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[SS] Arduous Tasks

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[SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:17 pm

August 4th, 8:00 P.M

CRAAAAAACK!!!

The sound of the merciless breaking of bones reverberated throughout the massive hall, polished to such perfection that one would have no doubt of which school this dormitory belonged to, looking at the state of the floor tiles that could be used as mirrors.

This dormitory may not have been a building standing within the heavily guarded territory of the School Garden, home to Academy City’s elite girls that could overturn the country and its economy from their mood alone, yet the sheer attention brought to every single detail one could ever imagine would quickly bring anyone back to reality that this was indeed, a Tokiwadai Middle School dormitory.

Indeed, despite belonging to the outside of the School Garden in a way that would make people think that it would be lesser important, that European-styled building that served as secondary dorm was never neglected in the slightest, perhaps because it was the home of a Level 5, or perhaps because that was just how high the quality standards of Tokiwadai's Middle School were?

Regardless, those high expectations weren't only held towards cleaning and general maintenance. They were also being held towards their student: social status, ability prowess, grades, physical aptitudes, behaviour, appearances... all of the girls that ever enrolled to Tokiwadai were demanded to have so many qualities that one may think that you were either born an elite, or you'd simply never be allowed to enroll the school like so many rejected souls.

Which was why whenever one of the girls strayed from the righteous path of the elite that would lead the country's future, they would quickly be put back in their places by the strict rules of the school...

However, this particular case was one that left, unbeknownst to any due to her stern expression, dumbfounded the most highly rules and education-oriented woman anyone could ever meet.

Standing in the middle of that marvellous, and gigantic for the unaccustomed, room that shone brightly in luxury were four – no, three youngsters that were complete and utterly dishevelled messes, faced by only one older woman who stood in a terrifyingly refined manner as she pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose.

The fourth “person” was a collapsed corpse with its neck twisted at an angle a neck should never be at.

“I had originally summoned you four thinking I would only be dealing with unexplained absences, seeing how I am no stranger to these three girls regularly granting themselves exceptions to our school's regulations without permission, and likewise they are no stranger to the punishments that have and will seemingly continue to come come their way.”

The older woman who managed this dormitory paused as she sent a menacing smile to the remaining two who only shrieked in reply.

“However, considering how Tokiwadai is risking its excellent reputation by employing you, a man within the women-exclusive School Garden, the headmistress and myself would enjoy being given a thorough explanation on why a teacher of one of the most refined schools this city – or even this country – has to offer, seems to have gotten himself and his students heavily hospitalised to a point where casts are required for healing, in what would appear to be a brawling session young women having been deemed worthy of being Tokiwadai students should never involve themselves in?”

In an oldest-to-youngest order stood Guy Li, Hujisaka Natsumi, Misaka Mikoto, and somewhere along had been thrown the corpse of the departed (?) Shirai Kuroko. All “four” of them, bandaged thoroughly to assist the healing of their respectively heavy-to-noticeable wounds, including one that the eldest girl was desperately trying to hide, were standing under the crushing pressure of the Dorm Mistress's condemning stare.

“How about you give me a summary for now, Li-sensei?”

And it was only reinforced by the heavy words she spoke, a tone that implied that any answer she deemed unsatisfying would be the last.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Guy Li on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:32 am

The young man did not flinch with the rest as the sound of vertebrae popping sounded out through the luxuriously decorated room. He didn't seem to be reacting much to anything around him. Perhaps he was trying to think of an excuse to save his skin. Or perhaps he'd given up trying and had accepted his impending doom. Whatever the reason was, Guy Li did not look like a man on death row. There was no panic. No fear.

He looked bored even.

"The truth is..." He started off in a way that only made what followed sound less truthful. Of course he had no intention of telling her the truth. Who could believe such a thing? "...that if it weren't for these girls right here I'd probably not be standing here right now." He admitted. That much was true, in more than one sense. "But they aren't to blame." Was he seriously trying to get them off the hook? "Because I'm to blame."

A premonition of death flashed before his eyes. The stern woman's gaze conjured to mind countless instruments of death, endless possible demises. He felt himself run through by a hundred spears. His heart torn, still beating from his chest. Immolated like an effigy on a bonfire. He stared the shadow of death straight in the eyes.

"That's right. It's all my fault these poor girls are in such a sorry state. You shouldn't be punishing them, though. You should be commending them." He declared passionately like a witness giving testimony in court. "They saved me from a savage beating that would have no doubt ended my life had it been allowed to continue."

He continued to recount his tale, leaving out the specifics, such as the fact that the one delivering the beating had been the psychotic Esper Accelerator, and that the entire incident had been a risky gambit to end a sinister plot by the city's own upper echelon. Instead, the villains of the piece were a gang of delinquents nearly twenty strong! Maybe even fifty! He had been lucky that he had been calling Natsumi at the time (to ensure that she was back in time for the curfew, of course!) and that she had been able to mobilize the others to come to his rescue.

"It was only out of concern for my well being that these fine, upstanding girls decided to discard the rules. And be sure that they did not do so lightly." He glanced at the Dorm Mistress, saw her expression flicker with doubt. He was playing it up too much. He needed to reel it back in before she saw through him completely. "You should be proud to have such fine individuals in your institution."

"I see. So that's really what happened?" The woman in glasses looked implacably through him. Her poker face was unbeatable!

"Absolutely." He declared decisively with a firm nod.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:46 pm

As an answer to his final plea, she thoroughly analysed the girls that had accompanied him to this place, girls that would usually far too often disagree due to their differences in personality and world views.

Though Mikoto inspired a sense of uncertainty on whether to call out on Guy's nonsense and admit she had been the one to cause all this trouble, she scarcely needed to as her expression spoke volumes to anyone, and particularly the older woman.

