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Akita's Seasons Return

Akita

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a part of Akita's Seasons Return, by Kura Ravengade.

Higashi-Naruse

Kura Ravengade holds sovereignty over Akita, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

2,285 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

based on a previous roleplay.

Setting

The main location where the Seasons settled, Higashi-Naruse is small village in Akita Japan well-known for its quaint sensibilities and beautiful cherry trees and scenery, as well as having close family values.
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Akita

Higashi-Naruse

Minimap

Akita is a part of Akita's Seasons Return.

10 Characters Here

Velonix Orako [31] "We're all born with selfish desires so we can relate to those feelings in others. But kindness is created individually by each person."
Kazutora Miyato [31] "Didn't ask, don't care."
Natsuo Orako [27] Summer Son of the Sun and Moon
Reiya Goertz [26] Shy and Sweet Teen with a brain
Kazumi Orako [25] Spring Daughter of the Sun and Moon
Iphianassa Lykaois [24] "Don't give up - there's no shame in falling down. True shame is to not stand up again."
Kazuyuki Orako [24] "I don't read enough to recommend anything, but...would you like to find a new book with me, to read together?"
Mafuyu Hanazawa [18] "Meet me by the bridge at 9:00? We can walk to class together, that way."
Pavo Etoile [12] Junior Star
Astraea Mantrenul [12] "I am calm - whilst the storm is raging around me."

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Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazumi Orako Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Mafuyu Hanazawa Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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”Pretty words are not always true,
And true words are not always pretty.”
~Uknown

Speech Code ~ #8A0808
| Thought Code ~ #045FB4




FF1493 0000CD 7f9f91

"Because no one deserves to be treated that way Miss Iphianassa. If there's one thing my siblings and I don't like, it's those who prey upon others." The sentiment was nice, but it was hard to believe. It would be amazing news to know that there were still people out there with such a high moral peak, but it was also extremely unlikely and doubtful. She found herself giving him an incredulous glance, and it didn’t help that he had called her Miss Iphianssa. What was with this guy and his formalities? Must be a culture thing? I’m sure he means well but come on - guy’s making me feel old as hell, calling me Miss.

"What are you talking about Iphi?"

The sudden voice jerked Iphignea from her thoughts and she whipped around, almost spilling the remnants of her lunch onto the ground. She just barely managed to catch it in time, but was unable to hide her blazing red face. What she had asked Natsuo had been a private rant; she had lost her control for a minute and begun to demand these answers from him, but she had never intended for anyone else to hear them. Embarrassment of course ensued, engulfing her features. She wasn’t upset with Kazumi for listening to their conversation. It wasn’t like it had been an intentional thing; she had simply overheard, and clearly Mafuyu had. Hopefully the other woman hadn’t heard the beginning of what she had said.

"Miss Iphianassa here seems to think that by being around her, our reputations will be shot." Oh Gods, can this get any more mortifying? Now I sound like a whining pre-teen looking for attention! Here I go, fishing for some attention, tossing my metaphorical hook into the water, she groaned internally. It was the last thing that she had wanted to be seen as by anyone, and hear there were now three people who had witnessed her inadvertently admitting to her own insecurities. How humiliating.

"Oh my, it's sweet of you to worry, Iphi, but the last thing we ever worry about is our reputation. And we could care less if you have limited means when it comes to currency, which I always never liked, it causes more problems than solutions. Seriously, the day humanity decided to put a cost on something was the dumbest decision humanity has ever made. Also, as for you not being pretty? Girlfriend, have you ever looked in the mirror? You're very attractive. Isn't she Natsuo?" Okay, wow, that was a lot to take in all at once,[color] her azure eyes blinking blankly as she soaked in her response. At least Kazumi had said that she didn’t care for material things, and apparently Natsuo didn’t either. Whether or not she was telling the truth was an entirely different situation altogether, but for now, Iphignea decided to take her doctor’s advice and try to look on the brighter side of the situation - that Kazumi was telling the truth, and that she definitely wasn’t lying. [color=#045FB4]But boy, oh boy, that last part of what she said - and why would she ask Natsuo! Instantly any color that had begun to fade from her cheeks was back, her naturally tan skin helping to hide the flush only a bit. Her hands shot to her uniform’s lapels, lifting them as much as she could to hide her cheeks, and she dropped her head slightly so that her hair could help shroud her face, her sudden shyness evident in her demeanor. She couldn’t help it; something about these two new students just made her feel less aggressive, more demure. In an effort to cool herself, Iphi snagged her water bottle and began to take a drink from it, enjoying the cool liquid as it passed her parched lips.

"Yes she is.”

A series of coughs escaped Iphignea as she choked on her water. As she fought the liquid going up her nose - the last thing she needed was to spew water from her nostrils in front of these people - more coughs racking her chest, she waved her hand as though to try and convey that she would be okay in a moment. She was completely caught off-guard by Natsuo’s response to his sister; he thought that she was attractive? What was this, a joke? There was absolutely no way, in either Hades, Earth, or Olympus, that a man who had looks that were so akin to that of the Greek God Adonis would ever find her even remotely attractive. This definitely had to be a joke. What, did they decide that on their first day that they would find the weakest link in their classes to target and make a mockery of that person? Iphignea’s had tightened around the bottle at the thought, her anger sizzling a bit under the surface. Just who did they think they were?

But then there was that little voice, buried so far underneath her surface of ice. She could see this little voice in her own mind and it was as though she were there as well, hands curled into fists as she battled over whether or not to chip at the ice, at the solid block of frozen water, her eyes locked on a doppelganger of herself only feet away in the solid substance. It called out to her, begging her to listen to reason, begging her to remember what her parents had taught her over the last decade; begging her to remember what her doctors had tried - and failed many times to - instill within her.

That not everyone was evil, and not everyone was out to get her. Not everyone had an ulterior motive in approaching her.

As the reasoning slid through her mind, she calmed herself once more and let out a breath, but her mind immediately returned unbidden to what Natsuo had said. Yes, she is. He … He thought she was pretty? Another blush entered her face, but behind her hands was the ghost of a small smile at the thought, and uninvited, another thought crossed her mind. He thinks I’m pretty … Unable to think of anything else to say in this situation, and knowing that it had been long enough that she really should respond, she managed, ”I … Thank you,” she said softly, to both of the siblings.

“See? If you're not feeling comfortable about your looks, maybe I can help you out there. I do great make-overs. Anyway, let's eat before we need to get to our next classes." Iphignea jumped, almost guiltily, but she quickly fanned herself and returned to her normal resting bitch face expression. At the offer of a makeover, Iphignea made a sound with a shrug, but whether or not it was one of agreement could be argued. The offer sat with her though, and she was definitely tempted to take Kazumi up on it. If anything was obvious with a first glance of the new student, it was that she had a sense of style - something that Iphignea was sorely lacking in. Her closet consisted mostly of black or deep red items, a majority of such were pants and tops, with maybe two or three ‘fancy’ pieces thrown in there. She snorted a bit at the thought of her current wardrobe; it left quite a bit to be desired.

"People can like you even without material things, you know. It's not all about money, in the end, and people shallow enough to only stick to a pretty face aren't worth your time anyway. Not that you aren't pretty, Iphi.” She found that pretty hard to believe. Money made the world go round, and if it weren’t for money, you couldn’t survive. Anything worthwhile costs money, and if you didn’t wear the latest clothes or carry the newest bags, you were considered an outsider. He wasn’t wrong, though, in his last statement. It was simply a matter of finding the people who didn’t care about materialistic things. Those people, though, were hard to come by.

With that, she returned to her meal which was now luke-warm at best. Oh well, might as well enjoy what I can of it.

"Miss Iphianassa, was something troubling you earlier? I saw you looking at your phone and I can only assume you got a troubling text message." Ah, here he goes being nosy. Good things can’t last forever, can they? Iphignea really couldn’t stand nosy people - those who put their noses into other people’s business. Plus, there he went calling her miss again. But she also couldn’t deny that both Natsuo and Kazumi had been pretty helpful and nice to her so far; and he had just said he found her to be pretty, so it was unlikely that he was asking with nefarious purposes. Still, it wasn’t exactly her business to be sharing, so she would have to pick and choose her words carefully.

As she began to pack up her empty lunchbox, she spoke.

”Well, first of all - stop calling me miss. I’m sure you’re saying it with the best intentions, but damn, you’re making me feel old,” she rolled her eyes, tucking the box into her bag. With a flick of her arm she zipped it shut and dropped back to sit beside it. She threw up her hand to hold up two fingers. ”Second of all, you’re a bit nosy now, aren’t you?” she tilted her head to the side, almost seeming to be teasing him. ”You should tread a bit more carefully when asking people that you’ve just met questions that could be seen as personal; it may be a cultural thing, but here in Japan, people tend to be fairly reserved and prefer to keep most matters to themselves and within a tightly knit circle.” A third nimble finger flicked up. ”And last but certainly not least; to answer your question, I simply received a text message from a close friend of mine who’s in the high school about a rather disgusting pest infestation that they have in their classroom,” she said this with a sweet smile, but her eyebrow twitched, betraying her underlying anger just at the mere thought of Kenji. ”But don’t worry - it’s nothing that a little bit of ass-kicking can’t solve.” Her smile seemed to darken a bit, a small chuckle escaping her. ”That little ****** is gonna wish he never saw the light of day. I’m gonna cut off his **** and shove it up his *** until he ***** his *** and wishes he ******* his ***** instead,” she happily delivered, cracking her knuckles as she spoke. A somewhat maniacal laugh escaped her as she envisioned exactly what she was going to do when she got a hold on the nasty little vermin that Kenji was. Oh the fun that she was going to have kicking his ass into next week and shoving his head up where the sun didn’t shine for him.

Realizing that she had slipped back into her naturally aggressive self and exposed her easy rage to the trio, Iphignea suddenly laughed sheepishly, relaxed her hands and used one to rub at the back of her head. ”But you guys don’t need to worry about any of that. It’s not like Kenji's going to tell anyone about getting his ass kicked by a girl, and I won’t hurt him badly enough to send him to the hospital. I know my own strength,” she reassured them, flapping her hand in their direction.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazumi Orako Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Mafuyu Hanazawa Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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Code- #FF1493

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Code- #0000CD


Kazumi was enjoying Iphi's reactions thoroughly. It was obvious she got easily flustered and it was endearing. The added bonus was seeing Natsuo get caught off guard, which was rare, so Kazumi relished in it. She would have rubbed it in more, but she wanted to focus on eating since she was legit hungry. At least she had time to savor her meal. Kazumi saw her brother's meal. She could only handle a tiny bit of spice, certainly nothing like Natsuo. What she called spicy; he would call bland.

