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Hey! I plan on using this space to post my VOCALOID fanfic. It’s called V ACADEMY, a story about a school for Vocalsynth characters.

Prologue

V Academy, a prestigious establishment built around the love and teaching of music. For many years V Academy has sculpted and perfected many young aspiring singers and musicians into well-rounded, bright burning shining stars. In addition, V Academy provides a first class learning experience for those who wish to become voice actors and actresses. Although our institution specializes in music, students will learn basic education that one would receive from a fine private school. Our teachers are experienced singers, dancers, and musicians themselves. The enriching extracurriculars provide ways for students to express themselves through other forms of art. Students will enjoy luxurious dormitory rooms, pre-furnished with comfortable fixtures. Delectable meals are provided three times a day, with snacks available between. V Academy is bringing the future of music today.

Chapter One

An Eventful Beginning

Fifteen year-old Asaki Yuraika carefully stepped down off the last step of the bus. She shielded her sapphire blue eyes with her hand to block out the hot summer sun. She peered at the large, grand building that lay before her in the distance, past the looming brick wall and iron gates. The night before, she had been wondering what V Academy might look like, and when standing before it, she realized it was as beautiful as she thought it would be, with a gigantic castle like building of brownish grey stone. The massive iron gates stood wide open in an inviting, yet slightly intimidating way. If the outside was this stunning, then the inside must be magnificent. She remembered the excitement she felt when she received a generous scholarship enabling her to attend. Remembering that made her happy and excited, because this was her first step toward becoming the singer she’d always dreamed of being. Her parents and teachers had given so much in getting her in, that she had been afraid of going at first, because she didn’t want to mess up and disappoint them. Though she was nervous, she wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of her dream. She took a deep breath, and began to take a step toward the building and her goal when something heavy fell on her from behind, knocking her over. “Ouch… there were three steps not two.” The something that fell on her was a someone! Noticing they were sprawled on top of Yuraika, they jumped up. Yuraika sat up. A girly looking youth stood looking down at her with a horrified look on their face. “I am so, so, sorry!” They said bowing. Yuraika shook her head. “It’s okay. Are you hurt anywhere?” The youth looked surprised. “Yeah. I’m fine. Just a little shook up. Are you?”Yuraika nodded. The youth held out their thin hand. She took it and they pulled her up. Yuraika noticed the youth’s large round eyes, one was blue, the other was green. They had long eyelashes. Their hair was short, bobbed, and white with a large ahoge on the top of the head that was oddly shaped like a ‘p’. They were very slender and of short stature. Wow. Yuraika thought. She’s super cute. “I’m Utatane Piko.” They said.

“Utatane?” Yuraika asked. “The king of enka?” Utatane Piko nodded. “Mmhmm! I’m his son!” Son. Meaning a boy. “You’re a boy?!” She accidentally blurted out. Utatane Piko sighed. “Yup.” Yuraika quickly bowed. “I’m very sorry! I thought you were a girl…” Utatane Piko laughed nervously. “It happens a quite a bit. I take after my mother. A lot. So… yeah. You know what? You still haven’t told me your name.” Yuraika was very thankful he changed the subject. “I’m Asaki Yuraika. I’m fifteen, and from Hokkaido.”

Utatane Piko’s face lit up. “You’re from Hokkaido?! Me too!” He paused for half a second, took a deep breath and said, “I’m thirteen, I love to dance, but not the dances I’m supposed to, I like just about any fast pace dance there is, my favorite color is teal, though I reeeeaaaalllly like white. Do you like muffins? I feel like their just cheap knockoffs of cupcakes. Anyway! If I ever get a pet, it would be a mouse! I looooove mice, I’d get a white one and name him Chupiko or something. And…”

While Utatane Piko spoke clearly, and without an accent, his speech was two times as fast as the average person. Yuraika smiled kindly. She couldn’t help but think he was the slightest bit annoying, even though she knew he wasn’t trying to be. So she stood there awkwardly, listening to him ramble on about nothing. After what seemed to be hours, he said, “Yuraika is such a mouthful. Can I call you Yu-chi?”

“Chi?” She thought. “Isn’t that what girls call each other? That’s kind of cute.”

She said, “I like it. Yu-chi it is.” She smiled warmly. Utatane Piko, in turn smiled a large goofy grin. “And you can call me Uta Piko! Yay! We both have nicknames now!”

At that moment, Yuraika felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around to see a tall, dark haired man with silver wire framed glasses, and kind brown eyes.

“Do you girls need help with your bags?”

Yuraika gasped. “Ki…Kiyoteru-san?!”

The man looked closely at her. “Yuraika-chan. It’s really you. What are you doing here? Ha. That’s a stupid question. You must be a new student.”

