The La-Iin Series
“School Days in Horito”
San-Kyung stared at the calendar blankly.
“So much for doing anything when there’s school today…”
La-Iin flew as fast as she could go to school. She knew she wasn’t late, but she wanted to catch up with the crowd of students that would be currently entering the school. Or, more than that, she wanted to catch up with San-Kyung before he disappeared into the school.
‘Today’s the day,’ she thought to herself. ‘I’m going to ask him about Halloween. Even if he won’t go somewhere with me, maybe I can at least find out his plans and follow him…’
La-Iin’s fastest was slower than normal. She had ended up staying awake longer than usual and she was exhausted. She tried to push it down with the excitement of talking to San-Kyung especially as they hadn’t talked much that month. But though she tried to ignore it, her body still felt the fatigue.
The crowd of students was still large when she arrived. La-Iin searched around the crowd, but all the orange faces she saw were of normal Animated Pumpkins–none of them were Aesthetically Normal. With a gasp, she opted to look above herself.
Floating higher than the door to school was San-Kyung, Dosa-Mina close at his side. And the door was not all they were higher than–La-Iin was also one of those. She began to flap her wings rapidly and try and push herself closer to the boys.
But it seemed that they were out of reach. Once La-Iin had gotten close, her flying became strained, as if she was back in the days where she couldn’t fly. She was able to keep herself above the ground, but inching closer to San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina was a struggle and in the time it took her to get closer they had already levitated off.
La-Iin shook her head and started to take off in their direction, only for fatigue to catch up with her. She started to fall to the ground, exhaustion swamping her and sending her to sleep.
“Ah! La-Iin!” Fer-Shi squeaked. But before La-Iin could fall to the ground, a boy zipped by and caught her.
“Close call!” He said. “We should get her to the nurse’s office.”
“Thank you for bringing her here,” Satou said. “I will watch over her until I can prove she is alright. If I can wake her, tell her to attend another class to make up for the one….or ones, she may miss.”
“Okay, Miss Satou. Thank you.” She turned to the boy. “And thank you! You’re really fast!”
“Well, being a Catori-Birdmix helps with that lots…” He said, giving a sheepish chuckle. “But thank you. I hope your friend wakes up soon, and I hope you have a good school day!”
The two left the nurse’s office and walked to their respective classrooms. As Fer-Shi walked into the classroom, she noticed that Dosa-Mina and Lirako were facing each other.
“Stay away from San-Kyung! I know you’re just trying to pick on him!” Dosa-Mina yelled.
“So? If he’s supposed to be so tough, he should be able to handle a little teasing. Unless the reason why he’s only got one friend is because he’s so insecure that he can’t handle the smallest insult….”
“I really can’t stand you!” Dosa-Mina growled.
Fer-Shi walked past the scene, but she kept her eyes on the duo as they continued to yell at each other. It made her think.
‘There’s someone who hates everyone in this school, isn’t there? There’s even people who don’t like Lirako. And I know there are people who don’t like La-Iin, and La-Iin doesn’t like Dosa-Mina or Shan-Zetsu…San-Kyung doesn’t like anybody, so that does make it count, doesn’t it?’
She sat in her seat. ‘I wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t like me except San-Kyung….I try to be nice to everyone, so maybe….’
Instantly Class A came to mind. ‘No. Everyone is hated at Malicerie. The students and the teachers and everyone.’ It made her sigh aloud. ‘Why, though?’
“Don’t you think it’s kind of sad that everyone in Malicerie is hated?”
“What do you mean?” Shan-Zetsu said. “You’re just being silly, Fer-Shi.”
‘He doesn’t get it.’ Fer-Shi realized. She slumped in her seat. ‘I wish it wasn’t like that here…if only we didn’t have Class A or San-Kyung…’
“Mr. Molshei, thank you for taking the time to see us.”
“You just forced me to!” San-Kyung yelled. He felt frustrated. The last thing he wanted today was to be randomly summoned to the Principal’s room–at least, at the current moment, it felt that way to him. He levitated above the chair prepared for him, glaring down at the Principal and Sharai.
“Chill out, Molshei,” Sharai said. “We just wanna talk to you about somethin’.”
“Make it quick. I have history in a few minutes.”
“We know. In fact, it was your history teacher who brought this issue to light…Mr. Molshei, could you please cease levitating over your chair?”
“….is that it? Why? I bet you let other Animated Pumpkins levitate above their chairs.”
“Do you see us allowing any avians to fly above their chairs? This is essentially the same thing. You are blocking the way for smaller students who may be seated behind you and generally being a distraction. We ask that you sit in your seat normally.”
