Starting day two! A Painful Past
Roro awoke to the sound of Len’s screaming. “Agh! We overslept!” There was quick footsteps followed by the slamming of drawers. Len placed his hands on the half-asleep Roro’s shoulders. “Senpai! Wake up! It’s eight o’clock!” Roro sat up. “What?” He asked. “Wasn’t the Little One supposed to set the alarm?” He asked loudly. Oliver, for he knew he was the subject of Roro’s question, shrugged saying, “Opps. I forgot. I’m sorry.” Roro jumped out of bed, causally strolling over to where Oliver was brushing his hair. He whacked him on the head saying, “Idiot! We needed that alarm! Now we’re going to be late for breakfast, and it’s all your fault! Why’re you such a screwup?!” He yelled furiously. Oliver sniffled. Uta Piko put a hand on Oliver’s shoulder. The room was set up just like the girl’s room, but instead of a couch in the corner, Roro’s bed sat there. The table was shoved to the side. Len was unplugging his phone when Roro said this. He set his phone down and glared up at Roro. “Dude, chill. It’s okay.” He said in an extremely snarky tone. Roro placed his hands on his hips. “No, it’s not.” He said fiercely. “You let him off easy, and he’ll do it again and again.” He looked directly at Oliver. “Am I not important to you?” Oliver shifted nervously. “Ummm, of… of course you are, Senpai!” Roro stared down at him. His eyes were cold, devoid of any signs of mercy. “Then do your job, and do it well, because if you don’t you will prove to me that you are as useless as I suspected.” Oliver began to cry fervently. “Why’re you being such a jerk?! He didn’t mean to!” Uta Piko yelled. The room was silent for a moment before Roro said, “Thanks to you, I won’t have enough time to… to… that’s not important! Agh! Whatever!” He stormed angrily out of the room. He was already dressed because he never changed into pajamas. He had grabbed his phone and earbuds before he left.
Roro stormed into the school’s garden. He sat down leaning against the garden wall. He shoved the earbuds into his ears. “Agh.” He sighed. “My stupid sucky life. I hate it…!” He grumbled. He sat pouting for about fifteen minutes in silence before he realized he hadn’t started his music. He was busy scrolling through his options when he heard someone call his name. “Roro! I knew I’d find you out here.” Hio was standing looking down at him. Roro peered up at him. “What?” He asked cooly. Hio sat down next to him. “Something’s wrong. What are you trying to hide?” Roro said nothing, he just blankly stared at the lush trees surrounding. Picking up lose a stone from the paved ground, he threw it saying, “Nothing.” Hio was not convinced. He knew his best friend, and he was lying. Hio raised an eyebrow. “You just yell at little kids for no reason?” So he knew. Great. Roro mumbled some half thought through excuse. Hio placed an arm around his friend. “I need you to talk to me. What’s bothering you?” After taking in a long breath, Roro said, “It’s just… I had to talk about him yesterday. It’s nothing, really.” He shifted uncomfortably. “Really?” Hio asked. Roro tried to convince Hio that he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and needed some alone time. “It’s really nothing.” He lied. It’s nothing? He asked himself. Why am I lying to him? I can’t do this alone anymore. So why can’t I be honest? He put a hand over his heart. Lying just hurts me more. Roro shook his head. “No. I can’t keep anything from you.” He smiled weakly. “I just can’t understand why. He… he said he loved me, but he left. Was it something I said? I know I wasn’t the best son, but…” Tears began to run down his cheeks. “He must’ve hated me. I wouldn’t blame him. I was so awful to him…” With every word, the tears fell faster. Hio didn’t know what to say. He hated to see his friend suffer so. But what could he do? Roro cried out miserably. He had a terrible ache in his chest. His body jittered violently. “It’s all my fault! He wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t for me! How could I have been so selfish? I wish… I wish I was never born…!” He buried his face in his hands. Hio tightly embraced Roro. “It’s not your fault, Roro. I don’t know why he left, but I do know it wasn’t because of you.” Roro was crying so hard he wasn’t able to speak well. He managed to choke out a couple sentences. “Why doesn’t he want me, Hio?” Hio looked Roro in the eyes and said, “I… don’t think that’s it. He really does love you. Maybe he needs some time alone. Like you.” Roro slowly stood. He stared ahead, lost in thought for a moment before saying, “Maybe.” He smiled a painful smile. Hio could tell Roro was not completely convinced it wasn’t his fault. Is there really nothing I can do? Hio thought. He wished more than anything he could do something to help. I hate to see Roro so… depressed. He thought. “Roro.” Roro was peering up at the sky, lost in his own thoughts. “Ah.” He said after a minute. “Sorry. Yes?” Hio took a deep breath. “While I understand you’re going through a lot, I will not let you speak to my little brother like that. Now tell me, what happened?” Roro explained how Oliver had been tasked with setting the alarm, and how he had forgotten to. “I really shouldn’t have been so hard on him. I don’t know what I was thinking.” He sighed an exasperated sigh. Hio nodded. “I’m glad you feel the same way. Roro, I want you apologize to him.” This statement greatly surprised Roro. “What? Why?” He whined. Hio gave him the infamous Hio Glare. An intense stare given on very few occasions. Its power was immense, for whoever received the glare knew immediately they were in the wrong. Roro could tell Hio was serious. “Fine. I’ll apologize, but I’m going to hate every second of it!”
CLASS 1, HISTORY, ELEVENTH GRADE
Roro stared blankly out of the window. He was supposed to be listening to a history on the Medieval period in England. He was completely consumed in his thoughts. If only he could be strumming his guitar, no amps, no one around, just the soft pluck of the strings. Such a simple way to clear the mind of troubles. “Ahh. After school perhaps I’ll…” “Perhaps you’ll be headed to the principal’s office if you don’t start paying attention, Roro.” Yuezheng Longya, the high school history teacher said. “Yes, Sensei. Sorry.” Roro said. Well, that’s embarrassing. He thought. “Does anyone know who Erik the Red was?” Yuezheng asked. Mizki raised her hand. “He was a great viking warrior, and the father of Leif Erikson, the rumored first European to set foot on America.” She said. Roro sighed. Beautiful and smart. Miz is truly amazing. “Precisely. Very good, Mizki.” Mizki smiled brightly. “Today we will be studying the Vikings.” Hio raised his hand. After Yuezheng called on him, he said, “What an interesting topic. Did you pick it yourself?” Yuezheng nodded. “Yes I did. I’m sure you’ve all heard quite a bit of Japanese history, no?” He pulled out a map from the desk drawer. On it was was a picture of Europe. He started to talk about the different colonies of vikings, but at this point Roro’s mind began to wander again. Resting his head upon his hand, he stared forlornly outside.
