The La-Iin Series
“The Continuation of New Students”
“Can you tell which ones are the new Class D students?”
“How am I supposed to know which ones are which?”
“Aren’t Class B’s new students almost done giving their introduction speeches? The Class D ones should be right next to the Class C ones.”
“Well, there’s four people up there. One of them is a Llamaki.”
“Ooh, I wonder if they’re for Class C or Class D?”
“I can’t tell from here.”
“I guess we’re not getting many students this year, though,” Fer-Shi said. “Do you think we’ll get any? Maybe all four of them are for Class C.”
“At least one of them is probably for Class D. I don’t care either way. The best new student joined this class the same year I did.”
Fer-Shi rolled her eyes. “Still, it’s a nice memory now, our introduction to Malicerie. Now we’ve been here for two others, and we’ll probably be here for many more!”
Fer-Shi fell silent after that, trying to see past the crowd by standing on her tip-toes. La-Iin quickly became bored. ‘I doubt anyone this year is going to be interesting. I didn’t find out about San-Kyung’s true greatness until after our introduction, and Ai-Reia is probably a lost cause by now. I’m not getting my hopes up.’
“La-Iin, I think there’s only one new Class C student!” Fer-Shi said.
“Our new students are next!”
La-Iin flew above the crowd to watch as three students lined up behind a faculty member.
“Earlier this month, four students graduated from Class D. Today, three new students are joining our class, bringing the number of students up to twenty-four. While this is less than what we had in the previous year, we are still happy to be at such a high number, and also to welcome the three new students who will be joining our class today. With that being said, I welcome to you Class D’s students twenty-two through twenty-four!”
“Who’s taking the microphone?”
“A Normal girl,” La-Iin said.
“Hello there, everyone. My name is Sara Shuu-Kena.” Shuu-Kena began to twist a finger in her hair as she went on. “I’m in Grade 3 and I’m eight years old. I like to learn about science and stuff. Sometimes I might come to the optional classes too. I’m not really good at talking face-to-face with people, but I’ll try my best.”
She bowed, then took her place with the students who had already given their speeches.
“Boring,” La-Iin sighed.
“She seemed kind of nervous up there. Oh, who’s next?”
“The Llamaki,” La-Iin said. “I guess she’s part of our class.”
“Hi, hi! My name is Llanni Airy-Aekok! I’m in Grade 9 and I’m thirteen years old, gonna be fourteen later on this year,” she giggled. “So, like, I’m really looking forward to being a part of your quirky class. I’m especially looking forward to meeting all the teenage boys I’ve heard so much about~” She blew a kiss. “’tis a shame I missed the graduating ones!”
San-Kyung shuddered. “Something wrong, San-Kyung?”
“That girl gives me a bad feeling,” he whispered.
“I’m a little worried about her too. But who knows? Maybe she’s just your standard peppy teenage girl. Let’s hope so, at least.”
Airy-Aekok went to join the other students, her hands stiffly at her side.
“Who’s the last one?” Fer-Shi asked.
“It’s a…” La-Iin gasped. “A Dualbreed! A Minomix-Birdmix Dualbreed!”
Some people nearby gave La-Iin side-glances, but most focused on the stage as the young boy took his place.
“Hello. I’m Veiner Cae-Bougen. I come from a Vaelis-Wiench family. I’m in Grade 4. And I am ten years old. I heard you have a recess area! I’m really looking forward to that, and to the Weekend classes. Well, that’s all I want to say, for now. Thank you!”
Cae-Bougen joined the other students as well.
“Thank you all for taking the time out of your day to welcome the new students. While we don’t have as many new students as last year, we’re going to let you all get to meet your new classmates anyway. The first class will start in half an hour, so make sure to be in your classroom before then. Again, I thank you all for attending.”
The students head off the stage. La-Iin stared wide-eyed at Cae-Bougen as he ran off.
“Why am I the only half-Normal Dualbreed?” La-Iin whined.
“Sherry has Normal in her,” Fer-Shi said.
“But she’s a Tribreed.” La-Iin scoffed. “Mama sucks. She ruined me. I could have aged faster with any other species as my second one, but no!”
“Don’t start with this again, La-Iin,” Fer-Shi sighed. “Hey, do you wanna get to know the other students?”
“No, I don’t,” she growled. “All I wanna do is make sure that Llamaki girl stays away from San-Kyung!”
La-Iin was ready to take off when she heard a voice say, “Hello!”
