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Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:28 pm
by Fergard Stratoavis

I thought I might post this little fic of my still in progress. It involves an OC(surprise surprise). The OC is probably a bit too Sue, though this should be probably left to any reviewers I might find here.
Now, uh, my English isn't the best around which probably comes from being a non-native. Please forgive me all mistakes and don't hesitate to point out any flaws, be they grammatical or any other.
Well. Shall we be off into this not-so-awesome journey into Yamaku then?

Chapter 1: Welcome in Yamaku

..They say every coin has two sides.
I'm not sure what to think about it. I think I became such a coin now.
My name is Casper Stratoavis and I'm a new Two-Face. What do I mean by that? Perhaps that latest accident on science lesson. Turns out, splashing someone's face with sulfuric acid actually does damage.
You know how sulfuric acid works? One of its properties is its hygroscopic ability. What does it exactly mean? Well, it extracts water from everything it touches, including air. How pleasant does is feel to get splashed with something that can almost immediately dry you clean?
The one thing that consoles me is that the acid in question reached only one half of my face. It still turned it into something that would put Arnold Toht's treatment to shame, including the hair, the right eye, the right ear and a part of my mouth. Miraculously, the nose got saved whole so at least there's that.
I don't have to tell that the whole experience was somewhat unpleasant.
Because of my freshly-acquired disability, I'm transferring to another school. There's an academy in place called Yamaku which is exclusively for physically disabled students. The whole concept of abandoning everything so I can just move to other school kind of escapes me. I mean, I could still work even with such a major face injury. It's not like I went completely deaf or blind. On the other hand, when I think about Agusu... The thought of moving away from her suddenly becomes an incredibly tempting thing.
Right. I think at this point I should mention who Agusu is. Well... She used to be my girlfriend. We broke up a week before that incident, but she had never really came to terms with it. She was always overly attached to me. A little too much. To be honest, it was creeping me out how she and her posse of girl delinquents from my old school physically threatened every other girl that was in my vicinity. I decided I cannot put up with this. She was intelligent, attractive and caring, true, but her lack of empathy towards everything not being me was... unsettling. She was a borderline yandere. When I broke up with her, she apparently decided that if she cannot have me, no one will... Fast forward to today.
I suppose there's at least one reader out there who wonders about my definitely not-Japanese name. I think I can mention it while I'm still on the train to Yamaku. My origins are European: I'm half-German, half-Polish. Born and raised in Hamburg, my family moved to Japan something about two years ago. I'm still not sure why exactly did we end up here, but being a half-arsed otaku, I was more than content. Previously I lived with my parents in Tokyo, but the incident with acid forced me to change schools. As it turned out, Yamaku is a boarding school. Well, that's new, to be honest. I've never had an opportunity to live in one. To be honest... I'm kinda worried. My parents tend to be... weird, but they had always provided me with emotional support when necessary. Now, the only thing I'll heard from them will be a cellphone.
The incident didn't really change much. My disability isn't the prettiest around, yeah, but I still have the other eye and the other ear perfectly viable. Makes me wonder what will I do with that other part. Perhaps they'll offer me a mask of some sort? Yeah, I can totally imagine that, wearing a Deadpool-esque mask all the time.
...Okay, it changed a bit.
It shouldn't come off as a surprise that such incidents initially are a great shock, especially if said shock is paired with an extreme pain. Such circumstances can lead to various mental disorders. My parents, quite sensibly, decided to check my brain as well. Turns out... I got diagnosed with a case of dissociative identity disorder. To put it shortly, there's... other me. I tend to call him Nega. Apparently, which is a strange case by itself, he's aware of me and vice versa. Heck, we even tend to make smalltalk every so often. That being said, I don't like him, even if this feeling isn't mutual. He's, from what I've gathered so far, largely based on... a character I created some time ago. I'm a writer, well, an amateur one... But hell, I'm starting to go offtrack.
He's mischievous, to put it lightly. Definitely enjoys discord he may cause if he ever takes over. He's malignant, painfully sardonic and also tends to be extremely blunt with most of his statements. I usually keep him in check, but sometimes... Sometimes, usually due to stress or another case of shock, he appears, shoving me aside. Nega tends to be “online”, as he once put it, for at least an hour. The most egregious case involved him taking control for the whole day, but those are one-shots that don't happen often.
Do I react when people mention my face in some way? Sometimes. It usually depends on their actual reaction. To be honest, I expect people in Yamaku to rather just raise an eyebrow rather than jump away in pure terror. Sometimes I reply with a snide remark, sometimes I just make a shrug. I don't like to beat around the bush in that case. When people ask, I just casually state what happened, usually also throwing the note about my split personality and ending the short conversation with a shrug. I'm not a martyr to glorify my injury, but there's no point in acting all mysterious about it. If people are curious, I satiate their curiosity. That's it.

Well, here I am. To be honest... I didn't expect it to be so... I dunno, rustic. It has a nice feel to it. I was always a sucker for history and nice architecture. I suppose insides will be more modern though, what's with school's entire premise to be comfortable for disabled people. Considering how mine own disability doesn't do that much to limit my movement, I couldn't care less.
Interestingly, there's another guy waiting near the gate. He has short brown hair with a single strand sticking around. To be honest, he looks pretty average. A classical Japanese high school student, one of the many seen in all those anime. Makes me wonder what's his disability. He doesn't seem blind as he appears to read the sign near the main gate. Maybe he's deaf then? Or mute? Gah... I shouldn't have such a curiosity about those things. I suppose certain people are more than likely to be sensitive about the topic. I can almost imagine it. “Hi, I'm Casper Stratoavis and I miss half of my face. How about ya?” I definitely need to work on my tact.
He turns and it just so happens that I'm in his line of sight. The brown-haired guy goes wide-eyed, and I suppose my face is enough of a reason.
Seeing as the first impression didn't go all that well, I decide to take a step further and do something to repair it.
“Hi there.” I greet him with a casual hand gesture.
“H-hi...” He responds after a short while of hesitation, trying not to look at the other part of my face. If I were a girl, perhaps I could mask it with hair or something... But alas, I cannot. “You're a new guy too?”
“Take a wild guess, mate.” I say with a slight smile. I suppose it may come up as even more disturbing, seeing as the other half of the smile dies out in a giant scald. That's when I notice the other guy is pretty short... Or was I that big? Well, being an European certainly grants you with more respectable height. Standing at 180 centimeters, I suppose I could be perceived as noticeably tall.
“Right...” He replies after a while, nodding. “...Uh, you're not Japanese?” Well, that should have been obvious, even when taking into consideration my beautiful mug.
“Yeah. Half-German, Half-Polish. Moved to Japan about two years ago. Oh right, didn't introduce myself. Casper Stratoavis.” I tip my black fedora to him to which he responds with a nervous bow.
“Hisao Nakai. Pleased to meet you, Stratoavis-san... I guess.”
“The feeling is mutual.” It is then when I notice my parents closing to the main gate. Apparently they've dealt with all the formalities, so it's free for me to enter. But what's this? Took me a while to realize, now that my vision is slightly confined, but there are two other people with them. Hm. They're most likely Nakai-san's parents.
“Your homeroom teacher waits for you in the corridor.” My mum says, giving me a slight smile. “All of your things are already in your room, so you only need to unpack them.”
“Right. Thanks a lot.” I respond with my now trademark half-a-smile.
“You and Hisao-kun will be located in room-next-door.” This statement makes me raise my remaining eyebrow. Oh? I love it when my parents dictate what's the best for me not even bothering to ask about my opinion. I give one more look at Hisao. He seems like a nice guy for now, so I suppose there's nothing wrong with us being neighbors. “Well, we need to get going. Take care of yourself.”
“Sure thing, Mum. See you soon.” We give each other a hug before she goes to our old Renault. Meanwhile, Hisao's mother says farewell to him as well.
“Behave, right?” My dad says, giving me a nod. We both shake hands. “If anything's wrong, call us.”
“Thanks.” Finally, both mine and Hisao's parents depart, leaving us behind. The only thing we can now do is to enter the walls of Yamaku Academy for one year...
Well, it's most likely like any other school, just with other people. Nothing to fret about.

