Chapter 4 – The Unpredictable Teacher
by lemuel moo
It was really surprising that my Mom did not demand any report from me about the incident yesterday during breakfast. Normally if there were such an incident, she would spare no effort in interrogating and squeezing out every tiny detail just to know what had exactly transpired.
In fact, any normal mother would probably be anxious to find out more if her child was met with any danger.
However not only did she not ask me anything. It was as though nothing had happened in the first place and we were talking about our usual daily affairs. I could not help but feel that there was a definitely a huge conspiracy happening around here.
I arrived at my classroom early that day. With a quick swerve of my head from left to right, I noticed Gale sitting at his corner reading his book as usual without a care in the world and the rest of our classmates had not arrived yet. As I observed him, I saw that he had no bandages on him and was looking perfectly normal. How could he remove his bandages so quickly when he had just sustained injuries from Satori’s group and the assassin the day before?
Since Hideki wasn’t around, I approached Gale for answers in regards to yesterday’s events.
“Why are you not in bandages now? Surely you should be in the hospital for that slash made by the assassin yesterday?”
“I’m born with amazing physique and vitality! A little scratch like that does not faze me in the slightest!”
I was annoyed that Gale was not answering what I wanted to hear. He clearly knew those wounds were not normal for an average guy.
“Who fended off the assassin yesterday?”
“Apparently Hideki did.”
“He was out cold before me. The assassin was beyond our league, so it’s really quite impossible for him to do that. Where were you?”
“I was out cold as well after I was kicked into the distance.”
I looked at Gale, and it seemed like he didn’t intend to tell me the truth. He was giving me a poker face and remained smiling throughout.
“Whatever. Why would you be hiding a thing like this anyway?”
At that moment, several of our classmates came into our classroom, and the room was instantly filled with chatter.
“Clere! Are you alright? We heard that an assassin came after you at Yildirim Woods yesterday!”
I was speechless for a moment. My mom usually prevents other people from knowing what goes around in our family and yet my classmates were asking about the kidnapping attempt yesterday. How did they know?
“Yes, I am alright. Apart from a few bruises here and there, I am not hurt too badly.”
“That’s good to hear! I hear that Hideki was the one who saved you as well! Isn’t he just so heroic?”
Why are all these credits being attributed to Hideki? It makes no sense whatsoever!
“Yea he is pretty cool. He worked hard to fend off the assassin for the both of us.”
“Uwah Uwah! It’s almost as if Hideki is your personal bodyguard!”
“Err… He happened to be walking me home yesterday because Gale was seriously injured — ”
At that moment, Hideki came into the classroom. From the look on his face, he was not looking happy.
“Hey Hideki, we heard about your heroic acts for fending off an assassin for Clere!”
Hideki was left speechless. Sensing that there was something wrong, our classmates changed topic swiftly and returned to their seats shortly after.
I signaled to Hideki to have a word in private. His account of the events yesterday might prove useful for me to piece the events together after I was knocked out. Therefore we came to the rooftop of our school building to avoid attention after class.
“Hey Hideki, do you know what happened yesterday?”
Hideki looked out towards the scenery with a very relaxed pose, but in contrast, his countenance showed an expression that was dead serious.
“Before I regained my consciousness, I felt an incredible amount of energy from my head to the other parts of the body. When I woke up, no one else was around, and you were lying there on the ground unconscious.”
An incredible amount of energy? That was what I felt when Gale placed his hands behind my back!
“As I carried you back, I met a few of our classmates, so I briefed them a little before reaching your house. Seeing me carry you in a defenseless state on my back, they immediately rushed over to get a gist of the situation. At the end of it, I made it clear that I was not the hero of the incident and instead someone else had saved us.
However, when I arrived at school this morning, everyone seems to think that I am the hero and that I am too modest here.”
…So that was how our classmates found out. Hideki continued on.
“I really do not appreciate being credited for something that I have not done. It feels like I have stolen the limelight from someone else.”
I could see that Hideki was very annoyed about this incident. As he was popular within the first year high school students, it was natural that many of our schoolmates would seek him out to find out more and to praise him for his deeds.