Uta Piko grabbed Kiyoteru’s hand. “I’m Utatane Piko! Nice ta meet ya, Kiyo-tan! I’m a boy, by the way.” Kiyoteru smiled nervously. “Nice to meet you as well. I am Hiyama Kiyoteru, the ninth grade math teacher.”  The three stood in awkward silence for a few minutes, then Uta Piko said,”What kind of food does this place have, ‘cause I’m reeeeaaaaallllly hungry? Oh! Why don’t ya take me on a grand tour of the place! It’ll be fun! Teacher student bonding time! Well, technically your not my teacher, close enough.” He grabbed Kiyoteru’s hand and pulled him towards the school. “Will you show me? Please?” Kiyoteru looked longingly over his shoulder at Yuraika. “Have you had a look around the school, yet?” He asked. She nodded. “Yuraika, please meet me in room 103 tonight at eight. It’s concerning your after school club-“ Uta Piko cut Kiyoteru off saying, “C’mon! Let’s go!” Kiyoteru grinned sheepishly, as if to say, “Sorry. I’ll explain later.” Of course he couldn’t say this because Uta Piko dragged him away too soon. Yuraika chuckled. Kiyoteru definitely had his hands full. And Uta Piko was definitely going to be a troublemaker.

Yuraika had wasted no time in handling the duties of a boarding school student. After she had finished checking in, she decided it would be a good idea to familiarize herself with the main building and girls’ dorm. Yuraika possessed a soft, beautiful voice that when she sang, her listeners hearts would soften at every sweet note. She was walking around the school, humming while looking for where orientation would be held. She had gotten distracted early on and had taken a wrong turn. She ended up in a place she hadn’t seen in the tour she took a couple weeks ago. A sign next to one of the many doors in a row read, “Recording Room. Staff only.” At that she knew she was in the technical part of the building. The many doors were attached to rooms with everything in them from electric guitars to speakers and sound equipment. The technical wing was reserved for staff and privileged students only. If Yuraika was caught there, she could get in a fair amount of trouble. Realizing this, Yuraika desperately searched the walls for a map of the school. To her great frustration, all the wall hangings were old posters of some famous guitarist or something of the sort. She was reading one of the previously mentioned posters when she heard a faint sound of music coming from nearby. Interested, she followed the sound down many more labyrinth like hallways until she stopped in front of a white door with a glass window. She peered through to see a group of students playing instruments. She quickly recognized the song to be the famed Niki’s Logic Agent. They played it so beautifully, she couldn’t help but sing along.

“Ame ni togirete ima kimi no kokoro o tsungau oto…” When she reached ‘koe’ she felt a tap on her shoulder. She immediately stopped. Yuraika slowly turned around to see a tall, thin boy about two years older than her grinning. He had short bright pink hair, and a black beanie. He shoved his lean hands into his jacket’s pockets and said, “I’m not in the mood to give autographs.” She stood there looking puzzled for a second before he broke into a hearty laugh saying, “I’m just kidding. You’re not a fangirl, are you? It doesn’t matter. You have a lovely voice. We could always use another vocalist. Do you play any instruments?” Yuraika slightly nodded. “Piano.” The boy knocked on the door. The music stopped, and a girl with long pink hair opened it. She perked up when she saw him. “Roro! You’re here! Where were you?” The boy called Roro shrugged. The girl gestured toward Yuraika. “Who’s this?” Roro opened his mouth to speak, but then stopped. “What is your name?” The pink haired girl sighed. “Um. I’m Asaki Yuraika. Nice to meet you…?” She wasn’t quite sure what to call them, so she left it at ‘you’. “I’m Roro. This is my girlfriend, Mizki.” Mizki frowned. “Girlfriend? And tell her your surname. Don’t be rude.” Roro let out a long sigh. “Fine. I’m Katsumei Roro.” From the way Mizki rolled her eyes, Yuraika could tell that Katsumei probably wasn’t his actual surname. Mizki ushered the two into the room. The inside would have impressed any tech nerd. There were massive speakers in the front and back of the room. There was amps and stationary mics on top of a small black stage. There was even a drum set surrounded by a drum screen. Mizki whistled and the other band members gathered around her. “Asaki-san, these are the fellow members of our group.” She pointed to a long pale pink haired girl. “This IA, well technically that’s her nickname, but yeah, she’s the secondary vocalist.” IA blushed. “This is Flower, our drummer.” She said pointing to a girl in all purple. “Mikuo is our keyboardist, and Hio is our lead bassist.” Hio grabbed Yuraika’s hand and kissed it. “A pleasure to meet you, Yuraika-san.” He said. Yuraika blushed. “Please, call me Yu-chan.” Mikuo shoved Hio aside. “Don’t mind him. He’s weird.” “Being polite is not weird.” Hio glared at Mikuo. To Yuraika he said, “I can bow if you’d prefer.” She shook her head. Roro shoved both Mikuo and Hio aside. “I’m the lead vocalist and guitarist. Miz is the lead female vocalist.” Yuraika bowed. “Nice to meet you all. Um, I do have one question. Who are you guys?” Mizki once again sighed. “Roro! I thought you told her! Sorry, Yu-chan. We are the legendary group, ACE OF HEARTS!” When she said ‘ACE OF HEARTS’ the six members threw their fists in the air. Roro waved his hand, and the six formed a circle. They began talking in low voices. Occasionally one of them would look up at her. Yuraika took a step back. She didn’t dare break up whatever this was. Eventually they all turned to face her. “So, Roro says you can sing. Let’s see what you got.” Said Mikuo. Hio pushed Mikuo aside. “What he means and should have said is, ‘Roro said he overheard you singing on his way in, and he was telling us how good you are. We’d like to hear for ourselves if that’s okay with you.’ Sorry about him.” While Yuraika’s face remained pleasant, she was thinking about how weird they people were. “Umm.” She said. “I guess I could if you’d like, you are my senpais.” The band picked up their instruments. Roro did a quick check of his electric guitar, then asked, “Do you know the lyrics to -ERROR?” She bobbed her head ‘yes’. He quickly glanced around the room. “Everyone ready?” Mizki handed Yuraika her microphone. Yuraika took a deep breath. “Ready.” She was very confused and a bit nervous, but when Roro gave her a thumbs up, she felt all her troubling emotions disappear. “Alright.” Roro said. “Ichi, ni, san, shi.” At the exact moment he said ‘shi’, they began to play. Yuraika took one last deep breath, then began to sing. “Mieru? kono me no namida. inochi no iro ni nijinde iru. nani wo nokoshite ataeta? toikakete tsuburet…”