Our homeroom teacher seems a bit out of place, but appears to be a nice guy. Akio Mutou or something like that... I'm not sure I quite caught his name. He asks both of us if we want to introduce ourselves to class. Sure, why not?
Apparently the class has only sixteen people in it, not counting us. Huh. I suppose it's easier to manage such a group when it's smaller. “Such a group”... I can't help but think it sounds insulting.
I give a quick glance at my new classmates. Most of them didn't have any glaring injury that everyone could see, save perhaps for two girls in the front: The one with long hair misses her left hand, the one with braids has prosthetic legs. Interestingly, she(the legless gi-That sounds wrong too) isn't Asian, but rather has some sort of an Indian heritage. Perhaps she's, just like me, a foreigner living in Japan. Of other people who pique my interest there's a guy with a beret and incredibly annoyed expression, as if he just wanted to end the class for today; a guy who looks incredibly like Lelouch Lamperouge; a pink-haired girl with those weird curls thing – they looked a bit like drills, to be honest – a guy with a considerable corpulence, blatantly sleeping with his mouth open; a girl with a fringe covering the right part of her face and keeping said fringe with her hand which, interestingly, had severe burn marks over it and, last but not least, a short-haired girl with glasses shooting both me and Hisao a cold, challenging glare. What's her problem?
“Well, from today we'll be having two new students in our class.” Mutou started, presenting us to the audience. I think I saw a few interested glares, but most of people were just doing their own business, giving us absent-minded looks. To be honest, it's a nice change of pace. The wildest reaction had to be the one of scarred girl with a fringe, as she for a few seconds looked like a fish without water, desperately grasping for air. I suppose it had something to do with the fact that her and my injury are so similar.
There's a long moment of silence after Mutou's initial speech. Yeah, who will introduce himself first? I don't want to come out as rude, so I just give a welcoming gesture to Hisao. He nods and clears his throat.
“Well, hi everyone.” He has some visible problems speaking. Considering he probably used to be an average Joe before whatever caused him to move to Yamaku... I hope I won't have the same problem. “I'm Hisao Nakai. I like soccer and reading and, well, I hope we'll get along well.” There's a few seconds of clapping from everyone, excluding the sleeping guy in the corner. Even the girl who misses her hand is clapping, which, to be honest, makes me feel a little uncomfortable. She doesn't have to do it...
Hisao makes a small bow and takes a place next to the pink-haired girl, leaving me no choice but to sit next to the scarred one. I suppose I can work with that. It's not like my injury is any worse. I clear my throat before beginning my own speech.
“It is good to meet all of you.” I start before realizing I keep turning my left hand in circles. Huh. Some habits don't change. For some reason, this seems to further annoy the girl with glasses. For the sake of being an ass, I decide to carry on with it. “My name's Casper Stratoavis. Like the previous speaker, I like reading, but also writing stuff. I consider myself something of an artist...” I decide that mentioning the split personality for now seems pointless. “Hope we get along.” Mutou's getting slightly impatient, so I decide to cut the conversation, make a small bow and take the last place. I give a small nod to the girl sitting next to me, but she only shies away, avoiding the eye-contact. Oh. Well, I suppose she's just timid or something.
The lesson goes for a while before a sound of bells ringing signals the lunch break. Man, I was getting hungry. Interestingly, the girl next to me scurries almost immediately after the bell. Before I can say a word to her, she's already out of classroom. Huh. She really must be incredibly shy. Well, I suppose there's no point in wondering about it now. Time to get something to eat. Just as I stand up, however, I can feel someone's presence next to me. The person in question seems to be this pink-haired girl, accompanied by the girl with glasses and Hisao. Judging from his expression, they snatched him into whatever scheme they may come up with already. Looks like I'm their next victim.
“May I help you?” I ask the pink-haired girl which only grins in response before... signing to the girl with glasses. Huh. So her disability is being mute? Perhaps that's why she was so annoyed at my senseless hand-turning. The short-haired one signs back, small smile creeping across her face.
“I think the question should be the other way around.” Pink-haired responds with a grin. “Anyway, since you and Hicchan are the new around here, me and Shicchan will guide you around!”
Hicchan? I give a small look at Hisao who also doesn't have the slightest idea what's up with those two.
“Uh... Thanks, I guess.” I reply after a while, scratching the back of my head. This is also signed to “Shicchan” who only adjusts her glasses and gives a sly smile before signing back.
“Shicchan says this is the most basic duty of a class representative.” The pink-haired gal says, still grinning. Suddenly, she bursts into laughter for no apparent reason. “I'm Misha and this is Shizune.” I've noticed that she keeps signing almost subconsciously, likely so Shizune can understand what's going on.
“Pleased to meet you two, Misha-san, Shizune-san.” I respond, making a small bow. The pink-haired girl seems slightly surprised that she drops the signing.
“Oh, there's no need for honorifics, Caschan.” She responds, regaining her attitude and smiling again. “Everyone in Yamaku is on first name basis. Other students, that is.”
...Wait. How did she call me?
“Caschan...?” I find myself repeating.
“Well, duh.” She playfully sticks her tongue at me, going back to signing. “Just like Hisao is Hicchan, you will be Caschan.”
“Well, anyway...” To be honest, I'm a little lost whether it's Misha who says things or is she just interpreting Shizune while keeping her own bubbly attitude. That's kind of confusing and I can see that Hisao is at loss as well. “Will you go with us for lunch?” I suppose they're just doing their – or should I say, Shizune's – class rep duty, being sociable with everyone. “Hicchan will be with us as well!” She adds, as if this would actually change my mind.
“Sure... Not a problem.” I reply after a while. “So, Misha...” For a moment I decide to ask about a name, as it definitely doesn't sound Japanese, but then I decide against it. Probably that wouldn't be a good way to start a chat. “You're Shizune's interpreter?” Of course, that's asking about the obvious, but I suppose that's as good as it gets for the time being.
“Yup!” She responds with her usual grin, before bursting into another laughter. Huh. She definitely has ADHD.
Well, I suppose this is a good start though, I must admit, my thoughts still dart back to that girl with a fringe. Eh, you worry too much. She's likely very shy or secretive. There are people like that.
For the time being, I suppose I'll find myself content with those three as my companionship during lunch(even though Hisao looks as confused as I am right now).

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:18 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Grammar is mostly okay with a few tenses out of place here and there.
Like you said your OC seems a bit Mary Sueish, but so far it's not too bad. You might keep it in mind when you continue, though.
The only thing that worries me so far is his split personality. I can see how writing something like that can go wrong in oh so many ways... Besides getting your face splashed with acid resulting in split personalities is a bit... far-fetched?
One thing that is easy to fix is your writing format. As it is, your post is one big wall of text. Try using double-spacing (use two line-breaks whenever you would use one) to improve readability considerably.
About the name of your character: Is "Stratoavis" supposed to be polish? It sure isn't German. It sound like the name of some Egyptian guy from an Asterix comic...

Oh, and one more thing... In the first half of the text you adress the reader directly, as if your OC was writing in a diary. Later on you gardually change to a "normal" narrative.
I suggest either dropping the 4th wall breaking parts or clearly separating those parts into a prologue.
All in all a good start. Hope you will continue.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:09 pm
by SemisoftCheese
My first thought after reading this was... Harvey Dent from the Dark Knight. Nananananananaa.... Batman!

Your english for not being your first language is pretty good. It's a little start and stop in some places, but overall pretty good--you just want to make sure your sentences have a "cadence," in that they flow like normal speech.

This was a sort of "gut" thing, but I felt that your writing was a little heavy-handed in approaching plot details and significances. Your character, as well as the plot in general, seems to shower details and thoughts on the reader. This isn't bad, and can sometimes be even useful, but in this case it made your character seem immature and a try-hard.

