Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Completed 12 Sep 2019)

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ShizuneFan2019
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Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Completed 12 Sep 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:13 pm

Hey guys, this is my first post in this forum.

My own continuation to the fantastic yet incomplete Shizune Epilogue: "After Graduation"!! It continues from Chapter 24 of that story. I have received permission from the moderator to post this story, since the author has been inactive for several years already.

The story is COMPLETE (Yay!). *But could be expanded if I want to.*

My writing concentrates on being informative, educational, and inspirational. It combines my own experience in life, my knowledge, and my own analysis of the game. It is also quite unique (see the notes below). I hope everyone that reads it can benefit from it. The timeline kind of moves very fast, because I want to bring my points across without dragging the story too long. I prefer quality over quantity.

*****************************************
Notes:
  1. It is okay if you have not read the original story, as the first chapter provides a summary of what happened. But that story was excellent, so it is recommended to read it beforehand.
  2. This story includes references to some of the best fan fictions in this forum. The references will be put at the end of each chapter. I also changed Hisao's home from the original story's Hakata to Chiba, to fit those fan fictions. Note: The references are strictly confined to that specific fact or comment. The other parts of those stories do NOT apply in this story. Except, of course, the original fiction.
  3. Adult contents are warned with a heading <Adult content>. I put a lot of effort in them though.
  4. The story contains branched endings. However, it is not intended to be a CYOA. Rather, the branches are meant to provide more varieties and make comparisons. Readers are encouraged to read every branch. If you hate branched endings, just treat this story as several stories with the same beginning.
  5. I also include soundtracks, but shaded in black.
  6. If you find any errors, or if you have any suggestions, please PM me.
*****************************************
Table of Content:
Chapter 1: Nocturne (This post)
Chapter 2: University
Chapter 3: Reconcile
Chapter 4: Rivalry

Branch A -- Calm her down
Chapter 5A: Three-way Chat
Chapter 6A: Quality Time (Erotic)
Chapter 7A: Reunion (A)
Epilogue A: Stars Embrace

Branch B -- Talk her out of it
Chapter 5B: Lost Treasure
Chapter 6B: First Time (Erotic)
Chapter 7B: Reunion (B)
Epilogue B: Healthy Member

Branch C -- Compromise
Chapter 5C: Misery Loves Company
Chapter 6C: Lovesick
Chapter 7C: Reunion (C)
Epilogue C: America for Five

Branch D -- Stay Away
Chapter 5D: Troublesome Women
Chapter 6D: Reflection
Chapter 7D: Reunion (D)
Epilogue D: Full Satisfaction
*****************************************
Maturity - Shizune Epilogue

Chapter 1: Nocturne

1-13
This room feels strange to me.

The moon is shining brightly, or, rather, reflecting light from the sun, onto my desk, onto my pill bottles. The air is cool. A spring breeze blows through the windows, warmly caressing my face. Feels all the same as my dorm room in Yamaku, but something feels different.

Maybe I am different.

This is the first time I’ve been in my room since, well, the accident.

The last time I was in this room, I was healthy, at least physically.

My life has certainly changed since then. I can’t judge whether it’s good or bad, given that I now have a wonderful girlfriend, but it turned into a direction I’ve never thought of. Heck, things have changed a lot in the last two days already.

I graduated. Along with Shizune and Misha. We took a photo, our first and last school photo, in front of the school gate.

I confessed to Shizune. Got neglected. Then, suddenly, out of the blue, she confessed to me back.

It appears that Shizune’s emotional floodgates got blown open right after stepping out of the school. Or, rather, after she passed on the Student Council to Aoi and Keiko. As she said, something finally clicked inside her. I finally feel like I do have a girlfriend.

We went to The Shanghai, where I decided to bring Shizune to my home, and where I disclosed my heart condition to my two dearest friends.

Then Misha left, leaving Shizune in my hands. We spent the night in my dorm room, for the first and the last time.

We rushed to the train station. I lost a bet to her, and she got to do whatever she wanted to. I ended up acting as a slave to her.

We really are an odd pair.

I’ve never been this competitive in my life. I can safely say that she’s rubbed that onto me. I remembered trying to outrun a girl with no legs on the first week. I fought for a piece of bread against Shizune in the Student Council room. I started to enjoy playing little games and bets with her.

It’s also this competitive spirit of hers that gave me the motivation to work hard. As a result, I managed to pass the National Center Test and Entrance Tests (for Kyoto and Tokyo University) to get accepted in university.

She’s certainly changed me.

Yet I hate the fact that I have to always be on the edge while dealing with her. Misha’s right. If she keeps on butting heads with people like this, she might get into trouble in university. I need to talk to her about this.

And talk to her about the two glaring issues on hand.

I need to be responsible. I need to be a better boyfriend to her. I don’t think she’ll dump me for another boy, given her disability, but she does deserve a caring partner.

None
A loud snap of fingers causes me to jolt, my heart instantly stops for a second. Luckily, I’m used to this gesture of hers enough that my heart isn’t going to act up upon this.

[What are you doing in your room, dreamer?]

She frowns at me, apparently thinking that I am wasting my time.

[Thinking about us, and recent events.]

She tries to protest, but I pre-empt her by signaling her to sit next to me on my bed.

2-06
[This moonlight brings back memories.]

She looks at the window, then instantly blushes heavily. We both understand the significance of that night. It was our first night together, in the Student Council room.

[You know, when you and Misha asked me about my favorite moment in Yamaku, I instantly thought of that moment.]

[Me too.]

[I think we made an important breakthrough on our relationship on that day. You know, until that point, I wondered whether I was really your boyfriend or not.]

She frowns.

[Why?]

[You’re always busy with Student Council matters. And, remember the trip to your father’s place? Well, you spent almost all the time with Misha.]

[That’s because it’s the last summer I got to spend with her, and I want to leave some good memories with her. I know that she’s going to study abroad.]

[I understand. But it’s still difficult for me. Having a girlfriend only on paper sucks.]

[Sorry. As I said on the train, I’m a lousy girlfriend. That’s why I’m making amends.]

[Thanks. I feel like I do have a girlfriend now, especially after these two days. I also made up my mind on one thing.]

[What’s that?]

I look at her directly, pause, cup her face with one hand and sign with the other.

[I want to be a better boyfriend to you.]

She smiles. Is it happiness? Or is she merely challenging me?

[How do you do it, Mr. Master of Romance?]

Luckily, I’m fully prepared for this moment. My unusual confidence seems to perk up her curiosity as she stares at me intently.

[Remember in the small antique store, you said that I was acting strangely, and that you’re a saint for putting me up?]

I take out the glass cat figurine from my bag.

[This is my graduation gift for you. It’s not much, but I hope you like it.]

