Salvation

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WeaselDaddy
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 am

Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:01 am

So, this is my first time posting here on these forums, and more than that this is my first ever attempt at a fan fic for Katawa Shoujo. I figured I could just get right into it, throw the fic out there, and call it good, but I figure this is as good of a time as any to introduce myself while I'm at it. Give a little bit of insight as to who I am, what Katawa Shoujo means to me exactly, and why I'd started this in the first place. I get that not everybody here cares about that sort of thing, so if you'd just like the important information about the fic itself, I'll have a sentence bolded towards the bottom to signal where you can tune back in.

I had played Katawa Shoujo a few years back, 2013 I think. It was in my senior year of High School. I had been into VN's for a while, but it had always been a bit of a niche thing, and I wasn't really able to relate to other people in regards to that topic. I wasn't too worried about it; anime dating sims certainly weren't going to be everybodies cup of tea, that's for damned sure.

Visual novels are more than just dating sims, you don't have to tell me that, but at a glance that's easily what they could be mistaken for, so I just never worried about it and opted not to discuss it too much. So my senior year comes along, I get back from summer break, and I hear people chatting in the halls about what I had assumed at the time was just some anime or another. Lots of Japanese sounding names. Whatever it was it sounded like they were really into it. So after a bit of digging around, I came to the realization that what they were talking about wasn't an anime. It was a Visual Novel, created by some people on 4chan of all things by the sounds of it. It wasn't just one or two people here and there. Over the summer, a couple of people played it and told their friends, who told their friends, who told their friends, and sooner or later there was a surprisingly large chunk of the Junior and Senior classes who had sat down and played through this Visual Novel called Katawa Shoujo.

Knowing that VN's are such a niche thing, my interest was piqued. I couldn't help but wonder what was so special about this to give it such mainstream appeal (mainstream as far these things go at least). I hear that it's free, download it on a Friday night, and marathon it all the way through all 5 routes, and every ending, finishing up close to the end of Sunday that same weekend. It changed my perspective on a lot of things.

Without going into too much pointless detail, I'd been going through a bit of a rough time when I'd picked this up for the first time. I'd tell you guys all about how strongly the story and the characters resonated with me, but I know that you've heard it all before and I'd just be repeating the same sentiment shared by so many others who've picked up this gem of a story. The point remains however that in a way, this game saved me. I think having such an emotional, empathy driven story spring up on me so unexpectedly was just what I needed at that time in my life to force a certain amount of introspection. It left a huge impact on me, and even to this day so many years later, I find myself fondly remembering the characters and stories, as if they were somehow old friends of mine. It's honestly the first and only time a fictional world has touched me in such a way. Needless to say, after finishing it, I'd seen why it had gotten so popular amongst my classmates.

That aside, I've been doing some creative writing for a long time now, and while I've dabbled in a little bit of fan fiction from time to time, I tend to stick primarily to works that I've developed on my own. Something about creating derivative works has always felt a bit cringey for me I suppose, so I've had a tendency to avoid it. That's not to say however that fan fiction is bad; I've read more than my fair share of it, but I guess there was just some stigma attached to it in my own head. Despite adoring fan works developed by others, it somehow felt to me that being fan fiction somehow invalidates the time, effort, and creativity I would put into a story, and cause people to look down on what I've written as a result. That's not totally untrue; a lot of people do take issue with fan fiction. As a result, I haven't really been able to express my love and appreciation for the game, story, characters, and world that has been built in a way that would have been satisfactory to me.

As time's gone on however, I've come to a point where I've just stopped caring about that kind of thing. Katawa Shoujo resonated with me strongly enough that my mind keeps wandering back to the halls of Yamaku so many years later. There's plenty of stories left to be told about this place, and the people who call it home. Frankly I don't give a damn if the bulk of people out there tend to look down on fan-fiction. The game is something that's held my passion all this time, and I know it's done the same for so many others. If there's a way to share even a hint of that passion with you all, it's something I'd like to do. Plus it's as good a way as any to get back into the swing of writing, right? :lol:

I can't promise I'll be able to update this as frequently as I'd like, although I'll try to get something out at least once a week. Life's been pretty hectic as of lately, and despite that being the plan for now you never know what's coming around the corner. As it stands now, as long as the story continues to take shape in my head, it's something I'd like to be let out.

Which finally brings me to what this is all about; the story itself. Salvation takes place directly after Hanako's bad ending, after HIsao in his numb, scared, and confused state, makes his way back to his dorm room. This ending always fascinated me in that, although it signaled a huge change in the dynamic of Hisao and Hanako's relationship with one another, it didn't necessarily signal the removal of each other from their respective lives. After everything was said and done, I couldn't help but feel that there was so much room left for a compelling story; for the cast to change, expand their horizons, learn from their mistakes, and grow.

This whole concept actually started with me writing an epilogue of sorts in regards to "Life after the bad end." After finishing that, I looked at it and said "Okay, this is great, now how exactly did we get from there to here?" At that moment, my mind was made up. I knew where we were starting. I knew where we were ending up. The most exciting part for me from here is to find the links that can bring the two points together.

The next post will mark the beginning of the fic itself. Sorry for the long tangent prior to it. I'm honestly thrilled to be putting this out here, and can't express enough how much I'd welcome some feedback and criticism. It's been longer then I'd care to admit since I've actually sat down to do some creative writing, so I'm feeling a bit rusty, and am eager to improve. Aside from that, I hope you all enjoy Salvation!



Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Last edited by WeaselDaddy on Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:07 am, edited 6 times in total.

WeaselDaddy
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:17 am

Re: Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:14 am

Chapter 1

Frankly, things couldn't have gone worse. I’m not one to fantasize too much about “worst case scenarios” despite my cynical tendencies, but this goes leaps and bounds beyond what I’d expected. “I hate you more than anyone” certainly isn’t a sentence I’d ever expected to hear come out
of Hanako’s mouth. Not towards anyone, least of all me. Not to mention her harsh words towards Lilly. How much of it did she mean? I can’t help but chuckle dryly at the thought. The look of anger on her face contained the answer already; all of it. She meant all of it. Without a doubt.

I stare blankly at my cell phone, as I have for the last few hours. Flipping it open, going to Lilly’s number, putting my thumb over the call button, and…

“Dammit,” I mutter out with a sigh, flip it back shut, and repeat the process. This is getting me nowhere, but I’m at a loss as to what else I should be doing. I haven’t exactly done a great job of reaching out to people here; Lilly, Hanako, and God-help-me, Kenji are the only people I’ve really developed any kind of a relationship with here. I’ve clearly burned some bridges with Hanako, that much is horrifically apparent. Lilly would have better insight into this than anybody else, but how can I bring myself to tell her about what Hanako said? Hanako clearly stated that she hated Lilly too. Her heart would shatter. Then there’s Kenji…

“Absolutely not…” I’m desperate, I’m hurt, angry, and confused. But I will never be desperate enough to willingly reach out to Kenji about this. I can’t imagine he would have anything useful to say. Probably would assume that Hanako was some “enemy that must be defeated” and take some kind of action against her. That’s not what I’m after here.

I flip open my phone. Scroll to Lilly. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut. It’s like I’m stuck in some kind of a mental feedback loop, repeating this action being my only choice. My gaze falls over to my desk, and I’m reminded of a letter I’d received not long ago. I walk over to the last bit of communication from Iwanako to myself, and skim through it again. I don’t know what I’m looking for. Maybe nothing at all. Could very well be that I’m just clinging to something to keep my head busy for a minute. The words all blur together and pass through my skull like a pile of mush. I’m reading the words but nothing is sticking. My head’s really a mess right now, isn’t it?

I flip open the phone. Scroll. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut.

I flip open the phone. Scroll. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut.

“I need some air.” I crumple Iwanako’s letter and toss it into the corner of my room. I don’t want to just trash it outright. It seems like that would be disrespectful somehow. Really though I have no interest in seeing it at the moment. I step out of my room, my head still in a daze.

I step outside into the chilly evening air. It’s later than I thought it was. I don’t think students are supposed to be walking around at this time, but I just can’t bring myself to care. I walk down the stairs and gaze up at the stars.

“Man, you look awful.” Well this is one of the last people I expected to see on my little walk. For all my thoughts about avoiding discussing this with Kenji, it seems he’s found his way to me. What are the odds?

“Where’d you come from?” I ask, without turning my gaze to meet his. “More than that, how do you know what I look like?” I can’t keep the venom from dripping into my words. I wince as soon as the words leave my mouth. Giving him grief about his vision is pretty low. He’s got nothing to do with this.

“I was in my room. Heard you stomping around for a while, then you just up and left. It’s past curfew you know, so I wanted to see what you were up to.” At least it seems like he’s unfazed by my comment. It’s not super common for Kenji’s answers to make this much sense. For all the nonsense that spews out of his mouth, there are a handful of times when he speaks with surprising clarity. Looks like this is one of them. A thought briefly flashes through my mind; Kenji isn’t a bad person. I can’t help but think his eccentric behavior probably is something a lot deeper than him just being weird. He probably could benefit from some professional help. Of course, the stigma attached to that pretty much guarantees a significant bit of damage to the rest of his life as a result. Would that really be any more damaging then his current behavior though? I decide to keep my thoughts to myself.

“Just getting some air, Kenji.”

“Bad day?” The question is pretty direct.

“Bad day,” I whisper with a small nod. He stares at me in silence for what could be a minute. I see him shrug out of the corner of my eye, before he turns to walk off.

“Try and get more sleep. I’ll need you at your best when the time comes. Can’t have you looking like roadkill.” Well shit. If Kenji is saying I look terrible, I guess I’m quite a mess, huh? I appreciate his concern, and try not to worry too much about what he means by “when the time comes.” I take a few steps forward before instinctively checking my phone.

