"Can You Open Your Heart?" - a Rika pseudo-route

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BlackWaltzTheThird
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:31 am

I don't think anywhere in those scenes provides a substantial case either for or against Rika's virginity. Besides, does it really matter what she is either way? And do recall that in Emi's route, they dry humped before actually engaging in off-screen sex the first time, if I recall correctly. That's what appeared to happen here (dry humping anyway), or at least that's how I've interpreted it.

Glad to hear there's a whole other act to go still. Looking forward to reading for quite some time now. Well written as always.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Rikabro » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:32 am

chubert wrote:Right now, in our "good end" route we have all the inertia of a train wreck. hey, guys, let's experiment with our heart medication! this is a great idea!
They are both moronic teenagers. Rika's got a messed-up death fixation and Hisao's got a penis.

So far this branch isn't showing a lot of promise in terms of resolving conflicts because it's still not clear (in the story) how they are ever going to resolve. But, I take your point. I may want to stress Hisao's inner conflict a bit more strongly so that it doesn't seem like he's decided to adopt Rika's worldview. There are some big events on the horizon for them that are going to give their relationship some context and help them grow. Here I wanted to show them letting their guard down a bit and bonding.

Hisao didn't take the "hallucination" meds when she gave them to him. He was just making the point that he's starting to become suspicious of his medicine the way Rika is.

Thanks for reading and I appreciate the detailed feedback. It really helps me to know when something I'm writing is less clear than I intend it to be. I'm a very new writer and I have a lot to learn.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by chubert » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:53 am

Oh, no, I wasn't saying that all signs pointing to train wreck during the good end was BAD. That happened a bunch in the actual game; it gives everything a sense of suspense. You're doing a great job of that right now. My earlier post was just me musing about the story's course so far.

So far, this thing is really well written. This and themocaw's saki route (i'm sure you've never heard that one before) are pretty much my only two head-canon alt routes.

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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:18 am

See, in the bad end, Hisao confronts the fucking problem that needs to be confronted--even people without heart conditions go about their lives trying to strike fear in each others' hearts. It's self-destructive behavior, which is generally, uh, bad. Playing the GD Batman doesn't really help you, uh, STAY ALIVE when you have a heart condition.
Well, there's still time to confront that problem in Act IV. I see some parallels to Rin's path, where addressing a problem in Act III leads to a bad end, while addressing the same problem with the same dialogue in Act IV is a good thing.
I'm not saying you should copy that approach, but without addressing the problem, the train wreck is a very probable outcome...
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Mahorfeus » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:36 am

Likewise to Hanako and Rin's path, which can both end abruptly if Hisao is too blunt, I'm thinking that Act IV will be where something happens that causes Rika to realize that her outlook on life is more or less screwed up.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Titus » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:21 am

BlackWaltzTheThird wrote:I don't think anywhere in those scenes provides a substantial case either for or against Rika's virginity. Besides, does it really matter what she is either way? And do recall that in Emi's route, they dry humped before actually engaging in off-screen sex the first time, if I recall correctly. That's what appeared to happen here (dry humping anyway), or at least that's how I've interpreted it.

Glad to hear there's a whole other act to go still. Looking forward to reading for quite some time now. Well written as always.
Cheers, BlackWaltz.
It mattered enough to be asked, I'm gonna bet that she isn't. Or that she isn't nervous about anything other than possible conversation with others in a crowded area. Which reminds me, they should see a movie again. The last time wasn't so bad.

As for the story and re-reading it over again: That one part where Hisao takes control during the erotic scene and Rika's surprise was a refresher, mainly Rika is the alpha as fuck person while Hisao fumbles around or just goes along for the ride. He's such a Yes Man recently, the best thing I remember him doing was his slick little impromptu date with Rika to the movies in Act 2, that was a cool Hisao. I do predict somewhere in the future he will make chocolate pudding for Rika at 4 AM.

