Hanging Out With The Boys
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Class 1-A

"That's all you need to start off, and just in case you forget, it's all listed on page 6 of your student handbook. And that's everything, you are dismissed" Osuji-sensei closed his large notebook and picked it up, holding it under his arm.

"Stand" Everyone stood up.

"Bow" Everyone bowed.

Osuji-sensei headed out of class after the students bowed. Talking started between the students, some asking if their friends had any plan, some talking about checking out some of the clubs, a guy was ballsy enough to ask a girl to go out with him (in class with everyone watching) but got shot down politely.

'This is what public humiliation looks like' This thought came to me while I was watching the guy crumble to the ground pitifully.

I put away my notebook that I was drawing the newly modified magic circle on before gazing at Hina, who was as popular as always.

"Izuno-san, do you have plans after school?"

"We plan to go sing karaoke, wanna join us?"

"The place we're going to just opened up two weeks ago, so it's still on discount"

"We also have some guy friends that are going too"

Three girls were trying to invite Hina to hang out, and for some reason talking like they're trying to sell her a knock-off product. These three girls would make great businesswomen in the future but I don't think they're gonna be able to convince Hina to ditch her heartbroken friend for karaoke.

"Sorry, I already have plans with a friend. Maybe next time" Hina turned them down with an apologetic smile, which seemed to make the trio back down instantly.

"Oh well, next time then"

"Yeah, can't just ditch a friend, right?"

"I totally get you, girl"

"Thank you for understanding" Hina's smile turned bright at their reasonableness unlike a certain group of persistent girls back in middle school.

"Let's go, girls. Later Izuno-san"

"Bye Izunocchi"

"Next time, Izuno-san"

The trio waved goodbye as they left the classroom after getting their bags. Some of our other classmates also started to funnel out as well.

"I should get going too. See you tomorrow, Ren" Hina grabbed her bag and stood up before turning to me.

"Yeah. Tell Akano-san she can still do better" I nodded as Hina started to walk out.

"She's gonna get mad at you again, you know" Hina turned to face me and smiled helplessly at my message.

"Well, she's been dating second-rate guys for two years now. I wonder why she hasn't gotten better at judging them yet" I mused with closed eyes.

"Not everyone can read people like a book like you. Anyway, I'm gonna be late if we keep talking" Hina pouted a little before turning and headed out for real this time.

And like clockwork, a wild Namaii appeared, holding her bag.

"Ishi-kun, Monoa-kun, you have any plans?" Namaii smiled playfully.

"None. Ishia-kun?" Monoa turned toward.

"Don't you have plans with Keirou?" I stared questioningly at her.

"Hehe, that's right. I just wanted to rub it in" Namaii giggled evilly with an expression that said 'I'm taking your best friend away, how does it feel?'

"Jokes on you, I have plans with my new friend" I declared smugly.

Monoa seemed to perk up at this, excitement coloring his face.

"Akirou-kun" I announced.

Monoa instantly started to deflate like a balloon onto his desk.

"Oh, and you can tag along too, Monoa-kun" I added, laughing a bit on the inside.

This seemed to have cheered him up a bit, but alas the sadness still remained. Being the second pick wounded his heart a bit, but he didn't let it show as he just took it with a weak smile.

"I'm telling Kei-kun about this" Namaii turned and walked away with a mischievous grin.

"Why? I'm not his girlfriend, that's your role" I smiled gently with a thoughtful expression.

Namaii suddenly halted her steps as her head slowly turned towards me; her face was red.

"H-Ho-How did you find out!?" Namaii dropped her bag before rushing over and slammed both hands on my desk.

I just stared at her blushing face for a few seconds for suspense before telling her the truth.

"I saw you running back from the gate, you were grinning from ear to ear so I figured…" I trailed off on purpose with a gentle smile.

Namaii's face became beet red while her mouth opened and closed without any words coming out; just cute noises. This only lasted half a minute though as she came to her senses before staring me down.

"Don't tell Kei-kun about this" Namaii's eyes grew intense as she stared at me, face still red.

"My lips are sealed" I raised both hands and surrendered.

"Good, see you later" Namaii muttered out before she went and picked up her bag before leaving in a dazed.

"Ishia-kun, what was that all about?" Monoa asked in a hushed voice, he seemed to have fully recovered.

"You don't need to know" I gave a bitter smile. He seemed to have gotten the message as he didn't pursue the matter.

"So, where are we going?" Monoa changed the subject to our hang-out plans.

"We'll wait for Akirou-kun to get here first" I then went back to packing up.

"Alright, then I should pack my stuff too" Monoa picked up his stuff and put them in his bag.

While we packed our things, the back classroom door opened before closing. I didn't turn to look as I felt his presence since a while ago; he was just standing in front of the door hesitating for a good two minutes.

