Module 2: Levelling

Module 2: Levelling

A Chapter by Oran

 

            Another day to delve into the beautiful world of education...

 

            The Principle of the Stadia was made to obtain a higher precision when someone starts levelling trigonometrically. Although it does not take into account the effects of curvature and refraction of the earth, it’s a lot easier than taping and maybe even more precise. Now that I know how to get the horizontal distance using this principle, it’s time for me to learn about how to get the stadia interval factor using offsets of-

 

            “Ilyas.”

 

            It’s time for me to learn about how to get the stadia interval factor using offsets of-

 

            “Ilyas!”

 

            “Yes, Valentino?”

 

            “Have you read my manuscript yet?”

 

            “No, I haven’t read it yet. Our internet has been down since last week.”

 

            I’m not even gonna tell her that manuscripts are meant to be handwritten.

 

            “That doesn’t count as an excuse”, she pouts as she watches me solve for the interval factor of the stadia. “Everyone has easy access to the internet even in the Philippines.”

 

            “Our internet connection is powered by Globe in Pasig and Globe’s server is having maintenance in that specific area so I can’t connect. The only computer shop close-by from our subdivision is one and a half kilometers away, and I’m not willing to walk. Besides, I had research homework to do last night and I wouldn’t be able to read it even if I had internet connection.”

 

            “I see- Hey, wait a minute! How did you do your research if you didn’t have internet connection?”

 

            Crap, she got me.

 

            “Um... I had my mom get reference books for Philippine History so I got it done.”

 

            Let me explain. I am currently reviewing my notes on Stadia in the seventh floor lobby just like I always do in every morning of my dead-end life. The girl sitting with me, Clarisse Valentino, woke me up while I was pretending to sleep and has been continually reproaching me despite my meaningful constraints.

 

            “Look, I said I’d help you but can you at least let me move in my own pace?” I asked her, interrupting her mid-statement.

 

            “I’m sorry...” She says with an apologetic look. “I just thought maybe you’d be excited as I am.”

 

            “Why would I be excited?” I stop reviewing and face her while letting go of the Unipin.

 

            She seemed surprised when I asked such a question; almost baffled, as a matter of fact, but her answer surprised me a whole lot more.

 

            “Didn’t you say you wanted to be a Light Novel author?”

 

            I have never told anyone that I wanted to be a Light Novel author... ever. I talk to my classmates about the course and how much of a prick the instructor is, but I’ve never been close enough to anyone to tell them something as personal as that.

 

            Nevertheless, I answer her with all the honesty I could muster.

 

            “That dream is dead.”

 

            That should probably convince her to stop bothering me for a while. Whenever I say something dark, dirty, or brutally honest, people tend to tune off and leave. It’s kind of like my self-defence mechanism when there are stingy people around me.

 

            Now, let’s go back to getting the stadia interval factor using offsets of-

 

            “No it’s not.”

 

            “What?”

 

            “Your dream, I mean. It’s not dead.”

 

            “I deleted all files from my laptop regarding ‘Dama de Noche’ a long time ago. Every piece of paper I’ve written on is either burned or confined in a trash compactor. All I remember are the character designs and some scenarios. I’ve forgotten about the rest of it.”

 

            “I kept it alive”, she says with a serious look on her face.

 

            I laughed through my nose at such a ludicrous statement. I’ve already abandoned all hope in that Light Novel, Dama de Noche, and I’ve erased everything I had that could give me any false faith. Even the account on the website where I posted the chapters is gone.

 

            “It’s dead, I tell you. I should know because I’m the one who killed it.”

 

            “How could you say that?” She looks at me with hint of contempt in her face. Looks like this one’s not gonna back down. Time to seal the deal.

 

            “Because I’m tired of-“

 

            She counters me before I can make my point.

 

            “You said you loved writing, didn’t you? You even showed me the Novel Illustrations you drew.”

 

            “I... showed you my Novel Illustrations before?”

 

            “Yes you did, remember?” She starts smiling excitedly. “That girl you were drawing before; her name was Harana Trinidades, right? And then there’s the protagonist with the amulet: Janus Sandoval. You gave me a link to that website where you posted it. You even put up a lot of references about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. You said you wanted to finish it even if it kills you, right?”

 

            Wow, that doesn’t make any sense to me. I should be overjoyed that somebody gave a damn about what I was putting my heart and soul into. If this were happening a year ago, I’d probably do something stupid, thinking that things that happen in Anime are starting to occur in my life.

