26 de noviembre de 2017

Strawberry Fics 8 "Memories"

"They have been exhausting days, but I feel so happy ... everyone looks so cheerful and that makes a strange feeling in my heart. I would like to always remember every single face ... but I know I will not, sooner or later their faces will become blurred in my mind and no one can help it.
How will I remember this moment in ten more years? These days have become so very special ... I'm enjoying every second ....
This winter has been unforgettable ... I wish all this would never end, but I know that I'll have to say goodbye soon. "
The clouds were gathering and a grayish color painted the whole hill, but despite this darkness, the atmosphere was at its the best. That was the happiness that could be breathed in the roofed gym, where the Miator Volleyball team was.
They were finishing one of the last training sessions before the start of the Etoile week. They all looked very jolly despite their exhaustive training. Shizuma stopped completely and looked at them with a big smile and an accelerated heart.
Shizuma: it's all for today! That was an excellent practice, thank you for your hard work. Go back to your dorms and rest, see you tomorrow!
All: thanks senpai! - good training - see you tomorrow Shizuma sama! - I am so thirsty - let's go to the cafeteria - let's hurry as it's going to rain - see you senpai!
The former Etoile walks to the gym stands to take a bottle of water, she wipes the sweat from her forehead and she sits with some fatigue as she sees her team mates leave the gym.
Miyuki comes to her side and sits next to her looking for something inside her purse.
Miyuki: are you ready?
Shizuma: of course ... I really want to defeat Spica again (smiles mischievously)
Miyuki: but now there are new girls in Spica ... maybe they are very good (takes out a notebook out of her bag)
Shizuma: it's true, but that doesn't bother me ... we're a strong team (taking her water bottle)
Miyuki: always so confident (smiles) ... I know you are involved in many activities already, but I don't have any Miator student for competitive fencing in the 4th to 6th grade category, the 5th grader who was going to compete injured her wrist in training yesterday.
Shizuma: do you want me to participate?
Miyuki: I only have a first-year student who will participate in the 1st to 3rd grade category ...
(Looking at her notebook)
Shizuma: leave it to me ... fencing is a piece of cake ... (Smiles confidently)
Miyuki: Well, tell me that when you have the trophy in your hands (closing her eyes with a smile)
Both reviewed Miator's competition list with great calmness while a couple of first year students, who were training with the team, took cleaning supplies to start cleaning the gym, Shizuma noticed them and approached them.
Shizuma: girls, wait a second! (catching their attention)
Both turn to Shizuma, they blush and get very nervous thinking they had done something wrong. The former Etoile walks calmly towards them and takes one of the mops from one of the students.
Shizuma: ... don't worry about this ... today it's our turn to do the cleaning (smiles)
Both students were surprised by this and didn't know what to say. Shizuma turns to look at Miyuki
Shizuma: today is our turn, right Miyuki?
Miyuki: that's right! (she nods without looking away from her notebook where she keeps writing some notes)
Shizuma: you see? Now go and have some rest (smiles at them)
Students: but senpai, let us do the cleaning for you - yes, you shouldn't bother with this
Shizuma: I mean it, it's our turn and we have to do it just like anyone would, so no problem at all.
Both girls look at each other with surprise and admiration, perhaps thinking that the status of Shizuma and Miyuki didn't allow them to do the cleaning on the hill, but they were very wrong assuming that.
Students: We regret our clumsiness, Shizuma sama - sorry -
Shizuma: don't worry, go and rest well, you have trained a lot and I congratulate you for your effort, I am counting on you for the upcoming competitions.
Both looked at each other very excited with their eyes full of hope, Shizuma's compliment meant a lot to them.
Students: until tomorrow Shizuma sama, Miyuki sama! (waving goodbye)
Miyuki: see you tomorrow girls (smiles)
Shizuma: see you tomorrow (she says goodbye to them standing in the middle of the gym)
Miyuki: good! (closing her notebook) ... we are all set ... You will also compete on Judo, right?
Shizuma: that's right ... (looking at the buckets filled with water)
Miyuki: where do you get so much energy from? (standing up)
Shizuma: I just want to enjoy these competitions to the fullest ... (Turns to see Miyuki)
Outside very gray clouds cover the sky. All the students run to the residence to avoid the reach of the rain that begins to fall slowly, foreshadowing very intense days ahead.
Inside the gym, Shizuma and Miyuki are left alone, all the other girls are already gone, leaving them in charge of the cleaning duties. Looking at the roof of the gym, both senior students began to listen to the relaxing sound of the rain.
Shizuma: (closing her eyes and sighs) like in the old days
Miyuki: It's been a long time since we had to clean up in here
Shizuma folds her sport pants to be more comfortable and prepares to start cleaning, she looks extremely informal and not very elegant, something unusual for her.
Shizuma: Yeah ... the last time we were in this situation it was a rainy afternoon like this one. Remember?
Miyuki pauses for a moment to look at Shizuma's unusual style of clothing, while Shizuma takes the mop and starts cleaning the floor. Miyuki couldn't help laughing, looking at her bottom-up.
Shizuma: what's wrong? Why are you laughing? (She looks at herself) ... do I look funny?
Miyuki: (shaking her head) ... I only remembered when I saw you on dirty room day during our first year ... (Smiles), you were so excited
Shizuma: during our first year? (Remembering) .. ah yes ... don't tease me! (looking serious)
Miyuki: (laughs) ... you looked so cute!
