The La-Iin Series
“Dawn of the School Trip–Part 1”
“So you made sure you have everything, yes?” Asul-Zenza asked.
“Yes Dami, I have everything I need. You don’t need to ask me anymore!”
“I just wanted to make sure. Oh, I’ve grown spoiled by getting to live with you, even if only briefly. I’ll miss you.” He hugged her tight. ‘This is starting to get repetitive.’
“I’ll miss you too, Dami. Tell Mama I said bye. Otherwise she’ll just get mad.”
“Yes, of course,” Asul-Zenza giggled.
The two of them were standing outside Malicerie Public School, where a large bus was stationed. It was crowded outside, with the students of Class D and their relatives wishing each other well. Despite La-Iin’s irritation with Asul-Zenza’s attitude over the past two days, she couldn’t help but feel lonely for him already.
Over on another side of the crowd, Fer-Shi was heading into the bus.
“Stay safe, Fer-Shi! Oh! Do you want my camera?” Tei-Sheu asked.
“Do you need it?”
“Not really. Here. Take it. Take lots of pictures and show us when you get back!”
Fer-Shi took the camera. “Thank you, Mom!”
“Take some good pictures of the beach there, okay? Have fun! Tell us all about it when you get back!”
“I will, I will!”
San-Kyung was leaning against the bus’ side, talking with his own parents.
“Are you gonna be okay? You’re gonna be surrounded by people you hate.”
“I’m surrounded by people I hate every day,” he sighed. “The sooner we get this trip over with, the better.”
“Yeah…we’ll miss you. But hey, at least Dosa-Mina will be there, right?”
San-Kyung gave a small smile. “Yeah, I guess. ….I’ll miss you two.”
“We’ll miss you too!” Del-Kyuus sobbed. She hugged San-Kyung tight. Salsh-Era went to hug San-Kyung as well, then hit his head against his wife’s.
“Ugh…San-Kyung, if there’s one thing that’s a benefit about your appearance, it’s the fact that you have a small head…”
“Take care!” Del-Kyuus called. She and Salsh-Era waved to him, then walked away. A moment later, Dosa-Mina leaned up against the bus.
“Talking to your parents?”
“Yeah….aren’t yours gonna come?”
“I asked Mom not to. Dad can’t come anyway ’cause he’s got work, but Mom took a day off. She’s probably disappointed, but I bet you know why I asked her not to.”
San-Kyung rolled his eyes. “Sheesh, Dosa-Mina.”
“Well, what was I supposed to do? Ask her to say I’m adopted or something? You know she’d never go for that. She gets about as pissy as you do sometimes about this whole thing….I swear though, I feel like things have been more dangerous for me lately. I hope I don’t end up revealing it by accident….”
“You need to be more careful. Remember, even if you look like this, you can still use your powers just fine. I can think of one of those that would be a dead giveaway.”
“Yeah…I better be careful.”
Dosa-Mina turned around, his eyes wide with surprise. San-Kyung glanced in the direction he faced, and his eyes went wide as well. Running towards them was Dosa-Mina’s mother.
“Mom! What the–you look so–”
“I’m seeing you off whether you like it or not!”
“You….you disguised yourself as a Normal?”
“I did it for your sake. This form is so inconvenient, I don’t get what you like so much about it.”
“Thank you, Mom, but, I….” Dosa-Mina started to get flustered. San-Kyung sighed.
“Big sister! How long are you gonna be gooooone? And how come we can’t come!?”
“I’m gonna be gone today and tomorrow. And then I come back on Friday night. And you can’t come because you don’t go to Malicerie!”
“Papa! Mama! Can we go to Malicerieeeee?”
“You’re already enrolled in a good school, boys,” their Father sighed.
“And besides, even if we did send you to Malicerie, you wouldn’t be going until next year! The school’s practically filled up this time around….”
“Sheesh. Make sure they don’t cause too much trouble for you, alright? ‘Cause I can’t save you now!”
“We’ll be fine, Lirako,” her Father said.
