Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

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HoneyBakedHam
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:15 pm

You were doing so well there until you spelled the last word wrong. :P

Overall: good chapter, very emotional. Why did they meet in the classroom, though?

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:37 am

I think you've been laying on the drama a bit thickly here. Why is Ritsu breaking down in tears? Yes, her date was cut short, and Akio was drinking, but the former isn't the end of the world and the latter has apparently been happening several times already.

Also Taro is turning more and more into a saint in this story. He is acting so much more mature than anyone else in the story that he seems more like Akio's father (not the drinking one) than his best friend.
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.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:31 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:You were doing so well there until you spelled the last word wrong. :P
*Goes and looks*
Sharp-O wrote:Shangai
Image
*fixes*
HoneyBakedHam wrote:Overall: good chapter, very emotional. Why did they meet in the classroom, though?
Thanks, and they met in the classroom because it'd be private. It's the last place any student would be on a Sunday :lol:
Mirage_GSM wrote:I think you've been laying on the drama a bit thickly here. Why is Ritsu breaking down in tears? Yes, her date was cut short, and Akio was drinking, but the former isn't the end of the world and the latter has apparently been happening several times already.

Also Taro is turning more and more into a saint in this story. He is acting so much more mature than anyone else in the story that he seems more like Akio's father (not the drinking one) than his best friend.
KS is all about thick slatherings of drama. Hanako and Rin's routes were pure, concentrated puppy-kicking at points. Ritsu's losing her shit because she's the most empathetic of the group. She's fiercely loyal, as much as Taro even but she lacks the emotional maturity that he has and thus can break down when presented with intense negativity.

Taro's sainthood is questionable. Yes, he's more than willing to help people out and cares a lot but he can also carry a lot of anger with him, stuff from his upbringing (which will be the focus of the next arc). There's a lot of negative emotions he's been pushing down for a long time for others' sake with only flashes of anger and cruelty (with Maeda) and resentment (with Akio) shown up 'til this point.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:51 am

Yeah, but who keeps the classroom doors unlocked for Sundays? Bad Mutou...

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:00 am

Mutou is always late, so how do you think everyone gets in? Haha I assume his classroom is just unlocked all the time, otherwise he'd have to show up before the students and be there until they all leave and that man clearly has other shit to do :lol:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by swampie2 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:15 am

Very interesting chapter, to say the least.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:31 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Mutou is always late, so how do you think everyone gets in? Haha I assume his classroom is just unlocked all the time, otherwise he'd have to show up before the students and be there until they all leave and that man clearly has other shit to do :lol:
....Damn, I have no counterargument for that. Point for you, good sir.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:27 pm

I don't think they do lock individual classrooms at all in Japan - it's always the same students in there anyway, and since students are also responsible for cleaning (though that practice is questionable at Yamaku) they'll regularly be there after the teachers leave.
In anime it's always the problem to get into the school building. Once that hurdle is taken, all classrooms are always accessible.
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.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 3/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:38 pm

Good point, Mirage! I love the image some of the kids in wheelchairs roaming the halls with motorised brushes on their chairs :lol:

Might be reaching for this one but according to this one post on the Japan Guide forums.
In Japan the clubs met every school day (Monday to Friday) and often at weekends too, or at the very least Saturday morning.
Since the artroom is in the main building, IIRC, it could conceivably be left open for students thus granting access to classrooms.

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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 4/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:39 pm

Chapter Fifteen: En Garde

A couple weeks pass and summer vacation is fast approaching. Akio’s regular therapy sessions have proven to be a big help. He and I even sat down one night and hashed some stuff out, specifically his feelings for me. That was… weird. I don’t know what the etiquette is for that kind of situation but we managed somehow. We were on eggshells for a little while but, eventually, we just clicked back into our old song and dance though now he’s being more open with Ritsu and I, and is probably a little wiser for the experience.

“I’m just saying, we could have co-ed water gun fights in the dorms!”

