The La-Iin Series
“School Starts Again”
“Today it all starts again,” Fer-Shi said. “It feels like it’s been forever since we walked down this path together.”
“It hasn’t been that long,” La-Iin said.
“I know it hasn’t. You know, I’m excited to see everyone again. I’m not as good as keeping in touch with my school friends as other people are, so I haven’t talked to Shan-Zetsu almost all Summer.”
“It’s not fair though,” La-Iin grumbled. “They call it a Summer break, yet it doesn’t start at the beginning of Summer, and it doesn’t end on the first day of Fall.”
Fer-Shi shrugged. “Well, there’s nothing we can do about that….”
La-Iin sighed. “I wish I could just fly into the building.”
“Hopefully you’ll be able to fly again soon!”
As the two girls walked down the familiar path, La-Iin saw faces she hadn’t seen all Summer–Song-Jpinne was talking to Nemi-Hikla, with Rini-Futo excitedly chattering to children closer to her own age about things she couldn’t hear. Lirako was surrounded by quite a few students who were asking her how her Summer had been; her friend Deki-Tyunri kept a short distance away, a smile on his face. La-Iin noticed him briefly glance in the direction of San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina, who, as they had since La-Iin’s earliest memory of watching them, were talking to each other and walking to school together.
La-Iin couldn’t help but smile when she saw San-Kyung, though remembering that Dosa-Mina was the one talking to him didn’t make it keep for long. And they weren’t the only faces she had seen recently. Ai-Reia was walking to school with Shuera-Kaizima, Im-Dei a short distance behind them.
‘Nothing’s changed at all over the Summer,’ she realized. Then, thinking back on her recent experiences, she smirked. ‘Well, not for them.‘
“Whatcha thinking about, La-Iin?” Fer-Shi asked.
“Nothing. Let’s just get inside. They say it’s a half-day today.”
The girls dashed ahead into the school, only briefly catching the attention of nearby students. For some, it made them look around at the students around them as well.
School had started again, and to the surprise of most students, they were excited for what the rest of the school year had to offer.
“Welllll-come back, students of Malicerie! Remember me?”
“Quiet, Mr. Sharai,” the Principal snapped. Sharai sighed and backed away from the microphone.
“It’s not gonna be much of a half-day if we have to spend time in the reception room,” Fer-Shi grumbled.
“I can’t even think of any announcements they’d have except for ‘we’re open again’. They didn’t do this when we came back to school in Winter, did they?”
“No, they didn’t. Which means this is probably completely useless…”
“Welcome back, students of Malicerie.” The Principal started.
“You’re just copying my speech….er, go on.”
“A-hem. You may be wondering why we’re having this meeting right before classes start again.”
“Damn straight!” San-Kyung yelled from the audience. La-Iin grinned. Fer-Shi moved her chair a short distance away from her’s.
“Ouch!” Yefu-Shenhao exclaimed.
“Mr. Molshei, please do not curse in the reception room.” The Principal heaved a sigh. “We are having this meeting to discuss something we will be implementing into Malicerie Public School starting next year. We’ve realized that the grade average tends to go down after our Summer break, and has done so consistently for many years….when examining the reasons why this might occur, we realized that we are one of the few schools in Vaelyn without Summer homework. So we have decided to implement this starting next Summer.”
Groans rose from the students.
“….is it bad if I say I’m actually kind of looking forward to that?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“Teacher’s pet,” San-Kyung scoffed.
“I thought we were gonna get away with it until we graduated,” Fer-Shi sniffled.
“If we can’t get away without homework, then I say we try and get away with murder!”
“That’s worse than getting away without Summer homework! Never mind, La-Iin. After all, it is practically a year until then, and we already have homework to do, ahahaha…” Fer-Shi’s giggle sounded crazed through her sad tone.
“I am choosing to announce this because I know some students like to blame their teachers for announcements that they made but had no part in deciding. Given that I am the one who has final call on all decisions throughout Malicerie, and that I am the one who realized this problem in the first place, I have chosen to announce it myself. Any student who tries to exert physical violence in response to this announcement will be suspended for a week, and it will reflect badly on you in the future. I especially say this to our students in Grade 12. College is looming. Do not do anything that would destroy your future.”
Some students grumbled, but not another student spoke up. “If that’s all dealt with…then, students, head for class. Some of you might have heard, but today will not be a full day. We will only do the classes required for all grades currently in your given class. Study hard and learn much, my students.”
The Principal left the stage. The students stood up and head for their respective classrooms, talking among each other along the way.
“Homework’s such a pain to deal with…” Deki-Tyunri sighed.
“We’ll deal with it somehow,” Lirako said.
“So if we’re only doing the classes required for all grades, that means no biology, huh…” Dosa-Mina sighed.
“I don’t know why you’re so excited for school to start up again when it means we have to see La-Iin almost every day now, but why you’d even care about biology when we have that hack Hyungdarou teaching it is beyond me.”
On his way out, Hyungdarou hit San-Kyung on the head with a rolled-up piece of paper. ‘Some day, woman….’
“That’s all for today in history,” the teacher said.
