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A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

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A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Aleister Crowley on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:03 pm



June 17th.

The satellite whirred and hummed in the soundless expanse. Panels and arms rotated and folded around its main body, the sun glinting off of the solar arrays. The high pitched whine of a camera lens was lost in the vacuum as the machine focussed on the slowly spinning planet below. Through clouds and storms its mechanical eye gradually closed in on its target.

The South Eastern hemisphere. The camera clicked, refocussing. East Asia. Another click. The island of Japan. West Tokyo. Click after click the telescopic lens readjusted itself, eventually settling on its desired location. Hundreds of glittering lights spanned over a cobweb of roads and highways.

Academy City.



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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:07 pm

"Eh?! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Such misfortune!!!" The young girl's frantic shouts sounded like the ranting of a lunatic, she realised. Still, Kamijou Touko couldn't have cared less how she appeared in front of any bystanders. She was too busy fleeing for her life. She glanced back over her shoulder.

Eight people.

It had been nearly 2 kilometers and she still had eight people chasing her? The girl grabbed her head with an exasperated yell as she burst out of the alleyway and onto the main street. Couples. Couples everywhere. Touko didn't know whether to cheer or cry, weaving between them.

Touko looked down at her hand. Concealed within it was a power that seemed good only for causing her trouble. It couldn't take out a delinquent, raise her test scores or help her escape from this mess.

A further 2 kilometers and Touko glanced once again over her shoulders, certain she would see an ever growing mob of delinquents. She stopped, her feet slowing as fatigue caught up with her already leaden legs. Her pursuers had disappeared.

"Thank goodness." She sighed, her head dropping. She resisted the urge to sit on the spot. She deserved to enjoy her victory, after all, she thought to herself.

"What did you think you were doing?"An accusatory voice called out. Touko froze, startled and she turned stiffly to look at whoever had spoken.

Without a single light on the bridge the figure was tough to see. But there, in front of Touko a girl was standing alone. She was rather ordinary looking with a grey pleated skirt, short sleeved blouse and sleeveless summer sweater.

Touko looked up at the night sky and seriously considered just collapsing where she stood. She looked past the girl, back in the direction she had come and anxiously awaited the arrival of her pursuers.

"Oh. Them?" The girl spoke, almost as though reading Touko's thoughts. "I fried them already." The sound of crackling electricity hummed through the air. The girl's hair swayed gently in the breeze, small sparks jumping between the strands like electrodes. The unspoken implication of her words was apparent. "You're next."

"Hey! What did I ever do to you?" Touko placed a hand on her hip and cocked her head at the girl with an exasperated expression.

"You know what a 'Railgun' is, right?" The girl changed the subject abruptly, as though ignoring Touko's words and reached into her pocket. She had always been like this. Though they had only met a handful of times, it seemed that this girl had developed something of a vendetta against Touko. One month from Summer vacation, Touko thought. I was so close to making it to Summer vacation...

Touko merely observed with mute dread as the girl examined the coin. "Also known as a 'Super Electromagnetic Cannon'." She added. "By launching a shell via a powerful electromagnet one can fire projectiles at many times the speed of sound." The strange girl flicked the coin into the air just as crackling energy arced form her skin. The coin landed again on her outstretched thumb. "Just like this!" She cried.

The light was blinding. Almost instantly and without sound the orange spear of light shot past Touko's head. A moment later and a thunderous roar tore through the atmosphere. Touko staggered, thrown off balance by the sudden sound. Glancing behind her she could see the wake of the projectile. A deep gutter had been torn from the asphalt and the light, quickly fading, still scorched the air with its afterimage.

"Wait..." Touko looked back to the girl before her. "Don't tell me you used that on those guys..." She felt a chill run down her spine.

"Of course not." The girl hurried to correct Touko. "I'm not some reckless murderer." She brushed the hair away from her face with her hand. Another spark leapt between the strands. "This was sufficient to deal with them!" At that moment the bluish white sparks leapt from the girl's head and raced towards Touko.

