Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

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Sharp-O
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:43 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:Would a teacher explain to the whole class about someone being suspended? I know in the US they don't.
Yamaku is a very different kind of kind of school, right? I imagine any absence is established for the mental care of class mates (Because there's a higher than usual chance that someone could die or be injured.) It would also make sense that Mutou informed the class of Hanako's special dispensation for social anxiety, hence why no one bats an eyelid. Also, it's good for drama. :mrgreen:
HoneyBakedHam wrote:Also, I'm surprised she'd be suspended if she told them WHY she hit him. If that's still the case, Japan has worse than a zero-tolerance policy. At least when I defended myself, or others, back when I was in grade school from bullies, both parties were punished.
Then you were quite lucky, HBH. Any time I defended myself from bullies, I was labelled the aggressor and was the only one punished. It fucking sucked.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, usually both Ritsu and Takeshi would be suspended - after all she hit him because he was trying to hit a classmate from behind. That's what makes it so unlikely that Takeshi would go to the teachers: As soon as Ritsu tells her side of the story, he'll be punished as well - especially since she's got two witnesses to back up her story.
Explaining anything right now would be spoilers for the next part but Ritsu wasn't the only one punished, Maeda just got a different punishment.
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Loud and clear. I'll go back and sort it.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:52 am

Well...it kinda helped when my mom threatened to sue the district and take it to the media for only punishing me at first (just because I was always bigger than my bullies and would go to extremes to teaching them a lesson), but the point is is that both parties should at least be in trouble (if not just Maeda for being a baby-back witch [you know the real word, i just don't know the forum's policy on swear words besides in the stories] and trying to sucker-punch Taro).

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:15 pm

HoneyBakedHam wrote:Well...it kinda helped when my mom threatened to sue the district and take it to the media for only punishing me at first (just because I was always bigger than my bullies and would go to extremes to teaching them a lesson), but the point is is that both parties should at least be in trouble (if not just Maeda for being a baby-back witch [you know the real word, i just don't know the forum's policy on swear words besides in the stories] and trying to sucker-punch Taro).
Well done to your mum! :lol:

Like I said, Maeda was also punished, he just gets to keep attending class. (Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen, eh?) Reasons why will be explained, don't worry.

Also, I went back and tidied up all the chapters, adding the new system so it's as clear and easy to follow as I can make it. :wink: I also went ahead and updated the first post with short character descriptions and the line-up of characters.

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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 23/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:54 am

Chapter Four: Drawn Together

This morning has been agonisingly slow. After Mutou’s shock announcement, I couldn’t think of anything other than talking to Ritsu. I’m sure Akio is the same, in between bouts of seeing if he can set Maeda ablaze by staring hard enough.
I wish him luck in this endeavour. Few details were given but what I really want to know is why Maeda's here but Ritsu isn’t.

The lunch bell rings and Maeda makes a quick dash for the exit. At least he’s got some common sense. A couple students glance over at us but it’s Misha who finally speaks up.

“How are you guys holding up?” She asks, a concerned frown upon her face as it perches on the corner of my desk.

“Pissed as all hell!” Akio spits, making sure not to aim his anger at the drill-haired bundle of compassion.

“Exhausted. I don’t think I’ve ever felt tired from thinking before,” I respond quietly, pulling out my phone to check my messages.

“I have! Usually when Shicchan makes me do admin work…” Her bubbly nature can’t be kept down and I’m kinda thankful for that right now. I quickly thumb a message to Ritsu asking how she is, where she is and how long until she comes back.

“I can imagine,” I place the phone on my desk and give Misha a half-smile. She erupts into her signature laugh and stands proud.

“Wahahaha~! You don’t know the half of it! This one time, Shicchan made me--”

A snap of Shizune’s fingers cause that train of thought to derail. Where did that girl learn to do that so loud? The two get into a very animated conversation in sign as Akio slips me a warm can of coffee. I guess he went to the vending machine.

“Any word from our little boxer?” He asks, a worried expression still as present on his face as on mine. As if on cue, my phone vibrates and Ritsu answers my message.

[Hi! I’m okay. Ish. They have me in a separate class room with some other kids on OCS. In here for 4 days, should be done by the end of the week. Heard Maeda got banned from club activities for 3 days. You guys OK?]

