Words to look out for:

Raiu: Thunderstorm.

Denkou: Alternative word for 'lightening'.

Ito-Yokado: Grocery shop chain in Japan.

Shoseki: Book.

Fukurou: Owl.

Kesshoku: Brown.

Orientation week.

All of the three girls sat down at the end of a large table. The majority of the people who sat there were girls in all age groups. "So this Jiro-san was a bit TOO touchy for your liking?" inquired Chie with a thoughtful look. "Yes, that pretty much sums it up" concluded the older female as she sipped some diet soda. "What's going to be your major again Chie-san? Himiko did not tell me" informed the youngest female there. "I'm going to take nurse studies as well, but I'm taking different classes than Himiko this year. I had to get the papers from boarding school sorted and stuff" replied the older female.

"Hey, look at this" muttered Himiko as she grabbed a nearby flyer. 'Orientation week at Enrai University from 25th August to 2nd September. Get more information at your college and sign up at the reception where you live. PS! People who sign up for club membership during this period will get six free weeks. Must be a member for at least four months to collect the bonus, which is deducted at the end of this term' read the text. "Look at this Marii" said the girl while she nudged her friend. Marii then read over the paper and finished with a smile on her face. "I better find the karate sign up tomorrow. I want to get the brown belt with white stripe before I turn 20" stated the female. She currently had a green belt after training for about three and a half year now.

"I'm not sure what group to sign up for. I don't know any specific sports club that seems interesting to me. But I'm not going to join judo or ju-jitsu" stated the older girl. She had tried out both of the sports during the 'Martial Arts Month' in Kumono, which had not been a nice experience. "I'm definitely going to join the ninjutsu group" stated her friend. The lavender-haired girl had trained ninjutsu twice a week for three years. "Let's dance girls! I love this song" announced one of the girls at the end of the table. Nearly all of the girls left the table and started to dance to one of the songs. "Wanna join them Himiko?" inquired the language student. "Uhm…I can try" replied the black-haired girl. She did like the song but was not much of a 'dancer' type. But this was university; it was a whole new start. Maybe it was time to break out of her comfort zone a little too.

The female followed her two friends to the dance floor and started to dance. Most of the girls did something that looked a little like freak dancing, but that was a bit too much for her. "Let's do the same move as they are" suggested her fellow nurse student. It was a dance move that reminded her of the moonwalk. "OK" replied the teen as she tried to mimic her friend. The moves were new to her, so she had to keep her legs in control. Her younger friend had a harder time (she had admitted that she was a horrid dancer). "Watch out Marii!" called the girl when the female was getting closer to someone who held two glasses of water. But it did not go so well…the poor teen crashed straight into the older guy who spilled water over both of them. "I'M SO SORRY!" exclaimed the girl as she picked up the glasses he had dropped. "I'm fine. I'm sorry too" replied the guy with a semi-apologetic smile.

Marii then discovered that her shirt as well as her waist jacket was soaked. "I'm afraid I have to go home. Can't really party with wet clothes" apologized the female. "That's fine Marii. Maybe we can meet outside here tomorrow so we can join up on the orientation?" suggested Himiko. "Sounds like a good idea. See you two tomorrow" said the language student as she left the room.

BIP BIP BIP! BIP BIP BIP! 'Kami…Better turn that off' thought the male as he sat up in bed. He looked at his watch; it showed 09:35 AM. Today was Arkai's fourth day in Enrai and he was now situated at Raiu College. It was a nice place to live since it was not far away from his classes. 'That's right…today is orientation day. Better get something to eat' thought the guy as he dressed himself. He had signed up for an orientation around campus at 10:00 AM today that would end with a lunch at Denkou College. 'Let's see…today was going to be a bit chilly' pondered the brunette as he looked at his clothes. Enrai was colder than Kosame was, which was a bit of a downside. But it did not rain that much though. He decided to go for a navy hooded jacket, white T-shirt plus a pair of light blue jeans. The male went into the kitchen. The room was the right size for eight people. Four fridges with freezers, eight cupboards, two stoves with ceramic plates plus three sinks were in there. Not to mention two tables that could have up to five people each. Nobody was there…probably due to the fact that it had been a 'school start' party last night. 'Let's see what I got to eat here' thought the accountancy student.