Not that it stops him from being an irredeemable horndog.

“I d-don’t think that would b-be a good idea, Akio…” Hanako offers, cautiously. As the school year wore on, she had become more and more willing to integrate with our little trio and with the newspaper club too.

“Are you telling me you wouldn’t like to see some of these fine, young specimens in wet, tight, t-shirts?” Akio annunciates ‘wet’ and ‘tight’ like he was speaking the words to a lover, hoping to get the maximum effect from Hanako. Of course it succeeds and her face goes flush, her eyes darting around the room. They linger on me for a fraction of a second too long and Ritsu takes advantage.

“Sorry, Hana! This one’s miiine~” Ritsu purrs, causing poor Hanako to shrink into her hair with an ‘Eep!’.

“Stop teasing her, guys!” I butt in, more than willing to even the odds for Hanako. “Don’t listen to them, Hana. They’re delinquents and deviants, the pair of them.” I give her a sly wink and she snorts to herself.

“And what does that make you, Taro?” Ritsu punches my arm playfully.

“Clearly, I’m your probation officer. Someone needs to keep an eye on you pair jokers…” I raise my left arm in a ‘What can I do?’ motion.

“S-s-so what are your plans for summer?” Hanako asks, still giggling from my zinger.

“I’m thinking of going to see my grandparents. It’d be nice to catch up.” Akio serves up a surprisingly charming answer.

“Going home seems like the natural thing to do, right?” Ritsu looks up to me and, while I smile, I shrug.

“I’m not in any real hurry to go see my parents. I was thinking I’d spend my last summer at Yamaku at Yamaku, y’know?”

“Th-that’s a nice thought…” Hanako smiles genuinely

“Nicer than co-ed dorm water wars?” No one is buying what you’re selling, Akio.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Akio waves as he walks toward the medical wing for his therapy session while myself, Ritsu, whose arms are coiled around my bad arm, Hanako, Suzu and Miki wander towards the dorms.

“Have you ever noticed how many girls Taro seems to attract? It’s like he has an orbit…” Suzu observes, hands behind her back.

“Is that a fat joke, Short Round?” I raise an eyebrow in her.

Suzu scrunches her face at me. “I might be short but at least I’m not secretly building a harem!” I choke on my canned coffee, causing most of the girls to laugh at my expense.

“She fucking got you!” Miki cackles, Suzu and Hanako are giggling, the latter with a mild blush while Ritsu scowls.

“He better not be! I don’t play well with others…” She turns her nose up.

“I can personally attest to that.” I throw a wry grin her way which she counters with a vice grip of my right arm. I laugh and it just makes her angrier.

“I’m going to make you pay for your insolence, Taro!”

“I’m sure you will…” I grin and she just sticks her tongue out.

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

Image
We’re not even into my room when Ritsu pounces; leaping into my arm and wrapping her legs around my waist with her arms draped around my neck, kissing wildly as I fumble the door closed with my foot. We haven’t really moved past heavy petting but in private Ritsu’s become more adventurous when it comes to telling me when and how she wants to play.

“I can’t believe Hana stared at you when Akio mentioned wet t-shirts…” Ritsu growls, squeezing me as her legs locking behind my back.

“Give her a break, she looked at me for like two seconds… Or would you prefer I not include her in the harem, lest she become a challenge?” I laugh at the ridiculous thought as Ritsu playfully nips at my neck.

“As long as she knows to look and not tooooouch!” She yelps in delight as I squeeze her butt.

“I’m sorry, you were saying something about touching?” I grin. Her eyes get their familiar devilish glint and I know I’m in for it no--

Knock-knock “Mail Call! Wahahaha~” comes an all-too familiar boisterous laugh through the door, echoing in the hall outside.

“Did you lock the door?” Ritsu’s eyes dart between me and the door.

“Of course, with my magical third arm!” I chide in a hushed tone.

