Red here! Chapter 3 of E-Soul is GO! I've got a load of these ready to go when ready, so catching up shouldn't be too big of an issue. Enjoy!
(Opening Theme - Sky's the Limit, Shihoko Hirata, feat. Lotus Juice)
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, much like the day before. Instead of students making their way down the road to school, they were instead spread out, enjoying their day off before going they went back the next day.
Kairu had woken up early, which, to many that knew him well enough, was unlike him. Despite lying in bed and making himself as comfortable as possible (which wasn't hard, seeing as Kairu preferred to bury himself beneath thick blankets and rest his head on fluffy pillows), Kairu failed to fall back asleep. Instead, he was now standing in his kitchen, his hair down, covering his bare shoulders, dressed only in a pair of baggy jeans with a tear in the right knee, cooking breakfast.
Looking down at the eggs he was making with a sort of glare, he sighed.
"What happened to my sleep…?" he asked himself, flipping his eggs.
With a soft whooshing sound, Salamander appeared from the pendant around Kairu's neck and rested his head on Kairu's shoulder, a trail of light smoke coming from his nose.
"Maybe it went out the door with your mind," he said, snickering. Kairu looked over at Salamander and bared his teeth, growling. Salamander floated off of Kairu's shoulder, raising his front feet in mock surrender.
"Alright, alright, I know when I need to keep my trap shut. No need to threaten me…" he said, coming to rest on the counter next to Kairu. Kairu shook his head as he accidentally split the yolk of his egg open.
"God, today's gonna suck…"
"Today's going to be good. Right…?" Undine asked, her three tails waving gently as she watched Ronii from her place on Ronii's desk.
Ronii shrugged as she pulled a t-shirt on. She stood up and looked at herself in the mirror.
She was dressed in a light blue-t-shirt and a pair of sports shorts, long socks pulled on over her feet. She was getting ready to go for a run, something she tried to do at least once a week.
And with the exams coming up, she felt like it would be best to keep it up.
Ronii slipped her tennis shoes on.
"Maybe it will. I hope it will…It better be…" Ronii said, tying her shoes and going to tie her hair up.
Undine jumped off of the desk and walked towards the door.
"Well, there's nothing left to do but go and see! Be optimistic for once, you worry-wart." Undine said. Ronii scowled at her spirit as it passed through the wood and left her alone.
"It's hard to be optimistic when you're being so sarcastic…" Ronii said in a quiet voice. She finished tying her hair up into a high ponytail and grabbed a well-worn pink and blue messenger bag that was lying on Ronii's desk chair. Ronii normally spent as much time away from the house on the weekend as she possibly could, so she often carried whatever she needed with her inside of it. She'd had it since she started school last year.
'It seems so long ago…' Ronii thought, bringing the strap over her head and adjusting it so that it rested comfortably against her neck.
Ronii grabbed her cellphone from her desk and opened her door, ready to lose herself in the city.
Kairu finished his breakfast and threw on a fresh pair of clothes (jeans, a black-t-shirt, red and black checkered overshirt, and tennis shoes) before leaving the house. Normally, Kairu was still asleep. But with that not being the case, and his body beginning to want to move, Kairu decided to go for a walk, something he hadn't done in a while.
"Maybe I'll find something to keep me entertained…" Kairu said quietly, shutting and locking his apartment door and moving towards the sidewalk that ran in front of the building.
The building itself wasn't old, but it had its fair share of tenants that came and went over the few years that Kairu had stayed there. While most people would have thought it strange that a young school student like Kairu was a living by himself, others either ignored it or simply accepted it. It wasn't the strangest thing to happen these days.
The landlord that owned the apartments, however, allowed it. He had told Kairu some years ago that he had made a promise to make sure that Kairu was given a place to live, so long as Kairu paid his share of the rent, something Kairu had succeeded in doing so far. Most of Kairu's income came from working odd jobs at whatever shop needed help, whether it be stocking shelves or cleaning up at the end of the day.
Kairu found it nice to keep himself busy. And it was nice to be paid for his efforts.
'Yeah, just like that landlord likes taking my money…' Kairu thought, touching his back pocket, where his wallet was. He only had a little left inside, maybe enough for a couple of days, before he would have to find a few more jobs…
"Oh well…" Kairu said to himself, and continued walking, thinking about where to walk to.
Jeimii yawned as she stepped outside of her bedroom, still dressed in her pink pajama bottoms and green tank top that she slept in. Her pink hair was tangled and everywhere, a result of having a hard time trying to fall asleep during the night.
As she rubbed one of her eyes, she noticed Undine walking down the hall, her tails waving gently as she walked.
"Morning, Undine-chan…"Jeimii said groggily. The fox turned and nodded her head.