I hand the phone over to Akio for him to read and catch our student council president’s attention.

“Excuse me, Shizune. Do you know what ‘OCS’ means?”

She ponders this for a second and then signs, Misha translating dutifully.

“It stands for ‘On-Campus Suspension’. If a student cannot be reprimanded by withholding club activities, they are given OCS. Instead of a regular suspension and getting a free holiday, it’s like all-day detention with the other trouble-makers~!” Misha explains, the latter half clearly being her contribution.

“I wonder why she got a day more than Maeda?” Akio rightly questions. I take the phone back and text Ritsu again. She answers within a minute.

[I kinda-sorta flipped a table when they told me (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Talk to you guys later?]

[Of course. Don’t join any gangs.] I text jokingly.

[No promises. ( ˘ ³˘)♥]

“Well?” Akio asks, expectantly while Sweet & Sour look on.

“She resisted arrest so they’ve given her another day in solitary,” I half-joke.

“That sounds like her alright,” Akio chuckles.

“{Thank you, ladies}. I appreciate your concern and your help.” I offer to Sweet & Sour. Ritsu was right; they’re good at their jobs even if they are a little pushy.

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

The rest of the day passes fairly quickly. Akio and I make copious notes on our lessons, just in case Ritsu needs them. The sense of relief we share is even enough that Maeda is spared further experiments into will-powered spontaneous combustion.

The final bell rings and we make our way over to the dorms. We spot her before she spots us but when she does, she bounds over and wraps her arms around Akio.

“Help! She‘s attacking me now!” He waves his arms in mock distress.

“I missed you, you jerk!” She laughs and then wraps her arms around my chest and squeezes harder than she ever has. Sudden, vivid memories of last night rush into my head faster than the blood rushes to my face.

“D-didn’t join any gangs, did you?” I offer nervously, patting her back. She bounces back and stands with her hands on her hips.

“Are you kidding? I run that shit!” She pounds her fist against her chest twice and points to me with a cocky wink.

“That’s got to be the quickest rise to power outside of a 'Yakuza' game.” I laugh as we make our way into the girls dorm. We make small talk and joke about the day, despite how brutal it started off.

“Seriously? He tried to set Maeda on fire with his mind?!” Ritsu doubles over with laughter as she sits on her bed. “It was only going to be a small fire…” An embarrassed Akio admits, taking the beanbag near the bookshelf. I ease myself onto the floor next to the bed, keeping the joke going.

“It would have been an {inferno}!” I give a ‘fwooosh’ for emphasis as Ritsu composes herself and begins making drinks for us. Akio retrieves his textbooks from his backpack while I do so with my own and Ritsu’s.

“Did you have the same material to go over as we did or did they make you write your name a bunch of times?” I ask as I idly thumb through her notebook. My eyes widen when I look inside. She’s been…

“If not, we made a shit ton of notes to help!” Akio announces waving his own notebook in her direction. I quickly snap the notebook shut and toss it near her bag. I probably wasn’t meant to see that.

“You guys rock!” Ritsu says, turning with a tray of hot beverages to place on the shin-high table in the middle of the room. “Anything else you can think of to help a poor, lonely girl through her incarceration?” She laughs, taking a seat next to me on the floor.

“Conjugal visits?” Akio offers with sly grin.

“Are you sure that’s w-wise?” I’m still a little flustered. I can play this off. Keep cool, Taro. “She might have gone native. Who knows what kind of d-deviant appetites she could pick-up in there.” Stay calm. Breath slow.

“Are you worried I’ll become too wild?” Ritsu teases. Damn you, Ritsu! You’re not helping!

“Practically {Feral}.” I nervously chuckle and reach for my drink. Ritsu turns her attention to mine and Akio’s notebooks and fishes another out of her bag.

“Oh, is this not your notebook?” I gesture to the one next to her bag that I retrieved. Stupid.

She gives a quiet ‘eep’ and grabs it. She looks at it and then me. “Th-this isn’t my normal one.”

“Sorry, thought I‘d save you some time by grabbing it. Didn’t realise you had more than one.” I nervously chuckle again and take a long sip of coffee. Be more casual, moron!

