Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

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Feurox
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route

Post by Feurox » Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm

I really like where this is heading. Although, I'd have to agree with Oddball's concerns that Misaki's politeness bordered on the robotic. In fact, I actually found myself concerned that Hisao was echoing that formality. Whilst for the most part, Hisao and Misaki's conversations resembled a conversation between the formal, and the inoffensive (Inoffensive being the best word I can think of currently to describe Hisao's 'I want you to like me' attitude/way of speaking), I did find sometimes that the language became stilted.

There are a few mistakes that you might want to correct, but they only stand out because your writing is so sound. Here's my favourite:
Ikuno, walking on my giggles.
That's quite a talent.


Also, the last years horror-house thing... I mean that's pretty disturbed. I highly doubt Yamaku would let something esculate to that level without significant oversight, especially considering that Shizune and Misha would have likely have been on the case. Also... It doesn't really make Misaki come across as endearing or quirky. It makes her seem unhinged. That's just how it comes across to me anyway, since neither Mirage nor Oddball mentioned it, I may be just being pedantic.

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Beeronious
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route

Post by Beeronious » Mon May 13, 2019 5:40 pm

Oddball wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:01 am
For the most part, I love how you handled the cast.
Except for Miki. Big Sexy? Snoozu? Gaylord? I pretty much hate your Miki.
Not gonna lie Oddball. I thought of you and Mirage when I came up wrote for Miki. Next time I’ll have her speak entirely in 2015 memes.
Oddball wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:01 am
I enjoyed the scene where Misaki and Hisao were sharing their conditions and Ikuno started to say hers without realizing she had already told both of them before. That was cute.
Big thanks! I was really worried that scene would come across as kind of cringey. I’m glad to see it worked as intended.
Oddball wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:01 am
Now Misaki's politeness and cultured way of speaking does provide a nice change of pace from most of the other girls, but there are a few times I feel you start to over do it and make her feel almost robotic. Remember that just because she's reserved and proper doesn't mean she's not human.
Feurox wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
I'd have to agree with Oddball's concerns that Misaki's politeness bordered on the robotic. In fact, I actually found myself concerned that Hisao was echoing that formality. Whilst for the most part, Hisao and Misaki's conversations resembled a conversation between the formal, and the inoffensive (Inoffensive being the best word I can think of currently to describe Hisao's 'I want you to like me' attitude/way of speaking), I did find sometimes that the language became stilted.
Yeah. This is a part I’ll admit to struggling with. Very quick explanation (which I have no intention of playing off as an excuse). The implication of Misaki’s speech is that she’s speaking in keigo, so I am trying to go for a somewhat archaic and formal way of speaking. But yeah at times I worry I may be going overboard. Especially with Hisao responding in kind. While I think it is natural for somebody in a conversation to acclimate to the “formality level” again I guess I’m at a 10 and I need to go down to a 7. If Hisao is coming across as “please like me” I am clearly conveying something wrong. I’m in the (slow) process of revising what’s here as well as working on the next couple of chapters. I hope I can start getting the levels right with this aspect.

Oddball wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:01 am
I also really like your take on Kenji. He's suitable over the top enough, but there's just enough logic in what he says that makes you think somebody could actually believe it if they look at it from the right angle and squint a little bit.
Oddball. When I saw this comment, it made my day and means quite a bit. I’m going to say something controversial now. I don’t like Kenji. I find his sections of the game obnoxious at times. I was not confident at all in writing his part of that chapter. But I felt Kenji had to at least appear and be acknowledged as existing. So I am so happy it came across well.
Feurox wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
That's quite a talent.
God dammit Feurox! You caught on to my foreshadowing way too fast. I was planning on having it revealed (spoiler) in Act 4 that Ikuno was actually the Shining Magical Girl Ikuiku and that Misaki and Hisao would have to come to terms with becoming magical girls.
Feurox wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
Also, the last years horror-house thing... I mean that's pretty disturbed.
Big, big thanks for bringing this up. That whole section was something I planned on cutting, but downright forgot about. It does not suit Misaki, nor the tone of the overall story at all. I’m gonna go and nuke it from its post. Although you got me thinking about it again, I may make use of it in a manner that is more fitting.


Thanks for the comments. I have next to zero formal writing experience. I have been out of anything resembling an educational institution for over a decade. I'm aware that my biggest weakness is "formal writing" skills. Anything that can help makes this story more enjoyable and better means quite a lot.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue May 14, 2019 9:23 am

Feurox wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
Also, the last years horror-house thing... I mean that's pretty disturbed. I highly doubt Yamaku would let something esculate to that level without significant oversight, especially considering that Shizune and Misha would have likely have been on the case. Also... It doesn't really make Misaki come across as endearing or quirky. It makes her seem unhinged. That's just how it comes across to me anyway, since neither Mirage nor Oddball mentioned it, I may be just being pedantic.
I probably would have mentioned the horror house thing if I hadn't forgotten about it by the time I finished reading. I think I read this story over several days because of its length...
As for Misaki speaking Keigo - that is something that was very much recognizable if you are familiar with the Japanese langauage. To the point that it didn't even register as unusual to me. I can see how it will feel stilted to people unfamiliar with the language, though.
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: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route

Post by Beeronious » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:20 pm

Act II: A Single Grain of Sand
Dealing With The Hand That's Dealt
The chirp of the alarm sounds its usual greeting that pulls me from my dreamless slumber. I can still feel Kawana's slender fingertips on my wrist as if they were still there. Stretching my arms as I get to my feet I smile to myself. Last night was the first truly refreshing night's sleep I have had in memory.

Looking at the time on the clock it takes my lethargic mind a moment to register what I am doing up at such an ungodly hour. With Emi's declaration still in my mind I get changed into my track gear, carefully keeping an ear at the door for the sound of running prosthetics trying to kick their way in. What would that sound like anyway?

