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Author Topic: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Seasons - OdaPon (June 15, 2018)]  (Read 15347 times)

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Detour 1 + Checkpoint 30 (May 11, 2018)] <AOI>
« Reply #120 on: May 11, 2018, 10:05:39 PM »
It's exam season, so I'm not quite writing, but... luckily, I actually did write over the hiatus! Kind of! That's why I have enough material to update with until exam season ends.

@Minami-chan: Do you think you can solve the mystery in the newest checkpoint? Hehe~
@four4four Techi's our adorable yet cool main character. Although she ended up not doing much in the previous arc. TechiNeru did resurface at around the same place since Neru swam toward Techi at the end.





Detour 1


The air conditioning buzzed in a classroom located at a wing of the building far from the Keyaki class classroom. Light filtered in from the windows but hit a collection of canvases, sketchbooks, and art supplies rather than desks.

A black haired girl whose hair was tied into pigtails sat at a stool, drawing. She wore the Sakamichi uniform, not the Keyaki class uniform, and a weak pair of glasses. On her paper, she sketched out water and a siren with the precision expected of the art club president. She paused, wondering what was missing from her mental image.

Quietly, she set down on her pencil and touched the paper, placing her index finger on the empty face of the siren. That was what was missing, but she knew not how to fill in the blank.

Then, the door to the art club room opened.

Hearing that sound, the girl with pigtails turned around to see who it was. Seeing another girl wearing the same uniform, her hair not tied up, the art club president smiled.

“Memi, there’s no one else here today.” The girl who entered the room came over to Memi and took a seat on a nearby stool.

“Yea, we don’t have any club meetings over summer vacation.” Memi explained. She was still at school, living in the dorms, due to her own circumstances. However, most students went home. “Manafi, did the literature club meet today?”

Mana nodded, “The president wanted to apply for the club summer camp.”

“Isn’t that for sports clubs to have an extra training camp?” Memi asked.

The club summer camp was an annual activity at the school that clubs go apply for. During the middle of summer break, a building in the school would be used for a pseudo-club dorm where each club that applied got a large room fit for the size of the participants of the camp. The sports clubs, as they still met over the summer, used the camp as an opportunity for a three day intense all-day practice and team bonding.

“Mostly.” Mana answered.

“The art club wasn’t going to participate. Is it fun?”

“The upperclassmen said that it was like a big sleepover. Apparently, last year, they wrote some crazy things in the middle of the night, but the teacher didn’t let them publish those stories for the school festival.”

“Eh, I want to read that.”

“I have a copy!”

“Can I borrow it?”

“Sure.”

“Maybe this year, they’ll write fanfiction about the Keyaki class.”

“N-san on the site is actually that upperclassman.”

“I… did not expect that.”

The pair chatted quietly. Memi set her drawing aside and decided to cling onto Mana in a somewhat spoiled manner.

Mana smiled, “Memi, let’s participate in the summer camp together.”

“I guess I’ll intrude on the literature club for a bit.”


Checkpoint 30


By the time the Keyaki class returned to the dorms, there was a dark package in the lounge area. Hirate Yurina stepped forward, picking it up, looking over the strange case at a number of angles.

“What is it?” Yuuka asked curiously.

Sato Shiori wondered aloud, “Is this the first task that we’re supposed to do?”

Coming up to the short haired girl, Aoi prodded at the package, crouching to look at it from below, “But, it’s just a dark box, isn’t it?” She gave it a jab in a slightly caved in area of the package, and a small cracking sound come out.

“Did you break it?” Risa half jokingly asked.

Just as Aoi was about to retort, Yurina shook the box. Out came a small portion of a white card with a bit of text written on it in small golden font.

The short haired girl removed the card from the box and murmured, “No, this is… a recipient.” Then, her eyes widened in surprise, causing her to drop the card by accident.

Neru picked up the card. “Yukiteru?” She read the name written in English letters on the top of the card. “I wonder who that is.”

“Let me see.” Imaizumi came up to the front as well, squeezing in between her taller classmates.

Neru read, “It says to deliver it to a persimmon flower blooming from a bud but not yet a fruit.“

“What’s that even supposed to mean?” Yui-pon asked Imaizumi.

The girls pondered about it for a while, some dropping in suggestions. However, as they had all summer and no one was hurting for points, the girls gave up rather quickly.

Akane shook the box, trying to pry it open to get some more clues. They couldn't even open the box, leaving the class curious about what was inside. Manaka took a seat nearby and made Risa sit on her lap while she laughed at her friend's frustration.

Yuuka took the box out of her roommate's hands and handed it back to Yurina, “Techi should hold onto it.”

“Huh?” Surprised, Yurina took the box.

“I don't think we're making progress like this, so we should probably stop and come back to it with a fresh head later.” Yuuka glanced toward Oda Nana who was trying to snap pictures of Yui-pon while Suzumoto snapped pictures of Oda Nana. She turned back to Yurina. “I think you're the best detective in the class.”

The girls who were still paying attention gestured in agreement.

Yurina eyed the box in her hands warily but nodded that she would hold onto it. When Neru returned the card, the short haired girl flipped it over to the blank side and tucked it back where it came from. She let out a light sigh that only her roommate noticed, but Neru said nothing.


—Please don’t say that.


Night fell late. The sounds of the cicadas outdoor in summer couldn’t be heard in the dorms. Harada Aoi stepped out of Yuuka’s room, closing the door behind her, closing off the sounds her friends playing cards, into the hallway.

Just as the childish girl let out a sigh, she suddenly heard a voice, “Aoi, what’s wrong?”

Kobayashi Yui was walking down the hallway. She held some clothes, a pillow, and some daily necessities in her hands. Yui-pon noticed an upset look on Aoi’s face.

“I-It’s nothing.” Aoi shook her head unconvincingly, but she redirected the conversation, “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to sleep over at Zuumin’s place.” Yui-pon answered without elaborating. She was holding more than just one night’s worth of stuff.

The classmates shared an awkward moment of silence. Laughing a little at their unusual situation, they parted ways.

Aoi headed back into Yuuka’s room. She saw her friends waiting for her to rejoin their game. She couldn’t help but grin.


“We can’t start without you. Come on, hurry up.”


When Aoi and her friends stopped playing, time had gotten rather late. Yawning, knowing that it was way past her normal bedtime, Aoi made her way back to her dorm room. Fumbling with the door a little bit, she managed to get inside. The lights were off, her roommate already asleep.

Aoi quietly came into the room, sliding into her seat at her desk. Looking at the digital clock on the table, she could make out the time to be past midnight. She thought to go to sleep, but she wanted to do a little bit more.

Turning on her desk’s lamp to the lowest brightness setting, Aoi retrieved a small journal from her desk.

She started drawing a picture of what she did today like a picture diary. Aoi didn’t want to let her classmates to know about her diary since she was afraid that they would tease her for it. Her drawings weren’t the best, so she left some space to paste in a photo once she got some printed.

Suddenly, her roommate roused and mumbled, “Aoi-chan...? Still not asleep?”

“Sorry, Shiichan. I’ll go to sleep soon.” Aoi replied to her roommate, Sato. “I’m not bothering you, am I?”

Readjusting in her sheets, Sato returned to sleep, “No, it’s okay. Don’t sleep too late...”

Aoi started writing. ‘Today, I went to pool. I had lots of fun. We ate ice cream and played a bunch of games. Techi, Akanen, and Risa raced.’

Continuing, she jotted down the unlucky incident that occurred, ‘Miichan got a cramp, but I wasn’t able to help her. Luckily, nothing happened since Techi immediately jumped to the rescue. That was really cool, but I felt bad about how I wasn’t about to help.

‘I wonder if I’m a good friend sometimes.’

Aoi stopped her pencil. She shook her head at her 1:27 AM type of thought, but she didn’t erase that sentence.

She finished writing her diary for the day, including the strange task that the class received and the fun that she had with her friends. Although the writing was a bit unorganized, she closed her journal and tucked it back into its hiding place.

As she got ready for bed, tucking in under her thin summer blanket, Aoi smiled, thinking about her friends in the Keyaki class. She really loved those big sister-like figures who could sometimes be more immature than she was.

That was why she wanted to be with them.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:00:39 PM by Shinoki »

Offline Minami-chan

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Poor Aoi.


‘I wonder if I’m a good friend sometimes.’


Why does she feel that way?


Offline four4four

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Detour 1:
Is this a new ship?

Checkpoint 30:
Who is this 'Yukiteru'? Sounds familiar... That or I am thinking of something else. :lol:
So this box is important to Techi's past?
And the diary seems like it will be important in the future.

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 31 (May 17, 2018)] <AOI>
« Reply #123 on: May 17, 2018, 09:59:45 PM »
@four4four: ManaMemi/MemiFii could be considered a new ship. Hiragana-chans will feature in the Detours (although I don't think they'll really be taking a large role on the main stage of the story). As for Yukiteru, he has been mentioned before (Interlude 4, if you want to check). Huhu.
@Minami-chan: Aoi's feelings can partially be attributed to the whole mess of the previous arc (where she wasn't able to do anything).


Checkpoint 31


With the summer sun bright in the sky, a yellow-green-ish tennis ball flew through the sky like a miniature blazing sun, going back and forth across the net. The Sakamichi tennis club was engaged in a match with another school’s, Majisuka, tennis club.