“Not my fault if you put all the shorties in the back,” he scoffed.
“Miiiight not want to disrespect your Principal there, boy,” Sharai said, an edge to his tone. “You could get yourself in trouble.”
“As if this doesn’t already count…”
“Under general circumstances we do not allow students to use their powers at Malicerie Public School,” the Principal began. “It is both for the convenience of all our students and faculty, and also as a partial safety measure. Your levitation counts as a power, so it is outlawed inside the school.”
“…you know, I haven’t been doing anything wrong in school. I’ve been taking care of my grades and doing what I’ve been asked to do. If you knew me better, you’d know I hate doing all that. I’ll lose levitation after a while. Give me the time I have with it now. It’s not even like I’m going to have it for a month.”
San-Kyung was too frustrated to continue listening, and he didn’t want to get in trouble at that moment. Still, a feeling was building in him, a desire to burn the Principal where she sat or tie her up.
He daydreamed on these thoughts as he returned to his classroom.
Dosa-Mina kept his glare on Lirako as she took her seat. ‘Why do we have to sit so close together? I wish Deki-Tyunri would change his seat. He’s probably the reason Lirako sits there. Ugh, guess it’s better than sitting right next to her…’
He was in a bad mood, but he tried to shake it off when he noticed the time. History class would be starting soon. ‘Where’s San-Kyung? Is that Principal meeting more serious than I thought? Speaking of, where’s La-Iin?’
Caught off-guard, Dosa-Mina was a little surprised to see Kim-Koou standing in front of his desk. “….yes, did you want something?”
“Do you dislike Sanyaow?”
“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” He sighed. “She insulted San-Kyung. If you’re mean to San-Kyung you shouldn’t expect to get to be friends with me afterward. I won’t accept that.”
“You like San-Kyung a lot, don’t you?”
“He’s my best friend, of course I do.”
“Mm-hm, because I’ve heard rumors that you like him more than that…I was curious, that is, if you’re willing to tell me…”
Dosa-Mina rolled his eyes. ‘This again? I thought we were done with this…’ “If you’re so curious, why not ask Kerushao? I told him once.”
“You did? Alright. Thank you.” Kim-Koou walked off.
“….well, I guess getting pestered about it is better than getting bullied off of speculation….” He mumbled. Still, the random talk did nothing to calm his irritation.
‘Stupid Lirako. Is she going to be the new La-Iin, only she hates him instead?’
San-Kyung levitated into the classroom. Once he sat in his seat, Dosa-Mina began to rub his head roughly.
“What’s this for!?”
“I’m angry and I feel like it,” he growled.
“Geez! Talk about overprotective!” Lirako sighed. “I mean, I can sort of get the whole pumpkin-eating thing, but really, my teasing San-Kyung has nothing to do with him! Why he keeps deciding to butt into everything before it can even start is beyond me!”
“Oh, Lirako…” Deki-Tyunri sighed. Lirako’s tail began to twitch with irritation.
‘Not like Deki-Tyunri would care. He doesn’t want me to tease San-Kyung in the first place. I wonder who else might take my side though…’
She relaxed in her chair. ‘Probably most of the students. They like me better than Dslellullar, anyway…geez, we probably could’ve been good friends if he only wasn’t so overprotective.’
Noticing Dosa-Mina ruffling San-Kyung’s hair got her out of her seat. She walked over to the first student she saw.
“Uh? Oh, hey Lirako! What’s up?”
“I wanna ask your opinion on something.”
“You know I’ve been teasing San-Kyung lately, but it’s all playful. I know, I know, the whole pumpkin-eating thing touches a nerve for him and I probably shouldn’t say anything about it….but I think everything else has been pretty innocent, right? But Dslellullar’s mad at me. I mean like really mad at me. And I want to ask, do you think that anger is founded or not?”
“….well, whether or not it’s founded I can see why,” she said. “I’d probably be mad if someone started picking on my best friend too. No offense, Lirako, just giving you my opinion like you asked. Really though, if he’s getting mad about the teasing, you should probably stop…”
Lirako’s ear and tail twitched. Irritation surged through her. “Thanks, Fheyundaer,” she said sarcastically.
“What did I do?”
She sighed. “Nothing, nothing, I’m just antsy. Talk to you later.”
She walked dejectedly back to her seat. ‘Maybe not everyone will take my side,’ she realized. ‘…I’m sure there’s someone who would, though!’
Determined, she stood up from her seat again and head for another student, only to notice the teacher entering the classroom and abruptly returning to her seat before he could notice.
