in a container.

"Huh, anything that takes more than 5 minutes and 3 ingredients is complicated for you, Bro."

"Shut up."

"Hey, you two-"

"Shh." Putting his finger on his lips, Guevarra urged the other two to keep silent and sniffed the air coming out of the door leading to the rooftop.

"They're coming, all six of them. Let's prepare the place."

"How far are they bro? You've been improving."

"About two stair flights down. Yeah, I've been practicing, though to admit, Cecilia does wear heavy perfume, and it kinda gave them away."

"Heh. Rich people." The two chuckled.

"Wow. You have a really good sense of smell, Guevarra. Almost inhuman."

"Thanks."

After a few minutes of spreading sheets of cloth on the roof, they heard the footsteps and chatter of their female friends.

"Alright, here they come." Ichika said, sitting on the floor.

"Ohai! You three sure are early here!" Rin shouted. Coming in after her, the other five girls walked in, bringing their respective lunch boxes.

A few minutes later, the group has settled down and began to unpack their food. The group sat in a circle. Right after that, each opened their lunch boxes to see what's inside.

"Wow, all your food looks delicious!" Ichika exclaimed. He was especially fascinated with Rin's sweet-and-sour pork and Houki's chicken. Cecilia then suddenly made her move. Her quote of the day? The early bird gets the worm.

"Umm, Emmanuel-san, would you like a sandwich?" She offered, taking out a sandwich from her basket of goodies.

"Oh, sure!" Taking a bite, Guevarra suddenly froze. Everyone looked at him, wondering what's wrong.

"Emman? Everything alright?" Charlotte nudged. Still no movement.

"Is...is it good?" Cecilia asked. She was nervous to impress him with her cooking. Problem is, it's her first time cooking since back at her house, it's always the servants who did the cooking for her. Sure, she passed the written exams at school, but it's always her groupmates who does the hands-on work. She'd only provide the materials. "Pointless skill to learn" she said. How she regretted her choice now.

Guevarra replied with a thumbs-up in a twitching motion.

"...Knock...out..."

"Woud you like tea with that?" She replied excitedly, eager to impress him more.

The guy in question nodded rapidly.

"Alright~!" The moment she left, Guevarra started falling.

"Knock...out..."

"Bro! Don't follow the light! Bro!" Stoney leaped behind him, shaking his friend madly.

"Idiots." Elaine muttered to herself.

"Quick! Give me something delicious!" Grabbing the nearest available, Stoney abruptly took Charlotte's fork, which had a piece of roast beef at the end, and stuck it in Guevarra's mouth. He chomped on it immediately and chewed on it. After a few moments, right after he swallowed...

"I HAVE AWAKANED! WOO THAT WAS TASTY!" He suddenly jumped around like a little kid.

"WHO COOKED THAT?! GIMME MORE!" He shouted. Stoney pointed at Charlotte, who blushed while looking sideways, her fork still in Guevarra's mouth. He took it out, examined it closely, and looked at its owner. However, just before he was able to ask for more, and just before Laura was able to stab her own fork in Guevarra's mouth, they heard a squeal of joy and the pit-pat of running heeled shoes.

"I BROUGHT MORE, EMMANUEL-SAN!" Cecilia reappeared, smiling as if she won the lottery. She brought a vaccum flask, complete with cups, in her left hand. In her right hand is a basket full of those "yummy sandwiches".

"Good Lord..." Guevarra muttered, doing a sign of the cross as he gulped.

"Rest in peace, Bro. We will not forget you." Stoney put his right hand on his heart, looking down. Elaine was doing her best not to laugh.

"Emman, you can't disappoint Cecilia so...We'll just cheer you on! You can do it!" Charlotte sweated. The rest caught on quickly and cheered.

"RIGHT?! EMMAN CAN'T HAVE ENOUGH OF CECI-CHAN'S SANDWICHES! SO MUCH THAT HE DOESN'T WANT TO SHARE AND WANTS TO EAT 'EM ALL!" Elaine shouted. I'll kill you later, asshole!

"Did I hear correctly?! Ah, Emmanuel-san loves my cooking! Hear you go!" Seeing Cecilia's face full of joy, I can't choose the "Renegade" option of saying it flatly that her food skills suck, nor is the "Paragon" choice available since it is already implanted in her mind that I love her "terror sandwiches", and even if I tell the truth as gently as possible, I will only come across as a liar and an insensitive jerk...