"Going to die! Really going to die! Really going to die! Kyaaaa!" She thinks to herself. Touko raised her hand and the attack scattered, sparking across the bridge's metal frame. "Which begs the question..." The strange girl glared at Touko, baring her teeth. "Why aren't you injured?"

An attack with enough power to burn the supports of a steel bridge. And yet Touko's hand was unmarked. Without even a single burn or scratch, Touko's right hand had completely deflected the lightning strike.

She lowered her arm and with a composed face and calm voice smiles confidently at the girl in front of her.

"What to say? Misfortunate, right?" She let out a half chuckle.


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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:08 pm

Gai Ashton-Li
19/12/94
Male
Dual United Kingdom/Chinese citizenship


A small photograph showed a dour looking young man with a shaggy black fringe and deep blue eyes. The clerk lowered the visa, looking over the top at the boy at his desk. Guy smiled back cheerfully despite his weariness.

He looked a mess. Deep blue eyes were sunken into his skull from days of poor sleep and his hair was long and messy, tangled and tied back in a short ponytail that stood out from the back of his neck like the bristles of a paintbrush. The ferry ride to Japan had been an arduous one, though at least the bullet train had made the final leg of his journey to Tokyo relatively simple. Still, here at the last hurdle the young man wanted nothing more than to collapse. But that would do him no good here, at the gates of Academy City. So, he forced a smile.

The woman at the desk looked at him warily, passing the visa and his passport back to him. He nodded gratefully and moved past the checkpoint. The line behind him moved slowly up as the next person was called to the desk.

Past the large, featureless wall and the immigration checkpoint Guy found himself at a bus stop. He scanned the timetables and sighed, shouldering his bag and trudging off wearily down the road towards district 7.

***

Guy glanced down at the sheet of paper in his hand then back up to the street light. He was certainly in the right area, he decided. He had wandered for some time, searching for some sign of the meeting place. A small voice broke him from his trance.

"Excuse me." It called to him. Guy looked around for the owner of that voice for several moments. "Umm... Down here." He lowered the piece of paper, his eyes following it downwards. In front of him stood a small girl who couldn't have been more than ten. She was tiny, with wide, innocent looking eyes and a short head of pink hair.

"Oh. Hey, kiddo." Guy said cheerfully to the girl, crouching down so that he was on eye level with her. "Are you lost?" He asked with a reassuring smile. She smiled back, a slightly nervous, embarrassed smile.

"Actually I was going to ask you the same question." She giggled sweetly, clutching the papers in her arms closer to her chest. "You're Mr Li, is that correct?" She asked.

"Uh. Yes." Guy replied. "But how did you know that?" He looked puzzled, cocking an eyebrow curiously at the child. She giggled again.

"I'm Tsukuyomi Komoe. I've been assigned as your contact here in Academy City." She explained.

"So you're my boss?" He seemed incredulous. "But you're so cute!" He laughed. Tsukuyomi's cheeks puffed out, her face contorting into a deep, pouting frown. The diminutive teacher stamped her foot.

"Honestly. How rude." She turned away, offended.

"Now, now, don't take it so seriously." Guy finished laughing, coughing into his sleeve to cover the last few chuckles. Tsukuyomi opened her mouth to speak again when she was interrupted.

"Long time no see, Sensei." Guy turned to see a tall youth with a shaven head. His clothes were loose fitting on his thin body and he had the bearing of a delinquent. His face was split by a wide grin that contrasted his small, beady eyes. His voice was sneering and cruel. Tsukuyomi tensed visibly, though she put on a brave face.

“Ah. Kenji-kun.” She spun to face the boy. “Have you been well?” Her voice wavered with restrained fear.

“Yes.” He replied. “And don’t worry. I’m not here to cause trouble.” He said, lifting his hands from his pocket. The grip of a pistol was clearly visible beneath his shirt and his grin seemed to widen. “I was just leaving infact. But I thought I’d just stop by and say hi.” He turned to leave, waving to the small woman. She was trembling.