Sometime later I'm gonna start from the beginning of this all, I'm kinda forgetting parts of Act 2.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by MarioXMan » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:29 pm

chubert wrote:Oh, no, I wasn't saying that all signs pointing to train wreck during the good end was BAD. That happened a bunch in the actual game; it gives everything a sense of suspense. You're doing a great job of that right now. My earlier post was just me musing about the story's course so far.

So far, this thing is really well written. This and themocaw's saki route (i'm sure you've never heard that one before) are pretty much my only two head-canon alt routes.
actually he has seen themocaw's saki route and themocaw has seen this. I saw both post a comment on etchother storys.

oh and Keap up the good work Rikabro. Love how the story is comeing.

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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Beoran » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:15 pm

chubert wrote:If those two choices were presented to me in the game, my reasoning would be: "Okay, I'd probably, IRL, take the more confrontational choice, but that'll probably bad-end me. Let's take the one that makes me semi-uncomfortable."
As a man in his late 30ies, I've had to make such choices enough in real life to experience that the confrontational choice almost never works. It simply turns the other person against you no matter how right you are. Even if the other person gets it completely wrong, telling them so will only antagonize them, and sometimes even make them more convinced of their mistaken ideas. And I must admit that if someone uses the confrontational approach against me, I too often feel like I don't want to listen.

As for the the story... great, it's very well written erotica, exciting and also more interesting due to the sort of unusual way they go at it.
Kind Regards, B.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:19 am

In my experience it's always better to be honest with your partner and address problems when they arise instead of simply acquiescing and hoping they go away on their own. You don't have to be confrontational about it - in fact I don't think Hisao was being confrontational about it at all.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Beoran » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:54 am

Mirage_gsm, what you say is also true, it's best to be honest. But that is exactly the hard part, I think: how to be honest and yet be understood. If the other fundamentally disagrees with what I say, no progress will be made no matter how honest I am. I feel that what works best is to be honest in a more indirect way. I'll leave it at that so we don't go off topic too much.
Kind Regards, B.
Feeling like your heart is broken? Need to get it off your chest? Tell your story here.
Take a look at Eruta my jRPG under development. New web site since december 2012.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by BobBobberson » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:46 pm

Titus wrote:YES

But one thing, Rika isn't a virgin? Or will that be left for the readers to decide?
But now there's the possibility of MOAR bad endings...I hope?
NO! no more, please, make it stop!
Well Rika did have a boyfriend, so I would guess that she has done it before.

And bad endings are good! The world is not a good place, and nothing will go ideally. At least, that's what the cynic in me is saying.

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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/9/2012 (mature content)

Post by Rikabro » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:50 am

Image

Scene 13: Shadows at Noon

It’s not often I sleep past dawn, even on a Sunday. Emi’s iron grip on my morning routine has done a decent enough job of training my body to rise at the break of dawn. Between this and Rika’s penchant for late night excursions, it’s a wonder I’m not exhausted every second of every day. Today seems to have been the day that my body chose to do a little catching up. The clock at my bedside tells me that it’s already past noon.

I blink and my eyes adjust to the light, taking in another unusual sight.

Rika sits on my desk, surrounded by the notebooks and textbooks I’ve been plugging into my brain for the past week or so, her legs crossed, wearing my school shirt. It fits her like a loose nightgown, the bottom hem bunched up at her sides where she’s sitting. The cuff of the right sleeve is rolled up, just enough that it doesn’t cover her hand, which is dangling a lit cigarette out the window. Her eyes follow the thin trail of smoke as it dissipates into the mid-day air.

For the first time since I’ve met her, her braid is undone and her long hair hangs over her shoulders on either side. It glitters a bit in the light. As my eyes focus and adjust to wakefulness, I start to realize her hair is actually damp.

“Nice shirt,” I mumble.

“I took a quick run to the shower,” she muses with a half-grin, still staring out the window.