---

As I approach the track, it takes a second for me to spot Emi beside the bleachers performing her warm up stretches. I cannot help but be amazed at how flexible Emi is.
I want to thank the perverted soul who came up with the concept of bloomers.

While I seem lost in thought, Emi looks up and notices my presence. A wicked smirk crawls on to her face.

"Enjoying the view?"

Returning her smirk in kind I succumb to the temptation of returning fire.

"Not bad. A solid 6/10."

Emi stands back up and folds her arms with an obviously feigned glare.

"Remember my promise to work you extra hard today..."

I can't help myself and begin laughing at her faux glare. Emi is hopelessly cute when she tries acting tough like that. Her smile quickly returns to her face.

"I'm glad to see you in such a good mood. Your hot date went that well huh?"

As much as I enjoyed yesterday and it did indeed "went that well" I would struggle to call it a date. Although that moment at the festival seemed to have lightened my mood, I have a feeling laughing like a lunatic would fall under 'things I will never live down' should Emi find out about it. And it would only falls just below 'having a heart attack because a girl confessed to me'. I can't believe how pathetic I really am at times.

"Hisao? Are you alright? I'm sorry.."

Realizing I slipped back into my head I put on a smile and place a hand on her head..

"I'm fine Emi. I'm here to run. Let’s run."

Emi responds with a thumbs up.

"Darn right! Let’s run!"

---

"Okay Hisao. You sound fine. You can do your shirt back up."

The nurse removes the stethoscope from my chest, giving me the all clear.

"So. How are you adjusting after your first week?"

As I start doing up the buttons on my shirt, it looks like it's time for Nurse to enquire about my mental health. Well, I can't hold him doing his job against him.

"I feel like I have started to find my feet. It helps that I have started to make friends."

Nurse's large grin materializes on his face as if on cue. I internally brace myself for some off colour joke.

"Well they do say laughter is the best medicine."

My face immediately falls at his comment. If the school nurse saw me in such a stupid state, I wonder who else did. I know I really shouldn't care about such stupid things as school reputation, but I am stuck here for the rest of the year, and I don't want to be the school joke for that time.

"You... saw that?"

Nurse smugly nods at me.

"Yup. And as stupid as you may have looked, it's clearly what you needed. I'll see you tomorrow."

And of course he does not give me the chance to respond.

---

As I make my way into the classroom I am thankful for my extremely thick hair. For once. The thickness that causes the untameable cowlick also means in the time since I left the shower and coming into the classroom, my hair is already dry.

Looking around the classroom I see that only Shizune has arrived, engrossed in revising her notes for today's test. What kind of sadistic monsters holds a test the day after the festival? Likely the same monster who conceived of the idea of ensuring all assignments for each subject should be distributed, and due at the exact same time.

As tempted as I am to greet our studious council president, I would hate to bother her while she is busy studying so I decide to make my way to my seat.

Before I can make my way there, an arm catches me in a solid headlock.

"Mornin'! Did ya enjoy the festival, Chuckles?"

Even without the greeting. It was not hard to guess who this was. I only knew one person who liked to greet me via headlock. I sigh theatrically and do my best to greet her in as deadpan a manner as possible.

"Good morning Miki. Were you in a rush to get to class this morning? Because I think you forgot to shower."

Miki gives an exaggerated gasp as she frees me from her hold, stepping back and clutching at the left side of her chest.

"You wound me Hisao. I just wanted to say hi."

I smile and shake my head.

"Well hi Miki. It's good to see you early for once. Are you ready for the math test first up?"

Miki folds her arms proudly with her Cheshire cat grin plastered on her face.

"What do you think?"

Oh she makes it so easy.

"I think you're totally unprepared and you came in early to try and get some last minute cramming. You’re hoping to not completely bomb out and get stuck in a remedial class."

Miki's face instantly falls. Bullseye.

It really wasn't too alien a guess. The more I talked to Miki, the more she reminded me of Mai. I suppose it's why I found talking with her to be oddly nostalgic, and also why the urge to tease her was irresistible. Although Miki does take it in her stride, and to be fair, she started it. Chuckles? Really?

"So, do you think you'll be fine Hisao? You only just transferred in."

"I should be okay. Math was one of my better subjects in school. And I managed to keep up with it while in the hospital."

I grin at her and exaggeratedly wave my finger in her direction.

"And you should buckle up and work on your math skills."

Miki narrows her eyes at me and smirks.

"Yeah well. Math is for...."

"... Good morning Kawana!"

I interrupt Miki's inane declaration as I see Kawana enter the room. She bows her head in greeting to me with a serene smile on her face.

"Good morning Nakai. How did you exercise go this morning?"

"Fairly well. I'm still a little out of practice.” I think on that for a moment. Wait, how did you know about that?"

Kawana seems to realize the rather creepy connotations of her statement, but her expressions gradually relaxes.

"I was returning the camera and the retouched photos from the festival yesterday to the newspaper club. I saw you on the track with Emi."

Kawana reaches into her bag and pulls out a much smaller digital camera than the large, expensive monstrosity she had with her yesterday. Turning it on she shows me a couple of pictures she took of me running. I sit down at the desk beside me and have a closer look at the pictures. I have to say, my red, sweaty face looks... less than graceful.

"I look awful. You would've been better taking a picture of Emi. At least she has something resembling running form. I look like a demonstration in how not to be fit"

Kawana shakes her head emphatically.

"I disagree. It would be a pretty picture. But it would also be empty and meaningless, especially in the context of our school."

She sits down at her desk and lowers her voice to barely above a whisper.

"Nakai. You experienced the worst moment of your life. You confronted your own mortality. You have had the rug pulled from beneath you. Yet here you are, working at improving yourself. It would not be improving without struggle. I find the image, in this context to be rather uplifting."

