Hideki and Ai Intro Two: Let Hidekkin-Senpai show you around <3

[15:12] <PersonaGM> [April 2… The first day of the school year.-
[15:15] <PersonaGM> [It was a bright day outside, with a high sun and only little stray white clouds in the sky.-
[15:15] <PersonaGM> [Inside, the dorm was… As quiet as ever.-
[15:19] <PersonaGM> [Yet for Hideki Nakajima and Ai Yoshino, this morning would be most momentous. Through luck and sheer coincidence, they'd avoided each other throughout the whole weekend, except maybe glimpsing each other from afar. But this morning- as they wandered into the kitchen to retrieve their breakfasts (rice, grilled fish, buttered toast)… They'd find themselves arriving at the same time.]
[15:28] * Ai had wandered in with a plate that… made a simple substitution. And fusion. Okay maybe not that simple. She managed to file a request to get chicken instead of fish… by way of having a butter-chicken omurice to replace the fish AND the rice. It was heavenly to her, and she was already eyeing the ketchup. As for her uniform… The brunette hadn't done tons to it, mostly adding… a big pink bow that tied up her hair into a wide ponytail~
[15:32] * Hideki didn't bother to stifle a yawn as he reached the bottom of the stairs and moseyed into the kitchen, the morning sun glinting cheerfully off his glasses. His uniform was ironed well enough, although he wore it as relaxed as he could get away with - loosened tie, dress shirt untucked and rolled up to the elbow, red jacket hanging around one arm. His dark brown hair had been
[15:32] * Hideki carefully styled in a manner suggesting that he hadn't put much thought into how it looked. -
[15:34] <Hideki> He stopped short, blinking at the other tenant, and then broke out into a grin. "No kidding. So there are other people living here after all!"
[15:35] <Ai> "Yeah. there were two guests in the book when I…" Guests. Guestbook. For some reason Ai had a weird feeling about that, as she held her plate. "…You're a guy so you have to be Hidekkin, right?" …A pet-name at the first meeting…?
[15:38] * Hideki snorted with laughter. "Close enough, I guess. You're…?"
[15:41] <Ai> She did a small bow. "Ai!"
[15:45] <Hideki> "Welcome aboard." He gave his own less formal head-bob, and beamed. "I think I was the first one in the guestbook, so I get to say that. When'd you get in?"
[15:46] <Ai> "Oh, third. In the afternoon, I think." She said. "…Some… Sachiko was in there too. Never met her though."
[15:49] * Hideki shrugged. "Same boat. Oh, y'know? We should check to see how many of us there are now!"
[15:50] <Ai> "…Good idea! But don't take too long. I don't want my omu-omu to get collld." And she started to prance out towards the lobby.
[15:51] * Hideki was not long behind! "Good morning Ms. Asahina~" he called out to the toll booth as they approached the book.
[15:52] <PersonaGM> ["Good morning. Make sure to eat your breakfasts. I worked hard on them. Especially yours, Yoshino."]
[15:52] * Ai …didn't greet her, though she did do a small bow to keep up appearances. But. "…I-I know. You must really like your fish but. B-but omurice is glory. …M-maybe I'll try to make some with the supplies if you'll let me." She said, bowing again.
[15:53] <PersonaGM> ["If you want to cook, feel free, so long as you don't go overbudget."]
[15:54] <Ai> "♪~" …Still, she sidled closer to look … over? Hideki's shoulder. For some definition of over.
[15:55] <PersonaGM> [Mo' like under]
[15:55] <Hideki> Yup. Hideki was tall! -
[15:56] <Hideki> "Aw… There are only four of us…? But there are so many rooms here!"
[15:57] <Ai> "…Really? Lemme see, lemme see." She put her tray on the desk and leaned even harder! Poor thing was eye-level to his chest.
[15:58] * Hideki pushed the book toward her and stepped back a bit to let her see. "I guess the small number does make planning the welcome party a little easier, right Ms. Asahina?"
[16:00] <PersonaGM> ["You tell me." Just as Ai leaned in to look, a stick snaked out of the slot, hooked the book and pulled it in.-
[16:00] <PersonaGM> ["Hm." Said Miss Asahina.]
[16:01] <Ai> "Ehhh?!" She complained suddenly. …Stick. …Stick… Wait, and… For a few seconds Ai stood there, wheels turning.
[16:04] <Hideki> "Hm?" Hideki eyed the box curiously. "What's wrong?"
[16:06] <PersonaGM> ["It does seem like a very small number." Said Miss Asahina. The book reappeared. "Nevermind."]
[16:07] <Ai> "…Oh," …At which point Ai did open it if it was closed, to look at it. "…It wouldn't be much of a party, and with the unique decor, personal management… It almost seems like we're part of some pilot program, doesn't it?"
[16:07] <Ai> …Of note, Ai had surreptitiously started grabbing toast to chew on.
[16:08] <Hideki> "Another one? Like the phone thing?"
[16:09] <Ai> "…Oh hey, you got a phone too! …I don't know what brand it is though… the device specs are blank…" She muttered. …And thought of something AGAIN. Food first, though. Carefully gliding over to Dat Omurice.
[16:11] <PersonaGM> ["Yoshino, do you know the way to school?" Asked Miss Asahina.]
[16:12] <Hideki> "I still think there should be a welcome party. Maybe with a bottle of wine or two to make it classy. Y'know, if someone staying here was old enough to buy some…" He fixed his most charming smile upon the box.
[16:12] <Ai> "…" She blinked. Then. "…It's. …On that tee-shirt, a-and. …" Then she whined. "Hidecchin, don't talk about underage drinking /right/ in front of the manager! H-have you no restraint?" Pout. "…Uh. I could google it…?"
[16:15] <PersonaGM> [Smiling at the box did nothing. It was a box.-
[16:16] <PersonaGM> ["Nakajima will take you to the school." Said Miss Asahina. "And you shouldn't drink. But if you want to, I won't stop you. Unless you get drunk."-
[16:16] <PersonaGM> ["Do not get drunk."]
[16:17] <Ai> "…I. Interesting." Ai said. But then looked up at the boy a full head taller than her. With a yellow bit of omelette in her mouth. "Yoo know howda geddere, right?"
[16:18] <Hideki> "Of course. How come you don't? Is it your first year?"
[16:18] <Ai> "…Yes?" Ai sounded a bit incredulous. "Do you th-think I look like a second-year?"
[16:21] <Hideki> "Nah. You're pretty young. Can't make assumptions, though." He headed over to his own plate now, which he had left in the kitchen. "I know a girl or two in my class who look like they'd fit in with the middle schoolers."
[16:22] <Ai> "Everyone needs a senpai sometimes." She said with a firm nod. "I remember even hearing about some places trying programs of highschoolers helping early primary kids. …Don't remember how it ended though. I'm sure they're fine."
[16:23] <Hideki> "Sure. What's the worst that could happen?"
[16:30] <PersonaGM> ["Keep an eye on time." Said Miss Asahina. "Being late for the first day is a hundred and eight years bad luck."]
[16:31] <Ai> "I saved a piece of toast for last so I can have it on the go." A wink, even as she was stuffing more omurice down her gullet. "You know, just for funsies."
[16:33] <PersonaGM> [Grunt.]
[16:33] <Ai> Then she winked again. "Also the hundred-and-eighth year is clearly the one in which the cycle is broken and the misfortunes of humanity can be cleansed."
[16:34] <PersonaGM> [An ominous silence from the box. Not even the tapping of the stick could be heard.]
[16:36] <Hideki> "Enough already. We'll make it!" Hideki assured them, quickly gobbling his own serving of rice. Then the fish. He yanked his blazer on, and then went to town on the toast. "Mmph. Thanks for breakfast, by the way. You done, Yoshino?"
[16:51] <Ai> Ai had just the toast, and was shoving it into her mouth, chewing now and then. "Yesh," Out of her mouth. "We can go! And don't you worry, Miss Asahina~ If trying to cook omurice is really hard on your hands or something, I'll try to pick up the cooking. Maybe you can guide me to where the ingredients are later~ …If you have time."
[16:54] <PersonaGM> ["… Have fun at school."]
[16:55] <Ai> "♫~~" …Oh we're getting fancy now. "C'mon, Hidecchin-senpaiii~" And she started skipping out of the dorm!
[16:56] <Hideki> "Hai, hai…" Hideki grabbed his bag, and waving to Asahina's box, began to lead the way.
[15:54] <PersonaGM> [Hideki had decided to forgo the bus and instead walk to the school.-
[15:54] <PersonaGM> [Which meant Ai had to walk with him, of course.-
[15:54] <PersonaGM> [The streets around Soejima Road remained quiet- for awhile, but here and there, they gradually began seeing more students wearing the Academy uniform.]
[15:58] * Ai was… almost upset at missing the bus. She wasn't that fit - in, this case, the 'tiny nerdlet' way, and had a somewhat slow pace. True for form, she had kept a piece of toast to chew on the way, even slapping some omelette bits on it
[16:02] <Hideki> Missed the bus? Pfft. Morning walks were good for the body! Hideki's pace wavered between brisk and a patient plod, and then in moments of forgetfulness, a brisk pace again. He pointed out the occassional landmark. A bookstore here, a bus stop there… "That cafe we just passed with the yellow roof sells amazing pancakes. It burned down two years ago, but the owner rebuilt it on the
[16:02] <Hideki> same spot. Go in the evening, or else you're fighting a big crowd to get seated." -
[16:04] <Hideki> He pointed straight ahead of them. "By the way, you can spot Sophia's tallest buildings from blocks away. See? So if you ever get lost around here, just look at the skyline."
[16:08] * Ai nodded, keeping that in mind. "Ah, …orient…teering? I think." Ai was also just sort of, wandering calmly behind Hideki now. "…Have uh, you ever been in Soejima 5 in your other years here?"
[16:13] <Hideki> "Nah, first time. The other dorms kind of look alike, but this one's different. Less put together. Waaaay less crowded."
