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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Asura
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Asura Ominous

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April 8th 2018

Residential Kyoto

"I'm heading out, sweetie! Make sure you get to bed early!"

"I always do! Have a good night!"

The nightly reminder never made much sense to Noriaki. He had been getting to bed just fine without the nagging for as long as he could remember, with or without his mother there. More often than not without—something their recent move to Kyoto did not appear to be changing. Maybe she was just nervous. God knew he had given her plenty of reason to worry the last couple of months. Still, it wasn't like he particularly minded independence. Preferred it, even, as most teenagers did. He had the house to himself every evening, and could do whatever he wanted so long as he didn't leave a mess in the morning.

It was just a question of what he wanted to do.

"... This is bullshit."

The teen muttered to himself as he finished tidying up the last of dinner, carefully stacking them in the cabinets so as to not cluster the freshly organized tableware. What the hell was there to do? It wasn't like he had any friends anymore, in this city or the last one. The house was nice but... old, and unfamiliar. Even with the luxury of his own bedroom, he couldn't shake the unease that came with an uncertain start. Maybe a run would help clear his head. Spring seemed nice and cool this far north, and just because he didn't have a team anymore didn't mean he could let himself go out of shape. Tossing on a hoodie and his sneakers, Noriaki slipped inconspicuously from the Hoshino family abode and into the brisk night air of Kyoto.

Running always felt good. No time for getting up in your head or pitying yourself, just the destination, the road there, and you. It was easy to lose yourself in the act, and lose himself Noriaki did. Every step he made kept the worry at bay, and he sure as hell took a lot of them. By the time he felt good and warmed up he must have lapped the block three or four times. Passed the neighboring townhouses, the little sushi place around the corner, and of course, that burnt out ruin of a house down the street. One he was just about to pass again.

A little blob of white appeared, hopping down from a fence and shaking its fur. The white cat stretched his limbs out quietly, lifting itself up and taking a look around. As soon as Noriaki came into sight, he let out a rather loud meow, presumably excited as it waited for him to approach. After a few seconds, however, the cat’s ears flickered and he looked towards the burnt remains of the house. Without warning, the white cat jetted off, tail aloft as he openly walked in through what remained of the entrance.

Just as he prepared to round the corner for another lap, the only thing in this neighborhood that could bring Noriaki off his runner's high without earning his ire appeared. He had seen the snowy little blob around these past few days. Fed him, even, when his mom wasn't looking. He always liked cats, and hearing the feline call out to him brought the slightest hints of a grin to his otherwise grim features. Just as he slowed down to greet the cat, however, it suddenly made a left and strode into one of the lots.

The lot that just so happened to belong to the ominous remains of what must have been someone's home.

"No, no, c'mon, don't—god dammit," he mustered quietly as he watched the stray disappear into the ruins, "That place gives me the fuckin' creeps."

He might have been new in town, but he had heard the rumors about this neighborhood. The fires, the disappearances. He was thankful for them, in a way. Wouldn't have managed to get such cheap rent if not for the superstitious. He was a little too old to believe ghost stories were true... but that didn't mean he wanted to go poking around to prove himself right.

The smart choice would be to just continue on his run, go get a nice hot shower, and tuck into bed. That house couldn't have been stable, and who knew what would come crashing down if he bumped into the wrong piece of wreckage. Or if a much smaller, much more curious soul decided to do the very same.

"They better not get my ass for trespassing," Noriaki muttered in defeat as he cast a quick look over his shoulder, then hurriedly jogged towards the house to fish out the fluffy intruder.

Fortunately, it looked like the cat had decided not to venture in too deep, settling in what looked like a spare room. Despite the charred remains, it was obvious there wasn’t much in the room even before the fires. It was a decent size, probably meant as a guest room in its past life. The only thing that was a little strange came from the corner. Next to the window was a full length mirror, the glass having survived the fires in spite of its edges showing considerable damage.

The cat chose to sit himself in front of it, a little confused at its reflection. Letting out a hiss, he batted at the glass. Surprisingly it was sturdy and there was no fear of it falling over. Bounding around the room, the white cat sat down as it stared intently, as if challenging its reflection.

To say Noriaki was unimpessed by this display was an understatement. The little furball had come in here to play with a mirror? There were plenty of shiny objects to paw at all over the neighborhood. Ones a hell of a lot safer, at that.

"C'mon, little guy. You can't just play around like this. You're gonna get soot in your fur," he cooed softly as he approached the animal to scoop it up, "I got some canned fish back at the house, let's go."

The cat’s ears twitched, the cat looking back at the familiar voice. After one quick look back at the mirror, it let out a mewl of acknowledgement, albeit he seemed happy to see Noriaki. Once the guy was close enough, the cat suddenly looked back at the mirror, letting out an audible hiss. An ominous red glow appeared, bathing the room entirely as the mirror shined. As quickly as it happened, however, the light stopped--the mirror lost its shine and instead was completely covered in black, as if soot had stuck to the surface. The cat let out a yowl as a hand reached out from within the mirror, moving slowly at first before shooting out past the animal and grabbing Noriaki’s ankle.

A conglomerate of voices came all at once, filling his head before the hand jerked backwards, pulling him towards the mirror.

The sudden flash of red caught Noriaki by surprise, causing the already jumpy teen to shoot up like a rocket. It was all just in time to see the mirror's reflection—which should have just been him and his feline friend—turn black as pitch.

"Oh, son of a—"

Before he could finish his thought, something dark and fast came shooting out and coiled around his ankle. It pulled him, hard, towards the once lustrous surface of the mirror. He fought against it as well he could with only one leg to stand on, but all the same he found himself skidding along the ash covered floor. Only by grabbing hold of the mirror's blackened frame did he stop himself from being sucked in entirely, though most of his right side had already disappeared.

"I knew it! I fuckin' knew it!" He managed to profane in the last few seconds before a sudden 'crack' filled the air. The length of wood he had managed to grab hold of had snapped from the strain, and without it, he was gone.

There was nothing but darkness as Noriaki was swallowed up, albeit no harm would come to him. Instead, when he would open his eyes, he would see the same red light from before, barely illuminating the room. There were no windows along the bare walls, and with the exception of one doorway, there was no way out. A curtain acted as a barrier between this room and the next; however, the sounds of a struggle could easily be heard, with a monstrous roar capping it off.

As soon as the dim red hit his eyes, Noriaki was up on his feet. His blue hues darted to and fro, taking in his surroundings as best he could in the situation he was in. It couldn't have been real. It didn't feel real. No matter how weirdly familiar it seemed. But real or not, he was there regardless. He had to think of a course of action. Not that he had much time to think, of course. The rustling interrupted any of that, along with the monstrous noises up ahead. It seemed like he didn't have much of a choice.

"Yeah, yeah, assholes. I've seen the movies. I know how this goes," he cursed, as if to steel his resolve.

Clutching the piece of badly burned wood that he dragged along with him, he breathed long and slow, then resolutely marched towards the curtain; if he was going down, it wasn't going to be without a fight.

The curtain pulled itself back on its own, revealing the scene before Noriaki. Unlike the previous room, this one was revealed to be a huge, open space. Along the walls at a great distance seemed to be what looked like silhouettes watching the center of the room, a myriad of hushed voices heard between the clash of metal on metal. A great, blue flame burst forth from the center, though once it died down, he was given a view of the two opponents fighting one another.

On the far end was an armor-clad creature with a pair of horns and snow white hair that burst into violet flames on occasion. Its red eye stare was unfocused, an expression of amusement written all over its face. Wielding a uniquely shaped sword in its right hand, it slowly raised it towards their opponent: it was a challenge.

Said opponent looked like they were on their last legs. A teenage girl with long, blonde hair held her left arm, blood freely flowing down and over a fist gripping a sword. Her attire was just as weird, looking like something straight out of a fantasy video game. Despite her injuries, she was determined, forcing herself to stand tall as she let out a long exhale.

A blue light descended in front of her, taking the form of a card as she raised her sword. “Come, Skuld!” She called out as she sliced the card in half, a wind whipping her hair around as a bright blue flash surrounded her. A golden creature with a woman’s torso appeared, and together, the two lunged forward. Both clashed with the demon, the ground beneath them cracking. Unfortunately, the demon didn’t look impressed, sending the girl back with a move of her sword.

As the girl skidded to a halt, she curled up into a ball as she held her arm, letting go of her sword. The floating creature hesitated, though as it was stabbed through the chest, the girl let out a cry of pain. “No, Skuld--NO!” She yelled, letting out a harrowing scream as the creature lost its blue glow.

It is inevitable.

The demon spoke directly into both of their heads, walking over to the girl as the golden creature disappeared. Bending down, it easily picked her girl up by her neck, holding her up. The girl’s hands tried to pry the demon’s off as she struggled to breathe.

Your corruption was destined.

As if privy to some kind of macabre stage show, Noriaki stared on as the beings on central stage clashed. It was like he was watching some high-budget tokusatsu flick, with all the cheesy costumes and dramatics that implied. Of course, in those movies, the heroes didn't tend to be bloodied and battered so quickly. In fact, aside from one big, dramatic clash, this didn't look like much of a fight at all. The girl—the hero, if you could call her that—screamed in agony as her opponent impaled whatever the hell she had spawned from thin air at the start of the fight, and it was over.

He could practically hear the smugness in its voice, a voice that boomed loud in his head despite the distance. He watched it stride confidently over to the girl who had been opposing it on his arrival, watched it reach down and heft her up like nothing. It gloated again, like some kind of school yard bully, and left him to listen to the girl's desperate gasps as it held her up like some kind of trophy.

Inevitability. Destiny. You would always have ended up like this.

He couldn't exactly recall when his legs had started him moving towards the duo. This was usually the outcome when he got angry—his mind went blank, and he acted, and then something bad happened. It was always like that. Back in Osaka. Back in the locker room. He didn't even know this girl. Didn't know the demon, either. But something about the way the horned creature spoke just pissed him right off, and by the time he realized what it was he was about to do, he had already wound up.

"Fuck you!"

A loud crack followed his howl. One that originated once again from the wood in his hand. Or, rather, what remained of the wood in his hand, after he swung it into the demon's back hard enough to render it splintered and broken.

The only sound heard was the broken off pieces of wood falling to the floor. The demon slowly turned its head towards him, surprised. Either it didn’t expect an attack, or it didn’t even realize Noriaki was there. Its red eyes glowed as a smile spread on its face, dropping the girl on the floor as it gave him its complete attention.

How bold.

Its words were the only warning Noriaki had as its hair was set on fire, gripping its sword as it walked up to him. Behind the pair, the girl gasped for air, eyes widening at the sight of the boy as if he was something she hadn’t seen before. But surprise turned to concern as she shook her head at him.

“D-Don’t--” She clutched her throat, struggling to speak. “Run--Run! Run away!”

To say his plan had worked was inaccurate. It would imply Noriaki had a plan when he charged into this fight that was certainly not his own. The remnants of his makeshift bludgeon clattered to the ground to join its other half as the demon turned upon him, all fire and brimstone. Focused so thoroughly on the threat before him, he didn't even register the hoarse yelling of the girl he had just rescued. All he could do was backpedal from the demon in the face of whatever supernatural might it intended to inflict upon him.