I can feel my cheeks heat up at her comment. I hold out the camera to her, which she takes, a small serene smile on her face.

"Th..thank you for your kind words, Kawana."

It is at that moment that I feel a tap on my right shoulder. I turn to see a small notepad and pencil facing me. A message is written on it in clear, and somewhat elegant handwriting. I take the items from the hand and quickly read the message.

˹I apologise for interrupting your conversation but you're in my seat.˼

I look to the owner of the notepad and see a silver haired boy with narrow eyes and a friendly smile on his face. He is exceptionally well dressed, with his shirt buttoned to the top and tie knot pulled as high as possible. I have to admire his fortitude in wearing the Yamaku blazer in the middle of summer.

I quickly scrawl a reply on the notepad and stand up out of the chair and pull it back to allow him to sit back down.

˹No need to apologise. It was my fault to have sat there. My name is Hisao Nakai, although I'm sure you already knew that. ˼

As he sits down I hear him exhale a small puff of breath in amusement. He quickly scrawls something down on the notepad, the friendly smile not leaving his face.

˹You are free to speak to me in reply. Unlike our class rep, I am not hearing impaired. My name is Yuuto Nakaumura. And I am very happy to make your acquaintance, Nakai.˼

When I finish reading the note, I notice that Nakamura has his hand outstretched. I take it in a handshake. I remember what my father taught me. Firm, dry, solid. 3 seconds.

"I am pleased to meet you Yuuto. But please, call me Hisao."

---

After introducing myself to Yuuto, and engaging in some small talk I return to chatting with Kawana. It is not long after that when I see Ikuno among the small stream of classmates meandering into the classroom. She turns to face us as she enters, giving us a wave in greeting. However, when I raise my hand to return the gesture, her cheeks flush and she looks down at the ground, making a beeline to her desk.

Before I can even begin pondering on why Ikuno is acting so strangely, the classroom door crashes open and a girl storms in, obviously in a huff. I recognize her as Ritsu, the girl who performed that amazing flute solo at the festival yesterday.

She storms her way across the classroom making her way to her desk.

"Good morning Ritsu. Your performance was fantastic yesterday."

The brave idiot greeting Ritsu while she is in a mood like this is the foreign boy who sits in front of Misha. His clean cut, confident aura, exotic good looks and obvious intelligence just rubs me the wrong way. He seems like the kind of guy who simply snaps his fingers and has a menagerie of pretty girls throw themselves at him. I hate people like that. Although if I remember correctly, he was cheering louder than everybody after Ritsu's performance.

Ritsu turns towards the boy like an angry bear. Having a target to vent whatever frustrations are swirling around inside her, I brace myself for the inevitable awkward confrontation.

"Fantastic? FANTASTIC? Did somebody blow out your hearing yesterday Lezard? Graduation and university admissions are right around the corner! Musical scouts from the best academies are scrutinizing every performance. This may have been my one chance, and I screw it up!"

She makes her way over to Lezard, slamming her palms down on his desk.

"And do you know the worst thing? These solo performances are a rare chance for us to be noticed. And Ms Sakamoto burns those spots on people who will not be able to take advantage. Who will never be able to even attend, let alone perform in orchestras! Those students are stealing opportunities from the hands of those who may desperately need it. It's disgraceful!"

While she isn't yelling, Lezard, and the rest of the class is wreathed in an uncomfortable silence, simply staring at Ritsu. Her rage spent, she exhales, apparently calming down.

"Good morning Lezard.."

The greeting coming through gritted teeth, Ritsu makes her way to her desk in back of the class. Sitting down she stares daggers at the large boy next to her, already asleep.

---

The math exam was not as difficult as I may have feared. I was amazed at how quickly I finished it. While going over my answers I notice the only other student who doesn’t have their head down, grinding away is Shizune. She looks at me with a confident smile and a nod, which I translate as "I'm impressed at how quickly you finished that exam but you will never beat me in a hundred years."

Misha seems to be obviously struggling, if the state of the chewed up eraser on her pencil is anything to go by. Particularly considering how much effort she had expended in grinding it down to be perfectly flat. Ikuno seems extremely focused, I cannot tell if she is struggling or not. I can picture the tip of her tongue poking from the side of her mouth in concentration. Yuuto seems quietly confident, and appears to be going over his answers. Kawana seems to maintain the tranquil air that permeates most of what she does. The controlled, elegant movement of her pencil on the paper is reminiscent of a noh performer. Her dark eyes with their ever intense gaze run across the page. From where I sit I can't see their movement but my mind's eye can picture it perfectly.

Kawana looks up from the paper, turning it over to indicate that she is finished. She turns her head to face me. Her gaze meeting mine, and she smiles and nods her head. I respond with a simple thumbs up.

---

While grazing on my sandwich I cannot help but marvel at how comforting the shade of the familiar tree is on a hot midsummer day can be.

"So Hisao... umm... how did you go in the test this morning?"

Ikuno at least seems to be able to look at me for the moment. Although she seems to be back to speaking nervously. I have no idea what has got into her. She can be so energetic and friendly. It's really kind of cute. Still, not an unexpected question. I swallow the food in my mouth.

"I think I did rather well. I didn't find any of the questions too hard. I used to be really good at math. Math and science were my best subjects before... yeah."

I try to dance around my heart attack, and the drama that followed. Fortunately, Ikuno and Kawana pay it no heed. Ikuno looks down at her lunch, a pouty look on her face.

"I.. umm.. that is... I don't... uh... think I did that well. Even though I studied."

Kawana sighs at Ikuno's explanation, lowering her chopsticks on to her lunchbox.

"Ikuno. I do not think cramming your notes the morning of the test qualifies as studying."