Both enter in a flashback mode, remembering their first year on the hill. It was a day that didn't stop raining intensely. Astraea hill was in darkness with strong winds crossing from north to south, rocking all the trees on the hill, inviting all stay sheltered inside.
Despite of the grey view, this was a special day for Miator students. All students were gathering at the residence for the expected draw for the dirty room day in Miator. The first year students were standing in line to find out the name of the senpais' room they were going to help cleaning. In return for the cleaning, the elder students were going to help and support the youngsters in school. Most important, this activity served the purpose of creating new ties and building great friendships by reinforcing mutual respect and admiration among students.
The line was long and they all felt a little nervous commenting in a low voice about the possibility of interacting with a popular senpai. There were two familiar faces there, little Miyuki is visibly nervous in the row while behind her, Shizuma was very calm and almost yawning. Miyuki turns around.
Miyuki: don't yawn Shizuma! What will senpais say if they see you with that attitude of reluctance?
Shizuma: they will say that her little sister is very tired and they will send her to sleep
(looks naughty)
Miyuki: (looking serious) .. Behave yourself, it's almost our turn (turns forward)
Shizuma slowly takes Miyuki's waist and approaches her from behind to whisper to her ear, Miyuki blushes.
Shizuma: Why are you so nervous Miyuki? ... Who do you prefer as your oneesama? The president or the Etoile?
Miyuki: (closing her eyes) don't tease me Shizuma ... I don't care who I get ... I just want to do my job properly.
Shizuma: (crosses her arms and looks up) how boring .... Who do I like to get? ... mmm ...
Miyuki: (turns quickly towards Shizuma), it's my turn!
Miyuki walks nervously towards the box where the names of the senpais are, closes her eyes and takes one paper out. Then she walks to the president's table and passes her folded paper.
The president at the time was a beautiful girl with blond hair and brown eyes, her name was: Ayumi
Ayumi: what is your name?
Miyuki: Rokujou Miyuki, first year, snow class
Ayumi: very well ... (Opening the paper) .... 4th grade Sakura and Ayane will be your Oneesamas, go and grab your apron please (smiles)
Miyuki: (bowing) thank you very much Ayumi sama!
Shizuma: (looking patiently at Miyuki, thinking) how ceremonious!
Shizuma waited her turn and walked calmly to the box on the table and introduced her hand inside to take the first paper she touched. Without much effort she takes it out and walks towards the president.
Ayumi: what is your name?
Shizuma: Hanazono Shizuma, first year, snow class (gives the paper to the president)
Ayumi: well, let's see who's your oneesama, ... (Opening the paper, she's surprised) Well, well, well!
Shizuma: what is it? (curious)
Ayumi: (holding her face with her hands, looking at her smiling) ... they say that during the day of the dirty room, if you get to assist the Etoile, you will sooner or later become a Etoile yourself... (flips the paper for Shizuma to see)
Shizuma: do I have to clean up for the Etoile? (surprised)
Ayumi: that's right ... you're lucky, huh? Many would like to be in your place (grins mischievously) ... go and get your apron ...
Shizuma walks to the side of the table to pick up her apron and starts listening the murmurs of the other students. At the other end of the room Miyuki waits holding her apron with huge eyes full of surprise. Shizuma approaches her.
Miyuki: you have the Etoile as your oneesamas! (yelled in surprise)
Shizuma: yes, I guess ... (looking at her paper again) ... look ... (she puts the paper in front of Miyuki)
Miyuki: I know! Everyone knows!
Shizuma looked sideways at the whole room without giving it much importance.
Shizuma: yes ... I don't know why they are making this such a big deal ...
Without much excitement, the young Hanazono turns away to exit the hall being followed by an exalted Miyuki.
Miyuki: you'll also become a Etoile one day! (following Shizuma quickly)
Shizuma: And who says I want to become an Etoile? They are just made up stories and I am not interested at all, just imagine it! It is a lot of work!
Miyuki: I mean, why not believe this at all! It's part of Miator's mysticism! You took out the paper with their names! (excited) that only means that your future is assured.
Shizuma left the room feeling the intense glare of every student while Miyuki kept following her with full of emotion.
The young Hanazono didn't feel much interest in this type of activity and had trouble understanding the privilege of working for the Etoile. She walked feeling very overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility that had fallen on her shoulders, so she decided to go directly to her room without giving so much preamble to the matter.
Behind her Miyuki did not stop dreaming with her eyes open.
Shizuma: (reaching her room and opening the door) ... don't get so excited ... I don't have intentions to become Etoile .... I also don't know why they get so exalted by this .. (Leaving the apron on her bed)
Miyuki: Well, because the Etoile is the highest authority in Astraea, they all love and respect them, you should know that (leaving also her apron on the bed)
Shizuma: yes, but the Etoile are people just like everyone else ... (she starts to unbutton her uniform to take a shower) .... and therefore .... they untidy their room in the same way like anyone else would and I'll have to go and clean it tomorrow ... right? (Looking at Miyuki) everything will be part of a routine and school tradition, no magical stories or anything like that, so don't day dream with seeing me as part of the student council.
Miyuki: (sighs) whatever, you don't understand anything ... (she lies on her bed)
Shizuma: of course I understand .. (she enters the shower) ... the only thing that has become very clear to me is ... (she keeps a moment of silence and then) ... our president is absolutely gorgeoooooooooous.... (singing from the shower)
Miyuki: but she is way older than youuuu! (she answers singing from the bed)
Shizuma: ... I don't care! (Keep singing in the shower)
...