Deki-Tyunri was distracted that day during class.
When it came to his crush, Deki-Tyunri’s attention span with it varied–some days, despite noticing San-Kyung, he would ignore the fact that he had a crush at all and instead talk with Lirako–and sometimes Shin-Rei, if he could manage stopping by Class C–and all would be fine. Somedays, it would bother him, but only when he noticed San-Kyung. So long as he focused his attention on something else, it wouldn’t matter.
Today was neither of those days. Instead, today was a day where Deki-Tyunri longed for him. So during history, instead of paying attention to the teacher’s lesson, his eyes were focused on San-Kyung as he stared ahead. He was sitting down in his seat as opposed to levitating as he had been the past few days, and he seemed agitated because of it–his body twitched and his tail jerked, slamming Tenha-Gumo in the head.
But even focused on San-Kyung, he wasn’t really paying attention to him. Deki-Tyunri was mostly lost in a daydream, a daydream of what would happen if he ever did get his wish of being with San-Kyung.
In his daydreams San-Kyung was much kinder to him than in reality. He even came off as nicer than he was to even Dosa-Mina. Most of his imaginations happened when he became lost in thought, so on occasion he would catch himself daydreaming about something embarrassing and become flustered.
But he did enjoy the daydreams to a degree. Still, each time he was reminded they were wishful thinking made him sad.
‘I wish I had a crush on someone else…’
The San-Kyung in his daydreams gave him a hug, but that only served to make him feel worse.
Morbid curiosity struck Ilhe-Anra a class before biology, and she was spurred to leave her seat and look for Hyungdarou.
It wasn’t too hard to find her–Hyungdarou was setting up Class D’s secondary classroom for biology. She quickly noticed Ilhe-Anra.
“Miss Konkaeho? What are you doing here? It’s math next, you know.”
“I was curious about something, and since you know lots about species and stuff, I wanted to ask what you thought.”
“Well, alright…I’m not the best in the world though, so I might not be able to answer all the questions you have…”
“That’s okay. So, Miss Hyungdarou, do you think someone could get surgery so they could become sort of like another species? I know you said that even with surgery there are some things you could never genetically change, but do you think in the future for example I could get some wings and be able to fly with them?”
Hyungdarou blinked at her. “….Miss Konkaeho–”
“I think the future is full of possibilities personally,” she said. “So I really do think that someday I might be able to fly with prosthetics. But I really wanted your opinion because you do work on biology and stuff.”
Hyungdarou sighed. “Unless there’s some incredible advance that does something nobody’s ever heard of, no. Not even the closest things to that can make someone able to fly.”
“If a Siren with amputated wings transformed into, say, a Vampire, everybody would be able to tell that she wasn’t actually a Vampire, because if she tried to fly she wouldn’t be able to. And for all the things that Witches and Warlocks can do, completely transforming someone into another species is not one of them. So there’d have to be some big advancement in those fields for that to work….”
“Well I’m sure there will be,” Ilhe-Anra said cheerfully. “I trust in the future. Thank you, Miss Hyungdarou. I’ll get back to class now.”
She ran out the classroom. Hyungdarou was left scratching her head.
Nemi-Hikla stared down at her claws. ‘Geez, I could use some claw polish right now. But class is about to start….I’d definitely get caught. Oh, if only I’d thought of this earlier in break time…’
Nemi-Hikla kicked her feet back and forth, feeling antsy. “Ugh…”
She glanced up. Theasis hadn’t entered the classroom yet, and the students around her seemed to be absorbed in their own doings. Keeping an eye on them, she reached for her schoolbag and pulled out a dark red-orange claw polish vial.
She cautiously started to paint her claws, hoping that the scent wouldn’t drift over to a classmate and give what she was doing away. With that in mind she sought to work quickly, though when she made a mistake she went back to gently fix it.
‘….aah, that’s better.’ As she continued to apply the polish, she started to feel more at-ease. To her, Birdmix claws looked better painted than plain. ‘Such a boring shade without any polish.’ Now she felt better as she applied the rest, and as she continued on, she stopped trying to hurry the application and instead went at her leisure.
Unfortunately for her, some students had already noticed, namely Lirako, Shuera-Kaizima, and Xhen-Bei, who could smell it even despite not being the closest to her seat. When Theasis walked into the classroom, she could smell it as well. She set down her books and turned to the class.
“Is that nail polish? What student is using nail polish?”
Hearing that, Nemi-Hikla began to rush the application again, only to spill some of the polish onto her desk. “Damn it!” She muttered under her breath.