Ikuno squirms in reaction to Kawana's explanation.

"I know! I was really tired after the festival."

Kawana smirks and I see a wicked glint in her eyes.

"Was Nakai comfortable?"

Ikuno squeals at Misaki's joke, her face going red.

"I'msorryaboutthatHisaoIwasreallytiredandIdidn'tmeantobeallweirdIreallyhopeIhaven'tscrewedthingsupandwecanstillbefriendsbecauseyou'rereallyniceandIlikehangingoutwithyou.."

I place a hand on Ikuno's shoulder.

"It's fine Ikuno. You were tired. There's nothing wrong with nodding off."

I don't directly mention the fact that she used my shoulder as a pillow, even though I didn't mind at all. But it would only serve to embarrass her more. Slowly she seems to recover, her body becoming more relaxed. Looking back up to us, a bright smile lights up her face.

"Well... umm... H...Hisao.... D...do you.... if it's not any bother.... Do you think you could uh.... tutor me... some time?"

Ikuno's forward request takes me aback. I'm not even sure I've properly caught up from being in a hospital for several months. I'm not sure how much use I'll even be. Sure I kept up with my studies as best I could, but am I ahead? Behind? Without formal instruction I'm probably not up to task compared to many other students.

Exhaling slowly I try to muster my thoughts together.

"I'm not really sure how well I actually did in that test. I have only been back at school for a week after several months off. If I do well I'd be happy to help you. However, it's entirely possible I may be in the same predicament."

Despite my rather ambiguous answer, Ikuno's face lights up.

"That would be great Hisao. Even if you didn't do well, but I know you did well, then we could study and improve together!"

I suppose a study group really couldn't hurt. Even if I'm tutoring rather than studying on an even level, it will likely improve my own proficiency. However, it really seems unfair to leave anybody out. I look over at our third member, I remember her quiet confidence and focused eyes, I doubt she needed the help.

"Kawana. Would you be interested in joining us for some studying after we get our results back? It would be great to help each other out with what we missed."

Both Ikuno and Kawana tense up at my proposition. Ikuno looks outright nervous, staring at Kawana with what looks like... pleading eyes? Kawana, on the other hand, puts on her more formal, distant mask that I am familiar with.

"I do not think I will have many problems in that subject. I doubt I will require such tutelage."

At that statement, both of them seem to relax. A small smile forms on Kawana's face. I never knew I could find a small, almost insignificant smile so endearing. It feels like a small, intimate, shared secret.

"But please take good care of Ikuno."

---

With the ring of the bell heralding the end of the school day, I give a sigh of relief. Maybe it is the feeling of doing far better in that test than I ever expected, but I feel more optimistic about my academic future. The worst part of me though that Yamaku was merely a place for me to be tucked out of the way while I die. Maybe there are doors that are opening up again.

I feel a tap on my shoulder, turning around I see a familiar notepad. The message on it reads.

˹Do you play cards?˼

I look at the owner of the notepad, unsurprised to see Yuuto with his ever friendly smile.

"I used to a while ago. I may be a little rusty through."

His smile turns into a large, toothy grin reminiscent of the school's head nurse.

˹That's perfect! Would you be up for joining me and a couple of the guys for some rounds of blackjack? Not actually betting any money, just an excuse to hang out.˼

It's strange. Since I came to Yamaku, I've spent my entire time hanging around girls. Pretty girls, mind you. But it does sound nice to be able to hang out with some guys again.

"Count me in."

˹Great! Meet us in the boys dorm common room at 8. It should give you time to do homework and have some dinner. See you then!˼

Yuuto gives me a small wave as he walks away. If I had any questions about what to do this evening, I guess they are now answered.

---

As I come down to the common room I marvel at how little time I've spent here. I think I've only come down to make some food and go back to my room to eat it. The kitchen is spacious, if a little dirty. A TV is in one corner with five or so sofas, as well as a couple of worn bean bags. Around the room are scattered several round tables with a varying amount of chairs around them.

It is at one of these tables I spot Yuuto sitting with Lezard, who is casually shuffling a deck of cards. Yuuto notices my presences and happily waves me over. As I approach I notice Lezard look up at me with a sharp, inquisitive gaze which quickly relaxes.

"Yo."

I pull out a chair across from Lezard and beside Yuuto and sit down.

"Pardon my intrusion."

Lezard waves a hand dismissing my awkward entry.

"Don't worry about it. If Yuuto vouches for you you're alright by me. The guy may be a loud obnoxious jerk. But he's a good judge of character."

Lezard punctuates that with a loud, boisterous laugh. I look over to Yuuto wondering how he would react to Lezard's obvious joke based on his apparent muteness. To my surprise he has his mouth covered silently laughing with Lezard. Realizing it is safe to laugh I give a small chuckle.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence."

Lezard waves his hand dismissively.

"Well you seem alright to me. Honestly most of the class was worried that you were a mess when you came in. You know, coming in two months after start of the year usually indicates somebody loaded down with baggage. Another Ikezawa if you know what I mean."

I think back to Hanako, who found me sitting in a bean bag across from her while reading to be somewhere in the vicinity of coming at her with a knife. Lezard's analysis is harsh and blunt, but I can't argue with his conclusions. Lezard continues.

"But you seem to have got it together. I kind of feel bad for not really talking to you last week. But it looked like you had enough on your plate dealing with Deaf Charge and her drill Sergent."

I wave a hand dismissively, mimicking his earlier gesture.

"It's no problem. I spend most of my time with Kawana and Ikuno. That's what I get for getting between Shizune and Lilly having an argument."

Both Lezard and Yuuto visibly wince when I say that.

"You're a braver man than I."

Lezard goes back to shuffling the cards. I glance over toward Yuuto and notice the object sitting in front of him. It's a black thing roughly the size and shape of an electric razor. Yuuto notices me looking and writes something on his notepad.

