(Updated 7/28/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

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Feurox
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Feurox » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:56 am

One thing I wanted to mention before even diving into the story:
speaking of Leafy
It’s Leaty. I know that’s likely just an auto-correct issue. But obviously when giving credit, which, you are, it’s best to make sure that the credit information is accurate so that others can find the source easily. I’m also a bit confused as to what the credit is for... but you said that’s yet to come so fair enough.

Okay, onwards.

I’m not entirely sold on this so far - I’m always a bit hesitant to comment on Fics that leave Yamaku, but what I will say is that you’ve made a good effort to make Hisao’s journey from where his heart attack should have been seem believable. The course of action seems thought out, and Hisao, whilst depressive, comes across as quite well developed in the years we’ve missed.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, your writing is technically sound and I think this shows promise.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:18 pm

A reenactment of me waking up:

*sees notification that someone replied to my post*

Ah cool! Let's see who pos-

*6 posts in the span of 12 hours*

OH! Let me get on my actual computer instead of creeping on my phone.

----------------------------------
brythain wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:15 am
AJT135 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:08 am
I suppose it was more the age they got married that seemed odd to me, since getting married at 19, while not unheard of, is unusual. Thinking about it more, the apartment thing makes more sense if Iwanako had wanted to move out for uni, which is pretty common, even amongst people going to uni near home. I can't say I've ever known anyone move out permanently right after school however, but maybe that's because I'm in the UK where property prices are ridiculous.
Especially in Japan, where age of marriage is getting later and later, and more people are just not doing it. What might make the story better is to allow more gradual development. Else it's hard for the reader to see how it happened over time. Not that it can't happen, but the reader should see it happening.

I would like to point out that they would have been engaged at 19, not necessarily married at 19. I'm not sure how long the usual engagement is in Japan, but in the US they can range from a couple months to a year or two. A small, but notable, difference.

Feurox wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:56 am
speaking of Leafy
It’s Leaty.

*checks post* God dammit. Fixed

Okay, onwards.

I’m not entirely sold on this so far - I’m always a bit hesitant to comment on Fics that leave Yamaku, but what I will say is that you’ve made a good effort to make Hisao’s journey from where his heart attack should have been seem believable. The course of action seems thought out, and Hisao, whilst depressive, comes across as quite well developed in the years we’ve missed.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, your writing is technically sound and I think this shows promise.
Razoredge wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:41 am
For me, it's really interesting so far. I will keep this story in my "read more" list. I don't see the problem here too. For me, it's a nice content.

Thanks! All I can really say is I hope it doesn't disappoint

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:31 am
AJT135 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:48 pm
It's also kind of jarring to see that entire year of Hisao's life skimmed over in the space of 2 chapters paragraphs.
I don't usually comment on stuff that didn't make it in the published version, but this is kind of funny, because in the original draft it was two sentences instead of two paragraphs.
I don't really see the problem with moving in together that soon, and proposing after almost two years of being in a relationship does not seem too unusual either. I'll be interested in the mysterious reasons for the breakup though. I haven't been able to read that far either...

This is true, you have Mirage to thank for having as much explanation as you have. I mentioned this before (Rule 1: Only write the interesting stuff) but honestly I just didn't see the point in covering the 1.5 years more than I did right now. More stuff may come up later as it's appropriate, but fate is mentioned for a reason: this isn't the life Hisao was supposed to have, so I skipped to where him and fate began to intersect again.

I knew I couldn't leave everything out (hence the chapter's worth of his heart stuff) but him going to school, work, and his relationship with Iwanako just wouldn't have been interesting in my eyes. At least not as a whole preamble to what I'm writing now.

dewelar wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:26 am
brythain wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:15 am
Especially in Japan, where age of marriage is getting later and later, and more people are just not doing it. What might make the story better is to allow more gradual development. Else it's hard for the reader to see how it happened over time. Not that it can't happen, but the reader should see it happening.
That really depends on how germane it is to the story, though, and whether there's some revelation to come that might make it more properly placed later. Mistake status: pending.

dewelar hit the nail on the head

Interesting story so far -- interesting enough to keep reading at least :) . I'm anxious to see who's in Misha's circle in this 'verse.

Haha, yeah *frantic movement behind the scenes* Can't wait! BRAIN WHY?!

Regarding some of the other points: yes, I know I didn't really describe Shin or Mai in Developments, but it probably would have improved it a bit if I had. I don't think the characters from the VN necessarily need it unless there's something notably different about their appearance. As for the speed of Hisawako, I can't complain, as I married my wife nine months to the day after we met, and we're still together :D .

Yes, build my following dewelar, build it slowly until I'm so overwhelmed I foam at the mouth from too much attention.

...

Wait, maybe that isn't such a good idea. ABORT! ABORT!

Image

There's a reason I mentioned you and Leaty as inspiration instead of more as the more I write the less I feel I'm directly taking from you guys. Still, some of y'alls stuff will be more obvious as the story progresses. Just gotta write more so I can feed these people :oops:
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Things changed since I posted Chapter 2. There are 4 beautiful women on this chapter, but only 2 with Misha. I have edited the previous chapter. Apologies for missing this.

-----
Chapter 3

Mikado leads me to one of the rooms inside the karaoke place; evidently we’re the last ones to arrive. Before we get too close, she turns around and gives me as serious a look as she can through her typically cheerful face. “Hisao, I’m serious~ about you being free to leave at any point. This is supposed to be fun~! You aren’t a prisoner being kept against your will, okay?”

I can see the pout creeping back onto her face. “Okay, but are you sure this is alright? It took a while for you to convince… Satou was it?” She’d spent quite a while on the phone calling and texting various people earlier tonight, but the one who seemed most against it was the first one. Satou Lilly I think was her name.

Her usual happy smile begins to creep back. “Of course~! I wouldn’t have invited~ you if it weren’t!” She drops her voice to a much quieter tone. “Just don’t stare, okay? One of them is really shy…”

I quickly nod, remembering what she’d said. “Right, you told me about them a little.”

Her smile back in full force, she turns the knob. “Great!”