“No problem…” She cautiously states, sliding it into her bag. Akio, thankfully, doesn’t pick up on this.

We spend the rest of the time studying and comparing notes until Akio and I take our leave and promise to meet up tomorrow.

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

The next couple days passes fairly quickly, the buzz around the school festival taking up a lot of people’s time, especially Akio. I couldn’t think of what the literature club could do for the festival but apparently they’re doing something. Ritsu and I have been spending our afternoons going over notes for classes. She’s mostly on the same material as us but without Akio or myself subbing in for her writing, she fell behind a little. With the catch-up for the day done, we sit back and relax.

“Do you want a drink?” Ritsu audibly groans as she pushes her self up off the table.

“Please!” I stretch out my legs and fish my sketchbook out of my bag. I flip to the latest page and rest the book on my bent knee. After the craziness of the last couple days, I’ve managed to start on a new piece. Ritsu returns and clears the textbooks from the table before placing our drinks on there. Coffee in a big mug for me, juice in a tall glass for her.

“Got something new?” She grins, taking a seat on my right and leaning on my bad arm.

“Yeah, had an idea to do something for Hanako. That girl needs to smile more. Thought I could do something about that.” I state with a little sadness in my voice.

“I know what you mean, she just seems so lonely. Her anxiety wouldn’t help with that either… So where’d you get the idea?” She finally questions the somewhat bizarre get-up that I’ve designed.

“Ah-ha, I asked Lilly Satou for some help. She, uh, spends more time with Hanako than anyone so I shot her the idea and she offered some suggestions. She told me that Hanako likes chess, reading and has a doll in ornate Victorian clothing so I combined those elements,” I explain, pointing out the ornate dress, a spell book in one hand and both a sceptre and crown designed like a Queen piece. It’s not a stuffy regal pose, more like an action-oriented mage. Ritsu, naturally, points out the elephant in the graphite room.

“You… drew her scars…”

“Would have been easy to not draw them but…” I pause to phrase my answer. “I guess it would be shitty to draw her without them and inadvertently rub it in that she's scarred. At the same time, I didn’t want to put emphasis on them, hence the pose. Your eyes are drawn to every other element before them. See what I mean?”

Ritsu has been listening intently and then following my gaze around the drawing, studying it to grasp what I'm saying. She smiles and pats my arm. “You put a lot of thought into this, didn’t you?”

I nod and finish a certain detail before stowing the sketchbook away in my bag again. Ritsu, meanwhile, has retrieved her other notebook from under her bed.

“I… w-want to show you something.” She says nervously, gripping the book tight. It’s the book that I peeked at.

“I kinda saw already…” I guiltily admit.

“The other day?” She’s so timid right now, it’s a weird to see her like this.

“Yeah… I didn’t look at anything specific and I kinda got the feeling that I shouldn’t be looking at all,” She stands up rather abruptly and steps over my leg and plops down again, sitting with her knees up and the notebook horizontally across her thighs. Right. Between. My legs.

“Well if you saw, there’s no point hiding it anymore!” She’s slowly turning the pages, which fall lightly over her knees. “I’ve been d-drawing a lot recently…”

Page after page, she’s been doodling all sorts of things with varying degrees of success. She leans back into my chest to give me a better look at her sketches. Her hair smells like cinnamon. Why have I ever noticed that before? Why am I suddenly fascinated by how Ritsu smells? Focus, dumbass.

“M-my CT doesn’t help… but I wanted to d-draw something for you for a change,” She admits, forcing a smile. “But I-I think I need some help.” She nervously giggles as I flip the next page for her, studying her form. The further in, there’s definitely a marked improvement. Cleaner lines, clearer details. She’s grasping the basics quite well.

“You’ve done some very good stuff here, Ritsu! You can see the progress you’ve made on every page.” I guess I’m an art tutor now. But I’m giving a sincere critique and she seems to be taking it to heart. I flip to the last page and find what I’d caught a glimpse of before.

Image

“O-oh y-yeah. This is my attempt at drawing you…” She ‘s blushing pretty hard, not that I can say otherwise. I give it the same look over as the others, trying not to become flustered that she drew me and is clearly embarrassed to have me looking.

