1 A Letter From The School Director

'Dear Kenji Yoshikawa,

My name is Hitoshi Ueda, the school director.

We are glad that you have decided that out of all the schools, you and your family have decided to choose our school. Formalities aside, I was thrilled to see my former friend(insert Masao Yoshikawa children. It's been a while since I have heard from your father since he settled back to the Philippines to join your mother.

He is a good man, indeed, and I do hope I could tell you more about our friendship once we get ourselves acquainted. Once again, I would like to welcome you to Inari Okami Highschool. We hope that you will meet some new friends and have a wonderful time in high school.

Sincerely,

Hitoshi Ueda'

"That's just about it huh! I guess this high school life is going to be interesting."

I am Kenji Yoshikawa, fourteen years old. I love doing my own things and then leave once I get bored. This school is supposed to be where my father went and graduated from.

I read the letter and get myself ready to depart from my house.

My usual morning routine:

First, avoid my mother as much as possible so I won't be stuck at home eating breakfast. Second, tend to my little sister though annoying but very responsible human being. Let's leave it to that.

"Oh! I remember Yasuyuki also said that he transferred here. Man! I hope I'll be in the same class as that guy. It would be cool to be with my best friend, you know!"

I expected the least of him, but he is a good friend and a good backup. Whenever I got into trouble, he was willing to take it on, no matter how big the opponent was.

"Where is that guy? He must be overwhelmed by the paradise of beautiful girls. That pervert!" I look around the school's gate.

Then I found him.

"Found you!" I blurted out.

I found him in a daze as I tapped his shoulder from behind.

Yasuyuki Okamura aka Yasu, was my childhood friend, with gray hair. He was weird and annoying, but a good reliable friend. We went to the same elementary school.

"Hey, Kenji! Look around you! There are so many different types of girls in this school:short-hair, glasses, cute, small, and well- developed girls! We are in paradise, right, right?" Yasu admired, as he ogled the girls around us.

"Don't compare me to you, You pervert!" I commented.

I don't want to lower myself as equal to his fetishes.

"As expected, Kenji, I remember you have a thing for little sisters," Yasu let out an evil laugh while making a face at me.

I clenched my fists in annoyance and was about to reprimand Yasuyuki when suddenly, a girl crashed into me. I stared at her in surprise as she widened her eyes at me.

The girl was short with bob cut hair with pins on it, and I narrowed my eyes as I stared into her green eyes thinking how clumsy she was.

"I'm sorry, really sorry. I am going to be late for the opening ceremony!" she hurriedly said.

The girl ran away, dragging me along with her.

"Oy! Wait, wait! Kenji?!" called Yasu, but the girl did not even bother to turn her head.

"Oy! Wait a minute."

I pulled the girl's hand away from me.

"Huh! Eh?!" she asked.

The girl nervously looked at the people around us.

"I'm so sorrrrrrrrrrry!" She cried.

"Eh?! What's happening? Oy! Don't cry! People are taking the wrong idea here!" I uttered in surprise, as the other students stared at us.

"Kenji," Yasu called, breathlessly. " Are you okay?!" He was trying to catch his breath after running after us.

I nodded, assuring him. But I am quite unsure of how the girl was doing, so I started a conversation while walking to the school's gym.

"Hey, are you okay? This is unexpected and awkward. I'm really sorry about this," I said, trying to sound casual.

"Huh? Ye-yes I am okay," she answered. "It was my fault. ."

The girl looked down, embarrassed.

"What's your name?" Yasu asked her.

"Uhm... Fumi. Fumi Sugawara. Class 1-A," she answered shyly, staring at the floor.

"Fumi, huh? My name is Kenji.Kenji Yoshikawa, and this PERVERT is Yasuyuki. Yasuyuki Okamura."

"Oy! What's with this introduction? HAH!! Yes! Everyone, he's a lolicon."

I smacked Yasuyuki's head in anger, while Fumi just stared and laughed loudly.

"You two seemed like good friends. Are you childhood friends?"Fumi asked.

"Yes, we are. But I can't believe I have to be with him even in high school."

I answered jokingly.

"I didn't see you around here. Are you two transferees?"

"Ah, yes! Nice to meet you, Fumi."

"Likewise."

After the ceremony was concluded, Yasuyuki and I found our respective classes, and fortunately, we went to the same class with Fumi as well.

"How cruel is this to be with you, Yasu!"

"Why do you sound like you're hoping not to see me again?"

Yasu remarked at my complaint.

"Oh my, we are in the same class! How awesome!"

Fumi excitedly uttered as she approached the two of us.

"Maybe this is what they called destined for each other, the red string of fate, right Kenji?"

Yasu spoke poetically as if he's trying to imply something between me and Fumi.

Fumi and I stared at each other then looked away from different sides, blushing.

It was lunch break and Yasu looked like he lost a lottery jackpot round after realizing he left his wallet at his apartment.

