"Good morning! It's going to be a great day today, wake up!" ...And just when I had the sweetest dream, annoying sound from somewhere distant strikes my ears. Honestly, can't man get even a decent eyeful of sleep these days? "Good morning! It's going to be a great day today, wake up!" After few seconds of silence it repeats, as cheery as ever. Forcing my eyes awake, I try to get more definite location for that scourge. "Good morning! It's going to- Click. My arm swats the pain in the ass shaped like frog. Frog on two legs with diabolical smile on its face holding a clock it's pointing at. I hate that thing, but it definitely gets the job done, just simple repeated ringing could never force person awake so easily. It has to be magic how you'll never feel like sleeping again after you get face to face with that abomination. Well, but now that the usual morning routine is done, it's time to get up. How I wish the vacation continued for one more day, but no, for the first time in a while it's time to prepare for school. First, shower. Nobody wants to stink like hell when the class gets together again.
While still pulling the shirt on me I make my way down the stairs, only to be greeted not by sweet smell of tea and toast, or cheerful popping of rice crispies, but energetic voices speaking in high volume. But that's not because there'd be lots of people down there, only person around is my sister, watching some morning cartoon in a bright dress while slowly munching on bread. I give her(and the TV) quick glance as I walk towards kitchen. "...You're up early." "Mmh." Single nod of affirmation, her hair messy as always. "Dexter's Laboratory airs early." Some people get up early to make sure they look good when they head out for the day, but I guess this is expected of primary school student. "You know, have you thought that you could do something else too since you wake up so early every day?" Making my way to kitchen I speak over my shoulder as I put few pieces of breads into toaster. "Like, wake me up, for instance?" Slowly she turns away from the screen, and gives me a puzzled look. Must be a rerun. "...But you wake up by yourself." "Yeah, I do but..." Anything is better than being woken up by that horrible voice. "Wouldn't it be better to get up bit earlier? I mean, maybe I want to watch the TV too?" Chewing on the bread, it takes her a moment to answer. "Grown ups should get up by them self." And then she goes back to watching TV. "..." Better just forget it and live with the fact that I'm going to be woken up by that alarm clock for another year.
When I'm done with preparing a humble breakfast for myself, I sit down next to Phobe and try to start a conversation. "So, where's mom and dad?" "They left already." Again, a short answer. "What, you mean they don't want to be sure that we go to school, or something?" "Work starts early." "Huh..." Well, we haven't really given them many reasons to doubt us during our school life. I follow my sister's example and watch TV while biting onto my toast. On screen giant monster is currently destroying town while some superhero tries to unsuccessfully fight against it. "...Is this still Dexter's Lab?" "No, this is Power Puff Girls. That man is a liar who isn't really superhero, but made everybody believe he is one, and now that some accident he didn't set up came up he's really helpless. Soon Power Puff Girls are going to come and save the day." I sit quietly and listen as she explains the details of episode to me. "...I guess you've seen this episode earlier too?" "Mmh." She nods. "Is it really that fun to watch the same thing twice?" "If it's fun." Such amazing logic.
"Well." I look my cellphone display, and see that it's getting near the time for both of us to leave. "We should start heading to school soon. Do you have everything ready?" "I think so." She hops off the sofa and moves to kitchen to set the dishes down. "I get new books from the school, right?" "Just like every other year." Unlike me, who has to buy everything. Thankfully parents are very helpful with expenses like that. "But you have the pencil case and eraser, right?" "Yep." She skips to the closet and grabs her bag. "Let's get going." There really isn't anything to do before school anymore, and wasting the few minutes I have left in empty house isn't very appealing. I close the TV, and follow her outside after grabbing my bag.
I head out of the house with Phobe behind me, and on road start going towards bus-stop when I realize that she's still behind me. "...You know, your school is in the opposite direction. And I don't really need anybody to see me off to the bus." Giving me an upset look, she pouts. "You should take me to school, it's the first day after vacation." "That's more like parent's job." "They're not around, though." Tugging my arm, she tries to get me to turn around. "Work starts early, remember?" [ ] Sure, why not. It's not that far anyway. [ ] No way, I don't want to risk being late on first day of school year. ===================== There it is, re-start of All Together at Once, also called "Faggotry" by the writers, so I guess that makes this "New Faggotry"? Few things first, though. Don't focus just one character to get on that route. The game play time isn't limited, and since point of the story is that characters from other stories are in it just hanging out with one all the time isn't fun at all. Just chill. Interaction with girls doesn't have to lead to serious relationship. Trying to be Makoto will not have good consequences.
As for what "ANON" stands for... It could be number of things. Another Nonsensical Original Narration, All Naked Oh No, Aoi's Not Our Nominee, Adahn/Aoi Now Or Never... I'm sure something fitting will come up.
Why stop there when there's an entire spectrum of FABULOUS?
We have the shota Miki, the tsundere Sousha, the cooldere Sayo, the Kabuki-style cross-dresser Hakunon, your old warbuddy Snake, your college roommate Nemo (who has been on campus as an ungraduate for close to a decade), the hotblooded juvenile delinquint Hibiki, the stock-FABULOUS Roa, Sigurd the token gaijin, the impeccably dressed and well-mannered KC, and that adorably frighted moeblob from Lighthouse.
I didn't like the first one, but this looks promising. The protagonist for one is much less of a spastic. The writing is good. Phobe is cute and yet manages to not fall into the categories of Obvious Imouto Jailbait or Total Bitch like so many other little sister characters. Despite the initial drama, I have a good feeling about this; that is, if you decide to continue?
>>86685 Oh, it's continuing. Just getting off to a bit of a rocky start. And by a bit of a rocky start I mean an extremely rocky start. And by rocky I mean "Everyone who volunteered to help write has been struck down by youkai moe send help dear god."
Well, why not? After all if our parents didn't bother to take her, isn't it my responsibility? "Alright, I'll just go get my bike." Turning on my steps, I start walking towards the garage. "Eh, why?" She slowly follows me, turning her head in wonder. While looking for the key from one of the usual spots, I reply to her. "I don't mind taking you to school, but what I do mind is being late from my own- Ah, there it is." Under the potted plant. I open the door, and see... Not my bike. Lots of things, most of which are useless to me right now, but my bike isn't there. "...Where's my bike?" "Your bike isn't here." Phobe is quick to inform me of the glaring fact. "Yeah, I noticed that." "...Where's your bike?" And just when I thought she might know something... Oh. A piece of paper, set on easy-to-spot place on work table with knife struck through it. A kidnap notice, perhaps? Well, the exact nature of it doesn't matter now, just placing it like that makes me want to read it. After making quick work of the knife I take a moment to examine the paper. I can't think of much to say after looking at the note. "...You got to be kidding with me." "What, what is it?" Phobe tries looking at the piece in my hand, and doesn't do too well. "Does it say where your bike is?" "...Just listen." I gather my breath and will, and read the text out loud.
"Weather is nice Doctor told me to move I took your bike -Dad"
I stare blankly at the piece of poetry for a moment longer, and then crush it in my hand. "Is he serious? He takes my bike and writes a haiku?!" "It's not very good one either." 'Our dad's poetic capabilities are least of our concern right now'. That's what I wish to convey with my glare, but she only continues, albeit a bit more timidly. "...Does this mean you're not taking me to school?" A moment to consider my situation, and the answer is clear. "Nah, I promised didn't I? You usually walk there, and I some exercise myself too."
The trip is largely uninteresting, save for meeting and greeting few people on the way to school. Cling, cling! I turn to look at the cause of sound behind me, and see Faust ringing his bike's bell. "...Hey." Lazily I lift my hand in greeting, while still continuing to walk forward. "Mornin'." He slows down to speed at which he can comfortably stay next to me, somewhat impressive feat considering that Mikio with his black hair still as messy as always is sitting behind him. "Where's your bike, dude?" "Probably at the other side of the town by now." I look at Mikio for a bit, who's intently gazing at me and Phobe. Is it really that weird to see me in the morning? "..Dad took it. Apparently he has to exercise, or something." ...I still can't get my head over how small that kid is. Those big clothes don't help at all either. "Oh. That sucks, you're probably going to be late." "He knows it already." Phobe takes the moment to step into conversation. "You must have lots of time, since you can take Mikio to school every morning!" "Ah, well, you know how it is." Rubbing the back of his head, he prepares to speed up. "Anyway, later! Don't be too late." "Yeah, same to you-" I doubt he was actually listening anymore, though. He seemed far too busy concentrating on quickly getting away, but Mikio gives us plenty of attention, waving over his shoulder. "-wherever you're going today."
"I wonder where Faust is always hurrying to." Poor girl, she can't understand him and he doesn't try to understand her. "Hmm, seeing Mikio made me think." I look at my sister, namely her hair. "...Did you brush your hair in the morning? It's a mess." After feeling her head herself a bit, she nods. "But it's so much work, and it'll get messy again anyway." "It's not like I take that much care of my own hair, so I have no room to complain." I reach out and ruffle her hair a bit. "But mom will. You better do it yourself, or it's going to hurt when she straightens it." "Mmh, stop that." She pushes my hand off, and quickly skips few steps ahead of me. "I'll take care of it before they get home, alright?" "Sounds fair enough."
By the time I get to school, grounds are almost empty save for few late comers heading inside as fast as they can. Which is exactly what I'll be doing too, with little bit of luck teacher is just as late as me. As I walk towards the main doors, I notice somebody who seems kind of off, sitting near the fountain. Everything should be right about this guy, he looks normal enough, generic even. Still, he seems kind of lost. Well, it's his own matters if he mistook this school for another one. He lifts his face as I get closer to him and-oh crap. I keep walking as he moves closer to me, hoping he catches the hint that I do not want to deal with this stuff right now, but... "Hey, what's up!" Smiling cheerfully, he has his hand extented in front of me obviously waiting for shake. "Listen I need a bit of help." "..." Not taking his hand, I just look at his smiling face, thinking how easy it would be to slip past him unnoticed. Possibly noticing my displeasure, he takes his hand back to himself and now gives me bit more sincere look. "...Sorry, but I really need help. I'm kinda new here, and I have to find the right classroom. Please help." Oh dear god, please don't make him try giving me puppy dog eyes.
