The first thing that I noticed upon pulling up to the school was that it was massive. Like, larger than a mansion - it was kind of horrifying. Apparently there was a decent amount of students that went there, but I had looked at the numbers that Kyoya had on the school registry and it was almost laughable.
If it didn’t have that weird modern-classic fusion design, then it would look like a damn castle. Like Palais de Versaille kind of castle. It’s pretty ridiculous - so of course only rich people went here. It turns out that there actually was parking (fuck yeah) so I was able to simply pull in and hope off of my motorcycle without too much hassle.
I wouldn’t be meeting up with Kyoya because his entire morning would be taken up by one Suoh Tamaki, so I was pretty much just heading to the front area (I’m reluctant to say it was a foyer, but it was totally a foyer) to see if I could find Nagisa and Kayano. When we’d all split up to go to high school, the majority of Class E had chosen to go to a public school. Name and reputation wasn’t as important to them because I had offered them a stable income, so they were now free to pursue their own dreams without fear of crashing and burning.
Like how Maehara and Isogai started up their little café/restaurant thing and Kayano starting up her acting career again. The others didn’t really have ideas on what they wanted to do yet – well other than to not want to continue to attend a preppy private school. Nagisa and Kayano were the only ones beside Sugino (who went to True Cross to be with Shindou), who wanted to further their education in a school with a uniform that had a higher price than the average student’s tuition. With the reward that the government gave them, they could more than afford the tuition of both high school and even a foreign university. With the side jobs they take from me, they had no need to worry about funds. Plus, it wasn’t like any of them spent their wages on anything extravagant anyways.
Korosensei had instilled responsibility in all of us. For some, it was a harsher lesson than others. Terasaka in particular hadn’t shown any inclination towards numbers at the start of the year, but soon enough, he was among the top 50 in one of the country’s most prestigious schools. Either way, Kayano and Nagisa were easily the best of us. They took to Korosensei’s teachings like ducks did to water, and they were the ones who had chosen the prestigious academy path alongside myself.
(Although my choice to continue this part of my education was sort of taken out of my hands by a long-lost twin brother. Talk about ridiculous anime-like situations…)
While I had gone to True Cross Academy for the secret-but-not-really-that-secret exorcist training, Nagisa and Kayano had stuck together and were attending the same school. Coincidentally… both as girls.
While in middle school, Nagisa had had a big issue with people thinking of him as a girl. In all reality, he didn’t really have that much of an issue with being androgynous, it was just the big deal that his mother made about it. He still preferred the male pronouns, but he identified much closer to the non-binary spectrum than anything else. I don’t really get why he chose to wear the female uniform (it was way gaudier than the male one and I already hated the bullshit that I was wearing), but if it made him happy then who was I to judge?
Kayano and Kyoya took care of everything with the teachers and principal anyways, so it wasn’t like it was an issue or anything. From what I’ve heard, the students just think that Nagisa is a girl and leave it at that. They’re too vapid and stuck in their own lives to really care about someone else’s issues.
ANYWAYS The former E Class knew all about my transfer and the reason that I was transferring, so Nagisa and Kayano had offered to show me around on my first day. They explained that Kyoya had his host club to deal with as well as a cover to keep. It wasn’t like a new student – who was jumping to third year and slated to graduate at the end of the year – wasn’t already going to gather a lot of attention. With some of my scars and body mods (namely my pierced ears and slightly demonic features) being visible as well as my bright red hair, having the two other noticeably different people on my arms wasn’t really going to make that much of a difference.
What’s done is done. They’ll know that I know Kayano and Nagisa anyways. It’s not like I’m just not going to sit with them. It feels like it has been forever since we’ve attended the same school and I really just want a sense of normalcy right now. It was nice to spend more time around the people that I considered my close friends. All of the Class E students were great, but Sugino had always been more Nagisa’s friend than mine. In that weird way where your graduating middle school class was both really close but also not quite actual friends. You know the feeling.
Nagisa, Kayano, and I had all bonded over having weirdly coloured hair, and I feel like no one at this painfully normal (by rich standards) school didn’t have anyone quite like us. I imagine that it’s more like a relaxed Kunugikaoka because they aren’t as obsessed with intelligence. The Kunugikaoka High School was known for its weird obsession with being perfect, True Cross was known for the Cram Class program, Aoba Johsai was known for its weird obsession with volleyball and its rivalries, and Ouran was a little iffy as to what it was known for. Mostly, it was the rich brat school – but it was still respected due to the academic prowess that the students had.
