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Chapter Two

Starting life at V Academy

“Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa!” Yuraika rolled over. “Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa!” She pulled the covers over her head. “Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa! Nyaaaaa!” At the third ‘nyaaaaa’, she sat up. She rubbed her tired eyes. Mikoto was standing across the room whacking the alarm clock. It was 7:00 a.m. When the clock had finally stopped nyaaaaaing, Mikoto said sleepily, “Morning.” Yuraika reluctantly got out of her bed. She crawled over to Akari’s speaker. She plugged in Akari’s phone and selected the playlist titled ‘Morning jam’. Melancholic began to play. The fast asleep Akari suddenly woke up. “I love this song!” She said happily. “Me too.”Yuraika said. Akari smiled widely. “You do? You realize you like a song covered by Kagamine Len, right?” Yuraika politely pointed out the fact that the original was sung by Kagamine Rin, who she had no problem with. The other three giggled. “Seriously.” Mikoto said. “What is your problem with Kagamine Len?” Yukari said it was probably because Yuraika was a tsundere, and she was crushing hard on him. At that, all of them laughed. That so wasn’t the reason. That comment brought up the conversation that lasted the whole time they got dressed on what dere the girls classified themselves as.

It was decided that Mikoto was tsundere, Yukari was dandere, Akari was definitely a megadere, and Yuraika was just a plain deredere. Yuraika was putting on her boots when Yukari sat down next to her and began to pull Yuraika’s hair into a high ponytail. When she had finished, she brought Yuraika over to the full length mirror in their room. “There.” She said, putting a bunny barrette onto Yuraika’s hair. “Isn’t that cute?” Akari squealed. “Yukari! That’s so cuuute!” Yuraika looked at herself in the mirror. She did look cute. She blushed. “I love long hair, but I don’t look good in it.” Yukari said. “It’s so pretty when it’s styled.” She said brushing her own hair. “Mine isn’t nearly as pretty as yours, Yuraika.” The other three tried very hard to convince her her hair was beautiful. She smiled politely, but they could tell she didn’t believe them. The three continued to argue their point all the way to the cafeteria. After grabbing food, the four sat down at the end of the table nearest the counter. Akari claimed it was best to be close if you wanted to beat everyone for seconds. They were fully immersed in conversation over sausage and bacon when Oliver and Hio came and to sit with them. They readily excepted the two. It would be rude to turn them away. “I went to sit with Roro, and when I tried to actually sit down, he slapped his hand over it saying, ‘this seat is reserved for my non gossiping best friend.’ It was the strangest thing. He’s never turned me down.” Hio said. Yuraika and Oliver shared a knowing look. “Well, I sort of accidentally told him about what you told me about Mizki and Roro.” Oliver whispered. Hio hugged him tightly, rubbing his knuckles on Oliver’s head. “There. You’re a true knuckle head now.” The girls tittered. Compared to Hio, Oliver looked very small. Even compared to Uta Piko (who was very short) he still looked small and thin. Hio on the other hand was tall and broad. “I’m really sorry about that, Nii-chan. I hope Roro isn’t too mad at you.” Oliver said with a sniff. Hio patted Oliver’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. He’s just being his crusty self.” Oliver looked confused. “Crusty? Does he have dry skin?” Hio and the girls burst out laughing. “No.” Hio said once he had recovered from such a hearty laugh. “It means he’s a bit closed off and surly. Don’t tell him I said that.” Oliver fervently nodded. Petting Yuraika’s hair, Akari said, “Isn’t her hair so pretty this way? Yukari-chi styled it.” Hio nodded. “You look absolutely beautiful, Yuraika-san.” Yuraika tried not to blush. Akari took a large bite off her sausage link. “Aww!” She said. “This sausage is cold! I was really looking forward to eating it.” She sniffled sadly. Yukari patted her friend on the back comfortingly. “I’m sorry.” She said. Akari took another chomp off of the sausage. “So cold…” she whimpered. Holding out his plate, Hio said, “I don’t care much for sausage. Please. Take it.” A sympathetic smile spread across his face. “Please. I really want you to have it.” Akari’s face lit up. She quickly took the sausages saying, “That’s so nice of you! Thanks!” She nibbled away happily. During breakfast, Yukari accidentally spilled her juice, and Hio insisted he would go to grab paper towels. He brought Oliver another slice of toast when he dropped his on the floor. Hio even offered to take the girl’s trays. On top of that, he held the door open for them.

