Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) Ch. 4: Shadows

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swampie2
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu)

Post by swampie2 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:05 pm

Well I just got done with MonMusu... It was okay(?)

But this fic. This fic is how you do that right. Keep it up, I'm looking forward to the next part!
One Shots - My stories thread.

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SolitudeFreak
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu)

Post by SolitudeFreak » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:15 am

swampie2 wrote:Well I just got done with MonMusu... It was okay(?)
Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou was a work of art. :lol:

No, but seriously, this seems to be not necessarily a crossover of KS and that show per se, but more a crossover involving KS and monster people in general.

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strange desire
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu)

Post by strange desire » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:34 pm

I hope those who celebrated had a fun and happy Halloween! Just for fun, based on a Halloween story I saw yesterday, I had a little idea for a little monster story. It's a one-shot with no connection to the Monsters Like Us story, though it takes place in that "world." It's not KS related otherwise, so I won't post it into the thread. It was conceived and written in about two hours, so please don't expect anything grand. :oops:

It's on Pastebin for anyone interested: http://pastebin.com/VH95CnrT. Thank you for reading.

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SolitudeFreak
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu) [Tiny Halloween One-shot

Post by SolitudeFreak » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:50 pm

Well that was pretty adorable.

You mentioned it takes place in the same universe, but is otherwise unrelated to the main story... does this take place in the United States, based on the names?

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strange desire
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu) 11/1 Tiny Halloween One-

Post by strange desire » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:03 am

03. Hits and Misses

Tuesday morning comes on the wind. The breeze is refreshingly cool on my face and arms, and my track pants keep me from getting a chill. It's beautiful walking weather, the perfect motivation to get back into the swing of things.

Past the Great White Wall, the trees and bushes bristle as I make my way towards the school building. If I listen, it almost sounds like the gardens are busily chatting amongst themselves. They're not, of course, but it's a nice thought. There's no one else out, but the gardens don't feel empty with all of their movement and noise.

Surrounded by green and with its perimeter studded with proud, venerable trees, the brick school building looks like a piece of history. If I turn my back to the matching brick wall that secludes the school grounds from the road, it's easy to think that I've discovered a hidden school in the middle of a forest, where warriors or monks train in isolation from the world. But if I keep the wall in sight, then it's like the school is a mountain fortress, or a castle on a hill, the crown of the town that sits at the bottom of the road.

There's a kind of serenity to it all. Something about it is comforting... It reminds me of home. Younger me would have loved to run around this place with a stick in hand, fighting off imaginary invaders, and later finding a hidden place to rest and recover from the battle. Walking is more my speed now... but a little exploration sounds fun right now.

I enter the main building through the front doors. The gentle breeze is sealed away behind me as the transition that used to take a bicycle, a train, and some ticket fare now occurs over the span of a single room. My footsteps echo along the lobby, vanishing into the hallways that lead deeper into the building. It's quiet, but the pleasant feeling I had at the entrance didn't follow me inside. Nothing moves. There's no sound except for me.

An empty school doesn't quite feel right. I know that it's too early to expect anyone to be here, but rather than empty, the school feels lifeless and it's bugging me. I can't help but feel like something's wrong here. It's a place meant to be filled with people doing something or other, but now, I can only think of empty classrooms with desks sitting vacantly before blank blackboards. There should be activity here; lectures, note passing, whispered rumors, club meetings, something other than nothing at all.

But it's early. Later, I'll step into class and this place will be as lively as ever. It's not so unnerving if I think about it that way.

I step back outside, where the cool breeze and lively greenery cast away my unease. Continuing down the pathway, just as expected, I come to the auxiliary building. The two buildings are so similar, and so close together, that it's easy to think they're one and the same, until you reach this spot where you can see the narrow gap between them. As much as I've thought about it, I still can't find a good reason to keep the buildings separate. It's not like Yamaku Academy could exist without both of them.

I could go to the pool again... That thing in the water comes back to mind. Part of me wants to go in, find the nurse, and ask him what the hell happened yesterday. It might have been shock, I suppose, but either I missed what happened or I'm just having a hard time remembering the details. I don't even know what was in the water with me. The memories feel unreal, like it might not have actually happened and I'm imagining it.

