The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series Conclusion Update

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Hoitash
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The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series Conclusion Update

Post by Hoitash » Thu May 29, 2014 11:17 am

Well, look at that, it’s the two year anniversary of Hisao and Kenji: Master Detectives!. It might be a bit early for a Summer Special, but who cares, let’s do this!

…You know, I feel like we need some music to celebrate. Something heartfelt, meaningful, and emotional.

"Heartfelt" Music

There we go. Anyway, on with the show! Push the button, Frank.

The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series
“To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.” –Rudyard Kipling’s “Gentlemen-Rankers”

Chapter One: The Shepherd’s Tale


I gave the contents of the suitcase on my bed one last overview to make sure I had everything I’d need. I did the same with my carry-on bag and my backpack before closing everything and taking one last look around my room, just in case.

Yamaku’s dorms were pretty small; definitely smaller than my old room at the psych ward, at least. I didn’t mind, though. In some ways, I preferred a small room to a large one; spending so much time indoors had made me a bit of an agoraphobe.

Once I was sure I had everything, I checked the time on my wristwatch. Since it was about time for me to go, I grabbed my bags and headed for the door. I was just about to pull the lever when someone outside knocked. Since I had been expecting it I managed to not jump from the noise, though it helped that I recognized the knock.

My suspicions of who the knocker was were confirmed when I opened the door to reveal a girl whose long dark brown hair and bright green eyes were almost as much a contrast to my short-cropped black hair and dark brown eyes as our clothes were. Whereas I was wearing blue jeans and a long sleeved blue T-shirt, she was wearing a tan summer dress that was several shades lighter than my skin tone. She also seemed a bit tired, which since it was early afternoon was probably more due to her narcolepsy then the time of day.

“Hello,” she said once I had opened the door, “Have you accepted Cthulhu as your lord and savior?”

I smirked and replied, “Hey, Maiko. You heading out?”

Maiko Nagita shook her head, “Not for a while yet. I swung by to see if you were still here.”

“I was on my way out,” I said, “My ride should be here soon.”

“Mind if I see you off?” Maiko asked.

“I don’t mind,” I replied.

Maiko grinned and stepped back so I could leave my dorm and close and lock it. That done, I started walking down the hallway to the stairs, keeping my pace slowed so that Maiko, despite being several centimeters taller than me –like almost everyone else in the school who wasn’t in a wheelchair- could keep up.

Maiko was in the same year and class as I was, and was my closest friend at Yamaku. Though there were large chunks of my life I refused to talk about, she didn’t mind. One of the perks of Yamaku was that every student had something in their past they were trying to cope with, whether it be a missing limb, a severe neurological disorder, or… other stuff.

Maiko sighed and smiled, “I am so glad its break. I am not looking forward to finals next year.”

“It’s too early to think about that,” I grumbled.

Maiko sighed, “Tell that to my mother. Anyway, I need this break –I was having nightmares about getting attacked by fractions and English adverbs.”

“Could be worse,” I remarked, “But you’re right, we definitely need a break.”

“Get away from the campus for a while, back to the outside world with all the Normies,” Maiko mused, “No offense.”

“None taken,” I replied, “Although I’ll be going a little farther out than I’m used to.”

“Oh yeah, you mentioned you were going to Manila, right?”

I nodded, “We leave tomorrow for a week. Me, and some, um, family friends.”

“Cool,” Maiko said, ignoring my hesitation as always, “I’m just going back home to Tokyo. Beats being stuck around here, though.”

“I guess it would get pretty boring with most of the students gone,” I mused as we reached the stairs; my room was on the second floor.

Maiko nodded, “I mean if you got a laptop you at least have that, but even then I think I’d lose it,” Maiko looked me over and added, “You’d probably just spend all day in the pool.”

“Can’t,” I stated, “Need time for training.”

Maiko smirked, “Right, Vice Captain. You ever worry you’ll wear yourself out?”

“That’s kinda the point,” I remarked.

Maiko said nothing.

We finished descending the stairs and it wasn’t much longer that we were by the front door of the girl’s dormitory. The two wide glass doors showed the grounds in all their summer glory, bursting with greenery and flower beds full of the warmth and strength of summer. After mentally making sure I had my allergy medication, I turned to Maiko, who nodded and turned on her heel.

“I better get back to my room and finish packing,” she said. Waving a hand as she headed to the elevator, she added, “Have fun in Manila, and make sure to text me sometime –I wanna know how much fun you’re having so I know how jealous I should be.”

