Zaria blinked. Wait... We got a hit? And the Charmander isn't attacking! Instead, she heard the frustrated cry of the fire lizard and realized it was paralyzed into place. Wow! He's paralyzed! There was no other way to go about than keep going for attacks, Zaria thought. They had gotten a hit in, and now she was a little more confident that they'd be able to get in others. Hopefully Rorie wouldn't keep going for Smokescreen, but perhaps they could defeat their opponent before they used the move again.
"Another Thunder Shock!" Magnet let out a jagged lightning strike of bright yellow green electricity once more.
"I'm not trying to ignore you! I'm trying to focus! Shut up!" Zaria shouted back, thoroughly riled up. Rorie was annoying, insulting, and to top it off, she'd been able to get off a Smokescreen after getting a hard hit on Magnet. We're lucky. Magnet didn't get burned. For all the status moves she and Magnet were trying to utilize, the opponent had theirs too.
Seeing as how her pokemon had a large single eye, it was needless to say that the thick black smoke--which now obscured the battlefield--was effective. Magnet rose from the cloud of smoke with an electronic cry, but Zaria noted that his eye was red and watery. She gritted her teeth, both at her pokemon's condition and Rorie's awful remarks. I wish I had a good comeback! But that Charmander's hiding in the smoke and he can shoot Embers from anywhere! Well there were only a few things they could do as it was. She hoped it'd be enough.
"Magnet, hang in there! Do your best to aim and Thunder Shock!" Zaria commanded. They needed to get some damage on that Charmander and end the battle as soon as possible. Before any other accuracy drops, at least.
@vaguely Zaria had been so sure that she'd delivered herself well. Sure the morning had been embarrassing, but seeing how the other transfers had been received in the class, she thought she'd be accepted more. Of course that didn't happen... The class practically booed her off with jeers, if they thought she was worth talking about at all in the first place. Well, I guess that's that... She felt a few tears come to her eyes, but blinked them away quickly. Class was officially starting anyways.
Thankfully the first day was easy on studying and schoolwork, so Zaria found herself daydreaming away, cheering up more as time passed. Sure, maybe her social standing wasn't great right now, but it was just the first day. There was plenty of time for her to grow and find friends... You've got to stay positive, whether you believe it or not. It'll be okay. By the end, just as they were packing up and getting to leave class, Caprea got their attention with a tournament.
Not sure how to react at first, Zaria glanced around the class to see how everyone else was taking the surprise. Her own battling experience capped out around novice; she'd been in a few wild pokemon battles for self defense, but nothing on the official or competitive level. Could she handle this, or should she bow out? Then again, everyone around her seemed to be pretty excited and pumped up, so she couldn't show a weak resolve. I'm going to look even worse in front of everyone if I don't make some kind of effort! I've got to pull it together. Hopefully Magnet can too...
As they retrieved their pokemon and walked to the battle facility, Zaria kept Magnet close to her, but avoided the other students. After her little lie, well, maybe it was better to just focus on herself and Magnet for right now; she was thinking of potential strategies to use at the moment, apologies could be made later. Now, how to strategize... Who was she kidding, she didn't know the first thing about strategy!
Magnet took notice of Zaria's worried expression so he beeped and nudged her shoulder. Turning to look at him, Zaria thought he looked pretty relaxed and nonchalant. Or did he not realize the gravity of the situation? Their popularity factor was at stake! "So you're not nervous? Even though we're going to be having a battle?"
He nodded, his screws twisting in and out deliberately as if he were thinking. He let out another beep and zig-zagged erratically for a moment before nuzzling Zaria's hand again. The facility leered at them as they strode towards it, and Zaria could practically feel her heartbeat in her throat.
"That's good Magnet, but we have to win, understand?" she insisted. He looked at her quizzically. "We need to prove ourselves to the other students. Or else people are going to--to make fun of us and stuff, you know?" These were dire circumstances!
Magnet paused at first, but then nodded slowly as if he understood. So they had to win the battles. Winning was very important. It would be difficult, and maybe not as fun as he'd hoped, but there was nothing that could help that. The New Bark Ranger humans had told him he could trust Zaria, so he did. If she said this was important, he accepted it. Showing that he understood, he let out an enthusiastic beep and nodded. His eye curved into a smile.
"Right? I'm glad you understand! Oh, and we're here. Whew, lookit this place..." As they entered the battle facility, she was surprised to see the region electric gym leader at the front desk. Don't tell me she does clerk stuff here... Wait, did she just say she was gonna watch our battles?! Agh, okay, don't worry. It's fine, it's fine!! Why was the pressure stacking up so much today? After this was over, she was heading to her dorm for a good nap.