"Good morning. You slept late today…even for a Sunday," she said, stopping and sitting down in front of Jeimii.
"It was Saturday night. What else was I going to do?" Jeimii asked, kneeling down in front of Undine.
"And look what that did for you. Your sister goes for a run, and you sleep in until the sun goes down." Undine said, her head tilting to the side. Jeimii's eyes narrowed a little.
"Ronii's on a run…? Why?" Jeimii asked.
"Yes. And as for why, I can only guess. Although, Ronii did say that there was a soccer game coming up soon…" Undine said, standing and making her way towards the stairs. Jeimii bit her lip. Unlike her sister, Jeimii was not a sports person. Despite being a little hyper (something she was proud of), she enjoyed drawing and listening to music.
Jeimii sighed and went back into her room to get dressed. As nice as it would be to go for a walk in comfy clothing, she still wanted to dress to impress.
Ronii had been running for almost fifteen minutes before she hit a busy street. In places like these, she always felt cramped, and it ruined her pace, something she tried to keep as much as she possibly could.
Ronii decided to take the less crowded sidewalk, preferring to at least move between people instead of having to slow down.
As she ran, she let her mind wander, trying to sort through everything that had happened during the last week. From her run-in with Kairu at the soccer field, to her act of defense, using her abilities to fend of someone that was about to attack Kairu.
'Now that I think about it, Kairu could have easily dodged…' Ronii thought, her cheeks becoming a little warm as she blushed. She had thrown herself in front of Kairu, for no reason other than she felt she had too…
Ronii finally stopped and stepped into the doorway of a shop, leaning against the brick wall and wiping the sweat from her brow.
'God, I'm such a-'
Ronii's heart leapt as Kairu stopped in front of her, his hands in the pockets of his jeans, his hair down. Ronii's gave Kairu a small smile, forcing herself to not panic.
"Hi, Kairu-san…What're you doing out here?" she asked, opening her messenger bag and pulling out a bottle of mineral water.
"I thought I would get out and get at least some fresh air. The next couple of weeks at school are going to be such a pain…" Kairu said, leaning against the wall opposite from Ronii, who was taking a drink from her water.
"Yeah, especially with the exams coming up…I wonder who they're pairing us with?" Ronii said, capping her water. Kairu shrugged.
"Who knows. Maybe some second-year head-of-class people who'll act better than us…" Kairu said, folding his arms across his chest. Ronii smiled.
"You sound so enthusiastic…" she said. Kairu chuckled.
"Yeah, I just looove me some exams. All that book-reading and paperwork, I just can't get enough of it!" Kairu said, making himself sound overly excited. Ronii found herself giggling.
"I'm sure all of that homework is nothing for you." Kairu said. Ronii blushed a little, looking out towards the street, avoiding those brown eyes…
"Homework's not too bad if you know the answers…" Ronii said.
"Yeah, speaking of answers…Still mind helping me with math? I'm desperate." Kairu said. Ronii looked back over at Kairu and smiled.
"Yeah, sure…" she said. Kairu smiled and, much to Ronii's surprise, hugged her.
"Thanks, Yamanaka…You're a lifesaver, you know that?" he said, his voice clear in Ronii's ear.
'I think I'm going to feint…' Ronii thought, fighting the urge to hug back.
Kairu quickly let go of Ronii, his face slightly red.
"Sorry. I'm just glad you're still willing to help me out…I mean you and I haven't really hung out in a long time." Kairu said. Ronii smiled.
"It's okay. I'll let you know when you can come over." Ronii said.
Kairu smiled, and pulled out his cellphone.
"Actually, you could just shoot me a text, or just call me." Kairu said. Ronii's heart beat quickly. He wanted her number…?
"I don't think I have your number, though…Nope." Kairu said, checking through his phone. Ronii's mind began to scream at her.
'FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GIVE IT TO HIM!'
Ronii pulled her phone from her bag and opened it. She gave him the number, and he typed it into his phone.
"Sweet!" he said, pressing a button on his phone. Ronii's phone began to play 'Fukai Mori'.
"Hey, it works. Nice ringtone, too." Kairu said, smirking. He gave Ronii his number.
Ronii hesitated before calling it.
Kairu's cellphone began to play 'After Dark'.
"And yours works too." Ronii said, slipping her phone back into her bag. Kairu smiled.
"Well, I guess I'll let you get back to…wait what are you doing?" he asked. Ronii looked down at her clothes, suddenly feeling exposed.
"I was running…the soccer team has a game coming up in a week, and I'm playing in it." Ronii said.
"I see. I'm not much for sports. But I hope you guys kick ass." Kairu said, smirking. Ronii smiled.
"I hope we do."