Gulp.

The next morning, at the rail transit...

"So, why am I the only one that you invited, Emman?" Charlotte said, blushing slightly.

"Ah...That's because..." Guevarra stopped for a minute to think about what to answer. The truth is, he really wanted to go buy a swimsuit for himself. Normally, he'd go out alone, but he remembered that Charlotte also didn't have a swimsuit for herself, so he invited her along. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know her better! This is like hitting two birds with one stone! Though it's not like he can tell her that...

"Umm...Ah, we're here!" Thank goodness, saved by the station bell.

"Hey, Emman." Charlotte suddenly tugged at her companion's shirt just before going inside the mall.

"Huh?"

"Can we...hold hands?" She said, blushing.

Guevarra gulped. This development is unbelievable!

"...Is this a prank?"

"Mouh, you don't like to hold hands with me? And do you really think I would prank you?" Charlotte pouted.

"Okay then!" Guevarra took her hand happily. Charlotte reacted the same way. While they were walking, she observed him. It seems that he is happy, yet he's sweating. Obviously not of the heat since the wind is cold, but what is he sweating from? From the feeling of his hand, it seems that he's getting cold sweat as well. Why is he getting so nervous being around her? Is he not comfortable with the situation?

While Charlotte is thinking about such things, Guevarra's got his mind pretty full as well. He's thinking about his relationships with the various girls that surround him on the daily basis.

"Hmm, let's start with Elaine..." Ah yes, the mischievous little imp. Even though her practical jokes are infuriating, in the end she's a good person. Always looking out for everyone else. She doesn't come recommended to those with a short temper however, so it is a surprise that she got along, let alone become this close, with Guevarra. She really should tone that down.

Next comes Cecilia Alcott, the noble-aired English girl. Ever since their first battle in the Academy, things got pretty smooth for the both of them. Too smooth, he thinks sometimes. I mean, c'mon, a day earlier she's all thorns and blight to him, and the next day she goes full hundred-sixty degrees? He doesn't hate it though. He loves it, in fact. He's become friends with a lot more people since Cecilia came into his life, and he's grateful for that. However, Cecilia's elite background gave her an attitude that can be very irritating, especially to people from the lower spectrum like Guevarra. Nonetheless, their relations seem to be on very good terms. There's also the fact that, if he's not mistaken, she's dropping some signs of what she wants, though I'm not so sure if I like that, despite how awesome it looks like.

"Emman?" Charlotte suddenly called.

"Ah...What...?"

"Are you alright? You're spacing out..."

"Yes, I'm completely fine, don't worry. Just thinkin' 'bout some things." Wait a minute, I completely forgot to give Charlotte a nickname! I always give my friends a nickname to distinguish and showcase our close relationship.

"Umm...Charlotte?"

"Yes?"

"Ah...is, is it alright if I call you Char?" She reacted in a surprised manner.

"S-Sure! But, why?"

"...Do I really need one?" It's embarassing to tell her that I do such a childish thing. Well, it's not that name tagging is such a wrong thing, but still...

"Oh, okay then!" She smiled happily. I let myself look a little around, while Char was a bit ahead, enjoying our little shopping trip. As I was looking, I saw an accessory stand. Seeing all those necklaces and rings, I felt compelled to buy one for Char. But why? And can I really afford one? Hmm...I need to think about this a bit more...

"Char, please go on ahead."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I still have some things to buy, matters to think about...Anyway, go on ahead."

Approaching the stall, I observed the prices and compared it with the money in my wallet. Hmm, if I buy that one, I can save a lot of money, but then I might come across as a cheap person. However, if I bought that one, it is expensive, but it is beautiful, and my money's just enough to buy it, since the remainder of what's left will become our transport fee back to the Academy.

This is a bit harsh. When giving a gift, you show them that you value them. In that sense, buying a cheap gift will be a bad choice. However, I am saving up money for that new game I saw last time I went here...Choices, choices...

Whatever.

"Miss, may I please see that one?"

"Sure. Here."

Wow, it really is beautiful. It's a silver necklace with a tied-rope design, complete with a small orange opal in the center.

"Um, Miss? What's the name of this one?"

"Oh, that one, sir, is called the Passion Ties. The looped ropes symbolize your intimacy and unity with the person you give it, and the opal symbolizes your passion for the recipient."