Akirou walked up to us and just stood there without saying a word; he's [Anxiety] must be kicking in.

"Oh, Akirou-kun. You came at the right time, let me introduce you" I looked at him with a gentle smile and stood up before gesturing to Monoa.

"He's Monoa Iniji, Class 1-A; despite his small stature, he's the same age as us" I then gestured to Akirou.

"He's Akirou Hiro, Class 1-B; he's a little socially awkward so don't mind if he's a little stiff and freezes up sometimes" I gave an awkward smile while looking at Monoa to get my point across. I just found that out while we were playing Truth or Dare with the girls.

"N-Nice to meet you" Akirou nervously extended his hand out towards Monoa. This made Monoa pause for a moment before a friendly smile bloomed on his face.

"Haha, nice to meet you too. No need to be nervous around me, we're both guys here" Monoa stood up and shook Akirou's hand enthusiastically. This made Akirou stiffen up for a few seconds before he relaxed a bit after feeling my hand on his shoulder.

"Now that introductions are over, let's go. I'll tell you guys our plans on our way to the train station" I slung my bag over my shoulder before walking to the door while they followed after me. We didn't lock the doors because we don't have the key, but Miyako will do it as the Class Rep.

----------------------

Inside a luxurious car, a blonde-haired boy was glaring at the phone in his hand. He looked quite irritated while furiously tap the screen.

「Damn it! Not him again! Give me the banner character!」 He screamed out, a vein popping on his forehead. He seemed to have gotten the wrong character from the gacha, which he should probably stop pulling as he has already spent more than 10k USD on this specific game this month.

The car he's on slowly came to a stop as the old driver got out and opened the door for the boy and tell him they have arrived, but he got yelled at instead the moment the car door opened.

「What is it, Morgan!? Can't you see I'm busy!?」The boy grumbled and glared at Morgan, his personal butler.

However, the old butler didn't get upset from being yelled at as this has already become a daily occurrence ever since his young master had gotten into this phone game called "Chronicle Impact"; he just stayed silent, waiting for his young master to calm down.

「Sigh, what is it?」The boy regained his calm and put away his source of anger(phone).

「We have arrived, Young Master Alex」 Morgan spoke elegantly while bowing a little with his right hand on his chest.

「Ho, finally! I was getting bored just sitting around for hours. Why did Uncle buy a house in such a rural area?」Alex snorted while stepping out of the car. Although the boy called this neighborhood rural, it's only about a 10-15 minutes car ride from the big city area; their hotel was just on the opposite side of the city.

Morgan didn't speak as he just closed the door behind Alex before following behind him. Alex walked up to a two-storey modern house and rang the doorbell.

*Ding Dong* *Ding Dong* *Ding Dong*

He stood there waiting for a moment, but no one came so he rang it a few more times.

*Ding Dong* *Ding Dong* *Ding Dong*

Eventually, the door clicked open as the person behind is revealed to be, an old granny.

"C-Can I help you?" The old granny was quite shaken by Alex since from his hair and eye color, she can tell he's a foreigner.

「Uhh… I'm looking for my uncle. I know he's here」Alex tried to walk in but got the door slammed in his face.

「Hey! Open up! I know he's in there!」Alex banged on the door and spammed the doorbell.

"Go away or I will call the police!" An aged voice shouted out, which made Alex freeze up. He might not be fluent in speaking Japanese, but he can still understand it quite clearly. A memory flashed in his mind at the mention of the police; a week ago, he was being reprimanded by his father for getting taken in by the police for punching a street thug, although he was in the right, he still got taken in for violence.

「If this ever happens again, you're coming back to America. No excuses」His father warned sternly before cutting off the call.

Alex came back to his senses and bolted out the gate with Morgan running right behind him despite being old. After getting out, he glanced at the nameplate on the side of the gate and it read "Miguri".

「This is the wrong house! Morgan, why didn't you tell me!?」Alex yelled at his butler with an annoyed face.

「Young Master, I was told by the Master to only interfere when absolutely necessary, don't you remember?」Morgan reminded Alex's father's condition for him coming to Japan.

「Ugh… Sigh, fine. Tell me Uncle's new last name, I wasn't really listening at that time」Alex grumbled a little, and waited for Morgan's reply.

「That's for you to figure out, Young Master」

「What!?」

「The Master told me to not reveal it to you as he noticed you weren't listening at that time」

「How am I supposed to figure that out!?」

「Not to worry, we are quite near it, I assure you. You just need to find it」Morgan smiled gently at his young master, who was now kneeling on the ground while regretting his carelessness.

----------------------

In a subway train

The three of us sat side by side, with Akirou in the middle. Monoa and Akirou were chatting about a new game that just came out called "Chronicle Impact"; apparently Akirou was one of the beta testers. Monoa has been obsessed with it ever since its release and has played it every day.