I blush a little at the idea of Rika scampering through the halls of the boys’ dorm dressed only in my shirt. Then again, the place is normally pretty vacant on Sundays, and the nearest shower is pretty close to my room. The only person who might have seen her would be Kenji, who likely wouldn’t have even thought twice about her unless he got a particularly close look. He’s probably too busy scrutinizing the mundane to notice something that actually is suspicious.

The way Rika’s smiling I can tell she must have gotten a little thrill out of the idea. The thought of anyone else seeing her half-undressed makes me a little bit jealous. The way her long, white legs look, crossed demurely in front of her, calls to mind how conservatively she normally dresses. The bold side she showed me last night, her sexual assertiveness, though not new to me, feels oddly like my own secret. Something I want to keep from the world, all to myself.

That, or I just don’t like the idea of being the talk of the dorm.

“I wish I could offer you a pair of clean underwear,” I say, “but they’d probably be a bit big on you.”

She smirks at me.

“Cigarette?” she asks, pointing at a pack on my nightstand beside my pill bottles.

“I don’t smoke,” I tell her, as I always do.

She shrugs. “Me neither. But it can be nice sometimes.”

She puts her cigarette between her lips and gathers her hair above her head, between her fingers, beginning to twist it into a braid. My shirt lifts up as she does so, exposing her hips and her bare thighs. I blink again, trying to focus my eyes on her, curious whether she’s even wearing anything underneath, but I can’t see from the way she’s got her legs crossed.

“What exam do you have tomorrow?” she asks from the cigarette-less side of her mouth.

“Science.”

She chuckles, and pulls her half-finished braid in front of her where she continues her routine. It looks a bit more frazzled than normal, probably because she hasn’t had a chance to brush it.

“Us too,” she says.

“Doesn’t everyone have the same exam schedule anyways?” I ask. She shrugs.

“Maybe. I’ve never really talked to other people about exams. Can you toss me that?”

She points to a hair elastic on my nightstand. I sit up, handing it to her, and she fastens the tip of her braid, smoothing it out a bit with her hand.

I clear my throat. What is the proper etiquette in a situation like this? Are we going to spend the day together? Should I offer to walk her home?

She takes a last puff on her cigarette before flicking it carelessly out the window.

“Today’s going to be a long day,” I mumble.

“The last day of this little battle for your future?” she chides me.

“Well, the war isn’t over. There’s still plenty of exams before we graduate.”

She glances down at my various notebooks and textbooks, laying as they are in a state of total disarray, pages torn out of notebooks, notes scribbled and crossed out, a few snack wrappers and soda cans cluttered together randomly, pencils and pens and highlighters strewn about and forgotten. Rika’s sensual form towers over this mess of productivity. Sleek, clean and alive, commanding my desires, blotting out my academic aspirations like an eclipse.

She hums pensively. “You should shower. Then we should go get something to eat before the cafeteria stops serving lunch.”

“Actually, I was supposed to meet my study group for lunch.”

She smirks. “Spoken like a true businessman, Hisao. Don’t you know a good thing when it’s right in front of you?”

With a seductive glance, she practically yanks me out of my half-asleep state and into wakefulness. Then she relents and shrugs her shoulders, giving a loud, rhetorical sigh. “Then again… I’m not going to make choices for you.”

“Right,” I say half-heartedly, then shake my head at my own indecisiveness.

There’s more I need to do. So much more. Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life, and for all the studying I did in the library, as late as we were there, my mind feels like it’s been completely washed clean by Rika, her presence, our… whatever it was we did last night. Even while I was in the library, Shizune and Shiina weren’t exactly pulling the punches when it came to my own inability to keep up with the material. “Haven’t you been studying?” was the question of the night.

With Rika right before me, the apparent futility of it all rules my thoughts. Why do people work hard? For money, or for happiness? If Rika and I can make each other happy, aren’t I just cutting the middle-man? What if I just forgot all of this high school stuff and lived the remainder of my short life, peaceably, with her?