CLASS 1, MATH, NINTH GRADE

Inside the ninth grade classroom, Yuraika patiently waited at her desk for the teacher. The room was just like any other middle school classroom with four rows of six wooden desks. The windows were small and shut fast. A large desk and chalkboard was situated in the front of the classroom near the door. She sighed contentedly. Hio was such a gentleman. Perhaps if Len was more like that, he wouldn’t be so annoying. She began to think about the interesting  people she’d met in the last day. Oliver was awfully sweet. She would not mind hanging out with him. Akari was very energizing, she was someone Yuraika liked spending time with too. She was deeply engaged in this thought when it was abruptly interrupted by a gentle tap on her head. She looked up from the pencil in her hand she had so intently kept her focus on while she had been thinking. Standing before her was Fukase. He was starting down at her. Not knowing quite what to say, she just smiled and said, “Hello.” He continued to blankly gaze down upon her. She shifted uncomfortably. Eventually he said, “I wanted to ask, you mentioned you liked to read. What’s your favorite book?”

A bit surprised, she said, “I like to read classic literature. Especially Charles Dickens, and Shakespeare. My favorite would have to be Hamlet. You?” He pulled out a book from under his arm. “It’s the best thriller ever written. There isn’t a dull page in it.” The book had a dramatic cover featuring two anime characters, a boy and girl in an old mansion. “It’s a light novel?” Yuraika asked. Fukase grimaced. “Don’t judge. It’s a good book.” Yuraika shook her head. “I’m not. It looks interesting. Could I perhaps borrow it sometime?” A short pause followed. Fukase glanced around the room. “Sure. Just don’t tell anyone that I gave it to you.” Yuraika promised she would not. The two were suddenly interrupted by the door slamming shut. Kiyoteru cleared his throat. “Everyone please have a seat.” The students did as they were told. Fukase sat directly behind Yuraika in the back of the class. While writing his name on the board, he said, “I am Hiyama Kiyoteru, your math teacher for the year. Nice to meet you all.” Erasing his name from the board, he began to write simple math problems. “We all know how to solve these simple questions, yes?” Everyone present nodded. “Good. I assume you’ve all learned Pre-Algebra, so this year we will be focusing mostly on Algebra, with some geometry. Today we will be reviewed what you learned last year. Let’s start with the simple cylinder. To calculate the volume of a cylinder, you take pi times the radius squared times the height. For example…” He drew a figure out on the board. Fukase took out a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. He drew the cylinder and labeled the side like Kiyoteru instructed. When Kiyoteru asked if anyone had the answer, Fukase raised his hand. “What do you have Fukase-kun?” “Approximately 6,358.5 feet cubed .” Kiyoteru nodded. “That’s correct. Good job.” Praise. Those two words made Fukase feel so good. By the end of class, they had covered most of the review. Kiyoteru was still explaining a somewhat difficult formula, when the door burst open, and in walked a tall man with long purple hair. “Excuse me, but we’re in the middle of a problem.” Kiyoteru said politely. The man laughed. “Yeah? Well you’re about to have another problem. Your time ended ten minutes ago, Hiyama-san. I ask that you pack up and move out.” The man was carrying a large rolled up map under his arm. The students were a bit confused. What exactly was going on here? “Please Kamui-san, just give us a couple more minutes.” Kiyoteru said in an extremely annoyed voice. The man called Kamui frowned. “You have the time until I’m finished hanging up this map.” Kiyoteru explained the formula as fast as he could. He had just finished when Kamui said, “Times up.” Kiyoteru stood to one side while he cleaned up his books and loose papers. When everything was in his arms, he started for the door. Before Kiyoteru could leave, Kamui smirked after saying, “Are you going to leave, or am I going to have to push you out?” A couple of kids snickered. Yuraika rolled her eyes. He didn’t have to be so rude. Without saying anything, Kiyoteru left the classroom.

CLASS 2, HISTORY NINTH GRADE

“Finally. I’m Kamui Gakupo. I’ll be your history teacher. Don’t forget my name.” He pointed to the map behind him. “We will be covering the Edo period this semester. We will be going into a great amount of detail, so pay attention. I’m talking to you, Masaoka-san. You’re notorious for napping in class.” Masaoka Azuki jolted up. She had been dozing off again. “There will also be many tests.” A loud collective sigh was heard.

Kamui’s face darkened. “Keep complaining and you’re not going to like what happens.” Returning to his original calmness, he said, “Are there any questions? No? Let’s get started.” Between the time he said ‘any questions’ and ‘no’, there was about a three second pause, so even if anyone did have any questions, they were not going to be heard or answered. Yuraika would have to be careful around Kamui-sensei. He seemed the type that would randomly ask difficult questions or give unexpected tests. Whatever he threw at her, she would be ready. She was determined to pay attention as not to be caught off guard.

