The tall boy and his classmate, Shenji, were walking to the cafe in City Centre. Another day for them to hang out, and hopefully this time there would be no surprise for both of them. An awkward surprise.
But that's exactly the reason why he invited his slanted-eye friend to the cafe. Shimamura told them to come to a group meeting this weekend. Hironori didn't have any idea what kind of people Shimamura gathered for the group, but at least he already know one of them.
Well, his classmate, that is.
So Hiro wanted to... discuss about it with his teammate. He also curious the reason why Shenji sought this power. The power to kill without killing, as Shimamura described to him.
"I think Oh-no-kun won't be there today," Hiro said to Shenji when the cafe was already near his sight. "I saw him went to the other way. Probably running some errands, but eh," he shrugged. "That's quite unusual for him though."
"Eh~??" Shenji frowned as he hear that Rome wont be in the cafe, "shame~ it's wont be as fun without him. He always give out the best of reactions"
'More like there wont be a distraction if i need one to be' shenji thought forlornly. He didnt want to be here, he could roughly guess what Hiro want to talk about.
Dont get him wrong. Hiro's a fun friend. They joke around, dad jokes especially, but if he wants to talk about the whole encounter yesterday its another game already.
He doesnt want people to know his story. Not yet. Not when all information could mean a power shift. Think it like this, if shenji told hiro, and the enemy get to him, hiro might blurt the information that jeopardise everything. People cant force anything if you really dont know anything, beside, Hiro is not someone who could expertly lie shenji grouch
At the same time, if the two of them talk about the meeting on the weekend, it give a safe of mind when shenji knows that he has someone to.. cover his back per se
"Oh well.. we will make do wont we ?" Shenji said to hiro as they arrive to the cafe
Hiro snorted, as he opened the cafe door. And as expected, their other classmate friend Romeo wasn't there to greet them. He glanced through the cafe for an available table for both of them, and when he spotted one, he walked to the table and took a seat.
"Well, someday we'll make sure he's here next time to make some mess, eh?" Hiro snickered, as the waiter gave them the menu. Hiro felt like they both are the class' delinquent. Making jokes here and there, made people annoyed of them just for fun. Well, some just don't get on what they're getting at.
Romeo is one of them. That's why Hiro have some kind of fond toward his red-haired classmate. He's an easy prey to tease. Too bad he's not here to join their fun.
Well, actually, they're not here for fun, no. Hiro expected Shenji already knew what he wanted to talk about, since he invited his classmate after that incident. And Hiro tried to relieve the tense between them first. He doesn't like tense atmosphere, it makes him uneasy that he just wanted to get out from it. But there's no get out from this, so he has to make it through.
"I don't fancy sweets for today. 'Think I'll just go with a green tea latte. You?" Said Hiro as he read the cafe menu. Hiro actually likes sweets, but in a cold weather, he prefer not to eat one and drink some nice hot tea instead. He already had his lunch, anyway.
"Sure~" Shenji agrees as he took a seat across Hiro. As he settles into his seat, shenji smile turns flat
'Into the gaping maw we go' he thought as he perused the menu. Really, it shouldnt feel like he is going to get killed here. Its Hiro for crying out loud, but he guess that this has a different feel that playing the game with some gangster or some hostess. He know what they are like and everything, Hiro ? Not so muh
"I'll probably get tea, chamomile tea. Just because i feel are going to have a tea-rrifying convo~" shenji joke.
Shame, he always like to take a piece of dessert everytime he went here, but with the situation at hand.. a dessert doesnt seem appropriate for today
Hiro smirked and giggled at Shenji's never ending pun. Seemed like he will just get to the point, then.
The dark haired boy called the waiter and made the order for both of them. Strange, this is the first time Hiro invite a friend to a cafe, talk about some serious business happened between them over warm cups of tea. He didn't believe that they're actually high schoolers, with monsters reside within them both.
When the waiter wrote their order and went back to the counter, Hiro sighed as he stared at Shenji. He still thought the incident yesterday was just a dream. A shocking dream, but Hiro wouldn't call it bad, though. He has way worse dream than that. A nightmare.
But here he was, with his classmate, already knew his intention. Hiro is not the type to start a conversation, but this one he has to do, since this is... not the kind of usual type of conversation.
"You knew the book clerk, too, Shenji." Hiro started. He actually didn't know if Shimamura's name should be mentioned here, since that man is mysterious as hell, and Hiro is not stupid not to notice that the man /might/ have some 'power' in this city. He awoken the power of six people, make a group out of them, and in this weekend, they will have a meeting. And yet, that power is not a thing that everyone see everyday. Monstrous and demonic, at that.
So in order for both of their safety, Hiro played the codes here.