The sun brightens visibly, as if a cloud just passed over it, and I behold Rika through a sunbeam that illuminates the dust particles in the air. She’s chosen her spot on the desk such that the sun doesn’t shine directly on her, and the sudden brightness causes her to squint. Normally she wears sunglasses on sunny days. I’ve never thought fit to ask whether it has anything to do with her pigment disorder.

Her beauty is oppressive. It’s all I can think about. But more than just her current appearance, I think about what might lie in store for us someday. All the doctors have told me that I can live a long life as long as I work hard and pay attention to my health. Emi wants me to fight death every step of the way. But that’s easy for her to say, really. She’s not facing death. She’s not like us.

And then there’s Rika. The one girl who makes me think about my future, who can give me a real reason for going on. And all she wants is to pretend that there is no future, to embrace closeness to death, to live as a walking reminder of the end. Why can’t I make her want to live? What am I doing wrong?

She flips through a few of my notes, gazing idly at them. I can’t imagine studying with her around. Neither can I imagine asking her to leave me alone all week. She’d almost be more of a distraction if she were absent.

“Rika, I really do have to study today, but since we both have the same exam tomorrow, maybe we could just compare notes? I mean, we both have Mutou for science, right?”

“I’m not worried about it,” she says.

“Come on, Rika. I risked my life trying to climb that tree last night just because you wanted to see if I could pull it off. I locked horns with a vicious man-eating squirrel. All for you, Rika. The least you can do is brave a few stacks of paper with me. So how about it? Will you be my shadow this week?”

She grimaces distastefully. It’s not often I have her pinned against a wall like this. Then she starts to smile again, maybe a little proud of me for having gotten an advantage for once.

“You’re a sly one, Nakai. Fine, I’ll share notes with you. The least I can do is go with you into your comfort zone. Just don’t feel bad if I beat you at your own game.”

“I don’t think I’m too worried about being bested by a slacker,” I goad her.

She closes her eyes and raises her right index finger with a scholarly flourish as she recites something that sounds familiar.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.”




Scene 14: Prometheus

And so it came to pass that I finally walked out on my study group. A quick text message exchange with Shizune ended on a bittersweet note. I told her as politely as I could that I was in a pinch and had to help “tutor” Rika for the exams. She simply responded that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” That Shizune really can sting when she gets the luxury of choosing her words.

Since all of our exams have been in the morning, it’s been easy for me and Rika to develop a study schedule. After each exam we launch into an afternoon of studying in the cafeteria, the library, the Shanghai, or even in the occasional shady spot in the courtyard. To my genuine surprise, Rika’s own study notes have been both concise and topical.

Emi has been gladdened by my return to her morning workouts, and I for my part have been happy to see her, as well. She too has been pretty distracted with the idea of exams, even to the point of not wanting to chat with me about anything other than my grasp of the material. True to form, it seems nobody has to twist Emi’s arm when it comes to taking her performance seriously in any capacity.

Today is my final examination in history. I am everything short of closing my eyes and picturing the study notes provided by Rika. All the answers appear to be things that the two of us covered yesterday in the afternoon. But I know that if I do close my eyes, I’m just going to picture her, and not the answers. How last night, for example, when the sun started to wane, I felt her fingers running coaxingly through my hair as I sat at the foot of the bed, hunched over my book, alerting me that the time for study was over, and that our shadows were starting to disappear.

Mutou shakes the thought from my head with his 30 minute warning, and I hurriedly complete the final portion of the examination, a short essay question about the Cold War… something Rika had put an odd amount of emphasis on during our afternoon cram session yesterday.

With ten minutes to go, I take a quick glance over my paper. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that Izekawa girl fidgeting uncomfortably. Her hand is shaking. From where I’m sitting, I can see she’s looming over a blank piece of paper.

I glance over to Shizune, expecting to see her confidence shining back at me, but to my surprise she seems to have also noticed Izekawa’s discomfort and is regarding her with concern.