On the other hand, Natsumi felt like the embodiment of bewilderment, an emotion not often seen on that girl's face. It seemed like she was actively struggling to not physically show how shocked she was at the idea that he would try to sell any story that included her helping him out of the good will of her heart or some other bullshit.

As for Kuroko, though she did not have the opportunity to speak or express much, the girl was usually one to only participate in a cause if it was worth fighting for, even if Mikoto's involvement would sometimes blur the lines when she had to make a decision. She was certainly not the type of girl to willingly get in trouble just for the hell of it, even moreso as a Judgement officer.

A subtle sigh escaped the Dorm Mistress, much to the amazement of anyone who would notice it.

“...Very well.” Though the words spoke of reassurance, anyone who was familiar with this demonic rule enforcer would know that this was not all. “Though it has been delayed by these regular instances of rule infringement, this dormitory's annual event will be held in a few days.”

A small but audible yelp had escaped Mikoto, though the woman paid it no heed.

“Therefore, the next few days will be early ones. You four will pour your heart and souls into ensuring that this dormitory is as clean and spot-on as it was when it was first built, will participate in the preparations of this event afterwards, and will also be cleaning the school, its pool, and the inside dormitory in your “free time” while you're at it.”

The merciless sentence has been given, not sparing the self-proclaimed “culprit” of these events, which would soon be addressed personally as well. Though for those who always sought out the good in any given situation, it could be said that this would be an excellent exercise to train one's ability at time management and efficiency.

“Li-sensei, you are expected to be in the headmistress' office tomorrow by 5 A.M sharp. I will see to it that you are given a place to rest in the inside dormitory, so that is where you will be sleeping until the event ends, tonight included. It will make it easier to recover from your wounds instead of running all over the place, will ensure that you do not arrive late, ensure you arrive at all, and I seem to understand one of our girls will find it drastically practical anyway.”

This time, an audible yelp had come from Natsumi, but it hadn't gone ignored unlike Mikoto's.

“Speaking of, Hujisaka, how is it coming along?” She spoke vaguely, as though talking about a deep secret she trusted scarcely anyone else here would understand anyway, and those who would would understand not to reveal it for now.

Natsumi took a long glance at Guy from head to toe in scepticism, likely the only permission she would get to speak in this situation, and returned a stiff reply.

“It'll be done by the time the event starts.”

The Dorm Mistress gave a firm nod, surprisingly acceptant of the answer. “Good. That will be all. Considering what awaits you four, I suggest you sleep and rise early. There is much work to be done. And Li-sensei? 5 A.M sharp.” She gave a final reminder as the heels announced her departure and return to her office, likely to make the call required for the arragements at the other dormitory.

The moment she was out of sight, a collective sigh was released by the group having seemingly stared at death right in its eyes, and escaped its fate.

Only one question remained for the young man, spoken by Natsumi and Mikoto alike and one that Kuroko, who would be coming back amongst the living any minute now, would likely support.

”Are you actually retarded?”
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Guy Li on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:35 am

And Li-sensei? 5 A.M sharp.”

"5 A.M. Got it." He echoed her words dismissively.

”Are you actually retarded?”

"Charming." He rolled his eyes, his back still turned to the two girls. "You realise I just saved both of your skins, right?" He glanced over to Kuroko as if in apology. He had been too late for her. "I think it worked pretty well actually. Since your plans seemed to consist of something between 'praying for a swift death' and 'standing there like a frightened kitten." He shook his head in smug disbelief as he turned to Natsumi and Mikoto. "I mean, that might have worked if her vision was based on movement but despite the rumours I don't think she's actually a Tyrannosaur." He chuckled bitterly. "So how about you enjoy your community service and the fact that your joints are still in the right places?"

His point made, Guy strode past the girls towards the corridor.

"By the way, Hujisaka... How is it?" He shot Natsumi a withering, suspicious glare., clearly wary of the peculiar exchange between the stern looking woman and her apparent partner in crime. But to expect a straight answer from Natsumi was to expect blood from a stone.

"I'm not dumb enough to think I've gotten away scot free, in any case. That witch is planning something. And I'm not going to get caught out when it happens." He glanced sideways out the corner of his eye, imagining the dorm mistress' menacing figure looming behind him. "But for now I'm going to make the most of my stay in an all girl's dorm. Maybe karma has rewarded me for once?"

He started to mutter to himself as he left.

"I mean, what were they thinking? Letting the fox loose in the chicken coop like this?" He laughed in disbelief at the sudden turn in his 'luck'.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:25 am


A vague feeling of lightness permeated through Kuroko’s body, like her the connection between her mind and body were becoming blurred and distanced, as she stared at the sight before her. It was such a beautiful sight that she was surprised that she had yet to go slack-jawed at this point.

She was standing—or floating(?)—in a field of colorful flowers. Before her was a calmly flowing river, creating a soothing sound and effect that only nature could ever produce. While all of this was worth noting for any human being, Kuroko’s gaze was transfixed on what was on the other side of the river.

“Onee-sama?”

Her single utterance was enough to signal the girl—no, tens of girls—to look her way. They all had the same brown hair and brown eyes. They all exuded the same tantalizing aura that Kuroko could indubitably identify as Misaka Mikoto’s. Yet, they were all different. Some were wearing the usual uniform. Some were wearing more brusque casual outfits. Some were wearing elegant sundresses and hats that exuded youthful and ladylike quality. Some were wearing dresses anyone could only denote as high class. And some were wearing outfits that would likely end up hidden behind the inconspicuous flash of light or inexplicable shadow if broadcast standards were enforced.

They all looked at Kuroko with welcoming smiles, beckoned her over with their hands, and in a wondrous simultaneity and harmony, they spoke out. “Come here, Kuroko~”

“I’M COMING, ONEE-SAMA!!”

Hesitation? Shirai Kuroko knew not what hesitation was in that moment, but like the river in front of her, it would never stop her from reaching the paradise before her.