CLASS 3, SCINCE, NINTH GRADE

Yuraika stretched. She had been sitting for a couple hours and was stiff. After history, The ninth graders had gone to the lab for science. Science this year was chemistry. Kobushi, her science teacher, was excellent at making anything boring interesting. She had amazed the students with a simple experiment. Kobushi had just finished science class when there was an announcement asking all students to head down to the their respective dormitories. No one knew quite what the summons was for. As soon as the message had finished, a few students began speculating on the cause. Yuraika and Akari chatted while they walked from the school to the girls’ dorm. As students flooded out of the main building, teachers helped to make sure everyone got to where they needed to go. Yuraika and Akari waited inside the large gathering area that expanded the whole first floor of the building. The dormitory had three levels connected together by a large spiral staircase located in the back. The first floor was rectangular, elegantly decorated with dark hardwood floors, to one wall sat a grand fireplace surrounded by a scarlet colored sofa with white and pink striped pillows, two comfortable gold armchairs with red cushions sat catty corner to the sofa, in the space behind the parlor area were spruce tables lined against the wall. Yuraika and Akari sat at one of the tables by the window. Once everyone was there, a teacher called Ann spoke up. “Girls. May I have your attention, please? We called you all here so we could give you your gym uniforms. We’re sorry we couldn’t give them to you sooner, we just got them in this morning. Please come forward when your name is called.” She began to call out names, and one by one the girls received their uniforms. When Yuraika heard her name, she stepped forward. She was instructed to take her uniform with her and change in her dorm room. After changing, she went to look at herself in the mirror. The uniform consisted of a white shirt with word ‘VOCAL’ printed on it black letters, a pair of black shorts, white knee high socks, and cute black espadrille like tennis shoes. Yuraika twirled around, looking at herself in the mirror. Akari walked in at that particular moment. “Awww! Yu-chi! You look adorable!” It was true. Yuraika did look good. She blushed. “Thanks.”

CLASS 4, PE, EVERYONE

“Alright everyone! Listen up!” Kaito called, blowing his whistle for good measure.

All students seventh grade and up stood outside on the Track and Field grounds located behind the school. The field was large and grassy beside the strip of concrete track looping around it. To the side farthest of the school, was a row of bleachers, ten rows high. Benches sat in front of them. Yuraika and Len were having a causal conversation when Kaito blew his whistle. Completely ignoring him, Len continued to talk. “I know what you’re thinking. It’s true. I look good in anything, even threads like these! It’s part of why I’m so popular.” He smoothed back his hair. Noticing that part of the students seemed distracted, Kaito strolled over. “So, the other day, I was just lazing around when I got a call from Idol Magazine! They want me on the cover of next month’s issue! As to be expected. I am Kagamine Len, after all-agh!” When Len said ‘all’ he flipped his head around, trying to show off. Kaito was standing behind him, and when he did this action, he caught a glimpse of him. “Aggghhhhhh!” He screamed. The whole congregation burst into a hearty laugh. Tears formed around Len’s eyes. Kaito patted the boy on the shoulder. “Listen please, I have something important to say.” Kaito said gently. Len quickly rubbed his eyes. “Sorry.” He whispered. That one word surprised Yuraika very much. Len apologized? That was such a hard concept to rap her brain around. “Today we’ll be running five laps around the track. Before then, a fifteen minute warm up. Planks, stretches and Jumping jacks. Let’s get moving!” After his cheesy line, Kaito blowed his whistle for affect. Yuraika was in the middle of a split when she saw Yukari whisper something in Kaito’s ear. He nodded, and she returned to stretching. Meanwhile, Roro pulls off twenty perfect one-handed push-ups. It’s amazing he was able to do one at all, on the account of him being so toothpicky. Kyo had to ruin the moment by saying, “Twenty? Not bad. I can do fifty. Beat that.” Roro knew he couldn’t, so he said, “Can you do the splits?” Kyo scowled. With a wide smirk on his face, Roro said, “I didn’t think so.” Kyo showed him up yet again by mentioning he could bench two hundred and fifteen pounds. Roro most definitely could not beat that. “Let’s settle this like men.” Roro said toughly. “Whoever finishes his five laps first is the better athlete. Sound fair?” Kyo agreed. Finishing his butterfly, Roro smiled saying, “I hope you don’t mind losing.” Oliver and Uta Piko sat together stretchering. Bending all the way to the ground, Uta Piko asked, “Why are you here again, Oliver? It’s only seventh grade and up.” Oliver stretched his arms as far as they would go. “I’m in seventh grade, Uta Piko. We sat next to each other in class, remember?” Uta Piko scratched his head. “Oh yeah. You must be really smart to be in middle school, when you’re just a elementary kiddie. What’s it like?” The two moved into the Downward Dog position. “It’s a bit annoying. All these older kids make fun of you for being short. Thankfully for me, I have British heritage on my side, so I’m not soooo short.” Uta Piko stared at him for a minute, then he said, “Why do I suddenly feel lightheaded?” Oliver stood up straight. “It’s because you’ve been Doging too long.” “Right.” Uta Piko got upon the ground and did a plank. “Hey.” He said. “Kaito-sensei said we have to plank, but he never said how!” Oliver cocked his head. Uta Piko explained. “Plank on top of my back. Oliver readily did. “Yay!” He said. “We’re stacking!” Uta Piko crawled over to where Kaito was coaching some poor student. “Sensei! Look!” Oliver said. Kaito turned to look at them. When he saw them, he began to laugh. “That’s one way to plank!” Oliver looked down at his stretching buddy. “How much do you way?” Uta Piko said casually, “ninety-five pounds.” Kaito, (who was still laughing) gasped, which resulted in him chocking on air. How in the world was he only ninety-five pounds? Oliver was at least one-hundred and ten. Uta Piko also had thin bones. “How can you carry him so easily?” Kaito asked. Uta Piko shrugged as best he could carrying a boy on his back. “Even though it’s killing me, I just carry on. Get it? Kire Carry On.” He winked. “Hehe. I made a funny. Not really. I’ve been doing planks ever since I was four years old.” Kaito pulled his phone from his coat pocket. He took a quick picture of them. He needed proof. Nobody was going to believe skinny boy was carrying Oliver on his back like a shell on a turtle. “You have fun with that. Try not to hurt your back.” Kaito said. A second later Kaito’s timer went off. “Alright! Times up! I need you all to gather at the starting point of the track.” He instructed the students to line up. “When I say ‘go’, I want you all to start running. While I can’t supervise every one of you, I want you to run all five laps anyway. I don’t want to see any bad sportsmanship. This is NOT a competition. Ready? Go!” The students took off! Yuraika decided to run at an easily maintainable speed. She didn’t care how long it took to finish. Roro and Kyo on the other hand, did. They ran as fast they possibly could. The competition between the two was tight. Neither really outran the other. Yukari ran at a slow pace. She ran steadily two full laps before she stepped out of the track. She went to sit on the bleachers. Kaito sat next to her. “Did you give it your all?” He asked. She nodded. “That’s all I ask.” He said.

