My attack stat… – V11 Chap 329 – A Lazy Sunday

I rolled around, the sun’s glare invading the darkness I was in. My eyes popped open to see an empty bed. It felt late, but then, I remembered that it was Sunday.

“Ah… Katalina has her lab studies today.”

Ever the aspiring genius, she had secured an opportunity in a research lab early on. Simply taking courses wasn’t enough; she had to grasp the experience to be satisfied. Such a drive for learning made me wonder if I wasn’t doing enough myself, lazy in bed throughout the morning, well after the sun had risen.

But then again, I had my own specialties: cooking and therapy. I didn’t have to be jealous of her successes as I had my own. And Katalina was happy enough to spend a whole day with me, taking part in what I could do. We didn’t need to catch up to each other, but simply be aware of each other’s capabilities.

“I should pay her a visit too.”

That was the motivation that I needed to get out of bed on this typical day that I would have blown through on video games instead. The morning breeze felt crisp and refreshing, especially when I had a destination in mind. The walk between the apartments and the campus felt shorter than normal.


“Just a little bit more…”


“Awww, not another one…. Who said that diamonds are unbreakable?”

I watched behind a set of windows at a girl who was upset that her toy had broken mid-experiment. She ripped off her goggles and brought up the tiny gem, eyeing the large fissure that was made down the side. Cutely, she puffed her face at the result before setting it off to the side and grabbing a fresh diamond.

If it was any other girl, the thought of breaking a diamond would bring much grief, but for her, it was just another casualty of research.

“How many engagements have you crushed today?” I called out to her.

She turned and gave me a snooty look, before laughing at my joke. “Only three.”

The contraption that she was working with required two diamonds smashing her sample in between, simulating a crushing force only found in extreme conditions. She was investigating the transformation of a new material structure, one that would yield mysterious properties. Tech industries were always in need of exotic materials to meet their requirements, so Katalina’s research involved molding the old into something new.

But in the process, pressing two diamonds together with such force often led to one of them cracking, unable to handle the intensity needed. Research was a costly endeavor, often riddled with failures. But that didn’t deter the desire for progress. Katalina’s eyes never lost the shine of curiosity.

Just like how she watched me the previous day, it was now my turn to dabble in her interests. Perhaps, because it was her doing it, I didn’t seem to mind. I felt a hand placed on my shoulder. My eyes darted to a head of dark blue hair and a bewitching smile.

“Are you sure you don’t want to join the lab? I can talk to the professor and come up with a project.”

I held back a chuckle, content with merely watching. That had been asked before when I started visiting.

“No thanks, Cornelius. That’s not where my heart lies.”

“Oh, it’s pretty obvious where your heart lies. I was just taking the chance of inviting someone with a bit of motivation to be here.” The graduate student researcher named Cornelius teased me. The long, white lab coat looked fitting for her, despite the suave persona that she displayed. Some people would have undoubtedly been drawn to the lab from her handsome looks that made it difficult to distinguish gender at first.

But not me. My gaze followed the soft blue hair and glare of spectacles whenever Katalina turned toward me.

“Just because I have the motivation, that doesn’t mean this is something I ‘want’ to do. Thanks to her, I know what I am capable of. I don’t have to settle on just anything. I have time to figure out what to pursue.”

“What do you want to do then?”


A flash of thoughts ran through my mind, so quickly that I couldn’t fully grasp them. Cooking for a crowd, devising in a lab, charging forward courageously, guiding a set of youngsters, facing a large crowd on a balcony.

I clutched my head as I saw versions of myself, different aspirations and dreams. It seemed like I wanted to do all of them, but I knew that I couldn’t. I would have to choose and work towards it, pave a path that made me happy, and watch as others intersected mine while others ran parallel.

“Are you okay, Claude?” Cornelius asked.

“Y-Yes. Just daydreaming again. I don’t have a concrete answer yet. Just vague thoughts of the future.”

“Then, take all the time you need to choose.” Cornelius walked away and toward Katalina, discussing the experiment that she was working on.

Somehow, I had the feeling that I shouldn’t take it easy. I felt a pair of eyes on me, waiting for me to choose. But to choose what, I had no idea. All I could do for the moment was watch Katalina.


Lunchtime came soon enough, and with it, the end of the research session for the week. As Katalina and I exited the building to grab lunch, she suddenly remembered something.

“Ah, I hope you don’t mind. My little sister is planning to join us for lunch today.”

“Hmm? Why would I mind? I can’t just monopolize her role model, now can I?”

We swung by a local eatery where plans have been made, and entering the door, I spied a blond-haired girl sitting in the corner of the café. Unlike the casual clothing that Katalina wore, the sight of gothic Lolita fashion would normally raise an eyebrow. But strangely, it felt fitting for the demure girl.

However, that appearance was only for those who didn’t know her. She went from daintily sipping her tea to gripping the both of us in a tight hug. My eyes could hardly keep up with how quickly she sprang upon us.

“Sister! Claude! How do you like my outfit?” she spun around, letting the dress twirl in the air. A bright smile beamed on her face.