When they reached the second chorus, Roro and Mizki joined in. Yuraika poured her heart out into each note. The smile she wore on her face was positively angelic. The others could feel the emotion radiating of of her, fueling there own playing. Anyone listening would have been fully entranced by the raw beauty and passion of the music they played. “…ERROR.” Roro handed Mizki his guitar and walked over to Yuraika. “That was amazing, Yuraika-chan!” Mizki nodded. “Your passion is contagious.” Mikuo slapped her on the back. “That was sick!” “You are right for once, Roro. It was good.” Said someone from the door. Roro grimaced as he looked toward the direction of the speaker, knowing full well who it was. “What do you want, Kyo?” He said roughly. Kyo and five others stepped into the room. Kyo started at Yuraika a minute before asking , “You’re new here, aren’t you?” Yuraika opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a one of Kyo’s accomplices. “Of course she’s new! Why would anyone who knew that punk want to hang with him?” Mikuo clenched his fists. “Any more of that talk, and you’ll be hanging!” Mikuo had a nasty tendency to start fights. Roro placed a firm hand on Mikuo’s shoulder. “You’re better than that. Kyo, I’ll ask you again nicely one more time. What do you want?” Kyo completely ignored Roro’s inquiry and walked straight toward Yuraika. He looked her up and down. “You’re as pretty as your voice is. I don’t mince words, so I’m going to ask you straight; how would you like to be a part of our group?” His friends waved. “We’re the fiercest rock band by the name of ZOLA BlacK Yuki ArroWs. This is Lily, Yuu, Wil, Galaco, and Merli.” As he said each name , the person bearing that name stepped forward. Yuraika stiffly bowed. “Hello. I’m Asaki Yuraika. Um. Being in a band would be cool, but I’m not sure if it’s for me…” Mikuo chimed in saying, “Besides, she doesn’t know you. If she’s going to join a band, it’s going to be ACE OF HEARTS!” The boy called Yuu laughed hysterically. Mikuo took a quick step forward. Hio grabbed his arm. He knew Mikuo intended to do something that would make the situation much worse. Lily pushed past Yuu. “If we want her to join, we  have to show her we’re worth it.” The band made their way up the small stage. They grabbed the ACE OF HEARTS members’ instruments from their hands. Kyo took Roro’s guitar with a forceful yank. Roro scowled, then gave the command for his mates to vacate the stage. Yuraika heard Mizki mutter “Jerks.”while they stood together on the side of the room by the door. “Alright Yuraika, get ready to be impressed!” Kyo said enthusiastically. Mikuo snickered. “I highly doubt it.” They began to play Niki’s song ARROW, which made sense because they were called ZOLA BlacK Yuki ArroWs. They preformed so well, Mikuo bit his lip until it started to bleed, Hio’s gaze was fixed to the floor, IA and Flower exchanged sad glances, Mizki clenched her fists, and Roro put a hand to his face. When Kyo sang the word ‘Arrow’, he winked at Yuraika. ZOLA finished as strong as they started, with a perfect fade out. Every note they had hit was flawless, and beautiful. When they had finished, Lily said, “Fabulous, right? We’re the real deal, Asaki-san, as you can see. Or hear, I should say.” Mikuo wiped his lip. “As if she’d want to hang with jerks! She’s not stupid!” Yuu stuck out his tung. “Nah, but you are, Mikuo.” Hio restrained Mikuo from tearing Yuu to pieces. Letting out a long sigh, Roro nodded toward Yuraika. “Do what you like, Yuraika-san.” She looked in the boy’s eyes. They were filled with sadness and regret. She quickly looked away, not being able to handle the raw emotion. Yuraika shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I must decline your invitation.” Her response had sent all present onto a state of great shock. All stood silently for quite some time. Lily broke the silence saying, “That’s fine. If you change your mind, let me know.” The group excepted the loss surprisingly well. The six bowed and headed for the door. Kyo stopped suddenly within two feet of the exit. “Yuraika, why won’t you join us? I’m just curious.” Yuraika thought long before answering. “I’m not ready for such a responsibility yet. I’m sorry, Senpai.” When they all had gone, Roro said, “Thank you.” Though she didn’t understand, she could tell he was truly touched. Mizki gave her a big hug. “That was so nice of you!” Hio’s face resumed being serious. “If you won’t join ZOLA, will you join us?” Roro spoke up. “I did bring you here to ask you that. Yu-chan, how would you like to be the newest member of ACE OF HEARTS?” Yuraika gasped. He wanted her to join their group? From what she heard, these teens were young prodigy musicians. She stood in awe for several moments until Hio said, “Are you in?” Yuraika shook her head. “As much as I would love to, I’m going to decline. I’m a new student, and I have no idea what to expect this year. I’m really sorry.” Roro grabbed her hands. “It’s okay. I understand. Think about it, though. If you change your mind, there is always a place for you.” He smiled warmly at her, but something in his eyes seemed the slightest bit sad. From what she could sense, he wasn’t necessarily sad about her declining, but something else much deeper. He realized she was staring at him oddly, so he decided to change the subject. “You better get out of here before Ann finds you. You do NOT want to deal with her. Especially now. She’s a beast when she’s stressed. Do you know how to find your way out?” Yuraika shook her head “no”. Mizki spoke up. “I’ll show you. Have you stopped by your dorm yet?” Again Yuraika replied “no”. Mizki gestured Yuraika to follow her. “You are welcome to come and listen to us practice any time.” Hio said.

