The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 4/16!)

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/26!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Tue May 26, 2015 9:22 pm

brythain wrote:I always have a blast with Kenji. Some authors have him and blasts together too. I can't wait to find out more. Those nefarious feminists!

Good job.
Thank you kindly. Kenji is fascinating to me as I think he's an easy character to do a solid job with, but a very difficult character to get perfect. The big brushstrokes are easy to get right, but the detail work is what I'm finding difficult, and will likely lead to a lot of rewriting of his scenes in the editing process.

Telling a story at Yamaku without Kenji just felt wrong, somehow.
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/26!)

Post by Blank Mage » Tue May 26, 2015 10:50 pm

I occasionally worry that Kenji will, one day, finally kill someone in self defense after they sarcastically claim to be assassins.

Like, there has to come a time when his craziness has terrifyingly real consequences.
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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/26!)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Wed May 27, 2015 12:15 am

Damn...just when I thought we'd be free of Kenji and his shenanigans. :cry:

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/26!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Wed May 27, 2015 9:25 am

Blank Mage wrote:I occasionally worry that Kenji will, one day, finally kill someone in self defense after they sarcastically claim to be assassins.

Like, there has to come a time when his craziness has terrifyingly real consequences.
A lot of what makes Kenji work so well (IMO) is that really he's a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing. His reaction to the school festival is to hide in his room. He becomes notably passive whenever forced to interact with a girl in the terms of the story. I'm sure he'd say that he's just laying low so no one suspects him of everything, but I think he's for the most part a coward, deep down.
HoneyBakedHam wrote:Damn...just when I thought we'd be free of Kenji and his shenanigans. :cry:
When the end times come, there will be naught but cockroaches and Kenji attempting to convince them of the vast feminist conspiracy...
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
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Act 1, Chapter 3 - Mind Over Mentor

Post by Puncyclopedia » Thu May 28, 2015 8:04 pm

It is 8:45 AM as I walk through the front gate of Yamaku. At least this time I don't hesitate. For better or worse, most of my nervousness is minimal today. Perhaps I should be thankful I came here yesterday. Now, it's part of my routine, and the routine is less likely to be terrifying than the new.

When I step through the front door, I'm greeted by a sign thoughtfully attached to the bannister of the stairwell. It bears my name, and a room number. The number isn't immediately familiar, but the “2” up front seems to indicate that it's on the second floor. I start climbing the stairs, one by one. I have fifteen minutes – if I can't find a room in Yamaku in fifteen minutes, I'm in even more trouble than I'm worried I'm in. Besides, I know the second floor pretty well. The library's there, after all.

I head towards the library at first, coming up at the far end of one of the school's wings. I keep my eyes peeled as I walk, but come up empty. I notice that Yamaku has bothered, finally, to number every room. I wish that had been the case when I worked for the Student Council. Being sent to “the room at the end of the hallway” was always an adventure, with inconsistent results.

As I reach the library, I console myself with the knowledge that I only have one more wing to explore. I glance at the clock above the library's entrance – 8:50. Ten more minutes, but I won't need even half of that.

I'm getting closer, it seems, if the numbers are any indication. Finding the proper one only takes a moment more, and I open the door and slip inside. There's a small table inside, and two chairs. Apparently, I've beaten my mentor here. Well. That gives me time to get situated.

In no time at all, the contents of my bag all find their way onto the table. I have my trusty folder of information open on the table, along with a pad of paper and something to write with. I don't know if I'm going to be taking notes or not.

I don't actually know what's about to happen, at all. Whether it's today's meeting or teaching, I feel in the dark. It's not a pleasant feeling, but I know that all I can do is be patient.

As I come to that conclusion, I hear the door opening, and the sound of my mentor stepping into the room.

“Good morning, Hisao,” she says. That strikes me as odd immediately – it's a little...familiar for someone I've never met to be calling me that. It could be worse, I guess. She could have called me Hicch--

My internal monologue comes to a crumbling, stuttering halt as I look up (and up) at a woman who is still one of the tallest girls I've ever seen. With me seated, she virtually towers over me. She has wavy blonde hair and cloudy blue eyes. In one hand, she holds a small, thin cane, and in the other, a bag that looks very similar to mine.

“Lilly,” I ask, unable to keep the surprise out of my voice. “Are you...?”