"Is everything OK?" Guy asked, moving next to her. She had a brave face on when she turned, forcing a smile that was obvious for its stiffness. She nodded.

"Lets go. We've got a lot of work to do if we're going to get you up to speed for tomorrow." She said in a clipped, authoritarian tone.

"You mean I have to work tomorrow?" Guy sounded deflated. For a boy who had spent the last two days on a ship from Shanghai and God only knew how many days on the road before then it was enough to crumble his resolve. He followed her into the building with a heavy heart.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:09 pm

Mikoto had been outside the convenience store when it had happened. A crowd of youths, delinquents of some sort by the looks of them, had been making unwanted advances on her for the past few minutes. Not an uncommon occurrance for her, but certainly not a welcome one. She had put up with it, figuring that after long they'd get tired and leave. And if they did decide to get more nosy, well she'd just have to shock them into leaving, wouldn't she?

She scanned the crowd of onlookers. Unsurprisingly no one came to her aid. No one in their right mind would want to get caught up in something like this, she thought pessimistically. People value their own wellbeing. If someone existed out there willing to put themselves in harms way for another person, surely they had to be an idiot. She sighed, thinking that gloomy thought.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:10 pm

"Ah. There you are!" Guy had called over to Mikoto. The young man waved as he approached. "I've been looking all over for you." He draped his arm over the girl's shoulder and led her through the gang, chatting idly as though speaking with an old friend. One of the youths stepped into his path and Guy brushed him aside casually, continuing to shepherd Mikoto out of the circle of thugs.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:10 pm

"Hey!" Mikoto brushed his arm from her shoulder. "Who the hell are you?" She snapped, glaring at the boy who had foolishly come to her rescue. He was tall, scruffy looking and from the way he acted, was just arrogant and stupid enough to get himself hurt.

"Hey. You got a problem with us?" One of the hoodlums loomed behind Guy, his head cocked at a peculiar angle.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:11 pm

He was surprised when the girl tore her arm away.

"Isn't it obvious? It's the old 'relative visiting from out of town and needs to be shown around' trick." He explained. "Just play along..." He whispered insistently.

"Hey."

"I wasn't talking to you. Get lost." He commented over his shoulder, interrupting the delinquent without sparing him a glance.

"You got a problem with us?"

He turned, fixing the other boy with a heavy lidded look of contempt.

"As a matter of fact, I do." His attention turned fully to the group now, he cocked his head to one side defiantly. "People like you really piss me off." He shrugged, his contemptuous sneer giving way to a cocky smirk. "Cornering a young lady like a pack of animals. You're pathetic." He shook his head in mock disbelief. "I mean come on, guys. Out of all the girls here you picked her? Have some decency." He cocked his thumb over his shoulder, gesturing to Mikoto. "I mean she's still just a kid."

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:13 pm

"Isn't it obvious? It's the old 'relative visiting from out of town and needs to be shown around' trick. Just play along..."

"What? Who's ever heard of such an elaborate strategy?" She asked, astounded at his boldness. But her question went unanswered as her would be rescuer turned his attention to the boys who'd been harassing her.

The hoodlums started to close in around him as he spoke.

"People like you really piss me off."

Mikoto was startled at those words. She hadn't expected him to stand up to them. She watched, stunned as he continued.

"Cornering a young lady like a pack of animals. You're pathetic."

Is he... standing up for me? She couldn't believe it. She could only stare at him as he defended her from the other boys. It wasn't like she needed help, after all. But still, the idea that someone would come to her aid...

"I mean come on, guys. Out of all the girls here you picked her? Have some decency."

Wait. What did that mean? She snapped back to reality.

"I mean she's still just a kid."

Mikoto's face dropped. He continued to talk but she didn't hear it. She tensed, shaking with anger.