Keiru emerged from the small shop he had been working in, ready to head home for the night. He had been working odd jobs as often as he could, seeing as his roommate was pushing him to help pay his share of the rent for the small two bedroom apartment they shared.
As Keiru started walking down the street, he sighed. He had been thinking about the upcoming dueling exams. Unlike the first-years, second-years like Keiru had to face off against third-year students, who were facing off against actual teachers and combat trainers.
'Lucky little…somethings.' Keiru thought, turning the corner.
Keiru had been told that he would be one of the few having to do multiple rounds, as there were more first-years than second-years. Keiru didn't like work much to begin with. The thought of having to go through multiple bouts made Keiru cranky…
"Why me…?" he asked himself quietly. He pulled his phone out of his pocket to check the time. Almost three in the afternoon…
"Perfect…I still have time to stop for lunch, then I can go home and try not to disturb the thing in the cave…" Keiru said to himself. When he spoke of the 'thing in the cave', Keiru was talking about his roommate, a third-year tech geek. Unlike Keiru, he wasn't an Elementalist, which meant some tension. But Keiru found that not making too much noise and keeping his share of things under control meant that he had to see less of the guy.
'Which is nice, seeing as he freaks me out…' Keiru thought, shivering. His roommate rarely emerged from his bedroom, where he kept his computers and, Keiru swore, his evil lair. He was a very smart person, something Keiru and anyone else found out upon entering the apartment and seeing the math boards hanging from the wall, the neatly-arranged bookshelves lined with all sorts of study material…
Keiru felt tired just looking at the titles of the books. He often read them just to help him fall asleep some nights.
Keiru yawned. He wouldn't need to read the title to 'Advanced Physics and Quantum Mechanics, University Level' to fall asleep tonight…
Kairu hummed to himself as he walked back into his apartment, feeling happy for some reason. He wasn't sure if it was the talk with Ronii about his math, or if he just actually enjoyed talking with her about stuff, but he was glad for either one.
"I still say she's cute." Salamander said, coming out of his pendant and perching himself on the back of the couch while Kairu plopped down onto it, kicking his shoes off and picking up the TV remote.
"And I still say you're annoying." Kairu said, still smiling a little. Salamander rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"Whatever, man. So, what's the plan? Lunch? Dinner? Bed?" he asked. Kairu shrugged.
"Dunno. I might stay up late, catch up on some homework, seeing as our academic exams are coming up, too." Kairu said, flipping through the channels until he came to an anime rerun.
"You never do homework…You sure you're okay?" Salamander said, laying his taloned foot against Kairu's cheek. Kairu scowled at him.
"Yes, I'm fine. Now get your dinosaur foot off of my face." Kairu said, turning back to the television. Salamander sighed and floated away from the couch.
"I swear, this guy's not human…sometimes I'm not sure if he even exists in this universe…" Salamander said to himself as he floated through the door to Kairu's bedroom. Kairu turned to look at his door.
"What was that?" he asked. Salamander poked his head through the door.
"Nothing, just watch your cartoon." Salamander said, smoke rising from his nostrils as he disappeared back into Kairu's room.
Kairu shook his head. He didn't get his spirit sometimes…
Ronii opened the door to the house and sighed, her body feeling as if it had been put through the gauntlet. She had decided to run to the park, stop for a breather, do some stretches, then took a longer path back home, stopping to grab herself a new bottle of water at a shop a few blocks away.
"How was your run?" Ronii's mother asked, looking into the living room from the kitchen. She was holding a wooden spoon in her hand, a sign that she was cooking.
Ronii nodded, shutting the door behind her.
"It was good. I got in more running with my next soccer match coming up, the dueling exams…" Ronii said, opening her bottle of water and draining it before tossing it into a garbage can across the room from her, smirking a little as it sank into the can with a satisfying swishing noise.
"Good. Jeimii went out to get a few things for dinner tonight. I tried calling you, but you didn't answer." Ronii's mother said. Ronii's cheeks turned red as she reached into her bag for her phone. She checked her texts.
"Three texts?" she asked, holding up her phone. Her mother shrugged.
"I thought maybe you would answer at some point. I guess I was wrong. But your sister should be back in a little while. Go get cleaned up, alright?" she said, turning back to whatever it was she was doing in the kitchen. Ronii nodded and started up the stairs, taking her messenger bag off and tossing it into her room, grabbing a change of clothes from her dresser, and heading to the bathroom.
As Ronii changed, she let her mind wander.
'I have Kairu-kun's phone number…' she thought. She smiled as she remembered the ringtone he had on his phone. It seemed just like something he would have.
'Maybe I should get a ringtone specifically for him…' she thought.