“As much as I enjoy this room, I would not be here two days before school begins if I wasn't your mentor.” There's something amused in her voice. She can clearly tell that I'm surprised. The fact that she's not means she's known about this course of events for longer than I have. Somehow, that makes me feel ever so slightly uncomfortable, and the small room fills with an awkward silence for a few moments.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I was told you'd be replacing Mutou,” Lilly says, in an apparent effort to break that silence. “It has been quite some time, hasn't it?”

“So was I,” is the best thing I can manage to come up with on short notice. It has the benefit of being true, too. I feel hopelessly behind in this conversation already. I expected that would be the case because I'd be dealing with an experienced teacher. Now, though, the fact that Lilly is a teacher is secondary to the fact that Lilly is Lilly.

She's right, too. I haven't seen her for years. Three years, to be exact. Calling her a friend doesn't feel...quite right, but nor does calling her an acquaintance. She's somewhere in between.

“So, uh,” I manage, cursing myself at how unnecessarily awkward this feels, “how long have you been teaching at Yamaku?”

The question makes her brighten a bit, seemingly.

“A year and a half,” she says. Even as she answers, though, she's guiding us onwards. “Shall we get started, Hisao? We have an entire year to get caught up on one another's lives. You only have two days until school begins.”

A considerate thing of her to say. I have no objections.

* * *

An hour later, it feels like half that time has passed. The conversation is somehow both intensive and casual at the same time. To my great relief, nothing at Yamaku seems that much more complicated than it was at any of the schools I worked at in the past. There's just a lot of paperwork, which I both understand due to the nature of Yamaku, and am familiar with from my time on the Student Council. It'll take more than paperwork to intimidate me.

Which is good, because the more I think about everything, the more intimidating it all is.

The person sitting across from me might be the most intimidating of all, sadly enough.

As we talk about the school's regulations and gradebooks and any number of other things, I can't help but try and read her particularly unreadable facial expression. She looks ever so slightly awkward. I can't blame her, because I'm being equally awkward.

There is a gigantic elephant sitting in the corner of this little room. Something that I don't want to talk about. Something that she doesn't want to ask about. She will, though. She has to. I know this because if I was her, I would have to ask, too. Apologetically, for certain, but I would still ask.

I smile, wryly, as she brings one particular explanation to a close. What are the odds that Lilly Satou would be my mentor? Ten-thousand to one? A million to one? Worse? Those are the same odds that I would have to talk about something I'd barely spoken about in three years. Something I'd only ever really talked to my mother and father about. Something that I am trying, and probably failing, to move past.

“Hisao...” Her voice trails off. Here it is. As much as I'm dreading it, at least this'll get it out of the way. “I apologize if this question is too personal, and you don't have to answer it, but...”

It's better, I think, to take charge of this situation, if only to spare her some of the awkwardness that we're both feeling.

“You want to know what happened with your cousin and me, right?”

Her shoulders slump in an oddly defeated sort of way. I think she considers herself above gossip, and would in this case, too – if the two people involved weren't Shizune and myself. Her cousin and one of her longtime...friends? Acquaintances? Something?

I curse myself for being thankful that Lilly is blind. It means she can't see the pensive, slightly sad look on my face. It's a perfectly legitimate question for her to ask. Shizune and Lilly are cousins, after all. Lilly was well aware the two of us were dating. If what Shizune had told me was true, Lilly was also somewhat surprised about that fact.

I'd seen Lilly every year when Shizune's family and hers got together. Well, for four or so years, anyway. We never spoke all that much, but we spoke enough to get to know one another better. She told me about her family and life in Scotland. I told her about my condition and plans for the future. That much alone made her more than an acquaintance – I loathe talking about my condition unless necessary. Perhaps she is a friend. Perhaps she sees me as one, too.

That would explain her tone – concerned and not accusatory. She wants to know. She's worried, about Shizune, or me, or both. I am trapped. It would be rude of me to say nothing, and yet the idea of saying everything....

“I really don't want to talk about it, Lilly,” I finally manage, and she opens her mouth before I can finish.

“It's alright, Hisao, you don't--”

“No, Lilly,” I say, firmly, “I do. Not everything, but I do need to say something about it, so we can focus on our work. You're my mentor, right? I need a lot of help.”

“I very much doubt that,” she replies. “You are very intelligent, Hisao. All you need from me is a little guidance as to how things work here.”

She's being far too kind to me. I would tell her so, but this is a serious moment.

“I appreciate it. We can talk about that later, though. For now...let me just say this, before I lose my nerve. It's all I'm going to say about it, though. Is that okay?”