“You will attend this class,” she said, taking the claw polish from her, “and then you’ll be paying the Principal a visit.”
Nemi-Hikla sighed. She could have sworn she heard a few students giggle at her, but she wasn’t sure if she was imagining it or not.
Still, even being in trouble, one thing brought her satisfaction.
She had managed to paint her claws, and to her they looked better now.
“Mali-Ana, mind listening to me gush for a little bit?”
“….gush about what? That depends on what it is.”
“I want to talk about Xhen-Wu,” he said. Mali-Ana rolled her eyes.
“I almost never get to talk about Xhen-Wu to anyone, because when I try to talk about her at home, Mi-Yagi always gets mad at me. And everyone else, Cou-Riette just says ‘that’s nice’, Lishe-Ashyo tells me he knows Xhen-Wu already so there’s no point, and of course I can’t talk to her about herself…well, I can, but we’re not really the type of people to spend all day complimenting each other. That’s stupid.
“But you know, I like being with her anyway. One thing I like is that she’s not overly romantic, because I never really was either. Our dates are more like just fun times out instead of, I dunno, making out in every public spot we can find. I like that.
“I mean, of course I don’t see her as just a friend, otherwise I wouldn’t have thought about our future together or anything like that…but it’s nice, you know? A lot of the girls I’ve met in my life have been romantics. Not all, of course. I mean, Cou-Riette and Xhen-Wu, you know that for a fact. You…er, don’t look at me like that! Anyway, I always thought that when I got into a relationship, you know, of course it would end up being romantic like that, but I guess I was wrong.”
He smiled. “I’m glad I was. Things are more fun this way for me. I’m not saying I don’t have romantic thoughts….I mean of course I do, but I just, I like the way our relationship is. Sorry about rambling to you like that, Mali-Ana. It’s just something I wanted to talk about. I bet everyone else I tried to talk to thought I was going to talk about something else…”
“Why do I even bother with you somedays, Gen-Reiya?” Mali-Ana sighed. “I just hope poor Xhen-Wu feels the same way you do…”
“Of course she does. I’m sure of it.”
“Miss Bustaen?” Sharai said. He looked up from the papers he was staring at. “Well, this is random. Don’t you have biology soon? What did you need?”
“I wanna talk to you ’bout somethin’, and I don’t think I can really talk to the teaches about it…”
“What?” Sharai began to smile. “Of course you can, Miss Bustaen! Always happy to help. So what is it?”
“My grades aren’t really that good. You prolly already know that, though…my parents sey they don’t matter, but I think they’re worried. I dunno, Mr. Sharai. I guess I just wanned some advice.”
“Well, your grades aren’t the worst, Miss Bustaen,” he said, then dropped his voice to a whisper as he continued, “Let me let you in on a secret. Your grades, even being not the best, are still better than a majority of Class A students.”
“Yes, really!” Sharai said. “But don’t tell anyone I told you.”
“You’ve gotta get to class now and I bet the Principal will be back soon, but here are some Sharai Teik-Kao approved tips. One is to jot down everything the teacher says for reference, and the other is to think about the class in a different way.”
“Like what way?”
“Using biology as an example, when Miss Hyungdarou talks about what lets the species use their powers, think about it like, hm…like for example, Sirens have poison in their vocal chords!”
“That’s what kills everyone when they sing,” he said. “Think about it like that at first, study up on it, and eventually it’ll click correctly. Or at least I hope. That’s what worked for me when I was a student, anyway, but what do I know, I haven’t been a student for years…”
He pat Yefu-Shenhao on the shoulder. “Good luck, Miss Bustaen.”
“Thanks, Mr. Sharai!”
It had been over a week since Tenha-Gumo had seen what was inside his parent’s closet, but it hadn’t stopped bothering him lately.
At first it bothered him a little bit, but it died down and he was sure he could forget about it so long as he focused on other things, so he tried to focus as much as possible on school and Aeness lessons with Taechen to push it away. Anything else he could use as an excuse to focus on something else he would take, and though it made him lonely for them he tried to spend as little time as possible with his parents.
But it was only the other day after his mother made him a snack after school that it returned. She had seemed so innocent at that moment to him.
“So, what word did you learn last in Aeness?”
“Learn last…?” Thinking back on it made his ears warm. “…”
“That sounds so pretty…” His mother had gushed.
When that had happened, it only brought back the same horror of the idea that his parents were less innocent than he had thought. Once he had learned of how babies were conceived he was already aware that his parents must have done the same.
That didn’t bother him nearly as much as the items in the closet.