“It’s… good. A simple style but you nailed my hair and my hoodie. Even drew me chubby, it would have been easier for a novice to thin me down a little. There’s just one thing…” I’m stepping on egg shells but I have to ask.

“Yes?” She looks back expectantly.

“Why did you draw me with big moe anime eyes?” I give her raised eyebrow and a concerned smirk. She dips her head and looks back at the picture. “I’m not too good with eyes.” She mutters under breath. A hearty laugh escapes my throat and I stroke her head to reassure the poor girl pouring her hidden secret out before me.

“Would you like me to give you some pointers?” I offer, picking up my discarded pencil. I place it between her delicate fingers, my good hand slowly caressing her hand into position on the page. My hand is massive in comparison to hers, almost twice the size but I gently place my fingers on her wrist and look down at the blushing Ritsu, gently resting against me.

“Ready to begin?” I ask, trying to be as cool as I possibly can be given how… intimate this situation has become.

She squirms a little and looks me deep in the eyes. There’s something there. Something she desperately wants to tell me. I don’t know if I’m ready to hear it, if it’s what all this has been leading toward. My heart’s racing a mile a minute.

“Ummm. T-Taro?”

“…Yeah?”

“I’m… right-handed.”

For a brief second, the confession hangs in the air with a tense aura before we both erupt into blissful laughter.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:10 am

Japan has In-School Suspension? I know we do, here in the States (been in there quite a lot in Jr High, again bully-fighting), but didn't know Japan did, too.

Nonetheless, I love where this is going and can't wait to hear about a confession, dating, and boning. After all, isn't that what KS is all about? ;)

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:17 am

We don't have suspensions at all in Germany. I don't think anyone would see it as punishment either...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:34 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:We don't have suspensions at all in Germany. I don't think anyone would see it as punishment either...
Well, shit..I was born in the wrong country, especially given my father's side is German heritage and have a very German last name and all.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Alpacalypse » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:45 am

Sharp-O wrote:textsbooks
Caught one, boss!

Anywho, I was right, this is awesome! :D
Some specific things I loved:
Sharp-O wrote:(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
This freaking emoji or whatever it's called - once I realised what it was, I laughed like a madman. :lol:
Akio being sarcastic
Your Akio is rapidly becoming my favourite deadpan snarker on the forums.
Taro x Ritsu ship teasing
I am totally in favour, if that's where you're going.

Well done to you, good sir! Your writing has impressed me greatly. *tips hat*
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:49 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:Japan has In-School Suspension? I know we do, here in the States (been in there quite a lot in Jr High, again bully-fighting), but didn't know Japan did, too.
Mirage_GSM wrote:We don't have suspensions at all in Germany. I don't think anyone would see it as punishment either...
I did my research into what an alternative to straight up suspension would be since Yamaku is a private school with dorms on site. Figured OCS was the best option for Ritsu's punishment and Maeda's was a little knife-twisting on my part, though entirely conceivable. There's nothing on the administrative side of Yamaku so I hope this outcome is okay with everyone :lol:
HoneyBakedHam wrote:Nonetheless, I love where this is going and can't wait to hear about a confession, dating, and boning. After all, isn't that what KS is all about? ;)
Thanks, HBH. All the KS staples will be here though with a few curveballs, naturally. :twisted:

And thank you both for commenting and providing feedback, it's really helped.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:55 am

Alpacalypse wrote:This freaking emoji or whatever it's called - once I realised what it was, I laughed like a madman. :lol:
The inclusion of emojis was very spur of the moment but it totally felt right to have a little tension breaking gag in there for both the characters and readers! :lol:
Alpacalypse wrote:Your Akio is rapidly becoming my favourite deadpan snarker on the forums.

I am totally in favour, if that's where you're going.