She nods, and leans closer. Worry is written all over her face. I may not know her incredibly well, but I do know that if I don't come out with it, she'll retract her request. As much as part of me might want that, it would be completely unacceptable right now.

Here goes nothing.

“Shizune broke up with me three years ago,” I say, the words sounding foreign and hollow in my ears. Somehow, the one thing left that I'm willing to say is almost harder to spit out than the first.

“I haven't spoken to her since.”

Her gasp is audible. It's like something out of a movie. Hearing it in real life, from a person I know, is jarring.

“I'm...sorry, Hisao,” she manages, stammering out an apology. “I had no idea. Why would she...?”

“That's all I'm going to say on the matter,” I say, firmly. “I'm...not ready to talk about the rest. I probably shouldn't even talk about it to anyone else when I am, either. It's Shizune's business.”

It comes out more harshly than I want it to. She looks back at me, and nods her head, but she still clearly looks uneasy. It takes her a few moments to speak again, but when she does, there's a touch of steel in her words.

“I respect you not wanting to talk about it, Hisao,” Lilly says, “but it is certainly your business as well. If you ever want to talk about it, I will be here for you.”

I've only seen her angry a handful of times. I think back to siding with Shizune over her – well, really trying to defend myself – years ago, and that was as close as I got. This isn't anger quite as much as it is disapproval, and this time, it doesn't feel like it's directed at me. She and Shizune never got along particularly well. Is this...an extension of that? Does she feel bad for me?

“When you put it like that, it makes me feel a little bad,” I admit. “It just...”

She shakes her head back and forth, firmly.

“You don't have to apologize to me. I should be apologizing to you.” Before I can tell her that she has already, she straightens up in her chair.

“After classes on Saturday, would you be willing to come to the Shanghai with me, for a drink? My treat,” she says, and it's all I can do to look at her in surprise.

“As an apology for asking such a difficult question within an hour of meeting you for the first time in three years.” She smiles at me. I'm trapped – and she knows it, too. There's no way I could refuse such a kind offer, and it seems calculated to make sure that I can't to begin with.

“It'd be silly of me to decline such a kind offer. I accept. Assuming I make it through this week of classes, of course, without keeling over.” I can't lie – it's a worry in the back of my head. No matter how good my heart is, stress is always concerning. Even without thinking in that horribly pessimistic manner, I'm nervous. Anyone would be.

“I have faith in you, Hisao,” she says. “Everything will be fine.”

“With your capable mentoring, perhaps,” I retort. It's an easy dialogue between the two of us. Far more so than it's ever been. Maybe it's that we have something in common. Maybe it's that she's a familiar face here in a familiar place.

Maybe, right now, I need all the friends and help I can get.
Last edited by Puncyclopedia on Fri May 29, 2015 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Blank Mage » Thu May 28, 2015 8:46 pm

Oh, you tease! Why would you do thaaaat.

I guessed that making Shizune the mentor would be far too obvious, but I didn't see that coming. (Neither did Lilly! Ha!) But I'm dying to know what happened with Shizune, and you know it, and I know you know, and aaaaagh.

Your writing is really good, I'd think of something more clever to say if I didn't hate you a little bit, damn it, aaagh
And we're back.
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"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by brythain » Thu May 28, 2015 9:15 pm

Haha, that's a great scene. Or unseen, from the other perspective. :D

Now I'm wondering about the path from Scotland to Yamaku.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by azumeow » Thu May 28, 2015 11:32 pm

Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiiitttt. So that happened. Uh.

I like it.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Alpacalypse » Fri May 29, 2015 4:49 am

Puncyclopedia wrote:Lilly at Yamaku
Welp, there's the cliché. Oh well, Lilly and Hisao at Yamaku makes vastly more sense than Hisao and Hanako at Yamaku or Hisao and Emi at Yamaku, so I'm not gonna complain. Besides, more Lilly is never a bad thing.
Post-Shizune Lilly route?

Shizune broke up with Hisao, too. Did not see that coming (pun not intended because Blank already did it)

Also, your writing is really good. I feel inadequate, now - in the best possible way.
I am the harbinger of your destruction... By herbivorous, mountain dwelling quadrupeds... fear me
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I also write now, apparently. Since everyone else does it, I'm putting it here
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I have also discovered that I'm a decent proofreader. Anybody with SPaG problems is free to PM me their work for a thorough analysis and/or evisceration. Depends on how I'm feeling.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Fri May 29, 2015 7:35 am

Blank Mage wrote:Oh, you tease! Why would you do thaaaat.