Moving through hallways and passing doors, they eventually settled on their facility room. And before Zaria or Magnet knew it, they were facing their opponent, a grumpy looking Charmander with his trainer who was hellbent on defeating them. Great. We're at a type disadvantage and our opponent's pretty confident. But that doesn't mean we can't win... We've just got to be on our guard, Zaria thought, her brow furrowed. As for the jeers, she wasn't going to address them. Too deep in anxiety for that.
"Magnet! Be careful! Avoid those fire attacks! And..." She squinted as the Charmander exhaled a thick cloud of smoke. That's... Smokescreen? So this Charmander knows Smokescreen and Ember... Maybe we can use our status moves, before it tries to mess with us. Can't let our accuracy fall when every move counts!
"Use Thunder Wave! Focus on paralyzing!" If they inhibited the Charmander's movement, surely the sides would be evened out a little. Magnet would try to dodge the Ember, then fire off a Thunder Wave. Zaria crossed her fingers.
Having already headed into the classroom before Evey and Masaru had left, Zaria didn't realize there were going to be homeroom tournaments. For the present, she remained blissfully unaware, already daydreaming of being one of the popular and accomplished students of PMA. Perhaps the first hour of school had been embarrassing, but she could redeem herself if she studied and worked hard. Students would start coming up to her then, she was sure.
She managed to pull her head out of the clouds when class began, especially with Caprea introducing her pokemon. The Tropius and Bronzong both impressed and intimidated Zaria who had never heard of them, let alone seen them before. Woah, so cool... Intense too. Thankfully, they could take their pokemon out just as Caprea had. So Zaria released Magnet from his capsule and they both headed over to the back along with everyone else. Eventually settling for a cushion, his single eye swiveled around the room curiously before settling on Zaria as she patted his head. "This is class time, so you'll just need to sit tight and wait, okay? I know we don't really know each other yet, Magnet, but please be good." He let out a beep that sounded like agreement in return.
Settling in again once more, Caprea shook things up by having everyone play an ice-breaker game that seemed pretty fun. I've got this, I've got experience, I can come up with something good! That was how she felt initially... Yet achievement after achievement from her peers came up, and she couldn't help but feel discouraged as her turn neared; even Troy and Netty had ended up kicking it out of the park, she thought with a twinge of envy. Tim had come off as shy, but on the flip side he'd had that popular Evey girl come up to him, so it all kind of cancelled out (in Zaria's eyes) anyways.
How was she supposed to set herself apart in all this, then? Well... I guess it's less what you say, and more about how you say it. Okay, fine! I've still got this. It'll be great. When she was finally called up, Zaria grinned as she faced the class and saluted everyone, life an offcer or ranger would. Here we go!
"I'm Zaria, a junior ranger! I've experienced a forest fire, I've seen a shiny Butterfree, and I've rescued over 50 pokemon!" Zaria blurted it all out as fast as she could, realizing that her second to last statement was the lie she had been touting as truth earlier. Oh no! Damn, me and my big mouth! Why?! Well, there was no turning back now. Her other two statements were as close to the truth as it got, and they sounded much more impressive than the dumb Butterfree story she'd made up, so she didn't feel like she had the option to switch the verity of them around. I just gotta go along with it and apologize to the others after class. Hopefully it'll be okay.
The first guess was tossed out, with someone calling out that she hadn't been in a forest fire. Zaria grinned, pleased that she got to elaborate before someone made the correct choice. "Actually, I was! We were called onto the scene and there weren't a lot of water pokemon to help, so it was tricky to deal with. We ended up containing it though!" It sounded a lot more dangerous than it had been, especially since it had been a very small fire, but that was neither here nor there.
She probably hadn't rescued over 50 pokemon, someone else said. "Ha, I definitely have, and that number's only gonna get higher, just so ya know." Nevermind that well over half of those had been measly pet rescues, nobody needed to know anymore than what she said. It all culminated in the lie being left then, which Zaria had to own up to completely, whether she liked it or not.
"I guess you'd all know by now anyways, but I haven't seen a shiny Butterfree, haha! So, um, that was my lie." Ugh. She made sure not to look at Netty, Troy, or Tim, as she went back to sit down. Hopefully they wouldn't roast her too much.