"You got the mail from him, too?" he continued. Yes, it all began from that e-mail. Hiro was kind of shocked to get such e-mail and very suspicious, yet. But of course he ended up chosing to agree and met with the damned book clerk and did not the very least expect that the man would really awoke the demon(s) inside him. He was still cursing to let himself fainted in that kind of situation.
Should he tell him that he might be getting a sliiiiightly different email ? Shenji tilt his head. Nah. Keep it to your self Shenji
"Something like that.. Shimamura-san did contact me for an offer" Shenji said as he crossed his arm on the table
"Just curious.. when did you meet his little friend ?" Shenji ask, he is curious for how long did hiro have his persona with him. He want to see if there was any noticeable change that he disregard beforehand.
At the same time, he is curious on what kind of creature does his friend have. Judging on what he sees, it might be something animalistic, Hiro always look or in generally act on his instinct
"Hmm," Hiro leaned back to his chair and fold his arms. So it is started from that e-mail. And he wondered if the ones who got invited by Shimamura also have the same motive with him. To get a power to deal with bastards.
He would see that later in their group meeting.
"Couple weeks ago I guess," Hiro answered. "Did not really expect of what he did to me." He wanted to elaborate more on that, but Hiro wasn't sure if he could explain it vaguely without anyone in this cafe getting suspicious with their... discussion.
Then a question popped in his head. "After you met him," he didn't need to mention about the awakening. "Do you fell anything... changed with you? Like... you can feel something strange whenever you near someone?" Hiro frowned confusedly as he tried to explain.
He was talking about that funny feeling he had back at the meeting accident. The feeling that made him more aware and put his guard up. He wasn't sure if Shenji understand what he's saying, but he wanted to know if this is one of the quirks of having a shadow persona.
Couple weeks ago ? Shenji's eyebrow raised up. So there is a possibility of him being earlier than Hiro, and he didnt even notice anything weird about his classmate so far.. well,well, well, who would have known ? Hiro's quite good at acting apparently
He snort when he remembered that moment when Amanojaku shove his hand in, "tell me about it. How rude~ at least date a guy a couple of times first before going to third base" he cheekily joke
Thats interesting... Hiro gained a sensor like ability ? How useful. I guess it would be prudent to.. be nice to Hiro further
"Not really. I am okay in that sense.. i do admit, i am more lightfooted but its not confirmed. Maybe i will be like 'Fly like a butterfly sting like a bee i guess'" Shenji smile. He remembers that it was easier to sneak around and blend in to the crowd.. but it might be because he was use to it. Who knows..
"Do you have your candy with you?" He lean his head on the palm of his hand. The other hand lightly tap his pocket underneath the table where his medicine lies. He didnt use them a lot.. but it is a bit inconvenient when it came ambushing
Hiro closed his mouth in an attempt to supress his laughter. "Yeah, right. Freaking thing easily broke through the line."
Though it wasn't something that made Hiro shocked more, it was something that came unexpected. The most shocking moment for him was when he saw the monster that broke out of him.
Fenris is a gigantic wolf monster, towering almost over the forest. For Skoll and Hati, they are just in normal wolf size, but a big bigger than average.
"I see." So with that, every person has their own different ability, he guessed. Maybe because his shadow persona took form of a wolf, so that his instinct had enhanced? Might be. This is something Hiro discovered today, but probably in their upcoming meeting, he would found out more of what these demon wolves are capable of.
Then Hiro looked up to Shenji. He also curious what kind of monster Shenji has inside him, but as his classmate said the words, he imagined that his friend has some kind of... monstrous insect. Hiro's eye twitched.
Trying to put aside his ridiculous imagination, he replied to his classmate. "Well, yeah. Don't want 'them' to get to me, it gets really ugly." Hiro sighed. Although the phase is decreasing day by day, Hiro doesn't want to risk his sensitive feeling getting burst out in the middle of the day, where he was outside the house, in a public place with strangers wandering around.
Shenji mock crying, "i wont be a beautiful bride anymore~" he cried out, half of his mind wondering is the other patrons will be curious and aghast, but eh. He wave it off, most of the regular one will have recognize him being the 'crazy' one. He like to disturb Rome anyway
Right on time, q voice breaks out between the two student, "He-here's your drinks" the waiter, coming in with the 2 drinks
Turning 180 degree, shenji smiles widened, taking the drinks and thanking the flustered waiter. Must be new he thought.
Turning back to hiro shenji pass him his drink, "good. It's a bit troublesome. Tell me seaweed-kun~ if you have this sensing ability, you notice anyone else that felt weird to you ?"
Hiro wanted to burst out laughing at what Shenji did to the waiter. "Eh. I'm pretty sure it'll get really exciting if that waiter is Oh-no-kun."