As she opens the door, I’m overwhelmed by the sight of an extremely beautiful women sitting on the couch in the room, “Hey ladies! This is Nakai Hisao.He looked really down earlier, so I thought he could use the company.” As I begin to soak in the atmosphere the tall, blonde lady with the overly kind smile on her face begins to speak.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Nakai. I’m Satou Lilly. I must say I was quite surprised when Misha called me about tonight.”

Misha? Does she mean Mikado? Her face is pointed in my direction, but she isn’t making eye contact; this must the one Mikado spent the most time on the phone with. She mentioned she was blind but to not ‘worry about that.’

“Wahahaha~! Yeah, sorry about the late notice. It all happened so fast!” Mikado looks a little nervous, but continues with introductions unabated, “My friend sitting next to Lilly is Ikezawa Hanako. She’s the one who recommended Karaoke tonight!”

As I turn my attention past Satou, I catch the eye of a thin girl almost entirely behind her. Her hair, almost the same shade as Iwanako’s, hangs over her right eye. I think I see something else there, but before I can make it out she pushes further into the couch, her entire body behind her well-endo- ‘lovely’ friend. I give a nervous smile and wave, though I’m not sure if she can see me anymore.

She speaks almost too quiet for me to hear. “H-hello…” Honestly, she has a lovely voice and is quite attractive, despite the- OH! I finally notice some scarring on her right hand. That must have been what I saw on her face… A cap on her head makes it even harder to see, I’m surprised I noticed anything at all.

“It’s nice to meet you Ikezawa, sorry to intrude on your night with friends.” Though she still seems skittish, I see a small smile from behind the shield of hair.

“N-no, it’s okay. Misha t-told me y-you really needed a f-friend.” Slowly, she comes out from behind Satou, “I k-know how that feels…” Maybe it’s just my imagination, but there’s a depth behind her eyes that tells me those aren’t just kind words.

With introductions out of the way, Mikado, a.k.a. Misha, strikes a pose with her fist in the air, “Okay then! Let’s get this party started!”

***

As the night rounds out, sooner or later, every girl here has insisted I refer to them by their given name. Being the gentleman that I am, I agreed as long as they did the same. Misha eventually explained her nickname, a combination of her given (Shiina) and family (Mikado) names. Hanako seems to really be in her element when she sings, putting her heart and soul into her final song. She mentioned it’s from her days in an orphanage but didn’t explain any further.

Lilly seems content with how I’ve treated Hanako. It is obvious she cares deeply about her, maybe she’s even a little protective. She asks me plenty of questions, though I don’t get into the specifics of why I’m here. They seem comfortable with me, but I’m not ready to talk about Iwanako. They did, however, invite me to a cafe after karaoke.

Everyone else orders tea, leaving me the sole voice of reason with coffee. Misha recommends a parfait, but the cake Hanako ordered sounds much more my speed. Lemon cake always hits a spot I forget is there.

Now that we’ve spent more time around each other, Hanako is beginning to seem more comfortable around me, though she stills stutters more when talking to me compared to Lilly and Misha. “H-Hisao, I… I’m glad we m-met you tonight. I hope we’ve h-helped. You look m-much less depressed than earlier.”

“You did, hopefully we can do this again. I had fun tonight.” I think I see her blush, but she’s turned her head that the hair that hangs in her face makes it hard to tell.

“It was quite enjoyable, Hisao. I look forward to seeing you again in the future. Good luck handling whatever it is that led to you needing a couple strangers for company.” She smiles sweetly, which is swiftly interrupted by a yawn she hides behind her hand. “My apologies, I think I’m spent for the night. Until next time.” Lilly and Hanako get up to leave, Lilly looking particularly tired. Hanako has been hiding behind Lilly whenever people walk by, but Lilly looks to be leaning on her as they walk out. That leaves just me and Misha in the small cafe near the train station.

We sit there chatting a while longer before Misha hides a yawn. “Hicchan, did you enjoy tonight?” Misha herself looks tired, but is adamant she’s fine.

“I did, thank you for inviting me. It helped keep… It helped distract me.” Checking my watch, it’s a bit later than I expect. “We should probably get going though; I don’t care how much you insist, you’re falling asleep just sitting there.” Her head slowly drifts down before she snaps it back up.

“Y-yeah, you’re right. What part of town do you live in Hicchan?” She begins to fade but slaps her face to keep herself awake. She winces at her pain, evidently having hit harder than she meant to.

“Suginami Ward, I have to catch a train before they stop for the night.” As the words leave my mouth, Misha’s eyes drift wide.

“Wait, really?! Where in the ward?” She’s leaning close now, the smell of strawberries drifting through my nose.

“Uh… An apartment right near Kōenji Station. It’s about a 5 minute walk from there.” Now I’m worried. The look on Misha’s face is somehow even more exuberant than her normal cheerfulness.

“OHMYGOSH! I get off at the next station, Asagaya!” Though her energy is overwhelming, it’s easy to tell she’s thoroughly exhausted, “Um… Hicchan? Could I bother you with a walk home? I’m not sure I’ll make it at this point without help…” An extended yawn escapes her before she can continue, “My apartment is to the East of the station, so it shouldn’t be too far of a walk for you after I get home.”

If you weren’t so utterly exhausted Misha, I’d expect something uncouth from this request.

“Sure, can you even stand at this point?” She’s practically a puddle on the table now, but makes an effort to sit up before responding.

“With great effort, Wahaha…” Not even her laugh has energy anymore.

I stand up and offer her my hand. “Then it would be my honor, young maiden.” My back is straight, left hand behind it, giving an air of servitude to my otherwise shabby attire.

With a chuckle, she takes my hand and stands up. “Thanks Hicchan, I really~ appreciate this.”

***

After making sure she won’t fall on her face going up the stairs, I give Misha a parting wave. A tired smile is all I get before the upper floor blocks her face. The crisp autumn air persuades me to pull my jacket closer.

As I walk home, flashes of today go through my head. Waking up next to Iwanako, walking her to the station. I remember rushing home to get ready for the night, double checking everything so it went off without a hitch. The early dinner, everything seeming perfect, until I drop the question…

As I arrive at my apartment, turning my key in the lock, the inside looks so empty. Everything that was hers, that she didn’t think I’d need, is gone. Pictures on the wall, her toothbrush, her half of the closet, empty. I had almost forgotten about it, but this all brings it rushing back.