[16:15] <Ai> "It's really weird." Ai said. "It sort of seems like time forgot it. Wasn't there a fire? …On campus. A-and other weird stuff? …or something… B-but uh. It's like." Beat. "Is it haunted? A-am I gonna hear about some seven wonders of Sophia academy and half of them are in there?
[16:19] * Hideki grinned. -
[16:22] <Hideki> "Oh yeah, the fires. I think there was some lab experiment that got out of control or something. The media was here and everything! But I don't think anyone was actually hurt."-
[16:23] <Hideki> "That said, how would you react if you really did run into a ghost? Because you just might while you're going here~"
[16:25] <Ai> "…" Ai just stared at Hideki. In fact, she picked up her pace to get in front of him so she could just. Stare. At. Him.
[16:28] * Hideki cleared his throat for dramatic effect before delving into a deftly worded tale that would make any master storyteller proud. "The old school buildings are haunted as shit." -
[16:35] <Hideki> "Not the place where we go for classes. The OLD school buildings. They used to belong to some Temple school, so there's tons of weird energy around it. Ghosts hang out there all the time. Maybe they're the souls of students who freaked out and offed themselves over university exams or who up and disappeared over the years. Whoever they are, they're there. You can see shapes and lights in the windows late at night at a distance… but when you get closer they vanish."
[16:39] <Ai> Ai paused. "…Okay…? Have you seen anything in the old buildings, yourself?" She said. … …actually… As she walked along with him again, she added. "5 Soejima sure feels old, you know."
[16:41] <Hideki> "It does. And there are all sorts of places that are off limits," Hideki grinned. He didn't answer her first question. "Suspicious, right?"
[16:41] <Ai> "Very." Ai said, though she said it with a… weirdly suspicious tone of her own. In fact she looked almost a bit sulky at that evasive answer.
[16:48] <Hideki> "Heh. I wonder what it's like."
[16:48] <Ai> "…Er? What what's like?" Ai said, now confused. As if some word Hideki used wasn't 'right'.
[16:50] <Hideki> "Being stuck in a high school - or a high school dorm - forever."
[16:52] <Ai> "…Oh." She must've thought something else. "…It'd suck. And I don't know if ghosts are even fully… with it. Like, you know a lot of them are said to like. Repeat what they once did, over, and over, and over…" She wiggled a hand. "Like. Hologram recordings of a person. …Can you imagine like. …If you were just trapped in, I dunno, walking through the dorm hall to use the toilet because like, you totally got hit by that red cloak blue cloak guy?"-
[16:52] <Ai> "Years. Decades. Centuries of… pooping."
[16:54] <Hideki> "…that might be the most depressing thing I've ever heard."
[16:54] <Ai> "Exactly!"
[17:08] <Hideki> "Alright. So you've confirmed there are fates out there that are worst than death itself. Well done, First-year."
[17:09] * Ai giggled brilliantly. "Well, it's also death. So…~" She skipped lightly, anyhow, now~
[17:10] <PersonaGM> ["Hmmm."-
[17:10] <PersonaGM> [The voice of a newcomer interrupted their conversation. Standing off to the side, wearing her uniform perfectly and proudly, was a very pretty long-haired girl with olive eyes. Hideki, of course, recognised Yi Ji-Hu, although Ai didn't.-
[17:11] <PersonaGM> ["Good morning." Said Ji-Hu, smiling even as her eyes flitted between the two.]
[17:17] <Hideki> "Ji-Hu! Heeeeyyy, good morning!" If Hideki felt any unease, he sure as hell didn't show it, approaching the newcomer with open arms. "How'd you sleep?"
[17:19] * Ai tilted her head, then the other, but smiled. "Oh, this is a friend of yours, Hidecchin?"
[17:22] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, Hidecchin, why don't you introduce us?" Said Ji-Hu sweetly.]
[17:28] <Hideki> "Sure… uh. Yoshino Ai, meet Yi Ji-Hu, who's really pretty and nice, especially today. She's also my girlfriend!"
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["Pleased to meet you, miss Yoshino. You are…?"]
[17:31] <Ai> "..I'm a first-year at his dorm… Like, one of the only four there." She explained.
[17:35] <PersonaGM> ["Huh. How fascinating!"]
[17:37] <Hideki> "We were walking to school together, since it's her first day, and all. You should join us!"
[17:39] <Ai> "H-hee. Joining with his ~girlfriend~ on the walk to school." Ai was giggling incessantly.
[17:42] <PersonaGM> ["Sounds like fun!" Said Ji-Hu, moving to walk in step with Hideki. "Lead on, Hidecchin."]
[15:41] <Hideki> It wasn't as if they were far from the school. The scent of flowers made that clear long before they reached Sophia Academy's solemn entry gate - a pale stone and black iron affair that was connected to a matching fence that went on for quite some distance in both directions. -
[15:50] <Hideki> The campus itself was like a massive park with pathways neatly criss-crossing green fields, broad flowerbeds overflowing with red and white blossoms, shady trees, and far-flung buildings from various stately architectural styles. Here, naturally, students in the school's telltale colors converged and spread quickly across the massive, sprawling campus. Most seemed to know where they were going. Did Ai?
[15:53] <Ai> Ai … had had some idea, "Hummu, hummu…" She muttered, looking at her phone - which she had pulled out and was looking up a map on. "H-1C…"
[15:57] <Hideki> "C'mon, we're heading to the same building. Lion Hall." Hideki guestured vaguely in the proper direction. Ai would see that the way was marked with signposts anyway. "We'll just walk you to your classroom."
[16:00] <PersonaGM> ["Who's the homeroom teacher for 1C this year, Yoshino?" Asked Ji-Hu.]
[16:02] <Ai> "O… okay." She blushed a little, thinking of how blatantly kohai-like this was making her look. Even from a boy, it kinda… Then she… turned to Ji-Hu with a bit of a start, brought out of her reverie. "I wha I… …I forgot." She said sheepishly. "Ghosts. Really distracting…"
[16:02] <PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu blinked. Then glanced at Hideki suspiciously.-
[16:02] <PersonaGM> ["Check your school diary."]
[16:02] <PersonaGM> [She said to Ai. Not to Hideki.]
[16:03] * Hideki avoided that glance by happily and intentionally waving to someone he knew from a distance.
[16:04] * Ai was slightly confused at Hideki getting the glance. …Maybe if she had said 'elves' she'd have sounded crazy in more a way that wouldn't implicate Hideki. …Ai briefly weighed the opportunity cost of that before just. Checking the diary.
[16:11] <PersonaGM> [The diary said that her homeroom teacher was a Mr. Asaka.]
[16:12] <Ai> "…Oh. Mr. Asaka." She said, nodding. "…Is he good…? Bad…? …Five tanuki in a trenchcoat?"
[16:22] <Hideki> "Uh. He seems nice on the outside but…" Hideki trailed off awkwardly. "Look. Just be on your guard with that guy, okay? There are rumors…"
[16:52] <PersonaGM> ["You'll know the type." Said Ji-Hu, her expression darker, her brows curled in concern. "'Sexual impropriety'. Like Hideki says, just be careful. I know it sucks to have to say."]
[16:56] * Ai frowned. "…O-oh. Good, I was gonna ask but… I was worried about being a gossip and having to c-convince you and…" She knitted her hands. "It's okay. I'll kick him in the balls a-and take the detention. Thanks."
[16:57] <PersonaGM> ["… Pffffffffft."]
[11:52] * Hideki on the other hand, grinned and gave her a thumbs up. "It's a good plan, if you don't mind the trouble you'll get in. Maybe just avoid him when you can?"
[11:54] <Ai> "…P-probably wise."
[11:55] <@PersonaGM> ["Which'll be hard if he's your homeroom teacher." Said Ji-Hu. "But keep your head down and we'll do our best."-
[11:55] <@PersonaGM> [Off to Lion Hall.-
[11:57] <@PersonaGM> [The crowd of students became noticeably denser here, and both Hideki and Ji-Hu would find people they knew, even amongst the younger classes.-
[11:57] <@PersonaGM> [Ai, of course, being new, would find herself surrounded by a crowd of unfamiliar faces.-
[12:01] <@PersonaGM> ["H-1C." Said Ji-Hu as the three of them arrived at the first floor classroom. It was mostly full by the time they arrived, and noisy- a mix of students meeting up after long breaks and the fresh newbies, most of whom kept their heads down or kept to the fringes.]
[12:03] <Ai> Ai seemed to have a t least a bit more… maybe not swagger, but ability to keep her head up and look around curiously, with a mysterious assortment of senpais to cluster around. So, actually… she began documenting. Figuring out who was in the homeroom by basic looks and 'types', seeing who might be there, if there's any clear threats, any possible friends… Well. Not that she can tell tons from a glance.
[12:03] <Hideki> "Have fun!" said Hideki cheerfully. "Do you want me to walk you home after classes, or do you have a feel for the way back?"
[12:05] * Ai wiggled her hand. "I think I know, but we're going to the same dorm anyway so, why not?"
[12:09] <Hideki> "All right. I'll meet you back here after the bell rings." He gave her a light pat on the back and took a step further away. "For now, though, we've gotta get going to our own class, so… See ya!"
[12:27] * Ai nodded, bowing her head, before turning to the homeroom with… almost a skip. But cautiously.
[12:28] <@PersonaGM> ["Bye~" Said Ji-Hu as the two seniors headed off.-
[12:29] <@PersonaGM> ["I'm in 3-B, you're in 3-C." Said Ji-Hu. She gave Hideki a grin. "I'll see you later, alright?"-
[12:29] <@PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu hurried off to catch up with a classmate, leaving Hideki alo-
[12:29] <@PersonaGM> ["Mr. Nakajima!" Cried a vaguely familiar voice from behind him.-
[12:29] <@PersonaGM> [Mr. Asaka. "May I have a word?"]