I flip it open. Scroll. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut.

I know I have to talk to Lilly, but I can’t seem to bring myself to tell her how badly I’ve messed everything up. She’s already got enough going on as it is with her aunt. I sit on the steps and close my eyes. They feel hot. An unfamiliar sensation burns them, and I feel wetness stain my cheeks. I’m crying?

I can’t help but laugh. I haven’t cried once since my heart attack. I didn’t cry when I was told about my condition. I didn’t cry when my friends stopped visiting. I didn’t cry when Iwanako left for the last time. I didn’t cry when my life was upheaved and I was shipped off to a school so very far away from my old life. I think somehow, I needed an outlet for… This. All of this. It just sucks that the breaking point had to be something this terrible.

“Hanako… I’m sorry.” I whisper my confession to nobody in particular. I know she isn’t broken. I can’t deny that I’ve messed a lot of things up, probably beyond repair. I can clearly see that I’ve hurt her, and despite not knowing exactly what I could have done differently I never once thought she was broken. I only hope that I can get the chance to tell her that.

“Hanako, huh?” Kenji’s voice sounds out next to me. “Some chick break your heart? Women are like that you know. Least you didn’t end up with a knife in your side.” Ignoring the last part of his comment, I respond.

“I think it’s more like I broke her heart actually. Didn’t you go back to your room? I saw you walk off.”

“Well yeah, I walked off for a minute. Then I got thinking though. Can’t leave a fallen comrade behind, y’know? Brotherly bonds and all that. It’s what keeps us going through the rough times.” He sits down next to me. “So I’m here to pick your ass up and get you ready for battle again.”

“No battles, Kenji. I don’t think I have that much fight left in me.” The words hang between us like a premonition. That was a curious choice of words, I’ll admit. Could be that I was just playing off of Kenji’s talk of battle, but somehow I don’t think that’s it. I shiver a bit.

“Would a bit of liquid courage do you some good?” A genuine question. Liquid courage? He can’t possibly mean…

“Kenji," I begin, studying him as intently as I can for some reaction or another. Given how completely lacking in subtlety he is, I doubt that I'll need to watch that hard, but somehow the situation feels like it warrants it. "I know that you can’t possibly be asking what I think you’re asking. What do you mean by liquid courage?” He leans in with a smile.

“Whiskey. The drink of men.” I reel backwards, taken aback by his suggestion.

“Kenji, what the Hell? We’re at school. I can’t imagine the staff is very forgiving about that kind of thing. We’d be expelled on the spot.”

“Big talk from the guy who came home reeking of wine the other day.” I furrow my eyebrows in frustration. It couldn’t have been that obvious… Could it have?

“Fair point, but I’ll still pass. Maybe some other time. Don’t think drinking is great for me right now.” I stand to my feet.

Glance down at my phone. Flip it open. Scroll. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut.

“Need to call someone? Will they even answer? It’s pretty late you know.”

“Not where she is. Time zones and all that.”

“Another she? You’re setting yourself up for pain, brother. It’s good that you’re going so far for the cause, deep cover and everything, but you keep surrounding yourself with women and it’s bound to catch up with you. They’re crafty you know.”

“Noted. Thank’s Kenji.” I reach out to him in an attempt to help him to his feet, but he ignores it and stands up on his own. I don’t know if he didn’t want the help, or if he just didn’t see my outstretched hand, but I quickly retract it to keep from looking silly either way.

“Going back to your room?” He asks indifferently.

“I guess so. You coming along?”

“Nah. Was planning on being out tonight anyways. Got some things to take care of, and the cover of darkness is my best bet to do it.”

“Didn’t you say that you’ve been in your room until you heard me leave? Certainly doesn’t sound like you were out tonight.” A moment of silence passes between us.

“Night, man.” Kenji says with a wave as he walks off. That seemed like a very deliberate move to avoid my question. I give a small snort hiding some suppressed laughter before making my way upstairs, feeling… Lighter, I guess, than when I came down. I’m still just as hurt. I still don’t have any answers. I have no clue where to go from here, and I certainly don’t have the guts to give Lilly a call right now. But at least he got a laugh out of me. I don’t know what to do next, but in my brief moment of clarity, all that reverberates in my head are Kenji’s words. “Try and get more sleep.” I give a small, grateful smile.

“Thank’s Kenji. I’ll do that.” Before drifting off to sleep, I can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. Like I’m forgetting something important.


I wake from a dreamless sleep feeling more tired than when I closed my eyes. The instant I’m conscious of my surroundings, my mind returns to one subject. Hanako. What have I done? I lay, staring at my ceiling feeling a special form of self-loathing. I don’t know what time it is, but the sun is still barely up so it must be pretty early. I guess I didn’t get much sleep. I glance over at the alarm clock: 6:13. Leaves me with a little over two hours until class. My stomach gives a small growl, reminding me that I must have skipped dinner last night in my daze. I give a contemplative frown, before deciding to head down to the cafeteria and grab a bite to eat. I’m not particularly hungry, but I probably shouldn’t skip two meals in a row if it can be helped, and if my stomach is growling it’s probably a sign that I need some sort of nourishment. But as soon as I decide that...
“Ugh…” The thought of eating makes my stomach churn. Something light then. A quick shower later and I’m on my way. I can’t help but feel like I’m forgetting something...

The cafeteria is mostly empty this early in the morning. Students don’t usually start filing in until closer to 7:00, but frankly I’m not in the best of moods so this lonely atmosphere suits me just fine. I pick apart at the perfectly average breakfast before me absentmindedly. For all that peace of mind my talk with Kenji gave me last night, it seems that was only temporary. Everything I was feeling is back with a vengeance. Something else is mingled in there too, but I’d rather not think about what that unpleasant emotion hovering in the back of my mind is.

“Hicchan~!” I need to get things with Hanako sorted out, and soon. I’d rather have all of this blow over before Lilly gets back if that’s possible, but… “Hicchan~!” But I just don’t see a way. Honestly, I don’t think this is one of those things that can just “blow over.” Her feelings on this were made pretty clear, but still… “Hicchan~?” Still, I just-

“Ow!” A sharp pain jolts through my forehead, snapping my thoughts back to my surroundings. I glance around, confused, and see Misha standing in front of me, her finger outstretched. “What was that?”

“I flicked you~!” She gives a laugh that seems to echo even louder than usual in the emptiness of this room. I don’t think there’s a student in the building that wasn’t just made aware of Misha’s presence.

“No, I get that. I mean, what was that for?” I rub my forehead. That hurt! I swear, I wouldn’t be surprised if her nail drew some blood with that one.

“Well, I tried getting your attention just by talking to you! But~! You just kept sitting there looking like somebody told you your pet dog ran away.” She takes a step closer to me and pokes her nail into my forehead again. Ow. “This is unacceptable, Hicchan! You can’t just ignore a cute young woman like myself!” I grimace, before giving a quick glance around us.

“Where’s Shizune?” I blurt out the first question that comes to mind. That seems to drag out a bit of a scowl from Misha, for the briefest of seconds. Unexpected, and very unwelcome. A look like that doesn’t suit her usual bubbly appearance.

“Shiichan and I are two different people you know. It’s not like we’re together 24/7.” I can’t argue with that I suppose. It just seems… Strange, somehow, to imagine the duo doing anything individually.

“Right. Sorry.” I give out a half-hearted apology. That’s odd. I actually am sorry, so it’s weird that my apology sounded so disingenuous. I frown in response to my own words. Misha simply responds with a soft, “Hmm~” and sits across from me. “Really, I am. That didn’t come out right, but I mean it. I didn’t mean to imply that you two were codependent or anything.”

“You wouldn’t be the first person to think so. We are together most of the time, so I guess it’s fair~.” Her voice maintains that usual up-and-down tilt that’s so characteristic of her, but despite that it strikes me as being almost somber. I hope I’m not the cause of it just because of some off-handed remark I made. Not wanting to push my luck and upset her further, I glance back down towards my food and continue poking around at it, and consider what I should say to salvage this conversation.

“You’re right Misha,” I say as I glance back up to her. A look of confusion briefly crosses her face.

“Huh?”

“I shouldn’t have ignored a cute young woman such as yourself. Sorry I didn’t notice you sooner. I was just distracted.” I look her in the eye and force out the best smile that I can. It’s the most sincere way I can apologize for my last blunder. A moment of silence passes between us, before-

“Wahahah~!” Her laugh echoes through the room again. “Hicchan, you smooth talker!” I glance back down to my food, consider taking a bite, and my stomach churns again. I mostly end up just mashing it together on my tray. “Um~... Hicchan, you probably shouldn’t play with your food.” She flashes a grin at me, at least letting me know that she’s just poking fun.

“Sorry Misha. Just not very hungry.” She frowns.

“Why are you here so early then? I thought you came down here so you could have breakfast?” I think about it for a minute, carefully picking my words so I don’t let the wrong bit of information slip out.

“I had a busy day yesterday and ended up skipping dinner by accident. But, you know, I need to eat to live. So even though I’m not very hungry I figure I should probably get something in my stomach.”

“So, Hicchan~... Something kept you so busy, so late in the evening that you could even forget about dinner~?” I don’t know what she’s thinking right now, and can’t help but frown at whatever she might be insinuating. “Shiichan and I saw you walking into the girls dorms yesterday, you know… Lilly’s gone so there’s only one person you might have been visiting… Whatever could have kept you busy with her so late into the evening~?” She grins playfully at me. I scowl back. She doesn’t seem to notice. “Once you two got some alone time, you finally decided to make a move, huh~? Hicchan, you romantic you!”

