Legend of Heroes Fanfiction: Hound - 5. A Professional Mutual Dislike
Even back on Earth, I’ve never been on too many field trips. The few I’ve gone on were usually just trips to some museum or a famous park. Real educational stuff.
I’ve never been on an overnight field with classmates before. Unless you count strike missions, just replace a quiet relaxing town with an unregistered Ouroboros laboratory and classmates with mercenary underlings.
Long story short, I’m kinda excited.
The early morning rays were just starting to shine through the clear glass of my moderately sized dorm window when I left my room. I washed up and started putting on my crimson Thors uniform.
Parm huh… never seen it before, since it wasn’t in the game.
After I refreshed myself, I stepped out into the hallway.
Group B never said anything huge happened, just that they had to deal with Jusis and Machias’ endless bickering. So does that mean this trip’s going to be a cakewalk?
No wait, didn’t Sara leave Celdic at some point to check on group B? Well, it was probably just Jusis and Machias pissing someone important off.
I walked through the hallway and headed downstairs. And there I saw four of the members of Group A already dressed and ready to leave.
“Good morning, Krist.” Laura was the first one to greet me.
“Morning guys. You guys sure look happy.” I returned the waves Rean and Elliot sent me.
“Well let’s just say we got some internal issues resolved today.” Elliot and Laura smiled.
“Haha…” Rean managed a hesitant laugh while Alisa huffed.
“Well, I’m glad your team got its issues sorted out. If only Jusis and Machias were also secretly in love with each other.”
“We are not!-” Alisa started with an embarrassed expression.
“I’m joking.” I waved my hands to try and calm Alisa down while Rean sighed and Elliot and Laura chuckled in the background. “You can’t deny that our team’s problems are much harder to solve than yours.”
“Hmph. No kidding.” Alisa seemed to have calmed down a little. “I seriously don’t envy you at all.”
“Well, I’m sure they’ll see eye to eye someday. Those two are more alike than they think.” Laura smiled.
“Then do you want to switch teams with me?”
“… I think I’ll pass.”
“Thought so.” I turned towards the exit, the others laughed lightly and followed.
“By the way.” Alisa walked up to me. “Laura mentioned earlier that you were from Celdic. Is that right?”
“Umm yeah. I got a place there.”
“Don’t you mean you live there?” Elliot said.
“Well, I live here now don’t I? I haven’t been there in forever, I mostly just send letters to people I know these days.”
“I see…” Rean said.
“Nothing I tell will help you cheat on your field study. Celdic’s small town, not a minefield. Everything you need to know about it will come to you if you just spend some time there.” I smirked.
“It seems we were seen through.” Gaius chuckled.
“Ugh fine, but you didn’t have to word it like that though.” Alisa groaned. “What’s wrong with asking a local for some advice.”
“Kuhaha, if my group doesn’t get any outside help than your group’s not getting any either.” I cackled.
“You actually exposed your true thoughts.” “So spiteful…” “Not cute at all.”
I saw Group A off at the train station. Since they all got up early, there wasn’t any reason for them to stay around. So I grabbed a magazine off a rack and waited for my group.
Jusis and Machias both arrived at exactly at the agreed time. By the looks on their faces, it wasn’t planned at all. Fortunately, the station was big enough for them both to sulk in opposite corners.
As for what’s going to happen on the train…
Ha! I’m nothing if not prepared.
Emma and Fie finally showed up around twenty minutes later.
“Sorry! I was trying to get Fie to wake up and…” Emma tried to explain.
“It’s fine. If anything you aren’t the one who needs to apologize.” Machias sent a glance at Fie.
“Umm? Sorry… I guess.” Fie yawned.
“If you knew today was going to be important then why didn’t you get enough sleep yesterday?” Machias began his nagging, Fie closed her eyes and pretended to be sleep. While Emma tried her hardest to calm Machias down. And Jusis ignored the rest of us in his corner.
I tuned out the rest of them as I walked toward the station counter. I knew that things were like this. But seeing it in person is kinda depressing. Compared to Group A the tension’s completely different.
“Five tickets to Parm, please. We’re from Thors.”
“Please wait a moment.”
That said, it’s not like I’m any better. But there’s no use in trying to get everyone to get along anyways. I don’t exactly have Rean’s main character charisma.
Come to think of it Rean doesn’t have his main character charisma either. Every time I see him he looks kind of… I don’t know. Muted I guess.
But… that would be pretty accurate yeah? Rean’s the type of guy who’s constantly beating himself up about even the tiniest of stuff. Not only that, at the start of the game, he had also just left the family he’d known his entire life with no goal what so ever.
The human face can express so much more than a 3D sprite. It’s actually kind of cool. Guess Rean really does change a lot over the course of the game.
I took the tickets from the woman at the counter and headed back to my groupmates.
“Hey hey, no more screaming. I got the tickets so let’s go.” I handed the tickets to each of my classmates. At this point, Fie has actually fallen asleep so I just placed her ticket on her head.
Emma giggled before grabbing the ticket off Fie’s head and shaking her awake.
Oh Emma, you’re the only ray of light in this pit of darkness.
“Oh, so I’m an annoyance for upholding my duties as the class president?”
“Of screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of a public area counts as ‘upholding your duties’ then sure. You’re doing a fatntastic job.”
“Make it stop…” Fie whimpered in her across from me.
“Hehe.” I reached into my bag and took out some earplugs I brought from the general store yesterday. And handed them to the other two girls.
