5.401.Lirako’s “Modus Operandi”

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 401
“Lirako’s “Modus Operandi””

Lirako seemed to be in a good mood as she walked to school that day. She swayed from side to side and smiled wide. A few students noticed and waved to her, and she gave them a cheerful wave back.
Some students watched her through glares, but when she passed by San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina, she waved to them. The students were a mixture of happy and confused to see Lirako in such a good mood.
“Did something happen, Lirako?” Deki-Tyunri asked once he caught up with her. “You seem really happy today. I noticed when you passed by San-Kyung and Dslellullar, you waved to them instead of tease them.”
“Oh, I’m just in a good mood. Happens some times, you know?”
“I know, it was just kind of surprising to see you in that good a mood. You and Dslellullar did fight recently, after all…”
“Oh, I’m over that. It’s no big deal anymore. You shouldn’t be worried about me being happy, Deki-Tyunri!” She messed up his hair. “It’s a good thing, okay?”
“I know it’s a good thing,” he said, shaking his head. “I was just surprised, is all…”
“Well, I’m just in a good mood and there’s no reason for it. You know what, I think I’m going to run ahead of the crowd. Meet you inside, Deki-Tyunri!”
Before he could respond she took off. Once she was inside and noticed there were no students inside, her smile dropped.
“I bet Dosa-Mina’s still mad at me for that fight the other day,” she said to herself. “Ah, screw him if he is! He didn’t have to come.”
Thinking back on his final attack, her whole body twitched. “Just where did that come from?”

***

When Dosa-Mina got up during the break time, Lirako followed after him, much to the confusion of the other students. Some began to worry that she was going to attack him again and kept a close eye on her.
Lirako kept to the wall while watching Dosa-Mina. He didn’t notice her until he was on his way back to the classroom.
“Were you following me?” He asked. “Because that’s creepy. That’s La-Iin level creepy.”
“I wasn’t following you because I want you to impregnate me, though,” she said. Dosa-Mina cringed. “You just saying that is disgusting.”
“I know. But I have my reasons for following you. Perfectly justifiable reasons that even someone like you, who spits at the name Sanyaow Lirako, would understand.”
“That makes me think they’re worthless,” he said, before stalking off. While he was turned around, Lirako reached out to strike at him. Almost immediately Dosa-Mina responded by reaching out his hands as if to grab her.
“What were you going to do just now?” Lirako asked coolly. Dosa-Mina glared.
“I wasn’t going to do anything except tell you to stop.”
“Not going to use that move on me again?”
Dosa-Mina grit his teeth. “So that’s what you’re going for.”
“Who, meeeee?”
Dosa-Mina rolled his eyes. “Who cares if I have a little extra strength! There are a lot of other powerful Normals out there too. Why’s it so surprising if I’m one of them?”
“You seem like the last person to care about beefing up your strength. Wouldn’t you rather hang all over San-Kyung all day?”
“That’s not all I do, you know,” he snapped. “And you don’t know anything about me, so stop making assumptions.”
As Dosa-Mina walked away, Lirako whispered to herself, “Is it just the fact that you hate me, or are you hiding something, Dosa-Mina…?”

“I wonder why Lirako keeps bothering Dosa-Mina?” Fer-Shi said one break time.
“Why should I care? I don’t like either of them.”
“I wasn’t saying you should. I was just wondering.”
“Probably because he’s annoying and she’s annoying. Either they’re annoying each other or they’re finding their annoyingness to be something in common. Either way, I don’t care.”
“Looks like they’re not getting along.”
“I still don’t care.”
Fer-Shi wrinkled her forehead. “I know you don’t care, so you don’t have to keep repeating that….”

