The La-Iin Series
“The Chronicles of Malicerie Students–Part 2”
“Deki-Tyunri….how long have we been waiting here?”
“About an hour and a half,” he sighed. “Coming early was a terrible idea…”
“Yeah…you know, it’s weird that we’re having a class on Sunday.”
“Well, we’ve had classes on a Sunday before, haven’t we?”
“I just wish we had been told an exact time.”
“Oh, yeah, definitely….hm, but maybe while we’re here, we can talk about things we wouldn’t be able to talk about normally, like…our teacher, Mr. Vurinen.”
“What about him?” Deki-Tyunri pulled a stray feather off his wing.
“Heh heh….don’t you think it was adorable how he got into the song yesterday?”
“I mean…oh, I’ll just come out and say it….Deki-Tyunri, do you think Mr. Vurinen is cute?”
“I was curious. Do you?”
“Ah…” Deki-Tyunri felt his face heat up. “That’s…none of your business!”
The door opened. Both Shin-Rei and Deki-Tyunri looked to see who it was.
“Hello, Mr. Vurinen….” Shin-Rei said. Deki-Tyunri turned away from him and decided to pick more stray feathers off his wings.
“Hello, Murana, Elyshen….how long have you two been here?”
“You don’t even want to know…” She sighed.
“Why did you come so early?”
“We weren’t sure when we should arrive….you never specified a time.”
“I thought I said….oh, never mind. There’s a good chance nobody else will be here for a while, so do you two want to practice a song?”
Deki-Tyunri glanced back in his direction. “I wouldn’t mind…”
“Then prepare your instruments. There’s a song I’ve been wanting to try with you all….and I mean all of you, but something tells me not everyone is coming today.”
“Even if they do, it might take them a while to get here….you tend to arrive a little early yourself, don’t you, Mr. Vurinen?”
“Hm? Yes, that’s right, Murana.”
“I knew it.”
“Now, we should get to practicing. There’s no point in sitting around and doing nothing. Herf you go.” He handed music sheets to both Shin-Rei and Deki-Tyunri. Both put them down in a spot where they could see the writing on them clearly and readied their instruments.
“Alright. One, two, three…..”
“Can we….can we take a break, Mr. Vurinen?” Deki-Tyunri breathed.
Xao-Bu looked at the clock. “I suppose we could. The other students might arrive any minute, but….”
“I can still play,” Shin-Rei protested.
“I know you can, Murana, but I think Elyshen has a little less stamin–”
“Sorry we’re late!” Several students called. All of them piled into the room at once.
“Something weird happened when we were coming into Malicerie! There were some people walking around, and I don’t think they were part of Class B…”
“I didn’t recognize them as part of Class C either.”
“Maybe Class A?”
“Or Class D. Elyshen, do the teachers for your class normally wear weird grey outfits?”
“Hm? No, everyone in Class D dresses colorfully, I’d say….except…well…” Deki-Tyunri glanced away. ‘I promised myself I wouldn’t think about him…’
“Are you alright, Deki-Tyunri?”
“I’m fine. It’s nothing.”
“And not just that either, Mr. Vurinen! We saw something else!”
“Such as? There is a good chance that they could be a part of Class A, you know. Class A hardly participates in anything that could involve the other classes…though, most of them got arrested the other day…”
“Well, I don’t really think what else we saw is Class A-related…I don’t think it’s anything any class-related. But maybe you’d know, since you work for the school staff. ….or do you?”
“I’m not a member of the Malicerie faculty, but I have insight on the inner workings here since I teach part-time. With that said, I can’t tell you certain things…”
“Well, um, do you know if security cameras have ever been a thing in Malicerie?”
“Yeah, we saw a whole bunch of cameras in corners of the school. I don’t remember seeing them there before. But maybe I just missed them. My friends say I’m ditzy…”
“There shouldn’t be security cameras. Malicerie doesn’t use cameras for security. Even if they were going to be implemented, I think there would be an announcement…”
“Look, there’s one right there!”
Xao-Bu turned around. In the corner of the ceiling, he noticed the shine of a small grey object. He flew up to the object and examined it closely.
“Whoa! What’s with the sudden closeup? This is creepy!”