Hideki’s face contorted with a slight tinge of annoyance. He’s probably very annoyed by this incident but is trying his best not to show it on his face. Afterall, he is a popular figure within the first year of high-school students and naturally, many of our schoolmates would seek him out to find out more and praise him for his deeds.
“Our classmates probably misunderstood the situation when you carried me back from Yildirim Woods. Let’s allow the dust to settle first before we do anything, Hideki.”
“By the way, did Gale mention anything about yesterday’s incident?”
“He said he was out cold when he crashed into the distance.”
Hideki became silent upon hearing that. I too had a hard time figuring out the facts. On the one hand, Gale was the only one who inflicted any significant damage on the assassin. Yet, on the other hand, he was definitely slashed and kicked by the same assassin, therefore being out cold wasn’t too far-fetched of an outcome.
And what on earth was he? How could he be sitting there at his desk looking perfectly fine after all that damage done by Satori’s group and then by the assassin?
“I guess I have to apologize to Gale. I only saw you being unconscious but entirely forgot about his existence then.”
Oh, I don’t think we are on the same page. I would have thought that Gale being so outrageously peculiar should have raised more flags than just a “sorry for neglecting him.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t mind. He’s the type of guy that will take just about anything in his stride.”
“Class, it’s time for homeroom!”
Miss Mia was looking more chirpy than usual. I noticed that whenever Miss Mia was looking chirpy like a bird, it meant that she probably had something important to announce.
“You know, for the longest time, we lacked a co-teacher for homeroom and fighting skills? Part of this reason is why your class has only been focused on academics since I am perfectly incapable of combat. Meanwhile, the rest of the classes in the school has already progressed significantly within their training curriculum.”
Seems like we are getting a combat instructor finally!
“You may have heard of her name recently. She was born here, but she and her family had left this town five years ago. However, now she is back to start a martial arts school.”
Wait, isn’t that —
“Her name is Mizushima Kasumi! Please come in, Miss Mizushima!”
Kasumi entered in full-body training tights and a katana sheathed behind her back. Her jet black hair was on her shoulder level with slight bangs on her fringes. She gave a warm-hearted smile yet she looked ready like a military personnel prepared for war.
Speaking of which, I had known Kasumi as a childhood friend with Hideki since they were siblings. To me, she was the ideal girl that I would like to see myself become. Not only was she athletic and sporty, but she was also feminine when required and exuded an aura of charismatic confidence that simply but magically drew people to her.
Hideki rose from his seat in shock by the appearance of the unexpected guest.
“Sis? You mean you are going to be my teacher?!”
“Hideki, you do not call me as ‘sister’ here. Call me Teacher.”
Saying that, she removed her sheathed katana off her back and with a quick flick of her wrist, tapped the forehead of Hideki.
While Hideki was moaning in pain, The rest of the guys were celebrating because they had a new voluptuous pretty girl in their midst finally. Moreover, Kasumi looked very young, so their hopes were high!
As I stole a glance at Gale, I couldn’t believe Gale was celebrating with them. He wasn’t even fazed by Satori’s beauty before so I had a pretty good guess that he wasn’t interested in Kasumi either. In fact, I was pretty sure he was just being goofy and ecstatic about the positive atmosphere in the room.
“As you know from Hideki, I run a martial arts school that specializes in swordplay. I will be training you guys from here on out for your combat curriculum. If you wish to know more about our sword techniques, there’s always the option to sign up for my school in private.”
The guys were cheering even louder! This pack of wolves just do not know how to control themselves!
Hearing the “wolves” cries of euphoria, I rolled my eyes. But at that moment, Kasumi’s eyes met mine and her face beamed with joy.
“Clere! It’s been a long time! You have grown to be so beautiful! Let’s hang out again at my place when you are free!”
“Sure Kasu — I mean Teacher!”
Kasumi then scanned the area with her eyes looking for somebody. She then pointed her fingers at Gale in the midst of the boys.
“Gale! You can’t hide there! I have heard so much about you, and we will need to talk privately after school today!”
Everyone froze and distanced themselves from Gale. Gale’s face looked puzzled. Wait… how did you even know Gale?!
“Oh sure. But I don’t know what you want to talk about though.”
“Oh! And hand me your mobile phone right now too. You are not to reject my calls.”
All of us were really puzzled. Why would Kasumi single out Gale for? Did he do something wrong?