“Somehow I don’t think this is appropriate, Misha.” My words come out sounding cold and distant, even to myself. Her grin doesn’t fade. She still doesn’t notice? She can’t be this dense, right?

“I’m just teasing, Hicchan. Still, Hanako’s a lucky girl you know.” My eyebrows furrow in frustration upon hearing her name. I don’t hold any ill will towards her, but I really wish Misha would stop talking about it.

“I think you’re mistaken, Misha. Might be a good idea not to talk about things you don’t know about.” My throat is feeling a bit tight. I loosen my collar a bit. I grimace at the unpleasant sensation.

“Oh?” She frowns a bit, finally sensing that something is amiss. She looks at me hard for a moment, before folding her arms, seemingly arriving at some conclusion or another. “What did you do?” I look into her eyes, scanning them for a moment. What’s her angle here? Why does she keep pushing this. I feel that I’ve made it clear that I’d rather not discuss this.

“I’m sorry?”

“What did you do? I saw you two together after the incident in class, and you looked really great. But now you’re sitting here looking all mad now that we’re talking about her. I don’t think Hanako would have done something that bad, so it must have been you, right~? Right~?” Despite that strange tilt in her voice, she seems very serious with her line of questioning. She knows me much better than she knows Hanako I would think. She and I are better friends than she and Hanako I would think. But instantly when she hears the situation, she assumes I’m somehow at fault? She’s not wrong I guess. I look away, irritated at her, at myself, at the whole situation. The more she pushes it, the more she brings it up, the more raw everything seems to feel. Things seem almost ordinary when I’m not thinking about her, but as soon as Hanako crosses my mind...
“I think maybe I should go back to my room. Today’s… Not a good day. Have fun in class. Apologize to Shizune for me, and let her know I won’t be making it.” I stand up in an attempt to excuse myself.

“Wait a minute, Hicchan!” She stands up as well. I ignore her and take care of my tray, leaving the cafeteria. “Hicchan?”

“Misha, let it be.”

Why is she following me?

“Hicchan!”

I make my way back to my dorm, walk up the stairs, and head back to my room.

Stop. Following. Me.

I say nothing, opening the door, and walking inside. Before I have a chance to close it, she walks in behind me. What the Hell is this girl doing?
“Hicchan, didn’t we just talk about it being improper to ignore cute young women?”

“I’m not ignoring you. I just left the discussion.”

“I’m not hearing the difference.” My head is starting to boil now.

“I’m not really sure how many different ways I can tell you that we aren’t talking about this.” I’m trying to stay as even with this as possible. My chest aches slightly from… Anger? Anxiety? Stress? I feel like I remember being told to avoid all three of these things. Blowing up is only going to aggravate this so I’m doing my damnedest to stay relaxed here. I sit down on the bed and close my eyes. She stands there, staring at me, looking very uncertain of what to do next. I think she’s finally realized that this is too raw for me right now. “You’re done here, right?” I spit out at her. “You wanted to talk about this. You followed me here to talk about this. We aren’t going to. So leave.” I really just want her to go. I don’t want to say anything that could permanently damage my relationship with her. She doesn’t know when to stop prying, but she doesn’t mean any harm by it, but she’s just so damned insistent.

“Hicchan~” she starts with an unsteady tone in her voice. Considering how much I was just advocating self control, I guess it’s a little stupid for me to allow the sound of my name to become the tipping point, but there it is.

“You aren’t honestly this stupid, are you?” The words come out with a laugh, surprising even myself. She steps back, looking as if the words themselves physically struck her as they left my lips. I stand up, challenging her wavering gaze with the coldest expression I think I’ve given someone. “It’s like you can’t take a hint. I’m not being subtle about it! I’m openly saying that I do not want to discuss this! But that’s just not enough for you!” I begin to pace around the room, running my fingers through my hair, trying to shake off the growing heat in my chest. “You keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing! It was like this the first week I met you, it was like this in class about Hanako’s surprise party, and it’s like this now! You never learn, and you never change! You, and Shizune too! You’re both so damned insistent about everything! You just don’t let shit go!” I step towards her. “Why don’t you ever let anything go?” Every word that tumbles out of my mouth causes me to silently curse myself. I hate myself so much that I want to die. But the torrent of screams keeps coming. Honestly, it feels like I’m losing control. I hardly hear myself anymore. The more I yell, the more I hate myself, the angrier I get, the more I yell; an infinite cycle of anger and hurt. A stream of curses, condemnations, unfair blame, and misguided anger continues to pour out by the second. The seconds turn to minutes. A minute straight is a long time to be yelled at. This has gone on for at least two or three. An endless storm of aggression. And the only person around to bear the brunt of that rage is-

“Hi-Hichaan…” She stammers out, tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.

“What?” Despite my prodding, she says nothing, just stares at me blankly, her eyes looking almost hollow. I let out an involuntary laugh. “I’ll be damned. For once even you don’t have anything to say?” As the words leave my mouth, my own eyes widen in some small amount of shock to what I’ve said. I sit down on the edge of my bed again and bury my face in my hands. I have no doubts. This was another bridge burned. I didn’t even consider Misha and Shizune last night when I was thinking about those I might be able to turn to, but as the realization that I have just destroyed that friendship sinks in, I recognize just how much their friendship has meant to me during my time here.

“I-”

I want to apologize. This isn’t what I meant to say. This isn’t what I wanted. I just-

“I-”

I just wanted you to drop it. I didn’t want to talk about this yet. This isn’t your fault, Misha. You didn’t deserve this, but-

“I-”

The feeling that’s been welling up inside me. The feeling I didn’t want to acknowledge earlier today. I’m angry. I’m really, really angry. And apparently that was a good enough excuse for me to lash out at somebody who only wanted to help. I can’t even bring myself to look at her. Her gaze is oppressive, burrowing into the back of my skull. My head remains buried in my hands as a result. I just want that oppressive gaze to stop.
“Just go,” I murmur. Once she leaves, at least I’ll be able to look up. Silence. Did she not hear me? Is she so in shock that she can’t even bring herself to move? “I said-”

I’m suddenly interrupted by a pair of arms, gently wrapping around my neck, and the feeling of Misha’s warmth being pressed against me.

“I’m sorry, Hisao.” Her words wrench my stomach, a feeling of guilt so strong I can physically feel it, making me want to vomit. She’s apologizing to me? This isn’t her fault. After everything I just said, she’s- “Hahah~...” She lets out a small giggle through a choked voice. I look at her. Tears are still running down her cheeks, and her face is flushed. I hate the fact that I made this cheerful, bubbly girl look like this. “I don’t like that. I thought I should call you Hisao right now because of…” She trails off for a second, choosing her next words carefully. “Everything… But Hicchan just feels better.” I always hated that nickname, but right now, it feels like a beacon of comfort in this shit-storm I’ve drawn up for myself.

“This… Isn’t something you should apologize for. This is me.” My voice sounds hollow. “I… Ruined everything. With Hanako. Now with you. I’m not-” What am I trying to say? Where am I going with this? “I don’t think I’m a very good person.” Huh. I’m not sure where this came from; I just said what I felt in the moment. I can’t say I’ve considered this before. I’d always thought of myself as a good person. A good friend. But after this, I don’t know anymore. Despite this, Misha hugs me tighter. I gingerly wrap my arms around her as well. I don’t feel worthy of this. I’m slipping away. I’m slipping away. I’m slipping away from the people I loved. More importantly, I’m slipping away from myself, from the person I thought I was, and the person I want to be. At this moment, this hug feels like a lifebuoy, just barely keeping me afloat amidst the tide around me.

I don’t deserve this.
But I don’t want to let go.

“You aren’t a bad person, Hicchan.” She says so matter-of-factly, and I grimace. How can she say that after everything I’ve just done? “I’ve been hurt too. I know what it can do to you. Everybody deals with this kind of thing in a different way.” Her voice sounds wistful, as if reminiscing about some far off event. “It can be hard. Especially when nobody gets it, and especially when you’re alone. But that’s why I’ll be here for you. No matter what happens, I’ll be your friend.” I pull away and look her in the eyes. “You’ll always have somebody in your corner~.” She returns my gaze with a dazzling smile as she says so.

I don’t know how to explain it.
I have nothing to base this on.
But somehow…
I feel like this is the first time I’ve seen Misha give an actual smile.
But if this is her smile…
Than what about all of her smiles that I’ve seen before? What were those?
Before I have time to ponder what this passing thought means-

“So don’t worry, Hicchan. I promise you’ll be okay. I’ll be here for you. We’ll get this figured out.”

“I don’t deserve that.” I say what’s on my mind rather bluntly. It’s not elegant, but it’s the truth. “I can’t possibly after-”

“If you feel like you don’t deserve it, than earn it. Be better than this from now on. Be angry if you want, be hurt if you want, but know where to put it.” I give a small sigh. I have nothing to say to that. I can’t agree to it because I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that promise. I certainly didn’t intend on blowing up on her like this today. But I also can’t just disagree. She’s right. I just… I’ve never been more confused. “Hicchan, what happened?” She repeats the question that triggered this all.

“I messed everything up, Misha.” That’s all I can muster out. That’s all I can think to say. That’s… All there is to it. I glance over at my clock. “It’s getting late. You should get ready for class, I think.” She slowly shakes her head.

“Not unless you come too.”

“No.” My response is out within a second. “I just can’t today. I need a bit of time to myself. I don’t want to break down in class.” I give a small, self-derisive chuckle. “I’m so scatterbrained right now that I doubt I’d be able to retain anything anyways. There’d really be no point.” Misha gives a shrug.