Well done to you, good sir! Your writing has impressed me greatly. *tips hat*
Thank you! I'm so glad I could write Akio in a way that didn't make him come off as a dickhead. :) The ship teasing will continue and you'll just have to see where it goes :wink:
Thank you for the support and lovely comments, Alpaca!
Last edited by Sharp-O on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:58 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:We don't have suspensions at all in Germany. I don't think anyone would see it as punishment either...
Well, shit..I was born in the wrong country, especially given my father's side is German heritage and have a very German last name and all.
Well, why would you have misbehaving students stay at home as a punishment? Everybody would start misbehaving all the time.
Here it was extra homework or sometimes having to stay longer - though the latter was kinda rare, since the teacher would have had to stay longer as well.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 22/6/15]

Post by Steinherz » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:11 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
HoneyBakedHam wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:We don't have suspensions at all in Germany. I don't think anyone would see it as punishment either...
Well, shit..I was born in the wrong country, especially given my father's side is German heritage and have a very German last name and all.
Well, why would you have misbehaving students stay at home as a punishment? Everybody would start misbehaving all the time.
Here it was extra homework or sometimes having to stay longer - though the latter was kinda rare, since the teacher would have had to stay longer as well.
U.S boy over here:

In-School Suspension (at least at my High School) were not fun at all. They got all the work you would have for the days you'd be in ISS, and you'd have to do it in a small, enclosed room that was very stuffy. No lunch, eat in the room. You were isolated until the suspension was over.
Stupidest thing about that was if people got into fights, they'd be in ISS together. Because you know, locking two people who hate each other's guts in a small room is a bloody brilliant idea.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 23/6/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:38 pm

I can vouch for that one! One ISS day with my bully that I beat ended with him wanting to fight me again in the hallways before we could leave for the buses, so we got even more time tacked on.

I wasn't a bad kid growing up. I was just the opposite of how Hanako handled her bullies before Yamaku.

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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 24/6/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:11 pm

Chapter Five: What's Inside Counts

The early morning sun stings my eyes as Ritsu, Akio and myself make our way across the school grounds. I think we all look beat; Akio with dark bags under his eyes, my own newfound sensitivity to light and Ritsu nursing her right hand, which is already braced up. I guess all that’s recently happened has kind of exacerbated her CT. Should have taken that into consideration last night.

“Well, I’m officially over the festival before it’s even begun,” Akio groans “What’s eating you two?”

“I didn’t get much sleep after our study session.” I admit, squinting in my best effort to block the sun.

“My wrist still hurts from last night…” Ritsu laments, her right arm limply slung around my good arm.

“Oh-hoooo, really? Just what were you two ‘studying’ last night?” Apparently our innocent griping is enough to perk Akio up as he shoots us an accusatory look and strokes his chin. Ritsu raises an eyebrow to me and I just shrug. It’s entirely too early for his shenanigans and I will not rise to them.

“Biology, perhaps?” He winks. He’s not going to let this go, is he?

“Human… anatomy~?” The lilt in his voice is getting higher. And he’s leaning closer.

“Handjooooooobs~~?” And there goes all pretence of subtlety.

“Ladies first.” I sigh tiredly and look to Ritsu.

“I’m already in OCS and I think smacking one douche a week is my limit.” She groans.

We pull ahead of Akio, who is entirely too happy with his asinine innuendo, giggling all the way into the building. We part ways with Ritsu and head to homeroom.

“Seriously though, handjob?” Akio asks a little too loud as we enter the classroom, earning the attention of several students. Time to turn the tables, jackass.

Akio,” I say, putting on the most dismissive performance I can. “For the last time, I’m not giving you money for sexual favours. I don’t care if you blew your entire allowance on pocky and love pillows.”

There’re gasps, snickering and a hearty Wahahaha~ from the pink-haired interpreter. I turn to look to Akio who is blushing profusely.

“Well played, wide load.” He gives a defeated smile, shaking his head.

“Don’t test me, glass jaw! I’ll pass every time!” I grin, continuing to my desk. Seems like Suzu approved of my verbal smack down, offering the highest five she can muster and a smirk as I pass. Miki snickers, Misha is still guffawing and Shizune doesn’t seem to have a clue why she is. This morning is off to a good start.

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

English class was spent finishing my latest piece, since I’ve got that subject on lock. The lunch bell rings and the classroom empties for the most part. I think I’m done. Akio sidles up to me to give his opinion.

“I don’t know, man…” He looks between me, the picture and Hanako, who has her face buried in a book. I pray that she can’t hear our hushed conversation. “She’s liable to die of fright if you just talk to her.”