Akane intensely played against the other school’s player, a girl named Yokoyama. It was a somewhat rare chance as she couldn’t quite play at away games, the Keyaki class forbidden from leaving the large Sakamichi campus. Nonetheless, Akane was a bit of a secret weapon for home games on the tennis team.

Huffing and puffing, Aoi ran over to the tennis court spectating area out of breath. She complained as she reached the Keyaki class group that had come to watch Akane play tennis, “No one reminded me of this…”

Akane’s usual friend group and Yuuka had come along.

“We didn’t know if you wanted to come watch.” Fuyuka chuckled, “Well, you’re here now, Aoi. Not too late.”

“I guess that’s true.” Aoi pouted. She turned her eyes toward the tennis court.

The referee suddenly called, “Fifteen-love!” Akane fumbled up for a moment, letting the ball hit the ground on her side.

“Akanen! You can do it!” Aoi yelled out.

Following Aoi’s surprising lead, Yuuka cupped her hands around her mouth and cheered as well, “Akanen! Do your best!”

Akane wiped away some of the sweat on her forehead. She glanced at her friends happily. Even though her other schoolmates were also cheering, Akane heard her classmates. The competitive girl’s eyes lingered on her roommate for a little longer than the they did on the others, and the roommate pair shared a look of confidence for the game.

She went back into the game, burning with spirit.

Aoi watched the ball and the players intensely. She nearly got lost in the game until she heard the referee call out, “Game point!” Aoi had tuned out the other calls.

Risa casually tapped Aoi on the shoulder, “Hey, not taking any pictures?”

“Oh, yea.” Aoi blushed. She had forgotten about her camera in her enthusiasm for the match.

Using the camera, she snapped a number of pictures of Akane in action. Of course, she also took the chance to get some pictures of her classmates cheering. Before Aoi knew it, the match finished.

“Match set! Sakamichi’s Moriya wins the match!”

After Akane chatted with her opponent and shook hands in a friendly manner, Aoi and the others came over to congratulate her. Aoi made sure to get a nice picture of Akane being lifted up off the ground in cheers.



In the afternoon, Aoi walked through the school hallways with her roommate, Sato Shiori. Randomly wandering around, wondering what to spend her time doing after lunch, Aoi happened upon Sato and ended up offering to help move a painting for her. Thus, the two of them headed toward the art club room.

They passed by Neru who chatted with them for a bit. However, Neru seemed to be occupied with something. The latecomer was alone, but she received a phone call before she had to leave.

Aoi inquired, “Shiichan, you’re a member of the art club, right?”

“I’m kind of half a member. I’m not really an official member since I never really joined, but I still participate in the activities. I think I’m what they call an honorary member.” Sato rambled a little in response.

Aoi nodded, taking in the information.

They quickly reached the art club room. No one was present beside the canvases and art supplies spread across the room. Aoi entered, looking at the eclectic collection of works in various states of progress and completion.

She spotted a incomplete picture of a mermaid without a face. Something about the emotions in that piece of art struck her.

“Ah, what’s that one?” Aoi pointed at it.

“The club president’s drawing that. She’s in our year, but I respect her art.” Sato explained. “Oh, she’s named Kakizaki Memi.”

Aoi wondered at the spelling of the name, what kanji was used, but she let that thought flutter away. She followed her roommate through the art club room until they reached a canvas that was covered by a cloth.

Sato unclothed the canvas revealing a shining painting of a Keyaki tree, “This is the piece that we have to submit.”

Her mouth dropping open, Aoi’s eyes took in the painting, glittering. She felt that her roommate was really amazing as she herself couldn’t paint something like that.

The two of them successfully transported the painting to another room.



The sound of the basketball hitting the rim of the hoop, rolling around seemingly wobbly but entering nonetheless, was nostalgic. Hirate Yurina caught the ball as it bounced off the ground.

Holding the ball, attempting yet failing to spin it on her finger, the short haired girl sighed. She no longer played the game like she used to. As much as she could feel the texture of the ball, she could also feel a throbbing phantom pain in her hands and in her heart.

“Hey, Techi!” Then, a voice called out the Yurina.

Turning around, the short haired girl saw Aoi. “Aoi-chan.”

“You haven’t headed back to the dorms yet?”

“You haven’t either. I’ll go back later.”

“You like basketball a lot, huh?”

“Not particularly.” Had she been asked the questioned a few years ago, she would have answered yes, but at the particular moment, Yurina couldn’t choose a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ “I just played it a lot with… my family when I was younger.”

Then, Aoi’s stomach grumbled. She blushed in embarrassment a little. The sun had set, the sky beginning to darken. Of course, it was already time to eat dinner.

Yurina told Aoi, “You should head back before me and eat dinner.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to head back together?”

“It’s okay.”

“Sure then. See you later, Techi.”

“Yea, see you.”

After Aoi left, Yurina dribbled the ball a little bit and went further back. Mentally imagining a game situation that she had once seen before, she moved and she tried to throw the ball. This time it missed, clanging on the rim but bouncing off.

She mumbled, “Hey, I wonder how you did it…”


« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 07:12:23 PM by Shinoki »

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 31 (May 17, 2018)] <AOI>
« Reply #124 on: May 17, 2018, 11:48:15 PM »
many thanks
You're right, maybe Aoi just felt that way because of what happened in the afternoon at the pool.
Thanks for following the story, the updates are greatly appreciated.

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32 (May 26, 2018)] <AOI>
« Reply #125 on: May 26, 2018, 07:11:30 PM »
What a disorganized chapter... sorry for the wait!
@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading!


Checkpoint 32


Her eyes were intense, dark and endless. Even though that wasn’t quite the right way to describe them, even though the sky was already darkening, her aura still overwhelmed the artist.

‘Ahh… this person is…’ Such a thought perhaps fleetingly touched upon the artist’s mind. Yet, not from thought but rather from some sort of instinct, the artist was drawn to her and began to draw, drawn into a curiosity of an unknown.



Clang! Clang! Clunk! The ball entered the hoop.

Hirate Yurina wiped away the sweat on her forehead, her bangs a little damp. She let the ball hit the ground, bounce and roll to a stop on the empty court. Glancing around, she saw that it was already dark. Some lamps were lighting the campus, and the moon was covered by clouds that had appeared during the night.

Knowing that she couldn't just let the ball roll off, she walked over to retrieve it.

To her surprise, Yurina found a girl, a normal student, intently drawing while sitting on a nearby bench that faced the court. Pausing as she picked up the ball, the short haired girl stared at the artist. Black hair tied in pigtails, a pair of glasses, and light skin under dim lighting, the drawing girl was like a French doll.

“Oh.” Then, the drawing girl lifted her head, making a voice of surprise at seeing Yurina.

Yurina inquired of the girl, “What's your name?”

“Kakizaki Memi. You're Hirate Yurina-san, right?”

“Yea.”

“I'm sorry if I intruded on you playing.” Memi smiled apologetically. She removed her glasses, rubbing her eyes a little as she had been focusing them too hard on her sketchbook. “I must have lost track of time when drawing.”

“You didn't intrude. What were you drawing?”

“It's a bit embarrassing… but I guess I can show you.” Memi opened up the sketchbook so that Yurina could see.

On the paper was a lonely moon in a starless night sky, too high above the flower covered ground to be reached. Even though there was no moon in the sky right now, Memi’s hands had moved. This was the image that she had thought of when watching Yurina. As much as she wasn’t drawing the short haired girl, she was.

Reaching the moon on the paper with her fingers, Memi spoke, “It’s only a draft though. I might change the drawing.”

“You’re amazing, Memi-san.”

“Not really.”

“You are.”

“…are you like this with everyone?” Memi grumbled, feeling a little flustered with Yurina’s prodding. “Your fans will be surprised.”

“They'll just have to deal with it, Kakizaki-san.”

“You're very interesting, huh.”

It was Yurina’s turn to be embarrassed. “Eh…”

The pair looked up at the sky in silence. The clouds parted, showing the moon’s shadow. Yurina tossed the ball in her hands into the bin that it belonged in, watching it fly through the air with a clean curve.

“I’ll look forward to seeing the finished piece.”



Aoi wondered to herself why Yurina and Neru were such a mysterious pair of roommates. It wasn't that they were all that aloof or enigmatic, but there was just some sort of aura about the pair. Of course, it could have just been Aoi’s own late night thoughts. Walking out of the dorms for a stroll, she noticed Neru talking heatedly on the phone under the shadow of a tree. Both Yurina and Neru were out rather late. Aoi hadn't spotted the short hair girl back at the dorm yet.

“…I disagree…” Neru spoke, but Aoi couldn't catch most of the conversation. “…that person…” Neru hung up on the call with a huff.

“Neru-" Aoi called out to Neru.

“Aoi?” Neru interrupted Aoi, taking control of the conversation. “You’re out late.”

Aoi prodded curiously, “You are too. I’m just taking a walk. What were you doing?”

Needing to make up an excuse on the spot, Neru quickly replied, “Just calling a cousin.” She sheepishly smiled.

“Cousin?” Aoi was convinced. Hearing the word cousin, she couldn’t help but think about Yuuka’s situation where a strange man tried to break into her friend’s happy school life with Akane. Since Neru looked to be arguing, Aoi’s voice couldn’t help but hold a sprinkle of worry.