˹It's an Electrolarynx. It allows me to talk. My larynx was severely damaged in a car accident. I don't really like how I sound so I try to stick to notes where I can.˼

Yuuto pulls down his tie and unbuttons the top button of his shirt, giving me a clear view of his neck and throat. Sitting between his collarbones is what appears to be a plastic disc. I nod in understanding, having seen such devices in movies I think I can guess why he would prefer notes. The robotic sounding voice that comes out from those devices sounded disconcerting.

"Sorry Yuuto I didn't mean to stare."

Yuuto waves off the apology shaking his head with his usual smile.

"ALRIGHT GUYS! YOU READY TO SLING SOME CARDS?"

Before I can continue talking I am startled by the cacophony behind me. Turning my head I recognize the boy who sits right behind me in class. I never caught his name. Then again I think I have never actually seen him awake in class. I suppose it explains how energetic he is at the moment.

Lezard grins at the new arrival. He waves the newcomer over to the chair between him and me in the circle.

"Now Taro is here the party can begin. Taro, Hisao. Hisao, Taro."

Taro gives me a hard slap on the back with his left arm. It's only now that I notice his right arm seems to hang lifelessly beside him.

"Good too met ya Hisao. It's nice to have somebody else I can fleece."

The large boy grins confidently at me and then slaps his hand on the table.

"Lezard! Deal!"

---
Yuuto and I walk down the halls of the boy’s dorm in a comfortable silence. Taro and Lezard having headed back to their dorms that lie in the other direction.

Well I can say one thing. Despite only doing so so, playing cards with the guys is less mentally taxing than playing Risk against Shizune. Taro was comparable to Shizune in terms of competitiveness. I haven't heard such vulgar trash talking since my days of playing KOF in the arcades with Shin. Although Shin was a proverbial Lilly compared to Mai.

As I turn the last corridor I feel a tap on my shoulder.

˹I'm going this way. I had a lot of fun tonight. Hope we can do this again next week. That is, if you're interested. I'll see you tomorrow?˼

I nod and smile at Yuuto's note.

"Absolutely. On both accounts. You have a good night."

Yuuto gives me a wave as he heads down the corridor opposite to mine. I manage to avoid an encounter with Kenji as I open the door to my dorm and crash on to my bed. Who knew relaxing playing some cards could be exhausting? I wonder if tutoring a cute girl like Ikuno will be that tiring.

As they say. Tomorrow is another day.
Last edited by Beeronious on Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route

Post by Beeronious » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:22 pm

Vygotsky
Most days I feel like breakfast is an arbitrary necessity. I’m not sure if it is my medications, or simply my metabolism, but I never feel an overwhelming need to have breakfast. Today is not one of those days.

Emi was running with an unearthly determination this morning. The focus and speed at which she was running had me subconsciously pushing myself harder than I probably should have pushed myself. Fortunately I managed to stop before I had another repeat of Friday. The nurse, upon doing his check-up noticed something in my vitals and made me promise to slow down next time.

I grab a couple of extra slices of toast and an extra glass of water to go with my orange juice. I look around the cafeteria for an empty table and come across a slightly unusual sight.

Sitting alone at a table I see Kawana eating a small bowl of plain rice with her head buried in a book. If I remember our previous conversations correctly, doesn’t she normally have breakfast a little earlier with Ikuno? Normally I would leave somebody reading a book alone, the courtesy expected of the avid reader, but curiosity gets the better of me and I make my way to her table.

“Good morning Kawana. Would it be okay if I sit with you?”

Placing the small black ribbon bookmark on her page she closes the book she was reading and looks up to me. Her smile is that now familiar small smile I have started becoming familiar with.

“Good morning Nakai. Please consider this ascent as an open invitation to join me. You do not have need to ask. I welcome your company.”

I feel a little taken aback by her reply. It’s not unwelcome, but I cannot help but swallow slightly as I sit down. I meet her gaze. Inside I’m struggling to think of something to say. Fortunately, she manages to break the ice.

“You seem a little red. Are you still tired from your morning run?”

I feel my cheek with the back of my hand and it feels unusually warm. Casually I take a long sip of water and nod.

“Yeah. Emi was running me ragged this morning. I’m not sure why but she seemed really intent on pushing me as hard as possible. I suppose it’s for the best really. I need to keep in shape. Considering my condition…”

I punctuate that last sentence with a small sigh. Kawana stares at me for a long moment. Her gaze is piercing and not a little unsettling. I can feel each layer of me gradually being peeled away. Finally she speaks.

“You should ask yourself. Was Ibarazaki pushing you? Or was she pushing herself?”

I ponder Kawana’s question. Emi didn’t ever urge me to run faster, or to keep pace with her. In fact, this morning she was unusually quiet. Our usual banter was surprisingly absent.

“Now that I think on it, I think she was pushing herself. I just got caught in her wake.”

This responds elicits a small, childlike giggle from Kawana. Of course she covers her mouth in a ladylike manner.

“I think you are the sort of man who has a talent for getting caught in the wake of pretty ladies.”

The sudden jab causes me to cough in surprise. I quickly reach for my orange juice to wash down the bit of toast in my throat. I use the time to think of a retort. Putting down my juice I playfully smile to my companion.

“Does that include my present company?”

Kawana pauses eating her rice for a moment. Unfortunately for her, her pale skin easily gives away the red flush in her cheeks. She takes in a small breath and quickly puts the rice she is holding in her chopsticks into her mouth.

“By the way, I believe Ibarazaki was so focused because she in training for the track meet this weekend. While she has consistently beaten Miura in the short distance events, Miura regularly beats her in the long distance events. Which reminds me…”

Kawana’s lips curl up into a smug smile. It seems she is going to repay my comment in kind.