He decided to go for some cereal with milk, water plus an apple. The good thing about being good in mathematics was that it was easier to make a budget. All of the money for September had arrived yesterday, so the guy had decided to put up a budget straight away. Most of the money went to the rent while his food budget would be on 2500-3000 yen a week. His parents had luckily bought him the basics, but he would be on his own after that. 'Crap! I'm going to be outside in just five minutes!' thought Arkai as he looked at the watch that hung on the wall. He rinsed his plate (he would clean it up later) and went back to his room.

A small group of people stood in the reception; most of them were at the same age as he was. 'Looks like I'm not too late' thought the male in relief. A girl who appeared to be in her early twenties with orange hair appeared a couple minutes later; she had a T-shirt that read 'Guide'. "Good morning everyone! My name is Katsumi and I'm a junior education student. You're all here for the orientation tour, right?" inquired the female. Everyone nodded. "We are eight people here and there are eight people on my list. Looks like everyone's here, which is good. Follow me please" requested Katsumi.

All of them exited the college building with the young woman in the lead. Another group with a black-haired guy in the lead stood on the east side of the college; it looked like this was one of the other groups. "I'm sure you all know that this is Raiu College. It is the second oldest college in our school. The building as well as the interior had a make-over three years ago. Raiu College has the classes concerning mathematics, accountancy, chemistry as well as biology" informed the education student. 'No wonder I was put here then' thought the accountancy student with a smile. "We are quite close to the small park that surrounds the statue of Fukurokuju. The statue was given as a gift by the city council when the university had its 70th year anniversary two years ago" continued the young woman as she gestured towards the field. It was at the other side of the road behind the bus stop and the trash cans. A number of trees (most of them evergreen trees, maples or birches) were randomly scattered around. In the middle was a small pond with a statue of the god. He looked like an elderly man with a high forehead plus a beard. The outfit consisted of a simple cloak while his right hand held a staff. The group then walked halfway around the small park before they started on a path that went next to a large three story building. It was made out of slate stone and had dark green tiles.

"This is the administration building where the principal plus the school administration works. This is also the place where the graduation ceremonies are held each year. Career days as well as most of the workshops are held here too" said the orange-haired woman. They continued on the path for a couple more minutes. A couple of buildings then appeared after they had walked through a small hallway with trees on both sides. "The building closest to us is the career counselling office. In the end of your sophomore year, you get an obligatory appointment here. You will also get an offer about one in the middle of your senior year that usually concerns internship. Enrai has good connections with several companies in the city" informed the orange-haired female while gesturing towards the red brick building. A small frown formed at the guys face…this was quite serious stuff.

"Over there is the grocery shop plus the kiosk. It has reasonable prices and you can find most of the things you need. I do recommend shopping at the large grocery shops in the city centre if you want better offers though" continued the female while pointing towards a dark gray building. This one had two stories; the first one had the Ito-Yokado plus the university logo. The grocery shop was on the eastern part while the kiosk was located at the western part. A couple telephone boots and ATM's were between the two shops. Floor number two had the logo of an owl plus the words 'Shoseki fukurou' on the sign. Numerous books were displayed in the window along with what looked like an owl plushie. It looked quite a lot like the owl from the 'Harry Potter' movies.

They walked a little further until they reached a building made out of sleek black stone. 'Amagumo College' was written at the front with silver stone letters. The building was at the same size as Raiu College was. "Amagumo College is where you can find lessons for language, philosophy plus pedagogic related things. I'm attending this college myself. This is the oldest building at campus, but it had a makeover five years ago" told Katsumi. 'Language huh? Maybe Marii-san lives here' thought the teen. The road then forked in two; they took the road that lead to the east. A large two-story building made out of brown-gray stone appeared a minute later after they had walked past a flagpole. "This building hosts the library and the computer labs. Your student ID card functions as a library card" informed the young woman. A new college made out of slate gray stones appeared after they had walked up a small hill. "Here is Hisame College, which is where the medical related classes like anatomy or medicine are held. Many of those who live here are nurse or medical students" stated the education student. They went back to where the road had forked and went to the south instead.