[ ] Screw it, I'm going to be late anyway. I should show him around. [ ] Being late on the first school day? No way that's going to fly, that guy'll just have to manage on his own. ======================= Sorry about that. As was said, there was general distress with the writers, and whatever. This will not happen again.
Let's look at the facts here. The final bell has already rung, it's the first day of school and this guy is totally lost. I'm not enough of a heartless bastard to leave him alone here, stranded on the island of loneliness. "Eh, sure." Since I negleted his offer the first time, now it's my turn to give him my hand. "You're off to a great start getting lost on new school on your first day, by the way." "Hah, yeah." He grabs my hand, and shakes it with a reeeeeally firm grip-ow. Damn, he didn't look that strong. "But you know, stuff to do, places to be... Sometimes you don't have time for all the little things. I'm Hibiki, by the way." "Sure." After the shake stops, I take my hand and rub it a bit. "And sometimes you just sleep too late." "You got that right!" He gives a stupid smile while crossing his arms over his chest. "Good thing that didn't happen to either of us, huh?" "Well, whatever your case is, Hibiki, we both need to get to class." I start walking towards the school, and he follows me without being asked to. "But since it looks like we're going to be late anyway, I'll show you around for a bit." And instead of going straight for the main-building, I start walking towards cafeteria instead. "That's awfully kind of you considering that you were trying to run away earlier." "Damn, you noticed?" I don't really care too much, other the fact I'm appearently so easy to see through. "It was pretty obvious. Don't worry, no offense taken."
"So... yeah, here's the cafeteria." I point to smaller building that appeared from behind the school. "Food is pretty good, save for bad days. The smashed potatoes are great, while pea-soup is horrible." "I dunno man, I kinda like pea-soup." "You won't like it here." Horribly memories of my first experiences with that food surface to my mind. "You're better off packing your own lunch on those days, unless it's a monday of course. Then you'll have no way of knowing, but we'll all suffer together." He stops next to me, and looks at the building covered in windows for a moment. "Hm... No, I'm going to eat that soup and I'm going to like it." "Your loss." I start moving again, this time towards the gym. "Actually, I've been wondering for a bit. Are you a first-year student?" "Huh? Why do you ask?" "Well, uh..." I look at him. No, he's about the same height as me, and doesn't look particulary young either. "You just don't give off air of one. But I didn't see you here last year, and I can't believe second or third years would forget the layout of the place after summer." "You didn't hear? You school is having this student exchange thing with another one." Really? Well, there propably was something like that, but since I didn't sign up for it, there's no way I'd remember anymore. "I'm from there." But that still doesn't answer my question. "So you're...?" "Second year." Guess we'll be seeing a lot of eachother then. But that just springs uo new questions. "How the hell are you lost, then? Didn't you get an initiation to this place or something?" Considering that I didn't see any other transfer students wandering around the grounds, and I doubt they would've gone through with if Hibiki was the only one to sign up from the other side... "Oh, yeah." Hahaha, give me that laugh again. "I had so much other stuff to do that I didn't have time to show up for that thing." "Things like what...?" "Eh, you know." He lifts his hands, shaking his head. "Look around the city, see what the place is like...?"
Why the hell am I even helping somebody like this? "Yeah, so you propably didn't sign up for the program for the school. Why are you here anyway?" Oh, I forgot to tell him about the PE teacher, or even the gym for that matter. Well, too late to turn back now. "What, you don't think I'd come here becuase of the school's reputation?" "If somebody big ever came out of here I sure haven't heard about it." "How about this? The town interests me, I want to see more of the world." "...That seems more like it, but still no. This city isn't anything special either, unless where you come from is really out in the woods." "You got me there. Honestly, I think my home town is bigger. We even have two shrines there!" "Yeah, we only have one." And I've never visited it. "Anyway, it wasn't just on whim, right?" "Oh, I have a reason! Really good one, too." "Let's hear it then, I need stupid crap to keep me going for the day." "How're the girls?" What. I stop, and look over my shoulder at him. Nope, he isn't joking, no matter how much I'd wish he was. Not with that face.
[ ] "What kind of question is that supposed to be?" [ ] "There isn't that many worth mentioning, but alright..." [ ] "Oh, they're great! Gonna love you to bits, they will!" [ ] "I dunno, I prefer guys myself." [ ] Punch him.
Is he seriously asking me that? This guy doesn’t bother with things like subtlety, does he? Still, that question was so unexpected that I can’t help but stare at him dumbly with my mouth hanging open. “Hello? Anyone in there?” He says, waving his hand back and forth across my eyes. Quit that, I’m still here. “Uh, yeah…” I brush his arm away from me with my hand. Girls, huh? Honestly, I haven’t really talked to many of them, but I guess I can share what I know. “There isn’t that many worth mentioning, but alright…” “Well, first and foremost,” I say, turning my head back around to continue walking while I speak. “There’s Adahn. She’s in our year. I’ve never talked to her, but she’s practically the idol of the school. Way out of our league, you know what I’m saying?” “Sounds like a challenge,” he replies, grinning. Whatever, man. You just don’t know how scary her admirers can get. Let’s see… who else, who else. “Oh, I guess there’s Futako. She’s your dream girl… if you’re into that kind of thing.” “Huh? What do you mean?” He asks, raising an eyebrow. “… You know...” “No. I don’t know.” “Flat as an ironing board.” “Oh.” A look of realization spreads across his face. “I see. Anyone else?” Hm… well, was that really all? No, wait. There was one more notable girl you knew. “Uh, well… there was this one girl in my class last year. You know… the brooding and troubled type? You’ll know her right away when you see her.” Can’t remember her name at the moment. She never really talked to anyone, anyway. Hibiki just nods, keeping quiet.
“So, what, you came here to ogle at the girls?” I ask, without bothering to turn and look at him. “Hmm… No. Although that is pretty important,” he replies. “Like I said before, I just wanted to get a better look at the different cities, get to know more people, etc.” “People are everywhere.” “You’re not going to let up on this, are you? Then fine, let’s just say I did choose this school on a whim.” “… If you say so.” No need to press the issue anymore, I think. Besides, we reached the 2nd years’ building now, anyway.
“Here we are,” I say, looking back at Hibiki. “This is the building for the second years. You can find your classroom on your own now, right?” “Yeah. Thanks, man. Sorry for the trouble.” “No problem.”
“Aren’t you going in?” I ask, as he just stands there, looking around. “Hmm? I will. I’m a transfer student, I’m allowed to be a little late.” “Lucky you. That’s not the case for me,” I say, giving him a wave as I hurry to the building. “See ya.” “Later.”
Once inside the building, I made my way to my classroom. I’m late for sure, no doubt about that. But I’m in luck: the door is still open. I slow my pace as I step inside. “Late on the first day of school? Your prospect this year isn’t looking so good.” Mr. Belmont’s dry voice greeted me as I walked in. I had him as one of my teachers last year as well. “And apparently, mine isn’t either. Take a seat. I need to go take care of something at the office, anyway.” He stood up from his desk, turning to the class. “Do try to be quiet while I’m gone, class.” I step aside as Mr. Belmont makes his way out of the classroom, carrying a load of paperwork. I use this moment to take a quick scan of my classmates. Immediately noticeable was Sigurd, who was also in my class last year. It was hard to miss the guy, really, with his bright red hair. Oh, and he was also pretty much a giant. Hard to believe he’s a student, really. There were several occasions that he was mistaken for the teacher whenever someone from another class came in to deliver something. Not wanting to just stand around in front of the class, I spotted a seat by the window, near the back of the room. Ah, the ideal spot in a classroom. I can’t believe no one’s taken it yet. I quickly made my way to it, and took a seat, placing my bag next to the desk. As I settled into the seat, I finally noticed the person sitting in the desk next to me. It was that girl I was talking to Hibiki about, the one who had been my classmate last year too. I guess that’s why no one was sitting here before I came in.
There’s probably a few minutes before Mr. Belmont returns.
[ ] I should go greet Sigurd, right? [ ] Maybe strike up a conversation with the girl next to me? I should at least try to remember her name. [ ] Just wait for the teacher to come back.
[X] Maybe strike up a conversation with the girl next to me? I should at least try to remember her name We're going to see lots of Fuku, so being at least familiar enough to talk to eachother would be nice.
>I should go greet Sigurd, right? Fine too. >Just wait for the teacher to come back. Boring.
First things first: after vacation, you're supposed to go talk with your friends. Making my way to his table, I give a generic conversation starter. "Had a good vacation?" "...It was alright, I guess." Stretching a bit, he looks at me. "How about you? From the look of things, it was a bit too relaxed." I lift an eyebrow. "What do you mean?" "Being late on the first day of school... Seriously, that's not like you." "Oh, that's not my fault at all." Gah, I wish there were more free seats in this class. Standing all the time gets to your nerves. "First I don't have my bike, and then I have to show this guy to the right class... My morning was hell, I tell ya." "You could always leave earlier, like some people do." "And miss watching the morning cartoons with my sister? No way." I stay quiet for a moment waiting for a comeback, but since there isn't one I continue. "How was your summer, though? Filled with festivals, and everything?" "I wish." A grin creeps onto his face. "Had to work through it. The good news is that now I finally have some money to burn." Summer work... Well, it's not that unbelievable that he'd have to spend all vacation on that. "The school has to be a welcome break then?" "Wrong again." He lets out a sigh, and taps his table. "All of the poetry club members other than me were third year students, so now I have to recruit some new people." "Sounds like a pain." "It is." He looks at me with a frown, and continues. "...You're not in anything currently, right? How would you like to-" "No way." It'll be a cold day in hell when I'm doing poetry. "If you pit free time against some clubs, the outcome is clear." Smiling weakly, Sigurd looks defeated. "Well, it was worth a shot."