“Who do you plan on cheering for this Sunday? Will you support your daily running partner? Or will you be loyal to your class and cheer on Miura?”

The way Kawana phrased her question, it sounded like something from a cheesy anime love triangle. To be fair, I don’t see Emi or Miki as potential romantic partners. With the state of my heart, and how my last love confession went, I can’t really see myself considering anybody as a romantic partner, for both their sake and my own.

“Can’t I cheer for both of them? I mean they are both Yamaku students after all. Besides, who said I was going to attend the track meet?”

Kawana puts on an exaggerated frown, waving her chopsticks at me like a mother scolding a disobedient child.

“You should be more loyal to your fellow classmates Nakai. Do not be lured in by a cute girl’s smile that easily.”

“What do you mean lured in by a cute girl’s smile? Anyway, our class has plenty of cute girls.”

“Do you think Ikuno is one of them?”

Kawana is staring at me again. She no longer has the playful smile she had a moment ago. Her expression is unreadable. From what I can tell, what I say doesn’t matter. I’m sure she will try and gather whatever she can by my expression. And as last night’s card game taught me, my poker face is not the best. I should answer as honestly. I meet Kawana’s gaze with my own.

“Ikuno is certainly cute. She’s sweet and honest almost to a fault. And it’s thanks to her that I also befriended you. And both of you have helped me find my feet here.”

I could, in another world, see myself dating Ikuno. I continue to stare at Kawana and try to read her reaction. Her long dark hair, quiet demeanour and ladylike behaviour remind me so much of that girl in the snow. The girl I admired from afar for so long. Iwanako’s memory is still a sore spot for me, but so often when I am alone with Kawana like this, my mind goes back to the events leading up to that day.

Those uncomfortable memories seem to make the silence between us stretch on for longer than I would like. I feel like I need to say something and refocus. My gaze falls on to the book laying on the table beside Kawan’s tray.

“Five Little Pigs. I didn’t know you were a fan of murder mysteries.”

Kawana casually glances at the cover of the book that is sitting beside her tray and nods.

“Yes I have always enjoyed these kind of novels since I was a child.”

I chuckle at the slightly wistful look in her eyes.

“I can picture you as a child all tucked up in bed with the reading light on reading a Sherlock Holmes novel.”

Kawana suddenly folds her arms with a disgruntled grunt a look of disgust permeating on her face. I feel a chill fall down my spine as I feel I may have treaded on some personal landmine. I think back to what Kenji told me right before the festival. Have I stumbled on Kawana’s childhood traumas? A dead parent who used to read to her?

“Sherlock Holmes books cheat, simply to make Holmes look like a genius.”

Maybe not.

“When I was a child, I wanted to be a detective when I grew up. I like to go along with the story and try to solve them before the culprit is revealed. I get frustrated when I go through a story, only to have the crucial piece of evidence withheld from the reader and revealed in the grand finale.”

“Would you like me to tell you the truth about Amayas Crane’s death?”

Kawana’s eyes narrow as she looks me dead in the eye.

“Do that and they will never find your body.”

“Misaki!”

I look to my left and see an extremely cheerful Ikuno run up to our table. Kawana, all malice having now vanished from her face, stands up in time for Ikuno to wrap her friend in a hug, which Kawana gently, yet warmly reciprocates.

“I’ll be right back. I need to get some grub.”

As Ikuno makes her way to collect her food, Kawana smiles wistfully at me.

“You are right. She is cute, and sweet. She is my dearest friend.”

I envy how close the two of them are to each other. While I had a circle of friends, I was never truly close with any of them. They were fun to hang around with, but I can’t help but be envious of how close and trusting my two new friends are with each other.

While I am lost in my thoughts the two of them sit down, Misaki returning to her place directly across from me and Ikuno sitting down beside me. She turns towards me and greets me with a bright smile.

“Good morning Hisao. I’m glad to join you for breakfast.”

I nod my head and swallow the bit of toast in my mouth before reply.

“It’s good to see you. If you don’t mind me asking, why are you both here so late?”

Ikuno looks down at her plate, the flush in her cheeks telling me she’s obviously embarrassed.

“Well umm… Promise not to laugh? This morning I..kindoflostmyinsulinpenandkindofhadtorushtothenursetogetareplacement.”

Immediately I start laughing.

“I’m sure Nurse told you off about that.”

“You bet. But on the upside I get to have breakfast with both my friends so it all worked out.”

It sounds like Nurse was right to tell her off. I dread to think about what would happen if I lost some of my pills at the wrong time. I’m not really in a spot to chastise her so I hold my peace. Fortunately Kawana breaks the silence.

“It seems like Nakai will be joining us for the track meet.”

Am I now? Looking at Ikuno’s bright smile and excited nodding at this news, it looks like that decision has been made.

---

The number written above the returned test is higher than I had expected. I found the exam to be easier than I thought it would be, I still thought that being laid out for months, and only having around a week of class to get back into the swing of things, I would have been prone to a bevy of stupid mistakes.

I feel a poke on my side and turn to look at my neighbours.

"Sooooo Hicchan. How did you do?"

The haughty smile on Shizune's face telegraphs the fact that not only did she do very well, but that she is certain she has done better than me. I should just get this over with. With a resigned sigh, I hold up the exam paper and let them read the score at their own leisure. Must everything be a competition with this girl?

Looking over at my paper, Shizune squints at my score nods in approval. Her signing towards Misha seems a little more measured, but her haughty smile remains on her face.

“Close but no cigar Hicchan. You did surprisingly well for somebody who just transferred in but you will have to work harder to beat me.”

Shizune moves her hand beneath her chin and mimics a noblewoman’s laugh. I think the correct translation for her competition riddled response is closer to ‘great job’.