Before any more squabbling can happen, the door slides open to reveal Sweet & Sour with a stack of letters. I’m suddenly very aware that my hand is on Ritsu’s butt. Caught red-handed, indeed.

“Um, {hello, ladies}…” I smile nervously, Ritsu still hung around my shoulders like some romantic novel cover. “Having a… pleasant afternoon?”

Misha instantly doubles over, spilling the mail all over the floor around the door while Shizune is clearly reprimanding us in sign. I slowly ease Ritsu down and, to the best of my one-handed ability, sign the letters [S-O-R-R-Y], pointing to my ear and then Misha. Shizune back-hands the shoulder of her guffawing companion to bring her back in line.

“Sorry, Shicchan, he was just so funny!” Misha quickly speaks and signs before wiping a tear from her eye. “Shicchan says that this sort of behaviour is best kept behind locked doors.” Misha giggles.

“I seem to recall you barging in, Misha, so the impropriety lies with the Student Council.” I retort, taking a knee to pick up the scattered mail and handing it back to Misha. “So in future, might I suggest that the Student Council, rather than invade the privacy of their charges, simply slide the mail. Under. The. Door.” I punctuate the words and glare at Shizune, who seems to take this as a challenge. Fantastic, another Ritsu. Shizune cockily adjusts her glasses before a flurry of hands throws her.

I didn’t know Ritsu could sign… Okay, I recognised that sign as cursing. And that one. I turn to Misha who looks equally nervous.

“Please tell me my girlfriend isn’t picking a fight.” I lean and whisper.

“Okay… I won’t.” She chuckles anxiously. I can only ask for my mail as the silent assault comes to an end. Shizune and Ritsu stare each other each down before both erupt into laughter. Well, Ritsu does, Shizune covers her mouth for her silent laugh.

“I guess we’ll be going…” Misha smiles nervously as she follows Shizune out, politely closing the door behind her.

“Do I even want to know what stream of obscenities you just threw at our Student Council president?” I question as I idly flip through my mail before something catches my eye.

I can barely hear her answer as I slowly sit cross-legged on the floor, carefully examining the envelope and a familiar pompuous wax seal. I feel Ritsu press herself against my back. “What’s that, Taro?”

“It’s a summons. From my Father.”

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

The early mornings at Yamaku can be very pleasant. The sun is softly diffused through the clouds and the air is fresh. After reading the letter from my Father, I didn’t get much sleep last night, hence why I’m up at 6:00am, heading down to the track field. No nightmares, not in a conventional sense, but an almost conscious feeling of pressure bearing down on me as I slept.

The long black bag I’m carrying feels… alien to me. It’s been sitting in the back of my closet ever since I enrolled and this is quite possibly the first time I’ve brought it out. There’s dust in some of the seams so clearly a long life of disuse.

I hear a familiar tac-tac-tac-ing in the distance before I see Ibarazaki on her daily morning run. Following closely behind is Miki. I guess there’s no avoiding the third degree from at least one of them. I place the bag on the bleachers near a tree and unzip my rarely used tracksuit jacket. I walk around the track toward the storage shed, waving at the girls as they lap me. Since these guys are here, I doubt there’ll be any problem with me borrowing a couple things.

Image
The shed is musty and untidy but after some digging, I find what I need. …As well as a tube of ‘lemon-scented’ lube. I think I’ll leave that where it is… I exit with a small punch bag, some rope and a weight from a busted bench set to use as a counterweight. The girls make another pass and seem a little more interested in my activities. I just give them a polite smile and nod.

I deposit the gear and quickly rig up the punching bag over a branch. Satisfied that it’s heavy enough not to swing wildly, I zip open the long black bag, removing a long bamboo shinai. Again, this feels alien but still strangely familiar. It’s been a very long time since I last attempted any form of swordplay, let alone the traditional style a shinai is meant for.