I don't really play games that much so I was completely clueless about the topic, but I still listened in. After all, even if I've never played it before, I can still pick up some clue about it; who knows, maybe it'll become useful later.

And what was I doing while listening? I was channeling my mana throughout my body. Even if I'm not on the battlefield anymore, I still didn't want to get rusty. Channeling mana is a type of training for low-tier Mages, it stabilizes the mana in your body and spreads it equally throughout, it also refines your mana control to a certain point. If it was real training for this Master-tier avatar body, I would also condense it to my limits before slowly releasing into the surrounding while absorbing in new mana from the environment, but it would take my full consideration to pull it off so I've only just been channeling mana passively.

[We will be arriving at Kisaragi Station in 30 seconds] A feminine voice came on the intercom, announcing our next stop.

"That's our station; you guys remember the plan, right?" I double-checked if they got the plan down.

"Yeah, yeah, we'll do our own shopping and find a place to eat, and then you'll come and find us. Though it's kinda inconvenient that I'm the only one with a phone" Monoa gave us a blank stare of annoyance.

"S-Sorry, I forgot my phone at home" Akirou showed an awkward smile while scratching his head.

"Sorry, my phone broke" I gave a beaming smile with no trace of being sorry whatsoever.

"Sigh, I can't even get mad the both of you for this" Monoa's face grew a little tired as he looked down to the floor.

"Well, look on the bright side. After I buy my new phone, I can contact you and find you faster" My smile turned back to the normal gentle one as I stood up, just in time for the voice on the intercom to come on again.

[We have arrived] The train slowed down before coming to a halt; the doors to both sides of the train opened up.

"Come on, let's go. It's still pretty crowded around this time of day, we might get separated if we dilly dally" I grabbed my bag and got off the train with the other two following right behind me.

"Woah, it is pretty crowded"

"Stop idling, you're gonna get in people's way and might possibly get separated from us" I glanced back a Monoa's small stature.

"Hey! What was that last part supposed to mean?" Monoa lit up with anger.

"Nothing~" I smirked playfully before turning back forward.

We maneuvered our way through the crowd, out the subway, before making our way towards the mall. We dropped by a book store on the way there because Akirou wanted to pick a few mangas. Monoa also bought the first volume of a manga that Akirou recommended, it's called "Another World Adventure with The Great Sage – With knowledge from The Great Sage, I can overcome anything!".

While they were doing their own thing, I browsed through the light novel section and found the light novel version of the manga. I flipped through the first volume and I could say the premise was quite interesting; along with the betrayal in the last arc of the volume that really hit the MC hard and established the kind of world he was transported to.

The story felt real, the characters had reasons for their actions, and the world's magic system is intriguing too; which is why I bought the first and second volumes. I'm interested in how the MC will handle this betrayal; plus I already read so it'd be disrespectful to the author if I didn't and quite possibly be illegal too.

We regrouped and checked out before arriving at the mall several minutes later. I split off from the two and went to the second floor where I remember seeing an electronic store, while they went to find whatever they need from the listed items. I didn't need to get anything from the list as the academy will supply it to me as a perk of being a scholarship student; I already picked it up a week ago.

I walked casually towards where I saw that store yesterday while passing by some clothing and beauty store. This mall is quite big so it would take like a few minutes just to walk from one end to the other, and if I remember correctly, which I most likely do, that electronic store should be right around the halfway point.

And wouldn't you know it; I felt a very familiar presence just now. So familiar in fact, I can sense her from 40m away; she's practically a beacon. That's right; it's my adorable little sister, Hana.

'Should I take a detour?' I pondered while still walking.

'Hana's in the direction of that store so I'll have to go past her and considering the small number of people here now since it's noon on a Monday, she would most definitely notice me. She's out of school right now, which means she's definitely out with friends, and I don't think she would want her friends to meet me since she's currently going through that phase right now' My brain worked on overdrive weighing the options.

After 5 seconds of high-speed thinking, I just decided to go with the flow. I'll just deal with it as it came, plus I kinda want to see my little sister out in her school uniform. I saw her in them at home, but seeing her in them at the mall; now that's something new.

I kept casually walking forward and after only several more seconds, I saw her. Hana in her white long-sleeved sailor uniform and light blue skirt, holding her bag in front of her with both hands. She has a gentle smile while chatting with her two friends, she greatly stood out among her group of three with her golden blonde hair and blue eyes.

Also, because I didn't try to hide myself, she spotted me and we made eye contact. The moment this happened, her face stiffened up a little. Her friends quickly took notice of the change in her expression and followed her eyes before landing on me. I put on a smile and waved at them.

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