“I’m sorry. Now’s not your time.” Before she could bolt towards the heaven of Mikotos before her, a raspy voice resonated throughout the area and a bony hand clamped down on her shoulder.

An almost instinctual fear took over Kuroko’s mind as the hand began to pull back. No matter what, her body refused to let her turn her head back. She could only watch as the paradise before her was taken further and further from her reach.

So, she cried out.

-------------
“ONEE-SAMA! WAIT FOR ME! I’LL BE BACK FOR YOU!”

Kuroko’s body bolted up from its unsightly and unladylike face-down, ass-up position on the ground and forced itself into a kneeling position as she unconsciously reached her hand out in front of her. However, once she had gotten that cry out of her system, she felt a sliver of drool running down her mouth and a dull pain left in her neck, which she proceeded to massage with both hands.

She was still in the Tokiwadai dormitory hall. Her body no longer contained that airiness she had felt before.

Memories began to flood back as she remembered what exactly happened. Her neck had been snapped once again by that she-beast who was the Tokiwadai who roamed the halls of the dormitory and then left, unconscious, in a compromising position on the ground as the her mouth let saliva dribble down her face.

Wincing, Kuroko had stood back up and stared at the two girls beside her left in the hallway and realized exactly what she had said.

While Kuroko was not one to let shame show, it was definitely hard to hide at times. So, she needed to awkwardly shift the tone.

“So, what punishment did she leave us with…?” Kuroko said, scanning Mikoto and Natsumi. “And where did that barbarian run off to?”
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:49 pm

“Hey, you...!”

Mikoto had turned around to try and call out to Guy, feeling like he was way too satisfied about his sentence for anyone's good considering how he usually decided to exit any scene. His pace had been too fast for any of the girls to be mistaken on his intentions, but interestingly enough, she was the only one who thought about reacting to that fact at all.

However, that was merely an attempt. One that had been cut short without any care as the scream of the damned reached her ears. A screech of utter despair, one that even preferred death instead of life at the realisation of how cruel reality truly was.

“ONEE-SAMA! WAIT FOR ME! I’LL BE BACK FOR YOU!”

“Wha-?!” Mikoto turned around, clearly agitated by this scream that she hoped would not summon that demon back, as it had been one that did not go unnoticed by Natsumi, who had taken a step back in a bizarre mix of shock and disgust. “Uh, but I'm right here... You okay there, Kuroko?” She asked about her long-time friend herself rather than the reason behind her words; experience told her that Kuroko's dreams and fantasies were a territory she should never tread in an attempt to comprehend them, lest she would leave her own sanity behind...

“So, what punishment did she leave us with…? And where did that barbarian run off to?”

“The festival is coming up, so we're going to get up early to clean this dorm and help with the preparations.” Mikoto dejectedly summarised, both in anticipated exhaustion of the task ahead and out of slight guilt that she had been the entire reason the strict Tokiwadai had been forced to postpone an annual event. “And in case we wouldn't be having enough fun already, we're supposed to clean the other dormitory, the school, and its pool when we've got some time off.”

At this point, it was very much clear that the “swift death” Guy had mentioned would've been the preferred outcome rather than this monstrosity of a workload they had been given with only a few days to complete it all. Including their own, personal preparations for the event. Damned be that unreasonable woman!

“Oh, yeah, hear this, Kuroko! That mad woman decided that that idiot would be staying in the inside dorm! She's allowing a pervert like him to roam around sleeping girls, has she lost her mind?!” As if to counter her previous depleting energy, the topic she was just now remembering was firing her up enough to enthusiastically exclaim her sheer annoyance at the decision.

She sought confirmation from the younger girl, as surely she couldn't be the only one acknowledging how truly nonsensical and dangerous this idea was!

Ignoring the fact that they were talking about the boy who had quite literally saved their lives.

“Heh.”
Natsumi snorted with a smirk as she reflected on that, finally coming back from whatever trance had taken her since she last spoke.

He was very clearly the dangerous one in Mikoto's mind despite that, she concluded in further amusement as her smirk widened.

"What?" Mikoto asked, already getting defensive at the implications she knew this girl always went at whenever she sported an expression like this. But as expected, she would get no answer from the girl who simply proceeded to look on at Kuroko with that same smirk, likely to rile her up as well.

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:34 am


Kuroko felt a dissonant sensation of satisfaction in knowing that it would have been a pretty horrendous punishment along with the disappointment that came from it being worse than she had imagined. Such a Sisyphean task should have never been designed for delicate middle schoolers like themselves—though Kuroko could hardly consider any of the punishment’s recipients including herself to be delicate middle schoolers.

It was hardly a palatable feeling and one she would much rather toss in the trash bin once she was aware of it.

Still, the punishment had been set in stone. There was no hope of changing it anymore, so all Kuroko could do was sigh in annoyance at that point and then look Mikoto in her eyes. “I see.”

With a soft smile of resignation, Kuroko spoke up once again. “Well, no point in dwelling over it, I guess." It was hardly the first time the beast of the External Dormitory had punished her with hard labor and it would certainly not be the last time. She gave Mikoto a light tap on the shoulder with her fist and winked. “We’ll just get it over with like always, right, Onee-sama?”  

But, such resignation was quickly washed away by the next thing her dear onee-sama had said.

WHAT?! Why would she even consider letting that barbarian stay in--

The slack-jaw she had failed to produce in her dream of the River Sanzu came almost naturally with zero energy needing to be put into it.

“SHE ABSOLUTELY HAS LOST HER MIND, ONEE-SAMA!” An energetic holler came just as naturally as the slack-jaw she had just held till her mind decided to drop any filters.

Before she could utter anything further, she heard the smirking Natsumi snorting, likely in amusement, directing that smirk to the two of them.


Kuroko responded with a quick scowl before grabbing Mikoto’s wrist and trying to pull her away. “Let's go, Onee-sama. There’s no need to respond to her provocations.”