Shiina is fretting over her paper, crossing things out frantically and scribbling in the margins. She doesn’t look worried, though, just busy. Her tongue sticking out of one side of her mouth, her eyebrows fiercely lowered. Having too many things to say seems to be a problem for her.

Miki has already tried to hand in her exam twice, but each time Mutou has asked her to sit down and “at least try” to finish the rest of it. The ruling emotion in her eyes is boredom as she taps her pencil against her paper, watching the clock. It makes me wonder whether Yamaku is one of those schools that shows “lenience” to its athletes in grading.

Time is finally called, and with the exception of Izekawa and Shizune (who silently stands at her side with a hand on her shoulder), everyone marches to the front of the class to turn in their papers.

The moment I break into the hallway, Miki grabs me by the arm.

“It’s finally over!” she says. “Long weekend’s here, and pretty soon it’s summer vacation! You excited?”

“Yeah, it should be fun. I was thinking of visiting my parents over the break. What about you?”

She shrugs. “No plans yet. But we’re starting the party early this weekend. You guys are still down for that, right?”

“Absolutely. Rika’s actually really looking forward to it,” I say.

Miki beams delightedly. “Really? That’s awesome! She hasn’t really talked about it these last few days so I figured she just didn’t want to.” She shrugs. It brings to mind the conversation I had with Miki a few weeks ago about how hard it is for her to make friends with other girls. She probably wouldn’t be too happy to know that Rika seems more interested in the activity than in the company.

“Well, Miki, you know Rika. She doesn’t like to express interest in… well, anything, really. I think you’re right that this will be a good chance for her to let her guard down and be real with people.”

This is enough to make Miki perk up, not that she wasn’t chipper enough as a result of exam being over.

“So anyways,” she goes on, “we already booked a site for all of us. I’m pretty good at this so I made sure to get us one that’s tucked away in a nice wooded area. It’s pretty far from all the crowds so we don’t have to worry about the rangers keeping too close an eye on us.” She winks conspicuously and I try to pretend I know what she’s referring to.

“Or the other campers, I guess.”

She points at me. “Exactly. So we can have fun days and long, exciting nights, right? Anyways, the bus out there leaves tomorrow morning, so make sure you’re here early. You don’t need to bring any gear or food, we’ve already got that covered. Bring some sunscreen and a bathing suit and two changes of clothes. Some hiking boots would be a good idea if you have them, and some sunglasses.”

“Wait, did you say we’re going by bus?”

She smirks. “What, did you think I was driving or something? A lot of campers go out there for the weekend so Yamaku has a charter bus with lots of storage.”

“That’s pretty nice of them,” I say.

“Well, why do you think tuition is so expensive here? That’s your money at work, Hisao. Might as well take advantage of it. Besides, the real reason they do it is to sort of keep an eye on the kinds of things we bring in our coolers, if you know what I mean. Of course, there are ways of getting around it…”

Mutou puts his hand on her shoulder, as if to alert her of his presence before she says anything that would cause him to have to intervene. Miki clears her throat awkwardly. “Um… anyways, see you tomorrow, dude! Text me if you have any questions!”

She leaves with a polite smile towards Mutou, who turns his attention to me.

“Nakai. Got a minute?”

“Sure, why?”

“Could you step into the classroom, please? I’d like to talk to you about your exam.”

We exit the hallway and I begin to walk towards his desk instinctively. He waves his hand as though to indicate it’s not necessary, and simply closes the door.

“Allow me to get right to the point, Nakai. I’m sure you’re ready to get on with your weekend and you don’t want to spend any more time than necessary here.”

He pauses before going on.

“I’ve finished grading the science examinations. First of all, I just wanted to congratulate you. You got the highest score of any student in the class. This is quite an achievement and something you should be very proud of, especially since you’ve been… missing so much class lately. You must have done quite a bit of independent study to manage a feat like that.”