"Hey. What's up with her?" One of the boys pointed to the shaking Mikoto, sparks of blueish white electricity skipping over her skin and between the strands of her hair.

"Who the hell..." Her voice was low and menacing. "Are you calling a KID!?" She bellowed, and a blinding flash filled the area. When it cleared at last the delinquents lay scattered unconscious over the asphalt, twitching gently as their bodies smoked.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:14 pm

The pain was as intense as it was sudden.

His hair and clothes were slightly charred. The smell filled his nostrils and made him want to gag.

His aching muscles still trembled from the shock.

Blurred vision slowly focussed on the ground in front of him.

The flash had taken him by surprise. He'd heard of Esper powers, naturally, but he'd not expected to experience one first hand. At least not so soon.

"Hey. What was that for?" He groaned, rising to his feet. The blast had knocked him to his knees, but unlike the other boys he had remained conscious. Guy brushed back the hair from his eyes and took a deep breath. Soft grey smoke curled from his clothes. "Why did you attack me when all I did was try to help?"

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:15 pm

"Ah. Maybe I overdid it a little." Mikoto scratched her head. She had already started to leave when she heard that boy's voice.

"Hey. What was that for?"

Impossible... She looked at him, dumbfounded. He had certainly been hit. That much was obvious. But he was still conscious after receiving her shock. And what's more he was still standing. What kind of ability did he have tomake him so formidable?

"Why did you attack me when all I did was try to help?"

"Who said I wanted your help?" She snapped back. "And never mind that. How come you're the only one who's unharmed?" She readied another attack at the troublesome boy. "What's your ability name?"

Just who is this guy? She wondered, watching him with suspicion. He wasn't much to look at. Tall but thin, not strong looking at all. And an odd sense of dress too. He looked like some sort of host from a seedy club for old women or a washed up boyband member. She clenched her fists.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:16 pm

"Who said I wanted your help? And never mind that. How come you're the only one who's unharmed?"

"Unharmed is a bit much, don't you think?" He snapped back. "I'd rather have taken the beating those guys were going to give me!" He sighed. "I guess I'm lucky I'm good at taking a beating." He laughed bitterly. "Anyway. I just thought I'd be a good Samaritan and help out a girl in trouble. If I'd known you were going to be like this I wouldn't have bothered."

"What's your ability name?"

"Well actually..." He looked away with a disinterested expression. "I don't have one." He replied simply.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:17 pm

"Well actually..."

She waited eagerly for his explanation. Surely he just happened to have some sort of power that could nullify her electricity. Yes. That had to be it.

"I don't have one."

Those words rocked Mikoto. How was that possible? Bested by another Level 0? It was almost too much to bear. She stared at the ground as the information sunk in.

When she looked up he was gone.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:22 pm

Everything ached. His limbs felt heavy. His eyelids were like lead. How many steps were left in this place? Was this some perverse joke like a hazing ritual? Guy railed against imaginary oppressors as he dragged his feet up the steps. It took an effort of sheer willpower to stand as he reached for his key and held it poised in front of the lock.

There's been a mixup with your accomodation. The sweet looking little teacher had told him. He had been too tired to protest. I'm afraid you'll have to stay in the student dormitories for the time being. He stood, zombie like at the door.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:22 pm

Touko trudged wearily up the steps to her apartment. She had managed to survive the night. That much was a blessing, she decided.

She walked down the corridor, her head hung low and as she pressed her key into the slot she glanced over at the peculiar young man standing next door. He seemed in a trance, with a sleepy gaze and a posture that suggested complete relaxation.

"Hey." She called out. "Are you OK?"

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:23 pm

His head turned slowly, like something from a monster movie and he looked at her through lidded eyes, seeming to take a moment to process the girl in front of him and her words. After a long pause her responded.

