Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:42 pm
Go on a Trip — IC Date: 10/03/2015
The walk from the Ra Yellow dormitory to the main academy building wasn't supposed to be a particularly long one, but Ren Ikuhara discovered that when one had a lot going on in their mind, it could turn out to be a bit of a trek. It didn't matter how much she idled, though: Soon enough she'd find herself inside of the infirmary that she loved so much, standing in front of the door that led to its inner office and, presumably, Zaniah Melancholy.
There's no reason to be scared, Ren reassured herself as she shifted from one foot to the other. Sensei would want to hear the truth. And besides that, you're friends, right? She'll listen. She might not agree... But she'll listen. She's on our side after all... I think.
"Sensei? Are you in there?"
"Yes. I am." she replied, sitting quietly at her desk. There were two stacks of paper, one with marks on them and one without any... she was busily grading a test from a day ago. Her faithful spirit Lily was hovering nearby, obviously looking a little worried. "You may enter."
Ren entered as soon as permission was given, closing the door behind her softly. She noticed the Duel Spirit right away. "Oh, hey there, Lily-san! It's nice to see you again."
Ren hedged for a moment before addressing her sensei properly. "We had our meeting." The Hellnurse knew what she meant.
"You met already..?" Zaniah asked as the tiny Injection Fairy waved energetically to Ren. "I see." She didn't even look up from where she was continuing to grade papers, pausing only long enough to occasionally check her her answer code. "So then, what was it that you decided to do?"
It was then that Lily pointed at Zaniah, then made a face that looked a lot like a zombie before miming someone taking a nap and finally shaking her head no. It was the silentest way the duel spirit could think of to say 'she hasn't had a good night's sleep in two days please can you talk to her seriously I'm worried about onee-sama.'
Ren wasn't exactly fluent in Duel Spirit pantomime, but she felt like she understood enough to give the Angel a quick nod before speaking to Zaniah again. "It's kind of a shaky plan at best, but... before that..." The girl crouched down in front of the nurse's desk just low enough to put the two at eye-level with each other. "You don't look very good, sensei. Have you been sleeping?" She could tell by her face that Lily had been telling the truth, so the answer should be 'no,' but an inquiry always helped... Denial would mean something else, after all.
Zaniah was many things, but a liar was not among them. "...No. I have not had much time, in light of Akira's sudden actions. Banning Ryuuoumaru... what is she thinking?" she muttered, scowling as she finished her stack of papers.
Ren blinked, unsure of what to make of that. 'Not had much time'... to what? She didn't like to pry into the Hellnurse's business, though (and she knew she appreciated that), so instead she offered her a weak smile. "I didn't know you cared about the group that much, sensei."
"I am more worried about what the chancellor is thinking. Yours is a group that has stopped several invasions and... issues... including a few which could have resulted in the deaths of everyone." She let loose a sigh. "Thinking about that... I cannot agree with her decision."
I wish the others could hear you say that, sensei, Ren thought as she closed her eyes and decided that it was time to deliver the truth. "Sensei... There's a lot that I think... I have to tell you. You might... want to set your papers to the side."
"...Mn." she muttered, looking up at Ren and giving the other girl her full attention. "What is going on, then?"
Ren took a moment to grab a chair and bring it close to the desk, making herself comfortable. She then took a deep breath and began to tell her mentor everything that she didn't already know. It started with the interrogation of her fellow Ryuuoumaru members, went past their figuring out that it had been a setup, wound its way to their game night, and ended with Ren taking another breath before saying: "We think she's after your Elemental Seal, sensei."
She then paused here to let that sink in, for both of their sakes... It hadn't really hit Ren before just how serious this was, or how truly concerned she was for Zaniah.
All Zaniah could do was pause. There was a great deal of information to ingest all at once-- but it did make a great deal of sense. After a moment, she leaned forward and put her hand to her chin. "...I see. And what is it you want me to do?" Obviously, Ren wouldn't have said anything if she didn't have a plan in mind-- particularly a plan that somehow involved action on her own part.
