「Even when the sky turns grey, your heart will still be a sparkling emerald.」
"I want to see what makes the universe shine."
Out of nowhere I uttered these words. While watering tomato plants in the school garden, I began to think about what was out there in this universe. No reason really, I was just bored.
Do intelligent lifeforms exist besides us humans? How much more advanced are they compared to us? Do they even know Earth exists? It's interesting to think about.
I set down the watering can I was using and stretch my body a little.
"I should put this back into the shed before I get back to class."
I picked up the watering can by the handle and walk to the nearby storage shed. It was a simple concrete building with a single window and a white sliding door, which I noticed was slightly open.
"Huh? Has someone been in here?"
I slid the door open fully and peek in. The gardening tools stored within looked undisturbed for the most part, but just to be safe I stepped inside.
I maneuvered through the junk strewn about the floor of the dark shed and set down the watering can on top of a small crate, which made a small 'thunk' sound.
A small chirp was heard from the corner of the room opposite of where I was standing. It sounded just like a small rat. I walked over to where I heard the noise, and noticed something glimmering on the ground. It was a smooth translucent orb about the size of a basketball.
"What's this supposed to be?"
I reached out and poked it. It felt like touching jello. Upon contact, the orb jerked backwards and violently smacked against the wall behind it.
Wait, did it just say 'Ow'? What is this thing? Holy crap, could it be some kind of alien?!
I picked up the orb with both hands. Suddenly, it began to shake and emit large amounts of light. I panicked and instinctually threw the orb outside where it landed on a patch of grass, uttering yet another "Ow!"
I ran outside in a huff and approached the orb. Engulfed in a green light, its shape slowly changed into something humanoid. A head of shoulder-length teal hair, cutesy eyes, a petite feminine frame, and clear pale skin were the physical features of this alien orb creature. She wore a navy blue blazer over a white shirt, a matching blue skirt, and a yellow tie around her neck.
That outfit just happened to be the school's formal uniform.
The orb, having now transformed into a cute girl, stared at me fearfully. She has something clutched in her tiny hands the size of a zippo lighter.
"Hi there," I said awkwardly. "Sorry about throwing you earlier."
I extended a hand, meaning to help the girl up, but she just recoiled in fear. This is gonna be far more difficult than it needs to be, isn't it? Maybe my height was intimidating her.
I got down on one knee and tried taling to her again. "I don't think I've seen you around here. What's your name?"
The girl, while still wary, moved a little closer to me. "...Asada. Asada Hoshimi-san."
"Ikumi Hikaru. Nice to meet you. Here, let me help you up." I extended my hand to Asada again. This time, she responded positively as she grabbed my hand.
It's cold, much too cold to be a human hand. I pulled her up then gently dusted of her blazer.
"There you go, all better. Say, what were you doing in that shed anyway?"
I would also ask 'are you an alien?' but I didn't want to ruin the mood.
"You promise not to tell anyone?"
"Hmph!" Asada pouted, her cheeks turning a light red.
"Kidding, kidding! Of course I won't tell anybody. I'll have you know I was ranked 3rd on the school newspaper's 'most honest student' poll," I boasted, tugging the lapels on my blazer for added panache.
Asada's face softened, and she chuckled. "I was tinkering with this." She presented the object in her left hand. It was...certainly a thing. I don't think my zippo lighter guess was too far off the mark though. "This was the spaceship I came to Earth in: the Isdelia."
"Um, it's kinda small. How do you fit in that thing?"
"It's in storage mode right now. I can turn it full-size using this button here." Asada pointed to a small red button on the bottom of the spaceship.
Seems pretty easy to accidentally press, but I'm sure a race advanced enough to make shrinking spaceships made sure to-
"The button is really sensitive so I need to be careful of how I hold it."
I stand corrected.
Anyway, I said to Asada we should probably walk and talk, just to save time.
"So, uh, which class are you in?" I asked.
"Wait, we're in the same class? How come I never noticed you?"
"I don't stand out much to be honest. Aside from my hair, I don't really have any outstanding features."
Her hair is very sparkly, I have to admit.
"Can you call me Hoshimi-san instead? I feel like people are adressing a certain someone else when they call me Asada."
"Uh, sure. Hoshimi-san-san, you're an alien right? How long have you lived here?"
"Yes indeed I am. As for how long, I'd say...a few years," she said, counting with her fingers.
"Then you must have a pretty good grasp on how us humans live, right?" I said excitedly. It might not be apparent, but I'm actually really pumped to be friends with an alien.
"For your information, Ikumi-kun, all forms of sentient life in the universe are called humans, you know. You'll have to be more specific!" she said cheekily.
"Huh? Really? Cool. Then I'll rephrase my question. How much do you know about us earthlings?"
"Only what my step-parents have told me."
"You havw step-parents here? I was expecting you to be living alone."
"Mm-hm. They found me when I crash landed on Earth and raised me like their own daughter." Hoshimi-san smiled. It was clear in how she spoke about them that she loved and appreciated the couple.
I smirked, happy that there were such nice people in this world. It brought a little more joy into my usually rather dull heart.
I think I might need some insulin...
Our conversation went on for another hour until we reached the classroom. I placed my hand on the door handle, ready to open it, when suddenly,
"Ikumi-kun, look out!"
The whistling noise of an object moving at high speed echoed along the hallway, approaching us at an incredible rate. Thanks to Hoshimi-san's warning, I managed to swing the classroom door open in time to shield the two of us. Our school, Yomizu Academy, thankfully didn't have sliding doors like most schools in Japan do. It was one of the quirks of it being established by foreigners.
The object moving at high speed was a combat knife, an incredibly sharp one at that.
There was about 3 cm of space between me and the knife; If I hadn't acted when I did, it would have penetrated my stomach like it did the door.