"Now, Yasuyuki, are you still a child?"

I look at Yasu in disappointment.

"Kenji, why are you being cruel to me ever since we were kids?"

Yasu spoke, surprisingly sad.

"Are we really good friends? Or do you plan to torture me for the rest of my life?"

"STUPID! You are the one who's making these mistakes for yourself!"

I screamed while grinding Yasu's head with my fist.

"Come on you two! Here, the melon bread is the best in this school, and I am lucky to be able to get some for the three of us."

Fumi handed over the bread to us.

"Oh, sorry for the trouble, here take it."

I offered her payment.

"Ah, it's okay you don't need to pay me back."

Fumi smiled and chomped a massive bite on her bread then savored it.

I remained quiet the whole lunch break while Yasuyuki kept complimenting the melon bread.

"Also, at least be thankful for Reina in saving you from a cruel death by hunger."

I teased Yasu.

"Oh, I remember! Are you interested in joining clubs or making one?"

Yasu asked, completely ignoring what I just said.

"Clubs? I have one."

"Seriously, Kenji?"

Yasu sounded surprised.

"Going home and playing games club."

I mused.

The other two looked at me in disappointment.

The day came to an end and with it ending our first day of school. We head home without even saying a word to each other. Maybe because we talked a lot already, or I don't really know what actually happened.

********

THE NEXT DAY,

"Good morning, Kenji, Yasuyuki!"

Fumi greeted us as she entered our classroom.

"Oh, Good morning! You look like you woke up bright today."

I complimented Fumi's morning energy.

"So, did you drag another person with you this time?"

Yasu jokes.

"EH?! I-I-I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!"

Fumi answered frantically.

Yasuyuki and I spoke seemingly through each other's thoughts about how obvious Fumi had made another awkward mistake.

"AH! Sheesh! I didn't drag anyone okay. I just happened to think of a club and submitted it."

Fumi replied, completely ignoring our comments. She turned her back, fidgeting into her uniform by cautiously straightening the creases of her blouse.

" You're definitely lying!" I accused.

Fumi frowned at my remark.

"So what is the real problem?"

Yasu asked, confused.

"I appointed Kenji as the Vice President and Yasu as the Secretary."

Fumi turned toward us, closing her eyes and holding a peace sign.

"WHAT?! This is bad!" Yasu commented, gasping.

"Yeah, really bad!" I agreed with Yasu as I nodded my head teasingly.

"Yeah. Right, Kenji?" Yasu implored while shaking his head.

"Yeah, especially with Yasu as the secretary."

Yasu's head snapped back towards me. His eyebrows furrowed.

"You're so mean!"

"AH,...I CAN STILL CANCEL THE SUBMISSION. WAIT!" Fumi panicked.

"No need. You should've asked for our permission first. But it is fine now. So what is the club about?" I said, trying to calm her down.

"Ma-mangaka club..." Fumi replied in a troubled voice.

"Mangaka Club? Why the mangaka club?"

Yasuyuki asked, puzzled...

"Uhm….let's talk about it in the club room, shall we?"

Fumi suggested.

Fumi took us to a classroom at the very end of the school building. It was the old AV ROOM and was pretty much abandoned with some of the equipment scattered all over the area.

"I will go straight to the point about the matter. I received a letter from the school director sent by your father."

Fumi continued, handing the letter to me.

"Why didn't he just send it to me directly?!"

I responded in embarrassment. I then proceeded to read the letter.

'Dear Kenji,

How are you doing? I hope you are making friends. I'm sorry that I had to pass this on to the School Director. I found out and was saddened by the news that the mangaka club was being discontinued. No one seemed to be interested in joining... So I asked the Director to let someone start it for you and make you a member. I knew that if it's not done otherwise, you would go ahead and reject my request. Most especially if I hand this directly to you.

Good luck and have fun,

Masao Yoshikawa'

"Then here's something you should read as requested by the School Director," Fumi handed me a book.

"One Summer Day."

I read the book's title out loud, and it seemed familiar.

A man came approaching our group and requested me to go and see the school director.

We left the other two behind, so they decided to clean up the whole clubroom's mess.

"I don't understand why he would do that and think I would turn him down."

I whispered to myself.

I don't understand this. I don't understand my father.

What is his connection with the mangaka club?

I guess I'll just question the school director and have him answer everything.

"Alright you two, see you later in class. Go on ahead and eat lunch without me as this might take a while. I have a lot of questions in my mind."

"Good luck Kenji!"

I turned my back on them and walked away. But overhearing their conversation had suddenly made me turn my head towards them again.

"Now what should we eat for lunch."

"I have curry rice, how about you Yasu?"

"I have omelet rice, my favorite, since back in middle school."

"I see, I love that too."

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I sighed. It was truly much more fun to hang out with my friends than this but then...

A question still lingered in my mind.

What is my father's connection with the Mangaka Club?

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