"Hey, Trevor!" Kurt greeted his friend with a big wide grin on his face as soon as they met in front of the school gates. Dorothy as always was also with him, resting above his shoulder.
"Ah... He- Hey, Kurt!" the black-haired lad responded with a shaky voice from the unexpected behavior of the prince.
Kurt placed his arm around Trevor's neck and the two began to walk inside the building, "I'm so sorry about leaving like that. My father just appeared out of nowhere and I couldn't just say 'no' to him, you know? But this time, we are definitely going to make that study group!"
"Study group?? Kurt, weren't you mad at me??"
The red-haired boy tilted his head, "Why would I be mad...? I was the one that ditched you guys."
Trevor stared at him while sweating cold. He was sure that the last time Kurt saw him he was ready to bite his head off, and now he was just talking as if nothing had happened.
"Do- Do you not remember what happened that day...?"
Kurt lowered his head as soon as he heard that, "I... I don't... I've been trying to figure out why for a while now, but for some reason, I have no memory of my dinner with my dad."
Trevor could not believe how lucky he was. He had heard about Kurt's situation from Sabiri and was fully aware of the side effects it would cause on him, but this was the first time he was glad about it.
If Kurt had really forgotten his little outburst in the mansion, that meant Trevor now had a second chance to earn his trust. All he had to do now was deepen their friendship so that when the truth was eventually revealed again, Kurt would have an easier time forgiving him.
"Well, don't worry about it too much! We should just focus on improving our grades for now. And... Well... Probably it would be better if we stayed away from trouble for a while" Trevor commented as he began to think about Kurt's amazing power to attract trouble like a magnet.
"Agreed" Kurt nodded, "Let's go find Gaby and Sara and set up the group again. Hopefully, nothing goes wrong this-"
A voice suddenly shouted for his name as soon as they entered their classroom.
The two boys stared with puzzled faces at the culprit, a young lad with curly black hair and chestnut skin with green eyes, standing next to one of the seats of the class as if he had just stood out of nowhere and pointing at the prince with an intense glare on his face.
The entire class went silent at that scream and began to exchange looks between the boy and the prince.
"Uuhh... Yes?" Kurt mumbled trying to understand what was going on.
The boy began to stroll through the class towards the two lads and began to stare at Kurt as if he had killed his dog. What caught Kurt's attention was that the kid was short, even shorter than Gaby.
"I'm your next opponent! And I wanna let you know that I'm not afraid of you!!"
Kurt stared at Trevor hoping for some kind of answer to which Trevor just sighed in response.
"His name is Park. He's the number four strongest fighter in the class."
Park began to giggle after being properly introduced, "Kukuku, that's right! I heard all about you and your antics, little prince!"
Kurt raised an eyebrow, "What antics...?"
"I know you are one of the guests that came into this world as the son of the emperor! And I also know that you are asserting your dominance for the faction games by challenging every one of the top-ranked students!"
"Asserting my dominance...? What are you-"
"I also know that after you lost to the number one, the two of you teamed up to take down the number two, and after that, you moved on to take on the number three, your own brother!!" Park continued, "You might think you're all that just because you pick fights with others just to show off, but I'm not gonna be intimidated by you!! Once you enter the arena I'm going to completely destroy you!!"
Kurt began to squint his eyes to make sure he was seeing things clearly and not just daydreaming, "I think I'm a little lost..."
"Don't play dumb with me! I know you were planning to pick a fight with me! But I decided to pick a fight with you first!!"
"I wasn't going to pick a fight with you... I didn't even know who you were until ten seconds ago."
"Oh! You think just because you are a prince you don't have to bother with knowing who we are?"
"What?? No! That's not what I said!"
"You think you're better than us, huh?? Just because you're the son of the emperor?" Park asked while grabbing Kurt's tie and forcing him to bend down, "You don't scare me, fake dragon!"
Kurt's mind froze at that instant. He was already having a hard time at home trying to adapt to the idea his mother knew about his secret, but he didn't have the time to process that the entire school knew it as well.
"Wha- What did you call me?"
Park smiled at him, "You heard me! You're nothing but a fake dragon! An outsider who got all our powers on a silver platter with no struggle or effort! Just like all the other sons of the emperor!"
The entire class started to whisper and exchange gossips over what they were seeing and even without an enhanced hearing, Kurt could pick up the words 'fake dragon' being tossed around over and over.
"Hey! That's enough!" Trevor stepped in to force Park to release Kurt, "Just because Kurt is a guest doesn't make him any less of a dragon than any of us!"
"You..." Park started to glare at Trevor all of a sudden, "You would stand with this fake instead of your own kin? Just because his dad is rich?"
This time, Trevor was the one doing the glaring, something Kurt had never seen him do before, "I'm standing with him because I want to! Not because someone is forcing me!"
That was a lie.
"The fact that his parents are the emperor and the empress doesn't mean anything to me!"
That was also a lie.
"Even if Kurt wasn't a guest or a prince, I would still be on his side!!"
That was a complete lie as well.
"Oh, really?" Park murmured with a smirk, "If that is the case, how come you don't have any other friends?"