Neru quickly shook her hands in the air, gesturing reassurance, “Ah, it was nothing bad. He was just complaining about how his teacher caught him and his boyfriend kissing in the classroom after school. He’s a bit immature, so I ended up scolding him a little.”

“He has a boyfriend?” Aoi pouted, reassured, “Lucky~”

“We’re in a girls’ school after all.” Neru laughed.

“Yea. Techi’s the closest thing we have to a boy.”

“Yurina-chan is a cute, cute girl.”

“That’s mostly to Neru.”

“What can I say?”

“Oh, yea. Have you seen Techi though?” Aoi inquired. “She was out at the basketball court way out there, but she hasn’t come back to the dorms yet.”

“I haven’t seen her much the whole day. I’ll drop by there.” Somehow, Neru seemed distracted as she spoke.



Kakizaki Memi passed by a girl, a person who she had never talked to but could recognize, as she started heading back from the court. The artist paused for a moment, imagining painting water, a tumultuous ocean.

Nagahama Neru seemed a little different.



Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter. In the end, the moon was once more hidden behind the clouds, which let down a light summer rain. Hirate Yurina suddenly felt a pair of hands covering up her eyes coming from behind.

“Guess who.” The owner of the hands said.

Yurina gently removed the hands, “Neru. What are you doing here so late?”

“Looking for you.”

“Sorr-”

“I haven’t seen you for the whole day. Let me recharge a little.”

“Ah, it’s already tomorrow, isn’t it?”

Neru nodded, and then she looked up, putting a hand on her head to try to block the rain, “We should head back before the rain gets heavier.”

“Hey, Neru. Can I tell you something?”

“Of course.”


« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 09:45:24 PM by Shinoki »

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32 (May 26, 2018)] <AOI>
« Reply #126 on: May 28, 2018, 12:25:10 AM »

Neru nodded, and then she looked up, putting a hand on her head to try to block the rain, “We should head back before the rain gets heavier.”

“Hey, Neru. Can I tell you something?”

“Of course.”

What? WHAT? Noooo! this is to leave us with honey on the lips.

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
« Reply #127 on: May 28, 2018, 03:35:09 PM »
@Minami-chan: My cruel foreshadowing will bear fruit next (well, technically this week, most likely) week!

For the time being, I have 2 one-shots.




Floating Away


The seasons changed. The cherry blossoms, they’re once more in full bloom. Blowing, the wind tore away a smattering of pink and white petals, letting them fly away in the wind. So fleeting, so ephemeral, so early to die, saying those same words over and over again, I wondered if I regretted it.

Wearing this same uniform, I had exited the school building, but I could no longer go back. No matter how many times, no matter what world it was, I just wished that I could see your face again.

If I closed my eyes, then perhaps, I could see your face. If I closed my ears, then perhaps, I could hear your voice.

I wished that I stayed at your side on that day, that I could have. I wanted to apologize. Not to everyone, only to you, and more than anything, I just wanted to hold onto your hand, not to look into the water and see your reflection gone.

Perhaps we already died beforehand. One of us. I wondered when we changed.

I let myself fall into the river with a splash, floating along with the cherry blossom petals. I was sure that people stared at me strangely; I was strange. The water pooled upward, covering my body with coldness. I closed my eyes.

So I called out in a wish.


Please let me see you again.
Whoever exists out there that can grant my only wish.
Please let me meet Yuzuki again.



And then I thought, what a cruel god watching, as I opened my eyes to the classroom.





Your Time


A small sequence of numbers on the body of people, their wrist, maybe their neck, their side, maybe their hand, Watanabe Risa could see a small number ticking down to nothing little by little like the alarm clock on her smartphone. On her own inner wrist, she could see the white timer ticking down.

She had first realized that these numbers were death on her grandfather’s birthday and death day. When he, a man who had always pampered her, collapsed and the extended family ran to him to try to revive him, calling the hospital, she had seen the numbers hit zero. No matter what they tried to do, he died, and the timer disappeared.

Closing her eyes as she sat at her desk in the classroom, Risa could remember countless numbers of times where the numbers ticked down to nothing, and those who fought to save the dying failed. She hated passing accident scenes, looking at the people there.

A voice of a friend, Yuuka, called out to her, “Risa?”

“Are you already asleep? Class hasn’t even started yet.” Another friend, Akane, laughed, seeing Risa’s eyes closed and not responding to Yuuka’s call.

Risa opened her eyes and responded coolly, “I’m awake.” In the first place, she had been sitting up straight in her seat.

Risa glanced up at the clock on the wall. There was still a good ten minutes before class actually started, the time when she would likely end up falling asleep from the annoying teacher’s rambling. That teacher never taught anyways, so everyone just studied from the textbooks.

After the friends greeted each other, they chatted for a bit. Before long, there was only a little bit of time before class. Everyone in the class went to their seats and waited for the teacher.

Risa leaned back in her chair a little, placing the back of her hands over her eyes. It was tiring, seeing the numbers endlessly changing. Even her two best friends, Yuuka and Akane, had numbers, and those numbers were extremely close to each others, meaning that right after Akane died, Yuuka would die too. It was good that their timers weren’t in easily seen places.

The seat behind Risa was empty, always empty.

It seemed that originally someone else was supposed to be in their class, but that person never showed up. The teacher had long since stopped calling that person’s name in roll, so Risa couldn’t remember the name.

The door to the classroom opened with its usual sound.

Risa sat up properly again and looked toward the door, expecting the homeroom teacher. To her surprise, instead of that old man, there was a girl.

The class murmured, wondering who that girl was. No one knew who she was, not even the people who had friends in other grade levels and in other classes.

The mysterious girl took the empty seat behind Risa, looking somewhat awkward despite her cool exterior. Risa looked at the unknown girl. This new person had dyed short hair and beautiful eyes, and her time to death floated cleanly on her throat, counting down with only 46 days and 21 hours.

Eyes quickly averting from that number, Risa felt that she should look away. She couldn’t help but glance back at the girl who was peering down at her desk, aloof almost but surely actually nervous.

Before Risa could make up her mind on what to say to the girl, the homeroom teacher entered the room.

The teacher glanced over the room. Spotting the unknown girl, he nodded to himself and marked on the roll, “Oh, right. Shida. Shida, right? Shida Manaka’s here today.”

Risa thought to herself, ‘So her name is Manaka.’ She thought that she would forget soon enough because everything was too ephemeral.



Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. In the end, Risa hadn’t talked to Manaka on that first day.

Three days passed. At that point, the class had made their conclusions on their new classmate. When they asked her, Manaka couldn’t reply properly, so they thought her cold and unfriendly. Since she hadn’t been in class, Manaka was also floundering in her studies.

Risa couldn’t really understand why Manaka was even in school, wasting away the last bits of her life. She wondered if the girl knew that her life was going to cease.

It was English class.

The teacher walked around, explaining the English. Risa didn’t particularly care for the lesson and looked out the window, jotting down something once in a while. However, behind her, she could hear Manaka confused to the point that Manaka stopped writing.

Suddenly, the teacher called for Manaka to answer a question. When Manaka couldn’t answer the question, the teacher scowled and berated her, “What are you even coming to school for?”

Manaka looked down at her desk, unwilling to say anything.

Risa couldn’t help but give the teacher the stink-eye.

“Watanabe, answer the question.” The teacher ended up noticing Risa’s expression and went to attack Risa.

By break time, Risa was in a foul mood.

Manaka sat behind her quietly, listening to music out of a pair of blue headphones, while staring out the window. For a moment, Manaka smiled lightly, Risa noticing out of the corner of her eye.

Then, Risa frowned. That smile was something to be preserved, but she found that Manaka hadn’t been smiling much at all during class or in school.

Risa stood up and turned to Manaka. Of course, Manaka didn’t notice her, so Risa tapped Manaka on the shoulder, and Manaka twitched in surprise, eyes widening upon seeing Risa right in front of her, and removed her headphones.

“Don’t waste your time here.” Risa told Manaka.

The classroom was silent; it was as if they could hear a pin drop. Everyone turned to look at the pair’s interactions.
Manaka stared up at Risa with an incomprehensible expression.

Akane broke the silence by suddenly grabbed Risa’s hand and asking in a scolding voice, “Risa, what are you saying?”

There were whispers that Watanabe was finally bullying someone. Risa wasn’t the most popular member of the class, and the way she dressed, thin jacket tied around her waist, a band around her wrist, and earrings didn’t help it.

Risa shook off Akane. “I’m just saying what I think.” She responded.

At this point, Manaka put her headphones back on and took to ignoring the rest of the class and Risa again.

Glancing at the numbers on Manaka’s neck, Risa explained, “It’s a waste of time to be here.” However, the person she wanted to tell was already ignoring her.

Akane sighed, knowing her friend’s failure in communication this time.



The week ended soon enough without Risa managing to clarify what she meant to Manaka. They hadn’t talked at all since despite sitting so close in class. Risa accidentally listened in on a conversation that Manaka had with another classmate about a band that she was passionate about, but apparently, the band was having a concert on a school day and tickets were difficult to get.