Shizune takes the accessory from my hands. Under the moonlight, it shines a bright purple color onto Shizune’s beautiful face. A stunning view indeed. I’m happy I bought it back then. It was the right choice.

She holds the glass cat to her chest, her eyes closed, seemingly enjoying herself. I’m happy that Misha kept this a secret from her.

I haven’t really done much for her since I confessed to her. It’s time to give her what she deserves.

After a few minutes, she puts down the figurine onto the table.

[Thanks. It means a lot to me.]

[I saw the cat doll I won for you lying on your bed when I was packing your stuff this morning. If that doll signifies our relationship in Yamaku, then this doll will signify our relationship in university.]

[But our universities are so many kilometers apart.]

[That’s going to be my second graduation gift for you.]

She looks confused as I pull her closer to me, her head leaning against my chest.

[Misha asked me to take care of you, and I promised her.]

I paused for a moment before continuing.

[I’m going to Tokyo with you.]

She immediately rises up, mouth open, obviously reeling in shock.

[What? Didn’t you say that you’re going to Kyoto?]

[Well, I’m accepted by Kyoto, but I’m accepted by Tokyo as well. I took two Entrance Exams. I hadn’t made up my mind when you asked me back then. But when you said you’re going to Tokyo, I immediately decided…]

She jumps at me at once, forcing me to stop signing and hold her instead. Her expression is, well, “ecstatic” is the only word I can think of right now.

We stayed like this for quite some time. She holds me tight, to let everything sink in. Eventually, she pulls away from me, a dazzling smile appears on her face.

[Take good care of me in Tokyo.]

[Sure, I’ll try my best. It’s not that far away from here anyway, so if we do need any help, we can ask my parents.]

[Your parents are nice.]

[It seems you’ve been getting along well with them.]

[I hope I made a good impression on them.]

[Don’t worry about it. Rather, there are a couple of issues in my mind, and I need to talk to you about these…]

<to Chapter 2>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:08 am, edited 31 times in total.

ShizuneFan2019
Posts: 30
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:47 pm

Chapter 2: University

None
“Morning Hicchan!”

“M-Misha?”

“Misha? Can’t you even recognize your mom’s voice?”

1-14
I slowly start to get up, and reflexively try to reach my desk for my pills, failing to do so. The desk is not at the place it usually was. Of course. I’m not in Yamaku anymore.

“Sorry, mom, I just wake up.”

“Just let you know, we’re going to work now. Shizune’s made breakfast for you, and she’s eating already, so get up now.”

“Okay.”

“Shizune also told me that you’re going to apply for university courses on the web today. You’re going to Tokyo with her, aren’t you? I think you might as well go there in person either today or tomorrow. There are a lot of stuff you need to figure out.”

“Thanks mom. We’ll do it.”

“By the way, is Misha your Student Council friend?”

“Yes. She’s my and Shizune’s best friend. There are exactly two people in the world who use this nickname on me, and I don’t like it at all.”

“But it suits you so well. Anyway, see you tonight. Bye, Hicchan!”

Do I really look like a Hicchan? I think she and Misha would make great friends.

A cool breeze makes me shiver. I realize that I’m naked in the bed. Alone. Well, obviously that’s because Shizune got up earlier to make breakfast. We enjoyed some “quality time” together after confirming that my dad didn’t “post any guards outside my bedroom door”. Last night, after revealing to her that I’m going to Tokyo with her, I asked her the two questions that had been bugging me. I was relieved, much to her amusement, that she’s been on the pill since she accepted to be my girlfriend. She even quoted Sun Tzu to me, which made me chuckle: [Being prepared is the greatest of all virtues!]

She revealed to me that she has another reason to take the pills. She’s always under huge pressure from Student Council work, and, not willing to give up her work for more rest, she takes the pills to steady her hormones. Now that she’s finally released from the Student Council, I need to take good care of her health.

Or, rather, we both take care of each other’s health.

I suddenly forgot that she has asked me... no, “ordered” me, to run with her in the mornings, to stay in shape. Looks like I’ll have to do it after breakfast.

The eternal Class Representative and Student Council President. Always look out for others. And so pretty too. And I’m her boyfriend. I feel so proud of myself.

I’m a boyfriend now.

Come to think of it, I didn’t really take care of my own health at all last year. Morning coffee, skipping breakfast, soda for breakfast, skipping dinner, fried food cooked by Shizune, cake in Shanghai; no exercise (except making love with Shizune), no health checkups with the Nurse, pulling all-nighters in the Student Council, irregular sleep patterns. That was my life in Yamaku, without my parents’ supervision. So disgusting.

I shiver. I shouldn’t have survived at all. I’m probably extremely lucky not to be in a hospital again.

I recall the several occasions I had a heart flutter when I was in Yamaku. In the first week when Emi bumped into me. On the roof picnicking with Shizune. The several times we made love. The night before the National Center Test when Kenji knocked so loudly on my door.

Hisao, you’re a boyfriend now. You need to be responsible. You need to change your lifestyle, desperately.

I get up, perform my daily rituals, including my seventeen pills, and head down to meet Shizune.

As for the other question…

“Good morning, Shizune.”

Shizune’s still eating her breakfast. She frowns at me, apparently not happy with me waking up so late and missing my morning run with her.

[What brings you so late? We missed our morning run, and the breakfast is getting cold!]

“I’m sorry. We’ll run after breakfast, okay?”

She huffs and makes a gesture for me to sit down. I decide to do one thing first.

“Shizune, don’t frown so much. It makes wrinkles on your head. Smile more.”

[Huh? I don’t understand those words.]

[“I said don’t frown. It makes wrinkles on your head. Smile more.”]

Her lip-reading is far from perfect (she told me that it’s almost impossible to lip-read perfectly), but I really appreciate the fact that she’s trying hard.

She has made a lot of breakthroughs this year, especially these few days. Her friendship with Misha has improved to the point that Misha can go back to her own self while keeping a strong bond with her, despite the awkward confession from Misha that got rejected. Her relationship with Lilly seems to soften up a little bit, and I think, with me acting as a bridge between them, things might be able to work out. Then, of course, is the experience of being a girlfriend for the first time. It hasn’t been easy for her to show her emotions to me, but these few days she has made huge progress. She also started to use a phone, which she despised until two days ago.

And the latest breakthrough is that she’s now starting to lip-read me. We practiced it a lot last night, and she’s getting used to it.

She glares at me when I mention wrinkles to her.

[So you’re saying I’m getting old already?]

“No. It’s just a [precaution]. And I really love your smile.”

I continue speaking to her, only signing the difficult words. She’s still not convinced.

[Really?]

“Come on! You don’t know how [infectious] your smile is. Please? Consider it a [reward] for me to go to Tokyo with you. Pretty please?”