"Oh..." I said, staring at it again. It sure looks like it's worth the buy, and orange stuff fits with Char...

There are many other beautiful jewelry like that sapphire ring or ruby earrings, but I have made my choice.

"Thank you for the purchase! Please come back again!"

My...wallet...

Anyway, back to our earlier topic. Number three is Huang Ling Yin, or Rin as we call her. The oral version of Elaine. If Elaine likes pranks, Rin likes to get under your skin. Sigh, another precious headful of...well, headache, to deal with. I can see a fun, albeit painful, future ahead.

Number four, Houki Shinonono. She's always more welcoming than what she first lets on. Ichika didn't tell me very much, but he told me that she has always been like that since they were children. Hmm...Anyways, she's basically tsundere incarnate when around Ichika. In the fight for Ichika's heart, she seems to be leading ahead of Rin. Better not entangle myself in a catfight between two tsunderes. That'll be plain suicide.

Next is Laura Bodewig. Laura, Laura, Laura. The ice queen turned frosty water queen. When I first met her in the facility, she was lying in a pool of her own blood on the floor, her entire squad dead. And now? She's very much living her life to the fullest. Even though if she's still in her baby steps, she's showing remarkable progress. Whereas before she lived in the chain of command, never doing anything that's her own bidding, now she's slowly starting to meld in the society as a normal teenage girl. Well, as much as she can, anyway. Her relationship to me is quite blurry at the moment, with the lines of the stages in a relationship nearly gone. This in turn makes my situation with the next girl all the more mind-boggling.

Finally, Charlotte Dunois. My companion at the moment, and the girl who I have the most complicated feelings about. I still remember when we first met just before I entered the facility. I was being picked on by some local teenagers while buying some food from what money I can spare (I talked with Charlotte about this the night after I knew her true gender and answered all her questions except those of the facility and beyond)...

"Hey! Graisse! Hahahaha!" (Hey! Fatty! Hahahaha!)

"Hey les gars, regardez toute la nourriture qu'il apporte!" (Hey guys, look at all the food he brings!)

"Oui, vous pouvez dire qu'il est tres gourmand!" (Yeah, you can tell that he is very gluttonous!)

I couldn't understand what they were saying. After all, I really did not know how to speak French since I never had the chance to learn it. However, based on the tone and the reactions, I am sure that it is mockery to me, since they are pointing at me as well. The reason I am carrying a lot of food is because we won't be buying any until we reach the meeting point set to us by Tony's contact, and that's quite a few miles away.

Anyway, it seems that my mockers are from the school just over yonder, and are middle-schoolers. If Tony was here, he'll mess those assholes up! Unfortunately, he met with another contact, so I am left with the duty to buy some food. Initially, I didn't mind them. 'Twas much easier to ignore insults that you don't understand.

Quite a lot of blocks away from the motel we rented for three days, a trio of guys from the same group earlier stopped me. They had unbuttoned uniforms and wild hair, and based on their actions, it seems that they are the more hardcore version of bullies. If it's your lucky day, they just get your money and beat you up a little. If they're pissed, and you happened to walk in the wrong direction, well...

"Hey gros lard! Ces aliments semblent savoureux! Me les donner." I still don't understand. The growing crowd of students snickered. Extending his hand, the middle bully wants me to hand over what I bought. At least I think that's what's happening.

"Vous ne comprenez pas francais?" He flicked my head with strength. It hurts a bit. Talking a bit more French, all of the crowd laughed. I can see those who wanted to avoid trouble or those who care avoid the crowd and just hurry away, looking back sadly. Slowly but surely, I am starting to lose my temper. Mustering all my self-control, I walked away briskly. Unfortunately, I haven't even moved five steps forward and the middle guy stopped me again, putting his left hand on my left shoulder. It seems that he is the leader, if you can call him that.

"Look, punk." he turned me around forcibly, hurting my shoulders. He looked around, and he listened to some murmurs in the crowd. His reaction was that he became mad. Probably something about him being trumped by someone who is supposedly lower than him. He slapped me.

"Give it. What? You don't think I dunno English? Fuck you, mate! Today's your lucky day." He slapped me again before trying to grab the plastic bag. I can only look down while resisting him.

