I'm alive *ragged breathing* don't worry people this account ain't dead. I fell into a slump again after my previous update then the school workload ended up piling up T.T I started going home late, sleeping late, waking up early huhuhu. Finally today I got the inspiration to write more (yey) hehe. Anyways, reviews:
Dobromir: I actually enjoyed writing Umi's scene, that took the least of time writing haha and thank you reader-san :) Don't worry things will be explained...or not...depends hehe. And awww...I feel like writing a HonoUmi fic right now :-( just kidding I am hehe.
Masane: Hey didn't hear much from you lately...partly my fault but oh well. And wow dude I was also grinning at your comment xD I'm thankful hehe hope you like this chapter :-))))))
OuMiyuki: hehe I might be doing that a lot *inserts gibberish quote here* I love Umi so much but meh, in the long run, it still is a HonoMaki hehe. I want to spill so much things regarding the plot here but that'd be boring T.T hahahaha so you would just have to wait for a bit. And also PS: I suddenly got into writing again because you noticed me on Tumblr hehe shhhhhhhh that post led me to so much about Love Live and bam! New chapterrrrr coming right up!
zeldagamer832: Damn, I made you wait a loooooooong time again T.T I'm very sorry reader-san. I hope that it is still worth it :)
Eli looked out of the window of the room. Something felt off yesterday. She just can't pinpoint what. It felt the same as before and it caused her hair to stand in fear.
"Eli-chi..." Nozomi's voice passed through her ears but she refused to look. "You felt it last night too didn't you Nozomi?"
Nozomi cast her gaze to her side and gripped her arm tightly. Eli took the silence as a yes and turned around, "We've got to be even more careful," and she took her bag and proceeded to make her way out of the room. She halted and Nozomi felt hopeful for a split-second.
"I'll text you when I get home." and the blonde shut the room behind her and left Nozomi behind. The latter's heart clenched in sadness as she watched Eli leave the building without much of a goodbye to her. What's wrong Eli-chi? It wasn't the first time that day that she was practically shunned by Eli, this might have been their first actual conversation for the day and it didn't end up as she would have hoped. She squirms from the pain in her chest as she stares wistfully to the sunset. She didn't like that something was clearly bothering Eli and it seemed like the girl won't tell her anything anytime soon...just like when they first met...when they were both strangers to each other.
Nozomi tried to stop herself from thinking unwanted thoughts, most of those with Eli wanting to call quits. After all, who would think that a loving relationship between a vampire and wizard would last? The last person she knew ended up dying for thinking that.
No, no she says to convince herself that that wasn't the case. If Eli really wanted to tell her...she'll come around...Nozomi hopes. As much as she wants to force Eli to tell her, she just can't. She's scared.
Honoka kept on glancing at her two best friends while munching on the burger in her hands. Throughout the day, Umi seemed to be avoiding Kotori and Kotori seemed to be wary of the former. What's with these two? she thought. And no, she wasn't the only one who noticed because if then she wouldn't have noticed it at all.
Rin had pulled her up to the side awhile ago on their way to the burger joint they are currently at and made her realize it. Honoka tried racking her brain out to figure what had happened between these two but she cannot remember anything that might have happened. Maybe she'll ask Umi about it later.
Umi reached out to take a burger from the heap at the same time Kotori reached for one as well.
"Ah-" Kotori winced and Umi's face contorted to guilt all of a sudden, "You take one first..." she said softly.
Yep, something is off between these two.
After Kotori had taken her share, the archer took her own and bit on it. The bread tasted stale and the patty felt dry like rocks. Is this what guilt feels like?
"U-Umi-chan...you're hurting me." Flashes of what she did that night came back and her face went pale...well paler. She suddenly lost the appetite to eat.
"Umi-san, are you okay?" Hanayo asks worriedly and Umi nods at her, her breathing a bit jagged as if she had taken a long run prior to the moment.
I almost killed...I almost killed...I...
Kotori also stopped eating. She knew why Umi's being like that. She wanted to comfort the bluenette but she too...was scared. Umi was never like that, she would never hurt anyone close to her. So why did she almost...kill her? This can't go on any longer. Kotori thought. She didn't want to be afraid of Umi. There must be a reason. Their years of friendship won't end because of a possible misunderstanding.