The event caught the attention of my classmates inside, who began crowding around the door.
"Yo, what was that?"
"Is that a knife?"
"Dude, that was cool!"
"Someone call a teacher!"
The corridor was filled with the voices the curious and panicked students. Everyone was in a frenzy, until a loud stomp silenced the crowd.
"Hey, everyone back inside!" ordered a gruff male voice, the source of which was a tall well-built guy with messy slicked back red hair who could just barely pass himself off as a high school student.
My classmates all silently went back to their seats. That intimidating voice was my best friend, Kougami Jin. He's known to many as the Red Wolf, for obvious reasons. Despite his profound lack of smarts, he ended up as our class representative because of his passion and charisma.
"Hikaru, Asada, are you two alright? What happened out here?" he asked, his demonic angry expression turning into one of concern.
"I have no idea. This knife just came flying at me when I tried to open the door. Thanks for the warning by the way, Hoshimi-san-san!"
Hoshimi-san, who had covered her head in fear, beamed.
I reached to the other side of the door and pulled out the combat knife. Strangely enough, it was attached to an arrow with some duct tape and string. The person who shot this must've been superhuman, since this blade is heavy! How did they achieve that velocity using a bow?!
Our of curiosity, I checked the shaft of the arrow. My assumption was correct as the school's logo, a stylized kanji for 'Water' overlaying the Earth, is printed there in bright red.
"That arrow belongs to the Archery Club, doesn't it?" Hoshimi-san asked.
"Looks like it. Jin, take this to Hibitou-sensei. If he doesn't believe you, show him the recording. The security camera up there should have caught the entire thing."
I pointed to a small white security camera on the ceiling. Its color matched the wall, so it was hard to find at a glance.
I handed the arrow to Jin, who seemed to have trouble keeping up with the conversation. He then made a dash for the teachers' lounge, trailing a cloud of dust behind him. While indoors.
I stared down the dark end of the corridor from where the arrow was launched. If I'm not mistaken, that path leads to the old school building, which was closed off for renovation a year ago. Perfect hiding spot for a sniper. Unfortunately, even if I could check that place out, the sniper is probably long gone by now.
While I was deep in thought, Hoshimi-san tugged on my right sleeve. I turned around, and saw the same scared expression she had on earlier today. "Ikumi-kun, do you think this happened because you met me?" she said hesitantly.
I gently patted her head, which, even in her human form, still felt like jello. In hindsight, this is kind of gross. "Probably, but don't beat yourself up over it. We'll figure out what's going on together."
That vaguely cool-sounding statement made Hoshimi-san's face turn a light red. She smiled softly and began clutching my hand tightly. Her hands are still so cold and soft, like an uncooked piece of chicken fillet that was left in the fridge for a few days.
...Heh, at the end of the day, it looks like I managed to answer the question I asked myself back at the garden. Now I will posit myself another question: if aliens exist, what else is out there? Yokai, perhaps? Maybe an underground wrestling league? Well whatever is out there, you can bet that I'm going to go out and find it!
A few days later, I found out that the Archery Club was disbanded by the student council and all the members were suspended from school. Hoshimi-san, Jin, and I were discussing the matter while eating lunch. The three of us were sitting around a my table. For whatever reason, these two didn't bring their tables so we could combine into one big super-table.
"That...seems a bit extreme, even for a situation like this," Hoshimi-san said in a sullen manner. She was eating a bento she brought from home, filled with a plethora of fantastic smelling, yet suspicious looking goodies. She placed an oddly colored piece of tamagoyaki in her mouth.
"Yeah, I was expecting them to at least let Shikitetsu-senpai get an argument in, but apparently not."
Jin chomped on his lunch, a roast turkey sandwich bought from the cafeteria. "Who's Shikitetsu?"
"The Archery Club's captain. I catch him practicing alone near the garden occasionally. Really nice guy."
As the conversation continued, I forgot I hadn't eaten yet. Realizing this, I pulled the medium-sized bento box out of my bag and opened it.
Empty, with but a small scrap of paper left inside.
"...Noooo!" The anguished screams of a hungry boy whose lunch was stolen echoed through the entire school building. As the initial shock settled, I felt my soul starting to leave. The entire container was empty, as if it was bought brand new. Whoever ate it wanted to be thorough.
Some moments later, after I calmed down and accepted the fact that my homemade Beef Stroganoff would never be seen again, I pulled out the paper inside. Whoever left this calling card here is gonna regret it!
"I ate your lunch, and will keep doing so until you stay away from Asada Hoshimi, Signed, Yukimi Daifuku."
"Ahahaha! What kind of name is that?!" Ignoring my sorrow, Jin heartily laughed at the admittedly silly name of the perpetrator. Yukimi Daifuku, by the way, is the name of a dessert sold here in Japan. If I was in a better state of mind, I would have suggested that whoever tried to kill me and ate my lunch likes desserts. "But, I kind of feel like I've heard that name before."
As these two racked their brains, I, who have come to terms with my loss, noticed something in the window. It was a person in a hooded robe, standing menacingly on roof opposite our classroom. They seemed to have noticed me noticing them, as they gave a creepy wave of their hand to me. Hm? Looks like they're holding something.
I went over to take a closer look, and sure enough...
"Ikumi-kun? Something the matter?"
Yes, in that waving hand was a box of L*tte-branded Yukimi Daifuku. And in their other hand, was a bow and arrow. We were sitting here trying to find our culprit, but it looks like the culprit found us, and they're not happy.
A/N: Burraaah! Oh yeah! I finally stopped endlessly revising this son of a bitch and released a new work into the world! Everyone who has anything to say about go ahead! (EDIT: Never mind! I had to revise one more time! Now enjoy!)