I guessed that making Shizune the mentor would be far too obvious, but I didn't see that coming. (Neither did Lilly! Ha!) But I'm dying to know what happened with Shizune, and you know it, and I know you know, and aaaaagh.

Your writing is really good, I'd think of something more clever to say if I didn't hate you a little bit, damn it, aaagh
Because I'm terrible, a little. :D

I should have the first part of my other, more Shizune-related (from her POV, no less) piece up within a day or two, so we'll see if I'm any good at the whole Shizune thing soon enough. As for THIS Shizune, yes, you're unfortunately going to have to wait a while longer.

I greatly appreciate both your compliments and your slight hatred. Means this scene went better than expected. xD
brythain wrote:Haha, that's a great scene. Or unseen, from the other perspective. :D

Now I'm wondering about the path from Scotland to Yamaku.
Thank you! I was slightly terrified about posting this.

The path from Scotland to Yamaku is several thousand miles, and largely taken by plane.

(Don't worry, you'll get some actual useful information regarding this in the story, I promise.)
azumeow wrote:Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiiitttt. So that happened. Uh.

I like it.
Thank you very much, and welcome aboard. :)
Alpacalypse wrote:
Puncyclopedia wrote:Lilly at Yamaku
Welp, there's the cliché. Oh well, Lilly and Hisao at Yamaku makes vastly more sense than Hisao and Hanako at Yamaku or Hisao and Emi at Yamaku, so I'm not gonna complain. Besides, more Lilly is never a bad thing.
Post-Shizune Lilly route?

Shizune broke up with Hisao, too. Did not see that coming (pun not intended because Blank already did it)

Also, your writing is really good. I feel inadequate, now - in the best possible way.
It does at that, doesn't it? I'm well aware it's a cliche, but one of my general things as a writer is not being afraid of cliches. There are tons of spins and personal touches that can be put on even the most tired cliche, and this story, ideally, will take a fairly basic premise and weave it out into something considerably more complex when all is said and done.

It's a fun sort of challenge, too, to take on something that's been done but make it your own.

I admit nothing.

Thank you kindly for your kind words.

It'll probably be a few days before the next post - I try to write a whole bunch in one sitting, and I'm working on the final few chapters of Act 1 as we speak, which will then need to be betaed and all that good stuff. As I noted to Blank earlier, I will have part one of an entirely different story up today or tomorrow, so if you're interested, feel free to check that out - it'll be much shorter and finished much quicker than this will be. xD
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri May 29, 2015 11:27 am

“You want to know what happened with your cousin and Ime, right?”
...
She wants to know. She's worried, about Shizune, or Ime, or both.
Oh well, Lilly and Hisao at Yamaku makes vastly more sense than Hisao and Hanako at Yamaku or Hisao and Emi at Yamaku, so I'm not gonna complain.
Not to mention Hisao and Kenji at Yam...
Wait... :roll:
About Emi, there are plenty of stories that have her going into physical therapy after graduation, so it would not be too much of a stretch to find her in Yamaku - for this story though, I think three of the main characters should be enough.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Alpacalypse » Fri May 29, 2015 12:26 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Not to mention Hisao and Kenji at Yam...
Wait...
...
Dammit, brain, pay attention! :x
Should have pointed out that one...
I am the harbinger of your destruction... By herbivorous, mountain dwelling quadrupeds... fear me
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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/28!)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Fri May 29, 2015 2:46 pm

Edits made! Thanks Mirage!

And yes, this story won't be featuring Emi, Hanako, or Rin. Lilly and Shizune will be the only two of the main five girls showing up.

As for the rest of the cast, we have Kenji and Mutou so far. There's two more members of the cast who will make appearances in the story (eventually). Both are probably guessable. I know it seems like I have a lot of characters already. Part of that is to try and make a more authentic experience akin to the original visual novel, part of it is because I like a lot of the characters I'm bringing back. ;p
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Act 1, Chapter 4 - Students, Meet Teacher

Post by Puncyclopedia » Sun May 31, 2015 9:25 pm

Chapter 4 has arrived! Before that, though, a quick note. For any dialogue of Hisao's that is both signed and spoken, I will be using "[ ]" to indicate this. I'll add this note to the Table of Contents post eventually likely as well.

Enjoy!

---------------------

The days have passed quickly. Too quickly. It feels like I blinked months ago and opened my eyes to stand before the door to classroom 3-3 on the first day of school.