"Sorry for taking so long... Word of advice, to avoid unnecessary work, always keep a track of what you have to do."
I turn away from Sigurd to look at the door and see Mr. Belmont walking in, carrying a desk and a chair similar to ones others in the class have. He keeps still in front of everyone for a moment, but soon sets it down in front of a row. "Phew, and to think I could've easily gotten somebody else to carry that if I had taken care of this just an hour ago..." After wiping the imaginary sweat from his brow, he makes his way to the front of his own desk, and looks at the door. "You can come in now."
Nothing happens. Mr. Belmont coughs into his hand. "...Anytime you're ready."
The motionlessness of the class continues until a girl with short blonde hair peeks into the classroom, carefully eyeing everyone. If she’s that shy, it probably doesn't help that everybody has their gaze fixed on her too. When she finally dares to enter, it becomes quite clear that she's pretty short herself, too. But she seems to have gained quite bit of courage since a moment earlier, as she proudly stands next to Belmont. ...And just stands there. Another moment passes without anyone knowing what to do, with our teacher too starting to show signs of being troubled. "Uh, so..." He carefully speaks, causing the girl to jump and look over to him. "Do you want to introduce yourself, or should I...?" Oops, I'll take that back what I said about her and courage. Apparently she has no idea what to say or do, as she just furiously nods her head in response to his words, her cheeks growing red. Belmont sighs and then speaks with a steady voice. "Right, this is Frisca, an exchange student. Please be nice to her. In case you don't remember or didn't pay attention before summer, our school is doing a small student exchange program with another school that's quite far away." He looks across the class, and I could swear that he spends a fraction of a second longer on me than the others. "If this goes well, the program will be expanded next year. Right, you might not believe it but there were quite a few people who applied for this and didn't get a chance." "Idiotic." I speak quietly so that Belmont won't hear, and look at Sigurd. "Who seriously would apply for something like-" And I stop as I see that he has a hand slightly lifted with a grin on his face. "...You're kidding." "Nay, brother." Lowering his hand he speaks in all too familiar tone. "Man shouldn't be secured/in one world forever/without foes or opposers/like a-" "Yeah yeah, I get you." Occasionally it's fun, but no one can listen to him speak like that for very long. "Are you telling me there's nobody to match you here anymore? That's bull." For good measure, I decide to add something that caught my attention. "And that wasn't even rhyming anymore." "Poetry doesn't always have to rhyme like that, or did Kenshiro's classes pass you by just with the shake of a hat?" "I.. never mind." I look away from him, holding my head. Perhaps poetry that doesn't rhyme really is better, at least then I won't notice him going at it save for the small pauses he takes between verses.
"I think that's over and done with. There's a free seat in the front row, is it okay or would you rather..." Yeah, there's a free seat because you just carried it here. Seeing how she quickly scuttles to her new desk, I think it's safe to say that there are none. "Since this is the first day of new school year, I don't think any of you will have any objections to taking it easy." See, that's why I like this guy. He knows how students feel and knows when it's okay to slack off a little. "That way I can also easily see if Frisca's school was behind us on the studies." Or maybe he's just working to make things easy for himself, I don't know. The rest of the class passes by somewhat calmly, with people working in groups (or alone, as that unsocial girl from the class does) to solve some simple theology problems Mr. Belmont passed out. "Well, I'm glad she's getting along with others." Sigurd speaks, interrupting my work on question about the Devil. "Huh?" I turn back to look at dark haired girl, and see that she hasn't miraculously found somebody to work with. "What are you-" "The transfer student." He speaks while bringing his hand to his forehead. "Ooh." Yeah, despite her somewhat lacking introduction, a few girls have gathered around her, ready help with any problems that might come up. "Right, that's good." "Although it's a shame they aren't as considerate with people that are already in the class." "I'm sure they did their best last year." I sigh, and lean back, glancing at the girl scribbling something to her paper. "If she didn't want to get familiar with anybody, who can blame them?" It might seem a bit heartless of us to talk like this when she's right next to us, but what we're actually doing is addressing a problem. Too bad no one's around to hear us.
"It doesn't look much fuller than last year." Looking at the cafeteria, I see a familiar sight. People are lining up for food, save for the lucky ones who had lunch packed with them. "Did you expect anything else? It was only a student exchange program, after all." My companion drifts away from me, digging something from his bag. "I'll go find a table, so you just focus on getting food for yourself." "For myself? I don't remember you ever not getting food from here." "Times change man. And hey, at least one person in our class has to be prepared." That smug bastard. Oh well, no home-made meal could match the superiority of our cafeteria, which for today is... Pea soup. "You gotta be kidding me." Looking at the food listings for the day, I speak to myself. But nay, you can't mistake that smell. And the looks of the students already with food say more than enough. So, it looks like I'll just- "Hey!" A hand grabs my shoulder, and turns me around. "I'm glad that we ran to each other again!" Hibiki. "Oh, there was no one you could bother in your class?" For a moment, I think about trying to get away from him, but thinking back to that hand-shake... Better not. "Nah, they're okay, but the most memorable ones are the girl from my school and this one guy..." "Max?" I cut in. "The guy that looks like he'd raiding cars at wasteland in his free time?" "Wears a leather jacket, too. What the hell is up with that?" "Oh, don't mind it." As long as he's here I might as well go get some food. At least he'll know how horrible the soup is. "He's actually a pretty nice guy. Get close to him, and he'll give you discount deals, you know what I mean?" "That easy, huh?" "Nah, I'm just joking. No idea what kind of stuff he does." He follows me as I make my way forward in not-so-surprisingly short line. "Ah, looks like we'll be eating delicacy today." "Still thinking of eating it all?" I get fair sized serving of the greenish soup, and he follows the lead. "...Yeah, still thinking of it." Well, there's no blaming him. "This soup has been known to strike weaker men completely speechless." There's a fine line between the truth and a lie on that. Looking over the tables, spotting Sigurd is pretty easy. "Come on, let's get to the table."
"Hey Sigurd, I'd like you to meet Hibiki." Speaking as I put my tray on the table, Sigurd looks up. "He's one of those exchange students. He’s here for the girls. The guy I told you about before class started." "The other guy who's late on the first day?" "Exactly that." Not bothering with shaking hands this time, Hibiki just sits down. "I see you’ve heard everything important already." "If you want some tips on the girls, you're better off asking someone other than me. Terribly sorry that I'm not much help with this." He says, not that sorry at all. "That's what everyone says..." Hibiki sighs, leaning back. "Gah, so who am I supposed to ask?" Noticing that he's the only one at the table who hasn't touched his food, I decide to correct this glaring error. "Your soup's getting cold." "Yeah." He takes a spoon, and drops it into the soup. "Time to..." He can't seem to get the right word out. I suggest something. "Enjoy?" "No." He shakes his head. "Time to eat."
..It's kind of quiet. Which is entirely fine, but right now the atmosphere feels heavy. "So about those other students, can you say anything about them?" "Huh?" Looks like he's too occupied with food to pay attention to me. "I mean, you were in the same school as them. Is there anything worth mentioning about Frisca, that girl in your class or any others?" "Oh, that, sure!" Happy to get an excuse to stop eating, Hibiki starts talking enthusiastically. "This girl in my class, Yukari. She has bit of a reputation back home..." "Oh?" Sigurd seems to be interested in this too. "Did she play in a band, or perform in drama club, or something?" "Nothing like that. More like infamy. It was..." He thinks for a moment, and then shakes his head. "Look, I'll just show you a video of it later. Now, Frisca..." I wait for few moments, but nothing comes out of Hibiki who's left with his mouth open staring at me- no no no, behind me. Thank god. "So..." Finally he says something, and lifts his finger. "Who's that?" "Huh?" I look behind myself, towards the direction where he's pointing at. "Who are you talking ab-ooh."
It doesn't take much thinking to figure it out. Amidst all those people, there's one girl that stands out. Brown hair in a ponytail, green eyes, not so great figure... But she looks incredibly sweet. And totally lost to boot. "..I have no idea." Yeah, even I'd remember the name of someone like that. "A first year student, maybe?" "..." Hibiki stays silent for few more moments, before he stands up and starts slowly moving towards the girl. "I'm going to talk to her." "Hey- wait!" Just like that, I mean... "What about that explanation about students?" "That can wait." Not even bothering to look at me, he moves forward. "...Oh what the hell." I bring my hand to my face, and look at Sigurd, who just kept on eating despite the appearance of this remarkable girl. Then he looks at me and speaks. "You're not going with him?" "Well..."
[ ] Count me in, I'm pretty interested in that girl myself too. [ ] Better go look after him, it'd be bad if he made a fool out of himself on his first day. [ ] I'll just stay here and focus on my pea soup, he can handle himself.
[ ] Count me in, I'm pretty interested in that girl myself too.
This is a Anon CYOa? Wow. As a newfag, I don't recognize much, but I'm sure that Max is from Fallout Gensokyo, Sigurd from Gensokyo saga, but I don't think I recognize anyone else. I would like to ask, which anon characters are the three on the op picture?
Futako is, as her name suggests, a futa, and the star of a CYOA that was dropped long ago. Adahn is a babe, and the Shrine Maiden protagonist of Something's Happening at Gensokyo. Aoi is a delicious, delicious trap, and the star of Aria of Deception on /border/.