The spat resolved itself quickly enough, but not without Antoinetta getting the last word. That was fine with Zaria, she had been past done at that point. She's probably just sensitive. People had insulted her plenty about her preferences of things, and that was supposed to be normal and fine, right? She'd had things she cherished made fun of before, and people had always told her she was being silly. Netty had probably had people saying yes to her all her life, Zaria thought with a roll of her eyes. She and her stupid contests, she fumed while trying to brush away the feather of jealousy that kept tickling her.
Troy shot down her request, and though she felt a little miffed, she got over it pretty quick. Should she have been surprised? Probably not.
When they reached class, a pair of students were waiting for them, though they seemed more intrigued by Troy and Tim. Again, Zaria felt a pang of inadequacy. Why hadn't anyone come up to her? Learning that their names were Evey and Masaru, she studied them, but once Evey started her reprimands she didn't want to listen anymore. Ughhhh, do they need to bring this morning up? I was the one who started the whole damn thing. Then I just shouted at everyone! Can't wait to forget about this... Too busy internally freaking out, she didn't notice anything else off about Evey, but Zaria did decide that she would avoid her at all cost anyways. Evey had made her feel awful about herself, and she tended to steer clear of people who did so, friend or foe or stranger.
Her cheeks tinged with pink from embarrassment and her grin looking sheepish, she excused herself. "Yeah, class, so I'm gonna head in. See you guys," she said, slipping past her peers to the classroom where she could just sit and think.
"Ahem, I think you'll find there's more to 'weird' Pokemon than you think," Netty said, making air quotations. "I'll have you know, there's a coordinator in Sinnoh who proves Ghost types are anything but weird and ugly like people usually think. They can be just as stylish as any other Pokemon. And believe me, so can bugs." She put her hands on her hips. "Care to tell me, Miss Badass, what exactly makes a Pokemon cool enough for top ranger standards?"
Huh? I don't get it. Why is she mad? It's just a little harmless banter! Zaria was so confused. She was sure she had already de-escalated the situation with her silly little joke. Okay, perhaps it hadn't been a full joke, as she did prefer 'big cool looking' pokemon. Nevertheless, she really didn't get why Antoinetta was so upset. It was just an opinion, wasn't it? Why take it so seriously? All the same, Zaria was starting to get angry too, but she wasn't ready to deal with the confrontation. Netty was intimidating, as much as she hated to admit it.
So she would attempt to lighten the mood and make amends. As Zaria was confronted with someone who had a problem with her, her nature was to keep de-escalating and not take the situation seriously. Thinking it best to keep it playful, she replied as cheerfully as she could. That way, Netty would know she didn't mean any harm, right? Well, it was a strategy, but it wasn't the right one; nor did she have the social tact to pull it off.
"Ahahaha, please! Who cares? You're taking this the wrong way, there's nothing to worry about!" Zaria reassured her, barely listening to Netty's impassioned words.
"Nobody said anything about ghost or bug types! I didn't say they couldn't be cool. All I said was that Butterfree were ugly and weird. And we can have different tastes! I might prefer a Garchomp to a Butterfree, but that's fine! You're blowing this out of proportion. Just relax!" Of course telling someone to relax when they were upset was a terrible approach, not that she considered that. She thought she was being playful. She was smiling, she was laughing. There wasn't anything to be mad about.
"Anyways, to tell you the truth, I don't care about contests. They're kinda lame? And that's just another opinion you know, nothing to get upset over!" Zaria's voice rose just at the end, though she didn't mean for it to. Things were becoming heated, she was nervous, and it had just slipped out. She immediately regretted it. No she didn't! Contests were vain and useless and all they did was focus on the shallow aspects of pokemon, no matter what anyone said. So she had nothing to regret, right? She was here to be learn how to become a selfless pokemon ranger hero, not some prancing puppet on stage. She had better things to focus on.
"Sooo, can we just move on? I'm done talking about this. Say, Troy, you didn't take your pokemon out at the ceremony, right? What kind do you have? Show us your starter! Inquiring minds wanna know! Haha, right Netty?" Surely, things would lighten up.
But that was strike three.
Just as that happened though, a Gust from the Combee blew over them, ruffling Zaria's hair and clothes. It didn't hurt, just felt like a strong breeze. Magnet seemed to ask Combee why it was doing such a thing, ever curious. The pokemon hadn't quite spent too much time around human adolescents, and was learning all he could about their mannerisms and behaviors. His human in particular smiled quite a bit, but he felt like there was something else behind it. He couldn't quite put his magnets on it, though. Instead he zoomed over to Zaria, asking for pets, which she obliged, before flying back over to Mell to continue the discussion. So far, he could mostly understand her, though some of the cries were harder to distinguish with the three heads and their own colloquial rules.