I sweet talk her while kissing her on her forehead where her “wrinkles” are, which finally brings up a smile from her, probably more on my silly words than wrinkle worries.

“Good morning. I love you.”

[Sit down and eat. It’s getting cold.]

As I sit down opposite to her, she signs.

[What are our plans today? We need to do our runs and sort out university business in the morning, but what about afternoon?]

This time it’s me who is smiling.

“Shizune, we’re going to see what our future looks like.”

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

2-03
After accepting our offers of Tokyo University on the web, and a morning run around the playground nearby, we set off for our “future” in the afternoon.

Tokyo University, or, the University of Tokyo to be accurate, is a huge place. Todai, it’s abbreviation, is situated next to Ueno Park and the JR Line Ueno Station. It’s one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. Shizune told me that Lilly’s father, who is the CEO of a company in Inverness, Scotland, was a graduate of Todai. I’m so proud that Shizune and I are able to study here.

I’m looking at the map, deciding where to go first. Shizune, however, doesn’t look like she needs one.

[Are you still looking at your map? You’re a Loser!]

“You know where to go?”

Shizune confidently adjusts her glasses.

[Of course! I have the whole campus memorized. How can you be not prepared before you apply for university?]

“I… well… I really haven’t thought about that.”

[How long do I have to put up with you?!]

I chuckle.

“Well, I won’t worry too much about that. You know, I’m the master of spontaneity.”

Shizune glares daggers at me.

[Whatever. The school of business is up front, and the school of science is a bit far away on the right side. We don’t have much time before sunset, so we should split up. Meet me back here at 5pm, okay?]

“Sure.”

[And make sure you decide which degree you’re going for.]

“I will. Thanks for reminding me.”

[And don’t get lost. I don’t want to search for you in this large campus.]

“Sure thing. I can message you if I ever lose my way.”

Her face falls flat, making me regret what I just said. She still hates her phone.

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

2-04
After visiting the faculty of science, I start my return journey back to the entrance near Ueno Park. I pass by the School of Humanities and Sociology, and Faculty of Letters on the way.

I heard that Hanako Ikezawa is going to study Journalism along with Naomi Inoue in Kasshoku University, near my hometown. I haven’t spoken too much to Hanako since I joined the Student Council. Being Shizune’s boyfriend has an unfortunate side effect of ruling me out of some options. [The friend of my enemy is my enemy,] is what she declared. However, I remembered that day when Shizune, Misha, Hanako and I worked together in class and Hanako suffered a panic attack. Shizune, as the class representative, was quite concerned as Hanako was sent to the Nurse. Deep down, I think Shizune still cares for Hanako, and, to a certain extent, Lilly as well.

Now that Yamaku is history, maybe I can try to contact Hanako again. We have quite a few things in common. We both have scars on our body. We both like reading, and playing chess. Not that I have feelings towards her or anything, but she was my classmate after all. She has become more open to the world since she made friends with Inoue and Natsume Ooe, so I might be able to approach her as a friend.

Speaking of Hanako, I don’t know how she and Lilly will cope with the fact that they’re going different ways. I’ll see Lilly again in a few days. Hopefully Shizune and I can work things out with her. Lilly is a nice person. Despite her rivalry with Shizune, I still want to be friends with her. After all, if I marry Shizune one day, she will be family to me.

I continue walking, not wanting to see Shizune’s fury for me being late. I pass by the School of Medicine. Looking at my watch, I'm still early.

Friends.

Now that I think of it, I wonder if any of my old friends is going to study here. Shin, or Mai, or Takumi.

None
Or Iwanako.

I never replied to her letter. To be frank, I still don’t know how to face her. A lot has happened since the accident. Now that I have a girlfriend, and high school is out of the way, I feel like I’m more mature than before. I think back on my past actions. I really behaved poorly in the hospital. She didn’t do anything wrong. Well, she did dump me behind after some time, but I must take some of the blame as well. I don’t think she deserves such a silent treatment from me. I need to say sorry to her. But, how am I going to say it? Or write it?

I’m thinking so hard that I haven’t been watching the road while I turn a corner.

Bump.

“Sorry!”

“I’m s-sorry!”

Lifting my head, I gasp in shock as I realize the identity of the girl I bumped into.

References:
[1] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 48
[2] “Weekend at Hisao’s”, Chapter 8
[3] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 41
[4] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 46
[5] “Sisterhood”, Final Chapter

<To Chapter 3>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:07 am

Hello and welcome to the Forums!
Having read the first two chapters there's not much I can say so far except that from a technical standpoint they are pretty well-written.
Regarding your introduction, a lot of those things should be self-evident, e.g. putting the speaker in a dialogue only when necessary to avoid ambiguity is something that every story should do :-)

One thing I'm not certain is a good idea is the referencing of multiple different stories. If you take plot points from several stories that might make the reader expect other parts of those stories apply as well, and that's simply not possible for stories that have nothing to do with each other. So far it's only minor stuff, but keep it in mind.

If you've read After Graduation you probably know that I was the proofreader for that one (though I admit it's been so long that I don't remember most details...) If you want I could see if I still have the author's email archived somewhere (not sure if I do or if it's still active if so) and point him towards this story if he's interested.
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.

ShizuneFan2019
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:58 pm

Chapter 3: Reconcile

2-17
“……”

“……”

I don’t know what to say.

She, obviously, doesn’t know either.

A few minutes of silence follows, as we just stand here looking at the floor, shocked at what just happened.

Then she starts to walk away. This is probably the last time I can do anything. A golden opportunity to make amends. I need to say something fast.

“Wait!”

She halts, very abruptly.

“Uhm, Hi, Iwanako.”

“H-hi.”

Taking a deep breath, I try to say something to alleviate the tense atmosphere.

“Are you studying here as well?”

She nods, still facing the floor.

“School of… Medicine?”

She nods again. And then, all of a sudden, she starts to sob. Which eventually turns into a crying fit.

“I… I… I’m so sorry!”

I stand there wordlessly, mouth open, not sure what to do. I don’t know why the word “medicine” makes her cry, but I say the only thing I can think of.

“N-n-no! I… I’m the one who should be sorry!”

Upon hearing this, she cries even harder, her face burying in her hands, as I start to get emotional as well.

“Iwanako… I’m so sorry…”

“Sorry…”

Unable to control myself, I join her cry as we release our emotions together at the junction of a road in Tokyo University.

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

I give her a tissue to clean her eyes, and one for myself.

2-13
“Again, I’m sorry for what I did in the hospital. I was such a jerk back then. I really appreciate that you visited and tried to cheer me up.”

She meekly nods.

“I received your letter. I briefly considered replying, but I didn’t know what to write. It was a difficult time for me.”

“I understand.”