She turned around to see Shuu-Kena, who stood there with a smile.
“Hi, Sara!” Fer-Shi said. “I’m surprised you came up to us. I thought you said you weren’t good at talking to people.”
“Well, it’s a little easier when there are more people around,” she said, though La-Iin noticed that she wasn’t meeting either of their gazes, instead staring at the floor. “I just wanted to say hi. I noticed that she was flying high above the crowd while I gave my speech.”
“Well, I’m going to go somewhere else now. See you later.”
“See you, Sara!” Fer-Shi called, waving. “She seems pretty nice.”
“She’s too shy. She didn’t even look you in the eye.”
“Well, that’s okay, she’s new here. I’m sure she’ll get used to it all eventually. Is there anyone else you want to talk to?”
“No. We can just go to the classroom now.”
Students began to disperse from the reception room, heading for their respective classrooms. On his way out the room, San-Kyung was pulled backwards, nearly falling over in the process.
“Oh my gosh, I knew it! I so knew I saw an Animated Pumpkin! I heard you were in my class!” Airy-Aekok licked his cheek, and San-Kyung shuddered. “Oh, I love pumpkins, did you know they’re my favorite food?”
San-Kyung froze. Dosa-Mina pulled him away from her. “Most Animated Pumpkins don’t like hearing that,” Dosa-Mina said.
“Awh, he’s got a friend. So nice, ahh! I love teenage boys…”
“You two are absolutely adorable. We’re gonna have to talk more in the future!” Airy-Aekok looked around the crowd. “Oh my God, is that a Lizardfoot-Bunety? How sweet! Gotta go, catch you two cuties later!”
San-Kyung relaxed as Airy-Aekok dashed away.
“I have a feeling she’s going to be really annoying,” Dosa-Mina sighed.
“Can’t have it easy for one year, can we?”
“And she’s in Grade 9. That doesn’t bode well for next year.”
San-Kyung groaned. “Let’s just go ahead before she decides to lick me again. That was disgusting.”
Nearby, Cae-Bougen was also having difficulty leaving the reception room.
“Yer part Minomix?” Yefu-Shenhao said.
“And part Birdmix?” Rini-Futo asked.
“You must be really strong with that combo!” Shan-Zetsu said.
Cae-Bougen sighed. “I don’t know. You look stronger, Bustaen.”
Yefu-Shenhao gave a confident snort. “Thanks! I’d believe it.”
“It is an interesting combination, though,” Zae-Mia said. “I think Class D’s been pretty lucky when it comes to that. Looks pretty impressive too.”
Cae-Bougen looked away. “Well, I don’t want you to focus on it. I just want to get to class.”
“Alright,” Zae-Mia said.
“Okay!” Yefu-Shenhao, Rini-Futo and Shan-Zetsu said. Still, they followed after Cae-Bougen as he left the reception room.
“Hey, I finally see San-Kyung!” La-Iin called out. Fer-Shi sighed as she ran up to him.
“San-Kyung, you look angry. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is. Can we just get to class?”
La-Iin didn’t believe him, especially after noticing that Dosa-Mina’s expression was near identical to his, but she nodded anyway. “Alright.”
As the Class D students head for their classroom, Shuu-Kena, Airy-Aekok and Cae-Bougen soon became a part of their crowd.
“It sure was weird to see so many new faces at the recess area,” Fer-Shi said to La-Iin on their way out of school. “I guess a lot of younger students joined Malicerie.”
“That student who joined Class C didn’t look so young.”
“I didn’t see him at all.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. He’s part of Class C.”
La-Iin glanced at the crowd. Shuu-Kena kept mostly to herself, standing away from the crowd, though she seemed to notice La-Iin was focusing on her, as she turned around, waved, and then continued to walk on. Airy-Aekok seemed to nearly jump around the crowd, first stopping to pester Xhen-Bei, then Tenha-Gumo, and then Dosa-Mina, who backed away from her and rushed back to San-Kyung’s side. Meanwhile, Cae-Bougen was flying above the crowd on his way home from school, and seemed to inspire other avian students to do the same.
“He can fly so much better than me,” La-Iin huffed.
“Well, his wings are bigger. That’s not really surprising.”
“It’s annoying, though.” La-Iin said. “But I don’t care about these new students. Let’s go home and do something fun.”
Fer-Shi nodded. “Okay!”
The two girls ran ahead of the crowd, who barely seemed to notice them.