Iphi started talking again, firstly telling Natsuo to drop the 'miss'. This caused Natsuo to raise an eyebrow at her. Since when did saying the word 'miss' imply someone was old? From Natsuo's understanding, the word was always used to women who weren't married. Plus, it was another way he showed respect to the female race. Only women he didn't use it on were his sisters, Astraea, and his mother, but that's only because they were on very close to him.

"I make no promises, but I'll try to drop the miss."

After that Iphi made commentary on how nosy they were, about cultural differences, and then finally talking about what was bothering her. The mortal kind of contradicted herself there about warning them to not be so personal but having no issues talking about her problem. Even Kazumi noticed that. She was also aware she still had to answer Mafuyu's question too. So when Iphi finally stopped talking, Kazumi was the one to answer.

"Yes, it's pretty obvious we're not from here. Natsuo and I in particular are the most direct compared to our young siblings. We're all adopted. Originally, we're from Scotland. Well, our adoptive parents are from Japan. Sadly, after their death . . ... we wanted to live in the land of their birth so it's why we came here. We're not quite use to the customs yet."

It was agreed on that Kazumi and Velonix would be the ones to remember the details of their cover stories. Kazumi did not like lying but would rather lie than put her siblings in any kind of danger. Kazumi could definitely put on an act if she wanted to. It's why she sounded sad when mentioning their 'adopted parents'. She conjured up one of her saddest memories to get that kind of effect, which happened to be right after what happened with her sister after her last trip to earth.

"Now as for this Kenji you mentioned, I am sure you can handle him just fine, but I would recommend you be careful with not getting in trouble with the school. Natsuo and I went to check on our sister this morning, who apparently was getting harassed by some bullies, but a nice young man got into a fight with them while protecting her. Unfortunately, that poor boy seemed to be in trouble with one of the teachers, but our sister made sure to tell him that he wasn't the one to cause trouble initially. Vel seemed to really like the guy, but our introduction was short. Vel makes friends pretty easily too. What was that young man's name again, Natsuo?"

Natsuo rolled his eyes. His sister wasn't the best at names at times unless they were pretty original or unique. She would get them eventually.

"Kazutora Miyato, Kazumi. Maybe you should work on your memory more, your head is up in the clouds too much."

Kazumi created a puffy face before saying, "Better that than to be a stick in the mud like you."

Smirking, Natsuo got the last word in, "Sister, if I was a stick in the mud, I wouldn't be able to do this."

Suddenly, his kendo sword, which was originally laying on the ground next to him, was instantly pointed at Kazumi's forehead, before back on the ground a split second later. Kazumi didn't even flinch, not like she used to. Natsuo use to play these kinds of tricks on her as a kid and it did use to get her, but she long gotten used to it. Kazumi frowned at her brother. She would get him back for that later, but not now in front of other mortals. She would definitely remind him to be careful with his abilities too. Natsuo loved showing off as much as she, but they still had to be careful.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazutora Miyato Character Portrait: Velonix Orako
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”A lack of boundaries
Invites a lack of respect.”
~Unknown

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"I tried to hide, turn my eyes from you;
I'm about to lead a lonely life,
But I'd change my mind for you."

















Kazutora Speech Code ~ #853232 | Kazutora Thought Code ~ #035d63
Velonix Speech Code ~ #B43104 | Velonix Thought Code ~ #FE9A2E
Phoenix Speech Code ~ #FF0000 | Phoenix Thought Code ~ #DF0174

Relax Your Mind ~ As you read



”Sure, since we share home ec together, I wouldn't mind." A small part of her couldn’t help but flitter in excitement over his agreement as Velonix beamed with gratitude. To know that he was willing to walk her to class was promising; it meant that he was at least willing to tolerate her, given the fact that they had all spent lunch together as well. She plucked up the note that he had handed back to her and tucked it into a small pocket on the outside of her bag, zipping it shut for safekeeping. It almost seemed as though it were to treasure the small, insignificant note, Kazutora's own gaze wandering to where it had been shoved away for a moment before it was cast back aside. His promise to at least try to not hide himself anymore safe and secure, she moved out from her desk and slid her seat in. It would be a lie to say that she wasn’t pleased with the progression between herself and the humans that she had met so far, and she was almost giddy with joy over the prospect of actual friends. Yes, she may have had her brothers and sister growing up as well as the countless stars that had been reborn, but something felt different to have a friend outside of said immediate circle. Someone who wasn’t family or another godly creation; someone grounded, outside of her norm and who held the promise of laughter and wonderful experiences.

"Orchestra, that's what I've got for my club." Velonix tilted her head. Of course her brother would choose something such as orchestra as it suited him well. Despite his quiet nature, the passions that he held for his hobbies and skills were loud and pronounced. He may not walk around bolstering about said accomplishments, but one need only hear a few notes from his strings to be brought under his chilling spell. "Oh, sure it'll be no trouble to show you where our next class is. I also have Orchestra as my club, so I can show you the way to that too. Can you give me a second though?” At Reiya’s interruption, the girl suddenly turned to face Velonix, clearly intent on speaking to her with Kazutora wincing slightly as she began. A quirked eyebrow was Vel’s reaction to the smaller girl’s words that followed.

"Miss Velonix, about your earlier question - Kenji bothered him again, but he didn't hurt him. Don't worry though, a mutual friend of ours who's in college will watch over Kazutora after school in case anything happens. Oh she also mentioned having a few classes with your older siblings. If they’re anything like you and Kazuyuki, I wouldn't be surprised they have caused a stir too. Oh, I don't mean that in a bad way either, you and your brother are very nice, it's just so rare when someone moves here, especially with no connections to this place. Well, I'll let you two go to class. Shall we go Mister Kazuyuki?" For someone who was so evidently shy, Reiya could definitely talk once she had become comfortable enough to do so. It was a nice surprise to Vel, though, as she seemed to be great for conversation and had quite a bit of potential in that department. The girl’s words caused her pause, however; the mention of Kenji’s ongoing and continuous harassment and abuse of Kazutora was becoming increasingly more aggravating by each passing moment, to the point where she wasn’t sure how much longer she could simply ignore it. It was not only a simple annoyance at this point; the foolish mortal was inkling to royally piss off a young, unstable goddess. She covered her emotions with a false smile, despite the fiery storm brewing beneath it. ”I will take it as a compliment then, that we were able to cause ‘quite a stir’, in your words. You are kind as well, and I hope that we can become close friends, as well as your friend that you mentioned. It seems that she has fantastic taste in people, at the very least, so I am certain that she has a beautiful soul.”.

”Would you be alright showing me where they meet for their club hour too? After creative writing, of course. I still haven't figured everything out here." At her brother’s words, Velonix cleared her throat and tilted a bit to peer around and up at the tall snowy boy. ”It seems as though you will be in good hands with Miss Reiya, so I suppose that we will see one another after school. Make sure that you are on time as I would prefer not to dally. I start my new job today, after all.” A pointed look up at her brother conveyed her message to contact her if need be and she cast a sweet smile at Reiya after. ”Please, take good care of my brother. He may seem to be a bit of a lost cause when it comes to discussion, but I promise that there is a great conversationalist hidden underneath all of those pesky layers. Think of him like an onion,” she teased. On that note, she gave one last glance in their direction as the two made their way from the classroom, leaving Velonix and Kazutora almost alone, save for the few lingering students.

Of course, one of those students had to be Kenji, loitering at his desk with his small gang of what she could most describe to be as mindless minions. His mere presence was enough to annoy her, let alone the glares that he was tossing in Kazutora’s direction - though the blonde seemed to not notice it, or perhaps he just did a good enough job ignoring the looks - and she found herself biting her lip to hold back her words. Nothing that she could say right now would make any difference anyway, so she might as well wait until after school was over. That was when Reiya had said that their ‘friend’ was to watch over Kazutora - obviously this meant that something was bound to happen once the final bell rang. Thankfully, they had the same classes throughout the day. With a side glance at the boy in question, she contemplated her options, the primary idea in her mind being to ask him to go with her to the front gate, at the very least, so as to meet Kazuyuki. It would be in our best interests to attract as little attention as possible while here … I cannot be seen using my inner strength. She bit her lower lip contemplatively, mulling over her thoughts. The best option would be to have Halcy present to intervene if necessary. A tall male having underlying body strength is not nearly as surprising as a small female. My skills would be a bit surprising but explainable; my strength, however ...

"Gardening club, actually, but I can show you the classroom they hold art it in." Kazutora’s words jerked her from her thoughts, and only then did she notice the subtle pain in her palms. Her hands were clenched - a bad habit that she had formed since the incident whenever her feelings were too much, whenever she felt overwhelmed with irritation or anger. The ache subsided a bit as her fingers unfurled, small crescents left in her palms as a reminder of her previous bubbling rage, blatant even through the pretty fabric of her gloves. It was something that she hadn’t noticed, the slowly building fury, and that gave way to concern as she idly rubbed her palms together to subside the ache. If she was not even able to identify when she was growing angry, then how was she to discern when she was slipping away? The anxiety at the mere flippant thought of it, the fear that she felt over losing herself once more - it was indescribable.

"...wanna head to home ec with me, Velonix?" Just like that she was back, panic attack halted in its tracks at the mere sound of the soothing hum that was Kazutora’s voice. Having become sidetracked once more, lost in her thoughts as she often was, Velonix jumped a bit where she stood at her newfound companion’s sudden request. ’Wanna head to home ec with me, Velonix?’ Such simple words, and yet she felt her heart skip a bit, almost lodging itself in her throat. Why was it that such a simple sentence could cause her heart to want to fly up, so far up that it threatened to escape her chest and enter the outside world. Her free hand lifted to touch lightly to the area between her breasts, as though the mere action could calm the flutter that resided within. It was only then that she realized how long it had been since he had asked the question, and that she had been simply staring at him blankly with a growing flush in her face. Kazutora's unease over the silence grew with the passing seconds, apparent in the slight shifting and averted gaze once more. The loss of his eyes prompted a sudden awareness, embarrassment blooming inside of her and causing her to turn slightly away in an effort to hide the ever-expanding red in her cheeks which only grew more intense in color when she pinched them in an effort to bring herself back to reality. Get it together, Harmonix. You are behaving like a child! He is a mortal and nothing more; there is no reason to become so frazzled!

