You couldn't but help twirl a pencil in between your delicate fingers. In your last class you had the nerve to give yourself a manicure during a lecture about productivity. You possessed behavioral issues.
The burnt out textbook reader of a professor up front droned on and on. It wasn't that you weren't able reach the three acquired stars to become a licensed Hunter, you much rather believed that doing so would be too hard for you. So you hardly ever tried your best unlike the past three years. Sometimes you wondered if you even wanted to be a Hunter in the first place. When you first enrolled here it was because your ex-friends kept peer pressuring you to join. When they dumped you, you struggled to find a purpose of staying in the Academy. There existed your dysfunctional family. Other students in the school. Having something to do. In the end you still wanted out, and not just of school.
"Class, today I have an announcement to make," the teacher called, "in order to prepare you for exams, the school directory has organized some guest speakers who are certified Hunters. They will be giving an inspirational speech about their work experience."
A dark skinned girl raised her hand. "What are their names?"
In response, the teacher dramatically raised her hand towards the entrance at the same time the guest speakers made their appearance. You only recognized a few of them.
"These speakers," she began, "are known, as the well respected Phantom Troupe."
Everyone began to whisper in awe as the gang took their sweet time filing in. You scrunched down more in your seat, not wanting to be seen by them. Even so, you still got a peek.
The one member that caught your attention the most was a stout, dark haired male standing near the end. He wore a black robe, accompanied by a skull and crossbones bandana covering half his face. As a woman sporting pink hair began to talk about studying hard and whatnot, you giggled faintly. The short man's bandana reminded you of the time when you were so embarrassed about wearing braces that you refused to smile during your class picture. The photographer wasn't quite fond of you as much.
"What's so funny, little girl?"
You stopped smiling. Everyone in the classroom turned their heads to you. The raven haired male was staring at you, a look of curiosity embedded in his black eyes.
The Hunter who addressed you approached your desk. He slammed a palm on the smooth surface, startling almost everyone in the room. Immediately, your nerves began to hyperventilate into a dreadful feeling you knew all to well: anxiety.
He matched your challenging stare. "I can assure you that our workforce is no laughing matter whatsoever."
You swallowed thickly. "I-I beg to differ, considering that your guys' reputation is a bit sketchy, I wouldn't be surprised that you're all a bunch of clowns."
Though you whispered everybody gasped. The teacher stood up cautiously. "Miss. [Last Name]..."
The tall man owning a topknot ponytail clenched his fists in newfound anger. "Little lady, what is your name?"
You squinted at him. "My name is Nobunaga. I scored ninth on my physical strength ranking which makes me a loser."
Again the class remained deadly silent. The short man had his full attention on you now, absorbing your every word. The squinting of his black eyes hinted a smile... Before this so called Nobunaga could lift a finger, your professor stepped in.
"Mister Nobunaga, I am terribly sorry. Never in my years of teaching have I encountered this type of behavior, much less from a student! Please, do not let this little incident define the Academy."
A blonde haired guest speaker, with no eyebrows known as Phinks, cleared his throat. "What, pray tell, do you want us to see of this type of tomfoolery as then?"
Your teacher gnawed on her lip, speechless. Nobunaga took another step towards you and out of fear, you stood up. The shorty walked to the very front, sensing the full blown tension of your undoing.
"Such brave words for a student in training," he stated, voice light and smooth to the ear, "why don't I teach you a painful lesson or two since you think you're better than everyone? You spoiled rich brat."
"I am not rich," you affirmed.
Your teacher sent you a withering look before speaking, "Mister Feitan, that kind of practice is not allowed at the Academy."
"I don't see an issue here. A demonstrated example can be learning experience for everyone," he argued.
He tilted his head at you, no doubt wanting to put you in your place. You paled in response.
"Enough," the professor stressed, "[Name], go wait outside."
You made your way to exit, lingering by the door for a moment before walking out completely. On a bench located by the side of the door, you sat down. You did not feel safe here, not when the Phantom Troupe were just a couple of feet away from you.
Thirty minutes later the door opened. To your horror, the notorious Feitan stepped out. You hoped he only did so to tell you to come back in. No such luck. He grabbed a chair at the far end of the hall and dragged the moveable near your being. He sat on it while it was still backwards and rested his chin on the backrest, scrutinizing you. You leaned further away, a bit uncomfortable in his presence.
Feitan's the first to speak. "You have a lot of nerve, you know," he said coldly, "smart mouthing a deadly Bounty Hunter like that. A bit funny, too."
You licked your lips nervously, which did not go unnoticed by him. Feitan's gaze trailed down to the rest of your body. He tilted the chair more into your personal space, until the wall behind you met the notches of your spine.
"Nothing to say?" He taunted.
"I'm not scared of you," you found your shaky voice saying.
"Good, because your behavior towards us will not be excused, ever. You're going to need that cheap attitude of yours, doll," he warned.
With that being said, you began to regret ever opening your big mouth in the first place. Feitan rose from his seat while straightening his attire. He met your shy stare halfway.
You turned your back on him. The life of a Hunter was not suited for you. Today's proof enough.
You decided right then to drop out. You're not scared of his deathly promise. You just--couldn't do it.
In the school's office you found a required form for dropouts. You grabbed your things, ignoring the heavy stares of the class. You sensed you're acting brash, that you need to calm down but to what purpose? Another year of rotting in this place?
At home, you became too scared to tell your father about what happened today. You weren't happy with your family either. Nothing in your life made you happy. The incident earlier proved that much. In the couch, you glanced at the form once more.
This life wasn't for you. So, what if you ran away?