This is what always happens, isn't it?

Another voice purred in the back of his mind, haughty and regal. It was equal parts infuriating and recognizable.

All hot-blood and bluster, rushing in without a thought in your thick little skull. Never caring about the consequences.

The last thing he needed now was someone taunting him inside his head. He needed to think of a way out of this. He just needed...

Well, until now. What are you going to do? Run away with your tail between your legs? Beg for another second chance? You aren't going to get one this time. She's going to kill you for your impudence, you know.

Like he needed that pointed out! Watching those flames roaring from behind the demon's head, the edge of her sword... This definitely felt real. Too real! This wasn't what he signed up for when he went to go rescue a cat. This was bullshit!

There's that defiant attitude of yours. This is the fate you deserve, yet you don't want to sit down and accept it. You've always hated facing the repurcussions of your actions, haven't you?

He found himself gritting his teeth as the voice droned on and on, condescending to him as if he didn't already know how he was. How he always acted. But what else was there? Lying down? Letting it happen? Letting people—letting things—like this get away with it? If that was the alternative, then fuck that! He'd be the defiant one every time, consequences be damned.

I suppose your resolve is admirable enough, though. It reminds me of, well, me. As it should.

If it wasn't for the impending doom approaching him, he'd have snapped at that pompous voice ages ago. But he needed to focus! Find a way to beat this thing, or at least hurt it enough to get away.

Tarnished by thy hubris, now is thy hour of rebirth.
Heed my words, fiend.
I am thou, thou art I.
Thou who strains against the chains of fate.
Be reborn from thy self-made prison.
Call upon thy indignation, and rebel again this unjust providence!

The voice, maddening as it was, seemed to solidify his resolve the longer it spoke. His backwards retreat across the impromptu arena slowed to a stop, and through his peripheral vision he spotted something: salvation, in the form of a vibrant blue butterfly fluttering between himself and his would-be assailant. It almost seemed to beckon to him, daring him to reach out and seize it. To seize his destiny from the jaws of his inglorious defeat.

His arm snapped forward to grasp it. Yet in place of its luminous wings there was but a simple card, emblazoned with satanic symbology. As he held it before his eyes, the familiarity of it seemed to click for him. He had definitely seen it before... In that dream. The dream! As if recognition had breathed form into it, he felt the weight of a key in his other hand. Yet it only held this form long enough for him to briefly gaze upon it, before cerulean wisps saw it take the form of a humble match.

Burn away thy weakness, and rise as if morning.

Without thought, he brought his hands together, and struck the match against the mysterious card. As if fueled by the heat of his earlier fury, the resulting spark blossomed into an azure conflagration. One which quickly engulfed him in its brilliance. Within the heart of the inferno, he found himself changing.

Gone were his previous blue eyes. They now glowed a lustrous shade of violet, slitted and inhuman in their nature. As were the horns that seemed to have sprouted from his forehead and curled towards the air above. His sweat damp hoodie was gone as well, replaced with layers of black and purple leather that wrapped him from shoulder to waist, where another devilish appendage seemed to have appeared—a pointed, whip like tail flicked back and forth as the flames flickered away from his newly made form.

As if seeking to compensate for his now demonic appearance, the flames coalesced to his aft as they burned away from his body. Where there had been nothing now rapidly formed something; feathery wings fanned out in all directions, their source being the cherubic, angel-like figure who now hovered behind him. The fire was little more than wisps once the deed was done, but their warmth only emboldened the teen, who thrust a defiant hand towards the creature before him. In lieu of the tarot card which had one been in his grip now lay a long, wickedly spiked club, its tip pointed towards her face.

"Guess you're gonna find out just how bold I can be, bitch." he said, his now lengthy canines flashing with the declaration.

The arrival of Noriaki’s power had resulted in the demon coming to an understanding, narrowing its red eyes as it observed the angel behind him. After a few seconds, a decision was made as it raised its blade, getting into a stance.

The Devil. I see, so you have also made a contract. No matter, I will take that Persona as well.

Narrowing its eyes, it charged forward at a speed imperceptible to the eye--but Noriaki himself wasn’t what it was after. Instead, it plunged its blade into the angel’s chest, a red glow engulfing its body. To it’s surprise, however, the angel placed his hand on the sword, a crack heard as it squeezed down. The demon moved backwards, but it was obvious the angel wouldn’t allow it, a smile on its face as it crushed the sword effortlessly.

At that point, the demon let out an audible gasp, immediately backing away. It opened its mouth to speak, but a sword plunged through its head stopped it. The girl had forced herself to her feet, gripping the blade as tightly as her hands could muster. With the demon at her mercy, she twisted the sword, beheading it cleanly.

Kicking its body off the stage, she dropped her sword, ignoring it in favor of grabbing Noriaki’s hand. “Hurry--before it gets up,” She rasped, pulling him along without waiting for a protest.

There were a hundred questions swirling around maelstrom like in Noriaki's mind as he watched the creature's body slump down before him. Not least of which how the little kid behind him had managed to shatter its sword like a hunk of driftwood, or how a teenage girl managed to cleanly pop off a monster's head after being choked near to death moments earlier. That same girl seemed to have different concerns. Concerns that—as he watched the blood pool from the demon's body in tandem with the promise of its return—seemed quite relevant.

"Y'know what? Fuck it, let's go."

Nodding, the girl pulled him along as they left the room. She led him through a hallway where the red light returned, though she didn’t seem to be fazed by it. Rather, she looked like she was searching for something. Still, she didn’t stop until she decided they were far away enough, promptly placing her hands on her knees as she took a second to catch her breath. Taking a second to look him up and down, she took in a deep breath before straightening up.

“Thank you. I thought I was going to die back there,” She admitted, her voice strained as she rubbed her left temple. “You’d think cutting its head off would be the end of it, but that thing will be back up on its feet soon enough. That always happens...I think I’ve killed it hundreds of times, but it just keeps coming back.”

Letting her hand drop, her blue eyes looked him over. “I didn’t know there were other Persona users,” She stated, frowning. “I...don’t suppose Emi sent you?”

"I'm gonna level with you—I have no idea what is going on, who that is, or where we are. I got here like five days ago." Noriaki replied with alarming clarity, considering the amount of adrenaline pumping through his body. Might have been that the adrenaline was the cause of the clarity.

"I'm here to get that damn cat and go home. Unless you happen to have a ball of white fluff on you, I'm thinkin' you ought to point me to the exit."

“Exit…?” She slowly spoke, though a realization hit her like a truck as she smacked her forehead. “If you’re here, then that means there’s an exit! Then--” She stopped mid-sentence, letting out a sharp gasp as she covered her left eye.

“Y-Yeah. Uh, no cats here, only Shadows and that demon,” She replied quietly, rummaging through her pockets as she pulled out a tiny crystal. It glimmered softly, and she let out a hollow laugh. “Don’t worry, I’ll get you home.”

Tossing the crystal onto the ground, it erupted and formed a straight line, flowing quietly. Beckoning Noriaki to go along, the two of them followed the line into a room much like the one he had first arrived in. It was entirely empty with the exception of a grand, ornate mirror.

Letting out a sigh of relief, she cautiously approached it, touching the glass. “Months of nothing, and now one decides to show up,” She muttered to herself, shaking her head. Turning back to Noriaki, she paused for a second as she winced again. “This will take you back to where you came from. Be careful, if you have the power to summon a Persona, it means any mirror can bring you back here so long as you can fit through it. Don’t want to accidentally fall through or something, right?”

Letting out another sigh, she turned back, placing her hands on her hips. Still, she felt like she couldn’t let it finish just like that, looking back at him with a brilliant smile. “Wish me luck!”

There it was again. That inkling to get involved and ask questions. If there was one lesson Noriaki could take from this night, it was that getting involved with this and not trusting his initial instinct was a very bad idea. So rather than remain behind and ask the busty, demon-decapitating girl what in the hell was going on, he decided on a very rare course of action indeed; shutting the fuck up and getting out of there.

"Yep. No mirrors. Got it." he piped, walking towards the aforementioned mirror with his club on his shoulder.

"I'd say see you around but, uh, really don't wanna do this again. So... Don't die? Yeah, that works."

With that, he turned and stepped through. Reality rushed to meet him.

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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Hero
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Hero Sincerest of Knights

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Hinotori High School
Kyoto Prefecture
APRIL 9TH, 2018

The first day of school was often an eagerly anticipated one--the start of the new school year was always exciting and full of opportunity. While it was seen as a chore for some and nothing new for the staff that remained the same while the students were the ones that constantly changed, it was hard to miss the excitement. The train stations were abundant with students dressed in their uniforms, crossing from all over the prefecture to make sure they weren’t late on their first day.

That said, there was an underlying tension bubbling underneath the cheerfulness.

A few spats had popped up on school grounds from the returning students; while it wasn’t strange to see teenagers get into arguments, it was the speed at which they aggravated one another. Of course, it extended to the staff as well--Wada-sensei was already notorious for his grumpy attitude, but even he seemed to have less patience than usual.

Fortunately, the anticipation remained. What awaited those who had received their contracts?

Hidden 2 mos ago Post by WXer
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WXer オラ・オラ・オラ!

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Good things come in pairs. When told this ancient adage, most people do not reflect upon it. On the surface, it seems so shallow and pointless yet it is actually a tribute from ancient philosophers of the ancient Middle Kingdom to the harmony brought by balance in the cosmos. For you see this proverb refers to the dualistic nature of the self and life as represented by Yin and Yang, where every act of brilliant light will undoubtedly give birth to a consequence of shadow. Still, who has the time to wax poetic about some trivial fortune cookie filler?

Unfortunately, Kazuyoshi Asakura has all the time in the world ever since getting hospitalized. He was only there for a few days but it felt like an eternity. He was unable to move because of his injuries yet was immediately informed of the drunken escapade's aftermath when he had first awoken. Kazu could merely stare at the water damaged ceiling or read a booklet on Taoist meditation his mother gifted him though this did little to ease his conscience. The guilt had started to manifest itself at night in one of two nightmares which alternated between each other. The first one had him be a passenger on a now familiar train cart with his only companion being a well-refined attendant though Kazu could never quite make sense of the gibberish the gentleman spoke of. The other, more sinister dream has Kazu back on his motorcycle down a dirt road, racing for his life while being pursued by a shadowy figure maniacally laughing as he gets closer and closer. They both end the same way though - with the sorrowful highschooler abruptly waking up in cold sweat before he could ever reach the end of either metaphysical journey.

On his last day at the hospital, he had found the opportunity to visit the room of his sweetheart. By the door was a whiteboard panel that simply had the words "Mochizuki Ayane" written on it but reading that was enough to tighten his chest and expunge the wind from his sails. Ultimately, he couldn't muster the courage to stay in there for more than a few minutes. The guilt was unbearable as he looked upon the scars he had inflicted upon her. There were no parting words for he was a coward and she was in a coma.