Another part of me wonders if it's really something to bother anyone about. There's no sign that anything happened; I wasn't hurt, and it was only me and... that monster in the pool. I could tell the nurse what I think happened, but I get the feeling he knows something that I don't. What would I say? There was someone hiding from me in the pool, and they grabbed me when I swam away. It doesn't make any more sense now than it did then. I'd sound like an idiot.

In any case, I'm just getting back into things and I don't want to push myself too much too soon. I didn't swim every day when I was more active, and trying that now might be going too fast.

The pathway keeps going, same as it always has, leading me around the back of the school and towards the sports fields. There's a familiar junction in the path here, and if I would turn and follow it, I'd pass over into the "other side" of the campus. Even in my head, that sounds strange. It's really more of a corner than a whole other side. It looks like the area in this direction used to be woods. Only some of it is developed. Like the path from the dormatories, there's a garden area between here and the buildings in the near distance, but the trees and bushes are young, so there's little cover. Beyond the gardens, the pathway vanishes around a copse of trees that obscures all but the upper floors of the buildings from here.

That same unease from inside the school building strikes me again. There's something odd about a pathway that no one uses. How many times did I stop on this spot last year? Lots of mornings, lots of walks, and now I'm at it again. Pausing here is becoming a habit, or maybe it already is, and I think I've stared enough to embarrass the bushes. It's like this path has fallen victim to some spatial anomaly that makes it impassable, as if an invisible elephant had been dropped onto the pavement, where it's been sleeping ever since. That at least would be something tangible, something to excuse why humans like me keep on walking.

Really, there's just no reason for anyone to go to the monster dormitories.

A dull clang echoes from in the distance. I turn away from the monster path again and listen to the wind. Nothing moves except the trees for several seconds until there's another clang.

With an idea of where it's coming from, I follow the sound until I hear a third one, which leads me to the baseball practice field. In the morning light, a long, trailing figure glides across the field while a second, smaller figure walks up to the home plate. Curious, and more than a little surprised, I can't help but stop next to the bleachers and watch the two for a few moments.

A monster with the lower half—no, lower three-quarters—of a snake approaches the pitcher's plate holding three baseballs in her hands. She's covered up in a track suit jacket and a denim skirt, but beyond that winds several meters of smooth snake tail. As she moves, about half a metre of the scaled body below her skirt stands at a rounded right angle to the ground, giving her figure the impression of a woman wearing a tight, trailing dress. The breeze picks up a little, and she shivers. Her long hair hangs over one shoulder in a ponytail.

Standing at the home plate, practicing swinging a bat, is a girl clad in a sports jersey and shorts, and very large shoes. Distinctively tall ears stand up from her head, and cream-colored hair falls down her neck, ending at her shoulders. Despite her light clothing, she seems unfazed by the breeze, giving to the wind only in the gentle disturbance of her ears and hair as they catch its passing. The outline of her skin seems a little fuzzy from here. A stout, but fluffy, cream-colored tail pokes out of her shorts. Below the tail are a striking pair of what my grandfather (after a couple of helpings of celebratory wine) would refer to as valuable load-bearing legs and prime child-bearing hips.

I imagine him saying this and mostly manage to muffle the chuckle that follows. The bunny-eared girl looks towards me and then freezes with the bat in her hands; the serpent girl sees her turn and follows her gaze to me. Looks like I'm busted.

The three of us stop like deer caught in headlights. Did I scare them? No, why would I scare them? They're staring at me like I'm waiting to pounce or something. I could walk away and leave them be... but the thought of following the paths for the ten-millionth time doesn't sound so enticing at the moment, and admittedly, I'm curious about their game.

If I sit in the bleachers, that should be enough to diminish my presence to the level of a spectator. Using the fence siding for support, I sit on the first level seat of the bleachers. See? I'm not here to bother anyone. Don't mind me. The two monsters watch me for a few moments before the bunny girl taps the home plate loudly with the bat and draws the other girl's attention away from me.

The bunny batter readies up over home plate. This should be interesting; I didn't know the school let the monsters use the fields or equipment. Did that change too? The pitcher coils her tail around herself in a loose spiral on the ground. She pitches underhand, and I watch the ball travel until the batter explodes into a swing. A sharp, familiar pang! rings across the field and the ball flies upwards in a tall arc with little distance. It lands between home and the pitcher, but she doesn't try to catch it. They're taking turns, then?

The bunny girl looks over to me with an angry expression—was that my fault?—then taps the ground with the bat as she readies up again. The serpent girl picks up a baseball from the ground with the end of her tail and then tosses it to herself. That's some incredible dexterity! She pitches again—kung!, uh oh—and this time the ball flies to the pitcher's near left, making both ends of her flinch.

