Chaos Angelica: Ordinary
Life is unjust and unfair in the country of Sideria. Here, the law is merely a concept, and what most consider to be criminal acts are everyday occurrences. Most cities are ruled by powerful gangs or corporations that have overthrown the local governments, and many Siderian citizens are burdened by hunger and poverty. In central Sideria lies a city that stands out from its neighboring territories. It is the only place with a sliver of pedestrian living, yet manages to simultaneously be one of the nation’s most chaotic locations. Welcome to The Great City of Runaways: Angelica.
Chapter 1: Encounter
Monday, after school. Everything is normal. I’m being chased by a group of thugs who want to challenge me to a fight. They’re all wearing purple, which means they probably belong to the Violet tigers. That’s most likely the case. I won a fight against a large group of Tigers not too long ago, they must be after revenge.
Let me explain to you how I got here; my name is Ichigo Harukawa and I’m a third year student at Winter Blossom Junior-High, one of Angelica’s most popular schools. My plan was to live my school life without standing out, but at the end of my first year of middle school I was attacked by a small group of thugs. They were all armed with things like knives and pipes, and I was unarmed. I was at a clear disadvantage, but the thugs didn’t even know how to fight. I ended up knocking them all out with just my bare fists. After that, some of their buddies came for revenge, so I beat them too. They started calling me the Middle School Monster, and people from all over started wanting to challenge me to fights. Which leads us to today, as I am being chased by a small group of around eleven thugs hoping to fight me.
“Man, what a pain in the ass. You can’t expect to beat me if you can’t even catch me, y’know!”
Taunting them is always a good idea, making them angry throws them off. As long as I can out-run them, I should be able to avoid any unnecessary violence.
“Bastard! Don’t mock us!”
They’re catching up fast. Looks like there’s no avoiding this one. I stop and wait for them to catch up to me. In this fight, whoever strikes first loses. For fifteen seconds it’s a stalemate, they’re not as dumb as I thought. Their leader throws the first punch, he charges at me in full force. He’s clearly not holding anything back, but his form is still sloppy. An easy attack to dodge.
“You’re definitely strong mister, but as someone professionally trained to fight I oughta tell you, you’re not gonna make it anywhere with form like that.”
I dodge his attack and he stumbles. They continue to attack and I continue to dodge. Once they’re worn down, I knock them all out. The same routine as always.
I thought that was the last of them, but it sounds like there’s one more. There, just above me. It’s a girl wearing my school’s uniform. She has long, light-brown hair and icy-colored eyes. She appears to be around the same age as me. She’s probably another third year. That’s none of my business though.
“Are you talking to me?”
“Is there something you need?”
“You’re Ichigo Harukawa from class 3-B, right? Just what do you think you’re doing?”
Lovely. She’s the self-righteous type. The kind who likes to pretend they’re right and enforce their so-called justice. People like that disgust me more than anything.
“What does it look like I’m doing? They attacked me, I fought back. You got a problem with it?”
“I don’t have a problem with you defending yourself,” the girl jumped down to me. She looks like trouble, “The problem is your attitude. What do you think you’re doing antagonizing the Violet Tigers like that? Are you that bored, or are you just stupid?”
“Neither. That was all just to throw them off. It’s easier to beat someone when they’re blinded by anger. I thought everyone knew that.”
For some reason, she’s speaking like she’s worried for me. I don’t really get it, but there’s probably some other reason for her worried tone. Still though, it’s odd that she stopped to speak to me in the first place. Very odd.
“Why do you care anyway? What I do and who I fight is none of your business.”
“It is my business when my job is to keep the peace in this city.”
“Keep the peace? What kind of dumb joke is that?”
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Phoebe Linhardt. I’m a member of the Aqua Ferrets. As a member of this city’s ruling gang, it’s my job to make sure this city stays functional.”
“Is it really now? You have fun with that.”
I walk away, but she follows. She grabs me by the hand and stops me, “ I’m not done talking yet.”
“I don’t care. I’m going home. Talk to me at school or something.”
“No. You don’t understand the danger of antagonizing the Tigers right now. I need to explain to you why you shouldn’t. That’s my duty.”