“Roro.” His father sighed. “When will you learn to behave?” Fifteen year-old Roro sat with his father in the Principal’s office of the prestigious school he attended. His father glared at him disdainfully. Roro sheepishly smiled. “Son. Pranks are only funny to those who play them.” His father said sternly. “How do you think your poor teacher feels?” Roro shrugged. “I don’t care! The boys and I had a blast!”His father frowned. “Fun at the expense of others? That’s not how I raised you, Roro.” He shook his head disapprovingly. Roro snickered. What did the old man care? It’s not like he’d committed a crime! It was just a harmless prank! “If you don’t straighten up, you are going to be expelled! Is that what you want?” Roro laughed hysterically. “Pffft! Trying to scare me with expulsion?! I really don’t care if I’m expelled! I hate this stuffy old school!” Looking him clear in the eye, he said, “Roro, if you continue to act like a spoiled brat, I’ll sell your guitar. I’m serious.” Sell his prized guitar? For playing harmless little pranks? He had to be kidding! “Oh, dad! That’s hilarious! You’re so funny!” He broke into a fit of laughter. Looking his father in the eyes, he abruptly stopped. They were sharp and stern, but behind that lay a hint of remorse. “Roro, I’m sorry, but this is for your own good.” He hesitated a moment before saying, “Give me your guitar.” Roro put a hand on the case his guitar lay in. He had just finished practicing with the band when he received a summons to the Principal’s office. “N-no…” he stammered. “You can’t…!” He hugged the case to his chest. “You can’t sell it! I won’t let you!” Roro screamed. His father stood looking down at his son. He drew in a breath, held out his hands, and said, “Roro, the guitar.” Roro violently shook his head. “No!” Tears streamed down his face. “Please!” Smiling down at him, he took the guitar from his hands. “You’re birthday is in a couple months. Maybe if you prove to me you can behave, I’ll give it back.” Roro’s blood boiled. How he could he do something so unfair? “That’s not fair! I need that guitar! How is ACE going to preform with no lead guitar?! Give it back!”Roro folded his arms across his chest. “You should have thought of that.” His father responded. “Agh!” Roro screamed. “That’s not fair! You’re so mean!” He whined. “Roro.” His father said quietly. “I see you won’t be ready to behave for awhile. Because of that outburst, I’m selling the guitar.” Roro’s heart skipped a beat. “Wha…” He stared blankly at his father’s sad face. “I… I hate you!” Tears welled in his eyes. “I wish you weren’t my father!” He jumped out of the chair, knocking it over as he ran out of the room. The door slammed loudly behind him.
Roro’s eyes began to water. He felt as if he was completely alone in the world, without anyone to help him. He became uncommonly chilly. He began to sweat. He was completely overwhelmed by an unidentifiable pain in his heart. He took in deep breaths, trying to steady his racing heart. “Just breathe.” He whispered to himself. He did well to suppress his emotions until Yuezheng said, “Roro. I asked you a question. Now tell me, what’s the answer?” Roro froze in place. “I…” He said quietly. “I… I… don’t know.” He stuttered. He quickly loosened his tie. Beads of sweat ran down his face. Yuezheng walked over to his desk. “Are you alright?” Gasping for air, Roro said, “I… can’t… breath…!” Yuezheng put a hand on Roro’s forehead. “You’re burning up. Roro, you need to go to the nurse’s office right now.” Roro tried to stand, but his legs failed him and he stumbled forward. Yuezheng caught his arm. “Hio, please help me take him to the infirmary. Quick!” Hio ran to Roro’s side. “Please, Sensei. I can manage him on my own.” He said. Yuezheng opened his mouth to ask if he was sure, when Hio said, “I can manage by myself.” Mizki stood up. “Please, Sensei! Let me go with them!” Her sweet face bore a worried expression. Yuezheng couldn’t stand to see such a sweet girl be darkened by worry. “Sorry, Mizki. I can’t let you.” He said reluctantly. Her face darkened even more. “Oh.” He offered a compromise. She stays in class, and he’d let her go ten minutes early. Yuezheng is weak to those with a fair heart and a pretty face.
Roro’s eyelids fluttered open. He was laying on an extremely uncomfortable bed. A terrible pain throbbed in his head. He looked around inquisitively. He was laying on the bed in the Nurse’s Office. He could tell by the posters that had some corny saying like, “Glad your healing better!” Yuck. So cheesy. The room was fairly small, with cabinetry in the front half by the door, and a hospital bed in the back. The walls were a bright pink. For the first time since waking, Roro noticed a nurse in the room with him. “Awake, I see.” She said cheerily. Roro nodded. He pushed himself into a sitting position. “How are you feeling?” She asked, walking over to where he sat. “Alright. I have a bad headache though.” He said blankly. She pressed her hand on his forehead. “Well, your temperature is back to normal. That’s good! So what caused you to faint?” He had fainted? How else would he be waking up? Roro thought hard. “I don’t know.” He lied. He knew why. It was another nervous breakdown. They didn’t happen very often, but when they did, it was serious. “It was probably because of my headache. Whenever I get one, I usually feel that way.” He lied again. The nurse checked the rhythm of Roro’s heart. “Oh. A really nice girl about your age stopped by to check on you. You were still out cold though.” Mizki came to see me? He thought. She’s such a beautiful person. Someone knocked on the door. The nurse quickly went to see who it was. “Kamui-san! Come in.” She said upon opening it. Gakupo bowed. “I’m here to see Roro.” He said. She quickly let him in saying, “Of coarse! This way!” She hurried him along to where Roro was. “Hey…” Roro whispered. Gakupo nodded toward the nurse. “We would like to talk in private. Do you mind? Thank you, Kyomachi-san.” Gakupo asked bluntly. Understanding, Kyomachi left the room, leaving the two alone. “Roro.” Gakupo said quietly. “You’ve been thinking about him again, haven’t you?” Roro didn’t reply. He didn’t have to, Gakupo already knew the answer to his question. Eventually, Roro said, “Yes.” His eyes were downcast. He wouldn’t even look in Gakupo’s direction. “I thought so.” Gakupo whispered. “Why?” Roro thought a moment before answering. “I don’t know.” Gakupo placed a hand on his student’s head. “Tell me about him.” Roro shook his head. “What is there to say? He was a half decent guy. He stuck around when my mom accidentally became pregnant with me, even though they had decided they didn’t want kids. He tried to be a good father for sixteen years. He was a hard worker at his job. Sounds like a pretty upstanding man, but like everyone, he had his flaws. Some of them were pretty bad. He was never home much, he took out his frustrations from work on us, and he had a terrible temper. That made for one heck of a combo.” He paused. “There were many nights that I’d hear my father yelling at my mom. He’d… he’d chew her out for something stupid. I asked her about it one day, and she said he was stressed and he didn’t mean to. She was always so forgiving.” He sighed deeply. “Sometimes I’d wake up to find a mysterious red mark on her face or arm. I never knew why until I saw it. I… saw him hit her clear across the cheek. I had been awoken by loud shouting in the next room. I got up to see what it was. My mom was curled up in a ball, huddled in the corner of their bedroom. My father stood across the room scowling down at her. He was in a rage that night. I couldn’t believe it. I had always thought he was a good man. He saw me standing in the doorway, eyes filled with tears, and a look of horror on my face. My mom ran over to me, embracing me tightly. She was crying like mad. ‘It’s okay, Sweetie! Don’t cry! Please don’t cry!’ She wailed. He stood staring down at me, his rage had turned into fear. He hadn’t intended for me to see it. Without saying a word, he strode over, and placed his arms around us. He never did it again. I was twelve years-old at the time. Even then, she never admitted to how terrible he was.” Roro winced. The memory was too painful to recall. Gakupo shook his head disapprovingly. “Only weak men hit their wives.” Roro laughed nervously. “Don’t get me wrong! He was a good guy when he wasn’t in a mood. I loved spending time with him when I was little.” Something twisted in Roro’s stomach. He wished more than anything he could truly believe he was a good person. But he couldn’t. Gakupo hurt for the young man. He had endured a lot of heartache for such a young age. “Well I’m glad you told me. If there is anything I can do to help, please, let me know. You can always come to me.” He smiled warmly. Roro promised he would. Gakupo clapped his hands together. “Are you hungry? It’s lunch time.” He asked causally. Roro reminded his teacher he didn’t get hungry. Laughing, Gakupo patted Roro on the head. “Well you need to eat something. Come, let us eat in the garden. It is the perfect environment for calming the nerves.” He stepped out of the room for a moment. Returning with Kyomachi he said, “He has informed me he is feeling much better. I intend to take him down to lunch, if that is alright with you.” Kyomachi nodded. “Of course! I’m glad he’s doing better!” Gakupo led Roro to the cafeteria, filled his student’s plate with food, and brought him out to the school’s lush garden. They sat on the short wall that divided the paved area from the grassy area. A large tree provided shade for them. “So, tell me,” Gakupo said. “How is the band?” Shoving a large bite of rice into his mouth, Roro said, “Pretty good. We’ve gotten a lot better since last year.” Gakupo recalled the previous year, when A.O.H. was having an extremely difficult time with motivation. Their playing was quite awful. He shuddered at the memory. “Ah, then I should like to hear you play sometime soon.” Gakupo smiled. “How are things between you and Mizki?” Roro poked at his salisbury steak with his chopsticks. “Meh.” He explained no matter what he did to win her love, she always thought he was being a good friend. “Hmmm. I’ve never heard of girl so unaware of someone liking her.” Gakupo said. This was a truly puzzling matter. “Perhaps you should say the words ‘I love you’. Surly she will understand that better. “Yeah, maybe.” Roro sighed. Then the winning idea popped into Gakupo’s mind. “Do you know what a lot of women like? An affectionate man. That’s it! Be affectionate with her. Hold her hand, place your arm around her, tell her how beautiful she is. When the time is right, greet her with a kiss on the cheek. She’ll fall head over heels for you in no time.” Be all lovey-dovey? Barf. That kind of character was much too elegant for Roro. “To be honest, Sensei, that idea sounds stupid.” Gakupo winced. Roro’s words were sharp, merciless, and to the point. He was not very poetic for sure. “Well at least try my suggestion before calling it stupid.” Gakupo said, a bit hurt. He looked over at his lunch partner’s tray. The only thing completely eaten was the taiyaki for dessert, everything else only had nibbles missing. “I want you to eat all that.” He said sternly. Roro complained about not being hungry, and how he didn’t like salisbury steak. Gakupo had finished his lunch five minutes ago. He stared down at the remainder of Roro’s food. “Eat it now, and eat it quickly, class starts in ten minutes!” Luka, who had been passing by stoped to watch from afar, chuckled to herself. Just like brothers those two were. How adorable they are together.
CLASS 5, SCIENCE
(V Academy had only been opened for three years before the beginning of the book. Because of this, the school is understaffed. The teachers teach each grade for their subject. For example, Kiyoteru taught math for seventh through ninth grade. When the school has enough teachers, the same subject will be taught at the same time for each grade.)
Roro had missed over half of his classes due to his breakdown. Fortunately for him, a couple of them were review from last year. He would still have to study the material on his own after school. You can imagine how he was thrilled about that. His friends had been glad to see him in class. She didn’t have time to say it, but Roro could tell Mizki had been worrying all day long. For science, Yuuma taught on the subject of science and math being necessary for the other subject to function. Roro understood it perfectly, but was very bored during the lecture.
CLASS 6, VOCAL, EVERYONE
Roro and his vocal group stood outside under a large tree within the school grounds. “Hey, what should we call our group?” A boy named Dex asked. A girl called Anon shrugged. “Something edgy for sure!” “Like Dragon’s Eye!” Dex said. “Too manly.” Nana said. “I want something cute, like the Strawbunnies.” Roro made loud gagging noises. “Yeah, no.” Running over to where his students were, Kaito blew his whistle. “Hello guys! Thanks for waiting for me! Miss Miriam will be here any minute!” Roro chuckled. Only losers who were late had to run. Wait, wasn’t Kaito always running? Come to think of it, anywhere Kaito went, he ran. Perhaps he was always late. “Why are you always running everywhere, Sensei?” Roro asked. Kaito started stretching. “That’s easy. It’s fun! And running somewhere is a whole lot better than running nowhere on a treadmill.” That was incredibly true. If someone was going to run, might as well go someplace. When Miriam arrived, the group started with their lesson. Yukari raised her hand. “How come we are outside?” Miriam answered, “Because there is no good space to practice. Later, when it is cold outside, we might use a music room, but since it’s nice outside and the sun is shining, we might as well enjoy it.” They had a wonderful time at practice. Miriam had them perfect the scales, afterward Kaito led them through a series of vocal exercises. The environment of the class was lively and nonjudgmental. Though the class was task focused, the experience was fun and not much like work at all.