[12:32] <Hideki> Ahhh, great. Still, after only a split second's hesitation, Hideki put on a polite smile. "Good morning! Anything wrong, Mr. Asaka?"
[12:35] <@PersonaGM> ["No, no." Said Mr. Asaka; he favoured Hideki with an indulgent smile. "May I have a quick, private word?"]
[12:43] <Hideki> "Sure thing. Lead the way. If you wanna go someplace private, I mean."
[12:47] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka nodded. A minute later they found themselves in an empty garden outside.-
[12:47] <@PersonaGM> ["So… How was your summer?"]
[12:50] <Hideki> This was… a little odd. "Way quieter than I would've liked. Mainly spent it at home with the family. How was yours? You instructors spend it prepping for the next year, right?"
[12:51] <@PersonaGM> ["Mm." Said Asaka. "Actually, seeing you triggered some worries of mine I've had since last year. Of course, you're a student with a good reputation and a bright future ahead of you. You know that, right?"]
[12:52] <Hideki> "Heh. So I've been told. What's bothering you?"
[12:53] <@PersonaGM> ["It's important that we, and you of course, take responsibility for that bright future and make the right decisions…"]
[12:54] <Hideki> "Well, sure…?"
[12:59] <@PersonaGM> ["So…" Asaka looked uncomfortable as he spoke, but he pressed on regardless. "It seems you're still- involved- with Miss Yi."]
[13:01] <Hideki> So that's where this was going. "Yeah. Still going strong!"
[13:04] <@PersonaGM> ["Mmm. Look, Nakajima, I'm going to be blunt, coming from an experienced adult- it'd be best if you broke up with her riht away."]
[13:07] <Hideki> "Not happening!" said Hideki cheerfully. "My grades are fine, and it's not like I'm losing focus in baseball. Plus, I like her. Why should we break up?"
[13:11] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka sighed. "Do you really want me to say why?"]
[13:17] <Hideki> "I mean, you can explain it if you want to, but I don't think it's gonna change much."
[13:17] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka's expression tightened.-
[13:19] <@PersonaGM> ["You're not a child anymore, Nakajima. The relationships you make at your age can last and influence your decisions after school. I'm not sure if Miss Yi is such a good pick. Have you discussed your post-school careers? Are you going to stay together after school? Where are you going to live? Which country is she going to live in? Is she going to stay in Japan, or are you going to follow her back to Korea?"]
[13:22] * Hideki looked taken aback. In fact, it took him slightly longer to answer this time. -
[13:24] <Hideki> "We have a whole year to figure that out, don't we? Maybe even longer if she goes to our university. Why rush a conversation like that?"
[13:27] <@PersonaGM> ["You have to understand your own feelings, Nakajima. Do you want her to stay here?"]
[13:33] <Hideki> "Of course I do! Don't you? She's smart, brave, popular, responsible- Shouldn't you be saying something like, 'Convince her to stay on, because she's a model student' or something like that?"
[13:35] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka shook his head sadly.-
[13:36] <@PersonaGM> ["And what if she doesn't want to? You might end up convincing her to stay, but how likely will it be that she'll be happy?"-
[13:38] <@PersonaGM> ["Probably not very. She'll have trouble fitting in." Said Asaka. He sighed. "I understand, young man, I do. It can be fun to play around with girls like that, but you don't build a life with them. She'll stand out too much in the long run, and the tall nail gets the hammer."]
[13:45] <Hideki> "Um. What do you mean by 'girls like that'?" Hideki was no longer smiling at all.
[13:45] <@PersonaGM> ["Nakajima, don't be naive. I mean foreigners."]
[13:50] <Hideki> "Right… so, look. I appreciate you coming to talk with me out of concern, but I think I should get going to my homeroom now."
[13:50] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka sighed. "I suppose you should. After all, you have a year to learn better."-
[13:51] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka stood and walked off.]
[13:58] * Hideki watched him go. When Asaka was out of sight and earshot, he folded his arms and paced around a few times. "If he's trying to get back at Ji-Hu, he'll have to do a lot better than that," he muttered, glowering at the door. Still… did he seriously believe that shit…?-
[13:59] <Hideki> Ah. Homeroom. Right. Exhaling sharply, Hideki made his exit as well.
[13:59] <@PersonaGM> […-
[14:00] <@PersonaGM> [Hideki's lecturing meant that Ai experienced the, unknown-to-her, oddity of a homeroom with a late Asaka.-
[14:00] <@PersonaGM> [The homeroom, like many homerooms, took the opportunity to become ever so slightly rowdier.-
[14:01] <@PersonaGM> [Ai would find her seat- back, second from the window- pretty quickly.-
[14:02] <@PersonaGM> [And then someone would find her.-
[14:03] <@PersonaGM> ["Excuse me, are you… Yoshino?" Asked a girl only slightly taller than Ai herself. She was Japanese, and had shoulder-length light brown hair with hazel eyes. She was, as Hideki might say, short and pale.]
[14:07] <Ai> Not fully that Ai would understand that form of, uh. Description. Still, trying to be quiet because she had been a bit primed with Asaka probably being dangerous… Ai regarded the girl curiously, with only a soft voice. "Y… yes…?" Trying to evaluate that look, though. Pale, short… Brown hair made her sort of feel a bit of a 'hey that's my color roughly' twinge that let her imagine hairdos better (Hm, is hers one that'd work for me? …Hm.). But after a few seconds to fashionate, Ai nodded again.
[14:13] <@PersonaGM> ["I'm Reiko Hamasaki. I like your hairbow." She said happily- before holding out a parcel of chocolates for Yoshino. "These are yours."]
[14:17] <Ai> "O-oh. Thanks." …She took them, and carefully examined the room, Reiko's setup, a number of other things. …She was looking for more parcels in others' hands, or with Reiko, or. …Some part of her was scared of being sexually harassed that she thought that if she looked too GL then she'd be targeted for sure so she had to at least try to see if this was something Reiko just did because there's no way she'd be propositioned literally
[14:17] <Ai> first conversation after sitting in homeroom, right? …Right? -
[14:17] <Ai> … … RIGHT?!
[14:23] <@PersonaGM> [… Right. Lots of people had chocolates. It looked like Reiko was going around the room one by one.-
[14:23] <@PersonaGM> ["Are you new?" Said Reiko.]
[14:24] <Ai> "Y… yes. I mean I … I didn't go to the primary grades here or anything. I moved in from T-Tokyo." Starting to stutter. Having been chosen as the final stop and the presumed actual seat… She quickly opened the chocolates box to stare into it briefly. "A-apparently everyone in my dorm is a later year anyway. All three of them."
[14:29] <@PersonaGM> ["Wow. That's a pretty empty dorm. Do you get on with the others?" Reiko sat next to her.]
[14:30] <Ai> "I… I've only met one of them. I don't know how we haven't met yet. He's okay, a bit of a goof." She rolled her eyes. "Apparently has a habit of trying to play off shenanigans with a smile rather than admitting it. Hard to do to a giant wooden box."
[14:32] <@PersonaGM> ["A… Box?"]
[14:35] <Ai> "…Our dorm manager has never left this giant wooden booth any time we can see her do it." Ai explained. "And she gets really angry if we call out the booth as weird, goes into this big thing about banks and stuff, but not really understanding what 'weird' means here! A-and the decor is horrible but she yells at us for being mad at that too!"
[14:37] <@PersonaGM> ["Wow. That is weird…" Said Reiko.-
[14:41] <@PersonaGM> ["She's probably scared of you." Said a new voice. Sitting to Ai's right was a Chinese boy, with jaw-length black hair and light brown eyes. He was average height- a little taller than Ai- and had a pretty fit build. "Think of her as a spider."]
[14:42] <Ai> "I think of her as a cat, actually." Ai said, with an odd lilt to her tone that almost suggested some hidden knowledge, but was yet inscrutable. "…Hi, though."
[14:44] <@PersonaGM> ["Hi. I'm Wu Shizeng." He bowed. "You're Ai Yoshino, right? Pleased to meet you."]
[14:45] <Ai> "…Is. Is there a class registrar or something that I missed?" She said with a bit of a pout. "…But yes, I'm Ai."
[14:47] <@PersonaGM> ["You got your academic diary in your welcoming parcel, right? It has the names of everyone in your homeroom class." Said Wu. "I've been going here for years, so there aren't many students I don't know."-
[14:47] <@PersonaGM> ["I should be honest. This place is probably imposing for a first year like you." Said Wu. "You, me and Reiko should be friends. We can help look out for you whilst you orientate yourself."]
[14:50] <Ai> "You know, that sounds like a good idea. I… I don't know if it'll be a weird and scary school or a normal one. …Mou…"
[14:53] <@PersonaGM> ["The school's great." Said Reiko warmly. "I love it here. We get treated well and there's always things to do."-
[14:53] <@PersonaGM> ["It has its downsides. But I wouldn't keep coming back here if those downsides were that bad." Said Wu.]
[14:54] * Ai nodded gently. "Alright then, then uh. The contract is sealed, I guess?" She said with a sort of uncertain tone, like… she wondered if that'd come off as weird.
[14:55] <@PersonaGM> ["You'll get used to things." Said Wu.-
[14:56] <@PersonaGM> [At that moment, Asaka entered the classroom- the students snapped to attention. He seemed rather put out, however…-
[14:56] <@PersonaGM> ["… And of course, this morning, we have a school assembly. That'll be our first port of call."-
[14:57] <@PersonaGM> […-
[14:59] <@PersonaGM> [School assembly, hosted in the great and spacious assembly hall…-
[14:59] <@PersonaGM> [Well, Hideki and Ai would most likely find it dull regardless of the room. There were speeches, one by the mayor that went on for ages.-
[14:59] <@PersonaGM> ["Election year means the mayor's trying harder at grassroots." Muttered Wu to Ai.-
[15:00] <@PersonaGM> [Meanwhile, Hideki would sadly be unable to find a spot to stand near Ji-Hu, but he did instead get to stand next to Levi, the art club leader and fellow homeroom mate.-
[15:01] <@PersonaGM> ["Nakajima… I'm bored. Entertain me." Murmured Levi.]
