Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by swampie2 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:51 am

I'm not sure if this was intended, but you forgot to put a marker for who's the POV at the start.

Image

What an awesome series, every chapter was well written and had serious thought and emotion behind it. Your characters were very interesting, each driven by their own desires and thoughts, for better or for worse.

It's bittersweet to see Monomyth go, it was a series that drove me to improve my own writings as well as entertaining me with every step.

I look forward to the epilogue and your other projects; Keep writing to the quality that you did here and I'll continue to be addicted to your stories, sharp.

All in all; Congratulations on the fantastic project.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:58 am

That's because, for the last chapter, I thought I'd return control to Taro and have it solely from his perspective.

You humble me with your kind words, Swamp. I just tried to write engaging story and characters. I know it's been up and down in terms of quality and I certainly know at least one person who will be glad I'm putting a bullet in this series but I'd never have gotten this far without every single person who has read and commented.

Like I've said, this isn't quite the end but you can definitely see it from here. :wink:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Decadent Albatros » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:19 am

I hopped on the Monomyth train a little late, but nevertheless I liked it a lot. I'm not a big fan of OCs, but you sir managed to pull off something incredible and for that I need to tell you bravo. Yeah, it wasn't perfect but still, Monomyth might as well be something I go back and read it once again in the future and not only for the HanaxAkio but because after reading the chapters, I began to like all the characters.
As for this chapter, it is a bit sad to see this trip come to and end but still, you managed to make it end in a really nice way. Hell, I even teared up during the last bit (I'm kinda emotional :oops: )!

Let's hope Fixers manages to be just as good as this goodie, if not even more! Gj Sharp!

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:25 am

Decadent Albatros wrote:I'm not a big fan of OCs, but you sir managed to pull off something incredible and for that I need to tell you bravo.
I'm not sure if Taro counts as an OC since he is actually a character in the game though since I've made up everything about his personality and history, I guess he kinda is... Hmm. Going to need a ruling from the judges.

But thanks for the kind words, Deca. I had fun writing the series and I'm glad that people enjoyed it. :D

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by swampie2 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:04 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Going to need a ruling from the judges.
I list him under Half-OC, I do the same with Saki, Suzu and the like; Characters that are in the game or are canon but aren't characterized.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Alpacalypse » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:01 pm

Jesus, Monomyth's done. :shock: How am I supposed to feel about that?

Sad that there won't be any more updates? Excited for more Fixers? Fucking ecstatic that I don't have to keep coming up with new ways to say "I liked this chapter"? Because I ran out of those ages ago.

Anyway, I liked that chapter! Goodbyes are sad, but if any group of people are gonna keep in contact, it's gonna be this lot - they're way too close to give it all up like that - so I'm okay with all this stuff. A fitting conclusion, methinks. :D

Oh, and congrats on finishing your story in what is quite possibly record time for a story of this length. :wink:
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm

Alpacalypse wrote:Jesus, Monomyth's done. :shock: How am I supposed to feel about that?

Sad that there won't be any more updates? Excited for more Fixers? Fucking ecstatic that I don't have to keep coming up with new ways to say "I liked this chapter"? Because I ran out of those ages ago.

Anyway, I liked that chapter! Goodbyes are sad, but if any group of people are gonna keep in contact, it's gonna be this lot - they're way too close to give it all up like that - so I'm okay with all this stuff. A fitting conclusion, methinks. :D

Oh, and congrats on finishing your story in what is quite possibly record time for a story of this length. :wink:
Thank you, Alpacalypse, both for the kind words and for sticking with me since the beginning. It's much appreciated. :D You've been a stalwart commenter and reader and I'm super thankful for the feedback and support.

Although we're not quiiiiite done yet. Check back tomorrow for the true conclusion to Monomyth. :wink:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Hesmiyu » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:28 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Although we're not quiiiiite done yet. Check back tomorrow for the true conclusion to Monomyth. :wink:
Dang, you shouldn't have said and instead done the surprise chapter just to mess with us one more time :-P
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:43 pm

Hesmiyu wrote:Dang, you shouldn't have said and instead done the surprise chapter just to mess with us one more time :-P
Oh, I got surprises, don't you worry... :lol:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Decadent Albatros » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:10 pm

Hesmiyu wrote:
Sharp-O wrote:Although we're not quiiiiite done yet. Check back tomorrow for the true conclusion to Monomyth. :wink:
Dang, you shouldn't have said and instead done the surprise chapter just to mess with us one more time :-P
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Alpacalypse » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:17 pm