“Then we’ll bail you out on Student Council business. We can all go the Shanghai.” I turn my head questioningly.

“We?”

“Me, you and Shizune~!” I consider for a moment why I didn’t immediately recognize what she was talking about. I’ve always sort of thought of Misha as Shizune’s voice, but today I got a rare glimpse into her that I somehow don’t think many have seen. Logically, I’ve been aware that they’re two different people, but seeing it in action is something different. The gentle wistfulness, compassion, and care that she’s been showing has firmly established her as a person truly separate from Shizune. The realization is somewhat jarring. Now that they’ve been separated in my mind, it made it difficult in my dazed and emotional state to connect the dots without actively thinking about it. Odd. She must take my silence as some form of protest. “Is that okay? Do you not want Shizune to know?” I ponder that for a moment before correcting her.

“I don’t see a reason to keep it from her I guess. I could use a couple different opinions I think. But somehow I don’t feel that Shizune would be the most unbiased person to talk about Hanako and Lilly with.” Misha gives a small giggle to that.

“Maybe not, but she likes you, Hicchan~ I don’t think she’d give bad advice to you~!” I sigh.

“I’d love to go with you two to the Shanghai then, if that’s okay. It could… Do me some good, I think.” Misha nods.

“I’ll go find Shiichan. Meet you back here at 8:30?” I give a nod. It’s been a while since I’ve spent some time with the two of them like this. My life’s been so preoccupied with Hanako and Lilly that I’ve kind of let everything else slip by the wayside. Misha giggles. “Promise you won’t ignore me this time?” My gut lurches a bit as she says so. I suppose she has every right to play on my guilt. Fair enough.

“Promise.” She leaves the room, eyes still slightly puffy, but somehow skipping all the way. Despite everything that’s happened, she looks a lot more like Misha now than she did coming in here. That cheerful girl skipping out of this room, is not the girl that followed me in here. That means something, I think, but my brain is still a mess and my thoughts can’t quite keep up so the meaning is lost on me at the moment. Hopefully our chat today will bring some clarity.

I take out my phone for a moment, and hesitantly flip it open. I know what I have to do. But when it comes time…

Scroll to Lilly. Thumb over the call button. Sigh. Flip it shut again.

I guess I’m not quite there yet? Not quite ready to let her know what’s going on? I groan a bit to myself. Despite everything, it sometimes does feel like Lilly is truly my best friend. Normally that would fall squarely to Hanako, but in light of recent circumstances I don’t think it would be fair to consider her. Lilly really should know what’s going on. But not yet, I suppose.
Last edited by WeaselDaddy on Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Salvation

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:40 am

he’s unphased by my comment.
"unfazed"
Her and I are better friends than her and Hanako
"She and I" / "she and Hanako"

Also: "Hicchan"

Aside from those minor things this was really good - both your Misha and (surprisingly) your Kenji.
Looking forward to further chapters.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

WeaselDaddy
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Re: Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:57 pm

unfazed
Oh dear. I've read a lot of books, played a lot of games, and done a healthy amount of writing in my time, and somehow I never processed that this is the proper spelling of unfazed. Oops.

Aside from that, I've made a note of the grammatical and spelling errors you've pointed out and will be tidying it up a bit at some point today. Thanks much for the feedback!

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Re: Salvation

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 pm

You have a solid start here I think. Your premise also hasn't been done before, not that I know of at least, which is nice--most of these continuation type fics will go off of the good ending rather than the bad one. I think you went a bit heavy on Hisao's internal thoughts for my taste, but there is stuff happening outside of just his head and that focus on his thoughts is probably true to the game anyways. The only thing that really stood out to me was yelling at Misha for ten minutes straight. That's a long time to be laying into someone at full volume; Hanako's outburst was probably more like thirty seconds, and it was aimed at the primary target, rather than re-directed at a third party. Even if Hisao had that much fire in him I'd expect him to tire himself out doing it.

But that's just a nitpick. I can't help thinking of your fic as the "Anti-Sisterhood" as I believe that one went off of Hanako's good ending. Hopefully we get more of this!
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 pm
That's a long time to be laying into someone at full volume; Hanako's outburst was probably more like thirty seconds, and it was aimed at the primary target, rather than re-directed at a third party. Even if Hisao had that much fire in him I'd expect him to tire himself out doing it.
Really fair point. I'll take that into consideration for sure. Considering I'm the only one that's reviewing these things before they get posted, common sense stuff like that might slip through the cracks from time to time. Honestly that's something worth adjusting. Thanks very much for pointing that out.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm actually revising Chapter 2 right now, and hope to get it out either tonight or tomorrow!

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Re: Salvation

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:09 pm

Look forward to it. The ten minutes thing is a pretty minor point, I think it's literally just one sentence mentioning that.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Chapter 2

Post by WeaselDaddy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:39 pm

The Shanghai is about as quiet as you might expect it to be at this time of day. All things considered, that’s a good thing. After ordering some coffee for myself, I feel myself start to relax for the first time today. I don’t think Misha and Shizune have stopped talking once since we began our trek into town, but I haven’t really had the concentration to tune into their conversation, occasionally throwing in a small nod or some sound of recognition just to give the impression that I’m still listening. I don’t think that’s fooled them for a second though, but they’re keeping it to themselves even if they don’t really believe it.

“So, Hicchan~!” Misha addresses me by name, forcing my attention back to the conversation at hand a bit. I tear my gaze away from my drink and glance up to the two of them, tilting my head a bit in wonder. She takes this as a sign to continue. “We haven’t hung out in a while, huh? Shiichan and I really missed seeing you!” Shizune nods decisively, as if to drive the point home, before making a few quick gestures with her hands. Misha quickly translates;

“I - Shiichan, not me - am pretty peeved at you for just dropping off the face of the earth like that for so long. It felt like we hung out quite a bit that first week, right? So not seeing you anymore was kind of a sudden, really unpleasant surprise!” I frown a bit at this. Considering everything that happened earlier today, this conversation feels far too… Ordinary.

“Well, it’s not like we didn’t see each other at all,” I manage to say in response. “We have class together, and we talk from time to time there.” I think for a moment before adding, “We always partner up, too! We still hang out!” Despite the conviction in my voice, I can’t help but feel like I’m just making excuses. Shizune rolls her eyes before signing something over again.

“Hicchan~! We meant seeing you outside of class, silly.” Misha lets out an uproarious laugh that seems very unsuited to what was just said. “But I suppose it makes sense. You have been pretty busy with Hanako and that other woman.” Misha’s translation doesn’t really carry the tone that Shizune meant to convey in the phrase “That Woman,” but the point comes across anyways.

“Hey Misha, that made me realize a bright side at least,” I say with a bitter chuckle. “At least now I’ll have more free time for you two.” Misha frowns at my words, and Shizune’s expression changes into something that’s difficult to read. Worry maybe? That makes me wonder just how much Misha has told Shizune about what’s happened. If she hasn’t gone into too many details, this would certainly be an odd thing for Shizune to hear out of the blue. I glance over to Misha. “Did you…?”

“Did I…?” She repeats back, looking unsure of herself.

“Did you tell her? About Hanako and me?” Misha shakes her head, and the worried expression on Shizune’s face only grows deeper, wondering what exactly we’re talking about.

“I didn’t know if you wanted me to so I decided against it,” she says with a small frown. “Was I wrong?” Shizune interrupts with some heated signing. It takes a bit longer than usual for Misha to realize it seems like, finally noticing Shizune with a small start and struggling to catch up to whatever it was Shizune just said to her. “Um…” She stammers out, looking a bit embarrassed. “Could you repeat that, Shiichan? I was distracted.” She gives a sheepish “Wahah~” that simultaneously sounds like a small chuckle yet reverberates through the entirety of the Shanghai. I swear, only Misha’s voice could carry like that. Shizune gives a silent sigh, before signing again a bit more slowly this time.

“Misha, what is he talking about?” Misha begins her translation, and honestly, it’s a little bit unsettling to hear her say her own name like that. Despite knowing that she’s just being the voice for Shizune’s words, it still gives off the disturbing image of somebody arguing with themselves. “Hicchan, while normally I’d be ecstatic that you’ve finally come to your senses in regards to That Woman, it seems like an odd time to do it considering she’s not even around at the moment.” Shizune pauses for a moment, drumming her fingers on the table while she thinks before adding, “Not to mention that you’re implying that you’re done with Hanako too? What’s going on?” I glance back to Misha who gives a small, sad shrug. It’s as if to say that she knows it’s uncomfortable to talk about, but Shizune is just the type to worry like this.

“Well, uh,” I start, awkwardly rubbing the back of my head while I think. “Coming to my senses about Lilly is a bit of a harsh way of putting it. I personally don’t have any problems with her or Hanako, and I’d appreciate if you didn’t call her “That Woman,” or speak poorly of them. She’s my friend, you know?” The calmness of my response is good to hear. I was worried I’d start lashing out again the instant this came up, but I guess there was something a bit cathartic about my exchange with Misha. The thought that treating her that way could bring me any kind of long term comfort causes a pang of guilt to hit me. Shizune’s eyes narrow but she doesn’t say anything, just staring at me, waiting for me to continue. “So… The short of it is that Hanako doesn’t really want much to do with me anymore, and after I thought about it a bit, I just don’t want to get Lilly involved in this, you know?” Not that Lilly can really avoid it; Hanako’s anger wasn’t just directed at me. But if I can keep her as far away from the center of this as possible, it would be nice. “Not to mention, when it comes down to it, if she has to pick a side I’m sure she’ll stand by Hanako. She’s that kind of person.” I give a small smile at the thought. “So it just feels like I probably won’t be hanging out with them so much anymore.” I glance between the two girls again. “Why do you two look so upset by that? It’s a good thing for you, right? That means I’m free to drag around from now on, so the Student Council can expect a lot of help now, right?”