I smirked and waved after her, even though she couldn’t see, “Will do. And thanks.”

Maiko gave me another wave, and once she was out of sight, I opened the main door and stepped out into Yamaku’s grounds.

Since the school grounds were surrounded by buildings and trees, they didn’t give me the unsettling open feeling I got when I headed down into the valley. I actually liked the well kept lawn and flowers. They reminded me a lot of the grounds of the psych ward, which had been the closest thing to a home I had had since Before.

With most of the students about to leave for summer break or already gone, groundskeepers were taking advantage of the lack of activity to get in some maintenance. Moving border rocks to and fro, adding mulch there, trimming shrubs, rearranging the smaller trees and trimming the larger ones. Stuff like that.

My cell phone started vibrating in my pocket and I pulled it out with my free hand. Smirking at the text from Miya Setou, I continued along the path, past the bulky iron gates and beyond the school, into the outside world.

The text said Kenji, Miya, and Hisato were on their way up the hill, so I stood by the road a bit away from the bus stop to wait, glancing quickly at the valley below; even if looking made me uncomfortable, it was still a nice view.

A few students were waiting by the bus stop, their uniforms replaced with more casual clothes and piles of luggage scattered around them. Probably heading to the train station. A few of them noticed me and gave a friendly wave that I returned. After a few moments I heard the car approaching, so I turned to the road to wait. A little while later, a dark blue sedan came into view, slowing down and stopping near where I was standing.

I stepped back as the engine was shut off and Miya popped out of the driver’s seat on the other side of the car.

“Hey, Hee-chan!” She chirped, bounding over the hood of the car and grabbing me in a hug before I could respond, her brown eyes blazing and her long brown ponytail swaying behind her as she moved.

“Hello, Miya,” I greeted, returning the hug with my free hand, “Thanks for the lift.”

“No problem!” Miya declared, “Did you get a late growth spurt? You feel taller.”

“…Maybe a half centimeter,” I admitted.

“I thought so,” Miya said, pulling away. Now that we were apart the new height difference was more noticeable; where before I had been noticeably shorter than her, now I was only slightly shorter. Glancing at my clothes and nodding to herself, she added, “I’m gonna have to take you shopping in Manila for clothes. Nothing fits on your shoulders right.”

“It’s alright,” I said, “The clothes I have are fine.”

“Don’t fight it, Kid,” I heard from behind Miya, “she said you’re going shopping, you’re gonna shopping –she’s like that with all the kids.”

Tilting my head to the right, I saw Kenji standing in front of the car, Hisato next to him and clinging carefully to his father’s hand.

I smiled at Kenji, “Hey.”

“Been a while, hasn’t it?” Kenji remarked, his thick glasses reflecting the summer sunlight while his short black hair seemed to absorb it. Looking down at his son, he asked, “You remember Kim Soon-hee, right?”

Hisato, who had his father’s messy black hair and mother’s eyes –though they lacked the darkened passion she tended to exude when excited- nodded and turned to me, “Hey, Miss Kim! Nice to see you again!”

I took a step to the right and gave a light bow, “Nice to see you again, too, Hisato.”

Hisato beamed and dashed over to hug my leg.

“We’re going to Manila!” he nearly shouted, “We’re gonna have so much fun!”

“Here’s hoping,” I said.

“I popped the trunk,” Kenji stated, “So you can toss your stuff in there and we can head back to our place.”

“Thanks for letting me spend the night,” I said, waiting for Hisato to let go before I put my stuff in the trunk, “We’re meeting the Nakai’s at the airport tomorrow, right?”

“Right,” Miya replied while she herded Hisato back into the car.

When I closed the trunk Kenji stepped over to me and pat my head, which made me smirk as he ruffled my short hair.

Flattening my hair a bit and lowering his hand, he grinned and asked, “You miss me?”

I returned the grin and nodded, “Sorry for all the emails I sent. I think I spent a bit too much time in the computer lab.”

Kenji waved a hand, “No problem. Come on, you can tell us all about your first trimester on the way home.”

“I don’t wanna bore you with a rehash of my emails,” I said before getting in, joining a bouncing Hisato in the back seat.

“You’re not boring,” Kenji stated. Buckling up, he grinned and tossed me a box of Pocky sticks, which I immediately opened and started gnawing through. Hisato looked up at me and pouted, so I smirked and gave him one.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:03 am, edited 34 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Hoitash » Thu May 29, 2014 11:17 am

Part II:

“What about your reaction?” Miya asked as she started the car, “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, the increased allergens in the air because of the weather heightened my sensitivity. Nurse gave me some allergy meds and told me not to use honey in my tea anymore. Which is kinda annoying.”