“Do you have what you need?”
“Yeth. I do.” Deki-Tyunri said. He pushed his head through the strap on the bag. “I’ll be just fine.”
“No randomly flapping your wings in the bus, alright?”
“I won’t, grandmother.”
“Have a good time.” She laid her head on his wing.
“Okay, so I’ll get going now,” Ilhe-Anra said.
“Have a good time,” her Mother said.
“What’s that you have, Ilhe-Anra?”
“Oh, nothing.” She hid it behind her back.
“…..it’s a picture of me, isn’t it?”
“I need something to make me feel at home.”
“Then why don’t you have a picture of Mom too!?”
“Good luck, Nemi-Hikla!” Her friends said. “Here’s a little something from us!”
“You’re welcome! Now make sure to bring us some sand from Plucehon, okay!?”
“Lucky you two!” Lishe-Ashyo sighed. “I should’ve paid more attention in school….I thought I’d get to go on this school trip too…..” He, Xhen-Wu, and Cou-Riette all sighed.
“I’m sorry! Don’t worry, we’ll bring something back for you! Besides, we’re just going to Plucehon, not to Dasdoria or something.”
“I know. But I’d still like to go there. It’s not like it’s close…”
“Dad, please! I’m gonna be alright!” Mali-Ana yelled.
“Are you sure?”
“….Mali-Ana, your Dad’s a Catori?” Lishe-Ashyo asked.
“Does that mean you are a Catori?” Cou-Riette asked.
“N-no! We’re not related by blood or anything….sheesh, Dad, I can’t believe I never introduced you. These are the people I always hang out with. Cou-Riette, Xhen-Wu, Gen-Reiya…..yeah, that’s about it.”
“What about that guy?”
“I’m Coulmeta Lishe-Ashyo! Nice to meet you, Mr. Reusung!”
“Oh, I know you! You’re the guy Mali-Ana’s always talking about! Nice to meet you! Maybe we should get together sometime, get to know each other?”
“I don’t know what way you mean getting to know each other, Mr. Reusung! I really don’t want to get to know you in a certain way, but I’d be glad to get to know you in another way!”
Mali-Ana’s father gave a confused smile.
“Stupid idiot! He’s not like that!”
“Oh. That’s what I thought, anyway….” Lishe-Ashyo started to whistle.
“Tell your baby to stay in the egg until we get back, alright?” Gen-Reiya said to Cou-Riette.
“Ugh! Yes, yes.”
“What’s wrong, Cou-Riette?”
“I’m sick of hearing about my egg! I know it’s going to hatch soon!” She sighed. “Sorry, Gen-Reiya. That’s no excuse for snapping at you.”
“Nah, it’s fine. But if it does hatch, give us a call so we can hear all the details!”
“….aren’t you going to say good-bye to us?”
“Oh….Mom, Dad, Mi-Yagi….I said good-bye a million times at home…”
“I honestly don’t care if you say good-bye or not,” Mi-Yagi groaned. Gen-Reiya frowned. “Good-bye, Mi-Yagi! Good-bye! I’ll see you again on Friday! Good-bye!”
“Be good, alright, Yefu-Shenhao?”
“I’ll be good!”
“Tenha-Gumo, nobody’s been picking on you, right?”
“No, not at all. Just staring at my ears a lot….”
“Have fun on this trip, okay?”
“So many people….” Ai-Reia whimpered. “We’re about to get on the bus….where is my family?”
“Oh, good. You’re not on the bus yet!”
“Are you the only one who came? Where’s Mom, Dad and Zih-Amo?”
“They’re at the hospital,” Reuf-Bu said as he landed.
“WHAT!? What’s going on!? Who’s hurt!?”
“Oh, nobody’s hurt! Mom’s getting pretty close to having the baby, so they figured it would be best to relocate her there. The baby’s due on Saturday, so you’ll be there for the birth! Don’t worry too much about it.”
“How can I not!?”