Ah. So I assume all anons are going to show up? We've got the big names on the /th boards already. And Sigurd of course, so more anons will be introduced as time goes on or will we stick with these few?
“Guess it’s up to me to keep him from doing something stupid, huh?” I sigh, shaking my head. Really, it might’ve been better if I could just pretend not to know the guy, but a part of me was a little interested in talking to her, too. “Enjoy yourself, then.” Sigurd coolly replies, continuing to eat his lunch. You know, sometimes, I wonder about him. Sitting up from my seat at the table, I hurry after Hibiki, who had already boldly started talking to the girl. His bravery is kind of admirable. Damn, I’m a little jealous of that. “Hey there. You look lost. Are you a first year student?” “Eh? Ah… yeah…” the girl squeaks, taking a step back. “Then you must be new at this school. Well, so am I.” “O-Oh…” “I’m Hibiki. What’s your name?” “Um…” She backs away a little more. The poor girl clearly looks intimidated. “Buddy, pal!” I yell as I reach Hibiki, wrapping an arm around his neck playfully as I dragged him away from the girl, turning around. “Haven’t seen you in quite a while!” I force a smile as he gives me a confused look. “Uh… what?” “Look, you’re bothering her, man.” I drop my voice to a whisper as I begin walking away with him in tow. “What? No I’m not.” He says, frowning as he pries himself away from me. “I’m just introducing myself to her. Is there something wrong with that?” “She doesn’t look bothered to you at all?” I hiss back. “She’s just a little lost because it’s her first day at this school, that’s all.” “Yeah, well, you were being too—“ I almost raise my voice, but a glance around me shuts me up. Some of the kids sitting at their tables had started staring at us, watching our exchange. “Too what?” He scowls. “Look, you’re being really uncool right now—“ “What’s going on here?” Both of us turn our head to the voice. There was someone else standing next to the new girl, who surprisingly hadn’t run away and remained where she was, looking as though she wasn’t sure what to do. I recognized the new person immediately: Adahn, a member of the student council, and probably the most popular girl in school. Ugh, oh no. We’ve already attracted more than enough attention to ourselves. If she gets involved… “You two aren’t about to start fighting, are you?” she asks, looking a little stern. “Uh, no…” I say, and look over to Hibiki. He’s got this sort of annoying awestruck look on his face. Oh come on. I roll my eyes. “Who, us?” He finally manages to say after getting over his initial shock, and then places on hand on my shoulder. “No, no! Of course not!” Adahn looks at us suspiciously, unconvinced, but she quickly turns her attention instead to the girl who remained quiet up until now. “Oh!” She looks at the girl, and then at us, and then back at the girl. “You must be a first year student!” She smiles. “Are those two your friends?” “Eh? Um..” “We were just about to show her around the school, since she was new, see.” Hibiki quickly interjects, stepping closer. Hey, you’re in no position to be showing anyone around, you know. Nervously, I take a look around the cafeteria. Oh damn it, we were sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the lunch crowd. I can’t help but squirm a little seeing how many pairs of eyes were focused on us. That Adahn girl is drawing spectators like how a flower draws bees. “Well…” her smile turns a little mischievous. “How about I help with that, then?” She says. “Hey, that’s a good idea!” Hibiki grins. Wait, seriously? Oh man, I never thought I’d ever be able to approach that girl, but here comes a shining opportunity to get to know her. Oh, wait. That reminds me of exactly why she was considered “untouchable.” Some of the guys around were giving you a piercing glare. A few of them had stood up and were walking towards me. “Uh-oh, here comes the advance guard,” I mutter under my breath. Hibiki and that other girl looked confused by what I said, but Adahn just gave a sigh and took a glance behind her. “Let’s get out of here. Alright, start walking.” She commands, gesturing for Hibiki and I to turn around. The other guy did so a little reluctantly, but I followed her command a little too eagerly. “Keep walking, keep walking…” She pushes along the other girl as the two of you walk in front of them. Poor girl. Her look of confusion is starting to seem like her default expression now. “Run!” I didn’t need to hear any more than that. I broke into a run, giving Hibiki a hard shove on the back to get him to start running, too. Adahn pulled along the other girl by the hand, keeping up with us. I look back behind me, and see what can only be described as chaos. I fear for my life.
“Okay… I… I think we’ve lost them,” I say, panting hard as I look behind me. Damn, I let myself go during vacation, didn’t I? I need to start biking more. That freshman girl’s looking pretty winded, too, massaging her ribs as she struggles to catch her breath. The other two, though, don’t look nearly as tired as us. “What the hell was that?” Hibiki asks no one in particular, managing to breathe at a normal pace already. Adahn simply shakes her head. “Anyway, we were going to show her around, weren’t we?” she says brightly. “Let’s introduce ourselves first, though. I’m Adahn, and I’m a member of the student council..” I introduce myself, and Hibiki follows suit. We all look at the freshman girl, who shrinks a bit from our looks, but manages to open her mouth and speak. “I’m… Aoi… Watarase,” she says between gasps, still having hard time breathing.
Just at that moment, the bell rings, signaling the end of lunch. “Ah, looks like we wasted too much time getting away,” Adahn frowns, looking disappointed. “Hey, no problem,” Hibiki cuts in. “None of us got to eat lunch, right? Well, I was looking around town yesterday, and there’s a great café around.” “Are you suggesting,” she frowns, folding her arms. “That we ditch class to go eat lunch there?” “But… it’s the first day of school,” Aoi says, looking reluctant. I don’t blame her. Doesn’t this guy care about school at all? Even just a little? “Exactly,” the guy says, grinning. “It’s the first day of class. We’re not going to be missing much even if we skip.” “You know, as a member of the student council, I can’t condone truancy,” Adahn says with a stern expression. “… But I can let it slide just this once, I suppose. I am a little hungry. But I’m not going to let you force Aoi into this if she doesn’t want to.” “Well, how ‘bout it?” Hibiki asks me and Aoi. She looks conflicted, and turns to me with pleading eyes. Urk, that kind of look should be illegal. Is she telling me to decide for her?
Hibiki has evidenced chemistry with Aoi, and the protagonist definitely seems socially aware enough to go after Adahn. He'll have to build a reputation however, and that takes time and effort, all the while maintaining a facade that you're not putting forth any effort at all. Part of this includes infractions of school policy, like (brazen) truancy with a group of your peers.
And when you're caught, you can even form your own breakfast club.
"Okay, let's go." I stand up bit straighter and give Aoi determined nod. "Hibiki is pretty much right, we won't be missing anything important. You're a first year-student, right?" "Eh? Y-yeah." Aaw, isn't that sweet. She's still just as, if not more confused than she was in cafeteria. "Only thing you'd get today is recap of stuff you already know, and some introductions from teachers." Putting the hands to my pockets I gaze at the school buildings. "They're colorful bunch, you won't have any trouble remembering them without those." "Uhm..." Thinking, Aoi gazes at her feet but then makes up her mind and nods, full of new found energy. "Alright." Adahn steps forward, and kneels a bit so that she's on eye level with Aoi. "Are you sure? Really, you can just head back to class if you want to." Nodding again with determined look, Aoi holds her hands in fists. "I'm sure! Where is that café?" "Not too far from here." Hibiki grins. "It's really convenient how this school is so close to center of the city!" "Right, convenient..." Adahn sighs, and heads back for the doors. "Wait at the gate , it'll take few minutes for me to finish some things." "Some things?" I lift an eyebrow. "Like what?" "You know..." She's already going, and speaks over her shoulder with her long brown hair swinging behind her as she runs. "Getting my stuff, gotta make sure I'm out away for good reason!" Right. Being member of student council really must be useful. Wonder how many other people use it to skip classes.
We really didn't have to wait for Adahn for too long. Apparently she couldn't fabricate a working excuse for absence since everybody else had already headed to class. "Aah, if Clay hears about this I'm really going to get it." Adahn walks forward while leaning back. "Clay?" Hibiki immediately questions the name that came up. "The other gym teacher, Clay Moore. Mainly teaches girls, I hear." I look over to Adahn. "But I thought your homeroom teacher was... Nye? Was it changed or something?" Shaking her head Adahn keeps walking forward. "No, it wasn't changed." "So, where's the problem? I don't think there's PE scheduled for today either." "Right, you wouldn't know." Giving a weak smile she speaks. "Listen, that guy might know what he's doing but he's... A total slaver! If he catches you breaking rules you won't hear the end of it." "Sounds pretty..." "Crap." Hibiki completes the sentence for me. "How's the other teacher?" "Nanaya?" Adahn thinks for a moment. "...Well, I think he's okay. At least not too strict, right?" She looks at me, expecting continuation. Hibiki waiting for answer too. Better be honest then. "Honestly? I'd rather have a strict teacher who could do his job than him." "Is he that bad?" Hibiki ask, seeming a bit let down. "Well, depends what you mean by bad." I recall the memories of far past. "...He likes to play dodge ball, for one." "...Dodge ball?" This time both of them seem a bit bewildered. "Yeah, or pretty much anything else where you can hit or throw things hard. One time we practiced wrestling." "I..." Hibiki looks away, but I swear I could see a smirk. "...Sounds interesting."
"Uhm..." Behind us, weak voice speaks. Ah, damn. I totally forgot about Aoi. "Is this really alright?" "What, getting second thoughts?" Hibiki turns around, and speaks directly to Aoi. Seeing the two looking each other face to face like that... Damn, Hibiki is big. Wonder if Aoi is intimidated or anything? "Hey, even student council president is-" "Student council member." Adahn corrects him. "Yeah, member. Even she's coming with us, you don't have anything to worry about." "You can always head back for the next class." Adahn speaks happily. "Anybody won't give it a second thought, you'd be surprised if you heard how many people do that." "So... Where's that café?" Apparently content with the explanation, Aoi asks the question I've also been wondering about for a while. After all, there's quite few shops around us already but we're still walking. "Actually, we should be there any second. Now, where was it..." Hibiki looks around the street for a moment, but soon his eyes light up. "Right, here we are!"