It would be at his home that Kazu would nurse the remainder of his wounds. The main physical injury he had dealt with was a toe fracture that since healed a week ago though he still walked with a very minor limp. However, the real damage to his school life would soon reveal itself as none of his so-called friends bothered to visit him or even give him a courtesy call on his phone. The reason to this was already quite clear as his girlfriend's closest childhood companion happened to be the queen bee of Hinotori High and it seems she had Kazu excommunicated. He has definitely seen her do worse for less. It only added to the stress of all the troubles he was already having which he supposed was the point of this petty scheme.

Hence why we find Kazu unable to sleep in the comfort of his own bed and instead was pondering about a proverb he had read from his booklet. To be quite honest, he was actually thinking about he and Ayane made a great couple when he had read that short passage. The memories weren't all bad, it was just that one night. Hell, he can't even remember much about it. As he exerted effort in trying to recall those sealed moments of his life, Kazu soon drifted into slumber's reprieve.

"Argh, why couldn't that last forever." he would groan as his bedside alarm soon went off after what felt to be a fleeting moment as three hours had now passed. Fortunately for Kazu, his dad was going to drop him off in the family car for at least the first week of the new school year. No matter how dumb of a mistake he would make, at least his old man still had his back. True to form, Kazu didn't verbalize his appreciation for his dad as he chose to stuff his face with bread rolls and fried eggs on the ride over to Hinotori High. Food crumbs fell all over the backseat where Kazu had sat, earning him an earful from the elder Asakura with which Kazu responded to using a high-spirited, formal apology that ended with a deep bow. As they pulled up to the school gate and the youth stepped out, a stern mister Asakura could be faintly heard muttering "...Dumbass."

Stepping back into the school grounds was quite the cathartic experience for Kazu. This place was always welcoming to him as others used to looked on in adoration and envy as his clique sat at the top of the social pyramid. Yet the sneers, jeers, stares and glares he received from the other students he passed by had slapped that rosy nostalgia away and replaced it with the gravity of his new reality. Still, he held his head high and avoided eye contact with everyone on his way to the new semester's starting student assembly.

Arriving at the school assembly hall, Kazu quickly found his old crew. One of the lads had made quick eye contact with him before breaking off and awkwardly stared at the ground instead. The others soon noticed and made sure to have their backs to Kazu. At that moment, he had arrived at a crossroads. While he made a quick decision, it was one of doubt and hesitation.

Kazu found an empty seat at the very back row of his class' designated seating area. He was alone again, naturally.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Lord Orgasmo
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Lord Orgasmo Professional Disappointment since 1999

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April 9th. Speaking with:

6:30 A.M.

It was a bit earlier than what poor old Genki was used to when waking up. Not for his grandparents, however. They'd already been up for over half an hour. It it was those same grandparents who had just woken up Genki, to get him ready for school. There was no alarm clock per se, but a polite knock at the door telling him to wake up, and that breakfast would be ready by the time he was done showering. Guess it was shower time.

Like most people in the morning, Genki spent very little time actually getting clean and more or less spent fifteen minutes enjoying the hot water before taking the time to wash up.

As soon as he stepped out of the shower, his nose could immediately detect what was for breakfast: Egg fried rice, and his favorite: Hotate. Seared Scallops have always been a favorite of his, but there's something about the way his grandfather made them that made them stand out. Genki's best guess is what he fried it in, but his grandparents wouldn't ever tell him. Maybe it was something weird like orange juice. Probably not though.

After getting dressed, eating, and getting everything all packed up for school, he checked the clock one last time before heading out. 7:30. If all went well he would only need about twenty minutes to actually walk to school, leaving him plenty of time to screw around before school started. Maybe he'd stand around awkwardly for half an hour, maybe he'd get harassed by someone for no good reason, or, maybe he'd actually find somebody decent to talk to.

Heading out the door and down the street, Genki let his mind wander concerning the future school year. There's all sorts of sports teams he could join. Or maybe of the other clubs that required much less physical activity. Yeah, that sounded way better. He didn't exactly pay attention to the clubs last year, but he remembered a few that stuck out. First was the Culinary Club, or was it the Cooking Club? Whatever. But he distinctly remembered it always smelled real good every time he passed by. Learning how to cook is certainly a useful skill, and maybe he could help his grandparents with dinner, and figure out the secrets behind his grandfather's Seared Scallops. Then there was the Music Club. Genki remembered this not because he was interested in music, but because they had a big brass section and were loud as hell. And that's from a distance away, he couldn't imagine just how loud it would be actually *being in there*. So that was probably a no-go. Lastly, he could remember an Occult Club, but the only reason he even knew about it was because of a *very* attractive purple haired girl. She had a few tattoos and kinda freaked him out, but it was also kinda hot. Though there might not even be an Occult Club this year, and Genki didn't know what year she was. She could've graduated for all he knew.

But before he knew it, he had arrived at the gates of the school. It was the start of the new year, so they'd probably have some sort of assembly at the beginning of the day, much like last year. For now though, there wasn't much left to do, but to sit back and wait for the day to start. He didn't see any of his friends around, so maybe if he stood around long enough, one of them would recognize him. Either that or somebody else would try to talk to him. Genki pulled out his phone and began playing a new game he recently downloaded: Crusader's Quest. It was a fairly simple MMORPG that involved matching blocks as they appeared at the bottom of the screen, and the community seemed pretty active, too. Time to waste some time.

For future reference, here's how I'll be handling Genki's languages.
Something like "Hello, my name is Mori, Genki, but I go by my first name, Genki." is all in Japanese.
However, text in [brackets] are meant to signify speaking in Chinese. So "[Hello, my name is Mori, Genki, but I go by my first name, Genki.]" would be him speaking entirely in Chinese.
Though more often than not, it would just be a word or two, such as
"[Hello], my name is Mori, Genki, but I go by my first name, Genki." Common words like [Hello], which is Ni Hao some characters probably could recognize.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Entityx
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Member Seen 2 hrs ago

April 9th- Morning

Golden hues slowly fluttered open, blinked slowly and attempted to adjust to the light peering into the room. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the smell of fresh bacon in the morning or the chipper sounds of family conversations that woke her up. Hell, her alarm wasn’t even the thing that woke her up.

She had hardly slept as is.

It was the dreaded feeling in the pit of her stomach that kept her up all night and it was the reality that her final semester was here that woke her up. She didn’t have a reason to feel this way. She should be rejoicing. She wouldn’t have to deal with the feelings of stress that came with keeping up with her image at school and hopefully have a fulfilling career once she was done. Or so she wanted to think. Her stress from school would just turn into stress from work and her job would likely be something that only her father would agree to.

She groaned quietly as she reached over and turned off her alarm before it could even make a sound at 6:35. Slowly she rolled out of bed and made her way to the bathroom where she began her usual morning ritual. The obvious was to brush her teeth and cleanse her face. She had read in a magazine that the new cleanser that she was using was somewhat popular with people around her age. She wondered if her classmates would even notice. She combed her hair and then put on her school uniform.

As she headed down the stairs, she listened to see if she could still hear her father getting ready for work and of course, when she’d made it to the bottom of the stairs she noticed that his shoes were already gone.


She didn’t know why she got up everyday expecting him to be there when she got up. He never was. She went and made her usual breakfast of eggs and toast and while that cooked she prepared her lunch. And while she ate her breakfast, she went over the grocery list for the week. These were how Oka’s mornings were spent.


She cleaned up and put away the dishes and checked the time: 7:15a. It was just enough time to leave and take the train a little early just to make sure she wasn't late. It was another one of her father's many teachings about being early is being on time-- you get the idea. It just sort of stuck with her. So regardless if this was considered too early for most, she knew based out of practice that this was the best decision in case something came up. At least, that's what she kept telling herself everyday. As she reached for the door and put on her shoes, she checked to make sure she grabbed everything and then departed.

At 7:45am, Oka arrived at the school, she placed her items in her locker and changed her shoes to the indoor ones. She immediately went to the assembly hall and sat in the front row with her fellow peers in the student council. She had hoped that today went by rather quickly and without a hitch. And she also hoped that the new first years wouldn’t give the student council any trouble. This was her final year as Vice President and she simply wanted to finish it without errors. "Naomi-sama!" She heard a group of students shout behind her. Oka turned around and gave a gentle smile and wave before turning back to face forward.

She could feel a wave of anxiety wash over but she remained calm and collected externally. Still, it was always so embarrassing when they did that.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by psych0pomp
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psych0pomp B E H O L D / i'm shiny

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The bing sounded like a siren in the heavy silence of night. Maki crawled out from under her blankets, rubbing her eyes and yawning. She reached for her phone, the light blinding her for a moment.

[3:08 AM, 9 APRIL 2018]

Another bing erupted in the pitch darkness of her room. She tried to remember her passcode as a bing punctuated the unlock noise. Bing. Maki stumbled through a couple of the apps running on her phone. Bing. Bing. She paused her music. Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing. Closed out of a webpage. Bing. Bing. Dread built in her stomach as the notification light on her phone practically strobed. Bing. Bing. Bing. Then a message popped above the rest.

[ew. i think u better not show up tmrw 😜]

Her fear roiled into anger as she no longer delayed the inevitable. And inevitable it fucking was. Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing.

It was a massive group message. Most of the recipients were phone numbers that she didn’t recognize, but betrayal came as there were names pulled from her contacts. Words. Emojis. Memes. There was a variation in the delivery of everyone’s disgust and slander, but the meaning was all the same. And at the beginning of the chain, like a crown atop a pile of filth, was the picture. Excavated from someone close to Maki, it was the final pat of the shovel on her social grave. She glared at it. Bing. Bing. Bing. Shaking, her fingers muted her phone, and she dropped to the side of her bed. Maki crawled between the sheets. Sleep probably wouldn’t come, but at least she could stew in anger—alone. Bing. Bing. Bing. And the notification light strobed.

Maki was awoken by barely muffled laughter coming from the first floor. She grabbed her phone to check the time. It was an hour before she needed to be up, but she knew that if she didn’t get up now... she wouldn't. Reo and Yuuto were her older brothers, twins because there wasn't to be silence in the Ito household, currently attending university. Still, they would show up for breakfast most mornings. And today was particularly notable considering that it was the start of the school year. She grunted as she pulled herself out of her bed and eyed the battery on her phone. In her exasperation, she'd forgotten to hook it up. It was running on electric fumes. Unfortunately, she could only get a little charge as she got ready for school.

An hour, or so, later Maki walked down the stairs to the first floor. By that time, the aroma of breakfast filled the air. She entered the kitchen to the conversation turning silent. Her father had been speaking to her brothers, but he grew silent and cold. Maki could feel him bristling from the entranceway. Her mother turned, a smile on her face before it faded. Despite spending time in the country with her aunt, Maki hadn’t changed her look. She wore the school uniform in the basest of senses. The blue pinafore dress had the top two buttons undone, her loose tie spilling from it. Her sleeves on her dress-shirt were rolled up, her wrists suffocated by black cuffs and bracelets. Her fingers were anointed by clunky rings and adorned in black paint. Black tights were ripped with fishnet hose peeking out from the tears. Black boots, speckled with a myriad of spray paint droplets covered her feet. Around her neck was a leather choker, and her black hair was pulled in a lazy ponytail with streaks of neon poking out. Her makeup was dark with thick, black eyeliner and matte velvet-purple lips. She had her jacket thrown over her shoulder, sleeves pinned up, and her bag draped over her wrist laying on the floor.