Mizki lead Yuraika thorough the many twisting halls, talking as they walked. When Yuraika asked who were those people, Mizki rolled her eyes. “They are our direct rivals. We knew them back in middle school before we started the band. We were all great friends. When Roro formed ACE, he asked everyone in our friend group to join but those six. I never knew why. He didn’t tell me. After we became an official group, Kyo began to play out his plan of revenge. That year our school had a talent show. The winning group would be given a chance to preform for a major music company. Of course we entered. We practiced everyday after school for months until the day of the event. Roro had picked out our favorite song to preform at the competition. We asked ZOLA what song they would be singing to make sure we didn’t pick the same. They told us they were going to preform Niki’s REVERSE. So we chose FIRST. On the fateful night, we were scheduled to go right after ZOLA. We wished them luck, like any friend would. Well, they didn’t need it. They blew the judges away with our song. That’s right, they sang FIRST. We were devastated. ‘How could they betray us?’ Was the question we asked ourselves. We had no other choice but to preform our second best song, Jitter Doll. Our hearts were not in that performance. We lost miserably. After the competition, Roro went to confront Kyo. I don’t what was said, he won’t even tell me. All I know is Roro came back with a black eye, and a newfound rivalry.” Her last sentence was quieter than the last. Her gaze was fixed upon the floor. Even recalling the memory seemed to be too painful, so Yuraika decided it would be best to change the subject. “I’m assigned to room 357, How about you?” Mizki chuckled nervously. “I don’t really know. Which is sad because I’ve had the same room for a year now.” When the girls had reached the end of that hallway, Mizki opened the door leading to an exquisite garden. Yuraika gasped. The garden was so lush and green. Tall cherry blossom trees stood high in the air, a gentle breeze caressing the leaves, and her soft brown hair. Green bushes lined up and down the school. The sun was bright and warm. An assortment of flowers grew at the base of the trees.

The air was sweet and fresh. While every plant was pristine, the natural beauty of wild botanical life still showed. A bird sat on a skinny branch, chirping happily.

“Isn’t that cute?” Yuraika thought. “Even the birds are lovely.” In one quick swoop, the bird from the tree landed on her shoulder. “Eep!” She shrieked. “It’s one me!”

Mizki burst out laughing. Yuraika held out her arm. The little bird hopped down to her finger, where he decided to perch. She stroked his little head with her other hand. “Twee! Tweee!” He chirped. Out of nowhere a young boy ran near by  shouting, “James! James! Where did you fly off too?!” He looked off suddenly to the left and accidentally ran into Mizki. The unexpected opposition, surprised the boy, knocking him over. He laid there for a minute, startled. When he recovered his wits, he looked up at Mizki’s extended hand. He took it and said, “I’m very sorry, ma’am.” He spoke quietly, and with a British accent. He stood brushing off his clothes. Yuraika noticed his feet were bare of any shoes or socks. “Have you seen a bright yellow bird with brown wings and a brown head? He’s my pet, James, and he’s missing.” Yuraika held out her finger with the bird on it. “Is this him?” Noticing Yuraika for the first time, he looked right past her at the little bird. “James! There you are you little troublemaker!” The bird apparently named James flew to land on the boy’s shoulder. The bird affectionately pecked his cheek. “Thank you for finding my James. I’m Oliver!” He stuck out his hand to her.

Unfamiliar with the action, she stared at him oddly. He smiled wide. “Hold out your hand, when I grab it, you shake it like this.” He grabbed his other hand and shook it. She hesitantly grabbed his hand, and shook it like she was instructed. “See? There you go! You’re a natural!” His smile widened. Yuraika said, “Oliver. That’s a British name, right?” He nodded. “That’s right. Japanese is not my first language. I’m actually from Britain. My family moved to Japan about five years ago.” Knowing that explained the hand shaking. “Isn’t it just lovely out here?” He said staring off into the distance. Yuraika nodded. It was lovely. When Oliver turned to look at her, she noticed the bandage over his left eye. “Oliver-kun! Your eye! Is it alright?” He put a hand to it. “Oh. Yeah. It’s just a little irritated. Thank you for asking.” He smiled weakly. Mizki nudged Yuraika as if to say, “We really need to be going.” She bowed and said, “We must be leaving, now.” Oliver withered. “Alright. Before you go, can I at least know your names?” Whoops. They had forgotten to introduce themselves. You can imagine how stupid they felt in that moment. Mizki recovered first. “I’m Mizki, and this is Yuraika. You can call her Yu-chan if you want.” Oliver perked back up. “Hello, Mizki and Yu-chan! Don’t be rude, James. Say hello.” No matter what Oliver said, James would not chirp. “Sorry about him. He’s got a mind of his own.” Yuraika and Mizki looked at each other and giggled.