 

            To think that she took the time to remember the names of my characters, it would have been great if I still had the balls to write. I can still draw, but for me to get myself motivated to write again is out of the question.

 

            I won’t involve myself with her anymore.

 

            “I’m not that person anymore.”

 

            I grabbed my stuff and slid my bag back to my shoulder and proceeded to the room after seeing the guard open it up.

 

            And then, for the first time in many years of my life, a girl actually grabbed me by the hand to stop me.

 

            “Please, wait.” I can feel her grip tightening while she holds onto me with both hands. “I know it’s too much to ask, but please read the manuscript. You don’t have to draw or do anything for me anymore. Just... please read it and tell me what you think. You’ll never have to see me again after that, I swear.”

 

            By the sound of her voice, I can tell she’s at the brink of begging, but I’m not gonna do it. I’ll only do it if she gets down on the floor and says “Onegaishimasu!” with her head on the ground, but she doesn’t know that.

 

            I let go of her hand and turn around to say no.

 

            “I’m not gonna-“

 

            She gets down on the floor and says “Onegaishimasu!” with her head on the ground.

 

            Wait... She actually f*cking did it!

 

            “I’m begging you! Please read it! That’s all you have to do and after that I’ll leave you alone!”

 

            Her face was still on the floor while she said the words. It’s quite undignified for someone like her to do something as drastic as that. It even caught the attention of the early-bird students. Still, begging with all your dignity down in the mud in front of me isn’t going to work.

 

            “Stand up”, I spoke and she followed my instruction. She looked up at me with her eyes brimming with anticipation. In fact, she was so cute that almost forgot what I was going to say. Almost.

 

            “Your thoughts”, she inquires.

 

            “I’m not gonna do it.”

 

            I turn around and close the door behind me before she could say anything. Placing my bag at the usual seat, I sit down and take a nap with the thought of her drifting in my head.

 

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            The days rolled by and I haven’t seen her since our dispute on the seventh floor. I may or may not feel sorry for her, but I don’t regret what I did. She kept pulling my leg so it’s not my fault if I accidentally kick her.

 

            This experience would have been nice as a reference if I were still writing. But as everyone in the Philippines knows, as long as you’re studying hard and obeying the laws, you will die being tormented by the time you wasted in trying to fulfil a dream that you know is going to betray you.

 

            Imagining all that wasted time you spent on studying will be torture. Remembering those wasted days you burned your eyes out just to correct your computations on the area you obtained through Closed Traversing will be a remorseful sorrow. You’re going to lose faith on your Christianity and before you know it you’re cursing everything that ever existed.

 

            But that day is not today for me.

 

            I have three days off this week and that includes Monday.

 

            It’s a beautiful Monday night and the internet just came back up, which means I don’t have to connect to my uncle’s weak-a*s wifi hotspot anymore. Seriously, though... It took 10 goddamn minutes to load Google when he said his phone had free wifi loaded from his company and it took two hours to do my report on Philippine History. That justifies why I couldn’t open that link she sent me.

 

            Maybe I should check it out right now....

 

            Nah, I don’t have to.

 

            That thought aside, there is an unnatural phenomenon waiting to happen between my legs and there’s only one way to deal with it.

 

            The laptop starts up, my browser starts loading, and so begins the ending of my day off.

 

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            I didn’t get any sleep last night.

 

            I guess I felt guilty for leaving her like that last Thursday. My subconscious probably thought of a way to distract me from it and I ended up reading doujins on Pokemon. I suddenly had a strange urge to play Pokemon Fire Red, go to Four Island, and ensue vigorous activities with Lorelei of the Elite Four.

 

            Thoughts like these are what’s going to melt my sanity one day. I try supress these urges as much as I can by taking it once a week but I can’t prevent it from going hot at the wrong time. Being in heat along with these hormones are quite disadvantageous. For instance, I have a quiz this morning for Higher Surveying but all I can think about is Ice Mistress Lorelei. I could have reviewed last night, but I just had to read that doujin.

 

            I hate being a weeaboo.

 

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            Seventy-two out of a hundred is the best score one can probably hope to achieve in one’s Higher Surveying quiz, if and only if your instructor has a Civil Engineering licence and a deep depressing memory of his divorce. Other instructors show you how to solve complicated examples, but this guy shows you how to solve the simplest problem ever, which is not a good thing. After showing how the principle works easily, he’ll give you a quiz that pertains to every goddamn principle he can think of and shove it down the a*s of the newest lesson as an item on the quiz that only gives credit to the final answer.