It had the weird shit from normal school – the overly religious kids, the jocks, the sexually active band geeks, the fangirls, the hot guys, a cult – and it did have a pretty strict dress code. You weren’t allowed to make any modifications to your uniform (I of course ignored this and had someone add inside pockets so that I could store weapons without having to be uncomfortable) and permanent body modifications were generally frowned upon. Bleached hair was something that almost no one did, and Nagisa and Kayano had both complained about sticking out like sore thumbs.
At least now we’d be a trio.
There was some different colouring amongst the students – a decent amount of them being at least half foreign and taking on those physical attributes – the principal’s own son was half French. All the same, Nagisa had blue hair; I had gold eyes. There was really no topping that if we were going to be completely honest. Maybe that cult kid. Maybe.
I continue to walk through the halls, my gait even and predatory as I plastered on a smug confident smirk. It was a short walk to the front entrance considering that I had rather dramatically parked in front of the school.
Seriously, it was kind of dramatic. People were staring.
I had dumped my helmet along with my bike à la knight removing his helmet after winning a competition–
(I had a lot of time okay, reading stupid ass fairy tales was a thing that I did.)
–and then made my way without so much as bothering to glance at anyone else. I was used to odd looks, but this was definitely more than I expected. Maybe making a scene on my first day wasn’t the best idea. Oh well. This is fine.
A quick glance around the foyer revealed that Nagisa and Kayano had spotted me long before I spotted them. They were making a beeline towards me, and before I could even offer up any protest, Nagisa had launched himself at me and now I have an armful of Nagisa in a poofy dress to deal with. Figuring that I should just go with it, I swing him around a bit before letting go and waiting for him to fall.
He did so after 30 seconds with a large pout. “Karma-kun!” he whined briefly before smiling brightly again and tugging on my sleeve. “I thought that you weren’t going to come! You’re almost late!” he says cheerfully. I rolled my eyes at him and looked over at Kayano.
“Please, as if I’d ever be late to the first day of school.” I say sarcastically.
She laughed brightly, “Karma-kun, we all know that you ditched the first three days of third year middle school.”
I mock pouted at her. “That wasn’t my fault. I was suspended for assault.” That comment got some weird looks.
Nagisa huffs impatiently. “Karma-kun, no one cares about your excuses. Now let’s go! We need to show you where your classes are – I don’t care if you have a map, asshole – and we don’t have much time!” he whines as he drags me by my sleeve. Kayano, as always, offered no help and simply went along with Nagisa’s shenanigans.
“So have you heard that there was another student who got into this school based solely off academics?” Hikaru asked excitedly, grabbing me by the shoulder and spinning me so that I could see both him and his twin. I had just been minding my own business – waiting until I had to go to my homeroom so as to avoid an overzealous Tamaki.
I looked up at him in confusion. “No? We’re getting a new student?”
Kaoru nodded, slinging his own arm across my shoulders and pointing towards the doors to the foyer where a striking figure was approaching. “Yup! His name’s Akabane Karma, and he’ll be joining third year. I heard from Kyoya that he’s slated to graduate at the end of the year too! The guy’s supposedly tough shit, and no one really knows all that much about him other than he went to Kunugikaoka and True Cross Academy.”
I frown. That didn’t sound like we knew all that much. Usually, the rich bastards were pretty up to date with the gossip, but if this guy was getting in off of a scholarship – despite having gone to two other prestigious schools – then he was probably a normal person like me. Well… maybe not personality wise but perhaps monetarily at the very least. If he had the money to pay for school then he wouldn’t have to get in based off of academics, right?
I focus my attention on the doors just as the new guy strolled in through them. He kicked the door open and then waltzed into the room like he was the ruler of it. He was completely unbothered by everyone staring at him, only looking around the room as if searching for someone. His posture was tensed, but not in the way that showed that he was uncomfortable. It looked more like he was ready to turn around and hit someone at a moment’s notice – like Honey-sempai or Mori-sempai had been.
I don’t really know what I had been expecting from the new guy when I heard that his name was Karma and that he was supposedly ‘tough shit’, but it certainly wasn’t the teen that strolled in. He had blood red hair, and were those gold eyes? As he swiveled his head to look around the room, I was able to catch a glimpse at his ears which were heavily pierced – the earrings that adorned them were all mysterious cult-like symbols – and seemed almost unnaturally pointed near the tips. The large self-satisfied smirk that he wore revealed that his canines were just a bit sharper than normal, giving him a rather demonic look all in all.
His uniform was perfectly tailored, and he looked completely at ease in it. It was quite the contradictory image, but there was nothing else I could describe it as. The guy was a freaking anime protagonist – Tamaki is gonna flip.
