The La-Iin Series
“The Early Days in Malicerie”
The day for new students had arrived, and nearly all of Malicerie had crowded in the reception room to meet them. The students introduced themselves by class and class number, and each class’ new students got their turn to give their speech.
When Class D’s turn arrived, the new students took their turns to introduce themselves at the microphone.
“My name is Cahongyun La-Iin. They told me to say I’m in Grade 0 and that I’m five years old. I only came here for one reason. And one day, if any of you wrong me in any way, you’re going to regret it. That’s all.”
Mit-Sun slapped her forehead.
“My name is Sanhuun Fer-Shi! I’m in Grade 2 and I’m six years old! I’m looking forward to having a fun time at school. And also, I just wanted to say, excuse La-Iin. She sometimes acts like that.”
Fer-Shi went to join La-Iin along with the other students who had already given their speeches. “Why did you excuse me? I meant what I said.”
“Because it’s embarrassing!”
“You’re not my Mama. Why are you embarrassed?”
Nearby, the next student was hesitating to give his speech.
“Do I have to do this?”
“Yes, you do. All you need to do is tell everyone your name, grade, age and a little bit about yourself. It’ll be quick, so get it over with, ’cause you’re next.”
The boy sighed as he took his place at the microphone. He brought it up to his height.
“Wow, he’s tall!” Fer-Shi exclaimed.
“He’s orange,” La-Iin said.
“Molshei San-Kyung. Grade 9. Fourteen. I’m not here to make friends, so don’t bother.”
“Well, that went better than I was expecting, at least” Salsh-Era whispered to Del-Kyuus.
San-Kyung took his place with the students who had finished their speeches. Both La-Iin and Fer-Shi found themselves even more astounded by his height up close. He seemed to notice they were watching him, and glared at them. Fer-Shi cowered away, but La-Iin tried to glare back.
“My name is Dslellular Dosa-Mina. I’m also in Grade 9, and I’m thirteen years old. The idea of a multi-grade school is interesting to me, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s handled. I’m also looking forward to biology class. Nice to meet you all!”
He took his place next to San-Kyung. “Well, that was relatively painless.”
“For you, maybe.”
“He’s tall too,” Fer-Shi commented.
“Who cares? There are probably plenty of tall people in our class.”
“It’s just so weird,” she said. “And he said he was only thirteen!”
Dosa-Mina gave a curious glance in Fer-Shi’s direction, but she didn’t seem to notice it. “I hope this school is a good one,” Fer-Shi said.
“I just hope it’s not too annoying.”
The classroom was loud with chatter that day, and La-Iin couldn’t help but be annoyed.
“It’s so loud in here I can barely hear myself think,” La-Iin grumbled.
“It’s so loud in here I can barely hear you!” Fer-Shi said.
“Is it always going to be like this? Because that would be annoying.”
“I’m sure it won’t be! New students joined the class! I’m sure people just want to get to know them. That’s probably why they’re talking so loudly!”
“Nobody’s talking to us,” La-Iin scoffed.
“Do you want someone to talk to, La-Iin? I’m always here, you know?”
“I know you are. I was just trying to prove you wrong.”
The history teacher walked into the classroom. ‘Wow, he’s really fat,’ La-Iin couldn’t help but think. He put books on his desk, looked up at the class, and all at once his face contorted in an expression of rage.
“EVERYONE SHUT UP!”
The class fell silent.
“Thank you. Now, let’s get to the point. I’m Mr. Chensu, as most of you know. I teach this class, history class. And today’s lesson is going to be about…”
“That was pretty scary!” Fer-Shi whispered to La-Iin.
“It wasn’t that scary,” La-Iin said. “I didn’t expect him to yell so loud, though.”
“Me either! But I guess it did quiet down the class.”
“Miss Sanhuun, Miss Cahongyun, is that you two chattering in the back?” Mr. Chensu’s eyes were slitted as he glared in La-Iin and Fer-Shi’s direction.
“I know you two are new to Malicerie, but this is history class. And when I say shut up, I mean SHUT UP!”
Fer-Shi looked utterly terrified, but La-Iin was agitated. ‘This teacher is going to be annoying. I bet they all are!’
After Math class–a class which La-Iin felt she was going to despise–the other students in the classroom began to disperse.