“Good thing it wasn’t too serious,” Miya said as we started heading back down the mountain, “It wasn’t too serious, was it?”

“No. I could still breathe, sort of. Nurse said since he could handle it, it wasn’t a major issue. He did say that the next time it happens it might be, though.”

“Good that it wasn’t too bad,” Miya said, “You excited for the trip?”

Taking the topic change in stride, I replied, “Yeah. Nervous, too.”

Miya nodded while she drove, “I was a wreck my first time overseas,” she said, and spent the rest of the drive recounting her first semester abroad. I didn’t mind; I liked hearing about travel, and Miya’s stories were always worth hearing and made me want to travel, too. So I was glad that I was finally going to be able to.

Like I said, though, I was also really nervous. I hadn’t even left the Prefecture at that point, much less the country, and besides never having flown before, I was still adjusting to life outside of the hospital. Osmosis was helping me adapt, but I still got nervous in crowds or with random strangers, and the nightmares….

I also wasn’t sure about the Nakai’s. I’d met Mrs. Nakai before, and while it would be weird traveling with a member of the Foundation Board, she probably would understand how I would feel if I panicked better than anyone else. I hadn’t met Mr. Nakai or their kids yet, but Kenji, Miya, and Hisato considered them family, so had to make sure I made a good impression.

So nervous was an understatement. Nervous wreck would be a better description. An excited nervous wreck who didn’t want to upset anyone or screw up her chances at citizenship while overseas. With a ragweed allergy.

At least that one I had under control.

By the time we reached the Setou’s apartment, Miya had worn herself out talking.

“Sorry,” she said while I grabbed my stuff from the trunk, “I spent the whole trip yammering on. How’s the Judo club?”

“Good,” I replied as I closed the trunk, “Captain makes me do all the paperwork. I think that’s why I got the job, actually. The only other second-year refused to do it.”

“The club’s mostly first-years?” Kenji asked, Hisato trailing behind him as we left the covered parking lot for the apartment building.

“About half to two-thirds,” I replied, “The club has medical and physical requirements on who can and can’t join, so membership varies a bit depending on student admittance.”

“Makes sense,” Kenji said, “and you still swim, right?”

I nodded, “Cap worries I’ll strain something, but after eight months I figured out the routine. He has the lifeguard make sure I don’t overdo it, though. Just in case.”

Conversation died off then, and I took the chance to examine the apartment building. It was tall and brown, with little balconies that people had personalized with potted plants or chairs. It reminded me a bit of the hospital, but pretty much every multi-story building did in some way or another, so I pushed the thought aside as Kenji walked ahead to get the door for us.

When we got to the door of their apartment I turned to Kenji and Miya, “Thanks for letting me stay the night. Sorry for all the trouble.”

“You’re no trouble,” Miya assured me as she opened the door.

We all stepped inside, and Miya closed the door behind us.

I had spent some time in the Setou’s home before the trimester started, and it hadn’t really changed much. The front door led to a hallway that emptied out into the kitchen, study, and bedrooms, while doorways along the right and left side of the hall led to the living room and one of the bathrooms. The walls were lined and filled with paintings and photos, most of them related to Miya’s work, but a few were more personal.

“I cleaned out the study for you,” Kenji said, “and got a bedroll for you.”

“Sorry,” I said.

Kenji smirked, “Hey, we’re the ones without a guest room. Besides, Miya does most of her work out of the house these days, and I never use it for anything other than storage.”

“You must be hungry,” Miya interjected, “I’ll help you settle in while Kenji makes dinner. Hisato, why don’t you make sure you’re ready for tomorrow?”

“Okay!” Hisato chirped, and darted off down the hall.

The three of us headed down the hall and through the kitchen, Kenji breaking off on the way to make dinner. I was first into the study, which had a small desk and several easels shoved into a corner with some chairs and a closed closet along the left wall. A bedroll was tucked into a corner with some linens, and yet another corner was loaded with painting and photography supplies, which I guess didn’t fit in the closet. More photos and paintings lined the walls, but these were almost all personal. Most of them looked like Miya or Kenji when they were in college. They were also more recent ones that included the Nakai’s and other close friends, and even one of me standing in front of Yamaku’s gates the day before the trimester started.

I remembered feeling nervous that day, too, once again entering into something new and unknown. I didn’t go it alone, though, just like back in the hospital; I had had Kenji and the doctors then, and I had the Setou’s for the trip.