Risa couldn’t help but dig out her phone and search up the band, One OK Rock. She huffed silently to herself that the members weren’t all that good looking. Taking out her earbuds, she listened to a few of their songs.

Risa murmured, “...they’re pretty good actually.”

She looked back at Manaka, but quickly averted her eyes when Manaka noticed.

Texting Yuuka, Risa asked for a favor in getting 2 tickets for the band’s upcoming concert. Yuuka gave Risa a knowing smile from across the classroom, but she replied affirmative with a horse emoji in the text.

By the next school day, Yuuka gave Risa the tickets, which Risa quickly hid away. “Good luck on your da-”

Risa quickly put her hand on Yuuka’s mouth. “Thanks, but it’s not that.”

Yuuka giggled, but with the way that Risa was flustered, she could tell that Risa had a little bit of a crush on someone. She eyed a certain girl who sat behind Risa.

“Ew.” Risa quickly removed her hand as Yuuka pretended to lick it.

“I wasn’t actually going to lick you.”

“Akanen would probably get mad at me if you licked me.”

“Would she?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you’ll be skipping class tomorrow anyways, won’t you?”

“Not going to stop me?”

“I got you the tickets, so you might as well have fun, Risa.” Yuuka gave Risa a hard slap on the back, which caught Manaka’s attention for a moment. The friends didn’t notice the other girl’s look.



Concert day arrived. Risa fumbled with the tickets that she had been given, almost crumpling them from nervousness. She waited outside the classroom door with a straight face, but her fidgeting gave her away to her friends. They greeted her and gave a pat of encouragement before entering the classroom as to not scare away her target.

Then, Manaka came along, heading to the classroom with her headphones on.

“Shida.” Risa first called out to Manaka, stuffing the tickets in her pocket. However, Manaka didn’t hear. Thus, Risa grabbed Manaka’s wrist. “Hey.”

Manaka took off her headphones. “What?”

“Let’s go to the concert together and skip.” Risa showed Manaka the One OK Rock tickets.

“...what?”

“Treat it as an apology for saying something rudely before.” Risa said. Then she added on what she actually meant, “I want to talk to you.”

After a sequence of emotions passed through Manaka’s face, Manaka finally answered with an amused grin, “Okay. Sure.”  As Risa had let go of Manaka’s wrist, this time, Manaka took Risa’s hand and dragged her into the classroom, “Let me put my bag in my locker. You hold the tickets until we get to the dome.”

Risa felt her heart speed up a little looking at the bright Manaka. She hoped that her hands weren’t sweaty.

After Manaka dropped off her bag, the pair left the school, much to the chagrin of the teachers who spotted them heading out to skip class. They headed to the station and boarded a train so they could go to the dome where the band was performing.

On the train, Risa watched as Manaka bounced in her seat excitedly. They were the only people wearing school uniforms, shamelessly skipping class, so they stood out quite a bit on the train. From the side, Risa couldn’t see the numbers on Manaka’s neck, but she found herself looking at Manaka’s eyelashes and lips.

Manaka turned to Risa, “So, Watanabe, what did you even mean before?”

“This isn’t really a good place to talk about it.” Risa replied. “But you can call me Risa. There are two Watanabes in our class.”

Seeing Risa’s reluctance to answer, Manaka joked, “Then you might as well call me Manaka.” She didn’t feel that they were close enough to use first names yet, especially with their bad first interaction.

“I suppose I will, Manaka.”

“I don’t really like my name.” Manaka sputtered, flustered.

Risa grinned, “It’s cute like you. Manaka.”

Manaka teased and huffed, “What a sadist, Risa-sama. The way you say things makes people misunderstand.”

Risa awkwardly said, “What I said on your first day was supposed to mean that school sucks.” This wasn’t the whole explanation.

“You’re such a delinquent, encouraging me to skip.”

“Here we are.” Risa shrugged, gesturing that they were indeed skipping.

The train made a stop. People got off; people got on. The seats filled up, but there was an old lady who didn’t have a seat. Manaka didn’t need any prodding for her to get up out of her seat and give it to the old lady who thanked her.

Risa stared at Manaka who was now standing, holding onto the train handles.

Risa stood up and made Manaka sit in her seat, “Take my seat.”

Their roles were reversed now with Risa standing and Manaka sitting. Risa wondered if she should have just stood up without offering the seat because now she could see the numbers of Manaka’s neck. In addition, Manaka looked a bit like a small animal.

They spent the rest of the train ride relatively quietly.



The roaring excitement of the concert blew away any quietness of the trip. In the loud and crowded dome, Manaka waved a light stick and cheered happily. She held Risa’s hand in her hand and swung the cool Watanabe’s arm back and force without minding the expression on Risa’s face.

Risa knew that her arm was going to be sore when it was all over and wondered where Manaka even got all this vitality from.

Nonetheless, when she listened to the band perform and looked at Manaka’s overwhelming joy, Risa couldn’t help but join in on the fun too.

Manaka hugged Risa as the encore chant came on, “Risa-sama, you’re the best! Encore!” She almost kissed Risa.

Risa blushed, but luckily, her blush was hidden in the frenzy of the concert.

The concert ended, and the pair exited the dome. There was still time left in the day to hang out, and as neither girl had really brought much money, they didn’t drop by the places selling goods of the band.

“That was really fun…! I didn’t think I would be able to go to one of their concerts before I d-” Manaka stretched out her arms with a smile that she froze in a middle of as her mouth got away from her.

“Die?” Risa finished quietly, “Yea, you have about 36 days left.”

Manaka laughed awkwardly, “That’s more time than I expected.”

“I think that’s already too little time.” Risa spoke before she could stop herself. She had already accepted that the timer to death couldn’t be paused for anyone, but she still kept seeking Manaka. “You should spend that time having fun instead of wasting it in school or something.”

“Ah, so that’s what you meant.”

“Hm.”

“Thanks. Although coming to school was actually my choice.” Manaka gave a wry smile, “Ah, do I really look that bad though? Like a near-dead person?”

“Not really. You’re beautiful. I’m not actually sure why you’ll die, but I…” Risa wasn’t ready to tell anyone about her special ability. She had never even told her own parents. “I guess I just wanted to see you enjoy the rest of your life more.”

“Why don’t you go out with me until I die then?”

Risa stared into Manaka’s eyes seriously without responding.

Manaka tried to wave her words off as a joke, “I’m jokin-”

“I’m fine with that.” Risa placed her index finger on Manaka’s lips to shush her.

“Risa-sama, you’re really a sadist.”

“Just Risa is fine, Manaka.”



The next morning came. As Risa sat in her seat, eyes closed, Manaka greeted her, showing Risa that their exchange the day before had actually happened. Risa introduced Manaka to Yuuka and Akane, and her new not-quite-girlfriend hit off nicely with her friends.

They spent their next school days together, living a casual everyday of halcyon happiness. Yuuka and Akane helped Manaka with some studying tips, the latter of Risa’s friends even forcing Risa to listen too since Risa didn’t have the best grades.

After school, Risa hung out with Manaka and her friends, finding that Manaka surprisingly didn’t know many of the fun activities that made up a normal high school student’s life. It seemed that she had been sickly.

On the day 25 days before Manaka’s death, Yuuka and Akane ditched Risa to go on a date. Risa and Manaka went to spend their afternoon together without the lovey-dovey pair.

Risa brought Manaka to the arcade. The flashing lights and noises of the arcade were pretty different from the places that they had gone previously.

Manaka pointed at a machine, “I want to play that one.”

Risa looked to where Manaka pointed, “The shooting game is really hard. Are you sure?”

“I’m pretty confident in myself.” Manaka boasted baselessly.

Risa laughed, “Let’s play it then.”

They went to the machine and started up a game. Picking up the toy guns, Manaka and Risa waited as the screen showed a countdown to start. Pew. Pew. Pew. Playing and laughing, they went through a few rounds of the game.

Whenever the attacker on the screen came too close and killed Manaka’s player, Manaka would close her eyes and accidentally stop shooting. Risa giggled at Manaka’s silliness, so in their last round, she helped Manaka shoot the zombie before it killed her player character, Risa’s hands on Manaka’s as they used the toy gun.

The last round was about the only one that Manaka won.

After having their fill of arcade games, they passed by the purikura machines, but unluckily, the machines were out of order. Then, Manaka’s eyes lit up as she saw a crane game machine filled with plushies.

“I’ve only seen these in manga and tv.” Manaka came up to the machine. “Risa, I’m going to get something. That dog plushie.”

Manaka put in some coins and started with the crane. At first, she didn’t even manage to maneuver it properly. She tried again, but each time, the crane’s grip on the plushie wasn’t good enough and the plushie fell again. In her last go, she picked up a plushie, but it ended up being a cat not the dog she wanted.

“I guess dog-Risa-sama wasn’t meant to be.” Manaka sighed as she held the cat plushie.

Risa put her hand on her face as she gave an amused sigh, “What is that name…?” However, she didn’t like the dejected look on Manaka’s face, so she said, “Let me try it.”

Putting a few coins into the machine, Risa moved the crane with Manaka watching intently. Risa failed a few times, but in a final go, she managed to pick up the dog plushie wobbly and it dropped into the chute.

“Risa, you got it!” Manaka cheered and hugged Risa. She pressed the cat plushie’s mouth on Risa’s lips.