...
As expected for that night forecast, the wind felt very strong, finding its way through some slots in the window of the room generating a scary sound. Miyuki couldn't help listening to the eerie sound of the wind keeping her awake unable to sleep as she felt scared of the sound. She tried to fall asleep but failed. Miyuki gave up and left her bed holding her pillow. The room was dark and Shizuma was deeply asleep.
Miyuki: ... Shizuma ..... Shizuma ... (moving her to wake her up)
A moment passed and the wind seemed to enrage more, Miyuki couldn't help feeling chills and hurried in her attempt to wake up her friend. She moved her again and again until Shizuma began to awake.
Shizuma: what's wrong? (Awakening)....
Miyuki: didn't you hear that? (Hugging her pillow strongly)
Shizuma: it's the wind! It won't do anything to you (she covers herself with her blanket and turns towards the wall) ... go to sleep ...
Miyuki: ... I can't ... (she speaks to her with a tender little girl voice)
Shizuma: .... fine ... (moving to one side of the bed) ... come here ....
Miyuki gets in Shizuma's bed right away. Shizuma immediately noticed that her friend was trembling from cold and fear. She turned to her and embraced her tenderly.
Shizuma: you're old enough, you should be able to sleep in your own bed ... (Talking to her patiently)
Miyuki: I'm sorry ... I'm not as brave as you are ...
As soon as she felt the warmth of Shizuma's embrace, Miyuki's began to calm down and without further hesitation her eyes began to close. The young Hanazono could see her in the dim light with a tender feeling.
Shizuma: such a little girl ...
...
...
The next morning after the storm, a bright sun dawns and illuminates the whole hill. The sunlight enters through the curtains drying the drops of water from the window frames.
Young Shizuma starts opening her eyes wanting to stretch but she felt a weight on her body, she wide opens her eyes and remembered that Miyuki slept in her bed and she was still asleep on her chest.
Shizuma: I forgot about this ... hey ..... (begins to pinch her face) ..... hey ... Miyuki .... (Miyuki moves her hand towards her not waking up) .....
Shizuma sighed as she is unable to get up. She looks at her alarm clock that is in her night stand and sees that it's going to sound in another fifteen minutes. She turns her gaze towards
Miyuki and tries to remove herself slowly, but she just simply can get away from Miyuki who seems to cling to her in her deep sleep.
Shizuma: Will I have to wait 15 more minutes? (looks mischievously at Miyuki) ... let's see if you do not wake up now .......... Mi ..... yu ..... ki .... (gently lifts her face so that her lips are very close and she keeps whispering) .... Mi .... yu .... ki ....
Slowly Miyuki begins to wake up, little by little she opens her eyes and sees that Shizuma is about to kiss her.
Miyuki: WHAAAAAAAAAT !?
She jumped from the impression and falls off the bed, Shizuma starts laughing and Miyuki looks at her blushing from the floor.
Miyuki: (blushing) what were you thinking!?
Shizuma: I already did it and you didn't mind it (she looks at her mischievously) .....
Miyuki: WHATTT ?? (Blushing and touching her lips)
Shizuma: alright ... It's time to get up!
Being at last free, Shizuma stands up with a lot of energy while Miyuki followed her with a surprised and embarrassed look.
Miyuki: Shizumaaaa!
During that day, the first-year students of Miator were going to the rooms of the senior students to help them cleaning the room. Through Miator halls, all first-year students began to go out with their brand new aprons heading to different floors of the residence.
Miyuki and Shizuma were also ready.
Shizuma: well Miyuki, I'll see you later ...
Miyuki: ... but Shizuma ...
Shizuma: what's wrong? (she turns to see her)
Miyuki: why are you so calm? (looks surprised)
Shizuma: and how should I go? Does my apron look bad? (Looking at herself)
Miyuki: it's not that ... but ... you're going to help the Etoile! (excited)
Shizuma: again with that, I know! ... I will see you later ... (turns around and goes to the first floor)
Miyuki: (sighs) ... someday you will be Etoile and you will remember this (smiles)
Shizuma goes down the stairs and the first-year classmates who see her began to murmur, Shizuma realizes that they are talking about how lucky she is for helping the Etoile, she looks at them with annoyed eyes making them shut up with her glare.
She walked down to the first floor corridor without much encouragement.
Shizuma: well ... what is the room of the famous Etoile? .... (looking at the doors)
She arrives in front of their door and breathes deeply before she dares to knock.
Knock Knock
After a moment, the door opened before her and a beautiful young woman came out to meet her. She was a tall , blue eyes, girl with long black hair who was wearing her dark uniform showing her slender figure. Shizuma's intense eyes remained frozen and amazed to see her.
For a second she thought a bright aura surrounded that girl and that maybe that was the magical charm of the famous Etoile. She blinked quickly and introduced herself.
Shizuma: (bowing) Good morning Oneesama! I'm first year Hanazono Shizuma and I have come here to help you on the dirty room day (stays in position of reverence) The girl smiled at her without saying anything. Shizuma got up and looked inside the room and saw another girl of similar beauty.
Shizuma: (thinking) she must be the other Etoile ....