With her uncharacteristically caustic statement out of the way, Kuroko’s mind darted back to Natsumi and then cleared itself. Such a statement may not have been so uncharacteristic for her. Not after what happened before.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:28 pm

As the two girls mutually helped themselves up the stairs, their wounds and exhaustion still fresh in their minds and bodies, Mikoto couldn't help but rant audibly when they finally reached their room, likely as a means of holding on until she reached the paradise that would often serve as the description for a bed.

“I thought that dorm mistress was just someone who wanted efficiency and results, but she openly let a pervert roam around an all-girls dormitory like that? What is Tokiwadai even trying to do by bringing about the perfect situation for scandals to occ–” She ranted on and on... until she opened the door.

To reveal an ungodly mess that she had never witnessed in her life prior to this moment.

It was as if a thief had barged in, trying to find the girls' most valuable items.

Everything was turned around, thrown in places it should never belong. The state of this room was akin to a teenage boy's who rationalised that it was fine to walk in piles of clothing littered around on the floor since their parents would eventually take care of it if he kept being stubborn about not cleaning for just a little while longer. But it wasn't just clothes on the floor, it was basically everything they'd ever owned and managed to store in their rooms without the dorm mistress gunning after it.

And then she remembered something Kuroko mentioned about going through her belongings to find out what was going on and where to find Mikoto...  

“...Kuroko? Is it normal Judgement procedure to make it look like an earthquake happened when looking for something?” Mikoto's head mechanically turned towards her best friend with a very irritated look that asked how were they going to lie in bed when the mattresses had been flung away from the bed frame, replaced by a mountain of miscellaneous items...

And God help that poor soul if she found any of her rarest and limited edition merchandise damaged from this almost perfect imitation of a burglary crime scene.

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'Mikoto thinks'

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:30 pm

Now that the girls were out of sight, Natsumi's expression of carefree amusement had morphed into one of sheer exhaustion accompanied by a rather noticeable sigh. She tried tapping her face a few times to make it go away, but there was just no helping when her body decided of its limits.

She took a brief glance at the dormitory's entrance door, pondering on the sentence they had been given by the reasonably irritated dorm mistress. It was fairly surprising that the automatic punishment had not been exclusion, whether temporary or definitively. Guy's drama queen act had either been so amazingly effective that she would have to look into theatre clubs, or that woman had something else in mind.

But for now, the only thing that stuck with her, besides the permeating heat of the evening slowly but surely transitioning to night, was the tiredness and knowledge of how far away she was from her own bed. A fact that made her snort once more when she remembered the state of a certain room in this dormitory when its co-owner last went through it.

It was a fact nonetheless, however, so she moved her legs to slowly trudge away to the dormitory she actually belonged in.

Thankfully, or perhaps not, despite the fact that Guy had been very visibly impatient to find the result of his sentence that felt more like a blessing than a punishment – that was an exile to an all-girl's dormitory – to a degree where one would have to be legitimately blind and deaf to not notice, he had been surprisingly easy to catch up to, not too far away from the station that most, non-elite students had never used to even peek at the School Garden.

“Try and be a little less depressed about this situation, will you? I know punishments aren't fun, but you'd make anyone think you're dreading and not looking forward to this with all your might, with how quickly you left...” She commented sarcastically, though clearly not as bothered by it as Mikoto had been, as she strolled behind him now that he was in sight and likely able to hear her, squinting to keep out the intrusive remainder of the sun before it would set for good.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:05 am


Kuroko decided to kindly taking in and listening to Mikoto’s rant, like any good friend would. Though, she could at least agree entirely with its contents. As such, she let Mikoto blow off the necessary steam she needed to blow off as they made their way to their room.

As the door opened, though. The need to do that came to a halt.

Her mind switched focus from the conversation to the tornado’s aftermath that lay in their dorm room.

And then she remembered.

Oh yeah, I completely ransacked the bedroom.

Perhaps it was the many hours since and the long eventful day she had since she had left the room, but she had only just remembered that she had completely neglected to clean up the room before she left to catch up with Mikoto.

Her head slowly turned to catch a glimpse of Mikoto’s irritated expression. She could feel her antlantoaxial joint resisting as her head turned and as she heard Mikoto’s irritated question.

“Well, you see~” Kuroko started out ready to make an excuse to fumble her way out, but decided to cut herself. No need to make excuses in the end. She said she’d bow in apology as many times as it would take to make amends for her intrusion after all. There was no point in turning back on those words. So, she loosened up and bowed. Even if she would take the punishment now, she could not turn back on those words. “I’m really sorry, Onee-sama! I was in a rush when I got what information I needed so I didn’t put anything back! I’ll clean it all up!”
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Guy Li on Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:11 am

"Try and be a little less depressed about this situation, will you? I know punishments aren't fun, but you'd make anyone think you're dreading and not looking forward to this with all your might, with how quickly you left...”

"I'm only a man." He shook his head ruefully as though admitting to some great fault. "Wouldn't it be more odd if I was complaining like the put upon lead in some tired harem manga?" He laughed at the idea.

"I'd say this is my reward me for doing a good deed, but I think we both know that karma doesn't wear a pair of glasses and a pencil skirt." Now outside he was free to indulge in his bad habit and he lit a cigarette, turning his face up towards the sun.

He sighed, tilting his head to one side slightly to look down at Natsumi.

"It's funny. I don't think I've ever seen you worried." It was strange to think that someone who faced what they had would be afraid of a simple dorm manager.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:27 pm

The sight of Kuroko's heartfelt and very clearly well-intentioned apology drew a sigh out of Mikoto, who couldn't find the force nor the will to keep holding it over her head. She would simply give that head a little pat, and proceed to head towards her own mess of a previous bed.