Who the new guy was looking for was quickly revealed when two girls ran across the room (in heels, freaking how) and the blue haired one launched herself (themself? Their voice was too deep for a girl…) at him and he swung her around, laughing brightly before striking up a conversation with the two oddly coloured girls. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen them for the past year, but their odd hair colours were natural. The trio looked like power rangers. Seriously, what is this school? There was a ridiculous amount of foreigners, although I can’t figure out how bright blue hair was natural.
The two girls moved to drag him off, and everyone sort of went back to their conversations. I figured that this would be the last time that I’d see the guy – until Tamaki-sempai made a scene while trying to recruit him, that is – but of course, that’s when someone else chose to make a scene.
“Akabane, I didn’t know that filth was allowed at this school.”
A silence fell over the room large room as everyone turned to look over at the grand stairwell. There were a couple students that had frozen in their spot, and it became really obvious as to who had spoken. It was none other than Asano Gakushuu – the resident prince of the 2nd year. He had come from the elusive A Class at Kunugikaoka middle school. Only two other students had come from that middle school – Shiota Nagisa and Kayano Kaede – and they were part of the E Class, so no one really bothered with them until they figured out that the two girls were on the same level as Asano despite their origins.
However, Asano had a different presence about him. He was a smug asshole who enjoyed putting others down and being the best. As much as I’d love to hate him, he was smart, and he was the best in our grade. Quite the accomplishment.
…I still didn’t like him.
He was a complete and utter jerk to everyone that he deemed beneath him, and since he was first in his grade everyone was beneath him. He even treated the upperclassmen with a certain sense of disdain. It was like he couldn’t stand to be around us plebes. It was ridiculous. He was ridiculous. And the student body ate it up like he was a prophet relaying the words of God. They loved him, and he took full advantage of that. He rivaled Tamaki in the amount of girls he had chasing after him.
At this point it seemed like Tamaki only held the lead because he was much more receptive to affection and he was a cool upperclassman. When I told him this he pouted for a solid half an hour in front of the girls.
Asano strutted down the stairwell, his pale red hair glinting in the light and contrasting with the uniform much like the Hitachin twins’ hair. He had a smirk similar to the new guy, but the new guy wore it much better. He made it maybe halfway down the staircase before he stopped, looking down at the trio of Kunugikaoka students with a superior sneer.
The red head smirked devilishly, an odd glint in his eyes as he whirled around to look over at the descending teen. “That’s Akabane-sempai to you, Asano-san. In case you didn’t hear, I’m a third year – that means that I am an upperclassman. Show some respect.” There was a visible wince that rippled through the room at that comeback. Asano however, looked completely unruffled.
“You’re still trash Akabane. This school doesn’t need you to dirty up its halls. What? Did the whole kidnapping thing at your old school turn you off too much?”
At the murderous looks that Shiota and Kayano wore, it was evident that what he said had struck a nerve. But… kidnapping? What… how did Asano even know this? The new guy got kidnapped? Is that why he transferred here instead of finishing school at True Cross Academy? It’s a good school, and I’m not really sure that Ouran’s all that better.
Akabane’s smirk slowly slid off of his face; everyone stared at the two, no one daring to even blink. “Oh? You cared enough to find out about me? My name wasn’t mentioned in any press about it – it’s just word of mouth. I wonder who you heard it from…” his formerly teasing tone had dropped, making him sound much more dangerous as he stared down the other teen.
He didn’t so much as blink, staring at Asano with – well it wasn’t quite hatred, more like displeasure. He cocked his head to the side, a sudden inhuman glint taking over his eyes. In fact, there was just something about the way that he held himself… but he didn’t look…
Was it an optical illusion? He looked otherworldly, and everyone else in the room took a subconscious step backwards at the sudden aura. Asano even looked affected by the stare. It was unsettling.
“I don’t sell out my informants, Akabane.” Asano sniffed, continuing his descent and stopping just past the trio, looking over his shoulder. No don’t turn your back, you fool. He’s a predator if I’ve ever seen one. Asano was dangerous, but I had a feeling that Akabane was the kind of guy that would strike given any hint of an opportunity. This was a power move. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep your head down and stay out of my way.”
Having said his piece, Asano stalked out of the foyer, the large door echoing through the room. There was a beat of silence before Akabane sniffed and stopped his little inhuman thing. That broke the spell that was on the room and soon everyone was whispering. The new guy looked mildly bothered, but he hid it well. He turned to exchange a glance with the two girls behind him before he began to climb the staircase, elegantly making his way out of the foyer, the two girls flanking him without difficulty or hesitation.
What… what happened? What did I just witness?
“This year’s going to be interesting.” Hikaru murmurs, for once subdued. I nod, swallowing thickly.