"Yes." He croaked out. The aching in his legs had grown into numbness now. He turned back to the door, finally unlocking it. He stepped inside. If she spoke after that he didn't hear, slamming the door shut behind him.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:23 pm

She immediately regretted her decision with the death stare he shot her. Though, on second glance it wasn't the kind of menacing glare of a gang member with their eye on an easy target. She recognised that look. The look of someone who was at their limits.

"You don't look so good." She smiled awkwardly, trying to clear the air. But he had already gone. The girl stood there, bemused at the boy's behaviour. "What an odd guy." She shrugged, heading inside.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:23 pm

The shrill ring of his phone awoke Guy with a start. He reached over, snatching it from the floor. He brought it up to his face where his blurry eyes could make sense of the screen.

8:30 AM.

He lowered the phone for a moment before his mind snapped to attention. He was going to be late! He bolted upright, throwing on his clothes on the way out of the door.

He raced down the stairs two at a time, sprinting with long strides down the road.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Touko yawned as she opened her door, ruffling her hair. She just caught sight of the strange boy from next door racing past her.

"Good morning." She said. He didn't seem to notice. Touko shrugged, swinging her bag over her shoulder as she strolled to class.

***

Mikoto wore a dark expression as she walked to class that day. Last night weighed heavily on her. To think that there was someone like that in this world. A no talent screw up like that girl, able to defeat a Level 5 like her, who'd raised herself up through hard work.

She grimaced. It hurt her head to consider and she buried her face in her hand in frustration.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Guy glanced down at his watch again, as though desperately willing the hands to turn slower. His first day at work and already late. He doubted that would go down well. According to Tsukuyomi, Tokiwadai was a prestigious institution. The kind of place that tardiness would be heavily frowned upon, he presumed.

He rounded the corner at speed. He never saw her coming. Guy hit the ground hard, collapsing in a heap on the pavement.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Mikoto yelped as she was tackled to the floor, tensing for an impact that never came. She opened her eyes gingerly and looked down at the boy lying underneath her in an ungainly sprawl. Her eyes narrowed and she rose to her feet, brushing her uniform down.

"Watch where you're going." She snapped angrily and her hair sparked.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Guy leapt to his feet and without sparing the girl a second thought he glanced down at his watch again.

"Sorry. I'm in a real rush." He said simply, bolting away from the scene with a half hearted wave. Honestly, performing a hit and run in broad daylight? He scolded himself mentally. But there was no way he could be late on his first day of work. Especially not when he had gone through so much just to get to the city.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:28 pm

She stood there, disbelieving as he ran away.

"Hey!" She called out after him as she started to give chase. "What kind of person knocks someone over and then runs off without even an apology!?" Mikoto frowned. He was fast. Too fast for her to keep up and so she burned the image of his face into her mind. Even if it was just an accident she couldn't just forgive someone so rude! She had to teach this troublemaker some manners! Panting gently, Mikoto came to a standstill. She had never been awfully good at controlling her power when excited and she stood there, sparking quietly while she fumed.

***

Touko took her usual seat by the window. It looked set to be another uneventful day at school. Not that she minded, of course. Excitement and danger went hand in hand it seemed and she'd had enough of both. Yes, she decided. A restful day would be a nice change of pace.

Touko rested her chin on her palm and stared absent mindedly out of the window.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:28 pm

"Ah. Mr Li-" The middle aged man addressed him with that much hated name.

"It's Mr Ashton." Guy corrected the man matter-of-factly. He was already glancing about the room with a disinterested gaze.

"I see." The man looked fairly sporting about his young counterpart's casual manner. He was broad and tall, with short, black hair that was greying about the temples. He looked at ease, with a warm, confident smile. It was obvious that he was comfortable in a suit, his jacket loose around his broad shoulders and heavy frame. If Guy had to hazard a guess, he would have pegged the man as ex Yakuza. Of course, such assumptions were dangerous, especially if you happened to be right. "I have to admit that under the circumstances I'm surprised to see you here so early. Since it's your first day and you've had such a long journey here I thought you'd be getting some much needed rest." He laughed.