She told me after rejecting my proposal that she was moving back in with her parents. It was closer to school, and she didn’t want to hurt me even more by staying here longer. I just don’t understand where I went wrong…

I slump onto the bed, the hollow apartment swallowing what’s left of my waking mind.



The light outside rouses me from my sleep, a streak of light making it right into my eye. “Ugh… I wasn’t sleeping well anyways, universe.”

I turn over to check the clock, bright red numbers showing me it’s 6:30 AM. Considering how late I was up, I’m surprised I woke up so early.

Hell no, ain’t happening. I shut my eyes, pull the covers up and hope to fall asleep again.

Time passes, I toss and turn, but no luck. Glancing at the clock, I evidently drifted off at some point as it now flashes 9 AM. Deeming it not worth the effort of trying anymore, I get out of bed to take my morning meds and make breakfast. Checking my phone, I notice a call I missed from Mai last night.

Just as I’m going to check my messages, a very loud knock interrupts me, quickly followed by the sound of my door unlocking. The door swings open, revealing a fiery-headed woman storming in.

Jackass! Get your ass out of bed, I’m not letting you wallow in there another sec-” As she shuts the door behind her, I finally catch her eye, standing next to my rice cooker. “Oh, good, I wasn’t looking forward to dragging you out of bed.” She sets a grocery bag on the counter, some kind of instant meal spilling out. “Wanted to make sure you got something to eat.”

“Thanks. Gotta say, I didn’t expect you this morning Mai. If anything, I thought you’d be over at Iwanako’s…” A look of devastation crosses my face as the words escape before I can process them.

She jabs a finger straight into my forehead. “And that’s why I’m here. She doesn’t need me right now. You do.” She shoos me away from the kitchen. “I can at least prep you something, man. Go get a shower. Did you sleep in your clothes last night?” Entirely forgetting to change, I still have my jacket and semi-nice clothes on from yesterday.

“Whoops…” I slip off my jacket, walking towards my room to get out of these clothes. Before I enter I turn back towards the kitchen. “Thanks Mai, it’s good to see you.”

“Don’t mention it, just go get cleaned up; I’m making sure you leave this apartment today. I called off this morning, the owner understood when I told them why.” As I enter my room, I hear my microwave open and shut. Whatever Mai brought, it looks like she’ll combine it with the rice I’m preparing.

With yesterday’s clothes removed, I grab some new ones and head into the restroom. A hot shower will help remove the fatigue that built up last night.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:43 am

I'm really enjoying this story. I'm curious to see where it goes.
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:21 pm
“Good! Don’t get the wrong idea, but spending the night with four beautiful women should help! Wahahahaha~”
Chapter 3 reveals that there were only three beautiful women at karaoke -- Misha, Lilly and Hanako.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:05 am

Raimen wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:43 am
I'm really enjoying this story. I'm curious to see where it goes.
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:21 pm
“Good! Don’t get the wrong idea, but spending the night with four beautiful women should help! Wahahahaha~”
Chapter 3 reveals that there were only three beautiful women at karaoke -- Misha, Lilly and Hanako.
Yeah, stuff changed. I've edited Chapter 2 and am just about to put an author note at the beginning of Chapter 3 to address this.

Edit: If you guys read Chapter 3 before I corrected Chapter 2, you didn't miss anything. Stuff changed and I forgot to change chapter 2 dialogue.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:22 am

Chapter 4

This morning has certainly been interesting. Ever since Mai came by and made breakfast, we’ve been on the move. Going to a nearby convenience store, visiting a manga place, buying some games and walking everywhere seems to be her answer to how to distract me. Eventually, her main goal becomes obvious: exercise.

I’ve been walking some mornings to keep my heart healthy, but evidently that isn’t enough for her. Walking to a nearby park, she’s adamant that I dedicate myself to running around the foot paths here. I don’t really see the need, but it’ll be easier to drop later than to fight her about it now. Today we’re just planning to check out the place, but fate has other plans.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO-ONE IS THERE?” Mai shouts into her phone. Evidently, basically everyone at her job called off today or didn’t show up. Her being the manager means it’s her responsibility to fill that need.

After a few more terse exchanges Mai slaps the phone shut and throws it back into her handbag “Sorry Hisao, my piece-of-shit assistant manager evidently can’t say no to anyone and also can’t be bothered to bring hell down on the others that didn’t show.” The venom behind her words practically oozes from her mouth. “I’ve gotta go, but don’t you dare break your promise! I’ll call later, and I swear to god if you have, I’ll tear you a new one! Got it?”

I swiftly nod, which seems enough to sate her bloodlust.

“Good, I’ll see you later Hisao.” With that, she sprints out of the park towards the nearby bus stop, leaving me alone at the park around 11 AM. With a sigh, I decide to check out the foot paths so I know what I’m in for, my plastic bag of stuff swaying on my arm.

...

This park seems pretty nice, lots of greenery, and the path goes in a big loop to make it easy for continual walking. As I come up to one of the benches along the path, I notice a guy sitting there, staring at the clouds, unmoving. He has a pair of overalls on with sleeves tied-off about half-way down, giving me the impression he doesn’t have his full arms. Three different people with disabilities last night, and another one this morning? I didn’t expect to meet so many so quickly…

The man’s auburn hair is an absolute mess, his sideburns hanging limply past his ears. Despite this, the look works for him surprisingly well. His mouth is open slightly as I approach, apparently oblivious to my presence. I’m breathing a little heavy from the constant walking this morning so I decide to take a seat near him. As I sit down, his eyes dart towards me, though his face stays pinned to the sky.

“You here to see her run too?” … Okay, that definitely isn’t a guys voice. I have no idea who this chick is talking about, but my surprised face elicits a lazy smile from her. “You thought I was a dude.” It’s a statement. Apparently, this isn’t the first time her gender has been mistaken.

She slips off a sandal to reach up and scratch the back of her head. The flexibility is impressive, though it leads to a crude image out in public. Satisfied with her effort and display, she sets it on the opposite knee. Her eyes are half closed, staring at what I think is a bird.

“Why would I be here to watch someone run? This isn’t a track.”

Her lazy smile shifts into a look of confusion. It’s a look that fits the whole scene quite perfectly. “Oh, so it seems.” She brings up her other leg and sits on the bench cross-legged. Did you just realize that? After a very extended pause: “Why are you here? Do you like dudes…?”

