Thursday, 8 December 2016

Chapter two, 2017, schism, segment seven

They lost close to a third of their members within two days after Kareyoshi pulled the plug on the club, or rather the student council did. Well, in reality they lost all of them as they were no longer recognised as a school club.

Ryu looked at the people gathered in the café. Around a hundred of them, including journalists. Kuri had just finished off her defamation speech, and for everyone present their principal seemed like a third reich goon. Tomorrow would see a massive media scandal.

Ryu could understand Kuri’s intense hatred of Kareyoshi. He was an arse after all, and somehow he was involved in the assaults on their friends. Yukio, Kyoko and Urufu had all been physically attacked. Kuri as well, even though she was the only one dodging hospital.

This isn’t a club meeting. She turned it into a press conference.

The worst part was that none of those sent to hospital was there. That had to be Urufu’s fault. Yukio was his best friend, and together they pushed Kyoko into a corner where she had to chose between her best friend and her boyfriend. The result was a given.

That hurt. Ryu could see in Kuri’s eyes how much that hurt. He felt it himself, because more often than not, Noriko was absent as well. It was as if Urufu wanted to tell him and Kuri that if they became a couple, then that would be at the cost of their friends.

Damned dirty way of fighting. But Urufu always played dirty, and he wasn’t even ashamed of it. Efficient, he called it. Dad, is this the way you solve things as well?

Ten members lost, four new gained. Six if you counted Tomasu and Jeniferu. Apart from their two Irishima High newcomers there was a freshman and one junior, both previously from Red Rose Hell. There was a list as well, the red list.

These are the applications from students Kareyoshi paid others to bully,” Kuri said, and she got the expected shouts of outrage.

Kuri, you’re a wonder, but I don’t think you understand just how deeply rooted our antagonism towards Koreans and Chinese are. The uproar would blow over. What happened to non white foreigners wasn’t news at all. As long as the harassed students were non Japanese Asians a lot of the parents would silently applaud the actions.

Then again, with Kuri going up in flames, well you never knew. Urufu once said he might be ruthless, but that Kuri was the dangerous one.

While Kuri continued to pour petrol on the flames Ryu contemplated why he wasn’t more disturbed by Urufu keeping his distance, than he was. Maybe because Urufu was just as much the condescending arrogant arse that he accused Japanese people to be.

With a smirk Ryu amended that thought. Urufu got his daughter killed in Sweden, but that wasn’t the work of some right wing loonies like the insane assaults on Urufu, Yukio and Kyoko.

I’m pretty sure you have your share of the idiots in Sweden as well, Ryu thought. You were just to old to notice it.

In the centre of the café Kuri finished her thinly disguised speech.

Ryu looked at Jirou, who grinned and tapped on his keyboard. They must have gained yet another one or two members. From Irishima High or Himekaizen Ryu didn’t know.

Maybe we won’t lose overall in the end anyway.

Ryu rose from his chair and joined Kuri. He’d promised to show how they belonged together whenever he got a chance, but this time he also represented their club, even though it was an unofficial one.

Two new members? Superb! There are clubs with just two members,” he said and flashed his best smile. That bought them another member. “Don’t be shy. We’d like more members from Irishima High, for balance I say.” Ryu kept his smile glued to his face. The effort got them yet another.

Two cute girls from Irishima High,” Kuri said and laughed. “No male takers?” Her voice rang like bells in the café.

You know, that’s outright unfair.

Unsurprisingly she hooked two boys. Freshmen both.

And it was unfair. Kuri and him working in tandem was a behemoth when it came to recruiting. It worked just as well this year as it had done a year ago.

But it wasn’t fully a year ago, was it. Urufu’s brainchild. Dammit, Urufu, you’re usually so full of yourself, so where the hell are you now?

Jirou shook his head and added the new members. Now, even if another half a dozen left the club, they’d have the numbers needed to continue their activities.

Which mean Urufu was absolutely vital, Ryu noted. Urufu embodied their walking talking sessions. Without the ingenious problems he posited they were worthless.

Ryu saw ho Kuri suddenly grabbed her phone. One moment she was happily chatting with their latest members and giving bland answers to what had to be journalists, the next she stared at her phone with a predatory smile in her face.

Seems he’s not abandoned us,” she said. Her voice broke a little, and the subtle tone of sadness took some of the edge away from her cynical comment. “Ryu, get the tablets. We got some documents from Ulf.

I can organise the walk as long as the material is here. “Yeah, I’ll do that,” Ryu said, and his mood rose several degrees. It didn’t matter that Urufu was an arse. As long as he delivered he wasn’t a total arse.

A hand landed on Ryu’s shoulder. Slender fingers digging in and a moment’s caress. “I miss him as well,” Kuri said, “But you’re my boyfriend now, so please bear with him, will you?”

That was one hell of a way to declare both your love as well as your loyalty. Ryu wasn’t certain he liked it all that much, but Kuri just said that she wouldn’t cheat on him. Guess she can’t forget she got cheated on herself when she was young. The first time.

Sure,” Ryu promised.

A few minutes later he was back from the inner room with an armful of tablets. “Guys, it’s walking talking time!”

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