As Kasumi was registering Gale’s number on her mobile phone, Hideki couldn’t hide his curiosity and started blurting out:
“Is there a reason why you are specifically looking for Gale?”
Kasumi looked at Hideki for a moment before continuing to alternate between fiddling with her phone and fiddling with Gale’s phone. Afterward, she answered nonchalantly.
“My uncle wants me to get married soon, so I am considering Gale as my marriage candidate.”
The room instantly erupted with an exclamation, and as much as I hate to admit it, I too had also exclaimed in chorus with my classmates.
“I’m only a few years older than Gale, so it makes sense to lay some foundation first because there are way too many cute girls in this school. If I wait too long, Gale will definitely be snatched away!”
It took a few moments for everyone to grasp the entirety of what Kasumi was saying. Even Miss Mia had her mouth wide open at the revelation that just struck everyone in the room and struggled to find the words in her mouth.
Kasumi started guffawing.
“Chill out you guys! I’m just teasing a little! The real reason I’m looking for Gale is to have a better understanding of his bodyguard duties for Clere. As her combat instructor, I’m also in-charged of her safety, so I just need to discuss something with Gale for a tiny bit.”
The whole class let out a sigh in unison. That entire exchange was way more intense that it should’ve been and we all ended up laughing together at the absurdity of our reaction.
Wait. If it’s about my safety, shouldn’t I be involved too?
Kasumi called Gale over to return his phone. Gale was looking more nervous than his usual self. This was so unlike him, but he did receive the bad end of a cruel joke from Kasumi, so I guess it seemed understandable.
Kasumi leaned over Gale’s shoulder and muttered into Gale’s ear.
“I know your little secret! You cannot run away from me!”
As I was sitting near this exchange, I heard every single word. Gale looked petrified at Kasumi’s words, and when he saw his phone, he looked even more shocked. He quickly hid his phone in his pocket and walked back to his seat.
It was really rare to see Gale so disturbed. I thought that maybe I should check out their private meeting to observe what it really was all about.
As Hideki was talking with Gale, I overheard the location of where Kasumi and Gale would be meeting. I reckoned that maybe I should camp there in secret first and wait for them to arrive.
It was to be in one of the abandoned rooms in our building, and it had full-size closets there. An odd place to meet when we had better places with better facilities. Having a conversation in a room full of dust and dust mites? I think I would probably choke to death before the conversation even started. After school, I hurried to the room and chose a good closet which had a good view of the room. Its line of sight couldn’t cover the corners of the room, but I guessed it was good enough.
Kasumi came in early and began fiddling with her phone. I gulped as I was feeling guilty for eavesdropping but heck, Gale looked way too suspicious for me to pass up this chance to know more. Speak of the devil! Moments later, Gale came into the room as well.
Kasumi stealthily moved behind Gale, reaching for the door of the room and locked it.
“You are still calling me Miss Mizushima? Don’t you recognize me already?”
“…Yes, it’s been awhile Kasumi. I only knew you from a distance though, as partners for a few missions with Aunt Agatha.”
What?! Gale and Kasumi knew each other, and my Mom is involved?!
“Anyway Kasumi, did you have to put your photo as the background image of my phone?”
“Do you like it? These are a newly purchased lingerie set just for your viewing pleasure, you know? Ufufufu.”
What the heck is going on? Kasumi is literally throwing herself at Gale!
“It certainly looks great on you, just that I can’t be seen with this photo on my phone. People will —”
”Hush Gale, let’s not worry about what others might think and spoil our reunion here.”
I saw Kasumi push Gale to the corner of the room into the very blind spot that I couldn’t see from where I was hiding, causing my eyes to no longer be able to follow the couple. I leaned onto the closet walls instead in an attempt to hear their conversation more clearly.
Sounds of smooching and kisses could be heard!
“…These clothes are getting in the way…Kasumi…”
I was getting restless by the minute.
Have they no shame? We are in school here and isn’t that an illicit teacher-student relationship?!
“…No, don’t touch me there…Gale…”
“…Your body doesn’t seem to be resisting…”
My personal bodyguard is a pervert! I can’t believe I was praising you in my heart for resisting Satori’s charms just a while back and now you are doing these perverted things to Kasumi?!