That girl inside the room, stood up and walked to the door to welcome the youngster, little Shizuma was equally dazzled by how beautiful she was. Shizuma admired her for what seemed like long seconds,she was struck by her long brown hair and green eyes. She was the Etoile Ainee.
Young Shizuma remained silent and looked at both of them, understanding in part all the excitement Miyuki was talking about since the two young women that were in front of her imposed so much beauty and presence, together they emanated an infinite respect and delicacy that Shizuma didn't quite understand, but was able to feel.
Megumi: oh well! But what a beautiful little sister we have (smiling at Shizuma)
Hikaru: Yes, we are very lucky (smiles) but do come in, don't stay outside.
Shizuma obediently entered the room. The place was a exemplary room, shone clean and tidy.
Megumi: As you can see, there is not much work to do around, Hikaru is obsessed with cleaning
Hikaru: it's not true (she crosses her arms) I just like to keep things in order
Shizuma: it doesn't matter Etoile sama, I'm here to help you in anything you need, leave it to me (reverence)
Megumi: (putting her hand on Shizuma's shoulder) ... calm down ... there's not much to do around here ... but we know what dirty room day means . I think the only mess we have is this paperwork on the desk.
Hikaru: we have to go to a banquet of the 3 schools now, so you we will leave you alone for now
Megumi: but ... we would like to see you here when we return ... (She looks at her and smiles mischievously) we will not be late
Shizuma: don't worry Etoile sama, I will be here ... I'll wait for you
Both Etoiles leave the room leaving Shizuma alone. She looks around and analyzes the room once again.
Shizuma: (thinking) ... now I understand why they envied me ... (smiles) ... they are so beautiful! I haven't had the opportunity to see them so closely. The first time I meet them, I didn't pay attention to them, or I believe I was falling asleep ...
Without any further hesitation, the young Hanazono folded her sleeves and went to work there, folding some clothes and rearranging the documents and notebooks.
In another room very close to there, Miyuki was working for her senpais. She went outside for a moment to take out a garbage bag when she saw Shizuma coming out quickly of the Etoile's room looking very focused on her duty.
Miyuki: (thinking) Shizuma? ...
Shizuma didn't notice that Miyuki was looking at her and re-enters the room of the
Etoile to continue her hard work.
...
...
After a few hours, the Etoile were walking back to their room and upon entering, both look with surprise inside. The place was dazzling clean and in the center of the room, a table had been arranged with two tea cups waiting to be served.
Shizuma: (bows to them) welcome Etoile sama
Megumi: (surprised) oh look what we have here! Shizuma chan you've excelled yourself!
(smiles)
Hikaru: what a pleasant surprise, I just wanted to end the day with a cup of tea
Megumi: Yes, we have an adorable little sister, besides being very beautiful (she stares at Shizuma while serving tea)
Shizuma: I'm glad to know that you liked this little gesture.
Megumi: now looking at you ... Aren't you the first grade student who won all sport competitions for Miator?
Hikaru: actually, now that you mention it, it's true! (Looking at Shizuma) you did very well representing the school! (smile)
Megumi: yes, I still remember the shocking expression of the Spica students (laughing mischievously) They weren't expecting anything like it, I think I'll never forget their faces
Shizuma: it was my pleasure to do my best for Miator (smiles)
Megumi: yes, you had an impressive performance at the court ... you have a lot of personality (drinking tea)
Hikaru: I would like to see you in a couple of years ... you will for sure become Etoile, I think you have a great potential to become one.
Shizuma: (slightly blushed) ... thanks ... but I don't intend to be Etoile ...
Megumi: (closing her eyes) ... you remind me of myself ... I didn't want to be Etoile either ...
Shizuma: (Surprised) Really?
Megumi: but only by seeing you ... I know you have what it takes for it ... all students will love you ... (grins)
That pleasant afternoon slowly transformed into evening and both Etoiles kept talking and telling their experiences to little Shizuma, who was listening carefully, realizing that she lost the track of time and forgot about the curfew.
Shizuma: (looking at the clock in the room) ... sorry Etoile sama ... time has passed quickly with this pleasant conversation ... but I must return to my room ...
Hikaru: It's true, it's already late, the sister will pass through the corridors very soon and you could get in trouble if she finds out you are still up outside.
Megumi: I will take you to your room ... so you won't have any problems with the sister (standing up)
Shizuma: if you'll excuse me Etoile sama
Hikaru: thank you for all Shizuma chan, have a good rest.
Both leave the room and begin to walk through the dark corridors of Ishigo sha. They go up to the second floor, Shizuma hasn't said a single word along, for some reason, she has become extremely nervous while walking with the Etoile, Shizuma can't believe herself.
Shizuma: (thinking) why am I getting nervous?
Just a few meters from Shizuma's room, Etoile Megumi stops in front of her, she takes Shizuma by the waist and pulls her close to kiss her. The young Hanazono froze, but her heart kept racing.
The Etoile tenderly kisses Shizuma's cheek and whispers softly into her ear.
Megumi: ... someday you'll want to have what a Etoile has ... and when you do ... you will remember me..... and happily I will be in your memories ...
Those words left a surprised Shizuma thinking. Her body was still paralyzed without knowing how to react to the imposing figure of the Etoile, whom now Shizuma felt an incredible admiration for, Etoile Megumi came closer and closer with clear intentions of kissing her. In that moment a door suddenly opens and Miyuki comes out trying to look out the dark hall.
Miyuki: Shizuma?