"Sorry, didn't mean it," the batter cries out. It's a forceful but narrow voice, the words fired out into the air.

The pitcher shakes her head and sighs, bravely giving another toss. This time, the ball eats the dirt. The batter bunny girl is not happy about this, throwing out her arms and making some remark about the breeze. I'd hesitate to call her a sore sport so soon, but sadly, she's making it easy to think that way. She drops the bat at the plate as the serpent girl walks—err, approaches her. As the two talk, she only grows more agitated. I can't make out the words from here, but it doesn't seem to be good news.

Then they turn towards me. That... might be my signal to leave. The serpent girl starts moving first, leaving the other girl standing at home plate until she throws out her arms and follows after the end of the snaking tail. My heart starts to panic in my chest. Maybe it's the sight of a four-metre-long human-sized snake coming towards me, or maybe it's the near-nuclear expression on the other monster's face, but as the two draw closer, getting up off of my ass seems like a really good idea right now.

I start to rise with the aid of the fence siding. As the two monsters quickly close in, I see that the serpent girl is smiling and holding her hands together in a relieved, almost pleading, gesture. I see that the outline of the volatile bunny girl behind her seems fuzzy because the girl herself is, in fact, fuzzy; there's just enough peach fuzz all along her arms and legs, and cheeks, and those ears, to make her seem soft. Too soon, they reach the fence at the edge of the field which separates it from the bleachers, and I somehow convince myself that I'm standing to greet them.

"Good morning," the serpent girl says carefully, softly, as if the words could otherwise offend. "My name is Sanae Tsuchihisa. It's very nice to meet you."

She bows at the waist politely, so politely that I find myself nodding my head to match at least some of the sudden pleasantry even if she can't see it. I can at least answer her before I go running away like a scared idiot. I really need to just calm down.

"I'm Ichirou Mukagishi, nice to meet you too," I say back.

The girl named Sanae rises from her bow and smiles with her entire face.

The hair that isn't bound in her ponytail hangs like cedar-brown curtains on either side of her face. Her eyes are bright, with lots of warm colors that highlight her narrow, vertical pupils. They contrast against the colors of her skin: a sort of dull, light olive color where her face and hands are covered in very fine, smooth-looking scales. The same color runs along the wide scales of her belly, but her tail is patterned with waves of richer green plates. She doesn't so much have a nose as she does a snout, which reaches out to about where a nose would. Her smile seems genuine, but there's this crease running along her long cheeks, reaching past her draping hair, that makes me feel like I'm not seeing the whole thing.

The cream-colored bunny girl remains silent with her hands on her hips. Compared to the serpent girl next to her, she seems almost human, but with bad posture and those impossible-to-miss ears and legs. There's a smoldering fire in her eyes, and her whole face seems to be naturally inclined to frown, as if her narrow chin is weighted down with lead. From the wide bridge of her bulby little nose, to her prominent cheeks, her head seems built to bring attention to that diminutive scowl. She's covered all over in a light, velvety-looking fuzz, and her ears stand excitedly atop her head despite her annoyed expression. From the waist up she looks almost scrawny, barely filling the jersey she's wearing. I can't help but think that all of her weight fell down into her generous hips and thighs, leaving her shins lean and muscled in a way that human legs aren't. Her enormous shoes look battered and battle-worn, rough but comfortable. They remind me of how I used to hang on to a favorite pair for games or playing around in the woods.

Sanae taps her companion with the end of her tail.

"Introduce yourself," she whispers.

The bunny girl sighs through her little nose and breaks her stare away from me.

"Nao Usuzu," she says. "Hi."

It's hardly a friendly introduction, but a rough hello is still a hello.

"Hello," I say.

"Do you want to use the field?" Sanae asks. For all her smiling, I notice that she isn't showing any teeth.

The bunny girl, Nao, scoffs and rubs her nose to cover it up.

"Yeah, take it," she mutters.

"Nao..."

I don't intend to take anything. Why would I? How would I? They stopped their game just to ask me that?

"No, I don't need the field. I'm just out for a walk," I say.

"I see," Sanae says and then glances at Nao, who mumbles something and scans the dirt.

Hey, don't be mad at me! This isn't what I had in mind when I sat down. I was trying to avoid this.