With horrible thoughts flooding his head, he found himself groaning in the middle of class and trying to force his ears down in an attempt to forget all about the closet and what lie inside of it.
While awaiting science class to start, Rini-Futo read a history book she had brought along with her. The book was more interesting than she had expected, so she checked occasionally to make sure the teacher hadn’t arrived yet.
“Why are you reading that?” Shan-Zetsu asked. Rini-Futo looked up from the book.
“I like history,” she said, then turned back to the book.
“Are you gonna become a history teacher like Mr. Chensu?” He asked.
Rini-Futo put down the book. “I…I don’t know…”
“You really like Mr. Chensu, don’t you?”
Rini-Futo became flustered. “…I, um…I respect him a lot…”
“You’re weird sometimes, Shaejaein,” Shan-Zetsu said. “See you!” He walked back to his seat.
Rini-Futo had actually been trying to avoid thinking about her history teacher, because by now she was aware that the two of them could only ever be friends–and in any event, it embarrassed her whenever she thought of being a child with him, whether she imagined being a child during his childhood, or vice-versa.
She was satisfied with being friends but it didn’t keep her from wondering what would have happened if the two were at similiar ages.
Would they have been together?
Shaking her head to clear the thoughts, she went back to reading the history book. ‘I’d like history without liking Mr. Chensu too, stupid Shan-Zetsu…’
“Can I tell you a secret, Vampiris?” Im-Dei asked.
“That depends. What kind of secret?”
“The kind of secret that if somebody else found out, she’d be upset…”
“Does it have to do with Kokohara, by any chance?”
“Yes,” he sighed. “I like Shuera-Kaizima a lot…she’s probably my best friend in all of Malicerie now. But I’m sick of being seen as her translation boy! She’s gotten a lot better at Vaelis. Her vocabulary is much larger than it was back when she first came here. And yet people still see me as her translator. They see us as mostly inseparable….I say mostly because people acknowledge her on her own but not really me.”
“She’s not innocent of doing something similar,” he said. “Sometimes it feels like she relies on me for things she already knows, and it makes me upset. I have more to me than just helping her learn Vaelis. I’ve been here for longer than her. …but I guess nobody really noticed me before you and her came here, so it’s not like it matters…I don’t know, Vampiris. I guess I’m guilty of something too, just not the same thing.”
“You said you didn’t want to be relied on for your smarts….I think the only reason I asked you was because I know how smart you are. I just don’t know what to do…”
“Well, we’re friends, aren’t we Fyuori?” She said. “And obviously you can’t go to Kokohara about this. But if you want my advice…even though you can’t vent to Kokohara, you should talk to her about this anyway.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” He sighed.
“She’ll never know unless you do. Remember, you’re a grade higher than her–do you want to graduate being only known as her translator?”
“You have to talk to her about it soon, alright?” Ai-Reia said. “But of course, you’re allowed to do whatever you want. That’s just my advice.”
“And it’s good advice…thank you, Vampiris. I’ll try to talk to her about it soon….”
‘I wish other Sirens were in Class D,’ Zae-Mia thought to herself during science. ‘And not a Dualbreed, another Pureblood. I wish there was someone else who could understand.’
Zae-Mia often found herself wanting to share her singing voice with her friends, but reminding herself each time that she would only end up murdering them disturbed her.
‘Actually, it might be nice to be only half-Siren,’ she thought to herself. ‘Then even though they’d fall asleep, they’d get to hear me. That would be so nice. But I do like being a Pureblood…’
Most of the time when it came to thinking about what her voice would do to her friends, she was only agitated. She wished she had a friend who understood, or just stayed irritated about being unable to let them hear her voice. Singing wasn’t Zae-Mia’s passion, which was one benefit, but she loved her singing voice and wanted to share it with others.
This bothered her more at night, whenever it crossed her mind. It kept her awake to think of a day where she would sing for her friends, only to see their faces contort and watch them drop to the ground abruptly.
Just by singing one song, she could end their lives. That horrified her. People she cared about could be murdered only because she had wanted to let them hear her singing voice.
Those thoughts didn’t usually cross her mind during class, but today was an exception. She couldn’t stand the idea, and began to break down in tears.
“Melongie, are you alright!?” The teacher asked.
Zae-Mia shook her head. Not even the teachers could understand that feeling, she knew. That knowledge that with one melody, she could make her friends breathe their last.
“Fer-Shi, I might not be able to read minds, but I think I can tell who has a crush on who!”
“Crushes are silly,” Fer-Shi said. “And I already know one.”