I might as well stop and listen to what she has to say. She won’t leave me alone otherwise, “Fine then. Explain away, miss peacekeeper.”
“Listen, the Tigers are incredibly unstable right now. Antagonizing them in their current state is only going to lead to things being destroyed and people getting hurt. That’s why you can’t-”
“I know that. Now can you leave me alone?”
“If you know then why would you antagonize them the way you did?”
“They wanted a fight, I gave it to them. If that’s all you need I’m leaving.”
I turn my back to her and begin to walk away again. This time, she doesn’t stop me. I hope I never see her again. Though we are at the same school, so I guess that’s just wishful thinking.
Chapter 2: Friends
Going to school is such a pain. School itself I don’t have a problem with. Every time I go somewhere someone challenges me to a fight though. That part’s a real pain. I sometimes wonder where everything went wrong, but I quickly realize there’s no point. Buzz. Buzz.
“A message… I wonder who it is?”
“We’re meeting on the roof during lunch. Make sure to be there.”
“Ah. It’s just Lufi. I guess that means today is going to be crazy again.”
“What’cha been up to?”
Phoebe again. Ever since Monday she’s been bothering me non-stop. I just want her to leave me alone. Honestly, she’s such a bother.
“That’s not any of your business, Stupid Furball.”
“I see. Wanna eat lunch together?”
“Can’t. Have plans.”
“I see. Tomorrow then?”
Ding Ding. The lunch bell rings, so I head to the roof. Up there waiting for me is Ashton, my best friend, and Lufi, my informant. And following behind me is an annoying Furball.
“Sorry I’m late. What’s up?”
“Before we start… who is she?”
“...She’s just a nuisance. Don’t worry about her.”
“Do you really hate me that much?”
I’m just gonna ignore her. That’s probably the easiest solution to the problem. She’ll leave eventually, I’m sure.
“Ok… then I guess we can start now. Ashton, speak.”
“Yes. Ichi, it seems like the gangs in Angelica have all taken an interest in you. They all want you in their ranks, so you should be extra careful when talking to gangsters in the city. Also, take a look at this.”
Who Is The Middle School Monster?Some kind of news article. This is the last thing I wanted. I don’t want to be involved in the gangs in Angelica, I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be left alone.
“Wow… you’re a serious urban legend. That’s crazy!”
“Who gave you permission to speak, Furball?”
“...No one… hey, I know! If you want I can tell the Ferrets to leave you alone! How’s that sound?”
“Great, please do.”
“But in exchange, I want you to be my friend. How about it?”
Be her friend? Sounds like a major pain. But having this city’s ruling gang after me sounds like even more of a pain. I could just say we’re friends then be done with it. But if I do she’ll probably start following me around even more. I don’t want that.
“Fine, I’ll be your friend. But could you stop following me around like a stalker? It’s disturbing.”
“Fine. But I get to eat lunch with you every day! And I want in on these little meetings of yours.”
“Sure, whatever. Just don’t bother me too much ok?”
“It’s a deal then! I’ll make sure the Ferrets leave you alone. A quick call to Lyra and you’re free! Aren’t I the best?”
What a weird girl. I don’t understand why she’s taken such an interest in me. I guess I don’t need to understand though. I just hope she doesn’t cause me any trouble. She is kind of fun though…
“No. You’re the absolute worst.”
“I’ll make you change that opinion of yours eventually!”
Chapter 3: Her Cousin
Every day life has become rather hectic lately. It’s all thanks to her, she’s a special pain in my ass. On the bright side, I’m not getting into as many fights as before. I’m afraid I might get out of shape though. I haven’t been attacked by any gangsters at all. I wonder if that’s Phoebe pulling some strings. She can be surprisingly useful when she wants to be. She’s still just a nuisance to me though.
“Hey, Monster Kid!”
And that’s her, “Can you just call me Ichi like everybody else? Monster Kid sounds weird.”
“Ok. Ichi! Wanna go somewhere with me after school?”
“Huh? Why would I wanna do that?”
“Because you seem especially bored lately.”
Well she’s not wrong about that. My life’s been more chaotic lately, but I’ve also been really bored for some reason. I wonder why?
“Alright then, where do you wanna go?”
“Well you see… there’s someone I’d like you to meet. How about it, you interested?”
