The school swimming pool was not the only thing to surprise Royce. As he stepped outside into the blistering sunlight. He just learned the school had a hot spring nearby and the students would take turns to use it outside school hours…for a small fee of course. This provided the perfect time for the lads to plan their great peepshow. As always, the Underwear Club was the heart of the matter.
But today Akina was on the prowl looking for trouble.
Stood out in all her glory, Akina stood with legs apart, her right hand on her hips and her left on the M16, aiming it at the lads who slithered around like maggots from one cluster of girls to the next.
With a fake cigarette in her mouth she spoke and used great care not to muffle her words, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and punish bad boys."
A pause was followed by silence as all the lads stared in complete horror.
"And I am all out of bubblegum."
Cheeky little bitch. Royce watched as Akina unleashed her definition of cleaning up the mess. All around him, young teenagers scattered in all directions panicking.
What possessed Akina to do such a thing was beyond him, but as she reloaded another magazine, terror filled the faces of the lads already injured.
Words of, "why is she doing this?" and "what did we do to her?" echoed from one end of the pool to another, but it was no use. She roared at the top of her lungs.
With calamity unfolding all around him, Royce felt the mood of the atmosphere change. He could stay and see what happened, but as usual, something out of the ordinary began to happen at the school. Akina was back in her element, going commando on everyone. Rina was all bad attitude and hard on him and even Yumi had vanished.
With the ruckus continuing, Royce left the area and explored the lands while a gentle cool breeze blew in from the south. His next stop was to wait beside the fountain in the school park. He didn't know why he was drawn to this place but the nausea of retracing his steps with the Tani was still a powerful memory, unhindered by the irregularity of time.
He remembered meeting her near the fountain, talking about her experience in the park all those days ago. He wanted to learn more about her, but he began to realize, he was beginning to like too many girls, which was not a good thing.
Royce had a simple mission; one he repeated to himself time and time again: Find Rina and learn her secrets. Once done, leave the town.
But in each instance, he grew close to his target and began making friends, even his enemies treated him differently then back at the states, it was as if they were slowly becoming a family.
Royce sighed. He enjoyed the company, loved the fact he was helping Yumi and her problem.
Royce saw a person approach through the left gate and once she got into range, he was pleasantly surprised to see Tani in all her glory. She wasn't wearing a swimsuit, but a normal school uniform.
"What are you thinking?" She moved her head to her left and analysed him intensely.
Royce decided to answer after reconnecting with the moment. "I was thinking about tomorrow."
"Yeah, our class is doing something typical," Royce replied sarcastically before waving his hand for no reason. "A cosplay café. I guess you already know."
"Yes, it's the talk of the school," Tani sat beside the fountain, straitening her dress before she sat down. "Everyone wants to see what type of costume Rina's going to wear. Her strong behaviour towards you has caused a bit of a stir around school. There is even talk that she likes you."
Boom! Those were the words that hit Royce hard. Someone else had just opened the door to something outrageous and even Royce felt his eyes open for the first time. He might have been a mortal enemy with the president of the class, but it appears she has finally gotten under his skin.
Then there was Yumi. Oh, that cute innocent girl who stayed at his place.
She was an angel in her own right but Royce could not abuse his position.
Then there was her, Tani. Even though she stood in front of him in all her glory, she looked completely beautiful with her dark school uniform against her green hair. Her round curves and boisterous attitude only added to his fascination. He saved her life and he was recognising the signs of attraction anywhere.
"And what about you? Do you like me too?"
Royce saw her face grow bright red. She fluttered in her footsteps and stuttered a little before she bowed her head, apologised and ran off before answering his question. Royce was touched, and then came to the conclusion that nature was serving him up a nice harem scenario with three girls. He could not choose between them, and he was sure it was only a passing thing. After all, he was just a foreigner, why would anyone like me?
As usual the underwear club, run by one Shota Kishi, was up to no good. But not everybody was as perverted. On his adventures, Royce found five individuals who seemed as normal as the everyday people in the town. Kuma was studying science and his club gained the respect of most of the science division of the school.
His high grades and intriguing inventions earned him some attention from the teachers and the wider community. Royce spent half an hour talking to the well-dressed lad whose sleek appearance would be the envy of any girl.