After she had gathered herself once more, Velonix turned a bashful look in Kazutora’s direction. ”I would appreciate the gesture immensely. For the oddest of reasons, I feel a bit less than comfortable so far here.” Her voice, generally sweet, held a dripping sarcasm - because who could have possibly guessed why she didn’t feel comfortable in this school? It was so blatantly evident why, from the animosity coming off in waves from their classmates, to Kenji’s insistent harassment of Kazutora - it was surprising that she was having as nice of a day as she was between everything.

With her bag clasped before her, she followed behind as he began to walk, ignoring the snide looks that Kenji gave them as they passed. Thankfully, and it was more than likely only because of what had happened last passing period, he did nothing to them. He simply sneered and muttered amongst his friends who cast leering glances in their directions as well. It was a series of actions that left her with a foreboding sensation within her, as though this was not going to end as easily as she had originally hoped, and she only fully relaxed once they were in the hallway and out of his unnerving sight. What a childish rat. Perhaps I will need to speak to the others later about this … pest issue.

To Kazutora, finally getting out of the classroom was a relief. Away from the stares, the whispers of Kenji and his group of friends, all faces that were burned into his memory after past…encounters. His own words so stupidly spat out in the hallways earlier - ”after school” - bring a faint grimace to his features for a moment, moreso after seeing them all gathered and conversing amongst themselves. Were they planning something? Discussing what they’d do once he parted ways with Kazutora’s atypical crowd of…classmates lingering around, once Velonix was gone? Or was it just regular conversation?

The way they stare at him until he can’t see them anymore doesn’t really reassure him that it could be the latter.

Still, once their eyes are no longer burning into the back of his skull he lets out a soft breath and releases some of the tension in his shoulders, letting them sink just enough to feel comfortable again rather than alert and on edge.

She noticed the subtle change in his demeanor almost immediately, as though he had relaxed at least a bit now that they were no longer engulfed by those who held such unreasonable disdain for him. It is nice to know … That he feels somewhat comfortable around me. It was impossible to fight her own relaxing state as they moved further away from his tormentors. It wasn’t until that moment that she realized how much the human boys had truly gotten under her skin.

A glance down the hallway in the direction of the home ec classroom, he let out a short hum before turning back to face her again, "It's not too far, but it'd probably be best to get there a little earlier for you, right?" A slight tilt to his head, the question didn't linger for long before he'd taken the first steps, a direction similar to the way they'd gone to eat on the roof. ”If you are early, you are on time; if you are on time, you are late; and if you are late, you are doomed,” she joked, a skip in her step as she went to catch up to his stride, her excitement over their next class evident in the glow of her features. She felt herself wanting to be near him, but at the same time battled inwardly with herself over how close she could be without causing him distress. Considering how narrow the hallways were for how many students they contained, this left little room for extra space between the two of them, putting her a mere few inches away, their shoulders nearly brushing as they walked. This alone was enough to make Kazutora's gaze drift, muddy red eyes twitching to their shoulders each near brush. His mind wandered to the lunch hour when they'd held hands through Velonix's glove even just for the time that they'd made their way up to the roof. The contact had been…nice, and he found a part of him still yearning for it, but it's shoved away just a moment later. What's going on with me today? I feel like I can't settle on anything…

Even out in the hall the stares and whispers didn’t cease, even if they're lighter than they had been earlier in the day. Confused over the two of them still walking together, still alone together? Creating assumptions out of thin air? Who knew at this point, a mortal teenager's mind seemed to know no bounds. It would be a lie to say that she did not notice them, the nosy children that littered the walls, murmuring between themselves like a flock of ducks. How incredibly childish - is this how all human children are, or simply in this town? This is even more disappointing than I had expected. Something … Something is off, and it cannot be anything good...

A mostly quiet walk to the home ec room if only because Kazutora seemed even more worn out than he had earlier, as if the adrenaline after lunch and mid-class had finally settled away and drained him of any remaining energy. Still he walked, glanced to Velonix every few steps to be sure she was still at his side. She respected the comfortable silence between them, as she herself had little to say given her dark thoughts, but enjoyed the ambiance that had settled between them nonetheless. That quiet was interrupted by him after a moment regardless, slowing his pace as they neared another sliding door, and it was a quiet breath before his words arrived.

"Ms. Hanagaki…she's over home ec here," is spoken after a bit, "she's…er- she's nice, though. Maybe you'll like her." There's hesitation at the part of his lips again, Kazutora's brows furrowing slightly, Do you think she'd want to… His gaze lowers slightly, voice struggling to push up past his throat. "Maybe…ah, nevermind." A questioning look is garnered by this half-sentence, as though she knows that there is something on the tip of his tongue - something he wants to so desperately say - but that there is something else there that is stopping him just on the verge of that leap. I can not help but feel something is wrong here … From the treatment of our peers and teachers, to his overall presence, something clearly happened to him. she had suffered through her own trauma and understood the process of healing was not easy. She just needed to have patience.

Patience? What a joke; you know that we have none. Don’t make me laugh.

Choosing to ignore Phoenix, the door was pushed open a breath later, Kazutora stepping in first with a glance back at Velonix as he waited, quiet as always. It seemed as though he were waiting for her to join him so after a pause she accompanied him through the door, blinking at the brightness of the fluorescent light's reflections off of the multitude of gleaming surfaces against her sensitive eyesight.

The interior of the classroom was simple, but perhaps that's expected of a home ec room. There's eight, maybe ten countertop surfaces, each one containing a stovetop, oven, and sink, lined with drawers that likely contained the kitchen utensils and tools. The back was lined with windows, several slightly cracked to let in fresh air. The only lingering scent was that of something sweet, a dessert perhaps. Along the front wall rests a large writing board, the date scrawled in fancy letters and surrounded by colorful illustrations, little flowers and a small chibi character nearby, likely done by a student by the looks of it. The final wall was adorned with several cubbies neatly stocked with what appeared to be different types of materials and crafting objects, but she decided against studying the random objects too closely.

And in the back corner, a somewhat larger desk that seemed to belong to the teacher, only further confirmed by the woman settled there writing away at papers on the top of her desk, though as they both stepped in, her gaze moved up, warm brown eyes spotting the two of them just a breath later. This gave Velonix little to no time to study the woman, something that she much preferred to do before approaching any new person due to her own past experiences, as the woman was instantly alert at the sight of the pair.

A small, "oh!" as she stood up from her seat, slightly heeled shoes leaving quiet clicks on the tiled floor below. She wore a simple blouse and skirt, her hair tied up neatly into a bun, and she stopped just a step or two away from the teens, hands clasped in front of herself as her expression brightened. Her approach gave Vel a moment to study the woman’s features and aura, the gleaming pink, yellows and oranges with dashes of white a comfort to her rising anxiety.

The woman's expression was bright, seeming pleased with seeing him with someone, and it made him feel almost unsure. Sure, Ms. Hanagaki had always been kind, but she had also never quite understood his situation fully. Well intentioned, no doubt, and he appreciated that at least, but there was still a disconnect. Trying to pair him or put him in groups, occasionally giving extra attention, trying to get him to branch out and talk with the others more…without seeming to realize that it almost always backfired and brought out his peers' ire towards him even more. He at least appreciated that she tried, though. It was more than he could say for most of the staff at the school.

"Kazutora! It's so good to see you with a friend!" The beaming smile found a spot on her lips, the blonde nodding rather sheepishly in response. She continues hardly a breath later, giving Vel little time to process the absurdity of the statement, "and you must be one of the new transfer students, probably…Velonix Orako?" A soft pink slid into Vel’s cheeks, but why she was embarrassed was beyond her. Perhaps it was better described as nervousness? It did cause her to giggle a bit as the woman tripped up on her first name, apologetic smile soon after, but she didn't give much of a pause before continuing, "our headmaster gave me a little tip that I'd have one of you in my class. I'm thrilled to finally meet you! You can call me Ms. Hanagaki, alright? I'll be sure to take good care of you while you're in my class, dear. No worries or stress in my classroom; as long as you try your best with our assignments, you'll get a quick and easy A." In response, Velonix simply smiled up at the woman, giving her a thumbs up in response. ”Trying my best is all I do, nothing less is acceptable after all. You have to give it your all every time, no?” It was laughed out, but she meant it; why do it if you weren’t planning to give it your everything? It helped that she loved cooking and baking, though, and the sweet smell that filled the room reminded her of the kitchen when her mother and Astraea would bake her siblings and her sweets.

Other students begin making their way into the classroom at that point, pushing past Kazutora and Velonix to some of the tables nearby. She quickly found herself shoved to the side, unintentionally bumping into Kazutora, and the flush that seemed to be ever-present today rose once more into her cheeks as she scrambled out a quick yet quiet apology, one he returned with a quiet stammer of his own. Ms. Hanagaki quickly regained hold of the pairs' attention even with her having turned away to her desk. Velonix noted that the students who arrived all immediately chose tables and seats with one another, almost as though they were already paired together, and when Ms. Hanagaki spoke it further confirmed her suspicions. "I'll get you assigned to a group so you aren't the odd one out. We did assign partners at the beginning of the class, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit you in. Give me juuust…a moment." As her new teacher looked over the seating - and therefore pairing - chart, Velonix peaked over the woman’s shoulder, thanking her stars for her somewhat enhanced vision as she quickly skimmed the names listed and scattered across the page. Before the woman could even finish deciding on what to do herself, Velonix had made the decision for her, a soft snort escaping her; what could be more obvious, after all? Kazutora was the only person in the entire class without a partner, the only person seated alone at an entire table. Did the woman think that she was forced to be shown to this class by him? Was partnering with him not an option or something? This was a joke, right? What had she been doing up until then? Having him sit alone unless it required multiple people and then throwing him into the metaphorical tank of ravenous piranhas? No wonder he had such difficulty finding people to relate to; even the faculty fascinated this ostracization of the boy. It left a sick, burning sensation coiling within the depths of her chest, but knowing herself all too well, she pushed it down deeply within her until the flames were but mere embers.