The little distractions like Magnet and Mell interceding made Zaria think the spat was over. She had forgotten her anger anyways, as she tended to do. Her father's awful temper had made her afraid of turning out like him, so she was conscious of her ire and tried not to give into it. Besides, why be angry when you could just be happy? So she smoothed her hair and patted her skirt, making sure she didn't look too mussed before class. "Ahahaha! That was funny! Your Combee's cool!" Zaria would have never had one on her own team, but Netty didn't need to know that and it was cute enough. I appreciate all pokemon, I'm just not gonna have something lame on my team!
"Wrong!" Tim interjected. He regretted saying it as soon as the words left his mouth, but it was already out there now. "Butterfrees are adorable... I mean... aren't rangers supposed to appreciate all Pokemon?”
Zaria was taken aback by Tim; his reaction was not one she had expected. "Well I never said I didn't appreciate them-" she wanted to defend herself. After all, wasn't it a matter of opinion? She wasn't going to go out and hurt Butterfree just because she thought they were creepy. Normally she was better at spitting out responses, but she was unsure how she felt, as the statement made her feel quite guilty. So would she be a bad ranger if she didn't like every single pokemon? But as she was working it out in her head, before she could say anything else, Troy interjected.
"Not necessarily. Their job is to protect all Pokemon, but they need only appreciate the most useful pokemon available to help them do their job."
Wait, she hadn't expected him to be on her side, if she could have even called it that. But wait. She squinted, thinking. She still didn't quite resonate with what Troy said either. They don't need to appreciate pokemon that are only useful to them, right? I don't think or feel that way. I think rangers just need to be... Troy continued. Zaria kept thinking.
"Butterfree tend to be less useful than Venomoth in battle, though I'm not knowledgeable enough to say whether that translates to a Ranger's job or not."
How did he know whether Butterfree were better than Venomoth in battle or not? That didn't seem completely right, yet he spoke it as if it were absolute truth. To Zaria, Troy seemed too sure of himself, to the point of arrogance. So when he mentioned he had seen 'countless' shiny pokemon and how his daddy had so many shinies, she'd had enough. Ugh, quit acting like such a know-it-all! It was stressing her out, especially his 'suggestion'. What was she even supposed to trade with in the first place? What had been the point of that bogus advice she clearly could not act on? Just ignore it. he's full of himself.
When the conversation moved- as conversations tended to- over to Tim and his aspirations, there were some other points of discussion. Zaria chimed in when she had the chance, eager to share her own thoughts, if only because they kept rattling around in her head, insistent to come out and be heard.
"I think you could get a lot of jobs just raising pokemon for companionship, focusing on making sure they're happy and healthy. I had a neighbor who was elderly, and she had a support pokemon from a breeder, an Ivysaur. He was just incredible with how much he helped her around the house. And his senses were incredible, she never fell when Ivy was by her side... Even if he was kinda dumb looking," she added. "Okay, don't crucify me for saying that. It's an opinion! Having an opinion and not respecting pokemon are different things. Just because I think a pokemon might be ugly, doesn't mean I don't appreciate them. I'm just sayin' it how it is. But it's not just about which ones are the most useful, either! Hear me out."
Zaria paused, hoping to be heard.
"For rangers, I feel like 'appreciation' is more about understanding ecological niche. Butterfree are important pollinators, and they play a huge role in feeding the entire world. Even though a forest may have hundreds of pokemon, those pokemon populations affect environments in unique and important ways. There's a balance, a cycle, and rangers have to acknowledge pokemon under that context more than anything. They're stewards of the wild. I definitely appreciate that."
"So anyways, you can think Butterfree are cute but they're weird to me! I like big, strong, cool looking pokemon. If I'm going to be a Top Ranger, I'm gonna need a bunch of badasses like me," she laughed, trying to keep the mood light and upbeat. Still, she didn't realize that she had the tact of a Donphan when she spoke about pokemon so shallowly. Definitely something she'd need to work on, for sure, once she was self-aware enough.
"Oh yeah, I once saw a Roselia with black and purple flowers in a contest,"
Zaria had never been to a contest in person. Of course not, her father had been much too strict. She'd hardly had T.V., though she had eventually gotten herself a secret smart phone. Having spent countless hours staring wistfully at that tiny screen underneath her covers at night, it was only natural to feel jealous. "That must have been cool," she said lightly, feeling an internal stir. Contests were dumb, she knew that. A ranger wouldn't waste time with contests when they were supposed to be out saving the wilderness and pokemon. Of course not. And she didn't want to be in a contest at all. Not one bit.