Our group stops in front of inviting looking café, with few clean tables set outside it. Perfect place to enjoy something on a sunny day, something that this is. There is nearly nothing to complain about it. "'A Working Flea House'." I read the name out loud. "You couldn't pick any better place, huh?" "Oh, come on! It's just name, rest of it is excellent!" Hibiki walks to one table and sits down. "They even got a waiter here." "Ah, now that's a real luxury." Adahn follows with Aoi behind her, and takes a chair for herself. "I hope the menu is better than the name." "Well, alright. We took the trouble of coming here, so might as well-" Just as I sit down, a vibration in my pocket stops me in the middle of the sentence. "...Sorry, got a call."
I pull out my cell and give the screen a quick look before answering. "Yeah what is it Sigurd? Talk." "Man, where did you disappear to?" Despite his words he doesn't sound particularly concerned. "Was that thing in cafeteria bad enough to get you to hospital or something?" "Don't be stupid. And..." I look at the clock other side of the street. "Aren't you supposed to be at the class too right now?" "True. But since you weren't showing up, I went to bathroom to call you." "...You're in the bathroom right now." I repeat with a frown. "Yes." "...Don't tell me you're sitting in the toilet seat too." I give my companions a quick look, and see variety of reactions. Hibiki is grinning like fool, Adahn has a faint smile mixed with a frown and once again, there's faint blush on Aoi's face. Is that the default state for her? "Giggle~" A faint girly sound from other side of the phone. "Wait, what was that just now?" "Oh, what?" Feigning ignorance, huh?" "You know what I'm talking about." I sigh. "That giggle, you got a girl in there too?" "Oh, that." He pauses, as if just realizing something. "Futako is here too." "Futako?" Frowning, I bring hand to my forehead. "Why her of all people? She's not even on our class." Perhaps it's better not to bring up the thing about her being on boys' bathroom right now. "She actually showed up in the cafeteria few minutes after you disappeared and- what?" Pause again, some quiet talking can be heard. "...Yeah, she wants to talk to you." "Right now?" "Yeah, currently she's holding her arms out, with eyes that say-" "Yeah, uhh..." The looks of everybody else on table tell me that this call has already gone on long enough. Appearance of the waiter who was mentioned earlier doesn't help either. "...Kinda pressed for a time here. Not right now, sorry."
"What are you doing anyway?" "What am I doing?" I repeat the question so others hear it too. "Why do you want to know?" "...If teachers happen to ask why you're not around, I should have a working explanation, right?" ...Adahn is making a face, and is signaling something with her hand. Other two don't seem that different from usual, though.
[ ] They don't have to know anything, now do they? [ ] Just the basics, skipping school because I'm hungry. [ ] Right now I'm at café with a transfer student, first-year girl and Adahn. Totally normal.
I'm sure no one will make the connection, four students leaving the school grounds in a single day, and all at the same time. A weak alibi like that will just fuel the rumors mill about what exactly it is you were doing; after all, if skipping was a regular thing for the protagonist, his friend wouldn't call him wondering where he was, would he?
“I didn’t get to enjoy lunch, so I went out to eat,” I say confidently without guilt. It’s too late for regrets. This is the path I chose! Well, at least it means I don’t have to suffer that ridiculously potent bio-weapon the cafeteria calls pea soup. “… You skipped school for lunch? Really?” “I’m not on trial. Don’t judge me.” “Riiight. Well, if you say so,” Futako says with a voice that seems to doubt what I’m saying. It’s the truth, though. “Is that all?” I ask, suddenly aware that the waiter’s been at our table for a while now, waiting for our orders. “Oh. Yeah.” If that’s all, then. I make to close my cell phone. “Oh, hey, wait! Is Ada-” Click. My cell phone closes shut just as I hear her voice again. What was she going to ask me? Well, whatever. It’s probably not important. “Excuse me. May I take your order now?” Our attentions turn to the waiter by our table. He’s an okay looking guy, probably, though he looks a little harassed waiting for us to speak. “Hm… well,” Adahn says, looking over the menu that was at the table. She narrows her eyes, apparently unable to decide on what to eat. “Can you recommend something for us?” she asks the waiter. “Well, how about roast beef with a side of gravy and mashed potatoes?” the waiter answers with a slight edge of sarcasm to his voice. “Maybe you would also like red wine to go with it?” Definitely sarcastic. “You serve that here?” Hibiki asks, faking bemusement. “Hahaha, no. We do have sandwiches, however.” “Then I’ll have a sandwich,” I say, rapping my knuckles against the table. “Yeah, I’ll have one too,” Hibiki says, folding his arms together. “How ‘bout you two?” he asks the girls. “I guess a sandwich is fine with me,” Adahn says. Aoi just nods. “And… drinks?” the waiter asks. “I’ll have coffee,” the guy sitting next to me says. “Do you have ginger ale?” Adahn asks the waiter. “Oh, um… yes, yes we do.” “I’ll have that, please.” “Um… tea, please,” the girl sitting next to Adahn speaks, sounding a little too timid. “Same here,” I say. The waiter nods, and retreats to the counter. At the counter, there stood a tall man with a moustache and a beard, wearing a flat newsboy cap and slightly worn clothes. He catches my glance as the waiter heads inside the employee area, and gives me a quick salute with his hat. “Hey, you know who the owner of the café looks like?” Hibiki suddenly says out loud, placing his elbows on the table. “That guy in the movies. Archwood Leanback.” “Now that you mention it, he does kind of look like him…” Adahn mutters to herself. “His beard looks kind of scruffy, though.” I say, and immediately regret it. I said that a lot louder than I intended, and a quick glance back at the man tells me that he definitely heard that. He looks mortified, and hurries past the employees’ door. Well, damn. Now I feel bad.
About a minute later, the waiter returns with our drinks on a tray, and heads back inside. About a minute after that, he comes back with four sets of sandwiches on dishes, placing them before us. We eat our lunch in relative peace and quiet, and during that time, the café owner returns to the counter, clean shaven now.
After most of us have finished our sandwich, we sit around, slowly sipping our drinks. Well, it’s not like we’re really pressed for time, anyway. Since we took the trouble to skip a class, we should take it easy, right?
Aoi quietly stands up from the table. “Where are you going?” Adahn asks her. “Bathroom,” she gives a short reply. "Oh." I decide not to press the matter any further as she walks away from the table inside the cafe.
Few moments after Aoi diseappears from sight, Hibiki gets up too. "Well, I guess I have to go too." "Eh? What're you talking about?" Adahn looks up from a tabloid somebody must've left at here earlier. Shaking his shoulders he replies. "Where else? Bathroom." "Right now that Aoi went? Really?" She has an eyebrow lifted, looking at Hibiki suspiciously. "Oh come on, you think I'd be planning something?" Rolling his eyes Hibiki sighs. "Are you suggesting I might peek on her?" "Well..." Crossing her arms on her chest, Adahn does her best to look offended. "You never know! It's kinda suspicious!" "...You're not serious." Now it's Hibiki's turn to be offended. "We haven't known eachother for even an hour, and you think I'd be like that?" Yeah, normally it'd be pretty ridiculous to assume something like that, but considering that this guy listed "girls" as one of his main reasons for transferng, dare I say that this time Adahn might be on right track.
[ ] Stop Adahn, Hibiki isn't gonna do anything. [ ] Stop Hibiki, it'd be better not to make number out of this. [ ] I can just go to toilet myself while two are arguing. [ ] Let's just ignore all of this, hmm?
You know, I just started reading this... Maybe it's just me, but there's a SHITLOAD of veiled commentary on other writers' work. Not to mention plot/character references (which are slightly more obvious) a plenty. Good example: >>"Since this is the first day of new school year, I don't think any of you will have any objections to taking it easy." See, that's why I like this guy. He knows how students feel and knows when it's okay to slack off a little. "That way I can also easily see if Frisca's school was behind us on the studies." Or maybe he's just working to make things easy for himself, I don't know.
[X] Stop Hibiki, it'd be better not to make number out of this. [X] "Don't take it personally. Adahn is a student council rep, so it's just part of her job to be cautious, right? Doesn't mean she thinks any less of you, so cut her a little slack. That's the gentlemanly thing to do, ain't it?"
>make number out of this.
Interesting expression. Not one I've encountered before.
At any rate, best to just not make a big deal out of all this. Adahn might be stepping over the line a little, but that's her job. Hibiki's a tough guy, he can take a small blow to his ego, and waiting for Aoi to get back before going himself.
>>90132 Update. Sorry, I don't have an excuse. ========================= "Right; I need to use the restroom, too." "What?!" Adahn stands up and glares at me. "Don't tell me you're-" "And I'll make sure Hibiki doesn't take any unnecessary detours." I look at him and see him frowning. Oh for god's sake... Don't tell me he really was going to do something. "That okay with you, Adahn?" "I..." She looks between the two of us for a moment, and then sighs. "Fine. But if anything happens I'll be sure to hear of it." What, she's going to interrogate Aoi or something? "Fine by me." Hibiki grabs my hand and pulls me toward the restrooms. "Let's go, partner!" I manage to break free from his grasp, but continue behind him.