[15:01] <Ai> "…Is that going to be a thing? Really desperate adults?" Ai muttered back, keeping her voice low.
[15:02] <@PersonaGM> ["I don't mind that he's trying hard…" Murmured Reiko. "I just would've liked it if he tried hard elsewhere…"-
[15:02] <@PersonaGM> ["Have you run into a lot of desperate adults recently…?"]
[15:03] <Hideki> "Ehh? What, do you want me to dance for you or something?" Hideki muttered back.
[15:04] <Ai> "…Asaka, maybe." She said, and dramatically looked around shiftily, as if to ascertain he wasn't looming over her.
[15:05] <@PersonaGM> ["What, really?" Said Reiko, whilst Wu's eyes narrowed.-
[15:05] <@PersonaGM> ["Tell me a joke." Said Levi.-
[15:06] <@PersonaGM> [As the two talked, the mayor moved off, and the student council began introducing themselves…]
[15:08] <Ai> "J-just rumors, and I don't wanna try to talk about this kinda stuff in school…" Ai said wdith a visible frown.
[15:08] <Hideki> "Knock knock."
[15:09] <@PersonaGM> ["Okay, we can go out later." Said Reiko warmly.-
[15:09] <@PersonaGM> ["Who's there?" Said Levi.]
[15:11] <Hideki> "Handyman here. I've come to fix your broken peephole, as requested."
[15:12] <@PersonaGM> [Levi's eyes narrowed. "H…andyman who?"]
[15:14] <Hideki> "Dude. That was the punchline. You just missed it."
[15:14] <@PersonaGM> ["You fucked up the… The format!"-
[15:15] <@PersonaGM> [The council had finished introducing itself. The new president, Caolán Choi, was just about to start his speech.]
[15:16] <Hideki> "No, no. Look." Clearly straightening this out was more important than the events happening on stage. "That was intentional. It's funny because it's unexpected. That's the whole point of comedy!"
[15:17] <Ai> That said, Ai looked up to the president, thinking. "…I wonder…"
[15:20] <@PersonaGM> [Choi was a looker. He was tall, and wore his uniform well on a well-fit and toned body. His hair was short, black and well-kept. He was handsome, even pretty, with features soft enough that his deep, resonant voice came as a surprise. He wore glasses, which seemed to give him a kind of dignity.-
[15:20] <@PersonaGM> ["I accept the duty that you, the student body, have placed on my shoulders." He said. "And as student council president, allow me to present my manifesto: to consider, and to challenge, the standards and norms around how education is conducted. Last year, a record number of students presented with anxiety and depression. Suicide attempts spiked, and first-week safehavens filled all the way up. I expect those numbers to remain similar at the start of this year as well."-
[15:20] <@PersonaGM> ["And to me, it seems obvious that if this is the case, then it is a failure in the system, or at least those who are charged with representing it. This year, things change. I promise to challenge old, outdated rules and those who abuse them for petty ends. I'll overturn pointless traditions and enshrine respect and goodwill for the student body in all things. For those of you who felt let down by your family, friends, your school, or your society- I want this year, and this council, to be for you."-
[15:21] <@PersonaGM> [Ai, already preoccupied and sensitive to details, would spot Asaka's increasingly dubious expression- the clenching of his hands- and the reddening of his cheeks. He looked quietly furious.-
[15:21] <@PersonaGM> [Hideki noticed nothing because jokes.]
[15:22] <Ai> …and Ai gained a dark, dark look on her face. "…Who would get mad because of… M-maybe it's actually…"
[15:23] <@PersonaGM> ["You see it too, then?" Said Wu quietly to Ai.-
[15:23] <@PersonaGM> ["The punchline doesn't make any sense! Peephole? What-"-
[15:24] <@PersonaGM> ["Ohhhhhh"]
[15:25] <Hideki> "See? See?!" Hideki nudged him excitedly. "It's brilliant!"
[15:25] <@PersonaGM> ["You're calling me a pervert who peeps on people! That's not a joke!"]
[15:29] <Hideki> "What? No! That's not it at all. Although it is funny…"
[15:30] <Ai> "…Who couldn't?" Ai asked. …Then paused, lips pursed. "Wait, no, that's not true, some couldn't."
[15:30] <@PersonaGM> ["Yep." Said Wu. He shared a look with Ai, then nodded slowly.-
[15:31] <@PersonaGM> [Reiko looked at the both of them- then followed their gaze. Her eyes widened. "Oh…"-
[15:31] <@PersonaGM> ["But, why would a teacher react like that to a speech about helping-"-
[15:32] <@PersonaGM> [At that moment, a loud voice from somewhere in the student body shouted in accented Japanese, "Watch your back! Asaka's givin' you the death stare!"-
[15:32] <@PersonaGM> [Choi froze. A gasp rose from the crowd.]
[15:33] <Ai> Ai nearly jumped in place - …unbidden, she grabbed Reiko by the arm with one hand to still herself, while she bit her tongue hard. …Only to blush and release the (awkwardly tight) grip after making a noise that sounded like a mouse screaming into a pillow.
[15:34] <Hideki> "Huh? What?" Asaka's name finally got Hideki's attention. He looked up, trying to figure out what had happened.
[15:45] <@PersonaGM> [Reiko squeaked and nearly tumbled over as Ai grabbed her arm. She grabbed back, around Ai's shoulders, and nearly took them both to the ground-
[15:46] <@PersonaGM> [Before Wu reached out and steadied the both of them. "Hey, be careful!"-
[15:46] <@PersonaGM> [Asaka stormed over to the front of the stage. "Who said that?"-
[15:46] <@PersonaGM> ["It could've been anyone." Said Choi. "You couldn't possibly know-"-
[15:47] <@PersonaGM> ["The dyed European." Said Asaka. "From Ms. Smithson's class."-
[15:47] <@PersonaGM> [Heads turned toward the guilty class, where indeed there was a girl with hair dyed blue, looking entirely unashamed.-
[15:47] <@PersonaGM> [Silence. Then another student from the class shouted, "She's American, actually."-
[15:48] <@PersonaGM> ["Detention!" Snapped Asaka, who practically leapt off the stage and flew towards the guilty class. "You! And you! To the office! Now!"-
[15:49] <@PersonaGM> […-
[15:50] <@PersonaGM> [Assembly dissolved into chaos after that, and as teachers tried to restore order, Hideki would see Ai- and two new friends(?) together, Ai having a shaken look to her features.-
[15:50] <@PersonaGM> ["You ok?" Asked Reiko to Ai.]
[15:51] <Ai> "…I. I… she taunted him and…" Breathe, breathe. "He was gonna attack and. And he did, he jumped and…" She was literally shaking, and … …wait. Had a phone in hand? …The white, unmarked phone. She was, as a strange nervous tic, tapping something on the screen. Tap. Tap. Tap. And frowning.
[15:58] <Hideki> Shoot, Yoshino didn't look great. Hideki felt an immediate pang of regret. If he'd grabbed her number, he could have texted her right then and there. -
[15:59] <Hideki> He glanced at his homeroom teacher. They were probably yelling at students to stay seated and to be quiet or something…
[16:00] <@PersonaGM> [Said teacher was entirely unable to stop Hideki and indeed, was halfway across the hall.-
[16:00] <@PersonaGM> [Wu glanced at Ai's phone, but it was almost as though his gaze slid right off. "Uhhhhh."-
[16:00] <@PersonaGM> ["Do you need to go to the sickbay?" Said Reiko gently. "Yoshino…?"]
[16:01] <Ai> "It's not working." She said briefly. …But then, having to reply to someone was starting to get her to notice reality again. "… …I. I just got scared…" She lowered the phone.
[16:10] <Hideki> "Hmmm." He wanted to, but Hideki didn't go to her after all. Her classmates were handling it, right? He started looking around for Ji-Hu's reaction.
[16:10] <@PersonaGM> [He saw Ji-Hu… Beelining towards Ai.-
[16:13] <@PersonaGM> ["I saw what happened." Said Ji-Hu on reaching Ai. "Looked like you had a bit of a moment. Why don't we go outside and get some air, ok?"]
[16:14] * Ai nodded, the phone fully in her bag again. "…Y… Yeah. I'll do that. Sorry…" She looked to Reiko and Wu a bit. "O-oh. Her boyfriend's the dormmate I met." She said softly.
[16:15] <Hideki> Welp. That settled that. Hideki slipped out of his seat, and wandered over to join the party. The… anxiety-attack party…? -
[16:16] <Hideki> "Hey, hey. Everything okay, here?"
[16:16] <Ai> "… …It was really scary." She muttered something quietly under her breath. About something not working, but she stopped herself about halfway into it and looked sheepish.
[16:18] <@PersonaGM> ["Yeah, it looked like it was." Said Ji-Hu gently. "Come on…"-
[16:18] <@PersonaGM> [The five of them headed outside, where they found a nice, secluded garden. With a vending machine.-
[16:19] <@PersonaGM> [Reiko bought Ai some gingerbread cake.-
[16:19] <@PersonaGM> [And an iced tea.-
[16:19] <@PersonaGM> ["I feel a little responsible." Said Ji-Hu. "I kinda feel like I made you scared of him…"]
[16:21] * Ai took them, and nodded. "…I uh. I've been careful about people being mean for a while now, y… you just gave me somewhere to look. I just. With someone so hateful of… of students not dying? … …I don't understand. M-maybe it's the old rules he got mad about. A-and he lashed out against people and…" Chew. Cake. Gotta have cake. And tea. And dip the tea in the c- wait no that's the wrong way. Focus, focus.
[16:24] <Hideki> "Well. Well, he does like old, useless rules," Hideki noted. "So maybe that's why."