Reo and Yuuto stopped mid-bite of breakfast, glancing between Maki and their parents. The atmosphere became even colder. “Maybe you should just grab your breakfast and head out,” her mother said, stretching a smile across her face. She was already in her nursing uniform and packing her lunch. “Don’t want you to be late on your first day back. Isn’t that right?” She glanced at Maki’s father. The man said nothing.

“Sounds good,” Maki said, grabbing the toast and fruit from an empty place setting. She pocketed the apple and wrapped the toast in a napkin before sliding it into her bag. “I'll be late. Work and sh-tuff.” A lukewarm goodbye greeted her ears as she left. Maki had forgotten the state she’d left things in. Her aunt had been far more filled with laughter and smiles, and the countryside had lacked the vitriol that Kyoto contained.

Halfway out of the door, her brothers clamored out of the chairs and followed her. They called after her, and she paused. The golden children, both of them had gotten into the university of their choice on a mixture of sports and scholastic scholarships. Everyone at Hinotori High had loved them. Reo was the louder one, prone to wearing brighter clothes and dragging his brother around. Yuuto was a little more reserved but far more charismatic. Maki couldn’t count on two hands how many girls in her grade had had a crush on her brothers. A lot of weird slash fiction had crossed her desk during that time. Maki fought back a bit of stomach acid remembering that.

“Wow, Sis, you really want to piss them off, don’t you?” Reo asked, hands on his hips.
Yuuto frowned. “I don’t know why they thought anything would change. You’re just you.” He sighed. “You hear from…”
“Toyashiro?” Reo finished. “I’m still ready to kick his butt.”
“After me, of course.” Yuuto huffed.
“Thanks,” Maki said, smiling for the first time that day. “I’ll let you idiots know if I need your assistance. But I think I can manage.”
“Just don’t kill him,” Reo said, laughing.
Maki shrugged and started to walk away.
“I’m serious.”
Yuuta perked up afterward. “Seriously, Maki. Please take homicide off your to-do list.”
She continued to walk, hiding her growing smile.
“I don’t think she’s going to.”
“You still know that cute receptionist at the police station?”
There was a pause, probably punctuated by a wink from Reo if she knew her brother. “Oh, I know her alright.”
“You’re gross, Re-re.”

Used to, the walk to school was something that looked forward to. This morning, she just slid her headphones over her head and let the music drown out the world around her. Everything was a monochromatic blur as she moved through Kyoto towards Hinotori High. The occasional bing erupted from her phone. Maki knew she could silence the notifications, but they were fueling each of her steps.

Bing. Bing. Bing. Silence. Maki passed the threshold of the school, and her gaze rose until she saw the crowded schoolyard. Chatter was abundant and people clumped together in groups. Exchanges of the personal and electronic nature happened. There was a lot of catching up to do. Maki pulled her bag tighter on her shoulder.

It was then a shadow eclipsed Maki’s downward vision. She looked up to see Funai Hina standing before her. Maki sucked at her teeth. They’d never been friends, but Maki’s reputation had always kept Funai at arm's length. Now there was nothing stopping the other girl. Maki would have been an idiot if she hadn’t noticed Funai was the first to comment on the message chain.

“I was hoping they cleaned the grounds a little better,” Funai said, glancing around at the crowd that was forming around her. “There’s still some trash here.”
Maki fully removed her headphones and stuffed them into her bag, unfortunately crunching her toast.
Funai put a hand to her ear. “I guess the trash doesn’t have a mouth… for once.” Some laughter chimed from around them both.
Maki narrowed her eyes.
“Not that we haven’t heard about she uses it.” A smug grin spread over Funai’s lips as she looked up at Maki. While shorter, Funai's stance oozed vapid superiority. That's it. The combination ofthat and Funai's words finally snapped Maki into action.
“While we're talking about it, Funai, why don’t you suck mine and move the fuck out of my way?” She smiled as she walked past the other girl, shoulder-checking her as she did. "Terribly sorry, Dog Face Funai." Now it was her turn to flash a flippant grin.
Funai whipped around, her long blonde locks cascading around her face. She was trying to hide her anger. “Your smugness won’t get you far. Wait until after school. You won't be able to engage in your favorite pastime with a busted lip.”
Maki pivoted, walking backward. She flipped the girl off with both hands, her glossy fingernails catching the sun. Figuring that she could make them really regret the “psycho” comment, she licked the length of her right extended finger and then spit to the side. Funai took a step backward as the crowd behind her was avidly filming.
“Bring it,” Maki said, turning back around and hurrying out of the schoolyard. She could already hear her phone going off. Bing. Bing. Bing. “Fuck me that was stupid,” she grumbled.

It was the beginning of the year, meaning that the authority figures needed to blow their hot air to a crowd of disinterested teens. Maki found her way to the assembly hall. She took a seat near the rest of the third years, but far away enough that she didn’t owe anyone their personal space. Dumping her bag in the seat next to her, she fished out her uneaten apple—the toast an unfortunate casualty. She kicked her feet onto the back of the chair in front of her and waited for assembly to start up. The sooner today began, the sooner it could end.

| 𝖳𝖠𝖦(𝖲) : N/A |
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Asura
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Asura Ominous

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April 9th 2018

Residential Kyoto → Hinotori Highschool

When they first moved to Kyoto, Noriaki had been given his pick of the two bedrooms. Good son that he was, he had decided on the smaller of the two—he had never had very much stuff, after all. He had come to regret that filial piety in the days that followed. It just so happened that his room was on the east side of the house, which meant that the sun came beaming in through his window first thing in the morning. It woke him up before his alarm almost every day since.

Every day except this one. The sun hadn't quite managed to fully free itself from the horizon before a bright, and very noisy competitor dragged the teen from his fitful sleep.

Mrrow. Mrrow.

Even under his blankets Noriaki could feel the little footfalls going up and down the side of his bed. The shuffling it caused only seemed to embolden the source.


The pitter-patter of paws drew closer to his head as he tried in vain to escape his fate. He was usually an early riser, couldn't he just have one day for a break? The pressure of something crawling up onto his chest seemed to indicate not.


He peeled back just enough blanket to reach up and cup the face of the source of this rude awakening: the fluffy white snowball had accompanied him to bed the night prior. One which now nuzzled against his palm, apparently pleased with the scratches his tired fingers provided. In truth, Noriaki wasn't even sure whether or not they were allowed to have pets in this place, but he couldn't just leave the poor thing outside after... after, well, whatever last night was. With bleary eyes, the he peered towards the alarm clock on his bedside table read 6:28.

"C'mon, man. I fed you last night. Already?" He asked, as if expecting an answer.

Ruffling the top of the stray's head, he made to rise. The cat took that as an invitation to choreograph its own desires, and trailed to the side of the bed before hopping down and trotting towards the closed door of his room, a cacophony of meows in its wake.

"Alright, alright, let's go. Don't need you peeing on the tatami."

In the end, it was a good thing that the feline had gotten him up when it did. After foggily drifting through the house with an appropriated can of fish in his hand, the youth managed to let the cat out and see it fed just minutes before his mom got home. It wasn't an unexpected arrival, seeing as though she got off work at six, but definitely one that could have complicated his morning if it had been just a bit earlier. Trying to explain to his mother why he let a stray cat in might have made the following breakfast less awkward, though—she had insisted on making it for the both of them, in spite of her own fatigue.

"The salmon came highly recommended, so I figured it'd be a nice and fresh."

"Yeah, seems like."

In spite of his relative luck, Noriaki couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. Usually he was the one up early, making himself a lunch and preparing something quick to eat. Usually he'd leave some for his mother before heading off to an early practice, so she could eat after she got home. Then all the shit in Osaka went down. Ever since he had gotten out of detention, he could tell she was trying to make an effort. To be more present. Like if she had been here to make him breakfast and see him off to school, he wouldn't have gone off like he had. Like it was her fault.

He hated that more than the months of confinement and all those shit heel social workers combined.

"You're going to be fine, sweetie. It's a nice school, and I'm sure you'll fit in well. Nobody there knows about what happened but the teachers."

She must have picked up on the turmoil he felt. He always did wear his emotions on his sleeve.

"It's fine, ma. I'm not worried about that."

It wasn't exactly a lie. He wasn't especially worried about fitting in. He was popular before. Hardworking, athletic. He would manage just fine. Even if he didn't, he sure as hell wasn't going to let that show. He had caused enough bullshit already. As the last bits of rice went down along with the remnants of his soup, Noriaki was tantalizingly close to freedom.

"Think I'm gonna head out early. Don't wanna get lost on the way. Everything's new around here, y'know." He declared, rising from the shallow table and collecting his dishes.

"Already?" She asked in return, the disappointment in her voice almost breaking his heart, "Well, it wouldn't do for you to be late on the first day. At least try to have a good time?"

"I'll try, ma. Have a good day."

A few minutes of dish washing and some brief fussing in the mirror later, Noriaki was out the door and reacquainted with his old enemy in the sky. It was certainly a bright day, and if he wasn't in such a god damn poor mood, it might have been encouraging. At least the cat was having a good time. He made sure to scratch the little fella on the head as he passed by the low-wall it was sunning itself on.

The trek from home started much the same it had been the night before. Go east, passed some of the other townhouses, and to his chagrin, that creepy old ruin down the street. At least it tended to be less spooky in the daylight. Nothing like the crazy shit he dreamed up the night before. In fact, as he got closer to the abandoned lot it sat on, he found he was correct.

Too correct.

There wasn't a hint of fire damage on the building standing where it had been. It looked... normal! Just like every other cozy little townhouse in the neighborhood. Couldn't have been ten hours ago that he had seen—no, he had dreamed—that it was a soot covered wreck. How in the hell was it like this all of a sudden?! He stared at it, for a time. A long time at that. Then, he breathed.

"Must have some crazy fast contractors up here. Didn't even hear them finishing up."

That was the way it was. He must have not noticed workmen during the hectic move, simple as that. No need to think about it or any crazy nightmares about grabby mirrors too hard. Getting to school was much more important.

For how affordable everything was, the house they had moved into was pretty close to the school. It only took Noriaki thirty minutes to get there on foot. Might have been quicker he had been more familiar with the route and avoided getting sidetracked by all the shops and restaurants. All that sightseeing must have cut down on whatever early advantage he had; the gates were swarmed with students of all different grades, returning to a familiar institution for another year. There was the slightest pang of unease as he looked through the sea of strange faces, one that he smothered quickly. No time for regrets. He had an assembly to get to.

Navigating his way through the crowds as best as he could, the youth managed to find his way to the lockers after a brief consultation with the student handbook. Off came his shoes, on went his slippers and he was off again, this time towards the gymnasium they were so proud about on the brochures. Seeing it in person, well, maybe they had a point. It was certainly about as big as the one at his last school, and he gave a whistle of admiration as he looked over the shiny new exterior. Focusing on a taxpayer expense certainly beat moping about having nobody to talk to, in contrast to all the other students hurrying about to find old friends from the year prior. But he couldn't dally around forever.

