Chapter Four

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Two hours earlier

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Two hours earlier

Someone's watching me.

The hairs on the back of Takashi Satō's neck stood at attention. Though he and his friends had expected to be gawked at in this foreign land, he couldn't shake the twinge across his skin, telling him someone had singled him out.

"What's wrong, Takashi-senpai?" Miki, the long-haired girl seated at his right blinked up at him. Concern wrinkled her brows. "Are you unwell?" Though she spoke in their native tongue, her words felt foreign to his ears. He supposed it had to do with how little they spoke anything outside of English these past few years.

Takashi shook his head. "It's nothing. A little overwhelmed, is all." He'd love to reply in the comfort of his own language, but the mission came first.

It always came first.

"I know what you mean. London's strange, and the people here are stranger." Koji, the youngest on their trip, sank in his chair on Takashi's opposite side.

"Just think," Miki said, "We'll be dressed just like them tomorrow. You two are lucky. You wear hakama . . . wait, what do they call them? Trousers? All the time. It is uncomfortable."

Koji locked his fingers behind his head. "You will be fine Miki. It's Sensei I'm worried about."

Takashi's gaze slipped over the tense woman seated in front of them. Himura breathed out a shaky breath. Close to her chin, she twisted a pink handkerchief so tightly it looked ready to turn to dust between her fingers. Takashi leaned forward, putting his hand on her shoulder.

"You alright?"

She jumped at his touch. "Yes, yes." She took a breath to regain composure. "I am fine. I promise." But her reassuring smile cracked and faltered.

Takashi released her then gave her as much of a nod as he could muster. She looked about as fine as his stomach felt on the rocky boat ride to this country. Not that he blamed her. The pressures of this trip had caused him a sudden paranoia outbreak.

"Miki-chan, what's your first class?" Koji asked, flipping open the schedule they'd received upon arriving in England.

"Mathematics. I think."

"Ha!" exclaimed Koji. "That's my first class too."

Miki sighed. "Can't believe I have to go to school with boys."

"At least you two have each other. Aside from Sensei, I won't know anyone." A chill ran down his spine. Takashi spun in his chair.

I'll find whoever is staring at me if it kills me.

"Takashi, are you sure you are feeling well?" Miki asked again.

"I don't know." He still faced behind them. "It feels like someone's watching me."

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