Feeling bad for being such an imposition even after all the help they’d given me, I turned to Miya and bowed, “Thanks again for letting me spend the night.”

Miya smiled and pat my head, “You’re welcome. So, you ready for the trip? I mean emotionally.”

I dropped my stuff by the bedroll and sighed, “Not really. Not that I don’t wanna go, but… I’m really, really nervous. Worried I’ll screw up somehow. Worried I’ll be a burden. Just worried about everything. A lot.”

“How’s your stomach?”

A sensitive stomach was fortunately the only long-term physical side-effect from the years of forced drug abuse, and not helped by my fondness for chocolate and oranges. She was probably worried the sticks weren’t settling right, but they were, fortunately.

“Okay,” I replied.

Miya nodded and moved in for a hug. I was used to her doing that, but this was a gentle, comforting hug, and I didn’t realize how much I wanted it until I was retuning her embrace.

“You’ll be fine, Little Lamb,” she said as I sank into her arms, “and if anything happens, we’ll be there to help.”

She was right, of course. If anything happened, Kenji would take care of it… take care of me. I still wasn’t entirely sure why he cared so much, and I couldn’t help but worry sometimes that he’d get tired of me and forget about me –it wasn’t like I was his own kid or anything. I was a lead in a case he had been working on. He could have easily walked out of that hospital room and never come back.

But he did. Over and over. He made sure I was treated for my drug use, my PTSD, my… physical abuse. He helped make sure I became an official resident of the State with a path to citizenship, had an education, could fend off someone four times my weight if I had to, and even gave me oranges and Pocky sticks and books in Korean and English. Thanks to Kenji and the Doctors, I had a future.

I was going to Manila with people who cared about me. If anything happened, they’d take care of it.

+++
Next Chapter

This series will test my writing talents to their very limits. I will have to utilize characterization, exposition, pacing, and warm and fuzzies to their fullest potential in order to pull this off.

I’m fucked.

This story follows the Christmas Special, obviously, and month wise it’s late July, with the story itself starting on a Friday. Oh, and Hisato is four, for the curious.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
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Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu May 29, 2014 1:53 pm

NIce to see you're picking up that character. I've always liker her.
How did she become so close to Miya, though? Did they even meet during the last story?
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Hoitash » Thu May 29, 2014 2:07 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:NIce to see you're picking up that character. I've always liker her.
Thanks, it's always nice to hear when you make a decent OC character :).
How did she become so close to Miya, though? Did they even meet during the last story?
Indeed they did meet; Miya was there for Chapter Six of Picking up the Pieces.

Also Soon-hee stayed over a bit before the trimester started, though in this case it was probably because she was just there and Soon-hee needed a hug. That said, Miya's definitely got a maternal streak to her, which I'll delve into later on. Actually, how the various characters interact with Soon-hee (and how she handles it) is gonna be a major theme of this story.

That and crazy drivers, which are apparently a thing in the Philippines.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu May 29, 2014 4:14 pm

I'm also glad to see her return. She was probably my favorite OC in the series. Interested in seeing where this is going to go.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by GodlyVirus » Fri May 30, 2014 4:55 am

After reading this, ( I haven't read the rest of your works) I feel like I'm not suppose to be reading this yet and I picked up some kind of sequel... I think. It's that kind of thing where you go to the libary, see a cool book, check it out and start reading it. Then around page 150 you get the sense that this is a second installment and then you check the title page and sure enough there's a part two. That's what I feel like right now. Though that may be my somewhat inexperince in the depths KS lore.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Serviam » Fri May 30, 2014 4:59 am

I'm just a lurker who decided to drop the cloaking...

Coming from that part of the world, I can attest to the crazy drivers who somehow get away with flipping the bird to traffic laws.
"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else."
- Tom Clancy summing up l'état in a nutshell

In order of completion:
Lilly > Hanako > Rin > Emi
Currently on: Shizune

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Hoitash » Fri May 30, 2014 12:03 pm

GodlyVirus wrote:After reading this, ( I haven't read the rest of your works) I feel like I'm not suppose to be reading this yet and I picked up some kind of sequel... I think.
Yep, this story follows a Christmas Special I wrote last Christmas :http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9167, which itself follows on my Halloween Special, but you don't really need to read that to get into the groove of things.
Serviam wrote:I'm just a lurker who decided to drop the cloaking...
Welcome aboard, here's you're welcome basket filled with lemons and body pillows.
Coming from that part of the world, I can attest to the crazy drivers who somehow get away with flipping the bird to traffic laws.
One thing I've learned driving in Michigan, at least, is that the speed limit sign is really more of a suggestion. One which people tend to ignore (especially where there are no cops, i.e, Detroit.)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by bhtooefr » Fri May 30, 2014 12:18 pm

It really is kinda funny when you're driving north on US-23.