That being said, if you wanted to cast his as a try-hard and immature, then you're doing a terrific job. That would make him a Mary Sue, but there's nothing wrong with a Mary Sue as long as you want to write him that way.

I'm interested to see how this will develop. Keep writing, Fergard!

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:39 am
by Fergard Stratoavis
Thanks for replies, they're really appreciated. :)

Now, responding to points made:
1. I didn't intend to make him a Sue and that's what bugs me. While he does have many traits that make him stand out, I feel like he should be feeling more awkward. True, there is some "edgy" quality in him that makes him a try-hard(immature though? Well, I guess it's an opinion), but other than that I intended him to be more of a slightly not-common sense dork who's bro with everyone.
2. Hm. The format can be fixed. Thank you for noticing this.
3. As for this first part, I guess this might be the single case.
4. I don't want to make it sound like an excuse, but my limited English kind of... well, limits my vocabulary. Sometimes I must resort to the atrocity that Google Translate is, but I really hope the thing all in itself won't be as heavy-handed as it was in this first chapter.
5. The surname, well... Let's just not speak about it. ^_^;

Truth be told, there are many chapters ready already which, while they will be reworked to make them look slightly more coherent, might contain even more of my stupidity. ^^ That being said, I'm glad there are some reviewers already and that they're, well, somewhat better-spoken than reviewers from


Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:14 pm
by Fergard Stratoavis
I'm not the biggest fan of doubleposting, but eh.

Anyway, here's the second chapter. We get the introduction of Emi and Kenji, Misha being obnoxiously cute and Hisao being indifferent. I also hope this new format will be somewhat more bearable. Anyway, enjoy. :)
Chapter 2: Ups and Downs

I'm positively surprised by the amount of food in cafeteria. I'm not too picky, but having something to choose from is a great thing. Hisao doesn't seem all that pleased though and that's when the realization hits me that most of this stuff is likely to be here so certain students can peacefully eat their lunch. Something for people with diabetes, for example. That being said, I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

The fact that we have to carry girls' lunch is just a minor inconvenience.

We all sit, Misha and Shizune on one side, me and Hisao – on the other.

“Well, chow time!” Pink-haired girl says with a grin, starting to indulging herself with sweet bread. She didn't sign it, but the fact she just said “enjoy your meal” is blatantly obvious, so Shizune only nods and gets to work with her bowl of ramen.

It must be confessed, I've never tried much of Japanese food. Back when I was living in Tokyo, I rarely went outside to eat, preferring to just go back home and have some chops with potatoes. Like mentioned, I'm not picky.

Now, however, there was a bowl of ramen before my eyes. The one thing I had was a pair of chopsticks. How the hell do I even eat a soup with chopsticks? I've been practicing how to grab them and hold them firmly, but when I observe both Shizune and Hisao, I start to think how inexperienced I am in this matter.

Okay, that shouldn't be that difficult. I just need to remind myself of that one “Naruto” episode I watched before I decided that watching an idiot of a ninja in an orange jumpsuit is an insult to my spare time... You get everything from the soup with chopsticks... Then drink the soup straight from the bowl...

“Huh? Something's wrong, Caschan?” Misha's voice catches me off guard. I look back at her and, much to my surprise, realize that she looks genuinely worried. Perhaps even she cannot keep a smile on face forever.

“Uh... It's nothing.” I usually tend to have a pretty good poker face when lying, but the fact that I lie about something as feeble as ramen soup makes my eyes dart sidewards, making for a very phony impression.

“You most certainly don't look okay.” She responds. The fact that she's worried piques Shizune's interest who now looks at me from beneath her own bowl. Hisao didn't help matters, stopping with his own bowl and giving me a slightly surprised look. Great, just great. The fact that only one part of my face can blush with embarrassment doesn't make it any better.

“I... Uh...” Should I really say that I have no idea how to eat this thing? Bluff? I could also just say I'm not hungry for whatever reason, but that would mean I need to endure the whole class without food.

That's a thought too terrible to even consider.

“...I've never eaten ramen before.” It takes me a while to say it. Misha's reaction says everything. She's so genuinely surprised she cannot even muster a grin. “I've no idea how to hold chopsticks properly. Pretty silly of me, don't you think?”

“Hey, that's not a problem!” She finally responds, but not before signing everything to Shizune. She doesn't seem even as half surprised as her friend is, but the glint of mockery in her eyes hurts. Well, I suppose I well deserved it. “I can teach you.” Her straightforward response catches both me and Hisao(who has been awfully quiet for some time) off guard.

“...You what?” I finally respond. An important note, Misha's voice is incredibly loud.

“Like I said, I can teach you how to hold chopsticks. That's not that difficult actually.” Her honest grin actually makes me feel worse. I'm not a little kid to need help with eating. Japan and its lack of normal cutlery is still something I cannot fully understand. “How about from tomorrow? Catch me after school.” That wasn't even a proposition. That was an order, albeit a one carefully hid. The fact that she keeps on signing the whole conversation and Shizune keeps smiling mockingly doesn't help matters.

“But now! We need to feed you!” Okay... This is getting ridiculous. Girl with glasses doesn't even try to hide her silent chuckle as she sees another signs of Misha.

“...Thanks, but no thanks.” I finally reply, shaking my head. I feel like an idiot for even bringing this up. Hisao seems to be conflicted on his emotions right now. Not sure if he's jealous, amused or as dumbfounded as myself.

I'm so grateful it's so loud in the cafeteria. No one pays attention to our table, because if they were... Hoo boy, I would arrange a spontaneous combustion from embarrassment.

Pink-haired girl leans a little towards me, grabbing my chopsticks and fishing out a large piece of meat before turning it in my direction. She makes it look so easy... I suppose I would pay more attention if I wouldn't try to hide how shamefaced I am right now.

“Okay, here's the first train! Choo choo!” Shizune starts openly giggling like crazy. I'm so grateful right now that she's mute.

Misha has good intentions, but, boy, I feel like everyone is now watching me. Just a few hours ago that didn't seem like a big deal, but now... I can as well be the girl with a fringe, scurrying away from everyone. Hisao pointed out later that there are some benefits from being fed by a cute girl so fast as on day one in school. It took me some strong will to not punch him in the face.

After finishing the lunch it was still some time left, so both girls showed us around the school. All floors look the same. They even have the same painting on the wall. Everything here seems so modern, so... sterile. That's definitely a stark contrast between the outside look of the Academy.
From what both of us learned, the school has a rather large library, a swimming pool and a vast array of clubs to pick from. Newspaper club, literature club, art club, sports club... Especially the first two seem interesting. Shizune mentioned – through Misha, of course – that joining the club isn't compulsory, but is encouraged. Well, I suppose it's always something to do after school. Sure, I have my laptop, but sometimes you just don't have enough creative vein to write and net connection here is shaky at best.

We made a quick trip around and made it to the class just as lunch break was about to end. Interestingly, a girl with a fringe is absent even for a short while after a bell. Just as Mutou starts his spiel, she makes a hasty entrance. Our teacher doesn't seem to pay mind to this as she makes her entrance. Nobody pays her attention, save for me and Hisao. Weird. Seems like this is something she does on regular basis.

The lesson goes on and on... I'm starting to think Mutou likes to talk much. Oh well. It would suck to get caught on not paying attention so early, so I need to at least write down essential things. Hisao does the same. It's funny how many things we do in exactly the same way. I suppose it has something to do with us being here for the first time.

Finally... The bell rings! Yes! About time, the lesson's over. And again, the girl with a fringe disappears just a few second later. Before I can even stand up, Misha's behind me, grinning. Shizune does the same with Hisao and, well... Judging from his expression, he really had enough of their company for today. Can't blame him, I start to get fed off as well.