Someone she wants me to meet? Who could that be? Probably another one of her Ferret buddies. If that’s the case then I’m not the least bit excited. It does sound interesting though. Phoebe’s pretty well known in the Ferrets. Apparently she’s related to their leader. So if she wants to introduce me to someone from the Ferrets, they must be someone important. That part’s intriguing.
“I’ve got nothing better to do. This better be worth it though.”
“Trust me. It will be.”
Ding Dong Dong Ding. School’s out. Phoebe said to meet her at the gate. She has a few things to do around campus first, so I’ll probably have to wait awhile for her. I just hope she’s able to wrap it all up quickly. Thud.
“What the-,” I look up to see a girl with olive skin, dark pink eyes, and black hair in pigtails.
“Ah! I’m so sorry! Are you ok? I didn’t hurt you did I?”
“No I’m fine. All I did was fall on my ass. What about you? Are you all right?”
“Ah… I’m fine thanks.”
“Whatever. I need to go now so-”
“Wait. Umm… my name is Zianna Hartia. I’m from the art club.”
“‘Kay. Is that it?”
“No um… you are?”
“Ichigo Harukawa. Just an average kid with no talents. In short I’m not in any club.”
“May I… call you Ichigo?”
“It’s Ichi. As in the number one. I hate my full name.”
“I-Ichi. I like that-”
“Sheesh prez, could you stop with the shy girl act? We all know you’re better than that.”
“You know I’m not good with strangers! Especially with boys…”
I should leave… yeah. Phoebe’s probably out there waiting by now. I’ll just slip away while they argue.
I’ve reached the front of the school, but where is she? Did that girl stand me up? After inviting me to go somewhere out of the blue like that. She has some nerve.
“Sorry! Did you wait long?”
Oh, she’s just late. Nevermind, “No. I just got here.”
“Oh, you did? Good.”
It’s not a total lie. I haven’t been here long, but I still waited a couple minutes for her. Honestly she is such a nuisance. I shouldn’t have agreed to this in the first place.
“Shall we get going?”
She seems to know her way around this city pretty well. We’ve been taking shortcuts I never knew about. And shortcuts are like my thing. This silence though… awkward.
“So uh… who is it you want me to meet?”
“That’s a surprise.”
She’s usually more talkative than this. I seriously always wish she’d shut up. Why is she so quiet now all of a sudden? It’s so out of character for her. I know I haven’t known her long, but I thought I had a pretty good grip of her personality. Maybe she just acts that way when she’s bothering me?
“That’s right. The hideout for the Aqua Ferrets. No one’s here right now except for him. That’s why I brought you here today.”
“Who is he?”
“My only living relative, Lyra Linhardt. The leader of the Aqua Ferrets.”
We go in and inside is a large restaurant-like venue. The place almost seems fancy, but the quality of the furniture here is less than luxurious. Phoebe leads me to a loft above the hideout where we find a young man with aqua-colored hair and icy-colored eyes, as well as a bunch of piercings.
“Is that Phoebe? It is! It’s been forever! How’ve you been sis?”
“I’m not your sis. I came here to introduce someone to you.”
He’s looking at me with a rather unpleasant expression. He went from doting on his sister to giving me the death stare in less than a second. I shouldn’t have agreed to this in the first place.
“Sis… who is this boy to you?”
“He’s the person I wanted you to meet. He’s just a friend though, I promise.”
“...Just a friend huh… no hard feelings kid, but I’m gonna have to kill you now.”
Chapter 4: Nuisance
Not giving me a chance to assess the situation, Lyra attacks me from the front. He’s a much more skilled fighter than anyone I’ve fought before. I’m not surprised though, since he’s a gang leader.
“Would you mind telling me what the hell this is about?”
“Just shut up and die kid.”
Great. This can only end well. I need to somehow figure out what his deal is so I can dissolve this conflict. He’s entirely unwilling to talk though. Does it have something to do with Phoebe?
“I’m not just gonna lay down and die unless I know what I’m dying for.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“Why’re you attacking me Lyra? Did I do something wrong? I’m not going down until you tell me.”