"Oh sweet! 61! I ain't ever done so good."

I look across towards Miki, I am glad I'm not the only one satisfied with my result. The self proclaimed 'Big Sexy' is holding her test paper up to Suzu with a wide, Cheshire cat grin. Suzu, however, looks less than impressed.

"Miki you idiot. You're holding the test upside down."

"OH HOLY CRAP!"

"I thought the 'See me after class' message would have been a giveaway."

I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn my head to see Kawana standing beside me.

“Kawana, how did you do?”

“I got a score of 92, which I find to be satisfactory. Looking at your score it would seem like Ikuno is going to have a capable tutor.”

Kawana’s lips turn upwards in a small smile.

“And quite a handsome one too. She will be most pleased.”

Kawana inclines her head in a polite bow and makes her way across the classroom to Ikuno’s desk. I see the two talking to each other and Ikuno briefly looks at me before looking quickly away. Was it my imagination or was her face an unusual shade of red?

---

Yamaku’s library has become a very welcome respite in the few days I have been at the school. Its warm lighting, the musty smell of the books and the overall quiet atmosphere are something I find quite comforting.

I make my way towards the back of the library towards the private study rooms where I had told Ikuno to meet me after class. Apparently she had something to discuss with Kawana first so she told me she would meet me there.

I look across and see Hanako sitting at her usual beanbag. The very same one she was sitting in during my disastrous first encounter with her. As if feeling my stare on her skin, Hanako turns her head towards me, her visible eye wide, looking like a deer in headlights. I can already feel a countdown to an encore of last time playing before me.

I simply smile and raise my hand in a wave before continuing on my way. In the corner of my eyes I see her body visibly relax as I appear to no longer be a threat to her.

At the very back of the library, there are a series of rooms with a large table and several chairs around them. The wall facing the library proper is a large glass window. Fortunately at the moment, most of the rooms are vacant. I imagine that come time for exams, these rooms will be in high demand.

I choose the closest empty study room and take a seat at the table, with my back facing the solid wall. I take out my exercise book, textbook and a copy of the test. I should probably go over what mistakes I made in the exam more thoroughly before trying to teach this to somebody else.

---

“Umm…. Hisao?”

The voice is quiet and unsure, but it startles me out of my work. I look up and see Ikuno sitting at the other side of the table. She has her textbook, notebook and exam already unpacked. I must have not heard her come in while revising my own exam.

“Ikuno? How long have you been here?”

Ikuno looks down, pressing her index fingers together in front of her.

“Umm.. uh… that is… five minutes.”

My eyes widen at that. Five minutes? What had she been doing in that time? She didn’t cough or try to get my attention.

“I’m sorry Ikuno. I guess I got a little absorbed. Anyway, we should get started if you’ve been waiting that long”.

---

I was unsure at how things would go in terms of tutoring Ikuno. I was unsure at where she was currently in the subject, and I was not exactly confident in my ability to teach the subject. All things considered, it went better than I expected.

It seemed most of Ikuno’s mistakes came from two sources. Firstly, she appeared to almost constantly second guess her answers and essentially psyched herself out into making mistakes when she had the correct answers first time.

Secondly, she seemed to have misunderstandings regarding some of the concepts regarding trigonometry that had not been addressed to her. I could see in her eyes the exact moment everything clicked and started making sense for her. That moment her eyes lit up in understanding was a moment I found extremely satisfying.

It also helped that it was incredibly cute.

Overall I think it went quite smoothly, even though I found myself distracted when our legs accidentally brushed against each other a few times.

“Hisao?”

I look up at Ikuno, who’s working on her math homework with me. I had decided it would be a nice opportunity for us both work to get it done, and she could ask for my help if she got stuck. The look on her face can only be described as pensive.

“I just wanted to say. I… that is… I’m really happy you and Misaki are becoming friends.”

What brought this on? Ikuno looks back down at her homework. She takes in a small breath before continuing.

“Well… that is. Misaki… Well… When you transferred into class, you seemed really well. Sad…”

Well it is hard to dispute that. I wasn’t exactly bright ball of sunshine.

“But you seemed nice and… well… you took everything Shizune threw at you in your stride. I wanted to get to know you and well… Misaki. She… she doesn’t really talk to many people unless she has to. And well, when you were left alone for the group project I thought that… well it would be nice… to… try and get to know you. Misaki, she… she tried being friendly to you for my sake.”

Ikuno looks up at me with a bright smile.

“But I’m really happy. I could tell at the festival that you two are getting along just fine. Misaki is my best friend and you’re… umm.. you’re a new friend. I really want you both to get along.”

I think I can make sense out of what Ikuno seems to be saying. Or at least I think I can when I try and fill in the blanks. Kawana was only trying to befriend me out of consideration to her friend. I internally wince at the bruised ego. Then again, I couldn’t call my behaviour at the start of last week anything remotely resembling welcoming. I really should be grateful towards Ikuno. Ever since she approached me on Thursday she has been nothing but warm, friendly and welcoming. My mind wanders back to the hospital, to the looks on my friend’s faces. They were not looking at their friend, but a corpse.

It is a stupid question, but my mind cannot rest unless I ask it.
“Ikuno. Did you approach me out of pity?”

The crestfallen expression, the flushed cheeks and the gaze turning downwards answered my question before she spoke.

“I…. I… that is to say… I…”

Ikuno takes in a breath, obviously trying to calm herself.

“It’s true Hisao. A part of me did pity you. You seemed so preoccupied with your thoughts. Even with Shizune and Misha dragging you around, you weren’t even there, just going along with everything. At times like that it…. It often feels like it’s better to be alone. But it’s not. When you get lost in your thoughts like that things…. Things only get worse. It’s never good to be alone.”