Megumi: good night ...
Miyuki: ETOILE SAMA! (she is surprised and immediately bows at her) good night!
Megumi: rest well my beautiful Shizuma chan (looks at her tenderly and winks at her)
Shizuma: good night .... Etoile sama ...
The Etoile turns back and returns to her room in silence. Shizuma followed her with her eyes until she vanished in the darkness of the hall, Shizuma took a deep breath and tried to relax. Miyuki approached her, looked at her and started laughing.
Miyuki: (laughing) I can not believe it!
Shizuma: what's wrong? why are you laughing at me?
Miyuki: You're as red as a tomato (laughs)
Shizuma: huh? (touching her face) Don't make fun of me! (tries to cover her face with both hands)
..
...
Flashback mode ends.
Miyuki and Shizuma continue to clean the gym while sharing their old memories. The rain doesn't have intentions to stop and at times the sound of the drops on the ceiling was becoming deafening. The president of Miator took a moment to soak a rag and prepare it for the next round of mopping, the rain abated for a moment.
Miyuki: (smiling) I feel so moved by all those memories ...
Shizuma: don't tease me Miyuki! (From the other end of the gym)
Miyuki: Nobody knows those things about you, it's like a hidden story of your past
Shizuma: (stops and sighs) ... I know ... and to think that I didn't want to become a Etoile ...
(smiles)
Miyuki: yes .... four years of flatly denial.
Shizuma: you convinced me after all
Miyuki: and the dirty room Etoile prediction was fulfilled ...
Shizuma: (looking at the ceiling) I wonder what happened to those Etoiles?
Miyuki: since then you became their favorite. You should have asked for any contact information to keep in touch later, don't you think?
Shizuma: (thinking) I think I have an address somewhere ... when I pack all my belongings from my room I might find that information.
Time continues to advance and so the intensity of the rain, the light bulbs of the gym blinked constantly due to the weather. It was possible that the power was going to be out in any minute, the sun was far gone and they knew time was tied to finish cleaning and leave.
Miyuki feels good when remembering the old days with Shizuma, that helped her to avoid thinking about the future and simply have a great time recreating those wonderful days lived in Astraea in her mind.
Miyuki: (cleaning the floor with a cloth) ... I also remember the older students who wanted to mess with you because they envied you so much...
Shizuma: (looking up quickly) indeed ... I almost forgot about that ... but it wasn't me who they wanted to mess with ...
Once again both enter into a flashback mode, returning to their first year.
The hill looked full of life with radiant sunlight. Spring days had come to Astraea and students began wearing their summer uniforms.
It was an afternoon after school when club activities started.
Miyuki: (leaving the classroom) where are you going Shizuma?
Shizuma: (turns to look at her) the activities of my club are about to begin
Miyuki: (looking down sadly) .. so you have joined one
Shizuma: yes ... you should join one too. Many clubs would like to have you. Moreover, if you want to be part of of the student council one day, a club in your student record will give you extra points
Miyuki: I know, but I still can't decide
Shizuma: you should hurry, otherwise you will be without a club until the following year
Miyuki: can I go with you? (looking sad)
Shizuma: sure ...
They both leave the school and walk on under the sunlight to get to the fencing club that was very close to Miator.
Miyuki: why did you enter the fencing club? (asking curious)
Shizuma: because I think it's something very elegant and it also strengthens me ... (looking at her) Why don't you join too? I think it would be great
Miyuki: no ... I'm not good for that ... (sad) ... I don't know if I should join a club
Shizuma: don't give up just yet. You are very talented, I am sure that many clubs would like a girl like you in their ranks.
When arriving near to the club area, Shizuma sees a group of sixth grade students who are gathering outside. Many of the senior students started to feel certain envy for the young
Shizuma because of her close relationship with the Etoiles after the dirty room day.
Upon arriving, some of those students turned to see Shizuma giving her a threatening look.
Senpais: look who's coming ... isn't the beloved sister of the Etoile? ... did she joined our club?How did they let her in?
Immediately, Miyuki felt fear and unconsciously she hid behind Shizuma.
Senpais: And who is your little friend? Is she your girlfriend? If you have a girlfriend, you shouldn't be bothering our Etoile ...
Shizuma: (talking quietly to Miyuki) .. Don't listen to them ...
Shizuma took Miyuki's hand to enter the gym, ignoring all comments. They crossed the door and found a message on the board, it was left by the president of the club.
" To our fencing club members, today I will be absent from the club practice because I'm sick with the flu, so I have to stay in bed as per medical recommendation. The sixth year senpais will be in charge of supervising all members. Thanks for understanding and please keep practicing in my absence . "
Shizuma: ah this is just great ... she won't be here ... (glancing outside where the sixth grade senpais are still muttering things)
Miyuki: you shouldn't stay ... I have a bad feeling ... (feeling scared)
Shizuma: don't worry ... I'll just practice for a while and then I'll leave. After practice it would be nice to go and get some cake, do you want to join me?
Miyuki opens her eyes full of excitement forgetting about the threatening situation she felt when entering to the club premises.
Miyuki: yes!
Shizuma: Good, I will be done soon.
Miyuki: I'll stay with you (following her)
Both entered the place seeing that there were girls from other grades already practicing and Miyuki felt more relaxed. She sat on the benches, took a book from her purse and began to read in silence.
After changing up her clothes, Shizuma joined a second and fourth graders who were training.