[16:25] <PersonaGM> ["He's gotten worse in the last year." Said Wu. "A lot worse."-
[16:26] <PersonaGM> ["I wouldn't worry too much, though, Yoshino. I don't think he has any reason to go after you."-
[16:26] <PersonaGM> ["And…" Reiko scowled. "If he does, I'll… Pow!" She gently tapped Ai in the forehead with her fist.]
[16:28] <Ai> "A-and kicking him in the balls probably won't work then. I'll… like. Need a sword or something…" She muttered, only half-seriously. "…I'm just… I…" She paused for a long time. If she. …If she said something about why she's scared… but… then she… a-and… Well maybe she can hedge. -
[16:29] <Ai> "…I th-think he might have a reason. If he ever finds out." But she then just clammed up completely, posture lowering.
[16:33] * Hideki glanced at Ji-Hu questioningly, and then shook his head. "I guess if he hates the student prez, he can hate anyone. But it looks like he has some higher-profile targets to deal with, so you can probably coast under his radar for a good long while."
[16:36] <PersonaGM> ["I can understand why you might be worried, but Hideki is right." Said Ji-Hu. "I'm sure you do have a reason, but with a guy like Asaka? So do lots of other people. Lots of normal reasons being targeted by a creep."-
[16:36] <PersonaGM> ["What you gotta do is make sure you all look out for each other, alright? Remember that you're not alone in this!"]
[16:37] <Ai> A nod. "…Yeah. …We'll think of something. We have to."
[16:38] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah." Said Wu. "I spent all of last year fighting with him. It'll be okay."]
[16:39] <Ai> "…" Ai's eyes dimmed a little. "We need to step up the pace. …I. …I th-thought this was a good school. This. I can't deal with a full year of… I…" She shook her head. "We should probably go before teachers wonder where the hell we went, maybe…" Now,, with Asaka giving out detentions left and right, Ai knew - perversely - he wasn't watching his first-years that closely. But she didn't want to risk it too far.
[16:46] <Hideki> "Things are probably still in chaos, so I doubt you've been missed. But, we hear ya. Back to the assembly, then."
[16:47] <PersonaGM> ["See you at lunchtime?" Said Ji-Hu.-
[16:48] <PersonaGM> [And so the two groups went their separate ways, off to class…-
[16:49] <PersonaGM> […-
[16:49] <PersonaGM> [Hideki's First Period: English.-
[16:49] <PersonaGM> ["But no, I mean it," Said Mr. Kobayashi, throwing a bottle of water just-so that it landed on Hideki's desk standing straight. "Just call me Mr. Bash."-
[16:49] <PersonaGM> […-
[16:50] <PersonaGM> [Hideki's Second Period: Art.-
[16:50] <PersonaGM> [Mr. Bazzoli adjusted his art apron slightly as he moved around the circle of painters. He walked into the centre, to the empty plinth in the middle of the amphitheatre of canvas.-
[16:52] <PersonaGM> [A cheery-faced, red-cheeked man, slightly chubby in the face but of average build otherwise, Mr. Bazzoli adjusted his tiny blonde moustache.-
[16:53] <PersonaGM> ["Oho, you all want to paint beautiful things!" He said, chuckling. "You all want to trap natural beauty in the canvas, with paint as your psychopomp!"-
[16:53] <PersonaGM> ["You all want to paint the pretty naked ladies?" He said, his eyes twinkling. "Or the hunky naked boys~?"-
[16:54] <PersonaGM> [Bazzoli's entire expression became ice cold. "TOO BAD, NUDE MODELS STUCK AT CUSTOMS, SCHOOL STUDENTS CANNOT BE TRUSTED." He tore an apple out of his coat and slammed it onto the plinth. "ONLY STILL-LIFES FOREVER."-
[16:54] <PersonaGM> […-
[17:00] <PersonaGM> [Hideki's Third Period: Science.-
[17:00] <PersonaGM> [Mr. Husayn was tall and devastatingly handsome, with lush long black hair and beautiful blue eyes.-
[17:04] <PersonaGM> [He eyed the students in his class, his gaze falling on some of the girls, who looked a little, lost?-
[17:04] <PersonaGM> [He smiled. Still smiling, without breaking eye contact, he reached into his briefcase, took out a little sign and set it up on his desk.-
[17:04] <PersonaGM> [It read, it has been 150 days since we burned down the science labs.-
[17:05] <PersonaGM> ["You will pay attention in my class," Said Husayn, his grin widening, "Or someone's gonna die."-
[17:05] <PersonaGM> […-
[17:06] <PersonaGM> [Ai's First Period: History.-
[17:06] <PersonaGM> [It wasn't Mr. Asaka who came in through the doors today, though.-
[17:08] <PersonaGM> [It was instead a hapless-looking young white man wearing 'smart casual' clothing. He had short red hair and brown eyes, and he looked nervous as hell.-
[17:08] <PersonaGM> ["Uh, hi. I'm a postgrad at the university… Name's James Sellers. You can call me James. I guess Mr. Asaka was busy because they called me in, even though I'm not actually a history student? Well I am, but…"-
[17:09] <PersonaGM> ["Look, class. I don't know you, you don't know me, but if I read from my thesis and we all pretend it's class conent, we can forget this ever happened, ok? Ok."-
[17:10] <PersonaGM> [James sighed.-
[17:10] <PersonaGM> ["The history of Japan begins in 1917, when the first anime was made…"-
[17:10] <PersonaGM> […-
[17:17] <PersonaGM> [Ai's Second Period: Mathematics.-
[17:26] <PersonaGM> ["Does anyone here have a favourite number?" Asked Ms. Kongo. "My favourite is 1,729. They call it the Ramanujan number, because it was chosen by Srinivasa Ramanujan, a brilliant self-taught Indian mathematician who died young. He said a goddess came to him in his dreams and whispered maths to him."-
[17:26] <PersonaGM> ["I wish a god would come to me in my dreams and whisper maths…"-
[17:26] <PersonaGM> […-
[17:28] <PersonaGM> [Ai's Third Period: Cultural Studies.-
[17:28] <PersonaGM> ["Despite what you may have heard," Said Ms. Banerjee, a short, slim Indian woman with short black hair, "Japanese culture did not start in 1917 with the creation of anime…"-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["It started in the Edo period, with the creation of manga."-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["Haha, no. I'm kidding."-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> ["(Manga is better.)"-
[17:29] <PersonaGM> […-
[17:30] <PersonaGM> [The cafeteria was busy and bustling as the bell rang.-
[17:30] <PersonaGM> [Both Ai and Hideki would find themselves converging here after an eventful and no doubt educational first half of the school day.-
[17:31] <PersonaGM> ["Hey, find us a seat, ok?" Said Wu. "I'll buy you what you want in exchange."-
[17:31] <PersonaGM> ["Hey, go get a seat near Yoshino." Said Ji-Hu. "I'm gonna grab some food."]
[17:33] * Ai was. …Uncertain if being told anime was the foundation of Japanese culture was better or worse than Asaka's course. Everything else was mostly okay though. She did, in the end, take that seat at Wu's behest, smiling. "…Sure, I can move fast."
[17:34] <PersonaGM> [There's a girl in the computer cafe who can attest to that!]
[17:39] <Ai> Nonetheless, Ai did set out her order - as close to a beef bowl and tofu as she could manage, as she sat.
[17:40] <Hideki> "Aye aye," Hideki saluted. "Get me an extra drink, okay?" And with that, there was little else to do besides finding a seat across the table from Ai. "Hey!"
[17:42] * Ai waved, looking as if cultural studies has made her a bit more chill now, tilting her head left and right while having one earbud in. Listening to something on her phone. …IT seemed like she didn't really use anything other than the one the school program gave her, though. Odd.
[17:48] <Hideki> Odd indeed. "How is it? Did you get some of the apps working?"
[18:05] <Ai> "…No." She said. "Well, okay, I got the music app working just fine. The S-chat thing started up a bit ago…"
[13:53] <Hideki> "Oh yeah?" He took out his on experimental phone to see… "Are you chatting with people about how weird your teachers are yet?"
[13:55] <Ai> "…No." Ai said. "How can I be sure S-chat isn't being monitored…? And given some of the teachers…" She frowned.
[14:00] <Hideki> "Man, you're cautious. Not all of them were that scary, were they?"
[14:01] * Ai sighed. "…No, most of them were just weird. But if someone like Asaka hasn't been fired yet…"
[14:03] <Hideki> "Did he give anyone a hard time in class today?"
[14:11] * Ai tilted her head. "…No, but apparently he was so busy giving other people detention that he needed a sub to do History. …But someone so dedicated to punishing students for simple little things, o-or who gets angry at a student telling everyone he intends to fight traditions so less of us will kill ourselves… How can I trust anyone like that? How can he believe anyone trusts him? How … How does he live? I can't
[14:11] * Ai imagine it. It doesn't even seem human…"
[14:11] <Ai> But then Ai added a bit. "…I don't know what homeroom with him will be like when he isn't dragging us to assembly."
[14:22] <Hideki> "It'll be a boring routine," Hideki told her. "Occassionally punctuated by his bullshit, a lecture, or by detention if he's in a mood, but no one cares about that."
[14:33] * Ai sighed. "…I guess. I don't know what all he considers detentionworthy, though. Hmm."
[14:39] * Hideki sighed. "Let's try this. Did anything fun happen to you today?"
[14:41] <Ai> "…I got chocolates in homeroom?" She tilted her head. "Oh and apparently the teachers have a runniing gag about anime."
[14:43] <Hideki> "Chocolates? Romantic~"
[14:47] <Ai> "…She gave it to everyone." Ai said with another sigh, before blinking briefly.
[14:51] <Hideki> "Oh. Well. One of my teachers gave me a bottle of water."
[14:58] <Ai> "Just like that, huh? …Did you uh. Ask for it, or?" Ai pondered.