The dark haired boy took his cup and took a sip of his tea, relieving and warming his body. It felt so nice that Hiro sighed in contempt. Drinking a warm tea in a cold weather is the best.
Putting down his tea, he looked up to his classmate. Should he tell this to him? He do sense that kind of feeling with some of his classmates. And if he's not wrong to remember, he felt it with one or two of the teachers. The feeling was really faint that if Hiro was doing something he really focused on, he wouldn't noticed it.
But it's different with the book clerk. It was clearer, especially when he came near to them. Is it because he already saw Shimamura's shadow persona? Probably.
And as for Shenji's question. Hiro didn't know what kind of motive he's joining this group and for what he seek out this power. He might want to be aware in this.
But he decided to answer vaguely. "Mhmm. The book clerk, of course."
He took another sip. Silent.
"And some in our school." Hiro might wanted to cooperate with his classmate better, but he sensed that Shenji also hide something from him. Well, hopefully in that meeting, he would uncover his reason. Probably not the exact, real reason.
Because Hiro also have one actual reason why. But he need more time for that. And he will wait patiently for that time to come.
Shenji grin at Hiro, pleased that he seems to be enjoying his antics. Hopefully it lower down Hiro's cautiousness about him
"Definitely. But with Romeo~ i will have to step up my games. He is such a block of ice sometimes~" he said while taking a small sip of his tea
Ah.. chamomile. It hits the spot. It also provide a good cover for shenji to bare his teeth when he could clearly see that Hiro didnt want to give his info
'And some in our school ? No shit sherlock' Shenji said. Everything can happen, his classmate is one of them what stop Shimamura into taking another student ? Its perfect. Unstable hormonal kids tempted.. baited by promise. Shimamura is certainly good at it.
'Calm your self. The game just started. No need to be hasty' he console himself as he put the cup down, smile back in place, 'there's so many way we can do it.. maybe i can even make him wary of shimamura.. hiro certainly dont know how deep and dangerous shima is..'
"I sea~" he purred, "well if you got anything please let me know. I.. dont really like surprises~ it takes the life out of me~"
The tall boy giggled. "Well, someone need to melt him down, then."
And at the last Shenji's reply, Hiro took a good look at his classmate. His face flat, but his stare was calculating.
Guess the game was really running between them. It's such a shame, though, that they had to be like this. Shenji is one of that friend that Hiro can feel so carefree to be around.
But they had to end up into the same hole. Funny it seemed, that even they fell together, they had to erect a wall to protect their most important reason why they chose to be here. And Hiro know, that one big reason is their own nightmare that they want to bury so deep inside themselves.
Because Hiro himself has one.
And probably, as he keep staring at Shenji, Hiro was the one who remained relaxed. Well, trying to be, to be exact. To be honest to himself, at some time he might suddenly snapped (like the meeting accident the other day and at those fainted freaking brothers). But when he's composed, he will try to keep himself steady.
"Sure," Hiro smirked. And that's not a lie. "The boss told us to cooperate each other, anyway." Then he chuckled a bit twistedly. "I wonder what that book clerk will do with us." Strange it may seemed, but suddenly, Hiro can't wait for the day to come. The day they will have the group meeting.
Shenji lean to his chair, "now that IS an interesting thought~" knowing he was beaten this time and the conversation has shifted. Oh well, he still got another lead from Shima's contact, one at a time.. one at a time
Taking a few sip of his cooling tea, shenji enjoys the cafe atmosphere. It was then after a few minutes pass, he pipes up again
"Alright.. i give~ Seaweed-kun, think i count on you to have my back on the meeting ? I will have yours at the same time~" he said "i just dont like the idea of going blind" he ends with an annoyed tone
Why waste a good ally when its right infront of you? Wasteful. Of couse that is, If Hiro agrees to be his backup plan in this meeting. If he doesnt... well, shenji thought darkly, he then knows his classmates better right ?
As he kept his smirk in place, his mind calculating once again.
As he always did, he wanted to regret his decision to asked the question about his ability. But Hiro knows regretting won't change anything. The choice had been made anyway.
Everyone in the group might want to hunt him down in order to use these wolves' sensing ability. Being the group's number one asset.
It's bothersome, to be honest. But Hiro couldn't deny that this is some kind of useful power.
And maybe, he might find other will be useful for him, too. Nothing in this world is free, anyway. His smirk turned twisted, and wasn't bothered to hide it.
The dark haired boy extended his right hand to his classmate. "My pleasure, Meaty. I'm sure we can find more... interesting thing there than melting down Oh-no-kun."
His smirk widen. "With you have my back, I guarantee, I will have yours."