“Here.” He handed her a small slip of paper. “Call that number if you want to get in touch with us. Mom can still talk just fine, so say whatever you like. We’ll all be fine and the doctors said both Mom and the baby are in tip-top condition, so please don’t worry. Go on your trip. Then when you come back, we can all meet the baby together!”
Ai-Reia felt hesitant. She stood in place. Reuf-Bu sighed and pushed her into the bus just as the rest of the students piled in, followed by the teachers.
“Reuf-Bu! I need to stay!”
“Have fun, Ai-Reia!”
Ai-Reia pounded on the window, but Reuf-Bu just smiled and waved. He was among a crowd of several relatives waving good-bye to their family.
“Have fun, big sister!” Lirako’s brothers yelled. Her parents gave small waves.
“Enjoy the trip!” San-Kyung’s parents yelled.
“Make sure you have the time of your life!” Yelled Asul-Zenza.
The bus drove away from the school, and the relatives of the students quickly faded into the background.
The bus trip was not a short trip. On the way there, the teachers made several factoid announcements. Most of the students decided to do something while on the bus.
“Something is wrong, Vampirisu-san?”
“Kokohara….” Ai-Reia sighed. “It’s only….my older brother came to see me before I left. My mother is having a baby. She’s in the hospital now….the baby isn’t due until Saturday but I can’t help but be worried.”
“I wanted to stay with them! Of course the school trip had to be now. I wasn’t even told there was going to be one until just recently! And I got no say in the matter of where we were going.”
“It was the same for me.”
“I suppose they likely decided this before we joined Class D…of course, that might mean the graduated students, who don’t even get to come, had a say in where we were going as well! How completely unfair!”
Shuera-Kaizima’s ears were folded back. Ai-Reia glanced at her. “Oh, sorry. Did you catch all that?”
“I got the….general….you know what I want to say.”
“Yes, I do. Ohh….”
“Ai-Reia looks like she’s in a bad mood,” Fer-Shi commented.
“Let her be.”
“I might enjoy this. Except that this bus trip is taking forever. It’s so boring.”
“Well, it’s better than being forced to fly the whole way, right?”
“Maybe. But that depends. Would flying take faster?”
“Maybe for a fully-grown Vampire, but I think it would take longer for you…”
“Well you don’t actually know that, do you?”
“I think she’s right.” A familiar voice said. La-Iin glared.
“Shut up, rival-boy!”
“No, it’s true. But when I say fully-grown, I mean one in his two-hundreds. A fully grown, agile Vampire with large wings might be able to make the trip from Bledger to Plucehon faster than this bus. Now, a small Vampire who’s been able to fly for less than a month and has wings that only just barely hold up her giant head would probably take a few days. By the time she made it there, the trip would probably be on its last day, if not over.”
“Wow, you know a lot, Dosa-Mina!”
“I do a lot of studying because I want to become a Species Studier after I grauate. But I only accept facts from reliable sources! I learned not to trust the Internet after they said that Groundisers have spiky p–”
“Are you talking to her again?” San-Kyung groaned.
“I’m talking to La-Iin and Fer-Shi. Which one did you think I was talking to?”
“Never mind,” San-Kyung sighed.
“Hiii, San-Kyung!” La-Iin cooed. Fer-Shi rolled her eyes. “Just so you know, I’ve forgiven you for the egg thing.”
“Because I feel like it. This trip is going to be good if you’re here.”
“…” San-Kyung gave her a cold glare and turned away. La-Iin sighed.
“But yes, you’d never be able to make it from Bledger to Plucehon with your stature!”
“Shut it, rival-boy!”
“Looks like the typical antics are up with Cahongyun and the duo,” Gen-Reiya sighed. “I wonder if Dosa-Mina really ever said anything…”
“Said anything about what?”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m so bored! Look, it’s the afternoon already, and it doesn’t look like we’re anywhere close. At this rate we won’t get to Plucehon before night….the whole second day will be nothing but study.”
“What do you expect, idiot? This is a school trip?”
“I know, I know! Yeesh, Mali-Ana. Don’t you know how to be nice?”