When the two had arrived at dorm 357, Yuraika set down the bag she had been carrying full of clothes and other things you might find in a girl’s luggage, like hair ties and a favorite stuffed toy. She lightly knocked on the door. A girl with pretty, long twin braid tails quickly opened it. “Konichiwaaa! You must be Asaki-chi! Come in!~♪” Startled, Yuraika just stood there staring. Mizki once again nudged her. The girl grabbed her hand and pulled her inside. The dorm room was spacious, with tall ceilings and a (probably fake) crystal chandelier. On the two horizontal walls were a row of two beds. On the far side vertical wall was a couch and coffee table. On the opposite vertical wall was a large wardrobe. Two other girls were busily unpacking their belongings. One said, “They expect us to share one wardrobe? I’m not sure all of my own things can fit.” The girl from the door whistled. “Hey, you two! Come same hi to Asaki-chi!” The girls immediately stopped what they were doing and ran over. “Hello.” Said a small girl softly. “I’m Yuzuki Yukari. Nice to meet you.” The girl from the door said, “I’m Kizuna Akari! Call me Akari-chi!” The smallest girl whispered her name. “Meika Mikoto.” Yuraika introduced herself. Akari pointed toward the direction of an empty bed. “That one’s yours.” She said. Mizki waved from the doorway, and was off. Yuraika set her bag on the bed, and began to unpack. Besides clothing, she brought with her a diary and a couple framed pictures of her friends and family. One of the pictures was of her, Kiyoteru, her brother. That one was her personal favorite. Akari was hastily hanging up posters everywhere she could. Over her bed, over the other girls’ beds, next to the couch, any available wall space. The ceiling was slanted on the outside wall, so she could easily hang them there. Yuraika stared at the one which was hanging above her head. It was of a famous idol boy by the name of Kagamine Len. He was immensely popular among girls age eleven to fifteen. The poster featured him winking and blowing a kiss in the direction of the viewer. She shook her head disapprovingly. She wasn’t much for his type. She thought them to be charismatic and flirty, characteristics she didn’t care for too much. She peered across the room at poor Mikoto’s poster. It was of a whole group of idol boys. Mikoto grinned sheepishly at it. Something told Yuraika that Mikoto didn’t mind in the least. Akari set up a speaker on the coffee table. She synced her phone to the speaker, and it began to blare kz’s song, Satisfaction. The four of them spontaneously wink at each other before breaking out into song. When the song finishes, they start laughing hysterically. They laughed so long and hard their sides hurt. That small gesture lead them to become great friends. It didn’t take long for the girls to make their room home. Posters lined the walls, framed pictures inhabited side tables, stuffed buddies sat atop pillows, books, manga and magazines lined the bookshelf, glow in the dark star stickers stuck to the ceiling. The four looked over their new home with great satisfaction. Suddenly, Yukari’s stomach rumbled. She turned as red as a ripe strawberry. Akari glanced at the Hello Kitty analog clock Mikoto had brought. The time read 1:30 p.m. No wonder she was hungry! It was lunchtime! “I’m starved!” Akari said. “Let’s get some food!” She grabbed Yuraika by the hand. “C’mon everyone! Let’s go!”