“Hm….” Xao-Bu landed on the ground. “Could someone help me put on my glasses? I’m sure I could see it better with those, but I have the hardest time putting them on…”
“I’m sure Deki-Tyunri could help….right?”
“Come on, he could use the help,” she said as a sly grin crossed her lips. Deki-Tyunri sighed. He went over to the glasses and grabbed them with his mouth. He hesitated a bit before quickly slamming the glasses onto Xao-Bu’s face.
“So-so-sorry, Mr. Vurinen!”
“It’s not a problem….argh.” He shook his head and flew back up to the grey object. This time, he could definitely tell what it was. ‘This is a camera, just like they said…’
He grabbed the camera with his mouth and threw it to the floor. He landed hard on top of it, then ground it with his foot.
“It was a camera…!”
“But….who would put those up? And why?”
“I don’t know….oh, if only a Malicerie higher-up was here today…they would definitely have more insight on this than I do. But if the whole school is filled with cameras, it’s not a case of wanting to spy on our class. Obviously it’s something else.”
“Can we break them all!?” One student asked.
“I’m caught between wanting to do that, and wanting to preserve them so the staff can take a look tomorrow….this is a problem. Students, check the room and see if there’s any more.”
“Alright, Mr. Vurinen,” Deki-Tyunri said. He and the other students began to scour the classroom, looking under anything they could manage to move out the way. Xao-Bu kept to the ceiling, checking it over in case he had missed something.
Once they were done, the students came up to him and shook their heads.
“I don’t see anything else…”
“That’s good, but you’d think they’d put more cameras in here…it seems silly to only put one…”
“This is making me uncomfortable…” Deki-Tyunri said.
“…me too, Elyshen.” He bit his lip. “Alright, students, here’s what I think we should do. We should warn the other Weekend Classes that meet today, and we can destroy their cameras, but that’s it. We’ll have to have the Malicerie staff deal with the others.”
“Which Weekend Classes meet on Sunday, anyway?”
“I think Writing, Math-Science and Species Studies do…I might be getting that wrong, but I know there are some. Unless they didn’t meet today for some reason. But yes, let’s warn them.”
Xao-Bu left the classroom, his students close behind him. The students kept their heads bowed as they nervously glanced up at the ceiling. Cameras lined corners everywhere. Xao-Bu arrived at a door and pushed it open.
“….nobody’s in here. I must have been wrong about Species Studies…” He left the room and walked across the hallway. The students remained silent for most of the trip across.
“Mr. Vurinen, what’s that?”
Xao-Bu glanced in the classroom. “Is that one of the people you saw earlier, Caere?” He whispered.
“Yeah…” He swallowed hard.
“I don’t recognize anyone like that…we should probably avoid them.”
“We’re almost to the Math-Science room. Let’s get in there and–”
“Ain’t that the Wingyrm guy what was sawn on camera?” A voice said behind them. The students and Xao-Bu turned around.
“Yeah, think so. Look at the brown bun!”
“What’s he doin’ ’round here…?”
Xao-Bu was starting to feel nervous. ‘In all my years of teaching, I’ve never run into something like this…’ Reluctantly, he stepped in front of his students and spread his wings.
“I don’t recognize you as workers of Malicerie,” he said as calmly as he could manage.
“No, I don’t.”
“You good to be judgment on that, Weekend teach?”
“…I know enough about who works at Malicerie.”
“Do…do you think they’re robbers?” Shin-Rei whispered.
“I don’t know…”
“Man, I always thought these situations were annoying in books, but now I’m actually living it…!”
“….are you the ones who installed cameras?”
The duo standing in front of him didn’t respond.
“I repeat, are you the ones who insta–”
Before Xao-Bu could finish his sentence, the duo charged at him. The students flew into a panic as Xao-Bu fell to the ground and the duo stalked towards them.
It was obvious that they had waited for him to let down his guard, even if only in the slightest. And with Xao-Bu down, they had won.
“Guhh….the inside of a mouth is disgusting…I’ll never be able to look at people the same way again, aaagh….”
“Hang in there, boss. We’ll buy you some bleach.”
“No, please no…”