Volume 2 Chapter 10 – Sympathy, Youtaku, Grandpa Mitsu
“Lin Xiang… what exactly were you thinking? Wasn’t it just a spirit? Besides, even though what Youtaku just said was a bit out of line, how could you even agree to quit school?” The moment class ended, Satsuki nervously tugged at my shirt to prevent me from following my homeroom teacher, whose name I just found out, to the principal’s office.
Argh… to admit that I wasn’t paying attention was just too lame. I couldn’t say it out loud. Besides, who would have thought that he’d ask me to consider quitting school?
“I… I won’t quit school, don’t worry.”
“But then… why did you agree with what Youtaku said?”
“I just… thought that what he said was outrageous, so I purposely agreed with him, just so I can go with him to the Headmaster’s and tell on him?” Lately, it felt like I could lie without batting an eye.
“So that’s how it is. But, try not to tell on him too harshly; after all he is our homeroom teacher. If you get on his bad side, he would make your life difficult.”
If I get on his bad side? Let’s just take away the hypothetical “if”. He didn’t like me to begin with. If we were in my old world, I would have beaten him up already.
“I understand, Satsuki. Thanks….”
“Hey! Trash-kun! Hurry up.” My homeroom teacher Youtaku returned and yelled at me.
I looked at Satsuki and gave her a smile; then under the nervous gaze of Satsuki and the scornful eyes and sneers of the rest of the class, I followed Youtaku out of the classroom to the headmaster’s office.
———————— Headmaster’s Office
“KO~~KO~~KO~~(Knocking sound)” Youtaku knocked on the door and looked at me with a beaming smile.
Youtaku opened the door. In the room, there was a woman sitting at a desk, putting together some sort of report.
“Assistant Yonechi, I am looking for the Headmaster. Is he in?”
The assistant, Yonechi, lifted her head from her work, took a look at us, and asked, “What is this pertaining to?”
“Nothing major, just a matter to do with this special student.”
“Special? How is it special?”
“His name’s Lin Xiang. He’s that poor kid who couldn’t summon any spirit during this morning’s Spirit Summoning Ceremony.” Was he looking at me with sympathetic eyes as he explained it?
“Oh? So that’s him? The Headmaster was actually thinking of looking for him, didn’t think you would bring him here. Go on ahead, the Headmaster is inside.”
“Hmm, I understand. Assistant Yonechi, thank you for your help.” Then, Youtaku turned around, gave me a very concerned look, and said, “Ah, Mr. Lin Xiang, I… I will try my best to put in a good word for you. Let’s just hope that the Headmaster wouldn’t be too severe in his handling of this…”
Strange, what the heck is this guy doing? Why the sudden change of character?
Just when I was suspicious of Youtaku and the drastic change in his attitude, I noticed Youtaku stealing glances at Assistant Yonechi. Ah! So, he was into her?
“Actually, as your teacher, it is partly my fault that you turned out the way you are. It is my….”
Does this guy plan to go on and on about this? Doesn’t he know just how disgusting this is? Doesn’t he realize that I, who have seen through his act, really want to beat him up?
“Let’s go in, shall we, my dear old teacher?” I interrupted Youtaku’s endless speech on how remorseful he was.
Youtaku glared at me and begrudgingly led me towards the room inside. After knocking at the door, we waited until we heard a voice from inside that room, saying “Come in”, before we opened the door and stepped inside.
The Headmaster’s Office was very big, occupying approximately a hundred square meters; the décor in the room was of the traditional classic style, with quite a few antiques, and a lot of bookshelves.
Sitting in front of a giant, black desk, the Headmaster, Ijima Michita, was reading some documents in his hands.
“Headmaster.” Youtaku gave a respectful salutation. It gave me goose bumps all over.
“Hmm?” At this time, the Headmaster lifted his head, took a look at Youtaku, then at me, as I was standing right behind Youtaku.
With a smile on his face, he stood up. His demeanor gentle and kind as he walked over.
This was the second time I had seen him. The first time was when Meiko suspected that I was a demonic imposter and attacked me. At the time, he was observing me behind the scene to ascertain if I had any demonic power. Later on, after we had cleared the misunderstanding, he told me that he was an instructor and despite their age differences, was an old friend of my father, Lin Fan, the Battle Master. By the time I left Meiko’s office, he had even asked me to stop by and visit him often. Presumably, he must have been considering me like a grandson of sort; it would have explained why he was having such a gentle and kind expression on his face at this moment, right?
Regrettably, since that one time, I hadn’t come by to see him, and it had already been about two weeks? At the same time, I didn’t want people to think of me as a brown noser that kissed up to the Headmaster either.