We're gonna clean it all up.” She corrected with an attempt at enthusiasm and a smile in order to reassure the younger girl, though it was quickly followed by a mutter of dread as she firstly cleared the bed frame of the junk inhabiting it, trusting Kuroko to simply teleport the mattresses back where they belonged.

“We're starting the cleaning punishment earlier than them, huh...”

**

About half an hour had passed, and thanks to the convenient abilities of both they had hardly needed to overexert their wounds to clean up the mess that had been left behind by the younger roommate.

“Man, it's been forever since I last slept in a decent bed...” Exhaling so loudly that it was akin to that of an elderly person finally relaxing after too much effort for their age, Mikoto let herself fall on the newly-made bed.

That was certainly true: save for some few exceptions throughout, most of her sleeping time in the past month had been in places not really fitting of a young girl like herself, or anyone for that matter. To make things worse, rather than sleep in a hospital bed, that girl had concerned herself with keeping an eye over someone she knew at the cost of more restful sleep.

Though she generally didn't find hospital beds any comfortable anyway, if only for the fact that it was usually the consequence of her actions that would usually lead her to those.

But then, something else occurred to her as she pondered her experiences in the past month, and she slowly adjusted her position in the bed to lay on her side and look at Kuroko.

“...I guess it's been a while since I've been here anyway. Sorry for leaving you alone in the dorm like that, Kuroko.” She provided yet another apology, something she was becoming strangely obsessed with as of late. It would prove a habit that would be quite difficult to knock off, she felt. “You felt lonely, didn't you?” Mikoto said with a bit of a teasing tone to alleviate her gloomy and apologetic aura somewhat.

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:28 pm

Though it was likely he wouldn't notice, Natsumi gave Guy quite a sceptical glance, clearly unhappy with the fact that he was still trying to smoke with girls younger than him around. But she figured actually doing something about it would go a longer way than trying to bring him to reason. Smokers were rarely known for how reasonable they were, after all.

“Would that be the first time you'd be doing something odd?” She asked, interested in how he viewed most of his actions since arriving in this city more than the answer she already knew, as she scratched the back of her head and yawned.

"It's funny. I don't think I've ever seen you worried."

“Sorry to disappoint the fascinating idea you have of me, since that's the second time you've said this today, but when you've lived under the iron rule of that woman for as long as I have, you'll find a tendency to prefer the “swift deaths you mentioned earlier over the lasting suffering that woman only knows how to offer.” A groan was released at the thought of the workload they had to do, and for once she couldn't find herself as anything but clearly envious of his naivete on how harsh the dorm mistress could be. He likely didn't realise she had gone easy on them for a reason that still escaped her.

Usually infringements of this level wouldn't just be dealt with by the convenient solution of a bit (read: lot) of elbow grease.

At the very least he seemed conscious enough to realise he would certainly not be left free to roam around girls younger than himself with his personality, but Natsumi didn't feel up to confirming it and the whys behind it.

“The midsummer festival, though? I'd completely forgotten that was coming up...” She muttered with a tone not really befitting of the word “festival”, though whether it was due to her own personal experience with the event or simply a dislike of situations where sociability was a required skill was up for debate.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:25 pm


We’re going to clean it all up.”

“Understood!” Perking up from her bow, she held her hand to her head in a simple faux salute towards her dear onee-sama before walking into the room behind her, closing the door, and following her lead.



Teleport truly was a convenient ability. Thanks to it, the seemingly arduous task of cleaning the room she had ransacked had gone smoothly and quickly. With it all finally over, Kuroko sat on the side of her  bed and stretched out her arms, back, and neck before looking towards Mikoto who had fallen on her own bed.

“Man, it’s been forever since I last slept in a decent bed...”

That it had been. At the same time, it had been forever since Kuroko had seen her laying so peacefully in the place she could call a home. Though, Kuroko was definitely not going to say that. Instead, she smiled as she gazed upon the refreshing sight of the relaxed Mikoto.

“...I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been here anyway. Sorry for leaving you alone in the dorm like that, Kuroko.”

“That’s alright, Onee-sama.” Kuroko gestured a light wave of her hands as if to try and diffuse the need for any apology from her. “It’s all over. You’re back home smiling. That’s more than enough for me.”

But, as if attempting to break the mood, Mikoto made an obvious tease. “You felt lonely, didn’t you?”

“Onee-sama?!” Hook, line, and sinker. If Kuroko had been drinking anything, she would have likely spat it all out. Though, unfortunately for Mikoto, the response would not be what she had been hoping for. “You noticed how lonely your dear Kuroko was?! Is this a new progression in our relationship?! My, my. Ehehehehe…”

Old habits truly do die hard.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Guy Li on Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:33 pm

“Sorry to disappoint the fascinating idea you have of me, since that's the second time you've said this today, but when you've lived under the iron rule of that woman for as long as I have, you'll find a tendency to prefer the “swift deaths you mentioned earlier over the lasting suffering that woman only knows how to offer.”

He grimaced to himself with a disgruntled grumble when she commented on him repeating himself. So his memory wasn't in top condition. He had an excuse. Several in fact. He pressed his remaining free hand to his head where it still felt tender from the beating he had received just the previous night. Not to mention the lack of sleep that had become routine at this point.

“The midsummer festival, though? I'd completely forgotten that was coming up...”

"That's more like it, you're beginning to sound like yourself again." He took a seat on the nearby bench. "What's so bad about this festival though? Sounds like fun to me."
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:09 am

“No, it is certainly not. Keep your dream talk for when you're actually sleeping.” Mikoto harshly denied with a displeased, though deep down still amused, expression at how easily Kuroko had taken the bait.

She had imagined that perhaps the sight and the idea that there had, at some point, been well over twenty thousand of her could've acted as a deterrent for Kuroko's rampaging “love interest”, but in hindsight chills ran down Mikoto's back as she realised that it would be just that much more harassment now that she knew that there was a whole clan of people with her face and attributes in the city.