“I owe you my life.” Fie quickly put them in her ears and leaned back, fast asleep.
“They aren’t paying any attention to us so this shouldn’t be considered rude, right?” Despite the hesitation in her voice, Emma put her earplugs in just as quickly as Fie did.
I quickly followed suit.
As expected of the most expensive earplugs in the store, they worked perfectly. Taking a page from Fie’s book I closed my eyes and took a nap.
The rest of the train ride passed without a hitch.
Parm, like the game described, was a small town that makes their living primarily through exporting various textiles. Despite being a counterpart to the rustic market town Celdic, there were some major differences.
In addition to the residence area, behind the numerous wooden houses, a large concrete factory blocked the horizon. It was surrounded by all sides by various warehouses and smaller workshops. That was called the industrial district where most of the town’s famed products were made.
Even from the station, I could see workers moving up and down the streets moving crates and craftsmen peddling their creations.
“Haaa…” I stretched to rid myself of any stiffness from the trip.
“According to our instructor, there’s a hotel here that was willing to house us for the next two days,” Machias explained. “It should be pretty easy to spot-“
Machias cut off as Jusis silently strode past him.
“Just where do you think you’re going!?”
“Hold on hold on.” I held Machias back by the shoulder. “Let’s just get to place first then you can yell all you want.”
Machias tried to argue but Fie walked past him and out of the station.
“See? All that arguing might never tire you out, but the rest of us have had enough of it for a lifetime.” With that, I patted him on the shoulder and left after Fie.
“Haha… shall we follow them?” I heard Emma say awkwardly as I left.
Unlike Group A, who were stuck with a countryside inn. Me and the others got to spend our entire trip in a spiffy hotel. The room we were staying in had a table for general use, a bathroom, as well as a large orbal radio, in addition to the beds we would be sleeping in.
Just like Group A, however, we were currently despairing at the fact that we all have to share one room. Albeit for very different reasons.
“Don’t tell me we have to deal with that for the rest of the trip…” Fie stifled a yawn and rested her chin down on the table. Looks like despite the earplugs she wasn’t able to have a good nap on the train.
“It seems so…” Emma looked at Jusis and Machias. For once they weren’t arguing and just sat on the beds the farthest away from each other. Forcing us girls to take in the beds between them.
The current tense silence was somehow worse than the fighting. Like a balloon that was about to pop at any second.
“What I’m worried about is… whether we could work together with the two of them like this.” Emma picked up the list of tasks. “We have to complete these four tasks before the end of the day, don’t we? And it’s almost noon.”
“-taxes have increased again across rural Erebonia-“
The sudden start of the orbal radio in the corner made everyone in the room jump.
Except for me.
“Look at that! This thing actually has a remote! How cool.” I went back to fiddling with the small object in my hands.
Seeing that the game made me spent a whole side quest messing with orbal waves in my previous life. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised by a mundane thing like a remote. But even still, I couldn’t help but get excited by something so nostalgic.
I haven’t held one since coming to this world.
But that wasn’t important right now.
“Now that I’ve got your attention,” I turned to my fellow classmates.
Emma looked at me curiously, Fie didn’t move from her lazy position but I could tell by the slight tilt of her head that she was listening. Jusis gave me a slight glare, looks like he was pretty annoyed about the radio. And Machias who was about to speak, probably to reprimand me for playing around, stopped when he realized I did it on purpose.
“Let’s stop the yelling and whispering behind people’s backs. And just cut to the truth.” I smiled. “No one in this room has any intention of working as a team.”
“That’s not…” Emma started, before realizing that she was the only one in the room that objected.
Jusis turned to face me fully, all traces of previous annoyance gone from his face.
“Go on.” He said simply.
“Now that we’re all on the same page, there’s no reason for us to torture ourselves with this unbearable silence. Right?” I explained. “So why don’t we all go our separate ways?”
“You mean we split these tasks amongst ourselves and do our own thing? Sounds good.” Fie said. Oh look she’s up.
“Is that okay?” Emma asked. “I mean Instructor Sara did tell us that we should be doing these tasks together. I mean our reports even have a section for peer evaluation.”
“Unfortunately as much as I want to follow the instructions our instructor gave us as the class president. I simply don’t see us doing anything meaningful the way we’re like now.” Machias seemed to have an apologetic expression on his face. Seems like he reflected a bit.
“Hmph.” Jusis turned away. Maybe he feels bad too?
“As for our reports…” Fie said. “Let’s just make something up. We’re already breaking the rules, so why not go all the way?”
“Looks like we’re making progress!” I cheered. I took the list of tasks from the table and pointed at the first one. “Then I’ll take the monster extermination quest. You guys can figure the rest out.”
“Emma and I will take this one then,” Fie said. “There are only three tasks left and I’m sure you two want different ones right?”
“That should be obvious.”
Unlike their listlessness before, the group started taking memos on the details of their individual tasks.
“Well work hard you guys. Let’s meet back here at dinner.” I said. “If one of you guys gets lost or something. Stay where you are, the rest of us will come looking for you!”
Hey, I’m not completely irresponsible.
“Don’t treat us like children.” Jusis sighed. Though he said he looked a little more energic than before. I guess he’s glad to be away from Machias.
But hey! With a vibe like this, it feels like this field study finally started.
Back a short chapter this time. But how do you guys feel about it? Do you prefer shorter chapters with less time between them or longer ones that take me some time to write? Personally I feel like I should write until I feel like I can end it nicely. And then the next chapter can start fresh with a new scene.