All of them practiced quietly and the atmosphere was very pleasant. At times, Miyuki raised her eyes to check that everything was going on alright.
Suddenly, the sixth grade students interrupted the practice puzzling everyone. Out of nowhere, three senior girls surrounded Shizuma while the rest of the younger students witnessed the scene in astonishment.
Sixth Grader: mmm ... (looking at Shizuma) ... yeah she is cute and all but what do the Etoile sees in her? ... she's short... she still needs to grow up ...she's just a girl (One of them takes strongly Shizuma's chin)
The young Hanazono was not intimidated by the unpleasant attitude of her Senpai. She kept quiet glaring at her boldly.
Sixth Grader: Let's see what you're made of, so I can understand why the Etoile likes you so much ... you're just a little girl
For a moment Shizuma had completely forgotten that Miyuki was there and looks around to find her when she sees another senior student molesting her.
Shizuma: leave her alone ... she has nothing to do with all this
Sixth Grader: ooh! Do you think we will do something to your girlfriend?
Miyuki was fearful and her hands were shaking a bit with the sudden presence of that Senpai by her side.
Miyuki: (Scared looks at the senpai) ... what do you want?
Sixth Grader: what are you reading? (looking at her book) A poem for your girlfriend?
Miyuki: huh?
Sixth Grader: why don't you tell her to stay away from our Etoile? eh? (serious)
Miyuki: I do not know what you're talking about ... she hasn't done anything to you or anyone ...
(she replies seriously)
Senpai: that's what you think ... let me see ... (taking her book)
Miyuki: nooo! Give it back!
Miyuki tries to reach her book but the sixth Grader is way taller than her and she struggles to get it back. Shizuma sees this and immediately wants to go and help her out but she's surrounded by other older students.
Shizuma: I told you to leave her alone! (Gets angrier)
Senpais: oh! Look, this little girl got angry ... (Taking her fencing foil and pointing at Shizuma) ... defeat me ... and we'll leave you alone ... (challenging her)
The atmosphere became extremely tense and the other younger students began to leave quickly the gym, all of them thinking that it was almost impossible for a first year student to defeat a sixth grade Senpai.
Both, Shizuma and her opponent gazed in each other's eyes, grabbed their foils and prepared for the challenge.
Shizuma: I accept your challenge ... (defiant)
Sixth Graders: ooh this will be good! We will have a good time ...
The senior students surrounded them to witness the event. Miyuki didn't know what to do, a senpai had her cornered in the bench. Shizuma and Miyuki were alone and with a visible disadvantage.The two opponents took a fierce look before putting on their masks for protection,
Miyuki watched them with a worried heart and shaky hands. An overwhelming silence grew on the gym prior combat. Everybody were impatient to see their first move. Without warning, the sixth grader makes the first attack attempting to surprise Shizuma, who steps back quickly and starts moving forward to respond the attack with an incredible skill. The older student begins the counterattack with a lot of strength to beat the unbelievable speed of Shizuma, but fails to touch her.
Despite the evident difference in strength and height, the sixth grader wasn't able to stop the young Shizuma. The older senpais began to cheer up her friend, who was one of the most skilled member of the fencing club and certainly she was the one who could easily beat a first year rookie. However, their intentions were clearly being truncated by the talented young girl.
Sixth Grader: come on! it's just a little girl! Finish her!
Shizuma's opponent started to feel the pressure of her friends while Shizuma kept a tough fight.
Her attacks began to lose control and in a moment of despair, the sixth grader gave Shizuma a brutal kick in her protective breastplate causing Shizuma to fall violently to the ground.
Miyuki: Shizuma! (worried, the sixth year holds her so she can't go and help her)
In that instant the older opponent prepares to defeat Shizuma, who was on the ground a little dazed after the previous cowardly attack. The victory was in her hands and she wanted to a kick away Shizuma's foil to leave her unarmed, but the youngster was much faster and deftly stood up. Instantly, the rookie threw an accurate blow to her rival foil that escaped from her hands flying away in the distance. The Senpai froze as soon as she knew she had no opportunity to attack. With this advantage, Shizuma threw a direct blow to her mask.
The whole gym seemed went in shock at that moment and the silence was omnipresent.
The sixth grade Senpai was in shock from the imminent defeat, her knees wobbled letting her fall, her companions went blank without knowing what to do or say, the fight was over.
Shizuma: (raising the protective mask, looking down at them) ... you're unworthy of calling yourselves students of Miator. You all bring shame to our school and to the entire hill.
At that moment, someone wide opened the door of the gym, the first year students who left in fear before the fight, entered with Etoilee Ainee Megumi, who was up to speed with the situation. Upon seeing her entering the gym, the sixth graders quickly dispersed trying to flee.
Megumi: where do you think you are going?
Miyuki was now free and ran to go next to Shizuma, while the defeated Senpai still had no intention of standing up. Megumi walked towards them before the astonished look of all. The
Etoile looked defiantly at her classmates. They all formed a line, as they knew that an Etoile command was as powerful as one of any of the sisters.
Once again, the atmosphere became awkward, but still everyone felt they were in big trouble.
Megumi walked from side to side with a clear gesture of annoyance on her face. Shizuma's stomach was still resentful of the kick she received during combat.
Miyuki: are you okay? We should go to the infirmary
Shizuma: don't worry, I'm fine
Megumi: stand up (talking to the defeated Senpai)
Senpai: but Etoile Sama ...