Although it was a little unnerving to see her take it in stride, Ren also found herself grateful for the Hellnurse's ever-present coolness. It made it a lot easier to get out the things she had to say... Made it easier to be frank. "We would like you to leave the island for a while. With friends, of course, for protection. It solves two of our biggest problems at once... If someone (or something) comes after you, then we know for sure that's what it is... And any fight off the island is out of Kaito-san's hands, so they'd be able to go all-out without consequence."
The girl paused for a moment. "We didn't make a lot of plans after that because we wanted to have your agreement first... I know... how important this place is to you, sensei. I don't want to pressure you into doing anything on the chance we might be wrong..."
If what Ren was saying was accurate, there was a good chance that Akira was after her seal. Even if that was not the case, she could not in good conscience remain in a place that suddenly saw fit to punish (mostly) good students simply for trying-- and succeeding, from her understanding of it-- to help. "...I surmise I could use a change of venue anyways. Very well." Zaniah stood up, placing a hand to her hip. "I will resign, if you believe that would force their hand."
"Resign?!" Ren jumped up from her chair, panicked as she thought: Oh, no! What did I do?! "I don't think you need to go that far, sensei...!"
"You would suggest I take a vacation instead?" Zaniah asked, tilting her head to the side. "Ren... please think it through. If I am only going to be gone for a month, Akira-san would only delay for that month. Nothing would occur. However, I plan on leaving forever... and no one will have any idea where I am going. That would force the timetable forward, should she be our enemy. Should she not..."
Zaniah paused, looking away and frowning. "I was... considering it anyways. I cannot say I agree with how the school is being run any more-- either our chancellor is a villain or she is truly incompetent. Omasu will be more than able to take care of you all."
"That... does... make sense. I guess..." Ren said slowly as she sat down again, her body suddenly feeling very... heavy. "If that's the way you really feel, but..." She wanted to say, 'What about my internship?' but realized in the nick of time how incredibly selfish it would be to mention it. This was about Zaniah, after all, not her. "... but can you afford it? Where will you stay?"
"I will find a way to manage, I assure you." Was her simple response.
"It might help to know, though... I mean, so we can make sure the people we want to send can make it. If you don't have an idea about where to go, we can help out, I'm sure..."
"I was planning on asking Towa-san if I could perhaps live at his family's shrine for a time. It seems peaceful and out of the way enough." She smirked slightly. "Besides, who on earth would look for me anywhere he might be?"
Oh, that's right! Lily-san mentioned that about her family... Ren suddenly recalled the minor fact with a ping. "That sounds good. Sakuma-sensei will certainly agree, I'm sure of it." Then, something else dinged inside her sometimes slow-thinking brain. A scenario she'd rather not think of, but decided it was better to mention anyway. "What if... She attacks you when you resign?"
"Then I will simply destroy the building. It worked the last time a teacher left the island." She replied flatly.
"Sensei..." Ren sighed, a touch of exasperation in her voice. Something about that also tickled her funny bone, so she smiled just a little. "I... mean that, though. I don't think you can't handle it, to be honest, but... Maybe we should have some people looking out, just in case?"
"So long as they can be inconspicuous, I do not mind sentries, or most other types of assistance. Do what you feel is necessary."
"I'll ask Honjou-san about it as soon as I can, then," Ren replied, nodding. "It might be being too careful, but I guess these days we can't afford to not be a little paranoid..." Particularly since their plan hinged on being able to take the fight away from the school. Though I guess if she attacked then she'd be pretty much outed... She mused, remembering one of the original plans the group had wanted to come up with.
"It's... a little sad, though, isn't it, sensei...? That things have... gotten to this, I mean. I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams during my first year that it would be like this... at all."
"It is alright, Ren. Everything that happens... most of it, anyway, seems to turn out alright in the end. Things may be difficult... but in this case at least, I am certain there is a light waiting just a short ways ahead."
"Eheheh..." Ren laughed nervously and rubbed her hand against the back of her head in semi-confusion. "I didn't know you could be an optimist, sensei... But I guess that's at least one good change that's happened over the years, huh?"
"...Ah. So you are correct." Zaniah replied after a short pause. "I suppose even I have my idealistic streaks."