She sighed. She was just glad everything had gone as well as she could have hoped. Normally she found herself dreading that moment where she would be asked for her number, especially by Kairu…
'But I did it! I finally got it!' she thought, doing a sort of happy dance. Realizing how dumb she must have looked, she cleaned herself up and changed into a pair of jeans and a green t-shirt, tying her hair up before leaving the bathroom.
Jeimii nodded along to her music blaring from her headphones, a pair of large pink and brown ones with a chocolate-covered strawberry on each side. She was busy looking over the vegetables, trying to find what it was that her mother had told her to get.
'It might have been carrots…or eggplant…or something that doesn't look like a plant…' she thought, sighing. She hated forgetting things. She normally had a decent memory. But she just seemed a little out of it today…
Jeimii reached for a couple of carrots. As she did, her fingertips began to glow green. Jeimii quickly pulled her hand away from the vegetables, looking around to see if anyone had seen her.
'No one…' Jeimii thought, relieved, she looked down at her fingertips, which had stopped glowing. It could have been a trick of the light…
Jeimii shook her head and quickly grabbed several carrots and a few other veggies, remembering what it was her mother needed. As she went to check out, she buried all thoughts of the green light. Instead she focused on her music.
'Yeah…music…' she thought to herself. She paid for her purchases and left, breaking out into a run as she made her way home.
Keiru opened the door to his apartment and shut it quietly behind him. The quiet of the place was almost…unnerving.
"Hello, Takeshi," a voice said, making Keiru jump.
A skinny, lanky boy with thick glasses sat on the couch, a textbook in his hands, his eyes quickly scanning the pages. Keiru scowled.
"Geez, Ken'ichi…You need to be less…blendy." Keiru said, dropping his keys into the wooden bowl next to the door and taking his shoes off and setting them on the mat next to the door.
Ken'ichi pushed his glasses up his nose.
"You know I like my quiet when I read…and where have you been? I'm surprised you're not out chasing the girls," he said, flipping the page of his book. Keiru rolled his eyes.
"I was working. And I would have gone 'chasing the girls', but I know how much you hate the jangling of keys in the evening…" Keiru said, walking towards the door to his bedroom and opening it.
Keiru's bedroom was…Keiru's.
Keiru wasn't known for being clean. He called any mess in his room organized chaos. Oddly, Keiru never seemed to lose anything in here…
Keiru sighed as he flipped over a few sheets of paper and picked up his television remote, turning his TV on. Ken'ichi appeared in his doorway, his eyes scanning Keiru's bedroom.
"Geez, when was the last time you even touched a trash bag…?" Keiru said, moving a dirty sock away from the door with his foot. Keiru shrugged.
"Maybe a month." Keiru said, flipping through the channels, looking for anything to get Ken'ichi to leave him alone.
Ken'ichi made a sort of coughing noise and shook his head.
"It's a wonder you're not dead from a freak accident in here…" he said, and left, shutting Keiru's door behind him. Keiru sighed as he stopped the channel on a gameshow.
'It's a wonder I haven't tried to get YOU to die of a freak accident here…' he thought, stretching out on his futon and watching his show.
Kairu sighed as he opened the door to his bedroom, dressed in a set of red and black pajamas, his hair down, wet from his shower.
Kairu turned his light on and sat down on his bed, reaching for one of the textbooks that he had pulled from his bag before going to take a shower. He had been serious about getting caught up on this week's homework, he was at least a chapter or two behind in literature…
Kairu's mind, however seemed to want to replay the entire day over. In his mind, he found himself feeling pretty good about the day. Normally, Sundays were boring, with nothing to do, and nowhere to go…
But Kairu rated the day as one of his better weekends.
Kairu smiled. Maybe things weren't going to be so bad afterall…
Ronii crawled into bed and pulled her comforter up over her, tired from her day. Her heart was still beating a little harder than usual…
'I'm too excited to sleep…I want to talk to him…' Ronii thought to herself as she rolled over onto her stomach and hugged her pillow, wishing that it was a little warmer.
'Just like the hug Kairu gave me…' Ronii thought, a smile appearing on her face.
Ronii's eyes slowly slid shut, and she finally slept.
Jeimii sat on her bed, staring at her hand. The green light was back…
She had been making it go away for almost an hour, only for it to reappear. She was afraid that if she let it stay there, someone would find out…
'It's a wonder no one found out to begin with…' Jeimii thought, closing her hand into a fist.
Sighing, Jeimii decided to lie down and pull her blanket up over her head. As she reached for the lamp on her bedside and turned it off, the green glow came back, barely lighting up the area around her bed.
Jeimii shoved her hand beneath her pillow and let her head lie on top of it.
'I won't let anyone find out…' Jeimii thought, as she closed her eyes. She, too, quickly fell asleep.
(Closing Theme - Burn My Dread, Shoji Meguro)