Noriaki strode through the open doors and made his way through the sections, just now starting to fill with the student body. Second years were always middle of the pack, so that was easy enough. A-2 was towards the front, as expected. It might have been a good idea to find a seat nearer one of the other folks in his class. Maybe introduce himself, and try to make some acquaintances. But everything that led up that morning—crappy sleep, the awkward breakfast, that god damn dream—had soiled his mood.

He opted instead to find an empty, uncrowded seat towards the back, plop himself down and fiddle with his phone. At least until the principal decided to hop on his soap box. After that the school day could begin in earnest.

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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by RiverMaiden
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RiverMaiden Protector of the Stream of Time

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| April 9th, 2018 | Sasaki Household |

Blue eyes shot open in the dark, their owner risen to a seated position in a cold sweat as she placed a hand to her chest, the thump of her heart slowing by the minute while her gaze moved to the window where her pine bonsai tree sat with branches wrapped with annealed copper wires. Through the view from the second-story window, one could see that the sun was still absent from the sky, not even gracing the horizon while a blanket of stars continued to twinkle from above.

The electronic clock by her bedside was set at 5:02, and Sasaki Yori sighed as she rose a hand to her temple. Late by a full hour. She was lucky to only have an entrance ceremony that day. "What a weird dream..."

Like any other day, she started with a cold shower to forcibly pull herself from the last dredges of sleep, followed by a change into one of the few, sparse outfits she owned. For the school ceremony, she chose her usual, the fuschia dress and white blouse that she wore throughout her previous year in high school.

She did a quick once-over in the mirror to make sure she looked presentable, seated in front of a vanity mirror left behind by her father's second wife. Yori's eyes drifted down to a makeup kit, also once owned by said wife, left untouched aside from the container of cream concealer. Her gaze lingered for a long moment before she eventually shook her head as if shedding an errant thought, a rueful expression on her face as she merely took a dab of skin concealer with a finger to spread across her dark under-eye bags.

Downstairs, she donned a basic beige apron as she fired up the stove, its burners later occupied by an earthenware pot while the other heated a pan which she would occasionally switch whenever she needed to fry something else. Vegetables were chopped and meats checked to make sure they were defrosted thoroughly, meals were planned and prepared, and she did so while occasionally glancing at a wooden rack currently holstered with the previous year's math textbook, open on the latest lesson the school year had left off on.

It would be half an hour later when her father arose, his presence preceded by his footsteps on the wooden floor as he entered the dining room to see his breakfast already prepared: rice porridge with beaten egg and salted salmon as toppings still steaming within the pot it was cooked in. Yori turned away from the pan she was currently using to acknowledge her father's presence with a polite "Good morning", but very quickly returned to what she was doing when his expression softened with relief.

"Good morning, Yori-chan. Thank you for cooking breakfast again," he began as opened the lid of his pot of porridge and scarfed it down, not slowing down to taste it and only stopping half-way through to speak again. "I would help you out, but I-"

"Worked until midnight and was tired? I remember. I was there," his daughter finished for him, the exchange near habitual as she set a wrapped bento next to him on the table. "I made your favorite. Rice, meatball, omelet, sweet potato and-"

"Baby tomatoes with pepper," the father returned the favor, his pot empty as he stood up with conflicted emotions in his eyes. "Yori-chan, you know I can't come back any earlier, even if you bribe me with a delicious lunch. There's always work to be done."

Yori opened her mouth, the intent to retort such a statement clear in her eyes, but nothing came out as she held her tongue. The silence, aside from the sizzling sound of meat being fried, grew between them, and it was the father who had chosen to break it rather than the daughter. "...I'll be late again tonight. The project my division is dealing with has stalled, and I'm in the group tasked with solving problems to move it along. It'll be more work for me until this little bump smoothes over."

The silence maintained even after his attempt to explain the situation, the father approached with a wet kiss placed on Yori's forehead when she turned to see the movement in her periphery. "It'll get better eventually, you'll see."

With one last pat, the father left the room with his prepared bento, and it wasn't until he was gone that Yori spoke. "That's what you've been saying since forever, Dad."

| April 9th, 2018 | Hinotori Highschool |

The rest of her morning was uneventful in comparison, her three siblings all fed and walked to their elementary school building before Yori made her way towards her own facilities. Shoes changed in the designated lockers, her pair in the same area as the last year, she headed toward the gymnasium and slotted herself into the fold of Class A-2.

Despite probably knowing some of the students in her class, and being known in turn, she did not approach any of the coalesced friend groups, nor was she approached in turn. At least, not initially. Instead of attempting to socialize, Yori merely waited for the announcements to start, her sleeve rolled up to check the time on her watch as if to make sure the teachers didn't forget when to begin.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Scribe of Thoth It's Pronounced "Thot"

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April 9th - Morning

Late on the first day. That wasn't a good start to the year. Daigo shifted his weight foot to foot in front of the stove as he bristled with a swell of anxiety that fast overtook the lingering traces of sleepiness still clinging to him. He should've just made his lunch the night before like he usually did, but there was yelling coming from the kitchen when he went downstairs to start and the boy had learned to stay quite clear of that over the last few months. Then, of course, he underestimated the time it would take and foolishly decided to ignore the first three of his five alarms, as enamored with the sleep schedule he'd picked up over the break as he was. Surely they'd have some leftover rice and whatever meat hadn't been served the night before in the fridge that Daigo could simply throw together and be on his way, right? Wrong. Now he was waiting for fresh rice to cook while juggling three different pans because even after all of those setbacks, he still convinced himself he could make a proper lunch. Just throwing half cooked food away wasn't an option; his father would kill him. Though, his father would probably kill him anyway if he saw how sloppily Daigo was folding the tamagoyaki.

Man's hubris truly knew no bounds as the ginger bravely turned back with the intent to start whisking together a quick sauce for his meal, humming a melancholy tune he'd picked up from a dream no differently than he would a cheery birdsong. He'd be fine. Being late didn't really matter. Sort of. Thankfully for his sake, the click of the rice cooker promptly interrupted that course of action. Right, no time. Daigo dumped the rice in the pan where he'd been frying his salmon for color. A dash of soy sauce, the rest of the vegetables, and he finally had a clump of food he could throw messily in his lunchbox. A nervous glance at his phone said that was all the time he was probably getting - 7:45, he was so late. The dirty pans all clattered into the sink with little more than a quick rinse; he could clean them properly when he got home, no one would even notice.

Daigo rushed downstairs, pirouetting skillfully past a passing waitress that was setting up for the day's service on his way toward the side door. "Sorry-sorry-sorry," He called back with an awkward bow of his head before poking his head into the kitchen briefly. "I'm leaving!" Once again, the boy didn't wait for a response; he had no time to waste, so he bounded out the door and started running down the street as unassumingly as one can move at that speed.

Daigo arrived at the gates of Hinotori High School winded and almost wheezing, but at least he was on time. At least, he thought he was, but as he looked around, the unfamiliar scenery suggested he wasn't even at the right school. He wasn't even at the right school! For a fraction of a second, Daigo's visage cracked with a defeated frown. A couple latecoming students shot a confused glance at the kid doubled over and panting at the gates and looking like he'd just witnessed a murder, but most just hurried inside. Would he look like too much of an idiot if he turned around and walked away? Wasn't like he could be double-late. His stomach lurched, and not just because that degree of exercise didn't agree with him. All that effort, only to end up still late because of some stupid navigational error. How did he even do that?! Did he make a wrong turn? No, it was fine. The first thing he needed to figure out was where he'd even ended up, but when he turned his head toward the sign it read... Hinotori High School?

Right, the renovations must've finished. That would explain everyone else having a matching uniform, now that his brain was back to thinking rather than panicking. He was such an idiot. It was fine. Of course it was. Daigo cleared his throat and stood back upright, adjusting his glasses to hide the blush of embarrassment creeping across his features (and the fact that his eyes were stinging a little but was just because of allergies, darn it!). Now that he thought about it, this was almost worse - 'Hinari was being a fucking weirdo at the gates today' was far more worthy of gossiping about than him simply being late. At least he hadn't done something dramatic like wail in despair.

Daigo slipped in to the first available seat he saw when he finally arrived at the gymnasium, which of course meant awkwardly sliding past people since edge seats were popular with people who didn't want to be somewhere, and he didn't think anybody actually wanted to be at the opening ceremony. Even as a bright-eyed first year, he'd only found it engaging until the principal's welcome blended into pointless droning and a buzzing feeling in his legs kept screaming at him to get up and move. That was fine, though; the renovations were probably great and new amenities were cool to learn about, even if it would probably sound like bragging on the administration's part.

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Obscene Symphony 共匪

Member Seen 18 min ago

April 9th - Morning

"Welcome to the Velvet Room."

The dream began like every other: Emi found herself in a lavishly decorated train car, in the company of a gentle-voiced man speaking over a soft, comforting melody. Even after seeing the dream so many times, it still filled her with hope; she’d been so scared the first one was a fluke, but the melody always came back, encouraging her that her intuition couldn’t possibly be faulty. The dream was a sign, she knew it: if there was even the slimmest chance that this was the dream where Mineri had heard that melody, then there must have been more to her friends’ disappearances to figure out.


But where she expected routine—a card, a key, a cryptic contract—there was something new: she didn’t wake up. She went through the motions, sure, but when she expected to be pulled back into the waking world, nothing happened. Instead, she drifted toward that door at the end of the train car, the one that always caught her attention, but that she could never approach. This time, though, she opened it, and the soft melody she so treasured washed over her like a wave, growing louder and fuller as she walked through what seemed to be a concert hall. For the first time, a voice accompanied the music, smooth and clear and piercing to the very core.

The source wasn’t long to reveal itself. Emi didn’t need to see the woman to know every detail, but the dress, the butterfly, the golden eye, it all paled in comparison to a familiarity that struck Emi like a freight train, miraculous and terrifying and confusing all at once. There was no mistaking it: the vocalist was her missing friend, Mineri.

Even in a dream, Emi’s shock almost made her miss what Mineri was saying—or trying to say, that is. She couldn’t see Mineri struggle to speak, but she understood her nonetheless, feeling like she’d been shot in the chest when she finally deciphered her friend’s message.

She couldn’t believe she never thought of it before.

The one word that changed all of their lives.


There was no way Emi could sleep after that. She was practically buzzing, any vestige of sleep zapped out of her by the combined joy and apprehension of finally stumbling upon another clue. After months of barricading herself in her room, it certainly surprised her parents to see her out of bed early; even more so to find her wide awake and full of energy. By the time her usual wake-up time rolled around—6:30am—she was already showered and dressed, and she even opted to take her breakfast on the terrace, enjoying the long-forsaken feeling of sunlight on her skin.

She wasn’t entirely back to normal, though; truthfully, Emi wasn’t really sure if she ever would be again. Rather than talking her parents’ ears off over breakfast and the drive to school, she was largely quiet, contentedly pensive as she mulled over her next steps. She knew for sure that her dream was a sign; Mineri was alive, or at the very least, there was more to be learned about her and the others’ disappearances. Now, with one more piece added to the puzzle, Emi was convinced it had something to do with the sphere of Personas; whether it was the Other Side, the Shadows, or their Personas themselves, was unclear. It was a small step. In fact, there was barely any more information to be had now than before. But to Emi, it was still a great leap. She’d always suspected the outlandish world in which they meddled must have played a role—no way people vanish so completely without a trace within the bounds of abject reality—but now, finally, she had proof. It was just a question of what to do with it.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright?”