Wha- no. I’m done with this conversation.

As I stand up, I can hear someone approaching quickly, Maybe that’s who she meant. Out of curiosity, I turn back to see a high school girl sprinting towards us, honey blonde pigtails streaming behind her. Under a light jacket, it looks like she’s wearing a school gym uniform. She has a look of intense focus on her face, her mouth pulled into a tight smirk. That by itself is almost mesmerizing, but as I look down her body, I don’t see shoes on her feet - or shins for that matter. Attached right below the knee, she has these curved metal rods which flex and launch her forward. As she gets closer, she slows down, stopping near my benchmate who now has her full attention on this tiny cannonball.

“Rin, who’s the boy? Did you catch him with your feminine wiles?” She giggles, jabbing ‘Rin’ in the chest with an elbow. The confused look now occupies my face instead.

“Dunno, just kinda showed up.” She leans forward to whisper in her friend’s ear, watching me out of the side of her eyes, but keeps her volume and tone completely neutral. “I think he can teleport.”

What?

My brain hurts. As my face scrunches to match my imploded brain, the short-stack finds the apparent joke way too funny.

“I think you just spaced out again Rin.” Bouncing over to me, she gives a short bow, “Hi, I’m Ibarazaki Emi. My armless friend here is Tezuka Rin. Hope she didn’t bother you too much.” The amount of energy stuffed inside her small frame reminds me of Misha, though the air about her is totally different.

“Nakai Hisao, and I think she hurt my brain.” Ibarazaki stifles a laugh at that, turning to Tezuka, and karate chops her lightly on the head.

“Bad Rin! I told you to dial down your normal when you meet new people. You’ll never make new friends at this rate.” With an exasperated sigh, she turns back to me. “Sorry, Rin’s an artist and always seems to say the most random things.”

“I told you, four things at once. You just can’t keep up.” She punctuates her statement with a light kick to Ibarazaki’s knee. “Is there something wrong with you?”



Evidently that question was directed at me. Her gaze doesn’t even shift towards me until after she asks it.

“... Why are you asking that?”

“I wanna know.” Evidently that’s her answer.

It’s Ibarazaki’s turn to wear the confusion that’s being passed around. “What makes you think he has a problem, Rin?”

And now it’s back to the person who wore it first. “He’s not dressed to run, and he was winded when he approached.” You just said I teleported, how do you know that? “Something wrong in your pants? I don’t have one of those.”

... WHAT?” Ignoring me, she leans down to inspect my crotch.

“I collect people. Working around a junk problem tires you out. I know it does me.” At this point she’s dangerously close to my zipper, warranting a jump backwards.

“NO! I have arrhythmia; a friend had me walking for hours and I didn’t pace myself, that’s why I was tired.” That’s the fastest I’ve ever told anyone about my condition. Tezuka seems surprised, eyes almost popping out of her head, as if I confirmed the moon is made of cheese.

After a couple seconds, Rin nudges Ibarazaki with her shoulder. She looks lost for a moment, shakes her head, and closes the distance. “Wait, you’ve got a problem with your heart? I could help with that!” She’s bouncing in front of me, leaving me wondering what sh-

I feel blood rushing to my face, No… there’s no way she could mean- “H-how would you do that? Besides, I.. I think I’ve got it under control; I’ve known about it for almost two years now.” She stops bouncing, but the determination on her face only strengthens.

“All right! I can finally use what I’ve learned from Nurse!” If I wasn’t confused before, I certainly am now.

“Slow down, what the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m studying sports science at Hosei University, and I’ve been wanting to practice what I learned for real. I haven’t had the chance since Yamaku! I can’t do too much, but I can help you find the appropriate amount of exercise and adjust your diet.” Her bouncing has resumed, presumably because of her excite-

SHE’S IN COLLEGE?!

I give her another once over, lingering at her chest and hips. They’re certainly more defined than I would think for a high schooler, and the rest of her body is really toned. She must run a lot. I had failed to notice before now.

My stare, however, does not go unnoticed. Ibarazaki’s stance has gone from one of a giddy child to a much more… flirtatious one. “Like what you see Nakai?” With a wink, my face is now very hot.

“N-n-no, I’m enga-!” My heart is pounding now, my embarrassment and the emotions from last night hitting me all at once.

Thump, Thump, THUMP!

Pain shoots through my heart, my hand colliding with my chest as I begin to feel my heartbeat. Calm down Hisao, breath. You’ve dealt with this before, nothing new… With a hand to my chest and closed eyes, I steady my breathing, sweat pouring despite the cool morning. As my heart calms down, my uneven rhythm returns to normal, and I collapse onto the bench. These flutters always leave me worn out.

As the episode passes, the pain subsides and I open my eyes. Ibarazaki’s eyes are wide with horror, and Tezuka’s face shows concern. I release a breath I’d been holding. “I’m alright, just a scare…”

My new short-legged acquaintance comes up to me, offering a hand. “Come on, my step-dad is trained to handle this, he can check to see if it’s anything more serious. My house is right around the corner.” The look on her face tells me it’s more an order than a request, so I take her outstretched hand and stand up.

“Thanks, I’m supposed to see my doctor when this happens; if your father can do it, I don’t have to make the hour trip there.” She pulls me up with a surprising amount of strength, putting my right arm around her shoulders and her left arm around my waist.

“Of course, I feel a little responsible anyway. Sorry… you’re just really cute when you blush.”

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Fri May 10, 2019 5:11 am, edited 3 times in total.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
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Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:24 am

Interlude 1 - P1

---Mai---

God dammit, why today of all days?

Just barely catching the bus, I scan my pass and collapse into a seat. Thank god I’m keeping up my Judo training… As I catch my breath, I take out my phone and shoot a text to my worthless assistant manager to let him know I’ll be there soon.

The crappy convenience store I work at isn’t the ideal job, but it pays the bills and lets me help out my parents supporting my grandma. “Bless your soul granny, you’re the only reason I’m still here.”

Seeing Hisao up and about when I got there really helped keep this day from sucking as much as I’d expected; I can tell he’s struggling, but it looks like he’ll be okay in time. Just gotta keep on his ass. Remembering this morning isn’t helping me calm down my heart from running all the way to the bus stop.

