Yaoguai Chapter 3

I arrive at what is essentially a parking lot for magic users—the almost phone booth shaped slots for magic teleporters. I hate the damn things, they are a little cramp when I’m wearing my armor. So Always. Squeezing my way out, I head out of the spot and through the neat rows of cars to the one-floor modern school’s front door.
I walk as fast as I can, remembering the big deal they made last time I ran, sheese, the rules were strict here. The glass doors leave a glare in my eyes as I grasp the sun heated handle to open it. Blasted by a little piece of wintertime when I walk in is a bit jarring. I get that its hot people, but this is ridiculous. I look for the ac vent and just try to move around it. Luckily I still have a little heat on my armor from the outside.
All freezing aside, I make my way down to the principles office. The too pretty to be that white tiles have the arrows that direct the less than familiar students and parents on which way to go. I am here during the middle of class, which is good. Trying to navigate through a crowd of kids is particularly difficult for anyone. Still, it’s even more so when you’re wearing plate armor.
I find the little colored plastic seats that I always look for when looking for the office. I don’t know why they made them brightly colored. Chances are if you’re sitting in them, you’re waiting for your fate to be sealed. I approach the door and rap on the window a few times. I’ve learned my lesson of trying to enter the locked door by now. The secretary looks up at me and smiles as she buzzes me in.
“Hello, Mr. Yabe,” she says, far to chipper given she knows I’m here.”
“Hello, what did the little one do?” I get to the point.
“I think that’s best for you and the principle to discuss.” I sigh and look to my right and see that Hako-chan is relaxed and reading a book in the chair on the wall. Without a care in the world, it seems. She looks up from her book, and I guess she didn’t notice me before, she throws her book down in the seat next to her and run to my side.
“Touchan!” she hugs me.
“Am I missing something? Aren’t you in trouble?” I say, but unable to resist hugging her back.
“Yea, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.” Did she just wink at me?
“Get your things, and let’s go into the principles office.” She nods, then grabs all her things and neatly folds the page in her book before putting it away.
“What happened to all your bookmarks?”
“Those ones are for babies. I need to save up for a more grown-up one.” So this is what having a ten-year-old is like.
“Let’s go, little lady.” She scuttles off in front of me and happily goes into the principles office. I follow her to the office and see that Principle Ponce lifts his eyes from his work and stands to greet me.
“Senor Yabe, so nice to see you again.”
“Likewise, I think. Did I miss something? I thought Hako was in trouble.”
“Aye, she is, sorta. Have a seat Senor,” He gestures then follows the action. He folds his hands on his desk and waits for me to get settled in, then starts. “You see, there is a family that wants to sue you.”
“What!?” a growl starts to form.
“Calmete Senor, I said wants to. They will not pursue legal actions. If they do, Hako here will get away with more than likely a little bit of volunteer time, and that’s it. While their son will face time in a juvenile center.”
“Okay, what happened?”
“Jonas Godoy is a big bully and got what he deserved.” Hako-chan burst out.
“What?” I snap to her.
“It is as she says, though I would word it a bit differently,” he says, then goes through his files. “Jonas has been a problem child for quite some time, but everyone was always too afraid to tell on him. Not Hako here. She saw him bulling a child, and she sprung to action. The only problem, of course, is how she went about it.”
“I built a power suit, equipped with a light stun gun.” She says, proud of her work.
“How?! With what? Is that where all your electronics kept going?”
“Well, I couldn’t ask you for a power suit or stun bullets. That’s like the fastest way to get in trouble.”
“But shooting a kid with one isn’t?”
“You have no proof that I shot him.” She smiles coyly. I turn my head to the principle.
“She shot him three times.” I turn back to her.
“Tattle tell.” He laughs, I don’t.
“Senor, before you get angry, she did shoot him with a super low voltage, not nearly enough to hurt him seriously, and all of her shots were center mass. She clearly didn’t try to hurt him. Just stop him.”
“But she can’t try to put the law into her own hands. I teach her to follow the rules.”
“How do you think we knew everything we do? She did inform us. We were too busy at the time. So she stopped a bad thing from happening. Maybe I should say this. The school stands behind her fully. The only reason we are telling you is that we legally have to. That and we have to send her home for the day.”
“So, you condone children being vigilantes?”
“No, we condone children standing up for what’s right. This could be much worse, and we could be sued by the would-be victim’s family had Hako here not stepped up. We were able to expel the problem child. We just have to watch our step with legal actions with her for a while.”
“Hako, why did you… what made you think to do this? What if the kid would have hurt you?”
“Oh, fat chance of that happening. Everyone is afraid of you, so kids just kind of leave me alone.”
“Hako, that’s not a good reason.”
“I want to be like you, Touchan. I want to fight bad guys and protect those who can’t.”
“You want to be like your comic book heroes or me?”
“Both, but you’re my biggest hero Touchan.”
“I follow the rules when I stop the bad guys, little lady.”
“Senor, don’t be so hard on her. I know she broke the rules, but she did stop a bigger rule from being broken.”
“It’s okay, Principle Ponce, he’s just giving me a hard time. This is actually his proud face.” Why that little girl. I fight my lips from curling, not sure I win that one or not.
“I’m taking your power suit and going over all the modification on it. Let me find one thing out of regulation, and we will have big problems. Where did you learn to make it anyway?”
“The Internet, you can learn almost anything you want on there.”
“No one helped you at all?” I say, knowing I lost now.