“It’s so good to see you again, Mr. Chensu,” Rini-Futo said. The teacher smiled. “Thank you, Miss Shaejaein. It’s good to see you again too.”
“Ah, it’s break time…I kinda missed Mr. Chensu’s classes.” Fer-Shi said.
“Why? He’s one of our worst teachers.”
“Well, he cares about his subject. He’s really passionate about history. I can respect that.”
“I guess I can respect that he’s fun to pick on,” La-Iin said.
“I almost wish today was a full day so that I could go to the recess area. But then I’d have to wait for you throughout two classes. I hope you can find it in you to understand how hellish that is, Fer-Shi.”
“Sorry. But a benefit to having a half-day is that we don’t have to wait for each other. We can spend our short break times together.” Fer-Shi said, then started to smile wide.
“Why does that make you so happy?”
“I like spending time with you. But that wasn’t why I was smiling. I really expected you to go up to San-Kyung and spend all your time with him, but you’re staying here with me. Thank you.”
“I don’t need thanks for that,” she said. “I spend time with who I want to. Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder or something stupid that Makeshire wrote.”
“I don’t think Makeshire wrote that,” Fer-Shi said. La-Iin rolled her eyes. “But you don’t know that he didn’t write it, do you?”
“Makeshire may have been alive for a long time and made lots of contributions, but he didn’t make every contribution. Now I wanna ask the teachers about these sorts of things….I wish our next class wasn’t math. I doubt Miss Theasis knows as much about historical works than other teachers…”
“Please try harder on math,” Theasis said. “I worry about you when I see how badly you do…”
Some students started to chuckle. La-Iin pulled off her headband so that her hair would drop in front of her face and hide her blush. “Don’t call me out after class and maybe I will.”
“Hmph.” With that grunt, Theasis left the classroom.
“She’s just worried,” Fer-Shi said. “Math can be hard sometimes. And it’s really hard to deal with vuyong if you don’t know math all that well. I hate vuyong values so much. I wish we used a different currency system…”
“I won’t need to worry about vuyong in the future,” La-Iin said. “I’ll just steal everything I need. And vuyong or any other type of currency won’t exist when the world is mine.”
“That would be one benefit to your world…”
La-Iin grinned. “So you admit there would be benefits.” She pat Fer-Shi on the head.
“But I still don’t want you to rule the world!” Fer-Shi exclaimed.
“Good Fer-Shi,” La-Iin cooed. “Maybe I won’t put chains on you.”
La-Iin grinned deeper.
“La-Iin, you scare me sometimes! Especially since you have your hair drooping in front of your face. I can’t see your expression and that scares me even more…”
La-Iin put her headband back on. In the time it took her to do so, she started to grin deeper. Once her face was visible again, she was smiling so deep that it looked malicious to Fer-Shi, who shrieked and nearly fell over in her chair. La-Iin started to laugh so loudly that she caught the attention of other students.
“Looks like Cahongyun’s still doing…whatever it is she does,” Deki-Tyunri said.
“That’s something we probably don’t wanna go near,” Lirako said.
Ai-Reia heaved a sigh.
“Did she always laugh that loud?” Yefu-Shenhao groaned, covering her ears.
“Wish I could tell her to shut up,” San-Kyung grumbled.
“Just weather it, San-Kyung…” Dosa-Mina said.
The students were in various states of annoyance as La-Iin continued to laugh.
After the last class, students chatted among each other and hugged. Even students who didn’t care as much for school were excited to see school friends again, so they talked with them and watched the other students in the classroom prepare to leave the school.
“There’s not another meeting after school too, is there?” Fer-Shi asked the teacher of the last subject, who smiled at her and said, “No, there isn’t. You may go home now if you want, Miss Sanhuun.”
Fer-Shi joined La-Iin again. “Ready to go home?”
“I want to go somewhere after school,” La-Iin said.
“Okay! We can go together!” Fer-Shi said. La-Iin smiled at her.
“Alright,” she said. The two walked together out the school. The chattering of other students mixed together and made it nearly impossible to make out a single conversation going on in the classroom. Lirako talked with her friends about her Summer, then started a conversation with Deki-Tyunri about desire. Zae-Mia conversed with the younger students of Class D about her Summer and asked about theirs. Rini-Futo talked with Nemi-Hikla and the two walked together out of class. Song-Jpinne went to follow them, and then was crowded by students asking about his deeper voice. Ai-Reia left the classroom alone, but Fer-Shi noticed Shuera-Kaizima call for her and follow her out the classroom.
And inevitably, the two girls ended up passing by the desks of San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina, who were, as always, locked in a mundane conversation as they prepared to go home. La-Iin stopped in place and looked up at San-Kyung with a smile.
“See you tomorrow,” she said. She only managed to distract San-Kyung momentarily. He sighed, waved to her, then returned to his conversation.
“I’m racing you,” La-Iin said quietly, then dashed out the school. Fer-Shi chased after her. “Warn me next time when you wanna race!”
The two girls ran ahead of the crowd, giggling as they left the school building.
Tomorrow was another school day; to the surprise of many students, they were happy to have these days back.