So before Ms. Hanagaki could even speak, Velonix gathered her courage, shoved her anxiety as deeply within her as she possibly could, and with an air of confidence that only a goddess could exude, her dainty gloved hand had shot out and easily pinched the end of Kazutora’s tie. Muddy eyes stared wide down at the hold, blinking once before his lips parted to say something, a panicked, what is she doing this time!?, but they're moving before he can say anything. With a light tug, she brought him into a slight stumble behind her as she pulled him along, her stride bringing them across the room in seconds. It was only then that she released his tie, allowing it to gently slip from her fingertips, and dropped her bag a bit loudly onto the floor beside one of the stools that sat alongside the table. The particular table that Kazutora was assigned to, as it was the only currently empty table in the classroom. Before she lost her bravery, she said as boldly as possible, ”I would actually much rather prefer to be partnered with Kazutora over anyone else. He is my best friend, is he not?” she tilted her head and quirked a brow at Ms. Hanagaki as she withdrew a notebook and pencil, lightly dropping them onto the table before her, clearly intent on settling into her chosen spot.

Ms. Hanagaki blinked as though surprised, before a small, delighted smile twitched across pink lips. Kazutora himself quickly slipped down into the seat next to her a little awkwardly as his bag dropped on the floor, eyes staying downward. He knew they were all staring even as a hand moved up to rest against the side of his head, was beginning to realize that's just what came with being around Velonix, though he can't help the discomfort of burning eyes into every part of him. They come from every corner of the room, without care of how he might feel, though that's nothing new. The stares from their classmates were amusing and annoying at the same time, but she paid them no mind, instead dropping confidently onto her stool and easily flipping open to a blank page. Several moments of intense silence throbbed by, and when only stunned stillness welcomed her proclamation, she glanced up once more, a somewhat irritated expression on her normally happy face. Without any of her family there to reel her in, she felt her bravery swell, almost giving her something akin to an energy boost in the process.

”Does anyone have anything to say about that? Anyone who has a problem with my being friends with Kazutora, feel free to speak up now.” A hand waved flippantly in their general direction, a somewhat inquisitive look on her face shrouding the inner hostility broiling beneath. Kazutora can't help the quiet - but sharp - inhale at her question, or rather challenge to the others, begs the world to not let anyone take that chance to make this moment even more tense and uncomfortable, but Velonix doesn't seem keen on backing down. Something about how they treated him … It simply pricked a nerve of hers that should not be touched. It had been all day with this - whisper here, stare there - and she was sick of it. Deeply below the surface, she could feel Phoenix bristling, yearning to pummel the immature human children until they saw reason. This was something that she obviously could not do, however, so she opted for a single clenched hand, hidden beneath the table before her. It warmed within its fabric, just shy of the degree to burn the delicate cloth, but helped her to maintain her budding fury. When only further quiet was the response to her dare, she waved her free hand once more, her face growing more annoyed by the second. ”If no one has anything useful to say, please, do take a picture as it will last longer than your feeble attempts at intimidation. Class will be starting in a few minutes, so I would personally recommend that you use what is left of your free time for more important matters - such as preparations to cook whatever monstrosity you lot will somehow create,” she finished with an eye roll, and despite the somewhat offended looks of the students scattered throughout the room, a gradual sheepishness mixed with guilt began to cross their features, almost as though her combination of a challenge and lecture had, to some degree, gotten through their impossibly thick skulls. A soft, "oh dear," could be heard from Ms. Hanagaki not so far away, seemingly surprised by how much the classroom dynamic was already shifting with the addition of just a single new student.

When they all finally turned back to one another, murmuring amongst themselves like scolded puppies, Velonix relaxed a bit and leaned forward against the table so as to be a bit closer to Kazutora. With her notebook raised to hide her face from their peers, she gave him a sly smile, a mischievous sparkle in her eyes, and when she did speak, her voice was filled with giddy excitement. ”Shall we make something delicious together, Kazutora?” His gaze only turned up at her leaning in then, unease in his eyes softening for a moment; their peers' gazes were turned away, a relief, and…if he was honest, he did look forward to getting to work with someone in this class for once. Or at least, someone that didn't despise him. A new experience. A welcomed one. "I guess we'll try our best." The subtle shift, the ever so slight change in the way that he looked at her, sent her heart hammering into her throat. If he could make such an expression within only a few hours of meeting, what others could he possibly make in a few days - a few weeks … Or even a few months? Unbidden, Velonix found herself yearning to see those days sooner rather than later, but why, she could not say.

"Alright, students!" Ms. Hanagaki's voice, a gentle clap to gather attention quieted the classroom with ease, save a few that continued whispered chatters, but she paid them no mind. Her steps to the front from her desk each carried a small click of her heels before she stood by the markerboard, popping one of the more colorful marker's caps off. In an instant she'd written the word over the board, a simple "strawberry roll cake" in a slight flourish. "I've finished a few of the longer tasks for you, like the milk and preheating the oven, but we've still got a lot to do in such a short period, so let's be sure to stay on task and use our time wisely!" Facing the class again, Ms. Hanagaki gestured to everyone at once, "in the small fridge, you'll find the ingredients and instructions for this dessert. Everyone should know where to find the necessary tools, but if not, I'd be happy to assist." A glance to Kazutora and Velonix's station, "Kazutora can show where everything is, dear," before continuing shortly after.

"I'll be walking around the room to make sure you're all staying on task and making good progress, but otherwise, you're all free to get started. Good luck!"

Slipping off the stool and intent on getting first pick before others crowded, Kazutora moved towards the fridge, his foot absently pushing the seat back and out of the way as he did. Hands pushed open the fridge door, reaching in to pull out the familiar baking sheet with the table's number, weighed down by the ingredients on top. She watched him as he went about his tasks, using the excuse of learning in order to truly study him in his entirety. It was undeniable at this point; the human fascinated her. In what way was still to be determined, but given the facts of how her body alone was reacting to him, there was clearly a lot more to be discovered between them. A lot more for her to look forward to.

She found her lips turning up into a soft, wistful smile, chin propped in hand and elbow on table as she inspected him. Despite his obviously low self-views, he moved with an air of unestablished confidence, lending a litheness to his movements - a certain natural grace that cannot be taught but was instead innately learned within oneself. He was lean and although not considered to be buff by any means, he had a certain underlying tone to his body that hinted at at least some type of muscle that did not come from laying around all day. Sandy-blonde hair that shimmered different tints and shades depending on the lighting drew her gaze upwards until they landed on his face - a face that matched his body in leanness but outweighed it in attractivity. That wasn’t to say that his body wasn’t attractive - the complete opposite really, even down to his long, slender hands, equal to hers in prettiness but larger and less soft looking with little scars scattered about. It was his facial features, his emotions and expressions, that truly caught her eye. It drew her towards him, wanting to learn everything she could about everything that face could do or show. The different ways that he could look at not only the world and others, but also at her. His aura, which was rather quickly becoming her favorite mixture of hues, swirled around his body in a soothing stream, lulling a good portion of her worries by simply watching it dance.

The sudden clatter of tray to counter brought her back, forcing her to tear her gaze from Kazutora so as to avoid causing him further discomfort. She hoped, at least, he hadn’t noticed her staring once more.

A sudden thought made her entire body still, however - a thought that had not occurred to her throughout all of the time that they were planning this ‘excursion’ to Earth. Not during their choosing of classes, nor during their enrollment process itself. Something that she definitely should have taken into consideration when choosing this particular class. She had thought of physical education, as the changing in a locker room could lead to accidental physical contact, which made her to drop that as an option. She thought that she would be safe should she choose a cooking and sewing class.

Harmonix had not, however, taken into consideration the fact that in order to cook and bake a good portion of the dishes that they would be required to make, each assignment would involve the usage of her hands - her bare hands.

A worried look turned down onto said appendages, her fingers curling towards her palms as her anxiety soared. A flickered glance in Kazutora’s direction and she turned slightly, her back to him so as to hide her inner battle. The turmoil that raged over how to progress in this situation was immense. If there was one human so far that she had met that she did not wish to use her abilities on, it was Kazutora. Whether intentional or not, she did not wish to take advantage of him in such a way. Memories … Are a sacred thing. Things to be cherished and held dear to oneself, but also to serve as a reminder of who we are. They are not flippant experiences to simply be tossed around for each and every person to see and hear; they are something to be locked into a box and held for safekeeping for when they serve their best purpose. During times of hardship, or simply when one wishes to recall memories in particular, or even when the memories will somehow serve us indirectly - they are all so very important.

And also so incredibly private.

To force him to share those things, knowingly or not, intentionally or not, was simply something that she did not wish to force Kazutora into. Besides … These were all things that oddly enough, she found herself wanting to learn from him naturally. She wanted him to trust her and feel comfortable enough to share such things with her, not because he had no choice in the matter, but instead because he trusted her.

A momentary clench of her hands before she relaxed them and wearily began to remove her gloves, tucking them into her bag’s zipper for the time being. Her dainty fingers finally revealed for the first time all day, she almost immediately held them as closely to herself as possible without looking like a complete lunatic. The long, slender phalanges curled in her skirt fabric, an effort to keep herself from moving them and accidentally brushing him. Her anxiety at a near all-time high, her thoughts swirling around her hands and Kazutora and her abilities, she could feel herself spiraling. A slight dizziness overtook, nausea creeping up, but she forced slow, deep breaths in an effort to combat the rising panic. Dark eyes landed on her for a moment at the sound of her uneven breaths, brows furrowing slightly at the sight of pale face and tense expression, though words fail him for a moment at the sudden change in her demeanor, so unlike the high energy and non-stop confidence she had carried herself with the entire day thus far. Is she…starting to have regrets? Rethinking her situation? I…

You just need to make it through the class. Just through this class. This is the only class like this. You can do it, Har.

Slowly the color began to return to her face, her fingers loosening in the now wrinkled skirt ends, hand idly rubbing at her exposed knee to combat the slight chill that was assaulting her skin. As though none of the thoughts or emotions she had previously felt had ever happened, she found herself pushing her body up so that she was leaning across the table, on her elbows to gain a better view of the supplies and instructions.

”Ah, the instructions are easy enough. Luckily, I also made these before as my sister is obsessed with anything involving strawberries. This will be a piece of cake,” she joked, the pun hurting even her. With a soft giggle, she continued, ”Sorry. I am often told that I have the humor of an old man.” In one movement she had quickly pulled back her hair and snapped the ever-present ponytail from her wrist around it, tying it easily. Once that was done, her hand moved, reaching out in the direction of the instructions for a closer look.