The ash-brunette abruptly stood up, "Ah, it's getting late. Umi-chan," the latter looks up in shock and saw Kotori smiling at her. Twitch. She was trying to smile at her.
"Yes?" she tried to recompose her voice as much as possible. She didn't want to get any more unnecessary attention from the others.
"Can you help me in our assignment later? I wasn't able to pay much attention during the lesson," she dryly chuckles.
"A-ah," Umi stammers before nodding. The two of them bid goodbye and went their way. Both were nervous. Both were scared.
"What is up with those two?" Maki raises an eyebrow, "I don't get it."
Rin and Hanayo giggles lightly at their friend, "We'll tell you later." Maki nods, not really that much interested. Not at all. Really.
"That reminds me, I have to go home too," Honoka sighs, "Kotori-chan mentioned the math assignment and I remembered I slept through the whole period so I don't get it either...and I don't have Umi-chan..." she fakes a sob.
Honoka gathers her belongings and leaves as well, leaving the three wizards alone. Prior to that moment, the three of them sat together on the same side of the booth so Hanayo transferred to the other side. In the corner of the booth, she saw a piece of paper, "Eh?" she picks it up and saw an unanswered handout with a note on top.
Don't forget your handouts next time.
"Kayo-chin what's the matter?" Hanayo shows the two of them the test paper and Maki almost facepalmed herself. She did forget it.
"What do we do?" Rin asks herself and tentatively glanced at Maki. The redhead crossed her arms over her chest and looked away, "W-Well if you two are so busy then I'll go bring it to her,"
Rin grins, "Rin didn't say anything about Rin and Kayo-chin being busy,"
Maki looked at her incredulously before her face turned scarlet red like her hair. She snatches the paper from Hanayo and stands up, "W-Whatever, I already said I'm giving it to her," and she then fled the scene.
Rin and Hanayo looked at each other, the latter was shaking her head, "I can't believe you made me use my magic for that Rin-chan,"
Rin shrugged, "Maki-chan's not being honest with herself, Maki-chan does want to be friends with Honoka-chan,"
"But aren't they already friends?"
"Rin can feel something's in between them. Cat-instincts, Rin guesses nya. Plus it won't hurt to have Maki-chan and Honoka-chan spend a bit more time together ne?"
The brunette takes her soda and sips, "I guess..."
In the end, Maki never caught up with Honoka on the street so she had no choice but to bring the handout to Honoka's house. She went up to the doorstep and reached out for the bell. But she didn't press it. What am I doing? Going so far for a vampire? She stood there, contemplating on whatever what-nots that strayed farther and farther to the reason why she came here in the first place.
"Maki-chan? What are you doing here?" Maki jolts in surprise. Partly because she didn't notice the door opening and partly because Honoka's face was inches away from her. She takes a step back and covers her lower face with her arm. She's shorter than me. Ah, the handout.
She reaches for her bag and takes out the folded handout, "You left it earlier at the joint,"
"Ah, thank you," she takes the paper and sighs in relief. She had been looking for it earlier when she got home. She had gotten a bit of scolding from Umi earlier that day because she forgot to get a handout during class (which thankfully the former noticed and got her one). What would have the bluenette have done if she left it? She shudders at the thought.
Honoka looked back at Maki. She was taller than her. She had a beautiful set of amethyst orbs that gleamed in the moonlight. "Do you want to stay over?" What?
"Eh?" Maki took another step back and her lips twitched a bit. She could feel her face grow hotter by the second.
Honoka herself was shocked at what came out of her lips. She was just admiring the girl's facial features and she said something completely unrelated. She smiles bashfully and scratches her not-so-itchy crown, "I-I mean, it's dangerous around this time, yes it is and uhm I'm worried that a pretty high school girl like you would..." she trails off and her eyes widen, "Ah I mean, you are pretty, I wasn't hitting on you or anything-" Honoka blurts out and looks down at her feet. Ah damn it Honoka, what are you doing? Stupid Mouth.
Honoka's loathing thoughts were cut off by a giggle or two. The ginger head looks up and saw Maki smirking at her, "You are aware that I'm a wizard right Honoka? No mere human male can cause me harm and if it ain't human I could still teleport my way out." Honoka's mouth opens in awe at the realization. She tried to say something in retaliation but she can't seem to find her voice.