Fukase ran swiftly for five long laps. He was the tenth to finish. Ann was handing out water bottles. Fukase readily excepted one. Roro and Kyo were closing in on the final of the fifth lap. The two broke into a run seen only in a Shounen. They were so close to each other, you couldn’t have put a postcard between them. In a single burst on energy, Kyo passed Roro across the finish line. “Yes!” Kyo shouted. “In your face, Roro!” The next moment, Kyo fell over from exhaustion. Roro laughed at him, then fell over too. Oliver waddled over to where Yuraika sat. He laid down and said, “This is the ghost of Oliver. He died.” Uta Piko causally strolled over. “That was fun!” He said smiling. “How are you not tired?” Oliver groaned. Uta Piko shrugged. He was barely sweating. Yuraika petted Oliver’s head. The poor boy smiled weakly. “Open.” Yuraika said unscrewing the cap to Oliver’s water. He speedily obeyed. She poured it into his open mouth. Kaito blew his whistle again. “Good job guys!” A half-hearted ‘yay’ was heard. Kaito continued. “Let’s finish up with some stretches.” Yuraika went over to where Yukari was stretching. “Do you mind if I join?” She asked. Yukari shook her head. The two worked in silence for a moment, before Yuraika asked, “Are you alright?” Yukari stared at her oddly. “Yes. Why?” Yuraika explained how she had seen her only complete two laps, and how she figured she would never quit without a good reason. Yukari thought for a moment. “I quit because I couldn’t run it all, because…” She hesitated. “Because I have terrible health.” This was definitely a surprise to hear. Yukari looked perfectly healthy. “I’m always cold, I have weak bones that fracture easily, I’m highly susceptible to any virus, and I can’t run long distances.” Yuraika hugged her friend. “I’m so sorry. That’s not good at all. Why didn’t you tell me before?” Yukari fixed her gaze upon the floor. “Because I didn’t want you to worry about me.” Yukari continued to do her exercising. She would not look at Yuraika. “Of course I’ll worry about you. That’s what friends do.” Yuraika said sweetly. Yukari turned to smile at her. “Thanks, friend.”