Meanwhile, only heaven knew why Youtaku got excited all of a sudden. He ran up to the Headmaster, grabbed the perplexed Headmaster’s hand tightly and exclaimed, “Headmaster, even though I know I may have had some minor accomplishments, you didn’t have to stand up and greet me. In truth, as a Battle Elder, you are actually my idol.”
“Argh… you must be… Xiang-chan’s homeroom teacher?” The Headmaster was having a difficult time pulling his hand away from Youtaku’s grip.
“That’s right, that’s right. I am that trash’s homeroom teacher. Wait, what? Xiang-chan?” Youtaku had a look on his face like he couldn’t believe what he just heard.
“Trash?” The Headmaster also had a confused look on him.
“No… no… you misheard me. I was trying to speak in Lin Xiang’s native tongue, Chinese, ‘Tsi Tsai’. That’s right, it means an extraordinary talent, a genius!” As he was doing his best to smooth it over, Youtaku didn’t forget to throw me a thumb-up sign!
‘Oh, f*ck! This human named Youtaku, he won. He is the winner for the grand prize that I give out for having the thickest skin in a thousand years. Kid, you have a very unusual teacher here.’ Freed gave me a wry smile as he offered his commentary.
‘…’ Youtaku’s ability to kiss ass blew my mind.
I have to ask, just who can lie without missing a beat, and utter such embarrassing lines in such a serious manner without turning red in the face? Eh? Wait, I just thought of something… I guess I could do that too?
“Is that right? I originally wanted to go and get Xiang-chan myself, I didn’t expect you to bring him over. You really saved me a lot of troubles. On the other hand, to have you, the homeroom teacher, bring him over here, did something happened?”
“No, nothing of that sort. My being here is entirely because Lin Xiang’s performance in school has been stellar, and today, due to some minor issue, it resulted in him being unable to summon any spirits and has caused him to be quite disheartened. It is such a pity. So! For the sake of his bright future! I have decided to bring him over to the Headmaster’s Office and hope that the Headmaster can give him a bit of encouragement, and help him pull himself together! I have already given him some advice, but he is still the same; to have to bring him here, it really was my last resort….”
‘Motherf*cker, please! This human… is he for real? What do I have to do in order to be like him, to be able to lie so smoothly, so righteously? This… even exceeds the level of that shameless Yalide.’
‘Damn Freed!!! You think that you are all that just because you know a few swear words? Who are you calling “shameless”? Besides, how could you compare me, a great dragon god, with such a low-class human?’
‘I apologize! To compare him to you was definitely an insult to him.’
‘You got that right… Ack?! Motherf*cker!!!’
“Oh, in that case, I have to thank you for your effort. You can go on ahead and head back, I need to have a good long chat with Xiang-chan.” The Headmaster gave Youtaku a pat on the shoulder, and that made Youtaku really happy and excited. Right away, he gave an exaggerated ceremonial bow to the Headmaster and left the Principal’s Office, but not before he said to me, “Lin Xiang-kun! What’s past is past, don’t dwell on it. Let’s work hard for a better tomorrow! Hahahah…”
He was afraid that I would tell on him, wasn’t it? Oho… I couldn’t be bothered.
“Xiang-chan, sit down.” After the Headmaster sat himself down, he gestured towards the sofa seat in front of him.
”When I sat down, he poured me some tea. After we had some tea, he gave me a gentle smile and said, “Actually, you don’t have to worry about it so much. To tell you the truth, when I first heard about this, I was quite shocked. After all, this was the first time that something like this had happened.
Of course, this was the first time something like this had happened. Let’s be honest, who in their right minds would do nothing at all during the summoning ceremony? All the students would have been betting their lives to sense, to summon, and to form contracts. Naturally, there wouldn’t have been anyone who didn’t manage to summon any spirits.
“But, you don’t have to dwell on it. It is probably because the ability within your body hasn’t fully awakened yet. Isn’t there a saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’? I believe your ability won’t be that much weaker than that powerful father of yours. You just need to believe in yourself.”
“I understand… Headmaster.”
“Hmm?” The “hmm” the Headmaster uttered sounded unhappy.
“Grandpa Mitsu…” I suddenly remembered that he had asked me previously to call him Grandpa Mitsu when no one was around.
“Ah… Xiang-chan, do you have something you couldn’t quite tell people about?”
“No.” What did he mean by that?
“Don’t take what your grandpa’s about to say the wrong way. Even given the fact that your spiritual ability is a bit different than other people, it is still just too weak. Could it be because there are some other factors affecting it?”