-END CLASSES FOR THE DAY-
Though school was over for the day, Roro had to study the subjects he had missed class for. He went to each of his teachers asking for the material. When he had finally finished school, it was 5 P.M. He had heavy dark circles under his eyes. His brain felt dead. He needed something relaxing, and quickly. He decided he would spend some time in solitude with his guitar. After tuning the magnificent piece of art, he sat down on the stage of the little room A.O.H. called home. Without even thinking of what song, he began to play the beautiful melody to -ERROR. The pain and troubles of the day lessened with each perfect note. Halfway through the song, he began to sing along. “Yugande iru no? Yugande iru yo…” A single tear rolled down his cheek. He poured his heart into the final lyrics. “Kotoba mo tsumaru yo ERROR…!” He smiled to himself. How freeing it was to play, no crowd, no amps, just yourself. He sat in silence, trying to think of what to play next when the door swung open and Mizki walked in. “Roro!” She said running over to him. “Are you okay? How’s your head?” She asked urgently. Roro chuckled. “I’m fine, really.” Mizki sat next to him. “What happened? And don’t you dare lie to me.” Putting his arm around the girl he said, “It is just a little headache. No need to worry so much.” She smiled brightly at him. “I said I want the truth. Spill it, boy.” So she was dead serious. Alright, it looked like he had no choice but to tell the truth. “It… it was another breakdown.” He sighed heavily. She laid her head on his shoulder. “You’ve been thinking about him to much, haven’t you? Never mind. It’s alright, Roro. I’m here for you.” She grabbed his gloved hand, squeezing it tightly. Perhaps Gakupo sensei’s advice could work. Roro thought. “Ummm… Miz?” He said stiffly. She gave him an inquisitive look. “Well, it’s just… you’re so kind, and beautiful, and understanding, and you have always been there for me, I really appreciate you being my friend. But, one day I realized that I didn’t want to be your friend anymore, because… well… I love you, Miz. I have for awhile, but I just didn’t have the courage to tell you sooner.” All the color drained from Mizki’s face. She released his hand from hers. Roro winced. Was she mad? No, she looked absolutely terrified. “Miz…?” He asked. She took in a deep breath and said, “You… you love me? I didn’t know… Oh Roro, I’m sorry, but… I’m… er, I can’t be your girlfriend!” She jumped up and ran out of the room, wailing loudly. “Miz!” He cried before she had reached the door. She turned to look at him. “I’m sorry, Roro.” With that, she was gone. “Mizki…” He whispered. With a single tear, Roro’s heart broke into a thousand little pieces. A state that is impossible to mend.
This time, every attendee made it on time. Once everyone was present, Kiyoteru stood. “Students.” He said. “Tonight we will be discussing something very important.” Uta Piko’s hand shot up. Without waiting to be called on, he said, “It’s not politics, is it? I hate politics!” He made a stupid looking pouty face. Kiyoteru shook his head. “No. It’s about why all of you are sitting here right now.” At those few words, the room had gone devoid of any noise. The students held their breaths. Kiyoteru began to pace. Pulling off his glasses, he said, “Each of you has a major problem you are keeping hidden. A secret, so to speak. If not dealt with properly, it will dominate your lives. You don’t want to live the rest of your life hating your parents because you feel they’re too strict, do you, Uta Piko-kun?” Uta Piko jumped. How did he know? “Ummm. Well, yeah.” He stuttered. “And you, Oliver-kun. You say your eye is fine, when in truth,” Kiyoteru pulled the bandage from Oliver’s eye. It was red and awful looking. “You will lose this eye if it isn’t taken care of.” Oliver quickly covered his newly exposed eye with his hand. “It’s true.” He sniffed. Pointing at Roro, Kiyoteru said, “You must mend that shattered heart of yours at some point.” Roro sighed heavily. “But how?” He asked. Kiyoteru smiled for the first time that night. “Open it up.” Returning to his former tough demeanor, he nodded to Yuraika. “You, my dear, need to make good, long-lasting friendships. If you don’t, you’ll be all alone in ten years.” Yikes. Yuraika was not liking this side of Kiyoteru. Uta Piko made a mental note of how glasses equaled nice Kiyoteru, and no glasses equaled scary Kiyoteru. “Fukase-kun, you have a lying issue. Take care of that, or you’ll find nobody wants to be around you.” That last sentence was emotionless, and it stung the recipient hard. “And finally, Len-kun.” Kiyoteru said. “You are so full of yourself, you can’t see how much you hurt others. And you wonder why people prefer your kindhearted sister.” Like a majestic arrow piercing the heart of a warrior, so were the words of Kiyoteru to the foolish heart of Len. “Ouch! Sensei, why?!” Len complained. Kiyoteru wiped the sweat from his brow. Putting on his glasses, he sat back down. The room was silent for a minute. Kiyoteru laughed nervously. “Sorry about that. You all needed to hear the truth.” Uta Piko began to clap. “That was amazing! Where did you learn to be so tough?!” Laughing, Kiyoteru said, “I just said exactly what I thought Kamui-san would say. I would have pulled my hair back, but I couldn’t get it to stay.” Yuraika imagined how the scene would have played out if Gakupo-sensei had been talking. It wasn’t much different. The only difference would probably be a large wooden sword in his hand, and a couple of bad words. She tittered to herself at this thought. “It’s alright, Sensei. I guess we did need to near that…” She said. Everyone had a look of melancholy on their faces. “I suck as a human being.”
Roro sighed. Kiyoteru stepped in. “That’s what we’re here for. This club is all about helping the members of it, and other people too.” Fukase leaned over to whisper in Yuraika’s ear. “He didn’t deny Roro to be a sucky human being.”
He snickered. Roro gave Fukase a weak frown. He didn’t have the energy to chew him out. Uta Piko grinned. “Hehe. ‘Sounds like a load of crap to me.’” He, Len, and Fukase burst out laughing. Yuraika tried very hard not to laugh. She was afraid Roro would lose it, and start yelling. Surprisingly, he didn’t. He just said. “Ha. That’s what it sounded like to me.” Roro didn’t explode when he was poked fun at? This did not sound like him at all. The Roro she knew would say (yell) something irrational and harsh. Perhaps he wasn’t feeling well. Yuraika was thinking all this when Oliver said, “I don’t get it.” This made everyone (but Oliver) laugh. Kiyoteru was the first to recover.