The three followed her to the school’s cafeteria. The cafeteria was spacious, with four rows of ten benches. The front half was a long line of counter filled with all kinds of delicious looking food. For a cafeteria, it was very elegant and decorated. An oversized real crystal chandelier protruded from the ceiling. Grand windows decorated the outside wall. From those windows hung long, heavy, red curtains. The floor was of a polished white marble. The four girls quickly got in line. A woman-sized man with tired eyes stood behind the counter. “…Can I help you girls…?” He asked. Akari nodded. “I’m Akari, and I’d like one of those delicious looking bentos.” The man nodded. “Sure. For you?” He said looking at Yuraika. “Um. How about a yogurt?” He nodded again. While handing Akari her lunch, he gestured in Yuraika’s direction saying, “You should really eat something else too. The last thing you want is to stunt your growth. Trust me.” He gave Yuraika her yogurt and a rice ball. “Eat this as well.” That was a very nice gesture. She smiled at him. “Thank you, Hokaze-san.” She said reading his name tag. “What a strange girl.” He thought to himself as she walked away. Yuraika and her newfound friends sat to one side of one of the long benches. Akari chattered away about her friends and hobbies, and how cute some boy was. She started a argument by stating her opinion on who she thought was the cutest of the idol boys. Each girl had wildly different opinions. Other girls overheard their conversation and decided to join in. Fifteen minutes later, half of those who were in the hall, were crammed around Akari. Eventually, to see the results of who was most popular, they split into groups. Yuraika didn’t participate. She didn’t really care for that kind of thing. Akari decided if she didn’t want to participate, she could be the judge. Yuraika reluctantly counted each member of each group. “The winner is Kagamine Len.” She said with a sigh. After hearing the results, the crowd thinned down to the original size. Akari puffed out her cheeks. “Don’t get me wrong, Len’s adorable, but he just can’t beat Zhiyu Moke.” Mikoto scoffed. “Moke? No way! He’s so… Moke.” They chatted a bit longer before they were suddenly interrupted by the loudspeaker. “This is your vice principal Leon speaking. At 4:00 p.m. we ask all students to gather in the auditorium for orientation. Thank you.” Yukari leaped up. “Eep! I completely forgot I have to speak with Kaito-sensei! Sorry to run out on you like this!” For a girl in a hurry, she didn’t walk all that fast. Yuraika wondered why she didn’t break out into a sprint. Yukari accidentally bumped into a boy approaching their table on her way out. The boy stopped in front of Yuraika. “Hey.” He said smiling. Akari and Mikoto gave each other a look of pure excitement. “Hello?” Yuraika said a bit confused. He chuckled. “I heard your not a fan. Anything I can do to change your opinion on me?” Still a bit lost, Yuraika said, “I’m sorry, who are you?” Mikoto and Akari replied in unison. “Kagamine Len!!!” To complete the picture, they squealed loudly. “Oh.” Was all Yuraika could manage to say. Len kept on grinning. “Yup. That’s me. So, tell me. What is it you dislike about me?” Yuraika shrugged. She was still in shock. “Um. Well, I’m not really into idol boys.” He shook his head. “I can tell that’s not it. So what is it really?”

She didn’t answer. “I know what it is!” He said. “You just don’t know me yet.” “That’s wrong.” She thought. “I know you, and you aren’t someone to be adored.” She did not say this, though. That wouldn’t be very nice. Len cleared his throat. “You’ve got me at a disadvantage. You know my name, but I still don’t know yours.” She stood and bowed. When she did, her silky brown hair swayed with her movement. Len watched admiringly. She was the picture of beauty. She had a lovely face, innocent sapphire eyes, and a kind smile. Everything about her was completely stunning. Except for one thing. Sitting atop her head was a large, awkward ahoge. No matter what she did, brush it, use gel, cut it short, the ahoge was always there. She tried repeatedly to get rid of it, but to no avail. One day she decided just to live with it. “I’m Asaki Yuraika.” She said. Len in turn bowed back. “You look more like a Yu-chan to me. I think that’s what I’ll call you.” She frowned. He turned to look at the other two girls. “Hi.” Akari squealed again. Mikoto gave Len the death glare. “Yu-chan.” He said turning back to face her. “Yes?” She asked. Len smiled. “I just wanted to see if you’d respond.” She had fallen for it. He was too good. “If you’d like, I can call you Yuraika-chan.” He said sticking out his lower lip. “No. Yu-chan is fine.” She said smiling. Akari sprang up. “It’s 3:55! The auditorium is on the other side of the building!” She said exaggerating a bit. At the news, Len grabbed Yuraika’s hand. “We better run if we don’t wanna be late!” He took off with Yuraika stumbling behind him, and Akari and Mikoto on his heels. No running was clearly in the school rules. Hokaze Natsuki  tried to point this out as the four ran past him. “Rules say no running.” He sighed as he was completely ignored. “Why do I even care? *sigh* I need a nap… and something to kill this darn headache.”

Orientation had just started when Len threw open the large doors to the auditorium. The whole congregation turned to stare at the newcomers. A tall man standing on the stage said, “So glad you could join us. Please, take a seat.” Yuraika walked stiffly behind Len, who was blowing kisses to everyone. When the group was seated, the man continued. “I am Vice Principal Leon, and this lovely lady is our beloved secretary, Lola.” Yuraika listened intently, while Len’s mind began to wander. While he had never attended a school orientation before, let alone V Academy’s orientation, he thought he knew exactly what was going to be said, so why should he bother listening to something he already knew? He was thinking this when the notion of playing on his phone instead popped into his unengaged mind. Believing this to be a great idea, he whipped out his phone, and loaded up his favorite app game. Not being satisfied enough with this, he decided to listen to music instead, so he stealthily took out his wireless earbuds, and quickly shoved them in his ears. No one would notice, right? That was not the case.

Someone noticed within the first five minutes. Yuraika nudged him. She was trying very hard to get him to pay attention to the speech, so he wouldn’t get into trouble. He completely ignored her. On the subject of someone noticing, Kaito, the PE teacher saw him. He was seated one row behind Len. When the room is setup like a lecture hall with bleacher like seating, it’s easy to tap on the person in front if you’s shoulder. That is exactly what Kaito did. He planned on taping a couple times and saying, “Knock it off, or I’ll take your phone away.” He didn’t get the opportunity to say this because, after the first tap, (which Len was not expecting) he jumped up and screamed. Once more, everyone turned to look at Len. Kaito was horrified. He was not expecting Len to react so strongly. Len turned to look at him and said, “Dude! What the heck?!” Kaito pointed down at Len’s phone and said, “Put that away.” He did what he was told, but not with a great attitude. He mumbled as he did so. Noticing people were watching him, he grinned widely. “Sorry for interrupting. I have to say though, I have a very melodic scream.” Yuraika hid her face. Of all the students in the building, she had to be sitting next to him. How embarrassing.