Surprised and blushing, Risa couldn’t say anything but pick up the dog plushie from the slot and say, “This is yours.”

“And this one is yours. ‘Nyan. I’m Shida-cat.’” Manaka gave Risa her cat plushie. “Remember me, okay?”

“Yea, I will.”

Risa looked as the numbers, the timer, that ever present white smear, ticked down. Manaka was saying those kinds of things too soon, but everything was going too soon. Risa didn’t know why her chest felt painful.

She couldn’t yet say, ‘I like you.



All this time, Manaka seemed strong, not sickly. Risa was sure that the cause of death wouldn’t be a sudden accident or a heart attack because Manaka had already said that she knew that she would die. However, Manaka never showed her weakness, so Risa could almost forget about the painful truth.

They were walking together with 16 days left.

That was when Manaka suddenly stopped. Cold sweat beaded on her forehead, her face paler than usual, breathing shallow, Manaka looked to be in pain. She dropped down to a crouch and clutched her chest.

“Manaka, are you okay?” Risa asked worriedly. “I’ll call an ambulance right now.” She fumbled for her phone in her bag, having more trouble finding it than she should have.

Manaka nodded, unable to really form words. Then she pointed to her own bag and choked out, “...help… get me the medicine.”

Risa barely managed to call the ambulance, still talking to the ambulance people, but she quickly searched for the medicine, pulling out a surprising number of bottles before she saw Manaka nod and give a shaky signal for 2.

Grabbing her water bottle, Risa helped Manaka swallow the medicine with water.

After what seemed like too long, any bit of pain in the girl who she had fallen for was an endless suffering, Risa finally heard the ambulance. She was holding tightly onto Manaka’s hand as support, looking at the numbers for reassurance that it wasn’t time yet.
Manaka was taken to the hospital in the ambulance.

Risa was unable to go see her because Risa wasn’t a family member.

“It’s not time for you to go yet…” Tears welled up in Risa’s eyes.

Risa knew that doctors could do nothing to extend the time of life, but she wished that they could, just for Manaka. She had seen many people’s lives being fought for desperately against the clock, but she had never seen a success.

Even if Manaka sent her a message saying that she was okay, Risa didn’t believe it.



Manaka stopped coming to school. Yuuka and Akane asked Risa about it, not having gotten responses from Manaka when they contacted her, but when the friends saw Risa’s dejection, they stopped asking. They didn’t know about Manaka’s condition.

Risa visited the hospital everyday since the incident. However, it was only with a little under two weeks left for Manaka that visitors were allowed.

Manaka texted Risa not to come visit her. Instead she explained to Risa her illness.

It was a rare disease resembling both cancer and autoimmune diseases where her body destroyed itself from the inside sporadically with seemingly no pattern, almost like a curse. As a child, she had been especially sickly and always bedridden. However, in the recent year, she had seemingly gotten better, but the doctor projections for her life were still not long.

Asking to meet, Risa called Manaka. Manaka rejected that request with a shaky voice.

Risa repeated her request, “Manaka, please…”

“I’m sorry.” Manaka’s voice nearly broke.

“I lo-” The phone cut off. Risa murmured, “I love you…” She realized that she did.



Risa couldn’t accept what Manaka asked of her. Skipping school, Risa entered the hospital and asked the front desk for Manaka’s room number. She ignored the judgemental look on the nurse’s face and quickly headed to Manaka’s room.

After going up the elevator, walking through the hallway, Risa couldn’t help but pause as she reached Manaka’s room. Then she made up her mind and opened the door without knocking.

Manaka’s eyes widened in surprise. “Risa? Why are you...” Manaka sat in bed, dressed in a hospital gown, looking thin and vulnerable.

“Hey.” Risa greeted Manaka, “Don’t waste your time here.”

“Risa, you’re skipping class.”

“Hm. Let’s go out somewhere together. You still have 9 days, 19 hours, 37 minutes, and 46 seconds left. No less.”

“...what?”

“The time is going down. Let’s go.” Risa gestured that she brought clothes for Manaka to wear instead of a hospital gown.

After a long pause, Manaka gave Risa a weak smile, “Okay, sure.”

Manaka got changed, Risa obediently not looking but rather facing away. Then, the two of them snuck out of the hospital, Risa holding Manaka’s hand and leading the way.

When they passed the parking lot, Risa noticed Manaka glancing at the cars. Risa jokingly said, “Maybe we should go on a drive date.”

“We should hijack a car.” Manaka answered half seriously.

“I don’t know how to drive yet though.” Risa lightly retorted before pondering aloud, “I guess I’ll learn how.”

The two of them boarded a train and headed to their destination. As their train moved along, the sky started raining, drizzling little droplets of water in a sunshower, freshening up the air.

Manaka and Risa passed their ride in relative silence.

When they started walking to their destination, the rain had ceased. They reached an aquarium. There was a small amusement ride outside.

Risa noticed Manaka’s gaze naturally tend toward the ride. It was one where the customers took a seat, buckled up, and the ride threw the seat high into the sky and let it fall back down.

Naturally, Risa took Manaka along to the ride to ride it. Manaka screamed happily as she enjoyed the ride. They ended up riding it twice.

After they got off the ride, they started heading to the main attraction of the aquarium.

“Your hair got a bit messy.” Risa helped Manaka readjust her bangs.

They entered the water wonderland. With blue surrounding all sides only separated by glass, the couple walked entranced. For a moment, they could almost forget their worries, their lack of time left, because this was another world.

Manaka laughed, pointing at a funny faced fish, joking that it looked like Akane when she got overly competitive. Risa smiled because she could see Manaka smiling.

“Risa, these fish are so pretty!” Manaka called out to Risa, having let go of Risa’s hand and gone up ahead. She pointed up to a squad of shiny fish swimming next to a swarm of bright jellyfish.

To Risa, Manaka was the prettiest. Risa unconsciously took out her phone and snapped a picture of Manaka smiling with that fantasy-like background.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help but take a picture.” Risa apologized as she once more held onto Manaka’s hand.

They walked through the aquarium, ate some ice cream and a delicious lunch, and even played with a dolphin. By the time that they finished, it was already getting into late afternoon. Risa wanted their aquarium date to finish with time left before sunset.

Leaving the aquarium, Risa led Manaka to her own special place overlooking the city. They arrived just in time to see the sunset light up the whole place in a melancholic yet striking scene.

“This place looks even more beautiful in the winter.” Risa said aloud even though there was still a number of months before the seasons would change to winter.

They spent the next few minutes watching the sunset in silence.

Finally, Manaka broke the silence with a smile toward Risa, “I had a lot of fun. Thanks, Risa.”

“It’s nothing.” Risa shook her head.

Manaka felt glad that the sky was getting dark as she couldn’t stop the tears glazing over her eyes, “This is really selfish of me to say, but… I’m really glad that you talked to me.”

“Well, I like you after all, Manaka.”

“Risa…”

Risa grabbed onto Manaka’s hands and repeated her words more strongly, voice hitching as she felt herself about to cry, “I love you.” The numbers flickered.

“I love you too.” Manaka replied, tears dropping down from her eyes, “...isn’t it kind of silly… that we fell in love with each other in such a short period of time?” Even though she was smiling, she couldn’t help but cry.

Their first kiss was the taste of tears.



Time flew. Risa skipped again the next day much to Manaka’s scolding. They tried to make the most of the last days that Manaka had left. Risa snuck Manaka out of the hospital a few times, but in the end, they ended up getting intense scoldings and were told to ask for permission.

The doctors and Manaka’s parents didn’t approve of Risa skipping school, but they were aware that they couldn’t change Risa’s feelings for Manaka.

Akane and Yuuka finally found out what was happening, and they promised to help keep Risa up with school. They visited Manaka everyday after school except for when Risa dragged Manaka off away from the hospital.

It was as if Risa would lose track of the days of the week but she wouldn’t lose track of Manaka’s time. She wanted to treasure it, to life it as long as was possible.

Even so, when there was only 1 day, 12 hours, 10 minutes, and 15, no 14, and a utterly unpreservable number of seconds left, Manaka collapsed again. Clutching her body in pain, shivering with an inexplicable cold, Manaka called for Risa who had quickly pressed the call button for the doctors to come.

“Risa… Sorry.” Manaka said weakly, “Please… forget about me.”

“No, I can’t. I-” ‘I love you.’ Risa did.

“You don’t need to say it.” Manaka mustered up the little bit of energy she could to kiss her index finger and put the index finger on Risa’s lips to quiet her.

The doctors and nurses then came in. They forced Risa out of the room and tried to resuscitate Manaka. Risa could only helplessly wait and be told to go home because she would be no help clogging the hallways.

When Risa was allowed back, rather she forced herself in to be able to visit Manaka, not wanting to miss the last day of the life of the girl she loved, Manaka was in a deep coma. The doctors seemed to have no hope left. No matter what, Risa wouldn’t let her be removed from Manaka’s side.

Risa recounted the times that they had spent together to the seemingly peacefully sleeping Manaka. She remember their bad first meeting and their first outing together. She talked about the funny things they did. She talked about Akane and Yuuka and how everyone loved Manaka.

Risa sat vigilantly at Manaka’s bedside, hating the white time numbers more than anything else in the world. The day markers disappeared. The hour markers too disappeared.