Megumi: I won't repeat it, it's an order
The Senpai immediately stood up and formed herself with the others with downcast eyes, she was unable to look up at the Etoile who did not stop thinking about what happened while looking at every single student. The younger students witnessed that scene in disbelief.
Megumi: You all should be ashamed of your behavior! Molesting youngsters instead of being an example in behaviour. This is totally unacceptable in Astraea, you all should know that.
All students present kept a deep silence while Shizuma sat next to Miyuki in the stands to recover from her discomfort.
The Etoile Ainee didn't stop walking sideways, she almost looked like a sergeant. Everyone could see from her expression that she was furious, but wanted to keep her composure in front of the younger students. Clearly, the senior students deserved to be punished for their behaviour; nevertheless, the Etoile didn't have enough authority to do so, punishments were duty of the sister.
Megumi: none of this will go unnoticed, I will make a report to the sister and she will take care of this, there must be consequences for your actions ...
Sixth Graders: but Etoile Sama ...
Megumi: what? Do you have anything to say after all of this?
None of the older students looked up and only heard the sermon from the Etoile feeling crestfallen.
Megumi: I will speak personally with the president of her club and you will be suspended from your activities...
Sixth Graders: What !? But Etoile Sama!
Megumi: ... and the sister will decide what will be the best for you. Now go back to the dorms immediately, I don't want to see you near younger students never again.
The Etoile sentenced the abusive students with her words, who gave her a nervous bow before leaving the gym, some with watery eyes. On the other hand, the younger students who were present couldn't believe what they had just seen, this was something no one had ever seen before.
Shizuma's eyes lit up watching Megumi in the center of the gym, she looked stunning and powerful, like a beautiful warrior surrounded by her brilliant aura, but it was only the light from the outside that came in strongly through the windows.
Miyuki looked at her friend who seemed lost admiring the Etoile, until Megumi turned around to leave the place, but not before looking at Shizuma and winking at her, her lips moved to say "well done" and left. The girl's heart seemed to grow in emotion with that compliment, it comforted her soul. Shizuma had defeated the best sixth grader and had silenced her aggressors, it was a story that would go down in the history of the hill.
Ends flashback mode
Miyuki remembers that moment excitedly.
Miyuki: since then they never bothered you again ... and you also earned the respect of all. Your first step of becoming the future Etoile
Shizuma: I didn't do it with that intention ... I did it to protect you (keeps cleaning, turning her back on Miyuki)
Miyuki: (looks up and blushes slightly) ... always taking care of me ... (whispering)
Shizuma: good! I think I'm done
The former Etoile observes the large gym with her hands on her waist, she seems satisfied with her cleaning. Miyuki looks at the clock on the wall.
Miyuki: Shizuma, it's almost curfew, we have to hurry up and close the gym
Shizuma: Okay, I'm on it Miss President!
Shizuma begins to turn off the lights and Miyuki prepares the keys to close the door and takes an umbrella by the door. Outside, the hill looks very dark while the lights of the little road start to turn on one by one.
Miyuki: we will have rain all night (looking at the sky)
Shizuma: it looks like it. Let's go, it's almost time ...
The door closed behind them and Shizuma looked at her friend doubting if both would fit under that umbrella, but it didn't matter, the rain was very strong and they had to hurry and be back before curfew.
They ran out on and Shizuma took the umbrella to guide her friend back to the dorms, but she mischievously went over all the water sprinkles splashing everywhere and wetting all their clothes.
Miyuki: Shizuma!
The former Etoile only laughed seeing her friend with her pants soaked but they couldn't stop, Miyuki tried to be serious but the childlike attitude of her friend brought her warmth to her chest. That scene was like one that happened many years ago.
The sky darkened more and a lightning announced its powerful presence, the thunder's strength killed the road lights and they were almost in gloom. Shizuma took the hand of her friend and accelerated the pace towards the Ishigo Sha.
Shizuma: I think we won't make it, Miyuki!
Miyuki: what are you saying !? We can't stay outside !! (She worries and Shizuma gives a mischievous smile)
Shizuma: it will be your first time Miyuki (looks at her naughty and points out that the gate of the residence is already closed)
Miyuki: it can't be !!! (very worried) ..... what are we going to do !? (Stares at the fence without knowing what to do)
Shizuma: quiet ... (looking at her patiently while bending her sleeves)
Miyuki: No Shizuma! I won't jump the fence! It goes against the rules of the residence! (Looking serious)
Shizuma: tell me another option miss president ... (crosses her arms calmly) ... You won't want to cause problems to the sister ... don't you?
Miyuki: well ... (thoughtful)
Shizuma: come fast! (she takes Miyuki's arm quickly and pulls her to hide beside the wall between the bushes)
Miyuki: what's up !? Why are you pulling me like that !? (Shizuma tells her to keep quiet and hides the umbrella among the bushes) ... but we're going to get wet!
Shizuma: shhhh! the sister is right there
Miyuki: huh?
The sister has left the residence with a huge umbrella, she observes the surroundings and walks to the fence to make sure it is securely closed. Just a few meters from the fence, Shizuma and Miyuki remain hidden behind the bushes.
After inspecting the fence, The sister turns around and goes back inside the residence. Miyuki took a deep breath as if she had been holding her breath the whole time.
Miyuki: I can't believe I'm hiding !
Shizuma: OK, let's go in ...