It was time for a topic change.

She could not afford for Kuroko to linger and ponder the idea of trying to create the most bizarre and disgusting harem in the world with her and her clones...!

“O-Oh, right. The dorm mistress mentioned the festival, right? I completely forgot that it was even a thing... Dammit, I'm not looking forward to that and how much they're going to expect out of me again.” Mikoto groaned, as she knocked off and away her shoes, belatedly initiating the process in which she would get up to the bathroom and get changed out of her filthy uniform.

“There's so much more to do this year compared to the previous ones... Uggggggh, Kuroko, what should I do? I wanna sit out on this one.” She whined like a child through the door that had been (uselessly) closed for her security as she changed her clothes.

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:27 am

“You almost make it sound like you were worried about me.” She noted with a fair bit of curiosity and amusement on how he seemed to have, quite uncharacteristically considering their usual encounters, been paying attention to her well-being since the incident. It was even a little concerning on whether he had hit his head somewhere.

It seemed that, maybe because he was exhausted or possibly because he wanted to actually relax while smoking, he had decided that a bench would mean break time. The speculation that he merely wanted to talk was far too out there for her to consider, so she simply didn't.

“...You're a lot more innocent than you look if you think that it's going to be fun for anyone who isn't a guest. This isn't a festival in the traditional sense you'd expect from Japan, even if there is one coming up if that's what you want. Not really a typical school festival with classes preparing events, either. It's... closer to a showcasing event, I guess? Then again, it's really just a competition between schools hidden under some sharing open-mindedness guise.” She muttered with displeasure at that last part, clearly not interested in participating in childish competitions between idiots with too much money to spare

Nonetheless, she followed suit and sat down as well, though keeping a fair amount of space between the two as she resumed her explanation, one that she had painfully learnt first-handedly over the course of many years.

“The school organises the event yearly so that they can invite outsiders to assess the reason why Tokiwadai is called an elite school and reinforce its status as one of the best educational facility the city has to offer considering it's the home of two Level 5. It's only really held at that dormitory specifically because that one doesn't have the insane amount of restrictions and security the School Garden has, where you need a pass or the permission from someone who has one to get in, and that's only if you're a woman or an oddity. It'd be hard to keep spreading popularity if only a small set of people were ever able to attend the event.”

Explained that way, one could expect that, considering the amount of open-mindedness, thought and money that went behind proving their superiority over any other school's at a period where everyone could relax and live the dream life of an elite girl for just a day, it would truly be a blessing for anyone to attend that midsummer festival.

”But...”

Except for one thing.

A very simple fact.

That luxuries always came at a hefty cost.

“It sounds fun because, knowing you, you're thinking it's gonna be the sweet date spot of your dreams where you can hook up by the end of the night. So I'll be kind for once and warn you right now, be concerned about how well-honed your butler talents are right now instead.” She simply spoke with a suddenly solemn tone as she slowly turned her head towards him, bearing a terrifyingly compassionate smile for a girl whom you normally wouldn't associate the feeling of “compassion” to.

“Because we're going to be serving anywhere from infants to young adults with enough money to buy you against your will all day long, all while having to prove why this school is the peak of what Academy City has to offer, and why potential talents should consider enrolling here.”

She fell silent afterwards for a fair amount of time, reflecting her own circumstances that made her join Tokiwadai and how peculiar the school's approach to social events was.

“...Wait a second.”

But then something occurred to her and her pensive expression was replaced by sheer confusion as she suddenly turned her head to take another good look at the boy sitting next to her, observing something she had glanced over quickly only mere moments ago.

“What the hell happened to your face? That bruise wasn't there this morning and not even accidentally telling your date how old and fat she actually is would injure you like that. What did you do now in the small period of time since I left your dorm room?”

It may have sounded like concern about whether something bad had happened, but it was really not.

It was amazement that in the span of ten hours, most of which should have normally been spent resting, he had managed to piss off someone else and add more to his already high injury count.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:08 am


“Keep your dream talk for when you’re actually sleeping.”

Harsh. Truly a harsh and stabbing reply. Yet, still…

“That’s much more like you, Onee-sama,” she muttered before Mikoto decided to usher in a change in topic.  Even if it was meant to be a tease and even if she had taken the bait in a fashion that even fish would never replicate, Kuroko would gladly take those harsh words from her dear onee-sama. It was a sign that the world around her was slowly returning back to those lazy, yet kinder days.

Though, given the mountain of labor that was left before the two of them, lazy may not have been the best word to describe it.

This is definitely much better.

Complaining about the dorm mistress’s punishments. Chasing after Mikoto.  Living through school life. That normalcy was truly optimal.

Kuroko looked down onto the floor and let her mind fall blank for a bit. Was it alright to just think like this after everything? The experiment and the aftermath left a foul taste in her mouth and no matter what, it was still going to remain.

This isn’t something I’m going to fully digest this quickly, is it?

Hearing Mikoto’s complaints about the impending festival, she stuffed her unease back into the corner of her mind which it had reared its ugly head out from. There was no point now. She was sure the time to address it all would come some day. But she had no need to agonize over it every second of her life.

With Mikoto behind the bathroom door, Kuroko decided to get off her own bed and walk over to Mikoto’s. With crossed arms, she let her eyes drift over the bed.

“Even if you say that, it’s not like the school’s going to let you, Onee-sama.” As Mikoto’s wonderful confidant, she needed to be a voice of reason at times like this. “Though, I’m sure we could find a few ways to circumvent things if we put our minds to it. It wouldn’t be the first time either of us have done that, after all.” The voice of reason chuckled and smiled. There truly was no reason for her to let her doubts get to her now.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Guy Li on Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:48 pm

Guy listened to Natsumi explain at length about the festival and its negatives.

“It sounds fun because, knowing you, you're thinking it's gonna be the sweet date spot of your dreams where you can hook up by the end of the night. So I'll be kind for once and warn you right now, be concerned about how well-honed your butler talents are right now instead.”