Sharp-O wrote:You've been a stalwart commenter and reader and I'm super thankful for the feedback and support.
I'm just happy that my rambling and gushing helps, Sharp. :lol:
Sharp-O wrote:Check back tomorrow for the true conclusion to Monomyth.
Yay! :D
Decadent Albatros wrote:inb4theyalldie
:twisted:
Oh god, pls no. My black and withered heart can't take that :cry:
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by Decadent Albatros » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:36 pm

Alpacalypse wrote:
Decadent Albatros wrote:inb4theyalldie
:twisted:
Oh god, pls no. My black and withered heart can't take that :cry:
Dw, we're in the same boat :lol:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:24 pm

That was pretty bittersweet. Honestly, the worst one to me is Molly going back to the U.K. I just sorta assumed she was staying in Japan, and it's almost Lilly's neutral ending sad to me, since, unless one of them moves permanently(I'd prefer Molly to do so), I have a hard time seeing their relationship survive. Did we already know that was happening and I just missed it or is that new? I don't really like bittersweet endings(unless they're completely happy they tend to just make me sad), so that made it hard for me to fully enjoy this chapter. Doesn't change the fact that I've loved this story in general. I think I am going to miss it.
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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:06 pm

Chapter Fifty: Mirai Part I

~~~~Akio~~~~

I look at the digital sign above the reception desk; displaying various greetings, tidbits of information and directions for new students and finally cycles around to the time and date.

10:41am. 23rd June 2018.

“Akio?” I look down from the sign to my wife, resplendent as ever and smiling from ear to ear.

“What’s up?” I ask, using my cane to rise from my chair and totter over to her. She slides a visitor’s pass off the desk and clips it to my waistcoat.

“We’re all set. The receptionist even said the Vice-Principal will be down to meet us soon enough.” She smiles, before attempting to clip her own pass to her handbag. I take a peek and see why I was waiting so long. As she fumbles with it a third time, I snatch it out of her hand.

“You kicked up a fuss, didn’t you?” I offer a smirk as I successfully clip it to her bag on the first attempt. She crosses her arms in a light sulk and looks away from me.

“It’s not my fault their dumb computer system doesn’t recognise a double-barrelled name.”

I take another glance at it and chuckle. Hanako Ikezawa-Hayashi. She hates when people get it wrong.

“Akio, look! We’re on the wall!” She cheers and drags me towards the wall of notable alumni.

“God, here’s a bunch rogues and miscreants if ever I saw them.” I smirk looking at most of the old gang but pointing at my own picture. The small paper slip along the bottom edge of my framed visage reads: Akio Hayashi - Class of 2008 - Advertising Manager.

“This is pretty outdated…” I admit, looking at a much younger me, as Hanako peers over curiously.

“Would you really want it changed though? I thought you liked that job.” She tilts her head and I shake mine with a smile.

“Not when I have a much better job now.” I give Hana a knowing look and she swoons, placing her chin on my shoulder. I press my forehead against hers and close my eyes.

“And what would you have it say, Mr Hayashi?” A distinctive voice asks from behind me. Weak in sound but exuding a strength unrivalled. Raw authority in a whisper. We turn to face the Vice-Principal of Yamaku Academy.

“Shizune!” Hanako squeals and throws her arms around the petite azure-haired woman. We became good friends with Shizune and Hisao while we were studying at Tokyo University. We saw the prototype for the sensorineural device Shizune wears today and were even present for her first words. She’s come on leaps and bounds since then, even without…

“It’s good to see you again, Hana.” She says, rubbing my wife’s shoulders with a huge smile. She gives me a kiss on the cheek and cursory hug but is definitely more interested in what we were talking about.

“So what would you like it to say instead, Akio? Colossal Sass Master or Epic Procrastinator?” She smirks as she folds her dainty arms across her chest.

“I think I liked you better when you were mute.” I snipe back but she laughs, just as she always did but now with sound. “I was hoping you’d change it to ‘Kick-Ass Dad’ if it’s not too much trouble.”

Hanako erupts into a fit of giggles and Shizune looks dumbfounded for a second before smiling sincerely. She wanders over to the receptionist and whispers with her for a few seconds before turning to us and nodding.

“Consider it done!” She grins, punctuating her comment with a snap of her fingers which makes her recoil. Ha, she’s still not used to that.

“Thank you, Shizune.” I say sincerely before looking over the wall again. I see Hanako’s name, properly hyphenated, with Author as her title. A couple others catch my eye but I settle on Hisao. Oh, buddy, you deserved better than what you got.

“Who picked his title?” I ask and the ladies either side of me look at the picture. Hisao Nakai - Class of 2008 - Visionary.

Once he graduated from University, he had designs for all sorts of amazing sensory aids and prosthetics. It’s a shame he never got to see even a third of them see life thanks to advances in 3D printing and open source hardware. He’d have flipped his shit at what some of these kids sport these days, especially knowing that they’re based on his work.

“I did.” Shizune confirms my suspicion and I give her an approving nod.

“Suits him. Could have picked a picture where he’d combed his hair though.” I say dryly and Shizune lets out a contented, smiling, sigh.

“His hair was the only thing I couldn’t tame.” She chuckles softly, closing her eyes for a moment and doing a quick signing motion with her hands before clapping them together.

“Well then, shall we begin the tour?” She asks and Hanako takes my hand.

“Lead the way, VP.”

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