"You mean I didn't have to run all the way here to arrive on time?" Guy looked deflated. The principal chuckled quietly again.

"Well since you're here we may as well get you acquainted with the school grounds." He took a sip from the mug on his desk. The smell of coffee was strong enough that Guy could taste it from across the room. "I'll get one of the students to show you around."

Guy started to protest, but the announcement had already been broadcast over the school's PA.

***

"Oi oi!" Motoharu threw his arm around Touko from behind in his usual overly friendly manner. "You always look so glum." He grinned. "You're wasting your youth being serious." The blonde straightened up, patting Touko's shoulder. "Honestly, you look like some aged widow or something." He began to laugh.

"Could it be that Kamijou is pining after an unrequited love?" The blue haired boy behind Touko chimed in, leaning back in his chair.

"Ah." Motoharu interjected before the girl had a chance to answer. "If that's the case... then I know just the thing to help." His grin widened, baring his fang like teeth and he peered over his sunglasses at Touko. There was something in his eyes that suggested mischief.

Guy Li
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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:29 pm

Mikoto had just sat down at her desk when the announcement was made.

"Would Misaka Mikoto please report to the principal's office. Misaka Mikoto to the principal's office. Thank you." The PA blared through the halls. Immediately a chill ran down the young girl's spine. Her thoughts turned to the past few days as she tried to recall any particular misdemeanours or petty acts that might have warranted discipline.

The incident on the bridge. She had gone a little overboard, even by her own estimation. Gracefully and with the eyes of the entire classroom on her Mikoto rose from her seat. She was already concocting an explanation when she reached the principal's office and she took a deep breath before opening the door.

"I can explain. Honestly, I can. I just..." She stopped, her eyes settling on Guy as she peered around the door. "You!?" She exclaimed loudly, visibly stunned.

"Do you two know one another?" The principal asked, glancing between the boy and girl. Mikoto pointed and accusatory finger at the young man.

"This delinquent ran into me on the street!" She blurted loudly without thinking. She was still fuming over the incident. She knew that her judgement was clouded but still she couldn't help herself. "And then he ran off without even checking to see if I was hurt!" She folded her arms, turning away from the boy with a dark frown.

"In any case..." The principal started, cutting the tension with a practised tone. "Misaka-san, I would like you to show Li-Sensei around today. It shouldn't take long, but be sure to be thorough." He continued. "Li-san. After you're done you can have the rest of the day off." He dismissed them.

"Sensei?" She spat in a double take. "You mean this shady guy is a teacher?" She could scarcely believe her ears.

"That's right. And it's your duty to make sure he stays safe while he gets his bearings in Academy City. That shouldn't be a problem for our prized student, should it?"

Mikoto was speechless.

***

Touko couldn't get a word in edgeways as her classmates extrapolated an elaborate backstory to her behaviour.

"That's not it. Really." She raised her hands defensively, shaking her head insistently. However the boys were too far gone, enthralled with their fantasy world of unrequited love and heartache. She wondered what game they were playing this time.

Kamijou Touko
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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:30 pm

"You!?"

"Huh?" Was Guy's succinct response as the girl burst into the office. He turned to face the girl, his face blank with non-recognition. He followed the exchange between the principal and Mikoto with a clueless expression.

"Misaka-san, I would like you to show Li-Sensei around today. It shouldn't take long, but be sure to be thorough."

Guy frowned, but remained silent, gritting his teeth at the principal's slip of the tongue. But the next sentence swept any such concerns from his mind.

"Li-san. After you're done you can have the rest of the day off."

Closing the door behind him Guy stretched out his back with a relaxed groan.

"Ah. The whole day off." He shoved his hands into his pockets, strolling away casually.

***

"It's OK." Motoharu said, standing tall over Touko's desk. "You don't need to explain it to us. We'll help you get over your mystery crush." He grinned, slapping the girl affectionately on the back.

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