With a *THUMP*, the roads get a lot worse, and suddenly everyone speeds up from ~70 MPH (in Ohio's 65 MPH zone) to 80-85 MPH (in the 70 MPH zone in Michigan).
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri May 30, 2014 12:41 pm

Hoitash wrote:One thing I've learned driving in Michigan, at least, is that the speed limit sign is really more of a suggestion. One which people tend to ignore (especially where there are no cops, i.e, Detroit.)
Hey, Detroit has Robocop :-)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Grimnir » Fri May 30, 2014 1:18 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Hey, Detroit has Robocop :-)
I kid you not I've watched Robocop not even an hour ago. Kinda creepy. :?
Hoitash wrote:"Heartfelt" Music
Awww, my favourite YouTube pre roll ad. ^^

As for the story itself.
Sorry dude, I still have to plow through at least half of your universe to know what's going on. So my review has to wait and would be probably as long as one of your stories. But there is one thing I have to say right now since you're here.

Hanako on an Indian Chief or any vintage motorcycle at all? You sir, combined two of the most sexiest things known to man. Never thought I would be jealous of a fictional charakter, let alone Hisao, but you did it.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by forgetmenot » Fri May 30, 2014 1:21 pm

bhtooefr wrote:It really is kinda funny when you're driving north on US-23.

With a *THUMP*, the roads get a lot worse, and suddenly everyone speeds up from ~70 MPH (in Ohio's 65 MPH zone) to 80-85 MPH (in the 70 MPH zone in Michigan).
I used to live in Ohio, but went to school in Ann Arbor, and the first time we crossed into that 70 mph zone was one of the most legitimately terrifying experiences I've ever had.

Back on topic, I'm glad to see another story in this continuity. Can't wait to see what surprises you have in store for us!

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Hoitash » Fri May 30, 2014 2:05 pm

Grimnir wrote: Sorry dude, I still have to plow through at least half of your universe to know what's going on. So my review has to wait and would be probably as long as one of your stories.
No worries; these things take time, after all :)
Hanako on an Indian Chief or any vintage motorcycle at all? You sir, combined two of the most sexiest things known to man. Never thought I would be jealous of a fictional charakter, let alone Hisao, but you did it.
Funny you mention that....
forgetmenot wrote: Back on topic, I'm glad to see another story in this continuity. Can't wait to see what surprises you have in store for us!
Hopefully the threads I have woven shall not disappoint. Such is the risk when one is a weaver of plots and plans.
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Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Serviam » Fri May 30, 2014 7:53 pm

I gather it'll be just the Setous, the Nakais, and Soon-hee?

To be honest, I'm imagining the Williams family to join the group, because Lilly and the occasional pilgrimage site. Not to sound tactless, but I can't help but imagine how Lilly would find some of the older churches in Manila: the Cathedral-Basilica and San Agustin Church--both in Intramuros--the two basilicas in Quiapo, the basilica in Binondo...

Traffic-wise, you do not want to be along EDSA or C-5 during rush hour. Traffic so heavy I have to adjust my travel time to get to and from work on time...
"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else."
- Tom Clancy summing up l'état in a nutshell

In order of completion:
Lilly > Hanako > Rin > Emi
Currently on: Shizune

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series

Post by Hoitash » Fri May 30, 2014 8:16 pm

Serviam wrote:I gather it'll be just the Setous, the Nakais, and Soon-hee?
Indeed. We're talking a total of eight characters in a resort suite as a result, and while having Lilly's family over would make sense, it would also complicate things, and if I put too many characters in a story people start grabbing their torches and pitchforks :).

Besides, Soon-hee's never met the Williams', so she'd be even more anxious than she already is, which isn't healthy to be on a vacation (although the only Nakai she's met so far is Hanako, but it's better than nothing.)

You have, however, given me an idea for next year's summer series, so thanks for that :) (y'all like prequel stories, right?)
Traffic-wise, you do not want to be along EDSA or C-5 during rush hour. Traffic so heavy I have to adjust my travel time to get to and from work on time...
Oh right, you're from there. Well at least I'll know if I screw anything up :wink:.
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