Come on Mai, you moved past these feelings when he and ‘nako got together in high school. Pull yourself together. Slapping my face, I drive this crush further down into the depths it came from.

“Great plan Mai, spend even more time with the man why don’t you…” I can see the stop ahead so I stretch one last time before resuming a jog off the bus. Another day in paradise.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Fri May 10, 2019 5:10 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:28 am

Interlude 1 - P2

---Lilly---

BEEP BEEP BEEP *click*

“It is 10:40 AM.”

I’ve woken up late, again. I remove the remnants of sleep from my eyes and slide off my bed, taking a moment to assess the apartment. I can hear the sound of kitchenware and smell whatever Hanako, I assume, is making. I thought she’d be at class this Saturday morning, but maybe her teacher canceled. Again.

How that teacher is still there I’ll never understand.

As I leave my room, I catch the faint smell of burnt something, but it’s faded enough that I don’t worry. Heading towards the kitchen, the muffled sound of something from the apartment next to us lets me know Misha is probably still here as well. “What will I do with you two-whoooo-aaaaahhhh…” Try as I might, I do not think I made that yawn ladylike. Judging by the shuffle of feet on wood, my roommate has also noticed.

“Good morning Lilly!” This is immediately followed by an almost full-force tackle, causing me to stumble. The sound of her nightgown on my pajamas confirms my suspicion. Despite this, I return the warm embrace.

“Hanako, we have lived together for almost seven months. Do you intend to greet me this way every morning until we grow old together?” I feel my friend giggle softly into my shoulder.

“Of course! I still can’t believe we get to be roommates Lilly!” She squeezes me once more, nuzzling her face into my shoulder, before stepping back. The sound of her footfalls tell me she returns to the stove. “Breakfast is almost ready; I went for a western style one today!” The sizzling I hear, interrupted by plastic on metal, tells me she’s probably finishing up the eggs.

“Wonderful, I look forward to it.” I make my way over to the table. “Did your professor cancel class again?” An improper pout settles on my face.

“Y-yeah… though evidently this time it h-had to do with his wife. I think she’s in labor… He sent some worksheets to help make up for today.” Right, I almost forgot his wife was pregnant.

“Okay, I guess I can forgive him if he wants to be there for his wife and newborn…” With a familiar click, Hanako turns off the stove and presumably piles the eggs onto our plates. I hear one of them clink on the table, followed by it being lightly pushed into my hand. The sound of metal sliding follows. I pick up the fork and begin to search the layout of what Hanako prepared.

“S-sausage and eggs. I also made toast, b-but I ruined it…” The dejection in her voice is obvious, “I seasoned the eggs how you like them. Let me know if you’d like more salt.” Scraping her fork on her plate, I assume she’s started.

Finding what I presume is one of the sausages, I poke it with my fork and bring it to my mouth. A little overcooked, but good nonetheless. Seasoned well. I follow this up with some egg. “Mmm, perfect eggs Hanako. You’re picking them up quite well! There is a taste I can’t quite make out though…” A small sigh of relief is all the response I get. “The sausage is slightly overcooked, but it’s much better than last time. Perfectly satisfactory!”

“I-I know, that was w-when the toast began to smoke… But I used the oil left over from the sausage to enhance the eggs; I like it.” A small exhale tells me she’s smiling, a little tell I’ve learned from spending so much time with her.

“The only advice I have for toast is to set the timer for less,” I cover my mouth to shield a small chuckle, “But I know you like yours right on the edge. No worries, what we have is plenty.”

After a short while, breakfast is finished, and I collect the plates to rinse them. Standard protocol: whoever cooks, the other cleans.

As I begin, Hanako clears her throat to grab my attention. “So, uh, L-lilly, what did you t-think of Hisao?” It’s hard to tell over the running water, but she sounds nervous.

“The man we met last night? He certainly seems nice, though he isn’t the kind of person I’d expect Misha to bring at the last minute. Boys haven’t been her first pick so far.” I pick up our sponge and begin to clean the plates properly.

“True. She mentioned him having had a b-bad day. I thought h-he was… a little c-cute.” This grabs my attention.

“Oh, is that why you were so relieved once he arrived?” A knowing smile crosses my face.

“N-no! He just… w-wasn’t as scary as I t-thought he might be…” If I know Hanako well, she’s fidgeting as this point.

“Well, I don’t know him well enough to say otherwise, but Misha certainly thought he was someone you could handle. She was very adamant about bringing him when she called.” Finishing the plates, I set them in our draining rack next to the sink and turn off the water. Hanako hands me a towel to dry my hands, and once I do we head over to the couch. She snuggles close to me, her head on my shoulder and her arm entwined with mine.

“Y-yeah, but I could tell h-he wasn’t all there. I wonder w-what happened to him…” Hanako runs a hand through my hair, signalling that it is, indeed, a bird’s nest. “You should finish getting ready Lilly, it’s already past 11. You have class this afternoon, right?” Her reminder brings me back to earth.

“Yes, I do,” my pout from earlier returns, “and it’s my worst subject. Math.” Hanako giggles at my pain.

“Misha mentioned Hisao is good with numbers. She said the girl that was always with him asked him for help with Science. M-maybe he could do the s-same with you?” The tone in her voice hints that helping me is not her only goal.

“If he can, I would certainly appreciate it. I imagine you wouldn’t mind him coming here either?” I poke her stomach, a light chuckle resonating from me.

“S-stop! I h-have no u-ulterior m-motive!” If I could see, I’m sure her eyes would be looking at anything besides myself.

“Your stutter suggests otherwise, Miss Ikezawa.” Taking her arm from my own, I stand to wash up. “But lucky for you, I have other business to attend to. Pray I do not return to this subject later.” The laugh coming from my throat isn’t nearly as quiet as I would have hoped, but finding something to tease her on is rare.

“S-shut up! I’ll s-see you off to the station, so hurry up.” Her pout is ever so obvious in her voice.

Returning to my room, I set out to do just that.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Fri May 10, 2019 5:11 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am

Emi's running chant from Developments is great. I know it's a part of my head canon.