His second normal student was Fukuda. He loved to read all day long and his chosen subject was history. He had strong opinions about Japanese involvement in the war and the current state of affairs. His constant babbling slowly soothed Royce to sleep until a third party interrupted them. He went by the name of Luong.
Appearing as a normal student with nothing to hide and down to earth Luong was your typical student with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. His sudden interruption in Royce's boring discussion with Fukuda was a welcome relief and it provided the perfect opportunity to escape the dreary subject.
Luong was close to his secret though. With a copy of Magnesium Fluoride Galactic Battleship in his hands, Royce kept the subject short and allowed the lad to speak. His Japanese was clean and understandable, however, when he spoke English, Royce could tell his English needed more work.
Then, just when he thought his luck would change for the worst, a fourth lad turned up to offer his friendship.
Expecting some kind of sinister reason for wanting to be friends, Royce approached the subject with caution. It was not because he wanted to make more friends. No, he just did not want to be forced into a situation that was similar to the one he was thrust into when he just joined the school.
No one knew he was part of the Underwear Club and he wanted to keep it that way. It appeared to be an invitation to join the movie club, something the enthusiasts decided to open a few years ago. They required Royce's appearance for a shoot they were making tomorrow during the festive celebrations and he would fit perfectly. With no real workload he agreed and that was the end of that. Than that's when the final lad showed up and fate finally convinced Royce not everyone was perverted in the school.
Lost in some part of the school and unable to find his way back to his class that was spread out over the school's playing field, a young man by the name of Haruki strolled around the corner with his hands in his pockets, happily accepted Royce's call for help.
With his stable attitude and none perverted words, Royce finally managed to find a common ground with the school. He might have only met five normal students, but upon initial observation, they would provide detailed information for his next issue of his Manga. However, with normal people come big problems. He suspected that his hidden agenda could not be well hidden from these people and they seem very sharp indeed, not like the dense intelligence of Shota or the typical behaviour the girls show around him. When he was near these people, he had to watch what he said and keep an open mind on how they approached a sudden subject.
From his initial observations, only four out of the five people he met didn't show any interest in Manga or anime. In turn, they showed normal interest in girls, but would never sneak out of class and attempt to look into the girls changing rooms.
It was so weird in fact they never mentioned his little adventure when he just joined school and Royce thought it was strange. Everyone who met him always reminded him of his cat costume he wore in the school and his perverted action on the few days he arrived. So when he bumped into Fukuda for a second time in a day, he forwarded that question before he could spill more of his propaganda on western society.
"Tell me, why are you talking to me right now?"
"I don't understand," Fukuda replied in his deep mature voice layered over with youthfulness.
"Well, everyone in this school knows what I did at the beginning of my term. My reputation turned bad and everyone avoided me like the plague. So why are you talking to me?"
"It's not a problem for me. I don't judge people on what they did in the past. And so far, everything you've done does not have any direct effect on me. In fact, hanging out with me might improve your image."
"Yes, as you know the image of this school had been badly damaged in recent years. We voted Rina into power to correct the problem."
"That's a tall order, so everybody who's not a pervert voted for her?" Royce caught a glimpse of the man's shocked expression as he stepped back in shame. He should not have used that word bluntly, but it was a habit that was quickly formed in his vocabulary.
Acting fast he said, "Sorry, I did not mean it like that."
"It's okay," Fukuda said. He walked around the classroom and peered out of the window. Royce looked back to the table he was sitting at and saw his packed bento on the table. He often wondered who made these small packed lunches. Did they buy them ready made at a store or did they make them themselves?
"In a mixed school like this you would expect a certain number of perverted people in it. I've seen many girls who act the same way too," he said smiling as he turned and faced him. Fukuda put a small cup to his mouth and slurped down the contents. Royce assumed it was some form of tea. He did not have any tea for a long time. He was beginning to miss the stuff, the proper stuff.
"Have you brought your own lunch?" Fukuda asked.
"No, I normally eat at the cafeteria."
"Perfect, why don't you come with me then. Lunch is about to start and I could do with the company."
Royce stepped closer to the window and looked out over the school he was lost in. It might be simple to say no and continue on his walk about, but it was about time he talked to a proper student for once. Gain more knowledge about the school and the town, proper information.