Lyra’s strong. He’s hit me more than a few times. Most people can’t even lay a scratch on me. He’s certainly a worthy opponent, but this isn’t the time for that. This battle is pointless. Depressingly so.
“God dammit, could you just tell me why you want me dead?”
“Because you’ve gotten awful close to my dear sis. And I don’t like that.”
“The hell do you mean awful close? I barely even know her.”
“Enough with the excuses. Stop trying to save your own skin and accept your fate already.”
“I’m serious! If anything she’s just a nuisance! A big, fat pain in my ass!”
“A nuisance huh? You should’ve just said that from the start!”
“Why do you… sound happy to hear that?”
He’s stopped attacking me now. I’m greatly relieved, but is that seriously all it took for me to calm him down? He is seriously one strange dude. I’m starting to wonder why I even agreed to come here…
“So you’re saying there’s absolutely nothing between you and my sis?”
“Can you promise me there never will be anything between you?”
The hell kind of a promise is that? This guy is way too overprotective and controlling. He seriously just needs to calm down. Why can’t he just let other people live their lives? I feel bad for Phoebe though. So long as he’s around, she’ll never find a lover. Whatever. That’s none of my business anyway, so I should just drop it.
“How could I fall in love with that annoying furball?”
“Good. Glad to hear it. So long as you two don’t fall in love, I’ll allow you to continue hanging around my sis.”
“I think you’ve got the wrong idea, pops. She’s the one hanging around me, not the other way around.”
“Hahaha! Hey, I like this one, Phoebe!”
Come to think of it. Phoebe’s just been standing there like this is normal while all this played out. Don’t tell me… does this happen often? That’s a scary thing to think about. Poor girl’s probably used to this kind of thing by now.
“I told you he’s just a friend, now can we move on?”
For some reason, I think I’ve started to see Phoebe in a new light thanks to this. Even if she didn’t really do anything. She seriously did nothing at all to help me… stupid Furball.
Chapter 5: Tell Me About Your Past
Phoebe invited me to go somewhere with her after school today. The last time she invited me somewhere her cousin tried to kill me, so I’m a little reluctant to go. I’m honestly tempted to just flake out on her, but that’s a pretty shitty thing to do. I may not be a good person, but at the very least, I don’t think I’m an asshole.
“So what’s the deal? Why’re you inviting me out?”
“You make it sound like I have some ulterior motive.”
“You probably do, Furball.”
“Relax. I just wanna hang out. I was hoping we could get something to eat and then maybe shop around a bit, y’know?”
“So like a date?”
“A date? N-no, no, nothing like that. I just… wanted to hang out with a friend… and to apologize for Lyra trying to kill you. Is that not ok?”
Why does she look so flustered? I really don’t care what her reasons are as long she’s not planning anything like last time. And it’s not like I’ll end up thinking of it as a date anyway, so there’s no point in getting embarrassed over it. This stupid Furball has got the wrong idea… even though I’m the one that gave it to her.
“Fine, whatever. I don’t like you enough to consider it a date anyway. We’ll call it an apology and leave it at that, ok?”
“Ah… yeah! That’s fine,” Why does she look angry?
“I’ll see you after school then. Until then, could you leave me be?”
The stupid Furball is late. Seriously, what is her deal? Inviting me out and then not arriving on time. She needs to get her act together. I guess I should go find her… nevermind, there she is.
“What took you so long, furball?”
“Sorry, I got held up by some teachers. Anyway, where do you wanna go?”
“I want something sweet… like a crepe.”
“Crepes huh? Sounds good… what are you standing around for, let’s go!”
There she goes dragging me off again. She’s a serious nuisance, but being around her has started to feel kind of fun. I enjoy our time together a lot. Is that weird? Though our personalities are polar opposites, we have a lot in common. So it’s fun hanging out and talking with her…
We ended up shopping around after we ate. Neither of us bought anything, but we enjoyed ourselves just looking and talking about things we liked. Now, we’re in Angelica Park. This is a very relaxing place for me. I come here to the fountain whenever I need to calm down. Today though, I’m here with someone else taking a breather. It’s kind of refreshing.
“Hey, Ichi. Tell me about yourself.”
“What’s there to know? I’m just an average, boring kid with few friends.”
“That’s not what I meant. I meant like your past and your family, those things.”