“Now that everyone preset knows what’s going on, I want you to support each other. That means not making fun of each other. Roro, please refrain from name calling.” “What?” Roro asked. “What’s mean about my pet names? The Blonde, the Little One, the Annoying One.” Kiyoteru raised an eyebrow. “The annoying one?” He asked. His tone heavily implied that his nickname wasn’t kind in the least. Then something unexpected happened. Uta Piko said, “Please, Sensei. Let him call me ‘The Annoying One’. I like it! It means he cares.” His tone was so innocent that Kiyoteru conceded. Roro was very surprised. This was the first time somebody actually liked his nicknames. “Sweet.” Roro half-whispered. He once called Hio, He-Man. He received a pinch for that. Kiyoteru returned to the original subject saying, “For your first assignment, I want you to find three things that make you happy. Be it a tangible item, or an experience. You have until tomorrow’s meeting to complete the assignment.” Three things that make me happy. Yuraika thought. What makes her happy? Chocolate. Chocolate made Yuraika very happy. Oliver raised his hand. “What if what makes me happy is extremely embarrassing?” Yuraika didn’t think of that. She’d have to find things that she liked and that were not embarrassing. Yikes. “Well,” Kiyoteru said. “we won’t judge you for it.” Thank goodness. Oliver was thinking. Still, could he really tell them that he liked many childish things? Roro would definitely laugh at him. Fukase too. What was he to do?
It seemed like a simple assignment, but it proved to be more difficult than it had originally appeared. The boys had decided to go to their dorm for the night. Oliver was perched on the edge of Uta Piko’s bed reading the manga Uta Piko was. “Flip.” He’d say every couple of minutes when he had finished the page. Fukase was on his phone, and Len was thumbing through a magazine. Roro sat on his bed, pondering what he’d pick. Definitely his guitar. Maybe taiyaki? Mizki made him happy. Oh, wait. He couldn’t say her. Not after what happened earlier that day. he quickly became bored of this, so he began to write in his personal journal.
He reviewed the day’s events, writing down his perspective on the matter. “Mizki hates my guts now, so yay.” He wrote. “I knew Sensei’s idea was stupid, but like a good student, I blindly followed his advice. What does Gakupo know about love? He’s twenty-six, very popular, and extremely handsome. Oh. Yeah. Probably a lot more than me.” He sighed. Noticing the sigh, Uta Piko looked over at him. “Hey, Senpai? What’s wrong?” Roro buried his face in his pillow. “Love is stupid, and life is meaningless.” He groaned. Len and Fukase looked up upon hearing this. “Hey.” Fukase said. “Is that what I think it is? Pffft! Roro has a diary!” He laughed hysterically. Len looked at Roro, then at the book in his hands. He laughed too. “Shut up. I have a headache.” Roro mumbled. “Roro has a diary!” Len shouted. “It’s not a Diary!” Roro yelled. Len chuckled. “Oh yeah? Then what are you writing in it?” He had a smug look on his face. Roro wanted to slap that smirk right off of him. He released an agitated breath, then said more calmly, “It’s not a diary. It’s my journal I write the details of my horrible life in.” Len’s smile broadened. He delivered this next line with much sly satisfaction in his tone. “So a diary? How girly and stupid.” He reveled in the sweetness of the victory. A horrible smile curled at the corners of Roro’s lips. He silently stood up, placed his journal on his nightstand, and strolled over to where Len sat. Len looked Roro in the eyes. He froze with fear. They were filled with cold anger. His face had a murderous look on it. Len scooted back. Uta Piko covered Oliver’s eye. Grabbing Len by his tie, Roro said, “Don’t ever call me stupid again.” He stared blankly in his eyes for another second, then released his hold on the tie. Uta Piko removed his hand from over Oliver’s face. “I thought he was going to murder him.” He whispered in his friend’s ear. “Me too.” Oliver agreed. Roro had resumed his seat and was writing the rest of his day down. He had put in his earbuds, and was now listening music. He fell asleep in this position. That night, Roro had a terrible nightmare. He was trapped in a black and white world, the only person left in existence. The world had once had many vibrant colors. People had lived there in peace. Roro was an average schoolboy, living among them. Arriving at school, he was met by two other boys. After arguing about something he couldn’t quite understand, they engaged in a fight. Roro fought the best he could, but the others were armed, and he was wounded. He had no choice but to run. He flew down the streets searching for help, when he heard a strange voice in a dark back alley. He asked who they were, and the voice replied, “No one important.” After conversing with the stranger for a bit, he realized that they were some kind of mythical creature. A genie to be exact. He was offered a single wish. Anything he wanted could be his. Roro decided to ask for a gift where when he wished for something, it came true. This is exactly what he received. The next day he was met by the delinquents from the day before. Another fight quickly broke out. This time he was prepared. He yelled, “I wish you two never existed!” And with those words, the delinquents disappeared. He loved the new power. He went around the city, wishing for things he didn’t have, and things he didn’t like to go away forever. He became so power-hungry that he wished for the whole world to belong to him. And then it did. He didn’t wish much then, because he had the entire world at his disposal. He was greedy, and the people quickly revolted, and so Roro said, “I wish they would all disappear!” And they did. And with them, the color vanished too. He was completely alone. No one to talk to, no one to call friend, no one to love. The guilt overtook him. How could he have done something so selfish? How could he fix it all? Was he truly alone? He began to feel like he was trapped inside a small room, and the walls were closing in. A tug on his arm. He looked down, but no one was there. “Senpai! Senpai!” A voice cried. Roro woke up. Oliver was shaking him violently. “Senpai!” He whispered. “Mmf?” Was the reply. Oliver helped him into a sitting position. Roro quickly realized it was still very dark outside. He also noticed that the other boys were still asleep. He glanced at the clock. “1:55 A.M.” He read aloud. “Oliver, why did you wake me up in the middle of the night?” He rubbed his sleepy eyes. Oliver shifted from one foot to the other, staring down at the floor. “Senpai, I… I had an… accident.” He blushed a deep red. “What?” Roro asked, still not fully awake. “I had an accident.” He repeated. The way he put emphasis on the word ‘accident’ told Roro exactly what had happened. “Eww. You didn’t… *ahem* wetthe bed, did you?” Roro asked. Oliver blushed harder. That was a yes. “Okay…” Roro said. He wasn’t sure what to say. What do you say in that situation? “And you need me to…?” Roro asked. Oliver twiddle his thumbs. “I was hoping you’d know what to do. I’ve already changed my pants…” Oh. So that’s why he woke him up. “Well, you could just… sleep on the floor.” Roro suggested. Somehow he knew that suggestion would not be taken before he ever said it. “C-could… could I…” Oliver stuttered. “Could I sleep in your bed? Please?” It took only half a second for Roro to formulate his response. “Absolutely not.” Oliver wilted. “But I need somewhere to sleep.” He pulled out his greatest