I take a few crossing swings, getting used to the weight and balance once more. It’s sluggish, impacting the bag hard but slow. Shinai would ideally be wielded by someone with two working arms for precise strikes and I now remember why I stopped using the traditional Japanese style Father instructed me in. Too rigid. Too… strict. I twirl the shinai in a circular arc with a slight flick of my wrist and bring it to the fore in a fencing stance. It feels utterly wrong, far too front heavy for this. I flash back to the stories and movies shared with me as a child. The Three Musketeers. Captain Blood. Anything with a swashbuckling hero. They were my Mother’s favourites.

“Fucking shinai crap. I’d give my right arm for a rapier…” I curse to myself.

“I’ll take that action,” Laughs Miki, jogging up from the direction of the shed. “I could see you were struggling so I dug out something more your speed.” She’s holding a very old and beat-up fencing foil. Looks pretty fragile

“Screw it, I’ll take it over this thing. Would you like the arm above or below the elbow?” I raise an eyebrow and tap my right arm’s bicep and forearm.

“What would I actually do with your arm?” She laughs again, grabbing the shinai out of my hand and handing me the foil from under her arm.

“Paperweight? Draft excluder? All manner of unseemly things a young woman might need a man’s hand for?” I reel off my joke responses, keeping Miki in a fit of giggles.

“Gross! Before you literally disarm yourself; care to go a round?” She does her own little flourishes with the shinai before holding it more like it should be held.

“Have you ever done this before?” I ask, whipping the foil through the air to make sure it won’t instantly snap.

“I’ve seen Seven Samurai, like, twelve times!” She confidently declares, giving me a chuckle.

Ha! Good enough. En garde, Miss Miura!” I grin and lunge forward.

She sweeps the shinai horizontally towards my shoulders. I slide the foil along the shinai’s shaft up to my hilt, flicking it upwards to deflect her strike and whip the foil around to land one of my own.

THWIP

Sonofabitch!” Miki hisses through gritted teeth, feeling the painful sting on her backside. “Now I’m really going to take your arm and shove it up your ass!”

My gloating laughter is cut short when Miki takes another powerful swing at me and I reflexively hold the foil up to block, only for it to snap in two. She follows up with a thrust to my ribs and a final swing to my collarbone. ‘I fully deserved this’ is the last thing I think before I’m sent flat on my back.

Despite having to clear away the gear I pilfered from the shed and a quick trip to the nurse, me and Miki still make it to class on time.

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

Image
“What did you do to him, you savage?!” Ritsu gasps in shock, sitting on my desk and examining the developing bruise on my right collar bone and ribs. Nurse said it looks worse than it is.

“When you’re walking funny for a while, you can tell me if he fully deserved it or not.” Miki chides following a sharp intake of breath as she gingerly perches on Ritsu’s desk. Akio, sitting in Ritsu’s chair, opens his mouth when a swift cuff upside his head makes him think better. “And not a peep out of you, filth-monger!”

“What were you even doing messing with swords? Is this to do with that letter from your Dad?” Ritsu quizzes, slowly buttoning my shirt back up and fixing my tie for me.

“Yeah, he wants me to visit for a week in the summer.” I quietly explain, thinking about the implications that this would have.

“And you don’t want to?” Akio asks, still rubbing the back of his head, all too aware of his proximity to Miki.

“Not particularly but if I stay, he’ll just come here and start throwing his weight around.” And I’d rather him not ruin a place that has so many happy memories for me.

“So you’re going?” Ritsu asks, replacing herself on my knee and throwing an arm around my shoulder, my own snaking around her waist.

“No choice, really.” I shrug.

“Then I’m coming with you!” Ritsu beams, breaking me out of my resigned fate. “If it’s only for a week, I can come with you to meet your parents and then you can come meet mine!” Her voice becoming more excited as she formulates the plan.

“I-I can’t promise that it’ll be fun…” It’ll definitely not be fun. My hesitance doesn’t seem to dissuade her.