In an instant she seemed to be back to her usual self, and Kazutora couldn't help but wonder if he'd just been imagining it, however obvious that changed demeanor had been. His gaze stayed steady on her, worried - worried? He hadn't worried over someone in a long time, at least not anyone at this high school, even less someone he'd only met for the first time that day, but it was shrugged off before he'd thought too deeply on it. It's all been a lot today, I need to stop thinking so hard about all of this.

Still, he blinked once at her words, debated over the pun-joke for a few seconds, then nodded, reaching to peel back the saran wrap that covered the ingredients on the tray to keep them there and uncontaminated while they'd been waiting to be used. A quiet, slightly curious question; if she's made this before, then maybe she… "Do you like baking then, Velonix?" The plastic is tossed in the side garbage, hands moving to pull the eggs closer to himself alongside a bowl to crack them in, "if you've made these before, then I guess today's class won't be too hard." Easier too, if he didn't have to worry about finishing everything entirely on his own, a small stress that sometimes came with these classes and the bigger recipes that they were assigned. She watched him do all of this with an odd sense of fascination; he made the movements look as though they were the most natural thing in the world, like a master violinist running their bow along its strings. It piqued her interest, to say the least, that he could move so fluidly - for a human, that was. He seemed more comfortable performing the basic tasks of baking than doing anything else that she had seen the entire day.

”I love to cook. I would say I am fairly proficient at it, but baking is something I have yet to garner much experience in. My aunt and uncle would frequently encourage me to learn how to bake, since they thought my creations would be delicious, but I was far too focused on other things. My mother would often have me cooking by her side back on-ah, back home, I mean,” she fumbled a bit over her words at the end. It confused her, as she wasn’t one that was easily frazzled. It wasn’t often that she lost her sense of wording, and for a moment she wondered if she, too, was comfortable, despite her absent gloves - too comfortable - and from what? Baking? She cooked all of the time, so why would baking be any different? A flickered glance in Kazutora’s direction and the matching flip of her heart was all of the answer that she needed; the answer being Kazutora was the difference. The thought had her turning her face quickly away to hide the rising flush in her cheeks.

Scanning over the tray once more to try and figure out what to do next, his attention landed on Velonix shortly after, briefly to her hands, gloves gone. Ones that he'd wondered about, why she never seemed to take them off, but placed nicely away now. Is that the source of discomfort he'd caught a glimpse of? But what for? There doesn't seem to be any scars over her hands, nothing striking him as being necessary to hide away or be embarrassed about.

Which only brought him to his own dilemma. He did have something he'd rather hide, but if they were cooking, then leaving down the long sleeves of the winter uniform would be awkward, potentially leaving him in a mess with his cuffs with still a club hour to go. He stared for a brief pause, heat rising to his face as he thought through it: the embarrassment of having her see those scars and trying to explain it all. How he would rather avoid that even if it meant sacrificing his jacket for today. He'd make it a habit to keep them covered like he did in the summer from now on with this shared class given that it seemed Velonix would be sharing this table here with him from today forward.

Hesitating, he ignored the uncomfortable feeling of working with the food with sleeves so close and did his best to take his mind off it with fingers curling around the first egg to crack. "I'll go ahead and start with the eggs, I think, uh…" He'd gotten too used to working alone in this class, "you're…good to start wherever else. Maybe…the flour?"

Not one to want to disappoint, Velonix immediately set to work on sifting the flour, and once done, went about the tedious nature of measuring the ingredients. Of course, her speed made her naturally faster than a human and helped her a bit, but she did try to make herself somewhat less than perfect - no need to raise any suspicions in any of the humans nearby, and who knew how observant her Kazutora could end up being?

The thought gave her pause. She wasn’t one to hold a possessiveness over anything or anyone, but then again, he was her first true friend outside of her family. Perhaps it was perfectly normal to have these feelings?

’Normal’? The sudden intrusion startled Velonix, causing the salt to slip from her grip, and instinctively she shot her other hand out to catch it - momentarily using her godly speed. Hah! Don’t make me laugh, little Moni … Here, surrounded by these humans, you are anything but normal - we both know it.Panic instantly surged through her, her eyes darting in several directions to ensure that no one had seen her momentary lapse in control. Stop kidding yourself and just let me have my fun. With a slightly shaking hand, she set the salt down on the work table, hand remaining on the container as she attempted to collect herself.

That is never going to happen. Stop trying to take over my life! Vel wrenched the milk bottle off the table and began to pour, grinding her teeth at the budding headache throbbing at her skull. Phoenix continued her screams of anger, threats and obscenities ringing in Harmonix’s head. Her brain felt like a punching bag, being knocked around without a care for the repercussions.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazumi Orako Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Mafuyu Hanazawa Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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mafuyu hanazawa.
dialogue ; #7f9f91. – thought ; #bb7e8c.
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This group is turning into a lively bunch, no doubt. Mafuyu isn't sure if he's been surrounded by so many strong personalities in a long while, not with the weight of school and its coursework or the multiple jobs on his shoulders. He'd occasionally had a few outings with his other friends, but those were getting fewer and farther between the longer this semester went on. For most, they'd probably look at the gathering and quickly think to avoid it - too tiring to even consider the amount of different energies - but for Mafuyu, this sort of higher energy gathering and talking was more energy rejuvenating than depleting. Social things like this lifted his spirits and mood, little lifesavers and breaks from work and more work.

God, he misses the weekend parties he went to all the time his first few years of university. Silently he hopes that he can start going to them again, once the first wave of coursework and the like die down and his professors chill out on their classes.

So he's happy to listen to the conversation going for awhile, still trying to adjust to the sibling's odd behaviors and snickering a little when Iphianassa tells Natsuo to stop addressing her like she's old. He seems slightly taken aback by that, like it's strange for a young adult in college to not want to be referred to like she's already an old spinster or something at the age of twenty. Maybe where they come from is crazy conservative, but most of the social pressure to marry so young here is only held onto by the grandparents who cling way too much to traditions.

And then a pointed comment on nosiness. He knows it's directed at Natsuo and Kazumi for their continued questions, but he's sure there's a bit of intent towards him as well; he'd certainly prodded at her more than usual this morning, and he takes that as his cue to remind himself to be more careful about that.

His worry over his prior nosiness is whisked away in an instant when Iphianassa suddenly dives into a full tirade of obscenities towards - presumably - a high schooler at the local high school in town. Knowing her, he's not overly surprised by the language she spews in an instant, and to get her so riled up the kid must really be a nightmare.

Still, her clear intention to follow through with her threats gets him to raise an eyebrow. Wasn't that risky? If he ended up going to any authorities, or even just told his parents who no doubt would, couldn't she end up in some deep shit for that? Kicked out of the university, legal trouble, too many things to count on one hand. But she reassures them that they don't have to worry about him going to anyone. Does she know this from experience? Has she gone after this kid more than once? Or was this just her assuming he wouldn't?

While his mind is wandering, Kazumi is speaking, and she pulls a name out despite Iphianassa having given none. Kenji. His brow quirks slightly at that; he knows that name. But there could be more than one Kenji, couldn't there? Even for a small town, repeated names are still possible and plenty common.

"Kenji...Onizawa?" He questions after a moment, pointed glance at Iphianassa who clearly seemed to have some sort of "history" with the high school boy, however seemingly violent it was. "If that's who it is, I know him. His parents have hired me to tutor him for awhile now." Wealthy family, they paid well. Well enough for Mafuyu to stick around despite the teen's behavior; not listening, screwing around, mouthing off and an overall distasteful personality. It seemed he felt like he could do and say as he liked when Mafuyu was just some lower class "beggar" in his eyes that he was "paying" for even though it was money out of his parents' pockets, not his. He knew plenty from what his little sisters would complain about to him too, of the boy none of them shared a class with yet still had to deal with anyway. Apparently Ran had gotten his attention on her in the past once or twice, but she claimed her boyfriend had been enough to get the older boy off her when none of the school staff would do anything about it.

"He's a real piece of work. I don't...blame you for how you feel about him, he's a spoiled brat." Mafuyu would certainly like to have a go at him for harassing any of his sisters, after all. I like to hope that people can change, but something tells me Kenji's already set in stone far too much to do so at this point. It wasn't like he knew all the details of the kid either. How far did he go with his antics? It sounded like too far at this point, but money in a small town usually meant you could get away with just about anything.

Maybe he'd end up a rich version of Mafuyu's own father one day, at the rate he was going.

Another name is mentioned; Kazutora Miyato. He'd heard it tossed around a once or twice vaguely by his sisters, though the only one who knew him more than "just a sort of scary upperclassman" was Miyako, who'd spoken to him briefly when she'd swung by to talk to a friend in the gardening club. "Really quiet and kind of hard to approach," she'd said, "but he seemed a little happy to tell me about what he was growing and let me take some of the ripe strawberries from his box, so I think he's a lot nicer than everyone else always says."

It seemed the teen had a new friend, if Natsuo and Kazumi's sister had apparently taken a liking to him.

A soft sigh, he lets himself relax a little more, glance at the time on the watch that rests on his wrist. Their lunch break would be coming to an end soon, though he didn't want it to. But what could he do?

"Like Kazumi said," he offers after a bit, "I know you said he'd never tell a soul, but it's still kinda risky. I wouldn't want to see you kicked out of university or in legal trouble because he goes and cries to his parents one day. At least make sure to cover your tracks," a half snort, "though I imagine you probably already know that."

He startles slightly, cutting himself off at the sound of something whipping through the air and the sight of the kendo sword pointed at Kazumi. Odd. Concerning? He doesn't know.

It seems like it'll take a lot of getting used to, being around these two.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazumi Orako Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Mafuyu Hanazawa Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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”Being protective of someone,
Is also kind of love.”
~Unknown

Speech Code ~ #8A0808
| Thought Code ~ #045FB4




Finally, it was someone else’s turn to speak, instead of Iphignea’s scrambled, embarrassed excuses for her childish behavior. Kazumi was the one who took over, giving Iphianassa time to finally pick at her food - it was considerably cooler now but still just warm enough to be enjoyable - and she ate eagerly. Despite this, she did listen to the bubblegum girl speak, taking in the information about her and Natsuo’s past. Their history together, their shared loss, their shared life - it was sweet, in a way, and it was nice to know that the two had had one another and their other siblings as support.

All Iphignea got from her sisters were snide looks and the occasional kick.