“...Can I help you?” I ask, slowly turning a stare at her. She's still smiling before erupting into another laughter. I swear, what is it that she finds so funny? What's her secret? Come on, girl, share it with us. You know how many kids in Africa could smile again?

Ugh. Bitter and cynical even for my own tastes.

“I just wanted to tell you where you can find me tomorrow for our practice.” For some reason that sounds somewhat wrong. Perhaps it's just me being a male.

“Sure, go ahead.”

“On next lunch break I'll tell you where the room of Student Council is. That's the place.” She says with a smile. She... Ugh. I think I had enough smiles for today.

“Okay... Uh, thanks, Misha.”

“Don't mention it. Me and Shicchan are here to help you.” She responds, giggling and as she turns to leave, the realization hits me that I could possibly ask her about that fringe girl.

“Oh, right!” I say out loud. A little too loud for my own tastes, but that's enough to pick pink-haired girl's interest.

“Huh? Something else you need to know?”

“Yeah. Who's that girl with a fringe?” Surprisingly, Misha's smile drops a little. In the meantime, Hisao tries to figure out how to communicate with Shizune without her interpreter's help. So far, his choppy attempt to sign back has been met with a large frown. That's... kind of amusing. I can see him being on the verge of giving up and grabbing a pen and paper instead.

“You probably mean Hanako.” Misha's voice snaps me out of thought. Her smile is still somewhat smaller than usual. Pink-haired girl gives a look at Shizune and Hisao before getting a bit closer and lowering her volume. Dunno why she does it, considering that the girl with glasses is completely deaf, but I suppose I shouldn't complain. “She's, uh... She's very secretive.” Thanks for stating the obvious, Sherlock. “Nobody really knows her that much, apart from Lilly... But, uh, well... She and Shicchan aren't on good terms.” As if I could believe Shizune can be on good terms with someone not named Misha.
“You know, it's kinda suspicious when she darts out of classroom so fast. Not to mention, that moment when she just walked out into class good ten minutes after a bell and Mutou didn't even bother to look at her...”

“That's... somewhat common here. You've probably noticed that nobody pays attention to that, Caschan.”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Uh... I asked teacher about it once and he mentioned something about special needs, but didn't develop the topic any further.” Huh. I suppose those scars probably need some treatment. Well, that's probably more than I needed to know.

“Thanks for an answer.”

“No problem.” Hm. Her wide smile returned, but there's an air of uncertainty about her. Makes me wonder who that Lilly person is who apparently is able to talk to Hanako without scaring her...

Me and Hisao currently are going to boys' dorms to get our things unpacked. Turns out this part of a dorm is pretty much empty: Apart from us, there's only one other guy in here. Strange. Haven't got an opportunity to meet our co-locator yet so for the time being I'll just get things done.

The room I'm situated in isn't exceptionally big. Its furniture consists of things absolutely necessary and nothing else apart from that: A bed, a wardrobe, a desk with a chair and a lamp, a bedside cabinet... And a large pile of majority of my things, packed neatly in few bags. From what I've seen so far, a school uniform is obligatory. Eh. If there's a thing I miss from European schools, then it would be an absolute freedom in your clothing, so long as it fits ethics and good taste. Here, however, I need to familiarize myself with one set of clothing. Boy's uniform consists of a green jacket, white shirt, black necktie to go with it and green pants. From what I saw though, wearing a jacket isn't obligatory. Well, at least there's that. I'll try to get around wearing a necktie as well. I don't like neckties. They're not only complicated to knot, but also don't look all that great. It's just as you just had... something dangling down your neck. Not exactly the most pleasant of feelings.

Well, time to unpack stuff anyway. Exercise books go here, schoolbooks go here, my personal notebook... Here. Now, laptop with those few games I took with myself, here. Pens, here. Posters... I think I'll hang them sometime later. All in all, organizing myself doesn't take that much time as I expected it to be.

Alright... Checking TV Tropes may wait for now. That's when I get reminded about something Mutou said to both me and Hisao earlier on, when we first met him. Something about meeting a school nurse... I suppose local medical staff needs to make a check on me. Knowing my condition, I'd likely get some gel to place on the other part of my face to make it regenerate or something...

I can only hope there won't be a mention of my... other problems.

I exit the room just to see Hisao discussing with our neighbor, a black-haired guy with extremely thick glasses. Judging from Nakai's reactions, he'd love to exit the conversation while not sounding like a complete ass.

“Oi, Hisao.” I call him. He turns and I can see he's helluva grateful. A pleasure's all mine.

“Huh? Who's there?” The guy with glasses asks with a threatening tone.

“I'm your other hallmate, mate. Casper Stratoavis, a pleasure.” He almost immediately lights up.

“Another guy in here? Awesome!” Heh. Prior to our appearance here, this poor sap had likely lived on his own.

“Always here to help. I didn't catch your name though.”

“Kenji Setou. Pleased to meet ya, man.” He almost throws his hand at me. A little awkwardly, I shake hands with him.

“I'd love to stay and chat, Kenji, but... Uh, me and Hisao need to visit a nurse.” I say. Nakai very silently sighs with relief, but I can see that he didn't think about such an idea.

“Oh, right. Yeah, that's an important stuff. Just watch out for feminists on your way there, man.” Kenji warns me and this kind of warning catches me a bit unprepared. Feminists? Interesting. “Anyway, catch ya later, dudes.” He gives us a nod and returns to his room before locking it on... holy shit, that's a lot of locks. I exchange looks with Hisao.

“How is he...?” I dare to ask. If my partner in conversation's face says truth, I suppose it didn't go well.

“...Weird.” He responds after a moment of looking out an appropriate word. I only nod.

“He gives off strange vibes, but seems like a nice guy. Maybe a little... paranoid, considering that warning, but a nice guy.”

“I'm not the one to judge.” Hisao shrugs. “Anyway, shouldn't we be off to nurse for check-up?”

“Most certainly.” I respond with a nod. “...Do we know the way?” A long moment of silence makes me realize that neither of us had paid any real attention to Mutou's initial lecture. Well, crap. “Gotta ask someone for direction.” I murmur after a while and Nakai only absentmindedly nods. Hope there's no particular time we were supposed to meet with the nurse.

As we exit the boys' dorms, someone bumps into Hisao and knocks him over. Actually, “bumps” isn't the most appropriate word, considering how he almost got bowled over a meter or so. The perpetrator of this, a short girl with pigtails and, surprisingly, a sports uniform, stands up quickly, incredibly abashed. It takes me a while to notice that she has prosthetic legs, just like the Indian girl in our class. Those, however, seem less... humane in their appearance. I suppose those are more fit for running.

Dammit, Casper, stop staring at them like that.

“I'm so sorry!” She exclaims very quickly, offering Hisao a hand. He, however, doesn't get up... His eyes are all wide. He seems to be in pain, clutching his chest... Clutching his chest?

...Sugar Honey Ice Tea.

“Where's the nurse's office?” I ask sharply.

“I've just came in from here.” She responds. She seems pretty observant as she notices something's off with Hisao. Well, that shouldn't be hard to notice, given how hard he tries to not scream. “Nurse had sent me to look for Hisao Nakai and Casper Strat-tra...”

“Well, you quite literally hit the bullseye.” I cut her off, not even paying attention to the fact she can't spell my last name. “Help me out with him.” He seems as if he was about to vomit everything from esophagus to bowel. We slowly help him stand up and take under each arm. “Lead the way.” I say to her and she only nods before the three of us depart to nurse's office.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:08 pm
by Mirage_GSM
I was wondering what Emi was doing at the boys' dorms, but you've covered that base quite nicely.
Formatting is way better now, thank you :-)

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:07 pm
by Oddball
I did like the detail of him not knowing how to eat ramen. It's refreshing to see a foreign exchange student that doesn't automaticaly know all aspects of Japanese culture.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:07 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Oh yes, that. :-)
It's actually quite true. I'm usually able to eat using chopsticks quite well, but when I was in Japan, I realized that eating ramen (or worse: udon) with them is on another level of difficulty altogether.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:29 pm
by The Hero Hartmut
Heh. So Casper's a Troper, huh? Though I do wonder if the dorms have wi-fi.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:59 pm
by Fergard Stratoavis
Well, so I'll be off with my third chapter. Here you go. :)

Chapter - The Cute and The Shy

Somewhere around halfway to the nurse's office, Hisao was able to walk on his own without my or the pigtails girl's help. That being said, he was still extremely pale and didn't look any better despite his weak statements that he's perfectly fine. We've finally made it to nurse's office though and, thankfully, not a single problem was encountered on our way.