secret weapon, the puppy eyes. Roro made the mistake of looking Oliver directly in the eye. Even his tough heart was softened. “Never! Agh! How about we go tell one of the teachers? They’ll figure something out.” Oliver liked this idea. Grabbing his hand, Roro lead the way out of the room, and tiptoed down the hallway of the boys’ dorm. Their room was on the second level, so they had to creep stealthily down a full spiral staircase. When the two reached the door on the main level, Roro realized sometimes terrible. In the absurdity of the moment, he had forgotten he was only wearing his heart print tank top, and a pair of short black shorts. His feat were completely bare. He looked over at Oliver, who was pushing the door open. He was wearing an 1800s style nightgown. He had remembered to put on shoes, a pair of baby blue bunny slippers. How had he not noticed before? Roro tried not to laugh. Oliver was such a weirdo. Noticing Roro was starting down at his feet, Oliver asked, “You like my shoes, Senpai?” Roro nodded in the affirmative. The last thing he wanted to do was spoil his fun by making the kid self-conscious. Who would he laugh at if Oliver was normal? Oliver politely held the door open for Roro. Grabbing his hand once more, the pair headed for the teacher’s apartments. The grass was wet and squishy on Roro’s feet. He scowled with each step. Oliver was humming the theme to the show Pokémon Indigo League. “You’re such a child.” Roro said. Oliver wildly shook his head. “No, no! I’m cool and mature, just like Nii-chan!” He puffed out his chest to add emphasis. That made Roro snicker. “Cool and mature, huh? Yeah, every truly awesome guy needs his bunny slippers. They’re fundamental for the cool dude esthetic.” Oliver blushed. He stopped humming the Pokémon song, and started humming the Teen Titans theme instead. Halfway through, he said, “Respect the classics, Senpai. Youwatched it to.” That was true. It would be on television a lot when he was little. In fact, he memorized the whole Pokérap. He also knew how to play it on his guitar. “Yeah? At least I don’t wear bunny slippers.” Roro mumbled. “First years. Agh.” By then, the two had reached the building of the Teachers’ Apartments. The door was unlocked for situations like these. Well, not exactly like this. Let’s just say it was unlocked for emergencies, which this was (probably) one. “Senpai? Who exactly are we going to tell?” Oliver asked. Whoops. Roro hadn’t thought about that. Gakupo-sensei. He would definitely know what to do. He is exceptionally good at problem solving. Wait. Gakupo hates to be disturbed while he’s sleeping. Roro recalled last year, when Hio had accidentally cut his finger open on Roro’s new pocketknife. They had immediately went to Gakupo for help. He had easily mended Hio’s finger, but he also lectured them for forty-five minutes. He had also used language to that Roro didn’t want Oliver to hear. Probably not the best option. If not Gakupo, than Kaito. Kaito was a nice guy. He’d surly help them. Oh, wait. He wasn’t completely sure, but last time he came to Kaito in the middle of the night, Kaito had been extremely groggy and spacey, which made Roro think he was on sleep meds. Poor guy. Probably shouldn’t disturb him. That left Kiyoteru and Yuezheng-sensei. “Yikes.” Roro muttered under his breath. Kiyoteru was nice, but extremely weird in Roro’s opinion. Yuezheng would surly chew them out. But Yuezheng was a reasonable man, he’d understand, right?There was a fifty percent chance he’d be upset. Especially after what happened the year before when Mikuo dislocated his shoulder roughhousing. The boys had rushed to Yuezheng. He popped Mikuo’s shoulder back into place, but he was extremely disappointed in them, and he would not let them forget it for a long while. Wasn’t there anyone else? Technically, there was. Roro didn’t know the others well enough to disturb them for something so stupid in the middle of the night. “Agh. Fine. Kiyoteru it is.” Roro said pushing the door open. Roro lead Oliver through the quiet halls to the approximate area of Kiyoteru’s apartment. The teachers’ quarters were very nice. The setup was very similar to an actual apartment building in the city. There was baseboards and crown molding. The color scheme was white and gold, like the rest of the school. Paintings hung on the walls all around. Some of them were even painted by the teachers. The soft carpet was a dazzling crimson. Each room was labeled with the teacher that occupied it. Roro had seen an empty room the year before while rushing by. He figured that Kiyoteru probably lived there now because he was new to V Academy. He was right. Kiyoteru’s name was printed on the panel. Drawing in a quick breath, Roro hesitated before softly knocking on the door. After a minute, he knocked again, this time a little harder. The knob jiggled and a tired looking Kiyoteru stood looking strangely at them. He was wearing a white button up shirt, and black sweat pants. His glasses were nowhere to be found. He squinted at the newcomers.“Roro? Oliver? What’s the matter?” He asked rubbing his eyes. Oliver pushed Roro aside. “Umm.” He said shyly. “I had … an accident.” Kiyoteru stared blankly at him. “What?” He asked not understandings what Oliver meant. “An accident.” He repeated. Kiyoteru’s expression remained the same. Sighing loudly, Roro said, “He wet the bed and didn’t know what to do, so he woke me up, and I thought it best if we let a teacher know, so here we are.” Kiyoteru understood that. “Oh. Well… I don’t really know what to do either.” He laughed nervously. “Well, uh, how about we think of a temporary solution for tonight, and take care of it in the morning?” There was a mutual nod. “So, you’re a new teacher here, aren’t you?” Roro asked. Kiyoteru nodded. He told him he was actually fresh out of college, and this was his first teaching job. Roro ran his fingers through his hair. “I thought so.” He paused. “So. What do we do now?” Good question. The three stood clustered together awkwardly in the dimly lit hall, desperately trying to think up something helpful. “I say he sleeps on the floor.” Roro said. That suggestion was quickly discarded. A few other half-decent suggestions were thrown out. This moment could not get anymore awkward. Roro thought. But it could, and it did when Kiyoteru said, “Why don’t you let Oliver-kun sleep in your bed tonight, Roro-kun?” Roro fumed. “No! Never! Not happening! He can just… sleep on the floor or something!” He folded his arms tightly across his chest. Oliver figured this would be his reaction. That was okay. The Little One came prepared. Filling his eyes with forced tears, he began to cry. “Please, Senpai? I’ll never ask anything ever again.” The fake tears trickled down his innocent face. Roro would not let himself fall for the adorable little kid act. He was too strong for that. Kiyoteru, however was not. He took one glance at the poor little boy, and his heart broke. “Roro-kun, how could you be so cold? You would only have to share for one night.” Roro still refused. Remembering the reaction he received upon acting tough, Kiyoteru said,“Not willing to help those in need? Your selfishness is sickening.” His disdainful gaze shattered Roro’s pride. There was only one man who could break Roro’s will like that, and that man was Gakupo. The only difference between Kiyoteru’s reprimanding and Gakupo’s was he didn’t whack him on the head with his hand, or the butt of his wooden sword. He also didn’t call him a ‘brainless maggot’.“Fine!” Roro growled. “But I’m not going to sleep well!”