The sky was dark, but she didn’t fall asleep; she wouldn’t. The doctors gave up on making Risa leave. Tears leaked down her cheeks as she saw the last minute marker disappear, and the countdown from 59 seconds to zero started.

“I love you, so please… don’t leave me.” Risa gripped Manaka’s hand and begged to any deity out there, “If there’s anything in this world, please don’t let her die. I’ll trade my life instead, so please….”

Three turned to 2 to 1. And the only step next in the sequence was zero.

So Manaka died, the heart monitor sounding with the flat red line.

Footsteps sounded in the hallway. Doctors came into the room, once more moving Risa to the side, trying to revive Manaka, but the zeroth point had already been met.

Risa cried helplessly, “I won’t forgive you if you let her die…!”



White sequences of numbers, a timer, a countdown to the time of death, Watanabe Risa could see those concepts with her strange eyes. No matter how much she disliked it, as she saw the numbers go down to zero, counting mindlessly like a machine, she always saw the owner of the numbers die.

That was simply how life worked, or rather how death worked.

Risa sat in her chair, wrist above her eyes, and she looked at the numbers on her wrist. She had 30 years and counting down. Yet the numbers were shrinking two seconds per second, twice as fast as normal in an anomaly that she had been granted, a blessing in all honesty.

When she looked beside her, Manaka was asleep, gently breathing as the sunlight filtered in through the blinds. Risa felt Manaka’s heartbeat and warmth through their intertwined hands.

Manaka’s number had risen back to 1 second and stuck there, flickering 1 each time Risa’s number changed seconds.

Risa closed her eyes for a second, and she saw the god of death who she saw that night. As she begged, crying and screaming, the god of death had noticed her, commented on her eyes, and agreed to scythe through her lifeline and attach it to Manaka in a small favor.

It was simply because Risa had the eyes to see death that she had been this lucky. Now, as she opened her eyes again, for a moment, it was as if she couldn’t see the numbers. She could still see the white smears on the world, but if only even a little they had begun to fade.

Manaka stirred in her sleep. A dog plushie and a cat plushie sat sweetly next to her pillow. They were Dog-Risa-sama and Shida-cat, a pair of plushies with a terrible set of names.

“Risa… I love you.” Manaka mumbled in her sleep.

Risa replied gently, “Yea, I love you too.”

“Risa-sama has dog ears… hehe. So cute.” Manaka shifted a little.

“What are you dreaming of…?” Risa sighed, teasing her girlfriend who was still asleep, “Once you get better, I’ll get you some cat ears.”

Manaka was still not completely healthy, but she was getting better. She had to sleep a lot, but bit by bit, she was able to return to a normal life.

While dreaming, Manaka scrunched up her face, “...Risa-sama is a pervert.”

Risa laughed awkwardly, feeling misunderstood. She could feel the warmth of the person she loved, so she was happy.





MonaRisa was a happy ending. Originally, the ending was going to be sad, but I was told by a certain crocodile that I should make it happy or else by penguin-comrades would have their bloody, half-eaten pics shown to me. As far as things go, this happy ending was a little of a deus ex machina, but the kind of happy, fluffy MonaRisa makes me happy, so it's probably okay.

If you're interested in the original ending plan, continue reading. If you want to hold onto happy MonaRisa, you can probably just scroll down past the next section now:



**Mainly branching at the last scene. Manaka dies.
***Risa does not cry out helplessly in the second to last scene.
****The numbers do not flicker, betraying their lack of absoluteness, in the confession and kiss scene.

Risa falls into deep depression, revealing that the number on her wrist is actually very low, only a few months. Risa loses her will to live, something that she didn't have much of from the start. She's always been fatalistic, going on and on in her mind about how the timer is absolute and the zero is death, but Manaka's death tears something more away from her.

Not even trying to fight her own death, Risa's life becomes like a self-fulfilling prophesy. Yuuka and Akanen become worried sick about Risa while still mourning Manaka's departure. However, the friends fail to bring back the Risa who had smiled while loving Manaka.

As Risa's death approaches, she dreams about meeting Manaka again. However, it's merely a dream. She thinks that there's at least a silver lining to death, meeting Manaka again.

The numbers continue to tick down. It feels almost surreal. Glancing down at her inner wrist, the time ticks down to zero. With only one second left, Risa just stops. She gives up. Standing in the middle of the road, she waits for that last second to disappear.


She dies. Even as her friends cry, even as they had tried to save her in the last second that they noticed her stop, Risa's number turns to zero.

At least, she can meet Manaka again.

End Summary



A trivia tip: Techi is the god of death.

Offline MaYukiIsLife

  • Starting to become addicted to Keyakizaka46.
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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
« Reply #128 on: May 28, 2018, 11:44:56 PM »
lol that reference to techi there

Offline four4four

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS (YuzuMiko) (MonaRisa) (May 28, 2018)]
« Reply #129 on: May 30, 2018, 07:41:28 AM »
Wahhh~~~ I am so behind.

I like ships. :)
Would be interesting to see how you could tie them into the main story.
I shall take a look. :)

Checkpoint 31:
Aoi was so mesmerized by Akanen's skills that she forgot to take pictures.
I see that YuukaNen moment. :P
Why doesn't Shiori join the art club officially?
Ooo, Techi with the mysterious dialogue at the end. :O

Checkpoint 32:
A challenger has arrived for Neru. :lol:
Who was Neru talking to on the phone? Suspicious... :?
Ooo, what does Techi want to say? ... Confession of love? :wub:

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
« Reply #130 on: June 10, 2018, 09:43:12 PM »
@four4four: Thank you for reading! Shiichan isn't in the art club officially since she thought that the Keyaki class would be more busy in the beginning but never got around to properly joining after realizing that the Keyaki class is pretty mild. As for what Techi's going to say... well, a storm of drama is going to start?
@MaYukiIsLife: Techi cameos are fun XD

Sorry for the wait! The update has come with two installments!





Checkpoint 32.5


“I used to have a big brother.”

“...yes?” Neru nodded. She felt as if she had heard her roommate once say something about that brother, but Yurina didn’t talk about herself very often.

“He was an amazing person.” The short haired girl didn’t try to block the rain at all. As Neru extended a hand, Yurina simply seemed to slip away. “He was older than me by only two years, the best brother that I could have had, the best person who everyone saw. He taught me a bunch of things, tutored me in the classes I was bad in and even introduced me to basketball.

“He always dragged me along to play. Since I was a pretty shy kid, he helped me make most of my friends. But honestly, it got a little annoying sometimes since I wasn’t good at basketball, and he liked to show off.

“But he was the best big brother I ever had.”

Neru responded, “I’d like to meet him some time.”

Yurina gave Neru a difficult to decipher smile, a sad smile that couldn’t be seen well in the night. The rain rolled down her cheeks, but the short haired girl didn’t cry at all.

At some point, they had been walking back. At some point, they had stopped walking. The rain continued to drizzle down lightly with whispers of sound, not pouring and cancelling everything out with noise. The roommates looked at each other, both with undecipherable emotions flying through a frozen face.

“Sorry, that was meaningless.”

Neru jokingly responded, “Yurina-chan, you were really bragging about him. It makes me a little jealous.”

“Sorry.” Yurina nodded, sheepishly. “Being at the court so late reminded me of this one time we got in trouble for playing too much.”


—I can’t tell her who I killed.


In a neighborhood in the Aichi prefecture, as the fireflies glowed sporadically in the grass and the cicadas chirped, a group of elementary school kids played into the night in the park. The streets were lit by street lamps and the glittering of the unseen stars.

Two boys, one with an androgynous face resembling Yurina and a stocky one, and a pair of girls, one with pigtails and one with short hair, the Yurina of the past, chatted on the basketball area of the park. The Hirate boy held a basketball in his hand.

The pigtails girl pouted cutely at the boy with the basketball, “Yuu-chan, it’s really late. When are we going home?”

The stocky boy pushed the pigtails girl to side and snorted, telling his male friend, “Hey, stop trying to do it.”

Originally, they had come to the park to play on the holiday. However, the boy, Yuu-chan, had gotten into his head to try to dunk backwards, in other words, a reverse dunk. He wasn’t even tall enough to do a proper dunk, but he wanted to try to get the ball in backwards.

“What are you talking about, Ren? Yuu-chan can totally do it!” The pigtails girl growled, pushing the stocky boy to the side in their usual playful argumentative style.

“Weren’t you just saying ‘let’s go home?’” The boy, Ren, grumbled and flippantly said, “Girls like you are so weird. Miki the weirdo.” He made a face as if the girl, Miki had cooties.

Miki grabbed Ren by the shoulders, “Hey! Who are you calling a weirdo!?”

“You’re a weirdo.” Ren stuttered before retorting.

Miki then turned to the short haired girl next to her and strongly called out, “Yurina, back me up here! Us girls verses Ren.”

“Eh?” The short haired girl was taken by surprise.

Miki took Yurina’s hand, “Come on, don’t be so boring. Be cool like Yuu-chan.”

Ren shouted, “Hey! No fair!”

Yurina didn’t know how to arbitrate the argument. Miki was her classmate and her closest friend, a friendship brought together by Yuu-chan who was Yurina’s brother. Ren was in the grade above them, but he was a nice boy who had protected Yurina from a garden snake.