“Are you sure you're okay?” I ask him one more time. He nods weakly in response. To be honest... Not especially convincing. The girl raps her knuckles against the door of an office. We wait for a while before the door opens up, revealing a young man with short hair and closed eyes. He opens up the left one and I can see his eyes are blue.

“About time you two showed up.” He says with a wide smile. I can't help but think about Misha's constant grin. “Thanks a bunch, Emi.”

“Not a problem, Nurse.” The girl with pigtails smiles slightly.

“Alright, let's go alphabetically with it. Hisao, if you please.” He makes an inviting gesture, allowing Nakai to go inside.

There's a longer moment of silence between the two of us.

“Thanks for helping me out here.” I finally say, trying to strike the conversation. “If it weren't for you, I doubt I could help him out just on my own.”

“You're both welcome.” Emi responds with a smile. My Misha-esque sense is tingling. Again. What's with all those people around? So far, of all people I talked to – discounting Hisao and Mutou – only Kenji and Shizune didn't have a perpetual smile crept across their faces. That's sort of unsettling. Perhaps that's one way to deal with your disability. Shut it out of your mind and pretend you're perfectly normal. “Though, to be honest, that looked crappy.” She adds, looking a little worried. I nod. Yes, that indeed looked bad. Makes me think Hisao has some sort of a heart condition. That must suck big time for him. “And it's my fault too.”

“Well, nothing long-lasting happened, I think.” I respond, seeing as she really looks down because of it. “It was just an unfortunate accident.” Now that I think of it, no one but Hanako and Hisao seemed very interested with my own injury. I'm glad that's the case, to be honest. “So, uh... I didn't think I got your name.”

“Emi Ibarazaki.” She responds with a grin. She's similar to Misha alright, but her smile seems less obnoxious. Maybe it's the case of her being so moe. Short, with pigtails and... Gah! The worse part of your otakuness starts to kick in.

“Casper Stratoavis. A pleasure to meet you.” I respond, tipping the hat. The fact that I wouldn't be able to wear it from tomorrow makes me cringe a little. Of course, I could, but I doubt it will go well with white-and-green uniform, being all black. “A runner, aren't you?”

“Yup.” She says with a smile. “I'm a part of track and field club. The best runner out there.”

“And definitely the most modest out there.” I reply with slight sarcasm.

“Hey, that was mean.” She says with a pout, but I can see she doesn't look all that angry. I'm about to ask about the prosthesis, but I decide against it. I dunno, this would probably be too much for someone you see for the first time.

“Sorry.” I respond absentmindedly. Emi smiles slightly.

“That's not a problem.” She responds. “So, you two are the new guys in here?”

“Yes, that would be correct. Today is our first day in here.”

“That would explain why you're still not in uniforms.” I cannot hide the groan. “What?” She seems surprised.

“I don't like uniforms...” I respond after a while, making a small shrug. “Not very comfortable with ties.”

“Oh. I see.” It's pretty obvious that we have problems with carrying on this conversation. She's from track and field club, for crying out loud. I cannot even run one kilometer before tiring myself out. At steady pace. There's one thing though that I can consider a physical exercise that I'm not pathetic at though.


“So... Any sports you're doing?” She has good intentions, but it's getting harder for her to build the conversation as well.

“I'm an amateur bicyclist.” I respond just as the image of my new folding bike appears in my head. Since I couldn't take my good ol' mountain bike with me, my parents decided to provide me with a new machine to move on. My new folding bike has some errors I need to live with though, most notably a lack of its rear brake. There were at least three cases of me getting somersaulted over the handlebar. Not pretty, considering my new face hurts like hell when you so much as touch it with a little more force.

“Oh...” Seems I pique her interest a little. “Have any clubs you're going to join?”

“Maybe a literature club. The newspaper one seems pretty interesting as well.” Seeing as this isn't the answer that pleased her, I make a small shrug. “I'm not too much of a sportsperson. Maybe Hisao will, but given his condition...” Because I'm pretty sure you just can't have a prosthetic heart to go with.

“I'm pretty sure he just needs to watch for himself.” Emi responds in deep thought. “Well, anyway, the coach is probably pretty pissed off at me for being out for so long. Catch you later!” She smiles before departing. The loud clicks of her artificial legs can be heard from a mile away.

Since it seems Hisao's checkup will take a while, I decide to give myself to music. I pull out my MP4 player and absentmindedly search for a track to reflect my surprisingly good mood today. Hm. “Spanish Flea” will do the trick. It was hard to achieve, but I've managed to got myself a ten minute long version. Considering how awesome this song is and how the original lasts only two minutes or so... It's a shame that the loss of my right ear cost me that much of a sound... Oh well. At least I'm not completely deaf like, say, Shizune. Now that I think about it, it must suck to be in a world where you can't hear a thing.
I'm on my fourth loop when Hisao finally comes out of the infirmary. He definitely looks better than when I last saw him.

“Now... Casper Stratoavis, was it? Come in.” Nurse gives me an inviting gesture and a smile. I swear... If I had a nickel for every person that smiled to me today...

Much to my delight, my visit was fairly short. The nurse proved to be an affable guy, even if his sense of humor is hilariously bad. I got a gel to put on the other part of my face once a day before sleep. Hm. That shouldn't be a problem. It probably won't repair my ear and eye, but I could at least look a little bit more normal. I'm about to leave when nurse suddenly stops me, putting a hand on my shoulder.

“Oh... Right, I almost forgot about it.” He says with an apologizing smile. I'd rather you really forgotten it. “There's a matter of your... mental condition.” I don't respond, letting him do the talking. The smile drops a little. “I didn't get the full review of the case, so if you'd be so kind to provide me with information about it, I'd appreciate it.”

“What do you need to know?” I reply with a question, giving him a glare. I really hoped he wouldn't have mention it.

“When does it kick in?”

“Hm.” Actually, that's a good question. “I suppose it's a matter of heavy emotional shock. Immense physical pain, especially the one regarding my face, could also possibly make him awaken.” He starts smiling widely again.

“Well, if that's the case, I hope no-one will break your heart anytime soon.” Considering Hisao is just next door, I find the joke to be... slightly disturbing. “If you're in need of a help though...” His smile drops again. “A counselor is available on the last floor. Just so you know.”

“Thanks... So, are we done?”

“Oh yes, we're done.” He nods enthusiastically. “If you need anything, call us straight away. There will always be someone in here to help you out.” 24/7 medical staff? Okay... I suppose that this being a school for people with disabilities, such a service is necessary.

Hisao awaits me just before the infirmary. Nice of him.

“Any plans for today?” He asks me. I make a small shrug.

“I suppose I'll check the library for now...” I respond. “Checking those clubs... I think I'll leave that for tomorrow.”

“Oh? I was about to go to library too.” Well, what a coincidence.

“Well, no time to waste. Oh, right... You sure you're okay?” I ask him. His slight smile disappears, replaced with a frown.

“Yeah... It wasn't pleasant, but I'm good.” He responds after a while.

“Hm. That Emi girl suggested you might be interested in taking look at track and field club.” I mention offhandedly.

“Huh. I suppose I can give it a try... I'm not in the best of conditions right now though.” I bite my tongue just as I'm about to ask about his heart condition. “Besides... I don't think Shizune and Misha will let me go.”