"I didn't mean to interrupt your game. Think of me as a spectator. I'm not here," I say.

"Ah, but that's no good..." Sanae says softly.

Sanae smiles at me, then at Nao, who throws her eyes into a slow tumble until they're drawn back to Sanae. For maybe half of a minute, Sanae and Nao gaze wordlessly at each other, throwing the occasional glance in my direction. Nao begins to bounce her heel and her ears droop slowly, while Sanae's smile, and eyes, and all the rest of her, remains as steady as stone. The breeze picks up for a moment, and Sanae tenses against it without letting her smile break as her tail starts to gather up around her.

Finally, Nao sighs and nods, then looks to me.

"You wanna play?" she asks reluctantly, barely managing to raise the statement into a question.

It's fairly obvious that she doesn't want me to say yes.

But I'm tempted to do it. It would be very easy to say yes; all a part of my plan to be more active this year, right? It's great exercise, and it'll be a lot of fun to have a game with someone. But, honestly, I would probably get in the way. I can't run, for one thing. I don't think I can swing a bat very well, since I'd have to keep my legs planted like poles. Pitching would present the same problem.

Who am I kidding? Adding me to their game would only slow it down even more than I already have. It looked like they were taking turns hitting and pitching, so they don't really need anyone else. What would I do? Chase after the balls? I'm sure they wouldn't want to wait for me. Stand around? I might as well sit on the sidelines like I am now.

"I shouldn't," I say.

Nao's ear twitches and she scrunches up her brow. Anticipating the confusion on their faces, I pull up my pant leg high enough to show my prosthetic limb.

Sanae's smile relaxes to a neutral line, but her eyes betray her surprise as her pupils widen to three times their previous width. The end of her tail twitches once, and I wonder if the idea of legs are as strange to her as a giant snake tail is to me. Nao's expression is much more dramatic: her mouth opens along with her eyes and she shifts from leaning on one leg to the other. Her long ears, previously held up tall, droop sorely until their ends are level with her forehead.

"Damn," Nao mutters.

"Nao..."

"S-sorry, Sanae. And, uhh... Muka...?"

"Call me Ichirou," I say, eager to get this weary process over with.

Now that introductions are over, I drop my pant leg. Sanae's pupils finally narrow again, and then she and Nao have more silent deliberation in their too-quiet language until Sanae nods.

"Then, can you pitch?" she asks.

I wasn't expecting that. She's determined, isn't she? I can't fault her for trying. It's actually kind of refreshing; typically, the prosthesis would have ended the discussion there, I'd sit back down, and they'd go back to what they were doing. Technically, I suppose I can pitch. It's not impossible, but I won't be very good at it. My computerized knee might get confused if I turn and lean too much, but as long as I keep myself still, then I could pitch for them.

I also feel a little responsible for halting their game, and denying their invitation at this point would make the interruption for naught. Besides, it's all a part of my plan to get active again, right? Yeah, this could be good.

"I can try pitching," I say.

Sanae's smile blooms, shifting the crease along her cheeks, while Nao's wilting reluctance leaves her body with a sigh and vanishes with the breeze.

"Great! Isn't this great, Nao? This is just like you wanted!" Sanae says.

"Yup," Nao responds dryly as they wait for me to walk around the fence.

"Sorry, Nao, but could you collect the balls?"

"Yup."

"Then, Ichirou, could you follow me please?" Sanae says eagerly.

As Nao leaves, I round the fence and walk up to Sanae, who raises herself up a few centimeters to match my height. My eyes are drawn down to her ridged lower belly as more of it is exposed; when I manage to wrestle them back up, I find her smiling all the same. I don't mean to stare, and I feel bad for doing it. I hope she doesn't take offense.

I walk beside Sanae—the standing part of her—as she... it's not walking, and slithering sounds too slimy for the nice girl beside me, so I should go with something more neutral, like heading. Sanae and I head towards the pitcher's plate.

"I'll be batting next, and Nao will bring you the baseballs as I hit them," Sanae says, trying to justify my addition to the roster. "If we work together, then we can play without having to stop and collect everything."

"Sounds good," I say. "Thanks for letting me join."

"Thanks for your help," Sanae says as she turns for the home plate.

This would have been Nao's turn to pitch, then. I hope she isn't mad because I'm taking her turn. Thinking about it, if I were in her place and someone else decided that my spot in the game was being given to a spectator, then I'd probably be a little angry. But it's not like I'm knocking her out of the game, right? She's just switched positions. There's room for all of us to play.