CLASS 5, HOME ECONOMICS, EVERYONE

After PE, the middle school students and high school students met up for home economics. The room they met in was a large open space with no tables or chairs set up. Everyone just stood awkwardly around, not quite sure what to do. Ann clapped her hands. “Listen up!” She yelled. “Today we’re going to be learning how to spend money wisely. Grab a chair from the stack, and set it against the wall.”Hio, being the gentleman he was, pulled chairs down for everyone. “There is no assigned seating.” Ann said. “But if we have problems with misbehaving, there will be.” Once all the students were seated, Ann said, “Give me examples of what you think is spending wisely,” There was a hush as the students pondered their answer. A girl with long turquoise pigtails raised her hand. “Cooking food at home instead of eating out.” She said. Ann nodded. “Good. What else?” A girl with kitten ear headphones said, “Buying cute, but inexpensive clothes.” Ann nodded again. “Yes. I want an answer from a boy this time.” Roro reluctantly raised his hand. “Dropping two hundred thousand yen on that sick guitar you’ve always dreamed of so you can finally go pro in your music career.” He got some weird looks for that. Ann wasn’t sure what to say for a minute. “I don’t know if that’s a wise purchase or not. It could be considered wise because of the job that comes from the purchase. But if you don’t get that job, I guess it could be a rash purchase. Everybody knows how important it is to save money, right? Why would we want to save?” Uta Piko’s hand shot up. “So if I lose my job, I’ll still have money to pay for rent, and groceries, and clothes, and taxes, and gas, and the car payment, and the supplies for my wife and five kids, and… until I find another job. Because if I didn’t, me and my wife and kids would be homeless for sure.” Ann blinked. “Yes…” That was a very odd way to put it. There was truth in the statement though. “That’s a lot of kids…” Someone said. The rest of the class time went just like that. Ann would ask questions and the students would give answers. The class exploded with laughter when one boy said he’d rather be barefoot all of his life and spend on video games than pay for shoes. “What? Shoes are so uncomfortable.” He had defended himself with.

LUNCH

After home economics, it was finally lunchtime. As soon as the bell rang, Roro grabbed his chair, stacked it up, and ran out of the room. He completely skipped the line for food, snatched a pudding cup, took a couple cans of soda and sat down. He pushed his earphones in his ears, and pressed play on his favorite playlist. Opening the pudding, he took a large spoonful and shoved it in his mouth. Chocolate. One of the few things that he lived for. Spotting Roro all alone, Yuraika decided to sit with him. “Hello.” She said setting down her tray. He paused his song. “What are you listening to?” She asked, trying to strike up conversation. “Imitation Black.” He lied. He wasn’t listening to that, he was actually listening to Candy Candy, one of his favorite songs. “Oh.” Was all Yuraika said. “You must eat really fast! You’re already on dessert!” Roro looked at her confused. “Ohh. I don’t. This is all I’m having.” He said cracking open a soda. Taking a bite of her rice ball, she asked. “That’s all? Won’t you be hungry?” Roro took a swig oh his beverage. He shook his head. “I don’t ever feel like eating, so I’m fine.” A teenage boy that didn’t like to eat? This was incredibly shocking for Yuraika to hear. “How was spending the night with the boys?” She asked trying to change the subject. “The worst. My boys Mikuo and Hio are into this sweet thing called sleeping. Those weirdos talked all freaking night long! And the little one snores as loud as the blonde screams.” He rubbed his tired eyes. Yuraika chuckled. “I’m sorry, that’s just kinda funny.” Overhearing the conversation, Kyo stopped by their table.

“Rooming with middle schoolers? That’s just your luck. Hello Yuraika.” Roro rolled his eyes. “Come to rub my sucky life in my face again?” Roro asked. Kyo shook his head. “Nah. I do have to say, I loved the way you lost to me in our little competition.” Roro grimaced. He shoved another bite of pudding in his mouth. Wil and Yuu saw their leader, and ran over. The three sat down next to Yuraika. “I’m sorry.” Roro said sarcastically. “Who invented you?” Yuu shrugged. “We did.” Roro narrowed his eyes. He wanted to punch that grin right off Yuu’s face. Finishing his pudding, he stood up and said, “Need more. I’ll be right back.” Then he left. Yuraika waved at her newly arrived dining partners. “Honestly.” She sighed. “He needs to eat more. He’s too thin.” Wil wiped the rice from his face. “He used to.” Yuraika looked at him confused. He went on to explain. “He’s always been thin, but he used to eat more than the three of us combined.” He said gesturing to Kyo, Yuu, and himself. “He could easily eat two whole pizzas on his own.” Yuraika gasped. That was a lot of pizza. And from what she was hearing, Roro was still thin after all that pizza! Wil shook his head disapprovingly. “He was a really upbeat guy, until the day his fa… oh. Probably shouldn’t tell you that. Sorry.” The three boys looked away. Yuraika was very much confused. What was he talking about? What had happened to Roro? She felt it would be rude to pry, so she kept quiet. Roro came back with a pudding in hand. “Butterscotch. Exotic, right? Oh. You’re still here? Whatever.” He sat down. “Have any of you seen my girl, Miz? Never mind. I’ll just text her.” He said licking the dessert’s lid. He pulled out his phone. Kyo turned to face Yuraika. “Have you changed your mind?” He asked. Yuu chimed in. “You know you want to!” Roro loudly snickered. “Pffft! Like she’d join ZOLA. If she was going to join any band, it’s ACE. Duh.” He said while rapidly firing off text messages. Before a heated argument could form, Yuraika said, “Sorry, but I’m not interested.” All four boys sighed simultaneously.