“Well, as I’m standing here, you probably know already, but I just want you to know that I’m doing well. I’m going to study Physics here.”

She finally lifts her head to face me, and makes a faint, forced smile.

“We’re on the same school then. Hopefully this time I won’t screw up.”

“Nah, you won’t. I know how to take care of my heart now. Besides… well…”

She watches me curiously. Her long hair and shy demeanor makes me think about Hanako, who coincidentally shares the last part of her name with this pretty girl. If not for Shizune, and if not for that accident, I might consider going after her.

“I now have a girlfriend who helps take care of me.”

She nods.

“I see. So you met her in the… other… high school?”

“Yamaku, yes. She’s deaf, and cannot speak, but we speak in sign language. We’re both in the Student Council.”

This revelation seems to lighten up the air, as she looks surprised.

“Really? You? In the Student Council?”

I chuckle.

“Yeah, she kind of roped me into it. She, and her best friend.”

“Wow, that’s some news! Your girlfriend must be very pretty then.”

Did I join the Student Council because of Shizune’s beauty? Maybe.

“I’m going to meet her now. She’s going to study here too. Do you want to meet her? We’ll be in the same school after all.”

She hesitates.

“If… that’s… not a problem.”

Be responsible, Hisao. Be mature, Hisao. You are a boyfriend now, Hisao.

I face her directly.

“Listen, I know that things had been awkward in the past. But after I stepped out of high school and came back here, I’ve made up my mind. As a boyfriend, I need to be a responsible person and set up an example for my girlfriend. I decided to make amends to whoever I treated badly with. I want to make friends with everyone. And the very first person I want to do so… is you.”

Her face turns into a dazzling smile as she replies shyly.

“I’m so happy to see you change. I’m glad to be your friend.”

With that, we shake hands and hug each other.

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

1-05
We start walking back to the entrance where Shizune has probably arrived.

“So you’re studying Medicine, huh. It’s a tough program to get into, especially in Todai. You must have studied really hard.”

She smiles bashfully while looking into the distance.

“Well… Since the accident and your transfer, some classmates started to blame me for everything. After I wrote that letter to you, I decided that I need to make amends. I studied very hard, trying to get into medical school, so I can heal other people in case of emergencies, instead of… you know… just standing there helplessly…”

That’s why she starting crying once I mentioned the word “medicine”.

“I see. I should call you Dr. Iwanako then.”

She shakes her head while smiling.

“What a weird name.”

“Can I get a discount if I buy my heart medicine from you in the future?”

“I can give you for free if you want to. You know, it’s the least I can do.”

“Then make sure you study hard to graduate. And maybe go ahead and invent a cure for my condition.”

She laughs at my daydream.

“I’ll try my best. Meanwhile, I suggest you get yourself an AED. Do they have 24-hour nurse in your other high school… What’s the name again?”

“Yamaku. Yes, they have nurses on duty all the time.”

“Now that you’re graduated, I don’t think Todai will have this kind of service for you. You need an AED for yourself so that if an emergency happens, your girlfriend or someone around you might be able to help, at least until an ambulance arrives. Not that I’d like you to use it, but better be safe than sorry.”

“You have a point. I’ll talk to my girlfriend about it. You surely know your stuff.”

“Of course. I’m a medical student after all.”

I can’t believe my reunion with Iwanako went so well. I hope the reunion with Lilly can be as smooth as this.

“By the way, Hisao, why do you want to study Physics?”

“I had a talk with Mutou, my Yamaku teacher, before I graduated. We decided that, since I have a talent in science, I should pursue my career in that direction. I want to become a teacher in Yamaku, to show other students, especially those with conditions, that there is still hope. They can still find amazing people who can change their lives forever.”

“Such as your girlfriend.”

“Indeed. Look, she’s right there.”

1-07
Unsurprisingly, Shizune is already there waiting for me. She obviously doesn’t expect me to bring another girl home, but she wisely waits for my first move.

I want Shizune to practice lip-reading more, so I proceed to speak, only signing the more difficult words.

“Hi Shizune, sorry I’m late. I ran into my high school friend in the [campus]. This is [Iwanako], my high school friend. [Iwanako], this is Shizune Hakamichi, my girlfriend.”

I’m not sure whether we were friends back then, but we were in the same high school, and we certainly are friends now, so I guess she is my “high school friend”. Iwanako politely bows to Shizune.

“Nice to meet you Hakamichi.”

Shizune returns the gesture with a bow of her own.

[Nice to meet you too Iwanako. Just call me Shizune.]

“Shizune says hi to you. She wants to practice [lip-reading], to prepare for the upcoming university life. We can just speak to her. I can [translate] difficult words to her in sign language.”

“Thank you Shizune. Thank you for taking care of Hisao. I hope he is not a trouble for you.”

Trouble? Thanks, Iwanako. I glare at her as she smiles at me.

[Well, luckily I’m kind enough to be a saint for putting up with him.]

Ouch. I don’t want to translate that, but I’ve learned to respect Shizune’s mind. Iwanako giggles at that.

“Haha, thanks for the effort. So, what are you studying?”

[I study business.]

“I see. I’m in the Medical School.”

Shizune adjusts her glasses and signs proudly.

[Medical School is great, but I’m sure Business School is way better. The most successful people in the world are all business giants. I’m going to be a successful businesswoman and become a philanthropist! You’re going to need my money to start up whatever clinic you want to run!]

“Hey Shizune, that’s not very nice.”

“It’s okay Hisao.” Iwanako turns to Shizune. “Then I’ll challenge you Shizune, see who’s going to get better grades and be more successful!”

I never thought Iwanako could be so competitive, although I think what she said is merely an encouragement to both of them (Todai is a tough school after all). Shizune, however, appears to acknowledge her words and treat them seriously.

[It’s a deal then.]

They shake hands. Well, she just made a friend in university. No worries, Misha.

[How about you, Hisao? What are you studying for your major? Don’t tell me you haven’t decided yet.]

“I’m going to study Physics.”

[Physics? Why?]

“Yeah, I gave the matter a lot of thought. I want to teach a science subject that is popular in high school, which are [Biology, Chemistry, and Physics]. I like all three of them, but I don’t want to stay in the [chemistry] or [biology] lab for too long. The [chemicals] may have an [adverse] effect on my heart.”

She seems to approve of my choice. Nicely done, Hisao.

[Wise choice. Now, with everything settled, let’s go. Iwanako, do you have anywhere to go?]

“N-no, maybe eat something, then go home.”

[Then let’s go for dinner. It’s on me. I’m going to treat my new rival.]

Iwanako hurries to reject.

“N-no! I can’t accept that!”

A loud snap of finger causes Iwanako to flinch hard. I can’t help but chuckle at the sight. It looks like rejection is not a legitimate choice today.