“I won’t be nice to idiots who want to goof off on our school trip.”
“You’re just sour because Lishe-Ashyo couldn’t come! Mali-Ana, it’s common knowledge now that–” Before he could finish the sentence, Mali-Ana punched him so hard that he fell out his chair.
“HEY! NO VIOLENCE!” The science teacher yelled. He dragged Mali-Ana away. Gen-Reiya sat back in his seat with his cheek covered in a bruise and tear stains.
“Glads to sees I’ms nots the only one who’s boreds,” Voi-Ehst said.
“You know, I never noticed it before, but maybe because I’m so bored….Voi-Ehst, what’s with that verbal tic?”
“Ohs, yous mean this? I dunno. It’s just beens heres for a whiles now. Sometimes it hardly evers shows ups…..and then somedays, it just attaches itself to every sentences I says!”
“It seems more prominent today…”
“Maybes. I’ms excited!”
“I kinda like her tic. It’s funny!” Yefu-Shenhao said.
“Yous finds it funnys? I dunnos how I’ms supposed to feels about that….”
Sitting in front of them was Kaersh-Cogyp and Xhen-Bei.
“Yes? Could you please learn my surname? It’s Xhephekuda.”
“….right. Kuda. I’ve got it.”
“No, you don’t!”
“Can you stop dripping sand everywhere!?”
“I’m a Groundiser! What do you think we do!?”
“Well if you drip sand everywhere, you’ll lose all your sand and expose the papery body underneath. I know that much about Groundisers.”
“Obviously you know nothing, given that our sand regenerates as it falls off! I’m hardly even moving right now. I’m not losing too much. Compare this to you, who is shedding all over the place and giving fleas to the furred students!”
“It’s not that bad!”
“You insist upon that all you like. I won’t believe it.”
The bus was loud as Malicerie Class D edged ever closer to Plucehon.
“I can’t drive like this! All these kids making nosie is driving me crazy!” The driver yelled.
“Just hold out for another hour or so! We’re almost in Plucehon….”
The trip from Bledger to Plucehon took almost six hours, though with the occasional breaks and to the bored children on the bus, it seemed like much longer. By the time they were outside, the sun was significantly lower than when they left.
“Urgghh…..” Im-Dei groaned.
“No, Fyuori! Just wait a little longer to–oh no!”
“Teach, Fyuori got vomit on Fheyundaer!” Shan-Zetsu yelled. The teachers sighed.
“This is the worst part of the job. I hate school trips. I can’t wait until we don’t have any more twelfth graders….”
“Well, that sadly won’t be for a while,” Theasis sighed. “Kerushao, Reusung, Oulng and Xhephekuda are the troublemakers this year, and then next year we have Sanyaow, Sherry, and Hangdul, if no other students join, and the year after that, Molshei, Dslellullar, Ferister and Yuuldang, and the year after that, Elyshen, Fheyundaer, and Pinyon, and the year after that–”
“Please, Miss Theasis! You’re making my head hurt! So that’s what, one, two, three, four….at least four years of school trip hell!”
“Exactly,” Theasis sighed, her tail drooping. “And even if we do get even one year off, there’s a good chance that the next year, there will be more twelfth-graders…if there’s anything we can be grateful for, it’s that we’re not any of the other classes. They have so many students that I bet a year without a school trip is as rare as a person with ten breeds….”
“What’s the term for that again?”
“I don’t remeber, obviously.”
“Teach, what do we do about Fyuori!?”
“Get him cleaned up. I doubt we have much time to look around Plucehon today, what with people being sick and it being almost four in the afternoon….”
The students groaned.
“What the f@%k did we come here for then!?” San-Kyung yelled.
“Mr. Molshei! Please refrain from using that sort of language!” Theasis yelled. “Look, why don’t we all get something to eat and find a place to stay. If we have time left over, you all can take a little bit of it for goofing off. If not, then get settled in. We’ll be busy tomorrow.”
“Plucehon is gonna be such a disappointment,” La-Iin sighed.