I decided that I don't want to be in the classroom before everyone. That might be intimidating. I dropped my things off in the room an hour ago, and returned back down to the first floor to wait in a more private location, where the students wouldn't see me sweat. The teacher's lounge is a fine place, as it turns out. Looking down at my watch, I see a little under three minutes left until the day starts.

No more excuses, Hisao. It's time to do this. Years of schooling all come down to this moment.

When I open the door, I see fifteen faces look back at me. That means three students haven't arrived yet, and they have about two minutes to do so.

“[Good morning, everyone!]” I say, and sign. “[We'll get started once the bell rings.]”

All eyes are on me immediately – my hands, to be more precise. Even the students who I know can hear can't help but look. I'll explain properly in a few minutes, but I'm sure most of them can guess why my hands are moving around in strange patterns, especially in a school like Yamaku Academy. I walk over to my desk, standing alongside it and rummaging around in my bag to pull out a pen and a seating chart to fill out later.

Another student comes in. Judging by his artificial legblades, I assume he's the track star. He's followed mere moments later by an apologetic looking girl who sees all of the students sitting down and blanches. She must think she's late, but a glance over her shoulder confirms that she's on time, and she crosses the room quickly, slipping into what I recognize as my old seat. Hopefully it serves her as well as it did me.

That leaves one, and I watch the seconds tick away slowly. Fifty-nine. Fifty-eight. Fifty-seven...

By the time I get down to twenty, I force myself to breathe. In less than twenty – no, eighteen seconds, I will officially be teaching the youth of Japan.

At seventeen, student number eighteen comes in. He looks around briefly, before setting on a seat in front row center – one of the few left in the room. Once he sits down, I hear the bell ring, signifying that it is time for me to begin earning my keep, God help us all.

“[Good morning. I am Mr. Nakai, and I'm going to be your homeroom and science teacher for the year. As you can probably tell, I am using sign language as well as speech in this classroom.]”

I worry that it will be distracting for the non-hearing impaired students, but none of them seem to mind. Eighteen pairs of eyes are locked on me. I decide that it's probably for the best that I let everyone introduce themselves before I get into anything too heavy.

“[Let's go around the room and introduce ourselves,]” I say. Some people perk up. Others groan. I decide to impose some sort of order on the process. I feel bad for the young man to my far left who looks like he really doesn't want to talk, but it's probably easier for people to put faces to names if we go in an order. “[I will translate aloud for anyone who communicates in sign.]” Some of the more worried faces relax a bit.

“[Let's start with you,]” I say, to the unfortunate victim who has to lead things off. “[Your name, a hobby, and anything else you want to say.]”

And so begins the introductions of homeroom 3-3. We go in order, each column of three from my left to my right speaking from front to back as I start filling in my seating chart in the spare moments I have.

Satoshi is an avid member of Yamaku's reading club, and hopes to get along with everyone. Basic, standard, and inoffensive.

Kimie signs that she loves playing MMORPGs, and doesn't reveal a whole lot else.

Osamu wants to start a walking club, and has me ask if anyone would be interested. He gets a few raised hands, including one girl in a wheelchair. Seeing this, he immediately amends the club to a “Walk & Roll” club. The English pun is lost on some of us, but those of us who get it groan. She smiles, placated.

Shou is the track star who came in later than fifteen of his classmates, sitting at the head of the second column. He asks for their support, and pledges his own in their endeavors. He seems a good, personable sort. Some of the girls cast longing looks in his direction. Potential casanova, this one.

The next to go is Naoko. She gives name, rank, and serial number – her name, a hello to everyone, and that's about it. A few of her classmates snicker. It wouldn't surprise me if she'd given similarly terse introductions the previous year, too.

Behind her is Hiroko. She's much more open, and I struggle to keep up with her frantic signing. It brings back memories I'm not sure I want to think about. She keeps busy between dance lessons and membership in the newspaper club.

Back in the front row is Kazuhiro. He signs that he loves to swim, but won't join the swim club because “he doesn't want to be tied down by the man.” I hope he doesn't meet Kenji. Perhaps he already has, and that's why he's saying things like that. I notice that he's managed to surround himself with only male students, and I sigh deeply to myself.

Behind him is Hiroaki. He scribbles frantically on a piece of paper, and then looks up at me, extending it. I take it and read the contents. The first few lines are for my eyes only. The rest I can read – he's new to Yamaku and looking forward to making friends. He likes watching sports and things that go fast.

Megumi tells me she can speak, but feels more comfortable signing. That's fine with me. The fact that she makes me tell the class that she's “very single” leaves me red-faced and amused. Judging by the way some of her classmates look at her, she may have takers and haters in equal measure.

