Chapter 5 : The reason behind
At night, Hyusune was in her hostel room when she received a text message from Rima.
Rima : Onee-chan, what happened to you? You seem out of sorts today.
Hyusune : Its nothing. I’ve been this way all along.
Rima : Hyusune…If there’s anything troubling you, you can always tell me.
Hyusune : ……I give up. I’ll tell you, okay? Just promise not to tell anyone.
Rima : Okay.
Hyusune : I’ve never told the others about this, but when I was young, my biological mother went missing and on the same day my dad brought back another woman whom he had an illicit affair with. The woman became my stepmother and she was a violent drunkard. My father often went on business trips, or so he claimed, and I rarely met him. My mother brought home men and slept with them. She cohabited with a few of them and my house soon turned into a gambling den as well as a prostitution centre. She vent her frustrations at me and tried to steal my money I earned from working at a bakery to gamble or to splurge, which either way didn’t result in desirable outcomes. Then yesterday…she nearly gassed herself to death when she didn’t turn off the gas tap at home. I sent her to the hospital and paid the medical bills, and she got suspicious as to how I had accumulated so much money without her knowledge. She smashed a bottle of whiskey on the ground and cut my legs, while whipping me. I got sick and tired of her so I ran away from home. And that’s all there is to this.
Rima : OMG your mother is so incorrigible, and are you okay?
Hyusune : Yeah. I’m living in the hostel now.
Rima : Why don’t you move to the dormitories?
Hyusune : I prefer living alone.
Rima : Why?
Hyusune : You’re asking too much.
Rima : …sorry…
Hyusune : Anyway, if you want to drop by my room, its room 95 at block A. Take the lift to the 9th floor.
Rima : Okay, take care!
Hyusune : Yup I will.
Hyusune kept her phone at her bedside table and switched off the main lights. She turned on the bedside lamp. It was almost 11 and Hyusune had yet to finish her homework. “Ugh…what’s with all these math sums? I don’t get any of them at all!” Hyusune scratched her head. “Ahhhh! What should I do? If only I was as smart as Shiromi Misako…Wait. I know someone of her calibre. And lives right next door!” Hyusune took her homework and ran over to Jellal’s place. She knocked on the door.
“Jellal, are you in?” She asked.
“Yea, just come in. The door’s unlocked.” He said from inside.
She pushed the door open. “You just came for dinner 4 hours ago, now what brings you here?” “I need help with the math sums that were given as homework today. I’m sort of…stuck. Sorry to intrude so late at night. ” Hyusune said straightforwardly.
“Oh, come to think of it, I haven’t started the worksheet either, so lets just do our homework together.” Jellal said as he unzipped his bag.
They sat down in the living room, which was a Japanese style table and you could put your legs underneath. Hyusune and Jellal sat on cushions.
“For question 1, do you use Pythagoras Theorem or Trigonometry?” Hyusune asked.
“Trigonometry. First, you sine angle QRS, then find the hypotenuse QS. The other measurements are given, so as long as you use sine, cosine or tangent you should get the right answer. But remember, you can sine inverse, cosine inverse, and tangent inverse too. It works this way…” Jellal explained in a way that it made things sound so much simpler than when the teacher had explained. After an hour or so, they had completed all 30 sums. Hyusune then thanked Jellal for coaching her, before going back to her own room. She slumped back into her bed when she got into her room. It was past midnight and she was extremely tired. In less than a few minutes, she had fallen into a deep sleep.
The next morning, Hyusune woke up at the usual time, just that she had decided to go for a morning run over visiting Jellal for breakfast. She made her way down to the running track and began to run her 2.4km. She put on earpieces and listened to Lightning Sakura while running and timing herself. Around 2km, she felt a cramp. “Dammit.” But she wasn’t going to throw in the towel so easily. There was only one lap left, so she would finish it at all costs. For the last 100 meters, she burst forth and finished her 2.4km with a timing of 12 minutes exactly. Phanting heavily, she crashed onto the ground, and cast a magic towel to clean the sweat off her forehead. Just as she was about to make her way to the washroom beside the track to clean her face, she bumped into Jellal. He peered at her phone and saw her timing.
“Running on an empty stomach ain’t good, you know. You could’ve clocked a much better timing if you had gone to my place for breakfast first.”
“Oh please, don’t give that excuse to make me go to your place.” She rolled her eyes. “I’d prefer to satisfy my hunger only after I’ve done something that tires me out. If you understand that, leave me alone. ” But her body felt faint and she got giddy. Jellal sensed that and pat her shoulder.
“Come to my place.” Reluctantly, Hyusune agreed and walked back to the hostel with him.
She took her ingredients and made shepherd’s pie at his place. Then they sat down at the table.
“Why did you go for a run at the track this morning?” Jellal asked.
“Speaking of which, how did you know I was there?”
Jellal sighed. “You do know there’s a window in this room overlooking the track right…”
That made Hyusune sound so much like an imbecile. Her cheeks turned red. “Oh…” She tried to hide her embarrassment by talking in a normal tone.
“Anyway, what do you want to do, since today’s Saturday?” He asked, finishing the last bit of his shepherd’s pie.
Hyusune got hyped up. “How about a boat ride in Galuna forest?” She suggested.
“Not a bad idea.” He replied. After that, Hyusune went back to her room and took a shower before changing into her favorite black FBT and a white Nike shirt Cintare had given her for Christmas the year before. Taking a small bag with some cold lemonade and some cake, she waited along the corridor of her room. Jellal came out five minutes after. “Sorry I’m late. Lets go.” The two of them lent bicycles from the school and cycled to Galuna forest. Along the way, there were many meadows and flowers—but it was a different route that Hyusune took to Galuna as compared to the usual route that she and her friends took. There were trees full of yellow flowers that stringed down from the branches. The grass was sown with lilies and hyacinths, and there was a proper cycling path that had been built. “How pretty…” Hyusune exclaimed.
There were hummingbirds in the trees and flying squirrels. Hyusune was fascinated by this sight. Unconsciously, a smile sneaked its way onto her face. Jellal wanted to get rid of the darkness within her, bit by bit, not by using magical means but by making her happy. That would prove the most effective cure on both human and wizard.