I don’t know if I would actually go along with it if they tried to, but I’m trying to put as positive a spin on this as I can for their sake. With how worried the two of them look, it makes me feel like I should be comforting them about the whole thing. Shizune frowns for a minute, looking contemplative.

“What exactly happened between you two?” This time it’s not Shizune asking, it’s Misha. Shizune’s hands have remained tense at the table since I’ve started explaining, so I don’t know if she’d be able to get a word out anyways. “I mean, I don’t want to pry too much, but-” But before she can finish her sentence, she cuts herself off. Hesitation like this doesn’t suit her. A feeling of shame washes over me as I realize why she’s acting like this; ‘Why don’t you ever let anything go?’ The question must be sticking with her, even now. “If you don’t want to talk, it’s okay, I just…” She trails off again. This abnormal behavior doesn’t seem to go unnoticed by Shizune. If Misha didn’t tell her about Hanako and me, it’s likely that Misha didn’t tell her about our discussion which was really more of a one-sided yelling match. Whatever she thinks of it, Shizune doesn’t bring up her concern.

“You really don’t need to explain yourself,” I respond with a small sigh. “I get it.” I consider her question for some time as I drink my coffee. What happened between us? I’ll admit, yesterday is a bit of a blur at this point. There was a lot going on after all. “I don’t want to get into it too much because I’d rather not air out Hanako’s personal business, you know?” I arrive on an answer that feels satisfactory enough for me. “She wanted to be left alone, but I was worried about her and decided to try spending the day with her regardless.” Shizune’s frown deepens.

“I don’t get it, Hicchan,” Misha says. I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to recognize if this was a statement from her, Shizune, or both.

“I don’t think I completely understand myself. She made it pretty clear that she had no interest though, and I kept pushing for her to go out on a walk with me, or play a game. Really just do something.” I give a small sigh. “She really did tell me that she wanted me to leave, but I guess I just didn’t pick up on it. Hindsight’s 20/20 and all that, but it still caught me pretty off guard when she reacted so poorly.” Shizune and Misha exchange confused glances and begin signing rapidly. Misha doesn’t bother translating out loud this time, so I let them finish. After a minute, Misha turns back to me, expecting me to continue. “She, uh,” I give a small, uncomfortable laugh. “She told me she hated me.” Shizune shakes her head and begins to sign again.

“You’re leaving something out or you’re missing something,” Misha translates before giving a small nod.

“For sure~! This just doesn’t make sense, Hicchan!” Well, it is true that I omitted a few details, but that’s more because I’d rather not give them the full scope of Hanako’s breakdown. I’d really rather not make her look bad like that. I settle on giving out the safest bit of information I can think of.

“She told me that I don’t understand anything,” I sigh out. Considering how confused we all are, I suppose that’s a pretty astute observation on her part. I decide to leave out the part of her calling herself broken. “Aside from that, I really don’t know what to tell you.”

“As much as I don’t like suggesting it,” Shizune starts, using Misha’s voice as a conduit. “Maybe you really should talk to her. Not Hanako, the other one~!” Misha gives a small giggle at Shizune’s attempt to respect my wish of her not referring to Lilly as “That Woman.” “The Other One” isn’t that much better of a name, but I’ll take small victories where I can get them.

“I told you, I don’t want Lilly involved in this right now,” I reply. Shizune thinks for a second.

“I’m telling you there’s something you’re not realizing here. You don’t just hate someone because they’re checking up on you, even if it is a bit unwelcome.” Misha nods fervently at Shizune’s analysis.

“That’s right, Shiichan~!” She chimes in, continuing to give me the odd perception of a woman with multiple personalities. “I think so too.” Misha thinks for a second before adding, “Hicchan, you’re too close to this to see the big picture I think.” Shizune nods in agreement.

“Definitely. While I’d love to be able to give some insight here, I don’t think I know Hanako well enough, or enough about your personal circumstances to really be able to make heads or tails of this. You need to talk to somebody who knows her better. You need to talk to-” Shizune stops for a second, irritated that she’s even considering doing this, before signing out, “You need to talk to Lilly.” Her face flushes red with indignation, seemingly vexed at even the idea of suggesting I turn to Lilly for help.

“I’ve tried giving her a call a couple of times since last night,” I admit. “But I just don’t think I’ll be able to get myself to do it. I feel… Guilty, that I let things get this out of control.” I down the last of my coffee before adding, “Plus, her aunt’s sick. No reason to add more worry on top of that.”

“Well, Hicchan~! Unless there’s somebody else that close to her, I don’t see what other choice you have. Unless you want to figure this out yourself?” I don’t think I could even if I wanted to. But no, that’s really not an option. I consider what they’ve said for a second.

“I guess there’s Akira,” I say more to myself than to them. “But I guess I don’t have her number, so never mind to that.”

“You know Akira~?” Misha asks, a grin spreading across her face. Shizune’s face gets an odd expression.

“You two know Akira?” I ask back. I’d say that fact is more surprising than the fact that I know her. Shizune shrugs.

“So she and Hanako are close?” Shizune asks. “Would she be somebody you could talk to about this in a bit more detail though?” I frown at her question, unsure of what she means. I guess it shows, because afterwards she adds, “Because if you’re going to be as vague with her as you were with us, I don’t think it matters how close she is with Hanako. She’ll have no idea what happened, and no idea what to make of it. If you’re going to talk to her, you need to actually talk to her.” At that, Shizune produces a notepad out of god knows where, and begins to write something down on a seemingly random page in it. A couple seconds later, she tears it out and hands it to me. A phone number?

“Akira’s number~!” Misha explains.

“Why do you have this, Shizune?” This is very curious. That same shrug again in response.

“Why wouldn’t I? She’s my cousin after all.” My mind grinds to a halt. Out of all the answers I was expecting, this is probably the least likely.

“Oh,” is all I can manage to say in response. I have a lot of questions about this unexpected development, but I guess that’s for another time. My dumbfounded reaction must be quite comical, as Misha bursts out into laughter and Shizune covers her mouth to hide a silent chuckle. The gesture is pretty cute, actually. I stare at the number she’s handed me with uncertainty. “Thanks.” Shizune gives a nod in response. I pocket the number and realize that my coffee's been refilled at some point. Probably when I was busy being shocked by a certain earth shattering revelation. I take a small sip of it. “So, how have things been going with the Student Council? I know you two have been pretty busy.”

Shizune gives a nod, before explaining the most recent set of difficulties they’ve come across that, quite honestly, go right over my head. Despite that, I still try my best to listen intently. Something about budgeting issues and a lack of interest in this years Student Council elections. I wonder what’ll happen if nobody runs?

We pass the time, leaving the more somber subject of Hanako behind us, talking about everything from the Student Council, to our plans for the upcoming summer break, to rumors about an art exhibition that Rin is being considered for. I explain, in great detail, Kenji’s homemade bowling alley that he sets up right outside our rooms in the hall, much to Misha’s amusement and Shizunes ire. Some nice, light conversation between friends. A shadow is still looming in the back of my mind, but for now, just having somebody around to be there with me is enough to keep me content. It’s a pleasant distraction.

We make our way back to Yamaku, ignoring some brief stares of wonder from some of the townsfolk wondering why exactly students are out and about at this time. It doesn’t take long for the imposing gates of the school to appear back into our line of sight.

“We’ve only missed about half the day~!” Misha exclaims with a disproportionate amount of happiness. Most students would be pretty thrilled at the thought of missing more school, not excited at the idea of getting back to it. Since I was at the front of the group, it makes me realize that without seeing their hands, I really don’t know if those were Misha’s words or Shizune’s.



Definitely Shizune’s now that I think about it.

“I think I’m going to miss a little bit more though,” I say with a small smile. I turn to face them as Misha finishes translating it, and Shizune shoots me a scowl. “I know, I know,” I hold my hands up as a sign of surrender and let out a small laugh. “Listen, I know skipping school is bad. It’s not like I’m really making a habit of it or anything. I just want to take the day to think. Is that okay?” Shizune lets out a torrent of sign language gestures that, frankly, look like a blur to me. Misha, you have my respect for being able to perceive that.

“Hicchan~! As your friends, we understand that you’re having a hard time and would like to support your mental well-being. But as your Student Council representatives, we can’t just condone letting you skip out on school! It’s a matter of professional pride!”

“How about this then?” I steel my mind, knowing that the next words I have planned are the equivalent of selling my soul. “If I can convince you to look the other way, just for today, I’ll be in your debt. With a favor like that from you guys, it’s almost like I’d be obligated to join the Student Council. How else would I be able to say thank you?” Oh. Shizune and Misha both look shocked. Shizune’s face gradually reddens two shades, while Misha bursts out into the largest laughing fit I’ve heard from her today.

“That’s great, Hicchan~!” She manages to choke out between breaths. “That’s honestly too good~!” She walks over to me and pats me on the shoulder. “Looks like you know her weakness after all~...” she whispers into my ear, glancing back at Shizune. Shizune’s face turns even more red.

“Misha,” I sigh out, exasperated. “One, why are you whispering that? Shizune can’t hear you anyways.” But that’s not the most important part. The most concerning thing about this exchange is this. “But more concerning than that; if you didn’t want her to hear you, why would you sign it anyways?” Now I’m laughing too. The ridiculousness of this situation is honestly what I needed right now. Shizune covers her mouth and lets out another silent chuckle of her own. The oddness of the situation isn’t lost on her either, I suppose.

“It’s only fair if I give her a chance to eavesdrop, right~? Right~?” Misha answers, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I give a small shrug.