With that last sentence Ikuno looks less crestfallen and more distressed. The look lasts only a moment as her bright smile returns on her lips.

“But even so. I’m happy to have approached you! You’re a nice, and smart and really quite cute.”

I couldn’t exactly hear the last part since it was kind of mumbled. But I think it’s probably better not to pry. Even so, I should say something.

“I’m glad to have met you, both you and Kawana. Thanks to you both I really feel like I’m starting to adjust and feel more… normal.”

Ikuno grins at me.

“Mr Broody thinks he’s normal?”

Mr Broody? Well I could think of worse names. Mai once called me “Juicy Hissy” and both names are better than Hicchan. The smug, confident smile on Ikuno’s face demanded a response.

“If that’s what you want to call me. Feel free. But I’ll have to come up with a nickname for you then. Or better yet, I can ask Misha what she calls you.”

The last part causes Ikuno’s face to quickly fall.

“Please don’t ask Misha! Anything but that! Her calling me weird things is more than enough.”

I plant my face in my palm and feign an epiphany.

“Oh! Even better! I’ll ask Kawana. We can come up with a new name together.”

“Anything but that! Please! It will be weird, convoluted and probably kind of creepy!”

“Oh it’ll be great! Quick, pass me your phone. I can ask her right now.”

“NO!”

---

It was only another half hour before we were completely finished with our homework. When we left the school building, the sun had started to set. The school was mostly quiet with the distant sounds of voices mixing with the more distant sounds of the sleepy town down the hill. I felt like Ikuno and I were in our own little world.

Neither of us have said a word since we left the library, Ikuno is happily humming a rather upbeat, if familiar tune. Though I can’t put my finger on where I have heard it before. As we approach the dorm buildings, she suddenly stops.

“That’s right! Misaki asked me to ask you if you were free after class on Saturday!”

“I should be free. Why?”

“Remember at the festival how outraged Misaki was that neither of us had seen that Alien movie she talked about? Well we can watch it on Saturday after class. I’ll text you my room number. Wait! I don’t have your number.”

Ikuno whips out her phone, it’s a pink flip phone model. The little charm she has depicts what appears to be a platinum blonde haired magical girl.

“How about we exchange numbers and e-mail addresses now?”

I pull out my phone and flip open the screen to begin the IR exchange. The motions of this exchange are as familiar to me as to every other Japanese high school student. Having completed the ritual we have now solidified our friendship in data.

Immediately after confirming the details, my phone vibrates, confirming that I have received a mail. The phone shows that the sender is “Ikuno Komaki”. I open the mail. Its contents are brief.

“^.^”

I chuckle at the completely expected sort of message from her and look up from the phone. Ikuno is grinning at me.

“I should probably go grab some dinner. I am looking forward to Saturday.”

Ikuno nods in agreement.

“Me too. I hope the aliens in the movie are cute. I like cute aliens.”

Oh you poor sweet girl.

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Scroff
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

Post by Scroff » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:43 am

Intriguing update! Hints that Misaki likes Hisao but is steering him in Ikuno's direction because she loves her friend. Hisao being the only person in the whole world who hasn't cottoned on to how Ikuno feels about him, though he's not immune to her charms. Ikuno making the plays but not wanting Misaki to be left out. Very nicely done

I really enjoyed this, thank-you for putting a big smile on my face!

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:36 pm

Couple of typos here and there; I'm going to focus on the grammar-related ones:
it looks like it's time for Nurse to enquire on to my mental health.
enquire about
She storms over to Lezard, slamming her palms down on his desk.
That has to be painful for someone with CT...
The message on it reading. ˹Do you play cards?˼
The message on it reads...

On Yuuto's notes:
Those seem to be quite long and elaborate most of the time. And sometimes he seems to write them while walking without anything to write on. If he really writes all that I'd expect the conversations to have to pause for him to finish or him using a lot more shorthands and abbreviations.
Nice to see Hisao interacting with male friends, though. Not many stories bother.

Hmm... So far I get the feeling that both Ikuno and Misaki are trying to set Hisao up with the other - and Hisao being typically oblivious about it.
Interesting :lol:
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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Feurox
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

Post by Feurox » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:04 pm

Glad to see this updated. Substantially as well, Kudos.

With regards to the story, I'm loving the pacing and the characters. Ikuno and Misaki playing off each other and setting one another up, it's very refreshing (and, i stand by an earlier comment Mirage made, that the title has given too much away in that department).

Misaki probably wins over for me anyway, since she's very interesting and not quite so sickly sweet as Ikuno, but it's close. Hisao having some guy time is also a nice change, he feels healthy in this route, which is a nice thing to consider.

Your style is a bit, upfront. Things are very matter of fact, and in this last chapter especially, some minor grammatical errors make some sentences read quite bluntly and stilted. This is a minor problem, and one I think that's easily fixable, so don't worry, but worth keeping in mind. I private messaged you some issues.

This is a good story, and I'm very happy to see it continuing the same level of quality from act 1. Keep it up Beer.

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Razoredge
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

Post by Razoredge » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:56 am

I approve what Feurox said. Being so far, this story is good, even with minor problems.
I really like to read it.
Lilly = Akira > Miki = Hanako > Emi > Rin > Shizune

Stuff I'm currently writing : Beyond the haze : A Lilly Satou pseudo-route & Razor's One Shots & misc.

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Beeronious
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Re: Respice Adspice Prospice - A Misaki Kawana Pseudo Route [Updated 8/17/19]

Post by Beeronious » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:38 am

And I finally am able to follow up on the replies and comments!

Thanks again for the feedback. I think I spoke to Feux about his already.

The main thing is with Yuuto's note passing. I do think I went overboard with the elaborate notes. I'll try and correct it on the future. I've applied all the corrections I missed before and I really appreciate it. On with writing more!

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