The boys stood outside the large dormitory building. They had been standing there for a few minutes. Why? Because the doors were locked. It was the kind of lock that lets one exit but not enter. “Well, somebody did not think that through. I don’t remember it like this last year.” Roro said. If the doors were unlocked so the student could leave if they needed help, why were they locked when the student came back? “So, what do we do now, Senpai?” Oliver asked. “I know how to unlock a window from the outside.” Roro said causally. Oliver wondered what that knowledge would be useful for. “We could… bang on the doors until someone lets us in.” Oliver said. Roro visualized that scene. He’d look way too pathetic. Roro had his phone on him. He could just call one of his friends to open the doors for them. Brilliant! “I got an idea.” He said. Oliver listened to the plan in anticipation. “I’ll call one of my boys, and they’ll come down to open the doors for us. Sound good?” Oliver liked the idea, but then they’d have to wake somebody else up, and that would not be very nice. “I don’t know… I don’t want to wake anyone else.” Roro heartily slapped him on the back. “You worry too much! It’ll be fine! I’m sure Hio won’t mind.” Oliver still wasn’t convinced. “Either we call Hio, or I’m breaking a window!” Roro shouted. Oliver reluctantly agreed. “C’mon Hio! Pick up. Pick up!” Roro said while trying to disturb the rest of his friend. “Pick up, dang it!” Dang It, er, Hio picked up. “Roro? Do you know what time it is?” Hio half whispered. Roro assured him he knew exactly what time it was. “The thing is,” He said. “the Little One, uh, Oliver had an accident. And I took him to tell Kiyoteru what happened, and then on the way back we realized the doors are locked on the outside. So… we’re stuck outside.” Hio caught on quickly. “So you need me to come down and let you in?” He asked. “Yes.” He could hear Hio trying to suppress a laugh. “Sure thing.” He said chuckling. “I’ll be there in a minute.” He hung up. Roro sat on the landscaping barrier. “Agh. How embarrassing.” He loudly complained. Oliver sat down next to him. Folding his hands anxiously, he said, “I’m sorry, Senpai. I really should have gone to the bathroom before bed. Now I’ve caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people because I can’t remember to pee.” He said the last sentence extremely seriously, but the words he said made Roro snicker. “Yeah, well bad stuff happens sometimes, and there is nothing we can do to change it.” Roro stared off longingly at the star-flung heavens above. Oliver followed his gaze. “Sometimes I wonder if I could have done anything different.” Roro continued. Oliver was confused. He didn’t know his senpai was referencing the past. “Sometimes I wonder why I’m here. Not the ‘why are any of us here’ thing, me specifically. Why in Tokyo? Why was a born to who I was? What am I supposed to do in life? I can’t be here for no reason at all. That’d be pretty depressing if it was true.” Roro sighed. So many years had these questions burned on his mind. The answer was unclear, perhaps there wasn’t one. There must be. But what? If only he knew. Oliver turned to look at him. Roro’s eyes were full of sadness. “Miz…” he whispered. Oliver’s heart felt a pang of sadness. “I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out someday.” Roro slightly nodded. “Yes, but when?” Oliver did not know how to respond to his inquiry. “Ah. I’m rambling, aren’t I?” Roro said. Oliver managed to say something about how he didn’t mind, and how he rambled too, from time to time. “Oliver.” Roro said turning his attention to his companion. “I’m… I’m really sorry about this morning. You didn’t mean to, it just… happened, ya know? I should not have yelled at you like I did. Do you think… you might be able to forgive me?” Roro blushed. He turned his face away. Oliver smiled warmly. Attaching himself to Roro, he said, “Of course I forgive you!” Roro flinched. “What… what are you doing…?” He tried to pull the little guy off of himself. Like a burr stuck on a shirt, Oliver clung to him. “It’s a hug!” He squealed. Roro ripped off the child encircling his waist. “That’s enough!” He cried. Oliver giggled. Though Roro shoved Oliver away, he was secretly touched by his little buddy’s affection. “Hey! Roro! Oliver!” Hio interrupted shouting from the door. Roro jumped up. He grabbed Oliver’s hand and ran over. “Nii-chan!” Oliver ambushed his brother with a hug. His eyes became wet. “Thanks, man.” Roro said giving his best friend a bro hug. “I totally saved your butt.” Hio said with a laugh. Roro began to protest, but quickly yielded. The three chatted casually while walking to their dorms. Hio made sure his friend and little brother were comfortable before leaving for his own room. He smiled to himself. “I’m glad to see those two are getting along well.” He had seen the apology Roro had given. It had touched his heart. He hoped that maybe, this year would prove beneficial for Roro. Perhaps a year of good change would help to heal his heart. Hio quietly turned the knob. There was no need. Kyo, Wil, and Akira were sitting on Hio’s bed staring at their phones. The lights were off as not to attract attention. Wil leaned over to flip on the lamp. “Well, well. It’s about time. Where have you been?” This was Kyo. “More importantly, what have you been doing?” He asked in accusatory voice. Akira looked up from his phone.