“As long as I’m with you, we’ll have fun.” She replies, surprisingly without innuendo. I guess it won’t be too bad.

“Okay, let’s go.” I smile but I can’t help but feel a little anxious.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 5/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:08 am

Chapter Sixteen: Escudo de la Madre

The train down to my hometown is relatively quiet and the countryside streaking past in a blur of sky blue and verdant green is oddly soothing. I feel the sleeping Ritsu shift on my right arm and smile. I’m glad she’s here. I can’t believe I even considered not letting her come with me.

I'm feeling pretty anxious about this, not just because I'm taking my girlfriend to meet my parents for the first time but because my relationship with my Father is… Strained. It’s hard to put into words. I look down at my sketchbook and realise that I don’t need to. An image of a robed samurai mostly in shadow, looming over a doll with a broken arm. The unmistakable face of my father, as stern and apathetic as always. Seventeen years worth of feelings of guilt, inadequacy, dejection and resentment manifested in a single pencil drawing…

“What are you drawing?” A voice mutters beside me.

“Nothing, Ritsu. Just… stuff.” I say, closing the sketchbook. “How did you sleep?”

She yawns and stretches. “Hurrrrgh, good enough. The early start was a bitch though, eh?” She gripes, popping her back.

“Yup, though we’ll at least get most of the day to settle in once we get there.” I smile, sliding the sketchbook into my messenger bag. I turn a little so I can squeeze Ritsu’s neck and shoulders. She purrs and lolls her head at my touch, leaning back into me.

“Mmmm, that’s better…” I slide my hand down her arm and interlock my fingers with hers, our hands resting on her stomach. “What kind of reception should I be expecting when we get there?” She asks, lifting her head backwards to look at me.

“Kyoko will absolutely love you, she’ll no doubt have a tea set all ready to go when we get there. Don’t even get me started on the cake…” I explain, Ritsu’s eyes suddenly going wide.

“There’s going to be cake!?”

“How do you think I ended up as big as I am?” I laugh, memories of exotic treats from around the world run through my mind, one in particular making my mouth water.

“And what about your dad? What kind of monster should I expect?” She nods towards my bag. She’s quick, this one. One of the many reasons I fell for her.

“Think Nobunaga but dressed as a salary man.

“Should I be worried?” Ritsu laughs at the mental picture I painted. I’m not even joking.

“Nah, it‘s personal thing between the two of us. I’m sure he’ll be courteous to you.” I answer a little too bitterly.

“You don’t get along with him, do you?” Like I said, she’s a quick one. I breath a heavy sigh.

“I… don’t think we have to get into that right now.” As if on cue, the train announces our imminent arrival at the Utsunomiya terminal. Saved by the bell.

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

After a short bus ride, shorter than the train from Yamaku anyway, we arrive in Nikko. It’s a beautiful mountain area in the Tochigi Prefecture that’s extremely popular with tourists. Growing up in a place like this, you’d think you’d become accustomed to the sights but…

“Wooooow.” Ritsu’s reaction sums it up. “It’s so pretty here!”

“You ain‘t seen nothing yet. Mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, the best Japan has to offer!” I don’t think I need to sell her on the place, she‘s already excited to get exploring. The trek from the bus stop was the worst part of the trip here by far. It’s hot as hell and the walk from the bus stop to the suburbs is uphill. Sweat dripping from my brow and breathing heavy, I look at my girlfriend who just laughs in my face.

“I have never been more attracted to you!” She giggles uncontrollably. She’s handling this way better than me, barely a hair out of place.

“We’ll see… who’s laughing when winter… rolls around.” I smirk, just barely. She shakes her head with one of her one.

“Worst comes to worst, I can always cut you open like a Tauntaun.” A Star Wars reference? I love it when she talks nerdy to me.

“And you thought I smelled bad…” Pause for the line, and to catch my breath because fuck this hill. “On the outside!” Ritsu erupts into a full on giggle fit while I can barely wheeze a ‘Ha’. Almost there.