Saving Yurina, her brother moved the arguing duo apart, “Don’t argue, you two.” He removed Miki’s hand from Yurina’s. “Can you apologize to Yurina-chan for grabbing her so roughly?”

“A-ah, okay.” Miki blushed under the dim lighting. Then, she turned to Yurina and quickly apologized, “I’m sorry.”

Yuu-chan smiled, “It’s okay if you head home first. I don’t want your moms to get mad at you because of me.”

Ren shrugged and waved, “See you later then.” He left.

Miki gave the Hirate siblings a ‘see you tomorrow’ and quickly headed home as well.

The Hirate siblings found themselves alone in the night. Yuu-chan’s name was Hirate Yukiteru. Only Yukiteru was referred to as Yuu-chan even when Yurina’s name shared the same ‘Yu’ sound.

Watching as her brother did his best to do the basketball move, Yurina found time passing.

She couldn’t help but wonder aloud, “Do you think we’ll get scolded when we get home?”

“Urk.” Her brother nearly dropped the ball and sheepishly laughed, “Well, I’ll make sure mom and dad know it’s my fault that you stayed out this late.”

Yurina shook her head, “No, it’s okay.”

“You’re too kind of a little sister.” He praised her warmly. “But I’ll definitely make sure they know, okay? Last time, they accidentally scolded you over the book I lost.”

Clink, clank! The sound of basketball filled the air.

Before long, Yurina’s brother’s forehead was filled with sweat, and he took a seat on the ground next to where Yurina had been watching, “I don’t really know if I can do it…”

“Um…” The short haired girl wasn’t sure what to say to cheer him up.

“Sorry for showing you your big brother’s uncool side.” The boy sighed before quickly brightening up with an idea, “I know! Yurina-chan, let me teach you how to do a jump shot.”

He tossed the basketball to Yurina who caught it in surprise. Yurina quickly threw it back to him, and he rubbed the back of his head with a grin. Demonstrating what a jump shot was, the siblings got to work, playing with the basketball.

At the end of the night, he completed his reverse dunk.


—I don’t want to become hated for not being like this.



“It’s okay.” Neru gave her roommate a sudden hug, whispering as if speaking about something else that Yurina had never told Neru about, “Don’t blame yourself for anything. It’s not your fault. You’re Yurina-chan, and I lo-”

The sky began pouring, a lightning strike broke through the darkness followed by a quick thunder.




Checkpoint 33


The Sakamichi summer camp started, making little difference for the Keyaki class except for more festivity across the campus than usual and a little less people around. Akane was with the tennis club, sleeping over with them for the duration of the camp, so Yuuka had left the dorms early to send her girlfriend a love-packed lunch.

One way or another, Aoi found herself sitting in between Yurina and Neru in the cafeteria at breakfast. A week ago, when the pair had come downstairs looking a bit sleep deprived from staying outdoors too long even with some heavy rain, Aoi had joked and taken a picture for later blackmail and memories, but since then, a strange air had found itself floating between the roommates.

Neru asked no one in particular, “Can you pass me the ketchup?”

Yurina was poking at her food listlessly, staring up at the ceiling. She was closest to the ketchup but hadn’t moved. Thus, Aoi passed Neru the ketchup.

A few seconds passed before Aoi processed the monstrous actions occurring before her eyes with the ketchup in Neru’s hands, “Wait… You’re eating pancakes though?”

Neru wordlessly put the ketchup covered pancake in her mouth. With a sigh, she glanced at her roommate and down at her plate before continuing.

“Gross.” Sitting across from the three, Risa made a face at the inedible thing on Neru’s plate. Suzumoto also inched away from Neru without a word.

Aoi had finished her breakfast already, but she wasn’t sure if she should get up from between Yurina and Neru. The mood felt too stifling.

Across the room, Habu spoke excitedly to Koike, “Want to sneak in on the manga club and see what they’re doing?” The tall girl’s voice reached Aoi’s ears.

For a moment, Aoi felt soothed. She wished that she had sat with the otaku-ish pair, but then, a spark of inspiration hit her.



Hirate Yurina found herself walking through the hallways with Aoi as a barrier between herself and Neru. She was moving it mindlessly, but suddenly, she couldn’t help but feel the metal on her wrist and the fluttering in her chest.

I love you.” The thunder had cut Neru off, but Yurina had heard her anyways.

Yurina shook her head mentally. Neru’s words hadn’t been love as much as like, a type of like that was used in confessions. These were intricacies of the Japanese language that the short haired girl never thought about, but regardless of what Neru meant, Yurina didn’t know how to reply.

Her mind filled with thoughts, she nearly walked into the wall.

Aoi called out to Yurina, “Techi, the literature club room is over here.”

The short haired girl spotted Neru giving her a worried gaze. The way Neru’s eyes seemed to pierce through Yurina was almost scary even though usually, that attentiveness brought a sense of security to Yurina’s heart. When Neru glanced away, Yurina’s heart unconsciously dropped.

They reached the literature club room.

A voice suddenly yelled out, “Puns! Let’s put some puns in there!”

Just from the bit that the trio could see through the door, the club room was full and very rowdy, an unexpected sight from a cultural club. With a bit of hesitation, Aoi opened the door.

“Wh-” A club member was about to question who opened the door.

Everything went silent as the club spotted the Keyaki girls. A few literature club members even suddenly hid away their writings and pretended that nothing strange was going on.

Yurina’s eyes swept across the room. She blinked a few times when she saw the artist Memi in a compromising position on top of another girl. When Yurina blinked again, Memi had gotten off the other girl and quietly apologized to the girl whose name Yurina barely picked up as Mana.

Aoi sheepishly grinned, “Sorry, we were just curious what all the clubs were doing during the camp.” She hadn’t expected the club to just topple over like that.

On the side, Neru had an amused but distracted expression that struck the writers in the club in the heart, inspiring a deep fanfic in their hearts. Yet, neither Neru or Yurina spoke.

Then, the short haired girl suddenly mumbled, holding her chin in deep thought, “Puns…” She pointed at Memi and asked, “Kakizaki-san, is your name the ‘kaki’ of persimmon and the ‘me’ for bud and the ‘mi’ for fruit?”

Surprised, Memi nodded, “Yes, it is.”

Confused, Aoi’s eyes darted between the two girls.

“Can you meet me at the basketball court from a week ago tonight?” Yurina said calmly.

All the clubroom’s eyes were on Memi in trepidation as if a love confession was about to occur in the night.


—I don’t know what to call my feelings for her.


After that visit to the literature club room, Aoi awkwardly walked through the hallways with the pair. Neru didn’t seem to be in the mood to visit more clubs, and Yurina seemed to be trying to ignore Neru’s mood. Aoi noticed when the pair’s hands seemed to reach out for each other only to move away as if shocked.

They split off, heading into different directions.

Aoi quickly followed after Neru. “Neru, are you okay?”

“I’m okay.” Neru smiled, shaking her head.

Aoi frowned. She didn’t need to look at the pictures in her camera to figure out that the smile was different from Neru’s usual smile; it was fake. “You can tell me. We’re friends.”

“It’s okay, Aoi. It’s nothing that you have to worry about.”

“But…”

“Don’t worry about it.”

Aoi visibly deflated.

Neru noticed, but she still chose to leave. She entered an unused wing of the school and looked out the window. The sun shined down brightly as if mocking her disconnect with her roommate.

Neru sighed, “I want to recharge.” She took out her phone.

Typing out a message, she thought to herself, “She’s just solving the riddle. She’s just… not giving you a response. Let’s just take it back, so we can stop being like this.”

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
« Reply #131 on: June 11, 2018, 12:56:33 PM »
Suddenly I feel very sad for Neru.
But I also feel very nostalgic for what happened with the Hirate brothers ...
You left me with a lot of intrigue.
I will wait for the next update with much desire.

Offline four4four

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [Checkpoint 32.5 + 33 (June 10, 2018)]
« Reply #132 on: June 12, 2018, 02:41:32 AM »
Checkpoint 32.5:
Hmm... slowly revealing Techi's pass I see.
And come on mother nature. Why did you have to ruin the moment?

Checkpoint 33:
Is this uneasy air really just from Neru's confession? Seems like there is something more to it than that.
So did Techi just like ask Memi out for a moonlight date?
Hmm... Neru and her mysterious thought.

Offline Shinoki

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Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Seasons - OdaPon (June 15, 2018)]
« Reply #133 on: June 15, 2018, 09:13:47 PM »
@Minami-chan: Thank you for reading! The past is something that sticks with Techi very deeply for the good and the bad.
@four4four: TechiNeru are like rain women given how many rainy scenes they have, haha. The uneasy air between the two isn't really from Neru's confession but rather from the ghosts - really, living ghosts in Neru's case - haunting Techi and Neru. Techi didn't ask Memi out for a date, but some people (like Manafi; it's a ManaMemi world here) might misunderstand and cause something funny.


The next Eccentric update should be in a few days. But first, OdaPon.



Seasons


It was winter when those feelings had started, the snow falling outside, the students in winter clothes and hanging together near the heater. Kobayashi Yui had sat at her desk, listlessly gazing out the window. At the other side of the room, Oda Nana was chatting brightly and handing out mikans from her hometown to everyone.