[No! It’s final! I’m treating!]

Iwanako looks at me helplessly. I look back at her and can only shrug.

“You know, once Shizune makes a decision, there’s no way to stop her.”

She chuckles, then, after a while, she giggles.

“No wonder you were in the Student Council. Haha!”

We both laugh as Shizune confidently takes the lead to whatever restaurant she’s planning to go.


References:
[1] “Weekend at Hisao’s”, Chapter 7
[2] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 20
[3] “First Comes Love”, Second section (External Link later)

<To Chapter 4>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:20 pm

Having read the first two chapters there's not much I can say so far except that from a technical standpoint they are pretty well-written.
Thanks! I put a lot of effort on it (while enjoying the writing, which is arguably the more important part).
One thing I'm not certain is a good idea is the referencing of multiple different stories. If you take plot points from several stories that might make the reader expect other parts of those stories apply as well, and that's simply not possible for stories that have nothing to do with each other. So far it's only minor stuff, but keep it in mind.
I admit that this is quite a new idea. When I first tried my hands on writing, I asked myself: "There are so many good fictions out there already. Are there anything that has not been covered? Can I fill in the gaps?" That's how I came up with this idea.

I will write clearly in the intro that "the other parts of those stories do not apply".

When the story unfolds, you should see some of the "gaps being filled". Starting from Chapter 3.
If you've read After Graduation you probably know that I was the proofreader for that one (though I admit it's been so long that I don't remember most details...) If you want I could see if I still have the author's email archived somewhere (not sure if I do or if it's still active if so) and point him towards this story if he's interested.
I PM'd the author already, and I did not receive a response. Of course I would like to see how he or she would continue the story. My version kind of spins out a bit after the first few chapters though (to "fill the gaps" and have more varieties).

I thought about asking a moderator to proofread for me, but I ultimately declined, partly because not wanting to bother others, and partly because I have a proofreader already (and she found some of the silliest mistakes I made that caused me to bang my head on the wall; I'll share it later). If you guys found any mistakes, please PM me.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:03 am

I asked myself: "There are so many good fictions out there already. Are there anything that has not been covered? Can I fill in the gaps?" That's how I came up with this idea.
I will write clearly in the intro that "the other parts of those stories do not apply".
You know... "Filling in the gaps" and then declaring everything around those gaps invalid in not really logical.
Besides I can remember about half a dozen stories where Iwanako was bullied after Hisao left. I'm not sure you're doing either yourself or the other story a favour by stating where exactly you got the idea...
I thought about asking a moderator to proofread for me,
Well, the moderator around here was the proofreader for the original VN, but as far as I know he doesn't usually offer proofreading services for fanfictions :-) From what I've seen so far you don't really need an additional proofreader, though.
A few comments on the latest chapter:
You seem to underestimate how difficult it is to get into Toudai. That is the most elite of the elite universities in Japan. It was already pushing it that both Shizune AND Hisao managed to get accepted, but accidentally running into Iwanako there might be a bit much...
[How about you, Hisao? What are you studying? Don’t tell me you haven’t decided yet.]
I first thought this quation came from Iwanako, but that wouldn't have made any sense, because he told her a few paragraphs above. Then I noticed the brackets, but that makes even less sense. Shizune would know what Hisao applied for. Or did he have a reason to keep it secret from her?
Also, I don't really know if that is the norm in Japan, but at Yamaku at least it seems that Muto teaches "sciences" not "physics" or "chemistry" so I assume if Hisao wants to teach the same at Yamaku he'd have to take courses in all relevant sciences - as well as probably a teaching degree (again not sure how that is organized in Japan.)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:21 am

You know... "Filling in the gaps" and then declaring everything around those gaps invalid in not really logical.
Besides I can remember about half a dozen stories where Iwanako was bullied after Hisao left. I'm not sure you're doing either yourself or the other story a favour by stating where exactly you got the idea...
Sorry about my poor wording. I hope the remaining chapters will explain a little bit, but if it doesn't then please neglect my comment.
You seem to underestimate how difficult it is to get into Toudai. That is the most elite of the elite universities in Japan. It was already pushing it that both Shizune AND Hisao managed to get accepted, but accidentally running into Iwanako there might be a bit much...
"Both Shizune and Hisao managed to get accepted" was established in the original fiction, Chapter 4 and 9.

About Iwanako... her letter...
"The mood among third-years seems to be very anxious about the final exams, even though they are so far away. The teachers are badgering us about it all the time - even old Mr. Tachibana who is, by the way, our homeroom teacher this year. Would you believe it? I was sure that he'd retire after our second year, but here he is, nagging everyone about studying for exams. I think things like that are the main reason why the mood among the third-years is so nervous. I must admit that I'm somehow losing confidence in myself as well, even though I've always fared reasonably well in exams."
And she does have a motivation for it, doesn't she?

Spoiler: Detailed reason will come later!!
I first thought this question came from Iwanako, but that wouldn't have made any sense, because he told her a few paragraphs above. Then I noticed the brackets, but that makes even less sense. Shizune would know what Hisao applied for. Or did he have a reason to keep it secret from her?
Haha, I do have an answer. Please again refer to Chapter 4 of the original fiction. Shizune didn't even know what university her boyfriend was going to. And her boyfriend actually hid the fact that he was going to the same school with her (see Chapter 9)! Until I addressed it in my first chapter.
Also, I don't really know if that is the norm in Japan, but at Yamaku at least it seems that Mutou teaches "sciences" not "physics" or "chemistry" so I assume if Hisao wants to teach the same at Yamaku he'd have to take courses in all relevant sciences - as well as probably a teaching degree (again not sure how that is organized in Japan.)
You do have a point! And you got me! I haven't done my fact-checking!! Let me do that tomorrow!! BUT~~
Transcript from "Eet Ees... Scienca" (Emi Act 3)
MUTOU: "Given any thought to what you'll study?"

HISAO: "Not really, no. I figure I'll come up with something when I get there."

NARRATOR: "Mutou laughs."

MUTOU: "Taking things as they come, eh? I'd argue against it, but that's how I did things when I went to university. Well, not really. I knew I'd go into a science, I just wasn't sure which one. Ended up with physics, but could just as well have gone for astronomy or what have you. Actually I did go for chemistry first, but there were all sorts of things..."

NARRATOR: "Mutou trails off, and frowns slightly. It takes a minute for him to recover his train of thought, and I wait patiently for him to continue."