After a while of some steamy exchanges between Kasumi and Gale, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I kicked down the closet door in a fury!
“GALE! I MISJUDGED YOU! YOU… huh?”
Kasumi was standing to my left and Gale was standing on my right, both fully clothed. When they saw my face, both of them laughed hysterically.
Kasumi was playing an audio clip on her phone while grabbing her stomach in laughter.
“My gosh, you are still the same as always Clere! Much too easy to tease!”
Gale roared with laughter as well.
“Miss Bear Panties, you can’t hide in there and expect us not to know.”
I was stuffed red with embarrassment and annoyance at the realization that I had been played with!
“Stupid Gale! Stupid stupid, stupid Gale! Why did you play such a prank on me!”
“Oww that hurt! Stop slapping my arm!”
Tears were forming at the corner of Kasumi’s eyes. She certainly had enjoyed teasing me! Kasumi struggled for a moment to regain her composure before explaining what had happened.
“Gale can hear footsteps, how we breathe, and if we are close in proximity to him, he can actually hear our heartbeats from a distance.”
“What?! What kind of a stalking ability is that?!”
“That’s why your mother asked Gale to be your bodyguard! The ability to be aware and sensitive to surroundings is crucial to spot assassins, and Gale is top-class in that!”
I looked at Gale in awe, yet still fuming from being embarrassed by the prank. Gale then reached into his left pocket, as if trying to feel for something.
“Do you want to see what she had placed as the background picture on my phone?”
I looked at Gale’s phone and saw the words: “Just play along.”
These people are nuts. Seriously?!
“Now that you are here Clere, we are going to talk about Gale and you.
The ‘little secret’ I know about Gale is that he is weak in fighting against girls and that’s why Aunt Agatha asked me to sign up as a combat instructor in your class.”
“M-Mom asked you to be our combat instructor?!”
“Considering that we do have a good relationship with your family and I get paid well by the school, I see no reason to refuse.
I did meet Gale before a few times, but Gale has been as mysterious as always. He is known to hide his abilities and secrets well, but as his combat instructor, it can’t allow him to be too mysterious as I need to know what he is truly capable of.”
I glared at Gale before looking at him straight in his eyes.
“Why do you have to be so secretive about everything?! I come from a family which safeguards secrets for the world, and you act like you have an even bigger secret than us!”
Gale scratched his head and sighed.
“…I just want a peaceful life.”
Kasumi crossed her arms and shook her head in disapproval.
“Now, I don’t want you to be slacking off in my lessons and underperforming in combat training just to hide your abilities, you get that? I will make sure you will be adequately punished if you don’t cooperate with me.”
Gale sighed in resignation again.
“…Fine. I will do my best to cooperate.”
“Also, drop me a message if you or Clere is ever attacked. Even though I am not Clere’s bodyguard, I will still do my best to help whenever possible. You are not to refuse my calls if I want answers from you, is that clear?”
Kasumi looked so dependable at that very moment! How reassuring!
“…Also, I might call you just for casual chats and go out for dates too, so be prepared for that!”
I raised my eyebrows looking at Kasumi.
“Geez, Kasumi! Isn’t that going too far with your pranks? I’m not falling for it ever again!”
Kasumi looked at me and winked mischievously.
“Do you know that combat instructors are still fundamentally different from academic instructors, and we are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as a normal teacher and student relationship? Combat instructors are still a very new concept in our education system, and society is still trying to figure it out.”
I froze at those words. It is true that combat instructors became mandatory only in the recent years and that was why there was a shortage of instructors all around the globe.
Kasumi leaned in and whispered in my ears.
“Therefore ‘forbidden fruits’ are allowed when I’m a combat instructor…and I might just snatch Gale away from you. Ufufufu.”
What on earth is this woman thinking?! Is she just trying to mess with me in my mind and heart?
Gale gave the “whatever” face and rolled his eyes while Kasumi walked out of the room with swagger as her hair fluttered behind her. As she left, the aroma from her perfume left a trail of her attractiveness and seductive wiles. I was sure she could make any guy giddy with her charms, but Gale looked straight on without any signs of being swayed in the very least.
I wondered if Kasumi was really serious about Gale, but after being repeatedly teased by those two, I frankly didn’t want to care anymore.