When Kobayashi said everyone, she meant literally everyone, even the members of the class who were delinquents or stuck-up and vapidly superficial. Of course, Kobayashi wasn’t an angel either, but sometimes, Oda Nana seemed too kind.

It annoyed her.

Oda Nana came over and casually put a mikan on Kobayashi’s desk.

“What is this?” Kobayashi asked coldly.

“It’s a Mikkabi mikan.” Oda Nana advertised, “They’re delicious, just so you know.”

Kobayashi shrugged and started peeling the orange, placing one piece in her mouth, “I’ll judge that myself.”

Oda Nana watched closely, “So, how is it?”

“Sweet…” Kobayashi murmured.

Oda Nana grinned, very satisfied. Normally Kobayashi would have wanted to wipe that victorious grin off of any other person’s face, but she just quietly looked at Oda Nana’s face. That staring made Oda Nana flee in shyness, eliciting a light chuckle from the cool Yui.

Even though it was winter, Kobayashi felt warm. At that time, she simply hadn’t realized that she had started to fall in love with the mikan-giving Oda Nana.



When spring came, Kobayashi Yui found herself once more in the same class as Oda Nana. It was raining outside, the pitter patter of the water falling from the sky made so much noise that she couldn’t stay in the classroom and play guitar for the noise would drown out her own sounds.

She walked down to the school entrance and changed her shoes, getting out her umbrella, just in time to see Oda Nana and another classmate, a clumsy penguin like girl called Koike Minami.

For some reason, seeing the two together but only Oda holding an umbrella made Kobayashi stop in her tracks to wait and watch.
Oda Nana asked Koike, “Miichan, did you forget your umbrella?”

Koike nodded, looking out at the rain with a pouting face, “Yea, and it’s pouring really hard right now…”

Then, Oda Nana took a moment to think. “You live next to Habu, right?” She inquired, knowing that she herself lived in the complete opposite direction.

Koike nodded.

“Ah, that’s pretty far away.” Nodding almost sagely, the kind Oda made the decision in a split second and handed her own umbrella to Koike, “Here, you can have my umbrella. I don’t want you to get drenched.”

“No, it’s okay. I can wait for the rain to stop.” Koike shook her head hurriedly and waved her hands in a rejecting gesture.

The sky started thundering, the rain intensifying rather than stopping.

“No, you can use my umbrella.” Oda Nana firmly pushed the umbrella into Koike’s hand. “I just remembered that I still have something to do, so I’m going to stay after school a bit anyways.”

Koike awkwardly looked at Oda Nana while holding the umbrella, “But…” She clearly didn’t believe Oda Nana’s words.

Oda Nana shook her head and gestured for the penguin-like girl to go home, “Don’t worry about it.”

When Koike finally left and went out of site, Oda Nana let out a sigh. Stretching her arms a little, she hummed to herself a question of what she would do to waste her time. She took out her phone to check the weather and made a disgruntled noise when she found out that the rain was actually going to get worse into the afternoon and night.

That was when Kobayashi came up next to Oda Nana. “Hey.”

“Oh, Kobayashi-san. What’s up?” Oda Nana greeted Kobayashi.

Kobayashi frowned, “You’re pretty stupid, giving your umbrella to Koike.”

“What…?”

“We live in the same direction, don’t we?”

Oda Nana nodded, not catching onto the flow of the conversation.

Kobayashi casually opened the umbrella and took a first step out of the entrance of the school, leaving room for another person under the umbrella, “Well, get under the umbrella then.”

Although surprised, Oda Nana came up under the umbrella and smiled, “Kobayashi-san, you’re a really nice person, huh.”

The guitar playing girl didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just shrugged. She hoped that her ears weren’t turning red.

The two classmates walked relatively quietly through the rain. Pitter patter. Pitter patter. They were on the sidewalk, moving along with a space in between them under the umbrella. Although Kobayashi wasn’t getting wet, she glanced over and saw Oda Nana’s wet shoulder.

Kobayashi casually moved the umbrella over a bit. It didn’t really matter if she got a little wet since she was fine skipping school over a small cold anyways, but she didn’t want Oda Nana to get wet.

Oda Nana responded by pushing the umbrella over to Kobayashi.

They ended up pushing the umbrella back and forth, almost pushing each other, in an attempt to keep the other dry. They seemed like children who weren’t talking at all.

Thus, the pair suddenly heard a giggle.

“Yuipon, Yuipon’s friend, you two are pretty silly fighting like that.” A short girl with her own umbrella gestured, “Just stand closer, and neither of you will get wet.”

Kobayashi, or Yuipon, sighed, grumbling at the short girl who she seemed to know, “Zuumin…”

“Well, it’s true after all.” The short girl casually grinned, “By the way, I’m Imaizumi Yui. This tsundere’s bandmate, if she hasn’t told you about me yet.”

Oda Nana introduced herself, “Ah, I’m Oda Nana.”

“Oh, I see.” Imaizumi let out a knowing smile toward Kobayashi.

Kobayashi shooed, “Zuumin, shoo. Don’t you have something to do with Techi or something?”

“Well, see you later then.” The short haired girl quickly disappeared into the crowd.

Exchanging a few words, Kobayashi and Oda Nana huddled closer to each other under the umbrella. For Kobayashi, it was as if her heartbeat overpowered the sound of the rain, and she couldn’t see the flustered expression on Oda Nana’s face.

Unluckily, their little moment was interrupted by a car driving by too quickly and splashing water onto both of the girls.



Summer shined down soon enough with its hot rays and often humid air and of course, the end of exams marking the upcoming vacations. Kobayashi’s class found themselves out at the pool on the last day of school before vacations, playing around with water and cleaning tools in the empty pool.

The class officer Moriya yelled out at some of the girls playing around, “Hey, we’re supposed to be cleaning here!”

One of them shouted back playfully, “Don’t be such a bore. We have more than enough time! Let’s play a little first!”

All the while, Kobayashi sat in the shade, watching. She wasn’t part of the group that had volunteered the class to clean the pool. Even if they got to play in the pool afterwards, she wasn’t really interested. Instead, she hummed a self-written song to herself, thinking about a band performance with her out of school friends.

Suddenly, she found the shade enlarge.

“Hey, Yuipon.” Oda Nana smiled, holding some cleaning materials.

“Oda Nana.” Kobayashi greeted. She was about to shoo the kind girl away when she realized something. “Actually, you can stay there and be my shade.”

Oda Nana pouted, “Eh, I’m going to help clean the pool though.”

Kobayashi shrugged. She had expected that.

Oda Nana went back down to the pool to help clean up. Aiding the class officers Moriya and Sugai with getting the class back into order, Oda Nana energetically scrubbed the pool floor.

For a second, Kobayashi turned her eyes away and looked at the sky. She almost wanted to join in on the fun after seeing Oda Nana.
A spurt of water, a few playful yells, those types of noises caught Kobayashi’s attention. She glanced back at the pool cleaning bunch and saw Oda Nana’s shirt soaked. If she squinted, she could see Oda Nana’s bra. Blushing at what she was doing, Kobayashi closed her eyes to calm down.

Then, she got up to join that rowdy bunch of classmates.



Autumn was the falling of leaves to the ground, the cool weather returning along with delicious fall foods. The thing that wouldn’t fall off at all was Oda Nana who had taken to clinging to Kobayashi.

Oda Nana had her phone out, ready to take a picture, “Hey, Yuipon, can you pose for me?”

Kobayashi looked up from her book for a second and looked back down, ignoring Oda Nana completely.

Nonetheless, Oda Nana happily took a picture.

Classmates like Shida and the two Watanabes had come to sit near Kobayashi and Oda Nana, creating an odd little friend group. For Kobayashi who usually sat by herself, this was a new situation created by Oda Nana’s strangeness. Of course, she didn’t mind it at all.
Oda Nana hugged Kobayashi from behind and casually took a two-shot picture.

Koike called out from the other side of the room, carrying a bunch of boxes, “Can someone help me with this?”

Oda Nana went over to help the penguin-ish girl set down the boxes. After finishing, she quickly came back to bug Kobayashi.

Kobayashi huffed, “You’re too nice to everyone. Make them do it themselves.”

“Well, it’s better if everyone can be happy though.” Oda Nana replied.

“I guess I do like you for that, but it’s kind of annoying.” Kobayashi said nonchalantly, ignoring the playful snickers of her other friends. Speaking quietly, she added, “Rather, I’d be okay monopolizing your kindness.”

Oda Nana’s eyes sparkled in surprise before she tried to give Kobayashi a big hug and a kiss, “Yuipon loves me? I love you too!”

“Hmph.” Kobayashi smoothly pushed Oda Nana away.

She glanced out the window, and she couldn’t help but glance back into the classroom at Oda Nana’s smiling face being squished against her hand. Kobayashi Yui wondered if something had changed throughout the seasons.

“I do love you too.” She mumbled under her breath.

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Eccentric (TechiNeru+) [OS - Seasons - OdaPon (June 15, 2018)]
« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2018, 01:13:24 AM »
Thanks for the OS.
The truth is that I am more than other couples. But your effort to continue writing stories is appreciated.
Waiting "Eccentric" with impatience  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :inlove: :inlove: :inlove:

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