He has a point. I’ve tried speaking to Hanako before and, historically, it’s never gone well. We’re not ‘friends’ but she must know about what I do by now, I just hope that’s enough to not startle her. “One way to find out… {Showtime}.” I say, steeling myself for the worst case scenario. I walk over a Ritsu and Akio’s desks to Hanako and speak as softly as I can.

“Excuse me, Hanako?”

“Eep!” Amazing start. I kneel down in front of her desk, trying to make my bulky frame the least intimidating it can be and continue in my soft tone.

“You know about how I draw pictures for everyone in class, right?”

“…Y-y-yes?” Her eyes are darting around, a quick glance shows a couple interested parties who I shake my head at and, for the most part, they go back to their own thing.

“Well, and I hope you don’t mind me being presumptuous…” I carefully remove the page from my sketchbook and slide it onto her desk. “…I hope you like it.” A soft smile to reassure her.

She’s still in her seat, that’s a good start. Shaking a little but not her usual indicator for escape. She cautiously slides the picture toward her and lifts it up. Her eyes are like a machine as she studies it. I took my time with the ornate details of the black dress, accentuated by rich purple and greys. The crown and sceptre have an onyx sheen to them and the spell book has the best leather effect I can do. No sign of--

Her hand moves to the hair covering the right side of her face. She’s self-conscious. She must have finally saw the scars. Oh boy.

“I-I-I-Igottagosdosomething!” Aaaaand there she goes.

I stand as the violet-haired girl bolts from the room, bag and picture in tow.

“Shit.” I raise my palm to my face.

“You almost had her, Taro!” Miki offers with a half-smile.
“Not the worst confession I’ve seen. Could use some work though, big guy…” Suzu dreamily states.

“Must you always frighten the women-folk, Taro?” Akio tries to cut some tension out of the room with a dumb joke, emphasised by his mouth being full of rice.

“Just trying to do a nice thing.” I lament quietly. Worst case scenario achieved. I need a some fresh air. I give a wave to the group as I leave the building.

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

Hanako didn’t return to class. Sure, it may happen from time to time but when you’re the direct cause? Makes you feel pretty shitty. Classes end for the day. Akio is accompanying Suzu and Lezard to a lit. club meeting. Ritsu said she’d meet me here after getting word from Akio. So here I sit, head tilted back and eyes closed.

“Well done, you moron.” I breath into the empty room.

“Oh dear, I do hope that was not aimed at me.” A airy chuckle floats around the room. My head lunges forward. Placid face. Blonde hair. Frightened girl behind her. Lilly Satou.

“Uh, sorry. No, that was to myself. I didn’t hear you come in…” I’m going to be killed by a blind ninja. Akio would find that either hilarious or badass.

“My apologies, it’s been quite some time since I could sneak up on someone.” She giggles to herself. Maybe I’m safe.

“Hanako would like to say something to you.” Maybe not.

I stand up and take a few tentative steps towards the pair, Hanako easing herself from Lilly’s back, looking at the floor. She still has the picture in hand, a little creased where she has a vice grip on it.

“Th-th-thank you, T-Taro…” Oh god, I somehow feel worse. “I r-really like the picture. Lilly told me th-that you asked for her help…”

“Heh, yeah. I, uh, thought I’d best ask Lilly in case I scared you. Guess I ended up doing that anyway. I’m sorry, Hanako.” I offer, casting my gaze downwards.

“No-no-no! I’m s-s-sorry! You did a nice thing for me and I ran away…”

“Can’t blame you,” I laugh. “Me bending down on a knee and offering something to you must have looked like a confession. Akio‘s always saying I‘m scaring girls…”

Hanako’s face goes a deep crimson and Lilly is giggling to herself in the background.

“My-my, I imagine that some of your classmates thought that but it sounds to me that you did it with the purest intentions.”

“W-w-why did you…?” Hanako's gaze flits between me and the picture.

“Like Lilly said, I did it just to do a nice thing for you,” A reassuring smile forms across my lips. “Doing good is it’s own reward, right?”

“Quite the courteous gentleman, isn’t he Hanako? He sounds almost like a gallant knight.”

Image

Huh, so that’s what Hanako’s smile looks like.