“They want me to be in Student Council.” I nod slowly, thankful that they didn't ask me about it. Being a class rep is already too much for me to bear. Being a representative of all students would be nothing short of a suicide. I'm not even responsible enough to clean up the room every week or so.
Well... My old room, that is. I quickly bat the bad thought away.

“Good luck with that.” I say to him. He gives a slight smile, but I can most definitely see he doesn't like the prospect of being Shizune's lackey.

Took us some time to find the library, but here we are. The place is huge and that's a welcome thing. I've always liked reading, but dropped it off at some point to be more online. Well, now that web connection here is so uncertain, I hope I can get back to that.

Surprisingly, there's no librarian in here... No one to show us around.

“Hello?” Hisao says. It is then that we hear a loud THUD! somewhere from beneath the counter, complete with a silent whimper of pain. A second later, a girl – she can't be much older than us – with glasses, red hair and definitely embarrassed expression perks up from under the counter.

“I'm so sorry, I didn't hear you coming!” She is quick to apologize.

“That's not a problem, Miss.” Hisao responds, looking slightly perplexed.

“I take you're the librarian?” I ask her. She nods enthusiastically, albeit it didn't entirely cover her widened eyes. I suppose not everyone is as resistant to this.

“Yes, that would be me. My name is Yuuko Shirakawa.”

“Hisao Nakai.” Hisao introduces himself, giving a small bow.

“Casper Stratoavis.” I follow the suit, tipping my hat. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Shirakawa-san.”

“Oh, just call me Yuuko.” Huh. What's that with people being so informal? That's... so not Japan-like. “Anyway, since you're new here, I take you need a small trip around?”

“That would be nice.” Hisao says, nodding. The librarian smiled.

“Well, follow me then.” She responds brightly.

Turns out, this library is even bigger than I expected it to be. Wow. I'm not even all that interested in what Yuuko says – something mentioning that library consists also of books written by Braille and audios – instead looking at titles of books laying peacefully on shelves. Most of those are in Japanese, though I caught a few English titles as well.

I'm not gonna lie, my Japanese still needs to be polished. By comparison, my English is probably the best known language to me. Even my native languages, German and Polish, started to get a little rusty, what with no one to talk about anything in those.

I continue to absentmindedly look at all those bookshelves before two beanbags catch my attention. They look like a nice place to sit and enjoy a book. Interestingly, one of them is taken by Hanako. The girl with a fringe is reading a book and judging from how intently her eyes dart through the content, she probably hadn't notice us. If the title of the book is anything to go by, this is some sort of an adventure novel. Hm.

Something tells me to go and apologize her. For what? For startling her? She looked like so much as looking at her funny could send her into panic. Still... I gave a quick look to my cellphone. It was still some time before sunset. I suppose I could sit here for a while. Snatch some fantasy bo...

Holy shit, is that Sapkowski's “Last Wish”? In Japanese? I snatch it almost instantly. Oh boy, I hit the bullseye. Along those there's a vast number of fantasy novels here and there, mostly from American authors, though I caught one Japanese surname. I got three books for starters. Should be sufficient for now. Hisao, however, takes a different approach and quickly collects a stockpile of books to read. Yuuko seems pretty surprised.

“I developed a habit of reading.” Hisao replies, making a weak shrug. “I didn't really had anything other to do in the hospital during my recuperation.” He adds, providing an explanation. After all the formalities, Hisao's about to leave the library, presumably to drop it all in the dorm and begin reading.

“You're not going?” He asks me. I shake my head in response.

“I think I'll stay here for a while. The atmosphere's nice.” It didn't escape me that Yuuko beamed slightly. A pleasure to serve as always.

“Sure thing. See you later.” And with that, we part ways. I decide to go back to the unoccupied beanbag. Hanako's still here, reading. Hm. How to make a good second impression? The first one didn't really go well, considering she just turned away her stare and didn't say even a single word.

“Um... 'Scuse me...” I start. She looks at me and almost immediately hides her face behind the book. While her fringe does a good job at covering her face from a distance, it didn't mask the faint shape of a burn scar.

Holy shit, how big that thing could possibly be?

“Uh... Sorry for scaring you earlier morning.” I say, trying to save the already doomed conversation. “I, uh... Didn't want to startle you.”

“...I-it's okay.” She responds with a quiet, barely audible voice.

“Well, uh...” This is getting nowhere. “Shall I introduce myself again or...?” She nods weakly. “Casper, Casper Stratoavis. A pleasure to meet you.”

“...H-Hanako Ikezawa.” She responds. Of course, I already know her name, courtesy of Misha, but eh.

“...Mind if I sit here?”

“...G-go ahead.” She goes back to her book. Well, that went... surprisingly good, I think. At least she talked back this time.

The next hour or so is spent on both of us reading their respective novels. She seems to be an avid reader, as from the moment I talked to her to now she seems to read through almost the whole book. Every now and then, however, I would feel her eyes looking at me, presumably at my own injury. Dunno what to make of it. Perhaps she's curious, but too shy to ask such a direct question. Can't say I blame her. I suppose most people around have a story they'd like to tell to someone, but want to be absolutely certain that the person they're talking to is a friend or at least someone they can trust. The fact that no one in here asked me about it something I consider surprisingly pleasant. It's a nice change of pace.

If her burn scars are at least up from her face to her hand then it's at least half of a body, maybe a third part. That's too much for a simple accident. It had to be something big. Maybe she was in a fire...

It is then that I realize our eyes are locked in a stare. I've had to accidentally glance at her while she was doing the same. Her eyes have a purple tint to them. An awkward silence lasts for at least few seconds.

“...Can I help you?” I finally ask. She opens her mouth as if she was trying to say something, but then suddenly burns up with a massive blush and rapidly stands up.

“Ivegottagodosomething!” Before I can even retort to that hasty response, she's already out of the library, holding her books closely to chest.
...What happened here?

That was most definitely an eventful day. Turns out, Hisao got ambushed by Kenji at some point and now was listening to the guy with glasses intently going about something I wasn't quite sure about. Deciding that I don't really have enough power for today to enter a wacky chatter, I decide to just shift into my room, quickly change, apply the gel and spend an hour or two trying to get some internet connection. Hm. Gotta ask someone about getting some better wi-fi here. Maybe Shizune would know.

...I'm tired. I'm tired with the perspective that this will be my new school. People are nice, even if a little weird(or, in Misha's case, very weird), but still... I will need to work on my own feeling of tact. Saying something inappropriate here may hurt much more than if I've said it my old school or anywhere else.
Gotta get used to it. It surely cannot be that bad, can it?

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:40 pm
by Mirage_GSM
So far, of all people I talked to – discounting Hisao and Mutou – only Kenji and Shizune didn't have a perpetual smile crept across their faces.
So... Three out of seven?
What's that with people being so informal? That's... so not Japan-like.
And it's especially not Yuuko-like.
I suppose most people around have a story they'd like to tell to someone,...
I'm not sure but considering the context, I think you meant "a story they'd like someone to tell"?

Other than that it's a nice chapter. The Mary Sueishness of your OC has receded somewhat. It's good to see that you've given him some flaws as well.
I'm still not sure if the split-personality thing is going to work out, though...

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:03 pm
by Fergard Stratoavis
1. Point taken.
2. Note to self, when you're trying to write a fic, be sure to know all these small details through and through. I didn't do my research. -.-

And now, with a rather long delay, I present you to the fourth chapter. I had myself doubting the whole thing, to be honest. But eh. Let's give it a go first. ^^
Alarm clock. It's from my cellphone... But where the hell did I put it? I groggily wake up, looking around. Oh, there it is. I hit the “stop” button and give a look around.

Huh. There are traces of blood on the pillow. I'd probably turned on the wrong way. It isn't anything life-threatening, but can get uncomfortable fast. The other part of my face just sort of gradually crumbles more and more when presented with everything but the lightest touch.