As the conversation went on to talk about the shiny pokemon from the assembly, Netty asked Zaria a question she hadn't expected.
"You like Butterfrees?"
A grin spread on Zaria's face, bubbling into mirthful giggles. "Oh, well the shiny was cool, but-" She guffawed, not realizing how hurtful her comments could be.
"-They're just not my kind of pokemon. I mean they're alright! I just wouldn't want one. Ever." She waved a hand dismissively. "They're freaky!" Naturally, she didn't understand how her words could affect Antoinetta, Zaria was just spitting out her thoughts as they came naturally. To her, this was just sharing of opinion and harmless fun, as her oblivious self had not picked up on Netty's apparent love of the bug type. "They're pretty from afar I guess, but if you get up close and see their face, they're just gross," she added with a snicker.
Butterfree of course, roamed the land and rangers saw them commonly. But Zaria figured she wouldn't need to deal with them too often as they could fly away from most danger. When heavy storms, fires, or floods hit, flying types were safe. Not to mention poachers or the like were hardly after pokemon as common as Butterfree either. She was all but grateful that she would never have to handle a strange, hairy, alien-like Butterfree up close.
"I guess we might as well," Netty replied. "Just, uh, try not to crash into anyone this time."
Zaria bristled and squirmed at Antoinetta's comment. Though Netty had most likely not assumed any maliciousness, thin-skinned people like herself were torn easily. Still she tried to quip back with cheeriness and a jovial attitude.
"Huh? You're one to talk!" Zaria shot a mischievous smile. "Pretty sure you fell more than me, Antenna! We'll call it even though," she added with a grin. There, that felt relaxed with just enough hint of challenge.
They were joined by Tim and Troy rather shortly, and the group was walking together now. Tim was definitely cool, but Zaria couldn't figure Troy out. Why did he seem so mad all the time? Was that just his face? She didn't for a moment consider it may have been her own biased perception, and instead leaned into the idea that Troy was just permanently angry looking. He seemed like a huge grump, and she would avoid him like her life depended on it at all costs. Hopefully, I won't ever have to partner up with him.
They walked through the school, taking a scenic outdoor path that seemed to be a simple way to class 2A. Realizing that she could take Magnet out once more, Zaria pressed the release button on her pokeball, "come out, Magnet, enjoy the fresh air!" Out came the Magnemite that the New Bark Rangers had sent her, his screws whirling and his magnets gently ticking this way and that. Out of his ball once more, the hyper and curious Magnemite zoomed over to Mellona, intrigued by her three heads. He let out a series of electronic cries, probably asking Mellona all sorts of questions about it.
It was a little funny how similar Zaria and Magnet were, really, as Zaria wanted to chat too while they walked. Both trainer and pokemon were quite talkative. "What a morning, huh? Things got kinda crazy there. But we got to see that shiny grass pokemon. That was amazing! You know, I saw a Butterfree like that once! It was pink instead of purple, and super pretty. Saw it when I was out on ranger patrol." Well, she had seen the Butterfree in a photo on the internet. But they didn't need to know that. They just needed to think she was cool. Doubtless, their heads would be filled with amazing imagery of her being a badass while she was out on the field, Zaria was sure. "Cool, right? What about you guys? Have you guys ever seen shinies before?"
"I... don't know... Can you stop bullies from existing? I just got here, and people are already talking bad about me, and I didn't even do anything to them. I already got enough of this in my last school. I didn't want it here. Now it's going to happen again. I just want to be a Pokemon Breeder and raise a lot of Pokemon. Not endure the wrath of other kids...
Rocky let out a few friendly barks, and Tim rubbed the dog Pokemon's head reassuringly. He took a breath, and his eyes went wide. "Oh... um... Oh gosh... I'm sorry... I didn't mean to unload all that on you..."
Zaria shook her head, feeling sympathetic. She had been bullied too, though perhaps not to the extent that Tim had been, she thought. She'd been made fun of a few times at her previous school in a few classes, sure. But for the most part she'd been more of someone who blended in the crowd, really. Cracking a joke here and there, being relatively friendly, but not standing out. She had spent most of her lunches alone, or perhaps in a group of 'friends' that didn't really know her.