CLASS 6, LANGUAGE ARTS

After lunch was language arts. Besides spelling and grammar, their teacher Megurine Luka assigned a book to read in class. Once the whole class had finished reading the book in a few weeks, they would be writing a report on it. This made Fukase excited. He loved writing anything from reports to stories. He was pretty good at it too. He’d won a couple awards in elementary school. Yuraika on the other hand had a very hard time writing anything. She always picked way to much content to cram into a four page essay. She thought it of the upmost importance to provide information. Megurine was a very gentle teacher, who explained the subject very well. All of her students loved to be in her class, even if they hated language arts.

CLASS 7, VOCAL, EVERYONE

All students attending V Academy met outside in the courtyard. They were instructed to form a line. Boys in one, girls in another. When Yuraika’s turn came, she was told to sing, “I want to connect all the ends of the earth just with this voice of mine.” Once she had done this, she was handed a slip of paper with, ‘02’ written on it. She was pointed in the direction of a small group. She shrugged and went to the instructed place. All of her friends from the Problem club minus Roro stood there casually chatting. Noticing Yuraika, Len waved. “Hey, what luck. We’re all in the same… whatever this is group.” Uta Piko nodded emphatically. “All but Roro, thank goodness.” He laughed nervously. Mizki leaned over to tap Yuraika on the shoulder. “Hello again.” Once everyone had gotten to their groups, Meiko said, “Listen up! You all have been split into groups of nine.” Roro scoffed. “Obviously.” He half-whispered. Meiko completely ignored his comment, saying, “Each group consists of three students specializing in each basic vocal ranges; low, mid and high, to put it simply. Your group will practice and preform together for the rest of the year. Around the end of the first semester, each group will face off in a dramatic, (and completely unnecessary) competition.” She paused until the crowed settled down. “Your leaders will explain the rest.” Everyone in Yuraika’s group turned to stare at the two teachers with them. Gakupo (for he was one of the said teachers) turned to look at Megurine who was the other previously mentioned teacher. “Let’s do a headcount real quick. “I know Len, Yuraika, Fukase, Azuki, and Hio. How about you tell me your names?” Her voice was sugary and sweet. Uta Piko leaped forward. “Uta Piko here! Nice ta meet ya! The pretty, shy girl is Hime-chi. She’s actually really friendly. The little fella here is Ol-Ol. He’s fun. She’s… I don’t know who she is.” He said gesturing to Mizki. “Mizki.” She said. Uta Piko nodded. “Mizki. I don’t really know anything about her. She… uhh, has a nice smile? Yeah.” He looked quite satisfied with himself. Gakupo spoke up. “Very nice. I’m Gakupo, she’s Luka. Let’s get started.” He told the students to line up according to their range. “Now. Everyone knows the song Satisfaction, right.” Universal nod. “Good. When I call your name, begin singing from where we are. When I say your name again, stop. Ready?” A universal ‘no’. Oliver raised his hand. “Will this be a cappella?” Gakupo nodded. “Yes. Hio and Mizki will start us off.” He counted to three, and they began to sing. It was very difficult, but by the second verse, they sounded really good. The reason Gakupo did what he did was to figure out who’s voice sounded good with who. The experiment was successful. He found Len, Uta Piko, and Oliver sounded especially good together. Fukase and Azuki were a perfect pair of deep rich tone, and high expressive tone. Mizki did well in holding extremely high notes. Hime as well. Yuraika easily adapted to any part she was given. Gakupo wrote all of this down. He handed Luka his notes. “Well done.” He said. “We’ll be practicing this song for the end of semester competition. For now, let’s stick to vocal lessons.”

-END CLASSES FOR THE DAY-

Yuraika, Akari, Yukari, and Mikoto sat on Akari’s bed talking about the excitement of the first day of school. Mikoto couldn’t stop laughing when she mentioned how Uta Piko had asked if they’d be learning about KFC in history. He claimed KFC was an essential part of daily living, so it must be important in history too. Mikoto asked Yuraika if he was always so weird. The answer was yes. The girls couldn’t stop laughing when Yuraika talked about what made Len scream. “I thought it was a spider!” Akari said once she had recovered. “Nope.” Yuraika said. “He turned suddenly and Kaito was standing behind him. He must have surprised him. Again!” Yukari chuckled. “Boys. Couldn’t live without them. Oh! Hey, tonight’s dinner is Yakisoba! I love Yakisoba.” She drooled a little. “Yakisoba?” Akari asked. “How good is that for you?” Mikoto looked up from her book she had been reading. “If it’s tasty, it’s probably not that good for you. That’s my personal experience anyway.” The four went on to talk about unimportant things for awhile until dinner. Yakisoba was indeed served, with a couple delicious sides. Dessert consisted of a large piece of Natsuki’s chocolate cake. Roro of course was thrilled about this. He ate two whole slices, much to the horror of Mizki. Mikuo thought that was an excellent idea and tried it himself. He couldn’t even finish the first. Hio on the other hand was able to eat his own and all of Mikuo’s first and second.