Image
We reach the apex of the hill and turn the corner to a flat road. This is my street. Clean, white houses line either side of the road and I don’t have to look far before I spot a familiar house and even more familiar face.

We approach the 40-something brunette woman wearing a stunningly white sundress. “Good morning, Kyoko!” I call out and the woman spots us, waving enthusiastically before jogging over.

“TARO! Oh, it’s been so long!” Kyoko is the affectionate one of the Arai household, a youthful energy that I desperately needed growing up. She wraps her arms around my chest and squeezes tight, planting a kiss on my cheek. “I missed you~!”

“I’ve missed you too, Kyoko. If you’ll put me down, I’ve got someone I’d like you to meet…” I gesture towards a smiling Ritsu.

“Kyoko, this Ritsu Tainaka. My girlfriend.” I can hear Kyoko’s squeal building up inside her, like a boiling kettle ready to whistle. “Ritsu; this is Kyoko Arai, my step-moth--” I don’t even get to finish before Kyoko’s excitement boils over and she embraces Ritsu.

“{Hola}! It’s such a pleasure to meet you, Ritsu! Welcome to our humble home! I hope Taro is treating you well? I hope you’re treating Taro well! Oh, this is so exciting~!” Kyoko’s very… excitable. Especially around new people and, I guess, girlfriends. She kind of reminds me of Misha, but replace the Wahaha‘s with equal amounts of Spanish.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Arai…” Ritsu nervously chuckles before she gives a respectful bow. “I am in your care.”

“{Nuestra casa es su casa}, Ritsu! And, please, you can call me Kyoko~!” She laughs before pointing a commanding finger at me. “Taro! Carry this young lady’s bags inside and then go get a shower, you look like you ran a marathon. Ritsu and I can have some tea and cake while we chat.” She smiles warmly and hooks her arms around Ritsu’s arm, walking her into the house. I hear a hushed “So how did you two get together?” and Ritsu throws me a look over her shoulder. I shrug as I try to decide how to carry all these bags. One-handed. Shit.

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

I dumped both mine and Ritsu’s bags in my old room. The shower is quick but thoroughly refreshing. I slip on some baggy shorts and a t-shirt before rushing downstairs.

Image
As I enter the living room, I see Ritsu sitting at the table near the screen door that leads into the garden to my right and Kyoko in the kitchen to my left preparing drinks. She’s humming a melody that instantly induces nostalgia. I walk over to Ritsu and take a seat at the table, facing out into the garden.

“How goes the interrogation?” I ask, half-jokingly, and Ritsu looks relieved to see me. Not well, apparently.

“She’s only just stopped! She’s been asking all about us and keeps spouting Spanish and she’s so much like an adult Misha…” Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that.

“Overwhelmed?” I laugh, reaching my good hand over to hers and holding it.

“Just a little…” She smiles nervously. Kyoko appears at the table with a milk tea for her and two lattes for Ritsu and me, as well as three small plates of a dessert I haven’t seen since I enrolled in Yamaku.

“You made tiramisu!?” I grin from ear to ear. Kyoko smiles and hands everything out.

“Of course I did, it’s your favourite~!” She beams. Kyoko is very fond of exotic desserts and was always experimenting when I lived here.

“I can see what you meant, Taro,” Ritsu savouring a mouthful of the coffee-flavoured dessert. “I think I’d put weight on if my mom made desserts like this all the time! It’s soooo yummy, Kyoko!”

My step-mother laughs, taking her seat opposite Ritsu. “{Gracias}, Ritsu! I’m glad that my reputation precedes me.”

“Does everyone in your family speak another language?” Ritsu looks to me, having wolfed down half of my own piece of tiramisu already.

“Just us. I kinda picked up English because of Kyoko.” I smile at my step-mother. “What’s that saying? {Un solo idioma nunca es suficiente}?”

“You speak Spanish as well!?” Ritsu almost chokes.