A head shake cleared the thoughts from her mind, bringing her back to the conversation. "...dle him just fine, but I would recommend you be careful with not getting in trouble with the school. Natsuo and I went to check on our sister this morning, who apparently was getting harassed by some bullies, but a nice young man got into a fight with them while protecting her. Unfortunately, that poor boy seemed to be in trouble with one of the teachers, but our sister made sure to tell him that he wasn't the one to cause trouble initially. Vel seemed to really like the guy, but our introduction was short. Vel makes friends pretty easily too. What was that young man's name again, Natsuo? The sudden onslaught of information was a lot to take in all at once - what a wild morning these two had already had, and it was barely noon - but she was thankfully able to keep up with the woman. She would be lying if she said that she said she was surprised; it came of no shock to her that their sister had already encountered issues with some of the school bullies. The headmaster was a nice enough guy, but he was a sucker for a smile and apology, and rarely upheld any serious disciplinary action. Something that had been made very clear to her over the years of not only her own torment, but now her little Zuzu’s as well.

”Kenji … Onizawa? If that's who it is, I know him. His parents have hired me to tutor him for awhile now." Even the mere mention of the boy’s name brought a sour look to her face, as though she had tasted something incredibly foul. ”"He's a real piece of work. I don't...blame you for how you feel about him, he's a spoiled brat.” That’s a freaking understatement if I’ve ever heard one. ‘Piece of work’. He’s the whole freaking piece.

"Like Kazumi said, I know you said he'd never tell a soul, but it's still kinda risky. I wouldn't want to see you kicked out of university or in legal trouble because he goes and cries to his parents one day. At least make sure to cover you're tracks, though I imagine you probably already know that." Clearly, Mafuyu found the situation at least somewhat amusing, and she’d be lying if she said she disagreed. She knew how ridiculous she more than likely came off, ready to pummel an underclass high schooler, but she was really getting sick and tired of the guy going after her precious Zuzu. The Gods know he’s already been through so much. He really did deserve better, and it pissed her off to no end that the school still refused to take charge of their bullying ‘issue’.As if on queue, Natsuo’s flippantly answered Kazumi, jerking Iphignea back in with the first words he spoke. "Kazutora Miyato, Kazumi. Maybe you should work on your memory more, your head is up in the clouds too much." Iphi’s mind went blank after that, envisioning the different scenarios on what could have prompted Kazutora to get involved in something like that. "Better that than to be a stick in the mud like you." She barely registered their voices, zoning out over her lost thoughts. "Sister, if I was a stick in the mud, I wouldn't be able to do this.”

Sudden movement wrenched her attention back to their small group, and in her eyes it was almost as though Natsuo’s hand and kendo sword - why was he carrying that with him anyway? - were pointed at Kazumi’s face in an instant teleportation. Her eyes couldn’t keep up with the movement, and when he suddenly dropped it once more, also at such an insane speed, she found herself interested in what it was he actually knew how to do - and if she could learn it, too.

Unable to stop herself, Iphi leaned forward, worry instantly bubbling up inside of her as her mind returned to the current situation. Kazutora was in another fight? And for some random new girl he probably didn’t even know? That was so unlike him. Yeah, he wouldn’t stand idly by while some girl is being harassed, but he also wasn’t one to go out of his way to draw attention to himself - especially negative attention. Why would he help some random girl he doesn’t even know? And put himself in danger in the process?

He’s a fucking idiot, that’s why. ”Wait, wait, wait, hang on, just hold on for just a second.” Iphi waved her hands to get their attention, her focus solely on Zuzu. ”You said Kazutora Miyato? As in, little blonde guy, looks like an ankle biter but actually has the jaw of a pitbull Kazutora?” At their response, Iphi slapped her forehead, letting out a rough sigh as she did so. ”That kid is gonna be the death of me one of these days.” With a flickered glance over at the siblings, she dropped her hand and groaned. ”Kazutora is like a little brother to me. He’s … Complicated, but he’s a good kid. He’s the one who I’m going to have to help deal with … The issues I mentioned before.” A pause, and she fixed a look on Kazumi. ”Kazutora is a good guy who gets a lot of shit that he doesn’t deserve. I know I don’t have any right to, but if you guys see trouble brewing up around him, you don’t have to step in, but if you can just let me know so I can take care of it. I would be extremely appreciative. And …” She paused, torn over her next request but, with Zuzu in mind, she let out another huff and shouldered up her courage. ”If it isn’t too much to ask … If your sister really does seem to have taken even a little bit of a liking to him, could you try and encourage, or at least try to not discourage, a friendship between them?” A pause and she bit her lower lip, mulling over her thoughts and trying to figure out how best to turn them into sentences. ”There are things that … Aren’t my place to say, when it comes to his life. Just …” Gods, why was it so hard to just spit it out? ”Just try not to judge him too harshly, especially off of baseless rumors, okay?”

With that issue out of the way, Iphi turned and leaned towards Natsuo, excitement evident in her features. She’d rather not sit and wallow in her own embarrassment any longer than she’s already been forced to, and it was rare that she got this worked up over anything other than something involving fighting. While a sword wasn’t exactly that far off from hand-to-hand combat, it was still something new.

”What you did with your sword there was insanely cool! How did you do it? How much have you practiced? Is it a specific move that has a name? Or was it something that you can just do that’s cool? Can you teach me how to do it?” Her words came out fast, excited, almost meshing together with her accent - something that tended to happen when she got worked up in any way. Her tongue would sometimes meld her words, unable to keep up with the foreign words that had yet to become second nature to her, but she prevailed nonetheless, not allowing it to damper her thrill. ”Is your sword a real sword or is it a wooden one? Will you ever get to use a real sword? Could I use a real sword at some point? Maybe I could even be better at it than you,” she challenged, though a small, playful smirk tugged at the corners of her lips. It had been a long time since she had been able to have friends in general, let alone friends her own age, and these new students seemed so promising to her future of overcoming her insecurities and inner demons. She could barely contain her own excitement over the idea of it.

However, before Natsuo had had much time at all to answer any of her questions, or even really a fraction of them if we’re being honest, her phone began to chime its familiar little jingle, signaling her alarm for the end of lunch break. With her issues, the last thing she needed was to be tardy for all of her responsibilities, and she found that setting alarms helped to keep her at least somewhat on track - even if she did occasionally run a little late.

A movement silenced the phone quickly, and it was returned to her bag which she also collected. Once everything was packed up, she rose to her feet and, rather awkwardly, gave the trio a little half-wave. ”We’ll have to continue our conversations some other time. I’m not sure about your schedules, but I do have a class that I need to get to, and I need enough time to hit the locker rooms and change. It was nice to meet you both, and surprisingly enough, I did enjoy eating lunch with all of you. I hope the rest of your first day goes well.” With that, and a small bow, she was gone, her rising sense of discomfort pushing her to rush away and off to her next class - Physical Education, her favorite.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazumi Orako Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Mafuyu Hanazawa Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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Code- #FF1493

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Code- #0000CD


Looks like Mafuyu knew this Kenji also. Both Kazumi and Natsuo were familiar with the term 'tutor' for it was how they got taught things originally. Definitely better than this 'school' situation they found themselves in. It was after Mafuyu spoke that Natsuo did his 'little stunt'. Both looked at the reactions of the mortals with them. Mafuyu was obviously startled, but Iphi looked . . . excited? Both reactions were amusing. Still, Kazumi hoped Natsuo would be more careful.

Iphi started talking again, firstly about the boy named Kazutora, asking to confirm if it was him by describing him. Both Seasons nodded and Kazumi would have said more, but Iphi continued on and on, acting very much like a concerned older sibling, something both of them could relate too. Natsuo may not like it, but Kazumi would worry about him too. She took to being the eldest very seriously. He may not realize it, but Natsuo wasn't the only one to have something follow his siblings. Being the 'animal talker', she also had birds follow her brother.

"You don't have to worry about me judging your friend, Iphi. Plus, our sister is a good judge of character, so we always trust her opinion."

Natsuo remained silent. He'd be lying if he said he never judge a book by its cover because he didn't trust humans because they always made the same mistake. He once heard the phrase, "History repeats itself", and he fully agreed with that. So while he could be grateful for this Kazutora boy for helping his sister, in more ways than one, it didn't mean he wasn't going trust him. He obviously had issues. But Velonix's 'issues' were way worse.

He thoughts were interrupted when Iphi suddenly asked Natsuo about his kendo and skills asking if she could learn how to do that skill. Instantly Natsuo knew she'd never be as fast as him. He glanced at his sister to see her smirk at him as if to ask, How will you get yourself out of this?. He definitely messed up there for he did use a bit of his power doing that move. One thing was sure, the girl enjoyed fighting, especially when her accent deepened. Finally she stopped. Before Natsuo could answer any of her questions, Iphi's cell phone rang. After answering it, she got her gear together and stood up and said she had to get to her next class before walking away. Natsuo looked at the time and saw he also had to leave soon. Finishing his own meal, he turned to Kazumi.

"I have to get to my next class, Kazumi. I'll see back at home. Try to stay out of trouble,"

"That goes double for you. Try not to make the other students look like weaklings."

Kazumi knew all of her siblings' classes and knew Natsuo had P.E. next. Natsuo also knew his siblings' schedules.

"And you try not to outperform the others. You're too much of a drama queen already."

"Hmph! I am a better actor then you brother dear," Kazumi said before switching to Latin, ~You're lucky that girl left when she did. You need to be more careful.~

She was 100% serious for once too and Natsuo knew it. Merely nodding, Natsuo left heading to P.E.

When he got to his next class, he heads straight for the guys' locker room. Even though eyes of other guys followed him, no one dared approach him as he got ready for class. Putting things in his locker, he overhead a couple guys talking. Sounded like they were on the other side of the lockers.

"Hey have you seen the new college students yet?"

"Yep! Only from a distance, but the pink hair one is a hot one for sure. Man, I sure I'd to get to know her better if you get my drift."

Natsuo slammed the door of his locker and quickly confronted the duo.

"Which one of you wants to get to know my sister?"

The two looked freaked out and quickly left the scene. Satisfied that he scared them off, Kazuo got his kendo and headed out to where his class was and saw Iphi there. He groans but doesn't bother approaching her. He was never the type to start regular interactions.




After Natsuo left, Kazumi turns to Mafuyu.