“La-Iin towards San-Kyung?”
“Well, that one’s super-obvious. I think almost everyone in Class D knows it. Maybe even everyone in Malicerie. She’s not subtle at all.”
“Isn’t that an understatement…”
“So anyway, I was talking to Shaejaein, and when I mentioned Mr. Chensu, she got all blushy,” he said. “I think she maybe has a crush on him.”
Shan-Zetsu nodded. “And Elyshen keeps staring at someone…”
“I know the answer to that one.”
“He has a crush on San-Kyung too,” she said.
“No way! Does everyone have a crush on San-Kyung?”
“I don’t! Do you?”
“Nope.” Shan-Zetsu glanced around the class.
“Crushes are so gross.”
‘I wonders if there’s a ways to stops my tics,’ Voi-Ehst wondered. ‘Though, thinkings in my tics prolly means that’ll be harders than I thoughts…’
Voi-Ehst didn’t mind her vocal tic, but she had recently thought of her life after Malicerie. She was in Grade 12 now; come March, she would be one of the graduates. It had made her think on getting a job, and she began to wonder if her vocal tic would impede progress with that.
‘Wells, there’s no times like the presents to practice.’ She decided to take break time to do just that. She walked out the classroom and head into one of the Weekend classrooms, pulled out a book, and began to read from it.
“‘But no matters where he wents, the lands was desolates, no life all arounds him, not person nor animal nor plants. His hopes drained as he continueds onwards, the only reasons for his doing sos was the empty states of his mind, which kepts him from makings any sort of decisions whatsoevers.'”
Voi-Ehst wrinkled her nose. “That didn’t goes so good. I need to tries with something else…”
She picked up another book.
“‘And the parties was the bests parties they ever hads. It made them discards all the fears and worries they hads before. All the sadnesses, all the strife–it was all forgottens because of that parties, and they danced and dranks wells into the early mornings, all negative emotions becomings replaced with joys, instillings in them a joys strongers than any joys they hads ever felt befores.'”
Voi-Ehst sighed. “There’s got to be ones I can manages…” She picked up another book.
“‘I refuses to accept my existences as a Catoris. I am a cats. That is alls.'”
Voi-Ehst grimaced. “Maybes I’ll just put on my resumes that I have a vocal tics…”
During that break time, Fei-Zhust found herself stewing over something that hadn’t started bothering her until recently.
‘My classmates must think I’m boring. I don’t play as much as the younger students, or the older students, for that matter. I don’t have the child prodigy status of Vampiris, and I’m not the only Wingyrm in class.’
She tried to remind herself that people talked to her. ‘But only because they need to, probably. I might have friends, but they probably have more interesting friends than me…’
With the subject weighing on her head, she only just noticed the teacher walking into the classroom. She hopped out her seat and walked over to him.
“Miss Auedarna, what are you doing out of your seat? We’re about to start psychological studies.”
“Mr. Denbek….do you think I’m boring?”
The students started to glance among each other.
“No, of course not,” he said. “All my students have interesting things about them. And remember, Miss Auedarna, two things. One, the person you should be most interesting to, is you. And second, everyone’s opinion is different–you may be interesting to some, and boring to others. I’m sure all your opinion me differs too. Now get back to your seat so we can start class.”
“Thank you,” she said. Fei-Zhust returned to her seat with a smile on her face.
‘Geez, Gen-Reiya gets a girlfriend and all he does is gush about how their relationship isn’t romantic at all. Then what’s the point!? Did Xhen-Wu do her overdramatic confession for nothing?
‘Is the only reason why he’s in a relationship with her because he wants a girlfriend? Because he wants kids? I’m sure he could find a way to get kids without having a girlfriend. I swear, it just frustrates me.
‘I wish I could show him. Maybe I should call Xhen-Wu today, ask her what she thinks about him prefering their relationship to be more like their friendship.
‘Oh, if only I could be with someone too. Like maybe Lishe-Ashyo….I’d show him. We’d be an actual romantic couple. Even though admitting it is annoying, he’s more romantic than Gen-Reiya ever could be.
‘Aah….I bet he’d take me on great dates…we’d have great times together, I know it. If I only got the chance to–
‘NO! What are you doing, Mali-Ana!? Thinking about Lishe-Ashyo like that…but still, poor Xhen-Wu! Maybe she wants to be romantic with Gen-Reiya sometimes. I’d tell her she should dump him, but I don’t want to get into fights with them…
‘Well, never mind! One day I’ll show him. Whether I get a boyfriend of my own or I tell Xhen-Wu about what he said, I’ll show him. Someday….