I do have a suggestion. The boy that Emi watched die deserves a name to go with his story. She cared for him, and his memory and the events of his passing will be something that Emi would carry to her grave. He shouldn't be "That student in my third year." He should be more.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:18 am

Raimen wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am
Emi's running chant from Developments is great. I know it's a part of my head canon.

I do have a suggestion. The boy that Emi watched die deserves a name to go with his story. She cared for him, and his memory and the events of his passing will be something that Emi would carry to her grave. He shouldn't be "That student in my third year." He should be more.
Hmm, he should come up again in the story. I'll remove that line for now since it's more explanation and less Emi thought process. There's no need to say his name in the moment, it's an inner monologue, but he will have a name.

Justice for "that student in her third year" will be had!
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:20 am

Chapter 5

Leaving the park behind, we round a corner and continue a short way down a street before Ibarazaki pulls me towards a bakery. The front windows have something… eclectic on them. Not bad, but does that fit a bakery? I catch Tezuka also making her way there, though she isn’t paying any attention to where she’s walking.

I glance over Ibarazaki again as we enter the shop. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as a baker’s daughter. If your dad’s a nurse, how’s he run a bakery also?”

She meets my gaze, a mix of annoyance and a devilish smile on her face. “Oh no, my mom runs the shop; she makes healthy alternatives to the normal sweets you see at most bakeries, not to mention her bread is downright amazing.” I see a young lady manning the register. She looks like an older, darker haired Ibarazaki, so I assume she’s an older sister that helps out. “My step-dad was the nurse at my high school, but I knew him before then. He may be a pun-making jackass, but he knows his stuff.”

The young woman at the register runs over. “Emi, what happened? You leave this morning alone and come back with a boy? I know you’re impatient, but this is a little fast even for you.” The lady grabs my left arm, helping her ‘sister’ take me into the back.

“No Mom,” Mom? “he had a heart episode in the park. He insists he’s fine, but I thought nurse could give him a looksie to make sure he’s alright. He still upstairs?” Ibarazaki’s supposed mother seems surprised, but simply nods before leading me to a chair for me to sit.

“So, mysterious young man, is what my daughter says true? Or is this a scheme just to find out where she lives?” Despite her jovial tone, she tells Tezuka to keep an eye on me in case anything happens. The odd, auburn haired maiden does exactly as asked, showing an amount of focus I thought impossible. Reaching into a bag nearby, Mrs. Ibarazaki pulls out a water bottle and hands it to me.

Her assertion, however, does not help my heart to calm down. With a nod, I take the water bottle and take a sip. “N-no, I really do have issues with my heart. Arrhythmia. I found out about it a year and a half ago and so far it is well under control, but I still have to be careful not to overexert myself.”

I hear metal on wood along with another set of steps coming down the stairs. The short girl and a lavender-haired man with a stern look, her father I presume, round the corner. The man holds a black bag and comes directly to me to, I assume, look me over. His eyes are very narrow, so I can’t quite tell where he’s looking, but he pulls out a stethoscope. “This the boy Emi?” Before he gets a response, I begin taking off my shirt, my desire to know if I’m dying or not overcoming my embarrassment. He looks surprised, but says nothing.

“That’s him.” I see a look of guilt creep onto my metal-legged acquaintance. “I didn’t think his condition would cause a problem when I… flirted with him.Seriously? One day out of my first relationship, and I’ve already got a girl showing interest?

It takes her a moment, as well as Tezuka, to notice the scar on my chest. I catch Ibarazaki’s mother hiding a gasp, but the supposed nurse doesn’t react, “Don’t beat yourself up, there’s no way you could have known.” He places the cold metal on my chest, instructing me to breathe normally. After a routine I’ve become used to over the last year or so, a too-wide grin is plastered on his face. “Looks like it’s nothing serious. You should be fine, but I shouldn’t have to tell you to take it easy the rest of the day.” One of his eyes opens, looking at me directly. “This little ray of sunshine doesn’t hold back. I hope you’re ready if just a little bit of flirting sets you off.” Following an insidious chuckle, I can’t help but show how done I am with this teasing.

“I can’t say she isn’t cute, but I just got dumped. I’m not looking for anything right now…” My pain is exceedingly obvious in my voice. ‘Emi’ looks even more crestfallen now, her mother looking just as nervous. Tezuka is unfazed; somehow, I’m not surprised.

‘Nurse,’ however, doesn’t change, simply putting a hand on my shoulder. “Then it’s good you've come across this drop of sunlight. I can’t think of a better person to pull you out of this funk, assuming you want the help.” He stands, gathering his bag and heading for the door. “With that, I should head to work. Good luck Nakai. Name’s Goro, but I’ll let my wife finish introductions; I’m behind schedule as it is.” With a small wave, he strides out of the store.

As I put my shirt back on, the embarrassment finally manifesting, Ibarazaki bounds up. “I’m so sorry Nakai. Please, stick around for lunch, it’s the least I can do to make up for this.” She gives me a look nothing could have prepared me for. Oh no. God, why would you weaponize cuteness like this. On her face are puppy dog eyes so demoralizing, so disarming, she might get me to commit murder just to remove it from her face.

“F-fine! I don’t even know what I’d do with my day anyways. Stop making that face!” Her trump card is immediately replaced by an equally joyous one, punctuated by a return of her bouncing.

“Good! Hey mom, mind if I make lunch today? I’m gonna have to run to the store,” Her mother looks a little lost, but quickly lights up herself.

“Go right ahead honey, Rin and I can keep him company until then. Don’t worry about it Emi,” she chuckles lightly, watching her daughter blast off through the store. “Have you had breakfast yet Nakai? If nothing else, I’d like to give you one of our most popular sweets. I believe they are referred to as {cinnamon rolls} in America.”

I tell her I have, but I couldn’t possibly refuse her kindness. “Great! Rin, could you go collect those? I’ll leave the icing to you as well.” Tezuka nods, finally removing her gaze from me. She heads back out into the front, and I find myself curious as to how she’ll do this…

“Uhh, how is she supposed to do that without arms?” She giggles before responding.

“Oh, Rin is quite resourceful. She helps out quite a bit around here; she also makes all of the name plates for our sweets. The work on the front windows is her’s as well!” Images of telepathy and using her arms to ‘finger paint’ come to mind, but I shake my head to get rid of the image. She probably uses her feet, like she did to scratch her head earlier.