~~~~Hanako~~~~

Shizune got called away ten minutes after we set off from reception but the school is still mostly the same in its layout, even down to the checkerboard floor tiles so navigating is a breeze. I find myself skipping across the darker tiles ahead of Akio like a schoolgirl before finding our destination. The sliding plaque has a red hue under it. Oh. She’s busy.

“Is she busy? Damn! Guess we’ll have to come back later!” Akio doesn’t even stop as he looks at the door and keeps his pace. I grab the scruff of his neck and drag him back. “Okay, okay, we can wait…”

“We’re visiting everyone, Akio.” I scold and he rolls his eyes.

“I know, she just freaks me out now. She’s too damn good at her job!” He protests but I know he’s just as excited to see her as I am. I take a seat next to him but I needn’t have bothered as the door in front of us opens.

“Okay, buddy, same time next week?” A tall dark-skinned woman in a long white coat says in a soft, warm voice.

“S-sure thing, Miss Kapur.” The boy with shaggy blonde hair says, muffled by a thick scarf wrapped around his face. He moves towards the end of the hall, casting glances back at me every few feet.

“Hi, Molly.” Akio greets our old friend with a wave. The woman’s navy blue eyes light up and she throws her arms around our necks.

“{Bugger me sideways}! Hanakio, as I live and breath.” She grins looking at us both up and down. “I haven’t seen you guys since the wedding! Come in! I’ll pop the kettle on!” She gestures wildly for us to follow her in and Akio does. I stop at the doorway and look at the end of the hall to see the boy peeking around the corner. I smile at him and he bolts. Poor lamb, reminds me of someone I used to know.

“Hana! Show me the goods!” Molly demands as I close the door behind me. I throw a look to Akio who just snickers on the sofa.

“Um… What?” I ask nervously.

“The pictures!” She insists and I sigh with a smile. I perch on the sofa next to my husband and reach into my bag. I pull out a handful of photographs and passing them to Molly. She gasps in delight as she flicks through them.

“Misaki hasn’t lost her touch, I see.” She coos as she admires the photographs.

“For what we paid her, I’d hope not.” Akio jests.

“Oh. My. Gosh. This is too cute!” Molly’s face is a picture of pure joy as she holds out one particular photograph.

Image

“That’s one of my favourites.” I blush as I take the photographs from Molly’s hands. Akio peers over my shoulders and smiles.

“You both look so beautiful.” He looks at me and I kiss his lips tenderly.

“She’s a sweetheart. I bet she gets spoilt rotten.” Molly laughs and I nod, gesturing to Akio with my head. She’s daddy’s girl alright.

“Oi!” He furrows his brow at me and I nuzzle his nose in response.

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

We spend a good hour catching up with Molly before her next appointment looms.

“Molly… That boy before. Does he suffer from anxiety by any chance?” I ask and Molly smirks.

“You noticed the similarity too, huh? I’d expect nothing less from you.” She says with a sly smile.

“Is he doing okay?” Maybe it’s because of who I was or maybe my maternal instincts but I want to help him.

“You know I can’t share student’s information with you, Hana.” Molly wags her finger, tutting.

“Of course, I didn’t mean to--”

“But since you’re touring the school… If you happen across some of your old haunts, I’d recommend taking a peek. For old time’s sake, of course.” She smiles, crossing her legs and taking a sip of tea. I get her meaning and give her a sly wink.

“We won’t take any more of your time, Molly. Are you coming tonight?” I ask and she nods.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

We both hug Molly and give our goodbyes, taking a stroll towards the end of the hall. Akio takes my hand and looks around.

“Where are we going?” He asks and I give him a coy smile.

“For a mooch. Explore the school, poke around.” I say and he looks at me confused. “Sleuthing, my dear Akio.”