[14:58] <@PersonaGM> ["What would be Mr. Bash." Said Reiko. "He likes throwing water bottles at people so that it lands on their desks perfectly. It's so cool!"-
[15:00] <@PersonaGM> ["… The water is typically cold, yes." Said Wu, placing Ai's beef and tofu bowl in front of her whilst he settled in with some grilled fish and rice. "English is useful, but it doesn't appeal to me as much as it appeals to him."-
[15:08] <@PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu sat down as well, next to Hideki. She passed him a pork cutlet bowl and a bottle of water, then unpacked a small box of cucumber sandwiches for herself. "I bet he never gave you food, though."-
[15:08] <@PersonaGM> ["If he did, it's probably be english food, right? Like…" Reiko frowned in concentration.-
[15:08] <@PersonaGM> ["Like fish pie." Said Wu. "Or other… Creations."]
[15:09] <Ai> "The internet says there's something called 'spotted dick'." Ai said helpfully.
[15:09] <Ai> Keep in mind, she literally said that in English at the end, so.
[15:13] <@PersonaGM> [Reiko coughed and went red.]
[15:13] * Hideki snorted with laughter. "That's outstanding!"
[15:15] <@PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu rolled her eyes.-
[15:16] <@PersonaGM> ["But that sounds like a medical emergency." Muttered Wu.]
[15:18] <Ai> "It…" Ai wiggled her hands. "I d-didn't find out what it was. It's… …It's probably not actually a …you know. Guy bit. But haven't you noticed some British names aren't like American ones?"
[15:24] <Hideki> "I've noticed that it makes English a whole lot more confusing." Hideki was unsuccessfully trying to stifle another snicker. "Thanks for the food, Ji-Hu."
[15:25] <Ai> "A-ah yes. It's good to grab the food."
[15:26] <@PersonaGM> ["You're welcome." Said Ji-Hu.-
[15:28] <@PersonaGM> [The group ate, sharing jokes and banter as they went.-
[15:32] <@PersonaGM> [After a most enjoyable lunch, the bell rang and the two groups split off, to head to their classes.-
[15:32] <@PersonaGM> […-
[15:34] <@PersonaGM> [Ai's Fourth Period: Japanese.-
[15:37] <@PersonaGM> ["Actually," Said Ms. Smithson through gritted teeth, "The history of Japanese literature traces back over a thousand years, with the Genji Monogatari being one of the oldest novels in the history of literature! So you go back and tell these Johnny Come-Latelies that lit brings the big guns-"-
[15:37] <@PersonaGM> […-
[15:38] <@PersonaGM> [Ai was on her way to her fifth class (geography) when she'd hear a 'pssst' from around a corridor corner. "Ai, come here." Said the unfamiliar voice.]
[15:39] * Ai almost instantly jumped a good 4 inches in the air or so at the noise, and… briefly peeked around the corner, to see who the hell it was.
[15:42] <@PersonaGM> [It was a stranger! A skinny white boy with a thin face, curly blonde hair slicked back with gel and deep blue eyes. He was only a few inches taller than Ai. "Or should I call you Yoshino? Hmmmm, I prefer Ai, so I'll go with that. Enjoying class?"]
[15:43] <Ai> "Who are you?" Ai said incredulously, seeming to change her posture a bit to be less awkwardly leaning. "…I get it, I didn't read the schedule book, but… I'm still at a disadvantage…"
[15:44] <@PersonaGM> ["Oh, of course, so sorry." He chuckled. "You won't find me in your diary, cutie. Not yet." He winked.-
[15:44] <@PersonaGM> ["I'm an older student. You can call me Adrien-Senpai." He let out a little laugh.-
[15:44] <@PersonaGM> ["You wanna cut class with me?"]
[15:45] * Ai glowered at him. "I kind of like avoiding abject horror on my first day, Adrien-chan." She stared for a bit longer, pouting. …A voice in the back of her head pondered if she was being unfair to him vis a vis the inherent horror of being arbitrarily detentioned, but… …Not loudly enough for her to care.
[15:47] <@PersonaGM> ["Oh, okay." Said Adrien. "So… That's a yes?"-
[15:47] <@PersonaGM> ["Because just so you know, I'm off to go spend time with a ~conspiracy~."]
[15:48] <Ai> "That's a no." Ai corrected him. "…It's not much of a conspiracy if you talk it up to people you've never met."
[15:49] <@PersonaGM> ["But if you limit a conspiracy only to people you have met, then isn't it easier to discover your co-conspirators?"]
[15:49] <Ai> 'Only if you've met such a tiny amount of people that it's a good way to narrow it down." Ai spat back.
[15:51] <@PersonaGM> ["So argumentative. So hostile." Said Adrien, rolling his eyes dramatically. "I thought you of all people would be interested in a conspiracy to un-hire a certain teacher."]
[15:52] * Ai sighed. "…One, why do you know that? Two, …I'm going to give conditions." She actually started walking into the actual corridor.
[15:53] <@PersonaGM> ["Conditions are fine." Said Adrien, hurrying to match Ai's pace.-
[15:53] <@PersonaGM> ["As for how I know? Well, I guess this conspiracy is a little larger than you expected, isn't it?" Said Adrien. "A little birdie told me."]
[15:56] <Ai> "Right." A shifty glance, but she could take that. "So, the major condition is just. …You are acting in fabulously offputting ways. I can tell you howso. …What's important is that you listen, understand, and consider the advice." She pouted. "…Like… Just sort of assuming… familiarity…? Like asking me to call you my senpai before I even get a feel for what your personality is like!" She waved her hands out in a gesticulating flail, like a bird. "It comes off as creepy! Like, really, it makes someone wonder if the person's been stalking them, or if they wanna like, make romantic moves instantly or something. …That's why I was so mad, you know!"
[16:05] <@PersonaGM> ["Alright, alright. I forgot that you people can be incredibly reserved." Said Adrien. "Very well, Ms. Yoshino, from now on I'll be businesslike and professional."]
[16:10] * Ai scrunched her lips a bit. "…It'll make me more comfortable, but we clearly need to work on this more. Still, lead the way, Adrien-san." …Well, he upgraded from a diminutive that wasn't appropriate to him at least.
[16:14] <@PersonaGM> […-
[16:20] <@PersonaGM> [Hideki's Fourth Period: Psychology.-
[16:21] <@PersonaGM> [Mr. Sasaki- a thin Japanese man of average height with short brown hair and eyes- smiled a brittle smile at the class.-
[16:21] <@PersonaGM> ["Hello… Everyone." Said the teacher. He trembled a little.-
[16:22] <@PersonaGM> ["I'm… I'm sure we'll all get along, right?"-
[16:23] <@PersonaGM> ["Hey, teach?" Said Taro Kurosawa, a large black-haired boy at the back of the class said. He swung his feet up on the table and popped some gum. "I'mma chew this gum real loud, but you just keep on teachin'."-
[16:23] <@PersonaGM> ["…"-
[16:23] <@PersonaGM> [Mr. Sasaki chuckled nervously and fetched his textbook.-
[16:23] <@PersonaGM> […-
[16:27] <@PersonaGM> [On the way to his next class, Hideki would be walking along, minding his own business, when he would catch, in the corner of his eye, something moving- a bright blue something.]
[16:28] * Hideki turned quickly for a better look!
[16:30] <@PersonaGM> [He turned, but… Didn't find anything blue like that. He found himself staring at a noticeboard… A notice informing students of when club admissions began… A list of important dates for the semester… A brief outline of Choi's manifesto…-
[16:30] <@PersonaGM> [Nothing matched. Yet, a profound sense of unease was starting to creep into Hideki's gut.]
[16:35] <Hideki> He lingered, frowning, to see if anything more would happen. He even approached the noticeboard. This didn't make sense. Were the flyers bothering him all of a sudden? Was it the mantifesto from Choi? He began to read it in spite of himself.
[16:35] <@PersonaGM> [The manifesto didn't differ much from Choi's speech this morning. Not that Hideki really heard it.-
[16:36] <@PersonaGM> [Fighting the status quo, modernising the school rules, protecting students from stress, anxiety and lack of support, reducing suicide attempts, reducing bullying, removing abusive teachers…-
[16:38] <@PersonaGM> [That last one reminded him of his special talk with Asaka this morning… And his sense of unease deepened.]
[16:41] <Hideki> Removing abusive teachers. How? There were procedures in place for that, but how effective were they? -
[16:43] <Hideki> Hadn't Asaka been missing from class that day? Was he already in trouble? That should have made him feel good, but what was with all the weird foreboding? -
[16:43] <Hideki> He pulled his phone out of his pocket and sent a text to Ji-Hu. "Let's talk after class."
[16:52] <@PersonaGM> [He got a reply back. "Okay."-
[16:52] <@PersonaGM> […-
[16:53] <@PersonaGM> [Adrien's 'conspiracy', as it turned out, consisted of literally two people: Adrien, and Wu.-
[16:53] <@PersonaGM> [And they met in a broom cupboard.-
[16:54] <@PersonaGM> ["Why did you call it a conspiracy?" Said Wu in exasperation. "I'm sorry for this, Yoshino. It's just two idiots shooting ideas back and forwards, nothing… Organised."]
[16:57] * Ai shook her head. "…If I were to guess, he was trying to ham it up to sound more interesting and exciting…" She said in a muttery tone. "I've tried, but let's uh, leave that aside. I. …I'd be aboard with this, as long as I'm sure we can actually do this. It seems… like this could get really bad, really fast. Especially if he does anything worse than the school disciplinary system."
[17:05] <@PersonaGM> ["The disciplinary system is where he's strongest." Said Wu. "It's easy to be spooked by the rumours of other stuff he's done, but when he acts within the system, he acts with its protection."-
[17:06] <@PersonaGM> ["Does that give you any ideas, then, Ms. Yoshino?" Said Adrien, smiling a little.]
[17:07] <Ai> "Uh… Lots of illegal things?" Beat. "…But that might not … be entirely off the table for that."
[17:12] <@PersonaGM> ["Well go on, then!"]