I look over to see Nao returning with the three baseballs. That was fast. I was too busy staring at Sanae to notice, I guess; you'd think that I'd be used to seeing monsters like them now that they're out, but...

"You getting a good look?" Nao says.

"Ah, sorry," I say. "I was surprised at how quick you were."

Nao raises an eyebrow and then tosses all three balls to me at once. I manage to catch two, but the third escapes my grip and falls to the ground. She's already turned and stepped back out into the field, leaving the plate all to me.

Let's see if I can still do this.

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strange desire
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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x MonMusu) 11/1 Tiny Halloween One-

Post by strange desire » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:07 am

03. Hits and Misses (cont'd)

Sanae picks up the bat and swings it a couple of times before getting ready to hit. I roll my arm to warm it up. There won't be any dramatic moves or poses to this, like lifting my leg as I wind up for the pitch, or throwing a leg out to keep my balance; both feet will be staying on the ground in my case.

Turning at my hips, and only at my hips, I pitch with all the strength I can muster and end up overdoing it; a sore shock runs through my arm as a muscle somewhere gets pulled. Sanae tenses up, and the end of her tail coils like a spring, wrapping up the air, just before she swings. The ball passes by her with a whiff and hits the fence behind her.

She spreads her arms out and makes a grimace that doesn't really suit her face. Is she mad, or...?

"Very funny," Nao says close behind me.

Sanae laughs lightly through narrow lips and readies up again. That first pitch probably looked silly, so for the second try, I pitch underhanded like she did when Nao was batting. The ball flies a little slower and in a greater arc until—pang!

The ball flies over my head and I twist to follow it. Nao turns and explodes into a run. Nao's great legs drive into the grass one after the other in an enormously long gait and propel her forward faster than I can believe. Her big shoes kick up dirt as she reaches the end of the field before the ball and then catches it.

"Out!" she calls.

"Aww..." Sanae sighs as she places the bat down on the plate.

Damn, she's fast! That seems almost unfair. Can Sanae move that fast? She may be a snake, but she's a big snake. That was a good hit, too; how strong is she?

Sanae has left the plate and is heading for me again. Only one hit? Is she okay with that? I'd ask for at least a couple more. She hands the missed ball back to me.

"I'm not as fast as Nao," Sanae says quietly, "but if you space out the pitches a little, then I can keep up and you won't run out of baseballs."

"Okay," I say.

Nao drops her caught ball at my feet and then bounces to the home plate as Sanae takes the field.

"Ready!" Nao says eagerly.

I like that attitude. It's easy to get caught up in it. Or maybe I'm just having fun.

I pitch like I did for Sanae. Nao tenses as soon as I wind up, as if she already knows that she's going to hit it. She does, but the ball flies far to my right with very little height. I hear Sanae move behind me, the sound of her body sliding along the grass rather than stepping on it. Nao taps the ground with the bat and readies up again.

Like this, I pitch again and again as Nao sends the baseballs to every corner of the field and Sanae chases after them, always returning but never catching. The sounds of Nao's tapping, the pang of a hit, and Sanae's movement settle into my mind and become familiar, almost. It reminds me of faraway days in junior high, getting everyone together after school and just doing... this.

Pitch number twelve leaves me breathing heavily, and sweat is beading up on my forehead. I really need to get out and do more. This was a good idea, I should keep it up. Sanae drops a ball at the plate with a labored sigh.

"Nao, it might be time to call it quits," she says.

"Okay, but just one more," Nao says.

"Ichirou, may I pitch this one?" Sanae asks.

"Sure, go ahead," I say.

"Homerun this time!" Nao calls out. I wonder if I used to sound like that.

I step away from the plate. Sanae takes my place, and the, uh... the part of her where her belly meets the ground settles onto the picther's plate. Her tail coils around herself into a loose spiral on the ground, and my feet wind up enclosed in the final ring. Before I can think to step out of it, the end of her tail finds my feet and wraps around my good ankle.

This feeling again...

"Sanae—"

Sanae's tail squeezes my leg gently as she pitches with all her might.

Pang! Thud.

The grip on my leg tightens like a vice. Instinctively I try to pull away, but a powerful jerk throws me onto the ground, and in my panic, I claw at the dirt to keep myself from being pulled into a writhing, tumbling mass of giant snake coils. My prosthesis tries to brace against the fall and mostly succeeds, locking itself to prevent damage, and I shove the stiffened limb into the dirt.