"My butler skills are top notch, actually." He said, sounding nonchalantly confident and almost a little offended that she might call them into question.

“...Wait a second. What the hell happened to your face? That bruise wasn't there this morning and not even accidentally telling your date how old and fat she actually is would injure you like that. What did you do now in the small period of time since I left your dorm room?”

He nursed the tender bruise left by his close encounter with a certain girl's right fist.

"These things just happen." He declined to explain further. Possible excuses to preserve his manhood included such cliches as 'I walked into a door' or, 'I fell down some stairs'. It was at that point that he realised he was starting to think like a battered spouse. Perhaps this city had just made him accustomed to the abuse he suffered on a daily basis? Every injury inflicted was followed with just enough tenderness and promises of reward that he kept coming back for more.

It was sad, really.

Because it was likely this festival was just the beginning of a new cycle.
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:29 pm

“Circumvent it, how?” Came back a whiny reply laced with an amazingly childish tone that you would never expect from the one girl that represented Academy City's public face all on her own.

It was indeed a truly bizarre attitude, as if she was fearing this supposedly “joyful” event more than she had feared any other (at least normal) moment in her life, even though one would normally assume that such an event would at least break up the monotony of more traditional school events.

Mikoto emerged from the bathroom, changed from her filthy and messy uniform into the green, Gekota-riddled pyjamas she had gone an impressively long time without despite her more than peculiar love for that specific mascot.

As far as the uniform went, she was unsure if she should just throw away or still try to have the school clean it, so she had simply haphazardly thrown it somewhere along the bathroom; an action that would likely rile up the dorm mistress beyond recognition if it were noticed.

“It's not just the school. It's the entire crowd of people that'll be expecting way more from me than they should. It was already pretty rough to handle last year, but this year it'll be worse if I've actually gotten rusty...” She sighed deeply as she took a glance at her hands, having visibly softened despite the difficult matters they had been involved with the past few weeks.

Her growing anxiety was reaching a point where she was actively thinking about having one of her sisters replace her.

“...No, no, no.” She muttered as she shook her head in a matter she hadn't realised would likely confuse Kuroko.

After all, considering how... socially adept those girls currently (though understandably) were, there was a very high chance that involving them would end up as a much more considerable workload than if she simply did it herself.

“...Guess I'll just sleep on it.” She finally dejectedly and reluctantly accepted her fate as she spared another glance towards her twin-tailed roommate. “What are you going to do for the festival? Besides the punishment we just got.”

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:03 am

Highly doubting how truthful he was being as always, Natsumi snorted at the implication that Guy knew how to act like someone docile and who would incontestably obey orders for the sake of pleasing their “master”. 

It was so far removed from the absolutely rude nonchalance he showed towards basically anyone he didn't have some interest in – hell, even those he did – to some extent, and just the general way he acted like the simple act of interacting with humans was a pain in the ass, that she actively had to hold back any further laughing lest she injured herself further.

"These things just happen."

She stared at him with a curious glance, further observing the shape and colour of this new, “casual" injury.

“Really now. It just happened randomly. You didn't take my leaving advice a little too seriously and ended up getting hit for it...” The implication in this dull rewording of his "explanation" here was clear; no matter how much he tried to hide it, the truth she had easily grasped since the first time she made it sold him out.

Whenever he was injured, it was never the fault of some misfortune or otherwise unfortunate occurrences like a clumsy, endearing young boy. No. It was always that, in one way or another, he had pissed someone off and had rightfully been given retribution for it.

...Well, not that assaulting someone for whatever reason, justified or not, was “rightful”, but Natsumi didn't have enough of a sense of justice to make that distinction in the first place as someone who exerted that kind “justice” on him and a myriad of other unfortunate people more than once anyway.

A few moments had passed since she'd asked, and with that she decided that break time had lasted and was keeping her away from proper rest time for long enough . She silently beckoned him to follow with a small head movement, fully aware that the reason the dorm mistress had sent them on their way both was so that the other dorm mistress could ensure neither of them decided to... stray their course as they far too regularly did.

***

Tokiwadai Middle School's dormitory, School Garden, 8:53 P.M.

Perhaps as a preference to avoid staying out too late, or just due to stricter curfew rules, scarcely anyone could be seen roaming the School Garden besides themselves, the only few remaining having decided to try and find an open place where they could hang out with friends for the eldest of the girls allowed entry.

Yet, a dozen minutes later, their final destination was finally within sight. The equally luxurious dormitory belonging to the inside of the School Garden and closest to Tokiwadai's main school itself, the one that was already opening its doors to reveal an equally stern and strict-looking woman clad similarly to the other dormitory's dorm mistress. 

Though unlike that woman who always showed a simple and modest look, her hair was done in an inhumanly neat yet classy braided updo, accompanying a contrasting light and dark beige on a nearly identical “uniform” to that of her colleague's.

No words would be spared for the two who had arrived, as her small glare fully indicated that she had been expecting them sooner than this. She merely turned around with the full expectations that they would follow, which Natsumi did without a word, likely more used to it than even she was willing to admit.

“Back to your room.” She firmly ordered once the doors to the dormitory had been closed behind them. Natsumi could only silently retreat though lifting a parting hand in her usual habit as she climbed up those final sets of stairs.

“Li.” Now that they were alone, she simply turned around and faced the young man. Her features were similar to that of the dorm mistress, but her lack of eyesight problems meant that she hardly found value in wearing eyeglasses. “I'm not sure why, exactly, this dormitory should accommodate someone as... unkempt as you currently are, but don't get the wrong idea. You will be sleeping in a storage room that has been arranged to temporarily welcome you, and if I hear you even remotely attempting to visit one of the girls' rooms, you will regret the day you chose this career path.”