MUTOU: "So anyway, I did a lot of physics as well, because I had an interest in that, but I wasn't sure if it was for me. So I went back to chemistry, and here we are. Yes?"
So, the subject should be the major. But yes, one definitely needs to study some other science subjects.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:00 am

Well, as I said I don't know exactly what studying for a teacher entails in Japan. I just wanted to suggest that it's probably not just learning a single subject in University.
Regarding Toudai, doing "reasonably well" in your exams is not enough to get accepted there by a long shot. If you're at the top of your school you might have a chance. Now, it's not impossible for Iwanako to get those grades - as you said, she has the motivation - but it is an accomplishment that most Japanese students can only dream of, and in your story it is just glossed over as if it were nothing. No congratulations, not even a "you must have worked hard for this"...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:47 pm

Well, as I said I don't know exactly what studying for a teacher entails in Japan. I just wanted to suggest that it's probably not just learning a single subject in University.
Regarding Toudai, doing "reasonably well" in your exams is not enough to get accepted there by a long shot. If you're at the top of your school you might have a chance. Now, it's not impossible for Iwanako to get those grades - as you said, she has the motivation - but it is an accomplishment that most Japanese students can only dream of, and in your story it is just glossed over as if it were nothing. No congratulations, not even a "you must have worked hard for this"...
Done fact check, yes, they have majors. What I intended to say was that he was going to study Physics as his MAJOR. I will edit the story to make it clear. Thanks!

And Hisao said "you must have studied really hard".

My train of thought is: If Hisao can get in Tokyo, his former classmates can too! Especially the one who caused his condition, who does have the motivation to study very hard and try to make amends.

Great point on the praise! But in my point of view, "congratulations" only applies when the recipient gets something better than you. But they are in the same school, so it doesn't apply. You made a great point! I think the fact that I also graduated in a prestigious university affected my writing style! And I wasn't even "at the top of my school". Well, I guess I was in a prestigious high school too... (well, not even the best, but my classmates back then were very strong, so I was positively affected too.)

Anyway, in the original fiction, neither Shizune nor Hisao got praised by Misha, so I continue this trend. I said that for the references in my story, the other parts of those stories do not apply. But the original fiction is obviously an exception, because I continue his/her story.

Thanks for the comments! I learned a lot from these! I love these kinds of conversation, when you can exchange opinions and improve. Yes, if you guys have any other comments please write them down!

Now it is Chapter 4, the hardest chapter for me to write. I am generally satisfied with all the other chapters, except this one. In fact, it was the last chapter that I finished writing. I expect a lot of criticism, but please do keep in mind that the most important thing I want to do is to bring my points across.
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:48 pm

Chapter 4: Rivalry

1-08
“Hey Hideaki, it’s been a while. How are you doing?”

“Not too well until you somehow managed to convince my sister to come.”

His robotic voice never ceases to amaze me. He might be the only person in the world who can talk to Rin Tezuka, the artist girl, other than Emi.

I’m now in Shizune’s mansion in Saitama, where her family reunion takes place. Still not fond of any social interaction with her family members, Shizune went upstairs unpacking her stuff right after entering the house. I can’t blame her.

“Yo, lover boy. Congrats for getting into the Big T.”

The androgynous woman who I identify as Akira, Lilly’s elder sister, waves at me. We met once briefly when Shizune brought me here last summer. She and Lilly only stayed for one day before heading for Scotland. According to Shizune, Akira then decided to migrate to Scotland permanently under her father’s company. Lilly was asked to join her sister, but she decided to stay until graduation before moving. I think Hanako might be a reason for the delay.

I approach Akira with a gentle smile.

“Thanks. I heard that your father was also a graduate there.”

“Yup. It’s a tough school, so study hard and don’t get expelled.”

“Sure. If I don’t graduate, I’m sure Shizune will kill me.”

“Atta boy. You know, I’m proud of both of you. We’re talking about one of the best academic credentials in Japan.”

“Thanks. We’ll do our best.”

“Hello, nice to meet you Mr. Nakai.”

I turn around to see a middle-aged couple greeting me. Both of them are tall. The man looks Japanese and has some silver-gray hair. The woman is a blonde and wears a red blouse. She looks like someone I know. I immediately make the connection.

“Good afternoon. You must be Mr. and Mrs. Satou.”

“Indeed. Nice to meet you.”

The Satous bow politely at me, and I return the same. Shizune said they were even more terrible than her father, but they seem nice to me.

“Sorry for my poor Japanese. I haven’t spoken Japanese for many years.”

I’m a bit shocked to hear such fluent Japanese from a Scot.

“Mrs. Satou, your Japanese is excellent. How did you learn Japanese?”

“Haha, my wife had lived in Japan with me for over twenty years. We migrated to Scotland only a few years ago.”

None
“Six years to be exact. Six friggin’ years.”

“Akira!”

Out of nowhere, Lilly’s put a hand on Akira’s shoulder. Akira looks annoyed, then sighs heavily.

“Fine. Sorry Lils. I just…”

Lilly shakes her head, pleading Akira to stop.

1-17
“Hello Hisao. How are you doing? I’m so pleased that you could come and meet Father and Mother.”

“I’m doing great. I heard that your family flew from Scotland to join the reunion?”

“Correct. They flew here to join the party and then pick me up.”

“So… you’re going back to Scotland after that?”

Lilly’s smile falters a bit.

“That’s the plan. My goal is to become a teacher, so I plan to study a degree related to Education, and then become an English or Japanese teacher.”

I haven’t interacted with Lilly a lot last year, but she did treat me well back when I first arrived at Yamaku. Then she and Shizune had an argument, and, though I didn’t intend to do it, I kind of took Shizune’s side. Being Shizune’s boyfriend does rule me out of many options, but this is probably the last time I’m going to see Lilly in quite a while, so I do want to redeem myself. I volunteered to be the bridge between the two rivals, and the first step is to make friends with Lilly.

“I see. Lilly, may I have a word with you?”

She nods as I lead her to a corner of the living room.

“Uhm, you see, I just want to say, thank you for being such a nice host to me back in Yamaku, especially in my first week there. You really helped me get acclimatized to the school. I apologize for not being able to return your favor, or spend more time with you and Hanako.”

Lilly looks a bit surprised, but she quickly recomposes herself and smiles at me.

“You are a beautiful person, Hisao. Please, never apologize for that. I know that you joined the Student Council, and you did a great job preparing for school festivals and activities. And, as I said before, thank you for taking care of my troublesome cousin. Your presence has made a noticeable impact on her behavior.”

“Well… the thing is, last year I was kind of drawn into Shizune’s life. Misha and I, both of us. After I graduated, I decided that I need to be more mature. I need to be responsible to myself and the people around me. I want to make sure that being Shizune’s boyfriend doesn’t hinder other aspects of my life, such as my friendship with others. So… it might be a bit forward, but… can I still be friends with you?”

Lilly smiles happily at me upon hearing my words, her eyes looking in my general direction.