"Sorry for my earlier rudeness. If you're curious, that was Latin I just spoke. I basically told my brother to be careful. Anyway, I am done eating myself so I am going to check on my dogs. They're right outside of campus. Sadly the school wouldn't allow them to accompany me, even though they're thoroughly obedient. They were raised to be with me all the time, so they would be depressed if I left them at home. My next class Drama, but it's not for another hour. You have a nice afternoon and thanks for your assistance."

Standing up, she bows to Mafuyu and leaves. Once she makes it to the entrance, she sees both Dawn and Eos, still where she left them. Knowing they needed exercise, Kazumi walks them to a nearby pet park and runs them for about 20 minutes before heading back. Giving them a snack, she heads for her drama class. She makes it with 5 minutes to spare and the first person she sees to her surprise that Mafuyu is there. Excited, she bounces right up to him.

"Hi Mafuyu, I didn't know you had this class too! I am definitely looking forward to this class, but I think my fav class I signed up for is Dance since it's something I've been doing since I can remember."

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iphianassa Lykaois Character Portrait: Natsuo Orako
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”Those who are busy discussing your life,
Probably aren’t happy about theirs.”
~Unknown

Speech Code ~ #8A0808
| Thought Code ~ #045FB4


Relax As You Read ~ Center Your Thoughts




The gymnasium was a separate building from the main academy, and was actually split into two buildings as well. One for the university, and one for the high school. Both had their own pools, changing rooms, exercise rooms, and training rooms in addition to the stereotypical open gym. Two tennis courts rest behind the buildings, and a large track that measured a quarter mile, surrounded by bleachers, an announcer’s box, and a concessions stand were just on the other side of the courts. The inside of the buildings were easily converted into basketball courts if needed, but for the most part remained as open rooms for activity. Each building had its own supply closet, which sat just outside the doors to the full gyms, and there were even two archery zones on the opposite side of the university gymnasium.

Having grown accustomed to the expansive setup, Iphignea didn’t even bat an eye when she arrived, instead shoving in through the doors to the university gymnasium without a care in the world. She ignored the scathing looks the women gave her - she wasn’t well liked by girls her age - and the amused snickers of the men. An internal reminder, that it could always be worse. That she could be in Kazutora’s position, relentlessly hounded and beaten on a near-daily basis. Even her intervention did nothing to stem the bullying he received, so how could she possibly protect herself if she couldn’t protect him?

So, instead, she chose to ignore them. They would get bored eventually, she figured, so despite the whispers causing slithers of red to make their way across her vision, she made her way to the women’s locker room. Taunts shoved aside, her main focus being to throw herself into her workout, she was excited; exercise always made her feel better, no matter what the issue was.

The whispers didn’t end when she left the hallway. No, for the moment she entered the changing room, they picked up once more. But she had grown accustomed to this. She would be more confused if they didn’t mutter amongst themselves about her. People were like chickens, clucking away any little thing they heard just because they could, and as soon as one of them had seen, they all had seen. She had been careless as a child, newly adopted and settled in Japan. Having wanted to only make friends, she had trusted the wrong girl - or rather, girls. A sleepover gone wrong, memories that she wished to not recall; it all led to the inevitable discovery of her disfiguration.

As though in response, her back began a slight burning ache. It no longer hurt, no, for it was long healed. But the memory of the pain was something that Iphianassa would never forget, not for the rest of her days. Her hand idly rubbed at the back of her shoulder, as though to somewhat soothe the sting of memories past. It did little to stem the reminder, so with a little shrug and shake, she continued to her locker. Thankfully, the other women had decided to leave her be for the day and it was in its normal state, and they even allowed her to change her clothes in peace - aside for the shit-talking, of course. It didn’t matter that they knew; she refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing her scars. She could make due with a sweatsuit for her workout while at school.

It used to make her angry, the way that they spoke about her. She used to fly off the handle and wish to beat them senseless, and if she was being honest, it was something that she still would find great satisfaction in. But she was older, wiser, and she knew better than to simply attack them. She needed this school to work. She couldn’t afford to go to any other university, what with her free housing at the temple. She had to behave, even if that meant putting up with the immaturity of her classmates.

Her locker slammed with a slight echo, causing her peers to stop their chattering in surprise. The air grew awkward and tense when she simply tilted her head, revealing a viscous glare in their directions. The changing room echoed only with the sound of a dripping faucet, all the way up until she had left, and only when the door was swinging shut did she begin to hear the tittering pick up once more. What an ugly bitch. Stuck up whore. Slut. Bacon backed bitch. It was endless, and try as she might, it still stung a little.

Her mere existence was such a nuisance to those around her.

A head shake, clenched fist to accompany it. She had a class to attend, and she would be damned if she missed it because of some snooty plastic wannabes.

The gym was where they would always meet before dispersing to their own workouts, so with a quick tuck of her water bottle under her arm, she leaned slightly to the side to begin pulling back her long hair into a ponytail. It wasn’t until she had come to a stop where the rest of the students were gathered that she finally turned her gaze up, immediately landing on one of the last people - or perhaps first people? She didn’t know how to feel anymore - she wanted to see. Natsuo Orako.

His tense expression changed when they made eye contact, as though he too had only just spotted her, and the face that he made wasn’t really one that made it seem as though he liked her. Maybe the whole interaction at lunch, even his disconnect, was a facade, and he actually couldn’t stand her already? Had he already heard from the other college students what a psychotic bitch she was? Possibly. At this point, she wouldn’t put it past them to key in on the new students and immediately start their little charade of pretending to be their friends.

So, with her small amount of confidence dashed by that look, Iphi decided it was best not to approach him, at least for today. Instead, she gave him a slightly uncertain smile and a small half-wave. Just because he didn’t seem to want to be friends didn’t mean she couldn’t at least still be nice. He was Kazutora’s new friend’s older brother after all. If it meant more protection for her Zuzu, she’d do anything.

Class passed by in a blur. She focused mostly on stamina for today, opting to go for a run at the track. She self-timed, of course, and was proud to see that she had knocked off three seconds from her mile run by the end of class. It had been hard work, but she was finally in a position where she felt as though she were ready to begin training for the next competition.

Before she knew it, her peers were dispersing. She lingered, if only to have access to a fully empty locker room, and fanned herself to cool down as she waited. The room eventually emptied, leaving her to be able to shower in privacy. While it was something they knew about, she still didn’t want to risk anyone seeing them; she was ugly, and she knew that. She didn’t need anyone else to confirm that for her. It was why she only owned one mirror, which was used for the sole purpose of ensuring her hair wasn’t entirely crazy.

When she finally left the building, it was a relief to step out into the fresh air. School was always so stifling for her, no matter how much she tried to love it, she would always have a mixed relationship with the establishment. Thankfully, she had the next hour to herself before temple duties. She would miss Zuzu, as he got out of class when she already had to be at the Temple, and that worried her tremendously, but there was not much she could do. Today was a major ceremony and she couldn’t be late. All she could do was hope against hope that he’d be okay without her. He was a tough kid, so he’d be okay, right?

Iphignea spent the next hour, well, bullshitting to say the least. She made her way back to the temple and took care of her dog before preemptively changing into her ceremonial gown and headdress. Afterwards, she settled in to wait, killing time studying for her Spanish quiz that would be held the next day.

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kazuyuki Orako Character Portrait: Reiya Goertz
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#, as written by viirune
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"Overjoyed that you've gotten to the flat spot -
In the field and you're starting to feel -
That it's hearkening to something heartening."

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"When you play,
Never mind who listens to you."
- Robert Schumann

















Kazuyuki Speech Code ~ #a59bbd | Kazuyuki Thought Code ~ #aec8f3 | Reiya Speech Code ~ #d66b70


.
School days never seem to end here. After every hour of one subject, Kazuyuki finds himself faced with another teacher who has another subject ready. Once they've finally left their homeroom, there's still another classroom, with another teacher, with another subject, for another hour. He feels both restless and exhausted, leg bouncing through the entirety of his fifth period class while his head aches for another nap and a break from so many unfamiliar scents - too many unpleasant ones, if he's honest - that the school held. At least he's mostly left alone through this hour besides the stares that still burned into the back of his head. Were they good or bad? He wasn't sure, but either way they were impolite.

Harmonix - Velonix - doesn't join him for this class, off in home ec apparently. None of the others he'd met thus far were in this class either, though; Kazutora shared home ec with Velonix, and Reiya was in creative writing. The classroom's location was one he'd memorized and was approaching now after they'd parted ways earlier after a brief meeting with her enthusiastic cousin. She'd pointed him in the direction of his fifth period before, but now he'd need her help getting to orchestra.

Halcyon had been slightly surprised over the fact that the school had one in such a small town. Typically a small town meant a small high school, and that often left schools underfunded. At the very least, western schools seemed to cut out the arts quite swiftly when funding was low, but maybe it was different in Japan? Either way, he was relieved to find it to be the case for this school; while there were one or two other clubs that he might've been alright with joining, orchestra is the one he knows he'll excel in.

The creative writing and literature classroom eventually comes into view again and Kazuyuki takes in a few small breaths as he approaches the door, left slightly ajar from careless students who had probably left just moments before he'd arrived. His hand moves to take hold of the edge of it and fingers lightly rest around the back before it's pushed open, low rattle of the door against its track quietly announcing his arrival to the room. It's somewhat emptied already by now, a few of the students heading for their club activities or hanging around with friends in the class for awhile longer, though he doesn't pay much mind to those still left in the room beyond searching for one familiar face. Reiya was still here, right? Small as she was, she sort of blended in with the others, but Kazuyuki's height let him get a better view over the heads of classmates at least.

Eventually he spots the peachy colored hair of the girl still at her desk and a faintly relieved smile graces his expression; being back to familiar faces - no matter the fact that they'd just barely met; a vague acquaintance was better than a complete stranger in his eyes - let his heart rest a little more than it had been for the last hour.

It's a few easy strides over to the girl's spot, head tilting slightly as he approaches with a, "Reiya? Are you still alright with helping me get to orchestra?"

Reiya had been relieved when Japanese and English were over because as much as she loved her cousin, she’d been a bit too exuberant today, mostly due to the new student being there. Plus, Yuki was pretty distracting, even though it was no fault of his own. So she definitely welcomed the break from him for her next two classes of P.E. and Creative Writing. She still pointed Yuki in the right direction of his next class though. Time flew by and by the time her last class was done, Reiya made sure to stay put since she had promised Yuki to help him find Orchestra. Sure enough he did show up. He seemed happy to see her. Reiya returned the grin and hoped she would be able to focus on the club they both shared.