That threat out of the way, she simply returned to her office, though froze with her hand on its handle as she seemed to have forgotten a very crucial element that the girls needed to be shown and taught.

Do you have any questions?” She asked, remembering that politeness needed to remain even between what looked like, in her mind, a respectable lady and a savage.

It was blindingly evident that she wasn't one of the workers who had warmly received the idea of disturbing the haven of free and (mostly) independent females that had been the School Garden for so many years...
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Kira Kohaku on Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:41 am


Kuroko had no response to Mikoto’s whiny questioning of how circumventing the situation would even work. All she really had was just the desire to get out of the predicament but her brain was hardly functioning well enough to even come up with a terrible idea.

Still, she could only be there for Mikoto as she transitioned from one stressor to the next. That was really all she could do, even as Mikoto continued to worry about the nature of the crowd and its overwhelming expectations and even as Mikoto continued to mutter out of pure anxiety.

“It is just best to sleep on it, Onee-sama. We’ve had a long day...or days.” Kuroko corrected herself while walking to the bathroom to change, herself, carrying in her usual raunchy night clothes.

“So, just forget about the festival for now and get some sleep in your own bed, okay.” Even though she knew that smile was not going to be seen, she still let it out. There were times where stress could be released by simply relaxing one’s shoulders and smiling, after all. “We can talk all about what to do with the festival in the morning, alright?”
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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:52 pm

“It is just best to sleep on it, Onee-sama. We’ve had a long day...or days. So, just forget about the festival for now and get some sleep in your own bed, okay. We can talk all about what to do with the festival in the morning, alright?”

Her younger friend's words resounded in her head. a statement so abnormally obvious that Mikoto could only return a confused expression, finding herself struggling to understand for a brief minute that she had been given the general authorisation to rest without any further care in the world than the tasks that would await the next day (a concept in itself absurd for such a mundane human necessity).

Perhaps it had been because she had forced her body and mind to stay alert at all times and only ever affording to sleep when her body truly needed it? At some point, the simple action of relaxing felt like something that would waste precious time and would result in sacrificed lives. Clearly it would take quite a while for that impression to lose its grip on her.

“...Yeah, you're right.”

Nonetheless, she couldn't afford to worry Kuroko more than she already had and was seemingly still doing despite the numerous times she'd thought about it, so she obediently started climbing into her own – amazingly softer than she remembered – bed and pillow, only taking and wrapping herself in a small and thin blanket due to the sheer heat of usual Japanese summers.

It was likely the effect of the rough days she had gone through, but after briefly setting herself down in bed, she quickly found that sleep wouldn't be as difficult for her body to find as she would have imagined. “G'night, Kuroko.” She muttered before finally succumbing to the gradually overwhelming drowsiness.

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Re: [SS] Arduous Tasks

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:08 pm

August 5th, 4:25 A.M, Tokiwadai Middle School's Dormitory, School Garden.


Silence permeated the entirety of the peculiar realm that was the School Garden; even though on the outside you could find daring youths staying up until abnormal hours of the early morning, or otherwise simply deciding to rouse early for any given reason, as far as the School Garden was concerned, a pin could be heard if it were to be dropped..

Scarcely any of these girls would roam alone at this time of the early morning, simply because they would be a far stranger to many night-time activities, and most of these girls had been taught that waking earlier than necessary was not always a sign of responsibility, and that excessively bad sleeping habits would be quite bad for their health and physical appearance, something they seemingly called “beauty sleep” and highly valued as if as important, if not more, of a notion as exercising.

At least, that was the general rule.

Each rule usually had its exception, and the “servants” that would assure that those ladies would awake to the spotless lives they would have (or at least should've) always lived with were one of those; for even as early as the time was, some brave and diligent souls could be heard roaming within educational buildings, ready to tackle the dormitories next as soon as the girls would awake.

But in the dormitory residing within the distinctively female walls of the School Garden that belonged to Tokiwadai, was one peculiar early-rising and busy individual.

It was a girl in an interestingly modified maid uniform, likely meant to appeal to the popular otaku view of “maids” as it was separated to expose and accentuate many more body features than a regular one. That girl sported jet black hair that she would always keep straightened to a degree where it would shame even those unable to have curls in their hair in the first place, which very well complemented her deep red eyes, bearing a very stern and focused glean within accompanied with a slight tint of cockinesss at the awareness of the actions she was about to take.

This would certainly be an interesting, if not amusing, day out of the ordinary, she knew, yet for the sake of appearances she quickly returned to as efficient as a poker face as she could muster on the spot.  

She laid what looked like a delicate hand, but with closer look was ravaged by the sign of endless physical labour, on a handle that would open the door to one of Tokiwadai's many, many storage rooms. One that she had suddenly and absurdly been asked to adapt to welcoming an equally sudden guest the night prior.

“My, oh my... Are all men this lazy?” She rudely beckoned the boy who had been forced to rest within this highly inappropriate environment, no matter how clean it could be, as she abruptly turned on the lights. “Brother would be simply appalled that Milady would be forced to be under the care of such an inappropriate butler. His inability to remain within Academy City might in fact be a blessing in disguise, though he would certainly be throwing a few ruckus towards the city's council a few times too many were he to learn of a man's presence in the School Garden anyway...” The rant was initiated by a soft and sweet voice that however carried a very condescending tone as its owner proceeded to a single – truly annoying – action that would definitely pull anyone awake from the deepest of slumbers.

That would be taking a firm hold of the measly and certainly not up-to-par to the school's usual standard “mattress” that boy had been given “permission” to sleep on...

and making her most earnest of attempts to drop him from atop it in an amazingly talented and rehearsed movement of lifting and pushing the mattress back and forth, as if merely shaking and spreading out a bed sheet.

“Rise and shine, Mister Li.” She unhelpfully sang.

For all she complained, it would seem that she had moderate experience with lazy people far too attached to their bed.
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