When orientation was finished, the students were instructed to make their way to the dining hall for dinner. As they exited the auditorium, they were each handed a list of after school clubs to join. There were many options to choose from. Anything from Track and Field to Theater. Yuraika pondered what club to join, while she and her new friends ate dinner of pot roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans, an extremely exotic spread compared to what she usually ate. Thankfully for Yuraika, Len sat at another table, far from where she was. Unfortunately for Yuraika, Uta Piko decided to sit with her. At least he was less annoying than Len. If there was one thing Utatane Piko was unbeaten at, it was talking. He only took three breaths the whole time they ate. Mikoto counted. It was amazing how he could finish talking about one thing, and have something else to talk about immediately after. He chatted for a while after the girls had finished eating. Eventually, Natsuki walked over saying, “Hey. You guys need to leave. This place has got to be cleaned, and that can’t be done if you’re still dirtying it up.” He said cutting Uta Piko off mid sentence. The girls quickly stood up. Uta Piko moaned. “Awwwww. We were having a good tiiiiiiime.” He whined. Natsuki raised an eyebrow. “Get!” Uta Piko begrudgingly joined the girls who were already halfway out of the door. “Wait!” He yelled, running after them. Natsuki scowled. “Brats. They wear me out. No wonder I’m tired. Well, that and the amount of sleep I get.”

“103.” Yuraika read off the sign next to the door. She had been casually reading a magazine on her fluffy bed, when she happened to glance up at the Hello Kitty analog clock. The time read 7:50. She looked back down at the brightly colored glossy pages. Then it hit her like a sack full of rocks. Kiyoteru-san had asked her to meet him at eight! She sprang up, flinging the magazine onto her bed. Yukari opened her mouth to speak, but before she could say a word, Yuraika said, “I’ve got to meet with someone. Be back soon!” And with that, she slammed the door behind her. “What was that about?” Akari asked. The three shrugged simultaneously. Yuraika had managed to make it only a couple minutes late. She carefully turned the knob. When she opened the door, what she saw on the other side was unexpected. Uta Piko, Roro, Oliver, Len, Kiyoteru, and a boy she didn’t know sat in a semicircle on metal folding chairs. The room was small and box shaped. It was almost like it used to be a janitorial lounge. All present looked up to stare at her. “Sorry I’m late.” She said. Kiyoteru jumped up. “No worries. This is what I wanted to talk to you about earlier.” He said looking a bit worn out. Poor Kiyoteru. Uta Piko must have drained all his energy with his neediness. Kiyoteru rubbed his eyes. “The reason I asked you to meet me is, well, you six were selected to be members of V Academy’s  experimental Problem Club. The club is designed to help students work through the stress of school life away from home, by forming friendships and familial bonds.” Roro chuckled. “Sounds like a load of crap, if you ask me.” Uta Piko and Len snickered. Kiyoteru shook his head. “It’s not. Teens struggle with life and school in the comfort of those familiar and loved, and suddenly, they are all alone with the same amount of stress with no support from friends or family.” Oliver wilted. Yuraika thought he might cry. He didn’t though. It took a lot from the young boy to hold it back. Kiyoteru gestured to an empty seat next to Roro. “Please sit.” She did. Kiyoteru cleared his throat. “Alright. Tonight we will be discussing the ‘rules’ if you will, and introducing ourselves. Let’s start with the earlier. We will meet every night at eight o’clock. In the way of rules, besides the school rules, I ask that you be respectful to each other. That is all.” Uta Piko excitedly threw his fist in the air. “Yeah! No rules!” “That’s not right. There still are rules. Just not as many as one would expect.” Oliver chimed in. Uta Piko repeated the previously stated motion. “Yeah! Not as many rules as one would expect!” Roro sighed loudly. “For introduction,” Kiyoteru continued. “Each of you are required to say your name, age, hobby, best friend.” Uta Piko immediately raised his hand. “I wanna go first!” He shouted. “I’m Utatane Piko, I’m thirteen years old, I love to dance, my favorite style of dancing is Japanese, I absolutely hate On Point ballet, the Tango is fun, the Chicken Dance is awesome, and by best friend is… ummm… Piko? Sekihan? Both! We’ll go with that! Oh! Yu-chi too!” He nodded emphatically. He turned to Oliver who was seated next to him. Oliver took a deep breath. “I’m Oliver. I’m twelve and in middle school, so sort of a prodigy, not really, though. I like playing with my pet bird, practicing the flute, and spending time with Nii-chan. My best friend is my Nii-chan.” Kiyoteru smiled. “Who’s your nii-chan?” Oliver’s face lit up. “He’s the super talented, super nice, best big brother ever, Hio!” Yuraika smiled to herself. It was so adorable how much he loved his brother. She wished she was as close to her sibling. “Wait.” Roro said. “Your Hio’s little brother?” Oliver nodded. Roro shrugged. Yuraika wondered how he could be such a close friend to Hio, and not know who his little brother was. It was now Len’s turn now. “I’m Kagamine Len, I’m fourteen and currently not seeing anyone.” He winked at Yuraika. “My hobbies? Hmmm. Well, I like playing rhythm games, and listening to music. Ah. I love to preform. My best friend?” He laughed nervously. “Hatsune Miku and Rin, I guess. Oh, right. Scratch that. Just Miku.” Roro was next. “Name’s Roro. I’m seventeen. I’m the lead singer and guitarist of ACE OF HEARTS, a rock band I started with my friends. My best friend is my super cute girlfriend, Mizki. My best guy friend is Hio. There. I did what was required of me. Can I go now?” Oliver cut in. “Mizki? Isn’t that the nice girl who keeps you in the friend zone? The one who you have a major crush on, but refuses to date you? Hio talks about you two all the time.” Roro gave him a stare so fierce and icy, even the bravest hearts would falter. “Does he now?” He said in a low, emotionless voice. “Yup!” Oliver said causally. Roro looked like he wanted to throttle someone. The boy sitting next to him said, “I’m Fukase. I’m fifteen years old. I like… reading horror. I… I don’t have a best friend…” In an almost inaudible whisper, he said,