“No, I’ve just heard that phrase far too many times from Kyoko!” I laugh and immediately regret it after a swift kick to my shins.

“That’s mean, Taro!” Kyoko pouts. “It means ‘one language is never enough’, Ritsu. I always loved how the Spanish language sounds and decided to learn at university.” She helps herself to a heaping forkful of dessert with a ravenous grin.

“That’s cool, Taro’s always spouting English at school! I guess he takes after you a lot, huh?” Ritsu ponders, forking another bite of dessert into her mouth.

I close my eyes and smile before I look at Kyoko, who smiles back. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

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

“Your girlfriend’s nice~! Seems to keep you on your toes.” Kyoko smiles, idly drying the mug I just handed her. I offered to clean up while Ritsu went for a shower.

“I like to think so. It wouldn’t be fun if she didn’t challenge me.” I laugh, cleaning the last of the plates and grabbing a tea-towel to help dry. “Thank you for making her feel so welcome, Kyoko. You have no idea how… anxious I was to bring her along…”

Kyoko nods, understanding why I’d say that. “{De nada}, Taro. I hope you’ll show her a good time while she’s here.”

“That’s what I planned. There’s plenty to do and see, so I shouldn’t have trouble keeping her entertained for a week...” I smile, thinking of all the fun we can have before my face turns serious. “Level with me, Kyoko. Why did Father really want me to come home?”

Kyoko looks taken aback by the question for a fleeting moment but offers a warm smile. “He genuinely wanted to see you.”

“So why isn’t he here?” I mutter.

“It… couldn’t be helped.” She regretfully answers.

“Say that enough and you may end up believing it.” I can’t help but laugh. I lean against the counter and sigh, Kyoko’s arms curling around my chest. Resting her head on my back. “He means well…” She whispers.

“I know he does. He could just… show it more often. I know I’ve said this before, but… {Thank you} for everything you‘ve done for me...” I turn and wrap my arm around the woman who showed me more affection than my Father ever did. Who raised me, encouraged me and loved me without judgement. Who accepted a broken boy and nurtured him into the man I am.

“I love you, Mom.”

I feel her squeeze tighter, her face buried in my shoulder. “And I told you before, don’t call me that, {idiōta}…”

“I know. Just this once, okay?” She nods and I smile.

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

It’s only as I watch Ritsu explore my old room that I really look at it. Kyoko has clearly been looking after it, given how immaculate it looks. Posters still hung, figures standing proud in front of an assortment of DVDs and manga, the well worn drawing surface tidied. It was recently dusted too given the smell. Ritsu considers each and every aspect of the room around her before coming to a conclusion.

“You were a massive nerd.” She laughs, playfully punching my arm. Were? She has met me, right?

“There’s a couple things I’m still curious about though…” She slowly spins towards the bed, before pouncing on all fours to look under it. She frowns and then lifts the mattress.

“Looking for something?” I smirk and lean against the wall. Kyoko’s cleaning seems to have been very thorough. I should buy her some flowers as a thank you.

“Hmmph. So you don’t have any dirty magazines under your bed but that leads me to my next question…” She sits on the edge of my old bed, leaning back on her heads and crossing her outstretched legs. “Am I the first?”

I can feel my cheeks redden as she strokes my sheets, looking at me with a devilish grin. “I-I don’t know what you mean…” She's making me flustered, our surroundings don’t help matters

“Don’t be coy…” She bounces up off the bed and steps closer, walking her fingers up my chest. “Am I the first girl to spend the night in this bedroom?” Ah. I look at the single bed and then to the mischievous girl pressing herself against me.

“Y-y-yes.” I stutter. How does this girl fluster me sometimes?

Interesting~!” She kisses me slowly on the lips. “I guess I should be on my best behaviour then?” She asks with a provocative smile. Every primal instinct in me tells me to ravish her but this room… It doesn’t feel…

“I’m just kidding, Taro! I wouldn’t feel right corrupting a room full of childhood memories.” She grins stepping back. “Corrupting you, however…” Damn, this girl is a tease. I suddenly hear Kyoko call from downstairs.