The Problem Club met again that night. Yuraika managed to come on time. When she entered the Janitor lounge looking room, she was welcomed by the sound of Uta Piko’s loud blabbing. “… and then I realized I had- hey! It’s Yu-chaaan!” He had been talking at Oliver when he saw Yuraika. “Hey…” She said apprehensively. Kiyoteru and Fukase waved. The room was set up in the previous arrangement of last night. Oliver jumped up out of his seat. “Yuraika!” He said running over to hug her. “I missed you.” He said. She smiled down at him. She frowned. He had chocolate frosting all over his face. Yuraika pulled a tissue from a box on a table. “There.” She said wiping his face. She sat in the seat from before. A couple minutes later, Len swaggered in. “Sup! I have come to grace you with my presence.” He sat down across from Yuraika. “Hey, Len-kun. Have you seen Roro-kun?” Kiyoteru asked. Len shook his head. They waited twenty minutes after the appointed meetup time before Kiyoteru suggested going to look for him. “It’s just like Roro to skip.” Len scoffed. Roro walked in at that exact minute. “What did you say about me, Blonde?” Len didn’t answer that. Roro plopped down into his seat. “Sorry I’m late, Sensei. Ya know that new song Kaito preformed at the summer festival? It was scheduled to be recorded today, but the lead guitarist was out sick, so I was asked to take his place. Then Kaito invited us out for drinks. Don’t worry, they were soft drinks. Kaito’s too cheap.” He said nonchalantly. Oliver’s eyes popped out of his head. “You played in a real recording with real famous people?” Roro nodded. “Yeah. It wouldn’t be my first time.” Yuraika thought it made sense. It had sounded really good yesterday when he was playing. Still, to be recognized as talented by professionals was definitely something. Kiyoteru clapped his hands together. “That’s very exciting, Roro-kun. It’s all right that you’re a few minutes late. Well, since we’re all here, let’s get started. Tonight, we are going to talk about your family. I want detailed sentences, please. Uta Piko-kun, you start.” Uta Piko drew in a long breath. “I grew up in Hokkaido with my father, mother, grandmother butler, and maid. As you probably know, my father is a famous Enka singer so he and my mother were pretty busy. That left me with a lot of free time…” He paused for second. Oliver wiped his eyes. “You were lonely all the time, weren’t you?” Uta Piko snickered. “Just the opposite! I loved it! I could do whatever I wanted…” He snickered again. Roro nodded. “Sweet. What did ya do? Sneak off to awesome parties when you were supposed to be doing school? Vandalize some fancy state building?” Uta Piko stared sheepishly down at his feet. “Not quite. I spent time I was supposed to be studying watching my favorite Utaites. And when I had a test… I’d cheat! ‘Cause I didn’t know the answer! The best part is my home tutor had no idea!” He, Roro, Len and Fukase burst out laughing. Fukase wiped a tear away from his eye. “Ha. You’re quite the little rebel, aren’t you?” Oliver shook his head disapprovingly. “Tut, tut. How terrible. And you encourage this ill behavior!” Oliver sniffed snootily, while folding his arm across his chest. Roro thumped him on the head saying, “You’re one to speak. I saw you reading my sixteen plus rated manga when you are not a teen! And that particular one is the one rated for… never mind that.” Oliver blushed. Caught in the act. How ironic. Yuraika was thinking. Kiyoteru cleared his throat. A sign to get back on track. “Anyway.” Uta Piko continued. “When I did see my parents, it was usually after a show, and we’d go get ice cream! I’d always pick peppermint. My mother is really nice. She taught me how to play the koto, and use chopsticks, and most importantly how to dance. My dad taught me everything I know about singing. I’m an only child by the way.” Nodding, Kiyoteru said, “Very interesting, Uta Piko-kun. You’re next Len-kun.” Len gulped. He obviously had something he wanted to hide. He played around with his tie. He shifted in his seat. He coughed. “Well?” Roro said. “Spill it!” Len let out a long sigh. “I live in Tokyo with my mom, dad, and sister. Well, I did until I moved to live somewhere more convenient for my music career at Crypton. I had the most luxurious penthouse. A king sized bed just for me! A private bathroom with a jetted bathtub! Ahhhh. Umm, I mean, my parents are pretty sweet. They were totally cool with me and my sister joining Crypton.” When he said ‘sister’ he coughed. “Isn’t your sister the adorable Kagamine Rin?” Fukase asked. “Ugh, yeah.” Len rolled his eyes. “That’s her. The talented Kagamine Rin. Japan’s number one idol. Ugh! Why’s she so popular! Er, I mean, she’s the best.” How unconvincing. Yuraika thought. Len was obviously jealous of his successful sister. She didn’t know why. Len was equally as popular as Rin. Rin was in more commercials on TV, but Len dominated the magazine covers. Did it really matter anyway? “Can we please talk about someone that is not me?” Len asked a bit annoyed. Yuraika sighed. She would go next. “I’ll go. I lived in Hokkaido with my father, mother, and older brother. I love my older brother, but he’s such a nerd. He studied way too much when I was growing up. I didn’t see him all that much. My father owns his own bakery, and my mother works at an office.” She smiled at Kiyoteru. “My parents worked on the Saturday , so Kiyo and I would hang out.” Roro interrupted. “And then the day came when Kiyoteru got himself a girlfriend, and he became to busy to with you, yes?” Yuraika shook her head. “No. He stayed with me until college.” Fukase snickered. “You seriously don’t have a girlfriend, Kiyo?” Kiyoteru laughed nervously. He had never had a girlfriend. “Umm, no. I can’t say that I do.” A bead of sweat ran down his face. Oh no. Yuraika thought. The boys were going to make fun of Kiyo for sure. She hung her head. “I’m sorry, Sensei. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never had a girlfriend.” This was coming from Oliver. Roro slumped over. “At least you’re not like me. I am deeply in love with a girl who refuses to date me. Just because I’ve know you my whole life doesn’t mean we have to stay as just friends, Mizki!” He yelled at no one present. Kiyoteru seized the opportunity. “Why don’t you tell us about that, Roro.” Roro frowned. This Kiyoteru guy was sneaky. “Agh! Fine! I lived in Tokyo with my mom. She’s as sweet as they come. Like when I’m feeling less than awesome, she gives me cookies. She works at a flower shop BTW. Miz and I met in preschool. We live in the same apartment complex.” Kiyoteru reluctantly asked, “What about your father…?” He wasn’t sure how Roro was going to react, but it was worth a try. “He… he left about a year ago. He is the CEO of a major electronics corporation.” Roro grimaced. He stared at his feet while talking. The room was silent for a minute. “I’ll go.” Oliver said. “Shortly after I was born, my mom died. My father couldn’t afford to take care of me, so he gave me to Nii-chan’s family. He really wanted to keep me, but he loved me too much to let me go hungry. He often visits me when he’s off work. I love him so much.” Oliver blushed. “Nii-chan’s family is so nice to me. They treat me like I’m one of them.” Yuraika’s heart melted. How sweet! What a nice family he had. Oliver continued. “We live in the same apartment complex as Roro, and Mizki. We’d go over to play just about every day. Mikuo too! He liked playing with me especially!” Yuraika patted Oliver’s head. Roro chuckled. “Yeah, he liked to see you do whatever he said, dangerous or otherwise. Wait! You’re that kid! The one who we’d dare to do the dirty work for our sick pranks! I remember now!” He slapped Oliver’s leg. “Ouch!” He cried. Fukase was next. He was not eager to talk about himself. “I lived in Hachioji with my grandparents. My parents died a couple of years ago. Anyway. My grandparents are nice. They own a bookstore. My grandma is an author.” He said blankly. Yuraika loved to read. A family member being an author would be very exciting. “What does she like to write?” She asked. “Mystery mostly. She writes these amazing stories that when one reads them, they feel as if they are the protagonist themselves. She’s pretty amazing.