I breathe a sigh of relief. Honestly, Science has always been a strong point of mine, and it seems like the class here was studying a lot of things that I’d already learned at my old school. But it’s true that I’ve been missing a lot of class, and I was pretty nervous about that exam.

He notices my relief and it seems to please him. He goes on.

“Now, I have something in particular I wanted to ask you about. Do you remember the question about the citric acid cycle?”

“How could I forget?” I say. “That one was a nightmare.”

He sighs thoughtfully before continuing. “Well, Nakai, while I was grading it I noticed a substantial error in my grading key that resulted in me scoring many of the answers unfairly. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t notice it myself until I saw a pattern of even the best students submitting incorrect answers. Once I noticed that the error was in my grading key, I had to backtrack through every examination and grade those answers all over again. Strangely, I came upon not one, but two examinations where the answer had been marked as correct. The error on my grading key had been replicated with total precision.”

I furrow my brow at him. “Sensei, pardon me, but why are you telling me this?”

He looks at me thoughtfully for a few seconds, then sighs again and rubs his forehead with exasperation.

“You may not be a good student, Nakai, but I know an honest person when I see one. But I also know that even honest people make mistakes when they’re desperate. When the student with the second-lowest attendance record in my class scores almost perfectly on my exam, I must admit it causes me to consider the possibility of academic misconduct.”

I feel my face turn white as my heart sinks. He continues unabated, paying more attention to his own words than to my signs of illness. There's a stinging sensation in my gut. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

“I just need to hear it from you, Hisao. I will believe what you tell me.”

I take a deep breath before replying.

“I didn’t cheat on the exam, Sensei,” I croak.

He gives me a reassuring smile. “In that case, Nakai, I apologize for turning your good news into an accusation. You ought to be very proud of yourself. A grade like yours will look excellent on your university application.” He opens the door and indicates that I’m free to leave.

“Thank you, Sensei,” I say. “I hope you have a nice long weekend.”

As I step out into the hallway, the reality of the situation fully sets in on me. Rika’s strangely perfect science notes… would she do such a thing? It’s only a good thing I didn’t come to this realization while I was in front of Mutou. He would have seen right through me. I smile bitterly, my admiration gradually overwhelming my guilt. Looks like I have even more questions to ask Rika.

I scurry down the hallway like a thief, when Emi suddenly rounds a corner and bumps into me, knocking me on the ground. Before I can so much as fathom the situation, she yanks me to my feet and throws her arms around me with glee, hopping in place.

“Hisao! We did it! No more exams!”



End of Act 3


Continue to Act 4
Last edited by Rikabro on Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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nemz
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/13/2012 (mature content)

Post by nemz » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:15 am

I'm honestly not sure I understand how that could constitute cheating. From the mention of a grading key this is probably a standardized test with the lead/bubble sheets for electronic grading, but surely the notes he was studying didn't include just a list of answers in sequence. How is it possible to have even potentially gotten such a question wrong from studying notes?

Besides, even if Rika did know exactly what was going to be on the test they still just used this information to study... he obviously didn't bring in a cheat sheet of something with him, and it's not at all uncommon for teachers to flat-out tell students what will be on the test anyway or to give out essay questions in advance.

Even more puzzling, who else got it wrong? It can't be Rika because she's in a different class.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/13/2012 (mature content)

Post by Gilrond » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:29 am

Oh, Rika, you foolish girl. That wasn't very clever now, was it? Cheating on your tests? Inexcusable!

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The O.H.L.
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Re: Rika Story - updated 4/13/2012 (mature content)

Post by The O.H.L. » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:35 am

The other person that did as well as Hisao most like was Rika, because he does state they both have Mutou as a science teacher.
I am guessing that the cheating thing will come to bite Hisao in the ass when he gets back from the camping trip. And then only if he ends up going. A weird twist. I like it.
Act 3 please come soon. This is my favorite fanfic right now.
Guess who's back, back, back, back again.
Not that I ever made any great contributions, but oh well, too bad.

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