The coils squeeze together like settling slabs of rock, and then the pulling at my leg stops. Releasing my grip on the earth, I reach for my leg to try to pull away the tail from the only ankle that I have left. It doesn't give. It's like trying to pry off a scaled iron shackle.

A painful wheezing sound pulls my attention from my leg to the still mound of coiled snake.

...Sanae?

"Oh shit, Sanae!" Nao yells, exploding into a sprint.

Nao shoves and pulls at the tangle of scaly tail. The mound begins to give a little, and the grip on my leg softens but doesn't let go. I try and fail again to pull it off. I feel like an animal caught in a trap... I've got to calm down before I do something stupid and make this bad situation worse. Nao manages to pry open a break in the coils and then lifts up Sanae by her shoulders.

"Shit Sanae I'm sorry are you okay?"

Sanae mutters something and I can at least see that she's moving and breathing, thank the heavens. My prosthesis releases its lock and I take a deep breath. Is it over? Is.. is Sanae okay? Pulling my leg back, I can feel the weight of her tail. It must be solid muscle.

"Can you move?"

"I'm fine, Nao. I just... I'll go see the nurse," Sanae says.

"Damn right you will, when you can breathe again," the bunny girl snarls.

Carefully, I pick myself up while my prosthesis rights itself. It takes longer than usual for it to find its balance. Sanae takes deep, slow breaths while Nao opens Sanae's jacket and feels where the ball hit her.

"Do you need help?" I ask.

Nao looks at me like she forgot I was here, but Sanae waves her hand to dismiss the notion.

"It's fine, don't worry," Sanae says with a smile. "I'm a little too big to carry."

She laughs as her breathing calms down. The ease of her breaths makes me relax a little, and Sanae herself doesn't seem too shaken. The pressure on my leg finally releases as her tail lets go and curls back towards the rest of her.

"No more baseball," Nao mutters.

"But it was fun," Sanae says sourly.

"This ain't fun," Nao says as she pats her friend's shoulder.

Sanae pouts as she lifts herself out of Nao's arms and then slowly rolls her entire body over, with us around it. Her snake body unwinds and manages to turn right-side up without hitting either me or Nao, and soon, Sanae is standing tall again. I suppose it could be called standing.

There's so much tail, but she moves so swiftly and easily that it's hard to believe. Up close, the size of her is intimidating. She's right, there's no way I could carry her, even if Nao and I both tried to drag her. I wonder how strong Nao is.

"Let's go see the nurse," Nao says.

"Yes, you're right," Sanae sighs. "Ichirou, thank you for joining us."

"It was nothing. I had fun, too," I say, more concerned with whether she's hurt.

Dutifully, I follow the two girls off of the field. Nao keeps close to Sanae's side while I keep a close eye on the end of Sanae's tail. The uneven grass and dirt makes things difficult for my prosthesis, causing a little uneasiness in my step.

"Looks like you rolled in dirt. You should hit the pool before class," Nao says.

"That sounds lovely," Sanae says.

I'm dirty too, now. I've probably got dirt all over my back, and after rubbing some out of my hair, I realize that my fingernails are full of it. The pool changing rooms have showers, and we're headed there now, but I'll need a change of clothes anyway, so I should go back to my dorm.

The end of Sanae's tail flicks; washing all of her tail must take a long time. Is it difficult to wash scales? Is she a good swimmer? Do they really let monsters use the facilities now?

That uneasy feeling comes back again.

"Ah, I wonder if Hachigawa is there this morning," Sanae says.

"Probably not. Didn't you hear? Suspended."

"Nao!" Sanae hisses. She glances back to me as she drops her height a few centimetres and leans closer to whisper to her shorter friend.

I probably shouldn't have heard that. The pool? Suspended? Who is Hachigawa? A monster? Are those two things related to yesterday morning? Coincidence maybe, maybe not? It's probably not any of my business, so butting in would be intrusive... unless it is related to what happened yesterday. A suspension sounds serious. What happened?

We come to the monster junction when the wind blows and Sanae starts to bunch up again. She stops to zip up her jacket. In the pause where I catch up and collect my thoughts, Nao's ear turns to me, followed by her head, as if she heard me thinking.

"You going to the nurse too?" she asks.