“Why should I?”
“You already know most of those things about me so…”
“Fine, I get it. Where should I begin? I guess it started three and a half years ago. You see, I was born the heir to the Harukawa Mage Clan in Suzuka. I’m not a mage, but I spent my entire childhood training to take over the clan when I was older. There was one problem though.”
“And what was that?”
“I didn’t want to. I had no interest in leading a mage clan, especially since I’m not a mage. It all seemed so boring and pointless, y’know? But when I told my parents I didn’t wanna take over, we got in a huge fight. In the end, I was disowned and kicked out of the house. I feel bad for my sister, I don’t think she even knows what happened to me.”
“You have a sister?”
“Yeah, but I don’t even remember her face very well, and if I saw her today I surely wouldn’t recognize her. Anyway, I ended up going to live with my uncle for a while. I saved up money working jobs until I was able to live on my own. Then, I moved to Angelica and started attending school here. That’s all there is to know.”
“Have you ever tried to get back in touch with your parents?”
“No, I don’t care about them anymore.”
“I see… that’s unfortunate.”
I wonder why she suddenly wanted to know about these things? My history really is none of her business. I haven’t ever told anyone about myself except for Ashton and Lufi, and that was only after a year and a half of being together. This stupid Furball really throws me off.
Chapter 6: Trauma Response
No matter what I do, it seems I’m stuck with the stupid Furball. I’ve already told her about my past, so it’s not like I can suddenly just stop talking to her. To my own dismay, I’ve actually grown rather fond of her. I hate admitting that.
It occured to me during our conversation the other day, but I actually don’t know that much about Phoebe. She said I know just about everything, but all I really know is that Lyra is her only living relative. I almost feel like she’s hiding something important from me. It couldn’t hurt to ask I suppose.
“Hey, Furball. Eat lunch with me.”
“That’s unusual. Why the sudden change of heart?”
“What’s that mean? All I did was ask you to eat lunch with me.”
“I was under the impression you didn’t like me.”
“I wouldn’t tell you about my past if I didn’t like you… plus it seems I’m stuck with you either way,” why am I speaking so quietly?
“Did you say something?”
“Nothing, just come to the roof so we can eat.”
She’s such a dork. My plan is to ask her about her family while we eat, but I don’t exactly know how to bring it up. I mean, if they really are all dead, can she even talk about it? So we make our way up to the roof where no one is, it’s a good place for private discussions.
“Where are the others?”
“Y’know, Ash and Lulu?”
“Oh! You mean Ashton and Lufi?”
“I wanted it to just be the two of us today.”
Here it is. Moment of truth. How do I ask her? It’s definitely an uncomfortable subject to touch on. I can only imagine what happened, after all. How does it happen that her whole bloodline is wiped out? Still, I think it just isn’t fair that she knows everything about me and I know nothing about her.
“You remember when I told you about my family the other day?”
“Of course. I still think about it sometimes.”
“Well it got me thinking. You said Lyra is your only living relative, I wanted to know what happened.”
Hearing me bring this up, Phoebe suddenly goes pale and falls forward. I’m barely able to catch her. She’s breathing really heavily and is clinging to me like she’ll die if she lets go.
“Hey, Furball! Are you okay? What happened?”
“Sorry… I just… don’t like… to talk about… them.”
“I see. Then it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have asked. We should get you to the infirmary.”
“No… I’m fine like this… just… let me hold onto you for a while.”
This is incredibly embarrassing, but I don’t want to just let her go here. It’s my fault that she ended up like this. Whatever happened to her family, it was traumatizing enough for just asking about them to trigger this kind of response. I think I’ve seen a new side of her today. Underneath that cheerful exterior, this girl is suffering more than I ever have. I guess she’s more than just a stupid Furball after all. Maybe I should start calling her by her name.
Chapter 7: I Didn’t Think He’d Ask
It was kind of a shock. I didn’t think he’d ask about it. For some reason, I thought he had no interest in these things. What happened to my family is a… sensitive subject for me. I haven’t even really talked to Lyra about it. I’ve never talked about what really happened that day. How I wasn’t strong enough, how I shouldn’t have been there, how it’s my fault they all died. Lyra says not to blame myself, but that’s difficult to do. It hurts to even think about it.