“Taro! Your Father is home!”

Ritsu gives me an apprehensive look but I put on a brave smile and take her hand.

“{Showtime}.”
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 5/7/15]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:58 am

Ah Nikko... it really IS beautiful there - though the fares to go see the waterfall border on usury...

Reganting the Song of Ice and Fire reference - does Taro read English books? Because the TV series was a long way off at that time.
two lattes for Ritsu and I
for Ritsu and me

I liked this chapter much better than the few preceding it. This Taro was much more a normal teenager.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 5/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:14 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Ah Nikko... it really IS beautiful there - though the fares to go see the waterfall border on usury...
It really is! The next chapter might have some geographical inconsistencies so if you have any suggestions to improve it, I'd appreciate it. Do they really charge to see a waterfall? Which one?
Mirage_GSM wrote:Reganting the Song of Ice and Fire reference - does Taro read English books? Because the TV series was a long way off at that time.
Was there are Song of Fire and Ice reference? I've never read the books (I'll get to the show eventually) so if there is, it's purely coincidental! :shock:
Mirage_GSM wrote:I liked this chapter much better than the few preceding it. This Taro was much more a normal teenager.
Thank you, I felt that he should be a little different at home because of his negative feelings for his father and his affection for Kyoko. Like his Yamaku persona is more of who he wants to be and his home life is who he is without the mask.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 5/7/15]

Post by Alpacalypse » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:40 am

GODDAMMIT! DIDN'T COMMENT ON THE LAST CHAPTER! AGAIN!

Okay, dad who forces Taro to do swordy things - interesting. As somebody who has somewhat of an interest in HEMA, I'm intruiged to see where this goes. yes, I am well aware that Kendo is not a European martial art - I just don't care
Although, I think Taro would have a pretty rough time going straight from shinai to rapier. Also, you made the distinction between fencing foil and actual rapier; the pedantic in me is satisfied! :D
Hanako may be having the hots for our main hero, here. Nice to see that she's found some more friends.
Good chapter!

Now, new chapter - I already like Kyoko, she's great. I'm also happy that what's left of my secondary school Spanish education lets me understand everything she says before it gets translated :lol:
I'm interested to see what happens between Taro and his father - should be quite dramatic, methinks.
Another good chapter! you know, I'm starting to think that compliment is kind of unnecessary for this story - they're all good!
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 5/7/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:56 am

Alpacalypse wrote:GODDAMMIT! DIDN'T COMMENT ON THE LAST CHAPTER! AGAIN!
Just means more compliments when you do :wink: Seriously though, don't worry about it, mate
Alpacalypse wrote:Okay, dad who forces Taro to do swordy things - interesting. As somebody who has somewhat of an interest in HEMA, I'm intruiged to see where this goes.
I wouldn't say Taro was forced but it wasn't really a positive experience. :roll:

Alpacalypse wrote:Hanako may be having the hots for our main hero, here. Nice to see that she's found some more friends.
I wanted to use her more but worried since she is a main cast member. Having her develop more when she's not the focus in-game at least gives some room for extrapolation.

Alpacalypse wrote:I already like Kyoko, she's great. I'm also happy that what's left of my secondary school Spanish education lets me understand everything she says before it gets translated :lol:
Apart from the usual assortment of Spanish words you pick up, de nada is the only one I actually use regularly. Hopefully the google translatey-ness doesn't show me up too much.

Alpacalypse wrote:I'm interested to see what happens between Taro and his father - should be quite dramatic, methinks.
I'm certainly not going to do something as heavy as Akio again (at least not yet) cos that was really hard for me to write. Going heavy is not my strong suit but hoepfully I found a nice resolution to that problem that doesn't come off as trite.

Thanks again for reading, Al :D

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