I shake my head. Did she forget that I'm here again?

"Do you want me to walk with you? I'd feel bad making you go alone if you're hurt," I say.

"What am I, not here?" Nao says. She turns to Sanae and adds, "Is he blind?"

Am I what? Where did that come from?

Sanae smiles at me as she swiftly adds centimetres to her height, then casually reaches over and pinches the end of one of Nao's ears. The bunny girl flinches and frowns harder but can't pull away from the snake girl's grip; she's clearly not comfortable with this.

"That won't be necessary, but... thank you, Ichirou," Sanae says softly. "Sorry for the trouble. I hope we'll be able to meet again soon."

There's a surprising degree of distance in her voice. The carefully-delivered words brush me like the breeze; soft and comfortable, but almost cold, if only because of the warmth left over from the excitement of the game... and from Sanae's scare. They are the familiar but unexpected words of a polite goodbye.

She's okay, it seems. While Nao is too concerned prying away fingers from her ear, Sanae watches me closely with her narrow eyes to see what I'm going to do. They don't need my help. The game's over. Time to go home.

"Me too," I say. "Well, goodbye then."

"See ya," Nao says.

Sanae releases Nao's ear, waves goodbye, and then turns, descending to her previous height, as she heads towards the auxiliary building. Nao nurses her drooping ear as she follows beside her friend. It takes a few seconds for Sanae's tail to completely pass by my feet.

It feels odd to see them go. Something about this seems strange, besides the obvious. This early, the school seems deserted...

But they're here. Not just before class as a handful of visible shadows among the gardens, or as the occasional group hurrying silently to and from the gates; they're around, always, just as much as we're around. I turn in place to look back and end up here again, staring at pavement and trees and buildings in the distance, feeling that if I just looked a little harder or for a little longer, I'd see some sign of life in the space between here and there.

Realization hits me like the straight man in a comic routine, and I turn back around. Sanae and Nao are about to round the corner of the school building when Nao turns and waves to me. I wave back while I can before the two monsters vanish. They're gone, but for the first time since I got here, it doesn't feel like it's just my imagination. It feels real.

I realize that I walked into two strangers' lives for a brief time. They accepted me into their game, not for any particular reason, but just because I was there. But why are they here? I know why I'm here, but... I suppose it's like some of the other students, the human ones: they look like there's nothing wrong with them and you wonder why they're here until, suddenly, there's a problem.

I get that there's a problem here, but... but I don't know. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I don't get it, whatever it is. In any case, thinking about it now won't do me any good.

A check of my ankle reveals the red band where she clung to me, and I've got dirt all over my hands and clothes. I'd better get back to my dorm while things are still quiet, clean up, and get ready for class.

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) Ch.03 Up 2015-11-29

Post by brythain » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:48 am

You have that gift of making likeable characters--the kind you'd like to hang out with. Great piece of work!

I like the two 'monsters' and I'm rather sad that at the end of the day (almost literally), he still thinks of them as that.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) Ch.03 Up 2015-11-29

Post by SolitudeFreak » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:05 am

strange desire wrote:I see that the outline of the volatile bunny girl behind her seems fuzzy because the girl herself is, in fact, fuzzy; there's just enough peach fuzz all along her arms and legs, and cheeks, and those ears, to make her seem soft.
Of course, all the fuzz in the world will never make her personality soft...

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) Ch.03 Up 2015-11-29

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:09 pm

Well this story is certainly better than the anime it is loosely based on.
You gave your characters more... character in one chapter than MonMusu managed in a whole season.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) Ch.03 Up 2015-11-29

Post by Blank Mage » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:46 pm

Unfortunately, I already used all my commentary, now I have nothing to contribute here.
And we're back.
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"I wish I could convey to you just how socially inept I am, but I can't."
"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) April Announcement!

Post by strange desire » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:23 pm

MLU team turns to the Land of the Free in its bid for Independence

"Things are changing around here," the girl says, swishing her tail, "maybe for the better."

The creative team behind Monsters Like Us, an up-and-coming and anticipated entry in monster girl literature, has announced some big changes for the project.

For the past few months, considerable thought has been given to the future and direction of Monsters Like Us, including its viability as an identifiable brand, its limitations as a property-based derivative fiction, and its available avenues of creative self-sustainability. After much careful consideration, it has been decided that a greater future for the project lies in independence.

By striking out and going independent, the MLU team is free to take the project to greater places and seek greater avenues for sustainability.