The past three years I’ve been living alone, I distance myself from Lyra even though he’s all I have left. After the accident, I distanced myself from my friends as well. I’ve sort of been a loner since then. I hadn’t tried to make real friends until I met Ichi. His dry personality and honey-blonde hair reminded me of my little brother, and I guess I wanted to be closer to that.
“Hey, Phoebe about the other day,” Speak of the devil, “I wanted to apologize. I asked you about that without thinking about your feelings. That was insensitive of me. How can I make it up to you?”
“This is so unlike you,” I stand up, “It really isn’t a big deal y’know. So don’t worry about it, ‘kay?”
Why is he being so shy? Normally, he’ll just speak his mind without thinking. Is he trying to be considerate of me? Is he actually worried about me? How uncharacteristically kind of him.
“Don’t tell me… are you actually worried about me?”
“Of course I am! Who wouldn’t be after that!”
“Oh my god. You actually care about me. This is an unforeseen development.”
“You’re the one who keeps forcing your way into my life. It’s only natural I’d start to care after being around you so much.”
“I took you for the type of guy who doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Guess I was wrong, though. I’m kinda happy I was!”
“Well… the point is I’m sorry for bringing up such a sensitive subject. I won’t ask about it again. Promise.”
I’m really happy about this for some reason. I guess I’m happy to know he cares. This is the first time someone other than Lyra has shown me genuine concern. That’s what it is, right? I’m glad to know he cares… nothing more.
Chapter 8: Are They Dating?
Ichi has spent a lot of time alone with Phoebe lately. Makes me wonder if they might have a thing going. I mean, I can’t imagine that guy ever dating anybody, but he is full of surprises. For instance, he’s surprisingly kind. I know this isn’t my place to step in, but I can’t just sit here doing nothing! I’ve got to know!
“What is it?”
“Y’think Ichi and Phoebe are dating?”
“Yeah, there’s no way in Hell.”
“That’s what I thought at first too, but just look at them!”
“Uh-huh. I’m looking. What exactly am I supposed to be seeing? There just talking casually.”
“The guy doesn’t even talk that casually to me! I’m his best friend! If he’s more comfortable talking with her than he is his best friend, she’s gotta be his girlfriend!”
“I think you’re just reading too much into things.”
“Try to understand how I feel Lufi! She’s taking him away from me!”
“What is he, your boyfriend?”
“Nah, no way I’d ever like him.”
“You’re more into feminine guys, right?”
“My preferences… have nothing to do with this, Lufi.”
“Y’know, if you’re that concerned, you could always just ask him.”
“I don’t wanna seem annoying though…”
“You’re already annoying. Just ask him and be done with it.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
Asking is the only way to stop this worrying. We’re both guys, I’m sure he’ll tell me. Right? Maybe he won’t since he knows that I like guys. This is the only way though. I approach them to ask and Phoebe immediately calls out to me.
“Heya Ash! What’s up?”
“Oh it’s just… uh… y’know…”
“Just spit out Firecat. We were talking.”
“Are you two dating?”
“Wh-what? No! We’re just friends! I swear upon my life!”
“Calling us friends is a stretch Phoebs. I’ve just accepted that I’m stuck with you.”
“Ph-Phoebs? Not Furball?”
“I just thought I oughta be a bit more respectful towards her.”
“So you give her a pet name, but you still call me Firecat?”
“But Firecat’s a cool name for an assassin, right Phoebs?”
“He’s an assassin?”
“Hitman! I’m a hitman!”
“ “Eh. Same difference.” “
Why do they have to say it at the same time? This stings. Why does she get a pet name and I’m stuck with some weird nickname like Firecat?
“Call me by my name, please.”
“Uh-uh. You’re Firecat, Phoebe is Phoebs, and Lufi is… Lufi I guess.”
“So you call Lufi by her name?”
“Didn’t you know? Lufi is my nickname. It’s kinda like my tag online. I liked it so I started using it IRL… or something.”
“When did you get here?”
“I heard you guys screaming, so I got worried. Also, since we’re here, rooftop at lunch. All of you need to be there, this is big.”