“No, well, Rosa did help me by holding some of my tools and a few suggestions, but all the heavy lifting was me.”
“Senor, I will leave you to this matter, just know that Hako is welcome here tomorrow. She will have to not bring that suit back on the premises, but she isn’t in any bad trouble.”
“Not with you guys anyway. Thank you, Principle Ponce, I’ll take care of the rest.”
“Bye, Principle Ponce,” Hako waves as she knows I” m about to teleport us out. I grab her hand and will us to our front yard. Hako-chan is giggling, she always likes teleporting.
“You’re in big trouble, little lady.”
“But why?”
“You build a power suit under my nose, you’re off fighting bullies, and you don’t see anything wrong with that?”
“I couldn’t tell you. You’ve been so busy taking care of Kaachan and me that I didn’t want to bother you.”
“I’m your father, it’s my job to make time.”
“But if you don’t have time for yourself, you’ll get sick too, Touchan.”
“Let me worry about that, and you just worry about having good grades and not shooting other students.”
“Fine,” She says, looking disappointed.
“Where did you even get a gun?”
“I made it from my old toys.” I grab her backpack and look through it. I hold it up and see the crud work of makeshift leather armor with wires laced all about. This CPU of hers had to be hot, and I don’t see a cooling system built-in. It was a power suit non the less though. The gun was a pink superhero gun in its former days. I remember picking it up for her fourth birthday. Now it was tricked out with its own CPU that controlled the properties and accuracy of the gun. I flip the button and open it up and see what kind of ammo she’s using. BB’s, of course, I should have known.
“I’m going to look over this. I already see a few problems with this. You could have hurt yourself as well as that boy with this.”
“Well, I couldn’t find anything for a cooling core, and do you know how hard it is to get armor plating with my allowance?” I want to fight her so bad. How dare she talk about her allowance and know the exact problems I had with it. This was for sure, my daughter, alright.
“It’s going to be even harder now, you’re getting less now. Get inside, we have to check on your Kaachan.” Her mouth drops then folds her arms and storms in the house.
Hako-chan stops in, throws her book back in the mudroom, and then takes her seat to remove her shoes and coat.
“Alright, little lady, no stomping,” Rinako calls out before I could.
“Konichiwa, Hako-Kun”, Esmeralda says from the couch. Hako-chan looks up and notices her, and her eyes light up. Rushing to get up, she runs into the living room to hug Esmeralda.
“Hello dear, I’m so sorry I was sleep when the school called. Those meds, take it out of me sometimes.” Rinako says, still wearing the face of drowsiness.
“I’m just relieved that you’re okay,” I say, walking over to her to kiss her. I can already see Hako-chan sticking her tongue out. Esmeralda is primed and ready to say Kawaii, any moment now.
“Well, I guess we’ll just turn out bounty in and finish the other missions tomorrow,” Esmeralda says, getting up from the couch and grabbing and walking towards her Katana.
“Esmeralda, would you not like to stay while? We could have a snack and catch up. I haven’t talked to you in so long.” Rinako says and shocks both me and Esmeralda.
“Ano, you’re talking to me, Yaba-san?” She says, freezing as she grabs her swords.
“You’re the only Esmeralda here, silly.”
“But you usually call me Reyna-Kun.”
“Yes, but Reyna-Kun isn’t proper for someone who came to check on me so urgently.”
“Umm, Hai Yabe-san.”
“Call me, Rinako.” The fear in Esmeralda’s eyes.
“I couldn’t do that, Yabe-san.” She says, flailing her arms around nervously.
“I’ve been her mentor for a year straight, and she still calls me Senpai-Yabe; you’re fighting an uphill battle, dear.”
“Very well, just know you are welcome to call me Rinako if it pleases you.” Rinako stands up and bows to her. Esmeralda frantically bows deeper. “So will you stay awhile and keep me company? My husband must tend to our daughter, I’m not allowed to do much these days.” Esmeralda looks over to me, but I’m just as confused as she is. I shrug, so she returns.
“Of course, Yabe-san.” She says, then releases her sword. She sits in the mudroom and starts to doff her armor. I guess I get to do the same. I kiss Rinako once more then head to the bedroom to remove mine as well.
“Go to your room, young lady. You’re in trouble.” I shout over my shoulder. I hear her mumbles as she heads to the kitchen first. “And no snacks, either.”
“Touchan! That’s not fair!”
“Now, little lady.” I hear her stomps as she turns around and heads for the stairs.
“That’s so cool!” I hear her shout, then with my helmet in my hand, I look back to see what she’s talking about. Esmeralda has stripped off her top piece of her armor, revealing an amazingly detailed anime shirt with Hako-chan gawking at it. Looks like I won’t be her favorite hero for long now.
“Room and homework, little lady.” Hako-chan makes her way up the stairs looking back every chance she got. Passing me with a huff, she goes to her room and closes the door.
I take a second to watch downstairs. Rinako has never really liked Esmeralda, so all this is strange. I think Rinako has always resented her for being a beautiful young woman that works so close to me. Believing that I would find her attractive, as Rinako isn’t athletic at all. She couldn’t be more wrong.
So why was she so kind to her now? I guess the haste at which Esmeralda showed up and helping her afterward really stuck this time. I have to say it will be a lot better if they get along for me. Maybe she can talk Rinako’s ear off about anime for once.
I return to my room and continue to doff my armor. Well, this is becoming a day.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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