‘…I wonder if I’ll be able to spend more time with Lishe-Ashyo once I graduate. That’d be nice….though, I guess I should start looking into college…maybe I’ll go to the same one as him…that’d be nice, maybe Gen-Reiya and Xhen-Wu could come too….though, Cou-Riette….’
“Pinyon, is it true that Ferreniaos can really stink sometimes?”
Shan-Zetsu stared up eagerly at Song-Jpinne. His eyes grew wide and he backed away from the desk. “I’m not saying you are, of course!”
“Any species can. …where did the stinky Ferreniao thing come from anyway?”
“How am I supposed to know?” Shan-Zetsu said. “Anyway, I was curious ’cause some kids at the recess area said a Ferreniao girl from Class B was stinky. Alright, thanks!”
‘I don’t stink…’ Song-Jpinne gave a mental sigh. Just to make sure, he sniffed himself. ‘I smell fine…’
He rested his head on his desk. ‘Nobody ever pays attention to me except for Ferreniao rumors…nobody likes me…’
Sadness washed over him. ‘….what a first year at Malicerie. All the other new students have people who like them. Kokohara has Fyuori helping her learn Vaelis, and Vampiris is a child prodigy. Sherry’s a Tribreed and I’ve seen her with Ferister and Xhephekuda and Yuuldang are friends, and Hangdul’s friends with Oulng…but I don’t really have any friends, do I?’
He thought back on Nemi-Hikla, who treated him kindly each time they saw each other. ‘But she probably has other friends, better friends,’ he thought. ‘Even someone like Molshei has a best friend, but I don’t…I guess I don’t need one at school, but it would be nice to have one…’
He tried to shake his sadness, but it wouldn’t leave him alone. So he instead tried to mask it and think about happier things. ‘Well, there’s always next year, right…?’
After Im-Dei had talked to her earlier, Shuera-Kaizima made up her mind to write him a letter written entirely in Vaelis to show her progress.
Shuera-Kaizima found that that for her, writing Vaelis was harder than speaking it or understanding it when other people spoke it. So she had decided it would be the best way to show him her progress, and that maybe he wouldn’t feel like he was only her translator any more.
She set to work quickly.
Thank you for helping me teache Vaelis. I’m sorry if I’ve relyed on you too much. Sometimes it’s really hard for me, figyuring out things, but you’ve made it a lot better, so thank you.
I think now I can really get the hang of it and be able to live in VaelisVaelyn. I’m able to live lyfe here without strugling through it. My parents and teacheers helped too, of course, but I think you’d been the biggest help because you have been so patient.
I wrote this letter so that you could see I’ve made lots of porgess. I know it’s still not the best, but it’s thanks to you that I can write this much.
I’m singing my name in Nyapponese, though.
With a confident twitch of her whiskers, she handed the paper to Im-Dei, who read it over and chuckled. Shuera-Kaizima put her ears back, but when she noticed the smile on Im-Dei’s face, she couldn’t help but smile as well.
‘I wonder what my grades would be like if I went to school somewhere else,’ Ai-Reia couldn’t help but wonder. ‘Would my grades be as good if I went to school someplace where they speak Enlash? Or maybe where they speak Narbic?’
Languages were not something Ai-Reia studied often, so she was curious. ‘I wonder if it would be hard for me to learn languages or if I could easily become a polyglot. I may be smart but I’m sure I have a weak field….and if I went somewhere without knowing the language of course my grades would be bad.
‘If I went to Nyappon, though, I bet Kokohara could help me. She’d probably want to come along just to be back home…hm, I wonder where in Nyappon she comes from? I’ll have to ask.
‘Speaking of…I wonder if La-Iin can speak any other languages. I mean, I may not know Enlash or Narbic or Nyapponese or…well, whatever, but I have a forte in the Language of Vampires…I bet La-Iin doesn’t even have that. If I become a polyglot, I could say anything I want about her in whatever language and she’d be none the wiser so long as I didn’t switch to Vaelis…’
She chuckled to herself. ‘There would be a lot of benefits to learning another language! I should try that sometime. I think they have Weekend classes which focus on other languages. Maybe I should take one of those. Still, what language would I learn? There’s all sorts of them. Enlash is a common one. Narbic looks hard. Nyapponese, well, then I could talk with Kokohara in her stronger field…ooh, but Aeness might be a good one. And Dasdorian…..though, what’s the point of knowing that? It’s not like I could go to Dasdoria…’
She sighed. ‘Ah, I want to learn another language….’