“Of course. I’m honored to be a friend of such a considerate person, Hisao. I’m glad that you have changed so much in one year.”

“So, no hard feelings on, you know, me being Shizune’s boyfriend?”

“No, not at all. I’m more than happy that you’ve managed to enter her life. We may be not on the best terms, but I do care for my cousin. In my own way, I guess.”

“But I want to ask, why do you choose Scotland over Japan? I know you want to stay with your family, but you’ve lived in Japan for so many years. Can’t you study a teaching degree in Japan instead? And how about Hanako?”

She lets off a deep sigh, thinks for a while before answering.

“I admit that it’s a hard choice. I certainly love staying in Japan, and I do love Hanako. But it’s also a rare opportunity to reunite with my family. We haven’t spent much time together since they moved to Scotland, well, you heard it, six years ago. It is a big dilemma for me. Actually the decision is not yet final. I am supposed to make my decision after this reunion, but I am leaning towards going back to my parents.”

“So, if you do decide to stay here, are you going to study in Kasshoku with Hanako?”

“Yes. Even though she now has Inoue with her, I believe she still wants my company in the university. With her social awkwardness towards other people, I’m actually afraid that she might get into trouble in university life. On the other hand, I also want someone to help me out with my university life, especially on matters that require eyesight. Father, Mother and Akira are all very busy in their work, so they won’t have much time to assist me in my daily routine. They will need to hire a helper. Hmm… I’m still debating on my decision.”

“I see. Well, Lilly, I don’t want to influence your decision, but I’ll certainly miss you if you decide to go. I’m also a bit worried about Hanako’s university life. I still remember clearly her panic attack back in Yamaku. Your presence will definitely make a difference. Anyway, if you want to talk to me about this again, feel free to approach me. I’m stuck here for a couple of days.”

“Thank you Hisao, it is so nice of you. I will think about it more during the days I am here. Meanwhile, why don’t we join the rest of the group?”

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

1-18
By the time we rejoin the group, everyone is now ready to start the party. Everyone except Shizune, who is still upstairs.

“Hey Shortie, can you ask your sister to come downstairs?”

“I’d rather pass. Ask the one who escorts her back here.”

“Okay, I’ll go.”

With that, I take a deep breath and go upstairs to grab Shizune. This is it. We’ll see how things play out.

Shizune being able to lip-read, albeit not perfectly, is a double-edged sword in this situation. The good thing is that I don’t need to translate everyone’s words to her, and this makes my task much easier. The bad thing is that she can now understand what everyone speaks. There are at least two bitter rival pairs in the room: Lilly and Shizune, and their fathers. If things turn sour between either of those rivals, you can imagine the situation can spin out of control pretty quickly.

I start to regret bringing Shizune here. I didn’t consider the stakes carefully. Maybe Shizune was right: We shouldn’t have been here. I hope I don’t mess things up.

Shizune’s room is open. She is working on her computer, maybe preparing for the upcoming classes. I put my hand on her shoulder.

“Hey Shizune, it’s time to go downstairs.”

Obviously she does not like this, but she lets out a defeated sigh.

[Alright.]

As we go downstairs, I notice that there are two tables, apparently one for adults and one for non-adults. We take our seats, Shizune next to Hideaki, me next to Akira and Lilly, as the party gets started.

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

Fortunately, nothing bad happened during the meal. Akira’s presence and Hideaki’s sense of humor soften up the atmosphere a lot. After the meal, the men go out to the garden to drink and smoke, while the women either go shopping or rest in the guest rooms. Akira and Hideaki go out for a walk. This leaves Shizune, Lilly, and me. I have a feeling that things can go really wrong.

1-19
“So, with all the Student Council duties behind you, I suppose it is time for you to relax for a while.”

[I never relax. Only the incompetent people relax.]

“Oh, what a pity! It is not good for your health if you’re always busy.”

[No. Keeping your body running actually improves your immune system. If you relax too much, you will no longer be able to resist the viruses when they attack your body.]

“If that’s the case, I have to thank you for keeping me busy with class representative duties. However, the stress has really taken a toll on my health.”

[Then you need to train your body harder.]

“Not everyone has the same physique as yours, Shizune. Can’t you see that others are having a hard time catching up on you?”

[It’s because of your laziness that I had to work so many hours.]

“But you don’t have to. Don’t you realize that you’re asking too much for both yourself and others? Can’t you be a bit more considerate of those around you?”

[If we just do what people usually do, we’ll be amateurs. We can’t make ourselves to the top of the cream! And look, under my effective supervision, my people are always giving out their maximum output and are extremely competent.]

[You see, you’re always trying to beat others and be competent. That’s why nobody wants to join the Student Council!]

[I don’t need a bunch of weaklings. Just a few potent members, like Hisao, are enough.]

“You know what the others call you? ‘Silent Tyrant’. ‘Queen Hakamichi’. I’ll add one more. You’re a Control Freak! You’re trying to control everybody around you.”

[What? I’m NOT controlling Misha. I’m NOT controlling Hisao. They become my friends on their own accord!]

“You may not be controlling them on purpose, but I’m afraid that Misha and Hisao have unfortunately become your sycophants, feeding your ego and making you even more unreasonable!”

[YOU’RE ACCUSING ME OF MAKING MY BOYFRIEND MY SYCOPHANT?]

“No, I… I mean, I’m really worried about you. You’re hurting people who care for you and love you. Please, don’t take it the wrong way.”

[YOU SAY I’M HURTING MY BEST FRIEND AND MY BOYFRIEND? YOU SAY I’M CONTROLLING MY BOYFRIEND? ARE YOU SAYING THAT I HAVE NO LOVE TOWARDS THEM? WHAT AN INSULT!]

Shizune is out of the line here. I must talk her out of this.

[Shizune, please stop! We’re here to make friends, not to fight against each other.]

[SHE’S ACCUSING ME OF CONTROLLING YOU, WHICH I’M NOT!]

[I know, but it’s not the time for arguments!]

[ARE YOU ON HER SIDE TOO? I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! AM I HERE FIGHTING ALONE FOR MY DIGNITY?]

Path A: Try to calm her down
Path B: Try to talk her out of it
Path C: Try to compromise
Path D: Stay Away

References:
[1] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 4
[2] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 46
[3] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 23
[4] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 47
[5] “First Comes Love”, last section (External link, later)
[6] “For Want of a Nail”, Act 2 Scene 7
[7] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 13
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:06 pm

Readers: Update will not come until after the weekend. Think about how Hisao should do in this kind of situation, and see if your opinion matches mine. Feel free to discuss!

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:38 am

"I will not influence your decision, but... and... and... and... Didn't convince you yet? Okay, I'll try again later." :lol:
your immunity system
immune system
Can’t you be a bit more considerate to those around you?
considerate of...

