Of Space and Bachelor’s Degrees Chapter 24

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Richard stared at the person in front of him. “Umm… what?”

“I asked if you wanted me to go beat up that Noxian for you. He seemed like a real jerk.”

Richard wasn’t sure how to respond to that, so he just said, “How about… no. Better not. It’s sorta a personal thing and I’d rather not start a diplomatic incident of some kind. Who are you, by the way? I’m Richard.”

“I’m Hiroshi.”

Richard looked at the strange person who had dark brown skin and frowned. “Err, I thought that kind of name…”

“It’s a fake name. I picked it because I’m a ninja.”

Richard again looked at Hiroshi, and his casual clothing. “Aren’t ninjas supposed to wear black and stuff?”

“Only if they want to be super obvious and have people find out they’re a ninja. Then they get fired or killed. Or both.”

“That also happens if you tell people you’re a ninja.” Richard wasn’t sure how to react to Hiroshi… but he seemed nice at least. He hadn’t slapped Richard or tried to poison him, though he supposed he still might. Richard wasn’t completely convinced that he was coincidentally around.

“True, but all that means is you have to not tell anyone, or I’ll kill you.” Hiroshi paused. “That was a joke, I don’t want to get… Anyway, please don’t tell anyone.” He smiled.

“You don’t have to worry about me telling. Just worry about yourself.” Richard admonished.

“Hmm, good point. I should probably just not talk to people since I might give away secret details like about your-” Hiroshi stopped himself at the last second. “About stuff. I should go now.” Then, he went. Richard expected him to do a strange gesture and then disappear, but he just walked around the corner.

Richard was still a bit shaky, but he thought would be fine. He used his phone to look at his face, but it looked normal… maybe a little bit red. He thought about the Noxian. He wouldn’t tolerate him being nearby his friends in the future. If he was left alone, Richard would be content to do the same. If, for some reason, Elena chose to stop being friends with Richard and Jot, he could also accept that. He just knew that he wouldn’t be the one to make that choice. He wasn’t even going to bring the idea up.

The Noxian man- boy, based on how he acted, probably had a name and seemed to be some kind of nobility, and was definitely Richard’s enemy. He’d possibly tried to kill Richard. At the very least, Richard knew he could be tried for assault with a deadly weapon.

Richard felt there was something more to why he confronted him than just not wanting “the princess” to associate with someone of low birth. He seemed to be more passionate about it more than would normally make sense for such a thing. At the very least, if he wanted legitimacy to his actions he should have done something more official than threaten Richard in person.

Richard thought he should be angry, and want to seek revenge. He possessed an immediate dislike for him, and even came up with a nickname- Jerkface. It wasn’t just that he had maybe tried to kill Richard, but just his general attitude. Though he thought he should want to get back at him, Richard didn’t. At least, not immediately, and not in any of the ways he could think of. The easiest method would have been just saying ‘yes’ to Hiroshi when he asked if Richard wanted him to beat up Jerkface. Richard didn’t even really know Hiroshi, so if he got in trouble he wouldn’t feel bad, except that it would be somewhat his fault. Richard absolutely knew Jot would have done it, but he would care a lot more about Jot getting in trouble. Richard could tell Elena about what happened, though the results of that would be unpredictable. Could she get Jerkface in trouble? Maybe. Would she? That probably depended on many factors. Richard didn’t want to bring royalty and nobility into the equation any more than necessary. A perfectly reasonable and correct option would be to just go to security, tell them he’d been attacked, and have them review the security footage. Unless something had been done about that, but regardless of whether it still existed, Richard didn’t have any interest in getting Jerkface in any kind of trouble… physical or political or legal. Not at the moment anyway.

For a brief moment, Richard considered that maybe instead of being cursed to be in danger, maybe he was just cursed with being to stupid or stubborn to do anything about it. However, that wasn’t entirely fair. Richard felt like he had a plan. Maybe he was working on it. Well, it hadn’t really started yet, but he thought he might be able to come up with a plan. He wasn’t sure what it was, or how it would be related to anything that had just happened. Still, Richard didn’t feel threatened by Jerkface… at least not physically. If he still stuck around spying, Richard was absolutely going to do something about it, but for now he wouldn’t take any direct action.

For some reason, in the back of his mind, Richard felt some kind of strange connection between Jerkface and his father. Not any of the positive things about his father, nor was it that they had a similar look, or personality, or anything Richard could put into words. Richard felt there was some connection, but he wasn’t sure what. Maybe they used a similar shampoo or cologne? That wasn’t it. It was something even more vague, but for some reason it felt negative and made Richard feel a little bit sorry for Jerkface. Richard was pretty sure his brain was broken, though it appeared perfectly healthy. Richard also found it strange that he could observe his brain. That kind of thing was still pretty new to him.

Richard sighed. The whole ordeal was just strange. Richard didn’t want to be enemies with anyone, but he certainly didn’t want to be friends with everyone. Jerkface had planted himself firmly on the not-friends list from the very start. Still, there was that ninja, or person who thought he was a ninja. Hiroshi. He had been interesting to talk to. Maybe Richard would look into becoming his friend.

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