“Sherry, since you’re a Tribreed with two avian species, can you fly better than a Pureblood Birdmix like me?” Nemi-Hikla asked.
“I don’t know if there’s any difference….though I can say I love flying a lot.”
‘I wonder if I can.’ The idea of racing against the other avians in Class D excited her. Flying was a fun enough pastime for Mi-Kou–she wouldn’t mind doing it for the sake of someone else learning something new.
“Maybe you should ask Dslellullar. I’ve heard he’s training to be a species studier.”
“Yeah, but he can’t fly, so he doesn’t have any personal experience.”
“Well, I can only fly as Mi-Kou, not as Fheyundaer,” she said. “So it’s not like I’d be much help either. I’m sure there’s someone out there who can fly better than me…’
“One other question, then.”
“How come you didn’t get wing-arms? Isn’t that a really dominant trait?”
“I don’t know. Maybe having two species with arms cancelled it out?”
‘Now I really want to know,’ Mi-Kou thought. Her curiosity was piqued. ‘They say Dslellullar knows a lot about the species…maybe I should test that knowledge…’
“Could you do me a favor?”
“Clean up your sand, please,” the janitor sighed. “I always have to do it…”
“But…you’re the janitor. Of course you have to do it.”
“Yes, but it’s tiny grains of sand all over the place!”
“The shield isn’t really sand, I hope you know,” he said, an edge to his tone. “Also, I need to shed that sand. …even if I didn’t need to, I would.”
“I can never get all that sand up, though….you get it in the hallways, in both your classrooms, the bathroom, if you use it…and the Principal can be pretty picky…”
“Not like it would help if I went to go and clean it up though, would it!?” He snapped. “I’d be shedding sand all over the place, wouldn’t I? So wouldn’t that technically make everything a moot point!?”
The janitor backed away. “….I guess….”
“Exactly! Just do your job. Don’t try and pass it off on anyone else either. I do what I come here for. You should do that too.”
And with that and a scoff, Kaersh-Cogyp walked off. The janitor watched in fear as he shed his shield the entire time, scattering small grains all over the place.
“Hows yous doings?” Kim-Koou said.
“….yous pickin’ on mes, ain’tchas. Don’t dos its. You makes it worse.”
“I just wanted to try mimicking it,” she said. “Don’t worry, I’d never try to copy you. I think it would be annoying to add s’s to words….I’d forget.”
“You needs to finds something else,” she said.
“I know. But I love listening to your tic. I don’t know, there’s something nice about it. And I like your voice too. You know, sometimes I mix up other people’s voices, but with yours, I can always tell, ‘That’s Oulng, for sure.'”
“You sure that’s not just because of the tics?”
“No, you have an interesting voice. It’s the Oulng voice definitely.”
“Well, I guess I can says it’s a voice I likes.”
“That’s good, because I like your voice and your tic. ….sorry, there I go again, getting fixated….but I like it a lot. Say, would you mind if I recorded your voice once, just so I could listen to it? Maybe I should write a book and have you do an audiobook version of it! Then I’d always have an excuse to listen to your voice. Or do you like singing? You could sing too!”
“I thinks it’d be kindas annoying to hear my tics attached to lyrics or a books,” she said. “…and you’re justs weirdin’ mes out, Hangduls…”
“Sorry. I just like it. You know me, getting fixated…”
“Maybes your special things is your fixations, Hangduls…that, or you chats a lots…”
“I have fleas, Xhephe,” Xhen-Bei said.
“That’s important to me why…?”
“WHY DO I HAVE FLEAS IN FALL!?” He screeched.
Behind him, other students started to yell as well.
“Fleas!?” Lirako yelled.
“Noooo!” Shuera-Kaizima screeched.
“That’s not good!” Song-Jpinne exclaimed.
“You’re going to cause a panic,” Kaersh-Cogyp sighed. “Just be quiet about it!”
Kaersh-Cogyp gave him a harsh nudge.
“…I think you killed one…I felt something smash in my fur….”
Kaersh-Cogyp backed away from him. Xhen-Bei ran out Class D’s classroom, out of Malicerie, and began to roll on the grass.
‘Nobody will like me if I don’t get rid of my fleas…’
Normally rolling in the grass would have been fun for him, but with the fleas and the cold weather turning the grass brittle, all it did was make Xhen-Bei sob.
“I hope all the students had good days today,” Sharai mused to himself.
“I always hope for that, but it’s wishful thinking,” the Principal sighed. “Especially with Class A being one of our classes…”
“Well, I hope it was mostly happy, anyway,” he said. Then, he went back to sorting papers.