 

            I got used to it since he was also my instructor last term, the third term of my freshman year. As a matter of fact, I lost my scholarship after he helped in significantly lowering my G.P.A.

 

            I look around the library as I agonize about this.

 

            There are very few people studying here. The rest of them are either asleep or acting s****y in front of their crush.

 

            It’s disgusting, really, but I can’t let that bother me. There is much integration to be done.

 

            Taking a seat at the farthest corner where the window would be, I grab a needlessly large book from my bag, a book said to be the bible of Calculus according to my Integral Calculus instructor.

 

            And so it begins.

 

            Grabbing half a sheet of yellow paper, I start off with a fifth degree monomial paired with a constant. I write it down from the book to the paper and after a little analysis, integration is complete. I continuously answer the rest of the items. Most of these require the substitution method of integrating, something I’m still trying to master, but hopefully I’ll be able to do this mentally, get high marks from my instructor who has high standards, and ultimately redeem my lost scholarship.

 

            Fortunately nothing is going to distract me today-

 

            “Um... Ilyas?”

 

            I hear a girl’s voice coming up from my side. My head turns to the right and I see Miss Valentino somewhat interested in my integration as she carries a stack of paper on both arms clenched to her chest. Oh, I just love the look on someone’s face when they try to understand what anti-derivation is.

 

            “What? It’s just some simple integration”, I say to her with a smug look on my face.

 

            “I don’t think that’s integration, Ilyas...” She gave me a wry smile.

 

            I look at my paper and see why she looks so puzzled. It turns out I wasn’t integrating. I wasn’t even doing anything related to Calculus. I wrote down the items, and after that I scribbled a couple of swear words and statements about how I lost my f*cking scholarship.

 

            “Oh... Well, that explains why I answered so easily.”

 

            “You still can’t focus”, she says, giggling cutely.

 

            “Yeah, right. I bet you can’t even understand what any this means.”

 

            I took note of the fact that her eyes sparkled when I said the word ‘bet’.

 

            “Move over.”

 

            She placed the stack of paper on the desk and pressed herself on the chair when I refused to move over. She took the Unipin off my hand and started integrating over my scribbles... It’s a good thing I blew off some steam last night because I’d probably be thinking of something ecchi if I wasn’t sober enough to notice what she was doing.

 

            “Why don’t you have any solutions?” I asked her while she was half-way from speeding through all twenty items.

 

            “Don’t need them; doing things mentally”, she spoke as she integrated another rational polynomial without writing anything on the paper except for the final answer.

 

            “Wait, how’d you get that one?”

 

            I pointed out one item in particular:

 

            ∫ (tan2x + cot2x)™ dx

 

            “Do you know how to do the square of a binomial?”

 

            I took the Unipin from her hand and as I looked over her shoulder, I wrote down the expanded form:

 

            ∫ (tan™2x + 2tan2xcot2x + cot™2x) dx

 

            “Good. Now, what’s cotangent multiplied by tangent assuming they have the same value of angles?”

 

            “One.”

 

            I wrote down as she instructed.

 

            ∫ (tan™2x + 2 + cot™2x) dx

 

            “Now what?” I ask her while handing over the Unipin.

 

            “Watch this.”

 

            ∫ (tan™2x + 1 + cot™2x + 1) dx

 

            “What’s this equal to?” She passes over the Unipin.

 

            Oh, my God! She split the number two and turned into a Trigonometric Identity! Why the hell didn’t I think of that!

 

            It made me smile when I saw how the problem was going to end so I wrote it down and finished the integration myself.

 

            ∫ (sec™2x + csc™2x) dx

 

             + C

 

            “See? It’s very easy”, she says looking at me with a smile.

 

            “Wow, you’re amazing! How did you learn all that? I thought you shifted courses!”

 

            “Yeah. I shifted to BS Applied Mathematics and got credits. That’s why I’m done with integration.” She started fidgeting a little bit after saying that, and I’m surprised that up until that point I hadn’t realized she was still sitting on my lap. “So... I guess I technically won the bet, right?”

 

            “What bet?”

 

            “You said I couldn’t understand what it meant, right?”

 

            “Um... Actually, would you kindly get off me first?”

 

            She realizes the situation and immediately apologizes after standing up.

 

            “I-I’m sorry... But I still won the bet so... will you do something for me?”