“I guess so.” I glance back to Shizune. “So what do you say? Will you have mercy on me for today?” Shizune seems taken aback for a moment before giving a sigh that certainly seems more amused than dejected.

“Hicchan~,” she signs out, Misha’s voice translating in my ear. “If it means that much to you, go do what you have to do.” I give a small bow of
gratitude, expecting her to start laying out conditions for when I’ll have to dedicate my time to the council on the spot. She doesn’t. I glance back up to her, confused. “What?” She blushes a bit more, looking very confused by my expectant gaze.

“So… Am I going to be helping you girls out now then? I expected you two to jump on the opportunity, not laugh at me about it.” I’m feeling a bit more embarrassed now than I think might be natural. My face is feeling flushed, and it’s getting a bit harder to keep my breath steady. Why am I so shaken up by this?

“Consider it a favor among friends~!” Shizune says with a grin.

“What?” I can practically hear Misha’s eyes widen in shock at the words. Apparently this is as unexpected for her as it is for me.

“Don’t let it happen again though. It’d be awful if you ended up taking advantage of your close connections to the Student Council to get away with breaking the rules. That would be the pinnacle of corruption!” I frown a bit at this. I wasn’t exactly eager to join the council, and I appreciate the gesture, but somehow this feels off. As if sensing my apprehension, Shizune explains. “Hicchan, we’d love to have you in the Student Council, but you’ve got a lot going on right now. You wouldn’t be able to give us the time that we’d need you to, and you wouldn’t be able to take care of your personal responsibilities the way you’d need to. You’d just end up slacking off and messing up both things.” She catches up to Misha and I as she finishes. “So for now, just focus on giving Akira a call when you can, and getting this sorted out. After you’re doing a bit better, talk to me about this again, okay?”

Side by side, the three of us step through the gates of Yamaku Academy together. Honestly, they’ve been a huge help to me. They’ve been considerate, tolerant, and more lenient than you might expect the normally rigid Shizune to be. All in all, I’m grateful to have made friends with them. It just makes me wonder… If I had decided to join the Student Council in my first week here, how different would life be now?

I shake off the out of place thought, recentering myself on the present. It does no good to worry about that now.

“I’m heading back to the dorms, okay?” I look to the two girls with a smile. They nod back. “I’ll see you two in class tomorrow.” And so we go our separate ways. There’s a lot to do tonight, and a lot to think about.

As I pass by the girls dormitory, a thought crosses my mind. Is Hanako in class right now? Probably not. If I’m this shaken up by what’s happened, it must be twice as bad for her. I stare up at the building, briefly considering stopping in to see her.

“Nah,” I mutter out to nobody in particular. I can’t expect seeing me right now would be great for her mental state. I don’t want to put her through that. More than anything else though, the thought of setting her off again… The thought of her screaming at me again like that breaks my heart. It scares me so much that I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to react the next time I see her. I curse under my breath in frustration, and make my way back to my room. Akira will know what to make of this. She has to. Otherwise, I don’t know what else I could do.
Last edited by WeaselDaddy on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

WeaselDaddy
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Chapter 3

Post by WeaselDaddy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:06 am

Ring. Ring. Ring.

The repeating noise plays havoc on my ears, and I’m so anxious I can almost hear my heartbeat. It’s just a phone call; such an innocuous thing really shouldn’t have me as terrified as I am now. Despite that, my chest is pounding, my mouth feels drier than a desert, and I can’t seem to calm my racing thoughts down at all. But if Lilly is a no go for this, than Akira is honestly my only other lifeline. I can’t think of anybody else who might be able to give me some real insight here.

The ringing continues on for some time, and just when I’m about ready to give up -


“Akira Satou speaking.” The voice is surprisingly professional. I find myself taken aback, and have trouble figuring out a way to respond. We sit in silence for a few seconds. “Hello?” I take a deep breath.

“Hi, Akira,” I muster up the courage to say. “It’s Hisao.” Another moment of silence.

“Hisao? Lilly and Hanako’s Hisao?” I grimace a bit at that description of me, but I’m sure from where Akira is sitting that sounds like a perfectly apt way of referring to me so I don’t bother arguing it.

“Yeah, that’s the one.” Another moment of silence. This is very, very awkward.

“Well… Yo. How’s it going?” Akira manages to ask, sounding very confused. “Having trouble getting ahold of Lilly?”

“That’s not it, I called to talk to you,” I correct her. “But that being said, is she around right now?”

“Nah,” Akira says with a small sigh, suddenly sounding much more relaxed once the initial surprise of my calling her has worn off. “She’s off with our folks right now. They figured since she was in Scotland they’d show her around a little bit.” Considering the reason they’re out there, that seems rather odd. You’d think she would be visiting with her aunt, not taking in the sights.

“I take it that means your aunt is doing well then?” I hear a small grunt come through the speaker.

“Well enough. I’m not convinced things were all that bad to begin with, but who am I to say?” Akira takes a shallow breath before adding, “Thanks for the concern though.”

“Yeah, of course.” More silence. I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one that’s finding this so awkward. Akira seems very at ease at the moment, although she has always struck me as being very relaxed and composed. “Any reason in particular you didn’t go with them?”

“Don’t get along too well with Mom and Dad. Figure Lilly might want to enjoy some time with them without the fighting that would no doubt start if I went along.”

“I see.” She really is a good sister. I knew that right away, but this reaffirms in my mind how much she loves Lilly, that she’d be willing to back off so that she could enjoy some time with their parents, even if that meant being left out. I smile a bit to myself at Akira's subtle show of affection, although it does make me a little sad.

“So what’s up, Hisao?” She asks rather straightforwardly. I suppose that’s to be expected. I have to have called for a reason, all the more so since I didn’t have her number to begin with.

“Will you be able to keep this between us?” I can feel the air itself grow a little bit tense at the question.

“You mean keep it from Lilly, yeah?” She already knows the answer. It just sounds like she’s confirming her suspicions.

“Something like that,” I admit. “I’m not asking you to lie to her. I’m just looking to get an opinion on something, and I’d rather not have Lilly worry about it right now.” Although admittedly, with their aunt doing well, that takes away one of my reasons not to concern her with this. Regardless I’ve come this far already, so it’s worth hearing what Akira has to say.

“I can’t say I love the idea of keeping secrets from her. But you’re asking for a reason, so I assume it’s important?”

“Very.”

“Than shoot. I’m all ears.” I take a deep breath, trying to consider what to say, before Shizune’s warning suddenly pops up in my mind. ‘If you’re going to be as vague with her as you were with us, I don’t think it matters how close she is with Hanako.’ I take a moment to steady my breathing. This is going to suck. A lot. But it is what it is, and honestly, I need help. “If you’re going to talk to her, you need to actually talk to her.” Got it, Shizune. Message received.

“Things are bad, Akira. With Hanako.” A sharp intake of air on the other end, as if somehow that’s not what she was expecting to hear. “It would only stress Lilly out, but I’m having a really hard time right now, and I don’t know where else to go,” I explain, feeling a sense of embarrassment welling up within me at my sudden display of honesty. “You’re close to her, closer than most at least. I’m hoping that maybe you’ll be able to give me some advice, maybe? At least I can talk to you a bit more about what’s going on with Hanako, since, you know, she cares about you.” To put it simply, it’d feel a lot less like I was violating her trust since I know that Hanako trusts Akira too. There’s things I can talk about with Akira that I just wouldn’t be able to say to Shizune or Misha.

“That’s… Really more of Lilly’s thing, Hisao,” Akira sighs out. “I don’t know if I’ll have much to say, but why don’t you take it from the top. What’s going on?”

“So, the short version is-”

“No.” Akira’s voice is sharp, interrupting my train of thought before it can really begin. “No, no, no.” After she takes a moment to consider, she decides to add another “Nope,” to really drive the point home. “Not the short version. You want to know what I think, than you need to tell me what I should be thinking about.”

“It’s not like I was planning on keeping anything from you, I just think it’d be a bit more prudent to just tell you the important bits.”

“If you're coming to me for advice, I think it's really my choice what I decide is important and unimportant.” She… Has a point there.

“Fair enough,” I concede. “So, Hanako’s birthday was yesterday, yeah?” She gives a small grunt that I can only interpret as confirmation, so I continue. “She was having a rough go of it, but I’m sure you know all about that.” I give a small sigh, before continuing. “So, I decided that I wanted to drop in and see how she was holding up. Maybe get her out of her room for a little while and try and cheer her up.” I wait for any kind of feedback from Akira, just to know that she’s heard me so far.

“Okay?” She says after a few seconds of silence, clearly wondering why I’ve stopped there. “Go on,” she prods.

“Right,” I say with a dry laugh. “Sorry. So I go in there, and we start talking a bit. She’d been crying and was clearly having a really hard time, so I keep pushing. I really just wanted to help her out. I asked her to go on a walk. No go. I even tried telling her it could be like a little date or something, I don’t know. Just something fun, a show of support, getting her out of the house.”

“Uh… huh.” Akira sounds like she’s stuck somewhere between agitated and amused and is having a hard time deciding which one to let leak into her voice.

“Still a no go. She starts talking about how I don’t understand things. I offer to just sit around and play a game of chess with her or something, and she could talk to me about what I didn’t understand. I was up for anything really. I just didn’t want her to have to be alone on a day like that, you know?” Another grunt of acknowledgement on the other line. “I’d talked to Lilly about all of this, and she was really worried too. I tell her that. About how we’re concerned for her, and how I don’t want to leave her alone. How I want to help her through this, protect her and all that. And she…” I shudder a bit, thinking about the look expression on her face. That’s something I don’t want to see again. “She exploded.”