“Er….” He wasn’t talking about the dragons’ power, was he? Freed had said it before, people with high level of ability could sense the dragons’ power in my body. It was kind of like last time, how Meiko, who was at the level of a Magus, was able to sense the subtle change in my body’s spiritual aura, and as a result, suspected me to be a demon. I guess that was because of the dragons’ power, right?
“You are unsure about it also? Oh well, no matter. In this world, a person’s ability is very important, but it is no more important than people’s feelings and relationships that they have with one another. So rest assured, Grandpa won’t make your life difficult, and won’t speak poorly of you. Quite the opposite, I am going to make sure that you won’t have anything to worry about.”
“Thank you, Grandpa Mitsu.”
In this world where one’s spiritual ability determined everything, to have a Headmaster, who wanted his students to elevate their powers, utter these words, I was moved. I know that his kindness towards me wasn’t fake, and there was no need for him to fake it, since my parents both had died long time ago….
In fact, the reason I wanted to call you over was to talk this over with you so that you wouldn’t feel bad about this incident. But, it seems like you are not really that down about it. I am relieved to see that.”
“Erm, since it is about time for the next class, if there is nothing else, could I return to class?”
“Is it that bad to chat with me?”
“Ho, ho! I was joking. Go on ahead, and do remember to come by and see me more often. Really, last time, when I told you to come visit me, I thought you’d be here the next day. I couldn’t believe that you had kept me waiting, and for two weeks at that.”
“Hahah, I will definitely stop by and visit you more often.” Feeling embarrassed, I gave him a strained smile.
‘That old human, Ijima Michita, is quite alright in my book.’
‘Yeah, he was my father’s instructor, as well as his good friend.’
‘Human beings are rather intriguing organisms. They possess various different kinds of emotions and desires. They can be evil, but they can also be kind.’
‘What you said there was really profound. Oh, right, Freed, it will be the weekend the day after tomorrow. Do I need to make any preparation before heading over to the Demon World?’
‘No need for any preparation. Since I know you are not going to bring the water spirit, you won’t need to get anything prepared. Yalide, the Demon World administrator, will be your guide and will help you avoid any demons.’
‘Oh? That’s really amazing.’
Everyone stared at me as I walked into the classroom; it made me feel quite uncomfortable. Moreover, when Youtaku, who was lecturing the class on the key points on raising spirits, saw me, he immediately broke out his disgusting grin…
“Lin Xiang-kun, quick, hurry up and have a seat. Everyone! Let me tell you! You cannot bully Lin Xiang-kun just because he doesn’t have a spirit. If I get wind of any of you bullying him, YOU can make a GUESS as to WHAT may happen to you.”
The whole class was stunned, and this made me, who knew what had happened, want to laugh. Damn you Youtaku, the change in your attitude was a bit too drastic, wasn’t it? Just a moment ago, you were yelling at me, calling me trash… but, thinking back on how he managed to twist “trash” into “genius”. It was definitely hilarious.
When I got back to my desk, Satsuki gave me a cheerful look. Kamiki also took a quick glance at me, but her gaze was filled with suspicion. ‘And all the male students were wondering, how come that piece of trash didn’t get forced out of school? Could it be that there is something going on between the Headmaster and him? Like forbidden love?’
Ack…. About what the boys in class were thinking, it was subtext provided by that weirdo, Yalide who pretended to sound like a classmate.
Satsuki stealthily handed me a note, on it, it said, “… though I don’t know what had happened, I am just glad that you are alright. After class, you have to tell me the whole thing after class.
———————————— After Class
For some unknown reason, Satsuki came over the minute class was over and hung onto me tightly. All the other students in class who had just formed contracts with their spirits were summoning their spirits, so that they could improve their relationships with them, how come this girl didn’t need to do that?
“Lin Xiang… Xiang, could you tell me what happened?” There were some changes in Satsuki’s gaze. Didn’t it appear to be more affectionate than usual? Was that my imagination?
“Erm… How should I say it? Actually, my father was a student of Headmaster Ijima, and they were good friends with each other too.”
“Your father? Speaking of, I have never heard you talk about your father.”
“Err… My father’s name was Lin Fan….”
“He wasn’t that famous Battle Technician, Lin Fan, from thirteen years ago, was he?”
“… that’s right, one and the same. As you may already know, my father died in action, together with my mother…” Thinking of my father and my mother, it stung a bit. Even though I had traveled to this alternate reality, I was still living a life without parents….
“Xiang… say no more, I understand. Since your father and the Headmaster had such a good relationship, you didn’t get forced out of school because of Youtaku’s accusations and slander, right?” Being clever as she was, Satsuki understood the situation right away.
“Right! If I had quit school, what am I supposed to do if I can’t see Satsuki anymore?” I smiled and pinched Satsuki’s button-like nose.