“Oh!” Fer-Shi exclaimed. “My Mom said that we switch classrooms for some classes. I guess we have to go to another classroom now.”
Fer-Shi joined the crowd, and La-Iin followed close behind her. She couldn’t help but feel that Class D was far too crowded.
The two girls continued to move on in the crowd anyway.
“Hey, you two! Ca…Cahongyun and Sanhuun?”
A student with brown hair ran up to them. “Hey, uh, sorry to bother you, but I wanted to know if you two knew you don’t have to go to all the classes.”
“I knew that,” Fer-Shi said. The boy began to look embarrassed. “Oh, uh, sorry to bother you, then!”
He ran off and joined the crowd once again.
“Which classes can I skip out on?”
“Uh, I think you can skip out on stuff like biology and science. Actually, I think biology is the next class,” she said.
“But what am I supposed to do while I’m skipping class?”
“I guess you could come to the class anyway,” she said. “But I think there’s a little play area in the back of Malicerie. You could probably go there, too!”
“Are you going to come with me?”
“I have to go to biology ’cause I’m in the second grade, but yeah! I can join you once that’s done! Hey, we should find out what order the classes go in first. We have a little bit of time before the next class, so let’s see!”
Unsure of what else to do, and feeling overwhelmed by the crowd, La-Iin followed Fer-Shi’s lead.
The next day at school, La-Iin and Fer-Shi walked onto the scene of a small commotion. Up ahead, a student was holding tight to the arm of another student. From their distance, neither girl could tell who the students were, but quite a few of the students on their way into the building were watching them and whispering among each other.
“I wonder what’s going on?” Fer-Shi said.
“Probably something stupid. Let’s keep going.”
La-Iin walked ahead of Fer-Shi. Fer-Shi glanced around at the crowd. Most of the students who were watching the students up ahead seemed to be teenagers–the majority of younger students continued on just as La-Iin was.
“Yeah, she’s probably right,” Fer-Shi said to herself. “Wait up, La-Iin!”
“So, what do you think of Malicerie, La-Iin?”
Fer-Shi asked the question that Friday. La-Iin thought on her experiences at the school so far before giving a response.
“The teachers are annoying, and so are most of the other students. But I guess it’s okay. It’s definitely better than Desutrap.”
“I liked Desutrap, but I like this place too,” she said. “I hope everything goes well. I know you can go to this school for every single grade if you want. And I know my Mom went for most grades, so I might too. In that case, I have to get used to how things work here!”
“Well, so long as you’re here and sitting next to me, it can’t be too bad,” La-Iin said. “And when you’re in biology class, it’s valuable time to think over my plans. Then I get to play with you.”
“I’m not sure I want to know what those plans are, but thanks, La-Iin,” Fer-Shi said. “So far, things have been going pretty okay at Malicerie. I hope things either get better or keep going on this way. I wonder if we’ll make any new friends?”
“You, maybe,” La-Iin said. “I doubt anyone’s evil in our class.”
“Well, uh, you never know,” Fer-Shi said, sounding uncertain. “And anyway, you have me no matter what. So at least you’ll never be alone, right?”
“I’m here because you’re here,” La-Iin said.
“And I’m glad you’re here,” Fer-Shi said. “Now, why don’t we play something? Just talking is pretty boring, don’t you think?”
La-Iin nodded. “Maybe I can try flying around this area.”
“But you can’t fly yet!”
“You’ll see.” La-Iin began to flap her wings rapidly, jumping to try and stay off the ground. She managed to stay a short distance above the ground before falling on her face.
“Let’s just do something else, okay?” Fer-Shi said as she picked La-Iin up. La-Iin gave a frustrated huff, but she followed Fer-Shi as she walked over to the monkey bars.
“So, San-Kyung, what do you think of Malicerie so far?”
“I don’t care.”
“Do you think it’s better than Deatrou?”
“I don’t know.”
“I think it’s going to be better than Deatrou. And I hope it is. I like the atmosphere here.”
“I just want to get through school in peace.”
“I think here, you’ll be able to,” Dosa-Mina said, latching on to his arm.
“You already attracted attention to us. Don’t do it again.”
“I make no guarantees,” he said.