116 – Distraction

“Lights out in 15 minutes!”  Chuzei Enki calls out.    He patrols the hallway and meets your eyes as you pass with your toothbrush in your pocket.   You scowl at him and enter the bathroom.  The other boys get ready for bed.   You find an empty sink next to Vogu and Arizus, the boys who killed the goat earlier this year.  You begin to brush your teeth.

Arizus rinses his face.  “You know now to use this stuff, right?”

“Of course, I do!”  Vogu leans against the sink.   “My mother explained it to me.”

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“You are going to back out.”  Vogu accuses.  “I let you in on the biggest prank this school has ever seen and you are going to back out.”

“I didn’t say that.”  Arizus quickly replies.

“You are leaving me next year for Sorcery school.”

“I just want to make sure you thought this through.”

“You are leaving me with Mayim Noboru as my fucking roommate.”

Arizus sighs.  “I’m in.   Just… can we do it this weekend?”

Vogu scowls at this, so Arizus explains.  “I just want to do more research at the library before we do this.”

“Nadia is already in.  If you don’t want to help me, she and I can do it ourselves.”

“I didn’t say that!”  Arizus raises his voice.  Quietly, he continues.  “We should do it this weekend.”

“Fine.  Don’t back out.”

“I’m not going to back out.”   Arizus assures Vogu as he leaves the bathroom.

“He’s fucking going to back out.” Vogu curses.

“Sounds like it.” You comment.

“I wasn’t fucking talking to you.”  Vogu smacks you upside the head.  “Didn’t anyone tell you it is rude to eavesdrop?”

“You are talking in the boy’s bathroom.  Not the best place to discuss your new prank.”  You rub the back of your head.

Vogu points a finger at you.  “If you tell anyone…”  The Fire Aspect pauses, unable to remember your name.  “…I’ll find you.”  He continues, giving up.

“Whatever.”  You rinse your brush.   “You should do it tonight.”

“What did you say?”

“The more time Arizus has to think about the prank, the more likely he is going to back out.”

Vogu brushes his teeth and considers your suggestion.  You put your toothbrush back in your pocket.  Before you leave the bathroom, you adjust Vogu’s fate.   He will decide to pull his prank tonight.

 

After lights out, you and Masaru lie in bed and wait for the dorms to settle down.

“You should have asked Vogu when he was doing his prank.”  Masaru complains.  He reads the latest copy of Pretty Princess Meru with a glowing crystal.

“It will be fine.”  You assure Masaru.  “If Vogu and his friends take too long, then I can make a distraction.”

“Sh.”  Masaru hushes you.  He turns out his light and hides his manga under the covers.   You face away from the door and wait.   The door creaks open.  Mei Mei lifts her head and ruffs at the Fire Aspect Chuzei, as checks in on you.

“Mayim.”  The Chuzei whispers.  “What did I tell you about reading manga after hours?”

Masaru rolls over and says, “Ma’am?”

“Hand over the manga.”  She holds her hand out.  Masaru groans and passes over the manga.  The Fire Chuzei rips it up and closes the door behind her.   After a few minutes, the hallway lights go out.

“Shit.” Masaru curses.  “She’s never shredded my manga before.”  Masaru sits up in bed and slips on a set of leather gloves.  Black jade covers his knuckles.

“Arcane Fate, man.”  You clasp your cloak at your throat and belt on you green jade sword.  “Something was going to happen to that manga.”

Masaru hefts the bag filled with his armor.   “You ready?”

You nod.  “I’ll meet you at the travel shrine.”  You pick up Mei Mei and place the puppy in a pouch.  Mei Mei’s tail wags against your chest.  You rearrange the pillows on you and Masaru’s bed so they look like you are still sleeping.  Then Masaru slides open the window and together you hop down behind the holly bushes.

“Good Luck” Masaru whispers, as you pass him Mei Mei.   You step out of Fate and activate your cloak.   The green cloth reforms into grey green wings.   Silent as an owl, you rise above the school and survey the buildings from the air.   The teachers patrol the walls in pairs of two.   The library, both classroom buildings, the dorms and the dining hall is quiet.   You lose track of Masaru as he makes his way to Chiyoko and Aiko’s window.

You search for the pranksters.  The plan was you were going to send a messenger to Chiyoko when they do their prank.   For the ten thousandth time, you wish you could carry your words on the wind like the others.   You sigh and wait.

Finally, after waiting for an hour, you see movement near the top floor of the dorms.  Three figures climb down the outside wall of the building.   They drop down behind the bushes and wait for a pair of teachers to past.   You watch them walk across the courtyard, slowly and deliberately towards the dining hall.   Crossing the courtyard is the riskiest part of sneaking out, why are they…. As they reach the steps of the dining all, you see the spark fall to the ground.

You bite your fist not to cry out.  Fire dust!  Those idiots have fire dust!  What sort of prank involves fire dust?  No wonder Arizus wanted to research more in the library.   The three figures pause for a moment and then open the door.   Two of the figures enter the dining hall and one waits outside.  You fly closer to see if you can see what the hell they are doing in the dining hall.

“I knew I’d catch you, Cnead.”  You hear Chuzei Enki say.   Your heart stops and you look for the Chuzei.   You see him walk up to the figure and in confusion asks, “Taika?”  Your sigh with relief.   You weren’t caught.   “What are you doing out of bed?”

“Sir, I wasn’t sleeping well, so I came to the dining hall to get some warm milk and it is such a nice night, I decided to drink it out on the steps.”  Nadia holds up an empty glass.  “Am I in trouble?  I know I’m graduating in a few days…”

Chuzei Enki searches the darkness.  “You haven’t see anyone else out and about, Taika?”

“No, sir.”

Chuzei Enki grunts.  “If you are finished with your milk, let’s go and put the glass back.”

“I was going to bring it back in the morning, sir.”

“Why wait?  The dining hall will need that glass for breakfast.”  Chuzei Enki puts his hand on the door handle.  “Unless there is a reason why you don’t want me in the dining hall…”

DANGER!  You dart up above the dining hall.   Seconds later, all the glass in the dining hall windows shatter.  The doors explode outwards, knocking Chuzei Enki and Nadia back.   Despite your prior warning, the shockwave almost knocks you out of the sky.

When you regain control, the dining hall is in flames.   The teachers rush towards the blaze.   Nadia screams out for Arizus and Vogu, running for the door.

What do you do?

  • Continue with the plan. You wanted a distraction and you got one.
  • Enter the building and see if you can find Arizus and Vogu.
  • Help the teachers fight the blaze
  • Other

((Not my best work.  Ended up working late tonight, but I wanted to get something up.))

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