I still can't get it over with... The fact that I can be so fragile even if I don't want to... Eh, curses. Gotta wipe it out somehow. I think I have a spare handkerchief to use. When did the lessons start? At eight? It's... seven past five... Dammit. Most likely I've picked the wrong alarm clock. Oh well... It gives me more than enough time to get yourself together and eat something at the cafeteria. And, well, considering the time, at least I won't have to make my way through the hordes of other students. Always look at the bright side of life, complete with a happy whistle tune.

Nurse said that I need to apply the gel only once a day before sleep, so I can omit this one for now. First of all, shower. I need a shower. Yesterday I just sort of fell asleep with my nose in laptop with only applying that gel, so this will be a welcome change.

I silently walk to the bathroom, trying not to wake neither Hisao nor Kenji... Though, to be honest, the latter likely has soundproof walls, considering the amount of locks to his room. Makes me wonder what the hell...

Jumping off my pajamas and putting my glasses someplace safe, I enter the shower, letting the warm water embrace me in its hug. I can feel that the carapace made of dried blood, covering the other part of my face, slowly lets go. It will regenerate, no sweat. Besides, even at the price of minor pain, it's wonderful to have my face splashed with warm water. It makes me serene. Makes me forget who am I and where am I, what is the purpose of this place and what am I even supposed to do here. That's just this kind of detachment you could like. The one where nobody bothers you with their problems and concerns, letting you be.

I used to be a loner for a long time. Agusu was my first girlfriend... But the fact that she disfigured me had some positive values to it. It learned me to be more cynical and more wary of people around me. So far, my classmates didn't prove to be hostile in any way... But who knows? You always have to be wary. There might be another Agusu in there who will somehow get attached to your ugly mug and then throw something corrosive at your good eye.

...Or is it me who's just too paranoid?

Drip drop. The sound of blood... At first those are just single droplets, but with time the red liquid starts to just run down in line, creating a small pool. Most of it is washed away, but some will most likely stay. Gotta wipe it out as well. Don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. My other half of the face is covered in fresh, salty blood.

I absentmindedly exit the shower, put the towel around my waist to not offend whatever poor soul could possibly get up at this barbaric hour and head to the room to dress myself into uniform. Discarding the green jacket, I come out of the room, wearing a white shirt and those green pants, complete with my glasses, a necktie slung over the neck rather than tied under collar and black boots.

Gotta ask for a monocle. Sure, it may look ridiculous, but it will certainly be easier for me to get a hold of it. Not to mention, I can look even more hipster... Oh God, am I seriously thinking about that?


The cafeteria is, as expected, devoid of life. I've noticed only one person in there, that fat guy from my class. Currently he was stuffing himself with something. After ordering something to eat that will not require chopsticks to use – much to my surprise they had casseroles here, so I picked one – I took a sit on the opposite side of my classmate's table. He gives me a friendly look.

“Sup?” He greets. Well, he seems like a nice guy, even if a little... unsophisticated. The fact that I've noticed so much as three hotdogs on his plate was only making it worse. “You're that new guy? Pleased to meet ya. Taro Arai.” He extended a hand for a shake. Quite surprisingly, it was free of any sticky things that could come out from a hotdog, so it wasn't a problem for me to return the gesture. It was then that I've noticed that he did so using his... left hand?

Arai catches my surprised glance.

“Monoplegia.” He explains with a shrug. “My right arm ain't moving anytime soon.”

“Oh... Sorry to hear that.”

“Eh, I'm used to that.” Taro starts stuffing himself with a second hotdog. “And you? Stratoavis, was it?”

“Casper will suffice. As for your question... Sulfuric acid.”

“Ouch. That's gotta hurt.”

“You bet it did.” I give a small smile which, judging from the fact that Arai stopped eating for a while, proves to be a little unsettling. “Heck, it's not that bad though.”

“That's some nasty stuff, man.” He responds with hesitation. “Someone did it to ya or...?”

“An ex-girlfriend. Yandere.” He seems dumbfounded.

“Oh... Uh, sorry to hear that, man.”

“I got over it. No sweat.” I reply, this time not allowing myself a smile. “To be honest, I only miss one eye and one ear while the other part of me hurts like a bitch. Comparing to... other people...”

“Huh? You mean someone in particular?” ...Heck, I don't even know that guy. He's a classmate, but that's a first time we have a talk. Despite that, I start to carry on, mentioning Shizune, the Indian girl, the girl with one hand, Emi and Hanako. Arai's a dutiful listener or at least he pretends to listen. Nice of him. It has just hit me that all people I mentioned are female.


“What can I say?” He asks, starting on the third hotdog. How the hell does he do that? I'm just in a middle of my own casserole. “Shit happens.” Yeah. That was so insightful. I'm about to retort with some snide remark when I suddenly hear something like... tapping? Hm. Someone seems to tap a cane around. A blind person? I give a look towards the entrance and... gasp.

This is definitely what a feminized Archangel Gabriel would look like. The girl who has just entered the cafeteria is surprisingly tall for a Japanese, but the blond hair makes me think she may be of mixed heritage like me. She has a bow in those which only adheres to her beauty. To top it all off, the eyes... Oh, the eyes every guy(or maybe even some gals) could drown into, big and blue... And yet, she was tapping the floor with her cane. Blind.

Fate can be so cruel sometimes. This angel will never see how beautiful she is.

“Hello?” She asks with a delicate, refined voice and, oh my God, I can almost feel myself rushing to her and aiding her. Then, I snap back to the real world.

“Do you need any help, Miss?” I ask, giving a slight glance at Taro. He's finishing up his breakfast. The blonde girl lights up slightly, hearing my voice... Though it probably the fact that there's a voice in general.

Not being able to hear and talk like Shizune seems bad... But I'm not sure if not being able to see isn't worse.

“Oh no, I'm fine.” She responds, slowly moving towards us. Seems she's pretty acknowledged with the layout of cafeteria as she doesn't trip, bump into any of tables, slowly moving towards us. Well, towards me, now that Arai vanished without a trace. How did he do it anyway? “Will it be a problem if I sit here?”

“Not at all, Miss.” She sits just where Taro was sitting a moment ago. She retracts her cane – oh, nifty – and places it someplace safe. “Didn't expect anyone to show up here that early.”

“I'm something of a morning person.” She says with a smile.

“Oh, right, I didn't introduce myself. Where are my manners...” I manage an awkward chuckle before clearing my throat. To be honest, I'm at least partially grateful that she cannot see a guy in front of her. She seems like a delicate person. “Casper Stratoavis. I'm one of the new students.”

“Hanako had told me about you.” Hanako? Wait, that would imply the person sitting before my eyes is... “Lilly Satou.”

“A pleasure's all mine, Satou-san.” She giggles quietly.

“Please, there's no need for formal language. Call me Lilly instead.”

“If you insist.” For the love of... I've finally met a person who seems refined enough and even she drops the honorifics. I've never seen it in any other school... “Uh... You mentioned that Ike-I mean, Hanako mentioned me...”

“Oh yes.” She nods. “She seemed a little... startled when she was describing your meeting.” Oh. So she knows about...?

“Startled...?” I find myself repeating. Lilly nods once more.

“Don't worry though. This has nothing to do with your appearance. Hisao also startled her.” Oh... So she really is that shy.

“I don't recall him and her meeting.”

“They bumped into each other at the lunch break yesterday.” She explains, very carefully fishing out a piece of meat out of her bowl of ramen.

Wait a minute, when did she even get that?

“Oh... I see.” And that's when I realize what kind of faux pas I've just committed. “I mean... I'm sorry.” Lilly seems to take that pretty lightly though as she only chuckles heartily.

“I'm perfectly fine with figures of speech, Casper.” She responds with a smile. “There's nothing to be sorry about.”

“If you say so, Lilly...” I think I may as well ask her the question. “May I ask something?”

“Go ahead.”

“You're not fully Japanese, are you?” She nods.

“Indeed. I'm part Scottish. How did you tell?”