“Ludmila, don’t you think that is a bit flashy? Attracting unnecessary attention from the boys in your class will get you in trouble.” Katalina gave her a disapproving frown, but she had bought the dress for her to begin with. From what I was told, Ludmila exclusively wore things that were eye-catching or that blended into the background. Nothing in between. It was almost like she wished to call attention to herself or disappear entirely.

“Any boys with ill intentions will receive a death jab from Ludmila. Master of pressure points, Brother Claude, has taught me how to be safe.”

Katalina steered her disapproval towards me, which sent a shiver down my spine as Ludmila pulled me closer.

“Hey! I only taught her some basic ones! Just enough to-”

“Knock someone out? I believe your standards of mildness are a ‘little bit’ stretched.”

“Better knocked out than getting into an actual fight. They’ll leave her alone if they realize that she can one-hit-KO them.”

Katalina shook her head, worrying about the future of the middle schooler that was her little sister.

The three of us sat down and had lunch, making small talk about various things. Even though I rarely saw Ludmila, it seemed like I knew her quite well. And she had warmed up to me quickly as well. I didn’t have a little sister, but I imagined that this would be how it was to have one. But then again, I was probably idealizing it, as I hardly saw any of the quirks that Katalina seemed to get annoyed with her about. Perhaps, she was just on her best behavior around me.

After lunch, we went walking around the campus. Ludmila had set her sights here as well in the future, and with good reason. I had no complaints with the variety of courses and the cost. Certainly, my parents were excited when I had chosen to attend, even if that decision was mostly to satisfy them at the beginning.

But now, I couldn’t help but feel like things were going my way. Finding a purpose after meeting Katalina, working towards being better, and simply, enjoying my time here – that was what made me rethink the whole experience.

I sat down on a bench, in the middle of a large field that served as the campus common grounds. Students spent their weekends here, lounging around and playing sports. It was the sign of a healthy environment. My lazy butt felt content on holing up in my room at first. But not now.

“Ludmila and I are going to join in that game of Frisbee. Do you want to come?” Katalina extended her hand towards me.

“And what? Help you beat your sister with my wicked ninja skills?” I laughed at the childish embellishment of my ability. “You two should spend some time together. I’ll be here watching Ludmila run circles around you.”

“Awww, you’re no help! Fine, be that way!” Katalina pulled her hand back with a pout. She grabbed Ludmila’s and stuck her tongue out at me as they walked off to the field.

Sure enough, it didn’t take long for Ludmila to seemingly dominate players almost twice her age with her speedy legs. They were playing Ultimate Frisbee, with Ludmila whizzing by to intercept throws. Pretty soon, the others had to make their throws unreachable to her, sacrificing accuracy in the process.

That was when Katalina shined. Her stellar understanding of physics and math made it such that she could arc a frisbee high in the air, calculating the trajectory based on rotation and wind velocity. Just when it seemed like it would fly off into no-man’s land, it curved back and landed in the hands of a teammate.

I had a laugh as my prior boast of ‘ninja skills’ was nothing compared to theirs. I was simply just more athletic than the average person.

“You’re having fun it seems. Out here with someone?”

A sudden voice called out to me, breaking me away from watching the game. I turned to see platinum hair and red eyes, causing me to nearly choke rather than respond appropriately. Just like that time when Katalina suddenly spoke to me, this girl invaded my bubble in one swift motion.

“Y-Yeah, just chilling… while my girlfriend and her sister are playing on the field….”

Her eyes flicked back and forth, following where I pointed.

“Girlfriend… How pleasant.” Her eyelashes batted softly as if registering that tidbit. And then, she backed away and sat down next to me.

‘Awkwaaaard,’ I thought, wondering why she had chosen to do so, of all places that she could sit.

Rather than attempt to make a fool of myself, I turned back to watch the game. After many minutes of silence, she spoke again.

“How peaceful it is today, don’t you think?”

“I guess you can say that. It’s just a normal Sunday. A bit of rest before lectures start the week again.”

“You sound happy despite that little detail at the end.”

I scratched my chin, wondering if there was any hidden meaning to that. I concluded that it was just simple banter, to break an otherwise silence between us. It didn’t matter anyways if she knew a bit about me.

“Can’t complain. Coursework is going well. Having fun on the side. A girlfriend to set goals with. Satisfied parents. What more could I ask for?”

My gaze turned to her, wondering if that was enough to get her off my back. Perhaps, she simply liked to know about people. Why else would someone randomly greet a stranger? Especially someone just lazing about.

“I see… then continue to enjoy it… It’s not a bad life at all…”

“Thanks, I-”

And then, she was gone.

I turned my head all around, looking to see where she had run off to. But in every direction that I looked, her unique platinum hair was nowhere to be seen.

“Is something wrong, Claude?”

Katalina’s voice called out to me. She and Ludmila had apparently finished playing.

“No. Nothing’s wrong. Shall we move on with our day? How about some ice cream after that workout?”

“What workout? You just sat there and watched. No ice cream for you.” Katalina did an exaggerated ‘hmmph’ and turned away from me.

I put my hands together in a plea.

“A back massage. 15 minutes. That should burn enough calories!”

Opening one eye and leering at me, she grinned right afterward.


My attack stat… – V11 Chap 328 - A Certain Time Once Again (2)
My attack stat… – V11 Chap 330 - I Will Chase After You