“So is there anything you liked in particular, Hanako? I’m always open to critique.”

“Um… I l-like all of it?” Don’t push your luck, Taro.

“Well, I’m delighted to hear that! What did you think, Lilly?” Oh god damn it, Taro.

Thankfully, Lilly takes my stupid remark in stride and politely nods. “Hanako’s description was very thorough. It would seem you put a lot of thought and care into it. Most impressive given the sparse details I gave you.”

I rub the back of my neck when Hanako gives an enthusiastic nod, a look of wonder across her face as she looks to the picture. It fills my heart with satisfaction to see that look.

“If I may impose on you, Taro?” Lilly asks, bringing me out of my reverie.

“Certainly, Lilly. What can I do for you?”

She seems to mull this over. She measures each word carefully before finally asking. “If I were to ask you to draw a similar piece for me,” Okay, this is not what I was expecting. “Would you be able to describe it?”

Hanako looks as surprised as I am but no less interested in my answer than Lilly. I take a couple steps either side of Lilly, rubbing my face in idle thought. Hanako seems fascinated with my process and Lilly seems to follow my path, if a little off.

I step back, taking one last full look at Lilly before nodding. “Got it.”

“Then by all means.” Her smile seems playful. The lady asked for a show, Taro. Let’s not disappoint.

“I would describe you as {Amazonian} for starters.”

“{Amazonian}?” Her eyes are closed, possibly trying to imagine what an Amazon looks like. I appreciate that her English is as good as, if not better than, mine.

“{Exactly}! An Amazon is traditionally a strong female, seen as a source of strength for others and incredibly capable in both mind and body. Of course, I might also integrate aspects of Greco-Roman deities, armour evocative of European heroes but most of all, I’d emphasise your compassion as well as your elegance. {What do you think}?”

Both Lilly and Hanako look to be working this out, perhaps even coming to completely different outcomes but, hopefully, they’ll imagine something akin to what I have in my head.

“It… It sounds like Lilly,” Innocent Hanako seems to get what I’m going for. “Strong and pretty and kind.” She gives an earnest smile that melts my heart and looks to Lilly expectantly. Lilly nods and opens her eyes, the cloudy blue is quite mesmerising.

“{You make me sound like some sort of goddess, like I am to be perched on a pedestal}.” I guess she wants to be honest without discouraging Hanako’s thoughts.

“{Not at all, though I can see why my thought process might lead you to believe that. The way I see it, you look out for others, even in detriment to yourself. A selfless protector}.” I respond, giving my honest impression of her.

“Much like the quintessential Kamen Rider,” I continue in Japanese to make sure Hanako hears. “You protect people’s smiles.” I smirk, it seems Hanako agrees with that analogy.

Lilly takes another moment to consider my words then gives a small smile and a nod. “Interesting. That’s quite the vision you have, Taro. Most enlightening!” She giggles, no doubt at her own pun. “If you ever feel the inclination, we would be happy if you would join us for tea.”

Hanako nods cautiously. “Th-that would be… nice.”

“Thanks, I’ll let you know.” is all I can muster before the pair link arms and prepare to leave, only for Lilly to pause at the door and look back in my general direction. “One day, perhaps you might tell us what your vision of yourself is.”

And with that, they’re gone.

“That’s something I’d like to know too!” I spin in shock, taking a tumble backwards onto my ass.

“What is it with pretty girls sneaking up on me today!?” I glare up at Ritsu shaking her head with a smirk. Looks like she came in the second door as they left. I get back to my feet and dust off my trousers.

“So you think they’re pretty, huh?” Ritsu beams, hands on her hips.

“I’m not going to fall for such an obvious trap.” I respond, narrowing my eyes at the diminutive terror in front of me.

“I’d say you’ve, quite literally, fallen for me already,” She teases. “I doubt those two can say that!” Her laugh is infectious and I join her.

Heh, I guess you’re right.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

HoneyBakedHam
Posts: 339
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:45 pm
Location: Toledo, Ohio, USA

Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 24/6/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:41 pm

I. Am. Loving. This.

I swear, you know how to make Taro more and more like who should've been showcased in KS and not that idiot. What was his name, Neck-Tie or something?

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