We walk over to toilets and- god damn it, I don't believe this. After all that Hibiki is still heading towards women's room. "Hey." I grab his arm and stop him. "Are you serious?" "...What do you mean?" Please don't try those puppy-dog eyes on me, it just looks wrong on you. "You know what it is." Tugging him I try to get him to move. Sure, if he decided to continue walking I'd have no way to stop him, so hopefully this is enough. "Move away from that door or I won't guarantee your safety." His expression slowly grows grimmer. "...You would dare to go against me?" "No." I shake my head, I'm not that foolish. "I wouldn't do anything to stir the trouble, but I certainly won't defend you if Adahn asks about something. And..." I lower my voice and Hibiki swallows. "That girl has lots of influence." "...How so?" He asks with worried voice. "Just a simple remark from here, like 'I heard that Hibiki was peeping in girl's toilet' might be fatal for you." I actually don't know for sure, but this stuff might as well be true. Although I hope it isn't. "Just few words can make your life hell." "..." Hibiki stares at me for a moment longer until he lets out a breath. "Alright, I understand. You can't get a joke." And now he's pulling this? "The joke's on you, I wasn't serious at all!" "Hahaha!" He puts arm around my shoulder and laughs. "Yes, obviously we'd stick together even against immeasurable odds, like student council!" "Hahaha!" Like hell! "Yes, it's as you say!" Laughing like fools we turn around to the toilet we should be heading to.
And see Aoi walk out of there.
We freeze in shock(Hibiki literally stops in the middle of the step) and stare at... Her? And she's(?) noticed us too. Aoi looks at us with eyes wide, not saying anything. Who can blame her(or him?) on this situation? Hibiki is first to move. Quickly he tilts his head up and looks at... I see, yes, maybe we were just mistaken with the toilets and Aoi was scared of our reaction. But over the door Aoi walked out from, there's unmistakably both the text "MEN" written in all capitals, and blue figure. We both turn back to look at Aoi, who is still staring at us.
"...Ahem." Finally Aoi coughs, and turns to walk away. "..hey, wa-" Hibiki is about to call after her, and I squeeze his arm. I shake my head when he looks at me from Aoi. "...Not now." He thinks for a moment, but finally nods. "...Alright." We then head inside, and Hibiki goes into one of the stalls. Huh, guess he really had to go. "Hey..." His voice comes from inside it. Calm down, maybe he's trying to come up with something different to talk about. "Yes, what is it Hibiki?" "This seat is warm." ...Count from one to ten. "Please be quiet." Slowly. . . .
After we're done, we head back to table where Adahn and Aoi are waiting for us. The latter averts her gaze when we get closer. "You sure took your time." Adahn greets us the moment we sit down. "Yeah well..." I roll my eyes and turn to Hibiki... But then look back at her. "No, you wouldn't know how it is." "...Right, I wouldn't." Actually, Hibiki took surprisingly long in the toilet. Maybe he was thinking. We've all finished eating, and nobody's speaking about anything. Adahn coughs into her hand and gets up. "Well, isn't it about time for us to head to school." "Yes, I think it is." Oh, Adahn, if you only knew what just happened. Neither Aoi or Hibiki say anything, but both get up and start walking- wait a moment. "Hey, Hibiki!" I yell at him walking in the wrong direction of the street. "If you can't remember, the school is the other way!" "Oh, huh?" He looks over his shoulder with dazed expression. "Actually, I'm going to skip rest of the day." "...What?" Adahn speaks in confusement. "Just like that?" "Yeah." Hibiki replies. "There's an arcade in the town, right?" "...Alright then." Adahn shakes her head. "I guess we'd better just leave him then."
[ ] ...Maybe it'd be best to go with Hibiki. [ ] Yes, I had something to eat, time to head back to school.
This update was provided by mystery quest writer! ...No, it wasn't YAF. Stop that. ========================
"Yeah." An arcade, huh... I know that impulse. Sometimes, a guy's brain just gets too full, too fast; he needs time to sort through it all. Video games are bright, loud, and carry a (small) sense of accomplishment: the perfect distraction. To Adahn and Aoi, I maybe sound a little uncaring about Hibiki, but in fact, I have nothing but sympathy for him. In that spirit, I turn on my heel and start walking back towards the school. "Operation 'Anything But Soup' successful. Returning to base." It takes a couple of seconds, but two sets of footsteps are soon following mine: an even, steady stride, and an almost clockwork pattern of slow-scurry-repeat.
And so it goes, our return trip, with only the sound of our footsteps. But that doesn't seem right, somehow. Is it just me? Three students, walking back to school from an unscheduled recess, in total silence... it just seems wrong, I can't explain it. Out of the corner of my eye, I check the shadows on the wall behind me: Adahn's is the only one I can see, three steps behind me and closing. Guess she's in a hurry to get back. A sidestep and a gap in my pace brings me to her side. "So, Archwood Leanback, huh?"
"I beg your pardon?" She looks askance at me.
"Back at the cafe, you recognized the guy as looking like him. Are you a fan of the movies?"
Now, her head turns, and her eyes narrow. "Why do you ask?" That voice, it sounds like I'm being accused of a crime...
"I'm just trying to make conversation, pass the time..." I don't say the words "lighten up" out loud, but they're definitely forefront in my mind.
After a second's further appraisal, she looks away down the road again and replies, if not easily, than easier. "Never seen one, actually. Your friend Hibiki brought it up, and you can't hardly help recognizing the name or seeing the posters all over during summer, you know. I did read one of the books they're based on, out of curiosity, and it wasn't bad for its genre. Not my usual taste, though."
"Oh, they're based on books? Huh." I really had no idea. I've seen a couple of the movies, but I'm pretty much on the same level as her. "So, what kind do you usually read, then?"
"Ohh, no," she shoots back, a hint of playfulness in her tone, "that's not how it works, boyo. You have to give if you want to receive. It's your turn to tell me, now."
"Whaaat? You haven't even really told me anything, yet, just that you don't like action movies..."
"So? That's still something, isn't it?"
"Ah, I, um," a tiny voice pipes up from the other side of Adahn. Aoi has rushed up to join the conversation, interjecting with a blushing stammer. "I... really like romance stuff... myself."
"Romance, hm?" The class president's attention is diverted. "Jane Austen? Harlequin?"
"Wh-uh," poor Aoi looks a little lost at the foreign words being thrown about, "n-no, just regular light novel stuff... Tekura High's my favorite, but, honestly, it's not very good." She starts twisting the hem of his skirt between her fingers nervously. "Not near so much as those ones you were mentioning, at least... I imagine..."
Adahn just shrugs. "Well, everyone's tastes are different. And besides, so what if it does suck?" The frankness of her statement leaves both of her listeners at a loss. "Everybody has at least a couple of things that they like, even though they know it's no good. Isn't that right?" She's turned back to me, and Aoi leans forward to watch my response.
To start, I nod a simple affirmative, not only to make Aoi feel at east, but because "It's the truth. So long as you enjoy it, it can't be all that bad."
"Exactly," she nods in return before smiling down at Aoi. "Don't second guess yourself so much, okay?" Seeing Aoi smile bashfully back, I realize that I don't think I've ever seen Adahn smile before. It's not that I've been watching, but it still feels... "So, what's one of yours?"
"That's right." Adahn is back to me again, her arms now crossed. "Don't think you're getting away from this without giving something up yourself."
"Hey, yeah!" On some unseeable signal, Aoi drifts over towards me, hands indignantly rigid at her sides, as Adahn moves forward to make room, the pair of them effectively cornering me. "It's only fair!"
"Oh, come on." The way the odds are being stacked makes my contrariness flare up. "What is this, Truth or Dare?"
"Ho-ho, now there's an idea." Me and my big mouth... "Hey, Aoi, what do you think we should have him do if he doesn't speak up?"
"Oooh, let me think..." For such a shrinking violet, he's developed one awful gleam of a sudden...
"Don't even get an idea in your head, 'cause I won't do it, and you can't make me."
"Are you willing to bet on that?"
"...show up for class wearing a..."
"You're both of you quite mad, you do realize, don't you?"
Thus was the time duly passed, on this harmless (?) game, the participants breaking off and going their separate ways as soon as we'd breached the border of the school grounds with nary a word between us, although a last look from Adahn did manage to inspire the parenthetical question mark seen earlier in this sentence. But, that's a worry for later. I've got a more immediate one now in getting my own self back to class. Still, I'm going to be just as delinquent whenever I show up again, so I take my time in getting there. A school is a much different place, to walk through the halls during class. The presence of others can be felt all around, but nobody shows themselves. Although I do almost literally run into the school's grungy groundskeeper, carrying an armful of potted flowers as he dodges around me with a hazily apologetic smile. And, just like the other couple of times I've seen him, it takes me a second to register him as faculty and not some vagrant who's wandered into the building. Probably sounds unkind, but really, I can't describe it, he's just got that air around him. Anyway.
The students naturally stare when I open the door, and Belmont stops his explanation of (I've already forgotten what) in mid-sentence, but he's back at it again as soon as I've shut it again. I was gone, now I'm back, everything just flows on around me. Really not much to these first days, after all. Belmont actually sounds about as bored as anyone, and the "lesson" passes without incident until the ringing of the day's final bell.
Suddenly, incident. I've hardly got my bag in one hand than Sigurd has grabbed me by the other arm and is damn near literally dragging me out of the classroom and down the hall, destination unknown. The bewildered stares and curious whispers of the freshly emerged as we blow them by don't seem to check his stride at all. "So," I finally catch a breath on the stairwell and try to start some sort of dialogue.
"We're going out for tea." His voice is unusually terse, and he doesn't look back or slow down. "My treat."
"Uh... huh." That just rose even more questions. Footsteps hurry from behind to lock beside me: it's Futako. A pattern is starting to emerge in my mind. "You're coming along?"
"It's my treat, too." She looks up at me, mouth smiling but eyes devious. "We want... information."