Dosa-Mina felt on-edge throughout his classes that day. Lirako’s pestering annoyed him, but her reason why made him feel uncomfortable.
‘She’s not suspicious, is she?’ He wondered. ‘Normals can be physically powerful without having some sort of secret. But they usually train really hard to get that strong…has she ever even been holdlocked by a Werewolf before? Did it feel like natural strength to her?’
He was starting to stress out. His arms felt like they were throbbing with pressure, and he tried to ignore the feeling. ‘I’m in school. I’m in school….’
“What’s bothering you now, Dosa-Mina? Have I gotten under your skin?”
Dosa-Mina looked up at Lirako, who was standing next to his desk with a wide grin plastered to her face. “School just ended, you know. But I saw that constipated look on your face and I had to ask.”
Dosa-Mina stared off past Lirako for a short while, thinking on how he should handle his current situation, before nudging San-Kyung’s shoulder.
“Wait for me outside, okay? I have something to deal with.” Dosa-Mina whispered.
“What’s that?” Dosa-Mina pointed to Lirako. “Oh.”
“Actually, you could even go on home if you’d like. I just can’t go with you now. That’s all.” Dosa-Mina turned back to Lirako.
“Can we take this somewhere else, Lirako?”
“Sure, so long as you don’t plan on ambushing me.”
“Trust me, I don’t.”
He led the way through the crowd of students. A few students from Class D who noticed the two together wondered if Lirako was still bothering him or if something was going on; however, nobody was concerned enough to follow after them, which was a relief for Dosa-Mina.
“You know, I was just thinking about something. You don’t like me and I don’t like you. Why should I trust you?”
“Because I’m not in the mood to fight. Think whatever you want, I just said it to get a point across.”
“Fair enough. What do you want?”
“For you to leave me alone?” He stared at her wide-eyed, as if in disbelief. Lirako giggled.
“Sorry, but I don’t really want to. I’m curious about how you got so strong when you don’t seem to do much physical training at all. You know, I bet if you had kept holding on to me like that, I would have died. Of course I want to know how someone got strong enough to make me think I might die.”
“Xhephekuda can grow large enough to take up a good chunk of the classroom,” he pointed out.
“…why did you use him as an example? He’s a Groundiser. He has powers, unlike you.” Lirako blinked. “Unless you do?”
“Now that’s just dumb.”
“Are you a Dualbreed, Dosa-Mina? I’ve heard of distanced Dualbreeds before. Like they have nubs on their head or on their back or near their butts but otherwise look like the species they mostly are.”
“I’m not a distanced Dualbreed!” He snapped. “I’m a Pureblood Normal.”
“Pretty strong for just a Pureblood Normal who doesn’t even seem to work out.”
“You don’t know that!”
“That you’re acting like you are makes me wonder, though,” she said. “Maybe you just didn’t know you’re a distanced Dualbreed. But that would be dumb. I’m sure you’d feel little nubs on your body. And I’m sure it’d be obvious on whichever parent gave you the nubs. Or whichever parents.
Dosa-Mina was trying to fight the uncertain feeling building in him, but it was becoming more difficult as Lirako continued on. He stood his ground anyway, hoping she would soon stop talking about it, but by now he was beginning to fear it was all over.
Everyone in Malicerie Class D would discover he was a Dualbreed, and then they would think he looked like a monster.
“What’s wrong with you now? Hit the nail on the head? You know, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a distanced Dualbreed, Dosa-Mina. Just means there’s another Dualbreed in the class.”
“The problem is, I’m not,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady. “Look. Do you see any nubs on my head? Feel any on my back? I’m not pulling down my pants, but I’m pretty sure you’d be able to see a nub that was near my butt.”
“It’d look like you crapped your pants,” Lirako whispered under her breath. Dosa-Mina narrowed his eyes.
“Think whatever you want, Lirako. And go ahead, say you’d have no problem with having a distanced Dualbreed classmate. I believe that. But it’s kind of hypocritical to be okay with that and think it’s impossible for a Pureblood Normal to just happen to be strong, isn’t it?”
Lirako’s tail twitched. As Dosa-Mina turned to leave, Lirako hissed and lashed out at him with both sets of claws extended. Dosa-Mina responded by turning around faster than she could react to and grabbing her tight by both arms. Lirako tried to struggle free from his grasp, but couldn’t manage to.
She did, however, notice the glow in his eyes as he held on. His expression calmed after a little and he turned away from her again.
“Mind you, I only did that because I knew you were going to hurt me otherwise,” he said. “My chest still hurts a bit from what you did to it the other day.”
Lirako watched him off and touched her arms. They still felt sore from where Dosa-Mina had pressed down on them.
Now, she felt almost certain that she was right about Dosa-Mina’s species, but a question nagged at her after his attack.
“Were his eyes always yellow? Isn’t that more of a Werewolf color…?”

—–
San-Kyung kept his eyes on Dosa-Mina on their way back home, uncertain about his behavior.
‘Something’s been off about him. I bet I started it with finding out about those cuts…still, I’m not sure how much longer I can take him acting like this.’
“What’s wrong, San-Kyung?” Dosa-Mina asked, breaking him out of his thoughts. “Worried about me?”
“Um…”
San-Kyung had expected Dosa-Mina to frown as he had been doing so often recently, but instead he smiled. “Aw, you don’t need to be! I’m just fine!” He grabbed on to San-Kyung’s arm and hugged it tight. “Thank you, though,” he said, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“I didn’t even say anything!”
“I could see it in your eyes. Or at least, that’s what I thought I saw in your eyes,” he said. “Either way, I’m okay, so you don’t need to worry whether you were or you weren’t!”
“Whatever…”
“Still…” San-Kyung blinked. “I wish people would stop finding out so much about me…”

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