Emi didn’t notice the car come to a halt until her mother spoke up from the front seat, her voice a picture of hesitant concern. Emi couldn’t help but chuckle, shaking her head with a grin. “All this time you tell me I have to find a way to move on with my life, and now you’re the one second-guessing me?” Her smile turned softer, and she reached toward the console, grasping her mother’s hand when she took it. “I’ll be fine. I think I’m ready.”

Releasing her mother’s hand, she pushed the car door open, plucking her cane from the seat beside her and flicking it out the door, not quite able to resist her typical smirk as she heard the serial clicks of the pieces snapping into place.

“Alright, sweetie,” her mom piped up, though Emi could tell that she was speaking around a lump in her throat. “Good luck.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Emi replied, feeling for the curb with her toe before pulling herself out of the car. “Hopefully these new renovations don’t mess me up too bad!”

She and her mother shared a chuckle before she closed the door, waiting for the car to drive off before she turned toward the buzz of the school. It was a fair statement, at any rate; when she finally tuned back in to the chatter of the real world, talk of her missing friends had died down for the moment in favour of buzz about all these new renovations. It was hard to tell the extent of the project from group chat theorizing, but Emi hoped they were mostly cosmetic; any changes to the floor plan were sure to throw her for a loop for the first few days at least. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, it was of little concern. If the last few months had taught her anything, it was that there were bigger things to worry about than little inconveniences.

The way to her locker, at least, hadn’t changed, though she was a little distracted as she made her way there: No matter how many she went through, the first day of classes always managed to fascinate her. The halls were always a swarm of conversation, but the topics at hand on day one always seemed different. The rumours, in particular, stood out; perhaps it was because there was no complaining about teachers and homework yet to stifle them, or maybe just because Emi wasn’t bored enough of them yet to let them fade into the noise. Whatever the reason, all the way to her locker, she was acutely aware of how the tap, tap, tap of her cane was punctuated by gossip.


“Apparently there’s a new student this year.”

“No shit, there’s a whole grade full of them.”

“Shut up! I mean a transfer student! Apparently he’s a piece of work, too.”

“You think everyone new is a piece of work, though.”


“I guess Mochizuki-san is still in the hospital.”

“Wow, and Asakura still came back?”

“That’s what I hear.”



“You hear about that chick making a scene at the gate today?”


“Oh dude, you gotta see this. She’s fucking crazy.”

On and on they went, all the way to and from her locker and to the gym, where the opening ceremony was slated to take place. Emi found her way around surprisingly easily—she’d honestly expected to have been a bit rustier after so long away—but the more she heard, the more discomforted she was. It was funny, for the longest time she’d hoped people wouldn’t talk about her friends; she anticipated it being painful enough to walk the halls of their school without them there, figuring it would only add to the struggle of returning to normal after such a monumental loss. But now that she knew there was hope, she was a little put out that no one seemed to care about it anymore. The rumour mill ground topics to dust in a matter of weeks, sure, but she would have thought—hoped, even—that the lives of her friends were worth a little more careful attention.

But the world kept turning, she had to remind herself.

Although, perhaps fate heard her plea. When she arrived at the gym, a teacher pointed her toward the student council seating, and as she tapped her way over, she heard an exchange between two younger members.

“I heard Natsuhime-san’s mother hired a private investigator.”

“Really? Does she think she’s still alive?”

“Maybe, though I also heard she might just want a definitive answer. They can’t get much more out of her than that; reporters can’t get anywhere near her.”

“That’s so sad. Imagine pining like that for so long and not knowing…”


The conversation ground to a halt as she passed, accentuated by what must have been a tiny, terrified gasp as one of the students noticed her nearby. Emi didn’t pay it any mind, preoccupied by the story; how hadn’t she heard of Hanami’s mother hiring an investigator? Come to think of it, after that little memorial, she hadn’t really heard much about her friends’ families at all—or perhaps, more accurately, she hadn’t really been looking. The realization hit her like a truck; all this time, she was so wrapped up in her own grief and theorizing that she’d barely paid any mind to the other people who might be hurting. Hanami’s mother, her little sister—if Emi was hurting so much for so long, she couldn’t even imagine what they must have been going through. And she never even bothered to check in on them. How could she have overlooked that?

A new kind of guilt racked her as she found her way to a seat near the other seniors, the girl newly devastated by her own ignorance. She vaguely remembered hearing that many of her friends’ families had left Kyoto altogether; what, did she think that just because some of them were gone that they didn’t need support too? Goodness, how despicable! And it wasn’t just Hanami’s family who were still around; unless something changed, Reiji’s sister was still here, too. Taking Hanami’s place as president, as luck would have it. How could Emi face her, having spent months obsessing over her brother’s fate without ever bothering to even give her a phone call?

Emi sunk into her chair a little heavier than she was before, folding her cane gingerly in her lap. She was utterly ashamed, but it wouldn’t do to succumb to melancholy again. She’d just have to make it right.

Finally tuning back in to her surroundings, Emi took a second to figure out who was around her—a little trick she’d learned after her awakening that came very much in handy. The seat to her right was empty, but it seemed like Naomi Oka was to her left; if memory served, she’d been bumped up to vice president after Nakano Sakuya took Hanami’s place. Well, this was as good a place to start as any.

Allowing herself a moment to recover from her realization, Emi put on a polite smile, turning her head in Oka’s direction. “Naomi-san, is that you?” she asked softly, leaning in so as not to be overheard. “Do you know if Nakano-san is here yet?”

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Hero
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The morning started well all things considered. The faculty had concluded their meeting and gave themselves a small break before convening together for the opening ceremony. The vice-principal, a man by the name of Taniguchi Honda, was exasperated; it was quite the feat considering the day had yet to begin. While word had yet to get out, already he had dealt with a headache. He was all too aware that there was no consoling a grieving mother, but he didn't appreciate that private investigator. For one, he made it clear that he wasn't above harassing students for information. For another, it was yet another reminder of the incident that plagued the school's reputation. Wasn't it enough that they were still dealing with the rampant delinquency?

Fortunately, Principal Wada had tasked him with keeping the school's reputation intact. He already pulled a few strings to paint the school as optimistic for the media, but he would need to have a word with Natsuhime Haruka himself. For now, he focused on the student file in front of him, already having a plan on how to deal with that particular wrinkle. His solution arrived at the knock of the door, coming in after he gave the word. A lovely girl by the name of Nakano Sakuya let herself in, and Taniguchi had to admit she was definitely a sight for sore eyes. A diligent and obedient third year, he figured she would be a good counterbalance to the violent delinquent.

"Good morning, Vice Principal," She greeted him. "You asked to see me?"

"Yes, thank you for coming," He sighed, closing the folder. "I'm glad to see you're well. I heard you had quite the break. It's a shame to hear what happened to your father."

Sakuya frowned at him, though she shook her head. "I did, but I can promise it won't affect my duties," She told him.

"I'm glad to hear it," Taniguchi replied. "That said, I had been hoping to count on you in regards to a transfer student by the name of Hoshino Noriaki. He's a second year in Momoji-sensei's class. If it isn't too much to ask for, I'd like you to keep an eye on him."

"A transfer student?" Sakuya asked. "Well, this year the council wants to focus on repairing the school's reputation. There's also Maeda Takeshi, and--"

"And we look forward to the council taking care of that problem as well," Taniguchi cut her off. "This is just as important as I'd rather not see Hoshino fall into the wrong crowd. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone."

Sakuya looked uncertain, though she ended up nodding. "I understand," She conceded. "Was there anything else you needed, sir?"

"Now that you ask, there is," Taniguchi leveled a look on her. "I understand you were personally affected by the disappearances, but I ask that you not draw too much attention to them. It goes without saying, but the school already has enough on its plate."

Letting out a huff, Sakuya crossed her arms. "I'm not going to pretend my brother never existed, I hope you understand that," She stated cooly. "Natushime-san and Chousuke-kun were also honorable students, you can't pretend that their disappearances can just be swept under the rug."

Taniguchi wasn't entirely surprised by her insistence, but as always, the young believed their narrow viewpoints were the only things to consider. He rose from his seat and approached Sakuya, looking down at her. "And I'll remind you that you've already rocked the boat plenty as it is," He said. "We're overlooking your father's scandal and allowed you to take Natsuhime's position as president, but I'll remind you that you're already walking on thin ice."

He already anticipated a response as he placed his hand on her shoulder, gripping it tightly as a warning. She winced, instinctively moving, but he kept her in place and made sure to look directly at her as he continued, "Some of the teachers reconsidered your attendance as well--so I think that keeping your head low and listening to your elders would do you well. I know you find it hard to believe, but I'm doing you a favor, Nakano-san," He said, lightly pushing her towards the door. "Now run along, it won't due to be late."

As expected, the girl turned around and faced the door. She almost responded, but either decided it wasn't worth it or chose to heed his words. Ah, to be young. Someday she'd see that he was right. After taking a glance at the clock, he decided that he would follow suit and head to the auditorium.

The opening ceremony proceeded as it did every year. A few teachers would speak of Hinotori High School and its many accomplishments, the Principal would give a few words on the expectations every student had, and it was normally capped off with well wishes for everyone. At the very least this year it was accompanied by many boasts of the school's renovations, including a brand new auditorium that had been added. Going forward, all school assemblies would take place there; apparently, this would be the last time any ceremony or event would take place in the gym.

Even so, Nakano Sakuya couldn't quite focus on any of that. She had taken her seat wordlessly, offering a token greeting to her fellow council members before falling into silence. It was hard to admit that she wasn't a fan of the conversation she was just in, her mind buzzing. She couldn't believe what she had been asked--how dare he tell her to just ignore the disappearances? It was bad enough to accept he was gone, but she felt going by the vice principal's words were a disservice to him.

"And now, a few words from this year's student council president, Nakano Sakuya-san."

Sakuya's head snapped up at her name, getting to her feet as she threw on a polite smile. Stepping onto the platform, the dark-haired girl offered the room a bow of respect, straightening up and placing both of her hands on either side of the podium and looking straight at the students. There wasn't any time to get lost in her thoughts, though the stares of her peers encouraged her to speak.

"Good morning," Sakuya greeted the crowd, her voice sharp. "No matter where we go or what we do, there are challenges ahead of us. What I'm asking from each of you, and from myself, is to meet those challenges straight on with your head held high and your heart wide open. It's not enough to simply try to get by in life as that doesn't move the world forward. You must try to excel in everything you do; strive for excellence in every task, large or small. Your individual successes benefit society as a whole because when you succeed, you lighten the burden on your fellow man. When you succeed, you are in a position to give rather than take."

"We may not have the power to inspire the entire world to strive for success, but we do have the power to try to achieve it for ourselves. My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to do all that you can do to reach your full potential. If each student here in Hinotori could put in just a fraction of that effort, imagine the endless possibilities that could happen."