 

            “I’ll say it again. I’m going to do your character design and your Novel Illustrations but I will not take the time to read your manuscript.”

 

            She frowns a little bit after hearing me say that, but then she thought of something and smiled again.

 

            “Then... How about we make a deal?”

 

            “A deal?”

 

            “Yes”, she explains. “You will read my manuscript and in exchange I will tutor you on Integral Calculus.”

 

            I give her a fake smile with a stubborn reaction.

 

            “Not happening.”

 

            “B-But I won the bet!”

 

            The library bell rung as the librarian tapped at its silver plating, making it chime and catch our attention. Miss Valentino seemed to be a little too loud. She bowed to show she was sorry and I slipped away from the library when she did so.

 

            I don’t really feel at ease when I’m needed by someone who requires my presence. It’s okay when people ask me for an important favour and then they don’t talk to me for the next six months until they need another huge request. They make it clear that they will only acknowledge my existence when they need me.

 

            What I’m afraid of is someone who clings to you and leaves you to fall when you’re the one who’s hanging off the ledge. What I fear is someone who pretends to be your friend until they get what they want and act like what you’ve both been through was nothing. And what I’m absolutely terrified of is to be forgotten by someone I remember so deeply.

 

            I’ve been waiting for the elevator on the hallway for so long that I forgot that I was running away. I felt my arm dragged through the halls of the English Resource Center next to the library as I was pushed into the utility closet. The door was shut and I saw her staring at me for what I think is a desperate attempt to convince me.

 

            “Why did you leave me... again?”

 

            She mumbled in such a low voice that I almost couldn’t understand what she said while clenching her manuscript. I honestly couldn’t answer to that because I’ve never asked that question myself. Not knowing what to say, I put up a straight face and just looked back at her. Eventually, she spoke up after a moment of silence.

 

            “Why won’t you do it? Are you that determined to give up on writing?”

 

            Her voice was... trembling.

 

            “I don’t know!” I answer with all honesty. “What about you, huh? Why are you so persistent in making me read your manuscript-“

 

            “Because...” I waited for her to respond until her face turned red and she finally blurted out: “Because maybe then you’d remember me!”

 

            “What the f*ck do you mean!”

 

            “You’re such a...” She strides toward me and corners me near the wall. “Do you have any idea how hard it was for me?” She angrily complained with her face flushed red. I could feel her punching me with all her might but it’s only enough to make me flinch a little. “You promised! You promised that we’d finish Dama de Noche together! I... I even shifted courses just to have time for it! But after the next semester of the main campus I never saw you again...” Her hands stopped punching as she yelled out with her voice cracking. “You never came back!”

 

            “Look, I don’t remember collaborating with anyone!”

 

            “That’s exactly my point! It’s not that you don’t remember. It’s just that you were the one who forgot about me!!!”

 

            She screamed with all the air in her lungs as she threw the stack of paper she held to the ground by her side. The frustration a writer feels when his source of passion is forcefully taken away from him is something I’m very acquainted with. But then... why is it me? To make things worse, she started crying silently right in front of me. I saw her look away, but I can see her tears fall from the side of her face.

 

            My entire image of her changed. I seem to have misjudged the way she spoke to me. After all the fake girls that talk to me just to get the attention of the guy she likes, I forgot that there might actually be someone genuine who says what she means.

 

            Clarisse Valentino does not act like other girls... at least not to me.

 

            But still...

 

            Why does it have to be me? Why couldn’t it have been some romantic b*****d who knew how to effectively take advantage of these situations? Why couldn’t it have been some smooth-talking idiot who would have hugged her the moment he saw her cry? Why couldn’t it have been someone who had a normal positive outlook in life and a normal dumb-a*s Filipino attitude? She would’ve been fine if I were someone else like something you see in a low-budget romance novel written on Wattpad or some goddamn cliché ecchi-harem Anime scenario.

 

            I never thought I’d see the day that a girl would cry for me, much less to try to comfort her when she’s drowning in her own tears. I thought I was going to live my life playing around a Theodolite and messing up my infrastructure design to get fired without ever experiencing crappy romantic events.

 

            I guess I’m the one responsible for this... All of this negativity that looms beside me...

 

            I wonder if she knows how to get rid of it.

 

            Lowering myself, I arrange the papers and stack them up neatly. She didn’t realize what I was doing since she had her eyes closed, but after collecting her manuscript, I stood straight and told her what I thought.

 

            “I’ll read it and tell you what I think about it. After that, we’re done.”