This certainly spiraled into some chaos. At least I confirmed that my sweet, sarcastic Ichi wasn’t stolen. I’ll keep an eye on them though. I must fully approve any relationship he’s in. I’m his best friend, after all.
Chapter 9: Unclear Warning
My sister is up to something again. I can tell. Approaching her is difficult though. Honestly, she terrifies me. I’m afraid that if I upset her, she’ll burn me alive. I have to confront her though. As our leader, I have to be the one to stop her from doing something too reckless. I should just put on my mask, let my hair down, and talk to her.
“N-Nemia, could I talk to you for a second?”
“Huh? It’s Nemesis, y’got it? N-E-M-E-S-I-S; Nemesis.”
“Yes. Sorry. Could I talk to you Nemesis?”
“Sure! How can I help you, Leader?”
“You’ve been uh… rampaging a lot lately, huh?”
“What about it?”
“I was just wondering if you could maybe… y’know… calm down a little? Just a bit? For your sister?”
“No fuckin’ way! Just let me have my fun!”
“I can’t do that! I have a duty as our leader to keep you from-”
“Shut up, pipsqueak! I’m gonna go set something on fire.”
As my sister leaves, I hear people talking towards the back of the room, “God, Leader is weak. Damn kid can’t even keep that crazy slut Nemesis on her leash,” They’re talking about me again. I’m not cut out for this after all.
As I’m about to leave, I notice something Nemia left on the coffee table. What’s that? Was she reading something? Who Is The Middle School Monster?She’s researching the Monster, huh? Wait a minute. If I’m not mistaken the Middle School Monster is… I have to warn him. If Nemia has taken an interest in him then he’s in serious danger. If something happens to him, I have to take the blame! There’s no way I could live with that!
I hope I’m not too late. If he’s at school today, that means I’m not too late. He’s in 3-B, I think. I need to find him. I should check his classroom first. If he isn’t there, there should be someone who knows him there.
When I reach the classroom, he’s not in there. Come on Zianna, you can do this. All you have to do is ask someone. That’s all. One question, and we’re done. Fully unprepared, I approach a student in 3-B.
“E-excuse me. Do you… um… know Ichigo Harukawa?”
“Ichigo, huh? That guy doesn’t talk to anyone. I guess Lufi knows him.”
“She’s in D class. She’s got short silver hair and glasses. She should be easy to spot.”
“Thank you,” I quickly flee.
“And she’s gone. She was kinda cute.”
D class. D class. Here! I enter the classroom and look around for a girl with silver hair and glasses. I need to find someone matching that description. Ah! There she is! In the corner by the window! I awkwardly approach her and blurt out the question.
“Excuse me! Do you know where I can find Ichigo Harukawa?”
“Ichi? He’s usually on the roof napping this time of day.”
“Thank you so much,” Once again, I quickly flee. Social situations of any kind scare me.
“Gone with the wind, huh?”
To the roof! I make my way to the roof, where find a skygazing Ichi awaiting me. Moment of truth. I have to warn him about Nemia. I approach him quietly.
“Excuse me… Ichi?”
“Huh? Oh it’s you. The girl from the other day. Do you need me for something?”
“I just wanted to say… um… be careful!”
“Be careful? Of what?”
“Of fire! Bye,” As soon as I realize I tried to talk to him, I run away again.
“Fire? What an odd girl.”
I did my best!
Chapter 10: What She Meant
Be careful… of fire? What could she mean by that? Is there something I’m missing? She seemed too serious for it to be a prank, but I still don’t know what she meant. Why do I need to be careful of fire?
“Huh? Oh, it’s just you, Firecat. Hey.”
“You seem kinda down. Is something the matter?”
“Not really. Just some weird girl came to talk to me when I was on the roof today. I’ve been thinking about what she said.”
“Was it a confession or something?”
“No, nothing like that. She told me to be careful of fire.”
“Odd. Maybe Lufi knows something?”
“I could ask her. Maybe we should discuss this when we meet at lunch today.”
“Awesome. I’ll seeya at lunch then.”
Asking Lufi about it is probably the smartest thing to do. She’s knowledgeable about the things that go on around Angelica. If anyone can discern what that girl meant it’d be her.