Mister Front Row Center, as it turns out, is Shintarou, the student council president. Of course he is. He apologizes in advance for all the class he'll be missing, which gets a laugh from a bunch of people, myself included. I tell him that I'll be having a talk with him later, which he takes in stride.

Kaede, the girl in the wheelchair and prospective member of the walking slash rolling club, is the class representative. This confuses me a bit, considering we also have the student council president. Though, if the responsibilities of the president are what they used to be, perhaps it's for the best that class 3-3 has its own representative, too.

Reina says her name, and then gazes longingly out the window, as if school is a prison keeping her away from her true calling, whatever that might be. I shrug and move on. I don't really have a choice in the matter.

Ken, for better or worse, sticks out like a sore thumb for being at least partially Caucasian. Sitting in the front row probably doesn't help matters. He takes the attention in stride. He's also new to Yamaku this year, and hopes that his classmates will help him not get lost. He has a deer in the headlights look on his face. I make a mental note to keep a close eye on him.

Akiko thanks everyone for letting her have the seat she's sitting in. Did I miss some sort of negotiation over seating arrangements before I got here? She's a big fan of horror movies, interestingly enough.

Judging by the applause from Kana behind her, the two girls are friends. She's a bit more muted, but still reveals that she likes to sculpt, and spends most of her time in the art room or in town wandering around.

The final column of three is headed by Yukinori. His signing is precise – he's better with his hands than I am, even. He announces his name and a dignified, formal hello to all of his fellow classmates. He's like a prince or something. Or a really old man. I can't tell which.

Next to last is Yuka, the girl in my old seat. Her voice is small as she says she's a member of the kendo club. It's hard to imagine, but I should know of all people not to judge a book by its cover.

Finally is Haruhiko, in back row, far right. He says he's an avid slacker, about as earnestly as I've ever heard anyone say anything. He waves to a few of his friends, seemingly willing to offer nothing else.

With all the introductions done, they probably expect me to start teaching, but there's actually one more introduction to be made.

“[My name is Hisao,]” I say, hoping that this won't be used against me later. “[My hobbies are reading, going on walks, and teaching science. Seven years ago, I sat in the same seat that Yuka is sitting in right now.]”

That piece of information draws a few surprised gasps and perked eyebrows.

[Some of you are new to Yamaku. Some of you have been here for several years. Regardless, I want you all to know that my door is always open to you. All you have to do is ask.]

That's it. No big heavy speech. No talking about what Yamaku did for me. If anyone wants to know more about my story, they can ask me.

It doesn't take long. One hand goes up, from the back of the room. It's... Megumi, I think? Yes. I sign briefly to her, and she responds with a question that I wouldn't have been willing to answer seven years ago.

[What brought you here?]

I repeat the question out loud, and sign it again, for anyone who might have missed it, before replying.

“[A heart condition. Arrhythmia. I had a heart attack, and my doctors decided that I should go somewhere with the proper support for my condition in the immediate aftermath. That's how I ended up here. I'd say that it all worked out for the best.]”

I don't think she expected that. Judging by the looks on many of their faces, they probably thought that I was Misha – someone who attended the school with the intent of teaching sign, or teaching in sign one day. The look on her face is apologetic, and she begins to sign an apology.

[Don't worry about it,] I say, and that's one bit that won't be signed to the rest of the class. No one else seems to have any other questions for the moment. That's fine with me. After all, it means that it's time for me to actually start teaching.

Well, as much teaching as can ever be accomplished on the first day, anyway.
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

Replaying now, so subject to flux. Except Shizune. Shizune is best.

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Blank Mage
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Re: The Benefit of Hindsight (updated 5/31!)

Post by Blank Mage » Sun May 31, 2015 10:13 pm

I gotta say, I love that you actually took the time to make a classroom full of interesting OCs. There's not much else to this chapter, but damn, that's quite the achievement. I like that you can kind of already see Katawa Shoujo 2 happening here, how easy and automatic it is to start speculating on those tidbits we get, and what they say about the student. Is that random trivia or alluded backstory? Is there something going on with Naoko? Hiroko transferred in, mute, without knowing sign, that's intriguing. Ken is also a bit of an enigma. Hell, they all are. It's fantastic.

Good God, man. Do you realize this might lead to fanfics of your fanfics? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL
And we're back.
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"I wish I could convey to you just how socially inept I am, but I can't."
"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

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