"We realized very soon that we were no longer what we thought we were," said the team's creative director. "We were more."

And 'more' is what's in store for the world of Monsters Like Us. Today marks the first big announcement from the team, who are looking to expand the original concept into something greater, more meaningful, and more accessible to a wider audience.

The Monsters Like Us team is in the process of partnering with the acclaimed and highly successful studio NekoWorkS to begin the transition from humble fanfiction to creatively free, independant visual novel.

"Between the Behemoth of moe-driven harem comedy and the Leviathan of monster girl ero doujins, [Monsters Like Us] doesn't stand a Yuki-onna's chance in Heck," stated MLU's creative director just before plans for the partnership were finalized.

"With NekoWorkS behind us, we'll be unstoppable," said the project's chief editor.

Tentative alterations to MLU's established universe are expected to be diverse. Some changes will be small, such as "Croft-ing busts across the board," as the creative director put it. Others will be more dramatic, such as moving the location of the story's setting from the suburban Japanese countryside to a metropolitan U.S. city, a necessary result of cutting ties with the story's fanfiction origins.

"There's an incredible untapped market for this kind of material in the U.S.," stated MLU's creative director. "Works in the monster girl genre are taking off like harpies. A visual component is critical for this, however, and visual novels are a prime avenue for this kind of expression. It will be tough entering the visual novel market against the medium's English language handicap, but a collaborative effort with an established Japanese studio will, we believe, close the gap and transform this percieved weakness into very real strength."

"Kids love this stuff," replied the chief editor, holding a sketch of the team's proposed line of monster plush dolls. A plushie prototype of MLU character Sanae Tsuchihisa (renamed Sandy Sotomayor in the new script) made of a sock and sewing notions was well received by all.

As expected, news of the proposed changes garnered quite a reception among the project's focus groups.

"Jesus F-ing Christ," expressed one group member. "What the f--k am I looking at?"

Other such sentiments could be found among the following rounds of targetted public releases:

"Another fanfic btes the dust, good riddence."

"Not surprised. The authors hasn't finished fics from years ago, why start now?"

"They fought monsters they became one no big suprise."

Despite the decidedly cool initial receptions, some fans are warming up to the news.

"I for one am proud to see [Monsters Like Us] do something like this," one such optimist told us during our visit. "If they won't get a job like normal people, then at least they can hopefully make enough to buy their own food."

"Things are looking up," echoed the team.

Further announcements of the team's plans are expected to roll out in the coming days and weeks, and when that time comes, you can expect to find the first word here.

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) April Announcement!

Post by Blank Mage » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:32 pm

strange desire wrote:A plushie prototype of MLU character Sanae Tsuchihisa (renamed Sandy Sotomayor in the new script) made of a sock and sewing notions was well received by all.
I liked her first name better. Eh? Eh? Ha HA, good times.
And we're back.
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"I wish I could convey to you just how socially inept I am, but I can't."
"I think you just did."
"No, I really, truly haven't."

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) April Announcement!

Post by brythain » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:34 pm

Blank Mage wrote:
strange desire wrote:A plushie prototype of MLU character Sanae Tsuchihisa (renamed Sandy Sotomayor in the new script) made of a sock and sewing notions was well received by all.
I liked her first name better. Eh? Eh? Ha HA, good times.
I think Sonya Sotomayor might've been better. :D
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) April Announcement!

Post by SolitudeFreak » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:16 am

"Like NekoPara, with guns... 9.5/10" -IGN

"Fuck." -PC Gamer

"Anime was a mistake." -Hayao Miyazaki

Well, I think the reviews speak for themselves. Once we slap some DLC on this baby, you're gonna be all set.

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Re: Monsters Like Us (KS x Monsters) April Announcement!

Post by strange desire » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:38 am

Blank Mage wrote:I liked her first name better. Eh? Eh? Ha HA, good times.
You will never let me live that down, and I respect you for that.

brythain wrote:I think Sonya Sotomayor might've been better. :D
"The characters and events presented here are fictional. Any resemblance to actual monsters are coincidental."
Sadly, I don't understand Nahuatl enough to incorporate a coatl in there.

SolitudeFreak wrote:Once we slap some DLC on this baby, you're gonna be all set.
Order the season pass and get immediate access to Hachigawa After ~Life's a Beach~ when it's released, at a discount equal to the dignity you've lost.

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