Two buildings appeared five minutes later; the one closest to the group was a building made out of red bricks. It was relatively large in size, but it only had two stories. A football field as well as a tennis court was right behind it. But what surprised him was the sign that read 'Kesshoku Café'. "I hope many of you will visit this building later on. This building is the sports and health center. The latter is at the first floor while the ground floor holds the sports facilities. If you're signing up for sport clubs or a gym membership, you need to sign up at the reception here. Right over there is Denkou College which hosts geography, history, sociology plus anthropology classes. Remember to sign up for your classes before the 30th if you're an undergraduate. You'll sign up at your college. Post-graduates need to contact the head of their department. Could everyone please queue so you can get your vouchers for the café?" requested the female. Everyone hustled into a line of some sort within half a minute. The male got his voucher a little later and went into the café.

It was in a sort of European style; the interior reminded him a bit of coffee bars he had seen in foreign movies. The walls were in reddish wood while the floor was dark brown. Soft light was provided by the lamps that hung from the ceiling. Large windows were on the west plus the east side of the room, creating a spacious atmosphere. All of the tables as well as the chairs were in auburn wood with brown padding. 'Free lunch: Line up here' said a poster on the northern wall. He lined up immediately since the queue was already quite long. "Hey! Over here Arkai!" called a voice. The brunette looked around and then spotted a familiar red-haired person who sat quite close to him. "Kininata! Are you on the orientation tour too!?" exclaimed the guy in surprise. "I am. Just got my lunch too as you can see" informed the male as he pointed at his tray. A cup of cappuccino, a small sandwich with cheese plus a small soufflé was on the off-white plastic tray. "Looks tempting to me…Hold off a seat for me while I get my lunch" replied Arkai with a grin.

But it took nearly ten minutes until he got to the counter, which had a maroon-haired guy in his early thirties behind it. "Hello! Are you here for the free lunch?" inquired the man; he had a slight French accent to his voice. "Yes…here's my voucher" answered the male. He handed the small ticket to the man. "Thank you. We have cheese and ham or chicken sandwich to choose from. We only have the strawberry and chocolate soufflé left I'm afraid. You can pick any type of coffee you want from the machine over there. What sandwich do you want?" asked the brunette. "I think I'll take the chicken sandwich please. And the strawberry soufflé sounds fine with me" decided the accountancy student. He got his sandwich plus his soufflé moments later, so next thing to do was to choose a drink.

The guy was not much of a coffee drinker since he usually went for tea, milk, water or sugar free squash. But he was in university now…it was time to try something new. 'Maybe I'll ask her' he thought as he spotted a tall guy with pine green hair stand next to him. "Uhm, excuse me. Do you know if any of these coffees have a lot of strong taste to them?" inquired the teen. The male turned around; he appeared to be at the same age he was. "You should definitely avoid the espresso. Cappuccino may be a little better depending on how much milk you have in it. Latte does not taste THAT much of coffee since it has more milk, but be a little careful with what milk you put inside" advised the greenette. "Thanks" replied the male with a smile to match. He looked at the machine; it had SO MANY OPTIONS to choose from! 'I think I'll go for cappuccino with semi-skimmed milk. Better keep it simple' thought Arkai.

He decided to not go for the syrups since he wanted to taste how coffee really tasted like when it was like this. After pressing the buttons, the machine started to hum. It did not take that long until his cup of coffee was done. 'Aich, it's hot!' noticed the guy as he tried to pick up the beverage. He grabbed a napkin nearby before he went to where his friend was. "You went for cappuccino too huh?" remarked Kininata with a wry smile. "Yup. It's time to try out new things when you're at university. And coffee is one of them" announced the brunette. "Cheers to new beginnings then" suggested the guy as he lifted his cup. "Cheers buddy" replied the male as he bumped his cup lightly into his. Both of them took a sip while trying to get some cooling foam into their mouth. The smell of coffee mixed with milk spread over the accountancy students tongue in seconds. 'Kami…This is a little too strong for my liking' thought the guy as he tried to swallow. The taste itself was not that horrible, but he should have gone for something with more milk in it. And it would be good if it was a tad bit colder as well.