"Ah...I guess you could do that..." damn it, why did I stammer,
"B-But..." Maki looks away shyly, her fingers finding their way to her red locks, "If you insist so...I mean f-fine! Teleporting is a hassle and tiring anyway and I wasted my valuable magic to go here so you better compensate for it and let me rest in your house!" Maki was left breathless after what her babbling mouth sputtered out. She swore she could feel the world wanting to swallow her up and she would gladly let them.
Honoka let her in the house without many words as she too felt the words get stuck in her throat. Why is the air suddenly thick in here?
Right now, Honoka's in her room, replaying everything that happened today and what led to her current situation. Maki was in her bath, taking a shower. She let the girl borrow her pajamas. She let the girl go inside her house. Honoka felt the heat rise up to her cheeks. Calm down, Honoka.
A few minutes later, Maki went out of the shower, brushing her hair along the way. There's a lot of rooms here, I wonder why considering she lives alone.
She spots a slightly opened door. From the outside, she could only make out the bed frame and the side table. Is this her room? She pushes the door open and coughs on impact. "Ugh, dusty, does that girl never clean?- Huh?"
The room was untouched. There was a bed, a side table, a lamp, a closet, a kotatsu, you name it. It felt like it was abandoned. It felt colorless and sad. If she wasn't in the house of Honoka she would think it was abandoned by the owners decades past. She takes a few steps into the room, her nose slightly aching from all the dust particles she's inhaling. At the far right of the room, she saw a frame. It was gothic, typical of a vampire she thought. She went nearer towards it to catch a glimpse of who were the people in the frame.
"Maki-chan?" she jumps in place and turns around immediately. Honoka was walking towards her. Maki felt the rush of cold wind run past her and soon Honoka was in front of her.
The light illuminated the girl's distinct features. Her jaw, her neck...everything...but Maki could not take her eyes off of the blue orbs that looked back at her. "What are you doing here?"
"I-I was...looking for you,"
Honoka chuckles, much to the younger one's relief. Honoka looked a bit scary to her earlier. A true vampire's aura.
The ginger head takes her hand and led her out of the room. It felt cold. What to expect from a non-living Maki thought as she was lead to a room across the previous one. This time it was more comfortable and lively. It seemed like a room of a regular high-school student.
Honoka sits down on the bed and Maki's face turned red for the nth time that day, "Why are we sharing a room?"
"My room's the only one available,"
Then what was that, "What about the vacant room over there?" she asks again but her mouth tightly shut when she saw a flash of hurt pass through Honoka's face. It must be personal...I shouldn't have asked I mean...we're not really-
"That..." Honoka let out a shaky breath, "I'm reserving that room for someone...she hasn't come home yet but I have faith that she will, soon..." she looks back up at Maki and saw the girl's neutral face. "But if you're uncomfortable with us sharing the bed, I could bring out a futon and you can get my bed." she quickly offers. After remembering all that because of that room...she doesn't want to be alone.
The scarlet wizard crossed her arms and looked away with a huff, "W-Why- Of course, I'm the one who deserves to be sleeping on the comfy-er one." ahh, Maki what are you saying? again, she felt like digging up a hole and hide there for the next centuries or so...until she heard a laugh escape the vampire's lips.
"W-What's so funny?" she asks, irritated. It 'frustrated' her more when Honoka didn't reply and went to get a futon for her to sleep in.
Maki climbed up the bed while Honoka prepared the futon for herself. Discreetly, she buries the lower half of her head below the comforter, smells like strawberries.
Honoka shifted her eyes quickly back and forth and let out a toothless smile, "Good night Maki-chan." and she shut her eyes and fell asleep.
Maki waited a good five minutes and turned her back at Honoka's direction, "Goodnight too Honoka..."
'I'm home Nozomi. Take care of yourself,' Eli sighs and returns her phone in her pocket as she walks up the doorstep of her apartment. The message she had sent hours ago left a pang of guilt inside her. She had just lied to Nozomi about her whereabouts. Instead of heading home after school, she went out to scout the neighborhood in her shapeshifted form to look for that thing, whatever it is, that appeared the night before. But alas, her search bore no fruit as any trace that would lead her to it ended up to be nothing.
She shudders due to the chilly wind and goes inside in a hurry. Setting her keys on the table beside the door, she announces, "I'm home-"
Eli stops short when she saw Arisa right in front of her. The little blonde's bag was beside her and she was just removing her shoes when Eli interrupted. The guilt she had felt earlier turned into a wave of anger when she saw her sister's arms and legs that were covered with bruises and a few cuts. Fresh ones. She wasn't able to notice that she had dropped her bag. Who had dared to hurt her sister? Arisa might not care about her anymore but she sure as hell do.