“Here we go…” I sighs but follows me anyway as I lead him by the hand. My boy Friday.

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

~~~~Miki~~~~

“Man, this takes me back…” I mutter to myself, as I rub the back of my head with my stump. I run my hand through my hair and replace my baseball cap. The track is looking a lot tidier than I remember but when your school is home to an Olympic gold medallist, sponsors will just throw money at you.

“Excuse me. Ma’am?”

I turn and look down at a lean teenage boy with well-defined, muscular arms rolling up behind me.

“Sorry, kid.” I graciously open the fenced gate for him and he smoothly rolls through, placing his gym bag down by the fence. He manoeuvres around to face me sideways.

“Thanks. What brings you back to Yamaku, Miss Miura?” He asks and I narrow my eyes at him.

“How’d you know who I am?” I ask defensively and he holds his hands up.

“Sorry, I saw your visitor’s badge and I remember seeing your picture in the trophy cabinet. You’re kinda famous!” He grins earnestly and I look down at the badge clipped to my belt. I fold my arms across the fence and smile coyly at him.

“Checking out my hips, huh?”

“N-n-no, ma’am!” He turns as crimson as his racing wheelchair and casts his gaze downwards.

“I’m just yanking your chain, kid.” I laugh to reassure him. “So I’m famous, huh? Thought I’d be long forgotten compared to the star of the track team.”

“Believe me, no one is going to forget you, Miki.” I feel a pat on my back and notice a petite woman with long amber hair lean against the fence beside me.

“Aren’t you supposed to be training, Hikari?” She raises her eyebrows at the kid and he snaps to attention.

“Yes, Miss Ibarazaki!” He adjusts his gloves, leans forward and begins pushing himself forward, steadily building up speed.

“You’ve got him on a short leash.” I snort and Emi sticks her tongue out at me.

“Well if he wants to earn the title of ‘the fastest thing on no legs’, he’s gonna have to earn it.” She grins as she watches him race around the track, passing by us again in record time.

“I’d say he’s already faster than both of us on our best day.” I observe and Emi huffs.

“He’s cheating though.”

“Holy shit! Are you actually jealous?!” I laugh loudly and Emi shoots daggers at me.

“Shut up! He is cheating! He’s got wheels.”

“And no legs, you insecure fuck.” I jeer and she just gets more flustered.

“When he starts winning then I’ll cut him some slack. He keeps throttling back just before the finish line…” She watches Hikari race around the bend nearest to us a second time. The kid’s like lightning. Emi’s always been the proud sort but equally sees the potential in people. I can tell she wants him to be faster, not for her but for himself. Even if she’s being a bit of a bitch about her old high school title.

“You’re doing great, kid!” I call out as he passes us, giving him a thumbs-up.

“Now you’re just being mean.” Ten years hasn’t curbed that childish streak in her. Don’t think anything could, to be honest.

“Hell yeah, I am.” I grin. “I love an underdog and I especially love one who’ll knock your cute ass down a peg or too.”

“You think my ass is cute?” She gives me that filthy smirk of hers and I laugh.

“Saw enough of it when I was stuck in your slipstream, didn’t I? I’m sure Rin loves it though.” I jest but the pinkness of her cheeks tells me there may be something to it.

“Yeah… She does.” Well damn, that’s confirmed it. Good for them.

“And what about you~?” Her voice lilts upwards. “I saw you at Hanako and Akio’s wedding…”

I ignore the teasing tone, hopping the fence and rifling through Hikari’s bag to find his water bottle. I saw him starting to flag and he allows himself to come to a rolling stop in front of me. I hand the bottle to him and he nods with a tired smile, gulping the water down.

“Good work, Hikari. I’d say you’re the quickest person to ever do laps on this track.” I crouch down to compliment the boy but throw a smirk back at Emi who relents with a smile.

“Yeah, you did okay. Call it a day and we’ll pick things back up tomorrow.”

“You coming to that jazz place tonight or what?” I ask Emi as I hop the fence again.

“I’ll pop in for one drink but I’ve got training in the morning.”

Of course you do. If you can get Rin to come along, that’d be great too. I haven’t seen her shit-faced since the wedding!” I laugh as I set off towards the school. I should check in with some of the others too.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Update: 31/8/15]

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:19 pm

OK, glad to see Molly still there. The last chapter made me kinda worried, not gonna lie. Also, the picture of Hanakio and their kid was adorable.

Also also, Hisao's dead already? I sorta took it in the game that he would be able to last at least into his 50's. It seems kinda early for him to already have died.
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