"Why you little-" He punched me at the face. At this point, more than half of the crowd left, while the rest that remained shouted "Fight! Fight! Fight!". Their English is broken, but at least they're letting me understand what they want to happen. The punch almost shattered my self-control, but it held still. It seems that a bit of my anger escaped to my hands, as my nails were scratching, grating on the cemented sidewalk.

"Oy, oy, looks like that pudgy-wudgy wants to fight!"

"Oh, you a man? You a man?!" The other two goons pushed him from either side, pissing the lead thug off even further. Finally, he shoved off the other two.

"Want me to punch you two motherfuckers?!"

"Punch us? Punch him! Punch him, Punch him!" After the third cheer(?), the rest of the remaining crowd shouted in. Immature idiots. While the lead blockhead's kicking me with spiked boots (until now I don't know why one would wear spiked boots in the middle of summer. Wearing those to increase the intimadation factor, I guess? Looking back, luckily he didn't hit any vital organs), a blonde-haired girl came running in, screaming.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

"Oh hi, babe..." The thug suddenly looped his arm around the girl and tried to kiss her, whose name I did not know at the time is Charlotte. Her golden hair was tied in a braid. Unlike her supposed boyfriend though, her eyes clearly showed a state of worry, seeing the blood leaking from my torso and arms.

"Tch!" She brushed her supposed boyfriend aside, pushing him away and ran to me.

"Are you okay?!" Her voice betrayed a state of worry.

"Ugh...Not...really..." I tried to stand up, the pain almost unbearable. I nearly fell, but I was able to regain my balance with Charlotte's help when she extended her hand. She then bandaged me. It's not as if I'm lying in my own pool of blood, but it's still quite a lot, and the blood's flowing freely. Me being pissed off encouraged the blood flow even more, exaggerating the impression of my wounds. I reached for my groceries just before we started walking.

"Hey! Why do you even bother with that foreign guy? Look, he's a fatty! His neck looks so dark! He has a lot of pimp-"

"I don't care!-"

"Ah, in that case..." My mind was suddenly returned to the present as I heard a familiar voice. Looking around, I finally saw him. Ichika's here as well? And with Houki? This is new. Ichika is talking with a red-haired Japanese girl and Houki seems to be a bit peeved on Ichika doing just that. Wait, is someone calling me?

"...man! Emman!"

"Wha-"

"Please come with me! Quickly!" She suddenly grabbed my wrist and ran back to the swimsuit store. What the hell is she running from?!

Some time earlier...

As the two students got off the train, another one was behind the two, stalking them, observing them from afar. As this blonde-haired English student followed on, she became more and more jealous of what she sees. Why can't it be her who was invited by Emman? Why can't it be her?! Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice behind her.

"It seems that you're enjoying yourself." Laura appeared out of the blue.

"Y-you! What are you doing here?!" Cecilia demanded. Even though things have warmed up between the two of them, she still doesn't forget that Laura loves Emmanuel-san as well. A rival in love, if you will.

"Don't worry, I'm not here to make quarrel with you."

"Then, why are you here?"

"I'm just here to join them." Lara said, pointing at Charlotte and Guevarra who are about to take an escalator downwards.

"Wait a minute!" Cecilia immediately pulled Laura.

"Don't you think it is a better idea to first study an enemy with unknown characteristics? This is a perfect opportunity to study the level of their relationship!"

"Hmm...You're right. Alright, follow me." Despite her not wanting to be Laura's underdog, Cecilia knows that Laura is better at these things, so she let Laura take the lead. Following their original target, they took the escalator as anonymously as possible. Once they got off the escalator, they hid behind one of those big columns that are present througout the mall. From there, they saw what their targets did and followed their tail.

Back to the two who were running towards the swimsuit store...

Finally, Charlotte stopped inside the changing room. Why did she even bring me here? To a place where she would be changing? My brain is full of what.

Wait a minute...No, no, no, no, no, no-

"Are you ok Emman? You're shaking your head like a wet dog."

"Ah, I-I'm fine..." I said. As soon as she turned around to peek again at God knows what, I grasped my head and slammed it to the wall as silently as possible.

Anyway, I heard her murmur something about "they might get in our way...". Who gets in what way?

"Hey Char? Who you lookin' for?" My head still hurts. I guess I've been a bit too harsh with myself...