Okay, that's it. I stamp one foot on the floor to fix it in place, and although Sigurd does manage to pull my body off-balance when he continues on anyway, my resolve is unwavering. "Look, you're being ridiculous about this..."
"Hear that, Futako?" Sigurd's voice rumbles low in the hallway, and I'd swear he's getting taller somehow. "He, a social non-entity, vanishes along with the reigning queen of the school in the middle of a fracas it takes half the faculty to quell, announces nonchalantly by phone that he's 'gone to lunch', reappears without another word to anyone over an hour later, and yet, we're the ones being 'ridiculous'." His disappointed face shakes slowly at me, but I can tell he's enjoying this. "Ah, friend, I hardly knew ye at all, did I?"
"It's not a coincidence. She was there, wasn't she?" Futako chimes in, attitude much more straightforward than her partner's. "Somehow, you convinced Miss Straight-and-Narrow to skip out on an afternoon's responsibilities for a snack. And now, you're going to tell us all about it, over tea."
Once again, my intimidation instincts kick in. "You sound awfully sure of that. Do you intend to have him drag me the whole way?"
"Oh, nobody's forcing you." Could have fooled me... "Though I don't know why you'd want to leave, all we're asking for yet is an explanation..."
"You owe us that much," Sigurd says, grinning, "a debt, if you will. You can defer the payment if you wish, but I should warn you, that doing so will allow it to gather interest." They're both of them starting to creep me out, now...
[ ] Sheesh, it's not like a damn thing really happened. I could go for some tea, anyway. [ ] Excuse me? I "owe" them? Who the hell do they think they are? [ ] I'm not even wasting my breath. Later, crazies.
[x] Well, if they're willing to treat me, I could go for some tea and an exorbitantly over-priced pastry. [x] They want feed for the rumor mill? Sure, I've got some 'rumors'. - [x] The new girl seems to have had a feature in a teen glamour magazine that Adahn recognized her in. She brought her along to ask her some questions about fashion, although the girl was modest in the extreme about it. - [x] Hibiki came because he's infatuated with her--not Adahn, the new girl. He chose to skip the rest of the day so he could roam the streets and pick fights with the local toughs. Apparently he grew up in a rough neighborhood. - [x] Adahn herself is deathly allergic to peas. Even the mere sight or smell of peas is enough to make her ill. She said she had a doctor's note. - [x] You went along because you wanted to make sure the new kids weren't being hazed too badly. How responsible of you.
They won't believe the truth, because the truth is boring. They'll make shit up or distort things just so they have something to gossip about, and these unplanned and uncontrolled rumors could be socially fatal for your and your party. So you give them something they will believe. Something ridiculous enough to be deniable, while still also remaining within the realm of plausibility.
Play your cards right and these exploits could become the stuff of myth and legend. Next day all the girls in class will be talking about how Aoi is the embodiment of traditional Japanese beauty, while all the boys are afraid to start shit with you simply because you're close to Hibiki. Now they you're the person they come to you for the latest gossip and suddenly you've become a very powerful person on campus, all because you control the flow of (dis)information.
>>Hibiki came because he's infatuated with her--not Adahn, the new girl. He chose to skip the rest of the day so he could roam the streets and pick fights with the local toughs. Apparently he grew up in a rough neighborhood.
Tell them this and I guarantee Sigurd will pick a fight with Hibiki for the glory of Odin or something. Maybe for fun. Is this a good thing?
[x] Well, if they're willing to treat me, I could go for some tea and an exorbitantly over-priced pastry. -[x] Hibiki came because he's infatuated with her--not Adahn, the new girl. He chose to skip the rest of the day so he could roam the streets and pick fights with the local toughs. Apparently he grew up in a rough neighborhood.
Hmm, seems bit rusty. Well, I'm sure the quality will get back to earlier a after an update or two. > I think part of the update is missing? Deleted and reposted due to this. ================================
Agreeing to them here seems like much more attractive option than opposite, and hey. Free tea. "Sure, fine then." I sigh and relax myself. "It better be damn good tea." "You have my word for it!" Futako gives me thumbs up and pats Sigurd on his lower back. "Lead the way!" Now, everything is going well except for the fact that... "I didn't know that school's exit was around here." Actually I'm certain of it, unless they're planning on taking some weird detour. "I never said we were having the tea outside school." Sigurd talks while leading us through the students getting ready to actually leave the school. "We promised you fine tea, and that's what you're getting." Oh, this interrogation just keeps turning better.
"Garcon!" Futako snaps her fingers and sits up straight while kneeling. "How much longer until our drinks are served?" ...She probably does it to appear taller, but seeing how short she is, it doesn't help much. "You can start counting seconds soon." Sigurd replies without turning his head away from tea-set at the room. "And how is the other guest doing?" "I'm sure he's overjoyed by this level of service!" Futako sits back to her knees and looks at me for a while. "...Yes, silence is the sign of agreement. It's not often that you get authentic tea experience in club room." Rather than proper Cafe, I was lead to Sigurd's poetry club room. And as one could expect, summer had left it pretty dusty, we spent good ten minutes cleaning the place up a bit before Sigurd even started preparing our drinks. ...I guess it's only fitting that everything you need to make tea is also included here. How else could one have classy moments filled with finer parts of literature and proper gentlemanly beverages? "And there you go." Sigurd sets the plate with three cups on table. "No milk?" True, the plate holds only three cups, with nothing you could add to them. "Or cream? We're denied even sugar?" "Be quiet and enjoy your proper tea drinking experience. Mmmmh~" Breathing in deeply from one of the cups Futako smiles. "Don't you just love this fresh smell?" "I'm more of a coffee man myself." I take a quick sip from the cup, but decide not to when the hot liquid touches my lips. Better let it cool down first. "Don't you know that real men drink tea?" She turns to Sigurd sitting at another side of table. "It's true, right?" Sigurd lifts his eyebrows when he notices Futako addressing him and puts his cup down at the table- Christ, did he add cold water to his own or what? He thinks for a moment before responding while you and Futako wait silently for him to reach the decision. "...Mead is fine too." "You guys are crazy." Puffing her cheeks she takes her cup. "Or maybe you're just actually little girls." "Ha ha ha." I answer her with dry laughter. Sigurd doesn't say anything. "...Anyway, you wanted to know something?"
"What happened after lunch." She rolls her eyes. "I actually can guess, but I'd like some kind of confirmation since Adahn refused to say anything." "Fine then." If I don't tell her she'll probably just proceed to ask Hibiki or Aoi. "After the fiasco at cafeteria I decided with Hibiki, Adahn and Aoi to go and eat somewhere else. Nothing more than that." "What fiasco?" "Hibiki noticed Aoi, and went to her thinking that she's horribly cute, after which..." I think of a way to word this in way not completely ridiculous. "...Adahn came around too, and soon angry mob had gathered around us and we had to escape with our life from newly established Adahn/Aoi fan-club(s)." There was no way to make it not silly so better to go all out. "Ahaha! That's crazy, nobody has hordes of admirers like that in real life!" Futako leans back, supporting herself with her hands. "And after that you just went to eat? There wasn't any more crazy stuff?" Crazy stuff? Well, if you don't count that toilet thing with Aoi... "Nope, it was pretty uneventful." "Huh, why would Adahn want to hide something boring like that?" Holding her chin Futako ponders out loud. "Anyway, I haven't heard of Hibiki and Aoi. Are they new students or something?" "Hibiki is an exchange student who likes girls." Sigurd replies in your place, and Futako turns to him. "...Well, obviously he likes girls. Who doesn't?" Either she's referring to only guys or she has quite interesting view on people. "I mean he really likes girls." "Oo~ho, I get it now." Grinning she nods. "What about Aoi?" "Aoi is a freshman-" Damn it, I should just forget that cafe thing. As far as I know women's bathroom could've been out of commission or something, so she decided to go to men's bathroom. "-girl." She must've been horrible embarrassed when you and Hibiki noticed her. "You said she's cute?" "Well, yeah. Pretty damn cute." Her appeal is... weird. "How about her assets?" She brings her hands to her nonexistent chest. "Enough to rival Adahn's?" Thankfully I'm already used to this part of Futako, so my reaction is pretty dull. "What the fuck are you asking?" "Hey, I'm curious, she really has to be something if cafeteria went crazy over her just like that." "Okay then." I take a sip of my tea that has finally cooled down. "I'd say her breasts are on the level with yours, and..." "Guys like that kind of stuff stuff?" I take a look at Sigurd who shakes his shoulders in response. "Looks aren't the only thing that matter, this stuff even less so."
"Right." He pretty much hit nail to the head. "Any more questions?" "...Nope." Futako gets up, and brushes her skirt a bit. "But I think Sigurd has some?" "What is it then?" I turn to him. "I don't think you're interested in how I spent my skipped class?" "And you are correct." "I told you I'm not joining." Or did he forget already? "This isn't about that, now I want your advice. How do I get other people to join?" "Hmm." Compared to Futako's question this is entirely normal. "Although I can't imagine what kind of advice you think somebody who never joined a club can offer." "You're exactly who I should ask. There was nothing that interested you in old clubs, so you know what appeals to people." No, not really. He is basically just asking me to 'improve the system'. "Or I could ask you to reconsider your stance on poetry." ...hah. You both know nothing would come out of that. [ ] "Sorry, no dice. Maybe you should just forget this and move on?" [ ] "You're probably asking wrong kind of people here, don't girls love this stuff?" [ ] "Nobody will be joining poetry club. Now, if it was a band or something..."