“The hair. It doesn't look like it was bleached and Japanese are unlikely to have fair hair. Just before you ask, my girlfrie-” I cut myself off, cursing my long tongue. Thankfully, Lilly doesn't push the matter. How very refined of her.

“I see.” And that's when it hits me.

Do you speak English?” I ask in said language. She seems slightly surprised, but responds just a few seconds later.

Yes. Quite fluently.” Huh. There was some accent in her voice that I couldn't exactly pinpoint. Thankfully, she seems to talk using RP.

Perhaps this is a... a weird request, but can we... talk with English for a while?” The blonde girl before my eyes smiles slightly.

“Of course.”

For some reason, Shizune seems pretty peeved. Not really sure why. For now I need to listen to Mutou's lecture and write notes. The material to remember isn't especially difficult, so it shouldn't be a problem, but you'd never know. When I was younger, forfeiting to make notes quite often was biting me in the ass like a rottweiler. Hanako does so as well and so does Hisao. All in all, the class is pretty silent today. Not sure what to make of it.

When a bell signing the lunch break rings, I can almost immediately find myself surrounded by Misha and Shizune. She's still pissed off for some reason, but doesn't show it as much as she did in the morning.

“Can I help you...?” I ask. Pink-haired girl bursts into her trademark “WAHAHAHA” laughter. I swear, I'll start killing toddlers to regain my sanity.

“Well, of course you can, Caschan.” A slight hope in Hanako is lost when I discover the chair next to me is empty. “After all, I need to tell you where the Student Council room is so you can get some proper chopsticks holding lessons.” Shizune gives me an amused stare. Yeah, she will be mocking me for a long time because of this.

“Hurray.” I manage to utter. Hisao has left already as well. Perhaps he headed to check out clubs or go to library. Now that I think about it, Hanako's most likely to be there...

“Hello! Earth to Caschan!” Misha's voice snaps me out of thought. “And as me and Shicchan were saying, there's a small surprise to all of it.” ...I suddenly don't like where this is going.

“A surprise? What kind of surprise?” I ask flatly.

“Oh, you'll see...” The slight teasing factor in Misha's voice doesn't help matters.

“Fine. I suppose I'm your slave for this lunch break.” I respond, desperately trying to look optimistic. Both Shizune and Misha frown which cannot be a good sign.

“How mean of you.” That's definitely the class rep speaking through the drill girl. The drill girl. Oh God, that sounds all kinds of wrong. “We're not forcing you to anything. You're doing this to us because we're friends, right?” Misha shoots me a smile of a cutie.

...Thank goodness I don't have diabetes or any heart disabilities. Still, her statement surprises me a little. Friends? We know each other so much as two days.

“Friends...? That's... That's nice of you two.” I'm truly perplexed.

“Well, duh!” She says before bursting into another laughter.


At the cafeteria, the crowds are as lively as ever. This time, Hisao's not with us, leaving me at the mercy of two female predators. Oh well. They seem friendly, but who knows if they won't try to rip my throat out the moment I say something unfunny.

The lunch time goes pretty fast, with us idly chatting about things, or rather me and Misha chatting while the latter translates everything for Shizune. As it turns out – rather unsurprisingly, if you ask me – Misha's the big fan of J-pop and K-pop. When asked about my musical tastes, there was a longer moment of silence from my side.

“A bit of everything.” I decide to settle for a neutral answer. “Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Chopin, European Metal... Suilen as well.”

“Tchai-Tcha...” Pink-haired girl has apparent trouble spelling the surname correctly.


“Tchaiko...” Huh. Seeing as Misha's out of commission, I decide to just scribble it down on a sheet of paper. Shizune takes it and nods with understanding. I suppose she's heard about him... Wait. She looks at me, slightly perplexed, seeing as I reconsider my inner monologue. Another faux pas. Thankfully my “interlocutor” cannot hear my thoughts. Meanwhile, Misha's still struggling to spell the composer's last name. Suddenly, a vile thought creeps to my mind. Why not having some fun at her expense?

“Hey, Misha...” I start, trying to sound as casual as possible. She looks at me absentmindedly.

“What is it, Caschan?”

“I'm betting one hundred yen that you will be unable to properly spell another word I'll say.” Shizune, after “hearing” my words gives me a cautious look and signs back. Misha's smile drops a little, but suddenly comes back in a full grin.

“Don't worry, Shicchan, I'll be fine!” She responds before turning to me. “Alright, Caschan. Shoot.” Here's where the funny part comes.

“Brzęczyszczykiewicz.” A long, long silence. The fact that Misha's smile deflates into expression that screams “holy shit” is just priceless. Shizune shoots me another inquisitive look, so I decide to satiate her curiosity and write down the word in question on paper. Her eyes slowly go wide as she tries to decipher my bad handwriting. The next look she shoots me is of pure shock.

“B...” Misha's stuck so far as on the first letter. I cannot help but feel a triumphant half-smile when suddenly my silent celebration is interrupted by one word.

“Brzęczyszczykiewicz.” Huh? I crack open the good eye and I can see a short-haired and red-haired girl in, surprisingly, boys' uniform, shooting me a look.

Even more surprisingly, she lacks arms.

“'Scuse me...?” I ask bluntly, too surprised at her response to look at her unused sleeves.

“Brzęczyszczykiewicz.” She responds, giving me a bemused stare. “Next time try challenging someone who knows about Polish movies.”

“W-what?!” Misha exclaims, taken aback. “Caschan, that's cheating!”

“We didn't even specify the rules...” I respond flatly. “You owe me 100 yen, Misha.”

“Oh come on!” She pouts. Before I can go back to the strange armless girl, she's already gone. Since I'm not really that short on money, I decide to go for an alternative.

“Alright, how about that? Since you've lost, you will tell me about that strange girl.” I say. Misha almost immediately perks up.

“Rin Tezuka? Sure thing, Caschan!” And so, yet another mysterious girl's name is revealed to me.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:34 pm
by Mirage_GSM
He extended a hand for a shake. Quite surprisingly, it was free of any sticky things that could come out from a hotdog, so it wasn't a problem for me to return the gesture. It was then that I've noticed that he did so using his... left hand?
This sentence is, quite surprisingly, past tense.

Also the scene change from the cafeteria to the classroom could be a bit more obvious.

Other than that, a nice new chapter. Your writing is improving, even if I'm still shocked out of immersion everytime your OC's name comes up^^°

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:00 am
by CptSalsa
Nice to see this was updated. To tell the truth I was starting to miss this.

Re: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:24 am
by Oddball
Since it seems Hisao's checkup will take a while, I decide to give myself to music. I pull out my MP4 player and absentmindedly search for a track to reflect my surprisingly good mood today. Hm. “Spanish Flea” will do the trick. It was hard to achieve, but I've managed to got myself a ten minute long version. Considering how awesome this song is and how the original lasts only two minutes or so... It's a shame that the loss of my right ear cost me that much of a sound... Oh well. At least I'm not completely deaf like, say, Shizune. Now that I think about it, it must suck to be in a world where you can't hear a thing.
I'm on my fourth loop when Hisao finally comes out of the infirmary. He definitely looks better than when I last saw him.
He's been listening to the same song for 40 minutes while Hisao gets his check up?

The introduction of Yuuko and the Hanako scene from the library seems like a pretty blatant copy from the game. I think your Lilly introduction worked much better.
“An ex-girlfriend. Yandere.” He seems dumbfounded.
If somebody described a real person to me as yandere, I think I'd be pretty dumbfounded too.
“Perhaps this is a... a weird request, but can we... talk with English for a while?” The blonde girl before my eyes smiles slightly.

“Of course.”

For some reason, Shizune seems pretty peeved.
This is a horrible scene transition. Reading along, one gets the idea that Shizune has suddenly shown up out of nowhere and is upset that Lilly and your main man are talking in English. You might want to add another line or two indicating the scene change.

Other than that, it seems pretty well written so far.