Trevor's heartbeat began to speed up, "Wha- What?"
Park noticed his distress and continued, "You say you wouldn't be his friend even if he wasn't a guest or a prince, but how come your only friend in the whole class is him? A guest prince!"
The gazes of the classroom began to focus solely on Trevor as he continued to sweat even more.
"Could it be that you two were planning this all along? Did he hire you or something? How much did he pay you, huh?"
<How much did it cost to pretend to be my friend?>
Park's words suddenly triggered a memory from the night Kurt found out about the truth in Trevor's mind. His eyes started to waver as he kept trying to think about what he should say to solve this situation but nothing would come to mind.
How could he convince that his friendship with Kurt wasn't a lie? How could he convince the class that they shouldn't reject him just because he was a guest? How could he help the boy he swore to always protect?
"You two are just perfect for each other! An outsider pretending to be a dragon and a sell-out pretending to be on his side! The fake dragon and the fake friend!" Park finally said.
The rest of the students remained to stare at them and continued their whispers. The words 'fake friend' now being added to their mumbling.
"These two always seemed strange to me..."
"I should have known it was all a setup... The royal family is so shameless..."
"Bunch of liers..."
"So fake... Trying to trick us all this time."
Park could feel it. everyone was slowly coming to his side. Even if he was picking on Kurt and Trevor they wouldn't be able to fight back as they would have to deal with the entire class as well.
The kids wouldn't stop. Trevor could feel the distance between them growing the more they talked about them. He just couldn't understand how easy it was to become a target just from a couple of words.
Why was breaking things so easy but fixing things was so difficult?
If only they could have someone on their side. Someone who tried to become friends with them without ulterior motives.
"What's all this noise...?" someone suddenly asked.
It was a girl standing in front of the classroom doors right behind Trevor and Kurt. It seemed like she was trying to enter but was unable to because these two were blocking the way this whole time.
She was a lass with short purple curly hair and an intense glare placed behind her glasses, staring at the two boys who were being interrogated by Park in the middle of the room, "Are you guys getting married or something? Move to of the way!"
"Gaby..." Kurt mumbled.
"Well, well, well... If it isn't the other traitor!" Park laughed after deciding to change his target, "If it isn't the number one! I bet you must be really glad to be on good terms with the imperial family now, aren't you?"
Gaby just stared at Park with a blank face and proceeded to look at Trevor, "hey, chubby, who the hell is this peanut and why is it talking to me...?"
"This is Park... He is the num-"
"I don't need you to introduce me to her!!" Park shouted before Trevor could continue, "And you!! You gonna pretend you don't know who I am?? We've been in the same class for years!"
"Have we now?" Gaby commented while scratching her hair, "I wonder why I can't remember you...
When you get hated on by the whole class, all the students start to look the same... All trash that wants to bring you down just so they can feel big."
Park began to form a pulsating vein on his forehead, "What!? You picking a fight with me??"
Gaby just rolled her eyes and continued to talk with Kurt and Trevor "Anyway, you guys doing that study group thing or not? I need to know if-"
"Don't ignore me!!" Park screamed while grabbing onto her wrist.
The entire room froze at that scene. Park only then realized what he had just done but he couldn't back away now or he would be branded as a coward.
"The f*ck do you think you're doing you piece of trash?" Gaby slowly whispered while glaring at him and trying very hard to control her temper.
"I..." Park flinched for a moment, "I mean... You owe me an answer!"
"Are you with us, or are you with this fake dragon and his fake friend? We know he is just pretending to be his friend because of his status! That's why neither of them has any other friends!"
Gaby gazed at her wrist and then proceeded to gaze directly at Park who was now staring to sweat just like Trevor.
"You have three seconds to let go of me... One..."
"Y- You think you can just act like you own the place? Just because you have the emperor's son on your side?"
"Two..." Gaby began to lift her other arm and made a gesture with her hand as if she was about to flick his forehead.
"I- I'm not afraid of you!! We are not scared of a couple of fake-"
"Three." she finally mumbled before igniting her hand with a bolt of electricity and blasting Park all the way through the room with her finger.
"Guaaaaghhh!!!" he screamed after being smacked against the wall and falling onto the ground.
Gaby followed it up by shaking the electricity out of her hand and gazing at all of the students who were now staring back at her.
"What?" she asked, causing each of them to twitch and return to their seats.
Gaby simply sighed and looked at Trevor, who she noticed was still a little shaken up from the event.
"You don't owe them an explanation" she mentioned to him.
"What?" Trevor mumbled.
"You don't need to justify yourself to these guys. Just be friends with whoever the hell you want. Who cares what they think?" she mentioned before looking at Kurt, "Don't you agree?"
The black-haired lad looked at Kurt as well and the red-haired boy began to smile at him, "I do. What about you, Trevor?"
Trevor didn't say anything and just went to his seat with Gaby and Kurt by his side as they started to talk about plans for their study group.
From one of the seats, observing the trio from the corner of his eye, a certain student with short dark blue hair and a thin physique continued to draw something on his chair while occasionally glancing at Kurt, Trevor, and Gaby.