Satisfied that my curiosity has been sated, she continues. “How rude of me, I haven’t even introduced myself or my husband. I’m Ibarazaki Meiko and my husband is Itō Goro. Emi is from my first marriage…” Her face clouds over for a moment before she continues, “But enough about me. I heard Emi and Goro refer to you as Nakai but it’s only proper to let you introduce yourself.”

First marriage? Ibarazaki mentioned ‘nurse’ was her step-father, so it shouldn’t surprise me. Probably best if I don’t push it though. “Nakai Hisao, it’s a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Ibarazaki.”

“Please, Meiko is fine. Hearing Mrs. Ibarazaki makes me feel so old.”

Tezuka sticks her head in for a moment. “Preparing them upstairs. Emi and you always tell me to eat at a table anyway.” With that, she disappears, and I hear her going up the steps.

Meiko lets out yet another laugh. “Rin is always an odd one. Head on upstairs Hisao, I’ll close the shop for a bit so we can talk a bit before lunch.”

I watch her walk back out front before standing up myself. I stretch out, assessing just how tired I am. Should have enough for lunch and to get back home. Heading upstairs carefully, I’m greeted by the smell of cinnamon and sugar. Tezuka is wearing a sock, which has a separate pouch for her big toe, to grab a plate from the microwave, setting it on a table nearby. There are several plates there, all with a spiral cake on them. After she removes the sock, I watch Tezuka sit on the table, grabbing a bag of some sort between her feet, squeezing it’s contents onto each dish. Once she sets it down, she hops off, pulls out a drawer, and grabs a few forks with her mouth, setting them by each plate.

At some point during all this, she somehow noticed me. “Like watching girls do stuff they’re bad at?” She hops back on the table, grabbing one of the forks, and flicks her head to invite me to the table. Soon after I sit down, Meiko comes from the stairwell.

“You’re getting faster at this Rin, I’m impressed!” Tezuka simply nods, beginning the task of stabbing her pastry. I finally notice a cloth bag on the floor and a plastic container on the counter, along with a cinnamon covered spoon sitting next to it. Quite impressive for a girl with no arms.

“Gotta earn my keep somehow,” finally getting a piece of pastry on her fork, she brings it up to her mouth using her foot. She looks quite content with the taste.

Picking up my fork to dig in, Meiko sits at the other chair. “So Hisao, tell me about yourself.”

***

“Rin claims to be at least half-pirate since she has no arms, but that isn’t how it works. She doesn’t even have hooks! At least I have the peg legs.”

By the time Meiko has finished questioning me, Emi has returned to make lunch. Even Rin has a few questions, as odd as they were. They seem like non-sequiturs but, after considering it for a bit, I realize what she asked is only a few steps removed from the discussion at hand. She basically asks how I see the world, but she always uses strange descriptors like ‘color’ when referring to people. Emi’s blue, Meiko is sunflower yellow, and I’m apparently green, though I’m not sure how confident she is in that assessment. She also mentions Goro being a weird mix of colors, uncertain which one was true.

After lunch, Emi offers to walk me back to my apartment, claiming it is for my safety, but I’m pretty sure she also wants to know where I live. She changed into more normal looking legs, her knee-high socks making them almost look normal.

“No, I can see where she’s coming from. She may not have the hooks, but your legs are way too advanced to be called ‘peg legs.’” The elf is not amused.

“Don’t you start that! When it comes down to it, Rin has no desire to be a pirate. I think she just says that to annoy me.” The grumpiness in her voice is undercut by the broad smile on her face.

“You really care about Rin, don’t you?” Her eyes look at me incredulously.

“Of course I do! I spent two years with her as my next door dorm mate and helped her through a lot. Nomiya, an art teacher at Yamaku, practically forced her to do an exhibit she didn’t want to do. Asshole caused her to break down, too.” By the fury in her eyes, I can tell she’s serious. “Besides, despite how she acts, she’s given me some great insight on things I’ve struggled with. I can’t understand it half the time - she called me an albatross once, whatever that means - but I know she cares.”

As we round the last corner to my apartment complex, I begin to wave goodbye to Emi. “See y-”

“Oh no you don’t, you said you live on the third floor. I’m walking you to your front door mister.” She bounds up with a little more effort than earlier. “You ain’t dying on me today Hisao!”

Hanging my head in defeat, my tiredness becomes apparent. “Look, Emi, I’m grateful for what you’ve done today, but I’m not sure I can handle bringing a girl home the day after breaking up.” As we begin climbing the stairs I look towards her expecting a blush - only to be met by a devilish grin.

“Hisao, in addition to studying sports science, I also have training in first aid and physical therapy. Other people would be worried, but I know enough to push you to the edge and get you to enjoy it.” A wink compliments her sultry tone.



I am in way over my head. “Fine, but since you’ve already seen me with my shirt off, I feel you should return the favor.” And yet I push anyways.

Fortunately, this managed to get my short companion to blush all the way to her ears. After a short moment, she sighs in defeat. “Damn Hisao, I didn’t think you could follow that up. You win, no hanky-panky on the first date.”

… Wait.

Confusion covers my face as I look towards her, her grin back in full force. “Date? How is causing a heart flutter the start of a date?”

“I made you lunch, and you’ve already met my parents..” My confusion deepens, supported by my face going red. Her laugh suggests it had the desired effect. “Don’t worry Hisao, I’m just kidding! As my mom said, something like this would be fast even for me.”

As we reach my apartment door, the scrunching of her face says she’s commiting my apartment to memory. “First date or not, don’t expect me to invite you in. I need to rest, and you won’t help with that.”

“Nope! I wouldn’t. No resistance from me today, but my offer to help still stands. I can’t do anything extreme, considering I don’t have a degree nor access to your medical history, but I can whip up a diet plan and help you beef up your exercise routine. My step-dad can help too, though he won’t always be home.” With a wave she turns back towards the stairs. “See ya later Hisao! You’ve got my number once you decide.”

I watch her almost sprint down the stairs before unlocking my door and going inside. Emi is definitely energetic.