File 126046582622.jpg - (19.01KB, 635x349 , Major Competition.jpg) [iqdb]
Major Man, a hero to everyone Fights his battles to the end, never giving up Seeking justice, never far away Always there to help the weak, fending off the bad Loved by all, he'll never let us down We will never lose the faith, for Major Man Seeking truth to proving lies Flying high through clear blue skies Finding ways to protect us all He's our man standing strong and tall Major Man, a hero to everyone Fights his battles to the end, never giving up Loved by all, he'll never let us down We will never lose the faith, for Major Man
I run a hand through my hair, pretending to be seriously considering what he just said. But I’m just not interested in poetry, and Sigurd should know that. “You’re probably asking the wrong kind of person here,” I say, lowering my hand and shrugging, “I mean, don’t girls love this stuff?” “Then all the more reason to ask you,” he replies calmly, drinking from his cup, “You seem to be quite popular with the ladies.” “Hah, give me a break,” I laugh as I lean back in my chair, “You’re talking to a guy who’s never had a girlfriend before.” “And yet you were able to approach and make acquaintance of the most sought after girl of the entire school. That’s quite a feat for someone with no prior experience, wouldn’t you say so?” He finishes by turning to Futako, who nods vigorously. “Yup yup!” “Look, what happened was just…” I scrunch up my face, trying to find a way to convey this in words, “I dunno. Insanity. Dumb luck. There’s nothing between us anyway.” “Even so, you shouldn’t have trouble talking to her now,” he points out, “That alone could potentially help bolster the member count of the poetry club.” “What do you mean?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. “It’s simple,” he says, leaning closer, “That girl is possibly the most popular member of the student body, correct?” “Yeah, I guess.” “So let’s say you suggested to her to join the poetry club, and she agreed…” Wait, I think I see where he’s going with this. “Then other students would be interested in joining, even as just an excuse to be near her!” Futako finishes. “That is correct,” Sigurd says with a smile, “Well, friend?” “Why me, though?” I cross my arms together, “Can’t you ask her yourself?” “It would be a battle of impossible odds to even get near her,” he says with solemn eyes, spouting words in a deep and profound voice, “There is glory in bravado, but there is a fine line resting between it and suicidal idiocy.” “You’re exaggerating,” I reply with a sigh. You’d never expect a huge guy like this to be such a joker. Well, to be honest, I really wouldn’t want to get mixed up in that horde, either, but still… “Alright, alright, I’ll try to ask her if I can,” I say while scratching the back of my head. “I thank you,” he says, smiling at me.
After that, we all decided to go home, and said our goodbyes outside the clubroom. Walking towards the school gate, I run into a familiar face along the way, though I didn’t expect to see him here. “Hey!” I call out to him, “I didn’t know you were a student at this school, Mikio.” The short, mousy boy turns around, in a uniform that seems all too large for him. He was wearing it in the morning, too. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize my own school’s uniform. So he’s a high schooler… by appearance, I thought he was in junior high. “Y-yes,” he replies in a shaky and timid voice, “I’m a first year here, starting this semester.” …Wow. That means he’s only a year under me. That’s pretty shocking. “Aren’t those clothes too big to fit you?” I ask. “Ahaha… actually, these were the smallest size they had,” he says, laughing awkwardly, “The only uniforms smaller than these were for the girls…” “I guess that’s a dilemma.” “No, it’s fine,” Mikio says, shaking his head, “This way, I won’t have to get a new uniform next year. I can just wear these again.” That’s a pretty optimistic way of looking at things. “Are you heading home now?” I ask him. “I’m taking a look around the school first,” he replies, “There’ll be no one else at home even if I hurry back.” “Right… Well, in any case, I’m your upperclassman starting today. Let’s get along,” I say, giving him a pat on the back, “Do your best.” “Yes,” he says, bending forward slightly in a bow. If there’s anything this kid’s learned, it’s manners.
Someone stops me as I walk out of the small gate, intercepting me. The transfer student, Hibiki, approaches me with his cell phone drawn. “Hey there,” he says with a friendly smile. “Hey,” I return the greeting, “Had fun this afternoon?” “Lots,” he says, “That aside, mind giving me your contact info?” “Why?” “What do you mean why?” he says, still grinning, “We’re friends now, aren’t we?” …I guess we are. “Alright,” I say as I reach into my pocket and take out my cell phone, “Give me yours too, then.” “Got it,” Hibiki says, pocketing his cell after finishing the exchange. “Anyway. I had a good look around town yesterday and today, but there are still a few places I haven’t visited.” “Are you looking for treasure?” “Haha, not quite,” he says with a laugh. “Since you were kind enough to be my guide around school, mind spending a little of your time showing me around town, too? I’ll treat you to something.” Hm… Well, Phobe’s classes end earlier than mine, so she’s back at home and I don’t have to go pick her up like I used to, so my afternoon is free.
Mikio would make an amusingly cute gay option, I have to say...
Then again, these days we have a lot more options as far as romance is concerned. As dedicated as we were to Aoi in the first story like this, I find myself tempted mightily by Adahn; not to mention the possibility of Adahna getting introduced. Heck, I even like the notion of sickly girl Heather. Maybe Sera would be good? Looking forward to perhaps meeting Reina in shop class, too...
We have a surprisingly attractive cadre of protagonists to pursue.
That one crazy homeless dude in the park, who spends his time ranting and raving about how he plans to take over the world. Every night the folks from the local halfway house have to drag him back to his room.
"Sure." I reply. "As long as that something won't be tea." "...Okay?" He shakes his shoulders and starts walking. "You got something against it?" "Normally, no. Today? Yes." Futako's words about real men drinking tea are still fresh in my mind. "...I won't ask. How was school, though?" "Great. No, nice. Decent." Seems like my opinion of the day is steadily heading down. Time for a change of topic. "Actually, you skipped half the day. Are you trying to spite me with that question?" "Hahaha, no!" In midst of laughter he gives me a pat on the back. "I'm seriously interested in my new school. I'd like to know how it compares to my old one." "Then it would best to find out yourself. Everybody knows how unreliable secondhand opinions are." After a moment of thinking, I add. "...But, I don't think you'll be bored." "Huh, why's that?" "Most, if not all of the teachers are... uh, personalities, so to say." I cough into my hand. "If the classes aren't interesting, then at least they are." "That's like straight out of a comedy show." He snickers. "Then, do you have a gang of delinquents too?" "Oh yeah, we do." "...A blond foreigner?" "That too." "Otaku club?!" "...Hmm." Now, that one I'm not too sure about. But since there was a club for poetry, why not that too? "Probably." "Ooh, man!" Hibiki leans back, holding his head. "Now you've made me envious!" "Your old school was that boring?" "Boring?" He looks at you, then turns to gaze at sky and then at road. "Not really. But you know, when you compare something nice to something awesome the difference will be really clear and-" There's a tiny pause in Hibiki's speech as his eyes shift focus, and he lifts his finger to point at something. "-what's that over there?" "That thing there?" I ask while following where he's pointing. He nods in response. "Hmm." "That's the local antique store, or so I hear. Never been there myself. I didn't know you were interes-" "I don't mean no antique!" He snaps, shaking his finger. "Look at the front of the store!" The front? There's just few items on display, and some people looking at them. Although none of them (the items, not customers) look very valuable, so I doubt that Hibiki is interested in robbery. "I really don't know what you're..." Then I notice it. One of the customers happens to be girl, who is currently kneeling down one knee and inspecting items on lower shelf. "Her? The brown haired girl?" He nods again. "That's her." "Never seen her before." Looking at Hibiki's face, I see that he's still keeping his eyes focused on the girl. This is all awfully familiar. "Man, don't tell me you do this with every good-looking girl you meet. And while I admit that her curves look pretty damn good with her kneeling like that, you shouldn't go staring like that." I sigh. "...Do you have a thing for brunettes or something?" "Huh?" He gives me a dumbfounded look. "No, I'm not interested in that. Do you know if she goes to school here?" ...Okay, maybe Hibiki's motives this time are different than before. Well, her attire isn't really helping with making out if she does or not, as she's wearing regular jeans, a white shirt and a jacket. Just normal, casual clothes. "I don't really remember seeing her at our school, but it's not like it's the only one in town." "Right, I saw that other school while looking around the town earlier. It's an industrial school, right-ah!?" Hibiki gets an abrupt ending when he notices the girl standing up, and walking... "Oh, she went inside." My companion seems to be in minor state of shock, so I tell him what happened. "Are you going to follow her now?" I ask from him in a slightly mocking tone.
Little did I suspect that he'd actually do it. With determined steps he starts walking towards the store. "Hey, wai-" No, he's not listening to me anymore. "God damn it." I go after him. Might as well watch over him and make sure he won't do anything stupid. The store's interior is actually very much like I expected it to be. Not too many customers, seemingly old items such as vases and small trinkets lined up in shelves. There's even few weapons mixed around up, out of the reach of children... really, it's so stereotypical I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Hibiki doesn't seem to be interested in what the shop holds, and just walks while trying to find the girl. And he does. Both of us stop when she appears in the hallway in front of us, still looking at stuff on sale, it seems. Hibiki stays put for a moment, then takes a deep breath and walks forward lifting his hand. "Hey, Reina!" Wait, he knows her? "Huuh-hu?" The girl, apparently named Reina, looks up and takes a step backwards when she notices the guy in front of him. "H-hi, who are... wait." Her initial confusement seems to already be fading, as she's facing Hibiki straight and looking at him in the face. "...Hibiki?" A grin spreads on Hibiki's face when the girl recognizes him. "That's right! It's been years since you moved away and WOW! You've seriously grown!" "Uuh, yes, you've also..." She looks Hibiki up and down. "Gotten bigger. Much." ...She hasn't probably noticed you yet.
[ ] This will be one heartwarming reunion that I don't want to see. Time to go home. [ ] Interesting, who is this girl and how does Hibiki know her? Stick around and see.