Coming to a pause, Sakuya's fingers tapped the side of the podium as her eyes briefly flickered over to the adults on her right. Taking in a deep breath, she made a conscious decision as she continued, "Before we conclude, I would like to take a moment to address something that has also shaken the foundation of Hinotori."

While her words wouldn't have much of an effect on the students, the adults couldn't quite subdue their reactions, likely knowing what she was already going to say. It didn't stop her. "Five months ago, tragedy hit Hinotori in the form of a string of missing students and suspected arson. Four of them would have been returning for another year while the last would have graduated," Her grip on the podium tightened, though she collected herself as she kept going. "While the police have closed the case, I believe it's important to remember that regardless of what happened we don't go forgetting their contributions to the school. Natsuhime-san would always say that the future was in our hands, and I think we should keep her words in mind as we proceed through the year."

Even though she wanted to say more, she figured that much was enough. "We stand here today on the precipice of the future. It's not a distant reality anymore. It begins here. It begins today. Thank you," Sakuya finished her speech, stepping down as the students gave her polite applause. She took her seat with the rest of the student council, keeping her eyes closed and ignoring the glare that the vice principal shot her way.

"Thank you, Nakano-kun," The principal gave off a nervous laugh before turning to the students. "And with that, our ceremony is over. Please head on over to your homerooms. If you've forgotten where to go, there is a board with everyone's names next to the gym as a helpful reminder. Dismissed!"
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Asura
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Asura Ominous

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April 9th 2018

Hinotori Highschool

It didn't take too much longer before the remaining students filed their way into the gymnasium and began to take their seats all around Noriaki, prompting him to slide his phone back into his pocket and at least pretend he was being attentive. He always questioned why they bothered with these ceremonies; no important information was provided, no especially interesting displays. It was just the same old tired platitudes from the old folks in charge, standing on their soap boxes and waxing on out of a sense of tradition, as entrance ceremonies were a tradition worth celebrating. The fact they spent a non-insignificant portion of it bragging about their newest renovations just made it feel all the more masturbatory. But what did he know? He certainly didn't go into the speeches intending to listen in the first place.

The same would have been true of the student council president's obligatory address, for he had little interest in whatever it was the kiss asses she represented had to say. Unfortunately for him, she managed to slip in a series of words that just so happened to drag his memory back to his walk to school—and by extension—the night before. He knew all about the supposed arson, and all the gossipy nonsense that surrounded them, sure. But being reminded that the disappearances involved students like himself made him think back to that damned mirror and the girl he met within. She couldn't have been much older than he was, could she have? He didn't want to think about it. The last thing he needed was to be haunted by the ghost of some match-crazy, demon beheading burn victim. Especially not one who lived in a spooky mirror, in a house that miraculously found itself rebuilt overnight.

Luckily, the ceremony was hurriedly brought to a close while he ruminated over the misfortunes of yesterday. He shook his head as if to banish the thoughts entirely, and rose from his seat in tandem with the others from his grade. Best to get a move on quickly and get a good seat in homeroom. In this, he had the advantage, having no friends or acquaintances with which to speak before heading upstairs. Using his earlier foray into the student's handbook to navigate his way through the halls with some accuracy, Noriaki managed to count himself among the first few arrivals in the room which would be his second home for the next year.

Scanning the desks to see which few were taken, his eyes almost immediately drifted towards the wall closest to the window. Those were always the best ones, especially during the more boring classes. Usually wanted to be further in the back, too, so the teacher didn't bother focusing on you too much while you stared outside. With his mind made up, he didn't allow second guesses to delay his claim, and marched across the room to hang his bag off the seat second from last in the row.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Entityx
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April 9th- Morning

Oka sat quietly, waiting for the opening ceremony to start. The room was starting to fill quickly which gave her an indication that the ceremony was starting soon. She checked her watch and just as she thought, it was only a few minutes until the school year officially began starting with the Principal’s typical opening speech, followed by the Student Council President. Just before the opening ceremony began, someone called her name again but this time it appeared to be by a fellow student council member.

Ah, yes Ueno Emiha. The Student Council Treasurer. It wasn’t often that she’d spoken to her since her promotion, but it wasn’t like she had spoken to many people other than the President. Since her duties were similar to that of the President and her primary focus had been to support many of her ideals and practices, she took extra care to remain in the good graces of Nakano-san. Thusly putting all others on the back burner. She respected her strong ethics and her ability to face adversity head on. Many had heard of news of her father and it was quite the scandal. Oka's father, of course, was the first person to immediately tell her to be careful around her as not to allow her own reputation to be tarnished. It was funny how that was one of the few times she managed to see him at home and it was the first thing he wanted to talk about. That and of course his other favorite topics: grades and future plans after graduation.

Still, she couldn’t help but admire Nakano-san's ability to appear to not worry about the judgement of others.

Oka focused back on Ueno-san, ever impressed by her ability to distinguish who she was even with her lack of vision. "Ah, Nakano-san. As usual, she arrived here just in time. I’m sure she had a meeting with the other administration prior to the start of this." She replied before instinctively looking in the direction to where Nakano-san would be seated.

At the end of the row, Oka saw her seated quietly. She was sure that there had been a lot on Nakano-san's mind. It had felt like there was pressure coming from all directions since the incident five months ago and the hasty rearrangement of the student council. Her biggest hope was that the student council would be able to handle the challenges tasked to them.

It was shortly after having those thoughts, that the ceremony began. Several teachers came before the student body of Hinotori High and gave their usual pep talk followed by the Principal who stressed the importance of meeting certain expectations at the school. He touched on the renovations that had been going on with the school and the new auditorium that was being built. It would make sense for him to urge students to be on their best behavior while representing the school since it seems they did get a fair amount of funding based on their performance. And so far, that extra spending money was spent on an expansion of the school. She wondered what other activities they would be focused on this year.

Oka glanced over at Nakano-san, who was then called to the podium. She listened closely to her speech as she addressed the student body. A phrase resonated within her, Do all that you can to reach your full potential. It reminded her of the recurring dream she kept having every night. Or for all she knew it could have been a nightmare. Oka didn’t have a chance to reflect on the phrase too much more before Nakano-san continued on with her speech. As she spoke of the missing students, she was reminded of Natsuhime-san. She was such a sweet girl who radiated a warmth that was nearly unmatched at the school. She was the complete opposite of well...herself. She was highly popular but was able to carry conversations with anyone. The students really gravitated towards her and Oka felt like Natsuhime-san truly meant to build close relationships with her peers in order to best support them. Although Oka was popular with students, she found herself feeling awkward, almost incapable of building those bonds. Oftentimes she felt like she was being superficial with her responses and extremely careful of how she interacted with everyone.

With the last bit of Nakano-san’s speech came the uncomfortable tension from the adults in the room while the students quietly clapped. Of course, this subject was taboo. She quietly observed both Nakano-san and the administrative staff before turning her attention back to the front of the room where the principal dismissed them to their classrooms. Oka stood from her seat and made her way over to Nakano-san. “Good morning Nakano-san,” She greeted, choosing her next words carefully. She wasn’t sure if now was a good time to ask about her meeting this morning, so instead she opted with, “It may be early to ask but were there plans for us to meet after school today?”

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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April 9th - Morning

Daigo was wrong; the renovations were not interesting in the slightest. A fresh coat of paint and no longer having to contend with the minor inconveniences of an old building were nice, but the appeal was superficial and quickly taken for granted. An auditorium of all things was hardly a claim to fame. That was just a gym with nicer seating arrangements, and at least the gym could be used for other stuff. The drama club was probably head over heels, but Daigo himself couldn't care less. Assemblies always made him antsy, regardless of setting; it's why he avoided movie theaters unless something he really wanted to see was playing.

Speaking of which, the squirrelly boy's attention span had reached its limit by the time the council president had taken the stage. He vaguely registered Nakano-senpai's inspirational words but didn't take the time to actually process them. He feed himself enough trite platitudes as it was, he didn't need them preached to him by others too. Sometimes success was just out of one's hands, but of course that wasn't going to come up; it didn't make for a very good speech. Daigo's momentary shift in mood seemed to be contagious, as the speech took on a dour tone just as the fleeting bitter thoughts vacated his mind. Mention of the missing students was a bit strange. It had been... sheesh, five months; it wasn't like they'd died over the break and the school needed to put out a statement. Tragedies were typically forgotten about after the initial buzz died down until maybe the anniversary where someone would solemnly say a few words of remembrance and go back to forgetting. Either way, it was still nice of the school to memorialize them like that, even if the timing was a bit odd.

Dismissal was a surefire way to lift spirits, though, and whatever somberness had gripped the room - if there even was any, it had been quiet for the assembly regardless - had been replaced by the same chatter and motion that had preceded the ceremony. Daigo shot to his feet immediately, grateful for the chance to stretch his legs even as he danced in place while he waited for the people blocking his exit to file out from the row of chairs. He'd narrowly avoided being late to school, might as well show up to class itself early. Besides, finding people he knew didn't do him much good if they ended up in 2-B or something.

When he arrived, Daigo took a seat located comfortably in the middle of the room; the front invited too much attention and the back was typically where people he didn't get along with sat. At least, he was going to until he shifted to adjust his jacket and his chair emitted a shrill creak. Daigo winced, then scooted forward in repeat of the gesture that provoked such an ungodly noise. Same result. Nope, this wouldn't work - it might've been okay before class started, but he'd piss off the whole room once it got quiet with how often he squirmed in his seat. So much for brand new chairs.

The ginger nudged his belongings over to the seat beside him and shifted into the other chair, giving an apologetic wave to another student whose brief sour frown likely meant he'd been eyeing the seat Daigo just stole. Daigo experimentally bounced his knee as he was wont to do anytime he was seated, then nodded in satisfaction when no irritating sounds arose from his chair. Sorry, other kid, but this decision was for everyone's sake.

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by WXer
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WXer オラ・オラ・オラ!

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There had never been a school assembly meeting that captured Kazuyoshi's attention and today's was no different. He struggled to stay awake, leaning back on his worn-down chair with his arms crossed and his head down. Aside from them trying to be hype rallies for the most boring thing on Earth, the fatigue was setting in from his lack of sleep which offered no moment of reprieve. The well-structured speeches of the assembly sounded like random cacophony to him. Yet, even in this drowsy state, he couldn't ignore the snippets of malicious whispers from the surrounding students. The brashness of these catty chatterboxes were probably stirred on by Kazu's exposed vulnerability, being openly excluded by his clique and looking like a sleep deprived deadman. As a consolation prize though, it seems his summertime mishap wasn't the only featured selection from the rumour mill's specials. The student that sat near him had quite the buzz about him though Kazu was sure the details were probably exaggerated since the people were bored from this student council-led crucible. This lull would soon be broken, however, as school president Nakano-san drew attention to the missing students once again at the end of her speech. The principal's flustered response would be enough to seal and steal the conversation away from Kazu's misfortune, causing him to smirk and applaud. Looks like something compelling did happen after all, jolting his internal battery with unexpected interest. As the principal dismissed them, Kazu tried to muster what energy he could to get to his new homeroom class assignment.