My grandfather collects really old books. When he’s not around, I read them.” He said. Kiyoteru nodded approvingly. “Very nice. Thank you for using real words, and complete sentences. I’m not the grammar teacher, but still a teacher nonetheless. That concludes tonight’s session.” Roro stood up. “What’s all this for anyway?” The question on everyone’s mind. Kiyoteru deflected the bullet. “I have already explained the basis. The rest you will know in due time.”

Yuraika went to sleep with a lot on her mind that night. Perhaps there was a reason for that night’s meeting. What was the point of the ‘Problem Club’ anyway? What was it Wil had said? “He was a really upbeat guy, until the day his…” his what? He had began to say something that started with a ‘fa’. “Until the day his father left.” She whispered. While pondering all of this, she fell asleep.

Roro, on the other hand was wide awake. He laid quietly in bed staring up at the ceiling. “That Oliver is so lucky. ” He thought to himself. “I bet his parents don’t fight all the time like mine did. Soooo lucky. Agh! I hate it! Why does the brat have such a better life than me?! Agh. It’s not like it’s his fault. Whatever. I don’t care anyway. If I don’t care, than why is there a pain in my chest?” He closed his eyes tightly. Placing a hand over his heart, he whispered, “Forget it. I’m fine. I’m… just fine.” A tear tried to escape his eye. He quickly wiped it away.

“There, that’s done.” Kiyoteru said. He sat at his desk in the his bedroom, at the school. He had been writing the response of each student. With this new information, he’d be able to guess the problem his students were hiding. He wouldn’t let that happen again. He promised himself this.


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