“Even if today doesn’t go so well, we have all of tomorrow and most of Friday to look around and see the sights!”
“I don’t think I even really like Plucehon anyway. There’s too many buildings.”
“I think this is just because of the area we’re in…”
“Come now, students! We have a Plucehon guide with us, and he’s found a great place we can stop and set up.”
“How come you didn’t secure a place to stay before we left?”
“We did,” the history teacher started, “but it kinda closed down before we got here….”
The students gave another collective groan.
The teachers led the way as a group of students walked the streets of Plucehon. La-Iin noticed a few people watching the crowd with looks of surprise. ‘This is so boring. I need to make things more fun.’ She reached for a student’s leg and bit into it.
The teachers turned around. “Mr. Dslellullar? Is everything alright?”
“I-I think so….ow-ow-ow!”
“Mr. Dslellullar!?” The teachers called. La-Iin backed away from Dosa-Mina and wiped the blood off her mouth. She bumped into Fer-Shi, who was glaring at her.
“I’m bored, Fer-Shi. Horribly. Bored.”
Once the teachers secured a place to stay for the night, they started to separate students into various rooms.
“Alright, Mr. Fyuori, you’ll go with Miss Melongie.”
“And Mr. Ferister, you can go with Miss Sherry.”
“Mr. Xhephekuda, you can go with Mr. Yuuldang.”
“Xhewhatever, you almost sound disappointed.”
“Miss Oulng, you can room with Miss Hangdul.”
“Cools withs mes!”
“Mr. Kerushao, you can go with Miss Shaejaein.”
“We don’t want you to get beaten up by Miss Reusung. By the way, Miss Reusung, you are going with Miss Vampiris.”
“Mr. Molshei….originally we were going to pair you with Miss Sanhuun–”
“…but! After thinking through your reaction, we settled on Mr. Dslellullar instead!”
“Ooh, we get to share a room? This should be interesting….”
“What the hell!? I don’t get to share a room with San-Kyung!?”
“The teachers made a good call. He’d just fry anyone else…”
“Teacher, you’d better give me a good room partner or none at all!”
“Oh, Miss Cahongyun…I assume that means you don’t want to room with Mr. Pinyon…”
“Alright, you may room with Miss Sanhuun. We hadn’t thought through her new roommate yet anyway….”
“Yay! We get to share a room!”
“Miss Kokohara, you may room with Miss Sanyaow.”
“Ooh, Catori girl duo.”
“Miss Fheyundaer, you may room with Mr. Pinyon.”
“Mr. Elyshen, you’ll room with Miss Bustaen.”
“Miss Konkaeho, you’ll room with Mr. Gyurkang.”
“And Miss Auedarna, you’ll room with me.”
“….why do I get a teacher?”
“Sadly, there were certain circumstances that led to that choice….I hope you don’t mind?”
Rini-Futo raised her hand. “I-I can room with a teacher! I could room with Mr. Chensu!”
“Room with….Mr. Chensu? But he already has a room….”
“I don’t mind, if Miss Shaejaein wants to.”
“Alright then, Miss Auedarna, you may room with Mr. Kerushao.”
“Alright, I think that’s everyone….now, everyone find your rooms and we’ll settle in for the night after having something to eat and a brief meeting about the things we’ll do tomorrow. There’s a set schedule so make sure to adhere to it. Am I clear?”
“Yes!” Most of the students yelled. Others shrugged or gave no response.
“Find your partner and go!”
“I hate this. I should be able to room with San-Kyung.” La-Iin was laying on the bed next to Fer-Shi, who was curled up under a blanket with her eyes clothes. She was bored out of her mind from the meeting and full from dinner, and she felt unsatisfied.
“Don’t worry about it….besides, he would’ve burned you to death….”
La-Iin sighed. “I guess I at least have you….”
Fer-Shi giggled. “Thank you, La-Iin….”
But as soon as Fer-Shi fell asleep and La-Iin noticed the lights outside were off, she hopped out her bed, room key in hand, and left the bedroom.