“… Anymore.” No one heard this, though. Yuraika stated her name for the millionth time that day. “I’m fifteen, and I love to read. My best friend is, well, that would have to be Kiyoteru-san.” The room went dead silent. “What?” Len asked. “You guys know each other?” Yuraika explained how she and Kiyoteru where next door neighbors when they were little kids. “He would come over on Saturdays to babysit me while my parents were at work.” She smiled warmly. It was true. The two were the best of friends as young children. Kiyoteru was like a brother to her. A knock at the door interrupted the conversation. Kiyoteru went to go answer it. “Please. Continue the conversation while I’m gone.” Then he left. The six sat in complete silence for a couple minutes. Uta Piko opened his mouth to say something, but Roro stopped him saying, “I don’t want to hear your empty chatter.”

A couple more minutes of awkward silence followed. Uta Piko squirmed nervously in his chair. Oliver kicked his legs while humming what sounded like a nursery rhyme. Roro eventually said, “You have a nice singing voice Len. A really nice screaming voice too.” Everyone but Len snickered. Yuraika was ashamed of herself for doing so. Still, she did think it was funny. “I’m bummed I didn’t get to record it.” Uta Piko said pouting. He pulled out his phone. For some reason, his phone case was shaped like a goofy cartoon mouse. “Hey, Kaga-tan, could you do it again? My camera is ready!” They all laughed. Len said, “Sorry, I can’t just scream on co- wait? Did you just call me ‘Kaga-tan’?” Uta Piko smiled mischievously. He explained how he was going to give each of his new best friends nicknames. “Yuraika is Yu-chi, Len is Kaga-tan, Oliver is Ol-Ol, Fukase is Fuku, Kiyoteru-sensei is Kiyo-tan, and Roro is, um, uh… I haven’t come up with anything yet.” Everyone present thought about how weird those names were, and how they would be called said weird names. Roro grimaced. “If you want to live a peaceful life, you’ll call me Senpai.” Uta Piko gulped. He was glad they didn’t share a dorm room. Roro would kill him in his sleep for sure. Yuraika thought it best to change the subject. She was about to do this, when Kiyoteru walked through the door saying, “Thank you again. I’ll let him know.” Feeling the tension in the room, Kiyoteru paused a moment before speaking. “I’ve got some bad news, and some good news. I’ll start with the bad. Roro-kun, a leak was discovered in the roof over your dorm room. It will have to be fixed, which might take a while.” Roro raised an eyebrow. “The good news is I still get to room with Mikuo, Hio, and Dex, right?” Kiyoteru shook his head. “No. I’m sorry. There isn’t any space to spare. You four are going to slit up. Roro-kun, you are being moved to room 408.” For the first time Yuraika had seen, Roro’s face completely drained of color. He was pretty pale anyway, but all the color was gone. “408.” He repeated. “Hey, that’s the dorm I’m in.” Len said. “Mine too.” Uta Piko, Oliver, and Fukase said in unison. Roro stared in utter disbelief. “No.” He whispered. “Please, no. You! What’s the good news?” He said pointing at Kiyoteru. Kiyoteru laughed nervously. “That, um, was the good news.” Roro slumped over in his chair. Yuraika patted him on the shoulder. “At least you know who you’ll be living with.” Still slumped over, he said,

“Exactly. I know them, and I don’t like them. They’re all very annoying. Except maybe Fukase. I really don’t know him.” Oliver sniffed. The poor boy, had been hurt by Roro’s stinging truthfulness. Uta Piko was more than pleased. “Yay! New rooming buddy!” He hugged Roro tightly. Roro quickly recovered from the devastating blow. “If this is going to work AT ALL, don’t EVER call me that again. You guys better keep the Middle school boy annoying to a minimum, too.” Uta Piko, Len, and Oliver threw their arms around Roro. Fukase smiled. “We’re annoying, huh?” Roro bobbed his head ‘yes’. He was not looking forward to the many days that lay head.

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