As for the end...
Well, that escalated quickly... A bit too quickly... It feels like Shizune is looking for an excuse to start a fight and latches onto the first thing that could remotely be taken as criticism... I'm also not sure why the student council would be the problematic topic when they are all graduates at that point. It feels as if neither Lilly not Shizune are quite themselves in that scene.
And I'm not really sure what the difference between the three options is supposed to be. "calm her down" and "talk her out of it" are functionally the same thing, and "try to compromise" is just a specific way to do wither of the first two.

Okay, back to the previous comments:
My train of thought is: If Hisao can get in Tokyo, his former classmates can too! Especially the one who caused his condition, who does have the motivation to study very hard and try to make amends.
You make it sound as if everybody could get into Toudai if they just try hard enough. There are hundreds of thousands of Japanese students trying very hard for good grades every year, and only a tiny fraction of them makes it there. I realize that you need all three characters to be there if you want your story to work, but don't try to marginalize the achievement. If they got there then all three of them are among the top 1% of all students in Japan!
But in my point of view, "congratulations" only applies when the recipient gets something better than you.
Okay, then we have a fundamentally different understanding on when to congratulate someone. I know that is a stupid example, but you congratulate people for their birthdays, and that certainly is no greater achievement than your own birthdays. You might congratulate your little sister on painting a nice picture even if you yourself could do a lot better. You could congratulate a friend for getting accepted in the university of his choice, even if you yourself already have a degree and a job...
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.
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Silentcook » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:10 pm

ShizuneFan2019 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:13 pm
Legend:
[...] = Sign language; E.g. [My name is Shizune.]
["..."] = Speaking while using sign language; E.g. ["You two are too cute together~!"]
"...[...]..." = Speaking, while only signing the part with []; E.g. "I can [translate] difficult words to Shizune."
{} = Deaf-blind sign language, communicated with hands; E.g. {Shizune, this is Lilly.}
A few problems here.

First and foremost, if you need a legend clarifying the different ways for your characters to communicate, then you have too many. You should either narrate them or consolidate some. For instance, there seems to be hardly any reason for the third convention to be explained at all.

Then I'm willing to bet that the different conventions, though making narration less equivocal, actually add comparatively very little to the story. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong.

Next, I'll say that the various notes, callbacks, and sundry prompts are so obtrusive that they make reading this about as enjoyable as reading a dictionary. Reader immersion is a thing. I'd argue about it being the ONLY thing, but your mileage may vary.

Finally, I advise looking through the fanfiction tips in this forum subsection if you wish to... look, I'll save time and link you straight to something I wrote in there: linky.

Good luck.
Shattering your dreams since '94.

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ShizuneFan2019
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:31 am

First and foremost, if you need a legend clarifying the different ways for your characters to communicate, then you have too many. You should either narrate them or consolidate some. For instance, there seems to be hardly any reason for the third convention to be explained at all.

Then I'm willing to bet that the different conventions, though making narration less equivocal, actually add comparatively very little to the story. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong.
Well, I intended to make things clear in the legend. Since the story doesn't need a legend, I will delete it. My proofreader did not have the legend either.
Maybe I should delete the other points in the intro too. Should I?
Next, I'll say that the various notes, callbacks, and sundry prompts are so obtrusive that they make reading this about as enjoyable as reading a dictionary. Reader immersion is a thing. I'd argue about it being the ONLY thing, but your mileage may vary.
Are you talking about the references? I just don't want to fall into plagiarism. If they are too obtrusive I just delete them but keep the references. But I believe I can only do this if I receive permission.

In view of this, I will post the next chapter after this discussion.
Finally, I advise looking through the fanfiction tips in this forum subsection if you wish to... look, I'll save time and link you straight to something I wrote in there: linky.
If you wish to...??? Please elaborate, thanks!
Edit: Oh... that's what it is about! Okay, I knew it! During the weekend too! I'll delete it!! Please see if I got what you mean.
Edit 2: I hope I am not "arguing" with readers... Just discussions... I'm confused! *Please elaborate, thanks!* Haha~~~~

Thanks for the comments! Please forgive me for being new in the forum, but I will try my best to adjust!
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:00 am, edited 5 times in total.

ShizuneFan2019
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:46 am

"I will not influence your decision, but... and... and... and... Didn't convince you yet? Okay, I'll try again later." :lol
Decision of...?? Making Iwanako in Todai?
immune system
Thanks!
considerate of...
Thanks!
As for the end...
Well, that escalated quickly... A bit too quickly... It feels like Shizune is looking for an excuse to start a fight and latches onto the first thing that could remotely be taken as criticism... I'm also not sure why the student council would be the problematic topic when they are all graduates at that point. It feels as if neither Lilly not Shizune are quite themselves in that scene.
In their two previous "fights" they kind of started the argument pretty early too.
I tried to make some small talks before that, but I couldn't find a way to do that. I'll think about it.
And I'm not really sure what the difference between the three options is supposed to be. "calm her down" and "talk her out of it" are functionally the same thing, and "try to compromise" is just a specific way to do wither of the first two.
That's the mystery!!
... Okay, maybe it is. I'll post the continuation and then we can try to make the choices clearer.

... Okay, "calm her down" and "talk her out of it" are VERY different, in my personal experience.

Okay, I'll spoil it. I am a male. I made myself into sooooo much trouble choosing the wrong approach. After all these experiences, I will NEVER choose the wrong approach again.

This is actually one point I would like to share with the readers.
You make it sound as if everybody could get into Toudai if they just try hard enough. There are hundreds of thousands of Japanese students trying very hard for good grades every year, and only a tiny fraction of them makes it there. I realize that you need all three characters to be there if you want your story to work, but don't try to marginalize the achievement. If they got there then all three of them are among the top 1% of all students in Japan!
Hmm... Well, I can't argue with that. But if I have to continue the original author's story (which already has 2 students in Todai), I have no choice but to do it. Hey, the original story put two, and I only added one! No fair criticizing me!! Haha~~
Okay, then we have a fundamentally different understanding on when to congratulate someone. I know that is a stupid example, but you congratulate people for their birthdays, and that certainly is no greater achievement than your own birthdays. You might congratulate your little sister on painting a nice picture even if you yourself could do a lot better. You could congratulate a friend for getting accepted in the university of his choice, even if you yourself already have a degree and a job...
I see. I just feel a bit strange congratulating here, like saying, "Hey, congratulations in entering a prestigious school!", and then realize that you are actually in the same school. It feels like you are praising yourself indirectly. You have a point. Let me try to edit it a bit then.

When my classmates and I all went to our prestigious universities, we did not congratulate each other. We all thought like it was our job, and our parents were also expecting us to do that too. I guess this is how being on the "top 1% of all students" feel like.

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