Whether their past was similar or not- they had gone through this incident together, the hurt was all too real, and she found herself understanding Tim. "No, no, you're fine," she interjected at his apology. "It sucks, I get it. You shouldn't have to apologize. We shouldn't have to." Maybe the jeering students would stop soon. It was getting hard to think and she was getting angrier. "They're just a bunch of assholes." She wanted to stick up for herself more! Put them in their place! Why couldn't she? "I wish I knew what to do..." She hissed between gritted teeth.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a Combee buzzing around her. "Wha-?" She was confused momentarily, until she realized the bug pokemon was trying to cheer her up. "Oh, thank you..." It had been the other green-haired girl's pokemon. Her name was Antoinetta, wasn't it? Zaria looked over in her direction, just as Antoinetta made another declaration.
I wish... She felt grateful for them sticking up, but a tinge of jealousy all the same. How could they be so strong? Well, I could be too! But when she tried to open her mouth to chime in, no sound came out. Her tears had long stopped, but now she was just left with regret and feeling helpless. That boy from earlier had been right whe he had told her to ignore the others; it irritated her so that she had to admit it. He was still kinda an ass, but I get where he was coming from now.
Another teacher burst onto the scene with their pokemon, a floral, spicy smell filling the air. Zaria stared- the pokemon was clearly rare, with a wreath of golden orange flower petals around their neck. They glimmered with a sparkle that she had only seen once before on a pink Butterfree. Then, did that mean this pokemon was-? Wow, a shiny! She marveled at the pokemon, who made a beeline for Tim. "Ah, well, thank you," Zaria muttered sheepishly as the Meganium gave her a well-intentioned nudge after checking on Tim first. Somehow, she had calmed down so much quicker than she had expected to. No, it wasn't as if she had forgotten what had been going on, but her heart wasn't racing and she felt so oddly yet gloriously relaxed. What is that? Was it the grass pokemon with Tim? Even around her, the chaos began to quiet. It wasn't just her, everyone was feeling a little calmer, apparently. The feeling sort of swelled before ebbing away quietly. At least the noise had finally stopped. Zaria let out a sigh. So was it over...?
“If they’re gonna talk about you, give ‘em somethin’ to talk about. She gets it.” the girl said with a nod towards the green-haired one.
Zaria really didn't want to hear how she was supposed to be acting, she wanted to get on with her day and just forget about this whole mess. I'm over this whole thing and people telling me what to do, she thought. So when Val made a show of her middle fingers to the crowd, Zaria couldn't help but roll her eyes. Couldn't they just move on? What was the point of instigating any more? But at Valerie's mention of hanging out again, she perked up. A motley group of friends just like in the movies and shows she had seen. "Not the best start off to a friendship, but I'd be cool hanging later!" Why not? What did she have to lose?
Magnet beeped next to her, hovering close. Zaria patted his head before returning him to his ball. In the amphitheatre, other trainers were recalling their pokemon and people were taking their seats as the ceremony began. Squaring her shoulders and sitting up straight, Zaria vowed to absorb every word and syllable that left Principal Poplar's face. Yes, she would be alert and a perfect, model student. After around a minute or so, she assured herself that the first few minutes of Poplar's lecture weren't important. He was just talking about the future and how the school was honored. Zaria closed her eyes, because she could still listen with her ears of course! Her eyes didn't need to be open. Suffice it to say, Zaria nodded off without a care soon enough. Being dark, with the exception of the stage being lit up as formal ceremonies went, it was also the perfect ticket to a nap.
When the lecture was over and the general bustle began to sound as people prepared to leave, Zaria awoke with a jolt. Had she slept through that entire speech? How long had it been? Had anyone noticed? She shook her head, feeling groggy. Class. Go to class. You have to get to your homeroom after this, remember? But... Wait... She paused, thinking.
She didn't know the way to homeroom, come to think of it, she didn't even know the room number! HOW COULD I FORGET? This was the worst of all days, truly. Arceus, she'd have to ask someone around her to help her get to class. How embarrassing was that? First tripping, then seeming like a coward, sleeping through the ceremony, and now forgetting her homeroom.
Well she had to save face somehow. If she addressed the group, then perhaps she could work off what Valerie had said earlier, about them all getting together."Hey! Guys, does anyone want to walk to class together? Tim? Anotinetta? Er, Troy? It'd be kinda nice after everything that just happened," Zaria let out a sheepish laugh. There was strength in numbers, but more importantly, one of these people had to know the way to class! And there was no way she was going to admit that she didn't know the way.