Miyuki: what ?! And how do you intend to enter !?
Shizuma: by the fence ... don't make so much noise and follow me ... (removes the umbrella and throws it to the other side of the fence)
Miyuki: the umbrella! What did you do!? We will get wet! (almost shouting at her)
Shizuma: shhhh! What? Do you want to jump with the umbrella? Are you Mary Poppins? (laughs)
Miyuki: (serious) .... mmmm .... (begins to laugh) .... fine fine ...
Shizuma: ... think this will be our last mischief here ... (grins) it will be fun memory for you
Miyuki knew deep down in her heart that her friend was right, there was no alternative but to jump the fence if they didn't want to spend the night in the open and also, it would be a mischief that will be in their memories forever. Her eyes brightened after seeing the
Shizuma's naughty face and prepared for jumping.
Miyuki: ... well ... I will follow you ...
Shizuma looks everywhere to make sure no one is there, and under the heavy rain begins to climb the gate, Miyuki looks at her nervously but also with admiration for her climbing skill
Miyuki: careful Shizuma
Shizuma already turned around and steps on the other side splashing water with mud leaving her extremely dirty
Miyuki: look! You are covered in dirt (scolding her)
Shizuma: (looking at her) don't worry about that, climb soon!
Miyuki mentalized herself to go up. Her hands gripped the bars to climb in the best way possible, everything was a little slippery but there was nothing else to do, just to hurry up without making any noise. She reached the top ahead of time and a smile came over her face, she couldn't believe her feat.
Miyuki: (happy) I got it!
Shizuma looked at her and suddenly Miyuki slipped without being able to hold herself to the fence.
Shizuma: Miyuki!
Miyuki falls but Shizuma catches her in her arms. Miyuki opens her eyes and sees that is in Shizuma's arms)
Shizuma: are you okay? (looking at her calmly)
Miyuki: (blushing) ... thanks Shizuma ...
Carefully, Shizuma let her to stand up, both are soaking wet and dirty. There was not time to check if her friend was okay, at least at first sight, she was.
Shizuma: come here
The ex-Etoile asks her to keep quiet and that they must walk bent over the next route, Miyuki follows her in silence under the rain that doesn't give way. Some lights on the first floor are still on, Shizuma hides under a window frame and looks slowly to see inside, from there she could see the sister touring the halls of the residence.
Miyuki: (speaking low and hidden next to Shizuma) everything all right?
Shizuma: wait a second ... (the sister turns off the last light and retires to her room) .... now ... now .....
Shizuma tells her to keep walking towards the window of the music room.
Miyuki: why don't we go through the door?
Shizuma: the sister's room is near the entrance, she would hear us right away ... there is another way ...
Miyuki: my God ... how do you know all this?
Shizuma: just follow me. Here it is ... (both are located below the window of the music room) .. this window never has a lock ...
Miyuki: What? Did you always came through here?
Shizuma: shhh! Do you want to blow our cover? (opening the window) ... you go first..
Shizuma bends down so that Miyuki can use her back as a stool. Without hurting her, Miyuki climbs carefully opening the window trying not to make any noise. She moves the curtains and looks inside the dark room and sees they are in the clear.
Shizuma: are you in? (getting up)
Miyuki: yes (fully opening the window for Shizuma to enter without problems)
Shizuma jumps up and in a single movement enters the music room, Miyuki seems surprised)
Miyuki: I see you have enough experience doing this
At that moment the window slammed shut making a lot of noise
Shizuma: shhhh, hide fast! (pointing at the chairs)
Miyuki feels her heart racing, she turns to look at Shizuma who is just as agitated. Both had her hair very wet and their clothes extremely dirty. Suddenly, the door of the music room opens and the light goes on. Miyuki is scared and Shizuma covers her mouth with her hand.
The sister, who is wearing her nightgown, enters the room and goes to the window to check.
Sister: ... it was only the wind ....
She turns halfway around the room. Miyuki doesn't move a single muscle and her heart beat feels hard on her chest. Shizuma looks out of the corner of her eye at the sister waiting for her to leave.
Another flash of lightning cracked the walls of the residence, so the sister breathed quiet believing that the previous noise was an effect of nature. She turns back and leaves the room.
Miyuki and Shizuma waited a few moments listening to her steps to fade away in the hallway.
Miyuki: (sighs) uuff ... it was close ...
Shizuma: when was the last time you had fun like this? ...
Miyuki: (smiles) ... you're right ... it's been fun ...
Shizuma stands up and stretches her hand to Miyuki
Shizuma: let's rest ... (smiles)
Miyuki smiles and takes Shizuma's hand, a beam illuminates the scene for a few seconds
Miyuki: thanks for this day ... Shizuma ...
During the night the rain didn't stop ... Shizuma and Miyuki began to walk through the dark corridors of the Ishigo Sha ... just as they used to do it when they were little girls ...
Flashback mode
Both walking through the dark corridor of Ishigo Sha during a rainy night during their first Year.
Shizuma: don't be afraid Miyuki ...
Miyuki: is the lightning that scares me a lot .. (holding Shizuma's arm)
Shizuma: don't worry ... when you're scared ... just hug me, okay? And you will see that no nothing will happen (smiles)
Miyuki is moved by her friends tender face and keeps walking with Shizuma, always together.
Miyuki: will you always protect me?
Shizuma: always ... always ...


End of chapter

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