It’s lunchtime, so I’m on my way to the roof. Following me is a certain ferret who I’ve involuntarily grown rather close with. She’s being unusually quiet. The last time she was this quiet her cousin tried to kill me, so I’m a little scared. I doubt it’s a super big deal though.
Waiting on the roof already is Lufi, with her face in her computer like always. Ashton doesn’t appear to be here yet. It’s a bit dumb to act all excited for this and then show up late, but this is exactly the type of behavior I expect from him.
“Is the Firecat not here yet?”
“He said he had to use the bathroom.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Should we wait for him?”
“Nah. Realistically the only people that actually have to be here are me and Lufi. Waiting for him would be pointless when he wouldn’t be any help at all.”
“Shall we begin?”
“Before that. Some girl came to me when I was relaxing up here and told me to be careful of fire. I was wondering if you might know what that means?”
“Well, there’s been a lot of attacks by a serial arsenist by the name of Nemesis recently, she’s actually what I wanted to talk about today. If I had to guess it probably has something to do with that. Why she warned you specifically, your guess is as good as mine.”
I’ve heard of them. Supposedly, no one has ever seen their face. Most people think Nemesis is a guy, but there a number of people who say it’s a girl. Personally, I don’t care. I just want to know why I was warned and no one else. The biggest issue is that Nemesis is a member of the Violet Tigers. A powerful one at that. That’s what really worries me.
“Hey guys. Did I make you wait?”
“Nah, we’re already done here.”
“Hey! Hey! What’re you guys’ plans for the Summer?”
“Nothing really. Stay home and study for entrance exams or something.”
“I’ll be working on my latest software, so I’ll be busy.”
“You guys are no fun. Can’t we go to the pool or something together?”
“You just wanna check out guys, Firecat. You can do that by yourself.”
“I hate it when you’re right.”
“What about you Phoebs? Wanna hang out or something when I’m not studying?”
“Huh? Like a date?”
“No, dumbass. I mean as friends.”
“Oh, duh. Sorry. I think I’m available this Sunday if you wanna go somewhere.”
“I need to go clothes shopping and I wanted someone to come with me. Someone who isn’t Ashton.”
“Sure! Sounds fun!”
“Great. Seeya Sunday.”
Phoebe nods her head with a smile. To be honest, I could’ve just asked Lufi, but Phoebe seems fashionable. Lufi… is not. I think going clothes shopping with her would be more fun. Plus, she’d actually give an opinion when I asked for one. Without hitting on me like Ashton does. I will never go clothes shopping with him again.
“Are we done here?”
“Great. Meeting adjourned.”
School’s out for Summer already. It feels like April was just yesterday. There was gossip around school about some up-and-coming model transferring to Winter Blossom at the start of the new term. Her name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
As I’m passing by a convenience store, I notice a magazine cover with a familiar face on it. Rising Star San-Ling Fei. San-Ling Fei… San-Ling Fei… where have I heard that?
“Holy shit, that’s Ling! She’s a model? I wonder if this is related to the rumors about a model transferring to Winter Blossom. I really hope not… guess I’ll buy it.”
After buying the magazine, I head home. When I get there I find a disturbing sight. The apartment complex where I’ve been living is burning to the ground. Is this what that girl meant? What am I supposed to do now? My only friend who lives alone is… guess I’ve got no choice but to call her.
“Oh, Ichi! What is it?”
“Hiya, Phoebs. So listen… um…”
“My apartment complex burned down, so I was wondering if I can stay with you until I find a new place.”
“Huh? Stay with me? Why me? Why not Ashton?”
“You’re the only friend I have that lives alone. Plus I get the feeling Ashton would assault me…”
“I don’t know if he’d do that, but I guess I’d be uncomfortable if I were you… wait what’s the difference between you staying with a gay guy and you staying with a girl?”
“Phoebe, if you can’t do it just say so. I’m not trying to impose. It’s just… you’d really be saving my ass here.”
“‘Kay. I’ll have the spare room ready in half an hour. I’ll text you the address.”
“Thanks a ton. I’ll see ya later.”
And so for the next year, I would live under the same roof as Phoebe. Things all go downhill from here, so hold on to your seats because it’ll be a wild ride.
Next Volume, Chaos Angelica: Extraordinary
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