“What did she say, Hisao?” Akira’s voice sounds very irritated now, but there’s a touch of concern in there too. The amusement from a minute ago is definitely gone.


“She said that she hates me,” I admit. “That she hates Lilly too.” I give a small sigh. “That she’s broken and she knows it, and how everybody treats her like it, and how nothing’s changed.” My heart aches just remembering it. I loathe that idea that I’ve made someone I care for hate me so much. “So she kicked me out of her room. We’re not exactly on good terms right now.” I hear Akira swallowing on the other line. She takes a second to compose herself before replying.

“Well, that’s not good,” she says matter-of-factly. I’m not really sure what to say back to that, so I don’t say anything. “I told Lilly that she needed to ease up a bit, but I didn’t think things had gotten this bad.” She takes a deep breath. “So I understand the situation. But what are you looking for me to say here? This is pretty straightforward Hisao. I don’t know what advice you’re after.”

“I guess neither do I,” I admit. “I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want her to hate me, or Lilly. I don’t want her to hurt like that ever again.” I let out a long sigh. “I want to fix this.”

“Okay, hold on.” Akira’s voice is assertive, and a bit probing. “I think Hanako was right. You really don’t understand anything, do you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What exactly did you take away from everything she told you?” I consider that for a moment.

“I… Think I just told you, didn’t I? She hates me. She hates Lilly. She thinks she's broken.” Is this a trick question? I get the strangest mental image of Akira’s shoulders slumping at my words, making me feel very foolish for even considering replying the way I just did.

“You’re fixating on the wrong points,” she says casually, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “Those are the things that hurt you the most to hear, so they’re what you keep thinking about, but they aren’t the most important things that she said to you. I don’t think hating you is the point she wanted to get across to you here.”

“I don’t think I follow,” I confess.

“Okay, fine. Let’s assume for a minute that she does, in fact, hate you. Why would she hate you, Hisao? Think. She’s outright told you what’s bothering her, it just sounds like you’re hellbent on not listening.” She groans in exasperation and I don’t think I’m imagining the sound of her palm hitting her forehead. “Look, you’re a smart kid, and you seem like a sweet guy. I like you two, which is why I’m telling you this. If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you’re not going to be able to fix it.” I hold my breath, anticipating whatever revelation she’s going to shine on the situation.

“You’re acting like a total dick.”

What?

“As much as I hate to say it, Lilly has been too,” she adds. I don’t know what I expected to hear, but that certainly wasn’t it. I open my mouth to reply, but I can’t really think of anything to say. I don’t disagree with her, but it feels like saying she’s right isn’t the best way to go about this either. “Hanako’s your friend, right? You care about her?”

“Of course,” I reply immediately. Amidst this whole situation, that’s the only thing I can say with the utmost confidence.

“So imagine this with me. You don’t have many friends. You’ve been bullied, a lot, and life hasn’t been too great to you. That’s gotta suck, right?” No arguments here. She didn’t list a single positive point, just a few vague negative concepts, so of course anybody would agree with that assessment. I decide not to point that out. She’s clearly going somewhere with this, and I get that she’s trying to paint an image of Hanako. It seems like she takes my silence as assent, so she continues. “Now imagine that the only friends you do have do nothing but tiptoe around you. They don’t want you to talk about your feelings because they’re afraid you’re forcing yourself, they coddle you, baby you, talk behind your back about what’s best for you, make plans behind your back because they aren’t sure if you’d be okay with them, getting together to make choices about your life without even considering asking you about what you’re feeling… That’d be pretty fucked up, right?” Her crass language takes me off guard. “Frustrating beyond words I’d bet.” My stomach begins turning in knots as she easily breaks down the finer points of my relationship with Hanako.

“But I didn’t-” I move to protest, but stop myself. I can’t really bring myself to disagree with her. That’s… Exactly what Lilly and I were doing.

“I didn’t really make a big thing about it because I knew that Lilly had good intentions, but clearly this has gone too far.” She sighs. “Hanako probably saw a chance at a real friendship with you, but then the same exact things that happened with Lilly started repeating themselves.”

“Are you saying we aren’t real friends? Or that she and Lilly aren’t real friends?” That’s a ridiculous notion, and if that’s the angle she’s pursuing than maybe she won’t have as much insight into this as I’d hoped.

“That’s not what I mean. She and Lilly are really close. I’d even be jealous if I were a little bit less secure about my relationship with my sister. Of course they’re friends, it’s just…” Akira trails off. “They’re not equals.” I scratch my head, trying to come to terms with what she’s saying. “Lilly suggested hiding the party from her, right? It was because she was worried about how Hanako would react. She had such a hard time telling Hanako we were coming to Scotland, because again, she didn’t know how Hanako would react. It’s not like this kind of thing is a new development. This has been going on since they’ve met each other. Every time I heard about something like this, I would stay out of it, because it’s not my place to butt into Lilly’s friendships. I’m sure she’d get irritated with me if I tried to. But Hanako’s a big girl, Hisao. It’s not like she isn’t capable of being talked to like a person, but Lilly always had trouble with that because she was so scared of upsetting her.” I take a moment to steady myself, and carefully consider her words.

“And you’re saying that with me doing the same thing, it struck a nerve?” My mind stumbles across a rather vague and uncertain conclusion.

“I guess if you want to really simplify it, sure.” Akira sighs. “Hisao, being pitied is a shitty feeling.”

“I don’t think I’ve been pitying her,” I answer honestly. “I want to help her out, but that’s-”

“I get that,” Akira interrupts. “But it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been consciously pitying her or not, because that’s what it seems like.” I get the feeling that she’s becoming more and more frustrated with me. “When you went there to see her on her birthday, did you actually want to see her?”

“Of course I did! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have gone, right?” I honestly don’t understand the question.

“Do you like hanging out with her?”

“Definitely.”

“Okay, so why didn’t you just say that to her then?” Her words freeze my brain.

“But I-” The realization strikes me with the force of a freight train. I don’t think I’ve ever expressed to her that I enjoy hanging out with her for my own benefit as well. That she’s been there for me just as much as I’ve tried to be there for her. I came to Yamaku feeling, frankly, pretty damned cynical. I’d been abandoned, had my life turned upside down, and had been shipped off to god knows where just because it was more convenient that way. I’d felt like my friends and family had all abandoned me, and that I had nowhere to turn. In spite of all of that, Hanako was here. She’s kept me focused, and as the days have worn on I’ve thought of my own condition less and less. My attitude has improved and I’ve been feeling less resentful. I’ve been too preoccupied with thoughts of just being with her and Lilly to really sweat the little things, and despite that not being a good long term solution to the problems plaguing my mind, I’m sure, in her own way, she’s saved me. How can I expect her to understand what she means to me if I’ve never once told her?


“When she asked you why you were there, you told her it was because you wanted to check up on her. When she asked you why you wanted to go out, you said it was because you wanted to help her. You talked about helping her, protecting her, keeping her safe. You didn’t tell her that you just enjoyed spending time with her. You could have said anything at all; that you missed her, or that you were just bored and wanted to hang out, or that you yourself were in the mood for a walk rather than making it about her. You could have said anything to let her know that you actually just wanted to be there with her, and that it wasn’t because she was acting like a sad-sack. The way you played your hand though, it all just seemed like some bullshit pity thing. You tell me what a good way to react to that would be.” Every word that leaves her mouth makes me desperately want to pull away from the conversation. It’s as if she’s dragging all of my missteps with Hanako out into the light. Everything she’s saying should have been obvious, but somehow I’ve just never realized. From the way Akira talks about her sister, Lilly might not have fully grasped this either.
“It’s not like this was just something that happened overnight. An outburst like that doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s probably how she’s been feeling for a while. I guess I can’t guarantee that anything would have made a huge difference at this point. Maybe saying all of this would have gotten through to her, and maybe it wouldn’t have, but if this didn’t happen yesterday, something would have drawn this out sooner or later if you didn’t change how you were treating her; actions speak louder than words and all that. Offering her a pity date was a definite nail in the coffin though.”

“I’m a complete dick,” I sigh out, echoing her earlier sentiment. It’s the only conclusion left for me to draw from all of this.

“Okay, no, that’s not it either,” Akira groans. “I said you were being a dick, not that you are a dick. There is a difference there, believe it or not.”

“Somehow I’m not noticing one.”

“If you are a dick, that means that it’s just the way you are as a person. Probably not a great guy to be around. I don’t think Lilly or Hanako would’ve become friends with you in the first place if that were the case, and I certainly wouldn’t be on the phone with you now. But if you’re just being a dick, that implies that you aren’t always that way and that you’re just showing poor judgement.” I can’t help but give a small, breathy chuckle at the explanation. It just sounds like a technicality to me, but she’s making a sound argument.

“I guess that’s the lawyer in you coming out?” I ask, a small smile spreading across my face. Akira seems to take my comment as some sign of encouragement.

“Look, you’re in a tough spot right now. Like it or not, you, Lilly, Hanako, you all are still kids, and this is a pretty adult thing to be worrying about. These are some really complex emotions that Hanako is dealing with. It’d be crazy to expect you to be able to handle this perfectly.”

“I guess so,” I agree, albeit a bit begrudgingly. “Still, it makes me sad that things turned out this way,” I admit. “I know it does no good to regret what’s already done, but I can’t help but feel like I could’ve been more tactful.”