[17:16] * Ai blushed furiously, thinking. "Well, could try to hack into the school network and look for faculty email servers and figure out what's been said about him and try to find blackmail material… Or look to see if he has any infraction records that've been buried… Incidents talked about but not reported that could be investigated… Look for actual crimes he's committed and get the police involved… frame him for an actual crime… expose his conduct publically and inescapably in a way that'd gather attention… …Kill him?" Ai said, cold-sweating. But -
[17:16] <Ai> "O-oh and we can do social engineering if we don't have the tech to hack the systems."
[17:21] <@PersonaGM> ["'Kill him'." Said Adrien. "Wow, you're a little repressed, aren't you?"-
[17:21] <@PersonaGM> ["Shh, Adrien." Said Wu.-
[17:22] <@PersonaGM> ["I'm just saying. Lot of cray-cray ideas just spilleth forth." He grabbed a broom. "Look at all this wild nonsense I'm sweeping up!"-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> ["The idea of brainstorming is that you support whatever comes up." Muttered Wu. "Let's look at your ideas, Yoshino, and try to measure each one."-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> ["Hacking…" Wu frowned. "Do we know any hackers? I don't."-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> ["But you're Chinese."-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> ["…"-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> […-
[17:23] <@PersonaGM> [Adrien rubbed his bruised cheek.-
[17:24] <@PersonaGM> ["As I was saying, we don't know any hackers." Said Wu. "What about infraction reports?"]
[17:26] <Ai> "…Yeah, sorry. I. I only read about it, and I'm too scared to try the social engineering stuff." She said. "A-and I didn't mean the last one that seriously! I was just brainstorming! S… sometimes the lightning strikes hard." Shifty glance. "…Wait. Some of those might be public? I. I just assumed they weren't."
[17:26] <@PersonaGM> ["Probably available to teachers, not so much us." Said Wu.-
[17:28] <@PersonaGM> ["Incidents, crimes, framing, exposing conduct publicly." Said Adrien. "Sounds like what you really want, Yoshino, is information."]
[17:29] <Ai> "Y.. yes!" …She squeaked and covered her mouth after that. "Yes." In a quieter voice (not that she was even that loud the first time. "…Some …angle. I don't even understand how he can… do what he does. What drives him. It's scary, and… to me that means there has to be something more, or worse. O-or even just somewhere he slipped up on."
[17:30] <@PersonaGM> [Adrien snickered. "He probably just gets a kick out of using power. Maybe he's had a really pathetic life, so he goes nuts whenever he's given even a little responsibility."-
[17:32] <@PersonaGM> [Wu frowned. "Ai, how good are you at faking?"]
[17:33] * Ai stared at him broadly. "Faking… what?"
[17:34] <@PersonaGM> ["Being sick." Said Wu. "I think you should go pretend to be sick until hometime."]
[17:37] * Ai blinked, but then nodded. "…I can. I can try? But I'm actually kinda a bad liar to be honest… Something about how I say stuff isn't uh. As crafty as others can be?" …She instantly gazed to Adrien as if daring him to say something smug.
[17:40] <@PersonaGM> ["Why don't you try searching the internet for ways to look sick?" Said Adrien innocently.]
[17:43] <Ai> "…I. …Might know a few w…" She blinked. "…I'm not a net otaku! Don't get sly with me!" Huff, pout. But then she sighed again. "…Why, anyway, should I do that? Just to… not get written up for this, or…?"
[17:46] <@PersonaGM> ["Exactly." Said Wu. "I'll talk to you after school about some of your plans."]
[17:52] * Ai …started to shudder though, realizing… he was right. And she had a problem she didn't immediately know how to solve. But. …Well. Maybe if she… But then again… yet if she didn't… and with Asaka as homeroom, and… "I think I know a way. It. It'll suck but I don't know if I can really disagree with you. Is this all? …I think I can e-engineer this the right way though."
[17:53] <@PersonaGM> ["Oh?"]
[17:54] <Ai> "…Induced vomiting. If anyone notices in the act, they'll get concerned. If nobody notices, I'll look really uncomfortable when I go into next class."
[17:54] * Ai was wincing, though. She looked like she didn't want to taste her own stomach acid.
[17:54] <@PersonaGM> ["That's…" Wu started.-
[17:54] <@PersonaGM> ["Guaranteed to work." Said Adrien. "Good thinking, Yoshino! I knew you wouldn't let us down!"]
[17:55] <Ai> "Let him finish." Ai said, her dismay slightly pushed under the surface by the need to react to Adrien FAST.
[17:56] <@PersonaGM> ["Thanks." Said Wu. "That's pretty extreme, is what I was going to say, but I kind of like it. I think it'll help, actually."]
[17:57] <Ai> A nod, and an apologetic shrug at Adrien. "…You're a hard one to read, Adie. I have to be careful." But then a looong sigh. "Thanks, you two. Just knowing someone's trying to do something is important. …We should uh, adjourn though."
[18:00] <PersonaGM> ["Agreed." Said Wu.-
[18:00] <PersonaGM> [With that, the three of them departed… Two off to class, and a third to make herself vomit and end up in the sickbay.-
[18:01] <PersonaGM> […-
[18:01] <PersonaGM> [Hideki's Fifth Period: Mathematics.-
[18:03] <PersonaGM> ["Sorry, but even you sporty boys should pay attention to mathematics. Those 'ball sports' you all love so much? Turns out, that's just applied mathematics." Said Ms. Kongo smugly.-
[18:03] <PersonaGM> ["That's right. You're all just sweaty mathematicians!"-
[18:03] <PersonaGM> […-
[18:06] <PersonaGM> ["That's right. You're all just sweaty mathematicians!"-
[18:06] <PersonaGM> […-
[18:07] <PersonaGM> [Numbers and questionable imagery still rattled around in Hideki's head as he left the class behind.-
[18:07] <PersonaGM> [It would no doubt prove a relief to him when he saw Ji-Hu, waiting at a corner for him.]
[18:09] <Hideki> "Thank god you're here. The math teacher was telling the most horrible lies about sports! Let's hurry up and talk about something besides numbers. Anything besides numbers!"
[18:14] <PersonaGM> ["There are some numbers you like."]
[18:15] <Hideki> "Like your phone number, right?" He winked.
[18:18] <PersonaGM> ["Natch. I can think of a few others besides, but- what's up?"]
[18:22] <Hideki> "I'll come out and say it. I wanted to earlier, but no sense in making already nervous underclassmen even more nervous. Has Asaka been gunning for you today?"
[18:24] <PersonaGM> ["Man, he really is the star of the show today, huh?" Said Ji-Hu. "Honestly… A little bit. He tried to bust me earlier for uniform violations, I think, but-" She twirled, showing off her perfectly set uniform. "No dice. And I'm too well behaved, so he just had to scowl at me."-
[18:25] <PersonaGM> ["If you should be worried for anyone, worry about your dorm sister Yoshino. Wu told me she was so scared of going to his class that she started stress vomiting."]
[18:28] <Hideki> "Ugh. That's what I meant about making her more nervous. Is she really gonna last the year like this…?"
[18:32] <PersonaGM> ["… Maybe we should do something."]
[18:32] <Hideki> "Got something in mind?"
[18:37] <PersonaGM> ["Mm, nothing solid." Said Ji-Hu. "What about you?"]
[18:40] <Hideki> "No. But I'm thinking you should talk to Choi about it. He seems all interested in 'removing abusive teachers', so he's probably done the research on what we can or can't do." -
[18:40] <Hideki> "There's something else, too. Asaka and I had a talk this morning."
[18:41] <PersonaGM> ["… A talk?"]
[18:44] <Hideki> "He was real interested in the two of us breaking up. That's why I was wondering if you two had gotten into it today. Like he was getting you back for something."
[18:44] <PersonaGM> ["Breaking us up…?" Her face darkened. "Why?"]
[18:49] <Hideki> "You know the guy's prejudiced as hell, right? That was his angle. I was sure there was a layer of vengence to it, too, but if you two hadn't been fighting…" Hideki frowned. "Maybe he was seriously just acting on his prejudice."
[18:52] <PersonaGM> ["So I'm part of why he's in a bad mood…"]
[18:54] <Hideki> "Um. But you didn't actually do anything."
[18:55] <PersonaGM> ["I know." Said Ji-Hu with a frown. "But… But…"-
[18:56] <PersonaGM> ["… Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmgh." Ji-Hu drove one of her fists into his palm. "I wanted my last year of high school to be idyllic as hell! Why does this bastard need to get in the way? Trying to break us up? Scaring newbies?"-
[18:56] <PersonaGM> ["Baby, I'm going to need a favour."]
[18:57] <Hideki> "Yeah?"
[19:00] <PersonaGM> ["I need you to be mean to Asaka next period. He likes you, so… I dunno. Play up, insult him, just… Be a nuisance."]
[19:01] <Hideki> "Wait, why? Is this part of some bigger plan?"
[19:02] <PersonaGM> ["Of course."-
[19:02] <PersonaGM> ["Also, don't wait for me after school. Just pick up Yoshino and go home."]
[19:02] <Hideki> "…"-
[19:03] * Hideki put an arm around her. "You're not planning anything rash, are you?"
[19:05] <PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu leaned into his shoulder. "Rash is when you fail. I like to say I'm planning to be audacious."]
[19:11] <Hideki> "That's just as concerning, and you know it."
[19:12] <PersonaGM> ["Just… Trust me, ok?" She looked up at him with those olive eyes of hers…]
[19:13] <Hideki> "Shit." He was snared. Eventually, he looked away. "Just don't get yourself in trouble."
[19:13] <PersonaGM> ["You'll save me if I do. Right?~"]
[19:16] <Hideki> "You know me a little too well," he muttered, and gave her a quick kiss.
[19:17] <PersonaGM> […-
[19:17] <PersonaGM> [Hideki's Sixth Period: History.]