“I bet he was smooching a pretty girl.” Hio closed the door behind him. He shook his head. “I was helping a friend get back inside the building. He had to talk to a teacher about something, and apparently the doors are locked on the outside.” Kyo scoffed. “A friend, eh? It was Roro, wasn’t it?” By the way Hio wasn’t say anything, he could tell he had guessed right. “Why would he go talk to a teacher in the middle of the night?” Akira asked, still scrolling. Kyo began to laugh hysterically. “Oh, Roro! I didn’t know you were so pathetic!” He continued to laugh. “What?! Tell us!” Akira demanded, suddenly more interested in the conversation than his social media. When Kyo had recovered from his outburst, he said, “I always knew he wasn’t nearly as tough as he would have one to believe, but this is wimpy even for him! He must have gone because he’s needs his mommy, but mommy isn’t here, so teacher would have to suffice.” Losing all patients, Akira smacked the device from Kyo’s hands. “Tell us! In Japanese, please!” He yelled. The look on Kyo’s face was hysterical. He was utterly shocked that anyone would talk to him so. “Fine. I heard through the grapevine that Roro confessed his romantic feelings for Mizki, and she rejected him!” He began to laugh once more. “How sad.” Kyo held his stomach. It hurt from laughing so much. “What? Where did you hear this?” Hio asked. Kyo smiled. “Oh? What’s this? His best friend doesn’t know? Huh. Well, we’ve always know he’s had a major crush on her, but he just now found the courage to tell her. It was too late though. She had already developed feelings for another guy. And as for where I heard this from? It was Mizki herself!” Hio gasped. “You don’t mean…” Kyo smirked. “Yes. I’m the one she likes. Couldn’t blame the girl. I amhandsome. I’m also emotionally stable, unlike Roro.” He smoothed back his hair. Wil spoke up. “Roro has been through a lot recently. No wonder he has mood swings. You would too if your father left you.” Wil made a fair point. Kyo disliked anything that sided in Roro’s favor. “ And yet Mizki picked me over him. I wonder why. As for Roro, I bet he was whining to Kamui-sensei. ‘I have such a sucky life. Everyone hates me. Ohhh…’ Ha! I’d hate to be him!” Kyo said trying to impersonate Roro. Hio’s fists tightened. He grimaced. He looked Kyo directly in the eye. “How can you talk as if it’s all just a big joke?” Hio said through slightly clenched teeth. Wil could tell Hio was mad, and if he didn’t intervene, he was going to punch Kyo. “Settle down, you two. It’s late and we’re clearly not thinking straight.” Kyo shrugged. “I’m calm. It’s Hio who has a problem. All I said was Roro is a total loser that even a sweet angel like Mizki could never love. It’s no wonder his father left. I wouldn’t want a daily remainder of what a lameo looks like.” He was quite satisfied with his statement. He wore a smug look on his face. “That’s enough.” Wil said. Hio threw his phone down. “No.” He said walking directly towards Kyo. “You’ve gone too far this time.” Kyo stood up. Their faces were less than five inches from each other. Drawing himself to his full height, Kyo said, “So? It’s not like he’s here anyway.” He scoffed.
It didn’t matter. Hio was not going to let him get away with insulting his friend. While Hio was a gentle spirit, who had no desire to fight, he was extremely loyal. No one who truly cares for their friends would let someone badmouth said friend without defending them. Akira pulled up the camera app on his phone. He was not going to let a fight go down without recording it. Wil stepped back. There was nothing he could do to stop them now. Hio drew in a long breath. “Take back what you said about Roro.” Kyo smiled a devilish smile. “Never.” Again, he tried to defuse the argument without conflict. “Please, Kyo. I really don’t want to fight you, but I will not let you say such things about my friend.” Hio couldn’t hide his nervousness. He had no desire to fight. He would try his hardest to end the conflict without it coming to blows. Hio was determined to stand up for Roro, even if it meant throwing a punch. Kyo could sense his opponents unwillingness to engage in physical fighting. He knew Hio was the type to fight with his words rather than his fists. “Ha. You’re just as pathetic as he is. Come at me!” Kyo’s smirk widened. Hio didn’t move. “Well, if you’re too scared I’m sure we could end this with you groveling at my feet for mercy.” The color drained from Hio’s face. He knew what he must do. Without another word, Hio swung his fist into Kyo’s eye. The force of the punch knocked Kyo back a couple steps. He put a hand to his eye. “You little…” He stopped himself short. Throwing himself forward, Kyo rammed Hio into the wall. Hio threw another punch, harder than the last, but this time, Kyo was ready. He caught it before it made contact. He grabbed Hio’s wrist and twisted it until it began to make a horrible cracking noise. Kyo yanked Hio’s arms around his back, slowly pulling them tighter together. “Give up. It’s obvious who’s going to win.” Hio struggled for awhile, eventually pulling himself free. He swung around to face his opponent. Kyo grabbed Hio’s arm, throwing him to the ground. He tried to catch himself, but his arms gave way. He couldn’t push himself up. Kyo laid his foot on Hio’s chest. “I win, you pathetic loser.” He gloated in triumph. In one last attempt to win the fight, Hio grabbed Kyo’s leg, desperately trying to move it away. In one swift movement, Kyo kicked his hand away, and stomped on it with his foot. It was then that a defining shatter was heard. The bone in Hio’s wrist snapped in two. He winced. An intense pain stole into his wrist. Hio cried out. Realizing what was happening, Kyo immediately removed his foot. “Dang!” Akira said, still recording. Wil ran to Hio’s side. He helped him into a sitting position. “Akira.” He said calmly. Akira knew exactly what he wanted. He held Hio up while Wil examined his wrist. “Agh.” Hio grunted when Wil tried to bend it. The truth was undeniable. Hio’s left wrist was broken, and some of the cartilage had been torn. “What do we do?” Akira asked, his voice trembling. He looked down at Hio, who was writhing in pain in his arms. His teeth were clenched, and his eyes were shut tight. A bead of sweat ran down his pale face. He was trying very hard to maintain steady breathing. “I’m… sorry, Roro.” Hio whispered. “You all stay here, I’ll get Kaito.” Kyo said, flinging open the door. The remaining two helped Hio into his bed. He weakly thanked them for their assistance. Hio’s wound brought him an immense amount of pain. He tried to focus on his breathing, but his mind began to wander. How could Kyo be so selfish? Mizki was Roro’s entire life. He loved her more than Kyo ever could. What had happened to make those two old friends hate each other so much? Come to think of it, their relationship had changed overnight. One day, friends, and the next, fierce enemies. What was even more odd, was Kyo hated Roro’s guts, but didn’t mind any other of the A.O.H. members. Did Kyo actually like Mizki, or was she just another way to make Roro jealous? “Strange…” He whispered. The next moment, he was fast asleep. Even in his own suffering, Hio worried about Roro when he really should have been worrying about himself. He was a loyal friend no matter what happened.