It seems lady luck had given him another boon. Upon arriving at the entrance of class 2-A, a quick scan would reveal that Kaede-chan wasn't in the room. The last thing he needed was for Ayane-chi's best friend to passive-aggressively maltreat him for the majority of the school year. That'll just have to be an after school special, he gleefully thought to himself. Still though, with none of his faux friends in this class, Kazu now had the freedom to choose a seat without having to consider social obligations or follies. With great consideration for his drained state, he dragged himself to a window seat at the very back of the class. Conveniently, the student in front of him seemed tall enough to shield Kazu from the prying eyes of the teachers if he so chooses to rest his eyes. Before he would even attempt to do this though, introducing himself to his seatmate was imperative.

"Yo, buddy. Keep that posture straight, yeah? Chicks dig a sharp stature." Kazu would state in a strained voice after tapping his classmate's shoulder. As he would do that though, the addled Asakura would soon realize that his new acquaintance was none other than the transfer student who managed to capture the imagination of the gossip grapevine. A piece of work, as one of those jabber-jaws put it. That was the only detail Kazu could recall at the moment but his blue-eyed batchmate could pass for the part. He also gave off a standoffish aura though Kazu wondered if his rap sheet could back up his rep.

"Call me Kazuyoshi, by the way. New to the school, yeah?" Caution would beat out his curiosity as Kazu opted not to ask details during the literal first time they would speak to each other. If he weren't to open up though, perhaps participating in the canard colloquy would be a better option in knowing more about Kazu's new friend.

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Lord Orgasmo
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April 9th. Speaking with:

Genki slid down with his finger on the top of his phone. Looks like the assembly was about to start, he'd better get inside to find somewhere to sit in the gym. Luckily the entrance and the gymnasium were but a hop, skip, and jump away, and Genki made it there with plenty of time to spare. Striding over to the nearest seat he could find, he sat down amongst the masses, and listened to the announcement.

The beginning was exactly as you'd expect. Teachers praising the school for this and that, what their hopes would be for the school year, which Genki was pretty sure at least one of the teachers repeated word for word what they said last year. There was also the renovations to the school. Genki didn't really notice much difference, other than the occasional fresh coat of paint. But there was also a new auditorium, where gatherings like this would be taking place instead. All in all though it was just as boring as last year.

Then there was the Student Council President. Maybe she'd have something interesting to say? Some new after school clubs? A change in school codes what with all the disappearances? It took all but three sentences before Genki was rolling his eyes. It was just one of those boring speeches that was supposed to inspire the students. He'd heard speeches like this a thousand times before, all of them with the same "We'll fight the challenges ahead together!" Or "I'm so excited to start this year and see you all grow!" You want to give a speech to a bunch of students? Tell them the year is basically going to be like last year but faster. At least that way they'll know what they're in for. The one interesting thing was the talk of the disappearing students, though it was kind of old news to Genki at this point. It happened 5 months ago, not yesterday for God's sake. But, fortunately, that was the end, and they could all retreat to their classrooms.

A quick look at the board by the gym told Genki exactly where to go. The classroom wasn't too far, only being on the second floor. Next year was probably going to be a bitch and a half walking up all those stairs. But that wasna future Genki problem. Going up the stairs and around the corner, Genki found himself in his classroom. It looked... exactly the same as his first year classroom, the only difference being that the dry erase board had a smartboard in the middle of it.

Stepping in, he picked the first desk he saw and hopped in its seat. It was right in the front corner of the room, closest to the door. Not quite his first choice, but at least here he'd likely be first to leave, and being so close to the door meant he had another thirty seconds or so to screw around before class. And he wouldn't have to walk through rows of people every time he wanted to get up. This did also mean that he couldn't exactly slack off in class, unless he got to be really good friends with his teachers. He learned back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling. This was going to be a long adjustment after all the time off.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Asura
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Asura Ominous

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April 9th 2018

Hinotori Highschool

Without too much else to do, Noriaki opted to simply sit in silence at his new seat. There was always the option to continue messing about on his phone, but he was pretty sure this school didn't exactly allow for those in class, and he didn't need the teacher giving him any more flak on the first day than they were already wont to do. He at least had a nice view of the sunny sky he had been cursing just hours earlier.

Not that it was much of a sop. Even under a bright sky he couldn't shake the ominous events from the night before. He cursed the council president and her insistence on reminding the school about those stupid ghost stories. Luckily, he wouldn't have the silence to contemplate too far. A pair of fingers tapped against his shoulder, the source behind him. He turned just in time to hear the guy behind him, who had apparently chosen the seat there while he was predisposed with his daydreaming.

"And you would know?"

He fired back with an arched brow, perhaps a little more testily than he had intended. He had to remind himself he was new there, and it wasn't too good of a look to be making enemies on the first day. Foul mood or no, he had promised to try having a good time.

"... You can call me Hoshino. Hoshino Noriaki. Just got here from Osaka last week." That response came out less terse than the last, and he turned in his seat so he could offer a firm hand to his new classmate. Hopefully that would dispel any notion of being standoffish.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by WXer
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WXer オラ・オラ・オラ!

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"Hell yeah, broski!" Kazu would enthusiastically reply without a second thought, completely missing the inflection in his classmate's voice. His sudden high spirits would quickly subside though as he realized the implied infidelity in the response, wiping away his smile and replacing it with a gnarled smirk. Luckily, he wouldn't have to stew about this for too long as Hoshino-san revealed his name and where he had just come from. That distinct Osakan accent certainly caught Kazu's attention. Perhaps this was why rumours had circulated about Noriaki? Didn't seem like that big of a deal however.

As Noriaki extended his hand, Kazu was quick to grab it. Instead of a customary and expected handshake though, the overly familiar Kazuyoshi would pull himself in to bump shoulders with his seatmate while patting Noriaki's back with his free hand. After a brief moment, he would release his hold and lean back on his seat. The smile had returned on his face, realizing that after months of no social contact, he had finally made a friend outside of his previous clique. At least, he hopes so.

"Kind of straightforward of you to offer that, yeah? But hey, if you're free later, I can show you around the cool the places around the neighbourhood." Again, his mouth spoke faster than his mind could think. No establishment within the immediate area could really be considered cool. Still though, this was a welcomed distraction from Kazu's present reality. Maybe they could just wander about and pass the time?..

It dawned on him that it's been quite a while since he just hung out with a person that wasn't Ayane or without his bike. What the hell could you possibly do around here after class with such limited options?

Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by psych0pomp
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psych0pomp B E H O L D / i'm shiny

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Maki looked around, taking in the new construction as people filed in. The shiny coat of paint wouldn’t fix years of emotional damage that Hinotori High did to its students. They’d remember it fondly—sure. But right now, she’d be fine with spray painting tits, ass, and dicks on the walls. At least it would be more interesting watching paint dry on a well-endowed, hot-pink dick than listening to teachers talk about the new experiences that come with a new year. Maki gagged.

She grabbed the headphones out of her bag, moving it for her other classmates to sit down. The rebellious streak in her wanted to tell them to fuck it, but she feared the students who might take it as an invitation to the zipper on her bag. Maki slipped her headphones on and grabbed her phone.

[64 New Messages]

Honestly, she didn’t know why she stayed in that group chat. Maybe it would be a sign of weakness to leave. Maybe it was nice to know what they were saying to her face rather than behind her back. Though, she wondered what was said there as well. She flicked the notifications away and pulled up her playlist. She started the next song, letting the hum of conversation get drowned out by a loud guitar riff. Her finger hovered over the “Archived Messages” on her phone. The first name was Shiro. Maki bit her lip and locked the screen on her phone. She leaned her head back, trying to just let all those stupid thoughts fade.

“Butterfly,” Maki grunted out as she woke up. The music in her headphones was still going, but she was on a new album now. She blinked blearily. Half-expecting for the assembly to be over and her to be alone at the assembly, she found that it was still going. Damn! Is this shit still going on? By that time the Student Council President was in front of the microphone. Maki peeled the headphones off, her mind still reeling from the odd dream she’d had. It felt like déjà vu.

Wiping the side of her mouth, she focused on the Class President. Maki knew the girl—Nakano. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the other’s current position, Maki might have respected her. Nakano knew her shit, and she had stepped up in the wake of the previous president’s disappearance. That thought collided with Nakano’s words. Maki kept her eyes forward as she stuffed her phone and headphones away. She’d forgotten about the missing students. It wasn’t because they were forgettable, but more that it was hard to focus on that and everything else. Maki had known a few of them, but none of them on a personal level. It sucked, but what good would do to think about it now? They were gone. As Maki concluded that thought, so did the assembly. She let a few people leave before she followed suit. Back at it…

Maki chose a seat in the middle back. It wasn’t that she enjoyed playing into the rebel stereotype, but it was harder for her classmates to vandalize her jacket or hair if they couldn’t get to it. She glanced back to her phone.

[72 New Messages]

Opening it up, she saw where people were hypothesizing that Maki had done something to the missing students. Oh come the fuck on! She glanced around. Seriously? She narrowed her eyes as she glanced at the front of the classroom. Fine. If they wanted gossip, Maki would give them gossip.

She walked towards the board at the front of the class and took the marker from its place in the metal holder. Maki didn’t know if it was her imagination or reality, but it became quieter as she started to write on the board with acuity and speed that came from working with sloppy mediums in short time frames.

Maki finished, taking a step back to glance over her work. There was a bit of an artistic flourish to her writing style that wasn’t outright identifiable, but it narrowed down the guesses. And at the bottom, she signed with a little butterfly. It was still hovering in her mind from her accidental nap. Honestly, it'd taken space there for a while now. She couldn't say when it'd moved in rent-free, but it wasn't leaving. Chatter started up from the class as Maki placed the marker back and returned to her seat with a smile plastered on her dark lips. Yeah, yeah... it was a shitty move.

| 𝖳𝖠𝖦(𝖲) : N/A |
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Asura
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Asura Ominous

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April 9th 2018

Hinotori Highschool

It seemed Noriaki's gestured worked, albeit a little too well. Before he knew it he was being pulled shoulder-to-shoulder with the mouthy boy behind him, a hand circling round to pat him on the back. It wasn't exactly a gesture he was unfamiliar with, but it certainly wasn't one he was used to receiving from someone still so unfamiliar with him. It was better than the alternative, at the very least—having someone friendly to talk with would go a long way in putting down some roots in this new town. Roots he direly needed to start forming.

"Man, you're the one askin' me to call you by your first name and givin' out hugs." He replied to the accusation of straightforwardness, as if that was a bad thing in the first place. It wasn't something this guy had any business scolding others for, that much was for certain.

Still, for all his over-enthusiasm, Kazuyoshi did present him with an intriguing offer. Noriaki had intended to spend the hours after school wandering around the neighborhood to familiarize himself with the area, and having a local there to show him the notable spots would be helpful. He just hadn't expected someone to offer this quickly. He would have to text his mother so she wouldn't get to worrying, but surely this was the kind of thing she wanted him to be getting up to in the first place, seeing as though he didn't have baseball practice to eat up the hours anymore.

His brief moment of contemplation ended almost as quickly as it had begun, and he shrugged. Who cared? It beat sitting around at home staring at the walls.

"Eh, why not? Was already gonna go exploring, and I gotta get around to finding a pet store sooner or later anyway..."
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