[19:22] * Hideki sat at his desk, the same as always, aside from one glaringly obvious issue. -
[19:28] <Hideki> He had always played a little fast and loose with the uniform rules. An untucked shirt here. An open blazer there. This time, too, his blazer was wide open, but instead of displaying his clean, white school uniform and and tie, it showed his bare chest. He had, somehow, completely misplaced his shirt. He still had his tie, however. It was loosely tied around his forehead, bandana-style.-
[19:29] <Hideki> With his pen and notebook in hand, he innocently waited for the lecture to begin.
[19:31] <PersonaGM> [To Asaka's credit- in the worst way- he managed to ignore Hideki's glaring omission for a few minutes.-
[19:34] <PersonaGM> [In fact, it almost seemed to work as a kind of magic talisman. As Asaka was about to start handing out infractions for uniforms, he gestured at Terhi Laakkonen- who had unbuttoned her top button- and was halfway through saying the words before they caught in his throat.-
[19:34] <PersonaGM> [Not even Asaka could stomach that divide.-
[19:35] <PersonaGM> [Eventually Asaka slid over to Hideki's seat and asked in a near-whisper, "Nakajima, where is your shirt?"]
[19:40] <Hideki> "Oh. You know how it is, I let some other kid borrow it for a while. Anyway, it was kind of warm in here, so it worked out for both of us." He smiled.
[19:42] <PersonaGM> ["Some other-!?"-
[19:42] <PersonaGM> ["You need a shirt, Nakajima."]
[19:47] <Hideki> "This is pretty liberating, though. And I'm figuring out that I'm able to study just as well without one."
[19:49] <PersonaGM> [Two seats over, Laakkonen's hands went to her second button.-
[19:49] <PersonaGM> ["Leave your buttons alone!"-
[19:50] <PersonaGM> [Laakkonen's hands slowly returned to the desk.-
[19:50] <PersonaGM> ["You're disrupting the class, Nakajima." Said Asaka. "Do you want an infraction?"]
[19:52] <Hideki> "Well, no. But I also can't do much about it, since someone else has my shirt. Unless…" He eyed Asaka's own shirt.
[19:53] <PersonaGM> [Asaka made a horrified sucking noise.-
[19:54] <PersonaGM> ["That you of all people would engage in these shenanigans!" Asaka stood up. "I'm disappointed in you! Extremely! I knew this would start happening-"-
[19:54] <PersonaGM> […-
[19:54] <PersonaGM> [The rant lasted for minutes. Asaka was a mess of rage and fury, even at the end of the class. Not that Hideki saw it, having been hit with a detention. He spent some time in the disciplinary room before being let out for homeroom.-
[19:55] <PersonaGM> [Which meant that- once he retrieved his shirt- it was time to go see Ai…-
[19:55] <PersonaGM> [Who would be in the sickbay. How had -Ai- been doing?]
[19:58] * Ai had… managed to successfully throw up, to her credit. She didn't exactly have the strongest constitution to begin with (not even a bill of r- wait no)… But with a little bit of finagling, a bit of tofu she had selfishly saved for later, a full sheet of toilet paper, and… …it's best not to go there… she managed to achieve results. Gloriously painful, disgusting results. In fact she had uh. Somewhat underestimated how
[19:58] * Ai horrible throwing up felt, and had done so at least once more while actually in sickbay just from the memory. The whiny discomfort… probably sold the rest. -
[19:58] <Ai> The best lie is an artificial truth.
[20:04] <Hideki> Once again dressed as a proper young student, Hideki announced himself to the nurse on duty. He was a dormmate who was taking up the responsibility of bringing his friend home and making sure she rested up after her horrible ordeal.
[20:05] * Ai actually protested a bit at the 'horrible ordeal' bit, if in a sulkily embarrassed way (this part was 100% honest), yet eventually confirmed that yes, he's a dormmate. Barring shenanigans, she'd ready to go home with him.
[20:09] <Hideki> And so Hideki led the way to the shoe lockers at the school's main entrance and then outside. Truth be told, he was not in the best of moods. Distracted. Fidgety, too, toying incessantly with the handle of his bag.
[20:10] * Ai picked up on that, actually, looking at him. "…What happened?" With all the concern that suggested that her 'horrible ordeal' was… more or less a nonissue.
[20:10] <Ai> And that, conversely, his distress, was an issue.
[20:11] <Hideki> "Oh, I'm sure you'll hear the rumors about it by tomorrow," he sighed. "For now, though, nevermind. Also, Ji-Hu isn't joining us on the way home. Said to go ahead without her."
[20:13] * Ai …stared at him more intently, slowing down to avoid hitting anything while walking distracted. "That's the kind of stuff you'd say if you want me to definitely mind, Hideki." …No pet name.
[20:15] <Hideki> "I promise you, it's not," he said simply.
[20:19] <Ai> "Fiiiiine." She said, before pulling out her phone and doing that one-earphone thing again, starting to navigate for music.
[20:20] <PersonaGM> [And so they would continue to walk home.-
[20:20] <PersonaGM> [About halfway through their journey, however, their phones would vibrate.]
[20:22] * Hideki stopped short and quickly checked his.
[20:22] * Ai was rather distracted by the sudden vibration, and since she was already paying a lot of attention to the phone, Ai was pulling it out almost immediately, stopping the music to see what's up.
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [It looked like a video recorded on a smartphone. It showed a school corridor, as well as two people- the picture wasn't entirely clear, because whoever was recording this had hidden their phone in a bag of some kind.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [The bag was adjusted slightly, and two figures came into view- Wu, Ai's classmate; and a teacher- Mr. Asaka, the man of the hour, it seemed.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["… Undermined my authority for a year." Hissed Asaka. "I won't have it this year again. This ends here, and if I have to see to it that you're expelled, I will."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["By all means." Hissed Wu. "We have a right to be taught proper history. I don't think the school would be impressed much by your unique take on the syllabus."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["You overestimate how much the school cares." Said Asaka. "And this year will be different. Political agitators like yourselves are no longer welcome. If I had my way you'd be on a plane home already-"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["Some of my ancestors died in that war." Said Wu. "Their memories demand honesty. Or what are you afraid people will find? That your ancestors killed them?"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [Asaka reached out with a hand and nearly grabbed the student's collar- but stopped at the last moment. The cameraperson gasped.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["I'll tell you a little secret, Wu. If my ancestors killed some of yours, I wouldn't be hiding it."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [The tables turned. Wu leapt forward towards Asaka, hands outstretched- he was stopped, just barely, by the cameraperson. "Wu, don't!"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [… Ji-Hu's voice.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["You raise a hand against a teacher?" Asaka's eyes glittered. "That'll be more than detention for you, Wu. For both of you, in fact. I think it's time to make an example of you disobedient students, who come here and take advantage of our patience and hospitality. You disobedient, uppity child-" He jabbed a finger towards Wu,- "That rude European, Schreier, from this morning-"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["She was American." Said Ji-Hu.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["I don't care what she was-"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["Hey, is it true you sent a student to detention for wearing pants instead of a skirt? And blasted another student for wearing a skirt too long? What's up with that?" Said Ji-Hu. "Is that why you were so angry at Choi's speech? Was he talking about you?"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["Choi, much like you, is an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about." Snapped Asaka. "You're here to face me with nothing more than gossip and insinuations. Nothing you say can actually be proven. You should know your place, before you join the rest of these delinquents."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["I guess you're right." Said Ji-Hu. "The students at this school aren't always good at talking to each other. But what would come out if they did?"-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["Is that a threat?" Said Asaka. "Let me repeat myself: be careful, before things turn out badly for both of you."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["Fine." Said Ji-Hu. "I'll do that."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [The bag shifted. Asaka and Wu were hidden from view. After some misheard mumblings, the group seemed to break off.-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [… A few moments later, Ji-Hu took out her phone and looked directly into the camera- no way to hide her identity now. "Taro Asaka is our history, social studies and geography teacher. But he's also a denialist, a creep and bully who threatens those weaker than him. Last year, he denied war crimes in Korea and China, and he hit on one of my friends and tried to look up my skirt. And he wants to do it again this year."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> ["My name is Yi Ji-Hu, and I'm calling on anyone who sees this video who knows what Asaka is like to step forward and start talking."-
[20:26] <PersonaGM> [With that, the video ended.]
[20:35] <Ai> The video at first confused Ai. That it was happening, and. …Wait. Wasn't Wu a first-year? …Did Asaka teach in the other grade levels? …Whatever. She listened further, staring. At some point she had even stopped in her tracks as it progressed. …If Hideki at all noticed, or anyone else noticed… -
[20:35] <Ai> "No." She started whispering when the video got to Wu talking about ancestors., as her eyes began to dilate. More, when Asaka answered back, and she actually said "N… no!" louder (still not normal volume) when Wu lunged at Asaka. Transfixed, but actually starting to well up tears and hyperventilate, Ai was… unable to look away but wishing she could. Until the end, when Ji-Hu revealed her face. "No! D… don't. Don't do it! Y… you can't." -
[20:35] <Ai> A tiny glimmer of a whisper. "You can't do that. I shouldn't have…"
[20:41] <Hideki> "…" Hideki had turned ghostly pale after halfway during the video. This was her plan?! So much for not getting herself in trouble! And she-
[20:43] <Hideki> "Yoshino! Are you breathing properly? Phone down! Deep breaths!"
[20:44] <Ai> … Seconds passed with no reaction. But after about 3 or 4, the girl put the phone down, pulling the earbud out. "… …I'm sorry, Hidecchin. I. I didn't mean to worry you, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
[20:52] <Hideki> "No, forget it. Just… give me a minute." He had lowered his own phone, but now he considered watching the video again. Or a third time. Instead, he opened his contacts and dialed someone. -
[20:53] <Hideki> As he listened to the ringing, the color began seeping back onto his face, and his lips tightened slightly.
[20:54] * Ai was pursing her lips and… seeming to breathe a bit better herself. …She looked at her phone again, Finger hovering over that same icon again. One tap… but she'd probably get what she expected last time, too.

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