Clasping the outstretch hand, Shenji smirk, "glad to hear that seaweed-kun~"
That's one burden out of the way. Shenji thought as he pulled back his hand. 'Really papa.. you really are troublesome'
Shenji sometimes wondered, what would happen instead if only his past never happen the way it is, will he be a normal person ? He doesnt really mind being poor.. he was "happy" back then despite everything
But looking at the past wont do any good, whats done is done and he now have he to deal with all of this nonsense.
'Whatever.. any trouble i get i will make sure to exact a thousand time to you to repay that'
As he nodded when his classmate shook his hand, Hiro leaned back to his chair and took sips of his green tea latte.
Hiro actually still a bit skeptical, but he would let it go for now. The deal has been made, his classmate better keep his words for good.
"So, Meaty," Hiro started as he held his cup. "Kinda curious, but just be vague. What kind of form does yours took?" He pointed his finger to his chest, signaling about the shadow persona they have. It's where Amanojaku entered his both hands to took out the demon within.
If it was really some kind of monstrous insect, his mind will be damned.
At the question shenji stares at hiro, shrugging, it something they will find out anyway, take some give some
"Fox~" he grin, trying to turn his smile to more foxy. He knew what some people call his facial expression as.
"Expecting something else seaweed kun?" He asked, "what's yours ? Please dont tell me a seaweed~ it would be me feel a bit under the sea~"
Huh. Well, it was supposed to be expected, judging from his appearance. But what makes it that he imagined a goddamned monstrous insect was because his classmate mentioned about a butterfly and a bee.
Then he took it literally.
Hiro snorted. "Thought yours will be an insect or something. You mentioned something about bee earlier, so." He shrugged as he snickered to himself.
The tall boy let out three fingers. "Mine's wolves."
Then he finished his own tea. "Eh. Seaweed with fangs? That would be more like... a creepy deep sea eel, don't you think? And I would freak myself out if it's really was." Hiro's face turned to a bit disgust. "Their face is so freaking ugly. And you know I'm not."
Chuckling at the insect jab shenji then went still when Hiro tell him what his persona was? Three finger? Wolves? What? Or 3 headed wolves. Well, at least what he thought was correct. To imagine Hiro with a persona other than animal-like one is a bit weird.
Shenji whistle, "wow. Would you look at that ego~ be careful on your way out seaweed-kun you might break the door~"
"And they are cute looking~ dopey" he grin
His smirk turned into a smug. "Well, I know you know that I am. The door will be fine." He shrugged nonchalantly.
Then he looked up to his friend and snickered, "might be that we will do some eel-igal business here."
Shenji snicker, "is that a proposition seaweed-kun ? I meant.. you are not really my type but i guess i can roll with it~" he end with a eyebrow waggle
At the pun shenji cover his mouth,trying to hold laughter, "good one! Oh please, use it later on the meeting. Or let me use it infront of Shima-san~ his face will be hilarious"
Hiro snickered back, "might be, but sadly, I have no taste in men. No offense, though."
Then he laughed an open-mouthed one, but not quite loud. "Sure! Oh, and if one of the member got a form of an eagle, then we will meet them later,
"Well, that would make it more eel-eagle meeting."
Shenji shrugged, "eh~ worth a try~"
"I will try to keep myself up to form with you seaweed kun~" shenji grinned, "it would be hilarious to see them trying to hold on to their composure"
"We will make a mess outa them, Meaty, and probably they will fed up with us. We will serve them a good meat with seaweed seasoning." Hiro smirked, knowing it would get really interesting with the meeting later, with them joking around. Hiro thought they would made quite bad first impression, but who cares.
Everyone would either took on or off their own masks.
"Life is so boring is laughter is out of the equation~ beside.." his voice lowers down, "you cant spell slaughter without laughter" he twinkles.
Oh yes. This is perfect. What better way to set them being underestimated than playing the fool
Hiro snickered lowly and his smirk widened. He stretched his hand and pulled his wrist brace. "Think we gotta brace ourselves, huh." They didn't know what kind of people they will face at the meeting later. But at least, he won't be alone in this.
Couldn't wait more to find out what Shimamura was planning to do with a group of people with shadow persona awakened by himself.
Shenji hummed as he finishes his tea, "i guess~ anything else you want to taco about seaweed-kun ?" He ask as he pushes the empty cup to a side
"Hmm," Hiro hummed as he glanced at his empty cup and surrounding. Then looked back to Shenji. "That's all, I guess. We will continue at the meeting later," he said as he raised an eyebrow and smirked. He raised his hand to signal the waiter to pay his drink. When the waiter approached them, Hiro let out his wallet.
"Pay yourself, Meaty. As much as I want to treat you, I don't have that much money with me now." He said as he paid his own drink.
"Well," Hiro stood up from his chair. "I'm going home now. Sea you in the meating."