"No! No one is there! Anyway, just stay here." As she said that, she suddenly unbuttoned her uniform, revealing a button-up white shirt. As soon as I saw that, I froze. She stopped for a bit, murmuring something again, but my mind is too chaotic at the moment to process anything.

WHAT IS SHE PLANNING TO DO?!

She suddenly did a little cry of self-encouragement, then proceeded to remove her blue ribbon and unbutton her shirt. Only one way to stop you, brain!

I poked my own eyes with my fingers.

"Hssssssst!" It hurts, dammit! But at least I won't become a pervert by staring at a girl that I just knew over a month! However, it seems that my brain is determined to be perverted, since it picked up on Char removing her undies and went 200% volume! I can even hear her sigh just before she took off her bra!

Bssssh! Bsssh!

Need to take off my mind on this! Ah, let's play mental chess! No, no, that won't work! Scrabble? Dama? Metal Gear: Infiltration of Buddha? AAAAAHHHH-

"Muh, it's okay now." I suddenly heard her voice tinkle. Thank the heavens-

She was wearing an orange bikini variant. The top piece is held by a ribbon tied to her neck, with a black band just underneath her breasts. The shape of the top seems to call attention to the breasts and cleavage of the wearer. Couple that with her IS necklace, it's really hard not to stare topside. The bottom part has a extremely short orange skirt with black stripes, suspended with the same black garter that's under her endowments. The skirt seems to have an effect that makes you want to see more, which is more effective at calling attention than the normal panty-like bottom piece, I guess. All in all, a masterpiece!

Char really likes to make my nights a life-or-death battle, doesn't she? On another completely unrelated note, she's so cute wearing it! She has that "cute and beautiful and sexy hard-to-get you have no chance" vibe, and add that to the inquisitive expression of her face, it's truly too much to handle! The clothing really emphasizes her well-rounded body! It's really hard maintaining bodily functions at the moment.

"Does...does it look strange?"

"No! It's absolutely fantastic! Yeah!" I'm so happy to be alive in this world!

"Then, I'll get this, okay?"

"Miss?" we heard a clerk ask through the curtains. Crap.

"That voice? No way..."

"That...hihihi~" Oh shit, it's Stoney and Elaine, together with Chifuyu, Maya and the clerk! We're busted!

"E-E-E-E..." Maya was obviously surprised, Stoney had that "congratulations, you won the jackpot!" look, Elaine was winking at me, and Chifuyu just looks as she is most of the time.

"What are you up to?"

Back to the stalker's- (I'M NOT A STALKER!) Ahem, I mean..."Genuinely concerned maiden-in-love's" point of view...

"I can't believe even the teachers showed up! I'll be in deep trouble if I just walked in like that! I should observe the situation first..." Cecilia murmured to herself, oblivious to the fact that her stalking-(I SAID I'M NOT-) I mean, "guarding" companion.

"Clarissa." Laura summoned through her phone. She was referring to Clarissa Harfouch, her first lieutenant. How do you even pronounce that, anyway? Harfush? Harfowch? Harfuk? Anyway...

"Clarissa, it's me. There's an emergency." The silver-haired German said as soon as the phone picked up.

"Captain Laura Bodewig, is there a problem?" Everyone in the Schwarzer Hase base turned to the first lieutenant, full attention.

"Y-Yeah...Actually, this is about Emmanuel Guevarra."

"Ah, yes. The person who brought you here and the person you've taken a liking to?"

"That's right. He's what you taught me to call...my wife, that is. It so happens that we're required to go to something called a beach study session. However, I'm uncertain of the criteria by which to choose a swimsuit. I would like your opinion on this."

"Understood, Ma'am. The Black Rabbit Squad is always with you. By the way, what is the status of your equipment, Ma'am?"

"One school swimsuit." Clarissa was shocked. It seems that her captain is far beneath her in terms of knowledge in this area.

"What the hell are you thinking?! If I remember correctly, IS Academy's swimsuit is of the old type, right? That isn't a bad choice. However...With just that..."

"With just that?"

"You'll never venture into the realm of the erotic!"

"Woooh! That's the vice captain of the Black Hare Squad for you! She doesn't love Japanese manga and anime for nothing!"

"Then, what should I do?"

"I have a secret plan...Ufufu~"

Whoo, thank goodness I finished something! Thanks for bearing with me. Hope you stay tuned and review!