If nothing else, Mai will be pleased to hear about her offer.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/35/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by dewelar » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:36 pm

Wow, is it March 35th already? Spring is really flying by... :wink:

I really enjoyed this chapter -- I think it's your best one so far. Your first couple of chapters had some iffy moments, but you seem to be smoothing them out as you continue writing. The interplay between Emi and Hisao here is quite enjoyable, and while I'm not sure you've quite gotten Rin down it's better than most takes on her that I've read around here. The idea of Meiko running a bakery is an interesting one, too -- what inspired that choice?

Overall, I think this story is shaping up nicely. One issue I have (and it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine -- it was what eventually led me to stop reading the After the Dream saga) is what I call "Small World Syndrome". The coincidence of meeting so many of the major KS characters within a couple days is a bit much to swallow, although in a story like this I suppose that level of contrivance is inevitable. I'm not too proud to admit to enjoying the several hat-tips to Developments, though :).

Looking forward to what comes next!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:49 am

dewelar wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:36 pm
Wow, is it March 35th already? Spring is really flying by... :wink:
BAH! Fixed
I really enjoyed this chapter -- I think it's your best one so far. Your first couple of chapters had some iffy moments, but you seem to be smoothing them out as you continue writing. The interplay between Emi and Hisao here is quite enjoyable, and while I'm not sure you've quite gotten Rin down it's better than most takes on her that I've read around here. The idea of Meiko running a bakery is an interesting one, too -- what inspired that choice?
... CLANNAD? I thought for a while about something Meiko could do to keep herself busy and something Rin could help with. After sitting on it for like 4 days, I eventually conceded it would work and, coincidentally, reflects Rin's desire to learn to cook from the VN. I'm not sure if it's said whether Meiko is good at baking or not, but sweets fit her personality.

Honestly, I fussed over Rin a lot from when I first wrote chapters 4 & 5, rewriting her lines and making small changes until she was somewhere I liked her. Going through Rin's route again right now and she's strangely observant of things others miss. Reminds me of my younger self, seemingly inattentive while noticing a lot. She gets spacey, but she mostly doesn't know how to express herself. I have no idea how to write that, honestly, but she fits my image of her pretty well so far.
Overall, I think this story is shaping up nicely. One issue I have (and it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine -- it was what eventually led me to stop reading the After the Dream saga) is what I call "Small World Syndrome". The coincidence of meeting so many of the major KS characters within a couple days is a bit much to swallow, although in a story like this I suppose that level of contrivance is inevitable. I'm not too proud to admit to enjoying the several hat-tips to Developments, though :).

Looking forward to what comes next!
Yeah... I can't really refute this. They are all going to believable schools, and the ward they're in is relatively central to all of them. I will say I'm doing my best to spread events out over more time in later chapters; it's a stretch, but it's better to use a coincidence to get the ball rolling than to stop it. One's a story premise, the other's a copout.

Glad to see you enjoy it. Let's hope I can keep up the trend!
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by dewelar » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:23 am

NelNinja wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:49 am
dewelar wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:36 pm
I really enjoyed this chapter -- I think it's your best one so far. Your first couple of chapters had some iffy moments, but you seem to be smoothing them out as you continue writing. The interplay between Emi and Hisao here is quite enjoyable, and while I'm not sure you've quite gotten Rin down it's better than most takes on her that I've read around here. The idea of Meiko running a bakery is an interesting one, too -- what inspired that choice?
... CLANNAD?
Ah!
I thought for a while about something Meiko could do to keep herself busy and something Rin could help with. After sitting on it for like 4 days, I eventually conceded it would work and, coincidentally, reflects Rin's desire to learn to cook from the VN. I'm not sure if it's said whether Meiko is good at baking or not, but sweets fit her personality.
Yeah, that does track. Canon Meiko is a good cook, but a restaurant would be too much to handle right off and a coffee shop has been done to death. I could see her being an excellent caterer, though. Also liked the touch of Rin's oven tabi.
Honestly, I fussed over Rin a lot from when I first wrote chapters 4 & 5, rewriting her lines and making small changes until she was somewhere I liked her. Going through Rin's route again right now and she's strangely observant of things others miss. Reminds me of my younger self, seemingly inattentive while noticing a lot. She gets spacey, but she mostly doesn't know how to express herself. I have no idea how to write that, honestly, but she fits my image of her pretty well so far.
Oh, no doubt that Rin is tricky. I didn't have her down right out of the gate either. Eventually I found that my Rin Rinned better when I didn't think about it at all and just wrote her in a sort of stream-of-consciousness mode. Forcing it never works (e.g., the "problem in your pants" bit a couple chapters back -- that was pretty clunky).
Overall, I think this story is shaping up nicely. One issue I have (and it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine -- it was what eventually led me to stop reading the After the Dream saga) is what I call "Small World Syndrome". The coincidence of meeting so many of the major KS characters within a couple days is a bit much to swallow, although in a story like this I suppose that level of contrivance is inevitable.
Yeah... I can't really refute this. They are all going to believable schools, and the ward they're in is relatively central to all of them. I will say I'm doing my best to spread events out over more time in later chapters; it's a stretch, but it's better to use a coincidence to get the ball rolling than to stop it. One's a story premise, the other's a copout.
*nods* Yeah, there aren't a lot of good options in a case like this, so I'll allow it for now :wink:. Just try to avoid leaning on it too heavily going forward.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

Hanako Fancopter
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: (WIP - Updated 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:53 am

Alright I've read everything that's been posted so far. Boii does Hisao have the VN protagonist curse! Just as many girls falling over him as in the game lol. If it turns into a pseudo-harem story where he's trying to manage all the female attention without any of the dating options trying to kill the others, I certainly wouldn't complain.

I think with Emi's first bit, you did too much exposition too quickly, basically telling us the major events of Emi's time at Yamaku and where a lot of her motivations are right away, in her first appearance in the story. It's all recounted in her head as opposed to being revealed to Hisao through behavior and eventually confession. There's no need to do that and it potentially robs you of good material for down the line. I also find it a bit contrived for her to have a previous running mate similar to Hisao as if he'd gone to Yamaku after all. Just my opinion.

I will look forward to reading more of this story! I find it interesting that you are making Mai more of a significant character as opposed to only using Yamaku girls. I'm also going to picture the nurse as having four arms for the duration of this thread.

Oh and last comment I particularly enjoyed the Lilly/Hanako segment ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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