Her fists clenched and unclenched and her vision started clouding with red. "Why are you late?" was the first thing that came out of her mouth.
Arisa arranged her shoes at the side and turned away ready to warp to her bedroom. "It's none of your business."
"Who did this to you?" she was surprised by the growl and thirst in Eli's voice. She never saw this girl like this before. A bit shakily, she shrugs, "I fell down a few flights of stairs. I'm fine,"
Arisa slightly yelps when Eli held her aching wrist. The latter saw this and was more infuriated with rage, "I don't believe you. Who were you with?"
The vampire stared right into her eyes then, fearless and composed. She yanks her wrist from Eli's strong grip, wincing in the process.
She totally inherited that gaze from me, Eli thought as she and Arisa kept on their staring contest. Neither of them wanted to back down.
"You're not my sister, what gives you the right to know anything about me?" she spats at the older blonde, unfazed by her harsh and cold words. I never considered you as my sister...after what you did.
The student council president's vampiric aura started cooling down...every word from Arisa's thoughts and speech cut through her like a double-edged knife, bloody and wounded she was. Arisa turns around once again and leaves Eli alone in the room.
I'm sorry...I'm sorry...there was ash everywhere...I don't know if it was from the burning wreckage of my home...or if it was the little remains of my family...my family...Arisa...oto-san, oba-chan...
'Onee-chan...how could you?'
Tears cascaded down her cheeks...one, two...until they were falling down uncontrollably. She wiped them but they just kept on coming, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." she repeated over and over like a broken tape. But she was indeed broken. The feelings she had tried bottling up in the past, they will always come out. She was trying to be fine with Arisa hating her...but she knows deep down she didn't like it. She didn't like that she lost Arisa from that incident. She didn't like that she lost her whole world from that incident...from those monsters. Those vampires. She didn't like that she hid herself from Nozomi. All the girl ever knew was her cool side and she prefers it to stay that way but...does she really? Doesn't she want to let Nozomi see through her, know her as who she is as a whole? It frustrated her that there were so many things she wished to do but alas...she was too weak to take any action.
Suddenly, her phone vibrated in her pocket, it was a message from Nozomi,
'I'm going to go sleep now, see you tomorrow Eli-chi *heart*'
Eli bitterly choked back a sob before letting out a weary chuckle. The text was short but it was enough to make her feel slightly better. She was lucky to have Nozomi in her life. Eli was ready to type back a reply when another notification popped right open. It was from an unknown number. She felt her body run dry and her face lose color...she was right. They were here.
'I'm coming for you Ayases'.' with the message came pictures of Arisa in her day to day activities in school...all of them were shot from afar, some close-up. Eli continued scrolling down, sniffing, until her face turns to shock and horror. The number messaged her again, this time with an attachment of Arisa limping away from the one who took the photo, 'Meet me...or something worse might happen to your sister,'
'Who are you?' she angrily texts back. No reply...she was getting impatient. That was until the phone rang. Eli answers it immediately.
"Playing the dumb card huh? We know you know who I am, Ayase Eli." a raspy voice resounded in her ears, much deeper than she remembered.
"How did you find me?"
"You can never run away from your nightmares..." the man stops, "wasn't that what you said to me before? Own up to your words, nee-san.' the blonde grits her teeth. The man cackles in the background,
"I guess you miss someone calling you that right nee-san? After all, Arisa-chan hates you now."
"How do you know that?"
'Oh, I have eyes everywhere...you...Arisa-chan...your school...that purplenette you're always with.' Nozomi. Eli's blue eyes widened.
"Don't you dare touch her."
"Protective aren't we?" he smirks over the phone.
"...Fine I'll play ball...tell me where you want to meet. Just don't hurt them no more."
And like that, with no mere response, the line went dead. Eli held it tightly in her grip, almost crushing the gadget. I'll protect you two...I promise that.
*looks at the chapter then at you guys, then back to the chapter*...that went from sad...to slightly happy...to deeply sad...heh...Oh well! Hope you guys liked the chapter and hope you guys have more questions in your head (totally what I'm aiming for mehehe *evil grin*) Please leave a review!