”It’s no problem, especially since I am in that club too. It’s in the auditorium near here.”

Standing up, she got her things before leading him out of the classroom and building. Thankfully it didn’t take them too long to get to their destination. All eyes centered on them, more specifically Yuki, when they came in. Reiya chose to ignore the stares and just went in, not expecting Yuki to follow her.

Yet despite her expectations, Kazuyuki does exactly that. With no one else familiar in the room, he finds himself sticking with following quietly behind her, much better off keeping pace with someone he feels slightly comfortable with than trying to settle into a spot on his own. He wasn't sure how this hour would go - he'd never been in an orchestra before, only ever played alone in his room, though he'd done a bit of research and watched some videos before now just to be sure he wouldn't make a total fool of himself. But all the same, what should he expect? How were things handled here? Was there assigned seating? Surely each instrument would be specific to their own space, but where was he? Violin, though when he'd played for the high school's conductor to determine his level and placement, something about being the orchestra's soloist had been mentioned practically as soon as he was done. Would he sit with the rest of the violinists, or would he have a spot somewhere else?

So he trails behind the peach haired girl, brown-grey eyes taking in the rest of the orchestra room at a leisurely pace. It was set up like all the ones he'd seen in videos and pictures, chairs laid out in a half-moon shape with a music stand placed between two at a time. The front, with a slightly raised platform where he imagines the class's conductor will stand during practice and rehearsals. A white board with remnants of music notes and symbols that haven't been fully erased. Cabinets and lockers line the walls, likely for storing each students' instrument for the day while they're in class. He wasn't really sure where his had ended up; the teacher had taken it for him so he wouldn't have to worry about crossing campus again to get to class. There's a larger closet, possibly where extra instruments, sheet music, and more lay. The most attention grabbing is the grand piano set off to the side, meant for an accompanist he assumes. And if he was assuming right, it was where Reiya was headed.

He can't help the slight pique of curiosity that comes with that. She'd crossed him as potentially a violinist, but was it piano she played instead? For how long? How well? Would he get to hear her play much today?

"Are you the pianist for the orchestra, Reiya?" He gets himself to vocalize the question for his curiosity, hand running lightly over the glistening black body of the piano as they get close enough for him to reach, "how long have you been playing?"

Reiya turned to Yuki when he asked a question. Looking at the piano, she was reminded of her mother, who loved the piano. She had her own piano at her home, even though it wasn’t a grand piano like this one. Trying to keep a straight face, she replied to Yuki.

”Yes, I am. I learned by watching . . . . my mother.”

While reading was her main source of escapism, when in the past she wanted to outwardly express her grief, she always played the piano. Wanting to not dwell on the past, she decided to ask Yuki something.

“What’s your instrument?”

Kazuyuki listens with a quiet hum as Reiya answers his question, a quieter tone taken when she mentions her mother. It leaves him tilting his head slightly; he's curious now, but knows better than to pry on sensitive matters. Especially one involving parents. Trying to dig over someone else's might lead to them asking about his, and beyond the general story of he and his siblings adoptive parents having died, he's not entirely confident in spinning more lies about the sort of people they were.

The conversation of instruments pulls his attention back a moment later though, a glance around to see if he can spot the case of his, still not in sight, "I play the violin." He shifts to lean against the piano a little more, heavy enough that it doesn’t budge even with his weight, "but I…could probably do fine with the cello and viola, too. The violin is just what I prefer."

He's not able to get much more in before the teacher for their club arrives. Mr. Sakurada was his name, a taller man with a friendly personality. Unlike many of the other teachers who are dressed in business casual to business formal, the orchestra conductor is in much more casual wear that gives him an even more lax aura: a loose t-shirt with a jacket worn over the top, and a pair of jeans.

As Kazuyuki's gaze turns downward, he spots a familiar case held in the man's hands: his violin. No wonder he couldn't find it; it seemed like their conductor had kept it with him for the day rather than dropping it off here. Maybe he just hadn't had time to swing it by? Who knows.

The man scans the room for a second before he spots Kazuyuki, easy enough with his height and hair color, and in just a few strides he's made it over to where he stands with Reiya, eager smile on his face.

"Afternoon, Reiya. I see you've made friends with our club's newest member?" Casually he turns to face Kazuyuki next, holding out the case he'd been carrying with him until now, "sorry I didn't get this back here sooner. Things got a little hectic today, but I made sure it was safe and sound while it was with me." He pats the top of the case, and Kazuyuki takes it out of his hands once it's held further in his direction, a comfortable weight back in his hands. "I'm sure you're wondering about placement and whatnot; no need to worry. For now, I'll let you stick close to Reiya since you two seem to have hit it off." Kazuyuki can't tell if the man is joking or not by the tone of his voice, but he doesn't dwell on it. "Once you're more situated and comfortable I'll get you a proper place up front as our soloist, but until then…" He takes a few steps over to snag a collapsed music stand and a chair, placing it just a few paces away from the piano bench, "this spot'll work, right?" He pats the top of the chair, sparing a glance to Reiya as if to gauge her reaction, and then to Kazuyuki again.

"Anyway, I've got to start getting things in order for us to get moving through another practice, but all the sheet music is tucked in the sleeve of your case, so feel free to look through it if you want." A pause, "though you did say you already learned the full concerto a year or two ago, so I'm sure it won't be too hard to pick up again." That was a lie he'd come up with on the spot; it was more like he could just play anything put in front of him given his own proficiency with stringed instruments, so he never had to worry about learning new songs from the beginning like any human would.

Mr. Sakurada is off to the front where his stand is after that, sorting through papers and talking with the other students. Kazuyuki himself settles into the seat he'd been provided, his case on his lap as he does, and he pops it open to reveal the violin inside in the same condition he'd left it. It doesn't take long to go through the motions of getting it ready, having done it thousands of times already before. So instead he's turning his attention back over to Reiya as he attaches the shoulder rest, reaching for the bow and rosin next. With the both of them seeming to be people of few words and barely a step above strangers, conversation is a little difficult, but Kazuyuki tries his best. Trying to make a friend was difficult; given his own tendency to just stay alone and really having only interacted with his immediate family for…only the gods - or, well, his parents - know how long, trying to speak with and get to know a stranger feels a bit over his head.

Should he try channeling Harmonix? He feels as though he'd just make a fool of himself, if he did.

Sucking in a small breath, he lets the bow lay balanced in his lap once he finishes drawing the amber colored resin over the strings a few times, "I guess I'll be sticking by you for now, then. Will that be a bother for you? I'll do my best to not get in the way of your work." A pause, he shifts a bit in his seat, "I…look forward to hearing you play."

Reiya remained silent as Yuki spoke. So he could play several string instruments? That was talent. He must really love music to want to learn several. Soon the instructor appeared and made commentary on her and Yuki, which for some reason caused Reiya to blush. She had noticed the stares they were getting from other students and several of the girls gave her looks of envy. She chose to ignore them of course. She was used to them by now since she still got stares from people in general due to her light colored hair. Anyone who didn’t have dark hair stood out in Japan, especially in a small town like this. Even Reiya knew this before moving to Japan.

When Mr. Sakurada asked her about putting Yuki near her for now, Reiya simply nodded.

”It’s no problem.”

She hoped that would be true. When their instructor left, Yuki spoke up again and said he hoped he wouldn’t be a bother.

”It’s okay,” she said automatically.

Technically he was already a bother, but she wasn’t bound to say because it was pretty rude and Yuki had been nothing but nice to her. Still he was too attractive for his own good. She wondered if he was aware of that. She blushed a little when he said he looked forward to hearing her play. Thankfully before she could respond, Mr. Sakurada started things up.

"Alright, everyone!" The man is standing on the platform at the front now, several papers laid out in front of him as he gathers attention, "as usual an hour is barely enough time to practice, so let’s do our best to keep on task so we can get through everything we need to today." Another paper shuffles over the top of the stand in front of him, and he glances over it, "let’s see… We still haven’t finalized a date for the concert, but plan on it being held during the last week of this semester. As always, you can invite friends and family to watch, but please remind friends to not get rowdy, thank you." A slightly sarcastic remark, it seems mostly joking at least with the few snickers that follow it, and he continues down the paper. "Not important…not important…don’t need to cover that… Well! Onto the final announcement already then!" The paper is discarded in a tiny trash bin right next to his stand, "We have ourselves a new member and a new soloist! I know we’ve been trying to figure out who to put in that spot since Musuda graduated last year, but it looks like our problem has gone ahead and solved itself. Kazuyuki Orako’s going to be filling in that position from here on out for the year, so please be sure to give him a warm welcome!"

Kazuyuki finds himself hesitating again slightly when his classmates turn to look at him again, a small hand raising to wave in an awkward greeting as some whispers start up again. Hopefully people would start getting used to him, sooner rather than later.

Mr. Sakurada pulls back attention easily enough, "and now, let’s dive into our practice, shall we? Since we’ve already run over the spring and summer movements of Vivaldi’s seasons," he briefly remembers the unexpected laugh that he’d barely managed to stifle when the man had told him the pieces they were playing, "let's go ahead and start our playthrough of autumn for this week. Everyone ready?"

To say the least, the first few times trying to run through it is nothing short of a mess. Perhaps this was to be expected; he knew the sort of effect he and his siblings' musical focus had on mortals, and he should have been more prepared for the way so many of them seemed to startle to a halt in their own playing once he began. So much attention once his solo parts of the pieces rang through clear in the air, flawless and hypnotizing, and he manages to keep it as such despite the stares as the sound of his violin fills the room. It's not until several attempts later that most of the students seem to have calmed down over it, settling back into playing somewhat well without coming to a complete halt when Kazuyuki's portion came around again.

Needless to say, he's relieved when the hour is over. At the very least he hopes that it will only get easier from that day forward so he doesn't regret his decision, but changing his mind at this point felt far too late, and he wasn't about to cause any stress or difficulties for those around him on day one.

Besides, he'd rather enjoyed being able to stay near Reiya for the period of the club. If she would eventually be alright with it, he hoped they could become friends.

Until then, it seems that was where they would part ways for the day. It's a briefly shared goodbye before she's disappeared out the door, mixing in with the rest of the students of Higashi-Naruse's high school, and Kazuyuki finds himself alone in the quiet again.

A sigh and he's gathered up his things, heading in the direction of the school's gates with a yawn.

Mm…a nap once I get home, definitely…