“Of course you could have,” Akira says with a small laugh. “Honestly, it’s like you’ve gone out of your way to flub this up at every opportunity. It’d actually be impressive if it wasn’t so damned frustrating to watch.” She gives an exasperated sigh as if just thinking about it stresses her out. “I just think you should try acting less like her therapist or her savior. It’s not that simple Hisao. She doesn’t need a protector. I’m getting the feeling that I should have a chat with Lilly about reigning that part of this in too…” Akira falls silent for a minute. Her concern for Hanako is touching, but I can’t help wonder how she’d broach the subject with Lilly without bringing up what’s going on over here. “She wants an equal. You know, a friend, or maybe even…” She trails off. “Well, nevermind to that for now. Baby steps,” she mutters, apparently deciding against finishing that point. “Look, I know I’m not the best at this. I’m certainly no psychiatrist, and I can’t tell you what you should be feeling or how you should behave here. I’m definitely not going to sit here and tell you that everything I’ve said is foolproof advice. For a huge chunk of my life, if I wasn’t studying law, working, or taking care of Lilly, I was sleeping, so I don’t really have tons of experience regarding this kind of thing,” she confesses. “I never really had many friends, because there was just no time, so I never had to worry about dealing with a friend who was hurting or angry like this. For the longest time, my dad was always gone and my mother was so submissive to my old man that it was almost like she wasn't there, and after they left it was just me and Lilly. So being that mom and dad were never really around it’s not like I’m swimming in pearls of parental wisdom either. But with that said, I-” She stops abruptly. A few seconds of silence pass, and due to it's unexpected nature, it's actually rather unnerving.

“Hello?” I ask, a pang of worry rushing through me. “Everything okay?”

“Just heard a car door out front. Lilly and the folks are back,” she says with a small sigh. I can practically hear her gritting her teeth over the phone. She must really dislike her parents. “I guess this is goodbye for now.”

“Thank you so much for this.”

“You know what you want to do?” She asks an obvious question.

“Not at all,” I reply honestly. I know it’s probably not what she’s looking for, but it is what it is. I understand the situation now at least, but I’m still not sure what I should be doing next.

“Try and get this figured out, kid. But if you’re not going to have this worked out by the time we get back, you need to call my sister and tell her what’s going on. It’d be a real shitty surprise to come home only to realize that your best friends are fighting and one of them might hate you.”

“Who are you talking to? Is somebody else here?” A familiar voice I recognize as Lilly’s resonates distantly in the receiver.

“Ah, hey Lilly. Welcome home,” Akira gives her sister a quick greeting. “No, it’s nothing like that, I’m just on the phone. There was just an issue at work and somebody needed to clarify something with me. Not a big deal.” Akira’s lie comes very naturally. Considering her earlier reluctance to hide this from Lilly, that seems surprising. I appreciate that she’s keeping this a secret for me though. “Would that be all then?” Akira asks me in a strikingly business like tone. The sudden shift is jarring. Before I even get a chance to reply, I hear a muffled click and realize we’ve been disconnected.

If nothing else, I have an answer as to what caused this. An answer that should have been obvious some time ago, if only I’d been capable of listening. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and have failed Hanako in a lot of ways through my own lack of understanding. But now, I do understand, at the very least, what it was that she wanted from me. So… What happens now? I guess before anything else, I should get some sleep. I think I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow.
Last edited by WeaselDaddy on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Salvation

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:45 am

“Did you tell her? About Hanako and I?”
"About Hanako and me" - since that is Hisao talking it could just be his mistake, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
If Misha didn’t tell her about Hanako and I...
Same here, but this time it's not direct speech.
I will never be able to understand why she seems so opposed to even using Lilly’s name, but it is what it is.
Is it though? She never seemed to have a problem with it in the VN.
“So her and Hanako are close?”
"She and Hanako" - this is direct speech again, but this is Shizune, and she wouldn't make a mistake like that.
realize that my coffee hads been refilled
Or that her and Lilly aren’t real friends?”
she and Lilly
realize that you’re best friends are fighting
your
Apart from the pronouns which seem to be a continuing problem SpaG is really good.
Regarding the story, calling Akira really was the obvious choice, so I'm a bit disappointed that it dodn't even occur to me.
‘Why don’t you ever let anything go?’
Also Hisao's outburst to Misha in chapter 1 being so similar to Hanako's against Hisao makes me wonder why neither MIsha nor SHizune point that out...
And finally, this is by no means the first story to continue after a bad ending. At one point they were so common we had a special name for them: "Bad End FixFic". So far, this is certainly one of the best, though.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:11 am

"About Hanako and me" - since that is Hisao talking it could just be his mistake, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
Same here, but this time it's not direct speech.
"She and Hanako" - this is direct speech again, but this is Shizune, and she wouldn't make a mistake like that.
realize that my coffee hads been refilled
she and Lilly
your
All fixed. Thanks much. That's a bit more that slipped through the cracks than I usually try to allow, so that's a bit embarrassing actually. It feels like I might actually have to do some studying to iron this out if this is any indication :lol:
Is it though? She never seemed to have a problem with it in the VN.
I might be horribly mistaken then, in which case this is very embarrassing and will require some fixing. Somehow I had it in my head that Shizune would refer to Lilly as, "Class Rep," "her," "That Woman," or some other way of speaking about her without directly acknowledging her. I'll pour over the transcript again to make sure that I'm not completely incorrect here. If I am... Well... Ooops :oops: That'll have to be fixed, but I want to triple check first.
Also Hisao's outburst to Misha in chapter 1 being so similar to Hanako's against Hisao makes me wonder why neither MIsha nor SHizune point that out...
I've got a plan for that actually. It definitely wasn't a coincidence that the outbursts were similar that way. Next chapter though for that little plot thread. ;)
So far, this is certainly one of the best, though.
Well that's certainly an encouraging thing to hear at the least. Thank's much for pointing out the little mistakes here and there! It's really helping me refine this a bit more.
Last edited by WeaselDaddy on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Salvation

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am

I might be horribly mistaken then, in which case this is very embarrassing and will require some fixing. Somehow I had it in my head that Shizune would refer to Lilly as, "Class Rep," "her," "That Woman," or some other way of speaking about her without directly acknowledging her.
She certainly does that sometimes, especially when she is directly arguing with her. I never got the feeling she is actively avoiding saying her name, though - whether or not she does use it I'd have to check...
...
I found a few instances of Shizune using Lilly's name in Act 3 and 4 of her path. I only checked Shizune's path because that's the only one where Hisao understands sign and only Shizune directly signing, so there might be other instances where Misha translates something for her, but that would be harder to find...

S3:
"Hisao, Misha, and I are on one team, and Lilly, Hideaki, and you are on the other, aren't you?"
"How magnanimous of you, Lilly."
S4:
"Like Lilly, for instance. She was the first person to join when I started trying to recruit people again after everyone else left, because they couldn't stand me, I guess."
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Salvation

Post by WeaselDaddy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:47 am

Okay, so in regards to this, I just performed a search using a text editor throughout all of the scenes that Shizune was in, be it her route or others, and have found that there's only the possibility of her addressing Lilly by name 7 times or so at most throughout the entirety of the VN (including all of the scenes where Misha is translating for her), which seems like an oddly low amount considering the number of scenes they appear in together. In a lot of those examples, it's still not certain whether it's her or Misha saying it since, as you said, we only understand sign in Shizune's route and she definitely shows a preference for using vague, unclear terms when speaking about her. But you're right on the point that there is an instance or two where Shizune clearly refers to Lilly by name without any sort of aggravation. With those scenes in mind it's admittedly a bit much to say she has an aversion to using Lilly's name, but I can still see why I had that impression. I'm not quite as horribly mistaken as I worried I might be at least, but it still required some light tweaking which I already took care of. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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Re: Salvation

Post by Oddball » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:15 am

Ah yes. The Hanako bad end. That's been a popular place to start stories up from. You're going to have to do some work to fix that relationship.
WeaselDaddy wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:14 am
Frankly, things couldn't have gone worse. I’m not one to fantasize too much about “worst case scenarios” despite my cynical tendencies, but this goes leaps and bounds beyond what I’d expected. “I hate you more than anyone” certainly isn’t a sentence I’d ever expected to hear come out
of Hanako’s mouth. Not towards anyone, least of all me. Not to mention her harsh words towards Lilly. How much of it did she mean? I can’t help but chuckle dryly at the thought. The look of anger on her face contained the answer already; all of it. She meant all of it. Without a doubt.
There's an odd line break break you might want to fix.

Also the chuckling bit seems completely out of place.
What are the odds?
Considering Kenji lives right next door to Hisao, the odds are really good.

I actually really liked how you handled Kenji here. He might be completely clueless, but his heart was in the right place. Likewise with Misha. However their scenes so close to together does dull the impact a little. Honestly, I think it would have been better to put a day or two between them. Give Hisao time to dwell on his misery.

Not referring to Lilly by name makes SHizune/Misha's dialogue just feel weird. There's no reason for her not to use Lilly's name here.

The conversation in the Shanghai was really interesting. It's not often that you see Misha entering a situation with more aware of what's going on than Shizune. You did a wonderful job at handling her trying to translate everything for Shizune and still hold back at the same time. I also really like how Hisao tried to blow on the situation as not that big of a deal to them and they didn't buy it for a minute.
“It’s only fair if I give her a chance to eavesdrop, right~? Right~?” Misha answers, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I give a small shrug.
That's actually really cute.
I might be horribly mistaken then, in which case this is very embarrassing and will require some fixing. Somehow I had it in my head that Shizune would refer to Lilly as, "Class Rep," "her," "That Woman," or some other way of speaking about her without directly acknowledging her.
Shizune only really seems to avoid saying Lilly's name when she's irritated by her or trying to use her title as a way to one-up her. When just talking about her, there's no real reason to avoid it.

The conversation with Akira does drag perhaps a tad too long and could stand to be shortened. Otherwise, this story really seemed to be going well so far.
Not Dead Yet

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