 

            I left her wordlessly in the utility closet without waiting for her reaction. I don’t know what expression she was wearing as I walked away and took the stairs, but I hate the fact that I actually...

 

            Made her cry.

 

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            Wednesday morning sickness is creeping up my neck as the chair carries the weight of my a*s on the seventh floor lobby. I couldn’t read her manuscript because there were new doujin releases on Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu plus another doujin that features Hatsune Miku. I finished all the new releases and didn’t realize it was already two AM in the morning while I had to wake up at four to get to school by six in the morning.

 

            I really have to stop doing this. I thought it was healthy but I guess I was just tricking myself into subscribing to such shameless passions. I’ve been doing it non-stop for three days in a row and I’m pretty sure I’ll be intoxicated until the week ends.

 

            Every college student has his or her own poison. Most are alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Some have an affinity for casual sex and gambling with a pregnancy test. As for a loser like me, I have doujin websites to browse in the internet.

 

            My parents would be so proud.

 

            I feel like the back of my eyes are being sucked into my skull. My throat is dry but my breath feels so cold and chilly. This is all a loser like me will ever deserve. I’m never going to get a licence. I’m not even cut out for Civil Engineering. The fumes on the construction site will probably murder me during internship if I ever even make it that far. This disease I’ve had is where my world begun, and it will surely end with the disease as well.

 

            Laying my head to the wooden desk, I feel someone pat my back. I think I know who this is.

 

            “Did you read porn Manga last night again?”

 

            “Yup. I didn’t feel very good though”, I reply while raising my head.

 

            “I knew it.”

 

            He took the seat next to me. This guy’s name is Selo. With dark skin and a built that’s a little higher than mine, Selo comes from Region 1 near the mountains of Ilocos, literally. We’re enrolled in the same program but he fell short on the second semester and stopped for the next one. Now he’s back to finish up his subjects on Differential Calculus and Elementary Surveying after taking summer classes.

 

            Selo is probably the closest thing I have as a friend here at Far Eastern University. He’s a Pagan who has a tribe up at Northern Ilocos while I’m a Roman Catholic who lives in a subdivision in Quezon City. I don’t know why, but despite our differences in culture, dominant environment, and religion, we seem to have the same negative outlook in life.

 

            “What section are you on?”

 

            “C21 for my English class today”, he says in a deep voice while scanning his Wednesday schedule.

 

            “We’re in the same class.”

 

            “Sounds good.”

 

            Ah, at least I have someone to talk to in C21. I have some acquaintances in that block section but I’m not close enough to anyone to have a casual conversation.

 

            “So how’ve you been?”

 

            “I got a little background on Elementary Surveying. What about you?”

 

            “Well, there’s the urges I’m having from time to time. My life’s pretty much as jumbled up as ever.”

 

            “That goes for both of us since the first semester of our freshman year.”

 

            Since the first semester, huh? Hm... Maybe he remembers something...

 

            “The first semester? Were we ever close to anyone back then?”

 

            “No, I don’t really remember anything.”

 

            “What about Clarisse Valentino?”

 

            When I said her name, I thought I saw Selo bite his lip before replying.

 

            “Oh, you mean her? Yeah, but... you weren’t that close.”

 

            “Did I ever do anything involving writing with her?”

 

            “Writing? Didn’t you say writing is for people with actual feelings? I thought you changed your line of sight already, man.”

 

            “I wonder about that...”

 

            Changing your line of sight is what happens when your vision is obstructed when sighting for a particular point. You can probably solve it trigonometrically once you omit the measurement, but for me, I think I can find a way through the obstructed line of sight.

 

            All I have to do is get closer.

 



© 2016 Oran


Author's Note

Oran
So uh... This site doesn't support the symbols used for Calculus so the equations are pretty much screwed. But you probably won't understand it anyway :)

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Changing your line of site = I am not sure but I think it is line of "Sight"

Also, Doujinshi/Doujin is not only R18+ things. Doujinshi is a self published work sold in shops or conventions, meaning Non-H counts as Doujinshi. I recommend to call it EroManga or R18+ Manga.

The site doesn't only support calculus, it doesn't support hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. I know the feeling

Posted 5 Years Ago


Oran

5 Years Ago

Fixed it. I know what doujins mean. I just made him call it like that because I didn't want to direc.. read more

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Added on December 21, 2015
Last Updated on January 17, 2016


Author

Oran
Oran

Somewhere in the Philippines, My house, Philippines



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