"Any thoughts?" muttered the other male with a slightly disgusted look at his face. "I think I'll go for latte the next time; it was not that bad actually" laughed the teen. "Same here" replied the redhead as he started on his sandwich.

"Let's go and sign up for our subjects" suggested Chie as the girl trio walked out of the Japanese style café at the other end of Amagumo College. "Yup. I wonder where we have to do that" inquired Marii with her eyebrows raised. "Pretty sure we have to sign up at our college" replied Himiko as they went past the library building. "Here's my dorm. Guess I'll see you two later when I sign up for clubs" stated the youngest of the trio. "Bye Marii!" said her friend.

It felt quite weird that you had to decide all of your subjects yourself. The academy back in Kumono had some core subjects at least, but was that here as well? 'I guess I'll see for myself' thought the female as she went into the reception. The reception at Hisame College was painted in cornflower blue with a dark wooden desk. Both the mail room plus the restrooms were at the left while the entrance to the common room was at the right. "Hello, I would like to send in an application form about my school subjects" informed the language student as she looked at the female receptionist.

"Off course. What major do you have and what year are you in?" inquired the black-haired woman. "I have English and Japanese language and culture as my majors. I'm a freshman" replied the girl. "Let me see…" muttered the older female while she went through some forms at her right. She then handed her a light blue form plus two brochures. "This brochure is about the more practical language subjects like phonetics or grammar. Number two has information about literature as well as history" told the clerk. "Thank you. Can I hand the form in tomorrow?" asked the brunette. "Tomorrow is the 26th, so that should be good. I'm delivering the forms at 12:10 PM" informed the woman. "Great. Thanks!" said the female as she went up to her room. It was at the second floor with quite a good view of the park.

'Home sweet home' thought Marii as she entered her room. It was painted pale blue with a window at the opposite end. An indigo carpet with icy gray circles plus some yellow pillows lay at her bed. A silver-coloured rug was at the floor while a large poster with various anime characters was plastered at the wall. She sat down at her desk and looked at the form. 'I need at least 30 credits every term since I'm a full-time student. Subjects in my area can have 15, 10 or 5 credits each depending on how heavy it is. The number in the parenthesis is the number of credits you get. 60 credits are needed for the III level subjects in each language' thought the girl.

She then looked at the brochure with the practical subjects in it. 'Academic writing [15], English grammar [10], English phonetics [10], Japanese phonetics [10], English translation I and II [10 each], English linguistics [5], Japanese linguistics I and II [10 each] are the courses offered for undergraduates. Students must complete two subjects at II level to get enough credits. The II level subjects do not have to be in the same language. More information for each subject can be found underneath' informed the text. The language student knew that phonetics was her weakest side, but it was fortunately a spring course. Linguistics was her strongest side while translation as well as grammar was so-so. 'NB! ALL bachelor students MUST take the Academic writing course!' stated the text underneath.

'Let's see what the other one offers' thought the female. The other subjects offered at her course were British civilization [5], American civilization [5], Multiculturalism in English speaking countries I and II [10 each], Japanese history and culture I and II [10 each], English literature pre 1900 [10], English literature post 1900 [10], Japanese literature pre 1800 [10], Japanese literature post 1800 [10], multiculturalism in Japan [10], English didactics and Japanese didactics [5 each]. 'What subject is didactics!?' thought the brunette. She looked further down at the brochure; it appeared to be a subject where you learned methods on how to teach Japanese as well as English to people. 'I think I'm going to sign up for Academical writing so I can just get done with it. I think I'll take English phonetics next and my last one will be Japanese linguistics I. At least I have one subject I'm comfortable with' thought the girl.